“Thoughts are things.” Thought is a dynamic energy. Just as the food that you eat feeds your body, exactly similarly your thoughts and feelings nourish your soul. Matter is nothing but a concentration of Thought-Force or Mind-Substance. The entire universe is seen objectively.
This is on the cosmic scale. On the individual scale—”As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.” This is a literal truth. Your body is nothing but a Thought-Form. Control your modes of thinking and shape them to lofty ideals. So will you infallibly, positively and immediately control your destiny. Control your thoughts and you can control the thoughts of all other men. The tone of your thoughts must always be lofty.
You must change your Thought-Habits and shift your plane of consciousness from the lower to the higher life. I am going to give you hints on same. Pay attention please. Every one of us, as he thinks, feels and wills, sends forth Thought-Forms and Thought-Waves of greater or lesser intensity. This force once set into motion persists, for a greater or lesser period of time, in Ether. Thought-Force is the concentration of a high form of vibratory energy in the Akasa (universal ether) and the ether, as you know, permeates all space, interpenetrates and pervades all forms of matter, from atom to the sun and the stars.
Just as the light-waves of a star exist and move on centuries after the star has ceased to be, just as the heat-vibrations remain in a room even after the producing cause has been removed, similarly mentative energy and its corresponding Thought-Forms persist in the ether even after the originating impulse has been withdrawn. In this way places, houses, cities and temples have peculiar Thought-Atmospheres of their own, imparted by those living there, exerting an influence upon every one living or going there. These are positive, animating, purifying and exalting Thought-Atmospheres, and there are negative, weakening and unholy, morbid Thought-Atmospheres. The higher and loftier your tone of general Thought-Activity, the finer and more powerful the vibrational nature of the energy emanating from you.
The quality of the thought determines the rate of vibration. For instance, photographs have been taken through highly-sensitized plates, indicating the nature of the energy generated. Tongues of flame, brilliant and flashing with golden-yellow, were photographed from prayer and devotion. Rotary forms spreading out in ever widening circles of intense power appeared from lofty enthusiasm in a noble cause. Dark, murky, cloudy forms resulted from fear, morbidness and worry, and so on. Similarly each human organism has an ‘Aura’ of Thought-Force around it, having its own peculiar rate of vibration, its peculiar forms of colour, etc. This ‘Aura’ is an extension of our physical, mental and spiritual energies.
Now as you think, the quality of your thoughts and feelings sets up a magnetic centre within your Aura, vortices are created, attracting to yourself similar forms of thought and mentative energy and combining with other similar forms of energy, reacting upon you and your circumstances and also wielding an influence upon all such as may come within its area, radius or field of Force. Thus you see thoughts of the ‘I can and I will’, ‘I do and I dare’ type draw similar ones to you, ever increasing your own stock and at the same time stimulating and energising all others vibrating in the same key throughout the world. Hence you see we owe it to ourselves as well as to humanity in general to generate only positive, loving and lofty thoughts. Just brace up and send forth fearless, ‘I can and I will’ thoughts into the world’s great reservoir of thought forces, and you will be surprised at your power to attract influence, and energise others. There are four special classes of thoughts that are poisoning the lives of almost all humanity.
They are:—(1) Fear-thoughts, (2) Hate-thoughts, (3) Sensual-thoughts, (4) Selfish-thoughts. All worry, doubt, timidty, lack of self-respect, jealousy, spite, malice, envy, slander, dirty, vicious, will-weakening, health-destroying, poverty-breeding, soul-killing influences radiate from one or all of these four. You must cut at their roots and utterly destroy them. In your efforts follow assiduously the following four rules. They alone can give you absolute thought-control. They are infallible: (1) You can break up old thought-habits and build up new ones by sheer force of Will.
(2) You can easily become great by associating with some strong-willed, holy, wisdom-steeped soul. This is absolutely necessary and means the finding of your Guru. (3) By auto-suggestion, i.e., by impressing upon your passive mind the particular change you would have it work out. (4) By thought-absorption, i.e.
, by constant meditation on that one line of thinking. Now let me give you a few valuable hints on the above four in detail: (1) & (3). Character Building. You can accomplish this result by tensing the will and by strengthening the active function of your mind and thus enabling it to “step in” and simply ‘command’ the passive function to drop the old thought-habit and take up the new one. This is a magnificent feat and in it only the strongest succeed. You can obtain good results by combining this with auto-suggestion. Silently concentrate upon your passive mind and impress upon it your order. Say to it earnestly, confidently, and masterfully: ‘You, my mind, I want you to be fearless, pure, loving and unselfish!’ Picture to yourself in imagination as if you were already these, and again command and impress your will upon your mind.
Do so silently and constantly and never neglect a chance of expressing these qualities in action because, at first your mind will rebel, but if ‘you’ keep up your efforts determinately and firmly and avail yourself of all opportunities to ‘act out’ your will, your mind will end up by accepting your suggestion and manifesting same naturally as a habit. Some of you will actually go out of your way to ‘act out’ a thought when you realise that the easiest and surest way to check and utterly ‘destroy’ a thought-habit is to refuse deliberately to let it manifest in action and to ‘create’ a new one all you have got to do is to equally deliberately ‘express’ it in action and thus clinch it into permanent strength. Also you must aim at ‘thoroughness’ and guard against all compromise with your lower nature.
Chastity must be perfect chastity and nothing short of that, and so on in all development. i. Go away by yourself to some place where you will not be disturbed. Of course, not always and very rarely can you obtain this condition. Never mind. Do your best where you are and the great law will at least find for you all necessary conditions.
Shut out all distracting conditions and impressions from the outer world. After a little effort you will be able to do so anywhere, at any time, and under any condition. All mental disturbance is within you. ii. Now relax, go passive, and draw off all tension from your nerves. Just you relax your mind and your body will follow suit.
A few deep slow breaths will help the beginner. iii. Concentrate upon your mind inward steadily, calmly and with undivided attention.
iv. Fix your thought firmly upon your passive mind and mentally say, ‘You, my mind, are quite pure.’ Think of this word (with all the ideas associated therewith) as sinking deeply into your mind and making a deep impress upon it as a die upon a wax. Let the outward form of the words ‘pure,’ ‘fearless,’ etc., sink into your mind.
v. Form a mental picture of yourself as if you already possessed all ‘purity’ and ‘courage’ and act them out in imagination. Make of it a pleasant ‘day dream.’ vi.
Intensify your relaxed condition of mind. Grow as ‘limp’ as a rag. Then mentally open yourself out to the inrush of all the Thought-Forces existing in the ether and connected with positive thoughts.
The effort of this imagination to see this tremendous force pouring into your brain and body will actually put you en rapport with same. vii. Now change from negative to a positive condition and say vigourously I am ‘pure’ and ‘strong’ Say it distinctly several times. Actually speak them out. viii.
Then go out and live your thoughts out. This last is the most important condition. ix.
Practise this daily at the same hour and if possible at the same place, morning and evening. In fact hold the thought in your mind as often as possible till it becomes second Nature. x. Use your power for good or you shall weep eternally. To misuse occult powers for mean, selfish, or low ends and to prostitute it into enslaving others weaker than yourselves mentally and physically is the greatest ‘sin’ man can commit against man. (2) Guru Worship. You grow by absorption and assimilation.
In order to quicken your progress you need abstract as well as concrete ideals. The secret of all rapid and startling spiritual development is man-worship. By man-worship I mean devotion to, reverence, and intense and all-absorbing passion for the perfect individual man of realization—a Mahapurusha. Christ, Buddha and Vivekananda were all such-type men. You must constantly and thoughtfully meditate upon the lives and writings of saints and heroes. The formative influence and valuable powers of study and meditation upon lofty ideas and ideals are incalculable. Man grows by the deepening of consciousness and the acquirement of wisdom. All study, subjective and objective, is a Tapashya or Austerity directed to the acquirement of wisdom.
It is the worship of Saraswati—the Goddess of Wisdom. This worship is definable as perfect emotional solitude, close study, absolute chastity and celibacy, and at last the merging of the personal into the impersonal. This austere life is the secret of all greatness. You know how Archimedes when threatened with death by the vandalistic invaders of his country raised his head and said ‘Please do not disturb my circles’ and nothing more. This man was practising Yoga unconsciously. You must be able to lose all consciousness of this relative personality, the sure victim of death and impermanence. You must give up the personal ego that in the words of Walt Whitman ‘is contained within your hat and boots’ and then alone will you realise an infinite individuality. Truly in losing himself man finds Himself.
‘Ye must be born anew’. Herein, apart from its formative and moulding influence lies the greatest value of study. Study and direct aural influence of a perfected soul are the two objective means of instilling powerful suggestions into the subjective self or the inner soul. All knowledge is within the deeps of the eternal subjective. But the gate is locked. Your Guru gives you the master-key with which to unlock the door and enter the gate of wisdom and power. Once you are there all pain and death shall be conquered. You can then help yourself.
Man can only worship such a God as is greater than himself in degree and not in kind. Such a God he can “grow into.” It is the impersonal God of the Hindu Philosophy that gives you the abstract ideas and the living Guru (God) in human form that gives you the concrete ideal. The one is necessary for the soaring intellect; the other for the rousing and enkindling of tremendous and indomitable motive-power. Seek both and when you find them worship and serve them with all your heart and soul. ‘My worship for my master is the worship of a dog.
I do not seek to understand his nature. It ever startles with its newness and profound depth’. So spoke Vivekananda of Ram Krishna. Need I tell you of the tremendous and world-conquering power that awoke in Vivekananda through mere Guru worship? In India the Guru asks for nothing short of absolute worship, obedience, and submission to his will although none values and appreciates individual freedom more than the master. So long as you are at the feet of your master be as submissive as a lamb. So will you open yourself to his great batteries of inner power. Serve him.
Please him. Obey him. Be his slave. No matter what contradictions you may see. A great and profound nature is full of contrary ways and his character is a paradox impossible for you to read through reason and observation.
You can only understand him by having perfect faith in him, loving and serving him like a faithful dog. So will you tap on to his inner forces. And when he sends you away into the broad world to live out the great ideal he has set before you, you shall be astonished at your courage and power. You shall take fearless possession of this world and every minute you shall realise how only he can command who has learnt to obey. By commanding I do not mean dominating any one and forcing your views on others.
This is the sign of fools. But you will find your influence radiating and circling out naturally and irresistibly, winning souls to the higher life, and you yourself shall thus stand as a tower of strength, a redeemer of the race, an inspiration and a living benediction unto humanity. Peace be with you! May you realise strength of soul!