In the devastated region of
Belgium—and most of Belgium is devastated—there stands a little house
unharmed and tranquil as before the war. Round about it are ruined walls,
standing black with smoke or grey with the powder of shell-fire.
Two women live there, middle-aged women. They did not flee their
home when the war-tide washed over them. They were frightened—yes, but they
did not flee. They saw neighboring houses in flames, they heard the
detonation of shells bursting; but they remained between their four thin
walls, and waited and prayed. Four gods they prayed to, God the Father and
God the Son, and two others—their father and mother, who had passed on some
years before into the other world, their Belgian father and their German
So great was their faith that they believed they would be
unharmed, and they were not harmed. Incredible as it may seem, that little
house stands there secure in the midst of desolation.
Love is a protective force. The father and
mother of those two middle-aged women had loved each other tenderly. Race
was no barrier to their love. The German woman and the Belgian man had
taught their children that Germany was their mother and Belgium was their
Their bones lie together in the village churchyard, and their
souls kept watch when the armies passed over. They guarded the children they
Does this seem an impossible story? I know it to be a fact. I
have spoken with that father and mother, and I shall speak with them again.
Their faith is rare, and their love is rare, and their reward has been rare.
It is easier to guard a little house than to move a mountain,
and it has been said that faith like a grain of mustard-seed could move a
Those two souls had not yet passed away from the neighborhood of
the earth; they waited for their children. When the war-tide rolled over,
they stood guard at the doorstone of their home. The spirits of the peaceful
dead do not like the sound of shells, but these two did not fly away. Had
they been frightened from their vigil, the little house might now be like
Am I over-credulous? Do you remember me
telling you one day years ago that you were not credulous enough? I see that
you remember. These two—the Belgian father and the German mother—were also
credulous, as the world uses the word, and their children were credulous,
too. Had the nations been equally credulous of the power of love, there
would have been no war; for there would have been no armies to make war.
I am not preaching against armies. I am only preaching love and
faith. When love and faith grow greater, armies will grow smaller, and war
will be at an end.
I asked the Belgian father how he felt about the war, and he
looked toward his German wife; I asked the German mother how she felt about
the war, and she looked toward her Belgian husband. Neither would speak for
fear of wounding the other.
How should I feel now if my nation were at
war, you wonder? But since the eyes of my memory opened and I saw my past
lives, I realize that I have had so many nations, have fought in so many
armies, have lain in the lap of so many mothers of mine in so many lands,
that my spirit is uprooted.
I have joined the great White Brotherhood, to which all men are
brothers and all women sisters. It would be difficult for you to see with my
eyes. I watch and wait, like the parents of the two old maids in Belgium,
and so far the house of my faith stands untouched by the fires of war.
In the great White Brotherhood there are members from many
races, there are members from the races now at war. Do you fancy that they
looked askance at one another when the world went mad? They did not look
askance at one another. Each stood guard where he could do the most good.
Each sought to soften the blow to the brethren of his brother, each sought
to soften the hearts of his own blood-brethren. But as this war was written
in the stars, the Teachers of the world could not prevent it when the hour
Do you know what it means to be a member of the great
White Brotherhood? It means to work for the welfare of the human race, for
the good of the planet as a whole.
And there is another thing I want to tell you. You have heard of
a Black Brotherhood. It is a misnomer. Brotherhood is never black. There is
no Black Brotherhood. There are many Black Masters, for Mastership,
like a garment, may be either white or black. In this war the black forces
who have inspired hatred in men have worked for one end, and that very fact
will weaken their power to do evil for a long time, when the results of
their present labors are over.
Do you get my meaning? A combination of evil forces, in the very
act of combining, weakens the individual power of its members; for evil is
strongest when individual.
Two who are full of love may work together with the power of
four; but two who work together for evil have only the power of—shall I say
one and a half? And one and a half against four! If you love power, use
power for good and increase it.
It is because of the multitude of
elementary evil forces, all hurling their malice at the world, not because
of their combination, that this madness was made possible.
Hate is a disintegrating force. Those who hate after this war
will disintegrate themselves. Those who love after this war will grow
strong. France especially will grow strong, because there is more love than
hate in France. France loves so much that even her enemies do not hate her.
It is not merely because she is not so brutally strong as her great enemy.
Love your enemies. That is the surest way to overcome them.