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Problems of Humanity - Chapter I - The Psychological Rehabilitation of the Nations

The Psychological Rehabilitation of the Nations

This problem is far more complicated and deep seated than might appear at the first glance. Had we only to deal with the national psychoses and the mental conditions induced by the act of war and participation in it, the problem would be acute enough but it could be solved easily by the restitution of security, by the sound psychological treatment of the differing nationalities, by their physical rehabilitation and by the restoration of liberty, opportunity, leisure and, above all, by the organization of the men and women of goodwill. This latter group would show themselves as willing to carry forward the needed educational processes and (which is far more important) they would endeavor to convey spiritual inspiration - something which humanity sorely needs at this time. There are enough men and women of goodwill in the world today to accomplish this if they can be reached, inspired and supported in their endeavor, both materially and spiritually.

The situation is far more difficult than a casual analysis would make it seem. The psychological problem involved has a background which is centuries old, which is inherent in the soul of each individual nation and which is potently conditioning the minds of all their peoples today. It is here that our major difficulty lies and it is one which will not easily give way to any effort or to any spiritual endeavor, whether carried out by the organized churches (which show a woeful lack [9] of appreciation of the problem) or by spiritually minded groups and individuals.

The work to be done is so acutely needed and the perils of its non-accomplishment are so appalling that it is necessary to indicate certain major lines of danger and certain national aptitudes which carry a menace to the peace of the world. These problems fall naturally into two categories:

  1. The internal, psychological problems of the individual nations.
  2. Major world problems, such as the relation between nations and business and the forces of labor.

Before the world can be a safer, sweeter, saner and more beautiful place, all the nations must take stock of themselves and begin to handle their own psychological weaknesses and complexes. Each nation must aim at sound mental health and endeavor to implement sound, psychological objectives. International unity must be attained and this should be based not only upon mutual trust but also upon correct world objectives and true psychological understanding.

Men and women everywhere are already striving towards individual betterment; groups in every nation are similarly motivated; the urge to move forward into greater beauty of expression, of character and of living conditions is the outstanding eternal characteristic of mankind. In the earlier stages of racial history, this urge showed itself in a desire for better material circumstances and surroundings; today, this urge expresses itself in a demand for beauty, leisure and culture; it voices the opportunity to work creatively and passes gradually but inevitably into the stage where right human relations become of prime importance.

Today a great and unique opportunity faces every nation. Hitherto the problem of psychological integration, of intelligent living, of spiritual growth and of [10] divine revelation has been approached solely from the angle of man, the unit. Owing to the scientific achievements of mankind (as a result of the unfolding human intellect), it is now possible to think in far wider terms and to see humanity in a truer perspective. Our horizon is extending into infinity; our eyes are no longer focused upon our immediate foreground. The family unit is now recognized in relation to the community, and the community is seen as an integral and effective part of the city, state or nation. Dimly, and as yet ineffectually, we are projecting this same concept into the field of international relations. Thinkers throughout the world are functioning internationally; this is the guarantee of the future because only when men can think in these wider terms will the fusion of all men everywhere become possible, will brotherhood come into being and humanity be a fact in our consciousness.

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