Christian D. (Christian Daa) Larson.

How the mind works online

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does find the truth. For this reason the penetrating
mind must be kind, gentle and sympathetic. If it is
not, the very elements that are to be examined will
be scattered and misplaced. Besides it is the sub-
stance of things that contains the truth, and to en-
ter into this substance the mind must be in sympa-



186 HOW THE MIND WORKS

thetic touch with the life and the soul of that which
it seeks to understand.

That attitude of tolerance that is passive, is either
indifferent, or will soon become indifferent; and
mental indifference leads to stagnation, which in
turn makes the mind so inactive that it is completely
controlled by every condition or environment with
which it may come in contact. Such a tolerance,
therefore, must be avoided and avoided absolutely.

True tolerance refrains from criticism at all times
but that is only one side of its nature. The other
side enters into the closest mental contact \vith all
things and penetrates to the very depths of the prin-
ciples upon which these things are based. In this
way the mind readily discovers those ideas and be-
liefs that constitute the true expressions of princi-
ples, and also discovers those which are mere per-
versions. However, the tolerant mind does not
condemn the perversions. It forgets them entirely
by giving added life and attention to the true ex-
pressions , and thereby proceeds to give lull and pos-
itive action to all those ideas and powers of which
it has gained possession by being broad as well as
deep.



CHAPTER XIX.

THE GREATEST MIND OF ALL.

In order that we may rise in the scale of life the
mind must fix attention upon the ideal. And the
ideal may be defined as that possible something that
is above and beyond present realization. To become
more and accomplish more we must transcend the
lesser and enter the greater. But there can be no
transcending action unless there is a higher goal
toward which all the elements within us are mov-
ing; and there can be no higher goal unless there
is a clear discernment of the ideal.

The more distinctly the mind discerns the ideal,
and the more frequently the ideal is brought directly
before the actions of attention the more will the
mind think of the ideal; and the mind invariably
moves towards that which we think of the most.
The man with no ideals will think constantly f that
which is beneath the ideal, or rather that which is
the opposite of the ideal ; that is, he will think the
most of that which is low, inferior and unworthy.
In consequence he will drift more and more into the
life of nothingness, emptyness, inferiority and want.
Tie will steadily go down into the lesser until he

187



188 HOW THE MIND WORKS

wants for everything, both on the mental and phys-
ical planes.

The man, however, who has high ideals will think
the most of the greater things in life, and accord-
ingly will advance perpetually into the possession of
everything that has greatness, superiority and high
worth. The wise men of the past declared that the
nation with no visions would perish. And the cause
of this fact is simple. When we are not going up
we are going down. To live is to be in action and
there is no standstill in action. To continue to go
down is to finally perish. Therefore to prevent such
an end we must continue to go up. But we cannot
continue to go up towards the higher unless we have
constant visions of the higher. We cannot move
mentally or physically towards that which we do not
see. Nor can we desire that of which we have never
been conscious.

In like manner the individual who has no ideals
and no visions of greater things will continue to go
down until his life becomes mere emptyness. Thus
everything in his nature that has worth will perish,
and finally he will have nothing to live for. When
he discovers himself he will find that there are but
two courses to pursue: To continue to live in the
vale of tears he has made for himself ; or to ascend
towards the heights of emancipation, those heights
which can be reached only by following the lofty
vision.



HOW THE MIND WORKS 189

It is the visions of greater things that arouse the
mind to greater action. It is higher ideals that in-
spire man to create more nobly in the real, and it is
the touch of things sublime that awakens in human
nature that beautiful something that makes life
truly worth living. Without ideals no person will
ever attain greatness, neither will there be any im-
provement in the world. But every person who
has ideals, and who lives to realize his ideals, will
positively attain greatness, and will positively im-
prove everything, both in his life and in his envir-
onment.

It must be clearly evident to all minds who un-
derstand the true functions of the ideal that the life
of man will be worthless unless inspired by the ideal,
and also that everything that is worth while in hu-
man existence comes directly from man's effort to
rise towards the ideal. Such men, therefore, who
are constantly placing high ideals before the world
in a manner that will attract the attention of the
W0 rld it is such men who invariably have the
greatest mind of all.

The majority have not the power to discern the
ideal clearly without having their attention aroused
by the vivid description of some lucid mind that al-
ready does see the ideal. But when their attention
is aroused and the ideal is made clear to their minds,
they will begin at once to rise in the scale. That in-
dividual, therefore, who is constantly placing



190 HOW THE MIND WORKS

ideals before the minds of the many is causing the
many to rise towards the more worthy and the more
beautiful in life. In consequence he is not only do-
ing great things himself, but he is causing thous-
ands of others to do great things. He is not only
awakening the superior powers in his own nature,
but he is also awakening those powers in the natures
of vast multitudes. His mind, therefore, is doing
work that is great indeed.

However, to place ideals before the minds of oth-
ers, it is not necessary to make that particular pur-
pose a profession, nor is it sufficient to reveal ideal-
ism in the mere form of written or spoken words.
Actions speak louder than words and the man who
does things exercises a far greater power for good
than the man who simply says things. The ideal
can be made a vital and a ruling element in every
vocation. And all men and women can reveal the
ideal through their work without giving voice to a
single word concerning any particular system of
idealism.

But it is not necessary to be silent concerning
those sublime visions that daily appear before the
mind, although it is well to remember that we al-
ways secure the best results when we do a great deal
more than we say. The man who makes his work
an inspiration to greater things will invariably do
greater and greater work and he will also cause
thousands of others to do greater work. He will



HOW THE MIND WORKS 191

make his own ideals practical and tangible, and will
thereby make the ideal intelligible to the majority.
For though it is true that great words inspire the
few, it requires great deeds to inspire the many.

The man who makes his own life worth while will
cause thousands of others to make their lives worth
while. In consequence the value and happiness that
he will add to the sum total of human existence can-
not possibly be measured. He is placing great and
living ideals before the world and must therefore
be counted among those who possess the greatest
mind in the world.

The man who performs a great work has achieved
greatness, but his work is the work of one man only.
That man, however, who places high ideals before
the minds of the many, thereby awakening the
greatness that is latent within the many, causes a
greater work to be performed by each one of the
many; thus he gives origin to a thousand great
deeds, where the former gives origin to a few only.
That he is greater in exact proportion is therefore a
fact that cannot be disputed. For this reason we
must conclude that the greatest mind of all is inva-
riably that mind that can inspire the greatest num-
ber to live, think and work for the vision.

To awaken the greatness that is latent in man is
to awaken the cause of everything that has real
worth in the world. Such work, therefore, is the
greatest of all great work and it is a work that lies



192 HOW THE MIND WORKS

within the power of everybody. For we all can
awaken the greatness that is latent in other minds
by placing high ideals before those minds.

The great soul lives in the world of superior vis-
ions and aims to make those visions real by train-
ing all the powers of mind and personality to move
towards those visions. And here it is highly im-
portant to realize that when the powers of mind and
personality steadily move towards the ideal they will
create the ideal more and more in the present, there-
by making the ideal real in the present.

To live where there is neither improvement nor
advancement is to live a life that is utterly worth-
less. But improvement and advancement are not
possible without ideals. We must have visions of the
better before we can make things better. And be-
fore we can make things better we must discern the
greater before we can rise out of the lesser. To ad-
vance is to move towards something that is beyond
the present; but there can be no advancement until
that something is discerned. And as everything
that is beyond the present is ideal, the mind must
necessarily have idealism before any advancement
can possibly take place.

Everything that is added to the value of life has
been produced because some one had ideals ; because
some one revealed those ideals; and because some
one tried to make those ideals real. It is therefore
evident that when lofty ideals are constantly placed



HOW THE MIND WORKS 193

before the mind of the whole world we may add im-
measurably to the value of life, and in every manner
conceivable.

The same law through which we may increase
that which is desired in life we may apply for the
elimination of that which is not desired. And to re-
move what is not desired the secret is to press on to-
wards the ideal. The ideal contains what is desired,
and to enter that which is desired is to rise out of
that which is not desired. Through the application
of this law we eliminate the usual method of resist-
ance, which is highly important, because when we
antagonize the wrong or that which is not desired
we give life to the wrong, thereby adding to its
power. For the fact is we always give power to that
which we resist or antagonize. In consequence we
will, through such a method, either perpetuate the
wrong or remove one wrong by placing another in
its stead.

However, no wrong was ever righted in the world
until the race ignored that wrong and began to rise
into the corresponding right. And to enter into this
rising attitude is to become an idealist. It is not the
iconoclast, but the idealist who reforms the world.
And the greatest reformer is invariably that man
whose conception of the ideal is so clear that his en-
tire mind is illumined by a brilliant light of superior
worlds. His thought, his life, his word, his action
in brief, everything connected with his existence,



194 HOW THE MIND WORKS

gives the same vivid description of the ideal
made real. And every person with whom he may
come in contact will be inspired to live on those same
superior heights of sublime existence.

When we try to force any ill away from any part
of the system, be the system that of an individual, a
community, or a race, we invariably cause a similar
or modified ill to appear in some other part of that
system. For the fact is that no ill can be eliminated
until it is replaced by wholeness. And whole-
ness will not enter the system until the system
enters wholeness. We must enter the light be-
fore we can receive or possess the light. And to
enter wholeness is to enter the ideal and perfect ex-
istence.

To enter the ideal, however, it is necessary to un-
derstand the ideal. Every form of emancipation as
well as as every process of advancement will de-
pend directly upon the mind's understanding of the
ideal, and its aspiration towards the ideal. A strong
ascending desire to realize the ideal will in the life
of any individual cause the entire system of that in-
dividual to outgrow everything that is inferior or
undesirable. In consequence complete emancipation
and greater and greater attainments must invari-
ably follow.

When we understand this subject thoroughly we
realize that if all the strong minds in the world
would constantly face the idea!, giving all their



HOW THE MIND WORKS 195

power to the attainment of the ideal and living com-
pletely in the reality of the ideal, a live current per-
meating the whole race would begin to move to-
wards the ideal. And so strong would this current
become that its power would be irresistible. The
natural result would be that the ideal would be re-
alized more and more in every individual life of the
race. This possibility demonstrates the extreme
value of the ideal and the importance of living abso-
lutely for the ideal. It also demonstrates the fact
that all such men and women who are constantly
placing the ideal before the minds of the world pos-
sess the greatest minds in the world. For it is only
such minds that can inspire the masses of minds to
discern the ideal, to desire the ideal and to live for
the realization of the ideal.



CHAPTER XX.

WHEN MIND IS ON THE HEIGHTS.

When the great soul transcends the world of
things it invariably begins to dream of that which is
greater, finer, more perfect, more beautiful and
more sublime than what the life of present expe-
rience has been able to produce. But those dreams
are not mere dreams ; they are actually glimpses of
what is possible or what may be near at hand ; that
is, prophetic visions of what is to be. The dreams
of the small soul are usually temporary creations of
an unguided imagination. But the dreams of the
great soul are flashes of light emanating from the
realms of supreme light, revealing secrets that man
shall some day be able to make his own.

What the great soul discerns in his visions and
dreams is nothing less than that greater life and
those greater things into the possession of which he
is being prepared to enter. But if we would gain
those greater things which are in store we must
proceed to claim our own, and not simply continue
to dream. The prophetic vision of the great soul
does not reveal what will come to pass of its own ac-
cord, but what such a soul is now competent to
bring to pass, provided he will use the powers that

1%



HOW THE MIND WORKS 197

are in his possession now. In brief, a prophetic vi-
sion does not reveal something that is coming to
you, but reveals something that you now have the
power to bring to yourself if you will.

The soul that can transcend the world of passing
things and dream of the world of better things is
now in possession of the necessary power to make
his dreams come true. For the fact is, we cannot
discern the ideal until we have the power to make it
real, nor can the mind arise into worlds sublime un-
til it has gained the power to make its own life sub-
lime. Therefore the soul that can look into the mys-
tic future and discern a more beautiful life is pre-
pared for such a life, has found the secret path to
such a life, has the power to create such a life,
though not merely in ages to come, but now. For
what we see in our visions today we have the power
to bring to pass in the present. This is indeed a
great truth, and than this, nothing could possibly
bring greater joy to the soul of man.

If we can see better days while our minds are on
the heights we can rest assured that we have the
power to create better days. But we must proceed
to use that power if we would enter into the pastures
green that are before us. The law is that what we
see in the ideal we must work for in the actual, for
it is in this way alone that our dreams can come true
without fail.



198 HOW THE MIND WORKS

The dreams of the great soul always appear when
the mind is on the heights. And it is such dreams
alone that can contain the prophetic vision. What
we dream of while on the low lands of life has no
value. The fact is that if we would know the next
step ; if we would know what today can bring forth ;
if we would know what is best now; if we would
know what we are able to attain and achieve now ;
if we would know those greater things that are now
in store for us, we must rise to the mountain top of
the soul's transcendent existence. It is there, and
there alone, that these things are made known. And
every mind can at times ascend to those sublime
heights. The great soul can readily rise to these
mountain tops ; in brief, such a soul has no other vi-
sions than those that appear on the mountain tops.
Therefore the dreams of the great soul are not mere
dreams ; they are positive indications of what can be
done, of what will be done ; they are glimpses of the
splendors of a greater day.

The soul that can rise to the mountain tops and
see the splendor of greater things can indeed rejoice
with great joy for such a soul is not destined for an
ordinary life. Greater things are at hand and a
wonderful future will positively be realized. But
such a future, with its richer possibilities and its
more worthy attainments, will not come back to us
where we now stand. We must move forward and
work for what we have seen in the vision. That



HOW THE MIND WORKS 199

which is greater does not come back to that which is
lesser. We must press on into the life of the greater
if we would realize such a life. And if we dreamed
the dreams of the great soul those dreams will in-
dicate that we can. What we have seen on the
heights reveals what we can do if we will. We have
gained the power; the gates are ajar, and in the
beautiful somewhere our own is waiting.



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