E5. The Attraction of Aspiration.
Why may we not maintain a level serenity of mind? Why are we so subject to periods of depression? It is because, no matter how well‑positioned you are in accord with your ideal of living, you are still to a greater or less degree affected by the discordance which reigns about you. Are you gentle and humane toward the animal creation? The wild birds, your free pets who come and build their nests in the grove, are murdered for sport or gain before your eyes and you are quite helpless to prevent it. You live amid a scene of incessant cruelty and laughter. The animals fostered by man’s care are bred under artificial conditions, and thereby developed into unnatural and really unhealthy growths for his amusement or profit. This refers to all manner of “fancy breeding.” Nature when left alone does best for bird or animal, and the bird or animal have their individual rights as well as man. A strained and morbid taste will grow an enlarged and diseased liver in a goose to make thereof a certain dish. Your race are so growing disease all about you. Disease means mental as well as physical unhappiness. Directly and indirectly this unhappiness affects you.
The finer your organization and the more open is it to a finer life, the more easily annoyed is it here by the many ills about it. You can hardly go abroad without suffering mental or physical pain. Your houses, cars and boats in winter are overheated and full of noxious vapors from the fuel used, as well as emanation from the human bodies packed in them. You may be obliged to sleep in rooms where this unhealthy heat is partly relied on to warm you, when at rest. You must breathe it when in the unconscious state of recuperation, and awake with it incorporated into your being. You are liable to eat staleness and decay at the best of your public tables. You are pained by scenes of cruelty, brutality and injustice. That is the predominant thought active in the atmosphere of the crowd, and it affects your thought.
There is thought, or if you please so to call it, mental action embodied in every material thing about you, and the brightness or darkness of the thought depends on the condition of the material thing. The eating of stale fruit or vegetables may indirectly give you the blues. The live fresh fruit gives you life. Decay is the disorganization of matter. You want to feed on the perfect organization, neither over nor under ripe. You want it, if possible, when the article fed upon is at its fullest stage of life, so that you may receive that life.
You violate ignorantly, unconsciously, and even for the time of necessity, many laws of physical and mental health. Relative to food, air warmth as spoken of above, you may always have been dependent on artificial props. You were born so dependent. You may have come into the world with a body, the partial development of artificial and improper food, and an artificial life brought down to you through the blood of many generations.
This artificial life must in some way bring pain. Your alcoholic stimulant brightens for the moment, but leaves a much longer period of pain behind it. But the evil of alcohol is really small as compared with scores of causes for human ills in daily active operation about you in places crowded with people, and all the more dangerous from being quite unknown.
You ask, why even in solitude you cannot maintain a certain evenness and serenity of mind of which you realize sufficient to long for?
Assuming that in the past you have been diseased physically, and of course mentally, do you expect to be instantly cured of such a long illness? Certain habits of thought cannot be otherwise than gradually removed. So with certain habits of body consequent on such habits of thought, such as the habit of hurry, the habit of worry, the habit of laying undue stress on things not the most needful for the hour; the habit of trouble borrowing and many others, which permeate and influence every act of life. Their combined effect is exhaustion, and exhaustion is the real mother of most of the ills flesh is heir to.
Whatever exhausts the body, be the motive for effort of good or ill, benevolence or selfishness, lessens the power to resist these many causes for pain and consequent depression of spirits.
So long as earthiness or grosser spirit has the ascendancy, we see mostly on the earth side. We sense mostly the repulsive in the individual. We are slow to see the good. We can like but few. We dislike many. But when spirit gains the Ascendancy, this is reversed. We see then clearly the good in all. We are thereby attracted more or less to all. And as we find the good in all, we get good from all. We cease then to be so strongly repelled by individual prejudices. We love more than we hate. While earthiness prevails we hate more than we love. We see more to loathe and detest than to admire. We are blinded to the good and too sensitive to the evil. Seeing and feeling then more of evil than good, we are injured by it. To hate, to be strongly prejudiced, to be unable to hear mention of the loathed person’s name without a thrill of indignation or disgust, is to be continually inflicting wounds on self. To be able to admire, to have the clear sight to detect the good in the lowest nature and to keep the evil out of sight, is a source to us of strength, of health, of continual increase of power. Love is power. You are always the stronger when in a condition of admiration.
Attraction is the Law of Heaven, repulsion that of Earth. Spirituality is attracted to what it finds of itself anywhere. It sees the diamond in the rough, though embedded in the coarsest mould. It sees the germ of superior quality in the coarsest nature. It can fix its eye on that germ, and hide from itself the coarser elements. In so doing it throws its power on that germ, and warms it into life. The basest nature mounts to its highest level in the presence and under the influence of the higher. There is little need for the true missionary to preach in words. He or she exhales an atmosphere of divinity which is felt by all. Precepts need to be felt more than heard. The prejudiced against the sinner is only a spiritual porcupine. He stings all he touches.
So long as we feel that strong repulsion, through seeing only the defects in another, so long are we ruled by such sentiment. We are in fetters. We are in his or her presence so full of hatred as to be unable to assert the better part of ourselves. All our own evil is called out and comes to the front. There is only the clashing of opposing wills. In such case, we, though in reality the more powerful party, become the weaker for the time being. We are obliged to allow the pupil whom we should teach by example to domineer over us. Cynicism is born of repulsion and personal prejudice carried to its extreme. The cynic ends by finding everybody unbearable and at last hates himself. No cynic was ever in good health. Cynicism is blood poisoning. The cynic is ever hunting for the ideal without. He should find it within. This when once found would be ever creating ideals from all without. His own loving spirit would graft and build itself on all with whom he came in contact. Divinity is also contagious. That would be a poor Divine Plan which allowed only evil to be infectious. Goodness is catching. In good time the world will learn that health is also. But hitherto mankind have so much feared and even admired the devil, as to have accredited evil only with inoculating quality, while all manner of good is supposed to be drilled into poor human nature by painful and laborious processes.
There cannot be the highest health and vigor without aspiration and purity of thought. Pure thought brings the purest blood. Impure thought, despondent, hopeless, repining, fault‑finding, fretful, slanderous thought, is certain to make the blood impure and fill the system with disease. Without aspiration your best care for the body will be relatively of little help. You may as to garb and person be scrupulously clean; you may pay the utmost attention to diet; yet after all you are but cleaning the outside of a vessel which within is ever filling up with uncleanliness.
With an ever increasing purity of thought, cleanliness and care for the body will come as a natural result. The vessel will clean itself. Proper care for the body in all respects will be a loving effort for that body. Bathing will not be an enforced task but a recreation. Diet will be regulated by the natural demand of appetite. Taste or relish will be the standard for acceptance or rejection. Excess will be impossible, so watchful will be the healthy palate to regard the first faint sign of sufficiency as the signal to cease any kind of indulgence. It is this aspiration for the highest and best that in time causes an actual new birth of the body—a total “reformation” throughout in the quality and composition of flesh, bone, blood, muscle and sinews; a change in the material organization corresponding to that of the spiritual. The flesh by it is spiritualized that is made up of finer elements. In all to any degree of aspiring mind is this process going on. The rule of spirit over flesh brings perfect immunity from disease, intensifies every power, gives far greater capacity for effort in any field, and at the close of the Earth life ensures a painless passing out of the spirit—a simple falling to sleep of the earthly body and a waking up on the other, the spiritual side of life.
The pith of self‑healing lies in the calling for the elements of health and strength, to drive out disease. That is you pray for such elements and they come to you. Strength or vigor is an element of spirit or more refined matter. The more often is your will exercised in praying for it, the quicker will it come. This is the secret for the perpetual maintenance and increase of vigor or any other desired quality. When sensible by signs quickly detected of lack of power, call, pray, desire more. Its rapport with the elements causes such power immediately to flow in upon it. You may become weary. Your will put thus in operation causes an immediate influx of strength, so soon as it places itself in certain conditions for such inflowing. Say you arise in the morning weak, languid, with no physical or mental energy. Keep your mind so much as you can from dwelling on your ailment. Keep it so much as you can on the thought of strength, vigor, health, activity. As aids to erect this frame of mind, fix it as much as you can on illustrations and symbols of Nature’s force and power, on storm and tempest, on the heaving billow and majesty of the Ocean, on the Morning Sun rising in all his glory to refresh and invigorate man, animal and vegetation. If there be in prose or poetry any illustrations of this character which affect you strongly, recur to them. Read them aloud or in silence. Because in so doing you are setting the mind in the right direction to receive strength. In brief think of strength and power and you will draw it to you. Think of health and you get it. Let your mind dwell on weakness, on never getting well, on the dark side, on everything of discouragement, gloom and darkness and you draw to you the contrary and hurtful elements. As decay attracts and generates decay in the things we see, so does any weak decaying order of thought attract its like of the things we do not see. Unconsciously many sick and ailing people nurse their complaints more than they nurse the bodies carrying such complaints. They are always thinking of them and talking of them. They actually crave sympathy for the hurt more than for the body afflicted with it. And the sympathy so brought out from surrounding friends, actually nourishes the injury and increases the ailment, when the thought of patient and friends should be placed on a strong healthy body for the patient. The more of such thought concentrated on the patient from those about him or her, the more of drawing power you have to bring vigor to the one afflicted.
Bear in mind it is not here argued that such relief can always be immediate. A mind long unconsciously set in the opposite direction of dwelling on its bodily ailment and thereby ever drawing to itself weakness, cannot immediately reverse its movement and set itself in the contrary and strength drawing direction. It may have become so habituated and trained to dwell on the dark side as to be almost unable to fix itself on any other. But as the attempt is made and persisted in, more and more power will come to put it in the desired strength attracting frame. The effort must be made. It may take time, but every atom of effort so made is an accretion of strength which can never be lost.
Do not demand arbitrarily or despotically that any member of your body get well of a hurt, that any organ or function become stronger. Your body is as a whole an individual separate from your spirit and with a peculiar physical life of its own. As a whole it is an organization made up of a number of other organizations, each charged with a specific duty, as the eye to see, the ear to hear, the tongue to taste, the stomach to digest, the lungs to breathe. Each of these are in a sense individual organizations. Each is open to the enlivening, cheering effect upon it of the element called “love,” and that element you can send it. Bandage a hurt, lovingly, tenderly, and the element not only inspires the careful, tender treatment, but it goes into the hurt. It acts as a salve and a strength. It gradually binds and unites the ruptured parts. Bind it with indifference, bind or wash it as an irksome task and the sentiment inspires not only a careless and even rough treatment, but fails so to salve and strengthen it with the needed element—love. Bind it with actual hatred and you are self‑poisoning the part affected. Hate is the element of poison, Love of healing.
The same principle and process applies to the weak eye, the deafened ear or any ailing or weak organ. Will at times your affection direct to the ailing member, and in that spirit ask it to recover its strength. Be not deterred by the apparent simplicity of this statement, but try it. If you are impatient or angry at eye, or ear, for not being perfect in their office, you do but throw that element of impatience in those organs. You fret and annoy them in their efforts to do their best. There is as yet no such thing as a relatively perfected life among our race. Because such a life means a life and a body without disease or pain, and also a life without the present form of death to the body. A relatively perfected life means a life whereby a mind or spirit has grown to, or gathered so much power by simply asking or praying for power; or in other words, setting that mind as a magnet in the proper attitude to attract power, that it shall be able constantly to recuperate or make over the body with fresher, newer and finer material, and also to put this body on or take it off, materialize it at pleasure.
Every thought or desire of ours to be nobler, more refined, more free from malice, ill will to others, and to do others good without exacting conditions is a thing, a force of unseen element which does actually tend or draw upward, or in other words, away from the earth or any form of that cruder type of spirit seen of the physical eye, or apparent to the body’s touch that we call matter. This the aspiring order of thought you draw from the higher realms of spirit or element every time you wish, pray, or desire it. You are drawing to you then, that of unseen element which incorporates itself with your body and spirit, and it then commences literally to draw you toward the realm and element of greater, broader, purer life existent in zones or bands about our planet. It will, as you persist in this aspiring thought, make you stand more erect. The phrase “the upright man” or woman implies that the effect of this unseen element so brought you of aspiration makes you physically as well as spiritually upright. It lifts every physical organ into place. It is the thought current drawing from above the mood of impure or immature thought, the mood of unwise or personal selfishness which seeks only personal gratification without thought or care of others. The thought or mood of gloom, discouragement, self depreciation comes of the overruling attraction of earthly seen or physical things.
When you are ruled by the attraction of gravitation, or, in other words, the attraction of material things, it will tend to make your shoulders rounded and stooping, your head bowed and your eye downcast. Your heart will also in some way be literally bowed down through grief, or worry, or anger, or some form of immature thought or attraction coming of seen things or cruder forms of spirit. Every organ of the body will be similarly displaced and tend toward the earth. Because there is always between matter of seen element or unseen element, between things substance and forms material and things substance and forms spiritual, an exact and literal correspondence. The shape of every man and woman’s body, the expression of the face, their every gesture and mannerism to the crook of a finger, and their physical health, is an exact correspondence of their spiritual condition or, in other words, of the state of their minds. It is a duplication in seen matter and movement of what they are thinking in unseen matter.
As you are ruled more and more by the attraction of aspiration, the desire to be more and more of a God or Goddess, the determination to conquer all the evil within you, which is the only way to conquer any and all evil outside of you, your form will in accordance grow more upright, your eye will be more open and uplifted, your heart will be “lifted up,” your cheeks will bloom with fresher color, your blood will fill more and more with a finer and powerful element, giving to your limbs strength, vigor, suppleness and elasticity of movement. You are then filling more and more with the Elixir of Life, which is no myth but a spiritual reality and possibility.
Our race hitherto has been dominated by the attraction of physical things or seen element. It has said there is nothing in existence but what can be seen or felt of the outer inferior or coarser senses, and consequently there has been nothing to us. A man may perish of thirst surrounded by springs of cool water, and if he know not of such springs there are none for him. Our condition has been analogous to that.
With the more perfected race of the future on this planet there will be no painful death of the body as at present. Every such painful death is the direct result of sin and transgression of the Law of Life. The ending of the body of the future will be the birth or development of a new physical body for which the old one shall serve as a shell or envelope until the new one is ripe and ready to come forth in a manner analogous to the development of the moth or butterfly from the cocoon. Such growths and transitions will take place at lesser and lesser intervals, until at last the spirit will grow to such power that it can, will and attract to itself instantly out of surrounding elements a body to use so long as it pleases on this stratum of life.
These truths, these possibilities for avoiding decay, death and pain, and growing into and taking on a newer and newer body, and newer, fresher and more vigorous life, vitally affect us of to‑day. We must not regard these statements as affecting only a coming race of people of some far distant future. They affect us. They are possibilities for us. We have belonging to us the powers for bringing to us new life and new bodies. If you are not told of these your powers how can you ever use them? You are then as a pauper having, unknown to yourself, a thousand dollar bank note sewed up in the lining of your ragged coat. This knowledge is for you the “pearl of great price.” You cannot sell this pearl. You cannot trade it for that of your neighbor’s. You cannot accumulate your neighbor’s powers; you can only grow and use yours and yours alone.
The aspiration, the earnest prayer or demand to be better, to have more power, to become more refined, will bring more and more of the finer elements and forces; that is spirit to you. But the motive must be the natural heart‑felt zealous wish to impart what you receive to others. You cannot call the fullness of this power to you if you intend living only for self. You may get it to a degree and accomplish much by it. Your demand if living only for self may bring to you houses, wealth and fame. But the demand based on the selfish motive will in the end bring only pain, disease and disappointment.
Learn how to Receive – as much as we give.
The Highlanders (n.d.). [Image]. Retrieved July 2, 2021, from https://kitskinny.wordpress.com/2013/08/17/exquisite-infinity-pools-that-will-blow-your-mind/
Mulford, P. (1886-1887). The attraction of aspiration. Your forces and how to use them (pp.779-790). Hollister, Missouri: YOGeBooks by Roger L. Cole. doi: 2015:01:16:10:43:09