We hear much these days about occultism and its teachings, offered by many movements, cults, societies, orders and fraternities that have attracted and are still attracting thousands of earnest seekers; attracting them not only because they are holding out the opportunity of gaining in their teachings knowledge of the hidden side of life and of the laws that govern them, as well as of gaining the powers such knowledge gives, but that in them may be found definite instructions for self training and discipline that all such seekers feel they need.
Many of you who read have had experience with some of such movements, some of you gaining real knowledge that now is proving of much benefit; and others getting a little knowledge and much disappointment and disillusionment, because of finding that the personalities of the leaders and teachers of such movements failed to live up to their own teachings and principles.
But out of it all most have learned much of what these do not teach and practice-the true inner teachings of Christ. Outer knowledge they all teach-as much as they have to give-with more or less clarity, or they could not attract and hold, their followers; but the earnest ones soon find that intellectual knowledge alone does not satisfy. Their souls call for something more.
Those who have come through such occult movements and have studied earnestly what they taught and have faithfully practiced what was required, have profited much and have had a real and necessary preparation for that which is now being offered them in these teachings. They are the ones who instantly recognize the value of the self-discipline and training provided in the meditation and healing exercises. They will find such much easier to practice than will those who have never previously had definite instructions in meditation and mind control.
We wish to say here that what is called "New Thought" as taught in Christian Science, Unity, Divine Science and the various "Truth" movements, has brought to the western peoples a form of occultism truly fitting the needs of minds developed in the intense commercial activities of the modern world, in that it is preparing these minds to understand the higher and later needs that will appear when the soul has unfolded to the stage of potential discipleship. During the past twenty-five years such preparation has proceeded rapidly, and at the present time many are being called and chosen who have become able to hear the Master's Voice in their hearts.
Because of the odium and disrepute into which "occultism" has fallen in the minds of many New Thought students who do not understand its real meaning-a disrepute of the same effect as that in which "New Thought" has fallen in many churches, we feel it wise to explain that as we use it occultism means simply a study into the hidden or inner phases of life and things-those which are not cognizable by the five senses; while New Thought is any philosophical system of thinking that differs from the orthodox theology of the churches.
We intend that students of the inner and hidden laws of life shall find in these articles what they have been seeking, for we are endeavoring to instruct them in such practical yet simple laws-easily proven by the mental exercises suggested, when faithfully followed-that will equip them with both knowledge and power for any task in life-no matter how great.
IN THE HOME
We have had numerous inquiries from deeply-in-earnest housewives who are rearing families and are surrounded by duties, precluding their finding much time for systematic study and meditation or even for meeting regularly with others, whose hearts respond to all that these articles contain, and who yearn and ask for greater opportunities to serve.
To such we say, the work the Master has chosen for you is right in your home by your own fireside. In fact there is no greater schooling in patience, charity, tongue-control, and watching over one's thoughts, than in the home among those dearest to you. If you can find greater opportunities for self-discipline and for forgetting self in compelling self to wait upon and do only what the Loving One within wants you to do for those He has committed to your care, we wonder where they are. Most housewives in this Work know that, but if you find self rebelling and ambitious to do greater work-know that you can render Him no higher service now; for here is your work-here where He has put you to serve, and also to gain those qualities you lack, and which when gained will fit you for that which will then follow naturally-as night follows the day. But He will arrange all that-will have it all waiting for you when you are ready for it-and not before.
In fact, your present work-and this applies to everyone, housewife or other worker-is just where you are today. For there the One Who Knows-your Highest Self-has placed you to learn the lessons you must learn, and where you can best learn what you need to know to gain the soul qualities lacking and absolutely necessary for the greater service that awaits.
This applies also to those of you who are now more or less active in some church or movement that has helped you to come into your present consciousness. For remember, you as a disciple are no longer seeking to get, but to give and to serve; and surely among those you know and who know you is the best place to demonstrate the love and the understanding of the truths you are gaining from your meditation and study.
And surely those nearest you and who know of such study are justified in expecting you to prove that you are getting real benefit from the time and effort expended. There are none so ready to judge-and condemn-as those who are not themselves awakened or called by the Master to serve, and who therefore see only with the cold, calculating eyes of the world, but who nevertheless will understand and appreciate a real demonstration of the Christ-life when it is actually shown them.
Therefore, disciples must keenly realize the importance of making their lives-and not their words merely-prove, not to the world so much as to their own better selves, whom they serve.
In the church or the movement which enlisted your previous interest lie many opportunities of sowing the seed of the true Christ teaching, for there the soil is fertile, if fallow, and only needs cultivation, proper watering and sufficient sunshine to cause that which is in the seed to spring up into real life expression. Hence much can be done there-if the Master is permitted to lead and speak through you to those He wishes to reach and call forth. As disciples learn to wait upon Him and allow Him thus to use them, they will soon see that it makes no difference where they are-for He in them always places them where He can accomplish the most with the limitations and weaknesses of the human nature still existing in their personalities.