Love took up the Harp of Life
And smote all its chords with might,
Smote the chord of self, which trembling
Passed in music out of sight.
The right punishment of one out of tune is to make him play in tune. —Emerson
Harmony in music is a blending of chords, a joining of notes, a fitting together of sympathetic vibrations through which the melody runs as "motif."
A well-trained orchestra or military band is a wonderful illustration of the power of harmony. Each player keeps carefully to his score and interprets the "motif" of the piece through his individual instrument. Each is rendering the same thought in a different way. Each has studied in a different school with masters of his own. He has developed skill of eye, ear, lip, and finger, with a view to the interpretation of musical thought. These musicians come together with one purpose. With one sympathetic effort they produce a volume of sound which thrills all pulses, awakens all human emotions, and moves to laughter and to tears.
It is a grand suggestion of the possibilities of expression.
So with the orchestra of our humanity. The "motif" of love runs through all life. Our daily experience fits us for the individual expression of the central thought. Some express it feebly, while from others its harmonies flow as grandly, as sweetly, and as smoothly as the strains of a skilled orchestra, arousing into action all that is best in their fellow-men, and moving them to noblest aspiration.
Above all the noises of the storm on Galilee a gentle human voice commanded, "Peace, be still."
Immediately there was a great calm. The Spirit of gentleness was master of the tempest.
Mind dominates all nature's forces. It draws at will upon them all. It is itself the lawgiver and sovereign.
It is greater than the cyclone and the tempest, tidal wave or forest fire.
But it must learn its power in the silence, in the stillness in which all power has birth.
When peace commands there are no winds or waves of life that will not recognize their master. There are no storms it cannot quell, not even though the ship be full and foundering.
But how dim is our recognition of the forces we embody, and how feeble is our utterance!
With knowledge comes the power of expression that will still all storms.
Both amiability and irritability are magnets which draw to themselves of their own vibration. If we are loving, we find abundant stimulus to love. If peevish and anxious, we do not have to look far for occasion to indulge our weakness. It meets us at every step and follows us with strange persistency.
If we do not breathe easily in any atmosphere, we must climb to higher planes where the air is clearer.
We need not rush hither and thither on the accustomed levels. We will only find that all earth's atmospheres have the same component gases.
We must rise to heights of spiritual ozone, where our better nature will find refreshment, and our bodily organs will respond. If there are mists in the valley, we must mount to spiritual lookouts and flash our search-lights around a wider horizon.
We will thus breathe and see clearly, and discover all that we desire.
Love is the tuning-fork of life. It gives the keynote to harmony in every situation.
Nothing is impossible to love, but it must first be clarified from every element of selfishness.
Our love draws to itself its corresponding quality of affection.
We never can be unloved if we are loveable.
"Depend not on external supports," says Marcus Aurelius, "nor beg your tranquility of another."
Independence is the essence of true friendship.
We can never fully enjoy a friend till we are wholly independent of his affection.
We cannot be entirely happy in the thought of anything so long as there exists a fear of losing it.
Love must become the great magnet of our life. It will draw to us all we need, and permit nothing of evil to approach in either spiritual or material conditions. It is like a dynamo at the center of our being. There go out from it, projected at our will, electric currents which drive away all things undesirable. It has an illimitable radius.
Before we can control and operate such a force we must have learned that the great secret of life is absolute confidence in the Infinite Love.
God is Love.
This proposition includes all forces, for God, Love, Life, Truth, Wisdom, Power, are but synonyms.
The magnet is always true to the north. We never fear it will not find its pole, however much the needle vibrates.
Love need never seek. If we make ourselves loving and lovable, we may be sure that all hearts attuned to the same chord must vibrate responsively throughout the universe.
Jealousy is impossible to love, for "love seeketh not its own;" and jealousy is always selfishness.
It is the root of most domestic trouble. It claims to be an evidence of affection, and hides behind the thought of parental or connubial devotion. It is simple despotism and willfulness. It seeks to control, and craves for evidence of its power.
The touchstone of true love is self-forgetfulness.
Both God and man respond to the vibrations of trust and distrust.
We receive from both what we confidently expect.
Let us recognize the best in everything and everybody.
When perfect love has cast out all fear from our hearts, then, indeed, we have come to the kingdom of good. With fear goes all anxiety, resentment, and greed. For the first time we have really become as little children.
We no longer crave for the possession of any person or thing in the ordinary sense. We do not fear to miss it, for we know that all is ours.
Then have all things become possible to us. We cannot confound the substance and the shadow, the ideal and the actual. No doubt can ever again arise in us that God's will is always accomplished without hindrance at every instant of time and in every place, as the lightning cleaves all clouds.
A small particle of gas can vitiate volumes of atmosphere. A bit of poison can permeate large bodies of water; a fine chemical can change the color of flame; so an unrighteous thought can paralyze the spiritual powers.
When love is enthroned the eye is no longer dimmed by personal emotions; the ear is no longer deafened to the truth by its sensitiveness to self; the tongue is not palsied by the poison of the power to wound; the feet have been washed in the blood of the heart, and trodden down all selfish desires; the whole being is alert with new spiritual life. It sees, speaks, and stands with the soul. It has developed adeptship, and can be entrusted with the native powers it has unfolded.
It vibrates to all the harmonies of life. The at-one-ment has been accomplished between the mortal self and spiritual ego. The man has come to himself.
He has learned the spiritual chemistry.
He finds that the elements of earth, water, air, fire, ether, and spirit are but different rates of vibration in the harmonic scale of Being. Spirit is the finest and highest, and governs all the others; fire is the highest of the four material elements, and possesses the power of resolving each and all of the lower forces into that above it by a quickening of its rate of vibration.
In chemistry instantaneous results follow the completion of conditions.
When the last element has been added to the mixture, it sets free the gas which produces the explosion.
In the science of mind the conditions for changing either body or environment may be a long time in preparation. The healer or the sufferer may be slow in perceiving the necessary thought. When it has been found and applied the cure is instantaneous. It cannot be delayed if the patient is receptive.
Is there any suffering that does not come through fear?
Fear is the cause of all wars, greed, and sensuality,—fear of not obtaining all we want and to which we think ourselves entitled.
Fear is the root of all anxiety, of all resentment.
We may even find in it the germ of all disease and death. We already recognize it as the direct cause of many acute and chronic troubles.
What is the remedy for fear? What but the realization of the nature of good, the recognition of the fact that we actually do possess all things and live in good, in perfect freedom; that we have nothing to desire or expect but our own unfoldment, and that we absolutely govern the time and method of that ourselves.
O friend, never strike sail to a fear. Come into port greatly, or sail with God the seas.—Emerson.
Environment may color but it never moulds the character. It gives nothing more than a veneering, and the natural wood will show through sooner or later. Its grain cannot be concealed. The hero is not hidden in the slums. The scoundrel cannot hide himself amid luxurious surroundings. Each will work out his own true character in spite of birth and position.
We are creators of circumstances, not its creatures.
Are the problems of today beyond our mathematics? Not if we are one with Wisdom. "I am" is a sufficient confession of faith.