The Secret of the Ages, by Robert Collier, , at sacred-texts.com
Now we are entering a new age—the
[paragraph continues] Mental Age—when every man can be his own master, when poverty and circumstance no longer hold power and the lowliest creature in the land can win a place side by side with the highest.
To those who do not know the resources of mind these will sound like rash statements; but science proves beyond question that in the well springs of every man's mind are unplumbed depths—undiscovered deposits of energy, wisdom and ability. Sound these depths—bring these treasures to the surface—and you gain an astounding wealth of new power.
From the rude catamaran of the savages to the giant liners of today, carrying their thousands from continent to continent, is but a step in the development of Mind. From the lowly cave man, cowering in his burrow in fear of lightning or fire or water, to the engineer of today,
making servants of all the forces of Nature, is but a measure of difference in mental development.
Man, without reasoning mind, would be as the monkeys are—prey of any creature fast enough and strong enough to pull him to pieces. At the mercy of wind and weather. A poor, timid creature, living for the moment only, fearful of every shadow.
Through his superior mind, he learned to make fire to keep himself warm; weapons with which to defend himself from the savage creatures round about; habitations to protect himself from the elements. Through mind he conquered the forces of Nature. Through mind he has made machinery do the work of millions of horses and billions of hands. What he will do next, no man knows, for man is just beginning to awaken to his own
powers. He is just getting an inkling of the unfathomed riches buried deep in his own mind. Like the gold seekers of ’49, he has panned the surface gravel for the gold swept down by the streams. Now he is starting to dig deeper to the pure vein beneath.
We bemoan the loss of our forests. We worry over our dwindling resources of coal and oil. We decry the waste in our factories. But the greatest waste of all, we pay no attention to—the waste of our own potential mind power. Professor Wm. James, the world-famous Harvard psychologist, estimated that the average man uses only 10% of his mental power. He has unlimited power—yet he uses but a tithe of it. Unlimited wealth all about him—and he doesn't know how to take hold of it. With God-like powers slumbering within him, he is content to
continue in his daily grind—eating, sleeping, working—plodding through an existence little more eventful than the animals', while all of Nature, all of life, calls upon him to awaken, to bestir himself.
The power to be what you want to be, to get what you desire, to accomplish whatever you are striving for, abides within you. It rests with you only to bring it forth and put it to work. Of course you must know how to do that, but before you can learn how to use it, you must realize that you possess this power. So our first objective is to get acquainted with this power.
For Psychologists and Metaphysicians the world over are agreed in this—that Mind is all that counts. You can be whatever you make up your mind to be. You need not be sick. You need not be
unhappy. You need not be poor. You need not be unsuccessful. You are not a mere clod. You are not a beast of burden, doomed to spend your days in unremitting labor in return for food and housing. You are one of the Lords of the Earth, with unlimited potentialities. Within you is a power which, properly grasped and directed, can lift you out of the rut of mediocrity and place you among the Elect of the earth—the lawyers, the writers, the statesmen, the big business men—the DOERS and the THINKERS. It rests with you only to learn to use this power which is yours—this Mind which can do all things.
Your body is for all practical purposes merely a machine which the mind uses. This mind is usually thought of as consciousness; but the conscious part of your mind is in fact the very smallest part of
it. Ninety per cent of your mental life is subconscious, so when you make active use of only the conscious part of your mind you are using but a fraction of your real ability; you are running on low gear. And the reason why more people do not achieve success in life is because so many of them are content to run on low gear all their lives—on SURFACE ENERGY. If these same people would only throw into the fight the resistless force of their subconscious minds they would be, amazed at their undreamed of capacity for winning success.
Conscious and subconscious are, of course, integral parts of the one mind. But for convenience sake let us divide your mind into three parts—the conscious mind, the subconscious mind, and the Infinite, Subliminal or Universal Mind.
The Conscious Mind
When you say "I see—I hear—I smell—I touch," it is your conscious mind that is saying this, for it is the force governing the five physical senses. It is the phase of mind with which you feel and reason—the phase of mind with which everyone is familiar. It is the mind with which you do business. It controls, to a great extent, all your voluntary muscles. It discriminates between right and wrong, wise and foolish. It is the generalissimo, in charge of all your mental forces. It can plan ahead—and get things done as it plans. Or it can drift along haphazardly, a creature of impulse, at the mercy of events—a mere bit of flotsam in the current of life.
For it is only through your conscious mind that you can reach the subconscious
and the Universal Mind. Your conscious mind is the porter at the door, the watchman at the gate. It is to the conscious mind that the subconscious looks for all its impressions. It is on it that the subconscious mind must depend for the teamwork necessary to get successful results. You wouldn't expect much from an army, no matter how fine its soldiers, whose general never planned ahead, who distrusted his own ability and that of his men, and who spent all his time worrying about the enemy instead of planning how he might conquer them. You wouldn't look for good scores from a ball team whose pitcher was at odds with the catcher. In the same way, you can't expect results from the subconscious when your conscious mind is full of fear or worry, or when it does not know what it wants.
The one most important province of your conscious mind is to center your thoughts on the thing you want, and to shut the door on every suggestion of fear or worry or disease.
If you once gain the ability to do that, nothing else is impossible to you.
For the subconscious mind does not reason inductively. It takes the thoughts you send in to it and works them out to their logical conclusion. Send to it thoughts of health and strength, and it will work out health and strength in your body. Let suggestions of disease, fear of sickness or accident, penetrate to it, either through your own thoughts or the talk of those around you, and you are very likely to see the manifestation of disease working out in yourself.
Your mind is master of your body. It directs and controls every function of
your body. Your body is in effect a little universe in itself, and mind is its radiating center—the sun which gives light and life to all your system, and around which the whole revolves. And your conscious thought is master of this sun center. As Emile Coué puts it—"The conscious can put the subconscious mind over the hurdles."
The Subconscious Mind
Can you tell me how much water, how much salt, how much of each different element there should be in your blood to maintain its proper specific gravity if you are leading an ordinary sedentary life? How much and how quickly these proportions must be changed if you play a fast game of tennis, or run for your car, or chop wood, or indulge in any other violent exercise?
Do you know how much water you should drink to neutralize the excess salt in salt fish? How much you lose through perspiration? Do you know how much water, how much salt, how much of each different element in your food should be absorbed into your blood each day to maintain perfect health?
No? Well, it need not worry you. Neither does any one else. Not even the greatest physicists and chemists and mathematicians. But your subconscious mind knows.
And it doesn't have to stop to figure it out. It does it almost automatically. It is one of those "Lightning Calculators." And this is but one of thousands of such jobs it performs every hour of the day. The greatest mathematicians in the land, the most renowned chemists, could never do in a year's time the abstruse
problems which your subconscious mind solves every minute.
And it doesn't matter whether you've ever studied mathematics or chemistry or any other of the sciences. From the moment of your birth your subconscious mind solves all these problems for you. While you are struggling along with the three R’s, it is doing problems that would leave your teachers aghast. It supervises all the intricate processes of digestion, of assimilation, of elimination, and all the glandular secretions that would tax the knowledge of all the chemists and all the laboratories in the land. It planned and built your body from infancy on up. It repairs it. It operates it. It has almost unlimited power, not merely for putting you and keeping you in perfect health but for acquiring all the good things of life. Ignorance of this power is the
sole reason for all the failures in this world. If you would intelligently turn over to this wonderful power all your business and personal affairs in the same way that you turn over to it the mechanism of your body, no goal would be too great for you to strive for.
Dr. Geo. C. Pitzer sums up the power of the subconscious mind very well in the following:
"The subconscious mind is a distinct entity. It occupies the whole human body, and, when not opposed in any way, it has absolute control over all the functions, conditions, and sensations of the body. While the objective (conscious) mind has control over all of our voluntary functions and motions, the subconscious mind controls all of the silent, involuntary, and vegetative functions. Nutrition, waste, all secretions and excretions,
the action of the heart in the circulation of the blood, the lungs in respiration or breathing, and all cell life, cell changes and development, are positively under the complete control of the subconscious mind. This was the only mind animals had before the evolution of the brain; and it could not, nor can it yet, reason inductively, but its power of deductive reasoning is perfect. And more, it can see without the use of physical eyes. It perceives by intuition. It has the power to communicate with others without the aid of ordinary physical means. It can read the thoughts of others. It receives intelligence and transmits it to people at a distance. Distance offers no resistance against the successful missions of the subconscious mind. It never dies. We call this the 'soul mind.' It is the living soul."
In "Practical Psychology and Sex Life," by David Bush, Dr. Winbigler is quoted as going even further. To quote him:
“It is this mind that carries on the work of assimilation and upbuilding whilst we sleep.…
“It reveals to us things that the conscious mind has no conception of until the consummations have occurred.
“It can communicate with other minds without the ordinary physical means.
“It gets glimpses of things that ordinary sight does not behold.
“It makes God's presence an actual, realizable fact, and keeps the personality in peace and quietness.
“It warns of approaching danger.
“It approves or disapproves of a course of conduct and conversation.
“It carries out all the best things which
are given to it, providing the conscious mind does not intercept and change the course of its manifestation.
“It heals the body and keeps it in health, if it is at all encouraged.”
It is, in short, the most powerful force in life, and when properly directed, the most beneficent. But, like a live electric wire, its destructive force is equally great. It can be either your servant or your master. It can bring to you evil or good.
The Rev. William T. Walsh, in a new book just published, explains the idea very clearly:
“The subconscious part in us is called the subjective mind, because it does not decide and command. It is a subject rather than a ruler. Its nature is to do what it is told, or what really in your heart of hearts you desire.
“The subconscious mind directs all the
vital processes of your body. You do not think consciously about breathing. Every time you take a breath you do not have to reason, decide, command. The subconscious mind sees to that. You have not been at all conscious that you have been breathing while you have been reading this page. So it is with the mind and the circulation of blood. The heart is a muscle like the muscle of your arm. It has no power to move itself or to direct its action. Only mind, only something that can think, can direct our muscles, including the heart. You are not conscious that you are commanding your heart to beat. The subconscious mind attends to that. And so it is with the assimilation of food, the building and repairing of the body. In fact, all the vital processes are looked after by the subconscious mind.”
"Man lives and moves and has his being" in this great subconscious mind. It supplies the "intuition" that so often carries a woman straight to a point that may require hours of cumbersome reasoning for a man to reach. Even in ordinary, every-day affairs, you often draw upon its wonderful wisdom.
But you do it in an accidental sort of way without realizing what you are doing.
Consider the case of "Blind Tom." Probably you've heard or read of him. You know that he could listen to a piece of music for the first time and go immediately to a piano and reproduce it. People call that abnormal. But as a matter of fact he was in this respect more normal than any of us. We are abnormal because we cannot do it.
Or consider the case of these "lightning
calculators" of whom one reads now and then. It may be a boy seven or eight years old; but you can ask him to divide 7,649.437 by 326.2568 and he'll give you the result in less time than it would take you to put the numbers down on a piece of paper. You call him phenomenal. Yet you ought to be able to do the same yourself. Your subconscious mind can.
Dr. Hudson, in his book "The Law of Psychic Phenomena," tells of numerous such prodigies. Here are just a few instances:
“Of mathematical prodigies there have been upwards of a score whose calculations have surpassed, in rapidity and accuracy, those of the greatest educated mathematicians. These prodigies have done their greatest feats while but children from three to ten years old. In no case had these boys any idea how they
performed their calculations, and some of them would converse upon other subjects while doing the sum. Two of these boys became men of eminence, while some of them showed but a low degree of objective intelligence.
“Whateley spoke of his own gift in the following terms:
“‘There was certainly something peculiar in my calculating faculty. It began to show itself at between five and six, and lasted about three years. I soon got to do the most difficult sums, always in my head, for I knew nothing of figures beyond numeration. I did these sums much quicker than anyone could upon paper, and I never remember committing the smallest error. When I went to school, at which time the passion wore off, I was a perfect dunce at cyphering, and have continued so ever since.’
“Professor Safford became an astronomer. At the age of ten he worked correctly a multiplication sum whose answer consisted of thirty-six figures. Later in life he could perform no such feats.
“Benjamin Hall Blyth, at the age of six, asked his father at what hour he was born. He was told that he was born at four o'clock. Looking at the clock to see the present time, he informed his father of the number of seconds he had lived. His father made the calculation and said to Benjamin, ‘You are wrong 172,000 seconds.’ The boy answered, ‘Oh, papa, you have left out two days for the leap years 1820 and 1824,’ which was the case.
“Then there is the celebrated case of Zerah Colburn, of whom Dr. Schofield writes:
“‘Zerah Colburn could instantaneously tell the square root of 106,929 as 327, and
the cube root of 268,336,125 as 645. Be fore the question of the number of minutes in forty-eight years could be written he said 25,228,810. He immediately gave the factors of 247,483 as 941 and 263, which are the only two; and being asked then for those of 36,083, answered none; it is a prime number. He could not tell how the answer came into his mind. He could not, on paper, do simple multiplication or division.’”
The time will come when, as H. G. Wells visioned in his "Men Like Gods," schools and teachers will no longer be necessary except to show us how to get in touch with the infinite knowledge our subconscious minds possess from infancy.
“The smartest man in the world,” says Dr. Frank Crane in a recent article in Liberty, “is the Man Inside. By the Man Inside I mean that Other Man
within each one of us that does most of the things we give ourselves credit for doing. You may refer to him as Nature or the Subconscious Self or think of him merely as a Force or a Natural Law, or, if you are religiously inclined, you may use the term God.
“I say he is the smartest man in the world. I know he is infinitely more clever and resourceful than I am or than any other man is that I ever heard of. When I cut my finger it is he that calls up the little phagocytes to come and kill the septic germs that might get into the wound and cause blood poisoning. It is he that coagulates the blood, stops the gash, and weaves the new skin.
“I could not do that. I do not even know how he does it. He even does it for babies that know nothing at all; in fact, does it better for them than for me.
“No living man knows enough to make toenails grow, but the Man Inside thinks nothing of growing nails and teeth and thousands of hairs all over my body; long hairs on my head and little fuzzy ones over the rest of the surface of the skin.
“When I practice on the piano I am simply getting the business of piano playing over from my conscious mind to my subconscious mind: in other words, I am handing the business over to the Man Inside.
“Most of our happiness, as well as our struggles and misery, comes from this Man Inside. If we train him in ways of contentment, adjustment, and decision he will go ahead of us like a well trained servant and do for us easily most of the difficult tasks we have to perform.”
Dr. Jung, celebrated Viennese specialist,
claims that the subconscious mind contains not only all the knowledge that it has gathered during the life of the individual, but that in addition it contains all the wisdom of past ages. That by drawing upon its wisdom and power the individual may possess any good thing of life, from health and happiness to riches and success.
You see, the subconscious mind is the connecting link between the Creator and ourselves, between Universal Mind and our conscious mind. It is the means by which we can appropriate to ourselves all the good gifts, all the riches and abundance which Universal Mind has created in such profusion.
Berthelot, the great French founder of modern synthetic chemistry, once stated in a letter to a close friend that the final experiments which led to his most wonderful
discoveries had never been the result of carefully followed and reasoned trains of thought, but that, on the contrary, "they came of themselves, so to speak, from the clear sky."
Charles M. Barrows, in "Suggestion Instead of Medicine," tells us that:
"If man requires another than his ordinary consciousness to take care of him while asleep, not less useful is this same psychical provision when he is awake. Many persons are able to obtain knowledge which does not come to them through their senses, in the usual way, but arrives in the mind by direct communication from another conscious intelligence, which apparently knows more of what concerns their welfare than their ordinary reason does. I have known a number of persons who, like myself, could tell the contents of letters in their
mail before opening them. Several years ago a friend of mine came to Boston for the first time, arriving at what was then the Providence railroad station in Park Square. He wished to walk to the Lowell station on the opposite side of the city. Being utterly ignorant of the streets as well as the general direction to take he confidently set forth without asking the way, and reached his destination by the most direct path. In doing this he trusted solely to 'instinctive guidance,' as he called it, and not to any hints or clews obtained through the senses."
The geniuses of literature, of art, commerce, government, politics and invention are, according to the scientists, but ordinary men like you and me who have learned somehow, some way, to draw upon their subconscious minds.
Sir Isaac Newton is reported to have
acquired his marvelous knowledge of mathematics and physics with no conscious effort. Mozart said of his beautiful symphonies that "they just came to him." Descartes had no ordinary regular education. To quote Dr. Hudson:
"This is a power which transcends reason, and is independent of induction. Instances of its development might be multiplied indefinitely. Enough is known to warrant the conclusion that when the soul is released from its objective environment it will be enabled to perceive all the laws of its being, to 'see God as He is,' by the perception of the laws which He has instituted. It is the knowledge of this power which demonstrates our true relationship to God, which confers the warranty of our right to the title of 'sons of God,' and confirms our inheritance of our rightful share of his attributes
and powers—our heirship of God, joint heirship with Jesus Christ."
Our subconscious minds are vast magnets, with the power to draw from Universal Mind unlimited knowledge, unlimited power, unlimited riches.
“Considered from the standpoint of its activities,” says Warren Hilton in “Applied Psychology,” “the subconscious is that department of mind, which on the one hand directs the vital operations of the body, and on the other conserves, subject to the call of interest and attention, all ideas and complexes not at the moment active in consciousness.
“Observe, then, the possibility that lies before you. On the one hand, if you can control your mind in its subconscious activities, you can regulate the operation of your bodily functions, and can thus assure yourself of bodily efficiency
and free yourself of functional disease. On the other hand, if you can determine just what ideas shall be brought forth from subconsciousness into consciousness, you can thus select the materials out of which will be woven your conscious judgments, your decisions and your emotional attitudes.
“To achieve control of your mind is, then, to attain (a) health, (b) success, and (c) happiness.”
Few understand or appreciate, however, that the vast storehouse of knowledge and power of the subconscious mind can be drawn upon at will. Now and then through intense concentration or very active desire we do accidentally penetrate to the realm of the subconscious and register our thought upon it. Such thoughts are almost invariably realized. The trouble is that as often as not it is
our negative thoughts—our fears—that penetrate. And these are realized just as surely as the positive thoughts. What you must manage to do is learn to communicate only such thoughts as you wish to see realized to your subconscious mind, for it is exceedingly amenable to suggestion. You have heard of the man who was always bragging of his fine health and upon whom some of his friends decided to play a trick. The first one he met one morning commented upon how badly he looked and asked if he weren't feeling well. Then all the others as they saw him made similar remarks. By noon time the man had come to believe them, and before the end of the day he was really ill.
That was a rather glaring example. But similar things are going on every day with all of us. We eat something
that someone else tells us isn't good for us and in a little while we think we feel a pain. Before we know it we have indigestion, when the chances are that if we knew nothing about the supposed indigestible properties of the food we could eat it the rest of our days and never feel any ill effects.
Let some new disease be discovered and the symptoms described in the daily paper. Hundreds will come down with it at once. They are like the man who read a medical encyclopedia and ended up by concluding he had everything but "housemaid's knee." Patent medicine advertisers realize this power of suggestion and cash in upon it. Read one of their ads. If you don't think you have everything the matter with you that thei r nostrums are supposed to cure, you are the exception and not the rule.
That is the negative side of it. Emile Coué based his system on the positive side—that you suggest to your subconscious mind that whatever ills it thinks you have are getting better. And it is good psychology at that. Properly carried out it will work wonders. But there are better methods. And I hope to be able to show them to you before we reach the end of this book.
Suffice it now to say that your subconscious mind is exceedingly wise and powerful. That it knows many things that are not in books. That when properly used it has infallible judgment, unfailing power. That it never sleeps, never tires.
Your conscious mind may slumber. It may be rendered impotent by anæsthetics or a sudden blow. But your subconscious mind works on, keeping your
heart and lungs, your arteries and glands ever on the job.
Under ordinary conditions, it attends faithfully to its duties, and leaves your conscious mind to direct the outer life of the body. But let the conscious mind meet some situation with which it is unable to cope, and, if it will only call upon the subconscious, that powerful Genie will respond immediately to its need.
You have heard of people who had been through great danger tell how, when death stared them in the face and there seemed nothing they could do, things went black before them and, when they came to, the danger was past. In the moment of need, their subconscious mind pushed the conscious out of the way, the while it met and overcame the danger. Impelled by the subconscious
mind, their bodies could do things absolutely impossible to their ordinary conscious selves.
For the power of the subconscious mind is unlimited. Whatever it is necessary for you to do in any right cause, it can give you the strength and the ability to do.
Whatever of good you may desire, it can bring to you. "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you."
The Universal Mind
Have you ever dug up a potato vine and seen the potatoes clustering underneath? How much of intelligence do you suppose one of these potatoes has? Do you think it knows anything about chemistry or geology? Can it figure out how to gather carbon gas from the atmosphere, water and all the necessary
kinds of nutriment from the earth round about to manufacture into sugar and starch and alcohol? No chemist can do it. How do you suppose the potato knows? Of course it doesn't. It has no sense. Yet it does all these things. It builds the starch into cells, the cells into roots and vines and leaves—and into more potatoes.
"Just old Mother Nature," you'll say. But old Mother Nature must have a remarkable intelligence if she can figure out all these things that no human scientist has ever been able to figure. There must be an all-pervading Intelligence behind Mother Nature—the Intelligence that first brought life to this planet—the Intelligence that evolved every form of plant and animal—that holds the winds in its grasp—that is all-wise, all-powerful. The potato is but one small manifestation
of this Intelligence. The various forms of plant life, of animals, of man—all are mere cogs in the great scheme of things.
But with this difference—that man is an active part of this Universal Mind. That he partakes of its creative wisdom and power and that by working in harmony with Universal Mind he can do anything, have anything, be anything.
There is within you—within everyone—this mighty resistless force with which you can perform undertakings that will dazzle your reason, stagger your imagination. There constantly resides within you a Mind that is all-wise, all-powerful, a Mind that is entirely apart from the mind which you consciously use in your everyday affairs yet which is one with it.
Your subconscious mind partakes of
this wisdom and power, and it is through your subconscious mind that you can draw upon it in the attainment of anything you may desire. When you can intelligently reach your subconscious mind, you can be in communication with the Universal Mind.
Remember this: the Universal Mind is omnipotent. And since the subconscious mind is part of the Universal Mind, there is no limit to the things which it can do when it is given the power to act. Given any desire that is in harmony with the Universal Mind and you have but to hold that desire in your thought to attract from the invisible domain the things you need to satisfy it.
For mind does its building solely by the power of thought. Its creations take form according to its thought. Its first requisite is a mental image, and your
desire held with unswerving purpose will form that mental image.
An understanding of this principle explains the power of prayer. The results of prayer are not brought about by some special dispensation of Providence. God is not a finite being to be cajoled or flattered into doing as you desire. But when you pray earnestly you form a mental image of the thing that you desire and you hold it strongly in your thought., Then the Universal Intelligence which is your intelligence—Omnipotent Mind—begins to work with and for you, and this is what brings about the manifestation that you desire.
The Universal Mind is all around you. It is as all-pervading as the air you breathe. It encompasses you with as little trouble as the water in the sea encompasses the fish. Yet it is just as
thoroughly conscious of you as the water would be, were it intelligent, of every creature within it. "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not, therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows."
It seems hard to believe that a Mind busied with the immensities of the universe can consider such trivial affairs as our own when we are but one of the billions of forms of life which come into existence. Yet consider again the fish in the sea. It is no trouble for the sea to encompass them. It is no more trouble for the Universal Mind to encompass us. Its power, Its thought, are as much at OUT disposal as the sunshine and the win and the rain. Few of us take advantage
to the full of these great forces. Fewer still take advantage of the power of the Universal Mind. If you have any lack, if you are prey to poverty or disease, it is because you do not believe or do not understand the power that is yours. It is not a question of the Universal giving to you. It offers everything to everyone—there is no partiality. "Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters." You have only to take. "Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely."
"With all thy getting, get understanding," said Solomon. And if you will but get understanding, everything else will added unto you.
To bring you to a realization of your indwelling and unused power, to teach you simple, direct methods of drawing upon it, is the beginning and the end of this course.