The Secret of the Ages, by Robert Collier, , at sacred-texts.com
"What is the thought that is in your mind?
Is fear ever running through it?
If so, just tackle the next you find
By thinking you're going to do it."
—Edgar A. Guest. *
If so, you will be interested in knowing that YOU were the procuring cause
of all that trouble. For fear is merely creative thought in negative form.
Remember back in 1920 how fine the business outlook seemed, how everything looked rosy and life flowed along like a song? We had crops worth ten billions of dollars. We had splendid utilities, great railways, almost unlimited factory capacity. Everyone was busy. The government had a billion dollars in actual money. The banks were sound. The people were well employed. Wages were good. Prosperity was general. Then something happened. A wave of fear swept over the country. The prosperity could not last. People wouldn't pay such high prices. There was too much inflation. What was the result?
As Job put it in the long ago, "The thing that I greatly feared has come upon me."
The prosperity vanished almost over night. Failures became general. Hundreds of thousands were thrown out of work. And all because of panic, fear.
’Tis true that readjustments were necessary. ’Tis true that prices were too high, that inventories were too big, that values generally were inflated. But it wasn't necessary to burst the balloon to let out the gas. There are orderly natural processes of readjustment that bring things to their proper level with the least harm to anyone.
But fear—panic—knows no reason. It brings into being overnight the things that it fears. It is the greatest torment of humanity. It is about all there is to Hell. Fear is, in short, the devil. It causes most of the sin, disaster, disease and misery of the world. It is the only thing you can put into business which
won't draw dividends in either fun or dollars. If you guess right, you don't get any satisfaction out of it.
The real cause of all sickness is fear. You image some disease in your thought, and your body proceeds to build upon this model that you hold before it. You have seen how fear makes the face pallid, how it first stops the beating of the heart, then sets it going at trip-hammer pace. Fear changes the secretions. Fear halts the digestion. Fear puts lines and wrinkles into the face. Fear turns the hair gray.
Mind controls every function of the human body. If the thought you hold before your subconscious mind is the fear of disease, of colds or catarrh, of fever or indigestion, those are the images your subconscious mind will work out in your body. For your body itself
is merely so much matter—an aggregation of protons and electrons, just as the table in front of you is an aggregation of these same buttons of force, but with a different density. Take away your mind, and your body is just as inert, just as lifeless, just as senseless, as the table. Every function of your body, from the beating of your heart to the secretions in your glands, is controlled by mind. The digestion of your food is just as much a function of your mind as the moving of your finger. So the all-important thing is not what food you put into your stomach, but what your mind decides shall be done with it. If your mind feels that certain food should make you sick, it will make you sick. If, on the other hand, your mind decides that though the food has no nutritive value, there is no reason why unintelligent matter should make
you sick, mind will eliminate that food without harm or discomfort to you.
Your body is just like clay in the hands of a potter. Your mind can make of it what it will. The clay has nothing to say about what form it shall take. Neither have your head, your heart, your lungs, your digestive organs anything to say about how conditions shall affect them. They do not decide whether they shall be dizzy or diseased or lame. It is mind that makes this decision. They merely conform to it AFTER mind has decided it. Matter has undergone any and every condition without harm, when properly sustained by mind. And what it has done once, it can do again.
When you understand that your muscles, your nerves, your bones have no feeling or intelligence of their own, when you learn that they react to conditions
only as mind directs that they shall react, you will never again think or speak of any organ as imperfect, as weak or ailing. You will never again complain of tired bodies, aching muscles, or frayed nerves. On the contrary, you will hold steadfast to thoughts of exhaustless strength, of super-abundant vitality, knowing that, as Shakespeare said—"There is nothing, either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
Never fear disaster, for the fear of it is an invitation to disaster to come upon you. Fear being vivid, easily im-presses itself upon the sub-conscious mind. And by so impressing itself, it brings into being the thing that is feared. It is the Frankenstein monster that we all create at times, and which, created, turns to rend its creator. Fear that something you greatly prize will
be lost and the fear you feel with create the very means whereby you will lose it.
Fear is the Devil. It is the ravening lion roaming the earth seeking whom it may devour. The only safety from it is to deny it. The only refuge is in the knowledge that it has no power other than the power you give to it.
He Whom a Dream Hath Possessed
You fear debt. So your mind concentrates upon it and brings about greater debts. You fear loss. And by visualizing that loss you bring it about.
The only remedy for fear is to know that evil has no power—that it is a nonentity—merely a lack of something. You fear ill health, when if you would concentrate that same amount of thought upon good health you would insure the very condition you fear to lose. Functional
disturbances are caused solely by the mind through wrong thinking. The remedy for them is not drugs, but right thinking, for the trouble is not in the organs but in the mind. Farnsworth in his "Practical Psychology" tells of a man who had conceived the idea when a boy that the eating of cherries and milk together had made him sick. He was very fond of both, but always had to be careful not to eat them together, for whenever he did he had been ill. Mr. Farnsworth explained to him that there was no reason for such illness, because all milk sours anyway just as soon as it reaches the stomach. As a matter of fact it cannot be digested until it does sour. He then treated the man mentally for this wrong association of ideas, and after the one treatment the man was never troubled in this way again, though
he had been suffering from it for forty-five years.
If you had delirium tremens, and thought you saw pink elephants and green alligators and yellow snakes all about you, it would be a foolish physician that would try to cure you of snakes. Or that would prescribe glasses to improve your eyesight, when he knew that the animals round about you were merely distorted visions of your mind.
The indigestion that you suffer from, the colds that bother you—in short, each and every one of your ailments—is just as much a distorted idea of your mind as would be the snakes of delirium tremens. Banish the idea and you banish the manifestation.
The Bible contains one continuous entreaty to cast out fear. From beginning to end, the admonition "Fear not" is
insistent. Fear is the primary cause of all bodily impairment. Jesus understood this and He knew that it could be abolished. Hence His frequent entreaty, "Fear not, be not afraid."
Struggle there is. And struggle there will always be. But struggle is merely wrestling with trial. We need difficulties to overcome. But there is nothing to be afraid of. Everything is an effect of mind. Your thought forces, concentrated upon anything, will bring that thing into manifestation. Therefore concentrate them only upon good things, only upon those conditions you wish to see manifested. Think health, power, abundance, happiness. Drive all thoughts of poverty and disease, of fear and worry, as far from your mind as you drive filth from your homes. For fear and worry is the filth of the mind that causes all
trouble, that brings about all disease. Banish it! Banish from among your associates any man with a negative outlook on life. Shun him as you would the plague. Can you imagine a knocker winning anything? He is doomed before he starts. Don't let him pull you down with him. "Fret not thyself," says the Psalmist, "else shalt thou be moved to do evil."
That wise old Psalmist might have been writing for us today. For there is no surer way of doing the wrong thing in business or in social life than to fret yourself, to worry, to fume, to want action of some kind, regardless of what it may be. Remember the Lord's admonition to the Israelites, "Be still—and know that I am God."
Have you ever stood on the shore of a calm, peaceful lake and watched the
reflections in it? The trees, the mountains, the clouds, the sky, all were mirrored there—just as perfectly, as beautifully, as the objects themselves. But try to get such a reflection from the ocean! It cannot be done, because the ocean is always restless, always stirred up by winds or waves or tides.
So it is with your mind. You cannot reflect the richness and plenty of Universal Mind, you cannot mirror peace and health and happiness, if you are constantly worried, continually stirred by waves of fear, winds of anger, tides of toil and striving. You must relax at times. You must give mind a chance. You must realize that, when you have done your best, you can confidently lean back and leave the outcome to Universal Mind.
Just as wrong thinking produces discord
in the body, so it also brings on a diseased condition in the realm of commerce. Experience teaches that we need to be protected more from our fears and wrong thoughts, than from so-called evil influences external to ourselves. We need not suffer for another man's wrong, for another's greed, dishonesty, avarice or selfish ambition. But if we hug to ourselves the fear that we do have to so suffer, take it into our thought, allow it to disturb us, then we sentence ourselves. We are free to reject every suggestion of discord, and to be governed harmoniously, in spite of what anything or anybody may try to do to us.
Do you know why old army men would rather have soldiers of 18 or 20 than mature men of 30 or 40? Not because they can march farther. They can't! Not because they can carry more.
[paragraph continues] They can't! But because when they go to sleep at night, they really sleep. They wipe the slate clean! When they awaken in the morning, they are ready for a new day and a new world.
But an older man carries the nervous strain of one day over to the next. He worries! With the result that at the end of a couple of months’ hard campaigning, the older man is a nervous wreck.
And that is the trouble with most men in business. They never wipe the slate clean! They worry! And they carry each day's worries over to the next, with the result that some day the burden becomes more than they can carry.
The Bars of Fate
Fear results from a belief that there are really two powers in this world—
[paragraph continues] Good and Evil. Like light and darkness. When the fact is that Evil is no more real than darkness. True, we lose contact with Good at times. We let the clouds of fear and, worry come between us and the sunlight of Good and then all seems dark. But the sun is still shining on the other side of those clouds, and when we drive them away, we again see its light.
Realizing this, realizing that Good is ever available if we will but turn to it confidently in our need, what is there to fear? "Fear not, little flock," Said Jesus, "for it is the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." And again—"Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine."
If this means anything, it means that the Father is ever available to all of us, that we have but to call upon Him in
the right way and our needs will be met. It doesn't matter what those needs may be.
If Universal Mind is the Creator of all, and if everything in the Universe belongs to It, then your business, your work, isn't really yours—but the "Father's." And He is just as much interested in its success, as long as you are working in accordance with His plan, as you can be.
Everyone will admit that Universal Mind can do anything good. Everyone will admit that It can bring to a successful conclusion any undertaking It may be interested in. If Mind created your business, if It inspired your work, then It is interested in its successful conclusion.
Why not, then, call upon Mind when you have done all you know how to do
and yet success seems beyond your efforts. Why not put your problem up to Mind, secure in the belief that It CAN and WILL give you any right thing you may desire? I know that many people hesitate to pray for material things, but if Universal Mind made them, they must have been made for some good purpose, and as long as you intend to use them for good, by all means ask for them.
If you can feel that your business, your work, is a good work, if you can be sure that it is advancing the great Scheme of Things by ever so little, you will never again fear debt or lack or limitation. For "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof." Universal Mind is never going to lack for means to carry on Its work. When Jesus needed fish and bread, fish and bread
were provided in such abundance that a whole multitude was fed. When He needed gold, the gold coin appeared in the fish's mouth. Where you are, Mind is, and where Mind is, there is all the power, all the supply of the universe.
You are like the owner of a power house that supplies electricity for light and heat and power to the homes and the factories around you. There is unlimited electricity everywhere about you, but you have got to set your dynamo going to draw the electricity out of the air and into your power lines, before it can be put to practical account.
Just so, there are unlimited riches all about you, but you have got to set the dynamo of your mind to work to bring them into such form as will make them of use to yourself and the world.
So don't worry about any present
lack of money or other material things. Don't try to win from others what they have. Go where the money is! The material wealth that is in evidence is so small compared with the possible wealth available through the right use of mind, that it is negligible by comparison. The great rewards are for the pioneers. Look at Carnegie; at Woolworth; at Ford! Every year some new field of development is opened, some new world discovered. Steam, gas, electricity, telegraphy, wireless, the automobile, the aeroplane—each opens up possibilities of new worlds yet to come.
A hundred years ago, people probably felt that everything had been discovered that could be discovered. That everything was already known that was likely ever to be known. Just as you may feel about things now. Yet look at the tremendous
strides mankind has taken in the past hundred years. And they are as nothing to what the future holds for us, once man has learned to harness the truly unlimited powers of his subconscious mind.
There are billions of dollars worth of treasure under every square mile of the earth's surface. There are millions of ways in which this old world of ours can be made a better place to live. Set your mind to work locating some of this treasure, finding some of those ways. Don't wait for someone else to blaze the trail.
No one remembers who else was on the Santa Maria, but Columbus’ name will be known forever! Carnegie is said to have made a hundred millionaires, but he alone became almost a billionaire!
Have you ever read Kipling's "Explorer?"
"Till a voice, as bad as Conscience, rang interminable changes
On one everlasting Whisper day and night repeated—so:
'Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges—
Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go!'"
Your mind is part and parcel of Universal Mind. You have the wisdom of all the ages to draw upon. Use it! Use it to do your work in a way it was never done before. Use it to find new outlets
for your business, new methods of reaching people, new and better ways of serving them. Use it to uncover new riches, to learn ways to make the world a better place to live in.
Concentrate your thought upon these things, knowing that back of you is the vast reservoir of Universal Mind, that all these things are already known to It, and that you have but to make your contact for them to be known to you.
Optimism based on such a realization is never overconfidence. It is the joyous assurance of absolute faith. It is the assurance that made Wilson for a time the outstanding leader of the world. It is the assurance that heartened Lincoln during the black days of the Civil War. It is the assurance that carried Hannibal and Napoleon over the Alps, that left Alexander sighing for more worlds to
conquer, that enabled Cortez and his little band to conquer a nation.
Grasp this idea of the availability of Universal Mind for your daily needs, and your vision will become enlarged, your capacity increased. You will realize that the only limits upon you are those you put upon yourself. There will be no such thing then as difficulties and opposition barring your way.
You feed and nourish the body daily. But few people give any thought to nourishing that far more important part—the Mind. So let us try, each day, to set apart a few minutes time to give the Mind a repast.
To begin with, relax! Stretch out comfortably on a lounge or in an easy chair and let go of 'every muscle, loosen
every bit of tension, forget every thought of fear or worry. Relax mentally and physically.
Few people know how to relax entirely. Most of us are on a continual strain, and it is this strain that brings on physical disturbances—not any real work we may do. Here is a little exercise that will help you to thoroughly relax:
Recline comfortably on a lounge or bed. Stretch luxuriously first. Then when you are settled at your ease again, lift the right leg a foot or two. Let it drop limply. Repeat slowly twice. Do the same with the left leg. With the right arm. With the left arm. You will find then that all your muscles are relaxed. You can forget them and turn your thoughts to other things.
Try to realize the unlimited power that is yours. Think back to the dawn
of time, when Mind first imaged from nothingness the heavens and the earth and all that in them is. Remember that, although your mind is to Universal Mind only as a drop of water to the ocean, this drop has all the properties of the great ocean; one in quality although not in quantity; your mind has all the creative power of Universal Mind.
"And God made man in His image, after His likeness." Certainly God never manifested anything but infinite abundance, infinite supply. If you are made in His image, there is no reason why you should ever lack for anything of good. You can manifest abundance, too.
Round about you is the same electronic energy from which Universal Mind formed the heavens and the earth.
[paragraph continues] What do you wish to form from it? What do you want most from life? Hold it in your thought, visualize it, SEE it! Make your model clear-cut and distinct.
1. Remember, the first thing necessary is a sincere desire, concentrating your thought on one thing with singleness of purpose.
2. The second is visualization—SEEING YOURSELF DOING IT—imaging the object in the same way that Universal Mind imaged all of creation.
3. Next is faith—BELIEVING that you HAVE this thing that you want. Not that you are GOING to have it, mind you—but that you HAVE it.
4. And the last is gratitude—gratitude for this thing that you have received, gratitude for the power that enabled you to create it, gratitude for
all the gifts that Mind has laid at your feet.
339:* From “A Heap o’ Livin’.” The Reilly & Lee Co.