Lesson IIIRev. W. John Murray
INFLUENCE OF MIND OVER BODY
The Murray Course in Divine Science
Society of the Healing Christ
New York, 1927.
Forty years ago scientists laughed at the theory of hypnotism. It was denounced as fakery pure and simple. That one mind should dominate another to the extent of divesting that other of its thinking power, its personality, its mental conceptions and its direction of physical action was, they said, unthinkable. Hypnotic phenomena were but the tricks and frauds of charlatans. But today scientists accept hypnotism as a fact and utilize it in the cure of disease.
We see this attitude of skepticism in every discovery that pertains to mental science. So much has been assumed, and so little known, regarding the marvelous character of the mind that the very men who should be foremost in welcoming discovery in this field are those who most satanically flout the heralding of anything new. However, psychology has been making its way so rapidly that it is now being generally studied as a separate science. Psychology, broadly speaking, is soul knowledge, or knowledge of the inner self or ego, including all that pertains to the consciousness.
Hypnotism is one human mind dominating another. Divine Science reveals to us the constant suggestion of Divine Mind over all mentalities.
There is no matter. All is mind, or the expansion of Divine Mind. God is indwelling or immanent, in every human being manifested in Spirit through mind.
Thus, the scientists who demonstrated hypnotism as a fact made a discovery which has affected all of modern psychology. This is the discovery of the quality of mind, the existence in every person of a mind quite apart from the objective mind, a mind that operates entirely from suggestion, of which the secondary form of mind is called the subjective or subconscious mind.
The secret of hypnotism lies in the fact that once the hypnotic subject surrenders his will to the hypnotist, the latter, by his peculiar power of forcing the objective mind into a sleep or trance, takes possession of the subjective mind, which is the store-house of all the knowledge the active or objective mind has acquired, and by suggestion directs the subject to perform anything that the operator demands.
Now, if an outsider, a stranger, can step into our mental domain and control us, is it not a natural thing for us to be able to control ourselves? Certainly we cannot afford to admit that an outsider can successfully compel us to be a certain type of personality or to do a thing seemingly impossible to us and then admit that we ourselves are unable to become that being or perform that action on our own.
This leads us to ask: “What is this subconscious, or subjective mind?” The answer is a revelation in the direction of self-achievement that staggers us with its possibilities.
The subjective mind has no will or initiative of its own. It acts entirely from suggestion from the objective mind. The brain is like the wax cylinder of a phonograph. Every thought that we have entertained, every word that we have ever spoken or heard; every sound, smell or sense impression that we have ever received has been recorded on the delicate tablets of the brain as it has been received from the nerves. All these and other rarer impressions contacting on the brain are in the possession and custody of the subjective mind. We have forgotten the great mass of them, as the objective mind is more concerned with the reception of new impressions than with the retention of old. But the subjective mind takes these as they come and holds them preciously. It has every tiny detail of our physical and mental life in its grasp and brings it up at the particular moment its depths may be stirred by a situation or a climax that forces its recall. Who is it that cannot testify to the power of a strain of music to bring back the memory of an event that had been completely forgotten? Who is it that does not know of the effect upon the memory of a distinct odor? All the tricks of memory speak of the power and fidelity to truth of the subconscious mind.
What must we do to learn a lesson of this kind? Do we not have to repeat it over and over until we have it “by heart”? This action engraves a distinct record on the brain area that we use for the purpose, and this, then, becomes a possession of the subconscious mind. Thus, if one learns to play a musical instrument, the repetition of the command to our nerves and muscles, oft repeated, results in an automatic performance by them of the movements desired and thus we learn a piece of music, let us say, so that we can play it automatically–the brain having been called upon by the mind to direct every nerve and muscle and finger with such frequency that the whole performance becomes mechanical. All our habits are formed in this way, with the result that eventually we do not have to exert the objective mind to accomplish the habitual thing. As we all know, mechanical performances can be conducted perfectly while the objective mind is engaged in a thought far remote from the accomplishment of the thing in hand.
Now, who or what takes care of the performance of habitual acts? The answer is the subjective mind. The subjective mind is the faithful and loyal assistant of the objective mind. It runs the shop while the boss is loafing or engaged with some outside thought. And its main characteristic is its absolute loyalty and fidelity to instructions.
The subjective mind never sleeps. It is always around, ready for work, and if one’s sleep is light, if one is not completely asleep, one dreams–one is cognizant of thought movement in one’s sleep, sometimes so vivid in character that one is awakened and comes to a perspiring breathlessness. The subjective mind, with no one to guard and direct it, has shown its disorder and its activity with old impressions. Awakening from sleep the objective mind takes charge, order is resumed and sleep is returned to. Often in dreams faces long forgotten appear, names, words and sentences that were supposed to be in oblivion come up again, and frequently the awakening objective mind is thus given a clue to some thought which it had steadfastly sought in vain within its own domain.
This brings us to the contemplation of one of the most remarkable phases of this duality of mind of which we are the possessors. How often have you not charged yourself, upon retiring, to awake at a certain hour? Have you not found that you awakened not only at the hour but at the very minute of the hour? How often have we not concluded that it would be best to “sleep over” a problem, to find that the process has brought us to a correct decision? It is not a common experience though we all have had some experience of the kind, but it is a fact that men who have had problems to solve that were absolutely impossible of solution to them have found that after a sleep the mind has somehow found the solution.
Dr. W. Hanna Thomson, in his interesting work, “Brain and Personality,” cites two instances that came under his own observation. One was that while at college he was told by a fellow student that the latter’s roommate sat up late with him one night working at a difficult problem in mathematics. Failing to solve it the young man rubbed his slate clean, put out the light and went to bed. Long after midnight the first student was awakened by a light and perceived the second in his night clothes busy with his slate. In the morning, while both were dressing, the one who had worked while the other slept complained of fatigue. His friend said: “I am not surprised as you were working on your slate at three this morning.” This was denied, and to prove his contention the first student picked up the other’s slate and showed his astounded companion the problem worked out to a successful conclusion. The latter had no knowledge whatever of this action of his subjective mind and looked at the correct conclusion of the problem totally unable to account for the way he had worked it.
The second was that of a British consul in Syria, who afterwards became a great diplomat. He had been a diligent student of Arabic to fit himself for the duties of his position, when one night he tried to compose a letter to an emir at Lebanon. The consul endeavored in vain to compose the letter satisfactorily, with all regard to Eastern courtesy, tore up all that he wrote and went to bed blessing all Arabic composition in general. In the morning he found on his desk a freshly-written letter, which he must have penned, as it was in his own handwriting and so well worded that he was in admiration of it and immediately dispatched it.
Instances of this sort can be multiplied without end. They indicate the power of the subjective mind under strong suggestion. We all know that we do things quickly under startling emergencies with an effectiveness and a thoroughness that we cannot afterward account for. “Something in me just told me what to do, that’s all,” is the usual explanation, lame enough, but beyond question convincing.
We know also the force of habit, which is simply the direction of the body by the subconscious mind while the objective mind is inert or occupied with a different trend of thought. The discovery of the nature and operation of the subjective mind has explained to us many so-called mysteries of behavior, such as sleep-walking, that but for this knowledge we could never satisfactorily account for.
As we study the question it becomes clear to us that there is no greater truth than is comprised in the statement: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” We see not only the wonderful power of mind over body but the reinforcement of that power by a part of the mind, or a second order of mind, which is engaged at all times in carrying out the suggestion imparted to it by a resolution of the will and a determined mental expression of it. We learn that we have a slave within us whose business it is at all times to carry out the instructions given it. And, realizing this fact, we can understand why positive thought can create and recreate–and negative thought can tear down and destroy.
Whatever order we issue to the subjective mind it promptly undertakes to carry out. Whatever state of existence you declare to be in being, the subconscious mind assumes exists and works within you accordingly. If a friend asks you: “How do you feel today?” and you reply: “I am not well; I have a headache and I don’t feel good at all,” you are unconsciously setting the subjective mind to work to realize the state you declare yourself to be in. On the other hand, if you say: “I am well, happy and strong,” the subjective mind undertakes to realize this state for you. You set in motion forces in either direction by the expression of your will or the determination of your objective mind that proceed to produce the condition you describe.
Hence you can see what a wonderful power is within your control for your happiness or unhappiness, your condition of body and mind, and how necessary it is for you to use this power always in a positive direction. You are, in a word, what you think you are. This is not a theory, a fancy or a fad. It is a law. And the reason why the world is filled with sin, disease, misery and misfortune is because it requires effort to think positive thoughts while negative thinking is the result of inertia.
Friend, you can believe this, and the more firmly you believe it the more powerful you can become as the arbiter of your health and fortune. What we have said in this Lesson is the briefest outline of the truth and the facts. There is nothing more marvelous than this secret operation of the subjective mind.
Have you heard the saying: “You can be anything you wish to be?” You have not realized the immense force of it. But think of strong, successful people; think of all that you have read of men and women who have become great. Their lives became the expression of an idea determined upon at some point in life, early or late, and followed up with determination and perseverance in the face of all obstacles. Have you not yourself accomplished ends that you have aimed at by the exercise of sheer determination and the bending of your thought ever to the point you aimed at? There is nothing within the realm of accomplishment that you cannot perform if you set your mind to it and work persistently in the face of every obstacle with that object in view. The will to accomplish a definite purpose is one of the most powerful forces in the world. Everything gives way before it.
For here we come upon another strange fact. You will find that if you are the possessor of a controlling idea then information of service to you (and aid to help you accomplish your desire) will come to you from sources that you could never anticipate or reckon upon. You have doubtless noticed how there seems to be poured upon you at the time you are engaged in a serious task or line of thought, facts and instances that aid you remarkably in achieving the result you are after. Words said by daily associates, or by a stranger; newspaper or magazine articles which come to your attention; books you happen to see in a window or in the hands of a friend; lectures or courses of instruction that you hear about–all these come to you unbidden, out of the air as it were, to aid you in developing your idea or your plans. In short, the sort of help you need will turn up to assist in guiding you in the direction you wish to go. It may be said that the determined mind not only brings about within the individual the force he needs but that forces beyond him continuously flow to him to supply his need also.
Marie Corelli says, in “Life Everlasting”: “Nothing in the universe can resist the force of a steadfastly fixed resolve. What the spirit truly seeks must, by eternal law, be given to it, and what the body needs for the fulfillment of the spirit’s demands will be bestowed. From the sunlight and the air and the hidden things of space, strength shall be daily and hourly renewed. Everything in nature shall aid in bringing to the resolved soul that which it demands. There is nothing within the circle of creation that can resist its influence. Success, wealth, triumph upon triumph come to every human being who daily ‘sets his house in order’–whom no malice can shake, no derision drive from his determined goal, whom no temptation can drag from his appointed course, and who is proof against spite and calumny.”
The reason why people are ill and incapacitated is that they have cultivated a negative condition by wrong thinking. We have referred to the subjective mind as an assistant who works faithfully and loyally for the accomplishment of what it has been told to do while the boss is loafing or otherwise engaged. We should be a world of successes if the idea of a fixed objective and a set goal possessed us. But what, as a rule, becomes of God-given ideas and inspirations? We feel an enthusiasm about them at first and we determine upon action of some kind. But before we take action we begin to think negative thoughts. We allow ourselves to calculate depressingly on the number of obstacles we shall meet and the impossibility of overcoming them; we tell ourselves that others, exceptionally situated, might be able to put the idea into effect but we are surrounded by conditions that forbid us to entertain the thought of success. If it is a matter of health we argue against our ability to rescue ourselves from a sickness or a disease by thinking of our supposed inherited tendencies or our susceptibility to this or that particular weakness, or of what the doctor says of the seriousness of our case, and so on. The enthusiasm cools and the negative thinking effectually extinguishes its remaining sparks.
As a consequence the great generality of people are for the most part in a state of mental disorder. They are without guide or compass, and their subjective minds, instead of becoming willing assistants or devoted slaves grow to be like their objective minds, affected by whims and emotions–unregulated, unguided, disordered and discordant.
Our first duty, then, is to put our house in order. If we are sick we must prepare to take positive action with regard to ourselves. If we wish to overcome a disease or a defect we must lay out our plans to do so by adopting a positive basis from which we are not going to be swerved. We must prepare to charge the subjective mind daily, if not hourly, with the work it has to do. We must give to it its orders, treat it as the silent assistant that it really is, and affirm that we are what we want to be. Deny what we seem to be, affirm what we really are in the spirit–well, strong, powerful, successful, resourceful, capable, blessed with all things.
WE MUST form a fixed idea of the change we wish to effect or the direction in which we wish to go. We must institute order for disorder, faith and courage for hopelessness and disbelief. We must begin to exercise the creative power which lies within us in the sphere of our own particular world. We must seek to arrange things in such order as to set in motion a train of causation that will harmonize all our conditions, and do this without antagonizing the exercise of a like power by others. Thus we shall be able to compel all our innate powers to work for us, and in addition we shall enter the realm of unseen causes and induce them to co-operate with us, by attracting them to the thing we are doing.
Let us remember, then, that we have a wonderfully constructive, creative and recreative power within us that, properly directed, will bring into externalization the secret desire of our heart–health, success, wisdom, peace, power, happiness, and above all strong mental poise and control. We must first form the will, inspire ourselves with the faith we require, and then take up the process of putting the subjective mind into harness and making it push against the collar. This the subjective mind will do, we can depend upon it. What we aim at may not come at once, but it is bound to manifest in time. It is the Law. We are teaching you the Science that applies this knowledge of the law. The demonstration lies with yourself.
You may say: “Well, what has all this got to do with religion, or with God, or with the teaching of Jesus, since it is merely a matter of utilizing the latest discoveries in mental science and psychology?” Many people take this view. They see no further than secondary causes and effects and hence we have a large class of people who look only to the machinery of the mind since that appears to be all that is necessary to understand and produce results. But this is like saying that a self-playing piano is the producer of music; that all that there is about a clock is to keep it wound; that your only task with regard to an automobile is to supply it with gasoline. This reasoning ignores the principles of music, mathematics and mechanics. To properly understand the finite we must study its source at the Infinite. This we shall enlarge upon in later Lessons. At present we are concerned only with immediate causes and effects.
PRACTICE IN DIVINE SCIENCE
Methods Recommended for Putting Into Daily Application
THE TEACHINGS OF TRUTH
They have a vital part, and share
In shaping words and moulding fate
God’s system is so intricate.”
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
(Memorize and Repeat Often)
Health, Prosperity, Protection
The Order and Harmony of the Christ Consciousness, established in me throughout all eternity, is expressing itself now as perfect Health.
The vitalizing energy of the Holy Spirit is circulating freely through every artery of my being, strengthening and invigorating me.
That Omnipresent Opulence which is God is now expressing Itself in and through me in terms of Unlimited Abundance.
The Lord, the everlasting Truth, Sustains me; Divine Love alone governs me, and I reflect its government, in Peace, Power, Purity, Prosperity, Perfection of Mind and Body.
2. What are the functions of the objective mind? Of the subjective?
3. What truth is confirmed by the knowledge of the operations of the mind?
4. What are the preliminaries to the beginning of the work of recovery and achievement?
5. What determines constructive processes? Also destructive?
6. What does this Lesson teach? Summarize.
The Murray Course in Divine Science
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