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Even in grammar school the pupils hear about dynasties being replaced by the score in various countries. These radical changes are spoken of with dispassionate calmness as if they were a new, quiet nest-building. No one says that scores of dynastic changes and scores of tragedies can be spoken of with equal detachment.

Can one recall any absolutely peaceful changes of government? Almost every one of them is accompanied by shocking violence, killings, and all kinds of terror. Actually, a real tragedy was at the basis of each such change. It not only had to do with the head of the government, together with the whole regime, but usually the entire class system changed, the psychology of the people changed, and the goal of aspirations changed.

New rhythms were painfully stratified. They were accompanied by outcries and terror; but now, after the passage of centuries, one talks calmly in schools about the change of dynasties. Often, not only the students but the professors themselves forget what is hidden in such an epic. When one talks about wars, pestilences, and all manner of catastrophes, then naturally the tragic side impregnates the very expressions and words. But a "change of dynasties" sounds very remote, very undisturbing. "Change of conditions of life" also sounds peaceful in the minds of people, whereas in these clear passionless words there is hidden a veritable tempest, often of many years, with many horrors of destruction.

Hence, even in primary schools a more detailed and expressive nomenclature should be adopted. A vivid recounting of ancient historic events will strengthen the consciousness of youth. On one hand it will sow the seeds of enthusiasm and heroism, and on the other it will safeguard from despair.

- "All despair is finite  the heart is infinite." "Beauty is contained in each participation in construction: This is the true realm of the heart. This desired purification of life gives solemnity, which is like an inextinguishable Light."

"Where is that sentiment, that substance, with which we can fill the Chalice of Great Service? We shall gather this feeling from the best treasures. We shall find its components in religious ecstasy, when the heart quivers at the Highest Light; in the feeling of heartfelt love, when the tear of self-renunciation glistens; in the hero's achievement, when power is multiplied in the name of humanity. We shall find it in the patience of the gardener who ponders over the mystery hidden in a seed. We shall find it in the courage that pierces the darkness. We shall find it in the smile of the child who stretches out its hand to a sunbeam. We shall find it amidst all nights that carry us into the Infinite. The feeling of Great Service is unlimited; it must fill the heart, which is forever inexhaustible. The sacred tremor should not become the daily gruel. The best Teachings turned into soulless husks when the tremor left them. Thus, in the midst of battle, think of the Chalice of Service, and take an oath that the sacred tremor shall not leave you."

"Ancient decrees about the sacred tremor should be understood with broad consciousness. Precisely, the warmth and heat of this tremor safeguard the heart from cold  that terrible, deadly cold which cuts off all communion."

"One can observe the dead two-legged ones, wandering Corpses, who by their very approach defile and even desecrate places where the precious and the beautiful have already been uttered. Indeed, not an abstract command but a patiently instilled new understanding may warn those who are becoming ill with the terrible epidemic of decomposition. Indeed, horrible is the spectacle of a decomposing body. But such decomposition even happens during life. If purely physical measures can ward off such a condition, then to what an obvious extent will spiritual reactions act as a better prophylaxis."

"Spiritual healings will help not only to prevent bodily complications, they will not only stop the decomposition of the spirit, but actually they will give a healthy, progressive motion to the desiccated spirit. The spirit, as the subtlest substance, is close to the spatial vibrations, so affined with this motion."

If one could prompt in time the young active doer in life about what complexities, beautiful as well as terrible, are contained in the short formulas in epics, this transmutation of thought would forever strengthen the direction of such a traveler. If he understands the entire tragedy, the pain and sorrow caused, he may then find in his own actions more worthy, one may say, even more cultural paths for execution. The very succession of the turns of the spiral of evolution can thus be built with a greater preservation of human dignity. In his heart man will sense the bitterness of tragedies and the lofty exaltation of service and heroism.


January 10, 1935

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