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The Hidden Power, by Thomas Troward [1921], at

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IN contemplating the relations between body, soul, and spirit, between Universal Mind and individual mind, the methodised study of which constitutes Mental Science, we must never forget that these relations indicate, not the separateness, but the unity of these principles. We must learn not to attribute one part of our action to one part of our being, and another to another. Neither the action nor the functions are split up into separate parts. The action is a whole, and the being that does it is a whole, and in the healthy organism the reciprocal movements of the principles are so harmonious as never to suggest any feeling than that of a perfectly whole and undivided self. If there is any other feeling we may be sure that there is abnormal action somewhere, and we should set ourselves to discover and remove the cause of it. The reason for this is that in any perfect organism there cannot be more than one centre of control.

A rivalry of controlling principles would be the destruction of the .organic wholeness; for either the elements would separate and group themselves round one or other of the centres, according to their respective affinities, and thus form two distinctive individualities,

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or else they would be reduced to a condition of merely chaotic confusion; in either case the original organism would cease to exist. Seen in this light, therefore, it is a self-evident truth that, if we are to retain our individuality; in other words, if we are to continue to exist, it can be only by retaining our hold upon the central controlling principle in ourselves; and if this be the charter of our being, it follows that all our future development depends on our recognising and accepting this central controlling principle. To this end, therefore, all our endeavours should be directed; for otherwise all our studies in Mental Science will only lead us into a confused labyrinth of principles and counter-principles, which will be considerably worse than the state of ignorant simplicity from which we started.

This central controlling principle is the Will, and we must never lose sight of the fact that all the other principles about which we have learnt in our studies exist only as its instruments. The Will is the true self, of which they are all functions, and all our progress consists of our increased recognition of the fact. It is the Will that says "I AM"; and therefore, however exalted, or even in their higher developments apparently miraculous, our powers may be, they are all subject to the central controlling power of the Will. When the enlightened Will shall have learnt to identify itself perfectly with the limitless powers of knowledge, judgment, and creative thought which are at its disposal, then the individual will have attained to perfect wholeness,

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and all limitations will have passed away for ever.

And nothing short of this consciousness of Perfect Wholeness can satisfy us. Everything that falls short of it is in that degree an embodiment of the principle of Death, that great enemy against which the principle of Life must continue to wage unceasing war, in whatever form or measure it may show itself, until "death is swallowed up in victory." There can be no compromise. Either we are affirming Life as a principle, or we are denying it, no matter on how great or how small a scale; and the criterion by which to determine our attitude is our realisation of our own Wholeness. Death is the principle of disintegration; and whenever we admit the power of any portion of our organism, whether spiritual or bodily, to induce any condition independently of the intention of the Will, we admit that the force of disintegration is superior to the controlling centre in ourselves, and we conceive of ourselves as held in bondage by an adversary, from which bondage the only way of release is by the attainment of a truer way of thinking.

And the reason is that, either through ignorance or carelessness, we have surrendered our position of control over the system as a whole, and have lost the element of Purpose, around which the consciousness of individuality must always centre. Every state of our consciousness, whether active or passive, should be the result of a distinct purpose adopted by our own free will; for the passive states should be quite as much

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under the control of the Will as the active. It is the lack of purpose that deprives us of power. The higher and more clearly defined our purpose, the greater stimulus we have for realising our control over all our faculties for its attainment; and since the grandest of all purposes is the strengthening and ennobling of Life, in proportion as we make this our aim we shall find ourselves in union with the Supreme Universal Mind, acting each in our individual sphere for the furtherance of the same purpose which animates the ruling principle of the Great Whole, and, as a consequence, shall find that its intelligence and powers are at our disposal.

But in all this there must be no strain. The true exercise of the Will is not an exercise of unnatural force. It is simply the leading of our powers into their natural channels by intelligently recognising the direction in which those channels go. However various in detail, they have one clearly defined common tendency towards the increasing of Life--whether in ourselves or in others--and if we keep this steadily in view, all our powers, whether interior or exterior, will be found to work so harmoniously together that there will be no sense of independent action on the part of any one of them. The distinctions drawn for purposes of study will be laid aside, and the Self in us will be found to be the realisation of a grand ideal being, at once individual and universal, consciously free in its individual wholeness and in its joyous participation in the Life of the Universal Whole.

Next: XXIV. What is Higher Thought?