Many of us, despairing at the failure of each and every solution put forward for the betterment of world conditions and becoming more and more alarmed at the direction world affairs are taking, become increasingly doubtful of the ability of Man himself to solve the problems he himself has raised; and we tend to think in terms of some superior man, some World-Messenger, an Avatar, occurring in our midst to lead us out of our night of chaos into a dawn of well-being — such a Person as occurred in every great period of darkness and confusion in Man's history and became the guiding light and inspiration of a new era — such a One as was Zarathustra in the dawn of a world many civilizations ago, as was Krishna and Buddha and Jesus and Mohammed in more recent times.
It is natural to cry out in pain and seek relief from it, but we forget that had we sincerely practiced His precepts, "Good Thoughts", "Good Words" and "Good Works", we would not be in the condition of suffering in which we are and in the position of threatened destruction which we face. When we hear that such a Man is in our midst we tend either to deny Him out of fear that He might disturb even our insecurity! or accept Him as One who will save us from further pain and establish us in better conditions or grant us bliss or liberation. So those of us who accept are nearly as selfish as those who deny.
We forget that He is also our Brother. The world is the stage of His Divine Play on which He does not only appear in the role of Savior and Bestower of boons, remaining aloof from the rest of the play as a spectator merely approving, encouraging, correcting, condoling and rewarding the efforts of the players; He involves Himself with us in the play as the Intimate Actor within each of us — as the Hero within our hero, the Heroine within our heroine, experiencing with us the entire action of the play; our playing becomes the means of our becoming conscious of our part in His play, our becoming conscious of our real brotherhood in each other and of our ultimate destiny of God-consciousness or Self-realization. God as Author of the play is our Father; but God as Avatar is at the same time the Holder of the thread of our lives and our Fellow-player.
The Lord is our Brother. This is how the greatest of saints like Chaitanya and Tukaram in India and Francis of Assisi in the West approached and taught others to approach God — not as a Saviour, but as a Brother, an Intimate Friend without Whom one could not live.
All our troubles and problems in this modern world of ours are traceable to two things: our neglect of our Brother in life and our making him our Lord. To neglect our brother is the inhumanity of being indifferent to his condition that he is starving while we eat, that he is shelterless while we have comfortable houses. Apart from the hardening of our sensibilities which this inhumanity causes, its foolishness is obvious as it always rebounds on us in the form of disease, economic upheavals and war.
From the experience of the results of this inhumanity have arisen the "humanist" movements of revolution and reform. But from recognition that our brother is our brother we have gone on and elevated him to the position of being our Lord: Man (which includes our brother and ourselves) becomes our God before whose altars all our energies are poured out in service.
Our brother can never become our Lord nor we our own God — God can, and does, become us, and our Lord becomes our Brother. In our confusion and fear we cry out to the concrete God of our own creating or to the dim God handed down by Religion to save us from the folly of our selfishness, instead of realizing that He is our Brother and as such welcoming Him in selfless service.