MEN are going up an ascending scale of existence. Some have their feet still planted upon the lowest rungs of the ladder. Others have climbed higher and higher.
At the start, the functions of life are all performed upon a semiconscious plane. The law of life is for progress, struggle, achievement and realization. The force of this law swings the physical and mental mechanism of Man to its own beneficent purpose and propels them to action. Progress at this stage is on the sub-conscious plane of mentation.
The soul is in a comatose condition. Impacts from the physical world, the driving power of the lave of Progress—Evolution,—and the inherent powers of the soul, all combine to push us on.
Man's central Being is infinite bliss. I am Happiness itself. I am unhappy because my eyes have grown blind.
Yes, Man has forgotten his real, divine Nature. Cycle after cycle of activity thus goes on. Man is being worked upon by a Divine Law whose stern mandate is "Awake, Arise, and Stop not till the goal is reached."
Not all of us hear it thus. The pious Christian devoutly believes, "Oh, There is an Evil Force, Satan, whose arm strikes me down. Good Lord, Thou alone art my refuge."
In praying thus he believes in the Infinite power of the absolute; and since nothing is lost in the economy of Nature, he delivers a concentrated suggestion to his soul, which alone is Infinite. He believes that his prayer will bear fruit, and it does. In believing he delivers the right blow and his belief is fulfilled.
It is a very good thing to pray; to believe that Providence is always playing with your destiny, to believe that a mighty Mephistopheles is laying traps for you, to believe that the body dying, the soul does not die, to believe that God alone can save you.
The good side of it lies in your repulsion of Evil. Fear and at times love of the Infinite make you cleave to good.
But do not stop there. Your attitude is out and out a negative one. You cannot always stand by your none-too-well-grounded convictions. Facts go to prove this. In this world you often see a man born in poverty, squalor and sin. He has not a single chance in life. Then take a man born to the purple. There is nothing to vex him. Plenty stalks majestically in the land. He has but to wish and to! it is fulfilled.
"Everything that God commands is for the best," you say. "Perhaps his father is to blame," some one would say.
First, why should I be punished for the sins of my father, secondly why should I not be created as my friend is? Why should every one laugh at my Physical, Mental and Spiritual endowments; how do I deserve this?
"God's ways are inexplicable," you say. Very fine, indeed!
Friend, God does not love mystery mongering. He can never give us pain without rhyme or reason. My experience tells a different tale. God is Love. He acts in open daylight. We go to Church and say long prayers for sins committed. We shall commit that same sin again and again; and we shall cease only when repeated blows rub the lesson home. "You must cease from this. It has back of it the most painful results."
Man is punished not for his sins so much as by them. Nature with her pitiless ways cannot claim mercy for herself. Her laws are hard. Be it a sin of commission or of omission, your escape is impossible. This penalty bears a mission peculiar to itself. Ili is a blessing in disguise. It is the merciful knife of the surgeon. If there is loss, pain, suffering, disappointment at one pole, it is all counterpoised by the ripening of experience, wisdom, knowledge at the other. Hence measured on the scale of Compensation, all pain, come it how it may, must be faced with patience. Pain comes in jangled vibrations, seems to asphyxiate the whole man, strikes us down for the needed lesson. In suffering we pay our debts. The burden is lightened. Sin
and suffering are twins and separation is impossible. How we wish we had been let off scot-free; how like miserable shirkers we wish our bed had no crumpled rose leaves. Yet would you who weep and lament be minus the experience and wisdom you have stored up through efforts to brush pain aside? No right have we then to rule off pain as a visitation of a wrathful Deity. Rather, we shall see Cause and Effect, not somewhere and sometimes but everywhere and always. That is the position of Strength. Every sweet has its sour. We shall confront fate with fate, fire with fire, and, standing aside, see the one eat the other. The end of all philosophy is the destruction of pain. Not milksops and lunatics, but men of iron courage are philosophers. Philosophy is thought passed and purified through the fire of the Living Spirit. It is deathless, birthless truth established in the constitution of man. Clay and clay differ, they say, so thought and thought vary in power, tenacity and texture. Man is a living magnet. He attracts. He repels. He draws in his own; he throws out what is not related to him. As Emerson, the western child of eastern thought sings:—
Floating in air or pent in stone
Will rive the hills and swim the sea,
And, like thy shadow, follow thee.’
Just that comes to us which is ours by right of thought; just that flies off from us which is not ours,What we seek we shall find; what we flee from, will flee from us; as Goethe said, "What we wish for in youth comes to us in heaps in old age." Everything on the zone of our mental vibration will be ours. Remember you who read! Thought is a mighty force. It is your friend. It is your enemy. As your ideal in life, along that line will Everything flow. You are a Spark from the Eternal Fire and as is proved in Higher Mathematics the parts of Infinity are an Infinity; you too are Infinite. God re-Exists in each mortal form. His light shines full upon your Consciousness. You wish, you command, you demand, you assent, and you get—what you want; though you go to sleep, your thought if sufficiently vitalized by concentration will come to pass. Determine the breadth, the solidity, the soundness of the plank of life you stand upon. You are your master. Knowing and realizing this, you shall step up to the highest and best in life and with firm hands pluck the fruit you would taste. The sweet, the bitter, or the bitter-sweet taste is according as you choose. Where and what is Fear then? It is all cause and effect. Laugh at Astrology, at Palmistry; know their secrets; know they are emanations from you; and stand fearless and strike straight from the shoulders, once, twice, thrice, times innumerable till your strokes tell, till your strokes lay low the monsters that have broken their teeth upon your unyielding shoulders; till you have what you should have. This, friend, is a passing glimpse of Life's Conscious Stage. Here Life is self-determined. Here no hand but yours builds. No brains but yours thinks. No strength but yours avails. No soul but yours bids, bargains and at last bears away the palm.