Read: Common Teachings from Chinese Culture and the Baha'i Faith


Note: this online copy of the paper may differ slightly from
the published version in Lights of Irfan vol. I
-ed.

Introduction

The Chinese culture is one of the oldest civilizations with five thousand years of history. The Bahá'í Faith is the youngest independent world religion of just 156 years. [1] These two civilizations from different places and times have many teachings in common. Both the Bahá'í Faith and the Chinese culture speak to the process of transforming from material civilization to spiritual civilization. Indeed, the history of humankind demonstrates this process of spiritual transformation at various stages in our search for meaning in life in the arenas of family, tribe, nation, and finally in a global community. The reality of our common human experience is that we are spiritual beings going through the journey of a physical life on Earth. Yet, the majority of people are still struggling with the physical journey with very little regard for their own spiritual well being. Meanwhile, our world is now living through the process of a global transition to a spiritual age when all peoples from every nation will be gathered together into one human family.

The Bahá'í Faith has grown from a small movement in the Middle East to the second-most widespread of the independent world religions established in over 250 countries and territories. The international Bahá'í community embraces people from more than 2,100 ethnic, racial, and tribal groups. Bahá'u'lláh (1817-1892), the Prophet Founder of the Bahá'í Faith, brings the divine teachings for the spiritualization of the whole planet and proclaims "The earth is but one country, and all mankind it's citizens". The Bahá'í Faith promotes world peace and the unity of humankind. Abdul'Bahá (1844-1921), one of the central figures of the Bahá'í Faith, speaks of the Chinese people as "most simple hearted and truth-seeking" and "China as the country of the future". [2] There are many references to the Chinese and China in statements from Bahá'í institutions such as the followings:

China — a land which has its own world and civilization, whose people constitute one-fourth of the population of the globe, which ranks foremost among all nations in material, cultural and spiritual resources and potentialities, and whose future is assuredly bright. [3]

China represents the largest element of this emerging global society and its culture one of the most precious resources possessed by the human raceâ ¬? China will play a unique role in shaping a new and universal civilization. [4]

Therefore, the Chinese culture and the Bahá'í Faith are relevant to one another, and need to be considered in an atmosphere of the utmost co-operation and mutual understanding. There are obvious differences between them from both historical and developmental perspectives. However, their common teachings speak to the unity of their spiritual foundation. This paper is a simple attempt to show the harmony in the major teachings of both. There are social teachings such as: 1) the Great Unity (world peace); 2) unity of human family; 3) service to others; 4) moral education; and 5) extended family values - the Golden Rule. These social teachings are based on fundamental spiritual teachings such as: 6) the investigation of truth; 7) the Highest Reality (God); 8) common foundation of religions; 9) harmony in Nature; 10) purpose of tests and sufferings; and 11) moderation in all things.

In addition, the Bahá'í teachings provide a new and inclusive value system to meet the needs of an emerging global civilization. These new teachings are harmony of science and religion; abolition of prejudice; spiritual solution to economic problems; universal education; universal auxiliary language; equality of women and men; and world government. These new and global values are discussed in the books listed in the reference section of this paper. Here we want to emphasize that the Bahá'í teachings of "oneness of humankind" and "unity in diversity" can provide the universal framework for the Chinese and all other ethnic groups to participate fully in the global community.


Historical perspective

"No matter how far the material world advances, it cannot establish the happiness of mankind. Only when material and spiritual civilization are linked and coordinated will happiness be assured. Then material civilization will not contribute its energies to the forces of evil in destroying the oneness of humanity, for in material civilization good and evil advance together and maintain the same pace". [5]

There is a Chinese proverb which says: "History not forgotten is the teacher of things to come". The history of humankind is like a tree growing through the centuries; and the Chinese culture is a branch on it. A culture and civilization would have more than a thousand years to grow and mature. The fruits of wisdom of the Chinese culture are in the written classics of teachings and philosophies such as those from Confucius and Lao-Tse about twenty five centuries ago. They still remain as the foundation of the Chinese culture today. In the distant past, the "silk road" connected China with India, Persia, Greece and Rome through Central Asia. From time to time, religions and cultures from outside such as Buddhism, Christianity and Islam would come into China. Once these foreign teachings were absorbed into Chinese culture, they all took on major Chinese characteristics.

Buddhism came to China during the Han dynasty (1st century) and had a major influence on the Chinese culture. The Chinese took a thousand years to digest Buddhist philosophy. Buddhism underwent a process of assimilation. First, it developed along the Taoist teachings and was known as "Buddhist Tao". Later, it established its own standing as a separate religious tradition. By the end of the 5th century, there were more than 3,000 Buddhist writings translated into Chinese. This started a grand synthesis of ancient Chinese and Indian philosophies. By the Tang Dynasty (618 - 901), several Chinese branches such as the TienTai, HuaYin and Zen Buddhism appeared and were accepted as part of the mainstream Chinese culture. [6] Hence, the Buddhist teachings have merged effectively with Confucianism and Taoism into one amalgamation in the Chinese traditions. All three have a major influence on Chinese daily life and are equally important and inseparable.

Christianity came to China with the Nestorian Christians from Persia during the Tang Dynasty in the 7th century. It did not have significant impact until the Catholic Jesuits arrived in the late 16th century bearing gifts of western sciences and personal salvation. The Jesuits, most notably Matteo Ricci (1552-1610), sought to create a synthesis between the Chinese teachings and the Catholic doctrines. They were known as the "accommodationists" and their early converts were from the Confucian scholars. However, the Jesuits would suffer great set back in the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911) and also at the hand of the Pope back in Rome. In 1724, the Qing Emperor proscribed Catholicism and listed it among the "perverted sects and evil doctrines". In 1742, as the result of the "rites controversy" about the compatibility of Catholicism and Confucianism, the Pope prohibited Chinese Catholics from participating in various Confucian rites. Therefore, Christianity did not integrate into Chinese culture and has retained its foreign identity to the present day. Chinese Christians are torn by the conflicts between their belief in a western "God" and their Chinese heritage. Unlike western culture, the Chinese have a way of living with contradictions. The key is to find a balance among them. However, Christianity did serve as a channel of westernization and modernization for China. Since the 1980s, the Chinese have rediscovered Christianity in mass with the opening of mainland China to the West again. Today, Christians are still a tiny minority of the population.

Islam also came to China during the Tang Dynasty. In 650, the Tang Emperor Kao Tsung sent an emissary to Caliph Osman at Madina to plead for the last Sassanian Prince Firuz who had sought refuge in the Chinese capital Cheng-An (Xian). The Caliph sent a general in return and established the first Muslim Embassy in China. In mid 8th century, the Abbasid Caliph Abu Jaffar sent thousands of Muslim soldiers, on two occasions (circa 757), to the Chinese capital to help the Tang emperors to suppress rebellions. These soldiers never returned home but married and remained in China. Other Muslims came to China for commerce and trade. In the Sung Dynasty (960 -1279), Muslims dominated the foreign trade all over China. They were recognized as being fair, law- abiding, and self-disciplined. By the Ming Dynasty (1368 -1644), a period considered to be the golden age of Islam in China, Muslims finally assimilated into Chinese society after 700 years. They adopted Chinese names, language and customs while retaining an Islamic mode of dress and dietary habits. By then, the Muslims could not be distinguished from Chinese, other than by their religious customs. Today, Muslims constitute the largest minority group in China with a population of over 18 million.


Current development

The interactions between the Chinese culture and outside influences would have both their blessings and struggles. In the last three centuries, scientific, industrial, democratic and communist revolutions came and left distinctive marks. The Chinese are still trying to digest these more recent imports. However, they do not bring lasting happiness, not offering elements of sustainable social and spiritual development. As success would change to adversity, so would economic and material developments change to sufferings. In times of difficulties, the people would search for meanings in life, again and again.

In the last two centuries, the Chinese people have suffered continuous displacements, internal struggles and external threats. Their growth and development were retarded by a lack of future vision and disunity. In the last twenty years, the mainland Chinese people have been looking to other industrialized countries for models of economic development. Although they were aware of the importance of social and moral issues, the balance is overwhelmingly in favor of economic growth in the need to mobilize one billion people for modernization. The consequences are more confusion about the future. The lesson here is that modernization needs to develop not only in material progress but also with the spirit of the age. Moderation of the excesses of industrialization is needed together with approaches that harmonize with the aspirations of the people.

In the future, the Chinese culture will make major contributions to the emerging global civilization. The Chinese people, who constitute more than one fifth of the world's population, have always worked towards peace and prosperity. Now, after long isolation, they are willing to look outside for meanings, for directions and transformations in a "global village". They are ready to join the world to build the "Great Unity" inscribed in the Chinese classics.


Common Teachings in Chinese Culture and the Bahá'í Faith

1) The Great Unity (Universal Commonwealth) and World Peace

The Chinese culture has long cherished the vision of Great Unity (Universal Commonwealth) from Confucius (551 - 479 BCE):

When the perfect order (Great Tao) prevails, the world is like a home shared by all. Virtuous and capable people are elected to public offices; trust and peace are the maxims of living among the people. All love and respect their own parents and children, as well as the parents and children of others. There are caring for the old; works for the adults; nourishment and education for the children. There are supports for the widows and the widowers; for all the people who are alone; and for the disabled. Every man and woman has an appropriate role to play in society and family. A sense of sharing displaces effects of selfishness and materialism. A devotion to public duty leaves no room for idleness. Intrigues and conniving for ill gain are unknown. Villains such as thieves and robbers do not exist. The door to every home need never be locked by day or night. These are the characteristics of the Great Unity. [7]

The Bahá'í writings are filled with references to world peace. Professor Edward G. Browne of Cambridge University recorded his interviews with Bahá'u'lláh in 1890:

We desire but the good of the world and the happiness of the nations...That all nations should become one in faith and all men as brothers; that the bonds of affection and unity between the sons of men should be strengthened; that diversity of religion should cease, and differences of race be annulled - what harm is there in this? ... Yet so it shall be; these fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the "Most Great Peace" shall come... These strifes and this bloodshed and discord must cease, and all men be as one kindred and one family... Let not a man glory in this, that he loves his country; let him rather glory in this, that he loves his kind... [8]

In 1985, the Universal House of Justice, the international governing council of the Bahá'í Faith, issued a statement on "The Promise of World Peace" to the people of the world:

The Great Peace towards which people of good will throughout the centuries have inclined their hearts, of which seers and poets for countless generations have expressed their vision, and for which from age to age the sacred scriptures of mankind have constantly held the promise, is now at long last within the reach of the nations. For the first time in history it is possible for everyone to view the entire planet, with all its myriad diversified peoples, in one perspective. World peace is not only possible but inevitable. It is the next stages in the evolution of this planet â ¬? the planetization of mankind. [9]


2) Unity of human family

World peace can only be built on the foundation of the unity of the whole human race as a family. This is clearly emphasized in the Chinese classical writings.

"All within the four seas are brothers." (Confucius, Analects, 12:5)

"Heaven is my father and Earth is my mother â ¬? all people are my brothers and sisters, and all things are my companions. Respect the aged â ¬? show deep love toward the orphaned and the weak â ¬? The sage identified his character with that of Heaven and Earth â ¬? Even those who are tired, infirm, crippled, or sick; those who have no brothers or children, wives or husbands, are all my brothers and sisters â ¬? In life I follow and serve Heaven and Earth, and in death I will be at peace. (Chang Tsai, 1020-77)

The Bahá'í writings provide further elaboration on this principle. Bahá'u'lláh states: "The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens." [10] Also,

"O ye children of men, the fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race... The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established." [11]

'Abdu'l-Bahá expounds on its meaning and that unity is organic as in a human body.

Teaching of Bahá'u'lláh concerns the unity of mankind: All are the servants of God and members of one human family. God has created all, and all are His children.

He rears, nourishes, provides for and is kind to all... His sun bestows its effulgence unsparingly upon all; His clouds send down rain without distinction or favor; His breezes refresh the whole earth... Some are imperfect; they must be perfected. The ignorant must be taught, the sick healed, the sleepers awakened. The child must not be oppressed or censured because it is undeveloped; it must be patiently trained. The sick must not be neglected because they are ailing; nay, rather, we must have compassion upon them and bring them healing. Briefly, the old conditions of animosity, bigotry and hatred between the religious systems must be dispelled and the new conditions of love, agreement and spiritual brotherhood be established among them. [12]

Man cannot live singly and alone â ¬? he is in need of cooperation and reciprocity... mankind has been created from one single origin, has branched off from one familyâ ¬? For example, a member of the human organism is the eye. If the eye should be affected that affliction would affect the whole nervous system... If kindness had been shown to the members of this family surely all the members thereof would have enjoyed comfort and happiness. [13]


3) Service to others

One of the best known writing of Confucius is the chapter on "The Great Learning". There are eight steps in the Great Learning. They are: 1) investigate nature; 2) acquire knowledge; 3) sincere motive; 4) rectify heart; 5) self-cultivation; 6) harmonize the family; 7) service to country; and 8) establish peace. This is in short the summary of the purpose of life for the Chinese: to cultivate self, harmonize family, serve the country, and to establish peace.

The way to Great Learning is to illustrate illustrious virtue; to serve the people; and to persist until perfection... To know what come first and what follows will lead near to the way of the Great Learning... The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the kingdom, first administered well their own states... harmonized their families... cultivated their persons... rectified their hearts... sought to be sincere in their thoughts... extended to the utmost their knowledge. Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of the nature of things. Things being investigated, knowledge became complete... thoughts were sincere... hearts were then rectified... persons were cultivated... families were harmonized... states were rightly administered... the whole kingdom was made peaceful and happy. [14]

In the Bahá'í writings, the service principle is the chief instrument to personal happiness and to establish world peace. Bahá'u'lláh writes: "The essence of faith is fewness in words and abundance in deeds." [15]

That one indeed is a man who dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race. The Great Being saith: Blessed and happy is he that ariseth to promote the best interests of the peoples and kindreds of the earth. In another passage He hath proclaimed: It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. [16]

Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility. [17]


4) Moral Education

Chinese culture places moral education above all other aspects of education. The purpose of learning and self-cultivation is to develop virtues such as: loyalty, filial piety, compassion, love, propriety of conducts, justice, honesty, and sense of shame.

From the Son of Heaven down to the mass of the people, all must consider the cultivation of the person the root of everything. (The Great Learning.)

At fifteen I set my heart upon learning. At thirty, I had planted my feet firm upon the ground. At forty, I no longer suffered from perplexities. At fifty, I know what was the Mandate of Heaven. At sixty, I heard them with docile ear. At seventy, I could follow the dictates of my own heart. My desired no longer overstepped the boundaries of propriety." (Confucius, Analects, 5:27)

Likewise, Bahá'í teachings emphasize spiritual education which is the source of moral values. Spiritual education trains the human soul whereas material and human education train the body and society. "The aim of an educator is to so train human souls that their angelic aspect may overcome their animal side." [18]

The purport is this, that to train the character of humankind is one of the weightiest commandments of God, and the influence of such training is the same as that which the sun exerteth over tree and fruit. Children must be most carefully watched over, protected and trained;... Otherwise, the children will turn into weeds growing wild... knowing not right from wrong, distinguishing not the highest of human qualities from all that is mean and vile; they will be brought up in vainglory... [19]

The fear of God hath ever been a sure defence... It is the chief cause of the protection of mankind, and the supreme instrument for its preservation. Indeed, there existeth in man a faculty which deterreth him from, and guardeth him against, whatever is unworthy and unseemly, and which is known as his sense of shame... Religion is verily the chief instrument for the establishment of order in the world and of tranquillity amongst its peoples. The weakening of the pillars of religion hath strengthened the foolish and emboldened them and made them more arrogant. [20]

The greatest bestowal of God in the world of humanity is religion; for assuredly the divine teachings of religion are above all other sources of instruction and development to man. Religion confers upon man eternal life and guides his footsteps in the world of morality. It opens the doors of unending happiness and bestows everlasting honor upon the human kingdom. It has been the basis of all civilization and progress in the history of mankind. [21]


5) Extended Family values - The Golden Rule

In Confucius' teachings, the family unit is the foundation of both the community and the state. The family unit values are thus extended to cover larger numbers of families in the community. In the sense that the elders and children of other families are treated as the elders of one's own. These relationships are based on mutual support and reciprocity. Confucius teaches the Golden Rule as: "What you would not desire for yourself, don't do unto others."

The father is merciful, the son filial; the elder brother is good, the younger brother submissive; the husband upright, the wife complaisant; the adult is kind, the child obedient. (Book of Rites.)


The Bahá'í teachings on family are very similar but with more emphasis on unity of the family to meet the needs of present day society. The Golden Rule in Bahá'u'lláh's Writings is: "Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not. This is My command unto thee, do thou observe it." [22]

The integrity of the family bond must be constantly considered, and the rights of the individual members must not be transgressed. The rights of the son, the father, the motherâ ¬ none of them must be transgressed, none of them must be arbitrary. Just as the son has certain obligations to his father, the father, likewise, has certain obligations to his son. The mother, the sister and other members of the household have their certain prerogatives... The injury of one shall be considered the injury of all; the comfort of each, the comfort of all; the honor of one, the honor of all. [23]

Note ye how easily, where unity existeth in a given family, the affairs of that family are conducted; what progress the members of that family make, how they prosper in the world... And if we widen out the sphere of unity a little to include the inhabitants of a village who seek to be loving and united, who associate with and are kind to one another, what great advances they will be seen to make, how secure and protected they will be. Then let us widen out the sphere a little more, let us take the inhabitants of a city, all of them together: if they establish the strongest bonds of unity among themselves, how far they will progress, even in a brief period and what power they will exert. And if the sphere of unity be still further widened out, that is, if the inhabitants of a whole country develop peaceable hearts, and if with all their hearts and souls they yearn to cooperate with one another and to live in unity, and if they become kind and loving to one another, that country will achieve undying joy and lasting glory. Peace will it have, and plenty, and vast wealth. [24]


Common Spiritual Teachings in Chinese Culture and the Bahá'í Faith

Investigation of Truth

Confucius teaches that the investigation of the nature of things is the first step in Great Learning. He specifies the requirements of sincere motive and rectified heart for "self-cultivation which is the foundation of everything. All must consider it carefully from the emperor to the mass of people". The purpose is to harmonize family, serve the state and establish peace. On the other hand, Lao-Tse (c. 6th century BCE) teaches that one should be as innocent and uncontaminated as a newborn infant and a block of uncarved wood (Tao Te Ching — the book of Tao and Virtues, chapters 5 & 10). The Tao is far from the people of "useless learning" and how "the wise are not learned and the learned are not wise" (ch. 20, 81).

Lao-Tse teaches the purpose of life is to obtain the "Tao" and to follow the Tao. Here the word "Tao" means the way, the path, the direction, or the principle, the method, the truth, and the highest realty. The Tao operates according to spiritual laws.

It is the "mother" (ch. 1, 52) and "ancestor" (ch. 4) of all things. It exists before heaven and earth (ch. 25). It is the "storehouse" of things (ch. 62). It is at once their principle of being and their substance. "All things depend on it for life"(ch. 34). In its substance it is "invisible","inaudible", "vague and elusive" (ch. 14, 35), indescribable and above shape and form (ch. 14, 41). It is One, a unity behind all multiplicity (ch. 14,42)â ¬? It is everlasting and unchangeable (ch. 7, 16, 25). It is all-pervasive and "flows everywhere" (ch. 34). "It operates everywhere and is free from danger." (ch. 25) It is natural (ch. 25), for it comes into existence by itself and is its own principle for being. It is nameless (ch. 1,32,37,41), â ¬? unlimited in space and time (ch. 1, 25)â ¬?. It is not a concrete, individual thing or describable in particular terms. Above all, it is "non-being". "All things in the world come from being. And being come from non-being" (ch. 40). [25]

Bahá'u'lláh admonishes the seeker of truth to first cleanse his heart, so that no love or hate may linger, and be open-minded to forsake both imitations and adherence to hereditary forms of knowledge. The seeker must need patience and perseverance with an intense desire to investigate the truth.

The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. [26]

When a true seeker determineth to take the step of search... he must, before all else, cleanse his heart... from the obscuring dust of all acquired knowledge, and the allusions of the embodiments of satanic fancy. He must purge his breast... of every defilement, and sanctify his soul from all that pertaineth to water and clay, from all shadowy and ephemeral attachments. He must so cleanse his heart that no remnant of either love or hate may linger therein, lest that love blindly incline him to error, or that hate repel him away from the truth... how most of the people... have strayed far from the Embodiments of the Divine mysteries, and, shepherdless, are roaming through the wilderness of oblivion and error. [27]

'Abdu'l-Bahá emphasizes the importance of forsaking imitations and that realty is one:

The teaching of Bahá'u'lláh on the investigation of reality: Man must seek reality himself, forsaking imitations and adherence to mere hereditary forms. As the nations of the world are following imitations in lieu of truth and as imitations are many and various, differences of belief have been productive of strife and warfare. So long as these imitations remain, the oneness of the world of humanity is impossible. Therefore, we must investigate reality in order that by its light the clouds and darkness may be dispelled. Reality is one reality; it does not admit multiplicity or division. If the nations of the world investigate reality, they will agree and become united. [28]


7) The Highest Reality (God) is the Unknowable Essence

The concept of the Highest Reality (God) appears in the earliest Chinese classical literature dating back two to three thousand years ago, in "The Book of History" and "The Book of Odes". The Chinese concept of God appears in several different forms each referring to God in a different context with specific meanings. There are several major forms for the attributes of God in Chinese writings:

1. The Chinese word " Tien " which means Heaven literally, is often used to represent

God - the Celestial Power; God - the Highest Authority; and God - the Omnipresence.

2. The term " Shang Di " which means the Sovereign Lord of Universe.

3. The term "Tien Di" which means the Sovereign Lord in Heaven.

(The Chinese emperors used the title " Son of Heaven " to symbolize they have the

" Mandate of Heaven " to rule the country with absolute power.)

4. The word " Shen " which means God- the Mystical; God - the Spiritual;

God - the Unseen; and God - the Unknowable Essence.

5. The term " Shang Chang " which means God - the Creator of Universe.

6. The term " Chang Tien " which means God - the Creator in Heaven.

7. The word " Sheng " which means God - the Holy, the Divine.

8. The word " Tao " which means the way literally, is used as God - the Natural Order,

God - the Natural Way, God- the Nameless, the Eternal Way that is unmentionable.

9. The term " Tien Tao " which means God - the Order of Heaven or Way of Heaven.


In the Tao Te Ching, Lao-Tse teaches the "essential unity of the universeâ ¬ monism (ch. 39), of reversion (ch. 16,28,36,40), polarizationâ ¬ yin and yang (ch. 2), and eternal cycles (ch. 16,36), of the leveling of all differences (ch. 2,10), the relativity of all standards (ch. 2), and the return of all to the Primeval One (ch. 65), the divine intelligence (ch. 41,81), the source of all things (ch. 1,25,32,34,41,52)." The Tao is "nameless"â ¬ unknowable (ch. 1,32,37,41), "non-being" (ch. 1,40), "non-action" (ch. 3,37,81), "ever-present" (ch. 4,34), "ever-lasting" (ch. 7,16,25), and "mysterious" (ch. 14,25,35). [29] Here is some of the text:

The Tao that can be Tao is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal Name.
Nameless, the beginning of heaven and Earth. Named, the mother of all things.

Ever desireless, unravels the secrets. Ever desiring, sees the manifested.
These two spring from the same source but differ in name; Both are called mystery;
Mystery upon mysteries; The gate to all the secrets. [30]

Look, it cannot be seen - it is distant. Listen, it cannot be heard - it is beyond sound.
Grasp, it cannot be held - it is intangible. These three are indefinable; and fuse into one.
From above it is not bright; below it is not dark: unbroken thread beyond description.
It returns to nothingness. The form of the formless; the image of the imageless,
This is the elusive mystery.

Stand before it and there is no beginning. Follow it and there is no end.
Hold fast to the ancient Tao; So to guide the present.
To know the ancient beginning is the path of Tao. [31]

These Chinese concepts are in harmony with the Bahá'í Writings which mention numerous attributes of God such as The Almighty, The Innermost Spirit of Spirits, The Eternal Essence of Essences, The Invisible and Unknowable Essence, The Incomparable and All-Glorious, The Ruler of the Universe, The All-Merciful, The Self-Subsisting. The Bahá'í teachings on the Highest Reality is that God, the Creator, is the unknowable essence. The finite nature of creatures can never comprehend the infinite nature of the Creator.

From time immemorial He hath been veiled in the ineffable sanctity of His exalted Self, and will everlastingly continue to be wrapt in the impenetrable mystery of His unknowable Essence. Every attempt to attain to an understanding of His inaccessible Reality hath ended in complete bewilderment, and every effort to approach His exalted Self and envisage His Essence hath resulted in hopelessness and failure. [32]

To every discerning and illumined heart it is evident that God, the unknowable Essence, the divine Being, is immensely exalted beyond every human attribute, such as corporeal existence, ascent and descent, egress and regress. Far be it from His glory that human tongue should adequately recount His praise, or that human heart comprehend His fathomless mystery. He is and hath ever been veiled in the ancient eternity of His Essence, and will remain in His Reality everlastingly hidden from the sight of menâ ¬?.[33]

The door of the knowledge of the Ancient of Days being thus closed in the face of all beings, the Source of infinite graceâ ¬? hath caused those luminous Gems of Holiness to appear out of the realm of the spirit, in the noble form of the human temple, and be made manifest unto all men, that they may impart unto the world the mysteries of the unchangeable Being, and tell of the subtleties of His imperishable essenceâ ¬? From Him proceed their knowledge and power; from Him is derived their sovereignty. The beauty of their countenance is but a reflection of His image, and their revelation a sign of His deathless glory. They are the Treasuries of divine knowledge, and the Repositories of celestial wisdom. Through them is transmitted a grace that is infinite, and by them is revealed the light that can never fade"â ¬? "He hath known God who hath known himself." [34]

Since all that we can comprehend of the nature of the Highest Realty is through the teachings of the Prophets of God (the Manifestations of God) in history, our understandings are necessarily limited and relative to our individual capacity. Bahá'u'lláh states that:

All that the sages and mystics have said or written have ever exceeded, nor can they ever hope to exceed, the limitations to which man's finite mind hath been strictly subjected... such mind and heart can never transcend that which is the creature of their own thoughts. [35]


Common foundation of religions

Throughout its history, the Chinese culture has been open-minded in accepting all religious teachings that reached it shores. The Chinese have the fundamental belief that religions teach people to do good and that "Ye shall know them by their fruits". These can also be found in every holy book. "Toaism and Buddhism are equal in illuminating and transforming people. Different religions develop under a variety of conditions to meet the same end." ( Ku Huan, c.392-453 ) "Confucius sought order and peace in society, and the Buddha sought enlightenment in the fundamental nature of existence, but their goals are the same." (Sun Ch'o, 265-420) Confucius and Lao-Tse did not establish new religion but renewed morals and ancient virtues. They all share the common foundation of unity and they all serve to advance the spiritual civilization among humankind.

Bahá'u'lláh states that all religions have come from the same source and that "This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past and eternal in the future." [36] The Prophets in history, as founders of religions, are Divine Educators who have come to lead the people from the darkness of their own ignorance to the light of guidance of divine knowledge. They only differ in the intensity of their revelation :

These attributes of God are not and have never been vouchsafed specially unto certain Prophets, and withheld from others. Nay, all the Prophets of God, His well-favoured, His holy, and chosen Messengers, are, without exception, the bearers of His names, and the embodiments of His attributes. They only differ in the intensity of their revelation, and the comparative potency of their light.â ¬? these illuminated Souls, these beauteous Countenances have, each and every one of them, been endowed with all the attributes of God, such as sovereignty, dominion, and the like, even though to outward seeming they be shorn of all earthly majesty. [37]

The fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race, and to foster the spirit of love and fellowship amongst men. Suffer it not to become a source of dissension and discord, of hate and enmity. This is the straight Path, the fixed and immovable foundation. Whatsoever is raised on this foundation, the changes and chances of the world can never impair its strength, nor will the revolution of countless centuries undermine its structure. [38]

Religion must be the source of fellowship, the cause of unity and the nearness of God to man. If it rouses hatred and strife, it is evident that absence of religion is preferable and an irreligious man better than one who professes it. According to the divine Will and intention religion should be the cause of love and agreement, a bond to unify all mankind, for it is a message of peace and goodwill to man from God. [39]

'Abdu'l-Bahá explains that there are two kinds of Prophets:

Universally, the Prophets are of two kinds. One are the independent Prophets Who are followed; the other kind are not independent and are themselves followers. The independent Prophets are the lawgivers and the founders of a new cycle... They are like the sun which is luminous in itself: the light is its essential necessity; it does not receive light from any other star. These Dawning-places of the morn of Unity are the sources of bounty and the mirrors of the Essence of Reality.

The other Prophets are followers and promoters, for they are branches and not independent; they receive the bounty of the independent Prophets, and they profit by the light of the Guidance of the universal Prophets. They are like the moon, which is not luminous and radiant in itself, but receives its light from the sun.

The Manifestations of universal Prophethood Who appeared independently are, for example, Abraham, Moses, Christ, Muhammad, the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh. But the others who are followers and promoters are like Solomon, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekielâ ¬?

Buddha also established a new religion, and Confucius renewed morals and ancient virtues, but their institutions have been entirely destroyed. The beliefs and rites of the Buddhists and Confucianists have not continued in accordance with their fundamental teachings. [40]


9 ) Harmony in Nature; Union with Nature (Tao)

One of the outstanding contribution of Taoist teaching is that human civilization should live in harmony with nature. Implicit in this belief is that all things are connected in unity (Tao). This is sometimes elevated to the mystical belief of seeking union with the universe. "The Universe came into being with us together; and all things are one with us." [41]

The Tao begot One (before-being). One begot Two (being).
Two begot Three (being/before-being). And Three begot all things.
All things carry Yin (the passive) and embrace Yang (the active).
They maintain harmony by keeping the vital Qi (spiritual energy). [42]

It is mysteriously formed, Born before Heaven and Earth; In the silence and the void.
Standing alone and unchanging, Ever present and in motion.
It could be the Mother of all things. I know not its name so call it Taoâ ¬?.
Man follows Earth; Earth follows Heaven; Heaven follows Tao;
and the Tao is spontaneously so. [43]

Empty yourself of everything; hold fast to the serene,
All things act in concert, and expectant of their cycle return.
Returning to the source is serenity, it is the way of Nature.
The way of Nature is constant decay and renewal.
Knowing this constancy is enlightenment; Not knowing it is to court disaster. [44]


In similar fashion, Bahá'u'lláh refers to nature as the embodiment of the Creator's will manifested in diverse causes. When contemplating on the incomparable glory in nature, He reminds us of the highness and loftiness, the power and bounty, the majesty and grandeur, the ensign and standard of the Omnipotence of our Creator.

That which hath been in existence had existed before, but not in the form thou seest today. 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...

Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, and the Creator. Its manifestations are diversified by varying causes, and in this diversity there are signs for men of discernment. Nature is God's Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. It is a dispensation of Providence ordained by the Ordainer, the All-Wise. Were anyone to affirm that it is the Will of God as manifested in the world of being, no one should question this assertion. It is endowed with a power whose reality men of learning fail to grasp. Indeed a man of insight can perceive naught therein save the effulgent splendour of Our Name, the Creator. Say: This is an existence which knoweth no decay, and Nature itself is lost in bewilderment before its revelations, its compelling evidences and its effulgent glory which have encompassed the universe. [45]

By Thy glory! Every time I lift up mine eyes unto Thy heaven, I call to mind Thy highness and Thy loftiness, and Thine incomparable glory and greatness; and every time I turn my gaze to Thine earth, 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. [46]


10) Tests and difficulties

Among the teachings of the religions is that there is purpose to tests and difficulties in this earthly life, in that they lead to many spiritual rewards. One of Confucius most well-known followers, Mencius (372 - 289, BCE), teaches that tests and difficulties are blessings from Heaven. The following beloved passage in his classic writings is well memorized by every Chinese student.

"Heaven, When it is about to place a great responsibility on a man, always first tests his resolution, wears out his sinews and bones with toil, exposes his body to starvation, subjects him to extreme poverty, frustrate his efforts so as to stimulate his mind, toughen his nature and make good his deficiencies. Men for the most part can mend their ways only after they made mistake. Only when they are frustrated in mind and in their deliberations can they stand up anew. Only when their intentions become visible on their countenances and audible in their voices can they be understood by others. As a rule, a state will perish without law-abiding families and trustworthy public servants on the one hand, and without the threat of external aggression on the other. Only then do we realize that anxiety and distress lead to life; and that ease and comfort end in death." [47]

Bahá'u'lláh re-affirms these teachings and calls us to be content and radiant in tests and difficulties. He further reminds us that fire and vengeance are really light and mercy; that adversity is followed by success and rejoicing follow woe, and that we should hold fast to what will profit mankind.

If adversity befall thee not in My path, how canst thou walk in the ways of them that are content with My pleasure? If trials afflict thee not in thy longing to meet Me, how wilt thou attain the light in thy love for My beauty? [48]

My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy. Hasten thereunto that thou mayest become an eternal light and an immortal spirit. This is My command unto thee, do thou observe it. [49]

'Abdu'l-Bahá further explains:

Those who suffer most, attain to the greatest perfectionâ ¬? While a man is happy he may forget his God; but when grief comes and sorrows overwhelm him, then will he remember his Father who is in Heaven, and who is able to deliver him from his humiliationsâ ¬? Men who suffer not, attain no perfection. The plant most pruned by the gardeners is that one which, when the summer comes, will have the most beautiful blossoms and the most abundant fruit. [50]


11) Moderation in All things

Moderation is an essential principle in both Chinese and Bahá'í teachings. Lao-Tse teaches the "impartial mean" (5), the "gentle way" (8), and moderation as the "Tao of Heaven" (9).

Heaven and Earth are impartial; all things are equal.
The wise are impartial; the people are equal....
Excess of words bring emptiness;
better stay with the impartial Mean. [51]

The sage is like water; water benefits all things and softly follows Nature....
Be kind to others; be true in speech; be just in ruling; be competent; and
In action, be concerned of the time and season.
When one is gentle, there is no contention. [52]

Better to stop in time than fill to the brim.
Over-sharpen the blade, it will soon be blunt.
Fill your house with gold and jade, no one can protect it.
Prideful of wealth and titles, disaster will follow.
Retire when the work is done. This is the Tao of heaven. [53]

The world has its mysterious way; you can not influence it.
Try to change it and you will be ruined.
Try to hold it and you will lose it...
Therefore the sage avoids extremes, excesses, and complacency. [54]

Confucius establishes the "Tao of the Mean" as the guiding principle in our daily life:

What Heaven confers is called "nature." Accordance with this nature is called the Tao.

Cultivating the Tao is called "education." That which is called Tao cannot be separated from for an instant. What can be separated from is not the Tao. Therefore the Superior Man is cautious in the place where he is not seen, and apprehensive in the place where he is not heard. Nothing is more visible than the hidden, and nothing is more apparent than the subtle. Therefore the Superior Man is cautious when he is alone. When joy, anger, sorrow and pleasure have not yet arisen, it is called the "Mean" (in Chinese - ch'ung). When they arise to their appropriate levels, it is called "harmony". Mean is the great root of all-under-heaven. Harmony is the penetration of the Tao through all-under-heaven. When the mean and harmony are actualized, Heaven and Earth are in their proper positions, and the myriad things are nourished. [55]

Bahá'u'lláh admonishes us to exercise moderation in all things:

In all matters moderation is desirable. If a thing is carried to excess, it will prove a source of evil. Consider the civilization of the West, how it hath agitated and alarmed the peoples of the world. An infernal engine hath been devised, and hath proved so cruel a weapon of destruction that its like none hath ever witnessed or heard. The purging of such deeply-rooted and overwhelming corruptions cannot be effected unless the peoples of the world unite in pursuit of one common aim and embrace one universal faith. [56]

It is incumbent upon them who are in authority to exercise moderation in all things. Whatsoever passeth beyond the limits of moderation will cease to exert a beneficial influence. Consider for instance such things as liberty, civilization and the like. However much men of understanding may favourably regard them, they will, if carried to excess, exercise a pernicious influence upon men... [57]

Say: Human utterance is an essence which aspireth to exert its influence and needeth moderation. As to its influence, this is conditional upon refinement which in turn is dependent upon hearts which are detached and pure. As to its moderation, this hath to be combined with tact and wisdom as prescribed in the Holy Scriptures and Tablets. [58]

Whoso cleaveth to justice, can, under no circumstances, transgress the limits of moderationâ ¬? The civilization, so often vaunted by the learned exponents of arts and sciences, will, if allowed to overleap the bounds of moderation, bring great evil upon menâ ¬?. If carried to excess, civilization will prove as prolific a source of evil as it had been of goodness when kept within the restraints of moderation. [59]


Conclusion — "Oneness of Mankind" and "Unity in Diversity"

This paper aims to show the essential unity in the teachings from the Chinese culture and the Bahá'í Faith. They share the same spiritual foundation despite the millennium of history separating them. However, the social conditions of the present day world require many new and universally applicable principles to help unite the human family as one. The Bahá'í Faith brings new teachings for an emerging global civilization. These new teachings include the harmony of science and religion; abolition of prejudice; spiritual solution to economic problems; universal education; universal auxiliary language; equality of women and men; and world government. They are discussed in the referenced books in : "Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era ", "The Bahá'í Faith — the Emerging Global Religion", and "A Short Introduction to the Bahá'í Faith".

In conclusion, the pivotal principle of the Bahá'í Faith is "the oneness of mankind" and the operating principle is "unity in diversity". These principles are eloquently explained in the following passages.

The principle of the Oneness of Mankindâ ¬? is no mere outburst of ignorant emotionalism or an expression of vague and pious hope. Its appeal is not to be merely identified with a reawakening of the spirit of brotherhood and good-will among men, nor does it aim solely at the fostering of harmonious cooperation among individual peoples and nations. Its implications are deeper... Its message is applicable not only to the individual, but concerns itself primarily with the nature of those essential relationships that must bind all the states and nations as members of one human familyâ ¬? It implies an organic change in the structure of present-day society, a change such as the world has not yet experienced. It constitutes a challenge, at once bold and universal, to outworn shibboleths of national creeds... It calls for no less than the reconstruction and the demilitarization of the whole civilized worldâ ¬ a world organically unified in all the essential aspects of its life, its political machinery, its spiritual aspiration, its trade and finance, its script and language, and yet infinite in the diversity of the national characteristics of its federated units. [60]


Unity in Diversity

"The animating purpose of the world-wide Law of Bahá'u'lláh, far from aiming at the subversion of the existing foundations of society, seeks to broaden its basis, to remold its institutions in a manner consonant with the needs of an ever-changing world. It can conflict with no legitimate allegiances, nor can it undermine essential loyalties. Its purpose is neither to stifle the flame of a sane and intelligent patriotism in men's hearts, nor to abolish the system of national autonomy so essential if the evils of excessive centralization are to be avoided. It does not ignore, nor does it attempt to suppress, the diversity of ethnical origins, of climate, of history, of language and tradition, of thought and habit, that differentiate the peoples and nations of the world. It calls for a wider loyalty, for a larger aspiration than any that has animated the human race. It insists upon the subordination of national impulses and interests to the imperative claims of a unified world. It repudiates excessive centralization on one hand, and disclaims all attempts at uniformity on the other. Its watchword is "unity in diversity"â ¬?

The call of Bahá'u'lláh is primarily directed against all forms of provincialism, all insularities and prejudices. If long-cherished ideals and time-honored institutions, if certain social assumptions and religious formulae have ceased to promote the welfare of the generality of mankind, if they no longer minister to the needs of a continually evolving humanity, let them be swept away and relegated to the limbo of obsolescent and forgotten doctrines. Why should these, in a world subject to the immutable law of change and decay, be exempt from the deterioration that must needs overtake every human institution? For legal standards, political and economic theories are solely designed to safeguard the interests of humanity as a whole, and not humanity to be crucified for the preservation of the integrity of any particular law or doctrine." [61]


The Wider Inclusive Loyalty:

"A word of warning should, however, be uttered in this connection. The love of one's countryâ ¬? has not, through this declaration, this clarion-call of Bahá'u'lláh, been either condemned or disparaged. It should not, indeed it cannot, be construed as a repudiation, or regarded in the light of a censure, pronounced against a sane and intelligent patriotism, nor does it seek to undermine the allegiance and loyalty of any individual to his country, nor does it conflict with the legitimate aspirations, rights, and duties of any individual state or nation. All it does imply and proclaim is the insufficiency of patriotism, in view of the fundamental changes effected in the economic life of society and the interdependence of the nations, and as the consequence of the contraction of the world, through the revolution in the means of transportation and communication... It calls for a wider loyalty, which should not, and indeed does not, conflict with lesser loyalties. It instills a love which, in view of its scope, must include and not exclude the love of one's own country. It lays, through this loyalty which it inspires, and this love which it infuses, the only foundation on which the concept of world citizenship can thrive, and the structure of world unification can rest. It does insist, however, on the subordination of national considerations and particularistic interests to the imperative and paramount claims of humanity as a whole, inasmuch as in a world of interdependent nations and peoples the advantage of the part is best to be reached by the advantage of the wholeâ ¬?
The world is, in truth, moving on towards its destiny. The interdependence of the peoples and nations of the earth, whatever the leaders of the divisive forces of the world may say or do, is already an accomplished fact. Its unity in the economic sphere is now understood and recognized. The welfare of the part means the welfare of the whole, and the distress of the part brings distress to the whole. The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh has, in His own words, "lent a fresh impulse and set a new direction" to this vast process now operating in the world. The fires lit by this great ordeal are the consequences of men's failure to recognize it. They are, moreover, hastening its consummation. Adversity, prolonged, worldwide, afflictive, allied to chaos and universal destruction, must needs convulse the nations, stir the conscience of the world, disillusion the masses, precipitate a radical change in the very conception of society, and coalesce ultimately the disjointed, the bleeding limbs of mankind into one body, single, organically united, and indivisible." [62]


References: Chinese Culture

The Record of Rites, Book IX., Confucius
The Book Great Learning from Confucius
The Chapter on the Doctrine of the Mean, from Confucius.
Mencius Book VI: Kao Tse.
Tao Te Ching — Lao Tse ( The Book of Tao and Virtues )
Chuang Tse, the book.
A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy, Wing-Tsit Chan, Princeton University Press, 1963.
The Chinese Religion and the Bahá'í Faith, P. Chew, George Ronald, 1993.
A History of Chinese Philosophy, Fung Yu-Lan, Princeton University Press, 1953.
The Wisdom of Lao Tse, Lin Yutang, Random House, 1948.
Chinese Traditional Culture Revisits, the First International Symposium on Chinese Culture
(in Chinese, Shanghai), Commercial Press, Hong Kong, 1986.


References: Bahá'í Faith

Bahá'í World Faith, by Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1976.
The Book of Certitude, by Bahá'u'lláh, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1974.
Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1976.
The Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1974.
Prayers and Meditation, by Bahá'u'lláh, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1974.
The Proclamation of Bahá'u'lláh, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1967.
Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1978.
The Promulgation of Universal Peace, by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1982.
Some Answered Questions, by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1982.
The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, Shoghi Effendi, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1974.
The Promised day is come, Shoghi Effendi, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1974.
The Promise of World Peace, Universal House of Justice, 1985.
The Prosperity of Humankind, by Office of Public Information, Bahá'í International Community, 1994.
Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era, J. E. Esslemont, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1980.
The Bahá'í Faith — The Emerging Global Religion, William S. Hatch and J. Douglas Martin,
Harper and Row, 1984.
A Short Introduction to the Bahá'í Faith, M. Momen, One World Publications, 1996.


__________________________________________________________________________

Notes:

1. See books in the reference section for further information on the Bahá'í Faith.
2. Reported in "Star of the West", vol. 8, April 28, 1917, No.3, p.37.
3. Letter from Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, dated 23 January 1923.
4. Statement from the Bahá'í International Community, 1 July 1999.
5. The Promulgation of Universal Peace, by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1982, p. 109.
6. "The introduction of Buddhism from India to China — some perspectives on the development of Chinese
Culture", Prof. Tong Yi-Jia (Beijing University) in Chinese Traditional Culture Revisits in the First
International Symposium on Chinese Culture (in Chinese), Shanghai, 1986, Commercial Press, Hong Kong.
7. The Great Unity Chapter, Confucius, in The Book of Rites, Book IX.
8. A Traveller's Narrative ( Episode of the Bab), pp. xxxix-xl.
9. The Promise of World Peace, Universal House of Justice, p1.
10. Gleanings of the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 251.
11. The Proclamation of Bahá'u'lláh, p.112.
12. The Promulgation of Universal Peace, by `Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 180.
13. Foundations of World Unity, by `Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 38
14. The Great Learning Chapter from Confucius.
15. Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, (Words of Wisdom), p. 156.
16. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p.251.
17. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p.285.
18. Some Answered Questions, by `Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 235.
19. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, in Compilation of Compilations, vol.1, p.263.
20. Tablet of Bahá'u'lláh, pp.63 - 64.
21. Bahá'í World Faith, by `Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 270.
22. The Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh (Arabic), by Bahá'u'lláh, no. 29.
23. The Promulgation of Universal Peace, by `Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 168.
24. Selections from the Writings of `Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 279.
25. The Way of Lao Tzu, W.T. Chan, chapter 7.
26. The Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh (Arabic), by Bahá'u'lláh, p.1.
27. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 264.
28. The Promulgation of Universal Peace, by `Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 180-181.
29. The wisdom of Laotse, Lin Yutang, Random House, 1948, p.14.
30. Tao Te Ching, Laotse, ch. 1. (author's own translation with adaptation from others.)
31. Tao Te Ching, Laotse, ch. 14.
32. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, pp. 62.
33. The Book of Certitude, by Bahá'u'lláh, pp. 97.
34. The Book of Certitude, by Bahá'u'lláh, pp. 97-100.
35. Gleanings of Bahá'u'lláh, no.148, p.316.
36. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 136.
37. Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, pp. 140.
38. Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 169.
39. The Promulgation of Universal Peace, by `Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 180.
40. Some Answered Questions, by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 165.
41. Chuang-tsu , Chapter 2.
42. Tao Te Ching, Chapter 42 — Tao begot One.
43. Tao Te Ching, Chapter 25 — The Tao is spontaneously so.
44. Tao Te Ching, Chapter 16 — The way of the Nature.
45. Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, pp. 140-142.
46. Prayers and Meditation, by Bahá'u'lláh, pp. 272.
47. Mencius Book VI: Kao Tse, Part II, 15.
48. The Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh (Arabic), by Bahá'u'lláh, no.50.
49. The Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh (Arabic), by Bahá'u'lláh, no.51.
50. Paris Talks, by `Abdu'l-Bahá, p50.
51. Tao Te Ching, Chapter 5 --Impartial Mean.
52. Tao Te Ching, Chapter 8 -- Gentle Ways.
53. Tao Te Ching, Chapter 9 — Moderation.
54. Tao Te Ching, Chapter 29 — Avoids Extremes.
55. Doctrine of the Mean, Confucius.
56. Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 69.
57. Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p.169.
58. Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p.172.
59. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 342.
60. The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, Shoghi Effendi, p.42-43.
61. The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, Shoghi Effendi, p.41-42.
62. The Promise day is come, Shoghi Effendi, p. 121-122.

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