Theosophy

On the Threshold of Tomorrow

Boris de Zirkoff – USA   

Theosophy Z 2

[Original cover]

The restlessness and confusion of men's minds in the present-day world is the direct result of a shattered and crumbling view of life.

The complacency of an outmoded religion, the false security of a selfish social order based upon political slogans empty of spiritual content, and the banality of quasi-ethical concepts rooted primarily in convenience and the alleged superiority of might over right, these and other familiar landmarks of a dying era are collapsing before our very eyes, and in every part of the habitable world.

Many do not see it. Others, while cognizant of the fact, prefer to talk about something else, rather than face the natural results from equally natural causes, and to rebuild now their own lives upon foundations and precepts which alone can provide spiritual security in a world of endless change.

The minds of men the world over are gripped today in a fearful conflict waged on the battlefield of their thoughts. It is this inner conflict which is the cause of the crumbling of once proud human institutions, and the collapse of a social structure that was supposed by so many to have been the highest manifestation of "civilization" and "progress."

The mental and emotional climate of the race has experienced some revolutionary changes. By means of the rapid developments of modern science - foreseen and predicted by a number of mystics and occultists in recent centuries - the entrenched materialism of a former school of thought has been rooted out from its strongholds. The battering ram of widening and all-embracing research has toppled the fortifications of our moulds of mind, and has let in floods of light upon problems and domains of thought which the all-powerful materialism of former centuries preferred to deny the very existence of.

Generation after generation have been taught both in the Halls of Science and in the privacy of their family circles - with exceptions far and wide between - that the basis of nature is material, that matter is the primary factor of all that is, that life is but a chance accident in nature, and that reality consists of those tangible and wholly measurable factors which can be demonstrated by the functions of the physical senses alone.

But suddenly a gateway opened upon new and undreamt of vistas. We began to feel a strong breeze blowing from an unsuspected portal rapidly flung open. Before we had the time to turn round and adjust our mental astigmatism, we found ourselves in the midst of a scientific cyclone which swept out of sight and beyond the horizon all our most cherished ideas and concepts of yore.

We found ourselves holding an "open house," not exactly of our own choosing, to be sure, at which strange guests invaded the one-time quiet premises. Hobnobbing with atomic bombs, radio waves, electronic wave-packets, transmission frequencies, rocket propelled planes, guided missiles, psychosomatic diagnoses, extra-sensory perceptions, and the like, may have been exciting at first; but when the novelty of it all wore off, it became only too apparent that our ways of thinking, our modes of feeling, and our patterns of behavior, somehow or other were unable to adjust themselves to the long-range global objectives demanded by the introduction of these guests into the familiar circle of our everyday contacts.

Trained, as we were, to regard matter as of primary importance, and our five senses as paramount in the diagnosis of nature's mysteries, we found ourselves utterly unfit to navigate upon uncharted seas, where spiritual and quasi-occult agencies pervaded the  elements, and global solutions were demanded of us, of us who had been taught to think in terms of narrow political boundaries, entrenched party-politics, and the two-by-four psychology of overworked patriotism and self-sufficiency. And so our minds have in a very short time reached all advanced stage of organized chaos.

To erect a new civilization upon the heaped-up rubble of an old one is impossible. The building site has to be cleared in the first place. To apply outworn methods characteristic of man's ignorance and selfishness to the building of something presumably "new," is simply a symptom of our inveterate habit of clinging to time-honored mental and emotional moulds, even if their spiritual vacuity has been demonstrated beyond any possible doubt by the irreducible logic of history.

To build a greater and nobler structure wherein the vaulting aspirations of an awakening mankind may find a suitable dwelling place, there is need of something else than "unilateral alliances," "raw materials," "island bases," "universal military training," or the hackneyed conferences and conventions wherein grandiloquent speechifying is often followed by dramatic exits of delegations, attempting to play upon the sordid stage of power-politics, the role of some heroic figure from the Ring of Nibelungen.

Corrupt ideologies and false doctrines can never be overcome by violence, whether physical or moral. They can be overcome only by doctrines and ideas which raise the intellectual, ethical and spiritual pitch of mankind, and inspire the minds and the hearts of men with universal objectives, urging them to deeds of kindness and magnanimity.

The nations of today, and their leaders, and men of power and influence must realize sooner or later the imperative need of spiritual values as a foundation for action, reform, and reconstruction. With the departure of the materialistic conception of nature into the limbo of exploded myths, there is no other alternative but a spiritual re-valuation of our objectives and methods, of our "ends and means," as Huxley would say.

In the age of atomic power, there are at least three false conceptions which must be given up and abandoned at the very outset. They are: armed conflict between nations, narrow and exclusive nationalism, and racial discrimination. Men and women of the dawning era will be forced by the natural development of ideas to realize that military expeditions, armed aggression, and imagined superiority of one group over another, are phantasms of diseased imagination to be resolved and transmuted into the higher ideas of inter-racial understanding, world community, international arbitration, free exchange of the fruits of human endeavor, and the will to live together in peace and integrity. It is either that or the end of "civilization" as we understand this term. It is either that - and now - or the extinction of the noblest hopes in the hearts of the millions, for the expansion and awakening of a grander consciousness among men.

The leaders of mankind cannot remain any longer on the mere level of military tactics, economic covenants, and secret pacts; they must of necessity become students of at least the rudiments of true philosophy, and begin to practice its ideals. Either that, or they will be replaced in the natural development of the historic process, by men and women whose hearts are actuated by greater ideals and nobler objectives.

We must find a formula whereby the integration of mankind into one family can be accomplished with the least possible friction, and in the quickest possible time. We must eradicate from men's minds the false doctrine that war can ever settle any problem, or that coercion, physical or mental, can ever "convert" people into another mode of thought. These are tragic falsehoods preying upon human minds, like obsessing vampires, distorting our actions and our motives. No war his ever solved any problem, as history stands witness to. No military dictatorship has ever suppressed any ideas or convictions, however false or true they may have been, as the history of ideas will show to any student.

The crisis of today is a crisis of human thinking, not solely a conflict of mutually-excluding political and economic interests. If we are to go up and forward, we must abandon our mental and emotional aggressiveness, intolerance, superiority and exclusiveness. We must replace them with universality, good-will, global consciousness, mutual understanding, and the will to peace. Justice, integrity, kindness, forgiveness, love of our fellow-men, charity and human dignity, must be made paramount in our mutual relations, as men and as nations. They must be shown to be symptoms of inner strength. Upon them can be reared a true civilization, the civilization of the atomic age.

The alternatives are simple: One World - or None!

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