Yet there is a danger that Europeans may exaggerate and misunderstand the doctrine by taking it as equivalent to a denial of the soul's immortality or of free will or to an affirmation that mind is a function of the body. The universality of the proposition really diminishes its apparent violence and nihilism.
And though the Pitakas insist on the universality of causation, they have no notion of the uniformity of nature in our sense . The Buddhist doctrine of causation states that we cannot obtain emancipation and happiness unless we understand and remove the cause of our distress, but it does not discuss cosmic forces like karma and Mâyâ.
On the first undisturbed ground, after leaving the town, I was met by the familiar signs, the polished surfaces, the furrows and scratches, the line-engraving of the glacier, so well known in the Old World; and I became convinced of what I had already anticipated as the logical sequence of my previous investigations, that here also this great agent had been at work, although it was only after a long residence in America, and repeated investigations of the glacial phenomena in various parts of the country, that I fully understood the universality of its action.
The associated object, together with its feeling tone, are sufficiently common to the experience of all men to account for the universality of the emotion, and the isolation of the stimulus abstract line from its usual context of color and bulk accounts for the vagueness.
And from Him there pours out a stream copious enough to supply all the necessities of every human soul that lives to-day, of every human soul that has lived in the past, of every one that shall live in the future. There is no limit to the universality except only the limit of the human will: 'Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
Thus, when we admire the Alps, we are after all but children of the century. We follow its inspiration blindly; and while we think ourselves spontaneous in our ecstasy, perform the part for which we have been trained from childhood by the atmosphere in which we live. It is this very unconsciousness and universality of the impulse we obey which makes it hard to analyse.
The great advantage of art over ordinary expression, in this respect, is its universality. Art is the confessional of the race. The artist provides a medium through which all men can confess themselves and heal their souls. In making the artist's expression ours, we find an equal relief. Who does not feel a revival of some old or present despair of his own when he reads:
Beyond this universality of the symbolic language, we are apprised of the divineness of this superior use of things, whereby the world is a temple whose walls are covered with emblems, pictures, and commandments of the Deity, in this, that there is no fact in nature which does not carry the whole sense of nature; and the distinctions which we make in events and in affairs, of low and high, honest and base, disappear when nature is used as a symbol.
What we want is not the universality that is outside all normal sentiments; we want the universality that is inside all normal sentiments. It is all the difference between being free from them, as a man is free from a prison, and being free of them as a man is free of a city. How can man be approximately free of fine emotions, able to swing them in a clear space without breakage or wrong?
For each and every people, and every religion, await a Promised One, and Bahá’u’lláh is that One Who is awaited by all; and therefore the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh will bring about the oneness of mankind, and the tabernacle of unity will be upraised on the heights of the world, and the banners of the universality of all humankind will be unfurled on the peaks of the earth.