A key feature of the divine economy that differs fundamentally from current economic theories is the recognition of the importance of the spiritual advancement of man, along with his material advancement.
“Material civilization has reached an advanced plane, but now there is need of spiritual civilization. Material civilization alone will not satisfy; it cannot meet the conditions and requirements of the present age; its benefits are limited to the world of matter. There is no limitation to the spirit of man, for spirit in itself is progressive and if the divine civilization be established, the spirit of man will advance. -‘Abdu’l-Bahá: The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 101.
“As heretofore material civilization has been extended, the divine civilization must now be promulgated. Until the two agree, real happiness among mankind will be unknown. By mere intellectual development and power of reason, man cannot attain to his fullest degree—that is to say, by means of intellect alone he cannot accomplish the progress effected by religion.” -‘Abdu’l-Bahá: The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 170.
- What are the limits of a material civilization?
- How will the establishment of a divine civilization affect man?
- Is spiritual civilization in balance with material civilization in the world today?
- Has material advancement brought happiness to mankind?
Unlike the popular belief today that material advancement brings happiness, Bahá’u’lláh reminds us:
“o son of being!
“Busy not thyself with this world, for with fire We test the gold, and with gold We test our servants.” -Bahá’u’lláh: The Hidden Words, Arabic No. 55.
“o son of man!
“Thou dost wish for gold and I desire thy freedom from it. Thou thinkest thyself rich in its possession, and I recognize thy wealth in thy sanctity therefrom. By My life! This is My knowledge, and that is thy fancy; how can My way accord with thine?” -Ibid. No. 56.
- Why does Bahá’u’lláh want us to be detached from the material world?
- What is real richness?
“…In all matters moderation is desirable. If a thing is carried to excess, it will prove a source of evil.” -Bahá’u’lláh: Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 69.
“Fear ye God, and take heed not to outstrip the bounds of moderation, and be numbered among the extravagant.” -Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 251.
- In what matters is moderation desirable?
- Why does moderation have to be observed in all matters?
- Is moderation a popular idea among people?