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This phrase, keeping the high watch, was first presented to me through the works of Emma Curtis Hopkins. Hopkins, known as the teacher of teachers, had a major impact on a wide range of early American New Thought leaders, including Charles and Myrtle Fillmore and Emilie Cady. I was introduced to her in the late 70s by Unity minister, Dr. John Rankin.
The high watch, as Hopkins used the term, “… concerns that swift, subtle faculty possessed by us all, whereby we look whithersoever we will; to the Deity ever beholding us, or to the dust beneath, without the aid of our physical eyes.” This inner seeing is what she was referring to when she wrote, “For it is primarily what we most see, and not what we most think, that constitutes our presence, power and history.”
Keeping the high watch is holding fast to the truth that there is but one presence and one power at work in our life. With perpetual media bombardment and full immersion in our body-centered, materially-grounded culture, our inner vision is easily enticed away from the notion of a single power at work. And yet this is truly our means of finding inner peace in an ever-changing world.
Keeping the high watch is not standing on tiptoe straining to see some great good finally appearing on the distant horizon. It is closing our outer eyes, for a time, and allowing the illumination of the soul to make itself known. As Hopkins writes, “The farther toward the celestial zenith we send our limitless eye, the deeper is our assurance of our own divine origin and transcendent Selfhood. For truly the Highest is the Nearest, most distant yet most present, and we are in His image.”
You and I are perfectly placed to keep the High Watch. Nothing but the focus of our attention has to change. Holding the truth that there is but one presence and one power, God the good, at work in our life is the key to genuine accomplishment and true peace of mind.