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Two interesting statistics emerged from the period during which I was associated with this work. The first was the number of people who expressed adherence to certain religious beliefs, but who subconsciously held other views. The other was the number, greater still, who declared a disbelief in any form of religion or were indifferent, but who subconsciously held religious beliefs. Among the latter was a well-known atheist who could very eloquently demolish some of the best pro-religion arguments. The conflict between his conscious and subconscious minds manifested in an inability to maintain harmonious personal relationships and his domestic life was far from satisfactory.

One must not confuse the subconscious mind with the conscious, the ‘small, still voice within’. The whispering of conscience may be heeded or disregarded; the dictates of the subconscious cannot be avoided, they are simply followed without question. Choice does not enter into the matter. However, this does not mean that the subconscious cannot be brought under control. Each and every one of us can become Masters rather than servants of life.

A Master of life exercises conscious control over his beliefs, therefore this includes a conscious religious choice which is attained through reasoning and which will be the best suited for that particular individual.

The Christian churches’ attitude to reason may be illustrated in an experience of mine with a very devout priest, at a time when I was anxious to become a better Christian and to be counted among the best of them.

I was in San Francisco at the time and hearing about the learning of this particular priest, I went to see him. That he was devout and good there was no doubt; he was also knowledgeable in the doctrines of his faith. I asked him why man had been given the power of reason when this perturbed his mind and caused him to reject some of the beliefs he held by faith. He then told me, in solemn tones, that he would reveal to me one of the mysteries of the church.

“Reason was bestowed upon man as a divine gift. It was among the greatest of gifts a good God could give, and what was the duty of man towards his God? Was it not to worship and praise Him? To offer the very best even as Abraham offered his only son?

You should be able to see why this gift has been given you, this gift so great that you are tempted to keep it and use it for your own ends, to gratify yourself. My son, reason was given you so you might offer it back as a sacrifice, a very great sacrifice in your case, but equally great will be your reward in Heaven. Do this, my son, and your salvation is assured.”

It is surprising what one finds on the shelves when shopping around for a good religion.

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