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Excerpts from

The Higher Powers of Mind and Spirit
by Ralph Waldo Trine





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Book Description
Each of us resides in two kingdoms, states Ralph Waldo Trine in The Higher Powers of Mind and Spirit, an inner kingdom, consisting of the mind and the spirit, and an outer kingdom made up of the body and the physical universe around it. It is achieving the balance between these two worlds that Trine addresses in this 1917 work. One cannot force change in the outer kingdom, argues Trine--one of the most influential thinkers and philosophers of "New Thought"--without first changing the "silent, subtle forces" that make up the inner kingdom, the "kingdom of the unseen." Learn how the soul, mind, and body interrelate; how the mind can be used to build the body (and vice versa); how thought can be used as a force in everyday life, and much more.


FOREWORD

We are all dwellers in two kingdoms, the inner kingdom, the kingdom of the mind and spirit, and the outer kingdom, that of the body and the physical universe about us. In the former, the kingdom of the unseen, lie the silent, subtle forces that are continually determining, and with exact precision, the conditions of the latter.

To strike the right balance in life is one of the supreme essentials of all successful living. We must work, for we must have bread. We require other things than bread. They are not only valuable, comfortable, but necessary. It is a dumb, stolid being, however, who does not realize that life consists of more than these. They spell mere existence, not abundance, fullness of life.

We can become so absorbed in making a living that we have no time for living. To be capable and efficient in one's work is a splendid thing; but efficiency can be made a great mechanical device that robs life of far more than it returns it. A nation can become so possessed, and even obsessed, with the idea of power and grandeur through efficiency and organisation, that it becomes a great machine and robs its people of the finer fruits of life that spring from a wisely subordinated and coordinated individuality. Here again it is the wise balance that determines all.

Our prevailing thoughts and emotions determine, and with absolute accuracy, the prevailing conditions of our outward, material life, and likewise the prevailing conditions of our bodily life. Would we have any conditions different in the latter we must then make the subtle forces of mind and spirit, ceaselessly at work, are continually moulding these outward and these bodily conditions.

He makes a fundamental error who thinks that these are mere sentimental things in life, vague and intangible. They are, as great numbers are now realising, the great and elemental things in life, the only things that in the end really count. The normal man or woman can never find real and abiding satisfaction in the mere possessions, the mere accessories of life. There is an eternal something within that forbids it. That is the reason why, of late years, so many of our big men of affairs, so many in various public walks in life, likewise many women of splendid equipment and with large possessions, have been and are turning so eagerly to the very things we are considering. To be a mere huckster, many of our big men are finding, cannot bring satisfaction, even though his operations run into millions in the year.

And happy is the young man or the young woman who, while the bulk of life still lies ahead, realises that it is the things of the mind and the spiritthe fundamental things in lifethat really count; that here lie the forces that are to be understood and to be used in moulding the everyday conditions and affairs of life; that the springs of life are all from within, that as is the inner so always and inevitably will be the outer.

To present certain facts that may be conducive to the realisation of this more abundant life is the author's purpose and plan.


Chapter I

THE SILENT, SUBTLE BUILDING FORCES<> OF MIND AND SPIRIT

There are moments in the lives of all of us when we catch glimpses of a lifeour lifethat is infinitely beyond the life we are now living. We realise that we are living below our possibilities. We long for the realisation of the life that we feel should be.

Instinctively we perceive that there are within us powers and forces that we are making but inadequate use of, and others that we are scarcely using at all. Practical metaphysics, a more simplified and concrete psychology, well-known laws of mental and spiritual science, confirm us in this conclusion.

Our own William James, he who so splendidly related psychology, philosophy, and even religion, to life in a supreme degree, honoured his calling and did a tremendous service for all mankind, when he so clearly developed the fact that we have within us powers and forces that we are making all too little use of that we have within us great reservoirs of power that we have as yet scarcely tapped.

The men and the women who are awake to these inner helpsthese directing, moulding, and sustaining powers and forces that belong to the realm of mind and spiritare never to be found among those who ask: Is life worth the living? For them life has been multiplied two, ten, a hundred fold.

It is not ordinarily because we are not interested in these things, for instinctively we feel them of value; and furthermore our observations and experiences confirm us in this thought. The pressing cares of the everyday lifein the great bulk of cases, the bread and butter problem of life, which is after all the problem of ninety-nine out of every hundredall seem to conspire to keep us from giving the time and attention to them that we feel we should give them. But we lose thereby tremendous helps to the daily living.

Through the body and its avenues of sense, we are intimately related to the physical universe about us. Through the soul and spirit we are related to the Infinite Power that is the animating, the sustaining forcethe Life Forceof all objective material forms. It is through the medium of the mind that we are able consciously to relate the two. Through it we are able to realise the laws that underlie the workings of the spirit; and to open ourselves that they may become the dominating forces of our lives.

There is a divine current that will bear us with peace and safety on its bosom if we are wise and diligent enough to find it and go with it. Battling against the current is always hard and uncertain. Going with the current lightens the labours of the journey. Instead of being continually uncertain and even exhausted in the mere efforts of getting through, we have time for the enjoyments along the way, as well as the ability to call a word of cheer or to lend a hand to the neighbour, also on the way.

The natural, normal life is by a law divine under the guidance of the spirit. It is only when we fail to seek and to follow this guidance, or when we deliberately take ourselves from under its influence, that uncertainties arise, legitimate longings go unful-filled, and that violated laws bring their penalties.

It is well that we remember always that violated law carries with it its own penalty. The Supreme IntelligenceGod, if you pleasedoes not punish. He works through the channel of great immutable systems of law.

It is ours to find these laws. That is what mind, intelligence, is for. Knowing them we can then obey them and reap the beneficent results that are always a part of their fulfilment; knowingly or unknowingly, intentionally or unintentionally, we can fail to observe them, we can violate them, and suffer the results, or even be broken by them.

Life is not so complex if we do not so continually persist in making it so. Supreme Intelligence, creative Power works only through law. Science and religion are but different approaches to our understanding of the law. When both are real, they supplement one another and their findings are identical.

The old Hebrew prophets, through the channel of the spirit, perceived and enunciated some wonderful laws of the natural and normal lifethat are now being confirmed by well-established laws of mental and spiritual scienceand that are now producing these identical results in the lives of great numbers among us today, when they said: "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, this is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand and when ye turn to the left."

And again: "The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you." "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee." "The Lord in the midst of thee is mighty." "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." "Thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field, and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee." "Commit thy way unto the Lord: trust also in him and he shall bring it to pass." Now these formulations all mean something of a very definite nature, or, they mean nothing at all. If they are actual expressions of fact, they are governed by certain definite and immutable laws.

These men gave us, however, no knowledge of the laws under-lying the workings of these inner forces and powers; they perhaps had no such knowledge themselves. They were intuitive percep-tions of truth on their part. The scientific spirit of this, our age, was entirely unknown to them. The growth of the race in the meantime, the development of the scientific spirit in the pursuit and the finding of truth, makes us infinitely beyond them in some things, while in others they were far ahead of us. But this fact remains, and this is the important fact: If these things were actual facts in the lives of these early Hebrew prophets, they are then actual facts in our lives right now, today; or, if not actual facts, then they are facts that still lie in the realm of the potential, only waiting to be brought into the realm of the actual.

These were not unusual men in the sense that the Infinite Power, God, if you please, could or did speak to them alone. They are types, they are examples of how any man or any woman, through desire and through will, can open himself or herself to the leadings of Divine Wisdom, and have actualised in his or her life an ever-growing sense of Divine Power. For truly "God is the same yesterday, and today, and forever." His laws are unchanging as well as immutable.

None of these men taught, then, how to recognise the Divine Voice within, nor how to become continually growing embodi-ments of the Divine Power. They gave us perhaps, though, all they were able to give. Then came Jesus, the successor of this long line of illustrious Hebrew prophets, with a greater aptitude for the things of the spiritthe supreme embodiment of Divine realisation and revelation. With a greater knowledge of truth than they, he did greater things than they.

He not only did these works, but he showed how he did them. He not only revealed the Way, but so earnestly and so diligently he implored his hearers to follow the Way. He makes known the secret of his insight and his power: "The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works." Again, "I can of my own self do nothing." And he then speaks of his purpose, his aim: "I am come that ye might have life, and that ye might have it more abundantly." A little later he adds: "The works that I do ye shall do also." Now again, these things mean something of a very definite nature, or they mean nothing at all.

The works done, the results achieved by Jesus' own immediate disciples and followers, and in turn their followers, as well as in the early church for close to two hundred years after his time, all attest the truth of his teaching and demonstrate unmistakably the results that follow.

Down through the intervening centuries, the teachings, the lives and the works of various seers, sages, and mystics, within the church and out of the church, have likewise attested the truth of his teachings. The bulk of the Christian world, however, since the third century, has been so concerned with various theories and teachings concerning Jesus, that it has missed almost completely the real vital and vitalising teachings of Jesus.

We have not been taught primarily to follow his injunctions, and to apply the truths that he revealed to the problems of our everyday living. Within the last two score of years or a little more, however, there has been a great going back directly to the teachings of Jesus, and a determination to prove their truth and to make effective their assurances. Also various laws in the realm of Mental and Spiritual Science have become clearly established and clearly formulated, that confirm all his fundamental teachings.

There are now definite and well-defined laws in relation to thought as a force, and the methods as to how it determines our material and bodily conditions. There are now certain well-defined laws pertaining to the subconscious mind, its ceaseless building activities, how it always takes its direction from the active, thinking mind, and how through this channel we may connect ourselves with reservoirs of power, so to speak, in an intelligent and effective manner.

There are now well-understood laws underlying mental suggestion, whereby it can be made a tremendous source of power in our own lives, and can likewise be made an effective agency in arousing the motive powers of another for his or her healing, habit-forming, character-building. There are likewise well-established facts not only as to the value, but the absolute need of periods of meditation and quiet, alone with the Source of our being, stilling the outer bodily senses, and fulfilling the conditions whereby the Voice of the Spirit can speak to us and through us, and the power of the Spirit can manifest in and through us.

A nation is great only as its people are great. Its people are great in the degree that they strike the balance between the life of the mind and the spiritall the finer forces and emotions of lifeand their outer business organisation and activities. When the latter become excessive, when they grow at the expense of the former, then the inevitable decay sets in, that spells the doom of that nation, and its time is tolled off in exactly the same manner, and under the same law, as has that of all the other nations before it that sought to reverse the Divine order of life.

The human soul and its welfare is the highest business that any state can give its attention to. To recognise or to fail to recognise the value of the human soul in other nations, determines its real greatness and grandeur, or its self-complacent but essential vacuity. It is possible for a nation, through subtle delusions, to get such an attack of the big head that it bends over backwards, and it is liable, in this exposed position, to get a thrust in its vitals.

To be carried too far along the road of efficiency, big business, expansion, world power, domination, at the expense of the great spiritual verities, the fundamental humanities of national life, that make for the real life and welfare of its people, and that give also its true and just relations with other nations and their people, is both dangerous and in the end suicidalit can end in nothing but loss and eventual disaster. A silent revolution of thought is taking place in the minds of the people of all nations at this time, and will continue for some years to come. A stock-taking period in which tremendous revaluations are under way, is on. It is becoming clear-cut and decisive.



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