A10. Use Your Riches.
When we live up to the fuller application of the law, life will become a continual succession of good things, to use and enjoy, but not to hoard; for it is a law working in all nature, through plant, insect, animal, and man, that in order to have and enjoy the new, we must first rid ourselves of the old.
If the tree held stingily on to last year’s fruit and leaves, and refused to drop them, would not the vents for next year’s fruit and leaves be choked up? If the bird, from dislike of parting with old possessions, could at its moulting season hold on to its old plumage, would there come the newer and fresher plumage? These are not far‑fetched illustrations in evidence of the great spiritual law, that the old must be cast off ere the new can come; for in all of nature’s workings, from the seed to the human soul, there is a wonderful and beautiful correspondence and analogy. The same law governs the growth and fruitage of a tree as of your spirit, only as regards your spirit it is infinitely more varied and complicated in its workings.
As with the tree and the bird, if you would the quicker enjoy the new clothes, the new house, the newer and better surroundings of every sort, that you long for, cease in mind to cling and hang on to all things you have no use for in the present or soon coming future. If so you hold on to half‑worn trumpery of any sort, through the mere love of keeping, you are barring out the better thing coming to you. If you so hold on to the inferior, you keep from you the superior. If you will keep company with people who after all only tire you and bore you, who ridicule your ideas if you express them, and are utterly profitless to you, you keep the better people from you. If you cling to the old worn‑out suit of clothes or seedy bonnet, and out of stinginess hate to give it away, and expend any amount of your force in haggling and dickering to sell it for a dime, you will not near as soon have the better clothing, for every thought put in the old represents just so much force, which could as well have been put on a plan to bring you hundreds of dollars instead of dimes.
It is the keeping of things, possessions, and the care of them, which you own and have used but which you cannot now use, which diverts your spiritual or thought power from gaining the fresher and better. It uses up that power on the care and keeping of things now of no use to you, and therefore a damage to you. You do not keep the top, the hoop, the clothing of your boyhood, and the valueless valuables with which you used to cram your pockets. Why? Because you know you have outgrown them, that they are now of no use to you; that you want your strength and time and thought for the acquisition of playthings more suited to the child whose body requires more yards of cloth to cover it.
If you have more things about you than you want for immediate use and enjoyment, they prove not only an annoyance, but that annoyance prevents you from gaining the newer and better. If out of desire of getting your money’s worth you eat enough for three dinners in one, you make too large a contract for the stomach to fill, and defeat the purpose for which you put food in your body. If you have a horse in your stables you have no use for, it is more profitable to sell or give him away before he “eats his head off.” If you have a garret full of old chests and chairs and furniture, or drawers full of half‑worn clothing and shreds and rags and patches, all of which you keep simply from love of keeping them, or from the idea that you may need these things some time or other, it is far more profitable to sell them or give them away. Because these old and unused things do keep newer and better things from you, by being a care, a load on your mind.
Thousands of people go through life lugging and blacking themselves with old pots, pans, and kettles they have no use for. What would you think of a man, who, for sake of keeping a crowbar, should, chain it to his ankle and drag it along with him. You can so chain crowbars to your mind. Many a house owned and hired to others proves a crowbar to its owner. Taxes and repairs eat up the rent, and the force put out through the care and anxiety it causes represents just so much capital stock, which, if properly expended, would bring in far more money.
One secret of the kings of finance is that they know when to rid themselves of possessions on seeing how those possessions can be of no farther use to them. In so doing they work by a spiritual method. Far‑sighted men are at this moment “unloading” themselves of properties which they see have no immediate money in them, and near‑sighted men are at this moment buying those properties, which will for years lay on their hands a care without recompense, and an incumbrance and obstacle to more immediate gain. The real cost of keeping things is the amount of thought you put in their keeping. If you will keep an old bedstead or bureau, or anything else you never have any use for, and pack it about with you at every house‑moving, and put study and calculation as to the place it shall occupy, and worry then because it takes room which you need for every‑day purposes, you are putting from time to time force enough on a (to you) useless article which, if properly directed, would buy a hundred new bureaus. In this way does this, the blind desire of mere keeping and hoarding, keep many people poor, and even makes paupers.
Mere hoarding is not business. If everyone put away money as they gained it, and lived on as little as possible, and continually decreased their expenses, the world’s business would soon stop, not so much from lack of money lying useless in chests and old stockings, but because there would soon be little left for people to do to gain money. It is large outlays, expensive and luxurious styles of living, the making of the costliest articles, the erection of magnificent buildings, and not hovels, the demand for the very best of everything, that keeps the laborer, the mechanic, the artist in any department, at work, and keeps the stream of wages pouring into their pockets.
Mere hoarding brings nothing in the end to him who hoards but pain and trouble.
The miser is but a one‑sided success. He has gained money only to pile it away in vaults. That money brings him only the gratification of owning it and of adding to the pile. That is but a mania. He gets from his money little pleasure for his body, little pleasure coming from the gratification of intellectual or artistic tastes. He owns only a pile of stamped metal or paper, substantially lives in a poor house, and is a poor man.
Families doing no business, and living entirely on the interest derived from hoarded wealth gained by their ancestors, last but a few generations. They die out, because their spiritual activities and forces become inert and sluggish, from lack of exercise.
They live the lives of drones, and as one generation succeeds another their minds grow feebler. They become unable even to hold their possessions against the rising and more active forces about them.
In point of wealth, where are the families that existed in this country a century ago? In most cases out of sight, impoverished and superseded by those now so prominent in the world of business and finance—the new men, poor materially at the start, but having minds richer in force. They have exercised that force and achieved their partial successes, and their grandchildren or great grandchildren may become paupers, if content merely to exist on incomes, and give no play to their forces. Even in England it becomes difficult to keep wealth in families as handed down by entail from father to eldest son, for even when sons are supplied they often prove unable to keep the property left them, and even the bequeathed title and possessions of a duke or earl may not prevent that duke and earl from being very low in the scale of intellect.
But the life using this present body is the merest fragment of our real existence. There is an inevitable penalty to be surely paid by the hoarder of money or other possessions, on losing his body. He has not “passed away,” he has only passed from physical sight. He has the same desire as ever to control his property and handle his money. He cannot of it lift a farthing in material substance. But he knows that the money he once called his own exists, and where it is. He knows as well as ever the people having still material bodies he once dealt with, while he to them is a blank—nothing. Though he may have “willed” his millions to others, he cannot will the desire for their possession out of his mind. If such desire for mere keeping without using existed during the life of the body, it will be just as strong after the death of the body. Your mental characteristics, your temper, your inclinations, your passions, your appetites, are no more changed immediately on the death of your body than they are changed today, when you cut off a part of that body, say an arm or a leg.
If at the death of your body you are a mere hoarder of things, you will be tied to those things by bonds or chains, which, though invisible, are as real as chains of iron. If, during the body’s life your thought is put entirely on the gold or bank‑bills in the safe or vault, if nine‑tenths of your time is occupied in planning to add to that hoarded and useless store, you are making in the element of thought chains or filaments tying you to the gold, or bills, or house, or lands once yours and now controlled by others, and yours will be the pain of seeing all these things used as others please, while you can neither get away from or cease to claim them as your own.
It is this law of being and of attraction that has forced people, after losing their bodies, to remain long periods of time at or near places where, when in visible form, they buried treasures, or in houses they formerly owned or occupied, which they do literally “haunt” and aye sometimes seen by a physical eye, temporarily clairvoyant, or through the disembodied person’s being able to act for a time through or by some physical agency.
“Ghost stories,” so called, have prevailed in every age, in every nation, among people widely separated from each other, and have been told ever since human history was given, either in writing or tradition. They are based on truth and reality.
You do not “pass away” from earth at all on losing your body, nor do you “come back” in the sense of coming from some far‑off place. You are here still, though unseen, among your friends, if you have any, at your desk, your store, your workshop, where, possibly a few hours previous, your body dropped lifeless, because your spirit had no longer strength to carry it; and if while using the body your heart, soul, and mind were ever bent, wrapped up and directed only to that one place or occupation, and you had little or no interest in anything else—to no art, to the bringing out of no other talent within you save that of mere money getting and property hoarding, then to that one place will you be bound by these invisible ties, nor can you break them and get elsewhere until you learn to cultivate your other powers; in other words, to throw the current of your thought on other interests and pursuits. In so doing you create a literal magnet of thought element as you center yourself more and more in such pursuit; and as this, aided by your earnest desire, grows stronger and stronger, it will attract you more and more from the old center or place to which you are tied, and at last break such tie altogether.
If you do not cultivate your other and latent resources, yours will be the misery of being so bound to that house, place, or pursuit, though it be carried on in a manner against your inclination, though old acquaintances drop out and strangers take their places, though your family mansion passes into unknown hands,—and today many a person without a visible organization lingers in misery in and about the house he once owned, tied to it, because he can center no interest in anything else, a stranger in the place he tries to call home; and if he approach his own fireside it is only to be repelled or annoyed by the thought atmosphere of the new people about it.
“It is easier for the camel to pass through the needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven,” one may quote against us. The “kingdom of heaven” is located in no particular place in space, and can be and will be wherever mind grows wise enough and strong enough to make it, be it on the earth stratum of life or elsewhere. The “rich man” who cannot enter is really the poor man who loads himself down with things he cannot use or allow others to use,—a human dog in the manger, spending all his force in standing guard and snarling over what he cannot use and will not allow others to use, and is at last killed by the continual generation within himself of the poisonous thought of snarling and covetousness. But the rich mind and the rich man, who, knowing the law, has the secret and power of attracting the world’s best of everything to him, not only that he himself may use and enjoy, but contribute to the good and happiness of all, lives, in so doing, in the kingdom of heaven. He becomes, as his power and wisdom increases, as a growing river, an ever‑flowing stream, ever bearing from the mountain tops both water and soil to fertilize the plains; but if the river hoarded soil and water, what would be the result?
Neither “moth and rust nor thieves” can affect possessions which are used but not hoarded. The plant appropriates and uses only what it needs for the hour, of air, water, sunshine, and earth element. If more is supplied the plant than is necessary for its present needs, thereby is caused blight and disease. When man, through his artificial and unnatural methods of cultivation, over‑stimulates vegetable growth by excess of fertilizing material, an insect life is bred of the plant. That insect is destructive to that plant, because there has been an over‑supply and a hoarding of some element in undue quantity. Element in any form of life must be used, not hoarded, if real profit and pleasure is desired from it. Moths on plants and moths and rust in anything are themselves provisions and methods from the Source of Infinite Good to prevent hoarding. Neither moth nor rust really destroy. They take elements to pieces useless in their present form and scatter and distribute them, that they may enter into new forms of combination and serve new uses.
If you owned this whole earth, in the worldly sense, you could only use and enjoy such portion of its air, sunshine, water, foods, and forces, as would satisfy your needs for the hour and the day. The keeping of the rest would ultimately destroy your body. Your ownership would be a farce. You have no control over the planet’s revolutions, over the tides, the seasons, or the river’s flow to the seas. You have no power over earthquake or storm. You cannot keep your body on the land you think you own, when the time comes that your over‑burdened spirit loses the power to hold itself to that body. You lose your body, and what then? You are a miserable prisoner, tied to numberless tracts of land, houses, and all other physical properties, unable to control them, to use them, to enjoy them, and worse still, to free yourself from the delusion that still you do own them. You are really insane. You have then “gained the whole world and lost your own soul.” That is, you have not yet found your soul; or, in other words, the power latent in you to increase ever your thought force so as to draw all things to you, to use and enjoy and then rid yourself of, so as to gain the newer and better.
But following the law common to all life, that of throwing off the old in order to receive the new, exactly as your body throws off what it cannot assimilate and convert into bone, muscle, and blood, will give your spirit more and more power. You are then going forward on the road to complete command over all material things. You will then eventually have power to heal your body of any ailment, to make it evermore perfect, strong and healthy, to be at last beyond the reach of all disease, and as a consummation, to be able to put on or take off that body as you would a garment. So freed from it, your real self is independent of all ordinary means of locomotion. You visit other lands and while there make a body for transient use. These things have been done in past ages. They have been realized in later days to an extent among certain Oriental races. They are certain possibilities for the future.
The basis for attracting the best of all the world can give to you, is to first surround, own, and live in these things in mind, or what is falsely called imagination. All so‑called imaginings are realities and forces of unseen element. Live in mind in a palace, and gradually palatial surroundings will gravitate to you. But so living in is not pining, or longing, or complainingly wishing. It is when you are “down in the world,” calmly and persistently seeing yourself as up. It is when you are now compelled to eat from a tin plate, regarding that tin plate as only the certain step to one of silver. It is not envying and growling at other people who have silver plate. That growling is just so much capital stock taken from the bank account of mental force.
But when you have no present use for your palace, give others the use of it, or it will become your poorhouse. If you store it away, you store with it so much weight on your mind, so much thought to be expended in storage, so much spiritual force which might otherwise have been put in the cultivation of a talent. If you have five talents or ten talents it is your necessity to cultivate them all at times, and you want for such cultivation all your power unshackled. You are an institution, and if you do not cultivate every department of that institution, every taste and power you feel within you, you will suffer. The whole man is merchant, mechanic, physician, actor, painter, sculptor, all and everything longed for by his ambition and inspiration. Eternity has time enough for all these, as recreations. You cannot reduce such a man to beggary. Beggary is not in him. Destroy every material thing today he possesses, and tomorrow his force will be attracting more. Men are living today who partly illustrate this law. Others are to come who are to make the illustration far more perfect, and live lives which will fill the world with wonder and admiration.
I believe in Me!!
Travel away (n.d.). [Image]. Retrieved July 1, 2021, from https://travelaway.me/where-stay-bali/
Mulford, P. (1886-1887). Use your riches. Your forces and how to use them (pp.229-238). Hollister, Missouri: YOGeBooks by Roger L. Cole. doi: 2015:01:16:10:43:09