The supreme prayer of my heart is not to be learned, rich, famous, powerful, or "good," but simply to be radiant. I desire to radiate health, cheerfulness, calm courage and good will.
I wish to live without hate, whim, jealousy, envy, fear. I wish to be simple, honest, frank, natural, clean in mind and clean in body, unaffected--ready to say "I do not know
To meet all men on an absolute equality--to face any obstacle and meet every difficulty unabashed and unafraid. I wish others to live their lives, too--up to their highest, fullest and best.
To that end I pray that I may never meddle, interfere, dictate, give advice that is not wanted, or assist when my services are not needed.
If I can help people, I'll do it by giving them a chance to help themselves; and if I can uplift or inspire, let it be by example, inference, and suggestion, rather than by injunction and dictation.
That is to say, I desire to be radiant--to radiate life.
Life and Expression
By exercise of its faculties the spirit grows, just as a muscle grows strong through continued use. Expression is necessary.
Life is expression, and repression is stagnation--death. Yet, there can be right and wrong expressions.
If a man permits his life to run riot and only the animal side of his nature is allowed to express itself, he is repressing his highest and best, and the qualities not used atrophy and die.
Men are punished by their sins, not for them.
Sensuality, gluttony, and the life of license repress the life of the spirit, and the soul never blossoms; and this is what it is to lose one's soul.
All down the centuries thinking men have noted these truths, and again and again we find individuals forsaking in horror the life of the senses and devoting themselves to the life of the spirit.
This question of expression through the spirit, or through the senses--through soul or body--has been the pivotal point of all philosophy and the inspiration of all religion.
Every religion is made up of two elements that never mix any more than oil and water mix.
A religion is a mechanical mixture, not a chemical combination, of morality and dogma.
Dogma is the science of the unseen: the doctrine of the unknown and unknowable. And in order to give this science plausibility, its promulgators have always fastened upon its morality.
Morality can & does exist entirely separate & apart from dogma, but dogma is ever a parasite on morality, & the business of the priest is to confuse the two. But morality and religion never saponify
Morality is simply the question of expressing your life forces--how to use them? You have so much energy; and what will you do with it?
And from out of the multitude there have always been men to step forward and give you advice for consideration.
Without their supposed influence with the unseen we might not accept their interpretation of what is right and wrong. But with the assurance that their advice is backed up by Deity,
llowed with an offer of reward if we believe it, and a threat of dire punishment if we do not, the Self-appointed Superior Class has driven men wherever it willed.
The evolution of formal religions is not a complex process, and the fact that they embody these two unmixable things, dogma and morality, is a very plain and simple truth,
And be it said that the morality of most religions is good.
Love, truth, charity, justice and gentleness are taught in them all. But, like a rule in Greek grammar, there are many exceptions.
Morality of religions there are exceptional instances that constantly arise where love, truth, charity, gentleness and justice are waived on suggestion of the Superior Class, that good may follow.
Were it not for these exceptions there would be no wars between Christian nations. How to express your life will probably never go down, for the reason that men vary in temperament & inclination
Some men have no capacity for certain sins of the flesh; others there be, who, having lost their inclination for sensuality through too much indulgence, turn ascetics.
Yet all sermons have but one theme: how shall life be expressed? Between asceticism and indulgence men and races swing.
Asceticism in our day finds an interesting manifestation in the Trappists, who live on a mountain top, nearly inaccessible, and deprive themselves of almost every vestige of bodily comfort,
Going without food for days, wearing uncomfortable garments, suffering severe cold; and should one of this community look upon the face of a woman he would think he was in instant danger of damnation
So here we find the extreme instance of men repressing the faculties of the body in order that the spirit may find ample time and opportunity for exercise.
Somewhere between this extreme repression of the monk and the license of the sensualist lies the truth.
But just where is the great question; and the desire of one person, who thinks he has discovered the norm, to compel all other men to stop there, has led to war and strife untold.