Development Human Nature Oneness

A Final Step in Humanity’s Evolution

One can analyze in the tumultuous evolution of the life of humankind one thread, among others, that has been present and steadily advancing for thousands and tens of thousands of years.  Perhaps human history can even be conceptualized as a progressive movement in this direction.  This common theme is that since its earliest beginnings, humanity has been moving closer and closer to realizing the oneness of humankind – to manifest into reality this latent truth.


The fundamental barrier towards this realization is perceiving otherness – categorizing one group of human beings as “other” to another, often one’s own, group.


The reality of man is his thought.  Just as spiritual and physical reality, with all its laws, processes, and forces, is a manifestation of the mind of God – (Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator. Its manifestations are diversified by varying causes, and in this diversity there are signs for men of discernment. Nature is God’s Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world.) – so, too, is all of social reality an emanation of the collective mind of humanity: “…all these highly varied phenomena, these concepts, this knowledge, these technical procedures and philosophical systems, these sciences, arts, industries and inventions—all are emanations of the human mind.”


However, both the oneness of humankind and the fundamental reality of human beings as thought have both been progressively realized over humanity’s collective development.  This evolution necessarily started out as more physical, then moved towards more cultural and geographic – natural evolution into our current physical form, then the gradual integration of individuals into families, families into tribes, tribes into city-states, cities into nations, nations into empires, and now the emergence of a global civilization.  At this point, no one can reasonably argue that humankind is not whole and interconnected, and the earth is not one homeland.


This realization has only been at the physical, geographic, and cultural level – through masses of people moving like waves across the earth, through inter-ethnic marriage on a vast scale, through interconnected systems of communication and economics.  Yet, the reality of man is his thought, and social reality an emanation of the mind.  The final step in the oneness of humankind, beyond conceptualizing that all of humanity is one, is in not creating an “other” that doesn’t conceptualize this.  This is, perhaps, the most challenging “us” and “them” barrier.


Recently I heard the statement: “well, for us there is no ‘us’ and ‘them’, but for them there is an ‘us’ and ‘them'” or “we don’t think in terms of ‘us’ and ‘them’s’, but they think in terms of ‘us’ and ‘them’s'”.  This type of categorization of “us” and “them” is the deepest obstacle to oneness, the greatest challenge that must be overcome in humanity’s physical-geographic-cultural-intellectual-spiritual evolution.  Once our collective consciousness eliminates the thought that one group of people realize humanity’s oneness, and another group do not, then will we have reached the level of humanity’s fundamental reality (thought), and will social reality reflect more and more just and unified processes and systems, greater and greater degrees of Bahá’u’lláh’s vision for humanity.



- Empowerment - Religion - Three Protagonists Development Discourse Justice Oneness

120 years of discourse

A few days ago passed the 120th anniversary of the first mention of the Baha’i Faith in the Western hemisphere.  At last, the spiritual forces released by Baha’u’llah’s Revelation had an “initial conversation” through which they could be channeled.  Many of the early Baha’is of the West interacted with the Faith through this initial conversation – whether they were present, read about in it a newspaper, or heard about it in a subsequent conversation.


September of 1893, just over a year after Bahá’u’lláh’s ascension, Reverend George Ford, a missionary in Syria, read a paper by a Presbyterian minister named Henry Jessup, at the World Parliament of Religions held in downtown Chicago.  After speaking about Christianity, he ending the speech with,


In the Palace of Bahjí , or Delight, just outside the Fortress of ‘Akká, on the Syrian coast, there died a few months since, a famous Persian sage, the Bábí Saint, named Bahá’u’lláh -the “Glory of God”- the head of that vast reform party of Persian Muslims, who accept the New Testament as the Word of God and Christ as the Deliverer of men, who regard all nations as one, and all men as brothers. Three years ago he was visited by a Cambridge scholar and gave utterance to sentiments so noble, so Christlike, that we repeat them as our closing words:

“That all nations should become one in faith and all men as brothers; that the bonds of affection and unity between the sons of men should be strengthened; that diversity of religions should cease and differences of race be annulled. What harm is there in this? Yet so it shall be. These fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the ‘Most Great Peace’ shall come. Do not you in Europe need this also? Let not a man glory in this, that he loves his country; let him rather glory in this, that he loves his kind.”


Thus began a discourse on Baha’u’llah’s principle of the oneness of humankind.


One way to think about discourse is as the instrumentality through which spiritual forces are able to influence the hearts and minds of human beings.  As thoughts and habits of behavior are altered, so are social structures.  The initial conversation – the Word of God brought by a Manifestation of God and subsequently spread across the world – leads to a community dedicated to translating high ideals into action.  This new system of values reorders consciousness and behavior and restructures the administration of society.  Eventually, a civilization emerges that embodies the concepts contained throughout this conversation.  As more and more people engaged in this conversation, the civilization becomes more and more just – as justice requires universal participation.  And as it becomes more and more just, it takes on higher degrees of unity.


The discourse on peace that began 120 years ago in the heart of North America has gained in strength and momentum, and taken on degrees of complexity.  The conversation has taken many forms and included many topics over the last century, and is currently about a community-building endeavor that receives its impetus from an education process that seeks to build capacity in its protagonists for acts of service through imparting skills, insights, and knowledge.  But it’s always been the same conversation. This is humanity’s conversation about its spiritual and social destiny – all can contribute, all have a say.  And at a deep level, all are connected to it….all can learn from it and advance it.  The conversation’s aim is to empower populations to take charge and responsibility for their own development, as a people.  In what ways are your daily thoughts, words, and actions contributing to this conversation?



- Consultation - Governance - Oppression - Religion - Science Discourse Knowledge Oneness

Climate Change and Political Partisanship: Why is the Truth So Divisive?

Every intelligent mind that evaluates the causes for global warming concludes that human-induced green-house gas emissions are responsible for Earth’s atmospheric average temperature increases. The only people who disagree with this are fringe scientists and few in number. For mysterious reasons, politicians are highly polarized on this debate. This scientific question has therefore become politicized. Since the early 1990’s the debate has typically fallen along partisan lines. The question needs to be asked: ‘Should we raise awareness of the facts surrounding climate change and risk igniting partisan warfare?’

To investigate the scientific validity of an issue, to raise awareness and form thoughtful opinions, and to act on these views as citizens with our purchasing-power and electoral choices — all this seems a human duty and a moral responsibility. However, what if we also hope to avoid becoming embroiled in partisan conflict, and consider exacerbating its divisive character, by throwing fuel onto a fire, equally unacceptable? An alternative is to refrain from speaking altogether. This however, would imply remaining silent on matters of conscience.

To many it would be unconscionable to hold their peace on matters of importance to one’s community, the environment, and the world. As responsible citizens of one common homeland, if we know something we would wish to share it, especially if  it is of betterment to the world. Who wouldn’t want others to benefit from it, to stimulate large numbers to investigate it, to improve collective conditions and avert disaster?

Pursuit of truth is natural. The desire to teach it is equally natural. The facts compel our conscience to declare that human fossil fuels and deforestation are responsible for climate change and truly threaten life on earth as we know it. How can public information and unbiased investigation into the topic be promoted, while not attracting the label of partisan bickering? How can one be true to one’s conscience but at the same time avoid being drawn into conflict with partisan representatives and economic special interests?

Partisan demonizing carries with it a debilitating affect on intelligent discourse. Climate change is after all, an issue of global importance and collective human destiny. Is it possible to contribute wisely whilst remaining free of quarrel in a social environment charged with partisan bickering and economic second agendas?

Holding discourse hostage with the threat of demonizing and castigating alternative viewpoints undermines the truth-discovering power of consultation, cooperation, and collective action.

Dear Sandy: Will humankind put aside partisanship before the Earth overheats our species?


- Governance - Human Body - Prevailing Conceptions Discourse Human Nature Justice Oneness

Economic Theory: Competition, the Key to Prosperity?

Human nature has been misinterpreted. We are not selfish and competitive by nature, but rather, altruistic and cooperative. Human societies to some extent actually represent an anomaly in the competitive theory of the jungle. Humans demonstrate a detailed division of labour and exchange of goods and services, with or without a cooperative intention on the individual level, between genetically unrelated individuals, that amounts to an economy-wide scheme of cooperation for collective prosperity. Modern societies with large organizational structures for meat and vegetable production and distribution, banking services and widespread trust in economic stability, and the rule of law and order, do the same. Since earliest days of the species Homo sapien, we have seen dense networks of exchange relations and practices of sophisticated forms of food-sharing, cooperative hunting, and collective warfare in hunter gatherer societies. The world of the animal for example, exhibits little to no distinguishable division of labour. In the jungle, cooperation is limited to small groups, and when it is seen it is almost certainly among genetically closely related individuals (eg: a family in a pack of wolves). Even in non-human primates (chimpanzees etc.), cooperation is orders of magnitude less developed than it is among humans. One may argue that certain insects such as ants and bees, or even the naked mole rat demonstrate cooperation in colonies of 1000’s of individuals working together. However, cooperation of these types of organisms cannot be appreciated except in the context of their considerable genetic homology. Genuine, conscious, cooperation that is biologically altruistic or selfless (ie: lacking genetic incentive) is seen in human society because of our unique nature, distinct from the jungle.

The “Jungle” interpretation of human nature comes from looking at humanity’s past of war and crime and deducing that human nature is selfish and competitive. No serious sociologist would look at a child and deduce that human beings are 2 feet tall and irrational. Yet, that is precisely what has been done when we look at humanity’s war- and crime-ridden history and deduce that human nature is selfish and competitive. Over the course of the child’s maturation and development it will become evident that he is actually capable of being a 5’10” professor of physics, for example. To judge human nature based upon an immature stage in human development leads to misconceived notions of who we are and how we should behave. The problem arises from the mistake of taking descriptive observation and mistaking them for a prescription of how things should be. The is-ought fallacy. Based on the observation of selfish and competitive behaviour, sociologists have prescribed selfish and competitive standards for others to follow. Instead of describing humankind’s violent past and seeking to overcome and transcend these difficulties in the future, many social theorists normalize these characteristics and prescribe them as the mode of interaction in economics and political practice. The sad truth is that much of our social order is built with this view of human nature in mind, catering to the worst aspects of our potential. No wonder society and the global state of affairs are in such shambles. A distinctive effort is needed to rethink human nature and our relationship to the collective order. Nothing less than a spiritual revolution in the hearts and minds of people and a transformation of the values of society will redeem us from the course we have set for ourselves with bankrupt self-conceptions.

Current economic theory is modeled around a self-interested conception of human nature analogous to the competitiveness of animals fighting for survival and reproductive resources in a jungle. I believe human nature is fundamentally altruistic, analogous to the harmony of cells and tissues cooperating for total organismic prosperity. The best advantage of the part is pursued in the progress of the whole. Cooperation of the various parts leads to health, and selfishness of any cell leads to cancer. The human body and not the jungle is what I choose as my model for societal and economic organization.

Assumptions of the Jungle Interpretation of Human Nature:
1. Human beings are naturally self-interested
2. There is a finite amount of goods, services, and opportunities with an infinite amount of wants, drives, and competitors
3. Competition is both biologically necessary and mandated by the scarcity of resources
4. Survival of the fittest is not just a biological law, but a social one as well, equally applicable to the biological and social human condition

Assumptions of the Body Interpretation of Human Nature:
1. Human beings are naturally altruistic
2. Goods are produced in proportion to the sense of a duty, purpose, and enterprise animating human endeavours, individually and collectively
3. Needs are satisfied in a way that does justice to their severity and intensity, which balances the extremes of satisfaction and want society-wide
4. Creation of a just and prosperous world order is the fruit of all social evolution, just as the manifestation of the rational mind has been the fruit of biological evolution


- Consultation - Empowerment - Governance - Religion - Three Protagonists Discourse

Summary of August 9th Message


1. 10 new Regional Councils (RC’s). 5-Year Plan messages foundation of action and study. Familiarity with dynamics of growth increases with core activities.

2. Dichotomy of neighborhood and centralized children’s classes (CC) transcended. 2 Junior Youth learning sites. Expansion/consolidation primary task of RC’s.

3. RC’s to ensure functioning of Regional Training Institute (RTI) and Area Teaching Committees (ATC). Two perspectives: cycles of activity and educational process.

4. RC to draw on world-wide system of generation and dissemination of knowledge. Relationship with Counsellors significant. Report successes and impediments.

5. Prospects for Junior Youth program especially bright. Transformation in junior youth and rapid development in those accompanied to serve as animators.

6.  Capacity for human resource development needed for sustainable progress in growth of Cause and transformation of society.

7. Intensity and patience are called for organically in accordance with the varying rates of growth in various populations.

8. Refrain from comparisons between differing circumstances. Validity of network teaching versus intense neighborhoods. Guard against inundating fledgling efforts.

9.  Attention to Latin, African, Asian children; now 1 in 4 children. Vibrant sense of community more pronounced. CC’s and JYSEP accelerate community building.

10. NSA to engage in regular consultation with Counsellors on form of scheme of cluster coordination being studied by International Teaching Center.

11. Ramifications for organization of National Center. Decentralization to respond to financial needs at grassroots. Funds for part- and full-time workers.

12. Growth not to revolve around expectations or presence of RC members. Requests for reports or gatherings deferred in response to needs of grassroots.

13. Appreciation of efforts. Ardent supplications on behalf of new RC’s. May Baha’u’llah bless American Baha’i community.

Department of the Secretariat

9 August 2012

- Governance Development Discourse Justice Power

The Universe is Pregnant

The universe is pregnant with these manifold bounties – bounties mysteriously emerging from the intricate interplay between the micro-cosmic visions of various actors on the world stage, each pursuing their own selfish advantage, and yet all mysteriously contributing to the continuing flow of a unified destiny, and to the onward march of a common history. The child of earth’s multifarious nations and leaders, are all woven inextricably into a historical fabric that is the narrative of history, increasingly united in families from before the caveman, to the village and tribe in ancient societies, to the city-state and the rise of modern governance, to the nation-state scheme currently languishing under the mounting evidence of our collective contracture into a global neighborhood with the rise of technology and transportation and communications. Economically, politically, culturally, and medically, we have become one organism – trustees of the common homeland known as earth. We share in its travails, we all suffer if global warming wreaks havoc on the climate. Posterity belongs to all of us, and it is threatened by our disregard for global issues.

The world is moving on. Political realities shift with bewildering rapidity. Only a short while ago it was normal for parties to subjugate their partisan agendas in favor of national well-being. Today partisanship is committed to gridlock and national demise if power does not go their way. The whirlwind of social unrest in education reform, scientific controversy, climate change, religious fanaticism, economic travail, are all swift and alarmingly violent. The destiny of all people is being drawn against their isolationist and inward-looking dogmas into one common vortex – a vortex of trials and difficulties, but also, a vortex to be followed by one common rebuilding and society melding reconstruction. The potential storm centers are military in nature with the prospect of world war, but also economic with the selfish practices of financial corporations and the influence of corporate incentives in legislative processes that are supposed to be immune from this sort of ulterior motive. Dangers, undreamt of and unpredictable, in terms of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, AIDS, infections, and cancers of various kinds all threaten our collective prosperity and way of life – both for those steeped in materialism in the west or those seeking to attain it in the African and Latin American continents. Governments and peoples are being gradually enmeshed in the coils of  recurrent crises of economic fluctuations, medical inequalities, political oppression or corruption, and social disintegration.  The world is contracting into a neighborhood. America, willingly or unwillingly, must face and grapple with the problems and potentials of all other nations, and learn to grow together with them for international peace and prosperity. For purposes of national security, let alone any ideal of the oneness of humankind, all nations must bind together to protect each other from the assaults of any aggressor and unite to safeguard international security as if it was their own. Paradoxical as it may seem, our only hope of extricating ourself from the perils gathering around and within us is to become entangled in the very web of international dialogue regarding our collective destiny being woven by the hand of an inscrutable Providence. Amidst the chaos, a clear course of human progress can be discerned. Despite various disparate actors vision’s, a collective destiny emerges beneath our feet.

The United States can serve its own interests by striving to apply the system of Federalism to the whole word, which it has applied to the governance of its own country since its inception. The unification of all nations in an international federation, under a single global government is the next step in political history. Federalism, underlying the government of the United States, should be applied to the relationships existing between the nations of the world and a world government. The ideals that fired the imagination of America’s tragically unappreciated President Woodrow Wilson betoken the day when absolute unity and peace will reign on earth, its global government, and amongst its constituent nations. The promulgation of the Divine Plan, now in its 4 of 5 five year plans, designed to expand and consolidate the boundaries of those laboring for the erection of a New World Order, is the key which Providence has placed in the hands of the American believers to fulfill this momentous and unshakably glorious vision.

“The universe is pregnant…awaiting the hour when the effects of Its unseen gifts will be made manifest in this world, when the languishing and sore athirst will attain the living Kawthar of their Well-Beloved, and the erring wanderer, lost in the wilds of remoteness and nothingness, will enter the tabernacle of life, and attain reunion with his heart’s desire.”

- Consultation - Empowerment - Governance - Human Body - Prevailing Conceptions Discourse Justice

Discourse and Politics: Blood in the Arteries of Governance

Discourse on the following topics has brought these themes to the point of being reconceptualized. Certain foundational principles have emerged and crystallized from ongoing discourse. Principles we now believe in in a new way are:

1) Unity of all Humankind
2) Justice according to the Laws of God for all
3) Knowledge, as the central feature of social existence, the generation of which is prerogative and responsibility of all
4) Power, corrupted by partisanship today, must be revolutionized by the power of cooperation, love, unity, spirituality, selflessness, collective-mindedness, and humility.

The fundamental difference between the governance of the present and the governance of the future will be the values of the governors. Unity of the people will be: 1) an assumption about the nature of their collective trusteeship of the governed. Baha’u’llah writes, “The poor in your midst are My trust; guard ye My trust.” If the assumption is that all citizens are equal subjects under one government then disadvantages will not be allowed to amass disproportionately in one sector. 2) The self-conception of governance must change to recognizing itself as the greatest champion of justice for all people. Associated with this is 3) the requirement of promotion of language that reflects the selflessness of the speaking party and grounds any and all validity or claim to be heard in the public forum in the collective well-being. Thoughts will be entertained only that aim at the betterment of all people without regard for particularistic interests. And proposals will be entertained only that allocate resources in accordance with what serves the long-term, principled interests of all people. Baha’u’llah addressing the concourse of the rulers of the earth writes “Take ye counsel together, and let your concern be only for that which profiteth mankind and bettereth the condition thereof.”

How can there be different people, with different ways of life and social structures, but all with a binding unity? How are the diverse tissues of a body coordinated to achieve maximum efficiency and prosperity for all? In pursuit of collective unity and prosperity, rulers ought to regard the world as the human body which, though created whole and perfect, now has various social, economic and political imbalances  as a body that has been afflicted with illness and maladies. Selfish, particularistic, or corrupt politicians, of whom partisanship is a subset, are like untrained, uneducated, fake doctors who have pursued their own materialistic desires at the expense of the common weal.  And through the violent and competitive electoral and social system we have created if a well-trained and educated physician did intervene, his influence was limited and interrupted and the recovery remained limited to a small region of the body. Collectively, the unity and prosperity of the human race has not been realized.  “That which the Lord hath ordained as the sovereign remedy and mightiest instrument for the healing of all the world is the union of all its peoples in one universal Cause, one common Faith.”

This can in no way be achieved except through the power of a skilled, an all-powerful and inspired Physician. Any representation to the contrary is false. The testimony of all history is obvious. Mankind suffers, and selfishness reigns at the level of statesmanship, where selflessness should have flourished decades ago. We must have laws within our discourse against selfish ideology or intentions and we must promote a discourse that glorifies and appreciates educated, thoughtful, proposals that aim for the betterment of all people with no surreptitious corruption or financial motives. We must vote for and uplift those who have demonstrated a history of consistent selfless action, thoughtful planning for universal betterment, and unwavering discipline and justice in the face of tempting expedients. A stricter order of appreciation for the level of selflessness in the ideology of political leaders is necessary. Those with power must support a culture and enact laws that ensure values which promote those with selfless tendencies, and remove those with particularistic or corrupt inclinations.  “It behoveth every ruler to weigh his own being every day in the balance of equity and justice and then to judge between men and counsel them to do that which would direct their steps unto the path of wisdom and understanding. This is the cornerstone of statesmanship and the essence thereof.”

The publication of high thoughts is the dynamic power in the arteries of life; it is the very soul of the world.

- Consultation - Education - Governance - Language Discourse Justice Knowledge Oneness Power

Can Debate Lead to Truth?

Is it possible that a “debate” leads us, the listeners and watchers, to truth? Can a mode of dialogue such as contestational or confrontational debate assist others and people interested in the issues to discover the truth or learn more about the details of the issues? Does this forum conduce to discovery? Does contest and argument even produce results in truth seeking? Does a public setting of competitive public display uncover and disentangle the intellectual subtleties no doubt at the center of what needs to be appreciated to solve the problem? Do enraged egos before a gaping audience foster intellectual loftiness or merely expedience and aggression in a defensive mind? An audience seeking entertainment on “fight night” pay per view, as they do in the determination of political leadership on important social issues will scarcely be able to disambiguate its destiny out of the darkness of the 21st century. With a priority on violence as a form of entertainment, commercialization of political decision making, combat as the ideal form of intellectual activity – with all this, the result will be a world ruled by slogan-filled celebrities suited better for individual aggrandizement than collective vision and responsible leadership.

What is discovered through debate: Who is most skilled and most motivated to aggrandize himself and to dominate others. When important discussions are framed in terms of winners and losers, its is difficult to see how the goal of leadership is collective accomplishment. What are the losers meant to do after the debate? Respect the opinion of the majority, when so much practice has been given to disrespecting each other, and mocking and hating one’s opponents? If the process that produces political and social leadership is divisive how can the result be collective and universal prosperity? Moreover, how can the winner be responsible for the suffering of the losers, when his entire camp was running on disregard for the opinions and detests the values of 50% of the population? What assurance do we have that the partisan desperation created in the electoral process does not carry over into the legislative and governing process post-election? What is to say that the paralysis of the legislative and judicial machinery, and social and economic unrest, and distrust of the government is not a direct corollary to the contestual and partisan manner in our elections and governance systems? This results in an increasing privatization and individualization of isolated aspirations and life initiatives undertaken by individuals for their private family’s prosperity. Why be committed to a people or a system that feeds on violence and contest? The breakdown of the partisan political system results in breakdown of governance and collective social cohesion itself, at once a symptom and a cause of individualistic forms of materialism, consumerism, and entertainment preoccupations.

If people had a government they loved, a collective community to which they belonged, an ideal worth fighting for, and a prospect that united not divided people’s interests against each other there may be more general will and universal participation in matters of importance to collective well being. Without a collective to believe in, what reason do people have not to pursue their own individual happiness and pleasure in isolation to the collective good? In the absence of a cause worth serving, people find entertainment and pastimes to serve themselves, becoming a shadow of what their inherent potential could have destined them to be. Human being, is a mine rich in gems. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures. Our purpose is that all humans shall be regarded as one soul. If the leaders and politicians of this age would lead the people towards fellowship, love, and unity, everyone would finally experience the pleasure of the highly-coveted true liberty, and within the energy of a free conscience discover the exhilaration born of undisturbed peace and inner composure. Productivity on that day will harness the power of unity for explosive levels of global prosperity. It is inevitable that the earth will one day attain this station. ‘All things have I willed for thee, and thee, too, for thine own sake.’

- Governance Discourse Human Nature Justice Knowledge Power

Progressive Revelation: Historiography and Civilization Dynamics

The endowment which distinguishes the human race from all other life forms is summed up in the reality known as the human spirit, or the rational soul. Of this soul, the diverse faculties of the mind constitute its most brilliant feature. The reality of man is his thought. Through the agency of this power humankind has been enabled to invent technologies, and rear social structures with intricate governance relations and sophisticated administrative capacities. Social order allowed economic prosperity and fulfillment for the human body. Accomplishments of this plane alone, however, must always fail to satisfy the human spirit, the mysterious nature of which draws imperceptibly and irresistibly towards the attainment of transcendence. As if by a magnet we are drawn heart-first toward a realm above or within – a realm that is harder, firmer, and more ultimate than anything that we have experienced. This transcendent, eternally-attractive, essentially unknowable Entity, we know by the ever-inadequate term: God.

Religion, as a phenomenon, is a set of ethico-social rejuvenations initiated cyclically in the life of mankind  by a series of great spiritual Teachers, who historically have served as the sole-successful self-claiming manifestation of the Word and Will of the Divine. Each in His own way, culture, and time has revolutionized and elevated humankind’s powers for attaining new moral and material heights of achievement.

Religion remains the only force capable of uniting mankind into a peaceful global society. World peace, for example, will require a reinterpretation of human nature in light of mankind’s progressive religious history before it can hope to achieve global acceptance. It is the position of this forum, that the interaction of the human conscience with religion has largely constituted the substance of history.

Before man knew fire, he buried his dead. To bury a corpse is to assume that life continues beyond the mortal frame. Ritualistic bones found in ancient graves of deceased ancestral humans predate the existence of society. Ritual itself stands for belief in meaning and significance that transcends the material symbols used to convey them. Religion therefore is a faculty within human nature, as deep and immutable as the homo sapien form itself. Homo sapien can alternatively be described as “Homo relgiosus” as the unique trademark our species.

Religion does not enjoy such a noble reputation in public perception currently, in large part because of the confusion in society due to the violent and inhumane conflicts fought in the name of religion in the 20th century. But the problem began long before that. Religion was losing its relevance to the struggles and questions of the human condition early in the 19th century. People may have been willing to tolerate the rare and radical extremists harming society in recent decades had religion maintained some of its positive contributions to human life, answering life’s challenging questions. Ethical dilemmas discussed in ancient scripture, however, are so alien to modern predicaments that it is difficult to see how one could derive inspiration or solutions from these Writings in a sincere way. Ultimately, however, it would also be incorrect for a fair-minded observer to discount the expansive influence organized religion has exerted on energizing, legislating, moralizing, and engendering the vital expressions of civilization.

Religion’s indispensability to social order has been grudgingly recognized in recent decades due to its irreproducible effect on human morality and law. Intrinsic to its force, religion remains the greatest means for the establishment of order in the world and for the attainment of inner peace. Without an inner restraint on the conscience of a human, what is to prevent him from causing harm through tendencies towards selfishness? According to modern economic dogma, we are rationally self-interested actors on a free market stage calculating cost-benefit analyses for each decision. A society formed by social contract for the betterment of all requires a police force to maintain internal order. But who will police the police? Order cannot be maintained purely by external coercion. Moral obedience to the conscience of faith has always been and will always remain necessary. Civilization and religion have always depended upon each other.

Eclipsing the light of religion, corrupting its tenets, structures, and intentions, evidence shows, leads to a persistent, progressive degeneration of spiritual faculties and qualities. As the lamp of religion has been obscured, under duress from its own incompetence or misuse, increasing normalization has been seen with regard to levels of chaos and confusion. Actions motivated by a personal sense of fairness, justice, tranquillity and peace have ceased to be common modus operandi. Taking account of the effects, we see the perversion of the human drive towards transcendence misused and misguided in the corruption and dissolution and loss of respect for human institutions. Character has become a thing of the nostalgic past, though unbeknownst to most, no reversion to the past will succeed in reversing these unwanted effects, nor is such a reversion possible. Moral conservatism is as untenable as a world conceived without change. The question is not recreation of nostalgic bygone virtues, but rather the creation de novo of a new prosperous order, suited to the needs and unique opportunities of the age we enter.

Survey of social landscape: human character is normalized as debased in comparison with the noble virtues of which humanity is capable; confidence is shaken individually and universally; the nerves of discipline are relaxed and unprepared for sacrifice; the voice of human conscience is dulled by the intoxicants of social narcotics and preoccupation with entertainment; the sense of decency and shame is obscured behind a veil of anomie; conceptions of duty, solidarity, reciprocity and loyalty are twisted to suit exploitative and self-centered interests; overtime, though material comforts have accrued, the increasing agitation in people’s minds tells us: the important feeling of peacefulness, of joy and of hope has gradually been extinguished.

- Language

The Concept of a Concept

All human beings are endowed with certain basic spiritual capacities – derived from the soul, which is the element of the individual that is responsible for spiritual nature. Chief among these capacities is that of intellect, consciousness, the power of thought. In fact, the human mind (a faculty of the soul) cannot exist without thinking. Try it. Try not thinking. When these thoughts, most of which are vague and fleeting, start to take shape, form, structure, and substance, they give rise to ideas. What, really, is an idea?

One particularly important idea is a concept. It allows a mind to distinguish one named thing from another named thing. There is the concept of a “keyboard”, for instance, that is different from a “monitor”, though both can be included in the concept of “computer device”. Most things are associated with multiple concepts – and their uniqueness becomes apparent in the particulars of the interaction of combinations of concepts. These concepts have formed after countless observations using the mind’s ability to categorize according to patterns, commonalities, and characteristics, . Over thousands of years, using language, individuals are able to discuss and refine their conceptions of objects of study, to the point where, now, we have names and definitions for everything – and with concrete objects, like a lamp, only a few words suffice to share one mind’s understanding with another.

With abstract objects of study, however, it is much harder to precisely define them with a handful of words; yet these abstract things are arguably much more important. The concept of space, for instance, is fundamental to thought – it is within a specific position or location that observable phenomena take place. We cannot think outside of the concept of space. Similarly with the concept of time – it is indispensable to human thought. All things are observed to change, and change implies time. Our understanding of reality cannot exist outside the concept of time. And finally, and very closely related, is the concept of causality, which enables the mind to understand relationships between multiple objects within space and time. Otherwise, the world would be a collection of disconnected events.

Concepts, just like language, are social constructs; albeit highly important ones. They help organize thoughts and words so that groups of individuals can reach shared understandings, can form relationships, can build communities, can raise social structures – civilization, on one level, is the expression of concepts into social reality.

What is your conception of a “concept”?


Development Discourse Human Nature Justice Knowledge Oneness

Conscious Choice

Beyond the highly propagated fragmentation of science and religion in current thought, and the resistance to reconceptualize these complementary systems of knowledge and practice, there are, in general, voices that resist change, especially at the level of principle.  They refuse to believe that the assumptions they hold dear are not useful.  Yet, civilization is in crisis.  The fruits of outworn assumptions have gone rotten.  If long-cherished social assumptions are no longer bearing the much needed fruit, and are no longer promoting the betterment of the world, then what is stopping us from simply discarding these assumptions and adopting new ones to operationalize?  After all, the value and validity of assumptions lie in the results garnered from applying them to social reality – assumptions are all equal until they are tested through application.  Let us apply science in the realm of civilization-building itself; let us be evidence-based.  If assumptions no longer serve humanity’s developing requirements, then they are no longer valuable or valid; and new assumptions need to replace them.  Change is an immutable law of our reality.  What is the harm in adopting the assumption that humanity is one?  That science and religion are complementary?  That human beings are noble?  That beauty directs our purpose?  That individual and social well-being are inextricably linked?  That a world civilization beckons humanity, one that will be governed by justice, one that will achieve a dynamic coherence between the material and spiritual requirements of life, one that will be rich with knowledge from all people?

Tell, which do you prefer: the assumptions that led to our current crisis of civilization, or those listed above?

- Religion - Science

Fruits of Assumptions

The last post mentioned some equivalent basic assumptions that underly science and religion as systems of knowledge.  All of these assumptions or articles of faith cannot be empirically proven, but rather, their validity is shown over time as they are operationalized – in other words, put into operation and practice.  The fruits of science, under these assumptions, have yielded their fruit – advances in communications, abilities in the health field, mass transit, to name a few – and we now have confidence in the premises of science.  Thousands of years ago, however, when the scientific enterprise began, these assumptions would have appeared radical and would not have been empirically verifiable.

The fruits of religion are less obvious, and the corruptions more apparent; leaving in many observers a skeptical stance.  However, religion’s positive contributions to humanity’s history cannot be overstated.  It is the leading force impelling civilizations, moral codes, unification, and many of the world’s moral, intellectual, artistic, and social advancements.  It has been the chief source of meaning, order, and guidance throughout human life.  Historically, religion’s generating influences have been geographically concentrated, progressively widening in scope in a punctuated manner with the advent of new religions, extending from the tribe to city-state to nation.  In time, through the continued operationalization of its underlying assumptions, the fruits of religion will be self-evident in the form and function of a world civilization.

Both science and religion are based on articles of faith, which can only be verified over time and through putting them into practice and application.  What fruits of assumptions do you see in daily life?


- Oppression - Religion - Science Knowledge

Crisis of Knowledge

The advancement of a civilization aiming to achieve a dynamic coherence between the material and spiritual dimensions of reality recognizes that science and religion are the two reciprocal knowledge systems that impels its advance.  History gives rare, yet significant instances when these two systems have been complementary in their practice, and the resulting productivity of that society has been immense.

What is the state of these two systems today?  Few would argue that they are in crisis.  For religion, obvious signs include an almost endless fragmentation into irreconcilable factions and sects; the spread of religious intolerance, prejudice, and violence; the increasing corruption of its institutions; and its close-minded rejection of science.

For science, signs are less obvious, since it has brought humanity accelerated rates of technological advance.  However, science, too, has experienced a severe fragmentation as competing fields and disciplines view the world through their increasingly reductionist perspectives; it has created prejudice against anything associated with spirituality or religion, in a blind and close-minded fashion; it has disempowered most of humanity, who now view the generation of knowledge as exclusive to specialists and experts; it disproportionately serves the interest of a privileged minority by being directed by concentrations of wealth and power; and the priorities and values imposed on it have produced efficient methods for mass manipulation and weapons of mass destruction.

Clearly, fresh conceptions of each are overdue, conceptions that recognize their complementarity and coherence.

- Empowerment - Religion - Science Development Knowledge

Science and Religion

All human beings have spiritual capacities that can be revealed to contribute to humanity’s development and betterment.  This process of empowerment occurs through access to knowledge, both self-knowledge and knowledge of reality.  This knowledge is in two repositories of science and religion – for capacity building is concerned both with the qualities of the mind and the unique endowments of the soul.  For example, seeking unbiased truth is a scientific skill, but this skill’s contribution to civilization’s advance requires detachment and truthfulness.

Thus, the advancement of civilization is propelled through these two systems of knowledge, religion and science.  Both evolve over time as humanity has evolved.  Both are practiced collectively by communities.  Both operationalize underlying assumptions.  Religion discerns values through Divine revelation, that define the goals of humankind’s advancement; while science is the instrumentality through which the mind explores reality and attains these goals.

Science without religion looses proper direction and, as we have seen, results in a destructive materialism.  Religion without science looses connection with reality and, as we have seen, becomes blind imitation and superstition.

What are some instances now or throughout history when science and religion have been in harmony?



This term, “civilization”, has been mentioned repeatedly.  In fact, the stated purpose of this blog is to contribute to the discourse on the advancement of civilization.  Perhaps we could all share thoughts about our relative understandings of what civilization is.

Of civilization it can be asked: What are its elements?  Of what is it composed?  What are its characteristics?  How does it advance?  How is it understood?  What are its connotations and implications?  What are its dynamics? What is your understanding of its laws and governance, the role of statesmanship and the empowerment of the masses? What are the dynamics of the change that is pending? Trace the course of the evolution as it will foreseeably unfold. Cast before our eyes a vision of the future world civilization as you would see it be. Who are the protagonists of this change, and what are their respective capacities and roles?

Please share your thoughts.

- Human Body Human Nature Oneness

The Human Body and the Body Politic

We are in disagreement with self-interested conceptions of human nature and competitive social models. These tend to derive from a materialistic reduction of reality. Humankind’s future does not rest in their espousal, regardless of how popular they may seem at present. Systems known to humankind each comprise a possible candidate on which to model social organization. The human body and not the jungle is a more constructive analogy for the organization of our society. The human body analogy equips us to envision a social order that is harmonious, united, and prosperous. Cooperation of the various parts leads to health, and selfishness of any cell or tissue produces disease states. Through the instrumentality of reciprocity and cooperation each member of the body politic contributes and receives mutual comfort and welfare. One member’s affliction or distress will produce affliction and distress in all members and the whole. The body politic experiences happiness and sadness as a single entity. Can my finger but not myself be in pain? Can acute injury to the eye spare the functions of the broader nervous system? The agency of the sympathetic nervous system, like the inter-human sense of sympathetic emotion, leads to interconnectedness in all matters of pain and pleasure, disease and health, disaster and prosperity. Can the part be distressed but the whole at ease? It is our foundational conviction that society should be organized according to principles of reciprocity, cooperation and interconnectedness. Through the arteries of humankind will then flow the spirit that empowers us to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization.

Human Nature

Purpose as Service

In the context of twofold transformation, then, human beings have a twofold purpose. We were created to develop our potentialities, and we are created to contribute to an ever-advancing civilization. In reality, these purposes are one. It is service to humanity that unites these purposes because it is means by which both are achieved. Neither can be possible without the other. We develop individual potentialities through contributing to societal advancement, and as society advances, it creates conditions within which we, and subsequent generations, have more fuller opportunities to realize potentials.

Development Oneness

Twofold Transformation

Human beings have a two-fold moral purpose: to develop our own personal spiritual attributes (such as love, kindness, wisdom, generosity, and intelligence) as well as to contribute to the social and institutional progress of an ever-advancing civilization. Some strands of popular discourse have not yet recognized that with the historical rise in social organization in the scientific age the scope of the potentialities latent in each human life has correspondingly increased as well. This reciprocal relationship between the power of the individual and the expansiveness of social organization directs our attention toward the next stage in human destiny, necessary now more than ever before: planetary unity, justice and equality. It also directs our attention to the realization that this transformation must occur simultaneously within individual human consciousnesses and in the manifold structures of social institutions. Every opportunity created by this twofold transformation will be as a torch-bearer guiding our way into the labyrinth of humanity’s conscious purpose of global development. This crucial stage of human history offers us the opportunity to establish a foundation for just, united, and equitable planetary civilization.

Twofold butterfly


Society Parallels the Individual

What is true in the archetypal life of an individual human parallels the structure and life of our global civilization. Our species comprises an organic whole that occupies the seat of the crown of creation as the leading edge of the evolutionary process. Human consciousness as a phenomenon operates through the vast and infinite diversity of individual minds and motivations. However, this diversity in no way compromises our essential unity as a civilization. Ironically, it is precisely the vastness of our diversity that distinguishes our unity from tyrannical homogeneity or uniformity. What the peoples of the world are today experiencing is analogically akin to a global civilizational maturation or coming-of-age. Through the resistless rising of our maturity the principle of our unity in diversity will find its full expression amongst our race.



At this critical moment in the history of humanity’s social evolution, the diverse people’s of the world need a more coherent vision of society that can guide the advancement of civilization.  This need can only be met through the voluntary acceptance of an ever-widening circle of the earth’s diverse peoples of the principle of the oneness of humankind – which entails both transformation of human consciousness and organic changes in societal structures.  On a practical level, this principle defines relationships, between and among individuals, institutions, and communities.

Where do you see examples of relationships characterized by cooperation and reciprocity?

Where are there opportunities to create relationships characterized by cooperation and reciprocity?