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Self Help: How to Acquire Power and Exclusive Friendships

Mar 5, 2008
The old method of education was to store the mind with as many facts, or supposed facts, as could be accumulated and to give a certain exterior polish to the personality. The theory was that when a man was born he was a completed human being and that all that could be done for him was to load him up with information that would be used with more or less skill, according to the native ability he happened to be born with. The theosophical idea is that the physical man, and all that constitutes his life in the physical world, is but a very partial expression of the self; that in the ego of each there is practically unlimited power and wisdom; that these may be brought through into expression in the physical world as the physical body and its invisible counterparts, which together constitute the complex vehicle of the ego's manifestation, are evolved and adapted to the purpose; and that in exact proportion that conscious effort is given to such self-development will spiritual illumination be achieved and wisdom attained. Thus the light that leads to happiness is kindled from within and the evolutionary journey that all are making may be robbed of its suffering.

And so it is with all forms of suffering we experience. They are at once reactions from our ignorant blunderings and instructors that point out the better way. When we have comprehended the lessons they teach they are no longer necessary and disappear. It is not by the outward acquirement of facts that men become wise and great. It is by developing the soul from within until it illuminates the brain with that flood of light called genius.

Exclusive friendships

Every man should be able to help the other in need and that men should work together for the good of all is very beautiful, and I believe the day will come when these things will be, but the simple process of fifty-one per cent of the voters casting ballots for socialism will not bring it about.

The subject is entirely too big to dispose of in a paragraph, so I am just going to content myself here with the mention of one thing, the danger to society of exclusive friendships between man and man, and woman and woman. No two persons of the same sex can complement each other, neither can they long uplift or benefit each other. Usually they deform the mental and spiritual estate. We should have many acquaintances or none. When two men begin to "tell each other everything," they are hiking for senility. There must be a bit of well-defined reserve. We are told that in matter solid steel for instance the molecules never touch. They never surrender their individuality. We are all molecules of Divinity, and our personality should not be abandoned. Be yourself and let no man be necessary to you. Your friend will think more of you if you keep him at a little distance. Friendship, like credit, is highest where it is not used.

Let a man come close enough and he'll clutch you like a drowning person, and down you both go. In a close and exclusive friendship men partake of others' weaknesses.

They combine and stand by each other. Their friendship is exclusive and others see that it is. Jealousy creeps in, suspicion awakens, hate crouches around the corner, and these men combine in mutual dislike for certain things and persons. They foment each other, and their sympathy dilutes sanity by recognizing their troubles men make them real. Things get out of focus, and the sense of values is lost. By thinking some one is an enemy you evolve him into one.

Every man who has had anything to do with communal life has noticed that the clique is the disintegrating bacillus and the clique has its rise always in the exclusive friendship of two persons of the same sex, who tell each other all unkind things that are said of each other "so be on your guard." Beware of the exclusive friendship! Respect all men and try to find the good in all. To associate only with the sociable, the witty, the wise, the brilliant, is a blunder go among the plain, the stupid, the uneducated, and exercise your own wit and wisdom. You grow by giving have no favorites you hold your friend as much by keeping away from him as you do by following after him.

And this beautiful dream of socialism, where each shall work for the good of all, will never come about until fifty-one per cent of the adults shall abandon all exclusive friendships. Until that day arrives you will have cliques, denominations which are cliques grown big factions, feuds and occasional mobs. Do not lean on any one, and let no one lean on you. The ideal society will be made up of ideal individuals. Be a man and be a friend to everybody.
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