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Home Course in Mental Science

by Helen Wilman

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Lesson 10 - The Power Behind The Throne

[179] About a dozen years ago, before I had heard of Mental Science in any of its branches--when I was simply an overworked journalist, forced to pump brains for a living--there would often be times when my thoughts would give out entirely. At such times I could not write a sentence. I would then leave the desk and go off somewhere, alone, where I would be apt to fall into a sort of introspective revery. I would seem to sink deeper and deeper down into myself, until presently strange and brilliant thoughts would occur to me. These thoughts were always in line with the ideas I had been writing about. I would never wait for more than one or two of them before becoming excited and anxious to put them down on paper. Oh, what impetus this accession of inner truth would give me! It seemed as if all I had needed was a simple peep into this storehouse of native thought; for I would take just what I had received and put it down, when other thoughts would flow forth in an unbroken stream until my day's work was done. I thought very little about the matter at that time, though I knew I had a sure dependence in this hidden mine on which I could draw in every case of emergency.

At this time I was writing for reform papers, and the ideas that I drew from the well of intuition were on reform subjects. Many a time when I would awake in the morning with a feeling of weariness in my work, and dread the day with its dearth of ideas in a field that had been gleaned to utmost barreness by me, I would--with a feeling of intense relief--recall the fact that I could go down into "the quiet of my own mind" and bring up what I wanted. Now, remember, I not only brought up some great thought that served me most abundantly as a text, but I brought with it a strange self-dependence that made me realize my ability to handle my subject as I pleased; so that it became mere child's play to work out the editorial in all its details with the utmost precision and clearness.

But these fragmentary interviews with this inner me soon took me beyond the thoughts in demand by the average reform papers. Snatches of greater truth began to come. I had a paper of my own by this time, but could not hold it level with itself, in fact; for every paper was a shade bolder and more advanced in thought than the previous one. For all the time newer thoughts were coming up to me when I would seek them by silent communion with my intuitional faculty.

But were these thoughts always to be depended upon as absolutely true? No, not always. They were more or less mixed with preconceived, erroneous opinions; but they were nearer the truth than I could find elsewhere, in books or out of books, and as I cultivated them more and more they became more true and reliable--less mixed with error.

I know--from my experience in this matter--we can go on drinking at this [180] inner fountain of communication with some unseen body of great intelligence until we have conquered our preconceived beliefs and are filled full of new and vital truth. I feel that it is in my power to reach this place.

Let the student close his eyes and abstract his thoughts from all his outside surroundings, turning his eyes, as it were, down within himself. Let him think of the subject upon which he wishes to be enlightened; or let him ask a question about it. Then wait patiently for a few minutes, or longer, and the answer will come, and it will be more or less unmixed with his preconceived beliefs, in proportion as he had power to abstract his thoughts from his surroundings.

Now, whether the answer he receives comes from this inner source, or whether it is simply a tremendous influx of vitality that flows in to meet the demands of the brain, thus enabling the brain to answer its own questions, I cannot tell. But this I do know, that no matter what troubles or perplexities may come to you, if you will go alone for a few minutes and draw all your thoughts home, and let them sink down and down within you, they will be met by an uprising force from some hidden laboratory of love, and from out of this soft and genial and luminous wave words of courage and comfort will be spoken to you.

Now, this intelligent glow that comes up to us when we seek it is a manifestation of the Law of Growth within us. Growth is vital life, and all vital life proceeds from the great Life fountain; and it proceeds from this fountain incessantly, but never becomes apparent to us, or accessible to us except we recognize it. To recognize this growth principle in ever flowing vitality is to appropriate it hourly to our own needs. In proportion as I recognize this growth principle within myself, as it is manifested to me through intuition, I have health and strength and a constantly increasing and brightening and widening and deepening intelligence.

The organ of intuition, then, is that organ through which the eternal vitality, the spirit of growth, flows into us forever, and by the recognition of which, or the intelligent understanding of which, we can co-operate with it to the complete regeneration of every part of ourselves--external as well as internal.

To heal ourselves of any ailment whatever, it is only necessary to know that we are joined to this strange fountain of natural or intuitional knowing, and that it is Life, or vital force, in its most intense character; and that it will flow into our external intelligences if we will look for it.

But our external intelligences are closed against it, and are thus cut off from the great life-saving supply of that strange substance which knows no disease, no sin, no poverty, no anything but opulence and health and strength and unbroken and unconquerable vitality.

Just what this strange power that lies out of sight behind the external intelligence is, no one knows. All metaphysicians recognize it, but none can describe it with absolute positiveness. It seems to be a hidden mind of immense capability. Some writers on the subject believe man to be possessed of two distinct minds, and they call this hidden mind--the unconscious knowing--the subjective mind, in distinction from our external intelligence, which they call the objective mind.

Now, I am sure man has not two minds. His mind is one. It is whole. Like everything else, it has two poles, positive and negative. These two poles may very rationally be called the subjective and objective mind.

The whole effort of Mental Science is to show the student what a powerful creature a man is. It wants to show him how great a reservoir of undiscovered possibilities he is, so that he will know that he need not succumb to such negatives as disease, old age and death. In order to do this, it will be necessary to try to find out all he can [181] about this part of himself that lies back of his objective mind, and that manifests such mysterious power. First let us see some of the power it manifests when we render the external mind so negative that we can catch a glimpse of its subjective half.

When little Jessamine Powers was two years old she sang at least twenty songs in a rich baby voice, in perfect melody and time. I began to call people's attention to her singing, and in doing this I seemed to call her own attention to it, and she lost the power entirely. The objective mind knew nothing about music. It could not sing. As soon as it took cognizance of the singing and tried to do it, there was a failure. The child sang no more for years. When she sang again she sang from the objective mind, as the objective mind learned it on the objective plane.

In California a camp of Chinese miners lived near our place for a few months. They came to our well for water, and my little Jennie--four years old--talked to them in their own language. I heard her, and heard them replying, but thought she was only imitating the sound of their talk, until the thing had continued a month or more. The Chinese assured me that she was speaking their language in absolute perfection. I was astounded, and made much of it to my neighbors. The mining camp was removed to another place, but was brought back the following year. Many of the same Chinamen were in it. They were wild to see little Jennie; but imagine their disappointment when they found that she could not speak a word of their beloved language. The objective mind had closed the door into the subjective reservoir of knowledge, and she--no more than we--knew how to open it.

Look at "Blind Tom": An idiot, whose objective mind is too feeble to offer a resistance to the action of his subjective mind, which brings its stored musical wonders to the surface to astonish a wondering world with.

Look at Zerah Colburn: A child who, under eight years of age, would instantly, and without the use of figures, solve the most tremendous mathematical problems. On one occasion he took the number 8 and raised it up progressively to the sixteenth power. In naming the last result, which contains 15 figures--namely, 281,474,976,710,656--he was right in every figure. Asked the square root of a number consisting of six figures, he would give it instantly. He would give the cube root of a number in the hundreds of millions as soon as it was proposed. Hundreds of questions of a similar nature respecting the roots and powers of enormously high numbers were proposed to him by various mathematicians, and his answer was never delayed a moment, and never incorrect. Asked to name the factors which produced certain numbers, he would give them without an error. Asked how many minutes were in forty-eight years, he replied 25,228,800; and immediately added that the number of seconds were 1,513,728,000. These are only a few of the marvels performed by this child. A lot of learned professors resolved to make the boy still more wonderful by educating him, but the attempt simply closed the door of his inner reservoir of stored knowledge and left him a very ordinary child.

I have no space in a lesson like this to recount one-tenth of the wonders connected with this unseen and unacknowledged storehouse of intelligence as they occur to my mind at this time, but I will refer to one other case. I am acquainted with a spiritualist who is an inspirational lecturer. A few years ago he believed that some spirits of the dead influenced him in speaking. He now says that he speaks from this inner reservoir of stored knowledge and does not believe the spirits influence him at all. He has the power to relax the tension of his objective or external mind and let the stored knowledge flow through. But still he holds (and so do I) that the external mind is master, [182] and keeps watch of the fountain of internal intelligence, and has the power to hem it in to certain lines of thought.

Now, in saying this I am not trying to disprove the fundamental belief of modern spiritualism--namely, the existence of spirits after death, and their power to communicate with their living friends--for I must confess that I am not at all prepared to dispose of their claims, nor have I any prejudice against their belief. And I should accept their belief because of the undeniable phenomena that sustains it, but for the fact that I begin to see such unlimited and strange powers in the human mind that I think it possible for all these spiritualistic manifestations to be explained without calling on the spirits of the dead to do it. Not that I have any objection to communicating with them. I should only be too glad to do it, but I want to know the truth. I am simply seeking the truth in this matter and do not care where it leads.

And now to return to this strange storehouse of intelligence lying back of our external perceptions. What is it, and how did it come there?

I do not know what it is, but can form some idea of it from its characteristics. In the first place, it seems to be the receptacle of hundreds of things we have once known and forgotten. "Where is the hammer?" asks the man of the house. "I do not know," answers every member of the family. Presently, when thinking of something else, or oftener in that negative mood when the bottom seems to have dropped out of our thought and we are not conscious of thinking anything, we will suddenly recall having seen the hammer lying somewhere, and on going to the place, there it is. The remembrance of where it was had been recorded on this subterranean mental tablet, and as soon as the external mind forgot itself it became visible. Experience has long taught me the folly of cudgeling my brains for a forgotten name, or anything else that I seem to have forgotten. I know that I will get what I want by ceasing to strive for it; so I will make myself passive and quit thinking of it. In a few minutes it comes.

Now, if this subjective mind lying back behind the objective mind is nothing else, one thing is certain, it is a record of every past experience of our whole lives, and as a record it contains infinitely more than would appear in a superficial glance at the matter. For it is not only a record of the few years of experience embraced in the lives we had lived since birth, but it reaches clear back to the time when, as primordial seed germs, we began our individual growth under and by the Law of Attraction.

Remember this. We have actually lived every step of the way from our small and far-away beginning up to the present hour. Having lived it all, we are the condensed essence of it all. We are the whole earth in miniature form, with its lumbering grossness eliminated through desire--our power to choose that which we wanted--and we carry the knowledge of it all in the layers of our organizations.

And is this knowledge nothing?

It is volumes of natural intelligence; volumes of mother nature's own teachings; and oh, what a wonderful teacher she is! Do you know that our little brothers and sisters, the bugs and worms, are, in their sphere, each one the embodiment of some peculiar phase of wisdom? If you do not know this, you have much to learn from the study of natural history. Take, for instance, this fact, as illustrative of the intelligence which their desire for life induces them to manifest in their bodies. It will prove what I have stated in former lessons, that desire is the soul of things, and the basic principle of growth; also that the recognition of desire unclouded by doubt makes the desire manifest in bodily form.

There are a good many bugs and worms that the birds do not like--they have an unpleasant taste. These bugs [183] and worms become known to the birds by their peculiar markings, and are therefore left unmolested. Other bugs and worms that are good to eat, and the birds are fond of, know this fact, and their desire to prolong their lives causes them to acquire the same markings and colors that their distasteful neighbors have; and so their own little lives are perpetuated. It is this desire for life that causes so many little lives to be shaped like leaves and twigs. Indeed, there is a regular process of deception carried on by little weaklings in order to preserve their own lives, and an infinite amount of strange intelligence manifested.

And still lower in the scale of being, there is a glowing ideal burning in the heart of the poppy seed, and a spontaneous and native wisdom there which unfolds it. Why, its life is a dream and a poem, and it acts upon the human organism that is negative to it as the promoter of dreams and the suggester of poems. Do you imagine that this little poppy does not think? It does think, and it possesses a wisdom unknown to us, or at least unknown to our objective minds, though no doubt a part of our subjective intelligences.

When, after a walk in the woods, you stop to pick the burrs off your clothes, do you know what you have done? You have been serving in the capacity of coach-and-four to a lot of passengers who were hunting a new location in which to preempt claims, stake out home sections and rear their families. These little "stickers" were manifestations or visible expressions of their innate desires pointing to the very thing you have helped them to do. "Oh," you say, "that was nature. It was not they. They did not know anything about it."

Why, they themselves were nature's own knowing! They were so much natural intelligence in visible manifestation.

Millions of these little creatures have become extinct. They have merged the pattern of themselves in higher organizations. And all the knowing which made them what they were went to swell the knowledge of this submerged mind, this gulf of inestimable intelligence that lies back of our external perceptions. And not of these little creatures only, but creatures whose lives took a wider range and embodied greater intelligence and infinitely diversified experiences, all of which are recorded in the stupendous memory of which we catch glimpses when the outer mind is off guard for a moment.

And it may be that this is not all, nor even a fraction of the knowing pent up within us. Suppose that reincarnation is true. Suppose that it is a fixed law that man must return again and again to this earth life until his experience embraces every atom of knowledge necessary to his final conquest of matter (negative mind), and to his ascension to the realm of a consciously recognized and vital condition of pure mentality, wherein he sees that he is no longer mortal and perishable.

Suppose this to be true, and then picture to yourself, if you can, his gradual ascension by conquest of his own ignorance from the time he met the enemies of the forest single-handed and naked, up through the dawning ingenuity that taught him to make a knife of flint, clear on through a hundred ages of growing constructiveness, until an Edison or a Keely were revealed.

And think of the thousands and thousands of experiences he passed through on his long journey; experiences that taught him every secret of his mother, nature; that made him master of every one of her forces. And all of this mastery he appears to have forgotten. It finds no place in his objective mind. His mind is as unconscious of it as if it had but awakened from the dead yesterday.

And yet each experience is inlaid in the unrecognized layers of his being. They are like the growths of a tree. [184] They are all there, from the first central line, ranging in many rings clear out to the bark that covers and conceals them. Not an atom of his immense knowledge has ever been lost on man's long journey from the far beginning. And that beginning dates back to the fire mist out of whose unformed and widespread vapor our earth was condensed; and who knows how much farther back still?

Nature wastes nothing. Not even her crudest material is ever lost. How much less then her precious organizations that are growing and refining with every change, and that promise such miracles of beauty and goodness when the whole world shall have contributed of its fullness to feed and develop them into a splendor of blossoming and fruitage that we can only now--at this late date, and after this immense journey--begin to be faintly conscious of.

No wonder that hypnotists declare that they find in the mind of man everything that they have the ability to search for. They put the surface mind asleep and reveal at once what seems to be a shoreless and soundless abyss of natural knowing. They stand aghast before this "sunless sea" of which philosophers and sages have been so silent.

And yet they have not been silent. Although no description of it has been given, yet many a soul has caught glimpses of it, and hundreds have drawn the cool water from its depths with which to refresh a thirsty world. In art and in poetry the existence of the subjective mind reveals itself in those "touches of nature that make the world akin." And now, what is the thing to do in order to develop this subjective mind and make it more apparent? Shall we set aside the objective mind, put it asleep as in hypnotism, or make it negative by withdrawing our confidence in it and our respect for it?

Fortunately for us, it is not necessary that we should make this experiment. It has been often made, and the result is most disastrous. Go to an insane asylum and find how utterly unbalanced this mighty storehouse of memories is, when freed from its jailor--the objective, or externally perceptive part of itself. Here, at once, if never before, we have evidence that man does not possess two separate minds, as some authors assert, but simply two poles of his one mind. One of these poles--the subjective, or the negative one--reaches back to man's individual beginning, and is the infallible record of every experience he has had in every form he has ever inhabited, and in his spiritual transpositions from one form to another. This subjective mind is the complete and perfect knowing of his own history without a missing link.

His objective mind, which is the positive pole of the same mind, is to the subjective mind what the bark is to the tree; what the skin is to the peach. It is the visible containment of the internal wealth. It is an expression of recognition of that which lies behind it. But how inadequate this expression is! It expresses simply as much of that internal reservoir as it recognizes, but it recognizes so little of it in comparison with what it might recognize. This external or objective mind is created by the reasoning powers. The reasoning powers make the boundary line--on the external plane--of this wonderful mind which a man is. In other words, the subjective mind, with its almost infinite knowing, can come no farther forward into visible existence than the external reasoning powers (the objective mind) will allow it to come. Not that the objective mind holds the manifestation of the subjective mind back by will power, for as yet it does not do this, but it holds it back by reason of being unconscious of its existence; and nothing makes it manifest externally but recognition. The objective mind has got to recognize the presence and the potency of the subjective mind before [185] the stored memories--the stored knowledge of facts--which constitute the subjective mind can come to the surface and be recognized and understood in our every-day life here in the world.

In other words, man, taken as a whole, is a bundle of stored facts, comprising every experience he has ever passed through; every knowledge he ever gained. But he does not know this, and therefore he does not know himself and his opinion of himself misrepresents him. As his body is the record of his opinion, or his beliefs, it therefore happens that his body is a weaker thing in all respects than it really ought to be.

Now, remember that all through life, from the very beginning, man has been a selecting factor. The soul of his existence was desire. In the earlier or animal stages of his growth his desire was unclouded by doubt, and it was therefore an almost omnipotent power. He did not attract to himself what he did not want; this would have been impossible under the Law. He attracted to himself those things which were related to him through desire--the things, or conditions, he wanted. Many a little bug, for instance, took on a soft brown coat and created yellow bands around its body in order to resemble the bee. Why? Because the birds were afraid of the bee on account of its sting. These little creatures were defenseless, having no stings. Why did they not create stings for themselves?

The question is apt, and the answer sustains my claims of the power vested in individualization. Students of natural history waive the mighty power of individualization, with its moving soul of intelligent desire, and say, "Oh, it is nature that does all these wonderful things!" and here they drop the matter. Well, it is nature; but nature expresses herself in the myriad personalities of which all these little creatures are a part. Now, these little creatures do their own thinking in their own way. The instinctive desire for life has provided them with instinctive methods of self-preservation. They know that the bee is rejected as food, while they are accepted. That part of the bee which appeals to their perceptions is his yellow bands on his brown coat. Desire, prompted by the instinct of self-preservation, gives them the yellow bands and brown coat. They know more of the colors of the bee than of his sting.

But is it really true that the defenseless creatures imitate those which are well defended? Naturalists tell us that it is true. They have experimented with them in various ways, and they say that an insect which changes his coat when exposed to the attacks of his enemies will resume his native colors if placed in a protected situation. It often happens that he himself will not resume his original colors, but his immediate descendants will.

All of this is a part of nature's wonderful knowing, individualized in her children. It is as I have said over and over in these lessons, all is mind, or intelligence; and every object in all the world is some expression of a mentality; some external evidence of a certain amount of knowing.

But to go back to the main thread running through this lesson. I have been trying to prove that man is a selecting factor. Among his multitudinous experiences he only retains as part of himself those that were desired by him. Under the Law of Attraction this could not have been otherwise. That to which he was not attracted, that which seemed to be not good, not desirable, did not adhere to his experience; did not become incorporated in his organization as part of his true self. Therefore, as a living mind I have never died at all. Death never was desired by me, and never became incorporated in my experiences. Being built through desire, under the Law of Attraction, I have no recollection of death. Such a recollection could not possibly belong to my experience, and [186] my experience is myself. If my experience held a recollection of death it would have ceased in that very moment, and I should have had no more experiences. As it was, I, the true self, the record of all my experiences, simply burst my inelastic environment and went on to other experiences in a new incarnation; each of which was effected by my insatiable desire for expression--which is manifestation in the visible world of uses.

And so I, the desire which is the drawing power of my body, the real me, have never died and never will die. Furthermore, I have never been sick, nor weak, nor diseased. The soul of me, dating so far back, has always reached forward in anticipation of the time of a fuller outward expression in the world of uses. This soul of me enjoys perpetual being. But it is the nature of perpetual being to be expressed in perpetual doing. Hence the constant effort of irrepressible desire to become established or fixed in the world of uses; to operate on the external plane. The subjective mind, reaching far back through an infinitude of experiences on the subjective plane, desires to make those experiences practical in uses on the objective plane. So everything clings to life on the objective plane. The tendency of all thought is toward what we call "material" manifestation. The earth is man's workshop. We want to do, as well as to be. Indeed, being is worthless unless it finds an outlet in doing. This is why we cling to external life, and why we are trying to conquer that disappearance from external perception called death.

The belief that spirits are better off after death than before it is all nonsense to me. And I know the assertion cannot be proved. Life on the visible plane is expression on the visible plane. And this is the expression that every desire in the universe points to, from the desire in the smallest insect up to man's desire. In the death of the so-called physical body, the desire has been thwarted for the time being. It has not conquered its environment, but has been pressed back out of the world of uses into the subjective world. It becomes merely a subjective mind, having no objective outlet in our life which is the true life and the life to be desired above all things.

To be sure, this life on the objective plane is full of disagreeable conditions; but what of that? Do we not find our greatest happiness in conquest? Imagine yourself spending a whole day without having conquered anything. What a dreary day it has been! What a wasted day! Infinitely better has been Aunt Sally's employment, whereby certain graceless scraps of calico have been shaped to her will and made to assume symmetrical proportions in her quilt. And with what sturdy enjoyment Uncle Lige snowballs the pigs out of the wheat pasture, and almost hopes they will get in again, so that he can have another chance at them. Oh, the blessed privilege of doing!

We want to do things. We are creative. To create is to make visible in this world of uses. We are constructive. We want to consolidate our ideas into the objective. If I attempt to carry the idea of an improved sewing machine in my head for even three days it dissolves and fades away from me; but if I go to work with regular tools and bring out my idea in wood and iron, I have fixed it among the permanent uses of life; and I am happy because I have found expression. My idea did not die stillborn, but was brought forth into existence to become one of my cherished children. I am fond of it and proud of it. To be fond of things and proud of them are among the chiefest pleasures of life. And the gossamer illusions with which you picture a life in the spirit world are nothing in comparison with these substantial creations.

[187] The entire drift of this lesson is to prove, first, our ability to do, and second, that our happiness consists in doing. I have made it plain that we are very great creatures--possessing wonderful knowledge lying back out of sight of our objective minds; all of which knowledge may be made available in the objective world in proportion as we recognize it and bring it forth. I have shown that the mind lying back out of sight carries within its minute and wonderful record not a single thought of sickness or death; that it is a compact, unbroken whole; that as such it knocks constantly upon the portals of the objective mind for recognition of its wholeness and perfectness. And now I ask the student to make an effort to recognize this indestructible spirit of himself. I ask him to adjust his outer consciousness in a way to harmonize with his marvelous interior experiences, and then claim that he is one with the diseaseless and deathless spirit that has infused him from the dawn of his individual being. I do not ask him to lay aside his objective, for this is traveling on the back track; but I ask him to believe in the knowledge of his subjective mind; to seek them out by calm, introspective thought, and to make them apparent and useful on the objective plane of life.

 

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