you shocked and grieved by what I told you of the futile struggle in that
intermediate world between the bondage of dense matter and the freedom of
purer regions? It is nothing to grieve about; it is nothing but the
necessary transition stage. It lasts but a little while, a few days, a few
years—what matter, in the endless leisure of eternity? You yourself have
passed through it many times. All pass through it in going out to a freer
life, though all do not suffer it consciously and lingeringly as my friend
did. It is a nightmare, yes; but no nightmare lasts forever. Think of the
joy and the freedom beyond! They are worth the boatman’s penny.
It is true that I have not told you the most terrible things
that are possible in this transition, have not told you the most terrible
things that I have seen in my journeys round the battlefields. Those
unwritten chapters are not necessary for the book which I dictate to teach
brotherhood in place of separation, peace in place of war.
Would you know how you may do something to
shorten this war, to hasten the coming of peace? Then listen!
You can personally hasten the coming of peace! Is the idea
startling? When I say “you,” I mean others, too, all those who are weary of
war, and of hate, the mother of war.
Has anyone injured you in the struggle of life?—for life is a
kind of war.
Go out in thought to those whose desires have clashed with your
desires, those who have hurt you or hated you. Go to them one by one—not
several at a time in this exercise, and one by one try to understand them.
See yourself with their eyes, feel toward yourself with their hearts. If
they still hate you, you may hate yourself at first in sympathy with them.
But remaining there in sympathy with them, you will gradually feel their
hard thoughts of you change, gradually begin to be friends with yourself
This I am advising you to do is not a form
of “black magic,” because the object is unselfish. You are making a
beginning toward softening the enmities of the world. But I warn you against
using this practice to win the regard of anyone whom you love selfishly or
with passion, because the reaction would bring about a very undesirable
condition of disharmony.
When you have thus understood and forgiven all your personal
enemies, enter the souls of the warring nations. Understand them also by
sympathy, and soften their hearts. Though this is a much easier thing to
attempt than the other, the results may seem incommensurable with the
effort. But, small and great, you are all part of the Whole.
And this brings me to the idea of race spirits, race entities,
for every race has its guardian being—a composite being, yet self-conscious
as separate, in a way you could hardly understand.
Have you not noticed the effect on yourself of passing from
country to country? Have your feelings—has your consciousness not changed
almost at the frontier? Do you remember the shock you once had on setting
foot for the first time in a certain foreign land?
The race spirits seem no larger to
themselves than you humans do among your friends and acquaintances. Size is
relative. Heretofore I have spoken of the races as organs in the body of
humanity. In speaking of them now as separate beings I am not contradicting
myself. What reason have you for assuming that the organs of your body may
not each be animated by a more or less separate consciousness? Your cells
exist in your organs, your organs exist in your body, you exist in your
race, your race exists in the body of humanity on earth, the entity of the
earth exists in the democracy of planetary spirits in the solar system, the
solar system exists as one in the company of its fellows in the greater
democracy of the Cosmos.
A small blood-clot on the brain could seriously hamper the
working of your cosmos.
So you see there is nothing preposterous in my saying that you
can hasten infinitesimally the peace between the race spirits by
forgiving and making peace with your personal enemies, especially if they
belong to races on the other side of this war.
The small is not so unimportant and the great is not so
important as you have the habit of supposing. Yes, you personally—and all of
you—can hasten the coming of peace.