Lesson IV – Latent Powers

The part played by Earnestness, Enthusiasm and Desire. The Manifestation of Will-Power. The Will and what lies behind it.

 

The majority of you know by actual experience in everyday life that we have within our physical organism that which we call “second‑wind.” We have essayed some physical task, and after a bit found ourselves “winded,” that is short of breath, and we are tempted to stop and rest our panting bodies. But, we have also found by experience that if we will stick to the task at hand the feeling of physical distress will usually pass away, and we will gain what is called our “second‑wind.” Now just what this “second‑wind” is, is a matter that has long perplexed physiologists, and even today they have not been able to hand us down a very good guess at the underlying cause of the phenomenon. It seems to be a fresh start acquired by reason of the opening up of reserve stores of vital energy— latent physical power stored away for such emergencies. All persons who have engaged in athletic sports know very well the details of this peculiar physiological phenomenon—its actuality is too firmly established to admit any doubt.

And, as is often the case, examination shows a curious parallel between the working of Nature on the mental plane and on the physical. Just as there is a physical “second‑wind,” so is there a mental reserve force or latent energy upon which we can draw and thus get a fresh start. The phenomena attendant upon physical “second‑wind,” as noted above, is almost exactly duplicated by certain mental phenomena.

We may be jaded while performing some tedious bit of mental work, and we begin to feel that we are “all in,” when lo! Some new in—and away we are off with a full mental “second‑wind” doing our work with a freshness, vigor and enthusiasm far surpassing the original effort. We have tapped into a fresh source or supply of mental energy. The majority of us have little or no conception of the reserve mental energies and forces contained within our being.

We jog along at our customary gait, thinking that we are doing our best and getting all out of life that there is in it—think we are expressing ourselves to our utmost capacity. But we are living only in the first‑wind mental state, and behind our working mentality are stores of wonderful mental energy and power— faculties lying dormant—power lying latent—awaiting the magic command of the Will in order to awaken into activity and outward expression. We are far greater beings than we have realized—we are giants of power, if we did but know it.

Many of us are like young elephants that allow themselves to be mastered by weak men, and put through their paces, little dreaming of the mighty strength and power concealed within their organisms. Those of you who have read our little manual entitled “The Inner Consciousness” will recall what we said therein regarding the regions above and below the plane of the ordinary outer consciousness. And on those hidden planes of the mind, are untold possibilities—the raw materials for mighty mental tasks and achievement—the storage batteries of wonderful accomplishment.

The trouble with us is that we do not realize the existence of these faculties. We think that we are merely what we manifest in our ordinary dogtrot gait. Another problem is that we have not had the incentive to take action—we have lacked the interest to do great things—we haven’t wanted to hard enough. This “want‑to‑hard‑enough” is the great inciting power in life. Desire is the fire which rouses up the steam of Will. Without Incentive—and that means Desire—we accomplish nothing. Given the great, earnest, burning ardent Desire as an animating force—the great incentive to take action, and we are able to get up this mental “second‑wind”—yes, third, fourth, and fifth winds—tapping one plane of inward power after another, until we work mental miracles.

We wonder at the achievements of the great men in all walks of life, and we are apt to excuse ourselves by the sad remark that these people seem to “have it in them,” while we have not. Nonsense, we all have it in us to do things a hundred times greater than we are doing. The trouble is not in greater than we are doing. The trouble is not in the lack of power and mental material, but in the Desire and Interest, and Incentive to arouse into activity those wonderful storehouses of dynamic power within our mentality—we fail to call into our disposal, and which is like all other natural powers and forces eager and anxious to be manifested and expressed. Yes, that’s what we said “anxious and eager,” for all natural forces, penned up and in a static condition seem to be bursting with desire to manifest and express into outer dynamic activity. This seems to be a law of life and nature.

Nature and all in it seems to be eager for active expression. Have you not been surprised at yourselves at times, when under some slightly higher pressure and incentive Something Within you seemed to break its bounds and fairly carry you off of your feet in its rush into active work? Have you not accomplished tasks under the stress of a sudden urgent need, that you would have deemed impossible in cold‑blood. Have you not carried all before you when you “warmed‑up” to the task, whereas your ordinary self would have stood around doing nothing under ordinary circumstances. Earnestness and Enthusiasm are two great factors in bringing into operation these latent forces, and dormant powers of the mentality. But one need not stand by and wait until you work yourself into a fit of fervor before the energies spring into action. You can by a careful training of the Will—or rather, by a carefully training of yourself use your Will—manage to get hold of the mental throttle, so that you may pull it down and turn on a full head of steam whenever necessary.

And when you have once mastered this, you will find that you are not any more tired when running under full pressure, than when you are crawling along—this being one of the Secrets of Success. To many a person, the term “The Will,” means merely a firm, steadfastness of mind, akin to Determination and Fixity of Purpose. To others it means something like Desire. To others, it means “the power of choice,” etc. But to occultists, the Will is something far more than these things—it means a Vital Power—an Acting Force of the Mind—capable of dominating and ruling the other mental faculties as well as projecting itself beyond the mental organs of the individual and affecting others coming within its field of influence.

And it is in this sense that we use the word “Will” in this lesson. We have no desire to take the reader into the dim realms of metaphysics, or even into the lighter but still arduous paths of scientific psychology, but we must acquaint him with the fact of the existence of this thing that we call Will Power, and its relation to the “I.” Of all the mental faculties or powers, that of the Will is the closest to the “I” or Ego of the person.

It is the Sword of Power clasped in the hand of the Ego. One may divorce himself in thought from the other mental faculties and states, but when he thinks of the “I” he is bound to think of it as possessing that power which we call Will. The Will is a primal, original power of the “I” which is always with it until the end. It is the force with which he rules (or should rule) his mental and physical kingdom—the power of which his Individuality manifests itself upon the outside world. Desire is the great motive power inciting the Will to action in life. As we have shown you the action of Will without the motive power of Desire is unthinkable, and therefore it follows that the culture and right direction of Desire carries with it the channel of expression and manifestation of the Will.

You cultivate certain Desires, in order that the Will may flow out along these channels. By cultivating the Desire along certain lines, you are making channels along which the Will may flow in its rush toward expression and manifestation. So be sure to map out your Desire channels clearly by making the proper Mental Images of what you want—be sure and make the Desire channels deep and clear‑cut by the force of repeated attention and autosuggestion. History is filled with examples of men who have developed the use of the Will. We say “developed the use” rather than “developed Will,” for man does not develop his Will—his Will is always there ready for use—a man develops his ability to use the Will—perfects himself in its use.

We have frequently used the following illustration, and have not been able to improve upon it: Man is like a trolley car, with the upraised trolley‑pole of his mind reaching out to the live wire of Will. Along that wire is flowing the current of Will Power, which it “taps” and draws down into his mind, and by which he is able to move, and act and manifest power. But the power is always in the Wire, and his “developing” consists in the ability to raise the pole to the Wire, and thus “tap into” its energy.

If you will carry this idea in your mind, you will be able to apply this truth more easily in your everyday life. A great promoter of the steel‑pen, and electroplating industries, possesses this quality to a marked degree. It has been said of him that: “He had, to begin with, a strong, powerful, almost irresistible Will; and whoever and whatever he opposed, he surely conquered in the end.”

Buxton said: “The longer I live, the more certain I am that the great difference between men, between the feeble and the powerful, the great and the insignificant, is Energy—Invincible Determination—a purpose once fixed, and the Victory or Death. That quality will do anything that can be done in this world—and no talents, no circumstances, no opportunities, will make a two‑legged creature a man without it.”

In this last quotation and the one preceding it, the idea of Persistence and Determination is identified closely with that of Will. And they are closely identified, the idea being that the Will should be held close, fast, and steadily against the task to be accomplished, just as the steel chisel is held firmly up against the object on the lathe, until its work is accomplished. It is not the mere Determination or Persistency that does the work—these would be of no avail unless the Will were there to do the cutting and shaping. But then again, there is a double‑aspect of Will here—the Will in one phase does the work, while in another it forces the mind to hold it up against the task. So, in a sense the Will is the power back of Determination and persistency, as well as the force doing the work—the cutting‑edge of the chisel, as well as the firm hand that holds it to its work.

Simpson has said: “A passionate Desire, and an unwearied Will can perform impossibilities, or what would seem to be such, to the cold and feeble.”

Disraeli said: “I have brought myself by long meditation to the conviction that a human being with a settled purpose must accomplish it, and that nothing can resist a Will which will stake even existence upon its fulfillment.”

Foster says: “It is wonderful how even the casualties of life seem to bow to a spirit that will not bow to them, and yield to sub‑serve a design which they may, in their first apparent tendency, threaten to frustrate. When a firm, decisive spirit is recognized, it is curious to see how the space clears around a man and leaves him room and freedom.”

Mitchell has said: “Resolve is what makes a man manifest; not puny resolve; not crude determination; not errant purpose—but that strong and indefatigable Will which treads down difficulties and danger, as a boy treads down the heaving frost lands of winter, which kindles his eye and brain with a proud pulse‑beat toward the unattainable. Will makes men giants.”

So, raise that mental trolley‑pole, and touch the live wire of Will.

Lesson III – Spiritedness

Spiritedness not a fanciful, vague quality, but a real, live, forceful Power in Man. The Assertion of Recognition of Mastery. A wonderful Soul-quality.

 

To many of you, the title of this lesson—Spiritedness— may seem to have some connection with “spirits,” “disembodied entities,” or else the “soul” or some higher part of it, to which the name Spirit is often applied. But, in this case, we use the word in a different sense, and yet in a sense approved by many advanced teachers and investigators of the occult and spiritual. One of the meanings of the word ”spirit” as given by Webster is as follows: “Energy, vivacity, ardor, enthusiasm, courage,” etc., while the same authority defines the word “spirited” as: “Animated; full of life and vigor, lively,” etc. These definitions will give you a hint of the sense in which we are now using the term, but there is still more to it.

To us the word Spirit expresses the idea of the real essential nature of the Universal Power, and which is also manifested in man as the center of his being—his essential strength and power, from whence proceeds all that renders him an Individual. Spiritedness does not mean the quality of being ethereal, “goody‑goody,” spiritual, otherworldly, or anything of that sort. It means the state of being “animated,” meaning, “possessed of life and vigor”—so that the state is really that of being filled with Power and Life. And that Power and Life comes from the very center of one’s being—the “I am” region or plane of mind and consciousness.

Spiritedness is manifested in different degrees among different men—and even among the animals. It is an elementary, fundamental, primitive quality and expression of Life, and does not depend upon culture, refinement or education— its development seems to depend upon such instinctive or intuitional recognition of the Something Within—the Power of the Individual which is derived from that Universal Power of which we are all expressions. And even some of the animals seem to possess it.

A recent writer on the “Taming of Animals” expresses instinctive realization of Spiritedness among some of the higher animals as follows: “Put two male baboons in the same cage, and they will open their mouths, show all their teeth, and ‘blow’ at each other. But one of them, even though he may possess the uglier dentition, will blow with a difference, with an inward shakiness that marks him as the under dog at once. No test of battle is needed at all. It is the same with the big cats. Put two, or four, or a dozen lions together, and they also, probably without a single contest, will soon discover which one of them possesses the mettle of the master. Thereafter he takes the choice of the meat; if he chooses, the rest shall not even begin to eat until he has finished; he goes first to the fresh pan of water. In short he is ‘king of the cage. ‘Now, then, when a tamer goes into a den with a big cat that has taken a notion to act ‘funny,’ his attitude is almost exactly that of the ‘king beast’ above mentioned would be toward a subject rash and ill advised enough to challenge his kingship.”

You will notice in the above quotation, that the writer states clearly that it is not always the baboon with the fiercest tusks that is the master, neither does the “king lion” necessarily assert his dominion by winning a physical fight—it is something far more subtle than the physical—it is the manifestation of some soul quality of the animal. And so it is with men, it is not always the biggest and strongest physically who rule—the ruler becomes so by reason of the mysterious soul quality which we call Spiritedness, and which men often call “nerve,” or “mettle,” or “sand.”

When two individuals come into contact with each other there is mental struggle—there may not be even a word uttered—and yet soul grapples with soul as the two pairs of eyes gaze into each other, and a subtle something in each engages and grapples with a subtle something in the other. It may be all over in a moment, but the conflict is settled for the time, and each of the mental combatants knows that he is victor or defeated, as the case may be. There may be no feeling of antagonism between the parties engaging, but nevertheless there seems to be an inward recognition on both sides that there is something between them that has to be settled at once. The parties may become the best of friends, and yet one of them always leads. And this leadership does not depend upon physical strength, intellectual attainment, or culture in the ordinary sense, but upon the manifestation and recognition of that subtle quality that we have called Spirit.

People unconsciously assert their recognition of quality in themselves and others, by their use of the term. We often hear of people “lacking spirit”; being “spiritless”; and of others having had “their spirit broken;” etc. The term is used in the sense of “mettle.” A “mettled” horse or man is “high‑spirited,” according to the dictionaries; and the same authorities define “mettlesome” as “full of spirit,” so you see the term is used as we have employed it—but the explanation of the source of the “spiritedness” is not given. Breeders of thoroughbred racing horses will tell you that a horse having “spirit” will run a gamer race and will often outdistance and out‑wind a horse having higher physical characteristics, but less “spirit” or “class.” Horsemen insist that the possession of “spirit” in a horse is recognized by the other horses, who are effected by it and become discouraged and allow themselves to be beaten, although often they may be better racing machines, physically. This spirit is a fundamental vital strength possessed by all living things in degrees—and it may be developed and strengthened in one’s self. In our next lesson we shall recite a few instances of its manifestation among men.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, in one of his books, gives the following vivid description of the conflict of spiritedness between two men: “The Koh‑i‑noor’s face turned so white with rage that his blue‑black mustache and beard looked fearful against it. He grinned with wrath, and caught at a tumbler, as if he would have thrown its contents at the speaker. The young Marylander fixed his clear, steady eye upon him, and laid his hand on his arm, carelessly almost, but the Jewel felt that he could not move it. It was no use. The youth was his master, and in a deadly Indian hug in which men wrestle with their eyes, over in five seconds, but which breaks one of their two backs, and is good for three score years and ten, one trial enough—settles the whole matter—just as when two feathered songsters of the barnyard, game and dunghill, come together. After a jump or two at each other, and a few sharp kicks, there is an end to it; and it is ‘After you, monsieur,’ with the beaten party in all the social relations for all the rest of his days.”

Fothergill says: “Emily Bronte sketched out her ideal of a being possessed of immense willpower in a thorough ruffian— Heathcliff. A massive, muscular brute! Well, it was a girl’s conception of a strong man; but I think I have seen some quiet, inoffensive‑looking men in spectacles, who could very soon have shown the ruffian where the superiority lay.”

A celebrated historical example of Spiritedness, under apparently overwhelming odds, is that of the interview between Hugo, Bishop of Lincoln and Richard Coeur de Lion, in the church of Roche d’Andeli. In his desire to prosecute the war in Normandy, Richard demanded additional supplies and money from his barons and bishops, but Hugo refused to furnish men or money. He claimed that although the See of Lincoln was legally bound to supply men and money for military service within the four seas of Britain, the war in Normandy did not come under that head, and he defied the king.

King Richard, called the Lion‑Hearted, was a dangerous man to defy, and so when he summoned Bishop Hugo to Normandy, and the latter went forth to beard the lion in his den, few doubted the outcome, and the bishop’s downfall was taken as a matter of course. When the bishop landed in Normandy two friendly barons who informed him that the king was in a terrible rage against him, and who advised him to send some humble, conciliatory message to him before entering the royal presence. But the bishop refused to do this, and proceeded boldly to meet his monarch.

Richard was sitting at Mass when the bishop entered. Hugo walked up to him, and disregarding his frown, said, “Kiss me, my lord King!” Richard turned wrathfully away, withholding his salute. But Hugo, gazing into his eyes, and shaking the royal shoulder vigorously, repeated his demand. “Thou hast not deserved it,” roared the king in anger and chagrin. “I have,” retorted Hugo, shaking the royal shoulder the harder. The king gradually dropped his eyes from those of the bishop, and gave the kingly salute and kiss, and the bishop passed on calmly to take part in the service. Hugo afterward defied the king in his council chamber, and persisted in his refusal, and even ventured to rebuke his royal master for infidelity to the queen. The council was astounded, for knowing Richard’s courage and fiery temper they expected to see Hugo crush in a moment—but instead he emerged the victor in the struggle of Spiritedness. The historian says: “The Lion was tamed for the moment. The King acknowledged nothing, but restrained his passion, remarking afterward, ‘If all bishops were like my lord of Lincoln, not a prince among us could lift his head among them.’”

And this was not the first time that this doughty Bishop of Lincoln had vanquished a king. In his earlier days, shortly after King Henry Plantagenet had created him bishop, he became involved in a fierce dispute with that monarch. Henry was at Woodstock Park surrounded by his courtiers when Hugo approached. The king feigned not to see the bishop, taking no notice whatsoever of him.

After a few moments of strained silence, the bishop, pushing aside a powerful earl who was seated by the king’s side, took his place beside the king. The king pretended to be mending his leather glove. The bishop cheerfully and lightly said: “Your Majesty reminds me of your cousin at Falaise.” Falaise was the place at which Henry’s ancestor Duke Robert met Arlotta, the daughter of a tanner of leather, who bore him his illegitimate son who was afterward known as William the Conqueror. The Bishop’s impudent allusion to the king’s ancestry was too much for the latter, and he was badly worsted in the encounter and later acceded to the wishes of the bishop.

But as Fothergill truly says: “It is a great mistake to suppose that this Will is disposed to air itself on all occasions; far from it. It often has a tendency to conceal itself, and is not rarely found under and exterior of much pleasantness. There are men, and women, too, who present an appearance of such politeness that they seem to have no will of their own; they apparently exist merely to do what is agreeable to others; but just wait till the time comes, and then the latent will‑power is revealed, and we find under this velvet glove the iron hand—and no mistake about it. It is the secret of the diplomatist. Talleyrand possessed it to a remarkable degree, and was a cool, bold, successful diplomat; Cavour also possessed this power and used it wisely. The blusterer and bragger are devoid of it.” It is a subtle, tenuous Power, resting latent beneath the surface and out of evidence— but when needed it flashes forth like the dynamic electric spark, driving all before it. It is an elemental force, of irresistible power.

Lesson II – The Individual

Individuality and Personality. What the Self really is. What is the Individual which manifests the Power of the Self. The Master in the Brain.

 

In our last lesson we stated that we considered the “Secret of Success” to consist principally of the Free Expression of the Individual—the “I.” But before you will be able to apply this idea successfully, you must first awaken to a realization of what the Individual—the “I” within you—really is. This statement may appear ridiculous at first to many of you, but it will pay you to acquaint yourself fully with the idea behind it, for upon the true realization of “I” comes Power.

If you will stop and take stock of yourself, you will find that you are a more complex being than you had at first considered yourself to be. In the first place there is the “I,” which is the Real Self or the Individual, and there is the “Me,” which is something attached to and belonging to the “I”—the Personality. For proof of this, let the “I” take stock of the “Me,” and it will find that the latter consists of three phases or principles, i. e. (1) the Physical Body; (2) The Vital Energy; (3) The Mind.

Many people are in the habit of regarding their bodies as the “I” part of them, but a little consideration will show them that the body is but a material covering, or machine through which and by means of which the “I” is able to manifest itself. A little thought will show that one may be vividly conscious of the “I Am” part of himself while totally oblivious of the presence of the physical body. This being so, it follows that the “I” is independent of the body, and that the latter falls into the “Me” classification. The physical body may exist after the “I” has left it—the dead body is not the “I.” The physical body is composed of countless particles which are changing places every moment of our lives—our body of today is entirely different from our body of a year ago.

Then comes the second principle of the “Me”—the Vital Energy, or what many call Life. This is seen to be independent of the body, which it energizes, but it, too, is transitory and changeable, and readily may be seen to be but a something used to animate and energize the body—an instrument of the “I,” and therefore a principle of the “Me”. What, then, is left to the “I” to examine and determine its nature? The answer that comes naturally to the lips is, “The Mind, by which I know the truth of what you have just said.” But, stop a moment, you have said, speaking of the mind, “by which I know”—have you not, in saying this, acknowledged the mind to be a something through which the “I” acts?

Think a moment—is the mind you? You are aware that your mental states change—your emotions vary— your feelings differ from time to time—your very ideas and thoughts are inconsistent and are subject to outside influences, or else are molded and governed by that which you call “I”, or your Real Self. Then there must be something behind Mental States, Ideas, Feelings, Thoughts, etc., which is superior to them and which “knows” them just as one knows a thing apart from itself but which it uses. You say “I” feel; “I” think; “I” believe; “I” know; “I” will; etc. , etc. Now which is the Real Self? The Mental States just mentioned or the “I” which is the subject or Real Cause of the mental phenomena? It is not the Mind that knows, but the “I” which uses the Mind in order to know.

This may seem a little abstruse to you if you have never been made a study of the subject, but think it over a little and the idea will clearly define itself in your mind.

We are not telling you these things merely to give you an idea of metaphysics, philosophy, or psychology—there are many books that go into these matters at length and in detail—so it is not for that reason. The real reason is that with a realization of the “I” or Real Self, comes a sense of Power that will manifest through you and make you strong. The awakening to a realization of the “I”, in its clearness and vividness, will cause you to feel a sense of Being and Power that you have never before known. Before you can express Individuality, you must realize that you are an Individual. And you must be aware of this “I” within you before you can realize that you are an Individual.

The “Me” side of you is what is called Personality, to the outer appearance of yourself. Your Personality is made up of countless characteristics, traits, habits, thoughts, expressions and motions—it is a bunch of peculiarities and personal traits that you have been thinking was the real “I” all this time. But it is not. Do you know what the idea of Personality arose from? Let us tell you. Turn to the pages of any good dictionary, and you will see that the word originated from the Latin word “Persona”, meaning “a mask used by actors in ancient times”, and which the word in turn was derived from two other words, “sonare,” meaning to “sound,” and “per,” meaning “through,” the two words combined meaning “to sound through”—the idea being that the voice of the actor sounded through the mask of the assumed personality or character.

Webster gives the following as one of the meanings of “Person,” even to this day: “A character or part, as in a play; an assumed character.” So then, Personality means the part you are playing in the Great Play of Life, on the Stage of the Universe. The real Individual concealed behind the mask of Personality is you—the Real Self—the “I”—that part of you which you are conscious when you say “I am,” which is your assertion of existence and latent power.

“Individual” means something that cannot be divided or subtracted from—something that cannot be injured or hurt by outside forces—something real. And you are an Individual—a Real Self—an “I”—Something endowed with Life, Mind, and Power, to use, as you will. A poet named Orr wrote:

“Lord of a thousand worlds am I, And I reign since time began; And night and day, in cyclic sway, Shall pass while their deeds I scan. Yet time shall cease ere I find release, For I am the soul of Man.”