Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. — 1 Cor., xiii, 1
With our hearts torn and our minds confounded with the chaos of conditions in the world today, as personalities we are tangled in a meshwork of emotions, ranging through the gamuts of disappointments, dreads, despairs, and despondencies, even to the frontiers of hopelessness. However, as disciples of the Masters of Wisdom, Compassion, and Peace, let us listen to the still small voice calling: "Comfort ye, comfort ye, O my people!" For have we not behind us a philosophy of the ages, compiled from divine sources, which has watched the vicissitudes of humanity through the ages in its oft-repeated attempts to emasculate itself, which have brought misfortune to man and the world, till the millstream of confusion burst the banks of compassionate toleration of the Law into a flood of cataclysms, from which has arisen like a phoenix a new order of ages?
Once more we vision the birth-throes of our mother Earth, and we wait, wait, wait for the new infant Humanity which will lead us into the promised land under the watchful eye of the gods.
Let us not forget that the mass of mankind is only in the puberty stage of the evolution of the animal soul of man — constituting the basis of personality — and is marching to its profound destiny towards divinity. However, the pioneers have evolved previously on another world, and already glimpse the roseate dawn above the hilltops, and whisper to us in the valley, the good tidings of hope through the god-given teachings of Theosophy. In the meantime we are having once more a taste of medievalism, as though it were part of that cleaning up process of Siva, who at cyclic periods with his army of "destroying angels" sweeps up the debris of old karmic misdeeds, in order to prepare for a rejuvenation, so as to enthrone once more a new Brahma — the creator — with his attendant Vishnu — the preserver. Such is the law.
In the body of man: when it has been polluted with disease due to his misdeeds, it is ravaged by the microbes of destruction before the vital fiery lives can be let loose for rebirth. Similarly the old static civilizations — as in Europe and perchance in America too — have to be shaken up, and useless traditions destroyed, before man is ready to receive the New Doctrine of the new order of the ages.
The mills of God grind slowly
But they grind exceeding small.
For three and a half Rounds according to our teachings, representing many millions of years, the old earth travailed to bring forth vehicles worthy to receive a thinking man, and this latter event happened only about 18 million years ago, previous to which man was in the gestatory stage.
During this long time, evil traditions and habits have been formed which with personal man are quite automatic. The animal propensities of egotism, selfishness, and combative competition, personal and national, and pride, are prominent factors in man's destiny, and so, over and over again, man repeats follies of judgment that are seeds of further strife.
Until the finer factors of self-control, co-operation, compassion, and helpfulness are instituted in place of the former propensities, no hope of harmony, peace, and concord are possible. "Be not deceived. God is not mocked, whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap." If we sow to the wind, we shall reap a whirlwind.
So here we are today, battling with the petty follies of a selfish humanity, not to be trusted with the sacred rights of manhood, only exhibiting the immature follies of youth. But when we realize the sacred offices of the Theosophical Society — the child of the Guardians of the Race, the sacred Lodge of Adepts, to whom we are pledged as co-workers for humanity — let us not forget our great responsibilities in creating the proper psychological atmosphere that will make early redemption possible. This, we are told by our Teachers, is made possible by making the teachings not only receptive but actually vital in our lives; in fact by living Theosophy. Then indeed may we be worthy bricks in the Guardian Wall.
What the world wants, it seems to the writer, are new ideals, new initiatives, new out-looks. Surely every Theosophist views war with abhorrence as being a futile solution to our troubles. Not only is it a futile method, but decadent; for war is the recognised antiquated method adopted by personalities. When mankind realizes the saner issues of Spiritual initiatives, then will shame be felt in using the old methods. These saner ideals will only come when men strive to ensoul themselves by endeavoring to live in the higher aspects of their nature.
Here is a straight hint for Theosophists as voiced by Thomas Carlyle: "Be an honest man yourself and there will be one rogue less in the world." So it would seem that Theosophists have a sacred duty to accomplish: to ensoul themselves with spiritual impulses, never to despair nor be despondent, but "let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Some day mankind may realize that instead of going out to fight other peoples, it were better to create a center amongst the more enlightened which will be a beacon and stronghold of righteousness. Then these enlightened people will arise to protect the recalcitrant Powers from injuring themselves and the whole world, but this center must come through co-operation, through sacrifice of national deceits and egotisms, and by seeking not the welfare of themselves but of all Humanity.
While the destroyers are at work, let us work for the rejuvenation of the Race, so that the war-weary pilgrims may have a goal towards which they may turn their weary eyes and find a sanctuary of sound ideals, a nucleus, a "laya center," of divine essence opening out into vistas of unspeakable beauty, wisdom, and peace, a veritable "new order of ages," upon which a real civilization can be built and from which the past will appear as a bad dream only. Thus an atmosphere of goodwill, hope, and persistent peace may be visioned: a new Humanity — in the words of Tennyson:
For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see,
Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be; . . .
Till the war-drum throbb'd no longer, and the battle-flags were furl'd
In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the world.