Janus, the two-faced god of Roman mythology, was believed to be the janitor of heaven, and on earth the guardian deity of gates and doors. Numa Pompilius called the first month of the Roman year after Janus, and dedicated a covered passage near the Forum to him. This passage contained a statue of the god, and had two entrances, which were always kept open in time of war and closed in time of peace.
While the Janus of mythology has been relegated to oblivion, and is no longer worshiped, yet we find an exact correspondence between the Roman deity and the mind of man. The human mind is the janitor of heaven and has the keys of the doors of earth. Mind is the servant of the soul and master of the things “here below.” It stands between the world of force, on the one hand, and the world of expression on the other. It is double-faced in that it has the power to unlock the gates of the inner life and to solve the mysteries of the outer. When both passages are kept open, it receives on one hand and gives on the other. There is an influx of life from the soul that manifests itself in the world of form.
Life on this plane of expression may be likened to a battle-field. The kingdom of heaven is taken by violence. Through struggle and suffering is man perfected; through weakness his power is made manifest. Now, the Janus that sits midway in the passage must see that both doorways are kept open during the battle, so that he may receive light from each. The exercise of certain qualities of mind are necessary in order to succeed in this. Three great essentials may be summed up in three words: meditation, contemplation, and concentration.
(1) Meditation is the entering into the inner consciousness of life; the communing with God; the becoming one with the eternal Source and Fount of life. It is purely subjective, dealing alone with the spiritual side of being. Here the mind receives its force and power and is acted upon by the causes of life. Life, in all true meditation, is one. Personality and the myriad things of the outer world are lost sight of; the spirit in man and the universal Spirit blend in the unity of life, so that God lives in the life of man and man lives in the life of God. But this inner force must find expression—must make itself manifest; and the human mind becomes the vehicle for its manifestation. With the force and power acquired in the inner life, the passage-way of the outer world is opened.
(2) The mind uses another faculty—concentration—to make manifest that which it has received. Concentration is neither force nor power; yet, without it, man cannot manifest either force or power in the outer world. Lacking in concentration, the mind dissipates the force acquired in the inner world. We may take a sun-glass and allow the rays of the sun to pass aimlessly through it; the force passes through the glass but produces no visible manifestation. When we bring the rays to a focus, however, power begins to manifest itself. The glass and the focus are not power, but they serve as means by which the expression of force becomes a visible reality; in other words, the invisible produces its action on the visible. So with concentration of the mind of itself, it is neither power nor force; but it is the vehicle through which comes the greatest expression of force and power. Concentration deals always with the objective; it concerns itself with the things of the outer world.
(3) The third faculty is contemplation, which, to a degree, unites the other two faculties. Contemplation may partake of both inner and outer impressions; it is the connecting link between meditation and concentration. In the contemplative state, the mind may be said to go easily to one point or the other. It may be compared to the time of peace, when the gates of the passage of Janus were closed. It is the point of poise between the inner and the outer—when there is a cessation of activity; but this cessation is not lasting, for the mind alternately acquires force and power in the inner world and uses it in the outer.
It is well to know that power is not acquired in the outer world; that concentration can never, in and of itself, give power; that if the mind engages itself exclusively with the things of the outer world, no matter how great the concentration may be on this plane of action, a time will surely come when the mental energies will become dissipated and fruitless. Concentration in the outer world, with no meditation in the inner world, will inevitably produce the condition known as “paresis,” or a kindred malady. In fact, concentration of mind may become a factor in the more speedy development 0f serious mental and physical troubles. Every faculty of mind has been given to man with a wise object in view—its perfect development, or development according to the 'divine laws of Being. Every faculty may be used (in the true way) to bring about its perfection; but it also lies within the province of man to pervert it, and through such perversion to express in a discordant way the things of life.
I should say, therefore, to those desiring to develop concentration of mind: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” and concentration (with all other needed things) will be added. The kingdom of God is found in the world of cause. The expression of God’s kingdom may be without, but the power is within. The desire of the mind should be, that it may have a greater realization of the power of God in its own life; that it may become the true servant of the soul; and that, through coming in touch with the inner life-forces and knowledge acquired in the world of cause, it may use the keys to unlock all the doors of the outer, disclosing the power it has received from within in such a way that its action shall be beneficial in the world without.
“Enter into thy closet, and…shut thy door.” Realize that the power of God is one; that “all is of God that is, or is to be, and God is good.” Let your life become filled with this thought of unity—of goodness; then in the power of your might enter the realm of effect, or outer (visible) world, and “whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.” The light received from the inner world will transform and illuminate the mind, so that each mental picture you conceive will have the halo of the inner life thrown about it, and the will of God shall be manifested in the outer world as in the inner.
The way of life is straight and narrow. It is not complex, as many would make it. It is knowing that the source of all power is in God, and that in our inner, conscious life, through true meditation, we draw from this one Source.
Again, through contemplation and true mental imagery of the things of the outer world, the mind becomes centered and uses its forces as needed on the external plane. While concentration is not force, it may yet be said to conserve force in such a way that it is not dissipated without accomplishing its purpose.
In the evolution of power, something other than the faculties already mentioned assists in determining whether the knowledge acquired in the inner world shall be expressed outwardly in part or in whole. The true or the false action of will must determine this. Will is the great executive power of the universe. But, as a later paper will be devoted entirely to this subject, we need not stop here to define it. I wish only to speak at present of its action on the life of man.
Every faculty of mind and every organ of the body is dependent on the will. It makes itself felt in everything that we do. As its force is directed aright, it strengthens both mind and body. The more powerful it becomes, the more character is evolved. Meditation is the door to the inner life; concentration is the door to the outer: but will is the very force of life itself. Entering by the inner door, it passes through the outer.
Great as the will undoubtedly is, however, it true direction depends on our divine intelligence. There is a spirit in man that guides the action of will; hence, in the individual soul, this faculty conforms perfectly to the law of its existence when under guidance of the spirit of truth. The freedom and power of the will, in individual life, consists in its conformity to the law of God. The bondage and weakness of the will come solely through its being led by the spirit of the world—choosing the shadow of things in preference to the reality. “He who runs may read.” There are but two ways. The will must choose between them. There is no other alternative. Following the true course, or willing to be led by the law of the spirit of truth, brings a conscious recognition of our union with all Power. It brings the realization that we are one with the Energy that brought us into conscious, individual existence; that the life of man is not in any sense separate or detached from God; and that to know God is eternal life and power.
More from Charles Brodie Patterson
- Canadian New Thought author
- Born in Nova Scotia in 1854 and died on June, 22nd 1917