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Most people regard a world without illness, poverty, and conflict as an unattainable ideal; but our movement is not afraid to say that it believes firmly in its realization. The fundamental way to create such a world is to eliminate illness.

People who become ill must spend money on treatment and may be forced to stay away from work. Misfortunes pile on misfortunes as the illness continues. Ultimately, all the savings and property the individual worked and sweated for years to amass are gone. Then, when he has borrowed all he can from friends and relatives, he finds that no trace remains of the abundant, peaceful, and happy way of life he and his family enjoyed until only recently. There are many cases of people who, thinking to the lowest possible depths, suffer from both illness and poverty.

The entire family of a person who is gravely ill is obliged to shoulder limitless responsibilities. One person's illness can cause hardship to some degree or other, not only to relatives and friends, but also to employers and fellow workers. One person' s illness can be a blow to the four or five people in his or her immediate family and to others outside the home as well. When two or three people fall terminally ill, one after the other, in the same household, it is not uncommon for even the wealthiest family to find itself compelled to live in severely reduced circumstances.

People save money with one of two aims; the positive aim of amassing property and a fortune, and the negative aim of providing funds to pay medical bills in case of illness. As everyone is aware, a very great number of people save for the latter, negative purpose.

We can conclude that illness is the greatest cause of poverty.

Everyone knows that the fundamental causes of conflict, whether on the individual or on the national scale, are economic. As I have already said, illness is a basic cause of economic trouble. Consequently, in order to rid the world of poverty and conflict it is essential first to eliminate the fundamental cause illness. First priority must go to ridding humanity of sickness. Only a divine power could achieve such an aim; not even the Buddha or Jesus Christ dreamed of such a glorious undertaking, and whoever can have faith in its realization is a happier man than any before him.


September 15, 1935



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