Helen Wilmans - Home Course In Mental Science - 1921

Introduction by the Publisher

This is the complete 20-lesson series of Helen Wilmans' Mental Science course as published by Benedict Lust, N.D., M.D., in 1921. The course is supplemented by Edward Earle Purinton's "Efficiency Study Guide" written exclusively for these lessons.

YOUR GAIN FROM THESE LESSONS
(A Personal Introduction by the Publisher)

Benedict Lust, N.D. M.D.
New York, 1921.

You were meant to achieve a great success. You can learn how to be well, strong, prosperous and happy. You can overcome disease, poverty, fear, worry, weakness of all kinds. You can do, have, and be far more than you ever dared to attempt, or even thought possible. You have wonderful powers of mind and body, that you need only recognize and use in order to reach the very height of your noblest ambitions and aspirations.

The mission of these lessons is to help you believe all this, and prove it. The author of the lessons did prove it, before writing the lessons. They are not rainbow dreams of speculation, but live chapters of personal experience taken from the record of a teacher, healer and philosopher known throughout the world as one of the most powerful thinkers and leaders that the world has produced.

Millions of people today who are using practical psychology in their professional duties, business problems, home relations or personal life gained their first knowledge of how to succeed from the author of these lessons. Not only a teacher, but a teacher of teachers, this pioneer metaphysician gave to hundreds of teachers and healers a vision of what they could do for their students and patients, and a vital impulse and force irresistible and inexhaustible.

Every student or seeker of health, and every drugless practitioner, needs a working knowledge of Mental Science. The vital organs and functions of the body depend on the nerves for healthy action; the nerves are controlled by the brain, glands, solar plexus and subconscious mind; all of which are made strong or weak, healthy or sickly, normal or abnormal, by the character of our thoughts, emotions and expectations.

The test of a teacher’s truth is that he has tried it out, and proved its potency for himself, by himself, in himself. Not many teachers do this. Here is a teacher who has done it. Your big source of inspiration and expectation lies in that fact. You can study these lessons with absolute confidence in their power to guide, help and transform you, just to the extent of your faithful study and practice of their truths.

A woman of middle age, living among strangers, torn by sorrows and worn by worries, having no capital whatever, no experience in managing a business, and no money to pay her board bill, founded a publishing concern that made money from the start and put her on her feet in a month after she went in business by herself. That woman was Helen Wilmans, Founder of Mental Science. No other teacher, so far as we know, in all the range of metaphysics, ever began the work of teaching with so powerful a demonstration.

Let her tell the story in her own words:

“It may not be amiss here to speak a word concerning my own experience--it often happens that the experience of another fires him who hears it to a new effort--and I want to tell how all things have conspired to push and kick and starve me into my present position of thought.

“My temperament is lymphatic. I like my ease. I could amuse myself with small pleasures. I could bear much inconvenience and endure bad treatment, finding compensation in books, embroidery, and other small enjoyments.

“But it seemed as if everything I touched turned to ashes--as if nature were in conspiracy with fate to drive me on. I lost my home, where I would have been content to raise poultry for a living. I was driven into newspaper work from my very hunger.

“I was successful in this work only a few months. My ideas ripened too fast and I began, without knowing it, to write ahead of the demand made by the class of readers who took the paper I was on. Then this door shut in my face, and other doors did the same, until I stood, one sleety November day, out in the Chicago streets with twenty-five cents in my pocket, and not a soul on earth from whom I felt free to ask a dollar.

“And now note this: I was stripped of every dependence save that which I had in my lone self. And oh, what a position it was! I shall never forget it. Do you imagine that I was frightened? The first attempt I made to analyze my feelings brought me the fact that I was not frightened at all.

“Then came such a consciousness of power as I never had had before in my life. Everything was swept from me and I stood alone in my own strength. And this naked strength is a tremendous thing to stand in. There is nothing equal to it.

“For the first time in my life I was perfectly erect; I touched no one at any point. I felt myself an unfathomable abyss of mighty potencies. I was glad my purse was empty; the thought of money should never master me again. I started toward my boarding house, with the exultant freedom of a bird. I held a power in my hands that nothing could quell; that power was the absence of fear--the sense of freedom, and the consciousness of my own independent and unaided strength.

“I went to my room and began to write; and that article was the most emphatic declaration of the right of the ‘I’ that was ever put in type. Looked at from a conventional standpoint it was utterly lawless. But when it came out, it touched the people like a shock of electricity. It said for them what they wanted to say but dared not. Hundreds of journals copied it, and it ran through public feeling like wildfire.

“I had just finished writing it when there came a rap at my door and my landlord came in. He was a man who looked carefully after his own interests.

“You came home early,” he said, “and if you do not care I want to know why.” I told him that I had lost my position.

“What will you do?” he asked.

“I will make a paper of my own that shall be free from the fear of public opinion,” I said.

“And then I read the article I had written. Now this man was almost a stranger to me. I simply knew him by sight. When I read him what I had written he stood up to go. At the door he turned and with a manner as respectful as if he had been addressing a queen, asked if he might have the privilege of furnishing the money necessary to get the paper out.

“But it was not necessary. I finished writing the other articles to be used and then took them to the largest newspaper publishers in the city. I told them I wanted twenty thousand copies of the paper. They asked no questions; the paper came out in a few days and was sent to such addresses as I could command. The bill for the paper was never presented to me. I called for it some four weeks later and paid for it out of the money that flowed in on me in subscriptions, and I have never lacked for a dollar since.

“I have told this for a purpose, as the student may guess. I want to show that the basis of success rests in a person’s power to stand alone; and no man will ever be the magnet to attract success until he can stand alone, straight and tall as a liberty pole, glorying in the position; free from fear; independent of public opinion, and daring to be himself. Here is the strength that draws still greater strength; here is that which all men adore, and before which all false assumptions of greatness doff their tinsel crowns.”

This first bold venture was the beginning of the marvelous career of Helen Wilmans. Going from strength to strength, always aiming higher and achieving more, she built a city, founded a colony, made a fortune, wrote and published a library of Mental Science, healed hundreds of patients of all manner of ailments and diseases, taught thousands of students the way to heal, energize, upbuild and emancipate themselves. You have, in these lessons, the meat of all her philosophy.

But, because it is a new kind of mental food, it must be taken slowly, moderately, wisely. You will find it strong meat for the mind. Perhaps it won’t “agree” with you at the start; many a wholesome food for the body fails to “agree” with the stomachs of people who are somehow disordered; just so, when the mind is very sluggish, or feverish, or crammed with undigested or ill-chosen thoughts, it cannot receive and assimilate properly the most nourishing mental food.

Do not look for immediate results. Many of the truths of these lessons are seeds to be sown deep in your character, then allowed to remain hidden while they slowly take root and germinate. Most people’s minds are choked with weeds of error. You will have to spend much time and effort pulling these out before the seeds of truth can grow. Be patient, be confident, be persistent. The subconscious mind will yield ample fruitage, and reward you richly, when the time is due.

We are prompted by an experience of twenty-five years in teaching, lecturing, healing and publishing to offer a few suggestions whereby the mastery of these lessons may be rendered easier, and their value higher. It is just as important to know how to study as what to study, for advancement.

1. Follow the right study method. Fix your method, and follow it. Don’t study haphazard.

2. Plan a regular study period. A lesson a week is about all the average student has time to think out and work out. The best time in the day for study is probably the early morning, before breakfast. The next best time is the evening, when you can be quiet and undisturbed; never begin to study, however, under an hour after you finish the evening meal. Choose a time, in the day and week, when you can be sure of at least an hour, better two hours, of unbroken solitude.

3. Take the lessons in order. Master each before you go on to the next. A basic rule in either study or work is to clean up as you go along--never leave a job half done or poorly done. Thoroughness, perhaps more than any other quality or habit, makes a man proficient. You cannot skim over these lessons and realize much benefit; you must dig down deep for their hidden gold, as you would delve in a mine of rare and precious metal.

4. Work each lesson out, by mental and moral exercise of your will. Make a habit of doing something, whatever seems to you the most important thing suggested by each lesson, for a certain number of days, regularly and powerfully, immediately following the study of that lesson. If it is only an “affirmation” of health, joy and strength, repeat it the first thing in the morning, until the next lesson furnishes another daily exercise. You must train your mind for healthy action by a series of mental gymnastics. Your mind cannot be thought into a high state of vigor, clarity and efficiency, any more than your muscles can; it must be drilled and trained by exercise, a constant repetition, and demonstration, of the kind of thought you wish to dominate the grooves and cells of your brain.

5. Keep a personal, private notebook for comments, queries and exercises. A notebook of approximate dimensions of the coat pocket may be divided into twenty blank sections, with a heading for each specifying the number of the lesson. You might put “Comments and Queries” on each left-hand page, and “Daily Exercises” on each righthand page. The big purpose of the notebook is to keep you thinking, working, experimenting, on original lines for yourself, and thus proving and developing the mind forces that are individual and supreme in you, whatever they may be.

6. Challenge the author, wherever you disagree. Helen Wilmans claimed the right to challenge the world--you have as good a right to challenge Helen Wilmans. Possibly she is wrong in a few of her statements; no writer, no teacher, was ever infallible. The chances are, however, that in a case of disagreement, your viewpoint is wrong, not hers. Why? Because your thought is likely to be inherited or acquired, bought, borrowed, begged or stolen; while her thought is likely to be her own, therefore honest, keen, true. Challenge her thought if you feel that way; but make sure the question is of your own experience, reason or intuition, don’t insult her honesty and your own intelligence by retreating back of the world’s fool opinion to save yourself a little hard thought, and declaring her statement incorrect when it is your action that is cowardly. The fact that you have held a certain opinion all your life is pretty good proof that it never was yours, created for yourself by yourself; it was a “hand-me-down” article, it doesn’t fit you, it belongs in the ragbag. If all you get from the teachings of Helen Wilmans is a new habit of mental sincerity, moral bravery, spiritual candor, the final reward that comes to you will repay your study a thousand-fold.

7. Keep your own counsel. Don’t talk about Mental Science. Don’t discuss with anybody the ideas offered in these lessons. Your work and life will do the talking--and the convincing. When you talk about your growth, you stop it, as you would stop the growth of a flower by sending blasts of superheated air across it. When you attempt to proselyte, orate, argue, or otherwise make a nuisance of yourself, you merely stir up antagonism, useless and harmful. Be content to work out your own salvation. Let other folks alone.

8. [Written in 1921] Write me your doubts, problems, queries, difficulties. They will be answered, from time to time, in the pages of my magazine “Herald of Health,” by the best available expert in psychology and efficiency; or they will be referred to such an expert, with whom I will arrange personal consultations for our students on special terms. You will be notified in advance of incurring obligation or expense, and there will be no charge for my services in providing such introduction or connection as your need may call for.

9. Obtain, for collateral reading, one or more of the inspiring and empowering books by Helen Wilmans, if any are still to be had. These books are now rare and hard to get, being mostly out of print, the editions having been exhausted by the great demand.

10. Pass the benefit along. When you begin to see how interesting, forceful and helpful these lessons are, and what a remarkable new line of thought and progress they open up, think of your friends, associates or employees who would most appreciate and best use them. It is a law of life that the more we give the more we have to give. The way to enjoy a blessing is to share it. Your part in awakening and developing the mind of the race will be to provide an easy way for your friends to begin the study of Mental Science.

B. Lust, Publisher

Lesson 1 - Omnipresent Life

[11] Emerson says there is but one mind, and that we are all different expressions of it.

The Mental Science student means the same thing when he says there is but one Life, of which we are but individual manifestations.

If there is but one Life, then life is omnipresent--it fills all space. There is nothing outside of it. Indeed, there is no outside. There is but one Life. This Life is the universal Principle of Being that men call God.

There is a Life Principle, and it is unlimited; it is one. It holds the visible universe in place, though it is invisible. It is a self-existent principle. It underlies universal law. It is the one Law--the Law of Attraction--and beside it there is no other law. It is also the very essence of love; and the recognition of it as love is expressed by us in love for each other.

All the races of men have felt the presence and the power of this Law of Attraction, whose ultimate expression is love, or life, in a myriad of different forms.

The undeviating Law has never been violated, and never will be. And this is our hope. It is unchanging, diseaseless, deathless; and a knowledge of it conforms us to it in a way that renders us diseaseless and deathless.

For the law does permeate all visible forms. It is one with all substance. And no doubt that an expanded and spiritual interpretation of the word "God" has been the foundation for the expression that "God and man are one."

For, in spite of the personal, and, therefore, limited interpretation of the word God, there have been in all ages of the world a few thinkers who were not so entirely confined to its narrow meaning, but they were able to see it in an enlarged, in a spiritual sense; in a sense that proved it to be the moving impulse of all visible life. And these men have said, "God and man are one."

A more scientific statement of the same truth would have been this: The Law and man are one; or, man and all the visible universe are one with the law of their being--one with the indestructible Life Principle, or the Law of Attraction; the Love Essence.

Now, the object of Mental Science, as I teach it, is to rescue man from his beliefs in his own limitations by showing him his true relations to the Universal Law; thus demonstrating to him the unlimited possibilities of his being.

Unlimited, I say, because he is in the image and character of the omnipotent Law. He is an exponent of the Law, and cannot divorce himself from it, except by his own false and foolish beliefs.

To be divorced from the Universal Spirit of Life would be instant annihilation. On the other hand, to know more of this Universal Spirit of Life than we now know, would be to have more life, more health, more strength, more intelligence, more beauty and more opulence. Or, rather, it would be to be these things, instead [12] of having them. To truly mental creatures, such as we are, knowing more is being more.

The crying want of the race is a remedy for present conditions of sickness, poverty and death; and the whole strength of my effort in these lessons is to furnish a clue to this remedy. Now is the time to be saved. Tomorrow will not only bring its own needs, but its own remedies.

In Mental Science, the great principle laid down is this: Man is conjoined to the Eternal Life Principle. He is that Principle-- its very self in objectivity --and in proportion as he becomes intellectually conscious of this tremendous truth, he finds an unfailing supply to all his needs, and grows more into a knowledge of his own mastery.

We are manifestations of the unchanging Life Principle; of the Universal Spirit of Being; the inextinguishable I AM. It is the soul to nature--the body. It is internal man. Man is the external of it. And the seeming two are one .

This Law, or Principle, is man in subjectivity.

Visible man is the Law, or Principle, in objectivity.

When the race knows this great truth, it will appreciate its own dignity and worth and power, and then there will be no more (so-called) sin and sickness and death; no more shedding of tears; no more want or sorrow or the feebleness of old age. We shall know that we are one with the deathless Law of Being, and that our progression through the realms of the universe will be by constantly knowing more and more of the power and beauty and opulence of the Law, which is the vital spark within us.

A condensed expression of the principles of Mental Science would read as follows:

All is real. All is transitional. All is perpetual. The universe yields its substance to man in proportion as he comes into an intellectual understanding of it.

There is no limit as to the supply you may receive; there need be no limit to your demand. But unless you demand aright, you may as well not demand at all. Mental Science will teach you how to demand; and in so doing, it will unlock the store-house of the universe to you.

The universe is one mighty magnet, having its positive and negative poles. In Mental Science, the two words "positive" and "negative" explain the whole. And yet these words are used to describe relative and not absolute conditions ; and the words themselves are relative in their application. There is nothing absolutely positive. The whole--everything we can see or get any conception of--is one grand, sliding scale; the negative growing into the positive, and the positive into the more positive throughout all time. The words which will best explain negative and positive are "unintelligent" and "intelligent," or "unripe" and "ripe." Let me illustrate. The rocks are extremely negative as compared with my hand, and my hand is negative as compared with my brain, and my brain is negative as compared with that essence which it generates, and which we call "thought."

And yet, it is all one substance, through and through the great whole. Thought is substance just the same as rock is; the endless variety of objects and conditions to be met with everywhere is this one substance in many different degrees of positive and negative development, the difference in the manifestation being due to different degrees of development, and not to difference in substance. We can think of nothing that is not substance. This one substance is apparent in all the different forms of life, both animate and inanimate--in the minerals, animals, [13] plants, and in man, it expresses itself in different degrees of positive and negative (or intelligent and unintelligent) development. The rocks are not so intelligent as my hand, and my hand is not so intelligent as my brain, etc.; but the rock is not absolutely negative, not absolutely devoid of intelligence, or vitality, because it contains the possibility of all development, and it does develop. The possibility of all life is in it. It bides its time for incorporation into these bodies of ours and its evolvement into the highest thought.

And where is the dividing line between positive and negative? In strict truth, there is no dividing line; but for the sake of convenience in making these lessons clearer we will establish one; and it shall be at that point in development where we begin to be consciously intelligent; where we begin to reason on things, and to investigate ourselves and our surroundings. In short, it shall be as nearly as possible at that point where the intuitive life of the lower order of animals passes into the consciously intelligent life of man; though it must be remembered that even inanimate things have intelligence, but their intelligence is unconscious; by which I mean that it takes no thought of itself; does not reason on itself. Man is the highest expression of conscious intelligence. It is the consciousness of intelligence that makes him the creature of power that he is, and that gives him the authority to rule over all things. I have said that the universe is one mighty magnet. It is all one. It is not hard to understand that all the varied forms of life--seen and unseen--are composed of this one mental substance when we consider that steam, snow and ice are all different conditions of water. "Uni" means one. This idea of oneness must have had firm lodgment in the minds of those who first began to formulate our language; hence the name universe as applied to the whole. The universe is a universe, and not a diverse. Bear this in mind; for if the student loses sight of this point in these lessons, his bearings will be gone, and from that time on, he will find nothing in them that he can clearly understand.

The universe, to be a universe and not a diverse, is composed altogether of one substance, elaborated into many and varied forms of individuality, both animate and inanimate. The substance out of which all is evolved is the same throughout the whole, but the degrees of development, or intelligence, differ in regard to negative and positive, or immature and more mature expression. For it is the degree of development, or intelligence, in an object, that gives character to the object--size, form, color, power of motion, etc. In other words, each individuality is dependent for that which makes it more or less individualized upon the degree to which its intellect is developed.

And what shall we call this one substance of the universe; mind or matter? We cannot call it matter because the word is used and understood to express the absence of intelligence and vitality, when in reality there is not an atom in all the universe absolutely devoid of intelligence and vitality. We must call this one substance of which all is evolved "mind," or "mental substance," or "intelligence," to distinguish it from the old belief in dead matter.

But for this point we might call the universal substance by any other name, provided we understood that there was only one substance. The visible universe is one vast mind; one vast laboratory for the evolvement of truth, or the making manifest of the Law.

The Law alone is absolute. All visible life is the manifestation of certain phases of the Law. It is the making apparent of many shades of the Law through many different shades of recognition of the Law's power. Every manifestation is intelligence, and all intelligence shows forth as substance.

And did we have our starting point, 'way back, millions of ages ago, in the deadness and dullness of such crude [14] beginnings of intelligence as the rocks exhibit? Who can say we ever had a beginning? We must have been latent in the eternal mind forever. But there was a time when we were organized in individuality, no doubt, but still individuality. Drawn to coherence through the Law of Attraction, we became individual lives; and we have come up through the ages, always accreting intelligence through the power of recognition and appropriation, until we are here today and able to reason about our long journey, our surroundings, and how to gain such control over them as to mold them to our liking. To mold these surroundings to our liking is the secret of Mental Science which these lessons are attempting to unravel. We have been helpless because we did not know our strength--not because we did not possess strength. Strength has been latent within us, and so has health, because Omnipresent Being is in everything, constantly developing from negative to positive--and constantly asserting a riper unfoldment of its own enormous vitality. But only knowledge could make us aware of this, and the knowledge was lacking.

The law is the great I am. It existed always, and may be had for the perceiving. The first step toward the appropriation of truth is to recognize it. This is the fulfilling of the first injunction: "Believe, if you would be saved." Belief is recognition. It is the wakening of the intelligence to a perception of truth. To recognize a truth is to believe it. After believing--recognition--what then? To him that overcometh are all the promises given. And that which we are to overcome is our former habit of unbelief in the omnipotence and omnipresence of Eternal Being. To climb high enough in the scale of intelligence to perceive that a truth is a truth, is to place that truth within our reach; and is recognition. To then bring our will-power into operation, and by its operation to overcome our former unbeliefs that conflict with the acceptance of the new truth, this will make that truth our own; and is appropriation. We grow step by step in this mighty magnet--the universe--by recognition and appropriation of truth. We have now come up far enough in the light of our constantly increasing intelligence to recognize a very great truth, indeed--the truth that in all the universe there is no evil, nothing but absolute Life or Being; and because we have at last recognized this master truth, we are called upon to bring all our past beliefs under review and judge them by a stronger light than they were ever subjected to before.

The evolutionary view of creation is the correct one. That man has ascended the scale of life from the nomad, I do not doubt. For man to be all, it is necessary that he should live all. We have lived all so far as we have come; no less a power than that gained by having conquered every condition of life that we have been over; for it is only by overcoming our environments through intelligence, or the recognition of truth, and the exertion of the will in its appropriation, that we come into such power as will enable us to mold our conditions to our liking--thus establishing us consciously in our true position of mastery. Since man is the highest expression of the Law of Being, and since his life lay folded in the animal life, and the animal life lay locked in the vegetable life, and the vegetable life was unwrapped from the remoter earth conditions still; and since he has gained the apex in his long series of developments by conquest over crude conditions through his increasing knowledge and appropriation of truth (whether he gained it consciously or otherwise)-- he is at the present time master of the earth and all its conditions. He is master by virtue of having lived all below him--lived every obstacle out of sight--and put every one under his feet. His being in the human form, with a dim foreshadowing of his free moral agency is a proof of his mastership. But he has not recognized this, because the [15] conquest and the effort to attain it were almost unconscious with him up to the present time, when his reasoning faculties are just beginning to develop; when he is just coming into the position where he can see what he has been doing, and can trace the long, slow journey by which he became the embodiment, or expression, of all the truth or intelligence he has recognized on the way.

Man, like the universe, is a magnet; he is a whole. Being a whole, he has his positive and negative poles. Thought is the positive pole of the magnet man, and his body is the negative pole; and between these two poles of positive and negative, he ranges the entire scale of his life.

Thought is the most positive, and hence the most powerful factor in the magnet man. His brain is probably the next most positive degree or factor in him, because it generates the thought which controls him. The brain, then, is more negative than the thought. His body, controlled by the thought which his brain generates, is more negative than either brain or thoughts; thus showing that the physical body (the negative role of the magnet man) is the most closely allied to the negative earthly conditions of any part of him; and being the most negative or earthly part, he has already gained control over it in having conquered earthly conditions to reach his present position. The old history says that man was created out of the dust of the earth. This statement, with its mental interpretation, is in full accord with the evolutionary theory, and is literally true. The life of man was and is found contained in that crude stratum of mind called "the dust of the earth." And it is the effort of Mental Science to make this apparent to the student, in order to put those negations of the Life Principle or the Law of Being, called sin, sickness and death, under his feet. Then, as I have said, we have at last climbed to a recognition of a saving truth, and, therefore, absolute--the truth that all is good and there is no evil; or that all is life and there is no death.

I call this truth absolute. Being absolute, it makes the demand that every truth not absolute shall adapt itself to it. For the absolute does not conform. It stands in mighty majesty, just as it has stood forever, compelling each soul who climbs to a sight of it to re-adjust every thought of his life to conformity with it. Every life is a manifestation of truth as far as it goes. As far as it manifests anything, it manifests a certain degree of truth, or Being. A snake manifests a certain amount of truth, or Being; but the truth, or Being, manifested by the snake, is negative to the truth, or Being, manifested by me; and the truth, or Being, I now manifest, is negative to that which I will manifest when I learn more of the truth, or the Law of Being. A greater truth circumferences minor truths. It holds them in solution, as it were. A greater truth is all the minor truths, and something more. And thus is man's life a chain of ever widening truth.

The whole growth of our lives depends on our power to recognize more and still more truth, or Being. The recognition of truth is being truth. For we are just what we recognize. To recognize in a small, limited way, we ourselves are small and limited. To recognize that truth is boundless, and to keep discarding the old, ignorant beliefs, and prospecting farther ahead, resolutely investigating all that is worthy of prejudice, a single obsolete opinion to hold us, this is the way to add to our knowledge of truth, and thereby to widen and deepen and strengthen the well-springs of eternal Being within our personal lives; thus enabling us to gradually overcome every form of disease and old age and finally death.

It is by recognition and appropriation of truth that we grow. We take no step forward except by growth. We cannot fly through the universe on the wings of the wind, nor of our own imaginings. [16] We must grow our way through the future as we have done through the past--by the recognition and the appropriation of truth--and we must yield hard effort in payment of our passage as we go. Truth does not give herself to the sluggard. She demands the full life service of the man as her recompense.

Let me repeat. The Law of Being, or the Eternal Life Principle, exists. It simply is. It had no beginning, and it can have no end. It is the Law of Attraction inherent in mind or substance. And all substance is mind--it is intelligent. It is not only intelligent, but it is intelligence its very self. It is the recognition of the Life Principle by which the Life Principle is fixed in belief and becomes a visible manifestation.

The visible universe is the Life Principle's recognition of itself. All things are dual in the sense of being internal and external. Now the universe is dual in the sense of exterior and interior; or seen and unseen; or energy and intelligence; intelligence being that attribute of the Life Principle by which it recognizes itself or its own functions and powers.

Thus the universe is one, though, in a sense dual in its oneness. It is all Life Principle on its unseen side, and all the perception of the Life Principle, or the recognition of the Life Principle, or the belief in the Life Principle, on its seen side.

These perceptions, or recognitions, or beliefs, change constantly; but the Infinite Principle of Life never changes. The personality of man belongs to the seen side of life. It is individual recognition of the power and functions of the Law. It may be strong today and weak tomorrow, or it may cease to recognize the Law and, therefore, cease to manifest it. This we call death.

At the present time there is scarcely any knowledge of the Law at all. The lives of the present day are more a negation of the Law than a recognition of it. This is why the race is so feeble and sickly and wretched and poverty stricken, and why it grows old before it has gained any life-saving knowledge, and dies before it has begun to grow rightly.

Up to the present time, the children of men have been abortions. As seed germs of a nobler growth, they have simply had vitality enough to reproduce themselves on the same plane of utter negation of all saving knowledge of the Law, without the power to put forth a solitary sprout leading upward to that life above the soil in which they are withering.

You ask why--if the race is a negation of the Law rather than a recognition of it--it should exist at all. It is because all things, even recognition, is negative as well as positive. Moreover, there could be no positive recognition unless preceded by the negative forms of recognition. It is through a long series of efforts on the part of negative recognition that the power is begotten to recognize on the positive side.

Negation of the Law is an incipient form of recognition of the Law. It is a faint or feeble effort to recognize it. The terms "positive" and "negative," as I have already said, are relative.

EXPLANATORY

My expressions "Law of Attraction," "Life Principle," "Law of Being," "Life Force," "Vital Force" and "Energy," all have much the same meaning; they all relate to the unseen side of existence; to the moving power which is out of sight, and which is only perceived by its effects. To perceive these effects is to manifest them, and the manifestation is the externalization, or the showing forth, of the power of the unseen or moving principle of existence.

As there are necessarily various terms used in speaking of the unseen side of life, so there are many terms used in speaking of the seen side. Everything, indeed, that relates to mental capacity, such as the words mind, intelligence, recognition, perception, concept, understanding, truth--for [17] truth is the verity or the proof of the existence of the law--relates to the visible side of existence. And I might as well explain here that "truth" is one of the most comprehensive of all words; that its real meaning includes every form of belief, erroneous belief as well as more correct belief. For truth means simply verity, and it ranges the entire scale of veritable or visible manifestations from the most negative to the most positive. The truth that denies to man the power I claim for him, is a truth on its own negative or ignorant plane, no less than the truth that man is a seed germ of all power. The latter assertion is also truth, and as a truth it is infinitely more positive than the former truth.

Therefore, the word truth means simply manifestation, or the verification of the Law, or of the Life Principle--the Universal Energy, etc. The word "truth" then, is synonymous with mind, intelligence, recognition, belief, etc., and relates to the manifestation of the Law on the external plane. But, as I said before, the word "truth" being negative as well as positive includes the word "error," just as the word "intelligence" includes (as its negative form of expression) the word "ignorance." All of these words that relate to the external side of life are on the sliding scale from negative to positive; from ignorant beliefs to intelligent beliefs, and from intelligent beliefs to still more intelligent beliefs; from a very limited conception of the Law of Being, and the power of the Law, to a larger conception of it. Therefore, in the external world nothing is fixed; everything is in incessant change, from the fact that all creatures are learning more and still more of the power of the Law.

It is only on the unseen side that we find the absolute and unchangeable; the Eternal I Am, the Law of Attraction, or Love, or Life-- Being.

 

Lesson 2 - Thought, The Body Builder

[35] To understand the Law of Being is to become master of those conditions called sickness and death. This understanding is the knowledge that works what would now be called miracles; because to understand the Law is to be one with the Law, and the Law is diseaseless and deathless.

Good and Evil

In all the universe there is nothing but good. There is no evil. Evil, like disease, is a misconception of the law. Evil--the same as disease--has the foundation for its belief in our ignorance of the fact that all is life, and therefore altogether good.

We are not evil. We are ignorant, and it is our ignorance that is counted to us as evil, or sin. But ignorance is undevelopment, and undevelopment is not sin. The child is more undeveloped than the man, but he is not therefore more evil. He makes more mistakes than the man, but it is because he has more to learn. His mistakes are helps to him, because he learns from them, and they are, therefore, good. The race believes itself divorced from God (or good) which is an absurd idea, since good--the Life Principle--fills the universe, and divorce in the universe is impossible. It remains for the race to learn that "all its evils" are the result of its unripe intelligence, and that error, sickness and death are not positive forces. What the race calls its sins are simply the mistakes of its negative or unripe condition; they are pitfalls into which we stumble in our blind groping after light.

Man is feeling his slow way from animalhood to divinity. What is his guide? I answer, the hope of happiness. From low to high there is one incessant search for happiness. The tiger eats a man to appease his hunger, this being his highest realization of happiness. The murderer kills a man for the revenge he feels to be his due, or for money to purchase some gratification. In either case, it is the allurement of happiness that prompts the act; and in both cases the act is the same in character, both acts emanating from the same instinct--the irrepressible desire for happiness. The man who kills or wrongs another in the pursuit of happiness commits a great mistake. What does he need? He needs intelligence; he needs to be raised from the negative pole of life--the animalized and irrational condition--to the positive pole of existence, by education. Suppose that it is not safe to society to turn him at large while he is being educated? Then shut him up. Society must protect itself, but it need not turn murderer to do so. A large majority of men on earth today are seeking happiness by methods that, though less disastrous than those pursued by the tiger and the murderer, are still prompted by the same mistaken idea. What is the cause of it? Ignorance.

What will remedy it? Intelligence. Good exists and is omnipresent; but the race is too ignorant or too negative to grasp this splendid truth. The truth is attainable; has always been [36] attainable; but only a few have grown tall enough to see it.

In our darkened position we can only grasp limited or relative truths. It is these limited or relative truths that we call evils. In every act of our lives we are seeking happiness, and we are here for no other purpose. Being ignorant, having barely emerged from the negative under lives we have lived from our individual beginnings, we do not know how to seek it. We seek it by mistaken methods, and by our mistakes we learn the true methods. So every mistake becomes a stepping-stone that lifts us to higher planes of thought and life. Without these mistakes we would never have risen to where we now are. This has been our only possible way of climbing from the negative conditions we are approaching. And thus every one of our so-called sins has only been a mistake which has benefitted more of the race than it has harmed. In our darkened situations, we have nothing but our mistakes to learn by.

As there is a positive and a negative pole to everything, so there is a positive and negative pole to truth. Error is the negative pole of truth; hatred is the negative of which love is the positive; death and disease are the negatives of which life and health are the positives. The physical and spiritual parts of a man are the negative and positive poles to the one mind that is he. Always in our search for truth we grasp the negative first; then we learn our mistakes by experience with it. And this mistake becomes the finger-post pointing us to the positive pole, or truth positive. Having tested both sides, we then know ourselves on solid ground. Our lesson is well learned and we are ready for another. And in this way the race has been advancing through the negations of truth, up to truth, till at last it begins to behold the positive truth and to formulate it in the statement that all is good.

Negative corresponds to ignorance--it is the not knowing. Positive corresponds to intelligence--it is the knowing. In our ascent from lower or undeveloped conditions, it cannot be otherwise than that we pass through a period of ignorance concerning universal truth before we reach that point in intelligence where it becomes plain to us.

Life and health are the two great realities. They have existed forever and will continue to do so. All life is truth on its own plane of development. In every person or creature or plant, the conditions or environments are consistent with the developments of the person or creature or plant. If a man is sick, he is in the toils of the negative conditions, which he can only overcome by a knowledge of greater truth.

Sickness seems and is a real condition to a sick man; but it is not an absolute power; it is not a positive thing, as health is, and is nothing to the man who has learned his power to overcome. Sickness is the negative of health, or the denial of the presence of health, or lack of practical understanding of the fact that health exists and is a positive thing to be attained by positive intelligence. As a man is all mind, mental ignorance of the existence and the ubiquity of the health element is sickness.

"But," says the student, "in this case everybody in the world would be sick all the time, because all are ignorant of the fact that the health element alone exists."

This point is well taken and must be explained. In the first place that condition of health which the race enjoys called "normal" is a very low condition indeed, and in comparison with the high and splendid condition of vitality to which it may attain, it is little better than sickness. It is a condition of negation of this wonderful vitality that is in store for us, and is so decided a negation of it that it is open every moment to the inroads of a thousand beliefs in disease, and is constantly [37] tumbling into these beliefs. In this shaky, uncertain condition I have spoken of, man's entire condition is diseased. And truly the whole world is so overspread with convictions of the potency of disease, that but for the fact that the health element is ubiquitous and asserts itself in spite of race convictions, as every absolute truth always does, the whole race would die of its numerous beliefs in disease in less than a year.

Sickness, then, is ignorance of health; and ignorance that cannot help being made manifest on the man's exterior, because he is all mind. The man is a unit, and what he does not know is made apparent on his bodily appearance the same as what he does know. That is, the ignorance or negation of intelligence, either with regard to happiness or health or life, makes itself manifest on the man's surface mind (which is his body) the same as his intelligence does.

And is not this an evil? No, it is good, both to the sick man and to others. It is a condition of ignorance to be overcome by a knowledge of this great, absolute truth to which we are all evolving--the truth that all is good. It must be borne in mind that we are growing creatures, and that we have no way to grow except by the recognition and the appropriation of truth, and that if we did not take the penalty of our ignorance we would never learn. It is because we are all mind that we cannot escape the penalty of our ignorance, for every ignorant thought transcribes itself on our external or crude mind (our bodies).

I put my hand into the fire and am burned. It is not because the world believes the fire will burn me that I am burned. It is because my hand is negative to the fire. And yet I am more intelligent than the fire. How, then, can it burn my hand? I answer that my thought is more positive than the fire; but my thought is the positive pole of my life; and the positive pole of me (my thought) has always denied all relationship to the negative pole of me (my body), and the negative pole, thus denied, is less positive than the fire, and is burned by it. The fire cannot burn by thought. It cannot, therefore, destroy the finer or more intelligent part of me. It can only destroy that part of me which I have not so infused with intelligent thought as to render it indestructible. The positive pole of my life has evolved past the hurtful influence of the fire, but the negative pole has not. Therefore, the negative is dependent upon the positive pole for its power to resist the influence of the fire. This fact is due to the Law of Growth, which leads us on from incipient developments to greater and greater inheritance of power, and not (as is supposed by some teachers of Mental Science) to our beliefs alone. For it must be borne in mind that in the process of evolution we encounter in our growth from negatives to positives, the negative condition first, because the unripe always projects from itself the ripe and precedes it.

The riper thought is the product of the body. It is true that the body is all thought. But the body is thought that heredity has fixed in certain forms of belief, and from these fixed forms of belief, a freer quality of thought is generated. Now it is this freer quality of unfixed thought that, being dissatisfied with the fixed habit of thought to which it belongs, and which generated it (namely, the body) is always ready to prospect for new conditions and new truths. This latter quality of thought is invisible to mortal sense, and has been supposed to be a powerless thing except as it prompted to external deeds.

But it is anything but powerless; it is the product of the body, the body is also its product.

Do not forget that it is one with the body, and that its relation to the body is as the positive pole of the magnet to the negative pole.

Though evolved from the body, thought has been the body-builder from the first. But as this process took place on the unconscious plane of [38] growth, very little was known of its power.

But now, after the deepest study and much experiment, it is known that conscious thought, educated thought, thought that begins to know its own power, can break up the fixed habit of thought, from which it was evolved (the body) and make the body over again in the form it most admires and desires. Educated thought can change the body's fixed habit of belief in disease, old age and death.

And because this is so, the old dispensation of suffering and weakness and wretchedness is about to close, and the era of man's complete mastery over his body and his surroundings is about to begin.

Man created himself on the unconscious plane through the medium of his blind desires. As an animal he followed where his desire led, unmindful of consequences; and in doing this he gradually developed from the atom to what he is now.

But his development has been slow recently; and this is because he could go no farther until he had discovered the law of growth, and had found out that thought was the chief factor under the law.

Now, in his animal, or unconscious growth, the desire that constantly led him into better conditions was simply unanalyzed thought. Thought is the great factor in race growth, and in individual growth, whether it defines itself of the thinker or not.

Up to the present point in growth, thought has not been intelligently defined, nor its power understood. It has been supposed in general to be a sort of supernumerary in the mental economy, except so far as it was pinned down to hard work in the solution of problems and the manufacture of useful things; as to the great bulk of it, that went gadding about building air castles in Spain, and roaming the universe in aimless abandon, it was called imagination, and was supposed to be a delusion and a snare, by those who were "foolish" enough to attach any importance to it.

But it is the imagination that is the body-builder. It is this quality of untrammelled thought that is now recognized as the wings of the body; the lifting power of the body.

And note this; it is not an unintelligent lifting power like steam. It is thought; it is the body's most intelligent, ethereal essence, and its most emancipated mentality. It is that part of the body's self which has not succumbed to the fixed habits of the race; it is that part of the body which is free; which feels that it does not have to accept the beliefs or conditions it was born into.

Being educated in a sense of its own power, it refuses to accept any beliefs or conditions that are not pleasing to it.

But it has not known its power until recently. It accepted the race opinion, of itself, and considered itself a sort of ornamental appurtenance in the human economy. Thought has only begun to know that it is a power. It does not, even yet, know what a perfectly wonderful power it is; but it is gradually learning this. It does not yet know that it has power to renew and fashion the body, out of which it had its birth. It does not know its own power to prevent fire from consuming the body. But it has this power, and in many instances in the world's history it has done this very thing.

A man's body is the product of evolution. The thought generated by the body may be considered a later product of evolution; or, rather, that quality of thought that recognizes its own power (for in strict truth the body and the thought are coeval--being one). But it is scientific to affirm that the riper thought of the present day is the latest product of evolution.

The relations of body and thought have always been interactive. At one time the body is the cause, and thought the effect. Then, thought will be the cause and the body the effect. This has gone on in a gradually ripening process, unnoticed by the individual, [39] until at last thought has developed to a point where it begins to recognize its power as a factor in growth; moreover, as a free power, unfettered by the fixed beliefs which compose the body.

What a tremendous position this is!

Who doubts that we stand on the threshold of the mightiest revelations our world has yet seen?

Man, self-created and self-creative; and with the knowledge of how to create self.

When man makes a mistake, it is a mistake all through and through him, because he is all mind; and this is the reason we are said to take the consequences of our mistakes. We are our own mistakes, and we are gradually ceasing to be mistakes as we learn more and more of this absolute truth, all is good. We are of a piece with our beliefs. When we believe we are sick, we are sick; first because we are yet only crude developments, and therefore, liable to come under the dominion of negative influence; and second, because after coming under such influence our uneducated thought holds us there, in part, by virtue of its being the master. We need not believe ourselves subject to sickness. We must educate ourselves in a knowledge of good and its omnipresence and omnipotence, and we must learn to unfold the power we have within us for the overcoming of all obstacles. It is there in plentiful supply for all emergencies, and we may have it for the taking and using.

Sickness, though a true condition, is but a relative condition; one that relates to and is dependent upon this particular stage of our growth from negative to positive life. As a relative truth it is helping to open our eyes to a better understanding of absolute truth, and is, therefore, a good thing. It is the disagreeable consequence of a mistaken way of thinking, and of being negative. If we were not sick we would not perceive the negative condition which the sickness indicates, and would not seek for the knowledge by which to overcome it.

Error, sickness and death are negations of Life. The history of the race is a story of its efforts to overcome these results of its negative condition. In other words, it is an effort to grow larger, and stronger and greater by the recognition of more truth, or life, out of the universe of all-truth or all-good. We express just as much of this all-truth or all-good as we recognize, and no more. But the more we recognize the more positive we become, and the more we outgrow those conditions or beliefs, called error, sickness and death.

Good, Life, is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent. As we come consciously into an understanding of the omnipresence of good, we will become happy, and we will know the true methods by which happiness is secured. We will then make no more of those mistakes the world calls sins and punishes as sins.

As we come consciously into an understanding of the omnipotence of good, we will have power to overcome our environments and to overcome all obstructions, thus widening and deepening our lives and work, not only for our own benefit, but for the benefit of all.

As we come consciously into an understanding of the omniscience of good, we will feel the presence of life; we will know that it is around us and in us and above us and below us, and we will not be afraid lest we "dash our foot against a stone" and fall headlong, as we continue our journey through the universe. All of this knowledge will the body imbibe from thought, the body-builder.

The time was when these lives, latent in the one Life, were made manifest, or became organized in individual lives; they were expressed or they became externalized. And very small lives we were in comparison with what we now are. All happiness is in growth, and we became growing creatures. A man only has that which he lives; he only has that which he can accumulate by the process of growth.

[40] If ever the time should come when we reached that utmost point of growth called perfection--that point beyond which we cease to grow--life would hold nothing more for us. Growth is life; stagnation is death, whether it occurs in a worm or the highest arch-angel. When growth ceases, life ceases. We are all right, even here in our negative condition, because we can grow out of it. We can only grow in good because there is no evil to appropriate in our growing. We can only grow in intelligence and strength because in our upward climb out of the negatives and into the positives, we leave weakness, which is ignorance, behind us, where it belongs, and advance steadily to the realm of positive intelligence and strength. Matter as a substance distinct from mind does not exist. What we call matter is only the more negative parts of mind less infused with intelligence. At death, the man lays down the negative part of himself because his thought--the positive part of him--is not sufficiently educated in a knowledge of its own power to save the body from the Law of the negative conditions--to quicken it, and thus render it positive and consciously alive all through and through, as thought itself is. The first step toward quickening these bodies so that they shall become positive to those negative conditions, or beliefs, called sickness and death, is to show that matter is not a substance distinct from mind. Matter is negative mind, and these bodies of ours are laboratories for the refining of it into positive mind: thought.

Thought, then, which is evolved from the great body of crude or undigested mind that the world calls matter, is the most active substance that we know anything of, and is by far the most vital and intelligent. Electricity is rapid in its movements, but it does not annihilate time and space as thought does. It is thought alone that can compass the bounds of a world in a second; and thought is generated by these human brains. Electricity is an unorganized power; thought is its master, and can organize it. The thought which our brains generate is powerful only as it counterparts universal thought, which is Life, or Being. Therefore, thought is the positive pole of the magnet man; it is the captain of the craft, and has the directing power over him.

Thought can make sick and it can make well. Thought grounded in error, or from a negative basis, and educated in the knowledge that all is good or life, can make well quite as easily. Thought, though unseen, is still a substance; a substance as much more powerful than the crude substance called matter, as steam is more powerful than water.

Thought, the captain, has never recognized its power over its own craft, nor over the thoughts of other people. And yet, being a substance, it goes out of these human brains and meets the thought emanating from other brains, and an influence is wrought which the individual as a whole (positive and negative poles together) knows almost nothing of.

The thoughts that go out and meet and influence other thoughts bring back no report of the fact, simply because they do not know that they can do so, and, therefore, do not listen for them. That sense by which we can hear these thoughts is rudimentary in us, and will only develop by use. The time is no doubt near at hand when our thoughts will go forth to distant points and bring back to us a perfectly correct report of what has been transpiring in the place where they have been visiting. We are only beginning to be conscious of the power of thought, and we do not even imagine how much it partakes of the omniscience of the Law of Being.

Thought demonstrates its omniscience in proportion as we recognize its quality and power.

It is by thought that we heal. If my thought is grounded in the belief that all is good, or that all is Life, it is positive to your thought, which is grounded in the belief that evil exists and has [41] the power to harm. The truth is always positive to error, and can make a convert of error, provided it is conscious of its power and able to direct its forces aright.

A conscious knowledge of the power of thought is essential to the use of that power. A comparatively weak man who is conscious of the power of thought, and who believes in and trusts his own thought, may gain control over the thoughts of a more intellectual man than himself, provided this man is unconscious of the power of thought.

"But this is mesmerism, and it is an evil thing," you say. "Yes," I answer, "it is mesmerism, but it is not an evil thing." "And why," you ask, "is it not an evil thing for a mind to gain control over another mind in every way superior to itself, and use it perhaps to serve its own selfish purposes?"

I ask in answer, why is it not evil for the electric storms to devastate the West and the South as they do every Spring and Fall? There is a great power made manifest in these electric storms that man must discover and appropriate for the use of the world. We would never know that the power existed but for its fearful manifestation. It is just so with the power of thought--we have discovered its power through the seeming evil of mesmerism. In both cases the good lies in the power manifested. When this power shall be divested of its sting by the practical knowledge that shall direct it to the world's immediate benefit, we will begin to reap the harvest. It will be the application of a greater power than the race has yet known, operating under the law of good to all; and we will reap the benefits in the increased health and strength of the race--even to so great a degree as to banish all its poverty, disease, old age, and, lastly, death.

The race is in the preparatory department of its education yet. The books and all the implements for learning the higher branches are here now, but we cannot read yet--we have not finished the alphabet.

Thought is the healer. Thought educated in the knowledge of that universal truth--all is good, or all is Life--becomes a power not to be resisted by the negative thought of the negative individual. And the thought of every soul whose belief is grounded in the appearance of evil is negative to even the weakest, frailest thought of him whose belief is grounded in that great truth--all is good, because all is Life.

"Eschew evil and believe in God if you would be saved." This means that we are to cease to believe in evil and to learn to believe in good; or to cease to believe in death and learn to believe in life if we are to be saved.

Saved from what? Why, saved from so-called sin, and from sickness and death; saved from the undeveloped condition which these words imply, by being lifted into the power which the knowledge of truth confers; and above all, which the knowledge of that best of all truths confers--all is good, because all is Life.

A belief in good, or the all-prevalent Principle of Life, is the foundation rock of a world's salvation from error, sickness and death.

A man is all mind. As such he is a bundle of beliefs. What he believes, that he is. Therefore, his beliefs are his realities, even though they may be based on the untenable premise of the existence of evil; yet they are his realities as long as he lives them and believes them. In order to be strong, healthful, intelligent, vital, beautiful, a man must believe in good and only good; or Life and only Life. As I have often said, the whole Bible hinges on two words-- "believe" and "overcome." I am now dealing with the first of these words-- "believe." Believe in good--which means life and health--and be saved; "believe a lie and be damned." To believe evil is to believe an error, and believing an error is being damned, because no man (being all mind) can escape the penalty [42] of his beliefs. And he who believes in evil (a lie) takes the consequences of his belief in so-called sin, sickness and death, and is thus damned. To cease believing in error is to cease being damned (whether in this world or any other.)

If a man believes himself sick, I treat him for his belief. His belief is his real condition. He is sick. Being all mind he is, therefore, a series of beliefs, and "as he thinketh so is he." The man is sick and his sickness is unmistakable evidence of his negative condition, and this must be overcome, else growth would stagnate in him, and he might as well have never been born. How would a man know he was negative unless he had some unpleasant evidence of it? If there were never a ripple to break our negative condition and suggest an improvement, our condition would not rise above that of the brute. Indeed, it would never have risen so high.

Then what is the duty of a teacher? It is to infuse the student with positive thought. All positive thought is based on the belief in absolute Life. The more strongly the teacher is ingrained in the knowledge of absolute Life, the more powerful he is as a teacher. The duty of the teacher, then, is to present all the logic he possibly can in favor of the fact that all is Life. This logic must make its indelible impression on the student's intelligence. The student must be convinced that this logic is correct. This is the teacher's duty. No teacher can do any more than to impress the fact upon the student's intellectual perceptions.

And here, where the teacher's work stops, the student's work begins; for this truth needs more than a mere intellectual perception of it. It needs to enter into every part of the student's organization and to remodel him after its own pattern.

When this truth shall have permeated every atom of our bodies, there is no guessing how vigorous, how perenially young and beautiful we will be. This is the advent of that age prophesied from the beginning--the age in which man would learn his mastership over all things below him. I say "learn," for he is already master and does not know it. To make man conscious of his mastery over sickness and death is the meaning of the present great mind movement to which the thinkers of the world are now directing their attention.

EXPLANATORY

In lesson two, I have said that the body generates thought. I have also said that thought builds the body. Both of these statements are true. Thought and the body are both of one piece, and in respect to time are coeval. In point of fact, the body is all thought. It is condensed thought, or thought fixed in certain forms of belief; and from it is constantly being liberated (through the mechanism of the brain) a lighter and more free form of itself that is called "thought" in distinction from "body." But the two are only different forms of one substance, and their relation is interactive. They are cause and effect. Their interchange represents the "to and fro" current that is inseparable from growth; that is, in fact, the main point in evolution, and which--in the nature of the Law of Being, or the Law of Attraction--cannot be otherwise.

The body generates the thought, and has done so on the unconscious plane of intelligence always; and the thought has permeated the deadness of the body and enlivened and vitalized it, and lifted it to higher planes of being, also on the unconscious plane of growth. And so growth has proceeded until thought has ripened into a consciousness of the situation, and into a knowledge of its own power. And it is now beginning to direct consciously its own power down into the body with a view to make such changes and improvements in the body as are prompted by desire.

Here we see an instance of the action and reaction involved in evolution, or the Law of Growth. The body has now [43] ripened the thought up to a certain perception of its own capacity. And the thought, thus ripened, now turns and pours the ripened consciousness of its own capacity into the body; thus bringing up the structure of the body to a higher plane of being than it ever was before, and making it capable of engendering higher and better and greater thought, which will again pour its influence into the body for its further strengthening and uplifting. This is the to and fro current involved in all growth, and in all movement, no matter what the nature of the movement. It is action and reaction. It has its rise in the Law of Attraction; and, without it, the universe would be as dead as a door-nail, and a good deal deader.

 

Lesson 3 - Our Beliefs

[55] Because a man is a mental, and not a physical creature, it follows necessarily that as a man believes, he is. Therefore, his beliefs in sickness and death are real conditions though mental, and he passes through these conditions on his way up from brute ignorance to divine intelligence. They are incidents peculiar to one phase of his growth. Do not forget that all of a man's growth is purely intellectual. It is the acquisition of new knowledge.

And once more I repeat, that a man being all mind, it cannot be otherwise than that all his conditions are mental.

One mental condition is as real as another, and every mental condition a man is capable of, is dependent for its character upon his knowledge of absolute truth.

It is not always convenient to put a man's belief in sin or power of evil in the same category with his beliefs in sickness and death. What he calls his sins, and for the punishment of which he has devised various tortures, some of them eternal, are simply the mistakes he makes in the heaven-born right to pursue happiness. But sickness and death are mental conditions of negation or ignorance, which are universally conceded to bring their own punishment.

The race has never devised a hell in which to punish people for being sick, and yet sickness and death are as culpable as those acts we call sinful, and have their origin in the same cause; viz: negation or ignorance.

It is entirely proper to treat sickness and death as beliefs, because a man is a mental creature, and all his conditions are beliefs; but beliefs are real conditions. A belief that is based on the great foundation theory of this or past ages, that evil is a self-existent force, must necessarily be a negative belief because it rests on a mistake. It has not the solid basis of absolute truth on which to rest, and from which it is fed constantly. It is like the house built on sand, which, when the rains descend and the floods come, is washed away, and the world sees it no more.

But the beliefs which rest upon that incontrovertible and universal truth--all is good, or Life--are positive; they cannot be shaken; they are fed every instant by an influx of new truth, and they become stronger and stronger, building him who entertains them into splended health and strength and beauty and courage; carrying him every moment farther away from the possibilities of ever again dropping into the negative condition where sickness and death can master him.

But since animals are comparatively healthy, how does it happen that the human family is so diseased?

As stated before, I take an evolutionary view of this subject. And for the sake of those too deeply rooted in the old to take suddenly to the new, I will say that this view does not conflict with the Bible. I have been an earnest student of the Bible, and I am convinced that if the believers in the evolutionary theory knew a little more of the Bible, and the theologians a little more evolution, the "irrepressible conflict" [56] between science and religion would melt into nothing.

The printed Bible is a wonderful book.

It shows forth the effort of the master minds of past ages to solve the problems that evolution alone has power to disclose; and the revelations of those struggling minds in conflict with their own ignorance, and the ignorance of the age that surrounded them, are surely the most glorious example of heroism ever beheld.

The men who wrote the Bible wrote from their own interior perceptions. They looked in their hearts and wrote. And this is why the Bible comes so nearly being a transcript of evolution. Every man is a world in condensation; and when he writes from himself he writes in a great measure the history of the world just as it is written on the rocks and glaciers.

Take, for instance, what the Bible says of the Garden of Eden, where man dwelt in happiness with himself and "God"--which means good--a state where the infinite good was not doubted. All of this refers to the harmonious, instinctive life of the race before the dawn of man's reasoning faculties, which awakened his conscious individuality and led him to ask a thousand questions that he was not able to answer and which have kept the race in a constant state of fermentation ever since.

But though the Garden of Eden was peaceful and contented, man can never return to it. The angel with the flaming sword does actually guard its gates to this day, and no one who values his growing intelligence--which is his hope of salvation--will ever attempt to return.

The race is a transitional period from animal to divine. In our animalhood and while guided by instinct, before the awakening of the reasoning faculties, we were at rest, at ease--whole in our condition. We were all mind then as now, for there is nothing but mind; but we were crude mind--crude minds, rather--whose organism did not evolve sufficient thought to awaken and call us out of our sphere. We were in a condition of repose. Even now we see the animals content, comparatively healthy and happy, except as they come under man's influence, and yield to the ban of his beliefs.

But man in his long journey upwards from the lower planes of development reaches a place where he begins to ask questions. The first question shaped in the animal mind brings disquietude and shuts the primitive Eden on the questioner. His ease is broken; the search for more positive truth has begun, and it will never end until understanding rewards him.

The road--a very dark road indeed--from our Eden of primitive content to the heaven of understanding, is through an almost unbroken jungle of doubts and perplexities. As each small eminence is reached from which we can see a short space ahead and around, we gain a new belief with regard to our conditions and situation.

These beliefs are "legion." The world is full of them. All down the ages, as far back as the memory of the race can reach, they have been bad, worse and worst.

Always the idea of God existed. The idea has had its form in every shade and grade of crudity. People have even thought Him a monster to be propitiated. Almost universally He was believed to be felt and acknowledged, and the idea of becoming reconciled to this power became the central thought of the religions of the world.

Disease is absence of ease. When the reasoning power first emerged from the instinctive or animal life sufficiently to ask a question, then there was disease--absence of ease. Then a little more light came, and with it more questions and still greater absence of ease.

Presently, men began applying herbs and such remedies, thus medicating the effect instead of the cause; and yet because cause and effect are different degrees of the one mind, herbs and minerals have operated to work cures, and [57] still operate to do so among those persons who have not awakened to a knowledge of their own positiveness and to the fact that drugs are negative to themselves. It is only a negative person who can be affected by drugs. As soon as a man becomes conscious of his own position in the world, and sees himself master of all things, he knows that drugs are negative to him and can do him no good. The time was prophesied when men would drink poisons without harm. This time would be here when men knew themselves at one with the "Father"; when they should have made the "atonement"--the at-one-ment, the at-one-mind--when they should be one with the Law of their Being.

All of which means that when men understand the Law of Being they can do what they will and suffer no death. Death is an intellectual separation from the Law of Being, or the Life Principle.

This is as good a place as any to speak of the character of drugs, etc. I maintain that life can only be expressed through individualization; that every shrub and every created thing has its own individuality and its own character; and that the character of different herbs and minerals affects us when taken into our organizations until such time comes as we rise to the positive pole of our life magnet. Then all drugs and all minerals will become negative to us. As this process of becoming positive is a gradual one, so it will only come about gradually that drugs will lose their influence upon us. Fire will also lose its power to harm us in time. It, like other negative things, will become negative to us. All these things are negative to us now in point of inherent force, but until we rise to an understanding of the positive pole of life, where we come to an intelligent recognition of the fact, they might as well not be.

We can have no truth until we recognize it. We are all mind, and mind can only have what it believes it has. The beliefs of these individualized minds called men and women are their realities.

I am aware that Christian Scientists say there is no power in drugs but that drugs possess only that power conferred upon them by the belief of persons--by the belief of the world. But this is not so. The peculiar quality of almost all medicinal herbs was discovered accidentally. The true character of the herb created the belief; the belief never created the character of the herb. We might as well say that belief created the quality of cold in ice or of heat in fire.

But no matter what the character of any herb or substance, that character will cease to affect him who has come consciously into a knowledge of his true relations with all the earth. Man is master, and everything below him is ready to acknowledge the fact as soon as he declares his authority.

To return to the point from which I departed in order to make the foregoing explanation, I call the world to witness, that in spite of improved sanitary conditions, disease has increased with the progress of civilization. This is because man's intellect has expanded, and in this expansion he has asked more questions which he could not answer, and so has created in his mind still greater disease, or absence of ease. He still imagines himself an outcast from his God in consequence of some sin committed by his ancestors, and all the time he is trying to make his peace.

And so the whole world is struggling in the toils of a thousand absurd beliefs born of ignorance of its true relations to the Law of Being. We are in the dark; we have never been in the light.

Incipient man, undeveloped man (and remember that all things are man--the tree is a rooted man, and the horse is a four-footed man) is at ease in his ignorance of a higher life of understanding. And this condition was his Eden before he reached forth his hand and took fruit from the tree of knowledge. The tree of knowledge has [58] wrought to the full every curse that was predicted of it.

Woman became conscious of her pain in childbirth, and learned to dread it. Man became dissatisfied with herbs and berries, and earned his bread by the sweat of his brow. And thus the race has forged its way through bitter experience since that faraway first question which destroyed the even balance of the instinctive nature, until now.

And what do we find now? Why this, as Tennyson expresses it, "knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers." The knowledge of many things is ours. Look over the world and see what mighty combinations we have made, what states we have builded, and what inventions we have constructed. And yet "wisdom lingers," for we are no happier than the beasts of the field or the birds of the air; nay, we are not half so happy. They still enjoy their first Eden, but we, though long since departed from that crude state, have not yet completed the circuit round that upward spiral, which shall open the corresponding Eden lying so far above the other, all bathed in that light which never "shone on land or sea"-- the light of understanding. But we are coming to it. And at last we see all our disquietude, which we have named sin, sickness and death, is only false beliefs--false opinions based on untenable grounds. We have believed ourselves separated from the good, the Life, and, therefore, aliens to happiness. We now know by argument based on the eternal principles of absolute truth that this is impossible. We know that the Law of Life, the mainspring of vitality, does fill all space, and that we are a part of it, as pure as it is. We know that we do not have a dual life--one of spirit and one of matter. We know that our lives are whole, "holy." We have come consciously into true relations with the universe through the knowledge of the truth. We know that we are all mind, or spirit.

Note the point. We have always been in true relation to the Law of Being, but we have not always known it--we have not always been conscious of it. All the long road covered by the period in which our reasoning powers have been developing up to this state of consciousness in the truth, has been filled by ignorant beliefs and wild speculations based on such evidences as we received from our five avenues of sense. But the five senses were never to be trusted. They themselves were creatures that needed education before we could safely rely upon them. They brought us reports of evil continually when there is no evil. Now that we know what truth is, these senses are constantly bringing us reports of good, and it is only as they bring us reports of good that we can trust them.

To deny entirely the evidence of the senses, as some of the leaders in Christian Science are doing, is the height of folly. I simply deny their evidence when it is not in accord with the fundamental truth--all is good, all is Life.

Observe this: We have recast the statement of our lives. We no longer reckon from the premises of a dual life, part mind and part matter. We have to get our reckoning from a different standpoint. We are all mind; therefore, each individual mind must shape its conclusions from a mental basis.

If I reason out the fact that all is good and there is no evil, my senses must bring evidence from every point in accordance with the truth which my brain has evolved, or I will not believe them. By the truth evolved from the positive pole of me (my brain), I have learned that all is good, and my senses, which belong to the negative pole of this me, must submit to the logic of the fact as reported by their superior in authority and power, and must bring evidence from every point of the compass in confirmation of it.

Men believe themselves and others to be evil, and thus believing, they proceed to work out their own beliefs. We, being all mind, are as sinless as the Law, of which we are the manifestation or visible expression; and when our senses confirm this doubly demonstrated truth we can trust them.

[59] But when our senses tell us that we are sinners, or that our neighbors are faithless or vile, we know that they lie to us because we have proved by logic, based on universal or absolute truth, that no one can be vile.

When our senses tell us we are sick, we must deny the power of sickness over us. Before we come into the truth that all is good, we cannot deny it. We have to submit perforce, and thus take the consequences of our ignorance. But now, in the light of absolute truth--the truth that all is good--those relative truths of our negative or ignorant former life called sin, sickness and death--are to be denied in the most uncompromising manner. For, do we not know that we are all mind and that mind is the Law made visible?

There are cases where I count it wise to repeat. It is always well to repeat again and again in teaching, and, therefore, the following will be excusable:

Mind is both negative and positive. If any substance could be perfectly inert (which is impossible) it would be perfectly negative mind. Neither can we mention anything altogether positive. The terms negative and positive are relative. They mean vitality unexpressed, and vitality more and more expressed in higher and still higher degrees for the universe is one mighty magnet, ranging from lower to higher degrees in expression of vitality all the way through.

In proportion to the amount of vitality expressed by an order or group of beings, is the intelligence of that order or group. In the entire range of being, from a clod to a plant, from a plant to the lowest animal life, and from the lowest animal life to man, the entire difference in shape and intelligence is accounted for by the difference in the amount of vitality expressed. If a tree expressed as much vitality as a cow, it would not be rooted in the ground. It would possess a different organization and be enabled to walk abroad. If the cow expressed as much vitality as a man, her gaze would not turn downward. Her superior vitality would have projected a nobler expression of itself, and her thoughts would range out horizontally and upward.

All along the road of development from low to high, from negative to positive, we have been climbing step by step from animalhood to divinity. Born of the first faint monition of sex, which is only another name for the Law of Attraction, or the Life Principle, was the resolve to move on. And this resolve is the organized Life impulse as expressed in the individual. It is the Law of Attraction individualized--incarnated. That is to say, it is positive good, or the Life Principle, made visible by recognition of itself. It is the first little thrill of desire or aspiration. All compulsion is in aspiration. Desire is the beginning of growth. All along the road, up to where we now are this original life impulse to move on has pushed its way through negative forms of mind. At every advancing step it has left behind it that negative part which it could not refine or make to correspond with its own more vital desire and this dropping off, or leaving behind its less intelligent part is called death. And thus man has made a stepping stone literally of his dead self at every point where the negative part of his mind (he is all mind) prevented the growth or expression of his positive part--his thought life. He burst through a thousand rings of negative mind before he reached the place where he knew that all is mind. But he has reached that place now.

Through and through, the consciousness of the true metaphysician tells him that he is whole, or "holy"--being all mind. It is the consciousness of his wholeness that is called the atonement in the Bible, and upon which the salvation of the race is rightly declared to depend. For it is by reason of this consciousness that man is endowed with all power over negative mind. He can make this negative mind conform to him to the utmost. So perfectly, indeed, will be his ability [60] to control negative mind, that he need no longer escape from it as in death, but will have it in his power to refine and vitalize it to such a degree that he will not need to lay it down in death.

The salvation of the Bible is made to depend on belief. This also is the doctrine of evolution. Believe and you will be saved. Believe what? Believe "God," which means good. Believe in the allness of good; believe in the perfectness of the one spirit of Life that permeates all things.

All is good, and there is no evil. This is the great truth to which Mental Science has at last carried the leaders of the world's thought. These leaders have passed the long night of hideous dreams which the race calls sin, sickness and death. They know that sin, sickness and death are but the changing shapes projected upon the world's camera obscura by the people's dawning intelligence--not yet brightened into that light where its reflections could be considered anything more than the fleeting vision of the hour. Our beliefs in sin, sickness and death are the result of our negative condition. We can educate ourselves in positive truth to such an extent that there need never again be the breaking of the magnet man by what the world calls death.

This lesson would be imperfect were I to pass on without acquainting the reader with the power of the world's established beliefs, and giving him an idea of how they are to be overcome; for they must be overcome, or death and disease will always hold the race in the very same fetters in which it writhes today.

Race belief is responsible for the condition in which we see the people. It is responsible for all the weakness and wretchedness and poverty we see about us. And yet the greatest crime one can commit is to project a belief beyond the damning beliefs that are killing the people, one and all. It is heresy to think a vital thought, because a vital thought reflects discredit upon the old, stritified or fixed thought called race beliefs.

These old beliefs are holding the race in a condition of living death, and nothing but new vital thought--which is "heresy"--can save it.

I call the entire product of the world's old thought to judgment this day. I ask it to show something it has produced besides disease and death. I state boldly that it not only has nothing else to show, but that it has rung down the curtain and turned off the lights upon the farther power of the people to show something better. It says virtually, "Wisdom dies when I die." "I am the ultimate of intellectual effort," claims this most monstrous tyrant of all the ages. Think of an ultimate to human intelligence that ends in death instead of a conquest over death; an ultimate to the ever progressive mind that sanctions the existence of disease and murder and poverty and a condition of unbroken hell, instead of conquering all these negatives, or denials, of mental power, and establishing heaven on earth! Think of an ultimate to human endeavor that ends is pulseless sleep, instead of awakening the vital powers of an unexplored universe and rifling its treasures for the enhancement and the perpetuation of its own vitality and pleasure!

"We are getting old, and death is inevitable." This is the language of the day. This is the effect of the world's devitalizing and monstrous beliefs; to which it adds the threat that he who projects a belief beyond these beliefs is a heretic, and must be damned.

Why, the race is damned already in the deadness of the beliefs that hold it on the low and wretched plane of vitality where it now rests; and who cares for further damning? The only further damning possible will be more damning of the same kind; and this will be better than the half deadness of our present condition. In our present condition we are dead and conscious of our deadness. In deeper death we will be as we are, only unconscious [61] of our misery; and this will be a gain.

Half-way conditions are never palatable. I know that there is nothing that can re-vitalize us but the birth of new thought in our organisms. By the birth of new thought I mean the acquisition of new truth.

And the acquisition of new truth I am going to have, though all the hells of the whole world's old thought must be met single-handed and conquered. Why? Because my salvation and the salvation of the race depend upon it.

There is but one thing to be saved from; that is the creeping deadness which is even now benumbing the faculties of every soul who has emerged from childhood, and which ends in death. This condition is the negation of life, and is the result of living too long in one set of beliefs, without prospecting farther ahead for still more of truth's living waters. For the waters of truth that sustain us today will not sustain us tomorrow; we must draw fresh draughts from this undying spring daily, or we die ourselves.

It has been the bane of the race to believe that one draught from this spring of life is enough for its salvation. As this one draught, however, has not saved it, it then makes another mistake by supposing that the salvation promised is to be postponed to a life after death. In this way, it entirely ignores the self-evident fact that present life is all the life there is. Life is Being, and Being is now, and can only be now. To live today, we must be today. When tomorrow comes, it will then be the present time, in which we must still be. Life is the one fact in which there is no postponement. If we fail to live today, we have lost the day; we cannot postpone this day's living until tomorrow.

We are expressions each instant of an everpresent truth; and by the understanding of this truth, we live. But it is each day's new understanding of it that enables us to show forth new or fresh life. The understanding of the truth that we obtained yesterday will not serve for today's needs, although it served for yesterday's needs. It is like the food we ate yesterday. The food that strengthened us yesterday sufficed for that day, but we need more for the present day.

The beliefs of a past age were sufficient for that age. They afforded all the mental sustenance the age demanded. But the new age of today is demanding more wisdom--a wisdom that will change our present beliefs--and because it is not getting it in such quantity and quality as it needs, it is more devitalized, more listless and languid, more diseased and dying, more debauched and reckless, than any previous age in the history of civilization.

Old institutions are worn out because they stick to the identical ideas that once met the needs of the race, but that no longer meet the increased needs of a new race. Daily and hourly the people are becoming more indifferent to the allurements of a heaven postponed to a future world. They are demanding heaven right here and now, and are accepting in lieu of it such apologies for their ideal conceptions of it as the world can offer in shape of its poor, little limited range of unsatisfactory and evanescent amusements.

And what--under these circumstances--are the teachers of the people giving them? What are the churches doing for them? And what is the popular literature offering them?

The teachers of the people are giving them nothing that they need, and have, therefore, lost their power to teach. The churches are still presenting the same old ideas, but the people are no longer accepting them. What then? Are the churches searching for new truth on which to fill the great mental craving, no matter what it looks like? No, they are not doing this at all; they are simply calling upon that brute force called established authority, to assist them in ramming their rejected ideas down the people's throats, in spite of the people's wishes. This [62] is the attitude the church occupies today towards the entire body of thinking people, who are craving, as men never craved before, the stimulant of mental food that is to save them right here and now, soul and body, whole and in one piece.

Practical salvation is what the people want; salvation that can only come by an increased and an ever increasing knowledge of new truth.

Practical salvation is the present demand of the people; and the whole world--so far as the schools, the churches and popular literature go, is as dead under this demand as our burnt-out satellite, beneath whose borrowed rays no seed germ is ever warmed into existence. And this only half. This dead theology, and dead educational system, and dead literature that once held their seats of honor by the consent of the people, and even by their veneration, are now holding these same seats by a force at once pugnacious, defiant and intolerant. They have nothing to give the people any longer. The people are demanding new truth; vitalizing truth; truth that will hold out stronger inducements to all of life's present activities, and stimulate to the unfoldment of nobler activities right here in the world.

For the thinkers have found out that true life, vital, satisfying life, means action and not ease; means conquest and not slumber; means the ever unfolding function of their own endless progressive intelligences in uses for the benefit of themselves and for those for whom it is a delight to work, and to whom it is a delight to give.

Nothing is going to satisfy the thinkers of today but the making of men and women out of themselves, by that incessant acquisition of new truth that I have already spoken of.

And this acquisition of new truth means death to the old beliefs. But the old beliefs are consolidated, petrified by ages of seasoning, and they are not going to be broken up and scattered to the four winds of heaven without an effort on the part of the thinkers.

Farther on in these lessons, there will be one or more chapters on denials and affirmations, which will give the student a better idea how to deal with the old beliefs than can be done in this chapter. But a hint, at least, will be given.

The student is requested to think of the subject as here considered. He is asked to take one idea at a time and scrutinize it closely. Then let him take the entire subject of the lessons and regard it attentively as a whole, and see what conclusion he comes to. If what I have said seems logical, then let him take up the other side and think of it. Let him ask himself what salvation he can find in the old beliefs. Let him look at our whole social fabric, with its competitive and brutal systems, and see if he considers the race saved. Let him acknowledge honestly that such as society is, it is the result of the world's present beliefs; and then ask himself if it is not time to break away from beliefs that have been faithfully held to for thousands of years, only to bear such fearful fruit, let him plunge into such reading as the daily paper for a week, to see the murders, arson, suicides, false dealings of man with man; the huge swindling combinations; the wide disparity between the capitalist and the man who works for him; the thousands and thousands of homeless men who are begging for the simple privilege to work; the soup houses in our cities; the churches closed and empty on week days, while men, women and children freeze on the streets; the general unrest; the curse of uncertainty in every cup--that of the millionaire no less than the pauper. Let him look at all this, and know that it is the result of the world's present beliefs, and then turn back again to the first of these lessons and read them over with an understanding wide awake and receptive to new ideas.

Lesson 4 - Denials

[71] All religions for every race and tongue agree in revealing certain things. They all hint at certain forms of denial. They all coincide in the idea that God--meaning mind or spirit--perpetually creates or makes manifest. But what are the denials these various creeds hint at? The old Puritans preached the most rigid system of denial, depriving themselves and their children of every comfort in order that they might please their “God.” But their most strenuous efforts in this direction failed to develop a better condition of morals, longer lives or healthier bodies. Neither did the rigid heaven, which their grim imaginations projected, serve to attract the desires of the race upward. And gradually, the mental power, which is the Law in externalization, and which is always manifesting in spite of the frozen or the torrid creeds of ignorance, set these creeds aside; and the race grew more and more in the knowledge that it created itself for a life of ever present happiness.

Carlyle said that for a man to be happy he must utterly renounce self. No man ever said a more foolish thing. To renounce self is to undo the work of creation by which we are here today with the power to pursue happiness. To stand by self, and to build these selves up in such strength that they can appropriate, or make more of the infinite Life Principle manifest, not only to ourselves, but to the whole world, is the object of creation.

Carlyle was wiser than his words, for he did not renounce self. Nevertheless, the conflict between his puritanic creed and the natural assertion of his powerful individuality made his life so inharmonious to himself and others that his biography is one of the most pitiful ever written.

Emerson thought that for man to be healthy and happy he must come into a state of non-expectation --ceasing to look for good fortune-- and that in this attitude the universal good would flow to him.

Emerson tried to live this idea, and what was the result? Why, this: That great brain of his which was the pride of the nation and of the world broke down in every tissue--softened, ceasing to generate a thought; and so he died.

And yet every religion hints at denial. Can it be possible that this universal fact means nothing? No, it is not possible, for the race beliefs are precious things; and it is always unwise for the thinker to discard without investigation any widespread belief like this.

If Life is omnipresent, absolutely filling every point of space in the vast universe, then it becomes a truth subject to mathematical demonstration that there is no room for evil--assuming evil to be, as the world now accepts it, an opposing force to good, having equal or nearly equal power with it.

We cannot put two substances into a given space at one time. For instance, a quart measure cannot hold at once a quart of water and a quart of wine.

[72] If good--by which I everywhere mean the spirit of Life--Life being good and only good--is a something that fills all space, how can evil as another and a separate something occupy the same space at the same time? It can no more do it than a quart of water and a quart of wine can occupy the same quart measure at the same time.

There is no sin or evil in all the universe. All is good, and good is omnipresent. All the actions and conditions the world calls evil, sinful, wicked, and judges worthy of punishment are only errors or mistakes growing out of a lack of understanding of omnipresent good. In my denial of evil, I do not deny the existence of murder, theft, lying, selfishness, cruelty, revenge and the like; but I do deny that they are sins or evils. For these offenses are only mistakes growing out of ignorance as to the best method of pursuing happiness. In this form of denial I do not and cannot (of course) change the condition itself, as many Mental Scientists seem to believe they are doing, but only the aspect of it in your mind, revealing it to you in its true colors as a mistake; so that you will be able to cast out all resentment, seeing that nothing is deserving to be called guilty, or is deserving of punishment.

The condition called evil is a condition with a sense of guilt attached to it; a humiliating sense of shame for wrong doing; and this condition does have a place in the realm of omnipresent good; but the condition itself is but a belief in evil, and it is a mistaken belief similar to the belief in disease.

Evil is not the opposing power of good, as it has been supposed to be. It is simply error. It is ignorance of good. And so far as it is ignorance of good, it is ignorance of Life, or Being, and in this manner it is its own retribution or correction.

All ignorance is its own punishment--ignorance of health no less than ignorance of justice--but the world does not know this, or it would punish men for being sick with as good reason as it punishes them for any other error or belief.

Every form of ignorance shuts a man out from a knowledge of the Law of Being, which I have been calling in these lessons by the simple and comprehensive term of “good.”

And every form of ignorance is its own punishment inasmuch as it locks up the Life Principle from the ignorant person just to the extent of his ignorance.

And yet every form of error is a certain condition of good, for it is a manifestation of Life, though on a negative plane. It is good in an unripe stage of development. Negative or unripe good (or Life) always leads to positive or ripe good ultimately, just as unripe fruit must finally become ripe fruit. Error is a component part or a factor in universal good, and is indispensable to the completion of the great whole. Truth and error are two names applied to different degrees of development in good, or Life. The unripe development of the good we call error; the riper developments of good we call truth. But what we call error as well as what we call truth, is also truth on a lower or more negative plane; for truth is substance, and all substance is truth, or reality in varying degrees of negative and positive.

Therefore, the whole seeming incongruity resolves itself into this one simple fact--good is omnipresent, and what we call evil is only undeveloped good, which is destined to become developed good, even as the child is destined to develop into adulthood.

The peach is bitter and repulsive in one stage of its existence, but it gradually ripens into the splendid fruit we know it to be. The race is a growth just as the peach is, and time will ripen it out of every crudity it now exhibits. Is it an evil thing for the peach to be unripe? Surely not; neither is it an evil thing for the race to be unripe, since it is ripening under the influence of its varied experience as fast as possible. To hasten its ripening, it only needs the fostering protection of a better system [73] of education. It should be educated out of its ignorance, its errors, its mistakes, instead of being murdered for them. We might as well beat the peaches off the tree because they are unripe as to murder and torture humanity for its unripe condition.

Denials are in order, and the first denial is, “There is no evil.” The thought waves flowing out from your mind, having the mighty power of truth behind them, travel in the same manner as sound waves. They actually sweep the very atmosphere clear from fallacious beliefs, so that others--without knowing why--feel the burdens lifted from their conscience and their lives brightened. Evil is not a positive power any more than darkness is, and is dispelled by the assertion of truth, as darkness is dispelled by the introduction of light. Therefore, when the student declares stoutly, “There is no evil,” throwing his words world-wide, as it were, the truth stands revealed; and thus revealed it proves that the belief in evil is incorrect. The character of evil thus disclosed, a man would be very foolish to place his chance of happiness upon it. Evils, or what we call sins, are the mistakes we make in our search for happiness; nothing more and nothing less. And where is the person that will risk anything of interest to himself upon a mistake when he knows it to be a mistake? He must see that he would have nothing to gain, but much to lose by so doing. This thing of divesting what we call evil of its sense of guilt, and placing it in the category of mistakes will do more in the way of reform than all the penalty attached to it now. Show men that it is not to their interest to make these mistakes called sins, and they will drop them. Take this line of thought and educate the people in it, and as soon as they learn the true spirit of the thing, they will no more invest their happiness in such mistaken beliefs than they will invest their money in swindling enterprises.

No man would trust what the world calls evil, only that he believes he has something--some happiness--to gain by it. He thinks the so-called evil he is doing has power to give him pleasure; or, at least, to relieve him of some want he feels to be mastering him.

Now, let us make a personal application of this. Let us suppose that I am unjust, and that I am constantly chiding myself for it. Does this chiding, this constant reproaching from my conscience, cure me? No, it cannot; for every effort I make in this direction under the conviction of sin is an admission of guilt, which the truth in me refuses to recognize. It is a lie in the face of omnipresent good, and cannot stand. What shall I do? I am grasping, let us say, and not willing to give others the privileges I claim for myself--there is no denying it; it is a fact. What shall I do about it?

I investigate my feeling and find that the sense of injustice which possesses me is not bringing me happiness. Am I, therefore, transgressing the law? Remember, sin is a transgression of law. But I am not transgressing the law, for the law remains inviolate, and must always do so. The law is omnipresent good, and no one can transgress it. But we may endeavor to live by such mistaken methods as personal injustice prompts, always to prove those methods failures. Therefore, evidently these methods are the result of the non-comprehension of the law, and not a violation of it. If it were possible to violate or thwart the law, this would be an evil, indeed; but there is no such possibility. Therefore, we are responsible for nothing but our ignorance of the law, and lose nothing but the glorious results that would come if we understood it and lived by it. Therefore, the indulgence of my unjust ideas is my mistaken method of pursuing happiness, caused by my ignorance of the law of omnipresent good, and of the fact that nothing but my co-operation with the law will produce the happiness I seek. The more the unjust person dwells on this aspect of the case, the more he will see its truth.

[74] A sin being an assumed violation of law is something we feel we must atone for. I deny the sin. I cannot possibly sin, being a creature of omnipresent good, there being nothing else to manifest. Then, in manifesting injustice, I have manifested the negative side of justice, and proved that it is not what helps me to happiness, and I naturally look forward to the belief that a sense of justice will do it. Thereby my mistake has been my teacher. It has educated me in a knowledge of positive good, and proven itself a negative good in so doing. And it is just so with all of those mistakes called evils or sins. They are the negative poles to recognized virtues, and the virtues are actually evolved from them. The denial of evil, as a something for which we are guilty and punishable, finally makes the temptation to commit it fall away from us, thereby revealing the splendid knowledge of our own mastery. If we know that our mistake is not a culpable violation of law, but only a blind and ignorant method of pursuing happiness, as a matter of course, we are no longer tempted in that direction.

No man is tempted to make what he knows to be a mistake.

His mistakes are inadvertent, and, as he discovers them, he abandons them. All mistakes arise from ignorance; and every mistake is a negative good because it is indirectly leading to the thing the mind is prospecting for--which is truth and happiness. If it appears to lead in the wrong direction for a time, it is because it is necessary that we should know the wrong thing before we can be absolutely sure of the right thing. We are all down here in these negative conditions, having come up just this far from lower or more negative conditions still; and all that we learn is by experience. In this school we make many mistakes, and these mistakes are all good, being our teachers to point us in the right direction.

Therefore, your first denial is that of the existence of evil. Declare again and again. “There is no evil.” Do not wait for a full understanding of the grounds of your denial to come to you, but go on denying, and, as sure as you live, understanding will come. This denial (which is true) will put you in a state for the reception of truth and the incarnation of it in your mind. It is as if you said, “The everlasting Life is here, though invisible, and I will hold the fort until it comes.” Doubts as to its ever coming may assail the brave soldier student, but no doubt shall ever quite dislodge him from his position. The winds and the rains of a world’s adverse beliefs may beat in his upturned face, but he will down them all. As he stands thus, the little plant of truth, that thing of perennial growth within him, is being fed from unseen fountains, and its harvest begins to open to his perceptions, and every day as he stands there holding for it, truth the invisible, becomes truth the visible, breaking in glad efflorescence about him in a hundred desirable things of beauty and use; filling him and surrounding him with such opulence as no man ever yet attained, or ever will attain, who acknowledges evil as a real power.

It is the effort of Mental Science to provide us with certain facts, arranged in systematic form, by which we may gain understanding as we proceed along our journey from the not knowing to the knowing of these truths. Denial has a cleansing power, and is the first practical step the student is called upon to take.

The omnipresence of good has been asserted and proved most logically. In making the denials, the student must remember the reasoning by which the declaration of omnipresent good was sustained, and must hold it as absolute security for all the denials he is requested to make.

These are the denials: First--“There is no evil,” because so-called evils, or sins, are errors, or mistakes; and errors, or mistakes, are undeveloped or unripe good.

[75] Second--“There is no dead matter,” because what we call matter is mind in a negative degree of development.

Third--“Pain, sickness, poverty, deformity and death cannot master me,” because I have developed out of that essential belief in them that once made them positive to me.

Fourth--“There is nothing in all the universe to make me afraid,” because I am the highest expression of Being (or Life), and so have dominion over all the negative forces of the world; and then, also, because all is good. Good exists everywhere, and has always done so, but we have not always known it. We have been like children blindfolded and crying that there was no light.

These denials that I have given, if persisted in, will tear the bandages from our eyes, and show us that the light, whose existence we doubted, is the only reality above all realities. The truth that all is good is a living truth, and the whole impulse of life is to make us conscious of it. We are co-operating with nature and the law of Life when we take sides with the truth in declaring there is no evil. We are declaring our oneness with universal Law when we deny the existence of matter as something separate from mind. In denying the supremacy of pain, sickness, error and death we are lifting ourselves out of the realm of the negatives where such things are possible. In denying the power of fear, we virtually assert our power over everything.

These denials have great potency. Go off by yourself and say them several times a day. When you are confronted by events that seem to contradict the denials, and your faith becomes shaken, turn again to the first three lessons, and read them carefully over. The light will break in on your mind from every new reading, and you will be better prepared to make denials afresh. Continue to do this for weeks; continue to do it until the light of truth shines all around you. It may chemicalize you. Chemicalization is a condition into which students and patients are often plunged by the receiving of new light into the mind. It is a stirring up of the dregs of long settled conviction, and it makes some persons sick. It may occur after any of the lessons, but it is said to occur most often after the lesson on denials. You must not notice it. It will not hurt you much, and in the end will greatly benefit you. Refuse to come under the bondage of fear or the belief of evil. The state of confusion or chemicalization will pass, leaving your mind clearer than ever before.

It is possible that these denials you are making silently will antagonize the persons about you, just as they antagonize your old convictions, so that you find unexpected opposition at every step. You family may manifest greater irritability than previously. Your neighbors may seem almost quarrelsome. Christ, who seemed to understand this, said, “I come not to bring peace, but a sword.” He knew that truth antagonized error, and was prepared for its persecution in his own person. The truth, which is beginning to be organized in you, is shedding faint beams abroad, and these beams produce a disturbing influence.

The old system of belief, grounded in error, rebels against the light. There is a commotion among the bats and night owls in the dim twilight minds about you, and it is possible that unexpected discouragements may beset you. If so, deny their power over you for even one moment. Say simply, “Nothing can discourage me. I am standing for eternal good. It is here, and has always been here. By my recognition of it--by my holding the fort for it--it will become manifest, not only to myself, but to others.” And from this starting point you will grow to be a tower of strength. Presently, without a word of explanation, you will become a center of attraction. The family will begin to gravitate toward you more than ever, and so will your neighbors. The bats and night owls will have disappeared before the light they found it impossible to resist. Your [76] silent influence, which was at first rejected, is now found to be uplifting; and there is no soul, however sunken, that will not gravitate to an uplifting influence, especially if it be silent at first; for it is not well to speak until your silent influence has ripened the minds about you to a certain degree of reception. It is the blatant reformer that the untaught mind rebels against. Keep repeating these magic words, “There is no evil.” Your child may disobey you, but do not punish him; lay your hand on his head; raise your soul by mighty effort of faith in absolute good and say silently, “There is no evil.” Many unpleasant things may occur during the ensuing week, but conquer them all with the words, “There is no evil.” Remember that people are acting from the half lights that their negative lives are yielding, and learn not to expect perfect results from an imperfect understanding of the truth. Hold this mitigating circumstance in your mind always when you are denying for them that there is evil--that they are not sinners, but only misguided searchers after happiness.

I have especially named the leading denials, but there are others. If the quick sense of anger rises in your heart, deny it. Say, “I am not so negative as to be governed by anger.” In this way you will gradually lift yourself into the realm of the positives merely by recognition of them. To deny the supremacy of a negative over you is to acknowledge and recognize the supremacy of the positive within you. Do not palliate your feelings or seek excuse for them. Simply deny, saying, “I am not angry,” and maintain it in the face of all contrary evidence. In this way you fight nothing. You simply forsake the negative and cling to the positive, arraying your strength with it, knowing that “God and one make a majority.” If you see your neighbor’s unjust conduct, declare that it is but a negative condition, and being such, has not the power to hold him longer than such time as he shall become conscious of his positive power to deny it; and your recognition of this fact will help to cure him of his mistakes, just as your silent recognition of the health element in the patient will make the health element apparent in his body.

And so, little by little, we start out to conquer a world of unbelief. It is our mission to strengthen ourselves daily by as much truth as we can recognize and appropriate. Dwell upon the idea that the good is life, truth, love, intelligence, substance; all-knowledge, all-powerful, all-present--and that we, being in it and of it, possess life everlasting, glorious love and mighty power; that like can only create like, and that Life, being good, can only externalize good.

We cannot live in these self-same bodies always. We have not lived in them always; we have changed them from day to day since the first conscious breath that we drew, and we will keep changing them atom by atom forever. But it is folly, in view of the fact that we have been changing our bodies always to suppose that the sudden and complete change, as in death, is a necessity. Not a person in the world has one atom of the body today that he had ten years ago. Indeed, so rapid is the change in the human bodies that it is now said by learned physicians that from one to three months time is sufficient to change every particle of them.

Then, since we are already replacing the worn-out atoms of our bodies day by day, let us see to it that we give the new atom the stamp of immortality from our newly revised beliefs on this point.

In this way, each new supply will be better and more vital than the former supply. Thought has the power to do this, being the governing and building power of the body, and it has the power to carry with it the new externals, or bodily manifestations. Your educated thought, which is a substance, can pour tangible invigoration into the daily new supply of atoms for your [77] body, by earnestly dwelling upon these new truths, and trying to feel (or, what is better--feeling) as you do, so that your body is changing under the influence. This, coupled with the recognition of the fact that the thoughts are the building power of the body, will give you the ability to mold your body as you will. For your thoughts give quality to your blood (healthful and more immortalizing quality in this instance) and your blood builds this quality into your body, where it shows forth in the measure of its strength. This is the fountain of immortal youth which Ponce de Leon sought among the negative (physical) things of earth, but which could only be found among the positives of life.

Every growing thought has the power to carry with it its own new externals, or bodily manifestations. Do not forget this. This power of thought will enable us to carry our internal and external (soul and body) together in harmonious unison forever, not necessarily, however, always existing on this earth. We should pass into higher and still higher spheres, which would open to us as we become fitted by our enlarged being to become actors in them. For “our Father’s house has many mansions.” Not understanding, at the present time, how to maintain the harmonious balance in development between our thought life and our visible (or bodily life) we are able to live so long only as the two grow in unconscious concord. Just as soon as this concord is disturbed by the negative laws which govern the body--the law of the animal existence, which is the law of disintegration, the dropping away of the body, as it were, before the power of thought--then the thought and the body cease to work together smoothly. The body (or negative part of the mind) becomes an impediment to the thought (or positive part, which, as yet, does not know that it has power to retain the body) and there comes that separation we call death. The thought life bursts away from its impediment, which it cannot raise, because it has not made the atonement through a saving consciousness that it and the body are one substance--all of one piece.

Death is simply the result of ignorance of the power of thought to save. Our bodies are our external minds. They are not to be undervalued as they have heretofore been. They are the expression of our widely diversified individualities, and are important to us as the organized expression of our present state of thought. Our bodies are the limitation of the thought that is ourselves, just as the skin of the peach is the limitation of the substance that is the peach. We can remain in ignorance of our power over these bodies, and, in consequence, be forced to lay them down in death; or we can refine them by a consciousness of our power over them, thus rendering them so pliant that they will change in conformity with every new thought that we acquire, in this way becoming perfect manifestation of our growing, beautifying, inner selves. Which shall we do? There is an atonement to be made, which alone has the power to arrest that breaking of the magnet man in death.

The atonement, the at-one-ment of thought and body, must be made by a conscious recognition that we are all mind. It must be made either here or hereafter. We have power to make it here now, as well as any future time; and ought to make it now. The time to actualize a truth is when we recognize it. Heretofore as soon as a man arrived at that age where his intelligence began to be of benefit to the race, he died. His career was repeated in his children; and so progress has stagnated hundreds of years. Hundreds of years ago, human intelligence had achieved almost the same success we are achieving today. Ideas were written and works were done which even now are unsurpassed, because one man has simply been a repetition of another. Men must live longer in order to widen the range of individual experience, and so increase the general stock of knowledge. We must emancipate [78] ourselves from the old forms of thought, which have so long been our prison houses, and project better ones. We are beginning to see the immense power of thought, to mold, not only our own bodies, but the bodies of others, and I have no hesitation in saying that as disease has become negative to him who has mastered this mind power, or Mental Science, that old age, which is only a slow aggregation of disease, can also be mastered.

Lesson 5 - Affirmations

[87] Having arrived at the fifth lesson in the course, I start with the assumption that you have, to a certain degree, mastered the foregoing lessons, and made careful application of the ideas embodied in them. So let us say that we have taken our denials home and studied them. There is no evil. What a feeling of lightness comes over me now that I am beginning to realize that wonderful truth--that there is nothing in all the world that has the right to fasten a feeling of guilt upon me! Moreover, I stand champion for humanity in this particular. I deny that the race has fallen, or that it ever fell. Oh! beloved race, let the glory of the truth--there is no evil--encompass you and lift you consciously into the light! Let it remove the bandage from all other eyes as it has mine. In proportion as my sense of guilt is lifted by the denial of evil, is life brightened for me. And then I am one with the Law of Life, and, therefore, imperishable. To know that there is no matter, but that all we look upon is the immortal mind of the universe in many different forms of recognition gives me a feeling of strength that nothing else ever had the power to impart. Repeating these denials over and over again, we at last come to perceive something of the truth we utter. The mind is divested, partly, at least, of its error, and made clean and white like the new tablet whereon to write the next basic truth in the science of mental healing, or mind culture.

But until we have cleansed ourselves as much as possible of a belief in sin, cast out our mistaken ideas of disease, pain and death as conditions having vital mastery over us, we are not ready to evoke the great truth which stands at the very portals of our existence waiting recognition. As the student in mathematics who has mistaken the statement of his problem and carried his example in a multiplicity of figures to a wrong conclusion, must erase his error from the board before he can place thereon the correct conclusion, so the student of Mental Science must make his mind clear and free from its most apparent errors before he can profitably write the truth there.

I am a garden plot in the rich soil of which the weeds have grown and stifled the nobler growths that are striving to come up. I have given the weeds encouragement. I have dug about their roots and watered them because I believed in them. I did not know them to be weeds. I believed them to be productive of the bread of life; and I believed this in spite of the fact that they yielded death. But now I know their true character, and I have been trying to pull them up. That my denials have destroyed some of them I cannot doubt. And every one of them, thus destroyed, leaves more room for the growth of that long neglected tree in the midst of the garden--that tree of belief the name of which is "All Good," and the leaves of which are for the healing of nations. And now my duty is clear. It is strong and gives me strength. It is no longer denial. It [88] is affirmation. There is character in affirmation. There is strength in it. Health breezes are blowing through it.

We have denied the existence of evil, but these denials were of a preparatory nature. They were the clearing away of the rubbish that better things might appear. Denials are comparatively negative.

Affirmation is positive. And so, it is with no uncertain sound that we proclaim from the house-tops, "All is good; all is life."

But do you think I am going to sit down and wait for this good to manifest itself through me? No; it is for me to make it manifest by proclaiming the individual power to recognize it. I am not even going to pray for the power that will enable me to manifest it, because the power to do this is in myself, and not outside of myself in any degree whatever. I, together with everything in the universe must recognize the good for myself; because recognition of good is the only way by which it can become manifest in the objective world; and the power to recognize is an individual power, and is the means of individual growth; individual progress.

I manifest the Law in externals, or in objectivity, by recognizing the infinite good latent in the Law, and also by recognizing and affirming my power--as an intelligent and an ever growing creature--to recognize still more of it, and to keep on doing this forever.

Being one with the Law, we are ourselves a part of the power that is supposed to work us. The Law simply exists and is the containment of all possibilities; but it does not create. Creation is making manifest--making visible and audible the powers latent in the Law--and this is the work of intelligence, and is performed on the objective side of life. It is performed by the clod, the blade of grass, the animal, and above all, by man.

Man is his own creator; and he creates by his power to recognize the good that exists and is ubiquitous.

Therefore, one of the student's most important affirmations--after the great and absolute affirmation, all is good--is the personal affirmation relating to himself; namely, if everything is good, then I am good, and I have the intelligence to recognize the fact.

Yes, I affirm that I am good. And what does the word 'good' mean in my case? Let me see.

The good is the desirable. The most desirable of all things is a knowledge of truth, since truth alone is manifested life. Then for me to desire this knowledge is to desire all I need. And since desire relates me to the thing desired, and since all things desirable exist in latency in the Law, it, therefore, follows that the thing which I desire is already mine by the simple recognition.

Therefore, I affirm that I do recognize the good as a whole, and also in particulars, as these particulars are related to my desires. I recognize that health is good, and strength and beauty and opulence, and I also recognize that they are mine because they are related to me through my desire.

And so I affirm my power to trust my desire, to hold fast by my desire, and to deny the power of doubt to cloud my desire until a fuller recognition of my own power comes to me, bringing me realization of the fact that what I affirm to be mine is really mine; and mine now, at this very moment.

By these affirmations, we gradually grow into a knowledge of our own creativeness, and see that we are self-made, and can go on remaking ourselves after the new model presented each day by the growth of our ideals.

We have been considering ourselves a lot of automatons--made by someone outside of ourselves--and, if not worked by wires in the hands of this someone outside of ourselves, we have assuredly not been equipped with the power to direct our own actions aright, since our maker has passed sentence of condemnation upon us.

We see now that this is not true. We see that we ourselves are the power that made us, and that moves us to action. Being all mind as to our externals, [89] that which we see or recognize, we are. Everything exists that can ever be desired. To recognize its existence and to know it exists in answer to our desires, makes it ours. Therefore, we affirm that we have it.

Health, then, is mine. This is one of the affirmations. The negative form of this expression would be, there is no disease. But this negative form is simply a denial. The affirmative form (health is mine) makes a personal application of this truth, and it begins to show forth on our persons.

The first thing for us to make manifest out of the universe of all-good, is health. With health comes length of days, and then everything that makes length of days desirable. For, in the all-good, there is opulence, and we may have it for the taking. We have believed in evil, and living in that belief we have carried about with us, not only a private poor-house, but a private hospital also, and we have lived in sickness and poverty of our own creating. We live in what our minds yield us. The mind that yields a beggar's hut, lives in one; the mind that yields a palace, occupies a palace. Since I learned this, I am beginning to control my financial condition, and my surroundings have constantly improved. The truth, which is beginning to be incarnated in me, is already making me free--free from pain and poverty and fear. Never has a life brightened as mine has done since I came into this science. This is not the result of will power or mesmeric control over men and things. It is the result of Being. In proportion as I am, my own comes to me by the Law of Attraction, which is the Law of Life.

I see the eternalness of good--what I call good being simply Life, or Being; the entire absence of disease and death as active principles in nature.

I recognize the boundlessness of Life. Stop and analyze the word Life. Get as complete a conception of it as you can before continuing with this lesson. Eliminate from it every plea of disease and death, and see what a tremendous thing it is. See how it stands for every imaginable and unimaginable good, to the entire exclusion of all that is undesirable--such as disease and poverty and sorrow and death. Is it any wonder that I call it the all-good?

Then affirm this: "I begin to see the eternalness of good; I begin to recognize its boundlessness; I know that it fills all space; I am consciously or understandingly in it, and I am manifesting it in this body, which is becoming more and more a mental statement of it in proportion as my affirmations become more and more realistic to my perceptions."

By your realizing this truth, that all is Life, and, therefore, good, you are enabled to speak the word that becomes the flesh and blood of a regenerated existence. In other words, you are able by a supreme belief in Being, in the allness of Life, or good, and by this supreme belief identifying yourself with it, to speak for what you want, and to get it too; and that without wronging another, because there is no monopoly in the knowledge of truth; and each mind can make its own opulence apparent in the degree of its power to recognize the truth that all is Life, and, therefore, good; thus casting out every belief in evil; every belief in disease, sin, sorrow and death, and leaving Life only, good only, to fill your entire personality.

And of this everlasting good, or Life, such qualities as are recognized as best and most desirable can be affirmed by the student; and affirmed as being already in possession.

Thus, "I am healthy, I am strong; I am intellectual, I have the power of an infinite understanding, I am great, I am beautiful, I am opulent." Any, or all of these affirmations are in order.

And remember that everything that is, is now; that in infinite Being, in the eternal Life Principle, there is no increase and no decay. All exists, and exists in absolute perfectness at one time equally as much as at any other time; and that that which makes any part of this Life, this perfectness apparent [90] is individual recognition. Therefore, make all your affirmations in the present time, "I am that which I desire to be, and I am it now." The external Principle of Life is best expressed in the simple word "Being," which means yesterday, today and forever; or one eternal now.

All is good, and all good is mine. I have health now, because the power dwells within me to compel the perfect action of every function of my body; and all I need to do is to recognize this truth in order to send the negative forces (weakness, disease, pain, etc.) flying, and to utilize my unlimited power. Why, I tell you that you who read these lines have nothing to fear, for no sickness, no tyranny, no negative conditions, no fetter or slavery of any kind whatever can hold or even detain for one moment the growing soul of man after he has entered the domain of the Law of Attraction--the Principle of Life, the all-good of limitless Being--by the knowledge of the fact that he is one with all this infinite power; that he has this infinite power within himself, at his daily and hourly command, to set aside any hindrance in the shape of the negative forces which may rise either within or without him.

And what is required to find this power? A living recognition of it. A firm, unshaken belief that it is within you; that it is your all in all. But this you cannot attain in a day or a week. It only comes with the daily striving after truth; the earnest thought and effort to secure truth; and constant living in, and practice of, the highest truth you know. In this way you gradually draw near to the grand results Mental Science promises and reveals; and every twenty-four hours leaves you in possession of an increased understanding. But the increase may be so small as to be immeasurable from day to day, and only discernible at longer periods of comparison. For so it is that we journey up the heights of understanding; ever enjoying the new manifestations of the eternal revealed to our wondering eyes at each advancing step.

The brain, as the most positive part of the organization, takes the lead; and because I know that this organization is all mind, I am sure that if thought--the positive leads, the most negative parts will follow. I am sure that my thought--the positive part of the magnet me--will infuse enough of its intelligence into the less intelligent part to show forth the fact that pain and sickness are not positive forces, having inherent power to conquer me, but are negative, amenable to supreme forces--love, life, intelligence, faith, justice, courage, health, etc.

There will always be negative and positive in the magnet me; but all the time the positive part of the magnet will be getting more positive, and the negative part will keep pace with it. It will become proportionately less negative. This is our process of growth through eternity.

At the present time our reasoning powers recognize dimly the fact that all is good, and our beliefs respond in part. But presently our reasoning powers will revel unconditionally in the fullest knowledge of this great truth, and our less intelligent (or more negative) parts will be sufficiently permeated with the belief to cease to feel pain or to acknowledge disease. And from this point we will advance still farther in the glory of the knowledge of absolute good; and our bodies will become a pleasure to us, whereas now--under our present beliefs--they are our most constant torments.

It is all a matter of progression or growth. While we believed in evil, our growth was retarded. We were living like the animals and dying like them. But now our belief is changed and our progress toward infinite happiness is more direct and satisfactory. It is only a question of time. Let us be patient, but at the same time leave no stone unturned that will quicken our pace.

We have spent days in denying the [91] existence of evil, and we are now ready to affirm the existence of good. All is good. No harm can come to me. I am not afraid.

All is good, but the manifestation of good depends upon man; and it is the manifestation of good that I call creation. Man manifests through his power to recognize. He, therefore, creates in the sense of making visible. Nothing remains for man to do but to make good manifest. Now, the first and principal thing toward the manifestation of good is to believe in it--"believe in good if you would be saved." We make manifest that which we believe in, and nothing else. We believe in evil; and though evil is not a self-existent force like good, yet the belief in evil has overshadowed us so that we have made almost nothing manifest and so the might of our splendid lives has been nearly nullified. Good, or Life, is a self-existent force. To believe in good is to be met face to face by good at every step. We have no conception of our immense capabilities, and cannot have until a belief in good shall have given a few of the astonishing results that are sure to follow such a belief. Even believing in evil, as we have done, and having taken the consequences of that belief, man still shadows forth the fact that he is a wonderful creature. Let him believe in good, in that which is desirable, and before the belief is fairly knit into the fiber of his brain, he will begin to see himself master of time and fate, and the thing which had seemed impossible of achievement will yield to his touch immediately. For in this mighty universe of absolute good he who holds the key, "belief," opens the door and takes what he will.

Belief is a thing of cultivation; and the Bible makes it apparent that the one thing we are to overcome is unbelief--unbelief in good. Therefore, knowing the grounds of our belief, feeling them to be solid, we must proceed to teach ourselves how to believe even as we teach children their lessons. It will be line upon line and precept upon precept. We have spent several days in making these denials. If we have made them faithfully we know that we are not sinners, for the simple reason that there is no sin. We also know that our neighbors are not sinners, even though their offenses seem to loom up mountain high. They, too, are only ignorant of good. Bearing this in mind, we feel a sympathetic tenderness for them we never felt before. Moreover, our own consciences are less morbid in their activity. A constant denial of evil has stopped their accusations by lifting the sense of guilt, and thereby we are at rest and comparatively free from what is called the temptation to sin. The denial of sin destroys our belief of sin as something with a sense of guilt attached, and proves its character in this respect. These mistakes called sins have, by the very penalty which society attaches to them, been made a temptation to us--a sort of "I dare you to come this way." Humanity will not take a dare. It climbs every fence stretched before it. It will find out what is on the other side; and it does well; for there is no greater evidence of man's inherent greatness than the fact that he will not be fenced in. Take down the fences. Let the student declare at once and forever that, knowing the higher law, he will be governed by it henceforth without compulsion. Do not let your conscience--miseducated by constant contact with the negatives--made fearful and cowardly by a belief in evil--frighten you any longer, but rise up in the majesty of truth, and cast the whole burden of guilt and shame from you by a recognition and avowal of the fact that all is good. This will bring forth the manhood of men and the womanhood of women and the Godhood of good from within them.

All is good. Keep repeating it to yourself, and get a comprehension of it as soon as may be. Ask yourself of what good consists. Good consists of all there is. No matter how poor or mean or small some things look to your [92] uneducated perceptions, or how negative and helpless the condition, it is something which is indispensable in its place in the economy of the whole, and which with many other things and conditions, great and small, strong and weak, developed and undeveloped, fills in and helps to make complete the grand whole. No substance, or thing, or condition, but has its use as a laboratory for evolving, finishing and refining of universal good. Everything which appears to be wrong or sinful in you is but the error of your negative life, the mistake of your ignorance, and is pledged to beat, bruise, push and maltreat you until you are thrust into a higher and better condition.

We are voids which should be filled with knowledge of absolute truth; but until we are thus filled, darkness possesses us, and the faint movements of light which break the darkness into fantastic shapes, are our beliefs. Our beliefs--those beliefs by which our lives are guided--have no better claim to respect than this. And yet, see how we cling to them.

There is nothing which will let the light into our lives and banish the darkness but knowledge of the great truth--all is good. As the darkness goes, our beliefs will go. We will begin to see things as they are. We will begin to know; and knowledge wipes out beliefs. And since we live among beliefs, where was yet there is no positive knowledge, we must introduce another belief which promises more than any former belief. As all our beliefs have failed to save us from error, sickness, and death, we can try this new belief with the full conviction that we will be none the worse for it, in any event. We have nothing to lose, but much to gain. This belief (it is only a belief to the student as yet) is based upon the one idea that all the races of the world have agreed upon. "God is good," exclaims the Mohammedan; "All is good," says the Persian; and in every language under the sun this expression has its equivalent. When the people of all the world have united upon a thought, it may be depended that it is one of those intuitional thoughts born with the race, and, therefore, true.

All is good--all is Life. Let this truth take hold upon you; dwell upon it constantly; work over again every problem of your life by it. If the newspapers bring you constant reports of evil, hold fast to the fact in your mind that all is good, and be willing to wait until a riper knowledge makes clear to you why all is good. For, having received this wonderful truth, everything within you, and outside of you, adjusts itself in parallel lines with it, just as a great magnet placed among steel filings will compel every atom to adjust itself in conformity with its polarity.

Dear student, do you not see that it is impossible for me to educate you in a knowledge of this science? I can only show you the way to educate yourself; and your progress must depend on your faithful effort to carry out the line I am laying down. Try and believe with all your strength that all is good. Assert it mentally and keep asserting it.

Belief, having travelled so long in the wrong direction, must be turned around and held with its face toward the light--even forcibly, if necessary, long enough to become accustomed to the dazzling and pure white flame. It will become accustomed to it, and it will rejoice in it, and move forward to meet it jubilantly.

It is sometimes necessary to break through one's environments with brute force, and without the sanction of the reasoning powers. It was in this way that I freed myself from the superstitions of a false and foolish religion, into a belief of which I was born, and in the prison house [ Northwoods note : Wilmans refers here to her Catholic boarding school] of which I was held by a circle of other believers, through whom no single ray of truth could penetrate.

As personal experiences--though they seem egotistical--are of immense use in pointing a lesson, I will now present an account of the struggle that took me out of the church.

[93] Is the student aware that by far the greatest number of insane people in the world have been driven insane by the horrors of the Christian religion? I have seen statistics for the statement that four persons out of every five who fill our insane assylums are there on account of their religious beliefs. If this is true, then war, pestilence, famine, intemperance and hydrophobia all put together are less harmful than religion.

The quintessence of insanity is in a religion that embraces the idea of a vengeful God and a condition of endless punishment--no matter whether that condition be a burning hell or a burning conscience. And there is no one, not a loving soul on earth, who can enter into a living vital realization of such a belief and remain sane. I have a right to know this; for I was on the extreme verge of sanity when I discarded my religion.

I took it all in such dead earnest, I could not forget it for one instant. I had been steeped in it from my birth.

I knew nothing different. I was surrounded by the absolutely unbroken influence of the church; and no idea had ever reached me through my reading, or the influence of others, to awaken a doubt in my mind as to the truthfulness of the whole fearful scheme, from the horror of which I could never free myself for a single moment after I reached an age where I began to think.

But my tremendous awakening came with the birth of my baby daughter. As the child grew, my terrors grew.

The preachers always put up at our house; I was so "conscientious a Christian," I worked so hard, and I begged so much money for them; I was the best cook on the circuit, and I baked myself over the kitchen stove to pander to their appetites until I was ready to expire with the effort.

But all the time I was begging to know more of the plan of salvation. I wanted positive assurance that my baby would be saved. I demanded an absolute guarantee of this. Half-way promises only served to make me wild. Eventually, I did become wild and desperate at their indifference. I began to wonder how men, whose business was the saving of souls, could eat, and sleep, and laugh, and recount anecdotes, and be genial and jovial, and fond of money and pleasure, and strive for the good things of earth quite as much as other men, while my baby and a world of other babies were in jeopardy of hell-fire. The questions I put to them, and the whole tenor of my talk, rendered me a perfect blister to them. Finally I accused them of the deadly sin of indifference; and at last one Sunday afternoon, when the presiding elder and four or five other preachers were present I became violent. I passed from under my own power of self-control. I was realizing--in a manner beyond the possibility of description--the awfulness of hell and the helplessness of man; how only so few would avail themselves of God's plan of salvation, and how many would, of necessity, be doomed to the tortures of an endless punishment; and there were the preachers smoking cigars and laughing and talking over the small topics of neighborhood gossip. I asked them how they could find room in their brains for a happy thought.

"Take it easy, sister," said the elder; "make your own calling and election sure and leave the rest with God."

I remember the very words I used in answering him. I said, "I can never be happy in heaven if even a dog has to endure the tortures of an endless hell. Oh! what shall I do?"

He began some more of his platitudes, but I did not listen; I became wild with passion and ordered them all out of the house. And they went, too, and did not stop to say good-bye.

And when they were gone I sat down and waited and waited for contrition to come; for before, when I had spoken an unkind word, I repented it quickly and bitterly. But no repentance came this time, but in its place such lightness, such happiness, such glorious relief [94] as I had never experienced in all my life.

I was free from the bondage of a life-long fear. And I had come free through the effort of irrational brute force; because I did not know at that time that I was right. I did not know but I was sinking into the depths of irretrievable damnation. And it was only after I had burst my bonds in this unreasoning way that the light broke in upon me.

But how rapidly it did break into my mind! It was as if my mind had been growing under a fearful pressure, as a blade of grass grows under a rock--curling round upon itself in its efforts to reach the light when suddenly the rock is rolled away and the poor, tortured thing straightens up in the splendid sunshine and achieves in an hour an altitude that requires weeks of ordinary growth to reach.

From that moment, the whole world assumed a different meaning to me. The books that I had read and that had helped rivet my bonds became arrant nonsense.

I was a changed woman from that hour. I felt within myself the religion of a truer humanity than had entered the conception of any of the various creeds. I looked out with glowing love upon the race; with an honest pride in its endeavor to actualize its ideal; and with a divine restfulness in its power eventually to save itself from the curse of its own ignorance, which, even then, I saw to be the only curse under which it labored.

I have given this personal experience because I am sure that there are some students who are as helplessly hemmed in by early education and present environment as I was; and who will never free themselves except by the tremendous and apparently irrational effort that I made. I had come to a place in my experience where I had to choose between going to hell (as I supposed) or going insane; and some desperate and reckless impulse within me--which turned out to be the beautiful spirit of freedom--made me prefer the former. And who can reckon the surprise I felt when I found heaven instead--a heaven that has been enlarging to my comprehension ever since?

If you would learn truth, you must first discard prejudice, even if you tear its old rags from you with brute force, and if their absence leaves you utterly naked. It is a daring deed that truth always rewards by clothing you anew in her own beautiful garments.

Lesson 6 - The Soul of Things

[103] To be nobler; to be better; to be greater intrinsically and all over; to be more and do more; to project a grander doing from a grander being; to extract a deeper vitality from a deeper knowing--this is the enticement to live.

Why, men are actually asking for some incentive to live! They are so tired of the old beliefs, and yet unable--with the limited range of their mental vision--to see anything better, that they are begging to be shown something worth living for. They feel their stagnation so much, submerged as they are in the world's dead thought, that each day is a weariness to them, and will be until they are aroused by the newer and more invigorating ideas founded upon a wider conception of man's own latent possibilities.

Only their own original thought can save them.

And the fountain-head of this original thought within the man has been dammed up so long by the dead-beliefs of a dead age, that not one in a hundred knows that he can think. Fewer still have the slightest conception of the power of thought, or dream of how this alone will change the whole current of existence for them when it begins to flow; nor of how it will--not only make them alive all over, but will give life to everything they see; thus transforming the dead world into a living world of enchanted beauty.

Self-generated thought is the vital fluid itself. It courses through a man's veins, and stimulates him to undreamed activities. But he needs to draw it fresh from the fountain-head of his own organism each day. Therefore, he must at once turn his back on the beliefs of the present age--on all of them--for they are not his. Even those among them which are truest are not properly related to him by the divine parentage of his own creative functions; and so he must let them go, and step clear from them all in absolute nakedness. He must then search his own organism for the well-spring of original thought, and bring it forth in which to clothe himself. For man is a mental being, and truth, in a thousand forms, is the Life Principle lying latent and made visible by his own recognition of it. This is the true method of mental growth--which is also "physical" growth--for as sure as the world turns on its axis, Walt Whitman was right when he said: "The soul is the body and the body is the soul." For a man is whole. His so-called physical being is his mental being, and the ever progressive unfoldment of the mental will be the ever progressive unfoldment of the physical.

At present the mental is standing still, chained to the old dead beliefs; and the physical is standing still, chained to the old dead beliefs, because the mental and physical are one. The physical is the mental and the mental is the physical. It is one; and is one with the dead beliefs, and dead with them. Yes, dead, all but that faint consciousness of life that renders death perceptible.

[104] Truth is a substantial element springing from the human organism in obedience to the demand for it. Ask yourself a question in relation to your own vital unfoldment, and the answer is revealed to you out of yourself, just as the fruit on the tree makes its demands upon the roots of the tree for more nourishment, and gets it. What you ask for will come to you in the shape of thought; and what is more, it will be pure, vital life essence, and will fill you with fresh power.

Without knowing anything about anatomy, or caring anything about it, I yet seem to perceive that the human organism--in itself one whole and perfect laboratory for the evolvement of life--is composed of three distinct departments; of which the stomach with its dependencies comes first in the process of growth, and is the lowest--being nearest the earth, as it were, its business being the transmutation of the earth's products into something finer than itself, out of which arises the second laboratory, represented by the sex system, or the vital and reproductive system. Then from these two lower laboratories--the digestive and the reproductive--comes the third and the highest, which is the brain.

The earth and all of its products are tributary to the lower of these laboratories, the digestive system. The digestive and the sex system, with the whole earth and all its, as yet, unknown elements, are tributary to the brain. There is nothing in the world that the brain may not command and obtain, provided the order is sent by the proper route--namely, through its tributary digestive systems that unite it with the earth. For it is a fact that a man is a growth, just as a tree is a growth. He is rooted in the earth and draws sustenance from the earth by the stomach, just as the tree is rooted and draws sustenance from the earth through its roots.

Nor does the proof of his kinship with the tree stop here, for the tree corresponds to the man in other ways. Its body corresponds to the man's vital system, and its leaves and flowers to his brain. The whole effort of nature is to develop this threefold digestive machine for itself the meaning of its organization and the power vested in it.

Always evolution is from lower to higher; from the earth upward or outward; always away from the more leaden or the deader influences of the earth toward the freedom of the more etherealized substances that exist in greater abundance outside of the earth, and that keep refining and strengthening in proportion as they go outward.

Therefore, the time comes when the trees are emancipated in a measure from the earth. Their roots are no longer embedded in the soil, but have assumed the form of feet and roam over the ground in the lives of various animals. In their development they have been recognizing (unconsciously to themselves) more and more of the infinite Vital Principle that permeates all intelligence, and this enlarged recognition has projected more enlarged and more free lives. All evolution leads in the direction of freedom.

The subject of evolution will never be understood until the great change in human thought, now going on, is in a measure completed. That change means the complete transposition of thought from the basis of dead matter and a material universe, to the basis of vital intelligence and a universe of living mental substance. The old scientists have elaborated the idea on the materialistic plane; they have done immense good in just this; but when their entire system shall have become transmuted from material to intellectual, or spiritual, it will then stand forth its true colors, and the whole world will understand the mystery of (so-called) creation.

Man is a spokesman of the one eternal Life. He is the interpreter of it. It "materializes," or becomes visible externally through his comprehension of it--through his intelligence.

[105] Man is an unfailing fountain of truth whose constant outflow, if encouraged, would fill life with new activities, and the world with new and mighty uses. But is it encouraged? On the contrary, every outlet for the flow of new and fresh and vital truth is closed up by the tyranny of the old thought that rules the age.

The old is enemy to the new, and yet the new alone has saving power. Must this state of affairs continue? Must the synods continue to crush their foremost men because they cannot help but think? Must the newspapers, in their sedulous effort to keep with the majority, treat with contempt, and often with abuse, each new idea that appears in print for the simple reason that it is new?

Look at the mighty work there is for the new thought to do!

The masses are in the hands of the enemies of the new thought; and under their blighting influence they lie half dead and almost impervious to the lifting power of the new. Look at the entrenchments of the old thought. It has been built into systems, and is sustained by mighty salaries drawn from the very heart's blood of its victims. It is organized at every point. It is well equipped for a long siege; but its equipment is not proof against the decomposing influence of the new and high thought now coming into the world.

By way of illustrating what I have been saying, let us glance at the positions of labor. Each succeeding year there is a growing excess of laborers over the demand for them. With every improvement in machinery thousands of men and women are thrown out of work. Every discovery of a new motor, or every new application of an existing one, is paid for in human lives reduced to beggary; in children defrauded of everything that makes life worth living. What then, shall we quit making discoveries? Shall we stand still, or, what would be better yet, if this is the proper idea, shall we not destroy what machinery we have and return to the primitive condition wherein each family spun and wove its own wool and cotton, raised its own hog and hominy, and felt itself independent of the need of exchange?

But exchange is life--exchange of every description--and the absence of it leads to stagnation and ends in death. Therefore we cannot return to these old conditions, nor can we stand still where we are. We must press forward in making still more discoveries, that will throw still more people out of work.

But the people have got to have work, and in order to have it, we must create new uses. In order to do this we must cease to repress desire in ourselves. On the contrary, we must foster and cherish our desires and let them become our stimulant to greater creativeness. Desire is the spirit of every effort. To suppress desire is to kill effort before it is born.

Now the race is not to keep going forever round and round in the execution of the same old uses, like a blind horse in a tread-mill. If this is to be the case it might as well cease to exist. And the fact is, the race is now manifesting the result of its past and present tread-mill existence, and is even at this time beginning to cease to exist. Look at the fact that we have three million laborers unemployed in the United States alone. This means that there are three million persons over and above the number actually needed. That which is not needed disappears; and the hard conditions of these people, their lack of enough food and warmth, will tell on them in time, and they and their offspring will become weaker and weaker and finally cease to be factors of society. Not being needed they must either make themselves needed or disappear. In the course of evolution there is no room at the bottom. The lopping off goes on at the bottom; never at the top. In the race growth, all the room there is, is at the top. The creative principle works from below [106] upward; and its one propelling force is desire. Those who are content with little, get little, and finally get nothing. They crush the voice of desire within themselves, and desire, which is the propeller of all activities, ceases, and when it ceases the person who generates it, or who ought to generate it, ceases.

Now people must desire. Those who have ceased to desire must begin to cultivate the faculty again. But this is only the beginning. After desiring they must trust their desires; they must put every particle of faith they can summon in their desires. This condition is creative; it is a condition that furnishes new ideas, and that stimulates to the effort that embodies them.

This is what I mean when I say that the race must create new uses or die. Nature is always true to herself. She produces with a lavish hand in each special line of her vast creativeness, and one would suppose that it would never cease. But, lo! a nobler creation appears, and that which was produced in such abundance disappears. It was only a preparation for a higher birth. As with vegetation, so with races. Only the exercise of the creative principle with a race is ever the guarantee of its immortality. If it grows, it is all right; it will be continued in life. To create new uses is to grow. The only way to create new uses is to trust our desires by carrying them into effect in the external world.

Imagination lies at the base of desire, and is its mother. It is endlessly prolific; so much so, so stupendously suggestive of wonderful possibilities, that we are afraid to trust it. "It is too good to be true," we say, and, with the faint-heartedness of a fatal ignorance, we shut our eyes upon the glorious prospect it opens to us. And yet, to trust the desires born of imagination is the beginning of the creation of the new uses that alone will entitle the race to a permanent habitation upon the earth. In the creation of new uses will be found our own salvation. This alone is race growth.

The imagination is eternally forecasting a condition of more than heavenly splendor; but the dull, everyday, treadmill faculties are constantly discrediting the glorious vision. Now, so long as this condition endures, so long as this barrier to farther progress continues to exist, will the race--as it continues to multiply--keep pressing with more and greater weight against the barrier; and in this pressure the weaker will be crushed; and, indeed, there will be no comfort for any, on account of the eternal scramble for better places, and the fear of losing such places as we now occupy--which, in spite of the small comfort we get out of them, are better than none.

This is the condition of race stagnation today. There is only one way out of it, and that is by bursting the barrier that prevents the foremost from going farther. This would enable the slower in development to trail after the foremost, and thus keep all creatures in motion on the progressive route.

What is the barrier? It is doubt . Doubt of all things but the already demonstrated facts of everyday life. This doubt strangles imagination, the mother of desire, and prevents the expression in effort of a thousand--yea, a million--creative resources lying latent in man, as the tree lies latent in the acorn.

If the acorn were developed to that point intellectually, where doubt is born, it would never be anything but the acorn. It would discredit the splendid imagination that forecasts the oak--and the desire that cries for expression--and the oak would die within it. It is due to the fact that doubt is not yet evolved on the lower, or unconscious, plane of growth, that growth has the power to proceed at all. Doubt is born of thought when thought begins to ask questions. And, in the plant and animal world, individuals have not become introspective, and do not ask questions. The power to do this belongs to man.

[107] Thought, being the body-builder, has the privilege either to discredit desire or to believe in it, and thereby clothe and make it manifest.

Desire, in the order of evolution, seems to precede thought. It does not really do this, since the two are coeval; but one thing is certain, it does precede self-conscious or self-analytical thought. Thought exists long before it becomes conscious of its existence; hence my meaning when I speak of conscious thought and unconscious thought.

Now in the growth of the lower orders of life, desire--which is the basic principle of all development--is not discredited by the doubts that are born of thought; and so the process of growth--as we observe it--is simply marvelous, if we are to judge it consistently with the present status of our doubting minds. Suppose, for instance, we knew nothing of the past miracles of growth, and someone should tell us that a mighty tree lay folded in an acorn, or that the glorious Japan lily--that most wonderful of flowers--was enwrapped in the folds of the little rusty-looking bulb. How easily we could disprove it from the materialistic standpoint by dissecting both acorn and bulb, and finding no trace of their mysterious intelligences. The desire that exists in these seed germs, the mighty power of unfoldment never to be discerned by material analysis, the potency of indestructible individuality, the characteristic, self-respecting, impregnable and invulnerable "I" is there, and holds true to itself, waiting and waiting its chance for expression under circumstances that favor it. But of all this mighty power, not a trace is visible to the natural eye. And yet experience has proven that it exists, and we know it, and have ceased to wonder.

Now, man is a seed germ of infinitely greater power of unfoldment. But, because we have never seen his unfoldment we doubt his power. We have grown to a point in intellectual growth where we have reached the negative pole of our own mighty intelligences, and where, instead of believing in them, and in the buds of promise starting up from them, we doubt, and these doubts chill and wither the buds; and so the race stands still as we see it, and in almost the same tracks it has been in for hundreds of years.

Desire is the soul of individual growth. Although I cannot state what follows as a demonstrated fact, yet it does seem as if desire were a part of the Law of Attraction drawn to organization by individual recognition. An analysis of desire shows us that is possesses the same quality that the Law does--it draws; it possesses the drawing power. This drawing power at certain stages of its evolvement becomes love, the very soul of all life, the heating or living principle (that principle in nature which, when perceived in its effects, has been called God.)

Now, whether desire is of the Law of Attraction or not, it surely seems to be, and it is the very voice of nature within us that constantly reaches out in pursuit of greater expression. Therefore if I were to speak from the old theological standpoint on this matter, I should say that desire is the voice of God within us, and that all growth depends upon our listening to this voice, and obeying it. Theologians, however, have divided their God and made a devil of one half of him, and they say that the voice of desire in man is from the devil.

They do not know that desire points always in the direction of freedom, which is happiness, and that the many fearful actions charged to its account come from the mistaken efforts of the intellect to gratify it.

Desire is certainly the voice of nature speaking through the man's intelligence. It may be crushed out by thought, the body-builder, or it may be clothed by recognition and made manifest in flesh and blood. Doubt of its worth and its noble aim and [108] end will crush it. Intelligent recognition of its true character, its noble purpose and its power, will establish it in visible manifestation in such forms of manly and womanly strength and beauty and grace and lovingness as the imagination cannot now conceive of.

Every manifestation of life, whether mineral, vegetable, animal or human, is an incarnation of the Law; the power that draws to a common center; the Love Principle, or Life Principle, of the universe. The Law is expressed in love. Every life loves something and wants that something, and grows to a larger life by the acquisition of it.

Every life therefore is a bundle of desires, and the more complex the life, the more manifold the desires. The tree climbs to a nobler growth through the gratification of its appetites, which are its highest desires. So does the worm; so does the greater animal.

But it has been the unflagging effort of all civilizations to crush out the natural desires of men and women, and substitute a cut-and-dried system for the training of the race; pruning people down and pressing them into certain molds--mostly of a theological pattern. And so it happens that men do not express the spirit within them, the living, breathing desires that they are, but something else that means nothing, or almost nothing.

"Conceived in sin and born in iniquity," says the Bible; which means that man was conceived in a false belief and born to reap its consequences. That false belief is, that his natural desires (which constitute the man proper) are vile and sinful, and must be crushed out. Desire is not only the means of man's unfoldment, but it is the unfolding man himself; it is the Law of Attraction unfolding through the man--a recognition of which, by the man's intelligence, conjoins the man with this Law, to his realization of the words Jesus spoke when he said, "I and the Father are one."

When you crush or moderate or tame the desire, you crush or moderate or tame the man. Man as incarnate Love, or desire, is an aggregating center. All that he desires from out of the inorganic mass of things drifts to him by the Law of Attraction, if he will not chill his desire by a doubt. And no one is defrauded by this, because in deep truth the supply is always equal to the demand. It is only when desire for those things called property begins that men have to regulate the gratification of their desires by a sense of justice. Even this apparent suppression of desire is not suppression, but the yielding of an inferior desire for the gratification of a greater one.

"But," says the student, "the sense of justice is surely the boundary line of desire." To which I answer, "No; desire can never find a boundary line; but it can fill the measure of growth on the horizontal plane--the plane on which we now live, and in which property rights have their origin--but this apparent limitation will have the glorious effect of pushing desire upward into a higher plane, where a higher, a more unfettered and a nobler class of thoughts will clothe it in a new form of splendor and power."

The babe is born into the world--a pure love--to unfold itself constantly to ever increasing desires. But the crushing process begins immediately; and presently it is pressed into the mold of the world's ignorant or negative beliefs, and ceases to grow. It ceases to grow as it ceases to desire. Having reached man's estate he congratulates himself that the keen edge of his ambition is dulled; that he is learning content. Oh! death, thou art in league with content for the annihiliation of the race! By slow degrees, the natural desires, instead of being trained and made stronger and guided upward, and changed into aspirations for the absolutely true in all things, are pushed back and chilled, and finally killed; and this is the end of man's vitality, and consequently the end of his life. For desire is the pure [109] fountain flowing from that central fire of love which is the motive power of vitality. And aspiration is desire endowed with wings that lift man upward and above the horizontal plane of the world's present status of thought. "Oh, that I could fly away on the wings of my desires!" But the wings of our desires are constantly clipped until our desires become the tamest of domestic fowls, and the pure and holy ambitions they would have developed into lie dormant, leaving us in the "sere and yeallow leaf," abandoned to the deadness of a mildewed content that we call the "will of God."

It is man alone who is creative, or who has the power of making things manifest or visible. I want, I want, is the constant cry of organized or visible forms. More, more, is the ever ringing demand of the individual; I want more. It is not God who wants more, but I, myself. For this is what individualization means; and the objective world is the world of individuals.

Sin, sickness, poverty and death are the result of negative vitality--negation of life. We lack vitality because we crush out desire, which is the only stimulant to vitality, the only generator of it. In this condition of powerlessness anything may happen to us, because we do not resist and do not believe we ought to resist. "God sends us these afflictions," we say, when in fact it is our non-recognition of the desire within us (the Life Principle of the Universe) that permits them or renders their presence possible.

These conditions or beliefs are nothing more than that general establishment of negative development which all through the ages have simply repeated themselves in a series of never ending rounds while waiting the advent of their master--man. And man has been here for thousands of years, and, in his mistaken sense of humility, based upon a belief in his abject dependence on a personal God, he has regarded these weaknesses, or denials, of his power as his masters. The negative forces--which are the unintelligent forces--are on top, simply because man--the intelligent force--does not take his place above them. And all this time he has believed that his false position with regard to these negative forces was God-ordained; and this belief has paralyzed his desire, by teaching him content. In paralyzing the desire, instead of training it into legitimate and noble aspiration, the man has been paralyzed. And this is the situation today; an awfully mistaken situation that man must be educated out of.

Man must be taught his supremacy over the negatives. He must understand that the Principle of Being which speaks through the tree and the worm in desire, speaks through him in still nobler desire; in other words, that his desires are the voices of nature calling for greater and stronger and more wonderful manifestation upon the eternal plane of life.

The "more, more" that cries through me, from the simplest little want to the loftiest hope, is but a reverberation from the undiscovered vaults of a glorious and endless progression, that I may yet traverse in this gradually refining mental body, if I will not blight my desire with the chilling touch of deadly doubt.

Look at desire and see what it is. It is something within us whose outreaching relates us to something desirable yet to be attained. Is life a lie that a desire may exist and that which gratifies it may not exist? How superlatively foolish such an idea is! And say what we will of desires that appear evil, there is no evil in them, for happiness is the soul's supreme desire, and includes and sanctifies all desires--even those which, for the time being, prospect for it in mistaken directions; thus obtaining the curse of society and the restriction of the law and adding strength to the popular belief that it is God's will that human desires should be crushed. The mistakes we have made in following our desires to [110] the realization of our highest ideals (dreadful ideals, many of them, but leading to higher ones) are the events that have cemented public opinion in the belief that desire is of the devil, and that it must of necessity be crushed out or subordinated to a mistaken idea of "God's will."

Desire is the aggregating principle of life in man. It is the cohesive quality. It is the "I" in him about which all belongings congregate. Desire--our own desires--all of them, from the simplest cry of the babe for food to the most complex wants of the most highly spiritualized being, are monitions of the Law or Principle of Attraction speaking in us for that thought material--that recognition with which we may become clothed in greater power and splendor and beauty and opulence.

That manifestation in whom desire is supremest is master by inherent right. Desire, being greater in man than in any other creature, proclaims at once his mastership and his unequivocal title to this position. He cuts down the tree because his desire for fuel or lumber overmasters the tree's desire to live. He kills the animal because his desire for food overmasters the animal's desire for life. And thus the survival of the fittest, through the mastery of the strongest desire, has worked the world's conditions up to where they now stand.

And here is man, the conqueror, who has mastered all things and put them beneath his feet through desire, now that he is on the very threshold of the kingdom he has conquered, held back from entering into possession by the false assumption of ignorance that the desire in him, and which is he, is an evil thing and must be subordinated to "God's will"--as if this very desire were not the one eternal self-existent will expressed as only it ever expresses itself--through living organizations of which man is the most complete.

Lesson 7 - Faith, Our Guide Through the Dark

(Part 1)

[119] No man has the slightest conception of the Law of Attraction abstracted from the living organisms in which it is manifested. We can only perceive it by that which recognizes it. It is growth in the tree; it is development in the animal; it is evolution in all nature; and in all things, from low to high, evolution is prompted by the desire of the organized creature pushing forth to its own accomplishment. Then all we can know of the Law is made manifest through desire. We cannot do otherwise than believe in the law. Therefore, we cannot do otherwise than believe in desire. To throw ourselves upon our desires and trust them is to throw ourselves upon the Law and trust its absolute infallibility.

In spite of the manner in which we have crucified our desires, they have still operated to work all the benefit the world has ever received. Look back to the cave dwellers, and farther, and see that the course of the race has been progressive and not retrogressive. Is not this so? And what influence has operated to produce this constant improvement; this greater and still greater manifestation of the Law? I answer, it has all been unfolded from the actualization of the desires of man. Every change in government, from the nomadic tribes up through kingcraft to our democracy, has been the growing desires of man acting upon the negative creations about him.

The world exists for the unfoldment of man's desires. The unfoldment of man's desires is the unfoldment of the man. The unfoldment of the man is the making of the latent possibilities of the Law manifest in the world of effects, and the multiplying a thousand-fold the new uses by which the whole race shall climb the ladder of civilization to higher heights than any previous civilization has ever attained, or ever dreamed possible of attainment.

I am my own eternal "want to." I want to do this, and I want to do that, and every "want to" is the impulse of the Law of Life which I do but embody for the purpose of showing it forth. The Law of Attraction, or the Life Principle--which is the Law or organization by which atoms cohere in the myriad of forms we see in nature--pushes through my "want to." Shall I believe in the law, and execute this "want to," or shall I say, "The Law is all wrong; it is a sinful, wretched affair," and so turn aside and drift with the inorganic negatives which my "want to" could control if I could but trust it?

My "want to" is my immortal self-hood. It points forever in the direction of happiness; and I have but one object in life--that of being happy. That my "want to" may lead me in the wrong direction is not to be considered for a moment. It is sure to do so, because we are but children in the dark groping toward the light, and [120] we hurt ourselves and others in the effort. But with happiness as the goal of every effort--the one eternal enticement--"all roads lead to Rome." The lode-star of the spirit's everlasting yearning is always shining fair and clear, and our eyes never waver in the intentness with which we regard it, even though our feet may be the brambles in the path, and our bodies bruised all over in blind collision with our struggling bodies on the same journey. As the star becomes brighter and the light clearer, there will be fewer mistakes. And eventually, in the broad light of splendid day, we will perceive that the desirable is the attainable, not only for ourselves, but for all; that the supply is equal to the demand; and then competition will have developed into emulation, where each one, instead of striving to get the most good, will strive to do the most good.

I find myself quoting a good deal from the Bible, and yet I have none of that superstitious clinging to the Bible that marks the theologian. I have been a student of it, and it contains some remarkable things that have been quite overlooked by the clergy--one of which is that there is no special reference made to the future state of life after death. All the promises refer to a fulfillment in this world. In fact, everything points to a time when death should be overcome right here, and when the "Lord's chosen" should inhabit the earth forever. The two factors that were to bring about this condition were expressed in the words "believe" and "overcome."

To Him Who Conquers

To him that overcomes is every promise made. And what is it that is to be overcome? The religion of the world says that it is our desires that are to be overcome.

I say that if desire could be overcome (which it cannot be, though the pressure upon it has forced it into a great variety of dreadful expressions) the Life Principle would be overcome; and nature--which is the visible and audible manifestation of the Life Principle--would be wiped out.

To overcome presupposes that which is to overcome, and that which is to be overcome. That which is to overcome is the Life Principle in man, as expressed in desire. That which is to be overcome is all that stands in the way of the fullest expansion and operation of man's desires.

And what is it that stands most in the way of the expansion and operation of man's desire? It is the thousand and one ignorant beliefs into which the race is born; beliefs that hedge our desire at every step; that press in on us more and more, making us reflections of themselves instead of reflections of Life, thus marring and maiming, and finally killing us.

These beliefs are real conditions. Everything being mind, all conditions are beliefs and all beliefs are conditions. [121] These beliefs or conditions, then, are the crude surroundings which await us at birth, and which are our tools and servants, to be used by us in working out our desires to larger ends than we have yet dreamed of, thus making them our allies in the more perfect manifestation of the Life Principle in the world.

It has been said that a man is a bundle of beliefs; and so he is after being pressed into conformity with the world's beliefs; but in his primordial essence he is not a bundle of beliefs, but a bundle of desires. As spoken from out of that unexplored void from whence all life issues, he is an aggravating spark of pure sex fire, to grow and grow forever through his loves or desires--these loves, or desires, stretching forth all the time and crying, "More, more!" And he entered this world of negative beliefs, not to conform to these beliefs, but to shape them to his own liking. There is a life of perpetual conquest before him; perpetual overcoming.

And does man conquer? No, not yet. He conforms to the negative beliefs into which he was born. Now and then he presents a weak face of semi-resistance to them, always to back down from the contest, defeated. Indeed, he is defeated before he begins the contest--defeated by the belief that even his God is against him; for he has been educated to believe this. And yet, being a bundle of desires, he attempts to actualize them in spite of his belief that they are of the devil. He temporizes with his conscience on this point to a certain extent, and in the meantime builds ramparts, as it were, for his own protection against the overwhelming and constantly encroaching negatives; not knowing that his desires are meant for his guides; not knowing that desire is the heaven-born master of belief, and that he, as the incarnation of desire, has only to announce his mastery in order to see belief give way before him until it is utterly routed and destroyed.

When the full understanding of this great truth--that desire is the master of those conditions or beliefs that have so long mastered us--first burst upon me, I was as one reborn. The very moment this great truth worked its slow way through my thought, and at last banished every cobweb of doubt, I stood revealed to myself as a babe just come into a new world. And, indeed, it was so. I was born out of earth beliefs, into the heaven of unlimited aspiration and unlimited fruition.

Forever in search of truth and never before satisfied to rest one moment, I yet knew, at this point, that I had found a resting place; a place not on the incline where I might slip back again, but on the summit where it was safe to rest. And for several days I did rest just like a sleeping infant who has passed safely from its dark, narrow, embryonic home into the world of air and light and freedom. I knew that I was safe; I knew that my feet had been placed on the right road, and all I had to do was to push forward; to push forward to overcome those negatives which had so long been my master. Being born into the truth, I felt that I had nothing to do but to grow in it.

After a few days, I began to question myself whether I was really growing or not. I went over the old ground. "I am reborn," I said, "into the true life of love, whose manifestation is aspiration, but why do I still remain so weak?" The answer came. I had crushed my desires so long they were almost dead. I recalled the time, and almost the hour, when I could look into the shop windows upon the splendid array of velvets and laces and jewels without wishing any for myself. I recalled how, at that time, I had congratulated myself on the self-conquest this fact showed forth. I did not know that the amount of self-conquest the circumstance registered, also registered the amount of deadness that had come to me as the result of my supposed victory. I remembered how (long ago) any little disappointment nearly [122] broke my heart, and how glad I was, as time passed, to be able to have my desires crushed without such keen suffering. But every bit of palliation brought by the years was evidence of the amount of death each crushed desire had left; until at last, when the great truth for which I had been so long searching burst upon me, I seemed already dead in the death of every hope my nature had ever given birth to. I was in that fearful and most irreclaimable condition called "content." I was fast becoming an old woman--something I never intended to be. I saw the whole situation. If I intended to live and grow in the new life to which I had been born through my intelligence, I must, indeed, become again as a little child.

And what is it to become again as a little child? It is to be one continual incarnation of "want," and to want not only with my soul, but with my body, for body and soul are one. A child is all want; and the moment its thought goes after a new want, its hands reach for it. Of course, the child and its wants are but the type of the man and his wants.

Then, in trying to gain strength after my new birth, my first denial was this: "No, I am not dead in negation." (This being dead in negation of life is what the Bible calls being "dead in trespasses and sins against God"--as manifested in our natural desires.)

This was the death that I denied. "I am not dead, but only sleeping. I will awake. I will sedulously affirm the existence of all those pure and harmless desires I once tried to overcome" (too successfully). And so I tried to make myself believe that new dresses and new rings were desirable; and, above all things, that the desire for anything whatever that would quicken the expiring vitality was desirable. For vitality, which is Life, is born of desire--the child of love.

To overcome our doubts of the divinity of our own desires is now in order. How are we to do this?

We are to do it first of all by a calm, clear conviction that desire is the spirit of growth in man, as in all things. We can only get this conviction by much thought and introspection. Look within yourself fearlessly, and in utter disregard of the opinions of the churches and of all your friends and acquaintances for demonstration of this truth. Cultivate your own powers of analysis by the closest observation, and turn a deaf ear to everything that does not conform to the conclusion you come to.

These conclusions are pretty sure to be faulty at first, but they are yours; they are a part of you. They are the first effort of growth in the native soil of your own mentality, and as such they are exceedingly valuable, since they demonstrate the productiveness of your own soil. Having demonstrated this one fact, of which you were almost unconscious before, you have established a certain amount of respect for yourself. You have found out that you are as capable of thought as others, and, therefore, do not have to hire someone to do your thinking for you. And so the mere fact that you have established in your mental organism the self-conscious power of original thought has lifted you a long way out of the negatives that surround you. You are mentally stronger; and as the mental is the physical, you are stronger all over; your vitality is greater and your health is better.

Having now reached a point of greater self-conscious power, go back and read the lessons over. Read them slowly, thoughtfully and critically. Do not accept them because I have proven them true. They are not your being--until you also have proven them true for yourself by the most solid kind of reasoning. By the time the light of your own intelligence breaks over the mighty fact that desire is the spirit of all life, the great and only prompter to action, you may begin to apply the denials and affirmations to it. You may deny that desire is a sinful [123] thing. You may affirm your respect for it and your confidence in it.

These denials and affirmations are wonderful in their effect, and the student should go alone many times a day to make them. They need not be spoken aloud. They can be made in the thought and be just as effective.

In the lower orders of life, desire is trusted with implicit confidence; and the result of trusting the desire is growth in the individual and evolution in all nature.

In the lower orders of life, the perception that desire is the legitimate impulse of all growth, is merely instinctive, or intuitional; instinct or intuition is natural knowledge; that knowledge of truth, of Life, which has never questioned itself, and, therefore, never thrown doubt upon itself.

As instinct or intuition has ripened into reason in the man--by a process of growth, through which he has called every faculty of his being into question--his doubts have awakened, and they have challenged each separate faculty he possesses to give a strict account of itself. From this point has ensued the gradual unfoldment of intuition into self-conscious reasoning power. The natural intelligence, which is instinct, or intuition, must be understood and endorsed by the man's riper perceptions, or else it will not be trusted. These riper perceptions in their gradual unfoldment have passed through ages of infidelity to the natural intelligence expressed by the words instinct and intuition; but now they are coming into a recognition of the value. And this personal recognition of the value of natural intelligence marks the line between growth on the animal plane, which I call unconscious growth, and growth on the higher plane, which I call conscious growth. Conscious growth is that high order of growth that understands the whole matter and can intelligently co-operate with natural or instinctive growth.

Looking within ourselves we find what all admit to be the intuitional nature; that peculiar faculty which takes it for granted--independent of any reasoning on the subject--that desire is the spirit of all life, and acts accordingly. This intuitional faculty is the undeveloped understanding. It is unbroken in its allegiance to the spirit of itself, which is desire, and by its unfaltering recognition of desire, it clothes desire in flesh and blood, and the desire becomes manifest or visible, on the external plane.

Intuition is that faculty in man by which he becomes aware of, or feels, the presence of an unerring power within himself that in some mysterious way answers questions for him; or, at least, inclines him in directions where he will find his questions answered.

And though so little is known of intuition; yet it is a notable fact that the faculty does command the most unbounded respect from persons who have made the study of mental phenomena a specialty.

And no wonder, because the beginning of all growth is in it--both of unconscious growth and conscious growth--as I will show further along.

Intuition is the laboratory through which the latent Life Principle becomes visible in tangible substance. The unfolding of the intuitive perceptions suggests to us the fact that in them there is a well of unfailing vitality to be drawn upon by the cultured intellect, and to be used in the upbuilding of the race; or in man's farther process at self-creation. It is the door opening into the hidden power of a realm of infinite possibilities. The question, then, is this: Is faith something related to intuition, or is it something apart and separate from it?

As a coming light dispels the darkness in front of it, so does intuition send forth in more or less brightness, according as the intuitional nature is more or less developed in the individual, a long stream of light, leading upward forever, and pointing always to shining heights ahead which is possible for us to attain, through that effort [124] which rests on a secure belief in the omnipresence of good. This stream of light is faith, and it is a clear stream that takes its rise in intuition.

Faith lights up the whole interior man; and this light keeps brightening all along the road that leads to his clear understanding. It points to the time when the full-fledged reasoning powers of the man shall have so developed as to confirm its hopes, desires and aspirations, all of which are the spirit of intuition, and its own spirit also.

Faith is not reason in its full sense. It is the trustfulness of intuition that longs for confirmation by the full-fledged reasoning faculties of the highly developed man. It is intuition in aspiration for something beyond and above its present reach. And when reason has confirmed faith, the individual has stepped up to a very high place indeed--to the place of understanding.

Faith is a guide to understanding, and until we reach understanding, the best thing we can do is to trust it. It is the light of our otherwise darkened lives.

The opponent to faith is doubt. Now, doubt is of the reasoning faculties, while faith is of intuition--the natural knowing, or the implanted knowing that comes from the earth life.

"But," the student asks, "is not the reasoning power the same thing as intuition? Is it not intuition developed to a self-conscious plane?"

Yes, it is; but at the point where self-conscious thought begins in man, there doubt is born. Self-conscious thought doubts first, because it accepts the evidence of the natural knowing--the intuitional perceptions.

With this doubt, it becomes aware of the existence of the positive pole of doubt, which is faith. At this juncture the investigating thought perceives the necessity of choosing which it shall rely upon in its farther search for truth. It may rely upon doubt, or it may rely upon hope, or faith. It soon finds that doubt leads nowhere and ends in absolute darkness, while faith is itself a light, and leads in the direction of more light.

Therefore, the growing intellect follows faith. And yet faith has been followed in so wavering and unsteady a manner that the race has been many thousands of years in crossing the line from that condition of natural or animal knowing, called intuition, to the higher condition or self-conscious knowing called the understanding.

And now, as these lessons are meant for practical instruction in the manner of evolving the self-conscious thought that shows man that he is master of all conditions, and can do his own growing, I will give the student something to do right here. He must deny doubt and affirm faith.

But, suppose the question confronting him is one in which it seems more plausible to doubt than to believe? It makes no difference; he is learning a lesson now, and it is a lesson where his mistakes will teach him as much as correct results.

Let us suppose the question is presented to his mind, and doubt, jumping up, says, "I don't believe it." What then? Why, nothing. The matter is ended. Investigation is crushed. The result is so much deadness. But suppose he says to doubt: "There is a plausible side to this (it is not a question unless it has a plausible side) and I will bring faith to bear on it. Now faith is alive and leads to more life, while doubt is dead and leads nowhere. So the student calls faith into requisition and follows after it. Now the leading characteristic of faith is to glow and burn with constantly increasing brightness the more it is trusted, for it travels in but one direction, and that is toward understanding. Well, let us suppose that the inquirer follows faith. In doing so he will be sure to find the answer to his question either in the negative or the affirmative. The answer may not be what he wanted, nor what he expected, and--by the light of still higher truth--it [125] may not even be correct. But whatever it is, it holds the seed germ of another question, which, by following in faith, will lead him nearer the truth, and finally he will reach it. To honestly follow faith in the pursuit of truth, will lead to its acquisition. I say in the pursuit of truth, and not in the pursuit of theories or creeds. See that your mind is unfettered by past beliefs when you search for truth, and deny unceasingly the power of prejudice.

Remember that doubt is a blight upon every effort you make in search of truth, and refuse to follow it. The person who trusts his doubts is always looking on the gloomy side of life, and never achieves anything. He is wretched from morning until night, and is subject to every disease that he hears of.

But faith is the light of our growing lives. It starts from the fountain-head of intuition within, and gleams in long, straight lines leading upward forever, always toward the realm of the beautiful, the true and good. And if we walk in its pathway we reach resting places in new altitudes of understanding, where--looking back--each step is seen to stand out in strong light, though we may have passed over it hesitatingly, and with but half-hearted conviction as to its being the true way. And we know that we have done well in trusting the gentle messenger sent out by intuition--the native-born intellect within us.

Now, in going out face to face with what the world calls the evils of life, I ask you to exercise your faith for a few days or weeks until the foundation for it shall have become so organized in your mind that understanding will be certain. I do not ask you to trust even faith blindly. If I should do so, and you should comply with my request, you would simply be setting aside your reason and permitting me to psychologize you. To be psychologized is to have your judgment held in abeyance by the judgment of another person. Indeed, your judgment may be held in abeyance by yourself. Your prejudices may so hold you that your reasoning powers are inoperative, in which case you are self-psychologized. This condition is called "statuevolence." But even blind, unquestioning faith is better than the deadness of no faith.

Encourage the growth of faith within yourself, but question it and try it by the light of the science that you are learning; also try the science by the light of your faith. In this way you can determine the intelligence of each. As I said before, there is life in faith; for the blindest faith in the world gets organs of vision after a time, and becomes a guide that leads to understanding. If, after you first study the lessons, there should be a reaction from the conviction they have planted within you, do not be discouraged. This reaction is the old mode of thought, or habit, of your former life, reasserting itself. At such a time, reports of so-called evil encompass and confuse you; sickness and death will alarm you; the influence of all the negative forces will sweep over you again; again you will doubt the truth of omnipresent good. Right here is the great need of faith. Right here is the place to make the supreme effort to be faithful. Remember that the endeavor of your life is to cross over from negative to positive beliefs. A belief in evil, or any form of evil, is negative. A belief in omnipresent good is positive and will in time, and by slow degrees, lift the student into an understanding of the science. Therefore, I say, let faith reach out as it is ever trying to do toward understanding; encourage it; stand by this inner guide as you would stand by your life.

The conditions of the race are embryonic. It is in the process of being born into higher spiritual life--in the process of passing from the negative to the positive pole of being. This is the process in which Mental Science is assisting so gloriously now. Therefore, when you become discouraged with [126] the study, as students sometimes do, and the wretched habit of your old-time thought returns to you, as you look about and see that which appears to be evil looming up on every side, you must call up faith and say, "All these apparent evils are unripe conditions of our embryonic race. They are conditions of negation, full of misunderstanding of truth; full of errors born of clouded minds, not yet strong enough to bear the full light of understanding and to claim the good." Say to yourself, "I will wait for confirmation of what I have received, not because someone has directed me to do so, but because it must be that the absolute truth I have received--the truth that all is good--will vindicate itself to my perfect comprehension in the fullness of time."

I now introduce the student to another statement in Mental Science, so great, so forcible, that it will be many a long day before its full weight can be measured. The statement is this: In a universe of omnipresent good the supply is always equal to the demand. This is a law as unerring as the law of cause and effect. The existence of the Life Principle is the cause; man is the effect. Man, the effect, then, becomes a standing demand upon the cause and the source of supply, and all that he demands is his for the taking. The supply is always equal to the demand. "Ask and ye shall receive; knock and it shall be opened unto you." But you must knock understandingly. The law is inoperative to him who knocks blindly. An intelligent perception of the principle embodied is necessary to insure a return. Ask, knowing the law that the supply is equal to the demand, and why it is so, and you will surely receive. Thus, when you have pressed past your denials, made your affirmations understandingly, and established yourself in conscious relation with Life, or good, treat every patient who comes to you, knowing that by the mere fact of your recognition of the all-pervading presence of Life, and your belief in its power to become apparent on your intelligent demand that you can heal him. To heal a patient is simply to make the truth that all is Life apparent to him in his own person. If your patient is very ill do not be frightened, but call up faith in the basic Life statement of this science--viz., that all is Life and that the supply of life is equal to the demand you make upon it, if you make the demand understandingly. Know forever that all Life is yours for the recognition; that in proportion as you recognize it will be your power to heal.

More about this principle will be mentioned further on. But in any case, your duty is clear. Study the lessons again. Go down again and again into the silence of your intuitional life, and watch and wait for the truth welling up from that source. This will bring you understanding. It will fortify your faith in yourself, and double your ability as a healer and a teacher. Do not at any time hesitate, in view of your own powerlessness, to take a patient who comes to you of his own volition. He was drawn to you by the Law of Attraction, and you can give him that for which he came, for the supply is equal to the demand, and for this very reason you will not fail, if you have intelligent faith. You are the supply to the patient; the patient is the demand upon you. The patient would not have come to you for treatment if your supply had not been equal to his demand; for such is the Law. If you fail to heal the patient, it will not be because you had not the actual power at hand to do so--for the supply is equal to the demand--but because you had not faith enough in the omnipresent Life as manifested in you, or sufficient understanding of the Law, and so fell into a condition of negation, in which you are drawn into the patient's error, or negative beliefs in sickness and fear; for always, in treating as in teaching, does the measure of your understanding of the science of mind determine the measure of your success.

This is the Law of Mental Science as of mathematics. You would not expect to use the science of mathematics unless you understood the principles.

Students have devoted years and years to the understanding of the principles of mathematics before they could demonstrate the problems that were of such vital importance to them. But the trouble with the Mental Scientist is that he expects to demonstrate long before he understands the principles. You know that your understanding of the principles of mathematics determines the success with which you use figures. So in healing; the understanding of the law of mind and the invisible process by which it is made to govern so-called matter--or negative mind--is essential to success in performing cures.

Jesus said, "Ask, and ye shall receive." In this sentence he foreshadowed the entire result of that great Law "the supply is equal to the demand." But it is recorded of him in another place, where he qualified this remark, and said: "Ask, and if ye ask not amiss, ye shall receive." Have faith, and if it is not unintelligent faith, ignorant faith, that which you have faith in will come to pass. We could not by any possibility whatever have intelligent faith in a thing unless there was a supply of that faith. The faith implies and includes the demand. The demand implies and includes the supply. The reason we have faith at all, and the only reason we could have it, is because there is a supply to it. How often I have spoken this idea in other words. Long before I came into the science, my observation and experience induced me to formulate the same thought in these words: "Every intelligent hope is the sure prophecy of its own fulfillment." Jesus constantly enjoined faith. Faith discerns spiritual gifts, even if it be at first blind faith.

Blind faith is a simple trust in something better than we know, without any special evidence of its existence. Faith takes no notice of physical facts. Because it is a refined and positive agent, born of intuition, the original, natural intelligence within us, its action is far above the negatives. It forever gives evidence in accordance with its origin. It is the ever-present witness to the unfolding and unfolded power within us. It has been a saving power all down the ages, and it is pledged to see our establishment in ever higher truths.

 

Lesson 8 - Spirit and Body Are One

[139] The body builds the spirit while in the flesh. The spirit is not an entity separate and distinct from the body as has been supposed. It is not some perfect creation submerged in matter and working its way through matter. It is of the same substance as the body, and sustains the same relation to the body that the aroma does to the flower. It is the finer part of the body's exhalations. In short, it is thought.

Every moment we are adding to our thought lives. Our thought lives are far enough ahead of our bodily lives, though all of the same stuff. They are much more positive than the body, and need not be subject to those conditions which kill the body, and probably are not subject to them. The thought life, or spirit, is the reservoir into which the body seems to pour the imperishable part of itself--that part which clings to its own individuality and refuses to die when the body dies.

The fact that this thought life, or spirit, is not visible to our eyes is no proof that it does not survive the dissolution of the body, and no proof that it is not a powerful thing, since the most potent forces we know of are entirely invisible to us.

The difference between the body and spirit is this: The body is spirit fixed in certain forms of inherited belief; while the spirit is the progressive or constantly growing idealistic part of the body, always pressing upward to a higher and nobler conception of itself. It is my opinion that the spirit exists after the death of the body. And I do not base the opinion upon anything that theology has ever formulated, nor yet upon the claims of the spiritualists, but upon the fact that in the economy of nature nothing is ever lost. As the thought of life, or spirit, is the finest production there is I cannot believe that it is dissolved into unintelligible mist. For I know that thought is a substance the same as the body, and it is the finer part of the body. It is the part that flows forth in hope and aspiration, unclouded, to a certain extent, by doubt, and yet, on the other hand, unfixed by belief.

Being unfixed by belief like the body, it must of necessity be ethereal in form, drifting, perhaps, and uncertain or unconscious of its own power, though holding such splendid material in abeyance. The tendency of all thought is to become fixed in belief. And it seems to me that this thought life, or spirit, being unfixed, must be attracted toward a condition of greater fixedness or stability. Therefore, the doctrine of reincarnation seems, at least, a plausible thing. It is the nature of unfixed substance to drift in the direction of fixed substance. It is also in the nature of Law that--given a certain condition--we must conquer that condition before farther progress is possible.

Now death is not conquest. On the contrary, it is a triumph of the negative conditions--those conditions called sickness and old age. Death teaches us no lessons that can be made practical and available in the living. It is [140] simply a renunciation of life; and that, too, at a time when the spirit, or thought life, has made no substantial or fixed condition for itself by relief. For it is a fact that the thought life--that part of us which takes cognizance of the ideal--does not believe in itself except in a weak, half-hearted way that cannot give it the substantial appearance that the body has.

Now, nature demands that this thought life, or spirit, shall establish itself in external or visible signs. Our bodies are not to become etherealized, but our spirits are to become substantialized. The earth is our laboratory and workshop, and our hands and our brains are our tools, and so are our thought lives, or spirits. Indeed, our thought lives, or spirits, are to be our most fearless, freest and most powerful agents in conquering earth conditions and making them subserve our uses. The effort of Mental Science is to show that body and spirit are one, and that the best results are obtained by such recognition of this fact as shall keep them one and inseparable; thus bringing the power of this tremendous unit to bear upon every effort we can make for the furtherance of our desires, as we work our way to conditions for greater importance and freedom and happiness.

In a former lesson I said that death was simply the breaking of the magnet man into two parts, one of which, being divested of its more etherealized and vital substance, is resolved back into its original atoms; and the other part--the thought life, or spirit--passes away, no one knows with absolute positiveness where.

But, on the assumption that all is mind (and I know this to be true) then the body is as essential to the spirit as the spirit is to the body. It is simply that part of the spirit that is held or bound by certain forms of belief. And these forms of belief, though I have called them fixed, are still so maleable as to change with every change of belief. It is established belief of the race that a consciousness of individuality belongs alone to the spirit, and goes with the spirit at death, leaving the body devoid of it. This consciousness of individuality is the "I", the will power, which does truly go with the spirit--if it survives death--because we know that it does not go with the dead body, which immediately crumbles to pieces; thus showing that the centralizing agent which held it in cohesion is absent.

But assuming, as I think it to be true, that the will power, the "I", the centralizing agent, goes with the spirit--what then? Why this; it feels its weakness simply from the fact that it has not been fixed in certain forms of belief, but has always been that splendid and radiant creature which has appeared phantasmal and visionary simply because it was too fair and too bright for us to clothe with belief.

The spirit is the thought life; and we all know how beautiful our thought lives are; and we all know that we do not believe in them simply because they seem too lovely to be true.

We are children of the earth, and so far we have been rooted in the earth and have drawn our substance from her bountiful bosom. She herself is the mother of our beliefs, and has been the means of fixing these beliefs in our present forms. Each belief in its farther advance away from her bosom into more free conditions has been the parent of the next higher belief, which has been expressed in a higher and better condition. In short, each belief has projected from itself the next belief higher than itself. And so evolution on the mental plane has progressed.

Belief is the fixing power. It is belief that is the manifesting factor. An idea is born from some fixed belief, and after a time that idea is accepted and believed in, and a new function is added to the creature. The creature having thus acquired a new power projects another idea, which in time becomes a fixed belief, and another new function is added to the creature.

[141] On the lower plane these ideas that I speak of may have been merely dumb, unintelligent desires; but they were ideas all the same, and belief fixed them in visible attributes.

As I said before, the spirit, or thought life, of a man has not been clothed with his belief. As rapidly as spirit, or thought, becomes clothes with belief it is added to the body as a new power, and does not drift away from the body, thus impoverishing the body in which it had its birth.

The spirit, or thought life, of a man cannot possibly be anything but an external substance, because it is a part of the man's body. The fact that it is invisible to our eyes does not contradict this statement in the least, since so many very powerful agents are invisible.

The spirit, or thought life, must not be confounded with the Law of Attraction, which is forever invisible. The spirit, or thought life, is a recognition of the invisible Law the same as the body. It belongs to the external side of nature the same as the body does.

There is a large body of thinkers who believe that the thought-body, or spirit, is--immediately after death--ushered into a spiritual heaven of inconceivable beauty and happiness. Theologians are weaker on this point than any other body of thinkers. Theology claims that the thought-body, or spirit, is frequently tortured after death for mistakes (called sins) which it commits in this life; and, on the other hand, that it is frequently blessed by reason of the fact that it has failed to make mistakes--as if it were at all possible in this stage of race growth for a single soul to escape from making mistakes!

The spiritualistic idea of the future of the thought-body, or spirit, would seem more reasonable if they did not claim to know so very much about it. But if one is to believe them, then our condition after death is vastly superior to our present condition. It is this latter claim that I doubt. I see plainly that there are two sides to the question. We know that life in its progress is a constant conquest over ignorance. We also know that death is not a conquest over anything, but an abandonment of all effort to conquer, so far as the visible world is concerned.

Death is not a gain; it is a retrogressive step; it is the last slump into utter negation. Of course, I speak from the standpoint of the visible and the external. It is the only standpoint I acknowledge with absolute positiveness, because it is the only one whose existence I can logically prove, no matter what I may hope for. I can shape as many angelic spheres in my imagination for the departed spirits as anyone, but I cannot prove their reality after I have shaped them. Therefore, I take my stand on the terrestrial and am justified in doing so by seeing what an infinitude of subjects there are for us to investigate and to master right here before we are fitted for joys that we have not reached in the process of natural growth. Moreover, I know that joys which we have not reached in the process of natural growth are not joys to us, any more than the finest opera could prove a source of pleasure to a pig or a monkey.

Therefore, I look upon the death of the natural body as the greatest possible loss to the individual. Because the body is the feeder of the spirit--the spirit being nothing more than the finer part of the man; being, indeed, the entire body of the man's thoughts; going with the man all through life; receiving constant additions to itself by means of the man's increasing power to think (if he happens to be a thinker) and being with him and a part of him always, whether the man is a thinker or not; always ready to receive any accession to itself even if the accession fails to come; and this, up to the very hour when the negative part falls down in death, at which time the finer part is separated from it.

Now, the relation between the body and the spirit has always been reciprocal. The two are one. The body is [142] father of the spirit, and the spirit is the builder of the body in its turn. Being one, the seeming two were simultaneous in birth, and should always remain together as feeder and builder, and as builder and feeder. In the breaking of the magnet man by death, we know that the part of the man more nearly allied to the earth decays and passes into other forms of life. No one pretends to think of it as still living after this event takes place. "But," we say, "the other part still lives and has gone up to higher conditions."

What are higher conditions? Remember that the visible world is a mental statement, and that this statement is only lifted to higher planes of freedom and happiness by the addition to itself of still greater knowledge. The world--nay, the visible universe--only grows, only increases in power by the new truths it learns. It is the knowing, or the recognition of more truth, that gives added power to the visible; and man is a visible creature all through and through, body and spirit. Moreover, the entire world (and universe) is a magnet whose relations of positive and negative are indispensible. The negative feeds the positive and the positive feeds the still more positive.

But after the spirit of man has dropped its denser and more fixed condition, or beliefs, what is there to feed and sustain it? Surely this earth is the feeder of all the life generated on it; and it seems to me that when the spirit, or thought life, is cut off from its body that it no longer has access to its earth supply. For, consider this fact; that though the earth does not feed the spirit, or thought life, directly, yet it does feed the body, and the body feeds the spirit, or thought life. The body is the laboratory out of which the spirit, or thought life, is manufactured; and to be cut off from its laboratory seems like an awful calamity to me. For I am sure that man must be fed constantly by that great body of truth negative to himself which the world contains in the form of food, and that--whether in the body or out of the body--the spirit, or thought life, will always require food to nourish it (the individual). Man, as a laboratory for the generation of thought, must of necessity generate it in great quantity, because thought is the prompter to effort; and an effortless creature performs no use; and that which performs no use cannot endure. This is the Law. In saying this I am not saying that the spirit is not fed and sustained by means adjusted to the spirit-body. I am simply trying to look on every side of the matter in order to reach true conclusions. I have my own views upon this subject, which will not be touched in this lesson, and which cannot properly be said to belong to the subject of Mental Science at all, being too speculative for scientific handling.

The food a man consumes is the fuel in the engine that sets the whole machine in motion--the machine that generates the thought, or spirit, which prompts to every form of enterprise and discovery. This machine ought to be enduring. It ought to be self-regenerative, and it would be self-regenerative but for the fact of its own ignorance that alone denies it this possibility. Let the thought once more learn that self-regeneration is possible, and good-bye to death. And why good-bye to death? Because the spirit, or thought, so educated will communicate the fact to the nerves, and the nerves to the blood vessels, and the blood vessels to the entire body. And this will be the spiritual food that will regenerate the body.

But to return. Reasoning from certain premises--and we must look at all sides of this matter--it has been claimed that the spirit, or thought life, may not be able to hold itself together for any great length of time after it has dropped its body. And why? Because we gain nothing except by conquest; and that which we have not conquered is not ours. As we have [143] not conquered death we are not entitled under our present understanding of the law, to life. If the spirit has reached a higher degree of understanding of truth by simply shutting its eyes on the world and all the wonders to be worked out by it; by going away from it and leaving its work undone; by an act that is a virtual confession of incapacity to cope with its obstacles, then surely the road to endless bliss is by letting go of all holds and slipping backward into death, instead of taking hold with the spirit, or thought life, and climbing forward into conditions of still greater fixedness than those we now enjoy.

The road to greater happiness--or heaven if you will--is the same road that leads to more positive individualization; to a greater manifestation of the will in the overcoming of those conditions in life that fetter us, and from which we naturally want to escape.

But death is a partial renunciation of will power, and though the will survives death--if the spirit, or thought life, survives--it has registered its conviction of powerlessness in the fact that it has permitted the body to die. Therefore, the will, as it exists in the spirit, or thought life, is a virtual confession of weakness, the same as it was in the body before death; and why should we expect it to be ushered into conditions very much happier than those of earth when it has not earned them? It is as if a child should throw down his book in mental arithmetic because it is too difficult for him, and then expect to be placed in the trigonometry class for no reason except that he could not understand the earlier lessons in mathematics.

For a man to be all he must learn all; and no spirit can endure and go on his way of endless progression unless he incorporates in his personality the essence of an unbroken life experience. At least, this seems reasonable to me. He may not skip a single step. He must conquer every foot of the way. He cannot get over an inch of ground or a moment of time without conquering that inch or that moment. Individual life only proceeds by that conquest which develops the will; for the will is the man. The man whom disease, old age and death has conquered has not conquered disease, old age and death.

That the spirit does exist after death seems to be a well established fact. It also seems logical to suppose that the spirit, being a certain expression of intelligence, never loses itself in indistinguishable nothingness. By slow degrees the old belief in reincarnation begins to assume form in human thought. Who can say whether it is true or not? It is not inviting, but it is less dreadful than the belief in extinction. Moreover, there is a sense of justice in it; and no logical reasoner can admit any supposition as true that leaves out the idea of justice. The destruction of the spirit seems a cruel thing. The deification of it, and its transportation to realms so high and blessed that it would require centuries of human effort to reach, seems to offer a premium on death or negation, or the lack of effort, too great to be resisted; so great, indeed, as to cause every one of us to cease our struggles after saving truth, and go off and commit suicide, provided no doubt at all existed in the mind about it. That thought concerning the spirits of the dead which offers the least obstruction either to logic or justice is the belief in reincarnation; not because justice requires expiation of the sinner, but because the spirit itself requires and must have the experience of a complete conquest over all negative conditions, such as disease, old age and death. It seems reasonable to suppose that the Law of Being would require that we should--in the most thorough sense of the word-- be . Man to be an unbroken magnet must be all. In order to be all he must live all. No skipping seems possible in this life-building of the individual.

And yet we know so little of the unseen that no one can speak of the [144] spirit's existence after death with positiveness. One thing, however, that I know to be true is this: in order to save the spirit beyond the peradventure of a doubt, one had better save it in the body right here in this world, and now. And this is what Mental Science seeks to teach the student to do.

Nearly all religions teach us that the body is of very little importance. Many teach that it is a sort of prison house in which the soul does penance. This idea leads to the conclusion that we are better off without our bodies than with them. And, indeed, in one form or another, this belief is almost generally proclaimed in all religious countries, and that, too, in spite of the fact that in religious countries especially, people cling to life and fear death with great intensity, thus demonstrating their intuitive value of the bodies they have been taught to despise.

I now want to say with all the emphasis I can command, that the body is infinitely more important than anything we can gain a conception of. The body is not only the body, but it is the spirit also. I have said that the thought part of man, which is his spirit, is the positive part of him, and this is so when we are considering the two poles of him separately. But in strict truth we have no right to consider the two poles separately, because they act and react on each other in a way to make one part as indispensible as the other, and one part as important as the other. And, indeed, it almost seems as if the terms positive and negative, as applied to the body, and the thought generated by the body, are interchangeable. The body in its relation to thought, or spirit, seems now positive and now negative, and the same with thought or spirit, in its relation to the body. This cannot be otherwise, seeing that the two are one.

In our present state of understanding of truth concerning ourselves, each one of us is as the two arcs of a broken circle, from the ends of which the life forces trail off and are lost. Mental Science joins the two arcs in one complete circle, thus rendering it impossible for the life forces to escape, compelling them to a constant and unbroken interchange. The man in this condition has made the atonement, the at-one-ment, and has become whole, or holy. It is then in his power to live forever without passing through death. And yet, death in one sense is the necessary adjunct of individual life. Individual life implies constant progression, and in order to progress the growing, living man dies daily to the grosser part of himself.

The method of growth is as follows: A man is a seed germ of finite (though endless) possibility. He is finite because he is an individual, with no chance of ever becoming the whole. His possibilities are inexhaustible because they consist in his power to recognize an ever increasing amount of vital power, or life, in the Law of Love, or Attraction, which Law is infinite in capacity and can never be exhausted. It is the containment of all things imaginable, and of more than can ever be imagined, any of which may be brought to light or be externalized in the natural world by individual recognition and belief. I say this Law is the containment of all possibilities, when in reality it contains nothing, being a principle inherent in all things, all things being thought or mind, and thought, or mind, being the substantial realities we see everywhere about us--in the trees and animals and minerals and human beings.

No thought can be formulated or imagined that is not in some particular or other the manifestation of some phase of the Law. It is as if the Law were some subtle fluid and flowed into each forming thought. And yet this is not a good comparison, because the Law is not a substance that flows into anything. It is already everywhere, and thought simply makes its presence manifest, or visible.

Thought is creative in the sense of [145] making visible that which was not visible. The Law is not creative, and never created us.

The primoridal life cells, each of which is an externalization of the Law on the lowest conceivable plane, are themselves dual in the true and only sense of duality--that sense which perceives them to be both interior and exterior, visible and invisible, Law and the recognition of the Law, just the same as all other substances and differing from other substances only in the fact of being less complex than the substances which are large enough to be perceived by any of man's five senses.

These life cells, or life seeds, being infused by the Law of Attraction, or rather being simply infinitesimal points of recognition of the Law, and thereby filled with the Law, attract each other and in their coming together the Law, which speaks in desire, becomes more manifest in its attracting power, so that individuals grow; they increase in power; their desires multiply all the time, and in seeking to gratify their desires their intelligence develops and expresses itself in added members of the body, until a very wonderful and complex animal is here whose name is man.

And now to recapitulate. Nearly all people consider the spirit a distinct part of themselves--a perfect being dwelling in their bodies. And a sort of universal idea prevails to the effect that when the body falls away by death, the spirit animating it is revealed--not to our ordinary sense of seeing--but to a spiritual sight that is possible upon some higher plane of being.

To me this assumption has no foundation in fact. I hold that what is called the spirit is the thought part of man; that it is not of different stuff from the body, but the product of the body, as the body is its product; in other words, that the body and spirit are one.

I hold, further, that when we speak of a "man of spirit," which means a courageous man, a man who dares, we have reference to the thought life of the man. The thought life being the more emancipated part of the body, he whom we call a man of spirit is more influenced in his actions by his spirit--the more free and fearless part of himself--than the man who lives in the heavier or more negative part of his body, and who is more fettered by his surroundings than the man of spirit--the man who lives higher up in the positive pole of his being. For it is the positive pole of the man that I call spirit; the negative pole is the body proper.

The object of this lesson is to establish the fact that the body and spirit are one, and that any sundering of this magnet cannot be other than disastrous to the individual. I do not mean to assert that after the sundering of body and spirit the spirit necessarily disintegrates, but I do mean that it sustains a fearful loss.

The earth is our dwelling place. External life is the only individual life. (The spirit is external as well as the body, though invisible to us, just as a thousand other essences are invisible because of their etherreal character.) Man is to work out his own salvation on the external, or visible plane. The world is his workshop, and it contains the tools and the raw material out of which he is to build himself and his surroundings. Let him stop running after the foolish soul-saviors who infest society to permeate it with the doctrine that postpones life to another sphere, and who in doing this are rotting the very foundations of individual life and making disease and death the only condition of present existence. Let the student at once and forever refuse all promises of salvation that do not cover the present needs. Let him say, "I will be saved now, for now is the only time I need saving. The attempt to save myself in the hereafter is to forfeit the now, because no one can live in the present and the future at the same time." To attempt to do this will be to not live at all in the true [146] sense of the word. It will be to drag out a lingering death, just as the race is doing here on earth at the present time.

To perpetuate this condition of half living and half dying is the infamous work of our present system of religion; and there never was a time before in the history of the race when this same religion was making more frantic efforts than now to cursh out the hope of the advanced thinker, who knows its fallacy and opposes it. There is open warfare against us, as students, who are trying to develop heaven from within, and establish its harmonies on the earth, and each one of us must buckle our armor about us and meet the foe valiantly. We must not permit ourselves to be overwhelmed and crushed by the opposing argument of the enemy--argument, the folly and injuriousness of which we have demonstrated long ago. We must meet it boldly by counter argument and stand up before the world, as the champions of the higher truth. Be bold; be resolute; be vigilant; get in as many words for truth as your opponents get in for error--and one more.

All things visible are a recognition or a confession of the Law of Attraction, and are one with the Law. When we see a rock or a tree we see a confession of the existence of the Law of Attraction. Though itself--the spirit of man--is as much a recognition of the Law as anything else. Indeed, it is the most vital recognition of the Law that I know of. As the Law is a principle it can only be inferred by its manifestation; but its manifestation is one with itself.

The one hard point for the student to comprehend is that mind, or spirit, alone exists, and that it exists as substance. "Why," says the student, "substance is something that can be seen and handled, so how can it be mind, or spirit? Surely mind, or spirit, is the invisible moving power that exists in substance and operates upon it."

Now, do you not see that this idea is the same old belief that has kept the race out of its own inheritance of power all these ages? Change the word "substance" for "matter," and there it is; a dead something acted upon by a living something; the matter acted upon by spirit--two separate entities; the universe no longer a universe, but a diverse. And following this belief here comes the same old sequence--a heaven and a hell; good and evil; death and life; and every other thought that divides the race against itself, and makes the pandemonium of the world's present condition.

Mental Science does not teach man how he may strengthen the spirit within the dead matter of his body so that he may overcome it. It teaches him that the substance of his body is not dead matter at all, but every atom of it is spirit, or mind, and one with the highest he can conceive of. It teaches him that he is a spirit all the way through; or a mind, if you prefer the word "mind" to spirit. They mean precisely the same thing. They both mean something that thinks and wills.

Now, the meaning of Mental Science is this. It is the establishment--by unimpeachable logic--of the fact that all nature is the recognition of the Law of Attraction; that every atom or every combination of atoms is just as much or as little as it has power to perceive of the intense vital principle--the Law of Attraction--that permeates all things and is inseparable from them.

The world, the universe, is all mind, or spirit; and it is the knowledge of this fact that shows the man his wholeness; shows him that his body is not a lot of dead matter to conquer, but only a coarser grade of mind than his thought, though all of a piece with it. This knowledge is of itself the reconciliation of what the man had been taught to consider as two separate and distinct parts of himself. This knowledge shows him that he is a unit, intact, indissoluble. This knowledge alone is his conquest over death. He [147] sees that he is a unit. He must, therefore, be either all mind, or spirit, or all matter--which is a dead substance. He knows he is not dead substance, and, therefore, he must be living substance. Living substance is distinguished from dead substance by its power to think. That which thinks also wills; that which wills is spirit. Therefore, a man--because he thinks--is a spirit. He does not have to die to become a spirit. He is spirit now, all through his organization; every bit of him.

Lesson 9 - Prayer & Self Culture

[159] Prayer is asking for more light. The upward struggle of the immortal mind is always from darkness to light; from ignorance to intelligence; from negative to positive. The animals have prayed for this light unconsciously, and their prayers have been answered, and gradually they have climbed to light, reaching it and holding it in the erect posture of manhood. Every advancing step upwards has increased the beauty and the utility of their organizations. Through prayer, they have recognized every greater intelligence.

And here we are--we who have prayed, or aspired, ourselves into men--here we are, all ready to pray, or aspire, ourselves into gods--by which I mean men who know their own power. But we are now where we will have to pray consciously. Having discovered the tree of knowledge of good and error in the midst of the garden (in manhood, midway between animalhood and godhood, or midway between positive and negative), it is demanded of us, from this time on, that we know what we are doing.

Emerson says that it is the "oversoul" that kills.

We are manifested or made visible by limitation.

What does this mean? It means that as the expressed thought of a limitless intelligence we every moment come in contact with some obstacle we must overcome if we would keep on growing and developing. Certain of these obstacles which we do not overcome form our limitations, circumscribe or prescribe our shape, and render us visible externally. The cow and the horse and the tree could overcome no further, and each preserves its own type. This type represents its energy. It shows the power of each object to overcome, so far as the object has developed it.

As the world grows older, and time ripens conditions, it is easier to overcome environments, because environments become less dense and we become more intense as individuals; and little by little the limitation yields and the more perfect creature shows himself.

And here he is in the form of man, but still limited. Limited by what?

We are limited by that which we do not know. As we are mental creatures, it therefore follows that the utmost verge of our intelligence is our limitation. Or, as Emerson implies, it is the higher life not yet understood by us that proves our barrier, that gives us our shape and renders us visible to each other. All things are rendered visible by limitation, and all things limit themselves by the extent of their intelligence.

We, as individuals, are individual expressions of the infinite whole. No two persons, or creatures, ever express precisely the same thing. Each of us expresses what he recognizes as good, and he expresses it in the measure of his power to recognize. The limit of his recognition makes the outer boundary of his personality and gives us the [160] man in appearance, or as he appears to our sight.

If we should cease to recognize any good whatever, we would cease to express anything. We would lose these organized forms and drift back or become dissolved, as it were, in the great universal fountain of Life. So the Life Principle is both individualized, and unindividualized at once; unindividualized and unlimited in its possibilities, and individualized and limited in its organizations.

Who can fail to see the object of creation? All nature is the power of the Law made visible by recognition. That the Law is recognized in weakness is no indication that the Law is weak, but that it is faintly or feebly recognized. Error, sickness and death are weak manifestations of the Law, but they point to the fact that more powerful recognitions of it are to be attained. And there never was a prayer sent forth in the world that was for any other purpose than to obtain a stronger manifestation of the power of the Law. But what is prayer? First let us find out what is not prayer. Let me quote from A. P. Barton:

What is called prayer is, nine times out of ten, the puling cry of weakness, the ignorant demand of an insatiable selfishness, or the frantic exhibition of indefinable fear based on ignorance of the Law and of man's relation to it.

True prayer is that desire for a knowledge of our relations with the Law so intense as to lift us by slow, or perhaps rapid, degrees into a realization of such knowledge. In proportion as knowledge comes on this subject our limitations widen about us. We become greater and more powerful creatures, and are able to express or make visible more of the possibilities of the Law.

It is no use to go down on our knees and try to magnify the Law. No one can magnify it. It is already all there is. But we can magnify the manifestations of the Law by magnifying ourselves. To do this is the result of more intelligence. Therefore, intelligence is the one thing needed. It is life--more life added to us, more vitality, greater power to conquer obstacles, and infinitely greater freedom and happiness. The moment prayer, or aspiration, ceases to be unconscious, as in the animal, and becomes conscious, as it is now beginning to be in man, the man's destiny is in his own hands. I say that it is in our hands to shape ourselves and our surroundings by prayer, and yet it is not the kind of prayer that commonly goes under this name. It is not supplication at all. It does not say, "Thy will be done, while I lose myself in nothingness." It says "Let me seek to understand the Law, and then let me work in co-operation with that Law, which will be the expression of my own will no less than that of the universal Life; for I am one with the universal Life; identical with it; inseparable from it. It is the power, the Life, and the way; and I am the expression as well as the organ for further expression of the power, the Life and the way. The more I identify with the Law the more unerring I become and the more harmonious and strong my Life will be."

[162] "When ye pray believe that ye receive and ye have." He who spoke these words knew what they meant. He knew the feeble wail of weakness and the frantic supplication of ignorance were not prayer. The words, "When ye pray believe that ye receive and ye have," bespeak the knowledge of the thorough metaphysician. Their very nature shows them to be the ripe ejaculation of mighty strength. When a man can fill this injunction concerning prayer, he prays no longer; he appropriates by recognition and affirmation. Heaven is open to him and the world is beneath his feet.

When he reaches this position he sees that prayer means work. He sees that it means a ceaseless effort of self-culture.

Self-culture is the acquisition of that which adds to our happiness by enlarging our environments. It is the acquisition of that knowledge which leads in the direction of freedom--freedom from everything that hinders and binds, and above all, freedom from disease, old age and death.

We love to learn. Even the garnering of the world's past knowledge has seemed a beautiful thing to us. We took delight in it, feeling that it added to our mental stature. But the self-culture of which I am writing is infinitely above this. It not only adds to our cherished mental acquisitions, but it becomes flesh and blood to us, and is manifested in our personalities in unfading beauty and undying death.

This self-culture is the real and only prayer. It goes forth in effort and is expressed in results. It is not to be gained by the study of books, for they do not contain it. Nor by listening to sermons, for they teach the opposite of it; thus darkening still more the minds of those who go to them for saving knowledge.

We gain it by putting firm faith in our desires and aspirations; by turning away from the fears we have always trusted, and placing our trust in that which seems good to us. It requires an effort to do this. Indeed, the doing of this is a matter of constant and unwearying effort; but this effort is a part of self-culture and leads to its highest form. It is the establishment of self in the thought, and the justification of self, which is the first step in self-culture. It leads by imperceptible degrees to a knowledge of the power of self. When this time comes, good-bye to disease, poverty and every form of weakness.

Self-culture is the acquisition of that form of knowledge which shows the man how great he is; shows him his own unlimited possibilities, and suggests to him his proper mode of development.

No man knows what he may become. Therefore the first thing in self-culture is to learn that there is no limit to what he is capable of learning. This one item of knowledge pulls down every bar to his progress and turns him loose--a free citizen of an unlimited universe. It places him upon his own mental, making him dependent upon his own effort, and independent of the opinions of others regarding himself and his intellectual capacity.

This, too, is a great thing, for the majority of men and women are sadly hampered at the very outset of their attempts in self-culture by the opinions of their friends concerning their intellectual ability. But when one knows that all acquisition depends upon personal effort, and not on superlative genius, he will take courage and begin to treasure the fact that whatever he is he can become more; that he has one hope that nothing can shake, and that hope founded in the tremendous fact that he is the seed germ of all possible growth.

Thus he becomes established in himself. He has found the foundation soil of himself, and out of the soil he may produce just what he wishes.

And so the man begins to make himself from his own conscious intelligence. He begins to answer his own prayer as all prayer is answered--by [163] personal investigation in the pursuit of truth. A man may build himself as he builds a house when he knows how to trust his desire; when he knows that perfect trust brings the perfect answer.

Acquired knowledge is not self-culture. I am not going to disparage it, but it is an accumulation, and though it may beautify and embellish, it bears no vital fruit. It may aid in the advancement of man's life-work on the present plane of the world's thought, but it is not the unfoldment of the man himself; it is not the growth of the Life Principle within the seed. It is true that inasmuch as it draws from the man his own native thought, it may become an aid in his self-culture, for everything that is thought-compelling is an aid to natural growth, and natural growth is the direct aim of all self-culture, though not necessarily the aid of what is termed education--which is the acquisition of ideas.

Self-culture, then, is not dependent upon the study of books of any character whatever. And it is a fact that up to the present time the study of books has rather retarded than assisted race efforts at self-culture. And this because an almost universal respect for authority has overshadowed the individual's respect for his own spontaneous thought. And so the thoughts of others have taken the place of original thought by being accepted as unquestionable, and they have thus become as dead lumber in the mind, whose effect has been to deaden native thought and to deaden the individual with it.

The deadest people I am acquainted with are those whose native intelligences are overlaid by the learning of others; persons who meet the fresh, original, vigorous and life-giving thought of the present day with their heavy, dusty tomes of an accumulated and now obsolete wisdom. It is literally impossible to make these people understand or feel the vital power of the thought you give them, because their power to respond is quite gone. The very fountain-head of their own original thought is filled up by the rubbish of the dead ideas and has gone dry.

These men are dead and do not know it. And being dead they are obstructions in the way of the living; all the more so because the greater part of the race, being unawakened to a knowledge of its own power of thought, still regards them as authority. And thus is death perpetuated, and the vitalizing, life-giving power of true self-culture retarded. And therefore it is, as I said before, that the very beginning of self-culture is grounded in the fact that a man must know himself to be a germinating seed of all possible development. This is the first step; and it is a necessity on which his whole future depends. To start out in pursuit of self-culture is an idiotic performance, for self-culture is not a pursuit at all. It is not following after the ideas of other people, no matter how brilliant those ideas may be. It is a staying at home and delving deep down among the original thoughts that well up from native intuition. It is an analysis of these native thoughts after they make their appearance, and a submission of them to the most crucial test of experiment, by which a selection is made, retaining those which are practical and rejecting the others.

And the doing this day by day, totally uninfluenced by the beliefs of other people, is self-culture.

Of course it takes a courageous man to bring out his native ideas, and to stand by them in the face of misrepresentation, abuse and ridicule, but the courage is supposed in advance, for no person but a courageous one has emancipated himself from the crushing weight of that old-time authority that makes original thought impossible.

Are the thoughts of others, then, of no use to us at all? Yes, they are of great use, if taken as they should be. And this is not by a blind acceptance of them, but as a stimulant to self-thought. Here comes the Law of action [164] and interaction--the true law of eternal growth. You balk this Law when you yield yourself, or your belief (for it is the same thing), blindly to the belief of another. But when you maintain your own belief in the spirit of an honest searcher for truth, and the other does so too, then out of the very firmness of the position of each, overruled and controlled in both of you by the greatest desire of all desires--that of knowing truth for truth's sake--there comes a candid and beautiful interchange of ideas out of which both are deeply benefited.

In this way the ideas of one stimulate and create ideas in the other, perhaps totally at variance with the ideas that created them.

The hermits that go alone to think do not accomplish much for themselves or others. It is better to do one's thinking in communities where thought is challenged, and the generator of it is compelled to give a reason for it. In giving the reason for it, the thought becomes fixed in belief if it is correct, or is annihilated if false. And so growth proceeds.

There is nothing better for the growing man than the disclosure of his thought. There is no such thing as casting pearls before swine in the mental realm now. Every pearl cast forth is picked up by some hungry soul, though the swine may have declined it.

What is more, these pearls of thought are veritable seed. They will enter some mind where they will take root--being uttered--and they spring up in wonderful things, and bring forth fruit heretofore unknown in the world.

The mere speaking one's highest thought is beneficial in more ways than one. Thought smothered in the brain dies inoperative. The power to create is vested in the spoken word, and not in the one that perished before it was born. Thought is the beginning of effort. If effort dies before its beginning no one is benefited. The speaking it forth is a step toward its actualization in practical form.

But the speaking of our highest thought is, above all things, beneficial to ourselves. In speaking the new, strong thought we speak ourselves into new strength. We take a step forward that establishes us in our own opinion, ahead of where we were, and calls upon us for a fresh accession of courage in maintaining the advanced position. It leaves no chance for shirking the consequences of our new ideas. They are spoken, and being spoken we know that their effort is inevitable, and we grow bolder in standing for their defense.

Our ideas may be wrong. Very well. When they are spoken we shall soon see whether they are wrong or right. They can only be truly judged when seen, and why should our foolish, personal pride stand between the knowledge of the truth and us? He who is not willing to become a fool for truth's sake has not yet entered the sacred precinct where true self-culture begins.

If truth were already understood and demonstrated, all we would have to do would be to learn it as children learn their school lessons. But it is an unknown thing in its higher character, and there is no way to get it but by listening to its suggestions as they arise within ourselves, projecting themselves in strange thoughts and ideas, not unmixed with our former beliefs, and therefore not altogether reliable. But such as they are we must be true to them. We must stand by them unflinchingly. We must give them utterance. We must allow them to speak themselves into observation, even though to do so is to bring upon ourselves the misconception of those who will not learn, the jealousy of others who have opinions of their own for sale, and the scorn of the fossilized rulers of public opinion who hold the unthinking majority in their deadly clutches.

There is a law involved in this. It is part of the Law of Growth. To him who is faithful to the best he knows, whether that best is of great value or [165] not, the law guarantees a fuller and better and a constantly increasing revelation of truth.

And so it pays to be a fool for truth's sake. He who is a fool for truth's sake manifests a fidelity that shows him related through desire to all the good there is in the whole universe. His very foolishness is a draft on an unfailing bank of indescribable riches, which, as he goes on, will crown him in the eyes of the whole world a god in stature and power.

To be true to your own native thought, and to speak it freely, and to weigh it well, and to hold it in calm, dispassionate comparison with your previous thought, and with the thoughts of others, this is self-culture. It is self-development; it is growth.

It is natural growth. It is growing out of yourself as the tree and the bulb grow. It is the only saving growth. Would the bulb grow by supinely observing the growth of the tree? No; it must pull out of itself the Life Principle latent in it. The Life Principle latent in the tree is for the tree. The tree cannot grow for the bulb, nor the bulb for the tree. Individualization is the intent of the Law. Each thing stands for itself, and grows out of itself. To know how to grow out of one's self is self-culture. And this is what the new thought called Mental Science teaches.

To grow out of ourselves gives us new strength daily. It banishes disease; it strengthens every mental faculty; it makes the memory over new; it doubles many times one's power of concentration.

And the power of concentration is actual life. It is the opposite of diffusiveness. Diffusiveness is death.

Is it any wonder, then, that the self-culture I have described should heal the sick and strengthen the individual in all the relations of life?

"Seek first the kingdom of heaven and all other things shall be added unto you." But where is the kingdom of heaven? The same voice has told us that it is within.

It is within. And there is a door in every human organism that opens up to its outflow.

It is in original thought--at present so broken and perplexed and unsatisfactory in our perception of it. But it is the precious stuff out of which--in its further development--we will build the heaven we long for.

Heaven, like every other thing, is a growth. Native thought is today feeding and shaping it even here on earth, and will go on feeding and shaping it all through the ages. Genuine self-culture is the main factor in the evolution of every ideal.

"He who continues to be passively molded prolongs his infancy to the tomb." He who molds himself can avoid the tomb.

Self-culture is the making of men.

And the first step in the direction of self-culture is to resolve to follow truth no matter where it leads.

Channing says: "Self-culture begins in the deliberate and solemn resolution to make the best of our own powers." He also says: "The first grand condition of success is a willingness to receive the truth, no matter how hard it bears on one's self."

To sever our connections most absolutely and positively with every form of the world's present belief is the only hope of the race today.

This will be the beginning of that form of self-culture that means nothing less than the utmost salvation of the man, soul and body.

I strive for the highest in sight. I will be satisfied with nothing short of the very best my mind suggests.

Partial salvation is no salvation. Give me the knowledge that saves utterly. I want it even though its acquisition shatters every idol I ever cherished.

And, indeed, this is precisely what it will do, for it is our old beliefs that are our idols. It is they that hold us bound to the dead past. It is they that rivet our eyes in the back of our heads. It is they that must be abandoned forever.

[166] These beliefs were born in the infancy of the race; and that they should hold us now, when it is time, and more than time, that we should outgrow them, is a disgrace to our intelligence, and to the barbarism we call our civilization.

Therefore, I say, let them all go. Cease to hold them in your mind with that brute force, that muscular tension, born of fear.

For the tenacity with which you hold these old beliefs comes from the fear that in all the universe there is nothing better, or nobler, or higher than they. You do not know that, in a broad sense, there is no evil; that the universe is a universe, or a whole or unbroken and absolute good; that when you have outgrown one good, another and better awaits your acceptance.

You cling to the old until it becomes dead lumber in your hands, and you are dead lumber with it.

And all because you are afraid. Afraid of what? Afraid of the mighty opulence of good that is omnipresent; that simply awaits your renunciation of the old beliefs--founded on fear--to fill you with health, strength, power and beauty.

"Knowledge is power," said the old writers. Knowledge is the recognition of truth; the seeing of truth; and to see truth is to be truth. To be truth is to be saved to the utmost, body and soul, for truth is imperishable. It never dies.

Have we truth now? Are we harmonious and happy now? I say no! Much less are we so now than even one hundred years ago. One hundred years ago the race was in a measure one with its beliefs. At least its beliefs were less antagonistic with its surroundings then than now, and its conditions were more harmonious. Therefore it was less diseased and less sinful.

By "less sinful" I mean that it violated the set beliefs of the race less. So that in looking back it is a common cry that that time was better than this.

But this is not so. The present time is best. The present time is more intellectual; but the more intellectual we become the more out of harmony are we with the old beliefs that refuse to change on account of a certain set order of things, held in place by a set order of professions for which there is no earthly and no heavenly use, and which will all disappear as soon as the people have learned to trust the unknown, instead of fearing and dreading it as they now do.

For the unknown--so dreaded now--is our savior.

Are the theories--the beliefs--of the present day saving us?

Disease and death are our only foes. Are present beliefs saving us from them?

Evidently Jesus taught the salvation of the body. And when the Jews met him in argument with an attempt to refute the glorious ideality that marked every utterance that he made, and cited the fathers of the old dispensation as their authority, his answer, so short, so simple, so masterly and effective, was only: "Your fathers are dead."

And these words I repeat to the advocates of the old beliefs. There is no salvation in them. The very promulgators of them are dead. And those who now contend for them--not because their ancestors believed in them--are dying rapidly and horribly. Diseases are multiplying instead of diminishing.

A man's knowledge is not a distinct possession. It is the man himself. And because this is so, it was said in the old time that a man is what his beliefs make him.

But really there are no beliefs now. We do not truly believe the old beliefs now. We are in a transitional place between the reign of the old beliefs and the formulation of better beliefs; more humane beliefs; beliefs that trust the good more, and fear the evil less; beliefs, in fact, that will surely discard all evil as a governing power, and put faith only in the soul's most cherished [167] ideal that already proclaims the omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence of good.

Self-culture today is founded in the deliberate intention of the individual to move forward in the direction pointed out by his noblest desires; dropping, in the meantime, every one of the old, established beliefs--long enough, at least, to prove their fitness or unfitness to serve him on the steady road to progression he proposes to tread.

To acquire the new truths, the old ones, which have served their purpose in race growth and now have become errors, must be unloaded from the mind. The pilgrim in search of truth must start out unhampered and free.

The beginning of self-culture is to get rid of the old. We must not hesitate to cast every particle of the long accumulation of dead lumber overboard, and take for our compass the soul's noble and supreme desire that points always in the direction of the highest happiness.

We do not know, and cannot even imagine, the incidents leading to it. We may go through dark experiences to find it, but faith in it will always guide us aright, and it will be ours.

To believe in your desire--which forever points onward and upward; from grosser to finer; from ignoble to noble; from poverty to opulence; from disease to health; from the repulsive to the beautiful; from death to life--this will lead you aright; this is the prayer of faith. The simple belief in your own desire--firm, unquestioned, undoubted--this will lead your steps up out of the wretched conditions that surround you into those ideal conditions of which you are constantly dreaming.

What have you been believing in heretofore? Stop a moment and reflect.

Do you not see that you have been believing in your fears--the fears that quite obscured and made light of your desires? I am sure you have been doing this the larger part of your life. I want to tell you that there is a well-defined line between the positive and negative poles of your being, and it is found right in the place where you cease to believe in your fears and begin to believe in your desires and hopes.

A belief in your fears keeps you on the death side of this line, where every form of sickness and poverty and helplessness will be your lot.

A belief in your desires or aspirations, will place you on the other side of this line--the upward side of it--where you will realize that there is nothing but good, and where there is no disease, no poverty, no pain and no death.

This is a tremendous thing that I am writing, but there is no truer truth than it.

The difference between trusting our fears and trusting our desires, or putting faith in our prayers, is the difference between poverty and opulence; between sickness and health; between old age and immortal and ever progressing youth; between life and death.

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 congnizance 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 popply 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 hynotists 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 maching 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 travelling 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.

Lesson 11 - The Power Above The Throne

[199] I ask the student to go within himself for wisdom. I ask him to direct his glance downward into the roots of his being. No doubt the subjective mind of which I speak may be properly called the roots of his being. But he is not to live in these roots. They are simply to serve his purpose by contributing their strength to his objective mind, as the roots of the tree feed the body, and the entire external manifestation of the tree. I have shown the student what these roots are so that he may gain a conception of his own deathless importance. I do not want him ever to say again, "I am a poor, weak creature." Rooted in the very beginning of organic life, with the thread of his existence unbroken and built of experiences that embrace every particle of knowledge our old earth had the power to yield, he is already--even as he stands today--a very great creature indeed. Built on the solid foundation of his own desires, actualized in his individual mentality, he is an indestructible monument whose force is equal to that of all the combined forces of the world.

In this analysis of man we see why he has been called a microcosm. He is the world with all her powers classified and arranged in compact working form, and with her grossness and weakness and deadness eliminated.

Now, while man is a compendium of the world, he is not a compendium of the universe. He is the bound record of just as many experiences as his life has embraced, and no more; and his experiences have been those yielded him by the earth. If he were a compendium of the universe, he would be grown; he would have no more growing to do; nothing more to gain; he would have passed from finite to infinite--a condition never to be reached by organized forms, since the condition is formless. The glory of our lives and our perpetual happiness lies in the fact that we can go on growing forever and never be grown. Remember we grow by the acquisition of new truth, because we are purely mental creatures; and we can never learn all.

To me already, at this early stage of my growth, the most intense happiness I can have is the perception of a new truth. Many a time as I have been writing the barrier that would pin my thoughts to the subject in hand has dropped away from the moment, revealing things impossible to be written or spoken; visions of human growth indescribable, and before which I tremble and would faint but for the fact that I voluntarily shut them out in self-protection.

Swedenborg speaks of the angels who were suddenly lifted from their own heaven--the heaven adapted to their own capacities--into one very much higher, and he goes on to tell how the effect of the unnameable grandeur for which their state of progression has not prepared them overpowers and stultifies them, so that they have to be taken back again instantly to where they belong. This illustrates the fact that I am speaking [200] of. We cannot bear too great a revelation of light at one time. We must grow to it by degrees through our slowly unfolding power to recognize its greatness. We must make it ours before we can bear it. It is this overwhelming body of truth to which our perceptions are gradually unfolding that Emerson refers to as the "over-soul" that kills. It kills unless our perceptions open to it and take it in, but in this case it is the power that makes us alive.

I have said that notwithstanding the greatness of the subjective mind, man was not to live in it. It is necessary that he should be conscious of it, but he is not to submerge his objective mind in it and rest there, any more than the tree should be satisfied to know that its roots were large and strong and far-reaching, and so remain content in this knowledge without the necessity of putting forth leaves, flowers, and fruits. The whole effort of life is to bring forth all the latent power there is and make it manifest on the objective plane.

That this is the very reverse of the world's ideas at present I know only too well. All theology teaches the nothingness of the objective life, and the greatness of some imaginary condition indefinable and obscure and out of mortal sight.

Every religion in the world has cut man in two, making his spirit one thing and his body another thing; and they have taught that his body was an unimportant factor in his organization so far as any good to himself was concerned. And indeed they have gone farther and declared it was a detriment to him; a millstone upon the neck of his spirit that endangered its eternal welfare continually. Therefore it has been a main point in all religions of every age and nation to crucify the body, to deny it, and to spend every effort in saving the soul.

But I say boldly that the spirit and body are one, and that no spirit was ever yet saved apart from its body. It has retired from external observation to wait its chance to again externalize itself in another body, because the external life is the only life of use there is or ever will be. Therefore reincarnation seems to be one of the inevitable necessities attendant upon our complete conquest over everything. And nothing less than absolute conquest is true salvation.

To conquer disease and all weakness, and to start out on a journey of splendid progression through self-development, is the thing to do, and it is the thing that the race will have to come to. To manifest or make visible in the external world the possibilities of spirit latent in all things is the desirable thing. To resign these bodies, to withdraw from them expecting to find heaven in an eternity on some unseen plane where further effort is unnecessary, is as if one should crawl into a hole and pull the hole in after him. To create is to make visible on the external plane, right here in this life. Every particle of creation is making visible. Man is a creator. Through the laboratory of his own body he translates invisible spirit into visible spirit; which is perceptible substance. He brings it forward into the world of effects where it becomes the vitalizing agent of his own spoken word--the word that he speaks into a thousand different uses, all of which are meant to subserve his constantly accumulating desires.

Man is a substantial entity. His body is more solid than thought, and it is in the process of becoming more still, instead of more vapory, like thought, or spirit. Growth, or development externally, is going to make a man's body infinitely more compact than it is now. Its compactness will become greater than that of any other organized substance, and its elasticity will keep pace with its compactness, until it will become positive to all other things, and indestructible by them. But this thought is not to be developed here, and I shall pass on.

[201] The subject of lesson ten was, "The Power Behind the Throne." The subject of this lesson is, "The Power Above the Throne." I have spoken of the threefold laboratory of man's bodily organism. First, of his digestive system, which consists of stomach and its dependencies. Second, of his vital system, which is his sex, or reproductive system. And third, of his brain, the laboratory in which his thought-life, or spirit-life, is evolved. The brain, taken as a whole, shows the same threefold nature. The base of the brain seems to be more intimately related to the digestive system. It is the primitive or lower brain. When man lived from this brain exclusively he was an animal, and his shape was very different from his present shape. But in the nature of evolution this animal brain projected another and higher brain from itself; a brain that represented all the power of the lower, or animal brain, and the greatly added power of the vital or reproductive system. From this second brain there was projected the social idea. In proportion as this second brain increased in size and fineness of structure, man took cognizance, not only of his own wants, but of the wants of other men. This led to combinations for self-protection, and, indeed, to our present social and political systems.

But we see the entire animal nature embodied in our present system, although concealed in a measure, and its worst features held in check by the still higher brain in process of evolvement at this time.

This higher brain is only now being born of the two lower brains that preceded it. (Of course, the brain is all one, but there are distinctly marked steps in it, and it is these steps that I speak of as the three brains.) As the second, or social brain, grew out of the first, or purely selfish brain, so now the third, or idealistic brain, is growing out of the other two.

The body feeds the brain, and the brain gradually modifies the body--makes it over, as it were--keeps making it over all the time; for the body is negative to the brain. It is the brain's faithful servant. Up to this time the brain has not known that it possessed this power. It used the power all the same, however, and was the unconscious agent in every change the body passed through from the nomad up to man.

Now the brain not only kept changing and improving the body continually all along up through the progressive ages, but the mere fact of its growth and improvement kept changing and improving its surrounding conditions. There has always been a mighty power residing in the brain. It has been a magnet from the first, and with every bit of its added growth has related it to things and conditions more desirable for it, and shown it the possibility of getting the possessions. And this fact has widened every avenue of life and developed the earth and its resources to the degree where we now see it. The earth and the resources have simply waited upon man's unfolding knowledge of his own latent powers in order to serve him. The fact of resistance it seems to present to his efforts is not real resistance. It is a challenge to his faith in his own ability to conquer, and it aids in his development.

The brain grows by what it conquers. It is a case where the strength of the conquered passes into the conqueror. If there were nothing for the brain to conquer, it would never grow. If the brain did not grow there would be no further improvement in the body. And as before remarked, it is not the body alone that is shaped by the brain, but society, governments, and religions have been shaped by the same influence. Whatever the status of the average human brain, that status will be precisely correlated by the social, religious, and governmental [202] conditions of the people; and this on the unconscious plane of development no less than on the conscious plane.

Take man on the purely animal plane of his development, when he lived from the intelligence yielded him by the lower brain, and he was an animal; and all his methods were of an animal character; and he had no society, no religion, and no government. As the animal brain was improved, and the next higher brain was built, our present social system began to develop and gradually came up to its present standing. Man's surroundings always keep pace with the unfolding faculties of his brain. His faculties always command from the external world those conditions that correlate their own power.

But man never stands still. No sooner is one faculty built than another is unfolded out of it. Ages and ages pass and the slow improvement goes on. The animal brain carried us into the social brain where we now are, and from which all our institutions exist. But this brain has been steadily sending up its aspirations for something better than it has known. And these aspirations (desires) have been growing into substantial reality and building themselves up structurally into the third brain--the brain that I call the ideal brain. Now, all of this effort has been the result of the individual desire for freedom, or happiness (there is very little difference in these two words, from my standpoint).

The ideal brain is the result of the individual's desire for freedom. This ideal brain is at last becoming recognized, and its claims are beginning to be sanctioned by the social brain. This is a very great thing indeed, for there were hundreds of years during its incipient unfoldment in which the social brain branded it (the ideal brain) as a traitor to established thought as expressed in the established religions and social condition of the times. It was called an insane thing; a traitor to the true interests of the whole world, an innovator; an image-breaker and heretic.

And no wonder, for it was the originator of bolder conceptions of the powers vested in man, and the privileges of the whole race, than the timid and conservative social brain could contemplate with any kind of equanimity. To sanction the whisperings of this ideal brain was actually to weaken man's dependence upon the beliefs that have ruled the ages with an iron rod from the moment of man's emergence from his animalhood. And why? Behold within itself the seeds of a salvation through the Law of Growth. And this frightened the man. It frightened him so much that he began to beg the government to interpose its authority by putting his personal God in the constitution, and doing every possible thing to bolster up his power. And some governments did it; but there was a land so big that the individual brain was more unconfined; had room for expansion and expression, so that an atmosphere of comparative freedom pervaded it from center to circumference, and somehow this widespread sense of freedom became an influence. And it was in this land that the brain grew faster, and its suggestions began to be respected.

It was then that a strange and a yet very natural thing happened. Now, when a power of any kind has been dammed up for a time and its overflow prevented, the barriers will burst, and flood is the result. This is what happened to the long continued confinement of the ideal faculties. The time came when they burst their boundary line and swept over the world in the most unmistakable way. This flood came in the name of Christian Science. It was a very resolute reaction against the power that had held it in the subjective so many centuries, and it was full of the intention [203] to overwhelm this power. It even denied the existence of the power that had confined it, and it made the unequivocal statement that it alone possessed power. Indeed, it claimed that it alone existed. It tried to wipe out both sections of the lower brain by a denial of their existence. In doing this it made the evidences of the senses nothing! It made the earth and the long years of man's growth nothing. It refused to see anything but its own power, and it imagined as a power it stood entirely alone in the universe, without foundation and without feeders.

Christian Science has thus become simply the blind, ungovernable assertion of the ideal faculties. In leaping forth from its subjective condition, where the doubting and sluggish lower intelligence had kept it back so long, it did what might have been expected.

Instead of finding its central position of supreme power where it could govern and control the lower intelligence, it, in its sudden release from confinement, swung past the center to a position that it could not maintain, because in the very nature of Law such a position was impossible to hold. In natural growth no link may be ignored. And this is so because individual growth is made up of successive links. To ignore any one of these links is fatal to the whole growth. To take a position in the top brain irrespective of the lower brain is to cut off the experiences of the lower brain and to swing loose in space without compass or rudder. And this position may and will lead to the wildest extravagances in belief and conduct. To live in the upper brains, as the Christian Scientists attempt to do, is to become utterly psychologized; which means that the man believes certain things--all the things indeed--suggested by the ideal brain without understanding why he believes them; without being able to give a valid reason for his belief. And it is absolutely essential to the long continuance of a belief, and to its healthy growth and firm establishment, that we should be able to give a cool, logical reason for believing it. In other words, the long established faculties of the lower brain have a right to demand a reason for the claims of the ideal brain, and if the reason is not forthcoming, one of two things happen--either the long established lower brain rejects the claims of the ideal brain, or the ideal brain rejects the experiences of the lower brain, and the magnet man is broken. In this case nothing in the way of man's practical salvation has been accomplished.

Every experience the man has ever had has been recorded in his brain; nothing has been lost. It is all necessary to him. If a single link had been left out, or had failed of being recorded in his organization, he would have been lost right then and there. But no such disaster as this has happened to a single individual in all the universe. No such disaster could happen, because every step in man's career has been taken in the line of the Law of Attraction. And the Law is unerring in results.

Now, a psychological condition is not a condition of untruth. It is a condition possible of rational attainment by the slow climb of the sturdy lower intelligence. But when it is so attained it is no longer a psychological condition, because it can give an account of itself. Its assertions seem no longer wild and visionary, because the every-day reasoning powers have confirmed them. To be psychologized is to believe certain things without any logical reason for so doing. As long as the student can believe these things he can perform the actions suggested by the beliefs. But the moment his every-day life intelligence demands a reason for the things he does, that moment he loses his power to actualize his beliefs, until he has searched diligently among the experiences, of which his whole past career is a record, [204] to find a foundation for his belief. Then when this foundation is discovered he has solid ground under him, and he may do precisely the same work and he will not be psychologized at all.

Now, Christian Science is a psychological wave that has passed over the country doing many wonderful things without being able to give a logical reason for what it did. Mental Secience has demanded an explanation of the things it did. Mental Science is that explanation.

Christian Science felt that there was a great power above its own head, and shut its eyes in blind trust in that power, and floated up to it and began to use it. Mental Science perceived that Christian Science had completely cut itself off from the foundation of its existence in its absolute denial of all that lay beneath it, and it went resolutely to work to build a logical stairway from the ground up to the place where Christian Science was manipulating truths that were as mysterious to itself as to the rest of the world. In doing this it furnished a connecting link between the every-day brain of the present generation and the ideal brain which alone yields the power to do the works that the world has seen done in all of this marvelous healing.

Mental Science has come not to disprove the works of Christian Science, but to explain them. It is a plain, unadorned staircase leading up from the world's every-day brain, or its present status of thought, to the ideal brain which furnishes a status of thought infinitely higher, more powerful, and more free than either section of the lower brain, or than both sections put together.

Every time the brain puts forth a higher bud, as it were, this bud contains all the characteristics, all the power of the brain from which it sprung, and much more. It is the upward pouring, or sprouting of qualities and forces too fine and too potent to be recognized on the lower plane from which it ascended. Consequently it had to ascend. Under the Law of Attraction it could not do otherwise. That which is more alive, most vital, ascends in obedience to the law of gravitation. The law of gravitation is the negative pole to the Law of Attraction.

The ideal brain has been built into organic structure by those thoughts which were denied expression by the every-day brain that has given birth to the conditions and religions which now surround us. We have said of these wonderful thoughts, "O, nonsense; they are too good to be true. They are the mere effusions of an overly fervid imagination. They are the stuff of which to build 'castles in Spain' by people who are too indolent to do anything else." And so this matter-of-fact brain which serves our present conditions has denied them a hearing, and they have ascended and built themselves a house above that of the ordinary brain, and now they intend to have a hearing. They are not going to kick out the two lower stories of their structure as Christian Science tried to do, for they prefer to keep the entire building intact from cellar to dome, knowing that the lower serves the higher quite as much as the higher can serve the lower; knowing that every department in the grand building is necessary to every other department.

But note this fact. It is always the higher that rules. The higher serves the lower by ruling it, better than by ministering to its demands. The lower serves the higher better by waiting on it; by acting as servitor and minister to it. So there is a constant interchange of duties by these three departments of one brain.

But now let us find out something about the ideal brain. The animal brain was the essence of brute force. At this time it is an organized "push." [205] The brain next above, from which the majority of people are now living, is a bolder thing than the lower brain, and is capable of really vast undertakings. And yet it is not so bold a thing as it ought to be. And this is because of its ignorance of its own power. It projects great works, but it says, "I will do these things if circumstances are propitious." It is full of "ifs," which proves that it has not reached any condition of very marked freedom. Indeed, it scarcely knows that freedom is possible to it, and if one should assure it a condition of absolute freedom it would instantly take fright and begin to wonder what it could do with itself if it had to shape its own ends, instead of trusting to that series of environments it calls providence to shape them for it. This brain has its dreams of freedom, but it fears it nearly as much as it desires it. It knows that freedom holds all happiness in latency, and yet the very idea seems to carry with it a sense of almost overpowering responsibility.

And what does this freedom mean, that anyone should be afraid of it? When I look abroad upon the enslaved conditions of the race, I feel like answering this question by asking, "What does freedom not mean?"

Freedom means a release from fear. This answer is sweeping; and yet it would take a volume if I should attempt to specify. Man fears everything under the sun. His life from the cradle to the grave is through an unbroken jungle of fears, each of which adds its mite in retarding his advancement. Indeed, it is to escape from this wilderness of fears that encompass and penetrate every department of the man's mind that the naturally implanted desire of self-preservation--the deep inner fountain of existence, pressing upward and beyond--seeks to build itself a dwelling-place higher up above and away from this torment.

But why should he fear? And what is there to fear? In reality he has nothing to fear. It is his ignorance that causes him to fear; his ignorance of himself; his ignorance of the power invested in him by virtue of his having lived all below him, and having conquered it, and engrafted his conquest upon himself as evidence of his prowess. He does not know himself. And so he is afraid to assert himself and his own power. On the contrary, he seeks to deny that he is anything but a dependent.

And this brings me to a description of the ideal brain, and to an explanation of what it means.

It has been built by the spirit's supreme desire for that freedom denied it by man's ignorance of his own power; by the fear that dominates him to such a degree that he could not listen to the voice of his desires, and so crowded them back from every opportunity and from every attempt at externalization. But desire will always find a way to express itself. So it went higher and built itself a dome in the human brain where it lives, and from which as a solid, structural basis of action it can project its own ideas into the world of effects, and clothe and make them visible and audible among the multitude of world's uses. The very first message out of this magnificent dome has special reference to the man's creative power. It says, "No man is free except as he learns his power to create." It says, "The knowledge of a man's own creativeness is the only guarantee to freedom that ever was or ever will be." It says, "There can be no freedom one hair's breadth short of man's knowledge that he possesses this creative power absolutely unlimited and fetterless."

Again it says, "There is no conquest over man's fears but the knowledge that he is creative, and that he need not create fear." If a man creates he will create not that which enslaves him, but that which liberates. Man has been living in the negative pole of his being where he believed himself created instead of evolved by the natural process of growth. His transportation from the negative to the positive pole of his being depends on his discovery that he [206] himself is a creator and dependent upon nothing but the constant growth of his own intelligence. When he has learned this he passes forever from out of the reign of fear and becomes a free citizen of the universe.

When he has learned this mighty fact, by which I mean when the everyday brain--from which we live in this world--has accepted the fact, he no longer seeks salvation outside of himself. He knows that he is saved. His splendid life has been conjoined with the splendid ideal whose promises had once looked too beautiful to be true. He knows that nature never lies, that her every promise is the sure prophecy of the power that can fulfil it, and he begins to learn to trust it. To trust it [is] to trust himself.

Self-trust is the beginning of strength. To know that one may put sure dependence in his own powers is the beginning of rest. Anxiety goes; fear no longer holds him; faith, hope, hold absolute certainties before his eyes as the goal of his ambition. O, the repose that comes to him! That high repose which rests on the summit of understanding, and that feels its position unassailable. No more slippery resting-places on the side of the mount that he had to climb to get where he is, but implicit security on the top. His former resting-places were simply pauses made from sheer exhaustion. They were full of that muscular tension which is really caused by the fear of falling, and for this reason they were not resting-places at all, but simply breathing-places where he might hold on a moment while waiting for his strength to return.

Mental restfulness comes with the knowledge that makes the ideal real. And what is mental restfulness? It is bodily restfulness, for the mind and the body are one. And what is bodily restfulness? Is it going to sleep? No, it is waking up. It is finding that nothing can tire us. It is finding that with the fear of being tired, and the fear of disease, and the fear of poverty, and old age, and death eliminated, as they surely are when the knowledge of man's creativeness comes, that these things themselves are eliminated. Fear, which is the root of all disease of every kind whatever, entirely vanishes when a man knows he is dependent on nobody and no power outside of himself; when he finds that he alone has the right and the ability to make the statement of being himself.

In the next lesson we shall hear the statement of his own being as he has corrected it by the light poured into his life from the ideal faculties, which at last he has learned to recognize and respect.

Lesson 12 - The King On His Throne

[215] Blessed indeed is he who feels and knows that a single thought of a single soul can swing wide the portals that open from the animal to the divine.

Thrice blessed is he who in such thought can stand alone until the prejudices of an ignorant race, seeking to overwhelm him, have grown so tired that, like the wayward brood of the mother bird, they come to claim--under the hovering wings of an all-sustaining faith--that protection they fail to find elsewhere.

After all, it is he who can stand by his highest hope that the world is always waiting for, and waiting for the purpose of crowning him king, though it knows it not.

Every soul is seeking strength. There is only one way to acquire it, and that is by dropping forever the race's accepted belief in its own limitations and trusting those castles in the air projected by the ideal. If my dreams are the best my nature yields, then to live in them is the most sensible thing I can do, even though they never should become real.

But to live in our dreams is to make them real. And this is true because Being is not limited. And every aspiration of the soul, stretching outward in the direction of good, of more life, if believed in, becomes bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. Belief in the ideal will turn all its hopes into muscle and tissue and blood and brain. The voice that speaks through the ideal is the voice of a higher, a more perfect life, and he who listens to it and believes in it will be led out of the inharmonies of our present hell, into a boundless place where our constantly unfolding faculties will express themselves in those never-failing activities which alone can make heaven for us.

We must find heaven in unrestrained growth; in the constant unfoldment of our faculties in the true line of our attractions.

But the race has scarcely unfolded any new faculty for hundreds of generations. A trifling advancement here and a slight step forward there has been all. The people have held the heresy that God made them just as they are, and that they are as perfect as they ever will be until death purifies them. They do not know that they are growing creatures, and have been from the first. If they did but know this, they would also know that there is no limit to farther continuance of their growth except the limit put upon it by their ignorance; an ignorance that constantly rejects the hopes held out by their ideality, and insists on clothing the manly future in the child's garments of the past.

There are leaders among men because, though all men do not trust their own brightest hopes, yet they gladly follow the man who does. The true leader is the man who believes that something is possible for him that his followers do not believe possible for themselves.

He who is a great leader, and at the same time adds to his power as a leader the power of teaching the people [216] and healing their wounds, not only believes the (so-called) impossible is possible to him, but he believes that it is possible for every living soul also. And thus in elevating himself by his belief he elevates all others equally. It is in this way that the mind healers are doing their mighty work. They have ascended--through a serene and steadfast trust in the ideal hopes they find implanted in the race--from the world's old belittling and hampering beliefs concerning race limitations, to a loftier place and a clearer mental atmosphere than was ever reached before. They see that the people's implanted hopes were meant to be actualized in real life. And they see farther, that their actualization will remove every one of our liabilities and make us free citizens of the universe, with perfect control over disease, old age, poverty and death.

In the multiplicity of my duties there is sometimes an hour when I lose sight of my power to overcome disease, old age, poverty and death. At such times a sense of being alone and lost imperceptibly steals over me, and I question myself as to what is the matter. In a moment the whole line of thought in which I live--the thought that is slowly making me over--like McGregor--I find myself on my native heath once more, and at home in the broad fields and green pastures of my splendid possessions--the home unfolded to me through the ideal hopes--that because of my faith have become real.

And oh, what possessions! So clearly do I see the perfect mastery of man over all his hated environments, through the power of supreme trust in himself, in the unfoldment of the seeds of all great achievements now lying dormant in his brain and waiting for nothing but his own recognition of them and his beliefs in them to lift him bodily out of his present charnel house beliefs, and rescue him at once and forever from all his enemies.

For my part I hesitate no longer to proclaim in the boldest manner that the time has come that St. Paul spoke of. It is quite plain from his writings that he anticipated man's final conquest over all things; a time in which he would say, "Oh, death! where is thy sting? Oh, grave, where is thy victory?"

The factor by which death and the grave are overcome is now being evolved through the faculty of ideality; that faculty whose wonderful creative power has been ignored so long; but which has steadily unfolded in spite of the contempt heaped upon it, until at last we begin to see it as a shining light; the light in each man's brain that is to guide him to perfect freedom in all things.

In lesson ten I made it plain to the student that a mighty storehouse of the world's wisdom lay behind his present perception. I said that the recognition of this wisdom, and an attempt to unearth it, as it were, would not be without its beneficial effect.

In lesson eleven I told of the power above the throne, and tried to account for its presence there, and also to hint at its uses. These two phrases--the power behind or beneath the throne, and the power above the throne--point most distinctly to the throne itself and to him who sits upon it as the executive of this power. The ability to use either of these two powers did not seem to depend upon themselves, but upon someone who had the right to govern them both.

The central point of all individualization is the "I." What the "I" is no one can tell, any more than to say it is self-consciousness. It is certainly the very heart of the magnet man, and the full power of the attracting force is located in it. It ranges at will through the entire organism. It can drop for the moment its objective consciousness--this outside mind--and become submerged in the subjective mind--that wonderful storehouse of memories--lying back of our present earth experiences. It can ascend into the purely ideal mind and lose sight of all that lies [217] below it. It is in this condition that miracles, so-called, have been worked. In the great majority of the race the "I" is located centrally in what I have called the everyday mind, from which we have projected all the uses that now appear in the world.

Now, try to follow me. It is the privilege of the man to live in either of these chambers of the brain, and create from the material yielded him within these chambers.

I pause a moment, awed, before the secret but tremendous meaning of this last sentence. I told the student in the last lesson that man was creative. I told him that man had created himself all along the journey of life up to the present moment, though nearly all of his creation has been done unconsciously to himself.

But now I tell him a greater thing. I tell him that a man has the power to undo the present status of his personality and slip back, and down the thread of his life experiences, and express his life on a lower plane than he can now conceive of. That no man ever did this, or ever will do it, does not militate against the fact that he has the power to do it. Man is an individualized will, and there is nothing on earth to prevent him from doing what he wishes to do, provided he wills to do it, and understands the law of the doing. It is easy enough to understand the law by which this is done, but no soul can ever be found who desires to do it. All desire points to the future, because freedom is in the future, and the escape from the past has been an escape from many and indescribable bonds.

The temptation, then, is not to slip backwards down the stream of time, but to look ahead and strain to get on. Therefore it is the ideal that tempts us now. It tempted the Christian Scientist to the utter renunciation of the world of senses as represented by our objective minds. It filled him with visions not impossible of realization by proper methods, but purely phantasmal on his part, because cut off from the source of their actualization in flesh and blood--namely, the lower chambers of the brain that relate him to the earth from which the roots of his being draw their substance. The position of the Christian Scientist was like that of the lily enshrined in the bulb, and which believed it could spring to full bloom independently of leaf or stem; which believed indeed that it was in bloom even before it had emerged from the bulb. It took the spirit of the prophecy of its coming for its actual, tangible appearance. In this particular it quite ignored the Law of Attraction, which is the law of growth.

Christian Science is a sort of air plant. It is not rooted in the earth life by its many and varied past experiences. It is like a floating head whose body is dead. It is a species of insanity; an unbalanced condition that cannot last long. But it is a man's privilege to live in this upper brain if he wishes to, and to create from it. That which he creates is phantasmal, like the condition from which it sprung, but the phantoms are real to him and to others in his position. A great deal of healing is done in this way. The scientist has lifted himself to a place in the ideal where he does not perceive the obstruction to his creative word; and so the word creates health, strength, or whatever it is spoken for. This form of healing is not invariable in its results by any means. The main benefit derived from it is in the fact that it points the way which underlies the power, the discovery of which enables us to create health with absolute certainty in all patients.

It points to man's unfailing creative power. It says more forcibly than any words, "You can create any condition you please for yourself and for another who places his case in your hands. And you can make your creations endure permanently--recorded in flesh and blood--when you know how."

Psychological healing endures as [218] long as the conditions in which it had its birth endure. A vast amount of this psychological healing is more imbued with the substantial force of the lower brain than it knows of. And in proportion as this is the case the healing is more lasting, and so is the creativeness of the healer. When I came out of the Christian Science school I was one of the most powerful of all psychological healers. I had no use of any part of my anatomy but the upper brain. I walked on air. My feet did not seem to touch within several inches of the ground. I went about pounding people over the head with the cabalistic sentence, "You are well." Many of them acknowledged the impeachment, and miracles, so-called, resulted. A few were so ungracious that they refused to be convinced. This latter class, at first in the minority, came out largely in the majority later, as I began to investigate my condition. Life became a burden to me from the endless questions suggested by my untiring and unsparing mind. It was a worse nuisance than "Helen's Babies." I was fast developing into a mammoth interrogation point, and I would rather have been an ampersand, or anything else in the shape of a contraction of my condition. At last I saw there was no rest for me until I set myself to the task of finding the answers to my own questions. In doing this I found where the "I" is located, and gradually became acquainted with its marvelous power when acting strictly in the line of the Law.

The "I" is located in the objective mind, though it has the power at any time to visit either the subjective or the ideal mind. In fact, the "I" is king in the domination of man, but his throne is located neither at the highest point in his kingdom nor at the lowest. It is central, and its position is such that it commands both extremes of its dominions.

The business of the "I" is to lead all of its powers out into the objective world where they become operative in projecting uses upon the external and visible plane of life. There is no use for the memories and experiences lying behind the "I" except as they can be brought to bear upon our efforts of conquest in this present life here upon the earth. There is no use of the magnificent ideal faculties except as their grand conceptions can be built into substantial structure right here where we are living today. Man's interests at this stage of his evolution are centered in the world we live in. And this will be the case for thousands of years yet. When he gets away from this world he will get away from it in a manner similar to the way he gets from America to Europe. He will have discovered the potencies and character of the ether lying between us and the other planets, and will have constructed airships to navigate it.

For as sure as nature exists, there is no ascension except by growth. There is no growth except by the acquisition of knowledge. There is no conquest over the obstacles that stand in the way of the realization of our desires except by individual effort. And this effort has got to be expended on that plane which calls into use the whole man; every faculty of his being and every atom of his person; and this plane is the plane of the earth life on which we now dwell.

To ascend into the ideal and live there means the cutting off of the "I" from this earth plane. It means death. Not annihilation--for such a thing is not possible--but it means death to the body and the cessation for the present time of effort upon the earth. If there was anything to be gained by the ascension of the "I" into the ideal, and the death of the body, it would be a pleasant thing to do and the right thing to do. But the death of the body--the objective or external intelligence--is not the right thing.

The right thing is the expression upon the external plane of the entire man. Externalization is the right thing. Externalization is expression of [219] the Law of Being. The Law might as well not exist as to exist and not be expressed or made manifest. The universe might as well be blotted out as that the Law should not be made manifest by that recognition of its existence which is expressed in all the myriad forms of nature, with man at their head.

We have had too much nonsense about the beauty and perfection of life on the invisible plane. It has almost ruined the race by causing it to postpone its efforts and its desires to another sphere of existence--an ethereal sphere, where there is no resistance to our wishes, and where everything comes without the expenditure of energy. We had as well learn the truth about ourselves now as at some future time; and I am going to put it plain and strong. The preachers are all wrong in trying to save souls apart from their bodies. They simply cannot do it. Souls are saved only inside their bodies, because souls and bodies are one. They are different apartments of the one mind that constitutes the whole man. And man can only be truly saved when he understands the fact that he is whole. This is what the Bible means when it says that in order to be saved a man must be whole, or "holy."

Now, the body is simply one phase of the man's mind. It is the objective part of his mind--the part that takes cognizance of external things. Cut this part off from the other divisions of his mind (as in death) and the man has sustained an almost irreparable loss. His throne is gone; his base of operations in the realm of useful effort is destroyed. He has become an air plant; a floating, rarefied spirit. And I believe that he must take on earth conditions again.

Of course, I do not know this, but I do know a good many positive facts that point to this thing as a necessity. In the first place, I know that a rarefied, ethereal condition is not the condition that yields strength. These bodies of ours, these eternal minds, are even now much too ethereal, too rarefied, too sappy, to yield us the strength we demand. Our sight is too imperfect, and so is our hearing and all our other senses. In fact, these bodies (ethereal minds) are only embryotic as yet. They are watery, diluted and weak. They have got to come out into the external with infinitely greater strength and power than they have ever done yet. The time is coming (it will be here when we get rid of our ideas of the desirability of spirit life) that our flesh will be so firm and yet so elastic that no substance on earth can compare with it in strength, and power, and beauty, and lightness. Our eyes will be composed of such substantial material that they will supersede the telescope and microscope. Our hearing, our touch and our taste will also be much improved as our sense of sight.

The only thing that ails us now is that we are not far enough out in the external world. Our external, or visible, development is too faint and weak. So much so that it yields to every breath of adverse or ignorant belief and suffers itself to be blown back out of sight again. Why, the wind blows through our bodies and chills us. Our bodies, our external perceptions, are so shivering frail, from a lack of recognition of what they might be, that they are at the mercy of things and conditions which are utterly negative to them, if they only knew it. When we drop these external perceptions (our bodies), will we be any stronger?

Strength is fixedness of perception. Perception belongs to the world of sense. Fixedness of perception is not the loss of perception, as by death, but its reverse. It is the constantly accreting power to perceive more, and still more. Do not forget that perception is of the senses. It is the externalizing power. The stronger and better our senses are the more fixed and firm and irresistible will our bodies become, until they will be indestructible by any accident whatever.

[220] Mental Science teaches the road to life on the external plane. It teaches how to improve and strengthen these bodies. As the body is every particle mental this can only be done by an increase of knowledge. "Knowledge is power," says the wise man. It would not be power if it did not add to man's strength on the external plane. A man has no place to make use of his knowledge except on the external plane. Knowledge must be applied to uses or there is no need for it. Everything under the sun teaches us this fact. I accept nature's teachings, and shall continue to do so until I am convinced that there are better and more reliable teachings somewhere else. It is safer to rest upon nature, and to learn from an observation of her methods, than to listen to the vaporings of men who have got so far away from her and are so ignorant of her laws that they are really insane.

All men want to know is the truth. They are not persistently mad in any desire to follow error. They want life. This is the leading desire of every organized creature, from a drop of protoplasm up to a man. They want life, and they will follow any trial, no matter how obscure, that leads in the direction of life. While they believe that life could not be perpetuated on the external plane they sought to perpetuate it on an invisible plane. So great was their desire that it should be perpetuated that they thought no sacrifice of present, external life was too great to make for it. Hence the mighty power of the various churches, and of the whole church as an institution.

Why, the church has ruled the world for many centuries. It has almost ruthlessly subverted the will of the people to its own will because the people believed there was life in it. "All that a man hath will he give for his life." But slowly, slowly, and almost unconsciously to the people themselves, the truth on the subject has been growing. That this truth has not sooner manifested itself in thought and word is because it was a matter of growth. It is only with conception of the fact that a man is a mental creature, and that he is all of a piece, whole, or holy, that the gradually dawning idea has been able to be formulated into a spoken or written statement.

And who doubts men's acceptance of this matter as soon as they perceive the truth? Even without perceiving the truth, but with only the faint, unconscious light of its first dim beams penetrating them from afar, they have ceased to cling to the church as their only hope. Their interests have been gradually drawing off from the unseen goal of their former hopes, and have become more deeply centered in the affairs of this external life.

It is the constant cry of the half-deserted churches that men and women are too worldly. And the preachers themselves are, in most instances, quite as worldly as their audiences. They chide themselves for this worldliness and promise themselves reformation, but they do not reform and cannot. Life is calling more loudly from the external side, and they have to hear. It is impossible for them to close their ears to the charm of the vital and vibrant sound. They are becoming more alive, instead of more dead; by which I mean that from the very nature of their progressive intellects they are coming forward more and more into the external world of uses. The external seems more inviting to them, and their visionary, subjective heaven less inviting and less real because they themselves are more wide awake by reason of the universal growth of knowledge. They cannot escape this universal growth of knowledge. And knowledge is tangible stuff; it is something that builds itself into blood and brain and muscle and bone on the visible side of life--something that prepares our bodies for doing more work and more play; that prepares our constructive faculties for building new uses. Something, [221] in short, that widens the entire range of life on the objective plane and makes it more inviting still.

And this is going to be the case right along from this time on, and to a much greater degree than ever before. The whole tendency of the age is toward an externalization of our latent energy instead of suppressing it or drawing it into the invisible world out of sight. This is the work of evolution. Every step in growth has been toward the time when man would express himself completely and wholly on the external or objective plane. Think of the majesty of grace and power that will be expressed when a man expresses himself--expresses all he is capable of expressing! Of course, this means the conquest of death, and nothing less.

How to conquer death is precisely what Mental Science teaches. It teaches the student, in the first place, that such a thing is possible. Having taught him this much, it has done a wonderful thing for him, because, let it be remembered, that a man is a mental creature; that, in point of fact, he is a mental statement that he himself has made. Previous to his knowing that death could be conquered, his mental statement (his body) held the belief of death as an unavoidable thing. The simple knowing that it is not an unavoidable thing is a change in his mental statement (his body) by which the seeds of death are cast out.

This knowledge, or this change in his statement of life, brings him at once to the realization of the "I," and to a clear perception of where it must necessarily establish its throne. This establishment of a man's throne is a new thing. The "I" has been so weak from non-recognition of its own power that it did not know it was a king. It did not know that it had any power. It did not know that its word was creative. It did not know that it was obliged to accept the race beliefs that have held all human beings in the bonds of disease and death. It did not know that it was a free thing; that it could deny its inherited life-statement and make a life statement for itself of a very different character. For these things were not to be known until the "I" had found out that it was a whole. It had imagined that it was at least three things, and perhaps more, and had not the faintest idea to which of its three parts it belonged.

But now it knows that it is whole; that its three chambers of mentality are all one, and it has established its throne in the center, and this central mind is the objective mind. And it is to this objective mind that the king on his throne intends to draw the mighty power so long concealed in both rooms of the subjective. He intends to draw all this wonderful volume of reserved force right out into the world of effects, and make it available for the working of miracles in curing disease; in developing the unknown external resources lying latent in nature; in constructing such appliances in locomotion as the brain of man has never yet imagined; in establishing systems of government in which all men shall have justice and opportunity of expression, or, rather, in making manifest such knowledge in individuals as will render the word "government" obsolete, and substitute "co-operation" in its place.

The king on his throne intends to make his own body represent his ideal of beauty and strength. As the sculptor works out his splendid design in marble so will the "I" work out his design, in flesh and bone; only the chisel with which he effects his work will be a tool a thousand times stronger than iron. It will be thought.

Lesson 13 - Mental Science, A Race Movement

[231] As these lessons are not a novel to be read and tossed aside, but a new system of thought to be thoroughly studied and then carried out into action, it is absolutely necessary to repeat the ideas over and over again in different words, so that the student will at last come into the clear and perfect understanding of them.

Lesson thirteen, therefore, will be a repetition, to a great extent, of the ideas that have been gone over in the former lessons. This is all the more necessary because no writer can go over the same ground twice without cutting deeper and leaving his work much more thoroughly done and in better shape than it was. I shall begin by asking a few questions:

What is God?
God is a principle.

Is this principle not sometimes called a Law?
Yes, it is called the Law of Attraction.

Why?
Because it is the drawing power inherent in atoms and worlds.

Is the Law of Attraction ever called anything else?
Yes, it is called Being, and it is called Love. Swedenborg calls it Love.

Is Love also an appropriate name for it?
Yes, because Love attracts.

What is nature?
Nature is intelligence, or mind. Nature is the manifestation of the Law of Attraction, or Love.

Is the Law of Attraction, or Love, a visible presence?
No, the Law is forever unseen. As the Bible expresses it, "No man hath seen God." Nature, which is the Law in externalization, we all see.

In what form does Love, the Law of Attraction, exist in its broad diffusion?
It exists as sex, or polarity, in the atoms. Each atom has its positive and negative pole, or its males and female principle. Out of this male and female principle comes the Law of Attraction on which all motion and manifestation of life depend.

To say that each atom has its positive and negative pole is to say that each atom is both Love and intelligence--that is, both seen and unseen; both spirit and body--that it has an inner and an outer part; these parts being in reality one, as light and heat are one.

And indeed Being--the one life--in its dual principle may be compared to fire; the heat being like the unseen principle of fire, and the light being like its reflection in nature.

Take this statement: Life is Love manifesting intelligence, just as fire is heat manifesting in light.

All nature is intelligence. It is the recognition of Love. Recognition is intelligence. Therefore it is perfectly [232] correct to say that all nature is mind. If nature is the recognition of the Love Principle, then it is not the acknowledgment of mind, but it is mind. It is the acknowledgment of Love expressed in intelligence, and intelligence in mind.

Therefore there is no matter, and the so-called laws of matter are groundless.

This emancipates us at once from the death sentence supposed to hang over our heads from the beginning of the world; and why?

Because mind cannot be killed. It is diseaseless and deathless. It is the comprehension, or the acknowledgment of the omnipresent and infallible Law of Love that we call God.

If the Law is diseaseless and deathless, then the understanding of the Law, the mind that represents it on the external plane, is diseaseless and deathless also, for the seeming two are in reality one.

As there is but one Life, so there is but one Law of Life. That Law is the Law of Attraction.

Is there no law of repulsion?

No, none in the universe. We are not in the realm of matter, because there is no matter. We are in the realm of mind, under the Law of Attraction. Intelligence seeks what is desires, leaving behind it what it does not desire, but repelling nothing. Intelligence constantly reaches forth to the new, never troubling itself about that which it has worn out. It "lets the dead bury its dead." This is the true method of growth. It constantly attracts the new, and by attracting it passes out of the region, or off the plane of the old, but it repels nothings.

Let us take the peach as an example. It represents a certain amount of intelligence, a certain amount of recognition of the Love Principle, or the Law. It does not repel its blossom, but it outgrows it, and goes on gaining more and more intelligence every day, showing forth more and more of the Law of Love, until it attains a point where its intelligence ceases to reach forward for any more. Then it becomes a helpless thing and is attracted to the earth by virtue of the earth's superior force as a magnet; and we say the peach is dead. Why is it dead?

Simply because it has no power to recognize any further good or life. It has reached a limit to its intelligence. All things die or undergo a change of form (that the world calls death) at that point where they cease to recognize further good; or cease to recognize any more of the Principle of Being.

To cease to recognize good is to cease to desire it, and when this point is reached the vital intelligence that lifted the creature, whether plant, animal or man, above the earth is resigned, and the earth claims her own through the power of the Law of Attraction.

But the earth is a tremendous magnet, and what can ever overcome her attraction? How will it be possible for any of us to grow away from her ravenous clutches and remain away permanently?

As stated previously, we are in the realm of mind, and there is no matter. The world itself is all mind. Its mountains and its seas and rocks are all mind. But they are mind of the lowest possible grade of intelligence. The smallest blade of grass that grows has more intelligence than the whole earth, and proves it by its power to ascend above it. And so long as the blade of grass can recognize a higher good than the dirt beneath it, it can by virtue of this recognition overcome the earth's attraction. For, do you not see that in the universe of mind it is intelligence that makes the strength of a magnet, and not what we call bulk, or dead weight? Therefore it is only when the peach and blade of grass have ceased to grow (to acquire more intelligence or recognition of the Love Principle) that the earth's attraction can overcome them.

Every creature that obeys the Law of Growth without seeking to learn [233] what the Law is, is in unconscious obedience to the Law; and the visible lives of all creatures on the plane of unconscious growth die.

The Law of Being must have intelligent recognition, a recognition so full and complete as to render the creature a constantly growing exponent of its own possibilities and power. This involves constant growth; a constantly widening recognition of the Love Principle, which, being individualized in the man, becomes the overflowing fountain of Life within him.

The procession of enlarging growths on the animal plane--all leading up to man--are each of them more or less unconscious of the power they represent. Their recognition of the Life Principle is expressed through uses. The brain in them is not ripened to that point where they can say, from the basis of pure reason, "There is a supreme power within me that I recognize as being able to overcome all foes to never-ending growth, and to liberate me entirely from all false or misunderstood attractions, to the attractions of pure, unmistakable good."

The movement of Mental Science is a race movement, and it is the most important step in advancement that has ever been taken. It is nothing less than the passage of the whole people from the stage of blind, unconscious growth to that of conscious growth.

Blind, unconscious growth, as intimated before, is growing like the trees and brutes grow--without a knowledge of how or why we grow. And, as a matter of course, all growths that do not expand to the full knowledge of the Law of Growth and learn how to do their own growing, must necessarily succumb to the earth's attraction after a time. It is earth to earth and dust to dust.

The earth swallows up all of us unless we can develop a constantly increasing vitality that will bid defiance to her attraction.

There is only one way to develop vitality in a universe that is not matter but mind, and that is by the recognition of more and greater truths all the time. Man has completed his animal, or unconscious growth, which has developed him into a perfect organism, or laboratory, for the manifestation of intelligence. And he stands at this point now--at the point where there is no farther progression for him under the law on unconscious growth, or the method of growth as expressed blindly in uses simply.

He stands at the point of the new and great departure--that departure toward which all ages have been silently treading. And so important is his position and his responsibility that one backward step would now plunge the world into another dark age from which it would take centuries to recover.

Indeed, so important is the present situation that the failure to use it judiciously would, to millions of us, render the world a nonentity, and make life as if it had never been.

In order to show the student just what I mean by unconscious growth as expressed blindly in uses, I shall give a fuller explanation.

All growth is by desire. In the animal, desire seems not to soar away from the body, but to be expressed through it. Thus, the little amoeba, which is but a tiny drop of protoplasm, becomes hungry. It floats in the water, and in coming in contact with some other form of life which will serve it as food, it folds its body about it, holding it enclosed as you might hold an acorn in your hand, and when it has absorbed the substance from it, it unfolds its body from it and lets the residue drop out, as you would open your hand to let the acorn fall. The amoeba has neither mouth, hands, feet, eyes, ears, nor anything resembling a digestive system, but it has a desire for food. In a higher organization to which the spirit of this little creature passes, that desire increases, and the result of its increased desire is a compulsion upon nature to furnish it with a better digestive system. And so it goes on up to higher and still higher incarnations, [234] growing stronger in its demands with each upward step, calling louder and louder upon nature for better means of supplying its demands, until it has not only a digestive system, but eyes to see its prey, olfactory nerves to smell it, ears to hear it, feet to run after it, and claws to capture it.

This is the development of uses through blind or unconscious desire, and it is by this kind of development that the perfect organization of the man is built and his brain is ripened.

But he may stand at this point until the crack of doom and be nothing more than the animal man unless he begins to make his brain serve him in his further development. The very moment his brain does begin to serve him in this capacity he is passing out of the domain of unconscious, or unreasoning, or blind growth, into the realm of conscious or reasoning growth.

But there never was a time during the period of his unconscious growth when he could have escaped the penalty of unconscious life, which is death; and the reason for this is in the very nature of the Law.

Life is dual in the sense of being inner and outer, unseen and seen, love and intelligence. And intelligence--a word that represents the whole visible universe--can only perpetuate itself as it recognizes that it is the externalization of the Love Principle, because it is only by recognition of this fact that it becomes consciously one with it, and therefore as diseaseless and deathless as it is. The animals and plants are really one with the Love Principle the same as man, but they are not intelligently conscious of it; that is, their reasoning powers have not rendered them a substantial reason for their existence, and so they do not catch on by conscious knowledge to the Law, and therefore they die.

Intelligence and Love are one. Intelligence is Love's expression of itself. When intelligence really and truly perceives that it is Love's or the Law's expression of itself, then it has become as deathless as the unseen half of itself which we call Love, or the Law. All nature, with man at its head, is the spoken word of Love. But the word spoke itself. At first it spoke feebly, like the unconscious babbling of the child; but it grew in further recognition of its power every day, and at last it speaks more nearly in accordance with the unseen and vitalizing principle of itself--the Law of Love, or Life.

This one universal Love! What a strange, strange thing it is! It fills all space and is absolutely perfect in itself. It seems to go to no trouble to explain itself, but flows into and vivifies every expression of itself, no matter how negative or inadequate that expression may be. This is why I have said that man is the spoken word, and that he spoke the word himself; for while intelligence, or nature, comprehends Love in ever-unfolding degrees of recognition, Love seems not to comprehend intelligence, or nature, but simply to manifest itself in proportion as it is comprehended.

Speaking of the matter in this way, it is almost impossible not to convey the idea of a dual Life Principle. But indeed there is but one Life Principle, which is Love, while intelligence is the showing forth of it, as light is the showing forth of heat. It almost seems as if Love bursts forth in tiny jets that expand by slow degrees, revealing more and more of itself, until these flames become conscious of themselves and their true character, and exclaim aloud, "Behold, behold, we are visible loves!"

The fact of our recognizing ourselves as visible loves, or visible wills, living exponents of the universal Principle of Love, or will, is in itself sufficient to banish disease and death, and establish ourselves as conquerors in the earth, thus breaking the power old earth has had in drawing us all back into her bosom because of our ignorance concerning our own power.

And now I must go back a little to where I began to speak of unconscious [235] growth, because there is a mighty truth connected with it that the student must never forget. This truth will become an inestimable comfort to him during every hour of his struggle toward the place where he is to feel himself conqueror of all things--disease, poverty and death included.

I spoke of the amoeba, the tiny drop of protoplasm, in its search for food. This little creature had begun to speak itself into an unending existence; a visible existence. It was--as to its own personality--pure intelligence; a tiny point of recognition of the one Love, and it wanted to recognize more. This desire on its part formed the basis of its individual growth.

Now, there are but two factors essential to growth. These two factors are desire and belief. Desire, when accompanied by belief, as it always is during the period of unconscious growth, gets what it asks for. Perhaps it may not always get it in the limited sense of its asking, but it gets it in a higher sense.

The amoeba asks for food, ostensibly. In reality, it asks for more intelligence, a wider range of conception. It asks in faith, not yet having reached even the negative pole of conscious life where doubts of the eternal Love, or Life principle, begin. The little creature asks in faith, I say, and the very universe hears its cry, and the Law itself stoops down, as it were, to put food within the folds of its frail organism.

Think of this. No cry for a wider range of thought, no cry for more truth, was ever uttered in vain. It is a demand upon the eternal Love, the universal soul, that is never unanswered. And according to the measure of faith we put in the asking will the answer be prompt and full.

Now, while the animal is crying for food, which means ultimately a more enlarged conception of Love, or Life, we who have reached a much higher plane ask directly, or demand of our own organizations, that intelligence which is the only food that feeds us truly. And if we demand, knowing the Law, it will come to us, because the supply is equal to the demand.

Intelligence to comprehend more of Love--which is Life, the universal Life, a recognition of which embraces all creatures, and establishes absolute justice and flawless harmony in the affairs of men--this is all we need. This is Being, without a flaw. It is life freed from all beliefs in disease and death. The more our intellects expand to a conception of this Love the farther away from all our fears and all the old wretched beliefs we grow. Life, eternal Life, opens up to us more and more as our power to recognize the Love Principle increases.

Now, I have not heretofore made the statement that Love and will are, in a great measure, the same. There is a difference, however, and I will define it. Love is the attracting power. It is the spirit of growth reaching forth constantly. It is the under strata of the will, and also of desire. Love prompts to desire and desire culminates in will. Desire culminates in will when it has obtained the sanction of the reasoning power. And it is at this point where the reasoning powers endorse the desire, that man discovers his own power to create conditions for himself, and turns his back upon his own beliefs, refusing to be held by them any longer.

In ascending from the animal to the mental plane we find that we evolve more and more truth from our own organisms; truth that is more positive than any previous truth our organisms have yielded us. Our "physical" food supplies the raw material for the truth evolved, but our growing thoughts constantly direct this food to higher results. The evolution of the Love man, or the will man, is through the animal man. There is no object to be achieved by the perpetuation in existence on the visible plane of the animal man. He is simply a creature that serves as the root of the divine man--by which I mean the creative or will man. If the creative or will man never germinates [236] in the brain of the animal man and springs upward to noble uses, then he might as well die. And the race will continue to die just as it is doing now unless redeemed by the new thought beginning to dawn upon it at this time.

That which serves its purpose passes away. For thousands of years the animal man has been a perfect creature in his animalhood. But because his splendid animalhood failed to generate the thought that would link him consciously to the source and fountainhead of his existence he has died, as he ought to have done, since the world has nothing to gain from animal men beyond establishing them as roots for the race of divine men now about to step forth through a knowledge of the science of being. The world has no use for unproductive seed, and it is right that they should rot in the soil if the vital principle that would lift them to a nobler growth be wanting.

And yet, let no student think from what I have just said that the spirit of man is not immortal, and that its chances are over with its failure to catch on to that consciousness of truth that would tide it over death and render it immortal right here in the flesh. For though this subject is purely speculative, I feel that I carry in my own organization latent or unfolded proof of the fact that a spirit never dies; that the desire for life perpetuates life in some condition or other, and holds it until another chance is open for it. The desire implies the "I." The "I" is individually in essence, and cannot be wiped out without its own consent, and it never does consent. Why, the spirit itself is a growing thing. It was not created perfect at the hands of a personal God. It grows all the time by the recognition of still greater power resident in the Law of its Being. Remember that the spirit is not the Law. It is that finer and higher and more emancipated part of our bodies which becomes too big for the environment of the body--its negative self--and which slips cable and goes free from the environment that was too inelastic to yield to its growth. Nearly all thinkers at this time believe that it comes again and again into what we call earth conditions. If it does this, and I must admit that the theory seems more plausible to me than any other, why then the spirit means to establish its own authority upon the earth by eventually conquering the environments that have closed it out of our visible life so often.

If man had been projected perfect into visible life, he would have possessed all the knowledge there is, and would be the incarnate expression or manifestation of all truth. There would have been no further growth for him; for all growth is by gaining more wisdom. But instead of this he was only the tiniest and feeblest spark of intelligence at first, and his intelligence has constantly increased. And as it increased he took wider and still wider views of creation, until now he begins to see that all is good and always has been; only he did not know it. He begins to perceive that the Law of Being is , that no man and no power has ever added to it or taken anything away from it; and that all creatures were great or small in proportion as they could see this mighty truth. For, though the Law is forever unchanged, yet man changes constantly; and this, too, in spite of the fact that the Law and man are one. Take this sentence from man's side, and it will read this way: Man enlarges always by learning more and more of the infinite greatness and unchanging goodness of the Law of Being, or the Principle of Love, within him. For the Love Principle is the unseen power in every man; and so mighty is this unseen power that all through eternity men will never be able to measure it. But the effort to measure it and constantly increasing recognition of its greatness will be our means of growth, and all the means of growth we shall ever have. The attempt to measure it gives man his own measure; for man is one with it. And since man's appropriation of it is by his recognition of it, it therefore follows [237] that no one can rob another of his inexhaustible inheritance.

And it is because all growth is by the acquisition of knowledge, or the recognition of the Law of Being, that we are able to state with absolute certainty that the supply is equal to the demand.

On the physical plane (so-called, there is no physical plane and never was) this was not so. That it was not so was the natural sequence of our mistake in thinking that there was a limit to good; or, in other words, that evil had an existence.

It will be seen all through these lessons that man creates his own conditions, and that he has fixed his own limitation by his mistaken beliefs, and that this is why, on the so-called physical plane, the supply was not equal to the demand; in consequence of which some men have thrived abundantly at the expense of other men, and much poverty and sorrow abounded. All of which will cease so soon as men learn that they are mental and not physical creatures, and that the acquisition of mental wealth--recognition of the Law of Being, which is perpetual life--is the only thing that can enrich them; and that they can acquire these riches without defrauding anyone, since the source of supply to this kind of wealth is inexhaustible. And this is the wealth, too, that will bring its possessor such magnificent surroundings as he can never acquire while living in a belief of the physical, with its limiting ideas, and its false and foolish laws.

For the time has now come, so long prophesied in history, when the race should banish death from this planet, and by a deeper understanding of the Law should build it into an abode for deathless creatures.

To bring this about will not necessitate any combination of men united in an organized effort to overthrow the present monopolistic systems. All such efforts, while they are natural and manly on the plane of their operation--namely, the animal plane--are circumferenced by and included in the one effort of the day; the intellectual effort to grasp the greatest of all truths that all is good, or Life, right now, and that heaven, or harmony, is already with us though we do not as yet see it.

Anything more logically conclusive than the facts I am now stating has never been spoken or written, and the student will see this to be so before these lessons are done, and he will see it in so strong a light that no power can ever shake his faith in them.

For heaven is indeed here. All there is of personal life is in this seeing. That men do not see the heaven I speak of is because they have been seeing from a negative standpoint, and what they have seen has been, not the truth, but the denial of truth. They have seen evil when there was no evil. They have believed themselves to be citizens of a physical world, with a set of narrow laws beyond which one's thought could not go, and thus shut up in the gloomiest prison-house of self-delusion, they have made no effort to look beyond, and consequently the light of this outer and most glorious mental day is in darkness to them.

Man believes in the existence of evil, and thus has become faithless of good and the power of good. And so, in his darkened intelligence, the universe is divided into two parts. It is a diverse to him, and its harmony is lost to his perceptions. It is because man has so divided the universe in his thought--the power to think being his one power--that we see the appearance of sin, sickness and death; and they seem very real to us indeed while we remain imprisoned in a belief of physical laws, before we have ascended to the freedom of the mental, and before the understanding of the Law of Being shows their intrinsic falsity.

It is because of these ignorant beliefs that life is called a battle-ground, where each advancing step is supposed to be through warfare; and it is these ignorant beliefs alone that produce all the world's (so-called) inharmonies.

[238] When, by ascension from a belief in the physical with its limiting laws, we shall truly know that the universe is one, and that this one is all pure Love, whose only law is the Law of Attraction--thus banishing forever all ideas of force--there will no longer be any basis for inharmony in thought, or belief, and those beliefs (or conditions) called sin, sickness and death will dissolve and show themselves no more.

Now, the race, not knowing that it is pure intelligence, and that for this reason its beliefs are its conditions; not knowing that there is no law but the Law of Attraction, which is the Law of Love; being ignorant of the fact that the universe is one, and believing from the negative pole of existence such beliefs as are based on fear, has projected a thousand false beliefs concerning itself and is to all appearance--as seen from this plane--externalizing these beliefs in its experience.

When I say that the race is actualizing these beliefs in appearance only, I state the entire condition of the race today. We are living mistakes almost entirely, and it is time we should understand the truth and begin to live it. The truth being that in a universe of Love there is nothing to fear.

Fear is the result of ignorance. It is the result of not knowing that all is good and not trusting unreservedly to this great fact. It will be seen from this how utterly baseless our position today is in the world. We are living in beliefs based on a false foundation. Because we are all mind these beliefs are our conditions. That these beliefs are untrue is proved by the fact that all is Love, and that the kingdom of Love is not divided against itself, but is a unit.

Living these beliefs, we are living an utterly false life; living, as it were, in a nightmare dream induced by fear; a dream from which we shall presently awake to find ourselves housed in Love, and under no law but the Law of Attraction, by the knowledge of which we will create conditions to suit ourselves.

The Law of Attraction being what its name implies is purely an attractive power. As an attractive power it cannot bring us anything but that which we desire. And as we desire only good, that being the object of all desire, and there being nothing else to attract us in the universe of all good, the idea of evil is utterly annihilated. In reality, evil has no existence, no law, and we have no cause for fear, and as we advance in the knowledge of the possibilities of life now latent within us, we will see that the old beliefs are utterly groundless. We will see that the universal Love is all in all, and that we are expressions of it.

In all the following lessons there will be some repetition of the ideas contained in the first twelve lessons. This course is prompted by the experience of a practiced teacher, whose first lessons follow the leading ideas to their legitimate conclusion; and who then goes over them again in order to fill them out more completely, and often to show them up from different standpoints, so that the student may be at no loss to understand the subject from any point of view whatever.

It is my wish that one lesson should illuminate another; and that all the last lessons should throw light upon the statements of all the first ones. I want the lessons to assist each other in becoming clear to the student's understanding. The best way I have found to teach is to go over the main ideas of the lessons frequently, and at each going over to incorporate something new; some thought that strikes both deeper and higher than the others have done. It is the most effective method I know of to eradicate completely old, negative beliefs and to establish new and positive knowledge in the mind.

Lesson 14 - Mental Science, Incarnate in Flesh & Blood

[247] Faith leads to understanding. And what is understanding as used in Mental Science? It is simply a comprehension of the truths I have been trying to make clear in these lessons. Not merely a superficial comprehension of them, but a thorough and organic comprehension which means the cementing of body and mind into one in the thought, and that one mind. Such a comprehension as this means nothing less than the atonement--that atonement spoken of in the Bible by which man is made whole, or holy.

Do not forget that man is always whole, or holy--always altogether mind, because there is nothing in the visible world but mind. But the trouble is he does not know this, and it is his knowledge of this fact that constitutes the atonement--the at-one-ment, which means the at-one-mind --and secures his salvation.

If the student can accept the fact that all is good, then faith will start up out of intuition--which is the natural knowing--and will in time make the meaning of every statement clear. It may take months, or even longer to do it, but the understanding will surely come; and its coming will be rapid or slow in proportion to the student's faithfulness in pursuing the study.

What faith promises the Law performs. It is security for every promisory note that faith can draw. And this is true because faith is the connecting link between the internal--the Law of Attraction--and the external--which is the man's reasoning powers, as represented in the personality. We walk by faith until we reach understanding. This is equivalent to saying that we believe in the good until belief finds confirmation in the knowledge that the good alone exists. Then we need no more faith so far as this one item of truth is concerned. We have achieved it. We have scaled another flight in upward growth. We stand on the summit of another mountain range of thought, happy beyond any previous condition of happiness; for nothing lifts us like a knowledge of truth. No joy ever comes to us equal to the birth of a new truth in our organizations. After we have come into the truth we are now studying we shall be ready to prospect for other truths in which faith, or belief, will again illuminate the way; for faith in the possibility of man's attainments will never die. All through the great forever faith will be our prophet and our guide. It flows through us always in the direction of understanding.

Understanding can never fulfill her perfect work. Man can never know all there is to be known. To be at once and forever in the understanding of all truth would be the complete externalization of Being in the entirety of every possibility the Law contains; and this is impossible. For we are individuals; that is to say we are limited by individual beliefs; and we are travelers through the universe, and traveling as [248] rapidly as our beliefs expand by the recognition of more truth. And it is in this constant expansion that we will find our heaven. Heaven is within. Heaven is the unfoldment of our faculties to the perception of new truth. As we perceive new truth it manifests itself in our bodies and in our surroundings, because being mental creatures, that which we know we become.

Oh, what a wonderful journey we have started on! How happy we ought to be for the mere boon of life! For life is nothing less than the individual unfoldment on the external plane of a universe of indescribable good. Marred and blemished as (in our ignorance) life seems to us, yet a fuller understanding of it will show us the never ending glory of it.

I never valued existence as I do now, when I see how accessible the infinite vitality, is, and how it may be unfolded and lived right here in this world, until the very remembrance of our previous ignorant beliefs of our helplessness, as expressed in sickness, deformity, poverty, old age and death, will have vanished from our minds. Yes, this vital principle is actually ours to command in our efforts to overcome our beliefs in evil; in order to cleanse, enlighten, purify and beautify ourselves--first, by denial, and secondly, by affirmation, which is appropriation.

And this effect will not be postponed beyond the grave, as the preachers would have us believe. There is neither common sense nor logic in such an idea as this, because the man is a whole now, in the present life, right where he is, and just as he stands today. Do we not see that whatever affects him in one part of his being affects him all through? You do not touch the man bodily when you tell him of some awful occurrence that prostrates his emotional or affectional nature, and yet your communication will affect him bodily, and sometimes kill him outright. In a lighter degree we see this a dozen times a day. If a man is happy, his face is radiant; if unhappy, it is opaque and heavy as lead, thus proving him to be all mind, and of the same stuff all the way through.

Intuitive, or natural belief, or faith, is the unconscious clothing power of desire; the aggregating principle of individual life. It is that unconscious or unreasoning intelligence which says, "Desire is alright, and I believe in it and trust it fully." And this is the animal condition slowly growing up, though clouded by doubt, to the place where the developed reasoning powers, or the conscious knowledge, will endorse it. Intuition is the unconscious or natural knowing that desire is the basis of all growth. The full-fledged reason that has arrived at the same conclusions is the conscious knowing of this same truth.

Faith is the light flowing from the intuitive perception of this great truth to the reasoning or conscious knowledge of it. This being so, do you not see the necessity of cultivating faith? In the Bible salvation is made to depend upon faith, because faith is the connecting link between man's developed, or reasoning intelligence, and his undeveloped natural intelligence, that of itself, without effort, recognizes desire as its spirit, or soul. Therefore it is through faith that the conscious intelligence makes the atonement with desire, its actuating principle. To make the atonement is to come consciously into the understanding that a man is one; that he is not part matter and part mind, but all of a piece; one, or as the Bible expresses it, whole or holy.

The atonement is the man's conscious recognition of the fact that he, in his personality, is all mind, every bit of him, and that there is nothing mortal or perishable about him. When he understands this he will shed the exhausted or devitalized atoms--that he no longer needs--from himself as he goes on; always leaving the deadness of old conditions and reaching forth to partake of the vitality of the new conditions ahead of him.

What is man's condition before he [249] makes the atonement? He is as one broken in two parts--mind and matter; and he believes these two parts to be out of harmony with each other. He believes one part to be perishable and the other eternal. He believes that it is out of this inharmonious relationship that sin, sickness and death are our portion, and as man is really all mind, and his beliefs are therefore real conditions to him, it cannot be otherwise than that he takes the consequences of such beliefs. (No other writer on this subject has ever explained why it was that a man must of necessity take the consequences of his beliefs.) He takes the consequences of his beliefs because (being all mind) his beliefs are his real conditions. "As a man thinketh (or believes) so is he." All is mind, and mind is the vital desire, either expressed, as in nature, or unexpressed, as in the latent forces whose monitions we feel but do not fully realize.

We are in reality one with our vitalizing Life Principle, and have always been; so is everything in nature; but salvation can come only to those who recognize the fact. The recognition of the fact that we, being all mind, are one with the Law, or the vital principle, is the atonement-- the at-one-ment -- that we are required to make. Salvation comes only to those who believe. Believe what? Why, that man is one with the Law of his Being. Belief rests on faith until understanding is reached.

I said that salvation comes only to those who believe; salvation from sin, sickness, poverty and death. These conditions are the hell we are to be saved from, and therefore it is that salvation comes only to those who believe in the omnipresence of Being, or Life, or the omnipresence of Law, of which all visible life is the manifestation. In time all people will believe; none will be exempt. All will eventually be saved from the hell of this world's darkened and crude beliefs. All persons will finally come to a recognition of the fact that they are but the externalization of the Law of Attraction, and are each one with the Law and inseparable from it.

The atonement, which is simply the consciousness of a truth that always existed, namely, our oneness with Law, the eternal Life Principle, is our salvation-- salvation from the hell of our present erroneous beliefs; the salvation of our bodies from sin, sickness, poverty and death. Do you not see that this atonement guarantees man immortal life? What is immortal life but immunity from death? And what is immunity from death but immunity from disease and the frailties of old age? We are constantly enjoined in the Bible to be made whole, or holy. (The two words, "whole" and holy" mean the same thing, and whenever they occur they refer to the atonement.)

To be whole, or holy, simply means that we are to recognize ourselves as inseparable from the elementary Life Principle, which is the Law of Attraction, or the Law of Love; that the body and the spirit which infuses it are one; that the body is malleable and susceptible to change without having to die, the same as the thought is; or at least this would be the case if the human consciousness once obtained an intelligent recognition of the fact. But until the individual does recognize it there will continue to be the same separation of the body from its finer part--that part we call its spirit or thought--that there now is.

The body, if left to itself by this finer part of itself--its positive and uplifting part, its thinking part--will probably seek higher conditions through the negative law of disintegration, thus preparing itself as a rebuilding factor.

And the time will come when it will arrive at that degree of positiveness where, as recognized spirit or will, it will be able to take the negative forces into its own hands and to go on consciously re-forming itself without any further loss of individuality. But the body, which is the same substance as [250] the spirit, or will, only more negative, or more crude in its development, being under the control of the finer part of itself--the spirit, or will--will become one with itself, so that there will never be any more separation of the finer from the coarser--the spirit, or will--from the body as there now is in death.

The spirit, or will--which means the more educated thought, and is the positive degree of personal development--has unquestionable control over the body, which is the negative degree of personal development; and when the spirit, or will, actually understands this, it will become able to snatch the body from under the dominion of the negative law--which is the so-called law of gravity--and will place it under the positive and only real law--the Law of Attraction. It is because the spirit, or will, of the man is ignorant of its power to do this that disease and death exist in the world today.

But the spirit, or will--which is represented by our higher thoughts, our imagination--is beginning to learn its own power even now. Mental Science has made the discovery and is spreading the news, and it may therefore be said that the understanding of how to conquer death is now here.

The spirit, or will, not only recognizes its power over the body, but its right of mastery, because it is the body's superior intelligence. It has perceptions of a far-reaching and undying progress that the body seems to know nothing of, being too low in the negative to perceive that which is possible of attainment.

But it must not be forgotten that the body is all mind just the same as the spirit, or will; but it is a heavier grade of mind, or a cruder strata of mind. Although it is all one with spirit, or will, yet it is of so negative or crude a quality of spirit, or will, that it does not recognize itself as such. Neither, as yet, has the spirit, or will, so recognized it. The spirit, or will, has taken it for granted that the body was dead matter infused by the vital substance of spirit, or will; never until within the last few years having imagined that the two substances--the body and the spirit--were one substance, of the same piece.

But this is so, it has always been so, therefore the atonement has always been made, but it has not been made to the consciousness of man. And when the atonement, the at-one-ment, the at-one-mind-- is spoken of, it has reference to the time when man shall learn the fact that he is one with his spirit, or will, and not to the time when he becomes one with it, for he has always been one with it. This truth, like all other truths, exists; and has always existed, but it has not existed in man's perceptions, and until it does exist in man's perceptions it is non-existent for him.

We join these bodies of ours, which are not matter, but mind, or intelligence--a degree of intelligence at present too coarse to understand their oneness with our spirits, or wills--we join them to our spirits, or wills, by transfusing them with the fact of their true relationship, their oneness. And this is the understanding that makes them one in our belief; that cements them forever in our thought, and makes them all thought, or spirit, or will. This is being made whole, or holy--simply recognizing the fact that we are already whole, or holy. This is why I said in a previous lesson that all power is in recognition.

Then being by the power of recognition made conscious of our connection with the fountain-head, having faith in the connecting pipe, we may be fed every hour of our lives with still higher truths; thus maintaining health and strength, courage, justice, beauty, intelligence, and every other good and desirable attribute. We can arrest the decay already begun in our bodies, and begin life anew under the happy knowledge that death will not come in a few years to put an end to the work we are doing.

Man believes himself cut off from this Life source, and so by this non-recognition [251] of the source of Life forever present with him, he withers and dies. It is just as if food were in the next room for the satisfying of his hunger, and there were no whisperings of faith to tell him so, and he starves in spite of his easy communication with all that he needs.

Let man be joined consciously with his life-fountain by a knowledge of the situation (understanding) and he will not die. And I mean this remark to apply right here in this external world.

The creedists say if a man have faith he shall not die. But because all men have died, whether they have faith or not, they have changed the application of the text--thus destroying its true meaning--and made it refer to man's soul instead of his body. But the text refers to his body as well as his soul, for soul and body are one. Every word in the scriptures that bears on this subject, and the great bulk of that immense work does bear on this subject and no other, centers all its force on the point I am now trying to make clear. The scriptures were all written with reference to that day when men should obtain mastery over physical death. Christ's teachings all have reference to this. He tried to save bodies right here on this planet. This has been the dream and prophecy of the ages. As Christ declared that he brought life and immortality to light, and immortality in the body through his conscious recognition of his oneness with the Life Principle or the Law of Attraction, by which he made the atonement and became understandingly whole, or holy, it is therefore a mere apology or "make shift" of the religion of Christ that is taught today. It is a dodge, inadvertent to be sure, but a dodge nevertheless, a mere "come off," caused by the incapacity of his followers to reach the same sublime pitch of understanding that he reached. Therefore the Christian world has changed the meaning of the scriptures and made the words "salvation from death" apply to the saving of souls. A fanciful interpretation has been put upon almost every part of the Bible. The Bible is a sort of compendium of all the illuminated thoughts of the ages; and is, if properly understood, a plain, practical guide to the truths now taught by the sensible branch of Mental Scientists.

"Believe and live." "Have faith and you shall be saved." Saved from what? Not from the imaginary hell of the future, which has now, in these latter days, become the standing jest of intelligence, but from the hell of ignorance called sin, sickness, poverty and death which reigns right here. Saved from the wrath to come by being saved from the wrath that is. The whole plan of atonement is as clear as spring water when viewed by the light of Mental Science. The Bible shows man how to live, not how to die. Any poor, dispirited thing can die, but it requires courage, integrity, love, fortitude and intelligence to live. The reason we die is because we do not recognize within ourselves the qualities that ought to live. The Bible teaches how to recognize deathless qualities within ourselves, how to become one with them by believing in them and thus living them. Jesus tried to bring life and immortality to light in bringing to light the deathless qualities now latent in man. And for that purpose he told us to believe in God--by which he meant the power of the Law--and to learn that we are one with it by becoming aware of the fact that we are all mind, or spirit, or will. And in this matter he taught us to save our bodies. Having demonstrated by the atonement that body and spirit are one, why should he have taught us to defer our salvation by a postponement of the vital knowledge that saves us?

Jesus knew that our wills were themselves the saving power. Did he not say, "Heaven is within"? Was this not equivalent to telling us that we must evolve this internal heaven and make it a practical reality to live in right here and now? His whole effort was [252] to redeem the present, not the future, for he knew that no matter how long we were to live, the present is the only time we can ever have. This interpretation, which is the true interpretation of Mental Science, plants religion on a practical basis and makes it of use now in our time of need. Rules of procedure for future action never did or will relieve present want. And to cross bridges before we come to them has always proved unprofitable work.

Christ said, "I came not to bring peace but a sword." He said this because he knew that the truths he spoke would find heavy opposition from the bigoted religionists of his time; those men whose brains had degenerated into mere fossilized sponges; who, having ears, heard not; and having eyes, saw not those things that would have brought them their greatest happiness.

Mental Science says, "I give you food for thought, but you must do the thinking. I come to arouse you, not to put you to sleep. You have slept too long way down in the negative conditions. You have slept under all the hopes which the churches have held out for future salvation. I now bring you hopes of present salvation. I tell you that life is action, and thought is life; that you must arouse yourself and concentrate your minds in an effort to reach the summit of understanding on this great and vital subject."

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 [253] 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 [254] 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 [255] 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.

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 [253] 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 [254] 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 [255] 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.

Lesson 16 - The Stone that the Builders Rejected

[283] In looking back over the previous lessons I find that I have not made the subject of desire as prominent as I wish to, and I have concluded to say more about it. It is a subject of vast importance. And further advancement in growth depends upon a thorough understanding of it. Therefore I mean to make it plain, even though I am accused of needless repetition. This lesson will be in a measure a recapitulation of the whole subject.

How does it happen that man is so in the dark concerning himself? It is because he was not created a perfect creature. It is because his individual existence is of comparatively short duration. It is because he is a growing creature, and has not yet attained the full stature of the intelligent man.

Man has created himself little by little all through a thousand ages. Though latent in the one Life forever, yet there was a time when two or three tiny points of recognition came together through the Law of Attraction, and formed the beginning of his personality. These points of intelligence being fused into one, thus became a magnet of greater power than the simple magnets around them, and as a center of attraction had more power to draw others to themselves; and thus personal growth commenced.

And the tiny creature thus begun kept on growing all the time, both internally and externally. The more it recognized the quality of the power of the Law, the more power it put forth. The basis of all growth is desire. Desire is the unacknowledged factor in the evolution of man. Desire is the "cornerstone which the builders rejected"; and it is desire that shall prove the chief prop in the foundation of the temple "not built with hands"-- the temple of universal man.

The Law of Life has only one mode of expression, only one voice, and that is the voice of desire. The very first faint monition of life was recognition of desire. It was the feeling of some want. This was the beginning of individual growth. It was, as it were, the projection of a little voice that cried, "more, more."

And now I weaken in view of the impossibility of showing the student the mighty power of this tiny voice. Oh, this voice! What a builder it has proved! Mightier than a magician's wand, even in its first faint, almost inaudible cry! A mere speck, invisible through the most powerful microscope, an almost infinitesimal drop of (so-called) protoplasm, yet so much incarnate desire, and crying for food-- crying for a more enlarged life, a wider comprehension of Life, or Love. And, only think of it, the little voice reaching upward and expanding outward, and the very universe leaning to listen and bending to fill the tiny mouth; stopping in her beneficent motherhood to gratify this baby demand.

[284] The very first little life that sent out its cry for "more, more," became a standing demand upon the universal motherhood of nature, and the supply has always proved equal to the demand. And all through the period of our unconscious growth the babies have never once lost faith in the mother. The spirits within them never once thought of curtailing their demands or of crucifying their desires. To crush their desires was to crush the Law of their lives. They only recognized their desires, and this was recognizing the Law; and to recognize the Law is to make it manifest. Now, the more of the Law these creatures recognized, the greater and stronger they grew.

I take it for granted that desire is individualized Law. In other words, the Law manifests in individual desires. These desires being clothed upon by individual thought, or recognition, become our individualities.

So the desire in a man is the fountain-head of Life in the man. Life has no other way of speaking through individual recognition but by desires.

Now, all through the period of our unconscious growth we never dreamed of questioning our desires. We obeyed them. We yielded them a blind and unquestioning obedience. And what was the result? Why this-- the desire was drawn forth to organization until the tiny drop of protoplasm had built itself a digestive system and a most complex and beautiful form, adapted to every possible emergency. Speaking from a mechanical point of view, desire, which corresponds to steam, has built itself a beautiful engine, and even an engineer (in the brain) that was to direct the engine. But the engineer at first did not know his duty, and for thousands of years he has been trying to learn it. It has taken him all this time to get acquainted with his engine and the power that propels it.

As it is man's highest privilege to make mistakes, since it is the only way he has of learning, his first mistake was to imagine that his propelling power, the steam in his boiler, was a dangerous foe, and to begin to repress it.

"I must crucify my desire!" was the first exclamation he ever made upon becoming conscious of its presence. "Desire is the devil!" shouted the clergy for a thousand years; and numberless monasteries were built in whose seclusion it was easy to crucify desire; easy to dam up the energizing spirit of Life in the man and prevent it from flowing forth. It is a matter of history that even kings and princes submitted voluntarily to whipping on the bare back as a penalty for having entertained desire. Desire was the great foe of the race. I have no doubt but the devil in Eden who tempted Eve was desire. Now, put it this way, and let us see how that fable stands. In one of my first lessons I think I made it plain that the garden of Eden was man's condition of unconscious growth. It was that early condition in which he conformed to the Law of his Being (his desire) unquestioningly. There was never a conscientious scruple to trouble him in the gratification of his wants. His life, though on the animal or unreasoning plane, was whole in itself. No side feeling ever pulled him from the straight path of his leading inclination. He devoured other animals without compunction. He never had anything to regret. Consequently he was in a condition of ease, or repose. This was the animal Eden. In this Eden man did not work for his living, but subsisted on what came to his hand. But Eve--who is the intuitional part of man--partook of the tree of knowledge in the midst of the garden, and her eyes were opened so that she knew truth from error.

Man represents the intellect and woman the intuition of the race. With the awakening of intuition came a dawning knowledge of justice. For intuition is the love-fountain in the human being, and it is rightly called female.

The very first faint intimation of justice in the race broke up its animalized [285] conditions, called a halt in the progress of that old first law in which might makes right, and began a sort of unorganized, primitive defense for the entire body of the people. The moral aspect was born, and its birth destroyed the first Eden. Men began to labor for their bread.

Their growing brains projected ever new questions for solution, and these questions were answered by the feeble light of such intelligence as they had; and false, or negative, beliefs were the result.

In the old Eden only the brute instinct was recognized, and this brute instinct was devoid of conscience. But the mother love for the child, and farther on, the mother-sympathy for other mothers, interposed a check. Eve has always molded Adam. Her tender nature has always stood at the portals of his more robust intelligence, and when he opened to her, lo! she had the apple in her hand. She had eaten first of the tree of knowledge, of truth and error, and she bade him eat of it, too. He did so, and the primitive Eden of animal content shut on both of them forever. They had started out on a life-long voyage in pursuit of truth.

Desire is the unacknowledged factor in personal growth. But is not desire a selfish thing? And is this not a good reason for crucifying it?

I answer, desire certainly appears to be a selfish thing. As man is a growing creature his first desire is expressed in an instinct for more life. He cries for more life all the time, and as his intelligence has not ripened up to a point where a perception of justice is possible to him, he destroys ruthlessly the other lives that come in his way so that he may live. His ignorant but powerful recognition of the Law of Life within him is expressed in uncompromising selfishness. Now, selfishness, even in its most marked form, is nothing but individualism expressed on an animal, or undeveloped plane. The animal, or animal man, who expresses selfishness is still expressing the Law by the best light he has; for every manifestation of life is an expression of the Law, no matter how selfishly it is expressed.

The reason that more creatures do not manifest more of the Law in their personalities is because they are not able to recognize more. It is the personal intelligence that is at fault and not the pure, bright, unblemished spirit of the Law within each creature.

Now, individualism--and note this statement carefully--is the one potent fact standing head and shoulders above every other fact, except that great and all-inclusive truth that the Law is . For the Law might as well not exist as not to be able to express itself; and it is expressed through individualism. The spoken word of the Law puts its own interpretation upon itself, and this interpretation, no matter how incorrect it may be, is the personal creature, the external creature. At present the spoken word is not so much a true conception of the Law as a misconception of it, just as if a powerful thought had been uttered and you had caught the words, but were quite unable to comprehend the meaning of them. So every living creature, no matter how mean and ignoble it may appear, is the spoken word of the Law; and each of these spoken words is hastening on to a better recognition of its own meaning. By slow degrees the spoken words are discovering that the Law infusing them is Love, and only Love. And as this knowledge of themselves grows within their own intelligences their selfish methods of indulgence change, and conform more and more to the Law, which is pure justice, and from which comes the knowledge of universal brotherhood.

And yet it is true that the Law as expressed within them is desire--every bit desire. And this desire always clamors for itself, for its own interests. Were this not so, individuality would be an impossible thing, and the word of Life might as well have remained unspoken.

[286] What is it that the spirit of man clamors for? It is in answering this question that we will discover how desire may be the breath of the divine spirit of all good in man, and not the wicked thing we have always believed it to be. Desire as manifesting in individuality is simply an ever-increasing demand for more and more happiness. Happiness is the right of every person. It is our one aim and object, and our only pursuit; and there is not a solitary exception to the rule in the world, or in the universe. The frailest and faintest speck of life has started in the never-ending pursuit of happiness. It is infused by a desire that is of the Law; or rather, it is a part of the Law struggling toward a comprehension of itself.

The Law is Love. It is the living principle of attraction in all things that seeks continually to draw atoms into closer relation to each other. Love, when it becomes a conscious thing to the understanding of the individual, shapes itself in desire, or desires. With every step in evolution, from lower to higher, these desires become more numerous, more complex and varied; and they also become stronger. They are felt to be the moving spirit of every action, as indeed they ought to be, for they are nothing less than the voice of the one eternal Life Principle that men call "God."

There is only one attracting power, and it is the Law of all substance. It is the same in essence in the horseshoe magnet and in the mother's yearning for her child. It is the same thing that brings lovers together in marriage, and partners in business. It is the hidden motor to every movement that was ever made--unintelligent movements no less than intelligent ones. It is this that draws the moisture out of the earth on which the tree feeds, and the substance out of the sun's rays with which it colors itself in beauty.

The Law of Attraction, which is the Love Principle, or Law of Life, accounts for all things, and is responsible for all things. It is perfect, and therefore unchangeable. It is the same in man, and in the flowers and beasts, and it has but one voice--the voice of desire. And this voice speaks for just one thing; it speaks for happiness. The methods by which men pursue happiness may be just or unjust. The desire, which is the Law in man, has nothing to do with his methods. The desire exists, and this is all. The desire is the man's moving impulse. It is his true, pure, unsinning self. The methods by which he attempts to actualize his desire have in the main proven to be mistakes.

But the greatest mistake man has ever made is to attribute his mistakes to the desire within him, when nothing was wrong but his limited intelligence.

And it is because he has made this vital mistake that he has spent ages in crucifying his desires instead of cultivating his intelligence concerning their gratification. What he now needs to do is to learn the immense importance of his desires, and to seek just and humane methods of gratifying them.

In proportion as he sees the strength and importance of his own desires, he will see the strength and importance of his neighbor's desires; and as desire is pure love from the influx of the Law, he will hold his neighbor's desires as sacredly as he holds his own, and so justice will be born.

Now, justice--that factor that harmonizes all influences, and in the end produces heaven on earth--can never be born of anything but man's recognition of the nature of desire. For when he recognizes desire he recognizes Love; and Love is the Law of Attraction. So when man recognizes desire within himself, and understands its origin and meaning, he will have found his own moving impulse, and he will see that it is as much of the Law as he can gain an intelligent conception of. And he will also see that every step of his growth, from his first inception, has been the greater and still greater recognition of it; and that [287] his further growth through eternity will depend on the still increasing power of his intelligence to recognize yet more and more of the Law within him as expressed in desire.

If this statement has made its proper impression on the student he will now perceive how it is that man, as to his personality, is simply intelligence, or mind, and how the whole visible universe is mind in different degrees of unfoldment. And he will also see from this fact how it is that his destiny is entirely in his own hands, and always has been, though he did not know it, and how he may now begin to do his own knowing.

Since a man, as to his personality, and this is the visible part of himself, is altogether intelligence, it therefore follows that the more truth he learns the more he shows forth--the truth being that the Law within him as expressed in desire is the one diseaseless and deathless thing; and that is the true self within him; his untrue, or false self, being the mistaken estimate he has placed upon his real and true self.

As a man's intelligence is expressed in thought which shapes itself into beliefs, his body, or his personality, is made up of his beliefs. A man shows forth his beliefs in his person. The Bible, speaking of this, says: "As a man believes, so is he." When he believes in error, he shows forth error, or incarnates error in his personality. As error cannot endure, it therefore follows that unless the man corrects his erroneous beliefs his personality falls away from him.

It is a fact that diseases are multiplying all the time, and that lives seem to perish more easily--with less apparent cause--than ever before. This is because the new light is dawning more and more clearly, and the old consolidated beliefs of a hundred ages are losing their hold on the people, so that they weaken and disintegrate more easily than formerly.

Because of this fact, the most intelligent of the world's physicians have lost faith in medicines and stand aghast at their own helplessness. Many of them have retired from the practice of medicine from pure conscientiousness on this point. Mental Science will bring them forward as the world's benefactors again. I say again, because the noblest and most truly unselfish men and women I have known have been medical practitioners, persons who have honestly tried to relieve the world's suffering thousands. For remember this, that though the world's diseases are only false beliefs, yet they are real to it while they last because the man is all mind, and his beliefs are his conditions.

To repeat my ideas on desire--for I can never make this point too strong: the basis of all growth is desire. The Law of Attraction iteself--that one and only Law, on which all Life depends--is desire, which is Love in expression, or Love seeking and attracting that which is related to it.

All growth of the individual, therefore, is effected through desire. Desire is the motor of every effort; and external life means effort and has no other object but effort. The secret of the steel magnet is desire; and no doubt the entire universe of planets is regulated and sustained in equipoise through this great factor alone. The words "desire" and "love" are almost synonymous; both are love; but while love seems a quiescent principle, desire appears to be the reaching forth, or the yearning of love, or love in motion going forth in search of an object.

Man in his growth has nothing to do with the Love Principle, or the one vitality. That is to say, it exists independently of him, and he has no power to add to it or take from it. It simply is. His prerogative is confined exclusively to the recognition of it; to the getting a large enough perception of its greatness, or a big enough estimate of it. It is so mighty a power that the human intelligence as yet has gotten scarcely the faintest fraction of an idea concerning it. And yet this majestic power is the individual Life Principle [288] existing in indescribable greatness in each man. It is the force within him that actuates every movement he makes. To connect the belief of sin, disease, and death with this ever-flowing, external potency is an absurdity. And yet our intelligences--quite ignorant of this truth--have done this absurd thing, and in this way have given to the external world our weak, wretched personalities that are standing libels on our real selves--the great and unconquerable individuals lying latent within us.

This capacity of Love, or Life, which manifests itself in numberless desires in the man is the real man. It is the true individual. It is the almighty and one Life focussed to expression; an upspringing jet from the unquenchable and divine passion men call "God." The desire in man is a power--all his own--drawn to coherence, or personal comprehension, out of the one indescribable force that sends the worlds spinning through space in obedience to its command. And it is great and unconquerable as its source.

This great creature then is the real man--is the true individual--and he is the Law individualized. Jesus saw this whole truth, and when they asked him, "Art thou God?" hoping he would condemn himself by his answer, he could not deny it even though he knew they were ignorant of his meaning and would probably murder him for the truth he spoke.

For my part, I am rapidly growing to that point in intelligence where I can understand such a man, for instance, as Mohammed; a man who lived comparatively alone with his own understanding, and who studied himself interiorly until he gained a perception of his greatness; gained a constantly growing perception of it, until, looking at it in some supreme moment, he could not restrain his convictions of truth, but cried out in glad exhultation, "Surely, surely, I am God." Why, there are days when it is as easy for me to believe this myself and of every living soul as it is to believe ourselves only men and women. Mohammed's mistake was in believing this stupendous fact of himself only, whereas he should have seen that all are gods in the same sense that he was.

The difference of seeing for ourselves alone, and of seeing for ourselves and all others equally, is the difference between injustice and justice, or between hell and heaven. To see within others the same glorious spirit that we see within ourselves is to abrogate those lines of inequality we have considered as race fixtures and to liberate every living soul to the freedom of an infinite possibility of growth. This wipes out hell in every one of its varied forms, and establishes the harmony of an acknowledged and deeply understood fraternal equality. Your desire for happiness is as sacred as my desire, and my desire is as sacred as yours. When we shall learn the binding claim of desire through knowing that it is the voice of the Law within us, it will become the lovingest pleasure of our lives to help each other actualize it.

To make this lesson practical--to make it productive of present results--I will now give the student some affirmations and denials to be used in studying it:

Make these affirmations and denials slowly and thoughtfully. It is no good to repeat them parrot-like. Bend your intellect to a full comprehension of their meaning as you repeat them, these perceptions to show forth in their bodies, and they will take root in your brain and drive the old beliefs out.

Not on any hypothesis can we base the assumption that man is diseased or sinful, or in any way subject to death. Therefore let your denials be to this effect. Call up the whole argument, and then declare with great positiveness, "There is no sin, no disease, no anything that is not desirable."

You will say, "There is poverty, and what are we going to do about poverty?"

I answer, that in these lessons I am not trying to establish a student's relations with the outside world. I am simply trying to establish him in a knowledge of himself. If I succeed in doing this, I shall have made a powerful magnet of him, and shall have placed him in the direct line of the Law of Attraction, where all things that are on the external plane that are related to his peculiar faculty will come to him through his personal efforts, or his reaching out for them. For though we are now in the mental world, and have in a sense forgotten the cast-iron limitations that a belief in matter imposed upon us, yet the time will never come when effort will be unnecessary to us. To be alive is to make effort; to be more alive is to make still more effort; and the time is near at hand when we shall be a hundred times more alive than we ever have been, and when all this wonderful vitality will be expended in effort that will change the whole face of the earth, giving us new climates, new productions, and producing wonders that we can have no present conception of.

To establish the student in a knowledge of himself is to put him in a position where his ever-growing demand for more knowledge of the possibilities of the Law is met by a never failing supply. Knowledge is all that any man lacks. Knowledge of himself means nothing less than an ever-growing mastery of the conditions that surround him.

These lessons have nothing directly to do with man's external conditions. I am well aware that the student feels the hampering influence of his environments almost as much, and sometimes more, than what he calls his physical disabilities. But these (so-called) physical disabilities are really mental disabilities. Each one of them is a record of some particular mode of thinking that is erroneous and hampering. All of them together make up the sum total of his ignorance, which is the only foe to his freedom; and this ignorance, or this negation of intelligence, constitutes the personality that he calls his physical body, the body of his present limitations. Now, if I can get his "physical body," which is his intelligence, right, I shall have placed him where he will be in true relation to the Law of Attraction; and when he is in true relation to the Law he will find that those things in the external world to which he is related by desire will come to him because they belong to him. His effort to obtain them will meet with a sure reward.

Lesson 17 - A Noble Egoism, the Foundation for Just Actions

A NOBLE EGOISM THE FOUNDATION FOR JUST ACTIONS

[299] Each individual "I" is forever the center of the universe. All things exist for the "I", even the Law; and without the "I" the Law would exist in vain.

Man and the Law are always reciprocal in interchange. The Law being sex, endures forever. It is the one unquenchable flame of divine passion. Man recognizes this passion, and by reason of recognition becomes its unquenchable reflection, or light, forever growing in brightness, in illuminating power, as he recognizes it more and more.

Man is one with Law. Upon this point all these lessons hang. These lessons are the cudgel taken up in defense of the long abused race. They are the race's champion against its own accusation. Oh, I know what I am saying. The truth I am imparting to you with so much ease I have wrenched from death in a hand-to-hand struggle. Years and years I fought the charges hurled against poor, deluded humanity from pulpit to press, until by slow degrees I crawled from under the old beliefs that had made this world so potent a hell to me, and stood in a fair, open space where, even though my conquests were unacknowledged by a single soul, I yet knew myself a conqueror. For my fealty to humanity I was called a traitor to "God," and I even believed that this was so, but now comes my day of justification in the knowledge that "God" and man are one.

A knowledge of one's own central self-existence-- this is strength. Now strength is the first and most desirable attribute of the man, because every noble quality is strength's overplus. No man can be generous who is not first strong. No man can love nobly and worthily until he has acquired that measure of mental strength where he can stand alone in his individuality and give freely from a sense of perfect justice. All giving that is not from an overplus of strength is begging. The motives that prompt to this kind of giving are various. One person gives, hoping for a greater return-- it is a business investment. Another gives for the love of approbation. Another to satisfy the claims of his conscience. All give with a hidden motive except him whose giving is the overplus of strength. The giver may not realize this, but the very nature of the case makes it true. Weakness leans and begs perpetually. Its every act holds in reserve the hope of gaining something more than it gives. But strength goes out. It overflows, and it can only overflow in good; pure, unadulterated good. Being strength, it asks nothing in return for what it gives. It simply seeks to make others as strong as it is.

This is the point toward which humanity is now tending by a better recognition of itself individually. For nothing gives a man strength but the knowing [of] his own power.

In order to be in much greater health and strength and beauty than we have [300] ever realized, there is nothing necessary but a better knowledge of ourselves. You must have learned from the foregoing lesson that man is not a physical creature, and subject to what are called "the laws of causation," but that he is purely a mental statement, or a mental estimate of a certain amount of the one universal force, the Law of Being. Moreover, he has made this statement, or this estimate himself, and has the power to correct its errors as fast as he finds them out. The errors in his statement show forth in weakness, disease, etc.

And now do you not see that man, being a mental statement, has made a fearful mistake in calling himself "a mere worm of the dust," and other expressions like these? For a man to admit a belief in weakness is to be weak, because our beliefs are our external conditions. Therefore let every student of these lessons begin right here to deny the foolish old charges against himself which he has all his life been taught to believe would be pleasing to "God." Let him discard all feelings of humility, that attribute so lauded by the creeds, and learn to believe that the Law must be expressed in men, and not in things.

Humility is an insult to the source of man's being; or it would be if its true character were understood by those who assume it. But men know so little of the power they call God, they imagine they please it and magnify it by belittling themselves. No man can magnify this power, but he can debase himself by crawling in the dust and denying his own power.

Now this denial of power in man is infidelity, and the only infidelity I know of.

The reason that each individual "I" seems to himself the center of all things is because of the omnipresence of the Law. There being no circumference, each "I" is the spoken word of a boundless eternity, and its own emphasis creates it the center from its own point of view. The spiritual interpretation of each individual "I" is centralization. Therefore the soul that proclaims the "I" proclaims itself centralized. The soul that denies the "I" denies its centralization, and thus indirectly affirms its weak and scattered condition. Let the student discard at once and forever the soul-crushing humility he has been taught to cultivate as a priceless virtue, and begin to extol himself. Let him not extol himself in the spirit of vanity, based on a groundless and ignorant assumption of his own superiority over other people; but let him, after perceiving the great truth of his being, and realizing his oneness with the Law, begin at once to declare his own manhood; not in the spirit of boasting, but in the understanding of the truth.

In this declaration, if made understandingly, a grand sense of justice will take possession of him. He will perceive immediately that what he declares for himself he cannot help declaring for his neighbors, and even for his worst enemy. This declaration of a man's own individual, high, pure ideal of manhood is the one unerring peacemaker. It is the beginning of that harmony which means heaven on earth. And it is so because in the fact of a man's own worth lies the assurance of his power to recognize the worth of other men--of all men--and this is the first step toward the reign of justice upon the earth, and the beginning of that harmony that means heaven.

Just in proportion as we become self-centered by a recognition of the great importance of the "I," we come under the Law of Attraction where our own comes to us. What is our own? Everything that we desire. But not this: We often think we desire things that we do not truly desire. What we do truly desire is happiness. Happiness is our ultimate desire, and it is the craving of the spirit. It is the seeking of the spirit for a better recognition of itself. Suppose we desire that someone who stands between [301] us and an inheritance may die. This intermediate desire has nothing to do with the spirit. The spirit simply desires happiness; it does not suggest methods for attaining happiness; the suggestion comes from the personality and not from the real individuality. The real individuality is so much force, or Love, pushing always in the direction of greater expression, and always aggregating to itself greater power.

Understanding at last that desire is the spirit, it is plain to see that it is of greater importance than we ever imagined. Therefore, instead of attempting to crush it out of our organizations, where it is really the breath of our lives, we must learn to direct it properly.

Now this individual center in the lower animals, and indeed all through man's period of unconscious growth, manifests itself in pure selfishness; a selfishness so ingrained and deep that it utterly ignores all the rights except its own. But in the growth from animal to human, selfishness becomes selfhood. Selfhood is still selfishness, but with such bonds imposed upon it by the growing intelligence as will guard the rights of others against encroachments. An infusion of the sense of justice in the growing race has so modified the individual centerhood of selfishness that it has become a glorious thing--namely, a strong power to hold for self, based on ideas of universal justice.

Now I wish to emphasize this point of holding for self. I wish to do so because the race has been filled full of nonsense on the subject of self-abnegation.

Self-abnegation, or self-denial, is the most paralyzing and deadly mistake that was ever made. It is letting go your hold on life, abandoning all you have gained in your previous growth through the ages, and drifting backward, as nearly as one can do so, into nothingness. And every bit of undue or unconscious concession to the opinions of others partakes of the nature of self-abnegation, and should be promptly stopped. Ask yourself if you have not so much right to your selfhood as another man has, and when you answer this question affirmatively, as you cannot help doing, then stand for yourself boldly and manfully.

It may seem at first thought that men do, even now, hold for themselves with great firmness. But this is not so. Indeed the very opposite is so marked among the people that Emerson speaks of society as a "mush of concession."

There is so little of true self-holding in the world that where one does meet a truly individualized man or woman it is an event never to be forgotten.

Under these circumstances the opinion of the world is worthless. The majority of the people have no opinions of their own, but accept those that are thrust upon them. In this way we are saddled with the beliefs of men ages dead, whose opportunity of knowing truth was a thousand times inferior to our own. Is it any wonder that such utterly negative creatures should die? Why, they ought to die. Life and its tremendous mission, involving such thought and such effort as they never imagined, is not for them. The grappling hook of infinite purpose passes through them as if they were made of jelly; they yield not the smallest shred in response to it. It is all self-abnegation with them, though of an unconscious character.

Unconscious self-abnegation, or the lack of intelligent self-assertion, is the bane of humanity at this time.

The belief in self-abnegation comes from the awakening intelligence that in looking back sees only the horrors of animal selfishness, and does not look forward to where this same selfishness is modified by justice, and through this modification can become the very essence of true manhood and womanhood.

The child is not polite. It grabs its toys and holds them firmly away [302] from the little friend who has come to visit it. Later on it will value the pleasure of its little friend more than it values the toys, and then it will yield them up gladly. Nor will this giving be in the spirit of self-abnegation; it will be because the giving yields more happiness to self than the withholding. Self is forever at the bottom of all things, as it should be, for self is always the individual center; and the change from selfishness to selfhood--which is still selfishness lifted to a higher plane--will come through a growing infusion of the Love Principle in the race; an infusion that makes the happiness of others our own dearest happiness.

Of course all of this comes under the head of evolution, and there is no logical interpretation of humanity except by the evolutionary theory. But even the most timid sticklers for biblical authority need not be afraid of it. Darwin never taught the evolutionary theory half so strong as the Bible teaches it.

I have now shown how the selfishness of the animal has changed to selfhood in the man by the constantly increasing influx of love into the race; love for self that overflows for others. Now this love has come from a better recognition of the power of the Law, and will keep on increasing as this recognition keeps on growing. All this growth by the recognition of the power of the Law is tending in the direction of universal brotherhood, which means a state of the sweetest harmony among the people; a condition of high and mighty and loving restfulness, in which the seeds of new faculties, now lying dormant in the human brain, will take root and grow up into undreamed-of potencies.

As all our past unconscious growing has been from the basis of self, so will our future growing be from the same basis, for there is no other true basis of growth.

The recognition of self which shows forth in such fearful selfishness in the animal, is, in point of fact, the recognition of the Law. This may seem to be a strange statement, but I shall prove its truth. The Law and Being mean the same thing. The animal's recognition of the Law, or Being, is in proportion to its intelligence. As much as it recognizes is its own, its very self; and it guards this self and ministers to this self by the best knowledge it has. But this knowledge constantly grows and expands, and gradually the things that once ministered most of self, or selfishness, cease; a wider range of vision introduces the sense of justice, which is the beginning of that true harmony that is the goal of every human aspiration, and which alone means freedom.

And--observe this point closely--harmony, universal justice, is not achieved by individual concession or self-abnegation, but by the assertion of self under the influence of the evergrowing idea that he who asserts self asserts the Law--which is absolute harmony--in humanity. To deny self is to deny the harmonious action of the Law in humanity, and thus to undo, so far as such a thing is possible, the work of organization; that which men call "the creation."

Therefore I say, stand by self, for in so doing you are standing for the Law. You are standing for just as much of the harmony of the Law as you can recognize, and by holding firm in this position you will soon recognize more and still more until the harmony of the Law in you will overflow in one great, broad, strong stream of love that will embrace every living soul. And this will be your true self, flowing forth; the same self that flowed forth in the animal in getting the most good, will, by reason of your increased intelligence, now flow forth in you in doing the most good.

And thus the competitive systems of business, which are all animal in their origin, and which all aim at getting the most good, are even now in the process of becoming emulative systems, wherein each will try to excel the other in doing the most good.

[303] Competition is right on its own plane. It is the unchecked development of individuality; and individuality is the one jewel above all price. When competition has ripened into emulation heaven will be here, and that too without one particle of concession from any soul.

Concession, self-denial, self-abnegation, is ruinous. It is the denial of our own individuality. It is the most direct road to nothingness. It is the resignation of that which alone makes a man, or gives him, as a factor of any worth, to the world. An ignorant man standing firmly on his selfhood, uneducated as yet in a true sense of justice, may be an exceedingly disagreeable member of a community. But his very position denotes strength, and there is hope of his learning. But the man who has entirely slipped down from the claims of self, who has resigned his individuality, what is he? A mere vagabond; listless, hopeless; a drifting scum, waiting removal from human sight.

I have made the foregoing points with a purpose, and a strong purpose, too. The student who is afraid to stand for himself and to declare himself will never be healthy or strong in any respect. The patients whom I literally cannot cure are those who will not hold for self. When a patient says to me, "I want to get well if it is God's will," I see his position instantly. He is off his perpendicular, and lopping clear over to one side, or "wobbling" around in every direction like a wilted flower-stalk. He has not the centralizing force of the straight and stiff and uncompromising "I" to hold him in position. No wonder he is sick!

It may be thought that it is not safe to trust a man with a will of his own; but I must say to the student that the most dangerous men I have ever known are those who believe they are filled with "God's will" and begin to execute it upon their neighbors. Mr. Freeman thought he was filled with God's will and was executing God's will when he murdered his child. If ever a man acted from a conscientious belief he did. Guiteau believed he was the agent of God's will when he murdered Garfield. The witches were burned because the people were filled with God's will. The very bloodiest events of history in all the world have been prompted by what was called God's will. God's will has served as the excuse for far more injustice and crime than all other causes put together. Does the student imagine that the man's will is going to be half so murderous a thing as this imaginary God's will? The truth is, "God's will" has simply been a safety-valve for the expression of race cruelty during its period of evolution from animal to human. Humanhood means manhood; and the race is reaching it by the development of man's individual will. The more man trusts his own will, the more will his acts rest upon his own individuality, and the more will he gauge them by this own unfolding sense of justice. In short, the more a man trusts himself the more manly and noble and pure and just and self-poised will he become.

Looking within, you may perceive the self there, and you may conclude that it is a very selfish thing--a thing to be thrown overboard--while on your bended knees you beg for a nobler self. Now this nobler self you are begging for is the very self you are misjudging; and there is nothing the matter with you except that your dull intelligence fails to recognize this beautiful breath of Life which is individualized within you.

These lessons on Mental Science have to do with the growth of the man, and not with the conditions he shall inaugurate afterward. The man once builded in a knowledge of himself and of the God within him, conditions then build themselves about him. They become the expression of his individual will, or desire. After we have builded ourselves into great power by the recognition of our own wills, we shall seem to have almost nothing to [304] do with building our surrounding conditions, because it will be so easy. They will seem almost to drift to us, or to group themselves about us in obedience to the Law of Attraction in proportion as the strength of the Law becomes organized in us. Every added belief in the reality of the good and in the unreality of evil brings us more fully in the line of the Law's operation, and makes it easier for us to get what we want and be able to do what we please. Everything related to our peculiar faculty, whether near or far, will come to us. It will offer itself to our faculties of creativeness, to be worked into things of use and beauty to serve our needs. It will then be as Emerson says:

In man's operations from the central point or basis of self, he is entitled to what he wants. He need not beg for what he wants. It is his own by divine right, and unless he takes it as his own he will never build his life up in the strength of true manhood. All through the period of his unconscious growth he took; he did not beg. He did this regardless of his fellows. What he took represented to him his highest ideal of happiness. Now his ideal is enlarged. It is so greatly enlarged that it lifts him quite out of the (so-called) physical realm into the intellectual one, and what he now demands as essential to his happiness is health, strength, beauty, and opulence. And of these he may demand what he will and no one be robbed, for he is now in the high place where the supply is equal to the demand, and where he is coming more and more under the Law of Attraction where his own comes to him because it is related to his desires.

Therefore you need not beg. A true analysis of things past and present will show us that there never was a beggar on earth until man came, and that beggars were never needed, or meant to have a place in existence.

To get the things a man needs in the present transitional age from animal to human, he is forced to become as aggressive as any warrior. For everything he attempts to take out of the mental world--the world of unorganized good--is denied him and its every existence disputed by a thousand race beliefs that rise up before him and threaten him with destruction.

This fight for mastery being at this time entirely in the realm of the intellect, we must begin it, not by begging our own, but by claiming it. Discard every thought of humility. Make a statement of what you want and claim it as your due. And, take this one fact into consideration, that man, as to his personality, or visible existence, has no "God-given" place, and no natural sphere, save that which he has wrested from the universe by his own intelligent demand.

Individuality is of such tremendous importance that we are not trying to lose it in the subjective side of Being; we are trying to bring it forth and establish it in these personalities. And here is the difference between Christian [Science] and Mental Science. Mental Science believes in the present, and the personal, and the visible, and the audible. It believes in the evolution of Law into the personal and the present, through the intelligent recognition of men and women. And it is in this way we will banish disease and death and establish heaven on earth. For the more good, or Law, a man recognizes in himself the stronger and more positive he is. And thus will disease and death be overcome, since they are merely the negations, or denials, of a man's power to conquer. They are nothing in themselves, and have no power except the power men confer upon them by believing in them. And as men believe in self more, and recognize the godhead of self, they will disbelieve the fancied power of disease and death, and these phantoms will disappear from human perception.

[305] Then stand by your desires, and claim their fulfilment. They are the inalienable promise of universal Being in you, whose unfulfilment must prove the Law a liar.

But first, search your desires and prove their noble nature. The desire which is the voice of the Law in you, does not include any method your personality may suggest as being the right way to attain the desire. The desire is the spirit, and it asks for happiness and nothing else. It will be your personal mistake if you seek happiness by methods that wrong others, and not the mistake of the spirit. Therefore, as we are still so ignorant the proper thing is to ask for happiness simply, or rather to claim happiness as our own right. Of course every idea of happiness includes those other ideas of health, strength, beauty, and opulence; and it is these four things that make up the real man. After the man is made by the establishment of such glorious health, strength, and beauty as make every moment of his life a joy to him, he will turn his thoughts outward toward the building of new and better conditions for his fellows. For man is the builder, and when he has builded himself, he will build externally in a wonderful way. Yes, in a thousand wonderful ways. For man's sphere is here on earth and he will build outward from the earth until the interstellar space shall show forth the wonders of his inventions and discoveries.

In conclusion, then, I say once more, stand by self. Self is not a sinful or a dreadful thing. It is the glorious basis of everything that is visible in the universe. In each individual thing, whether crystal, tree, animal, or man, it is the wresting from negation the more positive expression that confers the mastery. Therefore let no student be horrified because I have rescued self from the mistakes that have overlain it so long. I said in a former lesson that the truth-seeker is the image-breaker, and that no one need be grieved to see his pet hobbies fall before him. It is time they all fell. It is time for us to turn our backs on the past and accept the instruction given to Lot's wife--never look behind us. For I tell you now the dreadful old charnel-houses where we have been entombed alive for such a long time are falling, and we must escape from them forthwith.

And now I wish the student to investigate "self," and when by repeated reading of this lesson he sees that it is the Law of Life individualized in him, I want him to stand up for it and hold it most sacredly above the old-time beliefs that have made a devil out of it and prepared a hell for its future reception. Stand by self; magnify it; but indeed no one can magnify it, for no one's conception of it can do it justice. But you can magnify your ideas of it, and thus conquer race beliefs concerning it.

And this is the battle you will have to fight. The battle is between the new truth that Mental Science brings and the old crucifying beliefs, born of an age of rankest ignorance, that have so long held the people in darkness concerning their own strength and worth. And you cannot stand too strongly for the right. Make your own statement of your goodness and power, and reiterate it in the face of every old-world belief as rapidly as they shall confront you. Say, "I am here for myself, to build myself up in health, strength, and beauty by claiming my own. Nothing is too good for me. I claim the best, and I expect to get it, too."

As I said once before, there never was a beggar on earth until the advent of man; and looking over the past history of man it really does seem as if "God" (by which I mean the universal Spirit of Life) were absolutely resolved to put us on our own independence by refusing our requests. And indeed this universal Spirit of Life is indifferent to us, and it speaks to us through its indifference, saying, "Oh, men, I exist for your taking; take me or let me alone. Learn by my [306] silence that you are my spokesmen, and I the infinite reservoir from which you draw as you need; and behold, the supply is always equal to your demand."

Man is thus thrown entirely upon himself. During the period of his unconscious growth he does draw upon the limitless reservoir as he needs, and does his own growing. His uniformed brain has yielded no thought of his own unworthiness, and he takes what he desires and expresses it in use.

Now this limitless reservoir is as free to us today as at any past period of our growth; and when we fully know this we shall re-establish our growth at the point where unconscious growth dropped us. But in coming to this position we must gradually learn that we are perfectly independent beings; that no God holds us accountable for past sins; that what the world calls sins are merely mistakes our ever-growing intelligence has made in coming up to our present standing place. Being thus exculpated from the accusations of conscience, we begin to see ourselves as we are.

And what are we? Why, we are wonderful creatures! Only think how we have forged our way up from such small beginnings, and where we stand now! Think what conquerors we are! How we have burst first one bond of ignorance and then another; and how lobe after lobe have put forth in our ever-unfolding brains like buds on flower-stalks; and how, as each one put forth, it held in latency the germ of another yet to appear; and how it is evident there will never be any cessation to the unfoldment of these fresh buds to unimagined power within our own heads. Why, do you not see that man is a scroll unfolding outwardly continually? And it is because he only unfolds outwardly that his habit of looking backward stultifies him so awfully.

 

Lesson 18 - The Recognition of the Will, The Cure of Disease

[315] If I do not talk enough about disease in these lessons, it is because I am rapidly losing sight of such a negative condition. It seems to me to be so weak a negation of the power vested in man--his will power--that it is scarcely necessary to give it even a passing word. Nevertheless these lessons before they are complete will make the treatment of disease fully understood by the student. The whole matter could be summed up in a single sentence; namely, self-mastery is the cure of all disease in self and others. It would not seem strange that self-mastery should cure self, but that it can cure others appears to be an assertion that needs a good deal of proof. But it can be done, and on this principle: The man who is master of his own forces is also master of the same forces in other persons. In other words, the persons who have not mastered the forces of their own lives are negative to the persons who have, and can be healed by them. All men are masters of all forces that they know to be negative to them.

And what are the negative forces? All unorganized substance is negative to organized substance. All lower forms of organization are negative to man, the highest form. Lightning, clouds, and the elements generally are what I call unorganized forces. The animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms are organized substance, but their organization is vastly inferior to that of man, and he is therefore master of them all.

"Peace; be still," said Jesus to the storm, and everything quieted down. "What manner of man is this," asked one, "that even the wind and waves obey him?" This question was asked nearly two thousand years ago, and I now answer it for the first time. Jesus knew his own mastery, and this is all that is necessary in order to check the storms or quell the waves; to stop the African simoon and to forbid the approach of the wild animals. It is all that is necessary for any man's perfect protection.

Organization confers power. Even the lower forms of organized life possess wonderful power in warding off danger, though unconsciously to themselves. The mere fact of organization puts a certain compulsion on the unorganized elements. Organization, no matter how unconscious it may be, is a certain form of protest against dissolution, and this protest is its protection to a very considerable degree.

No form of protest against dissolution, however, is perfect except that which emanates from an organization that has come into a highly conscious perception of its own rights and its own power. This high form of organization is then proof against every negative form of organization and against the unorganized elements.

Now, it is plain to be seen that as [316] we grow more and more into a knowledge of our own power, we become more and more free from fear. Just as soon as we see that the Law of the universe is not our foe, but that all things are waiting the development of our intelligence in order to serve us, we are at once lifted out of fear.

From my own experience I know that it is not possible to come into this position suddenly. For years I seemed to be held just in the turn of the tide where the thought was swerving round into the new. It was all I could do to hold my own against the downward current of the world's long-established opinions. I seemed to gain nothing nor to lose anything; or, more truly, there were times when I seemed to gain rapidly, and then I would lose it all and find myself in the same old tracks. Another strenuous effort to hold my own would keep me from drifting quite away from my stronghold, which was always self; and standing on self I would breast the waves once more for the sake of truth and manhood.

The effort is not precisely that of bull-dog determination. Such an attitude becomes exceedingly tiresome in time; the effort is of the intellect; it is the unflagging endeavor to recognize that the bull-dog determination is within you every moment whether you hear a bark or not. You want to keep constantly in view the knowledge that your will is equal to any emergency, whether great or small. One can lose sight of his will power entirely by habits of postponement. Do not postpone any prompting to action, nor defer doing what you really wish to do. The habit of tying up your will is like tying up an arm or a leg; you lose the use of it in time. The great necessity for death in the world is to remove paralyzed wills; inactive and inoperative wills; crippled and weak-kneed wills. Death has small power over vital wills, and when the vital will comes into consciousness of its own strength death cannot touch it at all.

Now, every form of disease you may have is simply a negation of your will, or a non-comprehension on the part of your intelligence of the strength of your will.

"But who is it that negatives my will?" you ask.

You do, yourself. Your will exists in tremendous power. It cannot possibly be diseased, or maimed, or crippled in any way; it cannot be deaf, or blind, or weak. It would not be your will if it were any of these; it would be your "won't," or your "don't want to," or something other than your will, and something not belonging to you at all. But your intelligence does not recognize this fact, and therefore everything in the shape of weakness or disease is the non-recognition of the truth concerning your will, or spirit. So you see from this that disease is unreal; it is a false belief that you will surely cease to believe as soon as you know the truth. "The truth shall make you free."

"But," you answer, "the truth is here. The intelligences of many people have accepted it just as you state it; and yet their bodies show forth very slight results; how is this?"

This is the question the present lesson intends to answer.

Why are our bodies not showing forth the truth, now that our intelligences have accepted it?

We are just emerging from a world of unconscious thought. The thought of, or the belief in, sin, sickness, and death into which we were born forms the thick, heavy, miasmic mental atmosphere, that every one of us breathes. It is dense as a fog, and no living will or soul can beat it back entirely and at once. For my part I can clear the space about me for a time, and then the heavy vapors of a world's ignorant belief close in on me again and paralyze my efforts. Then I rest a day or two, realizing fully each hour that "they also serve who only stand and wait"; for in these spells of rest I hold fast to my faith that I shall overcome, and when the [317] time for action arrives I am stronger than I was before.

And what is the time of action, and what kind of action do you mean?

I mean mental action: times when I close my whole organization to the old-world beliefs in sin, sickness, and death, and hold myself closed against these beliefs with a mental concentration that makes me feel invulnerable. In this I isolate my entire organism from its surroundings, and my own new and revised thought has a chance then to work out the redemption of my body. And in each of these spells of isolation I do gain a little. But the holding is hard work, and the least relaxation gives admission to the old, deadly beliefs, and I find myself slipping backward again--backward to a place where I must take another rest, but always holding firmly to my faith in myself and in the truth as I see it, and in the firm conviction of ultimate victory.

To describe this very important thing more fully, so that the student may not fail to understand it perfectly, I shall relate a bit of my experience just as it occurred. Last summer my hair began to turn darker, and kept it up for three months, until from almost pure white it had changed to a lovely golden, and was very nearly as dark as it had been in my youth. I was then, as now, giving my entire thought to the science, and I immediately believed I had found the true road to eternal youth. There were other peculiarities in my case pointing to this conclusion. I certainly looked younger and fresher than I had looked for years. During all this time I was putting up fruit, and was deeply interested in having it beautiful and good, so that my work was a pleasure that rather facilitated than retarded my thought upon my one subject of Mental Science. When the fruit was all up--although my thoughts about the science still ran in the same groove--my hair lost its color and became very gray again. This was certainly puzzling.

Yes, it was puzzling, and it caused me a whole year's thought. Indeed I have just found the solution of it.

Our very best and true and noblest thought is worthless unless it is led forth into activities. The whole tendency of the will--which is the soul of things--is to externalization. The whole meaning of the universal spirit of Life is to show forth in uses. Therefore, the personal condition of man is the condition to aspire to. It is the condition toward which all will--the universal as well as the individual--tends. To make the will manifest in acts is all a man exists for. To refuse to act will soon render a man worthless. All that is worthless dies.

My theory was all right, but so long as I sat still and never led it forth into use it availed me nothing. My temperament being lymphatic I am not fond of action, and had therefore done no work but desk work, from which I rested by lying down occasionally. But when the fruit tempted me to action, and I engaged in work that I loved to do, my whole organization was brought out under the Law of Attraction and I immediately showed forth the benefit.

The average tendency of the world is to grow in the right directions. It is now, and always has been, tending more and more to the externalization of the spirit, or will. Active, outdoor sports are now more popular than ever' and woman is being drawn from the seclusion where the ignorance of past ages had placed her to take her share in them.

Dress reform begins to mitigate the rigor of her utterly defenseless costume--the costume of the slave--and a few more disciples of Delsarte and Jenness Miller will liberate her to such splendid activities as just to hint at would make the world smile derisively.

But I shall hint at them nevertheless, regretting that it is only a hint I can give, since a full revelation is locked up from me and from us all in [318] the unopened store-house of the latent brain.

But the hint; yes, the hint shall be given. If the "bumblebee"--you see I prefer the children's version of the name: the sweet, observant little one's, who knew his "bumbling come tumbling," and otherwise reckless and irresponsible manner, and named him accordingly--if, then, the "bumblebee" can set the laws of causation at defiance and lift himself through the air on wings that have been incontestably proven to be a laughable failure, then the people are soon going to fly without wings. The will is all the wings that any one needs. The will is being developed more and more into activities even without the knowledge of its still latent possibilities. When these possibilities become generally known, then bolder activities will be projected, and still bolder ones, all leading up to a degree of muscular activity that will enable one to hold himself in the air and to float in it at ease.

I have spoken of muscular activity, but muscular activity is mental activity, for body is mind; and when it is once perceived to be a fact that there is no limit to the power of mind, the feat of flying will no longer be considered impossible, and the one and only impediment to its realization will be removed.

Even in this stage and generation, material as it is, we do not live by sight. Every particle of life we show forth is by faith. With more faith--faith in ourselves, in the power within us--we will recognize more life in ourselves, a thousandfold, than we now do. And this extra life will be expressed in undreamed-of activities. Why, our present condition, as compared with what it will be, is dull and heavy as that of the old saurian monsters contrasted with the fleetest horses of our time.

If, with our growing recognition of the will power within us, we felt ourselves less inclined to activity it would be a clear indication that the will was not to be expressed in activities, for the inclination is the best guide we have. But you will find by examining yourselves that with every fresh accession of will power (or fresh recognition of it) you are prompted to some new action. It is the constant effort of the will to externalize itself. But persons of leaden temperament like myself may resist this effort of the will so much and so continuously as to almost lose sight of it. I feel the presence of the will moving me to action, but I postpone the action and thus lose sight of the will that prompted it. I am not indisposed to intellectual activity. My patience rarely flags in working out my thought.

Does your will appear to be inactive? Then you must "lay for it," as the hunters say. It is there, and you must develop it. You must bring it into view by watching for it. The will has been so systematically crushed out of sight through a mistaken system of education that it is going to take a great deal of effort to make the people see that in crushing the will the man is crushed.

A man said to me, "I am going to break the will of my boy if it takes me a year to do it."

"And when you have done it," I said, "you would better finish your work by cutting his throat."

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"I mean that the world has no need of things; it needs men," I answered.

How often I have had my heart torn by seeing mothers and fathers "breaking the wills" of the sweet little souls whose "shoe latchets they were not worthy to unloose" is past computation.

You who have lost sight of your wills must surely find them, and when found, you must stand by them and affirm their value. Let your intelligence reason on your will from the basic principles set forth in these lessons until you know that it is not evil but good, and that it desires nothing but good.

Will is but one of the factors of thought; or, perhaps thought is one [319] of the factors of will. Indeed all the words that represent the external man run into each other in a way that makes them difficult to handle. Will and desire and thought are all factors in the building of the body. It really seems as if the will were the union of thought with desire; as if thought, by its recognition of desire, became one with desire, and the two thus merged into one, become the will. The will is the crown of the man; it is the man in fullest development. But we have not reached this point yet, this marriage of thought to desire wherein the will comes forward to clear away all obstructions and make us conquerors right now. For here are these old bodies of ours, misbuilt, shaped in the form of the world's beliefs, and not in accordance with our desires; they are held in the atmosphere of the world's negative beliefs, and as yet there is no more positive, or more true, or purer atmosphere for them to inhale. What are we going to do about it?

We are going to clear a space about us by denials, and then plant the seed of the new life by affirmations.

First of all, if I know anything at all, I know that the world's belittling, limiting, and hampering beliefs, so inimical to progression, are all wrong. I say I know this. Then, as a matter of course, I refuse to be held by them. I hold myself on guard against them every hour I live. Oh, students, "perpetual vigilance is the price of liberty," in this case as in many others, and I fear there are some of you who will say, as some of the disciples said to Jesus, "This is a hard saying," and turn back. But I can assure you that the hardest of the fight is now. After conquest the way is easier. But now we have the whole downward current of the world's ignorant thought to meet and turn aside. Therefore there is nothing to do but to hold the fort sternly and gallantly against the beliefs that are now and have always been sending the generations down to death. We do not have to accept those old beliefs, and we do not believe them. As fast as they arrive before us we will deny their right to existence until we have cleared a space about ourselves where they cannot live.

Thoughts are things. They are tangible as the nerve-centers in your bodies, and they can act on your nerves as the nerves act on the blood vessels or the muscles, etc.

The will is the man. The real man. It is the function of thought to develop the will and to establish it in personalities, thus bringing forth the real man into the activities of this busy world.

Thought, having denied all the wretched old race beliefs until each one has partly lost its hold, now begins to formulate what it conceives to be better and nobler beliefs. The time will come when, through a true conjunction of thought with desire, the will will be more developed, and then thought will discard belief altogether; it will have nothing to do with the beliefs that have ruled us so long. It will be creative, and the entire realm of belief will be beneath its feet. But we have not yet come to that. We are still where the old beliefs encompass us, and we must get out of them the best way we can. All thought can do at a certain stage of growth is to take an affirmative position in conquering race beliefs. In doing this it finally conquers fear, and when fear is conquered a mighty ascent has been made from negative to positive. It is at this place that thought, for the first time, begins to be consciously, or intelligently, creative. The desire which has always been crying out to the intelligence against disease and death, now has a response from the intelligence. "At last I perceive that there is no disease and no death," answers the thought. No sooner are these words spoken with the keenness of conviction than the nerves thrill with the news, and rush to tell it to the blood vessels which, in their turn, leave the message at the door of every atom in the body.

As powerful as thought is known to be, and as numberless as the incidents [320] of its accidental cures, so great is the stupidity of the age that its functions in the human system have not yet been discovered. Or, perhaps I should not say this. A good many Mental Scientists know it. Prentis Mulford hints at it. Dr. Holcombe, of New Orleans, a long-established physician of the old school, understands it as well as any one living, and makes use of it in his practice. But that the great body of medical men should know nothing about it with all the experience they have had with it, would indicate either the most inexplicable stupidity or the most persistent avoidance of it.

Dr. Holcombe says, "When one has grasped the idea that by creative laws mind (thought) is dormant in all things of the body, the minutest changes of which are in reality organic manifestations or showings forth of mental conditions, many things before incomprehensible become clear. From the standpoint of this grand truth we see how emotions (which are produced by thought) determine the most rapid changes in the secretions of the body; how fright turns the hair gray; how terror poisons the mother's milk; how great mental excitements or the slow torture of mental anxiety write their baneful effects upon the tissues of the brain; how the images made upon the mother's brain are transferred and photographed upon the body of the unborn child; how epidemics spread by the contagion of fear and the transference of thought; the thing feared in the mind being reproduced in the physical system.

"Of the idealistic theory, which is the basis of mind cure, physical appearances are only the external forms or natural embodiments of spiritual causes (human wills) which are the real motor powers. Effects are produced not by the apparent external means, but by internal and corresponding spiritual means.

"When these internal and spiritual forces (the will) can be evoked and set in action from within, the external means may be entirely dispensed with." [Which is equivalent to saying that the will, as a healer, is so far superior to medicine and all other external appliances as to make nothing of them.] "It is therefore the maxim of the metaphysician that the cause and cure of disease is always mental."

"The part which the mind has always played in the cure has been ignored, or not recognized, because of the prevalent and dominant spirit of materialism. The mind (thought) has been all the time counted out, while in reality it may have been the chief and perhaps the only factor in the case. When we are confronted with cures of the most remarkable character, cures entirely beyond the reach of our best medication, we attribute them to imagination, faith, hope, expectation. And we do rightly; for imagination, faith, hope, expectation are states of the mind, are the mind itself in substantial activity and creative energy, and when these vital forces can be evoked and directed there is no limit to the possibilities that lie in store for us."

These are the writings of an honest physician and thinker. In the quotations I interpolated the words that appear in brackets, and my interpolations go a little beyond Dr. Holcombe's thought; but I am sure he will forgive me if I have made his language stand out a little further in the light as I myself see it. I have only done as I will to be done by.

In another place the doctor says, "Thoughts are things; ideas are forces; and the spiritual life is a transcendent, organized sphere. Nothing stands alone; no thought, no mind, no faintest trace of an idea. All are associated and linked together by innumerable laws." [In my opinion there is but one law; it is the adaptation of this law to innumerable needs that gives it the appearance of many laws.] "Every thought we think is a ray of mind which radiates from us, [321] and is reflected from all other minds associated with us. The transference of thought is as simple a thing in the mental sphere as the radiation and reflection of light are in the physical sphere." [There is no physical sphere; and light and heat are not the reflection of love and intelligence, but love and intelligence themselves.] "The mental solidarity of the race is perfect. All the states of mind represented by faith, hope, imagination, fixed opinion, expectation, etc., may be exercised by the physician or friends and projected with more or less force and power upon the interior and unconscious minds of all who are supposed to be incapable of exercising mental powers of their own. This is the keynote to the sickness of children, and also to the secret of their cure."

Dr. Holcombe's testimony to the fact that thought can make sick and make well is all the more valuable because of his long study and practical experience in the schools of medicine. I recognize his valuable contributions to the literature of the day on this subject even while I fail to endorse all his conclusions.

That thought can make sick is the inevitable consequence of an ignorance of the fact that it acts through the whole organization. And if it can make sick, it can also make well by the same process. But thought can be educated in a knowledge of truth until it becomes, not only a curative agent, but a perfectly irresistible factor in the reconstruction of the whole human body. And now I want to tell in as concise a manner as possible how it can be made to do it.

All sickness and weakness, deformity and old age, are but denials of the individual. They are denials of the power of the will by the mistaken intelligence. Let the intelligence once come to recognize the standing and importance of the will, and to feel a measure of its strength, if no more, and the person is then ready to heal his own infirmities and those of other people. His thought becomes charged with the truth; for, remember this, that as the will pervades every part of the body it also pervades every part of the thought. The thought then being infilled with the fire of the will creates an atmosphere of positiveness about the person which is drawn into the body. It carries its own strength there and builds a new foundation for the new temple of strength and beauty that is to be erected there. It infuses every atom of the organization with a fresh sense of power, and thus makes it ready to hold fast to the new truths that will be planted farther on. It actually tells the nerves, as it were, of their own latent health and strength and awakens them to a knowledge of the fact. The nerves are the connecting link between the thought and the more external parts of the body. And through this link you can impart your best thought, accompanied by the strongest possible recognition of your will. But this is only the beginning. It is the breaking up of old conditions for the separation of the true from the false.

For self-treatment, sit alone and draw your thoughts home. Let them dwell on the power involved in the creature man. Let them see him in his greatest possible strength as the master of all things. Let them also consider that his true individuality is out of sight and is his will. Let them then know that the will was built up by desire, and that there is nothing in it that it does not desire; that indeed it is the representative of the best it has ever known--the image of its own highest ideal. When the thought reaches this point it will see how greatly the body misrepresents the will, and it is then ready to correct the errors of the body. At this juncture permit the thought to sink down into your body. It will do this if you will hold it firmly from wandering. As it sinks into the body you will feel a quivering of the nerves in every part not too dead to be aroused by it. The will which the thought carries [322] into the diseased body meets and arouses the will in the diseased part, which has become inoperative from lack of recognition by the intelligence. Being thus aroused it arouses the intelligence of that part and the old fossilized conditions begin to break up.

It very often happens that the effect of a strong and continuous recognition of the will, and the holding to it firmly as being the real and true man, makes one sore and lame and miserable, discouraged and ill-natured. This condition is the resistance of the old, consolidated mistakes that have been built in your body by race beliefs. Christian Science calls this breaking up of old conditions "chemicalization." You are to take no notice of it when it comes--that is, no more than you can help. You are to hold on to a belief that the will is the real you, and to ignore as far as possible the kickings and squealings of the old mistakes. They have to go, and if it is any consolation to them to make a fuss about it let them make it--that is, if your recognition of your will is not sufficient to quiet them.

But keep your will in view mentally. Do not lose sight of it. Grasp it more firmly with your perceptions. Concentrate your power of thought upon it. Hold it mentally with a strong grip.

Observe the emphasized words in the previous paragraph. There is a wide distinction between the recognition of the will and that muscular tension that many people think to be will. The true recognition of the will does not produce muscular tension. On the contrary its effect is to relax the muscles. Muscular tension in such a case would be the result of fear; and fear is no evidence of the existence of the will, but the reverse. To recognize the will is purely a mental power. It is the calm, reposeful perception of the fact that the will is the governing power of the body, and that nothing can resist it. The recognition of the will and its crowning position among the faculties have been the result of all this previous study of Mental Science whereby the "I" has been evolved and placed upon the throne, and all things subdued to its control. The will is the voice of the I, whose mandates are not to be disobeyed. Keep as much as possible in a state of recognition of your own will; for, no matter what the character of the thoughts you hold, you cannot prevent them from entering the domain of your nervous organization and imparting their quality to your entire body. They form an atmosphere about you that you live in, and if you keep them always true to your highest conception of truth, by which I mean, if you keep them charged with a consciousness of power of your unconquerable will they will cure you of all beliefs or conditions of disease, whether you ever sit for silent treatment or not. But there is a higher position to attain than the mere temporary cure of disease, as you already begin to understand.

You already know how essential it is for you to keep a hopeful state of mind. It requires firmness and a reposeful recognition of the will to do this. A firm mind is a firm body, for body and mind are one. A firm body is a healthy body. And so this lesson hinges tight on this point. The recognition of the will is the evolution of the will in the body. There is nothing in life so firm and powerful as the will. Learn to know this, that your will may become established in your body and show forth in just what you desire--health, strength, beauty, opulence, etc.

Thought and thought alone has power to develop the will. And thought must be persistent in its effort to search for the evidence of the will within the body, for in no other way can the old race errors be driven out and the true man and woman established in each personality.

Lesson 19 - Practical Healing

[331] "Currents of thought," says Davis, "like the tidal waves of the sea, may often be traced, outlined, measured, and foretold."

Again: "The suggestions made through the five channels of sense are carried to the receptive centers of the brain, and there recognized and utilized for the purpose of carrying on the progress of evolution, which is slowly, but surely, lifting man from an ignorant past to an intelligent future. Through these avenues the human mind is receiving nourishment. Through these senses, force is entering into the conscious ego, and the result is change, wisdom, growth. With this knowledge we must then admit that thoughts are entities, or manifestations of force. It has always been observed that when the nervous system is calm and quiet, ideas are most easily transmitted to the seat of consciousness, and when so transmitted, make the most powerful and lasting impressions. Hence, if we desire to make a sudden and lasting impression on the mind, we first soothe, or tranquilize it, and literally drive the thought (we wish to give the patient) in."

The point to be deduced from the above quotation is that thought is not a nothing, but an actual force; and if an actual force, then it is a substance.

And this is true. Thought is one of the finest and most powerful substances on earth--probably the most powerful substance in the universe. A substance in comparison with which all other substances are negative. Of course all thought is not equally positive. Thought that has its rise in a belief in evil is negative to thought founded on a belief in universal good.

Thought, then, is a substance, and when charged with the will of the individual goes forth to perform the mission with which it is entrusted. It is in this way that thought heals.

If the healer is treating himself he wants to convince himself that he is not sick. Every joint in his body may be racked with pain, but he abstracts his thoughts from the pain as much as he can, and begins to reason with himself on the subject. He says: "Now, here my body is, right down among the old negative beliefs; beliefs that my growing intelligence has taught me to deny as not belonging either to my desire or my will. What am I to do? Am I to remain down in the body which is simply a bundle of inherited beliefs, all of which are negations of my newer and higher thought, or shall I rise into the thought-chamber above the old negative beliefs and see whether I cannot find an antidote for them?" Now there is only one way of getting into this higher chamber, and that is by calling up the proofs of your own mastery until you perceive that you are a living spirit or will, and then concentrating your thought on the fact that you are a living will, and as such you are the greatest power on earth, and nothing can come against you.

[332] When you perceive the mighty power vested in the will--a power that really controls all things--you will be in a position of true mental creativeness. It is from this position that you speak the creative word. You can now affirm, in perfect consistency with your high intellectual attitude: "I am well. I have no pain. I am strong and vital. I am in glorious health."

Now, do you see the two positions here indicated? If this assertion is made from the lower brain, the brain which has given birth to our beliefs just as they are recorded in these present bodies, they would seem untrue; we ourselves could not accept them; we should feel that we were lying. But by ascension into the idealistic brain, through the course of reasoning embodied in these lessons, we can make these statements and perceive that they are true. Just as certain as we go up to this high place and remain there in the full possession of our reasoning powers long enough to see for a fact that we are not sick, and that we do not have to accept the statement of the lower intelligence, we will be well. The upper condition of thought, or the thought born of the higher brain, is positive to the thought born of the lower brain, and it literally sets it aside and takes possession.

Then our thoughts may descend again to the everyday brain and pursue the ordinary trend of things, and there will be no more pain. But, the pain may come again several times--the old habit of thought being too strong to be wiped out in one treatment--and each time it will be necessary to destroy it in the same way. Presently it will cease to come.

In treating a patient the healer wants to place the patient in a position where he can secure for him the most negative condition possible. To do this he would better place the patient on a chair in front of himself. He must not touch the patient. Let him sit quite close to the back of the patient's chair. Then he must see the argument for himself that will lift him up above the realm of disease beliefs--which is the realm projected by the everyday brain. He must go up into his ideal brain just as he did in self-treatment. In this higher brain he will realize his own will, or spirit, and he will see that no power can stand against it. Up to this point his treatment of the patient has been precisely like self-treatment. Indeed it is self-treatment. But now, while in the place of clear recognition of his will, where he makes the assertion of his own power over all the beliefs and conditions projected by the lower brain, he perceives the universality of the Law that makes all men brothers; and through this fact he recognizes the will, or spirit, of his patient; and so with the firmest conviction of his power to create, not only for himself, but for all who will become conjoined in thought with him by a belief in him, he pronounces the patient well.

But suppose the patient does not respond; suppose that he is not well. What then?

It often happens that the healer cannot pronounce the word of healing with a clear conviction of its truth. He may not have reached the high place of positive power; and if he has not, the work will not be done, although the beginning of the cure will have been made. The healer even in making an imperfect attempt has set the Law in operation, and some good has been effected.

Again, the healer may have pronounced the perfect word from that high understanding of positive truth that cannot be refuted, and yet the patient will not appear changed much for the better; and now, what is in the way? It is the patient himself this time; he has not held himself receptive; he has not come into conjunction with the healer's thought. And yet, some good has been accomplished. The word of positive, lifegiving truth never returns to its originator void. It does produce effect, even though that effect seems slight. And the efforts of the healer in both cases I have mentioned [333] must be repeated again and again until the patient is cured. For the cure is absolutely sure to follow if both patient and healer work diligently and in faith. No effort in this direction ever goes unrewarded.

The healer has to believe in his own creative power before he can heal successfully in all cases. But a faithful study of these lessons will establish him in the firm conviction of his own creativeness. And oh, what a position it is! I shall not attempt to describe the greatness and power of this position. It will gradually dawn on the student's perception as he goes diligently over these lessons again and again.

I do not guarantee this power to any student who is not willing to bend all his energies to an understanding of this subject. Study, study, study, is what he needs. The whole meaning of this wonderful subject will unfold itself only as it unfolds the student's intellect to a comprehension of it. The second reading of these lessons will produce an entirely different effect on the student from the first reading. The third reading will develop strange truths that he had not discovered before. And so it is, the lessons will grow and grow, disclosing more and more of the true bread of life as the student grows and strengthens in power to receive it. It will be like the babe's coming on this planet; milk is all that the world holds for him at first; just a spoonful of milk out of all the bountiful earth's fullness, of which he does not even dream in his sleepy content.

I have now given years of faithful study to the subject of these lessons, and yet I feel that I have reached only the threshold of the infinite knowledge about to be discovered and made applicable to the coming needs of the race. I know that I cannot finish the subject of these lessons when the present set of twenty lectures is completed. I know that each new thought in unfolding sends out shoots for further unfolding, and that after a time--a very short time, possibly--I shall be writing other lessons.

A few words more in relation to healing. The helplessness and weakness that we almost constantly feel is incarnated in the coarser, deader atoms of our bodies. It is impossible to remain in this strata of lethargic intelligence and proclaim our freedom from the beliefs inherent to the condition itself. Or, if we do proclaim them, it will be like the babble of children, who do not realize the truth they are speaking. Our affirmations of freedom, under the circumstances, are hedged in by the old beliefs, and to a great extent they are smothered by the old beliefs. Therefore it is necessary to go up into the ideal, and make our affirmations from the high place of our understanding, because it is here alone in the present stage of our growth that we can make ourselves believe to the full the high meaning and the force of our statements. It is here alone that we can establish our intelligent will power.

In ascending into the ideal our thoughts are building in a higher and lighter and more ethereal and vital atmosphere, and do not meet the opposition that they do in attempting to build on a lower plane. In this atmosphere there is less deadness, or inertia, to overcome. The forces that our thoughts attract through the correlation between our desires and the external substances are more vital, more pliant, and more obedient to our will. In the ascension I speak of, the thoughts are more powerful than when on the horizontal plane of development, and the external substance that clothes them is more obedient and more highly vitalized. Therefore a growth from the ideal faculties when once established is going to be much more rapid than at present.

I will abide in the high place of my aspiration in hope and free from fear. Why, this high place is the abode of hope. It is the only place where it is possible to actualize freedom from the [334] bonds that tighten about us so painfully in the lower place of thought--the place from which the race is now living.

The body builds the brain, but the brain shapes the body. Everything pertaining to the body, all its faculties and appetites and powers, all its senses, all its limitations, all its diseases, and all its belief of every description have been planted in it and shaped by the brain from which it is now living; the brain that today rules the affairs of man through all the various departments of life.

This brain from which the race is living is a better and nobler brain than the merely brute brain that ruled it ages ago when men were simply untamed animals; but this improved brain from which we live today, is as much inferior to the idealistic brain as the brute brain is inferior to it. And there will be as much difference between the men projected by the idealistic brain, and the men projected by the brain from which we are now living, as there is between the men of today and the animals from which they sprung.

It is the character of the brain that gives shape and power to the body. The higher the quality of thought generated by the brain, the higher the quality of mental atmosphere will the man breathe into his body, and the more will he become refined, concentrated, purified, and beautified.

Death and disease and every manner of bodily decay are caused by the earth's gravitation drawing to herself all substance that does not sufficiently resist her attraction. The only way a man can resist her attraction is by recognizing his spirit, and by learning that his spirit, or will, is superior to her attraction, and indeed superior to all things.

And this is just what these lessons have been teaching. They are a constant denial of that unconscious power vested in the earth's bulk; the power that draws all things within the radius of her influence toward her bosom. They are a constant affirmation of the fact that an intelligent recognition of the will by the individual overcomes this blind attraction of mere bulk and weight. This idea, carried into practical results, will first overcome disease and weakness; after this it will overcome old age and death, both of which are simply the yielding of the individual to the earth's attraction, simply because he does not know that "he don't have to do it."

Oh, the value this little sentence has been to me! "I don't have to." It is the first thought that comes when I feel the pressure of any environment. "I don't have to stand it." I am a free citizen of the universe. I have demonstrated the power of my own will in the breaking of bonds, and "I don't have to" put up with anything I don't want. It fills me with strength, not of brute resistance, but of the understanding of the law; the law to which I have attached myself by my understanding of it.

A patient has just been here. And because this is a lesson on practical healing I shall give an account of her case, and of the way in which I conducted her treatment. When I first saw her she was diseased all over. Her liver and kidneys were almost inoperative; her digestion was bad; and there was something the matter with both her ovaries, so that her abdomen was greatly distended and hard, and she suffered in almost every imaginable way.

After treating her for a month her digestion was better. She then had a bilious attack that kept her in bed three days. After this she seemed quite improved. Then came what the doctors would call a relapse, but which was an advancement instead of a relapse. She was taken with severe pains in the back, and could hardly stand alone for a week. I knew what this meant. It was an effort of nature to arouse the kidneys to renewed action, just as the liver had been aroused to action.

After this she seemed in pretty fair health for a month, and was greatly [335] encouraged. I knew she had another bridge to cross before she would be well, but I did not tell her so. One morning she came to me in a very discouraged frame of mind. The abdomen was harder than ever, and there was a constant bearing down in the region of the womb, the pain of which went through all the pelvic region, and even made her limbs ache like rheumatism. I saw instantly that the treatments had taken effect at last in the most diseased part of the body. The first thing the treatments had done was to induce a better state of the digestive system by which more and richer blood had been generated. The second effect was the waking up of the torpid liver and kidneys and compelling them to do their duty again. After this, more and better blood was made for a month, and her system grew a good deal stronger. Then the whole force of her renewed system began to be directed toward the removal of the difficulty in the ovaries.

I had no idea what was the matter with the ovaries. They were very much enlarged, and that was the extent of my knowledge. But I did know that when that constant bearing down pain was there, her strengthened blood had made up its mind to remove the impediment, whatever it was, and I knew that it would be done in one or two ways. It would cease to feed the tumors, if they were tumors, and would cast them out by liquefying them and discharging them through the womb. If there were no tumors there, but only an inflamed condition of the ovaries, with a permanent enlargement, I knew that the absorbents would gradually take up the foreign substances and pass them off with the other wastes of the system. In a few days there began to be a discharge from the womb; the pain grew less and less; the abdomen softened and became smaller. This went on for two months, and the patient quit treatment. I had treated her nearly five months. She was well enough to be abandoned to nature alone. Before long she was perfectly sound.

Now I have described this case from a purely "physical" standpoint and yet I never once recognized the patient's conditions from this standpoint. In treating her I would place her in a chair before me and immediately relax my body, and raise my thoughts into the idealistic realm. Here in this high place I would concentrate the whole argument embraced by these lessons into the compass of a few sentences, and would bend my intellect to the effort of realizing their truth and force. Now, this whole truth being purely idealistic--that is to say, projected from the high, ideal faculties--I could never have realized it if I had remained in the horizontal or everyday brain. I had to raise my thoughts above the ordinary level of thought from which our present lives are projected, into the realm of the high, the unconfined, the spiritual sphere, where I could feel myself fetterless; could feel my mastery; where I positively knew my power to create.

Create what?

I answer, to create thought that was positive to the thought of my patient. My patient's thoughts all took the form of beliefs in her own helplessness. My thoughts took form in beliefs of her own power--which she knew nothing of at the time.

Thought being actual substance, and substance of untold force, and her thought being a weak, negative character of thought-substance, was overborne or conquered by my thought. But remember, in conquering her negative thought I had not conquered my patient's will, as our enemies accuse us of doing. I had simply helped her to vindicate her own will by conquering those negations to her will as expressed in beliefs of disease. Therefore I had strengthened her individuality instead of weakening it.

I am sure my students will want to know just what I said to my patient when I addressed her mentally as she [336] sat before me in perfect silence; and it is going to be difficult for me to tell this. The fact is I say so little. I seem to be in a state of such supreme consciousness of the truth that disease is a mistaken statement of being--that the thought is seldom formulated in words in my mind. And when the words do shape themselves in my mind they are so few and so simple that they would mean almost nothing to the person who is not lifted into the realm of the ideal from which the thoughts proceed. I can scarcely recall anything except, "You are not sick. You are mistaken. What you call your sickness is a mere negation of your will, or spirit; a mere denial of its power by your foolish, inherited beliefs. You do not have to live in the statement of life you inherited from your mother. I will make a new statement for you, based upon a higher knowledge of the power vested in a human being. And this is my statement: You are well; you are strong; you are happy and hopeful and good and noble and true. You stand fully equipped for meeting every emergency in life. I see such beautiful seeds of promise unfolding in you; seeds that are going to burst open in full bloom and fruitage from the simple power of one person to recognize them." This, and more to the same effect, is what comes to me in treating a patient. These words when analyzed from the low plane of everyday intelligence seem absurd and exaggerated; but from the high place to which the healer's thoughts ascend they do but feebly represent the noble, unfettered character of the truth she speaks.

And they are creative. They do create. Here is the great fact. They invade the body of the patient, and they change his beliefs in disease to beliefs in health.

It often happens that a patient will begin to take treatment and soon become discouraged and quit. A few months afterward I will hear from, or see him, and he is entirely well, and occasionally I am informed by one that he got well without the treatments when the treatments failed to cure him.

Now the fact is, the treatments did cure him; and it is no uncommon thing for this to happen. There is a cause of this. The patient's attitude of thought during the treatments had not been the right one. He had failed to make himself receptive to the healer's thought. He had in some way--not understood by himself--locked himself up from the healer, so that her thought had not penetrated his organism to any extent. And now note this fact: the thought the healer had given him was of a high and positive character. Moreover it was charged with a purpose; it had a certain work to do, and it just went with that patient wherever he went; hovered around him in the atmosphere of his own thought, and waited until the time came when he was open to the reception of it. Then it took possession of him and gradually wrought out the purpose in him intended by the healer. Thoughts are things; they have shape and substance; we could see them if our sense of sight were finer. But all our senses are rudimentary now.

In concluding this lesson there are some general directions to be given. The first is that the healer must not relax his faith in his own ability to speak the word that creates health; and he must not doubt that the word he speaks will do his bidding; for it is certain to do his bidding if he speaks it in the understanding of its power. Let him be faithful and patient in standing by the healing word after he has spoken it.

The attitude of the patient should be one of reposefulness. He must not make any frantic efforts to become reposeful, but must drop himself and his disease out of his mind as nearly as he can. I will furnish herewith the text from a little printed slip I am in the habit of giving my patients to read, and will conclude this lesson with it.

These directions are meant to apply [337] to the patient only so long as he is under treatment. After he is well, his own will will take the place of the healer's will.

Directions for Patients

Drop from your mind all responsibility of yourself or your own case. Feel that you have nothing to do for yourself after you have come into my thought. You can come into my thought by saying to me mentally, "In the spirit of universal brotherhood you and I are one. If your thoughts are more positive than mine they will have the effect of changing mine, and raising them to the level of belief where your thoughts dwell. I know and acknowledge that my thoughts live almost entirely in the disease realm, and that yours do not. Therefore I willingly surrender mine to yours. I want you to recast them in a higher and more truthful mold. I want you to convince me that disease is a powerless thing; that it cannot create and that it yields nothing but pain and death. I am striving to make the thought connection with you for no other purpose than this. I believe your thought--educated in the power that an understanding of man's master confers--will do for me just what you claim for it. Therefore I rely on you. I will let you do my thinking for me until you have corrected the errors of my inherited belief. I accept your statement that thought is a fluid that can be transmitted from one brain to another. So I am sending my erroneous thoughts to you to have them revised and made over in a way to benefit me.

In this way our thoughts will form an exchange. You will send me your erroneous thoughts and they will lose themselves in my own, from which all beliefs in the power of disease have been cast out by a greater knowledge of the all-pervaiding law of life than you yourself have as yet attained. In this way, my thought will become your thought; it will reconstruct you; it will literally rebuild you by casting out your diseased and weakened and painful conditions, and substituting healthful ones. You will have exchanged the old for the new. Your diseased body will find itself growing well with the realization of eternal life you have absorbed from me. So all you need do is to rest and be infilled with strength, and to have faith and to enjoy all things in the happiest manner possible. And in a little time you will be freed; --as one who has carried a heavy burden is relieved and made free by casting his load on the ground forever.

If at any time you feel that you are not progressing as you wish to, read these directions over again; because not to progress will prove that you are not resting on my power in the proper attitude of relaxation, or that you are not keeping your thoughts enough off of yourself.

Patience on your part is absolutely essential. Impatience is a sure sign of anxiety, and anxiety will interfere with the healing. Nothing will so aid you in getting well quick as to be patient.

One more direction--a very important one--and I shall conclude.

You will find within yourself two attitudes of thought entirely opposed to each other. One of them is hope or desire; this attitude of thought points upward and onward.

The other attitude of thought is fear, which points downward, and which leads to the grave.

Now, you are bound to live in one or the other of these attitudes of thought. You are bound to trust one or the other of them, and your very life depends on which you trust; for you live in the one you trust.

Therefore you must learn to trust your hopes and desires, and to turn your back on your fears.

This will come easy to you after you have practiced the habit of relaxing yourself, and have learned to ignore your troubles.

Lesson 20 - Posture of the Will Man

[347] The directions for patients in lesson nineteen would seem very difficult to follow, and they are difficult. No patient ever follows them to any degree of perfectness at first, but by frequent readings, or by oral instruction to the same effect, he will by degrees begin to drop the burning consciousness of his disease that he has carried so long and so laboriously. The treatments help the patient to a comprehension of the directions. They shape his mind in conformity with them, and presently he is able to do a good deal for himself simply by following the directions. He will find his disease less frequently in his thought. He will find himself entering into the thoughts of others more, and will begin to be enlightened of the awful load of himself that he has carried so long. And so by degrees all thoughts of the disease wil slip from his mind, and when they have slipped from his mind they have slipped from his body also, for body and mind are one.

On the subject of thought-lifting I want to say a few more words. I must make this matter plainer, for I am sure that few persons have ever thought much about it. I must give some illustrations that will make it clear. A woman is troubled, let us say, and she retires to her chamber and prays. After praying most earnestly for a time she comes into the belief that God has heard her prayer and granted her request. Then she is happy and contented, and goes about her business again in perfect rest and trustfulness.

Let us examine her attitude of thought during the prayer. Let us observe, first of all, that her eyes are raised and her face turned upward. This attitude indicates the lifting of her thoughts above the position ordinarily occupied by them. They have ascended into a clear place above her head--it seems to her--but in reality they have only ascended into that upper chamber of the brain that I call the ideal. Here in this upper chamber the atmosphere is very clear, and she loses sight of the trouble that invaded the lower realm of her mentaliity. Up here there is a sense of power that impresses her greatly and destroys her fear. She believes in it, and is reassured and happy.

This is all there is to prayer. Prayer is aspiration, or desire. When aspiration, or desire, becomes strong enough it ascends by virtue of its nature, or by natural law, just as cream ascends to the top of milk. It comes up to the air; to the free space above; to a more unconfined realm. This is part of the law of evolution. The finer comes up through the coarser to take its place in the more unconfined space in the higher realm.

Thus aspiration ascended from the everyday brain of the woman to the idealistic brain, where it saw that there was no hindrance to its actualization. This seeing was the spoken word, or the statement of its creation. Now, the woman would not have clothed her aspiration with belief but for the fact that she had been taught [348] that God was all powerful. Her faith was firmly established in this belief. It was not to be shaken, and it actually did clothe her aspiration, or prayer, and make it a tangible reality that brought her the comfort and rest she was seeking.

It was her belief in the power that did this. It would have made no difference if her belief had been placed upon some wooden god of heathendom, or on the crucifix which plays so important a part in the Catholic religion. It was her belief in the power that wrought the change in her feelings which she called an answer to her prayer, and which really was an answer to her prayer.

The power was there. She had ascended in her own intelligence to the abode of power; namely, the idealistic faculties--those faculties that have been evolved from our everyday faculties according to the nature of the law, by which the finest, the most unfettered substances arise to the top.

The power was her own. But if one had attempted to make her believe this, the whole effect would have been lost. She had been brought up in the belief of her own helplessness; in the belief that all the strength she could have was through the grace of the God in whose power she had the most unswerving confidence. And so an apparent miracle was wrought. The great God had stooped from his throne to answer the cry of one of his helpless children.

That the power-house from which the woman drew the answer to her prayer, or demand, was in her own brain is proved by daily occurrences of the same kind in heathen countries where similar miracles are performed by wooden gods. The belief in the power, no matter where the power comes from, is all that is necessary to clothe the aspiration, or demand. Belief is the clothing power of desire. As the desire is of the individual, so is the power that gratifies it. The power lies in the strata of unfettered thought which belongs to the idealistic brain.

Here is another instance of ascending into this upper brain. I knew a woman who was very sickly and suffered intensely. She bought medicine when she could, and with it deadened her pain. At times she could not get the medicine, and her pain was unendurable until she discovered that there was a realm of thought into which she could ascend where she ceased to be conscious of the pain. She told me that night after night she lifted her thoughts into this high place entirely out of reach of the pain in her body. This was before I had ever heard of Mental Science.

Another woman in childbirth had been in hard labor for nearly two days, when it was discovered that the presentation was wrong. A second doctor had to be sent for, and as he was away from home it soon became known that he would not come for twenty-four hours. This announcement was enough to kill the patient, and would probably have done so, only in the shock of her despair her spirit, that poised itself for escape from the tortured body, was suddenly arrested in this high place in the brain, and instantly became conscious that there was rest there and freedom from suffering. She assured me that while abiding in this high place in her thought--which she did for one whole day and night until the doctor came and promptly relieved her--she was perfectly conscious of the immense muscular power exerted in the effort of her body to bring the child into the world, and knew that the pains were going on with terrific force, but she did not feel them. She was above the region of thought where there is any consciousness of pain, and yet she was in her own body all the time.

I have told of these instances to show the student that this high place of human intelligence exists, and that by ascension into it we are able to speak the word that clothes with power. It needs thought and study to enable us to get a full understanding of this fact, but when we do get an understanding [349] of it there comes to us the self-trust that makes gods of every one of us.

One more point on the subject of practical healing, and I will pass on toward the conclusion of the twentieth lesson, which completes the regular course.

It has been considered necessary in absent healing for the healer and patient to set a certain hour for the treatment, in which they may meet each other in thought. In order to do this there must be a consideration of difference in time, owing to difference in locality. Of course in this arrangement there is a chance for mistakes to occur, and mistakes have occurred; so many of them, in fact, as to prove that there is no need of fixing a certain time in which to meet each other in thought, because whether the time is fixed or not the healing goes steadily on just the same. This led me to learn all I know about the wonderful possibilities of thought. I found that if I sent a thought to a patient and the patient was not listening for it, it would wait until such time as she chanced to turn her thought toward me, when it would enter her sphere of thought and make its impression; the impression I intended it should make.

At other times I have occasionally forgotten to treat a patient at the hour agreed upon, when a strange unrest would take possession of me; just as one in trying to think of something else is disturbed by the babble, babble, babble of a child, and wishes it would hush; and all of a sudden the name of my patient, whom I was neglecting, would flash into my mind, and I would know that the disturbing influence had been the patient's thought that was coming to me at that hour. Now, I did not understand a word of the patient's thought, but I felt its presence distinctly, and knew what it meant. The thought was present with me waiting to claim my attention. If the patient's thought could do this with me, then my thought would do the same with her. I made a long series of experiments with this thing, from which I learned the palpable character of thought when charged with a purpose, and the tenacity with which it held to the purpose and performed it, even to the most minute particulars.

I permit a patient to tell me all the particulars of her disease, and I would rather she would do this than not, because it is a relief to her mind. It is virtually giving her disease away, or freeing herself from it.

Self-trust, based upon self-knowledge, is the basis of all healing power. The more you know yourself the more you will trust yourself, for the more you will become acquainted with your own greatness, your own power to create.

The more you know and trust yourself, and the more you prize your own power, the stronger the magnet you will become, and the more will you be able to draw from the external world the things and conditions related to your desires, through the unerring process of the Law.

The man who possesses the most powerful self-hood attracts to himself the most good. And his power to attract good is not limited to those elements by which his character is built up in such force and strength, but he also attracts from the world of visible things just what he desires.

It is only in proportion as his character is built in strength that he has the power to attract things to himself, such as friends, wealth, and honors.

As a man can only increase in real power by increasing in goodness, or a belief in good, it is therefore impossible for him to become a dangerous person in this way, as seems to be the general idea. No man gains in strength by believing in so-called evil influence. The reason for this ought to be apparent to every student who has accompanied me thus far in these lessons. All beliefs in evil influences, and in every form of disease, are simply so many negations of good. Now, to deny good does not nullify [350] good, but only blinds the person who denies it to the sight of it; this is all.

To illustrate: People may believe in evil as much as they please, and may attempt to heap what they term an evil influence on me. Suppose that I too believe in evil influences and thus make a mental admission of their power over me. I then take the consequences of my belief in evil and begin to show it forth, for a man shows forth, for the time being, just what he believes whether truth or error.

But suppose, on the other hand, that I know the law; I then laugh at the futility of their attempts, and go on believing in good and showing forth its power. All beliefs in evil and disease are based on fear, and their effects are psychological on people; that is, the belief being thrown on a person, and then not standing in the stronghold of self, is like a mirror that reflects or shows forth the beliefs thrown upon it; and so for the time being he appears to be diseased, or evil.

It has occurred to me that the student may think I am saying very little about disease and its cure in these lessons.

It is because I know to a certainty that--in the light of absolute truth--there is no disease, that I do not say more about it. It is merely a false belief. If you have the belief, then the cure for you is to convince you that your belief is not true. This is the only cure there is for you. You are purely, so far as your exterior is concerned, an intellectual statement. You have accepted the statement of yourself almost unquestioningly from others. You are dissatisfied with the statement and want a better one. You cannot have a better one until you see wherein your present statement is mistaken. As soon as you see this you will be well. Disease is ignorance of your own power. If you can remain on the everyday plane of your development and perceive your mistake, well and good. If you cannot do this, and there are very few who can, then you must raise your thoughts to the ideal sphere, and from this high place correct your statement, denying the existence of evil and affirming the good, and recognizing your own individuality as an exponent of the good only; and thus strengthen yourself as a human magnet until you feel yourself invulnerable in power.

You have never thought of yourself as a magnet, and have probably connected the idea of magnetism with mesmerism and have been frightened by the bare thought of it. But you are a magnet; and when I say this I mean that you have a something within yourself that is forever true to you. It is always with you, and always holding the fort against foreign invasion. And yet this inner stronghold you have been taught to look upon with suspicion, and have tried to lay it down or yield it up as a sacrifice to your mis-educated conscience.

Now, the steadfastness with which you stand true to this inner fort, this something that is always with you, this spirit, or will, marks your power as a magnet. And the more you recognize this inner power, this magnetic force or will, the more you come within the line of the Law of Attraction and the more you are able to draw to yourself such good as you may desire.

Right being is right seeing. It is the seeing from the highest point of our intellects, and this is the idealistic point. In this lofty place you do not demand health, it is already yours. All things desirable are yours, and all you ask for is greater faith in yourself; greater self-trust. It is from this place that you will see how all things you desire can come to you. Your words will be like these: "I am under the Law of Attraction, for there is no other law. I am a magnet, and it is the nature of a magnet to attract. Under a consciousness of the Law it can do nothing else. But what do I want to attract? That which will build me up in a greater knowledge of my own strength; this is what I want [351] to attract every hour. Perhaps my ignorance is so great that I cannot name what I want. It makes no difference; I want just that which shall make me more and still more conscious of my own strength. Whatever this may be, it is correlated to my desire, or will, and my intelligence standing shoulder to shoulder with my desire makes me a perfect unit, and therefore an irresistible magnet. I will get what I want."

Take your position as a citizen of the universe with latent powers that correlate you to every external thing--including the thousand unexplored atmospheric forces--and make your demand for that which will develop you to much greater strength and power than you have ever known.

Nature teaches us of powers not yet recognized in ourselves. The grub develops into a butterfly; but a man whose growth embraces both grub and butterfly has so far failed to recognize any such power in himself. Many of the flying insects transgress every known law of physics in their flying. The "bumblebee" is too heavy for his small wings to bear up his weight in the air; the law of physics has demonstrated this fact; and yet he flies. And the reason of his flying is because he is destitute of reason. He flies because he wants to, and does not know that he cannot. Thus he disproves the law of physics and establishes the fact that desire and faith are supreme over them. He is ignorant of the so-called laws of physical causation--a belief in which has kept us slaves to the "has been" for so many ages.

We can never make much advancement in the new road we are now traveling until we cease to believe in what is termed the impossible. So long as we believe that there is anything impossible that our desires project we will stand right where we are; right in these same old tracks where our forefathers have stood since the dawn of reason. We must pull up stakes and away. Nature has been trying to give us hints on this subject always. She calls to us constantly by all her myriad voices: "Go on, go on, or else die." She will not permit us to stand still. The whole tendency of life is to still further development into still greater uses than the generations behind us knew anything about. "Learn a thing and leave it," cries this stern and busy old mother. "Do not stand to con over the lesson you know, but hasten on to the studying of the next one. There shall be no standing still in my world. Hurry up or hurry out."

The reason we die is because there is no use of living after we know all we mean to learn; and as there is no use of anything in life but use , the law of life itself hangs on this principle. Do not imagine that this sentence excludes the idea of beauty. In the refinement of the race the expression or manifestation of beauty through every form of art is going to be the highest of all uses. Our lives are here in the world of effects; and the whole intention of existence is to establish ourselves firmly here by bringing our wills forward and upward into our ideal personalities. Then these personalities will become living human wills; and that will grow in strength through use and intelligent recognition of their power until we shall be such wonderful creatures as we can form no present conception of.

Do you imagine that these lessons are for no other purpose than to patch up your decaying bodies and make them a little more comfortable until death shall release you from them? They are not written for this purpose at all, though no doubt very many students who purchase them will be satisfied with this result, and leave the greater and nobler results to be accomplished by that earnest few who are content with nothing but the very highest and best. They will be to each student just as much or as little as he demands; but my intention in writing them is to have them meet the highest possible demand. As the highest includes all below it, the lessons are [352] therefore adapted to the needs of each student.

I, for one, am not satisfied to let "well enough" alone. This time-honored synonym of mediocrity will never content me. I must get out of the old ruts of thought and action and strike a blow for the emancipation of myself and others; emancipation from the deadly ignorance that holds us to the negative pole of being, where we are the slaves of our own fear, and where life is a burden and a terror instead of the unfettered and beautiful thing it ought to be.

Disease and poverty and all those conditions you dislike so much are founded on fear. Every condition to be found in the negative pole of life is based on fear, and without fear it could not possibly exist.

To be fearless is to be where no adverse thing can touch you; where disease cannot affect you, nor poverty cast a shadow over you.

To cross from the negative to the positive pole of life is to pass from beliefs in disease and death to a knowledge of the fact that there is no disease nor death; and this can only be done by getting rid of fear. And we shall never get rid of fear until we do stand erect and alone in conscious enjoyment of the situation.

To be able to stand alone with the consciousness of the power involved in so doing, will be the crowning act of the magnet man. He will then be born into the positive pole of life where his career of self-ownership will begin, and where he can send out his thoughts and they will bring him what he wants. He will be a magnet revolving about other magnets as powerful as he is; for many men and women must come into this strength and knowledge before the ideal society is here; and the ideal society is one of man's indispensible necessities. "Ye are the temple of the living God." Not the temples, but the temple. Society must be composed of units, each of which is a perfect whole, else there will be no true reciprocal interchange.

By the expression"perfect whole" I do not mean that man in coming into the position I have described will cease growing. I mean that he will then be individualized. He will be a true individual standing in the mastership of his own faculties, and in this respect drawn apart from the influence of other men, and capable of living the life indicated by his peculiar genius. He will no longer be in that indefinite frame of mind where he and thousands of others can be pressed into the same mold, thus helping to swell that "mush of concession," the great bulk of humanity, but not adding to the number of real men in the world. Once individualized in the way I have described in the foregoing pages he will only be perfect in the sense of being in the right condition to begin his endless career of development all through the ages of eternity. He will be perfect as a magnet, and will thus have power to acquire whatever his desires or will may call for.

Hoping that each of my students will keep firmly and hopefully at the work of unfolding his own faculties, and trusting that these lessons may assist him in becoming a tower of strength in the world. I close, with loving faith in the genius and patient endeavor of every one of them.

END OF LESSONS

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.

FOREWORD

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

The Efficiency Study Guide

LESSON 1 - OMNIPRESENT LIFE

1. What do you want most from the "store-house of the Universe"?

2. How will your habit of thinking help you to obtain what you want?

3. Have your ignorant beliefs in your own limitations held you back? (State what and how.)

4. Why is thought the greatest factor in your work, life and future career?

5. Which truth, in a sentence, learned from this Lesson, seems most vital and valuable to you?

ACTION I.
Illustrate the teaching that "all is good" by showing how one of your experiences that looked bad for you turned out to be good; then figure how one of your present handicaps, troubles or griefs may, by your own thought and work, be changed into a blessing.
RESULT:

LESSON 2 - THOUGHT, the BODY BUILDER

6. Do you regard sickness, merely ignorance of health? If so, how? If not, why not?

7. What "fixed habits of the race" do you need, and want, to outgrow in your evolution toward higher and better conditions?

8. From which of your mistakes have you learned most, and how are you making sure it will not occur again?

9. How has unconscious thought built your body, and how will conscious thought re-build it?

10. Do you believe that you have latent power to overcome all obstacles, and rise above sickness, poverty, weakness and fear into a glorious life where health, wisdom, strength, reign supreme? Give a logical reason for such belief.

ACTION II.
Resolve for one day to think only pleasant, hopeful, helpful thoughts, with your mind fixed on seeing only good everywhere; keep a notebook with you, and jot down the number of times you are tempted to yield to negative, sour, cross, depressed or ugly thoughts; ponder this record as a proof of how much you need a daily application of Mental Science.
RESULT:

LESSON 3 - OUR BELIEFS

11. If a scientist and a religionist were to argue for their opposing claims, how would you reconcile them?

12. For what purpose, and of what ultimate benefit, are human doubts and perplexities?

13. When a person looks to drugs for maintaining health, how does that signify he is in a low state of mental and moral development?

14. Are the five senses always trustworthy? How shall one avoid being deceived and misled by them?

15. In what ways does your thought need vitalizing and spiritualizing? How should a set of new beliefs make you healthier, happier, finer?

ACTION III.
Write a personal, original creed, or statement of belief, containing twelve to twenty sentences, applying to your work or life, and all based on the teaching of Lesson Three. Paste this creed on cardboard and put it where you will see it often--but not where others will see it. Every sentence should open with the words "I believe that," or "I believe in" and should express a new conviction, or an old one re-stated in the light of these truths.
RESULT:

LESSON 4 - DENIALS

16. Should one's natural desires be repressed, or expressed in the right way? Give an example.

17. How does all unripe evil tend to ripen into good? Illustrate by a lesson from one of your own mistakes, and the final gain therefrom.

18. Can you define "chemicalization" in your own words? If you should feel sick or uncomfortable during the salutary process, how will you think about it and act toward it?

19. What is death? How can it be postponed, and finally conquered?

20. Do not the atonement of Christianity and the at-one-ment of Mental Science really harmonize? Show how.

ACTION IV.
Frame a set of denials of the world's false beliefs, according to examples here given by Helen Wilmans. Declare, in a dozen or more sentences, your freedom from the bondage of race ignorance and error; and repeat to yourself these declarations of freedom whenever you need a mental tonic.
RESULT:

LESSON 5 - AFFIRMATIONS

21. How are "affirmations" mental food, as "denials" are mental medicine? Which should come first, and why?

22. What is "the most desirable of all things"? How will the acquisition of it help one to acquire everything else he wants?

23. Should one's conscience warn him against "bad" things, or impel him toward great and good things? How would you suggest that the human conscience, wrongly educated, be turned into a positive force to uplift and empower a man?

24. Which of your beliefs--personal or political or theological--did you inherit or borrow? Which really belong to you by reason of intuition? Make a list of each and compare them.

25. Should your beliefs be talked--or lived? Why? How does the habit of merely preaching to folks make you both worse?

ACTION V.
Refer back to Question 1, Lesson One, where you stated what you most want in life. Now prepare a series of affirmations, from five to twenty, all bearing directly on the realization of this ambition or aspiration, all inspiring you for achievement by strengthening your mind and sustaining your heart. Use the quoted affirmations of Helen Wilmans as models, if necessary. Put this affirmation sheet on cardboard, next to your denial sheet of Lesson Four.
RESULT:

LESSON 6 - THE SOUL OF THINGS

26. Do you believe that "not one in a hundred knows that he can think"? Formulate five tests to prove a man a real thinker, and then apply these to yourself.

27. How far is the doctrine of evolution true? How far untrue, or incomplete?

28. Would not the development and use of creative inspiration help you to advance in your work? How has it promoted the man or men who are leaders in your line? (If necessary get a biography of one or more leaders, and find what their visions were, and how materialized.)

29. Which of your natural, personal desires do you doubt most? Analyze the doubt, prove its unreasonableness and unreality, forthwith and forever banish it and be free.

30. How do you explain the fact that desire generates vitality? When you trust your fondest hope enough to act on it, you make of it your best stimulant to health, happiness and usefulness; what is your fondest hope and how will you act on it?

ACTION VI.
Write down a brief description of your dream of having, doing, or being something that looks impossible, from the race attitude of chronic doubt, and that others, perhaps you yourself, have thought unattainable. Assume now that you can realize it, figure what the first step should be, and take that step.
RESULT:

LESSON 7 - FAITH, OUR GUIDE THROUGH THE DARK

31. Why must faith precede, and how will faith ensure, conquest over all difficulties and triumph supreme?

32. What are the respective powers and limitations of reason and intuition? Where should we trust and follow reason? Where should we trust and follow intuition?

33. Are you naturally optimistic or pessimistic? If too optimistic, how will you guard against false moves (or else bovine contentment, according to your temperament)? If too pessimistic, how will you grow in yourself a positive, sure, potent faith?

34. Can you give a scientific explanation of the Bible injunction: "Ask, and ye shall receive"?

35. Which is a better guide for the soul--a blind faith or an intellectual doubt? Why?

ACTION VII.
Compose a prayer, with the reverence of the old theology but the courage of the new faith, asking for clearer perceptions and larger powers, to enable you to see and do the right thing, the big thing, always. Make this prayer a part of your life and daily growth.
RESULT:

LESSON 8 - SPIRIT AND BODY ARE ONE

36. Why is a clean, strong, healthy body necessary to spiritual development?

37. Why is a spiritual man or woman always vital--never dull, dense or sluggish, and never on the other hand merely intellectual?

38. Through what regular means of reading and studying are you supplying real food for your mind? Or do you read nothing but newspaper trash and unreal fiction?

39. Do you believe that Heaven is above us, or in us, or both? Explain your position. Back it by religion and science, each supporting, neither contradicting, the other.

40. Why and how should a man be "saved" in this life? Here, or elsewhere, does the philosophy of Helen Wilmans antagonize your theology? Take some point of disagreement, look on both sides impartially, and satisfy yourself which view, if either, is correct.

ACTION VIII.
Write a brief contradiction of the popular misconception of "lower appetites and passions." There are none. A low, debased mind calls the natural functions and desires unclean, but only the mind needs renovating. Show how the right feeling toward food, sex, and other so-called physical manifestations of life can lift them to the divine plane from whence the twisted mind of men dislodged them.
RESULT:

LESSON 9 - PRAYER AND SELF CULTURE

41. Wherein do you consider the author's view of prayer right? Wherein wrong? (It is both right and wrong.)

42. Do you pray often, with full confidence? Then do you work hard and long to help answer your own prayers?

43. How do books and sermons tend to hamper you in your quest for higher, deeper learning and life?

44. Are you convinced that "it pays to be a fool for truth's sake"? If not, ask yourself what is wrong with you.

45. Can a heretic pray? Develop an argument to prove that a heretic may be more devout than the orthodox critic who misunderstands and condemns him.

ACTION IX.
Pray for light on the biggest problem or hardest difficulty you are facing. Keep on praying till the solution, or the means of obtaining it, is revealed to you. But meanwhile think, study, work to get the solution for yourself, mindful that human effort does most to guarantee divine co-operation.
RESULT:

LESSON 10 - THE POWER BEHIND THE THRONE

46. How often do you listen to the voice of intuition? Can you hear it plainly, frequently? How will you cultivate your intuitional perceptions and powers?

47. In what respect is the knowledge and wisdom of birds, animals and insects superior to ours? What can they teach us?

48. How has your opinion of yourself been misrepresenting you? What enlargements and improvements of this opinion do you now see are necessary to your growth and final supremacy?

49. If you are not fully happy, how can you probably become so through finding fuller expression?

50. Is the fact that we do not seem to remember past lives any real proof that we have not passed through them? Show why.

ACTION X.
Outline a good way to tap the inexhaustible resources of your subjective mind, referring to some plan or idea suggested in Lesson Ten, or advancing one of your own. Try this, and note the outcome.
RESULT:

LESSON 11 - THE POWER ABOVE THE THRONE

51. Is your brain mostly selfish (animal), or social (fraternal), or idealistic (transcendental)? Which of the three functions needs the largest growth? How can you gain this?

52. As "the brain grows by what it conquers," may you not well make a list of the obstacles or weaknesses, outer or inner, that you should and will conquer? Put the hardest thing first, and line up all your mental, physical and moral powers for the fight.

53. Which is the main advantage, and the main disadvantage, of Christian Science? Where do Christian Science and Mental Science agree, and where do they differ?

54. Which of the nonsensical fears that people entertain has most bothered and belittled you? Learn to laugh it away, as a childish notion without any basis of reality.

55. When does fear vanish? How does the departure of fear make a man free to do his most and be his best?

ACTION XI.
Open up your ideal brain by learning to like poetry, or music, or invention, or art, or philosophy, or some other creative branch of science. Take your choice, get a book or two on the subject, and keep studying it earnestly until you come to enjoy it.
RESULT:

LESSON 12 - THE KING ON HIS THRONE

56. Who is the greatest leader of men that you know? Prove by his work and life the statement that "the true leader of men is the man who believes that something is possible for him that his followers do not believe possible for themselves."

57. What is the beauty, and what the peril, of living in the ideal topmost chambers of the brain?

58. Can your soul be truly saved with your body despised and neglected? How does real salvation regenerate the whole man?

59. Why is it safer to rest upon Nature than to follow the opinions and customs of men? Illustrate this point by showing how civilization has led us astray in our choice of food, clothing, or other life essentials.

60. When and how shall we be able to conquer death? Why not here and now? Show that the passing on of Helen Wilmans did not necessarily negate or disprove her doctrine of physical immortality.

ACTION XII.
Draw a mental picture of yourself as a complete, well, strong, symmetrical, dominant, radiant human being, master of circumstances and events, lord of life and destiny. Write down the principal traits, qualities and attributes of yourself to be, from the delineation of the superman given by Helen Wilmans.
RESULT:

LESSON 13 - MENTAL SCIENCE A RACE MOVEMENT

61. What is the greatest force and law in the Universe? How can we use this to attain our desires?

62. Which is greater--love or intelligence? Which came first? Which animates, and which directs? Why is each necessary to the other?

63. How does the growth of animals and trees differ from that of men? How will men finally grow into gods?

64. Do you believe that mental and spiritual wealth is the only kind that can truly enrich you? Show how the real value of money lies in the culture and service that money makes possible, hence even money cannot be measured by material standards of wealth.

65. Do you love your work? If not, how will you grow to love it, realizing that only as you love it can you attract through it the finest opportunities and rewards?

ACTION XIII.
From what you have learned of the power of mind, explain the so-called miracle of instantaneous healing, often mentioned in the Bible, and observed in the recent annals of New Thought, Christian Science, Mental Science, and other systems of practical psychology. What is the process or law that enables a mental healer to cure and relieve his patient?
RESULT:

LESSON 14 - MENTAL SCIENCE INCARNATE IN FLESH AND BLOOD

66. Why does salvation of body, mind and soul depend upon faith? How can a man regain or restore this childlike faith?

67. Can you think of any way to improve digestion, circulation or respiration in the body through currents of thought directed to the intelligence of the body-cells?

68. How does Mental Science help to make a Christian a cleaner, stronger and better example of Christian faith?

69. What effect does thought have on the condition of the blood?

70. What effect does food have on the condition of the brain?

ACTION XIV.
Write an essay of about 200 words on the relation of so-called matter to mind, the distinctions between them, the unity of them. Show, in your own words, how matter is mind in a crude or undeveloped state.
RESULT:

LESSON 15 - PERSONALITY AND INDIVIDUALITY

71. Why is a developed brain or consciousness more trustworthy than the evidence of our senses? When you feel pain, can you rise above it and smile over it? If so, how? If not, why not?

72. How is your personality different from your individuality? When will the two be the same?

73. Why should we consider it unfair to judge anybody by his outer personality, or the reputation that his personality has produced? If every man is greater and better even than he knows himself to be, should we not refrain from criticizing the imperfect shell of him, that is only immature?

74. When people criticize and condemn you, as they will if you grow away from them, what are you going to do about it? Why is it death to conform to people's opinions, and life to be yourself, not caring what anybody says?

75. How far is your individuality to be expressed and how far restrained? Illustrate by the matter of dressing according to fashion, or otherwise.

ACTION XV.
Copy three of Helen Wilmans' affirmations from this Lesson--those you need most or like best. Add three or four of your own, expressing in your own words the brave declarations and lofty ideals of the Lesson, with particular regard to the places in your character where you need to be strengthened and established.
RESULT:

LESSON 16 - THE STONE THAT THE BUILDERS REJECTED

76. Why is it wicked to crucify desire? Would you say that desire and conscience should, can, be harmonized? How?

77. Do you agree with the statement that Eve, in the Garden of Eden story, was the intuitional part of man? Explain your position.

78. Should happiness be "our one aim and object, and our only pursuit," as the author claims it is? Does she not overemphasize the importance of happiness? Are not the finest things people do done for a greater motive than happiness? Illustrate.

79. How will the recognition, elevation and equalization of human desires bring social justice, and quell antagonism and unrest?

80. Knowing that all physical disabilities are really mental disabilities, how would you proceed to cure poverty, crime, disease, old age? Would you employ physical means to cure also? What, and why?

ACTION XVI.
Analyze the worst mistake you ever made, or the worst "sin" you ever committed. Prove how it was the fault of unwise method, not of unholy desire. Deduce a caution as to repetition of this or any other mistake, due to the fact you are likely to be not a sinner but a fool.
RESULT:

LESSON 17 - A NOBLE EGOISM THE FOUNDATION OF JUST ACTIONS

81. How do you regard the statement that "no man can be generous who is not first strong"? Distinguish between true and false unselfishness, true and false humility. Explain how denial of man's own power is infidelity.

82. When and why does selfishness grow into selfhood? How do egoism and egotism differ?

83. Why is self-abnegation harmful and inexcusable? Show how self-command, not self-denial, is the real virtue and strength.

84. Have you, in your work and life, substituted emulation for competition? Why should you do it, and how can you?

85. Where is your individuality weak? How can you strengthen it by affirmations, decisions, actions, or otherwise?

ACTION XVII.
Go over your everyday life, to see at what points you are, consciously or unconsciously, yielding to the habits, opinions, customs or conventions of your associates or of the race. Cut loose. Begin by changing, immediately and wholly, the habit you now consider worst because it is the least appropriate for you. Start doing or being something radically different. Move quietly and firmly, not talking but living the truth as you see it.
RESULT:

LESSON 18 - RECOGNITION OF THE WILL THE CURE OF DISEASE

86. How would you apply to yourself the principle that "self-master is the cure of all disease"? Take the prescription of a good doctor about eating, resting, sleeping, exercising, hoping and smiling; show how this advice all refers to self-mastery.

87. Are you strengthening your will by acting regularly, faithfully and instantly on its bold promptings? Do you take, every day, some active outdoor exercise to improve your strength of both body and mind?

88. Why is "breaking a child's will" bad for the child? What should be done instead?

89. Just how does hopeful, powerful thought, by its action through the nerves, help to heal and revitalize the body?

90. Is a feeling of tension, or of relaxation, the sign of a dauntless will? Would you say that poise proves power? Give reasons for your answer.

ACTION XVIII.
The last thing before going to bed, tonight and if possible for several nights, follow the directions for meditation and introspection given in this Lesson. Be alone. Relax fully. Recline on your bed or in an easy chair. Breathe slowly and deeply. Close your eyes. Make every muscle quiet, every nerve limp. Send healing, inspiring, reassuring thoughts and beliefs throughout your body, as directed by the author. When you learn to do this fully, you should sleep much better, and awake more refreshed.
RESULT

LESSON 19 - PRACTICAL HEALING

91. How is it logical and true to know and affirm that you are well and strong, even though you feel sick and weak?

92. If mental healing should not cause immediate, perfect cure, what might some of the hindrances be? Would the principle be invalidated, or only the process retarded?

93. Why should we grow to reach the place where the law of attraction overcomes the law of gravitation? What will happen when we do?

94. From your study of this Lesson, would you say that medicine and Mental Science should ever be taken together? Why, or why not?

95. Knowing that "thoughts are things," how will you remember to make all your thoughts beautiful, helpful things?

ACTION XIX.
Begin right now to heal yourself of the ailment, weakness or limitation whose removal is essential to your greatest achievement and highest development. Using the principles, methods and ideas of this Lesson for a model, treat yourself specifically for the improvement you need in health and strength, courage, faith and poise. Do this every day for a week, in ten minute periods as the minimum time.

LESSON 20 - POSTURE OF THE WILL MAN

96. Have you resolved never again to talk of your "symptoms," worries, griefs or troubles? And also to refuse to listen to other people talking of theirs? Do it, and figure out a way to help yourself keep this resolve.

97. If somebody tried to direct a so-called "evil influence" such as envy, hatred, anger, cruelty or slander against you, how would you meet it, and render its action harmless?

98. How does personal magnetism differ from mesmerism? What is the best way you can think of to increase and improve your magnetic forces?

99. Which is the truest guide--instinct, reason, or intuition? What is the place and function of each? Why should we forbid reason to usurp, question or deny the inner voices of instinct and intuition?

100. Do you now believe, with Helen Wilmans, that nothing desirable is impossible for you to achieve and attain; that you can do, have and be what you want most; that your dreams and hopes may all come true, in the way you desire or a better way? If you believe this, return thanks to Providence and the spirit of Helen Wilmans; then, by word and deed carry the message to those you love.

ACTION XX.
Make a list of at least five benefits or aids, general or specific, that you received, learned or earned from the teachings of Mental Science. Plan how to share these blessings and rewards with your friends.
RESULT:

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