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There is certainly nothing more necessary in the world today than a practical philosophy of life. By a practical philosophy, I do not mean beauti ful ideals and wonderful dreams in which we seek refuge from a terrifying world. I mean the kind of philosophy which is liveable, useable, expendable. I mean the kind of philosophy that far outdistances the abstract ideas of the world’s great thinkers. I mean the kind of philosophy that Jesus demonstrated and taught- a Pragmatic Mysticism.

Many people have asked, “Just what is that?” Pragmatism is a term that came into favor about the turn of the century from William James. He was, and still is, the greatest of all American psychologists, and we might add the title of philosopher to him also. He said that Pragmatism in terms of self is that which is usable, that which is expendable. In other words, Pragmatism is anything that has a cash value not only in the sense of buying an article, but in the real sense of your own inner resources, explored, developed and used. Is it useable? Will it help you? Can you work it? Pragmatism is certainly very workable. In other words, it is what we call the metaphysical concept, or what I personally prefer to call Pragmatic Mysticism. It is not the kind of belief that makes you withdraw from the world, or live in a cave, or mortify the flesh, or deny yourself anything that makes for gracious living. It is a pragmatic, every-day, usable UNION WITH GOD. That is what it is in simple terms.

A number of years ago, before I had encountered Metaphysics, I was in the business world. I had a photographic feature syndicate, which supplied newspapers and magazines with picture feature stories of the type we find in “Life,” “Look,” etc. We would take a series of pictures that told a story. Sometimes they were sent to us by photographers throughout the world, and sometimes we made them with our own staff of photographers. This one, to which I now refer, was our own brain-child. It was called “What is a human being made of?” We decided to make the particular human being in question a pretty girl, and we then proceeded to analyze her. We discovered that she consisted of such things as salt, calcium, silica, sulphur, potassium and sundry other elements. The total cost of the various elements which make up the human body was, at pre-inflation figures, $2.94. That is what we each are worth as far as our physical bodies are concerned. It was a little more if you had gold in your teeth, and a little less if you had dentures, which seems reasonable. But that is the cash value of a human being.

In those days I was very much of an atheist, and this value rather fitted in with my own idea of what humanity was really worth - including me. Then shortly after that I discovered Metaphysics. I was, as many of us have been, dragged to a lecture. During one of the first lectures I attended a statement was made that was a challenge to me. The man who spoke was, in my mind, the greatest of all Metaphysical teachers,- Emmet Fox. He had the most brilliant mind I had ever met. You couldn’t ignore this man. You couldn’t laugh him off. He made sense. He ended this particular talk by saying, “Do you know who you are? Do you really know who you are? YOU are a special enterprise on the part of God.” That hit me. There certainly was a wide gap between the $2.94 cash value of a human body and “a special enterprise on the part of God.”

I knew, as we do sometimes know - with a tremendous inner conviction, that Dr. Fox was right. I knew that I was what we might term “spiritually near-sighted,” since I had never tried to see beyond the physical plane. The two concepts were as far apart as the North and South Poles, and I decided to explore for myself the vast territory that lay between them, through the study of Metaphysics. I had to find out for myself whether or not it was just a beautiful dream, or was there something which I could actually use in my daily living. So I had to first study, then absorb, and finally apply what I had learned.

I discovered I was very much “a special enterprise on the part of God”- and so was every other human being. I also discovered that this was only the beginning. My mental acceptance of the idea did not help me very much in the manifestation of it. There was much more to be done.

What does it mean to be “a special enterprise on the part of God”? You are, you know. Whether you realize it or not, you are “a special enterprise on the part of God.” If you go into business,- and most of us are in business of some sort or another, or you enter into an undertaking of some kind, you equip it. You equip it with everything you think it will need. It is your idea, and you endow it, you clothe it, you activate it with everything that is necessary for its existence. And you expect it to function well. That is what God did with us. He created us in His image, after His likeness. He supplied us with everything we need, from the physical plane to the spiritual plane. He made us to stand on our own feet by giving us free will to do as we pleased.

We have done, often unknowingly, what we pleased,- and the results have been anything but pleasing. We have lost sight of our heritage, and because of environment and training, our strongest tendency is to blame the other fellow for our woe. If we do not blame fellow-man, then we stoically and subtly blame God, by saying “It is God’s will.” Both ideas are wrong and only help to prolong the difficulty.

God created each one of us “a special enterprise,” and He endowed us with a mind. He gave us Self-consciousness. No other species on the face of this planet has that. You know who you are. You may not know the all of who you are, because no one does. But you do know “I am So-and-so.” You do have the power of original thought. You can form a concept. You can carry it out. There is an interesting test you can try for yourself that is very revealing. Ask yourself, “Who am I?” Then watch the first three replies that come into your mind. You will inevitably find that your answers will include, “I am a salesman,” or “I am a housewife.” But you are not that. That is your field of activity; that is not what you are. This is a simple way of learning just what you think about you.

You have Self-consciousness. You have the kind of mind that recognizes its own identity. You have free will. You have the potentiality and the pos sibility of developing that mind. You are not a slave. You do not have to live at the beck and call of every peril that seems to lurk in the outer world. You are supposed to live as a child of God,- a Son of God,-- a co-creator with God. That is the essence of Being, which is instilled in every human soul. You are not here to live a possible sixty or seventy years, and for the most part of it go through hell. You are here to create something in your life that only you can do for yourself. Only I can do it for me. Each one of us does it a bit differently. Each one of us offers God a slightly different, unique experience as we begin to find ourselves and proceed to build our lives in accordance with the Divine Plan. That is why there are no two people exactly alike in the world. Not even identical twins are completely identical. No one else can do it in exactly the same way. “You are a special enterprise on the part of God.”


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