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The Higher Powers of Mind and Spirit by Ralph Waldo Trine online


page 1 of 7 | table of contents

The Higher Powers of Mind and Spirit by Ralph Waldo Trine

Whatever differences of opinion--and honest differences of opinion--may have existed and may still exist in America in regard to the great world conflict, there is a wonderful unanimity of thought that has crystallised itself into the concrete form--_something must be done in order that it can never occur again_. The higher intelligence of the nation must assert itself. It must feel and think and act in terms of internationalism. Not that the feeling of nationalism in any country shall, or even can be eradicated or even abated. It must be made, however, to coordinate itself with the now rapidly growing sense of world-consciousness, that the growing intelligence of mankind, aided by some tremendously concrete forms of recent experience, is now recognising as a great reality.

That there were very strong sympathies for both the Allied Nations and for the Central Powers in the beginning, goes without saying, How could it be otherwise, when we realise the diverse and complex types of our citizenship?

One of the most distinctive, and in some ways one of the most significant, features of the American nation is that it is today composed of representatives, and in some cases, of enormous bodies of representatives, numbering into the millions, of practically every nation in the world.

There are single cities where, in one case twenty-six, in another case twenty-nine, and in other cases a still larger number of what are today designated as hyphenated citizens are represented. The orderly removal of the hyphen, and the amalgamation of these splendid representatives of practically all nations into genuine American citizens, infused with American ideals and pushed on by true American ambitions, is one of the great problems that the war has brought in a most striking manner to our attention.

Not that these representatives of many nations shall in any way lose their sense of sympathy for the nations of their birth, in times of either peace or of distress, although they have found it either advisable or greatly to their own personal advantage and welfare to leave the lands of their birth and to establish their homes here.

The fact that in the vast majority of cases they find themselves better off here, and choose to remain and assume the responsibilities of citizenship in the Western Republic, involves a responsibility that some, if not indeed many, heretofore have apparently too lightly considered. There must be a more supreme sense of allegiance, and a continually growing sense of responsibility to the nation, that, guided by their own independent judgment and animated by their own free wills, they have chosen as their home.

There is a difference between sympathy and allegiance; and unless a man has found conditions intolerable in the land of his birth, and this is the reason for his seeking a home in another land more to his liking and to his advantage, we cannot expect him to be devoid of sympathy for the land of his birth, especially in times of stress or of great need. We can expect him, however, and we have a right to demand his _absolute allegiance_ to the land of his adoption. And if he cannot give this, then we should see to it that he return to his former home. If he is capable of clear thinking and right feeling, he also must realise the fundamental truth of this fact.

There are public schools in America where as many as nineteen languages are spoken in a single room. Our public schools, so eagerly sought by the children of parents of foreign birth, in their intense eagerness for an education, that is offered freely and without cost to all, can and must be made greater instruments in converting what must in time become a great menace to our institutions, and even to the very life of the nation itself, into a real and genuine American citizenship. Our best educators, in addition to our clearest thinking citizens, are realising as never before, that our public-school system chiefly, among our educational institutions, must be made a great melting-pot through which this process of amalgamation must be carried on.