The visible universe is the universe of uses, and man's theater of ever progressive action. To pull out of his own brain, as the spider pulls out of its body, an unending web of creations; creations that suggest other creations in a never ending procession of higher and still higher and more potent uses—this is man's privilege and his destiny.
At a certain point in the acquisition of intelligence, a man arrives at a wonderful fact; he perceives that he is personally creative; sees that his spoken word has the power of life in it; that it heals the sick, banishes old age and drives death away.
He does this through the power of the Law made personal.
That man should be able to make the power of the Law personal in himself is so wonderful a truth that the world is not going to accept it until it sees it demonstrated. But ever, now the fact is being demonstrated in sufficient force to prove to the unprejudiced observer that the statement I have made is true.
The people, as a whole, are not looking for anything out of the common occurrences of life; their preachers and their teachers, their body tinkers and their soul tinkers, are on top of them, and are holding them down with a weight as of mountains. When one poor, struggling creature gets from under, and begins to breathe the pure air of higher intelligence, he distrusts it because of its very purity. He is afraid of it; its grandeur terrorizes him; he is tempted to crawl back to his old stifling position in order to obtain again that mental stupor he is fain to call "his peace of mind."
The rapidly enlarging thoughts that spring from his liberated brain can find no soil for their germination; as far as his vision can reach, he sees but an arid desert waste, incapable of responding to his mental touch. He grows hopeless; the belief in himself and his own ideas, that would make them manifest in external form in spite of the most unfavorable conditions, is wanting; the disregardful world drifts over his genius and he is lost.
Belief is the clothing power of which desire is the spirit or soul.
Belief is the fruit of intelligence. A man believes what his intelligence shows him to be true. His belief is his fixed perception of certain facts. As his perception of facts changes, his belief changes.
No one doubts this; but when I say that his body is a faithful record of his beliefs, and shows forth every change of his perceptions, very few people will believe it; and yet it is true.
Beliefs with slight variations run in grooves that produce established types. Cattle represent a certain set of beliefs, and we have their type. Horses represent a set of beliefs, differing somewhat from those of cattle, and we have another type. Man represents another set of beliefs—a more intelligent set of beliefs—and they are faithfully registered in his higher organization.
There has been very little change in man's beliefs for ages. In all important particulars, he believes substantially what he believed thousands of years ago. He represents the inherited beliefs of many generations. His beliefs have been somewhat changed in a few particulars, but the body of his beliefs is the same. He believes himself to be a limited creature; he believes that God made him in His own image and that God holds his destiny in His hand. He leans on God or on some other imaginary power; and it is his disbelief in himself as his own maker and the master of his own destiny, that keeps him from farther marked and substantial advancement in his beliefs.
His intellect is locked up within a limit of his own making, and though he is slowly widening this limit in spots, he is contracting it in other spots, and his average growth out of his fetters is very slow.
The belief lying at, the root of all his hampering beliefs is a belief in the deadness of the matter out of which he thinks his body is made. He carries the body of death with him from the cradle to the grave. In spite of his ever present intuition that death is not for him, he admits its existence in his external senses, and he takes the consequences of the admission, and dies.
The few years of his life are insufficient for anything more than the round of ideas pursued by his father; and so he dies without having found any new line of thought by which to change his fixed beliefs. And thus, with human belief in a state of stagnation, the race itself is stagnant. It cannot improve in any decidedly marked manner.
The idea that the race has reached its ultimate development is one of the most absurd of all its ideas. It may be that the human form has become a crude expression of the shape best adapted to the highest use; and, in that case, there will be no higher race of animal creatures than man. But if this is so, and I believe it is, then the improvement to be made in him by a constantly growing belief in his own unlimited power will show forth—not in any marked change in his bodily structure—but in an ever strengthening, refining and beautifying process of his present structure. A man can be just what he believes he can be, after he understands the Law. He can do just what he believes he can do, after he has come into the understanding of being.
Therefore, personal power is simply a matter of the understanding of truth; simply a course of mental training in the right direction; the direction towards freedom from every one of his old hampering beliefs in his own limitation, and a consequent emancipation from every description of fear.
All power is in the knowing. By the word power, I do not mean some abstract, far away force, but a present personal power; a power vested in the individual himself; the power to be precisely what he wants to be, and to do precisely what he wants to do. A man has no limitations but those imposed by his ignorance of his power.
This is because the external of man is belief. What he believes, even in his ignorance of the Law—he is. When he shall come into an understanding of the Law, and know that it does not circumscribe him in any direction whatever, he can then consult his desires as to what he desires to become, and, recognizing that the Law does not stand in the way of his becoming what he desires to be, he slowly begins to grow into it. He speaks the word of his own renewed creation. He begins slowly to grow into the new form of life projected by his ideal.
I say "slowly," because at first this complete change of belief is very slow indeed. At every step of his progress in it, he is met by the solid wall of his previous beliefs, which have been compacted in him by a thousand generations of ancestors. He not only meets this solid wall in himself, but he can scarcely take a step outside of himself without meeting it in a still more unyielding form from those in whom it has never been shaken at all, and who turn upon him like enraged beasts when they begin to feel the change that is going on in him. Truly, he who would step up to a higher plane in life must be brave, as well as faithful to the best he knows.
And yet, to one who is thoroughly tired of the world as it is—tired of its mediocre attainments, tired of the entire range of its cheap and wretched thought—any change, however difficult, seems a relief. The energies are stimulated by it; and under the stimulus greater hopes are born and greater courage to insure their ripening.
Anything more dismal than the eternal round of small events that swarm our pathway from the cradle to the grave, to be repeated in each successive generation, I cannot imagine. No wonder if death should be welcomed by the weary pilgrim after his third or fourth journey over this arid and unchanging scene. If a continued existence has nothing better to hold out to us as an inducement to our prolonged lives here, I want nothing of it.
The same thing over and over and over for thousands of years—this has been the history of the race. A generation is horn; it drags through untold hardships, gives birth to another generation, and dies.
And, under the circumstances, it ought to be glad to die. It has no incentive to live. Moreover, there is no reason why it should live; its only use, so far as its growth has carried it, is to propagate its kind in order that the highest form of life on our globe shall not become extinct until the knowledge of self-salvation, through a continued growth, unbroken by death, should come to it.
The possibility of this unbroken line of growth in the individuals of the race has been the ever alluring, though never defined, hope by which it was possible for the generations to repeat themselves, until such time as human intelligence had come to that point of development where it could grasp the idea of perpetual and undying growth, and hold fast to it until it became fixed in these forms of personal beliefs, which we call our bodies.
Indeed, evolution, in its whole course, has flowed steadily up to this one hope; or rather, because self-perpetuation was an ultimate possibility, all life has ascended the scale in one unbroken stream of higher, and still higher forms towards its actualization.
To believe it possible to live forever in constant progression towards more refined and more powerful conditions, is the beginning of growth towards these conditions. This belief is the seed germ in the primordial life cell; it has developed in us on the unconscious plane; that is, without any help from our reasoning powers, until the present time.
The development of this seed germ can only go a certain distance on the unconscious plane, The time comes when unconscious growth—having ripened an intellect of sufficient power—demands the cooperation of that intellect; or at least, the recognition of its still latent possibilities by that intellect; or it develops no farther. This is the period when a transition from unconscious to conscious life begins; in other words, it is a transition from the plane wherein life lived us, to the higher plane where we begin to live ourselves, or to do our own living by our own knowledge of how to do it.
The unconscious plane of life is that plane in which we recognize the Law without knowing what it is, and without giving it any special thought. We simply recognize it as we make it manifest through use. We perform all the uses of life because life is in us; but our intelligences take no thought about it in any way that can lead to practical results. We know we live, and that is about all we do know.
When unconscious life, as expressed in uses, begins to become conscious life, it shows forth in a strange and heretofore unknown awakening of the intelligence; which, as it proceeds, lifts life from its unconscious plane, its plane of uses, to a plane of conscious power in its own ability to express itself in logical statements of itself, and free from compulsory expression in those uses, which, previously, had been its only mode of expression.
It is emancipated from the position of drudgery that was the natural result of its ignorance of its own ability and power, into a position of mastery, when its own logical statement of truth, as it has learned it by self-introspection, establishes its station in the world.
For instance, the man reasons this way: He says, "I have got an understanding of the power vested in the Law of Being; or at least an understanding of enough of that power to know that nothing can circumscribe it. This for the first part. For the second part, I perceive that desire is the individualized expression of the Law; and that desire is made manifest or visible in the external world by belief. I have believed in the power of the Law unconsciously, and that belief has manifested itself in all the organs of my body, and in the senses that relate me as an individual to the world of uses. Having realized its power even before I learned to observe it and reason on it intellectually, now, at this time, when I do observe it and reason upon it intellectually, I am beginning to be amazed at my own stupidity, and the stupidity of the race, that so little should be understood about it.
"For if an unconscious or dumb and blind belief should have brought me up to my present standpoint in creation, what will not a conscious or intelligent belief do for me; a belief, that, knowing something of the Law, can cooperate with the Law in its manifestation in my body?"
If the Law can manifest through blind belief, as it does do, how much more powerfully can it manifest through the intelligent belief that meets its every manifestation with a ready understanding of its meaning?
The action of the law is correlated to the action of the intelligence; the greater the activity of the intelligence, the greater the activity of the Law in manifesting. So long as the power of the law to manifest was confined to the dumb intelligence of the body, an intelligence that reciprocated only in added functions to the body, it continued to build the body until the body needed no more of those functions that expressed life only in uses. It had reached a shape of such proportions as, perhaps, best fitted it for its journey through eternity.
But suppose the Law could—at this stage of man's development—simply hold the man in existence, without any farther attempt at the recognition of truth on his part, what object would be served in the economy of human development?
None at all.
We should have a race stagnant at the completion of its animal life; a race not able to go alone in its own growing strength, and not worth carrying because of its helplessness, its disease and deformity and brutality. Such a condition would furnish us with a spectacle of arrested growth on so huge a scale, as to be beyond comparison with anything of the kind ever witnessed in the universe.
But this is precisely the spectacle we have been looking upon for thousands of years here on this planet. What does it mean?
It means that the Law reciprocates our unconscious recognition up to a certain point only, and never goes beyond that point. It reaches that point with each generation. Each generation then falls away from this unconscious recognition; it dies, and another generation follows in its footsteps, to again cease its unconscious recognition of the Law, and die.
And what cares the Law? The Law is unheeding. The Law bends to no one's cries or prayers. It is not generous; it has no moral quality; it is simply the Principle of Attraction; the attractive and cohesive power of the universe. It is unchanging; it simply is. "Men may come and men may go' but it exists forever.
But in all these wretched rounds of the ripening generations, the upper brain has been building; the brain that begins to realize and trust and believe in the ideal. And what has the ideal promised? It has promised us happiness; and happiness means freedom in its best sense; freedom from the bonds that have been festering more and more in our worn senses as the ideal brain grew; freedom from all our past conditions. "Conditions" is a word that, being interpreted by the new meaning which the advancing truth has placed upon it, is synonymous with "beliefs." For, if a man is all mind, as to his personality, then his conditions are his beliefs, and his beliefs are his conditions.
And so the ideal brain is promising this relief from the old beliefs, that have held us so long in the ruts of dead but unburied thought. It is not only furnishing us with new hopes, but it is showing us the feasibility of trusting these hopes to their utmost; and trusting them, they will lift us away from the broken generations that are the result of our unconscious recognition of the Law, into the one unbroken generation that will begin as soon as we yield to the leadings of the ideal, and place our trust upon the infinite possibilities latent in the Law; possibilities we have never yet prospected for.
It is the growing brain, the development of the ideal faculties, that gives us power at this time to perceive more of the power latent in the Law than we have ever before seen. And as it is a fact that—the body being all mind—the more we see of the power of the Law, the more that power becomes incarnate in us; it, therefore, follows that the race is going to accomplish the effort of centuries, and cross the line between its unconscious life of the past, and enter a condition of conscious life for the future.
The ideal faculty in its development makes our desires seem plausible and possible of realization. No inferior faculty of the brain has ever done this, or ever can do it. The ideal has not only opened the external world up before us, and given us new incentives to life and effort, but it has opened new departments in the body that correlate the external; that are adapted to the external, and that—under the Law of Attraction—will unite with the external in a new growth, and a nobler growth than the race has yet had.
There is no doubt at all that it has been exclusively by the race's growing recognition of desire, that the ideal faculties have been built. The ideal brain is the new laboratory which desire has formed for the expression of its own peculiar characteristics. Desire has formed it in order to make itself visible and audible in the world of effects. Desire, as a latent and greatly ignored function, desired to be recognized by the individual in whose economy it played so important a part; and in order to do this, it had to build a laboratory in the human brain for the expression of itself. And so we have the faculty of ideality. And it is the growth of this faculty that is now pledged to lift us to a recognition of the vast importance of the Law of Attraction within us as expressed in desire.
It is teaching us even now, in spite of the contempt heaped on our desires by generations of theologians, to respect desire in ourselves and others. It is teaching a few of us to stand by our desires, and uphold them as we would stand by and uphold our own lives; for we know that desire is the Life Principle within us, and that it is death to ignore it.
In speaking of desire, the Life Principle in man, it seems unnecessary to guard it against the misapprehension that has always clouded it in public opinion. Public opinion is a very shallow stream; and no defense that I can make of a word which has lain so long under the drifts of theological rubbish will be understood. To the thinkers, I have only to repeat what I said once before in these pages; that desire is the implanted Life Principle, without which no plant or animal, no organic form, could ever move at all; indeed, there could be no organic form; for the principle of cohesion would not be expressed in individuals were it not for desire. Desire points always in one direction; the direction of happiness.
That the individual makes most grievous mistakes in seeking the happiness towards which desire always points, is because the individual in his external life is a mental creature, whose only chance to grow is by projecting experimental efforts here, there and everywhere; and by the results of these experiments he judges for himself whether he is right or wrong. In this way he has built himself from the smallest possible life, up to the most powerful life on our globe. And in the same way he will go on building himself until experience shall teach him that his highest happiness hangs on the great moral law laid down by Jesus: "Whatsoever ye would that others should do unto you, do ye also unto them."
In believing in my desires, I believe in the Law of Attraction in my body. The Law of Attraction is the power that holds the atoms of my body in cohesion. In our unconscious life, the Law acts without our knowing it; it holds the atoms of our bodies compact until we reach the point of our highest development, or until we are grown. Then, if our conscious knowledge of its power could hitch on to our unconscious knowledge of it, the power would still operate to hold the atoms in such close relation to each other that we would not grow any older.
But when we fail to recognize the Law in our bodies as expressed in desire, then at the point when the unconscious life drops us, we begin to grow old. The growing old process is simply a process of disintegration or falling apart of the atoms, because we do not begin the process of conscious recognition, and the power vested in unconscious recognition begins to fail. We are then in a condition of negation, wherein the atoms or cells lose their magnetic relation to each other more and more. As this goes on, the different organs of the body become deadened to each other's magnetisms, and become slack in their action, until the whole system gets to be like an old machine, whose wheels have worn smaller and smoother until the cogs do not act in a way to move all its parts harmoniously. This is the condition we call old age.
A similar condition may exist in youth. There may be a non-recognition of the Law of Attraction on the unconscious plane of a child; and the child may express the condition in many forms of error called disease. And every form of it is non-recognition, either consciously or unconsciously, of the Law of Attraction in the individual as expressed in desire.
A sick person may have a hundred desires, and the desire to live, more than all others; but even having the desire in its greatest development, he does not trust it; and it is powerless to save him.
He must not only be conscious of his desire, but he must know that desire is the saving power, and that to trust it fully, to believe in it as a saving power, is to be saved. This is what the Bible means when it speaks of the saving power of God, and of how God will save to the uttermost all who trust in Him. The old prophets and teachers of that long past age, when the Bible was written, had an inkling of the truth of this matter. For their God is the Law; it is expressed in man in desire; and when comprehended and trusted, the result is absolute and indestructible and ever refining and progressive life.
By the understanding of his own power as related to the Law of Being, a man's spoken word will recreate him.
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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.