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Domestic Despots

The spreading of new thought reveals a phase of domestic tyranny which is rather startling in our nineteenth century. In many a home circle there is marked resistance to the effort of the child or companion to study on new lines. This opposition always springs from jealousy—from a fear that the student will come to find the old affections and domestic influences weakened by entering on independent paths and gaining new associates and views. It is a fear of free thinking which instinctively protests against the breaking of old fetters. It asserts its selfish domination of the other's mind with ruthless despotism, in the name of love.

How shall such opposition be met? This depends upon the value that we set on truth. It may be necessary to choose, as Emerson says, between truth and repose. Perhaps the alternative is offered us of a comfortable bondage and an uncomfortable assertion of personal freedom. It is a matter to be determined by the individual himself.

But there are principles involved which ought to be considered. True affection never plays the tyrant. The highest wisdom never yields to tyranny. The soul must be its own master. Paradise admits no citizens, but freemen. We talk much of bodily freedom. To be free in thought is to be free in action.

There is no other freedom possible. Truth admits of no compromise. It scorns the service of a coward. To indulge a despot in his despotism is the worst injury we can inflict upon him. To submit to any bondage in our own thought-life is the worst wrong we can inflict upon ourselves. The true man or woman desires no power over another. Self-government is a necessity of life. We need not ask it as a privilege of anyone. We are never alone when we step forward in the paths of truth. The spirit of love is both wise and fearless. It claims all things for itself, that it may richly share with others.

The fact that any persons or experiences have come into relation with us is sufficient evidence that in the equities of life we are to receive from them and give, as a necessary part of our own development. In this thought we should welcome all alike, and thus find them to be friendly to us.

Beware of intruding upon other's mental premises.

A healer has no more right to force his thought currents upon another than he has to go into the house of a friend and insist on giving medicine that is not wanted, or injecting secretly into the morning coffee something he believes will be beneficial to the family.

We have no right to urge unwelcome benefits.

Nothing is good that violates a principle.

Absolute freedom of the individual is necessary to real development. Good is a matter of conscious choice.

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Charles B. Newcomb

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