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Self-Knowledge

By attaining a knowledge of his subjective self, man becomes superior to selfishness, to environment, to the world, to everything external. Fear is changed to courage, calm and peace take the place of anxiety, and slavery to the senses no longer forms his yoke. He also knows that whatever comes to each soul that soul needs.
— George MacDonald

This quotation is truly metaphysical. The one thought in metaphysics is to forget the external and to become conscious of the within, to give up living in the objective and to develop, grow into a consciousness of the subjective, the real self. In order to know whether s thing is true, we must prove it. We are told that we shall accomplish certain results if we follow out a given line of thought. To wonder if it is true and to wish we could “get there” is of no benefit whatever. But we begin by trying in some simple way, — the learning to forget externals and to understand the subjective We turn our thought to the real self; and in contemplation of that and God or law — for they cannot be separated — we are lost in the great ness of it all; and the external seems very small and of little importance when we return to it. We find, as we cultivate this study of the within, that we grow more unselfish, courageous, loving, and peaceful. Our various anxieties and annoyances fail to trouble us, and even grow less frequent. We are no longer slaves to the senses. We learn to fit ourselves into the Universal instead of feeling that we are apart from it. We become conscious of a freer and fuller expression of ourselves, our real selves.

Every attainment is a normal growth, and forms one of the links in an endless chain. We find that we are free to choose, to make our life. Freedom does not belong to any locality. It is in mind.

Whatever comes to each soul, that soul needs.

Of this we become perfectly sure, as we develop this soul-consciousness. Each soul needs: then we cannot desire to shirk any of our lessons. All are needed for this endless growth.

In endeavoring to do our best, we must not get discouraged at our failures. We all have times when it is hard to rise above our difficulties. But we are told to “be not weary in well-doing,” not to give up, to try and try again, knowing that in “due season” we shall reap, if we faint not. We shall reap just that which we have sown, — no better and no worse. I have observed that we sometimes sow rather inferior seed, and then are surprised at the crop which we reap. If you do not like the harvest, you created it; and you can create another and a better. But never for a moment think that you can give way to selfishness, fear, anger, or disappointment, and bring forth harmonies that would result from unselfishness, courage, and love. It cannot be done. You will surely reap that which you have sown.

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Katharine H. Newcomb

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