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Our Talk With Correspondents

"Ego"—There are some souls who, amid all the vicissitudes of life, and behind all the apparent inconstancies of their character, have, deep in their innermost being, a fixed and lofty spiritual ideal. And to this ideal they are wedded, and they pursue it even when they know it not. Such souls are troubled with that "divine unrest" which carries them through continual changes, bringing about unsettled and unsatisfying circumstances, and these conditions must continue until their ideal is reached and realized. You are evidently one of those souls. You have, again and again, tried to fix your mind solely on the achievement of material success, but an intangible, half-conscious, scarcely understood something within you has called you away just when you were about to grasp the object of your desire, and you found yourself alone with nothing. And you were thus left alone because you were untrue to your ideal and whilst you continue to be untrue to it you must continue to wander in continual change and dissatisfaction. Your own words, which I here quote, will reveal to you just where you have been wrong, if you will dispassionately and disinterestedly meditate upon them. They are as follows;—"I have never been able to narrow my mind enough to keep out others' interests...It is as though I could not be selfish, however much I wanted to be, and the need at times has been very real." Dwelling too much upon surface appearances, you have been laboring under the delusion that selfishness is necessary to the achievement of material prosperity. The "need" for such selfishness is not "real." It does not exist; and this the spiritual side of your nature knows, and is continually striving to impress it upon your lower consciousness by bringing about repeated failure. Your lower nature has sought success by selfish means; your higher nature is continually demanding unselfishness. You cannot serve these two masters, and as the strength of your spiritual nature and the reality of your inborn ideal prevent you from serving entirely the lower, you should give yourself up unreservedly to the service of the higher. Instead of trying to become more selfish in order to achieve success, strive to become more unselfish still, even to the extent of ceasing to aim at material prosperity; concentrate your mind on the accomplishment of that which is right and good; perform all your present duties (no matter how distasteful they may be) with the utmost care and diligence, not thinking of your own gain, and lo! the success which you have vainly sought will come and knock at your door, and you will only have to open and give it admittance.

V. P. W.—Your contention that "the Law is not the Power," but that "Love is the Power enabling us to fulfill the Law" may serve as a metaphysical exercise, but it has no connection with the realities of life. "Love is the fulfilling (the filling full) of the Law." Love is the Law complete and perfect, and without Love there could be no Law. To regard Law as an abstraction separable from Love is to regard nothing as something. Your symbol, also, of a man climbing a mountain path in order to reach a goal is incorrectly applied, as, in the spiritual ascent, the Power, the Path, and the Goal are all within the man. But even were the Path and the Goal outside the man, and the Power only was within, as they are in the material world, and your symbol were correctly applied, your conclusions would still be inapplicable to life, as a path without a goal or a goal without a path leading to it are alike inconceivable. We may, in thought, critically separate the inseparable, but it is wisdom to adapt thought to truth, to reality. Your argument, then, is not only purely metaphysical, it is also hypercritical, and therefore unnecessary.

B. J.—We are glad to know that you are so pleased with The Light of Reason; your poem on "England," however, is not suitable for its pages. We doubt whether you have really grasped the spirit of our journal.

T. T. O. T. T.—You say that it is "undoubtedly true that we reap as we sow," and then in your next sentence you deny it, saying, "In this respect we can hardly be said to have a fair field (to say the least of it) in the present disorganized state of being," etc., and then go on to show that you really believe we do not reap as we sow. We believe, with you, that "It is well to guard against too hasty conclusions and definitions, lest Truth becomes error," and had you referred to former issues of our journal before forming your conclusions, you would have found that the conditions you mention, such as heredity and the purpose of God, are not only "allowed for," but are dealt with, See Hugo Wright's "The Mind and the Body," in our February issue, also "Our Talk with Correspondents," May, April, and June, and other scattered references. The short article to which you refer was not intended as an exhaustive treatise. The inference contained in the saying, "The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge," is denied in toto by Ezekiel, see Chap. XVIII. In your other reference to scripture you have seriously misquoted.

E. E. K.—As men and women evolve, growing wiser and gentler by the sufferings which they ignorantly bring upon themselves, they will become more and more conscious of "the Sacredness of life," and the day will at last dawn when callousness and indifference will no more obtain upon the earth.

F. M.—Your two short essays are not suitable for publication in our pages.

L. S.—Your article entitled "An Understanding Faith," although well-written, is not well adapted to our journal. Perhaps, after studying our pages more, you will submit another article. We reciprocate your kind wishes.

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James Allen

James Allen was a little-known philosophical writer and poet. He is best recognized for his book, As a Man Thinketh. Allen wrote about complex subjects such as faith, destiny, love, patience, and religion but had the unique ability of explaining these subjects clearly and in a way that is easy to understand. He often wrote about cause and effect, sowing and reaping, as well as overcoming sadness, sorrow, and grief. For more information on the life of James Allen, click here.

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