There is a blog that some of my friends in China like to read that I go to on occasion and that seems to enjoy quite a wide readership. I was intrigued by the following entry and so I translated it so that I would know what he had to say and also in case it was of interest to Baha'i Views :) The notion of "oneness" as referring to an integration of opposites is also fresh and intriguing...i am still chewing on it and not quite sure the argument hangs together yet but it brings to my attention again the potential for people from different backgrounds to bring new perspectives to our understanding of the Faith and the truths it enshrines.
From the blog entry of Pan Shiyi entitled "Humanity is entering the stage of maturity" http://blog.sina.com.cn/u/4679dbbf01000bkb
"When I watched movies as a child, I always wanted to know which character was the good guy and which one was the bad guy. But usually movie plots are designed in such a way that you only know who is actually the bad guy at the very end of the movie. This made me really frustrated and I would frequently ask the adults in my presence "Is this person good or bad?" It is only as I age that I realize that the world is not so easily categorized into black and white and good and bad.
"Recently I have been reading works by some wise sages such as Baha'u'llah and Zoroaster. They have a common understanding of human society and they use the maturation of the individual as a metaphor for the maturation of human society. That is to say that human society also passes through phases of development.
"The first stage of development is the stage of chaos which is characterized by lack of understanding, values or religious belief just as a baby is born into ignorance. Detailed descriptions of the characteristics of human society in this stage have been presented in the Bible and in the "Tao Te Ching" and I do not dwell on these classics here.
"The second stage is the stage of duality: If it is not black then it is white; if it is not heaven then it is hell; if they are not the friend then they are the enemy; if you are not a country that is against terrorism then you are a terrorist country. In Zoroastrianism there is the God of Light, Ahura Mazda, and also the God of Darkness, Ahraman. This represents a stage that is lacking in maturity that corresponds to human society during its time of childhood.
"The third stage of human society is the stage of maturity. The main signs of this third stage are oneness, cooperation, and unity. "The great oneness of all under the heavens;" "humanity as one family;" "one world, one dream" are the themes of this great period of maturity. Those who are stuck in the thoughts, customs, values, outdated superstitions of the second stage of human society slow down and hinder humanity's development and advancement into the stage of maturity.
"The characteristics of this stage of maturity have all been described in detail by Baha'u'llah but these characteristics are already evident in present day society: movement towards global integration is a powerful force impelling humanity towards the period of maturity, but trade protectionism and the imposition of sanctions are the hindrances. Humanity as one family and care and loving concern for each other are the powers for progress towards this period of maturity, while extreme nationalism is a powerful hindrance. But regardless of the challenges that humanity encounters on its path to maturity the trend cannot be stopped, it is as inevitable as the fact that the child is going to grow up into an adult."