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A VOICE FROM THE EAST

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as the

dranath, who teaches that “the deity. thing and get somewhere leaves us no time always dwells in the heart of man

to think. Meditation is a lost art. “ Man supreme soul,” and who in an article entitled must realize the wholeness of his existence, “ The Appeal of Christ to India " asks, his place in the infinite." What chance to “Who else has glorified man in every way realize his place in the infinite has the laborer as he has done?” may perhaps be said to who works ten hours a day in a perpetually hold a view of the divinity of Christ not clanging factory, or the capitalist who takes widely different from that of liberal Chris- his account-books to bed with him and wakes tianity. But a truce to theological defini- in the night to wonder one night how he can tions. Sir Rabindranath Tagore belongs to double his capital, another night how he can that increasing number of spiritual souls who, save himself from bankruptcy ? “Man must whatever their ecclesiastical affiliations, can- know that when man shuts himself out from not be classified. Like Henry Ward Beecher, the vitalizing and purifying touch of the infiwho was a Congregationalist—and more ; nite and falls back upon himself for his suslike Phillips Brooks, who was an Episcopa- tenance and his healing, then he goads himlian—and more ; like Edward Everett Hale, self into madness, tears himself into shreds, who was a Unitarian—and more; Rabin- and eats his own substance.” Is this what dranath Tagore is a member of the Brahmo we are doing? This is what the Eastern sage Somaj-and more. In such natures the thinks we are doing. His message is at least abounding spiritual life spills over the ap- worth our consideration. pointed boundaries of theological and eccle- “What," I hear the Westerner ask, imsiastical systems.

patiently,“ would this sage have ? Does he In what follows I shall not attempt to want me to imitate the East Indian devoteedescribe to Western readers the opinions of take up my begging bowl, sit by the roadside, this representative Eastern sage.

I shall con

beg my food of those more industrious than tent myself with describing the impression myself, and absorb the infinite and be which he has made upon me by his personal absorbed by it through meditation ?" No, conversation and by some of his published replies Sir Rabindranath. “ It will never do writings.

the least good to attempt the realization of Like other leaders of Indian thought, he the infinite apart from the world of action.” recognizes the value of British rule.

And again : 6. The more man acts and makes tects persons and property, and is in the main actual what was latent in him, the nearer a just rule, very different from that which does he bring the distant Yet-to-be.” InsistLord Macaulay so graphically describes in his ence in the doing and becoming gives in the articles on Lord Clive and Warren Hastings. West“ the intoxication of power.” Insistence But it is unsympathetic. British officials not on meditation as the only means of spiritual only do not understand the East Indian mind, development gives in the East “the intoxicathey make no attempt to understand it. tion of the spirit.” In this I agree with Sir Their calm assumption of superiority, which Rabindranath. Not till we learn how to irritates at times one who is as fond of the make the end of our action not merely bigger mother country as I am, is unbearable to this factories but bigger men, not merely bigger ancient race. The very things of which we houses but sweeter homes, not merely the Anglo-Saxons are so proud are distasteful, creation of things that perish with the using almost abhorrent, to the cultivated Hindu. but the development of imperishable spirits Our big cities, our sky-scrapers, our crowded worthy to be sons and companions of the All subway trains and trolley cars, our great Father—not till thus East and West do meet factories, our assembly halls crowded with shall we find the solution of life's tragic two or three thousand auditors, our great mystery. religious meetings where ten thousand give This profound conviction that modernvent to their enthusiasm in singing heard perhaps I should say Western-civilization is several blocks away, our great newspapers sacrificing reality for illusion, the spiritual for which invade our quiet breakfast-room with the material, man for things, underlies the all the added rush and bustle of the wide Eastern hostility to Western life. I do not world—from all this he turns away wearied think Ruskin ever visited the East or was and perplexed. What is the good of it all ? ever familiar with Oriental thought, but his We think we save time. We are wasting abhorrence of the ugliness of modern civilizatime ; for our remorseless hurry to do some- tion is thoroughly Oriental. "Formerly the

It pro

Canges was a beautiful river.

But great factories with their smoking chimneys have been planted along its banks, and now its beauty is gone. . . . You can cut down a tree and burn it, and it will give you warmth. But it will no longer give you blossoms and fruit." We are tardily beginning to learn this truth in America. Our municipal, State, and National park systems are a result of our awakening to the value of beauty.

We live in an age of great organizationscommercial, industrial, political, educational, religious. They are our pride. They are an object of dread to Sir Rabindranath Tagore. He sees the individual lost in the corporation, the labor union, the Nation, even in the Church. What he dreads finds its expression in our saying that “corporations have no souls." To lose our souls and get a great corporation is a poor bargain. When I read his Carnegie Hall speech I said to myself, “ This is individualism pure and simple.' And then I took up my copy of “ Sādhanā and read these pregnant sentences :

Children, when they begin to learn each separate letter of the alphabet, find no pleasure in it, because they miss the real purpose of the lesson ; in fact, while letters claim our attention only in themselves and as isolated things, they fatigue us. They become a source of joy to us only when they combine into words and sentences and convey an idea. Likewise, our soul when detached and imprisoned within the narrow limits of a self loses its significance. For its very essence is unity. It can only find out its truth by unifying itself with others, and only then it has its joy.

from any quarter on this problem we may well eagerly welcome.

When I turn from Sir Rabindranath Tagore as a teacher on social and political themes to his religious teaching the difficulty of interpreting him in terms of Western thought becomes insuperable. It is in the religious realm that the difficulty of bringing about even an intellectual meeting between the East and the West is greatest. All that I can here do is to indicate the radical difference between these methods of thought.

We Westerners attempt to make all our mental processes scientific. We want a reason for everything and an exact definition of everything. We are not content with a feeling of awe in the presence of a Power greater than our own in nature, and a pervasive spirit of justice and mercy animating and so uniting humanity in a common brotherhood, in States, churches, moral reform movements, and humanitarian endeavors for the relief of those in distress—a Spirit greater than ourselves, in us and yet beyond and above us; we must define it and catalogue its attributes. We are not content with a belief that this power in ourselves and yet not ourselves shares in our pains and sorrows and feels a sympathetic remorse for our sins as a father feels the sins of his son as though they were his own, but, with the nearness to this Great Spirit which this faith brings, we must explain the how and why, and so formulate out of our experiences of friendship a doctrine of the atonement. We are not content with the faith that the Great Spirit is brought near to us through human experience, our own experiences of repentance for errors and sins in the past, and our own experience of aspirations for a higher and purer and better life in the future, and by the observed experiences of such higher and purer and better life in others, and pre-eminently in Jesus of Nazareth, the highest, purest, best life that either history or fiction has put before us ; but we must organize this experience of ours into a doctrine of the Trinity. We treat our spiritual experiences as scientific facts or mathematical formulæ, and try to define them as we define chemical substances or geometrical symbols.

All this is foreign to the Oriental. He is not scientifically inclined. He has no wish for exact definitions. They are to him unmeaning. These experiences transcend definitions. They belong to a different world. A triangle is always a triangle, and oxygen

But “ this principle of unity which man has in his soul" and which “is ever active, establishing relations far and wide through literature, art, and science, society, statecraft, and religion,” must be a spiritual unity, a real brotherhood, not a democratic absolutism. It must be a natural expression of the spirit of fellowship which we have for one another, not a forced and formal organization created and maintained for the purpose of making money or winning battles. The difference between the two is well illustrated by the difference between the organization of France and Germany in the present war. Such at least is my reading of the Eastern sage's conception of what organization should be. How to secure the efficiency of organization and preserve and promote the liberty and development of the individual is one of the unsolved problems of our time, and light

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is always oxygen. But no two experiences of reverence, or repentance, or aspiration, or love are the same. The Oriental is quite content to express his own spiritual experiences in his own way, or even merely to possess them without expressing them, and the Oriental teacher appeals directly to these spiritual experiences, endeavoring not to teach them as one teaches algebra or physics, but to arouse them in others by his own selfexpression, and then leave them to take such form in his hearers' lives as they may. Strictly speaking, the Oriental has no theology, he has only a religion. Sometimes the Occidental has had no religion, only a theology.

I cannot better illustrate this difference

than by taking a part of the definition of God given in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the experience of God quoted by Sir Rabindranath Tagore in “ Sādhanā:”

“ There is but one oniy living and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute."

“ Listen to me, ye sons of the immortal spirit, ye who live in the heavenly abode. I have known the Supreme Person whose light shines forth from beyond the darkness.”

I am enough of a mystic to prefer the experience of God to the definition of God.

THE AFTERMATH OF THE ELECTIONS

WHAT SOME OF OUR READERS THINK

S

INCE the election the mails have brought us many letters from all over the

United States; letters both commending and criticising our interpretation of the results. We have been glad to receive those which commend our interpretation, but perhaps even gladder to receive those from our subscribers who differ with us in their view of the election results. Sometimes we have been moved to accept the letters which criticise us as excellent testimony in proof of our own position ; witness one which came to us on the stationery of the Kansas Senate. The writer complained because we referred to his State as “ comfortable Kansas and because we said that Kansas did not understand the issues of the election. He then gives five reasons why Kansas voted for President Wilson. Here are

two of the reasons which he gives :

The people of Kansas are peace-loving, and not in favor of war. They believe a

vote for Hughes meant trouble.

Republican campaign speakers and Republican newspapers

in times past gave McKinley and the Republican party credit for one-dollar wheat. The voters, many of them, took the Republicans at their word and gave President Wilson and the Democrats credit for two-dollar wheat and one-dollar corn. The Republicans simply overtrained us.

Certainly if Kansas is ti be judged by this

witness she did not understand the issues of the election. Two-dollar wheat and fear of trouble had nothing to do with the problems confronting the American people for solution.

Among the letters which have come to us from Ohio is one which disagrees with The Outlook's interpretation of the election as emphatically as did the letter from this citizen of Kansas, part of which we have just quoted. We certainly find ourselves, however, in much closer sympathy with the point of view of this writer than with the point of view of our Kansas correspondent. Mr. Charles Kirkwood Alexander, of Rushsylvania, Ohio, commends The Outlook for the speed and completeness of its election news, and then continues :

You do us grave wrong, my friend, when you say we have not the National spirit. I assure you our first thought was for our Nation's honor and influence. I live in the great State of Ohio. I belong to the lower classes, who have most of the votes, and I am certain that our motives were not unworthy. We resent your classification in a group of “States which demonstrated their inability to think Nationally, which were ready to sacrifice National candidates and policies to local quarrels.” If there are any local quarrels in Ohio, we, the common people, are ignorant of the fact, and we give proof of our interest in National candidates by rolling up a plurality of eighty thousand for

Wilson, while State candidates poll only from with some acknowledged errors of judgmentfifteen to thirty thousand. ...

represent a genuine constructive effort to attain As we talked to our Republican friends, the world peace and a united America; or, in other reason they gave when they got down to rock words (just opposite to your interpretation), that bottom was the selfish one of a high tariff Wilson's Administration is headed to a real to protect their own industries. No Nation- Nationalism and a new internationalism. alism in that, surely. And that was what the The second great positive opinion has been campaign orators that the Republican Com- that Wilson's Administration represents a revolt mittee sent to us in these rural counties ap- of the rank and file of workers against the pealed to–our own selfish interests. We are predatory financial interests directed by capiinclined to suspect, moreover, that the plu- talism and bossism. In brief, Wilson was reralities in the industrial States of the East were elected because the West thought that he was due largely to this same selfish interest, while the true Progressive and that he was against those who valued the Nation's honor voted “Wall Street.” That the Progressives voted for largely with the President. Of course we may

him is obvious from the most cursory glance at be wrong, but there are several hundred thou- the returns. sand more of us than there are of you, and we No matter how any section of the country feel that our position deserves some considera

voted, apparently the best way to arouse a tion in any fair “interpretation.”

protest from that section is to accuse it of From Walla Walla, Washington, we have having voted for un-National reasons. It is received a letter from a professor in the De- a healthy sign, and one which promises well partment of History of Whitman College,

for the future. Mr. W. D. Lyman, who also resents the We have received from Mr. G. W. Culliimputation that the West cannot think Na

son, of Harlan, Iowa, a letter which not only tionally. We believe that Mr. Lyman some- supplies an interesting interpretation of the what misunderstands The Outlook's position.

past election, but some excellent portents for The West can, and does, think Nationally; the future which political leaders of both parbut in the recent election we believe that it

ties should read with interest. We quote thought the choice was between Nationalism Mr. Cullison's letter at some length. His without progressivism and progressivism with own title for the letter which he sends us isNationalism as a possibility for future development. There is much in Mr. Lyman's

THE OUTLOOK'S ERROR" letter to bear out this view. We quote only

“In the Outlook of November 15, under in part :

the title • The Meaning of the Election,' it

is said : • To the rural population, especially While your statement of the need of a true Nationalism is worthy of all acceptance, I am

in the regions west of the Missouri River, venturing to express the conviction that you

the protection of Americans on the sea, and are mistaken in attributing the result of the even American cities on the seaboard, has election to a failure on the part of the support- seemed a matter of indifference.' The ers of Wilson in the West (that is the implica- implication is that because the West failed tion though not the words of your interpretation) to support Mr. Hughes and gave Mr. Wilson to possess that National consciousness. I have

a small plurality it shows its indifference to lived during my entire life, with the exception

the protection of Americans on the sea' and of college years, in Oregon, Washington, and

of the seaboard cities. The conclusion is California, and I may claim modestly to know

not only erroneous but very unjust. something of the spirit and sentiments of this section. I believe that a thorough acquaintance

“Mr. Wilson is not popular in the West. with the people of the West, particularly of the He is regarded as a wabbler, either from a Pacific States, would confirm my own impres- lack of knowledge or nerve, or an opportusion that these States are the most American nist who uses questions of great imporand most National of all this Union.

tance to promote his own political ends. If I may venture to offer the opinion which I

His foreign policy, especially his Mexican think prevails here for the tremendous increase

policy, would have been repudiated in the in President Wilson's support west of the Mis

West if the Republicans had made that the sissippi, I would say that it was due to two

issue. Colonel Roosevelt made, or devellarge, positive opinions which have gained force during the past six months. The first of these

oped, that issue, but the Republicans in the is the belief that Wilson is a truer exponent of

Eastern States repudiated Mr. Roosevelt progressive principles than his opponents, and and ran away from the issue in the West. that both his foreign and domestic policies, When Mr. Hughes entered the political

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arena, he either failed to grasp the issues or them to smithereens.' In this campaign lacked the courage to meet them. When there was a little, squeaking political machine he came West on his first campaign tour, the in California. It was really a transplant Western Republicans were hopeful and ex- from New York and Massachusetts, but pectant, ready to maintain the rights of all did not long run smooth in that climate. It the people on land and sea. But Mr. Hughes did its very little best to defeat the will of the talked, for the most part; about removing people in that State, and especially to defeat good Republicans from office and appointing Governor Johnson. It used Mr. Hughes on *deserving Democrats,' with some vague his visit to that State to further its own ends. allusions to true Americanism. After the Mr. Hughes appeared to be wholly unaware West heard him it said, in its own vernacular, of the machine's designs. The people • Nothin' doin'. He hain't got no pep,' and smashed the machine, and in so doing struck proceeded to get its wheat ready for the down Mr. Hughes, the innocent bystander, market.

and elected Governor Johnson for Senator by “ It was unfortunate that the Republican something like three hundred thousand pluparty chose Mr. Hughes as its leader. He rality. was a good judge in a great and responsible * The people of the West had to decide position. He is a great lawyer, and had whether they would longer continue as supdone excellent service in prosecuting the in- porters of the old Eastern political machines surance companies. He embodied no issue. or join with the Before-the-wah-sah South. His mind seemed to be wandering. He, no They know that the South, which for the last doubt, was a good Governor of New York, fifty years has voted like a chain-gang, is but it must not be forgotten that New York dangerous. The closeness of the vote shows is a small part of the United States and get- that they hesitated, but by narrow margin ting relatively smaller every year. It had decided to unite with the South. These much to do in nominating Mr. Hughes. It things, in my humble judgment, were the did not seem to concern itself much about cause of Mr. Hughes's defeat. finding a man who would measure up to the The writer regrets that Mr. Hughes was great issues pendirg. It appeared to busy defeated. He would have been delighted at itself greatly to find a man somewhere who

his success.

He believes the country would could beat Mr. Roosevelt in the Convention have been in safer hands. The sentiments and Mr. Wilson at the polls. Mr. Hughes of the West in choosing a National candidate was selected, not to represent great issues, must in the future be regarded.” but to win— merely this and nothing

For a section to express itself Nationally more.' “ The West has for many years doubted

something more than the desire is necessary ; whether either of the great parties in the

a State to be more than provincial must be

educated on National lines. One of the reaEast had sufficient vitality to generate its own motive power. It has noticed for quite a

sons why the interior of the country has not

been interested in a large navy, for instance, while that political machines in the East fur

is that it has not realized the purpose and nished the motive power and both great parties were merely trailers to their machines.

use of a large navy in protecting the country

as a whole. The interior of the country has Its experience four years ago in the Repub

thought that the East was provincial in asking lican Convention taught the West how bru

for battle-ships because of a mistaken idea that tally a machine would, if occasion required,

battle-ships were only of use to protect the disregard the will of the people of the West. It was thoroughly mad in 1912. It has not

seaport towns.

The international situation, which was the cooled off yet. The West felt this year that

real issue of the last election, was ignored or what the machines did not boldly attempt

Unfortu

misinterpreted by a large section of the coun. they cunningly accomplished.

try for the reason that the A B C's of our nately for Mr. Hughes, he was suspected

international relations were not made clear to of being the tool of the plotters, notwith

the people at large. standing his repeated assertion that there would be no invisible government if he were From a State voting for Hughes by a reelected. These facts told against him in the duced Republican majority comes a letter campaign. The West abhors political ma- setting forth the difficulties which the Middle chines and takes great delight in smashing West had in gaining a clear conception of

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