Life begins today for
the person who meets himself. At whatever age this great event occurs,
life, deep and full, wells up and from that time on it can truly be said
one lives. Strangely enough, multitudes of men and women are born, spend
their days and die, never having really known themselves. They come and
go on the human scene, the possessors of unrealized powers which never
quite find expression.
Of such Holmes pathetically declared, "They
died with all their music in them."
Human waste of such
magnitude is little short of tragic and constitutes an offense against
Our problem is to become acquainted with our
own selves, letting our personalities loose upon the world for the sheer
adventure of their full development and in the positive hope that they
may in their own way lift the level of humanity.
Long ago Socrates wrote over the old Greek
Temple—"Know Thyself—for he realized that achievement in any
field and in the art of living itself is dependent upon an accurate
knowledge of oneself. The average man needs this injunction of the
Father of Philosophy, for most of us have no adequate conception of our
powers and abilities. At heart we underestimate ourselves. We do not
really believe in ourselves and remain for that reason weak,
ineffectual, even impotent, when we could be strong, dominant,
An old cobbler in Edinburgh, with that mature
wisdom not infrequently found in the simple, honorable trades, was in
the habit of beginning each day with the prayer, "O Lord, give me a
high opinion of myself." To be sure, there are some people who seem
to possess this lofty personal respect without necessity for recourse to
the expedient of prayer, but it yet remains that the mass of men do not
have a high opinion of themselves, and the reason is they do not know
The greatest day in
any individual's life is when he begins for the first time to realize
himself. For some this fortunately happens early in life and it bestows
upon them a decided advantage. For others it happens late, but when it
does the monotony of the unresponsive years is made to shine in the
reflected glory of the late afternoon sunburst.
Whether it be early or late, any of us may well
seek unremittingly the exciting experience of personal realization.
It happened to
a college student friend of mine once with dramatic suddenness. Genial,
easygoing, he was as unsuccessful in his studies as he was efficient
upon the athletic field. His popularity with the cheering section was
not fully shared by the faculty, and the curtain was slowly but surely
falling upon his academic career. Its final drop, for some not too
obscure reason, awaited only the conclusion of the football season.
Destiny, however, has its own strange ways. One
day in a class in psychology our student friend suddenly became
enthralled as the professor described how the average man fails because
he does not learn to control and consolidate his powers. He used the
familiar illustration of the burning glass. The rays of the sun, falling
upon a piece of paper, have little effect. Let them, however, be drawn
by the burning glass to a focus and they create an intense heat which
will quickly burn a hole in the paper.
The professor pointed out that the man who
succeeds is the one who can draw his dissipated and therefore futile
powers to a focus. Our student said that in a flashing illumination he
saw the cause of his own failure and oblivious of all in the room and
under the spell of a veritable new birth leaped to his feet, crying,
"I see it; I see it." Whereupon, amidst litters of amusement,
he sank back embarrassed but wonderingly happy into his seat. What had
happened? He had met himself, a new self, his real self, which never
before had received its day in the sun, and the revelation changed him
from a failure to a potential success, the possibilities of which were
later abundantly realized.
- Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, "The New Art of
So there we
have it! What Dr. Peale was teaching is not unique to him.
This call to realize a greater sense of our self is woven throughout the
Science of Mind by Dr. Ernest Holmes. It is absolutely imperative
that we "see" ourselves as capable, worthy and having the
confidence to do the things we choose to do. There is so much talk
these days about "The Secret" ... but we can find a
million-trillion secrets ... but until and unless we find out who we
truly are ... and are satisfied with the results of what we find ... we
will continue to be seeking something "outside" of ourselves
to validate our feelings of self-worth. This can become an endless
struggle ... lasting a lifetime.
We must be willing to look at ourselves
objectively ... and without any sense of negativity ... and honestly
"take stock" of who we are. Too many
"spiritual" people will say, "I know I am a child of
God" ... or "I know I am One with Infinite Spirit" ...
but ... if we believed this our world would be a very different place
... and I mean our "personal" world of experience. The
"world at large" still has a lot of work to do ... so let's
not struggle with that!
William Shakespeare wrote, "This above
all, to Thine own self be true." But first ... we must know
what this "self" is that we are being true too. Now is
the time to reveal our true self ... our authentic self. That part
of us that we know is true in the solitude of our mind. Let's not
keep our "magnificence" a "secret" any longer ...
let's decide in this very moment to begin to be ... begin to know ...
and begin to act ... to "open our mind to our magnificence
AND SO IT IS!