THE ALTAR FIRE
February 18, 1918.
the pull of the opposites! In all the talk of internationalism, let us not
forget nationalism. The enemy of the present hour made great use of it, but
he did not reckon with its opposite. It is not true internationalism to
support spies as commercial agents in all the countries of earth.
America of all nations is best fitted to carry on her standards:
Each for all, and all for each.
But in her love for other races, for other nationalities, let
her not forget to strengthen and uphold her own.
“My country, ‘tis of Thee!” As that
sentiment grows ever stronger in your heart, so will your justice to other
nations make you recognize that their countries are of them. For your
country was not built upon the idea of world domination, but of freedom—for
yourselves and for all men.
Your president has been called a maker of phrases. That is good.
A man who can make phrases that shall carry themselves around the world can
influence the thought of the world.
“To make the world safe for democracy.” Those words will go down
You Americans who love the storied lands of
Europe, do not underestimate this land that gave you birth. It is great as
the greatest now, and its clock has not yet struck twelve noonday. It is
still morning in America. The present day American is the ancestor of the
man of the Sixth Race. From many stocks he will spring, and his blood will
be blended from that of all the races which have preceded him. He will be
unique in his qualities. No man of the older races can imitate him, for his
consciousness will be his own.
A man is not, as you have so often said, of flesh and blood and
bone and sinew, but a man is a state of consciousness. It is because you
recognize their state of consciousness as being themselves, that men and
women reveal themselves to you.
If—or when—you go back to Europe to live, do not forget your
country. Do not remain too long away from it, lest you lose touch with that
unique consciousness which shall flower in the Sixth Race.
Yes, a great art will grow up in America.
After another fifty years it will be ripe. Let us hope it will not begin to
rot thereafter, but like a sound American apple preserve its solidity for a
This war is good for America. It is not well for a race to have
so great a material success without some pain and struggle. It is pain that
mellows the heart.
America has not yet found her soul, but she will find it. Those
Americans who are now broken-hearted are finding their souls.
France found her soul a long time ago, and she is now finding
her divinity. Would she have found it but for suffering? The Christ upon the
cross is greater than the Christ at the marriage supper in Cana of Galilee.
If I had not wanted you to write this book,
I should have sent you back to London, that you might experience the strain
of air raids and insufficient food. I should have sent you back to France,
that you might see and touch and minister to the wounded.
Though you have endured the strain of the astral world at war,
you have not yet seen and touched and tasted the agony of physical suffering
that the women of France have seen and touched and tasted. But you cannot
live and suffer in too many worlds at once.
Do you not think that our American boys who are fighting now in
France will be greater for the experience—whether they live or die? Life in
material form is not the only life, and those who make the great sacrifice
will gain more than they lose. It is sublime to die for an ideal. “To make
the world safe for democracy.”
America is better known to Europeans now
than she has been before. Many of you will go and come, as you have done in
the past; and a few of you will vitalize the mutual understanding between
America and Europe. But you can do that only by glorifying your own
nationality in your hearts. I do not mean flaunting it. Let it burn as an
altar fire, in the secret temple of your being.