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Desire, hope, belief, faith—the knowing; these are the rounds of the ladder by which we reach the goal of our aspirations.

First comes the longing for something, we hardly know what. We are conscious of something lacking, something needed to round out our lives, to make us contented, satisfied, at ease, of a vacancy rather than of the want of some specific thing. But by and by this longing materializes as it were into something definite—a want to which we can give a name; something that appeals to us as the one thing necessary to our happiness, and as we dwell upon it, Hope, the child of Desire, is born in our hearts; the hope that, somehow, sometime, the desire may he gratified. We do not see the way by which, or in which, it will come; indeed, it seems at first impossible that it should come, but in spite of the seeming impossibility, we hope until from hoping we pass to belief; we believe that our desire will be gratified. This is evolution, the evolution of desire into belief.

But belief is not faith. Faith is the fully developed flower of which believing is only the half opened bud that may yet be nipped by the frost of doubt. Faith opens its every petal to the sun and the breeze and does not close them when night sets in and the rain descends. And from the blossom comes the fruit; knowing comes through faith as faith through believing; believing from hope and hope from desire. It is the law, the mental law, of evolution. All forms have their inception in the mental, and that which is conceived in the mental must have birth in the physical if it perish not in the womb for lack of nourishment.

I say must be born into the physical. I mean just that; it must be. Desire is a seed germ and if it be not pinched back at the moment of putting forth its first tender shoot, it will grow and thrive and its leaves will open as hope, and hope will grow into belief, and belief blossom into faith, and faith bear the fruit of knowledge—we shall know that we have that which we desire.

This is as certain as that from the seed of a tree will come, first leaves, then a slender stem, then branches, and finally bloom and fruit. It is the law that it should be so, and the only power in the universe that can keep us from having our desires met and satisfied is the power within ourselves to doubt.

Desire may not ripen into the specific thing which we expected when we planted the seed of desire in our hearts, for with growth and changing conditions the desire ceases to be for that specific thing which first attracted us. An object may appear very beautiful and desirable at a distance, which upon a nearer view becomes less so, becomes even repugnant to the sight. Yet if it be not so and if we continue earnestly to desire the one thing, it is within the law that that particular thing shall come to us, or that we go to it.

How can it be otherwise when desire is the seed germ wherein all things have their origin? Will not the seed of the plum produce a plum tree? If left alone it will, but if a peach be grafted upon it, it will bear not plums, but peaches.

So with our desires. If we cling to the first original desire, it will bring us to the specific thing desired, but if upon this first desire we graft other desires of a different nature, then the fruit will be either a cross or the fruit of the tree from which the graft was taken.

The reason most people never feel their desires met is because they put too many and too frequent grafts into their root desire, and do not give any of them time to blossom and hear fruit. The law of evolution is a law of growth, not of miracles, and growth requires time.

Of the seed planted today, you do not expect to eat fruit tomorrow; neither of the fruit of the graft the same season it is inserted. But next year, or the next, they bear fruit.

If yon form a battery by chemical action, you must wait a bit, after placing your materials in proper relations to each other, until the chemical force is called into action. It must take place before it can give expression to itself; so with desire, and hope, and faith; these also must have time in which to act, or to show forth.

You say it is hard to have faith, to hold to it when conditions oppose. Exactly. But you can hold fast to desire, and desire will beget hope, and hope is father to belief, and belief ripens into faith. Faith, as I have been telling you, is a growth, an unfoldment.

It is not a miracle, and it cannot come unless you are true to your desires and follow them.

If you plant an acorn only to dig it up the next month or next year, and plant a peach only to replace that with a walnut, when are you to expect fruit, or of what kind?

Just so with desire. If your desire changes from day to day, or from year to year, from any cause, what fruitage are you to expect?

Because your desire constantly changes, because you replace one seed with another before the first has had time to fruit, you say, "The things I desire do not come to me;" whereas you have no fixed desire, but only a fleeting fancy; or if a real desire has been born into your heart you have throttled it by doubting that it could ever be, and have not followed it.

Again I say, desire is the parent of all growth—of all things—and without desire there is no growth. Desire long held to creates the conditions by which hope, and then belief become possible; and from belief, faith; and of faith, knowing; which is the attaining, is the natural and lawful fruit.

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Helen Wilmans

  • Born in 1831 and died in 1907
  • Studied under Emma Curtis Hopkins
  • Was a journalist and author
  • Was active in the Mental Science Movement
  • Was charged with postal fraud for healing through mail. Fighting this charged caused her lose most of her fortune.
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