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The Law of Attraction

Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things in which smiles and kindnesses and small obligations,
given habitually, are what win and preserve the heart and secure comfort.
—Sir Humphrey Davy
The end of life is to be like unto God: and the soul following God will be like unto Him:
He being the beginning, middle, and end of all things.
—Socrates

"Like attracts like." There is something kindred between steel and iron and the magnet that attracts and holds them; for without that relationship there would be no attraction.

The activities we observe in the outer world are but typical of that which is taking place in man's inner world of thought and feeling, the outer being the external expression of the invisible law of God. That law is universal few will question; that it has a definite effect upon the life of man is conceded by all. It is possible, however, that in our investigations hitherto we have paid too much attention to the outer manifestation, thereby losing sight of the law that finds its highest expression in the human mind and heart. Whatever qualities of thought or feeling we may have developed in life, sympathetically they tend to relate us to the same order of development in other people and have the effect of calling forth into a more vital existence these kindred qualities. "None of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself." We are so related to one another that there is among us in continual operation an alternate outflow and influx—and the latter inevitably partakes of the qualities of the former.

"Like attracts like." Upon the recognition of this law depend health and happiness, because neither can ensue unless in our thought we give out both. The strong, wholesome thoughts we think, the kind feelings we have, the bright, joyous hopes we entertain—these are so many qualities going out from us to unite with the same qualities in other people, thus making it easier, both for them and for us, to comply with all the true requirements of life.

No matter what we wish to be or to do, through recognition of and conformity to this principle of attraction it becomes possible. By virtue of this law we make our own environment, realizing through the inner knowledge of life that we have the power to shape its outer conditions and to establish a new and higher order of things, so that the old thought of being controlled by circumstances or fate or any external condition passes away, and we awaken to a knowledge of our inherent dominion and power. We use this knowledge, moreover, both for our own benefit and that of others, because any action on our part that tends to bring real good into our own lives must necessarily have a corresponding action on those sympathetically related to us.

If people would only pay attention to the operation of this law in their own lives they would quickly realize the importance of a thorough knowledge thereof and of its practical utility. Let us consider a few illustrations that show its effect.

A deep interest in any special subject is sufficient to bring us almost immediately in contact with persons whom we have not met nor cared for in the past. How it is brought about we hardly know; but in a short time we become surrounded by persons interested in the same subject. The interchange of thought and idea works for the good of all. The very object of our coming together is that there may be a mutual giving and receiving. The quality of our thought places us where we belong. A man that has faith in a beneficent Creator, who works through law for a perfect end, or the ultimate perfection of all things—

One far-off, divine event
To which the whole creation moves.
—Alfred Tennyson

—has acquired the first element necessary to bring about a complete action of law in his own life.

The next thing in order would be the feeling of confidence and faith in humanity in general; but this should be especially true of those with whom we are brought in intimate contact, so that the trust and faith we repose in them may be felt by them. Again, faith in one's self, one's aims and objects, clearness of vision to see aright, perfect faith and trust in one's own ability to accomplish the desired end—these all tend to set in motion forces inherent in one's own being, so that their action upon others is of that quality that serves to waken and renew the same innate power.

We now have something of the element of success to start with, but we wish to be successful in the highest and truest way. Let us, therefore, introduce still other qualities; let us fill the mind with hopefulness. Hope is just as requisite as faith in the upbuilding of character or the promotion of success. Our hope tends to make others hopeful. Doubt saps one's vitality, and doubt is best overcome by hope. Faith and hope, however, without love, were barren qualities. Love is the greatest of all, because it includes all. "Love is the fulfilling of the law"; because whatever we do through the spirit of love will not be done through opposition to the law of life, but in perfect conformity to it. Pope says:

Self-love but serves the virtuous mind to wake,
As the small pebble stirs the peaceful lake.

Love of self is good in its proper place, but it ceases to be love when one ignores the greater call to love and serve God through loving service to humanity. We should always subordinate the lesser to the greater, but that does not call for the doing away of the lesser. It calls rather for a perfect adjustment, wherein the self shall recognize and conform to the universal self. We now have the real riches of life; but, as all inner states find outer expression sooner or later, we see these inner riches expressed in many ways and degrees. The faith, hope, and love we have for humanity become living seeds sown in the hearts and minds of others. Springing up in and beautifying their lives, they bring forth fruit abundantly, so that all that has been given out by us has returned to us a hundredfold.

Our faith and hope and love take shape in a material way—i.e., they relate themselves to form, giving beauty of color and harmony to external surroundings, so that to a degree the earth becomes transformed into a paradise. The mountains appeal to us in a way they never did before; the valley and meadow reflect a new beauty; the river and brooklet impart new qualities of brightness and joy; the ocean, in calm and storm, conveys to our minds the greatness, the strength, and the freedom of life; the sun reminds us of that Power that gives of its own life and intelligence to every living, moving thing. And the moon, as the reflector of light, brings to us the thought that only as we reflect the universal love and become one with it are we truly related to God and humanity; that the inner law is that the soul must follow God as a plant follows the sun; that when the spirit of truth illumines the life, then from such inner illumination will God's word, as it is written without in all Nature, be revealed to man, and the things that have been long hidden shall be known—not as we have believed them to be in the past, but as they are in reality.

Thus shall we attract to us everything that heart and mind can desire; for the heaven realized within shall become manifest without. This is not an idle dream: it is what the prophets and the enlightened ones of every clime and age have taught.

Thousands of souls are looking forward to the coming of a new era, when the Christ kingdom—the reign of righteousness, justice, and truth—shall be realized on earth. Let everyone know that the hastening of this greatly-to-be-desired end is to be sought primarily through individual effort, which shall tend first to call into existence latent good on the part of the individual, so that the necessary conditions may exist for the natural action of one mind upon the minds of others. And who can foresee what the result will be? The time will come when the inner unity—the oneness of life—will be as fully manifest outwardly as it now exists interiorly.

"Like attracts like." Man must give expression to the God within him. "If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken." The desire to express more of this Godlikeness will not only bring us into a closer relationship to Deity, but will make us more truly useful to one another. And in the fullness of time, through knowledge of the law and desire to give perfect expression thereto, we shall attain to the measure of the fullness of the stature of Christ.

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Charles Brodie Patterson

  • Canadian New Thought author
  • Born in Nova Scotia in 1854 and died on June, 22nd 1917
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