Friday, June 24, 2016

The Four Greatest Values In Life – James Breckenridge Jones

CTF The Four Greatest Values in Life

(An excerpt from If You Can Count to Four – available on Amazon)

The Four Greatest Values In Life

To me, there are four values in life which stand out above all others. They are as follows: Integrity, Faith, Courage and Humility. Let us consider, first of all, Integrity.

Of all the values in the universe, to me, integrity is the greatest. This universe operates on the premise of law and principle. It is designed to operate basically according to an exact science. There is a variable quality and an invariable quality. There is an area of law which is inflexible and there is an area of flexibility, or personality, which is flexible.

But, integrity is a law, just like electricity, gravity, mathematics and chemistry. Integrity, when you thoroughly understand its nature, is something that one would not violate any more than one would violate the laws of electricity if one knew the consequences of such violation. I know that it is necessary to think of integrity as a moral problem until an individual becomes aware of the deeper laws underlying integrity.

In order to protect the individual from the uncomfortable consequences of violating the basic law of integrity, it is necessary that we approach this matter of integrity from a standpoint of morality. In other words, we must lay down certain rules and we must say that it is good if we observe the rules, and it is evil to violate the rules. And then, from a sense of fear, from a sense of respect and a responsibility, an individual, who does not understand the scientific nature of responsibility, will observe the law of respect or the moral aspect of the matter.

But let us all become keenly aware that integrity is a scientific matter, as well as a moral matter, and that when we know the truth about any situation, we will know the quality of integrity, and we will observe that law and that law will respond by bringing us harmony, peace and abundance.

I think the supreme challenge of the age is for mankind to learn that integrity is the greatest value on the highest priority list in the entire universe. There is no value in this entire universe. That should be as great in our concepts as integrity. To understand the truth about a matter is to act in truth, but not to understand it is to express ourselves, according to our degree of understanding, and it will react to us according to our understanding of it. This is a scientific matter.

Next to integrity, I believe that faith is the highest value in life. The English word for faith is an attempt to describe a mental function known to me as an inner understanding or an inner perception. The ability to see the invisible laws of the universe and to see how they function and to understand how they operate and deal with them in a tangible fashion while they are going through the invisible process and before they become visible. That mental quality we call faith.

When we understand the great underlying laws, the invisible laws of the universe, and we deal with them as though they are as tangible as mathematics, then we expressed faith. That is what we call faith. Since these great laws are infinite, and we deal with them in a relative sense, and the relative, in regard to the absolute, has size, color, quality and quantity, and we express this size and color, and the quality and quantity according to our faith or the size and color of our ideals.

In other words, our mind expresses through the instruments of our thoughts and our thoughts are contained in our words, which have size and color, design and texture. For when we say, “According to our faith it is done unto us,” we are saying, “According to our inner perception and according to the size and color of our ideas relative to the infinite, it is done unto us.” So faith is also a tangible law and not something that we just profess to blindly.

However, if we express blind faith and conviction in something and it happens to be, according to its nature or truth, it will also respond to us and bring us harmony and peace, but the challenge is for us to understand these things, and to study them so that we will foresee it and feel it with the inner eyes of faith! We will then be relaxed, harmonious and peaceful and express this life abundantly according to our own perception or our faith.

The next great value, to me, is courage. Courage is a function of mind that expresses itself in terms of intensity of attitude. Our ability to stand up and face life without fear. It really is a quality that is based upon our understanding, because our courage would depend upon our understanding, and according to our understanding, we will be able to react to life positively or with courage. We will be able to do the thing we fear in the process of gaining our understanding.

I think courage is that quality that would cause us to do the thing we fear, would cause us to run the risk of suffering discomfort, in order to learn how to live in a new area of understanding. If we do not have courage, we are afraid to learn new lessons, to accept new ideas and to have new experiences, to enter into the unknown in order that we might learn the unknown and make it known.

It takes courage to run the risk of being insulted in order to learn how to deal with a situation so effectively that we would not be insulted in the future.

It takes courage to jump off a high diving board for the first time when we do not understand exactly how to do it and run the risk of burning blisters on our bodies.

It takes courage to step onto a stage and make a speech and run the risk of being embarrassed until we learn to feel comfortable when making a speech.

It takes courage to punch a doorbell and run the risk of being met with unkindness or discourtesy at the door, or having it slammed in our faces in the process of learning how we may approach on the reference-lead plan.

It takes courage to accept a new idea on the assumption that it is true, and run the risk of having temporary failure and embarrassment if it does not prove to be true, in order that we might learn to get closer to the truth. Yes, courage is a great quality.

Courage is an indispensable quality and to me it is one of the four greatest qualities in the universe.

The next quality, to me, is the great quality of humility. Humility is that quality that comes from knowing who we are, in relationship to ourselves and our fellow man, and in relationship to the Creator of the universe and all of life. We know that of ourselves, we amount to nothing, but we know that when we are aware of this great power in the universe, that through this power, and the laws and the truth of the great appropriation of this power, we can do anything we desire to do, and we can be anything we want to be and have anything we want to have, but I think it is all in giving credit where credit is due.

Yes, humility is knowing the truth about our relationship to life, giving credit where credit is due. It is not the pollyanna-sissy type of attitude or the act that many people put on and call humility. It is a tenacious, stable type of thinking that comes from a habit pattern based on the understanding of life.

Do not think that we, of ourselves, in a separated sense, can do anything. We know that we are all dependent upon each other, upon our Creator, upon so many things. We must recognize that and give credit where credit is due and be humble and kind and we know that we will be harmonious and happy and prosperous.

And so,

  • Integrity is the greatest quality in the universe, and it is a scientific thing. To know the truth is to have integrity. When you understand integrity you would rather give someone $10 than to beat them out of a dollar. You know that the law will bring you happiness, health and abundance if you practice integrity.
  • Faith is that size and color of one’s convictions and inner understanding; and the amount and the quality that one is able to express proportionate to one’s individuality.
  • Courage is that quality which makes it possible for us to learn new things and face the things we fear in order that we might continue to grow in our understanding of life.
  • Humility is understanding our true relationship to life, and not to feel that we can do anything of ourselves, but we can do all things through the great powers with which we are one.

“Make no small plans for they have no magic to stir men’s blood.”

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