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Last Letters From The Living Dead Man
ORDER AND PROGRESS
July 18, 1917.
purpose is to make the changes that must come, come gradually. We want to
avoid sudden changes.
You in the world have no faint idea of the influence and power
we can wield on our side. We can speak to the minds of men without their
knowing whence the ideas come. They think, when a sudden idea comes into
their minds, that they have evolved it; but sudden ideas generally
come from outside. (I put one in your mind this morning, then ran away
before you could recognize me. Why did I run away? Because I wanted you to
use your own judgment.)
Just at present we are trying to encourage
America as to her future—her orderly and peaceful future, after peace
is declared in Europe.
You may as well know that there are many out here who are
anxious about the future of the world. All men do not cease to worry when
they have left their bodies. There are many here who think the world is
going to smash. They always had that fear in life whenever things seemed to
go wrong; and now they are no less inclined to accept every complexity as an
omen of failure and confusion.
All over America there are men and
women—and many of them are in pulpits or on platforms—who are croaking away
about the destruction of society following this war. Bless your troubled
hearts! Society is not going to be destroyed. Some elements in society will
be gradually done away with, and good riddance to them! But society has made
too great advance, in mechanical and intellectual ways, to permit its
structure to be pulled from beneath its feet.
Do not worry. Watch out, but do not worry. As Abraham Lincoln
once prevented this country from being territorially divided and thus
weakened, so he and others are now working to prevent a spiritual division
that would be even more disastrous.
No, we are not going to see your useful inventions and your
structures that the future has need of, cast into the rubbish heap by
reckless violence and extravagance. What is useful must be conserved. What
is useless for the future can be made over into something useful.
Humanity has not been in the habit of
taking sudden jumps. It has put one foot regularly before the other, and
gone ahead rather steadily. The way of man in the past has been to improve
and make over, rather than suddenly to discard its institutions, or even its
garments. Only that which is really worn out is cast away. And our financial
system, and our social system in general, will be improved and not
discarded. Did you think we were going back to wampum? Oh, no!
There is a strong pull from this side, and from those who
inhabited your continent, to simplify the life in America. But America is no
longer isolate. She has now taken her place in the republic of nations.
Some of the souls who used to be American
Indians would like to see America resume wigwams and campfires, because
those souls want to come back, and they dread the complexity of modern
American life. But there are teachers here—and some of them red teachers—who
can instruct the souls behindhand in adaptability.
I have told you that there is an influence tending to draw
America backward. But I have not told you to be panicky regarding the fact.
There are reactionaries—even in your world.
The influence from this side is subtle. But the majority here
who desire to lead the world, desire to lead it forward and not back. The
world will go forward.
Yes, the souls you call the “departed” are
organizing themselves. They realize that their influence can be more
effective if it has a purpose and a program. For a time after the war began
there was great confusion out here, but things are becoming more orderly.
Minds are becoming more united. Many of us who have common sense and some
measure of political judgment give most of our time to lecturing here and
there, wherever we can draw a crowd together. That is one reason why you
have seen me so seldom of late. I have been busier than ever before. Knowing
that a time is coming soon when I can rest from my present labors, I am
using my strength as fast as I generate it. For those whom I convince that
America and other countries are going forward—must go forward to
greater activity—seek to convince others in their turn. No lecturer on earth
ever had so busy a month as I have had this last month. I have spoken to
hundreds several times every day, going from place to place, from State to
State, from city to city. I can speak in San Francisco in the morning, in
New York at noon, in New Orleans at two o’clock, in Butte, Montana, in the
evening. I am not limited to railway timetables, nor do I pay my fare.
Believe me, we are going to save America,
and we are going to save the world. For the Masters are behind us, and they
will not let the world be destroyed.
I should not like you to know how near it has been to
destruction more than once during the last three years. But the forces of
premeditated evil against which we fought so long have been scattered now,
and though they have not been destroyed, their effect has been greatly
lessened. What we have reason to fear now is the unwisdom of those who
believe they wish good to the world—the unwisdom of fanatics and
agitators and fuss-budgets of all sorts, stirring up confusion and
darkening counsel with their unpractical and conflicting ideas.
Order, order, order! That is what the world
must strive for in the period of reaction which will follow this war. The
reaction must be reckoned with; but it will be only a brief rest of
overwearied hearts, who will again begin building.
It is in that building period that I hope for America, because
she will be less tired than the other members of the great world
brotherhood. But in America at that time there will be a danger. I tell you
that, lest you be taken unawares and relax your attention.
Be watchful, but not over-anxious.
And trust the Masters of Life somehow to lead you through.