Videre lesning om naturen

Videre lesning om naturen

Her vil du kunne lese om visjonen om naturen, vårt forhold til det, og naturen og sivilisasjonens fremskritt om ikke så lenge...

En visjon om naturen

En visjon om naturen

En visjon om naturen

The attributes of God are revealed within every created thing. “Nature,” writes Bahá’u’lláh, “is God’s Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world.1 It is the embodiment of God’s name, “the Creator.2

‘Abdu’l-Bahá tells us that “The world, indeed each existing being, proclaims to us one of the names of God”.3 Within every atom “are enshrined the signs that bear eloquent testimony to the revelation of that most great Light”.4

[E]very time I turn my gaze to Thine earth,” Bahá’u’lláh addresses God, “I am made to recognize the evidences of Thy power and the tokens of Thy bounty. And when I behold the sea, I find that it speaketh to me of Thy majesty, and of the potency of Thy might, and of Thy sovereignty and Thy grandeur. And at whatever time I contemplate the mountains, I am led to discover the ensigns of Thy victory and the standards of Thine omnipotence…5

The Bahá’í Writings describe nature as an organic whole whose various systems and processes operate by ordained laws and principles.

Reflect upon the inner realities of the universe, the secret wisdoms involved, the enigmas, the interrelationships, the rules that govern all. For every part of the universe is connected with every other part by ties that are very powerful and admit of no imbalance…6

‘Abdu’l-Bahá has described the gradual growth and development of all beings as “the universal divine organization and the natural system. The seed does not at once become a tree; the embryo does not at once become a man; the mineral does not suddenly become a stone. No, they grow and develop gradually and attain the limit of perfection.7

Progress, He has said in another passage, is the “expression of spirit in the world of matter.8 Spiritual truths are expressed at every level of creation, and each new degree adds to the capacities of the level below it. In the mineral kingdom, for example, spirit is expressed through the power of cohesion; in the vegetable kingdom, through the power of growth and reproduction; in the animal kingdom, through the power of the senses. 

In the human kingdom, the spirit finds expression through the powers of the mind. While possessing the powers of the vegetable and animal kingdoms, human beings have the unique capacity to imagine, think, understand, and speak.

Vårt forhold til naturen

Vårt forhold til naturen

Vårt forhold til naturen

Our relationship to the natural world can be likened to that of an embryo to the womb of its mother. The physical universe is the matrix in which we develop our inherent potentialities. Here, we cultivate the skills and qualities necessary for the spiritual and material progress of humanity and the onward journey of our own souls after death. 

It took millions upon millions of years for the human body to evolve from the simple organisms that constituted the first living beings on earth. The theory of evolution—among the most successful of all scientific theories—explores the operation of this process and continues to reveal the intricacies associated with the development and diversity of life on the planet.

The Bahá’í writings, on the other hand, explain that the human spirit has existed since the beginning of creation, and only once a human body of sufficient complexity had evolved could the attributes of that spirit be expressed on this plane of existence. This opened the way for evolutionary processes of a different sort—social and spiritual evolution—to move to the fore of human life. The advancement of civilization today is driven by a rapidly expanding body of knowledge—knowledge that is acquired both through scientific inquiry into nature and through the study and application of religious truth, revealed progressively to humanity.

In various passages, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has described the human being as “the most noble product of creation1, who “should be free and emancipated from the captivity of the world of nature2 and who, through the exercise of scientific and intellectual power can “modify, change and control nature3and “gain control of and adapt” natural laws “to his own needs.4

This does not imply that humanity should engage in a predatory relationship with nature. The endless acquisition of material goods, impelled by individual and collective greed, only aggravates the destruction of the environment. As more and more people come to recognize that creation is an organic whole, they also accept that the unique powers of humanity over nature carry with them the duty to preserve its order and balance. 

Contemplation of natural phenomena advances our understanding of spiritual reality. “Look at the world and ponder a while upon it. It unveileth the book of its own self before thine eyes and revealeth that which the Pen of thy Lord, the Fashioner, the All-Informed, hath inscribed therein.5 Nature can, for example, inspire deep insights into the concept of unity in diversity. “Consider the world of created beings, how varied and diverse they are in species, yet with one sole origin. All the differences that appear are those of outward form and color. This diversity of type is apparent throughout the whole of nature…Let us look…at the beauty in diversity, the beauty of harmony, and learn a lesson…6

The Bahá’í writings are filled with metaphors from nature which express spiritual concepts as, for example, in this prayer for children: “O God! Educate these children. These children are the plants of Thine orchard, the flowers of Thy meadow, the roses of Thy garden. Let Thy rain fall upon them; let the Sun of Reality shine upon them with Thy love. Let Thy breeze refresh them in order that they may be trained, grow and develop, and appear in the utmost beauty. Thou art the Giver. Thou art the Compassionate.7

Seeing the reflection of God’s attributes in nature and understanding them as an expression of His will inspires in us a deep respect for the natural world. This should not be viewed as a call to worship nature. Humankind has the capacity to emancipate itself from the world of nature; “for as long as man is captive to nature he is a ferocious animal, as the struggle for existence is one of the exigencies of the world of nature.8Nevertheless, the natural world is a divine trust for which all members of the human family—as the stewards of the planet’s vast resources—are responsible. 

Such stewardship has a particular implication for the treatment of animals. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá writes, “it is not only their fellow human beings that the beloved of God must treat with mercy and compassion, rather must they show forth the utmost loving-kindness to every living creature…Train your children from their earliest days to be infinitely tender and loving to animals.9

Naturen og sivilisasjonens fremskritt

Naturen og sivilisasjonens fremskritt

Naturen og sivilisasjonens fremskritt

The maturation of the human race requires an organic change in the structure of society, which will fully reflect the interdependence of all its elements, as well as its reciprocal relationship with the natural world that sustains it. Such a change must go hand in hand with a widespread change in the attitudes and behaviour of human beings. “The inward life of man as well as his outward environment have to be reshaped if human salvation is to be secured.”1

Material resources will always be required to sustain civilization. Humanity, observed ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, will be “constantly taking out of nature’s laboratory new and wonderful things.2 As consciousness of the oneness of humankind increases, so too does the recognition that the wealth and wonders of the earth are the common heritage of all people, who deserve just and equitable access to its resources. During this turbulent period of its history, however, humanity’s actions are not yet tempered by the wisdom and judgment that come with maturity. 

It is undeniable that the current world order has failed to protect the environment from ruinous damage. Society attaches absolute value to expansion, acquisition and the constant creation and gratification of wants. Clearly, such goals are not, by themselves, realistic guides to policy. Yet, goals based on a romantic deification of nature are also inadequate.

Among the many pressing questions now facing humanity as it moves towards maturity are such practical issues as: how to appropriately use the world’s natural resources; how to make best use of the land and develop technology that serves the community in an appropriate way; and how to produce and distribute goods and services equitably. 

Adversarial political systems and structures are unable to provide answers to these questions and prove incapable of promoting systems required to respect the earth and to organize and fully utilize its raw materials. Bahá’u’lláhenvisaged that one fruit of the unification of the human race will be the emergence of a federated, integrated system of global governance that will be able to coordinate the just distribution of the planet’s resources and enact laws that ensure universal well-being.