Home Course in Mental Science – Introduction

(A Personal Introduction by the Publisher)
Benedict Lust, N.D. M.D.
New York, 1921.

You were meant to achieve a great success. You can learn how to be well, strong, prosperous and happy. You can overcome disease, poverty, fear, worry, weakness of all kinds. You can do, have, and be far more than you ever dared to attempt, or even thought possible. You have wonderful powers of mind and body, that you need only recognize and use in order to reach the very height of your noblest ambitions and aspirations.

The mission of these lessons is to help you believe all this, and prove it. The author of the lessons did prove it, before writing the lessons. They are not rainbow dreams of speculation, but live chapters of personal experience taken from the record of a teacher, healer and philosopher known throughout the world as one of the most powerful thinkers and leaders that the world has produced.

Millions of people today who are using practical psychology in their professional duties, business problems, home relations or personal life gained their first knowledge of how to succeed from the author of these lessons. Not only a teacher, but a teacher of teachers, this pioneer metaphysician gave to hundreds of teachers and healers a vision of what they could do for their students and patients, and a vital impulse and force irresistible and inexhaustible.

Every student or seeker of health, and every drugless practitioner, needs a working knowledge of Mental Science. The vital organs and functions of the body depend on the nerves for healthy action; the nerves are controlled by the brain, glands, solar plexus and subconscious mind; all of which are made strong or weak, healthy or sickly, normal or abnormal, by the character of our thoughts, emotions and expectations.

The test of a teacher’s truth is that he has tried it out, and proved its potency for himself, by himself, in himself. Not many teachers do this. Here is a teacher who has done it. Your big source of inspiration and expectation lies in that fact. You can study these lessons with absolute confidence in their power to guide, help and transform you, just to the extent of your faithful study and practice of their truths.

A woman of middle age, living among strangers, torn by sorrows and worn by worries, having no capital whatever, no experience in managing a business, and no money to pay her board bill, founded a publishing concern that made money from the start and put her on her feet in a month after she went in business by herself. That woman was Helen Wilmans, Founder of Mental Science. No other teacher, so far as we know, in all the range of metaphysics, ever began the work of teaching with so powerful a demonstration.

Let her tell the story in her own words:

“It may not be amiss here to speak a word concerning my own experience–it often happens that the experience of another fires him who hears it to a new effort–and I want to tell how all things have conspired to push and kick and starve me into my present position of thought.“My temperament is lymphatic. I like my ease. I could amuse myself with small pleasures. I could bear much inconvenience and endure bad treatment, finding compensation in books, embroidery, and other small enjoyments.“But it seemed as if everything I touched turned to ashes–as if nature were in conspiracy with fate to drive me on. I lost my home, where I would have been content to raise poultry for a living. I was driven into newspaper work from my very hunger.

“I was successful in this work only a few months. My ideas ripened too fast and I began, without knowing it, to write ahead of the demand made by the class of readers who took the paper I was on. Then this door shut in my face, and other doors did the same, until I stood, one sleety November day, out in the Chicago streets with twenty-five cents in my pocket, and not a soul on earth from whom I felt free to ask a dollar.

“And now note this: I was stripped of every dependence save that which I had in my lone self. And oh, what a position it was! I shall never forget it. Do you imagine that I was frightened? The first attempt I made to analyze my feelings brought me the fact that I was not frightened at all.

“Then came such a consciousness of power as I never had had before in my life. Everything was swept from me and I stood alone in my own strength. And this naked strength is a tremendous thing to stand in. There is nothing equal to it.

“For the first time in my life I was perfectly erect; I touched no one at any point. I felt myself an unfathomable abyss of mighty potencies. I was glad my purse was empty; the thought of money should never master me again. I started toward my boarding house, with the exultant freedom of a bird. I held a power in my hands that nothing could quell; that power was the absence of fear–the sense of freedom, and the consciousness of my own independent and unaided strength.

“I went to my room and began to write; and that article was the most emphatic declaration of the right of the ‘I’ that was ever put in type. Looked at from a conventional standpoint it was utterly lawless. But when it came out, it touched the people like a shock of electricity. It said for them what they wanted to say but dared not. Hundreds of journals copied it, and it ran through public feeling like wildfire.

“I had just finished writing it when there came a rap at my door and my landlord came in. He was a man who looked carefully after his own interests.

“You came home early,” he said, “and if you do not care I want to know why.” I told him that I had lost my position.

“What will you do?” he asked.

“I will make a paper of my own that shall be free from the fear of public opinion,” I said.

“And then I read the article I had written. Now this man was almost a stranger to me. I simply knew him by sight. When I read him what I had written he stood up to go. At the door he turned and with a manner as respectful as if he had been addressing a queen, asked if he might have the privilege of furnishing the money necessary to get the paper out.

“But it was not necessary. I finished writing the other articles to be used and then took them to the largest newspaper publishers in the city. I told them I wanted twenty thousand copies of the paper. They asked no questions; the paper came out in a few days and was sent to such addresses as I could command. The bill for the paper was never presented to me. I called for it some four weeks later and paid for it out of the money that flowed in on me in subscriptions, and I have never lacked for a dollar since.

“I have told this for a purpose, as the student may guess. I want to show that the basis of success rests in a person’s power to stand alone; and no man will ever be the magnet to attract success until he can stand alone, straight and tall as a liberty pole, glorying in the position; free from fear; independent of public opinion, and daring to be himself. Here is the strength that draws still greater strength; here is that which all men adore, and before which all false assumptions of greatness doff their tinsel crowns.”

This first bold venture was the beginning of the marvelous career of Helen Wilmans. Going from strength to strength, always aiming higher and achieving more, she built a city, founded a colony, made a fortune, wrote and published a library of Mental Science, healed hundreds of patients of all manner of ailments and diseases, taught thousands of students the way to heal, energize, upbuild and emancipate themselves. You have, in these lessons, the meat of all her philosophy.

But, because it is a new kind of mental food, it must be taken slowly, moderately, wisely. You will find it strong meat for the mind. Perhaps it won’t “agree” with you at the start; many a wholesome food for the body fails to “agree” with the stomachs of people who are somehow disordered; just so, when the mind is very sluggish, or feverish, or crammed with undigested or ill-chosen thoughts, it cannot receive and assimilate properly the most nourishing mental food.

Do not look for immediate results. Many of the truths of these lessons are seeds to be sown deep in your character, then allowed to remain hidden while they slowly take root and germinate. Most people’s minds are choked with weeds of error. You will have to spend much time and effort pulling these out before the seeds of truth can grow. Be patient, be confident, be persistent. The subconscious mind will yield ample fruitage, and reward you richly, when the time is due.

We are prompted by an experience of twenty-five years in teaching, lecturing, healing and publishing to offer a few suggestions whereby the mastery of these lessons may be rendered easier, and their value higher. It is just as important to know how to study as what to study, for advancement.

1. Follow the right study method. Fix your method, and follow it. Don’t study haphazard.

2. Plan a regular study period. A lesson a week is about all the average student has time to think out and work out. The best time in the day for study is probably the early morning, before breakfast. The next best time is the evening, when you can be quiet and undisturbed; never begin to study, however, under an hour after you finish the evening meal. Choose a time, in the day and week, when you can be sure of at least an hour, better two hours, of unbroken solitude.

3. Take the lessons in order. Master each before you go on to the next. A basic rule in either study or work is to clean up as you go along–never leave a job half done or poorly done. Thoroughness, perhaps more than any other quality or habit, makes a man proficient. You cannot skim over these lessons and realize much benefit; you must dig down deep for their hidden gold, as you would delve in a mine of rare and precious metal.

4. Work each lesson out, by mental and moral exercise of your will. Make a habit of doing something, whatever seems to you the most important thing suggested by each lesson, for a certain number of days, regularly and powerfully, immediately following the study of that lesson. If it is only an “affirmation” of health, joy and strength, repeat it the first thing in the morning, until the next lesson furnishes another daily exercise. You must train your mind for healthy action by a series of mental gymnastics. Your mind cannot be thought into a high state of vigor, clarity and efficiency, any more than your muscles can; it must be drilled and trained by exercise, a constant repetition, and demonstration, of the kind of thought you wish to dominate the grooves and cells of your brain.

5. Keep a personal, private notebook for comments, queries and exercises. A notebook of approximate dimensions of the coat pocket may be divided into twenty blank sections, with a heading for each specifying the number of the lesson. You might put “Comments and Queries” on each left-hand page, and “Daily Exercises” on each righthand page. The big purpose of the notebook is to keep you thinking, working, experimenting, on original lines for yourself, and thus proving and developing the mind forces that are individual and supreme in you, whatever they may be.

6. Challenge the author, wherever you disagree. Helen Wilmans claimed the right to challenge the world–you have as good a right to challenge Helen Wilmans. Possibly she is wrong in a few of her statements; no writer, no teacher, was ever infallible. The chances are, however, that in a case of disagreement, your viewpoint is wrong, not hers. Why? Because your thought is likely to be inherited or acquired, bought, borrowed, begged or stolen; while her thought is likely to be her own, therefore honest, keen, true. Challenge her thought if you feel that way; but make sure the question is of your own experience, reason or intuition, don’t insult her honesty and your own intelligence by retreating back of the world’s fool opinion to save yourself a little hard thought, and declaring her statement incorrect when it is your action that is cowardly. The fact that you have held a certain opinion all your life is pretty good proof that it never was yours, created for yourself by yourself; it was a “hand-me-down” article, it doesn’t fit you, it belongs in the ragbag. If all you get from the teachings of Helen Wilmans is a new habit of mental sincerity, moral bravery, spiritual candor, the final reward that comes to you will repay your study a thousand-fold.

7. Keep your own counsel. Don’t talk about Mental Science. Don’t discuss with anybody the ideas offered in these lessons. Your work and life will do the talking–and the convincing. When you talk about your growth, you stop it, as you would stop the growth of a flower by sending blasts of superheated air across it. When you attempt to proselyte, orate, argue, or otherwise make a nuisance of yourself, you merely stir up antagonism, useless and harmful. Be content to work out your own salvation. Let other folks alone.

8. [Written in 1921] Write me your doubts, problems, queries, difficulties. They will be answered, from time to time, in the pages of my magazine “Herald of Health,” by the best available expert in psychology and efficiency; or they will be referred to such an expert, with whom I will arrange personal consultations for our students on special terms. You will be notified in advance of incurring obligation or expense, and there will be no charge for my services in providing such introduction or connection as your need may call for.

9. Obtain, for collateral reading, one or more of the inspiring and empowering books by Helen Wilmans, if any are still to be had. These books are now rare and hard to get, being mostly out of print, the editions having been exhausted by the great demand.

10. Pass the benefit along. When you begin to see how interesting, forceful and helpful these lessons are, and what a remarkable new line of thought and progress they open up, think of your friends, associates or employees who would most appreciate and best use them. It is a law of life that the more we give the more we have to give. The way to enjoy a blessing is to share it. Your part in awakening and developing the mind of the race will be to provide an easy way for your friends to begin the study of Mental Science.

B. Lust, Publisher

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