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Your Invisible Power
Published 1921, First Edition
How I Became The Only Personal Pupil Of The Greatest Mental Scientist Of The Present Day
As soon as the idea of studying with Troward came to me, I asked a friend to write to him for me, feeling that perhaps my friend could put my desire in better or more persuasive terms than I could employ. To all the letters written by this friend I received not one reply. This was so discouraging that I would have completely abandoned the idea of becoming Troward’s pupil except for the experience I had that day on the street when my whole world was illuminated, and I remembered the promise “All things whatsoever thou wilt, believe thou hast received, and thou shalt receive” (Matthew 21:22).
With this experience in my mind, my passage to England was arranged, notwithstanding the fact that apparently my letters were ignored. We wrote again, however, and finally received a reply, very courteous though very positive. Troward did not take pupils; he had no time to devote to a pupil. Notwithstanding this definite decision, I declined to be discouraged because of the memory of my experience upon the day when the light and the thought came to me, “I am all the Substance there is.” I seemed to be able to live that experience over at will, and with it there always came a flood of courage and renewed energy. We journeyed on to London, and from there telegraphed Troward, asking for an interview. The telegram was promptly answered by Troward setting a date when he could see us.
At this time Troward was living in Ruan Manor, a little-out-of-the-way place in the southern part of England, about twenty miles from a railway station. We could not find it on the map, and with great difficulty Cook’s Touring Agency in London, located the place for us. There was very little speculation in my mind as to what Troward would say to me in this interview. There always remained the feeling that the truth was mine; also that it would grow and expand in my consciousness until peace and contentment were outward as well as inward manifestations of my individual life.
We arrived at Troward’s house in a terrific rainstorm, and were cordially received by Troward himself, whom I found, much to my surprise, to be more the type of a Frenchman than an Englishman (I afterward learned that he was a descendant of the Huguenot race), a man of medium stature, with rather a large head, big nose, and eyes that fairly danced with merriment. After we had been introduced to the other members of the family and given a hot cup of tea, we were invited into the living room where Troward talked very freely of everything except my proposed studies. It seemed quite impossible to bring him to that subject.
Just before we were leaving, however, I asked quite boldly: “Will you not reconsider your decision to take a personal pupil? I wish so much to study with you,” to which he replied with a very indifferent manner that he did not feel he could give the time it would require for personal instruction, but that he would be glad to give me the names of two or three books which he felt would not only be interesting but instructive to me. He said he felt much flattered and pleased that I had come all the way from America to study with him, and as we walked out through the lane from his house to our automobile his manner became less indifferent, a feeling of sympathy seemed to touch his heart, and he turned to me with the remark: “You might write to me, if so inclined, after you get to Paris, and perhaps, if I have time in the autumn, we could arrange something, though it does not seem possible now.”
I lost no time in following up his very kind invitation to write. My letters were all promptly and courteously answered, but there was never a word of encouragement as to my proposed studies. Finally, about two months later, there came a letter with the question in it: “What do you suppose is the meaning of this verse in the 21st Chapter of Revelation?”
“And the city lieth foursquare and the length is as large as the breadth; and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal” (Revelation 21:16)
Instinctively I knew that my chance to study with Troward hung upon my giving the correct answer to that question. The definition of the verse seemed utterly beyond my reach. Naturally, answers came to my mind, but I knew intuitively that none was correct. I began bombarding my scholarly friends and acquaintances with the same question. Lawyers, doctors, priests, nuns and clergymen, all over the world, received letters from me with this question in them. Later answers began to return to me, but intuition told me that none was correct. All the while I was endeavoring to find the answer for myself, but none seemed to come. I memorized the verse in order that I might meditate upon it.
I began a search of Paris for the books Troward had recommended to me, and after two or three days’ search we crossed the River Seine to the Île de la Cité to go into some of the old bookstores there. They were out of print, and these were the best places to find them in. Finally we came upon a little shop that had the books there. These were the last copies the man had, consequently the price was high. While remonstrating with the clerk, my eye rested upon the work of an astrologer, which I laughingly picked up and asked: “Do you think Prof, would read my horoscope?” The clerk looked aghast at the suggestion, and responded, “Why, no, Madame, this is one of France’s greatest astrologers. He does not read horoscopes.”
In spite of this answer, there was a persistent impulse within me to go to the man. The friend who had accompanied me in my search for the books remonstrated with me, and tried in every way to dissuade me from going to the famous astrologer, but I insisted, and she went with me. When we came to his office I found it somewhat embarrassing to ask him to read my horoscope. Nevertheless, there was nothing to do but put the question. Reluctantly, the Professor invited us into his paper-strewn study, and reluctantly, and also impatiently, asked us to be seated. Very courteously and coldly he told me that he did not read horoscopes. His whole manner said, more clearly than words could, that he wished we would take our departure.
My friend stood up. I was at a great loss what to do next, because I felt that I was not quite ready to go. Intuition seemed to tell me there was something for me to gain there. Just what it was I was unable to define, so I paused a moment, much to my friend’s displeasure, when one of the Professor’s enormous Persian cats jumped into my lap. “Get down, Jack!” the Professor shouted. “What does it mean?” he seemed to ask himself. Then with a greater interest than he had hitherto shown in me, the Professor said with a smile: “Have never known that cat to go to a stranger before, Madame; my cat pleads for you.” I, also, now feel an interest in your horoscope, and if you will give me the data it will give me pleasure to write it out for you.” There was a great feeling of happiness in me when he made this statement. He concluded by saying: “I do not feel that you really care for your horoscope.” The truth of this statement shocked me, because I did not care about a horoscope, and could not give any reason why I was letting him do it. “However,” he said, “May I call for your data next Sunday afternoon?”
On Sunday afternoon at the appointed time, the Professor arrived, and I was handing him the slip of paper with all the data of my birth, etc., when the idea came to me to ask the Professor for the answer to the question about the 16th verse of the 21st Chapter of Revelation. The thought was instantly carried into effect, and I found myself asking this man what he thought this verse meant. Without pausing to think it over he immediately replied “it means: The city signifies the truth, and the truth is non-invertible; every side from which you approach it is exactly the same.” Intuitively and undoubtingly I recognized this answer as the true one, and my joy knew no bounds, because I felt sure that with this correct answer in my possession, Troward would accept me as his pupil in the fall.
As the great astrologer was leaving, I explained to him all about my desire to study with Troward, how I had come from New York City for that express purpose, seemingly to no avail, until the answer to this test question had been given to me by him. He was greatly interested and asked many questions about Troward, and when asked if he would please send me his bill, he smilingly replied, “Let me know if the great Troward accepts you as his pupil,” and bade me good afternoon. I hastened to my room to send a telegram to Troward giving my answer to the question about the 16th verse of the 21st Chapter of Revelation.
There was an immediate response from Troward that said: “Your answer is correct. Am beginning a course of lectures on The Great Pyramid In London. If you wish to attend them, will be pleased to have you, and afterward, if you still wish to study with me, I think it can be arranged.” On receipt of this reply preparations were at once made to leave Paris for London.
I attended all the lectures, receiving much instruction from them, after which arrangements were made for my studying with Troward. Two days before leaving for Cornwall I received the following letter from Troward clearly indicating the line of study he gave me:
31 Stanwick Road,
W. Kensington, England,
November 8, 1912.
Dear Mrs. Behrend,
I think I had better write you a few lines with regard to your proposed studies with me, as I should be sorry for you to be under any misapprehension and so to suffer any disappointment.
I have studied the subject now for several years, and have a general acquaintance with the leading features of most of the systems which, unfortunately, occupy attention in many circles at the present time, such as Theosophy, The Tarot, The Kabala, and the like, and I have no hesitation in saying that, to the best of my judgment, all sorts and descriptions of so-called occult study are in direct opposition to the real life-giving Truth, and, therefore, you must not expect any teaching on such lines as these.
We hear a great deal these days about Initiation; but, believe me, the more you try to become a so-called “Initiate” the further you will put yourself from living life. I speak after many years of careful study and consideration when I say that the Bible and its Revelation of Christ is the one thing really worth studying, and that is a subject large enough in all conscience, embracing, as it does, our outward life and of everyday concerns, and also the inner springs of our life and all that we can in general terms conceive of the life in the unseen after putting off the body at death.
You have expressed a very great degree of confidence in my teaching, and if your confidence is such that you wish, as you say, to put yourself entirely under my guidance, I can only accept it as a very serious responsibility, and should have to ask you to exhibit that confidence by refusing to look into such so-called “Mysteries” as I would forbid you to look into.
I am speaking from experience; but the result will be that much of my teaching will appear to be very simple, perhaps to some extent dogmatic, and you will say you have heard much of it before.
Faith in God, Prayer and Worship, approach to the Father through Christ-all this is in a certain sense familiar to you; and all I can hope to do is perhaps to throw a little more light on these subjects, that they may become to you, not merely traditional words, but present living facts.
I have been thus explicit as I do not want you to have any disappointment, and also I should say that our so-called course of study will be only friendly conversations at such times as we can fit them in, either you coming to our house, or I to yours, as may be most convenient at the time.
Also, I will lend you some books that will be helpful, but they are very few, and in no sense occult.
Now, if all this falls in with your ideas, we shall, I am sure, be very glad to see you at Ruan Manor, and you will find that the residents there, though few, are very friendly and the neighborhood very pretty.
But, on the other hand, if you feel that you want some other source of learning, do not mind saying so, only you will never find any substitute for Christ.
I trust you will not mind my writing you like this, but I do not want you to come all the way down to Cornwall, and then be disappointed.
With kindest regards,
(Signed) T. TROWARD.
This copy of Troward’s letter, to my mind, is the greatest thing I can give you.