Money Management

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Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends. Walt Disney


The Starting Point

It is an old saying that “Order is Heaven’s First Law,” and like many other old sayings it contains a much deeper philosophy than appears immediately on the surface. Getting things into a better order is the great secret of progress, and we are now able to fly through the air, not because the laws of Nature have altered, but because we have learnt to arrange things in the right order to produce this resultthe things themselves had existed from the beginning of the world, but what was wanting was the introduction of a Personal Factor which, by an intelligent perception of the possibilities contained in the laws of Nature, should be able to bring into working reality ideas which previous generations would have laughed at as the absurd fancies of an unbalanced mind.

The lesson to be learnt from the practical aviation of the present day is that of the triumph of principle over precedent, of the working out of an idea to its logical conclusions in spite of the accumulated testimony of all past experience to the contrary; and with such a notable example before us can we say that it is futile to enquire whether by the same method we may not unlock still more important secrets and gain some knowledge of the unseen causes which are at the back of external and visible conditions, and then by bringing these unseen causes into a better order make practical working realities of possibilities which at present seem but fantastic dreams?

It is at least worth while taking a preliminary canter over the course, and this is all that this little volume professes to attempt; yet this may be sufficient to show the lay of the ground.

Now the first thing in any investigation is to have some idea of what you are looking for — to have at least some notion of the general direction in which to go — just as you would not go up a tree to find fish though you would for birds’ eggs. Well, the general direction in which we all want to go is that of getting more out of Life than we have ever got out of it— we want to be more alive in ourselves and to get all sorts of improved conditions in our environment.

However happily any of us may be circumstanced we can all conceive something still better, or at any rate we should like to make our present good permanent; and since we shall find as our studies advance that the prospect of increasing possibilities keeps opening out more and more widely before us, we may say that what we are in search of is the secret of getting more out of Life in a continually progressive degree.

This means that what we are looking for is something personal, and that it is to be obtained by producing conditions which do not yet exist; in other words it is nothing less than the exercise of a certain creative power in the sphere of our own particular world.

So, then, what we want is to introduce our own Personal Factor into the realm of unseen causes. This is a big thing, and if it is possible at all it must be by some sequence of cause and effect, and this sequence it is our object to discover. The law of Cause and Effect is one we can never get away from, but by carefully following it up we may find that it will lead us further than we had anticipated.

Now, the first thing to observe is that if we can succeed in finding out such a sequence of cause and effect as the one we are in search of, somebody else may find out the same creative secret also; and then, by the hypothesis of the case, we should both be armed with an infallible power, and if we wanted to employ this power against each other we should be landed in the “impasse” of a conflict between two powers each of which was irresistible. Consequently it follows that the first principle of this power must be Harmony.

It cannot be antagonizing itself from different centers — in other words its operation in a simultaneous order at every point is the first necessity of its being. What we are in search of, then, is a sequence of cause and effect so universal in its nature as to include harmoniously all possible variations of individual expression. This primary necessity of the Law for which we are seeking should be carefully borne in mind, for it is obvious that any sequence which transgresses this primary essential must be contrary to the very nature of the Law itself, and consequently cannot be conducting us to the exercise of true creative power.

What we are seeking, therefore, is to discover how to arrange things in such an order as to set in motion a train of causation that will harmonize our own conditions without antagonizing the exercise of a like power by others. This therefore means that all individual exercise of this power is the particular application of a universal power which itself operates creatively on its own account independently of these individual applications; and the harmony between the various individual applications is brought about by all the individuals bringing their own particular action into line with this independent creative action of the original power.

It is in fact another application of Euclid’s axiom that things which are equal to the same thing are equal to one another; so that though I may not know for what purpose someone may be using this creative power in Pekin, I do know that if he and I both realize its true nature we cannot by any possibility be working in opposition to one another. For these reasons, having now some general idea of what it is we are in search of, we may commence our investigation by considering this common factor which must be at the back of all individual exercise of creative power, that is to say, the Generic working of the Universal Creative Principle.

That such a Universal Creative Principle is at work we at once realize from the existence of the world around us with all its inhabitants, and the inter-relation of all parts of the cosmic system shows its underlying Unity — thus the animal kingdom depends on the vegetable, the vegetable kingdom on the mineral, the mineral or globe of the earth on its relation to the rest of the solar system, and possibly our solar system is related by a similar law to the distribution of other suns with their attendant planets throughout space.

Our first glance therefore shows us that the All-originating Power must he in essence Unity and in manifestation Multiplicity, and that it manifests as Life and Beauty through the unerring adaptation of means to ends — that is so far as its cosmic manifestation of ends goes: what we want to do is to carry this manifestation still further by operation from an individual standpoint.

To do this is precisely our place in the Order of Creation, but we must defer the question why we hold this place till later on. One of the earliest discoveries we all make is the existence of Matter. The bruised shins of our childhood convince us of its solidity, so now comes the question, Why does Matter exist?

The answer is that if the form were not expressed in solid substance, things would be perpetually flowing into each other so that no identity could be maintained for a single moment. To this it might be replied that a condition of matter is conceivable in which, though in itself a plastic substance, in a fluent state, it might yet by the operation of will be held in any particular forms desired.

The idea of such a condition of matter is no doubt conceivable, and when the fluent matter was thus held in particular forms you would have concrete matter just as we know it now, only with this difference, that it would return to its fluent state as soon as the supporting will was withdrawn. Now, as we shall see later on, this is precisely what matter really is, only the will which holds it together in concrete form is not individual but cosmic.

In itself the Essence of Matter is precisely the fluent substance we have imagined, and as we shall see later on the knowledge of this fact, when realized in its proper order, is the basis of the legitimate control of mind over matter. But a world in which every individual possessed the power of concreting or fluxing matter at his own sweet will irrespective of any universal coordinating principle is altogether inconceivable — the conflict of wills would prevent such a world remaining in existence.

On the other hand if we conceive of a number of individuals each possessing this power and all employing it on the lines of a common cosmic unity, then the result would be precisely the same stable condition of matter with which we are familiar — this would be a necessity of fact for the masses who did not possess this power, and a necessity of principle for the few who did.

So under these circumstances the same stable conditions of Nature would prevail as at present, varied only when the initiated ones perceived that the order of evolution would be furthered, and not hindered, by calling into action the higher laws. Such occasions would be of rare occurrence, and then the departure from the ordinary law would be regarded by the multitude as a miracle.

Also we may be quite sure that no one who had attained this knowledge in the legitimate order would ever perform a “miracle” for his own personal aggrandizement or for the purpose of merely astonishing the beholders — to do so would be contrary to the first principle of the higher teaching which is that of profound reverence for the Unity of the All-originating Principle. The conception, therefore, of such a power over matter being possessed by certain individuals is in no way opposed to our ordinary recognition of concrete matter, and so we need not at present trouble ourselves to consider these exceptions.

Another theory is that matter has no existence at all but is merely an illusion projected by our own minds. If so, then how is it that we all project identically similar images? On the supposition that each mind is independently projecting its own conception of matter a lady who goes to be fitted might be seen by her dressmaker as a cow. Generations of people have seen the Great Pyramid on the same spot; but on the supposition that each individual is projecting his own material world in entire independence of all other individuals there is no reason why any two persons should ever see the same thing in the same place.

On the supposition of such an independent action be each separate mind, without any common factor binding them all to one particular mode of recognition, no intercourse between individuals would be possible — then, without the consciousness of relation to other individuals the consciousness of our own individuality would be lost, and so we should cease to have any conscious existence at all.

If on the other hand we grant that there is, above the individual minds, a great Cosmic Mind which imposes upon them the necessity of all seeing the same image of Matter, then that image is not a projection of the individual minds but of the Cosmic Mind; and since the individual minds are themselves similar projections of the Cosmic Mind, matter is for them just as much a reality as their own existence. I doubt not that material substance is thus projected by the all-embracing Divine Mind; but so also are our own minds projected by it, and therefore the relation between them and matter is a real relation and not a merely fictitious one.

I particularly wish the student to be clear on this point, that where two factors are projected from a common source their relation to each other becomes an absolute fact in respect of the factors themselves, notwithstanding that the power of changing that relation by substituting a different projection must necessarily always continue to reside in the originating source.

To take a simple arithmetical example — by my power of mental projection working through my eyes and fingers I write 4 X 2. Here I have established a certain numerical relation which can only produce eight as its result.

Again, I have power to change the factors and write 4 X 3, in which case 12 is the only possible result, and so on. Working in this way calculation becomes possible. But if every time I wrote 4 that figure possessed an independent power of setting down a different number by which to multiply itself, what would be the result?

The first 4 I wrote might set down 3 as its multiplier, and the next might set down 7, and so on. Or if I want to make a box of a certain size and cut lengths of plank accordingly, if each length could capriciously change its width at a moment’s notice, how could I ever make the box? I myself may change the shape and size of my box by establishing new relations between the bits of wood, but for the pieces of wood themselves the proportions determined by my mind must remain fixed quantities, otherwise no construction could take place.

This is a very rough analogy, but it may be sufficient to show that for a cosmos to exist at all it is absolutely necessary that there should be a Cosmic Mind binding all individual minds to certain generic unities of action, and so producing all things as realities and nothing as illusion. The importance of this conclusion will become more apparent as we advance in our studies.

We have now got at some reason why concrete material form is a necessity of the Creative Process. Without it the perfect Self-recognition of Spirit from the Individual standpoint, which we shall presently find is the means by which the Creative Process is to be carried forward, would be impossible; and therefore, so far from matter being an illusion, it is the necessary channel for the self-differentiation of Spirit and its Expression in multitudinous life and beauty.

Matter is thus the necessary Polar Opposite to Spirit, and when we thus recognize it in its right order we shall find that there is no antagonism between the two, but that together they constitute one harmonious whole.


The Self Contemplation of Spirit

If we ask how the cosmos came into existence we shall find that ultimately we can only attribute it to the Self-Contemplation of Spirit. Let us start with the facts now known to modern physical science. All material things, including our own bodies, are composed of combinations of different chemical elements such as carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, etc. Chemistry recognizes in all about seventy of these elements each with its peculiar affinities; but the more advanced physical science of the present day finds that they are all composed of one and the same ultimate substance to which the name of Ether has been given, and that the difference between an atom of iron and an atom of oxygen results only from the difference in the number of etheric particles of which each is composed and the rate of their motion within the sphere of the atom, thus curiously coming back to the dictum of Pythagoras that the universe has its origin in Number and Motion.

We may therefore say that our entire solar system together with every sort of material substance which it contains is made up of nothing but this one primary substance in various degrees of condensation.

Now the next step is to realize that this ether is everywhere. This is shown by the undulatory theory of light. Light is not a substance but is the effect produced on the eye by the impinging of the ripples of the ether upon the retina.

These waves are excessively minute, ranging in length from 1-39,000th of an inch at the red end of the spectrum to 1-57,000th at the violet end. Next remember that these waves are not composed of advancing particles of the medium but pass onwards by the push which each particle in the line of motion gives to the particle next to it, and then you will see that if there were a break of one fifty-thousandth part of an inch in the connecting ether between our eye and any source of light we could not receive light from that source, for there would be nothing to continue the wave-motion across the gap.

Consequently as soon as we see light from any source however distant, we know that there must be a continuous body of ether between us and it. Now astronomy shows us that we receive light from heavenly bodies so distant that, though it travels with the incredible speed of 186,000 miles per second, it takes more than two thousand years to reach us from some of them; and as such stars are in all quarters of the heavens we can only come to the conclusion that the primary substance or ether must be universally present.

This means that the raw material for the formation of solar systems is universally distributed throughout space; yet though we find that millions of suns stud the heavens, we also find vast interstellar spaces which show no sign of cosmic activity. Then something has been at work to start cosmic activity in certain areas while passing over others in which the raw material is equally available.

What is this something? At first we might be inclined to attribute the development of cosmic energy to the etheric particles themselves, but a little consideration will show us that this is mathematically impossible in a medium which is equally distributed throughout space, for all its particles are in equilibrium and so no one particle possesses per se a greater power of originating motion than any other. Consequently the initial movement must be started by something which, though it works on and through the particles of the primary substance, is not those particles themselves.

It is this “Something” which we mean when we speak of “Spirit.” Then since Spirit starts the condensation of the primary substance into concrete aggregation, and also does this in certain areas to the exclusion of others, we cannot avoid attributing to Spirit the power of Selection and of taking an Initiative on its own account.

Here, then, we find the initial Polarity of Universal Spirit and Universal Substance, each being the complementary of the other, and out of this relation all subsequent evolution proceeds. Being complementary means that each supplies what is wanting in the other, and that the two together thus make complete wholeness. Now this is just the case here. Spirit supplies Selection and Motion. Substance supplies something from which selection can be made and to which Motion can be imparted; so that it is a sine qua non for the Expression of Spirit.

Then comes the question, How did the Universal Substance get there? It cannot have made itself, for its only quality is inertia, therefore it must have come from some source having power to project it by some mode of action not of a material nature. Now the only mode of action not of a material nature is Thought, and therefore to Thought we must look for the origin of Substance. This places us at a point antecedent to the existence even of primary substance, and consequently the initial action must be that of the Originating Mind upon Itself, in other words, Self-contemplation.

At this primordial stage neither Time nor Space can be recognized, for both imply measurement of successive intervals, and in the primary movement of Mind upon itself the only consciousness must be that of Present Absolute Being, because no external points exist from which to measure extension either in time or space. Hence we must eliminate the ideas of time and space from our conception of Spirit’s initial Self-contemplation.

This being so, Spirit’s primary contemplation of itself as simply Being necessarily makes its presence universal and eternal, and consequently, paradoxical as it may seem, its independence of Time and Space makes it present throughout all Time and Space. It is the old esoteric maxim that the point expands to infinitude and that infinitude is concentrated in the point.

We start, then, with Spirit contemplating itself simply as Being. But to realize your being you must have consciousness, and consciousness can only come by the recognition of your relation to something else.

The something else may be an external fact or a mental image; but even in the latter case to conceive the image at all you must mentally stand back from it and look at it — something like the man who was run in by the police at Graves end for walking behind himself to see how his new coat fitted. It stands thus: if you are not conscious of something you are conscious of nothing, and if you are conscious of nothing, then you are unconscious, so that to be conscious at all you must have something to be conscious of.

This may seem like an extract from “Paddy’s Philosophy,” but it makes it clear that consciousness can only be attained by the recognition of something which is not the recognizing ego itself — in other words consciousness is the realization of some particular sort of relation between the cognizing subject and the cognized object; but I want to get away from academical terms into the speech of human beings, so let us take the illustration of a broom and its handle — the two together make a broom; that is one sort of relation; but take the same stick and put a rake-iron at the end of it and you have an altogether different implement.

The stick remains the same, but the difference of what is put at the end of it makes the whole thing a broom or a rake. Now the thinking and feeling power is the stick, and the conception which it forms is the thing at the end of the stick, so that the quality of its consciousness will be determined by the ideas which it projects; but to be conscious at all it must project ideas of some sort.

Now of one thing we may be quite sure, that the Spirit of Life must feel alive. Then to feel alive it must be conscious, and to be conscious it must have something to be conscious of; therefore the contemplation of itself as standing related to something which is not its own originating self in propria persona is a necessity of the case; and consequently the Self-contemplation of Spirit can only proceed by its viewing itself as related to something standing out from itself, just as we must stand at a proper distance to see a picture — in fact the very word “existence” means “standing out.” Thus things are called into existence or “outstandingness” by a power which itself does not stand out, and whose presence is therefore indicated by the word “subsistence.”

The next thing is that since in the beginning there is nothing except Spirit, its primary feeling of aliveness must be that of being alive all over; and to establish such a consciousness of its own universal livingness there must be the recognition of a corresponding relation equally extensive in character; and the only possible correspondence to fulfill this condition is therefore that of a universally distributed and plastic medium whose particles are all in perfect equilibrium, which is exactly the description of the Primary Substance or ether.

We are thus philosophically led to the conclusion that Universal Substance must be projected by Universal Spirit as a necessary consequence of Spirit’s own inherent feeling of Aliveness; and in this way we find that the great Primary Polarity of Being becomes established.

From this point onward we shall find the principle of Polarity in universal activity. It is that relation between opposites without which no external Motion would be possible, because there would be nowhere to move from, and nowhere to move to; and without which external Form would be impossible because there would be nothing to limit the diffusion of substance and bring it into shape. Polarity, or the interaction of Active and Passive, is therefore the basis of all Evolution.

This is a great fundamental truth when we get it in its right order; but all through the ages it has been a prolific course of error by getting it in its wrong order. And the wrong order consists in making Polarity the originating point of the Creative Process. What this misconception leads to we shall see later on; but since it is very widely accepted under various guises even at the present day it is well to be on our guard against it.

Therefore I wish the student to see clearly that there is something which comes before that Polarity which gives rise to Evolution, and that this something is the original movement of Spirit within itself, of which we can best get an idea by calling it Self-contemplation.

Now this may seem an extremely abstract conception and one with which we have no practical concern. I fancy I can hear the reader saying “The Lord only knows how the world started, and it is His business and not mine,” which would be perfectly true if this originating faculty were confined to the Cosmic Mind.

But it is not, and the same action takes place in our own minds also, only with the difference that it is ultimately subject to that principle of Cosmic Unity of which I have already spoken.

But, subject to that unifying principle, this same power of origination is in ourselves also, and our personal advance in evolution depends on our right use of it; and our use of it depends on our recognition that we ourselves give rise to the particular polarities which express themselves in our whole world of consciousness, whether within or without. For these reasons it is very important to realize that Evolution is not the same as Creation. It is the unfolding of potentialities involved in things already created, but not the calling into existence of what does not yet exist — that is Creation.

The order, therefore, which I wish the student to observe is, first the Self-contemplation of Spirit producing Polarity, and next Polarity producing Manifestation in Form — and also to realize that it is in this order his own mind operates as a subordinate center of creative energy. When the true place of Polarity is thus recognized, we shall find in it the explanation of all those relations of things which give rise to the whole world of phenomena; from which we may draw the practical inference that if we want to change the manifestation we must change the polarity, and to change the polarity we must get back to the Self-contemplation of Spirit. But in its proper place as the root-principle of all secondary causation, Polarity is one of those fundamental facts of which we must never lose sight.

The term “Polarity” is adopted from electrical science. In the electric battery it is the connecting together of the opposite poles of zinc and copper that causes a current to flow from one to the other and so provides the energy that rings the bell. If the connection is broken there is no action.

When you press the button you make the connection. The same process is repeated in respect of every sort of polarity throughout the universe. Circulation depends on polarity, and circulation is the manifestation of Life, which we may therefore say depends on the principle of polarity.

In relation to ourselves we are concerned with two great polarities, the polarity of Soul and Body and the polarity of Soul and Spirit; and it is in order that he may more clearly realize their working that I want the student to have some preliminary idea of Polarity as a general principle.

The conception of the Creative Order may therefore be generalized as follows. The Spirit wants to enjoy the reality of its own Life — not merely to vegetate, but to enjoy living — and therefore by Self- contemplation it projects a polar opposite, or complementary, calculated to give rise to the particular sort of relation out of which the enjoyment of a certain mode of self-consciousness will necessarily spring.

Let this sentence be well pondered over until the full extent of its significance is grasped, for it is the key to the whole matter. Very well, then: Spirit wants to Enjoy Life, and so, by thinking of itself as having the enjoyment which it wishes, it produces the conditions which, by their reaction upon itself, give rise to the reality of the sort of enjoyment contemplated.

In more scientific language an opposite polarity is induced giving rise to a current which stimulates a particular mode of sensation, which sensation in turn becomes a fresh starting-point for still further action; and in this way each successive stage becomes the stepping-stone to a still higher degree of sensation — that is, to a Fuller Enjoyment of Life.

Such a conception as this presents us with a Progressive Series to which it is impossible to assign any limit. That the progression must be limitless is clear from the fact that there is never any change in the method. At each successive stage the Creating Power is the Self-consciousness of the Spirit, as realized at that stage, still reaching forward for yet further Enjoyment of Life, and so always keeping on repeating the one Creative Process at an ever-rising level; and since these are the sole working conditions, the progress is one which logically admits of no finality.

And this is where the importance of realizing the Singleness of the Originating Power comes in, for with a Duality each member would limit the other; in fact, Duality as the Originating Power is inconceivable, for, once more to quote “Paddy’s Philosophy,” “finality would be reached before anything was begun.”

This Creative Process, therefore, can only be conceived of as limitless, while at the same time strictly progressive, that is, proceeding stage by stage, each stage being necessary as a preparation for the one that is to follow. Let us then briefly sketch the stages by which things in our world have got as far as they have. The interest of the enquiry lies in the fact that if we can once get at the principle which is producing these results, we may discover some way of giving it personal application.

On the hypothesis of the Self-contemplation of Spirit being the originating power, we have found that a primary ether, or universal substance, is the necessary correspondence to Spirit’s simple awareness of its own being. But though awareness of being is the necessary foundation for any further possibilities it is, so to say, not much to talk about.

The foundation fact, of course, is to know that I Am; but immediately on this consciousness there follows the desire for Activity — I want to enjoy my I Am-ness by doing something with it. Translating these words into a state of consciousness in the Cosmic Mind they become a Law of Tendency leading to localized activity, and, looking only at our own world, this would mean the condensation of the universal etheric substance into the primary nebula which later on becomes our solar system, this being the correspondence to the Self-contemplation of Spirit as passing into specific activity instead of remaining absorbed in simple awareness of Being. Then this self-recognition would lead to the conception of still more specific activity having its appropriate polar opposite, or material correspondence, in the condensation of the nebula into a solar system.

Now at this stage Spirit’s conception of itself is that of Activity, and consequently the material correspondence is Motion, as distinguished from the simple diffused ether which is the correspondence of mere awareness of Being. But what sort of motion? Is the material movement evolved at this stage bound to take any particular form? A little consideration will show us that it is. At this initial stage, the first awakening, so to say, of Spirit into activity, its consciousness can only be that of activity absolute; that is, not as related to any other mode of activity because as yet there is none, but only as related to an all-embracing

Being; so that the only possible conception of Activity at this stage is that of Self-sustained activity, not depending on any preceding mode of activity because there is none. The law of reciprocity therefore demands a similar self-sustained motion in the material correspondence, and mathematical considerations show that the only sort of motion which can sustain a self-supporting body moving in vacuo is a rotary motion bringing the body itself into a spherical form.

Now this is exactly what we find at both extremes of the material world. At the big end the spheres of the planets rotating on their axes and revolving round the sun; and at the little end the spheres of the atoms consisting of particles which, modern science tells us, in like manner rotate round a common center at distances which are astronomical as compared with their own mass.

Thus the two ultimate units of physical manifestation, the atom and the planet, both follow the same law of self-sustained motion which we have found that, on a priori grounds, they ought in order to express the primary activity of Spirit.

And we may note in passing that this rotary, or absolute, motion is the combination of the only two possible relative modes of motion, namely, motion from a point and motion to it, that is to say centrifugal and centripetal motion; so that in rotary, or absolute, motion we find that both the polarities of motion are included, thus repeating on the purely mechanical side the primordial principle of the Unity including the Duality in itself.

But the Spirit wants something more than mechanical motion, something more alive than the preliminary Rota, and so the first step toward individualized consciousness meets us in plant life. Then on the principle that each successive stage affords the platform for a further outlook, plant life is followed by animal life, and this by the Human order in which the liberty of selecting its own conditions is immensely extended. In this way the Spirit’s expression of itself has now reached the point where its polar complementary, or Reciprocal, manifests as Intellectual Man — thus constituting the Fourth great stage of Spirit’s Self-recognition. But the Creative Process cannot stop here, for, as we have seen, its root in the Self-contemplation of Spirit renders it of necessity an Infinite Progression. So it is no use asking what is its ultimate, for it has no ultimate — its word is “Excelsior” ever — Life and “Life more Abundant.”

Therefore the question is not as to finality where there is none, but as to the next step in the progression. Four kingdoms we know: what is to be the Fifth? All along the line the progress has been in one direction, namely, toward the development of more perfect Individuality, and therefore on the principle of continuity we may reasonably infer that the next stage will take us still further in the same direction.

We want something more perfect than we have yet reached, but our ideas as to what it should be are very various, not to say discordant, for one person’s idea of better is another person’s idea of worse. Therefore what we want to get at is some broad generalization of principle which will be in advance of our past experiences. This means that we must look for this principle in something that we have not yet experienced, and the only place where we can possibly find principles which have not yet manifested themselves is in gremio Dei — that is, in the innermost of the Originating Spirit, or as St. John calls it, “in the bosom of the Father.”

So we are logically brought to personal participation in the Divine Ideal as the only principle by which the advance into the next stage can possibly be made. Therefore we arrive at the question, What is the Divine Ideal like?


The Greatest Power in Man

Thus sings the poet, and we call him sentimental; that is, at first thought we do. But upon second thought we change our minds. We then find that faults and defects are always in the minority, and that the larger part of human nature is so wonderful and so beautiful that it needs must inspire admiration and love in everybody.

With all their defects there is nothing more interesting than human beings; and the reason is that for every shortcoming in man there are a thousand admirable qualities. The poet, being inspired by the sublime vision of truth, can see this; therefore, what can he do but love? Whenever his eyes are lifted and whenever his thoughts take wings, his soul declares with greater eloquence than ever before, " What a piece of work is man!" Thus every moment renews his admiration, and every thought rekindles the fire of his love.

It is the conclusion of modern psychology that the powers and the possibilities inherent in man are practically unbounded. And this conclusion is based upon two great facts. First, that no limit has been found to anything in human nature; and second, that everything in human nature contains a latent capacity for perpetual development.

The discovery of these two facts -- and no discovery of greater importance has appeared in any age -- gives man a new conception of himself, a conception, which, when applied, will naturally revolutionize the entire field of human activity. To be able to discern the real significance of this new conception becomes, therefore, the greatest power in man, and should, in consequence, be given the first thought in all efforts that have advancement attainment or achievement in view.

The purpose of each individual should be, not simply to cultivate and apply those possibilities that are now in evidence, but also to develop the power to discern and fathom what really exists within him. This power is the greatest power, because it prepares the way for the attainment and expression of all other powers. It is the power that unlocks the door to all power, and must be understood and applied before anything of greater value can be accomplished through human thought or action.

The principal reason why the average person remains weak and incompetent is found in the fact that he makes no effort to fathom and understand the depths of his real being. He may try to use what is in action on the surface, but he is almost entirely unconscious of the fact that enormous powers are in existence in the greater depths of his life. These powers are dormant simply because they have not been called into action, and they will continue to lie dormant until man develops his greatest power -- the power to discern what really exists within him.

The fundamental cause of failure is found in the belief that what exists on the surface is all there is of man, and the reason why greatness is a rare exception instead of a universal rule can be traced to the same cause. When the mind discovers that its powers are inexhaustible and that its faculties and talents can be developed to any degree imaginable, the fear of failure will entirely disappear. In its stead will come the conviction that man may attain anything or achieve anything.

Whatever circumstances may be today, such a mind will know that all can be changed, that the limitations of the person can be made to pass away, and that the greater desires of the heart can be realized. That mind that can discern what exists in the depths of the real life of man does not simply change its views as to what man may attain and achieve, but actually begins to draw, in a measure, upon those inexhaustible powers within; and begins accordingly to develop and apply those greater possibilities that this deeper discernment has revealed.

When man can see through and understand what exists beneath the surface of his life, the expression of his deeper life will begin, because whatever we become conscious of, that we tend to bring forth into tangible expressions, and since the deeper life contains innumerable possibilities as well as enormous power, it is evident that when this deeper life is clearly discerned and completely taken possession of in the consciousness, practically anything may be attained or achieved.

The idea that there is more of man than what appears on the surface should be so constantly and so deeply impressed upon the mind that it becomes a positive conviction, and no thoughts should be placed in action unless it is based upon this conviction. To live, think and act in the realization that " there is more of me " should be the constant aim of every individual, and this more will constantly develop, coming forth in greater and greater measure, giving added power and capacity in life to everything that is in action in the human system.

When the average individual fails, he either blames circumstances or comes to the conclusion that he was not equal to the occasion. He therefore easily gives up and tries to be content with the lesser. But if he knew that there was more in him than what he had applied in his undertaking he would not give up. He would know by developing and applying this more, he positively would succeed where he had previously failed. It is therefore evident that when man gives attention to his greater power -- the power to discern the more that is in him -- he will never give up until he does succeed, and in consequence he invariably will succeed.

That individual who knows his power does not judge according to appearances. He never permits himself to believe that this or that cannot be done. He knows that those things can be done, because he has discovered what really exists within him. He works in the conviction that he must, can and will succeed, because he has the power ; and it is the truth -- he does have the power -- we all have the power.

To live, think and work in the conviction that there is more of you within the real depths of your being, and to know that this more is so immense that no limit to its power can be found, will cause the mind to come into closer and closer touch with this greater power within, and you will consequently get possession of more and more of this power.

The mind that lives in this attitude opens the door of consciousness, so to speak, to everything in human life that has real quality and worth. It places itself in that position where it can respond to the best that exists within itself, and modern psychology has discovered that this best is extraordinary in quality, limitless in power, and contains possibilities that cannot be numbered.

It is the truth that man is a marvellous being -- nothing less than marvellous; and the greatest power in man is the power to discern the marvellousness that really does exist within him. It is the law that we steadily develop and bring forth whatever we think of the most. It is therefore profitable to think constantly of our deeper nature and to try to fathom the limitlessness and the inexhaustibleness of these great and marvellous depths.

In practical life this mode of thinking will have the same effect upon the personal mind as that which is secured in a wire that is not charged when it touches a wire that is charged. The great within is a live wire; when the mind touches the great within, it becomes charged more and more with those same immense powers; and the mind will constantly be in touch with the great within when it lives, thinks and works in the firm conviction that "there is more of me," -- so much more that it cannot be measured.

We can receive from this deeper life only that which we constantly recognize and constantly realize, because consciousness is the door between the outer life and the great within, and we open the door to those things only of which we become conscious.

The principal reason therefore why the average person does not possess greater powers and talents, is because he is not conscious of more; and he is not conscious of more because he has not vitally recognized the great depths of his real life, and has not tried to consciously fathom the possibilities that are latent within him. The average person lives on the surface.

He thinks that the surface is all there is of him, and consequently does not place himself in touch with the live wire of his interior and inexhaustible nature. He does not exercise his greatest power -- the power to discern what his whole nature actually contains; therefore, he does not unlock the door to any of his other powers.

This being true, we can readily understand why mortals are weak -- they are weak simply because they have chosen weakness; but when they begin to choose power and greatness, they will positively become what they have chosen to become.

We all must admit that there is more in man than what is usually expressed in the average person. We may differ as to how much more, but we must agree that the more should be developed, expressed and applied in everybody. It is wrong, both to the individual and to the race, for anyone to remain in the lesser when it is possible to attain the greater.

It is right that we all should ascend to the higher, the greater and the better now. And we all can.


The Higher Forces in Man

Follow the vision of the soul. Be true to your ideals no matter what may happen now. Then things will take a turn and the very things you wanted to happen will happen.

The ideal has a positive drawing power towards the higher, the greater, and the superior. Whoever gives his attention constantly to the ideal, therefore, will steadily rise in the scale.

Take things as they are today and proceed at once to make them better.

Expect every change to lead you to something better and it will. As your faith is so shall it be.

To be human is not to be weak. To be human is to be all that there is in man, and the greatness that as contained in the whole of man is marvellous indeed.

It is the most powerful among the forces of the human system that we least understand, and though this may seem unfortunate, it is not unnatural. All advancement is in the ascending scale. We learn the simplest things first and the least valuable in the beginning. Later on, we learn that which is more important. We find therefore the greatest forces among those that are almost entirely hidden, and for that reason they are sometimes called the hidden forces, the finer forces, or the higher forces.

As it is in man, so it is also in nature. We find the most powerful among natural forces to be practically beyond comprehension. Electricity is an illustration. There is no greater force known in nature, and yet no one has thus far been able to determine what this force actually is. The same is true with regard to other natural forces; the greater they are and the more powerful they are, the more difficult it is to understand them.

In the human system, there are a number of forces of exceptional value that we know nothing about; that is, we do not understand their real nature, but we can learn enough about the action, the purpose and the possibilities of those forces to apply them to practical life; and it is practical application with which we are most concerned.

The field of the finer forces in mind may be termed the unconscious mental field, and the vastness of this field, as well as the possibilities of its functions, is realized when we learn that the greater part of our mental world is unconscious. Only a fraction of the mental world of man is on the surface or up in consciousness; the larger part is submerged in the depths of what might be called a mental sea of subconsciousness. All modern psychologists have come to this conclusion, and it is a fact that anyone can demonstrate in his own experience if he will take the time.

In the conscious field of the human mind, we find those actions of which we are aware during what may be called our wide-awake state; and they are seemingly insignificant in comparison with the actions of the vast unconscious world, though our conscious actions are found to be highly important when we learn that it is the conscious actions that originate unconscious actions. And here let us remember that it is our unconscious actions that determine our own natures, our own capabilities, as well as our own destiny. In our awakened state we continue to think and act in a small mental field, but all of those actions are constantly having their effect upon this vast unconscious field that is found beneath the mental surface.

To realize the existence of this unconscious mental world, and to realize our power to determine the actions of that world, is to awaken within us a feeling that we are many times as great and as capable as we thought we were, and the more we think of this important fact, the larger becomes our conscious view of life and its possibilities.

To illustrate the importance of the unconscious field and your finer forces, we will take the force of love. No one understands the nature of this force, nor has anyone been able to discover its real origin or its actual possibilities; nevertheless, it is a force that is tremendously important in human life. Its actions are practically hidden, and we do not know what constitutes the inner nature of those actions, but we do know how to control those actions in a measure for our own good; and we have discovered that when we do control and properly direct the actions of love, its value to everybody concerned is multiplied many times.

It is the same with a number of other forces with which we are familiar. They act along higher or finer lines of human consciousness, and they are so far beyond ordinary comprehension that we cannot positively know what they are, but we do know enough about them to control them and direct them for our best and greatest good.

In like manner, the unconscious mental field, though beyond scientific analysis, is sufficiently understood as to its modes of action, so that we can control and direct those actions as we may choose. When we analyse what comes forth from the unconscious field at any time, we find that it is invariably the result of something that we caused to be placed in that field during some past time. This leads up to the discovery of unconscious mental processes, and it is not difficult to prove the existence of such processes.

Many a time ideas, desires, feelings or aspirations come to the surface of thought that we are not aware of having created at any time. We come to the conclusion, therefore, that they were produced by some unconscious process, but when we examine those ideas or desires carefully, we find that they are simply effects corresponding exactly with certain causes that we previously placed in action in our conscious world.

When we experiment along this line we find that we can produce a conscious process at any time, and through deep feeling cause it to enter the unconscious mental world. In that deeper world, it goes to work and produces according to its nature, the results coming back to the surface of our conscious mentality days, weeks or months later.

The correspondence between conscious and unconscious mental processes may be illustrated by a simple movement in physical action. If a physical movement began at a certain point, and was caused to act with a circular tendency, it would finally come back to its starting point. It is the same with every conscious action that is deeply felt. It goes out into the vastness of the unconscious mental field, and having a circular tendency, as all mental actions have, it finally comes back to the point where it began; and in coming back, brings with it the result of every unconscious experience through which it passed on its circular journey.

To go into this subject deeply, and analyse every phase of it would be extremely interesting; in fact, it would be more interesting than fiction. It would require, however, a large book to do it justice. For this reason, we can simply touch upon the practical side of it, but will aim to make this brief outline sufficiently clear to enable anyone to direct his unconscious process in such a way as to secure the best results.

Every mental process, or every mental action, that takes place in our wide-awake consciousness will, if it has depth of feeling or intensity, enter the unconscious field, and after it has developed itself according to the line of its original nature, will return to the conscious side of the mind. Here we find the secret of character building, and also the secret of building faculties and talents. Everything that is done in the conscious field to improve the mind, character, conduct or thought will, if it has sincerity and depth of feeling, enter the unconscious field; and later will come back with fully developed qualities, which when in expression, constitutes character.

Many a man, however, after trying for some time to improve himself and seeing no results, becomes discouraged. He forgets that some time always intervenes between the period of sowing and the period of reaping. What he does in the conscious field to improve himself, constitutes the sowing, when those actions enter the conscious field to be developed: and when they come back, it may be weeks or months later, the reaping time has arrived.

Many a time, after an individual has given up self-improvement, he discovers, after a considerable period, that good qualities are beginning to come to the surface in his nature, thereby proving conclusively that what he did months ago along that line was not in vain. The results of past efforts are beginning to appear. We have all had similar experiences, and if we would carefully analyse such experiences, we would find that not a single conscious process that is sufficiently deep or intense to become an unconscious process will fail to come back finally with its natural results.

Many a time ideas come into our minds that we wanted weeks ago, and could not get them at that time; but we did place in action certain deep, strong desires for those ideas, at that particular time, and though our minds were not prepared to develop those ideas at once, they finally were developed and came to the surface. The fact that this process never fails indicates the value of giving the mind something to work out for future need. If we have something that we want to do months ahead, we should give the mind definite instruction now and make those instructions so deep, that they will become unconscious processes.

Those unconscious processes will, according to directions, work out the ideas and plans that we want for that future work, and in the course of time, will bring results to the surface. To go into detail along the line of this part of our study would also be more interesting than fiction, but again, a large book would be required to do it justice. However, if we make it a practice to place in action our best thoughts, our best ideas and our best desires now and every moment of the eternal now, we will be giving the unconscious mental field something good to work for at all times; and as soon as each product is finished, or ready to be delivered from the unconscious world, it will come to the surface, and will enter the conscious mind ready for use.

Some of the best books that have been written have been worked out during months of unconscious mental processes; the same is true with regard to inventions, dramas, musical compositions, business plans, and in fact, anything and everything of importance that could be mentioned. Every idea, every thought, every feeling, every desire, every mental action, may, under certain circumstances, produce an unconscious process corresponding with itself, and this process will in every instance bring back to consciousness the result of its work.

When we realize this, and realize the vast possibilities of the unconscious field, we will see the advantage of placing in action as many good unconscious processes as possible. Give your unconscious mental world something important to do every hour. Place a new seed in that field every minute. It may take weeks or months before that seed brings forth its fruit, but it will bring forth, after its kind, in due time without fail.

We understand therefore, how we can build character by sowing seeds of character in this field, and how we can, in the same way, build desirable conduct, a different disposition, different mental tendencies, stronger and greater mental faculties, and more perfect talents along any line. To direct these unconscious processes, it is necessary to apply the finer forces of the system, as it is those forces that invariably determine how those processes are to act. Those forces, however, are very easily applied, as all that is necessary in the beginning is to give attention to the way we feel. The way we feel determines largely what our finer forces are to be and how they are to act, and there is not an hour when we do not feel certain energies at work in our system.

All the finer forces are controlled by feeling. Try to feel what you want done either in the conscious or the unconscious mental fields, and you will place in action forces that correspond to what you want done. Those forces will enter the unconscious mental world and produce processes through which the desired results will be created.

Whenever you want to redirect any force that is highly refined, you must feel the way you want that force to act. To illustrate, we will suppose you have certain emotions in your mental world that are not agreeable. To give the energies of those emotions a new and more desirable force of action, change your emotions by giving your whole attention in trying to feel such emotions as you may desire. And here let us remember that every emotion that comes up in the system is teeming with energy; but as most emotions continue to act without any definite control, we realize how much energy is wasted through uncurbed emotions. We know from experience, that whenever we give way to our feelings, we become weak. The reason is that uncontrolled feeling wastes energy.

A great many people who are very intense in their feelings, actually become sick whenever they give way to strong or deep emotions. On the other hand, emotions that are controlled and properly directed, not only prevent waste, but will actually increase the strength of mind and body.

Here is a good practice. Whenever you feel the way you do not wish to feel, begin to think deeply and in the most interesting manner possible, of those things that you wish to accomplish. If you can throw your whole soul, so to speak, into those new directions, you will soon find your undesired feelings disappearing completely. Every individual should train himself to feel the way he wants to feel, and this is possible if he will always direct his attention to something desirable whenever undesired feelings come up.

Through this practice he will soon get such full control over his feelings that he can always feel the way he wants to feel, no matter what the circumstances may be. He will thus gain the power not only of controlling his emotions and using constructively all those energies that invariably appear in his emotions, but he will also have found the secret of continued happiness. Whenever mental energy moves in a certain direction, it tends to build up power for good along that line. We realize therefore the value of directing all our attention upon those things in mind, character and life that we wish to build and develop.

In building character we find the results to be accumulative; that is, we make an effort to improve our life or conduct, and thereby produce an unconscious process, which will later on, give us more strength of character to be and live the way we wish to be and live. This in turn will enable us to produce more and stronger unconscious processes along the line of character building, which will finally return with a greater number of good qualities. The result of this action will be to give us more power to build for a still greater character, and so this process may be continued indefinitely.

The same is true with regard to building the mind. The more you build the mind, the greater becomes your mental power to build a still greater mind: but in each case, it is the unconscious process that must be produced in order that the greater character or greater mind may be developed from within. In this connection, it is well to remember that the principal reason why so many people fail to improve along any line is because their desires or efforts for improvement are not sufficiently deep and strong to become unconscious processes. To illustrate, it is like placing seed on stony ground. If the seed is not placed in good, deep soil it will not grow.

You may desire self-improvement for days, but if those desires are weak or superficial, they will not enter the unconscious field; and any action, however good it may be, if it fails to enter the unconscious field, will also fail to produce results along the line of self -improvement. With regard to the building of character, we must also remember that character determines in a large measure the line of action of all the other forces in the human system. If your character is strong and well developed, every force that you place in action will be constructive; while if your character is weak, practically all your forces will go astray. This is not true in the moral field alone, but also in the field of mental achievement. If the character is weak, your ability will be mostly misdirected no matter how hard you may work, or how sincere you may be in your effort to do your best.

This explains why a great many people do not realize their ideals. They have paid no attention to character building, and therefore, nearly every effort that they may have made in trying to work up towards their ideals, has been misdirected and sent astray. Whatever our ideals may be therefore, or how great our desires may be to realize those ideals, we must first have character; and even though we may be able to place in action the most powerful forces in the human system, we will not get results until we have character. It is character alone that can give the powers of man constructive direction, and it is a well known fact that those people who have a strong, firm, well-developed character easily move from the good to the better, no matter what the circumstances.

What may be called the higher forces in man act invariably through our most sublime states of consciousness, and as it is these higher forces that enable man to become or accomplish more than the average, it is highly important that we attain the power to enter sublime consciousness at frequent intervals. No man or woman of any worth was ever known, who did not have experience in these sublime states; in fact, it is impossible to rise above the ordinary in life or achievement without drawing, more or less, upon the higher realms of consciousness.

People are sometimes criticized for not being on the earth all the time, but it is necessary to get above the earth occasionally in order to find something worthwhile to live for and work for while upon earth. The most powerful forces in human life can be drawn down to earth for practical use, but to get them we must go to the heights frequently.

No one can write music unless his consciousness touches the sublime. No one can write real poetry unless he has the same experience. No one can evolve ideas worthwhile unless his mind transcends the so-called practical sphere of action, and no individual can rise in the world of attainment and achievement unless his mind dwells almost constantly on the verge of the sublime.

Examine the minds of people of real worth, people who have something in them, people who are beyond the average, people who are rising in the scale, people whom we truly admire, people that we look up to, people who occupy high positions -- positions that they have actually won through merit -- and we find in every instance, that their minds touch frequently the sublime state of consciousness.

When we touch that state, our minds are drawn up above the ordinary, and mental actions are developed and worked out that are superior to ordinary or average mental actions. It is therefore simply understood that experience in sublime consciousness if properly employed, will invariably make man greater and better.

When we look upon a man that we can truthfully say is a real man, we find that something unusual has been or is being expressed in his personality; and that something unusual is hidden in every personality. It is a hidden power, a hidden force, which, when placed in action, gives man superior worth, both as to character, ability and life. Real men and real women, people who are real in the true sense of the term, are always born from the sublime state of consciousness; that is, they have, through coming in contact with higher regions of thought, evolved greater worth in their own minds and personalities; and as this possibility is within reach of every man or woman, we see the importance of dealing thoroughly with these higher powers in human nature.

Whenever we touch those finer states in the upper regions of the mind, we invariably feel that we have gained something superior, something that we did not possess before; and the gaining of that something invariably makes life stronger as well as finer. The ordinary has been, in a measure, overcome, and that which is beyond the ordinary is being gradually evolved. If we would rise in the scale in the fullest and best sense of the term, we must pay close attention to those higher forces and make it a practice to enter frequently into close touch with higher states of consciousness; in fact, we simply must do it, because if we do not we will continue to move along a very ordinary level.

Then we must also bear in mind that it is our purpose to use all the forces we possess, not simply those that we can discern on the outside or that we are aware of in external consciousness, but also those finer and more powerful forces which we can control and direct only when we ascend to the heights.

In dealing with these greater powers in man, it will be worth our while to reconsider briefly the psychological field. As long as the mind acts on the surface of consciousness, we have very little control of those finer elements in human life, but when the mind goes into the depths of feeling, into the depths of realization, or into what is called the psychological field, then it is that it touches everything that has real worth or that has the power to evolve, produce or develop still greater worth. It is the active forces of the psychological field that determine everything that is to take place in the life of man, both within himself and in his external destiny. We must therefore learn to act through the psychological field if we would master ourselves and create our own future.

The psychological field can be defined as that field of subconscious action that permeates the entire personality, or that fills, so to speak, every atom of the physical man on a finer plane. The psychological field is a finer field, permeating the ordinary tangible physical elements of life, and we enter this field whenever our feelings are deep and sincere. The fact that the psychological field determines real worth, as well as the attainment of greater worth, is easily demonstrated in everyday experience.

When a man has anything in him, his nature is always deep. The same is true of people of refinement or culture: there is depth to their natures, and the man of character invariably lives in that greater world of life and power that is back of, or beneath, the surface of consciousness. If there is something in you, you both live and act through the deeper realms of your life, and those realms constitute the psychological field.

Among the many important forces coming directly through emotion or feeling, one of the most valuable is that of enthusiasm. In the average mind, enthusiasm runs wild, but we have found that when this force is properly directed it becomes a great constructive power. When you are enthusiastic about something, it is always about something new or something better -- something that holds possibilities that you did not realize before. Your enthusiasm, if properly directed, will naturally cause your mind to move towards those possibilities, and enthusiasm is readily directed when you concentrate attention exclusively upon that something new that inspires enthusiasm. By turning your attention upon the thing that produces enthusiasm, the mind will move forward toward those greater possibilities that are discerned.

This forward movement of the mind will tend to renew and enlarge the mind so that it will gain a still greater conception of those possibilities. This will increase your enthusiasm, which will in turn impel your mind to move forward still further in the same direction. Thus a still larger conception of those possibilities will be secured, which in turn will increase your enthusiasm and the power of your mind to take a third step in advance.

We thus realize that if enthusiasm is directed upon the possibilities that originally inspired that enthusiasm, we will not only continue to be enthused, but we will in that very manner, cause the mind to move forward steadily and develop steadily, so that in time it will gain sufficient power to actually work out those possibilities upon which attention has been directed. In this connection, we must also remember that we can grow and advance only as we pass into the new. It is new life, new thought, new states of consciousness that are demanded if we are to take any steps at all in advance, and as enthusiasm tends directly to inspire the mind to move towards the new, we see how important it is to continue, not only to live in the spirit of enthusiasm, but to direct that spirit upon the goal in view. It is invariably the enthusiastic mind that moves forward, that does things, and that secures results.

Two other forces of great value, belonging to this group, are appreciation and gratitude. Whenever you appreciate a certain thing you become conscious of its real quality, and whenever you become conscious of the quality of anything, you begin to develop that quality in yourself. When we appreciate the worth of a person, we tend to impress the idea of that worth in our own minds, and thereby cause the same effect to be produced, in a measure, in ourselves. The same is true if we appreciate our own worth, in a sensible and constructive manner. If we appreciate what we already are, and are ambitious to become still more, we focus our minds upon the greater, and employ what we already possess as stepping-stones towards the greater attainment; but when we do not appreciate ourselves, there are no stepping stones that we can use in attaining greater things.

We thus realize why people that do not appreciate themselves never accomplish much, and why they finally go downgrade in nearly every instance. When we appreciate the beautiful in anything, we awaken our minds to a higher and better understanding of the beautiful. Our minds thus become, in a measure, more beautiful. The same is true with regard to any quality. Whatever we appreciate, we tend to develop in ourselves, and here we find a remarkable aid to the power of concentration, because we always concentrate attention perfectly, naturally and thoroughly upon those things that we fully appreciate. Thus we understand why it is that we tend to develop in ourselves the things that we admire in others.

Whenever you feel grateful for anything, you always feel nearer to the real quality of that particular thing. A person who is ungrateful, however, always feels that there is a wall between himself and the good things in life. Usually there is such a wall, though he has produced it himself through his ingratitude. But the man who is grateful for everything, places himself in that attitude where he may come in closer contact with the best thing; everywhere; and we know very well that the most grateful people always receive the best attention everywhere.

We all may meet disappointment at some time and not get exactly what we wanted, but we shall find that the more grateful we are, the less numerous will those disappointments become. It has been well said that no one feels inclined to give his best attention to the man who is always "knocking," and it is literally true. On the other hand, if you are really grateful and mean it, it is very seldom that you do not receive the best attention from everybody wherever you may go. The most important side of this law, however, is found in the fact that the more grateful you are for everything good that comes into your life, the more closely you place your mind in contact with that power in life that can produce greater good.

Another among the finer forces is that of aspiration. No person should fail to aspire constantly and aspire to the very highest that he can possibly awaken in his life. Aspiration always tends to elevate the mind and tends to lift the mind into larger and greater fields of action. And when the mind finds itself in this larger field of action, it will naturally gain power to do greater things. We all realize that so long as we live down in the lower story, we can not accomplish very much; it is when we lift our minds to the higher stories of the human structure that we begin to gain possession of ideas and powers through which greater things may be achieved.

The same is true of ambition. Ambition not only tends to draw the mind up into higher and larger fields, but also tends to build up those faculties through which we are to work. If you are tremendously ambitious to do a certain thing, the force of that ambition will tend to increase the power and ability of that faculty through which your ambition may be realized.

To illustrate, if you are ambitious to succeed in the business world, the force of that ambition if very strong, will constantly make your business faculties stronger and more able, so that finally your business ability will have become sufficiently great to carry your ambition through. You cannot be too ambitious, provided you are ambitious for something definite and continue to give your whole life and soul to that which you expect or desire to accomplish through that ambition.

When we know the power of ambition, and know that anybody can be ambitious, we realize that anyone can move forward. No matter what his position may be, or where he may be, he can, through the power of ambition begin to gain ground, and continue to gain ground indefinitely. The average mind, however, has very little ambition, and makes no effort to arouse this tremendous force; but we may depend upon the fact that when this force is fully aroused in any mind, a change for the better must positively come before long.

The force of an ideal is another among the finer forces that should receive constant and thorough attention. When you have an ideal and live for it every second of your existence, you place yourself in the hands of a drawing power that is immense, and that power will tend to draw out into action every force, power and faculty that you may possess, especially those forces and qualities that will have to be developed in order that you may realize that ideal.

Have an ideal, and the highest that you can picture. Then worship it every hour with your whole soul. Never come down, and do not neglect it for a moment. We all know very well that it is the people who actually worship their high ideals with mind and heart and soul that finally realize those ideals. It is such people who reach the high places and the reason why is easily explained.

Give your attention, or rather, your whole life to some lofty ideal, and you will tend to draw into action all the finer and higher forces of your system -- those forces that can create greater ability, greater talent, greater genius -- those forces that can increase your capacity, bring into action all your finer elements and give you superior power and superior worth in every sense of the term -- those forces which, when aroused, cannot positively fail to do the work you wish to have done.

A fact well known in this connection is that when the mind is turned persistently upon a certain ideal, every power that is in you begins to flow in that direction, and this is the very thing you want. When we can get all that is in us to work for our ideals and to work towards our ideals, then we shall positively reach whatever goal we have in view.

Closely connected with our ideals, we find our visions and dreams. The man without a vision will never be anything but an ordinary man, and the people who never dream of greater things, will never get beyond ordinary things. It is our visions and dreams that lift our minds to lofty realms, that make us feel that there is something greater and better to work for; and when we become inspired with a desire to work for greater and better things, we will not only proceed to carry out those desires, but will finally secure sufficient power to fulfil those desires. "The nation that has no vision shall perish."

This is a great truth that we have heard a thousand times, and we know the reason why; but the same truth is applicable to man. If he has no vision, he will go down; but if he has visions, the highest and most perfect visions he can possibly imagine, and lives constantly for their realization, he will positively ascend in the scale. He will become a greater and a greater man, and those things that were at one time simply dreams, will, in the course of time, become actual realities.

The power of love is another force in this higher group that is extremely valuable, and the reason is that it is the tendency of love to turn attention upon the ideal, the beautiful and the more perfect. When you love somebody, you do not look for their faults; in fact, you do not see their faults. Your whole attention is turned upon their good qualities, and here, let us remember that whatever we continue to see in others, we develop in ourselves. The power of real love always tends to draw out into expression the finer elements of mind, character and life. For that reason, we should always love, love much, and love the most ideal and the most perfect that we can discover in everybody and in everything that we may meet in life.

We have all discovered that when a man really loves an ideal woman, or the woman that constitutes his ideal, he invariably becomes stronger in character, more powerful in personality, and more able in mind. When a woman loves an ideal man, or her ideal, she invariably becomes more attractive. The beautiful in her nature comes forth into full expression and many times the change is so great that we can hardly believe that she is the same woman.

The power of love, if genuine, constant and strong, tends to improve everything in human life; and as this power is one of the higher forces in human nature, we readily understand the reason why. We can therefore without further comment, draw our own conclusions as to how we will use this power in the future.

The last of these finer forces that we shall mention, and possibly the strongest, is that of faith; but we must remember if we wish to use this force, that faith does not constitute a belief or any system of beliefs ; it is a mental action -- an action that goes into the very spirit of those things which we may think of or apply at the time we exercise faith. When you have faith in yourself you place in action a force that goes into the very depth of your being and tends to arouse all the greater powers and finer elements that you may possess. The same is true when you have faith in a certain faculty or in a certain line of action. The power of faith goes into the spirit of things and makes alive, so to speak, the all that is in you.

The power of faith also produces perfect concentration. Whenever you have faith along a certain line, you concentrate perfectly along that line, and you cause all the power that is in your mind or system to work for the one thing you are trying to do. It has been discovered that the amount of energy latent in the human system is nothing less than enormous, and as faith tends to arouse all this energy, we realize how important and how powerful is faith.

The effect of faith upon yourself therefore is beneficial in the highest and largest sense, but this is not its only effect. The more faith you have in yourself, the more faith people will have in you. If you have no confidence in yourself you will never inspire confidence in anybody; but if you thoroughly believe in yourself, people will believe in you and in your work. And when people believe in you, you can accomplish ten times as much as when they have no confidence in you whatever.

When a man has tremendous faith in himself, he becomes a live wire, so to speak. It is such a man that becomes a real and vital power wherever he may live or go. It is such a man who leads the race on and on. It is such a man who really does things, and it is people of such a type that we love the best. They invariably inspire others to love the nobler life and to attempt greater things in life, and for this reason their presence is of exceptional value to the progress of the race.

To go into details, however, is not necessary. We all know and appreciate the value of faith. We all know that it is one of the highest and one of the greatest forces that man can exercise; we therefore realize how important it becomes to train ourselves to have unbounded faith in everything and in everybody at all times, and under all circumstances.


Imagination and the Master Mind

The first mark of a master mind is that he is able to promote his own perpetual improvement. The second is that he is able to be strong, joyous and serene under every circumstance.

The imagining faculty is the creative faculty of the mind, the faculty that creates plans, methods and ideas. Our imagination therefore must always be clear, lofty, wholesome, and constructive if we would create superior ideas and build for greater things.

Before you can have greater success you must become a greater man. Before you can become a greater man you must reach out toward the new and the greater along all lines; and this is possible only through the constructive use of imagination.

You get your best ideas when your mind acts in the upper story. And in all fields of action it is the best ideas that win.

The forces of the human system must have something definite to work for; that is, they must have an ideal upon which to concentrate their attention, or some model or pattern to follow as they proceed with their constructive actions.

To form this model, it is the power of imagination that must be employed, and that power must, in each case, be applied constructively. What we imagine becomes a pattern for the creative energies of mind and personality, and as the creations of these energies determine what we are to become and attain, we realize that the imaging faculty is one of the most important of all our faculties. We therefore cannot afford to lose a moment in learning how to apply it according to the laws of mental construction and growth.

To proceed, imagine yourself becoming and attaining what you wish to become and attain. This will give your energies a model, both of your greater future self and your greater future achievements. When you think of your future, always imagine success and greater things, and have no fear as to results.

If you fear, you give your creative energies a model of failure, and they will accordingly proceed to create failure. Then we must also remember if we wish to succeed, our faculties must work successfully, but no faculty can work successfully when filled with fear. It is only when constantly inspired by the idea of success that any faculty or power in the human system can do its best.

To inspire our faculties with this idea, we should always imagine ourselves obtaining success. The picture of success should be placed upon all the walls of the mind, so that the powers within us will see success, and success only as their goal. Hang up pictures in your mind that will inspire you to do your best; hang up pictures in your mind that will cause you to think constantly of that which you desire to accomplish, and this you may do by imagining yourself being that greater something that you want to be and doing that greater something that you want to do.

An excellent practice is to use your spare moments in creating such pictures in your imagination and placing them in the most conspicuous position of your mind, so that all your faculties and powers can see them at all times. We are always imagining something. It is practically impossible to be awake without imagining something. Then why not imagine something at all times that will inspire the powers within us to do greater and greater things?

To aid the imagination in picturing the greater, the higher and better, we should "hitch our wagon to a star." The star may be something quite out of reach as far as present circumstances indicate, but if we hitch our wagon to something in such a lofty position, our mind will begin to take wings. It will no longer be like a worm crawling in the dust. We shall begin to rise and continue to rise.

The only thing that can cause the mind to rise is imagination. The only thing that can make the mind larger than it is, is imagination. The only thing that can make the mind act along new lines is imagination. This being true, it is unwise to use the imagination for any other purpose than for the best that we can think or do.

In this connection, there are a few suggestions that will be found of special value. First, make up your mind as to what you really want in every respect. Determine what surroundings or environment you want. Decide upon the kind of friends you want and what kind of work you would prefer. Make all those ideals so good and so perfect that you will have no occasion to change them. Then fix those ideals so clearly in mind that you can see them at all times, and proceed to desire their realization with all the power of mind and soul. Make that your first step.

Your second step should be to imagine yourself living in those surroundings that you have selected as your ideal; then make it a point to live in that imagination every moment of every day. Instead of imagining a number of useless things during spare moments, as people usually do, imagine yourself living in those surroundings and those ideals. Imagine yourself in the presence of friends that are exactly what you wish your ideal friends to be, and permit your fancy to run as far as it may wish along all of those idealistic lines.

If you have not found your work, proceed to imagine yourself doing what you wish to do. If you have already found your work, imagine yourself doing that work as well as you would wish, and imagine the coming of results as large as your greatest desires could expect. Devote every moment of your spare time to the placing of those ideals before your attention, and you will give your power and forces something strong and definite to work for.

Every mental force is an artist, and it paints according to the model. What you imagine is the model, and there is not a single mental action that is not inspired or called forth into action by some picture or model which the imagination has produced.

The imagination can call forth the ordinary or the extraordinary. It can give the powers of your being an inferior model or an extraordinary model, and if the imagination is not directed to produce the extraordinary and the superior, it is quite likely to produce the ordinary and the inferior. Your second step, therefore, should be to imagine yourself actually living in those surroundings that you have selected as your ideal, and in actually becoming and doing what you are determined to become and do.

This practice would, in the first place, give you a great deal of pleasure, because if you have definite ideals and imagine yourself attaining those ideals, you will certainly enjoy yourself to a marked degree for the time being. But in addition to that enjoyment, you will gradually and steadily be training your mind to work for those greater things. The mind will work for that which is upper most in thought and imagination. Therefore, we should invariably place our highest ideals uppermost, so that the whole of our attention may be concentrated upon those ideals, and all the powers of our mind and personality directed to work for those ideals.

Your third step should be to proceed to apply the power of desire, the power of will, the power of scientific thought, and in brief, all your powers, in trying to realize those beautiful ideals that you continue to imagine as your own. Do as the ancient Hebrews did. First make your prediction. Then go to work and make it come true. What you imagine concerning your greater future is your prediction, and you can cause that prediction to come true if you apply all the power in your possession in working for its realization every day

The constructive use of imagination therefore will enable you to place a definite model or pattern before the forces of your system, so that those forces may have something better and greater to work for. In brief, instead of permitting most of your energies to go to waste and the remainder to follow any pattern or idea that may be suggested by your environment, or your own helter-skelter thinking, you will cause all your energy to work for the greatest and the best that you may desire.

This is the first use of imagination, and it easily places this remarkable faculty among the greatest in the human mind. Another use of the imagination is found in its power to give the mind something definite to think about at all times, so that the mind may be trained to always think of that which you really want to think; that is, through this use of the imagination, you can select your own thought and think your own thought at all times; and he who can do this is gradually becoming a master mind.

The master mind is the mind that thinks what it wants to think, regardless of what circumstances, environment or associations may suggest. The mind that masters itself creates its own ideas, thoughts and desires through the original use of imagination, or its own imaging faculty. The mind that does not master itself forms its thoughts and desires after the likeness of the impressions received through the senses, and is therefore controlled by those conditions from which, such impressions come; because as we think, so we act and live.

The average mind usually desires what the world desires without any definite thought as to his own highest welfare or greatest need, the reason being that a strong tendency to do likewise is always produced in the mind when the desires are formed in the likeness of such impressions as are suggested by external conditions. It is therefore evident that the person who permits himself to be affected by suggestions will invariably form artificial desires; and to follow such desires is to be misled.

The master mind desires only that which is conducive to real life and in the selection of its desires is never influenced in the least by the desires of the world. Desire is one of the greatest powers in human life. It is therefore highly important that every desire be normal and created for the welfare of the individual himself. But no desire can be wholly normal that is formed through the influence of suggestion. Such desires are always abnormal to some degree, and easily cause the individual to be misplaced. A great many people are misplaced. They do not occupy those places wherein they may be their best and accomplish the most.

They are working at a disadvantage, and are living a life that is far inferior to what they are intended to live. The cause is frequently found in abnormal or artificial desires. They have imitated the desires of others without consulting their present needs. They have formed the desire to do what others are doing by permitting their minds to be influenced by suggestions and impressions from the world, forgetting what their present state of development makes them capable of doing now. By imitating the lives, habits, actions and desires of others, they are led into a life not their own; that is, they are misplaced.

The master mind is never misplaced because he does not live to do what others are doing, but what he himself wants to do now. He wants to do only that which is conducive to real life, a life worthwhile, a life that steadily works up to the very highest goal in view.

The average mind requires a change of environment before he can change his thought. He has to go somewhere or bring into his presence something that will suggest a new line of thinking and feeling. The master mind, however, can change his thought whenever he so desires. A change of scene is not necessary, because such a mind is not controlled from without. A change of scene will not produce a change of thought in the master mind unless he so elects. The master mind changes his thoughts, ideals or desires by imaging upon the mind the exact likeness of the new ideas, the new thoughts, and the new desires that have been selected.

The secret of the master mind is found wholly in the intelligent use of imagination. Man is as he thinks, and his thoughts are patterned after the predominating mental images, whether those images are impressions suggested from without, or impressions formed by the ego acting from within.

When man permits his thoughts and desires to be formed in the likeness of impressions received from without, he will be more or less controlled by environment and he will be in the hands of fate, but when he transforms every impression received from without into an original idea and incorporates that idea into a new mental image, he uses environment as a servant, thereby placing fate in his own hands.

Every object that is seen will produce an impression upon the mind according to the degree of susceptibility. This impression will contain the nature of the object of which it is a representation. The nature of this object will be reproduced in the mind, and what has entered the mind will be expressed more or less throughout the entire system.

Therefore, the mind that is susceptible to suggestions will reproduce in his own mind and system conditions that are similar in nature to almost everything that he may see, hear or feel. He will consequently be a reflection of the world in which he lives. He will think, speak and act as that world may suggest; he will float with the stream of that world wherever that stream may flow; he will not be an original character, but an automaton.

Every person that permits himself to be affected by suggestion is more or less an automaton, and is more or less in the hands of fate. To place fate in his own hands, he must use suggestions intelligently instead of blindly following those desires and thoughts that his surroundings may suggest. We are surrounded constantly by suggestions of all kinds, because everything has the power to suggest something to that mind that is susceptible, and we are all more or less susceptible in this respect. But there is a vast difference between permitting oneself to be susceptible to suggestion and training oneself to intelligently use those impressions that suggestions may convey.

The average writer on suggestion not only ignores this difference, but encourages susceptibility to suggestion by impressing the reader with the remark that suggestion does control the world. If it is true that suggestion controls the world, more or less, we want to learn how to so use suggestion that its control of the human mind will decrease steadily; and this we can accomplish, not by teaching people how to use suggestion for the influencing of other minds, but in using those impressions conveyed by suggestion in the reconstruction of their own minds.

Suggestion is a part of life, because everything has the power to suggest, and all minds are open to impressions. Nothing therefore can be said against suggestion by itself. Suggestion is a factor in our midst; it is a necessary factor. The problem is to train ourselves to make intelligent use of the impressions received, instead of blindly following the desires produced by those impressions as the majority do.

To proceed in the solution of this problem, never permit objects discerned by the senses to reproduce themselves in your mind against your will. Form your own ideas about what you see, hear or feel, and try to make those ideas superior to what was suggested by the objects discerned. When you see evil do not form ideas that are in the likeness of that evil; do not think of the evil as bad, but try to understand the forces that are back of that evil -- forces that are good in themselves, though misdirected in their present state.

By trying to understand the nature of the power that is back of evil or adversity, you will not form bad ideas, and therefore will feel no bad effects from experiences that may seem undesirable. At the same time, you will think your own thought about the experiences, thereby developing the power of the master mind.

Surround yourself as far as possible with those things that suggest the superior, but do not permit such suggestions to determine your thought about the superior. Those superior impressions that are suggested by superior environment should be used in forming still more superior thoughts. If you wish to be a master mind, your thought must always be higher than the thought your environment may suggest, no matter how ideal that environment may be.

Every impression that enters the mind through the senses should be worked out and should be made to serve the mind in its fullest capacity. In this way the original impression will not reproduce itself in the mind, but will become instrumental in giving the mind a number of new and superior ideas. To work out an impression, try to see through its whole nature. Look at it from every conceivable point of view, and try to discern its actions, tendencies, possibilities and probable defects.

Use your imagination in determining what you want to think or do, what you are to desire and what your tendencies are to be. Know what you want, and then image those things upon the mind constantly. This will develop the power to think what you want to think, and he who can think what he wants to think is on the way to becoming what he wants to become.

The principal reason why the average person does not realize his ideals is because he has not learned to think what he wants to think. He is too much affected by the suggestions that are about him. He imitates the world too much, following desires that are not his own. He is therefore misled and misplaced. Whenever you permit yourself to think what persons, things, conditions or circumstances may suggest, you are not following what you yourself want to think. You are not following your own desires but borrowed desires.

You will therefore drift into strange thinking, and thinking that is entirely different from what you originally planned. To obey the call of every suggestion and permit your mind to be carried away by this, that or the other, will develop the tendency to drift until your mind will wander. Concentration will be almost absent and you will become wholly incapable of actually thinking what you want to think. One line of constructive thinking will scarcely be begun when another line will be suggested, and you will leave the unfinished task to begin something else, which in turn will be left incomplete.

Nothing, therefore, will be accomplished. To become a master mind, think what you want to think, no matter what your surroundings may suggest; and continue to think what you want to think until that particular line of thought or action has been completed. Desire what you want to desire and impress that desire so deeply upon consciousness that it cannot possibly be disturbed by those foreign desires that environment may suggest; and continue to express that desire with all the life and power that is in you until you get what you want. When you know that you are in the right desire, do not permit anything to influence your mind to change. Take such suggestions and convert them into the desire you have already decided upon, thereby giving that desire additional life and power.

Never close your mind to impressions from without. Keep the mind open to the actions of all those worlds that may exist in your sphere and try to gain valuable impressions from every source, but do not blindly follow those impressions. Use them constructively in building up your own system of original thought. Think what you want to think, and so use every impression you receive that you gain greater power to think what you want to think. Thus you will gradually become a master mind.

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