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simplicity and complexity of life may be grasped by fully recognizing and realizing the fact that, while 
there are scores, and perhaps hundreds, of ways in which a sum may be done wrong, there is only one 

way by which it can be done right, and that when that right way is found the pupil knows it to be the 

right; his perplexity vanishes, and he knows that he has mastered the problem.

It is true that the pupil, while doing his sum incorrectly, may (and frequently does) think he has done it 

correctly, but he is not sure; his perplexity is still there, and if he is an earnest and apt pupil, he will 

recognize his own error when it is pointed out by the teacher. So in life, men may think they are living 

rightly while they are continuing, through ignorance, to live wrongly; but the presence of doubt, 
perplexity, and unhappiness are sure indications that the right way has not yet been found.

There are foolish and careless pupils who would like to pass a sum as correct before they have acquired 

a true knowledge of figures, but the eye and skill of the teacher quickly detect and expose the fallacy. 
So in life there can be no falsifying of results; the eye of the Great Law reveals and exposes. Twice five 

will make ten to all eternity, and no amount of ignorance, stupidity, or delusion can bring the result up 

to eleven.

If one looks superficially at a piece of cloth, he sees it as a piece of cloth, but if he goes further and 

inquires into its manufacture, and examines it closely and attentively, he sees that it is composed of a 

combination of individual threads, and that, while all the threads are interdependent, each thread 

pursues its own way throughout, never becoming confused with its sister thread. It is this entire absence 
of confusion between the particular threads which constitutes the finished work a piece of cloth; any 

inharmonious commingling of the thread would result in a bundle of waste or a useless rag.

Life is like a piece of cloth, and the threads of which it is composed are individual lives. The threads, 
while being interdependent, are not confounded one with the other. Each follows its own course. Each 

individual suffers and enjoys the consequences of his own deeds, and not of the deeds of another. The 

course of each is simple and definite; the whole forming a complicated, yet harmonious, combination 

of sequences. There are action and reaction, deed and consequence, cause and effect, and the 
counterbalancing reaction, consequence, and effect is always in exact ratio with the initiatory impulse.

A durable and satisfactory piece of cloth cannot be made from shoddy material, and the threads of 

selfish thoughts and bad deeds will not produce a useful and beautiful life — a life that will wear well, 
and bear close inspection. Each man makes or mars his own life; it is not made or marred by his 

neighbor, or by anything external to himself. Each thought he thinks, each deed he does, is another 

thread— shoddy or genuine— woven into the garment of his life; and as he makes the garment so must 
he wear it. He is not responsible for his neighbor‘s deeds; he is not the custodian of his neighbor‘s 

actions; he is responsible only for his own deeds; he is the custodian of his own actions.

The "problem of evil" subsists in a man‘s own evil deeds, and it is solved when those deeds are 
purified. Says Rousseau:

"Man, seek no longer the origin of evil; thou thyself art its origin."

Effect can never be divorced from cause; it can never be of a different nature from cause. Emerson 


"Justice is not postponed; a perfect equity adjusts the balance in all parts of life."

And there is a profound sense in which cause and effect are simultaneous, and form one perfect whole. 

Thus, upon the instant that a man thinks, say, a cruel thought, or does a cruel deed, that same instant he 

has injured his own mind; he is not the same man he was the previous instant; he is a little viler and a 
little more unhappy; and a number of such successive thoughts and deeds would produce a cruel and

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