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THE PRESENT NEED

OF MANKIND


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The subject matter for tonight is “The Present Need of Mankind”. Well, judging by the present measure of values, the present bankruptcy of principles in the world at large, the downfall, indeed, of our entire civilization, we might as well recognize that the needs of mankind are very great, very extensive, so to say. Perhaps never in the whole history of mankind was there such a great amount of needs in the world, for it is not only the downfall of civilization that must worry us at the present moment. It is, rather, what is happening to mankind at large. If we sum up the present day values, - check up on our liabilities and assets of culture, so to say – we have to miss something in our modern makeup, a something which, indeed, is a matter of values.

Today, wherever we turn our inquisitive sight, we cannot but miss the presence of unlightening values. We are, of course, very much given to talking about optimistic subjects, about elements of spirituality, of divine wisdom, of philosophical advancement, of scientific development, etc., but behind all this amount of optimistic pretense and claims, there is, indeed, a great lack in the bottom, so to say, of our human nature. Perhaps we may say within the human heart, but it is also, sad to say, within the human mind. There is something wrong with modern thinking and with modern sentiments or feelings.

It is not enough the fact that we can produce marvelous airplanes, radios, fine automobiles, that great cities can spring up in the midst of deserts, that we can make fine boats that span the ocean with great facility. That means very little. A simple little coupling of data and knowledge gathered here and there will help us to develop science so as to build up what we call nowadays a civilization. But alongside of this scientific advancement if we range so to say, our actual stock of the moral values, we cannot help missing a good deal within ourselves, for the ethical values and the spiritual concepts, above all, are not to be compared with what we call commonly scientific knowledge, which has created this wonderful civilization of ours.

So what is wrong with the world, indeed, today is not that civilization has outgrown itself or that it has just reached a climax, and that it has to follow from now on a downgrade. By no means. Human nature has not as yet achieved a complete mastery of nature, has not yet attained the highest point of scientific possibility. In comparison with the modern advancement of civilization and what is possible to human intelligence, we may say that we have accomplished hardly anything. There are all the possibilities in the world within our reach yet if we persist along the line of scientific investigation and scientific advancement.

But it is not there that we must seek the enhancement of our inner possibilities. It is not there that we will find the great being within ourselves that we will be able to express in terms of life. There is a civilization, a far greater civilization possible than the one that we know externally today, and it is the civilization of spiritual power, which is today completely null, so to say, in comparison with what we can attain, we human beings. Spiritual power, spiritual concept, spiritual behavior, all that we call spiritual, in a world, is hardly a reality today in the world.

Of course, we use the term spirituality. We raise very high our claims in spiritual terms, but this is hardly anything else than mere words. Words, words! As Shakespeare would say. We have not reached the point in our inner development, our inner unfoldment, to express the spiritual powers or to enhance the real spiritual possibilities of human nature. That is not true, in spite of all the claims of religions and philosophies, and all the aims of all the idealisms we have known to this very day. Encyclopedias and libraries are full of claims in the sense of spiritual advancement, and yet we can see how all this is delusory, so to say, because for any little motive or any little pretext even those who stand as the most highly evolved spiritual flames, so to say, wane and forget their spirituality when needed most, and to say the least, leave us at a loss. Let us generalize and look at mankind at large. Wherever you look what do you see? Nothing but bankruptcies of values; nothing but chaos; nothing but trials, warfare and strife; nothing but futile aims everywhere. One moment we speak in great terms of spirituality, in the name of God, pretending that we are inspired by God or by the highest powers in nature, and in the next moment we forget all this and behave much worse than animals.

Therefore, there is no comparison between what we call our noble enlightenment and our behavior. Our behavior is far below the ethical claims of our thoughts – what we call our thoughts. This is one point I would like to touch on particularly tonight: It is this of thinking. This is one of the greatest fallacies in the world. What is thinking? Thinking, indeed, to define in the best way this process, this mental process, is a function of the mind. How many human beings today really have actual functions of mind? This is a rather bold question or statement, if you like, but how many of us do think? We all have the pretense that we think, but do we really think? I would like to question all mankind and see to what degree their pretense arises, and see with how much emphasis they insist on this matter. I would say outright that 99,75% of mankind does not think at all. It simply has mere responses, which are the very first expressions of life in the manifested worlds, the very first expression of life. We respond. We catch ideas here and there. We lend our ears to what others say, or we catch up different ideas from our environment, but we do not do our own thinking. Very few of us human beings really conceive for ourselves, with actual mental functions of our own. We are rather like those little radio receivers, which can receive messages, but are not powerful enough to send them.

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