E9. The Power of Honesty.
The carrying out of any business undertaking as entirely based on the laws of thought requires a great amount of faith and patience. By patience is not inferred a painful waiting in suspense and uneasiness for events to happen. Patience in its higher meaning implies waiting with a fresh, hopeful, buoyant heart, amusing yourself meanwhile, keeping your purpose always firm, but not dwelling on it in anxiety and suspense.
Suppose you are a lecturer or an actor, and wish to draw profitable audiences. You must have first a faith and confidence in your capacity to interest and amuse your audience.
You are about making your first attempt before the public. What should first be done?
You should first gain the sympathy of a few earnest friends who really desire your success.
We have said many times that “sympathy is force.” It is as proceeding from those minds a real element—invisible but very powerful, noiseless and subtle in its workings. As put out from such minds it operates to create an interest for you even when they sleep and when you sleep. Ten minds or five minds holding this mood of real friendship for you are working their thought for you all the time. They are worth to you more than ten thousand minds who may pretend an interest in you they do not feel.
In your mind hold people to you who can help you when you see plainly that mental contact ’twixt you and them is best for them. If you see a man or woman wasting their forces through ignorance and inability to use them to some purpose—if you see them suffering and going to ruin in consequence, you have a certain right to use them for a time. Because as under the influence of your mind and its following, they will receive the truth. They will be educated aright while serving you. They will get as much in spiritual power as they give.
These forces or thoughts of sympathy and good wishes from others for your special purpose must have time to ripen. Keep determined in that special purpose and they will ripen. Become discouraged and abandon it and their growth to a material result is blighted. When these forces so created are ripe, or in other words, when they “come to a head” you will know it. You will know it through certain impulses which will move you to go ahead and take the next steps. It is these forces from other minds that create this impulse and make this step for you. The “step” will appear in the form of an offer or an opportunity. Then embrace it, concentrate on it and do your best for the time and occasion.
These forces may concentrate upon some one individual to work in your behalf—to approach you with a proposition or in some way to make a step for you.
You must not think that because certain efforts you may make seem to bring no result that they are “failures.” They are not. They have only agitated more your name and created more desire to hear or see you.
Keep ever in mind that any physical effort you may make to further your undertaking such as seeing and talking your project to people, or any indirect effort you may make with such intent, is secondary and vastly inferior to your spiritual force, backed up and ever drawing from the Supreme Power. Keep that Power behind everything. Say in mind with every effort you make, “I desire to be led rightly by this Infinite Force and Wisdom, operating through me,” I demand more and more that I may see clearly and know without a shadow of doubt that this Power is a reality, so that I may trust to it more and more in ease of mind. Ease and content of mind is the crowning proof that you are in the mood of perfect trust.
Sometimes an invisible following of individual intelligences may see spiritually farther than you, some step or act which it is necessary for you to take to ensure the largest and most permanent success. To this at first you may be blind or indifferent. In such case matters may seem to be delayed, when in reality, they are waiting until your mind wakes and is cleared to this necessity. It will come to you in time provided you hold your mind ever receptive and open to their wisest suggestion.
If you make effort to win people’s favor, to please them socially, to make them like you, don’t do so in the sole mood and intent of making it subservient to your purpose. Please them for the sake of pleasing. Don’t carry your business intent always uppermost in your mind wherever you go. Don’t cultivate society wholly to help your business. Don’t regard your social qualities altogether as stepping stones to put cash in your pocket.
If you do you will in time be found out. Be you as pleasing, as fascinating as you may, people will feel something in your mind disagreeable to them. This will retard instead of advancing you to a permanent success.
Aim at the highest success and the broadest field for your effort. You may concentrate your force on some single and relatively small effort. But back of that and in your mind see yourself going much further. Some people in their minds can never get outside the small business. The small store, the little shop which gives only a bare living. They become so involved in its cares and petty jealousies, its quarrels, as to leave no room in their minds for the higher, broader aim and aspiration. For that reason they always stay there.
A man may allow himself to put all his thought in the care and cultivation of an acre when it could be expanded on ten or a hundred. Don’t catch yourself saying in your mind: “A mud‑scow is all I can handle and navigate. Abler men than I must sail the big ships.”
When you keep planning, aiming and looking ahead to the greater undertaking, your mind will prophesy your future and prophesy truly, so that you desire the Right and Justice for yourself and others.
In so seeing and planning you are making the conditions in advance for the future and greater success. A chimney‑sweep whose mind never goes in aspiration beyond the half‑dozen chimneys he may sweep in a day, never gets out of the domain of chimney‑sweeping.
Sometimes as regards your undertaking everything seems to come to a standstill. You may have worked, have talked, have sought to lay your plans before others, and after all nothing seems to have come of it.
This discouraging aspect of affairs is only in the material world. It is only the appearance on the outside. But the spiritual and unseen forces which are the moving power to produce all physical results are full of activity. What is most required of you is to stick to your purpose and keep as much as you can from moods of discouragement.
Keep also out of the company of those who have no faith in these truths save when it is necessary to be with them.
The outside of the egg shows little sign of the growth of the chick within. The tree a month before it puts forth its leaves may be outwardly as bare as in December. But within these forms of seen matter is a very different condition of things from that of months previous. Because there was a purpose in the Infinite Mind to produce a certain result from egg and tree. It moves ever steadily on toward the accomplishment of that purpose. You, as a part of that mind, work results by precisely the same laws. The Infinite force stirs within all striving to accomplish the same result. It may be a good one, a bad one, a trivial one. No human being is out of the reach of this force. Something each and all must do.
Things, events or material methods by which the main result is accomplished shape themselves. Then do not in your mind insist that the desired result must come in a certain way and no other. Be elastic, be ready to go where the current bears you. While planning for a result in one place, it may happen in another a thousand miles distant. These spiritual forces have little to do with distance. Minds are one in working, be their bodies near or remote from each other, and the exact place where they focus a material result is not always easy to determine.
There is misery in cheapness. The most extravagant living is cheap living. A meal of cheap food is very apt to be a meal of poor food. A meal of poor food gives little or no strength to body or mind. Your strength of body and mind is your main stock in trade, and has a value in dollars and cents. A steady diet on cheap and poor food may make you sick, prevent you from working, lose you your wages for many days and cost you a doctor’s and druggist’s bill besides.
Cheap things, when they are poor things, cost far more than good ones. You buy a cheap trunk. It bursts asunder in compliance with the desire of the baggage‑smasher, betrays the lamentable secrets of your wardrobe.
You buy a suit of cheap, perhaps ready‑made, clothing. There are many chances against your getting a good fit, though at first the dealer may make you think so. They look cheap to commence with, and advertise their cheapness wherever you go. In three weeks the gloss wears off. They are threadbare. In six weeks they are as much worn as a really good texture of cloth
would be in four months. Good cloth would have lasted twice as long. You must then pay for two poor suits more than you would for one good one, and with these two you have neither the quality or style of the better, though more costly one at the start. When you have worn out the two poor suits you have spent more money and got far less for it. This is extravagance.
Economy does not mean the using poor things because they are cheap. It means the use of the very best things, so as to get the very best out of them. You may buy a lame or sick horse for very little money. He can’t carry you anywhere; he costs money to keep and try to cure; he is a care on your mind and an expense to your pocket, for which you receive nothing in return but worry.
Competition which seeks to lower the price of everything, is the death of trade. It cuts down lower and lower until at last no profit is left for anyone. Then the factory stops. The workman has nothing to do.
Competitive cheapness does not tend to make artists. It tends to make only imitators, copyists or counterfeits. A skilled needle woman, one who took an artistic pride in her work, said after a week’s experience in one of the great New York bazaars where one hundred dresses per day were turned out, “There is no encouragement here for good, careful, painstaking work. The girl who can rush the most thread through the most yards of cloth and turn out the semblance of a dress is the one best paid and most praised by the employer.”
When you buy the cheap dress you encourage the making shams, of imitations, of counterfeits. You encourage work done without conscience and only for cash. You discourage honesty. You discourage work in which is put some brains, skill, conscience and time. That is another name for artistic work. You are helping on the fraud. You help rascality and oppose yourself to justice and honesty.
If you buy where you can buy the cheapest without regard to anything save getting an article for the least possible money you are encouraging fraud and injustice.
You complain that your own labor is illy paid. Yet when you hunt for the cheapest article and patronize the man determined to sell lower than all others, you are encouraging, helping and putting money in the pockets of the man, whose policy it is to cut down lower and lower the price of everything he sells. If you are making brooms for a living, and he sells them, it is his aim in some way to get brooms made for less money. His mind is ever at work to lower your wages.
The world of trade and manufacture is now engaged in making every one work for as little money as possible, to make as good an article as possible. When you are going into the manufacture of shoes or hats you set your wits to work to get people to work for the least possible money in making those shoes or hats. You want the work done and materials raised for you and brought to you for the least possible money. You don’t care whether A B and C who raises the article or prepares it or freights it to you get a fair price for their work or not. You don’t care how they live or whether they get enough to eat or wear. You don’t know them. You don’t want to know them. All you want is their strength, skill and intelligence for as little money as possible so that when all that strength and skill comes to you in the shape of a hat, a coat, a pair of shoes, a kettle, a shovel, a tin pan, you can get from six, eight or ten times as much more for the work you put on it in selling it than they will in getting it ready to sell.
If you buy a very good article at a very low price you congratulate yourself on having made a good bargain. Do you ask, “Was the man fairly paid for his labor who made this article? Or do you care whether he got a fair price? Are you this brother’s keeper?”
The opinion prevails, and has long prevailed in the world, that somehow in all business, dishonesty is more than a match for honesty.
On the contrary, absolute unswerving honesty carries the greatest power in the universe to bring us results, in business, in art, in all things.
This is a law in the science of life. The dishonest mind and the dishonest thought ever proceeding from that mind may gain through deceit and trickery a great deal of money. But that is only a partial success, for with such a gain there must come through the working of a law painful and fatal results to the individual.
Dishonest, tricky mind can never have the highest physical health. Trickery and deceit ultimately bring disease and death to the body. No gain in millions of money can compensate for a failing, decaying, diseased body.
There is a material honesty which prompts us to do what is right and just by our fellows in the world of material things. There is another, a higher, a spiritual honesty, which concerns entirely our dealing with ourselves, and whose results reach much farther than the honesty which refuses to steal and pays its bills regularly.
The higher honesty consists, first, in its ability to have an earnest desire to know the right way to live.
All people have not even the capacity to have this earnest desire. Their spiritual growth or evolution has not yet reached that point where they are capable of such earnestness. They are in that immature state where they are as weather‑cocks turned hither and thither by every wind of opinion or influence which meets them. They cannot remain true to their higher self.
Absolute honesty involves far more than fair or unfair dealings in dollars and cents. If we profess a regard for another person that we do not feel we are not honest. When our manner of life is lived not in accord with our convictions of right and even of common sense—when we do as every one else does out of fear of being considered exceptional or singular we are not honest.
If in the family when the “master of the house” comes home, the manner, bearing and conversation of wife and other members is very different from that assumed during his absence,—if then their freedom of conversation is checked and as to matter quite changed, there is a great deal of deceit in that house. Yet through long habit the inmates may be scarcely aware of it.
When we see an evil in ourselves and will not own it to ourselves or to anyone else, we are not honest, and nothing helps more to get a fault out of ourselves than owning to it ourselves or confessing it (not to every one) but to some one we can trust. A miserable pride born of the material mind wishes to keep up the delusion that we are perfect now and that everything we do is about right and cannot be improved.
If our lower or material nature is cowardly or thievish or murderous in inclination, it is far better to say thus: “The lower part of myself is a coward. The higher is not, for it despises cowardice, my material part has murder in it, I own it, for if murder is there what good can come to me by denying it. But the God in myself would put this inclination out of me and in time will do so. My body has thievish tendencies. I am tempted to steal. My higher nature condemns this tendency, but it is sometimes overruled by the lower.”
Wherever a conviction is stifled there is dishonesty. That conviction comes of our higher self or the God in our self.
The lower or material self wars against it, opposes it and tries to forget it. We are then as two contending persons or a house divided against itself. The result is a struggle, and always with struggle comes pain or uneasiness. The higher part of our self sees a truth and tries to live up to it. The other the lower, the animal nature does not want to see it or live up to it, for it knows if the higher rules that its power will be destroyed—in fact the entire lower nature must be destroyed. It is then on the part of the lower self an actual fight for existence.
If by word or act or in any way you constantly put out the thought of deceit you are drawing to your self the thought current of deceit. Whatever thought you draw to you materializes itself in your body. Your bone, blood, nerve and muscle are then literally a formation of this evil or crooked thought. You are then so to speak wrapped in an envelope (your body) which being a formation of deceit will compel you to see deceit only, think lies and act deceit even when you wish to speak, act or in some way assert the truth. It is this evil growth which makes it actually easier for some people to lie than speak the truth. The habit of lying has become fixed. They cannot part with it if they would. They can tell nothing without exaggeration. The lie slips out of their mouths ere they are aware of it. Or if not a spoken lie it is some form or assumption in life or manner, the real intent of which is to deceive.
As when people assume some form of religious observance to help maintain a position in society or business. That is an acted, not spoken lie.
We can at last become so covered up with a materialization of lies that we shall tell lies to ourselves and believe them.
Long contact with and practice of deceit will actually make the dishonest person think themselves honest. Their minds become skilled in evading the higher conscience and in making excuses for their dishonesty.
One and possibly the most frequent form of excuse is, “If I don’t do thus and so somebody else will.”
The Law which in its workings swerves not a hair’s breadth to right or left entails a terrible penalty for cultivating the mood of dishonest thought. It will so disturb our mental vision or spiritual perception as to make us believe the false instead of the true. It will cause us to be the more easily duped by the deceit of others. It will make the truth so unpleasant to us that we shall neither want to know it or believe it. Or it will make the truth seem ridiculous or false to us. Then if we are forced to believe the false, we must bring on ourselves all the sickness, pain and misery coming of false beliefs.
The more honest nature literally feels disagreeably the thought of the dishonest person when brought near him or her. It sees immediately through the dishonest person, weighs them, and is placed on guard against their wiles. So one power of honesty is to see and detect deceit, certainly a most valuable quality in any business.
We may do what seems right and just to us yet wrong to many other people and be far more honest than if we do only because others deem it the right thing. We are not on firm bottom when we accept other people’s standard of right and have none of our own. If we do the wrong thing, thinking at the time it was the best thing to do and with the highest motive, we shall soon be made to see our wrong. That is not the highest quality of goodness which is inspired by the motive of being thought good by others. In such case we may accept and live up to a standard made by our inferiors. This road leads to hypocrisy.
Sometimes you stop yourself from Great Things! Breathe Deeply and Consider Deeply what you consider to be Your Options!
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 power of honesty. Your forces and how to use them (pp.827-837). Hollister, Missouri: YOGeBooks by Roger L. Cole. doi: 2015:01:16:10:43:09