Self-dependence in the pursuit of wisdom—this alone is growth.
Whenever a man is in a position that entails the necessity of leaning on some external aid, he is a dying man; his tendency is downward; he is under the so-called law of gravitation. Knock the props from under him; then, if he can stand alone, with faith in his own unaided self, and with the resolution to follow his highest aspirations, indifferent to the criticisms of his neighbors, he has passed the line that lies between the so-called law of gravitation and the Law of Attraction, and has entered the outskirts of a diseaseless and deathless domain of pure life.
That this is a difficult thing to do, no one can doubt. We look abroad and see disease and death everywhere. They seem to be the established order of nature; to break away from them looks an impossibility. We have not yet discovered that there is no established order in nature; we cannot yet realize that nature is an ever varying series of conceptions of the Law, and that disease and death are among these conceptions.
That they are mistaken conceptions, or conceptions based on our ignorance of absolute truth, has not occurred to us. We have not yet found out that all is life, and that the whole chain of growth, from the lowest organic form, up to man, is a gradually growing consciousness of this great truth; this absolute truth; the most important of the few absolute truths we know at this time.
The entire procession of organic forms, I say again, has been but a series of gradually enlarging perceptions of the undeniable truth that there is no death, and can be none; that all is life.
Individual intelligence, individual, knowledge of this one mighty truth, is positive salvation from disease and death.
That disease and death should be among the conceptions of nature, is because nature in its conceptions of the truth is a growth. It cannot conceive the full possibilities of the Law of Attraction in a moment, any more than a peach can conceive the possibilities of its fully ripened condition at the moment of its inception.
Let us imagine that nature could be absolutely perfect and beyond the possibility of any farther growth; that man, as a part of nature, was also perfect. In this case, he would have nothing more to desire, and no farther incentive either to thought or action. Is there anything desirable in such a condition? Is it not the most terrible form of death that one can imagine? Dead, and yet conscious of the situation; dead and yet sufficiently alive to know it. For my part, I should prefer an eternal sleep.
On the other hand, look at nature with man at its head as an ever growing thing. Look at the Law as expressed individually in desire. In this condition there is always a future; there is always some happiness to be attained, which, when attained, projects its hope of some other and greater happiness. There is always some obstacle of ignorance to be conquered, the conquering of which brings a greater consciousness of strength and power to him who conquers. There is an ever enlarging object in life; an ever enlarging hope for that which lies beyond; an ever enlarging future, which, in passing behind us, strengthens our position in the universe and confirms our mastery more and more. There is always something to live for; always an object to stimulate effort, and always the deepening and broadening and beautifying manhood and womanhood that is the result of effort. There is always the closer approximation of our external selves to the glorious internal ideal born of desire, and bringing us more and more into a position of oneness with the Law of Attraction, thus uniting us in love and harmony and power.
And in all of this growth, we will eventually exhaust the latent powers of the earth, and enter other spheres of thought and action, whose possibilities will far transcend those of the earth.
And on and on, through a never ending series of conquests in obedience to the ideal, which allures forever to higher heights and to happier happiness, and to tenderer and nobler love.
There is perfection, but man will never reach it. It is an infinite thing and belongs only to the Law, the unchangeable Principle of Life; the Eternal Unit; the One. Man is many; he represents a million phases of the Law; but not the all of it. His happiness depends on his finite-hood; on the absolutely limitless capacity of his power to grow.
The basis of individual life is desire. Desire is the Law incarnate in the individual. It is the diseaseless and deathless principle. This fact shows that it is of the Law, and not of the intelligence, or the recognition of the Law. The desire exists whether it is recognized or not. Indeed, it is very seldom that the desire is recognized in a man in a way that will make it apparent in his consolidated intelligence, which is his body.
He desires and he recognizes that he does desire, but he does not recognize that his desire is a power to be relied upon. He desires, but he fears to trust his desire and trusts his fear instead; thus giving the superior recognition to his fear, and ignoring his desire. In ignoring his desire, he in a measure paralyzes its effectiveness; in recognizing his fear, he makes the fear paramount in his mind or his intelligence, and it is the fear that is recorded in his intelligence, and rot the perfect desire. And this is why these human intelligences—our bodies—are so weak and wretched and diseased, and why they die.
To fear is as much a function of the intellect as to hope. To fear is to believe something that you do not wish to believe. Every belief is a form of intelligence or ignorance; (the two words are off the same piece, being negative and positive poles of truth.) To believe what you fear is to make manifest a certain state of mind; it is a negative state of mind, but this does not prevent it from being a belief; and to believe anything whatever is to make it manifest or visible; whether it is a negative belief, by which I mean a belief that denies the absolute truth that all is life, or a positive belief that affirms the infallibility of the Life Principle.
If a man believes that which he fears, his belief is a traitor to his desire; it is not at one with his desire, and, therefore, it does not properly clothe his desire or make it manifest.
There is no belief entirely free from the recognition of the desire; there must be some recognition of desire in every belief, or else the body of man's belief would scarcely cohere enough to give him a personal appearance at all. And men do trust their desires deep down in their intuitional natures much more than they are usually aware of; from this fact, they live longer than would appear possible when we consider how very much people seem to trust their fears. Desire is so positive a thing that it commands a certain amount of recognition, even though it is unconscious or intuitive recognition.
Life, freedom from disease and old age, depend entirely on the amount and kind of recognition a man gives to his desire. One man recognizes his desire as something dangerous to his own salvation and to society, and goes to work to crush it. This crushing process usually strengthens the desire and thereby the individual; but it is apt to render him an inharmonious element in society, not because his desire is evil, but because his mistaken intelligence imputes evil to it. With this imputed character, and with the recognition he has given his desire in trying to crush it, he has become a strong man in a mistaken direction.
For the desire is the Principle of Life in the man. It points forever in the direction of happiness; it is altogether good and diseaseless and deathless, without knowing this fact. It is a part of the altogether good and diseaseless and deathless Law, awaiting individual recognition in order to become manifest or visible on the external (the mental) plane, in an altogether good and diseaseless and deathless individual existence.
When a man—in order to attain some form of that happiness toward which his desire is always pointing—makes the mistake of injuring another, it is not his desire that has erred, but his intelligence. His desire never points toward the injury of another; it cannot possibly do so; it is a portion of the eternal unity, an intelligent recognition of which leads to a condition of unbroken harmony, undying brotherhood, and ever enlarging love.
The intelligence—which is the individualizing factor—does little else thus far in its growth than make mistakes, as it gropes blindly in the direction of the absolute truth that there is no death; that all is life.
The truth that all is life comes only with a recognition of the Law of Attraction. Ever since the first tiny creature, and before, the trend of ages has been towards the knowing of this truth. And now we know it.
To know it is to be conjoined to it in its diseaselessness and deathlessness. To know it is to be one with it. To know that it is diseaseless and deathless is to know that it is also sinless; it is to know that the so-called sins of the race have been like the so-called diseases, nothing more than the mistaken beliefs of a baby race, following the dim and murky lights its half-awakened intelligence yielded it, in the direction it thought would lead to happiness.
No man desires to be a criminal. All men desire happiness. It is the mistaken efforts to gratify a desire that can be nothing else but holy, that create the mistaken appearance of sin in the world, and fill it with poor, benighted blunderers whom we call sinners.
Until the growth of intelligence in the race shall demonstrate this to be true, society can do no better than protect itself from the consequences of these mistakes and their mistaken perpetrators, as it is now doing. But a time is coming when a true knowledge on this subject will convert our grate prisons into colleges, where the truth will be taught.
More and more the power we have ascribed to "God"—the Law—seems to be centering in the individual. It is evolving through the individual's organization and is being expressed by him; and in proportion as it is so understood and expressed, man trusts his fears less and his desires more.
Man's organism is the intellectual laboratory for the expression or the making visible and available the power of the Law of Attraction in our world of uses.
The power exists; the Law exists; but it might as well not exist as to find in external life no recognition of it. "Man is God's necessity." The law is simply the invisible framework upon which man strings the wonderful creations of his genius; it is the infinite breath of life that flows into his every thought, and makes his thoughts external, visible existences.
It is true that without the Law, man could not be; but it is also true that without man to interpret the Law, and so make it manifest externally, the Law might as well not be.
The belief that the invisible is more important than the visible is a mistake. The belief that individual life, as it refines and spiritualizes, becomes less allied to the visible plane and more allied to the invisible plane, is another mistake.
Individual life as it refines and spiritualizes will attain a stability and a fixedness, a power of cohesion and concentration on the visible plane, infinitely greater than it now possesses. It will be as much more solid than it is now, as steel is more solid than water; it will become as much more delicate and compact as alabaster is more delicate and compact than sand. The refining principle that comes through the growth of a superior intelligence will not disintegrate individuals, or cause them to disappear from the external world. Intellectual growth is the constant replacement of a low grade of thought by a higher grade of thought; it is the constant acquisition of new truth. New truth relegates to the past every particle of old truth, which in the light of the new truth, has become error, and, therefore, useless.
Every atom of this truth, new and old, is substance; the identical stuff our bodies and everything else we see are made of; and it changes constantly. If we keep on learning new truth; the substance of our bodies refines; grows stronger and more beautiful. If we cease to learn, this substance dries up and falls to the earth under obedience to the negative pole of the Law of Attraction, which says, "The dead to the dead."
Jesus understood this and said, "Let the dead bury their dead." The dead are burying their dead today all over the world. But the life of a nobler intelligence has appeared, and death itself is dying.
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More Articles by This Author 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.