What is true patriotism?


If patriotic selfishness goes against international well-being, it must be sacrificed. Out of the great European conflict* will come the understanding that it is only by love that we can truly co-exist, for God is love, and we are made in God’s image. If we desecrate that image, we are going to suffer. We must not only love all nations, we must love all creatures. The sky is the body of the Divine, and our thoughts are the thoughts of God. Everything is one. Nothing is separate.

You must ornament yourself with the good qualities of every nationality. Separate your reason from all the conventions and prejudices of your race. Realize the good in all nations — then you will have true patriotism.

All nations will discover that to make this world a place of peace, not to be shattered and torn by war, they must come into the temple of universal love and understanding. We must preach and teach universal brotherhood. It is only by loving all that we can know true patriotism. That means not only toleration of others but appreciation, the perception that everyone is made in the image of God.

When you picture the different nationalities as different bulbs of flesh, and you see the one light of God shining in all those bulbs of flesh, how can you be prejudiced against any nation? The electricity in a bulb is neither red, yellow, nor white. It is only shining through a colored bulb. The electricity is the same in all the bulbs. So it is with God. He is shining equally in red, black, brown, and white persons.

All nations are made of one blood. The Christian Bible tells us that. Then how dare we say that we are better than any other nation? God became the various nationalities so that we might use His understanding to express His love on earth. Just as the sun, moon, earth, and all things are held together by the love of God, so it is that all nations are held together by the love of God. National boundaries are only fancy-frozen boundaries made by man. They change from time to time.

The phrase, “one hundred percent Americanism” must be based upon the highest principles of truth and become a beacon light to give freedom and love to all. The laws of God are the laws of brotherhood and love. The only way to live in peace is for each nation to love the other nations. This could be done if nations, after deep meditation, would get together and discuss their problems.

“I saw the beads, but I didn’t see the thread which held the beads together, but at last I saw the thread of God’s Presence, which holds together the stars, the flowers, the rivers, and my body and everything in Nature.”

*World War II

From Inner Culture, November 1939.