Tune with the Infinite: Or, Fullness of Peace, Power and Plenty, by Ralph Waldo Trine. Specifically, it will report on the book, giving an overview of the book with some mention of the key ideas in each chapter, and finishing with a positive conclusion.
IN TUNE WITH THE INFINITE
Author Ralph Waldo Trine opens his book with this statement in the Preface:
There is a golden thread that runs through every religion in the world. There is a golden thread that run through the lives and the teachings of all the prophets, seers, sages, and saviours in the world's history, through the lives of all and women of truly great and lasting power. All that they have ever done or attained to has been done in full accordance with law. What one has done, all may do.
This same golden thread must enter into the lives of all who today, in this busy work-a-day world of ours, would exchange impotence for power, weakness and suffering for abounding health and strength, pain and unrest for perfect peace, poverty of whatever nature for fullness and plenty (Trine 5).
Thus, Trine sets the stage for the remainder of his book, for his thoughts, his beliefs, and the movement called "New Thought," which he helped create and cultivate. He wrote many books, but "In Tune with the Infinite" is one of his most well-known and enduring. It is still in print today. One expert wrote,
His writings had a great influence on many of his contemporaries including Ernest Holmes, founder of Religious Science. He was a true pioneer in the area of life-transforming thought. No other New Thought author has sold more books than he, his writings reaching far beyond New Thought circles out to the general public, which has bought and read Trine's books without ever knowing that they were New Thought (Biography).
Trine began writing when he was in his 30s, and he was always interested in philosophy, thought, and the metaphysical realm. He thought anything was possible as long as people were positive and looked inside themselves for peace and hope. Trine's work also influenced many others who read it at the time it was first published in 1897. "It is interesting that Henry Ford, pioneer of mass produced automobiles, attributed his success directly to having read 'In Tune with the Infinite.' After reading the book, Ford ordered it on mass, and distributed copies freely to high profile industrialists" (Biography). Trine's book is still timely today, and still carries a message of hope and peace.
The first chapter in the book, "Prelude," Trine begins to set down his thoughts on how to achieve success, power, and peace, while living an effective and joyful life. Trine believes our joy and understanding come from within, and we can change how we feel and experience life by how we view it - as an optimist, or a pessimist. He writes,
The optimist, by his superior wisdom and insight, is making his own heaven, and in the degree that he makes his own heaven is he helping to make one for all the world beside. The pessimist, by virtue of his limitations, is making his own hell, and in the degree that he makes his own hell is he helping to make one for all mankind (Trine 9-10).
This short chapter is also a prelude to what follows, and lets the reader know what Trine thinks is the secret to a happier and more productive life. Other authors would follow his example, and write about positive thinking, finding joy in life, and being masters of our own outlook, but Trine was one of the first, and Trine also wrote so a majority of people could understand his theories and ideas.
In "The Supreme Fact of the Universe," Chapter Two, Trine supports his belief that God is behind everything in the universe by showing the relationship of everything in the universe to an all knowing and all seeing power that is greater than us all. He writes, "Every flower that blooms by the wayside, springs up, grows, blooms, fades, according to certain great immutable laws. Every snowflake that plays between earth and heaven, forms, falls, melts, according to certain great unchangeable laws" (Trine 12). These laws are greater than anything we could possibly create, and so these laws, and all the laws which govern our universe, are attributable to a higher force. Trine calls it God, but acknowledges that we can call it everything, as long as we recognize it is there, and that it has a profound influence on our lives, because, as he continues "in essence the life of God and the life of man are identically the same, and so are one. They differ not in essence, in quality; they differ in degree" (Trine 13). He believes men can be different, but in spirit, they are all the same, because their differences can be measured in degrees, not in the essence of man.
Chapter Three, "The Supreme Fact of Human Life," discusses the "central fact in human life," and how it revolves around our full and total realization that we are one with the divine essence of God, and that we must open ourselves to this oneness before we can come to self-realization and pure peace and joy. When we accept the oneness, we allow ourselves to be open to all possibilities that are available, and open ourselves to our own "true identity." Trine notes, "For in the degree that we come into this realization and connect ourselves with this Infinite Source, do we make it possible for the higher powers to play, to work, to manifest through us" (Trine 17). Thus, when we open ourselves to this central fact, we allow the higher power to do everything through us, and so we in turn experience the ultimate joy and peace that is possible in oneness with the higher power. We are as close to perfection as we can get on Earth. Trine acknowledges that few people ever experience this oneness, and that is one of the things that holds so many people back from living effective and joyful lives. He said,
When we know ourselves merely as men, we live accordingly, and have merely the powers of men. When we come into the realization of the fact that we are God-men, then again we live accordingly, and have the powers of God-men. In the degree that we open ourselves to this divine inflow are we changed from mere men into God-men
Trine believes many people simply shut themselves off from life, and allow it to happen around them, rather than taking a full measure of life and all it offers. This seems especially relevant today, when modern life revolves so much about possessions and success as seen by others. Very few people are living the lives of "God-men," and thus, very few people are living lives that make a difference to themselves, or others.
In Chapter Four, "Fullness of Life - Bodily Health and Vigor," Trine discusses the law of cause and effect, and how our mental state can affect our physical being. Trine, in his eloquent way, puts it like this: "In other words, a falling state of mind is productive of a falling condition of the body. To be sure minded is to be sure footed. To be uncertain in mind is to be uncertain in step" (Trine 43). He describes several different situations where people allow what is happening around them to color their outlook and their reaction, and this in turn affects their bodies in a wide variety of illness and ill health. Trine believes what festers inside will eventually ruin our health and disposition, and his findings are still influential today, as many mental health professionals realize that unhappiness can add to a variety of illnesses, both mental and physical.
Chapter Five, "The Secret, Power, and Effects of Love," goes on to discuss infinite love, with all its healing powers. Trine writes,
This is the Spirit of Infinite Love. The moment we recognize ourselves as one with it we become so filled with love that we see only the good in all. And when we realize that we are all one with this Infinite Spirit, then we realize that in a sense we are all one with each other. When we come into a recognition of this fact, we can then do no harm to any one, to any thing. We find that we are all members of the one great body, and that no portion of the body can be harmed without all the other portions suffering thereby (Trine 88).
Trine believes ultimate love comes with our oneness with God, and that ultimately, love leads to peace and harmony in us, and around us. He also believes that to truly love we must look outside ourselves, and give up our selfish motives and desires. He continues,