Home Course in Mental Science – Lesson 5 – Affirmations

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

[87] Having arrived at the fifth lesson in the course, I start with the assumption that you have, to a certain degree, mastered the foregoing lessons, and made careful application of the ideas embodied in them. So let us say that we have taken our denials home and studied them. There is no evil. What a feeling of lightness comes over me now that I am beginning to realize that wonderful truth–that there is nothing in all the world that has the right to fasten a feeling of guilt upon me! Moreover, I stand champion for humanity in this particular. I deny that the race has fallen, or that it ever fell. Oh! beloved race, let the glory of the truth–there is no evil–encompass you and lift you consciously into the light! Let it remove the bandage from all other eyes as it has mine. In proportion as my sense of guilt is lifted by the denial of evil, is life brightened for me. And then I am one with the Law of Life, and, therefore, imperishable. To know that there is no matter, but that all we look upon is the immortal mind of the universe in many different forms of recognition gives me a feeling of strength that nothing else ever had the power to impart. Repeating these denials over and over again, we at last come to perceive something of the truth we utter. The mind is divested, partly, at least, of its error, and made clean and white like the new tablet whereon to write the next basic truth in the science of mental healing, or mind culture.But until we have cleansed ourselves as much as possible of a belief in sin, cast out our mistaken ideas of disease, pain and death as conditions having vital mastery over us, we are not ready to evoke the great truth which stands at the very portals of our existence waiting recognition. As the student in mathematics who has mistaken the statement of his problem and carried his example in a multiplicity of figures to a wrong conclusion, must erase his error from the board before he can place thereon the correct conclusion, so the student of Mental Science must make his mind clear and free from its most apparent errors before he can profitably write the truth there.I am a garden plot in the rich soil of which the weeds have grown and stifled the nobler growths that are striving to come up. I have given the weeds encouragement. I have dug about their roots and watered them because I believed in them. I did not know them to be weeds. I believed them to be productive of the bread of life; and I believed this in spite of the fact that they yielded death. But now I know their true character, and I have been trying to pull them up. That my denials have destroyed some of them I cannot doubt. And every one of them, thus destroyed, leaves more room for the growth of that long neglected tree in the midst of the garden–that tree of belief the name of which is “All Good,” and the leaves of which are for the healing of nations. And now my duty is clear. It is strong and gives me strength. It is no longer denial. It [88] is affirmation. There is character in affirmation. There is strength in it. Health breezes are blowing through it.

We have denied the existence of evil, but these denials were of a preparatory nature. They were the clearing away of the rubbish that better things might appear. Denials are comparatively negative.

Affirmation is positive. And so, it is with no uncertain sound that we proclaim from the house-tops, “All is good; all is life.”

But do you think I am going to sit down and wait for this good to manifest itself through me? No; it is for me to make it manifest by proclaiming the individual power to recognize it. I am not even going to pray for the power that will enable me to manifest it, because the power to do this is in myself, and not outside of myself in any degree whatever. I, together with everything in the universe must recognize the good for myself; because recognition of good is the only way by which it can become manifest in the objective world; and the power to recognize is an individual power, and is the means of individual growth; individual progress.

I manifest the Law in externals, or in objectivity, by recognizing the infinite good latent in the Law, and also by recognizing and affirming my power–as an intelligent and an ever growing creature–to recognize still more of it, and to keep on doing this forever.

Being one with the Law, we are ourselves a part of the power that is supposed to work us. The Law simply exists and is the containment of all possibilities; but it does not create. Creation is making manifest–making visible and audible the powers latent in the Law–and this is the work of intelligence, and is performed on the objective side of life. It is performed by the clod, the blade of grass, the animal, and above all, by man.

Man is his own creator; and he creates by his power to recognize the good that exists and is ubiquitous.

Therefore, one of the student’s most important affirmations–after the great and absolute affirmation, all is good–is the personal affirmation relating to himself; namely, if everything is good, then I am good, and I have the intelligence to recognize the fact.

Yes, I affirm that I am good. And what does the word ‘good’ mean in my case? Let me see.

The good is the desirable. The most desirable of all things is a knowledge of truth, since truth alone is manifested life. Then for me to desire this knowledge is to desire all I need. And since desire relates me to the thing desired, and since all things desirable exist in latency in the Law, it, therefore, follows that the thing which I desire is already mine by the simple recognition.

Therefore, I affirm that I do recognize the good as a whole, and also in particulars, as these particulars are related to my desires. I recognize that health is good, and strength and beauty and opulence, and I also recognize that they are mine because they are related to me through my desire.

And so I affirm my power to trust my desire, to hold fast by my desire, and to deny the power of doubt to cloud my desire until a fuller recognition of my own power comes to me, bringing me realization of the fact that what I affirm to be mine is really mine; and mine now, at this very moment.

By these affirmations, we gradually grow into a knowledge of our own creativeness, and see that we are self-made, and can go on remaking ourselves after the new model presented each day by the growth of our ideals.

We have been considering ourselves a lot of automatons–made by someone outside of ourselves–and, if not worked by wires in the hands of this someone outside of ourselves, we have assuredly not been equipped with the power to direct our own actions aright, since our maker has passed sentence of condemnation upon us.

We see now that this is not true. We see that we ourselves are the power that made us, and that moves us to action. Being all mind as to our externals, [89] that which we see or recognize, we are. Everything exists that can ever be desired. To recognize its existence and to know it exists in answer to our desires, makes it ours. Therefore, we affirm that we have it.

Health, then, is mine. This is one of the affirmations. The negative form of this expression would be, there is no disease. But this negative form is simply a denial. The affirmative form (health is mine) makes a personal application of this truth, and it begins to show forth on our persons.

The first thing for us to make manifest out of the universe of all-good, is health. With health comes length of days, and then everything that makes length of days desirable. For, in the all-good, there is opulence, and we may have it for the taking. We have believed in evil, and living in that belief we have carried about with us, not only a private poor-house, but a private hospital also, and we have lived in sickness and poverty of our own creating. We live in what our minds yield us. The mind that yields a beggar’s hut, lives in one; the mind that yields a palace, occupies a palace. Since I learned this, I am beginning to control my financial condition, and my surroundings have constantly improved. The truth, which is beginning to be incarnated in me, is already making me free–free from pain and poverty and fear. Never has a life brightened as mine has done since I came into this science. This is not the result of will power or mesmeric control over men and things. It is the result of Being. In proportion as I am, my own comes to me by the Law of Attraction, which is the Law of Life.

I see the eternalness of good–what I call good being simply Life, or Being; the entire absence of disease and death as active principles in nature.

I recognize the boundlessness of Life. Stop and analyze the word Life. Get as complete a conception of it as you can before continuing with this lesson. Eliminate from it every plea of disease and death, and see what a tremendous thing it is. See how it stands for every imaginable and unimaginable good, to the entire exclusion of all that is undesirable–such as disease and poverty and sorrow and death. Is it any wonder that I call it the all-good?

Then affirm this: “I begin to see the eternalness of good; I begin to recognize its boundlessness; I know that it fills all space; I am consciously or understandingly in it, and I am manifesting it in this body, which is becoming more and more a mental statement of it in proportion as my affirmations become more and more realistic to my perceptions.”

By your realizing this truth, that all is Life, and, therefore, good, you are enabled to speak the word that becomes the flesh and blood of a regenerated existence. In other words, you are able by a supreme belief in Being, in the allness of Life, or good, and by this supreme belief identifying yourself with it, to speak for what you want, and to get it too; and that without wronging another, because there is no monopoly in the knowledge of truth; and each mind can make its own opulence apparent in the degree of its power to recognize the truth that all is Life, and, therefore, good; thus casting out every belief in evil; every belief in disease, sin, sorrow and death, and leaving Life only, good only, to fill your entire personality.

And of this everlasting good, or Life, such qualities as are recognized as best and most desirable can be affirmed by the student; and affirmed as being already in possession.

Thus, “I am healthy, I am strong; I am intellectual, I have the power of an infinite understanding, I am great, I am beautiful, I am opulent.” Any, or all of these affirmations are in order.

And remember that everything that is, is now; that in infinite Being, in the eternal Life Principle, there is no increase and no decay. All exists, and exists in absolute perfectness at one time equally as much as at any other time; and that that which makes any part of this Life, this perfectness apparent [90] is individual recognition. Therefore, make all your affirmations in the present time, “I am that which I desire to be, and I am it now.” The external Principle of Life is best expressed in the simple word “Being,” which means yesterday, today and forever; or one eternal now.

All is good, and all good is mine. I have health now, because the power dwells within me to compel the perfect action of every function of my body; and all I need to do is to recognize this truth in order to send the negative forces (weakness, disease, pain, etc.) flying, and to utilize my unlimited power. Why, I tell you that you who read these lines have nothing to fear, for no sickness, no tyranny, no negative conditions, no fetter or slavery of any kind whatever can hold or even detain for one moment the growing soul of man after he has entered the domain of the Law of Attraction–the Principle of Life, the all-good of limitless Being–by the knowledge of the fact that he is one with all this infinite power; that he has this infinite power within himself, at his daily and hourly command, to set aside any hindrance in the shape of the negative forces which may rise either within or without him.

And what is required to find this power? A living recognition of it. A firm, unshaken belief that it is within you; that it is your all in all. But this you cannot attain in a day or a week. It only comes with the daily striving after truth; the earnest thought and effort to secure truth; and constant living in, and practice of, the highest truth you know. In this way you gradually draw near to the grand results Mental Science promises and reveals; and every twenty-four hours leaves you in possession of an increased understanding. But the increase may be so small as to be immeasurable from day to day, and only discernible at longer periods of comparison. For so it is that we journey up the heights of understanding; ever enjoying the new manifestations of the eternal revealed to our wondering eyes at each advancing step.

The brain, as the most positive part of the organization, takes the lead; and because I know that this organization is all mind, I am sure that if thought–the positive leads, the most negative parts will follow. I am sure that my thought–the positive part of the magnet me–will infuse enough of its intelligence into the less intelligent part to show forth the fact that pain and sickness are not positive forces, having inherent power to conquer me, but are negative, amenable to supreme forces–love, life, intelligence, faith, justice, courage, health, etc.

There will always be negative and positive in the magnet me; but all the time the positive part of the magnet will be getting more positive, and the negative part will keep pace with it. It will become proportionately less negative. This is our process of growth through eternity.

At the present time our reasoning powers recognize dimly the fact that all is good, and our beliefs respond in part. But presently our reasoning powers will revel unconditionally in the fullest knowledge of this great truth, and our less intelligent (or more negative) parts will be sufficiently permeated with the belief to cease to feel pain or to acknowledge disease. And from this point we will advance still farther in the glory of the knowledge of absolute good; and our bodies will become a pleasure to us, whereas now–under our present beliefs–they are our most constant torments.

It is all a matter of progression or growth. While we believed in evil, our growth was retarded. We were living like the animals and dying like them. But now our belief is changed and our progress toward infinite happiness is more direct and satisfactory. It is only a question of time. Let us be patient, but at the same time leave no stone unturned that will quicken our pace.

We have spent days in denying the [91] existence of evil, and we are now ready to affirm the existence of good. All is good. No harm can come to me. I am not afraid.

All is good, but the manifestation of good depends upon man; and it is the manifestation of good that I call creation. Man manifests through his power to recognize. He, therefore, creates in the sense of making visible. Nothing remains for man to do but to make good manifest. Now, the first and principal thing toward the manifestation of good is to believe in it–“believe in good if you would be saved.” We make manifest that which we believe in, and nothing else. We believe in evil; and though evil is not a self-existent force like good, yet the belief in evil has overshadowed us so that we have made almost nothing manifest and so the might of our splendid lives has been nearly nullified. Good, or Life, is a self-existent force. To believe in good is to be met face to face by good at every step. We have no conception of our immense capabilities, and cannot have until a belief in good shall have given a few of the astonishing results that are sure to follow such a belief. Even believing in evil, as we have done, and having taken the consequences of that belief, man still shadows forth the fact that he is a wonderful creature. Let him believe in good, in that which is desirable, and before the belief is fairly knit into the fiber of his brain, he will begin to see himself master of time and fate, and the thing which had seemed impossible of achievement will yield to his touch immediately. For in this mighty universe of absolute good he who holds the key, “belief,” opens the door and takes what he will.

Belief is a thing of cultivation; and the Bible makes it apparent that the one thing we are to overcome is unbelief–unbelief in good. Therefore, knowing the grounds of our belief, feeling them to be solid, we must proceed to teach ourselves how to believe even as we teach children their lessons. It will be line upon line and precept upon precept. We have spent several days in making these denials. If we have made them faithfully we know that we are not sinners, for the simple reason that there is no sin. We also know that our neighbors are not sinners, even though their offenses seem to loom up mountain high. They, too, are only ignorant of good. Bearing this in mind, we feel a sympathetic tenderness for them we never felt before. Moreover, our own consciences are less morbid in their activity. A constant denial of evil has stopped their accusations by lifting the sense of guilt, and thereby we are at rest and comparatively free from what is called the temptation to sin. The denial of sin destroys our belief of sin as something with a sense of guilt attached, and proves its character in this respect. These mistakes called sins have, by the very penalty which society attaches to them, been made a temptation to us–a sort of “I dare you to come this way.” Humanity will not take a dare. It climbs every fence stretched before it. It will find out what is on the other side; and it does well; for there is no greater evidence of man’s inherent greatness than the fact that he will not be fenced in. Take down the fences. Let the student declare at once and forever that, knowing the higher law, he will be governed by it henceforth without compulsion. Do not let your conscience–miseducated by constant contact with the negatives–made fearful and cowardly by a belief in evil–frighten you any longer, but rise up in the majesty of truth, and cast the whole burden of guilt and shame from you by a recognition and avowal of the fact that all is good. This will bring forth the manhood of men and the womanhood of women and the Godhood of good from within them.

All is good. Keep repeating it to yourself, and get a comprehension of it as soon as may be. Ask yourself of what good consists. Good consists of all there is. No matter how poor or mean or small some things look to your [92] uneducated perceptions, or how negative and helpless the condition, it is something which is indispensable in its place in the economy of the whole, and which with many other things and conditions, great and small, strong and weak, developed and undeveloped, fills in and helps to make complete the grand whole. No substance, or thing, or condition, but has its use as a laboratory for evolving, finishing and refining of universal good. Everything which appears to be wrong or sinful in you is but the error of your negative life, the mistake of your ignorance, and is pledged to beat, bruise, push and maltreat you until you are thrust into a higher and better condition.

We are voids which should be filled with knowledge of absolute truth; but until we are thus filled, darkness possesses us, and the faint movements of light which break the darkness into fantastic shapes, are our beliefs. Our beliefs–those beliefs by which our lives are guided–have no better claim to respect than this. And yet, see how we cling to them.

There is nothing which will let the light into our lives and banish the darkness but knowledge of the great truth–all is good. As the darkness goes, our beliefs will go. We will begin to see things as they are. We will begin to know; and knowledge wipes out beliefs. And since we live among beliefs, where was yet there is no positive knowledge, we must introduce another belief which promises more than any former belief. As all our beliefs have failed to save us from error, sickness, and death, we can try this new belief with the full conviction that we will be none the worse for it, in any event. We have nothing to lose, but much to gain. This belief (it is only a belief to the student as yet) is based upon the one idea that all the races of the world have agreed upon. “God is good,” exclaims the Mohammedan; “All is good,” says the Persian; and in every language under the sun this expression has its equivalent. When the people of all the world have united upon a thought, it may be depended that it is one of those intuitional thoughts born with the race, and, therefore, true.

All is good–all is Life. Let this truth take hold upon you; dwell upon it constantly; work over again every problem of your life by it. If the newspapers bring you constant reports of evil, hold fast to the fact in your mind that all is good, and be willing to wait until a riper knowledge makes clear to you why all is good. For, having received this wonderful truth, everything within you, and outside of you, adjusts itself in parallel lines with it, just as a great magnet placed among steel filings will compel every atom to adjust itself in conformity with its polarity.

Dear student, do you not see that it is impossible for me to educate you in a knowledge of this science? I can only show you the way to educate yourself; and your progress must depend on your faithful effort to carry out the line I am laying down. Try and believe with all your strength that all is good. Assert it mentally and keep asserting it.

Belief, having travelled so long in the wrong direction, must be turned around and held with its face toward the light–even forcibly, if necessary, long enough to become accustomed to the dazzling and pure white flame. It will become accustomed to it, and it will rejoice in it, and move forward to meet it jubilantly.

It is sometimes necessary to break through one’s environments with brute force, and without the sanction of the reasoning powers. It was in this way that I freed myself from the superstitions of a false and foolish religion, into a belief of which I was born, and in the prison house [Northwoods note: Wilmans refers here to her Catholic boarding school] of which I was held by a circle of other believers, through whom no single ray of truth could penetrate.

As personal experiences–though they seem egotistical–are of immense use in pointing a lesson, I will now present an account of the struggle that took me out of the church.

[93] Is the student aware that by far the greatest number of insane people in the world have been driven insane by the horrors of the Christian religion? I have seen statistics for the statement that four persons out of every five who fill our insane asylums are there on account of their religious beliefs. If this is true, then war, pestilence, famine, intemperance and hydrophobia all put together are less harmful than religion.

The quintessence of insanity is in a religion that embraces the idea of a vengeful God and a condition of endless punishment–no matter whether that condition be a burning hell or a burning conscience. And there is no one, not a loving soul on earth, who can enter into a living vital realization of such a belief and remain sane. I have a right to know this; for I was on the extreme verge of sanity when I discarded my religion.

I took it all in such dead earnest, I could not forget it for one instant. I had been steeped in it from my birth.

I knew nothing different. I was surrounded by the absolutely unbroken influence of the church; and no idea had ever reached me through my reading, or the influence of others, to awaken a doubt in my mind as to the truthfulness of the whole fearful scheme, from the horror of which I could never free myself for a single moment after I reached an age where I began to think.

But my tremendous awakening came with the birth of my baby daughter. As the child grew, my terrors grew.

The preachers always put up at our house; I was so “conscientious a Christian,” I worked so hard, and I begged so much money for them; I was the best cook on the circuit, and I baked myself over the kitchen stove to pander to their appetites until I was ready to expire with the effort.

But all the time I was begging to know more of the plan of salvation. I wanted positive assurance that my baby would be saved. I demanded an absolute guarantee of this. Half-way promises only served to make me wild. Eventually, I did become wild and desperate at their indifference. I began to wonder how men, whose business was the saving of souls, could eat, and sleep, and laugh, and recount anecdotes, and be genial and jovial, and fond of money and pleasure, and strive for the good things of earth quite as much as other men, while my baby and a world of other babies were in jeopardy of hell-fire. The questions I put to them, and the whole tenor of my talk, rendered me a perfect blister to them. Finally I accused them of the deadly sin of indifference; and at last one Sunday afternoon, when the presiding elder and four or five other preachers were present I became violent. I passed from under my own power of self-control. I was realizing–in a manner beyond the possibility of description–the awfulness of hell and the helplessness of man; how only so few would avail themselves of God’s plan of salvation, and how many would, of necessity, be doomed to the tortures of an endless punishment; and there were the preachers smoking cigars and laughing and talking over the small topics of neighborhood gossip. I asked them how they could find room in their brains for a happy thought.

“Take it easy, sister,” said the elder; “make your own calling and election sure and leave the rest with God.”

I remember the very words I used in answering him. I said, “I can never be happy in heaven if even a dog has to endure the tortures of an endless hell. Oh! what shall I do?”

He began some more of his platitudes, but I did not listen; I became wild with passion and ordered them all out of the house. And they went, too, and did not stop to say good-bye.

And when they were gone I sat down and waited and waited for contrition to come; for before, when I had spoken an unkind word, I repented it quickly and bitterly. But no repentance came this time, but in its place such lightness, such happiness, such glorious relief [94] as I had never experienced in all my life.

I was free from the bondage of a life-long fear. And I had come free through the effort of irrational brute force; because I did not know at that time that I was right. I did not know but I was sinking into the depths of irretrievable damnation. And it was only after I had burst my bonds in this unreasoning way that the light broke in upon me.

But how rapidly it did break into my mind! It was as if my mind had been growing under a fearful pressure, as a blade of grass grows under a rock–curling round upon itself in its efforts to reach the light when suddenly the rock is rolled away and the poor, tortured thing straightens up in the splendid sunshine and achieves in an hour an altitude that requires weeks of ordinary growth to reach.

From that moment, the whole world assumed a different meaning to me. The books that I had read and that had helped rivet my bonds became arrant nonsense.

I was a changed woman from that hour. I felt within myself the religion of a truer humanity than had entered the conception of any of the various creeds. I looked out with glowing love upon the race; with an honest pride in its endeavor to actualize its ideal; and with a divine restfulness in its power eventually to save itself from the curse of its own ignorance, which, even then, I saw to be the only curse under which it labored.

I have given this personal experience because I am sure that there are some students who are as helplessly hemmed in by early education and present environment as I was; and who will never free themselves except by the tremendous and apparently irrational effort that I made. I had come to a place in my experience where I had to choose between going to hell (as I supposed) or going insane; and some desperate and reckless impulse within me–which turned out to be the beautiful spirit of freedom–made me prefer the former. And who can reckon the surprise I felt when I found heaven instead–a heaven that has been enlarging to my comprehension ever since?

If you would learn truth, you must first discard prejudice, even if you tear its old rags from you with brute force, and if their absence leaves you utterly naked. It is a daring deed that truth always rewards by clothing you anew in her own beautiful garments.


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