W.—We are glad to know that you derive such help and comfort from the pages of The Light of Reason. As for those who condemn you for reading it, do not condemn them in return, and if you will realize this,—that they think they are doing that which is right, you will be able to think of them kindly, and even to help them, putting aside your own opinions and views for their good. lf you can succeed in doing this, your love and patience and harmlessness will at last melt away the icy coldness of their bigotry, and they will at last grow sorry that they ever condemned you, they will also know, by your increasing gentleness and self-forgetfulness, that you are not "going astray," and will learn, by your silent example, that to engage in condemnation is going astray, harshly judging another is going astray; harboring uncharitable thoughts and saying unkind words is going astray, and that ceasing to hold their particular views is not going astray.
We reply to your questions as follows:— 1. The first part of this question, "If Jesus was not the only Savior, how was it he said 'No man cometh to the Father but by me?' "is fully answered in reply to G. K. on page 87 of our August issue. Regarding the second part of this question, Socrates and Plato are not regarded as Saviors by any, but Buddha, Lao-Tze, Confucius, Zoroaster and others are, along with Jesus. In the estimation of their worshippers these Saviors not only do "stand as high as Jesus," but considerably higher, just as, in the estimation of his worshippers, Jesus stands higher than all the rest. A little reflection upon this fact will help to develop charity and true brotherly love.
The names of these other Saviors do "have the same power as that of Christ," and in all lands people are continually becoming converted to holier lives just as they are in Christian countries. Sir Edwin Arnold, who lived amongst the Buddhists and, as he says, "learned to love" them, says of Buddha:—"Forests of flowers are daily laid upon his stainless shrines, and countless millions of lips daily repeat the formula, 'I take refuge in Buddha!'"
Jesus had his own mission to perform, and there was no necessity that he should "acknowledge" these Saviors. Perhaps he knew nothing about them. The truth is that there is neither high nor low in the Kingdom of Heaven, and these Saviors are not higher or lower than each other, but that each is a manifestation, to the world, of the Divine Goodness, the Perfect Life, which is the One Christ abiding in all men, and only awaiting their recognition.
Yes, it was declared by other Saviors than Jesus that their mission was, amongst other things, to bring immortality to men. The disciples and followers of Buddha call him "The revealer of immortality?
2. There is that outburst of passion which is called "righteous indignation," and looked at from below, it appears to be righteous, but looked at from above (from a higher conception of conduct) it is seen to be not righteous. There is a certain stamp of nobility about indignation at wrong or injustice, and it is certainly far higher and nobler than indifference, but there is a loftier nobility still, by which it is seen that indignation is never necessary, and where love and gentleness take its place, and overcome the wrong much more effectually. A person that is apparently wronged requires our pity, but the one who wrongs requires still more our compassion, for he is ignorantly laying up for himself a store of suffering: he must reap the wrong he is sowing. When divine compassion is perceived in its fullness and beauty, indignation and all forms of passion cease to exercise any influence over us.
We cannot think that Jesus ever gave utterance to the violent accusations and denunciations recorded in the 23rd chapter of Matthew, as they are in direct opposition to his own teaching, and to that gentleness and meekness which we ascribe to the "lowly Nazarene"; moreover, our duty in this respect is very plain, it is better to love than to accuse and denounce.
3. There is certainly no harm in studying mesmerism theoretically, in order to have some acquaintance with its phenomena, but the disciples of the truest and the highest do not seek to gain any power, occult or otherwise, the possession of which would enable them to obtain a selfish influence over those weaker than themselves. Nor can true success and influence and prosperity be obtained by mesmeric means. These are obtained by diligence and faithfulness in the performance of one's duty; by energy, integrity and righteousness. Avoid those who first flatter you, and then ask you to send money for "occult secrets" or "courses of lessons" by which you may achieve success. Truth is not communicated in this way. You will do wisely in ignoring the importunities of those who ask you to send money in that way.
4. A child born in a slum certainly has not the same opportunities for intellectual culture as one born amid better surroundings, but it has unique opportunities for developing character if there is awakened within its soul any desire for a purer life. Where the temptations are great, the victories are more glorious and enduring.
S. A. S.—-Ideas about the "immaculate conception" are of no value. Goodness, purity and truth, these are the things that have value.
J. M. D., Lahore—Yes, you are really too far off to join our Correspondence Circles; nevertheless, we shall always be pleased to hear from you, and to write you in return when necessary.
"Leynor Grey"—The merit of your two poems is fair. Here and there occurs a faultiness in the sense which detracts from their value, but which a little care could easily eliminate. A little more soul, also, would have rendered them more suitable for publication in our pages. We are not publishing them. Try again.
E. T.—The best American New Thought Magazine is "Mind" and it can be ordered through us. We know of no New Thought work dealing with "The Miracles" which, at best, are merely phenomena distinct from the realities of the Higher Life.
More from 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.