The Science of Being Great by Wallace Wattles - HTML preview

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If they are alone, or if they have nothing amusing to take their attention, as a novel to read or a show to see, they must think; and to escape from thinking they resort to novels, shows, and all the endless devices of the purveyors of amusement.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 53

Most people spend the greater part of their leisure time running away from thought, hence they are where they are.

We never move forward until we begin to think.

Read less and think more. Read about great things and think about great questions and issues. We have at the present time few really great figures in the political life of our country; our politicians are a petty lot.

There is no Lincoln, no Webster, no Clay, Calhoun, or Jackson. Why? Because our present statesmen deal only with sordid and petty issues - questions of dollars and cents, of expediency and party success, of material prosperity without regard to ethical right.

Thinking along these lines does not call forth great souls.

The statesmen of Lincoln’s time and previous times dealt with questions of eternal truth, of human rights and justice.

Men thought upon great themes; they thought great thoughts, and they became great men.

Thinking, not mere knowledge or information, makes personality. Thinking is growth; you cannot think without growing.

Every thought engenders another thought.

Write one idea and others will follow until you have written a page. You cannot fathom your own mind; it has neither bottom nor boundaries.

Your first thoughts may be crude; but as you go on thinking you will use more and more of yourself; you will quicken new brain cells into activity and you will develop new faculties. Heredity, environment, circumstances, all things| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 54

must give way before you if you practice sustained and continuous thought.

But, on the other hand, if you neglect to think for yourself and only use other people’s thought, you will never know what you are capable of; and you will end by being incapable of anything.

There can be no real greatness without original thought. All that a man does outwardly is the expression and completion of his inward thinking.

No action is possible without thought, and no great action is possible until a great thought has preceded it. Action is the second form of thought, and personality is the materialization of thought.

Environment is the result of thought; things group themselves or arrange themselves around you according to your thought.

There is, as Emerson says, some central idea or conception of yourself by which all the facts of your life are arranged and classified.

Change this central idea and you change the arrangement or classification of all the facts and circumstances of your life.

You are what you are because you think as you do; you are where you are because you think as you do.

You see then the immense importance of thinking about the great essentials set forth in the preceding chapters.

You must not accept them in any superficial way; you must think about them until they are a part of your central idea.

Go back to the matter of the point of view and consider, in all its bearings, the tremendous thought that you live in a| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 55

perfect world among perfect people, and that nothing can possibly be wrong with you but your own personal attitude.

Think about all this until you fully realize all that it means to you.

Consider that this is God’s world and that it is the best of all possible worlds; that he has brought it thus far toward completion by the processes of organic, social, and industrial evolution, and that it is going on to greater completeness and harmony.

Consider that there is one great, perfect, intelligent Principle of Life and Power, causing all the changing phenomena of the cosmos.

Think about all this until you see that it is true, and until you comprehend how you should live and act as a citizen of such a perfect whole.

Next, think of the wonderful truth that this great Intelligence is in you; it is your own intelligence.

It is an Inner Light impelling you toward the right thing and the best thing, the greatest act, and the highest happiness.

It is a Principle of Power in you, giving you all the ability and genius there is.

It will infallibly guide you to the best if you will submit to it and walk in the light.

Consider what is meant by your consecration of yourself when you say: “I will obey my soul.” This is a sentence of tremendous meaning; it must revolutionize the attitude and behavior of the average person.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 56

Then think of your identification with this Great Supreme; that all its knowledge is yours, and all its wisdom is yours, for the asking. You are a god if you think like a god.

If you think like a god you cannot fail to act like a god.

Divine thoughts will surely externalize themselves in a divine life.

Thoughts of power will end in a life of power. Great thoughts will manifest in a great personality.

Think well of all this, and then you are ready to act.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 57

Chapter 14 - Action At Home

DO not merely think that you are going to become great; think that you are great now.

Do not think that you will begin to act in a great way at some future time; begin now.

Do not think that you will act in a great way when you reach a different environment; act in a great way where you are now.

Do not think that you will begin to act in a great way when you begin to deal with great things; begin to deal in a great way with small things.

Do not think that you will begin to be great when you get among more intelligent people, or among people who understand you better; begin now to deal in a great way with the people around you.

If you are not in an environment where there is scope for your best powers and talents you can move in due time; but meanwhile you can be great where you are.

Lincoln was as great when he was a backwoods lawyer as when he was President; as a backwoods lawyer he did common things in a great way, and that made him President.

Had he waited until he reached Washington to begin to be great, he would have remained unknown.

You are not made great by the location in which you happen to be nor by the things with which you may surround yourself.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 58

You are not made great by what you receive from others, and you can never manifest greatness so long as you depend on others.

You will manifest greatness only when you begin to stand alone.

Dismiss all thought of reliance on externals, whether things, books, or people. As Emerson said, “Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare.” Shakespeare will be made by the thinking of Shakespearean thoughts.

Never mind how the people around you, including those of your own household, may treat you.

That has nothing at all to do with your being great; that is, it cannot hinder you from being great.

People may neglect you and be unthankful and unkind in their attitude toward you; does that prevent you from being great in your manner and attitude toward them?

“Your Father,” said Jesus, “is kind to the unthankful and the evil.” Would God be great if he should go away and sulk because people were unthankful and did not appreciate him?

Treat the unthankful and the evil in a great and perfectly kind way, just as God does.

Do not talk about your greatness; you are really, in essential nature, no greater than those around you.

You may have entered upon a way of living and thinking which they have not yet found, but they are perfect on their own plane of thought and action.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 59

You are entitled to no special honor or consideration for your greatness.

You are a god, but you are among gods.

You will fall into the boastful attitude if you see other people’s shortcomings and failures and compare them with your own virtues and successes; and if you fall into the boastful attitude of mind, you will cease to be great, and become small.

Think of yourself as a perfect being among perfect beings, and meet every person as an equal, not as either superior or an inferior.

Give yourself no airs; great people never do.

Ask no honors and seek for no recognition, honors and recognition will come fast enough if you are entitled to them.

Begin at home. It is a great person who can always be poised, assured, calm, and perfectly kind and considerate at home.

If your manner and attitude in your own family are always the best you can think, you will soon become the one on whom all the others will rely.

You will be a tower of strength and a support in time of trouble. You will be loved and appreciated.

At the same time do not make the mistake of throwing yourself away in the service of others.

The great person respects himself; he serves and helps, but he is never slavishly servile. You cannot help your family by| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 60

being a slave to them, or by doing for them those things that by right they should do for themselves.

You do a person an injury when you wait on him too much.

The selfish and exacting are a great deal better off if their exactions are denied.

The ideal world is not one where there are a lot of people being waited on by other people; it is a world where everybody waits on himself.

Meet all demands, selfish and otherwise, with perfect kindness and consideration; but do not allow yourself to be made a slave to the whims, caprices, exactions, or slavish desires of any member of your family.

To do so is not great, and it works an injury to the other party.

Do not become uneasy over the failures or mistakes of any member of your family, and feel that you must interfere.

Do not be disturbed if others seem to be going wrong, and feel that you must step in and set them right.

Remember that every person is perfect on his own plane; you cannot improve on the work of God.

Do not meddle with the personal habits and practices of others, though they are your nearest and dearest; these things are none of your business.

Nothing can be wrong but your own personal attitude; make that right and you will know that all else is right.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 61

You are a truly great soul when you can live with those who do things that you do not do, and yet refrain from either criticism or interference.

Do the things that are right for you to do, and believe that every member of your family is doing the things that are right for him.

Nothing is wrong with anybody or anything, behold, it is all very good.

Do not be enslaved by anyone else, but be just as careful that you do not enslave anyone else to your own notions of what is right.

Think, and think deeply and continuously; be perfect in your kindness and consideration; let your attitude be that of a god among gods, and not that of a god among inferior beings.

This is the way to be great in your own home.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 62

Chapter 15 - Action Abroad

THE rules that apply to your action at home must apply to your action everywhere.

Never forget for an instant that this is a perfect world, and that you are a god among gods. You are as great as the greatest, but all are your equals.

Rely absolutely on your perception of truth. Trust to the inner light rather than to reason, but be sure that your perception comes from the inner light; act in poise and calmness; be still and attend on God.

Your identification of yourself with the All-Mind will give you all the knowledge you need for guidance in any contingency that may arise in your own life or in the lives of others.

It is only necessary that you should be supremely calm, and rely upon the eternal wisdom that is within you.

If you act in poise and faith, your judgment will always be right, and you will always know exactly what to do.

Do not hurry or worry; remember Lincoln in the dark days of the war.

James Freeman Clarke relates that after the battle of Fredericksburg, Lincoln alone furnished a supply of faith and hope for the nation.

Hundreds of leading men, from all parts of the country, went sadly into his room and came out cheerful and hopeful.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 63

They had stood face to face with the Highest, and had seen God in this lank, ungainly, patient man, although they knew it not.

Have perfect faith in yourself and in your own ability to cope with any combination of circumstances that may arise. Do not be disturbed if you are alone; if you need friends they will be brought to you at the right time.

Do not be disturbed if you feel that you are ignorant, the information that you need will be furnished you when it is time for you to have it.

That which is in you impelling you forward is in the things and people you need, impelling them toward you.

If there is a particular man you need to know, he will be introduced to you; if there is a particular book you need to read it will be placed in your hands at the right time.

All the knowledge you need is coming to you from both external and internal sources.

Your information and your talents will always be equal to the requirements of the occasion.

Remember that Jesus told his disciples not to worry as to what they should say when brought before the judges; he knew that the power in them would be sufficient for the needs of the hour.

As soon as you awaken and begin to use your faculties in a great way you will apply power to the development of your brain; new cells will be created and dormant cells quickened into activity, and your brain will be qualified as a perfect instrument for your mind.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 64

Do not try to do great things until you are ready to go about them in a great way.

If you undertake to deal with great matters in a small way-that is, from a low viewpoint or with incomplete consecration and wavering faith and courage-you will fail.

Do not be in a hurry to get to the great things. Doing great things will not make you great, but becoming great will certainly lead you to the doing of great things.

Begin to be great where you are and in the things you do every day. Do not be in haste to be found out or recognized as a great personality.

Do not be disappointed if men do not nominate you for office within a month after you begin to practice what you read in this book.

Great people never seek for recognition or applause; they are not great because they want to be paid for being so.

Greatness is reward enough for itself; the joy of being something and of knowing that you are advancing is the greatest of all joys possible to man.

If you begin in your own family, as described in the preceding chapter, and then assume the same mental attitude with your neighbors, friends, and those you meet in business, you will soon find that people are beginning to depend on you.

Your advice will be sought, and a constantly increasing number of people will look to you for strength and inspiration, and rely upon your judgment.

Here, as in the home, you must avoid meddling with other people’s affairs. Help all who come to you, but do not go| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 65

about officiously endeavoring to set other people right. Mind your own business.

It is no part of your mission in life to correct people’s morals, habits, or practices.

Lead a great life, doing all things with a great spirit and in a great way; give to him that asks of you as freely as you have received, but do not force your help or your opinions upon any man.

If your neighbor wishes to smoke or drink, it is his business; it is none of yours until he consults you about it.

If you lead a great life and do no preaching, you will save a thousand times as many souls as one who leads a small life and preaches continuously.

If you hold the right viewpoint of the world, others will find it out and be impressed by it through your daily conversation and practice.

Do not try to convert others to your point of view, except by holding it and living accordingly.

If your consecration is perfect you do not need to tell anyone; it will speedily become apparent to all that you are guided by a higher principle than the average man or woman.

If your identification with God is complete, you do not need to explain the fact to others; it will become self-evident.

To become known as a great personality, you have nothing to do but to live. Do not imagine that you must go charging about the world like Don Quixote, tilting at windmills, and overturning things in general, in order to demonstrate that you are somebody.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 66

Do not go hunting for big things to do. Live a great life where you are, and in the daily work you have to do, and greater works will surely find you out. Big things will come to you, asking to be done.

Be so impressed with the value of a man that you treat even a beggar or the tramp with the most distinguished consideration.

All is God. Every man and woman is perfect. Let your manner be that of a god addressing other gods. Do not save all your consideration for the poor; the millionaire is as good as the tramp.

This is a perfectly good world, and there is not a person or thing in it but is exactly right; be sure that you keep this in mind in dealing with things and men.

Form your mental vision of yourself with care. Make the thought-form of yourself as you wish to be, and hold this with the faith that it is being realized, and with the purpose to realize it completely.

Do every common act as a god should do it; speak every word as a god should speak it; meet men and women of both low and high estate as a god meets other divine beings.

Begin thus and continue thus, and your unfolding in ability and power will be great and rapid.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 67

Chapter 16 - Some Further Explanations

WE go back here to the matter of the point of view, for, besides being vitally important, it is the one that is likely to give the student the most trouble.

We have been trained, partly by mistaken religious teachers, to look upon the world as being like a wrecked ship, storm-driven upon a rocky coast; utter destruction is inevitable at the end, and the most that can be done is to rescue, perhaps, a few of the crew.

This view teaches us to consider the world as essentially bad and growing worse; and to believe that existing discords and inharmoniousness must continue and intensify until the end.

It robs us of hope for society, government, and humanity, and gives us a decreasing outlook and contracting mind.

This is all wrong.

The world is not wrecked. It is like a magnificent steamer with the engines in place and the machinery in perfect order.

The bunkers are full of coal, and the ship is amply provisioned for the cruise; there is no lack of any good thing.

Every provision Omniscience could devise has been made for the safety, comfort, and happiness of the crew; the steamer is out on the high seas tacking hither and thither because no one has yet learned the right course to steer.

We are learning to steer, and in due time will come grandly into the harbor of perfect harmony.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 68

The world is good, and growing better. Existing discords and inharmoniousness are but the pitching of the ship incidental to our own imperfect steering; they will all be removed in due time.

This view gives us an increasing outlook and an expanding mind; it enables us to think largely of society and of ourselves, and to do things in a great way.

Furthermore, we see that nothing can be wrong with such a world or with any part of it, including our own affairs.

If it is all moving on toward completion, then it is not going wrong; and as our own personal affairs are a part of the whole, they are not going wrong.

You and all that you are concerned with are moving on toward completeness.

Nothing can check this forward movement but yourself; and you can only check it by assuming a mental attitude that is at cross-purposes with the mind of God.

You have nothing to keep right but yourself; if you keep yourself right, nothing can possibly go wrong with you, and you can have nothing to fear.

No business or other disaster can come upon you if your personal attitude is right, for you are a part of that which is increasing and advancing, and you must increase and advance with it.

Moreover your thought-form will be mostly shaped according to your viewpoint of the cosmos.

If you see the world as a lost and ruined thing you will see yourself as a part of it, and as partaking of its sins and| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 69

weaknesses. If your outlook for the world as a whole is hopeless, your outlook for yourself cannot be hopeful.

If you see the world as declining toward its end, you cannot see yourself as advancing.

Unless you think well of all the works of God you cannot really think well of yourself, and unless you think well of yourself you can never become great.

I repeat that your place in life, including your material environment, is determined by the thought-form you habitually hold of yourself.

When you make a thought-form of yourself you can hardly fail to form in your mind a corresponding environment. If you think of yourself as an incapable, inefficient person, you will think of yourself with poor or cheap surroundings.

Unless you think well of yourself you will be sure to picture yourself in a more or less poverty stricken environment.

These thoughts, habitually held, become invisible forms in the surrounding mind-stuff, and are with you continually.

In due time, by the regular action of the eternal creative energy, the invisible thought-forms are produced in material stuff, and you are surrounded by your own thoughts made into material things.

See nature as a great living and advancing presence, and see human society in exactly the same way. It is all one, coming from one source, and it is all good.

You yourself are made of the same stuff as God. All the constituents of God are parts of you; every power that God has is a constituent of man.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 70

You can move forward as you see God doing. You have within yourself the source of every power.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 71

Chapter 17 - More About Thought

GIVE place here to some further consideration of thought.

You will never become great until your own thoughts make you great, and therefore it is of the first importance that you should THINK.

You will never do great things in the external world until you think great things in the internal world; and you will never think great things until you think about truth; about the verities.

To think great things you must be absolutely sincere; and to be sincere you must know that your intentions are right.

Insincere or false thinking is never great, however logical and brilliant it may be.

The first and most important step is to seek the truth about human relations, to know what you ought to be to other men, and what they ought to be to you.

This brings you back to the search for a right viewpoint. You should study organic and social evolution.

Read Darwin and Walter Thomas Mills, and when you read, THINK; think the whole matter over until you see the world of things and men in the right way. THINK about what God is doing until you can SEE what he is doing.

Your next step is to think yourself into the right personal attitude. Your viewpoint tells you what the right attitude is, and obedience to the soul puts you into it.

It is only by making a complete consecration of yourself to the highest that is within you that you can attain to sincere| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 72

thinking. So long as you know you are selfish in your aims, or dishonest or crooked in any way in your intentions or practices, your thinking will be false and your thoughts will have no power.

THINK about the way you are doing things; about all your intentions, purposes, and practices, until you know that they are right.

The fact of his own complete unity with God is one that no person can grasp without deep and sustained thinking.

Anyone can accept the proposition in a superficial way, but to feel and realize a vital comprehension of it is another matter.

It is easy to think of going outside of yourself to meet God, but it is not so easy to think of going inside yourself to meet God. But God is there, and in the holy of holies of your own soul you may meet him face to face.

It is a tremendous thing; this fact that all you need is already within you; that you do not have to consider how to get the power to do what you want to do or to make yourself what you want to be.

You have only to consider how to use the power you have in the right way.

And there is nothing to do but to begin. Use your perception of truth; you can see some truth today; live fully up to that and you will see more truth tomorrow.

To rid yourself of the old false ideas you will have to think a great deal about the value of men-the greatness and worth of a human soul.

You must cease from looking at human mistakes and look at successes; cease from seeing faults and see virtues.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 73

You can no longer look upon men and women as lost and ruined beings that are descending into hell; you must come to regard them as shining souls who are ascending toward heaven.

It will require some exercise of will power to do this, but this is the legitimate use of the will-to decide what you will think about and how you will think.

The function of the will is to direct thought. Think about the good side of men; the lovely, attractive part, and exert your will in refusing to think of anything else in connection with them.

I know of no one who has attained to so much on this one point as Eugene V. Debs, twice the Socialist candidate for president of the United States. Mr. Debs reverences humanity.

No appeal for help is ever made to him in vain. No one receives from him an unkind or censorious word.

You cannot come into his presence without being made sensible of his deep and kindly personal interest in you.

Every person, be he millionaire, grimy workingman, or toil worn woman, receives the radiant warmth of a brotherly affection that is sincere and true.

No ragged child speaks to him on the street without receiving instant and tender recognition. Debs loves men.

This has made him the leading figure in a great movement, the beloved hero of a million hearts, and will give him a deathless name. It is a great thing to love men so and it is only achieved by thought. Nothing can make you great but thought.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 74

“We may divide thinkers into those who think for themselves and those who think through others. The latter are the rule and the former the exception. The first are original thinkers in a double sense, and egotists in the noblest meaning of the word.” -Schopenhauer.

“The key to every man is his thought. Sturdy and defiant though he look he has a helm which he obeys, which is the idea after which all his facts are classified. He can only be reformed by showing him a new idea which commands his own.” -Emerson.

“All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times; but to make them really ours we must think them over again honestly till they take root in our personal expression.” -Goethe.

“All that a man is outwardly is but the expression and completion of his inward thought. To work effectively he must think clearly. To act nobly he must think nobly.” -


“Great men are they who see that spirituality is stronger than any material force; that thoughts rule the world.” -


“Some people study all their lives, and at their death they have learned everything except to think.” -Domergue.

“It is the habitual thought that frames itself into our life. It affects us even more than our intimate social relations do.

Our confidential friends have not so much to do in shaping our lives as the thoughts have which we harbor?’ -J. W.


“When God lets loose a great thinker on this planet, then all things are at risk. There is not a piece of science but its flank may be turned tomorrow; nor any literary reputation| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 75

or the so-called eternal names of fame that may not be refused and condemned.” -Emerson.

Think! Think!! THINK!!!| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 76

Chapter 18 - Jesus’ Idea Of Greatness

IN the twenty-third chapter of Matthew Jesus makes a very plain distinction between true and false greatness; and also points out the one great danger to all who wish to become great; the most insidious of temptations which all must avoid and fight unceasingly who desire to really climb in the world.

Speaking to the multitude and to his disciples he bids them beware of adopting the principle of the Pharisees.

He points out that while the Pharisees are just and righteous men, honorable judges, true lawgivers and upright in their dealings with men, they “love the uppermost seats at feasts and greetings in the market place, and to be called Master, Master”; and in comparison with this principle, he says: “He that will be great among you let him serve.”

The average person’s idea of a great man, rather than of one who serves, is of one who succeeds in getting himself served.

He gets himself in a position to command men; to exercise power over them, making them obey his will.

The exercise of dominion over other people, to most persons, is a great thing. Nothing seems to be sweeter to the selfish soul than this.

You will always find every selfish and undeveloped person trying to domineer over others, to exercise control over other men.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 77

Savage men were no sooner placed upon the earth than they began to enslave one another.

For ages the struggle in war, diplomacy, politics, and government has been aimed at the securing of control over other men.

Kings and princes have drenched the soil of the earth in blood and tears in the effort to extend their dominions and their power to rule more people.

The struggle of the business world today is the same as that on the battlefields of Europe a century ago so far as the ruling principle is concerned. Robert 0. Ingersoll could not understand why men like Rockefeller and Carnegie seek for more money and make themselves slaves to the business struggle when they already have more than they can possibly use.

He thought it a kind of madness and illustrated it as follows:

“Suppose a man had fifty thousand pairs of pants, seventy-five thousand vests, one hundred thousand coats, and one hundred and fifty thousand neckties, what would you think of him if he arose in the morning before light and worked until after it was dark every day, rain or shine, in all kinds of weather, merely to get another necktie?”

But it is not a good simile. The possession of neckties gives a man no power over other men, while the possession of dollars does.

Rockefeller, Carnegie, and their kind are not after dollars but power. It is the principle of the Pharisee; it is the struggle for the high place. It develops able men, cunning men, resourceful men, but not great men.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 78

I want you to contrast these two ideas of greatness sharply in your minds.

“He that will be great among you let him serve.”

Let me stand before the average American audience and ask the name of the greatest American and the majority will think of Abraham Lincoln; and is this not because in Lincoln above all the other men who have served us in public life we recognize the spirit of service?

Not servility, but service. Lincoln was a great man because he knew how to be a great servant. Napoleon, able, cold, selfish, seeking the high places, was a brilliant man. Lincoln was great; Napoleon was not.

The very moment you begin to advance and are recognized as one who is doing things in a great way you will find yourself in danger.

The temptation to patronize, advise, or take upon yourself the direction of other people’s affairs is sometimes almost irresistible.

Avoid, however, the opposite danger of falling into servility, or of completely throwing yourself away in the service of others.

To do this has been the ideal of a great many people. The completely self-sacrificing life has been thought to be the Christ-like life, because, as I think, of a complete misconception of the character and teachings of Jesus.

I have explained this misconception in a little book that I hope you may all sometime read, “A New Christ”.

Thousands of people imitating Jesus, as they suppose, have belittled themselves and given up all else to go about doing| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 79

good; practicing an altruism that is really as morbid and as far from great as the rankest selfishness.

The finer instincts which respond to the cry of trouble or distress are not by any means all of you; they are not necessarily the best part of you.

There are other things you must do besides helping the unfortunate, although it is true that a large part of the life and activities of every great person must be given to helping other people.

As you begin to advance they will come to you. Do not turn them away. But do not make the fatal error of supposing that the life of complete self-abnegation is the way of greatness.

To make another point here, let me refer to the fact that Swedenborg’s classification of fundamental motives is exactly the same as that of Jesus.

He divides all men into two groups: those who live in pure love, and those who live in what he calls the love of ruling for the love of self.

It will be seen that this is exactly the same as the lust for place and power of the Pharisees.

Swedenborg saw this selfish love of power as the cause of all sin. It was the only evil desire of the human heart, from which all other evil desires sprang.

Over against this he places pure love. He does not say love of God or love of man, but merely love.

Nearly all religionists make more of love and service to God than they do of love and service to man.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 80

But it is a fact that love to God is not sufficient to save a man from the lust for power, for some of the most ardent lovers of the Deity have been the worst of tyrants.

Lovers of God are often tyrants, and lovers of men are often meddlesome and officious.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 81

Chapter 19 - A View Of Evolution

BUT how shall we avoid throwing ourselves into altruistic work if we are surrounded by poverty, ignorance, suffering, and every appearance of misery as very many people are?

Those who live where the withered hand of want is thrust upon them from every side appealingly for aid must find it hard to refrain from continuous giving.

Again, there are social and other irregularities, injustices done to the weak, which fire generous souls with an almost irresistible desire to set things right.

We want to start a crusade; we feel that the wrongs will never be righted until we give ourselves wholly to the task.

In all this we must fall back upon the point of view.

We must remember that this is not a bad world but a good world in the process of becoming.

Beyond all doubt there was a time when there was no life upon this earth. The testimony of geology to the fact that the globe was once a ball of burning gas and molten rock, clothed about with boiling vapors, is indisputable.

And we do not know how life could have existed under such conditions; that seems impossible. Geology tells us that later on a crust formed, the globe cooled and hardened, the vapors condensed and became mist or fell in rain.

The cooled surface crumbled into soil; moisture accumulated, ponds and seas were gathered together, and| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 82

at last somewhere in the water or on the land appeared something that was alive.

It is reasonable to suppose that this first life was in single-celled organisms, but behind these cells was the insistent urge of Spirit, the Great One Life seeking expression.

And soon organisms having too much life to express themselves with one cell had two cells and then many, and still more life was poured into them.

Multiple-celled organisms were formed; plants, trees, vertebrates, and mammals, many of them with strange shapes, but all were perfect after their kind as everything is that God makes.

No doubt there were crude and almost monstrous forms of both animal and plant life; but everything filled its purpose in its day and it was all very good.

Then another day came, the great day of the evolutionary process, a day when the morning stars sang together and the sons of God shouted for joy to behold the beginning of the end, for man, the object aimed at from the beginning, had appeared upon the scene.

An ape-like being, little different from the beasts around him in appearance, but infinitely different capacity for growth and thought.

Art and beauty, architecture and song, poetry and music, all these were unrealized possibilities in that ape man’s soul.

And for his time and kind he was very good.

“It is God that works in you to will and to do of his good pleasure,” says St. Paul. From the day the first man appeared God began to work IN men, putting more and more of himself into each succeeding generation, urging| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 83

them on to larger achievements and to better conditions, social, governmental, and domestic.

Those who looking back into ancient history see the awful conditions which existed, the barbarities, idolatries, and sufferings, and reading about God in connection with these things are disposed to feel that he was cruel and unjust to man, should pause to think.

From the ape-man to the coming Christ man the race has had to rise. And it could only be accomplished by the successive unfolding of the various powers and possibilities latent in the human brain.

God desired to express himself, to live in form, and not only that, but to live in a form through which he could express himself on the highest moral and spiritual plane.

God wanted to evolve a form in which he could live as a god and manifest himself as a god. This was the aim of the evolutionary force.

The ages of warfare, bloodshed, suffering, injustice, and cruelty were tempered in many ways with love and justice as time advanced.

And this was developing the brain of man to a point where it should be capable of giving full expression to the love and justice of God.

The end is not yet; God aims not at the perfection of a few choice specimens for exhibition, like the large berries at the top of the box, but at the glorification of the race.

The time will come when the Kingdom of God shall be established on earth; the time foreseen by the dreamer of the Isle of Patmos, when there shall be no more crying,| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 84

neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are all passed away, and there shall be no night there.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 85

Chapter 20 - Serving God

I HAVE brought you thus far through the two preceding chapters with a view to finally settling the question of duty.

This is one that puzzles and perplexes very many people who are earnest and sincere, and gives them a great deal of difficulty in its solution.

When they start out to make something of themselves and to practice the science of being great, they find themselves necessarily compelled to rearrange many of their relationships.

There are friends who perhaps must be alienated, there are relatives who misunderstand and who feel that they are in some way being slighted; the really great man is often considered selfish by a large circle of people who are connected with him and who feel that he might bestow upon them more benefits than he does.

The question at the outset is: Is it my duty to make the most of myself regardless of everything else? Or shall I wait until I can do so without any friction or without causing loss to any one? This is the question of duty to self vs. duty to others.

One’s duty to the world has been thoroughly discussed in the preceding pages and I give some consideration now to the idea of duty to God.

An immense number of people have a great deal of uncertainty, not to say anxiety, as to what they ought to do for God.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 86

The amount of work and service that is done for him in these United States in the way of church work and so on is enormous.

An immense amount of human energy is expended in what is called serving God.

I propose to consider briefly what serving God is and how a man may serve God best, and I think I shall be able to make plain that the conventional idea as to what constitutes service to God is all wrong.

When Moses went down into Egypt to bring out the Hebrews from bondage, his demand upon Pharaoh, in the name of the Deity, was, “Let the people go that they may serve me.”

He led them out into the wilderness and there instituted a new form of worship which has led many people to suppose that worship constitutes the service of God, although later God himself distinctly declared that he cared nothing for ceremonies, burned offerings, or oblation, and the teaching of Jesus if rightly understood, would do away with organized temple worship altogether.

God does not lack anything that men may do for him with their hands or bodies or voices. Saint Paul points out that man can do nothing for God, for God does not need anything.

The view of evolution that we have taken shows God seeking expression through man. Through all the successive ages in which his spirit has urged man up the height, God has gone on seeking expression.

Every generation of men is more Godlike than the preceding generation.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 87

Every generation of men demands more in the way of fine homes, pleasant surroundings, congenial work, rest, travel, and opportunity for study than the preceding generation.

I have heard some shortsighted economists argue that the working people of today ought surely to be fully contented because their condition is so much better than that of the workingman two hundred years ago who slept in a windowless hut on a floor covered with rushes in company with his pigs.

If that man had all that he was able to use for the living of all the life he knew how to live, he was perfectly content, and if he had lack he was not contented.

The man of today has a comfortable home and very many things, indeed, that were unknown a short period back in the past, and if he has all that he can use for the living of all the life he can imagine, he will be content.

But he is not content. God has lifted the race so far that any common man can picture a better and more desirable life than he is able to live under existing conditions.

And so long as this is true, so long as a man can think and clearly picture to himself a more desirable life, he will be discontented with the life he has to live, and rightly so.

That discontent is the Spirit of God urging men on to more desirable conditions. It is God who seeks expression in the race. “He works in us to will and to do.”

The only service you can render God is to give expression to what he is trying to give the world, through you.

The only service you can render God is to make the very most of yourself in order that God may live in you to the utmost of your possibilities. In a former work of this series| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 88

(The Science of Getting Rich), I refer to the little boy at the piano, the music in whose soul could not find expression through his untrained hands.

This is a good illustration of the way the Spirit of God is over, about, around, and in all of us, seeking to do great things with us, so soon as we will train our hands and feet, our minds, brains, and bodies to do his service.

Your first duty to God, to yourself, and to the world is to make yourself as great a personality, in every way, as you possibly can.

And that, it seems to me, disposes of the question of duty.

There are one or two other things that might be disposed of in closing this chapter.

I have written of opportunity in a preceding chapter. I have said, in a general way, that it is within the power of every man to become great, just as in “The Science of Getting


I declared that it is within the power of every man to become rich. But these sweeping generalizations need qualifying.

There are men who have such materialistic minds that they are absolutely incapable of comprehending the philosophy set forth in these books.

There is a great mass of men and women who have lived and worked until they are practically incapable of thought along these lines; and they cannot receive the message.

Something may be done for them by demonstration, that is, by living the life before them. But that is the only way they can be aroused. The world needs demonstration more than it needs teaching.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 89

For this mass of people our duty is to become as great in personality as possible in order that they may see and desire to do likewise.

It is our duty to make ourselves great for their sakes; so that we may help prepare the world that the next generation shall have better conditions for thought.

One other point; I am frequently written to by people who wish to make something of themselves and to move out into the world, but who are hampered by home ties, having others more or less dependent upon them, whom they fear would suffer if left alone.

In general I advise such people to move out fearlessly, and to make the most of themselves.

If there is a loss at home it will be only temporary and apparent, for in a little while, if you follow the leading of Spirit, you will be able to take better care of your dependents than you have ever done before.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 90

Chapter 21 - A Mental Exercise

THE purpose of mental exercises must not be misunderstood.

There is no virtue in charms or formulated strings of words; there is no short cut to development by repeating prayers or incantations.

A mental exercise is an exercise, not in repeating words, but in the thinking of certain thoughts.

The phrases that we repeatedly hear become convictions, as Goethe says; and the thoughts that we repeatedly think become habitual, and make us what we are.

The purpose in taking a mental exercise is that you may think certain thoughts repeatedly until you form a habit of thinking them; then they will be your thoughts all the time.

Taken in the right way and with an understanding of their purpose, mental exercises are of great value; but taken as most people take them they are worse than useless.

The thoughts embodied in the following exercise are the ones you want to think.

You should take the exercise once or twice daily, but you should think the thoughts continuously.

That is, do not think them twice a day for a stated time and then forget them until it is time to take the exercise again.

The exercise is to impress you with the material for continuous thought.

Take a time when you can have from twenty minutes to half an hour secure from interruption, and proceed first to make| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 91

yourself physically comfortable. Lie at ease in a Morris chair, or on a couch, or in bed; it is best to lie flat on your back.

If you have no other time, take the exercise on going to bed at night and before rising in the morning.

First let your attention travel over your body from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet, relaxing every muscle as you go.

Relax completely. And next, get physical and other ills off your mind.

Let the attention pass down the spinal cord and out over the nerves to the extremities, and as you do so think: - “My nerves are in perfect order all over my body. They obey my will, and I have great nerve force.”

Next bring your attention to the lungs and think: - “I am breathing deeply and quietly, and the air goes into every cell of my lungs, which are in perfect condition. My blood is purified and made clean.”

Next, to the heart: - “My heart is beating strongly and steadily, and my circulation is perfect, even to the extremities.’

Next, to the digestive system: - “My stomach and bowels perform their work perfectly. My food is digested and assimilated and my body rebuilt and nourished.

My liver, kidneys, and bladder each perform their several functions without pain or strain; I am perfectly well. My body is resting, my mind is quiet, and my soul is at peace.

“I have no anxiety about financial or other matters. God, who is within me, is also in all things I want, impelling them toward me; all that I want is already given to me. I have no| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 92

anxiety about my health, for I am perfectly well. I have no worry or fear whatever.

“I rise above all temptation to moral evil. I cast out all greed, selfishness, and narrow personal ambition; I do not hold envy, malice, or enmity toward any living soul.

I will follow no course of action which is not in accord ‘with my highest ideals. I am right and I will do right.”


All is right with the world. It is perfect and advancing to completion.

I will contemplate the facts of social, political, and industrial life only from this high viewpoint. Behold, it is all very good.

I will see all human beings, all my acquaintances, friends, neighbors, and the members of my own household in the same way.

They are all good. Nothing is wrong with the universe; nothing can be wrong but my own personal attitude, and henceforth I keep that right. My whole trust is in God.


I will obey my soul and be true to that within me that is highest.

I will search within for the pure idea of right in all things, and when I find it I will express it in my outward life. I will abandon everything I have outgrown for the best I can think.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 93

I will have the highest thoughts concerning all my relationships, and my manner and action shall express these thoughts. I surrender my body to be ruled by my mind; I yield my mind to the dominion of my soul, and I give my soul to the guidance of God.


There is but one substance and source, and of that I am made and with it I am one.

It is my Father; I proceeded forth and came from it. My Father and I are one, and my Father is greater than I, and I do His will.

I surrender myself to conscious unity with Pure Spirit; there is but one and that one is everywhere. I am one with the Eternal Consciousness.


Form a mental picture of yourself as you want to be, and at the greatest height your imagination can picture.

Dwell upon this for some little time, holding the thought:

“This is what I really am; it is a picture of my own perfect and advancing to completion.

I will contemplate the facts of social, political, and industrial life only from this high viewpoint. Behold, it is all very good.

I will see all human beings, all my acquaintances, friends, neighbors, and the members of my own household in the same way. They are all good.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 94

Nothing is wrong with the universe, nothing can be wrong but my own personal attitude, and henceforth I keep that right. My whole trust is in God.


I appropriate to myself the power to become what I want to be, and to do what I want to do.

I exercise creative energy; all the power there is, is mine. I will arise and go forth with power and perfect confidence; I will do mighty works in the strength of the Lord, my God. I will trust and not fear, for God is with me.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 95

Chapter 22 - A Summary Of The Science Of Being Great

ALL men are made of the one intelligent substance, and therefore all contain the same essential powers and possibilities.

Greatness is equally inherent in all, and may be manifested by all. Every person may become great. Every constituent of God is a constituent of man.

Man may overcome both heredity and circumstances by exercising the inherent creative power of the soul. If he is to become great, the soul must act, and must rule the mind and the body.

Man’s knowledge is limited, and he falls into error through ignorance; to avoid this he must connect his soul with Universal Spirit.

Universal Spirit is the intelligent substance from which all things come; it is in and through all things. All things are known to this universal mind, and man can so unite himself with it as to enter into all knowledge.

To do this man must cast out of himself everything that separates him from God.

He must will to live the divine life, and he must rise above all moral temptations; he must forsake every course of action that is not in accord with his highest ideals.

He must reach the right viewpoint, recognizing that God is all, in all, and that there is nothing wrong.

He must see that nature, society, government, and industry are perfect in their present stage, and advancing toward| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 96

completion; and that all men and women everywhere are good and perfect.

He must know that all is right with the world, and unite with God for the completion of the perfect work.

It is only as man sees God as the Great Advancing Presence in all, and good in all that he can rise to real greatness.

He must consecrate himself to the service of the highest that is within himself, obeying the voice of the soul.

There is an Inner Light in every man that continuously impels him toward the highest, and he must be guided by this light if he would become great.

He must recognize the fact that he is one with the Father, and consciously affirm this unity for himself and for all others.

He must know himself to be a god among gods, and act accordingly. He must have absolute faith in his own perceptions of truth, and begin at home to act upon these perceptions.

As he sees the true and right course in small things, he must take that course. He must cease to act unthinkingly, and begin to think; and he must be sincere in his thought.

He must form a mental conception of himself at the highest, and hold this conception until it is his habitual thought-form of himself.

This thought-form he must keep continuously in view. He must outwardly realize and express that thought-form in his actions.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 97

He must do everything that he does in a great way. In dealing with his family, his neighbors, acquaintances, and friends, he must make every act an expression of his ideal.

The man who reaches the right viewpoint and makes full consecration, and who fully idealizes himself as great, and who makes every act, however trivial, an expression of the ideal, has already attained to greatness.

Everything he does will be done in a great way. He will make himself known, and will be recognized as a personality of power.

He will receive knowledge by inspiration, and will know all that he needs to know.

He will receive all the material wealth he forms in his thoughts, and will not lack for any good thing.

He will be given ability to deal with any combination of circumstances that may arise, and his growth and progress will be continuous and rapid.

Great works will seek him out, and all men will delight to do him honor.

Because of its peculiar value to the student of the Science of Being Great, I close this book by giving a portion of Emerson’s essay on the “Oversoul.”

This great essay is fundamental, showing the foundation principles of monism and the science of greatness. I recommend the student to study it most carefully in connection with this book.

What is the universal sense of want and ignorance, but the fine innuendo by which the great soul makes its enormous claim? Why do men feel that the natural history of man has| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 98

never been written, but always he is leaving behind what you have said of him, and it becomes old, and books of metaphysics worthless?

The philosophy of six thousand years has not searched the chambers and magazines of the soul. In its experiments there has always remained, in the last analysis, a residuum it could not resolve.

Man is a stream whose source is hidden.

Always our being is descending into us from we know not whence.

The most exact calculator has no prescience that somewhat incalculable may not balk the very next moment.

I am constrained every moment to acknowledge a higher origin for events than the will I call mine.

As with events, so it is with thoughts. When I watch that flowing river, which, out of regions I see not, pours for a season its streams into me, -I see that I am a pensioner, -

not a cause, but a surprised spectator of this ethereal water; that I desire and look up, and put myself in the attitude for reception, but from some alien energy the visions come.

The Supreme Critic on all the errors of the past and present, and the only prophet of that which must be, is that great nature in which we rest, as the earth lies in the soft arms of the atmosphere; that Unity, that Oversoul, with which every man’s particular being is contained and made one with all other; that common heart, of which all sincere conversation is the worship, to which all right action is submission; that overpowering reality which confutes our tricks and talents, and constrains everyone to pass for what he is, and to speak from his character and not from his tongue; and which| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 99

evermore tends and aims to pass into our thought and hand, and become wisdom, and virtue, and power, and beauty.

We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles.

Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related, the eternal One.

And this deep power in which we exist, and whose beatitude is all-accessible to us, is not only self- sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing, and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one.

We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are the shining parts, is the soul.

It is only by the vision of that Wisdom, that the horoscope of the ages can be read, and it is only by falling back on our better thoughts, by yielding to the spirit of prophecy which is innate in every man, that we know what it saith.

Every man’s words, who speaks from that life, must sound vain to those who do not dwell in the same thought on their own part. I dare not speak for it.

My words do not carry its august sense; they fall short and cold. Only itself can inspire whom it will, and behold! Their speech shall he lyrical and sweet, and universal as the rising of the wind.

Yet I desire, even by profane words, if sacred I may not use, to indicate the heaven of this deity, and to report what hints I have collected of the transcendent simplicity and energy of the Highest Law.

If we consider what happens in conversation, in reveries, in remorse, in times of passion, in surprises, in the instruction| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 100

of dreams wherein often we see ourselves in masquerade, -

the droll disguises only magnifying and enhancing a real element, and forcing it on our distinct notice, -we shall catch many hints that will broaden and lighten into knowledge of the secret of nature.

All goes to show that the soul in man is not an organ, but animates and exercises all the organs; is not a function, like the power of memory, of calculation, of comparison, -but uses these as hands and feet; is not a faculty, but a light; is not the intellect or the will, but the master of the intellect and the will; - is the vast background of our being, in which they lie,-an immensity not possessed and that cannot be possessed.

From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all.

A man is the facade of a temple wherein all wisdom and all good abide. What we commonly call man, the eating, drinking, planting, counting man, does not, as we know him, represent himself, but misrepresents himself.

Him we do not respect, but the soul, whose organ he is, would he let it appear through his action, would make our knees bend.

When it breathes through his intellect, it is genius; when it flows through his affection it is love.

After its own law and not by arithmetic is the rate of its progress to be computed.

The soul’s advances are not made by gradation, such as can be represented by motion in a straight line; but rather by ascension of state, such as can be represented by| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 101

metamorphosis,-from the egg to the worm, from the worm to the fly.

The growths of genius are of a certain total character, that does not advance the elect individual first over John, then Adam, then Richard, and give to each the pain of discovered inferiority, but by every throe of growth the man expands there where he works, passing, at each pulsation, classes, populations of men.

With each divine impulse the mind rends the thin rinds of the visible and finite, and comes out into eternity, and inspires and expires its air.

This is the law of moral and of mental gain. The simple rise, as by specific levity, not into a particular virtue, but into the region of all the virtues. They are in the spirit that contains them all.

The soul is superior to all the particulars of merit.

The soul requires purity, but purity is not it; requires justice, but justice is not that; requires beneficence, but is somewhat better; so that there is a kind of descent and accommodation felt when we leave speaking of moral nature, to urge a virtue which it enjoins.

For, to the soul in her pure action, all the virtues are natural, and not painfully acquired.

Speak to his heart and the man becomes suddenly virtuous.

Within the same sentiment is the germ of intellectual growth, which obeys the same law.

Those who are capable of humility, of justice, of love, of aspiration, are already on a platform that commands the sciences and arts, speech and poetry, action and grace.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 102

For whoso dwells in this mortal beatitude, does already anticipate those special powers which men prize so highly; just as love does justice to all the gifts of the object beloved.

The lover has no talent, no skill, which passes for quite nothing with his enamored maiden, however little she may possess of related faculty.

And the heart that abandons itself to the Supreme Mind finds itself related to all its works and will travel a royal road to particular knowledge and powers.

For, in ascending to this primary and aboriginal sentiment, we have come from our remote station on the circumference instantaneously to the center of the world, where, as in the closet of God, we see causes, and anticipate the universe, which is but a slow effect.

The End

Note from Christopher below:

I hope you enjoyed the book. You may not agree with every single thing that Wallace writes here, and I don’t.

However, I find great ideas that help me maintain faith and confidence. I gain strength and can more easily be firm in my true vision.

I am literally happier as I see things more clearly and realize it is good. See the next page for some more resources.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 103

This book is a free book brought to you by Christopher Westra. You may freely share it with anyone. In fact, we hope you do!

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The Science of Being Great

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rn to Attract in a Powerful Way.| brought to you by Christopher Westra Page 104