Home Course in Mental Science – Lesson 1 – Omnipresent Life

Helen Wilmans
A Home Course in Mental Science
Benedict Lust, N.D. M.D., Publisher
New York, 1921.

[11] Emerson says there is but one mind, and that we are all different expressions of it.

The Mental Science student means the same thing when he says there is but one Life, of which we are but individual manifestations.

If there is but one Life, then life is omnipresent–it fills all space. There is nothing outside of it. Indeed, there is no outside. There is but one Life. This Life is the universal Principle of Being that men call God.

There is a Life Principle, and it is unlimited; it is one. It holds the visible universe in place, though it is invisible. It is a self-existent principle. It underlies universal law. It is the one Law–the Law of Attraction–and beside it there is no other law. It is also the very essence of love; and the recognition of it as love is expressed by us in love for each other.

All the races of men have felt the presence and the power of this Law of Attraction, whose ultimate expression is love, or life, in a myriad of different forms.

The undeviating Law has never been violated, and never will be. And this is our hope. It is unchanging, diseaseless, deathless; and a knowledge of it conforms us to it in a way that renders us diseaseless and deathless.

For the law does permeate all visible forms. It is one with all substance. And no doubt that an expanded and spiritual interpretation of the word “God” has been the foundation for the expression that “God and man are one.”

For, in spite of the personal, and, therefore, limited interpretation of the word God, there have been in all ages of the world a few thinkers who were not so entirely confined to its narrow meaning, but they were able to see it in an enlarged, in a spiritual sense; in a sense that proved it to be the moving impulse of all visible life. And these men have said, “God and man are one.”

A more scientific statement of the same truth would have been this: The Law and man are one; or, man and all the visible universe are one with the law of their being–one with the indestructible Life Principle, or the Law of Attraction; the Love Essence.

Now, the object of Mental Science, as I teach it, is to rescue man from his beliefs in his own limitations by showing him his true relations to the Universal Law; thus demonstrating to him the unlimited possibilities of his being.

Unlimited, I say, because he is in the image and character of the omnipotent Law. He is an exponent of the Law, and cannot divorce himself from it, except by his own false and foolish beliefs.

To be divorced from the Universal Spirit of Life would be instant annihilation. On the other hand, to know more of this Universal Spirit of Life than we now know, would be to have more life, more health, more strength, more intelligence, more beauty and more opulence. Or, rather, it would be to be these things, instead [12] of having them. To truly mental creatures, such as we are, knowing more is being more.

The crying want of the race is a remedy for present conditions of sickness, poverty and death; and the whole strength of my effort in these lessons is to furnish a clue to this remedy. Now is the time to be saved. Tomorrow will not only bring its own needs, but its own remedies.

In Mental Science, the great principle laid down is this: Man is conjoined to the Eternal Life Principle. He is that Principle–its very self in objectivity–and in proportion as he becomes intellectually conscious of this tremendous truth, he finds an unfailing supply to all his needs, and grows more into a knowledge of his own mastery.

We are manifestations of the unchanging Life Principle; of the Universal Spirit of Being; the inextinguishable I AM. It is the soul to nature–the body. It is internal man. Man is the external of it. And the seeming two are one.

This Law, or Principle, is man in subjectivity.

Visible man is the Law, or Principle, in objectivity.

When the race knows this great truth, it will appreciate its own dignity and worth and power, and then there will be no more (so-called) sin and sickness and death; no more shedding of tears; no more want or sorrow or the feebleness of old age. We shall know that we are one with the deathless Law of Being, and that our progression through the realms of the universe will be by constantly knowing more and more of the power and beauty and opulence of the Law, which is the vital spark within us.

A condensed expression of the principles of Mental Science would read as follows:

There is but one substance.
This substance is both seen and unseen.
On its unseen side, it is the Universal Spirit of Life, or the Law of Attraction, which is love.
On its seen side, it is Intelligence, or mind–falsely called dead matter.

All is real. All is transitional. All is perpetual. The universe yields its substance to man in proportion as he comes into an intellectual understanding of it.

There is no limit as to the supply you may receive; there need be no limit to your demand. But unless you demand aright, you may as well not demand at all. Mental Science will teach you how to demand; and in so doing, it will unlock the store-house of the universe to you.

The universe is one mighty magnet, having its positive and negative poles. In Mental Science, the two words “positive” and “negative” explain the whole. And yet these words are used to describe relative and not absolute conditions; and the words themselves are relative in their application. There is nothing absolutely positive. The whole–everything we can see or get any conception of–is one grand, sliding scale; the negative growing into the positive, and the positive into the more positive throughout all time. The words which will best explain negative and positive are “unintelligent” and “intelligent,” or “unripe” and “ripe.” Let me illustrate. The rocks are extremely negative as compared with my hand, and my hand is negative as compared with my brain, and my brain is negative as compared with that essence which it generates, and which we call “thought.”

And yet, it is all one substance, through and through the great whole. Thought is substance just the same as rock is; the endless variety of objects and conditions to be met with everywhere is this one substance in many different degrees of positive and negative development, the difference in the manifestation being due to different degrees of development, and not to difference in substance. We can think of nothing that is not substance. This one substance is apparent in all the different forms of life, both animate and inanimate–in the minerals, animals, [13] plants, and in man, it expresses itself in different degrees of positive and negative (or intelligent and unintelligent) development. The rocks are not so intelligent as my hand, and my hand is not so intelligent as my brain, etc.; but the rock is not absolutely negative, not absolutely devoid of intelligence, or vitality, because it contains the possibility of all development, and it does develop. The possibility of all life is in it. It bides its time for incorporation into these bodies of ours and its evolvement into the highest thought.

And where is the dividing line between positive and negative? In strict truth, there is no dividing line; but for the sake of convenience in making these lessons clearer we will establish one; and it shall be at that point in development where we begin to be consciously intelligent; where we begin to reason on things, and to investigate ourselves and our surroundings. In short, it shall be as nearly as possible at that point where the intuitive life of the lower order of animals passes into the consciously intelligent life of man; though it must be remembered that even inanimate things have intelligence, but their intelligence is unconscious; by which I mean that it takes no thought of itself; does not reason on itself. Man is the highest expression of conscious intelligence. It is the consciousness of intelligence that makes him the creature of power that he is, and that gives him the authority to rule over all things. I have said that the universe is one mighty magnet. It is all one. It is not hard to understand that all the varied forms of life–seen and unseen–are composed of this one mental substance when we consider that steam, snow and ice are all different conditions of water. “Uni” means one. This idea of oneness must have had firm lodgment in the minds of those who first began to formulate our language; hence the name universe as applied to the whole. The universe is a universe, and not a diverse. Bear this in mind; for if the student loses sight of this point in these lessons, his bearings will be gone, and from that time on, he will find nothing in them that he can clearly understand.

The universe, to be a universe and not a diverse, is composed altogether of one substance, elaborated into many and varied forms of individuality, both animate and inanimate. The substance out of which all is evolved is the same throughout the whole, but the degrees of development, or intelligence, differ in regard to negative and positive, or immature and more mature expression. For it is the degree of development, or intelligence, in an object, that gives character to the object–size, form, color, power of motion, etc. In other words, each individuality is dependent for that which makes it more or less individualized upon the degree to which its intellect is developed.

And what shall we call this one substance of the universe; mind or matter? We cannot call it matter because the word is used and understood to express the absence of intelligence and vitality, when in reality there is not an atom in all the universe absolutely devoid of intelligence and vitality. We must call this one substance of which all is evolved “mind,” or “mental substance,” or “intelligence,” to distinguish it from the old belief in dead matter.

But for this point we might call the universal substance by any other name, provided we understood that there was only one substance. The visible universe is one vast mind; one vast laboratory for the evolvement of truth, or the making manifest of the Law.

The Law alone is absolute. All visible life is the manifestation of certain phases of the Law. It is the making apparent of many shades of the Law through many different shades of recognition of the Law’s power. Every manifestation is intelligence, and all intelligence shows forth as substance.

And did we have our starting point, ‘way back, millions of ages ago, in the deadness and dullness of such crude [14] beginnings of intelligence as the rocks exhibit? Who can say we ever had a beginning? We must have been latent in the eternal mind forever. But there was a time when we were organized in individuality, no doubt, but still individuality. Drawn to coherence through the Law of Attraction, we became individual lives; and we have come up through the ages, always accreting intelligence through the power of recognition and appropriation, until we are here today and able to reason about our long journey, our surroundings, and how to gain such control over them as to mold them to our liking. To mold these surroundings to our liking is the secret of Mental Science which these lessons are attempting to unravel. We have been helpless because we did not know our strength–not because we did not possess strength. Strength has been latent within us, and so has health, because Omnipresent Being is in everything, constantly developing from negative to positive–and constantly asserting a riper unfoldment of its own enormous vitality. But only knowledge could make us aware of this, and the knowledge was lacking.

The law is the great I am. It existed always, and may be had for the perceiving. The first step toward the appropriation of truth is to recognize it. This is the fulfilling of the first injunction: “Believe, if you would be saved.” Belief is recognition. It is the wakening of the intelligence to a perception of truth. To recognize a truth is to believe it. After believing–recognition–what then? To him that overcometh are all the promises given. And that which we are to overcome is our former habit of unbelief in the omnipotence and omnipresence of Eternal Being. To climb high enough in the scale of intelligence to perceive that a truth is a truth, is to place that truth within our reach; and is recognition. To then bring our will-power into operation, and by its operation to overcome our former unbeliefs that conflict with the acceptance of the new truth, this will make that truth our own; and is appropriation. We grow step by step in this mighty magnet–the universe–by recognition and appropriation of truth. We have now come up far enough in the light of our constantly increasing intelligence to recognize a very great truth, indeed–the truth that in all the universe there is no evil, nothing but absolute Life or Being; and because we have at last recognized this master truth, we are called upon to bring all our past beliefs under review and judge them by a stronger light than they were ever subjected to before.

The evolutionary view of creation is the correct one. That man has ascended the scale of life from the nomad, I do not doubt. For man to be all, it is necessary that he should live all. We have lived all so far as we have come; no less a power than that gained by having conquered every condition of life that we have been over; for it is only by overcoming our environments through intelligence, or the recognition of truth, and the exertion of the will in its appropriation, that we come into such power as will enable us to mold our conditions to our liking–thus establishing us consciously in our true position of mastery. Since man is the highest expression of the Law of Being, and since his life lay folded in the animal life, and the animal life lay locked in the vegetable life, and the vegetable life was unwrapped from the remoter earth conditions still; and since he has gained the apex in his long series of developments by conquest over crude conditions through his increasing knowledge and appropriation of truth (whether he gained it consciously or otherwise)–he is at the present time master of the earth and all its conditions. He is master by virtue of having lived all below him–lived every obstacle out of sight–and put every one under his feet. His being in the human form, with a dim foreshadowing of his free moral agency is a proof of his mastership. But he has not recognized this, because the [15] conquest and the effort to attain it were almost unconscious with him up to the present time, when his reasoning faculties are just beginning to develop; when he is just coming into the position where he can see what he has been doing, and can trace the long, slow journey by which he became the embodiment, or expression, of all the truth or intelligence he has recognized on the way.

Man, like the universe, is a magnet; he is a whole. Being a whole, he has his positive and negative poles. Thought is the positive pole of the magnet man, and his body is the negative pole; and between these two poles of positive and negative, he ranges the entire scale of his life.

Thought is the most positive, and hence the most powerful factor in the magnet man. His brain is probably the next most positive degree or factor in him, because it generates the thought which controls him. The brain, then, is more negative than the thought. His body, controlled by the thought which his brain generates, is more negative than either brain or thoughts; thus showing that the physical body (the negative role of the magnet man) is the most closely allied to the negative earthly conditions of any part of him; and being the most negative or earthly part, he has already gained control over it in having conquered earthly conditions to reach his present position. The old history says that man was created out of the dust of the earth. This statement, with its mental interpretation, is in full accord with the evolutionary theory, and is literally true. The life of man was and is found contained in that crude stratum of mind called “the dust of the earth.” And it is the effort of Mental Science to make this apparent to the student, in order to put those negations of the Life Principle or the Law of Being, called sin, sickness and death, under his feet. Then, as I have said, we have at last climbed to a recognition of a saving truth, and, therefore, absolute–the truth that all is good and there is no evil; or that all is life and there is no death.

I call this truth absolute. Being absolute, it makes the demand that every truth not absolute shall adapt itself to it. For the absolute does not conform. It stands in mighty majesty, just as it has stood forever, compelling each soul who climbs to a sight of it to re-adjust every thought of his life to conformity with it. Every life is a manifestation of truth as far as it goes. As far as it manifests anything, it manifests a certain degree of truth, or Being. A snake manifests a certain amount of truth, or Being; but the truth, or Being, manifested by the snake, is negative to the truth, or Being, manifested by me; and the truth, or Being, I now manifest, is negative to that which I will manifest when I learn more of the truth, or the Law of Being. A greater truth circumferences minor truths. It holds them in solution, as it were. A greater truth is all the minor truths, and something more. And thus is man’s life a chain of ever widening truth.

The whole growth of our lives depends on our power to recognize more and still more truth, or Being. The recognition of truth is being truth. For we are just what we recognize. To recognize in a small, limited way, we ourselves are small and limited. To recognize that truth is boundless, and to keep discarding the old, ignorant beliefs, and prospecting farther ahead, resolutely investigating all that is worthy of prejudice, a single obsolete opinion to hold us, this is the way to add to our knowledge of truth, and thereby to widen and deepen and strengthen the well-springs of eternal Being within our personal lives; thus enabling us to gradually overcome every form of disease and old age and finally death.

It is by recognition and appropriation of truth that we grow. We take no step forward except by growth. We cannot fly through the universe on the wings of the wind, nor of our own imaginings. [16] We must grow our way through the future as we have done through the past–by the recognition and the appropriation of truth–and we must yield hard effort in payment of our passage as we go. Truth does not give herself to the sluggard. She demands the full life service of the man as her recompense.

Let me repeat. The Law of Being, or the Eternal Life Principle, exists. It simply is. It had no beginning, and it can have no end. It is the Law of Attraction inherent in mind or substance. And all substance is mind–it is intelligent. It is not only intelligent, but it is intelligence its very self. It is the recognition of the Life Principle by which the Life Principle is fixed in belief and becomes a visible manifestation.

The visible universe is the Life Principle’s recognition of itself. All things are dual in the sense of being internal and external. Now the universe is dual in the sense of exterior and interior; or seen and unseen; or energy and intelligence; intelligence being that attribute of the Life Principle by which it recognizes itself or its own functions and powers.

Thus the universe is one, though, in a sense dual in its oneness. It is all Life Principle on its unseen side, and all the perception of the Life Principle, or the recognition of the Life Principle, or the belief in the Life Principle, on its seen side.

These perceptions, or recognitions, or beliefs, change constantly; but the Infinite Principle of Life never changes. The personality of man belongs to the seen side of life. It is individual recognition of the power and functions of the Law. It may be strong today and weak tomorrow, or it may cease to recognize the Law and, therefore, cease to manifest it. This we call death.

At the present time there is scarcely any knowledge of the Law at all. The lives of the present day are more a negation of the Law than a recognition of it. This is why the race is so feeble and sickly and wretched and poverty stricken, and why it grows old before it has gained any life-saving knowledge, and dies before it has begun to grow rightly.

Up to the present time, the children of men have been abortions. As seed germs of a nobler growth, they have simply had vitality enough to reproduce themselves on the same plane of utter negation of all saving knowledge of the Law, without the power to put forth a solitary sprout leading upward to that life above the soil in which they are withering.

You ask why–if the race is a negation of the Law rather than a recognition of it–it should exist at all. It is because all things, even recognition, is negative as well as positive. Moreover, there could be no positive recognition unless preceded by the negative forms of recognition. It is through a long series of efforts on the part of negative recognition that the power is begotten to recognize on the positive side.

Negation of the Law is an incipient form of recognition of the Law. It is a faint or feeble effort to recognize it. The terms “positive” and “negative,” as I have already said, are relative.


My expressions “Law of Attraction,” “Life Principle,” “Law of Being,” “Life Force,” “Vital Force” and “Energy,” all have much the same meaning; they all relate to the unseen side of existence; to the moving power which is out of sight, and which is only perceived by its effects. To perceive these effects is to manifest them, and the manifestation is the externalization, or the showing forth, of the power of the unseen or moving principle of existence.

As there are necessarily various terms used in speaking of the unseen side of life, so there are many terms used in speaking of the seen side. Everything, indeed, that relates to mental capacity, such as the words mind, intelligence, recognition, perception, concept, understanding, truth–for [17] truth is the verity or the proof of the existence of the law–relates to the visible side of existence. And I might as well explain here that “truth” is one of the most comprehensive of all words; that its real meaning includes every form of belief, erroneous belief as well as more correct belief. For truth means simply verity, and it ranges the entire scale of veritable or visible manifestations from the most negative to the most positive. The truth that denies to man the power I claim for him, is a truth on its own negative or ignorant plane, no less than the truth that man is a seed germ of all power. The latter assertion is also truth, and as a truth it is infinitely more positive than the former truth.

Therefore, the word truth means simply manifestation, or the verification of the Law, or of the Life Principle–the Universal Energy, etc. The word “truth” then, is synonymous with mind, intelligence, recognition, belief, etc., and relates to the manifestation of the Law on the external plane. But, as I said before, the word “truth” being negative as well as positive includes the word “error,” just as the word “intelligence” includes (as its negative form of expression) the word “ignorance.” All of these words that relate to the external side of life are on the sliding scale from negative to positive; from ignorant beliefs to intelligent beliefs, and from intelligent beliefs to still more intelligent beliefs; from a very limited conception of the Law of Being, and the power of the Law, to a larger conception of it. Therefore, in the external world nothing is fixed; everything is in incessant change, from the fact that all creatures are learning more and still more of the power of the Law.

It is only on the unseen side that we find the absolute and unchangeable; the Eternal I Am, the Law of Attraction, or Love, or Life–Being.


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