HOW TO CONTROL THOUGHT
1. Each thought of mind is an identity that has a central ego. By this we mean that every thought has a center around which all its elements revolve and to which it is obedient when no higher power is in evidence. Thoughts are capable of expressing themselves–they think. Man thinks, and he thinks into his thoughts all that he is; hence man’s thoughts must be endowed with a secondary power of thought.
2. There is, however, a difference between the original thinking and the secondary thought. One has its animating center in Spirit; the other, in thought. One is Son of God; the other is son of man.
3. The one essential fact to understand is that there can be no manifestation without intelligence as a fundamental factor or constituent part. Every form in the universe, every function, all action, all substance–all these have a thinking part that is receptive to and controllable by man. Material science has observed that every molecule has three things: intelligence, substance, and action. It knows where it wants to go, it has form, and it moves.
4. This intelligent principle in all things is the key to the metaphysician’s work. He does not concern himself with the action and reaction of the chemistry of matter, nor does he need to know all the intricate laws of electricity and magnetism in order to get the very highest use of them. They are susceptible to thought through the knowing factor in their construction, and to this susceptibility he appeals. It is through this all-pervading intelligence that man exercises his highest dominion. The scriptural statement of man’s power and dominion over all things is true only when his power and dominion are estimated mentally and spiritually.
5. It is the testimony of all philosophers that everything is in a state of construction or destruction. These two states are all-pervading, and they are apparently essential in building the universe. The metaphysician discerns the cause of these two movements to be the “yes” and the “no” of mind. These dual attributes of mind are in evidence everywhere, but they are not understood by those who observe only form instead of Spirit. The positive and negative poles of the magnet are states of mental affirmation and denial. In acid and alkali, in sour and sweet, chemistry is proclaiming “yes” and “no.” Day and night, heat and cold, sunshine and shadow, intelligence and ignorance, good and evil, saint and sinner, all are the reflections of mental affirmations and denials. The constructive or destructive factor in all manifestation is “yes” or “no.”
6. It is found that, by the use of these mind forces, man can dissolve things by denying their existence, and that he can build them up by affirming their presence. This is a simple statement, but when it is applied in all the intricate thought forms of the universe it becomes complex. The law of mental denial and affirmation will prove its truth to all those who persistently make use of it.
7. The power of the mind to build or destroy is exemplified most strikingly in the human body. Whatever we affirm as true of us manifests itself in due season somewhere in the organism. Whatever we deny is taken away, when the law has had time to work itself out.
8. The body is made of cells; some in a radiant state, some crystallized into form. The crystallizing of these radiant thought forms is the result of affirmations in man’s mind that his body is material instead of spiritual. The affirmative state of mind is a binding, holding process; it involves all thoughts and all thought manifestations that come within its scope. If man affirms his unity with the life, substance, and intelligence of God, he lays hold of these spiritual qualities; if he affirms the reality of matter and of the physical body he forms a material picture that works itself out in flesh.
9. Affirmations do not have to be made in set terms, such as, “I affirm my body to be spiritual”; the general trend of the mind, the sum total of thought in all its aspects, aggregates the affirmations that fix and crystallize thoughts into forms. The universal desire and striving of men and women for material possessions is the strongest kind of affirmation, affecting both mind and body in a marked degree. Stomach troubles and constipation seem to be common complaints with those who are financially grasping. The tense state of mind that this affirmation sets up extends throughout the body; all the muscles, nerves, and organs become fixed and almost immovable. This was forcibly illustrated in a certain banker, who was so grasping that his right hand closed rigidly, so that he could not open it. Again, a set ambition and intense desire to excel in some chosen field of work will produce like results. A dominating will fixed in any direction is a form of affirmation, and it affects the life action in the body organism according to its intensity. Congestion, stiffness, rigidity, may all be traced to excessive affirmation.
10. The metaphysical remedy for this selfish state of mind is denial. Jesus said that man must “Deny himself . . . and follow me.” The “me” here referred to is the higher self, the Christ, and the “himself” is personality. Denial is a putting away of the mental error and an entering into conscious relaxation of both mind and body. The healer does not tell the patient that constipation is caused by grasping, stingy states of mind. Instead, he mentally denies these habits and holds the patient open and receptive to the great unselfish Mind of the universe. People do not realize how they are bound by their selfishness, and it is not wise to tell them openly, until they understand the difference between their real being and the mortal personality.
11. Where the “no” phase of mind is too much in evidence, the whole consciousness is in relaxation. This excessive negation makes the thought indefinite and vacillating, the body weak and flabby. Prolapsus, dropsy, certain forms of kidney complaints, nearly all relaxations in body and functions, are the result of the “I can’t” state of mind. For example, if a businessman who for years had been intent on money-making should meet with a large loss and mourn over it, he would have kidney trouble of some kind. He would believe that he had lost his substance, and a void-thought would begin its dissipation of the voiding cells of his body. One who has been very ambitious for the attainment of some office or position, and who has been defeated in that ambition, will usually let go the positive mental pole and drop to the negative. The result is bodily weakness somewhere. We speak of such people as having “lost their grip.” This is exactly what they have done–their mental relaxation has loosened their grasp upon the organism, and it is in a condition of dissolution. Physicians have marveled that so many public men have diabetes and heart disease. It is because, through defeat, they have dropped from success to discouragement. The failure state of mind throws the whole organism into a panic, and its functions are weakened in their life action. Instead of the tonic of aspiration and hope, there is the enervation of discouragement and despair.
12. These are conditions that come to those who trust in the arm of flesh. When the mind of man is set on high, he never gives up or allows defeat to thwart his righteous ambitions. His thought is not set on selfish attainment, consequently he does not develop a mental vacuum when he meets with loss. To one in spiritual understanding there is no loss. The going and coming of material and intellectual things are but changes in the panorama of life. Changes are constantly taking place and will continue so long as we live in the consciousness of duality, the “yes” and “no” state of existence, which is mortality.
13. The object of man’s existence is to demonstrate the Truth of Being. This demonstration takes place through experience; but there are two ways of working out experience. The first is by knowing the law of every process, and the second is by blindly testing the process without understanding the law.
14. The human race made a choice when a certain stage of discretion was attained. An illustration of this statement is the allegory of the Garden of Eden. Adam represents generic man. In his early stages he was under the law of divine knowing–the Lord God was his guide and instructor; he made no mistakes, but lived consciously in divine understanding.
15. All experience develops personal identity–the consciousness of the powers of Being in the self. This is the bringing forth of free will, which is inherent in all. In the course of his demonstrations of Being, man arrives at the place where he feels his own ability, and he knows that he can exercise it without restraint. “Satan” is the personal mind that tempts man to try experience without knowledge. In divine illumination man does not consciously enter into that dual condition typified by “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Good is all; evil is that which might be if man forsook his guiding light. In the serene mind of God there is no duality, no good-and-bad, no understanding-and-ignorance. The brilliancy of all-knowing Mind dissolves all shadows, all negations.
16. It is man’s privilege to abide in the light, to know how to work out the problem of existence as accurately as the mathematician who follows, without deviation, the rules of his science. The Lord admonishes the unfolding Adam not to “eat”–not to incorporate into his consciousness the knowledge of duality, good and evil. But, like the child who refuses to take the advice of one who knows, man falls into indulgence of the sense of pleasure and excess. The reaction of sense indulgence is pain. Through these experiences, man comes into a consciousness of an opposite to the good. The dual mentality naturally sets up positive and negative forces in his mind, and these opposing forces are reflected into his body. The commotion is so great that the soul is forced out of its temple–man is put out of the garden, and in time forgets his former Edenic state.
17. Some metaphysicians argue that eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge was a necessary step in man’s evolution; that by experience we learn all truth, and that without experience we should always remain infants. Herein is the difference between the practical Christian and other men: the one seeks the guiding light of Spirit in all his ways, while the other ignores that light and works out his character as did Adam, in the sweat of his face. Hard experiences come into our lives because we do not know the law of harmonious thinking. If we think that evil exists as a power in the world, that it is working in our lives and in the lives of those about us, we make it an active force, and it appears to be all that we imagine it. The poet truly discerned that “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
18. Some metaphysicians claim that it is not wise to make denials; that affirmation includes all the mental movement necessary to man’s perfect development. This position would be tenable if we had built up our consciousness according to divine law. The student who has carried his mathematical problem forward without making an error does not find it necessary to erase. But if he sees where he has made a wrong computation, what then? Nothing but an erasure, followed by a right computation, will bring the correct answer. We have all fallen short of divine ideals; we must cross out our errors and insert Truth, until our character is brought up to the Jesus Christ standard.
19. Repentance is a form of denial. The forgiveness of sin is an erasure of mortal thought from consciousness. The joy that comes to the converted Christian results from the inflow of divine love, which occurs after the mind has been cleansed by denial of sin. This is a real experience, which may be repeated again and again by one who understands the law of Holy Spirit baptism, until the whole man is sanctified and freed from sin. Christians think of the joyous exaltation that marked their conversion as a special sign from the Lord in recognition of their change of heart. They look back upon it as an experience that comes but once in a lifetime. But metaphysicians who have studied the law of mind, who have practiced denials and affirmations as a science, find that they can throw themselves into this ecstatic state at will.
20. The personal self is the ego around which revolve all thoughts that bind us to error. We cannot cross all out at once, but little by little we cast out the specific thoughts that have accumulated and built up the false state of consciousness termed Judas. In the life of Jesus, Judas represents the false ego that error thought has generated. This “son of perdition” is so interwoven into the consciousness that to kill him at one fell swoop would destroy the mental entity, so he must be counted as one of the twelve, even while we know that he “hath a devil.”
21. In the symbology of Jesus’ life, Judas is represented as the treasurer; he “had the bag.” This means that this ego has possession of the sex, or life, center in the organism and is using it for its own selfish ends. Judas was a “thief.” The selfish use of the life and vitality of the organism for the gratification of sense pleasure robs the higher nature, and the spiritual man is not built up. This is the betrayal of Christ, and it is constantly taking place in those who live to fleshly, selfish ends.
22. A time comes, however, when Judas must be eliminated from consciousness. The agony of mind and the final crucifixion of Jesus represent the crossing out wholly of the false ego, Judas.
“I die daily,” said Paul. The “I” that dies daily is personal consciousness, formed of fear, ignorance, disease, the lust for material possessions, pride, anger, and the legion of demons that cluster about the personal ego. The only Savior of this one is Christ, the spiritual ego, the superconsciousness. We cannot, in our own strength, solve the great, self-purifying problem, but by giving ourselves wholly to Christ and constantly denying the demands of the personal self, we grow into the divine image. This is the process by which we “awake, with beholding thy form.”
Cleansing And Purifying Statements
(To be used in connection with Lesson Five)
1. God is good, and God is all, therefore I refuse to believe in the reality of evil in any of its forms.
2. God is life, and God is all; therefore I refuse to believe in the reality of loss of life, or death.
3. God is power and strength, and God is all; therefore I refuse to believe in inefficiency and weakness.
4. I am in authority. I say to this thought, “Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh.” (Read Mt. 8:5-13.)
5. God is wisdom, and God is all! therefore I refuse to believe in ignorance.
6. God is spiritual substance, and God is all; therefore there is no reality in the limitations of matter.
7. God is inexhaustible resource, and God is all; therefore I refuse to believe in the reality of lack or poverty.
8. God is love, and God is all; therefore I refuse to believe in hate or revenge.
9. “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city.”
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Christian Healing by Charles Fillmore
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