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LIBRARY 

UNIVERSITY OF 

' CALIFORNIA ' 

SAN DlEl 

y 



THE HIDDEN POWER 

And Other Papers Upon Mental Science 



BOOKS by JUDGE TROWARD 

BIBLE MYSTERY AND BIBLE 

MEANING 
THE CREATIVE PROCESS IN 

THE INDIVIDUAL 
THE DORE LECTURES 
THE EDINBURGH LECTURES 
THE LAW AND THE WORD 
THE HIDDEN POWER 




Thomas Troward 



THE 

HIDDEN POWER 

And Other Papers Upon Mental Science 
T. TROWARD 

Late Divisional Judges-Punjab. Honorary Member of tkt 
Medico-Legal Society of New York. First Vice- 
President International New Thought Alliance 




NEW YORK 
ROBERT M. McBRIDE & COMPANY 

1925 



Copyright, 1921, by 
S. A. TROWARD 
All rights reserved 



Second Printing 
Third Printing 



Printed in the 
United States of America 



Published, 1921 



PUBLISHER'S NOTE 

The material comprised in this volume has been 
selected from unpublished manuscripts and magazine 
articles by Judge Troward, and "The Hidden Power" 
is, it is believed, the last book which will be published 
under his name. Only an insignificant portion of his 
work has been deemed unworthy of permanent pres- 
ervation. Whenever possible, dates have been affixed 
to these papers. Those published in 1902 appeared 
originally in "EXPRESSION: A Journal of Mind 
and Thought," in London, and to some of these have 
been added notes made later by the author. 

The Publishers wish to acknowledge their indebted- 
ness to Mr. Daniel M. Murphy of New York for his 
services in the selection and arrangement of the 
material. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PACK 

I THE HIDDEN POWER 1 

II THE PERVERSION OF TRUTH 42 

III THE "I AM" 59 

IV AFFIRMATIVE POWER 63 

V SUBMISSION 67 

VI COMPLETENESS 74 

VII THE PRINCIPLE OF GUIDANCE 81 

VIII DESIRE AS THE MOTIVE POWER 85 

IX TOUCHING LIGHTLY 92 

X PRESENT TRUTH 96 

XI YOURSELF 99 

XII RELIGIOUS OPINIONS 105 

XIII A LESSON FROM BROWNING 113 

XIV THE SPIRIT OF OPULENCE 118 

XV BEAUTY 123 

XVI SEPARATION AND UNITY 129 

XVII EXTERNALISATION 141 

XVIII ENTERING INTO THE SPIRIT OF IT ..... 146 
XIX THE BIBLE AND THE NEW THOUGHT 

I. THE SON 153 

II. THE GREAT AFFIRMATION 166 

III. THE FATHER 178 

IV. CONCLUSION 185 

XX JACHIN AND BOAZ .192 

XXI HEPHZIBAH 197 

XXII MIND AND HAND 204 

XXIII THE CENTRAL CONTROL 209 

XXIV WHAT is HIGHER THOUGHT 213 

XXV FRAGMENTS , 215 



THE HIDDEN POWER 
AND OTHER ESSAYS 



THE HIDDEN POWER 

To realise fully how much of our present daily life 
consists in symbols is to find the answer to the old, old 
question, What is Truth? and in the degree in which 
we begin to recognise this we begin to approach Truth. 
The realisation of Truth consists in the ability to trans- 
late symbols, whether natural or conventional, into 
their equivalents; and the root of all the errors of man- 
kind consists in the inability to do this, and in main- 
taining that the symbol has nothing behind it. The 
great duty incumbent on all who have attained to this 
knowledge is to impress upon their fellow men that 
there is an inner side to things, and that until this inner 
side is known, the things themselves are not known. 

There is an inner and an outer side to everything; 
and the quality of the superficial mind which causes it 
to fail in the attainment of Truth is its willingness to 
rest content with the outside only. So long as this is 
the case it is impossible for a man to grasp the import 

I 



2 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

of his own relation to the universal, and it is this rela- 
tion which constitutes all that is signified by the word 
"Truth." So long as a man fixes his attention only 
on the superficial it is impossible for him to make any 
progress in knowledge. He is denying that principle 
of "Growth" which is the root of all life, whether 
spiritual intellectual, or material, for he does not 
stop to reflect that all which he sees as the outer side 
of things can result only from some germinal prin- 
ciple hidden deep in the centre of their being. 

Expansion from the centre by growth according to 
a necessary order of sequence, this is the Law of Life 
of which the whole universe is the outcome, alike in 
the one great solidarity of cosmic being, as in the 
separate individualities of its minutest organisms. 
This great principle is the key to the whole riddle 
of Life, upon whatever plane we contemplate it; and 
without this key the door from the outer to the inner 
side of things can never be opened. It is therefore 
the duty of all to whom this door has, at least in some 
measure, been opened, to endeavour to acquaint others 
with the fact that there is an inner side to things, and 
that life becomes truer and fuller in proportion as we 
penetrate to it and make our estimates of all things 
according to what becomes visible from this interior 
point of view. 

In the widest sense everything is a symbol of that 
which constitutes its inner being, and all Nature is a 
gallery of arcana revealing great truths to those who 



The Hidden Power 3 

can decipher them. But there is a more precise sense 
in which our current life is based upon symbols in 
regard to the most important subjects that can occupy 
our thoughts : the symbols by which we strive to rep- 
resent the nature and being of God, and the manner in 
which the life of man is related to the Divine life. 
The whole character of a man's life results from what 
he really believes on this subject : not his formal state- 
ment of belief in a particular creed, but what he realises 
as the stage which his mind has actually attained in 
regard to it. 

Has a man's mind only reached the point at which 
he thinks it is impossible to know anything about God, 
or to make any use of the knowledge if he had it? 
Then his whole interior world is in the condition of 
confusion, which must necessarily exist where no 
spirit of order has yet begun to move upon the chaos, 
in which are, indeed, the elements of being, but all 
disordered and neutralising one another. Has he ad- 
vanced a step further, and realised that there is a ruling 
and an ordering power, but beyond this is ignorant of 
its nature? Then the unknown stands to him for the 
terrific, and, amid a tumult of fears and distresses 
that deprive him of all strength to advance, he spends 
his life in the endeavour to propitiate this power as 
something naturally adverse to him, instead of know- 
ing that it is the very centre of his own life and being. 

And so on through every degree, from the lowest 
depths of ignorance to the greatest heights of intelli- 



4 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

gence, a man's life must always be the exact reflection 
of that particular stage which he has reached in the 
perception of the divine nature and of his own rela- 
tion to it; and as we approach the full perception of 
Truth, so the life-principle within us expands, the old 
bonds and limitations which had no existence in reality 
fall off from us, and we enter inta regions of light, 
liberty, and power, of which we had previously no 
conception. It is impossible, therefore, to over- 
estimate the importance of being able to realise the 
symbol for a symbol, and being able to penetrate to 
the inner substance which it represents. Life itself 
is to be realised only by the conscious experience of 
its livingness in ourselves, and it is the endeavour to 
translate these experiences into terms which shall sug- 
gest a corresponding idea to others that gives rise to 
all symbolism. 

The nearer those we address have approached to the 
actual experience, the more transparent the symbol 
becomes; and the further they are from such experi- 
ence the thicker is the veil; and our whole progress 
consists in the fuller and fuller translation of the sym- 
bols into clearer and clearer statements of that for 
which they stand. But the first step, without which 
all succeeding ones must remain impossible, is to con- 
vince people that symbols are symbols, and not the 
very Truth itself. And the difficulty consists in this, 
that if the symbolism is in any degree adequate, it 
must, in some measure, represent the form of Truth, 



The Hidden Power 5 

just as the modelling of a drapery suggests the form 
of the figure beneath. They have a certain conscious- 
ness that somehow they are in the presence of Truth ; 
and this leads people to resent any removal of those 
folds of drapery which have hitherto conveyed this 
idea to their minds. 

There is sufficient indication of the inner Truth in 
the outward form to afford an excuse for the timorous, 
and those who have not sufficient mental energy to 
think for themselves, to cry out that finality has already 
been attained, and that any further search into the 
matter must end in the destruction of Truth. But in 
raising such an outcry they betray their ignorance of 
the very nature of Truth, which is that it can never 
be destroyed : the very fact that Truth is Truth makes 
this impossible. And again they exhibit their igno- 
rance of the first principle of Life namely, the Law 
of Growth, which throughout the universe perpetually 
pushes forward into more and more vivid forms of 
expression, having expansion everywhere and finality 
nowhere. 

Such ignorant objections need not, therefore, alarm 
us ; and we should endeavour to show those who make 
them that what they fear is the only natural order of 
the Divine Life, which is "over all, and through all, 
and in all." But we must do this gently, and not by 
forcibly thrusting upon them the object of their terror, 
and so repelling them from all study of the subject. 
We should endeavour gradually to lead them to see 



6 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

that there is something interior to what they have 
hitherto held to be ultimate Truth, and to realise that 
the sensation of emptiness and dissatisfaction, which 
from time to time will persist in making itself felt in 
their hearts, is nothing else than the pressing forward 
of the spirit within to declare that inner side of things 
which alone can satisfactorily account for what we 
observe on the exterior, and without the knowledge 
of which we can never perceive the true nature of 
our inheritance in the Universal Life which is the 
Life Everlasting. 

II 

What, then, is this central principle which is at the 
root of all things? It is Life. But not life as we 
recognise it in particular forms of manifestation; it 
is something more interior and concentrated than that. 
It is that "unity of the spirit" which is unity, simply 
because it has not yet passed into diversity. Perhaps 
this is not an easy idea to grasp, but it is the root of 
all scientific conception of spirit; for without it there 
is no common principle to which we can refer the 
innumerable forms of manifestation that spirit as- 
sumes. 

It is the conception of Life as the sum-total of all 
its undistributed powers, being as yet none of these 
in particular, but all of them in potentiality. This is, 
no doubt, a highly abstract idea, but it is essentially 
that of the centre from which growth takes place by 



The Hidden Power J 

expansion in every direction. This is that last re- 
siduum which defies all our powers of analysis. This 
is truly "the unknowable," not in the sense of the 
unthinkable but of the unanalysable. It is the subject 
of perception, not of knowledge, if by knowledge we 
mean that faculty which estimates the relations be- 
tween things, because here we have passed beyond any 
questions of relations, and are face to face with the 
absolute. 

This innermost of all is absolute Spirit. It is Life 
as yet not differentiated into any specific mode; it is 
the universal Life which pervades all things and is at 
the heart of all appearances. 

To come into the knowledge of this is to come into 
the secret of power, and to enter into the secret place 
of Living Spirit. Is it illogical first to call this the 
unknowable, and then to speak of coming into the 
knowledge of it? Perhaps so; but no less a writer 
than St. Paul has set the example; for does he not 
speak of the final result of all searchings into the 
heights and depths and lengths and breadths of the 
inner side of things as being, to attain the knowledge 
of that Love which passeth knowledge. If he is thus 
boldly illogical in phrase, though not in fact, may we 
not also speak of knowing "the unknowable"? We 
may, for this knowledge is the root of all other 
knowledge. 

The presence of this undifferentiated universal life- 
power is the final axiomatic fact to which all our 



8 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

analysis must ultimately conduct us. On whatever 
plane we make our analysis it must always abut upon 
pure essence, pure energy, pure being; that which 
knows itself and recognises itself, but which cannot 
dissect itself because it is not built up of parts, but 
is ultimately integral: it is pure Unity. But analysis 
which does not lead to synthesis is merely destructive : 
it is the child wantonly pulling the flower to pieces 
and throwing away the fragments; not the botanist, 
also pulling the flower* to pieces, but building up in his 
mind from those carefully studied fragments a vast 
synthesis of the constructive power of Nature, embrac- 
ing the laws of the formation of all flower-forms. 
The value of analysis is to lead us to the original 
starting-point of that which we analyse, and so to 
teach us the laws by which its final form springs from 
this centre. 

Knowing the law of its construction, we furn our 
analysis into a synthesis, and we thus gain a power of 
building up which must always be beyond the reach 
of those who regard "the unknowable" as one with 
"not-being." 

This idea of the unknowable is the root of all 
materialism; and yet no scientific man, however 
materialistic his proclivities, treats the unanalysable 
residuum thus when he meets it in the experiments of 
his laboratory. On the contrary, he makes this final 
unanalysable fact the basis of his synthesis. He finds 
that in the last resort it is energy of some kind, whether 



The Hidden Power 9 

as heat or as motion; but he does not throw up his 
scientific pursuits because he cannot analyse it further. 
He adopts the precisely opposite course, and realises 
that the conservation of energy, its indestructibility, 
and the impossibility of adding to or detracting from 
the sum-total of energy in the world, is the one solid 
and unchanging fact on which alone the edifice of 
physical science can be built up. He bases all his 
knowledge upon his knowledge of "the unknowable." 
And rightly so, for if he could analyse this energy 
into yet further factors, then the same problem of "the 
unknowable" would meet him still. All our progress 
consists in continually pushing the unknowable, in the 
sense of the unanalysable residuum, a step further 
back ; but that there should be no ultimate unanalysable 
residuum anywhere is an inconceivable idea. 

In thus realising the undifferentiated unity of Liv- 
ing Spirit as the central fact of any system, whether 
the system of the entire universe or of a single organ- 
ism, we are therefore following a strictly scientific 
method. We pursue our analysis until it necessarily 
leads us to this final fact, and then we accept this 
fact as the basis of our synthesis. The Science of 
Spirit is thus not one whit less scientific than the 
Science of Matter; and, moreover, it starts from the 
same initial fact, the fact of a living energy which 
defies definition or explanation, wherever we find it; 
but it differs from the science of matter in that it 
contemplates this energy under an aspect of responsive 



io The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

intelligence which does not fall within the scope of 
physical science, as such. The Science of Spirit and 
the Science of Matter are not opposed. They are 
complementaries, and neither is fully comprehensible 
without some knowledge of the other ; and, being really 
but two portions of one whole, they insensibly shade 
off into each other in a border-land where no arbitrary 
line can be drawn between them. Science studied in a 
truly scientific spirit, following out its own deductions 
unflinchingly to their legitimate conclusions, will al- 
ways reveal the twofold aspect of things, the inner and 
the outer; and it is only a truncated and maimed sci- 
ence that refuses to recognise both. 

The study of the material world is not Materialism, 
if it be allowed to progress to its legitimate issue. 
Materialism is that limited view of the universe which 
will not admit the existence of anything but mechanical 
effects of mechanical causes, and a system which rec- 
ognises no higher power than the physical forces of 
nature must logically result in having no higher ulti- 
mate appeal than to physical force or to fraud as its 
alternative. I speak, of course, of the tendency of 
the system, not of the morality of individuals, who 
are often very far in advance of the systems they 
profess. But as we would avoid the propagation of a 
mode of thought whose effects history shows only 
too plainly, whether in the Italy of the Borgias, or the 
France of the First Revolution, or the Commune of 
the Franco-Prussian War, we should set ourselves to 



The Hidden Power n 

study that inner and spiritual aspect of things which 
is the basis of a system whose logical results are truth 
and love instead of perfidy and violence. 

Some of us, doubtless, have often wondered why 
the Heavenly Jerusalem is described in the Book of 
Revelations as a cube ; "the length and the breadth and 
the height of it are equal." This is because the cube 
is the figure of perfect stability, and thus represents 
Truth, which can never be overthrown. Turn it on 
what side you will, it still remains the perfect cube, 
always standing upright; you cannot upset it. This 
figure, then, represents the manifestation in concrete 
solidity of that central life-giving energy, which is not 
itself any one plane but generates all planes, the planes 
of the above and of the below and of all four sides. 
But it is at the same time a city, a place of habitation ; 
and this is because that which is "the within" is Living 
Spirit, which has its dwelling there. 

As one plane of the cube implies all the other planes 
and also "the within," so any plane of manifestation 
implies the others and also that "within" which gen- 
erates them all. Now, if we would make any progress 
in the spiritual side of science and every department 
of science has its spiritual side we must always keep 
our minds fixed upon this "innermost within" which 
contains the potential of all outward manifestation, the 
"fourth .dimension" which generates the cube; and our 
common forms of speech show how intuitively we do 
this. We speak of the spirit in which an act is done, 



12 T\ie Hidden Power and Other Essays 

of entering into the spirit of a game, of the spirit of 
the time, and so on. Everywhere our intuition points 
out the spirit as the true essence of things; and it is 
only when we commence arguing about them from 
without, instead of from within, that our true percep- 
tion of their nature is lost. 

The scientific study of spirit consists in following 
up intelligently and according to definite method the 
same principle that now only flashes upon us at inter- 
vals fitfully and vaguely. When we once realise that 
this universal and unlimited power of spirit is at the 
root of all things and of ourselves also, then we have 
obtained the key to the whole position; and, however 
far we may carry our studies in spiritual science, we 
shall nowhere find anything else but particular devel- 
opments of this one universal principle. "The King- 
dom of Heaven is within you." 



ill 



I have laid stress on the fact that the "innermost 
within" of all things is living Spirit, and that the 
Science of Spirit is distinguished from the Science of 
Matter in that it contemplates Energy under an aspect 
of responsive intelligence which does not fall within 
the scope of physical science, as such. These are the 
two great points to lay hold of if we would retain a 
clear idea of Spiritual Science, and not be misled 
by arguments drawn from the physical side of Science 



The Hidden Power 13 

only the livingness of the originating principle which 
is at the heart of all things, and its intelligent and 
responsive nature. Its livingness is patent to our 
observation, at any rate from the point where we 
recognise it in the vegetable kingdom; but its intelli- 
gence and responsiveness are not, perhaps, at once 
so obvious. Nevertheless, a little thought will soon 
lead us to recognise this also. 

No one can deny that there is an. intelligent order 
throughout all nature, for it requires the highest in- 
telligence of our most highly-trained minds to follow 
the steps of this universal intelligence which is always 
in advance of them. The more deeply we investigate 
the world we live in, the more clear it must become to 
us that all our science is the translation into words 
or numerical symbols of that order which already 
exists. If the clear statement of this existing order 
is the highest that the human intellect can reach, this 
surely argues a corresponding intelligence in the power 
which gives rise to this great sequence of order and 
interrelation, so as to constitute one harmonious whole.' 
Now, unless we fall back on the idea of a workman 
working upon material external to himself in which 
case we have to explain the phenomenon of the work- 
man the only conception we can form of this power 
is that it is the Living Spirit inherent in the heart of 
every atom, giving it outward form and definition, and 
becoming in it those intrinsic polarities which consti- 
tute its characteristic nature. 



14 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

There is no random work here. Every attraction 
and repulsion acts with its proper force collecting the 
atoms into molecules, the molecules into tissues, the 
tissues into organs, and the organs into individuals. 
At each stage of the progress we get the sum of the 
intelligent forces which operate in the constituent parts, 
plus a higher degree of intelligence which we may 
regard as the collective intelligence superior to that 
of the mere sum-total of the parts, something which 
belongs to the individual as a whole, and not to the 
parts as such. These are facts which can be amply 
proved from physical science; and they also supply a 
great law in spiritual science, which is that in any 
collective body the intelligence of the whole is superior 
to that of the sum of the parts. 

Spirit is at the root of all things, and thoughtful 
observation shows that its operation is guided by un- 
failing intelligence which adapts means to ends, and 
harmonises the entire universe of manifested being in 
those wonderful ways which physical science renders 
clearer every day; and this intelligence must be in the 
generating spirit itself, because there is no other source 
from which it could proceed. On these grounds, there- 
fore, we may distinctly affirm that Spirit is intelligent, 
and that whatever it does is done by the intelligent 
adaptation of means to ends. 

But Spirit is also responsive. And here we have 
to fall back upon the law above stated, that the mere 
sum of the intelligence of Spirit in lower degrees of 



The Hidden Power i$ 

manifestation is not equal to the intelligence of the 
complex whole, as a whole. This is a radical law 
which we cannot impress upon our minds too deeply. 
The degree of spiritual intelligence is marked by the 
wholeness of the organism through which it finds 
expression; and therefore the more highly organised 
being has a degree of spirit which is superior to, and 
consequently capable of exercising control over, all 
lower or less fully-integrated degrees of spirit ; and this 
being so, we can now begin to see why the spirit that 
is the "innermost within" of all things is responsive 
as well as intelligent. 

Being intelligent, it knows, and spirit being ulti- 
mately all there is, that which it knows is itself. Hence 
it is that power which recognises itself; and accord- 
ingly the lower powers of it recognise its higher pow- 
ers, and by the law of attraction they are bound to 
respond to the higher degrees of themselves. On this 
general principle, therefore, spirit, under whatever 
exterior revealed, is necessarily intelligent and respon- 
sive. But intelligence and responsiveness imply per- 
sonality; and we may therefore now advance a step 
further and argue that all spirit contains the elements 
of personality, even though, in any particular instance, 
it may not yet be expressed as that individual person- 
ality which we find in ourselves. 

In short, spirit is always personal in its nature, 
even when it has not yet attained to that degree 
of synthesis which is sufficient to render it personal 



16 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

in manifestation. In ourselves the synthesis has pro- 
ceeded far enough to reach that degree, and there- 
fore we recognise ourselves as the manifestation 
of personality. The human kingdom is the kingdom 
of the manifestation of that personality, which is 
of the essence of spiritual substance on every plane. 
Or, to put the whole argument in a simpler form, we 
may say that our own personality must necessarily 
have had its origin in that which is personal, on the 
principle that you cannot get more out of a bag than 
it contains. 

In ourselves, therefore, we find that more perfect 
synthesis of the spirit into manifested personality 
which is wanting in the lower kingdoms of nature, 
and, accordingly, since spirit is necessarily that which 
knows itself and must, therefore, recognise its own 
degrees in its various modes, the spirit in all degrees 
below that of human personality is bound to respond 
to itself in that superior degree which constitutes 
human individuality ; and this is the basis of the power 
of human thought to externalise itself in infinite forms 
of its own ordering. 

But if the subordination of the lower degrees of 
spirit to the higher is one of the fundamental laws 
which lie at the bottom of the creative power of 
thought, there is another equally fundamental law 
which places a salutary restraint upon the abuse of 
that power. It is the law that we can command the 
powers of the universal for our own purposes only 



The Hidden Power 17 

in proportion as we first realise and obey their generic 
character. We can employ water for any purpose 
which does not require it to run up-hill, and we can 
utilise electricity for any purpose that does not re- 
quire it to pass from a lower to a higher potential. 

So with that universal power which we call the 
Spirit. It has an inherent generic character with which 
we must comply if we would employ it for our specific 
purposes, and this character is summed up in the one 
word "goodness." The Spirit is Life, hence its 
generic tendency must always be life ward or to the 
increase of the livingness of every individual. And 
since it is universal it can have no particular interests 
to serve, and therefore its action must always be 
equally for the benefit of all. This is the generic 
character of spirit; and just as water, or electricity, or 
any other of the physical forces of the universe, will 
not work contrary to their generic character, so Spirit 
will not work contrary to its generic character. 

The inference is obvious. If we would use Spirit 
we must follow the law of the Spirit which is "Good- 
ness." This is the only limitation. If our originating 
intention is good, we may employ the spiritual power 
for what purpose we will. And how is "goodness" to 
be defined ? Simply by the child's definition that what 
is bad is not good, and that what is good is not bad; 
we all know the difference between bad and good 
instinctively. If we will conform to this principle 
of obedience* ta the generic law of the Spirit, all 



1 8 The Hiddevt Power and Other Essays 

that remains is for us to study the law of the propor- 
tion which exists between the more and less fully 
integrated modes of Spirit, and then bring our knowl- 
edge to bear with determination. 



rv 



The law of spirit, to which our investigation has 
now led us, is of the very widest scope. We have 
followed it up from the conception of the intelligence 
of spirit, subsisting in the initial atoms, to the aggre- 
gation of this- intelligence as the conscious identity 
of the individual. But there is no reason why this 
law should Cease to operate at this point, or at any 
print short of the whole. The test of the soundness 
of any principle is that it can operate as effectively 
on a large scale as on a small one, that though the 
nature of its field is determined by the nature of the 
principle itself, the extent of its field is unlimited. 
If, therefore, we continue to follow up the law we 
have been considering, it leads us to the conception 
of a unit of intelligence as far superior to that of 
the individual man as the unity of his individual 
intelligence is superior to that of the intelligence of 
any single atom of his body; and thus we may con- 
ceive of a collective individuality representing the 
spiritual character of any aggregate of men, the in- 
habitants of a city, a district, a country, or of the 
entire world. 



The Hidden Power 19 

Nor need the process stop here. On the same prin- 
ciple there would be a superior collective individuality 
for the humanity of the entire solar system, and finally 
we reach the conception of a supreme intelligence 
bringing together in itself the collective individualities 
of all the systems in the universe. This is by no 
means a merely fanciful notion. We find it as the law 
by which our own conscious individuality is consti- 
tuted; and we find the analogous principle working 
universally on the physical plane. It is known to phys- 
ical science as the "law of inverse squares," by which 
the forces of reciprocal attraction or repulsion, as the 
case may be, are not merely equivalent to the sum of 
the forces emitted by the two bodies concerned, but 
are equivalent to these two- forces multiplied together 
and divided by the square of the distance between 
them, so that the resultant power* continually rises in a 
rapidly-increasing ratio as- the* two* reciprocally exciting 
bodies approach one another. 

Since this law is so universal throughout physical 
nature, the doctrine of continuity affords every ground 
for supposing that its analogue holds good in respect 
of spiritual nature. We must never lose sight of the 
old-world saying that "a truth on one plane is a truth 
on all." If a principle exists at all it exists universally. 
We must not allow ourselves to be misled by appear- 
ances; we must remember that the perceptible results 
of the working of any principle consist of two fac- 
tors the principle itself or the active factor, and the 



2O The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

subject-matter on which it acts tfr the passive factor; 
and that while the former is invariable, the latter is 
variable, and that the operation of the same invariable 
upon different variables must necessarily produce a 
variety of results. This at once becomes evident if we 
state it mathematically; for example, a, b or c, multi- 
plied by x give respectively the results ax, bx, ex, which 
differ materially from one another, though the factor 
x always remains the same. 

This law of the generation of power by attraction 
applies on the spiritual as well as on the physical plane, 
and acts with the same mathematical precision on both ; 
and thus the human individuality consists, not in the 
mere aggregation of its parts, whether spiritual or 
corporeal, but in the unity of power resulting from 
the intimate association into which those parts enter 
with one another, which unity, according to this law 
of the generation of power by attraction, is infinitely 
superior, both in intelligence and power, to any less 
fully integrated mode of spirit. Thus a natural prin- 
ciple, common alike to physical and spiritual law, fully 
accounts for all claims that have ever been made for 
the creative power of our thought over all things Jhat 
come within the circle of our own particular life. 
Thus it is that each man is the centre of his own uni- 
verse, and has the power, by directing his own thought, 
to control all things therein. 

But, as I have said above, there is no reason why 
this principle should not be recognised as expanding 



The Hidden Power 21 

from the individual until it embraces the entire uni- 
verse. Each man, as the centre of his own world, is 
himself centred in a higher system in which he is only 
one of innumerable similar atoms, and this system 
again in a higher until we reach the supreme centre 
of all things; intelligence and power increase from 
centre to centre in a ratio rising with inconceivable 
rapidity, according to the law we are now investigat- 
ing, until they culminate in illimitable intelligence and 
power commensurate with All-Being. 

Naw we have seen that the relation of man to the 
lower modes of spirit is that of superiority and com- 
mand, but what is his relation to these higher modes? 
In any harmoniously constituted system the relation of 
the part to the whole never interferes with the free 
operation of the part in the performance of its own 
functions ; but, on the contrary, it is precisely by means 
of this relation that each part is maintained in a posi- 
tion to discharge all functions for which it is fitted. 
Thus, then, the subordination of the individual man 
to the supreme mind, so far from curtailing his liberty, 
is the very condition which makes liberty possible, or 
even life itself. The generic movement of the whole 
necessarily carries the part along with it; and so long 
as 1 the part allows itself thus to be carried onwards 
there will be no hindrance to its free working in any 
direction for which it is fitted by its own individuality. 
This truth was set forth in the old Hindu religion as 
the Car oi Jaggarnath an ideal car only, which later 



,22 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

ages degraded into a terribly material symbol. "Jag- 
garnath" means "Lord of the Universe," and thus sig- 
nifies the Universal Mind. This, by the law of Being, 
must always move forward regardless of any attempts 
of individuals to restrain it. Those who mount upon 
its car move onward with it to endlessly advancing 
evolution, while those who seek to oppose it must be 
crushed beneath its wheels, for it is no respecter of 
persons. 

If, therefore, we would employ the universal law 
of spirit to control our own little individual worlds, 
we must also recognise it in respect to the supreme 
centre round which we ourselves revolve. But not in 
the old way of supposing that this centre is a capricious 
Individuality external to ourselves, which can be pro- 
pitiated or cajoled into giving the good which he is 
not good enough to give of his own proper motion. 
So long as we retain this infantile idea we have not 
come into the liberty which results from the knowl- 
edge of the certainty of Law. Supreme Mind is 
Supreme Law, and can be calculated upon with the 
same accuracy as when manifested in any of the par- 
ticular laws of the physical world; and the result of 
studying, understanding and obeying this Supreme 
Law is that we thereby acquire the power to use it. 
Nor need we fear it with the old fear which comes 
from ignorance, for we can rely with confidence upon 
the proposition that the whole can have no interest 
adverse to the parts of which it is composed ; and con- 



The Hidden Power 23 

versely that the part can have no interest adverse to 
the whole. 

Our ignorance of our relation to the whole may 
make us appear to have separate interests, but a truer 
knowledge must always show such an idea to be mis- 
taken. For this reason, therefore, the same responsive- 
ness of spirit which manifests itself as obedience to 
our wishes, when we look to those degrees of spirit 
which are lower than her own individuality, must man- 
ifest itself as a necessary inflowing of intelligence and 
power when we look to the infinity of spirit, of which 
our individuality is a singular expression, because in 
so looking upwards we are looking for the higher 
degrees of ourself. 

The increased vitality of the parts means the in- 
creased vitality of the whole, and since it is impossible 
to conceive of spirit otherwise than as a continually 
expanding principle of Life, the demand for such in- 
creased vitality must, by the inherent nature of spirit, 
be met by a corresponding supply of continually grow- 
ing intelligence and power. Thus, by a natural law, 
the demand creates the supply, and this supply may 
be freely applied to any and every subject-matter that 
commends itself to us. There is no limit to the supply 
of this energy other than what we ourselves put to it 
by our thought ; nor is there any limit to the purposes 
we may make it serve other than the one grand Law 
of Order, which says that good things used for wrong 
purposes become evil. The consideration of the intelli- 



24 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

gent and responsive nature of spirit shows that there 
can be no limitations but these. The one is a limitation 
inherent in spirit itself, and the other is a limitation 
which has- no- root except in our own ignorance. 

It is true that to maintain our healthy action within 
the circle of our own individual world we must con- 
tinually move forward with the movement of the larger 
whole of which we form a part. Bujt this does not 
imply any restriction of our liberty to make the fullest 
use of our lives in accordance with those universal 
principles of life upon which they are founded; for 
there is not one law for the part and another for the 
whole, but the same law of Being permeates both alike. 
In proportion, therefore, as we realise the true law of 
our own individuality we shall find that it is one with 
the law of progress for the race. The collective indi- 
viduality of mankind is only the reproduction on a 
larger scale of the personal individuality; and what- 
ever action truly develops the inherent powers of the 
individual must necessarily be in line with that for- 
ward march of the universal mind which is the evolu- 
tion of humanity as a whole. 

Selfishness is a narrow view of our own nature 
which loses sight of our place in relation to the whole, 
not perceiving that it is from this very relation that 
our life is drawn. It is ignorance of our own possi~ 
bilities and consequent limitation of our own powers. 
If, therefore, the evidence of harmonious correlation 
throughout the physical world leads irresistibly to the 



The Hidden Power 25 

inference of intelligent spirit as the innermost within 
of all things, we must recognise ourselves also as 
individual manifestations of the same spirit which ex- 
presses itself throughout the universe as that power 
of intelligent responsiveness which is Love. 



Thus we find ourselves to be a necessary and inte-. 
gral part of the Infinite Harmony of All-Being; not 
merely recognising this great truth as a vague intuition, 
but as the logical and unavoidable result of the uni- 
versal Life-principle which permeates all Nature. We 
find our intuition was true because we have discovered 
the law which gave rise to it; and now intuition and 
investigation both unite in telling us of our own indi- 
vidual place in the great scheme of things. Even the 
most advanced among us have, as yet, little more than 
the faintest adumbration of what this place is. It is 
the place of power. Towards those higher modes of 
spirit which we speak of as "the universal," the law 
of man's inmost nature makes him as a lens, draw- 
ing into the focus of his own individuality all that he 
will of light and power in streams of inexhaustible 
supply; and towards the lower modes of spirit, which 
form for each one the sphere of his own particular 
world, man thus becomes the directive centre of energy 
and order. 

Can we conceive of any position containing greater 



26 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

possibilities than these ? The circle of this vital influ- 
ence may expand as the individual grows into the 
wider contemplation of his unity with Infinite Being; 
but any more comprehensive law of relationship it 
would be impossible to formulate. Emerson has 
rightly said that a little algebra will often do far more 
towards clearing our ideas than a large amount of 
poetic simile. Algebraically it is a self-evident propo- 
sition that any difference between various powers of x 
disappears when they are compared with x multiplied 
into itself to infinity, because there can be no ratio be- 
tween any determinate power, however high, and the 
infinite; and thus the relation between the individual 
and All-Being must always remain the same. 1 

But this in no way interferes with the law of growth, 
by which the individual rises to higher and higher 
powers of his own individuality. The unchangeable- 
ness of the relation between all determinate powers 
of x and infinity does not affect the relations of the 
different powers of x between themselves; but rather 
the fact that the multiplication of x into itself to in- 
finity is mentally conceivable is the very proof that 
there is no limit to the extent to which it is possible 
to raise x in its determinate powers. 

I trust unmathematical readers will pardon my using 
this method of statement for the benefit of others to 
whom it will carry conviction. A relation once clearly 
grasped in its mathematical aspect becomes thence- 



The Hidden Power 2? 

forth one of the unalterable truths of the universe, no 
longer a thing to be argued about, but an axiom which 
may be assumed as the foundation on which to build 
up the edifice of further knowledge. But, laying aside 
mathematical formulae, we may say that because the 
Infinite is infinite there can be no limit to the extent 
to which the vital principle of growth may draw upon 
it, and therefore there is no limit to the expansion of 
the individual's powers. Because we are what we are, 
we may become what we will. 

The Kabbalists tell us of "the lost word," the word 
of power which mankind has lost. To him who dis- 
covers this word all things are possible. Is this mirifk 
word really lost? Yes, and No. It is the open secret 
of the universe, and the Bible gives us the key to it. 
It tells us, "The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth 
and in thy heart." It is the most familiar of all words, 
the word which in our heart we realise as the centre 
of our conscious being, and which is in our mouth a 
hundred times a day. It is the word "I AM." Be- 
cause I am what I am, I may be what I will to be. My 
individuality is one of the modes in which the Infinite 
expresses itself, and therefore I am myself that very 
power which I find to be the innermost within of all 
things. 

To me, thus realising the great unity of all Spirit, 
the infinite is not the indefinite, for I see it to be the 
infinite of Myself. It is the very same I AM that I 
am; and this not by any act of uncertain favour, but 



28 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

by the law of polarity which is the basis of all Nature. 
The law of polarity is that law according to which 
everything attains completion by manifesting itself in 
the opposite direction to that from which it started. 
It is the simple law by which there can be no inside 
without an outside, nor one end of a stick without an 
opposite end. 

Life is motion, and all motion is the appearance of 
energy at another point, and, where any work has 
been done, under another form than that in which it 
originated; but wherever it reappears, and in what- 
ever new form, the vivifying energy is still the same. 
This is nothing else than the scientific doctrine of the 
conservation of energy, and it is upon this well- 
recognised principle that our perception of ourselves 
as integral portions of the great universal power is 
based. 

We do well to pay heed to the sayings of the great 
teachers who have taught that all power is in the "I 
AM," and to accept this teaching by faith in their bare 
authority rather than not accept it at all ; but the more 
excellent way is to know why they taught thus, and to 
realise for ourselves this first great law which all the 
master-minds have realised throughout the ages. It is 
indeed true that the "lost word" is the one most famil- 
iar to us, ever in our hearts and on our lips. We have 
lost, not the word, but the realisation of its power. 
And as the infinite depths of meaning which the words 
I AM carry with them open out to us, we begin to 



Tlie Hidden Power 29 

realise the stupendous truth that we are ourselves the 
very power which we seek. 

It is the polarisation of Spirit from the universal 
into the particular, carrying with it all its inherent 
powers, just as the smallest flame has all the qualities 
of fire. The I AM in the individual is none other than 
the I AM in the universal. It is the same Power work- 
ing in the smaller sphere of which the individual is the 
centre. This is the great truth which the ancients set 
forth under the figure of the Macrocosm and the 
Microcosm, the lesser I AM reproducing the precise 
image of the greater, and of which the Bible tells us 
when it speaks erf man as the image of God. 

Now the immense practical importance of this prin- 
ciple is that it affords- the key to the great law that 
"as a man thinks so he is." We are often asked why 
this should be, and the answer may be stated as fol- 
lows: We know by personal experience that we 
realise our own livingness in two ways, by our power 
to act and our susceptibility to feel ; and when we con- 
sider Spirit in the absolute we can only conceive of it 
as these two modes of livingness carried to infinity. 
This, therefore, means infinite susceptibility. There 
can be no question as to the degree of sensitiveness, for 
Spirit is sensitiveness, and is thus infinitely plastic to 
the slightest touch that is brought to bear upon it ; and 
hence every thought we formulate sends its vibrating 
currents out into the infinite of Spirit, producing there 
currents of like quality but of far vaster power. 



go The Hidden Power and/ Other Essays 

But Spirit in the Infinite is the Creative Power of 
the universe, and the impact of our thought upon it 
thus sets in motion a veritable creative forte. And if 
this lavr holds good of one thought it holds good of all. 
and hence we are continually creating for ourselves a 
world of surroundings which accurately reproduces the 
complexion of our own thoughts. Persistent thoughts 
will naturally produce a greater external effect than 
casual ones not centred upon any particular object. 
Scattered thoughts which recognise no principle of 
unity will fail to reproduce any principle of unity. 
The thought that we are weak and have no power over 
circumstances results in inability to control circum- 
stances, and the thought of power produces power. 

At every moment we are dealing with an infinitely 
sensitive medium which stirs creative energies that 
give form to the slightest of our thought-vibrations. 
This power is inherent in us because of our spiritual 
nature, and we cannot divest ourselves of it. It is 
our truly tremendous heritage because it is a power 
which, if not intelligently brought into lines of orderly 
activity, will spend its uncontrolled forces in devastat- 
ing energy. If it is not used to build up, it will destroy. 
And there is nothing exceptional in this: it is merely 
the reappearance on the plane of the universal and 
undifferentiated of the same principle that pervades 
all the forces of Nature. Which of these is not de- 
structive unless drawn off into some definite direction ? 
Accumulated steam, accumulated electricity, accumu- 



The Hidden Power 31 

lated water, will at length burst forth, carrying destruc- 
tion all around ; but, drawn off through suitable chan- 
nels, they become sources of constructive power, in- 
exhaustible as Nature itself. 

And here let me pause to draw attention to this idea 
of accumulation. The greater the accumulation of 
energy, the greater the danger if it be not directed into 
a proper order, and the greater the power if it be. 
Fortunately for mankind the physical forces, such as 
electricity, do not usually subsist in a highly concen- 
trated form. Occasionally circumstances concur to 
produce such concentration, but as a rule the elements 
of power are more or less equally dispersed. Similarly, 
for the mass of mankind, this spiritual power has not 
yet reached a very high degree of concentration. 
Every mind, it is true, must be in some measure a 
centre of concentration, for otherwise it would have no 
conscious individuality; but the power of the indi- 
vidualised mind rapidly rises as it recognises its unity 
with the Infinite life, and its thought-currents, 
whether well or ill directed, then assume a propor- 
tionately great significance. 

Hence the ill effects of wrongly directed thought 
are in some degree mitigated in the great mass of man- 
kind, and many causes are in operation to give a right 
direction to their thoughts, though the thinkers them- 
selves are ignorant of what thought-power is. To 
give a right direction to the thoughts of ignorant 
thinkers is the purpose of much religious teaching, 



32 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

which these uninstructed ones must accept by faith 
in bare authority because they are unable to realise 
its true import. But notwithstanding the aids thus 
afforded to mankind, the general stream of unregu- 
lated thought cannot but have an adverse tendency, 
and hence the great object to which the instructed 
mind directs its power is to free itself from the en- 
tanglements of disordered thought, and to help others 
to do the same. To escape from this entanglement 
is to attain perfect Liberty, which is perfect Power. 



VI 



The entanglement from which we need to escape has 
its origin in the very same principle which gives rise 
to liberty and power. It is the same principle applied 
under inverted conditions. And here I would draw 
particular attention to the law that any sequence fol- 
lowed out in an inverted order must produce an in- 
verted result, for this goes a long way to explain 
many of the problems of life. The physical world 
affords endless examples of the working of "inver- 
sion." In the dynamo the sequence commences with 
mechanical force which is ultimately transformed into 
the subtler power of electricity; but invert this order, 
commence by generating electricity, and it becomes con- 
verted into mechanical force, as in the motor. In the 
one order the rotation of a wheel produces electricity, 
and in the opposite order electricity produces the 



The Hidden Power 33 

rotation of a wheel. Or to exhibit the same principle 
in the simplest arithmetical form, if icH-2=5 then 
icK~5=2. "Inversion" is a factor of the greatest mag- 
nitude and has to be reckoned with; but I must con- 
tent myself here with only indicating the general prin- 
ciple that the same power is capable of producing 
diametrically opposite effects if it be applied under 
opposite conditions, a truth which the so-called "ma- 
gicians" of the middle ages expressed by two triangles, 
placed inversely to one another. We are apt to fall 
into the mistake of supposing that results of opposite 
character require powers of opposite character to 
produce them, and our conceptions of things in gen- 
eral become much simplified when we recognise that 
this is not the case, hut that the same power will pro- 
duce opposite results as it starts from opposite poles. 

Accordingly the inverted application of the same 
principle which gives rise to liberty and power con- 
stitutes the entanglement from which we need ta be* 
delivered before power and liberty can be attained, 
and this principle is expressed in the law that "as a 
man thinks so he is." This is the basic law of the 
human mind. It is Descarte's "cogito, ergo sum." If 
we trace consciousness to its seat we find that it is 
purely subjective. Our external senses would cease 
to exist were it not for the subjective consciousness 
which perceives what they communicate to" it. 

The idea conveyed to the subjective consciousness 
may be false, but until some truer idea is more* forcibly 



34 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

impressed in its stead it remains a substantial reality 
to the mind which gives it objective existence. I have 
seen a man speak to the stump of a tree which in the 
moonlight looked like a person standing in a garden, 
and repeatedly ask its name and what it wanted; and 
so far as the speaker's conception was concerned the 
garden contained a living man who refused to answer. 
Thus every mind lives in a world to which its own 
perceptions give objective reality. Its perceptions may 
be erroneous, but they nevertheless constitute the very 
reality of life for the mind that gives form to them. 
No other life than the life we lead in our own mind 
is possible; and hence the advance of the whole race 
depends on substituting the ideas of good, of liberty, 
and of order for their opposites. And this can be 
done only by giving some sufficient reason for accept- 
ing the new idea in place of the old. For each one 
of us our beliefs constitute our facts, and these be- 
liefs can be changed only by discovering some ground 
for a different belief. 

This is briefly the rationale of the maxim that "as 
a man thinks so he is" ; and from the working of this 
principle all the issues of life proceed. Now man's 
first perception of the law of cause and effect in rela- 
tion to his own conduct is that the result always par- 
takes of the quality of the cause; and since his argu- 
ment is drawn from external observation only, he 
regards external acts as the only causes he can effec- 
tively set in operation. Hence when he attains suffi- 



The Hidden Power 35 

cient moral enlightenment to realise that many of his 
acts have been such as to merit retribution he fears 
retribution as their proper result. Then by reason of 
the law that "thoughts are things," the evils which he 
fears take form and plunge him into adverse circum- 
stances, which again prompt him into further wrong 
acts, and from these come a fresh crop of fears which 
in their turn become externalised into fresh evils, and 
thus arises a circulus from which there is no escape 
so long as the man recognises nothing but his external 
acts as a causative power in the world of his surround- 
ings. 

This is the Law of Works, the Circle of Karma, 
$he Wheel of Fate, from which there appears to be no 
escape, because the complete fulfilment of the law of 
our moral nature to-day is only sufficient for to-day 
and leaves no surplus to compensate the failure of 
yesterday. This is the necessary law of things as they 
appear from external observation only; and, so long 
as this conception remains, the law of each man's sub- 
jective consciousness makes it a reality for him. What 
is needed, therefore, is to establish the conception that 
external acts are NOT the only causative power, but 
that there is another law of causation, namely, that 
of pufe Thought. This is the Law of Faith, the Law 
of Liberty; for it introduces- us to a power which is 
able to inaugurate a new sequence of causation not 
related to any past actions. 

But this change of mental attitude cannot be brought 



36 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

about till we have laid hold of some fact which is suffi- 
cient to afford a reason for the change. We require 
some solid ground for* our belief in this higher law. 
Ultimately we find this ground in the great Truth of 
the eternal relation between spirit in the universal and 
in the particular. When we realise that substantially 
there is nothing else but spirit, and that we ourselves 
are reproductions in individuality of the Intelligence 
and Love which rule the universe, we have reached the 
firm standing ground where we find that we can send 
forth our Thought to produce any effect we will. We 
have passed beyond the idea of two opposites requir- 
ing reconciliation, into that of a duality in which there 
is no other opposition than that of the inner and the 
outer of the same unity, the polarity which is inherent 
in all Being, and we then realise that in virtue of this 
unity our Thought is possessed of illimitable creative 
power, and that it is free to range where it will, and 
is by no means bound down to accept as inevitaHe 
the consequences which, if unchecked by renovated 
thought, would flow from our past actions. 

In its own independent creative power the mind 
has found the way out of the fatal circle in which its 
previous ignorance of the highest law had imprisoned 
it. The Unity of the Spirit is found to result in per- 
fect Liberty; the old sequence of Karma has been cut 
off, and a new and higher order has been introduced. 
In the old order the line of thought received its quality 
from the quality of the actions, and since they always 



Hidden Power 37 

fell short of perfection, the development of a higher 
thought-power from this root was impossible. This 
is the order in which everything is seen from without. 
It is an inverted order. But in the true order every- 
thing is seen from within. 

It is the thought which determines the quality of the 
action, and not vice versa, and since thought is free, 
it is at liberty to direct itself to the highest principles, 
which thus spontaneously reproduce themselves in the 
outward acts, so that both thoughts and actions are 
brought into harmony with the great eternal laws and 
become one in purpose with the Universal Mind. The 
man realises that he is no longer bound by the conse- 
quences of his former deeds, done in the time of his 
ignorance, in fact, that he never was bound by them 
except so far as he himself gave them this power by 
false conceptions of the truth; and thus recognising 
himself for what he really is the expression of the 
Infinite Spirit in individual personality he finds that 
he is free, that he is a "partaker, of Divine nature," 
not losing his identity, but becoming more and more 
fully himself with an ever-expanding perfection, fol- 
lowing out a line of evolution whose possibilities are 
inexhaustible. 

But there is not in all men this knowledge. For 
the most part they still look upon God as an individual 
Being external to themselves, and what the more in- 
structed man sees to be unity of mind and identity of 
nature appear to the less advanced to be an external 

' 1* 



38 Th Hidden Power and Other Essays 

reconciliation between opposing personalities. Hence 
the whole range of conceptions which may be described 
as the Messianic Idea. This idea is not, as some seem 
to suppose, a misconception of the truth of Being. On 
the contrary, when rightly understood it will be found 
to imply the very widest grasp of that truth ; and it is 
from the platform of this supreme knowledge alone 
that an idea so comprehensive in its adaptation to every 
class of mind could have been evolved. It is the trans- 
lation of the relations arising from the deepest laws 
of Being into terms which can be realised even by the 
most unlearned ; a translation arranged with such con- 
summate skill that, as the mind grows in spirituality, 
every stage of advance is met by a corresponding un- 
folding of the Divine meaning; while yet even the 
crudest apprehension of the idea implied is sufficient 
to afford the required basis for an entire renovation 
of the man's thoughts concerning himself, giving him 
a standing ground from which to think of .himself as 
no longer bound by the law of retribution for past 
offences, but as free to follow out the new law of 
Liberty as a child of God. 

The man's conception of the modus operandi of this 
emancipation may take the form of the grossest an- 
thropomorphism or the most childish notions as to the 
satisfaction of the Divine justice by vicarious substi- 
tution, but the working result will be the same. He 
has got what satisfies him as a ground for thinking of 
himself in a perfectly new light; and since the states 



The Hidden Power 39 

of our subjective consciousness constitute the realities 
of our life, to afford him a convincing ground for 
thinking himself free, is to make him free. 

With increasing light he may find that his first ex- 
planation of the modus operanfli was inadequate; but 
when he reaches this stage, further investigation will 
show him that the great truth of his liberty rests upon 
a firmer foundation than the conventional interpre- 
tation of traditional dogmas, and that it has its roots 
in the great law of Nature, which are never doubtful, 
and which can never be overturned. And it is pre- 
cisely because their whole action has its root in the 
unchangeable laws of Mind that there exists a per- 
petual necessity for presenting to men something which 
they can lay hold of as a sufficient ground for that 
change of mental attitude, by which alone they can 
be rescued from the fatal circle which is figured under 
the symbol of the Old Serpent. 

The hope and adumbration of such a new principle 
has formed the substance of all religions in all ages, 
however misapprehended by the ignorant worshippers ; 
and, whatever our individual opinions may be as to the 
historical facts of Christianity, we shall find that the 
great figure of liberated and perfected humanity which 
forms its centre fulfils this desire of all nations in that 
it sets forth their great ideal of Divine power inter- 
vening to rescue man by becoming one with him. This 
is the conception presented to us, whether we appre- 
hend it in the most literally material sense, or as the 



4O The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

ideal presentation of the deepest philosophic study of 
mental laws, or in whatever variety of ways we may 
combine these two extremes. The ultimate idea im- 
pressed upon the mind must always be the same : it is 
that there is a Divine warrant for knowing ourselves 
to be the children of God and "partakers of the Divine 
nature"; and when we thus realise that there is solid 
ground for believing ourselves free, by force of this 
very belief we become free. 

The proper outcome of the study of the laws of 
spirit which constitute the inner side of things is not 
the gratification of a mere idle curiosity, nor the acqui- 
sition of abnormal powers, but the attainment of our 
spiritual liberty, without which no further progress is 
possible. When we have reached this goal the old 
things have passed away and all things have become 
new. The mystical seven days- of the old creation 
have been fulfilled, and the first day of the new week 
dawns upon us with its resurrection to a new life, 
expressing on the highest plane that great doctrine of 
the "octave" which the science of the ancient temples 
traced through Nature, and which the science of the 
present day endorses, though ignorant of its supreme 
significance. 

When we have thus been made free by recognising 
our oneness with Infinite Being, we have reached the 
termination of the old series of sequences and have 
gained the starting-point of the new. The old limita- 
tions are found never to have had any existence save 



The Hidden Power 41 

in our own misapprehension of the truth, and one by 
one they fall off as we advance into clearer light. We 
find that the Life- Spirit we seek is in ourselves; and, 
having this for our centre, our relation to all else 
becomes part of a wondrous living Order in which 
every part works in sympathy with the whole, and 
the whole in sympathy with every part, a harmony 
wide as infinitude, and in which there are no limita- 
tions save those imposed by the Law of Love. 

I have endeavoured in this short series of articles 
to sketch briefly the principal points of relation be- 
tween Spirit in ourselves and in our surroundings. 
This subject has employed the intelligence of man- 
kind from grey antiquity to the present day, and no 
one thinker can ever hope to grasp it in all its ampli- 
tude. But there are certain broad principles which we 
must all grasp, however we may specialise our studies 
in detail, and these I have sought to indicate, with what 
degree of success the reader must form his own opin- 
ion. Let him, however, lay firm hold of this one 
fundamental truth, and the evolution of further truth 
from it is only a question of time that there is only 
One Spirit, however many the modes of its manifesta- 
tions, and that "the Unity of the Spirit is the Bond of 
Peace." 



II 

THE PERVERSION OF TRUTH 

THERE is a very general recognition, which is growing 
day by day more and more widespread, that there is a 
sort of hidden power somewhere which it is within 
our ability, somehow or other, to use. The ideas on 
this subject are exceedingly vague with the generality 
of people, but still they are assuming a more and more 
definite form, and that which they appear to be tak- 
ing with the generality of the public is the recognition 
of the power of suggestion. I suppose none of us 
doubts that there is such a thing as the power of sug- 
gestion and that it can produce very great results in- 
deed, and that it is par excellence a hidden power; it 
works behind the scenes, it works through what we 
know as the subconscious mind, and consequently its 
activity is not immediately recognisable, or the source 
from which it comes. Now there is in some aspects, 
its usefulness, its benefit, but in other aspects there is 
a source of danger, because a power of this kind is 
obviously one which can be used either well or ill; in 
itself it is perfectly neutral, it all depends on the pur- 
pose 'for which it is used, and the character of the 
agent who employs it. 

42 



The Perversion of Truth 43 

This recognition of the power of suggestion is in 
many instances taking a most undesirable form, and I 
commend to your notice, in support of this observation, 
numerous advertisements in certain classes of maga- 
zines many of you must have seen many specimens 
of that kind offering for a certain sum of money to 
put you in the way of getting personal influence, men- 
tal power, power of suggestion, as the advertisements 
very unblushingly put it, for any purpose that you may 
desire. Some of them even go into further particulars, 
telling you the particular sort of purposes for which 
you can employ this, all of them certainly being such 
uses as no one should ever attempt to make of it. 

Therefore, this recognition of the power of sug- 
gestion, say even as a mere money-making power, to 
leave alone other misapplications of it, is a feature 
which is taking hold, so to say, of certain sections of 
the public who do not realise a higher platform in these 
things. It is deplorable that it should be so, but it is 
in the nature of things unavoidable. You have a power 
which can be used affirmatively, and which can be used 
negatively, which can be used for higher purposes, and 
can be used for lower purposes, and consequently you 
will find numbers of people who, as soon as they get 
hold of it, will at once think only of the lower purposes, 
not of the higher. 

In support of what I say although this is by no 
means, I suppose, intended as a low application, prob- 
ably it is intended as a high application, but I cannot 



44 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

say I agree with it but to show you that I am talking 

from actual facts I will read you a note which I have 

made from the Daily Mail, of the 2Oth January, that 

I daresay some of you may have seen. It is an 

article headed "Killing by Prayer," and the article 

goes on to say that a certain circular has been sent 

round to the different hospitals and other places where 

the study of vivisection goes forward to this effect. 

In this circular, signed with the letters "M. C," the 

writer says that he accidentally heard of a person who 

was in the habit of praying from time to time for the 

death of one of our leading vivisectors and that always 

the man indicated died. That is what M. C. heard by 

chance during conversation at a hotel dinner. Then 

thinking over this, M. C. goes on to say that he (or 

she) tried praying that the man most likely to cause 

suffering to innocent subjects by his experiments might 

be removed, and the consequence was that about a 

fortnight later one of our most distinguished medical 

scientists died. 

I do not know who the scientist in question was; 1 
daresay some of you may be aware of the name. 
However, that is what the Daily Mail tells us, and it 
also states that the Anti- Vivisection Societies were 
unanimous in condemning this circular, and very prop- 
erly so. Now you see the sender of that circular, 
whoever he was, obviously thought he was doing a 
very good piece of work. I myself am by no means 
any friend of vivisection. I do not think any one can 



The Perversion of Truth 45 

have a real knowledge of the truth and remain in 
touch with it, but I certainly agreed with the Anti- 
Vivisection Societies in condemning such a circular as 
that. You see there is the assumption that prayer, or 
mental power, can- be used to remove a person from 
the stage of life, and M. C. claims that he did it in 
the case of this particular scientist. 

That brings back another parallel, almost, I might 
say, an historical parallel, to our mind; that of Dr. 
Anna Kingsford, taking place perhaps some forty years 
ago*, who* claimed of course she was a very strong 
anti-vivisectionist that by thought-power she caused 
the death of Claude Bernard, the great vivisecti'on 
scientist of France. Certainly at the time that she 
put out her forces he did die, but on the other hand, 
it has been remarked that it was from that very date 
that her own break-up commenced, and never ceased 
till she herself passed into the other world. So you 
see these actions are' likely to revert to the sender, 
even if they are successful. 

Now in these two cases the ultimate object was not 
a low one, it was one which was supposed to be for 
the benefit of humanity and of the dumb creation. 
But that does not justify the means. The maxim, 
"The end justifies the means," is the greatest per- 
version of truth, and still more so if this hidden power, 
the power of suggestion, is used to injure any one 
for a more personal motive than in these cases which 
I have cited. The lower the motive, the lower the 



46 The Hidden Porver and Other Essays 

action becomes, and to suppose that because mental 
means are employed they make any difference in the 
nature of the act is a very great mistake. 

It has been sometimes my painful duty to sentence 
people to death for murder, and therefore I claim that 
I have a very fair knowledge of what differentiates 
murder from those cases in which life is taken which 
do not amount to murder; and speaking from the 
judicial experience of a great many years, and the 
trial of a large number of cases which have involved 
the question whether the death penalty should be 
passed or not, I have no hesitation in saying that to 
kill by mental means is just as much murder as to kill 
by poison or the dagger. Speaking judicially, I should 
have not the least hesitation in hanging any one who 
committed murder by means of mental suggestion. 
Psychological crime, remember, is crime just the same ; 
possibly it is more deeply dyed crime, because of the 
greater knowledge which must go along with it. I say 
that the psychological criminal is worse than the ordi- 
nary criminal. 

One of the teachings of the Master is on this very 
point. I refer you to the miracle of the fig tree. You 
know that he exhibited his power of killing not a per- 
son, not even an animal, but a tree. And when the 
disciples said to him, see how this tree which you 
cursed has withered away, he replied, Well, you can 
do exactly the same thing, and goes on to say, nothing 
shall be impossible to you. Therefore if you can kill 



The Perversion of Truth 47 

fig trees, you can kill people, but, "forgive, if you 
have aught against any," that your heavenly Father 
may forgive you. 

He says in effect : ncrvv you have seen that this hid- 
den power can be used to the destruction of life, at 
your peril use it otherwise than as a Divine power. 
Use it with prayer to God and with forgiveness of all 
against whom you have any sort o*f grudge or ill- 
feeling, and if its use is always prefaced in this way, 
according to the Master's directions, then nobody can 
use it to injure another either in mind, body or estate. 

Perhaps spme of you may be inclined to smile if I 
use the word "sorcery," but at the present day, under 
one name or another, scientific or semi-scientific, it is 
nothing but the old-world sorcery which is trying to 
find its way among us as the hidden power. Sorcery 
is the inverted use of spiritual power. That is the 
definition of it, and I speak upon authority. I refer 
you to the Bible where you will find sorcery takes a 
prominent place among the list of those things which 
exclude from the heavenly Jerusalem; the heavenly 
Jerusalem not being a town or a city in this place or 
that place, but the perfected state of man. Therefore, 
use sorcery, and you cannot reach that heavenly state. 

It is on this account that we find in Revelations that 
wonderful description of two symbolical women ; they 
represent two modes of the individual soul. Of course 
they go further, they indicate national things, race 
evolution and so on. Why? Because all national 



48 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

movements, all race evolutions, have their root in the 
development of the individual. A nation or a race is 
only a collection of individuals, and therefore if a 
principle once spreads from one individual to another, 
it spreads to the nation, it spreads to the race. So, 
therefore, these two symbolical women represent pri- 
marily two modes of soul, two modes of thought. 
You know perfectly well the description of the two 
women. One, the woman clothed with the sun, stand- 
ing with the moon under her feet, and with a diadem 
of stars about her head; the other seated upon an 
earthly throne, holding a golden cup, and the cup is 
full of abominations. Those are the two women, 
and we know that one of them is called in the Scrip- 
ture, Babylon, and we know which one that is. One 
of the marks of this woman mind you that means 
the class of individuality is the mark of sorcery, the 
mark of the inverted use of spiritual and mental 
powers. 

But what is the end of it? The end is that this 
Babylon becomes the habitation of devils, the hold 
or, as the original Greek has it, the prison of evil, an 
unclean* spirit, the cage of every unclean bird. That 
is the development which takes place in each indi- 
vidual who sets out to misuse this mental power. The 
misuse may have a very small beginning, it may be 
such as is taught in a certain school, which I am told 
exists in London, where shop assistants are trained 
in the use of magnetic power, in order to decoy or 



The Perversion of Truth 49 

compel unknowing purchasers into buying what they 
do not want. I am told there is such a school ; I can- 
not quote you my authority. That is a trifling matter. 
I go into a shop and spend two or three shillings in 
buying something which, when I get home, I find 
absolutely useless, and I say, "How in the name of 
fortune did I come to buy this rubbish?" Well, I 
must have been hypnotised into it. It does not make 
much difference to me, but it makes a great deal of 
difference to the young man or young woman who has 
hypnotised me, because it is the first step on the down- 
ward path. It may be only a matter of sixpence, but 
it leads on step by step, and unless that path is retraced, 
the final end is that of Babylon. Therefore it is that 
St. John says, "I heard a voice from Heaven saying, 
'Come forth, my people, out of her' " and that is out 
of Babylon "come forth, my people, out of her" 
that is out of this inverted mode of using spiritual 
power "come forth, my people, out of her, that ye 
have no fellowship with her sins and that ye shall 
receive not of her plague." Therefore, against this 
inverted use of the hidden power I warn every one 
from the first day when he begins to realise that there 
is such a thing as mental or spiritual power which can 
be exercised upon other persons. 

Are we then on this account to go continually in 
terror of suffering from malicious magnetism, fearing 
that some enemy here, or some enemy there, is turning 
on this hidden power against us? If so, we should go 



50 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

in trepidation continually. No, I do not think there 
is the least reason for us to go in fear in this way. 
To begin with there are comparatively few who know 
the law of suggestion sufficiently well to use it either 
affirmatively or negatively, and of those who do know 
it sufficiently to make use of it, I am convinced that 
the majority would wish only to use it in all kindness, 
and for the benefit of the person concerned. That, I 
am confident, is the attitude of nine-tenths, or I might 
perhaps say ninety-nine hundredths, of the students of 
this subject. They wish to do well, and look upon 
their use of mental power as an additional means of 
doing good. But after all, human nature is human 
nature, and there remains a small minority who are 
both able and willing to use this hidden power injuri- 
ously for their own purposes. 

Now how are we to deal with this minority? The 
answer is simple. Just see them in their true light, see 
them for what they really are, that, is to say, persons 
who are ignorant of the real spiritual power. They 
think they have it, and they have not. That is what 
it is. See them in their true light and their power 
will fall away from them. The real and ultimate 
power is that of the affirmative; the negative is de- 
structive, the affirmative is constructive. So this nega- 
tive use of the hidden power is to be destroyed by the 
use of the affirmative, the constructive power. The 
affirmative destroys the negative always in one way, 
and that is not by attacking it, not by running at it 



The Perversion of Truth 51 

like a bull in a china shop; but by building up life. 
It is always a building power it is building, building, 
building life and more life, and when that life comes 
in, the negative of necessity goes out. 

The ultimate affirmative position is that of conscious 
union with the source of life. Realise this, and you 
need not trouble yourself about any action of the nega- 
tive whatever. Seek conscious union with the ulti- 
mate, the first cause, that which is the starting point 
of all things, whether in the universe or in yourself 
as the individual. That starting point is always pres- 
ent; it is the same yesterday, to-day and forever, and 
you are the world and the universe in miniature, and 
it is always there working in you if you will recognise 
it. Remember the reciprocity between yourself and 
this truly hidden power. The power of suggestion is 
a hidden power, but the power which creates all things 
is the hidden power which is at the back of all things. 
Now realise that it is in yourselves and you need trou- 
ble about the negative no longer. This is the Bible 
teaching regarding Christ; and that teaching is to 
bring about this conscious personal union with the 
Divine All-creating Spirit as a present living power 
to be used day by day. 

The Bible tells us there is such a thing as the mystery 
of iniquity, that is to say, the mystery of the spiritual 
power used invertedly, used from the diabolical stand- 
point; and when the Bible speaks of the mystery of 
iniquity, it means what it says. It tells us there are 



52 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

powers and principalities in the invisible world which 
are using precisely these same methods on an enormous 
scale ; because, remember one thing, there is never any 
departure in any part of the Universe from the uni- 
versal rule of law; what is law upon earth is law in 
Heaven, law in Hell, law in the invisible and law in 
the visible; that never alters. What is done by any 
spiritual power, whether it is a spiritual power of evil 
or of good, is done through the mental constitution 
which you have. No power alters the law of your own 
mind, but a power which knows the law of your mind 
can use it. 

Therefore, it is so essential that you should know 
the law of your own mind and realise its continual 
amenability to suggestion. That being so, the great 
thing is to get a standard for fundamental, unchange- 
able, and sufficient suggestion to which you can always 
turn, and which is automatically impressed upon your 
subconscious mind so deeply that no counter-sugges- 
tion can ever take its place ; and that is the mystery of 
Christ, the Son of God. That is why we are told of 
the mystery of Christ, the mystery of godliness in 
opposition to the mystery of iniquity; it is because 
both the mystery of the Divine and the mystery of 
the diabolical are seeking to work through you, and 
they can only work through you by the law of your 
own mental constitution, that is to say, by the law of 
subconscious mind acting and re-acting upon your 



The Perversion of Truth 53 

conscious mind and upon your body, and so upon your 
circumstances. 

The mystery of Christ is no mere ecclesiastical fic- 
tion. People have distorted it, and made it not clear, 
by trying to explain what at that time and in those 
days was not properly known, by trying to explain 
what they did not know; because what is commonly 
now known regarding the laws of mind was unknown 
then. But now this light has come we begin to see 
that the Bible teaching regarding Christ has a great 
and a deep meaning, and it is for these reasons St. Paul 
said to the Corinthians : "Little children of whom I 
travail again in birth, until Christ be formed in you." 
That is why he speaks of "Christ in you the hope of 
glory," that is to say, the Christ conception, the realisa- 
tion of the Christ principle as exhibited in the Christ 
person, brings you in touch with the personal element 
in the Universal Spirit, the divine creative, first mov- 
ing Spirit of the Universe. 

Then you see that realising this as your fundamental 
fact, it is continually impressed upon your subcon- 
scious mind, even when you are not thinking of it, 
because that is the action of the subconscious mind to 
take in and reason and argue in its own deductive way 
upon things of which you are not at the moment con- 
sciously thinking. Therefore it is that the realisation 
of that great promise of redemption, which is the back- 
bone of the Bible from the first chapter of Genesis to 



54 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

the last chapter of Revelations, is according to a scien- 
tific law. It is not a hocus-pocus business, it is not a 
thing which has been arranged this way and might 
just as well have been arranged in some other; it is 
not so because some arbitrary Authority has com- 
manded it, and the Authority might just as well have 
commanded it some other way. 

No, it is so because the more you examine it, the 
more you will find that it is absolutely scientific; it is 
based upon the natural constitution of the human mind. 
And it is therefore that "Christ," as set forth in the 
Bible whether in the Old Testament symbology, or 
in the New Testament personality "is the fulfilling of 
the law," in the sense of specialising in the highest de- 
gree that which is common to all humanity. As we 
realise this more and more, and specialise it more and 
more, so we shall rise to higher and higher intercourse 
and more and more consciousness of reciprocal iden- 
tity, reciprocal life with the Universal Power, which 
will raise us above any possibility of being touched by 
any sort of malicious suggestion. 

If anybody should be, then, so ill- willed towards us 
and so lamentably ignorant of spiritual truth himself 
as to seek to exercise the power of malicious sugges- 
tion against us, I pity the person who tries to do it. 
He will get nothing out of it, because he is firing peas 
out of a pea-shooter against an iron-clad war vessel. 
That is what it amounts to; but for himself it amounts 
to something more. It is a true saying that "Curses 



The Perversion of Truth 55 

return home to roost." I think if we study these 
things, and consider that there is a reason for them, 
we need not be in the least alarmed about negative 
suggestion, or malicious magnetism, of being brought 
under the power of other minds, of being got over in 
some way, of being done out of our property, of being 
injured in our health, or being hurt in our circum- 
stances, and so on. 

Of course if you lay yourself open to that kind of 
thing, you will get it. "Knock, and it shall be opened 
unto you." That is why the Scripture says, "He that 
breaketh through a hedge, a serpent shall bite him." 
That is the serpent that some of us know something 
about, that is our old enemy Nahash. Some of you, 
at any rate, are sufficiently trained in the inner sciences 
to know the serpent Nahash. Break down the hedge, 
that is to say, the conscious control of your own mind, 
and above all the hedge of the Divine love and wisdom 
with which God himself will surround you in the per- 
sonality of His Son, break down this hedge and of 
course Nahash comes in. But if you keep your hedge 
and remember the old Hebrew tradition always 
spoke of the Divine Law as "the hedge" if you keep 
your hedge unbroken, nothing can come in except by 
the door. Christ said, "I am the door, by me if any 
man enter in, he shall be saved." 

I have spoken of the two great mysteries, the mys- 
tery of godliness and the mystery of iniquity, the 
mystery of Christ and the mystery of anti-Christ. 



56 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

Now, it is not necessary, mind you, that you should 
understand these mysteries in full in order to get into 
your right position. If it were necessary that we 
should fully understand these mysteries, either to get 
away from the one or to get into the other, I think all 
of us would have an uncommonly bad chance. I cer- 
tainly should. I can touch only the fringe of these 
things, but we can realise the principle of the affirma- 
tive and the principle of the negative which underlies 
them both; one is the mystery of light, the other is 
the mystery of darkness. 

I do not say do not study these mysteries; they are 
exactly what we ought to study, but do not think that 
you remain in a state of danger until you have com- 
pletely fathomed the mystery. Not a bit of it. You 
can quite get on the right side without understanding 
the whole thing, exactly as you travel on a railway 
without understanding the mechanism of the engine 
which takes you along. 

So then we have these two mysteries, that of light 
and that of darkness, and therefore what we have to 
do is to exercise our will to receive the mystery of light, 
and then that will make for itself a centre in our own 
hearts and beings, and you will become conscious of 
that centre. Whether you understand it or not, you 
will become conscious of it and then from that 
centre, that centre of light in yourself, you can start 
everything in your life, whether spiritual or temporal. 
You do not have to go further back ; you do not have 



The Perversion of Truth 57 

to analyse the why and the wherefore of these things 
in order to get your starting point. It may interest 
you afterwards, it may strengthen you afterwards to 
do so, but for a practical starting point you must realise 
the Divine presence in yourself, which is the 'son of 
God manifested in you, that is the Divine principle of 
personality speaking within yourself. 

So then, having realised this as your centre, you 
carry the all-originating affirmative power with you, all 
through everything that you do and everything that 
you are ; day and night it will be there, it will protect 
you, it will guide you, it will help you. And when you 
want to do so you can consciously apply to it and it 
will give you assistance, and because you take this as 
your starting point, it will manifest itself in all your 
conditions ; because, remember, it is a very simple law 
of logic that whatever you start with will manifest it- 
self all down the sequence which comes from it. If you 
start with the colour red you can make all sorts of 
modifications and bring out orange, purple and brown, 
but the red basis will show itself all down the scale of 
colour, and so if you start with a basis of blue, blue 
will show itself all down the scale of various colours. 

Therefore, if you start with the affirmative basis, 
the one starting point of the Divine spirit, not taking 
it lower down the stream, but going to the fountain 
head, that affirmative principle of life will flow all 
through, showing its own quality to the very tips of 
your fingers and beyond that out into all your circum- 



58 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

stances. So that the divine presence will be continu- 
ously with you, not as a consequence of your joining 
this Church or that, following this idea, or that teacher, 
but because you know the truth for yourselves, and you 
have realised it as an actual living experience in your 
own mind and in your own heart; and therefore it is 
that this personal recognition of the Divine love and 
wisdom and power is what St. Paul calls "Christ in 
you, the hope of glory." 

Each one who recognises this, is one who answers 
the Biblical description of a true Israelite indeed. That 
word "Israelite" in the Bible is a very deeply symbolical 
word, and carries an immense amount of meaning with 
it. So get this recognition as the real working fact 
that each one of you is an Israelite indeed, and if so, 
then make yourselves perfectly happy with the ever- 
lasting statement, which is as true now as it was on 
the day on which it was uttered : "There is no divina- 
tion or enchantment against Israel." 

1909. 



Ill 

THE "I AM" 

WE often do not sufficiently recognise the truth of 
Walt Whitman's pithy saying, "I am not all contained 
between my hat and my boots," and forget the two- 
fold nature of the "I AM," that it is at once both the 
manifested and the unmanifested, the universal and the 
individual. By losing sight of this truth we surround 
ourselves with limitations; we see only part of the 
self, and then we are surprised that the part fails to 
do the work of the whole. Factors crop up on which 
we had not reckoned, and we wonder where they come 
from, and do not understand that they necessarily arise 
from that great unity in which we are all included. 

It is the grand intelligence and livingness of Uni- 
versal Spirit continually pressing forward to mani- 
festation of itself in a glorious humanity. 

This must be effected by each individual's recogni- 
tion of his power to co-operate with the Supreme 
Principle through an intelligent conception of its pur- 
pose and of the natural laws by which that purpose is 
accomplished a recognition which can proceed only 
from the realisation that he himself is none other than 
the same Universal Principle in particular mani- 
festation. 

59 



60 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

When he sees this he sees that Walt Whitman's 
saying is true, and that his source of intelligence, power, 
and purpose is in that Universal Self, which is his 
as well as another's just because it is universal, and 
which is therefore as completely and entirely identified 
.with himself as- though there were no other expression 
of it in the world. 

The understanding which alone gives value to knowl- 
edge is the understanding that, when we employ the 
formula. "I am, therefore I can, therefore I will," the 
"I AM" with which the series starts is a being who, 
so to speak, has his head in heaven and his feet upon 
the earth, a perfect unity, and with a range of ideas 
far transcending the little ideas which are limited by the 
requirements of a day or an hour. On the other hand, 
the requirements of the day and the hour are real 
while they last, and since the manifested life can be 
lived only in the moment that now is, whether it be 
to-day or ten thousand years hence, our need is to 
harmonise the life of expression with the life of pur- 
pose, and by realising in ourselves the source of the 
highest purposes to realise also the life of the fullest 
expression. 

This is the meaning of prayer. Prayer is not a 
foolish seeking to change the mind of Supreme Wis- 
dom, but it is an intelligent seeking to embody that 
wisdom in our thoughts so as more and more perfectly 
to express it in expressing ourselves. Thus, as we 
gradually grow into the habit of finding this inspiring 



The "I Am" 61 

Presence within ourselves, and of realising its forward 
movement as the ultimate determining factor in all 
true healthful mental action, it will become second 
nature to us to have all our plans, down to the appar- 
ently most trivial, so floating upon the undercurrent 
of this Universal Intelligence that a great harmony 
will come into our lives, every discordant manifesta- 
tion will disappear, and we shall find ourselves more 
and more controlling all things into the forms that we 
desire. 

Why? Because we have attained to commanding 
the Spirit and making it obey us? Certainly not, for 
"if the blind lead the blind both shall fall into the 
ditch"; but because we are companions of the Spirit, 
and by a continuous and growing intimacy have 
changed, not "the mind of the Spirit," but our own, 
and have learned to think from a higher standpoint, 
where we see that the old-world saying "know thyself* 
includes the knowledge of all that we mean when we 
speak of God. 

I AM IS ONE 

This may seem a very elementary proposition, but it 
is one of which we are too apt to lose sight. What does 
it mean? It means everything; but we are most con- 
cerned with what it means in regard to ourselves, and 
to each of us personally it means this. It means that 
there are not two Spirits, one which is myself and 
one which is another. It means that there is not some 



62 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

great unknown power external to myself which may 
be actuated by perfectly different motives to my own, 
and which will, therefore, oppose me with its irresistible 
force and pass over me, leaving me crushed and broken 
like the devotee over whom the car of Jaggarnath has 
rolled. It means that there is only one mind, one 
motive, one power not two opposing each other and 
that my conscious mind in all its movements is only the 
one mind expressing itself as (not merely through) 
my own particular individuality. 

There are not two I AMS, but one I am. Whatever, 
therefore, I can conceive the Great Universal Life Prin- 
ciple to be, that I am. Let us try fully to realise what 
this means. Can you conceive the Great Originating 
and Sustaining Life Principle of the whole universe 
as poor, weak, sordid, miserable, jealous, angry, 
anxious, uncertain, or in any other way limited? We 
know that this is impossible. Then because the I AM 
is one it is equally untrue of ourselves. Learn first 
to distinguish the true self that you are from the 
mental and physical processes which it throws forth 
as the instruments of its expression, and then learn 
that this self controls these instruments, and not vice 
versa. As we advance in this knowledge we know our- 
selves to be unlimited, and that, in the miniature 
world, whose centre we are, we ourselves are the very 
same overflowing of joyous livingness that the Great 
Life Spirit is in the Great All. The I AM is One. 



IV 

AFFIRMATIVE POWER 

THOROUGHLY to realise the true nature of affirma- 
tive power is to possess the key to the great secret. 
We feel its presence in all the innumerable forms of 
life by which we are surrounded and we feel it as the 
life in ourselves; and at last some day the truth bursts 
upon us like a revelation that we can wield this power, 
this life, by the process of Thought. And as soon as 
we see this, the importance of regulating our thinking 
begins to dawn upon us. We ask ourselves what this 
thought process is, and we then find that it is thinking 
affirmative force into forms which are the product 
of our own thought. We mentally conceive the form 
and then think life into it. 

This must always be the nature of the creative 
process on whatever scale, whether on the grand scale 
of the Universal Cosmic Mind or on the miniature 
scale of the individual mind; the difference is only in 
degree and not in kind. We may picture the mental 
machinery by which this is done in the way that best 
satisfies our intellect and the satisfying of the intel- 
lect on this point is a potent factor in giving us that 

63 



64 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

confidence in our mental action without which we can 
effect nothing but the actual externalisation is the 
result of something more powerful than a merely in- 
tellectual apprehension. It is the result of that inner 
mental state which, for want of a better word, we may 
call our emotional conception of ourselves. It is the 
"self" which we feel ourselves to be which takes forms 
of our own creating. For this reason our thought must 
be so grounded upon knowledge that we shall feel the 
the truth of it, and thus be able to produce in ourselves 
that mental attitude of feeling which corresponds to 
the condition which we desire to externalise. 

We cannot think into manifestation a different sort 
of life to that which we realise in ourselves. As Hor- 
ace says, "Nemo dat quod non hdbet," we cannot give 
what we have not got. And, on the other hand, we 
can never cease creating forms of some sort by our 
mental activity, thinking life into them. This point 
must be very carefully noted. We cannot sit still pro- 
ducing nothing: the mental machinery will keep on 
turning out work of some sort, and it rests with us 
to determine of what sort it shall be. In our entire 
ignorance or imperfect realisation of this we create 
negative forms and think life into them. We create 
forms of death, sickness, sorrow, trouble, and limita- 
tion of all sorts, and then think life into these forms; 
with the result that, however non-existent in them- 
selves, to us they become realities and throw their 
shadow across the path which would otherwise be 



Affirmative Power 65 

bright with the many-coloured beauties of innumerable 
flowers and the glory of the sunshine. 

This need not be. It is giving to the negative an 
affirmative force which does not belong to it. Con- 
sider what is meant by the negative. It is the absence 
of something. It is not-being, and is the absence of all 
that constitutes being. Left to itself, it remains in its 
own nothingness, and it only assumes form and activity 
when we give these to it by our thought. 

Here, then, is the great reason for practising control 
over our thought. It is the one and only instrument 
we have to work with, but it is an instrument which 
works with the greatest certainty, for limitation if 
we think limitation, for enlargement if we think en- 
largement. Our thought as feeling is the magnet 
which draws to us those conditions which accurately 
correspond to itself. This is the meaning of the say- 
ing that "thoughts are things." But, you say, how can 
I think differently from the circumstances ? Certainly 
you are not required to say that the circumstances at 
the present moment are what they are not; to say so 
would be untrue; but what is wanted is not to think 
from the standpoint of circumstances at all. Think 
from that interior standpoint where there are no cir- 
cumstances, and from whence you can dictate what 
circumstances shall be, and then leave the circumstances 
to take care of themselves. 

Do not think of this, that, or the other particular 
circumstances of health, peace, etc., but of health, peace, 



66 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

and prosperity themselves. Here is an advertisement 
from Pearson's Weekly: "Think money. Big money- 
makers think money." This is a perfectly sound state- 
ment of the power of thought, although it is only an 
advertisement; but we may make an advance beyond 
thinking "money." We can think "Life" in all its ful- 
ness, together with that perfect harmony of conditions 
which includes all that we need of money and a thou- 
sand other good things besides, for some of which 
money stands as the symbol of exchangeable value, 
while others cannot be estimated by so material a 
standard. 

Therefore think Life, illumination, harmony, pros- 
perity, happiness think the things rather than this 
or that condition of them. And then by the sure 
operation of the Universal Law these things will form 
themselves into the shapes best suited to your particular 
case, and will enter your life as active, living forces, 
which will never depart from you because you know 
them to be part and parcel of your own being. 



SUBMISSION 

THERE are two kinds of submission: submission to 
superior force and submission to superior truth. The 
one is weakness and the other is strength. It is an 
exceedingly important part of our training to learn to 
distinguish between these two, and the more so because 
the wrong kind is extolled by nearly all schools of 
popular religious teaching at the present day as con- 
stituting the highest degree of human attainment. By 
some this is pressed so far as to make it an instru- 
ment of actual oppression, and with all it is a source 
of weakness and a bar to progress. We are forbidden 
to question what are called the wise dispensations of 
Providence and are told that pain and sorrow are to be 
accepted because they are the will of God ; and there is 
much eloquent speaking and writing concerning the 
beauty of quiet resignation, all of which appeals to a 
certain class of gentle minds who have not yet learnt 
that gentleness does not consist in the absence of 
power but in the kindly and beneficent use of it. 

Minds cast in this mould are peculiarly apt to be 
misled. They perceive a certain beauty in the picture 

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68 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

of weakness leaning upon strength, but they attribute 
its soothing influence to the wrong element of the com- 
bination. A thoughtful analysis would show them 
that their feelings consisted of pity for the weak figure 
and admiration for the strong one, and that the sug- 
gestiveness of the whole arose from its satisfying the 
artistic sense of balance which requires a compensa- 
tion of this sort. But which of the two figures in the 
picture would they themselves prefer to be? Surely 
not the weak one needing help, but the strong one 
giving it. By itself the weak figure only stirs our pity 
and not our admiration. Its form may be beautiful, 
but its very beauty only serves to enhance the sense 
of something wanting and the something wanting is 
strength. The attraction which the doctrine of passive 
resignation possesses for certain minds is based upon 
an appeal to sentiment, which is accepted without any 
suspicion that the sentiment appealed to is a false one. 
Now the healthful influence of the movement known 
as "The Higher Thought" consists precisely in this 
that it sets itself rigorously to combat this debilitating 
doctrine of submission. It can see as well as others the 
beauty of weakness leaning upon strength ; but it sees 
that the real source of the beauty lies in the strong 
element of the combination. The true beauty con- 
sists in the power to confer strength, and this power 
is not to be acquired by submission, but by the exactly 
opposite method of continually asserting our determi- 
nation not to submit. 



Submission 69 

Of course, if we take it for granted that all the sor- 
row, sickness, pain, trouble, and other adversity in 
the world is the expression of the will of God, then 
doubtless we must resign ourselves to the inevitable 
with all the submission we can command, and comfort 
ourselves with the vague hope that somehow in some 
far-off future we shall find that 

"Good is the final goal of ill," 

though even this vague hope is a protest against the 
very submission we are endeavouring to exercise. But 
to make the assumption that the evil of life is the will 
of God is to assume what a careful and intelligent 
study of the laws of the universe, both mental and 
physical, will show us is not the truth; and if we 
turn to that Book which contains the fullest delineation 
of these universal laws, we shall find nothing taught 
more clearly than that submission to the evils of life 
is not submission to the will of God. We are told 
that Christ was manifested for this end, that he should 
destroy him that hath the power of death that is, the 
devil. Now death is the very culmination of the 
Negative. It is the entire absence of all that makes 
Life, and whatever goes to diminish the living quality 
of Life reproduces, in its degree, the distinctive quality 
of this supreme exhibition of the Negative. Everything 
that tends to detract from the fulness of life has in it 
this deathful quality. 

In that completely renovated life, which is figured 



70 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

under the emblem of the New Jerusalem, we are told 
that sorrow and sighing shall flee away, and that the 
inhabitant shall not say, I am sick. Nothing that ob- 
scures life, or restricts it, can proceed from the same 
source as the Power which gives light to them that sit 
in darkness, and deliverance to them that are bound. 
Negation can never be Affirmation; and the error we 
have always to guard against is that of attributing posi- 
tive power to the Negative. If we once grasp the truth 
that God is life, and that life in every mode of ex- 
pression can never be anything else than Affirmative, 
then it must become clear to us that nothing which is 
of the opposite tendency can be according to the will 
of God. For God (the good) to will any of the "evil" 
that is in the world would be for Life to act with the 
purpose of diminishing itself, which is a contradiction 
in terms to the very idea of Life. God is Life, and 
Life is, by its very nature, Affirmative. The submis- 
sion we have hitherto made has been to our own weak- 
ness, ignorance, and fear, and not to the supreme good. 
But is no such thing as submission, then, required 
of us under any circumstances? Are we always to 
have our own way in everything ? Assuredly the whole 
secret of our progress to liberty is involved in acquiring 
the habit of submission ; but it is submission to superior 
Truth, and not to superior force. It sometimes hap- 
pens that, when we attain a higher Truth, we find that 
its reception requires us to re-arrange the truths which 
we possessed before: not, indeed, to lay any of them 



Submission 71 

aside, for Truth once recognised cannot be again put 
out of sight, but to recognise a different relative pro- 
portion between them from that which we had seen 
previously. Then there conies a submitting of what 
has hitherto been our highest truth to one which we 
recognise as still higher, a process not always easy of 
attainment, but which must be gone through if our 
spiritual development is not to be arrested. The lesser 
degree of life must be swallowed up in the greater; 
and for this purpose it is necessary for us to learn that 
the smaller degree was only a partial and limited as- 
pect of that which is more universal, stronger, and of 
a larger build every way. 

Now, in going through the processes of spiritual 
growth, there is ample scope for that training in self- 
knowledge and self-control which is commonly under- 
stood by the word "submission." But the character of 
the act is materially altered. It is no longer a half- 
despairing resignation to a superior force external 
to ourselves, which we can only vaguely hope is acting 
kindly and wisely, but it is an intelligent recognition of 
the true nature of our own interior forces and of the 
laws by which a robust spiritual constitution is to be 
developed; and the submission is no longer to limita- 
tions which drain life of its livingness, and against 
which we instinctively rebel, but to the law of our 
own evolution which manifests itself in continually 
increasing degrees of life and strength. 

The submission which we recognise is the price that 



72 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

has to be paid for increase in any direction. Even in 
the Money Market we must invest before we can 
realise profits. It is a universal rule that Nature 
obeys us exactly in proportion as we first obey Nature ; 
and this is as true in regard to spiritual science as to 
physical. The only question is whether we will yield 
an ignorant submission to the principle of Death, or a 
joyous and intelligent obedience to the principle of 
Life. 

If we have clearly grasped the fact of our identity 
with Universal Spirit, we shall find that, in the right 
direction, there is really no such thing as submission. 
Submission is to the power of another a man cannot 
be said to submit to himself. When the "I AM" in us 
recognises a greater degree of I AM-ness (if I may 
coin the word) than it has hitherto attained, then, by 
the very force of this recognition, it becomes what it 
sees, and therefore naturally puts off from itself what- 
ever would limit its expression of its own complete- 
ness. 

But this is a natural process of growth, and not an 
unnatural act of submission; it is not the pouring-out 
of ourselves in weakness, but the gathering of ourselves 
together in increasing strength. There is no weakness 
in Spirit, it is all strength; and we must therefore al- 
ways be watchful against the insidious approaches of 
the Negative which would invert the true position. 
The Negative always points to some external source 
of strength. Its formula is "I AM NOT." It always 



Submission 73 

seeks to fix a gulf between us and the Infinite Suffi- 
ciency. It would always have us believe that that 
sufficiency is not our own, but that by an act of un- 
certain favour we may have occasional spoonfuls of it 
doled out to us. Christ's teaching is different. We do 
not need to come with our pitcher to the well to draw 
water, like the woman of Samaria, but we have in 
ourselves an inexhaustible supply of the living water 
springing up into everlasting life. 

Let us then inscribe "No Surrender" in bold char- 
acters upon our banner, and advance undaunted to 
claim our rightful heritage of liberty and life. 



VI 

COMPLETENESS 

A POINT on which students of mental science often fail 
to lay sufficient stress is the completeness of man not 
a completeness to be attained hereafter, but here and 
now. We have been so accustomed to have the im- 
perfection of man drummed into us in books, sermons, 
and hymns, and above all in a mistaken interpretation 
of the Bible, that at first the idea of his completeness 
altogether staggers us. Yet until we see this we must 
remain shut out from the highest and best that mental 
science has to offer, from a thorough understanding 
of its philosophy, and from its greatest practical 
achievements. 

To do any work successfully you must believe your- 
self to be a whole man in respect of it. The completed 
work is the outward image of a corresponding com- 
pleteness in yourself. And if this is true in respect 
of one work it is true of all; the difference in the im- 
portance of the work does not matter; we cannot 
successfully attempt any work until, for some reason 
or other, we believe ourselves able to accomplish it; 
in other words, until we believe that none of the con- 

74 



Completeness 75 

ditions for its completion is wanting in us, and that 
we are therefore complete in respect of it. Our recog- 
nition of our completeness is thus the measure of what 
we are able to do, and hence the great importance of 
knowing the fact of our own completeness. 

But, it may be asked, do we not see imperfection 
all around ? Is there not sorrow, sickness, and trouble ? 
Yes; but why? Just for the very reason that we do 
not realise our completeness. If we realised that in its 
fulness these things would not be; and in the degree 
in which we come to realise it we shall find them 
steadily diminish. Now if we really grasp the two 
fundamental truths that Spirit is Life pure and simple, 
and that external things are the result of interior forces, 
then it ought not to be difficult to see why we should 
be complete; for to suppose otherwise is to suppose 
the reactive power of the universe to be either unable 
or unwilling to produce the complete expression of 
its own intention in the creation of man. 

That it should be unable to do so would be to depose 
it from its place as the creative principle, and that it 
should be unwilling to fulfil its own intention is a con- 
tradiction in terms; so that on either supposition we 
come to a reductio ad absurdum. In forming man 
the creative principle therefore must have produced a 
perfect work, and our conception of ourselves as im- 
perfect can only be the result of our own ignorance of 
what we really are; and our advance, therefore, does 
not consist in having something new added to us, but 



76 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

in learning to bring into action powers which already 
exist in us, but which we have never tried to use, and 
therefore have not developed, simply because we have 
always taken it for granted that we are by nature de- 
fective in some of the most important faculties neces- 
sary to fit us to our environment. 

If we wish to attain to these great powers, the ques- 
tion is, where are we to seek them? And the answer 
is in ourselves. That is the great secret. We are not 
to go outside ourselves to look for power. As soon as 
we do so we find, not power, but weakness. To seek 
strength from any outside source is to make affirmation 
of our weakness, and all know what the natural result 
of such an affirmation must be. 

We are complete in ourselves; and the reason why 
we fail to realise this is that we do not understand how 
far the "self" of ourselves extends. We know that 
the whole of anything consists of all its parts and not 
only of some of them ; yet this is just what we do not 
seem to know about ourselves. We say rightly that 
every person is a concentration of the Universal Spirit 
into individual consciousness; but if so, then each in- 
dividual consciousness must find the Universal Spirit 
to be the infinite expression of itself. It is this part of 
the "Self" that we so often leave out in our estimate 
of what we are; and consequently we look upon our- 
selves as crawling pygmies when we might think of 
ourselves as archangels. We try to work with the 
mere shadows of ourselves instead of with the glorious 



Completeness 77 

substance, and then wonder at our failures. If we 
only understood that our "better half" is the whole 
infinite of Spirit that which creates and sustains the 
universe then we should know how complete our 
completeness is. 

As we approach this conception, our completeness 
becomes a reality to us, and we find that we need not 
go outside ourselves for anything. We have only to 
draw on that part of ourselves which is infinite to 
carry out any intention we may form in our individual 
consciousness ; for there is no barrier between the two 
parts, otherwise they would not be a whole. Each 
belongs perfectly to the other, and the two are one. 
There is no antagonism between them, for the Infinite 
Life can have no interest against its individualisation 
of itself. If there is any feeling of tension it proceeds 
from our not fully realising this conception of our 
own wholeness; we are placing a barrier somewhere, 
when in truth there is none ; and the tension will con- 
tinue until we find out where and how we are setting 
up this barrier and remove it. 

This feeling of tension is the feeling that we are 
not using our Whole Being. We are trying to make 
half do the work of the whole ; but we cannot rid our- 
selves of our wholeness, and therefore the whole pro- 
tests against our attempts to set one half against the 
other. But when we realise that our concentration 
out of the Infinite also implies our expansion into it, 
we shall see that our whole "self" includes both the 



78 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

concentration and the expansion; and seeing this first 
intellectually we shall gradually learn to use our knowl- 
edge practically and bring our whole man to bear upon 
whatever we take in hand. We shall find that there is 
in us a constant action and reaction between the infinite 
and the individual, like the circulation of the blood 
from the heart to the extremities and back again, a 
constant pulsation of vital energy quite natural and 
free from all strain and exertion. 

This is the great secret of the livingness of Life, 
and it is called by many names and set forth under 
many symbols in various religions and philosophies, 
each of which has its value in proportion as it brings 
us nearer the realisation of this perfect wholeness. 
But the thing itself is Life, and therefore can only be 
suggested, but not described, by any words or symbols ; 
it is a matter of personal experience which no one can 
convey to another. All we can do is to point out the 
direction in which this experience is to be sought, and 
to tell others the intellectual arguments which have 
helped us to find it; but the experience itself is the 
operation of definite vital functions of the inner be- 
ing, and no one but ourselves can do our living for us. 

But, so far as it is possible to express these things 
in words, what must be the result of realising that the 
"self" in us includes the Infinite as well as the Indi- 
vidual? All the resources of the Infinite must be at 
our disposal; we may draw on them as we will, and 
there is no limit save that imposed by the Law of 



Completeness 79 

Kindness, a self-imposed limitation, which, because of 
being ^//-imposed, is not bondage but only another 
expression of our liberty. Thus we are free and all 
limitations are removed. 

We are also no longer ignorant, for since the "self" 
in us includes the Infinite we can draw thence all 
needed knowledge, and though we may not always be 
able to formulate this knowledge in the mentality, we 
shall feel its guidance, and eventually the mentality 
will learn to put this also into form of words; and 
thus by combining thought and experience, theory and 
practice, we shall by degrees come more and more into 
the knowledge of the Law of our Being, and find that 
there is no place in it for fear, because it is the law 
of perfect liberty. And knowing what our whole 
self really is, we shall walk erect as free men and 
women radiating Light and Life all round, so that 
our very presence will carry a vivifying influence with 
it, because we realise ourselves to be an Affirmative 
Whole, and not a mere negative disintegration of 
parts. 

We know that our whole self includes that Greater 
Man which is back of and causes the phenomenal 
man, and this Greater Man is the true human principle 
in us. It is, therefore, universal in its sympathies, but 
at the same time not less individually our self ; and 
thus the true man in us, being at once both universal 
and individual, can be trusted as a sure guide. It is 
that "Thinker" which is behind the conscious men- 



8o The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

tality, and which, if we will accept it as our centre, 
and realise that it is not a separate entity but ourself, 
will be found equal to every occasion, and will lead 
us out of a condition of servitude into "the glorious 
liberty of the sons of God." 

' 



VII 

THE PRINCIPLE OF GUIDANCE 

IF I were asked which of all the spiritual principles 
ranked first, I should feel inclined to say the Principle 
of Guidance; not in the sense of being more essential 
than the others, for every portion is equally essential 
to the completeness of a perfect whole, but in the 
sense of being first in order of sequence and giving 
value to all our other powers by placing them in their 
due relation to one another. "Giving value to our 
other powers," I say, because this also is one of our 
powers. It is that which, judged from the standpoint 
of personal self -consciousness, is above us; but which, 
realised from the point of view of the unity of all 
Spirit, is part and parcel of ourselves, because it is 
that Infinite Mind which is of necessity identified with 
all its manifestations. 

Looking to this Infinite Mind as a Superior Intelli- 
gence from which we may receive guidance does not 
therefore imply looking to an external source. On 
the contrary, it is looking to the innermost spring of 
our own being, with a confidence in its action which 
enables us to proceed to the execution of our plans 

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82 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

with a firmness and assurance that are in themselves 
the very guarantee of our success. 

The action of the spiritual principles in us follows 
the order which we impose upon them by our thought ; 
therefore the order of realisation will reproduce the 
order of desire; and if we neglect this first principle 
of right order and guidance, we shall find ourselves 
beginning to put forth other great powers, which are 
at present latent within us, without knowing how to 
find suitable employment for them which would be 
a very perilous condition, for without having before 
us objects worthy of the powers to which we awake, 
we should waste them on petty purposes dictated only 
by the narrow range of our unilluminated intellect. 
Therefore the ancient wisdom says, "With all thy 
getting, get understanding." 

The awakening to consciousness of our mysterious 
interior powers will sooner or later take place, and 
will result in our using them whether we understand 
the law of their development or not, just as we already 
use our physical faculties whether we understand their 
laws or not. The interior powers are natural powers 
as much as the exterior ones. We can direct their 
use by a knowledge of their laws; and it is therefore 
of the highest importance to have some sound prin- 
ciple of guidance in the use of these higher faculties 
as they begin to manifest themselves. 

If, therefore, we would safely and profitably enter 
upon the possession of the great inheritance of power 



The Principle of Guidance 83 

that is opening out before us, we must before all things 
seek to realise in ourselves that Superior Intelligence 
which will become an unfailing principle of guidance 
if we will only recognise it as such. Every- 
thing depends on our recognition. Thoughts are 
things, and therefore as we will our thoughts to 
be so we will the thing to be. If, then, we will to use 
the Infinite Spirit as a spirit of guidance, we shall 
find that the fact is as we have willed it ; and in doing 
this we are still making use of our own supreme prin- 
ciple. And this is the true "understanding" which, 
by placing all the other powers in their correct order, 
creates one grand unity of power directed to clearly 
defined and worthy aims, in place of the dispersion of 
our powers, by which they only neutralise each other 
and effect nothing. 

This is that Spirit of Truth which shall guide us 
into all Truth. It is the sincere Desire of us reaching 
out after Truth. Truth first and Power afterwards 
is the reasonable order, which we cannot invert with- 
out injury to ourselves and others; but if we follow 
this order we shall always find scope for our powers 
in developing into present realities the continually 
growing glory of our vision of the ideal. 

The ideal is the true real, but it must be brought into 
manifestation before it can be shown to be so, and it 
is in this that the practical nature of our mental studies 
consists. It is the practical mystic who is the man of 
power; the man who, realising the mystical powers 



84 The Hidden Power and OtJwr Essays 

within, fits his outward action to this knowledge, and 
so shows his faith by his works; and assuredly the 
first step is to make use of that power of infallible 
guidance which he can call to his aid simply by desiring 
to be led by it. 



VIII 
DESIRE AS THE MOTIVE POWER 

THERE are certain Oriental schools of thought, to- 
gether with various Western offshoots from them, 
which are entirely founded on the principle of anni- 
hilating all desire. Reach that point at which you 
have no wish for anything and you will find yourself 
free, is the sum and substance of their teaching; and 
in support of this they put forward a great deal of 
very specious argument, which is all the more likely 
to entangle the unwary, because it contains a recogni- 
tion of many of the profoundest truths of Nature. 
But we must bear in mind that it is possible to have 
a very deep knowledge of psychological facts, and 
at the same time vitiate the results of our knowledge 
by an entirely wrong assumption in regard to the law 
which binds these facts together in the universal sys- 
tem; and the injurious results of misapprehension upon 
such a vital question are so radical and far-reaching 
that we cannot too forcibly urge the necessity of clearly 
understanding the true nature of the point at issue. 
Stripped of all accessories and embellishments, the 
question resolves itself into this: Which shall we 

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86 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

choose for our portion, Life or Death? There can be 
no accommodation between the two; and whichever 
we select as our guiding principle must produce re- 
sults of a kind proper to itself. 

The whole of this momentous question turns on the 
'place that we assign to desire in our system of thought. 
Is it the Tree of Life in the midst of the Garden of 
the Soul ? or is it the Upas Tree creating a wilderness 
of death all around? This is the issue on which we 
have to form a judgment, and this judgment must 
colour all our conception of life and determine the 
entire range of our possibilities. Let us, then, try to 
picture to ourselves the ideal proposed by the systems 
to which I have alluded a man who has succeeded 
in entirely annihilating all desire. To him all things 
must be alike. The good and the evil must be as one, 
for nothing has any longer the power to raise any 
desire in him ; he has no longer any feeling which shall 
prompt him to say, "This is good, therefore I choose 
it; that is evil, therefore I reject it"; for all choice 
implies the perception of something more desirable in 
what is chosen than in what is rejected, and conse- 
quently the existence of that feeling of desire which 
has been entirely eliminated from the ideal we are 
contemplating. 

Then, if the perception of all that makes one thing 
preferable to another has been obliterated, there can 
be no motive for any sort of action whatever. Endue 
a being who has thus extinguished his faculty of desire 



Desire as the Motive Power 87 

with the power to create a universe, and he has no 
motive for employing it. Endue him with all knowl- 
edge, and it will be useless to him ; for, since desire has 
no place in him, he is without any purpose for which 
to turn his knowledge to account. And with Love we 
cannot endue him, for that is desire in its supreme 
degree. But if all this be excluded, what is left of the 
man? Nothing, except the mere outward form. If he 
has actually obtained this ideal, he has practically 
ceased to be. Nothing can by any means interest him, 
for there is nothing to attract or repel in one thing 
more than in another. He must be dead alike to all 
feeling and to all motive of action, for both feeling 
and action imply the preference for one condition 
rather than another ; and where desire is utterly extin- 
guished, no such preference can exist. 

No doubt some one may object that it is only evil 
desires which are thus to be suppressed ; but a perusal 
of the writings of the schools of thought in question 
will show that this is not the case. The foundation 
of the whole system is that all desire must be obliter- 
ated, the desire for the good just as much as the desire 
for the evil. The good is as much "illusion" as the 
evil, and until we have reached absolute indifference 
to both we have not attained freedom. When we have 
utterly crushed out all desire we are free. And the 
practical results of such a philosophy are shown in 
the case of Indian devotees, who, in pursuance of their 
resolve to crush out all desire, both for good and evil 



88 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

alike, become nothing more than outward images of 
men, from which all power of perception and of action 
have long since fled. 

The mergence in the universal, at which they thus 
aim, becomes nothing more than a self-induced hyp- 
notism, which, if maintained for a sufficient length of 
time, saps away every power of mental and bodily 
activity, leaving nothing but the outside husk of an 
attenuated human form the hopeless wreck of what 
was once a living man. This is the logical result of 
a system which assumes for its starting-point that de- 
sire is evil in itself, that every desire is per se a form 
of bondage, independently of the nature of its object. 
The majority of the followers of this philosophy may 
lack sufficient resolution to carry it out rigorously to 
its practical conclusions; but whether their ideal is to 
be realised in this world or in some other, the utter 
extinction of desire means nothing else than absolute 
apathy, without feeling and without action. 

How entirely false such an idea is not only from 
the standpoint of our daily life, but also from that of 
the most transcendental conception of the Universal 
Principle is evidenced by the mere fact that anything 
exists at all. If the highest ideal is that of utter 
apathy, then the Creative Power of the universe must 
be extremely low-minded ; and all that we have hitherto 
been accustomed to look upon as the marvellous order 
and beauty of creation, is nothing but a display of vul- 
garity and ignorance of sound philosophy. 



Desire as the Motive Power 89 

But the fact that creation exists proves that the 
Universal Mind thinks differently, and we have only 
to look around to see that the true ideal is the exercise 
of creative power. Hence, so far from desire being a 
thing to be annihilated, it is the very root of every 
conceivable mode of Life. Without it Life could not 
be. Every form of expression implies the selection of 
all that goes to make up that form, and the passing-by 
of whatever is not required for that purpose; hence a 
desire for that which is selected in preference to what 
is laid aside. And this selective desire is none other 
than the universal Law of Attraction. 

Whether this law acts as the chemical affinity of ap- 
parently unconscious atoms, or in the instinctive, if 
unreasoned, attractions of the vegetable and animal 
worlds, it is still the principle of selective affinity ; and 
it continues to be the same when it passes on into the 
higher kingdoms which are ruled by reason and con- 
scious purpose. The modes of activity in each of 
these kingdoms are dictated by the nature of the king- 
dom; but the activity itself always results from the 
preference of a certain subject for a certain object, to 
the exclusion of all others; and all action consists in 
the reciprocal movement of the two towards each other 
in obedience to the law of their affinity. 

When this takes place in the kingdom of conscious 
individuality, the affinities exhibit themselves as mental 
action; but the principle of selection prevails without 
exception throughout the universe. In the conscious 



90 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

mind this attraction towards its affinity becomes desire ; 
the desire to create some condition of things better than 
that now existing. Our want of knowledge may cause 
us to make mistakes as to what this better thing really 
is, and so in seeking to carry out our desire we may 
give it a wrong direction; but the fault is not in the 
desire itself, but in our mistaken notion of what it is 
that it requires for its satisfaction. Hence unrest and 
dissatisfaction until its true affinity is found; but, as 
soon as this is discovered, the law of attraction at once 
asserts itself and produces that better condition, the' 
dream of which first gave direction to our thoughts. 

Thus it is eternally true that desire is the cause of 
all feeling and all action; in other words, of all Life. 
The whole livingness of Life consists in receiving or 
in radiating forth the vibrations produced by the law 
of attraction ; and in the kingdom of mind these vibra- 
tions necessarily become conscious out-reachings of 
the mind in the direction in which it feels attraction; 
that is to say, they become desires. Desire is there- 
fore the mind seeking to manifest itself in some form 
which as yet exists only in its thought. It is the prin- 
ciple of creation, whether the thing created be a world 
or a wooden spoon; both have their origin in the de- 
sire to bring something into existence which does not 
yet exist. Whatever may be the scale on which we exer- 
cise our creative ability, the motive power must always 
be desire. 

Desire is the force behind all things; it is the mov- 



Desire as the Motive Power 91 

ing principle of the universe and the innermost centre 
of all Life. Hence, to take the negation of desire for 
our primal principle is to endeavour to stamp out Life 
itself ; but what we have to do is to acquire the requi- 
site knowledge by which to guide our desires to their 
true objects of satisfaction. To do this is the whole 
end of knowledge; and any knowledge applied other- 
wise is only a partial knowledge, which, having failed 
in its purpose, is nothing but ignorance. Desire is thus 
the sum-total of the livingness of Life, for it is that 
in which all movement originates, whether on the 
physical level or the spiritual. In a word, desire is the 
creative power, and must be carefully guarded, trained, 
and directed accordingly; but thus to seek to develop 
it to the highest perfection is the very opposite of 
trying to kill it outright. 

And desire has fulfilment for its correlative. The 
desire and its fulfilment are bound together as cause 
and effect; and when we realise the law of their se- 
quence, we shall be more than ever impressed with the 
supreme importance of Desire as the great centre of 
Life. 



IX 

TOUCHING LIGHTLY 

WHAT is our point of support? Is it in ourselves or 
outside us? Are we self-poised, or does our balance 
depend on something external? According to the ac- 
tual belief in which our answer to these questions is 
embodied so will our lives be. In everything there 
are two parts, the essential and the incidental that 
which is the nucleus and raison d'etre of the whole 
thing, and that which gathers round this nucleus and 
takes form from it. The true* knowledge always con- 
sists in distinguishing these two from each other, and 
error always consists in misplacing them. 

In all our affairs there are two factors, ourselves 
and the matter to be dealt with ; and since for MS the 
nature of anything is always determined by our 
thought of it, it is entirely a question of our belief 
which of these two factors shall be the essential and 
which the accessory. Whichever we regard as the 
essential, the other at once becomes the incidental. The 
incidental can never be absent. For any sort of action 
to take place there must be some conditions under 
which the activity passes out into visible results; but 
the same sort of activity may occur under a variety 

92 



Touching Lightly 93 

of different conditions, and may thus produce very 
different visible results. So in every matter we shall 
always find an essential or energising factor, and an 
incidental factor which derives its quality from the 
nature of the energy. 

We can therefore never escape from having to select 
our essential and our incidental factor, and whichever 
we select as the essential, we thereby place the other 
in the position of the incidental. If, then, we make 
the mistake of reversing the true position and suppose 
that the energising force comes from the merely acces- 
sory circumstances, we make them our point of support 
and lean upon them, and stand or fall with them ac- 
cordingly; and so we come into a condition of weak- 
ness and obsequious waiting on all sorts of external 
influences, which is the very reverse of that strength, 
wisdom, and opulence which are the only meaning of 
Liberty. 

But if we would ask ourselves the common-sense 
question Where can the centre of a man's Life be ex- 
cept in himself ? we shall see that in all which pertains 
to us the energising centre must be in ourselves. We 
can never get away from ourselves as the centre of 
our own universe, and the sooner we clearly under- 
stand this the better. There is really no energy in our 
universe but what emanates from ourselves in the first 
instance, and the power which appears to reside in our 
surroundings is derived entirely from our own mind. 

If once we realise this, and consider that the Life 



94 The Hidden Power and Other Essay* 

which flows into us from the Universal Life-Principle 
is at every moment new Life entirely undifferentiated 
to any particular purpose besides that of supporting 
our own individuality, and that it is therefore ours to 
externalise in any form we will, then we find that this 
manifestation of the eternal Life-Principle in ourselves 
is the standpoint from which we can control our sur- 
roundings. We must lean firmly on the central point 
of our own being and not on anything else. Our mis- 
take is in taking our surroundings too much ff au grand 
serieux." We should touch things more lightly. As 
soon as we feel that their weight impedes our free han- 
dling of them they are mastering us, and not we them. 

Light handling does not mean weak handling. On 
the contrary, lightness of touch is incompatible with a 
weak grasp of the instrument, which implies that the 
weight of the tool is excessive relatively to the force 
that seeks to guide it. A light, even playful handling, 
therefore implies a firm grasp and perfect control over 
the instrument. It is only in the hands of a Grinling 
Gibbons that the carving tool can create miracles of 
aerial lightness from the solid wood. The light yet 
firm touch tells not of weakness, but of power held in 
reserve; and if we realise our own out-and-out spiritual 
nature we know that behind any measure of power we 
may put forth there is the whole reserve of the infinite 
to back us up. 

As we come to know this we begin to handle things 
lightly, playing with them as a juggler does with his 



Touching Lightly 95 

flying knives, which cannot make the slightest move- 
ment other than he has assigned to them, for we begin 
to see that our control over things is part of the neces- 
sary order of the universe. The disorder we have met 
with in the past has resulted precisely from our never 
having attempted consciously to introduce this element 
of our personal control as part of the system. 

Of course, I speak of the whole man, and not merely 
of that part of him which Walt Whitman says is con- 
tained between his hat and his boots. The whole man 
is an infinitude, and the visible portion of him is the 
instrument through which he looks out upon and en- 
joys all that belongs to him, his own kingdom of the 
infinite. And when he learns that this is the meaning 
of his conscious individuality, he sees how it is that 
he is infinite, and finds that he is one with Infinite 
Mind, which is the innermost core of the universe, 
Having thus reached the true centre of his own being, 
he can never give this central place to anything else, 
but will realise that relatively to this all other things 
are in the position of the incidental and accessory, and 
growing daily in this knowledge he will learn so to 
handle all things lightly, yet firmly, that grief, fear, 
and error will have less and less space in his world, 
until at last sorrow and sighing shall flee away, and 
everlasting joy shall take their place. We may have 
taken only a few steps on the way as yet, but they are 
in the right direction, and what we have to do now is 
to go on. 



X 

PRESENT TRUTH 

* 

IF Thought power is good for anything it is good for 
everything. If it can produce one thing it can produce 
all things. For what is to hinder it? Nothing can 
stop us from thinking. We can think what we please, 
and if to think is to form, then we can form what we 
please. The whole question, therefore, resolves itself 
into this: Is it true that to think is to form? If so, 
do we not see that our limitations are formed in pre- 
cisely the same way as our expansions? We think 
that conditions outside our thought have power over 
us, and so we think power into them. So the great 
question of life is whether there is any other creative 
power than Thought. If so, where is it, and what is 
it? 

Both philosophy and religion lead us to the truth 
that "in the beginning" there was no other creative 
power than Spirit, and the only mode of activity we 
can possibly attribute to Spirit is Thought, and so we 
find Thought as the root of all things. And if this 
was the case "in the beginning" it must be so still; 
for if all things originate in Thought, all things must 
be modes of Thought, and so it is impossible for Spirit 

96 



Present Truth 97 

ever to hand over its creations to some power which is 
not itself that is to say, which is not Thought-power; 
and consequently all the forms and circumstances that 
surround us are manifestations of the creative power 
of Thought. 

But it may be objected that this is God's Thought; 
and that the creative power is in God and not Man. 
But this goes away from the self-evident axiomatic 
truth that "in the beginning" nothing could have had 
any origin except Thought. It is quite true that 
nothing has any origin except in the Divine Mind, 
and Man himself is therefore a mode of the Divine 
Thought. Again, Man is self-conscious; therefore 
Man is the Divine Thought evolved into individual 
consciousness, and when he becomes sufficiently en- 
lightened to realise this as his origin, then he sees that 
he is a reproduction in individuality of the same spirit 
which produces all things, and that his own thought 
in individuality has exactly the same quality as the 
Divine Thought in universality, just as fire is equally 
igneous whether burning round a large centre of com- 
bustion or a small one, and thus we are logically 
brought to the conclusion that our thought must have 
creative power. 

But people say, "We have not found it so. We are 
surrounded by all sorts of circumstances that we do 
not desire." Yes, you fear them, and in so doing you 
think them; and in this way you are constantly exer- 
cising this Divine prerogative of creation by Thought, 



98 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

only through ignorance you use it in a wrong direc- 
tion. Therefore the Book of Divine Instructions so 
constantly repeats "Fear not; doubt not," because we 
can never divest our Thought of its inherent creative 
quality, and the only question is whether we shall use 
it ignorantly to our injury or understandingly to our 
benefit. 

The Master summed up his teaching in the aphorism 
that knowledge of the Truth would make us free. 
Here is no announcement of anything we have to do, 
or of anything that has to be done for us, in order to 
gain our liberty, neither is it a statement of anything 
future. Truth is what is. He did not say, you must 
wait till something becomes true which is not true now. 
He said : "Know what is Truth now, and you will 
find that the Truth concerning yourself is Liberty." 
If the knowledge of Truth makes us free it can only 
be because in truth we are free already, only we do 
not know it. 

Our liberty consists in our reproducing on the scale 
of the individual the same creative power of Thought 
which first brought the world into existence, "so that 
the things which are seen were not made of things 
which do appear." Let us, then, confidently claim our 
birthright as "sons and daughters of the Almighty," 
and by habitually thinking the good, the beautiful, 
and the true, surround ourselves with conditions cor- 
responding to our thoughts, and by our teaching and 
example help others to do the same. 



XI 

YOURSELF 

I WANT to talk to you about the livingness there is in 
being yourself. It has at least the merit of simplicity, 
for it must surely be easier to be oneself than to be 
something or somebody else. Yet that is what so 
many are constantly trying to do; the self that is their 
own is not good enough for them, and so they are 
always trying to go one better than what God has made 
them, with endless strain and struggle as the conse- 
quence. Of course, they are right to put before them 
an ideal infinitely grander than anything they have yet 
attained the only possible way of progress is by fol- 
lowing an ideal that is always a stage ahead of us 
but the mistake is in not seeing that its attainment 
is a matter of growth, and that growth must be the 
expansion of something that already exists in us, and 
therefore implies our being what we are and where 
we are as its starting point. This growth is a continu- 
ous process, and we cannot do next month's growth 
without first doing this month's; but we are always 
wanting to jump into some ideal of the future, not 
seeing that we can reach it only by steadily going on 
from where we are now. 

99 



ioo The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

These considerations should make us more confi- 
dent and more comfortable. We are employing a force 
which is much greater than we believe ourselves to be, 
yet it is not separate from us and needing to be per- 
suaded or compelled, or inveigled into doing what we 
want; it is the substratum of our own being which is 
continually passing up into manifestation on the visible 
plane and becoming that personal self to which we 
often limit our attention without considering whence 
it proceeds. But in truth the outer self is the surface 
growth of that individuality which lies concealed far 
down in the deeps below, and which is none other than 
the Spirit-of-Life which underlies all forms of mani- 
festation. 

Endeavour to realise what this Spirit must be in 
itself that is to say, apart from any of the conditions 
that arise from the various relations which neces- 
sarily establish themselves between its various forms 
of individualisation. In its homogeneous self what 
else can it be but pure life Essence-of-Life, if you 
like so to call it? Then realise that as Essence-of-Life 
it exists in the innermost of every one of its forms of 
manifestation in as perfect simplicity as any we can 
attribute to it in our most abstract conceptions. In this 
light we see it to be the eternally self -generating power 
which, to express itself, flows into form. 

This universal Essence-of-Life is a continual becom- 
ing (into form), and since we are a part of Nature 
we do not need to go further than ourselves to find 



Yourself 101 

the life-giving energy at work with all its powers. 
Hence all we have to do is to allow it to rise to the 
surface. We do not have to make it rise any more 
than the engineer who sinks the bore-pipe for an 
artesian well has to make the water rise in it; the 
water does that by its own energy, springing as a 
fountain a hundred feet into the air. Just so we shall 
find a fountain of Essence-of-Life ready to spring up 
in ourselves, inexhaustible and continually increasing 
in its flow, as One taught long ago to a woman at a 
wayside well. 

This up-springing of Life-Essence is not another's 
it is our own. It does not require deep studies, hard 
labours, weary journeyings to attain it; it is not the 
monopoly of this teacher or that writer, whose lec- 
tures we must attend or whose books we must read 
to get it. It is the innermost of ourselves, and a little 
common-sense thought as to how anything comes to be 
anything will soon convince us that the great inex- 
haustible life must be the very root and substance 
of us, permeating every fibre of our being. 

Surely to be this vast infinitude of living power must 
be enough to satisfy all our desires, and yet this won- 
derful ideal is nothing else but what we already are 
in principle it is all there in ourselves now, only 
awaiting our recognition for its manifestation. It is 
not the Essence-of-Life which has to grow, for that 
is eternally perfect in itself; but it is our recognition 
of it that has to grow, and this growth cannot be 



IO2 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 
i 

forced. It must come by a natural process, the first 
necessity of which is to abstain from all straining after 
being something which at the present time we cannot 
naturally be. The Law of our Evolution has put us in 
possession of certain powers and opportunities, and 
our further development depends on our doing just 
what these powers and opportunities make it possible 
for us to do, h6re and now. 

If we do what we are able to do to-day, it will open 
the way for us to do something better to-morrow, and 
in this manner the growing process will proceed health- 
ily and happily in a rapidly increasing ratio. This is 
so much easier than striving to compel things to be 
what they are not, and it is also so much more fruit- 
ful in good results. It is not sitting still doing nothing, 
and there is plenty of room for the exercise of all our 
mental faculties, but these faculties are themselves the 
outcome of the Essence-of-Life, and are not the cre- 
ating power, but only that which gives direction to it. 
Now it is this moving power at the back of the various 
faculties that is the true innermost self; and if we 
realise the identity between the innermost and the out- 
ermost, we shall see that we therefore have at our 
present disposal all that is necessary for our unlimited 
development in the future. 

Thus our livingness consists simply in being our- 
selves, only more so; and in recognising this we get 
rid of a great burden of unnecessary straining and 
striving, and the place of the old strum und drang will 



Yourself 103 

be taken, not by inertia, but by a joyous activity which 
knows that it always has the requisite power to mani- 
fest itself in forms of good and beauty. What mat- 
ters it whither this leads us? If we are following the 
line of the beautiful and good, then we shall produce 
the beautiful and good, and thus bring increasing joy 
into the world, whatever particular form it may 
assume. 

We limit ourselves when we try to fix accurately 
beforehand the particular form of good that we shall 
produce. We should aim not so much at having or 
making some particular thing as at expressing all that 
we are. The expressing will grow out of realising 
the treasures that are ours already, and contemplating 
the beauty, the affirmative side, of all that we are now, 
apart from the negative conceptions and detractions 
which veil this positive good from us. When we do 
this we shall be astonished to see what possibilities 
reside in ourselves as we are and with our present 
surroundings, all unlovely as we may deem them : and 
commencing to work at once upon whatever we find 
of affirmative in these, and withdrawing our thought 
from what we have hitherto seen of negative in them, 
the right road will open up before us, leading us in 
wonderful ways to the development of powers that 
we never suspected, and the enjoyment of happiness 
that we never anticipated. 

We have never been out of our right path, only we 
have been walking in it backwards instead of forwards, 



IO4 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

and now that we have begun to follow the path in 
the right direction, we find that it is none other than 
the way of peace, the path of joy, and the road to 
eternal life. These things we may attain by simply 
living naturally with ourselves. It is because we are 
trying to be or do something which is not natural to 
us that we experience weariness and labour, where 
we should find all our activities joyously concentrated 
on objects which lead to their own accomplishment 
by the force of the love that we have for them. But 
when we make the grand discovery of how to live 
naturally, we shall find it to be all, and more than all, 
that we had ever desired, and our daily life will become 
a perpetual joy to ourselves, and we shall radiate light 
and life wherever we go. 



XII 

RELIGIOUS OPINIONS 

THAT great and wise writer, George Eliot, expressed 
her matured views on the subject of religious opinions 
in these words: "I have too profound a conviction 
of the efficacy that lies in all sincere faith, and the 
spiritual blight that comes with no faith, to have any 
negative propagandism left in me." This had not 
always been her attitude, for in her youth she had had 
a good deal of negative propagandism in her; but the 
experience of a lifetime led her to form this estimate 
of the value of sincere faith, independently of the 
particular form of thought which leads to it. 

Tennyson also came to the same conclusion, and 
gives kindly warning: 

"O thou who after toil and storm 

May'st seem to have reached a purer air, 
Whose faith has centred everywhere, 

Nor cares to fix itself to form. 

Leave thou thy sister when she prays 

Her early heaven, her happy views, 

Nor thou with shadowed hint confuse 
A life that leads melodious days." 
105 



io6 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

And thus these two great minds have left us a lesson 
of wisdom which we shall do well to profit by. Let 
us see how it applies more particularly to our own 
case. 

The true presentment of the Higher Thought con- 
tains no "negative propagandism." It is everywhere 
ranged on the side of the Affirmative, and its great ob- 
ject is to extirpate the canker which gnaws at the root 
of every life that endeavours to centre itself upon the 
Negative. Its purpose is constructive and not destruc- 
tive. But we often find people labouring under a very 
erroneous impression as to the nature and scope of the 
movement, and thus not only themselves deterred from 
investigating it, but also deterring others from doing 
so. Sometimes this results from the subject having 
been presented to them unwisely in a way needlessly 
repugnant to the particular form of religious ideas to 
which they are accustomed; but more often it results 
from their prejudging the whole matter, and making 
up their minds that the movement is opposed to their 
ideas of religion, without being at the pains to inquire 
what its principles really are. In either case a few 
words on the attitude of the New Thought towards 
the current forms of religious opinion may not be 
out of place. 

The first consideration in every concern is, What is 
the object aimed at? The end determines the means 
to be employed, and if the nature of the end be clearly 
kept in view, then no objectless complications will be 



Religious Opinions 107 

introduced into the means. All *his seems too obvious 
to be stated, but it is just the failure to realise this 
simple truth that has givei. rise to the whole body of 
odium theologicum, with all the persecutions and mas- 
sacres and martyrdoms which disgrace the pages of 
history, making so many of them a record of nothing 
but ferocity and stupidity. Let us hope for a better 
record in the future ; and if we are to get it, it will be 
by the adoption of the simple principle here stated. 

In our own country alone the varieties of churches 
and sects form a lengthy catalogue, but in every one 
of them the purpose is the same to establish the 
individual in a satisfactory relation to the Divine 
Power. The very fact of any religious profession at 
all implies the recognition of God as the Source of 
life and of all that goes to make life; and therefore 
the purpose in every case is to draw increasing de- 
grees of life, whether here or hereafter, from the 
Only Source from which alone it is to be obtained, 
and therefore to establish such a relation with this 
Source as may enable the worshipper to draw from It 
all the life he wants. Hence the necessary preliminary 
to drawing consciously at all is the confidence that 
such a relation actually has been established ; and such 
a confidence as this is exactly all that is meant by 
Faith. 

The position of the man who has not this confidence 
is either that no such Source exists, or else that he is 
without means of access to It; and in either case he 



io8 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

feels himself left to fight for his own hand against 
the entire universe without the consciousness of any 
Superior Power to back him up. He is thrown en- 
tirely upon his own resources, not knowing of the 
interior spring from which they may be unceasingly 
replenished. He is like a plant cut off at the stem 
and stuck in the ground without any root, and conse- 
quently that spiritual blight of which George Eliot 
speaks creeps over him, producing weakness, perplex- 
ity, and fear, with all their baleful consequences, where 
there should be that strength, order, and confidence 
which are the very foundation of all building-up for 
whatever purpose, whether of personal prosperity or 
of usefulness to others. 

From the point of view of those who are acquainted 
with the laws of spiritual life, such a man is cut off 
from the root of his own Being. Beyond and far 
interior to that outer self which each of us knows as 
the intellectual man working with the physical brain 
as instrument, we have roots penetrating deep into that 
Infinite of which, in our ordinary waking state, we 
are only dimly conscious; and it is through this root 
of our own individuality, spreading far down into the 
hidden depths of Being, that we draw out of the un- 
seen that unceasing stream of Life which afterwards, 
by our thought-power, we differentiate into all those 
outward forms of which we have need. Hence the 
unceasing necessity for every one to realise the great 
truth that his whole individuality has its foundation 



Religious Opinions 109 

in such a root, and that the ground in which this root 
is embedded is that Universal Being for which there 
is no name save that of the One all-embracing I AM. 

The supreme necessity, therefore, for each of us is to 
realise this fundamental fact of our own nature, for 
it is only in proportion as we do so that we truly live ; 
and, therefore, whatever helps us to this realisation 
should be carefully guarded. In so far as any form of 
religion contributes to this end in the case of any par- 
ticular individual, for him it is true religion. It may 
be imperfect, but it is true so far as it goes ; and what 
is wanted is not to destroy the foundation of a man's 
faith because it is narrow, but to expand it. And this 
expanding will be done by the man himself, for it is a 
growth from within and not a construction from with- 
out. 

Our attitude towards the religious beliefs of others 
should, therefore, not be that of iconoclasts, breaking 
down ruthlessly whatever from our point of view we 
see to be merely traditionary idols (in Bacon's sense 
of the word), but rather the opposite method of fixing 
upon that in another's creed which we find to be posi- 
tive and affirmative, and gradually leading him to per- 
ceive in what its affirmativeness consists; and then, 
when once he has got the clue to the element of 
strength which exists in his accustomed form of belief, 
the perception of the contrast between that and the 
non-essential accretions will grow up in his mind spon- 
taneously, thus gradually bringing him out into a wider 



no The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

and freer atmosphere. In going through such a process 
as this, he will never have had his thoughts directed 
into any channel to suggest separation from his 
spiritual root and ground; but he will learn that the 
rooting and grounding in the Divine, which he had 
trusted in at first, were indeed true, but in a sense far 
fuller, grander, and larger every way than his early 
infantile conception of them. 

The question is not how far can another's religious 
opinions stand the test of a remorseless logic, but how 
far do they enable him to realise his unity with Divine 
Spirit? That is the living proof of the value of his 
opinion to himself, and no change in his opinions can 
be for the better that does not lead him to a greater 
recognition of the livingness of Divine Spirit in him- 
self. For any change of opinion to indicate a forward 
movement, it must proceed from our realising in some 
measure the true nature of the life that is already de- 
veloped in us. When we see why we are what we are 
now, then we can look ahead and see what the same 
life principle that has brought us up to the present 
point is capable of doing in the future. We may not 
see very far ahead, but we shall see where the next 
step is to be placed, and that is sufficient to enable 
us to move on. 

What we have to do, therefore, is to help others to 
grow from the root they are already living by, and 
not to dig their roots up and leave them to wither. We 
need not be afraid of making ourselves all things to all 



Religious Opinions m 

men, in the sense of fixing upon the affirmative ele- 
ments in each one's creed as the starting-point of our 
work, for the affirmative and life-giving is always true, 
and Truth is always one and consistent with itself ; and 
therefore we need never fear being inconsistent so long 
as we adhere to this method. It is worse than useless 
to waste time in dissecting the negative accretions of 
other people's beliefs. In doing so we run great risks 
of rooting up the wheat along with the tares, and we 
shall certainly succeed in brushing people up the wrong 
way; moreover, by looking out exclusively for the life- 
giving and affirmative elements, we shall reap benefit 
to ourselves. We shall not only keep our temper, but 
we shall often find large reserves of affirmative power 
where at first we had apprehended nothing but worth- 
less accumulations, and thus we shall become gainers 
both in largeness of mind and in stores of valuable 
material. 

Of course we must be rigidly unyielding as regards 
the essence of Truth that must never be sacrificed 
but as representatives, in however small a sphere, of 
the New Thought, we should make it our aim to show 
others, not that their religion is wrong, but that all 
they may find of life-givingness in it is life-giving be- 
cause it is part of the One Truth which is always the 
same under whatever form expressed. As half a loaf 
is better than no bread, so ignorant worship is better 
than no worship, and ignorant faith is better than no 
faith. Our work is not to destroy this faith and this 



H2 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

worship, but to lead them on into a clearer light. 
For this reason we may assure all inquirers that the 
abandonment of their customary form of worship is no 
necessity of the New Thought; but, on the contrary, 
that the principles of the movement, correctly under- 
stood, will show them far more meaning in that wor- 
ship than they have ever yet realised. Truth is one; 
and when once the truth which underlies the outward 
form is clearly understood, the maintenance or aban- 
donment of the latter will be found to be a matter 
of personal feeling as to what form, or absence of 
form, best enables the particular individual to realise 
the Truth itself. 



XIII 
A LESSON FROM BROWNING 

PERHAPS you know a little poem of Browning's called 
"An Epistle Containing the Strange Medical Experi- 
ences of Karshish, the Arab Physician." The some- 
what weird conception is that the Arab physician, 
travelling in Palestine soon after the date when the 
Gospel narrative closes, meets with Lazarus whom 
Jesus raised from the dead, and in this letter to a 
medical friend describes the strange effect which his 
vision of the other life has produced upon the resus- 
citated man. The poem should be studied as a whole ; 
but for the present a few lines selected here and there 
must do duty to indicate the character of the change 
which has passed upon Lazarus. After comparing 
him to a beggar who, having suddenly received bound- 
less wealth, is unable to regulate its use to his require- 
ments, Karshish continues : 

"So here we call the treasure knowledge, say, 
Increased beyond the fleshly faculty 
Heaven opened to a soul while yet on earth, 
Earth forced on a soul's use while seeing heaven : 
The man is witless of the size, the sum, 
The value in proportion of all things." 
113 



114 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 
In fact he has become almost exclusively conscious of 

"The spiritual life around the earthly life : 

The law of that is known to him as this, 

His heart and brain move there, his feet stay here," 

and the result is a loss of mental balance entirely un- 
fitting him for the affairs of ordinary life. 

Now there can be no doubt that Browning had a far 
more serious intention in writing this poem than just 
to record a fantastic notion that flitted through his 
brain. If we read between the lines, it must be clear 
from the general tenor of his writings that, however 
he may have acquired it, Browning had a very deep 
acquaintance with the inner region of spiritual causes 
which give rise to all that we see of outward phenom- 
enal manifestation. There are continual allusions in 
his works to the life behind the veil, and it is to this 
suggestion of some mystery underlying his words that 
we owe the many attempts to fathom his meaning 
expressed through Browning Societies and the like 
attempts which fail or succeed according as they are 
made from "the without" or from "the within." No 
one was better qualified than the poet to realise the 
immense benefits of the inner knowledge, and for the 
same reason he is also qualified to warn us of the dan- 
gers on the way to its acquisition; for nowhere is it 
more true that 

"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing/* 



A Lesson from Browning 115 

and it is one of the greatest of these dangers that he 
points out in this poem. 

Under the figure of Lazarus he describes the man 
who has practically grasped the reality of the inner 
side of things, for whom the veil has been removed, 
and who knows that the external and visible takes its 
rise from the internal and spiritual. But the descrip- 
tion is that of one whose eyes have been so dazzled 
by the light that he has lost the power of accommo- 
dating his vision to the world of sense. He now 
commits the same error from the side of "the within" 
that he formerly committed from the side of "the 
without," the error of supposing that there is no vital 
reality in the aspect of things on which his thoughts 
are not immediately centered. This is want of mental 
balance, whether it shows itself by refusing reality to 
the inward or the outward. To be so absorbed in 
speculative ideas as to be unable to give them practical 
application in daily life, is to allow our highest 
thoughts to evaporate in dreams. 

There is a world of philosophy in the simple state- 
ment that there can be no inside without an outside, 
and no outside without an inside ; and the great secret 
in life is in learning to see things in their wholeness, 
and to realise the inside and the outside simultaneously. 
Each of them without the other is a mere abstraction, 
having no real existence, which we contemplate sepa- 
rately only for the purpose of reviewing the logical 



Ii6 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

steps by which they are connected together as cause 
and effect. Nature does not separate them, for they 
are inseparable; and the law of nature is the law of 
life. It is related of Pythagoras that, after he had 
led his scholars to the dizziest heights of the inner 
knowledge, he never failed to impress upon them the 
converse lesson of tracing out the steps by which 
these inner principles translate themselves into the 
familiar conditions of the outward things by which 
we are surrounded. The process of analysis is merely 
an expedient for discovering what springs in the realm 
of causes we are to touch in order to produce certain 
effects in the realm of manifestation. But this is not 
sufficient. We must also learn to calculate how those 
particular effects, when produced, will stand related 
to the world of already existing effects among which 
we propose to launch them, how they will modify these 
and be modified by these in turn ; and this calculation 
of effects is as necessary as the knowledge of causes. 
We cannot impress upon ourselves too strongly that 
reality consists of both an inside and an outside, a gen- 
erating principle and a generated condition, and that 
anything short of the reality of wholeness is illusion 
on one side or the other. Nothing could have been 
further from Browning's intention than to deter seek- 
ers after truth from studying the principles of Being, 
for without the knowledge of them truth must always 
remain wrapped in mystery; but the lesson he would 
impress on us is that of guarding vigilantly the mental 



A Lesson from Browning 117 

equilibrium which alone will enable us to develop those 
boundless powers whose infinite unfolding is the ful- 
ness of Life. And we must remember above all that 
the soul of life is Love, and that Love shows itself 
by service, and service proceeds from sympathy, which 
is the capacity for seeing things from the point of view 
of those whom we would help, while at the same time 
seeing them also in their true relations ; and therefore, 
if we would realise that Love which is the inmost 
vitalising principle even of the most interior" powers, 
it must be kept alive by maintaining our hold upon 
the exterior life as being equally real with the inward 
principles of which it is the manifestation. 
1902. 



XIV 
THE SPIRIT OF OPULENCE 

IT is quite a mistake to suppose that we must restrict 
and stint ourselves in order to develop greater power 
or usefulness. This is to form the conception of the 
Divine Power as so limited that the best use we can 
make of it is by a policy of self-starvation, whether 
material or mental. Of course, if we believe that some 
form of self-starvation is necessary to our producing 
good work, then so long as we entertain this belief 
the fact actually is so for us. "Whatsoever is not of 
faith" that is, not in accordance with our honest 
belief "is sin"; and by acting contrary to what we 
really believe we bring in a suggestion of opposition 
to the Divine Spirit, which must necessarily paralyse 
our efforts, and surround us with a murky atmosphere 
of distrust and want of joy. 

But all this exists in, and is produced by, our belief; 
and when we come to examine the grounds of this be- 
lief we shall find that it rests upon an entire misappre- 
hension of the nature of our own power. If we 
clearly realise that the creative power in ourselves is 
unlimited, then there is no reason for limiting the 

118 



\ 
The Spirit of Opulence 119 

extent to which we may enjoy what we can create 
by means of it. Where we are drawing from the 
infinite we need never be afraid of taking more than 
our share. That is not where the danger lies. The 
danger is in not sufficiently realising our own richness, 
and in looking upon the externalised products of our 
creative power as being the true riches instead of the 
creative power of spirit itself. 

If we avoid this error, there is no need to limit our- 
selves in taking what we will from the infinite store- 
house : "All things are yours." And the way to avoid 
this error is by realising that the true wealth is in 
identifying ourselves with the spirit of opulence. We 
must be opulent in our thought. Do not "think 
money," as such, for it is only one means of opulence; 
but think opulence, that is, largely, generously, liber- 
ally, and you will find that the means of realising this 
thought will flow to you from all quarters, whether as 
money or as a hundred other things not to be reck- 
oned in cash. 

We must not make ourselves dependent on any 
particular form of wealth, or insist on its coming to 
us through some particular channel that is at once 
to impose a limitation, and to shut out other forms of 
wealth and to close other channels ; but we must enter 
into the spirit of it. Now the spirit is Life, and 
throughout the universe Life ultimately consists in 
circulation, whether within the physical body of the 
individual or on the scale of the entire solar system; 



I2O The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

and circulation means a continual flowing around, 
and the spirit of opulence is no exception to this uni- 
versal law of all life. 

When once this principle becomes clear to us we 
shall see that our attention should be directed rather 
to the giving than the receiving. We must look upon 
ourselves, not as misers' chests to be kept locked for 
our own benefit, but as centres of distribution; and 
the better we fulfil our function as such centres the 
greater will be the corresponding inflow. If we choke 
the outlet the current must slacken, and a full and free 
flow can be obtained only by keeping it open. The 
spirit of opulence the opulent mode of thought, that 
is consists in cultivating the feeling that we possess 
all sorts of riches which we can bestow upon others, 
and which we can bestow liberally because by this very 
action we open the way for still greater supplies to 
flow in. But you say, "I am short of money, I hardly 
know how to pay for necessaries. What have I to 
give?" 

The answer is that we must always start from the 
point where we are ; and if your wealth at the present 
moment is not abundant on the material plane, you 
need not trouble to start on that plane. There are 
other sorts of wealth, still more valuable, on the 
spiritual and intellectual planes, which you can give; 
and you can start from this point and practise the 
spirit of opulence, even though your balance at the 
bank may be nil. And then the universal law of attrac- 



The Spirit of Opulence 121 

tion will begin to assert itself. You will not only 
begin to experience an inflow on the spiritual and 
intellectual planes, but it will extend itself to the 
material plane also. 

If you have realised the spirit of opulence you can- 
not ]ielp drawing to yourself material good, as well as 
that higher wealth which is not to be measured by a 
money standard; and because you truly understand 
the spirit of opulence you will neither affect to despise 
this form of good, nor will you attribute to it a value 
that does not belong to it; but you will co-ordinate 
it with your other more interior forms of wealth so 
as to make it the material instrument in smoothing 
the way for their more perfect expression. Used 
thus, with understanding of the relation which it bears 
to spiritual and intellectual wealth, material wealth 
becomes one with them, and is no more to be shunned 
and feared than it is to be sought for its own sake. 

It is not money, but the love of money, that is the 
root of evil ; and the spirit of opulence is precisely the 
attitude of mind which is furthest removed from the 
love of money for its own sake. It does not believe in 
money. What it does believe in is the generous feel- 
ing which is the intuitive recognition of the great law 
of circulation, which does not in any undertaking 
make its first question, How much am I going to get 
by it? but, How much am I going to do by it? And 
making this the first question, the getting will flow in 
with a generous profusion, and with a spontaneousness 



122 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

and Tightness of direction that are absent when our 
first thought is of receiving only. 

We are not called upon to give what we have not yet 
got and to run into debt; but we are to give liberally 
of what we have, with the knowledge that by so doing 
we are setting the law of circulation to work, and as 
this law brings us greater and greater inflows of every 
kind of good, so our out-giving will increase, not by 
depriving ourselves of any expansion of our own life 
that we may desire, but by rinding that every expansion 
makes us the more powerful instruments for expanding 
the life of others. "Live and let live" is the motto of 
the true opulence. 



XV 
BEAUTY 

Do we sufficiently direct our thoughts to the subject 
of Beauty? I think not. We are too apt to regard 
Beauty as a merely superficial thing, and do not realise 
all that it implies. This was not the case with the 
great thinkers of the ancient world see the place 
which no less a one than Plato gives to Beauty as the 
expression of all that is highest and greatest in the 
system of the universe. These great men of old were 
no superficial thinkers, and, therefore, would never 
have elevated to the supreme place that which is only 
superficial. Therefore, we shall do well to ask what 
it is that these great minds found in the idea of Beauty 
which made it thus appeal to them as the most perfect 
outward expression of all that lies deepest in the funda- 
mental laws of Being. It is because, rightly appre- 
hended, Beauty represents the supremest living quality 
of Thought. It is the glorious overflowing of fulness 
of Love which indicates the presence of infinite re- 
serves of Power behind it. It is the joyous profusion 
that shows the possession of inexhaustible stores of 
wealth which can afford to be thus lavish and yet 

123 



124 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

remain as exhaustless as before. Read aright, Beauty 
is the index to the whole nature of Being. 

Beauty is the externalisation of Harmony, and Har- 
mony is the co-ordinated working of all the powers of 
Being, both in the individual and in the relation of the 
individual to the Infinite from which it springs; and 
therefore this Harmony conducts us at once into the 
presence of the innermost undifferentiated Life. Thus 
Beauty is in most immediate touch with the very ar- 
canum of Life; it is the brightness of glory spreading 
itself over the sanctuary of the Divine Spirit. For if, 
viewed from without, Beauty is the province of the 
artist and the poet, and lays hold of our emotions and 
appeals directly to the innermost feelings of our heart, 
calling up the response of that within us which recog- 
nises itself in the harmony perceived without, this is 
only because it speeds across the bridge of Reason with 
such quick feet that we pass from the outmost to the 
inmost and back again in the twinkling of an eye; but 
the bridge is still there and, retracing our steps more 
leisurely, we shall find that, viewed from within, 
Beauty is no less the province of the calm reasoner 
and analyst. What the poet and the artist seize upon 
intuitionally, he elaborates gradually, but the result is 
the same in both cases; for no intuition is true which 
does not admit of being expanded into a rational se- 
quence of intelligible factors, and no argument is true 
which does not admit of being condensed into that 
rapid suggestion which is intuition. 



Beauty 125 

Thus the impassioned artist and the calm thinker 
both find that the only true Beauty proceeds naturally 
from the actual construction of that which it expresses. 
It is not something added on as an afterthought, but 
something pre-existing in the original idea, something 
to which that idea naturally leads up, and which pre- 
supposes that idea as affording it any raison d'etre. 
The test of Beauty is, What does it express? Is it 
merely a veneer, a coat of paint laid on from without ? 
Then it is indeed nothing but a whited sepulchre, a 
covering to hide the vacuity or deformity which needs 
to be removed. But is it the true and natural outcome 
of what is beneath the surface? Then it is the index 
to superabounding Life and Love and Intelligence, 
which is not content with mere utilitarianism hasting 
to escape at the earliest possible point from the labour 
of construction, as though from an enforced and un- 
welcome task, but rejoicing over its work and unwill- 
ing to quit it until it has expressed this rejoicing in 
every fittest touch of form and colour and exquisite 
proportion that the material will admit of, and this 
without departing by a hairbreadth from the original 
purpose of the design. 

Wherever, therefore, we find Beauty, we may infer 
an enormous reserve of Power behind it; in fact, we 
may look upon it as the visible expression of the great 
truth that Life-Power is infinite. And when the inner 
meaning of Beauty is thus revealed to us, and we learn 
to know it as the very fulness and overflowing of 



126 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

Power, we shall find that we have gained a new 
standard for the guidance of our own lives. We must 
begin to use this wonderful process which we have 
learnt from Nature. Having learnt how Nature works 
how God works we must begin to work in like 
manner, and never consider any work complete until 
we have carried it to some final outcome of Beauty, 
whether material, intellectual, or spiritual. Is my in- 
tention good? That is the initial question, for the 
intention determines the nature of the essence in every- 
thing. What is the most beautiful form in which I 
can express the good I intend? That is the ultimate 
question ; for the true Beauty which our work expresses 
is the measure of the Power, Intelligence, Love in a 
word, of the quantity and quality of our own life which 
we have put into it. True Beauty, mind you that 
which is beautiful because it most perfectly expresses 
the original idea, not a mere ornamentation occupy- 
ing our thoughts as a thing apart from the use intended. 
Nothing is of so small account but it has its fullest 
power of expression in some form of Beauty peculiarly 
its own. Beauty is the law of perfect Thought, be 
the subject of our Thought some scheme affecting the 
welfare of millions, or a word spoken to a little child. 
True Beauty and true Power are the correlatives one 
of the other. Kindly expression originates in kindly 
thought; and kindly expression is the essence of 
Beauty, which, seeking to express itself ever more 
and more perfectly, becomes that fine touch of sym- 



Beauty 127 

pathy which is artistic skill, whether applied in work- 
ing upon material substances or upon the emotions of 
the heart. But, remember, first Use, then Beauty, and 
neither complete without the other. Use without 
Beauty is ungracious giving, and Beauty without Use 
is humbug; never forgetting, however, that there is a 
region of the mind where the use is found in the 
beauty, where Beauty itself serves the direct purpose 
of raising us to see a higher ideal which will thence- 
forward permeate our lives, giving a more living 
quality to all we think and say and do. 

Seen thus the Beautiful is the true expression of the 
Good. From whichever end of the scale we look we 
shall find that they accurately measure each other. 
They are the same thing in the outermost and the 
innermost respectively. But in our search for a higher 
Beauty than we have yet found we must beware of 
missing the Beauty that already exists. Perfect har- 
mony with its environment, and perfect expression of 
its own inward nature are what constitute Beauty; 
and our ignorance of the nature of the thing or its 
environment may shut our eyes to the Beauty it already 
has. It takes the genius of a Millet to paint, or a 
Whitman in words, to show us the beauty of those 
ordinary work-a-day figures with which our world is 
for the most part peopled, whose originals we pass 
by as having no form or comeliness. Assuredly the 
mission of every thinking man and woman is to help 
build up forms of greater beauty, spiritual, intellectual, 



128 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

material, everywhere; but if we would make something 
grander than Watteau gardens or Dresden china shep- 
herdesses, we must enter the great realistic school of 
Nature and learn to recognise the beauty that already 
surrounds us, although it may have a little dirt on the 
surface. Then, when we have learnt the great prin- 
ciples of Beauty from the All-Spirit which is it, we 
shall know how to develop the Beauty on its own proper 
lines without perpetuating the dirt ; and we shall know 
that all Beauty is the expression of Living Power, and 
that we can measure our power by the degree of beauty 
into which we can transform it, rendering our lives, 

"By loveliness of perfect deeds, 
More strong than all poetic thought." 






XVI 

SEPARATION AND UNITY 



"THE prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing 
in Me" (John xiv, 30). In these words the Grand 
Master of Divine Science gives us the key to the 
Great Knowledge. Comparison with other passages 
shows that the terms here rendered "prince" and 
"world" can equally be rendered "principle" and "age." 
Jesus is here speaking of a principle of the present age 
so entirely opposed to that principle of which he him- 
self was the visible expression, as to have no part in 
him. It is the utter contradiction of everything that 
Jesus came to teach and to exemplify. The account 
Jesus gave of himself was that he came "to bear wit- 
ness to the Truth," and in order that men "might 
have life, and that they might have it more abundant- 
ly" ; consequently the principle to which he refers must 
be the exact opposite of Truth and Life that is, it 
must be the principle of Falsehood and Death. 

What, then, is this false and destructive principle 
which rules the present age? If we consider the gist 

129 



130 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

of the entire discourse of which these are the conclud- 
ing words, we shall find that the central idea which 
Jesus has been most strenuously endeavouring to im- 
press upon his disciples at their last meeting before 
the crucifixion, is that of the absolute identity and 
out-and-out oneness of "the Father" and "the Son," 
the principle of the perfect unity of God and Man. 
If this, then, was the great Truth which he was thus 
earnestly solicitous to impress upon his disciples' minds 
when his bodily presence was so shortly to be removed 
from them the Truth of Unity may we not reason- 
ably infer the opposing falsehood to be the assertion of 
separateness, the assertion that God and man are not 
one? The idea of separateness is precisely the prin- 
ciple on which the world has proceeded from that day 
to this the assumption that God and man are not one 
in being, and that the matter is of a different essence 
from spirit. In other words, the principle that finds 
favour with the intellectuality of the present age is 
that of duality the idea of two powers and two sub- 
stances opposite in kind, and, therefore, repugnant to 
each other, permeating all things, and so leaving no 
wholeness anywhere. 

The entire object of the Bible is to combat the idea 
of two opposing forces in the world. The good news 
is said to be that of "reconciliation" (2 Cor. v. 18), 
where also we are told that "all things are from God," 
hence leaving no room for any other power or any 
other substance; and the great falsehood, which it is 



I 

Separation and Unity 131 

the purpose of the Good News to expose, is every- 
where in the Bible proclaimed to be the suggestion of 
duality, which is some other mode of Life, that is not 
the One Life, but something separate from it an idea 
which it is impossible to state distinctly without in- 
volving a contradiction in terms. Everywhere the 
Bible exposes the fiction of the duality of separation 
as the great lie, but nowhere in so emphatic and con- 
centrated a manner as in that wonderful passage of 
Revelations where it is figured in the mysterious Num- 
ber of the Beast. "He that hath understanding let him 
count the number of the Beast . . . and his number 
is six hundred and sixty and six" (Rev. xiii, 18, R.V.). 
Let me point out the great principle expressed in this 
mysterious number. It has other more particular ap- 
plications, but this one general principle underlies 
them all. 

It is an established maxim that every unity contains 
in itself a trinity, just as the individual man consists 
of body, soul, and spirit. If we would perfectly un- 
derstand anything, we must be able to comprehend it 
in its threefold nature; therefore in symbolic numer- 
ation the multiplying of the unit by three implies the 
completeness of that for which the unit stands; and, 
again, the threefold repetition of a number represents 
its extension to infinity. Now mark what results if we 
apply these representative methods of numerical ex- 
pression to the principles of Oneness and of separate- 
ness respectively. Oneness is Unity, and 1X33, 



132 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

which, intensified to its highest expression, is written 
as 333. Now apply the same method to the idea of 
separateness. Separateness consists of one and an- 
other one, each of which, according to the universal 
law, contains a trinity. In this view of duality the 
totality of things is two, and 2X3=6, and, intensify- 
ing this to its highest expression, we get 666, which is 
the Number of the Beast. 

Why of the Beast ? Because separateness from God, 
or the duality of opposition, which is also a duality of 
polarity, which is Dual-Unity, recognises something 
as having essential being, which is not the One Spirit ; 
and such a conception can be verbally rendered only 
by some word that in common acceptance represents 
something, not only lower than the divine, but lower 
than the human also. It is because the conception of 
oneself as a being apart from God, if carried out to 
its legitimate consequences, must ultimately land all 
who hold it in a condition of things where open ferocity 
or secret cunning, the tiger nature or the serpent na- 
ture, can be the only possible rule of action. 

Thus it is that the principle of the present age can 
have no part in that principle of Perfect Wholeness 
which the Great Master embodied in His teaching and 
in Himself. The two ideas are absolutely incompati- 
ble, and whichever we adopt as our leading principle, 
it must be to the entire exclusion 0f the other; we 
cannot serve God and Mammon. There is no such 
thing as partial wholeness. Either we are still in the 



Separation and Unity 133 

principle of Separateness, and our eyes are not yet 
open to the real nature of the Kingdom of Heaven; 
or else we have grasped the principle of Unity without 
any exception anywhere, and the One Being includes 
all, the body and the soul alike, the visible form and 
the invisible substance and life of all equally; nothing 
can be left out, and we stand complete here and now, 
lacking no faculty, but requiring only to become con- 
scious of our own powers, and to learn to have confi- 
dence in them through "having them exercised by 
reason of use." 

The following communication from "A Foreign 
Reader," commenting on the Number of the Beast, 
as treated by Judge Troward in "Separation and Uni- 
ty," is taken from EXPRESSION for 1902, in which 
it was first published. Following is Judge Troward' s 
reply to this letter. 

Dear Mr. Editor. A correspondent in the current num- 
ber of Expression points out the reference in the Book 
of Revelation to the number 666 as the mark of the Beast, 
because the trinity of mind, soul, and body, if consid- 
ered as unity, may be expressed by the figures 333, and 
therefore duality is 333 X 2 = 666. 

I think the inverse of the proposition is still more 
startling, and I should like to point it out. Instead of 
multiplying let us try dividing. First of all take unity 
as the unit one and divide by three (representing of 
course the same formula, viz., mind, soul and body). 
Expressed by a common fraction it is merely 1/3, which 
is an incomplete mathematical figure. But take the deci- 



134 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

mal formula of one divided by three, and we arrive at 
.3 circulating, i. e., .3333 on to infinity. In other words, 
the result of the proposition by mathematics is that you 
divide this formula of spirit, soul, and body into unity, 
and it remains true to itself ad infinitum. 

Now we come to consider it as a duality in the same 
way. Expressed as a vulgar fraction it is 2/3 ; but as a 
decimal fraction it is .6666 ad infinitum. I think this is 
worth noting. 

Yours very faithfully, 

A Foreign Reader. 

Brussels, Aug. 14, 1902. 

Dear Editor. I return with many thanks the very 
interesting letter received with yours, and I am very glad 
that my article should have been instrumental in drawing 
forth this further light on the subject. 

This, moreover, affords an excellent illustration of one 
great principle of Unity, which is that the Unity repeats 
itself in every one of its parts, so that each part taken 
separately is an exact reproduction (in principles) of the 
greater Unity of which it is a portion. Therefore, if you 
take the individual man as your unit (which is what I 
did), and proceed by multiplication, you get the results 
which were pointed out in my article. And conversely, if 
you take the Great Unity of All-Being as your unit, and 
proceed by division, you arrive at the result shown by 
your foreign correspondent. The principle is a purely 
mathematical one, and is extremely interesting in the 
present application as showing the existence of a system 
of concealed mathematics running through the whole 
Bible. This bears out what I said in my article that there 



Separation and Unity 135 

were other applications of the principle in question, though 
this one did not at the time occur to me. 

I am much indebted to your correspondent for the 
further proof thus given of the correctness of my inter- 
pretation of the Number of the Beast. Both our inter- 
pretations support each other, for they are merely differ- 
ent ways of stating the same thing, and they have this 
advantage over those generally given, that they do not 
refer to any particular form of evil, but express a general 
principle applicable to all alike. 

Yours sincerely, 

T. 

London, Aug. 30, 1902. 



II 



It may perhaps emphasize my point if I remind my 
readers that it was the conflict between the principles of 
Unity and separation that led to the crucifixion of 
Jesus. We must distinguish between the charge which 
really led to his death, and the merely technical charge 
on which he was sentenced by the Roman Governor. 
The latter the charge of opposition to the royal au- 
thority of Caesar has its significance; but it is clear 
from the Bible record that this was merely formal, the 
true cause of conviction being contained in the state- 
ment that of the chief priests : "We have a law, and 
by our law he ought to die, because he made himself 
the Son of God." 

The antagonism of the two principles of Unity and 



136 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

separation had first been openly manifested on the oc- 
casion when Jesus made the memorable declaration, 
"I and my Father are one." The Jews took up stones 
to stone him. Then said Jesus unto them, "Many good 
works have I shown you from my Father; for which 
of those works do ye stone Me?" The Jews replied, 
"For a good work we stone thee not; but for blas- 
phemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest 
thyself God." Jesus said, "Is it not written in your 
law, I said ye are gods? If He called them gods, unto 
whom the Word of God came (and the Scriptures can- 
not be broken), say ye of him, whom the Father hath 
sanctified, and sent into the world, thou blasphemest; 
because I said, I am the Son of God?" Here we have 
the first open passage of arms between the two oppos- 
ing principles which led to the scene of Calvary as the 
final testimony of Jesus to the principle of Unity. He 
died because he maintained the Truth ; that he was one 
with the Father. That was the substantive charge on 
which he was executed. "Art thou the son of the 
Blessed?" he was asked by the priestly tribunal; and 
the answer came clear and unequivocal, "I am." Then 
said the Council, "He hath spoken blasphemy, what 
further need have we of witnesses?" And they all 
condemned him to be worthy of death. 

Jesus did not enter into a palpably useless argument 
with judges whose minds were so rooted in the idea 
of dualism as to be impervious to any other conception ; 
but with a mixed multitude, who were not officially 



Separation and Unity 137 

committed to a system, the case was different. Among 
them there might be some still open to conviction, and 
the appeal was, therefore, made to a passage in the 
Psalms with which they were all familiar, pointing out 
that the very persons to whom the Divine word was 
addressed were styled "gods" by the Divine Speaker 
Himself. The incontrovertibleness of the fact was 
emphasised by the stress laid upon it as "Scripture 
which cannot be broken;" and the meaning to be as- 
signed to the statement was rendered clear by the 
argument which Jesus deduced from it. He says in 
effect, "You would stone me as a blasphemer for saying 
of myself what your own Scriptures say concerning 
each of you." The claim of unity with "the Father," 
he urges, was no unique one, but one which the Scrip- 
ture, rightly understood, entitled every one of his 
hearers to make for himself. 

And so we find throughout that Jesus nowhere 
makes any claim for himself which he does not also 
make for those who accept his teaching. Does he say 
to the Jews, "Ye are of this world; I am not of this 
world?" Equally he says of his disciples, "They are 
not of the world, even as I am not of the world." 
Does he say, "I am the light of the world ?" Equally, 
he says, "Ye are the light of the world." Does he say, 
"I and my Father are one?" Equally he prays that 
they all might be one, even as we are one. Is he styled 
"the Son of God?" Then St. John writes, "To them 
gave he power to become sons of God, even to as many 



138 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

as believe on his name;" and by belief on the name we 
may surely understand belief in the principle of which 
the name is the verbal representation. 

The essential unity of God and man is thus the one 
fact which permeates the whole teaching of Jesus. 
He himself stood forth as its living expression. He 
appealed to his miracles as the proofs of it : "it is the 
Father that doeth the works." It formed the substance 
of his final discourse with his disciples in the night that 
he was betrayed. It is the Truth, to bear witness to 
which, he told Pilate, was the purpose of his life. In 
support of this Truth he died, and by the living power 
of this Truth he rose again. The whole object of his 
mission was to teach men to realise their unity with 
God and the consequences that must necessarily follow 
from it; to draw them away from that notion of 
dualism which puts an impassable barrier between God 
and man, and thus renders any true conception of the 
Principle of Life impossible; and to draw them into 
the clear perception of the innermost nature of Life, 
as consisting in the inherent identity of each individual 
with that Infinite all-pervading Spirit of Life which he 
called "the Father." 

"The branch cannot bear fruit except it abide in the 
vine ;" the power of bearing fruit, of producing and of 
giving forth, depends entirely on the fact that the indi- 
vidual is, and always continues to be, as much an organ- 
ic part of Universal Spirit as the fruit-bearing branch 
is an organic part of the parent stem. Lose this idea, 



Separation and Unity 139 

and regard God as a merely external Creator who may 
indeed command us, or even sometimes be moved by 
our cries and entreaties, and we have lost the root of 
Livingness and with it all possibility of growth or of 
liberty. This is dualism, which cuts us off from our 
Source of Life ; and so long as we take this false con- 
ception for the true law of Being, we shall find our- 
selves hampered by limitations and insoluble problems 
of every description : We have lost the Key of Life 
and are consequently unable to open the door. 

But in proportion as we abide in the vine, that is, 
consciously realise our perpetual unity with Originating 
Spirit, and impress upon ourselves that this unity is 
neither bestowed as the reward of merit, nor as an act 
of favour which would be to deny the Unity, for the 
bestowal would at once imply dualism but dwell on 
the truth that it is the innermost and supreme principle 
of our own nature ; in proportion as we consciously rea- 
lise this, we shall rise to greater and greater certainty 
of knowledge, resulting in more and more perfect ex- 
ternalisation, whose increasing splendour can know no 
limits ; for it is the continual outflowing of the exhaust- 
less Spirit of Life in that manifestation of itself which 
is our own individuality. 

The notion of dualism is the veil which prevents men 
seeing this, and causes them to wander blindfolded 
among the mazes of endless perplexity ; but, as St. Paul 
truly says, when this veil is taken away we shall find 
ourselves changed from glory to glory as by the Lord 



140 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

the Spirit. "His name shall be called Immanuel," that 
is "God in us," not a separate being from ourselves. 
Let us remember that Jesus was condemned by the prin- 
ciple of separation because he himself was the exter- 
nalisation of the principle of Unity, and that, in adher- 
ing to the principle of Unity we are adhering to the 
only possible root of Life, and are maintaining the 
Truth for which Jesus died. 



XVII 

EXTERNALISATION 

WHO would not be happy in himself and his condi- 
tions? That is what we all desire more fulness of 
life, a greater and brighter vitality in ourselves, and 
less restriction in our surroundings. And we are told 
that the talisman by which this can be accomplished is 
Thought. We are told, Change your modes of thought, 
and the changed conditions will follow. But many 
seekers feel that this is very much like telling us to 
catch birds by putting salt on their tails. If we can 
put the salt on the bird's tail, we can also lay our hand 
on the bird. If we can change our thinking, we can 
thereby change our circumstances. 

But how are we to bring about this change of cause 
which will in its turn produce this changed effect? 
This is the practical question that perplexes many 
earnest seekers. They can see their way clearly enough 
through the whole sequence of cause and effect result- 
ing in the externalisation of the desired results, if 
only the one initial difficulty could be got over. The 
difficulty is a real one, and until it is overcome it 
vitiates all the teaching and reduces it to a mere paper 

141 



14-2 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

theory. Therefore it is to this point that the attention 
of students should be particularly directed. They feel 
the need of some solid basis from which the change 
of thought can be effected, and until they find this 
the theory of Divine Science, however perfect in itself, 
will remain for them nothing more than a mere theory, 
producing no practical results. 

The necessary scientific basis exists, however, and is 
extremely simple and reasonable, if we will take the 
pains to think it out carefully for ourselves. Unless 
we are prepared to support the thesis that the Power 
which created the universe is inherently evil, or that 
the universe is the work of two opposite and equal 
powers, one evil and the other good both of which 
propositions are demonstrably false we have no al- 
ternative but to say that the Originating Source of all 
must be inherently good. It cannot be partly good and 
partly evil, for that would be to set it against itself 
and make it self-destructive ; therefore it must be good 
altogether. But once grant this initial proposition and 
we cut away the root of all evil. For how can evil 
proceed from an All-originating Source which is good 
altogether, and in which, therefore, no germ for the 
development of evil is to be found? Good cannot be 
the origin of evil ; and since nothing can proceed except 
from the one Originating Mind, which is only good, 
the true nature of all things must be that which they 
have received from their Source namely, good. 

Hence it follows that evil is not the true nature of 



Externalisation 143 

anything, and that evil must have its rise in something 
external to the true nature of things. And since evil 
is not in the true nature of the things themselves, nor 
yet in the Universal Mind which is the Originating 
Principle, there remains only one place for it to spring 
from, and that is our own personal thought. First we 
suppose evil to be as inherent in the nature of things 
as good a supposition which we could not make if 
we stopped to consideY the necessary nature of the 
Originating Principle. Then, on this entirely gratu- 
itous supposition, we proceed to build up a fabric of 
fears, which, of course, folldw logically from it; and 
so we nourish and give substance to the Negative, or 
that which has no substantial existence except such as 
we attribute to it, until we come to regard it as having 
Affirmative power of its own, and so set up a false idea 
of Being the product of our own minds to dispute 
the claims of true Being to the sovereignty of the 
universe. 

Once assume the existence of two rival powers 
one goxxl and the other evil in the direction of the 
universe, and any sense of harmony becomes impos- 
sible; the whole course of Nature is thrown out of 
geaf, and, whether for ourselves or for the world at 
large, there remains no ground of certainty anywhere. 
And this is precisely the condition in which the ma- 
jority of people live. They are surrounded by infinite 
uncertainty about everything, and are consequently a 
pity td continual fears and anxieties ; and the only way 



144 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

of escape from this state of things is to go to the root 
of the matter, and realise that the whole fabric of evil 
originates in our own inverted conception of the 
nature of Being. 

But if we once 1 realise that the true conception of 
Being necessarily excludes" the very idea of evil, we 
shall see that, in giving way to thoughts and fears of 
evil, we are giving substance to that which has no real 
substance in itself, and are attributing to the Negative 
an Affirmative force which it does not possess in fact, 
we are creating the very thing we fear. And the rem- 
edy for this is always to recur to the original nature 
of Being as altogether Good, and then to speak to 
ourselves thus : "My thought must continually ex- 
ternalise something, for that is its inherent quality, 
which nothing can ever alter. Shall I, then, ex- 
ternalise God or the opposite of God? Which do 
I wish to see manifested in my life Good or its oppo- 
site? Shall I manifest what I know to be the reality 
or the reverse?" Then conies the steady resolve al- 
ways to manifest God, or Good, because that is the 
only true reality in all things; and this resolve is with 
power because it is founded upon the solid rock of 
Truth. 

We must refuse to know evil; we must refuse to 
admit that there is any such thing to be known. It 
is the converse of this which is symbolised in the story 
of the Fall. "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou 
shalt surely die" was never spoken of the knowledge 



Externalisation 145 

of Good, for Good never brought death into the world. 
It is eating the fruit of the tree of a so-called knowledge 
which admits a second branch, the knowledge of evil, 
that is the source of death. Admit that evil has a sub- 
stantive entity, which renders it a subject of knowledge, 
and you thereby create it, with all its consequences of 
sorrow, sickness and death. But "be sure that the 
Lord He is God" that is, that the one and Only 
Ruling Principle of the universe, whether within us or 
around us, is Good and Good only and evil with all 
its train sinks back into its original nothingness, and 
we find that the Truth has made us free. We are 
free to externalise what we will, whether in ourselves 
or our surroundings, for we have found the solid basis 
on which to make the needed change of mental atti- 
tude in the fact that the Good is the only reality of 
Being. 
1902. 



XVIII 
ENTERING INTO THE SPIRIT OF IT 

"ENTERING into the spirit of it." What a common ex- 
pression! And yet how much it really means, how 
absolutely everything! We enter into the spirit of an 
undertaking, into the spirit of a movement, into the 
spirit of an author, even into the spirit of a game;* 
and it makes all the difference both to us and to that 
into which we enter. A game without any spirit is a 
poor affair; and association in which there is no spirit 
falls to pieces; and a spiritless undertaking is sure to 
be a failure. On the other hand, the book which is 
meaningless to the unsympathising reader is full of 
life and suggestion to the one who enters into* the 
spirit of the writer ; the man who enters into the spirit 
of the music finds a spring of refreshment in some fine 
recital which is entirely missed by the cold critic who 
comes only to judge according to the standard of a 
rigid rule; and so on in every case that we can think 
of. If we do not enter the spirit of a thing, it has no 
invigorating effect upon us, and we regard it as dull, 
insipid and worthless. This is our everyday experi- 
ence, and these are the words in which we express it. 

146 



Entering into the Spirit of It 147 

And the words are well chosen. They show our 
intuitive recognition of the spirit as the fundamental 
reality in everything, however small or however great. 
Let us be right as to the spirit of a thing, and every- 
thing else will successfully follow. 

By entering into the spirit of anything we establish 
a mutual vivifying action and reaction between it and 
ourselves; we vivify it with our own vitality, and it 
vivifies us with a living interest which we call its 
spirit; and therefore the more fully we enter into the 
spirit of all with which we are concerned, the more 
thoroughly do we become alive. The more completely 
we do this the more we shall find that we are pene- 
trating into the great secret of Life. It may seem a 
truism, but the great secret of Life is its Livingness, 
and it is just more of this quality of Livingness that 
we want to get hold of ; it is that good thing of which 
we can never have too much. 

But every fact implies also its negative, and we never 
properly understand a thing until we not only know 
what it is, but also clearly understand what it is not. 
To a complete understanding the knowledge of the 
negative is as necessary as the knowledge of the affirm- 
ative; for the perfect knowledge consists in realising 
the relation between the two, and the perfect power 
grows out of this knowledge by enabling us to balance 
the affirmative and negative against each other in any 
proportion that we will, thus giving flexibility to what 
would otherwise be too rigid, and form to what would 



148 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

otherwise be too fluid; and so, by uniting these two 
extremes, to produce any result we may desire. It is 
the old Hermetic saying, "Coagula et solve" "Solid- 
ify the fluid and dissolve the solid" ; and therefore, if 
we would discover the secret of "entering into the 
spirit of it," we must get some idea of the negative, 
which is the "not-spirit." 

In various ages this negative phase has been ex- 
pressed in different forms of words suitable to the 
spirit of the time; and so, clothing this idea in the 
attire of the present day, I will sum up the opposite 
of Spirit in the word "Mechanism." Before all things 
this is a mechanical age, and it is astonishing how 
great a part of what we call our social advance has its 
root in the mechanical arts. Reduce the mechanical 
arts to what they were in the days of the Plantagenets 
and the greater part oi our boasted civilisation would 
recede through the centuries along with them. We 
may not be conscious of all this, but the mechanical 
tendency of the age has a firm grip upon society at 
large. We habitually look at the mechanical side of 
things by preference to any other. Everything is done 
mechanically, from the carving on a piece of furniture 
to the arrangement oi the social system. It is the 
mechanism that must be considered first, and the spirit 
has to be fitted to the mechanical exigencies. We enter 
into the mechanism of it instead of into the Spirit of 
it, and so limit the Spirit and refuse to let it have its 
own way; and then, as a consequence, we get entirely 



Entering into the Spirit of It 149 

mechanical action, and complete our circle of igno- 
rance by supposing that this is the only sort of action 
there is. 

Yet this is not a necessary state of things even in 
regard to "physical science," for the men who have 
made the greatest advances in that direction are those 
who have most clearly seen the subordination of the 
mechanical to the spiritual. The man who can recog- 
nise a natural law only as it operates through certain 
forms of mechanism with which he is familiar will 
never rise to the construction of the higher forms of 
mechanism which might be built up upon that law, 
for he fails to see that it is the law which determines 
the mechanism and not vice versa. This man will 
make no advance in science, either theoretical or ap- 
plied, and the world will never owe any debt of grati- 
tude to him. But the man who recognises that the 
mechanism for the application of any principle grows 
out of the true apprehension of the principle studies 
the principle first, knowing that when that is properly 
grasped it will necessarily suggest all that is wanted 
for bringing it into practical use. 

And if this is true in regard to so-called physical 
science, it is a fortiori true as regards the Science of 
Spirit. There is a mechanical attitude of mind which 
judges everything by the limitations of past experi- 
ences, allowing nothing for the fact that those experi- 
ences were for the most part the results of our igno- 
rance of spiritual law. But if we realise the true* law 



150 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

of Being we shall rise above these mechanical concep- 
tions. We shall not deny the reality of the body or of 
the physical world as facts, knowing that they also are 
Spirit, but we shall learn to deny their power as causes. 
We shall learn to distinguish between the causa causta 
and the causa causans, the secondary or apparent phys- 
ical cause and the primary or spiritual cause, without 
which the secondary cause could not exist; and so we 
shall get a new standpoint of clear knowledge and cer- 
tain power by stepping over the threshold of the me- 
chanical and entering into the spirit of it. 

What we have to do is to maintain our even balance 
between the two extremes, denying neither Spirit nor 
the mechanism which is its form and through which 
it works. The one is as necessary to a perfect whole 
as the other, for there must be an outside as well as 
an inside; only we must remember that the creative 
principle is always inside, .and that the outside only ex- 
hibits what the inside creates. Hence, whatever ex- 
ternal effect we would produce, we must first enter 
into the spirit of it and work upon the spiritual prin- 
ciple, whether in ourselves or others; and by so doing 
our insight will become greatly enlarged, for from 
without we can see only one small portion of the cir- 
cumference, while from the centre we can see the 
whole of it. If we fully grasp the truth that Spirit 
is Creator, we can dispense with painful investiga- 
tions into the mechanical side of all our problems. 
If we are constructing from without, then we have to 



Entering into the Spirit of It 151 

ralculate anxiously the strength of our materials and 
the force of every thrust and strain to which they may 
be subjected, and very possibly after all we may find 
that we have made a mistake somewhere in our elab- 
orate calculations. But if we realise the power of 
creating from within, we shall find all these calcula- 
tions correctly made for us ; for the same Spirit which 
is Creator is also that which the Bible calls "the Won- 
derful Numberer." Construction from without is 
based upon analysis, and no analysis is complete with- 
out accurate quantitative knowledge; but creation is 
the very opposite of analysis, and carries its own math- 
ematics with it. 

To enter into the spirit of anything, then, is to make 
yourself one in thought with the creative principle 
that is at the centre of it; and therefore why not go 
to the centre of all things at once, and enter into the 
Spirit of Life? Do you ask where to find it? In your- 
self; and in proportion as you find it there, you will 
will find it everywhere else. Look at Life as the one 
thing that is, whether in you or around you; try to 
realise the livingness of it, and then seek to enter into 
the Spirit of it by affirming it to be the whole of what 
you are. Affirm this continually in your thoughts, and 
by degrees the affirmation will grow into a real living 
force within you, so that it will become a second nature 
to you, and you will find it impossible and unnatural to 
think in any other way; and the nearer you approach 
this point the greater you will find your control over 



152 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

both body and circumstances, until at last you shall so 
enter into the Spirit of it into the Spirit of the Divine 
creative power which is the root of all things that, in 
the words of Jesus, "nothing shall be impossible to 
you," because you have so entered into the Spirit of 
it that you discover yourself to be one with it. Then 
all the old limitations will have passed away, and you 
will be living in an entirely new world of Life, Liberty 
and Love, of which you yourself are the radiating 
centre. You will realise the truth that your Thought 
is a limitless creative power, and that you yourself are 
behind your Thought, controlling and directing it with 
Knowledge for any purpose which Love motives and 
Wisdom plans. Thus you will cease from your labours, 
your struggles and anxieties, and enter into that new 
order where perfect rest is one with ceaseless activity. 
1902. 



XIX 

THE BIBLE AND THE NEW THOUGHT 

i 
The Son 

A DEEPLY interesting subject to the student of the New 
Thought movement is to trace how exactly 'its teach- 
ing is endorsed by the teaching of the Bible. There is 
no such thing as new thought in the sense of new 
Truth, for what is truth now must have been truth 
always; but there is such a thing as a new present- 
ment of the old Truth, and it is in this that the new- 
ness of the present movement consists. But the same 
Truth has been repeatedly stated in earlier ages under 
various forms and in various measures of complete- 
ness, and nowhere more completely than in the Scrip- 
tures of the Old and New Testaments. None of the 
older forms of statement is more familiarly known to 
our readers than that contained in the Bible, and no 
other is entwined around our hearts with the same 
sacred and tender associations: therefore, I have no 
hesitation in saying that the existence of a marked 

153 



154 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

correspondence between its teaching and that of the 
New Thought cannot but be a source of strength and 
encouragement to any of us who have been accustomed 
in the past to look to the old and hallowed Book as 
a storehouse of Divine wisdom. We shall find that 
the clearer light will make the rough places smooth 
and the dim places luminous, and that of the treasures 
of knowledge hidden in the ancient volume the half has 
not been told us. 

The Bible lays emphatic stress upon "the glorious 
liberty of the sons of God," thus uniting in a single 
phrase the twofold idea of filial dependence and per- 
sonal liberty. A careful study of the subject will show 
us that there is no opposition between these two ideas, 
but that they are necessary correlatives to each other, 
and that whether stated after the more concentrated 
method of the Bible, or after the more detailed method 
of the New Thought, the true teaching proclaims, not 
our independence of God, but our independence in God. 

Such an enquiry naturally centres in an especial 
manner around the sayings of Jesus; for whatever 
may be our opinions as to the nature of the authority 
with which he spoke, we must all agree that a peculiar 
weight attaches to those utterances which have come 
down to us as the ipsissima verba from which the entire 
New Testament has been developed; and if an identity 
of conception in the New Thought movement can be 
traced here at the fountain-head, we may expect to find 
it in the lower streams also. 



The Bible and the New Thought 155 

The Key to the Master's teaching is to be found in 
his discourse with the Woman of Samaria, and it is 
contained in the statement that "the Father" is Spirit, 
that is, Spirit in the absolute and unqualified sense of 
the word, as appears from the original Greek, and not 
"A Spirit" as it is rendered in the Authorised Version : 
and then as the natural correlative to "the Father" we 
find another term employed, "the Son." The relation 
between these two forms the great subject of Jesus' 
teaching, and, therefore, it is most important to have 
some definite idea of what he meant by these terms 
if we would understand what it was that he really 
taught. 

Now if "the Father" be Spirit, "the Son" must be 
Spirit also; for a son must necessarily be of the same 
nature as his father. But since "the Father" is Spirit, 
Absolute and Universal, it is evident that "the Son" 
cannot be Spirit, Absolute and Universal, because there 
cannot be two Universal Spirits, for then neither would 
be universal. We may, therefore, logically infer that 
because "the Father" is Universal Spirit, "the Son" is 
Spirit not universal; and the only definition of Spirit 
not-universal is Spirit individualised and particular. 
The Scripture tells us that "the Spirit is Life," and 
taking this as the definition of "Spirit," we find that 
"the Father" is Absolute, Originating, Undifferen- 
tiated Life, and "the Son" is the same Life differen- 
tiated into particular forms. Hence, in the widest 
sense of the expression, "the Son" stands for the whole 



156 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

creation, visible or invisible, and in this sense it is the 
mere differentiation of the universal Life into a mul- 
tiplicity of particular modes. But if we have any 
adequate idea of the intelligent and responsive nature 
of Spirit * if we realise that because it is Pure Being 
it must be Infinite Intelligence and Infinite Responsive- 
ness then we shall see tjiat its reproduction in the 
particular admits of innumerable degrees, from mere 
expression as outward form up to the very fullest ex- 
pression of the infinite intelligence and responsiveness 
that Spirit is. 

The teachings of Jesus were addressed to the hearts 
and intelligences of men, and therefore the grade of 
sonship of which he spoke has reference to the ex- 
pression of Infinite Being in the human heart and 
intellect. But this, again, may be conceived of in 
infinite degrees; in some men there is the bare poten- 
tiality of sonship entirely undeveloped as yet, in others 
the beginnings of its development, in others a fuller 
development, and so on, until we can suppose .some 

1 Intelligence and Responsiveness is the Generic Nature of 
Spirit in every Mode, and it is the concentration of this into 
centres of consciousness that makes personality, i. e., self-con- 
scious individuality. This varies immensely in degree, from its 
first adumbration in the animal to its intense development in the 
Great Masters of Spiritual Science. Therefore it is called "The 
Power that Knows Itself" It is the power of 5W/- recognition 
that makes personality, and as we grow to see that our person- 
ality is not all contained between our hat and our boots, as Walt 
Whitman says, but expands away into the Infinite, which we then 
find to be the Infinite of ourselves, the same I AM that I am, so 
our personality expands and we become conscious of ever-in- 
creasing degrees of Life-in-ourselves. 



The Bible and the New Thought 157 

supreme instance in which the absolutely perfect re- 
production of the universal has been attained. Each 
of these stages constitutes a fuller and fuller expres- 
sion of sonship, until the supreme development reaches 
a point at which it can be described only as the perfect 
image of "the Father"; and this is the logical result 
of a process of steady growth from an inward principle 
of Life which constitutes the identity of each indi- 
vidual. 

It is thus a necessary inference from Jesus' own 
explanation of "the Father" as Spirit or Infinite Being 
that "the Son" is the Scriptural phrase for the repro- 
duction of Infinite Being in the individual, contem- 
plated in that stage at which the individual does in 
some measure begin to recognise his identity with his 
originating source, or, at any rate, where he has 
capacity for such a recognition, even though the actual 
recognition may not yet have taken place. It is very 
remarkable that, thus defining "the Son" on the direct 
statement of Jesus himself, we arrive exactly at the 
definition of Spirit as "that power which knows itself." 
In the capacity for thus recognising its identity of 
nature with "the Father" is it that the potential fact 
of sonship consists, for the prodigal son was still a 
son even before he began to realise his relation to his 
"Father" in actual fact. It is the dawning of this 
recognition that constitutes the spiritual "babe," or 
infant son ; and by degrees this consciousness grows till 
he attains the full estate of spiritual manhood. This 



158 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

recognition by the individual of his own identity with 
Universal Spirit is precisely what forms the basis of 
the New ThougKt ; and thus at the outset the two sys- 
tems radiate from a common centre. 

But I suppose the feature of the New Thought 
which is the greatest stumbling-block to those who 
view the movement from the outside is the claim it 
makes for Thought-power as an active factor in the 
affairs of daily life. As a mere set of speculative 
opinions people might be willing to pigeon-hole it along 
with the philosophic systems of Kant or Hegel; but 
it is the practical element in it which causes the diffi- 
culty. It is not only a system of Thought based upon 
a conception of the Unity of Being, but it claims to 
follow out this conception to its legitimate conse- 
quences in the production of visible and tangible exter- 
nal results by the mere exercise of Thought-power. A 
ridiculous claim, a claim not to be tolerated by com- 
mon sense, a trespassing upon the Divine prerogative, 
a claim of unparalleled audacity: thus the casual ob- 
jector. But this claim is not without its parallel, for 
the same claim was put forward on the same ground 
by the Great Teacher Himself as the proper result of 
"the Son's" recognition of his relation to "the Father." 
"Ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you" ; 
"Whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you 
shall receive, and nothing shall be impossible unto 
you"; "All things are possible to him that believeth." 
These statements are absolutely without any note of 



The Bible and the New Thought 159 

limitation save that imposed by the seeker's want of 
faith in his own power to move the Infinite. This is 
as clear a declaration of the efficacy of mental power 
to produce outward and tangible results as any now 
made by the New Thought, and it is made on pre- 
cisely the same ground, namely, the readiness of "the 
Father" or Spirit in the Universal to respond to the 
movement of Spirit in the individual. 

In the Bible this movement of individualised Spirit 
is called "prayer," and it is synonymous with Thought, 
formulated with the intention of producing this re- 
sponse. 

"Prayer is the heart's sincere desire, 
Uttered or unexpressed," 

and we must not let ourselves be misled by the asso- 
ciation of particular forms with particular words, but 
should follow the sound advice of Oliver Wendell 
Holmes, and submit such words to a process of de- 
polarisation, which brings out their real meaning. 
Whether we call our act "prayer" or "thought-con- 
centration," we mean the same thing; it is the claim 
of the man to move the Infinite by the action of his 
own mind. 

It may be objected, however, that this definition 
omits an important element of prayer, the question, 
namely, whether God will hear it. But this is the very 
element that Jesus most rigorously excludes from his 
description of the mental act. Prayer, according to 



160 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

the popular notion, is a most uncertain matter. 
Whether we shall be heard or not depends entirely upon 
another will, regarding whose action we are completely 
ignorant, and therefore, according to this notion, the 
very essence of prayer consists of utter uncertainty. 
Jesus' conception of prayer was the very opposite. He 
bids us believe that we have already in fact received 
what we ask for, and makes this the condition of 
receiving; in other words, he makes the essential factor 
in the mental action to consist in Absolute Certainty 
as to the corresponding response in the Infinite, which 
is exactly the condition that the New Thought lays 
down for the successful operation of Thought-power. 
It may, however, be objected that if men have thus 
an indiscriminate power of projecting their thought 
to the accomplishment of anything they desire, they 
can do so for evil as easily as for good. But Jesus 
fully recognised this possibility, and worked the only 
destructive miracle recorded of him for the express 
purpose of emphasising the danger. The reason given 
by the compilers of the Gospel for the destruction of 
the fig-tree is clearly inadequate, for we certainly can- 
not suppose Jesus so unreasonable as to curse a tree 
for not bearing fruit out of season. But the record 
itself shows a very different purpose. Jesus answered 
the disciples' astonished questioning by telling them 
that it was in their own power, not only to do what was 
done to the fig-tree, but to produce effects upon a far 
grander scale; and he concludes the conversation by 



The Bible and the New Thought 161 

laying down the duty of a heart-searching forgiveness 
as a necessary preliminary to prayer. Why was this 
precept so particularly impressed in this particular 
connection? Obviously because the demonstration he 
had just given of the valency of thought-power in the 
hands of instructed persons laid bare the fact that this 
power can be used destructively as well as beneficially, 
and that, therefore, a thorough heart-searching for the 
eradication of any lurking ill-feeling became an impera- 
tive preliminary to its safe use; otherwise there was 
danger of noxious thought-currents being set in motion 
to the injury of others. The miracle of the fig-tree 
was an object-lesson to exhibit the need for the care- 
ful handling of that limitless power which Jesus as- 
sured his disciples existed as fully in them as in him- 
self. I do not here attempt to go into this subject in 
detail, but enough has, I think, been shown to convince 
us that Jesus made exactly the same claim for the 
power of Thought as that made by the New Thought 
movement at the present day. It is a great claim, and 
it is, therefore, encouraging to find such an authority 
committed to the same assertion. 

The general principle on which this claim is based 
by the exponents of the New Thought is the identity 
of Spirit in the individual with spirit in the -universal, 
and we shall find that this, also, is the basis of Jesus' 
teaching on the subject. He says that "the Son can 
do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do 
these things doeth the Son in like manner." It must 



1 62 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

now be sufficiently clear that "the Son" is a generic 
appellation, not restricted to a particular individual, 
but applicable to all; and this statement explains the 
manner of "the Son's" working in relation to "the 
Father." The point this sentence particularly empha- 
sises is that it is what he sees the Father doing that 
the Son does also. His doing corresponds to his see- 
ing. If the seeing expands, the doing expands along 
with it. But we are all sufficiently familiar with this 
principle in other matters. What differentiates an 
Edison or a Marconi from the apprentice who knows 
only how to fit up an electric bell by rule of thumb? 
It is their capacity for seeing the universal principles 
of electricity and bringing them into particular appli- 
cation. The great painter is the one who sees the uni- 
versal principles of form and colour where the smaller 
man sees only a particular combination; and so with 
the great surgeon, the great chemist, the great lawyer 
in every line it is the power of insight that distin- 
guishes the great man from the little one; it is the 
capacity for making wide generalisations and perceiv- 
ing far-reaching laws that raises the exceptional mind 
above the ordinary level. The greater working always 
results from the greater seeing into the abstract prin- 
ciples from which any art or science is generated ; and 
this same law carried up to the universal principles of 
Life is the law by which "the Son's" working is pro- 
portioned to his seeing the method of "the Father's" 
work. Thus the source of "the Son's" power lies in 



The Bible and the New Thought 163 

the contemplation of "the Father," the endeavour, that 
is, to realise the true nature of Being, whether in the 
abstract or in its generic forms of manifestation. 2 
This is Bacon's maxim, "Work as God works" ; and 
similarly the New Thought consists before all things 
in the realisation of the laws of Being. 

And the result of the seeing is that "the Son" does 
the same things as "the Father" "in like manner." 
The Son's action is the reproduction of the universal 
principles in application to specific instances. The 
principles remain unaltered and work always in the 
same manner, and the office of "the Son" is to deter- 
mine the particular field of their operation with regard 

2 Everything depends on this principle of Reciprocity. By 
contemplation we come to realize the true nature of "Spirit" 
or "the father." We learn to disengage the variable factors of 
particular Modes from the invariable factors which are the es- 
sential qualities of Spirit underlying all Modes. Then when we 
realize these essential qualities we s'ee that we can apply them 
under any mode that we will : in other words we supply the 
variable factor of the combination by the action of our Thought, 
as Desire or Will, and thus combine it with the invariable factor 
or "constant" of the essential law of spirit, thus producing what 
result we will. This is just what we do in respect to physical 
nature e. g., the electrician supplies the variable factor of the 
particular Mode of application, and the constant laws of Elec- 
tricity respond to the nature of the invitation given to them. 
This Responsiveness is inherent in Spirit; otherwise Spirit 
would have no means of expansion into manifestation. Re- 
sponsiveness is the principle of Spirit's Self-expression. We 
do not have to create responsive action on the part of electricity. 
We can safely take this Responsiveness for granted as pure 
natural law. Our desire first works on the Arupa level and 
thence concentrates itself through the various Rupa levels till 
it reaches complete external manifestation. 



164 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

to the specific object which he has in view; and there- 
fore, so far as that object is concerned, the action of 
"the Son" becomes the action of "the Father" also. 

Again, there is no concealment on the part of "the 
Father." He has no secrets, for "the Father loveth 
the Son, and showeth him all things that himself 
doeth." There is perfect reciprocity between Spirit 
in the Universal and in Individualisation, resulting 
from the identity of Being; and "the Son's" recogni- 
tion of Love as the active principle of this Unity gives 
him an intuitive insight into all those inner workings 
of the Universal Life which we call the arcana of 
Nature. Love has a divine gift of insight which can- 
not be attained by intellect alone, and the old saying, 
"Love will find out the way," has greater depths of 
meaning than appear on the surface. Thus there is not 
only a seeing, but also a showing ; and the three terms 
"looking, seeing, showing" combine to form a 
power of "working" to which it is impossible to assign 
any limit. 

Here, again, the teaching of Jesus is in exact cor- 
respondence with that of the New Thought, which tells 
us that limitations exist only where we ourselves put 
them, and that to view ourselves as beings of limitless 
knowledge, power, and love is to become such in out- 
ward manifestation of visible fact. Any objection, 
therefore, to the New Thought teaching regarding the 
possibilities latent in Man apply with equal force to 
the teachings of Jesus. His teaching clearly was that 



The Bible and the New Thought 165 

the perfect individuality of Man is a Dual-Unity, the 
polarisation of the Infinite in the Manifest; and it 
requires only the recognition of this truth for the 
manifested element in this binary system to demon- 
strate its identity with the corresponding element which 
is not externally visible. He said that He and his 
Father were One, that those who had seen him had 
seen the Father, that the words which he spoke were 
the Father's, and that it was the Father who did the 
works. Nothing could be more explicit. Absolute 
unity of the manifested individuality with the Orig- 
inating Infinite Spirit is asserted or implied in every 
utterance attributed to Jesus, whether spoken of him- 
self or of others. He recognises only one radical dif- 
ference, the difference between those who know this 
truth and those who do not know it. The distinction 
between the disciple and the master is one only of de- 
gree, which will be effaced by the expansive power of 
growth; "the disciple, when he is perfected, shall be 
as his Master." 

All that hinders the individual from exercising the 
full power of the Infinite for any purpose whatever is 
his lack of faith, his inability to realise to the full the 
stupendous truth that he himself is the very power 
which he seeks. This was the teaching of Jesus as it is 
that of the New Thought ; and this truth of the Divine 
Sonship of Man once taken as the great foundation, a 
magnificent edifice of possibilities which "eye hath not 
seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart 



1 66 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

of man to conceive," grows up logically upon it a 
glorious heritage which each one may legitimately 
claim in right of his common humanity. 

II 
The Great Affirmation 

I take it for granted that my readers are well ac- 
quainted with the part assigned to the principle of 
Affirmation in the scheme of the New Thought. This 
is often a stumbling-block to beginners ; and I feel sure 
that even those who are not beginners will welcome 
every aid to a deeper apprehension of this great central 
truth. I, therefore, purpose to examine the Bible 
teaching on this important subject. 

The professed object of the Bible is to establish and 
extend "the Kingdom of God" throughout the world, 
and this can be done only by repeating the process from 
one individual to another, until the whole mass is 
leavened. It is thus an individual process ; and, as we 
have seen in the last chapter, God is Spirit and Spirit 
is Life, and, therefore, the expansion of "the Kingdom 
of God" means the expansion of the principle of Life 
in each individual. Now Life, to be life at all, must 
be Affirmative. It is Life in virtue of what it is, and 
not in virtue of what it is not. The quantity of life 
in any particular case may be very small; but, how- 
ever small the amount, the quality is always the same : 



The Bible and the New Thought 167 

it is the quality of Being, the quality of Livingness, 
and not its absence, that makes it what it is. The dis- 
tinctive character of Life, therefore, is that it is Posi- 
tive and not Negative; and every degree of negative- 
ness, that is, every limitation, is ultimately traceable 
to deficiency of Life-power. 

Limitations surround us because we believe in our 
inability to do what we desire. Whenever we say "I 
cannot" we are brought up sharp by a limitation, and 
we cease to exercise our thought-power in that direc- 
tion because we believe ourselves stopped by a blank 
wall of impossibility; and whenever this occurs we are 
subjected to bondage. The ideal of perfect Liberty \9 
the converse of all this, and follows a sequence which 
does not thus lead us into a cul-de-sac. This sequence 
consists of the three affirmations: I am therefore I 
can therefore I will; and this last affirmation results 
in the projection of our powers, whether interior or 
external, to the accomplishment of the desired object. 
But this last affirmation has its root in the first; and 
it is because we recognise the Affirmative nature of 
the Life that is in us, or rather of the Life which we 
are, that the power to will or to act positively has any 
existence; and, therefore, the extent of our power to 
will and to act positively and with effect, is exactly 
measured by our perception of the depth and livingness 
of our own Being. Hence the more fully we learn to 
affirm that, the greater power we are able to exercise. 

Now the ideal of perfect Liberty is the entire ab- 



1 68 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

sence of all limitation, and to have no limitation in 
Being is to be co-extensive with All-Being. We are 
all grammarians enough to know that the use of a pred- 
icate is to lead the mind to contemplate the subject as 
represented by that predicate ; in other words, it limits 
our conception for the time being to that particular 
aspect of the subject. Hence every predicate, however 
extensive, implies some limitation of the subject. But 
the ideal subject, the absolutely free self, is, by the very 
hypothesis, without limitation ; and, therefore, no pred- 
icate can be attached to it. It stands as a declaration 
of its own Being without any statement of what that 
Being consists in, and therefore it says of itself, not 
"I am this or that," but simply I am. No predicate 
can be added, because the only commensurate predicate 
would be the enumeration of Infinity. Therefore, both 
logically and grammatically, the only possible statement 
of a fully liberated being is made in the words I am. 

I need hardly remind my readers of the frequency 
with which Jesus employed these emphatic words. In 
many cases the translators have added the word "He," 
but they have been careful, by putting it in italics, to 
show that it is not in the original. As grammarians 
and theologians they thought something more was 
wanted to complete the sense, and they supplied it 
accordingly; but if we would get at the very words 
as the Master himself spoke them, we must strike out 
this interpolation. And as soon as we have done so 
there flashes into light the identity of his statement 



The Bible and the New Thought 169 

with that made to Moses at the burning bush, where 
the full significance of the words is so obvious that 
the translators were compelled to leave the place of the 
predicate in that seeming emptiness which comes from 
filling all things. 

Seen thus, a marvellous light shines forth from the 
instruction of the Great Teacher : for in whatever sense 
we may regard him as a Great Exception to the weak 
and limited aspect of humanity with which we are only 
too familiar, we must all agree that his mission was not 
to render mankind hopeless by declaring the path of 
advance barred against them, but "to give light to them 
that sit in darkness," and liberty to them that are 
bound, by proclaiming the unlimited possibilities that 
are in man waiting only to be called forth by knowl- 
edge of the Truth. And if we suppose any personal 
reference in his words, it can, therefore, be only as the 
Great Example of what man has it in him to become, 
and not as the example of something which man can 
never hope to be; an Exception, truly, to mankind as 
we see them now, but the Exception that proves the 
rule, and sets the standard of what each one may be- 
come as he attains to the measure of the stature of the 
fulness of Christ. 

Let us, therefore, by striking out this interpolation, 
restore the Master's words as they stand in the orig- 
inal: "Except ye believe that I am, ye shall die in 
your sins." This is an epitome of his teaching. 

"The last enemy that shall be overcome is death," 



170 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

and the "sting," or fatal power, of death is "sin." 
Remove that, and death has no longer any dominion 
over us; its power is at an end. And "the strength 
of sin is the Law": sin is every contradiction of the 
law of Being; and the law of Being is infinitude; for 
Being is Life, and Life in its innermost essence is the 
limitless I am. Dying in our sins is thus not a punish- 
ment for doubting a particular theological dogma, but 
it is the unavoidable natural consequence of not realis- 
ing, not believing in, the I am. So long as we fail to 
realise its full infinitude in ourselves, we cut ourselves 
off from our conscious unity with the Infinite Life- 
Spirit which permeates all things. Without this prin- 
ciple we have no alternative but to die -and this be- 
cause of our sin, that is, because of our failure to con- 
form to the true Law of our Being, which is Life, 
and not Death. We affirm Death and Negation con- 
cerning ourselves, and therefore Death and Negation 
are externalised, and thus we pay the penalty of not 
believing in the central Law of our own Life, which 
is the Law of all Life. The Bible is the Book of 
Principles, and therefore by "dying" is meant the 
acceptance of the principle of the Negative which cul- 
minates in Death as the sum-total of all limitations, and 
which introduces at every step those restrictions which 
are of the nature of Death, because their tendency is 
to curtail the outflowing fulness of Life. 

This, then, is the very essence of the teaching of 
Jesus, that unbelief in the limitless power of Life-in- 



The Bible and the New Thought 171 

ourselves in each of us is the one cause of Death 
and of all those evils which, in greater or lesser meas- 
ure, reproduce the restrictive influences which deprive 
Life of its fulness and joy. If we would escape Death 
and enter into Life, we must each believe in the I am 
in ourselves. And the ground for this belief? Simply 
that nothing else is conceivable. If our life is not a 
portion of the life of Universal Spirit, whence comes 
it ? We are because that is. No other explanation is 
possible. The unqualified affirmation of our own liv- 
ingness is not an audacious self-assertion : it is the only 
logical outcome of the fact that there is any life any- 
where, and that we are here to think about it. In the 
sense of Universal Being, there can be only One I am, 
and the understanding use of the words by the indi- 
vidual is the assertion of this fact. The forms of 
manifestation are infinite, but the Life which is mani- 
fested is One, and thus every thinker who recognises 
the truth regarding himself finds in the I am both him- 
self and the totality of all things; and thus he comes 
to know that in utilising the interior nature of the 
things- and persons about him, he is, in effect, employ- 
ing the powers o-f his own life. 

Sometimes the veil which Jesus drew over this great 
truth was very transparent. To the Samaritan woman 
he spoke of it as a spring o*f Life forever welling up in 
the innermost recesses of man's being; and again, to 
the multitude assembled at the Temple, he spoke of 
it as a river of Life forever gushing from the secret 



172 The Hidden Power avid Other Essays 

sources of the spirit within us. Life, to be ours at 
all, must be ourselves. An energy which only passed 
through us, without being us, might produce a sort 
of galvanic activity, but it would not be Life. Life 
can never be a separate entity from the individuality 
which manifests it; and therefore, even if we con- 
ceive the life-principle irt a man so intensified as to 
pulsate with what might seem to us an absolutely 
divine vitality, it would still be no other than the 
man himself. Thus Jesus directs us to no external 
source of life, but ever teaches that the Kingdom of 
Heaven is within, and that what is wanted is to re- 
move those barriers' of ignorance and ill-will which 
prevent us from realising that the great I am, which is 
the innermost Spirit of Life throughout the universe, 
is the same I am that I am, whoever I may be. 

On another memorable occasion Jesus declared 
again that the I am is the enduring principle of Life. 
It is this that is the Resurrection and the Life; not, 
as Martha supposed, a new principle to be infused 
from without at some future time, but an inherent 
core of vitality awaiting only its own recognition of 
itself to triumph over death and the grave. And yet, 
again hear the Master's answer to the inquiring 
Thomas. How many of us, like him, desire to know 
the way ! To hear of wonderful powers latent in man 
and requiring only development is beautiful and hope- 
ful, if we could only find out the way to develop them; 
but who will show us the way? The answer comes 



The Bible and the New Thought 173. 

with no uncertain note. The I am includes everything. 
It is at once "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" : not 
the Life only, or the Truth only, but also the Way by 
which to reach them. Can words be plainer? It is by 
continually affirming and relying on the I am in our- 
selves as identical with the I am that is the One 
and Only Life, whether manifested or unmanifested, 
in all places of the universe, that we shall find the way 
to the attainment of all Truth and of all Life. Here 
we have the predicate which we are seeking to com- 
plete our affirmation regarding ourselves. I am 
what? the Three things which include all things: 
Truth, which is all Knowledge and Wisdom; Life, 
which is all Power and Love; and the unfailing Way 
which will lead us step by step, if we follow it, to 
heights too sublime and environment too wide for our 
present juvenile imaginings to picture. 

As the New Testament centres around Jesus, so 
the old Testament centres around Moses, and he also 
declares the Great Affirmation to be the same. 3 For 

3 The Old Testament and the New treat the I AM from its 
opposite poles. The Old Testament treats it from the relation 
of the Whole to the Part, while the New Testament treats it 
from the relation of the Part to the Whole. This is important 
as explaining the relation between the Old and New Testaments. 

(a) "My Word shall not return unto me void but shall ac- 
complish that whereunto I send it." 

(t>) The Principle here indicated is that of the Alternation 
and Equation between Absorption and Radiation a taking-in 
before, and a giving-out. 

(c) "Order" 'Whatever betrays this is "Disorder." 

(d) "Conscious" It is the degree of consciousness that al- 



174 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

him God has no name, but that intensely living uni- 
versal Life which is all in all, and no name is suffi- 
cient to be its equivalent. The emphatic words I am 
are the only possible statement of the One-Power 
which exhibits itself as all worlds and all living be- 
ings. It is the Great I am which forever unfolds 
itself in all the infinite evolutionary forces of the cos- 
mic scheme, and which, in marvellous onward march, 
develops itself into higher and higher conscious intelli- 
gence in the successive races of mankind, unrolling the 
scroll of history as it moves on from age to age, work- 
ing out with unerring precision the steady forward 
movement of the whole towards that ultimate perfec- 
tion in which the work of God will be completed. But 

ways marks the transition from a lower to a higher Power of 
Life. The Life of All Seven Principles must always be present 
in us, otherwise we should not exist at all ; therefore it is the 
degree in which we learn to consciously function in each of them 
that marks our advance into higher kingdoms within ourselves, 
and frequently outside ourselves also. 

(e) The Central Radiating Point of our Individuality is One 
with All-Being. 

(f) Equilibrium 'Note the difference between the Living 
Equilibrium of Alternate Rhythmic Pulsation (the whole Pulsa- 
tion Doctrine) and the dead equilibrium of merely running down 
to a dead level. The former implies the Doctrine of the Return, 
the Upward Arc compensating the Downward Arc The dead- 
ness of the latter results from the absence of any such com- 
pensation. The Upward Arc results from the contemplation of 
the Highest Ideal. 

(g) Spirit cannot leave any portion of its Nature behind it. 
It must always have all the qualities of Spirit in it, even though 
the lower parts of the individuality are not yet conscious of it. 

(h) The Great Affirmation is The Guide to the whole Subject. 



The Bible and the New Thought 175 

stupendous as is the scale on which this Providential 
Power reveals itself to Moses and the Prophets, it is 
still nothing else than the very same Power which 
Jesus bids us realise in ourselves. 

The theatre of its operations may be expanded to 
the magnificent proportions of a world-history, or con- 
tracted to the sphere of a single individuality : the dif- 
ference is only one of scale; but the Life-principle is 
always the same. It is always the principle of confi- 
dent Affirmation in the calm knowledge that all things 
are but manifestations of itself, and that, therefore, 
all must move together in one mighty unity which 
admits of no discordant elements. This "unity of the 
spirit" once clearly grasped, to say I am is to send 
the vibrations of our thought-currents throughout the 
universe to do our bidding when and where we will; 
and, conversely, it is to draw in the vitalising influ- 
ences of Infinite Spirit as from a boundless ocean of 
Life, which can never be exhausted and from which 
no power can hold us back. And all this is so because 
it is the supreme law of Nature. It is not the intro- 
duction of a new order, but simply the allowing of 
the original and only possible order to flow on to its 
legitimate fulfilment. A Divine Order, truly, but no- 
where shall we find anything that is not Divine; and 
it is to the realisation of this Divine and Living Order 
that it is the purpose of the Bible to lead us. But we 
shall never realise it around us until we first realise it 
within us. We can see God outside only by the light 



176 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

of God inside; and this light increases in proportion 
as we become conscious of the Divine nature of the 
innermost I am which is the centre of our own indi- 
viduality. 

Therefore, it is that Jesus tells us that the I am is 
"the door." It is that central point of our individual 
Being which opens into the whole illimitable Life of 
the Infinite. If we would understand the old-world 
precept, "know thyself," we must concentrate our 
thought more and more closely upon our own interior 
Life until we touch its central radiating point, and 
there we shall find that the door into the Infinite 
is indeed opened to us, and that we can pass from the 
innermost of our own Being into the innermost of 
All-Being. This is why Jesus spoke of "the door" 
as that through which we should pass in and out and 
find pasture. Pasture, the feeding of every faculty 
with its proper food, is to be found both on the within 
and the without. The livingness of Life consists in 
both concentration and externalisation : it is not the 
dead equilibrium of inertia, but the living equilibrium 
of a vital and rhythmic pulsation. Involution and 
evolution must forever alternate, and the door of com- 
munication between them is the I am which is the liv- 
ing power in both. Thus it is that the Great Affirma- 
tion is the Secret of Life, and that to say I am with a 
true understanding of all that it implies is to place 
ourselves in touch with all the powers of the Infinite. 

This is the Universal and Eternal Affirmation to 



The Bible and the New Thought 177 

which no predicate is attached; and all particular af- 
firmations will be found to be only special differen- 
tiations of this all-embracing one. I will this or that 
particular thing because I know that I can bring it 
into externalisation, and I know that I can because I 
know that I am, and so we always come back to the 
great central Affirmation of All-Being. Search the 
Scriptures and you will find that from first to last they 
teach only this: that every human soul is an mdivid- 
ualisation of that Universal Being, or All-Spirit, which 
we call God, and that Spirit can never be shorn of its 
powers, but like Fire, which is its symbol, must always 
be fully and perfectly itself, which is Life in all its 
unlimited fulness. 

In assigning to Affirmation, therefore, the impor- 
tance which it does, the New Thought movement is at 
one with the teaching of Jesus and Moses and of the 
entire Bible. And the reason is clear. There is only 
one Truth, and therefore careful seeking can bring 
men only to the same Truth, whether they be Bible- 
writers or any other. The Bible derives its authority 
from the inherent truth of the things it tells of, and 
not vice versa ; and if these things be true at all, they 
would be equally true even though no Bible had ever 
been written. But, taking the Great Affirmation as 
our guide, we shall find that the system taught by the 
Bible is scientific and logical throughout, and there- 
fore any other system which is scientifically true will 
be found to correspond with it in substance, however 



178 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

it may differ from it in form ; and thus, in their state- 
ments regarding the power of Affirmation, the expo- 
nents of the New Thought broach no new-fangled 
absurdity, but only reiterate a great truth which has 
been before the world, though very imperfectly recog- 
nised, for thousands of years. 

in 

The Father 

If, as we have seen, "the Son" is the differentiating 
principle of Spirit, giving rise to innumerable indi- 
vidualities, "the Father*' is the unifying principle by 
which these innumerable individualities are bound to- 
gether into one common life, and the necessity for 
recognising this great basis of the universal harmony 
forms the foundation of Jesus' teaching on the subject 
of Worship. "Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, 
when neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, 
shall ye worship the Father. Ye worship that which 
ye know not; we worship that which we know; for 
salvation is from the Jews. But the hour cometh and 
now is when the true worshippers shall worship the 
Father in spirit and truth" (Revised Version). In 
these few words the Great Teacher sums up the whole 
subject. He lays particular stress on the kind of wor- 
ship that he means. It is, before all things, founded 
upon knowledge. 



The Bible and the New Thought 179 

"We worship that which we know," and it is this 
knowledge that gives the worship a healthful and life- 
giving quality. It is not the ignorant worship of won- 
derment and fear, a mere abasement of ourselves be- 
fore some vast, vague, unknown power, which may 
injure us if we do not find out how to propitiate it; 
but it is a definite act performed with a definite pur- 
pose, which means that it is the employment of one of 
our natural faculties upon its proper object in an in- 
telligent manner. The ignorant Samaritan worship is 
better than no worship at all, for at least it realises 
the existence of some centre around which a man's life 
should revolve, something to prevent the aimless dis- 
persion of His powers for want of a centripetal force 
to bind them together; and even the crudest notion of 
prayer, as a mere attempt to induce God to change his 
mind, is at least a first step towards the truth that 
full supply for all our needs may be drawn from the 
Infinite. Still, such worship as this is hampered with 
perplexities, and can give only a feeble answer to the 
atheistical sneer which asks, "What is man, that God 
should be mindful of him, a momentary atom among 
unnumbered worlds?" 

Now the teaching of Jesus throws all these per- 
plexities aside with the single word "knowledge." 
There is only one true way of doing anything, and 
that is knowing exactly what it is we want to do, and 
knowing exactly why we want to do it. All other 
doing is blundering. We may blunder into the right 



180 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

thing sometimes, but we cannot make this our prin- 
ciple of life to all eternity; and if we have to give up 
the blunder method eventually, why not give it up now, 
and begin at once to profit by acting according to 
intelligible principle? The knowledge that "the Son," 
as individualised Spirit, has his correlative in "the 
Father," as Universal Spirit, affords the clue we need. 
In whatever way we may attempt to explain it, the 
fact remains that volition is the fundamental character- 
istic of Spirit. We may speak of conscious, or sub- 
conscious or super-conscious action; but in whatever 
way we may picture to ourselves the condition of the 
agent as contemplating his own action, a general pur- 
poseful lifeward tendency becomes abundantly evident 
on any enlarged view of Nature, whether seen from 
without or from within, and we may call this by the 
general name of volition. But the error we have to 
avoid is that of supposing volition to take the same 
form in Universal Spirit as in individualised Spirit. 
The very terms "universal" and "individual" forbid 
this. For the universal, as such, to exercise specific 
volition, concentrating itself upon the details of a spe- 
cific case, would be for it to pass into individualisation, 
and to cease to be the Absolute and Infinite ; it would 
be no longer "the Father," but "the Son." It is there- 
fore exactly by not exercising specific volition that "the 
Father" continues to be "the Father," or the Great 
Unifying Principle. But the volitional quality is not 
on this account absent from Spirit in the Universal; 



The Bible and the New Thought 181 

for otherwise whence would that quality appear in our- 
selves? It is present; but according to the nature of 
the plane on which it is acting. The Universal is not 
the Specific, and everything on the plane of the Uni- 
versal must partake of the nature of that plane. Hence 
volition in "the Father" is not specific ; and that which 
is not specific and individual must be generic. Gen- 
eric volition, therefore, is that mode of volition which 
belongs to the Universal, and generic volition is ten- 
dency. This is the solution of the enigma, and this 
solution is given, not obscurely, in Jesus' statement 
that "the Father" seeks those true worshippers who 
worship Him in spirit and in truth. 

For what do we mean by tendency? From the root 
of tendere, to stretch; it signifies a pushing out in a 
certain definite direction, the tension of some force 
seeking to expand itself. What force ? The Universal 
Life-Principle, for "the Spirit is Life." In the lan- 
guage of modern science this "seeking" on the part 
of "the Father" is the expansive pressure of the Uni- 
versal Life-Principle seeking the line of least resist- 
ance, along which to flow into the fullest manifesta- 
tion of individualised Life. It is a tendency which 
will take manifested form according to the degree in 
which it meets with reception. 

St. John says, "This is the boldness that we have 
towards him, that if we ask anything according to His 
will, He heareth us; and if we know that He heareth 
us whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the peti- 



1 82 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

tions that we have asked of Him" (i John v. 14). 
Now according to the popular notion of "the will of 
God," this passage entirely loses its value, because it 
makes everything depend on our asking "according 
to His will," and if we start with the idea of an indi- 
vidual act of the Divine volition in each separate case, 
nothing short of a special revelation continually re- 
peated could inform us what the Divine will in each 
particular instance was. Viewed in this light, this 
passage is a mere jeering at our incapacity. But when 
once we realise that "the will of God" is an invariable 
law of tendency, we have a clear standard by which to 
test whether we may rightly expect to get what we 
desire. We can study this law of tendency as we 
would any other law, and it is this study that is the 
essence of true worship. 

The word "worship" means to count worthy; to 
count worthy, that is, of observation. The proverb 
says that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" ; 
more truly we may say that it is the sincerest worship. 
Hence the true worship is the study of the Universal 
Life-Principle "the Father," in its nature and in its 
modes of action ; and when we have thus realised "the 
Law of God," the law that is inherent in the nature of 
Infinite Being, we shall know that by conforming our 
own particular action to this generic law, we shall find 
that this law will in every instance work out the re- 
sults that we desire. This is nothing more or less 
miraculous than what occurs in every case of applied 



The Bible and the New Thought 183 

science. He only is the true chemist or engineer who, 
by first learning how to obey the generic tendency of 
natural laws, is able to command them to the fulfil- 
ment of his individual purposes ; no other method will 
succeed. Similarly with the student of the divine mys- 
tery of Life. He must first learn the great laws of its 
generic tendency, and then he will be in a position to 
apply that tendency to the working of any specific 
effect he will. 

Common sense tells us what the law of this tendency 
must be. The Master taught that a house divided 
against itself cannot stand ; and for the Life-Principle 
to do anything restrictive of the fullest expansion of 
life, would be for it to act to its own destruction. The 
test, therefore, in every case, whether our intention 
falls within the scope of the great law, is this : Does 
it operate for the expansion or for the restriction of 
life? and according to the answer we can say posi- 
tively whether or not our purpose is according to "the 
will of God." Therefore so long as we work within 
the scope of this generic "will of the Father" we need 
have no fear of the Divine Providence, as an agency, 
acting adversely to us. We may dismiss this bugbear, 
for we ourselves are manifestations of the very power 
which we call "the Father." The I am is one; and so 
long as we preserve this unity by conforming to the 
generic nature of the I am in the universal, it will 
certainly never destroy the unity by entering upon a 
specific course of action on its own account. 



184 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

Here, then, we find the secret of power. It is con- 
tained in the true worship of "the Father," which is 
the constant recognition of the lifegivingness of Orig- 
inating Spirit, and of the fact that we, as individuals, 
still continue to be portions of that Spirit; and that 
therefore the law of our nature is to be perpetually 
drawing life from the inexhaustible stores of the In- 
finite not bottles of water-of-life mixed with other 
ingredients and labelled for this or that particular pur- 
pose, but the full flow of the pure stream itself, which 
we are free to use for any purpose we desire. "Who- 
soever will, let him take the water of life freely." It 
is thus that the worship of "the Father" becomes the 
central principle of the individual life, not as curtail- 
ing our liberty, but as affording the only possible basis 
for it. As a planetary system would be impossible 
without a central controlling sun, so harmonious life 
is impossible without the recognition of Infinite Spirit 
as that Power, whose generic tendency serves to con- 
trol each individual being into its proper orbit. This 
is the teaching of the Bible, and it is also the teaching 
of the New Thought, which says that life with all its 
limitless possibilities is a continual outflow from the 
Infinite which we may turn in any direction that we 
desire. 

But, it may be asked, what happens if we go counter 
to this generic law of Spirit? This is an important 
question, and I must leave the answer for further con- 
sideration. 



The Bible and the New Thought 185 

IV 

Conclusion 

I concluded my last chapter with the momentous 
question, What happens if we go counter to the generic 
law of Spirit ? What happens if we go counter to any 
natural law? Obviously, the law goes counter to us. 
We can use the laws of Nature, but we cannot alter 
them. By opposing any natural law we place ourselves 
in an inverted position with regard to it, and therefore, 
viewed from this false standpoint, it appears as though 
the law itself were working against us with definite 
purpose. But the inversion proceeds entirely from 
ourselves, and not from any change in the action of the 
law. The law of Spirit, like all other natural laws, is 
in itself impersonal; but we carry into it, so to speak, 
the reflection of our own personality, though we can- \ 
not alter its generic character; and therefore, if we 
oppose its generic tendency towards the universal good, 
we shall find in it the reflection of our own opposition 
and waywardness. 

The law of Spirit proceeds unalterably on its course, 
and what is spoken of in popular phraseology as the 
Divine wrath is nothing else than the reflex action 
which, naturally follows when we put ourselves in 
opposition to this law. The evil that results is not a 
personal intervention of the Universal Spirit, which 
would imply its entering into specific manifestation, 



1 86 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

but it is the natural outcome of the causes that we 
ourselves have set in motion. But the effect to our- 
selves will be precisely the same as if they were 
brought about by the volition of an adverse person- 
ality, though we may not realise that in truth the per- 
sonal element is our own. And if we are at all aware 
of the wonderfully complex nature of man, and the 
various interweavings of principles which unite the 
material body at one end of the scale to the purely 
spiritual Ego at the other, we shall have some faint 
idea of on how vast a field these adverse influences 
may operate, not being restricted to the plane of out- 
ward manifestation, but acting equally on those inner 
planes which give rise to the outer and are of a more 
enduring nature. 

Thus the philosophic study of Spirit, so far from 
affording any excuse for laxity of conduct, adds an 
emphatic definiteness to the Bible exhortation to flee 
from the wrath of God. But, on the other hand, it 
delivers us from groundless terrors, the fear lest our 
repentance should not be accepted, the fear lest we 
should be rejected for our inability to subscribe to 
some traditional dogma, the fear of utter uncertainty 
regarding the future fears which make life bitter 
and the prospect of death appalling to those who are 
in bondage to them. The knowledge that we are deal- 
ing with a power which is no respecter of persons, and 
in which is no variableness, which is, in fact, an un- 



The Bible and the New Thought 187 

alterable Law, at once delivers us from all these 
terrors. 

The very unchangeableness of Law makes it certain 
that no amount of past opposition to it, whether from 
ignorance or wilfulness, will prevent it from working 
in accordance with its own beneficent and life-giving 
character as soon as we quit our inverted position and 
place ourselves in our true relation towards it. The 
laws of Nature do not harbour revenge; and once we 
adapt our methods to their character, they will work 
for us without taking any retrospective notice of our 
past errors. The law of Spirit may be more complex 
than that of electricity, because, as expressed in us, it 
is the law of conscious individuality ; but it is none the 
less a purely natural law, and follows the universal 
rule, and therefore we may dismiss from our minds, as 
a baseless figment, the fear of any Divine power treas- 
uring up anger against us on account of bygones, if 
we are sincerely seeking to do what is right now. 
The new causes which we put in motion now will pro- 
duce their proper effect as surely as the old causes 
did; and thus by inaugurating a new sequence of good 
we shall cut off the old sequence of evil. Only, of 
course, we cannot expect to bring about the new se- 
quence while continuing to repeat the old causes, for 
the fruit must necessarily reproduce the nature of the 
seed. Thus we are the masters of the situation, and, 
whether in this world or the next, it rests with our- 



1 88 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

selves either to perpetuate the evil or to wipe it out 
and put the good in its place. And it may be noticed 
in passing that the great central Christian doctrine is 
based upon the most perfect knowledge of this law, 
and is the practical application to a profound problem 
of the deepest psychological science. But this is a 
large subject, and cannot be suitably dealt with here. 
Much has been written and said on the origin of evil, 
and a volume might be filled with the detailed study 
of the subject; but for all practical purposes it may be 
summed up in the one word limitation. For what is 
the ultimate cause of all strife, whether public or 
private, but the notion that the supply of good is 
limited? With the bulk of mankind this is a fixed 
idea, and they therefore argue that because there is 
only a certain limited quantity of good, the share in 
their possession can be increased only by correspond- 
ingly diminishing some one else's share. Any one 
entertaining the same idea, naturally resents the at- 
tempt to deprive him of any portion of this limited 
quantity; and hence arises the whole crop of envy, 
hatred, fraud, and violence, whether between indi- 
viduals, classes, or nations. If people only realised 
the truth that "good" is not a certain limited quantity, 
but a stream continuously flowing from the exhaust- 
less Infinite, and ready to take any direction we choose 
to give it, and that each one is able by the action of 
his own thought to draw from it indefinitely, the sub- 
stitution of this new and true idea for the old and 



The Bible and the New Thought 189 

false one of limitation would at one stroke remove all 
strife and struggle from the world; every man would 
find a helper instead of a competitor in every other, 
and the very laws of Nature, which now so often seem 
to war against us, would be found a ceaseless source 
of profit and delight. 

"They could not enter into rest because of unbe- 
lief," "they limited the Holy One of Israel" : in these 
words the Bible, like the New Thought, traces all the 
sorrow of the world that terrible W elischmerz which 
expresses itself with such direful influence through 
the pessimistic literature of the day to the one root 
of a false belief, the belief in man's limitation. Only 
substitute for it the true belief, and the evil would 
be at an end. Now the ground of this true belief is 
that clear apprehension of "the Father" which, as I 
have shown, forms the basis of Jesus' teaching. If, 
from one point of view, the Intelligent Universal Life- 
Principle is a Power to be obeyed, in the same sense in 
which we have to obey all the laws of Nature, from the 
opposite point of view, it is a power to be used. We 
must never lose sight of the fact that obedience to any 
natural law in its generic tendency necessarily carries 
with it a corresponding power of using- that law in 
specific application. This is the old proverb that 
knowledge is power. It is the old paradox* with which 
Jesus posed the ignorant scribes as to how David's 
Lord could also be his Son. The word "David" 
means "Beloved" and to be beloved implies that recip- 



190 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

rocal sympathy which is intuitive knowledge. Hence 
David, the Beloved, is the man who has realised his 
true relation as a Son to his Father and who is "in 
tune with the Infinite." On the other hand, this 
"Infinite" is his "Lord" because it is the complex 
of all those unchangeable Laws from which it is im- 
possible to swerve without suffering consequent loss 
of power; and on the other, this knowledge of the 
innermost principles of All-Being puts him in possession 
of unlimited powers which he can apply to any specific 
purpose that he will ; and thus he stands towards them 
in the position of a father who has authority to com- 
mand the services of his son. Thus David's "Lord" 
becomes by a natural transition his "Son." 

And it is precisely in this that the principle of "Son- 
ship" consists. It is the raising of man from the con- 
dition of bondage as a servant by reason of limitation 
to the status of a son by the entire removal of all 
limitations. To believe and act on this principle is to 
"believe on the Son of God," and a practical belief in 
our own sonship thus sets us free from all evil and 
from all fear of evil it brings us out of the kingdom 
of death into the kingdom of Life. Like everything 
else, it has to grow, but the good seed of liberating 
Truth once planted in the heart is sure to germinate, 
and the more we endeavour to foster its growth by seek- 
ing to grasp with our understanding the reason of these 
things and to realise our knowledge in practice, the 
more rapidly we shall find our lives increase in living- 



The Bible and the New Thought 191 

ness a joy to ourselves, a brightness to our homes, 
and a blessing expanding to all around in ever-widen- 
ing circles. 

Enough has now been said to show the identity of 
principle between the teaching of the Bible and that 
of the New Thought. Treated in detail, the subject 
would extend to many volumes explanatory of the Old 
and New Testaments, and if that great work were ever 
carried out I have no hesitation in saying that the agree- 
ment would be found to extend to the minutest particu- 
lars. But the hints contained in the foregoing papers 
will, I hope, suffice to show that there is nothing antag- 
onistic between the two systems, or, rather, to show 
that they are one the statement of the One Truth 
which always has been and always will be. And if what 
I have now endeavoured to put before my readers 
should lead any of them to follow up the subject more 
fully for themselves, I can promise them an inexhaus- 
tible store of wonder, delight, and strength in the study 
of the Old Book in the light of the New Thought. 

1902. 



XX 

JACHIN AND BOAZ 

"AND he reared up the pillars before the temple, one 
on the right hand, and the other on the left ; and called 
the name of that on the right hand Jachin, and the 
name of that on the left Boaz." (II Chron. iii, 17.) 

Very likely some of us have wondered what was the 
meaning of these two mysterious pillars set up by Sol- 
omon in front of his temple, and why they were called 
by these strange names ; and then we have dropped the 
subject as one of those inexplicable things handed down 
in the Bible from old time which, we suppose, can have 
no practical interest for us at the present day. Never- 
theless, these strange names are not without a purpose. 
They contain the key to the entire Bible and to the 
whole order of Nature, and as emblems of the two 
great principles that are the pillars of the universe, they 
fitly stood at the threshold of that temple which was 
designed to symbolise all the mysteries of Being. 

In all the languages of the Semitic stock the letters 
J and Y are interchangeable, as we see in the modern 
Arabic "Yakub" for "Jacob" and the old Hebrew 
"Yaveh" for "Jehovah." This gives us the form 

192 



Jachin and Boas 193 

"Yachin," which at once reveals the enigma. The 
word Yak signifies "one" ; and the termination "hi," or 
"hin," is an intensitive which may be rendered in 
English by "only." Thus the word "Jachin" resolves 
itself into the words "one only," the all-embracing 
Unity. 

The meaning of Boaz is clearly seen in the book of 
Ruth. There Boaz appears as the kinsman exercising 
the right of pre-emption so familiar to those versed in 
Oriental law a right which has for its purpose the 
maintenance of the Family as the social unit. Accord- 
ing to this widely-spread custom, the purchaser, who is 
not a member of the family, buys the property subject 
to the right of kinsmen within certain degrees to pur- 
chase it back, and so bring it once more into the family 
to which it originally belonged. Whatever may be our 
personal opinions regarding the vexed questions of 
dogmatic theology, we can all agree as to the general 
principle indicated in the role acted by Boaz. He brings 
back the alienated estate into the family that is to say, 
he "redeems" it in the legal sense of the word. As a 
matter of law his power to do this results from his 
membership in the family ; but his motive for doing it 
is love, his affection for Ruth. Without pushing the 
analogy too far we may say, then, that Boaz represents 
the principle of redemption in the widest sense of 
reclaiming an estate by right of relationship, while the 
innermost moving power in its recovery is Love. 

This is what Boaz stands for in the beautiful story 



194 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

of Ruth, and there is no reason why we should not let 
the same name stand for the same thing when we seek 
the meaning of the mysterious pillar. Thus the two 
pillars typify Unity and the redeeming power of Love, 
with the significant suggestion that the redemption re- 
sults from the Unity. They correspond with the two 
"bonds," or uniting principles spoken of by St. Paul, 
"the Unity of the Spirit which is the Bond of Peace," 
and "Love, which is the Bond of Perfectness." 

The former is Unity of Being; the latter, Unity of 
Intention : and the principle of this Dual-Unity is well 
illustrated by the story of Boaz. The whole story pro- 
ceeds on the idea of the Family as the social unit, the 
root-conception of all Oriental law, and if we consider 
the Family in this light, we shall see how exactly it 
embodies the two- fold idea of Jachin and Boaz, unity 
of Being and unity of Thought. The Family forms 
a unit because all the members proceed from a com- 
mon progenitor, and are thus all of one blood; but, 
although this gives them a natural unity of Being of 
which they cannot divest themselves, it is not enough in 
itself to make them a united family, as unfortunately 
experience too often shows. Something more is 
wanted, and that something is Love. There must be a 
personal union brought about by sympathetic Thought 
to complete the natural union resulting from birth. 
The inherent unity must be expressed by the Individual 
volition of each member, and thus the Family becomes 



Jachin and Boaz 195 

the ideally perfect social unit ; a truth to which St. Paul 
alludes when he calls God the Father from Whom every 
family in heaven and on earth is named. Thus Boaz 
stands for the principle which brings back to the origi- 
nal Unity that which has been for a time separated from 
it. There has never been any separation of actual 
Being the family right always subsisted in the prop- 
erty even while in the hands of strangers, otherwise it 
could never have been brought back ; but it requires the 
Love principle to put this right into effective operation. 

When this begins to work in the knowledge of its 
right to do so, then there is the return of the individual 
to the Unity, and the recognition of himself as the par- 
ticular expression of the Universal in virtue of his own 
nature. 

These two pillars, therefore, stand for the two great 
spiritual principles that are the basis of all Life : Jachin 
typifying the Unity resulting from Being, and Boaz 
typifying the Unity resulting from Love. In this Dual- 
Unity we find the key to all conceivable involution or 
evolution of Spirit ; and it is therefore not without rea- 
son that the record of these two ancient pillars has 
been preserved in our Scriptures. And finally we may 
take this as an index to the character of our Scriptures 
generally. They contain infinite meanings; and often 
those passages which appear on the surface to be most 
meaningless will be found to possess the deepest sig- 
nificance. The Book, which we often read so super- 



196 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

ficially, hides beneath its sometimes seemingly trivial 
words the secrets of other things. The twin pillars 
Jachin and Boaz bear witness to this truth. 1 

1 The following comment was made by Judge Troward, after 
the publication of this paper in Expression: 

"The Two Pillars of the Universe are Personality and Mathe- 
matics, represented by Boaz and Jachin respectively. This is the 
broadest simplification to which it is possible to reduce things. 
Balance consists in preserving the Equilibrium or Alternating 
Current between these two Principles. Personality is the Abso- 
lute Factor. Mathematics are the Relative Factor, for they 
merely Measure different Rates or Scales. They are absolute 
in this respect. A particular scale having been selected all its 
sequences will follow by an inexorable Law of Order and Pro- 
portion; but the selection of the scale and the change from one 
scale to another rests entirely with Personality. What Per- 
sonality can not do is to make one Scale produce the results of 
another, but it can set aside one scale and substitute another for 
it. Hence Personality contains in itself the Universal Scale, or 
can either accommodate itself to lower rates of motion already 
established, or can raise them to its own rate of motion. Hence 
Personality is the grand Ultimate Fact in all things. 

"Different personalities should be regarded as different degrees 
of consciousness. They are different degrees of emergence of 
The Power that knows Itself." 



XXI 
HEPHZIBAH 

"Tnou shalt no more be termed Forsaken ; neither shall 
thy land any more be termed Desolate ; but thou shalt 
be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah : for the Lord 
delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married" 
(Isaiah Ixii, 4) . The name Hephzibah or, as it might 
be written, Hafzbah conveys a very distinct idea to 
any one who has lived in the East, and calls up a string 
of familiar words all containing the same root hafz, 
which signifies "guarding" or "taking care of," such as 
hafiz, a protector, muhafiz, a custodian, as in the word 
muhafiz daftar, a head record-keeper ; or again, hifasat, 
custody, as bahifazat polls, in custody of the police ; or 
again, daim-ul-hafz, imprisonment for life, and other 
similar expressions. 

All words from this root suggest the idea of "guard- 
ing," and therefore the name Haphzibah at once speaks 
its own meaning. It is "one who is guarded," a "pro- 
tected one." And answering to this there must be some 
power which guards, and the name of this power is 
given in Hosea ii, 16, where it is called "Ishi." "And 
it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt 
call me Ishi; and thou shalt call me no more Baali." 

197 



198 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

"Baali" means "lord," "Ishi" means "husband," and 
between the two there is a whole world of distinction. 

To call the Great Power "Baali" is to live in one 
world, and to call it "Ishi" is to live in another. The 
world that is ruled over by Baali is a world of "mis- 
erable worms of the dust" and such crawling creatures ; 
but the world that is warmed and lightened by "Ishi" 
is one in which men and women walk upright, conscious 
of their own divine nature, instead of dodging about to 
escape being crushed under the feet of Moloch as he 
strides through his dominions. If the name Baali 
did not suggest a wrong idea there would be no need 
to change it for another, and the change of name there- 
fore indicates the opening of the mind to a larger 
and sounder conception of the true nature of the Ruling 
Principle of the universe. It is no imperious autocrat, 
the very apotheosis of self-glorification, ill-natured and 
spiteful if its childish vanity be not gratified by hear- 
ing its own praises formally proclaimed, often from 
lips opened only by fear; nor is it an almighty ex- 
tortioner desiring to deprive us of what we value most, 
either to satisfy its greed or to demonstrate its sov- 
ereignty. This is the image which men make of God 
and then bow terrified before it, offering a worship 
which is the worship of Baal, and making life blank 
because all the livingness has 'been wiped out of it. 

Ishi is the embodiment of the very opposite concep- 
tion, a wise and affectionate husband, instead of a task- 
master exploiting his slaves. In its true aspect the re- 



Hephzibah 199 

lation of husband and wife is entirely devoid of any 
question of relative superiority or inferiority. As well 
ask whether the front wheel or the back wheel of 
your bicycle is the more important. The two make a 
single whole, in which the functions of both parts are 
reciprocal and equally necessary ; yet for this very rea- 
son these functions cannot be identical. 

In a well-ordered home, where husband and wife are 
united by mutual love and respect, we see that the man's 
function is to enter into the larger world and to pro- 
vide the wife with all that is needed for the mainte- 
nance and comfort of the home, while the function of 
the woman is to be the distributor of what her husband 
provides, in doing which she follows her own discre- 
tion ; and a sensible man, knowing that he can trust a 
sensible wife, does not want to poke his finger into 
every pie. Thus all things run harmoniously the 
woman relieved of responsibilities which are not 
naturally hers, and the man relieved of responsibilities 
which are not naturally his. But let any perplexity 
or danger arise, and the woman knows that from her 
husband she will receive all the guidance and protec- 
tion that the occasion may require, he being the wise 
and strong man that we have supposed him, and having 
this assurance she is able to pursue the avocations of 
her own sphere undisturbed by any fears or anxieties. 

It is this relation of protection and guidance that 
is implied by the word Hephzibah. It is the name of 
those who realise their identity with the all-ordering 



2OO The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

Divine Spirit. He who realises this unity with the 
Spirit finds himself both guided and guarded. And 
here we touch the fringe of a deep natural mystery, 
which formed the basis of all that was most valuable in 
the higher mysteries of the ancients, and the substance 
of which we must realise if we are to make any prog- 
ress in the future, whatever form we may adopt to 
convey the idea to ourselves or others. It is the rela- 
tion of the individual mind to the Universal Mind, the 
combination of unity with independence which, though 
quite clear when we know it by personal experience, is 
almost inexpressible in words, but which is frequently 
represented in the Bible under the figure of the mar- 
riage relations. 

It is a basic principle, and in various modes pervades 
all Nature, and has been symbolised in every religion 
the world has known; and in proportion as the indi- 
vidual realises this relation he will find that he is able 
to use the Universal Mind, while at the same time he is 
guided and guarded by it. For think what it would be 
to wield the power of the Universal Mind without 
having its guidance. It would be the old story of 
Phaeton trying to drive the chariot of the Sun, which 
ended in his own destruction ; and limitless power with- 
out corresponding guidance would be the most terrible 
curse that any one could bring upon his head. 

The relation between the individual mind and the 
Universal Mind, as portrayed in the reciprocally con- 
nected names of Hephzibah and Ishi, must never be lost 



Hephzibah 201 

sight of; for the Great Guiding Mind, immeasurably 
as it transcends our intellectual consciousness, is not 
another than ourselves. It is The One Self which is 
the foundation of all the individual selves, and which 
is, therefore, in all its limitlessness, as entirely one with 
each individual as though no other being existed. 
Therefore we do not have to go out of ourselves to 
find it, for it is the expansion to infinity of all that we 
truly are, having, indeed, no place for those negative 
forms of evil with which we people a world of illusion, 
for it is the very Light itself, and in it all illusion is 
dispelled; but it is the expansion to infinity of all in 
us that is Affirmative, all that is really living. 

Therefore, in looking for its guiding and guarding 
we are relying upon no borrowed power from without, 
held at the caprice and option of another, but upon the 
supreme fact of our own nature, which we can use in 
what direction we will with perfect freedom, knowing 
no limitation save the obligation not to do violence to 
our own purest and highest feelings. And this relation 
is entirely natural. We must steer the happy mean be- 
tween imploring and ignoring. A natural law does 
not need to be entreated before it will work; and, on 
the other hand, we cannot make use of it while ignoring 
its existence. 

What we have to do, therefore, is to take the work- 
ing of the law for granted, and make use of it accord- 
ingly; and since that is the law of Mind, and Mind is 
Personality, this Power, which is at once ourselves and 



2O2 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

above ourselves, may be treated as a Person and may 
be spoken with, and its replies received by the inner 
ear of the heart. Any scheme of philosophy that does 
not result in this personal intercourse with the Divine 
Mind falls short of the mark. It may be right so far as 
it goes, but it does not go far enough, and fails to con- 
nect us with our vital centre. Names are of small im- 
portance so long as the intercourse is real. The Su- 
preme Mind with which we converse is only to be met 
in the profoundest depths of our own being, and, as 
Tennyson says, is more perfectly ourselves than our 
own hands and feet. It is our natural Base; and 
realising this we shall find ourselves to be in very truth 
"guarded ones," guided by the Spirit in all things, 
nothing too great and nothing too trivial to come 
within the great Law of our being. 

There is another aspect of the Spirit in which it is 
seen as a Power to be used; and the full flow of life 
is in the constant alternation between this aspect and 
the one we have been considering, but always we are 
linked with the Universal Mind as the flower lives by 
reason of its root. The connection itself is intrinsic, 
and can never be severed; but it must be consciously 
realised before it can be consciously used. All our 
development consists in the increasing consciousness of 
this connection, which enables us to apply the higher 
power to whatever purpose we may have in hand, not 
merely in the hope that it may respond, but with the 
-certain knowledge that by the law of its own nature it 



Hephzibah 203 

is bound to do so, and likewise with the knowledge that 
by the same law it is bound also to guide us to the 
selection of right objects and right methods. 

Experience will teach us to detect the warning move- 
ment of the inner Guide. A deepseated sense of dis- 
satisfaction, an indescribable feeling that somehow 
everything is not right, are the indications to which 
we do well to pay heed ; for we are "guarded ones," and 
these interior monitions are the working of that inner- 
most principle of our own being which is the immediate 
outflowing of the Great Universal Life into indi- 
viduality. But, paying heed to this, we shall find our- 
selves guarded, not as prisoners, but as a loved and hon- 
oured wife, whose freedom is assured by a protection 
which will allow no harm to assail her; we shall find 
that the Law of our nature is Liberty, and that nothing 
but our own want of understanding can shut us out 
from it. 



XXII 
MIND AND HAND 

I HAVE before me a curious piece of ancient Egyptian 
symbolism. It represents the sun sending down to the 
earth innumerable rays, with the peculiarity that each 
ray terminates in a hand. This method of represent- 
ing the sun is so unusual that it suggests the presence in 
the designer's mind of some idea rather different from 
those generally associated with the sun as a spiritual 
emblem; and, if I interpret the symbol rightly, it sets 
forth the truth, not only of the Divine Being as the 
Great Source of all Life and of all Illumination, but 
also the correlative truth of our individual relation to 
that centre. Each ray is terminated by a hand, and a 
hand is the emblem of active working; and I think 
it would be difficult to give a better symbolical repre- 
sentation of innumerable individualities, each working 
separately, yet all deriving their activity from a com- 
mon source. The hand is at work upon the earth, and 
the sun, from which it is a ray, is shining in the 
heavens ; but the connecting line shows whence all the 
strength and skill of the hand are derived. 

If we look at the microcosm of our own person we 
204 



Mind and Hand 205 

find this principle exactly reproduced. Our hand is the 
instrument by which all our work is done literary, 
artistic, mechanical, or household but we know that 
all this work is really the work of the mind, the will- 
power at the centre of our system, which first deter- 
mines what is to be done, and then sets the hand to 
work to do it; and in the doing of it the mind and 
hand become one, so that the hand is none other than 
the mind working. Now, transferring this analogy to 
the microcosm, we see that we each stand in the same 
relation to the Universal Mind that our hand does to 
our individual mind at least, that is our normal re- 
lation; and we shall never put forth our full strength 
except from this standpoint. 

We rightly realise our will as the centre of our in- 
dividuality, but we should do better to picture our in- 
dividuality as an ellipse rather than a circle, a figure 
having two "conjugate foci," two equilibriated centres 
of revolution rather than a single one, one of which is 
the will-power or faculty of doing, and the other the 
consciousness or perception of being. If we realise 
only one of these two centres we shall lose both mental 
and moral balance. If we lose sight of that centre 
which is our personal will, we shall become flabby vi- 
sionaries without any backbone; and if, in our anxiety 
to develop backbone, we lost sight of the other centre, 
we shall find that we have lost that which corresponds 
to the lungs and heart in the physical body, and that our 
backbone, however perfectly developed, is rapidly dry- 



206 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

ing up for want of those functions which minister 
vitality to the whole system, and is only fit to be hung 
up in a museum to show what a rigid, lifeless thing the 
strongest vertebral column becomes when separated 
from the organisation by which alone it can receive 
nourishment. We must realise the one focus of our in- 
dividuality as clearly as the other, and bring both into 
equal balance, if we would develop all our powers and 
rise to that perfection of Life which has no limits to its 
glorious possibilities. 

Keeping the ancient Egyptian symbol before used, 
and considering ourselves as the hand, we find that we 
derive all our power from an infinite centre; and be- 
cause it is infinite we need never fear that we shall fail 
to draw to ourselves all that we require for our work, 
whether it be the intelligence to lay hold of the proper 
tool, or the strength to use it. And, moreover, we learn 
from the symbol that this central power is generic. 
This is a most important truth. It is the centre from 
which all the hands proceed, and is as fully open to any 
one hand as to any other. Each hand is doing its sepa- 
rate work, and the whole of the central energy is at its 
disposal for its own specific purpose. The work of the 
central energy, as such, is to supply vitality to the 
hands, and it is they that differentiate this universal 
power into all the varied forms of application which 
their different aptitudes and opportunities suggest. 
We, as the hands, live and work because the Central 
Mind lives and works in us. We are one with it, and it 



Mind and Hand 207 

is one with us; and so long as we keep this primal 
truth before us, we realise ourselves as beings of un- 
limited goodness and intelligence and power, and we 
work in the fulness of strength and confidence accord- 
ingly; but if we lose sight of this truth, we shall find 
that the strongest will must get exhausted at last in 
the unequal struggle of the individual against the uni- 
verse. 

For if we do not recognise the Central Mind as the 
source of our vitality, we are literally "fighting for our 
own hand," and all the other hands are against us, for 
we have lost the principle of connection with them. 
This is what must infallibly happen if we rely on noth- 
ing but our individual will-power. But if we realise 
that the will is the power by which we give out, and 
that every giving out implies a corresponding taking 
in, then we shall find in the boundless ocean of central 
living Spirit the source from which we can go on tak- 
ing in ad infinitum, and which thus enables us to give 
out to any extent we please. But for wise and effective 
giving out a strong and enlightened will is an absolute 
necessity, and therefore we do well to cultivate the will, 
or the active side of our nature. But we must equally 
cultivate the receptive side also ; and when we do this 
rightly by seeing in the Infinite Mind the one source of 
supply, our will-power becomes intensified by the 
knowledge that the whole power of the Infinite is 
present to back it up ; and with this continual sense of 
Infinite Power behind us we can go calmly and steadily 



2o8 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

to the accomplishment of any purpose, however diffi- 
cult, without straining or effort, knowing that it shall 
be achieved, not by the hand only, but by the invincible 
Mind that works through it. "Not by might, nor by 
power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." 
1902. 



XXIII 
THE CENTRAL CONTROL 

IN contemplating the relations between body, soul, and 
spirit, between Universal Mind and individual mind, 
the methodised study of which constitutes Mental 
Science, we must never forget that these relations indi- 
cate, not the separateness, but the unity of these prin- 
ciples. We must learn not to attribute one part of our 
action to one part of our being, and another to another. 
Neither the action nor the functions are split up into 
separate parts. The action is a whole, and the being 
that does it is a whole, and in the healthy organism 
the reciprocal movements of the principles are so har- 
monious as never to suggest any feeling than that of a 
perfectly whole and undivided self. If there is any 
other feeling we may be sure that there is abnormal 
action somewhere, and we should set ourselves to dis- 
cover and remove the cause of it. The reason for this 
is that in any perfect organism there cannot be more 
than one centre of control. 

A rivalry of controlling principles would be the de- 
struction of the organic wholeness ; for either the ele- 
ments would separate and group themselves round one 
or other of the centres, according to their respective 
affinities, and thus form two distinctive individualities, 

209 



2io The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

or else they would be reduced to a condition of merely 
chaotic confusion; in either case the original organism 
would cease to exist. Seen in this light, therefore, it is 
a self-evident truth that, if we are to retain our in- 
dividuality; in other words, if we are to continue to 
exist, it can be only by retaining our hold upon the 
central controlling principle in ourselves; and if this 
be the charter of our being, it follows that all our future 
development depends on our recognising and accepting 
this central controlling principle. To this end, there- 
fore, all our endeavours should be directed ; for other- 
wise all our studies in Mental Science will only lead us 
into a confused labyrinth of principles and counter- 
principles, which will be considerably worse than the 
state of ignorant simplicity from which we started. 

This central controlling principle is the Will, and 
we must never lose sight of the fact that all the other 
principles about which we have learnt in our studies 
exist only as its instruments. The Will is the true self, 
of which they are all functions, and all our progress 
consists of our increased recognition of the fact. It is 
the Will that says "I AM" ; and therefore, however ex- 
alted, or even in their higher developments apparently 
miraculous, our powers may be, they are all subject to 
the central controlling power of the Will. When the 
enlightened Will shall have learnt to identify itself per- 
fectly with the limitless powers of knowledge, judg- 
ment, and creative thought which are at its disposal, 
then the individual will have attained to perfect whole- 



The Central Control 21 1 

ness, and all limitations will have passed away for ever. 

And nothing short of this consciousness of Perfect 
Wholeness can satisfy us. Everything that falls short 
of it is in that degree an embodiment of the principle 
of Death, that great enemy against which the principle 
of Life must continue to wage unceasing war, in what- 
ever form or measure it may show itself, until "death is 
swallowed up in victory." There can be no compro- 
mise. Either we are affirming Life as a principle, or 
we are denying it, no matter on how great or how 
small a scale; and the criterion by which to determine 
our attitude is our realisation of our own Wholeness. 
Death is the principle of disintegration ; and whenever 
we admit the power of any portion of our organism, 
whether spiritual or bodily, to induce any condition 
independently of the intention of the Will, we admit 
that the force of disintegration is superior to the con- 
trolling centre in ourselves, and we conceive of our- 
selves as held in bondage by an adversary, from which 
bondage the only way of release is by the attainment 
of a truer way of thinking. 

And the reason is that, either through ignorance or 
carelessness, we have surrendered our position of con- 
trol over the system as a whole, and have lost the ele- 
ment of Purpose, around which the consciousness of 
individuality must always centre. Every state of our 
consciousness, whether active or passive, should be the 
result of a distinct purpose adopted by our own free 
will; for the passive states should be quite as much 



212 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

under the control of the Will as the active. It is the 
lack of purpose that deprives us of power. The higher 
and more clearly defined our purpose, the greater stim- 
ulus we have for realising our control over all our 
faculties for its attainment; and since the grandest of 
all purposes is the strengthening and ennobling of Life, 
in proportion as we make this our aim we shall find 
ourselves in union with the Supreme Universal Mind, 
acting each in our individual sphere for the furtherance 
of the same purpose which animates the ruling principle 
of the Great Whole, and, as a consequence, shall find 
that its intelligence and powers are at our disposal. 

But in all this there must be no strain. The true 
exercise of the Will is not an exercise of unnatural 
force. It is simply the leading of our powers into their 
natural channels by intelligently recognising the di- 
rection in which those channels go. However various 
in detail, they have one clearly defined common ten- 
dency towards the increasing of Life whether in our- 
selves or in others and if we keep this steadily in 
view, all our powers, whether interior or exterior, 
will be found to work so harmoniously together that 
there will be no sense of independent action on the part 
of any one of them. The distinctions drawn for pur- 
poses of study will be laid aside, and the Self in us 
will be 'found to be the realisation of a grand ideal 
being, at once individual and universal, consciously free 
in its individual wholeness and in its joyous participa- 
tion in the Life of the Universal Whole. 



XXIV 
WHAT Is HIGHER THOUGHT? 

Resolution passed October, 1902, by the Kensington Higher 
Thought Centre. 

"That the Centre stands for the definite teaching of 
absolute Oneness of Creator and Creation Cause and 
Effect and that nothing which tnay contradict or be in 
opposition to the above principles be admitted to the 
'Higher Thought' Centre Platform. 

"By Oneness of Cause and Effect is meant, that Effect 
(man) does consist only of what Cause is; but a part 
(individual personality) is not therefore co-extensive with 
the whole." 

THIS Resolution is of the greatest importance. Once 
admit that there is any Power outside yourself, however 
beneficent you may conceive it to be, and you have 
sown the seed which must sooner or later bear the fruit 
of "Fear" which is the entire ruin of Life, Love and 
Liberty. There is no via, media. Say we are only reflec- 
tions, however accurate, of The Life, and in the ad- 
mission we have given away our Birthright. However 
small or plausible may be the germ of thought which 
admits that we are anything less in principle than The 

213 



214 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

Life Itself, it must spring up to the ultimate ruin of the 
Life-Principle itself. We are It itself. The difference 
is only that between the generic and the specific of the 
same thing. We must contend earnestly, both within 
ourselves and outwardly, for the one great foundation 
and never, now on to all eternity, admit for a single 
instant any thought which is opposed to this, the Basic 
Truth of Being. 

The leading ideas connected with Higher Thought 
are (I) That Man controls circumstances, instead of 
being controlled by them, and (II) as a consequence of 
the foregoing, that whatever teaches us to rely on 
power borrowed from a source outside ourselves is no/- 
Higher Thought ; and that whatever explains to us the 
Infinite source of our own inherent power and the con- 
sequent limitless nature of that power is Higher 
Thought. This avoids the use of terms which may 
only puzzle those not accustomed to abstract phrase- 
ology, and is substantially the same as the resolution 
of October, 1902. 



XXV 

FRAGMENTS 

1. God is Love. 

Man, having the understanding of God, speaks the 
Word of Power. 

2. Man gives utterance to God. 

3. The Father is Equilibrium. 

The Son is Concentration of the same Spirit. 
The Spirit is Projection. 

The Tri-une Relation always consists of these 
Three : 

(I) The Potential (II) The Ideal (III) The 
Concrete. 

(I) The Potential is Life in its most highly abstract 
mode not yet brought into Form even as Thought. Not 
particularised in any way. 

(II) The Ideal is the particularising of the Poten- 
tial into a certain Formulated Thought. 

(III) The Concrete is the Manifestation of the For- 
mulated Thought in Visible Form. 

What everybody wants is to become more alive as 
Jesus said, "I am come that they might have Life 
and might have it more abundantly" and it is only 

215 



2 1 6 The Hidden Power and Other Essays 

on the basis of realising ourselves as a perfect unity 
throughout, not made up of opposing parts, and that 
unity Spirit, that we can realise in ourselves the Liinng- 
ness which Spirit is, and which we as Spirit ought to be. 

HENCE PERFECT DEMONSTRATION. 

"The Truth shall make you Free" 

Life : 

Love : = The Truth 

Liberty : 

The Ultimate Truth will always be found to consist 
of these three, and anything that is contrary to them 
is contrary to Fundamental Truth. 

WORSHIP 

Worship consists in the recognition of the Personal 
Nature of Holy Spirit, and in the Continual Alternation 
(Pulsation) between the two positions of "I am the 
Person that Thou art," and "Thou art the Person that 
I am." The Two Personalities are One. 



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