“The trouble with many of us learners is that we wish to learn too rapidly. We have little knowledge of the power which really brings us all we do acquire—the power which reaches out from us when the other faculties are temporarily suspended, and brings back not only ideas, but teaches the muscles how to carry out ideas. New invention comes to the mind which originates it when in this state, not when the mind is straining after its plan. You will make a perfect circle on paper with pen or pencil far easier when you do it idly, and care little whether you succeed or not, than if you are tremulous with anxiety to make one. When you are free from that anxiety, your real power has opportunity to act. That is the power of the spirit. It is the man who throws all thought of success or failure to the winds, who is most likely to accomplish the daring act at which others shrink, or, if they try, try with great dread of failure, which is mistaken for care. The best pilot through raging rapids is the man who has the power to forget all danger and see only obstacles. His spirit then possesses his real self. Self-possession means the power of the spirit to possess and control the body as its instrument.” ~Prentice Mulford
Learners should never be troubled because we should all understand that learning is important. We should also understand that since it is important, it can’t be rushed. Anyone who is serious about spiritual development knows that in the ancient mystery schools, students studied for many years to become enlightened. Yet today, many things that because they have instant oatmeal and instant soup, they should be able to get an instant spiritual awakening followed by a nearly instant complete enlightenment. Unfortunately, wishing for it doesn’t make it so. It still takes years in most cases for a REAL spiritual awakening, and for complete enlightenment, we have to continue along the path of higher consciousness after physical death.
The Power Within
Mulford is correct in saying that we have little knowledge of the power which brings us “all we acquire”. Most people don’t believe we have any power within us. Some believe the exact opposite, which is that this power resides entirely within us and everything outside us is irrelevant. Both groups are wrong. Power does exist, and we access that power from within, but the power itself is universal, meaning it is just as much outside of us as inside, if not more so. And it is true that this power can often, though not always, bring us what we want. That sounds wonderful, but it is as much a curse as it is a blessing. The problem is that most of us want things that make us comfortable and happy and successful in the materialistic world but don’t really benefit us. They may, in fact, slow down or prevent spiritual growth. So the smart person uses the power to ask for what God wants them to have to grow rather than what their own mind craves at the moment. Those people cease being troubled learners and become joyful learners.
Mulford says that we strain to get what we want too much, and that is part of what makes us troubles learners. When we don’t quickly get what we want, we try harder and harder until we become exhausted or ill from trying. Then we usually give up and try something else.
Inventor and businessman Thomas Edison knew how to do it. When he had a problem he couldn’t solve by force, he would quit and go take a nap. He often woke from his nap with the solution in his mind. This was not some magical power exclusive to him. While napping may not be the correct method for everyone, the idea of letting go and just letting the truth come to you is for everyone. Although sometimes, a little straining and struggling first is necessary to get the process started. I have to disagree with Mulford, however, when he says that the one who succeeds is the one who doesn’t try at all.
The Best Pilot
Fear is one of the things that cause trouble for troubled learners. In fact, at the root of nearly all problems is some form of fear. So Mulford is correct in saying that the best pilot for a ship in a storm is one who has no fear but sees obstacles to be overcome rather than blockades to fear and avoid. Troubles learners need to get rid of their fears as much as possible to grow, especially on the spiritual level. As long as we are guided by fear, we will head in the wrong direction, then be troubled learners because we are not making progress. Release the fear and the strain and flow with God’s Plan. Then we will no longer be troubled learners.