We are all dwellers in two kingdoms, the inner kingdom, the kingdom of the mind and spirit, and the outer kingdom, that of the body and the physical universe about us. In the former, the kingdom of the unseen, lie the silent, subtle forces that are continually determining, and with exact precision, the conditions of the latter.
To strike the right balance in life is one of the supreme essentials of all successful living. We must work, for we must have bread. We require other things than bread. They are not only valuable, comfortable, but necessary. It is a dumb, stolid being, however, who does not realize that life consists of more than these. They spell mere existence, not abundance, fullness of life.
We can become so absorbed in making a living that we have no time for living. To be capable and efficient in one's work is a splendid thing; but efficiency can be made a great mechanical device that robs life of far more than it returns it. A nation can become so possessed, and even obsessed, with the idea of power and grandeur through efficiency and organization, that it becomes a great machine and robs its people of the finer fruits of life that spring from a wisely subordinated and coordinated individuality. Here again it is the wise balance that determines all.
Our prevailing thoughts and emotions determine, and with absolute accuracy, the prevailing conditions of our outward, material life, and likewise the prevailing conditions of our bodily life. Would we have any conditions different in the latter we must then make the necessary changes in the former. The silent, subtle forces of mind and spirit, ceaselessly at work, are continually molding these outward and these bodily conditions.
He makes a fundamental error who thinks that these are mere sentimental things in life, vague and intangible. They are, as great numbers are now realizing, the great and elemental things in life, the only things that in the end really count. The normal man or woman can never find real and abiding satisfaction in the mere possessions, the mere accessories of life. There is an eternal something within that forbids it. That is the reason why, of late years, so many of our big men of affairs, so many in various public walks in life, likewise many women of splendid equipment and with large possessions, have been and are turning so eagerly to the very things we are considering. To be a mere huckster, many of our big men are finding, cannot bring satisfaction, even though his operations run into millions in the year.
And happy is the young man or the young woman who, while the bulk of life still lies ahead, realizes that it is the things of the mind and the spirit--the fundamental things in life--that really count; that here lie the forces that are to be understood and to be used in molding the everyday conditions and affairs of life; that the springs of life are all from within, that as is the inner so always and inevitably will be the outer.
To present certain facts that may be conducive to the realization of this more abundant life is the author's purpose and plan.
Ralph Waldo Trine