The Dore Lectures ( Audio Book )

The Dore Lectures – Thomas Troward / Chapter One

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The book contains 12 chapters , Total length 2hrs 54min

Dore Lectures on Mental Science, by Thomas Troward

by Thomas Troward



The addresses contained in this volume were delivered by me at
the Dore Gallery, Bond Street, London, on the Sundays of the
first three months of the present year, and are now published at
the kind request of many of my hearers, hence their title of “The
Dore Lectures.” A number of separate discourses on a variety of
subjects necessarily labours under the disadvantage of want of
continuity, and also under that of a liability to the frequent
repetition of similar ideas and expressions, and the reader will,
I trust, pardon these defects as inherent in the circumstances of
the work. At the same time it will be found that, although not
specially so designed, there is a certain progressive development
of thought through the dozen lectures which compose this volume,
the reason for which is that they all aim at expressing the same
fundamental idea, namely that, though the laws of the universe
can never be broken, they can be made to work under special
conditions which will produce results that could not be produced
under the conditions spontaneously provided by nature. This is a
simple scientific principle and it shows us the place which is
occupied by the personal factor, that, namely, of an intelligence
which sees beyond the present limited manifestation of the Law
into its real essence, and which thus constitutes the
instru-mentality by which the infinite possibilities of the Law
can be evoked into forms of power, usefulness, and beauty.

The more perfect, therefore, the working of the personal factor,
the greater will be the results developed from the Universal Law;
and hence our lines of study should be two-fold–on the one hand
the theoretical study of the action of Universal Law, and on the
other the practical fitting of ourselves to make use of it; and
if the present volume should assist any reader in this two-fold
quest, it will have answered its purpose.

The different subjects have necessarily been treated very
briefly, and the addresses can only be considered as suggestions
for lines of thought which the reader will be able to work out
for himself, and he must therefore not expect that careful
elabora-tion of detail which I would gladly have bestowed had I
been writing on one of these subjects exclusively. This little
book must be taken only for what it is, the record of somewhat
fragmentary talks with a very indulgent audience, to whom I
gratefully dedicate the volume.

JUNE 5, 1909.




We all know the meaning of this phrase in our everyday life. The
Spirit is that which gives life and movement to anything, in fact
it is that which causes it to exist at all. The thought of the
author, the impression of the painter, the feeling of the
musician, is that without which their works could never have come
into being, and so it is only as we enter into the IDEA which
gives rise to the work, that we can derive all the enjoyment and
benefit from it which it is able to bestow. If we cannot enter
into the Spirit of it, the book, the picture, the music, are
meaningless to us: to appreciate them we must share the mental
attitude of their creator. This is a universal principle; if we
do not enter into the Spirit of a thing, it is dead so far as we
are concerned; but if we do enter into it we reproduce in
ourselves the same quality of life which called that thing into

Now if this is a general principle, why can we not carry it to a
higher range of things? Why not to the highest point of all? May
we not enter into the originating Spirit of Life itself, and so
reproduce it in ourselves as a perennial spring of livingness?
This, surely, is a question worthy of our careful consideration.

The spirit of a thing is that which is the source of its inherent
movement, and therefore the question before us is, what is the
nature of the primal moving power, which is at the back of the
endless array of life which we see around us, our own life
included? Science gives us ample ground for saying that it is not
material, for science has now, at least theoretically, reduced
all material things to a primary ether, universally distributed,
whose innumerable particles are in absolute equilibrium; whence
it follows on mathematical grounds alone that the initial
movement which began to concentrate the world and all material
substances out of the particles of the dispersed ether, could not
have originated in the particles themselves. Thus by a necessary
deduction from the conclusions of physical science, we are
compelled to realize the presence of some immaterial power
capable of separating off certain specific areas for the display
of cosmic activity, and then building up a material universe with
all its inhabitants by an orderly sequence of evolution, in which
each stage lays the foundation for the development of the stage,
which is to follow–in a word we find ourselves brought face to
face with a power which exhibits on a stupendous scale, the
faculties of selection and adaptation of means to ends, and thus
distributes energy and life in accordance with a recognizable
scheme of cosmic progression. It is therefore not only Life, but
also Intelligence, and Life guided by Intelligence becomes
Volition. It is this primary originating power which we mean when
we speak of “The Spirit,” and it is into this Spirit of the whole
universe that we must enter if we would reproduce it as a spring
of Original Life in ourselves.

Now in the case of the productions of artistic genius we know
that we must enter into the movement of the creative mind of the
artist, before we can realize the principle which gives rise to
his work. We must learn to partake of the feeling, to find
expression for which is the motive of his creative activity. May
we not apply the same principle to the Greater Creative Mind with
which we are seeking to deal? There is something in the work of
the artist which is akin to that of original creation. His work,
literary, musical, or graphic is original creation on a miniature
scale, and in this it differs from that of the engineer, which is
constructive, or that of the scientist which is analytical; for
the artist in a sense creates something out of nothing, and
therefore starts from the stand-point of simple feeling, and not
from that of a pre-existing necessity. This, by the hypothesis of
the case, is true also of the Parent Mind, for at the stage where
the initial movement of creation takes place, there are no
existing conditions to compel action in one direction more than
another. Consequently the direction taken by the creative impulse
is not dictated by outward circumstances, and the primary
movement must therefore be entirely due to the action of the
Original Mind upon itself; it is the reaching out of this Mind
for realization of all that it feels itself to be.

The creative process thus in the first instance is purely a
matter of feeling–exactly what we speak of as “motif” in a work
of art.

Now it is this original feeling that we need to enter into,
because it is the fons et origo of the whole chain of causation
which subsequently follows. What then can this original feeling
of the Spirit be? Since the Spirit is Life-in-itself, its feeling
can only be for the fuller expression of Life–any other sort of
feeling would be self-destructive and is therefore inconceivable.
Then the full expression of Life implies Happiness, and Happiness
implies Harmony, and Harmony implies Order, and Order implies
Proportion, and Proportion implies Beauty; so that in recognizing
the inherent tendency of the Spirit towards the production of
Life, we can recognise a similar inherent tendency to the
production of these other qualities also; and since the desire to
bestow the greater fulness of joyous life can only be described
as Love, we can sum up the whole of the feeling which is the
original moving impulse in the Spirit as Love and Beauty–the
Spirit finding expression through forms of beauty in centres of
life, in harmonious reciprocal relation to itself. This is a
generalized statement of the broad principle by which Spirit
expands from the innermost to the outermost, in accordance with a
Law of tendency inherent in itself.

It sees itself, as it were, reflected in various centres of life
and energy, each with its appropriate form; but in the first
instance these reflections can have no existence except within
the originating Mind. They have their first beginning as mental
images, so that in addition to the powers of Intelligence and
Selection, we must also realise that of Imagination as belonging
to the Divine Mind; and we must picture these powers as working
from the initial motive of Love and Beauty.

Now this is the Spirit that we need to enter into, and the method
of doing so is a perfectly logical one. It is the same method by
which all scientific advance is made. It consists in first
observing how a certain law works under the conditions
spontaneously provided by nature, next in carefully considering
what principle this spontaneous working indicates, and lastly
deducing from this how the same principle would act under
specially selected conditions, not spontaneously provided by

The progress of shipbuilding affords a good example of what I
mean. Formerly wood was employed instead of iron, because wood
floats in water and iron sinks; yet now the navies of the world
are built of iron; careful thought showed the law of floatation
to be that anything could float which, bulk for bulk, is lighter
than the mass of liquid displaced by it; and so we now make iron
float by the very same law by which it sinks, because by the
introduction of the PERSONAL factor, we provide conditions which
do not occur spontaneously–according to the esoteric maxim that
“Nature unaided fails.” Now we want to apply the same process of
specializing a generic Law to the first of all Laws, that of the
generic life-giving tendency of Spirit itself. Without the
element of INDIVIDUAL PERSONALITY the Spirit can only work
cosmically by a GENERIC Law; but this law admits of far higher
specialization, and this specialization can only be attained
through the introduction of the personal factor. But to introduce
this factor the individual must be fully aware of the PRINCIPLE
which underlies the spontaneous or cosmic action of the law.
Where, then, will he find this principle of Life? Certainly not
by contemplating Death. In order to get a principle to work in
the way we require it to, we must observe its action when it is
working spon” taneously in this particular direction. We must ask
why it goes in the right direction as far as it does–and having
learnt this we shall then be able to make it go further. The law
of floatation was not discovered by contemplating the sinking of
things, but by contemplating the floating of things which floated
naturally, and then intelligently asking why they did so.

The knowledge of a principle is to be gained by the study of its
affirmative action; when we understand THAT we are in a position
to correct the negative conditions which tend to prevent that

Now Death is the absence of Life, and disease is the absence of
health, so to enter into the Spirit of Life we require to
contemplate it, where it is to be found, and not where it is not-
-we are met with the old question, “Why seek ye the living among
the dead?” This is why we start our studies by considering the
cosmic creation, for it is there that we find the Life Spirit
working through untold ages, not merely as deathless energy, but
with a perpetual advance into higher degrees of Life. If we could
only so enter into the Spirit as to make it personally IN
OURSELVES what it evidently is in ITSELF, the magnum opus would
be accomplished. This means realizing our life as drawn direct
from the Originating Spirit; and if we now understand that the
Thought or Imagination of the Spirit is the great reality of
Being, and that all material facts are only correspondences, then
it logically follows that what we have to do is to maintain our
individual place in the Thought of the Parent Mind.

We have seen that the action of the Originating Mind must needs
be GENERIC, that is according to types which include multitudes
of individuals. This type is the reflection of the Creative Mind
at the level of that particular GENIUS; and at the human level it
is Man, not as associated with particular circumstances, but as
existing in the absolute ideal.

In proportion then as we learn to dissociate our conception of
ourselves from particular circumstances, and to rest upon our
ABSOLUTE nature, as reflections of the Divine ideal, we, in our
turn, reflect back into the Divine Imagination its original
conception of itself as expressed in generic or typical Man, and
so by a natural law of cause and effect, the individual who
realizes this mental attitude enters permanently into the Spirit
of Life, and it becomes a perennial fountain of Life springing up
spontaneously within him.

He then finds himself to be as the Bible says, “the image and
likeness of God.” He has reached the level at which he affords a
new starting point for the creative process, and the Spirit,
finding a personal centre in him, begins its work de nova, having
thus solved the great problem of how to enable the Universal to
act directly upon the plane of the Particular.

It is in this sense, as affording the requisite centre for a new
departure of the creative Spirit, that man is said to be a
“microcosm,” or universe in miniature; and this is also what is
meant by the esoteric doctrine of the Octave, of which I may be
able to speak more fully on some other occasion.

If the principles here stated are carefully considered, they will
be found to throw light on much that would otherwise be obscure,
and they will also afford the key to the succeeding essays.

The reader is therefore asked to think them out carefully for
himself, and to note their connection with the subject of the
next article.


Individuality is the necessary complement of the Universal
Spirit, which was the subject of our consideration last Sunday.
The whole problem of life consists in finding the true relation
of the individual to the Universal Originating Spirit; and the
first step towards ascertaining this is to realize what the
Universal Spirit must be in itself. We have already done this to
some extent, and the conclusions we have arrived at are:–

That the essence of the Spirit is Life, Love, and Beauty.

That its Motive, or primary moving impulse, is to express the
Life, Love and Beauty which it feels itself to be.

That the Universal cannot act on the plane of the Particular
except by becoming the particular, that is by expression through
the individual.

If these three axioms are clearly grasped, we have got a solid
foundation from which to start our consideration of the subject
for to-day.

The first question that naturally presents itself is,

If these things be so, why does not every individual express the
life, love, and beauty of the Universal Spirit? The answer to
this question is to be found in the Law of Consciousness. We
cannot be conscious of anything except by realizing a certain
relation between it and ourselves. It must affect us in some way,
otherwise we are not conscious of its existence; and according to
the way in which it affects us we recognize ourselves as standing
related to it. It is this self-recognition on our own part
carried out to the sum total of all our relations, whether
spiritual, intellectual, or physical, that constitutes our
realization of life. On this principle, then, for the REALIZATION
of its own Livingness, the production of centres of life, through
its relation to which this conscious realization can be attained,
becomes a necessity for the Originating Mind. Then it follows
that this realization can only be complete where the individual
has perfect liberty to withhold it; for otherwise no true
realization could have taken place. For instance, let us consider
the working of Love. Love must be spontaneous, or it has no
existence at all. We cannot imagine such a thing as mechanically
induced love. But anything which is formed so as to automatically
produce an effect without any volition of its own, is.nothing but
a piece of mechanism. Hence if the Originating Mind is to realize
the reality of Love, it can Only be by relation to some being
which has the power to withhold love. The same applies to the
realization of all the other modes of livingness; so that it is
only in proportion, as the individual life is an independent
centre of action, with the option of acting either positively or
negatively, that any real life has been produced at all. The
further the created thing is from being a merely mechanical
arrangement, the higher is the grade of creation. The solar
system is a perfect work of mechanical creation, but to
constitute centres which can reciprocate the highest nature of
the Divine Mind, requires not a mechanism, however perfect, but a
mental centre which is, in itself, an independent source of
action. Hence by the requirements of the case man should be
capable of placing himself either in a positive or a negative
relation to the Parent Mind, from which he originates; otherwise
he would be nothing more than a clockwork figure.

In this necessity of the case, then, we find the reason why the
life, love, and beauty of the Spirit are not visibly reproduced
in every human being. They ARE reproduced in the world of nature,
so far as a mechanical and automatic action can represent them,
but their perfect reproduction can only take place on the basis
of a liberty akin to that of the Originating Spirit itself, which
therefore implies the liberty of negation as well as of

Why, then, does the individual make a negative choice? Because he
does not understand the law of his own individuality, and
believes it to be a law of limitation, instead of a Law of
Liberty. He does not expect to find the starting point of the
Creative Process reproduced within himself, and so he looks to
the mechanical side of things for the basis of his reasoning
about life. Consequently his reasoning lands him in the
conclusion that life is limited, because he has assumed
limitation in his premises, and so-logically cannot escape from
it in his conclusion. Then he thinks that this is the law and so
ridicules the idea of transcending it. He points to the sequence
of cause and effect, by which death, disease, and disaster, hold
their sway over the individual, and says that sequence is law.
And he is perfectly right so far as he goes–it is a law; but not
THE Law. When we have only reached this stage of comprehension,
we have yet to learn that a higher law can include a lower one so
completely as entirely to swallow it up.

The fallacy involved in this negative argument, is the assumption
that the law of limitation is essential in all grades of being.
It is the fallacy of the old shipbuilders as to the impossibility
of building iron ships. What is required is to get at the
PRINCIPLE which is at the back of the Law in its affirmative
working, and specialize it under higher conditions than are
spontaneously presented by nature, and this can only be done by
the introduction of the personal element, that is to say an
individual intelligence capable of comprehending the principle.
The question, then, is, what is the principle by which we came
into being? and this is only a personal application of the
general question, How did anything come into being? Now, as I
pointed out in the preceding article, the ultimate deduction from
physical science is that the originating movement takes place in
the Universal Mind, and is analogous to that of our own
imagination; and as we have just seen, the perfect ideal can only
be that of a being capable of reciprocating ALL the qualities of
the Originating Mind. Consequently man, in his inmost nature, is
the product of the Divine Mind imaging forth an image of itself
on the plane of the relative as the complementary to its own
sphere of the absolute.

If we will therefore go to the INMOST principle in ourselves,
which philosophy and Scripture alike declare to be made in the
image and likeness of God, instead of to the outer vehicles which
it externalizes as instruments through which to function on the
various planes of being, we shall find that we have reached a
principle in ourselves which stands in loco dei towards all our
vehicles and also towards our environment. It is above them all,
and creates them, however unaware we may be of the fact, and
relatively to them it occupies the place of first cause. The
recognition of this is the discovery of our own relation to the
whole world of the relative. On the other hand this must not lead
us into the mistake of supposing that there is nothing higher,
for, as we have already seen, this inmost principle or ego is
itself the effect of an antecedent cause, for it proceeds from
the imaging process in the Divine Mind.

We thus find ourselves holding an intermediate position between
true First Cause, on the one hand, and the world of secondary
causes on the other, and in order to understand the nature of
this position, we must fall back on the axiom that the Universal
can only work on the plane of the Particular through the
individual. Then we see that the function of the individual is to
DIFFERENTIATE the undistributed flow of the Universal into
suitable directions for starting different trains of secondary

Man’s place in the cosmic order is that of a distributor of the
Divine power, subject, however, to the inherent Law of the power
which he distributes. We see one instance of this in ordinary
science, in the fact that we never create force; all we can do is
to distribute it. The very word Man means distributor or
measurer, as in common with all words derived from the Sanderit
root MN., it implies the idea of measurement, just as in the
words moon, month, mens, mind, and “man,” the Indian weight of 80
1bs.; and it is for this reason that man is spoken of in
Scripture as a “steward,” or dispenser of the Divine gifts. As
our minds become open to the full meaning of this position, the
immense possibilities and also the responsibility contained in it
will become apparent.

It means that the individual is the creative centre of his own
world. Our past experience affords no evidence against this, but
on the contrary, is evidence for it. Our true nature is always
present, only we have hitherto taken the lower and mechanical
side of things for our starting point, and so have created
limitation instead of expansion. And even with the knowledge of
the Creative Law which we have now attained, we shall continue to
do this, if we seek our starting point in the things which are
below us and not in the only thing which is above us, namely the
Divine Mind, because it is only there that we can find
illimitable Creative Power. Life is BEING, it is the experience
of states of consciousness, and there is an unfailing
correspondence between these inner states and our outward
conditions. Now we see from the Original Creation that the state
of consciousness must be the cause, and the corresponding
conditions the effect, because at the starting of the creation no
conditions existed, and the working of the Creative Mind upon
itself can only have been a state of consciousness. This, then,
is clearly the Creative Order–from states to conditions. But we
invert this order, and seek to create from conditions to states.
We say, If I had such and such conditions they would produce the
state of feeling which I desire; and in so saying we run the risk
of making a mistake as to the correspondence, for it may turn out
that the particular conditions which we fixed on are not such as
would produce the desired state. Or, again, though they might
produce it in a certain degree, other conditions might produce it
in a still greater degree, while at the same time opening the way
to the attainment of still higher states and still better
conditions. Therefore our wisest plan is to follow the pattern of
the Parent Mind and make mental self-recognition our starting
point, knowing that by the inherent Law of Spirit the corelated
conditions will come by a natural process of growth. Then the
great self-recognition is that of our relation to the Supreme
Mind. That is the generating centre and we are distributing
centres; just as electricity is generated at the central station
and delivered in different forms of power by reason of passing
through appropriate centres of distribution, so that in one place
it lights a room, in another conveys a message, and in a third
drives a tram car. In like manner the power of the Universal Mind
takes particular forms through the particular mind of the
individual. It does not interfere with the lines of his
individuality, but works along them, thus making him, not less,
but more himself. It is thus, not a compelling power, but an
expanding and illuminating one; so that the more the individual
recognizes the reciprocal action between it and himself, the more
full of life he must become.

Then also we need not be troubled about future conditions because
we know that the All-originating Power is working through us and
for us, and that according to the Law proved by the whole
existing creation, it produces all the conditions required for
the expression of the Life, Love and Beauty which it is, so that
we can fully trust it to open the way as we go along. The Great
Teacher’s words, “Take no thought for the morrow”–and note that
the correct translation is “Take no anxious thought”– are the
practical application of the soundest philosophy. This does not,
of course, mean that we are not to exert ourselves. We must do
our share in the work, and not expect God to do FOR us what He
can only do THROUGH us. We are to use our common sense and
natural faculties in working upon the conditions now present. We
must make use of them, AS FAR AS THEY GO, but we must not try and
go further than the present things require; we must not try to
force things, but allow them to grow naturally, knowing that they
are doing so under the guidance of the All-Creating Wisdom.

Following this method we shall grow more and more into the habit
of looking to mental attitude as the Key to our progress in Life,
knowing that everything else must come out of that; and we shall
further discover that our mental attitude is eventually
determined by the way in which we regard the Divine Mind. Then
the final result will be that we shall see the Divine Mind to be
nothing else than Life, Love and Beauty–Beauty being identical
with Wisdom or the perfect adjustment of parts to whole–and we
shall see ourselves to be distributing centres of these primary
energies and so in our turn subordinate centres of creative
power. And as we advance in this knowledge we shall find that we
transcend one law of limitation after another by finding the
higher law, of which the lower is but a partial expression, until
we shall see clearly before us, as our ultimate goal, nothing
less than the Perfect Law of Liberty–not liberty without Law
which is anarchy, but Liberty according to Law. In this way we
shall find that the Apostle spoke the literal truth, when he
said, that we shall become like Him when we see Him AS HE IS,
because the whole process by which our individuality is produced
is one of reflection of the image existing in the Divine Mind.
When we thus learn the Law of our own being we shall be able to
specialize it in ways of which we have hitherto but little
conception, but as in the case of all natural laws the
specialization cannot take place until the fundamental principle
of the generic law has been fully realized. For these reasons the
student should endeavour to realize more and more perfectly, both
in theory and practice, the law of the relation between the
Universal and the Individual Minds. It is that of RECIPROCAL
action. If this fact of reciprocity is grasped, it will be found
to explain both why the individual falls short of expressing the
fulness of Life, which the Spirit is, and why he can attain to
the fulness of that expression; just as the same law explains why
iron sinks in water, and how it can be made to float. It is the
individualizing of the Universal Spirit, by recognizing its
reciprocity to ourselves, that is the secret of the perpetuation
and growth of our own individuality.



Neville Goddard, Summa Theologica, Manly P Hall, A Course In Miracles

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