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.”
Throughout the world people are increasingly thinking in international terms and increasingly recognizing the oneness of life. This is the guarantee of a more unified world and a stronger global community whichonly become possible to the extent that people think along these broader and more inclusive lines.
The spiritual life of humanity is now so strong that it has disrupted the old forms and everywhere we see them in process of disintegration. The difficulties of the present transition period can be recognized as the birth pangs of a new civilization struggling to be born. For too long spiritual impression has been interrupted leading to interference with the divine circulatory flow. It is the task of world servers and creative thinkers to restore this flow and to stop this interference.
The immediate task facing all nations is to gradually offset hate and distrust and initiate new techniques of trained, imaginative, creative and practical goodwill. Goodwill as it is truly practiced by political, religious, educational and economic groups within and among the nations, is already revolutionizing the world and setting us on the path towards right and peaceful human relationships.
The key to humanity’s trouble over the past two hundred years has been to take and not to give, to accept and not to share, to grasp and not to distribute. This is contrary to all accepted standards of behaviour in an increasingly interdependent world. International unity will increasingly emerge in areas where global objectives are mutually agreed upon and systematically implemented.
Peace, security and world stability are primarily tied up with global economic factors. Where there is uneven distribution of the world's resources and where some nations and a few individuals within those nations monopolize a large portion of the world’s wealth there is a basic imbalance. While a few experience extreme wealth many others lack even the basic necessities of life. In an interdependent age this must change.
International unity has become a necessity.National selfishness and a fixed determination to preserve national status interpreted often in terms of boundaries, military power and the expansion of trade must gradually fade out. Nations too often seek and demand the best for themselves, no matter what the cost to others; and within themselves they are split and divided by racial barriers, party differences and religious attitudes. Yet in all countries, there are those who have outgrown these self-centred views and who are internationally minded and preoccupied with the welfare of humanity as a whole. Nations can and will 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.
All nations still have much interior house-cleaning to do and this they must carry forward along with their larger efforts to bring about a better and more habitable world. Yet humanity is growing up and demonstrating a wider sense of responsibility, alongside an ability to handle its problems and to think in larger terms. A world consciousness, motivated by the idea of the general good, in which higher values than individual and national gain are emphasized is being developed by all who are fostering an enlightened public opinion.
International unity is no longer the dream of a few visionary thinkers. It has become a necessity as the problems confronting us are global in nature It is essential for the future happiness and progress of humanity that new ways of handling political, environmental, religious and economic affairs be found to offset the perpetuation of greed, intolerance, and selfishness that have brought humanity to its present state of global crisis.
The corruption and selfishness of so many in positions of power continues because men and women of spiritual intention and goodwill have not assumed leadership. 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. They have permitted the selfish and undesirable to lead. Now, recognition is growing that true spirituality is that which properly relates us, as free and responsible human beings, one to another.
The Four Freedoms (as outlined by Franklin Roosevelt) provide a clear vision for a more spiritual world :
•freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world
•freedom to worship God in one’s own way — everywhere in the world
•freedom from want — which means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy, and peaceful life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world
•freedom from fear — which means a worldwide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough manner that no nationor group will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any other people or nation — anywhere in the world.
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.
There is no counsel of perfection, or simple solution which will bring immediate change. Yet for spiritual leaders and people of goodwill, certain lines of action seem right and useful:
1 . The United Nations, through the General Assembly, specialised agencies, and its various councils, commissions and committees, and through its mutually agreed goals for sustainable development, must be supported; there is, as yet, no other global organisation to which we can hopefully look.
2. 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 to practice goodwill to all everywhere, irrespective of race or creed.
3. 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.
4. The world's economic councils must set the resources of the earth free for the use of humanity. This will be possible when world need is better appreciated. Sharing and co-operation must be taught instead of competition and self-interest.
It is through the steady, consistent and organised work of the men and women of goodwill throughout the world that unity and right human relations are being brought about. At present, such people are in process of organising and although the forces arrayed against them are stupendous, there is a sense that the barriers of greed and hate that have so long separated the world are at long last breaking down. As public opinion is mobilised along the lines of goodwill it will become such a potent force for good in the world that leaders, politicians, business people and religious leaders will be forced to listen and comply. Out of this enlightened public opinion will grow a determination to collectively enact those measures that will usher in a new order in the world — not a standardized homogenous regimentation of policies that negate human ingenuity and creativity but rather an order that flows from alignment with the soul and which, when collectively harnessed by individuals and groups within each nation, will effectively evoke the soul of the nations.
The souls of all are one and I am one with them.
Let pain bring due reward of light and love.
Let vision come and insight.