This is the one true and reliable gospel of the simple life. There must first be medita tion, and then follows the act of creation.
And it spells Activity.
Thus a man will discover that pleasure is found not in having done, but in doing.
Rest (when the evening and the morning are the first day) is not inactivity, but the meditative contemplation of the next event.
Working toward better things, stimulated by discontent for things as they are, is the great gospel.
The sanity and security of it all are found in the very divinity of it, for we were made in the image of the Divine Mind.
Are we forgetting our birth-gift? The man who retires into inactivity with a money fortune puts himself in jail. It is not the man of sixty that should be chloroformed, but the inactive man of any age. Carlyle's dictum was pronounced for him: "For God's sake, produce something." This discovery that the joy of life lies in doing, teaches us whence comes that quality so many of us crave to possess—the quality of culture. It is a sadly misunderstood word. We are apt to think culture comes without thought. As a matter of fact, culture is thought active in the process of its highest manifestation. But even culture which is quently offered to us on easy terms, must have a background, or a basis; that is, it must come from something. Culture is not a cause. It is an effect.
A farmer who talks about the cultivation of his fields, in terms of corn, wheat and oats, knows that these results come from a cause, or from a series of closely allied causes, called : ploughing, harrowing, deep digging, dirt on the hands, dirt all over him every day, then careful sowing, and, finally, the reaping and rejoicing. But neither reaping nor rejoicing without all that goes before.
Culture and a rarmer ? What does the dictionary say? Latin cultura from colere, to till, to culti vate. Colo, colonus, a farmer.
So mental culture is likewise a result and not a cause. But decidely it is not general information, nor club-papers, nor any other form of what Charles Lamb called "super ficial omniscience." Corn, wheat, and oats often grow along the railway tracks where the seed has been dropped in the shipping. But no one harvests them, or boasts of them.
True mental culture is ploughing, harrow ing, deep digging, dirt on the hands, dirt all over one, then careful sowing, and, finally, the reaping and rejoicing.
In other words, culture comes from a fair and honest belief, such as this: Believe you can conquer your world by right thinking. You can.
Concentrate on what you desire to become. You can accomplish it.
Make that desire worthy of any hero in history. It is possible.
Drop forever fear, worry, anxiety and hatred. They are negatives.
Go into the business of life with faith and tolerance. They are positives.
Live the good days, the rare events of life, over and over again. They are blessings that expand boundlessly.
When Emerson said : "A man is a god in disguise," he meant a man.
The real man is progressive. He knows the worst evil that can befall him is arrested de velopment. He keeps out of park benches, and he avoids ruts; he finds new highways, he travels over them; he thinks in the sunshine.
He is an Alexander the Great to the world about him, and he never lets up. His thought creates, and his creations look good to other men.
His mind is active, hence serene. His body is fair, for it is nothing less than himself shadowed forth. And when he speaks, his words are the flowers and fruits and grain of a plowed and tilled domain.
Then people call him cultured. And in all the days of his life he will cherish culture and the act of creation, for they are the divine gifts of the divine impulse.