DEMOCRACY IS SELF-GOVERNMENT
Harold W. Percival
If man does not believe there was an original creation from which he has descended, will he not lose his sense of responsibility, feel free to do as he pleases, and be a menace to society?
No! Man is coming of age. By coming of age, each must decide for himself.
In the long development of the present civilization, man has been in and has been kept in the state of childhood. In this age of this civilization man is growing out of the age of childhood. It is therefore important and necessary for man to know that he is entering the age of manhood, and that he is responsible for all that he thinks and for all that he does; that it is not right or just for him to depend on anyone or to let others do for him what he can do and should do for himself.
Man can never be made law abiding and responsible by fear of the law of which he has had no part in the making, and for which he therefore feels he is not responsible. When man is shown that he helps to make the law by which he lives and is governed; that he is responsible for all that he thinks and does; when he sees, when he feels and understands that his destiny in life is made by his own thoughts and acts and that his destiny is administered to him according to the same law of justice which is meted out to all men, then it will be self-evident to man that he cannot do to another what he would not want others to do to him, without himself in turn suffering for what he has made the other suffer.
A child believes what it is told. But as it becomes a man he will reason and will understand, else he must remain a child all the days of his life. As the stories told a child fade away with the oncoming years, so his childish belief disappears in the presence of his reason.
To be responsible, a man must outgrow his childhood. He grows out of childhood by thinking. By thinking from a background of experience man can become responsible.
Man needs protection from himself no less than he needs protection from his enemies. The enemies that man should fear most are his own feelings and desires which are not self-governed. No gods or men can protect man from his own desires, which he can and should govern and direct.
When man is conscious that he need fear no one more than he should fear himself, he will become responsible to himself. Self-responsibility makes man fearless, and no self-responsible man need fear him.
Man is responsible for civilization. And if civilization is to continue, man must become self-responsible. To become self-responsible, man must know more about himself. To know more about himself, man must think. Thinking is the way to self-knowledge. There is no other way.
There is a thinking of the body and there is a thinking of oneself. The kind of mind used in thinking is determined by the subject of the thinking. In thinking of the body, the body-mind is used. To think of your self, the feeling-mind must be used. Thinking with the body-mind leads away from your self; leads through the senses and down and out into nature. Your body-mind cannot think of your self; it can think only through the senses, of the objects of the senses, and the senses lead and guide it in the thinking. By a training and discipline of the body-mind to think, the science of the senses can be developed and acquired; the science by which the farthest reaches and recesses into nature can be explored. But the science of the senses can never reveal or make known to man the self-conscious Self to itself in the man.
Until you get self-knowledge, your body-mind will continue to keep a screen of nature around you, the thinking Doer: will hold your attention in your body on your body and the objects of nature. Thinking with your body-mind thus hides you, the Doer, from your self; and your body-senses keep you, the thinking Doer in the body, in ignorance of your self.
Man has, within, the beginning of self-knowledge, like as a point. The point of self-knowledge is: that he is conscious. When you think “I am conscious,” you are at the beginning of the way to self-knowledge. Then you know that you are conscious. Knowledge that one is conscious is its own proof; there is no room for doubt. The body-mind could not make feeling conscious that it is conscious. The body-mind uses the light of the senses not to make feeling conscious of itself but conscious of the objects of nature.
The feeling-mind is used by feeling to think of itself as being conscious, and it uses the Conscious Light within to think.
By thinking of being conscious, the Conscious Light in the thinking of the feeling-mind stills the body-mind, while feeling attains the knowledge that it is conscious. Then, in that brief moment, the body-mind being stilled, the senses cannot impose objects of nature to distract and prevent feeling from knowing that it knows. That point of knowledge is the beginning of your knowledge of yourself: the self-knowledge of the immortal Doer in the body.
In order that the feeling of the Doer might know itself as it is, without the body, feeling must strip away from itself the senses of the body by which it is distracted and is hidden from itself. The body-mind may be stilled and the senses of the body stripped away by thinking with the feeling-mind only.
The knowledge of feeling that it is conscious that it is conscious, is the first step on the way to self-knowledge. By thinking with the feeling-mind only, other steps may be taken. To take the other steps in thinking to attain self-knowledge, the Doer must train its feeling-mind to think and it must train its desire-mind to show its desires how to govern themselves. How long it will take to do this will be determined by itself and the will of the Doer to do it. It can be done.
Man feels and inherently knows that he is not responsible if he has nothing more to depend on than the changing senses of his body. There are conceptions of attributes which come from the Triune Self of the Doer who conceives them. The Doer in each human is an inseparable part of such a Triune Self. That is why man can conceive that there is an all-knowing and all-powerful and ever-present One to whom he may appeal and on whom he can depend.
Every human is the outermost and imperfect physical expression of the Doer of such a Triune Self. No two humans are of the same Triune Self. For every human on earth there is his Triune Self in the Eternal. There are more Triune Selves in the Eternal than there are human beings on earth. Each Triune Self is a Knower, a Thinker and a Doer. Identity as I-ness with full and complete knowledge of all things is an attribute of the Knower of the Triune Self who may be at all times present everywhere and who knows everything to be known throughout the worlds.
Rightness and reason, or law and justice, with unlimited and unbounded power are attributes of the Thinker of the Triune Self who uses power with justice concerning its Doer and in adjusting the destiny which that Doer has made for itself and its body and in its relation to other human beings.
The Doer is to be the representative and agent in this changing world of the Triune Self in the Eternal when it has effected the union of its feeling-and-desire and has transformed and resurrected its present imperfect physical body into a perfect and everlasting body.
That is the destiny of the Doer now in each human on earth. That which is now the human will then be greater than any one known to history. Then there will be no trace of such human weakness in the Doer as to admit the possibility to threaten, or to boast of power, because there is much for it to do; and it is then great in love.
Copyright 1980 by The Word Foundation, Inc.