The Hidden Power, by Thomas Troward , at sacred-texts.com
I HAVE before me a curious piece of ancient Egyptian symbolism. It represents the sun sending down to the earth innumerable rays, with the peculiarity that each ray terminates in a hand. This method of representing the sun is so unusual that it suggests the presence in the designer's mind of some idea rather different from those generally associated with the sun as a spiritual emblem; and, if I interpret the symbol rightly, it sets forth the truth, not only of the Divine Being as the Great Source of all Life and of all Illumination, but also the correlative truth of our individual relation to that centre. Each ray is terminated by a hand, and a hand is the emblem of active working; and I think it would be difficult to give a better symbolical representation of innumerable individualities, each working separately, yet all deriving their activity from a common source. The hand is at work upon the earth, and the sun, from which it is a ray, is shining in the heavens; but the connecting line shows whence all the strength and skill of the hand are derived.
If we look at the microcosm of our own person we
find this principle exactly reproduced. Our hand is the instrument by which all our work is done--literary, artistic, mechanical, or household--but we know that all this work is really the work of the mind, the will-power at the centre of our system, which first determines what is to be done, and then sets the hand to work to do it; and in the doing of it the mind and hand become one, so that the hand is none other than the mind working. Now, transferring this analogy to the microcosm, we see that we each stand in the same relation to the Universal Mind that our hand does to our individual mind--at least, that is our normal relation; and we shall never put forth our full strength except from this standpoint.
We rightly realise our will as the centre of our individuality, but we should do better to picture our individuality as an ellipse rather than a circle, a figure having two "conjugate foci," two equilibriated centres of revolution rather than a single one, one of which is the will-power or faculty of doing, and the other the consciousness or perception of being. If we realise only one of these two centres we shall lose both mental and moral balance. If we lose sight of that centre which is our personal will, we shall become flabby visionaries without any backbone; and if, in our anxiety to develop backbone, we lost sight of the other centre, we shall find that we have lost that which corresponds to the lungs and heart in the physical body, and that our backbone, however perfectly developed, is rapidly drying
up for want of those functions which minister vitality to the whole system, and is only fit to be hung up in a museum to show what a rigid, lifeless thing the strongest vertebral column becomes when separated from the organisation by which alone it can receive nourishment. We must realise the one focus of our individuality as clearly as the other, and bring both into equal balance, if we would develop all our powers and rise to that perfection of Life which has no limits to its glorious possibilities.
Keeping the ancient Egyptian symbol before used, and considering ourselves as the hand, we find that we derive all our power from an infinite centre; and because it is infinite we need never fear that we shall fail to draw to ourselves all that we require for our work, whether it be the intelligence to lay hold of the proper tool, or the strength to use it. And, moreover, we learn from the symbol that this central power is generic. This is a most important truth. It is the centre from which all the hands proceed, and is as fully open to any one hand as to any other. Each hand is doing its separate work, and the whole of the central energy is at its disposal for its own specific purpose. The work of the central energy, as such, is to supply vitality to the hands, and it is they that differentiate this universal power into all the varied forms of application which their different aptitudes and opportunities suggest. We, as the hands, live and work because the Central Mind lives and works in us. We are one with it, and it
Is one with us; and so long as we keep this primal truth before us, we realise ourselves as beings of unlimited goodness and intelligence and power, and we work in the fulness of strength and confidence accordingly; but if we lose sight of this truth, we shall find that the strongest will must get exhausted at last in the unequal struggle of the individual against the universe.
For if we do not recognise the Central Mind as the source of our vitality, we are literally "fighting for our own hand," and all the other hands are against us, for we have lost the principle of connection with them. This is what must infallibly happen if we rely on nothing but our individual will-power. But if we realise that the will is the power by which we give out, and that every giving out implies a corresponding taking in, then we shall find in the boundless ocean of central living Spirit the source from which we can go on taking in ad infinitum, and which thus enables us to give out to any extent we please. But for wise and effective giving out a strong and enlightened will is an absolute necessity, and therefore we do well to cultivate the will, or the active side of our nature. But we must equally cultivate the receptive side also; and when we do this rightly by seeing in the Infinite Mind the one source of supply, our will-power becomes intensified by the knowledge that the whole power of the Infinite is present to back it up; and with this continual sense of Infinite Power behind us we can go calmly and steadily
to the accomplishment of any purpose, however difficult, without straining or effort, knowing that it shall be achieved, not by the hand only, but by the invincible Mind that works through it. "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts."