Life on its present plane is beggared; it is animalized to the core. Its small allurements are soon spent, leaving nothing but old age and the grave. Its so-called wealth is rotten rags, and its possessors—those who have struggled half their lives in its attainment—know it, and are asking, "Is this all?" Why, every brain in which experience has planted a thought is bitterly dissatisfied, and many lives have lost hope and faith.
This thought takes me back a few pages. For anyone to imagine, even for a moment, that I would invest money in bonds while the race needs work that calls for its honorable investment, is an insult to every particle of womanhood and motherhood in my nature. That I am traitor enough to humanity to do such a thing is simply impossible. Nor am I coward enough to hoard a dollar. Moreover, I have too much faith in my own ability to create opulence to allow me to feel like saving money. All I have can go, and I can forge more out of the same mental laboratory that forged the first. I may starve to death when the time comes, but I will never be frightened to death through apprehension of starvation, and I will never hold back a cent. All I may ever have will be used in prospecting for better conditions. If money will not serve me, I am not going to serve it.
But it does serve me; it serves me simply because my condition does not cease with its possession; it comes to me as I build; it flows into the work I am doing, no matter what that work is. With me it is an ever flowing stream, rushing into and filling the path dug by the ideal; and the more the ideal digs, the deeper the excavation and the broader the channel, the more rapidly it comes into it, and the greater the propulsion it gives the movement. The present plan, being by far the greatest we have undertaken, will not lag for want of means.
A very practical question often asked is this, "Do you know of anyone who has conquered death?" To which I answer, "No." But my philosophy, carefully reasoned out, teaches me that the thing is possible at this time. I am sure there are people—more than a few—scattered over widely separated parts of the world, who are capable of prolonging their lives on the earth indefinitely; also that they are held back in the appearances of weakness simply from the race beliefs in sin, sickness and death. These beliefs are so deeply graven upon every atom of present existence, and so fill the very air we breathe, as with a miasmatic poison, that at present we cannot escape them long enough to show forth in on- bodies the widely differing truths which our philosophy teaches us. To believe against the world's beliefs at this time is like sweeping back the waves of the ocean as they roll in on the beach. All we have been able to do in these—the first years—has been to hold our own, and to gradually perceive a growing strength within ourselves that surely does prophesy absolute conquest in the future. We have stood up against the floods of antagonistic thought like impregnable rocks in mid-ocean, and though our progress is not visible to the casual observer, yet the progress has been made.
We have progressed from the first intimation of a possibility of conquering every negative belief, including disease, old age and death, to a fixed conviction that it can be done, and to a well digested philosophy concerning the way to do it. We have unfolded from our own minds a knowledge of the Law of Growth; the law that operates in the blade of grass and in the adjustment of the planets; that regulates all lives from atoms to archangels; and we know that it is the same in all things. We know that to understand a law is to be master of it. Everything that our intelligence explains to us serves us; and already we begin to perceive the immense power this knowledge is capable of yielding. We begin to feel the power; we now have courage where we once feared; we have understanding where we once had blind faith. Once our position seemed weak to us because we were so alone, while the whole big world was against us; now our aloneness seems strength when contrasted with the quaking, unstable, unsubstantial drivel of the world's unprogressing intellect. In the whole ocean of weak, wavering mentality, the knowledge of our powers—gained from the study of the law of growth—stands like the one piece of solid land looming firmly up in the dreary waste. Our aloneness appalls us no longer. We know how continents are built in the evolution of nature, and we know that by the same process we are building a continent ill the realm of mind.
A coral reef—the unseen growth of ages—reaches its topmost cell above the water; the floating debris gathers about it; presently a soil has covered it; the birds bring seeds to it, and a continent is begun. So with this slowly ripening thought of the best brains of a thousand ages. It has been struggling upward through the heavy body of ignorance that kept it down. But now it is above the waves; the sun of a heretofore unknown intelligence is bathing it in splendor; new growths unknown before are ready to spring into life upon it; a new continent in the world of mind has become apparent.
"Honor to him who first through the impassable makes a road."
The road through the "impassable" has been made.
How easy it is to pass the impassable when the courage of a burning conviction has given thought the wings to make the attempt. Because the impassable has never been passed before is because it has never been attempted. And yet I will not be too sure. The mysteries of India are not altogether laid bare to us yet. The belief of millions of the Oriental race must go for something. These millions claim in utmost faith that they have wise men living in communities, far from the business marts of the world's common herds, who have overcome death; and who, from their high place in the realm of intelligence, are even now sending out thought waves into the wide, brave, untrammeled West that are breathing the breath of life into such movements as the one we have begun here in Florida.
This may be an accomplished fact; or it may simply be a prophecy projected from the brain of a people, who, in the mysteries of the occult, have ripened far beyond our new world conception of the possible.
The religion of India is one of repression rather than of effort. It teaches the effacing of desire, the absorption of the individual into the universal, as the only means of escape from the sorrows of existence. From such teachings and practices I can conceive the possibility of the preservation of the body for a greater length of years than is usual among men, but I cannot conceive that a life so lived would be worth the living, neither that it could be made immortal. The stifling of all desire, all emotion, all love, all hatred may, as it were, leave the body free from wear and tear, and so preserve it until its inherited vitality escapes by slow degrees, even as a piece of machinery, whose motive power is a spring, on being wound up, continues to run while the spring continues to uncoil, but will stop unless periodically wound. Unless our supposititious India "masters of the occult" have knowledge of the creative power of thought they may not possibly make these bodies immortal, though they n ay by inaction and the avoidance of all thought prevent their dissolution for a considerable portion of time. It would seem that if they had really found the road to eternal life, which can only be through mental processes, they would be more active in the dissemination of their knowledge. That there are those in India who are able to master the destructive element in fire, as shown in an earlier chapter, is proof of the possession by them of a power not yet attained by the greatest scientists elsewhere, and compels to the withholding of any positive denial of any claim to a knowledge of the so-called occult which they may make, or which others may make for them. Had such demonstration of power over what we call natural law, as that referred to in the fire test, been made in any so-called civilized country even so late as a century ago, the demonstrators would have been canonized by the church as saints, and used to help hold the masses in a still closer mental bondage; or else would have been denounced as emissaries of the devil and burned—no, not burned, because, apparently, they could not be, but anathematized and hung. It is among the possibilities that there are those in the remote hill country of Tibet who, learning the secret of immortal life centuries ago, learned also the inability of the masses to grasp the mighty truths which had come to them, and so hid themselves away to await the slow development of the race; and that they now are, as claimed by certain Theosophists, allowing this knowledge to slowly filter, as it will be received, through the cloak of ignorance and prejudice that still darkens the minds of men.
But I accept nothing that I cannot demonstrate, and, therefore, offer what I have as a mere suggestion. I have always doubted the existence of the so-called masters, for no other reason than because I want tangible proofs before I affirm with positiveness that these men really exist.
Of the atmosphere of repose that seems to banish all belief in the power of time, I must say that the deeper I come into a knowledge of the truth that all is mind, and the greater my own sense of power in the conquest of environment, the more I feel that time is for slaves, and that freemen are not bound by it; and as I realize this, that same sense of deep, mighty reposefulness, comes to me; and this, too, when I am entirely alone; showing how the world's atmosphere of thought will eventually be changed as we go on in the further pursuit of that knowledge which is pledged to our liberation from all fetters.
That solitude fosters and nourishes thought I have discovered by experience. But there is something better even than solitude. It is the mingling of minds attuned to one purpose. A person may stand alone as firmly grounded in a truth as the Rock of Gibraltar, and he can hold it until the firmness of his position attracts others, as it is bound to do. This position he may attain in solitude with much less effort than among the distracting and conflicting waves of opinion, and the clashing hopes and fears of the populace. Let us suppose we have found one soul that (even under favoring conditions of absolute quiet) can hold fast to the highest ideal the topmost chamber of his brain is capable of generating; he will stand forth as the great mental Gibraltar of the new civilization. But one such rock is not enough to form the mighty continent of mind that is essential to the uplifting and saving of the race. Others of like caliber and fiber must be added; the growth of these great principles must be achieved through the union of all who know there is something better to be attained than the race has yet attained, and who are willing to work to that end. It is as Jesus said: "When two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I also." Let us multiply two or three into the thousands, and then we will see how powerfully, how wondrously, the truth will be among us.
Do you not see from the foregoing what the meaning of this movement is? Oh! the happiness to come from it! Oh! the wisdom to be evolved from the attrition of many minds, all attuned to the one effort of ultimate conquest over sin, sickness and death! Who cares if the world laughs—the world that has never taken the trouble to think, but presumes to sit in judgment on those who do?
And yet how many are held in check out of fear of the opinions of those who really have no opinions at all, but who are satisfied to carry their mental grist just as their fathers carried the grist of corn—the grain in one end of the sack and a rock in the other end to balance it?
Take this position as almost universally accepted by the Christian world. Sickness, they say, is sent from God; or at least, God permits it, and has an object to serve in doing so. They believe this, and yet they go to work to thwart God's purpose by taking medicine and doing all in their power to get well. Possibly they have an idea that God not only visits them with sickness, but sends the antidote to his visitation in the shape of medicine, thus manifesting his inconsistency. The whole thing shows an entire lack of effort, a reasoning regarding the matter that does no credit to anybody.
Let no one who is capable of accepting such statements and such conclusions as true or logical, attempt to sit in judgment upon the statements or reasoning of others; for unless the blind are fitted to lead the blind, such are not competent to judge of any matter requiring thought above the capacity of an infant.
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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.