Rosicrucian Writings Online

The True Key to Self Development
and Self Mastery

By Royle Thurston

[From The American Rosae Crucis March 1916]
IS it possible to reach the inner self and develop it and make it superior to the outer self?  Such is the purport of many questions asked of those who have found the key to the development of self.
It seems such a simple question!  It is often asked casually in connection with many other questions more easily answered.  But this question really involves the workings of the whole domain of the occult, the spiritual and the divine.  To know the answer is to know the whole problem of self-mastery.
What is self?  Unless we have, at first, a thorough understanding of who and what is self, we cannot have an answer to the question.  Self is personality, say some; it is character, say others; still others say self is individuality.  In truth it is none of these, but all of these--and more.  Rosaecrucianism teaches that personality is destiny and character is fate.  The planets may dominate or determine, our personality and thereby determine our destiny.  But fate--absolute fate--is determined by the character, and CHARACTER IS MADE BY WILL.
We are not individuals.  Individualism means separation, distinction, determinate isolation and unlimited freedom.  It is the very antithesis of unity.
In our study of gross matter we find that science has divided the substance into elements--one of which is the atom.  But while atoms are considered as primary elements--as primary creations--they have no REAL INDIVIDUALISM.  The atoms of each molecule may, in the scheme of things as worked out in the laboratory, seem to have INDIVIDUALITY, but the scientists know that each atom vibrates with the spirit of the life of all other atoms, that it is related to, a part of, the great force--the creative force--which pervades all other atoms.  Not one of the atoms could continue to exist as an atom independent of that force or of other atoms.  This same principle applies to molecules, the next highest division of matter.  It is the unity of the atoms that makes the molecule and the unity of molecules that makes matter.  And back of all this is the unity of the divine force which makes the atom.
The human body is a material creation.  Every square inch of flesh is composed of minute elements, working in unity, manifesting through unity.  If the whole creation--the body of man--may claim individuality, why not the millions of cells which compose every square inch of flesh?  We know from experience what occurs when two or more cells of the flesh or two or more corpuscles of the blood proclaim individuality and separate from all others and end their co-operative, unified work.  Disease results.  There is rebellion.  The proclaimers of individuality are out of harmony and eventually become ostracised and rejected.  War is declared by the unity against individualism and--a thousand and one medical terms are given for the physiological or mental conditions which result.
The same is true of the body or soul of every man, woman or child.  The great creative force within us, to which we owe our very existence, is INDIVISIBLE!  If we realize that, we must see at once that the soul or spirit of no one can be individualized.  The soul and spirit is indeterminate, indefinite, indivisible.  Matter is indivisible except from soul; for all matter is material, each atom, each molecule, each cell, each grain is but a part of the whole.
But the proclaimers of individuality speak not of matter.  They claim not individuality for their bodies, but for their personalities, their souls.  They would set them aside, distinguish them from all others, and make them superior individualities.  And therein they break all attunement with the universe and set up the same conditions in the planetary and spiritual planes as existed with the cells of flesh in the material world.  Unity is destroyed or disrupted--perhaps I better say interrupted--and harmony is lacking.  That is individualism!
But self can be mastered and developed.  Self in the sense I use it is the manifestation of personality, the expression of the soul.  The soul manifests through matter--through the body.  Personality expresses itself through the will of the being.  We cannot mould the soul, but we can mould the channels through which the soul expresses itself.  We can develop the attributes of the soul and lead those attributes--train them--to do those things which make for goodness and love.
The soul should be given more freedom.  It should not be so closeted within the body that it finds no place for development, for expansion or unfettered expression.  I ask in all seriousness that my readers join with me every night when it is possible in a five minutes' quiet talk with self.  Sit in a darkened room, in the silence, and take your thoughts from material things, from the body.  Lose consciousness of the body, of your surroundings, and let the soul within you dominate and expand.  Concentrate your mind on your inner self, that great force resident within you, and see and feel its touch with the Infinite forces and mind of the universe.  Gradually you will sense an attunement with the Cosmic Consciousness and will become conscious of peace, harmony, love, goodness and perfection.  You will lose your body,--the mantle, the cloak, the shell will drop from your soul and you will be free from the limitations of matter and find your soul outside of your body, surrounding you like an aura.  Its expansion will be rejuvenating, exhilarating and divinely beautiful.  The most wonderful sensations you have ever experienced will come to you and then--talk to your soul, reason with it, hold communion with your inner self.  Any suggestions, any words of encouragement, of hope, love, goodness and Godliness you think or speak will find immediate response.
And, as you gradually take into your body the expanded soul and return to normal consciousness of your surroundings you will find that it is with difficulty you can contain your soul in its limited space.  This sensation of expansion, development and advancement will be like unto growth of the soul and you will feel for hours afterward that you are just overflowing with inner blessings and infinite benedictions.
Will you try this for ten nights with me?  Come, Sisters and Brothers, let us give our inner selves a chance to grow--and learn the secret of self-mastery and self-development.

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