The philosopher who directs his attention to the word lone in any of its various phases finds himself faced by a number of glaring yet interesting contradictions. He finds, for instance, that it is possible to be alone in a crowd, and to enjoy the best of company in complete loneliness. This, of course, sends him to the root of the matter, and he has not got to go very far before he discovers that company is a matter of thoughts and not bodies. As a consequence of this it becomes apparent that in the proportion in which a man controls his thoughts he controls his company. Thus the silent man may be living half his time in a crowd, jostling the whole world as it were: marching with Cæsar, dreaming with Horace under the trees in his orchard; dining with Zeno, supping with Lucullus; or sitting long into the night with Professor Teufelsdröckh in his attic in the Wahngasse. As for the garrulous one, he may be the loneliest thing in a crowd, flung, like the clapper of a bell, from body to body, and making nothing except noises.

The man in the street realizes this in his superficial way, but without fathoming its full significance. He sees dimly that the thing is so, but its deeper meaning is entirely lost upon him. With the metaphysician it is altogether different. For, as Mrs. Eddy writes, on page 269 of Science and Health, "The categories of metaphysics rest on one basis, the divine Mind. Metaphysics resolves things into thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul." The metaphysician, that is to say, gets to the root of the whole matter by the realization of the fact that the material objects which he now sees in the mirror of his physical senses are in reality nothing but counterfeits of spiritual ideas existent in the divine Mind, and that, consequently, when this is once grasped, there is no room for loneliness, since, as Mrs. Eddy says, on pages 264-265 of Science and Health, "The universe of Spirit is peopled with spiritual beings, and its government is divine Science." What this means is obviously quite simple. It is that the material men and women of this earth earthly are but the counterfeits of divine ideas subject to the harmonious government of Truth. Keble, surely, had caught some dim, indefinite perception of the unreality of the shadow dance in the material mirror, when he wrote:—

The True Armament
November 12, 1921

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