Home Course in Mental Science – Lesson 11 – The Power Above the Throne

Helen Wilmans
A Home Course in Mental Science
Benedict Lust, N.D. M.D., Publisher
New York, 1921.

[199] I ask the student to go within himself for wisdom. I ask him to direct his glance downward into the roots of his being. No doubt the subjective mind of which I speak may be properly called the roots of his being. But he is not to live in these roots. They are simply to serve his purpose by contributing their strength to his objective mind, as the roots of the tree feed the body, and the entire external manifestation of the tree. I have shown the student what these roots are so that he may gain a conception of his own deathless importance. I do not want him ever to say again, “I am a poor, weak creature.” Rooted in the very beginning of organic life, with the thread of his existence unbroken and built of experiences that embrace every particle of knowledge our old earth had the power to yield, he is already–even as he stands today–a very great creature indeed. Built on the solid foundation of his own desires, actualized in his individual mentality, he is an indestructible monument whose force is equal to that of all the combined forces of the world.

In this analysis of man we see why he has been called a microcosm. He is the world with all her powers classified and arranged in compact working form, and with her grossness and weakness and deadness eliminated.

Now, while man is a compendium of the world, he is not a compendium of the universe. He is the bound record of just as many experiences as his life has embraced, and no more; and his experiences have been those yielded him by the earth. If he were a compendium of the universe, he would be grown; he would have no more growing to do; nothing more to gain; he would have passed from finite to infinite–a condition never to be reached by organized forms, since the condition is formless. The glory of our lives and our perpetual happiness lies in the fact that we can go on growing forever and never be grown. Remember we grow by the acquisition of new truth, because we are purely mental creatures; and we can never learn all.

To me already, at this early stage of my growth, the most intense happiness I can have is the perception of a new truth. Many a time as I have been writing the barrier that would pin my thoughts to the subject in hand has dropped away from the moment, revealing things impossible to be written or spoken; visions of human growth indescribable, and before which I tremble and would faint but for the fact that I voluntarily shut them out in self-protection.

Swedenborg speaks of the angels who were suddenly lifted from their own heaven–the heaven adapted to their own capacities–into one very much higher, and he goes on to tell how the effect of the unnameable grandeur for which their state of progression has not prepared them overpowers and stultifies them, so that they have to be taken back again instantly to where they belong. This illustrates the fact that I am speaking [200] of. We cannot bear too great a revelation of light at one time. We must grow to it by degrees through our slowly unfolding power to recognize its greatness. We must make it ours before we can bear it. It is this overwhelming body of truth to which our perceptions are gradually unfolding that Emerson refers to as the “over-soul” that kills. It kills unless our perceptions open to it and take it in, but in this case it is the power that makes us alive.

I have said that notwithstanding the greatness of the subjective mind, man was not to live in it. It is necessary that he should be conscious of it, but he is not to submerge his objective mind in it and rest there, any more than the tree should be satisfied to know that its roots were large and strong and far-reaching, and so remain content in this knowledge without the necessity of putting forth leaves, flowers, and fruits. The whole effort of life is to bring forth all the latent power there is and make it manifest on the objective plane.

That this is the very reverse of the world’s ideas at present I know only too well. All theology teaches the nothingness of the objective life, and the greatness of some imaginary condition indefinable and obscure and out of mortal sight.

Every religion in the world has cut man in two, making his spirit one thing and his body another thing; and they have taught that his body was an unimportant factor in his organization so far as any good to himself was concerned. And indeed they have gone farther and declared it was a detriment to him; a millstone upon the neck of his spirit that endangered its eternal welfare continually. Therefore it has been a main point in all religions of every age and nation to crucify the body, to deny it, and to spend every effort in saving the soul.

But I say boldly that the spirit and body are one, and that no spirit was ever yet saved apart from its body. It has retired from external observation to wait its chance to again externalize itself in another body, because the external life is the only life of use there is or ever will be. Therefore reincarnation seems to be one of the inevitable necessities attendant upon our complete conquest over everything. And nothing less than absolute conquest is true salvation.

To conquer disease and all weakness, and to start out on a journey of splendid progression through self-development, is the thing to do, and it is the thing that the race will have to come to. To manifest or make visible in the external world the possibilities of spirit latent in all things is the desirable thing. To resign these bodies, to withdraw from them expecting to find heaven in an eternity on some unseen plane where further effort is unnecessary, is as if one should crawl into a hole and pull the hole in after him. To create is to make visible on the external plane, right here in this life. Every particle of creation is making visible. Man is a creator. Through the laboratory of his own body he translates invisible spirit into visible spirit; which is perceptible substance. He brings it forward into the world of effects where it becomes the vitalizing agent of his own spoken word–the word that he speaks into a thousand different uses, all of which are meant to subserve his constantly accumulating desires.

Man is a substantial entity. His body is more solid than thought, and it is in the process of becoming more still, instead of more vapory, like thought, or spirit. Growth, or development externally, is going to make a man’s body infinitely more compact than it is now. Its compactness will become greater than that of any other organized substance, and its elasticity will keep pace with its compactness, until it will become positive to all other things, and indestructible by them. But this thought is not to be developed here, and I shall pass on.

[201] The subject of lesson ten was, “The Power Behind the Throne.” The subject of this lesson is, “The Power Above the Throne.” I have spoken of the threefold laboratory of man’s bodily organism. First, of his digestive system, which consists of stomach and its dependencies. Second, of his vital system, which is his sex, or reproductive system. And third, of his brain, the laboratory in which his thought-life, or spirit-life, is evolved. The brain, taken as a whole, shows the same threefold nature. The base of the brain seems to be more intimately related to the digestive system. It is the primitive or lower brain. When man lived from this brain exclusively he was an animal, and his shape was very different from his present shape. But in the nature of evolution this animal brain projected another and higher brain from itself; a brain that represented all the power of the lower, or animal brain, and the greatly added power of the vital or reproductive system. From this second brain there was projected the social idea. In proportion as this second brain increased in size and fineness of structure, man took cognizance, not only of his own wants, but of the wants of other men. This led to combinations for self-protection, and, indeed, to our present social and political systems.

But we see the entire animal nature embodied in our present system, although concealed in a measure, and its worst features held in check by the still higher brain in process of evolvement at this time.

This higher brain is only now being born of the two lower brains that preceded it. (Of course, the brain is all one, but there are distinctly marked steps in it, and it is these steps that I speak of as the three brains.) As the second, or social brain, grew out of the first, or purely selfish brain, so now the third, or idealistic brain, is growing out of the other two.

The body feeds the brain, and the brain gradually modifies the body–makes it over, as it were–keeps making it over all the time; for the body is negative to the brain. It is the brain’s faithful servant. Up to this time the brain has not known that it possessed this power. It used the power all the same, however, and was the unconscious agent in every change the body passed through from the nomad up to man.

Now the brain not only kept changing and improving the body continually all along up through the progressive ages, but the mere fact of its growth and improvement kept changing and improving its surrounding conditions. There has always been a mighty power residing in the brain. It has been a magnet from the first, and with every bit of its added growth has related it to things and conditions more desirable for it, and shown it the possibility of getting the possessions. And this fact has widened every avenue of life and developed the earth and its resources to the degree where we now see it. The earth and the resources have simply waited upon man’s unfolding knowledge of his own latent powers in order to serve him. The fact of resistance it seems to present to his efforts is not real resistance. It is a challenge to his faith in his own ability to conquer, and it aids in his development.

The brain grows by what it conquers. It is a case where the strength of the conquered passes into the conqueror. If there were nothing for the brain to conquer, it would never grow. If the brain did not grow there would be no further improvement in the body. And as before remarked, it is not the body alone that is shaped by the brain, but society, governments, and religions have been shaped by the same influence. Whatever the status of the average human brain, that status will be precisely correlated by the social, religious, and governmental [202] conditions of the people; and this on the unconscious plane of development no less than on the conscious plane.

Take man on the purely animal plane of his development, when he lived from the intelligence yielded him by the lower brain, and he was an animal; and all his methods were of an animal character; and he had no society, no religion, and no government. As the animal brain was improved, and the next higher brain was built, our present social system began to develop and gradually came up to its present standing. Man’s surroundings always keep pace with the unfolding faculties of his brain. His faculties always command from the external world those conditions that correlate their own power.

But man never stands still. No sooner is one faculty built than another is unfolded out of it. Ages and ages pass and the slow improvement goes on. The animal brain carried us into the social brain where we now are, and from which all our institutions exist. But this brain has been steadily sending up its aspirations for something better than it has known. And these aspirations (desires) have been growing into substantial reality and building themselves up structurally into the third brain–the brain that I call the ideal brain. Now, all of this effort has been the result of the individual desire for freedom, or happiness (there is very little difference in these two words, from my standpoint).

The ideal brain is the result of the individual’s desire for freedom. This ideal brain is at last becoming recognized, and its claims are beginning to be sanctioned by the social brain. This is a very great thing indeed, for there were hundreds of years during its incipient unfoldment in which the social brain branded it (the ideal brain) as a traitor to established thought as expressed in the established religions and social condition of the times. It was called an insane thing; a traitor to the true interests of the whole world, an innovator; an image-breaker and heretic.

And no wonder, for it was the originator of bolder conceptions of the powers vested in man, and the privileges of the whole race, than the timid and conservative social brain could contemplate with any kind of equanimity. To sanction the whisperings of this ideal brain was actually to weaken man’s dependence upon the beliefs that have ruled the ages with an iron rod from the moment of man’s emergence from his animalhood. And why? Behold within itself the seeds of a salvation through the Law of Growth. And this frightened the man. It frightened him so much that he began to beg the government to interpose its authority by putting his personal God in the constitution, and doing every possible thing to bolster up his power. And some governments did it; but there was a land so big that the individual brain was more unconfined; had room for expansion and expression, so that an atmosphere of comparative freedom pervaded it from center to circumference, and somehow this widespread sense of freedom became an influence. And it was in this land that the brain grew faster, and its suggestions began to be respected.

It was then that a strange and a yet very natural thing happened. Now, when a power of any kind has been dammed up for a time and its overflow prevented, the barriers will burst, and flood is the result. This is what happened to the long continued confinement of the ideal faculties. The time came when they burst their boundary line and swept over the world in the most unmistakable way. This flood came in the name of Christian Science. It was a very resolute reaction against the power that had held it in the subjective so many centuries, and it was full of the intention [203] to overwhelm this power. It even denied the existence of the power that had confined it, and it made the unequivocal statement that it alone possessed power. Indeed, it claimed that it alone existed. It tried to wipe out both sections of the lower brain by a denial of their existence. In doing this it made the evidences of the senses nothing! It made the earth and the long years of man’s growth nothing. It refused to see anything but its own power, and it imagined as a power it stood entirely alone in the universe, without foundation and without feeders.

Christian Science has thus become simply the blind, ungovernable assertion of the ideal faculties. In leaping forth from its subjective condition, where the doubting and sluggish lower intelligence had kept it back so long, it did what might have been expected.

Instead of finding its central position of supreme power where it could govern and control the lower intelligence, it, in its sudden release from confinement, swung past the center to a position that it could not maintain, because in the very nature of Law such a position was impossible to hold. In natural growth no link may be ignored. And this is so because individual growth is made up of successive links. To ignore any one of these links is fatal to the whole growth. To take a position in the top brain irrespective of the lower brain is to cut off the experiences of the lower brain and to swing loose in space without compass or rudder. And this position may and will lead to the wildest extravagances in belief and conduct. To live in the upper brains, as the Christian Scientists attempt to do, is to become utterly psychologized; which means that the man believes certain things–all the things indeed–suggested by the ideal brain without understanding why he believes them; without being able to give a valid reason for his belief. And it is absolutely essential to the long continuance of a belief, and to its healthy growth and firm establishment, that we should be able to give a cool, logical reason for believing it. In other words, the long established faculties of the lower brain have a right to demand a reason for the claims of the ideal brain, and if the reason is not forthcoming, one of two things happen–either the long established lower brain rejects the claims of the ideal brain, or the ideal brain rejects the experiences of the lower brain, and the magnet man is broken. In this case nothing in the way of man’s practical salvation has been accomplished.

Every experience the man has ever had has been recorded in his brain; nothing has been lost. It is all necessary to him. If a single link had been left out, or had failed of being recorded in his organization, he would have been lost right then and there. But no such disaster as this has happened to a single individual in all the universe. No such disaster could happen, because every step in man’s career has been taken in the line of the Law of Attraction. And the Law is unerring in results.

Now, a psychological condition is not a condition of untruth. It is a condition possible of rational attainment by the slow climb of the sturdy lower intelligence. But when it is so attained it is no longer a psychological condition, because it can give an account of itself. Its assertions seem no longer wild and visionary, because the every-day reasoning powers have confirmed them. To be psychologized is to believe certain things without any logical reason for so doing. As long as the student can believe these things he can perform the actions suggested by the beliefs. But the moment his every-day life intelligence demands a reason for the things he does, that moment he loses his power to actualize his beliefs, until he has searched diligently among the experiences, of which his whole past career is a record, [204] to find a foundation for his belief. Then when this foundation is discovered he has solid ground under him, and he may do precisely the same work and he will not be psychologized at all.

Now, Christian Science is a psychological wave that has passed over the country doing many wonderful things without being able to give a logical reason for what it did. Mental Science has demanded an explanation of the things it did. Mental Science is that explanation.

Christian Science felt that there was a great power above its own head, and shut its eyes in blind trust in that power, and floated up to it and began to use it. Mental Science perceived that Christian Science had completely cut itself off from the foundation of its existence in its absolute denial of all that lay beneath it, and it went resolutely to work to build a logical stairway from the ground up to the place where Christian Science was manipulating truths that were as mysterious to itself as to the rest of the world. In doing this it furnished a connecting link between the every-day brain of the present generation and the ideal brain which alone yields the power to do the works that the world has seen done in all of this marvelous healing.

Mental Science has come not to disprove the works of Christian Science, but to explain them. It is a plain, unadorned staircase leading up from the world’s every-day brain, or its present status of thought, to the ideal brain which furnishes a status of thought infinitely higher, more powerful, and more free than either section of the lower brain, or than both sections put together.

Every time the brain puts forth a higher bud, as it were, this bud contains all the characteristics, all the power of the brain from which it sprung, and much more. It is the upward pouring, or sprouting of qualities and forces too fine and too potent to be recognized on the lower plane from which it ascended. Consequently it had to ascend. Under the Law of Attraction it could not do otherwise. That which is more alive, most vital, ascends in obedience to the law of gravitation. The law of gravitation is the negative pole to the Law of Attraction.

The ideal brain has been built into organic structure by those thoughts which were denied expression by the every-day brain that has given birth to the conditions and religions which now surround us. We have said of these wonderful thoughts, “O, nonsense; they are too good to be true. They are the mere effusions of an overly fervid imagination. They are the stuff of which to build ‘castles in Spain’ by people who are too indolent to do anything else.” And so this matter-of-fact brain which serves our present conditions has denied them a hearing, and they have ascended and built themselves a house above that of the ordinary brain, and now they intend to have a hearing. They are not going to kick out the two lower stories of their structure as Christian Science tried to do, for they prefer to keep the entire building intact from cellar to dome, knowing that the lower serves the higher quite as much as the higher can serve the lower; knowing that every department in the grand building is necessary to every other department.

But note this fact. It is always the higher that rules. The higher serves the lower by ruling it, better than by ministering to its demands. The lower serves the higher better by waiting on it; by acting as servitor and minister to it. So there is a constant interchange of duties by these three departments of one brain.

But now let us find out something about the ideal brain. The animal brain was the essence of brute force. At this time it is an organized “push.” [205] The brain next above, from which the majority of people are now living, is a bolder thing than the lower brain, and is capable of really vast undertakings. And yet it is not so bold a thing as it ought to be. And this is because of its ignorance of its own power. It projects great works, but it says, “I will do these things if circumstances are propitious.” It is full of “ifs,” which proves that it has not reached any condition of very marked freedom. Indeed, it scarcely knows that freedom is possible to it, and if one should assure it a condition of absolute freedom it would instantly take fright and begin to wonder what it could do with itself if it had to shape its own ends, instead of trusting to that series of environments it calls providence to shape them for it. This brain has its dreams of freedom, but it fears it nearly as much as it desires it. It knows that freedom holds all happiness in latency, and yet the very idea seems to carry with it a sense of almost overpowering responsibility.

And what does this freedom mean, that anyone should be afraid of it? When I look abroad upon the enslaved conditions of the race, I feel like answering this question by asking, “What does freedom not mean?”

Freedom means a release from fear. This answer is sweeping; and yet it would take a volume if I should attempt to specify. Man fears everything under the sun. His life from the cradle to the grave is through an unbroken jungle of fears, each of which adds its mite in retarding his advancement. Indeed, it is to escape from this wilderness of fears that encompass and penetrate every department of the man’s mind that the naturally implanted desire of self-preservation–the deep inner fountain of existence, pressing upward and beyond–seeks to build itself a dwelling-place higher up above and away from this torment.

But why should he fear? And what is there to fear? In reality he has nothing to fear. It is his ignorance that causes him to fear; his ignorance of himself; his ignorance of the power invested in him by virtue of his having lived all below him, and having conquered it, and engrafted his conquest upon himself as evidence of his prowess. He does not know himself. And so he is afraid to assert himself and his own power. On the contrary, he seeks to deny that he is anything but a dependent.

And this brings me to a description of the ideal brain, and to an explanation of what it means.

It has been built by the spirit’s supreme desire for that freedom denied it by man’s ignorance of his own power; by the fear that dominates him to such a degree that he could not listen to the voice of his desires, and so crowded them back from every opportunity and from every attempt at externalization. But desire will always find a way to express itself. So it went higher and built itself a dome in the human brain where it lives, and from which as a solid, structural basis of action it can project its own ideas into the world of effects, and clothe and make them visible and audible among the multitude of world’s uses. The very first message out of this magnificent dome has special reference to the man’s creative power. It says, “No man is free except as he learns his power to create.” It says, “The knowledge of a man’s own creativeness is the only guarantee to freedom that ever was or ever will be.” It says, “There can be no freedom one hair’s breadth short of man’s knowledge that he possesses this creative power absolutely unlimited and fetterless.”

Again it says, “There is no conquest over man’s fears but the knowledge that he is creative, and that he need not create fear.” If a man creates he will create not that which enslaves him, but that which liberates. Man has been living in the negative pole of his being where he believed himself created instead of evolved by the natural process of growth. His transportation from the negative to the positive pole of his being depends on his discovery that he [206] himself is a creator and dependent upon nothing but the constant growth of his own intelligence. When he has learned this he passes forever from out of the reign of fear and becomes a free citizen of the universe.

When he has learned this mighty fact, by which I mean when the everyday brain–from which we live in this world–has accepted the fact, he no longer seeks salvation outside of himself. He knows that he is saved. His splendid life has been conjoined with the splendid ideal whose promises had once looked too beautiful to be true. He knows that nature never lies, that her every promise is the sure prophecy of the power that can fulfill it, and he begins to learn to trust it. To trust it [is] to trust himself.

Self-trust is the beginning of strength. To know that one may put sure dependence in his own powers is the beginning of rest. Anxiety goes; fear no longer holds him; faith, hope, hold absolute certainties before his eyes as the goal of his ambition. O, the repose that comes to him! That high repose which rests on the summit of understanding, and that feels its position unassailable. No more slippery resting-places on the side of the mount that he had to climb to get where he is, but implicit security on the top. His former resting-places were simply pauses made from sheer exhaustion. They were full of that muscular tension which is really caused by the fear of falling, and for this reason they were not resting-places at all, but simply breathing-places where he might hold on a moment while waiting for his strength to return.

Mental restfulness comes with the knowledge that makes the ideal real. And what is mental restfulness? It is bodily restfulness, for the mind and the body are one. And what is bodily restfulness? Is it going to sleep? No, it is waking up. It is finding that nothing can tire us. It is finding that with the fear of being tired, and the fear of disease, and the fear of poverty, and old age, and death eliminated, as they surely are when the knowledge of man’s creativeness comes, that these things themselves are eliminated. Fear, which is the root of all disease of every kind whatever, entirely vanishes when a man knows he is dependent on nobody and no power outside of himself; when he finds that he alone has the right and the ability to make the statement of being himself.

In the next lesson we shall hear the statement of his own being as he has corrected it by the light poured into his life from the ideal faculties, which at last he has learned to recognize and respect.


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