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EBS37: The Dynamic Power Of Thought

Eric Butterworth Speaks: Essays on Abundant Living #37

Delivered by Eric Butterworth on August 5, 1975

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“God’s greatest gift to man is the power of thought, through which he can incorporate into his consciousness the mind of God.” Let’s think together about these words of Charles Fillmore.

Man is a thinking, feeling expression of the infinite mind of God. Just as the earth cannot exist outside the gravitational or orbital field and the subatomic particle cannot exist outside of its force-field, so man cannot exist outside of God, outside of infinite mind. Man is a living enterprise of infinite mind and expression; God is saying something as you, thinking Himself into manifestation through you. This God principle would function without you and I, but as far as we are concerned it can only exist as we permit it. It doesn’t depend on us to be the God-principle, but it does depend on us to be our unique individualization of itself. God is the great mind stuff, and man must think God’s thoughts after Him in order to become the unique individualization that God has created us all to be.

I used to patronize a barber who was the most pessimistic creature I have ever known. Only because of his excellent barbering did I subject myself to the atmosphere of his shop. He held forth regularly and predictably on religion, politics, and the news of the day like a filibustering congressman, expounding on every topic with an unbending belief in the rectitude of his observations. He decried that most politicians, clergymen, and businessmen were crooks and chiselers who could not be trusted and that the country was going downhill fast. My barber suffered from ulcers but would not see a doctor because of his belief that all physicians were only intent on getting rich quick. He had marital troubles but anyone could deduce that they were caused by his selfish disregard of his wife. Professing to be religious and a regular church-goer, he wondered at all the hard luck that befell him, and blamed it on all the knaves and atheists of the world who were “out to get him”.

My barber was a classic example of the dynamic power of thought. Life is a mirror reflecting back to us what we place before it. With positive faith, optimism, happy and healthy thoughts, we sow seeds and will reap a harvest of good for the world and for ourselves. I have never known a happy pessimist nor an unhappy optimist. The barber’s constant fear and worry and general negative thinking reflected in his physical and social and emotional problems. What a wonderful change could have taken place if he had simply turned to the brighter side of things and had begun to hold fast to constructive attitudes. Unfortunately, my attempts to convert him were a failure and many a time I came away temporarily depressed by his dark outlook.

Why is it ao difficult to change thoughts? You will get an idea of the concept if, some morning, you try the experiment of using your left hand for a few hours in everything you do. It doesn’t take long before you are frustrated and impatient with the new approach. We put on our ideas and beliefs in the morning just as we put on our clothes—without conscious thought or variation in procedure. Resistance to altering thoughts is immense and unrelenting, and trying it consciously is vexatious.

Yet, strangely enough, most scientific discovery is due to someone’s persistence in left-handed thinking. Certainly the resistance to new ideas is great because they threaten to disrupt comfortable old ones, and it takes daring to violate the, right-handedness of the times.

How very strong is the influence of thought in our lives and especially on the state of our health. Mind and body cannot be separated. Notice how the mind works on the body. If you are embarrassed, you blush; if nervous, you perspire; fear causes your hands to shake and your voice to quiver. It is a well known but comparatively recent discovery that the physical state of the body has little to do with the world around you and everything to do with how you are adjusting to that world. Poor health is invited and supported by wrong attitudes, negative emotions, tension and guilt. Happy emotions invite good health.

There is plenty of evidence to support the fact that the dynamics of the universe flow in a positive stream. God is altogether positive. When man is positive in his thinking or when he thinks God-thoughts after Him, then the potential for life and health and creativity flows easily through him. When, on the other hand, man is negative and fearful and resistant, he frustrates his own potential, inhibits the flow of life and substance...he burns himself up with his self-induced poison.

It is absolutely amazing what wonderful things can happen to those who keep their mental attitudes positive and creative. Even in times of great trouble (especially in those times) we can open our minds in positive thought and creative optimism, thus releasing the divine potential for guidance, success, health, and miracle working powers.

In his book called Invincible Forces, Willard Russell emphasizes that man has within him a power little used and often restricted by thought. He relates a true story of a boy who was sent away to a private school because he had always done poorly, was sickly, and had little confidence in himself. There he was noticed by the headmaster who believed in boys and encouraged him gently and patiently, awakening the spark which had always been within. Soon he was on top of his class and the headmaster turned to other chores.

Without the urging of his mentor, the boy began to think about his academic achievements with disbelief—this wasn’t the identity to which he was accustomed. He could not quite grasp the reason he had done well and began to doubt himself again. He dwelled on his insufficiency and inadequacy and soon could neither learn nor remember classroom lessons. He slid to where he had thought he belonged: the bottom of the class. Before long, he had dropped out, packed his trunk said goodbye to his friends, and arranged transportation home.

It was then that the boy, finding some spare time on his hands waiting for his ride home, found a sense of relaxation. The pressure of having to succeed was off his shoulders and he felt sufficiently at ease to visit the school library one last time and peruse a book on Roman history which had always interested him. He looked up several hours later, having finished a good part of the book, and realized that he remembered and understood virtually everything he had read! In his relaxed state he realized that he had all the ability of the other students, but simply needed to repair his thoughts about himself.

Man is about as happy as he makes up his mind to be, as successful as he lets himself be, and as healthy as he expects to be. Through his state of mind he releases or inhibits, as the case may be, the flow of dynamic life-substance and intelligence of the universe. The larger implications of this are breathtaking. You are a thinking center in life, and the chief characteristic of the law of life is that it responds”to thought. Your slightest thought sets up its own reaction, sets its creative intelligence in motion, and causes circumstances to follow your thought.

We do not have to beseech life to be good or to bring good into our lives. Life is like the sun—it shines on everything. It is we who must get out of the shadows, come out of our basements, open the windows of our minds and the doors of our souls and let life be to us whatever we wish it to be.

To have good health we must be good-health-minded; to achieve success we must fill ourselves with pictures, ideas, and thoughts all related to success. When we realize that thought has the tendency to externalize itself, then we see that better thoughts than we have been thinking will make for better conditions than we have been experiencing.

You can control your thought if you know that God is seeking to think through you. Take time to listen, to condition yourself to follow intuition rather than tuition, and to walk by faith and not by sight alone. You are always greater than your environment; and actually, environment is but your looking glass. The thinker is always greater than the thoughts he has. You are master of your thoughts. Know that you are God’s living enterprise and think His thoughts after Him.

© 1975, by Eric Butterworth

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