The concept of progressive revelation (that God sends us Revelation in increasingly big doses through the different Manifestations of God) is based on the reality that humanity is maturing. It is going through stages that are akin to one human’s development from infancy to childhood, onto adolescence and, finally, into adulthood.
As a human being evolves, its understanding evolves as well. For example, a little child that sees a homeless man begging on the street will only see the man. The junior youth will see the people ignoring him; the adolescent will see the contrast between the luxury store in front of which the man is begging and the poverty that brought the man there in the first place. And the adult will be able to make the connection between the greed that drove said luxury store to manufacture its product at a low cost to increase its profit margin and the man begging on the street.
We know that Manifestations of God all come with the same basic Message: to share Guidance with us on how to act as individuals and as a community if we are to remain true to our higher, noble nature. There are a set of virtues that we have always been told are important. For example, we are always told that we have to be just. Initially, this concept was shared in simple terms for simpler times: an eye for an eye, for example.
But now that humanity is going through the final phases of adolescence and stepping into adulthood, its understanding of the concept of justice is becoming more complex. While at its core, the concept of justice remains the same, its application needs to reflect the increased complexity of the world in which we live.
It comes as little surprise then that we can’t translate the concept of an eye for an eye literally in this day and age. In the case of the homeless man above, should he choose to steal a hot dog from the nearby cart, should we cut his hand off, as some religions say we should? What about all the people that contributed to the system that got him there in the first place, should all of their hands be cut off for being accomplices to the theft?
Of course not. It would basically mean that we would all end up being punished, since, well, we all are contributing in one way or another to the that specific situation. Humanity has evolved, the relationships between us have evolved, and therefore, the rules regulating these relationships also have to evolve. The current world order, based on old rules for simpler times, cannot sustain a just international environment; although the foundational concepts remain the same, their application needs to be recreated from scratch to reflect the complexity of the times we live in.
This is a huge endeavor! But thankfully we can start somewhere small: at the grassroots. Each one of us should question our contribution to the injustices in the world, be it within our immediate circle of family and friends to our contribution to child labor through our shopping choices. Slowly, one step at a time, we can make decisions that are more and more aligned with the kind of just world we want to live in.
One such example has to do with food. If we have access to a Farmer’s Market, where the food comes from a farm we know functions justly, should we not support this market, purchasing our produce there, be it at the price of variety? If we can choose to buy from a company whose practices are more just than another, shouldn’t we support it?
We have a lot of little choices we can make which compounded, lead to an impressive amount of power to make the world a better place. But we need to stop fooling ourselves that we can passively live our lives, shaking our heads at the injustice that brought that homeless man to the luxury storefront, and do nothing about it. The same layers of complexity that now define our relationships give us more power than we ever had before. We only need to start using it, regularly, systematically, and with our sight firmly fixed on establishing, together, a brand new world order based on our current reality.