Christian D. (Christian Daa) Larson.

How the mind works online

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ognition only to the power of good. And he lives
in the conviction that all things in his life are work-
ing together for good. But this conviction is not
mere sentiment with him because he knows that all
things will work together for good when we recog-
nize only the good, think only the good, desire only
the good, expect only the good and live only for
the good.

To apply the principle of superior idealism in all
things, that is, to live, think and work only for the
highest ideals that we can comprehend means ad-
vancement in all things. To follow the superior
ideal is to move towards the higher, the greater and
the superior. And no one can continue very long
in that mode of living, thinking and acting without
creating for himself a new world, a better environ-
ment and a fairer destiny.

We understand therefore that in order to create
a better future we must begin now to select a better
group of ideals, for it is our ideals that constitute
the cause of the future we expect to create. And
as the cause is so will also be the effect.



CHAPTER XVII.

THE X-RAY POWER OF THE MIND.

There are many things that the human mind can
do and all of them are remarkable when viewed
from the highest pinnacle of consciousness ; but one
of the greatest and most wonderful is the power of
mind to see through things ; that is, to cause the rays
of its insight and discernment to pass through the
problems of life just as the X-ray passes through
opaque and tangible substances. This power is la-
tent in every mind and is active to a considerable de-
gree in many minds ; and on account of the extreme
value of this power its development should be pro-
moted in every possible manner.

When this power is highly developed practically
all mistakes can be avoided. The right thing can be
done at the right time, and every opportunity can be
taken advantage of when the psychological moment
is at hand; and in addition that finer perception of
life will be gained through which consciousness may
expand into larger and larger fields until the mind
goes beyond all limitations and lives in the spirit of
the universal.

We are all surrounded by possibilities that can
never be measured, possibilities which, if employed

169



170 HOW THE MIND WORKS

even in a limited degree, would make life many times
as rich and beautiful as it is now. The average
person, however, does not see these many larger
and greater ways of adding to the value and worth
of existence. In other words, he cannot see through
the circumstances of his life and thus take possession
of the more substantial elements of growth, at-
tainment and realization. Therefore life with him
continues to remain a very ordinary matter.

He may know that there are better things in store
and that there is something just beyond his present
conception of life that could change his life com-
pletely if he could only lay hold upon it ; still here is
where he fails. He is in the dark. He cannot see
how to proceed in gaining those greater and better
things that life must contain. There is something
in the way of his vision, a cloud, a veil, or an obstacle
of some kind that hides the path to better things.
And he cannot see through the obstacle. For this
reason he remains where he is, wondering why he
has not the power to reach what he is absolutely cer-
tain could be reached.

Millions of minds complain "if we could only have
things cleared up." This is the problem everywhere.
Therefore, if they could all see their way clear what
might they not accomplish both for themselves and
others. But as a rule they do not see their way clear.
Occasional glimpses of light appear when the real
path to all good things seems to reveal itself, but be-



HOW THE MIND WORKS 171

fore they are ready to take this path another cloud
comes in the way and they have no idea what to do
next. This is the experience of the average person
along these lines.

And there seems to be no hope for the average
person of ever passing from the lesser to the
greater. The reason seems to be that when every-
thing looks bright and the way is clear for greater
results, desirable changes, more happiness and a
larger life, something invariably happens to con-
fuse things again, and the way to pastures green
has for the time being been closed up once more.
However, there is a way out of all sorts of condi-
tions and everybody can find this way. Though it
is a fact well to remember that every individual
must always see this way for himself.

To proceed, everybody must develop the power
to see through things. In fact, see through all
things, or in other words, learn to use the X-ray of
what may be termed superior degrees of intelli-
gence. Every mind has this X-ray, this higher
power to penetrate and see through the difficult and
the confused. And there is no condition, no cir-
cumstance, no obstacle, no mystery through which
this ray cannot penetrate. Therefore, when we em-
ploy this X-ray of the mind we clear up everything,
we see exactly where we are going, where we ought
to go and where we should not go. So that to live
constantly in the light of these finer grades of intel-



172 HOW THE MIND WORKS

ligence is to live in the cleared up atmosphere per-
petually, no matter where our sphere of activity
may be.

That those minds who live in the lower atmos-
phere of thought cannot see clearly where they are
going is quite natural. Because in the first place
these lower atmospheres of life are usually dense,
being surcharged with the confused thought of the
world; and in the second place, those who live in
these lower grades do not employ the higher and
finer rays of mental light.

We all know that the lower vibrations of physical
light cannot pass through objects that are opaque.
And we have also learned that the lower rays of
mental light cannot pass through conditions and
circumstances that are confused with discord and
materiality. But it has been demonstrated that the
higher rays of physical light can pass through al-
most any physical object. In like manner the higher
rays of intelligence or mental light can see through
almost anything in the mental world. And, there-
fore, the one who employs these higher rays of his
mind will have the power to see through all things
in his life.

However, when we speak of higher grades of in-
telligence as being the power that can see through
things we must not infer that such intelligence is
too high to be gained by the average individual.
For the fact is that we all have this higher intelli-



HOW THE MIND WORKS 173

gence or finer rays of mental light active within us
at all times. The secret is simply to learn how to
apply these finer rays of mental light ; thus we shall
all be able to exercise the power to see through
things.

The difference between the lower and the higher
rays of light is found almost wholly in the attitude
of the mind. That is, it is materiality on the one
hand and spirituality on the other hand. By ma-
teriality we mean the attitude of mind that looks
down ; an attitude that is absorbed wholly in things ;
that dwells on the surface, and that lives exclusively
for the body, not being consciously interested in
anything but the body.

By spirituality we mean that attitude of the mind
that gives an upward look to every thought, every
desire, every motive, every feeling and every action
of the entire being of man. But this upward look
is not an attitude that looks for the invisible, nor an
attitude that dreams of the glories of another
sphere of existence. It is an attitude that simply
looks for the greater possibilities that exist every-
where now, and for the beauty and the truth that
crowns the whole world.

The mind that is material or that lives exclu-
sively in the world of things is more or less in the
clouds of confusion, therefore employs the lesser
rays of intelligence, those rays that do not have the
power to see through things. Such a mind, there-



174 HOW THE MIND WORKS

fore, can never be in a cleared-up mental atmos-
phere. At times those minds that have been con-
scious of higher grades of mentality and that have
seen the superiority and the brilliancy of this higher
intelligence within them, may fall down tempora
rily into materiality, and for the time being they
may lose sight completely of the higher conscious-
ness of truth which they previously gained. Thus
they frequently forget every principle in higher ex-
perience that once was so vivid, and while in this
state of depression they generally conclude that all
is sin, sorrow and human weakness after all; that
is, it seems so to such a mind, because at such a time
it is only the discord of the world and the results
of mistakes that are discerned.

While in this submerged state the mind cannot
see the splendors that are immediately beyond, and
he cannot feel the supreme joy that higher realms
have in store. Accordingly he comes to the conclu-
sion that all is trouble and pain ; he feels nothing
else, knows nothing else and has temporarily for-
gotten the light and the joy that he knew while in
higher realms of consciousness. The wise man who
wrote the proverbs was in this lower mentality
when he declared that all is vanity and vexation of
spirit. And he spoke the truth about that lower
world, that is, that material state that is composed
wholly of the mistakes of man.



HOW THE MIND WORKS 175

That material state, however, is not the only
world that there is. There are other and finer
worlds in the mind of man worlds where vanity
does not exist and where nothing vexes the spirit.
It is these higher and finer worlds of the mind that
we must train ourselves to love, if we wish to see
through things and thus learn to understand things
as they really are. Then we shall find that the
wrong is insignificant compared with the immen-
sity of the right and the good.

When we look at things from a worldly or mate-
rialistic point of view, things do not appear very
well, nor are things always very well in that
particular state. They are frequently wrong and
misdirected. But when we learn to see through
things and see all things as they are we change
our minds. Then we discover other worlds
and other and higher stories to the mansion in
which we live. The cellar is usually dark and damp,
but how much better we find it further up. And yet
when the average person is in the cellar of his mind
he imagines that it is the only place there is and that
there is neither light, comfort nor joy in the world.
But why should we ever enter the cellar of the
mind, and why should we permit a dark damp cel-
lar to exist in our minds at all? There is no need of
it in human life, for it is simply the sum total of our
mistakes, and does not represent the real mansion
of existence in any sense of the term.



176 HOW THE MIND WORKS

The whole of the being of man should be il-
lumined and every atom should be filled with har-
mony, comfort, joy and life. When the mind that
had fallen down comes up again it realizes how ab-
surd it was to forget all the truth and all the joy of
real existence simply because there were a few
clouds for a little time. However, after a few such
experiences the mind learns to interpret the expe-
rience of the cellar and does not consider it real any
more, but on the contrary makes haste to prevent
that experience as well as all other descending atti-
tudes in the future.

The mind that has never experienced the higher
phases of consciousness does not know how to pro-
ceed to prevent the more adverse experiences of or-
dinary existence, and therefore will remain among
the dense fogs of confusion more or less until
taught how to rise into the finer grades of mental
light. To proceed in rising above these undesirable
conditions the first step to take is to make harmony,
happiness and brightness of spirit the great objects
in view. Even when we simply think of these states
we elevate the mind in a measure, and whenever the
mind is elevated to some extent we find that finer
light comes into our world of intelligence; that is,
the higher rays of mentality begin to express them-
selves and many things begin to clear up.
, In this connection it is well to remember that our
brightest ideas come while we are on the mountain



HOW THE MIND WORKS 177

top of intellectual activity, and also that we can find
the correct answer to almost any problem that may
appear in personal life if we only go up in mind as
high as we possibly can reach at the time. While
the mind is up in those finer grades of intellect the
most abstract principles are comprehended with al-
most no mental effort, and the path to greater
things becomes as clear as the midday sun.

It is therefore a great and valuable accomplish-
ment to be able to go up in the mind as high as one
may wish. For to bring superior intelligence into
constant use is to live in the world of absolute light
itself, the reason being that this intelligence actual-
ly does possess X-ray power of penetration in the
mental world. ' There is nothing that this ray can-
not see through, and there nothing is hidden that it
cannot reveal to light.

Again we must remember, however, that it is
not necessary to attain an enormous amount of wis-
dom and knowledge in order to gain the power to
see through things in this way, because every stage
of development that exists has the power to see
through everything that may appear in that
particular stage. Every individual in his present
state has the power to see through everything in
that state, that is, a finer grade of a mental light
that belongs to that particular state and it has the
X-ray power of penetration in its own sphere. Ac-
cordingly he can learn to see through everything



178 HOW THE MIND WORKS

where he is without becoming a mental giant, or
without acquiring wisdom which belongs exclusive-
ly to higher states of mental attainment.

The idea is to live in the upper story of your men-
tal world whatever that world may be now, because
by entering the upper story of your mental world
you enter that state of your present intelligence that
can see through everything that pertains to your
present world. In order to enter the upper story
of the mind the whole of life should be concentrated
so to speak, upon the most superior states of exist-
ence that we can conceive of. This will cause the
mind to become ascending in its attitude and the
power of the ascending mind is immense. Such a
mind will steadily grow upward and onward to-
wards higher and finer grades of intellect, wisdom
and mental light, and gradually this power to see
through things will be gained. In addition every-
thing will be turned to greater use and better use,
and thus be made more conducive to a life of beau-
ty, richness and joy.

However, when we proceed to consecrate a life
to the superior in this manner we do not leave the
world of things. We simply turn the life and the
power of all things towards the higher, the larger
and the better. We thereby cause the world of
things to move steadily towards superior states of
life and action. As we enter more and more into
this upper realm of thought, light and understand-



HOW THE MIND WORKS 179

ing we should employ this penetrating power of
finer intelligence in connection with every move we
make. For it is the constant use and the true use of
a power that develops that power. Therefore, we
should do nothing without first turning on the X -
ray of the mind. In other words, we should view
every circumstance from the standpoint of a clearer
perception before any decision is made, and we
should seek to secure the very highest viewpoint
under every circumstance. This will not only give
the mind a better understanding of how to proceed,
but the faculty of finer discernment will be devel-
oped constantly, and our growth in wisdom and in-
tellectual brilliancy will in time become remarkable.
In this connection we should remember that
nearly all the missteps that are taken in the average
life are the results of the mind's failure to penetrate
the surface of things and conditions so as to see the
real nature of the factors at work. But the lower
mental rays, that is, that phase of intelligence that
we use while in the lower story of the mind, do not
possess this penetrating power. Therefore, if we
learn to live, think and act correctly under all sorts
of circumstances we must learn to employ the X-ray
of the mind; that is, that light of the mind that we
are conscious of when living in the upper story of
the mind ; and it is when we are in that light that we
can see through all things.



CHAPTER XVIII.

WHEN MIND IS BROAD AND DEEP.

It has become a virtue to be broad minded, but
there are times when certain virtues become so ex-
treme in their actions that they cease to contain any
virtue. In like manner it is possible for the mind
to become so broad that it contains practically noth-
ing of value being too superficial in its effort to
cover the whole field to possess a single idea of
merit.

To be progressive in thought is another admir-
able trait in the eyes of the modern world, but there
are not a few of our advanced thinkers who advance
so rapidly, according to their own conception of
advancement, that their own minds are literally left
behind; that is, they become so absorbed in the act
of moving forward that no attention is given to
that power that alone can produce advancement.
In consequence their remarkable progress is in the
imagination only.

Here it is well to remember that all is not thought
that comes from the mind or that is produced in the
mind. For the mere fact that we are thinking does
not prove that we are creating thought. A large
percentage of the products of the average mind is

180



HOW THE MIND WORKS 181

but heaps of intellectual debris accumulated in one
place today and moved to another place in the mind
tomorrow. In brief, too much of our modern
thinking is simply a moving of useless mental mate-
rial from one side of consciousness to another. How-
ever, in promoting the right use of the mind this
practice is something that must be avoided abso-
lutely for the mind cannot work to advantage under
such conditions.

Thought that really is thought is the product of
design and purpose, and is invariably the result of
systematic efforts to work out principles. Accord-
ingly such thought contains the power to serve cer-
tain definite objects in view. We should therefore
realize that no product of the mind constitutes real
thought unless it is the result of designed thinking
and is created for a certain special purpose. A pile
of brick is not a house, but a house may be built
from those bricks if they are arranged according
to special design and put together for a definite pur-
pose.

The broad mind should endeavor to embrace
much, but should not attempt to hold more than can
be applied practically and thoroughly and according
to the purpose which it is desired to fulfill. In other
words, the object is not to see how much we can
hold in the mind, but how much we can actually pos-
sess or use; not how much ground we can cover,



182 HOW THE MIND WORKS

but how much we can take care of in the best man-
ner, and cultivate scientifically.

In this connection it is most important to under-
stand that the mind that becomes broad enough to
accept everything will also accept the illusions, the
vagaries and the foundationless theories that are so
numerous everywhere. There are a number of peo-
ple today who do this very thing and call them-
selves liberal, advanced, charitable and broadly pro-
gressive. But the fact is that their minds constitute
a hopeless mixture of truths, half truths and illu-
sions. Accordingly they accomplish very little, and
what is more serious they confuse the beginners in
genuine advanced thought and thus tend to place
the real truth of our progressive movements in a
false light.

However, there is a progress that is progressive,
There is an advancement that actually does advance
and we have much of it today. But there are many
movements and many people claiming to be broad
who are broad only in the sense of keeping the men-
tal doors wide open to everything that may desire
to come in. But such broad mindedness must be
avoided at every turn because it tends to make the
mind shallow, superficial and inefficient, thereby
rendering the mentality incapable of actually taking
possession of a single genuine idea or mental power.

The mind that is broad in the true sense of the
term does not try to embrace everything, but tries



HOW THE MIND WORKS 183

to penetrate everything. Its object is not to simply
take in and hold, but to enter into and understand
and thereby gain real control and possession of
facts, talents and powers. The truth is that to be
broad minded is not to be ready to believe every-
thing, but to be ready to examine everything, and
to accept everything that proves itself true regard-
less of how it may conflict with objects, views or
opinions.

A broad mind never takes things on authority,
but is eternally in search of the one authority
truth that is back of and within all things. In
brief, to be able to see the true side of every belief,
every system, every idea and every experience
this is genuine broad mindedness.

In considering this subject we must remember
that what we accept becomes a part of ourselves.
Therefore it is a most serious mistake to take into
the mind everything that may corne along. The
fact is we cannot possibly exercise too much care in
selecting our ideas, although we must not go to the
other extreme and become so particular that we
remain dissatisfied with everything. There is a
happy medium in this connection that everyone can
establish by training the mind to penetrate every-
thing for the purpose of understanding the prin-
ciples that underlie everything.

It has been well stated that we gradually grow
into the likeness of that which we admire the most



184 HOW THE MIND WORKS

ai;d think of the most. And it is true that we nearly
always have special admiration for that which we
constantly defend, whether we have fully accepted
the same as true or not. The mind that is willing
to accept almost anything for the sake of being
broad will also be ready to defend almost anything
to justify that position. Therefore to defend all
theories the past has advanced, is to reproduce our
minds more or less in the likeness of all those the-
ories. But since those theories contradict each
other at almost every turn, many of them being il-
lusions, we can readily imagine the result. In fact,
the mind will, under such circumstances, be divided
against itself and will be incapable of doing its work
according to principle and law.

A confused mind is the greatest obstacle to real
progress and the attempt to take in every new idea
as true because it is new will invariably confuse the
mind, and what is more such a practice will so de-
range judgment that after a while the mind will not
be able to discriminate intelligently between the
right and the wrong in any sphere of life.

In this connection we must remember that among
the new ideas that are springing up in the world the
larger number are either naif truths or illusions.
And the reason why so many of these ideas are ac-
cepted as true is because real broad mindedness,
that is, that attitude of mind that does not embrace
everything but attempts to penetrate everything, is



HOW THE MIND WORKS 185

an art yet to be acquired by the majority. The aver-
age mind is ready to take in and hold almost any
belief or idea if it happens to produce an impression
that is favorable to his present condition of life, but
there are few who are training their minds to pen-
etrate everything for the purpose of understanding
everything. For this reason a mass of ideas are
accepted that contain neither virtue, truth nor
power.

The attitude of tolerance is closely connected with
broad mindedness and is usually considered an ex-
ceptional virtue. But again we are liable to be mis-
led because there are two kinds of tolerance; the
one holds a passive charity for everything without
trying to find out the truth about anything; while
the other enters into friendly relation with all things
in order that the good and true that may exist in
those things can be found.

The attitude of tolerance, however, is always val-
uable, in so far as it eliminates the spirit of criticism,
because the spirit of criticism can never find the
truth. But the spirit of friendly research always


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Online LibraryChristian D. (Christian Daa) LarsonHow the mind works → online text (page 10 of 11)