The Social Directions
Murshid Samuel L. Lewis
(Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti)
Toward the One, the Perfection of Love, Harmony, and
the Only Being, United with All the Illuminated Souls
Who Form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance.
It is not the requisite of the mystic to defend or attack any human institutions, but to cooperate in every manner possible that the Will of God be performed on earth as it is in the Heavens. The more the heart becomes like an empty cup, the more can be poured into such a receptacle. Nothing doubting, success is sure for the Hand of Allah is outstretched over those who love and serve him.
The question arises, What is the ideal social order? and the answer is, the restoration of the adamic state of man. If it is asked, What is the Adamic State of Man? the answer is that it is the Universal Man, the Adam Kadmon. Yes, this is the name for the cosmic body of mankind, yet it is true that each individual body has been patterned in its image. Therefore it can truly be said that the laws of the true social order are the laws of our own physical vehicles.
By studying this body one may learn all the laws of the physical plane; by studying the mind or mental vehicle one may learn all the laws of that plane. The day has passed for quoted phrases or vainly repeating scriptures. Man’s supreme duty is to know himself and the law is: The ideal economic order on earth objectifies the same laws, the same relations, the same principles and the same attitude as the physical vehicle. As above, so below, and in the image of God was man made. Now by serving God here on earth the Adamic condition may be restored.
It may be observed that the body is composed of many parts, of many organs; likewise is the world composed of many kinds and conditions of men. In the traditions of Bharata it is said that the castes arose from the body of their Lord, and this is true for all have sprung from the primal Adam. There is the plane of undifferentiated humanity, called Adam in the Bible; there is the activating, collective humanity or Aish, representing the human will; and there is Anesh, the individual human being. And Anesh, Aish and Adam are as body, mind and soul.
If it be asked, Who is nearer and dearer to God, the saint or the sinner? the Jew or the Gentile? the Brahman or the outcaste? inquire which causes the most pain, headache or hemorrhoids? When the Brahman suffers, God suffers, and when the outcaste suffers, God suffers. In headache the Brahman in you is in torture and in hemorrhoids the outcaste in you is in agony. When a person can say he prefers one cell in his body to another, then only can he say that one is dearer to God than another, for so man is a god in miniature in relation to the microcosm of which his own physical vehicle is a part.
When Christ appeared on earth he could not openly declare that God was Mother as well as Father, yet in his personality he exhibited some feminine qualities, which are called by the Sufis, jemal characteristics. In him fine and tender characteristics appeared in a masculine body. God loves both as a father loves and as a mother loves. Does a mother care for even her worst children? Even more so does God love all his offspring. So man should understand that he is in Adam and to Adam as each cell of his body is to him. The life of each cell is limited but while in the body each cell is near and dear to one and one life permeates all. So in a larger sense there is one collective life binding all human kind, the spiritual foundation for a true brotherhood of man.
What would you think if a cell of your liver said: “I work hard, I keep the system operating, I will not associate with the cells in the sex glands, they are vicious.” What would you say if you heard a cell in your brain refusing to send a nerve message to the kidneys declaring, “Why should I who am mighty and help direct this institution associate with scavengers?”
If the brain cells refused to send nerve messages to the kidneys, the latter would not function properly, poison would remain in the body, disease would set in, and soon the brain cells would suffer more than the kidneys, just as a scavenger could withstand more dirt than a banker, who must keep clean while working. If his office were not swept and dusted he would not do his work properly, and if he carried on, he would become ill.
Castes remain different yet castes must cooperate. When love is expressed through sex organs, the person becomes lascivious; if it is expressed through the spleen, one becomes fiery and arduous and perhaps very jealous; if one expresses or feels love in the brain, one might become grasping, and it is only when love flourishes in the heart that it can truly be called love. Wrong use of internal organs is confusion of caste. Each organ has its place within the body and by a similar grouping each caste originally had its proper place and function with the body politic.
Even if one regards the bodily cells as high and low, one preserves a feeling of equanimity toward the whole body. So in society there may be some who can be called high or low, they may appear to be great or small, but between all God maintains a position of equanimity. Therefore personality avails nought and principle suffices; it is by assimilating so far as possible this Divine point of view that one can help humanity, just as by becoming immersed in God through love one discovers the secret of assisting the self. It is God alone Who can bring freedom to the individual or to the whole of humanity.
In the Cause of God personal emotions and fixed habits of thought and feeling must be overcome. Strong attachments of any kind are liable to inhibit the full expression of one’s faculties. This does not indicate necessarily complete change of our natures. All silver ore contains a little gold and gold ore is apt to contain a little silver. It has generally been found most profitable to mine each for the predominating metal. In the same way most people have many potential faculties but it is not required to perfect all, but rather that we can become servants of the Divine Will in some respect most consonant with His needs and ours.
To condemn great institutions requires sagacity, wisdom, strength, power, fearlessness and foresight. Forceful passion can easily be displayed against the weak and the underlings, but under the spell of the majesty of a providential inspiration, the warning of destruction may come with no unquestioned meaning. Those who speak in the name of the prophets must follow the precepts and actions of the prophets. Love of Christ and Mohammed and Buddha can only be echoed in deeds worthy of the great masters. The day has passed when we can intercede for those who claim to be believers and have failed to lead men aright. The blind cannot be forgiven here now unless they step down from the seats of the mighty. If in this world the mighty wish to remain mighty, others they bring to destruction here, and themselves they lead astray in the hereafter.
The Social Order for the most part claims the protection of Christianity, and the Social Order at the same time follows neither the teachings of Jesus nor Moses nor of the Prophets of Israel. At the basis of each religion is one mighty philosophy of life which is best expressed by the Sanskrit word, Dharma. When Dharma decays one perceives the mighty force of destruction and this in itself means the manifestation of that aspect of Divinity called Siva by the Hindus, with the corresponding reaction which makes it possible for one or more great souls to appear to lead humanity on the path of salvation, out of the cataclysm which has resulted from his perverted and selfish will.
So the social and economic system called Capitalism must be superseded by another and more equitable order which will, if it is not founded upon absolute spiritual principles, at least provide the means for a happier and better society in some respects. All forces work their own destruction, and that which is accomplished on the inner planes is sure to manifest later outwardly. This is the secret of Gandhi, for instance, not comprehended by most of the Occidental races, and not always understood even by some of his closest admirers.
Ten indictments are made against Capitalism, but even without them, the force of individualism causes its own destruction. Man cannot forever live as the competitor of man; such was not the purpose of creation. Each social order may have some accomplishment to fulfill; this has been assigned and completed by the present day industrial system, and on the morrow a new order shall arise.
(1) Capitalism Foments Unjust Wars
You will see yet more conflicts like the late war unless very powerful influences move for peace. They must be more powerful and compelling than the forces that make for war. Diplomats and soldiers who think in terms of conflict and national advantage, cannot provide any suitable foundation for a lasting peace.
Whatever be the advantages in the League of Nations, it has ignored the existence of God. It is at the present time too much based on the idea of self-preservation. God is Creation and Preservation and Assimilation. When the preservative element predominates, Destiny holds sway and when the dynamic power of change attains the upper hand, the Will of Man is paramount. Between the Conservative and the Radical, there is no room for peace, nor has any place been allowed for God.
The liberal point of view based on compromise, it not necessarily the correct one. What is vital is either to bring about a reconciliation between the different groups, or to permit the existence of all under the regime of broadest tolerance, or to provide a means of meeting problems with the greatest control over all emotions. This is only possible when the principle of Providence is admitted and recognized, so that the creative energy of God, the Divine Principle, can attain its proper influence over the hearts and minds of men, and so move out into the objective world.
Capitalism is based on the possession and ownership of tools. There are struggles over these tools, their ownership, possession, use and management and this leads to war. Competition in itself is war, though no blood be shed. While war may not always be condemned, and while many of the prophets of God have permitted warfare, if not actually engaged in battle, that which magnifies the ego of personalities, communities, nations, or even the idea of institutions, is wrong in the sight of eternity.
(2) Capitalism Permits Unjust Arrangements of Peace
There can be no pure peace without justice. Cessation of bloodshed followed by the enslavement of peoples may even be worse than war. No excuse can be given for the wholesale transference of millions of Jews and other peoples into the hands of those nations which have emerged from the war, not so much as victors, but as tyrants and oppressors. If the Germans were to blame, that is no excuse for punishing the Jews, the Ruthenian and the Hungarian, and if the German people as distinct from the German rulers, were blameless, what do you suppose the reaction is in Heaven to the unjustifiable action of vicious victors, who today are beginning to reap the fruits of the monstrous idol they erected in vanity, putting no trust whatever in God or in humanity but leaning only upon the sword and their own selfishness.
Today millions of innocent babies are born into the world only to have to waste their lives in slavery, to pay an immense indemnity for the damage committed in a war waged by their grandparents, who are born to hate and fear children with whom they have had no dealings, and so born that the atmosphere is filled with psychic and mental neuroses, making health impossible and disturbing physical and moral equilibrium also.
God is love, God is kindness, God is mercy. Think of the anguish in His Heart when innocent babies are born to German mothers, or still more innocent children to the Jewish parents in Poland and Rumania! With every such delivery Christ is crucified anew even most by those who claim to be his followers. Yet the world has too often ignored or condoned such occurrences, and now the whole of humanity is suffering from its Karma. For that reason the greatest caution and foresight is required by those on the spiritual path; if one joins the forces working for injustice, one is then more to blame than the ignorant unjust, for to such a one guidance has already been given and his eyes should warn him.
(3) The Penal System
Who is there who can measure the distance between saint and sinner? Who can perceive the length between goodness and badness? Man, in his egotism has established laws and institutions, claiming superiority to the proclamations of the masters of old. It is true that Christ may have in one or two instances tried to soften the interpretation of laws of Moses, but who has given humanity the permission to substitute its much harder laws, not based on Divine Principles, but born of his own-self-will.
Justice has fled and cannot return until mankind returns to God. Motive is important, act is of lesser consequence. Yet in a world claiming to be Christian to some degree, no teachings have been more ignored than the social proclamations of Jesus. This can no longer be. The dualism between theory and practice has created a chasm in the body politic, the wound of which can no longer be healed.
Not only must the penal system be radically altered, but the prison in time must go. Laws must first be obeyed by those who would enforce them; the greater the social position, the more the authority, the more the advantages in life, the greater the evil and the less the good in the same deed. It is no virtue of the saint to be good, but it is a greater sin if he do evil for he has the advantages in life.
All criminals are the result of social weaknesses and personal weaknesses. For the former they may be irresponsible, but for the latter they must be treated as diseased. Today science is pointing out remedies. But the prison tends to place a man amid vicious companions or in solitary confinement with his more vicious thoughts, and gives the devil full sway. Knowledge is not sentimentalism and repentance must precede forgiveness, but to remove legal responsibility from an individual and to deprive him of social freedom does not need to carry a stigma nor to suggest any punishment which does not eradicate the cause of crime.
Every soul on earth came from God and returns to God. If one were utterly wicked the body could not function and if death did not result, insanity would. There is a Spirit of Guidance within us and once this is perceived, even the worst among men can become rehabilitated. In the eternal life, a day or seventy years is nothing and life on the earth is the preparatory school for a much greater existence in the hereafter.
(4) Mistreatment of Indigenes
The spirit of God and the selfhood of Christ is found in every human, no matter how savage. He is not in the white more than in the black-skinned person, nor present in the brown body and absent from the red. Whatever one does to the least of God’s creatures, that also does he to the highest of God’s Messengers, and with every wicked act to the inferior races, man crucifies Christ anew.
When the African is taken from the Kraal and forced to work in the mine for a pittance, when the Bantu or the Lao is enslaved, do you not think that the Holy Ones weep? If man could only see beyond his blindness that none suffer more in the end than those very captains of industry who have seemed to benefit from such a regime. For an instant they seem to benefit, and in the end they have only thrown away their birthrights for a mess of potage. If man could visualize the next plane and see that for every pain caused another an equal amount of pain must be felt to bring repentance, the most selfish would live very closely according to the Golden Rule. In time fear would become also a force for good,
The souls of the wealthy and powerful call for economic changes. Those who have passed on see the evil they did and the greater evil which arose therefrom, which has so increased today in the mad rush for selfish enjoyment. It is far better to believe or pretend to believe that every animal, every organism has a soul or a spiritual counterpart than one instant losing sight of the divinity in man, no matter how that divinity is hidden in an undeveloped individual of any race, of any type of civilization, or any degree of culture.
The call of Christ is to follow him and leave Mammon, and how is it answered today? Those calling themselves priests go clad in rich rainment, even amid the suffering and starving. A church is dedicated to the Son of Man who knew not where to lay his head, and that place is filled with gold and precious stones. Men have dared to defy the teaching, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a wealthy man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” In defying that teaching, they defy Christ and now the Karma of the ages is reacting upon a war-worn and suffering world, which Karma is bound to take its toll, and a terrible toll it shall be, unless man will return and heed the teachings of the Holy Ones.
Through the ages it has been supposed that by building magnificent structures and filling them with costly ornaments, repeating therein creeds utterly foreign to the spirit and teaching of the Master, but connecting them with his name, that they would benefit thereby. But such persons are more to be condemned than all others, for they not only break the divine commandments, they do it under the cover of a holy name. That church which hoards wealth when people starve is of the devil. Even the rich man is but a mite in sin to the wealthy clergyman, and the wealth encrusted church.
The rich may have earned their property through work or robbery or inheritance or chicanery, but the clergyman does little or nothing for his means. The rich man does not claim to hold the keys to the kingdom of heaven, while the clergyman does make claims. Neither does the rich man always pretend to be sacrosanct, but the clergyman often regards himself pious or holy. Therefore the worst of the wealthy persons is the doctor of divinity; those who wax rich in the name of God are a million times more to blame than they who make no secrecy of their mammon worship.
But wealth is not to be decried. God has ordained prosperity and prosperity will return when men serve Him. God desires prosperity for mankind, no opulence followed by poverty; this means sufficiency of substance through the years that none may be in want. He only is guilty who hoards or feasts while his brothers starve.
It is not true that some must be rich and others be poor. None need be poor. The call is now for each to work for the good of all. The rich will only be permitted to enter the true church if they work for common good. You can give them a cup of grape-wine to drink but you cannot administer a portion from your Lord. No man and no organization can make anyone see God or affect the vision of Christ. How can a church make any such promise? Then the church is God and God is nobody. This is far different from the community of saints.
However no limit has been placed on the amount of wealth which might be accumulated by one man. He who works for common good will prosper. It is man who may own wealth but in the present social order wealth owns man, and this is the real evil. Therefore a change has been foreordained in Heaven which will ultimately be accomplished upon earth.
The governments of today are based on human premises. God has ordained neither democracy nor equality. Men are not equal and need not be equal. It is only possible to emulate one whom you can regard as a greater personality. In the forests trees are not of the same height, nor are the flowers in a garden equal in beauty or fragrance. The principle of Unity is one and the doctrine of Uniformity is another.
The kingdom of God is a hierarchy. The proof that the governments of today are based on false premises is that corruption exists. How is it possible to correct this condition except through those who are pure? And who is pure? Preaching cannot correct this condition. Until the heart of man is open, it does not matter much whether you have a democracy, an autocracy or a kingdom—there may be corruption in any of them. And when the heart is open, a king, a president, a dictator or a parliament will all serve, for all may be enlightened.
Corruption in government is not always cleaned by house-cleaning but rather by house-moving. The choice is now in your hands. The churches of the world cannot help much for God is far from them in reality. It is not the believer, but he whose heart is open who will see the light. Therefore suffering has come, not that God desires suffering but it is necessary to root out corruption, scandal and all manner of evil. So a warning is given to keep watch and seek the hand of your Lord.
Now is the prayer that men will awaken and see that things are not well. The rich keep mistresses and those in high places have strumpets as companion! Who can oppose the abolition of the family, the destruction of the home? Those who are most desirous of the preservation of present-day institutions have already destroyed them in Heaven. God weighed the kingdom of Babylon, so the kingdoms of the world have been weighed and found wanting.
The church marriage has become a mockery. Even when divorce is decried, the church permits its wealthy to separate, for husband to leave the wife and to play the whore and sometimes to remarry. The church that opposes promiscuity will receive gifts from men who commit adultery, and the church upholding the family does not forbade its elders from maintaining two families. Who then is the judge? Who then is to lead?
So the blind are leading the blind. Hypocrites practice that which they do not dare preach and there are innovators who appeal for some theory they know not has been tried already and found wanting. Hardly an idea on marriage or morality which is not somewhere in existence which has not sometime existed as an institution and failed. If such were good, would they not already have been advocated by the sages? If one denies the sages, would not evolution itself have brought such institutions to the fore?
It seems to have been forgotten that the human body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore spiritual students are not asked to advocate any special system of divorce or marriage but rather to strive earnestly that all may realize the sanctity of the body. Perhaps in some respects the practices of Islam come nearest the ideal system, but what is advocated is neither polygamy, monogamy nor celibacy, but rather fidelity, and that each practice what is ordained by the spiritual teachers of the world.
When the Son of Man walked this earth he knew not where to lay his head, nor did he possess that beyond his means or his needs. In this modern civilized world there are men who own 30 and 40 or more suits, women who purchase gowns at high prices for a single wearing. To wear a beautiful gown, to own a costly dress is not evil if it is for the sake of beauty, but when it is for vanity, the same deed is evil. Too often beauty languishes while vanity appears under her mask.
There is a striving for that which is beyond reach. Although the bear and the fox may be plentiful, the fur of mink and many harmless little animals is desired. Feathers of rare birds are in demand and each strives for something different, vanity dividing each from all. False etiquette often usurps the place of hospitality and courtesy. So wealth has laid aside all moral and does not disdain the embrace vice and lust.
Instead of the rich considering it duty to help the poor, as the Scriptures command, either alms giving is accompanied by ostentation or else the rich flee the country to enjoy themselves elsewhere even while others are in dire need. This is a great sin. Why must people always go to distant places for enjoyment? This shows how far they are from the kingdom of Heaven, which is in their very midst.
True clergy of God should not possess much material wealth and should avoid ostentation. Today world leaders are pompous and vain. Too much is spent for ill usages, for pampering the body and catering to every little desire. Verily, this is vanity and catering to vanity is sin, but cultivation of beauty is a virtue.
(9) Artificial Living
Man has moved far from a natural life. God has built lofty forests and pleasant groves for the enjoyment of man. The seashore and the mountain offer suitable environments for relaxation. The day has been ordained for work and the night for rest. And the health of humanity will be much better when people arise near dawn and gain strength from the magnetic currents of the sun.
Much is spent in the building of solariums, for the purchase of medicine, for visits to physicians and for the maintenance of sanitariums. All this comes from an artificial life, a life that has devitalized the body and corrupted the mind. Surely God created bodies for a purpose and minds for a function, that man should know Him and see Him.
It seems no longer possible to return to Nature and to God, but truly, there is no price too great for it. The theater is preferred to the picnic and the auditorium and the salon are appropriated for the dance, instead of the verdant fields.
Look at the happiness of the flowers in the meadows, and the sweltering of those in the hot-house! So it is with man. Physicians find many causes for disease but how few admit it is unnatural living! Although their methods have improved in some directions, they are not succeeding in preventing the ailments of the body nor can they end the fatigue of the mind. Those who have not mastered their vehicles, surely they cannot save the world.
O brothers and sisters, in the search for happiness we must be pure and strong. That nation will be uppermost which is strongest and purest. Instead of hating or envying the Japanese it would be well to emulate them in their love for nature and their response to the seasons, as well as their control of emotion. Far better is it to deify flowers and the phenomena of nature than to desecrate the body temple.
(10) Human Relations
Brotherhood is necessary for the world. Man has faculties even higher than the angel, and by failure to observe the laws of righteousness, he becomes subject to Retribution. Reverence and kindness seem to disappear, and the ideals have become more and more artificial. Leaders are called great, though they are satisfied when others starve and are in dire need. Teachers are called great who know nothing of greatness. God and the world have been so disconnected that unbelief has become common.
Yet great as the sins of man, greater is the forgiveness of God. For the ten sins of organized society, so are there ten medicines, and for every vicious habit, there is a single virtue which can wipe away one or all. The Social Order is condemned, but so also is the contrary Social Order. Materialism offers no solution to the problem of the self, whether under a Capitalistic or Bolshevistic regime. God has not foreordained a special form of society but rather brotherhood and purity and in the search for these things, the problems and perplexities both of the individual and the collectivity will be solved—in unison with the Will of God.
True judgment can never be rendered when the emotions and prejudices exert too strong an influence over the mind. It is not an excuse to defend oneself by producing the short-comings of others; it is not a defense of industrialism to point to the wrongs of communism nor is it an argument for communism that the majority seem to be better off in such a social state than when private ownership of property is permitted.
There is truth and justice in the Universe and Providence proclaims a moral order. If man will not accept this order it is to his own undoing. We do not have to choose between capitalism and communism, or between civilization and barbarism; there are other courses which may be followed and it is the spirit of the age which is important. So in explaining the inhibitions and weaknesses of Bolshevism from a spiritual point of view, it is not to defend Capitalism or to attack Communism any more than to proclaim the fall of Capitalism was an argument in the opposite direction. It may have appeared as an argument but many people who can hardly be considered prophets in any spiritual sense can see that if the social order in Russia permits certain abuses to continue, it cannot abide on earth. Therefore ten fundamental errors covering some of the worst features of Bolshevism as now practiced are discussed, more or less from the metaphysical view.
(1) Property Basis of Society
Communism as practiced in Russia does not solve the age long dispute between human rights and property rights. In the countries where private property is the recognized institution, it is private ownership which has come into conflict with personal freedom and their personal freedom has been restrained, but in Russia where we find personal freedom conflicting with communal rights, again the liberty of man is curtailed for the sake of the property.
Now a communistic or cooperative society need not be anti-individualistic, but a materialistic organization will for it knows nothing of the inner spirit of man. Disregarding its existence it insists that the happiness of the individual depends upon the welfare of the State. This may be true within a limited degree, but often the welfare of the State does not promote the happiness of minorities, and even at times suppresses the well being of the majority as well.
A true spiritual society would provide for the common interests of all citizens. All would not have to sacrifice everything for the state nor would individuals be prevented from enjoying the necessities of life. Too much emphasis is still based on who should own property, too little on how all may enjoy the fruits of property and of labor.
It should ever be proclaimed that in truth the earth belongs to the Lord. Those who produce may own land. At the same time every individual has certain rights, spiritual and material, and the society or institution which violates personality in time will destroy itself.
(2) Downfall of Individualism
Present day communism without a caste system tends toward uniformity instead of unity. While admitting and demonstrating that complete democracy is not a supreme ideal, it falsely assumes a dictatorship which does not exist in reality. Instead a tyranny has usurped power, a very few ruling in the name of many. Not that this is an evil in itself but one theory is assumed and another practiced. Men and women are apt to be chosen for their beliefs instead of for their ability. This is Orthodoxy, wrong alike whether with Feudalism, Capitalism, Ecclesiasticism or Communism.
Liberty of investigation is not permitted. As many of the more conservative countries restrain scientists, philosophers and thinkers from demonstrating or adopting ideas or thoughts in opposition to authority, so does this new order. It is like changing chairs in a room without dusting off the chairs.
In a free society ability would count and not belief. The destruction of Capitalism does not necessarily involve the destruction of the capitalists themselves. Persons who have acquired an innate ability for leadership cannot be deprived of their faculties by law, only under a wise government they would be selected to amass fortunes not for themselves but for the benefit of all. Often they are the best fitted to operate the complex mechanical industries which will continue in any new order if civilization is to continue and progress. Capitalism may have to go but the capitalists themselves may function in other roles in a new order. This would not only bring life to the state, but would give them new zest for action.
And the same is true for all classes. All persons are dear to God, or if we do not like this word, we can say that all are human beings. If they are not given a proper place in society, they naturally create a menace. Throwing ten million capitalists into unemployment is just as great an evil as throwing ten millions of others into want. All are human and should be cared for; only as the leaders of the present day society have in many cases more virility, too much hostility toward them can only bring one result—interminable warfare with danger to all civilizations.
(3) Frustration of the Aesthetic Temperament
While the Russian government appears to be encouraging the arts, and trying to build a love for Nature among its people, whenever any art disappears, it means sooner or later a setback to civilization. While regal ceremonialism is to a great extent defunct, even it can be restored or preserved in the new age in religion, in the dance, or in other manners.
Each form of society may produce a new art and so benefit posterity. The Bushida culture of Japan has given flower arrangement, the Arabian Caliphate calligraphy and letter writing, and modern Commercialism has produced interior decorating. These should be preserved. Man needs greater inspiration for a fuller life, man needs greater capacity for the enjoyment of beauty.
In the Capitalist society money is power and in the Bolshevist state, orthodoxy is power. So beauty has not yet come into her own. Art is not philosophy and to make a philosophy of it is mutual suicide to both Art and Philosophy. In Russia need and utility have superseded beauty. Not that these are wrong, but there is no need to displace beauty; they should unite. The palace has been abolished for the hut and the hut has not yet come into its own. While in certain directions love for the arts is encouraged, beauty cannot and will not flourish without freedom of the spirit.
The proof of this is seen in that while the Bolshevists have discarded much of Capitalism they have retained the sombre dress of modern society. Drabness and colorlessness have remained.
There was nothing to prevent the Russians from adopting the garb of Turkistan or Arabia or Ancient Greece, or to devise some new costume which could have been beautiful and at the same time symbolic of their new age.
Here was an opportunity for the propagation of beauty, and what has come of it? Communism has been successful in certain directions, but it is not enough for the loaf of bread to supersede the piece of coin. Whether they recognize God or not, without the Good, the Beautiful and the True in some form, no society can subsist.
(4) The Absence of Spirituality
Pure love is worship and the man who cannot worship will degrade his love. After a few years of bodily pleasure, his love nature remains and unless there is some outlet for it, it becomes distorted. If the state is to raise the children or control their education, the parental influence will be lessened. When this occurs a tie is loosed and there is no proper outlet for the natural feelings of the father and mother.
State control of the child may not always be evil nor is the absence of parental control and home life always bad. Family ties without a spiritual bond may become sentimental or selfish, bringing neither the parents or the children nearer to God or to humanity. Thus the family by itself is not an end but it can become the greatest means to good or ill.
The instinct for worship is true and natural. Not that it is necessarily a worship for a particular ideal or being. Man can retain love, enjoy beauty, be pleased with music, be interested in the advancements of science, be charmed by the activities of a hero, but when there is deliberate interference from any direction, it causes harm. What is needed today most is the idea of true worship, true reverence, true humility. That will form the basis of a true religion.
The prescription of religious activities encourages cynicism and irreverence. Because the barbarian renders homage to a wooden idol, one does not destroy every tree in the forest, and because worshippers have been exploited by self-ordained priests this does not affect the reality of God.
What is needed is a broader outlook on life, a feeling of benevolence toward all, whether they worship as one does, or worship in another fashion, or do not worship at all. Some people do not perceive that holding communal ownership sacrosanct is in itself dogmatic and therefore theoretical rather than philosophical. The people of the future must become freed from all of man’s authoritative dictates. Both the selfish priest and the tyrannical state must be moved from the path of the free soul, who would seek his God untrammeled.
(5) Suppression of Intellectual Liberty
Under political restraint science will suffer as well as religion and art. The action of Nature is one thing; knowledge should broaden our investigations but if researches are confined within artificial limits it is man who suffers thereby. Nothing will help science and art more than spiritual liberty, but when the heart is artificially controlled, the head is in the stocks.
A state which insists upon a materialistic philosophy tends to avoid any psychical and mental research which might affect its dogmatic assertions. It looks askance upon any branch of science and impeaches the work of any scientist where investigations seem to lead to the conclusion that there is an Intelligence directing phenomena. Whenever postulates of Economics or Philosophy are adopted by the social order it is just as much or even more a hindrance to intellectual development than the opposition of Theology. Either intelligence leads or flees.
The future of science as well as religion and art depends upon absolute liberty in the field of theory. Altering the social state without effecting this change brings little benefit and may even result in dire disaster. When the weak direct the strong Inquisition will return.
Man is more than his stomach and his skin. Even birds sing and spiders dance through the impulse of beauty and love. Unless there is more liberty in the world, stagnation may follow and then chaos. The spiritual leaders will also herald the advance of science and art, offering new methods as well as safeguarding the studies and efforts of the past. This the government of Russia has not done and even if the capitalistic countries are no better what advantage is there in effecting changes that will not insure a greater degree of human happiness?
(6) False Humanitarianism
Instead of directing its efforts mainly to make the people happy, the government of Russia, being a government, uses its power to subvert its subjects. While precautions are taken to erect a high industrial state, there is as yet little indication that this power will not be employed against other social states. Then, instead of resulting in increased internal prosperity, foreign war may follow.
At the present time both Capitalism and Communism are guilty of overstressing production and understressing human needs. So far no complete study has been made of the natural needs of man and whether he is more happy or less happy with machinery, transportation, radio and other devices. Comfort is not happiness, yet comfort may be most desirable. In the capitalistic controlled countries, too much money has been spent on the comparative luxuries of the automobile and radio and less on the ownership of homes. Now the Communists are doing the same thing, only they are definitely opposed to certain forms of family institutions.
The biological man is made to suffer for the benefit of the social and economic man. Every person belongs to genus homo, be he white, black, red or brown, whatever be his social class, and every woman likewise must be considered in the same manner. All partake of universal life. Until a greater study is made of man, his faculties and potentialities, civilization can at best, be regarded as having a flimsy foundation.
Free cooperative effort has not been encouraged and even medicine has become state administered. It is forgotten that the sympathy of the physician itself is a medicine. When duty supersedes sympathy, it brings on a coldness of atmosphere which makes it difficult for the patient to get well. If free physicians using heterodox methods have so much difficulty in mercantilistic countries, how much less their opportunity in socialistic states as at present conceived? Modern advances in certain branches of therapeutics, as the new dietetics, would have to face bureaucratic and orthodox opposition, with a corresponding loss to humanity.
All this shows that once art, religion and science are restrained, there can be no humanitarianism. What advantage in a revolution that does not bring increased liberty but instead offers a new inquisition? To say that people are happier than in the past is not enough. Sovietism cannot prove that its subjects are happier than others; there is no indication that this will be true even in a hundred years, and all mankind in industrial controlled areas seems blind to the truth that happiness comes from within, and cannot be based on one or other method of controlling property and machinery.
Hatred is a terrible thing. Even class war may be justified on certain grounds, but fighting is one thing, hating another. It is not those who kill the body who will suffer from hell-fire, but rather those who torture the soul. Shooting another in battle destroys a physical body; hating another poisons the mental, psychic and physical vehicles of another and of oneself—six vehicles are then harmed, so hatred is six times as wicked as murder.
This can even be proven physically and chemically. Every selfish emotion, and still more hatred which can be called diabolic, discharges adrenalin and other drugs into the blood. This causes sluggishness of the system, diseases the liver and then stupefies the brain through the blood. It is this which causes the unfavorable emotional and mental reactions, so hatred can ever be called insanity.
Yes, one may hate injustice, so to speak. Then it is to fight the evil conditions, not the personalities who are themselves its victims. If the socialist theory is true, that capitalistic society is to blame, then the whole attack should be concentrated on the system without regard to personalities. Attacking the rich and powerful can be done without hatred if one realizes that they also are victims of a condition beyond their control. Otherwise the world could be reformed by killing the rich, the powerful and the privileged and any thinking person realizes that not much good could be accomplished thereby.
Such folly is born from the absence of love, good will and clear vision. Love purifies the personality and gives rise to insight; hatred blinds and hinders. Both love and hate will grow, whichever is predominant. Through love one can grow until the heart expands and takes all within its preview; but when hatred increases there is a tightening of vision until radical hates radical. This is what occurred during the French Revolution and even the factions of the Russian radicals are not free from the same movement, which may in the end destroy them unless they can rise above hatred in their vision of an ideal.
The French Revolution shows that it is easier to start hating than to stop it. Communism is not necessarily against religion and spirituality. Among the ancients there were such commonwealths, based upon love. Without love there cannot be a successful social order. As Karl Marx himself taught, every economic order has within its being the germs of its own destruction. So Russia has the seed of self-immolation, only its enemies also hate it, and in this common hatred all have endangered themselves and each other. And in this is the great danger to the whole humanity.
(8) Materialism Deified
The Soviet teaching is that comfort brings happiness, that until a man is comfortable and economically protected he cannot enjoy life, he cannot study, he cannot meditate. This view overlooked the centuries of experience of China and India, that to enjoy life and study and meditate, there must be no attachment to material possessions. Both Sovietism and Capitalism are based on the property ideal; the one says, the state shall own, the people shall possess as a unit; the other declares that each individual may accumulate regardless of another. The spiritual teaching is that the earth and all therein belongs to the Lord.
The result is that today man is unaware that there is no single standard of comfort. Just how many rooms and how much food and clothing and pleasure are necessary? Epicurus did not require many goods and John the Baptist owned practically nothing; the Buddha, perhaps, sustained life with little beyond his meager clothing. The materialist point of view seems to regard the stomach as greater than the whole body and the body as the whole of man. If so, at least dietetics should become the predominant part of physiology and physiology the complete basis of psychology. This, even the worldly minded know is not true, and all agree that quality is more fundamental than quantity.
Yes, they make man live for the state. So we find three groups in the world which may be condemned: Those who make man live for the state as in Russia, for the property system as in the capitalistic countries, for the church as in old Russia and parts of medieval Europe. All are wrong. God created man in His own Image and neither the state nor property nor any church derives full authority from God, no matter what the claim. Man alone is God’s child and all organizations and institutions should be the servants of man, not his tyrants.
Man will never be free so long as he is attached to matter. He must become free to investigate in all directions. Until peace becomes an ideal, especially peace of mind and complacency of heart—until loving-kindness becomes a living ideal, in other words, a reality, no social order can persist. Man must first consider man as man; the economic man, the social man and the animal man come afterwards.
(9) Confusion of Mind
Confusion of mind results from concentration on hatred and dissatisfaction. One might bear hardship with tranquility and resignation; another will do so with resentment. Calmness in the face of difficulties does not blind one to injustice. Hatred poisons the blood; the ductless glands secrete hormones or poisons into the blood with every emotion. Selfless emotions bring strength, while any form of selfishness, even chemically and physiologically, causes a degree of stagnation, which while immeasurable, sooner or later causes disease or even insanity.
Clear vision and insight are always assets to the individual. The education of the future must strengthen man and his faculties, and the stronger the character, the better the ability of man, the easier it will be for him to master the forces of nature and to sustain himself under conditions, whether favorable or adverse. Then he will become free from the vicissitudes of climate, economic control or the vagaries of leaders.
Once the seed of dissatisfaction is sown, there can only be the fruit of dissatisfaction afterward. Once in that frame of mind, how can such a person be satisfied? Grumbling becomes a habit and instead of loathing evil only, he begins to hate wicked persons. One begins by stating his hatred is directed not against personalities, but against wickedness, and holds that Capitalism is the source of all wickedness. But destroy the Capitalist state—is he satisfied, is he at peace? No! He has not made peace with himself, so he is at war with the world.
Capitalism foments wars now, but the destruction of Capitalism and the introduction of Socialism does not remove the spirit of hatred and aggression. Conflicts would follow between groups accustomed to resort to arms to attain their ends. Zeal would blind them to the relative justice or injustice of their demands. Already we see groups which began by holding that property, unemployment, inequality of wealth and social immorality were the evils which had to be scorched from the face of the earth, now declaring that the real danger lies in other opinions, other ideas, other theories; in other words, their antagonism to economic enemies is becoming transferred to mental enemies.
The truth is that the Bolshevist is more or less of a philosophical idealist masquerading as a materialist. He is neither a true materialist nor a true mentalist. He begins by demanding a certain material condition but before his work is accomplished he demands certain mental attitude and holds to that mental attitude even more than to any material condition. So even the abolition of poverty and injustice may be shelved to make way for the demand that the farmer sow some particular crop or the thoughtful cease to hold some dissenting opinion.
Starting a war in the mind, there is continued strife there, and the only remedy to that condition—peace in the heart—is made impossible, because spiritual ideals are held under suspicion. Then the mind becomes debased and a new set of wrongs is introduced into the social state. Instead of the ashes and mould of decrepit institutions, there are the litter and disorder of the new, and change there may be, but no growth toward the ideals of beauty, happiness and altruism.
(10) Mechanical Stagnation
Already one may discern the dependence of the Russian upon the machinery and technology of foreign nations. In the more than dozen years since the revolution, and with their millions of population, they have lagged behind many other countries in scientific and inventive resourcefulness, despite their government assistance to research and discovery. One hears complaints that they have not the facilities, but when we read the lives of Edison, Morse, Bell, Bose and others, we see that they had to face practically insurmountable obstacles, and with little at their disposal except their innate genius, they have produced some very important inventions. This shows that it is the genius in man which must be developed and this is not an economic problem but one of education, psychology and spiritual development. And even if the Russian state is not radically altered within the coming years, their methods cannot and will not produce the greatest discoveries and inventions.
This claim in regard to lack of facilities can best be demonstrated by the example of Jagadis Bose as well as of other Hindu scientists. Without necessary apparatus, with the whole of the British government opposed to them, they have accomplished marvels. Liberal laws in patents alone do not help much; Russia, to be successful, must permit the heart and genius of her people to work untrammeled and to realize that whatever be the laws of possession, they must not interfere with the development and expression of man’s inner spirit.
When the spirit of man is crushed, when the mind is circumvented, the imagination is thwarted and not only invention and mechanical progress are stagnated, but poetry and all the arts decay. Even music will cease to progress. And opinions of economic theorists that the philosophy of the great scientists like Eddington, Jeans, Planck and Whitehead is not to be accepted will sooner or later bring the dilemma of materialism to the surface.
Holding an economic philosophy paramount, all other ideas and ideals become abused. But Nature has its laws and principles which do not have to conform to man’s institutions. Blind opposition to Nature will sooner or later lead to the destruction of the social order. So unless the spirit of man becomes free in Russia, though the capitalistic society fall tomorrow, neither will Sovietism triumph but both shall go down together in the final destruction of all false materialism.
It is not with any feeling of antagonism that suggestions are made which might make mankind happier, but rather that the kingdom of God manifest. What assurance that those who do not observe spiritual principles while on earth will obey them in the hereafter. How can the sloughing off of the body purify the soul?
The loss of the physical does not affect the ego except insofar as there is pain. Great pain often softens the personality, but so materially minded has man become that even in Heaven is he endeavoring to establish his strong human institutions, such as private property, individual satisfaction, special languages, customs or ideas. To counteract this tendency, which is of Satan, dividing man from man, suggestions are made which might help to bring about better conditions upon earth.
Not in any orthodox fashion, but in the spirit of love. Not with any warning that total destruction is at hand if a dictum is not obeyed, but rather endeavoring to point the way to better times so that terrific depressions will not recur, that wars may be fought less and less, that peace of heart and mind and body all become natural, and that freedom become as natural as breathing.
At the same time institutions are necessary, and while no idea of uniformity can be successful, all emotions and ideals can be polarized to the end that the whole world live in brotherhood and harmony, even with different languages, different social institutions, different customs and different attitudes toward life.
(1) The Restoration of the Matriarchate
Let us not be disturbed by words. All changes are suggested in the feeling of kindliness for the benefit of humanity. Nervous women bear nervous children. Unless proper prophylactic measures are taken, insanity will increase to huge proportions. People, accustomed to looking without for the enemy, regard Bolshevism as the dreaded antagonist. But the greatest danger is from within, the growth of nervous and emotional breakdowns in a machine age, and to restore humanity, we must begin with his physical vehicle.
Before copulation, if man and woman would rest or meditate or pray, so that they were quieted, both would benefit. Every act, even the sex act can become sacred. This should not be confused with marriage institution in a church; it is the feeling between man and woman which unites them, not a ceremony. So what is needed is the purification of that feeling.
Much attention has been paid to the fact that digestion is difficult and sleep almost impossible when one is under a nervous strain. How much more deleterious, then, the effect on the vital functions! For then the emotional or mental defect is not only transferred to a child born as a result of that act. Whatever be the arguments against birth control, they are as nothing in comparison to those against the sacred act of procreation under an abnormal psychic condition.
So the first step is to see that both minds are calmed, and during the period between copulation and conception, the wife should be protected in every way possible. Society should provide suitable vacation and rest periods of one to three days at menstruation and from one to three months, at least, at childbirth. Physical and occult laws both require more attention and care to the parties concerned in the appearance of a new soul upon earth.
The more loving, attentive and serving the father is during this period, the more likelihood that the child will be affectionate toward both parents. There was a time when it was considered right and proper that the father’s wishes should be observed in regard to all matters without the household, and the mother’s desires should be respected in regard to all that took place within. This is still true in some countries and there we find the family preserved and functioning in the best possible manner.
The birth of a child should be as the birth of a universe from the world mother. If the father can be in meditation at that time, it is helpful. The more sacred such events, the better the children that will come into the world and the sooner the prevention of nervous trouble. There is a spiritual eugenics which does not preclude physical eugenics, yet considers love paramount to law. In it both points of view find their own.
Until children are seven years of age, whether boys or girls, it is better that the mother should control them. She is better fitted to give them every attention and care. During the period from 7 to 14, when the child is physically active, the father may play a greater part in his or her life, and again, during the period of youth, parents should share an equal part in the guidance of their offspring, so far as this is possible.
In other words the family will not be an absolute matriarchate, but a balanced control, with the mother holding the guiding hand. There is polarity in all things, and this polar movement will prove to be of great advantage when utilized socially. Then, as humanity evolves, more occult knowledge will be disseminated through various channels, and the whole of mankind will profit.
(2) The Restoration of the Priestess-ship
It would be better if man, that is the male, continue to lead in secular matters, but in devotion women show the most fervor. For in the things of the world man is the positive and woman the negative, but in the things of God polarity disappears. Besides more women pray than men and there is no valid reason why they should not also take a lead in prayer services and spiritual ceremonies. There are churches which do not always admit women to high offices yet in other matters they have not been so exacting in following the Word of God.
The church in many parts of the world has become over-masculinized. God created humanity male and female; both are humanity and both are the handiwork of God. True actions spring from right Dharma and there is no sex in it. In the new age all must learn to rise above distinctions and differences, finding harmony in a complete unity without uniformity, and especially in prayers are women fitted to lead and find complete self expression.
Preaching has not helped the world much. Words can only lead to words. In the Divine Creation it is true that He spake and it was done, but in the complete unfoldment of the soul speech must be accompanied or followed by action and it is through right action that the Divine Will is served.
There are only two proper forms of prayer: Praise to God and petition for Divine Guidance. The modern Sufis have accepted Saum to fill the first requirement and Salat and Khatum for the second need. Otherwise prayer can degrade into vanity. Praying for possessions, for objects, for exact fulfillment of needs is not divine, is not spiritual, and emphasizes the ego. It makes God a sort of messenger boy or merchant. Instead of spiritualizing matter, mind and spirit become materialized.
More balance will be secured as women seek to lead in devotional and even in spiritual matters and permit men to control in industrial affairs. Not as a dogma but as an outlet for natural functions. Man is qualified to lead in teaching, instructing and in the application of force; woman is best fitted in exhibiting affection, mercy and gentleness. The more women find natural outlets for their faculties the less will be their demand to enter into enterprises, wherein while some may be fitted or may seem to do well for a time, it often warps or discredits their sex activity with an alarming effect on future generations—a grave menace to which many are blind at the present time.
The ancient Druids and others were quite wise in giving women full expression in spiritual matters. Woman is not superior to man, nor is man to woman. Both fail to see that liberty, equality and fraternity should be achieved above before it can manifest below. In the future this will be better understood and all will be blessed in the service of God.
(3) The Expansion of the Dharma
This means more than establishing or reestablishing religion; it means to make every act in life sacred. Not only may prayer be considered holy, but washing, eating, work, care of children, family duty, even sex relations may be regarded as duties inseparable from a larger and more completed life. Every play and pleasure may become sacred acts. Wherever there is reverence, humility or honesty or whenever any activity is seen as a part of life as a whole, that act becomes sanctified and belongs to Dharma.
It is not necessary to accept a form of religion, even an application of Sufism. Neither to destroy the old nor institute the new but to bring a spirit of love, harmony and beauty is the first stage in this new development. All can appreciate a religion of beauty, striving for beautiful thoughts, beautiful words, beautiful deeds. No church is needed for this. It can be done in the home; it may be followed on the highways and along the byways. A prayer in school where instruction goes on may be worth a thousand in a temple where nothing is learned.
Calling a certain day a Sabbath does not make it so. Moses ordered regulations for Saturday for God’s purposes. This has been so changed that in many countries Sunday has become a day for solemnity, sadness and rigidity freezing to the soul which should ever rejoice in the Lord. God is beauty, God is love and God has all the attributes of father and mother raised to an infinite degree. It is to praise God in gladness and in song, to smile or rejoice at flowers and trees, at jewels and the songs of birds and waterfalls.
So the first note for a new day is the call to beauty, to love beauty, to appreciate beauty, to make every part of life beautiful, then to cultivate reverence. This is the resurrection of Dharma.
(4) The Restoration of the Sangha
To deal generously with one another is the highest duty, to act as if another were in one’s place. Golden rule and selfhood are incompatible. Either God exists or man is the true reality and such is human nature that even those who deny God, deny soul, deny immortality, yet depending upon their own mind and their own judgment, it is the self and not reason, not intuition, not even instinct which is the arbiter in life, but the self.
So the Orientals say there are but few Abduls, few pure servants of God in this world. God is the acme of love and kindness, and in prosperity kindness is most incumbent upon humanity. What is not learned then will be taught through compulsion in adversity. Neither prosperity nor adversity is necessarily the lot of man, but if loving-kindness is shown, prosperity will follow. This is the teaching of all the prophets and sages.
The prophet Moses (on whom be peace) gave to posterity doctrines and principles, which if established and practiced, would build up as perfect a government as is possible for earth born human beings. As time has rolled on, even the Jewish nation has laid aside these holy teachings to conform to the multitudes around them. This shows lack of faith and trust in God. Either God is all in all or there is no God. For a person to say he worships God and then to claim ownership of the ground he walks over is worship of self, not of God. Such a one is a worshipper of Mammon. Man cannot worship both God and Mammon; by his attitude he preserves or destroys his social order and protects or endangers his civilization.
True religion requires the forgiveness of debts, as well as of wrongs. Despite the endless repetition of the Lord’s Prayer, the words and thoughts have hardly entered people’s hearts. Contrary to scriptural teaching, usury has been permitted and has caused endless harm. All the difficulties facing the world today (end of 1931) come from man’s refusal to practice the teachings of the sages and prophets of the past.
The practice of gleaning does not exist as in former ages. Far better is it to permit the widow and orphan to gather up leavings than for them to have to beg for a living. Unless there is more universal sharing in the future, there will be no more prosperity. This sharing has been ordained, and when people will trust in God and partake of good things together, God will rain great abundance upon earth—thus the Scriptures teach.
The Brotherhood of man has been often turned into a mockery. The whole world is suffering and all of man’s knowledge and skill is not ending pain and sorrow. Great learning does not bring peace of mind or solace to the heart. The law is that all shall rejoice or all bear the burden of suffering; communion with God brings fellowship with humanity.
Those who would give sums to the churches can best serve God by seeing that their own dependents are not in need. Low wages and rich edifices show the power of Satan, not of God. The time is drawing near when the “you shall” shall be superseded by the “You must.” A filthy street is a blotch upon the face of God and wretched dwellings are patterns of the houses of the material-wealthy in the hereafter.
Warnings are necessary because kindness and love do not have their suitable effect. God wishes only for man’s benefit and happiness. This does not mean self comfort or self gratification; rather that which abides and brings peace. Better conditions will return when folks will love one another, serve one another, striving for harmony and making necessary sacrifices. Especially the rich are now called upon to sacrifice most for the well being of humanity. It may be a last call, a last cry, for on the morrow this civilization may pass away even as that of Babylon.
But let us not look upon suffering as suffering. It brings a great lesson. In all man’s sorrow is Christ’s sorrow and in all man’s heedlessness is Christ crucified. Only when we turn to the light of the Lord and dwell in amity shall we be saved. The resurrection of the Sangha is foreordained.
(5) The Return of Enlightenment
At this hour there is the call to repentance, to seek God. There is no need to define God, for to define Him is to destroy Him. Beauty is God, Love is God, Music is the Voice of God, Art is the Veil of God. Seek an ideal and pursue it faithfully. Look not askance upon the ideals of others for God did not make all alike. Yet all may work, one for another.
The Scriptures of the past bear no message unless the words are put into practice. Many can quote selections by heart, yet kindliness is not in their character. Others whose hearts are filled with love today disdain scriptures and religion. Whose fault is this?
Unfortunately religion has often become an opiate instead of a path to freedom. If freedom could be found in other directions, it would have been achieved. But who is free? One is a slave to another person and another is a slave to himself; thoughts enslave, customs enslave, habits enslave, institutions enslave, society enslaves. Freedom is only found in the spirit and in love.
To become like Christ, for instance, one must be able to see Christ, and to see him one must seek him. Many would hunger for a vision of Christ or Buddha or Mohammed but they know not the Way. It is, not so difficult for now as ever is Jesus saying “Come to me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Praying earnestly, learning to meditate, concentrating on the divine ideal or even on any high ideal, being reverent, and knowing how to adore—these are sign posts which will surely bring one to the heavenly treasure.
God is in the rock, the flower, the tree, in the lamb and the lion, in all virtues and qualities. Only seek, knowing that he who seeks shall find. Thus shall come the resurrection of Buddhahood, the return of enlightenment, when directly from the silence of the universe shall man achieve the great peace and the most noble blessings.
(6) Appreciation of Beauty
Growth in life and the apprehension of divinity comes in a responsive heart. And how does the heart open? There is the seed of love implanted therein, even as a tiny mustard seed. Yet this little seed has all potency in it, all potentiality. Cultivate it and it will grow and grow and grow.
We cannot expect those who are overburdened or born in dark alleys or on the lower rungs of civilization to express or even feel the highest emotions; it is not necessary. The time will arrive when each soul will come into its own. All that can be asked is growth, continuous growth to a larger and fuller life.
It would be a great blessing if all could cultivate this response. Awareness of the beautiful is most important. We do not have to have any consensus of opinion. Children can be taught the colors, but each allowed to respond freely, both in selecting the colors they like or dislike and in feeling or knowing about the various uses and applications of colors.
The same is true of music. A musical education will someday be regarded as a prime necessity. Yet in their reactions to it some will prefer to dance, some to play or sing, and some to listen in silence. Rather than forcing any method on the child should he be observed and conclusions drawn from his actions and reactions. As the child grows to adolescence, this response may continue or it may change. And in the musical education there should be no force, but a gentle guidance so that the student will develop the appreciation of beauty within, and from that cultivate love in the heart.
Every child would benefit through the study of some art, either as vocation or avocation. The number of arts is not so limited as in the past; besides that, the greater the scope of the arts, the higher the material and spiritual possibilities for development. Much of what is called engineering and architecture belongs to the arts—that is, it arises from the aesthetic sense in man. Future civilization may witness the unity between art, technology and science, forming a triad for the material basis of religion, while art, philosophy and devotion will form a triad for the devotional basis of religion; just as Thalia appeared as Grace and Muse, meaning that either the aesthetic sense or the intellectual sense could point to divinity.
Growth in this direction will create joy in living and doing. Dirt, ugliness and vice, all will go. Appreciation of fine things will lead to appreciation of fine qualities, fine actions and fine thoughts. There is no limit to the beautiful; man cannot circumscribe it and God does not.
Galleries, groves, gardens, clean surroundings and clean thoughts do not belong to any social order. They are not the bases of civilization, they are civilization itself. A little advancement in this direction shall witness the spiritual growth both of the individual and the collective humanity.
Cultivate grace, good will and compassion. Wear clean clothes, pretty ones
if you may. Adorn the body as the temple of God, not in vanity, but in
sobriety. Yet it is not wrong to appear in finery, especially before the face
of God, the Beloved. Remove all filth from cities, homes, possessions and
personality. This beauty shall be the prime moral of the New Age and lead to
greater and greater things.
(7) Development of Harmony
As each person naturally strives for individual and social betterment, so everyone can strive for the benefit of each and all. And how may this be accomplished? A beginning must be made somewhere and a beginning has been made. With all the mistakes of the past, man has not worked in vain. Social organizations may come and go without entirely destroying civilization. Comfort and pleasure are not evils except when they become ends in themselves. Surely a merciful and beneficent Deity does not wish to deprive mankind of the treasures of the world.
Happiness is not for a few but for all. All may respond in some way to beauty and extend this feeling onward. Love has two meanings; to lavish loving-kindness so far as possible, and to act toward others as toward God. If we would consider our fellow beings as gods incarnate, we should need no further morals, no preaching, no advice.
Art comes from the development of the personality. There is no limit to this development any more than there is a limit to the distance a single sun ray can travel. At the same time there are many rays, there are many degrees of glory and brilliance and light and between them there is some relationship and connection.
The restoration of the Sangha is not only a call to fellowship; it is a dynamic move and the power behind it can make itself felt in art, literature and music. Pure art would be as unrestrained as pure melody, but in the world of form there are limits. Rhythm and harmony together permit gradations of beauty of music in the spheres of conditioned existence.
Every aspect of life may be as music, as joy, as vibrant existence. If pure principles are perceived in the relations of one toward another, this music of life will come to the surface. Each soul is as a sun ray having its pitch, its keynote. When one interferes with the progress of another, not only is a fault being committed, but the evil doer has wandered from his place in the universe.
It must not be forgotten that there are many mansions in God’s house. Surely there is room for all. In the rocks, trees and bodies of animals there are certain proportions maintained; this idea may be carried into every aspect of life and help to spread happiness. Happiness is the property of no one. It is natural for the happy man to share his good feelings with others, bringing comfort and peace and radiating joy, good will and health. The selfish man is not a comfort and causes unhappiness. Whosoever would monopolize happiness will never find it. God has desired that all become happy, for man’s happiness is His happiness. By obeying and following His dictates, all the joy of the universe comes into our keeping.
(8) Expansion of Love
If there are angels they must surely be mystified by man’s use of the term, love. Why has so much mud been thrown upon it? There is no end to the filth in some minds, but this filth is of the mind not of the heart, and we may thank God that someday humanity will greatly alter its attitude, just as at times in the past, it regarded love with reverence, even in its baser or more natural aspects.
By love is meaning loving-kindness, benignity, charity of heart, unselfishness, self-surrender. It is a feeling not only between person and person of whatever kind, but also between one person toward many, as a parent toward children and it may also be the collective feeling of many toward one, as of children toward a parent. There are many grades and kinds of love; what is needed is to cultivate the highest ideal.
Many assume a spirit of brotherly affection toward all humanity. This is good. It does not matter so much if others are different. The human point of view will gradually change, merging more and more into the universal or cosmic attitude. From loving his mother or father best, man will rise to love his city, his country, his race or sex and then to merge all in the love of God and His saints.
Without this greater love there cannot be greater spiritual capacity, and there is little possibility for a higher culture to appear. Lack of love and humanity has destroyed great civilizations before this era. Only a greater degree of unselfishness will preserve the race as storms are rising higher and higher. Sympathy, not brute force, is needed. He who goes to a church and shoots his hungering fellows, plots in heaven the destruction of his community.
It is not only the radical who endangers the social order but most of all the official who in his blindness and selfishness shoots those who petition a redress of grievances. Does God not hear? And especially in America is there danger for this country was founded upon definite principles. The founders swore before God to make their land one of freedom and enlightenment. Now gross materialism reigns.
Does God not see? And will He not take man to account? In refusing to extend privileges and in withdrawing rights, the mighty prepare for their own punishment. Already in heaven have they sown the seeds of destruction of themselves and their institutions.
The lesson of Old Russia has not been learned to advantage. There is no law of every man for himself. This is the muttering of the Adversary. Continuing to follow the Adversary and the followers of the Adversary, man destroys his possessions and makes desolate his country. God will exact from everyone as he has exacted from his neighbor. Our behavior does not abrogate the Golden Rule or the Commandments of Heaven.
There have been times when loyalty to a family was necessary, when the honor of the tribe was paramount, when the glory of the race stood above all else or when patriotism was considered the highest virtue. It is man who divides, it is God Who unites, it is love which brings together.
Today man faces a situation with the choice of love toward all mankind and peace, or else war and strife. What is thought in the mind shall come to pass. Hatred is murder and envy is robbery; jealousy is lust and miserliness is gluttony. Whatever is sown in the Heavens is reaped upon earth.
By walking in love, by showing kindness each to the other, surely shall salvation come, even in material form. But if we neglect or ignore the welfare of our neighbors, then like a just parent, God will permit our deeds to react upon ourselves; for every evil thought we shall suffer and for the blandishments we have wished for other, shall we receive manyfold.
(9) The Spirit of Unity
In all things there is a spirit of unity. If there was not this basic unity there would be no things and yet unity does not depend upon things. Shadows depend upon the existence of light, yet the light is not dependent upon the shadows. Man can divide or integrate or alter ideas, but whenever the mind grasps anything it is because of the unity in it.
Now we shall consider the world and its inhabitants, the spheres of mankind and the kingdoms of animal, vegetable and mineral. Each of these groups has varying grades, yet is considered as a unity. There is some difference in every form, yet the crystal may be a unity for the molecules, the body is a unity of cells, and the state or organization is a unity of bodies. This shows that the spirit of unity is inherent in all things as such.
Growth brings a wider outlook, of the mind in thoughts, of the heart in love and even of the higher emotions and deeper feelings in one’s spiritual evolution. It is our horizon which must become enlarged. How can a man who has never left his village govern a country? He might have all power in his village and do well there, but unless he understood the problems of his country, it would be almost impossible for him to undertake the task.
The whole world is now becoming as one country inasmuch as its geography is known, its inhabitants are known to each other, its problems are being studied as a relative unity. There is now no longer any entirely self sufficient country. All are to some extent interdependent. So each must consider the other even for the purpose of self benefit and self interest.
Unity is not uniformity; neither is it democracy or equality. Unity is the spirit of understanding which binds differences. This is true of the atoms in the molecule, of the minerals in the rock, the leaves on a tree and the persons in a household. Who is equal to another? In what is he equal? Just what is equality?
Neither in material things or material wants are we equal. Each is born at a different time. The needs of the body alter with age, occupation, season and health, as well as with sex and race. Neither have all the same desires, the same ambitions, the same characteristics. Unity is not monotony; it is the harmony among differences.
In all things let us appreciate the good in another. If we must become alike, let it be in emulation, by striving in the spirit and working for common good. God will take care of us. Has not the earth existed long? And have not nations and races been in much travail? Yet God has preserved them even in face of great calamity.
It is important to learn the point of view of others, not merely in toleration, but to increase one’s understanding. All races and all religions that continue to exist are here because there is some good in them from God’s point of view regardless of our own opinions. All love the good, the beautiful and the true. There is not one soul not dear to God, not beloved by Christ or Buddha, or by all the saints who have ever come to earth. Jew and Gentile, Moslem and Kafir, Hindu and Mleccha, Christian and heathen, all are dear to God for it is God’s spirit which forms every soul.
And what is Unity but the Spirit of God? Unity is God and all division comes from man’s lack of understanding. As we divide upon earth, so are we divided in heaven, for division in thought is division in heaven and division in thought cannot effect unity on earth.
(10) Spiritual Education
By spiritual education is meant not so much a special teaching as an attitude; not so much a form as a spirit. We have our science of training and treating the body and now much consideration is being given to the mind. But as yet little attention has been paid to the heart. Intuition is sometimes discussed but its value is as yet unknown. The mind cannot analyze nor fully understand intuition any more than it can give a mathematical formula for every work of art or every piece of music.
Prayer can be helpful but prayer has so often been prostituted that it does not achieve its end. Aspiration is required to raise the standard of ideals. At this day and in this age teachers have for the most part not been trained to reach the inner spirit of the child. So they do not always inspire him; often they are so hampered they cannot do much. Meditation and rest periods are very important. Animals sleep but there are many ways for resting the body and the mind can be trained to free itself from the body: so can the heart become free from the embraces of the mind.
In the new age more attention will be paid to what is so commonly known as the metaphysical or supernatural. No one has the right to use this last term, for who can circumscribe the bounds of Nature? Too, more reliance has been given to the laboratory method and not enough to that spirit which engenders art, and indeed, the whole of inspiration and creative élan, If this keeps on, and we even see some signs of it now, the warfare which has been carried on in the name of Science as against Theology or Religion will be followed by one in which these same persons who claim to be protagonists of Science will conflict with the lovers of Art. In this Art will be successful for few can grasp the intricacies of modern science while all can appreciate beauty to some extent.
What is necessary is sympathetic understanding and this comes only with the expansion of the heart qualities. The mind analyzes, dissects, divides and categorizes The heart unites, brings together, moves toward unity and understanding, not toward separation. When the mind proclaims Unity it does so dogmatically; the heart does the same on principle.
It is possible to bestow love on the infant even before birth and to continue this generously during childhood. Such love need not be sentimentalism or instinct; rather should it include the wisdom of the parent and the consideration of soul for soul. Without wisdom it degenerates into a sort of gratification. A little folly extended toward a child of 3 may result in an awkward situation when that child is 17. So there is much to be learned concerning the spiritual care of the young.
We must now become pioneers of the spirit as we have of the earth and its resources, of the mind and its faculties. Psychology can carry us so far but who is to lead the psychologists beyond that point? There is no limit to inner growth. Poets and mystics bring strange tales and report marvelous experiences in worlds unseen. This Heaven is within and the door to it is in the heart of man.
Neither material plenty nor great learning unaided can lead to happiness and contentment. Peace of the spirit is necessary. When the heart is at rest, one is in union with the divine; when it is agitated, there is discontent. At the same time there is a divine discontent which will always cause rebellion until it finds its satisfaction in God and this eternal urge has been and will always be answered.
The way to the Kingdom of Heaven has never been altered; it is within us. When man and woman seek they will always find someone on earth who can point to this Kingdom. God has never bereft humanity of its helpers.
All these principles have many modes of application. They are given out as principles and in whatever manner they be put into operation, it will be good. There is no reason why the Kingdom of Heaven cannot manifest on earth. For those who reply: “You cannot change human nature,” let them answer, “What is human nature?” The Bible says of mankind, we are gods. With God all things are possible. Nothing doubting we shall succeed and marvel at the great blessings in store for the future humanity.
Not by might nor by power but by God’s wisdom shall man be saved. Neither this form nor that form is demanded or required, but through the opening of the heart and the free expression of the divine spirit within shall the terror of war, famine, depression and disease be removed, until selfishness is blotted out from the face of the earth and the flowers of Gan Eden bloom again.