Christ-Spirit Must Be Acquired

Nineteen and a quarter of a century ago, Jesus of Nazareth said: "But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you, that ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven; for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." True, it is only a superhuman spiritual aspirant that can live up to this teaching, but at no time was there a greater need than now to assimilate at least part of its spirit in international relations.

What may be the sublimest virtue for the spiritual aspirant may not, indeed, be applicable in the formulation of collective perspective or national attitude. But, when Jesus asked to love one's enemies, he did not imply that one should debase oneself, forsake the dignity of human life, abandon the cherished ideals of freedom of mind and spirit, justice and truth, but stressed upon the vital fact of the failure of hatred, belligerency, truncheon diplomacy, preconditioning of attitude and dogmatic pressure-politics to solve the agonising problems that beset the world and, worst of all, surreptitiously encroach upon the life of the common man.

Indeed, if Jesus were alive today, he would have been no less relentless than any fair-minded individual in opposing the equation of good with evil, truth with untruth, justice with the debasement of the human spirit, democracy with totalitarianism. The truth of the unalterable preference is never in question; the determination to uphold the former when assailed by the latter is never in question; but it is the spirit with which one fructifies the ideals of truth, dignity of life, freedom and fairplay in their widest concept, and the means that one pursues to foster them, that are challenged. The question looming large over mankind is whether one is justified to recourse to the very means one is trying to counteract, if one has any right to fan up the flames of war and destruction while crusading for the ideals that are essentially positive through the negative means of belligerency-psychosis, whereby the security of man is menaced and his economic well-being undermined.

The need of the hour is one of searching of the heart, and inquiring: if a little more of goodwill, a measure of cooperation in widening the areas of agreement, a spirit of accommodation without sacrificing one's ideals, a feeling for common security and well-being of the people, could not pose a better prospect of peace; if a little broadening of one's vision of the material interests and the spiritual welfare of man, a little more of initiative towards the solution of problems, a degree of effort at understanding the other man's point of view and his difficulties could not give a wholesome promise of amity and fellowship; if a will to succeed and strength to accept the unavoidable reconciliation to co-existence without necessarily sacrificing one's conviction of the inevitable victory of the ideals of truth and love and freedom of the human spirit, could not substantially contribute to common good. May the teachings of Jesus Christ guide everyone's life!