MIND AND BODY.
Countless acres of land in America have been transformed from a barren waste to a paradise of fertility.
The distant mountains, snow covered, have long sent little streams of water trickling down their furrowed sides. An observing mind puts one and one together and makes millions, sim ply by garnering the water into reservoirs and sending it through ditches to the barren acres.
As it is with land, so it is with the human mind. Countless human beings are of the sand and sagebrush order. They produce nothing. But if they can be made aware of the lofty mountains of human thought; if they can be led to guide the streams, to garner the water, to build sluices into the mental domain—then there will be a blossoming. This comes from observation, meditation, the study of men in ac tion, of the treasures of books and art, of the high character of business and of labor.
Our popular system of education is an effort to allow no unit to escape this contact. But as the mill cannot grind again with the water that has passed, so the mind cannot continue fertile from the quickening of the waters that flooded it in the years of childhood alone. It must be constantly nourished.
Irrigation must never cease. Prom the ac cumulated wisdom of the world, from the storied Past and the vital, pulsating Present there must flow constantly into a man's mental acreage the inspiration of the highlands of human thought that surround him.
Stop the waters from the reservoir and the acreage is sagebrush and cactus again ; stop the flow of inspiration from the reservoir of wisdom, and the mind lowers to non-produc tion and to inactivity.
But does not a man's business educate him? It often does.
Yet too often a man's business is but a single ditch from a little reservoir ; it has too little capacity, and it does not touch the whole do main of his mental estate, for a man abounds, infinitely beyond his conception, with unde veloped resources. Hence, he must multiply his ditches.
An irrigated farm that produces its hundreds of acres of crops, has a house on it and a flower garden. The house is for warmth and comfort, companionship, love, and the benedictions of life. The flower garden is for beauty and a
sense of nature's joy. Every man may plant as much of his mind to business as he chooses; but unless he has a mental house and a mental flower garden into which to retire at times, he is the owner of an unirrigated farm. That he may protect himself against this poverty of opportunity, he must multiply his ditches.
Irrigation is the one great process of land reclamation. The reservoirs of human thought are no less fertilizing than the snow-capped mountains whose waters make the crops testify to the bounty of the earth.
This reclamation, this sane attitude toward life, demands of most of us a readjustment. We must learn, by patient observation, the truth about common things ; about mind and body, home, environment, business and leisure. We must consciously study these familiar things and conditions all the more earnestly be cause they are familiar. Let us begin with what is nearest.
The body can be made to obey. We can tell it what to do, and what not to do.
If we are tempted one day to put the hand in another man's pocket, we can say to the hand : Do not do that act ; it is not right that you should stretch out and close those fingers on what is not yours.
And the hand obeys the behest, recognizing the supremacy of the mind that is above it.
We have exactly the same power over the mind itself. If we are tempted to think wrong thoughts, to give in to discouragement, believ ing that the world is against us and all we are doing, we have only to say to the mind as we said to the hand : It is not right for you to pro duce such thought. Stop, and think good thought. And the mind will obey, recognizing the supremacy of the spirit which is above it.
In many American cities there are streets occupied wholly by Chinese. When we visit them we see nothing that looks like an Ameri can city except the buildings, and even they are so modified by banners, signs, dragon heads, and lanterns that they look unlike the buildings of any other street.