The Higher Powers of Mind and Spirit
There are moments in the lives of all of us when we catch glimpses of a life—our life—that is infinitely beyond the life we are now living. We realise that we are living below our possibilities. We long for the realisation of the life that we feel should be.
Instinctively we perceive that there are within us powers and forces that we are making but inadequate use of, and others that we are scarcely using at all. Practical metaphysics, a more simplified and concrete psychology, well-known laws of mental and spiritual science, confirm us in this conclusion.
Our own William James, he who so splendidly related psychology, philosophy, and even religion, to life in a supreme degree, honoured his calling and did a tremendous service for all mankind, when he so clearly developed the fact that we have within us powers and forces that we are making all too little use of—that we have within us great reservoirs of power that we have as yet scarcely tapped.
The men and the women who are awake to these inner helps—these directing, moulding, and sustaining powers and forces that belong to the realm of mind and spirit—are never to be found among those who ask: Is life worth the living? For them life has been multiplied two, ten, a hundred fold.
It is not ordinarily because we are not interested in these things, for instinctively we feel them of value; and furthermore our observations and experiences confirm us in this thought. The pressing cares of the everyday life—in the great bulk of cases, the bread and butter problem of life, which is after all the problem of ninety-nine out of every hundred—all seem to conspire to keep us from giving the time and attention to them that we feel we should give them. But we lose thereby tremendous helps to the daily living.
Through the body and its avenues of sense, we are intimately related to the physical universe about us. Through the soul and spirit we are related to the Infinite Power that is the animating, the sustaining force—the Life Force—of all objective material forms. It is through the medium of the mind that we are able consciously to relate the two. Through it we are able to realise the laws that underlie the workings of the spirit, and to open ourselves that they may become the dominating forces of our lives.
There is a divine current that will bear us with peace and safety on its bosom if we are wise and diligent enough to find it and go with it. Battling against the current is always hard and uncertain. Going with the current lightens the labours of the journey. Instead of being continually uncertain and even exhausted in the mere efforts of getting through, we have time for the enjoyments along the way, as well as the ability to call a word of cheer or to lend a hand to the neighbour, also on the way.
The natural, normal life is by a law divine under the guidance of the spirit. It is only when we fail to seek and to follow this guidance, or when we deliberately take ourselves from under its influence, that uncertainties arise, legitimate longings go unfulfilled, and that violated laws bring their penalties.
It is well that we remember always that violated law carries with it its own penalty. The Supreme Intelligence—God, if you please—does not punish. He works through the channel of great immutable systems of law. It is ours to find these laws. That is what mind, intelligence, is for. Knowing them we can then obey them and reap the beneficent results that are always a part of their fulfilment; knowingly or unknowingly, intentionally or unintentionally, we can fail to observe them, we can violate them, and suffer the results, or even be broken by them.
Life is not so complex if we do not so continually persist in making it so....