Thoughts I Met on the Highway_ Words of Friendly Cheer From "The Life Books"
| Thoughts I Met On |
Words of Friendly Cheer
From "The Life Books"
Ralph Waldo Trine
Dodd, Mead & Company
BY RALPH WALDO TRINE
"The Life Books"
IN THE HOLLOW OF HIS HAND
THE NEW ALINEMENT OF LIFE
THE LAND OF LIVING MEN
WHAT ALL THE WORLD'S A-SEEKING
IN TUNE WITH THE INFINITE;
or Fullness of Peace, Power and Plenty
THE HIGHER POWERS OF MIND AND SPIRIT.
THIS MYSTICAL LIFE OF OURS
A volume of selections for each week through the year,
from the Author's complete works.
The "Life" Booklets
ON THE OPEN ROAD
THOUGHTS I MET ON THE HIGHWAY
THE WINNING OF THE BEST
THE GREATEST THING EVER KNOWN
EVERY LIVING CREATURE
CHARACTER-BUILDING THOUGHT POWER
DODD, MEAD & COMPANY
COPYRIGHT 1912 BY RALPH WALDO TRINE
[Pg 5]Thoughts are forces—like builds like and like attracts like. Thoughtsof strength both build strength from within and attract it from without.Thoughts of weakness actualize weakness from within and attract it fromwithout. Courage begets strength, fear begets weakness. And so couragebegets success, fear begets failure.
[Pg 6]Any way the old world goes
Happy be the weather!
With the red thorn or the rose
Singin' all together!
Don't you see that sky o' blue!
Good Lord painted it for you
Reap the daisies in the dew
Singin' all together!
Springtime sweet, an' frosty fall
Happy be the weather!
Earth has gardens for us all,
Goin' on together.
Sweet the labor in the light,
To the harvest's gold and white—
Till the toilers say "Good night,"
Singin' all together!
[Pg 7]Thereis no quality that exerts more good, is of greater service to allmankind during the course of the ordinary life, than the mind and theheart that goes out in an all-embracing love for all, that is thegenerator and the circulator of a genuine, hearty, wholesome sympathyand courage and good cheer, that is not disturbed or upset by thepassing occurrence little or great, but that is serene, tranquil, andconquering to the end, that is looking for the best, that is finding thebest, and that is inspiring the best in all. There is moreover, noquality that when genuine brings such rich returns to its possessor byvirtue of the thoughts and the feelings that it inspires and calls forthfrom others and that come back laden with their peaceful, stimulating,healthful influences for you.
[Pg 8]Out ofthe night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate
How charged with punishment the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.
William Earnest Henley
[Pg 9]Thought is the great builder in human life: it is the determiningfactor. Continually think thoughts that are good, and your life willshow forth in goodness, and your body in health and beauty. Continuallythink evil thoughts, and your life will show forth in evil, and yourbody in weakness and repulsiveness. Think thoughts of love, and you willlove and will be loved. Think thoughts of hatred, and you will hate andwill be hated. Each follows its kind.
[Pg 10]Every day is a fresh beginning,
Every morning is the world made new;
You who are weary of sorrow and sinning,
Here is a beautiful hope for you,
A hope for me and a hope for you.
All the past things are past and over,
The tasks are done, and the tears are shed.
Yesterday's errors let yesterday cover;
Yesterday's wounds, which smarted and bled,
Are healed with the healing which night has shed.
Every day is a fresh beginning,
Listen, my soul, to the glad refrain,
And, spite of old sorrow and older sinning,
And puzzles forecasted, and possible pain,
Take heart with the day and begin again.
[Pg 11]Each morning is a fresh beginning. We are, as it were, just beginninglife. We have it entirely in our own hands. And when the morning withits fresh beginning comes, all yesterdays should be yesterdays, withwhich we have nothing to do. Sufficient is it to know that the way welived our yesterday has determined for us our today. And, again, whenthe morning with its fresh beginning comes, all tomorrows should betomorrows, with which we have nothing to do. Sufficient to know that theway we live our today determines our tomorrow.
Simply the first hour of this new day, with all its richness and glory,with all its sublime and eternity-determining possibilities, and eachsucceeding hour as it comes, but not before it comes—this is thesecret of character building. This simple method will bring any one tothe realization of the highest life that can be even conceived of, andthere is nothing in this connection that can be conceived of that cannotbe realized somehow, somewhen, somewhere.
[Pg 12]The poem hangs on the berry-bush
When comes the poet's eye,
And the whole street is a masquerade
When Shakespeare passes by.
[Pg 13]This same Shakespeare, whose mere passing causes all this commotion, isthe one who put into the mouth of one of his creations the words: "Thefault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we areunderlings." And again he gave us a great truth when he said:
"Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win
By fearing to attempt."
There is probably no agent that brings us more undesirable conditionsthan fear. We should live in fear of nothing, nor will we when we comefully to know ourselves. An old French proverb runs:
"Some of your griefs you have cured,
And the sharpest you still have survived;
But what torments of pain you endured
From evils that never arrived."
Fear and lack of faith go hand in hand. The one is born of the other.Tell me how much one is given to fear, and I will tell you how much helacks in faith. Fear is a most expensive guest to entertain, the same asworry is: so expensive are they that no one can afford to entertainthem. We invite what we fear, the same as, by a different attitude ofmind, we invite and attract the influences and conditions we desire.
[Pg 14]To remain in nature always sweet and simple and humble, and thereforestrong.
"Whatever the weather may be," says he,
"Whatever the weather may be,
It's the songs ye sing, an' the smiles ye wear,
That's a-makin' the sun shine everywhere."
James Whitcomb Riley
[Pg 15]Sweetness of nature, simplicity in manners and conduct, humility withoutself-abasement, give the truly kingly quality to men, the queenly towomen, the winning to children, whatever the rank or the station may be.The life dominated by this characteristic, or rather these closelyallied characteristics, is a natural well-spring of joy to itself andsheds a continual benediction upon all who come within the scope of itsinfluence. It makes for a life of great beauty in itself, and it impartscourage and hope and buoyancy to all others.
[Pg 16]There is no thing we cannot overcome;
Say not thy evil instinct is inherited,
Or that some trait inborn makes thy whole life forlorn;
And calls down punishment that is not merited.
Back of thy parents and grandparents lies
The Great Eternal Will! That too is thine
Inheritance,—strong, beautiful, divine,
Sure lever of success for one who tries.
Earth has no claim the soul cannot contest;
Know thyself part of the Eternal Source;
Naught can stand before thy spirit's force:
The soul's Divine Inheritance is best.
[Pg 17]Thought is at the bottom of all progress or retrogression, of allsuccess or failure, of all that is desirable or undesirable in humanlife. The type of thought we entertain both creates and draws conditionsthat crystallize about it, conditions exactly the same in nature as isthe thought that gives them form. Thoughts are forces, and each createsof its kind, whether we realize it or not. The great law of the drawingpower of the mind, which says that like creates like, and that likeattracts like, is continually working in every human life, for it is oneof the great immutable laws of the universe. For one to take time to seeclearly the things one would attain to, and then to hold that idealsteadily and continually before his mind, never allowing faith—hispositive thought-forces—to give way to or to be neutralized by doubtsand fears, and then to set about doing each day what his hands find todo, never complaining, but spending the time that he would otherwisespend in complaint in focusing his thought-forces upon the ideal thathis mind has built, will sooner or later bring about the fullmaterialization of that for which he sets out.
[Pg 18]Beauty seen is never lost,
God's colors all are fast;
The glory of this sunset heaven
Into my soul has passed,—
A sense of gladness unconfined
To mortal, date or clime;
As the soul liveth, it shall live
Beyond the years of time.
Beside the mystic asphodels
Shall bloom the home-born flowers,
And new horizons flush and glow
With sunset hues of ours.
[Pg 19]Would you remain always young, and would you carry all the joyousnessand buoyancy of youth into your maturer years? Then have care concerningbut one thing,—how you live in your thought world. It was the inspiredone, Gautama, the Buddha, who said,—"The mind is everything; what youthink you become." And the same thing had Ruskin in mind when hesaid,—"Make yourselves nests of pleasant thoughts. None of us as yetknow, for none of us have been taught in early youth, what fairy palaceswe may build of beautiful thought—proof against all adversity." Andwould you have in your body all the elasticity, all the strength, allthe beauty of your younger years? Then live these in your mind, makingno room for unclean thought, and you will externalize them in your body.In the degree