An omnipotent force is operative throughout the universe, an intelligent force that fashions alike the frailest blossom and the farthest star, that controls and directs the countless suns and worlds in their orbits—that underlies and permeates all, from the least to the greatest. Every phenomenon is a manifestation of this intelligence, which throughout unnumbered ages has been working towards the ever increasing expression of its own ineffable fullness. In the heart of the acorn is written the word of the towering oak; deep in the soul of man the self-same power has traced the living word of his own image. In the fullness of time the acorn discloses its wonderful secret, and likewise the word that was written from the beginning concerning man must become manifest. Law and order obtain in the one growth just as in the other. Change follows change in both—the change of a sure development, the change we call evolution of life, the power of progress throughout the whole gamut of existence. And this forever upward—tending force is native and inherent—this evolution is the direct and inevitable sequence of evolution. The ideal, the goal in embryo—one might say, all the soul may ever hope to become—is at this moment locked within that soul’s depths. Each soul contains at any and every stage of its existence the history of its own past and the prophecy of its own future.
In our study of the different sciences we gradually but inevitably awaken to the fact that there is in reality but one life, one science. The same life animates the tiniest molecule and the greatest intellect. One omniscient energy creates all outward forms. Would it not be well, then, to give ourselves earnestly to the realization of this all-embracing life within ourselves? When in the fullness of time we come to feel this unity of life we shall no longer regard the external world as something partial and apart, but we will know that both the outer and the inner go to form one great vitalized whole wherein can be no separation.
Of my own, the single soul—
So the world’s wide book; one page
Deciphered, explains the whole
Of our common heritage.
I, for my race and me,
Shall apprehend life's law;
In the legend of man shall see,
Writ large, what, small, I saw
In my life's tale; both agree.
Involution and evolution are the two phases of one creation. Man the ideal existed in the Father-Mother heart before man the actual could appear on the earth. Yet just because such an ideal was conceived, evolution was a necessary consequence.
Seemingly there is an outer and an inner world. The one comprehends all with which man’s senses and thoughts make him acquainted; and the other, the innermost of all, the world of man's emotions and highest impulses, is interpreted by what he feels. In reality they are one. The outer merely shows forth—symbolizes—that which is within.
All growth tends upward from a lesser degree of development to a higher; from evil, which is only another name tor immaturity, to good, which is the ripe growth, the goal. All our boasted knowledge is scarcely more than the notation of this growth, the transcribing of the outward semblance of this "eternal becoming? And comparatively how little indeed of even such relative knowledge is ours! How little, for instance, do we know of the earth-life about us. To what a fraction of the sights and sounds on every hand are our eyes and ears attuned. We cannot hear the grass growing or the sap mounting, we are blind to the worlds within worlds, hints of which the microscope gives us. Birth and death, even, we know only as the coming and going of forms.
He only partly knows, runs over it
And follows but the story, losing wit
And charm and half the subtle links among
The haps and harms that the book's folk beset;—
So do we with our life; night comes and morn;
We know that one has died and one is born;
But all the grace and glory of it fail
To touch us with the meanings they unfold.
The Zeitgeist to our souls has told the tale,
And tells it; and ’tis very wise and old;
But o'er the page there hangs a mist and veil;—
We do not know the tongue in which 'tis told.
As a matter of fact, the real life of the individual does not begin until maturity. Before this the child goes through an epitome, one might say, of the successive stages of race life. For the first ten years or more it lives the life of its parents, under their influence, —the life of dependence—a wholly reflected life. Then the more active race-life begins the life of objective interests, of tribal struggle and conquest, the lust for destruction as well as the desire to build—to fashion, to imitate race-growth in miniature. At last the first crude outline, the faint dawning of the effectional nature appears, and prepares the way for the true freedom of maturity. It is only then that the independent, the real life begins for the man or woman.
When we think of the slow development of these past ages, of which the waywardness of the moment is perhaps but the reflection, is there any room for impatience with individual fault? Is not a wise and loving guidance all that one may give?
The unconscious development has been slow; but once co-operation with the unfoldment has begun, there is no bound but his own will set to the rate of man’s progress.
So far we are the goal of all development, the summing up of the universal effort. "It doth not yet appear what we shall be." Think for a moment of the physiological and psychological capital, as it were, stored up in us, the racial riches we have to start out with.
As we have used our power in each phase of existence, so might is added unto us in our life of today. We are the summing up of our complete past.
The name we give things matters little; whatever we may call the steps along life’s highway, the trend of that way is unmistakable
Rise and not rest, but press
From earth’s level, where blindly creep
Things perfected more or less,
To heaven's height, far and steep.
This is because the inner word is forever seeking outer expression, and must forever seek it until the heaven that is within is fully realized without.
If we examine a seed the physical eye cannot discern the ideal wrapped within it, yet we know it is there because of the results. An acorn never by any possibility could evolve an elm tree, but is absolutely true to its inner life and evolves the oak. So long as the life principle resides within the acorn the outer results must be true to the definite and compelling ideal.
Man's first revelation of himself is a purely physical one, but we know, by the continual advancement in outward expression, that the physical man is only a part of the ideal, or perhaps we might say it is a first, and, therefore, an incomplete manifestation of the real and perfect man. So long as the physical man conforms to his physical law he is a harmonious and, within physical limits, a powerful being. Man cannot remain forever in the limited scope of physical existence, for the divine life within is ever stirring, and in time must find a more adequate expression. In time a thinking and reasoning being evolves. Yet even this is not the end, for man is the off-spring of the Father-Mother-God, and is destined to reveal spiritual life in all its beauty and power. The physical and mental man is but a partial revelation, and it is these two stages of existence which Paul terms the carnal mind. It is evil only as it is incomplete. The unripe fruit is immature, but it is good even in its immaturity in that it promises to man a rich harvest in the future. The carnal mind is not awake to the great inner realm in which the true self abides. So long as a man believes in it he lives under it and is held in bondage to it. But the law that has been written from the beginning in the soul's holy of holies is the "law of the spirit of life." When at last a soul awakens to the consciousness of this it can never more be subject to the carnal mind. Then evil as a reality has ceased to be, the soul rises in its new birthright as a Son of God, joint heir with Christ, having the "same mind that dwelt in Christ Jesus"—verily the love of God made manifest; and every action of the man’s outer life is then but the expression of the fullness of the inner. This is the goal whither all unfoldment tends—
Toward which the whole creation moves.
when the son of man shall have passed from death unto life and have become the Son of God. And the omniscience, omnipotence. omnipresence, of God shall be revealed on earth, and His kingdom shall have been established on earth even as it is in heaven.
—From The Measure of a Man
More from Charles Brodie Patterson
- Canadian New Thought author
- Born in Nova Scotia in 1854 and died on June, 22nd 1917