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The Unspoken Word

I swear I see what is better than to tell the best, — It is always to leave the best untold.
—Walt Whitman.

Iam writing these words to you in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. I am in my tent. A rushing, roaring stream passes just beyond. The rocks, the pines, the mountains, all inspire one to higher living. Yet beyond and behind all these is a something untold, which is the largest and best part of it all. A something that I cannot express to you, — a something that makes one quiet and hushed within himself. I feel like saying, “Be still, or we shall lose it.” Lose what I Have you never experienced it? Have there not been times when the spirit of all things put a feeling of awe in your heart 1 If you have not had such an experience, I cannot make you understand.

I have been thinking of the various stages of growth in consciousness. We all grow into a larger consciousness of things external and spiritual. We begin by wishing to tell all that we know; and we think that we know a great deal, and that we can explain our theories and make all clear to others. In the next stage of our development we begin to realize that we know very little. We give up explaining to others, our theories melt away, we feel that each must find out for himself, that each must have his own revelation of spiritual things. We do not feel that we are sure of “the whole scheme of salvation.” In these lessons the one effort has been to arouse you and make you do your own thinking, to inspire you to get the truth in your own way. Do not be a follower of any one. Find the individuality within yourself. Go earnestly and quietly to work to unfold the spiritual man. Do not feel that you could grow more easily under different circumstances. In our greatest anguish of mind the flowers of peace are planted.

Take in all your lines of selfishness, — some of which are irritation, resentment, and fear, — and put out only the line of love. This is the first step in growing the new man or new woman. Now don't keep taking in this line every few days, and putting out the line of selfishness in its place. Shall we not cut off this line of selfishness, and never tie it together again. If we have something of importance to do, we must first decide that we are to do it. Could we accomplish it if we decided in favor of it, and then again decided not to do it? Make your decision final: stand by it, though the skies fall. No matter whether any one appreciates the fact that you are making the one great effort of your life. No matter if others think and say that you do not live what you profess. Never mind if your failures are more apparent than your victories. Stand for what you are. Know that you cannot fail to reach your destination, although the road is rough. You are responsible to no one but yourself. The opinion of people — that bugaboo of most minds — must be buried so deep that it can never sprout again.
Live, live as a soul. And, after I have said all this, I tell you that these simple talks have been for myself as well as for you. After all the talking and the striving, I realize fully that the very best of it all has been “to leave the best untold.”

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Katharine H. Newcomb

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