Our common spiritual heritage represents our shared sacred story. Baha’u’llah, prophet founder of the Baha’i Faith, refers to this “priceless heritage” as the uninterrupted, continuous story of the Creator’s hand in every era of our history.
This story has been told and retold in each era by the founders of every great religion and has been lived out by the followers of all the great spiritual traditions.
In their essence, the scriptures of all religions have given the same message. The Golden Rule and other spiritual values (such as love thy neighbor, honor thy father and mother, or it is more blessed to give than to receive) are all stated in one way or another by every religion. Whatever their expression, they are all part and parcel of our common spiritual heritage that each of us is an heir to.
The essential beliefs shared by all religions speak loudly to the fact of our differences being only superficial and our similarities deep, that we are all one in spirit, and this is where it matters most. This is what will most enable us to realize our unity while acknowledging and honoring our diversity.
There is a rich and deep well of wisdom constituting the core of our common heritage. Becoming an inheritor of our common spiritual heritage is both an action we can each take and a solution to global conflicts, suffering, and anarchy.
Even secular documents such as the United Nations “Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” which affirms “that all peoples contribute to the diversity and richness of civilizations and cultures, which constitute the common heritage of humankind,” help return us to the essence of what the founders of every great religion have taught: as all religions come from one God, all are therefore one.
Collectively, the prophet-founders of the world’s religions have left their sacred teachings and scriptures for all to benefit from. Baha’u’llah, most recently, has bequeathed to humanity the essence of all of these teachings in his volumes of scripture, which illumine life’s deepest questions. For example, “The fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race, and to foster the spirit of love and fellowship.”
This is the heart of the overflowing “priceless heritage” we all have access to. Our common spiritual heritage is a system of values, beliefs, and principles for living life here that will better serve us in the life beyond. The story we all share is the unfolding story of our oneness.