The Secret of the Ages, by Robert Collier, , at sacred-texts.com
p. 286 p. 287
To begin with, what is the "truth"
that is so often referred to in all our religious teaching? The truth about what? And what is it going to free us from?
The truth as I see it now is the underlying reality in everything we meet in life. There is, for instance, one right way to solve any given problem in mathematics. That one right way is the truth as far as that problem is concerned. To know it is to free yourself from all doubt and vain imagining and error. It is to free yourself from any trouble that might arise through solving the problem incorrectly.
In the same way, there is but one BEST way of solving every situation that confronts you. That BEST way is the truth. To know it is to make you free from all worry or trouble in connection with that situation. For if it is
met in the RIGHT way, only good can come of it.
Then there is your body. There is only one RIGHT idea of every organism in your body. One CORRECT method of functioning for each of them. And Universal Mind holds that RIGHT idea, that CORRECT method. The functioning of your body, the rebuilding of each cell and tissue, is the work of your subconscious mind. If you will constantly hold before it the thought that its model is perfection, that weakness or sickness or deformity is merely ABSENCE of perfection—not a reality in itself—in short, if you will realize the Truth concerning your body, your subconscious mind will speedily make you free and keep you free from every ill.
It matters not what is troubling you today. If you will KNOW that whatever
it may seem to be is merely the absence of the true idea, if you will realize that the only thing that counts is the truth that Universal Mind knows about your body, you can make that truth manifest.
Affirm the good, the true—and the evil will vanish. It is like turning on the light—the darkness immediately disappears. For there is no actual substance in darkness—it is merely absence of light. Nor is there any substance in sickness or evil—it is merely the absence of health or good.
That is the truth that was the mentality of Jesus—what Paul describes as "the mind which was also in Christ Jesus."
Jesus declared that "we should know the truth, and the truth would make us free." That truth was the power which
[paragraph continues] He exercised. He had so perfect an understanding of truth that it gave Him absolute dominion over evil, enabled Him to heal diseases of every nature, even to raise the dead. The power that He exercised then was not confined to His time, nor limited to His own immediate followers. "Lo, I am with you always," He said, "even unto the end of the world." And He is just as available to us now as He was to His own disciples 1900 years ago.
"I have given you power to tread serpents and scorpions under foot and to trample on all the power of the enemy; and in no case shall anything do you harm."
That gift was never meant to be confined to His own disciples or to any other one group. God has never dealt in special or temporary gifts. He gives
to all—to all who will accept—to all who have an understanding heart.
All sickness, all poverty, all sorrow, is the result of the incorrect use of some gift of God, which in itself is inherently good. It is just as though we took the numbers that were given us to work out a problem, and put them in the wrong places. The result would be incorrect, inharmonious. We would not be ex-pressing the truth. The moment we rearrange those numbers properly, we get the correct answer—harmony—the truth! There was nothing wrong with the principle of mathematics before—the fault was all with us, with our incorrect arrangement of the figures.
What is true of the principle of mathematics is true of every principle. The principle is changeless, undying. It is only our expression of the principle
that changes as our understanding of it becomes more thorough. Lightning held only terror for man until he made of electricity his servant. Steam was only so much waste until man learned to harness it. Fire and water are the most destructive forces known—until properly used, then they are man's greatest helpers. There is nothing wrong with any gift of God—once we find the way to use it. The truth is always there if we can find the principle behind it. The figures in mathematics are never bad. It is merely our incorrect arrangement of them.
The great need is an open mind and the desire for understanding. How far in the science of mathematics would you get if you approached the study of it with the preconceived notion that two plus two makes five, and nothing you
heard to the contrary was going to change that belief? "Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shell not enter into the kingdom of heaven." You must drop all your preconceived ideas, all your prejudices. You must never say—"Oh, that sounds like so-and-so. I don't want any of it." Just remember that any great movement must have at least a grain of truth back of it, else it could never grow to any size. Seek that grain of truth. Be open-minded. Keep your eyes and ears open for the truth. If you can do this, you will find that new wordings, different interpretations, are but the outer shell. You can still see the Truth beneath, the Christ that "before Abraham was, I am."
The Only Power
He who is looking for wisdom, power, or permanent success, will find it only within. Mind is the only cause. Your body is healthy or sick according to the images of thought you impress upon your subconscious mind. Ii you will hold thoughts of health instead of sickness, if you will banish all thoughts of disease and decay, you can build up a perfect body. Dr. William S. Patten of New York says, "To know and to understand the organization of mind and to recognize the action of mind is the first and the only requisite of a sound body."
For all disease starts in mind. It may be in your own conscious mind, from reading of an epidemic or from meeting with circumstances which education has taught you will bring about disease.
[paragraph continues] It may be suggested to your subconscious mind, as so frequently happens with young children, by the fears and worries and thoughts of contagion of those around you.
But whichever it is, it is FEAR that starts it. You visualize, consciously or unconsciously, the disease that you fear, and because that is the image held before your thought, your body proceeds to build in accordance with that model. You believe that disease is necessary, that you have got to expect a certain amount of it. You hear of it every day, and subconsciously at least you are constantly in fear of it. And through that very fear you create it, when if you would spend that same amount of time thinking and believing in the necessity of HEALTH, you would never need to know disease.
Disease is not sent by God. It is not a visitation of Providence. If it were, what would be the use of doctoring it? You couldn't fight against the power of God!
God never sent us anything but good. He never gave us disease. When we allow disease to take hold of us, it is because we have lost touch with God—lost the perfect model of us that He holds in mind. And what we have got to strive for is to get back the belief in that perfect model—to forget the diseased image we are holding in our thought.
Remember the story of Alexander and his famous horse, Bucephalus? No one could ride the horse because it was afraid of its shadow. But Alexander faced it towards the sun—and rode it without trouble. Face towards the sun and the
shadows will fall behind you, too. Face towards the perfect image of every organ, and the shadows of disease will never touch you.
There is no germ in a draft capable of giving you a cold. There is no bacteria in exposure to the weather that can give you a fever or pneumonia. It is you that gives them to yourself. The draft doesn't reason this out. Neither does your body. They are both of them merely phases of matter. They are not intelligent. It is your conscious mind that has been educated to think that a cold must follow exposure to a draft. This it is that suggests it to your subconscious mind and brings the cold into being.
Before you decide again that you have a cold, ask yourself, Who is it that is taking this cold? It cannot be my nose,
for it has no intelligence. It does only what my subconscious mind directs. And anyway, how could my pose know that a draft of air has been playing on the back of my neck? If it wasn't my nose that decided it, what was it? The only thing it can have been is my mind. Well, if mind can tell me to have a cold, surely it can stop that cold, too. So let's reverse the process, and instead of holding before the subconscious mind images of colds and fevers, think only of health and life and strength. Instead of trying to think back to discover how we "caught" cold, and thus strengthening the conviction that we have one, let us deny its existence and so knock the props out from under the creative faculties that are originating the cold. Let us hold before our subconscious mind only the perfect idea of nose and head
and throat that is in Universal Mind. Let us make it use the Truth for its pattern, instead of the illusory ideas of conscious mind.
Every form of disease or sickness is solely the result of wrong thinking. The primary law of being is the law of health and life. When you recognize this, when you hold before your mind's eye only a perfect body, perfect organisms functioning perfectly, you will "realize the truth that makes you free."
Farnsworth in his "Practical Psychology" tells of a physician who has lived on a very restricted diet for years while at home. But about once a year he comes to New York for a week. While here, he eats anything and everything that his fancy dictates, and never suffers the least inconvenience. As soon as he gets home he has to return to his
diet. Unless he sticks to his diet, he expects to be ill—and he is ill. "As a man thinketh, so is he." What one expects to get he is apt to get, especially where health is concerned. For matter has no sensation of its own. The conscious mind is what produces pain, is what feels, acts or impedes action.
Functional disorders are caused by certain suggestions getting into the subconsciousness and remaining there. They are not due to physical, but to mental causes—due to wrong thinking. The oasis of all functional disorders is in the mind, though the manifestation be dyspepsia, melancholia, palpitation of the heart, or any one of a hundred others. There is nothing organically wrong with the body. It is your mental image that is out of adjustment. Change the one and you cure the other.
In this day of the gymnasium and the daily dozen, it may sound impractical to suggest that it is the mind, not the body, which needs the care. But I am far from being the first to suggest it.
There is a very successful physician in London whose teaching is that gymnastic exercise does more harm than good. He contends that the only exercise necessary for the perfect development of the body is yawning and stretching.
I would go farther than that. I would say that no physical exercise is essential to the perfect development of the body. That since the only cause is mind, the principal good of exercise is that when we go through the motions we are impressing upon our subconscious mind the picture of the perfect figure that we
would have. And that mental visualization is what brings the results.
You can get the same results without the physical exercise by visualizing in your mind's eye the figure of the man you want to be, by intensely desiring it, by BELIEVING that you have it.
You can win to perfect health by knowing that there is but one right idea in Universal Mind for every organism in your body—that this right idea is perfect and undying—that you have only to hold it before you subconscious mind to see it realized in your body. This is the truth that makes you free.