“An intermediary is needed to bring two extremes into relation with each other. Riches and poverty, plenty and need: Without some kind of intermediary power, there could be no relation between such pairs of opposites.”
When he shared these words with his listeners in Paris in 1911, ‘Abdu’l-Baha noted that as citizens of one world, our shared home, we are “in extreme need” of such an intermediary, a power by which we are able to receive help from the Divine Reality, the Source of all life. He likened that Reality to the sun, and the Holy Spirit to the rays of the sun. The sun doesn’t descend to the earth, nor the earth ascend to the sun. It is the rays of the sun that bring illumination and life to earth.
In the following year, addressing an American audience, he shared more about the vital, life-giving role of the Holy Spirit when he described the means by which true unity will be established within the human race:
“The source of perfect unity and love in the world of existence is the bond and oneness of reality. When the divine and fundamental reality enters human hearts and lives, it conserves and protects all states and conditions of mankind, establishing that intrinsic oneness of the world of humanity which can only come into being through the efficacy of the Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit is like unto the life in the human body, which blends all differences of parts and members in unity and agreement.”
He then urged his listeners to reflect on how diverse the various parts of the human body are. He described how, in a whole and healthy body, there is a oneness of animating spirit that “establishes such a unity in the bodily organism that if any part is subjected to injury or becomes diseased, all the other parts and functions sympathetically respond and suffer, owing to the perfect oneness that exists.”
Just as the human spirit is the animating element that unites and coordinates the parts of a human body, the Holy Spirit is the controlling cause of the unity and coordination of the body of humankind, he said. “The bond or oneness of humanity cannot be effectively established save through the power of the Holy Spirit, for the world of humanity is a composite body, and the Holy Spirit is the animating principle of its life.”
The evidence of ever-increasing dis-ease in that body of humankind is all around us. In the course of our lives each day, what might each of us do to harness the power of the Holy Spirit to establish unity, and healing, within it?
What makes cells of the body healthy, and what do healthy cells do? What can we each contribute to the unity of healing, and the building of the good? And what strengthens and empowers us to do that?