Henceforth I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune. —Walt Whitman
Undeniably it is the inner life which is master of the outer, just as a man's brain guides the movements of his lips. —Light on the Path
No two men are exactly alike; the same is true of their works.
From the foundry to the machine shop no two parts can be produced that are really duplicates in every minute point. In consequence, every steam engine has its own particular conditions under which it can attain its greatest power.
The engineer must have an intimate personal acquaintance with his machine to learn to "speed it," to the best advantage.
Every individual has his own particular vibration, or "rate of speed," which enters into his every act and determines the method in all his works. Hence the necessity of absolute freedom to obtain the best results.
We should not wish to compel others to the acceptance of our thoughts or methods. Each instinctively finds his rate of speed, or keynote. The process is often an unconscious one.
A bigot is one who insists that his own opinions shall be accepted as the standard of truth. It is very easy to imagine that we are wiser than our neighbors.
Let us enlarge our world by expanding ourselves.
The alphabet has only twenty-six letters, yet we find them sufficient to spell over three hundred thousand words and express an infinite range of thought.
Between the ignorant peasant to whom three or four hundred words are a sufficient vocabulary for his simple wants, and the mature scholar who draws upon an unabridged dictionary and daily coins new words for his especial use, the difference is only one of unfoldment; we call it "education." The alphabet is sufficient for both, but their requirements of language are in proportion to their experience of life.
All mankind has endless opportunity. Our limitations are always those we make ourselves. Life itself has no bounds, no walls, no doors. It can maintain no secrets or monopolies.
We may dismiss our fear of "trusts" and "syndicates." The peasant does not cry out against the scholar because of his larger thought and speech.
The scholar is the master and compiler of a dictionary. He wields a power of language far beyond the small attainments of the ignorant mind, but he is no monopolist of educational advantages, no more than of the air and water. He should not be an object of suspicion and dislike because of his greater knowledge.
Life is perfect freedom, perfect equity. All our suffering and deprivation come from our interior conditions. When we have accepted this great truth we will treat causes, and not symptoms, in our political and social economics.
We call ourselves "practical" while leaving out of the statement of our problems the great factors of God, of man as his image, and of the countless spiritual intelligences whom we draw to us from the unseen through the law of sympathetic vibration. All these influences are interested in the accomplishment of our highest good.
What have we to do with "hard times" when we realize that we have no obstructions, no delays, and no antagonists,— that all things help us on our road?
We make our own postponements needlessly. Nothing can hold our ships down when the tides come in. The tides are subject to our command. They are not governed by public or private "conditions." They are created by the mind and are only the manifestations of its moods.
"Let a man, then, know his worth and keep things under his feet."
It is the crookedness of our ways that makes life so difficult.
We are out of harmony with the divine Self. We evade and flinch from the truth for the want of confidence in the Eternal. We think our little managing ways are necessary to what we call "success" in "this world" and under "existing conditions of society." We do not feel the ground firm under us, because we do not trust in Principle. If in our physical walking we should pick and mince our steps thus painfully we would soon lose the use of our feet. Spiritual paralysis is just as sure to follow this cowardly anxiety in the affairs of life. "Neither be ye of doubtful mind" contains a whole volume of practical scientific philosophy.
Riches and poverty are not arbitrary factors of experience, as popularly supposed. Like heaven and hell they are states of mind which may externalize themselves upon any and all planes.
Fortune often presents herself in mask and domino. She tries her candidates unknown to them. Before she dispenses her bounties she wants to ascertain their fitness to be entrusted with her treasures. Perhaps we fail oftener in such examination than we know. But we cannot really miss our work or opportunity.
When we are truly ready the hour strikes, the scales fall from our eyes, we find ourselves before the festal board. Our seat is prepared and waiting for us. Meanwhile let us be employed in helping to feed others, and forget that we are hungry.
We will not belittle ourselves by asking the invitation we would so much enjoy. We will not go up the back stairs to Fortune's dwelling. When we enter her mansion it must be with head erect, because we have been sought as worthy guests. We will not beg a place at the feast.
The longings for fame, for wealth or knowledge in themselves are equally morbid and selfish.
When these things come to us as solid realities and not as shadows, it is because they are the legitimate fruits of a true life. Then only do we possess the peace which they can neither give nor take away. They do not come within the realm of causation.
We have no reason to be afraid of wealth.
We do not limit the air we breathe, or measure the food we eat. We are not afraid of too much health. Why should we limit ourselves in opulence? We want all we can use to the advantage of ourselves and others.
Our capacity of unfoldment is unlimited. The possibilities of wealth have not been conceived. When we begin to learn their true significance and uses upon the lines of spiritual mathematics, it changes all our former propositions in political economy.
We are beginning to construct our theories of life anew. We are engaged in larger problems. We do not need to throw away any of the factors, but only to change their relation to each other, and to ourselves.
There is a great difference between growing an orchard and robbing one.
We must grow into realization of opulence, and not seek it through robbing others, even by the approved and conventional methods of dishonesty that we call "business."
No leaf upon the tree excludes another from the light and air. The winds minister to all alike.
True opulence is always the result of the growth of the soul. It is a real and lasting possession, and includes far more than we have ever yet imagined in our largest dreams.
We treat God as if He were cashier of a penny savings bank with very small deposits to our credit, which we have accumulated at infinite pains and must be very careful in expending. The petty drafts we make are too absurd for reasonable men and women who are continually prattling of the Infinite.