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Lesson 15 - Personality and Individuality
Sin, sickness, poverty and death. These four beliefs are the settled convictions of the race. These four beliefs are accepted; they are settled; they pass unquestioned; they put aside and apart from our daily thought, and it is considered either sacrilege or insanity to doubt their being the irrevocable decrees of the theological God. Indeed, we regard them as supreme powers in themselves, and quite beyond our control. Holding them as firmly established truths, we do not discuss them from day to day as we discuss lighter beliefs that we are less certain of. These lighter, more fluctuating beliefs may be called "the growing, changing, impressionable mind."
Now, our settled convictions have been made manifest in our bodies. Our settled convictions were the settled convictions of our parents, and our parents incorporated them into the very structures of our organizations before we were born, and we have held them fast ever since with unwavering tenacity. In other words, we are the stratified or fossilized beliefs of a world ignorant of the right way of believing. We are the organized mistakes of the ages. Not irredeemable mistakes--no mistake is irredeemable--but we are mistakes subject to correction by the thought, or the will, or spirit, we have at last evolved, and are still evolving--of which those light, fluctuating beliefs I have referred to, those beliefs not yet condensed into settled convictions are very important factors. These lighter beliefs, which come and go like the play of waves on the rocks are making our bodies more and more malleable to the touch of truth.
These lighter beliefs, which may be called "the conscious, growing mind," are made manifest upon the body; but not to so great an extent as those beliefs out of which our external selves are built--the beliefs in sin, sickness, poverty and death.
In these remarks I have shown that the bodily condition depends upon the mental material of which it is built. It depends on the proportions of truth and error (positive and negative) to be found in the mind. Plant a truth in the thought and its influence is soon seen in the body, for the thoughts determine the condition and quality of the blood, and the blood builds the tissue of the body, thus making the body an actual expression of the thought material. Belief is the building power of the body. "As a man thinketh (believes) so is he."
When you treat a patient you teach him the truth about himself mentally. In other words, you furnish new health-giving material for his mind or his  beliefs to weave into his body, and show forth there.
What is it that makes a woman faint from fright? It is because body and mind are one. And the shock to her mind went through her because she is all mind. Had she been part matter (matter being a dead substance as at present understood outside of Mental Science) the shock would have produced no external result. But the shock no sooner touched her thought than the thought acted on the nerves, the nerves on the blood vessels, etc., until it had traversed the space of her organism (the entire magnet), from positive to negative, and became externalized. The thought governs the body by giving its quality to the blood, and the blood builds the mental quality into the tissue. On the other hand, the body reciprocates by building the thought. The two are one.
When you study the science it should heal you of any disease you may have by furnishing you with new mental substance with which to repair and rebuild your body. Literally, your body should become a revised expression of a revised manner of thinking; and it will, too, in proportion as your faith and determined persistence in the study of this truth bring you into the understanding of the subject. In proportion as you render service to the truth will it yield returns to you. Never forget this.
Our beliefs in sin, sickness, poverty and death are very deeply rooted. Indeed, these beliefs are ourselves. They have built us into what we see ourselves to be. We must build ourselves anew after the pattern of truth expressed in these words--all is good, or all is Being. We must seek to incorporate the positive conditions into our bodies by denying our weaknesses and ailings and "bad luck," etc.
Think what a transformation it will be if we can cultivate so strong a belief in good as to rebuild ourselves in it. We have believed in malice, hatred, lust, deformity, poverty, sickness and death, and our beliefs have shaped us as we see ourselves. Let us learn to believe in the omnipresence of good, the prevalence of faith, hope, courage, charity, justice, wealth, beauty, and all other positive attributes, and we shall be shaped anew by these beliefs. This is the splendid transformation awaiting us on our understanding of the truths of Mental Science.
But the real understanding of them is of paramount importance; not merely an intellectual perception of them, but an entering into them, as it were; or, rather, an incorporation of them into our whole structure, from extreme positive all through to extreme negative. We must become saturated with them. Nothing less than this saturation is perfect understanding. To come into this condition we must give ourselves with all we have and are to the truth, fully and unconditionally. Truth will have no half service! She gives herself only in exchange for the person who would own her. If you would have truth, you must give yourself to truth. Be earnest; be sincere in your service. Being, Life eternal, is pledged to the sincere and earnest searcher after truth. Little by little the result will be attained. The student must read the lessons over and over, and think about them as he pursues his daily avocations. Every thought that comes into the mind leaves its impression upon the body according to its energy. If the thought is projected in great vigor and faith it has so much the more power to affect the body, and in this way we can build ourselves into images of truth and love and enduring life and beauty. "For as a man thinketh, so is he."
The power of the healer is in proportion to his understanding of these truths; therefore it is not formulas for healing that the student needs; he needs to be . If you can show forth health, strength, vital force, and all the noble attributes of mind, then you are these truths. Not one of us has reached a very high point yet, but we are on our way toward reaching it. When reached this condition will be  one of Being. It will be being the truth bodily as well as mentally. The trouble with nearly all the healers at the present time is that they are only whitewashed with these truths, are not saturated with them. What is more, they do not know that this truth is meant to come to them in their bodies, as well as their thoughts; and for this reason they are not growing organically in the science.
This is to say, they merely have an intellectual perception of these truths, and do not expect this perception to show forth in their bodies because they deny the existence of a body. They deny away the negative pole of their lives, and from this fact the science in their hands becomes little more than a theory, of no practical value right here on this earth plane. This is the point of their great confusion; they deny the existence of a body without qualification; they say it is nothing. I asked my teacher what it was that was laid in the grave at death. "Nothing," was her answer. I said, "It is something. There is no such thing as nothing and cannot be, for if nothing exists in a universe full of omnipresent good, then evil may do so also."
That which we lay in the grave is negative mind; but it is not a nothing. If it were a nothing, every possibility of life would be gone from it, when, in reality, it never rests one second, but is renewing its efforts of growth even in the process of disintegration.
Let the student make no mistake here. I deny the existence of matter as strenuously as any scientist living; but I do say the early leaders in this line of thought made a grave and confusing mistake, saying that the substance called matter was a mere illusion of the senses; that it was absolutely nothing. The point to be make is this: Matter has no separate existence from mind; there is no matter, because all is mind. There is but one substance. Matter and mind are different degrees of that one substance. Matter is a name given to certain negative or crude degrees of mind. The coarsest matter you can think of is undeveloped mind. And but for the fact that our bodies and minds are "all of a piece" no one could heal a patient mentally and have the result of that healing become apparent on his body. His body is the expression of his belief; and as the spoken word--which is the thought expressed either mentally or orally--always externalizes itself, so when we mentally speak the word of truth that heals the patient it goes right through him from his thought (which we have touched with our healing thought) by way of his nerves, blood vessels, muscles, etc., to the surface of him, where the truth that he is healed becomes apparent to all. Our science can only become of practical benefit when it is understood that body and mind are one, because it is only by this understanding of it that the truth will penetrate through and through us so that we shall be all over, inside and out, the living incarnation of the understanding of truth. When we come into this condition no disease or no deformity can withstand our healing power.
The majority of the healers, therefore, being wrongly taught on this point, have only a feeble perception of the truths and power of this science. Lacking a bodily perception of it, they can only do a certain amount of healing, and that not of the most satisfactory kind.
You must organize the understanding of this science in your body--the other essential half of yourself. For see here: The negative part of the magnet is as essential to the perfect magnet as the positive part. The negative part always serves in the capacity of handmaid to the positive part. The negative parts of the man are the roots to him. He does not want to get loose from this part through any violent separation from it, as in death, or as in consigning it to nothingness in theory, as some of our  scientists do. He wants to proceed upward by natural growth, avoiding violent ruptures of all kinds. This is nature's method of lifting. This is the way--now that we are learning how to lift ourselves--to do it. Jesus said, "If I be lifted, I will lift all men unto me." He meant, "If I be lifted all over," both body and mind, negative and positive parts together.
We can and must make ourselves over by the slow but sure process of right thinking until every atom of our bodies shall actually come into the understanding of truth. And when we come into this understanding no teacher is needed to instruct us by formulas for healing. We shall then be the life and the way, and shall heal from our own deep convictions of the external prevalence of health, or Life. We will heal then because we must heal. We will not enact the truth, but we will be it; and being it we cannot help but impart it to all.
And I repeat it: as right doing comes before right being, therefore it is necessary that the student should, by every effort in his power, organize the truth in himself. In proportion as he does this he will be prepared to organize it in others. Here is the order of growth: Right thinking first, which produces right being, and right being gives spontaneous rise to right doing.
The effort of this whole course of lessons is to bring you into a way of right thinking. When this is accomplished (and it is the only place where any effort is required) right being and right doing will take care of themselves.
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