"The Kingdom will not come by waiting for it. It will not be a matter of saying 'Here it is' or 'There it is'. Rather, the Kingdom of the Father is spread out upon earth, and men do not see it. . . . Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over all things." - Jesus (from the gnostic Gospel of Thomas)
The first phase of Man's Evolution has been to do with creating free thinking beings capable of controlling their surroundings by purely physical means.
The next great step in Man's Evolution is concerned with enabling these free thinking beings to control their surroundings and experiences by mental methods as well as physical.
WHAT do we mean by the Spirit of a thing? One frequently hears the expression "He enters into the spirit of a thing" and it will be of value to us to examine the phrase carefully and try to arrive at its exact meaning. The simplest way to achieve our object is to take a hypothetical case.
Let us suppose that some man realises that there is an immense need for supplying the unemployed with free meals, and proceeds to organise a movement to achieve this object. Unable to do the whole job single handed, he enlists the aid of other people and asks them "to enter into the spirit" of the thing. In actual fact, he asks them to share his attitude of mind towards the object he has in view. In other words he endeavours to reproduce in them that quality of life which inspired him to bring his movement and organization into existence.
That is precisely the object in introducing to you very briefly the whole fascinating subject of Mental Science. It is intended that you should share the creative attitude of mind, which originated the Universe and its inhabitants.
There are certain Universal Laws in constant and evident operation all around us, and, by attaining some grasp of their principles, we may use the power inherent in them to help ourselves through our daily troubles and perplexities. We can, metaphorically speaking, bring our water wheel into appropriate contact with the main stream and cause it to turn our particular mill.
If then, we examine the course of the world around us, we find that continuous Progress or Movement is being manifested, and we must try to trace to its source that Power which causes the evolution that is so obviously inherent in everything.
Scientists have made it very clear to us that it is no use to look for that Power in the physical world, for they have reduced all material things to nothing more or less than "changed space."
And here, I expect, you pull up with a jerk and say "I don't quite understand that last sentence," Right, let us re-state it.
Scientists have proved to us that there must have been, at the beginning of all creation, a Universal Substance which, by the action of some Outside Force (the identity of which we will examine later), set in motion a process of change. This process consisted of the gradual building up of the universe and its inhabitants by successive stages of evolution. In other words, the universe and its beings are nothing more than Universal Substance which has undergone transformation. There, therefore, remains that essential basic factor to be remembered that, quite literally, "Ye are all One."
So much for the Physical and Material Substance.
IN the last section we were brought face to face with the realisation that there was a Motive Power which acted on the Universal Substance to produce the chain of change which is known to us as Evolution.
Let us examine this Power or Life Principle in action on our own bodies and in the natural world around us.
So long as a flower is animated by the Life Force, or, as we say, as long as it is alive, there is growth and increase. As soon as the Life Force commences a self-withdrawal, then disintegration sets in and the flower decays and dies. Our own bodies are reducible to a chemical formula and, without the Life Force, they also proceed with change and decay. In fact, we find that all "things" are in a process of disintegration unless the Life Force is present. The Life Force therefore can be summed up as a Power which organises matter and arrests the natural process of matter which is Disorganization and Disintegration.
But Life is an Organizing Force sufficiently selective and discriminating in its action to originate and maintain a recognizable Cosmic Plan. In other words it is a Spirit-Intelligence of limitless capacity.
The object of our study must therefore be to realise that we ourselves and all things around us are merely the expressions or manifestations on the material plane of the All Originating Spirit. Or to put it more simply, we are all formed from the same original Universal Substance by the action of the Same Intelligence upon that Substance.
We can at once decide that the characteristic of Spirit-Intelligence is Thought, so let us see, by means of a simple illustration, where we are now heading.
I am typing these words at a desk on which there is a bowl of flowers. In examining these flowers I find that my knowledge of them is limited, entirely, to my own physical capacity for perception. I know their form only through my eyesight. I know their colour by the same means. I know their scent by my sense of smell, and therefore I am entirely dependent on my physical fitness and completeness for my appreciation of their Beauty. But if I am to find the everlasting all-Beautiful, all-Perfect, and all-Good, it is to the infinite capacity of my Mind and Thought that I am compelled to turn.
Exactly the same principle is found in the work of any creative artist. If we examine the case of a painter of a picture, we find that his finished work may fall far short of its original mental image which he first conceived in his imagination. But if that picture stirs up in the beholder a realisation of that primal mental picture, then it has reproduced in him the spirit that was the essence of causation of the picture.
Take the instance of our own bodies. If there is the perfect Body on the psychic plane whilst the physical Body is diseased, the reason for that disease lies in the mind which is the only conceivable channel between the psychic and the physical planes. On this fact the whole principle of mental healing is built up and the complete success in dealing with widely diversified diseases of many spiritual and mental healers is a fully adequate proof of the correctness of the principle.
Here is a rough summary of the facts at which we have arrived at so far, and which, if you wish, you may accept without worrying yourself unduly in an effort to completely understand all that I have found it necessary to say to arrive at them.
The Universe and its inhabitants can be treated as a single entity made from the same special ether by a Process of Change as the result of a definite Cosmic Law of Evolution.
The physical world as we know it is not the Ultimate Reality, but is a materialisation of what first exists on the psychic plane, i.e. in the immaterial realm of thought.
Nothing can exist on the physical plane that is not first conceived on the psychic plane.
Evolution and change is controlled by Spirit which is all-Pervading.
Spirit acts through individualised man and through all life forms by the Principle or Law of Attraction which will explained in detail further on.
EVERYONE has heard of the conscious mind and the subconscious mind, and there is a tendency to regard them as two completely separate units. This is an entirely misleading view. They are no more separate than two different parts of the same room. In fact, that is an analogy which we can pursue rather further, and liken the mind to a huge room with a light in only one end of it, so that only a small portion is illuminated with any degree of brightness, and beyond its immediate rays there is a space of shadows and twilight, and further still we find absolute darkness.
We may imagine a steady progression of people into the brightly-lighted area. Some come from the dark shadows of the room, whilst others come in from outside, but they all go the same way in the end—into the shadows and into the darkness.
Here is the key to the analogy. The brightly-lighted area is the conscious mind and contains those thoughts (people) which we are at this moment thinking. They may be new thoughts and impressions which have come in from outside or they may be old thoughts which have been stored up in the darkness but which we have recalled to the light.
Where the light is not good, but vision is still possible, we find those thoughts which are within immediate recall, i.e., memory; or thoughts in some way related to those in full light.
What is in the darkness or subconscious mind we will deal with in a moment.
Let me, with another illustration, try to make the matter clearer to you.
Supposing you were in a hall listening to a lecture. The speaker and his matter would be in your conscious mind. Just beyond its range you would find other matters of which you might be partially conscious. For instance, that the seats were hard or that the hall was too cold. And a little further still from the centre of complete consciousness, we would find those thoughts which might, at an instant, be called to the centre by some remark of the speaker's which, momentarily, made you think of something else. For instance, the mention of food might conceivably bring to the centre of consciousness the thought that you were going to be late for your dinner.
Finally, we find the complete darkness or subconscious mind with which this section is primarily designed to deal.
A man lives in accordance with his beliefs, and his beliefs are the result of the credit or debit balance of the contents of his subconscious mind.
As it is so much simpler to drive home a point by means of an illustration, let us continue the analogy of the dark part of the room and its inhabitants.
If we penetrate the darkness we find that the room is large enough to accommodate every person (thought) that comes in. There is ample space for all and not a single one gets suffocated. But on closer examination we find that they are not pushed in anyhow, but are carefully grouped according to the interest they may have in common, and are labelled with the name of that interest, and even if their views on their common interest are totally opposed to each other, they nevertheless join the group.
Now let us take a hypothetical case and see the subconscious mind at work.
Suppose you, reader, have never in your life seen a dog. Then in your subconscious mind there will be a label with the word "Dog" on it but with, so far, no group of thoughts to which to attach it. Then one day you hear a noise and someone says that it is a dog barking. Immediately the thought that a dog is something that barks goes down and takes its place under the label "Dog." And so on as your information about dogs grows, so the group of thoughts under that label gradually increases. Then perhaps someone says that a dog has five legs. Down goes that thought and takes its place in the group even though you may have seen a dog and so know that the though is a false one.
No thought or impression entering the mind is ever lost. Every thought or impression you have ever received, even from pre-natal existence, right through your life, is stored under its appropriate label in your subconscious mind until your death—and after.
In the first section above, we decided that the Psychic Life-Giving Urge is an organising force when brought into association with matter, and, as scientists have shown us, we find therein the greatest proof of survival after death, because it is surely common sense to state that that Force which organises and controls the indestructible, is itself Eternal.
When Death takes place, therefore, the mind shakes itself free of all that is physical and limited, and the Real You, which is the sum total, on balance, of your subconscious mind, emerges, untrammelled any longer by a consciousness of physical conditions and surroundings, to complete freedom of action for further experience on other less material planes.
To return to our illustration of the "Dog-Group" of thoughts as given above. If you are asked whether a dog has four legs or five, your answer is the result of a balance of the thoughts contained in that group. So are your actions all through your life. So the health of your subconscious mind is of primary importance to you and is certainly worthy of still further consideration.
A great truth lies in the analogy of the mind as a room of Darkness and Light, for the subconscious mind works completely "in the dark," whilst the conscious mind works completely "in the light."
The conscious mind, because it works in the light, is able to check up or reason about any information given to it, and need not react to that information, but the subconscious mind accepts as literal and complete truth every statement made to it and immediately sets to work to act upon it.
For instance, if a man is seated in a chair and hypnotised—by which we mean that his conscious mind is temporarily put to sleep—and then he is told that he is swimming in a rough sea, the subconscious mind will proceed to make the man go through all the motions of swimming or even of exhaustion. But an un-hypnotised man, in full possession of his conscious faculties, will immediately reject the suggestion that he is in the sea—he knows that he is safely in a chair and that is all there is to it as far as he is concerned.
The habitual liar does actually begin to believe his or her own lies, because he or she has told them so often and lived them so consistently that on balance in their subconscious mind they are the Realities.
To cure him or her and straighten them out, therefore, there must be given them an adequate number of truth-thoughts to ensure the balance working out on the right side.
What else does the subconscious mind do beside contain our beliefs?
It also directly controls all those actions of the body which we regard as automatic whether they be glandular, muscular or nervous. All our functional activities are guided by the subconscious mind.
This section is of great importance and I ask you to realise it to the full, as it is on these foundations that the whole structure of the Practice of Mental Science is built.
We have seen that the only conceivable Primary Source of the Creation lies in Thought and that everything created is therefore a manifestation of the Originating Thought. Now we go a step further, in linking ourselves to the Powers that Be, when we realise that our own mind is therefore the manifestation of the originating Thought. In other words, our mind is a distributing centre for the entire Power-in-Action of the originating Thought.
But we have the God-given Liberty of Volition, and we can therefore sum up our discovery by saying that, through our mind, we have at our disposal all the Power and Resource of the originating Spirit, which created all things seen and unseen.
Herein, students of the Bible will find the real meaning of the statement that we are created in the image and likeness of God.
Immediately following the appreciation of the foregoing sentences it becomes reasonable to ask "why then, with all this Power at our disposal, do we remain hindered and repressed by antagonistic environment? Or why, indeed, does antagonistic environment exist?"
To answer these questions effectively we must consider carefully what is known as "suggestion."
In dealing with the subconscious mind we saw that the habitual liar comes to believe in their own lies. We decided that this was so because he or she had told the lie so often that it became a reality to them. This is what is meant by suggestion. A "suggestion" is a statement so repeated and enforced that it becomes for the subconscious mind a truth.
Now we can see the vicious circle in which we are. We look at the adverse conditions around us and give our subconscious mind a strong suggestion of limitation. People around us are suffering from poverty and disease and our subconscious mind assimilates the suggestion that such conditions constitute reality, and proceeds to evolve those conditions for us, unless we are strong enough to counter the negative suggestion with a sufficiently strong affirmative suggestion.
By adequate affirmative suggestion, we can alter our surroundings and a realisation of this fact is summed up in the phrase ''Nothing succeeds like success.'' This simply means that the first small success acted as an affirmative suggestion which led to the next and perhaps slightly larger success. And so on, ad infinitum.
Having read all that has gone before we should be in possession of all those facts which will provide the means to an effective practice of Mental Science on our own lives.
Taken with permission from www.mental-science.com
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