And the cry we hear is "Peace, Peace, but there is no Peace." Why does this wail go up from the people? Whence comes the unrest, the antagonism, the desire to hurt? From man himself. He has made the conditions, he alone is responsible for them. If he understood himself, if he really desired peace, then it would become an accomplished fact. That it must eventually be so many believe, but that the holy time may speedily arrive rests entirely within man's own self. Deep within the real being lies perfect peace, as in the depths of a storm-tossed ocean all is still. We see the surface, strewn, it may be with the wreck of many a seemingly noble craft, and we shrink from the saddening sight, not realizing that the storm will pass, the clouds break away and show the sun still shining, while every staunch and trustworthy ship comes safe to port, and through it all the depths have remained unstirred.
What man thinks, that he is, — so it is evident that the thoughts of the great majority of humanity at the present day are not in harmony with the law that rules the Universe. Were they, then in place of existing conditions in which man wars against his fellow-man, torturing him until his cry rises to heaven for help, and nations gird on their armor to battle for the right, the sword would be sheathed and peace reign throughout the earth.
As it is with nations so it is with organizations and individuals. We may take two persons as emblematical of differing worlds, nations, races, or lesser groups, for the analogy will hold good. One is irascible, unquiet, aggressive, seeing no good in any other, looking only to the betterment of his own material condition, and what is the result? Feverish unrest, utter disharmony and thorough impossibility of seeing any good in another; a warped judgment, an intolerant criticism, an invading attitude, a disrupting force. The other, quiet, self-controlled, dominating the lower nature by the Higher, desiring the good of his fellow-man, earnest in all helpful work, unselfish, dispassionate, harmonious, carries with him wherever he goes, a strength, a force that stills the tempest, quells the wrath of the misguided and wins a moral victory without recourse to warlike measures.
But how many have girded on this armor? There are those who know that such a force would be invincible, that nothing could stand against it, that man has but to carry peace in his heart and the issue is assured. It does not matter that conflict may exist on the material Plane. That is a condition brought about by man's self-delusion, which he creates and blinds himself with, and so long as he arrays himself against the law of Brotherhood, just so long there will be wars and rumors of wars, until he finds that he is tilting against a force so mighty, so powerful that, if he would save himself he must lay down his arms. Somewhere in enumerating certain conditions, Mr. Judge says, "In war, Peace." That seeming paradox remains for man to solve, and every hour he who earnestly desires his brother's welfare draws nearer to its true solution. To condone a wrong is to share it, to argue about it is to waste energy, to stand firm, in battle array if need be, is already to have gained the victory. Did mankind, as a rule, understand and accept this, there would be no need of standing armies or naval forces, or of stirring nations up to armed interference: courts might be closed, laws, as they stand now, become dead letters and peace would reign throughout the earth. A Utopian dream, will be said by many. In the present condition of things, — yes — but the seed has been sown and a thrifty plant is already growing apace that shall fructify until, what today seems to nearly all men a visionary dream, will become a realized fact.
We know that to some already the golden light is shining, "the light that never shone on land or sea," while to others an occasional gleam only may be granted, but it fills the soul with profound joy, with strength and steadfastness and yet with humility.
Such peace, such joy lies within the reach of every one who sincerely and unselfishly desires to attain it, and it appears that the initial step towards it is to accept one's conditions be they what they may. Most people are too anxious to do and not sufficiently anxious to be. "Why are we not doing something?" is a question often heard in these days. It is a man's own fault if he is not doing something every hour, every moment of his life. Has he, in the aggregate learned patience, self-restraint, silence — has he attained Peace? If not, then he has plenty to do, even if no especial task for the aid of humanity has apparently been allotted him. No army yet was ever formed that soldier and officer did not have to be drilled before they were ready to take the field against an opposing force. Just what this drill is, when begun, or how carried on, none can say, but what is true on the physical plane is equally true on other planes of being. The drill in the latter case differs in kind, but it is even more necessary. It is not so much what man does as what he is. When he has himself somewhat in hand, when he has caught a reflected gleam of that peace which passeth understanding, when he has learned obedience to the Law, for no one is fit to command till he has learned to obey, then he will indeed become a useful atom of that beneficent force that shall carry help and hope to suffering humanity. To do the duty of the hour, however small, trifling or insignificant it may seem, and to wait must prove very effectual discipline and lead on to the one path to peace and so to greatest usefulness.
If Truth, Light and Liberation are to reach Humanity, the attitude of mind of all mankind must be changed, and this can only be done by each individual attaining the right attitude. As centres of force it is necessary for all to be sure that the force is unselfish, beneficent, and rightly directed. How many are sure beyond a peradventure? There comes a certainty which admits of no doubt, no reasoning, but is an absolute truth to him who has power to perceive it and that is a point all need to attain, especially those so favored as to be enlisted under the banner of Universal Brotherhood. When that hour strikes and those so enlisted act as a unit, opposition and antagonism must cease.
No great movement for the world's benefit was ever yet set in motion that evil forces were not aroused, and what should be perfect harmony, through this cause becomes rent with discord for a time, but in the end the harmonious utterance and action must prevail.
No one really likes discord, but man allows himself to drift into such conditions until the true vibration is lost and he may even forget that it exists. He goes on using this instrument, all out of tune, increasing the clamor until the din seems to contain no note of sweetness, but the notes are all there, all one, the sound is ever the same, but the keys are being struck with false chords, — there is something wrong with the performer. He drives himself and his audience into a frenzy without either recognizing it. In the midst of this let a strong, pure note be sounded, let full chords of perfect sweetness and strength be opposed to it, — for a time the discord may seem to prevail; but little by little the harmony will become dominant and on the restless, seething, unhappy throng peace will fall with all its restfulness, if they are honestly in search of it. He who wants the Truth finds the Truth; he who longs for the Supreme goes to the Supreme. This, true of the individual, of the family, of the group, must be true of the nation. It only remains for those who have these issues at heart, who wish to see peace prevail, to fit themselves to become pure, true notes in that grand chord that shall waken a responsive echo in the hearts of all peoples, all nations. It is music that must come from the heart to reach the heart. Its action is on inner planes. Musicians and poets have found it and given forth the tone or the word to move and raise the people. Now in this opening golden cycle it is given to those who may be neither musicians nor poets to do the same, but there is much to be done to accomplish it. Deep down into his own nature in which is reflected the nature of every other human being must man go, and there by unceasing effort, by constant vigilance, by earnest endeavor must he overcome until the true note is struck, the harmony is perfected and peace undisturbed by any outward clamor is his, then can he hope to aid efficiently in the great work of Universal Brotherhood, of Peace to all men.
"Seek first the kingdom of Heaven and all things shall be added unto you," and "the kingdom of Heaven is within you." It is the Place of Peace, the base upon which must be built all actions that shall accrue and be useful "for the Benefit of the People of the Earth and all Creatures.
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