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Greater than circumstances
Originally published in the 1912 pamphlet titled “Environment and Opportunity”
Marcus Aurelius said: "Life is more like wrestling than dancing; it must be ready to keep its feet against all onsets, however unexpected." The careless human nature may desire to dance through the years, but it cannot. The onslaughts come. And to keep one's feet, to rise superior to conditions, to stand greater than circumstances, is to live truly.
The highest philosophies, however, have missed their way through looking largely to the human mind to supply its own strength. They have drawn from a reservoir soon exhausted; have looked for remedy where there is none. The intellect, the will, the affections, even at their best, cannot of themselves and unaided solve the problem of human woe. To the divine Mind alone men must turn for ﬁnal refuge. And the Scriptural records which make plain man's relation to God, urge his dependence upon God, instruct him how to ﬁnd God, transcend all philosophies and dogmas and creeds. Their teaching brings within the apprehension of men the thoughts which collectively composed the thinking of Christ Jesus, and brings home to men the truth that nothing less than the Christ-mind is greater than circumstances.
Let any strong and good man review his experiences, and he will recall many unhappy times when his courage or his patience failed him. And why? Because he thought his strength and his goodness were in and of himself, and so he came to the end of them. Let this same man, however, begin to understand and to adopt into his own thinking the inﬁnite and inﬁnitely right thoughts which originate in divine Mind, and he has identiﬁed himself mentally with thought processes which will never fail him; for the source of his strength and goodness is now inﬁnite and inexhaustible, inasmuch as he is seeking to express God's goodness just as fast as he can discover and reﬂect it. Christ Jesus must have meant this, surely, when he said that he and the Father were one; that he sought the will of the Father who sent him; that the Son could do nothing of himself, but what he saw the Father do.
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