day or two after America declared that a state of war existed, I spent most
of my time in going about this country, studying conditions in both worlds.
Even before that survey I had a general idea of how matters stood in those
worlds; but I wanted to freshen my memory, for I had a great idea. Many
times during my life on earth I had told myself that I had a great idea, and
sometimes I put it into execution, and sometimes I failed in doing so. But
this time I was determined there should be no failure.
When I had seen from my survey that the
materials were all at hand, I sought out a great man, spirit, or whatever
you choose to call him.
Then together we mapped out our campaign. Here are the main
points of it:
Conservation—where the negative forces should be applied.
Construction—with our positive forces.
Coordination—with the synthetic forces.
We marshaled a group of those strong-minded, strong-willed men
and women who had been out here long enough to know not only their way
about, but how to impress their thoughts upon material-bodied men and women.
These were dispatched here and there, to think, think, think, in the
neighborhood of senators and congressmen, chiefs of industry and members of
the general public. The burden of their impressed thought was conservation
of food, conservation of expenditure, conservation of all material that
would be needed for the activities of the war.
Others who were filled with a great love
for the land of their latest birth, America, went about in bands instilling
their patriotic enthusiasm into the hearts and minds of those millions who
had too long taken America as a matter of course. They sang patriotic songs,
and though they could not be heard by the ears of earth, the spirit of their
singing could be felt, and they accomplished much.
Then others, the wisest among old leaders of men, were busy in
quelling disorder, in suppressing discontent with the war. Whenever a group
of wild-eyed, peace-prating “idealists” got together to talk twaddle, there
was one or more of these unseen auditors to put the brakes on responsive
enthusiasm to the dangerous principles enunciated.
I will not bore you by giving all the
details of this plan of help which we labored to make effective. But there
were enrolled more than one million beings out here who have pledged
themselves to serve until their services are no longer required. That may
not seem to you a great number to help invisibly a nation of more than one
hundred millions; but one to every hundred is enough among the active
workers, for each is free to choose assistants among those younger in earth
To the one who acted as our commander-in-chief, the generals of
this auxiliary army made reports, and many were the strange orders he gave
them. But no one questioned his wisdom, and the results have proved it over
One time when I wanted to go North, he sent
me to the South, and in Mobile I learned why my course was changed.
It is a wonder that the legislators at the various capitols have
not “seen ghosts” during the last months. Perhaps they have. But men are
becoming accustomed to the idea of us now. That is one of the good results
of the war. In looking across the border for their loved ones, they may
encounter the Teachers, even the angels of their loved ones, and be enlarged
I had an amusing experience in the city of----. There is a
“pacifist” there who has a considerable influence among the members of a
certain set, and I found that when he began one of his “philosophic” talks
to one or more persons, for he has not lectured publicly, I could bewilder
him by speaking in his ear and answering his questions in a way that made
him wonder. For, strange to say perhaps, he could hear me. But not believing
in the possibility of communication between the worlds, he thought he was
having “clairaudient hallucinations,” and consulted a doctor who told him
that he had been brooding too much about the war. The doctor, who was not a
pacifist, advised our friend to take up ornithology.
Yes, he is young—and will be young for many
We have also done our share of recruiting. Those who were later
called by the draft were merely encouraged; but there were others who needed
only the dream we sent, or the thought we whispered, to move them in the
right direction; and when a young man’s country is at war, the right
direction is generally towards the nearest recruiting station.
There was a boy in----who had been reading
about France and the fighting in France with a tightening at the heart, a
tightening of horror. He feared the draft. He was not a husky fellow. His
labors as bookkeeper in a bank had not developed his leg muscles, and he had
a capricious digestion. So he told himself that he would be a failure as a
But one time when in sleep he came out into our world, I met him
and invited him to take a stroll with me. Do you think I took him to a
battlefield? Oh, no! I took him to an exercise ground. You may wonder how I
could do that at night; but it chanced that he had fallen asleep in the
daytime. And I think I made it easy for him to see down in the world he had
temporarily left—to see the exercise ground. It interested him.
And next day the labor over the ledger
seemed duller and more monotonous than usual. And he overheard a girl say to
a friend at the paying teller’s window, that a sallow faced clerk was not
her ideal of a man, that she liked the soldier boys.
When he went for a walk after banking hours, I went along with
him, and drew his attention to some marching soldiers who had a good band.
The boy went home and looked at himself in the mirror and found that he was
sallow, and he reminded himself that he was a clerk.
So he enlisted.
You may wonder why I took so much trouble to gather one
uninteresting young man into the fold of Uncle Sam’s army, when we had so
many subordinate workers at that business. But I had known the boy’s father
twenty years before, and something he had said influenced me towards
a decision that enlightened my whole after life.
When that boy returns he will no longer be
sallow-faced, and he will be a hero—not a clerk.
I like to pay my debts.