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Understanding the Link between Fear and Sin

 

Bahá’u’lláh asks why we’ve never wondered what the cause of the world’s misery and distress might be:

Though the world is encompassed with misery and distress, yet no man hath paused to reflect what the cause or source of that may be.  (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 217)

The answer is sin, or falling short of God’s standards.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá tells us that there is a clear link between sin and disease:

It is certainly the case that sins are a potent cause of physical ailments. If humankind were free from the defilements of sin and waywardness, and lived according to a natural, inborn equilibrium, without following wherever their passions led, it is undeniable that diseases would no longer take the ascendant, nor diversify with such intensity.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 152)

 

What does the Bahá’í Faith teach about sin?

We are all sinners:

We are all sinners, and Thou art the Forgiver of sins, the Merciful, the Compassionate.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 176)

God doesn’t want us to follow our idle fancies and vain imaginings:

Fear ye God and follow not your idle fancies and corrupt imaginings, but rather follow Him Who is come unto you invested with undeniable knowledge and unshakeable certitude.  (Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 61)

We can’t hide our sins from God:

O Heedless Ones! Think not the secrets of hearts are hidden, nay, know ye of a certainty that in clear characters they are engraved and are openly manifest in the holy Presence.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Hidden Words, Persian 59)

Verily I say, whatsoever ye have concealed within your hearts is to Us open and manifest as the day; but that it is hidden is of Our grace and favor, and not of your deserving.  (Baha’u’llah, The Persian Hidden Words 60)

Death is better than sin:

Certainly for an intelligent man death is better than sin . . .  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 265)

 

What qualities are defined as sin?

Sin is anything that the Concourse on High might find averse:

Say: It behoveth every one that holdeth fast to the hem of Our Robe to be untainted by anything from which the Concourse on high may be averse. Thus hath it been decreed by thy Lord, the All-Glorious, in this His perspicuous Tablet. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 307)

Or might take us away from His love:

Say: Set ye aside My love, and commit what grieveth Mine heart? What is it that hindereth you from comprehending what hath been revealed unto you by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise?  (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 307)

Lying:

Certainly it is hard to think of a sin that does not require some kind of a lie to go with it.  (Marzieh Gail, Arches of the Years, p. 94)

The Bahá’í Teaching is that all the sins are on one side of the scales, and lying on the other, and that lying outweighs them all. (Marzieh Gail, Arches of the Years, p. 94)

Anger, sensuality, jealousy, avarice, cruelty, pride

The animal is the source of imperfections, such as anger, sensuality, jealousy, avarice, cruelty, pride: all these defects are found in animals but do not constitute sins. But in man they are sins.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 119)

Ignorance, cruelty, ungodliness, insincerity, unfaithfulness, unworthy thoughts:

Man’s ignorance, his cruelty, his ungodliness, his selfishness, his insincerity and . . . One act of unfaithfulness — even a glance betraying the insincerity of the individual or an unworthy thought emanating from his mind . . . (Adib Taherzadeh, The Child of the Covenant, p. 227)

Betrayal of trust, neglect, being remiss in the performance of duties, oppression, extortion, selfishness

But if . . . any one betray the least of trusts or neglect and be remiss in the performance of duties which are intrusted to him, or by oppression takes one penny of extortion from the subjects, or seeks after his own personal, selfish aims and ends in the attainment of his own interests . . .  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 403-404)

Dissension and strife, contention, estrangement and apathy

Nothing whatsoever can, in this Day, inflict a greater harm upon this Cause than dissension and strife, contention, estrangement and apathy, among the loved ones of God. (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 8)

Idle talk and advancing yourself over others:

Verily I say unto thee: Of all men the most negligent is he that disputeth idly and seeketh to advance himself over his brother. (Baha’u’llah, The Persian Hidden Words 5)

Antagonism, hatred, selfish struggle for existence, jealousy, revenge, ferocity, cunning, hypocrisy, greed, injustice and tyranny

All the imperfections found in the animal are found in man. In him there is antagonism, hatred and selfish struggle for existence; in his nature lurk jealousy, revenge, ferocity, cunning, hypocrisy, greed, injustice and tyranny. So to speak, the reality of man is clad in the outer garment of the animal, the habiliments of the world of nature, the world of darkness, imperfections and unlimited baseness.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Foundations of World Unity, p. 110)

Dishonesty, laxity and negligence, unlawfully exacting money, securing private gains or seeking personal benefits

Should anyone, God forbid, manifest one iota of dishonesty, or show laxity and negligence in carrying out his duties, or unlawfully exact money from the people, be it even a singe penny, or secure private gains for himself, or seek personal benefits . . . (‘Abdul-Bahá, Nearness to God, p. ‘Izzat 15)

Material ideas and worldly thoughts, anger, passion, ignorance, prejudice, greed, envy, covetousness, jeal­ousy and suspicion

Just as the earth attracts everything to the centre of gravity, and every object thrown upward into space will come down, so also material ideas and worldly thoughts attract man to the centre of self. Anger, passion, ignorance, prejudice, greed, envy, covetousness, jeal­ousy and suspicion . . .  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 241)

Attachment to the world, avarice, envy, love of luxury and comfort, haughtiness and self-desire:

What is the dust which obscures the mirror? It is attachment to the world, avarice, envy, love of luxury and comfort, haughtiness and self-desire; this is the dust which prevents reflection of the rays of the Sun of Reality in the mirror.   (Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 244-245)

Anger, jealousy, dispute, covetousness, avarice, ignorance, prejudice, hatred, pride and tyranny:

It is, therefore, certain that sins such as anger, jealousy, dispute, covetousness, avarice, ignorance, prejudice, hatred, pride and tyranny exist in the physical world. (Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 119)

Repudiate the revealed Truth

It is certainly a much greater responsibility to reject the Manifestation in this day than it was in the past Dispensations, inasmuch as man, and indeed humanity as a whole, have been endowed with a greater measure of spiritual receptivity than ever before, and consequently it would be a much graver sin to repudiate the revealed Truth now than it would have been the case in by-gone ages and centuries.  (Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 480)

Materialism, greed, corruption, conflict, malaise

The institutions of the old world order are crumbling and in disarray. Materialism, greed, corruption and conflict are infecting the social order with a grave malaise from which it is helpless to extricate itself. (The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 563)

The closer we get to God, even good deeds done by others are considered as sins:

The good deeds of the righteous are the sins of the Near Ones. This is established.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 125)

What does any of this have to do with fear?

Although fear is not mentioned specifically here, (except as idle fancies and vain imaginings), disobedience and anything that takes us away from God’s love easily includes fear.

There are many synonyms for each fear reaction:

Fight:  Anger, conflict, dispute, hatred, tyranny, haughtiness, passion, suspicion, antagonism, revenge, ferocity, cunning, hypocrisy, injustice, tyranny, idle talk, advancing yourself over others, dissension and strife, contention, betrayal of trust, oppression, extortion, cruelty and insincerity

Flight (anything that takes us away from our fear): Materialism, greed, corruption, jealousy, covetousness, avarice, prejudice, pride, attachment to the world, envy, love of luxury and comfort, self-desire, material ideas and worldly thoughts, dishonesty, unlawfully exacting money, securing private gains or seeking personal benefits, selfish struggle for existence, unfaithfulness, selfishness and sensuality

Freeze:  malaise, ignorance, laxity and negligence, estrangement, apathy, neglect, being remiss in the performance of duties, ungodliness and unworthy thoughts

How do we know that fear is a sin?

We know because He asked us not to have fear:

The Pen of the Most High addresseth Me, saying: Fear not.  (Baha’u’llah, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 90)

Let the fear of no one dismay Thee, and be Thou not of them that waver.  (Baha’u’llah, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 196)

Fear not the tempestuous gales, O Mariner! He Who causeth the dawn to appear is, verily, with Thee in this darkness that hath struck terror into the hearts of all men.  (Baha’u’llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 36)

If we do something God asks us not to do, it’s a sin.

What causes sin?

Sin causes pathogenic factors which cause diseases to become compounded, multiplied and transmitted to others:

We see clearly, therefore, how powerful are sin and contumacy as pathogenic factors. And once engendered these diseases become compounded, multiply, and are transmitted to others. Such are the spiritual, inner causes of sickness.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 153)

Sin comes from the demands of nature:

All sin comes from the demands of nature, and these demands, which arise from the physical qualities, are not sins with respect to the animals, while for man they are sin. (Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 119)

When we overcome one, we’ll fall into another:

The physical man, unassisted by the divine power, trying to escape from one of these invisible enemies, will unconsciously fall into hands of another.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 241)

Love of self:

No sooner does he attempt to soar upward than the density of the love of self, like the power of gravity, draws him to the centre of the earth. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 241)

What’s the Purpose of Sin?

Again it seems that we need contrasts:

O my Lord, verily, the sins are bubbling foam and Thy mercy is a full ocean. Trespasses are bitter trees and Thy pardon is a fire whose flame is intense.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Baha’i Scriptures, p. 407)

What happens when we sin?

The body is in torment:

If the soul falls into sin, the body is in torment!  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 65)

Sins cause physical ailments:

It is certainly the case that sins are a potent cause of physical ailments. If humankind were free from the defilements of sin and waywardness, and lived according to a natural, inborn equilibrium, without following wherever their passions led, it is undeniable that diseases would no longer take the ascendant, nor diversify with such intensity.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 152)

Sins inflict painful wounds on our souls – it’s a painful torture:

All his sins and shortcomings are tools of torture inflicting painful wounds upon the souls of the Chosen Ones of God [and] . . .  is painful torture to them. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Child of the Covenant, p. 227)

Sins cause disease, calamity, natural disasters including floods, hurricanes and earthquakes:

According to the teaching of the Prophets, disease and all other forms of calamity are due to disobedience to the Divine Commands. Even disasters due to floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes are attributed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá indirectly to this cause.  (Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 95)

What happens to the sinner?

His sufferings are remedial and educative, reminding us that we’ve strayed from the right path:

The suffering that follows error is not vindictive, however, but educative and remedial. It is God’s Voice proclaiming to man that he has strayed from the right path. If the suffering is terrible, it is only because the danger of wrongdoing is more terrible, for “the wages of sin is death.” (Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 95)

He is deprived of God’s outpourings and blessings:

. . . he shall undoubtedly remain deprived of the outpourings of His Highness the Almighty! Beware! Beware! lest ye fall short in that which ye are commanded in this Tablet!  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 403-404)

. . . such a person will surely be deprived of the blessings of the Almighty.  Beware, beware, lest ye fall short of what hath been set forth in this letter.  (‘Abdul-Bahá, Nearness to God, p. ‘Izzat 15)

He’s prevented from ascending to the realms of holiness, and imprisoned in self and ego:

. . . prevent man from ascending to the realms of holi­ness, imprisoning him in the claws of self and the cage of egotism.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 241)

He becomes dissatisfied about not finding a job he likes; or a place in the world that fits him:

You should never be too depressed about your dissatisfaction concerning not finding a job you like, a place in the world that fits you. If you analyse it this general sense of misfit is one of the curses of your generation, one of the products of the world’s disequilibrium and chaos. It is not confined to your life, it is pretty general.  (Shoghi Effendi, The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha’i Community, p. 454)

What do the Bahá’í Writings say about “Generational Sin” or “Sins of the Father”?

Many Christians believe that because of Adam’s “original sin”, all of his descendants were, without reason, guilty sinners, which is far from the justice of God:

But the mass of the Christians believe that, as Adam ate of the forbidden tree, He sinned in that He disobeyed, and that the disastrous consequences of this disobedience have been transmitted as a heritage and have remained among His descendants. Hence Adam became the cause of the death of humanity. This explanation is unreasonable and evidently wrong, for it means that all men, even the Prophets and the Messengers of God, without committing any sin or fault, but simply because they are the posterity of Adam, have become without reason guilty sinners, and until the day of the sacrifice of Christ were held captive in hell in painful torment. This is far from the justice of God.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 120)

If the father of a thousand generations committed a sin, is it just to demand that the present generation should suffer the consequences thereof?

Could we conceive of the Divinity, Who is Justice itself, inflicting punishment upon the posterity of Adam for Adam’s own sin and disobedience? Even if we should see a governor, an earthly ruler punishing a son for the wrongdoing of his father, we would look upon that ruler as an unjust man. Granted the father committed a wrong, what was the wrong committed by the son? There is no connection between the two. Adam’s sin was not the sin of His posterity, especially as Adam is a thousand generations back of the man today. If the father of a thousand generations committed a sin, is it just to demand that the present generation should suffer the consequences thereof?  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 449-450)

These interpretations and statements are due to a misunderstanding of the meanings of the Bible.

There are other questions and evidences to be considered. Abraham was a Manifestation of God and a descendant of Adam; likewise, Ishmael, Isaac, Jeremiah and the whole line of prophets including David, Solomon and Aaron were among His posterity. Were all these holy men condemned to a realm of punishment because of a deed committed by the first father, because of a mistake  said to have been made by their mutual and remotest ancestor Adam? The explanation is made that when Christ came and sacrificed Himself, all the line of holy Prophets who preceded Him became free from sin and punishment. Even a child could not justly make such an assertion. These interpretations and statements are due to a misunderstanding of the meanings of the Bible.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 449-450)

‘Abdu’l-Bahá explains how the sins of parents carry forward 3 or 4 generations:

If a man does a great injustice to another in his life, then, after his death, his son will be despised for having had such a father and in some cases the injury might be so serious that the effect would reach to the grandson, etc., or a man may, by wrong living, fall into consumption and give that disease to his children unto the third or fourth generation. “Both physically and mentally the sins of the fathers may be visited upon the children.”  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Daily Lessons Received at ‘Akká 1979 ed., pp. 45-46)

Children can inherit the weaknesses and ineffectiveness of their parents:

The variety of inherited qualities comes from strength and weakness of constitution; that is to say, when the two parents are weak, the children will be weak; if they are strong, the children will be robust. In the same way, purity of blood has a great effect; for the pure germ is like the superior stock which exists in plants and animals. For example, you see that children born from a weak and feeble father and mother will naturally have a feeble constitution and weak nerves; they will be afflicted, and will have neither patience, nor endurance, nor resolution, nor perseverance, and will be hasty; for the children inherit the weakness and debility of their parents.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 318)

How do we overcome our sins?

Sins can be forgiven when we repent:

Should anyone be afflicted by a sin, it behoveth him to repent thereof and return unto his Lord. He, verily, granteth forgiveness unto whomsoever He willeth, and none may question that which it pleaseth Him to ordain. He is, in truth, the Ever-Forgiving.  (Baha’u’llah, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 37)

Through obedience and turning to God:

Just as calamity is due to disobedience, so deliverance from calamity can be obtained only be obedience. There is no chance or uncertainty about the matter. Turning from God inevitably brings disaster, and turning to God as inevitably brings blessing.  (Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 95)

Apply Bahá’u’lláh’s remedy:

With every passing day it becomes more and more evident that no time must be lost in applying the remedy prescribed by Bahá’u’lláh, and it is to this task that Bahá’ís everywhere must bend their energies and commit their resources.  (The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 563)

By gaining victory over ourselves as quickly as possible:

But when we find ourselves falling short we must add to this response the high resolve to “gain victory over (our) own selves” as speedily as possible, as a mercy to ourselves and to our fellow men, so that others may be attracted to the Faith without hindrance.  (Compilations, Quickeners of Mankind, p. 120)

By weeding out our faults, habits, and tendencies which we’ve inherited and to cultivate qualities and characteristics needed to participate in the work of the Faith

How great, therefore, how staggering the responsibility that must weigh upon the present generation of the American believers, at this early stage in their spiritual and administrative evolution, to weed out, by every means in their power, those faults, habits, and tendencies which they have inherited from their own nation, and to cultivate, patiently and prayerfully, those distinctive qualities and characteristics that are so indispensable to their effective participation in the great redemptive work of their Faith. (Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 20-21)

By fleeing them and knitting together the hearts of men:

Flee them, through the power of God and His sovereign aid, and strive ye to knit together the hearts of men, in His Name, the Unifier, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.  (Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 8)

Through the power of the Holy Spirit:

The only power that is capable of delivering man from this captivity is the power of the Holy Spirit. The attraction of the power of the Holy Spirit is so effective that it keeps man ever on the path of upward ascension.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 241)

For more in this series, please read:

What is Fear? 

What are we Afraid Of?

Reactions to Fear 

Fight, Flight or Freeze

Doubt and Fear  

What is the Purpose of Fear?

What about the Fear of God? 

What Makes us Susceptible to Fear?

Understanding the Link Between Fear and Sin 

Overcoming Fear – Introduction 

Overcoming Fear By Turning to God

Overcoming Fear with Prayer

Overcoming Fear By Reading the Writings

Overcoming Fear By Focusing on the Virtues 

Overcoming Fear Through Love

Overcoming Fear with Faith

Overcoming Fear with Patience

Overcoming Fear through Courage

Overcoming Fear through Teaching and Service

Overcoming Fear By Changing your Thoughts

Overcoming Fear through Forgiveness

Overcoming Fear through Using Role Models

Overcoming Fear through Tests and Difficulties

What Can Others Do, To Help Those Who Are Afraid?

 Prayers to Eliminate Fear

Were you surprised by any of what you just read?  Post your comments here:

 

Spiritual Causes of Disease

This is part four of an eleven part series on the Baha’i Perspective on Disease.   In Part 1,  we looked at how I got interested in this topic and looked at some quotes on prevention of disease.  In Part 2, we looked at the reasons for disease.  In Part 3, we looked at the physical cause of diseas, and in this part we look at the spiritual causes of disease.

God’s will:

For these thy prevailing diseases are not on account of sins, but they are to make thee detest this world and know that there is no rest and composure in this temporal life.  (Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v1, p. 185)

Whatever hath befallen you, hath been for the sake of God. This is the truth, and in this there is no doubt. You should, therefore, leave all your affairs in His Hands, place your trust in Him, and rely upon Him. He will assuredly not forsake you. In this, likewise, there is no doubt.  (Bahá’u’lláh, Fire and Light, p. 10)

There have been many men who have died at last of the very disease of which they have made a special study. Aristotle, for instance, who made a special study of the digestion, died of a gastronomic malady. Aviseu was a specialist of the heart, but he died of heart disease.  (Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 19)

Human Condition:

Suffering, of one kind or another, seems to be the portion of man in this world . . . poverty, disease, bereavement – they seem to be part of the polish God employs to make us finer, and enable us to reflect more of His attributes!  (Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 603)

See how dark and narrow is the physical world of man’s body, and what a prey it is to diseases and ills.  (Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 192)

Think how narrow and dark is the material world of man, how afflicted with disease and maladies; but how bright and spacious is his Spiritual World!  (Compilations, Baha’i Scriptures, p. 459)

Disobedience to God:

According to the teaching of the Prophets, disease and all other forms of calamity are due to disobedience to the Divine Commands.      (Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 95)

We live in a world, however, where from time immemorial obedience to the commands of the Prophets has been the exception rather than the rule; where love of self has been a more prevalent motive than love of God; where limited and party interests have taken precedence of the interests of humanity as a whole; where material possessions and sensual pleasures have been preferred to the social and spiritual welfare of mankind. Hence have arisen fierce competition and conflict, oppression and tyranny, extremes of wealth and poverty — all those conditions which breed disease, mental and physical. (Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 105)

Turning away from God:

Know thou verily the Divine Food is descending from heaven, but only those taste thereof who are directed to the light of guidance, and only those can enjoy it who are endowed with a sound taste. Otherwise every diseased soul disliketh the delicious and merciful food and this is because of the sickness which hath seized him, whereby the El-Zekkum is sweet (to his taste) while he fleeth from the ripe fruit of the Tree of the Living and Pre-existent God — and there is no wonder in that.  (El-Zekkum — a thorny tree so called, which bears fruit like an almond, but extremely bitter. Therefore the tree symbolizes a very severe punishment and bitter remorse for the unbelievers).  (Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v1, p. 130)

Generational “Sins of the Father”:

If a man does a great injustice to another in his life, then, after his death, his son will be despised for having had such a father and in some cases the injury might be so serious that the effect would reach to the grandson, etc., or a man may, by wrong living, fall into consumption and give that disease to his children unto the third or fourth generation.  “Both physically and mentally the sins of the fathers may be visited upon the children.”  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Daily Lessons Received at ‘Akká 1979 ed., pp. 45-46)

Sin:

It is certainly the case that sins are a potent cause of physical ailments. If humankind were free from the defilements of sin and waywardness, and lived according to a natural, inborn equilibrium, without following wherever their passions led, it is undeniable that diseases would no longer take the ascendant, nor diversify with such intensity.  (Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 152)

Gambling:

Betting on horse racing is a pernicious disease. It hath been seen in Europe what distress this hath caused. Thousands have become afflicted and distraught  (Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 357)

Fear, Anger, Worry and Sorrow:

Sometimes if the nervous system is paralyzed through fear, a spiritual remedy is necessary . . . It often happens that sorrow makes one ill, this can be cured by spiritual means.      (Abdu’l-Baha, Abdu’l-Baha in London, p. 65)

Fear, anger, worry, et cetera, are very prejudicial to health  (Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 107)

Before she became a Bahá’í she had been a Christian Scientist, and now she brought up the question of mental suggestion as a cure for physical disease. The Master replied that some illnesses, such as consumption and insanity, developed from spiritual causes — grief, for example — and that these could be healed by the spirit.     (Misc Baha’i, The Diary of Juliet Thompson)

Jealousy:

Jealousy is a gnawing disease, as testified by Bahá’u’lláh. It destroys the one who harbours it.  (H.M. Balyuzi, Abdu’l-Baha – The Centre of the Covenant, p. 55)

Lack of Love and Hatred:

The disease which afflicts the body politic is lack of love and absence of altruism. In the hearts of men no real love is found, and the condition is such that, unless their susceptibilities are quickened by some power so that unity, love and accord may develop within them, there can be no healing   (Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 171)

The disease of sectarian hatreds, if not decisively checked, threatens harrowing consequences that will leave few areas of the world unaffected.  (Commissioned by The Universal House of Justice, One Common Faith)

Individualism:

No aspect of contemporary civilization is more directly challenged by Bahá’u’lláh’s conception of the future than is the prevailing cult of individualism, which has spread to most parts of the world. Nurtured by such cultural forces as political ideology, academic elitism, and a consumer economy, the “pursuit of happiness” has given rise to an aggressive and almost boundless sense of personal entitlement. The moral consequences have been corrosive for the individual and society alike – and devastating in terms of disease, drug addiction and other all-too- familiar blights of century’s end.  (Baha’i International Community, 1999 Feb, Who is Writing the Future)

Disunity:

As long as the various members and parts of that organism are coordinated and cooperating in harmony, we have as a result the expression of life in its fullest degree. When these members lack coordination and harmony, we have the reverse, which in the human organism is disease, dissolution, death.     (Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 98)

The primary disease that afflicts society and generates the ills that cripple it, he says, is the disunity of a human race . . . (Baha’i International Community, 1999 Feb, Who is Writing the Future)

Few will disagree that the universal disease sapping the health of the body of humankind is that of disunity.  (Commissioned by The Universal House of Justice, One Common Faith)

Disparity between rich and poor:

In much of the world, the gap between the “haves”and “have-nots”has widened and is accelerating with the persistent disparity in income levels. Social problems have not subsided. In fact, crime and disease are not just on the rise; they are also becoming endemic and more difficult to combat.      (Baha’i International Community, 1995 Oct, Turning Point For All Nations)

War:

War is disease and dissolution.  (Compilations, Baha’i World Faith, p. 232)

For more in this series:

Part 1: Intro to Disease

Part 2:  Reasons for Disease

Part 3:  Physical Causes of Disease

Part 4:  Spiritual Causes of Disease

Part 5:  Effects of Disease

Part 6:  Attitudes towards Disease

Part 7:  Spiritual Treatment for Disease

Part 8:  Physical Treatment for Disease

Part 9:  Why People Aren’t Getting Better

Part 10:  Advice to Doctors

Part 11:  Prayers for Health