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War Letters From The Living Dead Man


Introduction

LETTER

 I.

The Return of "X"
II. A Dweller on the Threshold
III. An Assurance
IV. The Way of Understanding
V. Astral Monsters
VI. The Archduke
VII. The "Chosen People"
VIII. Spectres of the Congo
IX. Unseen Guardians
X. One Day as a Thousand Years
XI. Many Tongues
XII. The Beautiful Being
XIII. The Body of Humanity
XIV. The Foeman Within
XV. Listening in Brussels
XVI. The Sixth Race
XVII. An American on Guard
XVIII. A Master of Compassion
XIX. The Rose-Veiled Stranger
XX. Above the Battlefields
XXI. A Soul in Purgatory
XXII. Peace Propaganda
XXIII. The Mystery of Desire
XXIV. The Scales of Justice
XXV. For Love's Sake
XXVI. A Master of Mind
XXVII. Invisible Enemies
XXVIII. The Glory of War
XXIX. A Friend of "X"
XXX. The Rose and the Cross
XXXI. A Serbian Magician
XXXII. Judas and Typhon
XXXIII. Crowns of Straw
XXXIV. The Sylph and the Father
XXXV. Behind the Dark Veil
XXXVI. The "Lusitania"
XXXVII. Veiled Prophecies
XXXVIII. Advice to a Scribe
XXXIX. One of These Little Ones
XL. The Height and the Depth
XLI. A Conclave of Masters
XLII. A Lesson in the Kabala
XLIII. The Second Coming
XLIV. Poison Gases
XLV. The Superman
XLVI. The Entering Wedge
XLVII. The New Brotherhood
XLVIII. In the Crucible
XLIX. Black Magic in America
L. Things to Remember


 

 

 

LETTER IV

 

THE WAY OF UNDERSTANDING

             Before I tell you any more horrors, I want to assure you now that out of those horrors will come a beauty such as the world has not known during this cycle of existence.
            It will not come at once, for many adjustments will have to be made; but the way is open already for those who choose to walk in it.
            It is a curious commentary on unregenerate humanity, this war in which each side declares loudly its own righteousness and execrates its opponent. As in all quarrels, there is more wrong on one side than on the other; but the side which triumphs—and it will be the side that has least wrong—will have to understand and to forgive its enemy before it can go forward to its own great future.

            Though international organizations have failed for the time being, I am not discouraged about international organizations. They were merely shocked into failure, the peace people, the socialists, and others who make far higher claims to the ideal of universal brotherhood.
            Even now, during the stress of the conflict, go out yourself in thought and in love to that nation which you feel to be your enemy. Try to understand it. And do not try to understand it by telling yourself that it is evil. That is not understanding. There is evil in all men. Try to understand it by becoming it, for the time. Put yourself in its place; feel as you would feel if you stood alone—even though by your own fault—with the whole world against you.
            You draw back a little with the thought that you could not have placed yourself in a position where the world for its own protection would be obliged to range itself against you. But are you sure?
            By entering the consciousness of that nation you are placing yourself in such a position, and I tell you to do it temporarily, in order that you may be a centre, a beginning, an infinitesimal part of that international comprehension and pardon which must become general to a degree before the long-heralded and always misunderstood Universal Brotherhood can even begin to find room for itself in this unbrotherly world.

            If all those aggregations of people who have long believed that they stood for this ideal would now try to make peace with one another, if they would acknowledge the ideals of one another, however much the working-plans of those ideals may differ, a force could even now be set in motion that would shorten this war and lessen the number of those who must die for their conflicting ideals of national honor and loyalty.
            In the reaction from hate to love, in the reaction from criticism to understanding that will follow a formal declaration of peace, all those quarreling spiritual organizations may if they will, begin to work harmoniously. If their members cannot bring themselves, because of their narrow pride and the memory of all the harsh things which they have said against one another in the past—if they are too meanly afraid of eating their words, publicly to acknowledge one another as brethren, let them begin to feel thus in their hearts. Perhaps in time the greater courage will come, and some daring leader will say to his flock that those with whom they once worked, with trust and the profession of love, may be trying, according to their lights, to serve the ideal.
            I do not know that any further elaboration of this idea would make it any clearer to you, and these remarks are only an interlude, a relief, in the tension of the story which I have to tell you.

            March 13.

Letter V.

LETTER III.