Summary of Science of Being Great


ALL men are made of the one intelligent substance, and therefore all contain the same
essential powers and possibilities. Greatness is equally inherent in all, and may be
manifested by all. Every person may become great. Every constituent of God is a
constituent of man.

Man may overcome both heredity and circumstances by exercising the inherent
creative power of the soul. If he is to become great, the soul must act, and must rule
the mind and the body.
Man’s knowledge is limited, and he falls into error through ignorance; to avoid this he
must connect his soul with Universal Spirit. Universal Spirit is the intelligent substance
from which all things come; it is in and through all things. All things are known to this
universal mind, and man can so unite himself with it as to enter into all knowledge.
To do this man must cast out of himself everything that separates him from God. He
must will to live the divine life, and he must rise above all moral temptations; he must
forsake every course of action that is not in accord with his highest ideals.
He must reach the right viewpoint, recognizing that God is all, in all, and that there is
nothing wrong. He must see that nature, society, government, and industry are
perfect in their present stage, and advancing toward completion; and that all men and
women everywhere are good and perfect. He must know that all is right with the
world, and unite with God for the completion of the perfect work. It is only as man
sees God as the Great Advancing Presence in all, and good in all that he can rise to
real greatness.
He must consecrate himself to the service of the highest that is within himself,
obeying the voice of the soul. There is an Inner Light in every man that continuously
impels him toward the highest, and he must be guided by this light if he would
become great.
He must recognize the fact that he is one with the Father, and consciously affirm this
unity for himself and for all others. He must know himself to be a god among gods,
and act accordingly. He must have absolute faith in his own perceptions of truth, and
begin at home to act upon these perceptions. As he sees the true and right course in
small things, he must take that course. He must cease to act unthinkingly, and begin
to think; and he must be sincere in his thought.
He must form a mental conception of himself at the highest, and hold this conception until it is his habitual thought-form of himself. This thought-form he must keep
continuously in view. He must outwardly realize and express that thought-form in his
actions. He must do everything that he does in a great way. In dealing with his family,
his neighbors, acquaintances, and friends, he must make every act an expression of
his ideal. The man who reaches the right viewpoint and makes full consecration, and
who fully idealizes himself as great, and who makes every act, however trivial, an
expression of the ideal, has already attained to greatness. Everything he does will be
done in a great way. He will make himself known, and will be recognized as a
personality of power. He will receive knowledge by inspiration, and will know all that
he needs to know. He will receive all the material wealth he forms in his thoughts, and
will not lack for any good thing. He will be given ability to deal with any combination
of circumstances that may arise, and his growth and progress will be continuous and
Great works will seek him out, and all men will delight to do him honor. Because of its
peculiar value to the student of the Science of Being Great, I close this book by giving
a portion of Emerson’s essay on the “Oversoul.” This great essay is fundamental,
showing the foundation principles of monism and the science of greatness. I
recommend the student to study it most carefully in connection with this book.
What is the universal sense of want and ignorance, but the fine innuendo by which the
great soul makes its enormous claim? Why do men feel that the natural history of
man has never been written, but always he is leaving behind what you have said of
him, and it becomes old, and books of metaphysics worthless? The philosophy of six
thousand years has not searched the chambers and magazines of the soul. In its
experiments there has always remained, in the last analysis, a residuum it could not
resolve. Man is a stream whose source is hidden. Always our being is descending into
us from we know not whence. The most exact calculator has no prescience that
somewhat incalculable may not balk the very next moment. I am constrained every
moment to acknowledge a higher origin for events than the will I call mine.
As with events, so it is with thoughts. When I watch that flowing river, which, out of
regions I see not, pours for a season its streams into me, -I see that I am a pensioner,
-not a cause, but a surprised spectator of this ethereal water; that I desire and look
up, and put myself in the attitude for reception, but from some alien energy the
visions come.
The Supreme Critic on all the errors of the past and present, and the only prophet of
that which must be, is that great nature in which we rest, as the earth lies in the soft
arms of the atmosphere; that Unity, that Oversoul, with which every man’s particular
being is contained and made one with all other; that common heart, of which all
sincere conversation is the worship, to which all right action is submission; that
overpowering reality which confutes our tricks and talents, and constrains every one
to pass for what he is, and to speak from his character and not from his tongue; and
which evermore tends and aims to pass into our thought and hand, and become
wisdom, and virtue, and power, and beauty. We live in succession, in division, in parts,
in particles.
Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty,
to which every part and particle is equally related, the eternal One. And this deep purity, but purity is not it; requires justice, but justice is not that; requires
beneficence, but is somewhat better; so that there is a kind of descent and
accommodation felt when we leave speaking of moral nature, to urge a virtue which it
then joins. For, to the soul in her pure action, all the virtues are natural, and not
painfully acquired. Speak to his heart and the man becomes suddenly virtuous. Within
the same sentiment is the germ of intellectual growth, which obeys the same law.
Those who are capable of humility, of justice, of love, of aspiration, are already on a
platform that commands the sciences and arts, speech and poetry, action and grace.
For whoso dwells in this mortal beatitude, does already anticipate those special
powers which men prize so highly; just as love does justice to all the gifts of the
object beloved. The lover has no talent, no skill, which passes for quite nothing with
his enamored maiden, however little she may possess of related faculty. And the heart
that abandons itself to the Supreme Mind finds itself related to all its works and will
travel a royal road to particular knowledge and powers. For, in ascending to this
primary and aboriginal sentiment, we have come from our remote station on the
circumference instantaneously to the center of the world, where, as in the closet of
God, we see causes, and anticipate the universe, which is but a slow effect.
-By Wallace D. Wattle

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