Orison Swett Marden.

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watered by a little encouragement — some good
fortune that has come even in spite of the fact
that the mental attitude has been totally un-
favorable to the production of prosperity.

A large, generous success is impossible to
many people, because every avenue to their
minds is closed by doubt, worry, fear. They
have shut out the possibility of prosperity.
Abundance cannot come to a mind that is
pinched, shrivelled, skeptical, and pessimistic.

Prosperity is a product of the creative mind.
The mind that fears, doubts, depreciates its
powers, is a negative, non-creative mind, one
that repels prosperity, repels supply. It has
nothing in common with abundance, hence
cannot attract it.

Of course, men do not mean to drive op-
portunity, prosperity, or abundance away
from them ; but they hold a mental attitude
filled with doubts and fears and lack of faith
and self-confidence, which virtually does this
very thing without their knowing it.

Oh, what paupers our doubts and fears
make of us!

No mind, no intellect is powerful or great
enough to attract wealth while the mental
attitude is turned away from it — facing in
the other direction.


Our pinched, dwarfed, blighted lives come
from inability to unite with the great Source of
all supply. All our limitations are in our own
minds, the supply is there waiting in vast
abundance. We take little because we demand
little, because we are afraid to take the much
of our inheritance — the abundance that is our
birthright. We starve ourselves in the midst
of plenty, because of our strangling thought.
The opulent life stands ready to take us into
its completeness, but our ignorance cuts us
off. Hence the life abundant, the river of
plenty, opulence unspeakable, flow past our
doors and we starve on the very shores of the
stream which carries infinite supply.

It is not in our nature that we are paupers,
but in our own mean, stingy appreciation of
ourselves and our powers. The idea that
riches are possible only to those who have
superior advantages, more ability; those who
have been favored by fate, is false and vicious.

People who put themselves into harmony
with the law of opulence harvest a fortune,
while those who do not in many cases do not
find enough to keep them alive.

There is everything in feeling opulent. I
know a lady who has such a wonderful ap-
preciation of everything about her, who has


such superb ideas of life and the grandeur
of its meaning, that it makes one feel rich to
converse with her. With her there is no such
thing as commonness. The most ordinary duties
when performed by her are lifted into dignity
and grandeur. Things come to her without
worrying or anxious thought. She loves every-
body and everybody loves her. She has no
grudges against anybody, because her very
nature is sunshine. There is no lack in her
life, because she believes in and relies without
doubt or shadow of fear on the Infinite
Source of supply. She is rich, opulent in the
truest sense of the word. Such people make
others feel rich.

On the other hand, we all know those who,
no matter how much money they may have,
never suggest opulence, never suggest any-
thing rich or grand, because their natures are
starved, shrivelled, and stunted. Greed and
selfishness have sapped all the juices out of
their lives and made them as barren of sweet-
ness as sucked oranges.

We must think plenty before we can realize
it in the life. If we hold the poverty thought,
the penury thought, the thought of lack, we
cannot demonstrate abundance. We must hold
the plenty thought if we would reach plenty.


When we realize the fact that we do not
need to look outside of ourselves for what we
need ; that the source of all supply, the divine
spring which can quench our thirst, is within
ourselves, then we shall not want, for we
know that we only have to dip deep into
ourselves to touch the infinite supply. The
trouble with us is that we do not abide in
abundance, do not live with the creative, the
all-supplying sources of things.

It is said of a remarkably successful man
of our times that he is unable to see poverty.
His mind is so constructed that he seems to
see abundance everywhere, and believes so
implicitly in the law of opulence that he
demonstrates it easily. He has no doubts to
paralyze his endeavor.

In the main we get out of life what we
have concentrated upon. What we do, our
environment, our position, our condition, are
the results of our concentration, our life-
focusing. If we have concentrated upon
poverty, and we have thus pinched our inflow
of prosperity, if our thoughts have, been of
our unworthiness and the conviction that the
best things in the world were not intended
for us, of course we shall get what we have
concentrated upon. If, on the other hand, we


have centred our thoughts along the hnes of
prosperity, of abundance, if we have beUeved
that the best things in the world are for us,
because we are the children of God, and that
health, happiness, and prosperity are our birth-
right, and have done our best to realize our
ideals, then our surroundings, our condition
will outpicture our thought, our concentra-
tion, our mental attitude.

I have known people who have longed all"
their lives to be happy, and yet they have
concentrated their minds on their loneliness,
their friendlessness, their misfortunes. They
are always pitying themselves for the lack of
the good things of the world. The whole trend
of their habitual concentration has been upon
things which could not possibly produce what
they longed for. They have been longing for
one thing, and expecting and working for
something else.

It is a great thing to learn to live in the
All-Life, to keep close to infinite supply.
Many of us imprison ourselves in the narrow
limited poverty thought, and then, like caged
eagles trying in vain to get free, we beat out our
wings against the bars we have ourselves put up.

Some natures are naturally filled with sug-
gestions of plenty of all that is rich, grand,


and noble. Some minds are so constituted that
they instinctively plunge right into the mar-
row of creative energy. Producing is as natu-
ral to them as breathing. These people are not
hampered by doubts, fears, timidity, or lack of
faith in themselves. They are confident, bold,
fearless characters. They never doubt that the
infinite supply will be equal to their demand
upon it. Such an opulent, positive mental at-
titude is creative energy.

When we have faith enough in the law of
opulence to spend our last dollar with the
same confidence and assurance that we would
if we had thousands more, we have touched
the law of divine supply.

" Charity giveth itself rich. Covetousness
hoardeth itself poor."

A stream of plenty will not flow toward
the stingy, parsimonious, doubting thought ;
there must be a corresponding current of
generosity, open-mindedness, going out from
us. One current creates the other. A little
rivulet of stingy-mindedness, a weak, poverty
current going out from ourselves, can never
set up a counter-current toward us of abun-
dance, generosity, and plenty. In other words,
our mental attitude determines the counter-
current which comes to us.


Train yourself to come away from the
thought of Hmitation, away from the thought
of lack, of want, of pinched supply. This
thinking abundance, and defying limitation
will open up the mind and set thought cur-
rents toward a greatly increased supply.

When man comes into the full realization
that God is his never-failing Supply, the
Source of Abundance, the great Fountain
Head of all that is good and desirable, and
that he being His offspring, must be a part,
an indestructible part of this supply, he will
never more know poverty or lack of any kind.

The sons and daughters of God were
planned for glorious, sublime lives, and the
time will come when all men will be kings and
all women queens. When mans higher brain
shall have triumphed over his lozver brain and
the brute shall have been educated out of
him, there will be no poverty, slavery, or vice.
The time will come when the most miserable
creature that walks on the globe to-day will
be higher than the highest now on the earth.
The plan of creation will have failed if every
human being does not finally come into his
own and return to his God as a king.



However discordant or troubled you have been dur-
ing the day, do not go to sleep until you have restored
your mental balance, until your faculties are poised
and your mind serene.

HYSIOLOGISTS tell us that
the mental processes which
are active on retiring, con-
tinue far into the night.
These mental impressions on
retiring, just before going
to sleep, the thoughts that
dominate the mind, continue to exercise in-
fluence long after we become unconscious.

We are told, too, that wrinkles and other
evidences of age are formed as readily during
sleep as when awake, indicating that the way
the mind is set when falling asleep has a
powerful influence on the body.

]\Iany people cut off the best years of their
lives by the continuation in their sleep of the
wearing, tearing, rasping influences that have
been operating upon them during the day.

Thousands of business and professional
men and women are so active during the da}',
live such strenuous, unnatural lives, that they



cannot stop thinking after they retire, and
sleep is driven away, or only induced after
complete mental exhaustion. These people are
so absorbed in the problems of their business
or vocations that they do not know how to re-
lax, to rest ; so they lie down to sleep with all
their cares, just as a tired camel lies down in
the desert with its great burden still on its

The result is that, instead of being benefited
by refreshing, rejuvenating sleep, they get up
in the morning weary, much older than when
they retired ; when they ought to get up full
of vigor, w'ith a great surplus of energy and
bounding vitality ; strong and ambitious for
the day's work before them.

The corroding, exhausting, discord-produc-
ing operations which are going on when they
fall asleep and which continue into the night,
counteract the good they would otherwise get
from their limited amount of sleep. All this
shows the importance of preparing the mind
to exercise a healthful, uplifting influence dur-
ing sleep.

It is more important to prepare the mind
for sleep than the body. The mental bath is
even more necessary than the physical one.

The first thing to do is to get rid of the


rasping, worrying, racking influences which
have been operating upon us during the day
— to clean the mental house — to tear down all
the dingy, discouraging, discordant pictures
that have disfigured it, and hang up bright,
cheerful, encouraging ones for the night.

Never allow yourself, under any circum-
stances, to retire in a discouraged, despondent,
gloomy mood, or in a fit of temper. Never lie
down with a frown on your brow ; with a
perplexed, troubled expression on your face.
Smooth out the wrinkles ; drive away grudges,
jealousies, all the enemies of your peace of
mind. Let nothing tempt you to go to sleep
with an unkind, critical, jealous thought to-
ward another in your mind.

It is bad enough to feel unkindly toward
others when under severe provocation, or
when in a hot temper, but you cannot afiford
to deliberately continue this state of mind
after the provocation has ceased and spoil
your sleep. You cannot afiford the wear and
tear. It takes too much out of you. Life is too
short, time too precious to spend any part of
it in unprofitable, health-wrecking, soul-rack-
ing thoughts. Be at peace with all the world at
least once in every twenty-four hours. You
cannot afiford to allow the enemies of your


happiness to etch their miserable images
deeper and deeper into your character as you
sleep. Erase them all. Start every night with
a clean slate.

If you have been impulsive, foolish, wicked
during the day in your treatment of others ; if
you have been holding a revengeful, ugly,
or jealous attitude toward others, wipe off
your mental slate now and start anew. Obey
the injunction of St. Paul, " Let not the sun
go down upon your wrath."

If you have difficulty in banishing un-
pleasant or torturing thoughts, force yourself
to read some good, inspiring book ; some-
thing that will take out vour wrinkles and
put you in a happy mood, and will reveal to
you the real grandeur and beauty of life;
that will make you feel ashamed of your
petty meannesses and narrow, uncharitable

Saturate your mind with pleasant memories
and with dreams of great expectations. Just
imagine yourself the man or woman you long
to become, filled with happiness, prosperity,
and power. Hold tenaciously the ideal of the
character you most admire, the personality to
which you aspire — the broad, magnanimous,
large-hearted, deep-minded, lovable soul which


you wish it were possible for you to become.
The habit of such beautiful life-picturing and
the power of reverie on retiring will very
quickly begin to reproduce itself, outpicture
itself in your life.

After a little practice, you will be surprised
to see how quickly and completely you can
change your whole mental attitude, so that
you will face life the right way before you
fall asleep.

A prominent business man told me recently
that his great weakness was his inability to
stop thinking after retiring. This man, who
is very active during the day and works at a
high tension, has a sensitive nervous organiza-
tion, and his brain keeps on working both
before and after he falls asleep as intensely
as it did during the day. In this way he is
robbed of so much sleep and what he gets is
so troubled and unrefreshing, that he feels
all used up the next day.

I advised him to cultivate the habit of clos-
ing the door of his business brain at the same
time that he closed the door of his business
office, " You should," I said, " insist on chang-
ing the current of your thoughts when you
leave your business for the day, just as you
change your environment, or as you change


your dress for dinner when you go home in
the evening. Turn your thoughts to your wife
and children, to their joys and interests ;
talk to them, play games with them; read
some humorous or entertaining story, or some
strong, interesting book that will lift you, in
spite of yourself, out of your business rut. Go
out for a long walk or a ride ; fill your lungs
with strong, sweet, fresh air ; look about you
and observe the beauties of nature. Or have
a hobby of some kind to which you can turn
for recreation and refreshment when you quit
your regular business. Be master of your
mind. Learn to control it, instead of allowing
it to control you and tyrannize over you.

" Hang up in your bedchamber, in a con-
spicuous place where you can always see it,
a card bearing in bold illuminated letters this
motto : ' No Thinking Here.'

" Shut off all thinking processes of every
kind when you retire for the night, relax
every muscle ; let there be no tension of mind
or body, and in a short time you will find that
sleep will come to you as easily and naturally
as to a little child, and that it will be as un-
troubled, as sweet and refreshing as that of
a child."

To all who are troubled as this man was.


I would offer the same advice, for its adoption
has proved very successful in his case.

It is a great art to be able to shut the
gates of the mental power-house on retiring,
to control oneself, to put oneself in tune with
the Infinite, in sympathy with those about him,
and in harmony with the world; to expel
from the mind everything which jars or ir-
ritates — all malice, envy, and jealousy, the
enemies of our peace and happiness — before
we go to sleep. Yet it is an art that all can

It is possible for everyone, either by think-
ing, reading, or pleasant social influences, to
conquer all discordant moods, to overcome
every unkind feeling, to banish every frown
from the face, every wrinkle from the mind,
and to go to sleep with a smile on the face.

When you go to sleep in the right mental
attitude you will be surprised to find how
serene and calm, how refreshed and cheerful,
you will be when you awake in the morn-
ing, and how much easier it will be to start
right and to wear a smile for the day than
it was when you went to bed worrying, ill-
humored, or full of ungenerous, uncharitable

The devotional attitude on retiring to sleep


is of very great value, inasmuch as it tends
to soothe, cahn, and reassure the mind, to
destroy all fear, worry and anxious thoughts
and to put one in tune with higher, nobler

Persistency in preparing the mind for
peaceful, healthful, happy sleep will prolong
your life and your youth. More important still,
it will have a far-reaching influence on your
health and the foundation of your character.
The habit of clearing the mental temple of
all discords, error, hatred, revenge, every-
thing which tends to gloom and darkness be-
fore going to sleep, and persisting in holding
bright pictures in the mind, in dwelling on
noble and uplifting thoughts, will in time
revolutionize the whole life.

We are just beginning to realize that there
is an enormous power lying dormant in the
Great Within of us, and that this latent force
or power seems to be very susceptible to
stimulus during sleep, when the objective
world and its many disturbing conditions are

We little realize the amount of activity —
undirected activity — that goes on in our sub-
conscious minds during sleep.

There is a lot of unconscious philosophy in


the expression one so often utters, " I would
like to sleep over this proposition," problem —
or whatever it is. Without knowing the secret
of it, we realize that things somehow clear up
during sleep in a remarkable way. We see
things in a different light in the morning.
Perhaps the thing we were most enthusiastic
over the night before, and which, had we
carried out, would have been obviously in-
jurious, often seems silly, ill-advised, im-
possible to us in the morning, not because we
really consciously thought much about it, but
because there is something in our subcon-
scious mentality M'hich often solves knotty
problems for us while asleep — problems which
staggered us in our waking hours.

Great mathematicians, scientists, and as-
tronomers have many times been surprised to
find very difficult problems that their reason
could not elucidate during the day solved
without apparent effort during sleep.

There is no doubt that much of our moral
education and character-forming is carried on
during sleep subconsciously, and since the
psychology of this education and character-
forming during sleep is based on the fact that
the processes which are going on in the brain
when we fall asleep tend to continue during


the night, we can readily see what marvellous
possibilities lie in the right direction and
guidance of this mysterious subconscious

I know persons who have performed won-
ders in reforming themselves by self-sugges-
tion on retiring at night, holding the happy,
inspiring, helpful suggestion in the mind up
to the point of unconsciousness. Persons have
overcome ugly tempers and dispositions in
this way as well as other unfortunate traits.
The holding of the vigorous, robust, healthy
ideal — the ideal and the spirit of youth — has
immense possibilities in the way of self-re-
freshment, reinvigoration, and rejuvenation,
and is especially helpful to those who are ad-
vanced in years.

If those who are inclined to melancholy and
the " blues " would, just before going to sleep,
insist on the nothingness of these delusions,
and substitute the bright, cheerful, hopeful,
optimistic thought, they would very soon over-
come this unfortunate tendency.

If poverty is grinding us under its heel, we
should affirm before going to sleep that the
Creator has provided sufficient to give every-
one the necessaries and comforts of life, with-
out any worry about them on our part. Instead


of thinking of poverty we should hold in the
mind the suggestion of opulence, of pros-
perity. We thus make the action of the sub-
conscious mind attract to us what we need
and desire.

If we have any defect or weakness, we
should hold firmly and persistently in mind,
before we go to sleep, just the opposite char-
acteristic or quality ; this will tend to attract
to us the thing we long for. If we desire to
overcome any vice, we should plead the whole-
ness, the completeness which we long to attain.

Bad tem.per, inebriety, selfishness and deceit-
fulness, all sorts of vicious and immoral ten-
dencies, have been eradicated in this manner.

Children seem especially susceptible to sug-
gestion, or what, for a better name, may be
called the " going-to-sleep " treatment. This is
because the subconscious mind is particularly
active in the young and much more easily
reached, especially during the first stages of
sleep, when just dropping into unconscious-

Truths emphasized at this time will be
remembered more readily by the child and are
more likely to be acted upon during the wak-
ing hours than those which are emphasized
while he is awake, for when he is in the sub-


conscious state he does not antagonize ad-

Some very remarkable results in the cor-
rection of vicious tendencies in children have
recently been accomplished by appealing to
their divine natures — their better selves —
through mental suggestion during sleep.

The effective treatment of sickness in in-
fants and children through the medium of
such suggestioij shows how easily the subcon-
sciousness can be influenced when the child
is in the unconscious, or semiconscious state.

If a child is naturally timid, and afraid of
" ghosts," the darkness, or any other thing,
the mother can often help it to overcome these
fears by talking to it while it is dropping to
sleep. If it is weak, delicate or ill, she can
suggest the healing Christ-truth, the health-
ideal, strength, vigor, harmony. If it is timid,
she can suggest confidence and courage.

The suggestion of success to the child who
has been backward in school, or who has
failed in his studies, will often have a wonder-
ful effect in the way of establishing confidence
and hope.

If the mother talks to her child and reasons
with it as it drops off into sleep, just as she
would if the child were awake, she will find


that her words will have far more effect than
if he were conscious, for the stubbornness, the
natural inclination to resist, to do that which
is forbidden, which is present in the child's
mind during its waking hours, is quiescent,
and it listens to and heeds its mother's advice
quietly, naturally, unquestioningly. The wise
mother who makes all sorts of good sugges-
tions to her children in her talks — substituting
the good for the bad, love for hatred and jeal-
ousy, unselfishness for selfishness — soon finds
a marked change in their dispositions. By in-
jecting into the little Hfe confidence, hope,
love, joy, courage, self-reliance, purity — all
the higher and nobler attributes — she can
wonderfully change her child's disposition.

The time will come when all mothers will
understand the importance of suggestion in
influencing a child's conduct and shaping its

A few already recognize the power of
mental suggestion in all its forms, but in the
new age that is coming, none will be ignorant
of its wonderful character-forming and life-
transforming possibilities.

If those who have not tried it before begin
now, I am sure that in a very short time they
will be surprised at the beneficent results that


will follow this persistent practice of flooding
the mind with pure and noble thoughts before
going to sleep — close up to the very point of

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Online LibraryOrison Swett MardenPeace, power, and plenty → online text (page 3 of 14)