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Foreword to the Efficiency Study Guide to the Mastery of the Course
Edward Earle Purinton
Companion Guide to:
A Home Course in Mental Science
Benedict Lust, N.D. M.D., Publisher
New York, 1921.
The big thing in education is to teach the student how to analyze, organize, and utilize himself.
The new thing in education is to make the student his own teacher, thus enabling him to study where, when, how he pleases, and to enjoy the subject because he knows he will master it and benefit by it.
We have here united the big thing and the new thing in education, possibly for the first time. At the request of Dr. Benedict Lust, leader of the drugless healing schools of America and my personal friend for twenty-five years, I have prepared a new self-examination system for the student of the Wilmans Mental Science Home Study Course.
It has been my privilege to give instruction, personally or by mail, to more than 100,000 students. From this experience I have reached a very clear, definite, conclusion: Every good student, of any subject whatever, needs two things from the teacher or the text-- original thought and immediate action. He must think for himself, he must put into effect the result of his thinking. Only by this double operation can he gain mastery of his subject and himself.
The ordinary school recitation, followed by the ordinary school examination, does not lead to the end sought. Neither is personal, neither is practical. Nor does the mail course method of teaching usually followed produce the desired results, being composed of a set of form questions and stereotyped answers, without individual application or even personal interest.
The great work of a student is not to memorize what his teacher tells him, but to vitalize what he thinks and feels about it. The way to learn a lesson is to think it over and out--then do something!
We come to the point. The Efficiency Guide here presented aims to put the fine teachings of Helen Wilmans so quickly, deeply and everlastingly into your mind, heart, work and life that you will gain both immediate and perpetual benefits.
The plan is brief, yet comprehensive. The five personal questions for each Lesson are here to prove not how well you recall what the teacher says, but how well your mind works on it. The action problem at the close of each Lesson gives you something to do, not merely to show how effectively you have mastered the Lesson, but rather to demonstrate how valuable you can make it for and to yourself. The practical result records the completion of the Lesson, with a tangible proof of attainment or achievement you have gained from study and application of the Lesson.
I judge that the value of this study to yourself resides about one third in the text of the Wilmans Course, one third in the form of the Efficiency Guide, and one third in the way you employ the Guide. So the following directions for the use of the Guide are as important as the Course or the Guide, in your method of study.
1. Decide first whether you will merely read the Course, or actually study it as you would a college textbook of applied psychology. To study it will take twice or three times as long as to read it--and should bring five or six times the benefit. You should find the studying and experimenting process indicated by the Efficiency Guide the most enjoyable part of each Lesson, after you get your mind used to exercising its reflective and creative powers. Do you have interest enough, time enough, will force enough, to go into the study for all there is to be gotten out of it? Then use the Guide regularly from the start. But don't read part and study part. If you merely read the Course, let the Guide alone.
2. If you want to study right, observe this method. Read every Lesson first as a whole, to gain a general knowledge of the subject. Always have a pencil with you, and underscore the short, powerful statements that seem to you most inspiring and encouraging. Then read the five questions for that Lesson in the Guide. See if you can write the answer to any, from first reading the Lesson. Do it if you can. Then go over the Lesson more carefully, with the questions in mind, answering each as you get facts or suggestions from the author.
3. Having mastered the philosophy of each Lesson, prove that you can work it out. Solve the action problem assigned for each Lesson, following the questions in the Guide. You may find some of these problems unusual, perhaps difficult. All the better, for in solving them you will develop to an unusual degree your latent powers of thought and execution. Having answered the questions and worked the problems, write in the last space a brief notation of some good result you feel you have accomplished by mastering that particular Lesson. Don't leave a Lesson till you have cleaned up the job. The habit of doing everything right is worth more to you than all the textbooks on earth.
4. Be patient. The process of reconstructing your whole manner of thinking may take years, will certainly take months. Follow instructions, do the work well, with faith to believe in a splendid outcome. Don't get in your own way by stopping to measure and judge immediate benefits. The man of power makes sure he is using the right motives, methods and principles--then leaves results to Providence.
5. Keep the Guide to yourself, as a personal record of ambition, evolution and attainment. Don't allow even your best friend to see it. Share the Course with anybody far enough grown to understand it, value it and profit by it. Should a friend or relative, student, client or employee of yours be really interested, you can arrange to supply him with a duplicate Course and Guide. But your Guide is for you alone.
Thousands of students of Helen Wilmans have been cheered, uplifted and empowered by her teachings in book form, without any personal, practical way to apply the teachings to everyday thought and life. It is my earnest hope and firm belief that the Guide, supplementing and completing the Course, may put you in line for the big things awaiting him who knows and commands himself.
Edward Earle Purinton
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