30 Jan Creatures of our own evil mind?
Mind. Do we live in an evil universe and are we the victims of a malicious and unkind fate? Or do we live in an orderly universe whose underlying principle is helpfulness or love? We cannot help thinking that most of us believe inwardly that the former is true, and not the latter. It is because of this that we harbour subconscious fears; it is because of this that we are pessimists, although outwardly we may appear to be the reverse.
Who can tell what direful effects are caused by this inward pessimism? As I have said elsewhere, a belief in evil tends to bring evil to pass. A belief in failure tends to produce failure; a belief in disease tends to produce disease, and so on.
What is needed is a change of belief, after which a change of thought follows almost automatically.
The fact of the matter is that we live in an orderly universe, but we are not orderly ourselves. We are not in correspondence with our true environment. Our true environment is an orderly and perfect universe. The hidden law of life is love or co-operation. Rheinheimer the biologist teaches that all through nature, in both plant and animal, health and progress follow when this law of co-operation is obeyed, and that disease and disorder follow its violation. That is, when predatory or parasitic practices are followed, instead of those of service and co-operation.
We have first to believe that we live in an orderly universe and that life is based on Love. We have, also, to believe and acknowledge that the cause of our own evil, or the disorder in our life, is to be found in ourself. The truth of the whole matter is that we are not in harmony with life and we are not living in obedience to its fundamental law.
Harmony, peace, true success, and a care free life are possible only to the extent that we come into correspondence with life, with the orderly universe in which we live, and work in conformity with the law of life and the universe which is love, or co-operative helpfulness.
There will come a time, so Isaiah the prophet tells us, when this law will be universally observed; when the lion shall eat the same food as the ox, and when “they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain : for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord even as the waters cover the sea.” This ideal state may be a long way ahead, but we who know the truth can put it into practice here and now. By so doing we cannot fail to bring harmony and peace into our life, such as cannot be described. We can thank Heaven every day that we live in an orderly universe; we can pray every day that we may be brought into correspondence with it; we can think and act every day according to its underlying principle or law of co-operation and helpful service. Our first thought in every circumstance of life will be, not what can I get out of it, but how much can I help? This, of course, is foolishness according to worldly standards, but it is really the highest wisdom and it leads to the attainment of a life of true harmony, satisfaction and peace.
There was once a wise man, who lived in a certain small town and to whom many came for advice and information. One day a newcomer to the town went to the wise man and said: “What sort of people are they who live here?” The wise man replied by asking: “What sort of people. were they in the town you come from?” The newcomer replied: “Oh, they were a miserable lot, unfriendly, mean, un-neighborly and most difficult to live with.” “Well,” said the wise man, “you will find them just the same here.” Presently another newcomer came to the wise man, asking the same question: “What sort of people are they who live here?” The old man again replied by asking : “What were the people like in the town you come from?” “Oh,” the second newcomer replied, “they were a splendid people, kind, friendly, and full of goodness. I was sorry to leave them.” “Then,” Said the wise man, “you will find them just the same here.”
“Rather an exaggeration,” you may think, but it contains a great truth. Our individual world—for we each live in a little world of our own—is a reflection of our thought life. We people it with hate and discord, or love and harmony, according to our thoughts. Our life is filled with evil to the extent that we fail to harmonize with the Divine Order which is the only Reality.
Life is essentially good, although it may contain many disappointments and many blows. Many of these, however, are of our own creation. Do we not reap, in middle and old age, the fruits of the errors or sins of our youth?
Life is good, although a moulder of character. If we harmonize with it, bearing willingly its disciplines, we avoid much misery and trouble. In other words, we cease creating our own evil.