"Neither be ye of doubtful mind."
It is a significant and helpful fact that business etiquette requires signatures implying truth and honesty in our relations to each other. "Yours respectfully" and "Most truly yours" suggest a bond of sincerity and service that is more than a mere formality. The vibrations of such words are both agreeable and stimulating. We should be careful never to use them but with honest meaning. They are cushions to the severities of business correspondence that relieve and soften many jolts and jars.
The almost universal phrase "all right" is the unconscious testimony to a true philosophy of life, the popular echo of its highest thought. On the other hand, "too good to be true" is a pessimism we should never use. Goodness and truth are never found apart. "Good enough to be true" is the real tone of an optimistic mind. Let us live in confidence of the best and not the worst that we can draw to ourselves. Let us change another proverb and truly affirm that "all news is good news."
We no longer say "Providence permitting," because we have learned that Providence can do nothing in relation to us except what we permit. Napoleon was right in principle when he asserted "I propose and dispose too," although he may have failed in his integrity of purpose and thereby brought disaster in the issue. When we identify ourselves with the creative power we dismiss all former limitations. It is not impossible that we may yet discover that the very orbit of our planet has been determined by the action of the human mind, and that the weather itself is but an ever varying expression of our thought vibrations. In arctic regions the breath of the traveler falls to the ground in snowflakes. We have thought climate responsible for character. Why not reverse the postulate, since we have failed of proof, and ask if character may not be a cause of climate? A disagreeable person certainly makes the air vibrant with discomfort, as we all know from experience. We are getting new theories for the laws of storms.
"He that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast." Yet we foolishly say, "A short life and a merry one," when we know right well that merriment is a most desirable tonic to one who wishes length of days.
Our common salutation, "How are you?" implies a doubt of health. It was, perhaps, adapted to the old days, when we filled our conversation and our correspondence with accounts of our own ills and those of our families. Now that we recognize health and happiness as the inevitable results of a true life, and anything else as a signal bell calling for immediate correction of our thought, we need to change some of our current phrases. We want to express confidence and gladness, rather than doubt and sympathy. We must drop many of our commonplace remarks. They do not strike the tuneful keynote of best things. In our anxiety for the body we have been like workmen spending more time on their tools than on the work for which they were intended. To hear our constant inquiries for one another's "health," it would appear as if "health" were quite unusual. The marvel is that with all the vitalizing forces that envelop and permeate us we can be ever ill. It would not be possible except that our aims and methods of life were at fault. These can be corrected only by changing our mental attitudes to our work and our associates.
We do not strive for air to fill our lungs. We need not strive for health. It is the normal condition of life. We need not pine for love. It is the universal atmosphere. We draw to us all minds and hearts in the seen and the unseen that are keyed to the same thought and purpose as ourselves. We have more companionship in every hour than we realize. Our brains and hearts are fed from everlasting springs rather than from the books of schoolmen. An artesian well of thought life may be opened in our inmost being. We may draw from it at will.
When the incandescent light of the awakened spirit has been kindled, we can turn it in the silence upon any problem of our life. We need never walk in darkness. We are creatures of the Light.
We must not be surprised if many friends and things we have held dear become estranged from us when our vibrations have been tuned to higher thought. It could scarcely be otherwise. We seem, perhaps, to travel through the wilderness that lies between Goshen and Canaan. It may be a long and trying period before we fully manifest in our externals the newly acquired power. But that manifestation will appear as surely as the noonday follows dawn. All that we seemed to lose will be returned to us in fresh beauty and larger abundance. The best and dearest friendships of our lives await us with their welcome. Unexpected opportunities stretch out before us. Hidden treasures will be uncovered. We will have no regrets for lost possessions or unfaithful friends. Spiritual truths assert their power in our lives, and we can only wonder at the new conditions we have reached by growth.
Spiritual development leads us from the anxious thought of the particular into the larger domain of the universal. It shows us that the higher laws when recognized compel the accurate and orderly adjustment of all private and personal issues, as the masterful current of electric force draws to its poles all the steel particles within its magnetic field. They are brought into beautiful and orderly arrangement by the grand sweep of irresistible forces. We cannot have too much confidence in the Supreme Mind that governs, and which manifests itself through our individual intelligence upon demand. If we turn our thought with fear and distrust upon any organ of our body, we obstruct and paralyze its action. The relief is brought by diverting these currents outward and leaving the organic operation to the forces and intelligence which vitalize and govern them. The same law may be discovered in our so-called "practical affairs." Intense and anxious thought always complicates and obscures. Confidence in the law of harmony which rules will bring order out of chaos, will lead us to clear seeing and right action.
We care little for the height of the waves or the fury of the storm when we know we have a good ship under us and a commander that was never wrecked in any gale and has sailed all seas. We may safely put this trust in our higher ego, which is our true "Father in heaven" and incorporated with the Divine Essence of the universe. Good can never fail. It knows nothing but success. Sun and tempest are alike to it. It is sovereign of all. Our little boat was built to sail these seas. It can never founder. In due time we will come safely into port. The storms cannot destroy or cripple us. They cannot drive us from our course. "Why are ye fearful?"
Avarice is the expression of a fear of poverty. Ambition for fame involves the fear for reputation. Disease is the externalizing of a fear of death. The thought of spiritual freedom is an antidote for all. Spiritual forces in harmonious relation to us can bring nothing but pleasure. We fear receiving too little or too much. We fear that we may give too little or too much. We hold continually the thought of repletion or exhaustion. It is these whimsical doubts that bring the suffering. Harmony is equilibrium. All disturbances are in the intellect. This is the surface of our lives. Storms never reach the ocean depths,—they agitate the surface only. The deeper the pool the less is it susceptible to action of the winds. True recognition of the spiritual forces we embody gives us command of perfect peace, through a sense of perfect power.
No thought can bind us but with our consent. Many men are anchored to their fears. They hold them fast and paralyze their action. Many more are hindered by resentments and regrets. Most of us are magnetized by a thought of weakness. Yet we say "all men are born free." This is doubtless true. Its strongest evidence lies in the fact that in a world of good and opulence, a planet teeming with life, we have the power to make ourselves blind and deaf and to create conditions of disease and poverty. What better proof of sovereignty could we desire?
In our spiritual nature we are like automatic valves. As long as we open ourselves to the lower motive and indulgence we close ourselves to the higher by that very impulse.
When we close the lower, we open the higher.
The choice is always ours.
Many of us are afflicted with a disease of prematurity, which is only one of the most subtle manifestations of fear, to which we are all subject, in some form.
We are anxious to meet a train, or take one; our thoughts of possible contingencies so weigh upon our minds, that we lose more time in habitual waiting at the depots than we could lose if we missed many trains. We have a matter of some moment to consider in the near future; we allow it so to burden us, that it disturbs our equilibrium for days before the hour of action or decision comes, and, when it arrives, we are really less fitted to meet it, fairly, than if it had come upon us unexpectedly. When will we learn that life is something of the present moment, and that it is a serious loss of power, as well as happiness, to do everything with a view to being "prepared for the worst," upon which so many pride themselves. "To take no anxious thought for the morrow" is to focus our highest power on today, and know that we have spiritual reserves for all contingencies of life.
"Write on your doors the saying:
Wise and old,
Be bold! Be bold!
And everywhere be bold!"