Days pass, God's at work, the slow chemistry's going on,
Brilliant, buoyant life, full winged, all the heaven's thy home!
Poor, mean man, stumbling and falling, e'en shamed by a clod.
Years pass, God's at work, spiritual awakening has come,
Regal, royal soul, then image, now the likeness of God.
The Master Teacher, he who appeals most strongly and comes nearest to us of this western civilization, has told us that the whole and the highest duty of man is comprised in two great, two simple precepts—love to God and love to the fellow-man. The latter we have already fully considered. We have found that in its real and true meaning it is not a mere indefinite or sentimental abstraction, but that it is a vital, living force; and in its manifestation it is life, it is action, it is service. Let us now for a moment to the other—love to God, which in great measure however let it be said, has been considered in dealing with love to the fellow-man. Let us see, however, what it in its true and full nature reveals.
The question naturally arising at the outset is, Who, what is God? I think no truer, sublimer definition has ever been given in the world's history, in any language, in any clime, than that given by the Master himself when standing by the side of Jacob's well, to the Samaritan woman he said, God is Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. God is Spirit, the Infinite Spirit, the Infinite Life back of all these physical manifestations we see in this changing world about us, and of which all, including we ourselves, is the body or outer form; the one Infinite Spirit which fills all the universe with Himself, so that all is He, since He is all. All is He in the sense of being a part of Him; for, if He is all, there can be nothing that is outside of, that is not a part of Him, so that each one is a part of this Eternal God who is not separate from us, and, if not separate from us, then not afar off, for in Him we live and move and have our being, He is the life of our life, our very life itself. The life of God is in us, we are in the life of God; but that life transcends us so that it includes all else—every person, every animal, every grass-blade, every flower, every particle of earth, every particle of everything, animate and inanimate. So that God is All ; and, if all, then each individual, you and I, must be a vital part of that all, since there can be nothing separate from it; and, if a part, then the same in nature, in characteristics—the same as a tumbler of water taken from the ocean is, in nature, in qualities, in characteristics, identical with that ocean, its source. God, then, is the Infinite Spirit of which each one is a part in the form of an individualized spirit. God is Spirit, creating, manifesting, ruling through the agency of great spiritual laws and forces that surround us on every side, that run through all the universe, and that unite all; for in one sense, there is nothing in all this great universe but law. And, oh, the stupendous grandeur of it all! These same great spiritual laws and forces operate within us. They are the laws of our being. By them every act of each individual life is governed.
Now one of the great facts borne ever more and more into the inner consciousness of man is that sublime and transcendent fact that we have just noticed—that man is one with, that he is part of, the Infinite God, this Infinite Spirit that is the life of all, this Infinite Whole; that he is not a mere physical, material being—for the physical is but the material which the real inner self, the real life or spirit uses to manifest through—but that he is this spirit, this spirit, using, living in this physical, material house or body to get the contact, the experience with the material world around him while in this form of life, but spirit nevertheless, and spirit now as much as he ever will or ever can be, except so far of course, as he recognizes more and more his true, his higher self, and so consciously evolves, step by step, into the higher and ever higher realization of the real nature, the real self, the God-self. As I heard it said by one of the world's great thinkers and writers but a few days ago: Men talk of having a soul. I have no soul. I am a soul: I have a body. We are told moreover in the word, that man is created in the image of God. God is Spirit. What then must man be, if that which tells us is true?
Now one of the great errors all along in the past has been that we have mistaken the mere body, the mere house in which we live while in this form of life for a period—that which comes from the earth and which, in a greater or less time, returns to the earth—this we have mistaken for the real self. Either we have lost sight of or we have failed to recognize the true identity. The result is that we are at life from the wrong side, from the side of the external, while all true life is from within out.
We have taken our lives out of a conscious harmony with the higher laws of our being, with the result that we are going against the great current of the Divine Order of things. Is it any wonder, then, that we find the strugglings, the inharmonies, the sufferings, the fears, the forebodings, the fallings by the wayside, the "strange, inscrutable dispensations of Providence" that we behold on every side? The moment we bring our lives into harmony with the higher laws of our being, and, as a result, into harmony with the current of the Divine Order of things, we shall find that all these will have taken wings; for the cause will have been removed. And as we look down the long vista of such a life, we shall find that each thing fits into all others with a wonderful, a sublime, a perfect, a divine harmony.
This, it will seem to some—and to many, no doubt—is claiming a great deal. No more, however, than the Master Teacher warranted us in claiming when he said, and repeated it so often, Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven, and all these other things shall be added unto you; and he left us not in the dark as to exactly what he meant by the kingdom of heaven, for again he said: Say not, Lo here, nor lo there. Know ye not that the kingdom of heaven is within you? Within you. The interior spiritual kingdom, the kingdom of the higher self, which is the kingdom of God; the kingdom of harmony—harmony with the higher laws of your being.
The Master said what he said not for the sake merely of using a phrase of rhetoric, nor even to hear himself talk; for this he never did. But that great incarnation of spiritual insight and power knew of the great spiritual laws and forces under which we live, and also that supreme fact of the universe, that man is a spiritual being, born to have dominion, and that, by recognizing the true self and by bringing it into complete and perfect harmony with the higher spiritual laws and forces under which he lives, he can touch these laws and forces so that they will respond at every call and bring him whatsoever he wills—one of the most stupendous scientific facts of the universe. When he has found and entered into the kingdom, then applies to him the truth of the great precept, Take ye no thought for the morrow; for the things of the morrow will take care of themselves.
Yes, we are at life from the wrong side. We have been giving all time and attention to the mere physical, the material, the external, the mere outward means of expression and the things that pertain thereto, thus missing the real life; and this we have called living, and seem, indeed, to be satisfied with the results. No wonder the cry has gone out again and again from many a human soul, Is life worth the living? But from one who has once commenced to live, this cry never has, nor can it ever come; for, when the kingdom is once found, life then ceases to be a plodding, and becomes an exultation, an ecstasy, a joy. Yes, you will find that all the evil, all the error, all the disease, all the suffering, all the fears, all the forebodings of life, are on the side of the physical, the material, the transient; while all the peace, all the joy, all the happiness, all the growth, all the life, all the rich, exulting, abounding life, is on the side of the spiritual, the ever-increasing, the eternal—that that never changes, that has no end. Instead of crying out against the destiny of fate, let us cry out against the destiny of self, or rather against the destiny of the mistaken self; for everything that comes to us comes through causes which we ourselves or those before us have set into operation. Nothing comes by chance, for in all the wide universe there is absolutely no such thing as chance. We bring whatever comes. Are we not satisfied with the effects, the results? The thing then to do, is to change the causes; for we have everything in our own hands the moment we awake to a recognition of the true self.
We make our own heaven or our own hell, and the only heaven or hell that will ever be ours is that of our own making. The order of the universe is one thing: we take our lives out of harmony with and so pervert the laws under which we live, and make it another. The order is the all good. We pervert the laws, and what we call evil is the result—simply the result of the violation of law; and we then wonder that a just and loving God could permit such and such things. We wonder at what we term the "strange, inscrutable dispensations of Providence," when all is of our own making. We can be our own best friends or we can be our own worst enemies; and the only real enemy one can ever have is the self, the very self.
It is a well-known fact in the scientific world that the great work in the process of evolution is the gradual advancing from the lower to the higher, from the coarser to the finer, or, in other words, from the coarser material to the finer spiritual; and this higher spiritualization of life is the great work before us all. All pass ultimately over the same road in general, some more rapidly, some more slowly. The ultimate destiny of all is the higher life, the finding of the higher self; and to this we are either led or we are pushed—led, by recognizing and coming into harmony with the higher laws of our being, or pushed, through their violation, and hence through experience, through suffering, and at times through bitter suffering, until through this very agency we learn the laws and come into harmony with them, so that we thus see the economy, the blessedness of even error, shame, and suffering itself, in that, if we are not wise enough to go voluntarily and of our own accord, it all the more quickly brings us to our true, our higher selves.
Moreover, whatever is evolved must as surely first be involved. We cannot conceive even of an evolution without first an involution; and, if this is true, we cannot conclude otherwise than that all that will ever be brought forth through the process of evolution is already within, all the God possibilities of the human soul are now, at this very moment, latent within. This being true, the process of evolution need not, as is many times supposed, take aeons or even ages for its accomplishment; for the process is wonderfully accelerated when we have grasped and when we have commenced to actualize the reality of that mighty precept, Know thyself.
It is possible, through an intelligent understanding of the laws of the higher life, to advance in the spiritual awakening and unfoldment even in a single year more than one otherwise would through a whole lifetime, or more in a single day or even hour than in an entire year or series of years otherwise.
This higher spiritualization of life is certainly what the Master had in mind when he said, It is as hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven as it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. For, if a man give all his days and his nights merely to the accumulation of outer material possessions, what time has he for the growing, the unfolding, of the interior, the spiritual, what time for finding that wonderful kingdom, the kingdom of heaven, the Christ within?
This certainly is also the significance of the temptation in the wilderness. The temptations were all, you will recall, in connection with the material, the physical, and the things that pertain thereto. Do so and so, said the physical: follow after me, and I will give you bread in abundance, I will give you great fame and notoriety, I will give you vast material possessions. All, you see, a calling away from the real, the interior, the spiritual, the eternal. Dominion over all the kingdoms of the world was promised. But what, what is dominion overall the world, with heaven left out?
All, however, was triumphed over. The physical was put into subjection by the spiritual, the victory was gained once for all and forever; and he became the supreme and royal Master, and by this complete and glorious mastery of self he gained the mastery over all else besides, even to material things and conditions.
And by this higher spiritual chemicalization of life thus set into operation the very thought forces of his mind became charged with a living, mighty, and omnipotent power, so as to effect a mastery over all exterior conditions: hence the numerous things called miracles by those who witnessed and who had not entered into a knowledge of the higher laws that can triumph over and master the lower, but which are just as real and as natural on their plane as the lower, and even more real and more natural, because higher and therefore more enduring. But this complete mastery over self during this period of temptation was just the beginning of the path that led from glory unto glory, the path that for you and for me will lead from glory unto glory the same as for him.
It was this new divine and spiritual chemistry of life thus set into operation that transformed the man Jesus, that royal-hearted elder brother, into the Christ Jesus, and forever blessed be his name; for he thus became our Savior—he became our Savior by virtue of pointing out to us the way. This overcoming by the calling of the higher spiritual forces into operation is certainly what he meant when he said, I have overcome the world, and what he would have us understand when he says, Overcome the world, even as I have overcome it.
And in the same sense we are all the saviors one of another, or may become so. A sudden emergency arises, and I stand faltering and weak with fear. My friend beside me is strong and fearless. He sees the emergency. He summons up all the latent powers within him, and springs forth to meet it. This sublime example arouses me, calls my latent powers into activity, when but for him I might not have known them there. I follow his example. I now know my powers, and know them forever after. Thus, in this, my friend has become my savior.
I am weak in some point of character—vacillating, yielding, stumbling, falling, continually eating the bitter fruit of it all. My friend is strong, he has gained thorough self-mastery. The majesty and beauty of power are upon his brow. I see his example, I love his life, I am influenced by his power. My soul longs and cries out for the same. A supreme effort of will—that imperial master that will take one anywhere when rightly directed—arises within me, it is born at last, and it calls all the soul's latent powers into activity; and instead of stumbling I stand firm, instead of giving over in weakness I stand firm and master, I enter into the joys of full self-mastery, and through this into the mastery of all things besides. And thus my friend has again become my savior.
With the new power I have acquired through the example and influence of my savior-friend, I, in turn, stand before a friend who is struggling, who is stumbling and in despair. He sees, he feels, the power of my strength. He longs for, his soul cries out for the same. His interior forces are called into activity, he now knows his powers; and instead of the slave, he becomes the master, and thus I, in turn, have become his savior. Oh, the wonderful sense of sublimity, the mighty feelings of responsibility, the deep sense of power and peace the recognition of this fact should bring to each and all.
God works through the instrumentality of human agency. Then forever away with that old, shriveling, weakening, dying, and devilish idea that we are poor worms of the dust! We may or we may not be: it all depends upon the self. The moment we believe we are we become such; and as long as we hold to the belief we will be held to this identity, and will act and live as such. The moment, however, we recognize our divinity, our higher, our God-selves, and the fact that we are the saviors of our fellow-men, we become saviors, and stand and move in the midst of a majesty and beauty and power that of itself proclaims us as such.
There is a prevalent idea to the effect that overcoming in this sense necessarily implies more or less of a giving up—that it means something possibly on the order of asceticism. On the contrary, the highest, truest, keenest pleasures the human soul can know, it finds only after the higher is entered upon and has commenced its work of mastery; and, instead of there being a giving up of any kind, there is a great law which says that the lower always and of its own accord falls away before the higher. And the time soon comes when, as one stands and looks back, he wonders that this or that that he at one time called pleasure ever satisfied him; for what then satisfied him, compared to what now is his hourly peace, satisfaction, and joy, was but as poor brass compared to the finest, purest, and rarest of gold.
From what has been said let it not be inferred that the body, the physical, material life is to be despised or looked down upon. This, rather let it be said, is one of the crying errors of the times, and prolific of a vast amount of error, suffering, and shame. On the contrary, it should be thought all the more highly of: it should be loved and developed to its highest perfections, beauties, and powers. God gave us the body not in vain. It is just as holy and beautiful as the spirit itself. It is merely the outward material manifestation of the individualized spirit; and we by our hourly thoughts and emotions are building it, are determining its conditions, its structure, and appearance. And, if there are any conditions we are not satisfied with, we by an understanding of the laws, have it in our power to make it over and change these conditions. Flamarion, the eminent French scientist, member of the Royal Academy of Science, and recognized as one of the most eminent scientists living, tells us that the entire human structure can be made over within a period of less than one year, some eleven months being the length of time required for the more compact and more set portions to respond; while some portions respond much more readily within a period of from two to three months, and some even within a month.
Every part, every organ, every function of the body is just as clean, just as beautiful, just as sweet, and just as holy as every other part; and it is only by virtue of man's perverted ways of looking at some that they become otherwise, and the moment they so become, abuses, ill uses, suffering, and shame creep in.
Not repression, but elevation. Would that this could be repeated a thousand times over! Not repression, but elevation. Every part, every organ, every function of the body is given for use, but not for misuse or abuse; and the moment the latter takes place in connection with any function it loses its higher powers of use, and there goes with this the higher powers of true enjoyment. It is thus that we get that large class known as abnormals, resorting to the methods they resort to for enjoyment, but which, in its true sense, they always fail in finding, because law will admit of no violations; and, if violated, it takes away the very powers of enjoyment, it takes away the very things that through its violation they thought they had secured, or it turns them into ashes in their very hands. God, nature, law, the higher self, is not mocked.
Not repression, but elevation—repression only in the sense of mastery; but this means—nay, this is—elevation. In other words, we should be the master, and not the body. We should dictate to the body, and should never, even for an instant, allow it to dictate to us.
Oh, the thousands, the hundreds of thousands of men and women who are everywhere being driven hither and thither, led into this and into that which their own better selves would not enter into, simply because they have allowed the body to assume the mastery; while they have taken the place of the weakling, the slave, and all on account of their own weakness—weakness through ignorance, ignorance of the tremendous forces and powers within, the forces and powers of the mind and spirit.
It would be a right royal plan for those who are thus enslaved by the body—and we all are more or less, each in his own particular way, and not one is absolutely free—it would be a good plan to hold immediately, at this very hour, a conversation with the body somewhat after this fashion: Body, we have for some time been dwelling together. Life for neither has been in the highest degree satisfactory. The cause is now apparent to me. The mastery I have voluntarily handed over to you. You have not assumed it of your own accord; but I have given it over to you little by little, and just in the degree that you have appropriated it. Neither one is to blame. It has been by virtue of ignorance. But henceforth we will reverse positions. You shall become the servant, and I the master. From this time forth you shall no longer dictate to me, but I will dictate to you.
I, one with Infinite intelligence, wisdom, and power, longing for a fuller and ever fuller realization of this oneness, will assume control, and will call upon you to help in the fuller and ever fuller external manifestation of this realization. We will thus regain the ground both of us have lost. We will thus be truly married instead of farcically so. And thus we will help each the other to a realization of the highest, most satisfying and most enduring pleasures and joys, possibilities and powers, loves and realizations, that human life can know; and so, hand in hand, we will help each the other to the higher and ever-increasing life instead of degrading each the other to the lower and ever-decreasing. I will become the imperial master, and you the royal companion; and thus we will go forth to an ever larger life of love and service, and so of true enjoyment.
This conversation, if entered into in the spirit, accompanied by an earnest, sincere desire for its fulfillment, re-enforced by the thought forces, and continually attended by that absolute magnet of power, firm expectation, will, if all are firmly and persistently held to, bring the full realization of one's fondest desires with a certainty as absolute as that effect follows cause. The higher self will invariably master when it truly and firmly asserts itself. Much the same attitude can be assumed in connection with the body in disease or in suffering with the same results. Forces can be set into operation which will literally change and make over the diseased, the abnormal portions, and in time transform them into the healthy, the strong, the normal—this when we once understand and vitally grasp the laws of these mighty forces, and are brought to the full recognition of the absolute control of mind, of spirit, over matter, and all, again let it be said, in accordance with natural spiritual law.
No, a knowledge of the spiritual realities of life prohibits asceticism, repression, the same as it prohibits license and perverted use. To err on the one side is just as contrary to the ideal life as to err on the other. All things are for a purpose, all should be used and enjoyed; but all should be rightly used, that they may be fully enjoyed.
It is the threefold life and development that is wanted—physical, mental, spiritual. This gives the rounded life, and he or she who fails in any one comes short of the perfect whole. The physical has its uses just the same and is just as important as the others. The great secret of the highly successful life is, however, to infuse the mental and the physical with the spiritual; in other words, to spiritualize all, and so raise all to the highest possibilities and powers.
It is the all-round, fully developed we want—not the ethereal, pale-blooded man and woman, but the man and woman of flesh and blood, for action and service here and now—the man and woman strong and powerful, with all the faculties and functions fully unfolded and used, all in a royal and bounding condition, but all rightly subordinated. The man and the woman of this kind, with the imperial hand of mastery upon all—standing, moving thus like a king, nay, like a very God—such is the man and such is the woman of power. Such is the ideal life: anything else is one-sided, and falls short of it.
The most powerful agent in character-building is this awakening to the true self, to the fact that man is a spiritual being—nay, more, that I, this very eternal I, am a spiritual being, right here and now, at this very moment, with the God-powers which can be quickly called forth. With this awakening, life in all its manifold relations becomes wonderfully simplified. And as to the powers, the full realization of the fact that man is a spiritual being and a living as such brings, they are absolutely without limit, increasing in direct proportion as the higher self, the God-self, assumes the mastery, and so as this higher spiritualization of life goes on.
With this awakening and realization one is brought at once en rapport with the universe. He feels the power and the thrill of the life universal. He goes out from his own little garden spot, and mingles with the great universe; and the little perplexities, trials, and difficulties of life that today so vex and annoy him, fall away of their own accord by reason of their very insignificance. The intuitions become keener and ever more keen and unerring in their guidance. There comes more and more the power of reading men, so that no harm can come from this source. There comes more and more the power of seeing into the future, so that more and more true becomes the old adage—that coming events cast their shadows before. Health in time takes the place of disease; for all disease and its consequent suffering is merely the result of the violation of law, either consciously or unconsciously, either intentionally or unintentionally. There comes also a spiritual power which, as it is sent out, is adequate for the healing of others the same as in the days of old. The body becomes less gross and heavy, finer in its texture and form, so that it serves far better and responds far more readily to the higher impulses of the soul. Matter itself in time responds to the action of these higher forces; and many things that we are accustomed by reason of our limited vision to call miraculous or supernatural become the normal, the natural, the every-day.
For what, let us ask, is a miracle? Nothing more nor less than this: a highly illumined soul, one who has brought his life into thorough harmony with the higher spiritual laws and forces of his being, and therefore with those of the universe, thus making it possible for the highest things to come to him, has brought to him a law a little higher than the ordinary mind knows of as yet. This he touches, he operates. It responds. The people see the result, and cry out, Miracle! miracle! When it is just as natural, just as fully in accordance with the law on this higher plane, as is the common, the every-day on the ordinary. And let it be remembered that the miraculous, the supernatural of today becomes, as in the process of evolution we leave the lower for the higher, the commonplace, the natural, the every-day of tomorrow; and, truly, miracles are being performed in the world today just as much as they ever have been.
And why should we not today have the powers of the foremost in the days of old? The great universe in which we live is just the same, the great laws under which we live are identically the same, God the same and working in His world now just as then. The only difference we shall find is in ourselves, in that we have taken our lives out of harmony with the higher laws of our being, and consequently have lost the higher powers through not using them. Mighty men we are told they were, mighty men who walked with God—and in the last clause lies the secret of the first—men who lived in the spirit, men who followed after the real life instead of giving all time and attention to the mere external, men who lived in the higher stories of their being, and not continually in the basements.
With here and there an exception we reverse the process. We live in the valleys, so to speak, often disease-infected valleys, when we might mount up to the mountain-tops, and there dwell continually in the warm and mellow sunlight of God's, or if you please, of nature's great, unchangeable laws, and find ourselves rising ever higher and higher, and revelations coming new every day.
The Master never claimed for himself anything that he did not claim for all mankind; but, quite to the contrary, he said and continually repeated, Not only shall ye do these things, but greater than these shall ye do; for I have pointed out to you the way—meaning, though strange as it evidently seems to many, exactly what he said.
Of the vital power of thought and the interior forces in moulding conditions, and more, of the supremacy of thought over all conditions, the world has scarcely the faintest grasp, not to say even idea, as yet. The fact that thoughts are forces, and that through them we have creative power, is one of the most vital facts of the universe, the most vital fact of man's being. And through this instrumentality we have in our grasp and as our rightful heritage, the power of making life and all its manifold conditions exactly what we will.
Through our thought-forces we have creative power, not in a figurative sense, but in reality. Everything in the material universe about us had its origin first in spirit, in thought, and from this it took its form. The very world in which we live, with all its manifold wonders and sublime manifestations, is the result of the energies of the divine intelligence or mind—God, or whatever term it comes convenient for each one to use. And God said, Let there be, and there was—the material world, at least the material manifestation of it, literally spoken into existence, the spoken word, however, but the outward manifestation of the interior forces of the Supreme Intelligence.
Every castle the world has ever seen was first an ideal in the architect's mind. Every statue was first an ideal in the sculptor's mind. Every piece of mechanism the world has ever known was first formed in the mind of the inventor. Here it was given birth to. These same mind-forces then dictated to and sent the energy into the hand that drew the model, and then again dictated to and sent the energy into the hands whereby the first instrument was clothed in the material form of metal or of wood. The lower negative always gives way to the higher when made positive. Mind is positive; matter is negative.
Each individual life is a part of, and hence is one with, the Infinite Life; and the highest intelligence and power belongs to each in just the degree that he recognizes his oneness and lays claim to and uses it. The power of the word is not merely an idle phrase or form of expression. It is a real mental, spiritual, scientific fact, and can become vital and powerful in your hands and in mine in just the degree that we understand the omnipotence of the thought forces and raise all to the higher planes.
The blind, the lame, the diseased, stood before the Christ, who said, Receive thy sight, rise up and walk, or, be thou healed; and o! it was so. The spoken word, however, was but the outward expression and manifestation of his interior thought-forces, the power and potency of which he so thoroughly knew. But the laws governing them are the same today as they were then, and it lies in our power to use them the same as it lay in his.
Each individual life, after it has reached a certain age or degree of intelligence, lives in the midst of the surroundings or environments of its own creation; and this by reason of that wonderful power, the drawing power of mind, which is continually operating in every life, whether it is conscious of it or not.
We are all living, so to speak, in a vast ocean of thought. The very atmosphere about us is charged with the thought-forces that are being continually sent out. When the thought-forces leave the brain, they go out upon the atmosphere, the subtle conducting ether, much the same as sound-waves go out. It is by virtue of this law that thought transference is possible, and has become an established scientific fact, by virtue of which a person can so direct his thought-forces that a person at a distance, and in a receptive attitude, can get the thought much the same as sound, for example, is conducted through the agency of a connecting medium.
Even though the thoughts as they leave a particular person, are not consciously directed, they go out; and all may be influenced by them in a greater or less degree, each one in proportion as he or she is more or less sensitively organized, or in proportion as he or she is negative, and so open to forces and influences from without. The law operating here is one with that great law of the universe—that like attracts like, so that one continually attracts to himself forces and influences most akin to those of his own life. And his own life is determined by the thoughts and emotions he habitually entertains, for each is building his world from within. As within, so without; cause, effect.
A stalk of wheat and a stock of corn are growing side by side, within an inch of each other. The soil is the same for both; but the wheat converts the food it takes from the soil into wheat, the likeness of itself, while the corn converts the food it takes from the same soil into corn, the likeness of itself. What that which each has taken from the soil is converted into is determined by the soul, the interior life, the interior forces of each. This same grain taken as food by two persons will be converted into the body of a criminal in the one case, and into the body of a saint in the other, each after its kind; and its kind is determined by the inner life of each. And what again determines the inner life of each? The thoughts and emotions that are habitually entertained and that inevitably, sooner or later, manifest themselves in outer material form. Thought is the great builder in human life: it is the determining factor. Continually think thoughts that are good, and your life will show forth in goodness, and your body in health and beauty. Continually think evil thoughts, and your life will show forth in evil, and your body in weakness and repulsiveness. Think thoughts of love, and you will love and will be loved. Think thoughts of hatred, and you will hate and will be hated. Each follows its kind.
It is by virtue of this law that each person creates his own "atmosphere"; and this atmosphere is determined by the character of the thoughts he habitually entertains. It is, in fact, simply his thought atmosphere—the atmosphere which other people detect and are influenced by.
In this way each person creates the atmosphere of his own room; a family, the atmosphere of the house in which they live, so that the moment you enter the door you feel influences kindred to the thoughts and hence to the lives of those who dwell there. You get a feeling of peace and harmony or a feeling of disquietude and inharmony. You get a welcome, want-to-stay feeling or a cold, want-to-get-away feeling, according to their thought attitude toward you, even though but few words be spoken. So the characteristic mental states of a congregation of people who assemble there determine the atmosphere of any given assembly-place, church, or cathedral. Its inhabitants so make, so determine the atmosphere of a particular village or city. The sympathetic thoughts sent out by a vast amphitheater of people, as they cheer a contestant, carry him to goals he never could reach by his own efforts alone. The same is true in regard to an orator and his audience.
Napoleon's army is in the East. The plague is beginning to make inroads into its ranks. Long lines of men are lying on cots and on the ground in an open space adjoining the army. Fear has taken a vital hold of all, and the men are continually being stricken. Look yonder, contrary to the earnest entreaties of his officers, who tell him that such exposure will mean sure death, Napoleon with a calm and dauntless look upon his face, with a firm and defiant step, is coming through these plague-stricken ranks. He is going up to, talking with, touching the men; and, as they see him, there goes up a mighty shout—The Emperor! the Emperor! and from that hour the plague in its inroads is stopped. A marvelous example of the power of a man who, by his own dauntless courage, absolute fearlessness, and power of mind, could send out such forces that they in turn awakened kindred forces in the minds of thousands of others, which in turn dominate their very bodies, so that the plague, and even death itself, is driven from the field. One of the grandest examples of a man of the most mighty and tremendous mind and will power, and at the same time an example of one of the grandest failures, taking life in its totality, the world has ever seen.
Again, as has been said, the great law operating in connection with the thought-forces is one with that great law of the universe—that like attracts like. We can, by virtue of our ignorance of the powers of the mind forces and the prevailing mental states—we can take the passive, the negative, fearing, drifting attitude, and thus continually attract to us like influences and conditions from both the seen and the unseen side of life. Or, by a knowledge of the power and potency of these forces, we can take the positive, the active attitude, that of mastery, and so attract the higher and more valuable influences, exactly as we will to.
We are all much more influenced by the thought-forces and mental states of those around us and of the world at large than we have even the slightest conception of. If not self-hypnotized into certain beliefs and practices, we are, so to speak, semi-hypnotized through the influence of the thoughts of others, even though unconsciously both on their part and on ours. We are so influenced and enslaved in just the degree that we fail to recognize the power and omnipotence of our own forces, and so become slaves to custom, conventionality, the opinions of others, and so in like proportion lose our own individuality and powers. He who in his own mind takes the attitude of the slave, by the power of his own thoughts and the forces he thus attracts to him, becomes the slave. He who in his own mind takes the attitude of the master, by the same power of his own thoughts and the forces he thus attracts to him, becomes the master. Each is building his world from within, and, if outside forces play, it is because he allows them to play; and he has it in his own power to determine whether these shall be positive, uplifting, ennobling, strengthening, success-giving, or negative, degrading, weakening, failure-bringing.
Nothing is more subtle than thought, nothing more powerful, nothing more irresistible in its operations, when rightly applied and held to with a faith and fidelity that is unswerving—a faith and fidelity that never knows the neutralizing effects of doubt and fear. If one have aspirations and a sincere desire for a higher and better condition, so far as advantages, facilities, associates, or any surroundings or environments are concerned, and if he continually send out his highest thought-forces for the realization of these desires, and continually water these forces with firm expectation as to their fulfillment, he will sooner or later find himself in the realization of these desires, and all in accordance with natural laws and forces.
Fear brings its own fulfillment the same as hope. The same law operates, and if, as our good and valued friend, Job, said when the darkest days were setting in upon him—that which I feared has come upon me—was true, how much more surely could he have brought about the opposite conditions, those he would have desired, had he have had even the slightest realization of his own powers, and had he acted the part of the master instead of that of the servant, had he have dictated terms instead of being dictated to, and thus suffering the consequences.
If one finds himself in any particular condition, in the midst of any surroundings or environments that are not desirable, that have nothing—at least for any length of time—that is of value to him, for his highest life and unfoldment, he has the remedy entirely within his own grasp the moment he realizes the power and supremacy of the forces of the mind and spirit; and, unless he intelligently use these forces, he drifts. Unless through them he becomes master and dictates, he becomes the slave and is dictated to, and so is driven hither and thither.
Earnest, sincere desire, sincere aspiration for higher and better conditions or means to realize them, the thought-forces actively sent out for their realization, these continually watered by firm expectation without allowing the contrary, neutralizing force of fear ever to enter in—this, accompanied by rightly directed work and activity, will bring about the fullest realization of one's highest desires and aspirations with a certainty as absolute as that effect follows cause. Each and every one of us can thus make for himself ever higher and higher conditions, can attract ever and ever higher influences, can realize an ever higher and higher ideal in life. These are the forces that are within us, simply waiting to be recognized and used—the forces that we should infuse into and mould every-day life with. The moment we vitally recognize them, they become our servants and wait upon our bidding.
Are you, for example, a young man or a young woman desiring a college, a university education, or have you certain literary or artistic instincts your soul longs the more fully to realize and actualize, and seems there no way open for you to realize the fulfillment of your desires? But the power is in your hands the moment you recognize it there. Begin at once to set the right forces into operation. Put forth your ideal, which will begin to clothe itself in material form, send out your thought-forces for its realization, continually hold and add to them, always strongly but always calmly, never allow the element of fear, which will keep the realization just so much farther away, to enter in; but, on the contrary, continually water with firm expectation all the forces thus set into operation. Do not then sit and idly fold the hands, expecting to see all things drop into the lap—God feeds the sparrow, but he does not throw the food into its nest—but take hold of the first thing that offers itself for you to do—work in the fields, at the desk, saw wood, wash dishes, tend behind the counter, or whatever it may be—be faithful to the thing in hand, always expecting something better, and know that this in hand is the thing that will open to you the next higher, and this the next and the next; and so realize that each thing thus taken hold of is but the agency that takes you each time a step nearer the realization of your fondest ideals. You then hold the key; and bolts that otherwise would remain immovable, by this mighty force, will be thrown before you.
We are born to be neither slaves nor beggars, but to dominion and to plenty. This is our rightful heritage, if we will but recognize and lay claim to it. Many a man and many a woman is today longing for conditions better and higher than he or she is in, who might be using the same time now spent in vain, indefinite, spasmodic longings, in putting into operation forces which, accompanied by the right personal activity, would speedily bring the fullest realization of his or her fondest dreams. The great universe is filled with an abundance of all things, filled to overflowing. All there is, is in her, waiting only for the touch of the right forces to cast them forth. She is no respecter of persons outside of the fact that she always responds to the demands of the man or the woman who knows and uses the forces and powers he or she is endowed with. And to the demands of such she always opens her treasure-house, for the supply is always equal to the demand. All things are in the hands of him who knows they are there.
Of all known forms of energy, thought is the most subtle, the most irresistible force. It has always been operating; but, so far as the great masses of the people are concerned, it has been operating blindly, or, rather, they have been blind to its mighty power, except in the cases of a few here and there. And these, as a consequence, have been our prophets, our seers, our sages, our saviors, our men of great and mighty power. We are just beginning to grasp the tremendous truth that there is a science of thought, and that the laws governing it can be known and scientifically applied. The man who understands and who appropriates this fact has literally all things under his control. Heredity and its attendant circumstances and influences? you ask. Most surely. The barriers which heredity builds, the same as those environment erects, when the awakened interior forces are considered, are as mud walls standing within the range of a Krupp gun: shattered and crumbled they are when the tremendous force is applied.
Thought needs direction to be effective, and upon this effective results depend as much as upon the force itself. This brings us to the will. Will is not as is so often thought, a force in itself; will is the directing power. Thought is the force. Will gives direction. Thought scattered gives the weak, the uncertain, the vacillating, the aspiring, but the never-doing, the I-would-like-to, but the get-no-where, the attain-to-nothing man or woman. Thought steadily directed by the will, gives the strong, the firm, the never-yielding, the never-know-defeat man or woman, the man or woman who uses the very difficulties and hindrances that would dishearten the ordinary person, as stones with which he paves a way over which he triumphantly walks, who, by the very force he carries with him, so neutralizes and transmutes the very obstacles that would bar his way that they fall before him, and in turn aid him on his way; the man or woman who, like the eagle, uses the very contrary wind that would thwart his flight, that would turn him and carry him in the opposite direction, as the very agency upon which he mounts and mounts and mounts, until actually lost to the human eye, and which, in addition to thus aiding him, brings to him an ever fuller realization of his own powers, or in other words, an ever greater power.
It is this that gives the man or the woman who in storm or in sunny weather, rides over every obstacle, throws before him every barrier, and, as Browning has said, finally "arrives." Take, for example, the successful business man—for it is all one, the law is the same in all cases—the man who started with nothing except his own interior equipments. He has made up his mind to one thing—success. This is his ideal. He thinks success, he sees success. He refuses to see anything else. He expects success: he thus attracts it to him, his thought-forces continually attract to him every agency that makes for success. He has set up the current, so that every wind that blows brings him success. He doesn't expect failure, and so he doesn't invite it. He has no time, no energies, to waste in fears or forebodings. He is dauntless, untiring, in his efforts. Let disaster come today, and tomorrow—ay, even yet today—he is getting his bearings, he is setting forces anew into operation; and these very forces are of more value to him than the half million dollars of his neighbor who has suffered from the same disaster. We speak of a man's failing in business, little thinking that the real failure came long before, and that the final crash is but the culmination, the outward visible manifestation, of the real failure that occurred within possibly long ago. A man carries his success or his failure with him: it is not dependent upon outside conditions.
Will is the steady directing power: it is concentration. It is the pilot which, after the vessel is started by the mighty force within, puts it on its right course and keeps it true to that course, the pilot under whose control the rudder is which brings the great ocean liner, even through storms and gales, to an exact spot in the Liverpool port within a few minutes of its scheduled time, and at times even upon the very minute. Will is the sun-glass which so concentrates and so focuses the sun's rays that they quickly burn a hole through the paper that is held before it. The same rays, not thus concentrated, not thus focused, would fall upon the paper for days without any effect whatever. Will is the means for the directing, the concentrating, the focusing, of the thought-forces. Thought under wise direction—this it is that does the work, that brings results, that makes the successful career. One object in mind which we never lose sight of; an ideal steadily held before the mind, never lost sight of, never lowered, never swerved from—this, with persistence, determines all. Nothing can resist the power of thought, when thus directed by will.
May not this power, then, be used for base as well as for good purposes, for selfish as well as for unselfish ends? The same with this modification—the more highly thought is spiritualized, the more subtle and powerful it becomes; and the more highly spiritualized the life, the farther is it removed from base, ignoble, selfish ends. But, even if it can be thus used, let him who would so use it be careful, let him never forget that that mighty, searching, omnipotent law of the right, of truth, of justice, that runs through all the universe and that can never be annulled or even for a moment set aside, will drive him to the wall, will crush him with a terrific force if he so use it.
Let him never forget that whatever he may get for self at the expense of some one else, through deception, through misrepresentation, through the exercise of the lower functions and powers, will by a law equally subtle, equally powerful, be turned into ashes in his very hands. The honey he thinks he has secured will be turned into bitterness as he attempts to eat it; the beautiful fruit he thinks is his will be as wormwood as he tries to enjoy it; the rose he has plucked will vanish, and he will find himself clutching a handful of thorns, which will penetrate to the very quick and which will flow the very life-blood from his hands. For through the violation of a higher, an immutable law, though he may get this or that, the power of true enjoyment will be taken away, and what he gets will become as a thorn in his side: either this or it will sooner or later escape from his hands. God's triumphal-car moves in a direction and at a rate that is certain and absolute, and he who would oppose it or go contrary to it must fall and be crushed beneath its wheels; and for him this crushing is necessary, in order that it may bring him the more quickly to a knowledge of the higher laws, to a realization of the higher self.
This brings to our notice two orders of will, which we may term, for convenience' sake, the human and the divine. The human will is the one just noticed, the sense will, the will of the lower self, that which seeks its own ends regardless of its connection with the greater whole. The divine will is the will of the higher self, the god-self, that that never makes an error, that never leads into difficulties. How attain to its realization? How call it into a dominating activity? Through an awakening to and a living in the higher, the god-self, thus making it one with God's will, one with the will of infinite intelligence, infinite love, infinite wisdom, infinite power; and when this is done, no mistakes can be made, any more than limits can be set.
It is thus that the Infinite Power works through and for us—true inspiration—while our part is simply to see that our connection with this power is consciously and perfectly kept. And, when we come to a knowledge of the true nature, a knowledge of the true self, when we come to a conscious realization of the fact that we are one with, a part of, this spirit of infinite life, infinite love, infinite wisdom, infinite power, and infinite plenty, do we not see that we lack for nothing, that all things are ours? It is then ours to speak the word: desire induces and gives place to realization. If you are intelligence, if you are power, if you are that all-seeing, all-knowing, all-doing, all-loving, all-having, that eternal self, that eternal one without beginning and without end, the same yesterday, today, and forever, then all things are yours, and you lack for nothing; and, when you come consciously to know and to live this truth, then the whole of life for you is summed up in the one word realization. The striving, the pulling, the running hither and thither to accomplish this or that, that takes place on all planes of life below this highest plane, gives place to this realization ; and you and your desire become one.
And what does this mean? Simply this: that you have found and have literally entered into the kingdom of heaven, and heaven means harmony, so that you have entered into the kingdom of harmony—harmony or oneness with the Infinite Life, the Infinite God. And do we not, then, clearly see the rational and scientific basis for the injunction—seek ye first the kingdom of heaven, and all these other things shall be added unto you? Than this there is nothing in all the wide universe more scientific, nothing more practical; and in the light of this can we not also see how readily follows the injunction—Take ye no thought for the things of the morrow, for the things of the morrow will take care of themselves? This realization gives you that care-less attitude, free from care. The Infinite Power does the work for you, and you are relieved of the responsibility. Your responsibility lies in keeping yourself in a faithful and a never-failing connection with this Infinite Source. Why, I know a few lives that have come into such a conscious oneness with the Infinite Life, and who so continually live in its realization, that all things that have just been said are absolutely true in their cases. The solution of all things they thus put into the law, so that, when the time comes, the difficulty is solved, the course is clear, the way is opened, or the means are at hand. When one knows whereof he speaks, of this he can speak with authority.
When this realization comes, fear goes, hope attends, faith dominates—the faith of today which gives place to the realization of tomorrow. We then have nothing to do with the past, nothing to do with the future; for the whole of life is determined by the ever-present today. As my life today has been determined by the way I lived my yesterday, so my tomorrow is being determined by the way I live my today. Let me then live in this eternal now, and realize that I am at this very moment living the eternal life as much as I ever shall or can live it. I will then waste no time with the past, except perhaps occasionally to give thanks that its then seeming trials, sorrows, errors, and stumblings have brought me all the sooner into harmony with the laws of the higher life. Let me waste no time with the future, no time in idle dreaming, neither in fears nor forebodings, thus inviting and opening the door for the entrance of their actualizations; but rather let me, by the thoughts and so by the deeds of today, make the future exactly what I will.
Every act is preceded and given birth to by a thought, the act repeated forms the habit, the habit determines the character, and character determines the life, the destiny—a most significant, a most tremendous truth: thought on the one hand, life, destiny, on the other. And how simplified, when we realize that it is merely the thought of the present hour, and the next when it comes, and the next, and the next! so life, destiny, on the one hand, the thoughts of the present hour, on the other. This is the secret of character-building. How wonderfully simple, though what vigilance it demands!
What, shall we ask, is the place, what the value, of prayer? Prayer, as every act of devotion, brings us into an ever greater conscious harmony with the Infinite, the one pearl of great price; for it is this harmony which brings all other things. Prayer is the soul's sincere desire, and thus is its own answer, as the sincere desire made active and accompanied by faith sooner or later gives place to realization; for faith is an invisible and invincible magnet, and attracts to itself whatever it fervently desires and calmly and persistently expects. This is absolute, and the results will be absolute in exact proportion as this operation of the thought forces, as this faith is absolute, and relative in exact proportion as it is relative. The Master said, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them. Can any law be more clearly enunciated, can anything be more definite and more absolute than this? According to thy faith be it unto thee. Do we at times fail in obtaining the results we desire? The fault, the failure, lies not in the law but in ourselves. Regarded in its right and true light, than prayer there is nothing more scientific, nothing more valuable, nothing more effective.
This conscious realization of oneness with the Infinite Life is of all things the one thing to be desired; for, when this oneness is realized and lived in, all other things follow in its train, there are no desires that shall not be realized, for God has planted in the human breast no desire without its corresponding means of realization. No harm can come nigh, nothing can touch us, there will be nothing to fear; for we shall thus attract only the good. And whatever changes time may bring, understanding the law, we shall always expect something better, and thus set into operation the forces that will attract that something, realizing that many times angels go out that arch-angels may enter in; and this is always true in the case of the life of this higher realization. And why should we have any fear whatever—fear even for the nation, as is many times expressed? God is behind His world, in love and with infinite care and watchfulness working out his great and almighty plans; and whatever plans men may devise, He will when the time is ripe either frustrate and shatter, or aid and push through to their most perfect culmination—frustrate and shatter if contrary to, aid and actualize if in harmony with His.
It will readily be seen what a power the life that is fully awake, that fully grasps and uses the great forces of its own interior self, can be in the service of mankind. One with these forces highly spiritualized will not have to go here and there to do the greatest service for mankind. Such a one can sit in his cabin, in his tent, in his own home, or, as he goes here and there, he can continually send out influences of the most potent and powerful nature—influences that will have their effect, that will do their work, and that will reach to the uttermost parts of the world. Than this there can be no more valuable, more vital service, nor one of a higher nature.
These facts, the facts relating to the powers that come with the higher awakening, have been dealt with somewhat fully, to show that the matters along the lines of man's interior, intuitive, spiritual, thought, soul life, instead of being, as they are so many times regarded, merely indefinite, sentimental, or impractical, are, on the contrary, powerfully, omnipotently real, and are of all practical things in the world the most practical, and, in the truest and deepest sense, the only truly practical things there are. And preeminently is this true when we look with a long range of vision, past the mere today, to the final outcome, to the time when that transition we are accustomed to call death takes place, and all accumulations and possessions material are left behind, and the soul takes with it only the unfoldment and growth of the real life; and unless it has this, when all else must be left behind, it goes out poor indeed. And a most wonderful and beautiful fact of it all is this: that all growth, all advancement, all attainment made along the lines of the spiritual, the soul, the real life, is so much made forever, and can never be lost. Hence the great fact in the admonition, Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven—the interior, spiritual kingdom—where neither moth doth corrupt nor where thieves break through and steal.
What then, again let us ask, is love to God? It is far more, we have found, than a mere sentimental abstraction. It is this awakening to the higher, the god-self, a coming into the conscious realization of the fact that your life is one with, is a part of, the Infinite Life, the full realization of the fact that you are a spiritual being here and now, at this very moment, and a living as such. It is being true to the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world, and so a finding of the Christ within; a realization of the fact that God is the life of your life, and so not afar off; a realization of a oneness so perfect that you are able to say, as did His other son, "I and my Father are one"—the ultimate destiny of each human soul, each of the Father's children, for all, no matter what differences man may see, are equal in His sight; and He created not one in vain. So love to God in its true expression is not a mere sentimentality, a mere abstraction: it is life, it is growth, it is spiritual awakening and unfoldment, it is realization. Again, it is life: it is the more abundant life.
Then recognize this fact, and so fill your life with an intense, a passionate love for God. Then take this life, so rich, so abundant, and so powerful, and lose it in the love and service of your fellow men, the Father's other children. Fill it with an intense, a passionate love for service; and when this shall have been done, your life is in complete harmony with all the law and the prophets, in complete harmony with the two great and determining facts of human life and destiny—love to God and love to one's fellow men—the two eternal principles upon which the great universal religion, which is slowly and gradually evolving out an almost endless variety and form, is to rest. Do this, and feel once for all the power and the thrill of the life universal. Do this, and find yourself coming into the full realization of such splendors and beauties as all the royal courts of this world combined have never been able even to dream of.
When the step from the personal to the impersonal, from the personal, the individual, to the universal, is once made, the great solution of life has come; and by this same step one enters at once into the realm of all power. When this is done, and one fully realizes the fact that the greatest life is the life spent in the service of all mankind, and then when he vitally grasps that great eternal principle of right, of truth, of justice, that runs through all the universe, and which, though temporarily it may seem to be perverted, always and with never an exception eventually prevails, and that with an omnipotent power—he then holds the key to all situations.
A king of this nature goes about his work absolutely regardless of what men may say or hear or think or do; for he himself has absolutely nothing to gain or nothing to lose, and nothing of this nature can come near him or touch him, for he is standing not in the personal, but in the universal. He is then in God's work, and the very God-powers are his, and it seems as if the very angels of heaven come to minister unto him and to move things his way; and this is true, very true, for he himself is simply moving God's way, and when this is so, the certainty of the outcome is absolute.
How often did the Master say, "I seek not to do mine own will, but the will of the Father who sent me"! Here is the world's great example of the life out of the personal and in the universal, hence his great power. The same has been true of all the saviors, the prophets, the seers, the sages, and the leaders in the world's history, of all of truly great and lasting power.
He who would then come into the secret of power must come from the personal into the universal, and with this comes not only great power, but also freedom from the vexations and perplexities that rise from the misconstruing of motives, the opinions of others; for such a one cares nothing as to what men may say, or hear, or think, or do, so long as he is true to the great principles of right and truth before him. And, if we will search carefully, we shall find that practically all the perplexities and difficulties of life have their origin on the side of the personal.
Much is said to young men today about success in life—success generally though, as the world calls success. It is well, however, always to bear in mind the fact that there is a success which is a miserable, a deplorable failure; while, on the other hand, there is a failure which is a grand, a noble, a God-like success. And one crying need of the age is that young men be taught the true dignity, nobility, and power of such a failure—such a failure in the eyes of the world today, but such a success in the eyes of God and the coming ages. When this is done, there will be among us more prophets, more saviors, more men of grand and noble stature, who with a firm and steady hand will hold the lighted torch of true advancement high up among the people; and they will be those whom the people will gladly follow, for they will be those who will speak and move with authority, true sons of God, true brothers of men. A man may make his millions and his life be a failure still.
The promise was given that our conversation should not be extended; and unless we conclude it now, the promise will not be kept. Our aim at the outset, you will remember, was to find answer to the question—How can I make life yield its fullest and best? how can I know the true secret of power? how can I attain to true greatness? how can I fill the whole of life with a happiness, a peace, a joy, a satisfaction, that is ever rich and abiding, that ever increases, never diminishes?
Two great laws come forward; the one, that we find our own lives in losing them in the service of others—love to the fellow man; the other, that all life is one with, is part of, the Infinite Life, that we are not material, but spiritual beings—spiritual beings here and now, and a living as such, which brings us in turn to a realization of the higher, the god-self, thus bringing us into the realm of all peace, all power, and all plenty—this is love to God.
And I wonder now if we have found the answer true and satisfactory. We have sat at the feet of the Master Teacher, and he has told us that we have. We have found that through them, and through them alone, true greatness, power, and success can come; that through them comes the richest joy, the greatest peace and satisfaction this world can know. We have also found that, if one's desire is to make life narrow, pinched, and of little value, to rob it of its chief charms, the only requirement necessary is to become self-centered, to live continually with the little, stunted self, which will inevitably grow more and more diminutive and shriveled as time passes, instead of reaching out and having a part in the great life of humanity, thus illimitably intensifying and multiplying his own. For each act of humble service is that divine touching of the ground which enables one to get the spring whereby he leaps to ever greater heights. We have found that a recognition of these two laws enables one to grow and develop the fullest and richest life here, and that they are the two gates whereby all who would must enter the kingdom of heaven.
Around this great and sweet-incensed altar of love, service, and self-devotion to God and the fellow man, can and do all mankind bow and worship. To it can all religions and creeds subscribe: it is the universal religion.
Then become at one with God, as did His other son, through the awakening to the real self and by living continually in this the higher, the god-self. Become at one with humanity, as did His other son, by bringing your life into harmony with this great, immutable law of love and service and self-devotion, and so feel once for all the power and the thrill of the life universal.
Yours will then be a life the greatest, the grandest, the most joyous this world can know; for you will indeed be living the Christ-life, the life that is beyond compare, the life to which all the world stretches out its eager palms, and innumerable companies will rise up and call you blessed, and give thanks that such a life is the rich heritage of the world. The song continually arising from your lips will then be, There is joy, only joy; for we are all one with the Infinite Life, all parts of the one great whole, and the Spirit of Infinite Goodness and Love is ever ruling over all.
More from Ralph Waldo Trine
- Lived from September 6th, 1866 to February, 22nd 1958
- Born in Mt. Morris, Illinois
- Most popular book is In Tune With the Infinite
- Was an early leader in the New Thought movement.