88. The Root Cause of Wrongdoing is Ignorance.
Updated: Apr 16, 2020
The Need for a Remedy for Humanity's Troubles.
"We can well perceive how the whole human race is encompassed with great, with incalculable afflictions. We see it languishing on its bed of sickness, sore-tried and disillusioned. They that are intoxicated by self-conceit have interposed themselves between it and the Divine and infallible Physician. Witness how they have entangled all men, themselves included, in the mesh of their devices. They can neither discover the cause of the disease, nor have they any knowledge of the remedy. They have conceived the straight to be crooked, and have imagined their friend an enemy." - Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, CVI,
In the past our more close-knit, mono-cultural communities held shared values. Today we have lost the equivalent of these common beliefs and guidelines. The citizens of today's world require a new set of commonly maintained and upheld beliefs or cultural mores. First, seek to Identify the Principles involved. "There are spiritual principles, or what some call human values, by which solutions can be found for every social problem. Any well-intentioned group can in a general sense devise practical solutions to its problems, but good intentions and practical knowledge are usually not enough. The essential merit of spiritual principle is that it not only presents a perspective which harmonizes with that which is immanent in human nature, it also induces an attitude, a dynamic, a will, an aspiration, which facilitates the discovery and implementation of practical measures. Leaders of governments and all in authority would be well served in their efforts to solve problems if they would first seek to identify the principles involved and then be guided by them". - Universal House of Justice, UHJ 1985 Statement,October 1985 – To the Peoples of the World
Good Character must be Taught. Abdu'l-Baha' explains that; "The root cause of wrongdoing is ignorance, and we must therefore hold fast to the tools of perception and knowledge. Good character must be taught. Light must be spread afar, so that, in the school of humanity, all may acquire the heavenly characteristics of the spirit... Thus will be kindled the sense of human dignity and pride, to burn away the reapings of lustful appetites". - 'Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha, p.111.
Here then is our challenge. If we genuinely seek to solve the diverse problems resulting from the present moral vacuum, we need leaders of governments and those in authority to first seek to identify the principles involved and then be guided by them, resulting in systems of spiritual education that begin with educating our children and extend to embrace the world.