A Page From My Inner Life
Fred Vincent Fuller
The Spirit of The New Thought
Edited by Horatio W. Dresser
I had nothing in the beginning of my spiritual awakening to combat except possibly subconsciously the narrow beliefs of Orthodoxy, for I never accepted its handed-down man-made traditions of less favored ages, and yet I found latent in myself many of the grim New England teachings of repression, fear-Godness and stem-visaged duty, while at the same time I felt somewhat in regard to ministers as did Emerson: “That the relations of the soul to the Divine Spirit are so pure that it is profane to interpose helps.”
Some two years ago* (*The above was written in 1896. Reprinted from The Journal of Practical Metaphysics.) I read Miss Whiting’s World Beautiful and the picture therein drawn of the joyous, bold, care and worry-free life which one might come into fascinated me, and I often wondered almost dully whence could come the ladder by means of which I might be lifted to this ecstatic plane where one thrilled at all times with abounding zeal, exuberance, peace and unlimited power of accomplishment. For nearly ten consecutive years I had in cold weather months, on account of a (supposed) lack of vitality been inwardly depressed, morbid, blue, and introspective, and my mental condition at these periods was as distinct from brighter portions of my life as was Dr. Jekyll from Mr. Hyde. I was troubled, too, while intellectually free to roam the universe, with a vague unrest, a deep inward irritating discontent, and often thought half enviously of the perfect rest and content believers in Catholicism seem to have from their absolute acceptance of their faith. One blessed day Miss Whiting wrote these words in one of her serial articles: “It is not just to consider the subject (suggestion) without referring to the best book ever written upon it, one that is an efficient hand-book of the inner life, — Mr. Henry Wood’s Ideal Suggestion. In this a number of years ago Mr. Wood formulated the law and presented it in the most clear, simple, and impressive way.”
While somewhat familiar with spiritual and progressive literature, most of it had seemed vague and speculative to me and wholly lacking in method, due to the fact that my profession as well as my nature contributed to give me methodical, systematic ways of viewing and acquiring things. I got Ideal Suggestion and the first night I read through acceptably, on account of my knowledge of hypnotism and kindred subjects, the theory presented in its first hundred pages. The second night I took my first meditation and Suggestion, “GOD IS HERE,” and from that day to this — one year — I have never had a moment’s depression, and as I went on learning, step by step, to rest my thought upon the great normal Reality, peace flowed like a river through my mind, and joy came more and more into my possession:
“And all the jarring notes of life
Seemed blended in a Psalm,
And all the angles of its strife
Slow rounding into calm.”
The first few suggestions took such hold upon me that while riding in a street car I would mentally see them emblazoned about me in a more positive way even than the advertisements. So peaceful, patient, hopeful did I become, even in the midst of business complications and unusual happenings, that I several times thought I must be in a fools’ paradise, and that my state was too good and suddenly acquired to be real, that such exhilaration could not last but would drop me with a thud from cloudland earthward after the first frenzy wore off. At such times I would take a mental account of stock and always had to decide that even if I failed to permanently gain and hold all the spiritual graces promised, I could then and there see I was morally more firm and bold, intellectually more keen and originative, while physically I was in perfect condition.
On one occasion, talking of doubt, I asked Mr. Wood if he himself ever doubted the foundation principles and brilliant hopes held out in his book, and he informed me that the doctrine therein expressed had been so widely demonstrated, as proven by his great mass of correspondence with people in every part of the country, that no shadow of unbelief could possibly possess him. From among his many letters he loaned me nearly half a hundred glorious, enthusiastic endorsements, and as I read those frank, spontaneous, stimulating testimonies from people who had discovered that Heaven is a condition of subjective harmony and knowledge of Truth, and not a far-off country, my doubt was victoriously swallowed and assimilated into new zeal and fervor, much as Emerson advises one to “Work your passion up into poetry.” Ideal Suggestion became my daily food, and when journeying about had its place in my satchel, and so traveled in a few months six thousand miles with me, and was more cheering than a roomful of folks. Other books doubtless do and will touch and fit other temperaments as this one did mine, for Truth is never an exclusive thing, bottled up in one mind only, while the key-word for advancement is daily persistence.
Progress in these lines being a growth and uneven and inappreciable from day to day, and even sometimes from month to month, I was for a long time puzzled to see why my mental inharmony ceased from the day I first began my new exercises, but recently in reading Mr. Dresser’s The Power of Silence I came across this sentence, “His harmful states of mind will cease to trouble him if he refuse them the attention which is their life,” and the mystery was solved.
A thing exists for us and influences us only when it comes to or holds our attention, and we can think absorbingly of but one thing at a time. If you have never been to Australia and it never comes to your attention, then so far as exerting any influence on your life and thought goes, it does not exist for you. If a wild animal escapes from a menagerie and roams through city streets paralyzing all who see him with fear, and yet your own attention does not get directed toward him, his presence near you does not terrify because no thought of him has entered your mind, and so be is mentally harmless to you. Your neighbor may be bowed down with secret, crushing despair, as real and distressing to him as a broken limb, but as your attention is not called to it, but is filled with your own concerns, it is unknown to you. Now the grand thoughts presented in Ideal Suggestion were of intense interest to me and immediately they were presented to my attention they completely filled, occupied, and absorbed it so that when my mind was freed from ordinary duties, these elevating new thoughts flowed into it spontaneously and filled it, utterly excluding pessimistic and morbid thought. In this natural, normal way, then, doubt and worry dropped out of my life almost instantly, because ideal thoughts automatically sprang in when allowed to, and their opposites, being displaced from consciousness, died. In the same way sin, fear, and ignorance are displaced by the sunlight of bright thinking and are gone forever, and to hold in mind this simple principle of “No attention, no existence” is a most helpful key to aid in controlling phases of thinking.
It might be argued that any other hobby which absorbed one’s entire interest would make him happy in its pursuit, and this is partly so, but the deeper, inner growth of subconscious harmony and education which is the result aimed at would be lacking, if ordinary objective pursuits were substituted for spiritual thoughts and truths which concern our being’s most sacred depths.
To one who is harmonious and touched with the light, the world is continually radiant, and a walk with nature is a sweet communion, every person, dog, tree, rock, is redolent with relatedness and have joyful speech with us through the All which glistens in them. God is no longer a word of three letters to him, but a vital, warming, satisfying Energy of which he is a part, and which whispers lowly to him in every breeze saying: “Men are tubes through which the breath of God doth blow a momentary music.” He is “Ever in the presence of and always close to Love,” and he feels as he views the setting sun, the crystal sky, the stretch of landscape, a sense of ideal ownership in it even to the point of exclaiming with Monte Cristo, “The world is mine.”
His life moving parallel with Divine Law becomes simple, luminous, sweet, and he is startled at the favoring and added things which manifest in his environment, for spiritual harmony, through the law of attraction and correspondence, produces an easy, perfect condition of harmony in all he has to do with, and this fills him to the brim with soft thankfulness and wet-eyed appreciation. Persons, circumstances, things, come profusely in
his way and he no longer strives or competes, but is lovingly led or beckoned on by the primal power of the universe, that part of God within himself. All things show new lustre, and speak lovingly to him with new tongues, and he finds that :
“Earth’s crammed with Heaven,
And every common bush afire with God.”
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The Spirit of The New Thought
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