The Promulgation of Universal Peace
17 August 1912
Talk at Green Acre
Notes by Edna McKinney
Are you all well and happy? This is a delightful spot; the scenery is
beautiful, and an atmosphere of spirituality haloes everything. In
the future, God willing, Green Acre shall become a great center,
the cause of the unity of the world of humanity, the cause of uniting
hearts and binding together the East and the West. This is my hope.
Tonight I wish to speak upon the oneness of the world of humanity.
This is one of the important subjects of the present period.
If the oneness of the human world were established, all the differences
which separate mankind would be eradicated. Strife and
warfare would cease, and the world of humanity would find repose.
Universal peace would be promoted, and the East and West
would be conjoined in a strong bond. All men would be sheltered
beneath one tabernacle. Native lands would become one; races and
religions would be unified. The people of the world would live together
in harmony, and their well-being would be assured.
From the beginning of human history down to the present time
the various religions of the world have anathematized and accused
each other of falsity. Each religion has considered the others bereft
of the face of God, deprived of His mercy and in the direct line of
divine wrath. Therefore, they have shunned each other most
rigidly, exercising mutual animosity and rancor. Consider the record
of religious warfare, the battles between nations, the
bloodshed and destruction in the name of religion. One of the
greatest religious wars, the Crusades, extended over a period of
two hundred years. In this succession of great campaigns the western
crusaders were constantly invading the Orient, bent upon recovering
the Holy City from the hands of the Islamic people. Army
after army raised in Europe poured its fanatical legions into the
East. The kings of European nations personally led these
Crusades, killing and shedding the blood of the Orientals. During
this period of two hundred years the East and West were in a state
of violence and commotion. Sometimes the crusaders were successful,
killing, pillaging and taking captive the Muslim people;
sometimes the Muslims were victorious, inflicting bloodshed,
death and ruin in turn upon the invaders. So they continued for two
centuries, alternately fighting with fury and relaxing from weakness,
until the European religionists withdrew from the East,
leaving ashes of desolation behind them and finding their own nations
in a condition of turbulence and upheaval. Hundreds of
thousands of human beings were killed and untold wealth wasted
in this fruitless religious warfare. How many fathers mourned the
loss of their sons! How many mothers and wives lamented the absence
of their dear ones! Yet this was only one of the "holy" wars.
Consider and reflect.
Religious wars have been many. Nine hundred thousand martyrs
to the Protestant cause was the record of conflict and difference
between that sect of Christians and the Catholics. Consult history
and confirm this. How many languished in prisons! How merciless
the treatment of captives! All in the name of religion! Consider and
estimate the outcome of other wars between the people and sects of
From the beginning of human history down to this time the
world of humanity has not enjoyed a day of absolute rest and relaxation
from conflict and strife. Most of the wars have been caused by
religious prejudice, fanaticism and sectarian hatred. Religionists
have anathematized religionists, each considering the other as deprived
of the mercy of God, abiding in gross darkness and the children
of Satan. For example, the Christians and Muslims considered
the Jews satanic and the enemies of God. Therefore, they
cursed and persecuted them. Great numbers of Jews were killed,
their houses burned and pillaged, their children carried into captivity.
The Jews in turn regarded the Christians as infidels and the
Muslims as enemies and destroyers of the law of Moses. Therefore,
they call down vengeance upon them and curse them even to
Consider what injuries, ordeals and calamities have been
inflicted upon mankind since the beginning of history. Every city,
country, nation and people has been subjected to the destruction
and havoc of war. Each one of the divine religions considers itself
as belonging to a goodly and blessed tree, the tree of the Merciful,
and all other religious systems as belonging to a tree of evil, the
tree of Satan. For this reason they heap execration and abuse upon
each other. This is clearly apparent in books of historical record
and prevailed until the time of the appearance of Bahá'u'lláh.
When the light of Bahá'u'lláh dawned from the East, He proclaimed
the promise of the oneness of humanity. He addressed all
mankind, saying, "Ye are all the fruits of one tree. There are not
two trees: one a tree of divine mercy, the other the tree of Satan."
Again He said, "Ye are all the fruits of one tree, the leaves of one
branch." This was His announcement; this was His promise of the
oneness of the world of humanity. Anathema and execration were
utterly abrogated. He said, "It is not becoming in man to curse another;
it is not befitting that man should attribute darkness to another;
it is not meet that one human being should consider another
human being as bad; nay, rather, all mankind are the servants of
one God; God is the Father of all; there is not a single exception to
that law. There are no people of Satan; all belong to the Merciful.
There is no darkness; all is light. All are the servants of God, and
man must love humanity from his heart. He must, verily, behold
humanity as submerged in the divine mercy."
Bahá'u'lláh has made no exception to this rule. He said that
among mankind there may be those who are ignorant; they must be
trained. Some are sick; they must be treated. Some are immature;
they must be helped to attain maturity. In other respects humanity
is submerged in the ocean of divine mercy. God is the Father of all.
He educates, provides for and loves all; for they are His servants
and His creation. Surely the Creator loves His creatures. It would
be impossible to find an artist who does not love his own production.
Have you ever seen a man who did not love his own actions?
Even though they be bad actions, he loves them. How ignorant,
therefore, the thought that God, Who created man, educated and
nurtured him, surrounded him with all blessings, made the sun and
all phenomenal existence for his benefit, bestowed upon him tenderness
and kindness and then did not love him. This is palpable
ignorance, for no matter to what religion a man belongs, even
though he be an atheist or materialist, nevertheless, God nurtures
him, bestows His kindness and sheds upon him His light. How
then can we believe God is wrathful and unloving? How can we
even imagine this, when as a matter of fact we are witnesses of the
tenderness and mercy of God upon every hand? All about us we
behold manifestations of the love of God. If, therefore, God be
loving, what should we do? We have nothing else to do but to
emulate Him. Just as God loves all and is kind to all, so must we
really love and be kind to everybody. We must consider none bad,
none worthy of detestation, no one as an enemy. We must love all;
nay, we must consider everyone as related to us, for all are the servants
of one God. All are under the instructions of one Educator.
We must strive day and night that love and amity may increase,
that this bond of unity may be strengthened, that joy and happiness
may more and more prevail, that in unity and solidarity all mankind
may gather beneath the shadow of God, that people may turn
to God for their sustenance, finding in Him the life that is everlasting.
Thus may they be confirmed in the Kingdom of God and live
forever through His grace and bounty.
Bahá'u'lláh has clearly said in His Tablets that if you have an
enemy, consider him not as an enemy. Do not simply be long-suffering;
nay, rather, love him. Your treatment of him should be
that which is becoming to lovers. Do not even say that he is your
enemy. Do not see any enemies. Though he be your murderer, see
no enemy. Look upon him with the eye of friendship. Be mindful
that you do not consider him as an enemy and simply tolerate him,
for that is but stratagem and hypocrisy. To consider a man your
enemy and love him is hypocrisy. This is not becoming of any
soul. You must behold him as a friend. You must treat him well.
This is right.
We return to the subject. When we observe the phenomena of
the universe, we realize that the axis around which life revolves is
love, while the axis around which death and destruction revolve is
animosity and hatred. Let us view the mineral kingdom. Here we
see that if attraction did not exist between the atoms, the composite
substance of matter would not be possible. Every existent phenomenon
is composed of elements and cellular particles. This is
scientifically true and correct. If attraction did not exist between
the elements and among the cellular particles, the composition of
that phenomenon would never have been possible. For instance,
the stone is an existent phenomenon, a composition of elements. A
bond of attraction has brought them together, and through this
cohesion of ingredients this petrous object has been formed. This
stone is the lowest degree of phenomena, but nevertheless within it
a power of attraction is manifest without which the stone could not
exist. This power of attraction in the mineral world is love, the only
expression of love the stone can manifest.
Look now upon the next highest stage of life, the vegetable
kingdom. Here we see that the plant is the result of cohesion among
various elements, just as the mineral is in its kingdom; but, furthermore,
the plant has the power of absorption from the earth.
This is a higher degree of attraction which differentiates the plant
from the mineral. In the kingdom of the vegetable this is an expression
of love, the highest capacity of expression the vegetable possesses.
By this power of attraction, or augmentation, the plant
grows day by day. Therefore, in this kingdom, also, love is the
cause of life. If repulsion existed among the elements instead of
attraction, the result would be disintegration, destruction and
nonexistence. Because cohesion exists among the elements and
cellular attraction is manifest, the plant appears. When this attraction
is dispelled and the ingredients separate, the plant ceases to
Then we come to the animal world, which is still higher in degree
than the vegetable kingdom. In it the power of love makes itself
still more manifest. The light of love is more resplendent in the
animal kingdom because the power of attraction whereby elements
cohere and cellular atoms commingle now reveals itself in certain
emotions and sensibilities which produce instinctive fellowship
and association. The animals are imbued with kindness and affinity
which manifests itself among those of the same species.
Finally, we reach the kingdom of man. Here we find that all the
degrees of the mineral, vegetable and animal expressions of love
are present plus unmistakable attractions of consciousness. That is
to say, man is the possessor of a degree of attraction which is conscious
and spiritual. Here is an immeasurable advance. In the
human kingdom spiritual susceptibilities come into view, love
exercises its superlative degree, and this is the cause of human life.
The proof is clear that in all degrees and kingdoms unity and
agreement, love and fellowship are the cause of life, whereas dissension,
animosity and separation are ever conducive to
death. Therefore, we must strive with life and soul in order that day
by day unity and agreement may be increased among mankind and
that love and affinity may become more resplendently glorious and
manifest. In the animal kingdom you will observe that domestic
species live together in the utmost fellowship. See how sociable
and friendly sheep gather together in a flock. Look at the doves and
other domestic birds. There is no partisanship among them, no
separation due to notions of patriotism. They live together in the
utmost love and unity, flying, feeding, associating. Ferocious
animals--beasts of prey such as the wolf, bear, tiger and
hyena--are never amicable and do not associate together. They
attack one another. Whenever they meet, they fight. Three wolves
are never seen associating happily. If you see them together, it is
with some ferocious intent. They are like selfish, brutal men who
are inimical, cursing and killing each other. Better that man should
resemble the domestic animals than the ferocious beasts of prey,
for in the estimation of God love is acceptable, whereas hatred and
animosity are rejected. Why should we act contrary to the good
pleasure of God? Why should we be as ferocious animals, constantly
shedding blood, pillaging and destroying? Because we belong
to one race or family of humankind, why should we consider
all others bad and inferior, deserving of death, pillage and
invasion--people of darkness, worthy of hatred and detestation by
God? Why does man show forth such attitude and actions toward
his fellowman? We see that God is kind to all. Just as He loves us,
He loves all others; just as He provides for us, He provides for the
rest. He nurtures and trains all with equal solicitude.
God is great! God is kind! He does not behold human
shortcomings; He does not regard human weaknesses. Man is a
creature of His mercy, and to His mercy He summons all. Why
then should we despise or detest His creatures because this one is a
Jew, another a Buddhist or Zoroastrian and so on? This is ignorance,
for the oneness of humanity as servants of God is an assured
and certain fact.
Bahá'u'lláh has proclaimed the promise of the oneness of humanity.
Therefore, we must exercise the utmost love toward each
other. We must be loving to all the people of the world. We must
not consider any people the people of Satan, but know and recognize
all as the servants of the one God. At most it is this: Some do
not know; they must be guided and trained. They must be taught to
love their fellow creatures and be encouraged in the acquisition of
virtues. Some are ignorant; they must be informed. Some are as
children, undeveloped; they must be helped to reach maturity.
Some are ailing, their moral condition is unhealthy; they must be
treated until their morals are purified. But the sick man is not to be
hated because he is sick, the child must not be shunned because he
is a child, the ignorant one is not to be despised because he lacks
knowledge. They must all be treated, educated, trained and assisted
in love. Everything must be done in order that humanity may
live under the shadow of God in the utmost security, enjoying happiness
in its highest degree.