The Secret of the Ages, by Robert Collier, , at sacred-texts.com
—Walt Mason. *
Because religion, as it is commonly accepted, teaches man resignation to conditions as they are—teaches, in effect, that God created some men poor and some rich. That this unequal distribution is a perfectly natural thing. And that we must not rail against it because it will all be made right in the next world.
Napoleon, in his early Jacobin days, denounced religion for that very reason. But when he had won to power, when he planned to make himself Emperor, then he found he had need for that religion, and re-established the Church in France.
For, he reasoned, how can people be satisfied without religion? If one man is starving, near another who is making
himself sick by eating too much, how can you expect to keep the starving one resigned to his fate unless you teach him it will all be made right in some indefinite future state?
Organized society could not exist, as he planned it, without some being rich and some poor, and to keep the poor satisfied, there must be an authority to declare—"God wills it thus. But just be patient. In the hereafter all this will be different. YOU will be the ones then to occupy the places of honor."
Religion, in other words—as it is ordinarily taught—is a fine thing to keep the common people satisfied!
But Christianity was never meant for a weapon to keep the rich wealthy and secure, the poor satisfied and in their proper place. On the contrary, Christianity as taught by Jesus opened the way
to all Good. And Christianity as it was practiced in its early years was an idealized form of Socialism that benefited each and all. No one was wealthier than his neighbors, it is true—but neither was any poverty-stricken. Theirs was the creed of the Three Musketeers—"All for one, and one for all!"
"Ask and ye shall receive," said Jesus. "Seek and ye shall find." That was not directed to the rich alone. That was to ALL men.
Providence has never made a practice of picking out certain families or certain individuals and favoring them to the detriment of other people—much as some of our "leading families" would have us believe it. It is only man that has arrogated to himself that privilege. We laugh now at the "divine right of Kings." It is just as ridiculous to think that a few
have the right to all the good things of life, while the many have to toil and sweat to do them service.
To quote Rumbold's last words from the scaffold—"I never could believe that Providence had sent a few men into the world ready booted and spurred to ride, and millions ready saddled and bridled to be ridden."
There is nothing right in poverty. Not only that, but there is nothing meritorious in poverty. The mere fact that you are poor and ground down by fear and worry is not going to get you any forwarder in the hereafter. On the contrary, your soul is likely to be too pinched by want, too starved and shrivelled to be able to expand.
"The Kingdom of Heaven is within you." To me that means that Heaven is here and now. That if we want any
happiness from it we've got to get it as we go along. I've never been much of a believer in accepting these promissory notes for happiness. Every time one of them falls due, you find you just have to renew it for another six months or a year, until one of these days you wake up and find that the bank has busted and all your notes are not worth the paper they are written on.
The Cumæan Sibyl is said to have offered Tarquin the Proud nine books for what he thought an exorbitant sum. So he refused. She burned three of the books, and placed the same price on the six as on the original nine. Again he refused. She burned three more books, and offered the remainder for the sum she had first asked. This time Tarquin accepted. The books were found to contain prophecies and invaluable directions
regarding Roman policy, but alas, they were no longer complete.
So it is with happiness. If you take it as you go along, you get it in its entirety. But if you keep putting off the day when you shall enjoy it—if you keep taking promissory notes for happiness—every day will mean one day less of it that you will have. Yet the cost is just the same.
The purpose of existence is GROWTH. You can't grow spiritually or mentally without happiness. And by Happiness I don't mean a timid resignation to the "Will of God." That so-called "Will of God" is more often than not either pure laziness on the part of the resigned one or pure cussedness on the part of the one that is "putting something over" on him. It is the most sanctimonious expression yet devised to excuse some condition that
no one has the energy or the ability to rectify.
No—by Happiness I mean the everyday enjoyment of everyday people. I mean love and laughter and honest amusement. Every one of us is entitled to it. Every one of us can have it—if he has the WILL and the ENERGY to get out and get it for himself.
Joyless work, small pay, no future, nothing to look forward to—God never planned such an existence. It is manmade—and you can be man enough to unmake it as far as you and yours are concerned.
God never made any man poor any more than He made any man sick. Look around you. All of Nature is bountiful. On every hand you see profusion—in the trees, in the flowers, in everything that He planned. The only Law of Nature
is the law of Supply. Poverty is un-natural. It is man-made, through the limits man puts upon himself. God never put them there any more than He showed partiality by giving to some of His children gifts and blessings which He withheld from others. His gifts are just as available to you as to any man on earth. The difference is all in your understanding of how to avail yourself of the infinite supply all about you.
Take the worry clamps off your mentality and you will make the poverty clamps loosen up from your finances. Your affairs are so closely related to your consciousness that they too will relax into peace, order, and plenty. Divine ideas in your spiritual consciousness will become active in your business, and will work out as your abundant prosperity.
As David V. Bush says in "Applied
[paragraph continues] Psychology and Scientific Living"—"Thoughts are things; thoughts are energy; thoughts are magnets which attract to us the very things which we think. Therefore, if a man is in debt, he will, by continually thinking about debt, bring more debts to him. For thoughts are causes, and he fastens more debts on to himself and actually creates more obligations by thinking about debts.
"Concentrate and think upon things that you want; not on things which you ought not to have. Think of abundance, of opulence, of plenty, of position, harmony and growth, and if you do not see them manifested today, they will be realized to-morrow. If you must pass through straits of life where you do not outwardly see abundance, know that you have it within, and that in time it will manifest itself.
"I say, if you concentrate on debt, debt is what you will have; if you think about poverty, poverty is what you will receive. It is just as easy, when once the mind becomes trained, to think prosperity and abundance and plenty, as it is to think lack, limitation and poverty."
Prosperity is not limited to time or to place. It manifests when and where there is consciousness to establish it. It is attracted to the consciousness that is free from worry, strain, and tension.
So never allow yourself to worry about poverty. Be careful, take ordinary business precautions—of course. But don't center your thought on your troubles. The more you think of them, the more tightly you fasten them upon yourself. Think of the results you are after—not of the difficulties in the way. Mind will find the way. It is merely up to you to
choose the goal, then keep your thought steadfast until that goal is won.
The greatest short-cut to prosperity is to LIVE IT! Prosperity attracts. Poverty repels. To quote Orison Swett Marden—"To be ambitious for wealth and yet always expecting to be poor, to be always doubting your ability to get what you long for, is like trying to reach East by travelling West. There is no philosophy which will help a man to succeed when he is always doubting his ability to do so, and thus attracting failure."
Again: "No matter how hard you may work for success, if your thought is saturated with the fear of failure it will kill your efforts, neutralize your endeavors, and make success impossible."
The secret of prosperity lies in so vividly imaging it in your own mind
that you literally exude prosperity. You feel prosperous, you look prosperous, and the result is that before long you ARE prosperous.
I remember seeing a play a number of years ago that was based on this thought. A young fellow—a chronic failure—was persuaded by a friend to carry a roll of $1000 counterfeit bills in his pocket, and to show them, unostentatiously, when the occasion offered. Of course, everyone thought he had come into some legacy. The natural inference was that anyone who carried fifty or a hundred thousand dollar bills in his pockets must have a lot more in the bank. Opportunities flocked to him. Opportunities to make good. Opportunities to make money. He made good! And that without having to spend any of this spurious money of his. For most
business today is done on credit. I know many wealthy men who seldom carry anything but a little change in their pockets for tips. Everything they do, everything they buy, is "Charged." And big deals are put through in the same way. If a man is believed to have plenty of money, if he has a reputation for honesty and fair-dealing, he may put through a transaction running into six or seven figures without paying one cent down. The thing that counts is not the amount of your balance at the Bank, but what others THINK of you, the IMAGE you have created in your own and in others minds.
What do you lack? What thing do you want most? Realize that before it or any other thing can be, it must first be imaged in Mind. Realize, too, that when you can close your eyes and actually
[paragraph continues] SEE that thing, you have brought it into being—you have drawn upon that invisible substance all about you—you have created something. Hold it in your thought, focus your mind upon it, "BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE IT"—and you can safely leave its material manifestation to the Genie-of-your-Mind.
God is but another name for the invisible, everywhere-present, Source-of-things. Out of the air the seed gathers the essences which are necessary to its bountiful growth; out of the invisible ether our minds gather the rich ideas that stimulate us to undertake and to carry out enterprises that bring prosperity to us. Let us see with the eye of the mind a bountiful harvest; then our minds will be quickened with ideas of abundance, and plenty will appear, not only in our world, but everywhere.
"As the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, and giveth seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."—Isaiah.
473:* From "Walt Mason—His Book." Barse & Hopkins, Newark, N. J.