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The Hidden Power, by Thomas Troward [1921], at

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WHO would not be happy in himself and his conditions? That is what we all desire--more fulness of life, a greater and brighter vitality in ourselves, and less restriction in our surroundings. And we are told that the talisman by which this can be accomplished is Thought. We are told, Change your modes of thought, and the changed conditions will follow. But many seekers feel that this is very much like telling us to catch birds by putting salt on their tails. If we can put the salt on the bird's tail, we can also lay our hand on the bird. If we can change our thinking, we can thereby change our circumstances.

But how are we to bring about this change of cause which will in its turn produce this changed effect? This is the practical question that perplexes many earnest seekers. They can see their way clearly enough through the whole sequence of cause and effect resulting in the externalisation of the desired results, if only the one initial difficulty could be got over. The difficulty is a real one, and until it is overcome it vitiates all the teaching and reduces it to a mere paper

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theory. Therefore it is to this point that the attention of students should be particularly directed. They feel the need of some solid basis from which the change of thought can be effected, and until they find this the theory of Divine Science, however perfect in itself, will remain for them nothing more than a mere theory, producing no practical results.

The necessary scientific basis exists, however, and is extremely simple and reasonable, if we will take the pains to think it out carefully for ourselves. Unless we are prepared to support the thesis that the Power which created the universe is inherently evil, or that the universe is the work of two opposite and equal powers, one evil and the other good--both of which propositions are demonstrably false--we have no alternative but to say that the Originating Source of all must be inherently good. It cannot be partly good and partly evil, for that would be to set it against itself and make it self-destructive; therefore it must be good altogether. But once grant this initial proposition and we cut away the root of all evil. For how can evil proceed from an All-originating Source which is good altogether, and in which, therefore, no germ for the development of evil is to be found? Good cannot be the origin of evil; and since nothing can proceed except from the one Originating Mind, which is only good, the true nature of all things must be that which they have received from their Source--namely, good.

Hence it follows that evil is not the true nature of

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anything, and that evil must have its rise in something external to the true nature of things. And since evil is not in the true nature of the things themselves, nor yet in the Universal Mind which is the Originating Principle, there remains only one place for it to spring from, and that is our own personal thought. First we suppose evil to be as inherent in the nature of things as good--a supposition which we could not make if we stopped to consider the necessary nature of the Originating Principle. Then, on this entirely gratuitous supposition, we proceed to build up a fabric of fears, which, of course, follow logically from it; and so we nourish and give substance to the Negative, or that which has no substantial existence except such as we attribute to it, until we come to regard it as having Affirmative power of its own, and so set up a false idea of Being--the product of our own minds--to dispute the claims of true Being to the sovereignty of the universe.

Once assume the existence of two rival powers--one good and the other evil--in the direction of the universe, and any sense of harmony becomes impossible; the whole course of Nature is thrown out of gear, and, whether for ourselves or for the world at large, there remains no ground of certainty anywhere. And this is precisely the condition in which the majority of people live. They are surrounded by infinite uncertainty about everything, and are consequently a prey to continual fears and anxieties; and the only way

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of escape from this state of things is to go to the root of the matter, and realise that the whole fabric of evil originates in our own inverted conception of the nature of Being.

But if we once realise that the true conception of Being necessarily excludes the very idea of evil, we shall see that, in giving way to thoughts and fears of evil, we are giving substance to that which has no real substance in itself, and are attributing to the Negative an Affirmative force which it does not possess--in fact, we are creating the very thing we fear. And the remedy for this is always to recur to the original nature of Being as altogether Good, and then to speak to ourselves thus: "My thought must continually externalise something, for that is its inherent quality, which nothing can ever alter. Shall I, then, externalise God or the opposite of God? Which do I wish to see manifested in my life--Good or its opposite? Shall I manifest what I know to be the reality or the reverse?" Then comes the steady resolve always to manifest God, or Good, because that is the only true reality in all things; and this resolve is with power because it is founded upon the solid rock of Truth.

We must refuse to know evil; we must refuse to admit that there is any such thing to be known. It is the converse of this which is symbolised in the story of the Fall. "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" was never spoken of the knowledge

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of Good, for Good never brought death into the world. It is eating the fruit of the tree of a so-called knowledge which admits a second branch, the knowledge of evil, that is the source of death. Admit that evil has a substantive entity, which renders it a subject of knowledge, and you thereby create it, with all its consequences of sorrow, sickness and death. But "be sure that the Lord He is God"--that is, that the one and Only Ruling Principle of the universe, whether within us or around us, is Good and Good only--and evil with all its train sinks back into its original nothingness, and we find that the Truth has made us free. We are free to externalise what we will, whether in ourselves or our surroundings, for we have found the solid basis on which to make the needed change of mental attitude in the fact that the Good is the only reality of Being.


Next: XVIII. Entering into the Spirit of It