Lesson IVRev. W. John Murray
HEALTH AND SUCCESS
The Murray Course in Divine Science
Society of the Healing Christ
New York, 1927.
Why do we combine these two terms? It is because one is the complement of the other. Health begets activity. It brings about a glowing circulation of the blood and a perfect process of digestion and elimination. The blood, rich, clean and full of life, gives extra animation to the body and compels activity. It clears the brain and stimulates thought, thus starting up new and vigorous ideas. The whole physical organism feels the fresh impulses of health and seeks satisfaction in activity.
We often hear it said that mankind cannot stand the strain imposed by modern competitive conditions. Certain it is that we have developed an enormous number of diseases. Physical breakdowns are common. Nervous wrecks are found everywhere. City life, compelling so much employment that is confining and sedentary, deprives people of open air and sunshine and gives no exercise to the muscles that should be constantly in action. Hence there is a strain on nerves and organs, and resistance power is worn down to the vanishing point.
Naturally, without abounding health, success is next to an impossibility. The desire for success dies under the negative thoughts produced by negative conditions. Where there is no health there is apathy and apathy kills the high hopes raised by ambition.
Therefore, as health of body produces health of mind, people gain doubly from good health. They gain physical and mental activity and the combination spells success in whatever a person may undertake, for with health work becomes a joy and all limitations as to strength and achievement disappear.
So far our instruction has been largely philosophical. It is now necessary to begin to instruct you in the practical, deferring the larger philosophy and the more completely practical to later Lessons, when you will have acquired these first steps in the art of controlling the body through the power of the mind.
First let us say that, no matter what your physical condition may be, your healing lies in your own hands. You must become convinced of this. If we have so far failed to convince you, nevertheless take it for granted, for if we cannot convince you it is an easy matter for you to convince yourself providing you heed earnestly what we say. Whether you seek health and the joy of living, or success and the prosperity that comes with it, or whether you want both, the formula is the same. You must gain your ends by your own efforts, through the application of your own thought and by belief in your ability to do this. With this to begin with you are on your way and what remains is to persist faithfully, to persevere and to be certain of the result.
If you suffer from ill health, poverty, failure and despondency one fact must be clear to you: You are where you are because of your system of ideas. You have thought your self into where you are or you couldn’t be there for a moment. So what is needed then? Is it not a new system of ideas? To say a change of thought is to state the fact weakly. You want more than a change of thought, for that implies the possibility of reversion. You want a new state of mind. You can be transformed only by the renewal of your mind.
Now, how can this be done? It is a difficult task to take up a new system of ideas. If your garden has run to weeds you can put on your old shoes, take off your coat, get on the job and pull up or dig out all the weeds. Then you can spade the garden over and plant it with the seed of whatever you wish to grow in it. By watching it carefully, watering it regularly and biding your time with confidence as to the results, constantly attending to its needs and requirements, you will see the effects of seed germination, the coming forth of stalk and vine, and you can attend to these by keeping off the insects and pests that they attract. Thus, eventually you bring into flowering and fruitage a choice, ordered garden, where before there was an offensive mass of weeds, rank and overwhelming.
It is thus with the garden of the mind. Disease is a weed the seeds of which were attracted by the tendencies of your mind, or soil. You have neglected the soil and the weeds have grown strong and rank and crowded out the plant of health, and instead of digging these up and casting them out you have become afraid of them and have watered them with drugs and medicines and they have grown on you until you have come to the conclusion that your garden has been totally ruined. What are you going to do? Allow the weeds to choke the life out of the garden? Or are you going to tear out and destroy the weeds and plant anew?
You should begin this thought process at once. Study your garden over carefully and thoroughly. Look at each weed and endeavor to discover where it came from and how you have allowed it to grow. Look the whole garden over. Plan in your mind what you can do with this garden plot that God has given you for cultivation. Lay out the whole plot anew. Don’t think merely of getting rid of the weeds. Do some constructive planning and thinking. Make up your mind what you will place in one spot and what in another–what it is that you wish to produce. Health here, success there, peace of mind in this section, happiness and harmony in that, strength and vigor through all.
Now, as in laying out a garden plot with foresight and a knowledge of its requirements, lay out for yourself the garden of your mind. When you have your plans all drawn up begin the work of cleaning up the old garden. Here is a disease you want to get rid of. You cannot pull it up and destroy it as you would a weed, at once. It is too deeply rooted and its roots are imbedded in mental habits, they run under the walls of your system of thinking, they are twined about your convictions, they have struck down into the depths of your consciousness. And so you must begin to pull out the mental habits, revise your system of thinking, reshape your convictions and reform your consciousness. Pull away a little here and spade up a little there. And work all the time to produce a new system of thinking. Such a system we shall give to you in subsequent Lessons, furnishing you with the most dynamic motives known to life.
The instrument that you are to use is Positive Thought. The instrument that you are to abandon and throw over the wall is negative thought. What is a positive thought? What is a negative thought? Well, here is a list that will guide you in your selection. You will see that they stand in opposition to each other. One makes for construction and upbuilding and the other for destruction and tearing down.
God, Good, Life, Health, Strength, Beauty, Success, Happiness, Love, Purity, Peace, Power, Plenty, Harmony, Faith, Kindness, Generosity, Contentment.
Devil, Evil, Death, Sickness, Weakness, Ugliness, Failure, Unhappiness, Hate, Impurity, Discord, Fear, Poverty, Inharmony, Suspicion, Selfishness, Stinginess, Worry.
Take up your likes and dislikes. Examine them. You will find selfishness at the base of each. That is the main weed of consciousness. Don’t cultivate a liking for anything or anybody that will produce unhappiness for others. Wherever you produce unhappiness you produce inharmony, discord and resentment. These reflect back on you, for it is the law that whatever you give out you receive back. Give out harsh words and you get harsh words in return. Do an evil act and evil retaliates on you. It is the law–you cannot get away from it. The consequence is an inevitable disturbance of the order and harmony of your mind. You cannot afford to have your mind disturbed, for this generates negative thought. Disturbances will occur and they will in a sense be useful to you in showing you how strongly negative thoughts attack you and how necessary it is for you to cultivate a state of mind that will be impervious to them, that will turn everything it receives, good and bad, to sweet and wholesome uses. We repeat: “Don’t cultivate a dislike for anything or anybody. The tendency to liking and disliking, according to fancy or feeling, produces negative thinking or selfish thinking. Look for the good and ignore the bad, and this will become a habit with you. If you dislike a person try with all your might to see something good in that person and emphasize the good that you thus seize upon.
Here is an unfailing formula for the entire question: LOVE. Go about loving people. No matter who or what they are, find reasons for loving them. Love them with all your might. Not merely because that love will come back to you, for it will, but if you love for this reason you are always measuring returns and that leads to bitter disappointment, for you cannot measure returns; your measuring yardstick is far too short. The more you love the more you increase your capacity for loving. Love is Life. Love more abundantly and you receive life more abundantly and with it joy, peace and harmony–all positive conditions that dry up the roots of disease and strip the leaves from the weeds of selfishness.
Every once in a while there is a funeral in some community of some simple, obscure person whose only asset was the power of loving. When news of the death is heard everyone pauses and thinks of the good that that person accomplished in a quiet, unobtrusive manner. The whole community, irrespective of social, racial or religious connections, turns out to manifest their sense of personal loss and to furnish forth in this manner an evidence of the inner conviction always held of this person’s native greatness. Everyone feels the passing away of this person as a personal loss. Why? Because each has come to know that the soul that has passed on had a special love for him or her and the withdrawal of that love, although it had never been expressed or formulated, leaves him or her with a sense of something taken away that had been invaluable. Few realize the living happiness of the one who has gone, few think for a moment that it was the love thus given out so freely and generously that constituted the great life-happiness of the departed one.
Therefore, watch your thoughts. Watch every thought and determine for yourself whether it is a positive or a negative. When you get up in the morning control your first thoughts. See that they are full of love and harmony and a consideration for the welfare and happiness of others. If an evil thought presents itself, a critical or an unkind thought, stoop over and pull it up. Then put a good one in its place. Use the bad as a basis for the good. Remember, you are now dealing with your subjective mind. Heretofore you have filled the subjective mind with negative thought. It is now your duty to saturate it with positive thought. Remember that it is your servant, your slave, that it is carrying out your instructions to the letter. It is working for you all the time while you are unconscious of its operation.
And when the day’s duties are begun, put positive force into them. Do everything that you have to do as perfectly as you can. Every moment in that direction is a movement towards perfection. You are now forming new habits. You started the morning with love and harmony. Go forward with the same impulses. Fill the room with the fragrance of your happy thought. It is infectious. Let a smile take the place of a drooping of the lips, a clear brow the place of a frown, a good word the place of a rough order or a sarcastic remark. Do not criticize. Criticism implies the adoption of your own ideas instead of the ideas the other person has and is therefore an assumption of superiority seldom justified by the facts. Instead of criticizing give out love, sympathy and appreciation. “Make all your friends feel that there is something in them.” You have an idea how easy this practice is to acquire and how rich it is in results. Thus go through the day wishing well to everyone and looking for opportunities to express love and thoughtfulness for others, but unobtrusively and quietly. Don’t look for your reward from them. The reward is subjective. The reward comes from the subjective consciousness. You are getting joy into your life and joy is a curative agent of tremendous power.
And then when evening comes, think over the deeds of the day. Instead of thinking of some place to go for entertainment stay at home and think up things to do for others. Lay out your plans for the next day. Cultivate solitude. Attend to your evening duties. Try to secure an hour or two when you can be entirely alone. Now is the time to read and reflect. Take up the books that will feed you with this new Divine Science Philosophy and read them, a chapter or two at a time. Not too much, for you can jam your mind with too many constructive thoughts. Go slowly. You must bear in mind that reflection is a great requirement for self-perfection. It is as true now as when the Prophet Jeremiah wrote it: “With desolation is the world made desolate because no man thinketh in his heart.” Our follies are the consequences of our lack of meditation in solitude. There is a saying that a habit is acquired by the repetition of an act for seventeen days in succession. You see it does not take long to get a new habit and the new habit displaces the old as the old leaf is pushed off its branch by the new leaf in process for the coming spring. Keep your good resolutions alive by counting on the certainty of time and practice to give life and activity to them.
And then comes the most important time for your conquest of the subjective mind–the hour before retiring. Give yourself previously a period of silence. Vitalize your will into fresh accessions of power by repeating to yourself what you wish to become, declaring that you are healthy, strong, vigorous and full of life. If you have a disease, a sickness or a special physical trouble that you are treating yourself for, declare that it does not exist. Deny its existence and affirm the existence of its opposite. People who are ignorant of these laws will laugh at this process. They do not know about this Aladdin-like geni of the consciousness, the subjective mind. Rub your Aladdin’s lamp. Affirm health, strength, power, prosperity, success. Deny disease, weakness, sickliness, poverty or failure. Remember, you are talking to your subjective mind. You are impressing upon your consciousness that God-given power to recreation which is, through the renewing of your mind, to bring you out into vigorous health, freedom from limitation and lack of what you desire. Cultivate a power of soul in these repetitions. Use no intensity of force. Hold the thought clearly and calmly in your mind and go over the list of your ailments. “I have no cough, no cold, no catarrh, no stoppage of circulation, no diseased or starved nerves, no impediment, obstruction or congestion in any of the channels of the body; no inflammation, ulceration or suppuration,” and so on, covering whatever ailments you suffer from. “I have no pains or aches, no rheumatism or constipation, no vertigo, no disease of any kind or nature.” Say “I have no ____,” and name the disease you think you suffer from. Deny it. Affirm its opposite. Look it away. Take it away. Affirm that you have a perfect nervous system, that the circulation is perfectly normal, that it is feeding your body in its every part with healthy blood, that you are being flooded with health, life, strength, vigor. Take your time with it. Go slowly over the body and its ailments. Deny what you appear to have; say “I deny this appearance of ____,” and affirm what you desire to possess.
If you are solicitous of achieving success deny everything that is negative. You must deny that you are weak, that you are fearful, that you are incompetent, that you lack courage or initiative, that you are limited in talent or ability. Deny fear. Fear is the deadly enemy of the unsuccessful. Cast it out through denial. Deny poverty. Affirm competency, courage, power of initiative, fullness of talent and ability. Determine to stop thinking negative thoughts of any kind. Place no limit on your possibilities. Affirm power. Affirm a strong will. Visualize the man or woman you want to become and declare and affirm that you are that man or woman. Form a mental picture of the high position you wish to achieve. Think it out in all its details so that you will have it as a constant visualization in your mind, as clear as a photograph. Picture your office or workshop and your subordinates as you expect to have them. Picture the amount of business you want to create and must handle. Picture the house or the farm you intend to have and operate. Get in all the details and perfect it in your mind’s vision so that it will come to you in a flash whenever desired.
These denials and affirmations, if accompanied by a vivid mental picture, create in the subjective mind the nucleus around which it is to build the condition you require. Therefore see to it that the mental food for the development of the nucleus is constantly provided. Do not allow yourself to weary or tire of what may seem to you to be a monotonous and useless task, especially if at first you do not see any apparent results. Keep at it. You are working under a Law that will produce as certainly as the law of spading and seeding and gardening will produce. You have no more right to be impatient of the results in the one case than in the other. Spading, seeding, cultivating and gardening all require time, perseverance and patience, but the Law of Supply eventually brings the reward. It is the Law and it is immutable.
PRACTICE IN DIVINE SCIENCE
Methods Recommended for Putting Into Daily Application
Be careful of their use. Who talks of hate,
Of poverty, of sickness, but sets rife
These very elements to mar his fate.”
Thought is Health; Thought is Achievement; Thought is Success. “The tissues of the life to be we weave in colors of our own, and on the fields of destiny we reap what we have sown.”
(Memorize and Repeat Often)
“The Realm of Reality,” Chapter XVI (Page 180 to end of Chapter.) [Online at this website.]
“God the Banker” (booklet). [Online at this website as Chapter 7 of “New Thoughts on Old Doctrines”]
2. How should one approach the task of healing one’s self?
3. What form of thinking should we adopt?
4. What is the mind to be compared with?
5. Why do we need a list of positive and negative thoughts?
6. What practices does this Lesson enjoin upon us?
7. What does it teach us about denials and affirmations?
The Murray Course in Divine Science
Table of Contents