In my last article, I spoke about the spiritual warfare that is going on between the forces of darkness and the Army of Light, and about how so many people misunderstand this concept, erroneously confusing spiritual battle with physical methods of force and control.
"It follows that all who work for the Supreme Design are soldiers in the army of the Spirit. The light of the celestial world makes war against the world of shadow and illusion. The rays of the Sun of Truth dispel the darkness of superstition and misunderstanding." Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 85.
Spiritual battle is engaged in the hearts and minds of humanity and does not require physical methods.
"[B]e a celestial army, and you shall indeed conquer the city of hearts." Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 171.
The forces of darkness are engrossed in passions, greed, brutality, and enslavement of others as a means for obtaining power and control. The Army of Light works for the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven, working in a spirit of selfless service, compassion, and loving-kindness for the purpose of freeing humanity from its bondage and allowing for its spiritual growth and happiness.
"I supplicate God that ye may become the army of that kingdom, in order that by the power of the Most Great Name, the friends of God may conquer this world through love, friendship and the strength of the Kingdom of peace; the human race become compassionate, and bloodshed and carnage be completely effaced from the universe." Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 409.
At present, this war is going badly. The forces of darkness are taking ascendancy.
Blood lust and violence have taken hold of humanity at every level. Violence grips people in their families, in the streets, and globally as nations and factions fight one another with increasing levels of terror and destruction. Violence is viewed by most people as the only effective means of resolving disputes, regarding violence not only as legitimate but as the exclusive or preferred method of achieving one's ends. Almost universally peaceful methods of conflict resolution are viewed with disdain, as ineffective relics of naive fools.
"O ye dear friends! The world is at war and the human race is in travail and mortal combat. The dark night of hate hath taken over, and the light of good faith is blotted out. The peoples and kindreds of the earth have sharpened their claws, and are hurling themselves one against the other. It is the very foundation of the human race that is being destroyed. It is thousands of households that are vagrant and dispossessed, and every year seeth thousands upon thousands of human beings weltering in their life-blood on dusty battlefields. The tents of life and joy are down. The generals practise their generalship, boasting of the blood they shed, competing one with the next in inciting to violence. 'With this sword,' saith one of them, 'I beheaded a people!' And another: 'I toppled a nation to the ground!' And yet another: 'I brought a government down!' On such things do men pride themselves, in such do they glory! Love -- righteousness -- these are everywhere censured, while despised are harmony, and devotion to the truth." Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 2.
Those who deny the existence of this great battle between the forces of darkness and the Army of Light must be blind to reality because the evidence of this epic fight is all around us. This is the end time, and those who love God must not sit idle while the forces of darkness take over every aspect of society and capture the souls of our fellow men and women. We must stand up courageously in the arena of service to the Cause of God and fight evil wherever it presents itself. This battle is not physical. This is not a violent struggle. This is a battle of prayer, kindness, and compassion.
"Therefore today "victory" neither hath been nor will be opposition to anyone, nor strife with any person; but rather what is well-pleasing is that the cities of [men's] hearts, which are under the dominion of the hosts of selfishness and lust, should be subdued by the sword of the Word, of Wisdom, and of Exhortation. Everyone, then, who desireth "victory" must first subdue the city of his own heart with the sword of spiritual truth and of the Word, and must protect it from remembering aught beside God: afterwards let him turn his regards towards the cities of [others'] hearts."
Abdu'l-Baha, A Traveller's Narrative, p. 63