A newspaperman related to me that our great scientist, Robert Millikan, once told him that he had set a goal for himself at an early age when he was still very poor and unproven in the great work he was to do in the future.
He condensed his dream of greatness and security into a simple statement, which statement, implied that his dream of greatness and security was already realized. Then he repeated the statement over and over again to himself until the idea of greatness and security filled his mind and crowded all other ideas out of his consciousness.
These may not have been the words of Dr. Millikan but they are those given to me and I quote,
“I have a lavish, steady, dependable income, consistent with integrity and mutual benefit.”
As I have said repeatedly, everything depends upon our attitude towards ourselves. That which we will not affirm as true of ourselves cannot develop in our life.
Dr. Millikan wrote his dream of greatness and security in the first person, present tense. He did not say, “I will be great; I will be secure,” for that would have implied that he was not great and secure.
Instead, he made his future dream a present fact. “I have,” said he, “a lavish, steady, dependable income, consistent with integrity and mutual benefit.”
The future dream must become a present fact in the mind of him who seeks to realize it.
We must experience in imagination what we would experience in reality in the event we achieved our goal, for the soul imagining itself into a situation takes on the results of that imaginary act.
If it does not imagine itself into a situation, it is ever free of the result.
It is the purpose of this teaching to lift us to a higher state of consciousness, to stir the highest in us to confidence and self-assertion, for that which stirs the highest in us is our teacher and healer.
The very first word of correction or cure is always, “Arise.”
If we are to understand the reason for this constant command of the Bible to “arise,” we must recognize that the universe understood internally is an infinite series of levels and man is what he is according to where he is in that series.
As we are lifted up in consciousness, our world reshapes itself in harmony with the level to which we are lifted. He who rises from his prayer a better man, his prayer has been granted.
To change the present state we, like Dr. Millikan, must rise to a higher level of consciousness. This rise is accomplished by affirming that we are already that which we want to be; by assuming the feeling of the wish fulfilled. The drama of life is a psychological one which we bring to pass by our attitudes rather than by our acts. There is no escape from our present predicament except by a radical psychological transformation. Everything depends upon our attitude towards ourselves.
That which we will not affirm as true of ourselves will not develop in our lives.
We hear much of the humble man, the meek man, but what is meant by a meek man? He is not poor and groveling, the proverbial doormat, as he is generally conceived to be.
Men who make themselves as worms in their own sight have lost the vision of that life . . into the likeness of which it is the true purpose of the spirit to transform this life.
Men should take their measurements not from life as they see it but from men like Dr. Millikan, who, while poor and unproven, dared to assume, “I have a lavish, steady, dependable income, consistent with integrity and mutual benefit.”
Such men are the meek of the Gospels, the men who inherit the earth.
Any concept of self less than the best, robs us of the earth.
The promise is,
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. ”
In the original text, the word translated as meek is the opposite of the words, resentful, angry.
It has the meaning of becoming “tamed” as a wild animal is tamed. After the mind is tamed, it may be likened to a vine, of which it may be said,
“Behold this vine. I found it a wild tree whose wanton strength had swollen into irregular twigs. But I pruned the plant, and it grew temperate in its vain expense of useless leaves, and knotted as you see into these clean, full clusters to repay the hand that wisely wounded it.”
A meek man is a self-disciplined man. He is so disciplined he sees only the finest, he thinks only the best. He is the one who fulfills the suggestion,
“Brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
We rise to a higher level of consciousness, not because we have curbed our passions, but because we have cultivated our virtues. In truth, a meek man is a man in complete control of his moods, and his moods are the highest, for he knows he must keep a high mood if he would walk with the highest.
It is my belief that all men can, like Dr. Millikan, change the course of their lives. I believe that Dr. Millikan’s technique of making his desire a present fact to himself is of great importance to any seeker after the “truth.”
It is also his high purpose to be of “mutual benefit” that is inevitably the goal of us all. It is much easier to imagine the good of all than to be purely selfish in our imagining.
By our imagination, by our affirmations, we can change our world, we can change our future. To the man of high purpose, to the disciplined man, this is a natural measure, so let us all become disciplined men.
Next Sunday morning, July 15th, I am speaking as the guest of Dr. Bailes at 10:30 at the Fox-Wilshire Theater on Wilshire Boulevard, near La Cienega. My subject for next Sunday is “Changing Your Future.” It is a subject near to the hearts of us all. I hope you will all come on Sunday to learn how to be the disciplined man, the meek man, who “changes his future” to the benefit of his fellow man. If you are observant, you will notice the swift echo or response to your every mood in this message and you will be able to key it to the circumstances of your daily life.
When we are certain of the relationship of mood to circumstance in our lives, we welcome what befalls us. We know that all we meet is part of ourselves. In the creation of a new life we must begin at the beginning, with a change of mood. Every high mood of man is the opening of the door to a higher level for him. Let us mold our lives about a high mood or a community of high moods.
Individuals, as well as communities, grow spiritually in proportion as they rise to a higher ideal. If their ideal is lowered, they sink to its depths; if their ideal is exalted, they are elevated to heights unimagined. We must keep the high mood if we would walk with the highest; the heights, also, were meant for habitation. All forms of the creative imagination imply elements of feeling. Feeling is the ferment without which no creation is possible.
There is nothing wrong with our desire to transcend our present state. There would be no progress in this world were it not for man’s dissatisfaction with himself. It is natural for us to seek a more beautiful personal life; it is right that we wish for greater understanding, greater health, greater security. It is stated in the sixteenth chapter of the Gospel of St. John, “Heretofore have ye asked for nothing in my name; ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”
A spiritual revival is needed for mankind, but by spiritual revival I mean a true religious attitude, one in which each individual, himself, accepts the challenge of embodying a new and higher value of himself as Dr. Millikan did.
A nation can exhibit no greater wisdom in the mass than it generates in its units. For this reason, I have always preached self-help, knowing that if we strive passionately after this kind of self-help, that is, to embody a new and higher concept of ourselves, then all other kinds of help will be at our service.
The ideal we serve and hope to achieve is ready for a new incarnation; but unless we offer it human parentage it is incapable of birth. We must affirm that we are already that which we hope to be and live as though we were, knowing like Dr. Millikan, that our assumption, though false to the outer world, if persisted in, will harden into fact.
The perfect man judges not after appearances; he judges righteously. He sees himself and others as he desires himself and them to be.
He hears what he wants to hear.
He sees and hears only the good.
He knows the truth, and the truth sets him free and leads him to good. The truth shall set all mankind free. This is our spiritual revival.
Character is largely the result of the direction and persistence of voluntary attention.
“Think truly, and thy thoughts shall the world’s famine feed;
Speak truly, and each word of thine shall be a fruitful seed;
Live truly, and thy life shall be a great and noble creed.”