Ideals Of East And West

One of the organizers of the Races Congress present spoke of the Western

ideals of Baha'u'llah as differing from those of former prophets which

were tinged with the ideas and civilization of the East. He then asked

whether Baha'u'llah had made a special study of Western writings, and

founded his teachings in accordance with them.

'Abdu'l-Baha laughed heartily, and said that the books of Baha'u'llah,

written and printed sixty years ago, contained the ideals now so familiar

to the West, but, at that time, they had not been printed or thought of in

the West. Besides, he continued, supposing that a very advanced thinker

from the West had gone to visit Baha'u'llah and to teach Him, would the

name of such a great man and the fact of his visit have been unknown and

unrecorded? No! In former days, in the time of the Buddha and Zoroaster,

civilization in Asia and in the East was very much higher than in the West

and ideas and thoughts of the Eastern peoples were much in advance of, and

nearer to the thoughts of God than those of the West. But since that time

superstitions had crept into the religion and ideals of the East, and from

many differing causes the ideals and characters of the Eastern peoples had

gone down and down, lower and lower, while the Western peoples had been

constantly advancing and struggling towards the Light. Consequently, in

these days, the civilization of the West was much higher than that of the

East, and the ideas and thoughts of the people of the West were much

nearer to the thought of God than those of the East. Therefore, the ideals

of Baha'u'llah had been more quickly realized in the West.

'Abdu'l-Baha showed further how Baha'u'llah had exactly described in one

of his books what has since been carried out in the International Council

of Arbitration, describing its various functions, some of which have not

yet been realized and he ('Abdu'l-Baha) would describe them to us now, so

that when they were fulfilled, as they would be in the near future, we

might know that they had been prophesied by Baha'u'llah.

War was the greatest calamity that could overtake the nations, because the

people usually employed in agriculture, trades, commerce, and other useful

arts, were taken away from their various occupations and turned into

soldiers, so that there was great waste and loss, in addition to the

destruction and carnage of war.

Baha'u'llah had said that the functions of the International Court would

be to settle disputes that arose from time to time between the nations; to

define the exact boundaries of the different countries, and to decide what

number of soldiers and guns should be maintained by each nation, according

to its population, in order to preserve internal order. For instance, one

country might have ten thousand soldiers, another twenty thousand, another

fifteen thousand, and so on, in accordance with the size and population of

the nation; also if any people rebelled against the decision of the Court

and rejected it, the Court would empower the others to join their forces

and to endorse their decision, if need be, by united action.

We had not seen any of these things actualized as yet, but we should do so

in the future.

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