Making Your Self the Master
© Harvey Hardman
Denver, Colorado, 1935.
 Possession begets interest. My business. My son. My car. My house. What belongs to me is significant.
We listen with mild attention to the description of another’s mansion. We attend with great enthusiasm when our own cottage is praised.
The phrase, “My Father’s House” is absolutely personal. So much so that the Man who first used it did so with such sublime power and comprehension born of original discovery, that humanity has never thus far been able to divorce its meaning from his personality. There has always been the feeling that the Universe and its many Mansions belonged to Jesus, and any use we should be permitted to make of them would be merely as tenants.
Of course this feeling has been sedulously cultivated through the ages, by a very large and enterprising group of gentlemen who claim to hold the Keys to the Mansion in the sky. This conception grew out of priestcraft and not out of Christ. It devitalized religion. It make of the spiritual life a vicarious process. It made of heaven an artificial resort, owned and operated  for the benefit of a privileged class of keepers of the Keys who exacted tribute from all who sought to enter the haven of rest. The whole thing was a monstrous invention of selfishness and greed and utterly remote from the spirit of the Nazarene.
Religion, when truly considered, is the most personal thing in the whole world. It connects the soul of the individual with the Soul of the Universe. If you get it secondhand, as a ritual or tradition, it is as unreal and unsatisfying as a mirage of water to a lost wanderer in the desert. My Father’s House. My Mansion. No go-betweens. No alien, collecting tribute. My Home. My Father.
But after all it is a dark saying. What does it mean? It promises so much! A mansion! Comfort. Security. Beauty. Abundance. A rich and wonderful life. Is it only a dream? The vision of a Man who never had a home on earth? A Man who uttered the most pathetic cry of human loneliness that ever came from human lips–“The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.” Did he, in the solitude of the wilderness where he was wont to dream and to think, and out of the hardness and uncertainty of his economic lot, conceive this phrase and this figure of peace  and safety as an other-world hope for the disinherited multitudes of the earth? It is a dark saying. But may it not be filled with Light if we tear away the symbolic wrapping and free the imprisoned splendor of its hidden meaning?
It is inconceivable to me that a man of such transcendent genius as Jesus, a world thinker, lover of mankind, could intend such a cheap effect as to intimate the promise of sumptuous fare and a palatial home in another world, another life, as compensation for poverty and misery on earth. The message either has a meaning for us here and now, or it is trash. Indeed its larger significance, its relation to Cosmic Realities and Eternal Life, can only arise out of its connection with our present experiences and relationship to the House in which we live today. Neither God, man nor priest can postpone life. It is always now, here.
Like all greatly condensed definitions of universal principles, this saying, “In my Father’s house are many mansions,” is capable of many interpretations, but as Scientists we are not given to the practice of trying to unravel oriental symbols.
The beauty and appeal of this poetic expression of a universal human hope is our reason for using it as the title for this lesson in  Divine Science. We are pragmatists. We would prefer a cottage here with assured food, shelter and raiment, to the promise of a mansion in the sky.
We condense our lesson. My Father’s House is the Cosmos, the universe of time and space, matter and energy, life and mind, form and substance–all, all, is “My Father’s House.” It is my home–as much as I can occupy, as much as I can use.
The only condition to possession, which my Father imposes on me, is that I develop a mental equivalent for everything I want. In short, I can have as much as my consciousness embraces, and my will and thought can appropriate.
There are no locks on any of my Father’s possessions. The only bar to my progress is ignorance, mental indolence, self-imposed limitation.
He gives me the freedom of the Pleiades and appoints Orion as my instructor. Astronomy reveals the unimaginable vastness of my Home. Chemistry unlocks the hidden wonders of its inexhaustible resources. Mathematics and physics show me how to fly; how to harness untold forces to do my bidding; how to manage a million slaves of non-sentient energy that  never tire, never talk back, and always do as they are told.
I can play with lightning, hurl thunderbolts through space for my amusement or instruction. I can throw my voice and my image through thousands of miles of space, and I am planning to talk to beings like myself who dwell in the distant realms of space on other globes like the earth.
I can evoke the wisdom of the past, commune with Masters of transcendant power like Jesus and Socrates and Buddha. My Father’s House! Wonderful, majestic, mysterious Home.
I chart my course for a million years and shall then be only at the beginning of my Father’s Infinite Domain. I have within me the potential of infinity–in experience, in life, in mental and spiritual unfoldment.
I am a god, endowed with the powers of a god. I can now look through what in my childhood I thought was solid steel, as I look through a pane of glass. I can investigate what lies behind the surface.
Law is my servant. Energy waits for me to command it. My Father! Wonderful, mighty, infinitely wise Father. Mansions, mansions without number.
 I live in one now. I look out of its windows toward the Eternal Mountains and the snow-capped peaks of earth. I watch the stars as they move in glorious procession across the Dome of my Temple, my Father’s House. I sense the fragrance of the dawn and listen to the melody of birds, free in my Father’s House.
There is nothing to fear in my Father’s House. The infinite wisdom and intelligence of my Father has seen to that. When I was a child I was afraid of the dark. Now I know it is beautiful, and that it is as necessary as the day. My Father’s Love has arranged it–the great silence of night when my soul is free to commune with the Masters and sit at their feet that I may learn about My Father’s House and its laws, principles and resources.
My faith, my hope, my reason, all tell me that there is another House besides the physical universe of my Father and the body which shelters my spirit. The Life and Intelligence that creates and is omnipresent in the cosmos, building silently and without hands the substance and energy of matter into forms and systems of supernal beauty, is not confined to the material forms of nature any more than I am obliged to live cooped up in a dwelling or hotel room all my days.
 In addition to the physical body, I have an invisible spiritual body, “eternal in the heavens,” the immortal, imperishable and “more glorious body” which survives the changes and final disintegration of my temporal “mansion.”
“The heavens shall wax old like a garment and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up and they shall be changed, but thou art the same and thy years shall not fail.” This statement of David about the physical universe is scientifically true, and it is true of the microcosmic universe which shelters my soul during its earth life. It shall wax old and like an outworn garment be laid aside, but my invisible spiritual body shall be unchanged in the process and “my years shall not fail.”
It is this eternal rhythm of the universe, this ceaseless change from mansion to mansion, that makes the music of life, the glory of our unfolding destiny. To remain forever in one mansion, however beautiful, would at last engulf the soul in despair. Our Father has arranged in perfect wisdom for eternal change as the law of eternal life, and we pass from glory to glory upon an ascending spiral of evolution to heights beyond our present power to see or understand.
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