Individual life is for the purpose of unfoldment; progress is the watchword. In the highest conception it is self-expression. There are two stages in individual development. Of one, Paul speaks: “The heir, so long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all.” While the individual is thinking of himself as a slave to everything, and carrying out this belief by existing in a condition of bondage or limitation, he is, all of the time, “lord of all,” but he does not know it. He is developing toward the realization.
There is the childhood and the manhood of the individual. When he is a child in understanding, he has no knowledge of his true nature or of his power. He is ignorant and innocent; but the power of Love is caring for the individual, and he is compelled to develop. In the childhood of the individual, there is always the seeking of happiness, of what the child calls good. Though he may make many errors, this desire is really his prayer, and it is answered by infinite Love in the way that is best for his unfoldment. The Spirit of Wisdom and Love knows better than the one who desires and prays ignorantly. This childhood is a stage of trouble. It takes life as a burden, because of its ignorance.
Manhood comes when the individual knows the Truth of his being or of his eternal and changeless state. When he knows his power, he enters his kingdom and realizes that he is lord of all.
We are now in the transition period, dropping things of childhood, and realizing some of the things of manhood. Childhood is subject to limitation; it separates itself from God and man. Manhood begins to unite, to recognize Universal Presence and Power. Man is touching the hem of the garment of Truth. There is much more to know and greater power to realize. We find the development into manhood, a freeing process; life, instead of slavery, gives mastery. Many are living in the period of childhood; others are passing into manhood. The undeveloped condition breeds poverty, sickness, and death. Happiness therein depends upon the outer, therefore men work hard to bring to themselves money, friends, things--whatever they consider desirable. We shall never get anything from the outer but what we take of it. The thing we meet on every hand is first found within our mentality. Always striving for outer benefits, we are still unhappy, until we find the kingdom within.
Man must redeem his own life. By his mistakes has his conception of life become distorted. By rectifying these mistakes shall his distorted views of life be changed, and his redemption accomplished. Simple living is to be desired above all else.
There is nothing grander than genuine simplicity; nothing that will so cause us to stand out as strong man and woman. The first step toward living simply is directness.
This means that the individual must make his own connection with God, the universal Life. Man must gain spiritual knowledge for himself. “Religion is the life of God in the soul of man.”
The realization of this close communion is the purpose of every silence, the outcome of every treatment. When it is attained we can say, “I and my Father are one.” Imagine the power in understanding life from this conscious unity with the Perfect Life.
Man must act directly from the Center of Life within.
This enables one to live what may be called the spontaneous life. Consciousness of life thus gained must go forth expressing as directly as it has received. Such consciousness is not borne in upon by what people are saying; it is not bound by old conventions, but is living from its own center, is thinking and speaking freely and fully, and is beginning to make us lifters rather than leaners.
Our Science stands for law and order. Not to be limited by conventionality does not mean to be lawless. “To thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night (follows) the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
The direct life does not live on the surface, but goes to the root of things. It connects with the great Central Energy of the Universe, and there is no waste of power or energy in its work.
This directness gives consciousness of power; it ensures a life of peace; it takes away fear. A life of freedom is the fruit of the simple life that comes forth spontaneously as a result of living directly from our inmost Center. Jesus' life was the simplest we can think of. We cannot imagine that he could ever have done anything for the sake of show, or that he refrained from anything for fear of what people would say. Show impresses children; they of fuller understanding appreciate simplicity. Great men are not afraid to act naturally; that is, according to their nature. This does not mean to act unkindly or selfishly, if we feel so. When living in and from that Center within, we shall not hold such feeling; sensitiveness falls away.
Until the true Center of action is found and our consciousness is made alive to our union with that Center within, we act according to conventionalities, and are bound by unnatural laws to man-made limitations.
Thought training will help us to abide in our center. If I feel angry, let me stop and think; let me not speak that feeling, but the opposite. Love spoken will soon destroy every feeling of anger. “A soft answer turneth away wrath.”
Live from within, if you would have power and peace.
Manhood is the goal. We do not ask a child learning to walk to carry a chair across a room. We learn to place each one where he belongs. Keep in thought the ideal man, the perfection of man.