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Orison Swett Marden.

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Neither do we know how to antidote the
poison passions which are working havoc in
our bodies.

Nothing else will so exhaust the vitality and
whittle away life as violent fits of hatred,
bitter jealousy, or a determination for revenge..
We see the victims of these passions worn out,
haggard, old, even before they have reached
middle life. There are cases on record where
fierce jealousy and hatred raging through the
system aged the victims by years in a few
days or weeks.

Yet these mental poisons are just as easily
antidoted, conquered, as physical poisons
which have well-known antidotes. If we are
sick with a fever we go to a physician for an



92 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY

antidote; but when jealousy or hatred is rag-
ing within us we suffer tortures until the fever
gradually wears itself out, not knowing that
by an application of love which would quickly
antidote it, we could easily have avoided not
only the suffering but also the wear and tear
of the entire system, especially of the delicate
brain structure.

As there is no filth, no impurity, in any
water which cannot be removed by the science
of chemistry, so there is no human mind so
filthy, so poisoned with vicious thinking and
vicious habits, so saturated with vice, that it
cannot be cleared up by right thinking; by
the counter suggestion of the thing that has
polluted it.

It is the poison-specialist's, the toxicologist's
duty to know what will antidote every kind
of poison. He would not try to save a patient
from arsenic poison with the antidote for
morphine. He must have the arsenic antidote,
and he can tell by the symptoms in each case
what poison has been taken.

Many a precious life has been lost which
could have been saved if people around the
victim at the time had only known the anti-
dote of the poison taken. I have known a man
poisoned with carbolic acid to be given the



MENTAL CHEMISTRY 93

antidote for prussic acid, which, of course,
did not save the patient, because it was not
the right antidote.

The time will come when every intelligent
person will be expert enough in mental chemis-
try to be able to apply the proper antidotes
for special forms of mental poisoning.

We shall find that it is just as easy to coun-
teract an unfriendly, disagreeable, vicious
thought by turning on the counter thought, as
it is to rob the hot water of its burning power
by turning on the cold-water faucet. We shall
be able to regulate the temperature of our
thought as the temperature of w^ater. If the
water is too hot we simply turn on the cold
faucet. If we feel our brain heating up with
hot temper, we shall simply turn on the love
thought, the peace thought, and the anger
heat will be instantly counteracted.

In other words, it is perfectly possible, and
not very difficult, to absolutely control the
quality of the thought, to regulate our peace
of mind, to maintain poise and balance, a
sweet, peaceful mental serenity, under the
most trying circumstances.

It will be absolutely impossible, by any kind
of aggravation or work or passion or torture,
to disturb the balance, the dignified serenity,



94 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY

of the coming' man. It will be impossible to
make him suffer, because he knows the secret
of counteracting the vicious, harmful thought
so that it will be neutralized or will fall flat.
If the coming man feels the " blues " coming
on, he will be able to counteract this condition
in an instant. He will know how to stop the
eating of the acid thought with the alkali
thought. If he feels a sense of weakness com-
ing on he will immediately annihilate it by a
flood thought of strength and robustness —
vigor.

Think, for example, how many human ills
can be antidoted by the magical chemistry of
the love thought ! It is a solvent for selfishness
and greed, a destroyer of hatred, envy, and
jealousy, of revenge, criminal intent, and a
score of other mental and physical enemies.

Think what it would mean if we could
only keep the mind filled with loving, helpful,
hopeful, encouraging, cheerful, fearless sug-
gestions! We would not then need to deny
their opposites, for, when the positive is pres-
ent, the negative flees.

We cannot drive the darkness out of a
room. We let in the light and the darkness
flees.

The way to get rid of discord is to flood



MENTAL CHEMISTRY 95

the mind with harmony ; then the discord
vanishes, as darkness flees before the light.

The way to get despondency and discour-
agement out of the mind is to fill it with en-
couraging, hopeful, cheerful pictures. Discour-
agement and despondency are killed by their
opposites. They are the natural antidotes.

An acid is instantly killed by the presence
of an alkali. Fire cannot exist in the presence
of its opposite, carbonic-acid gas or water. We
cannot drive hatred, jealousy, revenge out of
the mind by will power, by trying to force
them out. Love is the alkali which will im-
mediately neutralize, antidote them.

Hatred cannot live an instant in the presence
of love. The Golden Rule will kill all jealousy
and revenge. They cannot live together.

The trouble with most people is that they
try to drive out the bad in themselves instead
of antidoting it with the good. They try to
force hatred out of their minds without the
assistance of its antidote.

Change the mental attitude — think love, feel
love for that object which we hated, and the
hatred is instantly neutralized. Whenever you
are timid, inclined to express doubt, fear or
anxiety in any form, expel these destructive
suggestions with their counter suggestions.



96 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY

Remember that every morbid mood, every
discordant, weak thought is a symptom of a
poisoned mind. You have the antidote — just
the opposite thought. Your mind remedy is
always present. The antidote for all error is
truth, for all discord, is harmony. You do
not have to pay a physician. You have your
own recipe always with you. When you have
learned the secrets of mental chemistry you
can instantly stop every symptom and check
every approach of mind disease.

Every true, beautiful, and helpful thought
is a suggestion which, if held in the mind,
tends to reproduce itself there — clarifies the
ideals and uplifts the life. While these inspir-
ing and helpful suggestions fill the mind their
opposites cannot put in their deadly work, be-
cause the two cannot live together. They are
mutually antagonistic, natural enemies. One
excludes the other.

I know a woman of beautiful character who
has acquired the art of quickly refreshing her
mind even in the most trying and exacting
conditions. Knowing the power of mental im-
ages to renew the mind, she has made a study
of her thought enemies and learned to elimi-
nate all those which suggest dark, unfortunate
images, by dwelling on their opposites — those



MENTAL CHEiMISTRY 97

which bring beautiful, cheerful, uplifting, en-
couraging pictures to her mind.

By cherishing one and excluding the other,
she freshens and clarifies her thought and re-
juvenates her life at will.

Through her thorough knowledge and prac-
tice of mental chemistry, she has been able to
maintain a calm, sweet serenity, a cheerful
mental balance and harmony of disposition
which endears her to all who know her.

The human body is made exclusively of
cells. We are nothing but a mass of cells of
twelve different varieties, such as brain cells,
bone cells, muscle cells, etc. The maximum of
health and power depends upon the absolute
integrity of every cell. Sickness and disease
simply mean that some of the cells in the body
are impaired.

Many people seem to think that thought
only affects the brain ; but the fact is ive think
all over.

Physiologists have found gray brain matter
in the tips of the fingers of the blind. The
marvellous feats of the blind; the fact that
they can distinguish most delicate textures,
denominations of money, colors, even fine
tints, shades, all show that thinking is not
confined to the brain. We think all over.



98 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY

The body is a sort of extended brain. Every
thought that enters the brain cells is quickly
communicated to every cell in the entire body,
thus accounting for the tremendous instan-
taneous influence of a shock caused by fatal
news or some terrible catastrophe to every
part of the body, instantly affecting all the
secretions and functions.

The effect of bad news in a telegram often
instantly affects the heart, stomach, and brain.
This explains the numerous cases in medical
history where the hair has turned white in a
few hours, sometimes in a few minutes, from
the shock of bad news. The transmission of
the shock from the brain to every cell in the
body is almost instantaneous.

The billions of cells in the body are all tied
together in the closest contact — by affinity,
sympathy. What injures or helps one, injures
or helps all. Every cell suffers or is a gainer,
gets a life impulse or a death impulse, accord-
ing to the character of the thought.

It has been established by experiments that
we pay for all our unfortunate, vicious think-
ing in impaired cell life. Innumerable ex-
periments have established the fact that all
healthful, hopeful, joyous, encouraging, up-
lifting, optimistic, cheerful thoughts improve



MENTAL CHEMISTRY 99

the cell life of the entire body. They are crea-
tive, while the opposite thoughts are destructive
of cell life.

When we learn the fact that every thought
and emotion is quickly registered, even in the
remotest cell in the body, then we shall learn
to be extremely careful of the character of the
thought and the emotion. We shall then know
that the harboring of sick, discouraged, de-
spondent thoughts, thoughts of fear, worry,
jealousy, hatred, anger, and selfishness, will
deteriorate the integrity of the entire cell life,
and that the health standards will not only
drop, but that our mental and physical energy
alike will be diminished accordingly. We shall
then know that the health thought, the robust,
vigorous thought will react upon and give an
uplift to every cell in the body.

The greatest work a human being can do
is to keep his entire cell life in the superbest
possible condition. Then he will be absolutely
normal ; and when normal he will be right,
truthful, honest, sincere, noble.

Much of the unhappiness, the inefficiency
and the wretched, slipshod work, much of the
crime of the world, are due to impaired cell
life from vicious, unscientific thinking.

When a person is perfectly normal, he has



loo PEACE, rOWER, AND PLENTY

no desire to do wrong. It is when his cell life
is deiiuM-alized by bad thinking-, which leads to
vicious living;, dissipated habits, that he is
tempted to go wrong. So, not only the highest
morality, the supremest hapi)iness, but the
highest efficiency, depend upon the healthy
condition of the cell life.

How comparatively easy it would be to do
right and to be successful if the body were
always in the best condition!

It is when the cell life is demoralized that
the standard is lowered; it is because we are
abnormal, that we are tempted to vicious liv-
ing. The blood is poisoned from vicious think-
ing and we go wrong in spite of ourselves.

Every individual is afloat in a sea of thought,
wdiere currents are running in every direction.
When we are subject to all sorts of opposing
influences, conflicting thought-currents, we
soon come to grief in this turbulent sea, if
we do not know the laws of mental chemistry.
We must know how to neutralize our enemy
thoughts by applying their antidotes. We must
be able to master our moods, to direct our
thoughts, and thus protect our lives from all
evil influences within and without.

One of the great problems in establishing
wireless telegraphy was the neutralizing or



MENTAL CHEMISTRY loi

getting rid of the influence of conflicting cur-
rents going in every direction through the
atmosphere. The great problem of character-
building, life-building, is to counteract, to
nullify conflicting thought-currents, discord-
ant thought-currents, which bring all sorts
of bad, injurious suggestions to the mind.
Tens of thousands have already solved this
problem. Everyone can apply mental chemis-
try, the right thought-current to neutralize the
wrong one.

He is a fortunate man who early learns the
secret of scientific mental culture, and who
acquires the inestimable art of holding the
right suggestion in his mind, so that he can
triumph over the dominant note in his environ-
ment when it is unfriendly to his highest good.

There is nothing truer than that " we can
make ourselves over by using and developing
the right kind of thought-forces."

Not long ago a young man whom I had not
seen for several vears called on me, and I was
amazed at the tremendous change in him.
When I had last seen him he was pessimistic,
discouraged, almost despairing ; he had soured
on life, lost confidence in human nature and in
himself. During the interval he had completely
changed. The sullen, bitter expression that



I02 PEACE, POWER, AXD PLENTY

used to characterize his face was replaced by
one of joy and gladness. He was radiant,
cheerful, hopeful, and happy.

f The young man had married an optimistic
wife, who had the happy faculty of laughing
/ him out of his " blues "' or melancholy, chang-
ing the tenor of his thoughts, cheering him up,
and making him put a higher estimate on him-
self. His removal from an unhappy environ-
ment, together with his wife's helpful " new-
thought " influence and his own determination
to make good, had all worked together to
bring about a revolution in his mental make-
up. The love-principle and the use of the right
thought-force had verily made a new man of
him.

We are beginning to learn that man carries
the great panacea for all ills within himself;
that the antidotes for the worst poisons — tlie
poisons of hatred, jealousy, anger, revenge,
a false ambition, and of all evil thoughts and
passions — exist in his own mind in the form
of love, charity, and good-will essences.

/



VII. IMAGINATION AND HEALTH



VII. IMAGINATION AND HEALTH



Fancy can save or kill; it hath closed up

Wounds when the balsam could not, and without
The aid of salves — to think hath been a cure.

— Caetwright.




OT long ago a clergyman was
sent to a hospital, suffering
terribly, and so weak that he
could scarcely hold up his
head. He said he had swal-
lowed several false teeth and
the plate, and that he felt the
horrible grinding and cutting of these in his
stomach.

The physician in attendance tried to talk
him out of this idea, but to no purpose. A little
while later a telegram from his wife informed
him that the teeth had been found under the
bed. Mortified and chagrined at having made
such a fool of himself, the clergyman, free
from his imaginary suffering, immediately got
up, dressed himself, paid his bill and went
home without assistance.

As long as the man was convinced that the
false teeth were in his stomach, all the talking
in the world could not have made him believe
that his suffering was a delusion. This con-
viction had to be changed first.



io6 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY

Physicians tell us that susceptibility to con-
tagious diseases depends very largely upon
the mental condition, that it is possible for a
person during great excitement to work with
perfect immunity among patients suffering
from the most malignant diseases.

I have seen a vigorous, athletic man so com-
pletely paralyzed by the shock from an ac-
cident that he could scarcely lift a pound
weight. He was as weak and nerveless as a
child. No material substance had touched him
or opposed him — just a terrifying thought,
which came like lightning, did the work, made
a pvgmy of a giant in an instant.

Well-authenticated cases have been recorded
by physicians where patients, who had a mortal
fear of chloroform, went into syncope before
a whiff of chloroform had been given. They
became perfectly unconscious through the
suggestion of their own minds.

I know of a physician who, while away
from home on a fishing trip, was summoned
to attend a patient who was suffering inde-
scribable agony. He had no medicine case, no
drugs with him; but the tactful physician,
knowing the power of suggestion, made small
powders out of ordinary flour and gave in-
structions with the greatest care as to the



IMAGINATION AND HEALTH 107

exact time and manner of taking. They were
to be given every few minutes.

The patient was told that he was being
treated by a noted physician, and his great
faith in the physician and the remedy in a
short time wrought a marvellous change in his
condition. He said that he felt the effects of
the medicine throughout his entire being.
Flour and faith did the work.

In the medical report, after the great epi-
demic of yellow fever in Philadelphia, we find
this reference to the remarkable healing balm
in the spiritual influence of the great Dr. Rush.

" Dr. Rush's presence zvas a powerful stimu-
lant; men recovered to zvhom he gave no
medicine, as if his word was enough to turn
the fever."

The sick thought must go before the sick
condition will depart. When the diseased
thought goes, the body at once rebounds and
becomes normal.

I recently heard of a young lady who,
while at the theatre with her fiance, com-
plained suddenly of feeling faint. Her fiance,
a young doctor, took something out of his
pocket, and, giving it to her, whispered, " Keep
this tabloid in your mouth, but don't swallow
it." The young lady did as directed, and im-



io8 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY

mediately felt better. Curious to know what
the " tabloid " was, which, although it had not
dissolved, had given her such relief, she ex-
amined it on her return home, and found —
a small button !

Medical history shows that thousands of
people have died the victims of their imagina-
tion. They were convinced they had diseases
which in reality they never had. The trouble
was not in the body but in the mind.

Few of us realize the almost superhuman
power of the imagination in its effect upon the
body. Nothing is better known than that many
people every year die with imaginary hydro-
phobia. It is a very common thing to regard a
dog as mad which simply has a fit, or is so
frightened at being pursued by those who are
afraid of it, and who project their state of
mind to its brain that it appears to be mad.

A short time ago I read a story about a
young officer in India who consulted a great
physician because he felt fagged from the ex-
cessive heat and long hours of service. The
physician examined him and said he would
write to him on the morrow. The letter the pa-
tient received informed him that his left lung
was entirely gone, his heart seriously affected,
and advised him to adjust his business affairs



IMAGINATION AND HEALTH 109

at once, " Of course, you may live for weeks,"
it said, " but you had best not leave important
matters undecided."

Naturally the young ofificer was dismayed
by this death warrant. He grew rapidly worse,
and in twenty-four hours respiration was dif-
ficult and he had an acute pain in the region
of the heart. He took to his bed with the con-
viction that he should never rise from it.
During the night he grew rapidly worse and
his servant sent for the doctor.

" What on earth have you been doing to
yourself?" demanded the physician. "There
was no indication of this sort when I saw you
yesterday."

" It is my heart, I suppose," weakly an-
swered the patient in a whisper.

" Your heart ! " repeated the doctor. " Your
heart was all right yesterday."

" My lungs, then," said the patient.

" What is the matter with you, man ? You
don't seem to have been drinking."

" Your letter, your letter ! " gasped the pa-
tient. " You said I had only a few weeks to
live."

" Are you crazy ? " said the doctor. " I
wrote you to take a week's vacation in the
hills and you would be all right."



no PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY

The patient, with the pallor of death in his
face, could scarcely raise his head from the
pillows, but he drew from under the bed-
clothes the doctor's letter.

" Heavens, man ! " cried the physician ;
" this was meant for another patient ! My as-
sistant misplaced the letters."

The young officer sat up in bed immediately,
and was entirely well in a few hours.

When I was in the Harvard Medical
School, one of the best professors there, a
celebrated physician, who had been lecturing
upon the power of the imagination, warned
the students against the dangers of imagining
that they themselves had the disease about
which they studied. During this very time the
professor told me that he got it into his head
that he was developing Bright's disease in his
own system. This conviction became so strong
that he did not even dare to have an examina-
tion made. He was so certain that he was in
the grasp of this so-called fatal disease that he
preferred to die rather than be told of his con-
dition by another physician. He lost his ap-
petite, lost flesh rapidly, and became almost
incapable of lecturing, until one day a medical
friend, astonished at the change in his appear-
ance, asked what was the matter with him.



IMAGINATION AND HEALTH m

" I have Bright's disease," was the reply.
" I am sure of it, for I have every symptom."

" Nonsense," said his friend ; " you have
nothing of the kind."

After a great deal of persuasion, the pro-
fessor was induced to submit to an examina-
tion, and it was discovered that there was not
the slightest evidence of Bright's disease in his
system. He rallied so quickly that even in a
dav those who knew him noticed the chansre.
His appetite returned, his flesh came back, and
he was a new man.

Medical history is full of examples of peo-
ple who have been made sick purely through,
the domination of the imagination. A London
medical journal gives the following instances :

" Two London men stayed in the country
at a house where scarlet fever was reported.
One, an unimaginative, healthy-minded fellow,
awoke all right in the morning. The other, a
nervous, sensitive man, was very ill — had not
slept and had broken out into a terrible rash,
which both declared to be scarlet fever. A
wire to a London medical man was despatched,
and by the first train he hurried down. The
supposed fever patient proved to have no
fever at all beyond an imaginative one. In
fact, there was no scarlet fever in the house.



112 PEACE, POWER, AND PLENTY

The case had been wrongly diagnosed, and
the frightened visitor had tortured himself
into a violent rash, all without cause.

" At another house two men stayed, where
an inmate had died of cholera. One man
placed in the room in which the patient had
died was in ignorance of what had occurred.
He slept well and was no worse. The other,
wrongly told that the room in which he slept
was that in which the cholera patient had died,
spent a night of mental agony and in the
morning was actually found to be suffering
from this complaint. He died of cholera."

People read these stories and believe them,
yet cannot see that their own perverted im-
aginations, their own sick, discordant, dis-
couraged thoughts will produce similar effects
upon themselves.

We are all at some time in our lives victims
of the imagination. The conviction that we
have been exposed to a terrible malady, to
some incurable, contagious disease, completely
upsets the entire system and reverses the proc-
esses of the various functions ; the mind does
not act with its customary vitality and power
and there is a general dropping of physical
and mental standards all along the line, until
we become the victims of the thing we fear.



VIII. HOW SUGGESTION INFLU-
ENCES HEALTH



VIII. HOW SUGGESTION INFLU-
ENCES HEALTH



By holding the thought of what we wish to become,
we can in a large measure become what we desire.

Man is beginning to find that the same Principle
which created him, repairs, restores, renews him.




OMEONE has said: "The
mortalest enemy you can
have is the friend who meets
you and says : ' You are not
looking well to-day; what's
the matter ? ' From that mo-
ment you don't feel well.
Your friend has blasted your hope and spread
a pall over your brain."

The power of suggestion is strikingly illus-
trated by the fact that a hypnotic subject under
control may be burned until a blister is raised,
by the application of a cold coin.

Now, if it is possible for the thought sug-
gested by another to produce a blister on the


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Online LibraryOrison Swett MardenPeace, power, and plenty → online text (page 5 of 14)