March 22, 1917.
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
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.
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
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
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