From Within Outward
Fred Vincent Fuller
The Spirit of The New Thought
Edited by Horatio W. Dresser
[From The Journal of Practical Metaphysics, March, 1898.]
“What a man does, that he has. What has he to do with hope or fear? In himself is his might. Let him regard no good as solid but that which is in his nature and which must grow out of him as long as he exists. The goods of fortune may come and go like summer leaves. Let him play with them and scatter them on every wind as the momentary signs of his infinite productiveness.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Man, like a potato, dog, lily and every organic thing, grows from within outward; and further, the quality and need of his inner or spiritual life by grand and exact steps determines his external scenery, experiences and happiness through an inflexible law of correspondence and attraction. All who hold to their high ideals and wisely cooperate with the few great spiritual laws now more clearly comprehended than at any previous time, will see their lives grow complete and harmonious, for “to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
Those lives which are perturbed, eccentric and unhappy illustrate the result of antagonizing these great principles of growth through lack of knowledge, prejudice, or indifference, due to man’s yet slight elevation in the scale of evolution. In all the New Thought no one thing seems so marvelous, even preposterous, to me at the start as the statement, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he,” carried to its fullest limits, and that our divergence from health, tranquillity, happiness, came from error at the center — the domination of wrong thoughts, a warped inner life, spiritual crookedness, unreal conceptions of being. Before I could fully accept this stern decree of personal responsibility, the fact that each man is his own calamity-breeder, and the magnifying of so slight a thing as thinking into an irresistible governing force, I had to ponder long, read much, and talk with many who had long lived among these clear truths and proved them in everyday life. For, while this claim will bear the closest scrutiny, the result of rational thinking and living does not at once appear in material evidence, as it is a matter of growth like the physical gain in size in plant and animal, — a sort of gradual becoming. Again, in making observations one is compelled to judge in most all cases from seen effects and appearances, instead of from the real motive or thought. Where harmonious surroundings and a tranquil, happy nature are found together, it has heretofore been explained on the materialistic basis, that a man’s good fortune in life gave him his peaceful, happy air. Any observer may know, however, from a few keen glances about, that mere riches, power or fame of themselves more often give discontent and careworness than happiness. A young merchant who thought that the possession of $25,000 would make him content, worked for that end. When he had acquired this amount of money it seemed paltry, and he saw much more was necessary to satisfy him, and so he worked on, always about to be but never quite contented. Power and fame in the same way flit alluringly before one, but when attained never satisfy; nor can the possession of material things alone give happiness, and in the fact that happiness is a matter of mood, dependent upon simple and interior things which can be had by all without price, is the wisdom of Omnipotence shown.
It is becoming more and more known that a strong, poised, sunny child of harmony has good fortune, peace, abundance in health as accessories to his clear inner life, and because through knowledge or instinctively he has “hitched his wagon to a star,” perceiving “that the mind that is parallel with the laws of nature will be in the current of events, and strong with their strength.”
Emerson says, “A man’s fortunes are the fruit of his character”; therefore, if one in taking account of his gifts in life finds not a satisfactory grouping of desirables about him, let him know that he can draw and attract more happy events into the circumference of his life by setting his center right, by deserving more, although he should know also that happiness is a subjective condition, a mental state, a matter of mood wholly independent of things. Let him displace anger, envy, doubt, fear, uncharitableness, by dwelling upon and practising their opposites. Let him be poised and trustful, and know that his gain and enlargement of life will be slow but grand, that thinking fine and high on Tuesday will not cause gifts to fall at his feet from out of a clear sky on Wednesday.
If fortunate conditions already attend him, then let him know that these manifest through law, and that he need not, with the apprehension of a timid man walking on a steep side hill, dig in and cling and strain to hold what is his very own, for if things belong to him he is upheld by universal law, and if they don’t they must depart anyway. To be sure, untold thousands of men think in their own hearts that they barely maintain their social and business positions in life, whatever they may be, except by brutal force, strife and gnashing o£ teeth; and because the aspect of the whole world of circumstances is fluid and changeable, and everything reflects back to them their own fierce mood, this idea of strife becomes really true to their eyes, for everything they see proves their fixed idea that life is a battle, and furnishes another of the innumerable applications of Emerson’s masterly assertion that “what we are, that we see.”
A good example of the law in a large way of the internal controlling the external is found among the Friends, whose inner lives, habits of waiting upon the Spirit, and ways free from contention drew to them a good measure of worldly things, sufficient for their needs and comfort. They were more free from diseases than other classes of people and their average age was longer. Had they consciously known and practised to a still greater extent these principles, their example might have been yet more striking. Every strong and unique life has become so through following its high leadings. Christopher Columbus, Michael Angelo, Phillips Brooks and every life of worth are further illustrations of the law of the materialization of the inner, and we are now ready to be taught that friction, outward strife and rush which have so long been deified by self-made man were hindrances, not aids to the complete realization of their fullest individuality. A man merely rich in money and poor in everything else that yields wholeness cannot be taken as an illustration of the working of this law; nor can he pass as a fortunate or successful person, for this sort of wealth which is not synonymous with tranquillity comes and goes through the minor and temporary attractions of a lower plane.
Here you will say that you know many good people who are bound to hard, biting conditions of life; and this easily appears so at first glance, but “good” in the old, dreary, material sense is not synonymous with the spiritually vitalized life, free from fear, fret, discontent, shining with thanksgiving and appreciation, and in the sweep of “the sublime laws which play indifferently through atoms and galaxies.”
Why thought must be the controlling force can be clearly shown. If God exists and stands for order and justice, then all must be right and good on its plane as interpreted by evolution, while inflexible law and justice must be supreme and all-pervading whether perceived by us or not, and no confusion exists in reality. This omniscient and omnipotent law of compensation, if it runs through and regulates all human affairs, must operate through some substance or force which lies at the very source of all human acts and effects, and not from the appearance or seeming of things as indicated by results alone as man judges. On close analysis it will be seen that one cannot go behind thought or motive for the cause back of every effect and event in the drama of life; and often we have found that when the real motive was seen our verdict based on appearances had to be reversed. A man goes back after thirty years to his native town and builds a library. The town throws its hat into the air and says, “How generous! how noble!” and calls for his canonization. Of itself library-giving is certainly praiseworthy, and yet despicable motives may have prompted the act if they could be revealed. Had you access to his thoughts, you might have seen that the gift was made for self-glory, or as a step toward political preferment. The real thought and motive of this action and every other are, however, truly and indelibly registered in this man’s own consciousness, adding buoyancy always to him spiritually, and thus adding to or subtracting from the time of his final wholeness of happiness, and the things thereto pertaining.
We now perceive that a self-recording judgment attended by exact justice can be rightly made by and through thought only, for the effect, appearance, occasion, act, may play a part, while the origin or thought preceding every event and act is perfectly and automatically registered by the stylus of memory on the tinfoil of consciousness, and is never deceived.
Mere thinking may seem to be as unsubstantial as the wind that blows, but from it everything accomplished by man first springs. The towering building, bridge, splendid statue, machine, were first conceived in thought and then externalized by patient effort. Emerson grasped the fact that thought was everything in the final analysis and said, “Thought is the wages for which I sell days.” Again recognizing the creative, mimetic, attractive power of thought he says, “Nature is not, therefore, your own world. As fast as you conform your life to the pure idea in your mind, that will unfold its great proportion. A correspondent revolution in things will attend the influx of spirit.” How sublime is this law of spiritual gravity by which we rise into harmony or fall into discord, and which we have just learned to know and apply to daily life. We embrace it in glad appreciation and with the humbleness that Newton felt when he tore the curtain of ignorance away from the law of gravitation and it stood nudely revealed before him. Like other mighty universal principles, this great law of correspondence and attraction by which the spirit draws its own embellishment is absolute in action, as noiseless as the mighty forces which daintily whirl and balance worlds, as invisible as steam, wind and ether, and as unerring as the instinct of electricity when instantly it chooses of many wires the shortest one to earth.
In each generation a lonely Emerson has awakened and gazed with shaded eyes on new bits of dazzling truth, and then has understandingly passed them over to his age; but nothing which came with its faint birth cries into humanity’s past, or can come to a God-sharpened soul of the future, will add more to the felicity of the race than the wide recognition and persistent application of the fact that a man’s happiness and welfare are thrown off from and absolutely revolve about his inner thought-life, thus rendering him master of his fate.
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The Spirit of The New Thought
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