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Categories: Chapter I - The Twin-Verses
Books: Mastery of Self

If we conceive of any individual as a "field" of vibrations in matter

and the ether, induced by muscular and nervous action and by

feeling and thought, we see at once that there ought to be an

ideal "field" in which all such vibrations are in a state of

harmony The state indicated would be a condition of balance When

activities in one direction are over intense and unduly prolonged,

all vibrations tend to a
strain in that direction Such strain--

all in one direction--is not normal, because it signifies

disturbance of balance If harmony in the "field" is to be

restored, the one direction-strain must be released so that all

right activities may recur and all vibrations proper to the

"field" may again take place Always the ideal is general harmony

throughout the personal field Now, some of the activities of our

life are normally those of work, inducing corresponding vibrations

in the individual "field," and some of them are normally those of

recreation, which is a true word because it means recreation, that

is, action or rest inducing corresponding vibration differing from

those of work, running, so to speak, in different directions, and

so restoring harmony Work and recreation are, therefore, equally

essential to the normal life We have, however, built up wrong

ideas of each of these important functions, so that most of us

distinguish work as essentially different in its basic nature from

recreation, and more or less an evil, and distinguish recreation

as altogether and in itself a good Both ideas are surely

erroneous I know that too much work, and work under certain

conditions, cannot be regarded as a good in itself Precisely the

same is true of recreation Neither, then, is to be valued or

condemned because of the kind of activities involved or vibrations

induced, but always and solely with reference to the state of

balance or harmony represented in the field of the personal self

The limit of permitted work should be determined by that question

alone; work should always be offset, so to speak, by recreation

The limit of recreation permitted should be determined by the same

question It should always be offset by work In other words, the

value of either work or play consists in change of activities

restoring balance in the personal field

But work and recreation are not essentially different in their

true nature In both cases we have activities and vibrations In

all cases some portion of the body is involved In all cases some

features of the mind are active Action in either case is called

work or recreation according to the idea entertained regarding it

If the idea is that of TASK, the thing is work If the idea is

RELAXATION, the thing is recreation I have taken the task-idea

into recreation, and soon wearied I have taken the recreation-

idea into work, and have been obliged to call self to account

under that law of balance or harmony A boy, for example, is

sawing wood alone: this is work Neighboring boys join him, and

soon invest the whole place with imagination, all busy sawing,

splitting,--playing It is the idea--that is, the real thought,

which determines the names we give the two general sets of

activities Nature will check work-vibrations and restore

recreation-vibrations, FOR A TIME, until harmony of the field is

comparatively restored, if only suggestion use the magic word

You are now invited to maintain, IN ALL YOUR WORK, THE IDEA OF


of the idea that your WORK IS GOOD and is building your self to


You are invited also to maintain, IN ALL YOUR RECREATION, THE IDEA

OF HARMONY WITH THE UNIVERSAL FORCES and the inspiration of the

thought that YOUR RECREATION IS GOOD and is building your self to




individual should be as a god The human body is designed for

Temple-Presence of the Infinite White Life Epicurus regarded it

as a husk, but Aristotle defined the soul as the "perfect

expression of the body," meaning, not that the soul is a product

of physiological conditions, but that it is the TRUTH of body, the

idea, purpose, in which only do the bodily conditions gain their

real meaning To this great Greek the chief of human virtues was

HIGH-MINDEDNESS, a crowning Self-Respect This attitude of the

self toward the house in which it lives recognizes the perfect

interaction of self and body, the one being influenced by the

other, and so it insists that no injury shall come to the body

from the inner sex-life, or from the sex-life to the inner self,

but that both shall be maintained in harmony with the absolute

whiteness of Eternal Being

You are invited, then, to maintain purity under the law of

liberty, and to adopt this thought as a permanent law: MY PERSONAL




science of medicine is fairly indicated for our present purpose in

the following quotation--from Dr Oliver Wendell Holmes:

"What is the honest truth about the medical art? That by far the

largest number of diseases which physicians are called upon to

treat will get well at any rate, even in spite of reasonably bad

treatment That of the other fraction, a certain number will

certainly die, whatever is done That there remains a small number

of cases where the life of the patient depends on the skill of the

physician That drugs now and then save life; that they often

shorten disease and remove symptoms; but that they are second in

importance to food, air, temperature, and the other hygienic

influences Throw out opium; throw out wine, and the vapors which

produce the miracle of anesthesia, and I firmly believe that if

the whole materia medica, as now used, could be sunk to the bottom

of the sea, it would be all the better for mankind"

"It is a mistake to suppose that the normal state of health is

represented by a straight horizontal line, Independently of the

well-known causes which raise or depress the standard of vitality,

there seems to be--I think I may venture to say there is--a

rhythmic undulation in the flow of the vital force The 'dynamo'

which furnishes the working powers of consciousness and action has

its annual, its monthly, its diurnal waves, even its temporary

ripples, in the current it furnishes There are greater and lesser

curves in the movement of every day's life,--a series of ascending

and descending movements, a periodicity depending on the very

nature of the force at work in the living organism"

There is also in our life a periodicity of the deeper self--a

curve of the soul's condition, which varies from time to time

When the curve is downward in both the physical and the spiritual

case, drugs are of no more value than stones When the curve is

upward in both cases, drugs may be totally gratuitous, and they

may actually retard the combined movements When the health-curve

is downward, the psychic curve may follow suit, but it need not

necessarily do so When the psychic curve is downward, the health-

curve tends in the same direction When the health-curve is

upward, the psychic curve usually follows When the psychic curve

is upward, we have the best condition for the cure of disease But

Nature always does the curing The physician never cures any

disease; he merely assists Nature

It is the function of medical science to arrest downward curves by

any tried methods, to take advantage of upward curves, and to know

what the curves are in any given case I call my physician because

I may want him when I cannot help myself in these important

respects I will have in my hands the greatest number of the best

forces when I am subject to abnormal conditions I believe that is

common sense, and I know it is perfectly permissible to the most

exalted faith in the Soul of our Universe

I am ready to concede that in a sublime state of ultimate

evolution there is nothing which a drug or a doctor can do except

surgery that may not better be accomplished by the power of

harmonic WHITE-LIFE THOUGHT claiming health But in such a future

state disease will long since have vanished Nevertheless, we do

now certainly know a great law of mental power over the body I do

not concede any limits, except as above indicated, to the

operation of that law if we could get it fully under control Its

scope, even as matters are, is immense The law is real, and it

belongs to no particular age or body of people It is as long as

time and as wide as earth Any human being may claim the benefit

in total disregard of any philosophy or form of religious belief,

provided the WHITE LIFE and the health-claim are with him, under

the sole limitations imposed by thousands of years of wrong

thought-life in ancestry and similar error in personal past

decreasing ability to affirm and realize in a way to secure the

full benefits of the law It is for every human being,

nevertheless, to strive for the inner harmony, to invoke the law

of spiritual mastery over the body, and to put forth all possessed

and obtainable power of thought and realization for health, in

good cheer, with valiant heart, and inspired by the truth that,

whatever betide, nought can really harm the abiding self "Be not

faithless; but believing"

And so I think that our great Nature-Universe bids us hear these

words from the Infinite White Life: "Sons and daughters of the

All-Good, the power of thought and harmony are surely for you If

you realize your highest liberty and its greatest efficiency as

you now are, you will use, not deny, those instrumentalities which

are provided in my ministers, Science and Faith Must you be a

slave either to the material or to the immaterial? Can you not

employ both for your welfare? May not the king call in whomsoever

he will? All things are yours"

Let us not fall into the old-time religious error of assuming that

some particular philosophy or faith which we have discovered

embraces all truth and value Let us not label this or that with

our little words, and say: "This is law--this only" The law of

thought-power in the physical realm is older than any present

civilization The law of harmony as the supreme health-restorer

and health-builder is not a law created by the Infinite during

the last twenty-five years I uncover my heart to every soul who

is trying for the best things and believes he has found a true

way; but I must not believe that this world has been left in stark

ignorance of the most fundamental law of our earth-life--that

health in its triune wholeness comes of the WHITE LIFE and the

realizing claim--to await the birth and word of any man or woman

in these times It is a little too late Therefore I say to you

who may read these pages: "Stand free! Use every means and all

methods, material and spiritual (for the material is but a phase

of the spiritual), for health and happiness"