Man, having understood somewhat of the nature of existence, of his place within it, and of the path before him, asks yet this question: How, and by what means within my control, can I find power to travel upon the upward path thus laid before me? The answer is: By the power of thought.
Through the power of thought is, and was, all that is created throughout all the estates of life-consciousness. Through the power of thought is energy made manifest, given purpose, shape, motion, direction. Yet it shall be remembered that the power of thought can be used either towards All Light, or away from All Light in the direction of darkness.
Through thought wrongly used have sorrow, suffering, and all that is of darkness and evil, of error and falsehood, come into existence upon the earth and within its atmospherean heavens. Through the same power are they being added to even now. Through the power of thought wrongly used are the limitations of birth and surroundings maintained or increased in their power upon a man.
Through the power of thought rightly used is darkness illumined, all that is of error and falsehood is dissipated so that its power is as if it had never been, and through the same power are the limitations of the individual lightened and ultimately overcome.
Through the power of thought rightly used is man enabled to travel upward on the path of overcoming. Thus is he enabled, by virtue of the Father's presence in him, to become in very truth the architect and accomplisher of his own destiny, which is the Father's purpose in him, revealing itself in ever-growing splendour. That this may be the better understood, consider again the nature of man.
It has been said that man is a dual being, expressing within himself both Na and Om: the power to conceive, to create, to project through the power of thought: the power to receive and, by virtue of receiving, to bring about the conditions through which creation takes place and projection is set in motion.
It has been said that man's being is dual in this also: having a corporeal body and an atmospherean, or etheic body, the counterpart of the corporeal body, the two wholly interpenetrating one another, the two together being the vehicle of life and indivisible while life is present in that man. As Na is to Om within the man, so is the corporeal body to the atmospherean, or etheic counterpart. Within both, at the centre of entity-consciousness, is the etherean ray, the soul-light.
Thus man on earth is both dual and triple in his nature, the whole forming a single, unitary vessel in which his consciousness if manifest, with power to think, power to create, power to project.
Through man's etheic body, his atmospherean body, does the life within that man enter into, energize, and manipulate every element and function of the corporeal body. Were the etheic body or counterpart not present, the whole body would fall apart into its constituent elements. This is what takes place at mortal death, when the etheic body withdraws from the corporeal body and, as man says, the cord of life is cut.
But during life the interpenetration is complete. Through it the mortal body of the man is guided and developed in the whole cycle of its growth, through the pre-natal stage, through puberty, through maturity, to the process of ageing, and finally to mortal death when, if not prematurely brought about, the man's life-cycle as a corporean is complete. The cause of these rhythms and cycles in all their complexity lies not with the corporeal body and its constituent elements, but is to be sought for in the etheic body or counterpart which regulates the whole in response to conditions which must ever remain beyond man's power to probe.
Through the etheic body or counterpart is the health, rhythm and balance of the whole body established and maintained, unless the physical body be so damaged, whether by drugs or physical means, that the etheic counterpart cannot effect repair and restore the balance, in which case death will ensue.
The presence of the etheic body in man can be detected in the activities which characterise the ductless glands, the plexus centres and the nervous system, all of which are, as it were, the control points and the transmission lines through which the etheic body regulates, sustains, and develops the corporeal mechanism.
Another point at which the presence of the etheic counterpart may be recorded by man and by his instruments is in the seat of consciousness in the physical brain, where the activities and impulses of the etheic part of man's mechanism are exteriorly manifest in terms of impulses of an electrical, or etheic, order. Through the presence of the etheic counterpart interpenetrating and energizing the physical brain is the bridge made and maintained between man's body and the man himself, the individual consciousness, his I AM.
It is within the seat of consciousness, located in the physical brain and its etheic counterpart as a single, yet ultimately divisible mechanism, that the power of Na in man, the power to conceive, to reason, to judge, to decide, and to project his thought creatively, is held during mortal life.
The consciousness of man while in mortal form thus has at its disposal two sets of senses: the physical senses, and their atmospherean counterparts within the etheic body. By the former he receives from the mortal world, and through the latter, according to the degree of their development, he receives from the atmospherean world, which includes the lower heavens of being adjacent to himself. For the most part, man in the day being unaware of the existence of his etheic body, his atmospherean body, is also unaware that he has atmospherean senses which, in consequence, remain in large measure undeveloped. Nonetheless he receives through them just the same, only without knowing whence the impressions come.
So complete and perfect in a man in good health is the function of his etheic being that it maintains the whole physical mechanism in action by virtue of the power of Om in that man and without the man himself being conscious of it or being required in any way to regulate it by the creative power of thought which is his. Indeed it is evident that man in this day, were he to attempt to intervene would do so for the most part only to the detriment of his body. Nonetheless it remains true that, because of that, because of the interpenetration of the physical brain by its etheic counterpart, the individual, if and when he is trained to project direct and control his thought through the power of Na within him, is capable of ruling in substantial measure over his physical body, through directions given by him through his etheic body.
Thus it may be seen that the time will come when man, when confronted with injury or disease caused by unbalance within the rhythms of his being, will be able to heal himself, or be healed by others, through the power of thought directed creatively through his etheic being. There are already on earth many healers who have this understanding, some healing direct by the power of thought thus described, others healing through the potency of the etheic or atmospherean counterparts of the drugs or medicines they are using, or by both employed together. The principle is in each case the same, namely that the treatment is directed to, and is effective through the etheic body of the patient and not, in the first place, the corporeal body and its organs as such. Thus the time will come when man on earth will be able through the power of his thought to heal injury, to banish disease, to maintain health, and to avert premature ageing and death in a measure undreamt of in this day. And this is no small part of what is required that man shall be able to develop his life in fullness upon the upward path.
It has been said that man is a centre upon which inspiration presses, being received by him from all sides: from the impulses of his own body, reaching his consciousness through his etheic being; through his corporeal senses; and through his atmospherean senses, these last being open to the atmospherean conditions which surround him and press upon him. Were man, as the animals are, without the power of Na developed in individuality, he would be ruled over wholly by the most potent of these inspirations. He would be as a ball tossed upon a stream, borne this way and that, according to the wayward play of forces. He would react to, be subjective to the predominant powers in his environment, including those of the lower heavens and of the redemptive heritage of man's past and present. As a result of this he would be carried on the downward path, as if drifting in the ocean of being.
But man, having the power of Na within him, the power of thought, of judgment, of decision, is not thus at the mercy of the inspirations that reach him. If he can summon the will to do so, he can distinguish between them and rule over them, rejecting or accepting, ignoring or responding, as the grade of the interior light within him shall inspire him. Thus, by virtue of the power of thought which is his, of the power to judge and to distinguish, to reject or to accept, all inspiration which comes to him from whatever source, whether on earth or from the lower heavens, man is able to direct and hold his steps upon the upward path. He is not the plaything of blind forces, either outside himself or within his own being. Nonetheless this should be remembered; man on earth is as a child taking his first steps beset by forces of great magnitude in comparison with his, as yet, ungrown powers. The voices of earth and of the lower heavens are close and clamorous, so that, were he left to himself it would not be long before he would succumb. But at no time is he left to himself, once he has shown and given proof of a sincere desire to travel the upward path. From that time forward, he is aided by those who live in the Organic realms of being. They do not abrogate his free will. They do not interfere with his desire for experience. But they inspire him to distinguish the real from the unreal, the upward path from the path that leads downward. They inspire him with love where anger was, with wisdom where folly was, with understanding where ignorance was. Such inspiration comes to a man through the line of the soul-light and it reaches his corporeal consciousness with growing power and certainty as his interior being is awakened. Thus is he powerfully aided in distinguishing and overcoming all that would halt him on the path, or turn his steps downward.
Yet, in all this, be it observed that the inspiration thus received, though it is indeed decisive in its aid to man, is at no time, and in no way, a substitute for the power of his own thought put forth from within him by virtue of the power of Na which is his.
The directions in which such thought should be exercised have been made clear: in the first place, in the affirmation of faith in and love for the Father, beyond that, in the direction of all that raises man upward, both himself and all others within his life-circuit; also his desire to serve and work for others, think for the benefit of others, do good to others, give joy to others rather than to or for himself.
It will be found that as a man begins thus to direct and control his thoughts, travelling as a consequence upward on the path of overcoming, he will find the inspiration upon him from the Organic realms of being becoming clearer and more constantly with him. He will find his own thoughts grow more potent in creative power to rule over his own being, both over his own physical being and its impulses and over impulses that come to him from all other quarters. He will find himself increasingly able to rule over anger, over fear, over discouragement and doubt, even over sorrow. He will find himself able, little by little, to remain serene in all places, strong and powerful in faith, able even to create and maintain happiness within him, no matter what the conditions under which he is labouring. Such a man becomes indeed a very master of life on earth. With each advance, his powers increase as his thought becomes more potent, more attuned to the real; and with each such increase he advances yet further.
When a man attains to be constitutionally grown in his ability to direct and control the power of his thought in the direction of light, and in the service of others, and in faith in the Father, he stands at the threshold of the second resurrection, even though these qualities are developed only in small degree compared with what they will be later.
When the man, thus entered in the second resurrection real of being, has attained yet further in his capacity to control and direct his thought, so that to think, speak and act from the base of love has become constitutional within him, then does he stand at the threshold of the etherean estate, the third resurrection. Then is he a living symbol of the three great attributes of being in harmonic balance--of the love which sets thought in motion with power, creating, and of the wisdom which ever directs all power from the base of love, in the revelation of All Light.