Again, Emily concerns herself with potential coming into expression.
#952, c. 1864
A Man may make a Remark —
In itself — a quiet thing
That may furnish the Fuse unto a Spark
In dormant nature — lain —
Let us deport — with skill —
Let us discourse — with care —
Powder exists in Charcoal —
Before it exists in Fire.
Here the potential is a fire, which may be productive or destructive. A fire may warm you through the winter and cook your food. Or it could destroy the whole village. Pure potential is morally neutral. It answers only to itself when not directed toward any goal. The fire doesn’t care if it burns down a village or warms the nourishing soup. It’s all the same to the fire.
Em says we are shaped or our potential is ignited at various times in our lives by outsiders. A chance remark made without explicit intentions could start a fire that burns down the village. We don’t know what we possess until we are forced to react to random intrusions from the outside. We can’t know the breadth of our potential (or the moral content we may give it) until irritated into a response. We won’t know if our fire is that flame of inspiration, a cheery warming force that feeds us and others. Or if we contain the earth-scorching force that brings down the foundations of our structure.
That’s the test for evolving beings. How do we direct our power as it explodes from potential into expression?
Emily points out that this is a dangerous test. She cautions care because many have failed. None of us knows what we may be setting in motion either within ourselves or others. That unrealized darkness is exciting because it contains everything in potential. The movement into expression, like birth, contains many perils. The angel of death always perches over the birthing bed, waiting and watching. The result is not certain or safe until it arrives in sensible hands. Even then . . . who knows.