Worldwide Laws of Life: 200 Eternal Spiritual Principles

Worldwide Laws of Life: 200 Eternal Spiritual Principles

by John Marks Templeton


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Worldwide Laws of Life: 200 Eternal Spiritual Principles by John Marks Templeton

Worldwide Laws of Life is full of wisdom drawn from the major sacred Scriptures of the world and various schools of philosophical thought, as well as from scientists, artists, historians, and others. Its aim is to assist people of all ages to learn more about the universal truths of life that transcend modern times or particular cultures.
This treasury of practical morality, personal inspiration, and daily guidance is perfect for people of all persuasions. The organization facilitates group or personal study and spiritual development.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781890151157
Publisher: Templeton Press
Publication date: 06/28/1998
Edition description: 1
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 298,349
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Sir John Templeton was born in Winchester, Tennessee, went to Yale, and then to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He is known for his astute investment skills on Wall Street and through the Templeton Mutual Funds. In 1987 he founded the John Templeton Foundation, and he currently funds the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.

Read an Excerpt

Worldwide Laws of Life

By John Marks Templeton

Templeton Foundation Press

Copyright © 1997 Templeton Foundation, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-890151-15-7


Week One

* * *


When you rule your mind, you rule your world —Bill Provost

Great teachers down through the ages have described the importance of our mind and of being master over our thoughts. Buddha said, "The mind is everything; what you think, you become." Ramakrishna, the beloved Indian mystic put it this way: "By the mind one is bound, by the mind one is freed.... He who asserts with strong conviction, 'I am not bound, I am free,' becomes free." William James wrote, "The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind." And Charles Fillmore, American cofounder of Unity School of Christianity, describes our mind in the following manner in The Revealing Word: "The mind is the seat of perception of the things we see, hear, and feel. It is through the mind that we see the beauties of the earth and sky, or music, of art, in fact, of everything. That silent shuttle of thought working in and out through cell and nerve weaves into one harmonious whole the myriad moods of mind, and we call it life."

"The greatest of all laws is the law of progressive development. Under it, in the wide sweep of things, men grow wiser as they grow older, and societies better." —Christian Bovee

If you desire to understand the reason behind the statement "when you rule your mind, you rule your world," it is important to take a look at what some religious teachers and spiritual philosophers call "Infinite Mind," and "The Law of Mind Action." Some say there is in reality one Mind, sometimes called "Spirit," "God Mind," etc. This Mind is the life, intelligence, power, and creativity in the entire universe. Yet, they say the Law of Mind Action includes a very important manifestation in which we are individual and yet remain a part of the whole. We have free will and are not puppets and can exercise the use of our free will. Here is the starting point of our actions, our spoken words, our thoughts, and even our feelings. It makes a great deal of difference in your daily life what you think about God, yourself, your family, your neighbors, your acquaintances, your work associates, in fact, about everything! And as Joseph Addison said, "One of the most difficult things for a powerful mind is to be its own master!"

A positive attitude toward life can be difficult for some people to accept for it may seem unrealistic. These skeptics may find it hard to believe that positive thinkers can accomplish most anything they choose. But, with a positive attitude, your chance for success in any situation can be greater if you look for workable solutions rather than allowing negative thinking to limit your decision-making. Zig Zigler, a sales motivation expert, says, "Your business is never really good or bad out there. It's either good or bad right between your two ears!" He describes the most essential component of successful selling as the ability to understand and meet the other person's needs, saying, "You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough people get what they want." The ability to listen to others and appropriately interpret their needs depends to a great extent on a receptive mental attitude. Ralph Waldo Emerson emphasized the importance of the spiritual perspective in our life as well as the power of the mind when he said, "great men are they who see that the spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world."

"Truth is the discipline of the ascetic, the quest of the mystic, the faith of the simple the ransom of the weak, the standard of the righteous, the doctrine of the meek, and the challenge of Nature. Together, all these constitute the Law of the universe." —John Hay Allison

Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, is probably one of the most remarkable success stories of our time. Since 1963, her company has grown from a modest store front beginning in Dallas, Texas, U.S.A., to an international multimillion dollar operation with a sales force numbering over two hundred thousand. Her approach to management is based on meeting the needs of others. With well-grounded Christian values contributing significantly to her business philosophy, she also asks everyone in her organization to focus on meeting the needs of others as their top priority.

It is essential to control the impulse to ask, "What's in it for me?" before taking action. Selfishness overlooks a key principle to success—that of helping others. By observing and analyzing what makes successful people successful, a clear pattern emerges. First of all, they meet the needs of others because they feel good about themselves. Then, by subordinating their possibly selfish motives to the greater motive of being of service, they are able to negotiate successfully the programs in life they choose. As with successful men and women throughout the world, our success can also be proportionate to the number of people we have helped to grow and prosper.

Our thoughts are, most assuredly, things. They are conceived in the mind and travel through time and space like ripples in a pond affecting all that they touch. Thoughts are the building blocks of our experience. The world we see is the one we have created with our thoughts for "mind is the builder."

* * *


Where there is no vision, the people perish —Proverbs 29:18

An ancient proverb states, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." It is a way of saying that everyone needs dreams and a goal in order to live life fully and satisfactorily. If we don't have a specific goal in mind or we don't know where we want to go, we may be likely to end up in places not of our choosing. Establishing goals, along with guidelines on how to achieve them, helps to keep us focused and energized and often makes our lives more interesting, useful, and successful.

"No wind favors him who has no destined port." —Michael de Montaigne

The story of Florence Chadwick provides a clear illustration of the importance of keeping our goals in sight. She swam the Catalina Channel in southern California and established national and international records. Chadwick then attempted to break the record for swimming the English Channel. On the day set for the Channel swim, Chadwick encountered heavy seas. However, because she had trained in the Atlantic Ocean, she was in peak condition and prepared to do battle with the large waves. Along with the rough weather, Chadwick encountered chilling cold. That was a problem, but, again, her training made a big difference. She was accustomed to cold water and her trainers had greased her body to help provide insulation from the elements. In addition, Chadwick's trainers, rowing alongside her, were able to sustain her with hot soup from a thermos and comforting words of encouragement as she fought the cold, rough sea.

Yet, with all the planning and superior training, the one thing Chadwick and her trainers had not anticipated was fog. As a fog bank descended, visibility closed to only a few feet, obscuring the horizon and distant shore. Chadwick started to flounder. With the loss of visibility, the ice-cold, heavy seas seemed to grow waves of towering proportions. Chadwick began to suffer cramps in her arms, legs, feet, and hands from the effects of the severe cold. Her muscles screamed in pain as she battled the huge waves. Finally, she asked her trainers to bring her on board and take her ashore.

Later, when she was warm and dry, newspaper reporters asked her if she knew that she'd been only a very short distance from the shore when she gave up her valiant effort for the record. She responded that even though her trainers told her the same thing, it simply hadn't made a difference to her. "You see," she said, "I lost sight of my goal. I'm not sure I ever had it firmly in mind."

When we have no goal, or when our vision of the goal is obscured, we may lose our sense of purpose. Even when we've prepared ourselves well and have an aptitude for a given activity, poorly directed efforts can rob us of vital energy. We can spend a great deal of our time, money, and other resources running around in circles. Unless we create specific goals that match our purpose in life and unless we keep a clear vision of these goals, we may eventually falter and fail.

"Write down on paper your goal in life. With that down in black and white, we can get somewhere. Few can define their goal, much less write. You cannot find happiness until your goal is clear and in view." —Ross Byron

In his book How to Succeed, Brian Adams described how Henry Ford used the art of visualization to commence what became the second largest automobile company. Ford pictured in his mind's eye the type of automobile he wanted to build at a price most people could afford. He created a mental blueprint of his dream car long before it was ever put to paper. Then he pictured great numbers of people buying and driving it. The idea of a low-priced car (below U. S. $500) was reasoned by his conscious mind as feasible. It was then accepted by his subconscious as an undertaking to be accomplished. It became only a matter of time before Ford's vision became a reality.

Classic advice for golfers has been, "Keep your eye on the ball." The professional knows it is virtually impossible to hit a golf ball if you're not looking at it! If you want to be "on the ball," it is important to decide how you want to make a difference in the world. Once you have your purpose clearly in mind, explore the various ways you can make it happen, and visualize the process you believe can work best. Set goals, do what it takes to accomplish them, and enjoy your process.

* * *


Love has the patience to endure the fault we cannot cure —J. Jelinek

Because the word "love" is often loosely used to describe a variety of feelings and relationships, it can be easy to become confused about love's real meaning. Society today tends to define love as a romantic expression for someone of the opposite sex. But it's possible to think of love in much broader terms: the basic feeling of goodwill for another, care for their health and well-being, and the desire to have only good come to them. This includes our parents, siblings, friends, and everyone!

"A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave." —Mohandas K. Gandhi

Love is the ideal and the dream, in some manner of expression, of every person who lives, for in the Creator's Love were our souls conceived and in Love lies our destiny to express. We are fulfilled when we are in the state of love, and somehow emptied without it. Love becomes the purpose of our being alive when we sprang from the celestial womb. Although there have been billions of words written about love in its many expressions, not one—or all—of them can fully capture the essence of love.

"Love is more than justice." —Henry Ward Beecher

Sometimes when we think we love someone, we're actually loving what we think the other person may be able to give us. This can be an aspect of "conditional" love. Love at its highest level demands nothing in return. It loves for the sake of loving. It is not concerned with what or who it loves, nor is it concerned with whether or not love is returned. Like the sun, its joy is in the shining forth of its nature.

"What I cannot love, I overlook. Is that real friendship?" —Anaïs Nin

Love is an inner quality that sees good everywhere and in everybody. It insists that all is good, and by refusing to see anything but good, it tends to cause that quality to appear uppermost in itself and in other things. Love takes no notice of faults, imagined or otherwise. Love is considered the great harmonizer and healer in life.

Several years ago, a businessman pointed out the tremendous success power of unconditional love. Harry's work involved constant contact with a variety of shapes, sizes, and nationalities of people. A key to successful communication with this kaleidoscope of associates was needed. He described his own private success formula for communication, especially with sometimes troublesome people.

"Every time we hold our tongue instead of returning the sharp retort, show patience for another's faults, show a little more love and kindness; we are helping to stockpile more of these peace-bringing qualities in the world." —Constance Foster

When an important appointment was upcoming, he retired to his office, closed the door, and became still and quiet. He filled his mind with a mental picture of the person, or persons, he was to interview and blessed everyone with an affirmation of love. Here is his affirmation:

I am a radiating center of universal love, mighty to attract my good, and with the ability to radiate good to others, especially, (here he spoke the name of the client).

This action on his part generated a powerful energy force to which both he and the client became attuned. He remarked that it wasn't enough merely to verbalize the words. It was important to feel what you were saying; to feel the power of universal, unconditional love pulsing through you and your words with your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Acknowledge this glorious divinity within, and your "higher self" responds like an unfolding flower to your interests, your desire, your attention, your appreciation, and your love. Love expressed in this manner can overcome many barriers. Every single atom in the universe responds and yields its deepest secrets to unconditional love. George Washington Carver, in the United States, loved the lowly peanut into a multi-million dollar industry!

"Love, which is the essence of God, is not for levity, but for the total worth of man." —Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friendship Essays, First Series

From an early Christian manuscript comes a beautiful admonition:

    Nor can that endure which has not its foundation upon love,
    For love alone diminishes not, but shines with its own light;
    Makes an end of discord, softens the fires of hate, restores peace in the world, and brings
    together the sundered,
    Redresses wrong, aids all and injures none;
    And who so invokes its aid will have no fear of future ill,
    But shall find safety and have everlasting peace.

    "He drew a circle that shut me out—
    "Heretic, rebel, a thing to flaunt.
    "But love and I had the wit to win;
    "We drew a circle and took him in."

    —Edward Markham,
    "Outwitted," in The Shoes of Happiness and Other Poems

In human relationships we sometimes forget that true love is given freely with no strings attached. Love is our personal "GO!" light, while anything less than a loving nature is a definite "STOP!" light! Love is real. It works! Love is gentle, yet undoubtedly one of the strongest tools you have to work with. Let love bring the patience to handle every situation.

* * *


There are more possibilities in the universe than one can imagine —Anonymous

From the time of our birth, we have been taught to think in terms of limits, boundaries, and restrictions. Fences surround our property, speed limits slow us down, and, some say there are even "limits to our endurance!" It has been proven, however, that all limits change as humanity progresses. The edge of the world was pushed back and finally eliminated by Columbus and other explorers. Astronomers pushed back the earlier belief in a dome-shaped firmament covering the earth and gave us knowledge of galaxies millions of light years away. Gerontologists assure us that a life span of one hundred years is conceivable in the near future. In fact, one-hundredth-birthday celebrations are becoming more common! Athletic records are being surpassed so rapidly that one wonders if there are any limits left! So much is happening that pushes back boundaries of heretofore seeming limitation.

"The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness." —Albert Einstein


Excerpted from Worldwide Laws of Life by John Marks Templeton. Copyright © 1997 Templeton Foundation, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Templeton Foundation Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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