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Chapter 13 - Overcoming Limitations and Awakening Inward Powers
Limitations can be overcome through a realization of Truth. When we say this it is taken for granted that every effort will be made on the physical plane. It is necessary to bathe, exercise and breathe fresh air in order to be well: it is equally necessary to work hard, and to give the best of which we are capable, in service, in exchange for that which we receive in the way of supply, if we are to be successful. If you keep a gardener, you must pay him. The money that you pay him is part of what you have earned by the sweat of your brain. Therefore you exchange the work of your brain for the labour of his hands, and you are mutually helped and helpful to one another, both giving and receiving, and each one serving life according to his ability. Taking all this for granted, we will pass on to the metaphysical side of our subject. This, by the way, is vastly the more important, but the outer, practical work is indispensable nevertheless.
In order to overcome limitations it is necessary to know the Truth and to live in the consciousness of It. For instance, if ill-health is our limitation, then, in order to become free it is necessary that we live in the consciousness of the Wholeness of God and His Divine Idea. If our limitation be restricted means, it is necessary that we live in the consciousness of the inexhaustible and unlimited nature of the Substance from which the Creator brings everything into manifestation. If our limitation is disharmony and unhappiness, then we must become attuned to the Divine harmony in such a way and to such an extent as to cause it to be reflected into the outward life. No matter what our limitation may be, we can find liberation and deliverance by looking to our Divine Source, realizing that in the Perfect Reality all our wants are supplied, and then living in the consciousness of this truth.
Ill-health is, apart from physical causes, an outward sign of an inward warfare or disharmony, caused by wrong thoughts, emotions, beliefs and attitude of mind and soul towards life and God. In other words, the life is lived in an "error" consciousness of disease and sickness. First, the inward life has to be adjusted in such a way as to harmonize with the laws of our own being and the Divine purpose of life. There must be an inward surrender to the love principle, after which the thoughts must be brought under control so that health-destroying emotions may no longer impair the health. Further, the whole consciousness must, as often as possible, be raised to a realization of the perfect Wholeness which is the reality. If this course is persevered with, a consciousness of health and wholeness becomes a permanent mental state, with the result that health becomes manifested in the life. The outward life is always a reflection or external manifestation of what we are within, or our state of consciousness. Therefore everything depends upon which kind of consciousness it is in which we live.
One who lives in the mental atmosphere of Divine Wholeness, health and harmony, unconsciously directs all the inner forces of nature into health channels. On the other hand, one who lives in a mental atmosphere of ill-health, as sick and unhealthy people very often do, unconsciously directs all his sub-conscious activities in such a way as to produce sickness and disease.
Again, with regard to lack of means, this state also can be overcome, spiritually, only by living in a higher consciousness of abundance and sufficiency. This affects, unconsciously, every action in such a way as to bring about a better state of affairs. On the other hand, one who lives in a mental atmosphere of limitation and lack, unconsciously directs all his actions towards the production, in his life, of penury and restricted means.
The same rule applies, no matter what the limitations of one's life may be. Freedom can be gained only by realizing the truth about life and being. When we realize the truth, live in the consciousness of it, and become obedient to the laws of life and being, the life becomes increasingly free. This does not mean that if we are plain of feature, and of a stumpy figure, that we shall become beautiful and graceful; but it does mean that these so-called drawbacks will no longer fetter us, and that others will see in us something far better than mere regularity of feature and beauty of form. When the soul is "alive" and the life filled with love, the homeliest face becomes attractive. Neither does it mean that we shall not suffer bereavements and sorrows, difficulties and adversities, but it does mean that we shall cease intensifying these things and creating further troubles by taking life's discipline in the wrong spirit. It also means that we shall be able to overcome all life's difficulties and trials, become a conqueror in the strife, and, in so doing, build up character. Thus the storms of life, instead of destroying us, can succeed only in "making us stronger". Thus our fate depends not on the storms of life, but upon how we meet them. If we give in to them, or, thinking that they are evil and not a necessary discipline, rebel against them and resist them, then we become shipwrecked on a desolate shore. If, however, we are armed with the knowledge of truth we can set our sails in such a way as to compel the storms of life actually to help us towards the desired haven.
The first step in the direction of knowledge of the truth is right thinking. Every negative thought must be transmuted into its positive opposite,  for instance, hate and dislike into love and goodwill, fear into confident trust, poverty into abundance, evil into absolute good, and so on. This will be found to be not easy, but it is possible, and the power to control one's thoughts increases if one perseveres continually, with the passing of the years. A beginner cannot, naturally, expect to be able to exercise the same control as one who has been perseveringly seeking self-mastery for years, but he can make substantial progress and learn from day to day.
12] See also "The Power of Thought" and "The Way of Escape," by the same author and publisher. The result of thinking in this way is surprising. The reversal of thought may appear at first to be simplicity itself, and to lead nowhere in particular, but after a time the vastness of the subject becomes almost appalling. The cultivation and practice of right thinking gradually lead to a knowledge of the Truth. Not an intellectual knowledge of truth, but a realization, by the soul, of "the" Truth. This is the knowing of the Truth which sets men free. We can then look through all the ages and know that all is well. The heavy burden which has oppressed us so long, rolls from our shoulders, and we become free. AROUSING INWARD POWERS Man is heir to wonderful and illimitable powers, but until he becomes aware of them and consciously identifies himself with them, they lie dormant and unexpressed, and might just as well not exist at all as far as their use to man, in his unawakened state, is concerned. When, however, man becomes awakened to the great truth that he is a spiritual being: when he learns that the little petty self and finite personality are not his real self at all, but merely a mask to the real man: when he realizes that the Spiritual Ego, a true Divine Spark of, or branch or twig of the Eternal Logos,  is "his real Self": when he understands that his body is not himself, that his mind is not himself, that even his soul is not himself, being but vehicles through which he seeks expression, but that he is spirit, deathless, diseaseless, eternal, forming an integral part of the One Spirit and being identical with It, he enters a new life of almost boundless power.  "I am the Vine, ye are the branches."--Jesus. It is unwise to engage in any mystical practices in an attempt to "force" development and unfoldment. Mystic trances are highly dangerous and are also unnecessary. Psychic experiences and the awakening of psychic centres are also dangerous and lead away from our goal. Breathing exercises, whose object is to awaken inward powers, are "highly dangerous" and are to be condemned in consequence. The cultivation of negative passivity such as inhibiting all thought and making oneself quite passive and open to any influence, is also highly dangerous and should be strictly avoided.
In place of all these unwise practices a short time should be set aside each night and also morning, if possible, for getting into touch with Reality. You should then endeavour to realize that the body, mind and soul are but vehicles of expression, mere servants of the true Self or Ego. This will bring about in time, a consciousness of identity with the One Eternal Spirit. What Jesus called "our Father in Heaven."
One might proceed after this fashion:--
"My body is not myself, but is merely something that enables me to live this material life and gain experience.
"My mind is not myself, but merely an instrument which I use and which obeys my will.
"My soul is not myself, but merely a garment of my spirit.
"My will is not myself, but is something of which I, the true Self, make use."
And so on. By this means you gradually approach the great truth which cannot be put into words and which can only become yours through realization or inward spiritual understanding.
In addition one can use a positive statement of Truth, reverently, but with full confidence, such as: "I am a branch in the True Vine."
In course of time you will become possessed of a feeling of tremendous and unlimited power and security. This is a great responsibility for this power must be used only in service and not for selfish purposes. If it is used for the acquisition of wealth and the gaining of temporal power, great disaster will be the inevitable result. Yet, if used aright, it is bound to have a great, though unconscious, influence for good on the life, and for this you are not responsible. Constantly endeavour to serve and bless others, then, because you do not seek them, crowds of blessings will come into your life unbidden, great happiness being one of the chief. Having found the kingdom of heaven it will be your experience that all needed good will be added unto you.
This power may also be used to strengthen character, to overcome in the conflicts of the soul, and to build up the spiritual body which will be our vehicle of expression in higher realms.
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