Chapter I Ourselves

'Ourselves,' a Vast Country not yet Explored.––When we think of our bodies and of the wonderful powers they possess, we say, under our breath, "Great and marvellous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty." Now, let us consider that still more wonderful Self which we cannot see and touch as we can our bodies, but which thinks and loves and prays to God; which is happy or sad, good or not good. This inner self is, as we have said, like a vast country much of which is not yet explored, or like a great house, built as a maze, in which you cannot find your way about. People usually talk of 'Ourselves' as made up of Body, Mind, Heart, and Soul; and we will do the same, because it is a convenient way to describe us. It is more convenient to say, 'The sun rises at six and sets at nine,' than to say, 'As the earth turns round daily before the sun, that part of the earth on which we live first gets within sight of the sun about six o'clock in the morning in March.' 'The sun rises and sets' is a better way of describing this, not only because it is easier to say, but because it is what we all appear to see and to know. In the same way, everybody appears to know about his own heart and soul and mind; though, perhaps, the truth is that there is no division into parts, but that the whole of each of us has many different powers and does many different things at different times.

Self-control, Self-knowledge, Self-reverence.––It would even seem as if we had two inside selves, one which wishes to do a wrong or unwise thing, and another which says, 'You must not.' And one of the great things we have to learn in life is how, where, and when to use this power, which we call Self-control. Before we can have true Self-control we must know a good deal about ourselves, that is, we must get Self-knowledge. Many persons think themselves quite different from everybody else, which is a mistake. Self-knowledge teaches that what is true of everybody else is true of us also; and when we come to know how wonderful are the powers and how immense are the possibilities of Mansoul, we are filled, not with pride, but with Self-reverence, which includes reverence and pity for the meanest and most debased, because each of these is also a great Mansoul, though it may be a Mansoul neglected, ruined, or decayed. The government of Mansoul is, as we know, the chief business of man; and we will go on to consider the Members of the Government.