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When I was a young lad of twelve and struggling to come to terms with piano lessons while going through a rather difficult time, my teacher suggested that I stop and have a cup of tea and a chat. During our conversation he produced a small and rather worn old book. ‘I want you to have this book and thoroughly absorb its message’, he said.
As soon as I got home I decided at least to flip through its pages. A passage caught my attention and then another and another. I ended up reading the book from cover to cover.
This book, changed the way I thought about life.
In fact I was later to find out that it was a favourite of Queen Victoria, who insisted that each of her staff had a copy, and Henry Ford said that he owed his success to this book.
To this day, I treasure this little book. However there is something else which makes it even more special. The copy I have was from a specially produced print run for the soldiers who fought in the 1914-18 war. I have it on good authority that this book was carried by one such soldier. It bears all the evidence of exposure to the elements and frequent use and is protected by an aged waterproof cover. Visible pencil underlinings of various passages remain – passages selected, I imagine, for their insight and support during those terrible times.
I recently had cause to look at the book again and have selected a few of the passages which had been underlined; here are three of them:
‘There is a divine sequence running throughout the universe – to come into harmony with it is the secret of all success. This is to come into the possession of unknown riches, into the realisation of undreamed of powers’.
‘Thoughts are forces; like builds like, and like attracts like. For one to govern his thinking, then, is to determine his life’.
‘Fear and worry and all kindred mental states are too expensive for any person, man, woman, or child, to entertain or indulge in. Fear paralyses, worry corrodes’.
This book was first published in 1897 and was the forerunner of many motivational books. The author understood the mind-body relationship, which is most applicable to our work.
As we have now reached the centenary of the start of the conflict, I found the book even more poignant.
What happened to the owner? Did the contents help him to endure the horrors he witnessed? What invisible vibrations are still locked into its pages?
Its message is timeless.
In Tune With the Infinite
Ralph Waldo Trine
My Best Wishes