Chapter 5 – The Externalization of Thought

Chapter V
W. John Murray
Mental Medicine
Divine Science Publishing Assoc.
New York, 1923.

[119] One of the most profound truths, and one that is of greatest benefit when understood, is that thought has for its most persistent tendency the trend to externalize itself. If it were not for this direction there would be nothing for the human eye to rest upon but an unimproved material world. Nature would not till her own soil; neither would she use this soil to construct comfortable dwelling places for man and beast. The sweet harmonies of music, which delight our souls when expressed in audible tone, would remain forever silent were it not for the musical thought of man following its natural course towards the expression of itself. Architecture, which has been spoken of as “frozen music,” is nothing if it is not [120] thought seeking to give form to a mental picture. Divine Mind, or the Universal Mind, creates substance, but it is the human or the particular mind which is to shape this substance into such form as will serve its immediate purposes. When the Scriptures tell us that “God (Divine Mind) saw all that He had made and behold it was very good” and that, “He rested from all His labors,” it is Wisdom’s way of stating that the patterns of all that we see, or ever shall see, exist in Universal Mind, and that the function of the human, or particular mentality, is to bring these perfect ideas or ideals into visible manifestation. This explains the ceaseless striving to improve upon existing conditions which we see exhibiting themselves on every hand in that which we call human restlessness and dissatisfaction.

Humanity instinctively realizes it is not getting all out of life that life holds for it; and no amount of preaching will ever make it “content with such things as it has.” It knows instinctively that “more than we [121] can ask, or think, or even hope to receive,” the Universal has prepared for it from “before the foundation of the world,” or the visible order of things.

As science, physical and metaphysical, advances, we see the evidences of the power of thought to produce manifold blessings and conveniences of which our forefathers never dreamed. Forces which were unknown but which nevertheless existed long before Adam, have been discovered and are now being utilized, not only to make life more comfortable but actually to prolong it. The insistent desire for health is due to an inner or intuitional recognition of man’s inalienable right to be well. The insatiable longing for wealth, or abundance, is also due to an inner feeling that there is enough for all, and that limitation is not a God-imposed condition, but a man-accepted state of poverty.

As long as man could be persuaded by church and state that there was “just so much to go around,” and that, if the few had much, the many must have little, all went [122] comparatively well; but as thought expanded and the “common people” heard gladly that Supply is inexhaustible, there came a mental uprising and a universal protest. Strikes and revolutions turn the world upside down for a time, but very frequently they turn it right side up. In the economic world, the importunities of labor are similar to disease and poverty in the mental world.

The educated man of today is in a state of revolt against anything, and everything that interferes with his free enjoyment of all that his instinct tells him he is entitled to. He is dissatisfied and his dissatisfaction is a healthy dissatisfaction. It is the kind of dissatisfaction which made the stone plough give place to the steel, and then made the steel, which ploughed only a single furrow, as obsolete as the stone plough through the introduction of the gang-plough of today. There is a satisfaction which makes for atavism, or a return to conditions outgrown, and there is a dissatisfaction which makes for progression and a prosperity undreamed [123] of by the ancients, or even by men of our own day, whose thoughts are limited by their fears and false beliefs.

Thought protesting against injustice makes for revolution when it sees no other way of escape: thought, protesting against personal limitation, makes for evolution when the individual realizes that, “Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, which we ascribe to heaven.” The world and all that is therein is ruled by thought, but a man who cannot rule his own thoughts and drive them in the right direction, is like a man who owns a motor car but who cannot guide it. Such a man is forever at the mercy of his emotions. “Thought takes man out of servitude, into freedom,” according to Emerson, but there are those who call themselves Emersonians who have not yet grasped the fullness of Truth embodied in this statement. They know that thought, the thought of freedom persisted in, made for the abolition of slavery of the black man, but they do not realize that their own thoughts of sickness [124] have made them sick, neither do they know that their own thoughts of health will make them well.

Thought accompanied by action, according to well-known mental laws, always results in what is called material manifestation, as is evidenced by the poet and his poetry, the dramatist and his drama, the architect and his building. It is for this reason that we are cautioned by the author of the “Primitive Mind Cure” [Northwoods note: Warren Felt Evans] “never to lose sight of the deep law of our being, that all ideas have an inherent tendency to actualize or externalize themselves in the corporeal organism.

We speak of the tendency of thought to externalize itself as we speak of the tendency of water to flow down hill, or the tendency of gas or vapor to rise. Thought, like any other force, has a tendency, and the sooner we realize what this trend it, the better; for then we can work with it, instead of against it. Most of us in our ignorance of mental law, and our capacity to utilize it, are making [125] of our lives a constant “pulling hard against the stream,” which results at best in our making no headway against it, and at worst being swept backward by its persistent current.

One does not have to be a profound philosopher in order to see before his eyes the tendency of joy to actualize itself in a smile, or the tendency of anger to demonstrate itself in a frown; the mere tendency to be observant, not even very observant, is sufficient. These common illustrations point to the more pronounced phases of phenomena, as the poverty-thought tendency to express itself in financial distress; or the old-age thought in the sure and certain tendency to express itself in wrinkles and decrepitude.

Those who fear poverty close the channels in consciousness through which opulence is to flow. Those who fear old age see the accumulating evidences of its advancement every time they observe themselves in the glass, and the thing they fear most “comes [126] upon them.” Fortunately for us there is such a thing as reversal of process in the mental as in the mechanical world. In the mechanical world we see this expressed when we turn the tap one way, so that water may run, and another way, so that it may cease to flow. This turning of the tap does not create the supply; it simply draws upon it. Neither does it destroy supply when the tap is turned off; it simply inhibits it. In this we have an illustration of what thought may do for the individual in the matter of obtaining what he wants. Thought is unable to create. God has already done this, but thought can attract or repel supply, according as it is bountiful or niggardly, courageous or fearful. If then we can remember that the Universal Mind is supply, inexhaustible and omnipresent, and that the individual human mind is the channel through which the Universal flows, and the quality of our thoughts determines the extent of the flow, we shall think so as to attract the fullest measure of good, the [127] true, and the beautiful. Let us not lose sight of the fact that “We cannot get a three-inch stream through a one-inch pipe.” Neither must we blame the reservoir, if we do not draw upon it intelligently.

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Chapter 6

Mental Medicine
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