Rosicrucian Writings Online

[H. Spencer Lewis]

[From The Rosicrucian Digest May 1931]
DESPITE the fact that reformers and statisticians try to convince us that the world is becoming worse and less moral, more criminal and less peaceful, we find continued evidence of something wonderful and beautiful in human nature that is sure to save civilization from destroying itself or becoming wrecked on the rocks of modernism, as claimed by the advocates of orthodoxy and the opponents of progressiveness.
There is hardly a century in the past in which the progressive spirit of man has not awakened the opposition and condemnation of the stand-pat element of the human race. There are those in every community, in every country, and in every age, who believe that each progressive step is a step toward self annihilation and destruction and each onward gaze is a tempting view of future destruction. These sort of persons are not the proverbial balance wheels in civilization nor are they the stabilizers that are essential among all peoples.
They are the kind that are retrograding though they think they are just standing still in a conservative manner. They are the ones who claim that what they and their forebears had was good enough and that there is no reason for onward progress in any of the matters of human life, human industry, or human achievement. They become reformers who never reform the past evils or correct the present errors but devote themselves to attempts to prevent the development of new ideas, new methods, and new achievements. The future to them is filled with sin and evil and the past is one glorious picture which they think should be maintained at all costs.
These critics point to the fact that the youth of the present time is seldom in Sunday Schools and churches and given more to the joys of life than to the serious things. They want us to believe that modern civilization is headed straight toward hell and the fires of brimstone and that the home as an institution is being wrecked and dispensed with, the church annihilated, morals suspended, spiritual things negated, and human progress turned entirely in the wrong direction.
But we who can discern the real values in life see not only the spiritual things that are developing but abundantly observe the continued manifestation of certain human traits that are of divine origin and which will never be annihilated or suspended or wiped out of the consciousness of man by any phase of progress or any degree of advancement.
Speaking of the youth of today, we can easily find in any group of youngsters of any age many very beautiful manifestations of the spiritual values in life. One needs only to watch the progress and development of progressive men and women, young and old, to see that a higher and better interpretation of human and Godly relationships is gradually evolving. But even if we did not observe these things we could not fail to observe that whether our age is producing a new era of understanding or not, at least the present age is not failing in manifesting the important elements of human brotherhood and heroic devotion to the ideals of universal love under the universal kinship with God. It is this demonstration of heroic self sacrifice and heroic demonstration of the impulses of human love and Godly relationship with all humans that proves that nothing of our modern education and culture is eliminating these essentials from the human consciousness.
Take, for instance, one simple, though extremely beautiful illustration from the common news of the day. During the month of March just past, in a little isolated and hardly known section of Colorado, an old-fashioned buss was stalled in a snow storm filled with little boys and girls being taken from school because the severe snow storm threatened to imprison them for many days in a school house located many miles from the nearest center of homes and civilization. But the attempt to escape the storm was frustrated. The buss lost its way in the blinding blizzard and deep snows and was finally stalled in a snow bank miles from the nearest home or means of communication.
The children began to feel the effects of the lowering temperature and after hours had passed without food or warmth they realized the seriousness of their predicament and the young man driver of the buss, whose little daughter was one of the occupants, bade them farewell and started on a dangerous attempt to reach the nearest farm house. Here was the first demonstration of the heroic impulses of human and divine love. We may say that this was to be expected of a man and of one charged with such responsibilities. But after he failed to return and the hours turned into a day and a night and the children began to suffer keenly, we find the same heroic impulses manifesting among children who had not yet reached their teens.
As the second day of suffering approached and the children realized that there was no immediate help for them and that they must depend solely upon the simple laws of nature that their childish minds could conceive, we find the two or three boys in the party attempting to assume the responsibility of manhood, solely through the rising urge of the divine something in their consciousness that always comes to the rescue of civilization in every dire predicament. These few young boys, hardly old enough to be away from the protection of parents, conceived of various exercises, games, and indulgences, which would make all of the children in the buss keep their bodies active so that they would not become stiff and helpless through freezing, and after they had exhausted every effort in this direction and one or two of the young girls had succumbed and lay lifeless on the floor of the buss and after every cushion had been burned to make a fire and every bit of wood consumed in producing heat and the bitterness of another night was before them, the boys again demonstrated the heroic impulses of human brotherhood by divesting themselves of all their clothing but their under garments and wrapping these outer garments around the bodies of the girls that the young girls might live even though the boys froze to death.
Some lives were saved in this manner while others were sacrificed, and at this moment thousands of adults in that State are paying homage to the bravery of these boys who gave their lives that their girl playmates might live. But I think that in addition to paying homage to this fact we should pay homage to one other; namely, the demonstration of that heroic impulse in human nature which constitutes the salvation of man.
As long as men and women can still feel and give expression to a heroic impulse of human and divine love there can be no possible destruction of the divinity and the divine element in man, and the human race and the whole of civilization will not deteriorate or cease to carry on in the manner in which God decreed all beings to live upon the face of this earth.
The children of today will be the adults of tomorrow, and the wide, unlimited, unfettered consciousness of life in these present children may broaden to a horizon that may seem to be beyond all lines of proportion. The youth of today may grow into adults who in the next few years will have little or no ideals of conservative restriction, but as long as the heroic impulses of human brotherhood and human kinship under the fatherhood of God remain in the consciousness and continues to give unrestrained and unhesitated expression when the need for such manifestation is at hand, we will find civilization safe and sound and the world a safe and good place in which to live.
The most hopeful sign is the fact that that which was considered exclusively heroic on the part of adults through their greater understanding of human needs is now becoming common impulse in the minds of children through their broadening view of life and their constant evolution toward a better understanding of human relationships. This constitutes the true salvation of man.

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