Crystallization of the God Flame
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"When you know and obey the ancient command Know Thyself, then, my beloved, you will have found the key to perfect happiness. When you can rise to the height where you can measure yourselves--lower your thoughts to the depth of your spiritual being and also lift your eyes to the possibilities of time and space as related to your own being--you will have discovered all the avenues open to you that lead to happiness. For it is knowledge of yourselves and your place in God's temple that will give you full assurance of yourselves.
The pains and reverses you suffer are the poniard points of those heavenly guardians of your lives who will not allow you to go far astray without timely warning. And you may be sure that if discord falls into the music which flows from perfect physical health, it is a warning that you have stepped outside the circle which is drawn around your lives by the law of the Infinite. You may be sure, my dear ones, if, feeling the promptings of the appetites and passions, you forget the good company you are bound to keep--that is, the linking with your immortal soul, the divine part of you--you will have warnings, and they will come in loss of self-respect, and in pangs that cannot be rightly reported by the mere physical senses. The emotions of the mind as much surpass the feelings of the body as the powers of the mind surpass the execution of the body in the more delicate adjustment of its mechanism.
It is only when the whole man is in harmony with himself and with the laws under which he exists that he is happy in every part of himself. It is only when he lives in accordance with the highest that is in himself that he enjoys the greatest happiness. There is what you call pleasure in the gratification of the appetites. When you are hungry, it is good to eat; when you are thirsty, you enjoy the sparkling waters of the mountain spring; when you are cold, it is beautiful to feel enwrapped in a robe woven by nature herself for the benefit of her creatures. It is good to feel your bodies cared for; there is pleasure in all that ministers to the needs of the body, but all the pleasures that are possible to the physical self are as nothing compared to what you are capable of feeling.
You may know, my beloved brethren, that some of the greatest productions of the human mind have come to you from some darkened prison cell. You know that the most beautiful blossoms of the rarest genius have sprung forth to the light of the world from the dark periods of earthly persecution. You can see in this the triumph of the soul over all physical environments.
Every effort you make, my beloved brethren, even though it fall short of your aim, no matter how great the failure of your life may appear to be, is a necessity. Every effort to subdue nature in the different realms, in this warfare occasioned by the necessities of the body--all this is simply developing the native powers of the soul and fitting each one of you for that grander work waiting further on, which shall be full of satisfaction as you ascend the scale of life.
Your happiness can never be complete until you KNOW that you are immortal, until you have risen to a full and clear knowledge that you do not live simply as mortals your threescore years and ten, but that you are destined to fill a place for which this life is but a preparation, and that immortality is yours by virtue of natural laws.
And when you have risen to this, my dear earth brethren, and feel truly that you are not merely men and women, but angels in embryo, God's immortal messengers, that the life you now live is but the preparation for that other life, and that the happiness you now feel is only a part of that perfect happiness which shall be the blossom of your perfect being, when you have risen into all the chambers of the mind, when the intellect has burned through every material want, and when the affections are purified and rendered so crystal clear that they shall reflect right thoughts and yield only to pure prompting, when your activities are but the expression of God's will and your love for others shall crown your lives with noble deeds--when all this shall come to pass, every nerve will thrill with happiness, and each faculty will sympathize with every note in your being.
Then the hours that pierce shall lose their point and blossom into beautiful flowers; then the words you speak will not wound, the deeds you do will drop into life's symphony as a part of its splendid song, the paths you tread will be bright with fragrant flowers; then the discords you hear on every side shall cease; then the thought that angels tread this way will not seem apart from these shining spheres, whose revolutions in space make up the melodies of time; then life will not be selfish passion and burning regret, but that which stirs in every heart and which keeps your courage high in the darkest night of human woe shall have been fulfilled, and the secret of happiness told to every listening ear.
Remember, happiness is the fruit of right living. It is the natural consequence of the laws of your being. It is only he who mounts to higher altitudes who knows the joy of living--he who has triumphed over self and who has fought bravely with temptation and won the victory."
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This section from First Book, pp. 62-66.

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