The Pathway of Roses/For I Have Overcome the World
FOR I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD
These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye may have peace. In the world ye have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.—John 16:33.
There are two distinct worlds open to man in his present state of existence; in the one he finds tribulation; in the other he finds peace; the first is material; the other is spiritual, and it is man's privilege to choose which one he would have as his present place of abode. If he selects the material, he sacrifices everything that has real value in life; he secures a few fleeting pleasures and much pain; not a single moment gives real satisfaction, and nothing that he can do produces the results expected.
But when he selects the spiritual, he sacrifices nothing that is good; he secures all the joy that life can give; his pains are few, if any, and when they do come, they come to lift him higher; every moment is rich, every hour is thoroughly worth living, and there are many periods of time when his soul is lifted to the supreme ecstasies of the highest heavens; whatever he does he builds wiser than he knew, and he not only receives everything expected, but more.
Therefore, those who understand what the spiritual life holds in store, may be of good cheer; their sorrows and tribulations are over; better days are at hand; the words of the Christ have prepared the way, and that way leads to peace. No matter what external conditions may be; no matter what circumstances we may be in now; we may be of good cheer. "I have overcome the world"; and in Him we may live whenever we so desire. The power of the Christ can overcome anything and change anything, and that power is in us. Then why should we not rejoice, and rejoice in Him alway?
There is something within us that is greater than things, and it is our privilege to claim the power of that something now. "I have overcome the world now, and every soul may live in Me now." That means emancipation now for all who will receive it. Freedom is not for some other world, but for the life we are living to-day. We are not required to live in tribulation at any time during present existence; the way to complete emancipation is before us at all times. I am the way. Whoever will transcend personal consciousness and enter into the consciousness of I Am will enter that life that is not of this world, and he will gain that power that can overcome anything that may exist in this world.
To enter the supreme life of the Christ is to gain the supreme power of the Christ; and to steadily grow in the consciousness of that life and power is to rise out of every tribulation until complete emancipation has been gained. That supreme life is in store for us; it already exists in the supreme I Am of our own being; this I Am is the Son of God, the only begotten of God, the Christ in us; and the Christ that is in each one of us is one with each one of us. That is how "I am in the Father, and ye in me."
This supreme oneness wherein the soul is one with the Son and the Son is one with the Father, is real; it is not merely in thought or in feeling; it is not solely an abstract state of being; it is as real and as tangible as life itself, and every element that pertains to that oneness is as real and as tangible as life itself. I am the way, and you are that I Am; you must be or you could not be one with the Father. If you are not that I Am you would be separated from God, and no soul can be separate from God and live. Claim your divine sonship; claim your divine inheritance; claim that supreme power that overcomes the world; it belongs to you; it is you; know this truth and this truth shall make you free.
To believe that you are a mere, weak, human being is not to be in the Christ; when you live in the Christ you are filled through and through, with supreme power, and you know neither weakness nor tribulation any more. This is evidence that you are in the Christ. When you live in Him you are stronger than any adversity that is in the world; you remain untouched, unmoved and undisturbed no matter what may threaten in the world; you are in Him and in Him you have found peace. You have entered the spiritual world, and I Am the door to that world; you have risen to that supreme state of being where you can say, in the spirit of eternal truth, I Am, and through the power of that truth you have overcome the world.
The attitude of overcoming is usually thought of as being inseparably connected with resistance, and as being directly antagonistic, in its action, toward that which is to be overcome. Nearly every person, when trying to overcome anything, begins to resist, begins to antagonize, begins to work against that which is not desired. Accordingly, he does not succeed because he must work in the opposite direction before his purpose can be fulfilled. The first principle in overcoming is to give no thought whatever to that which is not desired. The more completely we can forget that which we wish to overcome, the better. The second principle is to give our whole attention to that something which we know we shall realize when we have overcome. If a person is in adversity he knows that when this adversity is overcome certain most desirable conditions will be realized. Then let him begin at once to give his whole attention to those desirable conditions. By giving his whole time, thought and energy to the attainment of that which is desired, he will invariably overcome and rise out of that which is not desired. We overcome the wrong by turning completely away from the wrong, and giving all our life and power to the greater realization of the right. This is the secret of overcoming.
When we devote all the power of thought, all the power of soul, all the power of life to the constant attainment of greater and better things, we shall ascend perpetually in the scale of existence. This means perpetual growth, and, in consequence, the elimination of evil, because all evil is caused by retarded growth. The purpose of life is to move upward and onward forever; to live is to live more; but no person is actually living more unless he is living more every single moment. The moment he begins to live more he begins to ascend, and when he begins to grow into the greater he begins to grow out of the lesser. When he grows into the right he grows out of the wrong; he gains freedom from that which is not desired by entering more fully into the life and the spirit of that which is desired. But the moment he ceases to live more, he regards his growth; he violates the purpose of his life, and instead of supplying more life he supplies less life; his real nature, however, demands more and more life, and therefore, demand and supply will at once become unequal. There will, accordingly, be a lack of something in his life, and every evil that man has ever met came originally from a lack of something. Real life demands the living of more and more life; but when man fails to live more and more, the natural demand in life will not be fully supplied; the lack of one or more things in human existence will be the result, and conditions of evil invariably follow.
Real life is lived in the individuality, the soul, or the real man; and so long as we consciously live in the real man, or in the I Am of being we shall continue to live more and more. We shall thus realize the fullness of life constantly, and constantly grow into a larger measure of that fullness. Life will be full; there will be no lack of life, and no retarded growth in life; in consequence, there will be no evil in life; we shall have perfect freedom and there will be nothing to overcome. Accordingly, we shall fully comply with the great statement, the true way to overcome is to so live that there is nothing to overcome. However, when we do not consciously live in the individuality, or in the real man, but live consciously in the personality only, we are not in touch with the constantly ascending current of real life; we are not in touch with that greater measure of life that will enable us to live more and more life. A lack of life will at once be felt, and here we have the original cause of every ill, every wrong and every undesirable condition that man can know. This is the real fall; conscious living falling down from the living of unlimited life in the individuality to the living of limited life in the personality. But this fall did not take place only once ages ago; it is taking place every day in nearly every mind, and is taking place many times a day in most minds. To be saved from this fall, which is the only fall, proceed to live in the spirit, in the soul, in the real life of the I Am of being. Express the life more abundant in the personality, but live in the individuality. By living consciously and constantly in the individuality you will live in the life more abundant. You will live the limitless life, and what we live we express. We express in the personal man whatever we live in the real man; and therefore when we live the limitless life in the real man we express the limitless in the personal man; thus the personality is ever filled with the life more abundant; there will be no lack of life anywhere in the being of man; and there can be no evil where there is no lack of life.
To try to remove or overcome evil is nothing but wasted effort; evil is not a thing but a condition arising from a lack of life. When necessary life is supplied, there will be no further lack of life, and where there is no lack of life there can be no evil. To antagonize evil, to resist evil, to work against evil will not remove evil. Supply the life more abundant and evil will disappear of itself. Evil is simply emptiness, and no place can be empty when every place is full. To supply the life more abundant, live in the soul, in the real man. Do not establish yourself in the personality; establish yourself in the individuality and live in the source of life instead of in the partial manifestation of life. This is the simple secret. Go up into more life and you overcome everything that is not desirable in life. Do not try to overcome anything; simply begin to live more. Give no thought to evil; never try to remove evil; give all your thought to the attainment of the good, and direct all your effort towards the attainment of an ever-increasing measure of good. When you see evil, do not become indifferent; proceed at once to add to the good; when the good is on the increase evil is on the decrease; this is invariably the law; and the good will begin to increase the moment we begin to live more.
The same principle should be applied in every thought, action or relation in human life. We should never emphasize or ever recognize that which is not desired; but that which is desired should be recognized constantly and be emphasized most positively at every opportunity. When we meet others, their imperfections and shortcomings should be overlooked, while their good qualities should be given special attention. When we think of ourselves we should apply the same rule, and we should apply it universally in all physical, mental and spiritual training. The child that is trained in this manner from birth will naturally become extraordinary. When all the power that a person may possess is employed in the building of greater things, there must be great results, even though the power originally possessed be limited. The average person, however, employs but a fraction of his power in the upbuilding process; the remainder is employed in resisting evil and adversity. The reason why we are not higher in the scale of life, and not more perfectly developed in body, mind and soul, is because we have emphasized our imperfections, and have failed to give our good qualities special attention. You give your life to that which you emphasize; therefore give no thought to weakness or imperfection; give all your thought to those desirable qualities that you wish to build up; your worthy qualities will soon become so strong that weakness can no longer exist in your nature. Build up what you want; that is how you overcome and remove what you do not want. The more fully we can concentrate the whole of attention upon that which we desire, the sooner it will be realized; and when that which is desired is realized, that which is not desired can exist no more; therefore give all your thought, all your power, all your life, and the whole of your attention to that which is desired; do not try to remove the lesser but work uninterruptedly for the greater. The lesser is left further and further in the rear as you approach the greater goal that lies before you.
The process of overcoming is an ascending process, with the eye fixed upon the eternal mountain tops of spiritual supremacy. Give constant recognition to the very highest states of spiritual supremacy that you can possibly discern, and desire all the elements of your being to move perpetually towards those sublime states. You thus produce this ascending process; you will begin to grow out of, to rise out of everything that you have wished to overcome; and when this ascending process has been placed in full, continuous action, there will be nothing further to overcome. The wrongs that we wish to overcome have been produced by retarded growth, but when we are ever rising into more and more life, growth will no longer be retarded; and, in consequence, there will be no further wrongs to overcome. It is therefore evident that if you are still meeting things to overcome, you have not learned to live more and more; you are still permitting yourself to fall down from the world of real life into the world of temporary conditions; you are still living in the body instead of manifesting in the body; and you are still following the confused desires of the personal man, when the only true desire can arise in the real man. To go up into more life, into the limitless life of eternal being, is the remedy.
Whenever you find yourself in any adverse condition, remember you will not come out of it until you grow out of it. You may antagonize adversity and cause it to disappear temporarily, but it will soon return in some other form. Nothing, therefore, is ever gained by such a method. Train yourself to grow out of that which is not good by constantly growing into the greater good; and we invariably grow into that which we think of the most. Think constantly of that which you desire, and you will grow into it. But your thought must be of the heart; it must be deep and strong, and inspired by the invincible power of soul. Do not give personal force to your thought but try to feel that every thought you think has soul, and know that every thought that has soul has the power to do whatever it was created to do. And in all your efforts to grow into the better, the greater and the more beautiful, consider the lilies of the field; grow like the flowers and you will never fail. The flower resists nothing, antagonizes nothing, works against nothing; it gently comes out of its gross and earthly environment, and grows on peacefully, silently and serenely until it becomes an inspiration to all the world. Human life can do the same, must do the same, if we wish to realize the life beautiful and become conscious of the richness and glory of the spiritual heights.
Spiritual consciousness never weeps; grief comes from the feeling of loss; spiritual consciousness knows that there is no loss; nothing ever can be lost; whatever was, is, and evermore shall be. To spiritual consciousness there are no tears; not because such consciousness is cold or indifferent, for he who has entered spiritual consciousness loves with a higher, a truer and a far more tender love than he ever knew before. He who has entered spiritual consciousness knows that all is well; and where all is well there can be no tears. Spiritual consciousness feels the existence, the presence and the unity of all things, visible and invisible. To be consciously in the spirit is to love all souls with the love of the spirit, and he who loves with the spirit is one with all souls, both in this realm and in realms beyond. He is conscious of the great white throng—those who are in the form and those who are in a higher form. His sublime love has given him a sublime vision, and through that vision he can see that nothing is lost, that all is well, and all that is well is eternal.