That thing you see when you look in the mirror is not you. It is yours. It is something you use, and as such it is good. By means of it you execute your thought on the plane to which the object belongs. It does not think or exercise volition. You do.
You desire a book which is up-stairs. Your desire forms the thought, "I will go and get it. The flesh and blood feet travel out of the room, up the stairs and enter the room containing the book. The flesh and blood hand reaches out and grasps the book. What had flesh and blood to do with all this? It was simply the servant obedient to its master; the means by which the thought became execution on the plane of gross matter.
Stand before the mirror and say to what you see there, “You are mine. You are not I. And I will use you to the highest not the lowest ends. You belong to the seventh day. I was before you and I shall be after you. You are for Time, I am eternal. You are the servant, I am the master."
Try to gain the help for daily living that comes from the perception of the right relation between subject and object. You can look upon the visible flesh and blood body, study it, weigh and measure it, analyze it, reduce it to its constituent elements. You can reach a conclusion about it, gain knowledge of what it is. Can it weigh, measure, and analyze you? Can it gain an understanding of what you are? No. Then which is the greater of the two? Surely, the subject is more than the object.
Do we live according to this truth, or as if the object was more than the subject? When we live by outsight, we live as if the object were the greater of the two. When we live by insight, we endeavor to adjust daily experience according to t right relation between the two. When we live by outsight, we become submissive to fate. When we live by insight, we see our glorious destiny and master our fate.
Living by outsight gives us what is commonly called the life of the senses. We eat, drink and make merry, doubtful if there is anything beyond the present visible, at best hopeful that there is a future life. Living by insight we live the soul-life which can rise from hope to certainty. We can cultivate, not the belief, but the demonstrably true knowledge, that the object is only a machine temporarily used; that it is the means through which something more is to be manifested; something which, because of what it is, must logically persist even when its means of manifestation ceases to be.
It is the subject that thinks, desires, and exercises volition; and because these powers belong to the subject, instead of to the object, the disintegration of the object cannot change the subject, or rob it of its powers. It only removes the means by which they were visibly executed on the plane of gross matter. Disintegration of the flesh and blood body is only a falling from shape into shapelessness, from the individual into the general. Over and over again in what is commonly called Nature, its constituent elements appear, now in one shape, now in another. But back of all these shapes is that which is more than they, that which can recognize them, while they cannot recognize it.
Remember the illustration previously used—the inventor and the invention. By perception of the true relation between the machine and the invention—by insight—by understanding the limitations of the visible and the all-ness of the invisible—the nature of the hidden reality becomes "plain, visible, obvious to understanding." We penetrate to, lay hold upon, and make our own that which has its being with the inventor. As its nature is revealed to us, we incorporate that nature in our own idea, which will steadily rise till it has reached the level of the inventor's idea.
Such is the destiny involved in our origin. Our self-idea, our thought and feeling, is to rise higher and higher till it has reached the level of the God-idea. The visible body, and equally the visible world, is but the means by which we first begin to realize self-consciousness; a means which, understood and rightly used, may help to increase our self-consciousness till it is like unto, or the likeness of what we are in, being. The relativity of macrocosm and microcosm to that which they veil, instead of absoluteness in themselves, is what insight shows us. Putting this knowledge to use, applying it practically, we drop the old self-idea, and hold the other as the standard for thought till we have incorporated it.
We believe and think no longer, "I am a material being made of the dust of the ground, subject to the laws of matter, to change, decay and death." We think instead "I am spiritual in being now, as I always have been and always shall be. I am changeless and eternal, perfect as the God-idea." This last thought expresses our perception of the truth of being, our discernment of the reality back of and beyond the visible shape.
Keeping this new and true self-idea continually before our mental vision, it grows from feeble beginnings to matured strength and fullness. It increases in stature and "in favor with God and man," because it rises steadily until it is the incorporation or actualization of the God-idea. The end is the perfect likeness of the beginning. Between the two are Time and Space. They are limitations of unlikeness between the end and the beginning.
They are within the seventh day. Its beginning is the eternal being, its end is that perfected self-idea which is the Likeness of the God-idea, incarnated, or incorporated in personality.
When, seeing the right relation between subject and object, we hold this true standard for thought, we find our true center—the center of being. We cease to roam around the circumference of existence, we live in and from the fixed center, the still place. On that circumference there is constant change. Existence there is full of ups and downs, pleasures and pains, joys and sorrows. We are tossed from one to the other like the shuttle-cock between battle-dores. Between them the only rest is found in helpless submission.
But when we find and live from the true center we become the spectator of that existence and nothing its circumference includes has any terrors for us. We are safe in the still place. We are no longer tossed back and forth. From this fixed center we speak with authority the word of power. "Peace, be still," for we find there the power of mastery. It is never found on the circumference. It belongs to being.
It is found in the seventh day, but it was, before it was found. It is only coming to our own, finding that which is inherent in our being. We find it in time and space, but time and space do not create it. The seventh day is that part of Creation in which it is found. That which eternally is, appears in the seventh day.
We have "wasted our substance"—the faculties and powers which belong to our being—"in riotous living"—living by outsight only, blind to the within. And we have "begun to be in want." This fails us, that disappoints us, the other has no longer any charm for us. We are sick in soul, mind, and body. What shall we do to be saved from this suffering experience?
Go back to "the Father's house where there is enough and to spare." Find our true center, our fixed being. Cease living on the circumference only, and live in and from this center. govern the thinking.
Self-mastery is inherent in being. It is attained, or found and demonstrated, in the seventh day. Its demonstrations, miracles to the sense that recognizes only the visible machine, are the natural results which follow its perception and putting to use—its persistent cultivation or development. We create nothing. We develop everything. We cannot impart life, cannot create a living thing. There is but one Life. All living things are from it and are in our being now. We develop all the possibilities of our being—of the natures and powers which make it composite. We find, develop, and manifest them in the seventh day. We cause them to appear. We co-operate with Primal Energy, with the divine plan, and help to carry it to fruition—help to make it fruitful—full of fruit or result. We work in Creation to its finishing, doing the Will of God that the end may be like the beginning.
The creating is all done. The appearing is what we help forward. Nature, abstractly, is that which eternally is. Objectively, it is the representation or figuration of that which eternally is. Practically, it is the gradual and orderly appearing of that which eternally is. But this appearing is only for those who have eyes which can see it. The vision limited to the objective sees “freaks of nature," is startled by miracles. The vision which is expanded because it is seeing from the true center, recognizes the appearing and sees neither freaks nor miracles, finds no unknowable but only a present known related to a future to-be known.
This vision can find and follow the principle of continuity which is always bringing forth that which was hidden. It belongs to the seventh day as well as to the eternal six. We need but to co-operate with it through understanding, instead of opposing it through ignorance, to have our real and eternal being appear in all its majesty and power—appear to the finishing of Creation.
Every trial, suffering, weakness, limitation, discord, is to be mastered through consciousness of being. Each will persist until it is mastered. The more our thoughts dwell upon them, the longer will they persist. The more our thought rests at the true •center, the more will our being and its power appear, displacing the other.
These conditions must go down and out. Their end is death or nothingness. They belong to time and space. They manifest the possible consequences of ignorance of being. They are not the appearing of the God-Man. They belong in the seventh day. They were not before it; they will not be after it. They are the unlikeness which is between the beginning and the end. They are adversaries to be agreed with quickly, while we are in the way with them, and through recognition of their true nature and limitation.
In the seventh day they are met, mastered, passed beyond. They die their own death. "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath," because it is that part of Creation in which Man appears, through mastery of all unlikeness to God. Hence, the miracles of the Sabbath day are but the demonstration of Man's likeness to God. Are we helping the likeness to appear, or are we increasing and intensifying the unlikeness?
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More Articles by This Author Ursula N. Gestefeld
- Born April 22, 1845 and died in 1921 (burried at Graceland Cemetery, Chicago).
- Involved in Christian Science
- Most famous work is The Woman Who Dares.