"The light that is within thee."
The scientific world is just beginning to conjecture that light is an interior condition. The cat sees in an atmosphere that to the human eye is darkness. Among men there is an infinite variety of vision. An environment may be opaque to one and transparent to another.
The discovery of the X-rays has demonstrated the existence of a radiant energy that enfolds us, a light within the light, and of a vibration so rapid that it is invisible until we have provided special conditions for its manifestation. Spectrum analysis has revealed more of the nature of light and color than we had ever dreamed possible to discover. The man with the seeing eye lives in a different world from that of the blind man. Let us study the correspondence of this truth in philosophy.
We hear much of the New Thought. What is "new" as distinguished from the "old"? In the old thought we sought cause and consequence outside ourselves. We had an absent God in a far-off heaven. We had a Devil, who "went about as a roaring lion." We had a Mediator, who "came down" from heaven as a sacrifice for sin and returned to make intercession for us. We had a Holy Spirit that must be implored to "descend" upon us. We dwelt upon Providence, fate and destiny as governing powers. Heredity and environment were influences which relieved us to a large degree of personal responsibility. Disease, poverty, and sin were from without, and were contagious, infectious, and epidemic. Our motives were almost wholly in the external. "What will people think?" was constantly in our minds—implanted in the nursery and developed in society. "Henceforth remember that the eyes of the world are upon you" was solemnly enjoined upon the convert at the altar rail. We lived in fear of God, of the Devil, and of one another; as the old hymn so aptly expressed it, "Fightings without and fears within." This was considered the divinely appointed order of things, and we were taught that our salvation must be worked out "with fear and trembling." Man's hope of salvation was mostly from without, and his only dream of a real happiness lay in the misty realms of a remote paradise. So much for the old thought.
The new thought may be truly called a pivotal philosophy. It changes all the old bearings of life and brings everything to a center within the individual himself. It teaches him to think. It brings him to a poise—a pivot in himself. It withdraws his scattered thought-forces from the externals of life and shows him limitless results to be accomplished through concentration. It teaches absolute freedom, with absolute responsibility for all the past, present, and future.
God exists within; and, as a fountain cannot rise higher than its source, the only conception of God possible to each life is limited by its own experience of divine impulses. Every human life is a magnet which, through the law of vibratory affinity, must draw to each precisely what he elects—no more and no less. We owe neither our good fortune nor our so-called misfortune to one another. The supreme motive of life is the realization of being.
The New Thought teaches that all heredity, environment, and interior conditions are controlled by the soul, and that man's life is not governed to the least degree by any outside circumstances. He simply responds to these as they touch the chords of sympathetic vibration within himself. The New Thought reveals to him the absolute equities of existence. It shows the objective life as plastic clay molded at will through the intelligent use of subjective consciousness. It increases activities by revealing powers and showing man how to keep his hand upon the lever. It places under control the marvelous forces of a universal energy. It radically alters all man's relations to God, to himself, and to his fellows. It teaches him to live at the center rather than the circumference of life; to live in the now rather than in the past or the hereafter. It reveals man as the true son of God, and as such having absolute control over destiny.
It finds in the story of the Christ a revelation of one's own subjective experience upon the higher spiritual plane.
Finally, the new philosophy proclaims that the great solvent of all truth, the center of all power, the source and ultimate of all being, are found in the harmonies of love. Only through love can man enter the realms of perfect peace. Fear is the only cause of illusion. What, then, can death add? Man has already found heaven by simply opening his eyes to the light within. His spiritual faculties have been sensitized and developed to a point of power heretofore ascribed to the supernatural, and considered quite beyond the possibilities of human life. He need not postpone to the revelations of the future the things he desires to know today. He has sought, and he has found. He has knocked, and it has been opened unto him.
If we only realized how petty are our customary drafts upon our spiritual, mental, and physical forces, as compared with the illimitable reservoir of strength and life upon which we may draw at will, we would perceive that our chief necessity is in learning to recognize the true nature of that which we call "life."
Our friends are always very ready to remind us that we are "human," instead of suggesting the higher fact that we are "divine."
When a man becomes sufficiently deranged to forget the usual limitations he puts upon himself, his strength and endurance become incalculable, as is frequently shown with maniacs.