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Charles Godfrey Leland - The Mystic Will

Charles Godfrey Leland - The Mystic Will

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Published by Dr. Fusion

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Published by: Dr. Fusion on Oct 18, 2009
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12/07/2013

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 THE MYSTIC WILL
A Method of Developing and Strengtheningthe Faculties of the Mind,through the Awakened Will, by a Simple,Scientific Process Possibleto Any Person of Ordinary Intelligence
INTRODUCTION.
“Unto many Fortune comes whilesleeping.”--Latin Proverb.“Few know what is really going on in theworld.”—
 American Proverb
.It is but a few years since it suddenly struck the gay world of comic dramatists and otherliterary wits, that the Nineteenth Centurywas drawing to an end, and regarding it asan event they began to make merry over it,at first in Paris, and then in London and NewYork, as the
 fin-de-siècle
. Unto them it wasthe going-out of old fashions in small things,such as changes in dress, the growth of wealth, or “the mighty bicycle,” with a veryprevalent idea that things “are gettingmixed” or “checquered,” or the oldconditions of life becoming strangelyconfused. And then men of more thought orintelligence, looking more deeply into it,began to consider that the phrase did in verytruth express far more serious facts. As in anold Norman tale, he who had entered as a jester or minstrel in comic garb, laid asidehis disguise, and appeared as a wise
 
counsellor or brave champion who had cometo free the imprisoned emperor.For it began to be seen that this
 fin-de-siècle
 was developing with startling rapiditychanges of stupendous magnitude, whichwould ere long be seen “careering withthunder speed along,” and that all therevolutions and reforms recorded in historywere only feeble or partial, scattered orsmall, compared to the world-wideunification of human interests, led by newlights, which has begun to manifest itself inevery civilized country. That well nighevery person or real culture, or educationguided by pure science, has within a veryfew years advanced to a condition of liberalfaith which would have been in myuniversity days generally reprobated as“infidelity,” is not to be denied, and the factmeans, beyond all question, that accordingto its present rate of advance, in a very fewyears more, this reform will end in theannulling of innumerable traditions, formsof faith and methods.
Upharsin
is writ onthe wall.More than this, is it not clear that Art andRomance, Poetry and Literature, as hithertounderstood or felt, are either to utterlyvanish before the stupendous advances of science, or what is perhaps more probable,will, coalescing with it, take new forms,based on a general familiarity with all theold schools or types? A few years ago itseemed, as regarded all æsthetic creation,that man had exhausted the old models, andknew not where to look for new. Now theaim of Art is to interest or please, bygratifying the sense or taste for the beautifulor human genius in
making
; also to instructand refine; and it is evident that Science isgoing to fulfill all these conditions on such agrand scale in so many new ways, that,when man shall be once engaged in them, allthat once gratified him in the past will seemas childish things, to be put away beforepursuits more worthy of manly dignity. If 
 
Art in all forms has of late been quiet, it hasbeen because it has drawn back like the tigerin order to make the greater bound.One of the causes why some are laying asideall old spiritualism, romance and sentiment,is that their realization takes up too muchtime, and Science, which is the soul of business, seeks in all things brevity anddirectness. It is probable that the phrase,“but to the point,” has been oftener repeatedduring the past few years, than it ever wasbefore, since Time begun, of whichdirectness I shall have more to say anon.And this is the end to which these remarkson the
 fin-de-siècle
were written, to laystress upon the fact that with the yearNineteen Hundred we shall begin a centuryduring which civilized mankind will attainits majority and become
manly
, doing thatwhich is right as a man should,
because it isright 
and for no other reason, and shunningwrong for as good cause. For while man is achild he behaves well, or misbehaves, for
reasons
such as the fear of punishment orhope of reward, but in a manly code noreasons are necessary but only a persuasionor conviction that anything is right or wrong,and a principle which is as the earth unto aseed.For as the world is going on, or getting tobe, it is very evident that as it is popularlysaid, “he who will tell a lie will generallynot hesitate to commit perjury,” so he whocannot be really honest,
 per se
, withoutbeing sustained by principle based only ontradition and the opinion of others, is a poorcreature, whose morality or honesty is infact merely theatrical, or acted, to satisfycertain conditions or exigencies from whichhe were better freed.This spirit of scientific directness, andeconomy of thought and trouble by makingthe principle of integrity the basis of allforms, and cutting all ethical theories downto “be good because you
ought 
,” is rapidly

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