We Can Deduce What the State Should Be, Contemplating a Family Where Duties and Responsibilities Are in Harmony with Ages and Abilities

“In the family, where the principle of Brotherhood is recognised, and where duty and responsibility go with age and knowledge, there we have, as it were, a rough outline as to what a State should be. But how does the principle of age come in as regards mankind? For unless there be something in the human race which bears an analogy, at least, to the principle of age within a family, we shall find it difficult to vindicate Brotherhood, much less to make it the foundation-stone of society in the centuries to come.

Now, it is as true of humanity as it is true of the members of a family that there is a difference of age. Exactly on the same lines by which the members of a family are born one after the other, and in all those different ages make up the family circle, so is it with the great family of man. The human and intelligent Spirits that make up that vast family are not of the same age, have not all been born into individual existence at the same time. Side by side with the idea of Brotherhood comes out the natural law of reincarnation — that there is a difference of age in the individualised human Spirits, and that there are elders and youngers in the great human family.

That great principle of Reincarnation must ever go hand in hand with Brotherhood if Brotherhood is to be applied, if it is to be made a working principle of ordinary life. For it is out of these differences of age between us that grow up all the possibilities of an ordered and happy society amongst ourselves. When the young souls come into places of power and wealth, then ill is it for the nation, for then children rule instead of men.

But well is it for a people where wisdom is the test of weight and authority, where the wise and the thoughtful and the learned are those who are held to have the greatest claim to social distinction, where knowledge and power go hand in hand, and where experience is the guide of righteousness, the standard of honour. Only as those facts are recognised — and they grow out of the knowledge of reincarnation — only on that stable law in nature can you build securely and strongly the society that shall endure.” (Annie Besant. Brotherhood Applied to Social Conditions; in The Changing World. The Theosophical Society, Adyar, India, 1909, pp. 78-80; emphasis added)