E6. Cultivate Repose.
Repose is a quality. It may be cultivated and gradually attained by allowing the mind to dwell upon it. Fix the word in your brain. Paste it up there figuratively. Paste it somewhere about you literally. You want the thought in your mind. You want to plant it there so it may grow. It will then take root and grow. As it grows, you will, despite ten thousand failures, find yourself on the gain. You will correct yourself many, many times in hasty doings, but each correction will bring you though ever so little nearer the mark. If you are annoyed at your failures so much the better. That shows you know your defect.
It is a training also where the school is ever by you. It can be practiced so soon as you arise in the morning, in the putting on of your apparel, in your walk, in your eating, in your opening and shutting of doors. No act is beneath it. No act is above it. Each act so done lays up for you its little quota of capital— until at last the habit becomes “second nature,” and the forced schooling merges into an involuntary one.
There is a law which causes the sound sleep of childhood. There is another law, governing the unsound sleep often common to middle age, if not sooner. A law governs everything. A law governs the decay of a building; the decay of a body; the decay of a tree as well as the healthy growth of a tree.
We do not at night lay our real selves down to rest. We lay down only the body, the instrument you use in the material domain of expression to be recuperated. If the spirit gains renewed force while away from the body, as it should, it will return with such force to act on the body in the morning, if we realized the highest condition of sleep.
There are two kinds of sleep. There is a sound healthy sleep, which strengthens and refreshes the body, and an unsound, feverish, restless sleep whereby the body awakes with very little strength. When you are awake, your spirit or thought is acting on the body or using it. If it so acted all the time, it would soon wear out the body as sleeplessness does wear it. When you sleep, your spirit or thought still acts, thinks, works, but apart from the body. It can so act in a healthy or unhealthy realm of mind. If in a healthy realm of mind, it will send the body healthy element in thought to repair or recuperate it. If it goes to an unhealthy realm, it will send the body only unhealthy element. Whether it goes to a healthy or unhealthy territory of spirit depends entirely on your condition of mind before retiring. If the “sun goes down on your wrath” or irritability or hatred of others your mind during the night will send your body still the unhealthy elements of wrath, hatred or irritability. Or if your spirit is discouraged, despondent and hopeless, it will send to the body the same order of element.
You are working or making effort whenever you think. You do not want to do work of any kind when you go to bed. In some rases when we lie down, the mind becomes more active than ever and fills immediately with plans and schemes or anxieties or worryings. That tires the body and causes restlessness and tossing and wakefulness for hours. The mind is then more active, because it is momentarily diverted from any bodily effort.
You will make up your mind to dismiss all thought whatever on retiring, and think only of repose. Keep the word “repose” in your mind on going to bed. The word brings the idea of rest. This will gradually change the attitude or direction of your thought, and connect you with the element of rest and repose. You may not be successful at first in bringing immediate sleep. You may have this mental habit of brain working for years to conquer. You will by degrees change your mind to the reposeful condition as you persevere. It may require months before you see any change for the better. But when once you have conquered wakefulness, you will never have your work to do over again. You cannot at once change any mental habit, the growth possibly of years all at once, no more than you can at once change a habit of body, a mannerism or peculiar gesture, or a peculiar walk, or a peculiar manner of speech.
If your mind is from any cause very much disturbed during the day, it sends to the unconscious body or unconscious physical existence the same disturbing thought element at night. What mood your mind is most in during your waking hours that mood is your mind in when the body sleeps. The mind never sleeps no more than electricity sleeps—no more than the element which the sun sends us (the cause of light and heat after reaching this planet)—sleeps. The child is a spirit coming into this physical life again with a new body. The memory of all its troubles in its previous existence is fortunately blotted out. It is well in this our incomplete state and with so little power to rule our minds and turn them from the unpleasant that we may not know what we may have suffered in a past existence. If we did, we might begin at the age of two years with the troubles we had at three‑score and ten of the last life.
Up to a certain age the child has a perfect trust in its parents to supply it with food, clothing and shelter. When it is obliged to provide for itself the trouble begins—the trouble and work it carries when grown up to bed with it. Then it trusts hardly anything. That may be the cause of all our trouble, wakefulness included.
The element the Sun sends us is the force giving life to all forms of what we call organized matter on our planet. Acting on the life of the seed in the earth it brings it that renewal of Force, which starts it into renewed life.
Our bodies have the most Force in the morning, because then the tide of the Sun’s Force is coming toward us. Our spirits absorb that Force and the strength so given the spirit is communicated to the body. In the afternoon and evening that portion of the Earth on which we live is turned away from the Sun Force. It no longer meets and affects us as in the morning. For this reason there is less strength and vigor of mind and body in the latter part of the day. For this reason is the tendency in most birds and beasts to rest their bodies at night. Night is the time for repose of the body, because of the absence of that element sent from the Sun, which is the great stimulator to life of all things on this planet.
We are most in the line of Natural Law when we do the work requiring most exertion in the morning. We have then the most benefit of the Force coming to the Earth. In the evening it is better to let the mind dwell on light and harmless recreation, to reverie if so we are inclined, to easy effort which does not tax the faculties to the utmost. And in such state of mind we are enabling it the easier to cease acting on the body when we retire.
People do work in various ways in the evening and accomplish a great deal. But they pay a heavy price at last. They so fix their thought on one business or one line of effort that they cannot get their thought out of that groove. Their minds run in the same rut be the body asleep or awake. You rest most in turning thought from one line of effort to another. Carrying any business or study in the mind all the time, day and night, morning and evening, does not really advance that business so much as forgetting it at intervals and letting the mind rest, as you allow your muscles to rest after any physical exertion. Mind allowed to rest gains new ideas and new Force to carry out ideas. A new idea is worth waiting for. But if now, as is so often the case, business and work are carried into the latter part of the day as well as far into the night, the mind, even when the body is laid down to rest, cannot readily if at all detach itself from that train of thought, and even when it does and the body’s physical senses become unconscious, still the other, the finer or spiritual senses, are working still on the same line of action. We gain thereby little or nothing. We send back to the body only old worn out second‑hand ideas, which is second‑hand life. We take up the body again in the morning for use, with only the same old set of thoughts, views, plans, and worries we had yesterday, because when the body became unconscious, our spirits went into the same thought element, a realm whither we directed them when the weary eyes closed.
What is the remedy? More recreation. More Variety of occupation. More variety of color in our lives. More selves in our one self. To attain the highest and happiest life we need to have two and possibly three, if not four lives in one—to be merchant in the morning and artist or yachtsman or something else in the afternoon, and in the second life forget for the time all about the first, and in such forgetfulness rest the first life or set of faculties, recuperate them, refresh them, and go back to business, or art or science, or any occupation next day with more force, plan, idea, thought to put in it, as do many of our most successful men of business, who leave their offices at an early hour of the afternoon and may be seen driving on the Boulevard or otherwise recreating themselves.
If you sleep with another person whose mind is more disturbed than yours, who is worried, fretted, despondent, or irritable, your thought being more or less set on that person, so your spirit will be attracted or drawn at night to that person’s lower province of mind. You are then dragged down on the lower level of that person’s night life. Your spirit does not then absorb such healthful element as it would did you sleep alone. It sends then to your body the other person’s more disturbed thought element. Your spirit also returns to its body in the morning adulterated more or less with the element it has absorbed of that other person’s thought, and has far less power to act on its body.
The harm that comes to the young person sleeping with an old one is when the older person’s mind is letting go of life, taking less and less interest in things about it, erroneously deeming it too old to learn, believing that because the body is wearing out all life is worn out. What life the younger person gains through going to a fresher domain of thought is to an extent absorbed by the older, who thus unconsciously appropriates the younger one’s stimulation.
Bear in mind that our real youth is not dependent on the age of the body—that youth implies never‑ceasing vigor and activity of mind and more and more interest and effort in human affairs, more and more aspiration, and it is among the certain possibilities of the life coming to this planet that this state of mind once fixed on will constantly re‑invigorate, re‑cuperate and re‑juvenate the body.
The body has a certain life of its own separate from the spirit, whose instrument it is. Like a plant, it has its youth, maturity and decay. Its physical life in its earlier existence is an aid to the life and vigor of your spirit. That youthful physical life is an aid to your spirit, as any material remedy may bring a certain force to aid the spirit throw off disease or weakness. But the body’s aid in this respect only lasts for a certain time if not renewed by the power of mind or spirit, and if there is no knowledge of such power to renew, the body as a material construction like any other material construction, must fall to pieces.
There is a great deal of unconscious belief in untruths. You will find from time to time that you have during all of this physical life believed implicitly in some falsehood. You have never questioned its truth, never thought of questioning it. You may be surprised at the number of errors so credited by you as they continue to crop out.
Your unconscious unquestioning belief made these untruths as regards their effect on your life all the stronger. If you live firmly believing in an error, that error will bring a blight of some kind in your life. It is this firmly held belief in untruths that causes every kind of sickness and trouble for our race. The “truth says the Bible shall make you free,”—free from all pain and trouble.
As soon as we commence to question any of these long held untruths, their reign is over. Disturbance commences. That is because it is being kicked out of your mind.
You may when a child have been taught to believe in a Bug‑a‑boo of some kind. You may have feared in consequence to go alone in the dark. You believed it for a time implicitly. Then with years you doubted, you ceased finally to believe it in the form it was first presented you.
When you believed firmly in the Bug‑a‑boo the thought of it when alone in the dark caused you unpleasant physical sensations. Your flesh “crept” or your hair rose on end, or you became weak and trembling. That is, it made you to a degree Hick, by the thought of a thing which had no existence.
If some thoughtless person had simulated to you in the dark the Bug‑a‑boo or ghost, your body might have been still more strongly affected. The physical disturbance would have been greater. You might have been “scared to death” or scared into loss of reason, as children have been under similar circumstances. That is, you might have lost your body or your reason, through the idea of a thing which had no real existence.
The Bug‑a‑boos held firmly in belief by grown up persons act on the body in precisely similar manner. Misconception as regards an effort of the spirit to regenerate the body makes of that effort a Bug‑a‑boo, which finally works on the mind to destroy the body.
The spirit demands rest of the body. It wants all its force used in building it anew. It makes such demand of the stirring man of business, who has been actively engaged for years. The demand may come in the form of a sluggishness or inactivity of some sort.
As the regenerating process goes on we shall become in our habits and modes of living more natural. In all natural things in the animal and vegetable, undisturbed and uncultivated by man, do we find the most perfect expression of the infinite mind, although these are not perfected expressions. Nothing in universe is perfected or finished. Everything is growing ever to increased perfection. And this growth must be as the Infinite Mind wills, and not as man wills. Wherever man tampers with the natural he makes imperfection and deformity.
Between the wild and tamed bird, we see the difference between the artificial and unnatural, and the natural and healthy life. The wild bird is as God made it. As man has meddled with it, he deprives the bird in time of strength, agility, beauty, and a great deal of intelligence.
Intelligence, instinct and spirituality mean the same. They imply a knowledge coming not from books but from the Infinite Mind. This knowledge in greater or lesser degree is in all forms of matter. It is in the mineral, the plant, the worm, the animal to man. It is not in all men alike. It is in no man to‑day as it will be in the man of the future. It will be given to the man of the future so that he will be an immortal. That man will realize a happiness and peace of mind so vainly sought for to‑day, so seldom found. He will realize a happiness undreamt of to‑day.
He will realize this increasing happiness, because of seeing clearly that there is an exhaustless force, mind and wisdom moving in everything, himself included, and that all he has to do to attain lasting and ever increasing happiness is to commit himself to this power for good, trust to it, and be carried from one condition of pleasure to another.
Have all our inventions and advance in civilization made the race any happier or healthier? Is not the struggle for existence about as hard as it was one hundred or one thousand years ago? Are not disease and suffering still rampant? Is not loss, bereavement and disappointment met on every side? How many can say, “My life is free from care, or anxiety, or jealousy, or discontent? My life is a dream of content and bliss. My life from the sun’s rising until its setting is a series of pleasant moments. And more, I know that my days of pleasure will not only continue, but that my quiet internal content will ever increase. I have no anxiety for the morrow, for I have proven this great power. It has made my past days pleasant, and I am equally certain it will my future.”
Trusting, then, to this power, and carried by it, man, becoming more than mortal, will have no occasion to sow or reap, or invent machinery—no more than does the wild bird unhampered by such incumbrances. His spiritual growth will give him powers which shall do away with these present necessities.
In this regenerating process our spirit or higher self will demand of the body more sleep. It will demand that the night be devoted wholly to sleep.
Because when daylight prevails that is the time best adapted for physical expression. The material world is then most moved by the material force coming from the sun.
When that force is withdrawn and darkness prevails another power prevails. That is a spiritual power which can feed the material when the material activities are quiet.
When you retire at night with a desire to be free from the mood of anger or anxiety, and with a silent demand of the Supreme Power that you shall be led into the way of the highest wisdom and happiness, you are in the way of having that quality of sleep which shall most benefit you.
Healthy repose at night will give healthy repose by day. Repose is the mental condition most needed by our race. Repose is not sluggishness, inertia or laziness. Repose gives pleasure in the doing of all things. Repose brings more strength in the doing of all things. Repose casts out exhaustion. Repose makes all work agreeable. Repose frees all labor from irksomeness. Repose means the steady nerve and hand, whether that of the draughtsman, the marksman, or the rigger working from the dizzy height of the ship’s mast.
Repose does all things with an elaborate and loving care. Repose will ultimately make you lose all sense of time. It is that weariness born of exhaustion which makes men and women sometimes say: “What shall we do to kill time? How tedious are the hours!”
Repose is a healthy, quieting stimulus ever flowing from the spirit near the Supreme Mind to the body. It gives permanently that mental rest which men seek and get from alcohol and opiates. But the pleasure derived from those agencies is transient, often spasmodic, and liable to that reaction which carries down to gloom as high as it has lifted to bliss. Repose keeps you on a serene level of happiness, and as you continue to invoke the Supreme Mind, carries you gradually to a condition still higher and happier, and so ever on and on.
Repose makes you company for yourself, welcome always to yourself, agreeable always to yourself. When that is your prevailing mood, you are always agreeable to others as are they to you. You cease then to be dependent on others for company. But in so ceasing you draw the best from others, give them of your best, and therefore never lack for company.
Repose brings plan and idea for enduring success and force to accomplish it. Success means far more than mere money getting. The success of to‑day often brings wealth and fame without happiness. Is that a success when a man can call an empire his own, and his body, the only instrument by which he holds it has not ten years life in it?
Repose opens more and more the spiritual faculties, the finer perceptive powers, the faculty of seeing beauty and use in the many neglected things about us.
New Direction. It's a Whole New World!
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). Cultivate repose. Your forces and how to use them (pp.791-802). Hollister, Missouri: YOGeBooks by Roger L. Cole. doi: 2015:01:16:10:43:09