From the Archives: Ideals of Peace and Brotherhood

By Anna Kamensky

Originally printed in the JANUARY- FEBRUARY 2008 issue of Quest magazine. 
Citation: Kamensky, Anna. " From the Archives: Ideals of Peace and Brotherhood." Quest  96.1 (JANUARY- FEBRUARY 2008): 30-31.

Theosophical Society - Anna Kamensky did much work throughout the many facets of the world of theosophy.

The following article "Ideals of Peace and Brotherhood" appeared in the American Theosophist in April 1934. Although today Soviet Russia is no longer the threat identified in 1934, the issues concerning Theosophists and Anna Kamensky at that time are still threatening our world. Unfortunately, human rights violations, poverty, and "decrees against freedom of thought, creed, and conscience" continue to prevent peace and understanding from becoming a way of life. Anna Kamensky knew, from her own personal experience, what it was like to be suppressed, restricted, and ultimately have to flee a homeland.

There is in Geneva now a course of lectures being given in the big hall "Reformation" under the name of "Forum." The best lecturers and prominent leaders from various countries are invited to speak on the problem of universal peace. The problem is taken from different points of view, but the main idea, going like a golden thread through all the meetings, is that humanity has outgrown war-methods and must now build a kingdom of peace. Last week the ambassador of Spain spoke in a very fine way, expressing the conviction that only self-sacrifice will lead nations to the real solution of the problem. He was much applauded.

This is very significant. The vanguard is beginning to understand that without a deep spiritual effort the peace problem cannot be solved. On the other hand, science is now proclaiming the unity of life, thus supporting the ancient teaching of religion on One Life Divine. If there is unity, there must be solidarity and this means Brotherhood applied to life. We must understand that Brotherhood's roots lie in the Spirit and therefore its realization can be fulfilled only through the inner power of the Spirit. Outer laws and decrees are insufficient. The desire to build a better world is insufficient. Splendid schemes and plans, based on pure intellectual lines will come to nothing until the whole attitude of the vanguard is changed and until the people in power will work with love and wisdom as true servers of humanity. As long as reforms are planned from beneath and filled with a party spirit of distrust and hate, nothing valuable can be achieved. As long as people nourish hate emotions and negative thought-forms, there can be no peace in the world, even if the Disarmament Conference came to a brilliant outer success. Such reforms must be planned from above, from the Spirit's summits.

There is in Geneva an exhibition of the result of a Godless, despotic government—no commentaries, only statistics, books, letters, photos graphs and pictures. Soviet Russia is revealed in this exhibition with all its tragic experiences and its heart-rending misery. The methods of violence and cruelty have given their ghastly fruits and thus a great country is brought almost to ruin and annihilation. The hungry faces of poor little children, of sorrowful mothers, of persecuted priests, of tortured people turned to slaves, are speaking with a more eloquent language than any words could express. And everywhere—decrees against the freedom of thought, of creed, of conscience. It is said: "We must kill out religion, not only superstition, but religion itself . . . . As long as there is belief in God, there can be no true communism." And again: "It is not enough to lead an anti-religious campaign, we cannot be tolerant to those who remain religious . . . prosecution is necessary. . . ." Those are the main ideas of the Godless. All these declarations are taken from printed Soviet documents. Often they are accompanied by ghastly caricatures of the Christ, his apostles, saints, and high representatives of the Christian clergy.

To help the world, we must first be messengers of Light and then reformers, so that all our reforms may be filled with a spirit of love and understanding. We must be Light-bearers and shine in the world, so as to transmute its darkness into Light. The inner God must be liberated and not fettered. The process of evolution is leading us from darkness to Light and from Light to more Light, conscious and then Self-conscious. Light-bearers must go into the darkness with weapons of Light and be on earth like shining stars. Then Light will irradiate the earth and our efforts for a nobler and better life (for all) will be crowned with success. 

If you have been intrigued by the dynamic energy of Anna Kamensky and would like to learn more about her work and the time in which she lived, Quest Books will be releasing Light of the Russian Soul early in 2008. This book, edited by John Algeo, is the journal of Elena Pisareva translated from Russian by George M. Young.

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