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there must be conciliation, and before conciliation concordia. Such are the steps of the progress of ideas pursued today by the people of good intention in all civilized countries." Then in Rome, you will meet Mr. Hendrik Anderson, patiently and steadily working for more than ten years, "to create a world centre of communication.” Strange coincidence you may say. But this is not a mere coincidence nor a miracle. In Germany, where general coöperative movements of any kind, owing to the notably independent attitude of each university as well as each scholar, are usually difficult to promote, both in herself and with other nations; I say even in this Germany, the aims of the Association Concordia attracted the attention of eminent scholars. They told me that through the deep intercourse of true personalities, ways might be opened for the long desired coöperation between the scholars and educators of the two nations. Surely this might have been done, and it will yet be done when the peaceful relations of the nations are restored. These are unmistakable proofs of the necessity and the desire for the birth of an international spirit. Professor Ross of the Wisconsin University said when I met him at the University last time, “The Concordia movement would have been impossible three years ago, but now it is not only possible but feasible.”
The new conditions of modern social life physical, social, and cultural-are making possible a world-wide development in the higher life of the spirit. Modern popular education and the so-called scientific world-wide view are unifying the interests of the nations. But in the place of the geographical barriers, which have rapidly been overcome by the power of science, there are still other great obstinate barriersthe barriers of language, race-feeling, national interest, habits, and modes of thinking. How these barriers can best be removed and the nations be brought into a good mutual understanding is a very important question. Without this thorough understanding among the nations, all the prejudices can not be taken away and the mutual interests in the characteristics and peculiarities of each other can not be awakened. Appreciation and admiration of others' superiority and a ready adoption of one another's best are essential to the enrichment of civilization.
A common language would be very helpful to facilitate such a world-wide intercourse; and the need, therefore, of the invention of such an international language will be felt more and more keenly. The universal language, the international alphabet, and like aids are gradually getting wider fields for their use. In Japan, the Educational Committee is now studying and devising the best method for substitution of the “Romaji,” the Roman alphabet for the ideographic Chinese characters, which are a great obstacle to the people of the East, in their way of communication with the West.
If we could succeed in abolishing this great barrier, the barrier of different languages, what great progress there would be toward the desired end? After the war, however, may not perchance, the refined, elaborate, rhetorical English, with which Milton sang his immortal songs and Shakespeare painted his grand pictures of life of man, become the most favored and widely spoken tongue? Who knows?
To fight, to conquer, to have absolute control, "world power or downfall” is the desire of the few absolutists, the ambition of the few despotic chiefs of the nations. The rest of the multitude, the mass of the people, are generally industrious, devoted to their crafts, peace-loving, well contented with domestic duties and pleasures; whom the consuming passions and the burning ambitions of the few thrust into the whirlpool of horrible war. Destitution, destruction, and devastation are their only fate. Poor people! It is no fault of theirs, that they must thus suffer. No! under autocracy they have no choice, no will of their
Absolute obedience and subjection are required. “For the success of an ambitious hero, the lives of a thousand, aye, ten thousand shall be sacrificed.” Why, and how long will they endure these terrible calamities without an effort toward self-protection and self-preservation?
The growth of democracy, in some form, will now be an inevitable result in the interest of civilization. "Even a
partial substitution, at least, of the rule of the people for the rule of those who esteem it their God-given right to govern the people despotically and tyrannically, might prevent a repetition of such disastrous warfare," says Roosevelt.
Again, the wide adoption of democratic principles, even in lands retaining monarchical governments, will also serve in striking ways to unify the forms of social organization and activity; a very important factor in the creation of internationalism.
It has become clear in the present war, that to the eye of despotic militarism—to which morality and religion are mere silly talk and the superstitious rites of the weakminded-no right, no treaty, no guarantee, that is not backed by force, has any value. To it, "might is right,” and a treaty of neutrality is nothing but "paper.” If there is no meaning to the words "right" and "wrong" in international matters, however; if the standard of national intercourse is still so low and brutal as that, what a perilous condition there is for the world. No safety, no protection for the weak; in fact, nobody knows tomorrow's fate, for has not might the supreme right?
In the present war, who does not shudder at the savageness of the fighting, and weep over the awful fate and the terrible suffering of Belgium; the peace-loving, industrious, commercial Belgium; the most lamented neutral state, Belgium? “Let each man think of his neighbors," says a writer, “of the carpenter, the station-agent, the day-laborer, the farmer, the grocer—who are around him, and think of these men deprived of their all, their homes destroyed, their sons dead or prisoners, their wives and children half starved, overcome with fatigue and horror, stumbling their way to some city of refuge, and when they have reached it, finding air-ships wrecking the houses with bombs and destroying women and children.” To say nothing of the damage done to the beautiful cities, the quaint, old, historical ruins, the precious and rich treasures of art and science, the pride of the nation, and the glory of civilization; who is not awestruck at the dreadful tragedies of this war?
It is useless to state reasons showing the momentous importance of international laws, an international court, an international police organization, and an international arbitration, that, representing the collective determination of civilization, should have authority and power enough to enforce justice, to prevent uncontrolled violence, to limit excessive accumulation of armaments, and to guarantee the neutrality of nations. An increase of the number of neutral nations is an essential condition of peace. “Humanity awaits with eager eyes and attentive ears, the rhythmic pulsation of united life, feeling assured that progress now requires a centralization of all human efforts for the amelioration of mankind,” says Mr. Anderson.
We believe that the zealous spiritual coöperation of the leading thinkers and eminent scholars of various nations, including international men of business like Carnegie and Rockefeller—in other words the centralization of all the efforts of the “perfect men” as Shelley calls, the "tribeless and nationless men” alone can promote such institutions and organizations, and effectively solve those imperative international questions as well as the common national problems, which are now confronting each nation, and which can be properly solved only with the international mind and interests. Again, I say, this is the aim of the Association Concordia, and for this purpose, we the members of the Japanese Association appeal to our American friends for such coöperation on behalf of humanity.
The last but by no means the least question is that of an international religion. The importance of the coöperation of all the religions of the world is at present beginning to be keenly felt. While the earnest study of the history, literature, ethics, and philosophy of various nations has been shedding the necessary light for an understanding of the mutual relations and the reciprocal influences of the nations, and leading them to create international sentiments and ideals, on the other hand, the study of comparative religions and psychical researches have been enabling the religious men to lay aside deeply rooted prejudices and to solve the traditional difficult problems of the world's religions.
Hitherto, a confederation of the different denominations and sects, and brotherly love among Christian nations have been largely spoken of, but not an inclusion of all the religions of the world. The diversities of religions of Buddhism, Brahmanism, Confucianism, Judaism, Mohammedanism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, of one hundred and thirty-seven sects of Christianity besides have been so conspicuous that few have dared to think of a tolerance among them of different opinions, still less of an appreciation and understanding of each other. When religions are too subjective, they become so self-assertive and self-conscious; and on the other hand, their view-points become so narrow and partial that there always rise feelings of rivalry, jealousy, hatred, and revenge. This is true even among the followers of the Prince of Peace, and the believers of the God of Love. The history of religion is often unfortunately a history of blood shedding. The history of the Crusades, of the Thirty Years' War, of the Huguenot persecution, and what not! History is full of it. Men must be baptized with a holy love and enlightened with the divine wisdom from on high, before they can fully perform their duties as the sons of God.
The world has now, however, begun to realize that the essence of all the religions is one. And such fundamental moral sentiments, as justice, veracity, gratitude, service, sympathy, and love as well as wonder, awe, reverence, worship, hope, and aspiration of all that which quickens the human soul-are, by the comparative method, proved to be common to all the various systems of faith. But "difference of climate, environment, heredity, and racial origin, these” it has been shown, have given “rise to varieties in the expression of one and the same fundamental religious feeling.” Therefore, it is now even thought among the leading thinkers that a universal religion, attaching a higher value to spiritual freedom than to tradition and adherence to creed or custom, and lifting itself above all differences of creed, color, class, and race to a sublime spiritual plane, is a possibility.
In saying this, however, I do not mean to propose an amal