The Hidden Power, by Thomas Troward , at sacred-texts.com
"THE prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me" (John xiv, 30). In these words the Grand Master of Divine Science gives us the key to the Great Knowledge. Comparison with other passages shows that the terms here rendered "prince" and "world" can equally be rendered "principle" and "age." Jesus is here speaking of a principle of the present age so entirely opposed to that principle of which he himself was the visible expression, as to have no part in him. It is the utter contradiction of everything that Jesus came to teach and to exemplify. The account Jesus gave of himself was that he came "to bear witness to the Truth," and in order that men "might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly"; consequently the principle to which he refers must be the exact opposite of Truth and Life--that is, it must be the principle of Falsehood and Death.
What, then, is this false and destructive principle which rules the present age? If we consider the gist
of the entire discourse of which these are the concluding words, we shall find that the central idea which Jesus has been most strenuously endeavouring to impress upon his disciples at their last meeting before the crucifixion, is that of the absolute identity and out-and-out oneness of "the Father" and "the Son," the principle of the perfect unity of God and Man. If this, then, was the great Truth which he was thus earnestly solicitous to impress upon his disciples' minds when his bodily presence was so shortly to be removed from them--the Truth of Unity--may we not reasonably infer the opposing falsehood to be the assertion of separateness, the assertion that God and man are not one? The idea of separateness is precisely the principle on which the world has proceeded from that day to this--the assumption that God and man are not one in being, and that the matter is of a different essence from spirit. In other words, the principle that finds favour with the intellectuality of the present age is that of duality--the idea of two powers and two substances opposite in kind, and, therefore, repugnant to each other, permeating all things, and so leaving no wholeness anywhere.
The entire object of the Bible is to combat the idea of two opposing forces in the world. The good news is said to be that of "reconciliation" (2 Cor. v. 18), where also we are told that "all things are from God," hence leaving no room for any other power or any other substance; and the great falsehood, which it is
the purpose of the Good News to expose, is everywhere in the Bible proclaimed to be the suggestion of duality, which is some other mode of Life, that is not the One Life, but something separate from it--an idea which it is impossible to state distinctly without involving a contradiction in terms. Everywhere the Bible exposes the fiction of the duality of separation as the great lie, but nowhere in so emphatic and concentrated a manner as in that wonderful passage of Revelations where it is figured in the mysterious Number of the Beast. "He that hath understanding let him count the number of the Beast . . . and his number is six hundred and sixty and six" (Rev. xiii, 18, R.V.). Let me point out the great principle expressed in this mysterious number. It has other more particular applications, but this one general principle underlies them all.
It is an established maxim that every unity contains in itself a trinity, just as the individual man consists of body, soul, and spirit. If we would perfectly understand anything, we must be able to comprehend it in its threefold nature; therefore in symbolic numeration the multiplying of the unit by three implies the completeness of that for which the unit stands; and, again, the threefold repetition of a number represents its extension to infinity. Now mark what results if we apply these representative methods of numerical expression to the principles of Oneness and of separateness respectively. Oneness is Unity, and 1 X 3=3,
which, intensified to its highest expression, is written as 333. Now apply the same method to the idea of separateness. Separateness consists of one and another one, each of which, according to the universal law, contains a trinity. In this view of duality the totality of things is two, and 2 X 3=6, and, intensifying this to its highest expression, we get 666, which is the Number of the Beast.
Why of the Beast? Because separateness from God, or the duality of opposition, which is also a duality of polarity, which is Dual-Unity, recognises something as having essential being, which is not the One Spirit; and such a conception can be verbally rendered only by some word that in common acceptance represents something, not only lower than the divine, but lower than the human also. It is because the conception of oneself as a being apart from God, if carried out to its legitimate consequences, must ultimately land all who hold it in a condition of things where open ferocity or secret cunning, the tiger nature or the serpent nature, can be the only possible rule of action.
Thus it is that the principle of the present age can have no part in that principle of Perfect Wholeness which the Great Master embodied in His teaching and in Himself. The two ideas are absolutely incompatible, and whichever we adopt as our leading principle, it must be to the entire exclusion of the other; we cannot serve God and Mammon. There is no such thing as partial wholeness. Either we are still in the
principle of Separateness, and our eyes are not yet open to the real nature of the Kingdom of Heaven; or else we have grasped the principle of Unity without any exception anywhere, and the One Being includes all, the body and the soul alike, the visible form and the invisible substance and life of all equally; nothing can be left out, and we stand complete here and now, lacking no faculty, but requiring only to become conscious of our own powers, and to learn to have confidence in them through "having them exercised by reason of use."
The following communication from "A Foreign Reader," commenting on the Number of the Beast, as treated by Judge Troward in "Separation and Unity," is taken from EXPRESSION for 1902, in which it was first published. Following is Judge Troward's reply to this letter.
Dear Mr. Editor.--A correspondent in the current number of Expression points out the reference in the Book of Revelation to the number 666 as the mark of the Beast, because the trinity of mind, soul, and body, if considered as unity, may be expressed by the figures 333, and therefore duality is 333 X 2 = 666.
I think the inverse of the proposition is still more startling, and I should like to point it out. Instead of multiplying let us try dividing. First of all take unity as the unit one and divide by three (representing of course the same formula, viz., mind, soul and body). Expressed by a common fraction it is merely 1/3, which is an incomplete mathematical figure. But take the decimal
formula of one divided by three, and we arrive at .3 circulating, i. e., .3333 on to infinity. In other words, the result of the proposition by mathematics is that you divide this formula of spirit, soul, and body into unity, and it remains true to itself ad infinitum.
Now we come to consider it as a duality in the same way. Expressed as a vulgar fraction it is 2/3; but as a decimal fraction it is .6666 ad infinitum. I think this is worth noting.
Yours very faithfully,
A Foreign Reader. Brussels, Aug. 14, 1902.
Dear Editor.--I return with many thanks the very interesting letter received with yours, and I am very glad that my article should have been instrumental in drawing forth this further light on the subject.
This, moreover, affords an excellent illustration of one great principle of Unity, which is that the Unity repeats itself in every one of its parts, so that each part taken separately is an exact reproduction (in principles) of the greater Unity of which it is a portion. Therefore, if you take the individual man as your unit (which is what I did), and proceed by multiplication, you get the results which were pointed out in my article. And conversely, if you take the Great Unity of All-Being as your unit, and proceed by division, you arrive at the result shown by your foreign correspondent. The principle is a purely mathematical one, and is extremely interesting in the present application as showing the existence of a system of concealed mathematics running through the whole Bible. This bears out what I said in my article that there
were other applications of the principle in question, though this one did not at the time occur to me.
I am much indebted to your correspondent for the further proof thus given of the correctness of my interpretation of the Number of the Beast. Both our interpretations support each other, for they are merely different ways of stating the same thing, and they have this advantage over those generally given, that they do not refer to any particular form of evil, but express a general principle applicable to all alike.
T. London, Aug. 30, 1902.
It may perhaps emphasize my point if I remind my readers that it was the conflict between the principles of Unity and separation that led to the crucifixion of Jesus. We must distinguish between the charge which really led to his death, and the merely technical charge on which he was sentenced by the Roman Governor. The latter--the charge of opposition to the royal authority of Caesar--has its significance; but it is clear from the Bible record that this was merely formal, the true cause of conviction being contained in the statement that of the chief priests: "We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God."
The antagonism of the two principles of Unity and
separation had first been openly manifested on the occasion when Jesus made the memorable declaration,
"I and my Father are one." The Jews took up stones to stone him. Then said Jesus unto them, "Many good works have I shown you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone Me?" The Jews replied, "For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God." Jesus said, "Is it not written in your law, I said ye are gods? If He called them gods, unto whom the Word of God came (and the Scriptures cannot be broken), say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?" Here we have the first open passage of arms between the two opposing principles which led to the scene of Calvary as the final testimony of Jesus to the principle of Unity. He died because he maintained the Truth; that he was one with the Father. That was the substantive charge on which he was executed. "Art thou the son of the Blessed?" he was asked by the priestly tribunal; and the answer came clear and unequivocal, "I am." Then said the Council, "He hath spoken blasphemy, what further need have we of witnesses?" And they all condemned him to be worthy of death.
Jesus did not enter into a palpably useless argument with judges whose minds were so rooted in the idea of dualism as to be impervious to any other conception; but with a mixed multitude, who were not officially
committed to a system, the case was different. Among them there might be some still open to conviction, and the appeal was, therefore, made to a passage in the Psalms with which they were all familiar, pointing out that the very persons to whom the Divine word was addressed were styled "gods" by the Divine Speaker Himself. The incontrovertibleness of the fact was emphasised by the stress laid upon it as "Scripture which cannot be broken;" and the meaning to be assigned to the statement was rendered clear by the argument which Jesus deduced from it. He says in effect, "You would stone me as a blasphemer for saying of myself what your own Scriptures say concerning each of you." The claim of unity with "the Father," he urges, was no unique one, but one which the Scripture, rightly understood, entitled every one of his hearers to make for himself.
And so we find throughout that Jesus nowhere makes any claim for himself which he does not also make for those who accept his teaching. Does he say to the Jews, "Ye are of this world; I am not of this world?" Equally he says of his disciples, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." Does he say, "I am the light of the world?" Equally, he says, "Ye are the light of the world." Does he say, "I and my Father are one?" Equally he prays that they all might be one, even as we are one. Is he styled "the Son of God?" Then St. John writes, "To them gave he power to become sons of God, even to as many
as believe on his name;" and by belief on the name we may surely understand belief in the principle of which the name is the verbal representation.
The essential unity of God and man is thus the one fact which permeates the whole teaching of Jesus. He himself stood forth as its living expression. He appealed to his miracles as the proofs of it: "it is the Father that doeth the works." It formed the substance of his final discourse with his disciples in the night that he was betrayed. It is the Truth, to bear witness to which, he told Pilate, was the purpose of his life. In support of this Truth he died, and by the living power of this Truth he rose again. The whole object of his mission was to teach men to realise their unity with God and the consequences that must necessarily follow from it; to draw them away from that notion of dualism which puts an impassable barrier between God and man, and thus renders any true conception of the Principle of Life impossible; and to draw them into the clear perception of the innermost nature of Life, as consisting in the inherent identity of each individual with that Infinite all-pervading Spirit of Life which he called "the Father."
"The branch cannot bear fruit except it abide in the vine;" the power of bearing fruit, of producing and of giving forth, depends entirely on the fact that the individual is, and always continues to be, as much an organic part of Universal Spirit as the fruit-bearing branch is an organic part of the parent stem. Lose this idea,
and regard God as a merely external Creator who may indeed command us, or even sometimes be moved by our cries and entreaties, and we have lost the root of Livingness and with it all possibility of growth or of liberty. This is dualism, which cuts us off from our Source of Life; and so long as we take this false conception for the true law of Being, we shall find ourselves hampered by limitations and insoluble problems of every description: We have lost the Key of Life and are consequently unable to open the door.
But in proportion as we abide in the vine, that is, consciously realise our perpetual unity with Originating Spirit, and impress upon ourselves that this unity is neither bestowed as the reward of merit, nor as an act of favour--which would be to deny the Unity, for the bestowal would at once imply dualism--but dwell on the truth that it is the innermost and supreme principle of our own nature; in proportion as we consciously realise this, we shall rise to greater and greater certainty of knowledge, resulting in more and more perfect externalisation, whose increasing splendour can know no limits; for it is the continual outflowing of the exhaustless Spirit of Life in that manifestation of itself which is our own individuality.
The notion of dualism is the veil which prevents men seeing this, and causes them to wander blindfolded among the mazes of endless perplexity; but, as St. Paul truly says, when this veil is taken away we shall find ourselves changed from glory to glory as by the Lord
the Spirit. "His name shall be called Immanuel," that is "God in us," not a separate being from ourselves. Let us remember that Jesus was condemned by the principle of separation because he himself was the externalisation of the principle of Unity, and that, in adhering to the principle of Unity we are adhering to the only possible root of Life, and are maintaining the Truth for which Jesus died.