This tract is special. Note that on the last page it says “Tract No. 2” and that it was published from the Hall Building. That indicates it was published around 1892 and is the second of hundreds, maybe thousands, of tracts published by Unity.
But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus to testify the gospel of the grace of God — Acts 20:24.
In the process of spiritual unfoldment there are certain exercises which the faithful disciple may use that will be exceedingly helpful to him in bringing realization of that calm self-poise so essential to a true manifestation of God in the flesh.
One of these exercises is the practice of controlling the thoughts so that they will not jump or start, or even move in the slightest way, but at the bidding of their thinker.
It is with the mind that man reflects the character of his Ideal, the great God, in whose image and likeness he is made, and what the mind reflects the body, which is but the effect of man’s thoughts, will express.
The mind of man is like a mirror or a lake upon which an image can be cast, and the first requisite of a good reflector is that it be still.
The lake that is in perpetual motion, now full of ripples and again thrown up into foaming waves, cannot give forth a true image of the ship that rests on its surface; so the mind that is ruffled by every passing breeze of feeling or lashed into waves of fear, anxiety or anger because of externals, cannot easily and fairly reflect its Ideal, though that image be held before it day and night without ceasing.
Therefore, self-control is a most necessary part of our spiritual education, and not only that self-control which shows as outward calmness and dispassion, but also control of our very thoughts and feelings, so that with Paul, we can truly say from our heart, “None of these things move me.”
Whatever is unspiritual or evil in its nature is unreal and but temporal. This the wise man knows and therefore remains immoveable in the midst of it. The only reality is God, who is changeless Spirit and who is All-Goodness. He is our Ideal and our example, and since God is calm and unmoved by temporal things and evil deeds, the true God-follower must abide in the same stillness, uninfluenced by either the changeful good or the evil of this world.
Every thought, word or deed sent into this world seeks some response and where it does not find acknowledgement it will finally cease to go. Both sympathy with a thought or thing, and resentment towards it are acknowledgement of its being. If, therefore, we do not wish evils to come to us let us learn not to acknowledge their presence as real by even so much as the slightest tremor of the mind.
It has been discovered by the divine pioneers who have, these many centuries, gone before us over the Way that leads unto life, that one of the most effectual means of controlling the thoughts is by repetition of some scriptural saying that is opposite in its meaning to the undesirable thought. For example, when fear of evil assails the disciple. to repeat the words of Psalm 23:4, “I will fear no evil, for thou art with me,” will dispel the fearful thoughts, and, by the divine law of creation, will form an aura of protection about the one who repeats them, so that of a verity no evil can come nigh his dwelling place.
The words which will bring stillness to a mind about to be perturbed, or that is already in an agitated state are these six inspired words of St. Paul: None of these things move me.
When some one is angry with you and fault is found with you, instead of beginning to defend yourself and to answer back in the same spirit, turn your attention inward and down every resentful thought with these words: “None of these things move me.” (Always speak these words silently, not aloud, else you would antagonize another.)
Practicing this a few times soon reveals two beautiful results: First, how absolutely nothing angry and fault finding words become to you; they fall upon your ear like the ticking of the clock—unheard and unnoticed. Second, they begin to be less frequent and less venomous until they cease altogether.
One who cares nothing for reproof, reveals the uselessness of fault finding and is finally exempt from it. The man who does not mind scolding in the least, at last receives no scoldings; the woman who cannot be teased is let alone by those who love to tease.
It has been said that of all the sins, lust and anger are man’s greatest foes. What has been said in the preceeding, concerning the anger that comes from without, and the anger that conies from within, will also apply to lustful desires and suggestions. Meet every impurity, whether in thought, word or deed, with the magical exorcism, “None of these things move me.”
Practice repeating these words, mentally, at the approach of every annoying thought, even the most trivial events of your life, for it is by gaining control over one’s self in the little things of life, that one has self-possession when the great things are facing him.
A young student of surgery, who wished to make himself proficient in his practice, saw in the beginning of his study, the great necessity of having perfect control over the nerves and muscles of his arm and hand. Therefore he invented this training for himself: every day to carry a goblet, full to the brim with water, up and down stairs, without spilling any of the liquid. At first he needed to go very slowly and cautiously, but by perseverance, he was finally enabled to run rapidly up and down the stairs, with the glass of water held so steadily as not to spill one drop. The result was a remarkably steady and sure hand in the dissecting room, and later, when dangerous and critical operations were to be performed, he was the one always chosen and relied upon for the most important part of the work.
What this daily practice was to the young surgeon, the habitual control of one’s self under the thousand and one little annoyances of life, can be to the spiritual aspirant.
Learn not to be startled at unexpected noises, not to jump when the door bangs, not to cry out at sudden or unwelcome sights. Moreover control your internal organs—your heart, your diaphragm, your whole nervous system, by using divine words and thoughts, with faith that it lies in your power so to govern yourself, and to be calm both within and without.
Most mortals have something or somebody in their lives that disturbs them, or makes them “nervous” or irritable. Some boy is always drumming with his fingers, some child has the habit of whining, some woman talks a stream of senseless gossip, or there is someone that has some mannerism that is particularly rude and exasperating, someone’s voice is discordant, or her judgment is poor and blunders are made that would “try the patience of Job.”
Learn to say to all these: “None of these things move me.” Every such effort at self-control adds a mighty impetus to your spiritual velocity, and you learn that you need not move out of your path in order to develop your divine character and become giants in heavenly mastery.
There are certain monks and dervishes who take upon themselves voluntary poverty and pain, in order to overcome them, and by that means acquire spiritual powers. Such methods Jesus called “taking the kingdom of heaven by violence. — Matt. 11:12. But we need not go out of our way to find those circumstances and experiences that will be the means of developing our spiritual muscles through overcoming these hardships bravely and lovingly.
The Christ shows us the easy way—“the path of pleasantness and the way of peace.” It is to meet every experience without resistance, and with the love that taketh no account of evil, and worketh no ill to his neighbor.
Self-poise is equal-mindedness towards all men and all things, both the evil and the good. In calmness of mind is strength, alertness of perception, and clearness of judgment. Though immovable to those things that it does not wish to be moved by, yet the well-balanced mind acts readily at the slightest breath of the Spirit. It is like one of those ponderous engines, so firmly embedded in rock foundations as not to stir from its base, and yet in that part of its machinery which should move, so finely balanced and adjusted, that it is easily moved by the gentlest touch of its engineer.
In all this holy training let us continually remember to invoke the assistance of our Higher Self, for without the grace of God we could never overcome.
Our higher Self is ever overshadowing us, and everytime we appeal to It in love and obedience we shall feel It’s will to be our will; It’s strength to be ours until we “finish our course with joy,” and stand identified with the true Self, knowing in truth what this means: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in my throne, even as I overcame and am set down with my Father in His throne.”
Tract No. 2. 5 Cts. Each, 25 Cts. per Dozen.
Published by Unity Tract Society, 512 Hall Bldg., Kansas City, Mo.