UNIVERSAL MIND IN MAN
Abel Leighton Allen
The Message of New Thought
“Thou Great Eternal Infinite; Thou Great Unbounded Whole;
Thy Body is the Universe, Thy Spirit is the Soul;
If Thou dost fill Immensity–If thou art All in All
Then I’m in Thee and Thou in me, or I’m not here at all.”
INTELLIGENCE is universal in Nature. This might seem to be a bold statement, were it not supported by observation, by reason, and by the authority of the leading scientists of the world. Every object in Nature has its counterpart in the unseen. External Nature is but the expression of the invisible. We wonder at the beauty and majesty of the visible and forget that back of it all is the unseen, far more beautiful and transcendent.
Universal intelligence finds expression in every object of Nature, reaching its highest manifestation in man. We live in an atmosphere of intelligence, unconscious of its presence; the material man knows only the material. The man of vision rejoices in the possession of the intangible; to him the invisible is the real and the permanent; the visible, the shadowy and the unreal, the one is the cause, the other the result; one is the ideal, the other the expression.
Every individual may find access to the universal intelligence, this infinite storehouse, and draw at will from its inexhaustible supply when he has come into the conscious relationship of his own soul with the divine soul. The universal mind speaks to the mind in touch with the universal. The trained soul hears and understands.
We sometimes speak of an omnipresent God, and yet pay homage and give reverence to a distant God, a non-resident God. If God is omnipresent, his spirit breathes in the clod, the leaf, the animal, and in man. If God is omnipresent, if God is intelligence, then intelligence is universal and accessible to man. We cannot well account for the existence of thought, its mysterious origin and power, unless it is a radiation from the universal mind that pervades all space and finds a dwelling place in man. The flow of thoughts and the existence of ideas, enveloped in obscurity and mystery, have ever been a constant source of speculation in man.
“We do not make our thoughts,
They grow in us Like grain in the wood;
The growth is of the skies, which are of nature,
And nature is of God. ”
We cannot call thoughts the soul, but they are more properly the attributes of the soul. They cannot be analyzed, neither can they be measured, nor can their wondrous powers be calculated. They baffle the understanding, they transcend the wonders of the imagination.
“No scepter or throne, nor structure of ages, nor broad empire can compare with the wonders and grandeur of a single thought. That alone of all things that have been made comprehends the maker of all. That alone is the key which unlocks the treasure of the universe; the power that reigns over space, time, and eternity. That under God is the sovereign dispenser to man of all the blessings and glories that lie within the compass of possession or the reign of possibility.”
Men sometimes speak of brain as the origin and source of all thought. This is only another way of saying that matter produces mind; that molecular action is the cause of the mind and not mind the cause of molecular action. We might as well say that the dynamo is the origin of electricity. Electricity exists in Nature, the dynamo only concentrates and harnesses it for man’s uses and purposes. Thought may function through the brain, but brain is not its origin. A noted psychologist, speaking on this subject, remarked that “There is no human mind; the mind living in the brain is simply a minute fraction of mind universal.”
Where life exists, there intelligence also exists. Scientists tell us that life and intelligence
existed on the planet untold ages before the first brain appeared. Geologists speak of the Devonian age as the first in which a brain came into existence. Yet animal life had intelligence. Something told it to reach out for food, extract that which was nutritious, and reject that which was un-nutritious. It suited its life to its environment. It possessed the instinct or intelligence of self-preservation. It had no brain, and yet in all its movements it manifested intelligence. Against the overwhelming preponderance of evidence that a universal intelligence exists in all Nature, which science is giving to the world, the extreme materialist stands alone.
We live in an atmosphere of intelligence. We are unconscious recipients of its wealth and beauty. Genius has been described as nothing more than a divine plagiarism. As the inland bay opens out into the great ocean, so our minds have their outlets into the infinite ocean of intelligence and thought. Sometimes the inland bays of our minds are nearly closed by jutting headlands, yet through a narrow channel the great ocean at times sends its currents of wisdom and inspiration.
Thought has its origin, then, in the reservoir of infinite intelligence and flashes from thence to the mind of man. To give recognition to the existence of this infinite supply, this fathomless storehouse, and learn to draw from it at our will and pleasure, according to our wants and needs, is the most priceless secret in man’s life. The consciousness of this truth gives man the key to all accomplishment. It unlocks his latent powers and awakens his slumbering possibilities. It sets before him new ideals, creates within him the enthusiasm and confidence necessary for the accomplishment of all great results. It makes man spiritual, because he feels that he lives, moves, and has his being in a divine atmosphere.
Prentice Mulford, one of the pioneer writers of New Thought, says: “A supreme power and wisdom govern the universe. The supreme mind is measureless and pervades endless space. The supreme wisdom, power, and intelligence are in everything that exists, from the atom to the planet. As we grow more to recognize the sublime and exhaustless wisdom, we shall learn more and more to demand of wisdom, draw it to ourselves, make it a part of ourselves, and thereby be ever making ourselves newer and newer. This means ever perfecting help, greater and greater power to enjoy all that exists, gradual transition into a higher estate of being, and the development of powers which we do not now realize as belonging to us. We are the limited yet ever growing parts and expression of the supreme, never ending Whole.”
Thomas A. Edison says: “All scientists, in getting nearer and nearer the first great cause, feel that about and through everything there is the play of an eternal mind.”
It was said by the late Lord Kelvin, that “biologists are absolutely forced by science to believe with absolute confidence in a directive power.”
Emerson, in the opening paragraph of his essay on history, most clearly elucidates and emphasizes this sublime truth. He there says: “There is one mind common to all individual men. Every man is an inlet to the same and to all the same. He that is once admitted to the right of reason, is made a free man of the whole estate. What Plato has thought, he may think; what a saint has felt, he may feel. What has befallen any man at any time, he can understand. Who hath access to this universal mind, is a party to all that is or can be done, for this is the only and sovereign agent.” Again we read in his studies of Nature: “We lie in the lap of universal intelligence, which makes us organs of its activity and receivers of its truth. Who can set bounds to the possibilities of man? Once inhale the upper air, being admitted to behold the absolute natures of justice and truth, we learn that man has access to the entire mind of the Creator, is himself the creator in the finite.”
It is of the utmost importance that we let the full significance and spirit of these truths sink deep into our understanding. it is equally important that we follow them to their logical conclusion and consider their effects upon the life and welfare of man. They reveal to man new sources of power, They set a new light on his pathway of progress. They bring man and God together. They open the door of the infinite storehouse of divine wisdom. They invite man to drink at the divine fountain, and the water he shall there drink shall be in him, as the Master said, “A well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
What thought is equal to this, that there is a universal mind, common to all men, and every man is an inlet to the same and that “man has access to the entire mind of the Creator, is himself a creator in the finite”? In these brief statements, we find the fundamental principles and basic ideas of New Thought. These are the foundation stones on which the structure is built. It is founded on the rock of truth, and the winds and storms cannot prevail against it.
The theological mists and vapors of sixteen centuries dissolve in the presence of these sublime thoughts. Ecclesiastical subtleties, the dogmatic paradoxes, fade from the mind, when man learns he has access to the mind of the Creator. This simple truth undermines all the cunningly contrived structures that separate man from God.
What are all the bulls, excommunications, and encyclicals of Rome, of all the potentates and prelates of earth, to the one who has come into the consciousness of this sublime truth? What power have they with their man-made theologies to separate you from this divine source or break your relationship with God? How vain are ecclesiastical anathemas to him who feels, knows, and realizes the all-enveloping presence! Who stands between man and God, when the Divine Mind spans the imaginary gulf created by the ingenuity of the theologian?
It is not surprising that those who claim to stand between God and man should be concerned about the growth and development of those ideas and should from time to time warn their followers of what they term their sinister and pernicious effects. They plainly foresee that their growth means the enfranchisement of man, and that as he comes into a consciousness of this truth the vocation of the ecclesiastical middleman will pass away forever. They see under it a new order of things and the constant and eternal advancement of man.
Man is no longer a mental and spiritual serf, but is coming into the estate God intended he should occupy and enjoy. What Plato thought, he may think; what man has wrought, he may accomplish; what a saint has felt, he may experience, when he comes to a conscious realization of his oneness with God. When man can feel the rhythm and pulsations of this divine intelligence surging in upon his being, and realize that infinite source of power, he will find himself emancipated from fetters and limitations; he will enter a new world of limitless mental and spiritual development.
Not since the sublime declaration of Jesus that “I and the Father are one”; that is, the I AM, the soul which was in Jesus and is in all men and the Father, the universal soul, the divine intelligence, are one, has a greater or more universal truth been spoken to man. It was the impassioned utterance of the divine relationship, the oneness of God and man. This is the essence and meaning of the Emersonian philosophy, the great message of the gentle seer of Concord. His one theme was the greatness of man, the illimitable development of his soul, the oneness of man and God.
Among all the treasures of literature, what message to man is more priceless than this? What utterance has awakened in man a greater realization of the true worth of his own nature, of the infinite depths and riches of his own soul, and the boundless possibilities that stretch before him? The masters of thought, the illumined of all the ages, have spoken the same great truth. They saw the divine in man, and ever strove to lead him to the consciousness of that truth.
More than twenty-five centuries ago Pythagoras spoke the great truth that “Man is a microcosm of God.” In other words, man is an epitome of the universe, a God in embryo. Before Abraham led his flocks and herds into the land of Canaan, the masters of thought of Egypt expressed the same great truth, when they said, “He is I and I am He.” This is the utterance of the illumined in all the past.
No great teacher ever belittled man, or emphasized his weakness or defects. The wise never spoke of man as weak, helpless, or depraved. The greatness of man was the supreme thought and theme of Jesus. Emerson said of him: “Alone in all history he estimated the greatness of man. One man was true to what is in me and you. He saw that God incarnates Himself in man, and evermore goes forth anew to take possession of the world.”
When we consider the limited place in Nature accorded to man by theology, it is not surprising that man should have gathered imperfect ideas of Jesus’s conception of man. They have been impressed with the thought that Jesus looked upon man as weak and dependent, rather than a being of strength and power. Jesus was supreme master of himself, his own forces and powers, and thereby was enabled to see and understand the latent and slumbering greatness in all men. After performing works which the world pronounced miracles, did he not say to his Disciples, “Greater things than these shall ye do”?
In view of our enlarged conceptions of man, and the latent powers within him, how impressively significant was the sublime utterance of Jesus, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all things shall be added unto you!” Even those who heard these words fall from his lips had vague ideas of the kingdom about which he spoke. Some of his followers sought places of honor in the new kingdom. They thought it was to be a temporal kingdom, with a material domain, with a distinct location, with a court surrounded with pomp and circumstance. Many ideas expressed in later ages regarding Jesus’s meaning about the kingdom of God have not shown marked advance over those first entertained by his immediate followers. Men are still propounding the question, Where is the kingdom of God? Jesus left no room for doubt. He did not fail to express his meaning. He left no reason for posterity to quibble over the great message, “The kingdom of God is within you.” He spoke for all time and to all men. His words were not meant for his Disciples alone, but for you and for me and for the millions yet unborn, the kingdom of God is within us.
The most of us failed to hear these words echoed from the pulpits in the past. We heard more about original sin, predestination, the necessity of baptism, total depravity, and other dogmas equally destructive to the soul’s progress. Theology did not have much to say about this sublime utterance of the Gentle Master. Perhaps it saw the logical sequence of emphasizing this truth. If the kingdom of God was within man, where was the ground for the declaration that man was wholly depraved? If this were true, how was it that some men were born for eternal damnation? If the kingdom of God is in man, where is the foundation for the separation of God and man, the major premise of all the orthodox theologies ever invented?
How little has been extracted from the great, priceless message of Jesus, in nineteen hundred years. For about sixteen centuries man’s defects and weaknesses have been exploited and emphasized, when he was told by Jesus he had the kingdom of God within him. If man was so inherently bad as depicted, how did the kingdom of God find a dwelling-place within him?
The question is often asked, what is the kingdom of God, so often spoken of by the Gentle Master? What are we to understand by the terminology of Jesus? A kingdom suggests someone having the qualities and attributes of a king or a ruler. If we were to speak of the kingdom of Great Britain, our meaning would be clearly comprehended. The listener would know we spoke of Great Britain as an entirety; its broad expanse of territory; its organized government; its Parliament; its laws; its strength; its force; its silent, unseen power; its character and influence; in short, we should be understood as including under the phrase the kingdom of Great Britain everything sheltered and protected beneath the folds of her flag.
What, then, is the meaning of all this wonderful message to man–the kingdom of God is within you? What did Jesus mean? He laid marked emphasis on his statement, and tried to impress his hearers with its importance. He did not use his language in a narrow and restricted sense. He meant that the same order, the same laws, the same intelligence, the same justice, the same powers, the same attributes, and the same infinite and eternal soul that exist in God and pervade the universe also exist in man.
He did not mean to be understood that all these attributes and qualities in man had reached a perfected state, but they were there, either as developed or incipient powers, and their unfoldment and development depend upon man himself. Differ they may, but only in degree and not in kind. For every power and attribute in God, there is a corresponding power and attribute in man. Were it otherwise, were man deprived of divine attributes and qualities, how could he conceive of God or comprehend the principles and qualities of the Divine Mind? Unless the seed of divinity is there, how could man grow into the likeness of God? How could he come into harmony and communion with God, if by nature he is sinful and depraved?
Jesus would not have appealed to the divine in man if the divine had not been already there. Otherwise his precepts and messages would have been meaningless and vain, for only the divine can respond to the divine. That man can rise above self and forgive his enemies, is a declaration of his divine nature. Jesus, above all teachers, revealed to man the majesty of his own soul. The most valuable thought in all time is that man possesses these divine characteristics and has the power to unfold them in the great school and discipline of life, and thus bring himself into peace and harmony with Divine Mind. We are told that when we seek the kingdom of God all things shall be added unto us. By his incomparable parables, Jesus illustrates the growth and development of the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven. He spoke of it as the leaven and as the grain of mustard seed, which was the smallest of all seeds, but when it grew was the greatest among the herbs and became a tree, so that the birds of the air came and lodged in its branches. By these parables he showed that the kingdom of God not only grows and expands, but to him who seeks it, to him who has found and recognized its power, all things shall be added.
What, then, are the things to be added? Are they something to be enjoyed in another state of existence, or something to be enjoyed in this life also?
Jesus instructed men how to live in this life, not in the next. He taught a religion of life, a religion of joy, a religion of industry, a religion of peace. When he said all things should be added, he meant here and now; he meant peace, power, tranquility, plenty, and the mastery of the individual over circumstances and environments.
Jesus laid down one rule by which man might find the coveted treasure, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” He meant that man should turn about and externalize his changed thought into a worthy and upright life. If he had been leading an unclean and degrading life, he should reverse it and live a clean and upright life. The rule was simple, that the spirit should dominate the material in his life and that he should get away from limitations, recognize the divinity within himself, and transmute that divinity into a constructive and useful life.
The first step to this attainment is for man to come into a consciousness of his own divine nature and let the Divine Mind find expression in the thoughts and acts of his daily life. When he recognizes these qualities within himself, and turns toward the new goal, then like the seed of mustard the kingdom within will grow, expand, and develop and he shall come into a life of accomplishment and abiding reality.
What is the great subconscious mind in man discovered through the agencies of modern psychology, but the kingdom of God, as declared by the Gentle Master? The discovery of modern psychology has thrown new light on the mysteries of mind and brought to light the laws by which it is governed. in a degree it has revealed man to himself. It has analyzed and mentally dissected the mind, and discovered qualities, powers, and attributes in man, of which he was previously ignorant. It has overturned many pre-existing theories and opinions long cherished, supposed to be permanently entrenched and established. By it man is discovering the forces and powers of the great soul within; better than all, it has found the law by which man can unfold, develop, and control these forces and make them obedient agencies of his will.
Man is realizing that the great subconscious mind is an infinite storehouse of intelligence and power, and that when he has learned the laws by which it is reached, impressed, and controlled, he may draw from its inexhaustible depths at will to supply his needs and wants. He is coming into the consciousness that the great subconscious, “the Great Within,” his own masterful soul, is the link that unites him with the Great Divine Soul. He is learning that the subconscious controls the functions of the body, its life, its growth, and the entire physical organism, and that every thought of the objective mind is a power that will affect the subconscious and the entire personality of man.
Psychology reveals that the laws of mind and thought are absolute and changeless, that the subconscious will respond to whatever thought is impressed upon it. When man has come into a realization of this truth. and learned to control his thoughts and impress the subconscious only with constructive, healthful, and worthy thoughts, he has learned the secret of transmuting thought into power, life, and health, and thus revolutionizing his entire life and being. When he has reached that understanding and has come into possession of that secret, he has found the kingdom of God within, which is the kingdom of mind.
When the kingdom of mind rules man’s life, he has found his own center, he has acquired power and poise, he is no longer swayed and buffeted by the caprices and whims that ever disturb the thoughtless; he lives his own life as nature designed it, the storms of discontent and anxiety are stilled within, he expresses in his life the beauty, the harmony, and power of the kingdom of God within.
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The Message of New Thought
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