CHAPTER 1 - THE LIVING PICTURE OF THE WORLD

The living picture of the world grows within the mind. The world as it appears to you is like a three-dimensional painting in which each individual takes a hand. Each color, each line that appears within it has first been painted within a mind, and only then does it materialize without.

In this case, however, the artists themselves are a portion of the painting, and appear within it. There is no effect in the exterior world that does not spring from an inner source. There is no motion that does not first occur within the mind.

The great creativity of consciousness is your heritage. It does not belong to mankind alone, however. Each living being possesses it, and the living world consists of a spontaneous cooperation that exists between the smallest and the highest, the greatest and the lowly, between the atoms and the molecules and the conscious, reasoning mind.

All manner of insects, birds and beasts cooperate in this venture, producing the natural environment. This is as normal and inevitable as the fact that your breath causes a mist to form on glass if you breathe upon it. All consciousness creates the world, rising out of feeling-tone. It is a natural product of what your consciousness is. Feelings and emotions emerge into reality in certain specific ways. Thoughts appear, growing on the bed already laid. The seasons spring up, formed by ancient feeling-tones, having deep and abiding rhythms. They are the result, again, of innate creative aspects that are a portion of all life.

These ancient aspects lie, now, deeply buried in the psyches of all species, and from them the individual patterns, the specific blueprints for new differentiations, emerge.

The body of the earth can be said to have its own soul, or mind (whichever term you prefer). Using this analogy the mountains and oceans, the valleys and rivers and all natural phenomena spring from the earth's soul, as all events and all manufactured objects appear from the inner mind or soul of mankind.

The inner world of each man and woman is connected with the inner world of the earth. The spirit becomes flesh. Part of each individual's soul, then, is intimately connected with what we will call the world's soul, or the soul of the earth.

The smallest blade of grass, or flower, is aware of this connection, and without reasoning comprehends its position, its uniqueness and its source of vitality. The atoms and molecules that compose all objects, whether it be the body of a person, a table, a stone or a frog, know the great passive thrust of creativity that lies beneath their own existence, and upon which their individuality floats, distinct, clear and unassailable.

So does the human individual rise up in victorious distinctiveness from the ancient and yet ever-new fountains of its own soul. The self rises from unknowing into knowing, constantly surprising itself. As you read these sentences, for example, some of your knowledge is conscious knowing and is instantly available. Some is unconscious, but even the unconscious knowledge is knowing in its own unknowing.