Sunday, January 4, 2009

Baha'u'llah's Universal House of Justice?

For years I've been wondering if Baha'u'llah Himself, in His own writings, really established a Universal House of Justice or not. I don't see it. I've never seen anything in the writings of Baha'u'llah explicitly establishing a Universal House of Justice. The only argument I've seen for saying that He did, is that some of the functions He assigns to the "House of Justice" or the "Trustees" could only apply to a global House of Justice. That seems very inconclusive to me.

Today I was searching again in the Ocean Library for clues, and I found this:

"In former Epistles We have enjoined upon the Trustees of the House of Justice either to choose one language from among those now existing or to adopt a new one, and in like manner to select a common script, both of which should be taught in all the schools of the world."

(Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 127)

That started to look pretty convincing, although now that I think of it, no more conclusive than anything else I've seen. I searched some more, looking for extracts from the "former Epistles," and I found this:

"Likewise He saith: Among the things which are conducive to unity and concord and will cause the whole earth to be regarded as one country is that the divers languages be reduced to one language and in like manner the scripts used in the world be confined to a single script. It is incumbent upon all nations to appoint some men of understanding and erudition to convene a gathering and through joint consultation choose one language from among the varied existing languages, or create a new one, to be taught to the children in all the schools of the world."

(Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 165)

In the first passage, Baha'u'llah says that He has enjoined upon the House of Justice to choose a language and a script to be taught in all the schools of the world. In the second passage, He says that it is incumbent upon all nations to appoint some men of understanding and erudition to convene a gathering to choose a language to be taught in all the schools of the world.

I also found this (addressed to Kamal Pasha in Constantinople):

"It beseemeth you and the other officials of the Government to convene a gathering and choose one of the divers languages, and likewise one of the existing scripts, or else to create a new language and a new script to be taught children in schools throughout the world. They would, in this way, be acquiring only two languages, one their own native tongue, the other the language in which all the peoples of the world would converse. Were men to take fast hold on that which hath been mentioned, the whole earth would come to be regarded as one country, and the people would be relieved and freed from the necessity of acquiring and teaching different languages."

(Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 137)

Later, He wrote to the Son of the Wolf:

"We fain would hope that the Persian Government will adopt it and carry it out. At present, a new language and a new script have been devised. If thou desirest, We will communicate them to thee."

(Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 137)

On the face of it, it looks to me like He was advising the Persian Government to choose a language and a script to be taught in all the schools of the world. Considering the passage about a gathering of men from all nations, He might have been advising the Persian Government to convene such a gathering. That would make more sense than imagining that He intended the Persian government, by itself, to choose a language and a script for all the schools of the world.

That leaves me with a prescription for the Trustees of the House of Justice to choose the universal language, and a prescription for the kings and rulers of the world to appoint some people to convene a gathering to choose it.

To be continued . . .

1 comment:

Brian Barker said...

As far as international auxiliary language is concerned can I put in a word for Esperanto?

It is regretable, that only a few people know that it has become a living language.

During a short period of 121 years Esperanto is now in the top 100 languages, out of 6,800 worldwide, according to the CIA factbook. It is the 17th most used language in Wikipedia, and in use by Skype, Firefox and Facebook.

Native Esperanto speakers,(people who have used the language from birth), include George Soros, World Chess Champion Susan Polger, Ulrich Brandenberg the new German Ambassador to NATO and Nobel Laureate Daniel Bovet.

Further information can be seen at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8837438938991452670 A glimpse of the language can be seen at http://www.lernu.net