Life and Its Mysteries, by Frank L. Hammer, , at sacred-texts.com
The mystery of thought! In infancy our bodies awaken to enjoy the world into which we are born. Then our minds awaken to curious questioning and restless desire for knowledge. Then our souls awaken to conscious search for life's spiritual meaning and purpose.
What is thought? Thought is a product of mindnot the brain. The material scientist says: "A certain formation of brain cells creates a certain kind of thought." Whereas certain thoughts produce a certain brain cell formation. Thought has the same relation to the mind as the wind has to the atmosphere, for thought is the mind's vibration, and thinking is the process of setting the mind into motion.
Where do thoughts come from? There are three primary sources. Firstly: It is possible, through deep, spiritual contemplation, to receive thoughts directly from Universal Mind. Every human being can contact his Heavenly Father without the aid of any intermediaries, either spiritual or physical. "To be pure in heart" is the only stipulated requirement.
Secondly: Many thoughts emanate from the subconscious mind. Deep within this mind there takes
place an involuntary accumulation of impressions and suggestions which come to the surface after a more or less prolonged gestation. Indeed, this storehouse of memory, this record of life, is a prolific source of thoughts and many people are entirely too much under its influence.
Thirdly: The principal fountain of thought is the mental atmosphere which is permeated with the thoughts of other people, both embodied and disembodied. We have all had the experience of wondering where some thought came from; it was probably in the "air," and our brains, being sensitive receiving sets, "picked" it up.
There is no such thing as original or isolated thoughts; what is new is their manner of expression or restatement. We cannot conceive of anything which is not; the ideas are somewhere existent and have always been in the mind substance. Our task is to give new shape and semblance to the thought elements which otherwise remain undifferentiated and formless. And those whose patterns are the most unlike the whole mass or group thought are considered the most original.
Thoughts resemble the temperament of the person in whom they appear. Consequently, no one's thoughts should constitute another's authority any more than every head should be forced into a hat of fixed pattern or unalterable dimensions.
Many people are totally unaware of the power of thought and the effect it has upon their lives. These people invariably consider failure, misfortune,
unhappiness and numerous other undesirable conditions as things that just accidentally happen, whereas they are created by the individual's wrong habits of thinking.
Similarly, liberation from these conditions is achieved through right thinking. In order to change the outer environment, it is necessary first to change the inner. If you do not want an undesirable fate or future, do not contemplate an undesirable one. Think about what you do wantnot about what you do not want.
Right thinking is the key to health, happiness, prosperity and success. The power of thought can either fill our lives with good or leave them utterly empty. Everything one needs for his well-being exists in the universal mind. It is ours for the taking, for we are heirs to the kingdom of God, co-sharers with His opulence, wisdom and love.
Plato said: "All reality exists in the mind. The outer phenomenon, that which appears, is only its outer expression. The visible universe is the reflection of the invisible."
Everything in the universe had its origin in thought, wrought out and preserved in stone, iron and wood, which upholds all structures from a toy to a battleship. All art, literature, music, law and religion existed first in the mind. Burn all books, destroy all churches, demolish all art and they would all be embodied again and again through thoughtthe creative force, for it is impossible to destroy mind wherein exists their eternal pattern or idea.
Thought is the power that heals. Disease, like all else, has its origin in mind; therefore, the mind must be healed first. The mind must become harmonious before the body can be, because mind through thought is the power that rules and governs the body.
People have been killed by thought. Fear and worry have buried many of their victims. Hatred, envy and jealousy have wrecked countless lives. Poisonous thoughts affect the body like poisonous drugs. Persons in public life have been made deathly ill and often their lives shortened by the volume of destructive thoughts sent them on the ebb tide of popularity. This has happened to practically all reformers, leaders, religious and moral teachers who labored for the welfare and upliftment of humanity.
Men, animals and plants all grow from within. Life is sustained by the drawing in of congenial matter and by the expulsion of foreign matter. The law of attraction is found throughout all life. Our mind always attracts thoughts which are akin to our own and resists those opposed to our mental constitution. The mental atmosphere is filled with thought forces from which we attract only those which are like our own. If you are gloomy, sad, full of worry and vexation, you are certain to attract similar thoughts, which will make you sadder and more gloomy. On the contrary, if you are confident, hopeful and cheerful, you will attract that kind of thoughts to you.
Mind, like the body, grows on the food which nourishes it, and takes on the nature of the thing it
dwells upon. And the food of the mind is thought. Therefore, the mind either becomes refined, sensitive, spiritual; or gross, material and dull; determined by the nature of thoughts which constantly occupy its attention. Thoughts are reproduced on the countenance. Sensual thoughts create a sensual face; spiritual thoughts create a beautiful, spiritual expression. Not only does our youth leave us, but our face tells how it has left us. Faces are open books wherein is written the history of our thinking.
How you have thought is revealed by the lines indelibly engraved in the palms of your hands, by the shape of your head and how you walk. An index to the thoughts of another is to imitate his posture and walk, then observe the effect it has on your thinking. Involuntarily, you will feel and think as the person you are imitating. There are no "secret" vices or habits. They are loudly proclaimed on the countenance. Emerson truly said: "What you are speaks so loudly no one can hear what you are saying."
Thoughts are the essence of heaven and hell. People say there is no hell, yet have one in their hearts and carry one around in their minds. For heaven and hell are not localities, but states of consciousness. "And what matter where I be, if I be still the same?" Persecuting memories, or a condemning conscience, put a man in hades whether he lives upon this earth or elsewhere. Peace of mind and serenity of spirit are bliss. And the heaven we will find on
passing over is one we have prepared by our thinking and by the service rendered to our fellow men.
Few pleasures are comparable to a trained and cultivated mind. The mind is developed by thinking and not by cramming it with other people's thoughts and opinions. It is not a bucket to be filled, but a dynamo to be set into motion. There are no limits to its accomplishments, for the soul already knows all things; we only need to develop our instrument so that it can draw upon this inexhaustible storehouse of knowledge. A mind which has been strengthened by discipline can meet vicissitude and disaster with greater fortitude and courage. And it is never too late to undertake its cultivation, for, unlike the body which attains its zenith early in life, the best years for mental productivity come in the latter years after the body has lost its prime.
It is impossible to learn anything which will not be of use to us sometime. There is a true story of a professor at Cambridge who, at the age of eighty, began the study of Latin. When asked by curious observers of what use Latin would be at his age, he replied: "I intend to use it in my next life."
As today our powers are not of heritage only, but acquirements from previous lives before coming to earth, so studies today undertaken, no matter how near to the evening of our days, will surely bear fruit, not alone in our present life, but in the future.
"Guard well thy thoughts, for thoughts are heard in heaven," is a literal truth and explains the efficacy
of prayer. For thoughts are the links between invisible substance and the visible form. Thought is a tangible substance and, united with will, is a projectile. The motive power of thought will be explained in the following chapter entitled: "Telepathy."
Few of us demand enough from life. We should bear in mind that we are not beggars, but heirs to the Kingdom.