Henry Wood.

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assume it." If the ideal be lawful and
proper, play its character until you feel and
fit it. If done in earnest, it will not
long be delayed.

You should love your friend and even
your enemy. Tell him you do, even if the
present measure of your affection be hardly
discernible. Is not this hypocrisy? No!
You want to do so, and this is the legitimate
means to grow to your ideal.

Physical sensation may be displaced and
overruled gradually. Receive its testimony
lightly. If your joints are stiff, praise their



nimbleness, and it will be increased. If
your mind is sluggish, claim the opposite.

Owing to a dull materialism, the world
has been a stranger to the spiritually scien-
tific and psychological laws of growth.

Every faculty and organ of your mind
and body has a kind of hidden subordinate
personality. Praise and think well of it
and it will serve you the better.

" I have a very weak stomach ! " Yes ;
and if you keep saying so it will fill your
specification and grow weaker.

Every good and lawful thing that we
can imagine is waiting, ideally, for us to
appropriate it. In proportion as creative
thought puts in its claim, a corresponding
response is assured.

"Ask and it shall be given you." Demand
is a sure prophecy of supply, and the two
never will rest easy until they find satisfac-
tion in each other.

If you want youthful feelings during
advancing years, step into them, and in due
time they will be an easy fit.



AMONG all the destructive forces
which make havoc among human
lives, fear, without doubt, takes the lead.
It is an unreasoning emotion. It silently
steals into trembhng souls when there seems
to be no outward occasion, and again it
marshalls its forces in the production or
persistence of a great epidemic.

Fear often becomes a mental contagion,
and that forms the basis for its physical

There is a tradition, in substance, that
once as some pilgrims were leaving Bagdad
they met the Plague about to enter the city.
Upon inquiry, they were told that his
errand was to slay a thousand people. It
turned out that ten thousand died. Upon
being reminded of the great excess after he
had left, he replied : '' I slew only the prom-
ised thousand, and fear killed the rest."



The recognition of the baneful effects of
fear is not peculiar to the New Thought, for
medical annals are crowded with illustra-
tions of its deadly power. Some eminent
writers of the regular school have given it
credit for the ability to produce almost
every known disease.

Upon no subject have some New Thought
writers been more illogical and inconsistent
than in their treatment of this negative
state of consciousness. They have started
with the foundation premise that " All is
good/' and then enlarged upon the fearful-
ness of fear.

To fear fear, is the worst kind of fear.
One is reminded of a bit of poetic effusion
that appeared not long since which describes
the situation.

" I joined the new Don't Worry Club,
And now I hold my breath ;
I am so scared for fear I'll worry
That I'm worried 'most to death."

It is worse than nothing to dwell upon
the f earf ulness of fear, and the fear thought,



unless the scientific antidote is also present-
ed. It is easy to say : " You must not
fear," but as its exercise is involuntary,
nothing is gained. No one loants to fear,
but if he does, something more is required
than to say : " Don't."

Although almost every system of vital
thought has had its corresponding devil,
one should not be expected in the New
Thought. But as treated by some of its
professed exponents, fear may well be
called the New Thought devil. He can
exist only in the consciousness, but when
there intrenched, either by theology or the
New Thought, he is very real, in effect.

How can this great Adversary be dis-
posed of? Not by solemn warning, but
only through a discovery of his beneficence.

Let us stick to our text : All is good.
When rightly understood there are no

Some one will exclaim : " What a para-
dox ! " or even : '^ What an absurdity !
Do you mean to say that there is any
goodness in fear?" Not so long as it is



feared. How, then, shall the fearfulness
of fear be taken away ? There is but one
possible way, and that is by convincing the
fearful that it has use and beneficent pur-
pose, lohen understood.

If something has no existence, save in
consciousness, so long as one believes that
it is against hun it is really destructive.
" As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."

Suppose one to be groping in a cellar.
He does not mind the darkness, for the air
is rather warm and agreeable. There really
is no enemy lurking there, but he is now
told that there is, and warned. He then
feels real danger. He does not dishke the
darkness and dampness, but fears the hid-
den enemy. He discovers a stairway leading
up to the light and hastens to ascend. His
supposed enemy has served a useful purpose.

If you are dwelling in the basement of
your own consciousness on the plane of
seductive and selfish falsities, and are quite
content, nothing less than the spectre of
fear will drive you higher. It cannot go
higher, for there is its home, but it has



done you a favor in making you uncom-
fortable. Now you look about for an es-
cape which before you did not desire.
You unwittingly have invited the enemy,
and it has done you a friendly act. It
impelled you to leave the region of dark
and disorderly thoughts and go higher into
the realm of the spiritual consciousness.
This always has been open for you, but
you would not ascend until fear goaded you
from behind.

The simple understanding that such is
the why and wherefore of fear transforms
and disarms it. After its mission has been
performed we look back upon it as an
angel of light in disguise. It was the
darkness in us that distorted it and made
it look ugly.

We turn the tables on our supposed
enemies by loving them. We thereby give
them lifting power for us.

If we love the lower realm because our

thoughts and deeds make us at home there,

it is well if a few spectres close up behind

us to hasten our progress.



If we are unresponsive to the drawing
power of high ideals in front, we invite
negatives to come and roughly push us
from behind. We must comply with the
universal forward trend.

Everything works for good, but not for
us until we recognize the goodness of the
moral order. When fully interpreted evil
ceases to be evil, and becomes educational

Could one look into the consciousness of
people, a person would rarely be found
who has not his peculiar private fear. It
may be called a weakness or an idio-
syncrasy. He may never mention it, and
his nearest friend may never suspect it.
Often he is aware that it is utterly un-
reasonable, but it sticks and will not
depart at his bidding. He should turn
about and make a special friend of it, and
thereby not only strip off its disagreeable
features, but also make it a fulcrum over
which he can hasten his spiritual develop-



TO keep a " level head " is as important
in the New Thought as elsewhere.
Up to this time it has not always been easy
to persuade the world that we are not cranky,
if, indeed, not actual cranks, but the task is
rapidly becoming easier. It is very desir-
able, however, to show that we are not
illogical or dominated by a single idea.

There is no movement, however ideal in
itself, which does not attract and take on
some elements in which there is " a zeal
which is not according to knowledge." It
works out its own cure.

With the mingling of enthusiasts and
conservatives, radicals and old fogies, the
evolution of truth is hastened. This is true
in every system, church, and party, and the
New Thought is no exception.

We agree to disagree. It would be as
easy for all to look alike as to think alike.



We may reason with one who differs from
us without condemnation. A long chain of
previous causes and conditions beyond his
control, in which he is but a link, has made
him just what he is. We may criticise
ideas rather than personahties.

Some unnecessary prejudice against men-
tal and spiritual healing is aroused by
extreme and unwise statements made in
good faith but yet unduly idealistic. Great
works are possible and lawful, but not yet

While the half has not been told of the
potential power and value of the new
spiritual awakening, yet owing to the local
limitations in its application, its possibili-
ties have not yet dawned upon the ordinary
observer. Do not antagonize him by extrav-
agant claims for your own system and
attacks upon his.

Truth has inherent vitality, while error
is self -limited. The hght of reality dis-
solves that which is unreal, and no conflict
is necessary. Works and experiences tell
a stronger story than words.



The extremes in any movement are often
mistakenly thought to be representative.
Practical ideahsm is true, but it cannot
fully be understood except from the inside.
But the world Hkes "a sweet reasonable-

That the primal and root causes — but
not always the occasions — of disorder are
mental is true, but it does not follow that
the body can be greatly changed " while you
wait " by a superficial change of mind.
Such a claim cheapens a great and deep
truth which only is realizable through grad-
ual and persistent soul growth.

Logic is good, but it should not be abused.
Because a man can lift three hundred
pounds it does not follow that he can lift
three thousand, even though the principle
be the same.

Laws and principles which abstractly are
perfect must find conditions which are not
unfavorable for their working and applica-
tion. The best seed will not germinate in
a soil which is utterly destitute of fertility.

To deny the universal principle of growth



and progress and arbitrarily insist upon
the complete abstract at once or nothing,
discourages the seeker for truth. He has
not become, but it is inspiring for him
to be consciously becoming. This because
he has imperfection yet in evidence. *

An unfortunate extreme consists in an
assumed contempt for reasonable prudence
and hygienic observance.

" Eat and drink whatever you please,
and do what you please, and all is right
provided you think right." Absurd ! No
one does think right, and it will require
some time for him to think approximately
right. Without being in slavery to hy-
giene, he should, until developed far above
the usual average, give it reasonable atten-
tion. " To be a law unto himself " lies
some distance in the future.

Some are so anxious to " demonstrate,"
that they are willing to soak themselves in
a rain, unnecessarily, as a testimony. Bet-
ter leave that to the ducks.

Growth should be normal. While it
should be persistent, it must not be forced.



If Paul attained such a spiritual con-
sciousness and control as to render the bite
of a viper harmless, it does not follow that
a beginner in the new development should
cultivate the intimacy of such a reptile.
The law may cover full immunity, but only
the spiritual expert can grasp and wield it
with assured dexterity. In the unbelieving
atmosphere of the present age, startling
demonstrations are not likely to be more
than progressive. Upon the dispensation
of a coming spiritual age, that which is
partial will give place to the full mani-
festation. Growth in spiritual power is as
gradual and orderly as in the realm of

The idea of " success vibration " has been
overworked in the name of the New
Thought. Material prosperity is desirable,
and the higher individual development
tends to tone up and invigorate every
faculty, including the efficient administra-
tion of business afeirs.

But no one can sit down and think money
into his pocket, and another cannot do it



for him. If so, success would be so cheap
as to have little value. The legitimate
New Thought contains wonderful orderly
power but no charm or magic. Material
advantage must be incidental and subordi-
nate. The law is : Seek first the highest,
and that which is lower in rank will be
" added." It is legitimate to " make
money " in an honorable way, but it is a
degradation to make the new philosophy a
money-making scheme.

The New Thought is above and back of
what are often designated as moral and so-
cial reforms. It occupies the deeper realm
of causation, while they mainly deal with
surface indications. These are not dispar-
aged, but dynamic power is from the centre.
When that is adjusted, all institutions,
which relatively occupy the circumference,
will naturally fall into Hne.

The greatest Teacher the world has
known directed all his efforts toward the
evolution of spiritual character in the in-
dividual, well knowing that social, pohtical,
and ethical standards would respond. If



politics are to be purified, social system.s
bettered, and popular conditions improved,
all can be reached more effectively througb
the higher Hfe of the individual than in
direct surface work. For the latter there
always will be an abundance of workers,
while for the former, " many are called, but
few are chosen." The body politic is made
up of individuals, and no stream can rise
higher than its source.

When the New Thought becomes domi-
nant in collective life, all human relations
on every plane will be fully reformed. But
as a movement it should be kept coherent,
well defined and unencumbered. Then will
it do its fundamental and transforming
work, and all the outward issues which re-
latively are subordinate will conform in
every detail.



THE world — yes, even the universe, is
dovetailed together in every direction
and detail. The essential interrelation of
all things is mainly a recent inspiration.
Throughout the ages, only an occasional
soul of unusually clear perception has dis-
covered this great truth which is now
fundamental in the New Thought. Pope
was such a one, as shown by his familiar
lines : —

" Not chaos-like together crush'd and bruis'd,
But as the world, harmoniously confus'd,
Where order in variety we see,
And where, though all things differ, all agree."

The negative conditions which so widely
prevail in our consciousness, and which al-
most enslave us, are mostly due to our
failure to observe a universal, mutual rela-
tionship. To see things in their complete-



ness they must be studied as a whole as
well as in detail. The New Thought em-
phasizes wholeness in its widest definition.
The prevailing ^dew has been only partial,
so that things have been disconnected.
Incompleteness produces a condition of
soul hunger. Life has been incomplete,
health has been incomplete, religion, ethics,
and sociology have been incomplete. But
more disastrous than all else — to the false
sense of the world — God has been incom-

Admitting that manifestation in all
directions is but partial, it is of the great-
est importance that our ideal of things
should be fully rounded. The sense of a
potential completeness and perfecliou has a
wonderful healing and transforming power
upon our shattered view of ourselves and
surroundings, which always comes through
our sense-consciousness. It is as though
we were looking into a broken or warped

Perhaps no other modem seer has em-
phasized the full-orbed vision so strongly



as Emerson. In his brief but graphic
poem, " Each and All," the vital breath of
harmony and oneness sweeps through like
a spicy breeze from over a field of wild
flowers and fragrant shrubs. The two
closing lines which form its climax inter-
pret the prevailing tone, —

" Beauty through my senses stole ;
I yielded myself to a perfect whole."

And again, this modern prophet in his
wonderful essay on -' Compensation," elabo-
rates the same inspired truth in a form
which will render it evermore a classic. If
one occasionally is overcome by a very
partial view of life, or, in common parlance,
gets " a fit of the blues," nothing can be
more remedial than a reperusal of this prose
poem. A deep draught of such clear and
wholesome optimism is a balm that no one
can afford to miss. It amounts to a veri-
table " treatment."

The law of mutuality is written every-
where. The trunk, branch, twig, leaf, and
blossom of a tree are not connected more



nearly than are people, things, and events.
Each member of the human body works
unceasingly, more for its neighbor than
itself. Nothing in mind or matter need be
lonely unless it live with closed eyes.

Even the omnipresent, divine life and
presence has been made incomplete through
tradition and literalism, and God practically
has been divided. There has been another
power, almost his equal, warring against
him, and to prevailing consciousness the out-
come often has seemed uncertain.

One life courses through all veins, and its
unitary rhythmic energy throbs even to all
extremes and ultimates. All through the
ages, nature and spirit not only have been
severed, but rated as unfriendly. The per-
verted human consciousness is now in a
process of rectification, and the natural and
spiritual are being blended and unified.
There is but one.

The sense of separateness gives rise to
ever present difference and diversity. It is
diversity in diversity, and not diversity in
unity. Instead of opening its vision upon



a fundamental oneness, the body politic is
severed into fragments, and, each thinks its
interest opposed to all the others.

One will persuade himself that he believes
in co-operation, but his definition of the
term is limited to his own nation, state,
sect, union, profession, trade, or family.
He fences his good off from the general
good, and his rise would be promoted by
another's fall. That all are factors in a
larger unit, and all dependent and inter-de-
pendent, is a lesson not easily learned.

For the lack of the sense of a larger
organic connection, the world struggles and
suffers. Each one views his own life as a
thing by itself, and thus he closes himself
to the influx of the Universal. Like a
little pool left in some hollow by the high
tide, he thus stagnates and loses vitality.
His idea of God is hardly more complete
than that of himself, only built upon a more
colossal scale. He lives in a state of chronic
leanness. His health, wealth, power,
knowledge — everything, is not only incom-
plete in manifestation, but in ideal.



One may look through and beyond
superficial appearances upon the Eternal
Wholeness. It has been said that God is
the centre everywhere, and that circumfer-
ence is nowhere. So long as man believes
in diferent centres of gravity, he is rent by
their opposing forces.

The essence of the New Thought is found
not only in the good of all things but in
their oneness. Polar opposites only com-
plement each other : it takes light and
darkness to make a complete day, and
action and reaction unite to form active
accomphshment. Supply and demand meet
and satisfy each other and become one.

Every surplus breeds a deficiency, and
every lack fruits in excess. The Moral
Order is a gigantic pair of balances where
every man is weighed, and his value will
not remain forever in question.

We must have a larger ideal of the riches
of the soul. Universal forces are focussed
and individuated in man waiting for his
appropriation. Brush away superficialities,
and each soul is a miniature of the " Over-



soul." It has been said that " the greatest
study of mankind is man/' and it is true, if
his divinity be included.

^^The kingdom of heaven cometh not
with observation." Looking beneath the
surging waves of the ocean of life we
explore the deeps, and behold, "a great
calm." As the morning sun dispels the
fogs and shadows of night, so the larger
consciousness of truth will dissolve the
negations of evil. From the standpoint of
the Real, the fulness of life is seen bursting
all seeming limitations. With the growing
sense of completeness, science and rehgion
coalesce, and the natural and supernatural
melt into each other in perfect proportion.
All in one, and one in all.



CAN prayer be scientific? A very
natural question, since science and
prayer for so long have been looked upon
as incongruous and even antagonistic. But
the New Thought atmosphere, which is
subtly diffusing itself far beyond the Hmits
of its avowed adherents, is softening former
prejudices and bringing reconciliation.

The primary meaning of science, as given
by Webster, is : '^Knowledge of principles
and causes : ascertained truths or facts."
There is no valid reason for conj&ning the
term to the domain of material things.

Whether in mind or matter, spirit or

body, a knowledge of principles and causes,

their sequences, relations, and expressions, is

scientific. Wherever the action of exact

law can be traced, and means intelligently

employed to produce definite ends, there

is science.



We only have to point out that prayer is
in full accord with the human constitution
and also potent in spiritual development
and accomplishment. Since Drummond
wrote his "Natural Law in the Spiritual
World," there has been a rapidly growing
apprehension of cause and e:ffect, order and
regularity, in the spiritual realm. It would
be indeed a strange incongruity if the lower
world of matter were responsive and amen-
able to regular and beneficent procedure,
while in the world of spirit there were
chaos and disorder. Such a contrast is

Are all kinds of prayer — so called —
scientific ? Here is the crucial question.
Exactly defined, prayer is desire, commun-
ion, aspiration. While it may be expressed
in words, these are by no means necessary.
Let everyone be fully persuaded in his own
mind. So long as one finds a form of
spoken words helpful and satisf3n.ng, he
should use the same.

Scientific prayer is a means for the spirit-
ual growth of man, and not a petition for a



change on the part of a God who already
is perfect. Can we suggest an improve-
ment in his course to an omnipotent, omni-
scient, and omnipresent deity " with whom
can be no variation, neither shadow is cast
by turning " ?

The petition for things with the expec-
tation of turning the divine order into our
puny way of thinking — often selfish — is
unscientific. The ideal prayer — "the
prayer without ceasing " — is a life of ear-
nest aspiration. This does not cheapen
prayer, but uplifts and purifies that which
is so easy to degenerate into a formality of
verbal expression.

Communion, "' in the silence," with the
great fatherly Mind and Life, is the prayer
which is most in accord with the New
Thought. " Enter into thy inner cham-
ber, and having shut thy door, pray to
thy Father which is in secret." Com-
panionship with the Universal Spirit and
aspiration toward the expression of God-
likeness come through inward states,
whether or not words be employed.



Prayer needs to be redefined. In its
essence it is soul hunger, a yearning after
oneness with the Eternal. It is the breath
of the spiritual nature, the native air of
the soul. It is a vital law in man's nature
that this highest faculty shall be exercised.

Every self -treatment for more life, love,
health, and goodness is a prayer. It is not a
begging for special bestowment, but rather
a recognition that on the divine part every-
thing already is perfect, and that we only
need conformity. It is simply a conscious
taking of what is already provided. Do
children need to cry for bread while they
are seated around an overloaded table ?
Prayer is an effort toward a realization in
consciousness of what already is.

A treatment for health and harmony
given to another is only a prayer telepathi-
cally deposited in his subconscious mind.
It wells up in consciousness and becomes
his own.

Prayer is " answered " when one recog-
nizes his own divinity and spiritual poten-
tiality. Every genuine good is already



provided and waiting for us to bring it into

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Online LibraryHenry WoodThe new thought simplified : how to gain harmony and health → online text (page 4 of 8)