Chapter 9 - 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 actual 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 consists 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 us 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