When this realization comes, fear goes, hope attends, faith dominates,–the faith of to-day which gives place to the realization of to-morrow. We then have nothing to do with the past, nothing to do with the future; for the whole of life is determined by the ever-present to-day. As my life to-day has been determined by the way I lived my yesterday, so my to-morrow is being determined by the way I live my to-day. Let me then live in this _eternal now_, and realize that I am at this very moment living the eternal life as much as I ever shall or can live it. I will then waste no time with the past, except perhaps occasionally to give thanks that its then seeming trials, sorrows, errors, and stumblings have brought me all the sooner into harmony with the laws of the higher life. Let me waste no time with the future, no time in idle dreaming, neither in fears nor forebodings, thus inviting and opening the door for the entrance of their actualizations; but rather let me, by the thoughts and so by the deeds of to-day, make the future exactly what I will.
Every act is preceded and given birth to by a thought, the act repeated forms the habit, the habit determines the character, and character determines the life, the destiny,–a most significant, a most tremendous truth: thought on the one hand, life, destiny, on the other. And how simplified, when we realize that it is merely the thought of the present hour, and the next when it comes, and the next, and the next! so life, destiny, on the one hand, the thoughts of the present hour, on the other. This is the secret of character-building. How wonderfully simple, though what vigilance it demands!
What, shall we ask, is the place, what the value, of prayer? Prayer, as every act of devotion, brings us into an ever greater conscious harmony with the Infinite, the one pearl of great price; for it is this harmony which brings all other things. Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, and thus is its own answer, as the sincere desire made active and accompanied by faith sooner or later gives place to realization; _for faith is an invisible and invincible magnet, and attracts to itself whatever it fervently desires and calmly and persistently expects_. This is absolute, and the results will be absolute in exact proportion as this operation of the thought forces, as this faith is absolute, and relative in exact proportion as it is relative. The Master said, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, _believe_ that ye receive them and ye shall have them. Can any law be more clearly enunciated, can anything be more definite and more absolute than this? According to thy faith be it unto thee. Do we at times fail in obtaining the results we desire? The fault, the failure, lies not in the law but in ourselves. Regarded in its right and true light, than prayer there is nothing more scientific, nothing more valuable, nothing more effective.
This conscious realization of oneness with the Infinite Life is of all things the one thing to be desired; for, when this oneness is realized and lived in, all other things follow in its train, there are no desires that shall not be realized, for God has planted in the human breast no desire without its corresponding means of realization. No harm can come nigh, nothing can touch us, there will be nothing to fear; for we shall thus attract only the good. And whatever changes time may bring, understanding the law, we shall always expect something better, and thus set into operation the forces that will attract that something, realizing that many times angels go out that arch-angels may enter in; and this is always true in the case of the life of this higher realization. And why should we have any fear whatever,–fear even for the nation, as is many times expressed? God is behind His world, in love and with infinite care and watchfulness working out his great and almighty plans; and whatever plans men may devise, He will when the time is ripe either frustrate and shatter, or aid and push through to their most perfect culmination,–frustrate and shatter if contrary to, aid and actualize if in harmony with His.
It will readily be seen what a power the life that is fully awake, that fully grasps and uses the great forces of its own interior self, can be in the service of mankind. One with these forces highly spiritualized will not have to go here and there to do the greatest service for mankind. Such a one can sit in his cabin, in his tent, in his own home, or, as he goes here and there, he can continually send out influences of the most potent and powerful nature,–influences that will have their effect, that will do their work, and that will reach to the uttermost parts of the world. Than this there can be no more valuable, more vital service, nor one of a higher nature.