The Pathway of Roses/The Faith That Moves Mountains
THE FAITH THAT MOVES MOUNTAINS
To him who has faith nothing is impossible. It matters not what he may wish to realize or what he may wish to do; if he has faith, it can be done. But what do we mean by faith? Faith is not a passive belief; it is a positive action. It is the power of the spirit within man acting upon the life, the mind, the body and the nature of man; and by acting through man it acts upon everything with which man may come in contact. When we have faith we do not simply believe in the form, or that which may exist in the external; when we have faith we enter into the spirit of that in which we express our faith; the secret of real faith and the real power of such a faith is therefore found in the spirit.
When you proceed with something that you wish to accomplish, do not simply have confidence in yourself; and do not simply proceed in the mere conviction or assurance that your purpose will be realized; do more than that; have faith, and when you have faith, your mind will enter into the very spirit of that which you have undertaken to accomplish. This is the reason why nothing is impossible when you have faith, because when you enter the spirit you enter the power of the spirit, and to the power of the spirit there is no limit whatever. To have faith is to enter into the spirit; to enter into the spirit is to enter into the life and the power of the Most High; and with God all things are possible. The entire world of things is permeated with spirit, with infinite power; therefore, when we enter into the spirit of anything we enter in the one spirit that lives in all things, and gain possession of as much of the power of the one spirit as we can possibly receive. The greater our faith the greater our capacity to receive of the limitless power of the spirit, and, in consequence, the greater will be our realization of whatever we now may have in view.
To have more and more faith, the secret is to enter more and more deeply into the spirit of everything in which we express our faith. Do you have faith in yourself? Then try to enter mentally into the spirit of your entire being whenever you think of yourself. Do you have faith in your work? Then try to enter into the spirit of everything that is connected with your work. Do you have faith in every person you meet? Then try to enter into the spirit of his life, into mental contact with the greater man that lives within the personal man. Do you have faith in all things? Then enter into the spirit of things, into the real soul of things whenever you think of things or look upon things. Do you have faith in God? Then enter mentally and spiritually into the spirit of Infinite Spirit whenever you think of God; whenever you think of God, think of yourself as being in the spirit of God, and try to feel that God is closer than breathing, nearer than hands and feet. The more deeply, the more fully and the more completely you enter into the spirit of that of which you think, the greater your faith; and the greater your faith the greater your power.
There is not a person in the world who may not proceed in life with the full conviction that his ideals will be realized and that he will accomplish everything he has undertaken to do. If he lives and works in faith he simply cannot fail, because faith will give him all the power he may require, and anything may be accomplished when we have sufficient power. But the average person proceeds in the thought that he may possibly reach his goal; he is not certain; he concludes he will try, and will do his best; but as to the outcome he does not know. This, however, is not faith, and without faith nothing whatever can be accomplished. To fulfill any purpose, even the most insignificant, there must be some measure of faith, and the greater this measure, the greater will be the realization desired. He who proceeds in real, unbounded faith, will place his life in touch with invincible spirit, and he will continue unmoved, untouched and undisturbed, no matter what the circumstances may be. He will place his mental vision upon the highest light of supreme faith, and whatever may happen he will never waver from that light for a moment. He will continue with ceaseless perseverance and the most positive determination; he will continue in faith, and as he continues and grows in faith he will gain more and more power until he has sufficient power to do everything he is determined to do.
Faith does not always produce the expected miracle at once; it does not always convert a life of confusion, sickness and failure into a life of happiness, harmony and abundance without much waiting and watching and prayer; it does not always change a pathway of thorns into one of roses the very first day we begin to live by faith; and it does not always remove every obstacle in a minute. There are times when it requires months and even years of constant faith to realize what we pray for; but we may rest assured in the great truth that whoever fixes his attention upon a certain definite goal and continues to work towards that goal, in faith, will positively reach it. Work in faith, in continuous faith, in the spirit of unbounded faith, and you will reach your goal, you will accomplish your purpose just as surely as the coming of another day. Therefore, though you may not have results at once, nor even for some time, continue to work in the same unbounded faith; the results you desire will positively be gained; and the deeper and stronger your faith the sooner you will reach the object in view.
When faith seems to fail, the remedy is more faith. Do not become discouraged in the midst of seeming failure; do not give up the purpose you have undertaken to fulfill; do not doubt the possibilities of this purpose, nor come to the conclusion you are moving in the wrong direction. Continue to work in more and more faith, and if you should be on the wrong path, something will happen to set you right. Enter more and more into the light of faith, and all things will clear up. When you are on the wrong track doubt and uncertainty will but confuse you more, and cause you to go further into the wrong. But faith will increase your light; faith illumines the mind and clears the sky of your entire world; faith will lead you out of your mistakes and give you enough power to regain all that is lost and more. Continue, in faith, to press on towards your goal; discord will soon become harmony; uncertainty will soon become positive convictions; the crooked will be straightened out; obstacles will disappear; you will find your proper place; you will enter the work that is intended for you; all things in your life will work together for good, and you will press on and on, gaining ground steadily, drawing nearer and nearer towards the highest goal that your spiritual vision can possibly discern.
The majority of minds have many obstacles to meet, and almost invariably give emphasis to the belief that every seeming obstacle actually is an obstacle; but faith does not look upon obstacles as obstacles; faith does not call difficulties difficulties. When a person begins to live in faith, all things that come into his life are looked upon as opportunities, and they are. We all know very well that if we had no difficulties or obstacles to meet, or what would be more appropriately termed "great occasions," we should soon become nonentities. It is the difficult things that we meet that enable us to bring into action the greater power that is within us; difficulties therefore, are the most valued of opportunities, and if taken advantage of as such, will always be met with joy. No obstacle should ever be called by that name or ever thought of as being an obstacle, for is, in truth, something that will enable you to prove to yourself that the power that is within you is greater than anything in the world. When we no longer call obstacles obstacles or difficulties difficulties, we shall not be disturbed by obstacles or difficulties any more. Whatever we meet will be turned to good account and will call forth more and more of the greater power that is within us. Accordingly, all things will work together for greater good; every occasion will be welcome, no matter what it may be; every experience will be a pleasure, and everything that we pass through will add to our welfare and joy.
When a person thinks that every obstacle is an obstacle, he will frequently hesitate to proceed; and will, in many instances, on account of this hesitancy or doubt or fear, fail to reach his goal; but if he proceeds in the faith that there is something within him that is greater than all the obstacles in the world, there is no obstacle that can stand in his way. In fact, when he proceeds in such a faith, every obstacle that is met will simply call forth that greater something that is within him, and this "something" will give him all the power he may require to reach his goal.
Faith is that attitude of mind through which we come in conscious touch with the Infinite. When we are in the attitude of faith we are in the very spirit of life, and in the spirit of life God reigns supremely. The power of the Infinite is in the spirit, and when we are in the spirit we become one with that power; therefore, while we are in that oneness nothing can be impossible with us any more. But the power of the Infinite, expressed through us while we are in the spirit of faith, is not applicable to spiritual things alone; it is applicable to all things, and may be applied anywhere in life in the attainment of the higher, the greater and the better. If you wish to change your environment, or if you wish to better certain things in your life, determine precisely what you want; then have faith. Continue to say "I have the faith," and repeat that statement as frequently as possible. Believe that you will realize what you want and believe that your belief is absolute truth. Have faith, and also have faith in faith; and whenever you affirm the statement, "I have the faith," enter into the very spirit of that statement. When you say that you have the faith, and enter into the spirit of what you say, you awaken the power that can do what your faith has undertaken to do. That is how faith can never fail; the moment you begin to have faith in what you have undertaken to do you arouse all the power necessary to see that undertaking through. And the more frequently you affirm, in the spirit, "I have the faith," the sooner you will enter into the spirit of real faith, where the necessary power will be gained.
Our constant purpose should be to become conscious of the inner spirit of faith; and when we feel this inner spirit we should try to become conscious of the still deeper spirit that is within our first realization of the spirit. To go deeper and deeper into the realization of the spirit should be the ruling desire whenever we enter the attitude of faith; and as there is no end to the depth or the height of the spirit, there is no limit to that inner world of life, wisdom and power that may be realized through faith. However far we may enter into the spirit we can always go farther still; every step that we take in spiritual realization opens the door to a still higher spiritual realization, and whenever we proceed, through faith, to enter more deeply into the limitless spirit of faith, we open another door to the marvellous kingdom within. Faith goes into what seems to be unreality and finds that the deeper we enter the world of the spirit, the more real and the more substantial the spirit becomes. Faith goes out upon the seeming void and finds that there is no void; all is real, and the farther we go out into the vastness of limitless life the more real and the more beautiful life becomes. Therefore, to follow faith is always to pass from the lesser into the greater, into the better, the richer, the larger, the more wonderful and the more beautiful.
The mind that lives in doubt can see limitations everywhere; the mind that lives in faith can see no limitations, and, in fact, knows that there are no limitations anywhere. The mind that lives in doubt is in bondage to these seeming limitations and therefore realizes nothing more of life than what is confined within these seeming limitations; but the mind that lives in faith lives in the freedom of the all of life, and is daily realizing more and more of everything that is contained in the all of life. Faith can see that no matter how large or how beautiful life may be now, there is always a larger and a more beautiful life to live for, to work for and to realize in the days that are near at hand. In the life of faith there is no end to anything; there is always something more, always something richer, always something greater, always something better. The life of faith is therefore full of realization, full of promise, full of joy. What was promised by faith yesterday is realized today, because faith is not only the power to see the greater vision, but is also the power that can lead life into the very world of the greater vision; and thus the promise of yesterday is always fulfilled today.
Every person in the world, whatever his present position may be, can begin today, and through the power of faith, work himself up into any attainment or realization he may have in mind. Whatever his goal, he can reach it, if he works in faith. This may seem to be a strong statement, but Jesus Christ declared it was so; and it is certainly high time that we begin to believe and practice the great truths this Master Mind proclaimed. If the teachings of Jesus mean anything they mean that I can, through faith, overcome anything in my life, change anything in my life, better anything in my life, and realize any goal whatever to which I may aspire to reach in life. Though it may take months and years to reach certain things, those things that have exceptional worth, nevertheless I can do it, if I continue persistently to work in the spirit of unbounded faith. And, in the meantime, if I give this same faith to all my work, I shall be gaining ground daily, making my life larger, better, richer and more beautiful constantly. When I begin to work in the spirit of faith, I will always be in touch with the spirit; and to be in touch with the spirit is to be at one with God, because the kingdom of God is in the spirit; therefore, when I am in the spirit, I am with God; God is with me; God is on my side, and we two constitute a majority; we are greater than anything we shall ever meet, and we have the power to do anything we may desire, to work out anything, accomplish anything or realize anything that we may at any time have in view. Faith has made us one—the Infinite and myself, and together we hold, not simply the balance of power, but all power. Therefore, knowing this to be true, why should I ever doubt any more; why should I ever hesitate any more; why should I ever be fearful or afraid any more.
There are thousands of richly endowed minds in the world that accomplish nothing to speak of; and the reason is they live in the confusion of doubt, uncertainty and fear. Many of these minds would become giants in the world if all their powers were spurred to action by the invincible spirit of faith. In fact, there is not a single mind, whether naturally endowed or not, that would not come forth into a larger, richer life if inspired by the wonder-working power of faith. Faith awakens the all that is in human life, and makes that all a continuous power for good. Therefore, not a person in the world, whatever his work may be, can afford to live or work a single moment without faith, without the deepest, strongest faith that he can possibly arouse in his own soul. Faith is not for the spiritual world alone, but for every world. Not a muscle should move unless it moves in faith; not a thought should be formed unless it is filled with the spirit of faith; not a word should be uttered unless it comes directly from the limitless power of faith. This is what it means to live by faith, and such a life is a life indeed.
There is a belief among many that since every soul has the power to draw upon the limitless for any desired supply, it is not necessary to give special attention to physical or mental efforts. In other words, if they continue to live in faith they will receive what they want, their own will come, even though they be very inefficient as far as work is concerned. This is their spiritual theory, but it is a theory which, when applied, leads invariably into poverty both of body and mind. The fact that "all things are yours" on account of your divine heirship; and the fact that your spiritual nature is actually and permanently one with the limitless source of every good thing in existence, does not prove that you may receive all that you need by simply declaring, "my own cannot remain away from me." To fold your hands and wait in faith for your own to come, is not to wait in faith; hope stands and waits, but faith goes to work. Therefore, if you are waiting in faith you have no faith; and having no faith you will continue to wait; your own will not come. In the real, "all things are yours," but you can make no actual use of the riches of the kingdom within until they are brought forth into manifestation. The life, the power and the riches from within, however, will not manifest through a mind and body that is dormant; and the habit of waiting and hoping for supply to come, regardless of efficient personal effort, has a tendency to make the faculties and the elements of the human system more or less dormant.
To have faith is not simply to believe that everything will come to us, or that everything must come to us because everything already belongs to us. Faith is not simply belief; it is an attitude of mind and soul wherein you place your own life in perfect contact with infinite life; and, in consequence, when you live and work in faith every thought and every effort will be charged, so to speak, with the power of infinite life. To work in faith is to give more life and more power to your work; to think in faith is to animate and inspire your thought with a finer insight and a higher degree of understanding than you could ever receive in any other manner. The mission of faith, therefore, in practical life, is to give the individual that greater measure of wisdom and power through which he may make himself worthy of the very highest good that he may desire as his own. All things belong to us; that is, all things are ready for us whenever we can use them; but we can not use the greater things in life so long as we are living a small, partially dormant life. The riches of the kingdom are not for us "to have and to hold;" they are for us to use; and we can use them all only as we become alive with the life more abundant in every element of body, mind and soul.
The principle is this: Use the body, use the mind, use the soul, use every faculty, use every force, use every power that you can possibly find and arouse throughout your entire being; and use all these things in faith; that is, while you are using all these things, place your life, your mind and your consciousness in such perfect touch with the Supreme Source of life, power, wisdom and inspiration, that you become a perfect channel of expression for all that is great and worthy in the vastness of sublime existence. In this manner, you become so worthy, so competent and so efficient in your life that all that is great and worthy in the ideal can be naturally attracted and used by you in the real.
With regard to this subject, the human family divides itself into three classes. The first class is composed of the masses of men and women in the world, those who try to live and try to accomplish something in life by depending solely upon objective faculties. They proceed without paying any attention to the greater powers within them or to their relationship with infinite life; in consequence, they are constantly hemmed in by their own self-created limitations, and as a rule, merely exist. The second class is composed of those who go to the other extreme, depending almost entirely upon the power of the spirit to provide supply, while the true and full use of the powers of the personal man are either wholly or partially neglected. These people are buoyed up in the beginning with hopes and expectations, and for a time their spiritual theory of life seems to work; but ere long they find themselves drifting into adversity and want, and are forced to return to the ways of the world, as mere existence is better than annihilation. The third class is composed of those who combine the powers of the personal man with the powers of the spiritual man; they make a special effort to turn all their powers and faculties to practical use, and to all their work they invariably add the inspiring attitude of unbounded faith. The members of this class try to develop all their faculties to the very highest degree; they try to place body, mind and soul in the best working condition; they try constantly to increase their working capacity because they are not only believers, but doers; they are disciples of work—work that adds to the welfare of the world, and they always work in faith; they try to make the best use of everything in their possession, but while trying to push to the front, so to speak, the best that is in them, they try constantly to develop a higher and a finer conscious realization of the great truth that we live and move and have our being in the limitless power of the Supreme.
That all the great men and women that have appeared in the history of the world have come forth from this last mentioned class is most evident; and that no person can ever rise in the scale of life unless he applies the method of this class is equally evident. To depend solely upon the personal man is to merely exist; to depend solely upon the spiritual man is to be a dreamer, not a doer; but when the powers of the personal man are combined harmoniously and practically with the powers of the spiritual man, we cannot only dream; we can also make our dreams come true. What we discern in the ideal we can cause to come true in the real. We provide practical working capacity on the personal side and limitless power on the spiritual side; whatever we may wish to do, attain or accomplish in the great without, we may receive all the wisdom, all the understanding and all the power required from the great within. We shall thus demonstrate the great truth that "All that the Father hath is mine," not simply for spiritual contemplation, but for actual, personal possession and use in the tangible world to-day.
That the powers of the spiritual man can be readily combined with the powers of the personal man, in the producing of practical results, is a fact that is constantly being demonstrated in the lives of thousands. We all know of remarkable instances where people have, when in the midst of extreme want, sickness or despair, placed themselves in the hands of higher power, and secured emancipation under circumstances that have seemed miraculous. Many a person has found himself in a position where everything was lost, where all the elements were against him, and where not a single ray of light could be found anywhere; but by placing himself in touch with the power of the Supreme, and by going to work in full conscious oneness with that power, has caused everything to change in his favor. Many a person has demonstrated the great truth that by taking God with him in his work, he could overcome every obstacle, remove every barrier, vanquish every enemy, disperse everything that was against him, and come out victorious under circumstances that, in the beginning, seemed utterly hopeless. It has been demonstrated thousands of times that where the personal man alone was helpless, complete emancipation and victory were made possible where the powers of the spiritual man were combined with the efforts of the personal man. This is therefore a principle that no person can afford to ignore, no matter what his work may be.
Whatever we may wish to do or gain, there must be personal effort; but the more perfectly we are conscious of the limitless powers of the spirit within us, the greater will the results of those efforts be. And this is not true of certain special efforts alone; it is true of all efforts from the least significant on the physical plane to the most important on the sublime cosmic plane. It is true, not only in instances of man's extremity, but also in every state or degree of man's prosperity. If the power of the spirit, when combined with personal effort, can take man from death's door into perfect health, as has been done thousands of times, even when all hope was lost and every other method had failed; and if this same power, when combined with practical work, can take man out of the lowest depths of adversity, poverty and despair, and place him on the very heights of freedom, power and limitless supply, is there any reason why the power of the spirit can not be combined with personal effort in all the affairs of everyday life and thus give an ever-increasing measure of health, happiness and prosperity to man? Man calls upon God when everything else has failed; but he should call upon God before he tries anything else, and he would never fail.
Though we may be strong physically now, and be in possession of exceptional capabilities and advantages, we can not afford to ignore the fact for a moment that increase comes only from the within. "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;" none others. The present strength of the body will not hold out unless it is constantly replenished from on high. The present capabilities of the mind will shortly lose their brilliancy and power unless they are kept in the highest state of perfection through constant contact with the light and the life of the soul. It is not wisdom to use up the limited powers of the person and utterly ignore the great interior source of inexhaustible power. Yet man does this very thing; therefore, his person is weak, his days are short, and his life but a trifle better than mere existence. There is, however, a better way; let the powers of the spiritual man be constantly combined with the life, the powers and the efforts of the personal man, then shall the person of man never be weak; His days may be lengthened indefinitely, and his life will become richer, more beautiful and more inspiring, until a million joys are blended harmoniously in every moment of his endless existence.
We are all heirs to the kingdom, not only the spiritual kingdom but the entire kingdom of life; we can receive, however, only what we can use; we need only what we can use, therefore to receive more at any time would be superfluous, and there is no place for the superfluous in the realms of divine law. There are many that can use much, very much, but the majority do not receive as much as they can use because they do not live and work in the consciousness of the "all things are yours." Others receive but little at any time because they do not fully use what they already possess. We draw upon the universal for greater supply in proportion as we turn to good account our present supply; though we must remember, that no person can turn to good account the best that is in him now unless the efforts of the personal man are filled through and through with the powers of the spiritual man. The work that we do in faith is the only good work; and the faith that we apply in work is the only true faith.
The average person thinks that it is his privilege to continue to "hold" his possessions, regardless of use, and that he can accumulate as much as he likes; but this is not true. The true life is not lived for the purpose of accumulating things. Many have realized this and have gone to the other extreme, concluding that the only true life was the life that had no tangible possessions whatever. There are only a few, however, who have taken the path that lies directly between these two extremes, and that is one reason why the power of the spirit to combine with the power of the person in practical life has not been as extensively demonstrated as we should wish. But it is our privilege to demonstrate the true law of complete existence, and when we do, the reward will be great indeed.
Every individual is entitled to all the riches of the spiritual kingdom, and in addition, to the possession of as many things, and as beautiful things, in the visible kingdom, as we can possibly appreciate and use in the enrichment of all the realms of his own entire existence. But before he can secure all these things, he must cause his personal nature and his spiritual nature to live together and work together as one. He must work for everything that he may desire, and must work in the faith that every desire will be fulfilled.
To express the law of this principle more briefly, the first essential is to make the best use possible of everything that we may possess now. The second essential is to live, think and work in faith. He who lives in faith lives in the spirit, and he who lives in the spirit lives in God. No person can afford to do anything without taking God with him; no person can afford to think a single thought without realizing that that thought is created in the infinite sea of divine thought; no person can afford to express a single desire without realizing that that desire is the expression of some supreme, some great, some beautiful state of interior existence.
It is extremely important to try, as much as possible and as frequently as possible, to enter into the inner consciousness of the great truth that "All things are yours." As we grow in this consciousness we actually enter into real, limitless possession; and when we begin to "inwardly feel" that we possess the rich and the beautiful in limitless supply, we will begin to attract the rich and the beautiful from every source in the world.
Take the statement, "All that the Father hath is mine," and mentally dwell upon the very innermost truth that can be found in this statement. Try to realize what it means to possess everything that there is in the kingdom of the Infinite, and enter into the very soul of that meaning. Try to feel the spirit of limitless, divine possession, and resolve to live perpetually in the innermost life of that spirit. The consciousness of limitless supply will soon become an actual factor in mind; and we can begin to draw upon the limitless when we are actually conscious of the limitless.
When you actually realize that "All things are yours," you will never be anxious about the future any more. You know that there will be a ready way to supply every need at the proper time. You do not live in the possession of simply the barest necessities; you live in the life of abundance, and the rich and the beautiful in your life is constantly on the increase. But you are never disturbed about the greater needs that you know will come in the future. You live in the positive faith that when the greater needs are at hand, the greater supply will also be at hand. And your faith always comes true.
To live in this faith is to live in perfect peace; we are never disturbed about any threatening circumstance; we are never fearful or afraid any more; we know that the door will open when the time comes; we shall surely have what we need—enough to supply the greatest possible need. Having done our part we know that God will not fail in His; for as much greater is His faithfulness than ours as the entire cosmos is greater than a single drop in the sea. "I will not forsake thee nor leave thee;" upon this we may always depend.
When you look into the future, do not be anxious about methods or means to carry out what the future moment may demand. When you come to that place, God will be there; the limitless powers of infinite life will be there; the wisdom, the light and the luminous understanding of your highest spiritual nature will be there; all of you will be there, and the power of your faith to draw upon the limitless for any desire or need will also be there. Then why be fearful any more. Why be anxious about anything. All things are yours now, and the now that now is, is eternal.
Though your bark may be tempest-tossed, be not alarmed. The Christ is asleep in the ship. You may call Him at any time; and when you do the heavens will be cleared, and a beautiful stillness will come over the vastness of the deep. What does it matter to you what may threaten in days to be; the Christ will always be with you; wherever you may choose to sail upon the infinite sea of life, the Christ will always be in your ship. For lo, I am with you always. Whether He be asleep or awake, where you are, there He will be also. You may call upon Him as you will, and peace shall reign supremely in your life once more. For the winds and the waves shall obey my will. Then why be fearful or afraid any more. He can still any storm in the world, and bring the silence of the heavenly calm wherever His presence may be.