Which comes first, the chicken or the egg has been an age-old question. In a similar vein exists the question, which comes first, love, peace, or unity?
There are those who contend that once peace has been firmly established, unity will follow. But there can be no peace without unity and no unity without love. The determining factor is, love of what? Love of money, perceived power, and fame has ever been a primary cause of enmity, rivalry war, and bloodshed and continues to be differing only in the sophistication of today’s weaponry and glorification of causes.
Throughout the ages poets sages, songwriters, and lyricists have all expounded upon the subject of love which remains indescribable in its purest sense as God is love–by whatever name or from whatever path one travels toward Him. As we understand only by comparison, with nothing to compare God with, there can be no clear understanding of this Divine Unknowable and therefore no understanding of love.
In the absence of such understanding, modern man has confused its meaning with lust and/or appreciation, “loving” things and individuals that are physically attractive or that bring us personal pleasure, healing, convenience, or happiness. But such love can easily be redirected to anyone or anything creating the same or better results.
In the Holy Bible, we read that “The Love of God surpasseth all understanding.” Only through purification can God’s love flow through us–to all of His creatures, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the lovable and especially the unlovable who need love most.
Through such unselfish love emanates peace from not being adversely affected by those who neither feel nor show any appreciation for the blessings of love constantly being showered upon us by God or by man, whether relative, friend, or foe. But peace derives from not being judgemental about who is deserving or undeserving of the blessings we receive nor of the seeming abundance of hardships we may suffer or endure. A peace that flows like a river through cooperation as opposed to the entrenched attitude of competition which begets rivalry in the home, the community, on the home front, and abroad.
Through such peace flows unity, not just uniformity, but through the diversity which the human body and the whole of nature both symbolize. All things in nature differ in color, content, substance, origin, and purpose, yet all interact in perfect harmony and unity. Likewise, the human body is composed of physical features, organs, arteries, fluids, etc., all totally different in shape, composition, color, texture, and purpose yet each dependent upon the proper functioning of the other for the creation of a complete whole!
“The world is at present in an exceedingly dark condition spiritually,” stated one of the principal figures of the Baha’i Revelation. “Hatred and prejudice of every sort are literally tearing it to pieces. We (Baha’is) on the other hand are the custodians of the opposite forces of love, of unity, of peace and integration . . . We must show forth aloofness from the hatreds and recriminations which are tearing at the heart of humanity and demonstrate by deed and word our profound belief in the future peaceful unification of the entire human race…(for) So powerful is the light of unity that it can illumine the whole earth.”