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The Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science by Thomas Troward

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THE EDINBURGH LECTURES ON MENTAL SCIENCE

BY THOMAS TROWARD LATE DIVISIONAL JUDGE, PUNJAB

THE WRITER AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATES THIS LITTLE VOLUME TO HIS WIFE

FOREWORD.

This book contains the substance of a course of lectures recently given by
the writer in the Queen Street Hall, Edinburgh. Its purpose is to indicate
the _Natural Principles_ governing the relation between Mental Action and
Material Conditions, and thus to afford the student an intelligible
starting-point for the practical study of the subject.

T.T.

March, 1904.

CONTENTS.

I.--SPIRIT AND MATTER.
II.--THE HIGHER MODE OF INTELLIGENCE CONTROLS THE LOWER
III.--THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT
IV.--SUBJECTIVE AND OBJECTIVE MIND
V.--FURTHER CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING SUBJECTIVE AND OBJECTIVE MIND
VI.--THE LAW OF GROWTH
VII.--RECEPTIVITY.
VIII.--RECIPROCAL ACTION OF THE UNIVERSAL AND INDIVIDUAL MINDS
IX.--CAUSES AND CONDITIONS
X.--INTUITION
XI.--HEALING
XII.--THE WILL
XIII.--IN TOUCH WITH SUBCONSCIOUS MIND
XIV.--THE BODY
XV.--THE SOUL
XVI.--THE SPIRIT

I.

SPIRIT AND MATTER.

In commencing a course of lectures on Mental Science, it is somewhat
difficult for the lecturer to fix upon the best method of opening the
subject. It can be approached from many sides, each with some peculiar
advantage of its own; but, after careful deliberation, it appears to me
that, for the purpose of the present course, no better starting-point could
be selected than the relation between Spirit and Matter. I select this
starting-point because the distinction--or what we believe to be such--
between them is one with which we are so familiar that I can safely assume
its recognition by everybody; and I may, therefore, at once state this
distinction by using the adjectives which we habitually apply as expressing
the natural opposition between the two--_living_ spirit and _dead_ matter.
These terms express our current impression of the opposition between spirit
and matter with sufficient accuracy, and considered only from the point of
view of outward appearances this impression is no doubt correct. The
general consensus of mankind is right in trusting the evidence of our
senses, and any system which tells us that we are not to do so will never
obtain a permanent footing in a sane and healthy community. There is
nothing wrong in the evidence conveyed to a healthy mind by the senses of a
healthy body, but the point where error creeps in is when we come to judge
of the meaning of this testimony. We are accustomed to judge only by
external appearances and by certain limited significances which we attach
to words; but when we begin to enquire into the real meaning of our words
and to analyse the causes which give rise to the appearances, we find our
old notions gradually falling off from us, until at last we wake up to the
fact that we are living in an entirely different world to that we formerly
recognized. The old limited mode of thought has imperceptibly slipped away,
and we discover that we have stepped out into a new order of things where
all is liberty and life. This is the work of an enlightened intelligence
resulting from persistent determination to discover what truth really is
irrespective of any preconceived notions from whatever source derived, the
determination to think honestly for ourselves instead of endeavouring to
get our thinking done for us. Let us then commence by enquiring what we
really mean by the livingness which we attribute to spirit and the deadness
which we attribute to matter.

At first we may be disposed to say that livingness consists in the power of
motion and deadness in its absence; but a little enquiry into the most
recent researches of science will soon show us that this distinction does
not go deep enough. It is now one of the fully-established facts of
physical science that no atom of what we call "dead matter" is without
motion. On the table before me lies a solid lump of steel, but in the light
of up-to-date science I know that the atoms of that seemingly inert mass
are vibrating with the most intense energy, continually dashing hither and
thither, impinging upon and rebounding from one another, or circling round
like miniature solar systems, with a ceaseless rapidity whose complex
activity is enough to bewilder the imagination. The mass, as a mass, may
lie inert upon the table; but so far from being destitute of the element of
motion it is the abode of the never-tiring energy moving the particles with
a swiftness to which the speed of an express train is as nothing. It is,
therefore, not the mere fact of motion that is at the root of the
distinction which we draw instinctively between spirit and matter; we must
go deeper than that. The solution of the problem will never be found by
comparing Life with what we call deadness, and the reason for this will
become apparent later on; but the true key is to be found by comparing one
degree of livingness with another. There is, of course, one sense in which
the quality of livingness does not admit of degrees; but there is another
sense in which it is entirely a question of degree. We have no doubt as to
the livingness of a plant, but we realize that it is something very
different from the livingness of an animal. Again, what average boy would
not prefer a fox-terrier to a goldfish for a pet? Or, again, why is it that
the boy himself is an advance upon the dog? The plant, the fish, the dog,
and the boy are all equally _alive_; but there is a difference in the
quality of their livingness about which no one can have any doubt, and no
one would hesitate to say that this difference is in the degree of
intelligence. In whatever way we turn the subject we shall always find that
what we call the "livingness" of any individual life is ultimately measured
by its intelligence. It is the possession of greater intelligence that
places the animal higher in the scale of being than the plant, the man
higher than the animal, the intellectual man higher than the savage. The
increased intelligence calls into activity modes of motion of a higher
order corresponding to itself. The higher the intelligence, the more
completely the mode of motion is under its control: and as we descend in
the scale of intelligence, the descent is marked by a corresponding
increase in _automatic_ motion not subject to the control of a
self-conscious intelligence. This descent is gradual from the expanded
self-recognition of the highest human personality to that lowest order of
visible forms which we speak of as "things," and from which
self-recognition is entirely absent.

We see, then, that the livingness of Life consists in intelligence--in
other words, in the power of Thought; and we may therefore say that the
distinctive quality of spirit is Thought, and, as the opposite to this, we
may say that the distinctive quality of matter is Form. We cannot conceive
of matter without form. Some form there must be, even though invisible to
the physical eye; for matter, to be matter at all, must occupy space, and
to occupy any particular space necessarily implies a corresponding form.
For these reasons we may lay it down as a fundamental proposition that the
distinctive quality of spirit is Thought and the distinctive quality of
matter is Form. This is a radical distinction from which important
consequences follow, and should, therefore, be carefully noted by the
student.

Form implies extension in space and also limitation within certain
boundaries. Thought implies neither. When, therefore, we think of Life as
existing in any particular _form_ we associate it with the idea of
extension in space, so that an elephant may be said to consist of a vastly
larger amount of living substance than a mouse. But if we think of Life as
the fact of livingness we do not associate it with any idea of extension,
and we at once realize that the mouse is quite as much alive as the
elephant, notwithstanding the difference in size. The important point of
this distinction is that if we can conceive of anything as entirely devoid
of the element of extension in space, it must be present in its entire
totality anywhere and everywhere--that is to say, at every point of space
simultaneously. The scientific definition of time is that it is the period
occupied by a body in passing from one given point in space to another,
and, therefore, according to this definition, when there is no space there
can be no time; and hence that conception of spirit which realizes it as
devoid of the element of space must realize it as being devoid of the
element of time also; and we therefore find that the conception of spirit
as pure Thought, and not as concrete Form, is the conception of it as
subsisting perfectly independently of the elements of time and space. From
this it follows that if the idea of anything is conceived as existing on
this level it can only represent that thing as being actually present here
and now. In this view of things nothing can be remote from us either in
time or space: either the idea is entirely dissipated or it exists as an
actual present entity, and not as something that _shall_ be in the future,
for where there is no sequence in time there can be no future. Similarly
where there is no space there can be no conception of anything as being at
a distance from us. When the elements of time and space are eliminated all
our ideas of things must necessarily be as subsisting in a universal here
and an everlasting now. This is, no doubt, a highly abstract conception,
but I would ask the student to endeavour to grasp it thoroughly, since it
is of vital importance in the practical application of Mental Science, as
will appear further on.

The opposite conception is that of things expressing themselves through
conditions of time and space and thus establishing a variety of _relations_
to other things, as of bulk, distance, and direction, or of sequence in
time. These two conceptions are respectively the conception of the abstract
and the concrete, of the unconditioned and the conditioned, of the absolute
and the relative. They are not opposed to each other in the sense of
incompatibility, but are each the complement of the other, and the only
reality is in the combination of the two. The error of the extreme idealist
is in endeavouring to realize the absolute without the relative, and the
error of the extreme materialist is in endeavouring to realize the relative
without the absolute. On the one side the mistake is in trying to realize
an inside without an outside, and on the other in trying to realize an
outside without an inside; both are necessary to the formation of a
substantial entity.

II.

THE HIGHER MODE OF INTELLIGENCE CONTROLS THE LOWER.

We have seen that the descent from personality, as we know it in ourselves,
to matter, as we know it under what we call inanimate forms, is a gradual
descent in the scale of intelligence from that mode of being which is able
to realize its own will-power as a capacity for originating new trains of
causation to that mode of being which is incapable of recognizing itself at
all. The higher the grade of life, the higher the intelligence; from which
it follows that the supreme principle of Life must also be the ultimate
principle of intelligence. This is clearly demonstrated by the grand
natural order of the universe. In the light of modern science the principle
of evolution is familiar to us all, and the accurate adjustment existing
between all parts of the cosmic scheme is too self-evident to need
insisting upon. Every advance in science consists in discovering new
subtleties of connection in this magnificent universal order, which already
exists and only needs our recognition to bring it into practical use. If,
then, the highest work of the greatest minds consists in nothing else than
the recognition of an already existing order, there is no getting away from
the conclusion that a paramount intelligence must be inherent in the
Life-Principle, which manifests itself _as_ this order; and thus we see
that there must be a great cosmic intelligence underlying the totality of
things.

The physical history of our planet shows us first an incandescent nebula
dispersed over vast infinitudes of space; later this condenses into a
central sun surrounded by a family of glowing planets hardly yet
consolidated from the plastic primordial matter; then succeed untold
millenniums of slow geological formation; an earth peopled by the lowest
forms of life, whether vegetable or animal; from which crude beginnings a
majestic, unceasing, unhurried, forward movement brings things stage by
stage to the condition in which we know them now. Looking at this steady
progression it is clear that, however we may conceive the nature of the
evolutionary principle, it unerringly provides for the continual advance of
the race. But it does this by creating such numbers of each kind that,
after allowing a wide margin for all possible accidents to individuals, the
race shall still continue:--

"So careful of the type it seems
So careless of the single life."

In short, we may say that the cosmic intelligence works by a Law of
Averages which allows a wide margin of accident and failure to the
individual.

But the progress towards higher intelligence is always in the direction of
narrowing down this margin of accident and taking the individual more and
more out of the law of averages, and substituting the law of individual
selection. In ordinary scientific language this is the survival of the
fittest. The reproduction of fish is on a scale that would choke the sea
with them if every individual survived; but the margin of destruction is
correspondingly enormous, and thus the law of averages simply keeps up the
normal proportion of the race. But at the other end of the scale,
reproduction is by no means thus enormously in excess of survival. True,
there is ample margin of accident and disease cutting off numbers of human
beings before they have gone through the average duration of life, but
still it is on a very different scale from the premature destruction of
hundreds of thousands as against the survival of one. It may, therefore, be
taken as an established fact that in proportion as intelligence advances
the individual ceases to be subject to a mere law of averages and has a
continually increasing power of controlling the conditions of his own
survival.

We see, therefore, that there is a marked distinction between the cosmic
intelligence and the individual intelligence, and that the factor which
differentiates the latter from the former is the presence of _individual_
volition. Now the business of Mental Science is to ascertain the relation
of this individual power of volition to the great cosmic law which provides
for the maintenance and advancement of the race; and the point to be
carefully noted is that the power of individual volition is itself the
outcome of the cosmic evolutionary principle at the point where it reaches
its highest level. The effort of Nature has always been upwards from the
time when only the lowest forms of life peopled the globe, and it has now
culminated in the production of a being with a mind capable of abstract
reasoning and a brain fitted to be the physical instrument of such a mind.
At this stage the all-creating Life-principle reproduces itself in a form
capable of recognizing the working of the evolutionary law, and the unity
and continuity of purpose running through the whole progression until now
indicates, beyond a doubt, that the place of such a being in the universal
scheme must be to introduce the operation of that factor which, up to this
point, has been, conspicuous by its absence--the factor, namely, of
intelligent individual volition. The evolution which has brought us up to
this standpoint has worked by a cosmic law of averages; it has been a
process in which the individual himself has not taken a conscious part. But
because he is what he is, and leads the van of the evolutionary procession,
if man is to evolve further, it can now only be by his own conscious
co-operation with the law which has brought him up to the standpoint where
he is able to realize that such a law exists. His evolution in the future
must be by conscious participation in the great work, and this can only be
effected by his own individual intelligence and effort. It is a process of
intelligent growth. No one else can grow for us: we must each grow for
ourselves; and this intelligent growth consists in our increasing
recognition of the universal law, which has brought us as far as we have
yet got, and of our own individual relation to that law, based upon the
fact that we ourselves are the most advanced product of it. It is a great
maxim that Nature obeys us precisely in proportion as we first obey Nature.
Let the electrician try to go counter to the principle that electricity
must always pass from a higher to a lower potential and he will effect
nothing; but let him submit in all things to this one fundamental law, and
he can make whatever particular applications of electrical power he will.

These considerations show us that what differentiates the higher from the
lower degree of intelligence is the recognition of its own self-hood, and
the more intelligent that recognition is, the greater will be the power.
The lower degree of self-recognition is that which only realizes itself as
an entity separate from all other entities, as the _ego_ distinguished from
the _non-ego_. But the higher degree of self-recognition is that which,
realizing its own spiritual nature, sees in all other forms, not so much
the _non-ego_, or that which is not itself, as the _alter-ego_, or that
which is itself in a different mode of expression. Now, it is this higher
degree of self-recognition that is the power by which the Mental Scientist
produces his results. For this reason it is imperative that he should
clearly understand the difference between Form and Being; that the one is
the mode of the relative and, the mark of subjection to conditions, and
that the other is the truth of the absolute and is that which controls
conditions.

Now this higher recognition of self as an individualization of pure spirit
must of necessity control all modes of spirit which have not yet reached
the same level of self-recognition. These lower modes of spirit are in
bondage to the law of their own being because they do not know the law;
and, therefore, the individual who has attained to this knowledge can
control them through that law. But to understand this we must inquire a
little further into the nature of spirit. I have already shown that the
grand scale of adaptation and adjustment of all parts of the cosmic scheme
to one another exhibits the presence _somewhere_ of a marvellous
intelligence, underlying the whole, and the question is, where is this
intelligence to be found? Ultimately we can only conceive of it as inherent
in some primordial substance which is the root of all those grosser modes
of matter which are known to us, whether visible to the physical eye, or
necessarily inferred by science from their perceptible effects. It is that
power which, in every species and in every individual, becomes that which
that species or individual is; and thus we can only conceive of it as a
self-forming intelligence inherent in the ultimate substance of which each
thing is a particular manifestation. That this primordial substance must be
considered as self-forming by an inherent intelligence abiding in itself
becomes evident from the fact that intelligence is the essential quality of
spirit; and if we were to conceive of the primordial substance as something
apart from spirit, then we should have to postulate some other power which
is neither spirit nor matter, and originates both; but this is only putting
the idea of a self-evolving power a step further back and asserting the
production of a lower grade of undifferentiated spirit by a higher, which
is both a purely gratuitous assumption and a contradiction of any idea we
can form of undifferentiated spirit at all. However far back, therefore, we
may relegate the original starting-point, we cannot avoid the conclusion
that, at that point, spirit contains the primary substance in itself, which
brings us back to the common statement that it made everything out of
nothing. We thus find two factors to the making of all things, Spirit
and--Nothing; and the addition of Nothing to Spirit leaves _only_ spirit:
x + 0 = x.

From these considerations we see that the ultimate foundation of every form
of matter is spirit, and hence that a universal intelligence subsists
throughout Nature inherent in every one of its manifestations. But this
cryptic intelligence does not belong to the particular _form_ excepting in
the measure in which it is physically fitted for its concentration into
self-recognizing individuality: it lies hidden in that primordial substance
of which the visible form is a grosser manifestation. This primordial
substance is a philosophical necessity, and we can only picture it to
ourselves as something infinitely finer than the atoms which are themselves
a philosophical inference of physical science: still, for want of a better
word, we may conveniently speak of this primary intelligence inherent in
the very substance of things as the Atomic Intelligence. The term may,
perhaps, be open to some objections, but it will serve our present purpose
as distinguishing _this_ mode of spirit's intelligence from that of the
opposite pole, or Individual Intelligence. This distinction should be
carefully noted because it is by the response of the atomic intelligence to
the individual intelligence that thought-power is able to produce results
on the material plane, as in the cure of disease by mental treatment, and
the like. Intelligence manifests itself by responsiveness, and the whole
action of the cosmic mind in bringing the evolutionary process from its
first beginnings up to its present human stage is nothing else but a
continual intelligent response to the demand which each stage in the
progress has made for an adjustment between itself and its environment.
Since, then, we have recognized the presence of a universal intelligence
permeating all things, we must also recognize a corresponding
responsiveness hidden deep down in their nature and ready to be called into
action when appealed to. All mental treatment depends on this
responsiveness of spirit in its lower degrees to higher degrees of itself.
It is here that the difference between the mental scientist and the
uninstructed person comes in; the former knows of this responsiveness and
makes use of it, and the latter cannot use it because he does not know it.

III

THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT.

We have now paved the way for understanding what is meant by "the unity of
the spirit." In the first conception of spirit as the underlying origin of
all things we see a universal substance which, at this stage, is not
differentiated into any specific forms. This is not a question of some
bygone time, but subsists at every moment of all time in the _innermost_
nature of all being; and when we see this, we see that the division between
one specific form and another has below it a deep essential unity, which
acts as the supporter of all the several forms of individuality arising out
of it. And as our thought penetrates deeper into the nature of this
all-producing spiritual substance we see that it cannot be limited to any
one portion of space, but must be limitless as space itself, and that the
idea of any portion of space where it is not is inconceivable. It is one of
those intuitive perceptions from which the human mind can never get away
that this primordial, all-generating living spirit must be commensurate
with infinitude, and we can therefore never think of it otherwise than as
universal or infinite. Now it is a mathematical truth that the infinite
must be a unity. You cannot have two infinites, for then neither would be
infinite, each would be limited by the other, nor can you split the
infinite up into fractions. The infinite is mathematically essential unity.
This is a point on which too much stress cannot be laid, for there follow
from it the most important consequences. Unity, as such, can be neither
multiplied nor divided, for either operation destroys the unity. By
multiplying, we produce a plurality of units of the same scale as the
original; and by dividing, we produce a plurality of units of a smaller
scale; and a plurality of units is not unity but multiplicity. Therefore if
we would penetrate below the outward nature of the individual to that
innermost principle of his being from which his individuality takes its
rise, we can do so only by passing beyond the conception of individual
existence into that of the unity of universal being. This may appear to be
a merely philosophical abstraction, but the student who would produce
practical results must realize that these abstract generalizations are the
foundation of the practical work he is going to do.

Now the great fact to be recognized about a unity is that, _because_ it is
a single unit, wherever it is at all the _whole_ of it must be. The moment
we allow our mind to wander off to the idea of extension in space and say
that one part of the unit is here and another there, we have descended from
the idea of unity into that of parts or fractions of a single unit, which
is to pass into the idea of a multiplicity of smaller units, and in that
case we are dealing with the relative, or the relation subsisting between
two or more entities which are therefore _limited by each other_, and so
have passed out of the region of simple unity which is the absolute. It is,
therefore, a mathematical necessity that, because the originating Life-
principle is infinite, it is a single unit, and consequently, wherever it
is at all, the _whole_ of it must be present. But because it is _infinite_,
or limitless, it is everywhere, and therefore it follows that the _whole_
of spirit must be present at every point in space at the same moment.
Spirit is thus omnipresent _in its entirety_, and it is accordingly
logically correct that at every moment of time _all_ spirit is concentrated
at any point in space that we may choose to fix our thought upon. This is
the fundamental fact of all being, and it is for this reason that I have
prepared the way for it by laying down the relation between spirit and
matter as that between idea and form, on the one hand the absolute from
which the elements of time and space are entirely absent, and on the other
the relative which is entirely dependent on those elements. This great fact
is that pure spirit continually subsists in the absolute, whether in a
corporeal body or not; and from it all the phenomena of being flow, whether
on the mental plane or the physical. The knowledge of this fact regarding
spirit is the basis of all conscious spiritual operation, and therefore in
proportion to our increasing recognition of it our power of producing
outward visible results by the action of our thought will grow. The whole
is greater than its part, and therefore, if, by our recognition of this
unity, we can concentrate _all_ spirit into any given point at any moment,
we thereby include any individualization of it that we may wish to deal
with. The practical importance of this conclusion is too obvious to need
enlarging upon.

Pure spirit is the Life-principle considered apart from the matrix in which
it takes relation to time and space in a particular form. In this aspect it
is pure intelligence undifferentiated into individuality. As pure
intelligence it is infinite responsiveness and susceptibility. As devoid of
relation to time and space it is devoid of individual personality. It is,
therefore, in this aspect a purely impersonal element upon which, by reason
of its inherent intelligence and susceptibility, we can impress any
recognition of personality that we will. These are the great facts that the
mental scientist works with, and the student will do well to ponder deeply
on their significance and on the responsibilities which their realization
must necessarily carry with it.

IV.

SUBJECTIVE AND OBJECTIVE MIND.

Up to this point it has been necessary to lay the foundations of the
science by the statement of highly abstract general principles which we
have reached by purely metaphysical reasoning. We now pass on to the
consideration of certain natural laws which have been established by a long
series of experiments and observations, the full meaning and importance of
which will become clear when we see their application to the general
principles which have hitherto occupied our attention. The phenomena of
hypnosis are now so fully recognized as established scientific facts that
it is quite superfluous to discuss the question of their credibility. Two
great medical schools have been founded upon them, and in some countries
they have become the subject of special legislation. The question before us
at the present day is, not as to the credibility of the facts, but as to
the proper inferences to be drawn from them, and a correct apprehension of
these inferences is one of the most valuable aids to the mental scientist,
for it confirms the conclusions of purely _a priori_ reasoning by an array
of experimental instances which places the correctness of those conclusions
beyond doubt.

The great truth which the science of hypnotism has brought to light is the
dual nature of the human mind. Much conflict exists between different
writers as to whether this duality results from the presence of two
actually separate minds in the one man, or in the action of the same mind
in the employment of different functions. This is one of those distinctions
without a difference which are so prolific a source of hindrance to the
opening out of truth. A man must be a single individuality to be a man at
all, and, so, the net result is the same whether we conceive of his varied
modes of mental action as proceeding from a set of separate minds strung,
so to speak, on the thread of his one individuality and each adapted to a
particular use, or as varied functions of a single mind: in either case we
are dealing with a single individuality, and how we may picture the
wheel-work of the mental mechanism is merely a question of what picture
will bring the nature of its action home to us most clearly. Therefore, as
a matter of convenience, I shall in these lectures speak of this dual
action as though it proceeded from two minds, an outer and an inner, and
the inner mind we will call the subjective mind and the outer the
objective, by which names the distinction is most frequently indicated in
the literature of the subject.

A long series of careful experiments by highly-trained observers, some of
them men of world-wide reputation, has fully established certain remarkable
differences between the action of the subjective and that of the objective
mind which may be briefly stated as follows. The subjective mind is only
able to reason _deductively_ and not inductively, while the objective mind
can do both. Deductive reasoning is the pure syllogism which shows why a
third proposition must necessarily result if two others are assumed, but
which does not help us to determine whether the two initial statements are
true or not. To determine this is the province of inductive reasoning which
draws its conclusions from the observation of a series of facts. The
relation of the two modes of reasoning is that, first by observing a
sufficient number of instances, we inductively reach the conclusion that a
certain principle is of general application, and then we enter upon the
deductive process by assuming the truth of this principle and determining
what result must follow in a particular case on the hypothesis of its
truth. Thus deductive reasoning proceeds on the assumption of the
correctness of certain hypotheses or suppositions with which it sets out:
it is not concerned with the truth or falsity of those suppositions, but
only with the question as to what results must necessarily follow supposing
them to be true. Inductive reasoning; on the other hand, is the process by
which we compare a number of separate instances with one another until we
see the common factor that gives rise to them all. Induction proceeds by
the comparison of facts, and deduction by the application of universal
principles. Now it is the deductive method only which is followed by the
subjective mind. Innumerable experiments on persons in the hypnotic state
have shown that the subjective mind is utterly incapable of making the
selection and comparison which are necessary to the inductive process, but
will accept any suggestion, however false, but having once accepted any
suggestion, it is strictly logical in deducing the proper conclusions from
it, and works out every suggestion to the minutest fraction of the results
which flow from it.

As a consequence of this it follows that the subjective mind is entirely
under the control of the objective mind. With the utmost fidelity it
reproduces and works out to its final consequences whatever the objective
mind impresses upon it; and the facts of hypnotism show that ideas can be
impressed on the subjective mind by the objective mind of another as well
as by that of its own individuality. This is a most important point, for it
is on this amenability to suggestion by the thought of another that all the
phenomena of healing, whether present or absent, of telepathy and the like,
depend. Under the control of the practised hypnotist the very personality
of the subject becomes changed for the time being; he believes himself to
be whatever the operator tells him he is: he is a swimmer breasting the
waves, a bird flying in the air, a soldier in the tumult of battle, an
Indian stealthily tracking his victim: in short, for the time being, he
identifies himself with any personality that is impressed upon him by the
will of the operator, and acts the part with inimitable accuracy. But the
experiments of hypnotism go further than this, and show the existence in
the subjective mind of powers far transcending any exercised by the
objective mind through the medium of the physical senses; powers of
thought-reading, of thought-transference, of clairvoyance, and the like,
all of which are frequently manifested when the patient is brought into the
higher mesmeric state; and we have thus experimental proof of the existence
in ourselves of transcendental faculties the full development and conscious
control of which would place us in a perfectly new sphere of life.

But it should be noted that the control must be _our own_ and not that of
any external intelligence whether in the flesh or out of it.

But perhaps the most important fact which hypnotic experiments have
demonstrated is that the subjective mind is the builder of the body. The
subjective entity in the patient is able to diagnose the character of the
disease from which he is suffering and to point out suitable remedies,
indicating a physiological knowledge exceeding that of the most highly
trained physicians, and also a knowledge of the correspondences between
diseased conditions of the bodily organs and the material remedies which
can afford relief. And from this it is but a step further to those numerous
instances in which it entirely dispenses with the use of material remedies
and itself works directly on the organism, so that complete restoration to
health follows as the result of the suggestions of perfect soundness made
by the operator to the patient while in the hypnotic state.

Now these are facts fully established by hundreds of experiments conducted
by a variety of investigators in different parts of the world, and from
them we may draw two inferences of the highest importance: one, that the
subjective mind is in itself absolutely impersonal, and the other that it
is the builder of the body, or in other words it is the creative power in
the individual. That it is impersonal in itself is shown by its readiness
to assume any personality the hypnotist chooses to impress upon it; and the
unavoidable inference is that its realization of personality proceeds from
its association with the particular objective mind of its own
individuality. Whatever personality the objective mind impresses upon it,
that personality it assumes and acts up to; and since it is the builder of
the body it will build up a body in correspondence with the personality
thus impressed upon it. These two laws of the subjective mind form the
foundation of the axiom that our body represents the aggregate of our
beliefs. If our fixed belief is that the body is subject to all sorts of
influences beyond our control, and that this, that, or the other symptom
shows that such an uncontrollable influence is at work upon us, then this
belief is impressed upon the subjective mind, which by the law of its
nature accepts it without question and proceeds to fashion bodily
conditions in accordance with this belief. Again, if our fixed belief is
that certain material remedies are the only means of cure, then we find in
this belief the foundation of all medicine. There is nothing unsound in the
theory of medicine; it is the strictly logical correspondence with the
measure of knowledge which those who rely on it are as yet able to
assimilate, and it acts accurately in accordance with their belief that in
a large number of cases medicine will do good, but also in many instances
it fails. Therefore, for those who have not yet reached a more interior
perception of the law of Nature, the healing agency of medicine is a most
valuable aid to the alleviation of physical maladies. The error to be
combated is not the belief that, in its own way, medicine is capable of
doing good, but the belief that there is no higher or better way.

Then, on the same principle, if we realize that the subjective mind is the
builder of the body, and that the body is subject to no influences except
those which reach it through the subjective mind, then what we have to do
is to impress _this_ upon the subjective mind and habitually think of it as
a fountain of perpetual Life, which is continually renovating the body by
building in strong and healthy material, in the most complete independence
of any influences of any sort, save those of our own desire impressed upon
our own subjective mind by our own thought. When once we fully grasp these
considerations we shall see that it is just as easy to externalize healthy
conditions of body as the contrary. Practically the process amounts to a
belief in our own power of life; and since this belief, if it be thoroughly
domiciled within us, will necessarily produce a correspondingly healthy
body, we should spare no pains to convince ourselves that there are sound
and reasonable grounds for holding it. To afford a solid basis for this
conviction is the purpose of Mental Science.

V.

FURTHER CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING SUBJECTIVE AND OBJECTIVE MIND.

An intelligent consideration of the phenomena of hypnotism will show us
that what we call the hypnotic state is the _normal_ state of the
subjective mind. It _always_ conceives of itself in accordance with some
suggestion conveyed to it, either consciously or unconsciously to the mode
of objective mind which governs it, and it gives rise to corresponding
external results. The abnormal nature of the conditions induced by
experimental hypnotism is in the removal of the normal control held by the
individual's own objective mind over his subjective mind and the
substitution of some other control for it, and thus we may say that the
normal characteristic of the subjective mind is its perpetual action in
accordance with some sort of suggestion. It becomes therefore a question of
the highest importance to determine in every case what the nature of the
suggestion shall be and from what source it shall proceed; but before
considering the sources of suggestion we must realize more fully the place
taken by subjective mind in the order of Nature.

If the student has followed what has been said regarding the presence of
intelligent spirit pervading all space and permeating all matter, he will
now have little difficulty in recognizing this all-pervading spirit as
universal subjective mind. That it cannot _as universal mind_ have the
qualities of objective mind is very obvious. The universal mind is the
creative power throughout Nature; and as the originating power it must
first give rise to the various _forms_ in which objective mind recognizes
its own individuality, before these individual minds can re-act upon it;
and hence, as pure spirit or _first cause_, it cannot possibly be anything
else than subjective mind; and the fact which has been abundantly proved by
experiment that the subjective mind is the builder of the body shows us
that the power of creating by growth from within is the essential
characteristic of the subjective mind. Hence, both from experiment and from
_a priori_ reasoning, we may say that where-ever we find creative power at
work there we are in the presence of subjective mind, whether it be working
on the grand scale of the cosmos, or on the miniature scale of the
individual. We may therefore lay it down as a principle that the universal
all-permeating intelligence, which has been considered in the second and
third sections, is purely subjective mind, and therefore follows the law of
subjective mind, namely that it is amenable to any suggestion, and will
carry out any suggestion that is impressed upon it to its most rigorously
logical consequences. The incalculable importance of this truth may not
perhaps strike the student at first sight, but a little consideration will
show him the enormous possibilities that are stored up in it, and in the
concluding section I shall briefly touch upon the very serious conclusions
resulting from it. For the present it will be sufficient to realize that
the subjective mind in ourselves is _the same_ subjective mind which is at
work throughout the universe giving rise to the infinitude of natural forms
with which we are surrounded, and in like manner giving rise _to ourselves
also_. It may be called the supporter of our individuality; and we may
loosely speak of our individual subjective mind as our personal share in
the universal mind. This, of course, does not imply the splitting up of the
universal mind into fractions, and it is to avoid this error that I have
discussed the essential unity of spirit in the third section, but in order
to avoid too highly abstract conceptions in the present stage of the
student's progress we may conveniently employ the idea of a personal share
in the universal subjective mind.

To realize our individual subjective mind in this manner will help us to
get over the great metaphysical difficulty which meets us in our endeavour
to make conscious use of first cause, in other words to create external
results by the power of our own thought. Ultimately there can be only one
first cause which is the universal mind, but because it is universal it
cannot, _as universal_, act on the plane of the individual and particular.
For it to do so would be for it to cease to be universal and therefore
cease to be the creative power which we wish to employ. On the other hand,
the fact that we are working for a specific definite object implies our
intention to use this universal power in application to a particular
purpose, and thus we find ourselves involved in the paradox of seeking to
make the universal act on the plane of the particular. We want to effect a
junction between the two extremes of the scale of Nature, the innermost
creative spirit and a particular external form. Between these two is a
great gulf, and the question is how is it to be bridged over. It is here,
then, that the conception of our individual subjective mind as our personal
share in the universal subjective mind affords the means of meeting the
difficulty, for on the one hand it is in immediate connection with the
universal mind, and on the other it is immediate connection with the
individual objective, or intellectual mind; and this in its turn is in
immediate connection with the world of externalization, which is
conditioned in time and space; and thus the relation between the subjective
and objective minds in the individual forms the bridge which is needed to
connect the two extremities of the scale.

The individual subjective mind may therefore be regarded as the organ of
the Absolute in precisely the same way that the objective mind is the organ
of the Relative, and it is in order to regulate our use of these two organs
that it is necessary to understand what the terms "absolute" and "relative"
actually mean. The absolute is that idea of a thing which contemplates it
as existing _in itself_ and not in relation to something else, that is to
say, which contemplates the essence of it; and the relative is that idea of
a thing which contemplates it as related to other things, that is to say as
circumscribed by a certain environment. The absolute is the region of
causes, and the relative is the region of conditions; and hence, if we wish
to control conditions, this can only be done by our thought-power operating
on the plane of the absolute, which it can do only through the medium of
the subjective mind. The conscious use of the creative power of thought
consists in the attainment of the power of Thinking in the Absolute, and
this can only be attained by a clear conception of the interaction between
our different mental functions. For this purpose the student cannot too
strongly impress upon himself that subjective mind, on whatever scale, is
intensely sensitive to suggestion, and as creative power works accurately
to the externalization of that suggestion which is most deeply impressed
upon it. If then, we would take any idea out of the realm of the relative,
where it is limited and restricted by conditions imposed upon it through
surrounding circumstances, and transfer it to the realm of the absolute
where it is not thus limited, a right recognition of our mental
constitution will enable us to do this by a clearly defined method.

The object of our desire is necessarily first conceived by us as bearing
some relation to existing circumstances, which may, or may not, appear
favourable to it; and what we want to do is to eliminate the element of
contingency and attain something which is certain in itself. To do this is
to work upon the plane of the absolute, and for this purpose we must
endeavour to impress upon our subjective mind the idea of that which we
desire quite apart from any conditions. This separation from the elements
of condition implies the elimination of the idea of _time_, and
consequently we must think of the thing as already in actual existence.
Unless we do this we are not consciously operating upon the plane of the
absolute, and are therefore not employing the creative power of our
thought. The simplest practical method of gaining the habit of thinking in
this manner is to conceive the existence in the spiritual world of a
spiritual prototype of every existing thing, which becomes the root of the
corresponding external existence. If we thus habituate ourselves to look on
the spiritual prototype as the essential being of the thing, and the
material form as the growth of this prototype into outward expression, then
we shall see that the initial step to the production of any external fact
must be the creation of its spiritual prototype. This prototype, being
purely spiritual, can only be formed by the operation of _thought_, and in
order to have substance on the spiritual plane it _must_ be thought of as
actually existing there. This conception has been elaborated by Plato in
his doctrine of archetypal ideas, and by Swedenborg in his doctrine of
correspondences; and a still greater teacher has said "All things
whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye _have_ received them, and
ye _shall_ receive them." (Mark xi. 24, R.V.) The difference of the tenses
in this passage is remarkable. The speaker bids us first to believe that
our desire _has_ already been fulfilled, that it is a thing already
accomplished, and then its accomplishment _will_ follow as a thing in the
future. This is nothing else than a concise direction for making use of the
creative power of thought by impressing upon the universal subjective mind
the particular thing which we desire as an already existing fact. In
following this direction we are thinking on the plane of the absolute and
eliminating from our minds all consideration of conditions, which imply
limitation and the possibility of adverse contingencies; and we are thus
planting a seed which, if left undisturbed, will infallibly germinate into
external fruition.

By thus making intelligent use of our subjective mind, we, so to speak,
create a _nucleus_, which is no sooner created than it begins to exercise
an attractive force, drawing to itself material of a like character with
its own, and if this process is allowed to go on undisturbed, it will
continue until an external form corresponding to the nature of the nucleus
comes out into manifestation on the plane of the objective and relative.
This is the universal method of Nature on every plane. Some of the most
advanced thinkers in modern physical science, in the endeavour to probe the
great mystery of the first origin of the world, have postulated the
formation of what they call "vortex rings" formed from an infinitely fine
primordial substance. They tell us that if such a ring be once formed on
the minutest scale and set rotating, then, since it would be moving in pure
ether and subject to no friction, it must according to all known laws of
physics be indestructible and its motion perpetual. Let two such rings
approach each other, and by the law of attraction, they would coalesce into
a whole, and so on until manifested matter as we apprehend it with our
external senses, is at last formed. Of course no one has ever seen these
rings with the physical eye. They are one of those abstractions which
result if we follow out the observed law of physics and the unavoidable
sequences of mathematics to their necessary consequences. We cannot account
for the things that we _can_ see unless we assume the existence of other
things which we _cannot_; and the "vortex theory" is one of these
assumptions. This theory has not been put forward by mental scientists but
by purely physical scientists as the ultimate conclusion to which their
researches have led them, and this conclusion is that all the innumerable
forms of Nature have their origin in the infinitely minute nucleus of the
vortex ring, by whatever means the vortex ring may have received its
initial impulse, a question with which physical science, as such, is not
concerned.

As the vortex theory accounts for the formation of the inorganic world, so
does biology account for the formation of the living organism. That also
has its origin in a primary nucleus which, as soon as it is established,
operates as a centre of attraction for the formation of all those physical
organs of which the perfect individual is composed. The science of
embryology shows that this rule holds good without exception throughout the
whole range of the animal world, including man; and botany shows the same
principle at work throughout the vegetable world. All branches of physical
science demonstrate the fact that every completed manifestation, of
whatever kind and on whatever scale, is started by the establishment of a
nucleus, infinitely small but endowed with an unquenchable energy of
attraction, causing it to steadily increase in power and definiteness of
purpose, until the process of growth is completed and the matured form
stands out as an accomplished fact. Now if this be the universal method of
Nature, there is nothing unnatural in supposing that it must begin its
operation at a stage further back than the formation of the material
nucleus. As soon as that is called into being it begins to operate by the
law of attraction on the material plane; but what is the force which
originates the material nucleus? Let a recent work on physical science give
us the answer; "In its ultimate essence, energy may be incomprehensible by
us except as an exhibition of the direct operation of that which we call
Mind or Will." The quotation is from a course of lectures on "Waves in
Water, Air and AEther," delivered in 1902, at the Royal Institution, by J.
A. Fleming. Here, then, is the testimony of physical science that the
originating energy is Mind or Will; and we are, therefore, not only making
a logical deduction from certain unavoidable intuitions of the human mind,
but are also following on the lines of the most advanced physical science,
when we say that the action of Mind plants that nucleus which, if allowed
to grow undisturbed, will eventually attract to itself all the conditions
necessary for its manifestation in outward visible form. Now the only
action of Mind is Thought; and it is for this reason that by our thoughts
we create corresponding external conditions, because we thereby create the
nucleus which attracts to itself its own correspondences in due order until
the finished work is manifested on the external plane. This is according to
the strictly scientific conception of the universal law of growth; and we
may therefore briefly sum up the whole argument by saying that our thought
of anything forms a spiritual prototype of it, thus constituting a nucleus
or centre of attraction for all conditions necessary to its eventual
externalization by a law of growth inherent in the prototype itself.

VI.

THE LAW OF GROWTH.

A CORRECT understanding of the law of growth is of the highest importance
to the student of Mental Science. The great fact to be realized regarding
Nature is that it is natural. We may pervert the order of Nature, but it
will prevail in the long run, returning, as Horace says, by the back door
even though we drive it out with a pitchfork; and the beginning, the
middle, and the end of the law of Nature is the principle of growth from a
vitality inherent in the entity itself. If we realize this from the outset
we shall not undo our own work by endeavouring to _force_ things to become
that which by their own nature they are not. For this reason when the Bible
says that "he who believeth shall not make haste," it is enunciating a
great natural principle that success, depends on our using, and not
opposing, the universal law of growth. No doubt the greater the vitality we
put into the germ, which we have agreed to call the spiritual prototype,
the quicker it will germinate; but this is simply because by a more
realizing conception we put more growing-power into the seed than we do by
a feebler conception. Our mistakes always eventually resolve themselves
into distrusting the law of growth. Either we fancy we can hasten it by
some exertion of our own from _without_, and are thus led into hurry and
anxiety, not to say sometimes into the employment, of grievously wrong
methods; or else we give up all hope and so deny the germinating power of
the seed we have planted. The result in either case is the same, for in
either case we are in effect forming a fresh spiritual prototype of an
opposite character to our desire, which therefore neutralizes the one first
formed, and disintegrates it and usurps its place. The law is always the
same, that our Thought forms a spiritual prototype which, if left
undisturbed, will reproduce itself in external circumstances; the only
difference is in the sort of prototype we form, and thus evil is brought to
us by precisely the same law as good.

These considerations will greatly simplify our ideas of life. We have no
longer to consider two forces, but only one, as being the cause of all
things; the difference between good and evil resulting simply from the
direction in which this force is made to flow. It is a universal law that
if we reverse the action of a cause we at the same time reverse the effect.
With the same apparatus we can commence by mechanical motion which will
generate electricity, or we can commence with electricity which will
generate mechanical motion; or to take a simple arithmetical instance: if
10/2 = 5, then 10/5 = 2; and therefore if we once recognize the power of
thought to produce any results at all, we shall see that the law by which
negative thought produces negative results is the same by which positive
thought produces positive results. Therefore all our distrust of the law of
growth, whether shown in the anxious endeavour to bring pressure to bear
from without, or in allowing despair to take the place of cheerful
expectation, is reversing the action of the original cause and consequently
reversing the nature of the results. It is for this reason that the Bible,
which is the most deeply occult of all books, continually lays so much
stress upon the efficiency of faith and the destructive influence of
unbelief; and in like manner, all books on every branch of spiritual
science emphatically warn us against the admission of doubt or fear. They
are the inversion of the principle which builds up, and they are therefore
the principle which pulls down; but the Law itself never changes, and it is
on the unchangeableness of the law that all Mental Science is founded. We
are accustomed to realize the unchangeableness of natural law in our every
day life, and it should therefore not be difficult to realize that the same
unchangeableness of law which obtains on the visible side of nature obtains
on the invisible side as well. The variable factor is, not the law, but our
own volition; and it is by combining this variable factor with the
invariable one that we can produce the various results we desire. The
principle of growth is that of inherent vitality in the seed itself, and
the operations of the gardener have their exact analogue in Mental Science.
We do not _put_ the self-expansive vitality into the seed, but we must sow
it, and we may also, so to speak, water it by quiet concentrated
contemplation of our desire as an actually accomplished fact. But we must
carefully remove from such contemplation any idea of a strenuous effort on
our part to _make_ the seed grow. Its efficacy is in helping to keep out
those negative thoughts of doubt which would plant tares among our wheat,
and therefore, instead of anything of effort, such contemplation should be
accompanied by a feeling of pleasure and restfulness in foreseeing the
certain accomplishment of our desires. This is that making our requests
known to God _with thanksgiving_ which St. Paul recommends, and it has its
reason in that perfect wholeness of the Law of Being which only needs our
recognition of it to be used by us to any extent we wish.

Some people possess the power of visualization, or making mental pictures
of things, in a greater degree than others, and by such this faculty may
advantageously be employed to facilitate their realization of the working
of the Law. But those who do not possess this faculty in any marked degree,
need not be discouraged by their want of it, for visualization is not the
only way of realizing that the law is at work on the invisible plane. Those
whose mental bias is towards physical science should realize this Law of
Growth as the creative force throughout all nature; and those who have a
mathematical turn of mind may reflect that all solids are generated from
the movement of a point, which, as our old friend Euclid tells us, is that
which has no parts nor magnitude, and is therefore as complete an
abstraction as any spiritual nucleus could be. To use the apostolic words,
we are dealing with the substance of things not seen, and we have to attain
that habit of mind by which we shall see its reality and feel that we are
mentally manipulating the only substance there ultimately is, and of which
all visible things are only different modes. We must therefore regard our
mental creations as spiritual realities and then implicitly trust the Law
of Growth to do the rest.

VII.

RECEPTIVITY.

In order to lay the foundations for practical work, the student must
endeavour to get a clear conception of what is meant by the intelligence of
undifferentiated spirit. We want to grasp the idea of intelligence apart
from individuality, an idea which is rather apt to elude us until we grow
accustomed to it. It is the failure to realize this quality of spirit that
has given rise to all the theological errors that have brought bitterness
into the world and has been prominent amongst the causes which have
retarded the true development of mankind. To accurately convey this
conception in words, is perhaps, impossible, and to attempt definition is
to introduce that very idea of limitation which is our object to avoid. It
is a matter of feeling rather than of definition; yet some endeavour must
be made to indicate the direction in which we must feel for this great
truth if we are to find it. The idea is that of realizing personality
without that selfhood which differentiates one individual from another. "I
am not that other because I am myself"--this is the definition of
individual selfhood; but it necessarily imparts the idea of limitation,
because the recognition of any other individuality at once affirms a point
at which our own individuality ceases and the other begins. Now this mode
of recognition cannot be attributed to the Universal Mind. For it to
recognize a point where itself ceased and something else began would be to
recognize itself as _not_ universal; for the meaning of universality is the
including of _all_ things, and therefore for this intelligence to recognize
anything as being _outside itself_ would be a denial of its own being. We
may therefore say without hesitation that, whatever may be the nature of
its intelligence, it must be entirely devoid of the element of
self-recognition _as an individual personality_ on any scale whatever. Seen
in this light it is at once clear that the originating all-pervading Spirit
is the grand impersonal principle of Life which gives rise to all the
particular manifestations of Nature. Its absolute impersonalness, in the
sense of the entire absence of any consciousness of _individual_ selfhood,
is a point on which it is impossible to insist too strongly. The
attributing of an impossible individuality to the Universal Mind is one of
the two grand errors which we find sapping the foundations of religion and
philosophy in all ages. The other consists in rushing to the opposite
extreme and denying the quality of personal intelligence to the Universal
Mind. The answer to this error remains, as of old, in the simple question,
"He that made the eye shall He not see? He that planted the ear shall He
not hear?"--or to use a popular proverb, "You cannot get out of a bag more
than there is in it;" and consequently the fact that we ourselves are
centres of personal intelligence is proof that the infinite, from which
these centres are concentrated, must be infinite intelligence, and thus we
cannot avoid attributing to it the two factors which constitute
personality, namely, intelligence and volition. We are therefore brought to
the conclusion that this universally diffused essence, which we might think
of as a sort of spiritual protoplasm, must possess all the qualities of
personality without that conscious recognition of self which constitutes
separate individuality: and since the word "personality" has became so
associated in our ordinary talk with the idea of "individuality" it will
perhaps be better to coin a new word, and speak of the personalness of the
Universal Mind as indicating its personal _quality_, apart from
individuality. We must realize that this universal spirit permeates all
space and all manifested substance, just as physical scientists tell us
that the ether does, and that wherever it is, there it must carry with it
all that it is in its own being; and we shall then see that we are in the
midst of an ocean of undifferentiated yet intelligent Life, above, below,
and all around, and permeating ourselves both mentally and corporeally, and
all other beings as well.

Gradually as we come to realize the truth of this statement, our eyes will
begin to open to its immense significance. It means that all Nature is
pervaded by an interior personalness, infinite in its potentialities of
intelligence, responsiveness, and power of expression, and only waiting to
be called into activity by our recognition of it. By the terms of its
nature it can respond to us only as we recognize it. If we are at that
intellectual level where we can see nothing but chance governing the world,
then this underlying universal mind will present to us nothing but a
fortuitous confluence of forces without any intelligible order. If we are
sufficiently advanced to see that such a confluence could only produce a
chaos, and not a cosmos, then our conceptions expand to the idea of
universal Law, and we find _this_ to be the nature of the all-underlying
principle. We have made an immense advance from the realm of mere accident
into a world where there are definite principles on which we can calculate
with certainty _when we know them_. But here is the crucial point. The laws
of the universe are there, but we are ignorant of them, and only through
experience gained by repeated failures can we get any insight into the laws
with which we have to deal. How painful each step and how slow the
progress! AEons upon aeons would not suffice to grasp all the laws of the
universe in their totality, not in the visible world only, but also in the
world of the unseen; each failure to know the true law implies suffering
arising from our ignorant breach of it; and thus, since Nature is infinite,
we are met by the paradox that we must in some way contrive to compass the
knowledge of the infinite with our individual intelligence, and we must
perform a pilgrimage along an unceasing Via Dolorosa beneath the lash of
the inexorable Law until we find the solution to the problem. But it will
be asked, May we not go on until at last we attain the possession of all
knowledge? People do not realize what is meant by "the infinite," or they
would not ask such questions. The infinite is that which is limitless and
exhaustless. Imagine the vastest capacity you will, and having filled it
with the infinite, what remains of the infinite is just as infinite as
before. To the mathematician this may be put very clearly. Raise _x_ to any
power you will, and however vast may be the disparity between it and the
lower powers of _x_, both are equally incommensurate with _x^n._ The
universal reign of Law is a magnificent truth; it is one of the two great
pillars of the universe symbolized by the two pillars that stood at the
entrance to Solomon's temple: it is Jachin, but Jachin must be
equilibriated by Boaz.

It is an enduring truth, which can never be altered, that every infraction
of the Law of Nature must carry its punitive consequences with it. We can
never get beyond the range of cause and effect. There is no escaping from
the law of punishment, except by knowledge. If we know a law of Nature and
work with it, we shall find it our unfailing friend, ever ready to serve
us, and never rebuking us for past failures; but if we ignorantly or
wilfully transgress it, it is our implacable enemy, until we again become
obedient to it; and therefore the only redemption from perpetual pain and
servitude is by a self-expansion which can grasp infinitude itself. How is
this to be accomplished? By our progress to that kind and degree of
intelligence by which we realize the inherent _personalness_ of the divine
all-pervading Life, which is at once the Law and the Substance of all that
is. Well said the Jewish rabbis of old, "The Law is a Person." When we once
realize that the universal Life and the universal Law are one with the
universal Personalness, then we have established the pillar Boaz as the
needed complement to Jachin; and when we find the common point in which
these two unite, we have raised the Royal Arch through which we may
triumphantly enter the Temple. We must dissociate the Universal
Personalness from every conception of individuality. The universal can
never be the individual: that would be a contradiction in terms. But
because the universal personalness is the root of all individual
personalities, it finds its highest expression in response to those who
realize its personal nature. And it is this recognition that solves the
seemingly insoluble paradox. The only way to attain that knowledge of the
Infinite Law which will change the Via Dolorosa into the Path of Joy is to
embody in ourselves a _principle_ of knowledge commensurate with the
infinitude of that which is to be known; and this is accomplished by
realizing that, infinite as the law itself, is a universal Intelligence in
the midst of which we float as in a living ocean. Intelligence without
individual personality, but which, in producing us, concentrates itself
into the personal individualities which we are. What should be the relation
of such an intelligence towards us? Not one of favouritism: not any more
than the Law can it respect one person above another, for itself is the
root and support for each alike. Not one of refusal to our advances; for
without individuality it can have no personal object of its own to conflict
with ours; and since it is itself the origin of all individual
intelligence, it cannot be shut off by inability to understand. By the very
terms of its being, therefore, this infinite, underlying, all-producing
Mind must be ready immediately to respond to all who realize their true
relation to it. As the very principle of Life itself it must be infinitely
susceptible to feeling, and consequently it will reproduce with absolute
accuracy whatever conception of itself we impress upon it; and hence if we
realize the human mind as that stage in the evolution of the cosmic order
at which an individuality has arisen capable of expressing, not merely the
livingness, but also the personalness of the universal underlying spirit,
then we see that its most perfect mode of self-expression must be by
identifying itself with these individual personalities.

The identification is, of course, limited by the measure of the individual
intelligence, meaning, not merely the intellectual perception of the
sequence of cause and effect, but also that indescribable reciprocity of
_feeling_ by which we instinctively recognize something in another making
them akin to ourselves; and so it is that when we intelligently realize
that the innermost principle of being, must by reason of its universality,
have a common nature with our own, then we have solved the paradox of
universal knowledge, for we have realized our identity of being with the
Universal Mind, which is commensurate with the Universal Law. Thus we
arrive at the truth of St. John's statement, "Ye know all things," only
this knowledge is primarily on the spiritual plane. It is not brought out
into intellectual statement whether needed or not; for it is not in itself
the specific knowledge of particular facts, but it is the undifferentiated
principle of knowledge which we may differentiate in any direction that we
choose. This is a philosophical necessity of the case, for though the
action of the individual mind consists in differentiating the universal
into particular applications, to differentiate the _whole_ universal would
be a contradiction in terms; and so, because we cannot exhaust the
infinite, our possession of it must consist in our power to differentiate
it as the occasion may require, the only limit being that which we
ourselves assign to the manifestation.

In this way, then, the recognition of the community of _personality_
between ourselves and the universal undifferentiated Spirit, which is the
root and substance of all things, solves the question of our release from
the iron grasp of an inflexible Law, not by abrogating the Law, which would
mean the annihilation of all things, but by producing in us an intelligence
equal in affinity with the universal Law itself, and thus enabling us to
apprehend and meet the requirements of the Law in each particular as it
arises. In this way the Cosmic Intelligence becomes individualized, and the
individual intelligence becomes universalized; the two became one, and in
proportion as this unity is realized and acted on, it will be found that
the Law, which gives rise to all outward conditions, whether of body or of
circumstances, becomes more and more clearly understood, and can therefore
be more freely made use of, so that by steady, intelligent endeavour to
unfold upon these lines we may reach degrees of power to which it is
impossible to assign any limits. The student who would understand the
rationale of the unfoldment of his own possibilities must make no mistake
here. He must realize that the whole process is that of bringing the
universal within the grasp of the individual by raising the individual to
the level of the universal and not vice-versa. It is a mathematical truism
that you cannot contract the infinite, and that you _can_ expand the
individual; and it is precisely on these lines that evolution works. The
laws of nature cannot be altered in the least degree; but we can come into
such a realization of our own relation to the universal principle of Law
that underlies them as to be able to press all particular laws, whether of
the visible or invisible side of Nature, into our service and so find
ourselves masters of the situation. This is to be accomplished by
knowledge; and the only knowledge which will effect this purpose in all its
measureless immensity is the knowledge of the personal element in Universal
Spirit in its reciprocity to our own personality. Our recognition of this
Spirit must therefore be twofold, as the principle of necessary sequence,
order or Law, and also as the principle of Intelligence, responsive to our
own recognition of it.

VIII.

RECIPROCAL ACTION OF THE UNIVERSAL AND INDIVIDUAL MINDS.

It must be admitted that the foregoing considerations bring us to the
borders of theological speculation, but the student must bear in mind that
as a Mental Scientist it is his business to regard even the most exalted
spiritual phenomena from a purely scientific standpoint, which is that of
the working of a universal natural Law. If he thus simply deals with the
facts as he finds them, there is little doubt that the true meaning of many
theological statements will become clear to him: but he will do well to lay
it down as a general rule that it is not necessary either to the use or
understanding of any law, whether on the personal or the impersonal side of
Nature, that we should give a theological explanation of it: although,
therefore, the personal quality inherent in the universal underlying
spirit, which is present in all things, cannot be too strongly insisted
upon, we must remember that in dealing with it we are still dealing with a
purely natural power which reappears at every point with protean variety of
form, whether as person, animal, or thing. In each case what it becomes to
any individual is exactly measured by that individual's recognition of it.
To each and all it bears the relation of supporter of the race, and where
the individual development is incapable of realizing anything more, this is
the limit of the relation; but as the individual's power of recognition
expands, he finds a reciprocal expansion on the part of this intelligent
power which gradually develops into the consciousness of intimate
companionship between the individualized mind and the unindividualized
source of it.

Now this is exactly the relation which, on ordinary scientific principles,
we should expect to find between the individual and the cosmic mind, on the
supposition that the cosmic mind is subjective mind, and for reasons
already given we can regard it in no other light. As subjective mind it
must reproduce exactly the conception of itself which the objective mind of
the individual, acting through his own subjective mind, impresses upon it;
and at the same time as creative mind, it builds up external facts in
correspondence with this conception. "Quot homines tot sententiae": each one
externalizes in his outward circumstances precisely his idea of the
Universal Mind; and the man who realizes that by the natural law of mind he
can bring the Universal Mind into perfectly reciprocal action with its own,
will on the one hand make it a source of infinite instruction, and on the
other a source of infinite power. He will thus wisely alternate the
personal and impersonal aspects respectively between his individual mind
and the Universal Mind; when he is seeking for guidance or strength he will
regard his own mind as the impersonal element which is to _receive
personality_ from the superior wisdom and force of the Greater Mind; and
when, on the other hand, he is to give out the stores thus accumulated, he
must reverse the position and consider his own mind as the personal
element, and the Universal Mind as the impersonal, which he can therefore
_direct_ with certainty by impressing his own personal desire upon it. We
need not be staggered at the greatness of this conclusion, for it follows
necessarily from the natural relation between the subjective and the
objective minds; and the only question is whether we will limit our view to
the lower level of the latter, or expand it so as to take in the limitless
possibilities which the subjective mind presents to us.

I have dealt with this question at some length because it affords the key
to two very important subjects, the Law of Supply and the nature of
Intuition. Students often find it easier to understand how the mind can
influence the body with which it is so intimately associated, than how it
can influence circumstances. If the operation of thought-power were
confined exclusively to the individual mind this difficulty might arise;
but if there is one lesson the student of Mental Science should take to
heart more than another, it is that the action of thought-power is not
limited to a circumscribed individuality. What the individual does is to
_give direction_ to something which is unlimited, to call into action a
force infinitely greater than his own, which because it is in itself
impersonal though intelligent, will receive the impress of his personality,
and can therefore make its influence felt far beyond the limits which bound
the individual's objective perception of the circumstances with which he
has to deal. It is for this reason that I lay so much stress on the
combination of two apparent opposites in the Universal Mind, the union of
intelligence with impersonality. The intelligence not only enables it to
receive the impress of our thought, but also causes it to devise exactly
the right _means_ for bringing it into accomplishment. This is only the
logical result of the hypothesis that we are dealing with infinite
Intelligence which is also infinite Life. Life means Power, and infinite
life therefore means limitless power; and limitless power moved by
limitless intelligence cannot be conceived of as ever stopping short of the
accomplishment of its object; therefore, given the _intention_ on the part
of the Universal Mind, there can be no doubt as to its ultimate
accomplishment. Then comes the question of intention. How do we know what
the intention of the Universal Mind may be? Here comes in the element of
impersonality. It has _no intention_, because it is _impersonal_. As I have
already said, the Universal mind works by a law of averages for the
advancement of the race, and is in no way concerned with the particular
wishes of the individual. If his wishes are in line with the forward
movement of the everlasting principle, there is nowhere in Nature any power
to restrict him in their fulfilment. If they are opposed to the general
forward movement, then they will bring him into collision with it, and it
will crush him. From the relation between them it results that the same
principle which shows itself in the individual mind as Will, becomes in the
universal mind a Law of Tendency; and the direction of this tendency must
always be to life-givingness, because the universal mind is the
undifferentiated Life-spirit of the universe. Therefore in every case the
test is whether our particular intention is in this same lifeward
direction: and if it is, then we may be absolutely certain that there is no
intention on the part of the Universal Mind to thwart the intention of our
own individual mind; we are dealing with a purely impersonal force, and it
will no more oppose us by specific plans of its own than will steam or
electricity. Combining then, these two aspects of the Universal Mind, its
utter impersonality and its perfect intelligence, we find precisely the
sort of natural force we are in want of, something which will undertake
whatever we put into its hands without asking questions or bargaining for
terms, and which, having undertaken our business, will bring to bear on it
an intelligence to which the united knowledge of the whole human race is as
nothing, and a power equal to this intelligence. I may be using a rough and
ready mode of expression, but my object is to bring home to the student the
nature of the power he can employ and the method of employing it, and I may
therefore state the whole position thus:--Your object is not to run the
whole cosmos, but to draw particular benefits, physical, mental, moral, or
financial into your own or someone else's life. From this individual point
of view the universal creative power has no mind of its own, and therefore
you can make up its mind for it. When its mind is thus made up for it, it
never abrogates its place as the creative power, but at once sets to work
co carry out the purpose for which it has thus been concentrated; and
unless this concentration is dissipated by the same agency (yourself) which
first produced it, it will work on by the law of growth to complete
manifestation on the outward plane.

In dealing with this great impersonal intelligence, we are dealing with the
infinite, and we must fully realize infinitude as that which touches all
points, and if it does, there should be no difficulty in understanding that
this intelligence can draw together the means requisite for its purpose
even from the ends of the world; and therefore, realizing the Law according
to which the result can be produced, we must resolutely put aside all
questioning as to the specific means which will be employed in any case. To
question this is to sow that very seed of doubt which it is our first
object to eradicate, and our intellectual endeavour should therefore be
directed, not to the attempt to foretell the various secondary causes which
will eventually combine to produce the desired result, laying down
beforehand what particular causes should be necessary, and from what
quarter they should come; but we should direct our intellectual endeavour
to seeing more clearly the rationale of the general law by which trains of
secondary causes are set in motion. Employed in the former way our
intellect becomes the greatest hindrance to our success, for it only helps
to increase our doubts, since it is trying to grasp particulars which, at
the time are entirely outside its circle of vision; but employed in the
latter it affords the most material aid in maintaining that nucleus without
which there is no centre from which the principle of growth can assert
itself. The intellect can only deduce consequences from facts which it is
able to state, and consequently cannot deduce any assurance from facts of
whose existence it cannot yet have any knowledge through the medium of the
outward senses; but for the same reason it can realize the existence of a
_Law_ by which the as yet unmanifested circumstances may be brought into
manifestation. Thus used in its right order, the intellect becomes the
handmaid of that more interior power within us which manipulates the unseen
substance of all things, and which we may call relative first cause.

IX.

CAUSES AND CONDITIONS.

The expression "_relative_ first cause" has been used in the last section
to distinguish the action of the creative principle in the _individual_
mind from Universal First Cause on the one hand and from secondary causes
on the other. As it exists in _us_, primary causation is the power to
initiate a train of causation directed to an individual purpose. As the
power of initiating a fresh sequence of cause and effect it is first cause,
and as referring to an individual purpose it is relative, and it may
therefore be spoken of as relative first cause, or the power of primary
causation manifested by the individual. The understanding and use of this
power is the whole object of Mental Science, and it is therefore necessary
that the student should clearly see the relation between causes and
conditions. A simple illustration will go further for this purpose than any
elaborate explanation. If a lighted candle is brought into a room the room
becomes illuminated, and if the candle is taken away it becomes dark again.
Now the illumination and the darkness are both conditions, the one positive
resulting from the presence of the light, and the other negative resulting
from its absence: from this simple example we therefore see that every
positive condition has an exactly opposite negative condition corresponding
to it, and that this correspondence results from their being related to the
_same cause_, the one positively and the other negatively; and hence we may
lay down the rule that all positive conditions result from the active
presence of a certain cause, and all negative conditions from the absence
of such a cause. A condition, whether positive or negative, is never
_primary_ cause, and the _primary_ cause of any series can never be
negative, for negation is the condition which arises from the absence of
active causation. This should be thoroughly understood as it is the
philosophic basis of all those "denials" which play so important a, part in
Mental Science, and which may be summed up in the statement that evil being
negative, or privation of good, has no substantive existence in itself.
Conditions, however, whether positive or negative, are no sooner called
into existence than they become causes in their turn and produce further
conditions, and so on _ad infinitum_, thus giving rise to the whole train
of secondary causes. So long as we judge only from the information conveyed
to us by the outward senses, we are working on the plane of secondary
causation and see nothing but a succession of conditions, forming part of
an endless train of antecedent conditions coming out of the past and
stretching away into the future, and from this point of view we are under
the rule of an iron destiny from which there seems no possibility of
escape. This is because the outward senses are only capable of dealing with
the relations which one mode of limitation bears to another, for they are
the instruments by which we take cognizance of the relative and the
conditioned. Now the only way of escape is by rising out of the region of
secondary causes into that of primary causation, where the originating
energy is to be found before it has yet passed into manifestation as a
condition. This region is to be found _within ourselves_; it is the region
of pure ideas; and it is for this reason that I have laid stress on the two
aspects of spirit as pure thought and manifested form. The thought-image or
ideal pattern of a thing is the _first cause_ relatively to that thing; it
is the substance of that thing untrammelled, by any antecedent conditions.

If we realize that all visible things _must_ have their origin in spirit,
then the whole creation around us is the standing evidence that the
starting-point of all things is in thought-images or ideas, for no other
action than the formation of such images can be conceived of spirit prior
to its manifestation in matter. If, then, this is spirit's modus operandi
for self-expression, we have only to transfer this conception from the
scale of cosmic spirit working on the plane of the universal to that of
individualized spirit working on the plane of the particular, to see that
the formation of an ideal image by means of our thought is setting first
cause in motion with regard to this specific object. There is no difference
in kind between the operation of first cause in the universal and in the
particular, the difference is only a difference of scale, but the power
itself is identical. We must therefore always be very clear as to whether
we are _consciously_ using first cause or not. Note the word "consciously"
because, whether consciously or unconsciously, we are always using first
cause; and it was for this reason I emphasized the fact that the Universal
Mind is purely subjective and therefore bound by the laws which apply to
subjective mind on whatever scale. Hence we are _always_ impressing some
sort of ideas upon it, whether we are aware of the fact or not, and all our
existing limitations result from our having habitually impressed upon it
that idea of limitation which we have imbibed by restricting all
possibility to the region of secondary causes. But now when investigation
has shown us that conditions are never causes in _themselves_, but only the
subsequent links of a chain started on the plane of the pure ideal, what we
have to do is to reverse our method of thinking and regard the ideal as the
real, and the outward manifestation as a mere reflection which must change
with every change of the object which casts it. For these reasons it is
essential to know whether we are consciously making use of first cause with
a definite purpose or not, and the criterion is this. If we regard the
fulfilment of our purpose as contingent upon any _circumstances_, past,
present, or future, we are not making use of first cause; we have descended
to the level of secondary causation, which is the region of doubts, fears,
and limitations, all of which we are impressing upon the universal
subjective mind with the inevitable result that it will build up
corresponding external conditions. But if we realize that the region of
secondary causes is the region of mere reflections we shall not think of
our purpose as contingent on any conditions whatever, but shall know that
by forming the idea of it in the absolute, and maintaining that idea, we
have shaped the first cause into the desired form and can await the result
with cheerful expectancy.

It is here that we find the importance of realizing spirit's independence
of time and space. An ideal, as such, cannot be formed in the future. It
must either be formed here and now or not be formed at all; and it is for
this reason that every teacher, who has ever spoken with due knowledge of
the subject, has impressed upon his followers the necessity of picturing to
themselves the fulfilment of their desires as _already accomplished_ on the
spiritual plane, as the indispensable condition of fulfilment in the
visible and concrete.

When this is properly understood, any anxious thought as to the _means_ to
be employed in the accomplishment of our purposes is seen to be quite
unnecessary. If the end is already secured, then it follows that all the
steps leading to it are secured also. The means will pass into the smaller
circle of our conscious activities day by day in due order, and then we
have to work upon them, not with fear, doubt, or feverish excitement, but
calmly and joyously, because we _know_ that the end is already secured, and
that our reasonable use of such means as present themselves in the desired
direction is, only one portion of a much larger co-ordinated movement, the
final result of which admits of no doubt. Mental Science does not offer a
premium to idleness, but it takes, all work out of the region of anxiety
and toil by assuring the worker of the success of his labour, if not in the
precise form he anticipated, then in some other still better suited to his
requirements. But suppose, when we reach a point where some momentous
decision has to be made, we happen to decide wrongly? On the hypothesis
that the end is already secured you cannot decide wrongly. Your right
decision is as much one of the necessary steps in the accomplishment of the
end as any of the other conditions leading up to it, and therefore, while
being careful to avoid rash action, we may make sure that the same Law
which is controlling the rest of the circumstances in the right direction
will influence our judgment in that direction also. To get good results we
must properly understand our relation to the great impersonal power we are
using. It is intelligent and we are intelligent, and the two intelligences
must co-operate. We must not fly in the face of the Law by expecting it to
do _for_ us what it can only do _through_ us; and we must therefore use our
intelligence with the knowledge that it is acting _as the instrument of a
greater intelligence_; and because we have this knowledge we may, and
should, cease from all anxiety as to the final result. In actual practice
we must first form the ideal conception of our object with the definite
intention of impressing it upon the universal mind--it is this intention
which takes such thought out of the region of mere casual fancies--and then
affirm that our knowledge of the Law is sufficient reason for a calm
expectation of a corresponding result, and that therefore all necessary
conditions will come to us in due order. We can then turn to the affairs of
our daily life with the calm assurance that the initial conditions are
either there already or will soon come into view. If we do not at once see
them, let us rest content with the knowledge that the spiritual prototype
is already in existence and wait till some circumstance pointing in the
desired direction begins to show itself. It may be a very small
circumstance, but it is the direction and not the magnitude which is to be
taken into consideration. As soon as we see it we should regard it as the
first sprouting of the seed we have sown in the Absolute, and do calmly,
and without excitement, whatever the circumstances may seem to require, and
then later on we shall see that this doing will in turn lead to further
circumstances in the same direction until we find ourselves conducted step
by step to the accomplishment of our object. In this way the understanding
of the great principle of the Law of Supply will, by repeated experiences,
deliver us more and more completely out of the region of anxious thought
and toilsome labour and bring us into a new world where the useful
employment of all our powers, whether mental or physical, will only be an
unfolding of our individuality upon the lines of its own nature, and
therefore a perpetual source of health and happiness; a sufficient
inducement, surely, to the careful study of the laws governing the relation
between the individual and the Universal Mind.

X.

INTUITION.

We have seen that the subjective mind is amenable to suggestion by the
objective mind; but there is also an action of the subjective mind upon the
objective. The individual's subjective mind is his own innermost self, and
its first care is the maintenance of the individuality of which it is the
foundation; and since it is pure spirit it has its continual existence in
that plane of being where all things subsist in the universal here and the
everlasting now, and consequently can, inform the lower mind of things
removed from its ken either by distance or futurity. As the absence of the
conditions of time and space must logically concentrate all things into a
present focus, we can assign no limit to the subjective mind's power of
perception, and therefore the question arises, why does it not keep the
objective mind continually informed on all points? And the answer is that
it would do so if the objective mind were sufficiently trained to recognize
the indications given, and to effect this training is one of the purposes
of Mental Science. When once we recognize the position of the subjective
mind as the supporter of the whole individuality we cannot doubt that much
of what we take to be the spontaneous movement of the objective mind has
its origin in the subjective mind prompting the objective mind in the right
direction without our being consciously aware of it. But at times when the
urgency of the case seems to demand it, or when, for some reason yet
unknown, the objective mind is for a while more closely _en rapport_ with
the subjective mind, the interior voice is heard strongly and persistently;
and when this is the case we do well to pay heed to it. Want of space
forbids me to give examples, but doubtless such will not be wanting in the
reader's experience.

The importance of understanding and following the intuition cannot be
exaggerated, but I candidly admit the great practical difficulty of keeping
the happy mean between the disregard of the interior voice and allowing
ourselves to be run away with by groundless fancies. The best guide is the
knowledge that comes of personal experience which gradually leads to the
acquisition of a sort of inward sense of touch that enables us to
distinguish the true from the false, and which appears to grow with the
sincere desire for truth and with the recognition of the spirit as its
source. The only general principles the writer can deduce from his own
experience are that when, in spite of all appearances pointing in the
direction of a certain line of conduct, there is still a persistent
_feeling_ that it should not be followed, in the majority of instances it
will be found that the argument of the objective mind, however correct on
the facts objectively known, was deficient from ignorance of facts which
could not be objectively known at the time, but which were known to the
intuitive faculty. Another principle is that our _very first_ impression
of feeling on any subject is generally correct. Before the objective mind
has begun to argue on the subject it is like the surface of a smooth lake
which clearly reflects the light from above; but as soon as it begins to
argue from outside appearances these also throw their reflections upon its
surface, so that the original image becomes blurred and is no longer
recognizable. This first conception is very speedily lost, and it should
therefore be carefully observed and registered in the memory with a view to
testing the various arguments which will subsequently arise on the
objective plane. It is however impossible to reduce so interior an action
as that of the intuition to the form of hard and fast rules, and beyond
carefully noting particular cases as they occur, probably the best plan for
the student will be to include the whole subject of intuition in the
general principle of the Law of Attraction, especially if he sees how this
law interacts with that personal quality of universal spirit of which we
have already spoken.

XI.

HEALING.

The subject of healing has been elaborately treated by many writers and
fully deserves all the attention that has been given to it, but the object
of these lectures is rather to ground the student in those general
principles on which _all_ conscious use of the creative power of thought is
based, than to lay down formal rules for specific applications of it. I
will therefore examine the broad principles which appear to be common to
the various methods of mental healing which are in use, each of which
derives its efficacy, not from the peculiarity of the method, but from it
being such a method as allows the higher laws of Nature to come into play.
Now the principle universally laid down by all mental healers, in whatever
various terms they may explain it, is that the basis of all healing is a
change in belief. The sequence from which this results is as follows:--the
subjective mind is the creative faculty within us, and creates whatever the
objective mind impresses upon it; the objective mind, or intellect,
impresses its thought upon it; the thought is the expression of the belief;
hence whatever the subjective mind creates is the reproduction externally
of our beliefs. Accordingly our whole object is to change our beliefs, and
we cannot do this without some solid ground of conviction of the falsity of
our old beliefs and of the truth of our new ones, and this ground we find
in that law of causation which I have endeavoured to explain. The wrong
belief which externalizes as sickness is the belief that some secondary
cause, which is really only a condition, is a primary cause. The knowledge
of the law shows that there is only _one_ primary cause, and this is the
factor which in our own individuality we call subjective or sub-conscious
mind. For this reason I have insisted on the difference between placing an
idea in the sub-conscious mind, that is, on the plane of the absolute and
without reference to time and space, and placing the same idea in the
conscious intellectual mind which only perceives things as related to time
and space. Now the only conception you can have of_ yourself_ in the
absolute, or unconditioned, is as _purely living Spirit_, not hampered by
conditions of any sort, and therefore not subject to illness; and when this
idea is firmly impressed on the sub-conscious mind, it will externalize it.
The reason why this process is not always successful at the first attempt
is that all our life we have been holding the false belief in sickness as a
substantial entity in itself and thus being a primary cause, instead of
being merely a negative _condition_ resulting from the _obsence_ of a
primary cause; and a belief which has become ingrained from childhood
cannot be eradicated at a moment's notice. We often find, therefore, that
for some time after a treatment there is an improvement in the patient's
health, and then the old symptoms return. This is because the new belief in
his own creative faculty has not yet had time to penetrate down to the
innermost depths of the subconscious mind, but has only partially entered
it. Each succeeding treatment strengthens the sub-conscious mind in its
hold of the new belief until at last a permanent cure is effected. This is
the method of self-treatment based on the patient's own knowledge of the
law of his being.

But "there is not in all men this knowledge," or at any rate not such a
full recognition of it as will enable them to give successful treatment to
themselves, and in these cases the intervention of the healer becomes
necessary. The only difference between the healer and the patient is that
the healer has learnt how to control the less self-conscious modes of the
spirit by the more self-conscious mode, while the patient has not yet
attained to this knowledge; and what the healer does is to substitute his
own objective or conscious mentality, which is will joined to intellect,
for that of the patient, and in this way to find entrance to his
sub-conscious mind and impress upon it the suggestion of perfect health.

The question then arises, how can the healer substitute his own conscious
mind for that of the patient? and the answer shows the practical
application of those very abstract principles which I have laid down in the
earlier sections. Our ordinary conception of ourselves is that of an
individual personality which ends where another personality begins, in
other words that the two personalities are entirely separate. This is an
error. There is no such hard and fast line of demarcation between
personalities, and the boundaries between one and another can be increased
or reduced in rigidity according to will, in fact they may be temporarily
removed so completely that, for the time being, the two personalities
become merged into one. Now the action which takes place between healer and
patient depends on this principle. The patient is asked by the healer to
put himself in a receptive mental attitude, which means that he is to
exercise his volition for the purpose of removing the barrier of his own
objective personality and thus affording entrance to the mental power of
the healer. On his side also the healer does the same thing, only with this
difference, that while the patient withdraws the barrier on his side with
the intention of admitting a flowing-in, the healer does so with the
intention of allowing a flowing-out: and thus by the joint action of the
two minds the barriers of both personalities are removed and the direction
of the flow of volition is determined, that is to say, it flows from the
healer as actively willing to give, towards the patient as passively
willing to receive, according to the universal law of Nature that the flow
must always be from the _plenum_ to the _vacuum_. This mutual removal of
the external mental barrier between healer and patient is what is termed
establishing a _rapport_ between them, and here we find one most valuable
practical application of the principle laid down earlier in this book, that
pure spirit is present in its entirety at every point simultaneously. It is
for this reason that as soon as the healer realizes that the barriers of
external personality between himself and his patient have been removed, he
can then speak to the sub-conscious mind of the patient as though it were
his own, for both being pure spirit the _thought_ of their identity _makes_
them identical, and both are concentrated into a single entity at a single
point upon which the conscious mind of the healer can be brought to bear,
according to the universal principle of the control of the subjective mind
by the objective mind through suggestion. It is for this reason I have
insisted on the distinction between _pure_ spirit, or spirit conceived of
apart from extension in any matrix and the conception of it as so extended.
If we concentrate our mind upon the diseased condition of the patient we
are thinking of him as a separate personality, and are not fixing our mind
upon that conception of him as pure spirit which will afford us effectual
entry to his springs of being. We must therefore withdraw our thought from
the contemplation of symptoms, and indeed from his corporeal personality
altogether, and must think of him as a purely spiritual individuality, and
as such entirely free from subjection to any conditions, and consequently
as voluntarily externalizing the conditions most expressive of the vitality
and intelligence which pure spirit is. Thinking of him thus, we then make
mental affirmation that he shall build up outwardly the correspondence of
that perfect vitality which he knows himself to be inwardly; and this
suggestion being impressed by the healer's conscious thought, while the
patient's conscious thought is at the same time impressing the fact that he
is receiving the active thought of the healer, the result is that the
patient's sub-conscious mind becomes thoroughly imbued with the recognition
of its own life-giving power, and according to the recognized law of
subjective mentality proceeds to work out this suggestion into external
manifestation, and thus health is substituted for sickness.

It must be understood that the purpose of the process here described is to
strengthen the subject's individuality, not to dominate it. To use it for
domination is _inversion_, bringing its appropriate penalty to the
operator.

In this description I have contemplated the case where the patient is
consciously co-operating with the healer, and it is in order to obtain this
co-operation that the mental healer usually makes a point of instructing
the patient in the broad principles of Mental Science, if he is not already
acquainted with them. But this is not always advisable or possible.
Sometimes the statement of principles opposed to existing prejudices
arouses opposition, and any active antagonism on the patient's part must
tend to intensify the barrier of conscious personality which it is the
healer's first object to remove. In these cases nothing is so effective as
_absent treatment_. If the student has grasped all that has been said on
the subject of spirit and matter, he will see that in mental treatment time
and space count for nothing, because the whole action takes place on a
plane where these conditions do not obtain; and it is therefore quite
immaterial whether the patient be in the immediate presence of the healer
or in a distant country. Under these circumstances it is found by
experience that one of the most effectual modes of mental healing is by
treatment during sleep, because then the patient's whole system is
naturally in a state of relaxation which prevents him offering any
conscious opposition to the treatment. And by the same rule the healer also
is able to treat even more effectively during his own sleep than while
waking. Before going to sleep he firmly impresses on his subjective mind
that it is to convey curative suggestion to the subjective mind of the
patient, and then, by the general principles of the relation between
subjective and objective mind this suggestion is carried out during all the
hours that the conscious individuality is wrapped in repose. This method is
applicable to young children to whom the principles of the science cannot
be explained; and also to persons at a distance: and indeed the only
advantage gained by the personal meeting of the patient and healer is in
the instruction that can be orally given, or when the patient is at that
early stage of knowledge where the healer's visible presence conveys the
suggestion that something is then being done which could not be done in his
absence; otherwise the presence or absence of the patient are matters
perfectly indifferent. The student must always recollect that the sub-
conscious mind does not have to work _through_ the intellect or conscious
mind to produce its curative effects. It is part of the all-pervading
creative force of Nature, while the intellect is not creative but
distributive.

From mental healing it is but a step to telepathy, clairvoyance and other,
kindred manifestations of transcendental power which, are from time to time
exhibited by the subjective entity and which follow laws as accurate as
those which govern what we are accustomed to consider our more normal
faculties; but these subjects do not properly fall within the scope of a
book whose purpose is to lay down the broad principles which underlie _all_
spiritual phenomena. Until these are clearly understood the student cannot
profitably attempt the detailed study of the more interior powers; for to
do so without a firm foundation of knowledge and some experience in its
practical application would only be to expose himself to unknown dangers,
and would be contrary to the scientific principle that the advance into the
unknown can only be made from the standpoint of the known, otherwise we
only come into a confused region of guess-work without any clearly defined
principles for our guidance.

XII.

THE WILL.

The Will is of such primary importance that the student should be on his
guard against any mistake as to the position which it holds in the mental
economy. Many writers and teachers insist on will-power as though that were
the creative faculty. No doubt intense will-power can evolve certain
external results, but like all other methods of compulsion it lacks the
permanency of natural growth. The appearances, forms, and conditions
produced by mere intensity of will-power will only hang together so long as
the compelling force continues; but let it be exhausted or withdrawn, and
the elements thus forced into unnatural combination will at once fly back
to their proper affinities; the form created by compulsion never had the
germ of vitality _in itself_ and is therefore dissipated as soon as the
external energy which supported it is withdrawn. The mistake is in
attributing the creative power to the will, or perhaps I should say in
attributing the creative power to ourselves at all. The truth is that man
never creates anything. His function is, not to create, but to combine and
distribute that which is already in being, and what we call our creations
are new combinations of already existing material, whether mental or
corporeal. This is amply demonstrated in the physical sciences. No one
speaks of creating energy, but only of transforming one form of energy into
another; and if we realize this as a universal principle, we shall see that
on the mental plane as well as on the physical we never create energy but
only provide the conditions by which the energy already existing in one
mode can exhibit itself in another: therefore what, relatively to man, we
call his creative power, is that receptive attitude of expectancy which, so
to say, makes a mould into which the plastic and as yet undifferentiated
substance can flow and take the desired form. The will has much the same
place in our mental machinery that the tool-holder has in a power-lathe: it
is not the power, but it keeps the mental faculties in that position
relatively to the power which enables it to do the desired work. If, using
the word in its widest sense, we may say that the imagination is the
creative function, we may call the will the centralizing principle. Its
function is to keep the imagination centred in the right direction. We are
aiming at consciously controlling our mental powers instead of letting them
hurry us hither and thither in a purposeless manner, and we must therefore
understand the relation of these powers to each other for the production of
external results. First the whole train of causation is started by some
emotion which gives rise to a desire; next the judgment determines whether
we shall externalize this desire or not; then the desire having been
approved by the judgment, the will comes forward and directs the
imagination to form the necessary spiritual prototype; and the imagination
thus centred on a particular object creates the spiritual nucleus, which in
its turn acts as a centre round which the forces of attraction begin to
work, and continue to operate until, by the law of growth, the concrete
result becomes perceptible to our external senses.

The business of the will, then, is to retain the various faculties of our
mind in that position where they are really doing the work we wish, and
this position may be generalized into the three following attitudes; either
we wish to act upon something, or be acted on by it, or to maintain a
neutral position; in other words we either intend to project a force, or
receive a force or keep a position of inactivity relatively to some
particular object. Now the judgment determines which of these three
positions we shall take up, the consciously active, the consciously
receptive, or the consciously neutral; and then the function of the will is
simply to maintain the position we have determined upon; and if we maintain
any given mental attitude we may reckon with all certainty on the law of
attraction drawing us to those correspondences which exteriorly symbolize
the attitude in question. This is very different from the semi-animal
screwing-up of the nervous forces which, with some people, stands for
will-power. It implies no strain on the nervous system and is consequently
not followed by any sense of exhaustion. The will-power, when transferred
from the region of the lower mentality to the spiritual plane, becomes
simply a calm and peaceful determination to retain a certain mental
attitude in spite of all temptations to the contrary, knowing that by doing
so the desired result will certainly appear.

The training of the will and its transference from the lower to the higher
plane of our nature are among the first objects of Mental Science. The man
is summed up in his will. Whatever he does by his own will is his own act;
whatever he does without the consent of his will is not his own act but
that of the power by which his will was coerced; but we must recognize
that, on the mental plane, no other individuality can obtain control over
our will unless we first allow it to do so; and it is for this reason that
all legitimate use of Mental Science is towards the strengthening of the
will, whether in ourselves or others, and bringing it under the control of
an enlightened reason. When the will realizes its power to deal with first
cause it is no longer necessary for the operator to state to himself _in
extenso_ all the philosophy of its action every time he wishes to use it,
but, knowing that the trained will is a tremendous spiritual force acting
on the plane of first cause, he simply expresses his desire with the
intention of operating on that plane, and knows that the desire thus
expressed will in due time externalize itself as concrete fact. He now sees
that the point which really demands his earnest attention is not whether he
possesses the power of externalizing any results he chooses, but of
learning to choose wisely what results to produce. For let us not suppose
that even the highest powers will take us out of the law of cause and
effect. We can never set any cause in motion without calling forth those
effects which it already contains in embryo and which will again become
causes in their turn, thus producing a series which must continue to flow
on until it is cut short by bringing into operation a cause of an opposite
character to the one which originated it. Thus we shall find the field for
the exercise of our intelligence continually expanding with the expansion
of our powers; for, granted a good intention, we shall always wish to
contemplate the results of our action as far as our intelligence will
permit. We may not be able to see very far, but there is one safe general
principle to be gained from what has already been said about causes and
conditions, which is that the whole sequence always partakes of the same
character as the initial cause: if that character is negative, that is,
destitute of any desire to externalize kindness, cheerfulness, strength,
beauty or some other sort of good, this negative quality will make itself
felt all down the line; but if the opposite affirmative character is in the
original motive, then it will reproduce its kind in forms of love, joy,
strength and beauty with unerring precision. Before setting out, therefore,
to produce new conditions by the exercise of our thought-power we should
weigh carefully what further results they are likely to lead to; and here,
again, we shall find an ample field for the training of our will, in
learning to acquire that self-control which will enable us to postpone an
inferior present satisfaction to a greater prospective good.

These considerations naturally lead us to the subject of concentration. I
have just now pointed out that all duly controlled mental action consists
in holding the mind in one of three attitudes; but there is a fourth mental
condition, which is that of letting our mental functions run on without our
will directing them to any definite purpose. It is on this word _purpose_
that we must fix our whole attention; and instead of dissipating our
energies, we must follow an intelligent method of concentration. The, word
means being gathered up at a centre, and the centre of anything is that
point in which all its forces are equally balanced. To concentrate
therefore means first to bring our minds into a condition of equilibrium
which will enable us to consciously direct the flow of spirit to a
definitely recognized purpose, and then carefully to guard our thoughts
from inducing a flow in the opposite direction. We must always bear in mind
that we are dealing with a wonderful _potential_ energy which is not yet
differentiated into any particular mode, and that by the action of our mind
we can differentiate it into any specific mode of activity that we will;
and by keeping our thought fixed on the fact that the inflow of this energy
_is_ taking place and that by our mental attitude we _are_ determining its
direction, we shall gradually realize a corresponding externalization.
Proper concentration, therefore, does not consist of strenuous effort which
exhausts the nervous system and defeats its own object by suggesting the
consciousness of an adverse force to be fought against, and thus creating
the adverse circumstances we dread; but in shutting out all thoughts of a
kind that would disperse the spiritual nucleus we are forming and dwelling
cheerfully on the knowledge that, because the law is certain in its action,
our desire is certain of accomplishment. The other great principle to be
remembered is that concentration is for the purpose of determining the
_quality_ we are going to give to the previously undifferentiated energy
rather than to arrange the _specific circumstances_ of its manifestation.
_That_ is the work of the creative energy itself, which will build up its
own forms of expression quite naturally if we allow it, thus saving us a
great deal of needless anxiety. What we really want is expansion in a
certain direction, whether of health, wealth, or what not: and so long as
we get this, what does it matter whether it reaches us through some channel
which we thought we could reckon upon or through some other whose existence
we had not suspected. It is the fact that we are concentrating energy of a
particular kind for a particular purpose that we should fix our minds upon,
and not look upon any specific details as essential to the accomplishment
of our object.

These are the two golden rules regarding concentration; but we must not
suppose that because we have to be on our guard against idle drifting there
is to be no such thing as repose; on the contrary it is during periods of
repose that we accumulate strength for action; but repose does not mean a
state of purposelessness. As pure spirit the subjective mind never rests:
it is only the objective mind in its connection with the physical body that
needs rest; and though there are no doubt times when the greatest possible
rest is to be obtained by stopping the action, of our conscious thought
altogether, the more generally advisable method is by changing the
direction of the thought and, instead of centering it upon something we
intend to _do_, letting it dwell quietly upon what we _are_. This direction
of thought might, of course, develop into the deepest philosophical
speculation, but it is not necessary that we should be always either
consciously projecting our forces to produce some external effect or
working out the details of some metaphysical problem; but we may simply
realize ourselves as part of the universal livingness and thus gain a quiet
centralization, which, though maintained by a conscious act of the
volition, is the very essence of rest. From this standpoint we see that all
is Life and all is Good, and that Nature, from her clearly visible surface
to her most arcane depths, is one vast storehouse of life and good entirely
devoted to our individual use. We have the key to all her treasures, and we
can now apply our knowledge of the law of being without entering into all
those details which are only needed for purposes of study, and doing so we
find it results in our having acquired the consciousness of our _oneness
with the whole_. This is the great secret: and when we have once fathomed
it we can enjoy our possession of the whole, or of any part of it, because
by our recognition we have made it, and can increasingly make it, our own.
Whatever most appeals to us at any particular time or place is that mode of
the universal living spirit with which at that moment we are most in touch,
and realizing this, we shall draw from it streams of vital energy which
will make the very sensation of livingness a joy and will radiate from us
as a sphere of vibration that can deflect all injurious suggestion on
whatever plane. We may not have literary, artistic, or scientific skill to
present to others the results of our communings with Nature, but the joy of
this sympathetic indrawing will nevertheless produce a corresponding
outflow manifesting itself in the happier look and kindlier mien of him who
thus realizes his oneness with every aspect of the whole. He realizes--and
this is the great point in that attitude of mind which is not directed to
any specific external object--that, for himself, he is, and always must be
the centre of all this galaxy of Life, and thus he contemplates himself as
seated at the centre of infinitude, not an infinitude of blank space, but
pulsating with living being, in all of which he knows that the true essence
is nothing but good. This is the very opposite to a selfish
self-centredness; it, is the centre where we find that we both receive from
all and flow out to all. Apart from this principle of circulation there is
no true life, and if we contemplate our central position only as affording
us greater advantages for in-taking, we have missed the whole point of our
studies by missing the real nature of the Life-principle, which is action
and re-action. If we would have life enter into us, we ourselves must enter
into life--enter into the spirit of it, just as we must enter into the
spirit of a book or a game to enjoy it. There can be no action at a centre
only. There must be a perpetual flowing out towards the circumference, and
thence back again to the centre to maintain a vital activity; otherwise
collapse must ensue either from anaemia or congestion. But if we realize
the reciprocal nature of the vital pulsation, and that the outflowing
consists in the habit of mind which gives itself to the good it sees in
others, rather than in any specific actions, then we shall find that the
cultivation of this disposition will provide innumerable avenues for the
universal livingness to flow through us, whether as giving or receiving,
which we had never before suspected: and this action and re-action will so
build up our own vitality that each day will find us more thoroughly alive
than any that had preceded it. This, then, is the attitude of repose in
which we may enjoy all the beauties of science, literature and art or may
peacefully commune with the spirit of nature without the aid of any third
mind to act as its interpreter, which is still a purposeful attitude
although not directed to a specific object: we have not allowed the will to
relax its control, but have merely altered its direction; so that for
action and repose alike we find that our strength lies in our recognition
of the unity of the spirit and of ourselves as individual concentrations of
it.

XIII.

IN TOUCH WITH SUB-CONSCIOUS MIND.

The preceding pages have made the student in some measure aware of the
immense importance of our dealings with the sub-conscious mind. Our
relation to it, whether on the scale of the individual or the universal, is
the key to all that we are or ever can be. In its unrecognized working it
is the spring of all that we can call the automatic action of mind and
body, and on the universal scale it is the silent power of evolution
gradually working onwards to that "divine event, to which the whole
creation moves"; and by our conscious recognition of it we make it,
relatively to ourselves, all that we believe it to be. The closer our
_rapport_ with it becomes, the more what we have hitherto considered
automatic action, whether in our bodies or our circumstances, will pass
under our control, until at last we shall control our whole individual
world. Since, then, this is the stupendous issue involved, the question how
we are to put ourselves practically in touch with the sub-conscious mind is
a very important one. Now the clue which gives us the right direction is to
be found in the _impersonal_ quality of sub-conscious mind of which I have
spoken. Not impersonal as lacking the _elements_ of personality; nor even,
in the case of individual subjective mind, as lacking the sense of
individuality; but impersonal in the sense of not recognizing the
particular external relations which appear to the objective mind to
constitute its personality, and having a realization of itself quite
independent of them. If, then, we would come in touch with it we must meet
it on its own ground. It can see things only from the deductive standpoint,
and therefore cannot take note of the inductive standpoint from which we
construct the idea of our external personality; and accordingly if we would
put ourselves in touch with it, we cannot do so by bringing it down to the
level of the external and non-essential but only by rising to its own level
on the plane of the interior and essential. How can this be done? Let two
well-known writers answer. Rudyard Kipling tells us in his story of "Kim"
how the boy used at times to lose his sense of personality by repeating to
himself the question, _Who_ is Kim? Gradually his personality would seem to
fade and he would experience a feeling of passing into a grander and a
wider life, in which the boy Kim was unknown, while his own conscious
individuality remained, only exalted and expanded to an inconceivable
extent; and in Tennyson's life by his son we are told that at times the
poet had a similar experience. We come into touch with the absolute exactly
in proportion as we withdraw ourselves from the relative: they vary
inversely to each other.

For the purpose, then, of getting into touch with our sub-conscious mind we
must endeavour to think of ourselves as pure being, as that entity which
interiorly supports the outward manifestation, and doing so we shall
realize that the essential quality of pure being must be good. It is in
itself _pure Life_, and as such cannot desire anything detrimental to pure
Life under whatever form manifested. Consequently the purer our intentions
the more readily we shall place ourself _en rapport_ with our subjective
entity; and _a fortiori_ the same applies to that Greater Sub-conscious
Mind of which our individual subjective mind is a particular manifestation.
In actual practice the process consists in first forming a clear conception
in the objective mind of the idea we wish to convey to the subjective mind:
then, when this has been firmly grasped, endeavour to lose sight of all
other facts connected with the external personality except the one in
question, and then mentally address the subjective mind as though it were
an independent entity and impress upon it what you want it to do or to
believe. Everyone must formulate his own way of working, but one method,
which is both simple and effective is to say to the subjective mind, "This
is what I want you to do; you will now step into my place and do it,
bringing all your powers and intelligence to bear, and considering yourself
to be none other than myself." Having done this return to the realization
of your own objective personality and leave the subjective mind to perform
its task in full confidence that, by the law of its nature, it will do so
if not hindered by a repetition of contrary messages from the objective
mind. This is not a mere fancy but a truth daily proved by the experience
of increasing numbers. The facts have not been fabricated to fit the
theory, but the theory has been built up by careful observation of the
facts; and since it has been shown both by theory and practice that such is
the law of the relation between subjective and objective mind, we find
ourselves face to face with a very momentous question. Is there any reason
why the laws which hold good of the individual subjective mind should not
hold good of the Universal Mind also? and the answer is that there is not.
As has been already shown the Universal Mind must, by its very
universality, be purely subjective, and what is the law of a part must also
be the law of the whole: the qualities of fire are the same whether the
centres of combustion be great or small, and therefore we may well conclude
these lectures by considering what will be the result if we apply what we
have learnt regarding the individual subjective mind to the Universal Mind.

We have learnt that the three great facts regarding subjective mind are its
creative power, its amenableness to suggestion, and its inability to work
by any other than the deductive method. This last is an exceedingly
important point, for it implies that the action of the subjective mind is
in no way limited by precedent. The inductive method works on principles
inferred from an already existing pattern, and therefore at the best only
produces the old thing in a new shape. But the deductive method works
according to the essence or spirit of the principle, and does not depend on
any previous concrete manifestation for its apprehension of it; and this
latter method of working must necessarily be that of the all-originating
Mind, for since there could be no prior existing pattern from which it
could learn the principles of construction, the want of a pattern would
have prevented its creating anything had its method been inductive instead
of deductive. Thus by the necessity of the case the Universal Mind must act
deductively, that is, according to the law which has been found true of
individual subjective mind. It is thus not bound by any precedent, which
means that its creative power is absolutely unlimited; and since it is
essentially subjective mind, and not objective mind, it is entirely
amenable to suggestion. Now it is an unavoidable inference from the
identity of the law governing subjective mind, whether in the individual or
the universal, that just as we can by suggestion impress a certain
character of personality upon the individual subjective mind, so we can,
and do, upon the Universal Mind; and it is for this reason that I have
drawn attention to the inherent personal _quality_ of pure spirit when
contemplated in its most interior plane. It becomes, therefore, the most
important of all considerations with what character we invest the Universal
Mind; for since our relation to it is _purely subjective_ it will
infallibly bear _to us_ exactly that character which we impress upon it; in
other words it will be to us exactly what we believe it to be. This is
simply a logical inference from the fact that, as subjective mind, our
primary relation to it can only be on the subjective plane, and indirectly
our objective relations must also spring from the same source. This is the
meaning of that remarkable passage twice repeated in the Bible, "With, the
pure thou wilt show thyself pure, and with the froward thou wilt show
thyself froward." (Ps. xviii., 26, and II. Sam. xxii., 27), for the context
makes it clear that these words are addressed to the Divine Being. The
spiritual kingdom is _within_ us, and as we realize it _there_ so it
becomes to us a reality. It is the unvarying law of the subjective life
that "as a man thinketh in his heart so is he," that is to say, his inward
subjective states are the only true reality, and what we call external
realities are only their objective correspondences. If we thoroughly
realize the truth that the Universal Mind must be to us exactly according
to our conception of it, and that this relation is not merely imaginary but
by the law of subjective mind must be to us an actual fact and the
foundation of all other facts, then it is impossible to over-estimate the
importance of the conception of the Universal Mind which we adopt. To the
uninstructed there is little or no choice: they form a conception in
accordance with the tradition they have received from others, and until
they have learnt to think for themselves, they have to abide by the results
of that tradition: for natural laws admit of no exceptions, and however
faulty the traditional idea may be, its acceptance will involve a
corresponding reaction upon the Universal Mind, which will in turn be
reflected into the conscious mind and external life of the individual. But
those who understand the law of the subject will have no one but themselves
to blame if they do not derive all possible benefits from it. The greatest
Teacher of Mental Science the world has ever seen has laid down
sufficiently plain rules for our guidance. With a knowledge of the subject
whose depth can be appreciated only by those who have themselves some
practical acquaintance with it, He bids His unlearned audiences, those
common people who heard Him gladly, picture to themselves the Universal
Mind as a benign Father, tenderly compassionate of all and sending the
common bounties of Nature alike on the evil and the good; but He also
pictured It as exercising a special and peculiar care over those who
recognize Its willingness to do so:--"the very hairs of your head are all
numbered," and "ye are of more value than many sparrows." Prayer was to be
made to the unseen Being, not with doubt or fear, but with the absolute
assurance of a certain answer, and no limit was to be set to its power or
willingness to work for us. But to those who did not thus realize it, the
Great Mind is necessarily the adversary who casts them into prison until
they have paid the uttermost farthing; and thus in all cases the Master
impressed upon his hearers the exact correspondence of the attitude of this
unseen Power towards _them_ with their own attitude towards _it_. Such
teaching was not a narrow anthropomorphism but the adaptation to the
intellectual capacity of the unlettered multitude of the very deepest
truths of what we now call Mental Science. And the basis of it all is the
cryptic personality of spirit hidden throughout the infinite of Nature
under every form of manifestation. As unalloyed Life and Intelligence it
_can_ be no other than good, it can entertain no intention of evil, and
thus all intentional evil must put us in opposition to it, and so deprive
us of the consciousness of its guidance and strengthening and thus leave us
to grope our own way and fight our own battle single-handed against the
universe, odds which at last will surely prove too great for us. But
remember that the opposition can never be on the part of the Universal
Mind, for in itself it is sub-conscious mind; and to suppose any active
opposition taken on its own initiative would be contrary to all we have
learnt as to the nature of sub-conscious mind whether in the individual or
the universal; the position of the Universal Mind towards us is always the
reflection of our own attitude. Therefore although the Bible is full of
threatening against those who persist in conscious opposition to the Divine
Law of Good, it is on the other hand full of promises of immediate and full
forgiveness to all who change, their attitude and desire to co-operate with
the Law of Good so far as they know it. The laws of Nature do not act
vindictively; and through all theological formularies and traditional
interpretations let us realize that what we are dealing with is the supreme
law of our own being; and it is on the basis of this natural law that we
find such declarations as that in Ezek. xviii., 22, which tells that if we
forsake our evil ways our past transgressions shall never again be
mentioned to us. We are dealing with the great principles of our subjective
being, and our misuse of them in the past can never make them change their
inherent law of action. If our method of using them in the past has brought
us sorrow, fear and trouble, we have only to fall back on the law that if
we reverse the cause the effects will be reversed also; and so what we have
to do is simply to reverse our mental attitude and then endeavour to act up
to the new one. The sincere endeavour to act up to our new mental attitude
is essential, for we cannot really think in one way and act in another; but
our repeated failures to fully act as we would wish must not discourage us.
It is the sincere intention that is the essential thing, and this will in
time release us from the bondage of habits which at present seem almost
insuperable.

The initial step, then, consists in determining to picture the Universal
Mind as the ideal of all we could wish it to be both to ourselves and to
others, together with the endeavour to reproduce this ideal, however
imperfectly, in our own life; and this step having been taken, we can then
cheerfully look upon it as our ever-present Friend, providing all good,
guarding from all danger, and guiding us with all counsel. Gradually as the
habit of thus regarding the Universal Mind grows upon us, we shall find
that in accordance with the laws we have been considering, it will become
more and more _personal_ to us, and in response to our desire its inherent
intelligence will make itself more and more clearly perceptible within as a
power of perceiving truth far beyond any statement of it that we could
formulate by merely intellectual investigation. Similarly if we think of it
as a great power devoted to supplying all our needs, we shall impress this
character also upon it, and by the law of subjective mind it will proceed
to enact the part of that special providence which we have credited it with
being; and if, beyond the general care of our concerns, we would draw to
ourselves some particular benefit, the same rule holds good of impressing
our desire upon the Universal Subjective Mind. And if we realize that above
and beyond all this we want something still greater and more enduring, the
building-up of character and unfolding of our powers so that we may expand
into fuller and yet fuller measures of joyous and joy-giving Life, still
the same rule holds good: convey to the Universal Mind the suggestion of
the desire, and by the law of relation between subjective and objective
mind this too will be fulfilled. And thus the deepest problems of
philosophy bring us back to the old statement of the Law:--Ask and ye shall
receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.
This is the summing-up of the natural law of the relation between us and
the Divine Mind. It is thus no vain boast that Mental Science can enable us
to make our lives what we will. We must start from where we are now, and by
rightly estimating our relation to the Divine Universal Mind we can
gradually grow into any conditions we desire, provided we first make
ourselves in habitual mental attitude the person who corresponds to those
conditions: for we can never get over the law of correspondence, and the
externalization will always be in accord with the internal principle that
gives rise to it. And to this law there is no limit. What it can do for us
to-day it can do to-morrow, and through all that procession of to-morrows
that loses itself in the dim vistas of eternity. Belief in limitation is
the one and only thing that causes limitation, because we thus impress
limitation upon the creative principle; and in proportion as we lay that
belief aside our boundaries will expand, and increasing life and more
abundant blessing will be ours.

But we must not ignore our responsibilities. Trained thought is far more
powerful than untrained, and therefore the more deeply we penetrate into
Mental Science the more carefully we must guard against all thoughts and
words expressive of even the most modified form of ill-will. Gossip,
tale-bearing, sneering laughter, are not in accord with the principles of
Mental Science; and similarly even our smallest thoughts of good carry with
them a seed of good which will assuredly bear fruit in due time. This is
not mere "goodie, goodie," but an important lesson in Mental Science, for
our subjective mind takes its colour from our settled mental habits, and an
occasional affirmation or denial will not be sufficient to change it; and
we must therefore cultivate that tone which we wish to see reproduced in
our conditions whether of body, mind, or circumstance.

In these lectures my purpose has been, not so much to give specific rules
of practice as to lay down the broad general principles of Mental Science
which will enable the student to form rules for himself. In every walk in
life, book knowledge is only a means to an end. Books can only direct us
where to look and what to look for, but we must do the finding _for
ourselves;_ therefore, if you have really grasped the principles of the
science, you will frame rules of your own which will give you better
results than any attempt to follow somebody else's method, which was
successful in their hands precisely because it was theirs. Never fear to be
yourself. If Mental Science does not teach you to be yourself it teaches
you nothing. Yourself, more yourself, and yet more yourself is what you
want; only with the knowledge that the true self includes the inner and
higher self which is always in immediate touch with the Great Divine Mind.

As Walt Whitman says:--"You are not all included between your hat and your
boots."

* * * * *

_The growing popularity of the Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science has led
me to add to the present edition three more sections on Body, Soul, and
Spirit, which it is hoped will prove useful by rendering the principles of
the interaction of these three factors somewhat clearer_.

XIV.

THE BODY.

Some students find it difficult to realize that mental action can produce
any real effect upon material substance; but if this is not possible there
is no such thing as Mental Science, the purpose of which is to produce
improved conditions both of body and environment, so that the ultimate
manifestation aimed at is always one of demonstration upon the plane of the
visible and concrete. Therefore to afford conviction of an actual
connection between the visible and the invisible, between the inner and the
outer, is one of the most important points in the course of our studies.

That such a connection must exist is proved by metaphysical argument in
answer to the question, "How did anything ever come into existence at all?"
And the whole creation, ourselves included, stands as evidence to this
great truth. But to many minds merely abstract argument is not completely
convincing, or at any rate it becomes more convincing if it is supported by
something of a more concrete nature; and for such readers I would give a
few hints as to the correspondence between the physical and the mental. The
subject covers a very wide area, and the limited space at my disposal will
only allow me to touch on a few suggestive points, still these may be
sufficient to show that the abstract argument has some corresponding facts
at the back of it.

One of the most convincing proofs I have seen is that afforded by the
"biometre," a little instrument invented by an eminent French scientist,
the late Dr. Hippolyte Baraduc, which shows the action of what he calls the
"vital current." His theory is that this force, whatever its actual nature
may be, is universally present, and operates as a current of physical
vitality perpetually, flowing with more or less energy through every
physical organism, and which can, at any rate to some extent, be controlled
by the power of the human will. The theory in all its minutiae is
exceedingly elaborate, and has been described in detail in Dr. Baraduc's
published works. In a conversation I had with him about a year ago, he told
me he was writing another book which would throw further light on the
subject, but a few months later he passed over before it was presented to
the world. The fact, however, which I wish to put before the reader, is the
ocular demonstration of the connection between mind and matter, which an
experiment with the biometre affords.

The instrument consists of a bell glass, from the inside of which is
suspended a copper needle by a fine silken thread. The glass stands on a
wooden support, below which is a coil of copper wire, which, however, is
not connected with any battery or other apparatus, and merely serves to
condense the current. Below the needle, inside the glass, there is a
circular card divided into degrees to mark the action of the needle. Two of
these instruments are placed side by side, but in no way connected, and the
experimenter then holds out the fingers of both hands to within about an
inch of the glasses. According to the theory, the current enters at the
left hand, circulates through the body, and passes out at the right hand,
that is to say, there is an indrawing at the left and a giving-out at the
right, thus agreeing with Reichenbach's experiments on the polarity of the
human body.

I must confess that, although I had read Dr. Baraduc's book, "Les
Vibrations Humaines," I approached the instrument in a very sceptical frame
of mind; but I was soon convinced of my error. At first, holding a mental
attitude of entire relaxation, I found that the left-hand needle was
attracted through twenty degrees, while the right-hand needle, the one
affected by the out-going current, was repelled through ten degrees. After
allowing the instrument to return to its normal equilibrium I again
approached it with the purpose of seeing whether a change of mental
attitude would in the least modify the flow of current. This time I assumed
the strongest mental attitude I could with the intention of sending out a
flow through the right hand, and the result as compared with the previous
one was remarkable. The left-hand needle was now attracted only through ten
degrees, while the right-hand one was deflected through something over
thirty, thus clearly indicating the influence of the mental faculties in
modifying the action of the current. I may mention that the experiment was
made in the presence of two medical men who noted the movement of the
needles.

I will not here stop to discuss the question of what the actual
constitution of this current of vital energy may be--it is sufficient for
our present purpose that it is there, and the experiment I have described
brings us face to face with the fact of a correspondence between our own
mental attitude and the invisible forces of nature. Even if we say that
this current is some form of electricity, and that the variation of its
action is determined by changes in the polarization of the atoms of the
body, then this change of polarity is the result of mental action; so that
the quickening or retarding of the cosmic current is equally the result of
the mental attitude whether we suppose our mental force to act directly
upon the current itself or indirectly by inducing changes in the molecular
structure of the body. Whichever hypothesis we adopt the conclusion is the
same, namely, that the mind has power to open or close the door to
invisible forces in such a way that the result of the mental action becomes
apparent on the material plane.

Now, investigation shows that the physical body, is a mechanism specially
adapted for the transmutation of the inner or mental power into modes of
external activity. We know from medical science that the whole body is
traversed by a network of nerves which serve as the channels of
communication between the indwelling spiritual ego, which we call mind, and
the functions of the external organism. This nervous system is dual. One
system, known as the Sympathetic, is the channel for all those activities
which are not consciously directed by our volition, such as the operation
of the digestive organs, the repair of the daily wear and tear of the
tissues, and the like. The other system, known as the Voluntary or
Cerebro-spinal system, is the channel through which we receive conscious
perception from the physical senses and exercise control over the movements
of the body. This system has its centre in the brain, while the other has
its centre in a ganglionic mass at the back of the stomach known as the
solar plexus, and sometimes spoken of as the abdominal brain. The cerebro-
spinal system is the channel of our volitional or conscious mental action,
and the sympathetic system is the channel of that mental action which
unconsciously supports the vital functions of the body. Thus the cerebro-
spinal system is the organ of conscious mind and the sympathetic is that of
sub-conscious mind.

But the interaction of conscious and subconscious mind requires a similar
interaction between the corresponding systems of nerves, and one
conspicuous connection by which this is provided is the "vagus" nerve. This
nerve passes out of the cerebral region as a portion of the voluntary
system, and through it we control the vocal organs; then it passes onwards
to the thorax sending out branches to the heart and lungs; and finally,
passing through the diaphragm, it loses the outer coating which
distinguishes the nerves of the voluntary system and becomes identified
with those of the sympathetic system, so forming a connecting link between
the two and making the man physically a single entity.

Similarly different areas of the brain indicate, their connection with the
objective and subjective activities of the mind respectively, and speaking
in a general way we may assign the frontal portion of the brain to the
former and the posterior portion to the latter, while the intermediate
portion partakes of the character of both.

The intuitional faculty has its correspondence in this upper area of the
brain situated between the frontal and posterior portions, and
physiologically speaking, it is here that intuitive ideas find entrance.
These at first are more or less unformed and generalized in character, but
are nevertheless perceived by the conscious mind, otherwise we should not
be aware of them at all. Then the effort of nature is to bring these ideas
into more definite and usable shape, so the conscious mind lays hold of
them and induces a corresponding vibratory current in the voluntary system
of nerves, and this in turn induces a similar current in the involuntary
system, thus handing the idea over to the subjective mind. The vibratory
current which had first descended from the apex of the brain to the frontal
brain and thus through the voluntary system to the solar plexus is now
reversed and ascends from the solar plexus through the sympathetic system
to the posterior brain, this return current indicating the action of the
subjective mind.

If we were to remove the surface portion of the apex of the brain we should
find immediately below it the shining belt of brain substance called the
"corpus callosum." This is the point of union between the subjective and
objective, and as the current returns from the solar plexus to this point
it is restored to the objective portion of the brain in a fresh form which
it has acquired by the silent alchemy of the subjective mind. Thus the
conception which was at first only vaguely recognized is restored to the
objective mind in a definite and workable form, and then the objective
mind, acting through the frontal brain--the area of comparison and
analysis--proceeds to work upon a clearly perceived idea and to bring out
the potentialities that are latent in it.

It must of course be borne in mind that I am here speaking of the mental
ego in that, mode of its existence with which we are most familiar, that is
as clothed in flesh, though there may be much to say as to other modes of
its activity. But for our daily life we have to consider ourselves as we
are in that aspect of life, and from this point of view the physiological
correspondence of the body to the action of the mind is an important item;
and therefore, although we must always remember that the origin of ideas is
purely mental, we must not forget that on the physical plane every mental
action implies a corresponding molecular action in the brain and in the
two-fold nervous system.

If, as the old Elizabethan poet says, "the soul is form, and doth the body
make," then it is clear that the physical organism must be a mechanical
arrangement as specially adapted for the use of the soul's powers as a
steam-engine is for the power of steam; and it is the recognition of this
reciprocity between the two that is the basis of all spiritual or mental
healing, and therefore the study of this mechanical adaptation is an
important branch of Mental Science. Only we must not forget that it is the
effect and not the cause.

At the same time it is important to remember that such a thing as reversal
of the relation between cause and effect is possible, just as the same
apparatus may be made to generate mechanical power by the application of
electricity, or to generate electricity by the application of mechanical
power. And the importance of this principle consists in this. There is
always a tendency for actions which were at first voluntary to become
automatic, that is, to pass from the region of conscious mind into that of
subconscious mind, and to acquire a permanent domicile there. Professor
Elmer Gates, of Washington, has demonstrated this physiologically in his
studies of brain formation. He tells us that every thought produces a
slight molecular change in the substance of the brain, and the repetition
of the same sort of thought causes a repetition of the same molecular
action until at last a veritable channel is formed in the brain substance,
which can only be eradicated by a reverse process of thought. In this way
"grooves of thought" are very literal things, and when once established the
vibrations of the cosmic currents flow automatically through them and thus
react upon the mind by a process the reverse of that by which our voluntary
and intentional in-drawing from the invisible is affected. In this way are
formed what we call "habits," and hence the importance of controlling our
thinking and guarding it against undesirable ideas.

But on the other hand this reactionary process may be used to confirm good
and life-giving modes of thought, so that by a knowledge of its laws we may
enlist even the physical body itself in the building up of that perfectly
whole personality, the attainment of which is the aim and object of our
studies.

XV.

THE SOUL.

Having now obtained a glimpse of the adaptation of the physical organism to
the action of the mind we must next realize that the mind itself is an
organism which is in like manner adapted to the action of a still higher
power, only here the adaptation is one of mental faculty. As with other
invisible forces all we can know of the mind is by observing what it does,
but with this difference, that since we ourselves _are_ this mind, our
observation is an interior observation of states of consciousness. In this
way we recognize certain faculties of our mind, the working order of which
I have considered at page 84; but the point to which I would now draw
attention is that these faculties always work under the influence of
something which stimulates them, and this stimulus may come either from
without through the external senses, or from within by the consciousness of
something not perceptible on the physical plane. Now the recognition of
these interior sources of stimulus to our mental faculties, is an important
branch of Mental Science, because the mental action thus set up works just
as accurately through the physical correspondences as those which start
from the recognition of external facts, and therefore the control and right
direction of these inner perceptions is a matter of the first moment.

The faculties most immediately concerned are the intuition and the
imagination, but it is at first difficult to see how the intuition, which
is entirely spontaneous, can be brought under the control of the will. Of
course, the spontaneousness of the intuition cannot in any way be
interfered with, for if it ceased to act spontaneously it would cease to be
the intuition. Its province is, as it were, to capture ideas from the
infinite and present them to the mind to be dealt with at its discretion.
In our mental constitution the intuition is the point of origination and,
therefore, for it to cease to act spontaneously would be for it to cease to
act at all. But the experience of a long succession of observers shows that
the intuition can be trained so as to acquire increased sensitiveness in
some, particular direction, and the choice of the _general direction_ is
determined by the will of the individual.

It will be found that the intuition works most readily in respect to those
subjects which most habitually occupy our thought; and according to the
physiological correspondences which we have been considering this might be
accounted for on the physical plane by the formation of brain-channels
specially adapted for the induction in the molecular system of vibrations
corresponding to the particular class of ideas in question. But of course
we must remember that the ideas themselves are not caused by the molecular
changes but on the contrary are the cause of them; and it is in this
translation of thought action into physical action that we are brought face
to face with the eternal mystery of the descent of spirit into matter; and
that though we may trace matter through successive degrees of refinement
till it becomes what, in comparison with those denser modes that are most
familiar, we might call a spiritual substance, yet at the end of it it is
not the intelligent thinking principle itself. The criterion is in the word
"vibrations." However delicately etheric the substance its movement
commences by the vibration of its particles, and a vibration is a wave
having a certain length, amplitude, and periodicity, that is to say,
something which can exist only in terms of space and time; and as soon as
we are dealing with anything capable of the conception of measurement we
may be quite certain that we are not dealing with Spirit but only with one
of its vehicles. Therefore although we may push our analysis of matter
further and ever further back--and on this line there is a great deal of
knowledge to be gained--we shall find that the point at which spiritual
power or thought-force is translated into etheric or atomic vibration will
always elude us. Therefore we must not attribute the origination of ideas
to molecular displacement in the brain, though, by the reaction of the
physical upon the mental which I have spoken of above, the formation of
thought-channels in the grey matter of the brain may tend to facilitate the
reception of certain ideas. Some people are actually conscious of the
action of the upper portion of the brain during the influx of an intuition,
the sensation being that of a sort of expansion in that brain area, which
might be compared to the opening of a valve or door; but all attempts to
induce the inflow of intuitive ideas by the physiological expedient of
trying to open this valve by the exercise of the will should be discouraged
as likely to prove injurious to the brain. I believe some Oriental systems
advocate this method, but we may well trust the mind to regulate the action
of its physical channels in a manner suitable to its own requirements,
instead of trying to manipulate the mind by the unnatural forcing of its
mechanical instrument. In all our studies on these lines we must remember
that development is always by perfectly natural growth and is not brought
about by unduly straining any portion of the system.

The fact, however, remains that the intuition works most freely in that
direction in which we most habitually concentrate our thought; and in
practice it will be found that the best way to cultivate the intuition in
any particular direction is to meditate upon the _abstract principles_ of
that particular class of subjects rather than only to consider particular
cases. Perhaps the reason is that particular cases have to do with specific
phenomena, that is with the law working under certain limiting conditions,
whereas the _principles_ of the law are not limited by local conditions,
and so habitual meditation on _them_ sets our intuition free to range in an
infinitude where the conception of antecedent conditions does not limit it.
Anyway, whatever may be the theoretical explanation, you will find that the
clear grasp of abstract principles in any direction has a wonderfully
quickening effect upon the intuition in that particular direction.

The importance of recognizing our power of thus giving direction to the
intuition cannot be exaggerated, for if the mind is attuned to sympathy
with the highest phases of spirit this power opens the door to limitless
possibilities of knowledge. In its highest workings intuition becomes
inspiration, and certain great records of fundamental truths and supreme
mysteries which have come down to us from thousands of generations
bequeathed by deep thinkers of old can only be accounted for on the
supposition that their earnest thought on the Originating Spirit, coupled
with a reverent worship of It, opened the door, through their intuitive
faculty, to the most sublime inspirations regarding the supreme truths of
the universe both with respect to the evolution of the cosmos and to the
evolution of the individual. Among such records explanatory of the supreme
mysteries three stand out pre-eminent, all bearing witness to the same ONE
Truth, and each throwing light upon the other; and these three are the
Bible, the Great Pyramid, and the Pack of Cards--a curious combination some
will think, but I hope in another volume of this series to be able to
justify my present statement. I allude to these three records here because
the unity of principle which they exhibit, notwithstanding their wide
divergence of method, affords a standing proof that the direction taken by
the intuition is largely determined by the will of the individual opening
the mind in that particular direction.

Very closely allied to the intuition is the faculty of imagination. This
does not mean mere fancies, which we dismiss without further consideration,
but our power of forming mental images upon which we dwell. These, as I
have said in the earlier part of this book, form a nucleus which, on its
own plane, calls into action the universal Law of Attraction, thus giving
rise to the principle of Growth. The relation of the intuition to the
imagination is that the intuition grasps an idea from the Great Universal
Mind, in which all things subsist as _potentials_, and presents it to the
imagination in its essence rather than in a definite form, and then our
image-building faculty gives it a clear and definite form which it presents
before the mental vision, and which we then vivify by letting our thought
dwell upon it, thus infusing our own personality into it, and so providing
that personal element through which the specific action of the universal
law relatively to the particular individual always takes place.[1] Whether
our thought shall be allowed thus to dwell upon a particular mental image
depends on our own will, and our exercise of our will depends on our belief
in our power to use it so as to disperse or consolidate a given mental
image; and finally our belief in our power to do this depends on our
recognition of our relation to God, Who is the source of all power; for it
is an invariable truth that our life will take its whole form, tone, and
color from our conception of God, whether that conception be positive or
negative, and the sequence by which it does so is that now given.

In this way, then, our intuition is related to our imagination, and this
relation has its physiological correspondence in the circulus of molecular
vibrations I have described above, which, having its commencement in the
higher or "ideal" portion of the brain flows through the voluntary nervous
system, the physical channel of objective mind, returning through the
sympathetic system, the physical channel of subjective mind, thus
completing the circuit and being then restored to the frontal brain, where
it is consciously modelled into clear-cut forms suited to a specific
purpose.

In all this the power of the will as regulating the action both of the
intuition and the imagination must never be lost sight of, for without such
a central controlling power we should lose all sense of individuality; and
hence the ultimate aim of the evolutionary process is to evolve individual
wills actuated by such beneficence and enlightenment as shall make them
fitting vehicles for the outflowing of the Supreme Spirit, which has
hitherto created cosmically, and can now carry on the creative process to
its highest stages only through conscious union with the individual; for
this is the only possible solution of the great problem, How can the
Universal Mind act in all its fulness upon the plane of the individual and
particular?

This is the ultimate of evolution, and the successful evolution of the
individual depends on his recognizing this ultimate and working towards it;
and therefore this should be the great end of our studies. There is a
correspondence in the constitution of the body to the faculties of the
soul, and there is a similar correspondence in the faculties of the soul to
the power of the All-originating Spirit; and as in all other adaptations of
specific vehicles so also here, we can never correctly understand the
nature of the vehicle and use it rightly until we realize the nature of the
power for the working of which it is specially adapted. Let us, then, in
conclusion briefly consider the nature of that power.

XVI.

THE SPIRIT.

What must the Supreme All-originating Spirit be in itself? That is the
question before us. Let us start with one fact regarding it about which we
cannot have any possible doubt--it is _creative_. If it were not creative
nothing could come into existence; therefore we know that its purpose, or
Law of Tendency, must be to bring individual lives into existence and to
surround them with a suitable environment. Now a power which has this for
its inherent nature must be a kindly power. The Spirit of Life seeking
expression in individual lives can have no other intention towards them
than "that they might have life, and that they might have it more
abundantly." To suppose the opposite would be a contradiction in terms. It
would be to suppose the Eternal Principle of Life acting against itself,
expressing itself as the reverse of what it is, in which case it would not
be expressing itself but expressing its opposite; so that it is impossible
to conceive of the Spirit of Life acting otherwise than to the increase of
life. This is as yet only imperfectly apparent by reason of our imperfect
apprehension of the position, and our consequent want of conscious unity
with the ONE Eternal Life. As our consciousness of unity becomes more
perfect so will the life-givingness of the Spirit become more apparent. But
in the realm of principles the purely Affirmative and Life-giving nature of
the All-originating Spirit is an unavoidable conclusion. Now by what name
can we call such an inherent desire to add to the fulness of any individual
life--that is, to make it stronger, brighter, and happier? If this is not
Love, then I do not know what else it is; and so we are philosophically led
to the conclusion that Love is the prime moving power of the Creating
Spirit.

But expression is impossible without Form. What Form, then, should Love
give to the vehicles of its expression? By the hypothesis of the case it
could not find self-expression in forms that were hateful or repugnant to
it--therefore the only logical correlative of Love is Beauty. Beauty is not
yet universally manifested for the same reason that Life is not, namely,
lack of recognition of its Principle; but, that the principle of Beauty is
inherent in the Eternal Mind is demonstrated by all that is beautiful in
the world in which we live.

These considerations show us that the inherent nature of the Spirit must
consist in the eternal interaction of Love and Beauty as the Active and
Passive polarity of Being. Then this is the Power for the working of which
our soul faculties are specially adapted. And when this purpose of the
adaptation is recognized we begin to get some insight into the way in which
our intuition, imagination, and will should be exercized. By training our
thought to habitually dwell upon this dual-unity of the Originating Forces
of Love and Beauty the intuition is rendered more and more sensitive to
ideas emanating from this supreme source, and the imagining faculty is
trained in the formation of images corresponding to such ideas; while on
the physical side the molecular structure of the brain and body becomes
more and more perfectly adjusted to the generating of vibratory currents
tending to the outward manifestation of the Originating Principle. Thus the
whole man is brought into unison with himself and with the Supreme Source
of Life, so that, in the words of St. Paul, he is being day by day renewed
after the image of Him that created him.

Our more immediately personal recognition of the All-originating Love and
Beauty will thus flow out as peace of mind, health of body, discretion in
the management of our affairs, and power in the carrying out of our
undertakings; and as we advance to a wider conception of the working of the
Spirit of Love and Beauty in its infinite possibilities, so our intuition
will find a wider scope and our field of activity will expand along with
it--in a word we shall discover that our individuality is growing, and that
we are becoming more truly ourselves than we ever were before.

The question of the specific lines on which the individual may be most
perfectly trained into such recognition of his true relation to the
All-embracing Spirit of Life is therefore of supreme importance, but it is
also of such magnitude that even to briefly sketch its broad outlines would
require a volume to itself, and I will therefore not attempt to enter upon
it here, my present purpose being only to offer some hints of the
principles underlying that wonderful three-fold unity of Body, Soul, and
Spirit which we all know ourselves to be.

We are as yet only at the commencement of the path which leads to the
realization of this unity in the full development of all its powers, but
others have trodden the way before us, from whose experiences we may learn;
and not least among these was the illustrious founder of the Most Christian
Fraternity of the Rosicrucians. This master-mind, setting out in his youth
with the intention of going to Jerusalem, changed the order of his journey
and first sojourned for three years in the symbolical city of Damcar, in
the mystical country of Arabia, then for about a year in the mystical
country of Egypt, and then for two years in the mystical country of Fez.
Then, having during these six years learned all that was to be acquired in
those countries, he returned to his native land of Germany, where, on the
basis of the knowledge he had thus gained, he founded the Fraternity R.C.,
for whose instruction he wrote the mystical books M. and T. Then, when he
realized that his work in its present stage was accomplished, he of his own
free will laid aside the physical body, not, it is recorded, by decay, or
disease, or ordinary death, but by the express direction of the Spirit of
Life, summing up all his knowledge in the words,

"Jesus mihi omnia."

And now his followers await the coming of "the Artist Elias," who shall
bring the Magnum Opus to its completion.

"Let him that readeth understand."

FOOTNOTES

Footnote 1: See my "Dore Lectures."

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