1. “To aid in righting the wrongs that cross our path by pointing the wrongdoer to a better way, and thus aid him in becoming a power for good.”
It’s easy to see other people do wrong and want to punish them for it. But it takes a wise person to understand that what we do (behaviour) and who we are (character) are two different things. The best approach is to help wrongdoers see that they are so much better than their bad deeds. That’s because seeing the good in other people helps them see that good too. Yes, there are times when we have to take action and lock people in jail, but there’s no reason why this can’t be done with compassion and love.
2. “To recognise the good lying at the heart of all people, of all things, waiting for expression all in its own good way and time.”
Even though it might not always seem like it, “each life is divine at its centre”. As long as we have patience and faith, this will become clearer at the right time. That’s why it makes no sense for us to judge other people. Again, it’s like judging a seed for not yet being a tree. So instead of criticising others or wasting time in gossip, let’s find the good in ourselves and talk about that.
3. “To do our own thinking, listening quietly to the opinions of others, but to be sufficiently men and women to act always upon our own convictions.”
While it’s important for us to love and respect everyone, it’s also important that we never love or respect anyone too much. This might make us blindly follow others when we should follow ourselves instead. We should set our own standards, make our own mistakes, and live our own lives. That’s the only way life is worth living at all.
Robert Louis Stevenson said it well: ‘‘If you teach a man to keep his eyes upon what others think of him, unthinkingly to lead the life and hold the principles of the majority of his contemporaries, you must discredit in his eyes the authoritative voice of his own soul. He may be a docile citizen; he will never be a man.”
This doesn’t mean you should be stubborn in your beliefs. Sometimes it’s fine to go with the flow on smaller matters if that’s what it takes to maintain peace (and provided nobody gets hurt). It just means you should live your life however you feel is best and not based on what other people think. Never be afraid to go your own way.
4. “To remain in nature always sweet and simple and humble and therefore strong.”
Many of us dream of fortune and fame. But living a simple life is a beautiful thing for us and for the world. So let’s be grateful for what we have. And if we ever strike it rich, let’s never forget our roots. Let’s never forget that what we have and what we’ve done are not the same as who we really are.
5. “To love the fields and the wild flowers, the stars, the far-open sea, the soft, warm earth, and to live much with them alone; but to love struggling and weary men and women and every pulsing, living creature better.”
When is the last time you looked up at the stars? Our lives are so busy that sometimes we forget to stop and appreciate all the beauty around us. Any time alone, whether it’s half an hour meditating or a long retreat in the woods, is key to living a healthy life. It’s also the best way to appreciate the things you have and the people you love.
6. “To know that the ever-conscious realisation of the essential oneness of each life with the Divine Life is the Greatest of all knowledge, and that to open ourselves as opportune channels for the Divine Power to work in and through us is the open door to the highest attainment, and to the best there is in life.”
When the whole world is spinning out of control, it’s hard to find peace and stability in outside things. That’s because the only lasting source of peace and stability comes from within.
As you spend time in quiet reflection, you understand that everything is connected. This means all the experiences we have (even those that seem to be against us) are for a greater good. We may not see it now, but we’ll understand it one day. All will be well in the end.
Ralph Waldo Trine wrote The Wayfarer on the Open Road in 1918. In some ways, it seems as though he had already said all he wanted to say in the books he wrote in the previous 20 years. That’s why this one feels like a quickly compiled summary. The ideas are not organised very well and many of them either mix up several ideas at once or repeat the same idea mentioned before.
Despite that, I really enjoyed this book. If you take it as a whole, it’s quite inspirational. I’ve tried to simplify the ideas and change the order so that they build on each other. Why not apply one idea a month for the next year, just like I did with the ten perfections? It just might be your best year ever!
If you enjoyed this post, please remember to Like, Tweet, and Share it using the links at the top or bottom of the page. And remember to subscribe to free alerts or follow me on Twitter to be notified when the next review is released. For more on the subject, please read my review of The Mastery of Destiny.