Every original production, if it be truly great, is drawn from universal consciousness, and is as much a product of what is called inspiration as the sacred writings are. In the Cosmic Consciousness is contained every plan and every ideal that is later to become expressed through man and take form as a thing of power and beauty on earth. It is in this way that we become the channel through which God works, and the great work, in so far as it is perfect, is the work of God expressed through heart, and mind, and hands of man. Its imperfections are solely occasioned by man's limitations. Those who are ready to receive inwardly and to express outwardly all they receive are the people who will be in line to receive the still greater ideals. It is always through the use of the knowledge and the power of which we are in possession that we prepare ourselves to receive still greater knowledge and power. The worker, no matter in what field he may be engaged, should always seek to give expression to the very highest within him, and it will be through doing this that his greatest joy in life will come. Talented composers should cease writing all music that panders to man's lower instincts. But again I say, if there were no demand for such music, it would not be written. The public gets what it asks for; when the world demands the best, it will get the best. There are some countries - where the people want to listen to the best music, consequently, when they go to the gardens, parks, or public places where music is to be heard, they get the best. As yet, in our own country, the great mass of people are satisfied with music that is elemental in nearly all of its characteristics, and such music cannot be expected to uplift either spiritually or mentally. There are many engaged in trying to cultivate among people a greater love for good music, but what with the trashy music written by those who do not understand the first principles of music, and the people who are content to listen to it, the way of the reformer is both a hard and a difficult one, and our composers derive but little incentive from the public in the way of real appreciation of their work. One of our most talented, as well as idealistic composers, Edward McDowell, up to a very recent date, was more fully appreciated abroad than in his own country. We have too few composers in our country to neglect any of them. Why should Americans not become great in music as well as in so many other avenues of life? I know quite well some of the objections to be met with: first, that we are utilitarian and commercial in our tastes and desires, that a deadly realism prevails the country over, that the sense of symmetry and beauty is very largely deficient; but surely there are enough idealists in this great country who are unwilling to prostitute their idealism to prevailing materialism, who, working unitedly together for a higher order in every walk of life, could create new desires and new tastes in the public mind so that the love of beauty in art, drama, and literature might become the greatest factor for mental, moral, and spiritual uplift. Ideals rule the world, and the few who stand true to their ideals will eventually see the multitude coming out to learn of them, just as surely as the multitude of people went out to John the Baptist in order to learn of him when he was living in the wilderness.
Life only becomes grand and beautiful when we bring the grand and beautiful to bear upon it, when we make a courageous and persistent effort to give expression to the highest ideals we are capable of receiving. The value of such ideals may not at once be recognised by an indiscriminating public, even though we work our hardest to express them. It is difficult to make the world see anything that is close at hand; the perspective of years is needed before people are ready to build monuments to the great souls who have lived true to their ideals, and who have given far more to the world than they have received from it. But compensation, whether it comes in one way or another, is absolutely sure of coming to the one who lives up to his highest conviction of truth. The life that is lived with the one object of giving to the world the highest and best it has to give, is doing far more for its real development than could possibly be done in any other conceivable way. To the one who seeks to impart of his riches, greater riches are always being added. It is the privilege of the composer or the musician to give what he has to give to the world as fully and as freely as he has received it; and in the doing of this, his soul is being kept open to a continual influx of music from the realms of life and light so that, finally, he becomes attuned to all the wonder and the glory of rhythm, melody, and harmony that is in the great Cosmic Consciousness.