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Chapter4:WorldCrisis

WorldCrisis
Crisisandvisibleeffects
1

TheintellectualeventwhichannouncedtheopeningofthemodernerawasFrancis
Bacon'spublicationofNovumOrganum.Theageofhearsay,guesswork,andfumbling
ignorancewasrungoutinthesearchforfactsandthesharpreasoningsofscience.The
religiouseventwhichannounceditwasMartinLuther'sproclamationofindependence
whichhenailedonthechurchdooratWittenberg.Theageofsoulcrushingchurchianity
andsanctifiedsuperstitionswasrungoutintherecognitionthattheonlyrepresentatives
ofChristarethosewhodowhathetaught.Thehistoricaleventwhichannouncedits
arrivalintheclearestpossiblewordswastheFrenchRevolution.Theageoffeudalism
andslaverywasrungoutinbloodandtears.Theindustrialeventwhichannounceditwas
Watt'sinventionofsteamengines.Theageofhandpowerwasrungoutinfactory
whistlesandwhirringwheels.Thusthismomentousepoch,whichisbeginningtowitness
averitablereconstructioninhumanexistence,struckdownthehumanarrogancewhich
barreditswayandbrokethroughthehumanignorancewhichfailedtoperceiveits
inevitability.
Thewidespreadcharacterofthepresentworldfermentprovesthatitisahistorical
necessityandthatanewepochisabouttodawn.Forthegenerationwhichgrewupafter
WorldWarIgrewupalsoinsearchofafreshideal.Whathappenedhereyesterdayand
whatishappeningheretodayhassurprisedandstirredbefore.Thehumanraceisindeed
atafatefulturningpointofitshistory.Theshapeofitsphysical,mental,andmorallife
foratleastthenextthousandyearshasbeenandisbeingeffectuallydecidedbythe
meteoricdecadeinwhichwelive.Everysuccessivestageoftheimmensedramawhich
hasunfoldeditselfbeforeoureyeshasprovedthis.
2

Nocrisiswhichhumanityhasfacedinthepastiscomparablewiththepresentoneeither
forspiritualgravityorphysicalconsequences.
3

Whenwespeakinourwritingsofthewar'sgeneraleffect,werefernotonlytotheperiod
ofactualfightingbutalsototheconfusedperiodsofsocalledpeacewhichprecedeand
followit.Itisonlyforthesakeofliteraryconveniencethatwelumpthethreeperiods
together,eitherundertheshortterm"war"orunderthemoredescriptiveterm"world
crisis."Thispreamblewillhelptomakeclearerourpointofview.
4

"Crisis"isderivedfromtheGreekwordmeaning"todecide."Ifitlyusedtheterminthe
titleofmylastbook[TheSpiritualCrisisofManEd.]becauseadecisiveturningpoint
hadbeenreachedinhumanhistory,forcingtwoalternativedirectionsforaninescapable
movement.
5

Thecrisiswhichhasbeengrowingwithinhumanitywillopencompletelyinthiscentury.
Itisaninnercrisis,anditsmeaningisthathumanitycangonofartherinitsdownward
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pathintothelustofthesensesandtheintellectintotheforgetfulnessofitsinnermost
divinesoul,withoutthemostdangerousconsequencestoitsfuture,withoutlosingthe
verythreadofthepossibilityofonedayrecoveringitsspiritualmemory.Intoday'sworld
thereissuchindifferencetothethingsofthespirit,suchmorallethargy,thatthehigher
powerisforcinguseithertocallahaltortoperish.
6

Weseebeforeoureyesthattheworldischanging,thatsocietyismoving,andthatmen
andwomenaredebatingmostthingsandaffairsasneverbefore.Someofthisisbad,
somegood.
7

Ourtimesarenoteworthyfortheirsupremesuspense,fortheunpleasantchaoswhich
gripsnowacountryandthenacontinent,andfortheirstateofcontinuedcrisis.
8

Everywherefrictionsandoppositionsprevailbetweengroups,classes,religions,races,
andtheupholdersofdifferentpolitical,moral,social,oraestheticideas.Thisfermentof
questioningsanddisputes,attacksandrevolts,onlyunderlinestheneedtoinventanew
civilization.
9

Theoverpopulationexplosionisworsenedbytheexhaustedsoil,thepoisoned
environment,and,worse,thepoisonedmentalandemotionalclimate.ThecrisisIalluded
toinTheSpiritualCrisisofMan,writtenmorethanaquarterofacenturyago,hasnot
onlyworsenedbutspreadeverywhere.
10

Acivilizationwhichhasmagnificencewithoutsignificancecannotendure.Itsverylack
ofsoulisasmuchathreattoitsexistenceasthetailofaburningcometcouldbetoour
own.
11

Thesituationhasnotimprovedwiththeyearsithasdeteriorated.Thisaloneshouldbe
interpretedasawarningthattheroadtakenwasawrongoneandthatfreshthinkingis
needed.
12

Lunacyandviolencearenottheonlythingsinmodernlife.Theyarepresent,butthe
fermentanddiscussionofnewideas,theinterestintheknowledgeandbettermentoflife
arealsothere.
13

Themeaningofouragepuzzlesthethoughtfulmanandperplexesthereligiousone.
14

Astaticconditionofsocietyhasneverreallyexisted.Changehasalwaysbeenthere,even
ifslightandunnoticed.Thestrugglebetweenorthodoxyandheterodoxy,oldordersand
newones,hasnevercometoanend.Buttodaywehavenotmerelychanged,wehave
rapidlychanged.Thetransitionsaresharperandquicker.
15

Nootherepochofhistoryeverofferedsomuchopportunitytocreateaworthwhile
everydaylifeforallhumanity.Noothereverdeliveredsoterribleawarningaboutthe
resultsoffailurealongwiththeopportunity.
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16

Timefliessofastthesedaysthatnomatterhowmuchonedoes,toomuchisstillleft
undone.
17

Thepainofhumanityinworldwarisappallinginitsscopeanddepth.Itisnotpossible
forthelimitedhumanmindtotakeinmorethanatitheofitandstillretainitssanity.Asa
matteroffact,millionsofpeoplearetodaymentallyunstableasaresultoftheseevents.
18

Thatweliveinanageofinsecurityisevidencedbytheflourishingbusinessdoneby
thosewhoprofesstoforetellthefuture.Astrologersandclairvoyantsaboundinthelarger
cities.
19

Thevogueforfortunetellersisnaturalduringaperiodofwidespreadunsettlementand
warlikeupheaval.ContinentalEuropeexperiencedasimilarvogueduringtheNapoleonic
period.
20

Weliveinasocietydrivenbycompulsiverestlessness,knowingnopeaceeitheronits
surfaceoratitscentre.
21

Peoplefeeltheconfusionandunrestofourtimesandneedsomeonetohelporsomebook
toguidethemtotheTruththatGodexistsandthatthedivineexistencecanbemadeto
upholdtheirindividuallives.
22

Afullerrealizationofthehorriblenatureoftheworld'scrisisthanthatexperiencedbythe
massesconstantthoughtaboutitandacutesensitivitytoithasdeeplyaffectedasmall
minorityofmystics,writers,artists,andreligiousfanatics.Thishasparalysedtheir
ambitions,frozentheircreativepowers,petrifiedtheirhopesofhappiness,andnullified
theirzestforliving.
23

Amidtheperplexitiesandmonotonies,thewarsandcalamitiesofourtimes,somemay
wellaskthemselveswhetherwhattheydoinlifeisworthdoingatall,whetheritisall
futileorworthwhile.
24

Neverbeforehavetherebeenseensomanyeviltendenciesandyetsomanyidealistic
onesasinrecentyears.Thiscomminglingofextremes,orratherconflictofextremes,isa
characteristicindicatoroftheforceslooseamongus.
25

Thereisuneasinessineveryland,evenalarminsomelands.Therearefearsandcrises,
anxieties,andmenaceseverywhere.
26

Mostpeoplewhoareatallthoughtfulorsensitivehavethefeelingthattheyareliving
todayinasquirrel'scage.Thefreespaceinwhichtheycanmovephysicallyisextremely
limited.Theyconstantlyfindthemselvesstoppedshortbyitsbars,inwhateverdirection
theymayturn.Forworldconditionsdominatenationalconditionsandthuspredetermine
everybody'sfutureastheyhaveneverdoneinthepast.Mentalfreedomishamperedby
individualhelplessnessinthefaceofhumanity'sdismalcondition.
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27

Inthesetragictimes,menhavenotonlypublicanxietiespeckingattheirminds,butalso
thepersonalproblemsresultingfromthem.Thefutureissodoubtfulandconfusedthat
theverythoughtinvokesworryandincitesfear.
28

Butifpessimismcanberejected,optimismcannotbejustified.
29

Spiritualteachingsofdoubtfulqualityarewellmingledwiththeothersofmuchhigher
value.Theconfusionofthetwohasalwaysbeenpresentbuthardlyeverhasitbeenso
greatasitisatpresent.
30

Unbalancedreligioustheoriesandpersonalitiesandmaterialisticdogmaticslogans
aboundtoday.Theyaresigns.Thereismorefermentonbothsidesthaneverbefore,more
violentdiscussionofsuchideas,moreverveintheinterestshown.
31

BernardShawonceputforwardthetheorythatthisplanetisthelunaticasylumforthe
wholesolarsystem.Nobodytookhistheoryseriously,andeverybodycomplimentedhim
onhiswitandhumour.I,however,havelongheldakindredtheorythatthehumanraceis
evolvingfrominsanitytosanityandthatexceptinafewrareindividualsthesagesitis
farfromthegoal.ThedangersofexpressingthisviewaresuchthatIhavehithertoheld
mytonguealongwiththeviewitself.Toquestionthementalstatusofsomanymillions
ofpeoplewouldhavebeenanopeninvitationtobeincarceratedwithoutdelayinan
institutionforthemad.ButIamatlastemboldenedtosayallthisbecauseascientist,Dr.
Estabrooks,aprofessorofpsychologyatColgateUniversity,haspronouncedasimilar
judgementandevendaredtoputitintoprint.
32

Thewidespreadareaandenormousvolumeofpainandsorrowwhichhavemade
themselvessuchfrontrankfeaturesofhumanlifeinthisgenerationhavealsomademore
peoplethinkaboutthissideoftheproblemoftheirexistencethaneverbefore.Thepain
ofthebody,thesorrowoftheemotionsthesetwodarkshadowsoftheirliveshavebeen
thesubjectofterriblecontemplationsformillionsofsufferingmenandwomen.Ithas
beenhardformanyofthemtosustainbeliefindivinegoodness,oratleastindivine
mercy.TheoptimisticblindnesstoplainappearanceswhichwouldsaywithBrowning
that"all'srightwiththeworld"andseeonlythetruth,beauty,andgoodnesseverywhere,
theintellectualonesidednesswhichwouldprefertohidefromunacceptablerealities,
musthavereceivedaseverejoltinmanypartsoftheworldduringthewar.
33

Themoodoftotalpessimismmayeasilybeengenderedinthosewhoconcentrateonthe
stateofcrisiswhichhasheldtheworldforseveralyears.
34

Thismuchiscertain,thatthecrisissituationdoesnotpermitpeopletostandmentally
still.Theyarecompelledtoformviewsandmakedecisionsaboutthedirectiontheywant
totake.Theseexperiencesofcrisisorwarbecome,intheirtotality,thedooropeningtoa
neweraofthoughtformanypersons.Someseeknewpathstospiritualsalvationandare
preparedtowelcomeunfamiliarandunorthodoxinfluences.
35

Therealisticviewhasbecomesounpleasantthatworldlymindedpeoplelookforsome
ableleaderandspirituallymindedpeoplelookforsomeinspiredprophet,bothgroups
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seekingfromhimamessageofcheerorhopeabouttheworldcrisisandthewar's
menace.
36

Theimmenseindustrialexpansionwhichhastakensomanymillionsoutoftheopen
spacesofnatureandcrampedthemintownapartmentshasalsostimulatedtheirintellects.

Causes,meaningofcrisis
37

Itisnotonlyaspiritualcrisisformankindbutalsoaspiritualopportunity.
38

Thenationsneedcollectiveouterpeace,butmenthemselvesneedpersonalinnerpeace.
Thetwoarerelated.
39

Thesufferingsimposedbythelastwarwereterrible,butthosewhofoundadeep
religiousorphilosophicalsupportwithinthemselveswerebetterabletomeetthem.Inthe
comingagewhichwilldawnsoon,theworkingclasseswillcomeintotheirown,
culturallyspeaking.Itisthereforeimportantthattheyshouldlearntounderstandtheinner
significanceoflifeandnotbeledbymerelysuperficialdoctrines.Theultimatepurpose
oflifehereonearthisaspiritualone,andthismustberemembered.
40

Anyneworderwhichofferstofillstomachsandactuallyemptiesheartsisbutamockery
andadanger.
41

Ifwearenottobeobliterated,anewwayoutwillhavetobefound.Thepoliticalwayisa
failure.Ithasbeentriedsincethelastwar,andthenationshavenotbeenabletogetany
agreement,muchlessharmony,onthedisputesthatdividethemaboutparticularplaces
orpeoples,oronthosethatoughttounitethem,likestoppingnucleartestsandachieving
disarmament.Butthepoliticalwayisnottheonlyway,asthepoliticalleadersnaturally
andpardonablybelieve.Thereisanalternativeonethespiritualway.Jesusshoweditto
usandBuddhastatedit.Atthislatehour,itisindeedtheonlypracticableway.Anyother
willleadinevitablytoobliteration,becauseitwillfailtoleadtopeace.Thedivinelaw
whichcontrolsdestinypointsbrusquelyanduncompromisinglytothissinglepath.Ifwe
failtoobey,thepunishmentwillbesevere.Ifweheedit,theconsequencemaybe
unpalatableinthebeginning,butitwillbesweeterintheend.
42

Theworldcrisisasasignthatmankindispassingthroughaspiritualturningpoint
includestruthseekersalso.Itistimeforthemtostoplivingbyothermen'sspiritual
experienceandtostartlivingbytheirown.
43

Letusnotwastetimelookingforamastermindtostraightenoutthetangledthreadsof
humanmiserywithmagicalovernightsuddenness.Theconversionofmankindtobetter
ways,likeeverythingelsewhichisworthhaving,mustbeworkedforandwon.
44

Throughallthisrangeofexperience,humanconsciousnessisevolving,iscomingcloser
tothelevelwhereitwillbeabletotakethenextstepforwardandupward.Thiscanbea
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falsepretentious"mindexpansion"gotartificiallyandperilouslythroughdrugs,oritcan
betherealthing.
45

Itisneedfultonotealsothattheforceswhichareoperatingarealtogetherbeneaththe
faceofthehumanpsyche.Thereisadeepincentiveintheinnerbeingofmodernman
towardsamoreconscious,moreilluminedlife.
46

Onlytheunveiledperceptionofwhatisgoingonintheinteriorworldofman'sbeingcan
renderplainertheanswertotheriddleofthetwentiethcentury.
47

Thespiritualawakeningcancometomankindonlyasitcomestoindividualsafteritis
stronglydesiredbytheindividualhimselfanditwillbedesiredonlywhenallother
desireshavebeentriedandfoundwanting.
48

Asage,lookingattheworldsituationtoday,mightdeclarethatitsissuewillbeneitherall
blackwithevilnorallwhitewithgood.Newelementswearingboththesecolourswill
begintoappear,butthebalancewhichwillbestruckbetweenthemisnoteasily
predictable.Thetremendoustensionwithintheemotionalnatureofhumanity,the
enormouspressuresuggestingapurelymaterialisticreadingoflife,thevastconflictand
disharmonyamongmenthemselves,thewidementalfermentwhichhasmadeserenity
almostimpossiblealltheseconstituteforanappreciablenumberofpeoplethelabour
beduponwhichtheinfantofadivineintuitionisbeingborn.Thisintuitionmaymanifest
itselfindifferentintellectualforms,butitsessenceisalwaysthesame:thatlifehasa
meaningandapurposebeyondthesensuousandtheselfish,thatitisultimatelyspiritual.
49

Youraisethequestionwhetherthepresentworldconditionswillnotresultinaquickened
progressofseekers.Ihardlythinkso.Theywillquickentheprogressofhumanity,as
suffering,impoverishments,uprooting,anddeathswillteachtheoldbutevernewlesson
ofinnerdetachmentthroughtheemotionofbeingtiredofsuchunsatisfyinglife.Butin
thecaseofthefewwhohavealreadybeenstrivingforselfenlightenment,thedisturbed
physicalconditionsandtheundesirableemotionalatmospherewilltendtointerferewith
theirefforts.Theseekers,however,willbeabletoprogressquicklywhenthepresent
upsetscometoanend,asyouwillonedayobserve.
50

Intheindividuallifeitmostlyhappensthatgracedescendsonlyafteraperiodofgreat
suffering.Inhumanity'slifeitisthesame.Onlywhenwarandcriseshaveruntheir
coursewillnewspirituallightbeshedonus.
51

Thekingdomofheavenwillhavetobeestablishedinmen'shearts,foritcanbe
establishednowhereelse.
52

Allattemptstobettertheworldwhichdonotbetterthebasicelementintheworld
situationthehumanentityitselfarenarcoticdrugs,notradicalcures.
53

Ifitisamaterialisticexaggerationtoassertthatsocialimprovementistheonlywayto
individualimprovement,itisnotlessamysticalexaggerationtoassertthatself
improvementistheonlywaytosocialimprovement.Bothmethodsareindeednecessary.
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54

Thepsychologicalforcesatworkinthecrisisandthespirituallawsoflifeitselfmustbe
understoodifthecrisisitselfistobeunderstood.
55

Withoutthatperspectiveofevolutionaryandkarmicmovementwhichthestudyof
philosophybestows,welookinvainforthedeepermeaningofhistorictrends,crises,and
culminations.
56

Everydoctrinewhichdisregardsthishumanneedoffindingarelationshipwithwhatis
beyondthemerelyhumanwillfailtounderstandthepresentworldsituation,andevery
doctrinewhichrepudiatesthisneedwillconsequentlyfailtoofferanyrealhelpindealing
withsuchasituation.
57

Otherforcesareoperatingintheworldcrisiswhicharequitebeyondtheknowledge,
experience,andperceptionofmostpeople.Theyarecertainspiritualforcesofdestiny
andevolution.
58

Theancientattitude,stillmuchaliveintheOrient,ascribedthehorribleresultsoffamine,
thedreadtravelsofpestilence,orthebloodiedcourseofwarfaretothescourginghandof
God.Whereitsawthepresenceofapunishingdeity,themodernseesonlythepresence
ofman'shandiwork.Butphilosophyseesthepresenceandactionofboth.
59

Bothdestinyandmanarebackofthetremendoushappeningsofourtimes.Both
superhumandirectiveandhumanwillareworkingbehindthem.
60

Aphysicalreconstructionwhichisrottenatitsmoralcentre,tryasitmay,cannever
bringmorehappiness.Itwillsucceedonlyinbringingmoremisery.
61

Ourvictoryonthemilitarylevelisagoodauguryforhumanity'svictoryoverthegrave
problemswhichpresentthemselveswiththecomingofpeace.Butjustasthemilitary
victorycameonlyaftercriticalhourswhenweskirtedthevergeofdisaster,soitmay
wellbethattheotherwilltakeasimilarcourse.JustasinWorldWarIIthecollapseof
Francein1940,theblitzoverLondon,theapproachtoMoscow,andthenavaldestruction
atPearlHarborin1941,thecuttingofEngland'ssealifelines,theinvasionofEgypt,and
theconquestsintheFarEastin1942weregravecrisesofgreatdangerthatdidnot
preventoureventualtriumph,sothedifficultiesanddefeatsofpeacearenotlikelyto
preventhumanity'svictorioussolutionofitsworstproblems.Itwillbeafatefulperiod,
butthereisreasontobelievethattheattitudeofdespairisunjustified.Thusthestruggle
againsttheforcesofevil,aggression,violence,hatred,andselfishnessmaybesevere,yet
thereisgoodhopeforeventualtriumphoverthesethings.Butintheend,humanitywill
notbeabletoevadethechallengeofJesus.Thereisnosalvationultimatelyexcept
throughthespiritualway.
62

"InallthatheseeshebeholdsapreacherofGod,"wroteGermanJacobBoehme.Notethe
wordall.Forinthemostrevoltingpersonalcrimesandterribleinternationalorcivilwars,
heseesthenegativeresultsofgodless,orpseudogodly,living.Inthebenign
philanthropiesandtolerantsympathiesofthebenefactorsofthehumanrace,heseesthe
positiveresultsofgodlyliving.
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63

Apretentioussocietywhosemembersarefakesandphoniesdespitetheirwealth,aclosed
worldwheresnobbishnessandinsincerityarerampantinsuchasocietyandsucha
worldthereisnoroomforagenuinespiritualaspirant.
64

Aworldhumiliatedandchastenedbyworldwarmaybemorereadytoreceivetheworld
teacherwhenhecomes.Thatalonewouldbetheappropriatehour.
65

Ifenoughmenandwomenweretotrytobettertheircharactersanddisciplinetheirlives,
wemightexpectanewandbetterworld.Otherwiseweshallhavethesamebadold
world,ifnotaworseone,withnothingnewexceptperhapsitspoliticalandsocialclothes.
Itistruethatclothesinfluencetheman,buttheydonotmakehimwhatevertheproverb
maysay.Ifenoughmenandwomencouldbearousedfromthestuporinducedby
materialism,ifanewreverencecouldbekindledintheirhearts,thentherewouldbe
hope.Foraworldgovernedbyaworkingteamofreasonandreverencecouldquicklybe
madeworthwhile.Ifthetragediesoftwoworldwarsandthedistressesoftwopeace
periodsarenottogoinvain,thehumanracemustloosenitsego'sgrip.Theharderit
clingstoitsoldselfishness,theworseitsinsanitywillbecome.Themadnesswhichdrove
GermanyandJapanontheirselfdestructivecoursewasadirectconsequenceoftheir
rabiddefianceofspirituallaws.Ifthesymbolsofthismadness,theSwastikaorthe
RisingSun,didnotflyineverycapital,thiswasonlybecausetheintuitionofmostother
nationsledthemtorespond,invaryingdegrees,tothenewandhigheridealfatehadset
beforethemandthustokeepsanerthantheother.Ashiftofemphasisawayfrom
excessiveegoismhasbecomeindispensableifhumanityistokeepitsbalance.
66

Theolddoctrineofkarmaisquitecorrectinexplainingpresentdayworldsuffering,but
notallofit.Theexplanationistoocomplicatedandmustbeleftforthefuture.However,
itmaybesaidthattheonelessonhumanityiscompelledtolearnisthatofits
interdependenceandhenceofitsultimateunity.Thesufferingsandunsatisfactory
conditionsofonenationaffectdistantnationsalso.Thesufferingsoftheworldcanbe
removedonlybyremovingtheircause.Butignoranceofthisconditionissowidespread
thatitisasignthattherearepracticallynosagesactiveinthemodernworld.
67

OnTheChristianParadoxbyCyrilScott:Thethemeofthisbookisthatworldconditions
aretheaccumulatedresultoffollowingprinciplesatvariancewiththoseenunciatedbyall
thegreatSagesofthepast,especiallybyChrist.Byrestatingtheesoterictruthswhichthe
churchesdeliberatelysuppressed,heexhibitstheteachingsofChristinanewlight.
68

Notonlyisthewholeworldfacedwitheventualwarbutlargeareasarealready
threatenedwiththecollapseoftheirsocialstructures,thecrashoftheireconomic
systems,thehalfstarvationoftheirpeoples.Thequestforsalvationfromtheseperils
goesonbutonlymomentarypalliativesarefound.Civilizationiswearingagarment
consistingwhollyofpatches.Nothingcansaveitfromprogressivelyfallingtopieces
exceptgettinganewgarment.Nothingcansaveitfromapocalypseexceptbringingtothe
surfacethehiddentruthaboutitself.Noeconomicreform,nopoliticalchangecansave
thehumanracetoday.Thosewhobelieveotherwisehavebeendisillusionedinthepast
andarebeingdisillusionedtoday,eventhoughtheyoftenfailtoseeit.Theonlysalvation
whichwillbeeffectualmustcomefromwithin,mustreformandennoblecharacter.It
mustchangethoughtandrulefeeling,forthenonlywillconductandfatealsochange.
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69

Wemustviewthisepisodeinthewiderperspectiveofphilosophy.Ifwedothiswemay
learnamostimportantlesson.Itwillthenbeseenthatthelawofcompensationtakes
accountnotonlyofsinsofcommissionbutalsosinsofomission.Forwewereinthe
positionofamanwhocouldseefromhiswindowthatahouseholderinadistantstreet
wasbeingattackedandrobbedwithbrutalviolence,amanwhowantedtohelpthevictim
buthesitatedtointerferebecauseheloathedfightsandwantedtoliveapeacefullife.
Thusheswaysbetweentwocontendingemotionsuntiloneortheotherfinallyovercomes
him.Wehadreachedthelatterpartofthisinternalconflictandwouldundoubtedlyhave
yieldedtoherbetterselfandgonetotherescueofendangeredhumanitybeforelong.But
weweremovingalittletooslowly,hesitatingalittletoomuch,andthekarmic
consequenceofthiswastragic.Itwastheterriblepricewhichhadtobepaidfordelayin
doingtherightthing.Otherpeopleshadtopaykarmicallyforthesamemistakebutthey
paidfarmoreheavilybecausetheymadethemistakeintoomanydirectionsandfortoo
longatime.Therewasacleardutyinthisinnerdependentagetohelpactivelyonthe
rightside.Theworlddistressismostlyduetokarma.Butweneedabroader
interpretationofthisword.Manyofusmaybegoodandinnocentbutwehavetosuffer
withallothers,notforwhatwehavedonebutforwhatweleftundone.Todaysorrow
missesnobody.Thisisbecausehumanityiscompletelyinterdependent.Thatisthelesson
wehavetolearnthatweletothersremaininwoeorignoranceatourownperil.Weare
one.
70

Muchofthepollutionproblemonearthandinair,river,andseaisblamedontechnology.
Butthelatter'sexpansionisitselfinpartcausedbysomethingelse:namely,
overpopulation.Andnotonlypollutionbutalsootherevilsderivefromit,suchas
unemployment,violence,riots,foodshortage,andinsufficientincome.Thematterdoes
notstopthere.Towhatisoverpopulationitselfdue?Thefirstanswerisnottheonlyone:
overindulgenceinsexualrelationships,whetherwithinoroutsidemarriage.Thereare
alsosomeothercauses.Intheenditallsumsuptospiritualignorance.
71

InallpartsofAsiauntilrecenttimesthewayoflifeforthemasseswasprescribedfor
thembyauthority,whethertheauthorityofthestateorofthechurch.Theycouldnotbe
keptforeveratthesamelowlevelbuthavetogrowupandtheyhavebeengrowingand
thinking,butonlyataveryjuvenilelevel.Theyhavestillalongwaytogoin
development.Theviolenceanddiscontentandrebellionwhichweseeinallpartsofthe
worldisasymptom,howeverunpleasant,ofthebeginningsofthisgrowth.Weseeitalso
inthedemandsforfreedomfromthosewhoarestilltoouncontrolledtohavefull
freedom,butwhoneedtobegivenalittlefreedomatleastiftheyarenottoberepressed
forever.
72

Whatkindofacivilizationdowehave?Ithasbecometopheavy,lopsided,unbalanced,
andthereforedangeroustothehealthydevelopmentofthehumanrace.Itsintellectual
andtechnicaladvanceisindeedtremendous,butfaith,intuition,andthemoralvirtuesdo
notfindinthisironhardframeworkenoughfreedomfortheiroperation.Indeed,theyare
beingstifled.Suchacourseifcontinuedcanonlyendintheircompletesuffocation.Man
isindangerofbecomingamerelymechanistic,merelyphysical,andmerelyselfish
entity.Thisisnotinaccordwiththehighermeaningofhislife,andsincecivilization
doesnotgivesufficientsignsofitswillingnessorevidenceofitsabilitytocorrectthis
unbalance,sincethevaluableserviceswhichithasrenderedinthepastarecomingtoan
end,Natureisnolongergivingittheprotectionwhichitmightotherwisehavehad
againstthedestructiveforceswithinitself.Betweentheincessantturmoil,theincessant
multiplicationofwants,theincessantphysicalandintellectualactivities,theincessant
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stimulationofemotionaldesire,andtheconstantappealtoegoismbetweenthesethings
andtheinnervoicethatcallsmenbacktothedeeperthingsofspirituallifethereisa
hiddenconflictwhichreallyexistsundertheobviousone.
73

Solongasmandoesnotknowwhattheworldreallyis,hecanhardlybeexpectedto
knowwhatheistalkingabout.Andsolongashiswordlackstruth,solongwillsociety
lackworth.Chaosaboundseverywherebecausenothingelseneedbeexpectedfroma
racewhichknowsmuchaboutmomentaryaffairsandsolittleabouttheReal.Universal
affairsmustfirstbeunderstoodproperlybeforehumanlifecanbemadeworthwhile.
74

Largegroupsinthehumanracearetryingtocontinuetheoldlifeinformsthatbelongto
outgrownstagesoftheirdevelopment.Theeffortisamisdirectedoneandbrings
confusion,strife,orselfinjuryasthepenalty.
75

Althoughallleadersadmittheannihilatorycharacterofnuclearwarandagreeitis
unthinkable,yettheiractionsreflectnineteenthcenturythinking,asifprenuclear
conditionsstillprevail.Withbothsidesspendingmoreandmoreondefenseeveryyear,
thesituationbecomesutterlyillogical.Thepityofitallisthatdespitethesefantastic
expenditureswearenoneareranyrealpeacethanbefore.
76

Asocialdangerwhichshouldbeforeseenandpreparedfor,becauseithinderstheonset
ofabundantliving,istheuncontrolledexpansionofpopulation,moreespeciallyinthe
FarEast.Suchrapidgrowthwillmakethemaintenanceofpeacebetweennationsaharder
task.Itisironicalthatthepoorerclassesshouldalsoandeverywherebetheprolific
classes!Thelessfood,themorebabies!suchseemstobemankind'sstrangemaxim.Itis
stillmoreironicalthattheJapanesecouldhaveclaimedthattheyneededmoreliving
spaceafterhavingencouragedtheirpeopletobethemostprolificinthewholeworld.
Withsimilarlogictheytriedthebanditlikemethodofstealingitbybrutalviolence.Less
brutalityandmorebirthcontrolwouldhavebeenawiserpolicy.Whilethehumanrace
persistentlyoverbreedsitself,itwillcontinuetobreedsomeofthecausesofwar,
unemployment,famine,andepidemics.Withaworldinsuchatragicconditionandsuch
adoubtfulfuture,itishardlyfairtobringmoreandmorechildrenintoit.Bothethicsand
reasonwouldindeedcounselthatwebringfewerandfewerchildrenintoit.Thenotion
thatapeopleshouldbreedprolificallywaswiselyinculcatedbythereligiouslawgivers
ofantiquitywhentheracewasstillinitsinfancyandthelandwassparselyinhabited.But
timeshavechangedandsuchselfmultiplicationhasbecomesenseless.Ifnationswhose
landswhicharealreadyswarmingwithmen,women,andchildreninsistonincreasing
theirnumberinsteadofdecreasingit,whatotherconsequencesmaybeexpectedexcept
morediseaseandmoreconflict?Byreducingthesizeoftheirfamilies,theywillreduce
thediscomfortsandmiseriesofmanyparentsandmorechildren.
77

ThereisnothingwrongorevilinthedevelopmentofPower,thespreadofProsperity,or
thefosteringofEducation.Thewrongcomesinwhenthesethingsarenotutilizedwith
wisdom.
78

Nottorecognizehisobligationtoattendwithinhiscapacitiesandcircumstancestothis
higherpurposeoflifeisacriminalomission.Thatiswhyheisbeingpunishedso
drasticallyinthiscentury.Hemayhavesinnedinthismannertokeephislifesimpler,
lesscomplicatedbyfurtherduties,aswellaseasier,lessburdenedbynewdisciplines.
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Buthehasfailedinobediencetothelawofhisownbeing.
79

Theworldhasfoolishlymadeafetishoforganizationsandinstitutionsbecauseithas
undervaluedtherealityofthought,thepowerofcharacter,andthepotencyoftruth.
80

Whatistheuseofidealisticallyproclaimingtheillusionthattheworldisoneand
indivisiblewheneverywhereweseethatitismanyanddivided?Weshouldbebetter
occupiedinproclaimingthetruth,whichisthathumanity'srealwelfareisoneand
indivisibleandthatreasonandcircumstancesaremovingitinthedirectionofrealizing
thisfact,butthatitisstillatsolowastageofevolutionastobegenerallyunreadyand
oftenunwillingtoresolvecorrectlytheresultingmentalconflictwithinitself.
81

InearliertimesmanhadtoseekandfindprotectionfromNature.Inourowntimeshehas
tofindprotectionfromhimself.Hispowerisnowtoofrightening.
82

ThemisuseofNature,thespreadofmaterialism,andtheupsurgeofnegativeemotion
haveledtoourpresentplight.
83

Theexperienceswhichthehumanracehasgatheredduringthepastfewhundredyears
havesupplementeditsknowledge,enricheditsculture,andimproveditsenvironment.
Buttheyhavedoneallthisataprice.Fortheyhaveincreaseditsintellectualvanity,
impoverisheditsreligiousfeeling,andunbalanceditsvalues.
84

Solongasanycivilizationplaysthehypocritetoitsbestbeliefs,solongastheinnerlife
doesnotmatterwhiletheouterlifecangiveitallthesatisfactionsitseeks,solongmay
onepredictwithfullassurancethatthearcofitshistorywillsoonerorlatertakea
downwardplungeintodisaster.Whythisshouldbesoisnomysteryifoneunderstands
thatGodhassetmanuponthisearthtofulfilandrealizeobscurehigherpurposesaswell
astheobviouslowerones.Manevadesthechallengeonlyattheriskofunwittingly
callingintoexistencedestructiveforcesthatwillterrorizehiscivilizationandfrighten
himintoremembranceofwhatthesehigherpurposesdemandofhim.

Historicalperspectives
85

Thehistoryofanationisreallyatranslationfromthehistoryofitssoul.
86

Historyreturnsperiodicallytothesamebasicproblems,thesamefundamentalcrises.
Whereawholepeoplehasfailedtosolvethem,ortriedtosolvetheminthewrongway,
theyarebroughttogetheragainbyreincarnationandpresentedwithafreshchanceto
makegoodorsufferthesameconsequences.
87

Itisabsurdtotalkofhumanityasthoughitpresentedauniformpsychologicalpattern.On
thecontrary,itpresentsaparticularlyunevenone.Itisindeedaconglomerationofgroups
invariousdegreesofdevelopment.Someareintellectuallyadvancedwhereasothersare
intellectuallybackward.Someareveryneartothenobleinidealswhereasothersarevery
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farfromthem.Allthatcanbesaidabouttheirpsychologicalsituationisthattheforward
movementofevolutionmaybeahaltingandlaggingonebutitisacertainone.
88

Itisafactthatallmenareatdifferentstagesandseelifeindifferentwaysorunder
differentlimitations.Theirexperienceisalwaysrelativetotheirstandpoint.Henceitis
wrongtodeclareanymantobeignorant,forusuallyhedoesknowwhatispropertohis
ownlevel.
89

ThoughIcriticizeourpresentage,donotimagineIwouldenthusiasticallycaretoreturn
toanearlierone.Thefewwhotalkaboutthegoodolddaysarewelcometothem!Those
werethetimeswhenheterodoxmenwhodaredtopublishtheirfreeandindependent
thoughtswererewardedwiththerackandthethumbscrew.
90

InTheSpiritualCrisisofMan,Iputforwardsomeargumentsindefenseofoldernations,
peoples,orraceswhopreferredasimplerlifetothetechnologicalcivilizationofthe
modernworldandespeciallythemodernWesternworld.ThisdidnotmeanasIhope
wasmadeclearinthebookthatwe,too,shouldreverttotheirattitudeandbecome,asit
were,disciplesofMahatmaGandhi.No,Ihavealwaysadvocatedthatwetakewhatis
usefulfromthepast,whatiswiseandpracticableforus,andleavetherest.Inshort,I
spokemorethanonceinfavourofanEastWestcivilization.IagreedwithRenGunon
thatwehadgiventoomuchweighttoautilitariancivilizationandtoolittletothehigher
formsofculture,bywhichImeanphilosophical,mystical,andthebasicfoundationsof
religion.Indeed,Icriticizedtheasceticregimesandasceticismgenerallywhenpushedto
extreme,andpleadedfortheconveniencesandcomfortsbroughtinbymodernideas.But
itistheextremeunbalancedonesidedformsofeitherthesimplelifeorthematerialistic
lifewhichIopposed.Asensiblebalancewhichenablesusorratherhelpsustokeep
mentalandemotionalequilibrium,innercalm,isthedesirablething.
91

Toturnourgazetopasttimesandlookforsimilarsituationsinthemandthentoobserve
whathappenedthereafter,willnotavailustoday.Forsuchasituationhasneverbefore
existed.Itiswithouthistoricalprecedent.
92

Wedonotreincarnateonlytocontinueorfinishlearningthesameoldlessonsmuchless
torepeatthembutalsotostartlearningnewones.Lifeitselfdemandsofusthatthere
shouldbeadefiniteprogressiontoawiderandhigherlevel.Thosewhowantblindlyto
imitateonlywhatpeopledidfivethousandyearsago,showtheirignoranceoflife's
requirement.Thisearthexiststoenablemantoprogressfromlowertohigherlevelsand
fromnarrowertowiderareas.
93

Theplanetaryspiritisacceleratingitsowndevelopmentandthisnecessarilyaccelerates
thedevelopmentofalllivingcreaturesplant,animal,andhumanwhichdwelluponit.
Thisiswhyman'sexperiencecrowdsintoonelifewhatformerlyhecrowdedintoafew,
andwhyworldhistorycrowdsintooneyeartheeventswhichformerlytookseveral
years.Ifthisincreaseintempohasalsoacceleratedhumansufferingbycrowdingitmore
closelytogether,ithasalsoparadoxicallyincreasedhumanpleasures.
94

Theeraofdynamicdemocracyisathand.
95
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Ifyoulookbackoverthetremendouschangewhichhascomeaboutinhumansocietyand
civilizationthroughtheactivitiesofscience,invention,exploration,commerce,
manufacture,andart,youwillfindthattheperiodcoveredisroughlyaboutthreehundred
years.Themovementforreligiousfreedomstartedaboutthesametime,afterathousand
yearsofreligiousstraitjacketuponthehumanmind.Suchfreedombecamenecessaryto
preparethewayforthenextgreatreligiousteacher,andhiscomingwouldbeuselessif
mendidnothaveenoughchancetoseektruthandenoughfreedomtochoosetheirfaith.
96

Wehaveenteredaperiodrarelyseenbefore,aperiodthatcomescyclicallyaboutevery
twothousandyears.Greatchangesaccompanyit,onphysicalandculturallevels:itisalso
anavataricperiod.
97

ItisanolddoctrineamongmostoftheOrientalsandevenamongtheearlyGreeksas
wellastheRomanStoics,thattheworldcomestoanendatcertainlongintervalsofequal
duration.Thisperiodicaldeath,whichisalwaysfollowedbyarebirth,isheldaccountable
forsuchcatastrophesasthesinkingofAtlantisandthedestructionofLemuria.Whenthe
earth'saxislastmoveditsdirectiontotheoneitnowoccupies,bringinganendto
Atlantis,thelengthoftheyearwaschangedinconsequencebyanadditionalfivedays.
Accordingtothisdoctrine,thesegreatchangesintheglobalcrustareduetoadeclination
oftheplaneoftheecliptictotheplaneoftheequatorthatis,toachangeintheangle
whichtheplaneoftheeclipticmakeswiththeplaneoftheequator.Thelargerthisangle
formerlywas,thewarmerwerethepolarregions,sothattherewasonceatimewhen
humanandanimalbeingswerelivingthereinnumbersandincomfort.Astheplanet
movesinitscurvedorbititscosmicallypreordaineddestinymovesonwithit.
98

Ideaswhichbelongtoanagethatispassingawayarethemselvesdoomedtopassaway.
Theybecomebarrenandineffective.Wemusttrytounlearnthem.Evencertainmental
attitudeswhichsuitedpastepochshavenowbecomeretrograde.Emotionalreactions
whichwerecorrectinprimitivepeopleshavenowbecomeimpediments.
99

Theprocessionoffalseprophets,selfstyledMessiahs,andpublicizedChristswhohave
comeandgonesincethelastcenturyhaveservedbuttoaddtothebewildermentand
uncertaintyoftheage.Theconfusionarosesimplybecausetheseekersafteraspiritual
prophethavetriedtofindhiminahumanform,andalsoprematurely.Thetruesaviour
wasthenandisstilltobefoundonlyintheinnersanctumofmen'sownhearts.Christ
thetrueesotericSaviouris,sincethedeathoftheearthlyJesus,noman,butthedivine
selfineveryhumanbeing.Hencemenwholookoutwardsforhim,whetherinsocalled
reincarnations,organizations,orbuildings,lookinvain.Heisnotthere.Noristhereany
otherwaytolookinwardsthanthewayofthemysticquest.Onthesecondcount,that
menareexpectinghimprematurely,itistruethatweareapproachingtheendofanera,
thecloseofalongcycle.Thesignsofthistransitionareeverywherearoundus.Theyare
asvividandpointedastheywerewhenthelastgreateraclosedwithJesus'comingtwo
thousandyearsago.However,thedestinedhourwhenthenextmajorprophetistoappear
amongushasnotyetstruckindeedwillnotstrikeinthiscentury.Certaineventshaveto
happenfirst,eventsinvolvingtremendouschangesinthelifeofearthandman.Not
beforethemiddleofthetwentyfirstcenturywilltheproperconditionsexistforhis
coming.Meanwhile,minorprophetswillappearandareappearing.Humanity,sofarasit
mustseekoutwardsbecauseitisunabletoseekinwards,mayandshoulddrawwhat
comfortandguidanceitcanfromthem.
100
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OnegreaterrorwhichisfoundalikeamongtheChristians,theJews,theMuhammedans,
theBuddhists,andotherreligionistsisthebeliefthatthenextavatarwillappearonlyto
enablethedogmas,hierarchies,andinstitutionsoftheirparticularreligiontotriumphover
allothers.Theavatarisneverexclusivelytheirownbecausehealwayscomestobringa
freshmessageandsownewseeds.Thiswasalwayshistoricallytruebutitismost
emphaticallysotoday,whenhehastospeaktothewholeworld.
101

Wheresomanycreaturesareatearlystagesofdescentintoegoexperienceandego
development,itisfoolishtoexpectthemtorespondtoteachingssuitableforadvanced
stagesalonewheretheneedisforgrowingreleasefromtheego.Thefirstgroup
naturallyandinevitablyhasdifferent,evenopposing,outlooks,trends,ideas,beliefs,
inclinations,anddesiresfromthoseofthesecondone.Itwantstofattentheego,whereas
theotherwantstothinitdown.Tocondemnitaswronglydirectedisignorant,
impractical,andmistaken.Ifthehistoryofmankindhasteemedwithwarandbloodshed
inthepast,partofthecausecanbefoundhere.Butthatsamehistorymovesalsoin
cycles.Westandtodaybetweentwocycles,twoeras,twocultures.Thenextonewillnot
onlybenewitwillalsobebrighterandbetterineveryway.
102

Whiletheracewasstillinfantile,bothintellectuallyandethically,ithadtobeinstructed
inakindergartenmethod.Truthshadtobeexplainedinapicturebookmanner,spiritual
instructiongiventhroughsymbolicplays,throughrites,processions,andceremoniesto
appealtotheshowlovingchildishimagination.Butnowthatithasgrownupinto
adolescenceitisreadyforahigherkindofreligion.
103

Anewreligionwillbeborninthiscenturybecauseitisahistoricalnecessity.Itwillgrow
andthriveattheexpenseoftheolderreligions.Andallindicationspointtothefactthatit
willbebornintheWestandthencespreadtotheEastandoverthewholeworld.
104

Religionwillalwaysremain.Itisonlytheecclesiasticalbondsonuswhichmayhaveto
beloosenedoreventhrownaway.
105

Thepriestwillnotdisappearaltogetherinthenewagebuthisstatusanddutieswillbe
transformed.InthepastheclaimedtobeamediatorbetweenGodandman.Nowhewill
becontentwiththelessambitiousroleofateacherofmen.Inthepastheexercisedpower
inthegovernmentofsociety.Nowhewillbesatisfiedwithdemotiontobeinga
counsellorofsociety.
106

Weofthemodernworldhaveaculturalinheritancewhichtakesinthereligious,artistic,
andintellectualproductsofallhistoricperiodsandallcontinents.Thesanereactionisto
acceptittheinsaneoneistorejectit.
107

Alltheworld'sliteratureisnowbeforeus.Whatmenhavefound,seen,reasoned,what
hasbeenrevealedtomenwhosedifferentlevelsofunderstandingandcharacterstretch
fromtheprimitivetotheprofound,isnowaccessibletoallseekers.
108

Thehumansituationisthefinalresultantofvariousforceswhoseplayandcounterplay
makeitup.Itispackedwithcomplexities.Thedoctrinairewhooversimplifiesitdoesso
atthepriceofimperillingtruth.Letusnotetwooutoftheseveralfactorswhichcontrolit.
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Ifeveryeventweretobecompletelypredeterminedbykarma,therewouldbenothingfor
ustodo.Butifeveryeventweretohappenexactlyaswewilledit,theuniversewould
becomeachaos.
109

Allrulesandinstitutions,habitsandtraditionsshouldbeadjustableiftheyaretoremain
relevanttoactualneeds.
110

Thoughthemodernmoodisimpatientoftheologicaltheorizing,itneverthelessaccepts
theemptiestofalltheoriesthatMatteristhebeallandendalloflifeanditindulgesin
themostsuperficialofallspeculationsthatwhichputstheworldoftheSkinfarabove
theworldoftheSpirit.Asaresult,wewitnessEuropeandAmericahangingthenamesof
theirpoliticianshighintheheavenofemulation,butthrustingtheirmysticsbehindthe
hedgeofcontempt.
111

Notuntilthemodernerawerethosewhowantedfreedomfromtraditionabletoseekitso
freelyandfinditsoeasily.
112

Ifmenwillnotbreakawayfromwhatisbadintheirpastas,forinstance,thefear,
suspicion,anddistrustwhichdevelopbetweentworacesortwonationsthroughtheir
historicrelationshipthenNature(thatis,God,Life,callitasyoulike)willdoitforthem
forciblyandviolentlythroughnaturaldisasters(suchasearthquakes,floods,climatic
extremes,drought)orthroughmerelypresentingthemwiththefruitsoftheirown
thinkingcrystallizedonthephysicallevelthatis,withtheirkarmaintheformofwar,
revolution,andsoon.
113

Progressseemstocarrybothgoodandevilalongwithit.Ifphilanthropynowtakesmore
numerousandthoughtfulforms,sodoescrime.
114

Thepresentrevivalofchurchgoingreligionhasitsparallelinthethirteenthcentury'svast
increaseofworldrenouncingEuropeanmonasticismonaccountoftheendoftheworld
beingthenexpected.Thesamethreateningsituationexistedinthefifthandsixth
centuries,whenthousandsuponthousandsjoinedthemonkishranksforthesamereason.
115

Abrahamwastoldthatifonlytengoodmencouldbefound,thecivilizationofSodom
andGomorrahwouldbesavedfromdestruction.Thisword"good"mustbeinterpreted
arightifthepromiseistohaveanyrealmeaning.Foronlymeninwhomthehigher
spiritualnaturewassufficientlyactiveanddominanttoattractsupernormalforcescould
bringaboutsucharesult.
116

Solongasanationdoesnotaccepttheguidanceofinspiredorintuitiveindividuals,so
longwillitshistoryrepeattheageoldblunders.
117

Itismoreusefultofollowthehistoryofideasthanthatofpersons.
118

Somecynichassaidthatwelearnfromhistorythatwelearnnothingfromhistory.Thisis
becauseourcynicalfriend'sknowledgeofhumanhistoryistooshort.Thefewthousand
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yearsaboutwhichourscholarscantalkwhataretheyincomparisonwiththemillionsof
yearsduringwhichmanhasplayedhislittlegameonthisplanet?
119

History'sfirsttaskwillbetogetagroupofsuperiormenwhoaredependableenoughto
carryouttheseaimsfaithfullyandwhoaredisinterestedenoughtocarrythemout
selflessly.Itisfromsuchagroupthattheremustariseeducatorsoffuturegenerations.
120

Thereisaridiculousnotionamongsomemysticalcirclesthatnewspiritualfacultiesare
beingunfoldedinourtime.Thetruthisthattherewas,proportionatetototalpopulation,a
largernumberofspirituallyperceptivepersonsinancienttimesandeveninmedieval
times,thanthereistoday.Thiswasinevitablebecauseexternalconditionsweresimpler
andlessfilledwithallurementsandentanglements,andbecauseintellectualdevelopment
wasinharmonywithandnot,aswithus,awayfromtheinnerlife.What,however,might
bestatedwithverifiabletruthaboutourowntimesisthatanewkindofmentalityisbeing
evolved.Weshallsynthesizeandharmonizethescientific,themetaphysical,the
religious,themystical,andthepracticalwithoutfallingback,astheancientsdid,into
monasticismandasceticism.
121

Formerlyitwasrightandproperformantothinkexactlyashisancestorsthought.Today
itisrightandproperforhimtothinkindependently,asanindividual.
122

Wemustbecarefulnottoconfuseinevitabledevelopmentswithevolutionary
developments,eventsthatjusthavetobewitheventsthatbettertheprecedingones.
123

Atrendofworldhistorymaybepowerfulandtriumphant.Itsconsequencesmaybe
undesirableyetseeminevitable.ButthisdoesnotmeanthattheymustbeGod'swillin
anyothersensethanakarmicone.
124

TheGreekstatessawthevalueofarbitrationnotlessthantheWorldUnion,andprovided
foritintheirtreaties.Yetitfailedtokeepthepeacebetweenthemandbrokedownasa
meansofkeepingoutwar.Thetroublethenwaspreciselythesameasthetroubletoday.
Itwasnotindefectivearrangementsbutindefectivecharacter.Itwasmoral.
125

Thosewho,likeRenGunon,nostalgicallyadvocateareturnto"tradition"usuallymean
areturntothesocialculturalandreligiouslifeoftheMiddleAges.Theydonotseethat
suchareturncouldonlybepossiblebyincludingtheobsoleteeconomicenvironmentof
theMiddleAgesalso.Consequentlyitwouldmeanthereappearanceofsuchsocialrelics
asfeudallordsandfeudalserfs,thedisappearanceofmachinesandtheelectric
powerhouse,thereversiontoanagriculturalandpastoralactivity,theuseofsimple
methodsofproductionandprimitivemethodsofexchange.Muchthesamediagnosisand
remedyasRenGunon'swereputforthbyT.S.Eliotintheworldofpoetry,butwith
moresuccessandwiththeemphasisonmysticalreligionratherthanonmetaphysics.
Eliotdeploredthechaoticplightandsinfulconditionofmodernsociety,theexaggerated
individualismofmodernliterature.Hedemandedareturntotradition,arecoveryofthe
senseofhistoryandcommunity,asubmissiontotheChurchincultureandmorality.
Grantedthattheunsatisfactoryspiritualconditionsoftodaypointtothenecessityof
movingoutofthem,buttheGunonsandEliotsseektoescapethembymoving
backwards.Thewiseronesseektoovercomethembymovingforward.Thefirstgroup
findcomfortinadecayedpastbecausetheylackvisiontoenteranunknownfuture.The
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secondgroupacceptsthedutyofhardpioneeringandlabourstocreateanewandbetter
kindoflifeforhumanity.
126

Ifitbeasked,asIamoftenasked,howitisthattheJapanese,aprofessedlyBuddhistic
people,couldhavetakentosuchunBuddhisticways,itmustberepliedfirst,thatall
institutionalizedreligionsarenowadayslargelyrenderedethicallyineffectivebecause
theyhavebecomemattersmoreofsocialconveniencethanofpersonalconviction,and
second,thatafterthegreathistoricalrevolutionof1868,whentheentirefeudalsystemof
governmentwasabandoned,Buddhismalsowaslargelyabandonedwithit.Thenew
governmentdisestablisheditasastatereligion,tookpossessionofthousandsofBuddhist
temples,strippedthemoftheirBuddhaimages,andturnedouttheirpriests.Thus
Buddhism,areligionofearthlyrenunciation,wasdiscarded.Areligionofearthly
aggrandizement,combiningfeudalisticShintoMikadoworshipwithafeverish
industrialisticambition,replacedit.Withthisdeathblow,theseedsofpotentialspiritual
greatnesswerecastoutandreplacedbythedryrotofamaterialisticambition.Withit
waslosttheopportunityofbecomingthetorchbearerofanewanddynamicreformfor
thebackwardcountriesofAsia.ThiswasbecauseJapan,ofalltheOrientalnationsofthat
time,wastheonlyonewiseenoughinheruniquereligiousvisiontotaketheserenityand
mindcontrolgainedininwardcontemplationandexpressitintheoutwardversionof
inspiredaction.TheJapanesewereprovidedwiththisstrikingopportunityduringthe
nineteenthcenturytorejuvenatethevastcontinentofAsiaintherightwayandthus
becomeitsrecognizedleader.Thiswouldhavepreparedthewayfortheintroductionof
thatnewEastWestspiritualmaterialcivilizationofwhichthewholeworldis
unconsciouslyorhalfconsciouslyindesperateneed.Hadtheyliveduptothis
opportunityJapanwouldquiteproperlyhaveearnedourprofoundrespectandall
mankind'sgratitude.Butunhappilyforthemselvesandunfortunatelyforus,theJapanese
losttheirmoralandmentalbalanceinthevastturnoverwhichtheycarriedoutand
becamethevotariesofsordidmaterialismandruthlessmilitarisminstead.Thepurifying
firesofselfearnedsufferingbecametheirlotforfailuretograspthisgrandopportunity
andaccomplishatrulydivinemission.Priortothetransformationofwhichwespeak,the
ancientJapaneseconceptionoflifepossessedavirilityallitsown.Itwasinfusedintothe
BuddhisticwisdomwhichtheyabsorbedfromIndiabywayofKorea,becausethe
negativequietism,tranceseekingyoga,andsepulchralasceticismofIndiadidnotsuffice
tosatisfythemasacompletegoal.Theyusedthesethings,therefore,andrefusedtolet
themselvesbeusedbythem.Theybroughtthestudyoftruthandthepracticeof
meditationintorelationwiththeneedofpracticallifeandsocialexistence,whichmeant
thattheybroughtthesetreasuredgemsacrossthewallsofcloisterswithinwhichtheyhad
previouslybeenconfinedintothewiderworld.Withthem,penetrationintothedeeper
significanceofhumanlifeceasedtobeapreoccupationforlethargicmonkswholacked
theopportunitiestoputtheirlearningintopractice,andbecametheinspirationofactive
menengagedintheworkandturmoilofearthlyexistence.Theyturnedametaphysic
whichusuallyendedinlogicalabstractionsintoagospelwhichendedininspiredactions.
Theymadebodilyexperience,rationalthought,andaestheticemotioncombineto
proclaimtruthwithunitedvoice.ThiswasthegospelofZen,asitwascalled.Butalas!
wespeakhereofoldJapan,ofthelandwhichhadnotyetbeenopenedtotheWestand
notyetbeendazzledbyitsindustrialprosperityandmaterialachievements,alandwhich
hasvanishedandnowexistsnolonger.
127

Inaworldwherenogreateventhappensbychance,whereeventhetiniestseedsprouts
underanallgoverninglaw,thedestructionofawholecontinentsuchasAtlantisisfullof
significanceforhumanity.ItmeansthatNature,whichisbutanothernameforGod,
couldnotproceedfartherwithitsevolutionarypurposefortheinhabitantsofthat
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continentwithoutafreshstart,withoutacleanbreakfromoldwayswhichhadexhausted
themselves.
128

Ifyouwishtostudyhistoryproperly,youshouldfirststudyhumannature,ofwhichitis
partlyareflection.
129

Historybringsmanychangesinthecourseoftime,manynewdevelopments,many
displacementsofsettledpersonsandacomingtothefrontoffreshones.Thesame
happensinstructures,organizations,geographicalsituations,andevenclimaticones.We
mustbewareofmakingcustomhabitorconventiontoorigidathing.Forifthisepoch
particularlyshowsanythingatallitshowsthattheworldmoveson,thatchangenever
ends.
130

Itistheprinciplethatismoreimportant,nottheevent.Forthelatterpasses,theformer
remains.
131

Iliketoreckontimeasawisehistoryreckonsit,notbythemeaninglesscountingof
calendaredyears.Ilookfortheriseandfallofcivilizations,forthebirthanddeathof
races,andaboveallforthegrandmanifestationsofHimalayanmen.
132

NietzscheputEmerson'sideainanotherway.Hewrotethatawholenationisadetourto
createadozengreatmen.
133

Suchbeingtheactualityofpresentconditions,theopeningofanewchannelbetween
finitemanandhisinfinitesourcehasbecomeessential.Thismeansthatanewreligion
mustbeborn.Thewaranditsaftermathhavecreatedconditionssuitabletothe
establishmentofanewfaith.Therefore,ifitbetruethatasuddenandwidespreadrevival
oftheoldconventionaldogmaticbeliefsafterthewarisunlikely,becauseorthodox
religioninitspresentfamiliarformshaslosttheinspirationandpuritynecessarytomake
iteffective,itisequallytruethatwiththecomingofpeacetherewillbemorepeople
readyforanewreligiousrevelationthantherehavebeenatanytimeduringthepast
hundredyears.
Theintellectualandspiritualrequirementsofoneepocharehistoricallydifferentfrom
thoseofothers.Humansocietychanges,evolvesordegenerates:itcannotstandstillfor
long.Hence,itfindsforitselfineveryepocheitheramodification,alteration,and
adaptationoftraditionalsystems,orifitissufficientlycreativeatthetimegivesbirthto
entirelynewsystemsaltogether.Thetruthofthisstatementhasbeenattestedtobyevery
ageofmankindandoneverycontinentfromillfatedAtlantistothrivingAmerica.To
hold,astherepresentativesofvestedinterestsandorthodoxinstitutionsusuallyhold,that
aparticularsystemissuitedtoalltheneedsofallhumanityforalltimeandtherefore
cannotbereplacedorshouldnotbereplacedbyanothersystem,istowriteafullstopto
humanevolution.Itisasenselessview,ashistoricallyunjustifiedasitisphilosophically
untenable.Norevelationisorcanbethelastone,northeexhaustiveone.Nowthatwe
liveinatimewhensomanyoftheoldsystemshaveexhaustedtheirbestpossibilitiesand
failtomeetournewerneeds,thosewhohaveturnedasidefromthemyetareunwillingto
remainspirituallyunnourishedshouldnotbeblamediftheyarewillingtoenlistas
followersofamorevital,moretimely,andmoresatisfyingfaith.
Adivineman,borntofulfilalargeandspecialreligiousmission,amanlikethefounders
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oftheworldfamedreligions,notonlyhasthiseducationaltaskbuthealsorevealsthe
Karmicwillandexpoundstheevolutionarystandardssetforthecomingage.
Allcivilizedsocietiesandallculturalformsofthepasthaveshownthattheyare
inexorablysubjecttoarhythmofbirth,growth,anddecay.Theyhavetheirardent
springtime,theirluxuriantsummer,theircoldautumn,theirwitheredwinter.Today,we
witnessthesamestormsofdestructiveeventsandthesnowsofmiserablefailure.Those
whoarenottootimidtofacetheunpalatabletruthknowthatthishasonlyonemeaning.
Weareattheendofanepoch.Theoldworldisdyingbeforeoureyes.Butdeathisonlya
transitionthejoyousspringtimeofvitalrenewalalwaysfollowsthefreezingwintertime
ofoutlivedforms.Anewepochisindeedathand,withfreshideastoleadusandfresh
idealstosustainus.Onlythementallyblindnowfailtoanticipateit.
Itwasanewcometwhichcametowarnmankindthattheolderawasabouttobe
liquidatedanditwasanothercometwhichcametonotifythemthatthenewerahad
begun.Thiswasnomoreacoincidencetothosewhounderstandthehiddenworkingsof
NaturethanwasthefactthatallthethreeleadingAxispowersGermany,Italy,and
Japanstartedtheirnationalisticcareersinthesameyear:1871.Thefirstharbinger
appearedintheskiesintheautumnof1929.Whenthegreateconomicblizzardhit
Americaandthencespreadtothewholeworld,itforcedmillionstorealizethattheold
orderwasexhausted.Everycountrywasaffectedbyeconomictroubleswithalltheir
political,social,andculturalconsequences.Noneescaped.Eachreactedinitsownway.
Japan'sreactionwasshortlytoplungedesperatelyintointernationalrobberybyinvading
Manchuria.Ifwiththefactsnowatourcommandwethinkback,weshallrealizethatthe
SecondWorldWarreallystartedin1931withthisinvasion.Forthelineofcontinuous
fightingagainstJapaninChinadowntothetimeofAmerica'sinvolvementafterPearl
Harborwasparalleledforthreeyearsontheothersideoftheworldbythecivilwarin
Spain,wherenotonlytheSpaniardsthemselvesbutalsoNaziGermansandFascist
ItaliansbattledagainstRedRussians.
Thus,theearliercometindeedprognosticatedthecomingworldwar,andthesecond
comet,whichshoweditselftowardstheendof1942,heraldeditsclosing.Themilitary
turningpointoftheworldwarwascoincidentwithitsappearance.Forthegreatseriesof
democraticnations'militaryvictoriesbeganaboutthistime.Butthesecondcomet's
specialassociationwastoactastheharbingerofanewage.Thesevictoriesnotonly
broughtabouttheexternalliberationofmillionsofpeoplefrommilitaristicoppression,
butwerethepreludetotheentireliberationofallmankindfromeveryformofsocialand
culturaloppressionbythepast.Thenewagecouldnotfail,therefore,tobeanew
religiousagealso.Thusthenewuniversalspiritualenlightenmentwasdatedbythe
secondcomet.Whoeverperceivesthiscannotbutbelievethatwhentheneedissogreat,
theyearningsowidespread,theurgencysosharp,thedivinewisdomwhichholdsthis
earthwithinitsgraspwillnotfailtoinspirethemostevolvedhumanbeingavailablewith
auniversalMessianicmissionofuplift,instruction,healing,andawakening.Andnobody
lessthansuchanaugustbeingcouldundertaketheresponsibilityofsotremendousatask,
whichwillspecificallybedirectedtowardsthemasses,towardsmillionsofpeople.
Nothingtrulygreatcanbedonewithoutgreatmen.
Theremustbeavisiblefocusamongus,evenfortheboldestofideas.Theremustbea
greatleader.Thespectacleconfrontingustodayisthespectacleofaplanetthatis
spirituallyleaderless.Wearetold,"Thehourproducestheman."Thehourishere,we
believe,butwelookaroundandseenoMan.Spiritualityiswaitingtofinditsvoice.Its
realityishere,butitsspokesmanisnot.Everyhalfbakedcultandwornoutcreed
possessesitsambassador,buttheineffabledivinityremainsunvoiced.Nevertheless,we
waitpatientlyforthatonetocomewhoshallutteranewtheChristmessagetomankind.
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Andhisvoicewillnotbeasyoursandmine,butwillbearegenerativeforcewhichwill
startlethesleepingworld.Theworldisinupheavalforadeeperreasonthanitsuspects.
Foratatimeofreligiouschaosandpopularbewilderment,ofworldagonyandhuman
distress,suchasthepresent,hiscomingisinperfectconsonancewiththefactthat
supremeintelligencerulesthecosmos,thattruthshallbeuncoveredoncemoreforthe
sakeofthosewhoneedit.However,itisnotthroughanyoneprophetalonethatthenew
dawnwillbeusheredinbutthroughaplanetaryoutpouring,whichflowsthroughevery
usefulchannelitcanfind.Inthiscomplexepoch,itsmanifestationsareascomplexand
variedasaretheneedsofmankind.Therewillbedifferentprophetsbearingdifferent
messagestodifferentlydeliveredgroupsofpeople,butallwillbeinspiredbyoneandthe
sametimelypower.
Thehumanracehaslongbeenpreparingformanhood.Theendofwarmarksitscrossing
ofthethreshold.Nowitmustexercisemanhood.
134

Iftheprogressivecharacterofthereincarnationalchainbetrue,thenwemustgrantthat
therearemenhalfinandhalfoutoftheanimalkingdom.Theyareclankingremindersof
allthatstillhastobedonestillbeforeadeepspiritualawarenessofitsbestselfbecomes
naturaltothehumanrace.
135

Intheolddaysbarbarianscamedowntocivilizedcitiesonfootorhorse.Todaytheystill
come,butinmachines.
136

Wemodernshavediscoveredhowtoreleaseatomicenergy.Theancientsalwaysknew,
asthemysticsstillknow,howtoreleasespiritualenergy.Historywillshowthosewho
cannototherwiselearn,whichdiscoveryismoreimportantandmostbeneficialto
mankind.
137

TheMiddleAgesofEuropeproducedmanymoresaintsthanthemodernepochhasbeen
abletoproduce.
138

Thosewhorefusetoturnthemindtowardsthecentreofharmonywithinthemselvesdo
sobecausetheirexperienceofwhatiswithoutisnotfullenoughnorreflectiveenough.
139

LaoTzulamentedthefallfromsimplelivingintoextravaganceandluxuryduringthe
periodfromprimitiveChinesehistoryuntilthehighlycivilizedChinaofhisowndays.
JuvenalcriticizedthesamedeteriorationamonghisfellowRomans.Doesthisnot
illustratetwothings:first,theinventivenessofthehumanmind,andsecond,thedesires
ofhumannature?Theseareinnate,andwilllastaslongashistoryitself.
140

Itissomewhatironictowritethatwhatweregardasmedieval,sofaroffintimeastobe
amuseumpiece,wasregardedbyitsowncontemporariesasquiteuptodate,thevery
latestinthoughtandfashion!Erasmus,writingin1514aboutthevariousearlyChurch
Fathers'Greeksermons,commented,"Ambroseisnotaltogetherappropriatetomodern
times"!
141

Thelongingforthetriumphofgoodnessinworldhistoryisinmosthearts.Wemay
translatethisaswewish.
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142

TheOrientalmysticisindifferenttoworldhistorybecauseheisindifferenttotime.
143

Itisdoubtfulhowfarwehaveprogressed,andevenwhetherwehaveprogressed,inthe
artofliving,despiteallourscienceandknowledge.Wehaveonlytorememberthose
GreekcolonistsinItalywhobanishedallnoisesfromtheircitytoraisethisquestion.
144

Historytrapstheindividualinitsimplacablemovement.
145

Thereareoccasionswhenthecorruptionofsocietyissohigh,itsvaluessolow,thatthe
prophetmustmakeastandandchallengeit.
146

Ancientcataclysmshaveburiedwholecontinents,engulfedentireraces,andhiddenthe
evilhorrorsofman'sownmaking.
147

Theprogressionofhumanintellectisattendedbytheregressionofhumancharacter.
148

Itwasnotpossibleforearliergenerationstocrowdsomuchexperienceintososhorta
periodoftime,somuchcompulsorythinkingabouteventsintosomanyevents
themselves.Thosealivetodayhavethechancetomakemorequicklyaforwardmovein
spiritualgrowth,tolearncertainlessonsinwhichtheyhavebeenlaggards,butwhich
Natureisdeterminedtoenforce.
149

Hereandtheredoorsarebeingopenedthroughwhichthelightneededbyourdarkened
timesisbeginningtoflowin.
150

Consideringtheworld'snatureandman'scharacter,therehasnotyetbeenandthereisno
likelihoodofeverbeingaHeavenonthisearth.Butmuchcanandwillbedoneto
improvetheoneandexalttheother.
151

Ashelaydying,H.G.Wellsdiscardedhisbeliefintheinevitabilityofprogressandeven
feltthateverythingmightend.
152

Historyisbotharecordandaconfirmationofthetransienceofmen,oftheimmutability
oftheircivilizationsandtheevanescenceofalltheirothercreations.Ifthereisanymoral
tobedrawnattheendofeveryhistorybook,itmustsurelybetheoldLatinone,"Thus
passesthegloryoftheworld."
153

Themasteryofphilosophyincreasesthecapacitytointerprethistorycorrectly.
154

Becausethesocialstrataweretoorigidlyorganized,becausetheydidnotpermitthe
upwardpassageofworthyorgiftedindividuals,theyprovokedresentmentand,inthe
end,rebellion.Democracybecamethekarmaofaristocracy.
155
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Inthisdemocraticagewepreachequalitybutcontinuetopractise,ifandwhenwecan,
thecontrary.Wecanhardlydootherwise.Socialdistinctionsappearbecausethereare
differencesofeconomicbackground,ofupbringingandwaysoflife,becauserefinement
doesnoteasilymixwithvulgarity.Ifeachistheendproductofaseriesofreincarnations,
thedifferencesinnatureandexperiencearecertaintoshowthemselves,givingriseto
socialdifferences.Butthisisnoexcuseforexploitationandsnobbishnessinthemore
fortunatelevelsofsociety,orforrancourandclasshatredinthelessfortunateones.
156

Thehierarchicalmarksofclasspatterns,thedifferencesofcastequality,thecontrasting
gradesofstatus,prestige,culture,value,andrefinementareblurredtoday,mixedup.
157

Thephilosophicalgroupmayhavewisdomandcharacterbutdespitethistheyareasmall
factorinsuchalargesituation,beinghopelesslyoutnumberedbyalltheothers.
158

Thephilosophicmindsaresoheavilyoutnumberedthattheworld'sfateisdecidedbythe
others.
159

Thesagekingsassumedtheprerogativeoftheirofficenotbyhereditybutbyinnerworth.
Theywerekingsofthemindbeforetheybecamekingsofmen.
160

NeitherhistoriansintheNearEastnorwritersintheRomanEmpireshowedtheslightest
recognitionofthecomingpowerandeventualsignificanceofChristianityduringitsfirst
centuryoflife.Isthisanastonishingfact?
161

TheRomanlegionsfoughttheirwayacrossEuropenotmerelytoaggrandizethepower
andwealthofacityontheTiberRiver,butunwittinglytolayapaththroughwhichthe
messageofJesusmightspread.
162

Thenewreligionshouldspeaktothemasseswithmoreclearnessandmorecommon
sensethantheexistingones.
163

Whenweconsiderthattwodiscoveriesalone,electricityandthepetrolengine,have
shapedentirelynewenvironmentsforthehumanbeing,wemaywellmarvelatthekind
ofworldinwhichmankindwillliveahundredyearsfromnow.
164

Theseideasarebecomingvividinthemindsofsomanypersonsnotbecauseofthe
activityofonemanbutbecauseevolutionaryforcesfromwithinandenvironmentalones
fromwithouthavepreparedanddevelopedthesepersonstoreceiveandappreciatethem.
Hadthismanneverlived,theywouldstillhavebeenreceivedandappreciated.
Neverthelessitisalsotruethatsuchamanbringsthemovementtoaclearheadand
providesitwithanimpulsionalongadefiniteroadwhichhecutsforit.
165

Theadventofaneweraisnowinevitablebuttheadventofabetteroneisnot.
166

Thisdreadofhumanity'sfuturespiritualdestiny,thisfearthatwithoutapowerful
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religiousrecallitisdoomed,thisbeliefthatalameexternalactivityisneededtobring
aboutsuchrecall,thisdesiretosethumanityonaquestbeyonditsownwishand
strengththisisunfaithandunwisdom.
167

Inallthehistoryofmanwasthereeveraperiodlikethis?Yet,althoughmanhaschanged
himselfandhisenvironmentineveryway,hehasfailedtochangeinthemostimportant
waysmorallyandspiritually.Whohasthehardihoodtodeclareinthefaceofthe
bestialityandcrueltywhichhaveappearedduringthisgenerationthatthereislessevil
abroadintheworldnowthanformerly?Andwhohastheequalhardihoodtodeclarein
thefaceofthereligious,mystical,andphilosophictestamentinwritingwhichhascome
downwiththecenturiesthatwehavemoreintuitiveknowledgeoftheeternaltruths,
morepersonalcommunionwiththespiritualself,thanthemenofantiquity?
168

UnfortunatelythelandwhichproducedagreatpsychologistlikeWilliamJamesanda
grandmysticlikeRalphWaldoEmersonseemstohaveexhausteditsresourceswith
them.Itsmaterialismhasstemmedfromtheearlyneedsofthenation,theinexorable
necessityoffirmlyestablishingaphysicalcivilizationbeforeaculturalonecouldbe
established,thegatheringtogetherofambitious,optimistic,energetic,determined,and
enterprisingmenandwomenfromtheOldWorld.Therearerepulsivefeaturesinits
culturestill,andgraveproblemstobesolved.
169

Thehumanracehasevolvedtoapointwhereitsconditionofreceptivitytothese
teachingsismorefavourablethanatanyprevioustime.
170

Newviewpointsdevelopamonghumanityasitpassesthroughdifferenthistoricalphases.
Sometimestheyaremerelyrevisions,developments,orimprovementsontheold
viewpoints,butsometimestheyarereallyfreshandnotablydifferentfromtheoldones.
Whenwecomparetheearliermentalconditionofmankindwiththatwhichprevails
today,weareimmediatelystruckbytheenormousincreaseintheopportunitiesofthe
massesforeducationandenlightenment,togetherwiththeadvanceinknowledgeof
everykind.Theresultisseeninthechangedoutlookuponseveraldepartmentsoflife,the
widenedviewswhichhavecometous.Thecontrastbetweenhumanlifeoftodayand
humanlifeofasinglecenturyagoisvastandstartling.Inclothes,food,fuel,light,
homes,cities,andsocialconditionsontheexternalsideinliteracy,journals,books,art,
entertainment,discussion,standards,andintellectualdevelopmentontheinternalside,we
seethataneraoffermenthasreallycomeuponus.Newideasinreligionsofanadvanced
andidealisticcharacterwhich,agenerationago,werefurtivelydiscussedonlybyamere
handfulofpeoplearenowfreelyandwidelydiscussed.
171

Itisnotthefuneralofcivilizationthatwearewitnessingbutthefuneralofanoutstanding
phaseofcivilization.
172

Thebeliefthatthehumanraceisimprovingrequirescarefuldefinitionand
particularizing,foritiscertainlyretrogressinginsomewayseventhoughitisimproving
inothers.
173

Beforewecanproperlyunderstandthiswehavefirsttounderstandafragmentofatheory
whichwasheldbytheancientsthroughouttheworld.Thisisthetheorythathistory
movesinrhythmiccyclesofalternatinglifeanddeath.Thistheorylikensevolutiontothe
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courserunbyanewseedasitgrowsintoatreeandyieldsfruit:itshedsitsleavesand
becomesbarreninwinter,butinthespringnewgreenbudsappearandthesamecourseis
runonceagain.AccordingtotheclassicChinesewisdom,everyempireandevery
civilizationpassesthroughthevaryingsituationsofaperiodiccyclewhoseturningbegins
withpeaceandunification,passestoprosperityandculture,moveswithincreasingageto
declineanddegeneration,andendsfinallyindisorderanddisruption.Thus,thesame
wheelwhichliftedRometotheheightofherpowerandsetherarmedlegionsincontrol
ofEurope,NorthAfrica,andtheNearEastdroppedher,onitsdescendingarc,prostrate
atthefeetofHuns,Goths,andVandals.Therhythmicreturntowhichthisdoctrinerefers
doesnotmeanthatepochsoccuragainexactlyasbeforeforthenexistencewouldbe
meaninglessandevolutionafigment.Itmeansthattheyoccurinasimilaryetmore
evolvedwaythanbefore,asthetwistsofaspiralcoverthesametwodimensionsof
breadthanddepthagainbutrisetoanewthirddimensionofheight.Karmahastofindthe
bestavailablehumaninstruments,howeverimperfecttheybe,tocarryoutitswill.
Removethesemenandyouareleftwithsteamhissingaimlesslyintospace,whereasthey
arelikethepistonofanenginewhichconcentratesandappliesit.ThusAlaric,Chiefof
theGoths,toldamonkthathefeltasecretandsupernaturalimpulsewhichimpelledhis
marchtothegatesofRome.Accordingly,hedescendedontheRomanprovinceswhen
thefourthcenturyhadalmostclosed,andmovedintriumphuntilhisfirebrandslitthe
proudpalacesofImperialRome."ThismaybeconsideredasthefalloftheRoman
Empire,"istheverdictofGibbonuponAlaric'sachievements.Itisatthebehestofkarma
thattheseAlarics,whateversuchmenmaythemselvessuperstitiouslybelieve,have
arisentoencouragemankind.Lenin,withallhisdistortedintellectualgreatness,could
onlyspendhispowersimpotentlyinSwitzerland,unabletoliftalittlefingertoeffectthe
revolutionhecraved.Hecoulddonothinguntildestinysteppedinandpermittedhim.
174

ThatprehistoriccataclysmthesinkingofAtlantisandtheswallowingofitsmillionsof
inhabitantsaffectedthehumanracepsychicallyandmentally.
175

Weliveinawordculturewheremeaningdoesnotsinkdeepenoughtogiveinner
experiencebutremainsshallowandfugitive.
176

Wehaveonlytoprobethetruthoutofhistoryafeatwhichrequiresalmostphilosophic
impersonalityandimpartialityandresearchtofindthatstupiditytoooftenmasquerades
aspatriotismorreligionorsomeotherunquestionedtraditionormodernbelief.
177

Wecomplainaboutthedisorderlyconditionsprevailingtoday.Wedonotrealizethat
theywouldbeconsiderablyworseifthewise,thesaintly,theinspired,andtheprophetic
hadnotlivedamongus.Inthiscontext,wemayrememberthewordsofaChinese,Mo
Tzu:"Togivepeacetotheworldisafunctionofthesages."
178

Itwouldbemorecorrecttotalkofhistoricalmovementratherthanhistoricalprogress.
179

Themovementhasalwaysbeenslow,oftenerratic,withmanyrelapsesandmuch
hesitancebuttakenasawholeithasneverthelessbeenaforwardone.
180

Theoldwayofevolutionledthroughablindselfinterest.Thenewwaywillleadthrough
anenlightenedselfinterest.Thereisavastdifferencebetweenthetwo.
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Newerainevolution
181

Allthisunrest,disturbance,andviolencewhichisgoingonintheworldisasymptomof
discontentwiththekindoflifeintowhichmaterialismhasprecipitatedsomanymembers
ofthehumanrace.Itisalsoasymbolofthesettlingofkarmicaccountswhichhappens
duringthetransitionperiodinhistoryfromonezodiacalsigntothenext.
182

Itistruethatthedestruction,violence,andupheavalwhichhavemarkedthelasthalf
centuryaresignsoftheliquidationoftheoldera.Thismaybepainfulbutatthesame
timeheraldsandoverlapstheriseofanewera,theAquarianage.
183

WiththeappearanceoftheatomicageitisnotonlytheChristianerawhichiscomingto
anend,butalsothatoftheHinduandalltheothersaswell.
184

Theworldcrisiswillnotcometoanendforsomeyears.Thewholereligiousoutlook,as
wellastheculturalandinstitutionalorderofmoderncivilization,willbechangedduring
thiscentury.Onlyafterthesechangeswillthenewspiritualforcesbecomemanifested.
185

ItisnothoweverthemechanisticnightmarewhichMarxdreamedof,northediabolicone
whichHitlerpatterned,norisitgoingtoconformintheendtoeither.Boththesemen
weretoolopsidedandtoodevoidofphilosophicalperspectivetocomprehendtheproper
significanceofthemightyuniversalchangewhosecomingtheysawandsensedbut
whosemeaningtheygrotesquelymisinterpreted.
186

Mankind'sspiritualforcescouldnotbegenuinelymobilizedundertheoldorder,which
wasmortgagedtoantiquatedtheoriesandwhichcouldnotstruggleonindefinitelyunder
suchaburdensomeload.
187

Asweapproachthecloseofthisepoch,thetempoincreases,thechaosspreads,the
egotismwaxes,andthefaceofevilsmilesmoreandmoretriumphantlybutlikethe
intersectionoftwoarcs,anewepochopens.Ifexhaustionanddarknesshavespreadover
theworldscene,theyhavenotspreadalonemingledwiththemarethebeginningsof
anticipationandlight.Ifmaterialismhassoakedsodeeplyintomassthinkingthatmen
andwomentremblefortheirownfuture,spiritualtruthhasenteredthemindsofsome
whohaveresistedit,butbecausetheoldepochhasbeenwithussolongandthenewone
isjustbeingborn,theselatterformatpresentonlyanegligiblegroup.
188

Thisconditionofdestructivecriticismandhostiledenunciation,ofgeneraltearingdown,
existspartlybecauseweliveinanendperiod,inatimeofliquidation.
189

Theendofavanishingoldarciscrossedbythebeginningoftheuprisingnewone.Hence
thefewhopesamidthemanydespairs,thefewlightsamidthewidedarkness.Alas!itis
notanewagethatishere,notevenitsbeginning,butonlythedawnbeforethebeginning
ofitsbeginning.
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190

ThegreatchangesinhumanthoughtandsocietywhichmarkedthebirthoftheChristian
epochintheWest,findtheirparallelinthegreatchangesthatareevennowbeginningto
markthecomingbirthofthenextepoch.Thelabourpainshavealreadybegun,butactual
birthwillnottakeplaceuntilthenextcentury.
191

Thisevolutionarychange,thisredirectionoftheego'sforcesreflectsitselfinthechief
eventsoftheworldcrisis.Butitwouldbenavetoexpectsuchacolossalchangeto
matureandbearallitsfruitswithinourownlifetimes.Itwillneedahundredyearsatleast
foreventhefirstsmallfruitstoappearandripen.
192

Boththeopeningofsuchatransitionaleraanditsclosearemarkedbyastupendous
crisis.Withthem,notlessthanwiththewholestreamofeventsbetweenboth,thelawof
consequencespunisheswrongdoing,expiatessins,strikesbalances,andgrantsjustice.
193

Thirtythreeyearsago,inTheHiddenTeachingBeyondYoga,itwassaidthatwewere
livinginaperiodofacceleratedchange.Theaccelerationhasbeenplainlyvisibleand
increasingeversince.Itisgoingonnotmerelyinoneparticulardepartmentofexistence,
butinalldepartmentsinallways.
194

Thenationsarefacedwiththechallengingswordofrepentance.Theywilleventually
acceptitandbeblessed,orrejectitandbestruckdown.Meanwhile,thebusinessofthe
mysticallysensitiveistoopenthemselvesupbyprayer,meditation,study,self
improvement,andsurrendertothisdivineforce,notonlyfortheirownspiritualbenefit
butalsoforhumanity'sbenefit.Theirthoughtsanddeedsmustbearwitnesstothefact
thattheyareseekingtorespondtoitsholypresence.Theseareassuredlythe"lastdays"
ofwhichtheNewTestamentspeaks.Theopportunity,choice,andresponsibilitywhich
liebeforeusareallhighlycriticalanddecisive.
195

Anallaroundovernightmoralchangeinhumannatureseemshighlyimprobable.Butif
thesedivineforcesarereallyinourmidstaquickenedmoraldevelopmentinhuman
natureisnotatallimprobable.
196

Thepointnowattainedinhumanevolutionbytheegooffersusthekeytoacorrect
understandingoftheworldcrisis.
197

Thehumanentity'spresentevolutionarypositionisjustaboutmidwayinthewhole
journeythroughitsownkingdom.
198

Althoughitistruethathumanityiseverywherefoundindifferentstagesofspiritual
evolution,thatsomepeoplesaremoreadvancedandothersmorebackward,itisalsotrue
thatabroadbandofaverageconditioncomprisesthegreaterpartofthoseincarnated
today.Anditisthisgeneralaveragewhichwillbemostaffectedbytheego'scosmic
change.
199

Theimportantchangewillnotbeundergonebyalltheegosbutonlybythegeneralmass
ofthem.
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200

Thereare,ofcourse,ineverylandafewwholongagopassedthispointintheir
developmentandmorewhohaverecentlypassedit.Theyarethepioneers,sensitiveto
spiritualidealsandstrugglingtofollowthem.Butnowthechallengehasbeenissuedto
humanityasawhole.Itsunseenguardianhasissuedanultimatum.Itmustmakethe
passageandwillnotbeallowedtodelayanylonger.
201

If,withordinarysight,welookatthecontemporaryscene,thereislittletokeepusfrom
despair.Butifwelookwithphilosophicsightthereisneverthelesssomethingtogiveus
hope.Theterriblecurseofthewarmaybeconvertedintoablessingifitarousesman
frommaterialistpursuitsandturnshimtothequestoftheeternalintangibles.The
fatuousnessofseekingfortrueandlastinghappinessintheunstableaffairsofmaterial
lifeisbeingetcheddeeplyinhisheart.Heisbeingtaughtthewisdomofseekingtolive
intheconsciousnessoftheChristwithinhim.
Thenotionthathumanitywillhaveboughtanewandbetterworldattheheavypriceof
thetragicwaryearsistrueinthesensethatanunheardofopportunityhasbeenpresented
tohumanitytomakeanewandbetterworld.Thatsomeadvantagewillbetakenofthis
opportunityiscertain,butthatsufficientadvantagewillbetakenofittocreateavastly
differentworldisquiteuncertain.Theselfishness,thegreed,andthehatredwhichhinder
humanadvancearenotlikelytodisappearovernightdespitetheforcedsocial
adjustmentsofthewarperiod,wehaveaverylongwayyettotraveltocatchupwiththe
goldenrule.Idonotthereforesharetheintemperateenthusiasms,opalescentvisions,and
unrealistichopesofwellmeaningpolitical,religious,andmysticalreformers.Neitherdo
Isaythatweshouldallsitdownwithfoldedhandsandwaitafewmoremillionyears
whileevolutiondoesitsgrimworkofinstructingmenthroughconstantsufferingtocease
theirconflicts.Ifaperfectnewageisfarfromfulfilment,animperfectnewagecan,
nevertheless,behad.Letushaveit,then,byallmeans.Forunlesswestrivetomoveeven
oneinchforwardweshallnotmoveatall.Wemustsetupidealsandwemustworkfor
theirrealization.Wemusttrytomakeevenalittlepartofourvisionscometrue.Ifwe
takeapessimisticviewofthepossibilitiesofelevatingmankind,thennoeffortwillbe
madeandnoprogresscanbeexpected.Butifwemakeastartanddowhatlittlecanbe
donethensomeprogresswillbemade.Therewillbethisdifference,however,between
usandtheimpracticalidealists,thatwhereastheybelievealltheirvisionscanbe
materializedtoday,wearemoreprudent,morescientific,butneverthelessnotabitless
visionary.Thedifficultiesofmakinganewandbetterworldarefrighteninglyformidable.
Butthedifficultiesofcarryingontheoldandbadworldarealsofrighteningly
formidable.Ifthesufferingsofwarawakentheconscienceandpurifythedesiresof
mankind,itsleadersmayendeavourtoatonefortheirerrorsandomissionsofthepast.
Thusonlycantheygoforwardtomeetthecomingageandopenapathtoabetterlifefor
allmankind.
202

Wearepassingthroughadishearteningperiodofviolentandunprecedentedstorms,butif
wehavelearnedthesinglelessonofhopingonandholdingon,weshallwinthroughinto
clearweather.
203

Thespiritualpossibilityofman'simprovementwillberealizedthroughthepressureof
forcesworkingbothwithinhisentityandwithinhisenvironment.Butitwillnotbe
realizedsmoothly.Therewillbelapses,setbacks,andretrogressions,albeittemporary
ones.
204
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Theworld'sneedisnotnewdoctrinalfads,butnewlife,newinspiration,andanewheart.
205

Itisclearthatthecrisiswillnotbeovercomeunlessweacknowledgetheworthofmoral
valuesabovethosewhichhavehithertoreignedinactualpracticeratherthanin
hypocriticaltheory.Thatsuchanacknowledgmenthasbeguntoshineintheheartsof
somepowerfulleadersisgood,butitwillhavetoshineintheheartsofseveralmoreifa
successfulresultistobeattained.Asectionofpeoplehasvaguelyfeltthisalready,butit
willbecomecreativeintheirmindsandlivesonlywhenitisclearlyformulated.This
centurywillnothavemuchuseforanygospelwhichkeepstheworldlylifeandthe
spirituallifemutuallyexclusive.
206

Itisagoodthinginordinarytimestogobacktothepastforitsspiritualtreasures
casketedinfinebooks.Itisthenaprivilegeandasatisfactiontofindthattheyhavecome
downwellpresentedandquitesafethroughcenturyaftercentury.Buttheseare
extraordinarytimes,urgenttimes,filledwithpressureandcrisis.Thevoiceswemost
needtoheararelivingones,speakingfromoutofthesamecircumstancesasthoseamid
whichwedwell,continuousandcontemporaneouswithus.
207

IfGodcanspeaktoonemanhecanspeaktoanyotheriftoJesus'andMuhammed's
times,thentoourowntimesalsoifinPalestineandArabiatheninEuropeandAmerica
also.Helpformodernmancanbestcomefromthosewhounderstandthemodernmind.
Man'senvironmentalterswiththecourseoftimeandsodoesman'smentality.Asimple
repetitionofwhathewasinformercenturiesoramererevivalofwhatheknewinformer
centuriesisnotefficienttoday.Thereisnotraditionalformofthisteachingwhichwill
holdgoodforalltime.Thisisalwaystruebutitisparticularlytruetoday,whenwelivein
themiddleofageneraltransitionfromtheseparativecycleofevolutiontotheunitive.
Duringtheperiodofhumanevolutioninwhichourgenerationlives,itisunwise
retrogressiveandinexpedienttolookonlytoancientsourcesforinspirationknowledge
andrevelation.
208

Theinnerwisdomitself,beingoutoftimeandspace,doesnotandcannotvary,butthe
outerformsunderwhichitisfounddovary.Thisisnotonlybecauseofthegeographical
andhistoricaldifferenceswhichconditionthoseforms,butbecauseanevolutionary
developmentisalsoaffectingthem.Thisisanimportantreasonwhythecomingeramust
findaninspirationadequatetoitsmoreprogressiveneeds,mustaddnewtruthstotheold
ones.
209

Onlythatnationwillactwiselyinthiscriticalphaseofhumanhistorywhichactsonthe
recognitionthatthisisnotthemedievalworld,nottheantiqueworld,butthenuclear
world.Thisisanewerawhichdemandsatransvaluationofvalues,method,andeven
men!
210

Humanitystillclingsmuchtoostronglytoitsegoisminmostmatters,despitethetuition
ofwarcrisisandupheavalthisistheverystandpointwhichmustbeabandoned,orat
leastmarkedlymodified,ifhumanityisnottopassthroughfurtherlargescalesuffering.
Andthisinturnmustitselfbethefruitofanawakeningtothehigherpurposeofearthly
lifeitdoesnotmatterwhetherornotsuchanawakeningtakesplacethroughoroutside
thechurch.Afterthewar'send,wehadtowaitacoupleofyearsforthesituationto
clarifyitselfandfortheuprisingtendenciestoshowthemselves.
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211

Thosewhoinsistonthisexcessiveadherencetomaterialisticthoughtandrefuseto
recognizethenewevolutionarycurrentofstimulatedintelligenceandspiritual
individualizationaretryingtoliveinthemodesofthepastandhavefailedtofindthe
purposeoftheirpresentincarnation.
212

Suchistheswiftlymovingtimespirit.Itwillnotbedenied,nonecansuccessfully
impedeit,anditmustbeaccommodated.Itisachallengingdemandthathumanlifebe
deliberatelyhookedtoabetterethicalbasis,thatthecontinuanceofmaterialismis
insanity.
213

Theonlyeffectualwaytomeetthiscrisisisthewayofrecognizingthataneraof
materialisterrorandextremeselfishnesshascometoanend,thewayofwipingtheslate
ofoldwrongdoingquiteclean,thewayofmakingacompletebreakwiththepast,the
wayofdoingthelargeandgenerousdeedasastartoffforthenewera.
214

Thereisnothirdwayopentous.Theworldisrapidlymovingintoanewage.Wemay
eitherclingtotheremnantsoftheagethatisvanishingorwemaymeettheagewhichis
coming.Wemustmakeourchoice.Wehavehadenoughandmorethanenoughofthe
highsoundingplatitudesofbabblers.Weneednowsomeconcreteexpressionthatwillbe
moretruthfulandlesstalkative.Fortheproblemswillstandsquarelyconfrontingthem
andcannotbeavoidedorevadedaslesserproblemshaveoftenbeen.
215

Ifthecrisiscanforceenoughmentoacknowledgetheirowninsufficiency,ifitcanbring
themtorecognizethattheoldwaysoflivinghaveledtoadeadend,andifitcanarouse
themtosearchforhighervaluesaswellasnewerpaths,itwillbepassedsuccessfully.
216

Ifenoughpeopleinpositionsofpowerandauthoritywerepersuadedthatachangeof
directionmustbetaken,thesolutionwouldbesimple.Orifenoughofthemasseswere
persuadedofthesamething,hereagainthesolutionwouldbesimple.Inbothcases,the
riskypathofnewdirectionwouldhavetobeaccepted.Inpracticeweknowwhatto
expectoftherulersandpoliticiansoftoday.Andweknowwhattoexpectofthe
multitudealso.
217

Thereislittleroomtodayforservileaccommodationtoconventions.Necessityforcesus
toripthroughredtape.
218

Acolossalrevisionofattitudesiscalledfor,anabandonmentofoutmodedideaswhich
belongtothestoryofthenineteenthcenturyandwhichcreateselfdeceptionwhen
carriedintothemidtwentiethcentury.
219

Idealsmuststillbegiventotheworld,eveniftheyseemquiteimpracticalandevenifthe
giveriscrucifiedasJesuswas,orshotasKennedywas.Theyareneededtooffsetthe
egoismandmaterialismwhichcomesomuchmoreeasilytomostpeople.
220

Strugglingstudentsmustmakethebestofthisdarkage,andwhilederivinginspiration
andguidancefromthetextsofdeadsageslearntothinkandactforthemselvesas
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childrenofthetwentiethcenturyshouldthinkandact.
221

Itwouldbefoolishtoturnourbacksentirelyonthepast.Anditwouldalsobefoolishto
failinthecomprehensionofwhatwehavetolearnfromit.Butthisdoesnotmeanthat
wearetoliveinit.Nottofeeltheclamanturgencyofthepresentistofitone'seyeswith
blinders.Thereisonlyonewaywherebywecanburythetroubledmentalpicturesofan
unhappypastandanuncertainfuture,andthatwayistocreateaworthwhilepresent.Itis
needfultocomprehendthatthereisnootherwayopenforhumanityexcepttomakethe
creativeeffortneededtostartagenuinenewlife.Ifitstartsapretendednewoneora
camouflagedoldone,thenallthetroubleswhichitisseekingtoescapewilloncemore
descendonitshead.Tolookbackwardsforguidancewillbetolookfortrouble.Theold
passpointofviewwasgoodforitsperiodbuthasnowfulfilleditsfunctionandlostits
creativity.Itmustbedisplacedbyatimelierone.Humanitymustlookforwardsandlet
thedeadburythedeadifitistosaveitself.Theproblemtodayisnothowbesttoreturnto
thecustomsandcomplexesofapastphasewhichwaslongagofinishedwith,buthow
besttoadvancetothecreationsandvisionsofanewone.Humanityiscalleduponto
keepinmindtheinnerdevelopments,theouterevents,andthespiritualsignificanceof
whatishappeningeverywhere.Andthiscanbedoneonlybyappreciatingtheinner
significanceofthissensationalepoch.Itprovidesanopportunityformentalexpansion
whichmaybeacceptedcomprehendinglyorrejectedignorantly.Acceptancemaybea
bitterdrinkatfirstbutwillbesweetintheend,whereasrejectionmaybesweetatfirst
butwillcertainlybebitterintheend.Thatiswhyhumanitymustberealisticwhilenot
renouncingitsidealsandmustdotheutmostthatcanbedoneunderthecircumstances,
fortifiedbytheknowledgethatanupwardmovementwillquitequicklyattractdivine
support.Indeed,itismovingataspeedthatmakesadramaticanddynamicchangeoverin
thisdirectionfrommaterialisticideasurgentandimperative.
222

Thepicturesqueorexquisitesurvivalsofafeudalagemaycontinueforlongerperiods
hereorshorteronesthere,butchangeisworkingandnecessityispressing:theywill
crumbleaway.
223

Theoldformulaswillnotfitthenewconditions.Renaissance,notretrogressionforward
tonewachievements,notbacktoolddecadence.Mankindmustbeflexibleandadapt
themselvestonewtimes,accommodatethemselvestonewnecessities,orelsetheywill
suffer.Therecanbenocreepingbacktotheignoble.Thepowerfultideofevolutionwill
catchanddrownallthosewhomakesuchafoolishattempt.Itiscowardlytoflee
backwardintothefamiliarpastbecausethepresentistoohardforourweaksouls.Itis
foolishtolagbehindthecentury'sneeds.Itiscourageoustomoveforwardintothe
unknownfuture.

Newagedirections
224

InTheWisdomoftheOverselfitwasbrieflyhintedthatthetwentiethcenturywastheera
ofuniversalhumanenlightenment.Ihavebeenaskedtoexpanduponthispoint.Justas
thenineteenthcenturywastheeraofscientificenlightenment,soourownisthecentury
ofuniversalenlightenment.Thisistakingthreeforms.First,generaleducation,
intellectualknowledge,andscientificdiscoverywillcontinuetospreadthroughoutthe
wholeworldandwillnotresidemainlyintheWest.Second,theywillbecomeavailable
toallclassesandnotbeconfinedmostlytothemiddleandupperclasses.Third,religion,
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mysticism,andmetaphysicswillrevealtheirrealitiesandshedtheirsuperstitions,willbe
mademorerationalandthuswillnolongerberegardedasbeingdisplacedbysciencebut
ratherasbeingnecessarytocompleteit.Furthermore,thephilosophyoftruth,whichis
thehighestkindofenlightenmentpossibletomankind,willbecomeaseasilyaccessible
asitwasremotelyhiddeninformercenturies.Becauseweareatacyclicturningpoint,
thisisthecenturywhentruthwillbeletlooseontheworld.Notonlyultimatetruthwhich
philosophyrevealsforthefewbutalsopolitical,economic,social,religious,and
scientifictruthforthemany.Thefalsehoodswhichdominatehumansociety,theillusions
whichindividualsandgroupshugsofondly,andtheliesunderwhichsocietylivesare
beingand,weventuretopredict,willbestillmoreshownupforwhattheyare.Thisis
onereasonwhywesawthephenomenonofaNazifalsificationofeverybranchof
culturalandpracticalfactsonascaleunheardofinhistory.Foritrepresentsthescum
whichrosetothesurfacesothatitmightbeclearedentirelyaway,thenightwhich
attaineditsdarkestpitchjustbeforethefirstrayofdawn.Italsoexplainswhyweare
seeingasecondandsimilarfalsificationbeingattemptedbythehierarchsof
Communism.ItiscertainthatiftheNazishadconquered,thisworldwideillumination
couldnothavespreadbutinsteadhumanitywouldhavebeenplungedintoanewdarkage
farworseandfarmorematerialisticthananythingithadhithertohistoricallyexperienced.
Thedangeroffallingintospiritualeclipsewasthereforereal.
225

Wemodernshavestrivenforpower.Wehavegaineditbutlostpeace.Eventhepower
itselfhasrunriotinourhandsandhalfdestroyedourlives,ourcities,andoursocieties.If
wearetorestorecontentmenttoourhearts,wemustrestorebalancetoourstrivings.
226

Thetimehascomewheneducationshouldreeducateitself,whenmedicineshouldgive
Nature'sherbstheirdueanddemandthatallfoodsberidoftheiraddedpoisons,whenthe
bodysoulrelationshipshouldbecorrectlyrevealedbypsychologyandpsychiatry,when
fortheirhealth'ssakeandtheirsoul'ssakehumanbeingsshouldstopdevouringcorpses.
Theeventsandchangeswhichhavecomeontheworldscenesincetheturnofthecentury
staggerthemind,butthosewhichwillcomebeforetheendofitwillbeevenmore
startling.
227

Thesoonerutopiandreamsofperfectibilityofthehumanracearedropped,theless
disappointmenttherewillbe.Thesoonerwefindoutwhatmeasureandwhatkindof
transcendencewecanrealize,themorecontentmentweshallattain.Thefirstisan
unanswerablequestionbecauseatthatlevelthereisnoindividual.
228

Torejectmoderncivilizationanditscultureutterlytocondemnitsfaults,sins,errors,
andevilstothepointofrefusingtohaveanythingmoretodowithitistoendin
nihilism.Thishelpsnoone,noteventhenihilist.Noraresensualism,drugs,orsuicide
waysout.Thosewhosaythatamancannotkeephismoralintegrity,cannothonourhis
conscienceandstilltakepartinthepresentculture,arenotright,thoughtheyarenot
entirelywrong.
229

Amysticalpurposemustbeintroducedintoourcommonlifetobalancethemechanical
principlethatnowswaysus.ThentheStatewillbecomeasacrament.Thisisnottosay
thatweneedanewstatereligion.Thelessthestatetriestoimposeareligiononthe
people,thebetterforthatreligionitwillthenhavetodevelopareallifeofitsownfrom
within.Thisissimplyanintimationthattheordinaryinstitutionsofoursocietyshouldbe
soarrangedandsobalancedastopermitmentofaceMotherEarth,Nature,moreoften,
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andtoenablethemtoturntheirmindstowardsthecouchofreposemorefrequently.
230

Twentiethcenturymanhastofindawayofsolvinghisproblems,notofevadingthem.
231

Itisnotonlycapitalismwhichisbeingseriouslythreatenedbyitsowndefectsor
deficiencies,butalsoCommunism.Bothmustnotonlyreformthemselves,butalso
modifyoneanother,iftheyarenottobreakdown.
232

Itistruethatastatewhichcombinesthepractical,themodern,andthescientificwiththe
spiritual(bywhichIdonotmeantheecclesiastical)hasyettoriseandseemsunlikelyto
doso.Butthatisnoreasonwhyitshouldnotbetried.Thebeginningcanbestbemadeby
afewpioneers,onasmallscale,andintherelativefreedomofprivateeffort.
233

Thekindofunitwhichphilosophyadvocatesinthepoliticalandeconomic,thenational
andinternationalrealmsisacooperativeandnotcompulsoryone.Thehigheridealof
completeworldunificationisbeyondtheunderstandingandhencethepracticeof
humanityatitspresentstageofevolution.
234

Man'sdependenceontheearthforfuelsuchaswood,coal,oil,andgas,willgivewayin
thefuturetodependenceonthesun.Itsrayswillgivehimallthatheneedsforthis
purpose.
235

TheworldcouldbeimprovedbutitcouldnotbeturnedintoaUtopia.AsRamana
Maharshioncesaidwhendissensionarosewithinhisashram,"Therewillalwaysbe
complaints!"Butletpeopletry.Theymaymakethingsalittlebetter,butfundamentally
theymustmakethemselvesbetterfirst.Historyaloneteachesthat.Hopeeasilydeludes
us,especiallytheidealistsandoptimists.Intheendwemustworkonourselves.Aswe
growbettertheworldcangetbetter.
236

Anidealsolutionwouldapplyonlytoidealpeople.
237

Allexternalattemptstounitethedifferentsectswithinasinglefaithareapitiable
confessionoftheirfailure.Suchanartificialfederationwillnotachievemuch.Union
mustcomenaturallyandspontaneouslyfromwithin,fromtheinnermostheart,orithad
betternotcomeatallandbecausereligiousorganizationsarebasicallyincompetition
witheachother,thiswillnothappen.
238

Thekeynoteofyogaforthiscomingageshouldbedivineimmanencethatwhichisin
oneself,inothers,andinNature.Democracytheunificationofsocietywilltriumph.
Theopportunitytoacquireknowledgewillbefreelyavailabletothelowest.Thisincludes
mysticalandphilosophicalaswellasworldlyknowledge.Theracialprejudices,the
politicalseparativeness,andthereligiouspreferenceswhichassistedhumanprogressata
formerlevelofevolutionbutwhichnowhinderitandcausestrifeandconflictwillbe
brokendown.
239

Destinyiscompellingustothinkinternationally,whichisthewayaphilosopheralways
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thoughtwithoutdestiny'sgrimcompulsions.
240

Theproblemofacommonworldlanguageisaninterestingandimportantone.Outofthe
crucibleofwaronlytwooftheexistinglanguageswillemergewithanylikelihoodof
leadership.TheyareEnglishandRussian.Andofthesetwo,Englishwillcountmostina
generalreckoningoftheirprosandconschieflybecauseitisalreadyinworldwideuse.
Thereforeitwouldseemasafeandsoundcounseltoaffirmthatinadditiontohisorher
mothertongueeverypupilthroughouttheworldbetaughtEnglishasasecondaryand
universalone.Butthematterisnotsosimpleasthat.Foranagewhensomuchwillhave
tobeconstructedanewandwhensomanydefectiveideaswillhavetobereplacedby
betteroneswillfinditmoreprofitabletoconstructabettermeansofintercommunication
also.Suchanendeavourmustbemade.Fortheforeignerfindscertainavoidable
difficultiesinhiswaywhenheseekstolearnEnglish.Thesedifficultiescanbegotridof
ifEnglandhasthecouragetocastconventiontothewindsandboldlyinauguratesome
muchneededchangesinitstongue.Englishmustfirstbesimplified,regularized,and
phoneticized.Suchanauxiliarylanguagewillthenbecomethesuprememediumfor
internationalcultureandcommerce,travel,andconference.Booksandmagazinesof
planetaryimportancewillappearnotonlyinthelanguageofthecountryoforiginbutas
quicklyaspossible,ifnotsimultaneously,inthelanguageofthewholeracetoo.
ThechiefadvantageofEsperantooverEnglishasameansofinternationalintercourseis
thatitcanbemasteredinonetwentieththetime.Thisisatremendousadvantage.Those
whohaveseenatfirsthandwhatdifficultiesforeignersencounterinthestudyofthe
complexitiesandconfusionofEnglishcanaloneappreciateit.
Thetwentiethcenturywillassuredlyseeonelanguagechosentobeuniversallyspoken
andwrittenandtobetaughtasasecondtongueamongallthepeoplesoftheworld.
241

Thisopeningupofoldmentallyshutinstates,thisdissolutionoflongstandingbigoted
sectarianism,willincreasinglybeonecharacteristicoftheage.Theyarebeingbroughtto
pay,byattackfromwithoutanddisintegrationfromwithin,forthefalsitytheycontain.It
istruethatinthecourseoftime,humannaturebeingwhatitisatthepresentdegreeof
evolution,thenewconditionsthatwillreplacethemwillbecomeasshutin,asbigoted,
andasselfishastheearlierones.Whenthathappenstheytoowillbecalledtoan
accounting.
242

Thebeliefthatthisnewshrinkingoftheplanet,thisclosenessofpeoplesheretoforealien,
thismultiplicationoftransportandcontact,wouldbringaboutuniversalbrotherhoodisa
selfdeceptiveone.Propinquityofbodiescannotcreatepropinquityofheartsandminds.
243

SriAurobindo'shopefulviewabouttheestablishmentofaperfectsocietyonthisearthis
onewhich,Imusthumblysay,doesnotseemquiteinaccordwithrealities.Iwishhe
wererightandIwerewrong,foritwouldbedelightfultoexpectsuchaUtopiatobe
realizedoneday.Buttheraisingofhumanconsciousnesstothelevelofsupermanwill
notguaranteeunityofoutlookandattitude.Differencesintheserespectsand,
consequently,differencesinactionwillstillremain.Take,forexample,thedifferencein
attitudetowardstheworldwarshownbySriAurobindohimself,SriRamanaMaharshi,
andSwamiRamdas.Ifunityistobereallyattaineditcouldonlybeattainedbyevolving
toalevelevenhigherstillthanthatofsuperman.Andthisindeedistheultimategoal.But
thereisafurtherreasonforthedifficultyofrealizingUtopia.Whensuchagoalhasbeen
attainedtherewillbenoneedtoreincarnateonthisearth,whichis,insomeways,a
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purgatorialplanet.Thatistosay,itisthenaturalresidenceforimperfectpersonsandnot
forperfectones.
244

Inthecomingage,nuclearenergywillbebroughttotheserviceofcreativepeaceful
purposes.Itsconcentrationondestructivemilitaryoneswillbebroughttoanend.
245

Anewandhigherepochinourhistorywillcomebydivinecycliclaw:nothingandno
onecanpreventitsbirth.Andthatwilloccurthroughtheincarnationofspiritually
intuitivemenbornforthisspecialpurpose.Itissuchanepochalonewhichwillwitness
therealizationofdreamsofworldpeaceandjustice,dreamswhosefailureofrealization
bypolitical,military,andothermeanswillforcebynecessitytheattemptthroughthelast
andonlyeffectualmeansmoralandintellectualrenewal.
246

Thosepropagandistswhoeagerlyuserecenthistorytoforetelltheadventofasociety
whichwillbecompletelymaterialisticarecompletelywrong.Foraworldwhere
everyonerejectedtheideaofasoulinmanandGodbehindtheuniversewouldnotlast
long.SuchatheismisasinagainsttheHolyGhost,andwouldbepunishedaccordingly.
247

Itiscorrecttosaythatoneconsequenceofthisevolutionarydevelopmentwillbethe
achievementofemotionalharmonyamongmankindthroughmutualgoodwill.Butthisis
notthesameastheachievementofintellectualunity,ofperfectidentityinviewand
attitude.Thisisimpossibleandunattainable.Eachhumanegohasitsownpeculiarities,
itsownuniqueexperienceanditsownpsychologicaldifferences.Notwoarethesame.
Harmonyasanidealrelationandethicalgoal,yes,butunityasanecessaryprerequisiteof
it,no!
248

Humanitywillneedmorementalresilience,morereadinesstoacceptchange,reform,
betterment,orsacrifice,andlessoftheinveterateidolatryofcustom.Itwillneedmore
imagination,intelligence,andintuitionifitistounderstandthepatternwhichthecoming
periodiscertaintoassume.Thosewhosufferfromstiffenedmentalarteries,whoare
incapableofprofitingbypastfailures,ofreadjustingthemselvestothesechangesandof
meetingthenewproblems,willblunderbadly.Whethertheylikeitornot,whetheritbe
forbetterorforworse,thefactstarestheminthefacethattheyarewitnessing
tremendousdisruptiveforcesatwork.Theymustunderstandwhatishappeningandbe
courageousenoughtoacceptintellectuallythatthisisreallyaperiodofdramatic
upheaval.Toscrapoldideaswhichcanhavenoplaceinthecomingagewillprovemore
profitableintheend.Thosewhoremainfoolishlypurblindorselfishlyprejudicedagainst
whatishappeningallaroundthemduringthiscriticalandswifttransitioncause
themselvesunnecessarysuffering.Theypersistattheirownperilinthedelusionthatthe
oldmaterialisticwayswhichseemedtosufficebeforewillcontinuetosufficeinthe
future.Forifasufficientnumberofpeopledonotacceptareadinesstochange,sufficient
toinfluencethegeneralsocialcondition,thentheentirefabricofsocietywillbringdown
uponitselftheterriblenemesisofviolentdestruction.Moderncivilizationasweknowit
willcometoanend,selfliquidatedbyitsownblindness.Butitsdisappearancewillbe
onlytoclearthegroundforthearisalofanewandbetterone.Thusthecomingerawill
assuredlybringmankindabetterworld.Butwhetheritarrivesatthishappygoalthrough
disasteranddepopulationorthroughreasonandpeaceisanunpredictablematteratthe
moment.Itdependsonthefactoroffreewillwhichexistsinaman'smakeup.Thetime
growsshorterforaconsciousselectionofthehigherconcernsoflife.
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249

IagreewithH.G.Wellsthatscienceandtechnologyhavealteredman'senvironmenttoo
completelytoallowhimtofollowantiquatedsocialandeconomicways.Iagreethatthe
worldcouldbeorganizedtogiveamoreabundantmaterialexistencetothemassesof
poor,underpaid,orunemployedworkers.Iagreethatthelackofappliedintelligencein
thepresentsocialstructureisappallingandthatfailuretoadaptsocietytoaltered
conditionsisamenacetousall.Idonotagree,however,thattheiconoclasticandswift
solutionofthesedifficultiesdependsontheformationofa"worlduniversity"tocollect
andutilizeallavailableknowledge.Itdepends,andhaseverdepended,onthediscovery
andapplicationofthephilosophicandultimatetruthaboutlife,atruthwhichisnota
totalityofseparatefactsbutasinglecentralprincipleofbeing.
250

Howisthehumanracetorecoverthesetruerinstincts,theseholierintuitions?Thechange
requiredwillberequiredinallthepartsofthehumanbeingthought,feeling,andbody.
Physically,therewillbetheneedofcounteractingahostileenvironmentandawrong
diet.Retreatfromthecitiestothecountryandgreatreformintheselectionand
preparationoffoodswillbeindispensableasagroundworkforthementaltraining.The
firstneedistoabandonchemicallypoisoned,denatured,anddevitalizedfoods,toleave
theairofcitiesrenderedimpurewithsootandfilthaswellasharmfulwithgasoline
fumes,andtoindulgeinshortonetothreedayfastsduringthefourequinoctialdays
markingthechangeoversoftheseasons.
251

Wecannotrejectthespecialneedsofourcenturybutweneednotbeenslavedbythem.
252

Ifonethingisclearaboutthecomingage,itisthathenceforthabrusquelyawakened
humanityrefusestodrifthelplesslybutintendsenergeticallytogiveapositivedirection
toitsfateandfortune.
253

Hitherto,developmentsnaturallytendedtocentralizeindustryinhugeestablishments.
Thiswasabsolutelynecessarytoheavyindustriessuchassteelmanufacture.Itwasdone
toreducecost,butitwasalsodoneirrespectiveofthehumanfactorinvolved.Itpromotes
neithermentalnorphysicalhealthforpeopletolivedrearydiurnallivesunderasmoky
skyandworkinfactorieswheregiantmachinespoundattheirnerves.Theownerworker
thatis,thelittlecapitalistwholaboursforhimself,theworkmanwhoprefers
independence,andthepeasantwithasmalllandholdingeachofthesehasarightto
exist.Underawiserarrangementhecouldstilldosowithouthavingtocompetewiththe
ownersoffactories,forhecouldcollaboratewiththem.
Anationoughtnottoabandonitselftothehypnoticglamourofgiganticfactoriesforthe
massmachineproductionofhugequantitiesofgoods.Ontheotherhand,itneednot
abandonsuchfactoriesforthemedievalnotionofmakingeverythingbyhand.Itcould
makeinfactorieswhateverisbestmadethere,suchasautomobilesandpencils,butit
oughttoencouragehandmanufacturewhereverthatwillservebest.Abalancedindustrial
economyisidealandwillrequireboththebigmanufacturing,assembling,and
distributingunitsincitiesandthedecentralizedcottagecraftsinvillages.Smallpartssuch
ascomponentsandaccessoriescanbemadeinthevillageworkshops,andlargerarticles
suchasheavygoodsandmassproductionsintheformer.Iftheoldideawastotakethe
workertoamachineinthefactory,thenewideawillbetotakethemachinetoaworker
inhisorherhome.Theprincipleofmassproductioncanstillbeemployed,themost
modernmachinerymaystillbeused,andyettheworkermayhavehisfreedomandretain
hisindividualitybymakingpartorallofanarticleinsurroundingsandunderconditions
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wherehecanstillbehimself.ThishasindeedbeendoneformanyyearsinSwitzerland,
wherevillageworkshopscarryoutmanyoftheprocessesneededinthatcountry'sfamous
watchandclockmakingindustry.Suchascheme,ofcourse,couldbeapplicableonly
wheretheworkerlivedinacottageorhouseofhisownandnotwherehelivedinan
apartmentortenementsituatedinabuildinghousingseveralotherapartmentsor
tenements.Itwouldbeidealfor"gardencities,"whichoughtinanycasetorepresentthe
typepreferredinfuturetownplanning.Smallscaleindustriesshouldberegardedas
complementaryandnotcontradictorytolargescaleones.Thevalueandpracticabilityof
thisarrangementhavebeenwelldemonstratedbywartimeexperience,whenagreat
diffusionofsubcontractingenabledstupendousprogramstobecompletedontime.
Whyshouldnotthetownsthemselvesbeconvertedinto"gardencities"whereevery
familyhasitsownlittlehouseanditsownlittlegardensurroundingthathouse?Inthe
gardencity,beautyandusehavedemonstratedunderthetestoftimeahappyand
successfulmarriage.NobodywhohasseenLetchworthandWelwyninEngland,
understoodtheirsignificanceandappreciatedtheirworth,wouldagainbesatisfiedwith
disorderlydrift.Thereshouldbeafeelingofspaceandair,apresenceofgreengrassand
leafytreesinthemoderntown.Thegardencityidea,whichbalancesindustrial,
residential,andaestheticneeds,isthebestfordealingwiththeproblemofplacing
manufacturingplantsandhousingtheirworkers.TheLeverBrothersatPortSunlightand
theCadburysatBournvillehaveshownhowclean,artistic,individualitypreserving,and
kindlythefactorysystemcanbemadewhenthosewhoadministerithavetasteandheart
aswellasminds.
Metropolitantownsexistalready,however,andhavebecometooindispensableapartof
eachnation'seconomytobeeliminated.Thesolutionoftheproblemtheyposeistoturn
partofthemintoagroupofconnectedgardencityunits,arrangedlikeconcentriccircles
aroundacommoncentre.
AmetropolislikeLondonorNewYorkneedsatleasthalfitspopulationtransferredtoa
dozendifferentnewlybuiltgardencitiessetinthecleanhealthyspaciousnessofthegreen
countryside.Whenthesizeoftownsiskeptmoderate,theirstreetswillbequieterandthe
health,happiness,andoutlookoftheirinhabitantsbetter.
Aproperrelationmustbefoundbetweentownandcountrylife,betweenexistenceinthe
largefactoriesandinthelittleworkshops.Ahealthymodernsocietywillbeneither
excessivelyindustrialnorexclusivelyagricultural.Awellbalancedsocietywillenableits
memberstochoosetheirworkfromawidersetofactivitiesthanmerelyindustrialor
solelyagriculturalones.Theworthofasaneequilibriumbetweensuchantitheticalfactors
oflifeasmachinetoilandhandtoilneedsremembering.Thedecentralizationof
advancedcountriesisonlypartoftheanswertotheevilsassociatedwiththeirpresent
industrialeconomy.Wemustthinkoutaneconomicstructurewhichwillstillmakeuseof
peopleashumanbeings,evenwhiletheythemselvesaremakinguseofmachines.
254

Thereisnoreasonwhyvillagehandicraftsandcottagelightpoweredindustriesshould
notbeencouragedalongsidelargescalemassproductioninfactories.Anavenueshould
bedevelopedwhichcombinesthemeritsofmodernmechanicalproductionmethodswith
themeritsofmedievalhandmethods.Cheapandwidespreadelectricpower,smalland
easilymanipulatedmachines,localcentresforthesupplyofrawmaterialsandthe
purchaseoffinishedgoodsallthesewillcombineexcellentlywiththe"gardencity"plan
forurbanworkersandalsofurnishprofitablewinteremploymentforagriculturalworkers.
Thisfactormustnowbetakenintoaccount.
255
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Whereafamilywantsparticularlytokeepallitsmemberstogetherduringalltheworking
day,itshouldbeprovidedwithasmallagriculturalpropertyorasmallworkshop,which
arebettersuitedtosuchapurpose.Itisdesirablethatsmallscaleindustriesshouldexist
alongsideheavyindustry,andcottageindustriesdiffusedalongsidefactoryones.Thereis
plentyofroomformassproductionandthereisplentyofroomforindividualproduction.
Themassproductionofautomobilesbroughtwithinthepurseofthemiddleclasswhat
wasbeforewithinthepurseoftherichalone.Itisinthemakingofcommonnecessities
especiallythatmechanicalmassproductionhasanimpregnablecase.Butevenherethe
mechanicmayandshouldworkincooperationwiththeartist.Muchmaterialcouldbe
fabricatedinlittleoneroomworkshopsandthensenttothecentralassemblydepotsor
chieffinishingfactories.
256

Betweenthesentimentalityoftheosophical"universalbrotherhood"andthesometimes
callousrigidityofanagedcastesystem,whetherEasternorWestern,thereisasensible
middleway.
257

Thecollisionswithinafamily,aninstitution,anation,allhumanity,showhowharditis
tomakethisdreamofuniversalbrotherhoodafact.
258

Onlywhenthebestinscienceandindustryblendwiththebestinspiritualandartistic
cultureshallwehaveacivilizationjustifyingthename.
259

WendellWilkie'sbookOneWorldisinharmonywiththephilosophicalposition.Ithink
thattheauthorwouldhavemodifiedhisviewsalittleifhehadknownAsiaforalonger
timeandinadeeperway.Humanityisnotemotionallyreadyfortheworldstate,which
wouldbetheonlywaytoimplementhisidealswith100%efficiency,butitcertainlyis
readyforanassociationofnationsmoreadvancedinitsformandstrongerinitspower
thaneverbefore.Cooperationisperhapstheproperkeywordtopresentproblemsunion
mustcomelater.However,intheconsiderationofallpoliticalandsocialproblems,we
havetoreturnagainandagaintothehumanproblem.Thespiritualdarknessofthehuman
raceistherealrootofitsexternaltroubles.Onlyitsspiritualilluminationwillreally
removethosetroublespermanently.Untilthathappenswemustnecessarilyalleviatethe
situation,sofarasitcanbedone,byutilizingexternalmethods.Theresultwillneverbe
quitesatisfactorybutitcanbeprogressivelyso.Thesameappliestothesettlementof
internalsocialandeconomicproblems.
260

Thecomingagewillarise,phoenixlike,outofthedestructionandviolenceofthedying
one.Itwill,byreaction,beaconstructiveandpeacefulone.Thespectreofwarwillbe
exorcised.Mankindwilllearntoinhabitapeacefulplanet.
261

Whocanstudyrecenthistoryandnotperceivethattheworldisbeingforgedwith
relentlessfinalityintoasingleunit,intoaconsolidatingreconstructionwhichislong
overdue?
262

Tobeaneighbourdoesnotnecessarilymakeoneneighbourly.Moderntransportand
communicationhavebroughtthemostdistantnationstogether.Yettheyhavestilltolearn
toliveinpeace.Andthiswouldbetheresultnotofhumanengineeringbutofhuman
understanding.
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263

Ifwecreateamoregenerousandbetterenlightenedenvironment,itwillbetterserve
mankindduringthenewupwardtwistoftheevolutionaryspiral.Warnedbyourdangers
andilluminedbyoursufferings,relaxedfromhesitanciesandrelievedofcomplexes,we
shouldnotfindthistremendoustaskbeyondourcapacity.
264

Itisundesirableforthecapitalofacountrytobesituatedinamammothindustrialcity.
Thosewhogovernanationoughttoresideinasmallcitysetbytheseaorinthegreen
countryside.Arigorousprocessofliberatingmillionsofindustrialandcommercial
workersfromtheclutchesofmammothcitiesmustformanessentialpartofthenew
program.
265

Whatgroupsaremostunlikelytoattainwholesalemaybequitepossibleforindividuals
toattainsingly.Thisisthefactbehindtheutopiatheory.Hereandthere,uncommonly,a
mandetacheshimselffromtheherdandclimbstothemountaintop.Buttheherdis
satisfiedtoremainbelow.
266

TheOrientalbeliefthatformergoldenageswerenecessarilyhappier,wiser,andbetter
onesthanoursistrueonlyinasuperficialsense.Whilethepeopleofthosetimeswere
stillprimitiveandhadonlypartiallydevelopedtheirlatentpossibilities,thecharacterof
mankindwasonlypartiallydevelopedforevil,too.Butsincethen,theyhavehadto
evolvethepowersofintellectappliedtopracticallifeandtoindividualizethemselvesout
oftribaldependence.Theconsequencehasbeenlesscommunalspiritandgreater
personalselfishness,lessresponsetospiritualintuitionsandmorerelianceon
materialisticsensepromptings.Again,whiletheplanetwasstillthinlypeopled,the
struggleofmanagainstmanwasless,hencethecallonhisevilpropensitieswasless,too.
Actually,wehavealllivedthroughthisorotherplanetaryevolutionsbeforeandtherefore
haveallpossessedthosemanifoldqualitiesandcharacteristicswhichbelongedtothemen
ofthoseearlierages.Iftheywerehappierandbetter,thensowerewe.Thosequalities
andcharacteristicsarestillwithinus,buttheyhavebeenovershadowedforatimebythe
otheroneswhichevolutionhassincestressed.Lapsedforatimetheymaybe,butlost
forevertheycannotbe.Evolutiondoesnotdiscarditsformergainsbuttakesthemupinto
itself,preservesandtransmutesthemwhileitmovesonward.
Empiresbuiltuponpyramidsofskullsandriversofbloodrisebuttofall.Whereisthe
AssyrianKingdomtoday?TheGreekmighthascrackedanddwindled.Thebrokenclay
bricksofvanishedBabylonaffordfithauntsforspidersandcockroaches.Butthe
Assyrians,theGreeks,andtheBabyloniansthemselveshavenotvanished.Theyarewith
ustoday,albeitindifferentbodiesandinotherlands.Thelawofphysicalrebirthhas
broughtthembacktotheschooloflife,eithertolearnfreshlessonsortorelearntheold
oneswhichwereinsufficientlymastered.Hencewehavewithinustodaythestored
experiences,theunfoldedcapacities,andtheaccumulatedknowledgeofallthe
previouslybornracesofmankind.Only,someofthemaretemporarilyoverlaidor
temporarilyneglectedoreventemporarilyinaccessible.Buttheyarethere.Wehaveto
recoverorexpressthemalongsidewhatwehaveadditionallygainedsincethen.Over
concentrationontheintellectualphysicalphaseoflifemayhavemadeusmaterialists,but
theshiftofemphasiswhichthetideofevolutionhasnowtobringaboutwillmakeus
somethingbetter.Thetimehasindeedcometorestorethebalance,torealizethatwhatwe
oncewereinthedistantpastwestillareandmuchmorebesides,toopenoutallsidesof
ournaturetofullestbloominequalmeasure.Inanagewhichhasexperiencedawful
disintegrations,weshouldbegintointegrateourselves.Sucharichintegrallifewasnot
possibleinprimitivetimes.Historyhasmadeusmorereadyforsuchafullerquestthan
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wereearlierraces.Thatiswhyweofthiscenturymusthavetheboldnesstobeourselves
andnotpaleimitationsofthemenofthedistantpast.Everyhistoricalperiodmustfindits
ownoutlook,workoutitsownworldviewafresh.Howmuchmoremustthisbethecase
inaperiodofsuchuniquecharacterastheoneinwhichwelivetoday!
267

Thenotionthatweshallenteramarvellousnewagewhenthelionwillliedownwiththe
lambisanidleone.Humannaturewouldhavetoalterfirstanditdoesnotordinarilyalter
withsuchexcessivespeed.Butthenotionthatwecanhaveabetteragethanthewretched
onewhichisdying,isasensiblehope.
IdedicatedTheWisdomoftheOverselftothepioneersofanoblerepoch.Doesthatmean
Ibelievesuchanepochwillsoonbegin?MyansweristhatIdobelieveitwillbeginbut
notnecessarilysoon.Thearrivalofanoblerepoch,inthesenseofonethatwillwitness
societybeingorganizedforthematerialbenefitofthemassesratherthanforthebenefit
ofthefew,isbecomingobvioustoall.Butasocietyorganizedforthespiritualbenefitof
allclassesisveryfarfromobviousandIdonotatallseeitcomingsoon.Weareindeeda
verylongwayfromit,asIstatedintheprefacetoTheHiddenTeachingBeyondYoga.If
anythingmaybepredictedoftheagewhichweareentering,itisthatthetempoofchange
willbetremendouslyaccelerated,andthatnewinventionsandnewideaswillcome
quicklyandplentifullytothefront.
268

Theinterdependenceofmankindwasnotunderstoodthroughthelogicofphilosophic
reflection,soithadtobeunderstoodthroughthelogicofterriblecalamities.ThusSoviet
RussiaandconservativeEnglandwereforcedbybitternecessitytomakeamilitary
alliance.Andwhatbeganasawarinonecontinent,Europe,endedbyhaving
repercussionsonthewholeworld.Formorethantwohundredmillionpeopleinahighly
civilizedcontinentlikeEuropecouldnotproceedalongaroadwithouttherestof
mankindhavingtofollowinthesamedirectiontosomeextent.Thisisalessoninhuman
interdependencewhichhistoryhasneverbeforegiven.Thustheneedofalonginterlude
ofpeacewillenabletheleadingstatestomodifytheirselfsufficiencyandtaketosome
formofworldunionandthustobecomeeventuallyasingleunit.
TheBelgians,whobrutallyenslavedtheunhappyinhabitantsoftheCongo,were
themselvestwiceenslavedbytheGermans.CannobodyseethehandofKarmahere?
Lifehastaughtusseverelessonsbythesheercompulsionofevents.Thefirstand
foremostofsuchlessonsisthatnorace,nocountry,noclass,andnoindividualcanafford
tostandasideincallousindifferencetothewelfareofotherraces,countries,classes,and
individualsorinnarrownationalistisolation.Thewarshoweduptheinterdependenceof
peoplesasnothingelsedid.TheBritishfailuretorespondtoIndia'snaturalneedof
libertysentthousandsofIndiansoldierstodeaththroughthetemptationthusgivento
Japantopretendto"liberate"India,whiletheIndianfailuretorespondtotheCrippsoffer
sentthousandsofBritishandAmericansoldierstotheirgraves.Thetruthisthathumanity
isevennowsecretlybecoming,andmustonedayopenlybecome,agreatfamily.Such
arethesufferingsandupheavalsofthisuniqueperiodthatmenhavebeencompelled
undertheirduresstolooktherealissuesatlastintheeye.Andthoseissuesareprimarily
moralandmentalones.Wemayseeinthemiseriesoftodayapowerfultestimonytothe
moraldegradationofyesterday.Thetragicmisunderstandingsofmankindwhichfailto
recognizethisaredeplorablebutrepairable.
269

Itwouldbeabsurdtoattempttochangemankindovernight.Humancharacterandhuman
outlookareproducedbythecourseofevolutionaryexperienceduringimmenseperiodsof
time.Butifweoughtnottoembarkonsuchafutiletaskweoughttoembarkonthe
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noblerandwisertaskofmakingtheknowledgeofKarmaavailabletoall.Then,ifpeople
continuetoinjureothers,theywillatleastknowthatretributionmusteventuallycometo
them.Toremovetheirignoranceandtoincreasetheircomprehensionoftruthisourclear
duty.Toacttowardstheirneighbourswithgoodwill,willthenbetheirs.
Totheprofoundthinker,thehistoryofthelasthundredyearsplainlyevidencesthe
existenceofahigherpowerwhichisguidingthedestiniesofmankindnolessthanit
evidencestheexistenceofakarmiclawwhichistyingpaintowrongactions.Thecareful
studyofhistorybyamindwhichisnotonlycapableofindependentthinkingbutalso
abletobeartheconsequencesofsuchthinking,andwhichisequippedwithaknowledge
ofthelawofKarma,willleadtosignificantresultsofamostphilosophicalcharacter.In
thisconnection,Buckle'sHistoryofCivilizationinEuropeisabookworthreadingeven
thoughitsauthorhadbutanunconsciousknowledgeofthetruthofKarma.Wemaylearn
therefromthatsocieties,likemen,risetotheirzenithandfallintotheirdeclinethrough
theirownmoralandmentaldefects.
270

TheComingofaNewEra
Theamazinginventionsandtechnologicaladvanceswhichtheliberatedintellectof
humanityhasdevelopedopenupaneraofplenty,prosperity,leisure,andcomfortforall.
TheMachineAgeisoustingtheMuscleAge.Peopletodayuselessbodilyenergyfor
dailyworkandlivingthantheirforefatherseverdid.Consequently,theyoughttohave
moreleisureforhighertasks.If,asisthecase,theyhaven'tsuchleisure,itisnotthe
machine'sfaultbutsociety's.Electricservantsandothermechanicalaidstolivingwilldo
muchtolighteneventhedomesticlabourofthenewageastheyhavealreadylightened
itsindustriallabour.Theywillcook,sew,wash,carry,clean.Itisnotunreasonableto
expectthatatleastonehalfofthehumaneffortexpendedintheoperationsinvolvedin
industrial,mining,andagriculturalprocesseswillbecomequiteunnecessary.The
MachineAgehasmadepossibletheLeisureAge.Individuals,forthefirsttime,may
worklessandproducemore.Weareonthethresholdofaneraofunheardofplenty,
leisure,andculture,notforafew,asinthepast,butforall.Wecancrossthatthresholdas
soonaswereorganizesociety.Cultureforallandnotmerelyforthefewmaycomeinto
itsown.Recordplayers,forinstance,aretodaygrindingouttheartofthefewinthe
homesofthemany.Oncethestruggleforbareexistenceisover,oncemenareableto
givethemselveslesstothedaylongdrudgeryofphysicalworkandmoretoleisurehour
mentaleducation,oncewetakefulladvantageofthemachine'spotentialitiesandmakeits
benefitsfreelyavailabletoall,abigstepforwardinthepossibilityofhumanliberation
willhavebeentaken.
Theinventionsandinnovations,thenewdiscoveries,materials,andprocesseswhichwill
beginasatrickleduringtheopeningyearsofthetwentyfirstcenturywillpouroutasa
floodbeforetheclosingones.Thewarshavegiventhesharpeststimulustothis
developmentsofar,buttherealpeacetocomewillcompleteit.Theimpetusof
technologicaldevelopmentinourowncenturyhasalreadybecomesoswiftandits
inventivenesssoenormousthattheentireeconomicanddomesticlifeofhumanitywillin
thenextcenturybemagicallyaltered.Thefirstsignificanceofthisisthatitwillgiveboth
menandwomenmoreleisurethesecond,thatitwillgivethemlesslabour.Itwillthen
benotbeyondhumanintelligenceandhumangoodwilltomaketheleisureandluxury
thatcouldemergefromamoreeffectiveuseofthemachineservehaplessmillions.For
toolong,lifeforthemhasbeentoohardastrugglemerelytoexist.Thelowliestmanwill
shareinaminimumofcomfortsandconvenienceswhichthelabourofthescientist,the
poweroftheengineer,andtheknowledgeofthechemistwillbringhim.Scientific
progressismultiplyingthewealthofman.Itcanandwillbeconvertedintoeconomic
plenty.Modernpowerproductivityhasrenderedmoreeasilyattainabletherealizationof
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idealisticdreamsofeconomicbetterment.ItmaybesaidthatwhenJamesWattsoldand
settoworkin1776thesteamengineonwhichhisfamerests,heinauguratedtheeraof
appliedscience.Fromthatepochalyear,menwereabletomanufacturegoodswitha
swiftnessandaplentifulnesspreviouslyunknown.
ThereisnoscarcityinNature.Itissimplyamatterofcompetentlymobilizing,by
machinepower,whatsheiswillingtogiveus.Itisnotwrongtotakeadvantageofnew
inventionsandhumaningenuitytogivethebodymorecomfortandthemindmore
freedom.
Thosewhoarefrightenedbywhatthemachinehasdoneinthewarmaybecheeredby
whatitcoulddoinpeace.Anyway,itishereandthey'dbetteracceptit.Forsolongas
man'smindfunctions,solongashisthinkingprocesscontinues,solongwilltheprocess
ofinventingneworbettermachinesgoon.Theonlywaytoeliminatetheirdestructive
useisnotbyeliminatingthemachinebutbyimprovingman.
Themachinewasborntohelphumanity.Inthenextcentury,itwillhelpsoamazingly
andsowidelythatitwillprovidesufficientfood,goods,andservicestobanishpoverty
andeliminatethejunglelikestruggleforexistence.Sciencehasshownthewayto
enormouslyincreasedproductivity.Theinventivepowerofmanhasconstructed
wonderfulmachines,devisedamazingtechniques,developedextraordinaryskills,created
newmaterials,andmadepossibleastronomicalproductionfigures.Ithasbeguntomake
itpossibleforhimtoextractenoughfood,clothing,fuel,andshelterfromtheearthto
giveaworthwhileexistencetoallthemembersofhisspecies.Themultiplicationofhis
poweronearthisbecomingatremendousactuality.Thehumanbeingstandsbehindthe
machine.Heinventedit,heexploitsit,hemustpartakeofitsproducts.Thesightof
starving,raggedpeoplecould,inthenextcentury,everywheredisappear.The
degradationofslumscouldbewipedoutonceandforall.Therewouldbenoneedfor
continuousclasswars,nonecessityforendlesscapitallabourstruggles.
Theamplitudeofchoiceinattractivenewmaterialsandgleamingnewcolourswhichare
availableformanufacturingandconstructionalpurposesarenothinglessthanamazing.
Architecturalbeautyandpracticalutilitymeetandmarryastheycouldneverbefore.
Uttercleanlinessanddignifiedsimplicitybecomepossibleforenrichmentofthepoorest
home.Efficientaccomplishmentandaestheticcharmmayjointosatisfyeverybody's
everydayneeds.Allthiscastingasideofancientlimitations,crudenesses,and
inefficienciestendstochangethestuff,theutility,andtheappearanceofour
environmentalformsandtochangethemgreatlyforthebetter.Lifeintheexternal
physicalsensecouldbecomebetterworthlivingforthetoilingclassesasithasalways
beenfortheshelteredfew.Easilycontrolledtemperaturesinhomesandvehiclescould
defytheworstinconveniencesofarcticsnowandtropicsun.Thenewmaterialsofthe
comingage,thelightermetalsandthestrongerplastics,wouldalonemakepossiblea
productivetransformationwhichcouldraiselivingstandards,improveconstruction
possibilities,andprovidebetteropportunitiesandbetteremployment.Thesematerials
willreflectthedynamicspiritofthisage.Insteadofwaitingawholelifetimefortimberto
grow,wecanwaveawizard'swandovermilkorgrainorchemicalsandcompressthe
resultintoaninstantlyavailablesubstancewhichcanbeusedinmostofthewaysthatwe
havehithertousedwood.Themostrevolutionaryinventionofthecenturyhasyetto
manifestitself,however.Steamchangedtheindustrialcharacterofthenineteenth
century.Petrolandelectricityhavealreadychangedthetransportanddomesticcharacter
ofthefirsthalfofthetwentiethcentury.Butacleaner,cheaper,safersourceofpower
drawnfromtheairitselfcouldyetimmeasurablychangeitsclosingdecade.Thusthe
settingofman'sbodilylifecouldberadicallyalteredandrapidlyevolvedinthetwenty
firstcentury,bothtoexpressandtostimulatethealternationsandevolutionsofhismental
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life.Newideasandidealswillmoveinaflowingstreamacrosstheworld.Newpatterns
willspontaneouslyshapethemselvestoreflectandpromotethem.
Itwillbethebusinessofthecommunitytoensurethateverymemberisabletoearna
livelihood,togivehimworkthatwillsupporthim,or,ifitfailstodoso,tosupplyhim
withthefood,goods,andserviceswhichheneeds.Thiswillberegardedasnotonly
ethicaldutyonitspart,butalsoeconomicwisdom.Apublicdolesystemofreliefisa
confessionoffailureapublicworkssystem,ofhalffailure.Suchsystemsarebredby
mindssteepedinapsychologyofscarcity.Successlieswithanexpansionistoutlook,a
fullemploymentpolicy,andahigherstandardofcommonliving.Inthismachineage,it
isnotproductionbutconsumptionthatlagsbehind.Theequilibriumbetweenthetwo
mustbemaintainedifeconomichealthistobemaintained.
Iftheworkingmassescouldbedeliveredfromtheworstextremesoftheireconomic
servitude,theymightbegintobenefitbyandevencontributetowardsthespiritual
enlightenmentwhichishistoricallydue.Thisindeedisoneofthemainhiddenreasons
whydestinyhasdecreedtheimmenseeconomicandsocialchangeshappeningtoday.
Wheneconomicanxieties,pressures,ordeprivationsabsorbmen'smindstotheextent
thattheyareunabletofindthewill,hope,time,orenergyforspiritualstudies,thenthe
formofsocietywhichcreatessuchaconditionisharmfulandundesirable.Thetoiling
masseshavehadlittletimetothinkofspiritualtruthinthepast,muchlesstoundertake
itsconsciousandindependentinvestigation.Hence,theyhavehadtoacceptreadymade
religionfromothersmysticismandphilosophybeingsoremotefromtheirlivesastobe
almostnonexistentforthem.Thus,bypromotingtheirexteriorwelfare,weshallnot
merelyprovideforthedemandsofsocialjusticebutalsosurroundthemasseswith
conditionsmorefavourablefortheirprogressspiritually.Physicalwellbeingandworldly
securityareanecessarypartofanyeconomywhichistoprovideexpressionforhigher
values.Thosewhoareinterestedonlyintheirowncomfortandsecuritymaynotbe
interestedinanyaltruisticproposalsfortheupliftoftheunderprivileged,butthosewho
acknowledgeaninterestinthespiritualadvancementofhumanitycannotescapetheir
responsibilityinthismatter.
Wehave,ontheonehand,themachinery,thepeople,andthetechniqueswhereby
immensequantitiesofconsumablegoodsandfoodscouldbeproduced.Wehave,onthe
otherhand,animmensehumandemandforthem.Butwhatpreventsusfromconverting
thispotentialdemandintoanactualone?Forthetransformationcouldbemadeifagreat
changeofheartandalittlechangeofheadcouldbebroughtabout.Societyhasceasedto
desertandbeguntoacceptitsresponsibilityfortheindividual.Manyoftheoverworked
objectionsaboutthesocalledimpracticabilityofethicalandsocialidealismhavebeen
disarmedanddisproved.Weareruefullywakinguptothefactthatthementalitywhich
beginsbyimaginingrigidrestrictionsonwhatcanbedonetoconstructabetterworld,
endsbyimposingthem.Wehadtowaitfortheterriblestimulusofwarbeforebeginning
tomakeneededreformsandoverduechanges.Wartimenecessityhasshownthat
abundantproductioncanbesuccessfullyachievedpeacetimeeventswillonedayshow
thatabundantconsumptioncanjustassuccessfullybegot,too.
Whentheworldchangedoverfrommanualtomechanicalproduction,itbegantochange
overfromfeudalistictomodernideasalso.Thetwentyfirstcenturywillcompletethe
processandapplyittothefinancialsphere,too.Thetwirlingofaknobonaradiosetand
thetouchofacontrolonanairplaneswitchboardsimplephysicaloperationssuchas
these,forinstancehavetwirledandtouchedaneworderoffinancialideasintoactuality.
ConsiderhowthesocalledbankruptGermanywhichHitlertookoverwasable
successfullytofinanceitsgiganticpreparationsforthegreatestwarinhistory.Itcould
nothavedonethisifithadfollowedfearandtraditionandlimiteditselfto"bankwealth"
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ortothefullbackingofitspapercurrencybymetallicreserveingoldandsilver.It
departedfromtheclassictraditionsofpoliticaleconomistswiththeirmesmerismsof
"sound"monetaryequilibrium,economiccycles,andthelawofsupplyanddemand,
knowingthattheState'sprestigeassuredthecirculationofitspaper.Itwentaheadwith
fullconfidenceintheprinciplethattherewasnorealbankruptcywhiletherewasa
sufficiencyoflabour,machinery,andmaterialstherestwasamatteroforganization.
Onlyinthiswaycanweadvanceatlasttosocialsanity.Ifandwhenitcomes,withthe
twentyfirstcentury,weshallseethecopartnershipofcooperativeclassesreplacingthe
menagerieofconflictingones.Weshallseethatnationgreetedbyhistorywhichknows
howtoservebest,nothowtograbmost.Weshallseethestrongerraces,groups,and
classesusingtheirstrengthnottooppresstheweakerones,buttoliftthemup.Weshall
seeaworldofdiversepeopleswhohaveceasedtryingtoimposetheirwill,theircreeds,
theirtradeuponeachotherandhavelearnedtoliveandletlive.Weshallseepubliclife
convertedfromawrangleforprizesintoafieldofconstructiveservice.Weshallseea
worldwherethechildrenofthelowestclassescansharefreelyandadequatelyinthe
fruitsofthehighesteducation.
Suchanorderwillbringoutthebestpossibilities,asCommunismbringsouttheworst.
Andinsteadofinducingmentostruggleagainsteachother,itwillinducethemtoco
operatewitheachother.Theprincipleofcooperationwillhelptocrushindividualand
nationalselfishnessandthustendtopromoteethicalprogress.

Roleofphilosophy,mysticismnow
271

Inhishumblingdiscoverythatforallhisphysicalvigourandintellectualpowerheisstill
spirituallyweak,contemporarymanisdiscoveringtheneedofreligion,mysticism,or
philosophy.
272

Thecrisisintheworldtodayissuchthatstraightanswersmustbegiventostraight
questions.Informererasitwaspossibletoaccommodatethetruthtothelevelof
understandingofthoseaddressed,toclotheitinsymbolandallegoryortohideitbehind
enigmaticpuzzlingandobscurewords,phrases,orsentences.Buttodaythereare
ominouscloudsintheskywhichoughtnottobeignored,andbecauseofthemtherisk
mustbetakenthatthosewhocannotnowunderstandmaygatheratleastsomething,some
partorsomehintofthetruth.
273

Inordinarytimes,whenanewideahastobeintroducedamongstaconservativepeople,it
isbestintroducedbyeasystages.Itsadvocatesmustseekoutwhatisimmediately
practicable.Butifmanyhindrancesinthewayofspiritualadvancedoexist,ifprogress
mustbeproportionedtohumanreceptivity,itisalsotruethatweliveinexceptionaltimes
andthatawholecycleofcivilizationiscomingtoanend.Anewoneisstrugglingtobe
born.Henceadefinitespeedingupofthetempoofprogresswillberightandsuccessful
justnow,becauseitwillbehelpedbykarmicforcesandevolutionarytrends.Sucha
conjunctureofeventsandinfluencesprovidesnotonlytheopportunitytoservehumanity
spirituallyasneverbefore,itprovidesalsotheobligationtodoso.Wemighthavebeen
quitecontenttowaitforthevindicationoftheoverwhelmingrightnessofphilosophy,
becauseeventsthemselveshavebeencontributingtoourworkforus.Buttheyhavebeen
doingitslowlyandcautiously,littlestepbylittlestep.Nowcivilization'sdangerof
collapsehascomenearenoughtomakeuslesspatient.Itisbecausewelivein
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unprecedentedlytroubleddaysthatthelightofphilosophyissoneeded.Themore
distressingthetimeinwhichwelive,themorenecessaryisthequestforwhatwillraise
usabovealldistress.Thecriticalchangesandunprecedentedeventsthroughwhichwe
arepassingtodaycallforacorrectlead.Itisaninescapabledutyandsacredresponsibility
onthepartofthosewhohavetherequisiteknowledgetoprovidesuchalead.The
obligationtohelpthebirthofabetterworldisbothamoralandapracticaloneitisnow
paramount.Itisoneofthephilosopher'sfunctionstorevealthetruemeaningofthis
worldexperience,toexplainthedeepercausesofitschaosandturmoil,andtopointthe
waytowardabetterlifeformankind.Hisdutyliesthereforenotinmakingpropaganda
butinlettingpeoplebecomeawarethattheknowledgeoftruthdoesexistamongmen,
thatitisavailableforwhoeverseeksitearnestlyenough.Thegospelwhichhumanity
needsforthehealingofitsfrightfulmaladyalreadyexistswithinitsmidst.Butits
existenceisknownonlytoafew.
274

Mysticalculturemustnowreconcileitselfwiththenewera'sdemands,mustdeepenits
thoughtandwidenitsattitude.
275

Inourepoch,whenbusinessenterpriseissupreme,theneedoffittingthesedoctrinesto
practicalusesisalsosupreme.
276

Ithadtocome,withhistorymovingasithasdone.Thefermentofideas,ofminds
provokedtoseektruth,broughtiton.Thisdemocratizationofknowledgeishappeningin
everyotherbranch.Howlongcouldithavebeenavoidedinthisone?
277

Weliveinatimewhenmysticismmustcomeoutoftheashramsandmonasteriesandget
toworkinthemarketplaces,thecollegehalls,andthehouseholders'abodes.
278

Philosophyisnaturallybestexpoundedoutofgaietyofheartattheuniverse'swonderful
meaningbutitslessonsarebestreceived,anditsdisciplinebestenforced,inthesadness
ofmindwhichcomestothoughtovertheconditionsoflifetoday.
279

Thethreefoldidealofrationalreligion,practicalmysticism,andlivablephilosophy
shouldbebetterappreciatedinthesetimesthaneverbefore.
280

Itisnowpossible,becauseofthemomentousevolutionarychangewhichismarkingout
ourepochasoneofthemostimportanteverknowntohistory,foralargerindividual
adherencetobegiventophilosophicalmysticaldoctrinesthaninformerepochs.The
blindslavishtribaladherenceofpatriarchaltimestorevelatoryreligiousteachingisquite
adifferentthing.
281

Themorebrutalourtimesbecome,themoredoesasensitivesoullongforthekindly
peacewhichmeditationaffords.
282

Thepsychoanalystswhoassertthatthosewhoturntowardmysticismorphilosophyto
escapefromthelargescaledehumanization,chaos,disorder,andtensionofourtimesare
takinganeasywayoutwhichletsthemavoidfacingtheirproblems,areassertingwhatis
trueofsomepersonsbutquitefalseofothers.
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283

Theeducationofhumanintelligence,thecultureofspiritualintuition,andthe
ennoblementofcharacterarenecessities,sinceitisthey,together,thatstandbetween
mankindandcatastrophe.
284

Inthissituationofworldcrisis,intelligentmysticsshouldfeelnolongerabletosupport
thetraditionalpoliciesofinertia,indifference,andescapism.Theyshouldbeinterestedin
humanity'spresentupheavalandfuturedirection.Theyshouldbethinkingabouthow
theycancontributesomethinghoweverlittletohelpitgoupwardsoutofthisterrible
trialtoahigherlifeandnotsinkdownwardstoalowerone.
285

Ifheremainscompletelypreoccupiedwithhispersonalsalvationandtriestoignorethe
destructionandsufferingripplingthroughtheworld,thatishisownaffair.Heisentitled
todoit.Theremayevenbenothingelsethathecando.Butthefallingbombswillbreak
intothequiescenceofhismeditations.
286

Onlywisdomcankeepitsserenityandlookbehindthehorribleeventsofyesterdayand
beyondthechaoticeventsoftoday.Theunpurifiedheartandunequilibratedmindofthe
unwiseconfineunderstandingtotheshortrangepointofview,limitperceptiontothe
surfaceofthings,andagitatefeelingwithintheimmediatemoment.
287

Thereisdevelopinginthecontemporaryworldanincreasingsympathywithmystical
attitudesandanincreasingrealizationoftheinsufficiencyofintellectualones.
288

Theworldcrisishasnotonlymadeitpossiblefortheseideastopenetratemindswhich
wereformerlyindifferenttowardsthem,butalsotoshowtheirimmensevaluewhen
practicallyandpersonallyapplied.
289

Thoseofuswhoaredrivenbytroubles,disappointments,orfrustrationstoseeksolacein
mysticismdowell.Nevertheless,wedonotunderstandthattheinnerpeaceitwillyield
usisafterallanintermittentone.Onlyfromthephilosophicalstandpointwillwebeable
tofindanenduringpeace.Thoseofuswhostartedtoendurethewartimehorrorswith
suchastandpointwereablenotonlytomaintainbutalsotofortifyit.Aftertheviolent
stressesofwar,weshallneedconstructiveprinciplestoguideourdisturbedthoughtsand
mysticalpracticestosteadyourdisturbedemotions.Onlysuchprinciplescanremain
uncloudedbythehappeningsofaworldincrisis.Themessagephilosophyproclaims,
withitsbalancedestimateoffundamentalhumannature,bringstranquillitytotheheart
depressedbygrimappearancestothecontrary.
290

Mysticsmaydisregardtheeventsoftheirtimebutphilosopherscannot.
291

Philosophytodayrepresentsarefugeforthosesufferingfromthehatredandstrifeinthe
worldaswellasasourceofgoodnessandwisdomforthosewhoseektopermeatetheir
liveswithmeaning.
292

Throughtheeffortsofpioneersandtheevolutionofthought,therehasunquestionably
beensomeawakeninginmanycountries,particularlyEuropeancountries,tothesenew
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oldteachingsandpracticesofamysticalorOrientalcharacter.Theyarenolongerso
startlingorsounfamiliarastheyformerlywere.Thisawakeninghasbeengreatly
acceleratedbytheirpresentationinamodernform,howeverprimevaltheyare
historically.Theneedforthemwasveryrealasanecessarycounterbalancetothe
contemporarytendencies,andasaselfprotectivereactiontothecontemporary
helplessness.
293

Whenweconsidersuchasituationandwaystoremedyit,itisnoticeablethatpeoplewho
arelimitedbymerelyintellectualviewsareimpatientandwanttogetquickresults.They
offermethodswhichwillsupposedlybringthemquickresults.Butthefactis,alltheycan
getareeitherimperfectorevenbadresults.Theotherway,thephilosophicway,worksin
adeeperrealm,seesquiteclearlymoreofthebasicfactors,therealcharacter,andis
consequentlymorepatient.Itpenetratesdirectlythroughtheformalappearancesofthe
situationtoitsfundamentalrealities.Thereforeitcanrenderbetterservicetohumanityby
pointingouttheserealitiesthanthemostwellmeaningstatesmenwhoblindlygropetheir
wayroundandroundcanrender.Itscounselhacksatthesinglerootsofallourtroubles
insteadofhackingatathousandbranches.
294

Thewritingsofthewisestspiritsofthemoderneraareintheirhands,therecordsofthe
greatmysticsofthemedievaleracanbeconsultedintheirlibraries,andtheliteratureof
thesagesoftheantiqueerahasbeentranslatedfortheirbenefit.
295

Oughtwetocongratulateourselvesthatinthesedaysthesagesappearwithinpaper
coversonthesameshelvesasthepopularentertainersandromanticists?
296

TheneedtodayisforChristmilitant,forthespiritualizationoflifeintheworld,andnot
forflightfromtheworld.TheappearanceinourowntimeofantiChristCommunismis
itselfsuggestiveofthisnecessity.
297

Forthosewhoproperlyunderstanditandfaithfullypractiseit,philosophystandsamidthe
uncertaintiesandthreatsofourtimeasasecurecitadel.Initonefindsassuranceforheart
andmind,andwillfindsafeguidanceforone'sbody.
298

Philosophyknowswellthatitcouldcontributeworthwhileideastowardstheeasingof
humanity'shardsituation.Butitbelievesthatitsvoicewouldbeawhispercryinginthe
wilderness,thattoofewwouldlistentoittomakeanyeffectivedifference.Ifitis
pessimisticabouttheoutcomeofpresenttendencies,thatisbecauseitperceives,from
abundantevidenceprovided,thattheirconflictwiththedivineplancanonlyendintheir
owndestruction.
299

Itisnottobeexpectedthatthemassofpeople,withtheirweakmoralandmental
capabilities,couldacceptandfollowthephilosophicideals.Thiswastrueineverypast
centuryanditisstilltruetoday.Butneverbeforehassowidespreadandsodevastatinga
perilthreatenedmankind.Itmaybethatacertainnumberofpersonswhomight
otherwisehavepassedthephilosophicrevelationcarelesslybywillfeelthepressureof
thetimessufficientlytotakewarningandtotakemoreheedforthemselves.
300

Religionsmustriseandfall,changeanddie,becausemen'sbeliefsmustchangewiththe
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changingtimes.ThisiswhyIseeinthehigherphilosophyofTruththeonlyenduring
hopeforapeaceonearthwhichwillbeunbreakable,andtheonlychargerforgoodwill
towardsmenwhichwillsurviveaslongasthisplanetsurvives.
301

Howemotionallyrefreshing,howintellectuallyvaluable,andhowpracticallyapplicable
arethecertitude,theclarity,andtheinsightofphilosophyatatimelikeoursofconfusion
anddoubt,uncertaintyanddespair.
302

Men'slivesaresodisorientedinthisage,theirmindssoconfusedandtheirfeelingsso
frustrated,thatthespiritualtruthcouldtheyonlyappreciateitsworthwouldbe
accompaniedbyproportionatelymoresolacenowthanitwasatothertimesinthepast.
303

Cananyoneescapethetension,thedisturbance,andinvolvementintheworldcrisis
today?EventhefactthatTibetthehermitcountrycouldnotdosoisbothasymboland
awarning.
304

Thecustodiansofthehigherphilosophywillnotwastetheirtimebyengaginginfutile
activities.Theyrecognizethepsychologicalfactthatonlythosepeoplewhowanthigher
spiritualhelpwillbepreparedtoacceptthehigherphilosophicalteaching.When
dissatisfactionwiththeorthodoxteachingsispresentandinabilitytofindanotherto
replacethemisalsopresent,andwhenthepropermoralintellectualandintuitive
capacitiesalsoexist,thentherewillbefavourablegroundforthereceptionofsuch
philosophybutnotbeforesuchconditionsdoexist.
305

Itisbecausepainfulexperiencehascombinedwithscientificdiscoverytoteachmankind
thathumanresourcesunguidedbydivinerevelationarenotenoughthatmankindwill
havetolistentothevoiceofphilosophyintheend.
306

APrayerForTheWorld:
Inthistimeofconfusionandanxiety,ofstrifeandtrouble,itisourholydutyto
rememberourdependenceonThee,OrealGovernoroftheworld!
Werealizethatthedarknessintheworldtodayhascomebecausesomanyhaveforgotten
theirdependenceonThee.
Thosewhosepositionsofpowerorinfluencehaveplacedtheminthenations'councils
need,intheirgraveresponsibility,thehelpofThycommunionandthebenefitofThy
guidanceasneverbefore,thattheymaynotstrayintoerrororweakness.
Therefore,weshalldailyprayforthemandforourselves,inminutesofprivateworship
orsilentmeditation,thatallmayregainthefeelingofThypresence.Weshallconstantly
confessourshortcomingsandfaults,butwepromisetostrivetobetterandennobleour
lives.Weshallendeavourtocastoutallevilthinkingandmaterialisticbelief.
OurneedofThymercyandgraceisvast.Showusthewaytowinthem,OInfiniteFather
ofallbeings,Whoseloveisourlastresource.

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Needforwisdom,peace
307

Thetwentiethcenturymustbringforthitsownprophets,theWestitsownappropriate
wisdom.
308

Everyprophetorpropheticwriterwhoarisesfortheguidanceoferringhumanityisonly
asecondaryhelponthepathoflifefromignorancetoenlightenment.Theprimaryguide
mustintheendbehumanity'sownintelligence,asitdevelopsitselfthroughgrowing
experience.Atfirst,whenmisdirectedbyappearances,itmakesmanymistakesand
humanitysuffersasaresult.Butlater,tutoredintotheseekingofrealities,itbecomes
wiserandplaysitsproperrole.
309

Thepresentawakeningofthenonwhiteracesisfullofsignificance.Wehearmuchofthe
barbariccrueltyandsavageviolenceaccompanyingit,butnotenoughofthesaintliness
whichoccasionallyflashesacrosstheblackman'ssky.MartinLutherKing,forinstance,
nowasIwriteaNobelPeacePrizeman,comesclosertothecharacterofJesusthanthe
vastmajorityofwhitemen.Thespiritualfutureofthisplanetmayholdsurprisesandone
ofthegreatestcouldwellbetheappearanceofthenextgreatprophetinthedespisedbody
ofadarkskinnedman.Nodivinelawhasprescribedseershipasawhitefleshedthing
only,norestablishedthebringingofspiritualbalmasawhitemonopolyforalltime.This
ismerehumanopinionfrozentothepastbyitsownhistoricpast.Butthepastbecomes
musty,faded,andhastogivewaytothenewforcesnowpressingforentrance.
310

Thereissuchaconfusionincontemporaryhumanaffairs,suchathreattohumannobility
fromitsphysicalenvironment,thatordinaryrationalknowledgeprovesinsufficientto
carrythethoughtfulhumanbeingthroughasereneandpeacefuldaytodayexistence.
Onlyasuperrationalandmysticallyrevealedknowledgecanprovidetheaddedelements
necessarytosuchanexistence.
311

Theneedtodayisforcompoundsofinspiredvisionariesanddeterminedworkers.
312

Isthereanysinglesourcetowhichwecantrackdowntheentiremultitudeofdisturbing
eventswhichcontinuetoafflictthenationsyearafteryear?Isthereonefundamental
explanationwhichwillexplainalltheotherexplanationsthatareconstantlybeingoffered
us?Forouranswerwemustgotothosewhopossessnoaccreditedpositioninthescheme
ofthingstoday,whoseveryexistenceislargelyunknownandwhosevoicesaresoquiet
thattheyareseldomheardabovethoseofthemultitudewhichcometoourears.
Wemustgotothemenofdeeperinsight,clearervision,andimpersonaloutlook.Truthis
ashygoddessandrevealsherselfonlytothosewhocourtherintherightspirit,readyto
crushallpersonalprejudiceandtoputasideallotherdesiresatherbidding.Suchmenare
rareandthereforethetrueunderstandingoflifeisequallyrare.Theeyesofsuchmenare
reallyopenbecausetheyarenolongerblindedbyselfinterest.
313

Thephilosopherwhohasopenedhismouthtoofreelyandfrankly,toldwhathehas
foreseeninthebeliefthatpreparationfortheworstofferssomeprotectionagainstthe
worst,soonlearnstoshutittightagain.Forhelearnsthatifitisunpleasantsuchtruthis
unwanted,andalsothatheisdangerouslymisunderstoodasregardingasdesirablewhat
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hemerelyregardsasinevitable.DuringtheFirstWorldWarafewilluminedseers,both
OrientalandOccidental,knewhowitwoulddevelopandhowitwouldend.Beforethe
peacetreatywassignedtheyknewthatasecondwarwouldbreakoutabouttwentyyears
later.Asearlyas1942theyknewboththeoutcomeofthatconflictaswellasthecourse
tobetakenbythepeacetosucceedit.Theyknewthenthegeneraldirectionofworld
events,forthefollowingyearsconfirmedtheirunderstanding,whichdidnotcometo
thembyreasoningorbycalculationbutbyrevelation.Whereitcouldserveaworthier
cause,theypassedonfragmentsofthisknowledgetoresponsibleleadersduringboth
wars,tosustainandinspirethem.Solongastheseerscouldgiveamessageofhope,their
wordswerewelcome.Sosoonas,withthefirstyearsofpeace,theygaveamessageof
warninginbothcases,theirwordswereunwelcome.Becausemanisinwardlyfree
howeveroutwardlybound,freeinhisspiritbutnotinhisego,theirprophecieswere
alwaysconditionaluponhisrisingtofulfilhisspiritualpossibilities,whentheywould
necessarilyhavetobeentirelychanged.Thiswastheunknownfactorwhichmadeand
makesperfectpredictionquiteimpossible.Butthelikelihoodofitsfulfilmenthasbecome
thinnerwitheachyearthemostcrucialandfatefulperiodwastheeighteenmonths
followingthesecondwar'send.Itsfailurespointthewaytotherealizationof
forebodings,tothefulfilmentofdoom.
314

Theyforesawthecrisisandthewar,knewthattheentireplanethadbeguntospinina
whirlpoolofincreasingdisaster,buttheywerehelpless.Theydidnotcountinthe
conventionalsocialworld.Whatevertheycoulddowouldbeameredropinabottomless
bucketofplanetarytragedy.Allthattheycandonowadaysistofashion,eachforhimself,
anattitudewhichshallberesistanttothecorrosivecynicismsaroundthemandwhich
shallbeimmunetothedarkimpuritiesbeneath.
315

Weneedtoemploybutlittlereflectiontoperceivethatthereligiousenthusiasts'dreamof
anabsoluteandsuddenconversionofmankindbythemillionsiscontrarytopossibility,
isinfactbutapieceofwishfulthinking.Itdarenotbesaidthatitwillbeaneraof
renascentspirituality.Isthewholeexpectationofsuchaneramerelyapieceofwishful
thinking?Notthattheultimatedestinyofeverylivingcreatureisinglorious:theeventual
awakeningofitsindividualmindintotheuniversaldivineselfisindeedascertainasthe
dawnofthenextday'ssun,buttruthcanbeunderstoodonlybythosewhoarewillingto
accepttheatmosphereofeternity.
316

Itisnotwithoutworthtohumanitythatinatransitionaleraofcatastropheandviolence,
inasocietyofsuperficiality,neuroticism,andinsanity,thereshouldbesomemenand
womenwhocanactasdirectlinks,asitwere,betweenitandthedivineworld,asshining
lighthousesinthedarkenedseaoftheirtime.Onlythemysticalphilosopherspossessthe
essentialknowledgeofalltheforceswhichareactivebehindtheleadingepisodesofthe
worldscenes,becausetheyalonepossessinsight.Andonlythemysticalphilosophers
estimatethoseepisodesadequatelyandaccurately,becausetheyalonepossessenough
selflessimpartialityandinnerfreedomtodosoaright.
317

Itisacharacteristicofhumangroupsthattheycannotkeeptheirfootholdcontinuouslyon
loftymoralheightsthroughsuccessivegenerations,butsoonerorlatersagandweaken.
Religion,asthefountainheadofmorals,advancesbuttodeclineandeventuallyexhaust
itself.Henceinwardrenewalisneeded,andhencenewinspirationbringingprophets
mustperiodicallyappear.Thetaskofaprophettodaydiffersfromthetasksofallother
prophetswhohavehithertoappearedamongstmankind.Forwhereastheycameforthe
benefitofsomeparticularareaorsomedefiniterace,hemustcomeforthebenefitofthe
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wholeworldandallraces.WhereistheGodinspiredsoulwhocaninauguratesucha
worldwidereligionandwhoisconsciousofbeinginvestedwithsuchadivineworld
encirclingmission?Wemaysearchfarandwideandyetfindhimnot.Whereisthe
beacononthespiritualhorizon?Whereisthesignthathumanityisabouttowitnessthe
arisalofaprophetwhowillleaditoutofthisdangerouschaos?Whereisthegroundfor
hopethatGodguidedmenwillsoonappear,readytoplacetheirlightandpoweratthe
serviceoftheirgropingfellows?Wemustsadlyconfessthatthesignisabsent,the
groundlacking.Hewhoistobringanewspiritualdispensationtohumanityisstill
invisible.Buthiscomingiscertain.Hewillcometoupliftthemillionswhohavefallen
intotheabyssofdespair,hopelessness,andmisery.Thewarwasanawakener.Itisbad
enoughthatwehaveforgottenourdivineself.Itisworsethatwehaveforgottenthatwe
haveforgottenit.Thisiswhytheworkofanawakenerhastoprecedetheworkofa
teacher.ThepropertimefortheMessiah'sappearancewillbeinthechaosafterthethird
postwarperiod.Forhumanitymustagaingothroughthepurifyingandeducativefireof
wartimeagonies.Hewillbearanunusualmessageandbearitpersonallytothewhole
worldthroughtravelwhichnopreviousteacherhasdone,notevenBahaullah,who
claimedtoteachallnations.
318

Theworld'surgentneedismorepeace.Butpeacecancomeonlyoutofgoodwillifitisto
lastforanylengthoftime.Thereforetheworld'srealneedismoregoodwill.The
individual'sneed,however,isnotthesame.Itisformoretruth.
319

Confusionanddisorderrulethepostwarworld.Thisisinevitablebecausetheyalready
rulethemindsandheartsofmen.Humanthoughtprojectsitselfuponitsenvironment.
Thementalconfusionofourtimesprevailsineverydepartmentoftheinnerlife.The
needforspiritualprinciples,clearthinking,andconsistentanalysis,ifmuchmore
desirablehere,becomesmuchlessattainable.Thereisallthemoreneed,therefore,foran
illuminatingknowledgewhichcanactasapathfinderthroughtheconfusions,abestower
ofpeaceamidthedisorders.
320

Idealsofspiritualexcellenceareanecessityifsocietyistosurviveandnotdestroyitself.
321

Howevergravetheeventsofcontemporaryhistorymayappear,onemaydrawstrength
andcourageintheknowledgethatInfiniteIntelligenceisalwaysbehindthem,directing
things.
322

Themodernworldhasrightlysoughtandattainedknowledge.Nowitmustquicklyseek
andattainwisdom,thenexthigheroctaveofknowledge,oritriskslosingitsgainsand
destroyingitself.
323

Whatcaneventhemostenlightenedmandointhesecircumstancesotherthanto
withdrawintoaretreatwherehemayhelpbymeditationtopurifythepollutedmental
atmosphereandbidehistime?
324

Thetalismaninthesedifficultdaysistoholdtoasenseofspiritualproportion,forto
surrendertothesuggestionsofenvironmentisnocurebutonlymakesthetroubleworse.
325

Thedearthofsagesinourtimeisominousforthedestinyofourtime.
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326

Eventhoughithastakensuchanunattractiveform,thereisaspiritualopportunityinthe
worldcrisis.Forwhomisthiscrisis?Itisfortheego.Butwhoishe?Heisinfinitebeing
andtimeless.SoheputsAppearanceinitsproperplace,stopsbeinghypnotizedand
victimizedbyit,andremainsintheReal,indestructiblebywar,imperturbableinitsown
sacredstillness.
327

Wearenothereofferinglikelyspeculationsorproblematicprobabilities.Wearetrying,
withguidancehigherthansuchmerelyintellectualguesswork,toholdaflickeringmatch
intheawfulnightwhichsurroundsus.
328

Therearegreattruthswhichtheworldneedstodaybutwhichtheworldisnotconsciously
seekingforandthereforewillnotreadilyaccept.Thosewhohavefoundthesetruths,
testedtheircorrectnessandworth,areconsequentlynotwillingtoengageinthefutile
pathofaggressiveproselytizing.Theyquietlymakethetruthavailabletowhosoeveris
willingtotakethetroubletoseekitout.
329

Onepredictionmaybesafelymade.Ifanewsaviourofhumanityreallydoesariseand
doessomethingtosavehumanityinsteadofmerelytalkingaboutit,hewilldefinitelynot
arisefromanypoliticalparty.
330

Amidtheconfusionsanddangersoftoday,thisfaithinadivineplanoftheworldcan
supportuslikearock.
331

Wearemeninthehardgripofadversefate,whostruggleevenwhenwefearwecannot
win,whogoonandonliketheheroesofGreektragedy,despitefrustrationanddefeat.
332

Amidthebabelofpassionledorselfinterestedearthlimitedvoiceswhichwehear
today,welistenwistfullyforatruervoicespeakingwithanewaccent.Wearewaiting
piouslytohearthedivineWord.SomesupposeitcanspeakinSanskritandwillecho
forthonlyfromtheHimalayas.Buttheyarewrong.ItmayspeakinEnglishorDutch,
mayechoforthinArizonaortheHague.Whoknows?Letuscommitourselvestono
narrowdoctrineofspiritualmonopoly,beitHebreworHindu.Somethinkitmustspeak
resoundinglyandmasterfully,likeamissionary.Theytooarewrong.Itmayspeakquietly
gentlyandhumbly,likeamystic.
333

Itisnotonlyarealsolacetohavethereassurancethatahigherpowersupportsthe
universeandahigherintelligencesustainsitsoperationsbut,inthisperiodofwidespread
calamityandevil,avitalnecessity.
334

Theenormousdangerofthissituationisnottobemetwithescapistapathyandalarmist
fear.
335

Theworld'sneedissilentlycryingoutforinspiredandselflesspeoplewhowillawaken
theworld'sattentiontospiritualvalues.Thereislittleneedtodayforaphilosophywhich
ismerelyacademic,ormostlyantiquarian,orutterlyantediluvian.
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336

ItwasthissameHighLamawhomImetatAngkorwhoforetoldthattheworld'sspiritual
enlightenmentwouldnextcomethroughaWesternchannel.Thefulfilmentofthis
predictioncannotbefaroffnow.
337

Wemustbegintoseewhatthephilosophershavelongagoseenthat,psychologically,
themaladjustments,thefrustrations,andthespiritualimpoverishmentsofmodernman
aretherootcausesofhisoutertroubles,that,giventherightatmosphereofcooperative
goodwillandcreativeintelligence,allpracticalproblemsinvolvinghumanrelationships
willsoonsolvethemselveswithinit.Thatmoststrifebreedingpolitical,economic,and
socialquestionswouldvanishaltogetherifwecouldcreatethisnewatmosphere,thisnew
spiritualoutlook,hasbecomequiteevidenttothem.Thewidespreadexclusionofhigher
principlesandethicalconsiderationsfromtherulingpoliciesofmodernstatesis
somethingthathasbroughtitsownNemesisuponthemodernworld.Onlywhenthe
worldwillconsenttobecomeinspiredbyhigherprinciplescanithopetofindthereal
solutionofthemultitudeofeconomic,political,andsocialproblemsthatfaceit.All
solutionswhichlacktheseprinciplesarebutpaintandvarnishwhichhidebutdonot
changetherealproblems.Onlybyraisingthepublicconsciencethroughtheeffortsof
inspiredindividualsandtruereligiousteacherswillrealchangecomeabout.Thehigher
executivepostsineverycountrythroughouttheworldshouldbefilledbyindividualswho
areasspirituallymindedastheymustneedsbepracticallyminded,ifmankindistomake
trueprogress.Suchindividualsshouldbeputattheheadofthesocialpyramid,aswas
formerlydoneintheprehistorictimesunderthesystemofkingsages,orspiritually
mindedadvisersshouldbeputatthesidesofthoseinauthoritytoensurewisdomin
action.
338

Notruereformislikelytobecreatedbyacommittee.Itisthesingleuncommon
outstandingpersonwhoisusuallyresponsibleforbringingitbrilliantlyabout.A
committeecanalsoachieveresultsbuttheywillbeofamediocrekind.
339

Someonemustgivealead,mustinitiatethehigherdevelopment,mustcreatethefirstnew
way.Untilthentheworldremainswhatitis.
340

Whatcannotbeachievedbyallmankindasawhole,sincetheirnegativeconditionsare
toodeepandtoowidespread,canstillbeachievedbythoseindividualswhoareless
caughtinsuchconditionsandmoreresponsivetorightideas.
341

Inaworldsubjecttochangetherearenolastingsolutionstoitsproblems.Buttothe
extentthatindividualmenstopmakingfurtherproblemsforthemselvesandothers,and
reduceoldonesbychangingthemselves,theycanbettertheworldsituation.Forwithout
someknowledgeoftheWorldIdeaandthehigherlaws,howcantheyactwiselyin
mattersconcerningtheirpersonallivesandrelationships,theirsurroundingsandtheir
people?
342

Theprospectsformankindaremateriallyveryunpromising.However,itisthroughevery
kindofexperiencethatthespecieshastogrowandlearnitslessons,andultimately
acquireunderstandingandgoodness.Meanwhile,theindividualcanstillbuildhisown
independentinnerworldforhimselftosomelimitedextent.
343
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TheclearStoicperceptionofMarcusAureliusAntoniuslamented,"Romeisdying
becauseRomehasnothingmoretolivefor."Buttheawakenedpersonsoftodaywho
refusetoyieldtotheanimalityandmaterialismoftheirepochhavesomething
tremendouslyimportanttolivefor.Theyhaveescapedconquestbyitbecausetheirown
escapeistobethefirstfatefulsteptowardsachievingthefutureworldremnant'ssurvival
andescape.Indoingso,inmakingtheirlonestandagainstthisinnerperil,theyperforma
valuableserviceofdefenseagainsttheouterone.
344

ItisnotenoughtoaskforhelpfromHeaven.Mankindisinthethroesofleaving
adolescenceandapproachingmaturity.ConsequentlyHeavenwantsittostandalittle
moreonitsownfeet,makeitsownchoice,andlearntobemorelikemen.Itmustdothis
ofitsownvolition.
345

Whereverthefortunesoflifemaytakeyouandwhateverthedangersitmaybringyou,I
hopeyouwillalwayskeepthethoughtoftheDivineOverselfasthebesttalismantocling
to.Itisintheseterribletimesthatyoumaycometoappreciatemorethaneverthevalue
offaithindivinewisdombehindlifeandassuredimmortalityafterdeath.
346

Whatistheuseofphilosophyinasocialsituationthatishopelesslyimperilled,ina
strugglethatmovesbeforeoureyestotheanguishofdefeat?Itsacceptancebyafew
individualscannotchangethesituationitself,cannotsavecivilizationfromthedoomit
hasbroughtuponitself.Whatphilosophycandoistohelptheindividual,bothinthe
privacyofhisinnerlifeandinthereactionstohisouterfate.Inadesperatesituationsuch
aswehaveconfrontingustoday,philosophybidshimrememberthatthisreactionoffers
himthechanceofrisingswiftlytoahigherstatus,theopportunitytobeennobledrather
thancrushedbydisaster.Itremindshimofwhatis,afterall,thehigherpurposeoflife
thebuildingofcharacterandthepursuitofwisdom.Itbidshimdevelopthespiritualhero
inhimselfandfacewhatmustbefacedwithserenityandreflection.Ifsuchadviceseems
toohighforhismodestpowers,itisnonethelesspractical.Forevenifnoonecouldlive
uptoitwhichisuntrueanyonewouldbebetterabletocopewithfateifhetriedto.
347

Hesoonseesthatalthoughthereisreallynothingthathecandoabouthumanity's
dangeroussituation,thereissomethingthathecandoabouthispersonalsituation.He
maytrytoputhisbodyintosurroundingsmoreattunedto,andexpressiveof,hisideals,
andhemaytrytoputhismindintoastatemoreimbuedwith,andfortifiedby,those
ideals.
348

Governmentsmaypreparesystemsofdefenseandrescue,ofprotectionandrelief,butthe
onlyadequateformthatwillsavehalftheirpeoplesisoutsidetheircapacityandbeyond
theircourage.Theyaretoohypnotizedbythepasttobeabletoriseabruptlyoutofitand
meetanutterlydifferentkindoffuture.Itisfortheindividualwhodoesnotwanttodie
prematurelytopreparenowwiththeworkofsavinghimself.Thisisneitheraselfishnor
anantisocialcoursetofollow,forindoingsohewillbestbeabletohelpandsaveothers.
Itistheonlypracticalthinghecandoanditisadutywhichheoweshimselfandhis
family:torefusetohangontothecoatsofhelplessleaderswhoarebeingdriventoward
theedgeofanabyss.Thereisnothingwronginpractisingsuchselfpreservation,andany
realservicethathecanrendertohumanitywillonlybecomepossiblethroughit.
349

Whatisthehopelefttoamaninsuchafrightfulhistoricalsituation?Intermsofdirect
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efforthecandomuchforhimselfbutlittleforothers.Hecanresolvetoclearhisown
spiritualdarknessandcorrecthisowngraverweakness.

Forebodings
350

Ifweinsistonlookingattheworld'sworst,weoughtinfairnesstocoupleitwiththe
world'sbest.Onlythencanwegetaclueastotheworld'strend.
351

Nothingherewrittenshouldbereadasapredictioneverythingshouldbereadasa
warningonly.Humanityasyetisontrialandnoverdicthasbeenfinallygiven.
352

Powerfulforcesintheheavenworldsaregatheringforatransmissionandwillenterour
worldatanappropriatetime,whichisfixedandmeasurablewithinthiscentury.These
forceswillstimulatenewthoughtsandnewfeelings,newintuitionsandnewidealsofa
religious,mystical,andphilosophickindinhumanity.Itwillverilybetheopeningofa
newepochonearth,comparabletothatwhichwasopened2000yearsagobythecoming
ofChrist.Theimpulsewillbringscienceintoreligionandreligionintoscience:eachwill
sustaintheotherandboth,purifiedandvitalized,willguidehumanitytoabetterandtruer
life.Insofarasscienceisanexpressionofman'sdesiretoknow,itisinperfectharmony
withthehighestspirituality.Onlywhenitisunguidedbyhisintuitivefeelings,hisheart,
andputattheserviceofhisanimalnaturealone,doesitbecomeantispiritualandbring
himselfdestructionasapunishment.
353

Sufferingisnotleadingintoworlddespairbutintoworldhope.Mankind'scrisishasbeen
fateful,butitneednotbefatal.
354

Manysensitivepersonssufferonaccountoftheirawarenessofhumanity'stragic
suffering.ButtheymustrealizethatlifeisstillinGod'shandsandwillassuredlyremain
so.Thehumanviewpointreceivesonlyalimitedfractionofthewholepicture.God'slove
isgreaterthanourshasyetshownitselftobe,anditisinfinitelywiser.Despitethe
activityofevilforcesandthehorrorsofthecontemporaryscene,thisisneverthelessa
dominantfact.
355

Postwareconomicdifficultiesafflictpracticallyallthecountriesoftheworld.Itrequires
notonlygeniustohandlethem,butamindawaketothefactthataneweraisdawningfor
mankind,amindunhamperedbypastprejudicesorlimitations.Butjustasseriousisthe
spiritualcrisis,forNatureisdemandingachoiceofroadsanddestinationsalso.Afterall,
wearehereonearthnotjusttobakebreadinordertokeepthebodyalive,butultimately
tousethatbodytoeffectspiritualsalvation.Iftheresponsetothiscrisisisnotright,then
oureconomicgeniuseswillnotbeneeded,fortheplanetwillsimplyshakeherbackand
swallowupmillionsofpeopleandtheireconomicsystems.Itwouldbepleasanttolook
theotherwayandbeblandlyoptimistic,butexperiencesofthepastfewyearsincline
thosewhounderstand,moreandmoretowardspessimism.
356

Therefusaltorecognizetheobsoletenessofwar,theinabilitytochangeapointofview
withwhichmenhaveliveduntilnow,willintheenddestroythosemenandliquidate
theircivilization.Thereisnopossibilityofescapebymeredriftingandnoevasionby
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mereignoringofthechallenge.Timeisshort,thedecisionmustbemadenow.The
correctonewillnecessarilybealsoahumblingone.Itisacrisisinhumanaffairssuchas
humanbeingsneverformerlydreamedpossible.Morethanthat,itisanunprecedented
spiritualcrisisofman.Heisbeingputtotheultimatetest.Forifwestudythehistoryof
evolutionweshallhavetonotetheimplacablefactthatthosecreatureswhichcouldnot
adaptthemselvestoalteredconditionscouldnotsurvive.Theyperished,andtheirforms
perishedwiththem.
357

Ifnationshavesufferedappallingwarsinourtime,andif,totheconsternationofthe
thoughtful,evenmoreappallingonesarestillpossible,letthemlearnthatthereisnoreal
preventativewhiletheycontinuetorebelagainstTruthandrejectitsmessengers.
358

Enthusiasticdreamersknownobalancedfactualappraisaloftheworld'sspiritual
situation.Eithertheydeclaremournfullythatwearealldoomedtocataclysmicselfmade
destructionortheyassertjoyfullythattheperfectmillenniumwillshortlydawn.Thetruth
isthatmenaretoogoodandtoosensibletofallintothefirstfatebuttheyaretoowicked
andtoofoolishtodeservethesecond.
359

Somehaveheededthemessageandwillreceiveitsprotection.Butmosthavenot.The
responseissadlyinsufficienttopreventthedoomwhichmenacescontemporarysociety.
360

Ifmenandwomenhavetomoveonceagainthroughthewholecycleofwarandchaos,
tragedyandsuffering,beforetheywillbewillingtolistentoatrueprophet,thentheyare
unlikelytobedeprivedoftheexperience.
361

Thatwemustexpecttheadventofimmenserenovationsinreligionandvastinnovations
inthoughtcanbereasonablydeniedbynobody.Theforcesofretributionorreward,
whichareadjustingallaccountsandwhicharenowoperativeinalldepartments,aretoo
impersonalintheirpurpose,toouniversalintheirscope,andtoopowerfulintheir
charactertobeignoredorresistedsuccessfully.Thetwentiethcenturyworldcannot
escapefromitsextraordinarydestiny.Itisforthemtoseethatitisnolongeraquestionof
theirprivateambitionsorwishesandpersonalinterestsorleanings.Itisaquestionof
whethertheyarewillingtobendbeforethestormorelsebebrokenbyit.Forthenew
forcesofenlightenmenttreadontheheelsoftheFourHorsemen.Ifhistoryisforcing
thesechangesintohumanunderstandingtoday,itisdoingsoataheavypriceinuntold
agony.Arewetohavefurthernecessaryideastaughtusinthesamewayorarewegoing
toembracethemconsciouslydeliberatelyandwillingly?
362

Isthistobetheingloriousendofthehumanrace,tobemelteddowntoawhiffof
powder?Wasitallbutanemptyanduselessexperiment?
363

IntheAnguttaraNikaya,ChatukkaNipata,Buddhasays:"Whentherulersortheir
representativesbecomeunrighteous,theBrahminhouseholdersbecomeunrighteous
whentheybecomeunrighteous,meninthetownsandvillagesbecomeunrighteouswhen
theybecomeunrighteous,theinfluenceofthesunandmoonbecomespoisonous.The
planetaryinfluencesbecomebad,thedaysandnightsareaffected,theseasonsare
changed,poisonouswindsbegintoblow,theroadsbecomeimpassable,thegodsbecome
angry,therainsdonotfallregularly,thecornfieldsbecomeimpregnatedwithpoison,
andwhenpeopleeattheproduceofthesefields,theybecomeweakandmanydiseases
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attackthem."
364

Ifwemakeacomparisonbetweenourtimesandtheconditionswhichprecededthe
destructionoftheGreekandRomancivilizations,andifwenotethechaos,dissension,
strife,andviolencewhichthenprevailedandnowprevail,weshallbeforcedtoregard
thefutureofourowncivilizationwithapprehension.
365

Thattheworld'speacewilleventuallycomewemaybelieve,butitwillcomeonlyafter
receivingafurtherexperienceofsuffering,sincehumanitydoesnotheedsufficiently
spiritualmessagesfromitsteachers.
366

Theworldmayhavetoundergoanotherwar.Life,likeNature,teachesattimesbyharsh
violencewithoutsentimentality.Ifthegoodsufferwiththebad,itisbecauseoftheir
ignorance.Theytoomustwakeupandacquireknowledgeofthetruth.Theyalsomust
grow.Thereisathreefoldevolutiongoingonseparately:physical,mental,andspiritual.
Wesufferthrough,andbecauseof,theirignoranceonthesethreelevels.Theyarenot
hereonthisplanetonlyforenjoymentoftheanimalurgesorsatisfactionoftheego
pressureswhichdrivethem,butforthepurposeofgrowthinallthreeoftheseevolutions.
"WearenothereforBhoga[pleasure],butforYoga,"saidanIndianholymantome.
Eachmovementmustgoon,heedlessofpersonalfeelingsorthoughts.Despiteits
largenessandgrandeur,theWorldIdeahasalreadymappedouteachindividualcourseof
growthamongmyriads.
367

Theopeningpostwarperiodwillbethehollowoftheworldcrisiswave.
368

Thatanewagewillcome,andcomeinthiscentury,issurelywritteninthestars.But
whetherornotweshallhavetopassitoverthebloodsplashedrouteofathirdworldwar,
alargedepopulationofthisplanet,andavirtualcollapseofourcivilization,iswithinour
ownpowertochoose.
369

Ifthemodernworld'sdescentintoextremeviolence,aidedbytheskillofscience,isnot
tobeutterlyselfdestructive,itmustbestoppedatsomepoint.Hownearorhowfarwe
arefromthatpointisvisibleenoughtotheseers.Thisiscertain,thatweshallreachitand
thatifnootherwayiseffectualbythen,weshallreachitwithashocksogreatasto
affectthenervoussystemandmentaloutlookofthelargerpartofthehumanrace.That
willbethehistoricmomentwhentheWestandtheEastwillbegintheirupwardclimb
onceagaintowardSpiritualvalues,althougheachhemisphereinitsownway.
370

"ThewillofGodwhichisrevealedthroughprophets,holymen,shouldbereceivedin
humility,"theoldChineseBookofChangeswarnsthepresentdayinhabitantsofCathay,
butwealsomustheedthesewords.IamneitheraprophetnoraholymanbutIfeelvery
stronglyandknowverydeeplythatitisthedivinewillformantodayforhimtoputthe
violenceofwarasidebyacertaindate,orelsebepunishedterriblyforhisarroganceand
obstinacy.Thereisatimelimit.Thosewhogivenoheedtothesewarningswilllaterhave
tobearthesevererwhippingsofselfearneddestiny.
371

Thosewhoknowwhatwillbethetrueoutcomeoftheseworldeventsarenotyet
permittedtomakeanyprophecy:theyarepermittedonlytoutterthewarningthat
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mankindisinapositionofextremedanger,apositionfromwhichhecanfreehimselfby
onemeansalone.Hecannotsavehimselfbymilitary,political,oreconomicmeanshe
cansavehimselfonlybyspiritualmeans.
372

Idonotsaythatwarmustcome.Isayonlythatanothercrisis,asdesperateaswar,will
arise,thatatideofcatastrophewillbreaksuddenlyovertheworld.
373

Thecrisisgivesusalastopportunityeithertoarouseourconsciousnessoflife'shigher
purposesandorientateourselvestoalifeclosertothemortostayintheoldonesandwait
inert,unhoping,fortheend.
374

Ifwedonotsucceedinsolvingtheseproblems,weshalltrembleonthevergeofperilsas
immenseanddeadlyasthewaritself:economicdisaster,socialcataclysm,famine,
pestilence,thegeneraldissolutionofreligion,morality,andcivilization,withafleeting
reversiontobarbarismastheendofitall.Onlythen,onlyafterwholecountriesand
continentshavebeenlargelydepopulatedthroughtastingtheextremesofsuffering,will
thescantyremnantofpeoplefindtheirwaybacktoanewandnoblerandhealthierway
oflifethanthatwhichprevailedbefore.Itwillsurelycome,evenatthisfearfulprice,
becauseitmustcome.Itwashintedintwoearlierbooksthatifourcivilizationdoesnot
betteritself,itwillhavetosinkandmakewayforanotherone.Andwehavehintedalso
thathumanityiswalkingontheedgeofaprecipice.Butthisdoesnotmeanthatour
failurewillnecessarilyresultinatotallapseintobarbarism.Ratherwillitcleartheway
throughwidedepopulationandsharpanguishforthecomingofanoblerandmore
advancedsocietythanthepresentone.Thesinsandsufferingsofourgenerationcannot
destroythefaithofthephilosopherinhumanity'snature.Heknowsthatitsbetternature
willtriumphintheend,eventhoughthepriceofthattriumphmaybeanutterdestruction
ofallitscivilizationandafreshstartafterstillworsesuffering.Foritfacesthenecessity
ofgivingupthematerialisticoutlookwhichbroughtitintosuchcatastrophe.Thereisno
escapefromthisnecessity.
375

Nooneknowswithanycertaintywhatistocomeoutofsuchadesperateworldsituation,
whatfuturemankindhasamidsuchconflictingforces.
376

ProphetshaveoftenbeenwrongovereveryArmageddondatetheywereincautious
enoughtogiveus.Thefatefuldayoryearhasusuallyarrivedonlytodepartandbe
forgotten.Thesefailuresmayserveagoodpurposeiftheyservetowarnthenextbatchof
prophetstokeepdatesoutoftheirprophecies!
377

Anearmiraclelikethisarrestofthedrifttowardwarwouldnotbecredibletothosewho
donotknowthepowerofthespiritinman'spersonallife.Ifitcandothatforonewhy
notfortwobillions?
378

Therecomesatimehoweverwhencatastrophecannotbeaverted,whenbothself
amendmentandsincereprayerarefruitlesstoalterfate'sdecree.
379

Noneofusinthisgenerationwilllivetoseespidersspinningtheirwebsacrossatomic
bombsorballisticmissiles,butnoprophecyismorecertaintobefulfilledinthelifetime
ofalatergeneration.Forsufferingwillforceitslessonhomeontheunwillingmindsof
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reluctantpupils,newegoswillincarnatewithmorereceptivehearts,andtheWorldIdea
willimposeitsruleunderanironlaw.
380

ThereisanoldBuddhistprophecythatthisplanetwillsplitapart,thatthegreatroaring
explosionwilltearthemineralworldandthemountainrangesintodust.Butbeforethis
event,aBuddhawillcome,fulloflovingkindness,toshowusthewayofsalvation.
381

InthetwelvemonthsbetweenthefullmoonsofMay,19561957,theworldwilltakeor
missitsmostimportantchancetoappreciateorignoretheseteachings.Innerdecisionand
outerdestinyareherelockedtogether.
382

Theworld'sfatehingedonthoseeighteenmonthsafterthesecondwar,asitdidagainon
thatyearoffinalchoiceandchance1959.
383

Thewarisnotatallinevitableitispreventable,butneglectingtotaketheprescribedand
propercoursewillrenderitinevitable.
384

Theworldsituationisworseinsomewayssincethegreatcrisisof1962,butinmore
waysitisbetter.Theoutcomeisatpresentquiteunclearandonlyarashpersonwould
venturetomakeanydogmaticpositiveannouncement.Thewarrisksstillremain,butina
somewhatmitigatedform.
385

Nostradamuspredictedthatartandreligionwoulddominatethecomingera(thetwenty
firstcenturyonwards)andthatwarswouldnolongerbewaged.
386

Whilemankindwillbedriventotakeeventuallytheonlypracticalmeansforitsself
protectionagainstwar,whichisthecreationofaninternationalformofassociationwitha
singleinternationalpolicearmy,suchanexternalmeanswouldintheendnotbeenough
ifitwerenotaccompaniedbyaninternalmeans,whichisthecastingoutofthose
antisocialaggressiveordestructivelowerformsofthinkingandfeelingwhichithas
broughtoverfromtheanimalstageofexistence.
387

IntheveryweekthatHitlerstartedhisinvasionofRussia,ItoldIndia,inaBombay
newspaperinterview,thatitwouldendindisaster,andwhy.Eventsconfirmedthat
prediction.
388

Furthersorrowawaitsmodernsocietyunlessitcanproduceafinerqualityofthoughtand
abetterwayofliving.Ithasreachedthepartingoftheways.Onlyarecognitionofthis
factcansaveitfromfurtherblundersandconsequentdisastroussuffering.Itwillbe
compelledbyeventsthemselvestofacetheissuewhichcannotlongerbepostponed.We
approachthezerohour.Procrastinationwillgainnothingbutloseeverything.Forifit
doesnotendmaterialism,thenmaterialismwillendit.Thehumanracewalksonthevery
edgeofayawningchasm.Ifitmissesitssteportakesafalseoneorlosesitbalance,it
mayfallandthiscivilizationwillreachitsterminus.Unlessitcanbringlessblind
selfishnessandlessmaterialisticprejudiceintoitsviewoftheworld,itscivilizationwill
notescapeitsfinalNemesis.Modernmanmustrediscoverthesehighertruthsorhis
civilizationwillperishwithhiminaholocaustbothmanmadeandnaturemadetowhich
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thepasthasnoparallel.
389

Isittoolatetoovercomethetragedyinwhichtheworldissodeeplyinvolved?The
answeristhatifenoughpeopleandifenoughleadersofthepeoplegatheraroundthe
standardsofagenuinelyspiritualidealitwouldnotbetoolate.Thelikelihoodofsuchan
eventseemsremote,yetitistheadoptionoftheseideasandattitudes,theseidealsand
practiceswhichisabsolutelyindispensabletoovercomethistragedyandsavehumanity.
390

Canwebesavedfromgoingheadlongoverthedangerousprecipicewhichweareskirting
souncomfortably?Outofthisworldcatastrophetherecouldhaveemergedanera
dedicatedtotruerreligiousideasandhighersocialforms.Butinsteadthewaryearshave
broughttomanypeopleadegradationofoutwardcircumstanceand,whatismuchworse,
adegradationofinwardcharacter.Ithasbroughtoutbadinstinctslikehatred,violence,
brutality,lust,greed,andenvy.Sufferinghastaughtthemthewronglessons.Ithasmade
themmorematerialisticinsteadofmorespiritual.Ifcivilizationisdestroyed,suchpeople
willbelargelytoblame.Ourgenerationhasbeengivenitslastchancetosurvive.At
presentuttercollapseismerelypossible.Butifwiserprinciplesarenotadheredtoorif
theiracceptanceistoolongdelayed,thenuttercollapsewillbesadlyinevitable.If
humanitycannotorwillnotrespondtothecallofthisevolutionaryvoice,thenits
civilizedlifewillcollapseinanewArmageddonfollowedbydevastatingfamineand
widespreaddisease.Onlyafterithaslosteverythinginunheardofsufferingswillthe
remnantthatwillbeleftaliveaftertheinevitableintervalofanarchyrealizetheneedand
havethewilltomakeafreshstartinanoblerdirection.Thereissufficientreasonto
supportthehopethatatotalcollapseisunlikely.Thehumanracewillnotwhollyperish,
althoughmuchinitthatdeservestodosowillperish.Aremnantwillemergealiveand
passintoanewandbetterphaseandpurifiedformofitsevolution.
391

Theroadtothesalvageofcivilizationisstillopentous,butitwillremainopenfora
shorterperiodthanthetwentyyearswhichseparatedthetwoworldwars.Thesituationis
tenseitmaybecomegraveitmayevenendintheutterdisasterthatsomanyfearbutit
willneverendinthedefeatofthedivineplan.Thatisimpossible.Wemaylosethisworld
battle,theforcesofdestructionmayburndownallthatweseearoundus,humanityitself
mayperishinthetitanicholocaust,buthumanlifewillreturn,willgoonandslowly
rebuilditshouseagain.But,humbledalittleorpurifiedbyitssuffering,itwillbuildmore
noblynexttime.
392

Nothingisgainedbylettingthewishforpeaceoverridethecertaintyofwar.Sinceitis
nowtoolatetoavertthelatter,allhopesandthoughts,projectsandplansforthefuture
oughttobenurturedwiththistremendousandterribleultimatedevelopmentinmind.
SincethewarningswhichIgavemanyyearsagowhenthetidemighthavebeenturned
remainedunheeded,allreckoningsconcerningthenextfewyearsmustincludethis
Armageddonwhichwillterminateawholecycleofhumanmaterialism.
393

Ifmeninsistonbombingeachotheroutofexistencewhichwillnothappeneventhough
theattemptwillthisdoesnotmeanthatthehigherpowermustabandonitshigherlaws,
deprivethemofthefullresultoftheirinsistence,andmaintainanenforcedpeaceamong
them.
394

OperationW.W.3:Itsobjectisnottobenefitcertainpersonswhileothers,equally
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meritorious,remainunbenefitted,buttoguardthehigherphilosophyandtopreservethe
Quest'spracticesanddisciplinesforgenerationsyettocome.Thebenefittoindividualsis
incidentalanddueinmostcasestofavourablekarmacreatedbydevotedservice.
395

Thatthewar'sendwillbringanewtroublenamely,aconditionofchaosshouldnot
seemsurprisingbutalogicalcorollarytothetremendousdevastationwhichwill
characterizethisnewkindofwar.
396

Therefusaltorecognizeandapplythistruth,thatmanisdivineinessenceand
evolutionarygoalletaloneitscompleterejectionmustbringdisastersintheend,must
provokeragingstormsfromtimetotime.
397

Whenthisatomicnightmarewillhavepassedandtheanarchywhichitbringsaboutwill
haveended,humanitywillpickitselfupagainandrebuilditscivilizationinanewway.
Warnedbyitsownsufferingsandbythedevastationofitsenvironment,itwillsurrender
totheunavoidableandmakehigherprinciplesthebasisofcommunallife.
398

Karmahasdeterminedtoshattertopiecestheobtuseconservatismwhichclingsto
disguisedmaterialismandcamouflagedimmorality.
399

Ifcivilizationfalls,itwillnotbeutterlyobliterated.Somethingwillbeleft,some
scatteredremnantsofpopulationwillhereandtheregatherupitsshatteredfragmentsand
slowly,arduouslybegintheworkofreconstruction.
400

Civilizationwillbeterriblywoundedbutnotmortallywounded.Thelargercitieswill
sufferdestructionbuthereandtherearemnantofpeoplewillremain.
401

Karmaisnotandcanneverbeamerelyindividualmatter.Societyasawholecreatesthe
slumwhichcreatesthecriminal.Ifsocietycallshimtoaccountforhiscrimes,hemayin
histurncallsocietytoaccountformakinghiscriminalcharacterpossible.Consequently
societymustalsosharewithhim,ifinlesserdegree,thekarmicresponsibilityforhis
misdeeds.
402

Fornonationcanescapecollectiveresponsibilityforitsacceptanceofthecodesand
policies,theideasandactions,thestandardsandloyaltiesthatbearitsname.
403

Ifitbeunpleasanttoacceptthegriminevitabilityofworlddisaster,itisbetterthanhiding
fromit.Foratleastweshallthusgiveourselvesthechancetomeetthethoughtwith
properpreparednesseverytimeitharassesus.Bylearningtheartofthoughtcontrol,by
studyingthehigherlawsthatgovernlife,aboveallbyseekingoutthetrueselfwithinus,
weshallbeabletocreateenoughmentalpeaceandemotionalcouragetomakethebestof
theworst.
404

Theworlddoesnotneedachangeofheadsomuchasachangeofheartitneedsnewer
attitudesratherthannewerideas.
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405

Einsteinthoughtthatanatomicwarwoulddestroyninetypercentofmankind.Wedoubt
thatbutwedonotdoubtthatitwoulddestroyatleasthalfofmankind.Yetwedonot
thinkthatitwillbeeithertheexplosivenessofthebombsnortheradioactiveemanations
whichfollowintheirwakethatwillbesoresponsibleforthisresult,astheconsequent
breakdownofthehighlycentralizedformofcivilizedlivingwhichhasbeendevelopedin
moderntimes.Forwithitwillcomethedisorganizationofcitysuppliesandthe
temporaryparalysisofcountryfarms,thedisappearanceoforderlygovernment,themoral
chaosandgrossselfishnessthatwillmanifestthemselvesduringtheanarchicstrugglefor
survival,andtheinabilityofcitydwellerstoendureandadaptthemselveslikepioneersto
theprimitiveconditionswithwhichtheywillabruptlybefaced.
406

Wehavesaidforyearsthattheatomicwarisinescapableandthattheplanetary
devastationconsequentuponitisunimaginable.Butbecauseofitsverynature,itcanlast
onlyashorttime.Whatwilllastcomparativelylongeristheperiodofchaosandanarchy
whichwillsucceedit.Duringthatperiod,morepeoplearelikelytodiethanduringthe
periodofbombingitself.Forthegreatcentresofpopulation,wheremillionsofpeopleare
nowcoopedupintownsandcities,willeitherbedestroyedbytheactualexplosionsand
theirinhabitantsbytheradioactiveemanationsleftbytheexplosions,orifnotdestroyed
theywillbecomeparalysedandunabletosupplytheirinhabitantswiththenecessaryfood
andmaterialswherewithtoliveandcarryontheirvocations.Theentirecommercialand
industrialsystemoftodayissocentralizedandsocomplexthatthemeansofsupporting
thosepeoplewillbeabsent.Thesystemitselfwillbedisastrouslydisorganized.The
transportationanddistributionoffoodandgoodswillceaseforaperiodoftime.Itis
duringthatperiod,whichinsomecasesmaybeonlyafewmonthsbutinothersasmuch
asafewyears,thatthedifficultyofsurvivalwillbemostpronounced.Thesensiblething
todoistoprepareourselvesforitandtolearnhowtokeepourselvesfed,sheltered,and
aliveuntilthereorganizationofcommunalexistenceandthebeginningsofnormalliving
returnagain.
407

Theproblemofpreparingtomeettheonsetofwaranditsdestructivenesshasnever
beforehadtobemetinsuchawayandonsuchascaleasitwillhavetobemetinthe
impendingfuture.Onlyanostrichlikeattitudeoraparalysisinducedbyfearwillrefuse
toadmititintoconsciousnessasaproblemthatmustbethoughtaboutandwhose
solutionmustbesought.Thosewhodislikegivingitsuchthoughtinadvancewillnot
havethetimetodosowhentheterribleactualitydoesarrive.Theyaremakingagrave
mistake.Everyoneknowsthatthefirstplacestoreceivebombswillbethemetropolitan
cities,thecentresofgovernment,theindustrialtowns,theportsandjunctions,the
militarybasesandaerialfields.Isitnotpracticalwisdomthereforeforthosewhocanto
withdrawfromthemandforthosewhocannottoexploreeverypossiblemeanstofinda
wayout,makingeverypossiblesacrificetodosoratherthanwaitingpassivelyuntilthe
fatalday?Itisatragicironythatmostexplosionsanddestructionswillcertainlyhappen
inthetemperatezone,wherepeopleareleastfittedforprimitiveformsofliving,whereas
theleastwillhappeninthetropicalandsemitropicalzones,wherepeoplearebetterfitted
forsuchlivingandbetterabletoendureandsurvivethebreakdownofcivilizedexistence.
Thereforethefirstphysicalpreparationistoaccustomourselvestoasimplehardylife
andtotrainourselvesinthetechniquesofpioneerliving.
408

Inviewoftheimmensehardshipsanddifficultiesthatwillfaceusafterthewar,partof
theadvancepreparationforthisperiodshouldbethebuildingupofbodilyhealthand
strength,enduranceandrobustness.Anotherpartshouldbetolearnhowtolivesimply
withafewthingsandwithoutluxuries,howtoliveinandwithNaturebyourownlabour.
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Thoreau'sbookWaldenisveryrelevanttoday.
409

Antiescapism:Itisafallacytobelievethatthereareanyspecialzoneswhicharenot
dangerzones.Thereforeitisawrongcoursetoemigrateanywhereexpectingthatsucha
placewillprovidesafetyandsecuritywhendestructionandpoisonfallupontheglobe.
Runningawayisnowayoutwhateverplaceyouruntoremainsasdangerousasthe
placeyourunfrom.Itisbettertogointothesilenceandfindyourprotectionthere.Then,
ifthehigherselfdirectsyouinoraftermeditationtomovetoanotherzone,youmay
acceptitsguidance.Theremovalwillbearightcourse,becauseintuitive,whereasthe
otherisdictatedbytheblindintellect'scleverness.Thisisanotherwayofsaying,"Seek
yefirstthekingdomofheaven,andallthesethings[includingprotection]willbeadded
untoyou."Inhis1962bookWitness,J.G.Bennettconfirmsthis.Hewrites:"Thegroupof
peopleworkingwithmewasverylittleaffectedbythewar.Nonewaskilledorseriously
wounded.Thiswasdonewithoutdeliberatewithdrawalfromwaractivity,anditappeared
tobetheconsequenceofhavingsetourselvestoserveanaimbeyondourownwelfare..
.thosewhoarecalledtoserveagreatpurpose."Healsosays:"Iftheleadersofmankind
weresolackinginresponsibilityandunderstanding,andthemassessopassiveand
inarticulate,whatcouldthefuturebringbutnewandmoreterriblewars?"
410

Witheachwarcumulativelyworsethantheonewhichhappenedbefore,humanityhardly
daresimaginethehorrorsofthislatestandworstwarwhichmenacesit.Itsworkofself
destructionwillbeassistedbyNature,whowillnotherselfremainidle.Shetoowill
scourgetheworldwithfloodandfamine,pestilenceandearthquake,stormandupheaval.
Suchauniversalcatastrophewillbemorethancivilizedsocietycanbear,moreeventhan
man'swilltolivecanendure.Greatdestructiveforceswillbeusedbymankindinits
processofselfannihilation.Allthisplanet'speoplewouldnotbedestroyedbythese
forces,butthegreaterpartofthemwould.
411

Thephysicalconditionofthecivilizedworld,thementalconditionofcivilizedmankind,
andthemoralconditionofallmankindwillbe,aftersuchdestruction,sodeplorableasto
staggertheimagination.
412

Thosewholookforandthosewhoexpectamillenniumofspiritualityandjustice,of
goodnessandtruthoreventhebeginningofsuchamillenniumasaresultofthespread
andacceptanceofsomecult,havealwaysbeendisappointedinthepastandmustbeso
againinourowntime.
413

Weliveinthelastdays,notoftheworldbutofanage.
414

Historicaldisasterandoutwardcatastrophemightdestroycivilizationbutcouldnot
destroyhumanity.Itsinnerlifewillgoon.
415

Westernmanhastouchedthelowwatermarkofhisethicalmaterialismhewillfallno
farther.Henceforthhewillbegintorisetowardtherealizationofhisnoblerpossibilities.
416

Justasthependulumswingsfartherbackwardsifithasfirstswungfartherforwards,so
thehumanbeingrisestotheloftiestheightsofspiritualconsciousnessonlyifithasfirst
sunkintotheblackestdepthsofmaterialisticignorance.
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417

Weseeeveryindicationaroundusthattheoldorderoffoolishideasandselfcentered
idealsisundergoingitslaststagesofexistence.Itsculturalpossibilitiesarecloseto
exhaustion.
418

IftheopportunitywhichexistedduringtheoneandahalfyearperiodafterWWIhad
beenproperlyappreciatedandused,today'smenaceswouldnothavecomeintoexistence.
419

Manypeopleindifferentpartsoftheworldescapedbeingdisturbedbythefirstworld
war.Somepeopleinsomepartsescapedthesecondworldwar.Butnopersoninanypart
oftheworldwillbeabletoescapetheplanetcirclingatomicforcesofthethirdworld
Armageddon.
420

Thosewhoaredestinedtosurvivetheordealsofthiscrisiswillalsosurvivetoconfirm
thetruthofthesedismalwarningsofinescapablechallengeandverifytheaccuracyof
thesehopefulpredictionsofgeneralenlightenment.Onlyaminoritywillescapethe
generalcatastrophe.Outofthisremnantanewandspiritualracewilldevelop.Thewarof
bombsandshellswillbedisplacedbyawarofideas.Men'smindsandnottheirbodies
willclashagainsteachother.Ifconflictwillnotcometoanend,atleastbloodshedwill.
Thesteelyclashofarmswillgivewaytotheverbalclashofopinion.
421

Whatdoesthefutureholdformankind?thisisaquestionoftenaskedandvariously
answered.OneoftheanswersisgivenbyHinduismwhichsaysthatthepresentperiodis
theKaliYugathatis,theironagewhenlifeisatitsdarkest,manmorecorrupt,sinful,
andwickedthanever,spirituality,religion,moralsattheirlowestebb,sufferings,
catastrophes,diseasesattheirhighesttide.Moreoveritsaysweareonlyatthefirst
quarteroftheironageandwestillhavetheotherthreequarterstogoandthataswego
fartherintoKaliYugatheconditionswillgetworseandmanmorewicked.However
HinduismalsosaysinitsscripturetheBhagavadGita,throughtheperson(mythological
thoughhemaybe)ofSriKrishna,thattheAvataronewhodescendsfromahigherplane
intohumanincarnationtobringinanewandbetterperiodwillcomeneartheendofthe
ironageandusehispowerandknowledgetousherinthereignofgoodnessand
righteousness,Truth,andaboveallPeace.Everywherethroughouttheworldtodaywesee
violence,agitation,anddestruction,andthistoo,accordingtoHinduism,istobeexpected
intheKaliYuga.Thereforeattemptstoendwarareunlikelytomeetwithmuchsuccess
untiltheAvatarcomes.IfhoweverwegonottoHinduism,buttotheastrologersandask
fortheirpredictions,thestorychanges,brightens,andbecomesfullofhope,fortheysay
weareenteringtheAquarianage,theagewhichspreadsknowledge,goodness,harmony,
andpeace.Itmightbeasked,"Whatdoesphilosophysay?"Theansweristhatthereis
somethingoftruthinboththeHinduandtheastrologicalprognostications.Firsttheevils
ofwar,violence,destruction,andsoon,willcometoaclimaxwiththematerializationof
nuclearwar.Toomuchhasbeencreatedonthementalplaneandisbeingcreatednotto
finditswaybacktoearthagaininphysicalexplosion.Onlyafteranuclearwarwiththe
majorpartofthehumanpopulationwipedoutwillitbepossibleforanewstarttobe
made,willmankindhavelearnedthelessonofsubstitutinggoodwillforillwill.
Secondly,philosophysaysthatthereareageswithinagesthatistosayminor,lesser,and
shorterperiodswithinthegreatperiodandwewillafterthenuclearwarandafterthe
chaositbringsenteroneofthesebetterperiods.[Editor'snote:Withtheexceptiononly
ofthelastparainthissection,weknowneitherthedatesnorthehistoricalsequenceof
whenthispredictivematerialwaswritten.Wedoknow,however,thatparanumber421is
themostrecent,andthatitwaswritteninthelastyearofP.B.'slife.]
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Goodwillultimatelyprevail
422

Thoseofuswhoarethehumblespokesmenofphilosophyneitherseekcheaptriumphs
norexpectswiftvictories.Weknowwherehumannaturestandstoday.Weareresigned
toacceptwhateverresultsmaycomebecauseweareconvincedthattheforcespromoting
humanmoralandmentalgrowthareirresistible,thathoweverslowandlongthehuman
journeymaybe,itsfinalarrivalatTruthandBeautyandGoodnesscanneverbe
prevented.
423

ItispardonableandnaturaltotakeshortviewsoflifeandNature,andconsequentlyto
becomeimpatientoflongviews.Yettheshortonerevealshorrorsandevilsthatareoften
unreconcilablewiththebeliefinabeneficentandomnipotentPower,whereasthelong
onerevealsbothameliorativeadjustmentandanemergingsignificance,aunifying
WorldIdeawhichgivesaplaceandpurposetoallthings.
424

Thesemen,thescientistsandtechniciansofourtime,thebusinessmenandengineers,the
professionalsandlawyers,needtheiropposites,theprophetsandmystics,toremindthem
oflife'sdeeperside,towarnthemoftheincompletenessoftheirownlives,andtoimpart
tothemsomeappreciationofsubtlerandfinerstatesofbeingwherethepromisesofall
thatisbestinreligionandphilosophy,artandculture,becomefulfilled.
425

Somewherebetweenaroseateoptimismandagloomypessimism,truthhovers.Itdoes
notstandstill.Foreachpersontouchesitatsomepointpredeterminedbyhisown
personalexperiencesoflife.
426

Noaspirantneedbedistressedbecausesofewacceptthehigherteaching.Religious
prophetsandmysticalseersariseindifferentlocalitiestotakecareoftheothers,those
wholackthesubtletyofperceptionandtherefinementofintuitiontorespondsufficiently
toit.Allaspirantshavetoacquiresomethingoftheimmensepatienceofthesages,who
knowthatevolutionisalwaysinprogressandthatNaturetakeshertime.Butalongwith
thatpatiencetheyhaveconstantlytosuffertheremembranceofaterriblefactacrisisin
humanhistoryhasbeenreachedandfailuretoreturntoatruerspiritualbasisforlife
quicklyenoughwillbringterriblecatastrophe.Neverthelessalleventswillbeusedinthe
unfoldmentoftheWorldIdeaandallwillworkoutforgoodintheend.Theymusttrust
thedivinewisdom.Itnevermakesamistakeanditshiddenpurposeisutterlybeneficent.
427

Itisinevitablethatduringtheuncertaintyanddangerofwarpeopleoftenturnforhelpto
God,butafterthewarthereisareactionawayfromGod.Thishasusuallyhappened
throughouthistory.However,thereisverylittlethatanindividualcandoaboutthe
world'sspiritualcondition,butthereisagreatdealthathecandotoimprovehisown.
Themorehecanunderstandtheuniversallawsbyincreasinghisknowledgeofthem,the
betterhewillunderstandthateveninthedarkesttimes,whenevilseemstobe
triumphant,stillthatisonlytemporaryandlimitedbecauseonlythegoodcantriumphin
theend.
428

Humanityisnotlikelytoremainimpervioustothecallofintuitionforeverandevennow
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wemaysee,especiallyintheWesternworld,signsofasilentgatheringupofspiritual
forceswhichwilllead,whenitfinallyeruptsafterthenextArmageddon,toatremendous
renewaloftheinnerlifeofmankind.
429

Thisisthefutureofthehumanracethatallitstraitsofcharacter,allitsfacultiesof
mind,allitsactivitiesoffeelingandbodywillonedaybeunfoldedintohappy
equilibrium.
TheNotebooksarecopyright19841989,ThePaulBruntonPhilosophicFoundation.

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