Rosicrucian Writings Online


THE
THOUGHT OF THE MONTH

 
DISTURBING THE PEACE
 
By THE IMPERATOR
[H. Spencer Lewis]

 
[From The Rosicrucian Digest August 1935]
 
 
I THINK, sometimes, that the month of August represents one of the most outstanding monuments to the spirit of disturbing the peace that one may find anywhere in history. There are so many in the world who get much enjoyment out of disturbing the peace and tranquillity and the orderly progress of affairs that I should like to dedicate the month of August to them as a memorial.
 
Until the Emperor Augustus decided to make himself famous through meddling with the world-wide affairs and upsetting the system and order of peaceful living, the seventh month in the Julian Roman year had been known as Quintilis or "July" in honor of Julius Caesar. Not to be outdone by Caesar or anyone else, Augustus created a new month and officially ordained that it should be known as August. We do not know precisely how greatly this very serious change in the calendar disturbed the peace of the business and social world at the time, but we do know that it upset the calendar and has caused an endless amount of disturbance and inconvenience in the minds of research workers who have to deal with events just preceding and following this creation of an artificial and fictitious month.
 
Of course, a great many persons in the past have changed our calendar in regard to months and others have changed it in the numbering of the years, and even today there are advocates of another great change whereby the year will have thirteen months instead of twelve. Whatever benefits may be derived from such changes are certainly more than offset by the very serious disturbances that are created and everlastingly maintained by such meddling with universally accepted institutions as the calendar.
 
Looking through the month in retrospection, we find a number of interesting facts that give us food for thought during this warm period of the year.
 
By an act of Congress in 1789 the United States War Department was created on August 17. We may look upon the War Department and its military activities as meddlesome or as constructive, according to our spirit and light, but in general, the War Department has proved to be a protection and a protective system for all reliable and honest citizens and even for those of foreign lands who are visiting with us.
 
A few years later, however, in 1807, on the 11th of August, Fulton's first steamboat made its first voyage. Amid much ridicule and with many sarcastic remarks directed at him, Fulton proudly displayed the result of his work and demonstrated a constructive application of some of nature's laws. He was not the first to devise or invent a method of utilizing steam for propelling, nor even the first to make a mode of a boat to move in water by means of steam, but he did create a very practical and useful application of the idea. Which of the two great inventions falling in the month of August--the creation of a War Department and the demonstration of a steamboat--contributed most to the good and welfare of humanity and added to the glory of the nation, is something for each individual to decide.
 
We note also that the next day, August 12, is celebrated and famous for Mr. Edison's invention of the phonograph, 58 years ago. Certainly, this was an invention that has contributed not only to the practical and scientific affairs of life, but to the happiness of mankind so greatly that it makes the month of August important in the calendar.
 
On the 19th day of August an eminent Rosicrucian, famous for his mystical investigations and writing as well as novels, passed to the Great Beyond. It was the day of the transition of Honore de Balzac in 1850.
 
Those who are interested in genealogy and in personal history may be glad to know that in the year 1587 on the 18th day of August, the first child of English parents was born in America.
 
On the 24th of August, 1572, St. Bartholomew Massacre occurred and this marked a transition point in the history of nations and peoples that is often overlooked in its real significance.
 
Twenty-nine years ago on the 28th day of August the first Esperanto congress was opened in Europe. Esperanto, too, is an artificial creation on the part of man and an attempt to modify man's habits. But it was not a vainglorious thing like the naming of a month after one's self and the upsetting of a calendar. It was an attempt to further the idea of international and world-wide brotherhood through the creation and maintenance of an international language--a tongue which all peoples of all nations could write and speak and understand. The big idea back of Esperanto was that its universal adoption and use would be the first step toward the breaking down of the distinct differences of customs, habits, speech, and thought which were responsible for the continued warfare between peoples and nations. While Esperanto is a very widely used and useful auxiliary language, and while it may have failed to become in every sense an international language, it did bring to the consciousness of man the need for a language that could be understood by those living in every clime. The result of the agitation on the part of Esperanto may or may not be responsible for the fact that French became an international language for many years, and now English appears to have taken the lead, for no properly regulated store or commercial institution in any part of Europe fails to have one or more English-speaking clerks or associates ready to transact the company's business with English-speaking persons, while hotels, railroads, and other places of wide contact have their English interpreters constantly busy.
 
From this great idea, born in the mind of the Russian who created Esperanto, we derive a good thought for this month. Not only is it true that when peoples of different nations can get together and talk freely in an understandable manner with one another will many of the differences that lead to disputes and quarrels disappear, but when certain universal literature in one language can be disseminated among all nations and when all of us can read and understand the problems, ideals, and desires, and wishes of those in other lands, we will begin to think alike and to have a more sympathetic appreciation of the human characteristics in all races of people, and this will lead to the first essential step in the unifying of nations and the doing away with war through misunderstandings.
 
When men and women throughout the world begin to think alike they will comprehend alike and act alike. There will be unity in thought and unity in action and this will lead to cooperation. It has been said by philosophic minds that we dislike or hate persons only because we do not understand them, or that we disagree with the ideas of others simply because we cannot get their view-point. Certainly that which interferes most definitely today with the cooperative action on the part of those that should form a universal brotherhood will be done away with when we can begin to think alike and act alike. Esperanto has been useful and its utility has tempted others to create various substitutes for it as an artificial language, and today there are many modifications of this linguistic idea, but the fundamental idea back of it all is growing stronger and greater all the time. This is truly a link in uniting the children of the world into one great human family.
   

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