We have taken our lives out of a conscious harmony with the higher laws of our being, with the result that we are going against the great current of the Divine Order of things. Is it any wonder, then, that we find the strugglings, the inharmonies, the sufferings, the fears, the forebodings, the fallings by the wayside, the “strange, inscrutable dispensations of Providence” that we behold on every side? The moment we bring our lives into harmony with the higher laws of our being, and, as a result, into harmony with the current of the Divine Order of things, we shall find that all these will have taken wings; for the cause will have been removed. And as we look down the long vista of such a life, we shall find that each thing fits into all others with a wonderful, a sublime, a perfect, a divine harmony.
This, it will seem to some,–and to many, no doubt,–is claiming a great deal. No more, however, than the Master Teacher warranted us in claiming when he said, and repeated it so often, Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven, and all these other things shall be added unto you; and he left us not in the dark as to exactly what he meant by the kingdom of heaven, for again he said: Say not, Lo here, nor lo there. Know ye not that the kingdom of heaven is within you? _Within you._ The interior spiritual kingdom, the kingdom of the higher self, which is the kingdom of God; the kingdom of harmony,–harmony with the higher laws of your being.
The Master said what he said not for the sake merely of using a phrase of rhetoric, nor even to hear himself talk; for this he never did. But that great incarnation of spiritual insight and power knew of the great spiritual laws and forces under which we live, and also that supreme fact of the universe, that _man is a spiritual being, born to have dominion_, and that, by recognizing the true self and by bringing it into complete and perfect harmony with the higher spiritual laws and forces under which he lives, he can touch these laws and forces so that they will respond at every call and bring him whatsoever he wills,–one of the most stupendous scientific facts of the universe. When he has found and entered into the kingdom, then applies to him the truth of the great precept, Take ye no thought for the morrow; for the things of the morrow will take care of themselves.
Yes, we are at life from the wrong side. We have been giving all time and attention to the mere physical, the material, the external, the mere outward means of expression and the things that pertain thereto, thus missing the real life; and this we have called living, and seem, indeed, to be satisfied with the results. No wonder the cry has gone out again and again from many a human soul, Is life worth the living? But from one who has once commenced to _live_, this cry never has, nor can it ever come; for, _when the kingdom is once found, life then ceases to be a plodding, and becomes an exultation, an ecstasy, a joy_. Yes, you will find that all the evil, all the error, all the disease, all the suffering, all the fears, all the forebodings of life, are on the side of the physical, the material, the transient; while all the peace, all the joy, all the happiness, all the growth, all the life, all the rich, exulting, abounding life, is on the side of the spiritual, the ever-increasing, the eternal,–that that never changes, that has no end. Instead of crying out against the destiny of fate, let us cry out against the destiny of self, or rather against the destiny of the mistaken self; for everything that comes to us comes through causes which we ourselves or those before us have set into operation. Nothing comes by chance, for _in all the wide universe there is absolutely no such thing as chance_. We bring whatever comes. Are we not satisfied with the effects, the results? The thing then to do, is to change the causes; for we have everything in our own hands the moment we awake to a recognition of the true self.
We make our own heaven or our own hell, and the only heaven or hell that will ever be ours is that of our own making. The order of the universe is one thing: we take our lives out of harmony with and so pervert the laws under which we live, and make it another. The order is the all good. We pervert the laws, and what we call evil is the result,–simply the result of the violation of law; and we then wonder that a just and loving God could permit such and such things. We wonder at what we term the “strange, inscrutable dispensations of Providence,” when all is of our own making. We can be our own best friends or we can be our own worst enemies; and the only real enemy one can ever have is the self, the very self.