Your mind is your world.
Your thoughts are the tools with which you carve your life story on the substance of the universe. When you rule your mind you rule your world. When you choose your thoughts you choose results. The visible part of your life pours out of your mind, shaped and stamped by your thoughts, as surely as the coins of nations are shaped and stamped by the mechanisms used to convert ores to specie.
Mind is the source of feeling. You sometimes say, "I feel depressed; I feel as if something unpleasant were about to occur, but I do not know why I should feel so." The feeling of depression comes from your having subconsciously contacted something, which, if brought to the surface of consciousness, would cause you unhappiness.
You do not need to know what produces the disturbed condition of your mind, but you do need to know how to meet the condition. In an experience of this nature, you instantly should put yourself under special consecration to God, and you should mentally release Him in every realm of your mind. With all the force and all the clarity that you can summon, realize that you are an idea in the Mind of God. Not much argument will be required to convince you that an idea in the Mind of God always is safe, always is animated with the quality of being that we call joy. A conviction of these truths will dissipate forebodings.
A sense of being troubled may come through sympathetic union with one who is unhappy. Include others in your assurances of the protecting Presence. Your lasting individual good is enhanced by enhancement of the good of all. You are responsible for and responsible to everything that has existence in the realm of your abode. Train your mind to react sanely to the seethings of the human consciousness. Disorder exists for you while you acknowledge it. It ceases when you cease to support it by your acknowledgment. Do not let yourself be thrown into a panic by the feeling that something unpleasant may occur. Your feeling of impending danger is, in itself, danger. Your feeling of immanent safety is, in itself, safety. You experience what you think.
You sometimes say, "I feel glad about something, but I do not know what. I feel as if some great good is just around the corner, coming to meet me." You have this feeling because you have touched an unseen blessing; the feeling is trying to convey to your intelligence the fact that some particular good is ready for you. Or you may be sharing the good of another. When you have an experience of this nature, you should respond with deepest gratitude, for the experience is added evidence that you are regaining your identity of oneness with God. To accept the good as real is to strengthen your mind in habits of correct thinking; is to give saner impulses to the human consciousness, from which you receive suggestions and to which you contribute suggestions.
Feeling is mental reaction to things recognized or unrecognized. In its earliest stage it is unformed thought. If you will watch your mental processes you will find that feeling precedes the definite thought. Your reaction to the thing unrecognized causes you to say that you feel that sorrow is near to you or that joy is near to you. As the feeling takes outline in definite thought, you know whether you are willing or unwilling to receive the thing that the thought specifies. From that time your mind works in the "yes" reaction or in the "no" reaction. "Yes" assembles; "no" dissolves.
Everything originates in mind. Begin now to school your impulses and your feelings. Your ideals are the parents of your impulses and your feelings. Whatever your ideals may have been in the past, the impulses and the feelings generated by them will be supplanted by the offspring of more sublime ideals, as these are adopted and cherished by you.
Anything now in your life can be resolved into its mental form; as a mental form it can be reduced, and finally erased. Dismissal by erasure is the one sure method of winning freedom from the undesirable. To attempt to repress is folly; the thing continues to grow, and it becomes malformed. It does not stay hidden, but comes forth, ugly and forbidding. Then you say, "I do not know why this thing came into my life. I never invited it." You consciously did not invite it, but you shaped it, and what the mind shapes will come into the manifest. Your salvation lies in erasing the causes of things unwholesome in your life. Your life is what you think:
Think straight, and life will become straight for you.
A thing that is in process of forming can be more quickly erased than a thing that has become manifest. But not always do you avail yourself of this advantage. You may be so engaged by the form-giving thought that you defer beginning the erasing process. You are fascinated by the terror of a thought-conceived calamity; you permit yourself to think that perhaps retribution will overtake someone who has displeased you. What you think concerning others takes shape in your life. Never entertain for others a thought which you would not have objectified in yourself.
You are what your thoughts assemble.
You say "my mind"; another says "my mind"; every person in the world says "my mind." But there is only one mind. That mind is the Mind of God, in which individual minds have intelligence. What you call your mind is the use that you make of the Mind of God. You are intelligent to the degree in which you give the Mind of God action in you. When you receive a new idea you receive out of the Mind of God. Increase of intelligence in your mind is further disclosure of the Mind of God in you. You could not think, could not be, but for the Mind of God, as it presses upon you for manifestation.
Human intelligence has chosen a standard by which it compares individual minds. When a mind functions in accordance with that standard the mind is said to be normal. When a mind wavers from that standard it is called abnormal or subnormal. A mind that transcends that standard is supernormal.
Your mind has three fields of action. These fields are superconsciousness, consciousness, subconsciousness. To name these three fields superconscious mind, conscious mind, subconscious mind is to confuse yourself by the suggestion that you have three minds. in whatever field your mind acts, it expresses the Mind of God, interpreted by you. Superconsciousness is the Mind of God. The ideas in superconsciousness are complete, and perfect in character. You do not let their beauty appear when you modify them by your personal interpretations, dreams, and ambition.
There is one basic fact in life which you must accept. That fact is that life in itself is perfect. There is another fact, auxiliary to the basic fact. That fact is that you can, and usually do, misunderstand and mishandle the perfectness of life. As a result, conditions do not please you. In an attempt to account for conditions you may say that life has treated you mercilessly, which is not true. You are doing the living, and your life is what you make it. You may say that God is displeased with you, which also is not true. God's relation to you is the same that it is to Jesus, but you have not profited by that relation as much as you could.
You can make your mind capable of grasping the infinite concords of life. Understanding of life begins in you when you commit yourself to the guidance of superconsciousness.
Superconsciousness is the field of inspiration. It supplies you with ideals. Its activity in the race is called progress, evolution. It contains all that has
permanence. Its direct speech to you is intuition. After you have let superconsciousness speak to you until you are able to distinguish between its voice and the voice of personal desire, you need never make what even to the superficial view of life looks like a mistake.
Subconsciousness is memory, body. It is what is called race consciousness, human nature, nature. It retains the impress of all your wise and of all your unwise acts. Dispossessing the unwise things of subconsciousness by the substitution superconscious wisdom will be the hardest work that you ever will have to do. Hardest, but unavoidable. What you do today will not have to be done tomorrow.
Consciousness plays between superconsciousness and subconsciousness. Heretofore you have been much under the dictation of subconsciousness, as it speaks in what is called natural impulse and suggestion.
To control your life you must take command of consciousness, and consciously, emphatically, determine to think in accord with superconsciousness. This method, pursued without deviation, cleanses subconsciousness and prevents the accumulation of additional errors. Weakness, hurt, and what you call failure are displaced by strength, safety, and success. What you think becomes manifest.
Perception is knowledge gained through the senses. Your mind will accept the reports of the senses until you have trained it to distinguish between permanence and impermanence. Human consciousness developed the senses, and then converted them into stumbling blocks. In the work of training
your mind it is imperative that you challenge every claim made by the senses, and admit only what superconsciousness approves. If you do this, the transitory will fade and the permanent will appear.
You are governed by your feeling more fully than you realize. You are swayed by likes and by dislikes. You should yield only to the truth of life that underlies all situations. When your mind veers your life veers; you become unstable, and manifestation varies. Then you say that chance or fate has overpowered you. But the statement is not true. You are being directed by your impulses; it is your life's business to direct your impulses, and so control all the issues of your life.
Will power and stubbornness are not the same. To will is to choose. Your wisest choosing will let the will of God be done in you. Never have you been able to force or to bend the divine purpose, no matter how much in human stubbornness you may have tried to defy the kingdom of heaven. That kingdom holds your good in trust; when you are willing to receive your good as good, it will be given to you. But not even you can rob you. If in the exercise of will you follow a course that contradicts the law of heaven, you later will be compelled to retrace that course, and to begin again, on the right course. You can be stubborn for a long time, but eternity will find you rejoicing to do the will of Him that sent you. What you are willing to be, that you are becoming.
Power is ability to produce change. Mind is passive power; thought is active power. After you have identified yourself as the Mind of God, you begin
to let God's mind manifest in you, to the exclusion of ignorance. You understand that His mind is composed of perfect, changeless ideas, and you cease to translate His ideas into imperfect, fluctuating thoughts. You know that you are what you think, and this knowledge encourages you to give way to the Mind of God.
The Mind of God pushes on your mind for expression. As you let His mind supplant what you call your mind, your thoughts change for the better. All thought is power; better thoughts than you have been using will make for you better conditions than you have been experiencing.
The changes that your mind is capable of producing range from the ultra mundane to the ultra-ethereal. These changes may bring you from human bickerings into the communion of saints and intimacy with God. They may work wonders in your outer life, fashioning substance into myriad forms of loveliness and utility for your enjoyment. But of this one thing be assured: Intentionally or unintentionally on your part, your thoughts are changing your affairs, your body, your relationships to the world. They are changing the texture of the mental fabric which you call your mind. In this line of action your power is such that all ignorance may be banished, and your mind come to know itself.
You have as much power as anyone that ever has been on this planet or that ever will be. You are using your power, but in what way? You think but how do you think? Perhaps you merely suppose that you think. Are you a mental parrot,
imitating in tone and in gesture the words, the phrases, and the declarations of others, or are you thinking by the power of your own mind to produce a lovelier ideal whereby to shape a lovelier individuality? If you never have shaped a thought, for the sake of your own progress begin now to shape one. if need be, take a vacation, leap your mental ruts, and blaze your own mental trail. One thought of your own, worked out even with labor, is better for you, more interesting and of more value in your life than a hundred of the most brilliant thoughts that someone else has voiced. Be yourself; exercise your mind, then watch yourself grow mentally. This practice continued until it becomes a habit will make clear to you the value of directing your thoughts, for its effects will convince you that your mental acts are responsible for the changes that come in your affairs.
What changes are your present thoughts destined to bring you?
You say, "I must train my mind to think constructively." What do you mean by this statement? You may take old scrap iron, old weather-beaten boards, old broken bricks, and of them construct a dwelling place. Your house, built from such material, will not be safe or beautiful. New, clean, beautiful material must be used if the structure is to be a thing of lasting beauty and usefulness. You cannot construct a lovely and a happy life from old, untrue, unclean thoughts. If you borrow your thoughts you will have a life like the one whose thoughts you use. If you let the Mind of God think its individual thoughts in you, newness and individuality
will appear in you. Be sure to select the right thoughts for your building. All thoughts are constructive, in the sense that they produce their own images in the outer world.
Be sure that you want the Mind of God to think in you before saying that you let it so think. Be sure that you have placed God rather than desire in leadership over your life before you say that you are receiving the Mind of God. If you do not so prepare yourself you will make your case worse than it now is. There is no other confusion so confounding as that which comes from attributing to God the works which are the fruit of your personal, selfish thoughts.
When you become willing that your human designs may fail in order that the divine designs may prosper, you are prepared to receive from the Mind of God. Previous to that you receive from your own mind. You say, "I have been praying for approval on a course I marked out; the approval was a long time in coming, but now I know that God sanctions my plan." In an instance of this nature you perhaps receive approval from your own consciousness. It is easy to mistake desire for the will of God, and easy to misapprehend the source of approval of desire. Be watchful that you do not pray to your own consciousness and receive answers to your prayers out of your own consciousness. If ever you have felt assured of receiving what you asked and then failed to receive, the assurance of receiving came from your own consciousness, worked upon by your desire. God does not promise and then withhold. If ever you
have felt assured, proceeded on your way, and then been hurt, puzzled, halted, the assurance on which you acted came from your own consciousness. God does not punish you. He does not hand you a hot poker to burn your hands by way of giving you a lesson, no matter how much you storm and weep for the poker. When you have stormed and wept yourself into believing that after all the poker is your poker, you seize it, and at once your repentance begins. God gives you the Godly thing, which bears no fruit of hurt in your life. You give yourself the human thing. If hurts follow, you, not God, are the author of your suffering.
Until you have cleansed your mind of human desire your one prayer should be that human desire may be washed out of your soul. If human desire had made you happy and wise all these generations I would not tell you to cleanse yourself of it. But it has made you unhappy. It is the source of all that troubles you. Be sane in your prayers. Do not ask to be made able to defy life and to prosper in your defiance; ask for the wisdom that will enable you to ask wisely. The prayer will be granted; then you will have less need to "demonstrate."
Pray that you may no longer desire to desire your own will. That prayer will erase from your consciousness the wish to control yourself in your relation to God. You ask me, "Would you not control your own life?" Only to the point where I am able to surrender it to God. I know that He in me is wiser than I of myself ever can become; I know that His love will take better care of me than I can
specify. So instead of wanting to control my life I want God to control it. And I know that, surrender as fully as I can, there still will be left in me enough of the personal to sustain physical identity.
In training your mind, do not ask it to contradict common sense. An intelligent orchardist does not plant a persimmon tree, then solemnly in "treatment" address it, "I affirm that you shall produce oranges." He does not plant an apple tree and then affirm, to convince himself, that the tree shall bear apples. Being intelligent, he plants an orange tree when he wishes to grow oranges; he knows that he will receive apples from an apple tree. He understands that mind has forms of expression and he knows that in all cases the form indicates the fruit to be borne. He works with the trend of mind, not against it.
If you work with the trend of mind your life will be fruitful. In you one particular form of expression is nearer to the surface than all others. That form must express first, then, after it, all others in the order of their precedence. Do not try to disarrange the order of manifestation. Do not ask your plum tree to produce peaches. To insure order, you must think coherently. To produce finished results, you must think to a conclusion.
Do not let your thoughts riot. In any chosen line of meditation or study, put all the force of order into your thinking. If your thoughts become disorderly, handle them in a manner similar to that in which a policeman lines up a crowd that seeks to crash through a doorway. Say to the thoughts that come
stampeding forward, "Stand back; get into line. You may express when your time comes, but not before." This training will cause your thoughts to respond to your demand, and you will find logic becoming prominent in your thinking. You will begin to see that you are in command of your life, and that you will become what you cause your mind to do and to be.
Harness your moods. Make them work for you. They embody great power. Uncontrolled, they are undependable, weakening. Right use of moods will make you strong.
You do not have to wait on time or on inspiration, in any work. You can do as well at one time as you can another. Time always is yours; inspiration is continuous. Work by the rule of ever-readiness, and you will become able to command ideas that remind you of your identity. You always will be in a mood to do your best. "Temperament" is mental alcoholism; it spurs and it drugs. If you would know your mental power, discard temperament. Stability and regularity will become your aim when you understand that your mental habits are also your life habits.
If you could use an instrument that would record your day's thinking and at evening repeat to you all that you had thought, you would learn why some days go amiss and why affairs sometimes are snarled. Mingled with the sweet and the true, there would be nonsensical, light, irrelevant, selfish, critical, fearful thoughts. You would behold yourself as a mental chameleon, taking on color from
your environment. If you could see your thoughts materialize, as they do without your seeing the process of materialization, you would know why your affairs are unstable.
Do not habitually make excuses for your shortcomings. Face them; learn where you were remiss; then do not make those mistakes again. Do not try to stand better with people than you do with your own conscience. You may deceive your associates for a time, but you gain nothing by the deception. "you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time." You do not fool God any of the time, so why go to the work of framing excuses? Use your energy to correct the fault; then excuses will not be needed. Then you will have a consciousness of honesty.
If you are criticized, examine the criticism honestly, to see how much of it is justified. If you find that you are criticized for a thing which accords with your convictions, you will understand that the criticism is unavoidable. If you are unjustly criticized, accused falsely, you can afford to be lenient, not having done the thing for which you are criticized. Never let criticism induce in you a feeling of martyrdom. One who is meekly puffed up by a sense of martyrdom surely must furnish merriment for the angels.
Your mind will do for you anything that you ask of it. It will reveal to you hourly the thing that you need to know for that hour. It can be made so responsive that it will act for you at any given time,
in any prescribed way. Let me tell you how I have proved this fact, many times. The relating of one circumstance will cover all the experiences that come under the statement:
For a number of years I supplied copy for several departments in two magazines. In addition to this work I kept office hours that were long and engrossing. My writing had to be accomplished in the evenings or during week ends. Knowing that my mind would prepare the work in advance, I made a habit of setting a time in which to write a specified manuscript. I would say:
"Now, Lord, you know that we are going to need copy for such-and- such a department. We'd better do that this week end, don't You think?"
I would give the matter no further thought until the week end came.
Then I would go to my desk, assemble my writing material, and begin. Not once did the theme or the development of the theme lag. Each came as easily as a conversation on a familiar subject. Many times not only the necessary manuscript would be prepared, but others, to be used later, would follow. My mind responded to my reliance on it.
Your mind responds to your reliance on it. If a matter seems difficult, brood lightly upon it; look at it; muse over it. Then put it away in the place where the Mind of God begins to become your mind. Leave it there for a season. You will find, on taking up the matter again, that it has become clear to you. This response of mind to demand was revealed to me at a time when I knew no more of metaphysics than
the mere word. The experience is here related:
I was asked to prepare and read a paper before a convention. I consented, rather eagerly excited; it was my first invitation of that nature. Then arose the question, "What is your theme?" I did not know; I could think of nothing that seemed suitable. Days passed, the convention date was drawing warningly close, and still no theme came forward. A number of times I asked, "Of what shall I write?"
One day, alone in the house, I again asked the question. The theme responded instantly. Clear-cut, encouraging, it announced itself by title. I said, "Right; but what shall I say on the subject?" Four subtitles, as definite and as promising as the general title, came, at once. I could not then go to my desk. In a few days I was free to write; the paper was produced at one sitting.
In training your mind, there are three facts for you to accept. These facts must be dwelt on until the one needed becomes your instant response to any unfavorable appearance for which it is the corrective. The facts are in amendment and elucidation of teachings that you may have already accepted. The facts, broadly stated:
1. You have been taught that God lives in you. The teaching is true; but it does not tell you why you live. You live because of the facts named here: God is life. Life lives; it lives itself. The life of God lives itself as you; it lives you.
2. You have been taught that the Mind of God is the only mind there is. The teaching is true, but it has not been given the expansion that would make
it comprehensible to you. The expansion that makes the statement comprehensible is: God is mind. The Mind of God thinks; it thinks itself. The Mind of God thinks itself as you; it thinks you.
3. You have been taught that your thoughts make your life. The teaching is but a partial truth, and it does not explain the truth that it asserts. It does not trace the unseen to the seen. The primal facts regarding manifestation are: Thought is an action of mind; it is the genetic entity of form. In its beginning it is incorporeal; by continuation it becomes corporeal. It gathers substance into the shape that is called matter. Your thought is your mind and it is the physical entity that thinking assembles. You are what you think.
Face life and its situations with courage. You can unform and reform; you can bring new shapes of good from the treasury of your mind. The world is yours. Heaven is yours. All power is yours.
You are your own thoughts made manifest.
I am what I think. I think life. The life of God is released in me, and I am alive forevermore.
I am what I think. I think the Mind of God. The Mind of God is released in me, and I am wise with His wisdom.
I am what I think. I think power. The power of God is released in me, and I am daily changed into a likeness truer to Him.