Let pain bring due reward of light and love.
Let the soul control the outer form,
And life, and all events,
And bring to light the Love
That underlies the happenings of the time.
Let vision come and insight.
Let the future stand revealed.
Let inner union demonstrate and outer cleavages be gone.
Let love prevail.
Let all men love.
The Challenge of International Unity
"Unity and right human relations--individual, communal, national and international--can be brought about by the united action of the men and women of goodwill in every country."
The key to humanity's trouble has been to take and not to give, to accept and not share, to grasp and not to distribute. This is contrary to all accepted standards of behaviour in an increasingly interdependent world.
We have repeatedly been shown where the true values lie, but humanity has never lived up to the teaching given it. Spiritual impression, constantly conveyed by the great spiritual leaders through the ages, has not been adequately expressed in the lives of the people. They do not practice what they know; they fail to apply their information; they short circuit the light; they do not discipline themselves; greedy desire and unlawful ambition control, and not the inner knowledge. To put it scientifically and from the esoteric angle: spiritual impression has been interrupted, and there has been interference with the divine circulatory flow. It is the task of world servers to restore this flow and to stop this interference.
The immediate problem with which all nations are faced is that of gradually offsetting hate and distrust and initiating the new techniques of trained, imaginative, creative and practical goodwill.
Goodwill is the individual's first attempt to express the love of God. One person sincerely practising goodwill in a family can completely change its attitudes. It is so simple and practical that people fail to appreciate its potency or its scientific and dynamic effect. Goodwill really practised among groups in any part of the world, by political and religious parties in any nation, and among the nations of the world, can revolutionise the world and lead to right and peaceful human relationships.
People think today in planetary terms. They are aware of events in far distant countries; they are no longer the slaves of blind instinct, nor are they impelled to action by the momentary reactions of the physical body. They are capable of foresight, of careful and intelligent planning, and of organised cooperation. They have the needed psychological insight which will benefit their plans and purposes, and which will involve extended relationships with others, both within the immediate social and economic group and with those upon the other side of the world.
The early, simple civilisations have been succeeded by the intricate and highly organised social, economic and political civilisation of modern time. The culture of the ages, the arts, literature, the music and the philosophy of all time is today at the disposal of the average citizen.
History portrays the fierce determination of every nation to preserve its boundaries at any cost, to keep its culture and civilisation intact, to add to them when possible and to share nothing with any other nation except for commercial profit, for which international legislation is provided. More recently international aid of various kinds is available, which again is largely determined by the interests of the contributor except where an impersonal agency, such as the United Nations, is used. This wrong attitude has not only fostered the sense of separateness but has led to the exploitation of the weaker groups by the stronger and frequently the wrecking of the economic life of the masses by a mere handful of powerful groups. Yet all the time humanity is one, and the products of the earth belong to all.
National selfishness and a fixed determination to preserve national status--interpreted often in terms of boundaries and the expansion of trade--must gradually fade out. Nations can and should demonstrate the practicalities of one world and one humanity, and come to the point where they regard their national cultures, their national resources and their ability to serve as the contributions which they make to the good of the whole. Humanity is capable of a world sense of responsibility, of ability to handle its problems in terms of the larger whole.
The Economic Problem
In considering the preservation of peace, it becomes immediately apparent that peace, security and world stability are primarily tied up with world economic factors. Where there is uneven distribution of the world's riches and where there is a situation in which some nations have, or take, everything and other nations lack even the necessities of life, it is obvious that here is a trouble-breeding factor which demands attention. The whole problem is aggravated by the post-war "population explosion," which needs special control measures. When there is freedom from want, one of the major causes of war will disappear. World unity and peace, therefore, should be primarily considered from the economic angle.
With the cessation of fighting (1945) came the opportunity to inaugurate a new and better way of life, and to establish that security and peace for which all people long. Three negative groups immediately appeared in the world:
- The powerful, reactionary, conservative groups, desirous of retaining as much of the past as possible, having great power and no vision.
- The fanatical ideologists in every country--communistic, democratic and socialistic.
- The inert masses of the people in every land, ignorant or uncaring for the most part, desiring only peace after storm and security in the place of economic disaster.
All these groups are still making their presence felt; the reactionary groups, because they have power through money or high place in their governments; the ideologists because they are meeting the need of differing types of mind who see the necessity for change and look for an imposed ideology to bring it about; and the inchoate masses, through the increasing momentum of their recognised need and their gradual awakening to things as they are. All these factors produce the present disorders, and condition the deliberations of the United Nations. Though there is no major war, there is no peace, no security, and no immediate hope of either so long as the development of nuclear weapons continues.
It is essential for the future happiness and progress of humanity that new ways of handling political, religious and economic affairs should be found. The perpetuation of intolerable conditions has brought humanity to its present state of almost cataclysmic disaster. These conditions are the result of religious faiths which have not moved forward in their thinking for hundreds of years; of economic systems which lay the emphasis upon the accumulation of riches and material possessions and which leave all the power and the produce of the earth in the hands of a relatively few, whilst the rest of humanity struggles for a bare subsistence; and of political regimes run by the corrupt, the totalitarian-minded, the grafters, and those who love place and power more than they love their fellowmen.
The reason for the corrupt politics and the selfish, ambitious planning of so many who wield power in positions of responsibility can be found in the fact that spiritually minded men and women have not assumed--as their spiritual duty and responsibility--the leadership of the people. They have left the power in the wrong hands and permitted the selfish and the undesirable to lead.
The word "spiritual" does not belong to the churches or to the world religions. The churches are themselves in some cases great capitalistic systems and sometimes show little evidence of "the mind that was in Christ." Now, under cyclic law, political ideologies and national and international planning are occupying the attention of the people, and everywhere efforts are being made to bring about better human relations. This, in the eyes of the spiritually minded and of the enlightened worker for humanity, is a sign of progress and a clear indication of the innate divinity of the human being. That is truly spiritual which properly relates us one to another and to God, and which demonstrates in a better world and the expression of the "Four Freedoms" throughout the planet:
Freedom of speech and expression -- everywhere in the world.
Freedom of every person to worship God in his own way -- everywhere in the world.
Freedom from want -- which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants -- everywhere in the world.
Freedom from fear -- which, translated into world terms, means a worldwide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbour -- anywhere in the world.
That is spiritual which has for motive the establishing of the Kingdom of God on Earth; that cannot take place until much has been changed in human affairs and living. It is no longer possible to separate human affairs from spiritual reality and selfless living. The changing of the old order, the awakening of humanity to new possibilities and the purification of the political and economic arena, are today the factors of the greatest spiritual value.
In the present outcry against world conditions, everything is being dragged out into the light of day; abuses are being "shouted from the housetops," as the Christ prophesied they would be. As people awaken to the facts and begin to think and plan for the future, they are aware of undischarged responsibilities. Their consciences trouble them; they are conscious of inequality of opportunity, of grave abuses, of the entrenched distinctions between individuals and the factor of racial and national discriminations; they question their own individual goals as well as national planning.
People in every land are beginning to realise that they are largely responsible for what is wrong, and that their inertness and lack of right action and thinking has led to the present unhappy state of affairs.
The awakening of the masses, arousing the determination of the reactionary forces and of monied interests to preserve the old and fight the new are largely responsible for the immediate crisis. The battle between the old, entrenched forces and the emerging, new idealism constitutes the problem today; other factors -- though important, individually or nationally -- are from the true spiritual standpoint relatively incidental.
The unity, peace and security of the nations, great and small, are not to be attained by following the guidance of the capitalist or the ambitious in any nation, and yet, in many situations, that guidance is being accepted; they are not to be gained by the blind acceptance of any ideology, no matter how good it may seem to those conditioned by it; yet there are those who are seeking to impose their particular ideology on the world -- this does not apply solely to Russia; they will not be reached by sitting back and leaving the changing of conditions to God or the evolutionary process. Yet there are those who make no move to help, even whilst knowing well the conditions with which the United Nations has to deal.
Unity, peace and security will come through the recognition -- intelligently assessed -- of the evils which have led to the present world situation, and then through the taking of those wise, compassionate and understanding steps which will lead to the establishing of right human relations, to the substitution of cooperation for the present competitive system, and by the education of the masses in every land as to the nature of true goodwill and its hitherto unused potency. This will mean the deflecting of untold millions of money into right educational systems, instead of its use by the forces of war and their conversion into armies, navies and armaments.
The steps that humanity takes today will condition the new age and determine our destiny. Will it be a destiny of annihilation, of a planetary war, of worldwide famine and pestilence, of nation rising against nation and of the complete collapse of all that makes life worth living?
On the other hand we can have a period of adjustment, of concession and of relinquishment. We can have a period of right recognition of shared opportunity, of a united effort to bring about right relations, and of an educational process which will train the youth of all nations to function as world citizens and not as nationalistic propagandists.
Sharing of Resources
Today men and women everywhere -- in high places and in low, in every nation, community and group -- are presenting a vision of right human relations which must constitute the standard for the future of humanity. In politics, there are statesmen who are endeavouring to guide their people wisely but have as yet too much with which to contend.
There are enlightened educators, writers and lecturers in every land who are seeking to show the people how practical is the ideal, how available the goodwill in humanity, and how easily applied are these ideals when there are enough men and women of goodwill in the world to force the issue. There are also scientists, physicians and agriculturists who have dedicated their lives to the betterment of human living; there are people of all the faiths who follow sincerely the footsteps of the Christ and who repudiate the materialism which has ruined the churches; there are ordinary men and women in their untold millions who see truly, think clearly and work hard in their communities to establish right human relations.
Until, however, the great powers, in collaboration with the little nations, have solved the economic problem and have realised that the resources of the earth belong to no one nation but to humanity as a whole, there will be no peace. These resources belong to all people everywhere because they are essential to everyday living.
The problem of the United Nations is a twofold one: it involves the right distribution of the world's resources so that there may be freedom from want, and it involves also the bringing about of a true equality of opportunity and of education for all men and women everywhere. The nations which have a wealth of resources are custodians of the world's riches and hold them in trust for their fellowmen. The time will inevitably come when -- in the interest of peace and security -- the capitalists in the various nations will be forced to realise this and will also be forced to adopt the principle of sharing.
There was a time -- a hundred years or more ago -- when a just distribution of the world's wealth would have been impossible. That is not true today. Statistics exist; computations have been made; investigation has penetrated into every field of the earth's resources and these investigations, computations and statistics have been published and are available to the public.
Those in power in every nation know well exactly what natural resources and other necessities are available for worldwide use upon just and equitable lines. But these commodities are too often reserved by the nations involved as "talking and bargaining points." The problem of distribution is not difficult once the food of the world is freed from politics and from capitalism; it must also be remembered that the means of distribution by sea, rail and air are adequate.
None of this will, however, take place until the nations begin to talk in terms of humanity as a whole and not in terms of boundaries, of technical objectives and fears; in terms of the bargaining value of oil or coal, or in the language of mistrust and suspicion.
Guide Lines for Action
There is no counsel of perfection to give the world, or any solution which will carry immediate relief. It can, however, be said that to the spiritual leaders of the race certain lines of action seem right and to guarantee constructive attitudes:
- The United Nations, through the General Assembly, specialised agencies, and its various councils, commissions and committees, must be supported; there is, as yet, no other organisation to which we can hopefully look. Therefore we must support the United Nations but, at the same time, let this group of world leaders know what is needed.
- The general public in every nation must be educated in right human relations. Above all else, the children and the youth of the world must be taught goodwill to all people everywhere, irrespective of race or creed.
- Time must be given for the needed adjustments; humanity must learn to be intelligently patient and to face with courage and optimism the slow process of building the new civilisation.
- An intelligent and cooperative public opinion must be developed in every land and this constitutes a major spiritual duty. If the men and women of goodwill and the spiritually inclined people of the world will become genuinely active, it can be done in a comparatively short time.
- The world's economic councils must set the resources of the earth free for the use of humanity. This will be a lengthy task but it will be possible when world need is better appreciated. An enlightened public opinion will make the decisions of the economic councils practical and possible. Sharing and cooperation must be taught instead of competition and self-interest.
- There should be freedom to travel everywhere, in any direction and in any country. By means of this free intercourse, members and branches of the human family may get to know each other and to appreciate each other. All that is needed is personal identity cards which all can have as a matter of right.
- The men and women of goodwill everywhere should be mobilised and set to work; it is upon their efforts that the future of humanity depends; they exist in their millions everywhere and -- when mobilised -- represent a vast section of the thinking public.
The Work of the Men and Women of Goodwill
It is through the steady, consistent and organised work of the men and women of goodwill throughout the world that world unity is being brought about. At present, such people are in process of organising and are apt to feel that the work to be done is so stupendous and the forces arrayed against them are so great that their efforts are useless to break down the barriers of greed and hate with which they are confronted. They realise that there is, as yet. an inadequately sustained use of the principle of goodwill -- which holds the solution to the world problem. They have, as vet, no idea of the numerical strength of those who are thinking as they do. They ask themselves the same questions which are agitating the minds of people everywhere: How can order be restored? How can there be a fair distribution of the world's resources? How can true religion be resurrected and the ways of true spiritual living govern the hearts of men and women? How can a prosperity be established which will be the result of unity, peace and plenty?
Men and women of goodwill form a world group, standing for right human relations and educating the public in the nature and power of goodwill. They will thus create a world public opinion which will be so potent and so outspoken on the side of human welfare that leaders, statesmen. politicians, businessmen and church leaders will be forced to listen and comply. Steadily and regularly the public should be taught an internationalism and a world unity which is based on simple goodwill and on cooperative interdependence.
This is not an impractical programme; it emphasises the new politics; based upon the principle of bringing about right human relations. Between the exploited and the exploiting, the warmongers and the pacifists, the masses and the rulers, this group of men and women of goodwill will stand in their organised millions, taking no side, demonstrating no partisan spirit, fomenting no political or religious disturbance and feeding no hatreds. They will not be a negative body but a positive group, interpreting the meaning of right human relations, standing for the oneness of humanity and for practical brotherhood. The propagation of these ideas by all available means and the spread of the principle of goodwill will create a powerful organised international group. Eventually, in numerical strength the men and women of goodwill in the world will be so great that they will influence world events.
How to use the weight of that goodwill and how to employ the will to establish right human relations will grow gradually out of the work accomplished and meet the need of the world situation. The trained use of power on the side of goodwill and on behalf of right human relations will be demonstrated as possible, and the present unhappy state of world affairs can be changed. This will be done, not through the usual warlike measures of the past or the enforced will of some aggressive or wealthy group, but through the weight of a trained public opinion -- an opinion which will be based on goodwill, on an intelligent understanding of the needs of humanity, on a determination to bring about right human relations and on the recognition that the problems with which humanity is today confronted can be solved through goodwill. (Adapted from Problems of Humanity by Alice A. Bailey).