Chapter 10 – Making Your Self the Master – A Religion for Everyday Living

A RELIGION FOR EVERYDAY LIVING

Harvey Hardman
Making Your Self the Master
© Harvey Hardman
Denver, Colorado, 1935.

“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God concerning you. Rejoice evermore. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” –St. Paul.

[99] The principles of religion, like the laws of nature and the forces of government, enter into all our activities. For the principles of religion are manifest in our thoughts; in our feelings toward people and the world around us; in our attitude toward our work and all the affairs of life, as well as in our thoughts of God.

We may not be conscious that we are always dealing with the principles of religion, any more than we are conscious of always dealing with the laws of nature. Most of us go through life without conscious appreciation for the benefits that we are constantly receiving from the forces of nature. About the only time we really think of the value of health is when we have lost it, and so it is with sunshine, water, air, and food. We usually accept these bounties from the Infinite Giver without so much as a “thank you.”

The same thing is very largely true of the principles and laws involved in our mental and spiritual life. The ideal that has been most popular in the world, so far as religion is concerned, is that worship of, and gratitude to, [100] God is a kind of duty we owe to the Creator, which can be discharged by being pious at stated intervals set apart for “public worship;” by believing certain ideas about God, and at least once a year giving a day over to thanksgiving. The ideal of a religion for everyday living has had very little appeal, because religion has been considered as a thing apart from our common days–for holy days, feast days, sabbaths, and “religious services.”

With that conventional conception of religion, one may be very religious, but no more spiritual than a well-bred animal. While another, like Luther Burbank for instance, may have no religion at all, and yet be profoundly spiritual. We need not have any interest in the forms of religion, provided we are deeply interested in the spiritual and pragmatic values of that kind of religion which can be applied to the problems of everyday living.

The problems of life which we must meet successfully, if life itself is to be to us anything more than a “vale of tears” and trouble, fall into three general classifications.

The first is health. No one who is sick or ailing physically can be very efficient or happy. Hence we believe that religion, by which we mean spiritual knowledge, should help us to keep well. And should we for any reason get [101] sick, this knowledge of God is a very present help which we can apply in regaining our health.

There are exceptions to most general rules, but most of our physical ills are directly traceable to wrong mental states. Worry and fear are mental diseases that sooner or later lead to bodily disease. By trusting in the Father as an immediate and living presence in our hearts, and by knowing that this Power is available to us only through the mental organization which constitutes our individual consciousness, we realize that the responsibility for keeping well and strong rests with us as individuals and not with God.

The Infinite provides the means and resources and perfect laws by which we may have an abundance of vitality and strength. Ignorance of the laws of the mind and of the body may lead us into all sorts of physical distress. Hence we see the necessity for a scientific understanding of mental principles, and of our relation to the Omnipresent Spirit of Life.

Such study results in a more wholesome mental attitude toward people and all the affairs of life. We learn to apply the principles of Spiritual Science to all physical troubles so that, by such practice, we finally master the art of keeping well.

[102] The second classification, under which the major problems of life come, is the matter of supply, or securing from the universe around us what we need in order to live in comfort–food, shelter, raiment, and the things that enable us to live in freedom and joy.

A person who is destitute of the material necessities cannot be happy any more than a sick person can feel a joyous and vigorous zest for life. Hence Spiritual Science principles apply to all those problems that arise in making successful adjustment to the world of practical affairs.

We see that there is in nature a principle of abundance which provides ample supply for all creatures. But we see also that this supply is available to the individual only on condition that he uses his intelligence to take it. Let us accept the rational hypothesis that just as the resources of nature are available in increasing abundance as we develop the knowledge required to use them, so also the resources of Universal Mind respond to the awakened and informed intelligence of the person who has learned how to cooperate with, and make demands upon, this vaster Mind of the Father.

We have found simple rules for using this new understanding to get from life the things needed for comfort and physical well-being. [103] Instead of contemplating the poverty which we dislike, we look upon the ideal of wealth and plenty. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee. Trust in the Law and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.”

These and similar statements in the Bible we accept, not so much as promises of what God will do for us, but as instruction as to the kind of thoughts and feelings to hold in regard to life and its problems. You cannot very well “trust in the Lord” while your heart is filled with worry and fear. So we should take our religion into the very practical realm of making a living and getting from the universal storehouse what we need for comfort, convenience, and the good life, in terms of ample supply.

The third classification is that of human relations. In the home, the office, the shop, the school room; on the farm, in the factory or wherever we work or live, and in our social contacts, we are faced with the problem of making harmonious adjustment to people. A religion that fails to sweeten life and make all its relations more agreeable and helpful, certainly fails in a most vital and important field of human experience.

It often happens that people who are extremely devout and pious in the conventional [104] religious sense are very narrow, intolerant, critical and sour in disposition. Naturally this disturbs the atmosphere of social, business and home life.

Spiritual Science deals with these problems scientifically by the use of the principles of psychology, as well as religious faith. It teaches that gossip, intolerance, a bad temper, and all kinds of disagreeable mental and emotional habits, are merely diseases that can be cured by the use of “the sweet reasonableness” of truth and right thinking. And it gives specific instructions as to how to go about healing such mental conditions.

The method is simply the application of the spirit of love and generosity to all problems of human relations. “Give and it shall be given unto you” is a lesson Jesus taught, and which applies to mental as well as physical forces. If you give love and confidence that is what you will get. If you give jealousy and suspicion, you can hardly expect, if you think of the matter, to receive affection and good-will in return.

We should simply take the great ideas of the Master Spiritual Scientist of the ages, and put them to the test of practical, everyday living, and we will find that they not only work, but that they are so fundamentally true and psychologically sound, that the wonder is that [105] more people do not see the wisdom of putting them to use in daily life, rather than merely repeating them as “religious” phrases.

Spiritual Science is not only a religion for everyday living, but also a sane and wholesome philosophy, based on a sound and demonstrable principle–a religion for today and tomorrow–for all time.

Chapter 11

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