The Law of Consequence is undoubtedly the most fundamental law in human destiny, but we have to remember that it is not a static law. We constantly use it to set new causes into operation which will create new destiny to balance and improve the old destiny brought from the past. The Law of Consequence is intimately tied up with the Law of Rebirth, sometimes called the Law of Reincarnation. We have all lived many lives on Earth in the past, and we shall live many more in the future. In each of these past lives we have set various causes into operation, some of which are only now in the present life bringing their effects into manifestation. These effects are called karma, or debts of destiny. Thus we are paying debts from the past, and we also are reaping rewards from the past. We call these, respectively, bad and good destiny.
The first thing we have to realize is that character is destiny. Destiny is a reflection of character. Our environment is a looking-glass in which we see our character reflected. There is an exception, however, to this general rule. This is, that in our last embodirnent on Earth, we may have effected a reformation so that now we have what may be called a good character. We may still be having misfortunes or debts in the present life, however, in spite of this remodelled character. This condition is due to the fact that we have brought debts over from the past which we now are paying and, when one is paying debts, he usually finds that the process is limiting, confining, and sometimes unpleasant. He has the consolation, however, that debts once paid will never have to be paid again, and, therefore, he will be free of them in all his future lives.
The traits of character that most often cause "bad" destiny are those of anger, fear, pride, hate, revenge, sensuality, selfishness, envy, and intolerance. The first thing to do is to scrutinize our habitual line of thinking and see if we have any of these traits in our make-up, even in a small degree. If we find that we have, then we must go to work on them and gradually remove them. The two principal means of doing this are a change in thought and in action, particularly toward others. Thought, however, is the more basic, and if we correct our habitual thought, we shall find that our actions almost automatically follow the revised pattern of thinking.
This brings us to a most important factor in the situation, namely, the creative power of thought. This power is the most fundamental and potent factor in human life. The saying. "Thoughts are things," is startlingly true. Every time we think a thought, we are making a thought form which may become a living force. It floats in our aura and becomes a part of our individual mental atmosphere; therefore, it is a part of our very life.
The next step in the activity of creative thought is that it clothes itself in the substance of desire and emotion. This step has two effects: first, it may lead to corresponding action; second, thought forms not calling for immediate action may be stored in the memory as patterns for future use. We have access to them at any time; thus they eventually may appear as physical realities in our environment, making it "good" or "bad" according to the thoughts that created it.
Therefore, if we wish to change our environment and our fortune, we must change our thoughts. By so doing, we will be making new and good destiny, which in due time will appear un our lives, and which will give us better work and supply many of our material needs.
The destructive desires and emotions. such as anger, hate, revenge, resentment -- but particularly anger -- disrupt and disarrange the thought forms and the thought creations of good which we have previously made, and thereby delay their materialization. When we have yielded to anger or revenge, for instance, and dissipated some mental creation of good, the corresponding thought form configuration has to reassemble itself before materialization can proceed. This takes time and delavs the period when there might have been a favorable change in our environment or general fortune. Therefore, we see the great importance of watching our emotions.
Someone may ask: "How can I avoid harmful thoughts and desires and keep them out of my mind? It seems almost impossible at times to keep them from slipping in." The answer is, thought substitution. It is based on the principle that two thoughts cannot occupy the mind at the same time, and is similar to the principle of physics that two bodies cannot occupy the same space at the same time. When we are bothered by harmful thoughts of any kind, it is well to substitute another thought and concentrate on it so positively that the harmful thought cannot get in. This answer is very simple and only requires practice to make it comparatively easy. Harmful desires are excluded from the mind by the same process; thus, by substituting some constructive thought in place of the thought of wrong desire, the latter is very nearly shut out.
The next potent subject which we will consider is the existence of the Inner Power. This is something about which most people have no knowledge, and something which they usually do not even suspect the existence of. Nevertheless, the Inner Power is a stupendous factor in human life and the one upon which general success in life is most dependent. The Inner Power is the Ego, the Spirit, the Higher Self, the vitalizing Life which comes from God, and the essential power that keeps man going. The Inner Power is the God Within, and the God Within is part of the God Without, the God of the Universe. The Inner Power is our personal link with God. Therefore, we can see how powerful is this inner, higher self. It is omnipotent because it is a part of the God of the Universe. This omnipotence, however, is more or less latent in humanity at the present time. It is the function of evolution to unfold it into positive, dynamic omnipotence. This is what we are gradually learning to do in our daily lives and by our succession of rebirths.
This Inner Power affects the personality and the daily life in this way: the God Within, which is omnipotent and possessed of all wisdom as well, is constantly sending messages down into the conscious mind. These messages appear as intuitions, inspirations, and original ideas. They tell us what it is that the Higher Self in its wisdom wishes us to do. If we follow these suggestions and put them into effect, the results in our lives will be constructive. Failure will be changed into success, the obstacles which have beset us gradually will disappear, and we shall find that everything begins to work together for good and for success in every department of life. If we ignore the intuitions from the Inner Power and follow the self-indulgent desires and straying thoughts of the personality, then we shall find that our troubles will increase and our pathway through life will become more difficult. You can see how important it is to be on the alert to catch the ideas and intuitions of the Power Within and then put them into effect.
One can most effectively receive these messages by quieting the conscious mind, and particularly by having quiet times for meditation so that when the conscious mind is stilled, the Power can speak to us and we will hear it. It is speaking to us and sending us mentd messages all the time, however, no matter how active we are. Conscience is another of the messages of the Power Within which we always would do well to obey. If only we will follow the directions of this Power, it will speak to us in ever-clearer tones, gradually reshaping our lives and transforming our failures into successes.
We must cultivate belief in the existence of the Inner Power and belief in its ability to transform our lives. This belief is the wire, the electrical circuit, which connects us with it. If we establish a clear connection between the Power and our conscious mind, the result will be very much better, because then the Ego can send its messages to us much more clearly and effectively. Disbelief in these things impairs the connection and in some cases even destroys it. Then we are left more or less without the conscious guidance and wisdom of the God Within and easily run amuck so that failure follows. Thus we see that this belief is of great importance. Some people call it faith -- faith in God. Actually, however, faith in the God Within and its power is the same thing as faith in the God Without and His omnipotence.
If we listen to and obey the suggestions and directions of the Power Within, fear and anxiety are taken away and we gain poise, which is a large factor in material success. We lose our fear of both life and death. We know that all things are ordered with wisdom and that they will turn out well from the spiritual point of view.
We can, moreover, increase the good results by praying to the Power Within -- by talking to it, having conversations with it -- because it is right here, nearer than breathing. It will hear us and make the wise response. Some people call this praying to God; it is the same thing, because it is to the God Within. By praying we are making new, constructive destiny to neutralize and offset some of the debts of our previous years and lives.
When we talk to the Power Within, either mentally or in words, we may tell it what our ideals and ambitions are, what we wish to accomplish, and what we would like to have. Then leave the materialization to the Inner Power and not make the mistake of demanding this or that thing. When we have finished the conversation, we have made the thought form and in due time it will be materialized for us by the Spirit in such form and to such degree as it deems wise, particularly if we repeat it from time to time. We should be content with this, knowing that it embodies the highest wisdom.
If we do the above, we are living by faith. By living serenely in the knowledge of the existence of this Inner Power, and having belief or faith that it will work out a perfect result in our lives, all fear and anxiety for the Suture gradually will disappear, and we shall become confident, poised, and tranquil. We then shall be able to meet situations successfully which formerly defeated us and caused us to fail. Therefore, living by faith not only increases our material success, but it also makes us much happier.
An invisible institution conducted by the Lords of I)estiny, which may be called the Universal Bank, is the next topic of vital importance to take up. Into this all-important institution, we are continually making deposits. Every good thought, feeling, and action makes a deposit there. All our constructive work, our self-discipline, our service to others, and all our other actions which are in harmony with the Divine Will make deposits in the Universal Bank. These deposits are the source from which we draw our destiny, our good fortune, and our opportunities. The unseen Director of this Bank, together with the Agents of Destiny, keeps an unerring record of all deposits.
From time to time, the Director declares a dividend in the form of some opportunity, success, good luck, or "wind-fall." Although nothing can ever happen by chance, most people think that these things happen more or less accidentally. They are mistaken. The Inner Power within each of us is a high official of that Bank and has much to do with the declaration of dividends.
Since the Universal Bank is backed by the Universe, it cannot fail. We can never lose nor be defrauded of anything that is really ours. "Your own will come to you." There is never a mistake in the cosmic credit in which this bank deals. If our destiny and success are not what we would like them to be, then it is because our credit in the Universal Bank has been temporarily depleted. In such a case, there is nothing to do but get busy and make new deposits. As stated above, we make deposits to our credit by constructive work, service, and self-discipline. We may be sure that our diligence in these respects will soon greatly improve opportunities and circumstances. Thus we see that our destiny is all self-created; luck and chance are only apparent and were in reality created by us in the past. We are surrounded with the materialization of our past acts and thoughts. The overcoming of undesirable traits and the building up and reformation of character are most potent means of making deposits in the Universal Bank.
The "universal supply" which metaphysical students so frequently talk about is merely another name for the Universal Bank. Many students seem to think that they should be able to get from it a complete supply of everything they want simply by making some form of affirmation. They make the mistake of thinking thug can draw from it without first making the necessary deposits. This is equivalent to trying to "get something for nothing." One should not at any time demand the materialization of any specific thing, but should leave that to the Lords of Destiny who have the wisdom to do it properly. We have neither the right nor the wisdom. If we demand and specify certain materialization of our thought creations, we are very likely to make a mess of it and get something we don't want.
One reason why some people do not achieve success is that they unconsciously or ignorantly violate the Law of Giving and Receiving. There really is a cosmic law administered by unseen Forces which decrees that in order to receive, one must first give. By sharing what we have, we open the channel which permits an inflow of the desirable things into our lives. The Master teaches the existence of this law in St. Luke's Gospel when He says, "Give, and it shall be given unto vou, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again." An understanding and acceptance of this law, and an intelligent effort to comply with it, eventually will bring a change for the better in one's affairs.
The Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you," also embodies an important metaphysical principle. This rule is unequivocal. It definitely tells us to do good to others at all times, under all conditions, regardless of what they do to us. The rule is impersonal; the conduct of the other person does not enter into the case. If disregarded, unpleasant effects are sure to follow. Putting it into practice eventually will bring a decided improvement in one's environment and material conditions. It gives a magnetic personality, one which attracts others and enlists their help and cooperation in carrying out projects. It creates a magnetic force which is a means of increasing success in all lines. We should never allow resentment, caused by mistreatment from others, to prevent us from doing to them as we should like them to do to us. It really pays to carry out the Golden Rule, which is not merely a religious ideal.
There are two or three other metaphysical principles which we should know about and which will improve our personality and increase success in the matter of work and in the supple of material needs. Looking for the good in everything and every situation, no matter how lacking it may seem on the surface, is one of these. The mere act of looking for good makes a thought form which will in time materialize into more good, more success, more favorable conditions. Looking for good is like starting a snowball which grows in size as it rolls down hill. That also is a property of all thought forms. Those of a like nature combine and grow rapidly. This applies to looking for the good. The good in our environment very definitely can be increased by the practice of this principle. Praise is an extension of this. Praise is like sunlight -- the sunlight of the soul. It promotes both good-will and success. We must praise what is good in others wherever there is the slightest excuse for doing so. And above all, we must not forget to praise and thank the Inner Power each day for its life, its guidance, and its supply of all our needs. All things come from that Power.
Forgiveness is a practice which one cannot afford to neglect. Forgiveness is scientific. Forgiveness brings into play the forces of the unseen planes about us. It dissolves the thought forms of hate, revenge, and ill-will, and prevents their materialization into adverse fortune. Unforgiveness, which includes resentment, grudges, and revenge, often materializes into some of the most unhappy conditions of life, particularly if allowed to continue by habitual thinking along those lines.
Hate is the most destructive force in the Universe, and unforgiveness and revenge are phases of hate. Revenge is the most deadly of passions: it surely will frustrate success. No matter what happens, one cannot afford to hold resentment or to indulge in revengeful thoughts. We can be perfectly sure if someone has mistreated us that the unseen Law will bring him whatever retribution is needed (merited).
The Bible says "Beloved, avenge not yourselves . . .I will repay, saith the Lord." We must not take the matter into our own hands because we will only be setting into operation metaphysical forces that will react upon us sooner or later to our verv real disadvantage. The rule is, forgive everything and keep on forgiving regardless of all personal inclinations; we will not lose as we might erroneously think.
This brings to mind a principle of vital effect upon success: "To do the will of another is the acid test of love." The Bible reaffirms this when it says, "Agree with thine adversary quickly." Self-will is self-love, and self- love is a phase of hatred to others. The application of this principle is particularly valuable in avoiding quarrels and settling those already begun. Naturally we should not do the will of another if it entails an injustice to ourselves or to others. We should sacrifice personal inclinations and advantages in so far as possible to meet the ideas of our opponent and to satisfy his sense of justice. By so doing we shall transform him into a friend. Self-will obstructs the success which friendly cooperation would establish.
We have heard much concerning confession. Perhaps we thought it of no value. We may have thought that confessing our wrong-doings to a priest or minister would have no effect. Nevertheless, there is a very important metaphysical principle concealed in it; namely, confession dissipates the emotional farce built into thought forms of past wrongdoing, releases it, and helps, to restore poise to the personality. When wrong is done which involves fear, shame, anger, etc., that thought form sinks down into the subconscious and there ferments Particularly so, if the wrong is not righted at the time. Thought forms of this kind may ferment in the subconscious for years and eventually generate what are called "complexes." If one has enough of these complexes buried in his make-up, he gradually loses his poise and becomes nervous, sometimes neurotic. This is where confession comes in. Confession releases the emotional energy in the buried complexes so that it evaporates and is no longer in a position to cause trouble.
Confession does not have to be made to a priest or a minister. It could be made to the person who has been wronged. It is very helpful to confess to some trust-worthy person. Or it can be made to the Higher Self. This confession to the Higher Self is called "retrospection." It should be made after retiring each night, reversing the order of the day's events. Retrospection to be effective should be done with the greatest possible amount of feeling of contrition; in so doing, we are purifying and releasing the suppressed emotional forces of the hidden complexes. Large numbers of people find that confession in one form or another gives almost unbelievable relief and is followed by a remarkable increase in material success.
It is an excellent idea to extend the principle of confession or retropection to the preceding years of life so as to clear up the complexes that have become imbedded in the make-up and which frustrate success. This process might be called delayed retrospection. This is done best in writing. Sit down and write out systematically a general outline of the events of the past which have involved fear, anger, shame, etc. Do as much as possible at a time. Later, continue until the whole life has been retrospected. Gradually, a wonderful mental and emotional release will be found. And this will be reflected in improved conditions affecting work and material needs. This writing should be done secretly, and, of course, names of others should be omitted. Such writing later should be destroyed.
We cannot be a true success in life unless we have a reasonable degree of health; therefore, we must consider health in seeking a satisfactory supply of material needs. We must realize always that our life force comes from the Power Within, the Ego. If anything interferes with the flow of this life down through the personality and the body, ill health results. It is possible to imprison the Ego behind a cloud of wrong thought forms -- false beliefs -- so that the constructive flow of the life force from the Ego is decidedly reduced. If we make destructive thought forms (those of fear, anger, sensuality, etc.) which limit us, if we allow ourselves to believe that evil has power over us, and if we believe tha we are limited in life and always will be -- all these things tend to imprison the Ego.
For health, it is necessary that the personality, the mind, and the will cooperate with the Ego and refuse to make restriaing thought forms. In addition to refusing to add to this mental cloud of the past, it is possible to forge an instrument with which the existing thought cloud can be pierced and destroyed. This instrument consists of new thought forms of confidence and strength, of the omnipotence of the Inner Power, of optimism, of success and of sureness that all good things are attainable. If we make new thought forms along this line, they will combine themselves into a composite thought form of great strength and potent This will be the impudent to pierce the mentd cloud Ed to release the Ego
We must realize that only wrong thirsting can block that power. We can change our thoughts, and that power will be released and will work a miracle in our lives. It will restore our health. It will change our mental condition. We can use our imagination to make mental pictures of improved health and of the great power of the Ego within, and these pictures will blend with other thought forms of strength and courage and become a part of the instrument of release. We will find that we are no longer the slave of ill health. We will find that health is the normal accompaniment of poise and of a balanced emotional condition. With health will come a greater ability for success in work and in all material lines.
Happiness resides solely in the mind. External conditions have an influence on happiness only as they are allowed to affect the making of thought forms through the mind. Thought forms have the property of clothing themselves with that substance of the invisible plane which we know as emotion. If we think thoughts of optimism and happiness, emotional substance of happinesss is built into the mind, and we are happy regardless of all material and bodily conditions.
If, on the other hand, we make thought harms of fear and failure, they build into the mind the emotional substance of unhappiness, and we would be unhappy even if we had all the wealth of the world and even if our health were perfect. Thus we see that happiness resides solely in the mind, and that by thought control and thought substitution, we have the key to happiness and success at all times.
In conclusion, we will give three little formulas for self-help which are based on sound metaphysical principles and which have proved their value.
First, Positive Thought. Keep the rnind habitually positive and alert, not relaxed and inert. Positive thought automatically shuts out a crowd of tramp thoughts and desires that are floating through the mental atmosphere. When these thoughts are shut out, they cease to be an influence in life, and one's mental creations become far better with a decided increase in the materialization of the desirable things of life.
Second, the Golden Key. When in trouble, when fearful of losing money, friends, or job, when something of value is lost, we should not continue to make thought forms of these undesired losses, which would add to the general depression. We should, instead, reverse the process and think of God. God includes all desirable things. By refusing to think of misfortune and by constantly thinking of God, we are making thought forms of strength, beauty, goodness, and success, even though unconsciously. These in due time will materialize into good, and the calamity feared will have been averted.
Third, the Power of Duty. Duty performed one day at a time has the power to create enough good to get us through the day. Tomorrow will be another day in which the process can be repeated. Duties performed with love are a way of liberation. This is a vital key to success over any period of life. The success which comes as a result of duty performed will not always be the kind that we would have selected, but it will be true success from the standpoint of the Spirit, and that is the main thing. Moreover, in due time this will resolve itself into a form of success which will be easily recognized and admitted as the best kind. In the meantime, we will be relieved of fear and anxiety because we will know that everything will come out all right in the end. Thus, through the power of duty performed, we will become able to live by faith in the Inner Power, which is the most fundamental secret of success in life, including work and the supply of all material needs.