The Word Foundation



Vol. 14 JANUARY, 1912. No. 4

Copyright, 1912, by H. W. PERCIVAL.



WORK is the price the law demands of him who would have and enjoy for good the thing which he wishes. To have or attain for good anything, one must work for that which he wishes on the special plane and in the world where it is. This is a law.

To get and enjoy any thing in the physical world a man must do what is necessary to that end in the physical world. What he does to get it, must be according to the laws of the physical world. If he wishes for any physical thing, but does nothing more than wishing to get it, thus acting against the law, he may get that which he wishes for, but it will inevitably be followed by disappointments, sorrow, trouble and misfortune. He cannot break the law by going against it, nor evade it by going around it.

Wishing is an expression of the desire to get something for nothing. The attempt to get something for nothing, is unlawful, unjust, and is evidence of impotence and unworthiness. The belief that one may get something for nothing, or may get much value for little, is a delusion from which many suffer, and is a bait and snare which tempts man to unlawful acts and holds him a prisoner afterward. Most people know they cannot get much for little, and yet, when a shrewd decoyer dangles the bait of much value for little, they are likely to swallow it at a gulp. If they were free from delusion they could not be caught. But because they desire to get something for nothing, or as much as they can get for as little as they have to give, they will fall into such traps. Wishing is a phase of this delusion, and when wishing is followed by practical results it is likely to be more dangerous than speculating in stocks and other ways of betting and gambling. To get a wish without doing more than wishing, is a bait which leads the wisher to believe that he may have his wishes gratified without work.

A law of physical nature requires the physical body to eat, digest and assimilate its food and to perform physical exercises, if health is desired. One may wish for physical health with every breath, but if he refuses to eat, or if he eats but his body does not digest the food which he puts into it, or if he refuses to take regular and moderate exercise, he will not have health. Physical results are obtained and enjoyed only by lawful, orderly, physical action.

The same law applies to the desires and the emotional nature. He who wishes others to give him their affection and to gratify his desires, but gives little affection in return and has little consideration for their benefit, will lose their affection, and be shunned. Merely wishing to be forceful and to have masterful energy will not bring power. To have power in action one must work with his desires. Only by working with his desires, so as to regulate and control them, will he get power.

The law demands that one must work with his mental faculties to have mental growth and development. One who wishes to be a man of mind and intellectual attainments, but who will not exercise his mind through processes of thought, will have no mental growth. He cannot have mental powers without mental work.

Idle wishing for spiritual things will not bring them. To be of the spirit, one must work for the spirit. To get spiritual knowledge one must work with the little spiritual knowledge which he has, and his spiritual knowledge will increase in proportion to his work.

The physical and psychic emotional, the mental and spiritual natures of man are all related to each other, and these different parts of his nature act each in the world to which it belongs. The physical body of man acts in and belongs to the physical world. His desires or emotions operate in the psychic or astral world. His mind or thinking principle is the active cause of all thoughts and things in the mental world, the results of which are seen in lower worlds. His immortal spiritual self is that which knows and persists in the spiritual world. The higher worlds reach into, surround, support and affect the physical world, as man’s higher principles do with and are related to his physical body. When man knows and thinks and desires within his physical body, these principles act, each in its respective world, and bring about the certain results for which they each act in each of the worlds.

The idle wishing of an idle wisher does not act in all of the worlds, but the ardent wishing of a persistent wisher affects all worlds. One who indulges in idle wishing does not act positively in the physical world because his body is not engaged, nor does he act in the spiritual world because he is not serious enough and does not act from knowledge. The idle wisher romps with his desires in the psychic or astral world, and allows his mind to be played with by the objects which his desires suggest. This thought play with the objects of his desires will in time bring about physical results, besides the laziness of body and mind which result from idle wishing, and the physical results will correspond with the vagueness of his thought.

The ardent wishing of the persistent wisher who wishes selfishly for that which is to gratify his desires or appetites for pleasures, affects all the worlds through the different parts of his nature which are affected by his persistent wishing. When a man is about to begin his persistent wishing for something which is not according to law, his spiritual self who knows that he is wrong and whose voice is his Conscience says: No. If he obeys his conscience he stops his wishing and goes on with his legitimate pursuits. But the persistent wisher does not usually listen to conscience. He turns a deaf ear to it, and argues that it is quite right for him to have what he wishes and what will, as he says, make him happier. When knowledge of the spiritual self as announced by conscience is denied by the man, conscience remains silent. The knowledge which it would give is refused in thought by man, and his spiritual self is shown dishonor. Such action in thought by man interferes with or cuts off communication between his thinking and his spiritual self, and the spiritual self being in the spiritual world causes the spiritual world to be proportionately shut off from that man. As his thinking is turned toward the things of the desires for which he wishes, his thought acting in the mental world turns all thoughts in the mental world connected with his wish towards those things for which he wishes and which are away from the spiritual world. His emotions and desires act in the psychic or astral world and attract his thoughts to the object or thing for which he wishes. His desires and his thoughts disregard all things which would interfere with the obtaining of his wish, and all their force is centered on the getting of it. The physical world is affected by these desires and thoughts acting for some object wished for, and other physical duties or things are denied, overthrown or interfered with until the wish is gratified.

Sometimes, one who begins to wish sees in the course of his wishing that it is better not to be too persistent, and to discontinue his wishing. If he concludes to discontinue because he sees that it is unwise for him, or that it is best for him to obtain his wish by legitimate efforts and by industry, he has chosen wisely, and by his decision he has broken a cycle of a wish and turned his energy into higher and better channels.

A cycle of wishing is a process from the beginning of a wish until its completion by getting the thing wished for. No thing that is wished for is ever obtained except through the complete cycle of wishing. This process or circle of wishing begins in the world and on the plane of that world where the thing wished for is to be obtained, and the cycle is completed by the getting of the thing wished for, which will be in the same world and plane where the wish began. The thing for which one wishes is usually one of the innumerable things of the physical world; but before he can get it he must set into operation forces in the mental and psychic worlds, which react on the physical world and bring to him the object of his wish.

This cycle of his wishing may be likened to a line of magnetic and electric force extending outward from his body and continuing, by the process of desiring and thinking, through the psychic and mental worlds and back again through these, and then the object of the wish is materialized in the physical object, which is the end or accomplishment of the cycle of wishing. The spiritual and mental and psychic natures of man are in and contact his physical body, and each is affected by the influences and objects of the physical world. These influences and objects act on his physical body, and the physical body reacts on his psychic nature, and his psychic nature reacts on his thinking principle, and his thinking principle acts toward his spiritual self.

The objects and influences of the physical world act on his body and affect his desires and emotions through the physical organs of his senses. The senses excite his desires, as they report what they have perceived through their organs in the physical world. His desire nature calls on his thinking principle to concern itself with the getting for it of what it desires. The thinking principle is influenced by the requisitions which are made, according to their nature and quality and sometimes as to the purpose for which they are desired. The thinking principle cannot prevent the spiritual self from taking cognizance of the nature of its thoughts at the beginning of its wishing. If the things desired are for the good of the body the spiritual self does not forbid the thinking principle to engage itself in thought to procure those things. But if the things desired are improper, or if the thought is against the laws of the mental and psychic worlds, the spiritual self says, No.

The cycle of wishing begins when the senses have reported some object in the world which the desire wants and which the thinking principle engages itself with. The psychic and mental natures of man registers the wish by saying: I want or wish for this or that thing. Then the mind acts from the mental world on the atomic matter, the life matter, and the mind so continuing to act drives or forces the life matter into the form which its desires crave. As soon as life is driven into form by thought, the desires or psychic nature of man begins to pull on that intangible form. This pull is a force exerted similarly to that attraction which exists between a magnet and the iron which it draws. As man’s thought and his desire continue, they act through the mental and psychic or astral worlds on the minds and the emotional natures of other people. His thoughts and desires are pointed toward the getting of his wish, and it is often the case that others are compelled by his persistent thinking and desiring to comply with or acquiesce in his thought and desire for the gratification of his wish, even though they know they should not. When the wishing is strong enough and persistent enough it will turn aside the forces of life and the desires of others which interfere with the bringing of the wish into form. So, though the wishing interferes with the regular operations of the lives of others or with the properties or possessions of others, the thing wished for will be obtained when the one wishing is persistent and strong enough. If he is strong and persistent enough there will always be found people whose past karma will allow them to be drawn into play and serve as means of the gratifying of his wish. So that at last he gets the thing for which he has wished. His desire for it has compelled his thinking principle to keep up its action in the mental world; his thinking principle has acted on the life and thought of others through the mental world; his desire has pulled on the thing which it desires and which others are induced through their emotions to be the means of supplying; and, finally, the physical object is the end of the cycle or process of his wishing by which he is confronted. A cycle of wishing was illustrated by the person who wished for two thousand dollars (as related in “Wishing” in the last issue of THE WORD.) “I want just two thousand dollars, and I believe if I keep on wishing I will get it. . . . I care not how it comes, but I want two thousand dollars. . . . I am confident I shall get it. ” And she did.

Two thousand dollars was the amount with which her desire and thought was concerned. No matter how she would get it, she wanted two thousand dollars and in the shortest time. Of course, she did not intend or wish that she should get the two thousand dollars by having her husband die and receiving the amount for which he was insured. But that was then the easiest or shortest way of getting that amount; and so, as her mind kept the two thousand dollars in view it interfered with the currents of life and these reacted on her husband’s life, and the loss of her husband was the price which she paid for the getting of her wish.

The ardent wisher always pays a price for every wish he gets. Of course, this wish for two thousand dollars could not have caused the death of the woman’s husband if the law of his life had not permitted it. But the death was at least hastened by his wife’s too ardent wishing, and was allowed by his not having the purposeful objects for living which would have resisted the influences brought to bear on him to bring about his end. If his thought had resisted the forces which brought about his death, this would not have prevented so ardent a wisher from getting her wish. The forces of thought and life followed lines of least resistence and being turned away by one person’s thought they found expression by means of others, until the result desired was obtained.

As well as the definite process of wishing, by which the wisher gets the thing for which he wishes, there is the period or time between the making and the getting of the wish. This period, long or short, depends on the volume and intensity of his desire and on the power and direction of his thought. The good or evil manner in which the object comes to the one who wishes for it, and the results which follow the getting of it, are always decided by the underlying motive which allowed or caused the making of the wish.

Imperfections are always present in the wishing of anyone. In wishing for the object desired, the wisher loses sight or is unaware of the results which may or will attend the getting of his wish. Being unaware or losing sight of the results likley to attend the cycle of wishing from its beginning to the getting of the wish, is due to a lack of discrimination, of judgment, or to heedlessness of results. These are all due to the ignorance of the wisher. So that the imperfections always present in wishing are all due to ignorance. This is shown by the results of wishing.

The thing or condition for which one wishes is seldom if ever what he expected it would be, or if he gets just what he wanted it will bring unexpected difficulties or sorrow, or the getting of the wish will change conditions that the wisher does not wish changed, or it will lead or require him to do what he does not wish to do. In every case the getting of a wish brings with it or causes some disappointment or undesirable thing or condition, which was not bargained for at the time of wishing.

The one who is given to wishing refuses to inform himself of these facts before he begins his wishing, and often refuses to learn the facts after he has met the disappointments attending the getting of his wish.

Instead of learning to correct the imperfections by understanding the nature and causes and processes of wishing after he has met with disappointments in wishing, he usually, when being dissatisfied on getting one of his wishes, begins to wish for something else, and so rushes blindly from one wish into another.

Do we get anything from not having what we wish, such as money, houses, lands, clothes, adornments, bodily pleasures? And do we get anything from not having the fame, respect, envy, love, superiority over others, or precedence of position, any or all of which we wish? The not having of these things will give us only the opportunity of getting through it an experience and the knowledge which should be the harvest garnered from each such experience. From the not having of money we may learn economy and the value of money, so that we will not waste it but make good use of it when we get it. That applies also to houses, lands, clothing, pleasure. Thus if we do not learn what we can from the not having of these, when we do have them we shall be wasteful of them and misuse them. By not having fame, respect, love, high position, which others seem to enjoy, we are afforded the opportunity of learning the unsatisfied wants, needs, ambitions, aspirations, of human beings, of learning how to get strength and develop self-reliance, and, when we have these things, of knowing our duties and how to act toward those others who are poor and neglected, who are in want, who are without friends or possessions, but who yearn for all of these.

When a thing which has been wished for has been obtained, no matter how humble it may be, there are opportunities which come with it which are almost inevitably lost sight of, wasted and thrown away. This fact is illustrated by that simple little story of the three wishes and the black pudding. The possibilities of the three wishes were lost sight of or obscured by the desire of the moment, an appetite. So the first wish or opportunity was unwisely used. This unwise use of an opportunity led to the wasting of the second opportunity, which was used to appease the anger or annoyance at the mistake of having made poor use of a good opportunity. One mistake following closely upon another, resulted in confusion and fear. Only the immediate danger or condition was seen and, the instinct to relieve it being uppermost, the last opportunity to wish wisely was lost in the giving way to the wish of the moment. Many are likely to say that the little story is only a fairy tale. Yet, like many a fairy tale, it is illustrative of human nature and is intended to let people see how ridiculous they are in their wishes.

Wishing has become a habit with man. In all stations of life, people seldom engage in conversation without expressing many wishes. The tendency is to wish for something which they have not yet obtained, or to wish for that which has passed. As to times that are passed, one can frequently hear: “Oh, those were happy days! how I wish that we could live in those times!” referring to some age gone by. Could they but experience their wish, as did the solicitor who wished himself in the time of King Hans, they would feel quite miserable to find their present state of mind so out of accord with those times, and the times so ill suited to their present mode of living, that the return to the present would be to them as an escape from misery.

Another common wish is, “What a happy man that is, I wish I were in his place!” But if that were possible we should experience more unhappiness that we had known, and the greatest desire would be to be one’s self again, as was illustrated by the wishes of the watchman and the lieutenant. Like the one who wished that his head was through the railing, man is not able to make a complete wish. Something is always forgotten to make the wish complete and so his wishing often brings him into unfortunate conditions.

Many have often considered what they would like to be. If they were told that they could be now what they in an ideal way have looked forward to be, by wishing to be that now, on condition that they be contented with and remain in the lot chosen, there are few who would not agree to the condition and make the wish. By agreeing to such conditions they would prove their unfitness to engage in wishing, because if the ideal were great and worthy and far beyond their present state, it would, by coming too suddenly into its realization, bring to them a sense of unfitness and unworthiness which would cause unhappiness, and they would be unable to fulfill the duties of the ideal state. On the other hand, and what is most likely with one who would agree to such conditions, the thing or position, though seemingly attractive, would prove the reverse when obtained.

Wishing for such undesirable things was illustrated sometime ago by a little boy who had been reared with much care. On one of her visits to his mother, his aunt broached the subject of the boy’s future and asked what profession had been decided that he should enter. Little Robert listened to their talk, but he pressed his nose against the window pane and looked wistfully into the street. “Well, Robby,” said his aunt, “have you thought what you would like to be when you are a man?” “Oh yes,” said the little fellow as he nodded at the thing in the street on which he was intent, “Oh yes, aunty, I do wish to be an ashman and drive an ash cart and throw great cans of ashes into the cart, as that man does.”

Those of us who would agree to bind ourselves to the conditions which his wishing would bring, are as unqualified to decide at present the state or position which is best for our future as was little Robert.

To get suddenly that for which we have ardently wished is like having an unripe fruit which is plucked. It appears attractive to the eye, but is bitter to the taste and may cause pain and distress. Wishing and getting one’s wish is the bringing by force and against the natural law that which is out of season and place, which may not be ready for use and for which the wisher is unprepared or which he is incompetent to make use of.

Can we live without wishing? It is possible. Those who try to live without wishing are of two kinds. The ascetics who withdraw themselves to mountains, forests, deserts, and who remain in solitude where they are removed from the world and so escape its temptations. The other class prefer to live in the world and engage in the active duties which their position in life imposes, but try to remain unattached to the things by which they are surrounded and unaffected by temptations of the world. But there are comparatively few such men.

Owing to our ignorance and our desires and wishing, we drift or rush from one thing or condition into another, always dissatisfied with what we have and always wishing for something else and hardly if ever understanding what we have and are. Our present wishing is a part of the karma of our past and in turn enters into the making of our future karma. We go the round of wishing and experiencing again and again, without getting knowledge. It is not necessary to wish foolishly and be forever the victim of our foolish wishes. But we will continue to be victims of foolish wishing until we learn to know the cause as well as the process and the results of wishing.

The process of wishing, and its results, have been outlined. The immediate cause is due to the ignorance, and desires which ever remain unsatisfied. But the underlying and remote cause for our wishing is the inherent or latent knowledge of an ideal perfection, toward which the mind strives. Because of this inherent conviction of an ideal state of perfection, the thinking principle is decoyed and deceived by the desires and induced to look for its ideal of perfection through the senses. As long as the desires can so delude the mind as to induce it to seek somewhat, somewhere in place or time for its ideal, so long will its cycles of wishing continue. When the energy of the mind or thinking principle is turned upon itself and is intent upon discovering its own nature and power, it is not led away and deceived by desire in the whirl of the senses. One who persists in turning the energy of the thinking principle upon itself will learn to know the ideal perfection which he must attain. He will know that he can get anything by wishing for it, but he then will not wish. He knows that he can live without wishing. And he does, because he knows he is at every time in the best condition and environment and has the opportunities which will best afford the means to go on towards the attainment of perfection. He knows that all past thought and action have provided the present conditions and brought him into them, that these are necessary that he might grow out of them by learning that which they hold for him, and he knows that wishing to be anything other than what he is, or in any other place or conditions than where he is, would remove the present opportunity for progress, and postpone the time of his growth.

It is well for each one to work onward towards his chosen ideal, and it is best for him to work out from the present toward that ideal without wishing. Each one of us is at this time in the very best condition it is for him to be in. But he should go onward onward by doing his work.—