Universal Brotherhood – April 1898


Through all the changing schools, theologies, philosophies, and presentations, old and new, runs the vital law or fact that those creatures of creation taking the human form are bound together by something more subtle than the reasoning facility can analyze: — a something that quickens their interest in each other's welfare, and intensifies according as humanity develops unselfish thinking.

There is a law of unity pervading and underlying all nature that is recognized even in the material world of scientific research. This unity of brotherhood existing in the lower kingdoms is evidenced by the laws of nature. All work or evolution through the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms is cooperative, but this cooperation is compulsory.

This is the law in the human kingdom as well, but with this difference: The individual must choose whether he will work in accord or at variance with law.

At present, the whole social fabric woven from the needs and aspirations of human life, is threaded through and through with institutions professing to be founded upon Brotherhood. The thought of fraternity underlies all social organizations and much of the religious and political work. The value and stability of this work depends upon the degree that it recognizes the fundamental basis underlying the profession of Brotherhood.

It is generally accepted that all impulses to right thinking and doing come from some Supreme Wisdom, some Great First Cause. But the fact must not be lost sight of that the Great Cause never suspends established order to work out what may be a benefit to some special time, place or individuals. Therefore, it will seem evident to all thinkers that the unusual prominence given the idea of Brotherhood now, must be a tidal wave, due at its own appointed time. This is true, and in the measure that we work intelligently with divine cyclic law will be the success of our endeavor.

The immense power gained from Niagara is obtained through working with the natural laws governing the great torrent, not against it, and it was intelligent study into the depths of its possibilities that made its harnessing an achievement.

The wave now starting shall roll high over creed and dogma in the centuries to come and he who would ride on the crest must drop the burden of inherited prejudice and superstition under which we were born. He must begin to think for himself.

Many raise objections to this broad teaching, claiming that it only leads to socialism, anarchy and license without law. This is unphilosophical, unreasoning judgment, and is the result of our past ideas of Brotherhood having been fostered by "isms" and societies, each one trying to force its special doctrines upon humanity to the exclusion of all others.

Universal Brotherhood is a never to be realized "will o' the wisp" unless it have its base in sound philosophy, unless there is scientific reason for its existence. The day is past for unquestioning acceptance of any theory of life based on authority or assumption. The heart doctrine is to supersede the eye doctrine of the past.

Every analogy in nature points to our origin in the one essence of the Absolute, and as such we are but divided portions of that Great All, and therefore, the Universal Brotherhood of Man is a fact in nature.

Like air, our souls were breathed out into existence and there will be no sense of separateness when we are indrawn to that from whence we came. White, black, yellow, brown, proceeded forth from the one great Father of us all, in whom could exist no shadow of injustice or wrong. Therefore, we cannot say that the experience of one seemingly far removed from us may not have been ours yesterday, or may not be ours tomorrow.

This most visibly lessens the feeling of separateness that is the base of most of the seeming difference between masses and classes today. Humanity needs to turn aside from the insane pursuit of material ideas, long enough to recognize that on the spiritual side we are divine, brothers equally pure, with no difference in caste, color or condition. It is only upon the fleshly side, an appearance temporary, that impurity and inharmony manifest, these depending upon our evolution, or the wisdom to which we have attained.

There are no mistakes in the divine plan. We are each having just the experience most needed for our development. But only as we feel that these experiences are equal, and all necessary to the fulfillment of some Infinite plan, can we be broad-minded, large-hearted, and look from the central standpoint where is no large, no small, no rich, no poor.

When Universal Brotherhood shall once more live in the hearts of men, the division between capital and labor will have ceased. Charity, that parcels out unfortunate humanity in bundles and "job lots" will be exchanged for the love that is now too often but a far-off vision, and that activity now so noticeable in strife and competition, will be given to mutual helpfulness.


1. Reprinted from the Jackson County Pilot, Jackson, Minn. (return to text)

Theosophical University Press Online Edition