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pleasant flatteries; neither underrating nor overrating himself or his powers, and no more cursed with 
self-praise or self-pity, he sees the full magnitude of the task which lies before him; sees dearly ahead 

the heights of self-control, and knows what work he has to do to reach them.

He is no longer in a state of confusion, but has gained a glimpse of the laws which operate in the world 
of thought, and he now begins to adjust his mind in accordance with those laws. This is a process of 

weeding, sifting, cleansing. As the farmer weeds, cleans, and prepares the ground for his crops, so the 

student removes the weeds of evil from his mind, cleanses and purifies it preparatory to sowing the 

seeds of righteous actions which shall produce the harvest of a well ordered life.

4. Righteousness. Having adjusted his thoughts and deeds to those minor laws which operate in mental 

activities in the production of pain and pleasure, unrest and peace, sorrow and bliss, he now perceives 

that there is involved in those laws one Great Central Law which, like the law of gravitation in the 
natural world, is supreme in the world of mind; a law to which all thoughts and deeds are subservient, 

and by which they are regulated and kept in their proper sphere.

This is the law of Justice or Righteousness, which is universal and supreme. To this law he now 
conforms. Instead of thinking and acting blindly, as the nature is stimulated and appealed to by outward 

things, he subordinates his thoughts and deeds to this central principle. He no longer acts from self, but 

does what is right— what is universally and eternally right. He is no longer the abject slave of his 

nature and circumstances, he is the master of his nature and circumstances.

He is no longer carried hither and thither on the forces of his mind; he controls and guides those forces 

to the accomplishment of his purposes. Thus, having his nature in control and subjection, not thinking 

thoughts nor doing deeds which oppose the righteous law, and which, therefore, that law annuls with 
suffering and defeat, he rises above the dominion of sin and sorrow, ignorance and doubt, and is strong, 

calm, and peaceful.

5. Pure Knowledge. By thinking right and acting right, he proves, by experience, the existence of the 
divine law on which the mind is framed, and which is the guiding and unifying principle in all human 

affairs and events, whether individual or national. Thus, by perfecting himself in self-control, he 

acquires divine knowledge; he reaches the point where it may be said of him, as of the natural scientist, 

that he knows.

He has mastered the science of self-control, and has brought knowledge out of ignorance, order out of 

confusion. He has acquired that knowledge of self which includes knowledge of all men; that 
knowledge of one‘s own life which embraces knowledge of all live — as for all minds are the same in 

essence (differing only in degree), are framed upon the same law; and the same thoughts and acts, by 

whatsoever individual they are wrought, will always produce the same results.

But this divine and peace bestowing knowledge, as in the case of the natural scientist, is not gained for 

one‘s self alone; for if this were so, the aim of evolution would be frustrated, and it is not in the nature 

of things to fall short of ripening and accomplishment; and, indeed, he who thought to gain this 

knowledge solely for his own happiness would most surely fail.

So, beyond the fifth step of Pure Knowledge, there is a still further one of Wisdom, which is the right 

application of the knowledge acquired; the pouring out upon the world, unselfishly and without stint, 

the result of one‘s labors, thus accelerating progress and uplifting humanity.

It may be said of men who have not gone back into their own nature to control and purify it, that they 

cannot clearly distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong. They reach after those things which 

they think will give them pleasure, and try to avoid those things which they believe will cause them 

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