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The Higher Powers of Mind and Spirit by Ralph Waldo Trine online


page 1 of 9 | table of contents

The Higher Powers of Mind and Spirit by Ralph Waldo Trine

If we would seek the essence of Jesus' revelation, attested both by his words and his life, it was to bring a knowledge of the ineffable love of God to man, and by revealing this, to instil in the minds and hearts of men love for God, and a knowledge of and following of the ways of God. It was also then to bring a new emphasis of the Divine law of love--the love of man for man. Combined, it results, so to speak, in raising men to a higher power, to a higher life,--as individuals, as groups, as one great world group.

It is a newly sensitised attitude of mind and heart that he brought and that he endeavoured to reveal in all its matchless beauty--a following not of the traditions of men, but fidelity to one's God, whereby the Divine rule in the mind and heart assumes supremacy and, as must inevitably follow, fidelity to one's fellow-men. These are the essentials of Jesus' revelation--the fundamental forces in his own life. His every teaching, his every act, comes back to them. I believe also that all efforts to mystify the minds of men and women by later theories _about_ him are contrary to his own expressed teaching, and in exact degree that they would seek to substitute other things for these fundamentals.

I call them fundamentals. I call them his fundamentals. What right have I to call them his fundamentals?

An occasion arose one day in the form of a direct question for Jesus to state in well-considered and clear-cut terms the essence, the gist, of his entire teachings--therefore, by his authority, the fundamentals of essential Christianity. In the midst of one of the groups that he was speaking to one day, we are told that a certain lawyer arose--an interpreter of, an authority on, the existing ecclesiastical law. The reference to him is so brief, unfortunately, that we cannot tell whether his question was to confound Jesus, as was so often the case, or whether being a liberal Jew he longed for an honest and truly helpful answer. From Jesus' remark to him, after his primary answer, we are justified in believing it was the latter.

His question was: "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus said unto him, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

Here we have a wonderful statement from a wonderful source. So clear-cut is it that any wayfaring man, though a fool, cannot mistake it. Especially is this true when we couple with it this other statement of Jesus: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." We must never forget that Jesus was born, lived, and died a Jew, the same as all of his disciples--and they never regarded themselves in any other light. The _basis_ of his religion was the religion of Israel. It was this he taught and expounded, now in the synagogue, now out on the hillside and by the lake-side. It was this that he tried to teach in its purity, that he tried to free from the hedges that ecclesiasticism had built around it, this that he endeavoured to raise to a still higher standard.

One cannot find the slightest reference in any of his sayings that would indicate that he looked upon himself in any other light--except the overwhelming sense that it was his mission to bring in the new dispensation by fulfilling the old, and then carrying it another great step forward, which he did in a wonderful way--both God-ward and man-ward.