Making Your Self the Master
© Harvey Hardman
Denver, Colorado, 1935.
and of love and of a sound mind.” — St. Paul.
 When we have trouble of any kind in our lives, we can rest assured that the cause of it is within ourselves and not in God. Fear, which is the primary cause of trouble, and which “hath torment” and leads to discouragement and defeat, is a mental state we create by the misuse of the powers of thought and imagination.
The Universal Father has given us the spirit of power, and love, and a sound, healthy mind. What we do with this legacy is a matter of our own thought and decision. If someone gave you a large fortune, and you should spend it in riotous living or gamble it away, you could hardly blame the one who gave it to you. The Father has given us all things richly to enjoy. What we do with the Father’s gifts depends very largely upon whether we are willing to study and master the laws by which we shall be enabled to make the most of them.
All sin, and most human trouble, is simply the result of ignorance. The teaching of Divine Science stresses the necessity of spiritual education. It is not a matter of blind belief in the goodness of God. It is a question of  knowing how to use the gifts of God intelligently and effectively.
Trouble is a condition. While it is essentially mental in its nature and origin, it always registers in the external world as some form of confusion, disturbance, or discord. The only way to begin to correct a trouble condition in your life is to start in with the cause; that is, to adjust the mental life. If you simply wait for something to “turn up,” for times to get better, or some other quite external event, you may wait in vain. And if a favorable situation should develop to help you out of your trouble, you would still be at the mercy of forces external to yourself. Whereas, if you start to work to realize and make effective in your life the Father’s gifts of power, of love and mental ability, whatever you accomplish in the way of adjustment is permanent gain. You are no longer the football of fate and external forces.
We all have more power than we ever use; more love than we ever express; more intelligence than we draw upon. The reason we do not make better use of these inherent forces of the soul is that we let fear, or doubt, or worry dominate our thoughts and feelings. Paul understood human psychology when he placed fear as the disturbing factor against the three most power gifts of God, in the  foregoing text. The antidote for fear is the culture of courage. The treatment for trouble is the recognition and use of our heritage of power, love, and intelligence.
The gifts of God are universal. Nothing is withheld from any individual. But since the universe is full of good, the only way you can appropriate any of it is to know the law by which it can be made available to you. If all the power-plants that supply the city of Denver with electrical energy should suddenly be demolished, the city plunged into darkness and all the machinery stopped, we would not assume that the universe had suddenly become bankrupt of electricity. We should know that the only way to correct that trouble would be to construct new power-plants.
We are all connected with the Universal Mind by the mechanism of our consciousness. There is ample power and love and intelligence for all. It is a question of knowing how to avail ourselves of these resources. Fear demolishes the machinery, or throws it out of gear. The Eternal Light has not stopped shining just because we happen to be walking in the darkness of doubt or ignorance of the Law.
The first thing we must do to rise above trouble is to claim our heritage of love and  power and a sound mind. But this is only the first step. It has the effect of placing us in tune with Universal Mind, just as an engineer, when he decides to construct a generating plant, puts himself in touch with the electrical principles involved in its construction. But he must go on and draw his plans, assemble his materials, and place the machinery. Without this process the infinite store of electric energy would have no way to work for him.
So, to claim our heritage or share in the Infinite Love and Wisdom is only the beginning of a process of realization. The Infinite can help us only as we adjust our mentalities to the Law through which it manifests. Otherwise, it is simply the impersonal, undifferentiated Power. We know enough about the Law, however, to enable us to specialize it in some degree, and as we study and use it, our knowledge grows from more to more.
Whatever habits of thought we have formed that cause trouble, unhappiness, financial difficulties or what not, we must begin to erase from our consciousness. This we do by contemplating the qualities and attributes of mind and character we wish to develop. You can never correct a trouble by concentrating on it. If you have a house that no longer suits your requirements, that you have outgrown and wish to replace with a bigger and better  planned residence, you do not pore over the design of the old shack. You draw new plans. You contemplate the new home. And so in the use of the Law. We are to forget the old order of life and its confusions. We are to rise above it by contemplating the new order that we wish to establish in our lives.
This is working with the Law of mental causation. Trouble comes as a result of wrong thinking; peace, love, and power result from right thinking. Thought, feeling, imagination, and desire, are factors in the mental process of using the Universal Power.
The machinery of consciousness is so constructed that we are always using a certain amount of that Power. Otherwise we should lose all conscious contact with the world. The physical organism is more or less automatic. But we have the ability to interfere with its functioning by destructive thoughts and negative desires. Then trouble comes. A sound, healthy mental attitude promotes and maintains a sound healthy body and harmonious, agreeable relationships with people and the outer world generally.
Whatever trouble we have is of our own making; the power and love and joy we have in our lives is from “the Father of Lights, in  whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
The way to live above trouble is to develop more power by using what we have in a constructive manner, and by contemplating and desiring the strength and independence that make for a fuller and freer life. And further, to realize more love by loving. Without love, life is as barren as a desert waste. But to get love you must give it. Be interested in people. Find out what interests them and then try to understand and appreciate them. Draw them out. Help them to express themselves, for in so doing you not only discover the hidden beauty of their souls, you help them to discover themselves. The process is always mutual. You discover yourself, too. Win the love of people by loving them, and you draw to yourself the mental and spiritual power which you awaken. Successful cooperation among humans is based on love.
This constructive program of thought and effort stimulates the mental forces. It promotes a sound, healthy mind. You can live above trouble by refusing to think trouble or to recognize or accept it. Every condition is an opportunity to display power. Every person you meet is an opportunity to see and love the divine in your fellow man. The Divine Intelligence within, when you turn to it, and meditate  or commune with it, will respond to you, help you to see clearly and to love nobly the universal Beauty. It will enable you to act with power and confidence in every situation.
Contemplate the ideal you wish to become rather than the trouble you wish to escape, and you will move steadily toward the ideal. For action is always in the direction of strongest desire, and the movement of consciousness is always in the direction toward which it is focused.
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