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From This Chapter man may See How it is That His Destiny is Always in His Own Hands: And He May See Why it is That He Can Shape His Future as He Pleases

There is only one attracting power; it is the Life Principle. It is the same in essence in the horseshoe magnet and in the mother's yearning for her child. It is this same thing that brings lovers together in marriage, and partners in business. It is a hidden motor to every movement that ever was made, unintelligent movements no less than intelligent ones. It is this that draws the moisture out of the earth on which the tree feeds, and the substance out of the sun's rays with which it colors itself in beauty. The Principle of Attraction accounts for all things and is responsible for all things. Being perfect, it is, therefore, unchangeable. It is the spirit of vitality in man, and in the flowers and beasts, and it has but one voice—the voice of desire, and the voice speaks for just one thing; it speaks for happiness. The methods by which man pursues happiness may be just or unjust. The desire which is the Principle of Attraction has nothing to do with his methods. The desire exists, and this is all. The desire is the vitalizing spirit in the man ; it is his true, pure, unsinning self. The methods by which he attempts to actualize his desires have, in the main, proven to be mistakes; and these mistakes, forming his personality, are expressed not only in his individual character, but in his body. The greatest mistake man has ever made is to attribute his mistakes to the Divine Spirit of desire within him, when nothing was wrong but his limited intelligence. It is because he has made this vital mistake that he has spent ages in crucifying his desires, instead of cultivating his intelligence concerning their gratification. "What he now needs to do is to learn the immense importance of his desires, and to seek just and humane methods of gratifying them.

In proportion as he sees the strength and importance of his own desires, he will see the strength and importance of his neighbor's desires; and as desire is pure love drawn from the infinite Principle of Attraction, he will hold his neighbor's desires as sacredly as he holds his own; and so justice will be enthroned among men. Justice, that factor which harmonizes all influences and in the end produces heaven on earth, can never be born of anything but man's recognition of the noble character of desire; for when man recognizes desire he recognizes love, and love is the Principle of Attraction in individual manifestation. So when man recognizes desire within himself and understands its origin and meaning, he will have found his own moving spirit, and he will see its relation to the infinite Life Principle. He will also see that every step of his growth, from his first inception, has been by the greater and still greater recognition of this living spirit of vitality within him; and that his farther growth, all through eternity, will depend upon the still increasing power of his intelligence to recognize more, and yet more, of the vital Love Principle within him as expressed by desire.

If this and similar statements have made their proper impression upon the reader, he will perceive how it is that man, as to his personality, is simply intelligence or mind; and how the whole visible universe is mind in different degrees of unfoldment; and he will also see from this fact how it is that his destiny is entirely in his own hands, and always has been, though he did not know it. He may see, too, how from this point he may begin to do his own growing.

Since man as to his personality, and this is the visible part of himself, is altogether intelligence or mind, it therefore, follows that the more truth he possesses the more he shows forth; the truth being that the Principle of Attraction is the one diseaseless and deathless thing, and that this Principle of Attraction is the true self within him—his untrue or false self being the mistaken estimate he has placed upon his true self.

As man's intelligence is expressed in thought, which shapes itself into beliefs, his body or his personality is made up of his beliefs. A man shows forth his beliefs in his person. Knowing this to be so, Jesus spoke that wonderfully condensed sentence, the most comprehensive sentence ever yet spoken, "As a man believes, so is he." When he believes error he shows forth error, or incarnates error in his personality (his body). As error cannot endure, it, therefore, follows that unless the man corrects his erroneous beliefs his personality (body) will fall away from him. All sickness and weakness and deformity are the effects resultant from our beliefs, and end in the complete dissolution of the body, unless saving knowledge comes in time to arrest them.

It is an undeniable fact that, in spite of the improved condition of the world, its better sanitary influence and better food, its fewer hours of labor and its greater spread of books, diseases are multiplying all the time, and that lives seem to perish more easily and with less apparent cause than ever before. This is because the new light is dawning more and more clearly, and the old consolidated beliefs of a hundred ages are losing their hold upon the people, before the new knowledge has come in such power as will save them.

Because of this fact the most intelligent of the world's physicians have lost faith in medicine and stand aghast at their own helplessness. Many of them have retired from practice from motives of pure conscientiousness.

To repeat my ideas of desire—for I can never make this point too strong—the basis of all growth is desire. Indeed, the Principle of Attraction itself, that one and only principle on which every external manifestation of life depends, is desire" and desire is love in expression or externalization; love seeking and attracting that which is related to it.

All growth of the individual, therefore, is effected through desire, and desire is the motor power of every effort; and external life means effort, and has no other object but effort exerted in the direction of happiness. The secret of the steel magnet is desire, and, no doubt, the entire universal system of planets is regulated and sustained in equipoise through this great factor alone.

The words desire and love are almost synonymous. Both are love; but, while love seems to be quiescent, desire appears to be the reaching forth or the yearning of love, or love in motion, reaching out after an object.

Man, in his growth, has nothing to do with the Life Principle, or the one vitality. That is to say, no effort of his can add to it or take from it. It exists independent of him. It simply IS. His prerogative is confined exclusively to the recognition of it; to the getting of a large enough perception of its greatness, or a big enough estimate of it, and of his connection with it. It is so mighty a power that human intelligence has but the faintest fraction of an idea concerning it, and yet this majestic power is within the individual in indescribable greatness. It is the force within a man that actuates every movement he makes. To connect the belief of sin, disease and death with this ever flowing, eternal potency is an absurdity, and yet our minds, in ignorance of this mighty truth, have done this thing, and in this way have given to the external world our weak, wretched personalities, that are standing libels on our real selves, the great and undying possibilities within us.

This Principle of Attraction and love which manifests itself in numberless desires in the man is the real man. It is the universal spirit of life focused to expression; an upspringing jet from that one unquenchable force which men have called God. The infusing Life Principle within a man is a power all his own, which has been drawn to coherence or personal comprehension out from the same source that sends the world spinning through space in obedience to its unerring law, and it is as great, as unconquerable, as its source.

This mighty creature, then, is the real man; is the true individual; he is the Principle of Attraction individualized. Jesus saw this whole truth, and when they asked him, "Art them God?" hoping he would condemn himself by his answer, he could not deny it, even though he knew they were ignorant of his meaning, and would probably murder him for the truth he spoke. For my part, I think I can say, without boasting, that I am rapidly growing to the point in intelligence where I can understand such a man, for instance, as Mohammed, a man who lived comparatively alone with himself, and who studied himself until he gained a perception of his own greatness; gained a constantly growing perception of the power within him, until, looking at it in some supreme moment, he could not restrain his convictions of truth, but cried in exaltation, "Surely I am God." There are days when it is as easy for me to believe this of myself, and of every living soul, as it is to believe ourselves men and women. Mohammed's mistake was in believing the stupendous fact of himself only, whereas he should have seen that all arc gods in the same sense that he was.

The difference of seeing for ourselves alone, and of seeing for ourselves and all others equally, is the difference between injustice and justice, or between hell and heaven. To see within others the same sinless spirit of life that we see within ourselves is to abrogate those lines of inequality we have considered as race fixtures, and liberate every living soul to the freedom of the infinite possibility of growth. This wipes out hell in every one of its varied forms, and establishes the harmony of an acknowledged and deeply understood fraternal equality. Your desire for happiness is as sacred as my desire, and my desire is as sacred as yours. When we shall learn the binding claim of desire through knowing that it is the voice of infinite wisdom within us, it will become the most loving pleasure of our lives to help each other actualize it.

I have made much of the word "recognition," and no wonder; for the word means nothing less than the Principle of Attraction in external expression. It means vitality as showing forth in nature. Recognition and all of its kindred words, such as intelligence, mind, thought, are synonymous, and the mental word which harmonizes with them is light. Intelligence, mind, recognition—this is all there is of nature. It is all there is of man so far as his visible life is concerned, and his visible life is the only matter of vital importance to him, because it is that side of him from which the activities he delights in are projected; the side from which all his holiness comes; the side that makes room for his effort.

What does it matter that the Life Principle exists, unless there are creatures to recognize and make use of it? Recognition of the Life Principle is as important as the Life Principle itself. Man is God's necessity quite as much as God is man's necessity; which is to say, that without expression of itself the Life Principle cannot exist. Let us, then, stop belittling ourselves, since in doing this we belittle the eternal Principle of Life.

It has often been said that a man's estimate of God was a measure of his own size, and this is true. It explains many things in the popular theologies that are, otherwise, inexplicable; for instance, the little, revengeful and jealous character so many men attach to their personal God, making Him not much larger than the heathen idol whose worship they condemn so loudly.

"God and man are one," which means that man is one with the Principle of Attraction that animates all nature, all things. On the invisible side of life that one is the Principle of Attraction; on the visible side it is nature, with man as its head; and visible man is the great fact that concerns us now. The Principle of Attraction forever is. We can do nothing for it; but we, on the visible side, are growing creatures, and we grow by a recognition of the infallible character of the Principle of Attraction. There is no more limit to growing than there is a limit to the omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence of the Life Principle itself. Therefore, it is man we have to deal with in this external life, which will always be external to us, and which is of infinite importance. Let us not, therefore, belittle it, or belittle him and his desires connected with it.

Each individual "I" is forever the center of the universe to himself. All things exist for the "I," even the Life Principle. Without the "I" the Life Principle would exist in vain. Man and the Life Principle are forever reciprocal in interchange. Life exists, the one unquenchable fire of divine passion. Man recognizes this passion, and by reason of recognition becomes its unquenchable expression, forever growing in brightness, in illuminating power, as he recognizes it more and more. Man in his weakness has all of these ages been looking for a God upon whom to lean; but man himself is the only god there is. Upon this point my whole theory hangs; and this book is the cudgel taken up in defense of the long abused race. It is the race's champion against its own accusations.

I know what I am saying; the truths I am now writing with so much ease I have wrenched from death in a hand-to-hand struggle. For years and years I fought the charges hurled against poor, deluded humanity from pulpit and press, until by slow degrees I crawled from under the old beliefs that had made this world so potent a hell to me, and stood in a fair open space, where, even though my conquests were unacknowledged by a single soul, I yet knew myself a conqueror. For my fealty to humanity I was called a traitor to .God, and I even believed that this was so, but now comes my day of justification in the knowledge that God and man are one.

A knowledge of one's own self existence—this is strength. Strength is the first and most desirable attribute of man, because every noble quality is strength's overplus. No man can be wise who is not first strong. Wisdom expresses itself in strength. No man can be generous who is not strong. No man can live nobly and worthily until he has acquired that measure of intellectual strength, where he can stand alone in his individuality and give freely without asking anything in return. All giving that is not from an overplus of strength is selfish giving; it is giving for a motive. The motives that prompt this kind of giving are various. One person gives for a greater return; it is a business investment. Another gives for the love of approbation; another to satisfy the claims of his conscience. All give with an ignoble motive except he whose giving is the overplus of strength. The giver may not realize this, but the very nature of the case makes it true. Weakness leans and begs perpetually; its every act holds self in reserve—but strength flows outward; it overflows—and it can only overflow in love; pure, unadulterated love. Being full, it asks nothing in return for what it gives. It simply seeks to make others as strong and loving as it is. This is the point toward which humanity is now tending by a better recognition of its individuality: for there is nothing in the world that gives a man strength but the knowledge of his own power.

There is brute strength which dies with the brute; there is intellectual strength, which is the vitalizing spirit of the man; the real true man—and this is the strength that cannot die. This is the strength I am now writing of, whose overplus is love.

In order to be in much greater health and strength and beauty than we have ever realized, nothing is necessary but a better knowledge of ourselves. The reader will have learned from the foregoing pages that man is not simply a physical creature, subject to what is called the "laws of causation," but that he is purely a mental statement, or a mental estimate, of a certain amount of power which he has imbibed from the Principle of Attraction through his intellectual faculties. Moreover, man has himself made this statement or estimate of himself, and has the power to correct the errors he has made as rapidly as he discovers them. The errors in his statement show forth in weaknesses, diseases, poverty, old age and death.

Since I have explained man's relation to the Principle of Attraction; since I have shown that he is one with that unalterable and undying power; that he himself is all mind and records in his body as much as he can understand of the Principle of Attraction—it must be seen that he makes a great mistake in calling himself a weak and feeble creature, "a worm of the dust," and other expressions like this. I have shown that man is purely a mental creature, and since he is so, a belief in weakness will make him weak, because his beliefs are his external conditions. Therefore, let every student of these truths begin to reason on the foolish old charges against himself, which he has all his life been taught to believe would be pleasing to God; let him discard all feeling of humility, that attribute so lauded by the creeds, and learn to believe that the universe needs men, and not things.

Humility is the most accursed of all the so-called virtues. It is usually born of sycophancy, and it blights every man who assumes its hypocritical garb. Sycophancy is the child of fear, and until men are fearless they will never attain that freedom which means perfect health and strength. Humility has nothing to do with aspiration. Aspiration is the man's true means of growth, and aspiration is bold. It claims its own and gets it, while humility, like some slimy moisture, clings to the man and poisons his very nature. Humility, if men were conscious of its character, would be an insult to the Life Principle.

In a book like this repetitions are essential; so I say again the reason that each individual "I" seems to himself to be the center of all thing?' because of the omnipresence of the Life Principle. There being no circumference, each "I" is the spoken word of the infinite and omnipotent, and its own recognition of itself renders it the center from its own point of view. This thought will bear immense elaboration; but much must be left to the developing thought of the reader.

The spiritual interpretation of each individual "I" is eternal life; therefore, the man that understandingly proclaims the "I"' proclaims the universal life also, and announces the fact that he is one with it. The person who denies the "I" denies the Life Principle. Let the reader discard at once and forever the soul-crushing humility he has been taught to cultivate as a priceless virtue, and begin to extol himself. Let him not extol himself in the spirit of vanity, based on the groundless and ignorant assumption of his own superiority over other people, but let him, after perceiving the great truth of his being, and realizing his oneness with the Principle of Attraction within him, begin at once to declare his own strength and worth. Let him not hesitate to declare his own Godhood, not in the spirit of boasting, but in the understanding of truth. In this declaration, if made understandingly, a grand sense of justice takes possession of the man; he perceives that what he declares for himself he cannot help declaring for his neighbors, and even for his worst enemy. This declaration of the man's individual Godhood is the one unerring peacemaker. It is the beginning of the harmony that means heaven on earth. It is the only way to realize the all-important and all-inclusive commandment, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Every good thing in the Bible is condensed in these few words, and the whole of it is made attainable through the knowledge that the Life Principle is in us and is we, and that we are in it and are it. "Ye are the temple of the living God"—the Life Principle made manifest, made visible and audible—the spoken word. Is not the word one with the speaker? Then put away all foolish humility and stand forth in the self-confessed dignity of Godhood.

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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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