THE ONENESS OF MANKIND The Baha'i Faith, tracing its beginnings to Persia in 1844, is regarded by Baha'is as the latest in an unending series of reve- lations of God's message to man through one of His Messengers. God, it's believed in the Baha'i Faith, sends teachings which are appropriate to mankind's current level of intellectual and spir- itual understanding, with the recognition that as these faculties progress to a greater capacity, mankind will be ready for deeper and fuller teachings on not only his personal and spiritual transformation, but also for the transformation of society as a whole. Within the scope of societal development, the prophets and messengers of the past addressed humanity at various stages of development, beginning at the tribal level, and progressing through the city-state and the attainment of nationhood. God's revelation for today for the first time addresses mankind at the stage of being truly ready for a world-embracing society. At no other time has the importance been so great for the acceptance of the essential oneness of all of the peoples of the earth. Baha'u'llah, Arabic for "The Glory of God", has revealed over one hundred volumes of teachings for mankind's personal and social development. Among His teachings are the need for the abolition of prejudice in all of its forms, the equality of men and women, the essential oneness of all of the world's religions, the harmony between science and religion, the need for independ- ent search for truth, and the oneness of humanity. On this theme of the unity of mankind He writes, "Ye are all the leaves of one tree and the drops of one ocean...The incomparable Creator hath created all men from one same substance, and hath exalted their reality above the rest of His creatures." He further writes, "O Children of Men! Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other. Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created. Since We have created you all from one same substance it is incumbent on you to be even as one soul, to walk with the same feet, eat with the same mouth and dwell in the same land, that from your inmost being, by your deeds and actions, the signs of oneness and the essence of detachment may be made manifest. Such is My counsel to you, O concourse of light! Heed ye this counsel that ye may obtain the fruit of holiness from the tree of wondrous glory." The Baha'i Faith regards mankind as being at a stage of leaving a turbulent adolescence and entering a long-awaited maturity, a time when the human race will at long last be united as one family. In the last century, addressing humankind's emerging potential, Baha'u'llah wrote: "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 it's citizens."