Building innerstrengthandintegrity

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Learn how to build your inner strength and integrity

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Building innerstrengthandintegrity

  1. 1. Building InnerStrength & Integrity -1-
  2. 2. Building Inner Strength and Integrity LEGAL NOTICEThe Publisher has strived to be as accurate and complete as possible in thecreation of this report, notwithstanding the fact that he does not warrant orrepresent at any time that the contents within are accurate due to the rapidlychanging nature of the Internet.The Publisher will not be responsible for any losses or damages of any kindincurred by the reader whether directly or indirectly arising from the use of theinformation found in this report.This report is not intended for use as a source of legal, business, accounting orfinancial advice. All readers are advised to seek services of competentprofessionals in legal, business, accounting, and finance field.Reader assumes responsibility for use of information contained herein. Theauthor reserves the right to make changes without notice. The Publisher assumesno responsibility or liability whatsoever on the behalf of the reader of thismanual. -2-
  3. 3. Building InnerStrength and Integrity -3-
  4. 4. Building Inner Strength and Integrity UNCONSCIOUSLY we are forming habits every moment of our lives.Some are habits of a desirable nature; some are those of a most undesirablenature. Some, though not so bad in themselves, are exceedingly bad in theircumulative effects, and cause us at times much loss, much pain and anguish,while their opposites would, on the contrary, bring as much peace and joy, as wellas a continually increasing power. Have we it within our power to determine at all times what types of habitsshall take form in our lives? In other words, is habit-forming, character building,a matter of mere chance, or have we it within our own control? We have, entirelyand absolutely. "I will be what I will to be," can be said and should be said byevery human soul. After this has been bravely and determinedly said, and not only said, butfully inwardly realized, something yet remains. Something remains to be saidregarding the great law underlying habit-forming, character building; for there isa simple, natural, and thoroughly scientific method that all should know. A method whereby old, undesirable, earth-binding habits can be broken,and new, desirable, heaven lifting habits can be acquired, a method whereby lifein part or in its totality can be changed, provided one is sufficiently in earnest toknow and, knowing it, to apply the law. Thought is the force underlying all. And what do we mean by this? Simplythis: Your every act - every conscious act - is preceded by a thought. Yourdominating thoughts determine your dominating actions. In the realm of ourown minds we have absolute control, or we should have, and if at any time wehave not, then there is a method by which we can gain control, and in the realmof the mind become thorough masters. In order to get to the very foundation ofthe matter, let us look to this for a moment. For if thought is always parent to ouracts, habits, character, life, then it is first necessary that we know fully how tocontrol our thoughts. -4-
  5. 5. Here let us refer to that law of the mind which is the same as is the law inConnection with the reflex nerve system of the body, the law which says thatwhenever one does a certain thing in a certain way it is easier to do the samething in the same way the next time, and still easier the next, and the next, andthe next, until in time it comes to pass that no effort is required, or no effortworth speaking of; but on the opposite would require the effort. The mind carrieswith it the power that perpetuates its own type of thought, the same as the bodycarries with it through the reflex nerve system the power which perpetuates andmakes continually easier its own particular acts. Thus a simple effort to controlones thoughts, a simple setting about it, even if at first failure is the result, andeven if for a time failure seems to be about the only result, will in time, sooner orlater, bring him to the point of easy, full, and complete control. Each one, then, can grow the power of determining, controlling histhought, the power of determining what types of thought he shall and what typeshe shall not entertain. For let us never part in mind with this fact, that everyearnest effort along any line makes the end aimed at just a little easier for eachsucceeding effort, even if, as has been said, apparent failure is the result of theearlier efforts. This is a case where even failure is success, for the failure is not inthe effort, and every earnest effort adds an increment of power that willeventually accomplish the end aimed at. We can, then, gain the full and completepower of determining what character, what type of thoughts we entertain. Shall we now give attention to some two or three concrete cases? Here is aman, the cashier of a large mercantile establishment, or cashier of a bank. In hismorning paper he reads of a man who has become suddenly rich, has made afortune of half a million or a million dollars in a few hours through speculation onthe stock market. Perhaps he has seen an account of another man who has donepractically the same thing lately. He is not quite wise enough, however, tocomprehend the fact that when he reads of one or two cases of this kind he couldfind, were he to look into the matter carefully, one or two hundred cases of menwho have lost all they had in the same way. He thinks, however, that he will beone of the fortunate ones. He does not fully realize that there are no short cuts towealth honestly made. He takes a part of his savings, and as is true in practicallyall cases of this kind, he loses all that he has put in, Thinking now that he seeswhy he lost, and that had he more money he would be able to get back what hehas lost, and perhaps make a handsome sum in addition, and make it quickly, thethought comes to him to use some of the funds he has charge of. In nine cases out -5-
  6. 6. of ten, if not ten cases in every ten, the results that inevitably follow this areknown sufficiently well to make it unnecessary to follow him farther. Where is the mans safety in the light of what we have been considering?Simply this: the moment the thought of using for his own purpose fundsbelonging to others enters his mind, if he is wise he will instantly put the thoughtfrom his mind. If he is a fool he will entertain it. In the degree in which heentertains it, it will grow upon him; it will become the absorbing thought in hismind; it will finally become master of his will power, and through rapidlysucceeding steps, dishonor, shame, degradation, penitentiary, remorse will behis. It is easy for him to put the thought from his mind when it first enters; but ashe entertains it, it grows into such proportions that it becomes more and moredifficult for him to put it from his mind; and by and by it becomes practicallyimpossible for him to do it. The light of the match, which but a little effort of thebreath would have extinguished at first, has imparted a flame that is ragingthrough the entire building, and now it is almost if not quite impossible toconquer it. Shall we notice another concrete case? A trite case, perhaps, but one inwhich we can see how habit is formed, and also how the same habit can beunformed. Here is a young man, he may be the son of poor parents, or he may bethe son of rich parents; one in the ordinary ranks of life, or one of high socialstanding, whatever that means. He is good hearted, one of good impulsesgenerally speaking, a good fellow. He is out with some companions, companionsof the same general type. They are out for a pleasant evening, out for a good time.They are apt at times to be thoughtless, even careless. The suggestion is made byone of the company, not that they get drunk, no, not at all; but merely that theygo and have something to drink together. The young man whom we firstmentioned, wanting to be genial, scarcely listens to the suggestion that comesinto his inner consciousness that it will be better for him not to fall in with theothers in this. He does not stop long enough to realize the fact that the greateststrength and nobility of character lies always in taking a firm stand on the aide ofthe right, and allow himself to be influenced by nothing that will weaken thisstand. He goes, therefore, with his companions to the drinking place. With thesame or with other companions this is repeated now and then; and each time it isrepeated his power of saying "No" is gradually decreasing. In this way he hasgrown a little liking for intoxicants, and takes them perhaps now and then byhimself. He does not dream, or in the slightest degree realize, what way he istending, until there comes a day when he awakens to the consciousness of the fact -6-
  7. 7. that he hasn’t the power nor even the impulse to resist the taste which hasgradually grown into a minor form of craving for intoxicants. Thinking, however,that he will be able to stop when he is really in danger of getting into the drinkhabit, he goes thoughtlessly and carelessly on. We will pass over the variousintervening steps and come to the time when we find him a confirmed drunkard.It is simply the same old story told a thousand or even a million times over.He finally awakens to his true condition; and through the shame, the anguish, thedegradation, and the want that comes upon him he longs for a return of the dayswhen he was a free man. But hope has almost gone from his life. It would havebeen easier for him never to have begun, and easier for him to have stoppedbefore he reached his present condition; but even in his present condition, be itthe lowest and the most helpless and hopeless that can be imagined, he has thepower to get out of it and be a free man once again. Let us see. The desire fordrink comes upon him again. If he entertains the thought, the desire, he is lostagain. His only hope, his only means of escape is this: the moment, aye, the veryinstant the thought comes to him, if he will put it out of his mind he will therebyput out the little flame of the match. If he entertains the thought the little flamewill communicate itself until almost before he is aware of it a consuming fire israging, and then effort is almost useless. The thought must be banished from themind the instant it enters; dalliance with it means failure and defeat, or a fightthat will be indescribably fiercer than it would be if the thought is ejected at thebeginning. And here we must say a word regarding a certain great law that we maycall the "law of indirectness." A thought can be put out of the mind easier andmore successfully, not by dwelling upon it, not by, attempting to put it outdirectly, but by throwing the mind on to some other object by putting some otherobject of thought into the mind. This may be, for example, the ideal of full andperfect self-mastery, or it may be something of a nature entirely distinct from thethought which presents itself, something to which the mind goes easily andnaturally. This will in time become the absorbing thought in the mind, and thedanger is past. This same course of action repeated will gradually grow the powerof putting more readily out of mind the thought of drink as it presents itself, andwill gradually grow the power of putting into the mind those objects of thoughtone most desires. The result will be that as time passes the thought of drink willpresent itself less and less, and when it does present itself it can be put out of themind more easily each succeeding time, until the time comes when it can be put -7-
  8. 8. out without difficulty, and eventually the time will come when the thought willenter the mind no more at all. Still another case: You may be more or less of an irritable naturenaturally, perhaps, provoked easily to anger. Someone says something or doessomething that you dislike, and your first impulse is to show resentment andpossibly to give way to anger. In the degree that you allow this resentment todisplay itself, that you allow yourself to give way to anger, in that degree will itbecome easier to do the same thing when any cause, even a very slight cause,presents itself. It will, moreover, become continually harder for you to refrainfrom it, until resentment, anger, and possibly even hatred and revenge becomecharacteristics of your nature, robbing it of its sunniness, its charm, and itsbrightness for all with whom you come in contact. If, however, the instant the impulse to resentment and anger arises, youcheck it then and there, and throw the mind on to some other object of thought,the power will gradually grow itself of doing this same thing more readily, moreeasily, as succeeding like causes present themselves, until by and by the time willcome when there will be scarcely anything that can irritate you, and nothing thatcan impel you to anger; until by and by a matchless brightness and charm ofnature and disposition will become habitually yours, a brightness and charm youwould scarcely think possible today. And so we might take up case after case,characteristic after characteristic, habit after habit. The habit of faultfinding andits opposite are grown in identically the same way; the characteristic of jealousyand its opposite; the characteristic of fear and its opposite. In this same way wegrow either love or hatred; in this way we come to take a gloomy, pessimistic viewof life, which objectifies itself in a nature, a disposition of this type, or we growthat sunny, hopeful, cheerful, buoyant nature that brings with it so much joy andbeauty and power for ourselves, as well as so much hope and inspiration and joyfor all the world. There is nothing more true in connection with human life than that wegrow into the likeness of those things we contemplate. Literally and scientificallyand necessarily true is it that "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." The "is"part is his character. His character is the sum total of his habits. His habits havebeen formed by· his conscious acts; but every conscious act is, as we have found,preceded by a thought. And so we have it - thought on the one hand, character,life, and destiny on the other. And simple it becomes when we bear in mind that -8-
  9. 9. it is simply the thought of the present moment, and the next moment when it isupon us, and then the next, and so on through all time. One can in this way attain to whatever ideals he would attain to. Two stepsare necessary: first, as the days pass, to form ones ideals; and second, to followthem continually, whatever may arise, wherever they may lead him. Alwaysremember that the great and strong character is the one who is ever ready tosacrifice the present pleasure for the future good. He who will thus follow hishighest ideals as they present themselves to him day after day, year after year,will find that as Dante, following his beloved from world to world, finally foundher at the gates of Paradise, so he will find himself eventually at the same gates.Life is not, we may say, for mere passing pleasure, but for the highest unfoldmentthat one can attain to, the noblest character that one can grow, and for thegreatest service that one can render to all mankind. In this, however, we will findthe highest pleasure, for in this the only real pleasure lies. He who would find itby any short cuts, or by entering upon any other paths, will inevitably find thathis last state is always worse than his first; and if he proceed upon paths otherthan these he will find that he will never find real and lasting pleasure at all. The question is not, "What are the conditions in our lives?" but, "How dowe meet the conditions that we find there?" And whatever the conditions are, it isunwise and profitless to look upon them, even if they are conditions that wewould have otherwise, in the attitude of complaint, for complaint will bringdepression, and depression will weaken and possibly even kill the spirit thatwould engender the power that would enable us to bring into our lives an entirelynew set of conditions. In order to be concrete, even at the risk of being personal, I will say thatthere have come at various times into my life circumstances and conditions that Igladly would have run from at the time—conditions that caused at the timehumiliation and shame and anguish of spirit. But invariably, as sufficient timehas passed, I – or anyone for that matter - have been able to look back and seeclearly the part that every experience of the type just mentioned had to play in mylife. I have seen the lessons it was essential for me to learn; and the result is thatnow I would not drop a single one of these experiences from my life, humiliatingand hard to bear as they were at the time; no, not for the world. And here isalso a lesson I have learned: whatever conditions are in my life today that arenot the easiest and most agreeable, and whatever conditions of this type allcoming time may bring, I will take them just as they come, without complaint, -9-
  10. 10. without depression, and meet them in the wisest possible way; knowing that theyare the best possible conditions that could be in my life at the time, or otherwisethey would not be there; realizing the fact that, although I may not at the time seewhy they are in my life, although I may not see just what part they have to play,the time will come, and when it comes I will see it all, and thank God for everycondition just as it came. Each one is so apt to think that his own conditions, his own trials ortroubles or sorrows, or his own struggles, as the case may be, are greater thanthose of the great mass of mankind, or possibly greater than those of any one elsein the world. He forgets that each one has his own peculiar trials or troubles orsorrows to bear, or struggles in habits to overcome, and that his is but thecommon lot of all the human race. We are apt to make the mistake in this — inthat we see and feel keenly our own trials, or adverse conditions, orcharacteristics to be overcome, while those of others we do not see so clearly, andhence we are apt to think that they are not at all equal to our own. Each has hisown problems to work out. Each must work out his own problems. Each must grow the insight thatwill enable him to see what the causes are that have brought the unfavorableconditions into his life; each must grow the strength that will enable him to facethese conditions, and to set into operation forces that will bring about a differentset of conditions. We may be of aid to one another by way of suggestion, by way ofbringing to one another a knowledge of certain higher laws and forces — laws andforces that will make it easier to do that which we would do. The doing, however,must be done by each one for himself. And so the way to get out of anyconditioning we have got into, either knowingly or inadvertently, eitherintentionally or unintentionally, is to take time to look the conditions squarely inthe face, and to find the law whereby they have come about. And when we havediscovered the law, the thing to do is not to rebel against it, not to resist it, but togo with it by working in harmony with it. If we work in harmony with it, it will work for our highest good, and willtake us wheresoever we desire. If we oppose it, if we resist it, if we fail to work inharmony with it, it will eventually break us to pieces. The law is immutable in itsworkings. Go with it, and it brings all things our way; resist it, and it bringssuffering, pain, loss, and desolation. - 10 -
  11. 11. True it is, then, not, "What are the conditions in ones life?" but "Howdoes he meet the conditions that he finds there?" This will determine all. And if atany time we are apt to think that our own lot is about the hardest there is, and ifwe are able at any time to persuade ourselves that we can find no one whose lot isjust a little harder than ours, let us then study for a little while the characterPompilia, in Brownings poem and after studying it, thank God that theconditions in our life are so favorable; and then set about with a trusting andintrepid spirit to actualize the conditions that we most desire. Thought is at the bottom of all progress or retrogression, of all success orfailure, of all that is desirable or undesirable in human life. The type of thoughtwe entertain both creates and draws conditions that crystallize about it,conditions exactly the same in nature as is the thought that gives them form.Thoughts are forces, and each creates of its kind, whether we realize it or not. Thegreat law of the drawing power of the mind, which says that like creates like, andthat like attracts like, is continually working in every human life, for it is one ofthe great immutable laws of the universe. For one to take time to see clearly the things he would attain to, and thento hold that ideal steadily and continually before his mind, never allowing faith —his positive thought-forces — to give way to or to be neutralized by doubts andfears, and then to set about doing each day what his hands find to do, nevercomplaining, but spending the time that he would otherwise spend in complaintin focusing his thought-forces upon the ideal that his mind has built, will sooneror later bring about the full materialization of that for which he sets out. Thereare those who, when they begin to grasp the fact that there is what we may term a"science of thought," who, when they begin to realize that through theinstrumentality of our interior, spiritual, thought-forces we have the power ofgradually molding the everyday conditions of life as we would have them, in theirearly enthusiasm are not able to see results as quickly as they expect and are aptto think, therefore, that after all there is not very much in that which has butnewly come to their knowledge. They must remember, however, that inendeavoring to overcome an old habit or to grow a new habit, everything cannotbe done all at once. In the degree that we attempt to use the thought-forces do we continuallybecome able to use them more effectively. Progress is slow at first, more rapid aswe proceed. Power grows by using, or, in other words, using brings a continuallyincreasing power. This is governed by law the same as are all things in our lives, - 11 -
  12. 12. and all things in the universe about us. Every act and advancement made by themusician is in full accordance with law. No one commencing the study of musiccan, for example, sit down to the piano and play the piece of a master at the firsteffort. He must not conclude, however, nor does he conclude, that the piece of themaster cannot be played by him, or, for that matter, by anyone. He begins topractice the piece. The law of the mind that we have already noticed comes to hisaid, whereby his mind follows the music more readily, more rapidly, and moresurely each succeeding time, and there also comes into operation and to his aidthe law underlying the action of the reflex nerve system of the body, which wehave also noticed, whereby his fingers co-ordinate their movements with themovements of his mind more readily, more rapidly, and more accurately eachsucceeding time; until by and by the time comes when that which he stumblesthrough at first, that in which there is no harmony, nothing but discord, finallyreveals itself as the music of the master, the music that thrills and moves massesof men and women. So it is in the use of the thought-forces. It is the reiteration,the constant reiteration of the thought that grows the power of continuallystronger thought-focusing, and that finally brings manifestation. There is character building not only for the young but for the old as well.And what a difference there is in elderly people! How many grow old gracefully,and how many grow old in ways of quite a different nature. There is a sweetnessand charm that combine for attractiveness in old age the same as there issomething that cannot be described by these words. Some grow continually moredear to their friends and to the members of their immediate households, whileothers become possessed of the idea that their friends and the members of theirhouseholds have less of a regard for them than they formerly had, and manytimes they are not far wrong. The one continually sees more in life to enjoy, theother sees continually less. The one becomes more dear and attractive to others,the other less so. And why is this? Through chance? By no means. Personally I do notbelieve there is any such thing as chance in the whole of human life, nor even inthe world or the great universe in which we live. The one great law of cause andeffect is absolute; and effect is always kindred to its own peculiar cause, althoughwe may have at times to go back considerably farther than we are accustomed toin order to find the cause, the parent of this or that effect, or actualized, thoughnot necessarily permanently actualized, condition. - 12 -
  13. 13. Why, then, the vast difference in the two types of elderly people? The onekeeps from worryings, and fearings, and frettings, and foundationlessimaginings, while the other seems especially to cultivate these, to give himself orherself especially to them. And why is this? At a certain time in life, differingsomewhat in different people, life-long mental states, habits, and characteristicsbegin to focus themselves and come to the surface, so to speak. Predominatingthoughts and mental states begin to show themselves in actualized qualities andcharacteristics as never before, and no one is immune. In the lane leading to the orchard is a tree. For years it has been growingonly "natural fruit." Not long since it was grafted upon. The spring has come andgone. One-half of the tree was in bloom and the other half also. The blossoms oneach part could not be distinguished by the casual observer. The blossoms havebeen followed by young fruit which hangs abundantly on the entire tree. There isbut a slight difference in it now; but a few weeks later the difference in form, insize, in color, in flavor, in keeping qualities, will be so marked that no one can failto tell them apart or have difficulty in choosing between them. The one will be asmall, somewhat hard and gnarled, tart, yellowish-green apple, and will keep buta few weeks into the fall of the year. The other will be a large, delicately flavoredapple, mellow, deep red in color, and will keep until the tree which bore it is inbloom again. But why this incident from natures garden? This. Up to a certain period inthe fruits growth, although the interior, forming qualities of the apples wereslightly different from the beginning, there was but little to distinguish them. At acertain period in their growth, however, their differing interior qualities began toexternalize themselves so rapidly and so markedly that the two fruits became ofsuch a vastly different type that, as we have seen, no one could hesitate inchoosing between them. And knowing once the soul, the forming, thedetermining qualities of each, we can thereafter tell beforehand with a certaintythat is quite absolute what it, the externalized product of each portion of the tree,will be. And it is quite the same in human life. If one would have a beautiful andattractive old age, he must begin it in youth and in middle life. If, however, he hasneglected or failed in this, he can then wisely adapt himself to circumstances andgive himself zealously to putting into operation all necessary counter-balancingforces and influences. Where there is life nothing is ever irretrievably lost, thoughthe enjoyment of the higher good may be long delayed. But if one would have an - 13 -
  14. 14. especially beautiful and attractive old age he must begin it in early and in middlelife, for there comes by and by a sort of "rounding-up" process when long-lived-inhabits of thought begin to take unto themselves a strongly dominating power,and the thought habits of a lifetime begin to come to the surface. Fear and worry, selfishness, a hard-fisted, grabbing, holding disposition, acarping, fault-finding, nagging tendency, a slavery of thought and action to thethinking or to the opinions of others, a lacking of consideration, thought, andsympathy for others, a lack of charity for the thoughts, the motives, and the actsof others, a lack of knowledge of the powerful and inevitable building qualities ofthought, as well as a lack of faith in the eternal goodness and love and power ofthe Source of our being, all combine in time to make the old age of those in whomthey find life, that barren, cheerless, unwelcome something, unattractive or evenrepellent to itself as well as to others, that we not infrequently find, while theiropposites, on the contrary, combine, and seem to be helped on by heavenlyagencies, to bring about that cheerful, hopeful, helpful, beautified, and hallowedold age that is so welcome and so attractive both to itself and to all with whom itcomes in contact. Both types of thoughts, qualities, and dispositions, moreover,externalize themselves in the voice, in the peculiarly different ways in which theymark the face, in the stoop or lack of stoop in the form, as also in the healthy orunhealthy conditions of the mind and body, and their susceptibility to disordersand weaknesses of various kinds. It is not a bad thing for each one early to get a little "philosophy" into hislife. It will be of much aid as he advances in life; it will many times be a source ofgreat comfort, as well as of strength, in trying times and in later life. We mayeven, though gently perhaps, make sport of the one who has his little philosophy,but unless we have something similar the time will come when the very lack of itwill deride us. It may be at times, though not necessarily, that the one who has itis not always so successful in affairs when it comes to a purely money or businesssuccess, but it supplies many times a very real something in life that the one ofmoney or business success only is starving for, though he doesnt know what thereal lack is, and although he hasnt money enough in all the world to buy it did heknow. It is well to find our center early, and if not early then late; but, late orearly, the thing to do is to find it. While we are in life the one essential thing is toplay our part bravely and well and to keep our active interest in all its varyingphases, the same as it is well to be able to adapt ourselves always to changing - 14 -
  15. 15. conditions. It is by the winds of heaven blowing over it continually and keeping itin constant motion, or by its continual onward movement, that the water in poolor stream is kept sweet and clear, for otherwise it would become stagnant andcovered with slime. If we are attractive or unattractive to ourselves and to othersthe cause lies in ourselves; this is true of all ages, and it is well for us, young orold, to recognize it. It is well, other things being equal, to adapt ourselves to thoseabout us, but it is hardly fair for the old to think that all the adapting should be onthe part of the young, with no kindred duty on their part. Many times old ageloses much of its attractiveness on account of a peculiar notion of this kind. Theprinciple of reciprocity must hold in all ages in life, and whatever the age, if wefail to observe it, it results always sooner or later in our own undoing. We are all in Lifes great play— comedy and tragedy, smiles and tears,sunshine and shadow, summer and winter, and in time we take all parts. Wemust take our part, whatever it may be, at any given time, always bravely andwith a keen appreciation of every opportunity, and a keen alertness at every turnas the play progresses. A good "entrance" and a good "exit" contribute strongly tothe playing of a deservedly worthy role. We are not always able perhaps to choosejust as we would the details of our entrance, but the manner of our playing andthe manner of our exit we can all determine, and this no man, no power can denyus; this in every human life can be made indeed most glorious, however humble itmay begin, or however humble it may remain or exalted it may become,according to conventional standards of judgment. To me we are here for divine self-realization through experience. Weprogress in the degree that we manipulate wisely all things that enter into ourlives, and that make the sum total of each ones life experience. Let us be braveand strong in the presence of each problem as it presents itself and make the bestof all. Let us help the things we can help, and let us be not bothered or crippled bythe things we cannot help. The great God of all is watching and manipulatingthese things most wisely and we need not fear or even have concern regardingthem. To live to our highest in all things that pertain to us, to lend a hand as bestwe can to all others for this same end, to aid in righting the wrongs that cross ourpath by means of pointing the wrongdoer to a better way, and thus aiding him inbecoming a power for good, to remain in nature always sweet and simple andhumble, and therefore strong, to open ourselves fully and to keep ourselves as fitchannels for the Divine Power to work through us, to open ourselves, and to keep - 15 -
  16. 16. our faces always to the light, to love all things and to stand in awe or fear ofnothing save our own wrong-doing, to recognize the good lying at the heart of allthings, waiting for expression all in its own good way and time—this will makeour part in lifes great and as yet not fully understood play truly glorious, and weneed then stand in fear of nothing, life nor death, for death is life. Or rather, it isthe quick transition to life in another form; the putting off of the old coat and theputting on of a new; the falling away of the material body and the taking of thesoul to itself a new and finer body, better adapted to its needs and surroundingsin another world of experience and growth and still greater divine self-realization; a going out with all that it has gained of this nature in this world, butwith no possessions material; a passing not from light to darkness, but from lightto light; a taking up of life in another from just where we leave it off here; anexperience not to be shunned or dreaded or feared, but to be welcomed when itcomes in its own good way and time. All life is from within out. This is something that cannot be reiterated toooften. The springs of life are all from within. This being true, it would be well forus to give more time to the inner life than we are accustomed to give to it,especially in this Western world. There is nothing that will bring us such abundant returns as to take a littletime in the quiet each day of our lives. We need this to get the kinks out of ourminds, and hence out of our lives. We need this to form better the higher ideals oflife. We need this in order to see clearly in mind the things upon which we wouldconcentrate and focus the thought-forces. We need this in order to makecontinually anew and to keep our conscious connection with the Infinite. Weneed this in order that the rush and hurry of our everyday life does not keep usaway from the conscious realization of the fact that the spirit of Infinite life andpower that is back of all, working in and through all, the life of all, is the life ofour life, and the source of our power; and that outside of this we have no life andwe have no power. To realize this fact fully, and to live in it consciously at all times, is to findthe kingdom of God, which is essentially an inner kingdom, and can never beanything else. The kingdom of heaven is to be found only within, and this is doneonce for all, and in a manner in which it cannot otherwise be done, when wecome into the conscious, living realization of the fact that in our real selves we areessentially one with the Divine life, and open ourselves continually so that this - 16 -
  17. 17. Divine life can speak to and manifest through us. In this way we come into thecondition where we are continually walking with God. In this way the consciousness of God becomes a living reality in our lives;and in the degree in which it becomes a reality does it bring us into the realizationof continually increasing wisdom, insight, and power. This consciousness of Godin the soul of man is the essence, indeed, the sum and substance, of all religion.This identifies religion with every act and every moment of everyday life. Thatwhich does not identify itself with every moment of every day and with every actof life is religion in name only and not in reality. This consciousness of God in thesoul of man is the one thing uniformly taught by all the prophets, by all theinspired ones, by all the seers and mystics in the worlds history, whatever thetime, wherever the country, whatever the religion, whatever minor differences wemay find in their lives and teachings. In regard to this they all agree; indeed, thisis the essence of their teaching, as it has also been the secret of their power andthe secret of their lasting influence. It is the attitude of the child that is necessary before we can enter into thekingdom of heaven. As it was said, "Except ye become as little children, yecannot enter into the kingdom of heaven." For we then realize that of ourselveswe can do nothing, but that it is only as we realize that it is the Divine life andpower working within us, and it is only as we open ourselves that it may workthrough us, that we are or can do anything. It is thus that the simple life, which isessentially the life of the greatest enjoyment and the greatest attainment, isentered upon. In the Orient the people as a class take far more time in the quiet, in thesilence, than we take. Some of them carry this possibly to as great an extreme aswe carry the opposite, with the result that they do not actualize and objectify inthe outer life the things they dream in the inner life. We give so much time to theactivities of the outer life that we do not take sufficient time in the quiet to formin the inner, spiritual, thought-life the ideals and the conditions that we wouldhave actualized and manifested in the outer life. The result is that we take life in akind of haphazard way, taking it as it comes, thinking not very much about ituntil, perhaps, pushed by some bitter experiences, instead of molding it, throughthe agency of the inner forces, exactly as we would have it. We need to strike thehappy balance between the custom in this respect of the Eastern and Westernworlds, and go to the extreme of neither the one nor the other. This alone will - 17 -
  18. 18. give the ideal life; and it is the ideal life only that is the thoroughly satisfactorylife. In the Orient there are many who are day after day sitting in the quiet,meditating, contemplating, idealizing, with their eyes focused on their stomachsin spiritual revery, while through lack of outer activities, in their stomachs, theyare actually starving. In this Western world, men and women, in the rush andactivity of our accustomed life, are running hither and thither, with no center, nofoundation upon which to stand, nothing to which they can anchor their lives,because they do not take sufficient time to come into the realization of what thecenter, of what the reality of their lives is. If the Oriental would do his contemplating, and then get up and do hiswork, he would be in a better condition; he would be living a more normal andsatisfactory life. If we in the Occident would take more time from the rush andactivity of life for contemplation, for meditation, for idealization, for becomingacquainted with our real selves, and then go about our work manifesting thepowers of our real selves, we would be far better off, because we would be living amore natural, a more normal life. To find ones center, to become centerd in theInfinite, is the first great essential of every satisfactory life; and then to go out,thinking, speaking, working, loving, living, from this center. In the highest character building, such as we have been considering, thereare those who feel they are handicapped by what we term heredity. In a sensethey are right; in another sense they are totally wrong. It is along the same linesas the thought which many before us had inculcated in them through the coupletin the New England Primer: "In Adams fall, we sinned all." Now, in the firstplace, it is rather hard to understand the justice of this if it is true. In the secondplace, it is rather hard to understand why it is true. And in the third place there isno truth in it at all. We are now dealing with the real essential self, and,however old Adam is, God is eternal. This means you; it means me; it means every human soul. When we fullyrealize this fact we see that heredity is a reed that is easily broken. The life ofevery one is in his own hands and he can make it in character, in attainment, inpower, in divine self-realization, and hence in influence, exactly what he wills tomake it. All things that he most fondly dreams of are his, or may become so if heis truly in earnest; and as he rises more and more to his ideal, and grows in thestrength and influence of his character, he becomes an example and an - 18 -
  19. 19. inspiration to all with whom he comes in contact; so that through him the weakand faltering are encouraged and strengthened; so that those of low ideals and ofa low type of life instinctively and inevitably have their ideals raised, and theideals of no one can be raised without its showing forth in his outer life. As headvances in his grasp upon and understanding of the power and potency of thethought-forces, he finds that many times through the process of mentalsuggestion he can be of tremendous aid to one who is weak and struggling, bysending him now and then, and by continually holding him in, the highestthought, in the thought of the highest strength, wisdom and love. The power of"suggestion," mental suggestion, is one that has tremendous possibilities for goodif we will but study into it carefully, understand it fully, and use it rightly. The one who takes sufficient time in the quiet mentally to form his ideals,sufficient time to make and to keep continually his conscious connection with theInfinite, with the Divine life and forces, is the one who is best adapted to thestrenuous life. He it is who can go out and deal, with sagacity and power, withwhatever issues may arise in the affairs of everyday life. He it is who is buildingnot for the years but for the centuries; not for time, but for the eternities. And hecan go out knowing not whither he goes, knowing that the Divine life within himwill never fail him, but will lead him on until he beholds the Father face to face. He is building for the centuries because only that which is the highest, thetruest, the noblest, and best will abide the test of the centuries. He is building foreternity because when the transition we call death takes place, life, character,self-mastery, divine self-realization — the only things that the soul when strippedof everything else takes with it — he has in abundance, in life, or when the time ofthe transition to another form of life comes, he is never afraid, never fearful,because he knows and realizes that behind him, within him, beyond him, is theInfinite wisdom and love; and in this he is eternally centered, and from it he cannever be separated. With Whittier he sings: I know not where His islands lift Their fronded palms in air; I only know I cannot drift Beyond His love and care - 19 -
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