It is the all-round, fully developed we want,–not the ethereal, pale-blooded man and woman, but the man and woman of flesh and blood, for action and service here and now,–the man and woman strong and powerful, with all the faculties and functions fully unfolded and used, all in a royal and bounding condition, but all rightly subordinated. The man and the woman of this kind, with the imperial hand of mastery upon all,–standing, moving thus like a king, nay, like a very God,–such is the man and such is the woman of power. Such is the ideal life: anything else is one-sided, and falls short of it.
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The most powerful agent in character-building is this awakening to the true self, to the fact that man is a spiritual being,–nay, more, that I, this very eternal I, am a spiritual being, right here and now, at this very moment, with the God-powers which can be quickly called forth. With this awakening, life in all its manifold relations becomes wonderfully simplified. And as to the powers, the full realization of the fact that man is a spiritual being and a living as such brings, they are absolutely without limit, increasing in direct proportion as the higher self, the God-self, assumes the mastery, and so as this higher spiritualization of life goes on.
With this awakening and realization one is brought at once _en rapport_ with the universe. He feels the power and the thrill of the life universal. He goes out from his own little garden spot, and mingles with the great universe; and the little perplexities, trials, and difficulties of life that to-day so vex and annoy him, fall away of their own accord by reason of their very insignificance. The intuitions become keener and ever more keen and unerring in their guidance. There comes more and more the power of reading men, so that no harm can come from this source. There comes more and more the power of seeing into the future, so that more and more true becomes the old adage,–that coming events cast their shadows before. Health in time takes the place of disease; for all disease and its consequent suffering is merely the result of the violation of law, either consciously or unconsciously, either intentionally or unintentionally. There comes also a spiritual power which, as it is sent out, is adequate for the healing of others the same as in the days of old. The body becomes less gross and heavy, finer in its texture and form, so that it serves far better and responds far more readily to the higher impulses of the soul. Matter itself in time responds to the action of these higher forces; and many things that we are accustomed by reason of our limited vision to call miraculous or supernatural become the normal, the natural, the every-day.
For what, let us ask, is a miracle? Nothing more nor less than this: a highly illumined soul, one who has brought his life into thorough harmony with the higher spiritual laws and forces of his being, and therefore with those of the universe, thus making it possible for the highest things to come to him, has brought to him a law a little higher than the ordinary mind knows of as yet. This he touches, he operates. It responds. The people see the result, and cry out, Miracle! miracle! when it is just as natural, just as fully in accordance with the law on this higher plane, as is the common, the every-day on the ordinary. And let it be remembered that the miraculous, the supernatural of to-day becomes, as in the process of evolution we leave the lower for the higher, the commonplace, the natural, the every-day of to-morrow; and, truly, miracles are being performed in the world to-day just as much as they ever have been.
And why should we not to-day have the powers of the foremost in the days of old? The great universe in which we live is just the same, the great laws under which we live are identically the same, God the same and working in His world now just as then. The only difference we shall find is in ourselves, in that we have taken our lives out of harmony with the higher laws of our being, and consequently have lost the higher powers through not using them. Mighty men we are told they were, mighty men who walked with God,–and in the last clause lies the secret of the first,— men who lived in the spirit, men who followed after the real life instead of giving all time and attention to the mere external, men who lived in the higher stories of their being, and not continually in the basements.
With here and there an exception we reverse the process. We live in the valleys, so to speak, often disease-infected valleys, when we might mount up to the mountain-tops, and there dwell continually in the warm and mellow sunlight of God’s, or if you please, of nature’s great, unchangeable laws, and find ourselves rising ever higher and higher, and revelations coming new every day.
The Master never claimed for himself anything that he did not claim for all mankind; but, quite to the contrary, he said and continually repeated, Not only shall ye do these things, but greater than these shall ye do; for I have pointed out to you the way,–meaning, though strange as it evidently seems to many, _exactly_ what he said.