A 21st Century Awakening"
by Charles Brodie Patterson
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IN its material progress the world is moving faster than it has ever done at any period of the past. The science of the present is constantly opening up a new world through its many and varied discoveries. While the greater number of such discoveries are being put to practical ends and purposes, yet it is doubtful with all the advance made by science, and all the vast accumulations of wealth, whether man in his mind is as happy or as contented as he formerly was.
While all the changes which make for his material well-being are taking place, his mental unrest seems to increase. Up to the present time many people have believed that through material accumulation mankind was to become satisfied, but the world of man's consciousness is larger than his outer environment. When his every outer need is satisfied, the unrest will continue because heart and mind will have to become as fully satisfied as man's physical nature before the unrest will cease.
In the past people have believed in much that was untrue, and both mental and spiritual progress was retarded by false belief; and now, while to a degree their eyes have been opened so that they are no longer held in servile bondage to the old, yet they have not sufficiently laid hold on the new to effect a true adjustment to life and its laws. Unrest must continue until greater light comes, and with its advent there will come peace to the mind and health for the body.
The great lesson yet to be learned is this, that man has been equipped in every way spiritually, mentally, and physically to work out all his own problems, whether they be little or great, and through the doing of this to enter into the fullness of life. Through a knowledge of the truth man may free himself from all kinds of bondage, whether it be the bondage of physical pain or disease, or the bondage of mind in which he may be to his own false thoughts and habits. A knowledge of the truth will show the way whereby each and every false condition in life is to be met and overcome.
This book has for its principal object the throwing of light on the pathway of life in order to make it easier for people to overcome the unrest of mind and body, and to show that through inner knowledge one may become harmoniously adjusted to outer environment.
It is the firm conviction of the author that it is as easy to acquire and retain health as it is to live in a state of pain and disease, but this can only be achieved through knowledge and conformity to the laws of being. No one need hope to accomplish a great work in life without a whole, sound body; therefore if one can have such a body through their own personal effort, how much better it will be thus to lay the foundation of their work in a thoroughly satisfactory way.
Most people desire to be well and happy, but comparatively few know how to attain such an end. They think that it is usually to be gained through purely physical ways and means, and they therefore expend great effort in that direction without really reaping any compensating gains, while if the same amount of effort were spent in the development of one's own innate power, the result would prove in every case far more effective than any that could be attained in any other way.
Our lives can become what we wish them to become, when we accept the lawful and the orderly way that comes from a recognition that intelligence and power are within man's own consciousness, and that the true legitimate outcome is an expression of perfect physical health and strength.
Everything in life worth having demands some effort on the part of the one who would receive. We make a mistake when we think that we can get something for nothing. Sooner or later we must pay the price for all that we receive. The natural way is to give first and receive afterwards, so that if one earnestly desires health and strength, the best way to receive them is through making the conditions necessary to the receiving.
In this book I have given many suggestions as to how the above ends may be attained. I have not the slightest desire whatever to destroy any one's faith, or to take away anything that has proven itself to be good in the past. I do hope, however, to show a way which if followed will make for still better things in life. Let me use this as an illustration: ships that sail the ocean have their sides and bottoms gradually covered with barnacles, and as these are ever on the increase they soon come seriously to interfere with the speed of the ship, so that after a time it becomes necessary to have the ship put into dry dock, when all the barnacles are scraped off so that she may be able to sail just as fast as she did in the beginning. Men and women are often in much the same position as the ship. They acquire desires and habits that should have no place in life; their minds become filled with thoughts that tend to retard real progress, such as thoughts that worry and make the mind anxious or fearful, thoughts and words that make for fault-finding and unkindness, thoughts concerning others of prejudice, judgment, and condemnation. All these are like the barnacles on the ship.
If people are to make real progress in life, then they must leave all these things behind them and acquire new ways and methods of thought and action. The right way of doing is far more simple than the wrong way, because if we follow the right we shall not have two courses of action, one right and the other wrong, but only the one true way of thinking and doing everything. If the mind of man is as variable as the wind, so that one day the mind is warm and the next it is cold, there will come little of true rest or peace into life. Some might urge that this is necessary in order to give greater variety to life, but the truth is life offers so much variety in all that is real, that we are only depriving the mind of that which would make for its highest good when we allow it to become engrossed in unreal thoughts and emotions.
Wisdom, power, happiness, and health may all be ours when we let go of the unreal and lay hold with vital strength of mind and purpose upon that which is true and lasting. Our highest ideals can be attained only through consistent, persevering effort; and we should always remember this, that the ideal is there in order to be fulfilled and through its fulfillment to be succeeded by a still newer, grander and more lofty ideal. This is the only way growth takes place in life.
For the encouragement of the reader who may not have realized as much of health and happiness as desired, let me say this, that in any new departure one may find it more or less difficult at first, but as time goes by it will become evident that the things you are trying to do are much easier of accomplishment than at first seemed possible. There are some people who get it into their minds that the good things in life are intended for other people but not for them, that a course of action that would prove of the greatest help to another would not result in any marked benefit to themselves. This is a mistake; the laws of life will work just as much good for one person as for another. The whole question is only one of right adjustment. If we are adjusted in the true way, then we are bound to get the true effects. God does not give to one and withhold from another. The sun shines for all, the rain falls for all, and the results are only a question of how one is adjusted to one or to the other.
Everything necessary to a thoroughly equipped life is awaiting the individual who is quick enough to recognize it and to make it their own. All things are ours, but unless we are using the things which belong to us they will prove of little if any benefit to us. It is only through the use of all the possessions we have acquired that we enter into and acquire new and still greater possessions. Through the use of mental faculties the mind grows strong; through the use of all the physical organs the body grows strong. When we exercise our spiritual attributes, we grow strong in a spiritual way. As no one can do this for us, we come at last to see that it is of the greatest importance that we should do it for ourselves, and when we start out and take this course, then of us it may be truly said that we have consciously entered the pathway that leads to the life eternal.
C. B. P.
Chapter 1 - INTRODUCTION
I HAVE said elsewhere in this book that Law and Order are universal; that the universe responds to it, the part as much as the whole. No matter what phase of life we may examine into, we shall find neither chance nor happenings, but every action a response to definite law. There are many manifestations or expressions of law, but let it be remembered that they are all but degrees of the one supreme Law of life.
When the white ray is broken up in the spectrum, we have the seven prismatic colors; so, when the great white Law of Love is broken up in human life, we get its varying degrees of faith, hope, joy, peace, gentleness— these are all differentiations of the universal Law of Love, manifesting itself in different ways and degrees, yet each partaking of the greater Law which gave it birth. An individual may respond to any one or even more of these lesser laws, without understanding other than a fraction of life; but he who has entered into the white flame, the realm of the Law of Love, has entered into a knowledge of the kingdom of God—has entered into the central sphere, and has become one with God and humanity.
Oneness in the great characteristic of Love; whatever we love, we become one with; true understanding comes with love. It is only necessary to understand in order to see every difference pass away. The ultimate end of life is to love, not to be loved, although that follows us a natural sequence, but the greatest desire, the greatest prayer of life should be to love with soul, and mind, and body; to radiate love, as the sun radiates light. In the sunshine of love the mind knows no fear; sin and all its disastrous consequences have no place where love lives. Sin, disease, and death are only evidences of the lack of love in the life. Where love is there is life, there is intelligence; where love is there is the perfect fulfillment of all law; for man living in it has passed from death unto life, has entered into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.
We take many and varied paths leading to this one great event of human existence, but every path brings us in the end to the goal of the heart's desire. There are ways leading to it by the green pastures and the still waters, a gentle but an ever ascending way of life. There is also the way of storm and tempest; there is the way through pain and sorrow; yet all ways lead to God and lead to Love.
Every soul has within itself the guiding star, the light that is to enlighten; this light is a divine spark of the living Love to lead us to, and at last consciously to relate us to the living Flame, the Love of God which passeth understanding.
All the way through, from the lowest plane of life up, we are working out our salvation. We meet with what seems to be evil, with a continued resistance from forces both within and without; we resist and we battle with them; at times we are defeated, and again we overcome, but all along the way of life the struggle is going on; a struggle not only for the mastery of things, but for the mastery of one's self.
Through all the seeming evil, through all the shadows of life, through all the sorrow and pain, there is a longing, an up-reaching, that is never satisfied with life as it seems to be. We realize that the life is not full, is not complete; it is lacking in harmony; that all these conditions as they come to be understood are seen to be only the passing, the transient; all to be left behind as we press on to the things which lie before. Every experience brings with it something of the pure gold; every experience leaves behind something of the dross of life; there is a divine alchemy working through it all, bringing the good out of the evil, joy out of sorrow, and peace out of pain.
All things are working together for good; but there is never perfect rest or peace, perfect knowledge or understanding, until we know of a certainty that we are under the dominion of the Law of Love. Only as this Law becomes fully expressed through us do we leave every contradiction of life, love, and wisdom behind. Only under the Law of Love does life become a glorious reality, a never ending day. When in our souls and minds we respond to universal love, we have consciously entered the great universe of etheric vibration, wherein the part is vibrating harmoniously with the whole. Every glory here is succeeded by a still greater glory, every joy by a greater joy; life is an unending song of beauty; color and sound become so wonderfully entrancing that well has it been said that— "Eye hath not seen and ear hath not heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to know of the glories that God hath prepared for him."
But with the new life all things are made new; the love and the wisdom give to man a new consciousness, and this new consciousness is able to enter into and understand life in a way it could never have been understood by man's partial consciousness. Oneness is the key-note; every part is seen and known in its relation to the whole—a universe filled with a multiplicity of forms, but an all-pervading Spirit, both within and without, directing and controlling, through a universal Law of Love, each part and all parts of the great stupendous whole. So that the enlightened soul perceives that God and His creation is all there is; that in spirit we are one with God; that in our bodies we are one with all forms; that the Spirit within is God, and the body without is His handiwork; that whatever we possess or whatever we are comes from the One Giver of every good and every perfect gift; that whatever we are or whatever we may become, we can be nothing less nor anything more than a manifestation of God's love and wisdom.
No matter on what plane of development we find life, it is a manifestation of Love. Every form is a symbol of divine power, all life and all forms responding to the universal Law of Love. If it could only enter into the mind of man that through Love he could accomplish all things; he could be what he willed to be; he could free himself from sin, pain, and death; he could be even as a God exercising dominion and power; he would forsake at once the little ways and means of attainment and lay hold on the everlasting ways of life; he would give up all, he would sell all, in order to enter into the possession of the pearl of great price. In a word, he would fulfill the whole law of life. The spirit of Love would become the only guide that would lead him into the way of all truth, of all righteousness.
In the spirit of Love there is perfect freedom to live one's life according to the divine Law that has been written into it. He would perceive the plan; he would bring the personal will into harmony with the universal Will so that he would become a perfect instrument, through him divine Love and Intelligence would work for the upbuilding of a new, a more beautiful world — a world that would express both God's love and wisdom; and man, the son of God, would be its builder; a world devoid of everything that is transitory; a world in which there is no more night, no more sorrow and pain, no more disease or death, but a world of eternal life and light; a world that is a real manifestation of Love.