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THE



NEW THOUGHT
SIMPLIFIED



EOW TO GAIN
HARMONY AND HEALTH



BY

HENRY WOOD

AtTTHOB OF "IDBAI. SUGGESTION," "STUDIES IN THE THOUGHT

World," "The Symphony of Life," Etc.




FOURTH EDITION

BOSTON ^

LOTHROP, LEE & SHEPARD CO.



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Published, September, 1903
OOPYRIGHT, 1903, By HENRY WOOD



yill Rights Reserved



THE NEW THOUGHT SIMPLIFIED



•ftorwoofc press

Berwick & Smith Co.

Norwood, Mass.

D. S. A.



• • • •



♦ • r
.. • • II •



• - r • • - » *



PREFACE.



It frequently has been said that presen-
tations of the New Thought are made in
terms not readily intelligible to beginners.
In the nature of the case, it is not easy to
set forth a psychological and ideahstic
system so that it shall be lucid to all.

It is also true that there is a decided
though often unconscious inchnation among
the exponents of any movement to fall
into a mannerism which is distinctive.
Writers upon the New Thought are no
exception to this rule.

In this volume, the author does not claim
to be exempt from such a tendency, but
simplicity is his earnest aim.

It is hoped that many who heretofore
have been prevented from a careful in-
vestigation of the New Thought may be

3



PREFACE

able to grasp mucla of its inner spirit and
substance through an attentive perusal of
these pages.

A plain rehearsal of the foundation prin-
ciples is followed by some comments upon
their relation to other systems. An appen-
dix is added containing a few suggestive
lessons in the most practical and experi-
mental form.

H. W.

Cambridge, 1903.



4



CONTENTS.



" It Whistles Itself " 7

Thought Habit • H

Thought Selection 17

The Laws of Life 23

How to Get Into the New Thought 32

Two Different Minds in One 42

" Agree with Thine Adversary Quickly " 53

The Comely Human Body . 60

Faith 65

The Eight Idea of God 73

Do Years Count . , 78

Fear 84

Avoid Extremes 90

All in One . . 97

Scientific Prayer 104

The Overcoming of Sleeplessness 110

Conscious and Unconscious Varieties of Faith Cure . 119

The New Thought and Hygiene 128

The New Thought and the Church 133

The New Thought and the Bible 140

The New Thought and Christian Science 146

The New Thought and Modern Reforms 153

The New Thought and the Medical Profession . . . 158

Appendix.

Mental and Spiritual Gymnastic Exercises .... 165

5



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THE NEW THOUGHT
SIMPLIFIED



"IT WHISTLES ITSELF."

A BOY who was whistling loudly as he
walked down the street was told to
"stop that whistling." He replied, "I
ain't whistlin' ; it whistles itself." It is
much so with a large part of the thinking
that is done. It thinks itself.

The aforesaid boy was almost as auto-
matic as another kind of whistling buoy,
though his whistling was less useful. As
the winds and waves set the buoy into
action, so the automatic thinker thinks,
mainly because something stirs him from
the outside.

There are mechanical automatons made
in the shape of a man, which, by proper



THE NEW THOUGHT SIMPLIFIED

winding, not only will whistle but play a
musical instrument.

Who wants to be an automaton ?

Keady-made thoughts are much like
ready-made or second-hand clothes. They
do not fit. If some one hits me, the ready-
made thought says, hit back. / do not
say that, but the automaton puts in his oar
and answers for me.

Am I going to do my own thinking or
let an automaton do it for me ? Automatic
thinking is not wise, well proportioned, or
helpful. One cannot tell what it will bring.
There may come :

" Black spirits and white, red spirits and gray,
Mingle, mingle, mingle, you that mingle may."

The witches' cauldron in Macbeth did not
contain a more ill assorted mixture, and the

" Something wicked this way comes.
Open, locks,
Whoever knocks ! "

of the second witch well illustrates the in-
vitation of the automaton to all comers.

8



«aT WHISTLES ITSELF"

As thinking is the fountain for all action,
it should not be turned loose to run at large.
What a disorderly mob of thoughts smuggle
themselves into the mind ! Stand at the
gateway of consciousness and see the pro-
cession enter. Could it be pictured upon a
moving panorama or be acted upon the stage,
what a dramatic medley would appear 1 It
is all because they think themselves. It is
true that but a small part of them ever reach
the climax of seen form, but they all tend
that way, and are fluttering to get loose.
Every one of them wants to be hatched, have
a body and try its wings. Those which
succeed will have the stripe and color of the
average that is within.

The brain is like a menagerie. Its caged
mental forms bear close resemblance, in their
nature, to various beasts, birds, and reptiles,
tamed and untamed, gentle and savage.
Perchance there may be a side-show of mon-
strosities, but we will not look in.

Mind is peopled with all this motley as-
sembly because it has left the door swinging
on its hinges and the windows wide open.

9



THE NEW THOUGHT SIMPLIFIED

The governor has abdicated, and the door-
keeper is ofE duty.

A mind floating in a chaotic sea of
thoughts, without a ruling aim and positive
ideal, is like a rudderless ship, at the mercy
of winds, waves, and breakers.



10



THOUGHT HABIT.

WE are all creatures of habit. A deep
rut is worn by a meadow brook be-
cause it has run in the same channel for a
long time. It is no less true of a thought
channel. In either case it is not easy to
turn it into a new course.

Habit is a natural and universal law. As
applied to thought, if we understand and
control its action, it will perform wonders
for us. Like an intelligent and trained as-
sistant it multiplies our ability and builds
our character.

On the contrary, if we carelessly jdeld to
its rule, it becomes tyrannical, and we drop
into servitude.

Thoughts of all sorts come trooping along
and knock at the door of mind. They are
of all shades and quahties. There are the
high and the low, the good and bad, the
selfish and unselfish, the pure and impure,

11



THE NEW THOUGHT SIMPLIFIED



the sickly and healtliful, the fearful and
courageous, the God-hke and devilish,
thoughts of love and hate, of cheer and de-
spondency. Which will we admit? Each
one that we receive makes its distinctive
mark upon us. Like a line of customers in
a bank each one leaves a deposit.

We invite some favorite thoughts into our
inner reception-room for a longer stay, and
make them at home. Avoid this unless you
wish to become like them. We sooner or
later manifest the e:ffect of their company.
Intimacy continued fastens their habit upon
us.

These inner companions influence us far
more than our nearest personal friends.
The latter are comparatively far away; the
particular thoughts of which we cultivate
the intimacy gradually give us their fea-
tures, their accent, and all their mannerisms.

Thoughts steal in that we have not con-
sciously invited. They will not always de-
part by word of command, but they may be
elbowed out by others which we choose, if

they have not become too intimate.

12



THOUGHT HABIT

Thouglit habit is character. You are
what previous thinking has made you.

" 111 habits gather by unseen degrees,
As brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas."

Get out of unwholesome ruts. It matters
not whether they were made by past dogma-
tisms, by heredity, by other people, or by
yourself. Their walls on either side are
hardening.

Be your real self, and you will be original.
Originality draws the world together in
love and mutual appreciation. Each then
finds outside just what he lacks in him-
self.

Truth follows no rut. It is better to
search for it than to walk in the groove of
some leader's estimate of it. New Thought
exponents are no exception.

You must have your own New Thought,
rather than that which belongs to some one
else.

There is too much " I am of Paul," and
I am of Apollos."

The genuine New Thought which you

13



6i



THE NEW THOUGHT SBIPLIFIED

seek is impersonal until it becomes personal
in you.

Other opinions and standpoints are good
as aids and suggestions, but final authority
should be within.

Your own religious denomination^ politi-
cal party, class or union is yours, because of
concentrated and habitual thinking. You
have entertained (how significant the word)
fifty favorable thoughts in the line of your
own association as often as one regarding
that of your neighbor.

You have created your own horizon.

You think that you think as you do because
it is reasonable, true, or wise. But you have
neighbors equally intelligent and conscien-
tious who think the same of their respective
systems. Each has taken on the color and
quahty of his own habitual thoughts.
That is the cause of his own present views,
but you cannot make him believe it. The
old saw is true —

"A man convinced against his wHl,
Is of the same opinion still."

14



THOUGHT HABIT

What has been called the will is simply
concentrated thought along a given line.

But it would be absurd to claim that
people never change and make a new de-
parture. In practice no working principle
can be pressed to an extreme. Never
before was there so little dogmatism and so
much openness to truth, for its own sake, as
there is to-day.

As people learn the nature, extent, and
power of thought habit, there will be a still
greater advance.

What we call physical habits are really
thought habits. Thought results in action,
and the same thought repeated causes a
repetition of the act. Even the auto-
matic act is always the result of the auto-
matic thought. No man walks until he
thinks walking, even though the thought
becomes unconscious as he takes step by
step.

Man is man because he is a thinker.
His action, simple or habitual, is only
thought made visible.

An occasional inventive genius has spent

15



THE NEW THOUGHT SIMPLIFIED

his life in an effort to invent mechanical
perpetual motion. But everyone already
has it within. When the thinking faculty
is once set in motion, the same impressions
tend to repeat their circuit indefinitely.



16



THOUGHT SELECTION.

IF one goes to market to buy the mate-
rials for a good dinner, he will care-
fully choose things of a superior quality.
Not only the enjoyment of the meal but
its nourishing qualities depend upon the
right selection. One will go into detail
as to the different cuts — if he be a meat
eater — and note the cpecies, soundness, and
ripeness of the vegetables and fruits.

Who wants to eat decayed meat or un-
sound vegetables ?

We value our bodies, and strive to sup-
ply them with food which is favorable to
health, and easily digestible.

While the right combination for a good
dinner is desirable, the quality of the finer
and more complex food for the mind is of
far greater importance.

Dyspepsia of the stomach is bad enough,
but mental and moral indigestion is much

17



THE NEW THOUGHT SIMPLIFIED

more serious and persistent, and often
brings the first-named disorder in its train.
The mind can be stu:Eed, starved, or poi-
soned as truly as the body.

Feed a boy upon nickel or dime novel
thoughts, and if he does not provide him-
self with pistol and knife, and seek ad-
ventures, he will, at least, have strong im-
pulses in that direction. If the seductive
doses are continued he will grow into a
bundle of living disorderly forces. If he
devour tragedy he will become tragic in-
side, and some of it will break through the
crust of restraint upon small provocation.
On account of bad feeding there is often a
seething mass of uncivilized impulses which
are only hidden by a thin civiHzed veneer.

Mental hunger is insistent and will have
food, be the same good, bad, or indifferent.
It is generally made up of negative and
fugitive thoughts.

Every thought is a force, and if our vision
were keen enough we could, perhaps, see
them thick in the mental atmosphere which
surrounds us, and distinguish their quality.

18



THOUGHT SELECTION

Thought selection is not only important
in character and action, but its influence
permeates the body and regulates or affects
every physical function. Sickly, evil, or
angry thoughts tend to natural expression
in a sickly body. Fear and depression also
pull down and weaken. The process is not
rapid, and so we do not ordinarily trace the
connection. A '^ fit of the blues " will cause
indigestion, and the latter sensation will re-
act upon the former and intensify the color,
but it was wrong thinking that caused them
both. The blues with their whole uncanny
brood never come unless they have been
invited.

The condition of the present is always
the natural outcome of the past. It is
absurd to blame chance, and still more so
to call it divinely sent. It is vastly better
to own up and admit that we did it with
our " little hatchet " — thought.

We have a kind of thought reservoir in
which are stored all the mental impressions
of our past life. Though they may have
passed out of memory, each forms a part of

19



THE NEW THOUGHT SIMPLIFIED

what we are to-day. Under some unusual
conditions, and especially in the case of per-
sons who are in process of drowning, all the
details of past thinking are flashed like
lightning before the consciousness. Be-
cause thought is creative, great care should
be taken in its regulation. In a chemical
mixture every drop modifies the compound,
and so every thought adds its sweetness or
bitterness to the hfe and character.

As the letters and words of a book are
formed and arranged to express the ideas
contained in it, so by a law that knows no
exception, the body becomes " a living
epistle known and read of all men."

How wonderfully complicated is every
mind, and its body is an exact correspon-
dence. Every detail of the unseen part is
seeking to reflect itself in the physical
features and organs of every degree.

We are " fearfully and wonderfully
made." Rather we are constantly making
ourselves, and this is what makes our re-
sponsibility fearful and wonderful.

Every one is suffering from the mistaken

20



THOUGHT SELECTION

depressions and inharmonies of the past.
We cannot wholly change at once, but we
can begin to look upon the bright side of
things, and so fill the mind with cheerful
affirmations and aspirations, that pessimistic
thoughts will find no standing-room.

Everything around us takes on the as-
pect with which we have clothed it by our
thought.

The mind has its sunny rooms, and also
apartments of gloom and antagonism. It
is a great mistake to think that you must
live in the letter of everything as it comes.
Choose your own company and abiding-
place.

As the sculptor skilfully wields his
chisel to release a beautiful statue which
lies imprisoned in a block of marble, so
your symmetrical thought may gradually
mould an expression which is divinely fair.

Select thoughts of harmony, love, cheer,
good-will, health, purity, and beauty, and
just in proportion as you hold them they
will displace and crowd out their opposites.
You thus command the situation if you

21



THE NEW THOUGHT SIMPLIFIED

will. But " eternal vigilance is the price of
liberty."

The real world in which one lives is his
thought world, and not the mere things
that are about him. Just think of creating
your own world !



22



E



THE LAWS OF LIFE.

1 VERY action and thing has its laws.
If you pinch your finger it is a law
that it hurts. It is a good law. Were it
otherwise you would grow careless, and
pinching might finally leave you without
any fingers at all.

Perhaps the greatest discovery of recent
times is the truth that we live in an orderly
universe. Nothing happens. There is no
such thing as chance. Everything has its
cause, and in turn it becomes the cause of
something else.

Were it not for the fact that we have
the power to re-form, and in a deep sense to
re-create, we should be the helpless victims
of fate. The revolving cog-wheels of law
would bind and make us slaves. But we
have power and may be victors. We use
law, and it becomes our efficient helper. A
man may lift a few hundred pounds, but

23



THE NEW THOUGHT SIMPLIFIED

by calling to his aid the law of the screw
or the windlass, he will raise tons.

The law in the nature of things is not at
all like any arbitrary or legislative rule or
regulation. The former acts from within,
and is constant and reliable ; while the lat-
ter is uncertain in action and unreliable in
apphcation. The law within things is
divinely constituted method.

It is our high privilege to find out the
lines of orderly action and to make them
serve us. Knowledge of their nature gives
wonderful re-enforcement in every direction.
But we must do things in their way.

Steam has certain laws or methods of
action. We study them and work in har-
mony with their habit, and the result is a
splendid steam-engine of sufficient power to
drive a great modern liner across the ocean.
But if we work against their peculiar ways,
the same steam may either go to waste or
exercise its explosive power, and thus pun-
ish us for our lack of knowledge. It is
able to multiply our capability if we let it

help us in its own way.

24



THE LAWS OF LIFE

All forces are beneficent when properly
employed. But the good thing when mis-
directed, becomes what is commonly called
evil.

We are constantly gaining new knowl-
edge of the laws of life. They gradually
make themselves known to those who
earnestly search for truth for its own sake.
"We must be plastic learners, and not try to
impose our own views, much less our
prejudices.

Every natural power within us is helpful
and recuperative, and when unobstructed is
always working for our salvation. Were it
not for some violation of the laws of health
we should never be ill. Disorder never is
sent upon us from the outside. The con-
ditions for its manifestation are always
self-made.

Perhaps there is an epidemic of colds or
grip. The prevalence of the condition only
furnishes an easy occasion for us to become
victims, but it is never the cause. That is
always within, and is sometimes called
susceptibility. Unless invited it can never

25



THE NEW THOUGHT SIMPLIFIED

touch US, but if we are carrying about a lot
of grip kindling it may be set ablaze from
tbe outside. Suppose that through high
thinking, together with a reasonable obser-
vance of the laws of hygiene, our bodies are
pure and not clogged or overloaded, the
grip sparks from the outside will find
nothing to ignite. So with disorder in
general.

Every natural force in the world, within
or without, will work in our behalf if we
give it free co-operation. Our unwitting
obstruction causes the friction which is so
universal. God and nature and all things
are friendly — yes, still more, loving — but
we cannot realize that great truth until we
vibrate with them.

It is our mental attitude which furnishes
us with all our enemies. The scriptural
injunction "Love your enemies" applies
not only to persons but to things and cir-
cumstances. The moment our love goes
out toward them they cease to be enemies.
There is a new relation, and in the highest
sense they are conquered. The law of non-
26



THE LAWS OF LIFE



resistance which Jesus taught has been
signally misunderstood and unappreciated.
It is not a weak surrender, but the scientific
way of overcoming. To the ordinary mind,
whose only idea of mastery is through force
and antagonism, this law seems like a para-
dox. To " Love your enemies " is looked
upon as a kind of goody-goody, impractical
and impossible abstraction, obtainable only
in some far-off millennium. It is rather a
scientific overcoming force, available here
and now, and its power is found in the fact
that it is in accord with the laws of our own
constitution, including mind and body. In
regard to physical health alone, there is
nothing so healing as universal love and
good-wiU, and nothing so harmful and dis-
orderly as envy and antagonism. Pride
lays the blame everywhere else, and tries to
get rid of the natural effect by medication.
Let us make a concrete illustration. If
you awaken to-morrow morning with a fever
do not say or think : " An enemy has taken
hold upon me ; it is a calamity; I am so un-
fortunate ; I am afraid it will be too much

27



THE NEW THOUGHT SIMPLIFIED

for me ; what a heat I am in ! " Such
feelings will only tighten its grasp and
aggravate the pain. Yon thereby make
yourself its subject and victim. It then
becomes a positive force and you the un-
willing negative recipient. Instead of this :
" Love your enemies."

Suggest to yourself : " This experience
has a good side. I have broken some laws,
and this friendly messenger comes to call
my attention to that fact. I will not fight
mere symptoms, but interpret them and di-
vine their cause. The feverish condition is
nature's quickened effort to throw off
obstructions. I will aid and not repress
this effort. Under just these circumstances,
I am thankful for this teacher. Its sensa-
tions are not agreeable, but these are merely
upon the surface. I am undergoing purifi-
cation, and despite its pains am thankful.
I will not try to dodge this corrective
penalty through the use of semi-paralyzing
compounds, for they will not cure, and while
they seem to relieve temporarily, they
really will increase the friction. Rather

28



THE LAWS OF LIFE

I will come into reconciliation witli this
inner judgment."

When such self-suggestions are firmly and
deeply held, the main purpose is accom-
plished, and the body soon will fall into line;
and the messenger, which at first seemed so
hostile, will bow himself out with his former
scowling features smiling, for he goes as a
friend.

The above hints must not be misunder-
stood. The fever in itself is not a good
thing, and should not have been invited.
SuJ^ering and friction are not to be sought
as a means of grace, but they never come
except to purify, and when we need purifica-
tion they are good. Their pains come to
teach us not to get into the same condition
again, and no less severe experience would
thoroughly bring home the lesson.

If one will get angry, or if he will eat a
large quantity of hearty food before retiring
for the night for the momentary gratifica-
tion of his palate, nothing less than some
rather marked or severe disturbance will
keep him from doing so again. Under such

29



THE NEW THOUGHT SIMPLIFIED

circumstances the disturbance was a kindly
affair.

When people find that all sins, spiritual,
mental, ethical, and physical, are debts bear-
ing compound interest, they will be more
careful about committing them. Every vio-
lation of law has within it the seeds of its
own punishment, and they develop as a
natural consequence. The judgment is
through an inner tribunal, and it is not
vindictive but beneficent. It comes to save
people from themselves, and is more friendly
to their own welfare than they can imagine.

We make our own conditions. In pro-
portion as you regard everything as your
friend it will lend you its aid.

But this, like every other general prin-
ciple, cannot be hastily carried to an ex-
treme. Take the weather for illustration.
It is the cultivated and permanent mental
attitude that will gradually make all kinds
friendly. We cannot momentarily love a
rain storm and thereby get the benefit of
the thought. To realize the normal good-
ness of all kinds of weather, a settled prin-

30



THE LAWS OF LIFE

eiple in that direction must liave been
developed through affirmation and a work-
ing capacity.

As we give the laws of life, both mental
and physical, free course through us they
yield a rich blessing in strength and har-
mony. Through a non-resistant attitude
toward all things we lubricate life, dismiss
friction, and thereby make existence a
privilege and delight.



31



HOW TO GET INTO THE NEW
THOUGHT.

MANY people say, " I think the New
Thought is a good thing, and I
would hke to share in its benefits if I only
knew how to begin. I have heard and
read about it but that is not being in
it." They are quite right, for indeed it is a
very different matter.

Yery likely they have some relative or
friend who has been healed from a severe


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