The Secret of the Ages, by Robert Collier, , at sacred-texts.com
"My children," he said, "I have had a great deal of trouble in my life—a great deal of trouble—but most of it never happened."
We are all of us like that old man. Our troubles weigh us down—in prospect—but we usually find that when the
actual need arrives, Providence has devised some way of meeting it.
Dr. Jacques Loeb, a member of the Rockefeller Institute, conducted a series of tests with parasites found on plants, which show that even the lowest order of creatures have the power to call upon Universal Supply for the resources to meet any unusual need.
“In order to obtain the material," reads the report of the tests, "potted rose bushes are brought into a room and placed in front of a closed window. If the plants are allowed to dry out, the aphides (parasites), previously wingless, change to winged insects. After the metamorphosis, the animals leave the plants, fly to the window and then creep upward on the glass.
“It is evident that these tiny insects found that the plants on which they had
been thriving were dead, and that they could therefore secure nothing more to eat and drink from this source. The only method by which they could save themselves from starvation was to grow temporary wings and fly, which they did.”
In short, when their source of sustenance was shut off and they had to find the means of migrating or perish, Universal Supply furnished the means for migration.
If Universal Mind can thus provide for the meanest of its creatures, is it not logical to suppose that It will do even more for us—the highest product of creation—if we will but call upon It, if we will but have a little faith? Viewed in the light of Mind's response to the need of those tiny parasites, does it seem so unbelievable that a sea should roll back
while a people marched across it dry-shod? That a pillar of fire should lead them through the wilderness by night? That manna should fall from heaven, or water gush forth from a rock?
In moments of great peril, in times of extremity, when the brave soul has staked its all—those are the times when miracles are wrought, if we will but have faith.
That doesn't mean that you should rest supinely at your Base and let the Lord provide. When you have done all that is in you to do—when you have given of your best—don't worry or fret as to the outcome. Know that if more is needed, your need will be met. You can sit back with the confident assurance that having done your part, you can depend upon the Genie-of-your-Mind to do the rest.
When the little state of Palestine was in danger of being overrun by Egypt on the one hand, or gobbled up by Assyria on the other, its people were frantically trying to decide which horn of the dilemma to embrace, with which enemy they should ally themselves to stave off the other. "With neither," the Prophet Isaiah told them, "in calmly resting your safety lieth; in quiet trust shall be your strength."
So it is with most of the great calamities that afflict us. If we would only "calmly rest, quietly trust," how much better off we should be. But no—we must fret and worry, and nine times out of ten do the wrong thing. And the more we worry and fret, the more likely we are to go wrong.
All of Universal Mind that is necessary to solve any given problem, to meet
any need, is wherever that need may be. Supply is always where you are and what you need. It matters not whether it be sickness or trouble, poverty or danger, the remedy is there, waiting for your call. Go at your difficulty boldly, knowing that you have infinite resources behind you, and you will find these forces closing around you and coming to your aid.
It's like an author writing a book. For a long time he works in a kind of mental fog, but let him persevere, and there flashes suddenly a light that clarifies his ideas and shows him the way to shape them logically. At the moment of despair, you Peel a source of unknown energy arising in your soul.
That doesn't mean that you will never have difficulties. Difficulties are good for you. They are the exercise of your
mind. You are the stronger for having overcome them. But look upon them as mere exercise. As "stunts" that are given you in order that you may the better learn how to use your mind, how to draw upon Universal Supply. Like Jacob wrestling with the Angel, don't let them go until they have blessed you—until, in other words, you have learned something from having encountered them.
Remember this: No matter how great a catastrophe may befall mankind, no matter how general the loss, you and yours can be free from it. There is always a way of safety. There is always an "ark" by which the understanding few can be saved from the flood. The name of that ark is Understanding—understanding of your inner powers.
When the children of Israel were being
led into the promised land, and Joshua had given them their directions, they answered him: "All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go.…Only the Lord thy God be with thee, as He was with Moses."
They came to the river Jordan, and it seemed an insurmountable barrier in their path, but Joshua commanded them to take the Ark of the Covenant, representing God's understanding with them, before them into the Jordan. They did it, and "the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap.…And the priests that bare the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan."
The Ark of the Covenant
All through the Old Testament, when war and pestilence, fire and flood, were the common lot of mankind, there is constant assurance of safety for those who have this understanding, this "Covenant" with the Lord. "Because thou hast made the Lord which is my refuge—even the Most High—thy habitation, there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For He shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways."
That is His agreement with us—an agreement which gives us the superiority to circumstances which men have sought from time immemorial. All that is necessary on our side of the agreement is for us to remember the infinite powers that reside within us, to remember that
our mind is part of Universal Mind and as such it can foresee, it can guard against and it can protect us from harm of any kind. We need not run away from trials or try to become stoical towards them. All we need is to bring our understanding to bear upon them—to know that no situation has ever yet arisen with which Universal Mind—and through it our own mind—was not fully competent to deal. To know that the right solution of every problem is in Universal Mind. That we have but to seek that solution and our trial is overcome.
"But where shall Wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Acquaint now thyself with God, and be at peace."
If evil threatens us, if failure, sickness or accident seems imminent, we have
only to decide that these evils do not come from Universal Mind, therefore they are unreal and have no power over us. They are, simply the absence of the right condition which Universal Mind knows. Refuse, therefore, to see them, to acknowledge them—and seek through Mind for the right condition which shall nullify them.
If you will do this, you will find that you can appropriate from Mind whatever you require for your needs, when you require it. The greater your need, the more surely it will be met, if you can but realize this truth. "Fear not, little flock," said Jesus, "for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom."
Remember that your thought is all-powerful. That it is creative. That there is no limitation upon it of time or space. And that it is ever-available.
Forget your worries. Forget your fears. In place of them, visualize the conditions you would like to see. Realize their availability. Declare to yourself that you already have all these things that you desire, that your needs have been met. Say to yourself: "How thankful I am that Mind has made all these good things available to me. I have everything that heart could desire to be grateful for."
Every time you do this, you are impressing the thought upon your subconscious mind. And the moment you can convince your subconscious mind of the truth of it—that moment your mind will proceed to make it true. This is the way to put into practice the Master's advice—"Believe that ye RECEIVE it, and ye SHALL HAVE it."
There is no condition so hopeless, no
cause so far gone, that this truth will not save it. Time and again patients given over by their doctors as doomed have made miraculous recoveries through the faith of some loved one.
"I hope that everyone who reads this Book may gain as much from their first reading as I did," writes a happy subscriber from New York City. "I got such a clear understanding from that one reading that I was able to break the mental chain holding a friend to a hospital bed, and she left the hospital in three days, to the very great astonishment of the doctors handling the case."
In the same way, there are innumerable instances where threatened calamity has been warded off and good come instead. The great trouble with most of us is, we do not believe. We insist upon looking for trouble. We
feel that the "rainy day" is bound to come, and we do our utmost to make it a surety by keeping it in our thoughts, preparing for it, fearing it. "Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once." We cross our bridges a dozen times before we come to them. We doubt ourselves, we doubt our ability, we doubt everyone and everything around us. And our doubts sap our energy; kill our enthusiasm; rob us of success. We are like the old lady who "enjoys poor health." We always place that little word "but" after our wishes and desires, feeling deep down that there are some things too good to be true. We think there is a power apart from Good which can withhold blessings that should be ours. We doubt, because we cannot see the way by which our desires can be fulfilled. We put a
limit upon the good that can come to us.
"Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts," cried the Prophet Malachi, "if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it… And all nations shall call you blessed, for ye shall be a delightsome land."
Your mind is part of Universal Mind. And Universal Mind has all supply. You are entitled to, and you can have, just as much of that supply as you are able to appropriate. To expect less is to get less, for it dwarfs your power of receiving.
It doesn't matter what your longings may be, provided they are right longings. If your little son has his heart set on a train and you feel perfectly able to
get him a train, you are not going to hand him a picture book instead. It may be that the picture book would have greater educational value, but the love you have for your son is going to make you try to satisfy his longings as long as those longings are not harmful ones.
In the same way, Universal Mind will satisfy your longings, no matter how trivial they may seem, as long as they are not harmful ones. "Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart."
If we would only try to realize that God is not some far-off Deity, not some stern Judge, but the beneficent force that we recognize as Nature—the life Principle that makes the flowers bud, and the plants grow, that spreads abundance about us with lavish hand. If we could realize that He is the Universal Mind
that holds all supply, that will give us the toy of our childhood or the needs of maturity, that all we need to obtain from Him our Heart's Desire is a right understanding of His availability—then we would lose all our fears, all our worries, all our sense of limitation.
For Universal Mind is an infinite, unlimited source of good. Not only the source of general good, but the specific good things you desire of life. To It there is no big or little problem. The removal of mountains is no more difficult than the feeding of a sparrow.
And to one—like the Master—with a perfect understanding, the "miracle" of raising Lazarus from the dead required no more effort than the turning of the water into wine. He knew that Universal Mind is all power—and there can-not be more than ALL. He knew that
[paragraph continues] "To know God aright is life eternal." And Jesus knew God aright, so was able to demonstrate this knowledge of life eternal in overcoming sin, disease and death. For it is one and the same law that heals sin, sickness, poverty, heartaches, or death itself. That law is the right understanding of Divine Principle.
But what does this ability to perform "miracles" consist of? What is the power or force by which we can prove this ability? Perhaps the simplest way is to begin with the realization that Universal Mind is man's working power.
The Science of Thought
Can you stretch your mind a bit and try to comprehend this wonderful fact—that the ALL POWERFUL, ALL-KNOWING, EVERLASTING CREATOR and Governor of the infinite universe,
"Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains, in scales, and the hills in a balance," is your working power? In proportion as we understand this fact, and make use of it, in that same proportion are we able to per-form our miracles.
Your work is inspired to the extent that you realize the presence of Universal Mind in your work. When you rely entirely on your own conscious mind, your work suffers accordingly. "I can of mine own self do nothing; for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do bear witness of me." The miracles of Jesus bear witness of the complete recognition of God the Father as his working power.
And mind you, this inspiration, this working of Universal Mind with you, is available for all of your undertakings. Mind could not show Itself in one part of your life and withhold Itself from another, since It is all in all. Every rightly directed task, no matter how insignificant or menial it may appear to you, carries with it the inspiration of Universal Mind, since by the very nature of omnipotence, Its love and bestowals must be universal and impartial, "and whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord."
Too many of us are like the maiden in the old Eastern legend. A Genie sent her into a field of grain, promising her a rare gift if she would pick for him the largest and ripest ear she could find. His gift to be in proportion to the size and perfection of the ear.
But he made this condition—she must
pluck but one ear, and she must walk straight through the field without stopping, going back or wandering hither and thither.
Joyously she started. As she walked through the grain, she saw many large ears, many perfect ones. She passed them by in scorn, thinking to find an extra-large, super-perfect one farther along. Presently, however, the soil became less fertile, the ears small and sparse. She couldn't pick one of these! Would now that she had been content with an ordinary-sized ear farther back. But it was too late for that. Surely they would grow better again farther on!
She walked on—and on—and always they became worse—‘till presently she found herself at the end of the field—empty handed as when she set out!
So it is with life. Every day has its
worth-while rewards for work well done. Every day offers its chance for happiness. But those rewards seem so small, those chances so petty, compared with the big things we see ahead. So we pass them by, never recognizing that the great position we look forward to, the shining prize we see in the distance, is just the sum of all the little tasks, the heaped up result of all the little prizes that we must win as we go along.
You are not commanded to pick out certain occupations as being more entitled to the Lord's consideration than others, but "Whatsoever ye do." Whether it be in the exalted and idealistic realms of poetry, music and art, whether in the cause of religion or philanthropy, whether in government, in business, in science, or simply in household cares, "whatsoever ye do" you are entitled to, and have
all of inspiration at your beck and call. If you seem to have less than all, it is because you do not utilize your gift.
"Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one; and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God." "All things are yours; and ye are Christ's and Christ's is God's."
How shall you take advantage of this Universal Supply? When next any need confronts you, when next you are in difficulties, close your eyes for a moment and realize that Universal Mind knows how that need can best be met, knows the solution of your difficulties. And that your sub-conscious mind, being part of the Universal Mind, can know this, too. So put your problem up to your subconscious mind with the sublime confidence
that it will find the solution. Then forget it for a while. When the time comes, the need will be met.
Dr. Winbigler corroborates the working out of this idea in the following:
"Suggestions lodged in the mind can effect a complete change, morally and physically. If mankind would become in spirit 'as a little child,' trusting in God implicitly, the greatest power would utilized in the establishment of health and equilibrium, and the results would be untold in comfort, sanity, and blessing. For instance, here is one who is suffering from worry, fear, and the vexations of life. How can he get rid of these things and relieve this suffering? Let him go to a quiet room or place, twice a day, lie down and relax every muscle, assume complete indifference to those things which worry him and the functions of
the body, and quietly accept what God, through this law of demand and supply, can give. In a few days he will find a great change in his feelings, and the sufferings will pass away and life will look bright and promising. Infinite wisdom has established that law; and its utilization by those who are worried and fearful will secure amazing results in a short time.
"The real reason for the change is found in the possibility of recovery by using the laws that God has placed within our reach, and thus securing the coveted health and power for all that we want and ought to do. The subliminal life is the connecting link between man and God, and by obeying His laws, one's life is put in contact with infinite resources and all that God is able and willing to give. Here is the secret of all
the cures of disease, and the foundation for the possibility of a joyful existence, happiness and eternal life. Suggestion is the method of securing what God gives, and the mind is the agent through which these gifts are received. This is not a matter of theory, but a fact. If any one who is sick or who desires to be kept well will have stated periods of relaxation, openmindedness, and faith, he can prove the beneficial and unvarying result of this method."