Equipoise of Great Help in Times of Stress

LETTER NO. 94 - SEPTEMBER, 1918

In these days when our customs, habits, and business are being so radically interfered with by the great war no matter where on earth we live; when the flower of our manhood is being mowed down in millions by cannon; when even woman must leave her accustomed vocation as home maker to take part in the titanic struggle behind the fighting lines; when the weak, those who are either very old or very young, succumb to privation; how can one help being disturbed more or less according to one's individual suffering or one's proximity to the seething sea of hate and sorrow in what was once fair France or in the other battle-scarred sections?

To remain undisturbed perhaps seems impossible. One cannot remain calloused in the face of such suffering. One student after describing the devastation of a shelled city, asks: "Can one help feeling very strongly about it?" No, Christ felt very strongly when He wept over the sins of Jerusalem, and He showed His righteous wrath when He drove the money changers out of the temple. But equipoise is undoubtedly one of the great lessons which we may learn from this war.

It is easy to be peaceful if one goes into the mountains and lives the life of a hermit. But what credit is it to keep our equipoise with no one to thwart, oppose, or vex us? It is more difficult, however, to keep a peaceful attitude in the industrial life of a city where relentless war is waged with the sword of competition and where existence is circumscribed by laws and custom. But it can be done, and it is being done by many who make no pretense to spirituality, but who have found that loss of balance interferes with their ambition. So they setout to train themselves in the practice of equipoise. It has been the invariable experience of such people that they have benefited greatly. Their health has improved, their happiness also, and their business efficiency has increased.

If such self-control can be attained by people in the world, and if so much benefit can accrue to them on that account under ordinary condition of life, those among us who aim at higher and nobler things and who have been endeavoring to follow the path for years ought to be examples of faith and hopefulness at this time, ought they not? We ought to be towers of strength to those who have not had the great enlightenment which it has been our privilege to obtain. And above all things, we ought to exert a constructive and upbuilding influence in this world crisis.

Therefore I have outlined in this month's lesson the secret causes which in the past have generated and fertilized the seeds that have now flowered into our present cataclysmic condition, and have indicated in a slight measure how we are now sowing the seeds of our future well or ill being; this in the hope that you will concentrate your thoughts constructively along the line indicated, and advocate in your sphere of life the views presented. Much sorrow may thus be averted in the future for thoughts are things, and if they are in harmony with the cosmic purpose to make all things work together for good, they will surely prosper.