"That which hath been is now, and that which is to be hath already been and God requireth the things of the past." So said the wise man of ancient times. What did he mean by this—"That which hath been is now and that which is to be hath already been?" What was the meaning? We find that Solomon knew some things that it took Science thousands of years afterward to find out. He said: "The rivers run into the sea, but the sea is not filled;" and "From whence the rivers come thither they return again."
What is the meaning of these statements? They mean that the laws of God are eternal and unchanging; that that which occurs at one time in the history of God's great universe, under the same laws will occur again. Creation did not begin and end at any stated time. Creation is an eternal process without beginning and without ending.
Wise men have told us that there are cycles of time; that certain things occurred on one great cycle and other things on another. In the process of time the different races, through repeated reincarnations, were ready to pass out of one plane into a higher plane. But did that end the world? No; the world might be purified and renewed, but that purification was to fit the earth again for another race of people who go through the same things, think the same things, and do the same things that we are doing today. It is said that two more races are yet to come before the present cycle of time is completed, and with the seventh and last race will come an age known as the "Golden Age."
Plato and other wise men of his time had knowledge in all probability derived from the records in Egypt that were afterward destroyed. They had knowledge of a continent which existed ages ago, where people of a very high order lived. It is said that this continent disappeared one night with all the people; that this race corresponded to what we speak of as the seventh race, the people of which were far more highly developed than any people that live on this planet at the present time. In the Bible there is just the slightest intimation of a race superior to that inhabiting the earth in very early Bible times.
Whether this is true or not, we are in the springtime of a new age. We cannot tell yet what the harvest from this age is going to be, but we do know that wonderful changes are taking place in the minds of people. The last age was, without doubt, the most materialistic age that the world has ever passed through, and in this particular age—this last age—people have sought to find the solution of all the problems of life, not in the spiritual or mental realm, but in the material realm. It is believed by many scientists that the whole solution of life is going to be found in the material universe.
Science has gone just as far as it is able to, and what is the result of all scientific investigation? In some respects the results are very good, and in other respects the results are very disappointing. Beginning with the thought that the solution of life was to be found in matter, they have not explained at any point or at any time anything about life. They have begun with the protoplasm and gone on up showing how all the different changes have taken place—how one form met another form and how each one was completed. Science has been dealing with form all the time, but it has not told us the first thing about the life-principle which enters into the physical organism of man at birth and leaves at death. Science, as it exists at the present time, is simply a science of form. Form has its purpose; form is the outer symbol; it is the outer world and it remains for a new science to interpret that outer world, and that will be the science of spirit.
Wherever there is excessive action in any direction it is always followed by just as excessive reaction; and when a pendulum has swung just so far over the materialistic side of life, it then swings just as far back in the other direction. Therefore, many people today have certain beliefs in regard to spiritual or psychic matters which sometime they will have to change, because they are just as far from the truth as is the materialistic view. We find people taking a radical position in regard to some things which is neither reasonable nor true. It is far from reasonable for people to say that there is no material universe and that they have no physical bodies. It is not reasonable and it is not true when people deny the reality of sin and disease. All these things will have to be modified in the law of future knowledge. It is true that the spirit of man is the controlling part of man's being. It has been taught for ages, but only within comparatively few years have many accepted it. The body has meant far more than the mind or the soul, but now in the springtime of a new age the spirit of man will mean far more than the body.
What do the farmers do in the springtime? First, they clear away everything that will obstruct the plowing and harrowing of the ground, and the planting of the seed; then it is ready for Nature to act upon it. Then comes the growth. You cannot tell at first, when the little blades come up through the ground, as to what the harvest is going to be—whether you are going to have fruit, or wheat, or tares. All these preparations are necessary before one can realize any harvest; and it is just as necessary to make the conditions of the springtime of a new age such that there will be the right harvest later as it is for the farmer to prepare the ground.
In what way are we going to prepare the ground for the new age? Some will do it by trying to carry all the preconceived ideas and thoughts of the past into the present. Some will hold on to their old prejudices, and some will hold on to their old forms, but let me tell you that in the change of these cycles of time it is not so much the question of time as the question of conditions.
In God's field of life we all help to sow the seed and gather the harvest, but in some cases the seed falls by the wayside and the fowls eat it up; and sometimes among the stones, and there being no depth of earth, when it springs up, it withers under the light of the sun and passes away; and again it falls among the thorns and briers and its life is choked out. Only the good seed that falls on the prepared soil brings forth fruit of its kind.
Our minds might be said to be the field and our thoughts the seed. If we are careless and indifferent, and if we take no thought about preparing the mind for the influx of good thought, then it will be with us like the seed planted by the wayside; but if our minds are filled with pride or prejudice, then will it be like the seed that falls among the thorns and briers; but if we are self-righteous and selfish, then the seed will fall among the stones; but if we prepare our minds, trying to make them restful, trying to keep them free and unbiased, and if we are thoughtful concerning life, and seek to know the true way, then comes an influx from the very source of being, and the mind becomes illuminated by love, faith, and hope. These beautiful qualities in life act in turn to shape and give color to our thoughts and our thoughts then become the good seed which, planted, brings forth in time a bountiful harvest, and every seed will bring forth a fruit after its kind.
We know that the seed is growing when we see it expressed in kind word and deed. Kind word and deed are the outer expression of the inner seed, and if the ground has been prepared and the seed is good, the expression in turn will be good. True feelings and kind thoughts must always result in righteous words and noble deeds.
There is an orderly sequence from beginning to end. The right feeling begets the right thinking; the right thinking begets the right word and deed. According to the eternal law of God, we can only reap that which we have sown, and if we have not sown kind thoughts for others we cannot reap kind thoughts from others. If we have sown the seed of the tares in a spirit of anger, malice, or hatred, we reap the harvest that they produce just as unfailingly as we reap a harvest of the good seed. What we do to men in turn they do to us. Each individual makes for himself an environment. It is not made for him, but he makes it for himself; that is, he has the power to relate himself to people and his surroundings in a way that will be thoroughly beneficial both to himself and others, or he has the power, to some degree, to disregard the laws of life and make for himself an environment both with evil and unrest.
In this new springtime of life it is essential for our well-being and happiness that we start right. Let us know that every quality in us is calling to the same quality in someone else. That if it is a good quality it will awaken the same good in another. In feeling it and living it one helps to bring it into existence in other lives so that the good going out from one acts upon another and again reacts back to the one who gave it out, and in the same way does an evil quality act. "Curses like chickens come home to roost." The curses one bestows upon another are in the end returned unto himself with interest.
How careful, then, we should be in preparing the ground for the reception of the seed, and then plant the seed that will bring to us a harvest—not of distress or of pain, but one of joy and gladness. We desire that all things good and beautiful may flow into our lives; then, if this is our desire, let its fulfillment come in our giving out the good and the beautiful to others. No matter what other people think, or other people say or do, think right, speak right, and do right, and you will reap your harvest in gladness.
Some people today are living in the old age—in the winter of the old age—and some are living in the springtime of the new. Remember, races do not appear on this earth and then vanish and a new race appear, but the old race stays on, getting weaker and weaker, and the new gets stronger and stronger. The people who are living in the springtime of a new age will drop all the old ways and means and adopt the new. We no longer travel by stage-coaches; we travel in a different way. We no longer have our mails carried on horseback, but we have our messages sent all over the world by electricity and steam.
In the New Thought we cannot carry the old ways into the new life. It is a continual dying to old conditions and a living to new ones, and it is not that the race brings about the condition, but each individual brings about the condition for himself, and all individuals working together give the best results. Each of us should know where we stand, whether we are laying hold on the new or whether we are living in the old. If we are living in the old, we are living with the old form and thoughts of the world.
Are you among the awakened? Because to the awakened come all things new; not that some things are made new, but that everything is made new, because the new is going to bring out, as has never been brought out before, the Christ thought. The Christ thought is this: the spirit is the cleansing power; the flesh is of no profit. The body is not the man, and the body can never become the man. To some degree it represents the man, and to some degree expresses man's soul and mind. But the expression is in the mind.
The springtime of this new age shows that we are going to begin to use the inner power more than any other power. It is the age of the invisible that we are living in—an age which will deal with the invisible forces. There are no forces but what are invisible. Anything which seems to be is only the manifestation of a force; but we are going to deal with the invisible forces as man has never dealt with them before.
The world has accomplished more in the last one hundred years than it has in all this grand cycle which has gone before, and we are going to grow in the coming one hundred years more than we have in the past century. Already we have the indication of what the new age is going to be when we are told that in a very short time we are going to speak across the Atlantic just as we do through the telephone to our friends in the city. It is not going to end there, for we are going to speak with our minds. The outer, remember, follows the construction of the inner; you have to follow definite laws to get any result. Remember, it is the mind that makes the instrument through which we talk. It is the mind observing certain laws which brings about certain results. Everything that man does is the result of what he has thought, but he must think in accord with the eternal law in order to get definite results. You cannot get definite results by going contrary to the law of anything. It is only as you come in harmony with law that you do get results.
We know that Christ did wonderful things; that is, we are told he did wonderful things. People in times past have spoken of those things as miracles. A miracle is supposed to be an occurrence which transcends the law. There are no occurrences which transcend law. No matter what Jesus did, it was done in accordance with the eternal law of God. What did he say? He said this: "To those who believe they shall do greater things than I have done." Believing is something more than what most people think it is. Are we going to believe that Jesus was right? He said he would heal the sick and that he would do many other things, but they were to be done in accord with the law.
Now in the healing of the sick, I believe that this whole movement as yet is in its infancy. I believe that so far as thought-transference is concerned, it is only a question of time when all people will understand it and that we will be able to send a thought to any one in another part of the world and receive an answer in the same manner. No one can tell us what time is or what space is, but we are living in a great universe wherein every part is related to every part. One action starts another action, and this will go on through the great law of vibration, reaching out to all people and all things.
When this law of vibration is understood, then sickness and disease will become a thing of the past. When we vibrate in a harmonious way, mentally and physically, then discord and disease will go out of the life. I believe in this next age that man will rule the elements about him. He will rule the elements through studying his own nature. If we study the life of Christ we will see that he studied control all through life. He said there was a power working within him, that belonged not to the personal man; that it was a universal power, and through this he controlled the conditions within and without him.
Now, if this power is the universal power that we believe it is, then this universal power acting through the individual can bring about wonderful results—wonderful results in every way. I believe that in this coming age life will be greatly prolonged. I do not believe, as some do, that we will retain these physical organisms forever. I do not believe that this is in the plan of life. When this lesson of life is learned we will not want this organism somewhere else; we will have an organism fitted for wherever we go. The body will correspond to the plane to which it belongs.
I believe this universe was made for man, not man for the universe. I do not believe that a time will come when we will know all that there is to be known, because then happiness, desire, and hope would cease. I do not believe that we will ever attain to a heaven where we will play on golden harps all the time, or rest eternally. I do not think we will have any such eternity. I believe that we will have an eternity in which we can always do something. This, I believe, will bring us more happiness than getting into a place where everything seems to stand still.
We talk about perfection, but what do we really know about it? It is only a relative term at best. The seed is perfect and the tree is perfect and the fruit is perfect. We cannot tell where perfection begins or where it ends. The seed, the tree, the fruit may be perfect in so far as it has progressed. But we cannot affirm an ultimate perfection, because we do not know anything about perfection.
This world is not a dead, inanimate thing, but it has a mind; and the great mind of the world is a history of what every individual has thought. By noting the things that have occurred in the past, we can see what is likely to occur in the future. Solomon was right when he said that God requireth the things of the past; yet the things that are occurring now will occur in the ages to come, but we will not be here to see them. We will have progressed, however, to a far higher plane of development than we can conceive of at the present time.
It is only as each individual responds and unfolds to his inner powers and possibilities that he can know aught, in a. sense, of that which awaits him. We must know that the light that is shining in the darkness—shining even in our mental darkness—is to enlighten every man which coineth into the world. That light is in every soul now and is only awaiting a recognition on the part of the mind of man. When that recognition comes it will become a living ﬂame, and then instead of living in the individual life we will live in the universal life; instead of being guided by the human will we will come under the divine will. Then will our will become one with God's, and everything will be changed. We will have passed from the old conditions of life and we will have entered into the new. There will not be a particle of the old life left—the old life that depended upon the things of the material. We will live in the life of the spirit, the spirit which quickeneth, the spirit which brings with it the knowledge of eternal life. "To know God is eternal life." We are all to know God. When we know God in the spirit, when we know Him in our own lives, and we know Him in truth, then the old thought of life will be changed and we will be living in a new age, in reality, and we will know what that new age means.
We are coming into the beautiful springtime of a new age, and with this springtime will come the changes from sickness and disease and death. I say death, because we shall not all sleep, we shall not all go through the changes that the world has been going through in the past. The last enemy to overcame is death, and man will overcome that enemy. Paul says: "We will not all sleep; we will all be changed in the twinkling of an eye." It will not be through old age, but through the power of the mind and the spirit that we will lay down the body, when the mind and the spirit have no further use for it, as that is what Jesus meant when he said that they might destroy the temple, but in three days he would again build it up. The I was in the temple, the I was in the body, the I was the real man, and the real man can destroy the temple if he chooses, and the real man will build it strong and whole in every respect, and will make it a fit house where souls may dwell. Many have this power now, and if they have it to some degree they will have it to the full degree. This is the demand that is made on each and every individual, and this demand will grow greater and greater as the years go by.
This is the cry of the new age—that we shall have strong and whole bodies, that we shall preach the real Christ gospel, which is a gospel of glad tidings, and hasten the time when all shall know God from the least to the greatest.
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More from Charles Brodie Patterson
- Canadian New Thought author
- Born in Nova Scotia in 1854 and died on June, 22nd 1917