The Hidden Power, by Thomas Troward , at sacred-texts.com
A POINT on which students of mental science often fail to lay sufficient stress is the completeness of man--not a completeness to be attained hereafter, but here and now. We have been so accustomed to have the imperfection of man drummed into us in books, sermons, and hymns, and above all in a mistaken interpretation of the Bible, that at first the idea of his completeness altogether staggers us. Yet until we see this we must remain shut out from the highest and best that mental science has to offer, from a thorough understanding of its philosophy, and from its greatest practical achievements.
To do any work successfully you must believe yourself to be a whole man in respect of it. The completed work is the outward image of a corresponding completeness in yourself. And if this is true in respect of one work it is true of all; the difference in the importance of the work does not matter; we cannot successfully attempt any work until, for some reason or other, we believe ourselves able to accomplish it; in other words, until we believe that none of the conditions
for its completion is wanting in us, and that we are therefore complete in respect of it. Our recognition of our completeness is thus the measure of what we are able to do, and hence the great importance of knowing the fact of our own completeness.
But, it may be asked, do we not see imperfection all around? Is there not sorrow, sickness, and trouble? Yes; but why? Just for the very reason that we do not realise our completeness. If we realised that in its fulness these things would not be; and in the degree in which we come to realise it we shall find them steadily diminish. Now if we really grasp the two fundamental truths that Spirit is Life pure and simple, and that external things are the result of interior forces, then it ought not to be difficult to see why we should be complete; for to suppose otherwise is to suppose the reactive power of the universe to be either unable or unwilling to produce the complete expression of its own intention in the creation of man.
That it should be unable to do so would be to depose it from its place as the creative principle, and that it should be unwilling to fulfil its own intention is a contradiction in terms; so that on either supposition we come to a reductio ad absurdum. In forming man the creative principle therefore must have produced a perfect work, and our conception of ourselves as imperfect can only be the result of our own ignorance of what we really are; and our advance, therefore, does not consist in having something new added to us, but
in learning to bring into action powers which already exist in us, but which we have never tried to use, and therefore have not developed, simply because we have always taken it for granted that we are by nature defective in some of the most important faculties necessary to fit us to our environment.
If we wish to attain to these great powers, the question is, where are we to seek them? And the answer is in ourselves. That is the great secret. We are not to go outside ourselves to look for power. As soon as we do so we find, not power, but weakness. To seek strength from any outside source is to make affirmation of our weakness, and all know what the natural result of such an affirmation must be.
We are complete in ourselves; and the reason why we fail to realise this is that we do not understand how far the "self" of ourselves extends. We know that the whole of anything consists of all its parts and not only of some of them; yet this is just what we do not seem to know about ourselves. We say rightly that every person is a concentration of the Universal Spirit into individual consciousness; but if so, then each individual consciousness must find the Universal Spirit to be the infinite expression of itself. It is this part of the "Self" that we so often leave out in our estimate of what we are; and consequently we look upon ourselves as crawling pygmies when we might think of ourselves as archangels. We try to work with the mere shadows of ourselves instead of with the glorious
substance, and then wonder at our failures. If we only understood that our "better half" is the whole infinite of Spirit--that which creates and sustains the universe--then we should know how complete our completeness is.
As we approach this conception, our completeness becomes a reality to us, and we find that we need not go outside ourselves for anything. We have only to draw on that part of ourselves which is infinite to carry out any intention we may form in our individual consciousness; for there is no barrier between the two parts, otherwise they would not be a whole. Each belongs perfectly to the other, and the two are one. There is no antagonism between them, for the Infinite Life can have no interest against its individualisation of itself. If there is any feeling of tension it proceeds from our not fully realising this conception of our own wholeness; we are placing a barrier somewhere, when in truth there is none; and the tension will continue until we find out where and how we are setting up this barrier and remove it.
This feeling of tension is the feeling that we are not using our Whole Being. We are trying to make half do the work of the whole; but we cannot rid ourselves of our wholeness, and therefore the whole protests against our attempts to set one half against the other. But when we realise that our concentration out of the Infinite also implies our expansion into it, we shall see that our whole "self" includes both the
concentration and the expansion; and seeing this first intellectually we shall gradually learn to use our knowledge practically and bring our whole man to bear upon whatever we take in hand. We shall find that there is in us a constant action and reaction between the infinite and the individual, like the circulation of the blood from the heart to the extremities and back again, a constant pulsation of vital energy quite natural and free from all strain and exertion.
This is the great secret of the livingness of Life, and it is called by many names and set forth under many symbols in various religions and philosophies, each of which has its value in proportion as it brings us nearer the realisation of this perfect wholeness. But the thing itself is Life, and therefore can only be suggested, but not described, by any words or symbols; it is a matter of personal experience which no one can convey to another. All we can do is to point out the direction in which this experience is to be sought, and to tell others the intellectual arguments which have helped us to find it; but the experience itself is the operation of definite vital functions of the inner being, and no one but ourselves can do our living for us.
But, so far as it is possible to express these things in words, what must be the result of realising that the "self" in us includes the Infinite as well as the Individual? All the resources of the Infinite must be at our disposal; we may draw on them as we will, and there is no limit save that imposed by the Law of
[paragraph continues] Kindness, a self-imposed limitation, which, because of being self-imposed, is not bondage but only another expression of our liberty. Thus we are free and all limitations are removed.
We are also no longer ignorant, for since the "self" in us includes the Infinite we can draw thence all needed knowledge, and though we may not always be able to formulate this knowledge in the mentality, we shall feel its guidance, and eventually the mentality will learn to put this also into form of words; and thus by combining thought and experience, theory and practice, we shall by degrees come more and more into the knowledge of the Law of our Being, and find that there is no place in it for fear, because it is the law of perfect liberty. And knowing what our whole self really is, we shall walk erect as free men and women radiating Light and Life all round, so that our very presence will carry a vivifying influence with it, because we realise ourselves to be an Affirmative Whole, and not a mere negative disintegration of parts.
We know that our whole self includes that Greater Man which is back of and causes the phenomenal man, and this Greater Man is the true human principle in us. It is, therefore, universal in its sympathies, but at the same time not less individually ourself; and thus the true man in us, being at once both universal and individual, can be trusted as a sure guide. It is that "Thinker" which is behind the conscious mentality,
and which, if we will accept it as our centre, and realise that it is not a separate entity but ourself, will be found equal to every occasion, and will lead us out of a condition of servitude into "the glorious liberty of the sons of God."