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"No one is made strong by God but he who feels himself weak of his own strength."
Either we overcome life, or life overcomes us. By the term 'overcoming life' I mean being victorious in all the experiences of life that we are called upon to face. The unenlightened take life as it comes, patiently enduring with bravery and fortitude the blows which may come to them. Because of their endurance and patience we admire such people, and salute them. If they never allow life's experiences to 'get them down', then they are conquerors, in spite of the fact that they do not understand what it is all about. One man said to me once: 'Life is an enigma'. He said it in such a way that one could see that he had thought much about life, and could see neither reason nor good in it. When we consider how bravely people meet life, in spite of the fact that it is an enigma to them, a thing without purpose, or meaning, we are filled with admiration and awe. Their bravery, fortitude and patience are so fine, they are an object lesson to professedly enlightened people, who unfortunately do not always exhibit the same high quality of courage and endurance as the unenlightened.
THE CONQUERING SPIRIT
If life 's experiences get a man down, then he is beaten. Life has won that round, at any rate. But if a man refuses to be 'downed' and never gives up the fight, then he is a conqueror, in spite of all the apparent failures which may come to him.
If people who do not know anything about life, or its purpose, or the rules which govern our existence on this plane, can do as well as they do, then those who understand life and its rules should be able to accomplish much more. They can do so, if they will work consistently in the Unseen, or on the subjective side. The Subjective is the World of Cause. The Objective is the World of Effect. The former is spiritual. The latter is material.
EVIL FATE, OR A PERFECT DIVINE IDEA?
Most people are believers in fate. They believe that what is to be, has to be. Learned people tell us that nothing happens; we simply come up against things. 'Everything', so they tell us, 'has already happened, past, present, and future are all the same, the end is known from the beginning and all is fixed and unalterable. Therefore, whatever trouble is in store for us, must come to us; or rather, we come to it, like passing a milestone on the road.' What have we to say, in the face of such reasoning?
The answer is a simple one, and it is simple because it is Truth. It is, that there are no evil happenings in our life, really. Our life is perfect as it is imagined in the Divine Mind. Only good is designed for us, and good only can come to us if we abide in Truth. The evil happenings of life are not the real and true, but are a distortion or departure from it. If Truth is realized in the mind, then the harmony and order of the true image in God's Mind concerning us, is allowed to appear. The things which we are supposed to be fated to experience, need not come to us; for if we abide in Truth they have place in our consciousness.
REALIZING THAT WHICH TRULY IS
The important thing is for us to know the Truth, because it is then that the Truth sets us free. By the term 'to know', I mean to enter into a state of Realization. When troubles loom on the horizon then is the time to seek a realization of Truth. We do not have to work against the threatened trouble, but simply to realize the Truth. People sometimes write asking me to work against certain 'claims' (whatever they may be), but I do not know anything about 'claims' and I know nothing about working against anything. By realizing Truth, all that is not Truth must disappear, and only that which is Divine Good remains. The fault is always in our own mind. When, through turning to God, we are cleansed by Truth, we begin to see things as they really are, in Truth and not as they falsely appear to our finite mind.
THE SHADOW OF COMING EVENTS
Coming events cast their shadows before. When we are sufficiently sensitive we become conscious of coming events before they appear. A sense of foreboding, or a fit of depression, or a feeling of unrest and uneasiness comes upon us. Then is the time to turn to the Infinite and Eternal, seeking a realization of the actual truth of the situation. This may prove to be far from easy. The more difficult it is, the more need there is for us to find God. When realization is reached, with its calm and peace and certainty, then the battle is won, and the threatened trouble cannot manifest, or if it does, it is so modified that we see evidences of the Divine in it, in fact a manifestation of the Divine Love. We then see clearly what a fearful thing it would have been if it had been allowed to develop, and are grateful and joyful in consequence.
It is necessary to face the matter boldly, and work through it, also overcoming our fears and forebodings, until a clear realization is reached, in which we enter into peace, joy and certainty. It is then that what would otherwise have manifested as an accident, or illness, or loss, or other disastrous event, is broken up. This is not accomplished by fighting or working against the event, but by realizing Divine Truth. This splits up the false manifestation, so that the beauty and harmony of Truth can be revealed. Truth is of God, and God is Truth. Through realizing Truth we find that God is present, and that in His presence is fullness of joy.
Coming evil events bring upon us a feeling of depression in advance. Certain mystics tell us to give way to depression, because it is good for the soul. I cannot agree. My experience has been that it is necessary to overcome depression by finding God. Then we are filled with joy and laughter; and this is the normal state for a child of God.
We should look upon depression as a temptation of the devil: something to be overcome by the application of Truth. even as our Lord overcame His temptations by quoting the Word of God. Some time ago I met a Christian man, noted for his piety and goodness of heart and character. who replied, when asked how he was, that he suffered 'so badly' from depression. As he said this, all joy and animation went out of his face, and he became the picture of weariness and despair. I told him that he must not give way to it, and that he should meditate upon, and affirm, all the precious promises of God, and thus, by so doing, overcome his depression. But, all-though his face lighted up a little as I spoke of the 'precious promises', yet I could see that he did not believe what I said, and that he was firmly convinced that it was only a Doctor with his drugs and chemicals who could cure him. This man went down and down in health, thus causing other people a lot of inconvenience, trouble and suffering, and finally died in the same terribly depressed condition. I am firmly convinced that if that man, early on, had overcome his depression by repeated declarations of Truth, he would have become normal and been a blessing to others, for many years.
OVERCOMING THE CAUSE OF DEPRESSION
If we overcome our depression then we overcome whatever it is that is causing the depression. It may be the shadow of a coming 'evil' happening, or it may be a miserable state of health. In either case if we dissipate the fog of depression then the cause of it is destroyed. Or our depression may be due to a loved one who is in trouble, or in danger. Immediately, we should get to work, and not rest until we have overcome and reached a state of realization, in which we receive the, 'all clear' signal. By 'getting to work' I mean praying and waiting upon God until we realize that there is nothing but God's love, harmony and order, and therefore that all is well.
OVERCOMING TROUBLES IN ADVANCE
It is usual for people to try to dismiss their fears, apprehensions, depressions, etc., from their mind. This is better than worrying about them; but it does not overcome them in advance. Impending trouble, dismissed from the mind for a time, is as acute as ever, when it arrives. A man may know that at Quarter Day his rent must be paid. Putting the matter out of his mind will not pay his rent. He may keep on dismissing it from his mind, but when Quarter Day comes he has still his rent to pay. Dismissing the matter from his mind has not paid his rent for him. Leaving matters to a Higher Power, and saying 'I am sure things will work out all right', will never deliver us from our troubles, or enable us to overcome them. The man, if he is sensible. thinks about his rent day and prepares to meet it by industry and forethought. In the same way, in spiritual work, dismissing a trouble from the mind, or drowning our fears in pleasure or diversions, never overcomes the evil that is threatening us.
Whatever it is that is troubling us must be faced and 'worked through', until we realize Truth. Every time that we do this, Truth tends to neutralize the impending evil, and also it prepares us for meeting a difficult experience successfully; or, alternatively, it may change the character of the experience altogether, from an evil one to one that is very good.
POWER OF PRAYER OF REALIZATION
Prayer of this type not only tends to reduce or change the character of the coming experience, but it also prepares us to meet it with fortitude, steadfastness. wisdom, patience, and a high courage. We must ever remember that it is we who have to be changed. If we were to see always with the eyes of Christ (Archetypal Man, God's Perfect Son) we would see everything in absolute perfection - perfection beyond our highest imagination. It is because our eyes are of the earth, earthy, that we see imperfection, disorder, trouble and evil. The prayer of our heart, therefore, should always be for new eyes, the eyes of Christ and a new heart, and a new understanding.
A BANEFUL THOUGHT HABIT
The habit of depressed thinking must be overcome by each one of us, if ever we are to rise above the experiences of life. Many are naturally given to morbid trains of thought. They see themselves the victims of accidents; they imagine themselves dying, and wonder what will happen to their sorrowing dependants. Or they see themselves old and forsaken without means or friends, but they console themselves with the thought that there will be the Poor House, or the Old Age Pension, and that perhaps they will be able to put up with it. Or. again. they see themselves diseased and suffering, lingering on a bed of pain. And so they go on. They wonder what will happen when the next war comes: what will happen when civilization is destroyed, and those who are still living live like savages in a forest. They gloomily ponder over what will happen to their children when they are dead, when there is no one to look after them. The above is no exaggeration. It seems to be natural for the human mind to think in this way. No wonder man creates trouble for himself, if he feeds his sub-conscious mind in this manner.
THE WAY TO OVERCOME
Now in contrast to all this depressed, morbid thinking let us say: 'The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. What a contrast! How it cuts right at the root of our wrong thinking!
Our Lord won His encounter with temptation, by quoting Scripture. We can do the same. If, when the temptation comes to us to doubt, and fear, and to judge by appearances, or we are attacked by a bout of morbid, pessimistic thinking, we affirm : 'The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want', we at once see the folly and falseness of our doubts and fears. How can we ever want any good thing, when the Lord, the One Power, the Infinite Source of all things, the Maker and Ruler of the whole earth, is our shepherd? At once we glide into a sense of peace and security. We know that all our wants are abundantly supplied, always; from before the foundations of the world, and always in the eternal now. Again, when we are attacked by fears of accidents and of possible disasters, and when waves of pessimistic thinking about such things begin to take possession of our mind, if then we affirm bravely: 'There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling', it will go far to set us free, and to restore our confidence.
But, when we are attacked by forebodings of something that really is going to happen (in the ordinary course of events); when we are oppressed by a sense of impending evil, then we have a far more difficult task. At such a time there seems to be no light, no understanding, no possibility of realization. The Heavens seem to be as brass, and we are weighted down with a great load of darkness, which seems too heavy for us to bear.
Then it is necessary for us to deal with the matter in a very energetic and determined fashion. We have to be determined not to retire to rest until we have overcome, and received the 'all clear' signal, and know and realize that all is well. We have to go systematically to work. We have to destroy the whole suggestion of evil. We have to deny it a place in our consciousness. We can say: 'Because I am a child of God I refuse to accept this suggestion of evil.' We can affirm that because of our sonship and of the love of God, we are free in the liberty of the sons of God. Many methods may be tried, but one of the best is to keep on reading over, and meditating upon, the 91st Psalm, or a small part of it. At first no relief or understanding comes, but, as a result of persistence and determination, after a while some sense of the truth contained beneath the words that we read begins to penetrate our consciousness. This should encourage us to renewed efforts, so that we persevere until at last we enter into peace, knowing that all is well.
GOD, THE ONLY REMEDY
God is the only remedy for all our ills, and the way to find God is through the Scriptures. Not by reading the Bible as one would read an ordinary book, but by reflecting upon a portion of it, perseveringly, until the hidden meaning floods the consciousness. Each time that we achieve this we make it easier for us to do the same thing on a future occasion. In course of time we become adepts. To become an adept requires no learning or scholarship. All that is needed is a spiritually awakened consciousness. together with determination and perseverance. The Path of Victory lies right before you. It is yours to enter. There are no restrictions, no barriers, except those that you raise yourself. The way to liberation is open in front of you, it is open to all who are willing to pay the price. The prize is worth ten million times the price that one has to pay in sustained effort and persevering seeking. It is not an easy road, yet it can be followed by all who are in earnest - and it leads to the Liberty of the Sons of God.
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