April 30, 2015

The “community of man” needs to be taught “the manners of Heaven and spiritual ways of life”

The community of man hath the right to defend and protect its rights. Furthermore, this is defined as the imposition of a legal punishment, not as the wreaking of vengeance.... It is incumbent upon human society to expend all its forces on the education of the people, and to copiously water men's hearts with the sacred streams that pour down from the Realm of the All-Merciful, and to teach them the manners of Heaven and spiritual ways of life, until every member of the community of man will be schooled, refined, and exalted to such a degree of perfection that the very committing of a shameful act will seem in itself the direst infliction and most agonizing of punishments, and man will fly in terror and seek refuge in his God from the very idea of crime, as something far  harsher and more grievous than the punishment assigned to it...  
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (quoted in a Memorandum from the Research department of the Universal House of Justice dated 16 October 1994)