THE HIGHER POWER
to the Source," said Betty, summing
up her own practise. "In doing so I utilize my higher mind, abandon
myself to my intuitional, secure in its reality. I give up looking at
the Source externally. I try to enter into its feeling of power and strength. After
I do this a little while, I am no longer an alien thing. I am somehow attached
to it sympathetically. Then I keep quiet, very happily and expectantly,
and its potentiality seeks in me some little entrance, some crack or
cranny through which I receive some little bit. But that little bit does its
work. Eventually that bit must be recognized in my own medium for some
definite purpose. Now I am magnetized with it; one with it. But finally I have to come out on the borderline, and I
take back with me only just as much as will fit into the customary
mind's capacity for statement.
"Sometimes," she confessed, "I get
sort of thwarted and bored. I have to get over that."
She sought for the way to increase
"I am trying to look at the Source
and understand it for you," said she. "It's a kind of disembodied
quality. I am on the power side, and being assisted temporarily by great
strength and wisdom. Under its spell I'm turning
THE ROAD I
KNOW 193 to look down to see why I don't get
more of it ordinarily.
"All of us—our group—have had a hazy
conception that there are such things as spiritual forces that work just
as well as our physical forces do, only superlatively. We all admit
them, but still our hands and eyes and legs and ears are of far more
utility to us. The disembodied quality I am now looking at is what would
give us actual possession of the working ability of these higher forces.
This quality is not much recognized. Actually it is just the
sureness of your
belief in the existence of this greater force.
That is the principal thing to begin
"Take an example from natural
physical forces. You wouldn't have the nerve or the idiocy to try
walking on water; but you step out on ice with perfect confidence. In
ordinary daily living you come to associate your mind so naturally and
pleasurably and habitually with the forces which control our physical
universe that they grow measurably firm under the feet, as it were. Take
gravitation, which always works; the magnetic attraction or the power of
electricity when control is established; the buoyancy of placement in
water—any of the natural laws that appeal to you. Our conscious minds approve and
abandon all test of them.
"But these higher forces we have
sensed only as weak generalizations. We've got to make them the same in
our conscious minds as the natural forces I mentioned, and which we
accept as a matter of course. We've got
THE ROAD I KNOW
to associate with them, experiment
with them, as constantly and interestedly as people did in uncovering
the laws controlling the physical forces. The same practice will make
our spiritual bodies work. Anyway, it's the first necessity we shall be
faced with when we 'go hence.' Everything we have been accustomed to
will have gone away from us. If we haven't built this extension of
confidence in the new forces, we shall be at a loss. This particular
attitude of mind, surety, confidence is
is a superlative force."
"What we are stepping around," said
the Invisibles, "is to avoid the use of the word 'faith.' We don't want
to use it until we have freshened it. It's been made respectable by calling it
suggestion: you all know the power of that. Only this is its simon-pure
There was a short pause.
"They told me I couldn't get much of
it," Betty resumed, "only enough to begin with. I'll tell you how I'm
"I made a sort of cradle of
confidence of the tides and the moon and the planetary swings; and I said, there's
no reason why I shouldn't rest this spirit of me securely in these
unfailing forces. I felt delightfully in suspension, restful with
everlasting-arms restfulness. This extension of my personality, the reality I call
myself, has quite reasonably ventured out to associate with unseen but thoroughly
tested realities. That's the beginning
THE ROAD I
KNOW 195 that is how we begin to grow into
the higher forces.
"I have a funny way of working. I
vary all kinds of tests. I jump up and down on these bigger laws to feel
their reality. Mentally I turn and twist them all, and jiggle them around, and
they still hold me up with a sureness of cause and effect.
"Now I will leave that testing side
for a minute and just seek the
society of the greater
A long silence followed.
"Feels sort of like a blind person
walking along," said Betty at last. "I know by the feeling when I get in
a sunspot of power, and I try to keep in it, and when I stray out of it
I try to get back. I know it's there, and I just have to make my senses
so acute that I can keep in it or get back to it if I stray.
"Each person must play his own mental
game in this thing. I am only suggesting mine....
"All this is an effort to establish
us firmly in the spiritual so we can utilize its greater powers in doing
the physical things we see are worth doing. This definite belief in a
force assisting our best efforts, and our reckoning on its unfailing
help; the establishment of this principle of the constructive, directive
forward movement which we call evolution—this condition of faith must at
some time or other in our progression be permanently accepted by our
"Now the point is this," stated the Invisibles, "there
THE ROAD I KNOW
exists in you, indefinitely
developable, an engine of power, dynamically creative, capable of
impressing and moulding your material world according as you give out
from your inner being its creative force. This force is not primarily
mentally creative force,
which you understand
perfectly. It is, as it were, a higher sense of that mentally creative
force; in short the vital
principle of life. It comes, not from that mere agent of the soul, the intellect, but from the
plexus of life itself. Mental force can make a mould or plan, but for completion
this plan must have the vital principle supplied. Mental force is the
neatly made electric globe into which the current is not turned. The true
creative force, on the other hand, carries its own vital principle with it. It is a
matter of the heart as well as the clearly seen concept of the mind."
Betty groped for definition in
words—and as always she was dissatisfied.
"I'm trying," Betty said, "to get a
clear idea of this spreading, creative, radiant thing I'm associating with.
It is a supporting force pertaining to the reach just above us. I like to get in
it and be swept along with it, but I don't think I'm ready. It goes on
to such a vast ocean beyond my comprehension....
"It's so nameless I don't know where
to begin to cut it up into words. If I do that, I'm afraid it won't
piece together again. It's too big for language. All I can say
THE ROAD I
is that it's the biggest union of
life, the nearest to harmony, the most collected force....
"Harmony is so poor a word! It isn't
word; it's just a
mistreated word. I want to give
freshness to that word. Now
it's just a semi-religious, semi-musical term; but really there is a
rising tide of progress connected with it. Well, in spite of its
inadequacy it represents a strong factor in this force that upholds,
this tide of extension. But it is not the thing itself— only a shred.
"The thing itself is not will-power,
either; that's only another aspect of it; just one more place where
we've touched it in comprehension. What I am trying to get at is the whole of this force; not only the detached
bits we recognize in words of
will-power and concentration, but the complete power of it."
"There is always a contracted and an
expanded form of everything," contributed the Invisibles. "Willpower is
the contracted form of this higher thing. You can step into it from
will-power without contracting if on think of it more as
Will-power is in spite of your
One day Betty—more or less in
desperation, I suspect—tried the label of "pure feeling". But she
recoiled from it at once. The phrase had been too much knocked about by
"Some day," said she, "I'm going to
take pure feeling and cleanse it of the taint of transient emotion, weak
198 THE ROAD I KNOW
sentiment, because pure feeling is
the divine spark. It is the intelligence of the heart, the secret of creative
magic. Pure feeling is a warrior quality. It is made of the stuff that
endures. Strong and true, it engages with earth passions and comes
through them unscathed. Still I despair of setting down pure feeling."
But the Invisibles found the phrase
acceptable enough, for the time being, at least.
"Pure feeling, " said they "cannot be apprehended by
the brain. You can, however, cultivate it by welcoming its entrance into
your heart region. Experiment,
and see how it softens all the cruel rigidities of life, how it escapes
all chains and shackles of maladjustments."
Betty paused long to consider, and
perhaps to experiment.
"I made the most superhuman effort
to muse myself to the possibilities I have been shown," she reported at
last. "And I struggled and struggled with increasing difficulty until I
remembered the secret of the heartsolvent. Then a great, warm rushing
sensation came over me, and in the stimulation of it I longed
unspeakably to be able to make the effort and do the work, to assume the
responsibilities pertaining to the distinguished estate that has been
loaned me. In this great rush of vitality resulting from just the right
combination of life I actually sensed creative
coursing through me. And that gave me the
feeling of the only way to work toward permanent occupancy."
THE ROAD I
"Why not," suggested the Invisibles,
"think of the higher force as a compound of the
of all the qualities of all the forms
of life and experience one
encounters? And then, in imagination, select and call forth those particular essences one needs
for the use of any particular moment in life?
"That's a good game," said they. And
Betty, with her usual enthusiasm for games, pounced upon it at once.
"If I am to work in essences," said
she, "I must get the tools of my craft. So I collect myself essences: the
energy of my waterfalls, the stability of my rock, the time achievement
of my trees—there is such inspiration in their achievement in time. I
like their beauty of age. When I stand under a big tree, I am glad I am
growing old! I want that kind of garnered strength. I want trees and
waterfalls and big rocks. They are so real in themselves. The realities
of humans tire me—their wars, murders, shortsightedness.
"Thus I collect essences. All I have
to do is to walk in my garden collecting and releasing essences—never
hoarding in the cloisteredgarden
sense. Essences are everywhere to work with.
"It would take a poet or an angel to
express it," she said at last, "because we do not know how to partake of
this super-happiness. I get
just a breath of it when I lie down next the earth and sniff it; and I
get just a taste of it when I
come in on the waves and the salt is
THE ROAD I KNOW
on my lips; and I get just a whisper
of it when I stay still in the woods and listen; and I get the most of it when I
love something, even my dog or my garden. Don't you see; I want so much to
sink deep, dive, be absorbed in this intense reciprocity, this thing I
can't even name. It must be experienced and entered completely in order to
have practical understanding and sympathy and accomplishment in the
material world. It gives an endless vista. . . ."