J. C. B.—The question to which you require "a definite reply," is, in itself, somewhat indefinite.
We cannot presume to dictate to others as to what particular acts should or should not be regarded as "a matter of principle," as each person should follow the dictates of his, or her, own conscience. If, however, you mean, "should those who start out upon the higher life extend their compassion and charity to people of all creeds, castes and nationalities, and to all dumb creatures?"—our reply is, certainly, yes; in fact, such an attitude of mind is the natural outcome of the search for Truth. He whose mind is fixed on the life of Truth will, day by day extend his gentleness and compassion, first embracing all mankind, and later broadening it out to every living thing, until at last it becomes so great and deep and wide that even the beast of prey is not shut out from its tender folds. At first this will not be clear to his mind, but as he proceeds he will instinctively discover what acts and habits and thoughts should be avoided. It is a subject for pity that many admirable men and women should not regard the defenseless animal with that gentleness which they bestow upon human beings, but it is still more pitiable when men and women, in their zeal for the welfare of the dumb creatures, forget their duty toward human beings, and whilst bestowing kindness upon the creature, engage in anger, deception, slander and ill-will in their dealings with their fellow-men.
G. K.—You want to know what Jesus meant when he said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man cometh to the Father, but by Me;" and how we can harmonize this with our reverence for other Teachers than Jesus. Jesus himself, in the same chapter, partly explains himself; he says, "The words which I speak unto you speak not of myself." It should be plain to the most superficial reader, that Jesus, throughout the whole of his teaching, speaks from two distinct "I's," the personal "I" and the impersonal "I." When speaking of his personality, he always depreciates himself—"Call not me good," "Call not me master," "I of myself can do nothing," etc., but when speaking of the impersonal spirit of Love and Wisdom, of which he was a manifestation (and which dwells in all men, but is not yet fully manifested in them), he then spoke of His power and purity and all-sufficiency.
Jesus constantly reiterated the statement, both to his disciples and to the questioning schismatics, that he did not refer to himself, his personality. He said, "He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory;" "I speak not of myself;" "I am not come of myself, but He that sent me "(the Divine Spirit of Love)" is true, whom ye know not;" "The Word which ye hear is not mine;" "He that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me;" "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent Me." There is another saying which Jesus gave, which, if constantly meditated upon and put into action, will unerringly lead you to the full realization of the Christ spirit. It is as follows:—"If any man will do His will he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself" Remove from you all that is not in accordance with love; all condemnation, judgment, partiality, self-seeking, vanity, covetousness, anger; and thus doing His, the Father's, will, you will then know that though men and teachers are many, Truth the Father is One, for the Christ will come and take up his abode within you, according to His promise, and will teach you how to reverence all His teachers, and not to love one and hate the others, not to worship one and despise the others.
G. H.—Your poem entitled "Peace" is unsuitable for publication in this journal, the faults (as you request us to point them out) which render it so unsuitable are, crudeness of construction and imperfect rhyme, whilst its subject matter is national and not universal.
More Articles by This Author James Allen
James Allen was a little-known philosophical writer and poet. He is best recognized for his book, As a Man Thinketh. Allen wrote about complex subjects such as faith, destiny, love, patience, and religion but had the unique ability of explaining these subjects clearly and in a way that is easy to understand. He often wrote about cause and effect, sowing and reaping, as well as overcoming sadness, sorrow, and grief. For more information on the life of James Allen, click here.