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Last Letters From The Living Dead Man
(Mr. "X" is David Patterson Hatch 1846-1912, a former judge)

 
INTRODUCTION PART 1
INTRODUCTION PART 2

LETTER

 I.

THE GENIUS OF AMERICA
II. FEAR NOT
III. THE PROMISE OF SPRING
IV. THE DIET OF GOLD
V. CONTINGENT FEES
VI. THE THREE APPEALS
VII. THE BUILDERS
VIII. THE WORLD OF MIND
IX. AMERICA'S GOOD FRIDAY
X. THE CRUCIBLE
XI. MAKE CLEAN YOUR HOUSE
XII. LEVEL HEADS
XIII. TREES AND BRICK WALLS
XIV. INVISIBLE ARMIES
XV. THE WEAKEST LINK
XVI. A COUNCIL IN THE FOREST
XVII. THE IDEAL OF SUCCESS
XVIII. ORDER AND PROGRESS
XIX. THE FEDERATION OF NATIONS
XX. THE NEW IDEAL
XXI. A RAMBLING TALK
XXII. THE LEVER OF WORLD UNITY
XXIII. THE STARS OF MAN'S DESTINY
XXIV. MELANCHOLY
XXV. COMPENSATORY PLAY
XXVI. THE AQUARIAN AGE
XXVII. THE WATCHERS
XXVIII. THE RITUAL OF FELLOWSHIP
XXIX. RECRUITING AGENTS
XXX. THE VIRUS OF DISRUPTION
XXXI. THE ALTAR FIRE
 

LETTER VII

 

THE BUILDERS

March 22, 1917.

            I have promised to offer you advice as to how you may restore your equilibrium. Use much of this superfluity of gold in rebuilding devastated Europe. Give her credits and give her food. You who can work in the fields, raise food to feed Europe. You who can build, give the labor of your hands wherever it is needed. You who are discontented here, go back to that Europe which gave you birth. By so doing you will give yourselves a new point of view, and you will give yourselves a new interest. A new interest is a new lease on life.

            Make sacrifices. In saying that, I have two objects in view, the effect on the world and the effect on yourselves.
            To work for the ideal is sometimes more practical than to work for what is called the real.
            When I tell you to rebuild Europe, you can take it as ideal advice or practical advice, depending on your point of view. It is ideal because Europe needs rebuilding; it is practical because just now and for a time to come America needs to get her mind on something outside herself. We give that advice to individuals when they are too self-centered. There is so much discontent and so much uncertainty that anything which can catch and hold the attention of masses of men, which can make them forget themselves, may enable them to be used by the Genius of the race, which works for the welfare of the race as a whole.

            Lend your money to Europe, and do not ask usurious interest. Yes, you can take interest, for money has earning power, and the laborer—even the laborer Gold—is worthy of his hire. But help by your generous lendings at low interest to lessen the awful burden of taxation for the people of Europe, which makes also for discontent and discouragement.
            Go to Europe, many of you, that you may see what war does to a country, what it might do to your country should you selfishly expose yourselves to a desire on the part of outsiders to take from you by force that which you have so skillfully acquired.
            Go, that you may see and feel, as you can only see and feel face to face, the spirit of self-sacrifice and national devotion which has animated the people of Europe in this long war. They have found their souls, but you have not yet found your soul.

            There are engineers in this country who are less needed here than they will be needed in Europe. There are specialists in all the branches of science who are more needed there than here. We have specialists enough. We can spare a few of them.
            Build ships. Build more ships. Keep the men occupied. Give them an objective. Do not let them brood. An idle brain is the devil’s workshop. If you have not work enough, make work. There are things enough to be done. Build ships.
            Now in regard to your management of railroads and other public utilities. The day for government control was heralded when the threat of a strike came that would have, if put into effect, blocked the wheels of a nation. All those public utilities whose blocked wheels could threaten the national life and the movements of men should be managed by the government. This is not socialism, or any other ism. You who have stock in them, do not take alarm. A way can be found that will satisfy you.

            Think of the good of the whole, for you who are a part cannot prosper without the welfare of the whole. This is not cant. It is a sort of race biology. I look down and see you as a great being, and I prescribe for you as a being, a race-unity, not as a few individuals here and there. The cells in the body of the race-being must all be working together. Get a unit of consciousness, as a race. Yield yourselves to the consciousness of the race-unit. Be as individual as you please, but be individual parts. Get into balance with other individuals, positive and negative.

            Make the rebuilding of Europe an objective point. Make it possible for many discontented workers to go to work in Europe. You may say that the armies of Europe, when released from military service, will furnish workers enough; but there cannot be too many. There is a double object in this: the object of getting work done, and that of the psychological effect upon the worker.
            I wish I could get into your minds by infusion the state of consciousness that is mine. I wish I could make you see that separation is death and that unity is life.
            I have spoken of government control of railroads, but that is only the beginning. There should be governmental handling of food. Begin gradually, one thing after another. It is the destiny of the world to go in that direction. You cannot block the wheels of that chariot.

            Serve if you hope to survive would be a good motto. You cannot survive if you do not serve—all of you. I like that figure of the cell which is a part of the race-being. It is the way I see you.

 

            Just a word about nervous diseases. Yes, it is related to what I have been saying. When at last the let-up comes after the unnatural strain of war, the minds of men in going back, or in attempting to go back to their normal state, may find themselves unable immediately to adjust to the changed conditions. For a long time the brains of men and women have been stimulated by the coffee of concerted action; when they are thrown back on themselves they may relax too much.
            Or, on the other hand, an unnatural excitement may drive them into all kinds of excesses. Have you ever seen victims of mania who could not rest, who had lost the ability to rest? They walk up and down, and drum with their feet, and clench their hands. So many men and women may be, after this war. There is certain to be an excess of love excitement, and work is a good panacea for that complaint.

            Then again, after years of war, years in which many have not known in the morning whether they would be alive at night, they may retain the habit of dread. They may fear to rest and fear to relax. Thus they may welcome any excitement, as a substitute for the stimulus to which they have been accustomed.
            That is another reason why I would send Americans to labor with the laborers of Europe. Not that the American working man is phlegmatic, far from it; but with his mind unaccustomed to fear anything, except the loss of his job and consequent hunger, he will have an effect of confidence and hope on those around him. The American likes to feel that he is leading, and in what better way can he indulge that propensity than in leading his associates to hope?

            You have no idea—you cannot have an idea—of the great depression that will follow this war for a short while. It will be the relaxation, the letting go. Always after war the ebb-tide is followed by great activity; but it is that ebb-tide which we have to consider.
            You in America will feel it. You have become accustomed to seeing gold flow towards these shores. When the stream lessens, you will have to combat the tendency to fear that lessening. Panics are like personal fear, intensified by mass.
            The world is drawing close together, and what influences a part influences the whole.

            After the war will also come an opening of the psychic senses of men, everywhere. This, while good in itself, may become an added danger. Prophets, true and false, will arise everywhere, with many remedies for the diseases of souls and of bodies.
            If I may make another suggestion, it would be that those who have psychic awakening should think twice before proclaiming the fact. It is a new sense that is coming into manifestation; but as the opening of the eyes in an early stage of evolution probably revealed as many dangers as blessings, so the new sense will reveal dangers. Do not try to close the new sense, but do not be carried away by it. Remember that it will be practically general, and like every new sense it will be defective for a long time. It will reveal false things as well as true. If a man opened his eyes for the first time upon a harmless tree, he might mistake it for a monster.

            Restraint in all things, moderation in all things, even in the laudable desire to action. Weigh and measure. Prove before accepting anything—prove by reason and by intuition if you cannot wait for proof by practice. Weigh and measure what I say, as well as what the wildest new prognosticator says. Discourage hysteria. A wave of hysteria is likely to sweep over the world.
            As revolution follows revolution, the startled inhabitants of the world may tell themselves that nothing in the universe is stable, that all is going to destruction, and that as they cannot save themselves from what seems to be universal chaos, they may as well get all the pleasurable excitement possible out of the passing moment. Restraint, restraint!

            I see women afraid to bear children because of the uncertainty of the morrow. I see men afraid to marry because of the uncertainty of domesticity. I see farmers hesitate to plant because of the uncertainty of the harvest. Again I say, be not afraid.
            If you sow, you shall reap. If you marry, you shall build a home. If you have children, the race will protect them—and you are a part of the race.
            Restraint! Fearlessness!

 

LETTER VIII

 

LETTER VI