Adam Bauer

Adam Bauer

Living & Growing: The Promise of world peace

Humanity can confront this supreme trial with confidence in its ultimate outcome.

  • By Adam Bauer
  • Thursday, October 20, 2022 12:56pm
  • Neighbors

Once again I preface my letter with thanks to the Juneau Empire for their gracious support that makes these articles possible. I also give thanks to the Tlingit people who have provided centuries of stewardship to this most incredible land we live on.

It is both a privilege and an honor to be tasked with writing these letters. Within the Baháʼí Faith there is no clergy and I have no specific role as a leader or thinker within our community. All I can do is lean on the writings of our faith. Today, when the world appears to be coming apart at the seams, my heart turns to a statement by the leading institution of our faith written to the world in 1985, “The Promise of World Peace.”

Seers, poets and religionists have for all time expressed a vision of a peaceful age in the future of the world. The mechanisms to create this peace have not existed until most recently. Today the possibility of a global society interdependent on one another is not only possible, it is being fabricated before our very eyes. No longer can an independent nation state live in isolation from it’s neighbors in the community of nations. A unified peaceful planet is the only inevitable outcome in the world today.

Whether peace is reached only after unimaginable horrors due to the stubborn clinging of old patterns of behavior or is embraced as an act of consultative will remains to be seen. The global process of nation building is for the most part complete. The fact that the world is horrified by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia only proves that our modern world has moved beyond the idea that “might makes right.” Society at all levels is reflecting on the consequences of previous abuses of power. This does not mean that we are an irredeemable people forever cast in conflict and strife, nay on the contrary this clearly points to the fact that we as a collective society are moving forward towards a world where peace and justice is not only possible, but rather the normal state of human affairs.

To assume that world peace is inevitable is not to deny humanity’s past but to understand it. The Bahá’í Faith regards the current world confusion and calamitous condition in human affairs as a natural phase in an organic process leading ultimately and irresistibly to the unification of the human race in a single social order whose boundaries are those of the planet. The human race, as a distinct, organic unit, has passed through evolutionary stages analogous to the stages of infancy and childhood, and is now in the culminating period of its turbulent adolescence approaching its long-awaited coming of age.

Our history of war, prejudice, and exploitation has been an expression of our immaturity in a vast historical process. As we look at the world today it is our responsibility to nurture the unifying structures that are building the foundations of a unified future. An age of maturity for the peoples of the planet. Our historic evolution, from families in the Garden of Edan, to tribes and then city states in the old testament, to nation states in the modern era is not complete, the only logical destination on this path is a global society of one people on one planet.

Whatever suffering and turmoil the years immediately ahead may hold, however dark the immediate circumstances, the Bahá’í community believes that humanity can confront this supreme trial with confidence in its ultimate outcome. Far from signalizing the end of civilization, the convulsive changes towards which humanity is being ever more rapidly impelled will serve to release the “potentialities inherent in the station of man” and reveal “the full measure of his destiny on earth, the innate excellence of his reality”.

With Love for all.

• Adam Bauer is a member of the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baháʼís of Juneau. “Living & Growing” is a weekly column written by different authors and submitted by local clergy and spiritual leaders. It appears every Friday on the Juneau Empire’s Faith page.

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