Everyone must learn to trust himself and, so far as possible, to give full rein to all the creative power he has. At the same time, we must all live together as members of one human family. But unity does not mean uniformity. We can live together in harmony and with cooperation without infringing on the rights of others. This is the real meaning of democracy and personal freedom.
If a thousand artists were painting the same landscape, no two drawings would be identical for each would put something on his canvas that would be individual, something which the landscape told him that it didn’t tell anyone else. And so it is with everything we do. One of the great lessons of life is to learn to be yourself, to have confidence in the high impulses that come to you as an individual, and to know that a Power greater than you are has willed you to be a little different from all the rest.
If each is a unique personality in This Thing Called Life, then it follows that all the power there is and all the presence there is, is back of each individual. There is nothing monotonous in this great scheme of things which we call Life. The power to live and the intelligence to know what to do exist at the very center of your being. You didn’t even put it there, and you couldn’t destroy it if you tried. The sensible thing to do is to accept this and work in cooperation with your inner life. It is my personal conviction that there is a spirit of the real self that accompanies us through life, but that we are only dimly aware of it.
There is an ancient fable which says that when the gods decided to create man and make him divine, they wished to hide his divinity in some place that would be difficult to discover. And so they held a consultation in which one of the gods said, “Let us hide man’s divinity in the air.” But another one said, “No. Some day he will perfect a machine and fly through the air and discover it.”
And another god suggested that man’s divinity be hid at the bottom of the sea, while another said, “No. We have given man such creativity and such an imagination that some day he will invent a machine that will penetrate the depths of the ocean.” And yet another one of the gods suggested that man’s divinity be hid in the ground, for surely he would not discover it there. But one of the wise gods said, “No. Man will bore even through the earth and discover his divinity.”
So, after much discussion, they all agreed that the best place to hide man’s divinity, the place where he would be least likely to look for it,would be deep within man himself. For they said he will always be looking outside himself, he will never think that the thing he is looking for he already has. And so they hid man’s divinity at the very center of his own being and left him alone to discover it. But always there was the urge within him, a feeling that there is something still undiscovered, something that could make everything right if he knew how to find it and use it.