How often did the Master say, “I seek not to do mine own will, but the will of the Father who sent me”! Here is the world’s great example of the life out of the personal and in the universal, hence his great power. The same has been true of all the saviors, the prophets, the seers, the sages, and the leaders in the world’s history, of all of truly great and lasting power.
He who would then come into the secret of power must come from the personal into the universal, and with this comes not only great power, but also freedom from the vexations and perplexities that rise from the misconstruing of motives, the opinions of others; for such a one cares nothing as to what men may say, or hear, or think, or do, so long as he is true to the great principles of right and truth before him. And, if we will search carefully, we shall find that practically all the perplexities and difficulties of life have their origin on the side of the personal.
Much is said to young men to-day about success in life,–success generally though, as the world calls success. It is well, however, always to bear in mind the fact that there is a success which is a miserable, a deplorable failure; while, on the other hand, there is a failure which is a grand, a noble, a God-like success. And one crying need of the age is that young men be taught the true dignity, nobility, and power of such a failure,–such a failure in the eyes of the world to-day, but such a success in the eyes of God and the coming ages. When this is done, there will be among us more prophets, more saviors, more men of grand and noble stature, who with a firm and steady hand will hold the lighted torch of true advancement high up among the people; and they will be those whom the people will gladly follow, for they will be those who will speak and move with authority, true sons of God, true brothers of men. A man may make his millions and his life be a failure still.
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The promise was given that our conversation should not be extended; and unless we conclude it now, the promise will not be kept. Our aim at the outset, you will remember, was to find answer to the question–How can I make life yield its fullest and best? how can I know the true secret of power? how can I attain to true greatness? how can I fill the whole of life with a happiness, a peace, a joy, a satisfaction, that is ever rich and abiding, that ever increases, never diminishes?
Two great laws come forward: the one, that we find our own lives in losing them in the service of others,–love to the fellow-man; the other, that all life is one with, is part of, the Infinite Life, that we are not material, but spiritual beings,–spiritual beings here and now, and a living as such, which brings us in turn to a realization of the higher, the god-self, thus bringing us into the realm of all peace, all power, and all plenty,–this is love to God.
And I wonder now if we have found the answer true and satisfactory. We have sat at the feet of the Master Teacher, and he has told us that we have. We have found that through them, and through them alone, _true_ greatness, power, and success can come; that through them comes the richest joy, the greatest peace and satisfaction this world can know. We have also found that, if one’s desire is to make life narrow, pinched, and of little value, to rob it of its chief charms, the only requirement necessary is to become self-centred, to live continually with the little, stunted self, which will inevitably grow more and more diminutive and shrivelled as time passes, instead of reaching out and having a part in the great life of humanity, thus illimitably intensifying and multiplying his own. For each act of humble service is that divine touching of the ground which enables one to get the spring whereby he leaps to ever greater heights. We have found that a recognition of these two laws enables one to grow and develop the fullest and richest life here, and that they are the two gates whereby all who would must enter the kingdom of heaven.
Around this great and sweet-incensed altar of love, service, and self-devotion to God and the fellow-man, can and do all mankind bow and worship. To it can all religions and creeds subscribe: it is the universal religion.
Then become at one with God, as did His other son, through the awakening to the real self and by living continually in this the higher, the god-self. Become at one with humanity, as did His other son, by bringing your life into harmony with this great, immutable law of love and service and self-devotion, and so feel once for all the power and the thrill of the life universal.
Yours will then be a life the greatest, the grandest, the most joyous this world can know; for you will indeed be living the Christ-life, the life that is beyond compare, the life to which all the world stretches out its eager palms, and innumerable companies will rise up and call you blessed, and give thanks that such a life is the rich heritage of the world. The song continually arising from your lips will then be, There is joy, only joy; for we are all one with the Infinite Life, all parts of the one great whole, and the Spirit of Infinite Goodness and Love is ever ruling over all.