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The Secret Door to Success, by Florence Scovel Shinn, [1941], at


"There shall no straw be given you, yet ye shall make bricks without straw."—Exodus 5:18.


In the 5th chapter of Exodus, we have a picture of every day life, when giving a metaphysical interpretation.

The Children of Israel were in bondage to Pharaoh, the cruel taskmaster, ruler of Egypt. They were kept in slavery, making bricks, and were hated and despised.

Moses had orders from the Lord to deliver his people from bondage—"Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh—Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness."

He not only refused to let them go, but told them he would make their tasks even more difficult: they must make bricks without straw being provided for them.

"And the task-masters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spake to the people, saying, Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw."

"Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not ought of your work shall be diminished."

It was impossible to make bricks without straw. The Children of Israel were completely crushed by Pharaoh, they were beaten for not producing the bricks—Then came the message from Jehovah.

"Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale (number) of bricks."

Working with Spiritual law they could make bricks without straw, which means to accomplish the seemingly impossible.

How often in life people are confronted with this situation.

Agnes M. Lawson in her "Hints to Bible Students" says—"The Life in Egypt under foreign oppression is the symbol of man under the hard taskmasters of Destructive thinking, Pride, Fear, Resentment, Ill-will, etc. The deliverance under Moses is the freedom man gains from the taskmasters, as he learns the law of life, for we can never come under grace, except we first know the law. The law must be made known in order to be fulfilled."

In the 111th Psalm we read in the final verse, "The fear of the Lord (law) is the beginning of Wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth forever."

Now if we read the word Lord (law) it will give us the key to the statement.

The fear of the law (Karmic law) is the beginning of wisdom (not the fear of the Lord).

When we know that whatever we send out comes back, we begin to be afraid of our own boomerangs.

I read in a medical journal the following facts telling of the Boomerang this great Pharaoh received.

"It would appear that flesh is indeed heir to a long and ancient line of ills, when, as was revealed by Lord Monyahan at a lecture at Leeds, that the Pharaoh of the oppression suffered from hardening of the heart in a literal sense; Lord Monyahan showed some remarkable photographic slides of results of surgical operations a thousand years before Christ, and among these was a slide of the actual anatomical remains of the Pharaoh of the Oppression.

"The large vessel springing from the heart was in such a well-preserved state, as to enable sections of it to be made and compared with those made recently from the lantern slide. It was impossible to distinguish between the ancient and modern vessel. Both hearts had been attacked by Atheroma, a condition in which calcium salts are deposited in the walls of the vessel, making it rigid and inelastic.

"Inadequate expanse to the stream of blood from the heart caused the vessel to give way; with this condition went the mental changes that occur with a rigid arterial system: A narrowness of outlook; restriction and dread of enterprise, a literal hardening of the heart."

So Pharaoh's hardness of heart, hardened his own heart.

This is as true today as it was several thousand years ago—we are all coming out of the Land of Egypt, out of the House of Bondage.

Your doubts and fears keep you in slavery; you face a situation which seems hopeless; What can you do? It is a case of making bricks without straw.

But remember the words of Jehovah, "Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale (number) of bricks."

You shall make bricks without straw. God makes a way where there is no way! 

I was told the story of a woman who needed money for her rent: it was necessary to have it at once, she knew of no channel, she had exhausted every avenue.

However, she was a Truth student, and kept making her affirmations. Her dog whined and wanted to go out, she put on his leash and walked down the street, in the accustomed direction.

However, the dog pulled at his leash and wanted to go in another direction.

She followed, and in the middle of the block, opposite an open park, she looked down, and picked up a roll of bills, which exactly covered her rent.

She looked for ads, but never found the owner. There were no houses near where she found it.

The reasoning mind, the intellect, takes the throne of Pharaoh in your consciousness. It says continually, "It can't be done. What's the use!"

We must drown out these dreary suggestions with a vital affirmation!

For example take this statement: "The unexpected happens, my seemingly impossible good now comes to pass." This stops all argument from the army of the aliens (the reasoning mind).

"The unexpected happens!" That is an idea it cannot cope with.

"Thou hast made me wiser than mine enemies." Your enemy thoughts, your doubts, fears and apprehensions!

Think of the joy of really being free forever, from the Pharaoh of the oppression. To have the idea of security, health, happiness and abundance established in the subconscious. It would mean a life free from all limitation!

It would be the Kingdom which Jesus Christ spoke of, where all things are automatically added unto us. I say automatically added unto us, because all life is vibration; and when we vibrate to success, happiness and abundance, the things which symbolize these states of consciousness will attach themselves to us.

Feel rich and successful, and suddenly you receive a large cheque or a beautiful gift.

I tell the story showing the working of this law. I went to a party where people played games, and whoever won, received a gift. The prize was a beautiful fan.

Among those present, was a very rich woman, who had everything. Her name was Clara. The poorer and resentful ones got together and whispered: "We hope Clara doesn't get the fan." Of course Clara won the fan.

She was care-free and vibrating to abundance. Envy and resentment short-circuit your good and keep away your fans.

If you should happen to be resentful and envious, take the statement; What God has done for others He now does for me and more! 

Then all the fans and things will come your way.

No man gives to himself but himself, and no man takes away from himself but himself: the "Game of Life" is a game of solitaire; as you change, all conditions will change.

Now to go back to Pharaoh the oppressor; no one loves an oppressor.

I remember a friend I had many years ago, her name was Lettie; her father had plenty of money and supplied her mother and herself with food and clothes, but no luxuries.

We went to Art School together, and all the students would buy reproductions of the "Winged Victory," "Whistler's Mother" or something to bring art into their homes.

My friend's father called all these things "plunder." He would say, "Don't bring home any plunder."

So she lived a colorless life without a "Winged Victory" on her bureau or "Whistler's Mother" on the wall.

He would say often to my friend and her mother, "When I die, you'll both be well off."

One day someone said to Lettie, "When are you going abroad?" (all art students went abroad.)

She replied, cheerfully, "Not ’till Papa dies."

So people always look forward to being free from lack and oppression.

Let us now free ourselves from the tyrants of negative thinking: we have been slaves to doubts, fears and apprehension and let us be delivered as Moses delivered the Children of Israel; and come out of the Land of Egypt, out of the House of Bondage.

Find the thought which is your great oppressor; find the King-Pin.

In the logging camps in the Spring, the logs are sent down the rivers in great numbers.

Sometimes the logs become crossed and cause a jam; the men look for the log causing the jam (they call it the King-Pin), straighten it, and the logs rush down the river again.

Maybe your King-Pin is resentment, resentment holds back your good.

The more you resent, the more you will have to resent; you grow a resentment track in your brain, and your expression will be one of habitual resentment.

You will be avoided and miss the golden opportunities which await you each day.

I remember a few years ago, the streets were filled with men selling apples.

They got up early to get the good corners.

I passed one several times on Park Avenue, he had the most disagreeable expression I have ever seen.

As people passed he said, "Apples! Apples!" but no one stopped to buy.

I invested in an apple and said, "You'll never sell apples unless you change your expression."

He replied, "Well that guy over there took my corner."

I said, "Never mind about the corner, you can sell apples right here if you'll look pleasant."

He said "O. K. lady," and I went on. The next day I saw him, his whole expression had changed; he was doing a big business, selling apples with a smile.

So find your King-Pin—(you may have more than one); and your logs of success, happiness and abundance will go rushing down your river.


"Go therefore now and work, for there shall no straw be given you, yet ye shall make bricks without straw."

Next: “And Five of Them Were Wise”