The power of Unity, Unity in diversity

During ebbf’s annual event #ebbfunity dedicated to exploring the power of Unity, Ben Wolters was one of the keynoters offering a framing opening session. He kindly shared it for us below:

“There was a beautiful philosopher. His name was Baruch de Spinoza. He wrote one of his major books… the Ethica.

In that book he made clear his vison about oneness and unity.

He did that by describing the diversity of all matter.

Bahá’u’láh said: “The world of existence came into being through the heat generated from the interaction between the active force and that which is its recipient, these two are the same, yet they are different”. Spinoza stated that all the elements formed from the beginning of creation, are diverse and that nothing in the universe is the equal. Planets, plants animals, all are different. Even in the same species, there are not two lions exactly the same in power, look etc. You can’t find two birds or two flowers who are absolutely identical. And still there is absolute balance and unity, in the world of phenomena.

All minerals, plants and animals are following the law of nature. The law of nature rules all phenomena. All is…. to eat or to be eaten.

No free will at all. Only the law of nature.

Even heavy rain, storm and earthquakes belong and act conform to the law of nature, and are diverse elements of that unity.

With man…. there is a tiny problem. Man is given a conscious mind and intellect. And as a result of that….. a free will. (His learning process)

And even as it is in nature…. there are no two persons identical.

Man has many diversities in his own self. And although he is perfect in his stage at that moment, he can and is meant to grow, as everting in nature, to a more perfect state of being. And mostly…. that is the longing for all of us.

So no person is identical to another.

His/her background, the place and way he/she is raised…. where he/she is educated. Whether born in a warm or cold country, belief…. mostly given by his parents. The combination of his/her virtues as: patience, trust, feelings of justice, responsibility, determination, humor, respect, the way he/she looks at life…. etc. etc.

Ben Wolters

And I think we need these differences to grow,

Because of his free will, man has the power to make choices. Choices in two main directions.

The first choice is to act according to his animal instincts, …… (mostly towards separation)

The other choice he can make is: to act with his conscious mind and that what we call… his heart or soul. ( this usually leads to connection)

In order to enter the world of unity, we need carefully and consciously look too diversity.

First to accept diversity as components of unity. Diversity in nature and diversity between men. Recognizing and accepting the importance of these differences opens the way to learning. If we see the diversity as “the active force” and we want to be its “recipient”, a new reality begins to arise through “the heat” (or friction) in us, as recipients. (Where two “opinions” collide, a spark of truth arises about. Ábdul-Bahá)

Asking questions such as “why do we do the way we do” or “think as we think” are of great importance to gain insight into ourselves.

Then, with our heart, soul en conscious knowledge, we can “rethink” our own positions and assumptions and develop our own “new” combination of virtues and by that our skills and other capacities (existence). And so on, etc.

As a other effect of our free will, we can make sacrifices and take actions contrary to our animal instincts.

By cooperation and mutual help, we can combine and unite hearts, minds and souls, our virtues and skills with other people in order to create more unity.

This will lead us to all forms of unity in diversity.

Unity in families, in schools and in communities and companies. For the benefit of every one regardless the aspects of their differences. It is the right of everyone to add his or her diversity to the unity of all!

The more elements of diversity are in balance with each other, the more we see the unity growing.

The power of unity of phenomena is attraction.

The power of unity of mankind is attraction and love.

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