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SEMI-CIVILIZED AGE

 

Everybody believes that the modern world is one of the most advanced civilizations ever known. In comparison with a barbarie, undeveloped, primitive period it certainly is highly developed. Nobody would be able to deny, however, that its progress is on the material side only and that spiritually it has not outgrown a half-barbaric state as yet.

Actually, since ancient times humanity has poured most of its energies into war. War is the exercise of the greatest kind of violence and its nature is exactly the same as that of a fight between two beasts, who show then fangs and plunge their claws into each other, roaring and biting.

There are some peaceable nations whose people are taking various means to avoid wars to the best of their ability. It is not erroneous to say, therefore, that one type of humanity is composed of beastly individuais and the other is made up of humane beings. The two different types, with opposite natures, are constantly working to satisfy their personal desires and wishes. This has been the process of man's past, and it is true of his present.

These two opposite consciousnesses exist in individuais as well as in groups, of course, regardless of their countries' collective mentalities. But by virtue of the laws which prevent violence and maintain order, the criminally inclined are pretty much under control. It is true, however, that good, law-abiding citizens are still oppressed by wicked people and are suffering damage at their hands.

Let us take a look at some other aspects. There are great inventions and discoveries, thanks to the progress of science. These sometimes create tragic results and sometimes contribute to the promotion of the welfare of humanity, depending on the intentions of the people who make use of them. At the same time, the friction of the two great conflicting opposites, barbarism and civilization, becomes the cause of wars in which such inventions and discoveries are often misused.

When we examine the above from a different angle, we see that belligerent people are generally irreligious, whereas peace-loving individuals are usually religious; hence the great necessity for a sound faith. Accordingly, even though the present age is proudly called one of highly developed culture, it would not be an exaggeration to call it a semi-barbaric, semi-civilized age.

In this sense, the present semi-civilization must be raised to the much higher level of total civilization, in which the material and the spiritual are fused. So, the mission of people who are engaged in spiritual work is really great.

 

 

June 25th, 1949


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