Universal Brotherhood – April 1898

WHY ORGANIZE THE UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD AS AN AUTOCRACY? — Ellis B. Guild

The Constitution of the Universal Brotherhood is ordained and established "for the benefit of the people of the earth and all creatures." In completing the details of the organization the Constitution confers upon Katherine A. Tingley, whom it denominates the Leader and Official Head, such powers and prerogatives as are usually termed Autocratic. It is immediately asked "Why does an organization so humanitarian in its purpose and so unselfish in its object vest so much power in one individual?" It is because its objects are unselfish. There are no emoluments connected with the office and its only perquisites are unremitting toil and ceaseless effort for the good of others. The office is not a reward but an actual Leadership.

There are many and weighty reasons why there should be one supreme executive power in such an organization. It is a spiritual movement organized to bring about the realization of a brotherhood of all men without any restrictions. It is neither political nor social either in its methods or purpose. Its object is not so much to improve the material conditions of men and add to their comforts as to make men fit to make proper use of better conditions.

We hold that the real man is a soul and as such, all men have a common origin, undergo similar experiences, and have a common destiny. The real man is divine and the conscious knowledge of his divinity is the only power that can raise him from the personal life to the real life — the life of the soul.

The movement which would bring about a realization of the universal brotherhood of man to be most effective upon the hearts and lives of men must operate through an organization concentrating the will and directing the thoughts and efforts of its supporters.

What form of organization will render it most effective? Let us look for the answer in that universe of which man is the epitome. The planets of our solar system move in orderly sequence and in majestic harmony about the central sun. Through and from that sun go out the lines of force that hold them in that obedience which alone permits their being. Beyond our own universe are solar systems and universes innumerable and of magnitude beyond our comprehension, each marking the cycles of time in obedient revolution about its self-appointed central sun. All the solar systems and universes which make up the Kosmos are themselves in turn revolving in stupendous majesty about the great Cosmic centre. Obedience to the mighty powder of Cosmic brotherhood makes possible their existence. Let discord arise among them or let aught disturb the perfect poise of cosmic equilibrium and the instant crash of worlds will follow. Obedience is a Cosmic law. The one Supreme and paramount authority holds the universes in all the Kosmos in one united whole.

Let us back to earth and seek the analogy in the laws that govern all animated beings — even the little brothers of our humanity. The birds of the air wisely choose to follow their self-appointed leader. He leads because he has the qualities of leadership, strength, endurance and bird wisdom. They follow because he demonstrates his ability to lead and because that instinct which is animal wisdom persuades them to obey for their mutual good. In every herd of animals one is leader because of his strength and endurance and his ability to defend the common welfare.

Man himself obeys the Cosmic, universal, and instinctual laws which are fitted to his complex nature and follows a leader. How unhesitatingly we accept the statement that the great occasion brings out the great leader, and how unavoidably men follow and obey that leader. There must be the one in whom converge the thought and wish and effort of the many and through whom the great force of the many may find expression. He is the centre of their effort, the focus of their endeavor and he directs their force to the point of their attainment. It is his genius and skill and his power to converge their will to and through himself that makes him leader — and they choose to follow.

Napoleon organized the impetuous Frenchmen, bringing order out of discord, directed their forces as a unit, and conquered Europe. The "Iron Duke" bound together the wish and will of Europe and the indomitable perseverance of England, and conquered Napoleon.

Napoleon assumed the Dictatorship of France, founded his Empire and controlled the destinies of Europe because he was a leader of men. Wellington deposed Napoleon because he converged to himself the forces of a higher manhood and of nobler motives.

Abraham Lincoln centred in himself the mighty forces of brotherhood vibrating in the hearts of a great people, and in a terrible war conquered selfishness and freed millions of his suffering fellows from the shackles of unholy greed.

There is no such thing as democracy. There is no personal equality among men. Men differ as to power, as to aspiration, as to attainment. Even in republics a leader is leader because of his right to leadership. His fellows choose to follow. It is said that the great palladium of English liberties is the town meeting, yet one, because of his qualities of leadership, directs the wish and will of his fellows.

There is a truth beneath the doctrine of the "divine right of kings." No man is a leader of his fellows because he is chosen to be such, but because in him inhere the qualities of leadership. He must manifest in himself ideals and motives above those of his fellows.

Obedience is rising to the plane of and acting in harmony with the ideals and motives of the Leader. When that plane is reached, another who manifests within himself higher ideals and purer motives becomes the leader in his stead.

This movement for Universal Brotherhood is a great spiritual movement. Its success at this point in the evolution of humanity depends upon its ability to overcome the powers of the lower nature and to loosen mental bonds, and to give to men the larger freedom of the soul. It is to bring "Truth, Light and Liberation to discouraged humanity" To accomplish this, harmony of effort and concert of action are necessary, and these can be attained only through organization and Leadership.

Man is not moved only through physical desire and mental unrest. The divine spirit within him impels to aspiration, and that to effort. The occasion demands the leader, and the leader must be free to act and have power to combine and synthesize every force and effort in behalf of the one great purpose — Universal Brotherhood.

That power extends only to the organization. There is only one requirement from the membership, and that is devotion to the cause of Brotherhood. There is no catechism. There is no creed. There is perfect freedom of act and thought within the lines of Brotherhood.

This is a spiritual movement, and the only incentive to its membership is the good — not of persons, but of the whole of humanity. Obedience here is simply rising to the plane of and acting in harmony with the motive and spirit of the Leader,

It is simply reflecting back upon all men the Light of Love and Brotherhood which has shone alike into the hearts of the Leader and the followers.


Universal Brotherhood

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