The Hidden Power, by Thomas Troward , at sacred-texts.com
WHAT is our point of support? Is it in ourselves or outside us? Are we self-poised, or does our balance depend on something external? According to the actual belief in which our answer to these questions is embodied so will our lives be. In everything there are two parts, the essential and the incidental--that which is the nucleus and raison d’être of the whole thing, and that which gathers round this nucleus and takes form from it. The true knowledge always consists in distinguishing these two from each other, and error always consists in misplacing them.
In all our affairs there are two factors, ourselves and the matter to be dealt with; and since for us the nature of anything is always determined by our thought of it, it is entirely a question of our belief which of these two factors shall be the essential and which the accessory. Whichever we regard as the essential, the other at once becomes the incidental. The incidental can never be absent. For any sort of action to take place there must be some conditions under which the activity passes out into visible results; but the same sort of activity may occur under a variety
of different conditions, and may thus produce very different visible results. So in every matter we shall always find an essential or energising factor, and an incidental factor which derives its quality from the nature of the energy.
We can therefore never escape from having to select our essential and our incidental factor, and whichever we select as the essential, we thereby place the other in the position of the incidental. If, then, we make the mistake of reversing the true position and suppose that the energising force comes from the merely accessory circumstances, we make them our point of support and lean upon them, and stand or fall with them accordingly; and so we come into a condition of weakness and obsequious waiting on all sorts of external influences, which is the very reverse of that strength, wisdom, and opulence which are the only meaning of Liberty.
But if we would ask ourselves the common-sense question Where can the centre of a man's Life be except in himself? we shall see that in all which pertains to us the energising centre must be in ourselves. We can never get away from ourselves as the centre of our own universe, and the sooner we clearly understand this the better. There is really no energy in our universe but what emanates from ourselves in the first instance, and the power which appears to reside in our surroundings is derived entirely from our own mind.
If once we realise this, and consider that the Life
which flows into us from the Universal Life-Principle is at every moment new Life entirely undifferentiated to any particular purpose besides that of supporting our own individuality, and that it is therefore ours to externalise in any form we will, then we find that this manifestation of the eternal Life-Principle in ourselves is the standpoint from which we can control our surroundings. We must lean firmly on the central point of our own being and not on anything else. Our mistake is in taking our surroundings too much "au grand serieux." We should touch things more lightly. As soon as we feel that their weight impedes our free handling of them they are mastering us, and not we them.
Light handling does not mean weak handling. On the contrary, lightness of touch is incompatible with a weak grasp of the instrument, which implies that the weight of the tool is excessive relatively to the force that seeks to guide it. A light, even playful handling, therefore implies a firm grasp and perfect control over the instrument. It is only in the hands of a Grinling Gibbons that the carving tool can create miracles of aerial lightness from the solid wood. The light yet firm touch tells not of weakness, but of power held in reserve; and if we realise our own out-and-out spiritual nature we know that behind any measure of power we may put forth there is the whole reserve of the infinite to back us up.
As we come to know this we begin to handle things lightly, playing with them as a juggler does with his
flying knives, which cannot make the slightest movement other than he has assigned to them, for we begin to see that our control over things is part of the necessary order of the universe. The disorder we have met with in the past has resulted precisely from our never having attempted consciously to introduce this element of our personal control as part of the system.
Of course, I speak of the whole man, and not merely of that part of him which Walt Whitman says is contained between his hat and his boots. The whole man is an infinitude, and the visible portion of him is the instrument through which he looks out upon and enjoys all that belongs to him, his own kingdom of the infinite. And when he learns that this is the meaning of his conscious individuality, he sees how it is that he is infinite, and finds that he is one with Infinite Mind, which is the innermost core of the universe. Having thus reached the true centre of his own being, he can never give this central place to anything else, but will realise that relatively to this all other things are in the position of the incidental and accessory, and growing daily in this knowledge he will learn so to handle all things lightly, yet firmly, that grief, fear, and error will have less and less space in his world, until at last sorrow and sighing shall flee away, and everlasting joy shall take their place. We may have taken only a few steps on the way as yet, but they are in the right direction, and what we have to do now is to go on.