Appendix: Mental and Spiritual Gymnastic Exercises.
Self-Development Through Auto-Suggestion
A Few Formulated Lessons for Private Use, or for Reading in Concert by Classes, Assemblies, or Families as a Means of Spiritual, Moral, and Physical Restoration and Growth.
As introductory to the appended suggestive exercises, we may observe that while the effort has been made to present the principles of the New Thought in a lucid and simple way, experience has demonstrated the value of still more concrete lessons for meditation and concentration. There is a power to bring home Truth and to lift the consciousness, when ideals are presented directly in the first person singular which can be gained in no other way. Spiritual vibrations in the mind are thus rendered sharp and distinct. An intellectual fact may be simpIy known by a single statement; but higher principles, to become graphic and ruling, need iteration and reiteration, and hence the logic of the process. The average mind is so filled with conglomerate and disorderly material that its displacement by higher thought can be accomplished only by systematic and persistent effort.
The lessons and method are therefore invaluable if one wishes to get “into” the New Thought. The beauty of a picture gallery cannot be understood by gazing at the outside of the building, and likewise the brightest mind cannot discern or interpret the inner transformation from an external view. The critic from without can do no more than criticise at random. Only a cultivated consciousness and a new standpoint can give him qualification.
In one of our former books (“Ideal Suggestion”) restorative exercises were presented for meditation and concentration, and as an auxiliary aid the suggestions were given in large type, thereby assisting the mind, through the eye, in the focalizing of Truth. So far as the author is aware, that was the original presentation (1893) of such a method. Thousands of spontaneous testimonies from all parts of the world attest its scientific restorative efficacy. The author therefore has felt that to assure the completeness of this work, and to render it fully effective, a few simple lessons should be added in an appendix. They are only suggestive, and give hints of what one, if he choose, may improvise for himself.
It is admitted that the method of the lessons may be “unto Jews a stumblingblock and unto Gentiles foolishness; but unto them that are called” (discerners of the principle), they will bring help and inspirntion in proportion as they are faithfully assimilated. They will be useful, not merely for invalids and semi-invalids, but for all who wish to unfold a healthful and harmonious inner consciousness. Prevention is far better than cure. “The kingdom of heaven is within you.” The purpose is not to pour in new facts of an occult order, but to unfold and educe the spiritual selfhood.1
Specific Practical Directions.
First.—Retire each day to a quiet apartment, and be alone in the silence.
Second.—Assume the most restful position practicable; breathe deeply and rather rapidly for a few moments, and thoroughly relax the physical body, for suggestive correspondence thus renders it easier for the mind to be passive and receptive.
Third.—Bar the door of thought against the external world, and also shut out all physical sensation and imperfection so far as possible.
Fourth.—Rivet the mind upon the suggestive lesson. After repeated reading and the absorption of its truth, fasten the attention upon the final ideal which is shown in larger type. Do not merely think about it, but try to feel it with every nerve centre in the body. Give yourself to it until it fills and overflows the whole consciousness.
Fifth.—Alternate, at intervals of a few minutes, periods of intense concentration with those of utter relaxation. It takes the positive and negative to make the unit. The whole exercise may be continued anywhere from ten minutes to an hour, as circumstances render practicable and experience guides.
Sixth.—Call your most needed ideal into consciousness during every wakeful hour at night. If the mind wanders, gently but persistently call it back. The power of control will grow steadily. For a night thought, feel that the divine and the human are in positive contact. You are in God (Omnipresent Love) and cannot get away even if you should try.
Seventh.—If disordered conditions are chronic and tenacious there need be no discouragement if progress is not rapid, or if “ups and downs” occur. Absorb the ideals repeatedly until they live in and with you. They will increasingly become a spontaneous and well-defined feeling. The cure is not magical, but a natural growth. Ideals tend toward expression and actualization.
Eighth.—For use in assemblies, groups, or families, the exercises should be read slowly, in concert, followed by concentration, in the silence, upon the ideal which forms the climax. The exhibition of the respective emphasized suggestions, in large text, upon the walls of the room in sight of all will greatly aid concentration. If made in gold or bright material especially, they may afterward be reproduced in consciousness and stand out to the mind’s eye, notably at night, in letters of fire. They photograph an idea upon the mind.
If you wish to get rid of disorderly and depressing thoughts, the way has been plainly indicated by which they may be displaced. You gradually create a new world for yourself.
The process is scientific, but so simple that, conventionally, we have looked right through and beyond it.
Be assured that if you enter the mental and spiritual gymnasium, and earnestly develop your inner powers for six months in the way suggested, you will value the acquirement beyond possible estimate.
FIRST SUGGESTIVE LESSON.
“In Him we live and move and have our being.”
I COME face to face with the great Fatherly Presence.
I lift my consciousness into contact with that mighty, healing, loving, Divine Life which touches me within and without.
I open my nature for an influx of life, love, harmony, and strength from the Over-flowing Fountain.
“They that wait upon the Lord” (hold Him in loving thought) “shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah xl. 31). This is not merely biblical poetic sentiment, but scientific and psychological law.
My Life is a part of the Univcrsal Life, and not an isolated unit.
The heart-throbs of the Eternal Spirit pulsate through me.
God is the great Reality for thought to rest upon. Consciousness when centred upon material things becomes restless and disorderly.
To change from a ruling self-consciousness and homage to material things, to an abiding divine consciousness, is to find harmony and health.
What we mentally dwell upon we grow like, and this law is as constant as gravitation. The “Holy Spirit’’ is not a rare theological visitor, sent from a distance, but an every-day practical working force.
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I OPEN MY WHOLE NATURE TO THE UNIVERSAL SPIRIT.
SECOND SUGGESTIVE LESSON
I assert my freedom from the rule of the seen and temporary.
The invisible life principle fills all space, for God is omnipresent.
O soul within, how little hast thou been aware of thy grand opportunities and privileges! How hast thou timidly groped thy way through material fogs and mists when thou mightest have lifted thyself to the plane of spiritual verities! How thy whole horizon has been black with clouds which were only the shadows of thy dark thoughts and imaginings!
I am a living soul, and not a fleshly being of mere physical sensation. I never have seen myself nor my nearest friend. What my eyes behold is only outward expression.
As I am soul, nothing outside can harm me. Fire may burn my body, but it cannot touch me. Water may drown my form, but it is harmless to me. I—the real—am impervious to illness and to so-called death. Nothing in the universe can injure me but my own false and mistaken thinking.
I continually suggest the good to myself. Day by day I extract it from seeming evil. I form it from the infinite supply of spiritual substance which surrounds me. I breathe it in and embody it. I give myself to it, and it overflows my old self-imposed and baseless limitations.
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I LIFT MY CONSCIOUSNESS FROM THE SEEN TO THE UNSEEN.
THIRD SUGGESTIVE LESSON
The quickening perception of an all-embracing love sends a new thrill of life through sluggish minds and weak bodies. Every physical extremity gains something from the vital impulse.
I am at one with the Universal Good, and send out loving thought to all around me.
“Love is the fulfilling of the law.” It is the human summum bonum. As we embody its spirit we incarnate and express divinity. It is an all-surrounding atmosphere in which we live, even though unconsciously. In proportion as we send out love we receive it.
Love heals. It lifts us out of the baser planes of thought.
I love God and all humanity. I send out thought ministration to all about me. Thoughts are real forces—living messengers of power. Love thoughts, even when brought to bear upon our pains and trials, transform them and make them educational.
“Love never faileth.” Its fruits are perennial.
As we cease to resist our supposed enemies,—personal and impersonal,—they, by a subtle law, turn about and serve us.
Antagonistic thoughts manifest themselves outwardly in restlessness and disorder.
As I radiate love in every direction it is reflected back to me. Through such an activity I build up the kingdom of heaven within. That kingdom includes health, harmony, and happiness.
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“LOVE THINKETH NO EVIL.”
FOURTH SUGGESTIVE LESSON.
I AFFIRM spiritual freedom.
I sever the chains of appetite, passion, and traditionalism, and realize the liberty of my real self.
I deny the slavery of sense. I repudiate the bondage of matter. It is well in its place, but I renounce its supremacy.
I bury all negation, weakness, and fear. I enthrone and embody the positive, living truth.
I am strong in the Lord.
I have growth, energy, vitality, and power.
I have love, light, harmony, and courage.
I am wise, strong, and free.
“Know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you?” Its inner court is the banqueting-house of the divine and the human. There are two in one, and one in two.
We are transformed by “the renewing of our mind.” Mental renewing is thinking upon a higher plane.
I am happy. I am content.
As a spiritual entity, I fear not animal magnetism; I have no belief in ill luck. I demonstrate over external circumstances. I deny all malign astrological influences, and triumph over adverse heredity.
I deny that things are against me. “All things work together for good to them that love the Lord.”
I conquer discord without by harmony within.
I walk by faith and not by sight.
I am full of faith.
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I AM A LIVING SOUL.
FIFTH SUGGESTIVE LESSON.
I HAVE overcome the world, the flesh, and the evil. I am pure. I am strong. I am healthy.
Through the power of the mind I affirm soundness of body.
I live not by bread alone, but receive nourishment through every influx from the divine overflowing.
We are subject to ills when we live in the basement of our nature. It is a kindness that, at length, we become uncomfortable there, for then we will earnestly seek the higher, sunny apartments.
Thinking is an engraving-tool, and by its skilful wielding we project ideals into high relief.
I will dream dreams of beauty until they solidify around and within me.
I am a sculptor, and thinking is my chisel.
The Word which is within, I speak into externals. The inner Christ demands outward expression.
I am a concrete manifestation of the law of life and growth. In the past my visible expression has been that of a bundle of limitations and traditional acceptances.
I claim an inner light and inspiration which will flash vitality through every nerve, muscle, and tissue. I claim this action in everyday exercise.
I refuse to multiply evils, diseases, and discords through the seed of bad thought images. My mental quality is woven into body.
Nothing is impure and unholy, in and of itself. Only wrong thinking makes it so. I will think no evil, and try to think of no evil.
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I RULE BODILY CONDITIONS.
SIXTH SUGGESTIVE LESSON.
I RETIRE within, in consciousness, and open my inner hearing to the revelations of Spirit.
The Christ represents the universal and eternal divine sonship,—the highest possible inner consciousness. In most men it is latent or but feebly developed. It was locally and historically expressed in full degree through the personality of Jesus, but by no means limited to Him.
The sanctuary of soul is the “Holy of Holies,” the trysting-place of the divine and the human. The divine likeness is here unveiled. It is the “manger” where the Christ consciousness comes to birth. It is the angel who brings “good tidings of great joy.” Here the resurrection takes place when the stone of the lower self-consciousness is rolled away. Here is the divine affinity which feels its oneness with God. “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation; neither shall they say, ‘Lo, here! or there!’ for lo, the kingdom of God is within you.” That kingdom includes wholeness, harmony, and health. The Sun of Righteousness arises with “healing in his wings.”
How we have looked at these things as far away, and made them cold and merely historic! I will bring them home. They are within—subjective rather than objective.
The Lord was not in “the wind,” “the earthquake,” nor “the fire,” but in the “still small voice.” As we feel the Presence we receive an impress of its beauty and perfection.
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I HEAR THE STILL SMALL VOICE.
SEVENTH SUGGESTIVE LESSON.
FAITH is scientific. It is not mere expectation, but present substance.
To live vigorously we must live by faith. The illumined will is the divine energy or power exercised in the inner man. Nothing can withstand its might. It takes hold of forces that are infinite.
“I will” is a projectile which hits the mark—a power that “removes mountains.”
Unbelief ends in stagnation and despondency. It is leaden, nerveless, and cowardly.
“I will “ is the pilot that grasps the helm and steers the human craft God-ward.
If I fall, I will not stay down, but arise and push forward.
A victorious life is mine. Back of, and supporting me, are all the real forces in the universe. “ If God be for us, who can be against us?” It is not the lower self that guides my life, but the Spirit which worketh in me.
There is no uncertainty. I know in whom I have trusted.
In proportion as the Christ is unfolded in us we have a right to speak from the standpoint of the universal. Said Emerson:--
“I am owner of the sphcre,
Of the seven stars and the solar year.
Of Caesar’s hand and Plato’s brain,
Of Lord Christ’s heart, and Shakespeare’s strain.”
Ideally, we own every spiritual reality which we can appreciate and assimilate.
Even God is “our God”—that is, our own Good. I have faith in God. I have faith in myself. “According to thy faith be it unto thee.”
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I HAVE FAITH.
EIGHTH SUGGESTIVE LESSON.
WE are members one of another. The race is a great organism.
I claim perfect liberty, harmony, and happiness, and thereby help others to express them. In a deep sense I live in them and they in me.
Human thought flows forward in a great volume, and we contribute our quota of harmony.
My soul currents flow outward. I give to the needy, not merely things, but something of myself.
I heal and am healed. I restore and am restored. The outgo and the influx together form the ideal unit. Neither can exist alone.
I hereby recognize every human brother as a son of God. I know his divinity, and will help him to uncover and express it. I send thought ministrations, and thought is winged with power.
Humanity, I am one with thee! I break thy chains and proclaim thy freedom! I open thy prison doors and bid thee go forth into the light and beauty of spiritual liberty.
My love for near friends is only the training-school for a universal attraction. I cannot live in and by myself. I am giving out my quality, even though unconsciously.
I send everyone a God-speed and an awakening call to the divine self, or Christ within. I affrrm peace, healing, and love. I receive what I give out.
By seeing the perfect ideal in everyone, I thereby help it into actuality and expression.
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THOUGHT MINISTRATION IS WINGIED WITH POWER.
NINTH SUGGESTIVE LESSON.
WE are all—consciously or unconsciously—engaged in drawing mental pictures. Every thought has character, proportion, and energy. My unseen delineations seem to fade out, but in reality they are more durable than granite.
My immaterial images are the indexes of my own quality. They reveal myself to me. I am the artist who executes them, and I also study them, because I cannot put them away. The longer I gaze upon them the more like them I become.
I am obliged to occupy my own mental museum, and there is no escape from it, here or hereafter. This companionship may make a very real heaven or hell.
If I fill the corridors of my mind with pictures of evil, disorder, disease, and deformity, its multitudinous spectres will ever leer at and mock me. If, in my off-hand drawing, I carelessly or unwittingly set up the unreal, and let it stand, it puts on reality to me.
Our thoughts are our very near neighbors, with whom we sit face to face. We may shape them gradually either into angels or demons.
I will employ only perfect models. I will think loving and beautiful companions into intimacy. I will specify and suggest such qualities as I wish in embodiment.
I will turn the formative power of my thought upon love, joy, harmony, and purity until they become photographed upon my soul in all their sweetness and perfection.
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I AM BUILDING THE WORLD IN WHICH I MUST LIVE.
TENTH SUGGESTIVE LESSON.
WE do not need things, but we need God. To the God-consciousness is added everything needful.
The divine voice within, which has been drowned by external noises, must become articulate. I listen to it! I utter it! I hear it! I obey it! I am one with it! I am it! In my new experience I turn within, and am led to exclaim with Thomas, “My Lord and my God!”
As the sun radiates heat, so my spiritual inmost sends out abundant light, life, and love through every avenue of my organism.
The Spirit is power. It goes behind appearances and knows what is real. It is. It abides. It rules.
Our life is a divine infoldment and a human unfoldment. Though seemingly hidden, it is made in God’s image and after His likeness.
The Christ within shows us the Father. As soon as the prodigal “came to himself “—his real self—he turned toward the Father’s House.
I am never more alone, for “Thou art, with me,” “Thou hast beset me behind and before.”
I. now behold my own ideal and potential completeness. I lack nothing. I am well. I am whole.
The Christ method of healing is normal because it is in accord with the laws of being.
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I AM AWAKE TO MY OWN DIVINITY.
ELEVENTH SUGGESTIVE LESSON.
MY seeming trials and pains are not really against me. They are like the purifying fire which burns up the “wood, hay, and stubble,” leaving the real self unharmed and beautiful.
God never made illness, disorder, nor discord any more than he created sin. They are not normal nor in the highest sense natural. They are man-made perversions.
Nothing can antagonize me. I have no impatient or rebellious spirit toward person, place, thing, or condition.
I disarm every seeming adversary and win it to my side by vibrating with and not against it.
Bitterness and penalty are linked to sin to turn me from it, They come to make me uncomfortable in the lower consciousness so that I may be pushed higher.
I do not like friction, and therefore look about to see if I may climb above it. Its friendly goading comes to drive my thoughts upward to harmony and life, and nothing less bitter would do the work.
My recognition of the real purpose of pain takes away its sting. To see it as an enemy intensifies my distress.
To think anything is against one virtually makes it so, while love toward enemies of any kind transforms them.
Even disease is really the friction caused by the surge of divine and recuperative forces to repair our mistakes. Resistance makes the process harder.
“But I say unto you that ye resist not him that is evil.”
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NON-RESISTANCE IS A DIVINE LAW.
TWELFTH SUGGESTIVE LESSON.
I LOOK upward. Prayer in its highest form is communion and aspiration. Petition is not needed to change God, because He is already perfect. True prayer wields divine forces and makes them ministries of blessing. It discovers and utilizes the higher law. Every prayer for the best is eternally answered,—on God’s part,—but not to us—unless we come into at-one-ment.
“All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye have received them, and ye shall have them” (Mark xi. 24. New Version). Note the “have received.”
If ruling desire binds me to God, I shall receive what is God-like. I link myself there, and not to dust. I pray to be whole, and on God’s part the answer is eternally complete. To pray is to lift the soul into unison with the Eternal Goodness.
The “Christ mind” is the full-orbed consciousness of divinity within. It grows in me. I have it. I feel it. I embody it. It soothes. It restores. It heals.
I yield myself to the higher harmonies. Wherever the reign of love is set up, there is heaven. It comes not as a gift, or arbitrarily. It is a growth.
“These signs shall follow them that believe.” Are “them that believe” limited to a single country or period? What are the “signs”? See Mark xvi. 17, 18.
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UNDER THE DIVINE LAW THE HIGHER PRAYER PROVIDES FOR ITS OWN ANSWER.
- In answer to frequent questions, the author would state that he is not a professional healer, and that the pressure upon his time renders it impracticable for him to teach in any systematic manner, outside of his writings.