I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least. Nor do I understand who there can be more wonderful than myself.
— Walt Whitman
As long as we are willing to take the ideas of another in regard to God, without giving the matter any special thought, we cannot become conscious of God. It is when we begin to think for ourselves that we realize what a large subject it is. And, the more we think, the more apparent it becomes that even thinking about God is unlimited. What is God to us? We say, The life back of all things. We look at the flowers, the varied colors and odors and shapes. We watch the different animals, birds, and insects. We look at shells and pebbles, so wonderful in shape and coloring. Every man, woman, and child alike, and yet so different. All these represent God expressed. It is the God-power that holds all things together. As we behold and hear God in all things, we become one with all. We are coming into a realization of the nearness of God more and more; but how much do we understand God I think we do not understand God in the least, only as we understand ourselves; for an understanding of self gives us an understanding of others, and then our understanding of God. Do we understand ourselves, even our personal self, not taking into consideration at all our divine part, — the personal with its moods and whims confronting us some days with startling revelations that we never dreamed of possessing? Realization comes as a result of thought, now that we are conscious, thinking beings. Thoughts of ignorance assail us on every side. We are interested even to see how quickly our mind works, and sends us ideas of selfishness, all kinds of selfishness, when we simply give it the keynote. We can become a devil in reality, with all the cunning and scheming of one. Then let us turn instantly to the thought of ourselves as soul.
Let us strike the keynote of the true self, and immediately thoughts of unselfishness, love, joy, high ideals, grand aspirations, flood our minds; and we become truly children of God. How came this sudden transition? Was it a miracle? All things are miracles until we understand them. To learn to think, to learn to control our thinking, to think only those things that are profitable to us, to get control of this thought force, — truly, who is more wonderful than ourselves?
And I say to any man or woman, Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes. — Walt Whitman
Now the wrong thinking has been in thinking of ourselves as inferior beings, — “worms of the dust,” not competent to work out our own salvation, — a poor, limited creature at the mercy of a God. This is decidedly bad thinking. It cripples us at once. If soul is the real and everlasting part of us, it certainly governs, no matter what we may think or say to the contrary. Then let us begin by thinking that it does, and see if the results are good. As I realize the soul-part, I stand erect and hold my head up, I walk with firmness, I have a feeling of strength up and down my spine. I say to myself: “I am unlimited. Nothing can hoop me in. I have always been, and shall always be.” I am here to find out about myself. I am an interesting study to myself. This is worth living for. I have an object in life. I find the getting out of the personal into the spiritual the very best thing I have ever tried.