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Gestefeld Basic Course: Lesson Eight


All the real forces of the world are mental. Every object in the universe is the result of mental activity, and may be resolved back into thought, for Mind which precedes thought and makes thinking possible is the sum total of all that is and exists. The irrefutable evidence that we are one with God is our power to think, and this unity with Mind is cemented by the Law of Cause and Effect.

A thinking being must necessarily proceed from Mind and partake of the nature of its Cause, because of divine necessity. Thought is the link between God and Man while thinking relates mankind to the Real Man and through Being leads the soul back to God, whence it came. Thinking and existence are synonymous, hence the importance of knowing how to think, according to the Principle, in order to fulfill acceptably the great purpose of existence. “The Power to Think” is our only real possession, and is our most valuable asset, for by the right use, it opens the way to glorious achievement, and a happy solution to seeming limitations and disabilities. The God-derived power to think was “the goods” that the prodigal son took with him when he left the Father’s house to go into a “far country” and become a citizen of the world (Luke 15:11-32). Through the misuse of this wonderful capacity for good or ill, he found himself stranded and feeding upon rusks “among swine” when, if true to his own highest, he might instead have been feeding upon the “fat of the land” and fruits of the Spirit at the table of the Lord which is ever spread in the Father’s house or the home of the soul.

Man the conscious being is potentially self-conscious, and soul is that potentiality. It is both image-maker, and an image-breaker, and the imagination is the laboratory where the constructive or destructive work goes on. God created all things perfect, but mankind has sought out many inventions. We need to learn to use the imagination wisely, and not pervert its power, for it is the faculty that molds substance into shape, or it is the incubator which hatches out our ropes and fears, and as such it is a most powerful factor in the working out of our salvation. It embodies forth what we think, and it behooves mankind to watch the images it makes for we become like what we dwell upon in thought. The imagination is God-derived, and because of its office, cannot be too highly valued.

It is our reproducing or recreative power, and is both voluntary and involuntary, as we may either give it free rein or direct its action. The perverted use of this imaging faculty is responsible for the undesirable conditions about us.

It is said of Jesus that He kept the Lord before his face, and by keeping this Image of God uppermost in his mentality, he was enabled to manifest the likeness. The power to think is the forming power, and by the use of it, we form opinions, conclusions, and resolutions. We also shape our affairs by the use of the same power. The creative power, working through Being is centralized in soul, and it is responsible for the use we make of it.

We are united on the mental plane by the mental atmosphere. Our physical breathing is typical of our true breathing which is our thinking. We carry harmful germs in our fears, and incubate then in our imaginations. We wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers. Error germs fatten on fear and worry, but starve and die out, through right thinking. Thought is the vibration of the Word. They are simply two aspects of the same thing, and surely as I have thought or said, shall it be established unto me (Job 22:28). In other words, we reap today the episodes of yesterday, and make today the events of tomorrow.

TruthUnity note: Our thinking affects others and other’s thinking affects us. That our thinking is not private is asserted by many writers (Oversoul, Emerson; Race Consciousness, Fillmore; Collective Consciousness, Jung; Noosphere, Teilhard de Chardin). The philosophical/psychological opposite is solipsism. Note the several analogies in this lesson of thought to infection and germs. Further down, the author will distinguish transference from hypnotism.

Thought produces all the experiences that come to us, but soul, the user, decides what they mean to us, for it is the interpreter, as well as the spectator and dictator of what transpires in the labyrinth of existence. Soul gives quality to daily living, for it decides the kind of thoughts we think, and we know that our mental attitude toward experiences, decides what they will bring to us, of good or ill, for as we expect, so we receive.

By watching the thinking, we are enabled to eliminate from consciousness whatever thoughts we do not wish to have actualized, or take form in the outer, and by this sifting process, cleanse the mentality of impure thoughts, such as we would not wish to perpetuate by transference or retain in our own soul.

Outwardly, to the onlooker, there seems to be separation among men, but it is only in the seeming, for on the soul-side, they are all one, united by the common mental atmosphere. We all breathe it in, and all breathe out into it, thus adding our contribution to the general fund of mental germs, and making thought transference not only possible, but unavoidable.

Every man’s imagination is a power, for there is nothing good or bad, but that thinking makes it so. “Let the mind that was in Christ Jesus be in you,” for through the renewing of the mind, both body, soul and circumstances are transformed. Through right thinking, or fidelity to Principle, we may bring forth the Christ and know God, here and now, while in the flesh. In this positive state of consciousness, we become magnets to attract to us, thought germs, laden with health, plenty, peace and power; through entertaining true thought only, we become infected with the Christ quality from center to circumference, so that we embody our highest ideals and shine forth the Truth of Being.

Diseased thought germs attracted through ignorance can be starved out by the right attitude of mind toward them. They are simply mental tramps that seek to force themselves in the consciousness, but by persistent refusal to harbor them they drop away into their native nothingness, and make way for true, positive health thoughts which rightfully belong to God’s child by birthright.

The tramp thoughts are alien intrusions, and steal into our subconsciousness in our unguarded moments when soul grows negative and thus leaves the bars down. So, the evident preventive is to rise up and shut them out by cultivating positive thoughts which bar the way to the undesirable, and at the same time open the way to our God-ward side.

Belief in “hard times” which seems to be a favorite suggestion of “mortal sense” is a thought current that finds easy access to the human consciousness, and carries many a soul from its true moorings. The suggestion is so subtle that in an hour when we think not, it creeps in, and sets in motion vibrations after its kind which ultimate in strenuous circumstances, and often in hard bodily conditions. These beliefs in lack and limitation not only affect our own mentalities, but infect the thinking of those about us, through our radiations.

In order to become positive to these suggestions of mortal sense and uproot these things that are not of God’s planting, we must call in our lawless thoughts and plant our feet upon a rock by drawing nigh unto the Lord, or cultivating our Individuality, for we cannot afford to be swept off our mental and spiritual feet even for a moment by these strong racial and ancestral beliefs. A firm mental attitude that judges not according to appearances, but by the Truth of Being is the only safeguard against the subtle insinuations of the human sense with its brood of error suggestions and unwholesome thoughts. The way to attain this unwavering mental attitude is to cling to our spiritual Ego which is an unfailing source of supply, and a present Help in every emergency.

By identifying itself with this changeless Reality, soul is strengthened and fortified against the attacks of the enemy (ignorant beliefs) and is able to lift itself up and out of the swamp of materiality into the promised land of Plenty, Peace and Power.

When beset or assailed by mortal sense the enemy of mankind, soul must arise and “go up” into the mountain (high state of consciousness) or House of the Lord as Jesus did, and gather its forces by concentrating upon the Truth of its Being and communing with the Real Self which is above and beyond temptation.

By fasting and prayer, soul finds its equilibrium and strong in the Lord, goes on its way, rejoicing in its new found freedom which comes from knowing the Truth of its Being.

In legitimate thought transference simply, volition has no part, as the subject has perfect freedom to accept or reject what is proffered, while in hypnotic suggestion the will of the receiver is overcome. As a race, we are all under the hypnotic spell of the human self; it is ever at hand, with its negative unwholesome, unprofitable suggestions which if heeded and carried out would result in mental and bodily wreckage. Most of our limitations are self-imposed. They come from listening to the ignorant suggestions of the sense self instead of heeding the voice of the Spirit. Our faculties or workers, constitute our divinity, and our business is to develop these God derived helpers by legitimate use of them. We as souls have nothing to do with creating or forming, but everything to do with making which involves lawful use of the as faculties, great and small. Bringing forth the Christ is the finishing of Creation, and in order to do our part in this great transaction, we must know how to use the faculties that belong to Being. In the exercise of the power to think, the true scientist rouses the soul from the hypnotic spell of the Adam dream, while the hypnotist deadens the sensibilities, and puts it into a deep sleep.

TruthUnity note: Here, and further down, the author distinguishes thought transference from hypnotism.

There are red, gray, black and white magic, and it depends upon how we use the power to think whether we exercise the hypnotic spell by using personal authority or speaking the Word in the “Name of the Lord” with the full realization that “of ourselves, we can do nothing.” We must bear in mind that thought force is plastic and unqualified. We qualify it by our use of it, and are therefore responsible for the kind of thought emanations we contribute to the general fund of mental germs. A good way to protect ourselves from the undesirable influences, abroad in the mental atmosphere is to abide in the thought: “No harm can come nigh me, for the Lord encampeth round about me, with a ‘wall of fire.’ It utterly consumes every adverse influence that approaches me, so I fear no evil.” — Franz Hartmann

By doubt and fear (both the misuse of the thinking power) we obstruct the good that is started toward us, for these mental states result in mental tension which shuts off the influx of the things that are ours by divine inheritance. Because of our relation to these things spiritual, nothing in the universe can keep our good from us, but our own perverse thinking. Belief in lack or limitation takes form in pinched conditions which dishonor God who is Opulence Itself.

In dealing with these unwelcome alien intrusions, we do not wrestle with a “man” or “flesh and blood” but with “unseen forces” which as we know are the most powerful agencies for weal or woe in the universe. The only effectual way to meet undesirable mental intrusions is to rise up in the might of the inner man and shut to the door of our mental house, just as we would take these precautionary measures if an unruly animal were starting toward our place of abode on the outer plane. To hesitate is to lose an opportunity, to assert our God-derived dominion over lesser natures and alien thoughts which is the best protection against adverse influences on the darts of the enemy.

We may rule our stars, and rise above the indications of our palm by cultivating our Individuality which is greater than any influence on the psychic or physical planes; by putting on the armor of the Lord, we become fortified against the things of time and sense that beset us on every hand, and learn in the process of overcoming to rise above the petty annoyances and not be ruled by them. Truly it is the “little foxes that spoil the vine” and the small worries that threaten our equanimity. When by patience and perseverance we learn to meet these peccadilloes incident to daily living as master and not as servant, then shall we be made ruler over many things. “He that ruleth his own spirit, is greater than he that taketh a city (Prov. 16:32)” which shows that self-mastery is the acme of spiritual attainment. Clad in the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, and the sandals of peace, (Eph. 6) we are immune from the hypnotism of the “sense man” either in ourselves or another, for thus protected the poisoned arrows which permeate the mental atmosphere fall harmless and go back to the sender. All teaching is transference, but is not hypnotic unless the teacher seeks to dominate the pupil or subject him to his personal will. So long as students are free to accept or reject what is proffered, hypnotism does not enter in. The teacher of himself, can do nothing, but is simply the pane of glass through which the Light of Truth shines or the Mediator by means of which Spirit reveals Itself. Heaven is not reached by a single bound, neither is it taken by violence, for we as souls do not manifest God by “struggle and striving” but are simply the channels for the influx and outflow of what God is, for in truth God manifests Itself.

Souls may differ greatly in unfoldment, but we all have the same schoolmaster, and the same rod is held over all, for we are all alike subject to the Law of Cause and Effect. The Law need have no terrors for us, however, if we work with it, for by intelligent co-operation we make of it a valuable ally.

It is unqualified or neutral, and we alone are responsible for what it Brings to us of good or ill. Through self-understanding we may use it as a protection, and a blessing while we may use it in another way, that is through ignorant, willfulness or heedlessness. It may prove the bane of existence in the latter application. In view of this Truth, we find that self-knowledge is the key that unlocks the door to true happiness, and brings the satisfaction that the world can neither give nor take away. “In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have over cone the world.” “What I have done, ye can do.” Solomon said: “A good man shall be satisfied from within himself.”

“I am a living demonstration of the power of the Spoken Word; through Self-Understanding I am proving to myself daily the Truth of my Being. It makes me glad and all aglow with a sense of strength and power. It fills me with courage and sweet peace.”