The Promulgation of Universal Peace
19 April 1912
Talk at Earl Hall
Columbia University, New York
From Stenographic Notes
If we look with a perceiving eye upon the world of creation, we
find that all existing things may be classified as follows: first,
mineral--that is to say, matter or substance appearing in various
forms of composition; second, vegetable--possessing the virtues
of the mineral plus the power of augmentation or growth, indicating
a degree higher and more specialized than the mineral; third,
animal--possessing the attributes of the mineral and vegetable
plus the power of sense perception; fourth, human--the highest
specialized organism of visible creation, embodying the qualities
of the mineral, vegetable and animal plus an ideal endowment absolutely
absent in the lower kingdoms--the power of intellectual
investigation into the mysteries of outer phenomena. The outcome
of this intellectual endowment is science, which is especially
characteristic of man. This scientific power investigates and apprehends
created objects and the laws surrounding them. It is the
discoverer of the hidden and mysterious secrets of the material
universe and is peculiar to man alone. The most noble and
praiseworthy accomplishment of man, therefore, is scientific
knowledge and attainment.
Science may be likened to a mirror wherein the images of the
mysteries of outer phenomena are reflected. It brings forth and
exhibits to us in the arena of knowledge all the product of the past.
It links together past and present. The philosophical conclusions of
bygone centuries, the teachings of the Prophets and wisdom of
former sages are crystallized and reproduced in the scientific advancement
of today. Science is the discoverer of the past. From its
premises of past and present we deduce conclusions as to the future.
Science is the governor of nature and its mysteries, the one
agency by which man explores the institutions of material creation.
All created things are captives of nature and subject to its laws.
They cannot transgress the control of these laws in one detail or
particular. The infinite starry worlds and heavenly bodies are nature's
obedient subjects. The earth and its myriad organisms, all
minerals, plants and animals are thralls of its dominion. But man
through the exercise of his scientific, intellectual power can rise
out of this condition, can modify, change and control nature according
to his own wishes and uses. Science, so to speak, is the
breaker of the laws of nature.
Consider, for example, that man according to natural law
should dwell upon the surface of the earth. By overcoming this law
and restriction, however, he sails in ships over the ocean, mounts
to the zenith in airplanes and sinks to the depths of the sea in submarines.
This is against the fiat of nature and a violation of her
sovereignty and dominion. Nature's laws and methods, the hidden
secrets and mysteries of the universe, human inventions and discoveries,
all our scientific acquisitions should naturally remain
concealed and unknown, but man through his intellectual acumen
searches them out of the plane of the invisible, draws them into the
plane of the visible, exposes and explains them. For instance, one
of the mysteries of nature is electricity. According to nature this
force, this energy, should remain latent and hidden, but man scientifically
breaks through the very laws of nature, arrests it and
even imprisons it for his use.
In brief, man through the possession of this ideal endowment of
scientific investigation is the most noble product of creation, the
governor of nature. He takes the sword from nature's hand and
uses it upon nature's head. According to natural law night is a
period of darkness and obscurity, but man by utilizing the power of
electricity, by wielding this electric sword overcomes the darkness
and dispels the gloom. Man is superior to nature and makes nature
do his bidding. Man is a sensitive being; nature is without sensation.
Man has memory and reason; nature lacks them. Man is nobler
than nature. There are powers within him of which nature is
devoid. It may be claimed that these powers are from nature itself
and that man is a part of nature. In answer to this statement we will
say that if nature is the whole and man is a part of that whole, how
could it be possible for a part to possess qualities and virtues which
are absent in the whole? Undoubtedly the part must be endowed
with the same qualities and properties as the whole. For example,
the hair is a part of the human anatomy. It cannot contain elements
which are not found in other parts of the body, for in all cases the
component elements of the body are the same. Therefore, it is
manifest and evident that man, although in body a part of nature,
nevertheless in spirit possesses a power transcending nature; for if
he were simply a part of nature and limited to material laws, he
could possess only the things which nature embodies. God has conferred
upon and added to man a distinctive power--the faculty of
intellectual investigation into the secrets of creation, the acquisition
of higher knowledge--the greatest virtue of which is scientific
This endowment is the most praiseworthy power of man, for
through its employment and exercise the betterment of the human
race is accomplished, the development of the virtues of mankind is
made possible and the spirit and mysteries of God become manifest.
Therefore, I am greatly pleased with my visit to this university.
Praise be to God that this country abounds in such institutions
of learning where the knowledge of sciences and arts may readily
As material and physical sciences are taught here and are constantly
unfolding in wider vistas of attainment, I am hopeful that
spiritual development may also follow and keep pace with these
outer advantages. As material knowledge is illuminating those
within the walls of this great temple of learning, so also may the
light of the spirit, the inner and divine light of the real philosophy
glorify this institution. The most important principle of divine
philosophy is the oneness of the world of humanity, the unity of
mankind, the bond conjoining East and West, the tie of love which
blends human hearts.
Therefore, it is our duty to put forth our greatest efforts and
summon all our energies in order that the bonds of unity and accord
may be established among mankind. For thousands of years we
have had bloodshed and strife. It is enough; it is sufficient. Now is
the time to associate together in love and harmony. For thousands
of years we have tried the sword and warfare; let mankind for a
time at least live in peace. Review history and consider how much
savagery, how much bloodshed and battle the world has witnessed.
It has been either religious warfare, political warfare or some
other clash of human interests. The world of humanity has never
enjoyed the blessing of universal peace. Year by year the implements
of warfare have been increased and perfected. Consider the
wars of past centuries; only ten, fifteen or twenty thousand at the
most were killed, but now it is possible to kill one hundred
thousand in a single day. In ancient times warfare was carried on
with the sword; today it is the smokeless gun. Formerly, battleships
were sailing vessels; today they are dreadnoughts. Consider
the increase and improvement in the weapons of war. God
has created us all human, and all countries of the world are parts
of the same globe. We are all His servants. He is kind and just
to all. Why should we be unkind and unjust to each other? He provides
for all. Why should we deprive one another? He protects and
preserves all. Why should we kill our fellow creatures? If this
warfare and strife be for the sake of religion, it is evident that it
violates the spirit and basis of all religion. All the divine Manifestations
have proclaimed the oneness of God and the unity of mankind.
They have taught that men should love and mutually help
each other in order that they might progress. Now if this conception
of religion be true, its essential principle is the oneness of humanity.
The fundamental truth of the Manifestations is peace. This
underlies all religion, all justice. The divine purpose is that men
should live in unity, concord and agreement and should love one
another. Consider the virtues of the human world and realize that
the oneness of humanity is the primary foundation of them all.
Read the Gospel and the other Holy Books. You will find their fundamentals
are one and the same. Therefore, unity is the essential
truth of religion and, when so understood, embraces all the virtues
of the human world. Praise be to God! This knowledge has been
spread, eyes have been opened, and ears have become attentive.
Therefore, we must endeavor to promulgate and practice the religion
of God which has been founded by all the Prophets. And the
religion of God is absolute love and unity.