WE now have to deal with that part of your Mind which is the center of all action and the seat of all memory. Not only the memory of this life, but the race memory of all mankind.
This division of the mind we will call the subconscious mind, we will do so in order to distinguish it from the mind of creation, intuition, and inspiration, which we have already considered, and also from the objective or conscious mind which will be described later.
This sub-division is not orthodox according to the ordinary teachings of psychology. The usual practice is to term the whole of the submerged mind subconscious. That this is not correct must, if we think for a moment, be apparent. The subconscious mind acts only according to instruction and instinct. Thoughts and commands flow from the seat of the Will through the conscious mind down into the subconscious mind and are immediately acted upon. The subconscious mind is a blind intelligence. It cannot reason—it can remember, it can act—but it cannot think, plan or reason.
Yet we have a mind within us that can inspire, create, and bring forth the most wonderful thoughts. A mind which can solve our most complicated problems, that can guide us through the most difficult situations if we will but trust it. This cannot be the subconscious mind because we have already seen that this is a blind intelligence acting only upon instruction, suggestion and animal instinct. Therefore, there must be a mind or minds other than the subconscious, and this I have termed, for the want of a better word, the subliminal.
The subconscious mind is a kind of a sleepy giant, or a slumbering volcano. It only requires arousing to cause it to manifest extraordinary power.
It is a vast and wonderful intelligence, so wonderful that our consciousness cannot form any conception of its wonders. All that we know is that this wonderful center of life and action is as far above our understanding as our own consciousness is beyond the comprehension of a beetle.
Yet this subconscious mind of ours is subject to our will and guidance. Within us is this wondrous power—the almost infinite intelligence; yet its use and control are in our own hands.
Unto us is given the ability to govern a power whose extent we cannot gauge, to direct an intelligence so great that it is impossible for us to grasp its full significance.
The subconscious mind is the center of all action. It is by this mind that everything that we do is accomplished.
It is the personification of tireless energy. It works constantly, it never sleeps; for while WE sleep the subconscious mind is busily engaged in repairing and rebuilding the body.
Whatever thought we allow to pass into the subconscious mind is translated into action. This is why a thought has been described as "an action in the process of being born."
The great lesson for you, dear reader, to learn is this, that if the subconscious mind translates each thought into action, then thought control is the one great transcendental fact of life. If you possess the power to control your thoughts, you have at once the power to control your actions. If you can control your actions what a life of possibility opens before you!
One of the principal causes of failure in life is due to inability to control the thoughts. Wrong thoughts each the subconscious mind, these are translated into wrong actions and these bring failure and disaster in their train.
When the thoughts are uncontrolled, then the subconscious mind will act upon any thought or suggestion that may "float" in.
Now thoughts and suggestions are born not only within the consciousness, they are also received from without. Like a wireless apparatus which receives messages through vibrations in the ether, so does the human mind receive impressions from without.
Thoughts are things, are entities, have form and substance and are eternal. Thoughts impinge upon your consciousness and unless you are able to reject them they will enter the subconscious mind and bring forth action in your life and conduct.
If therefore the thought be evil, then evil will result, if of weakness then failure will follow, you cannot prevent the action once you have entertained the thought.
In the same way if you entertain a noble thought, a noble action will result. If thoughts of success and power are dwelt upon, then success and power to accomplish will be manifested in your life, and circumstances. It is thought that rules your life, therefore if you govern your thoughts you control your life.
Suggestion meets you at every turn. Kind friends with the best of motives "suggest" ill-health to you when they remark on your pallor.
Their well meant remarks of "How ill you look" send a suggestion of sickness to your subconscious mind, which later manifests itself in real sickness in the body.
Articles in your daily paper on diet, Influenza and other topics again suggest illness to you; even the advertisements suggest that you have Kidney disease or worse, and that to save your life it is necessary for you to take certain tablets or pills. The newspapers themselves do their best to suggest evil to you. The columns are full of the seamy sordid side of life. If any man commits a crime, it is reported in the papers. If however he resists temptation and instead does a good deed, no notice is taken. Therefore newspapers give an entirely false presentation of life. The press closes its eyes to the good and presents the evil and thus suggests evil to you, which if you do not watch it, will produce evil in your life.
For every bad deed reported in the papers, a thousand good actions go unrecorded. The world is full of noble deeds and gracious thoughts, and they can be seen and realized by those who look for them. Therefore be very careful what newspapers you read and how you read them.
Avoid reading of the evil, seamy side of life; instead, look for the good, and you will find it. When reading your paper devote your attention to the large things, those which will go down in history. Avoid that which is mean and petty—thus will you avoid unwholesome and dangerous suggestion.
Newspapers, periodicals and some books would have you believe that life is an unlovely thing. Even some hymn writers have dared to describe the world as a vale of tears and life as a long drawn out woe. Do not believe these wicked suggestions. Life is a gracious and lovely thing. It is full of beauty and love and peace and happiness. Life is what we make it, we can make it sublime or we can make it savor of Hell. It is in our own hands. Therefore do not read either papers, books or magazines that do not present life in a joyous and optimistic way. Avoid low class scrappy reading. Read instead good books by great minds. Imbibe noble thoughts. Read good poetry if you can. Seek the beautiful, the noble, the true, in your reading and in your fellow men, and you will find them and be richly blest thereby.
"How then," you ask, "can I escape all this harmful suggestion'? I am conscious of evil in my life. I do not know what to expect next. How then can I cast out evil and avoid all these harmful suggestions that impinge upon my consciousness from a thousand different sources?"
The answer is, BY DENIALS.
First of all I want you to understand that your life consists only of that which is in your mind. Your world also is really nothing more than a reflection of your own mind and what is in your own mind. It is because of this that two people in precisely the same circumstances will each find life and the world very different. One will see in life great joy and much cause for thankfulness, and the other may experience only unhappiness and disappointment. The difference is not in circumstances but in the mind. The mind is the real thing, the world is transient and fleeting, and has, philosophically speaking, no REAL existence, but MIND endures.
The natural or "mortal mind" view of life and the world is almost always the exact opposite of what is the real spiritual truth and fact. Metaphysics tell us that the visible world is an inverted reflection of the real. If then it is inverted, it is natural, until our spiritual or inner eyes are opened to the truth, for us to see things as the exact opposite of what they really are. Therefore it is not surprising to find that, whereas the mortal or animal mind of the senses, thinks the world is the real thing and the mind only a shadow, the real TRUTH is, that mind and spirit are real and eternal, and the visible world but a transient and impermanent thing which has no actual reality.
Such being the case then the only thing that really matters is what is in the mind or what is not in the mind. If we have a belief in evil, and thoughts of evil, in our mind, then we have evil in our life. If, however, we can cast the thought of, and belief in, evil out of our mind then it will cease to appear in our life.
By raising ourselves above the sensuous life and realizing our permanent world of Mind and there denying evil, poverty, failure, pain, sickness, unhappiness, or whatever our trouble may be, we kill the thought which is the cause of all our troubles. Then whatever we affirm will take their place. If we deny "evil," then we follow by affirming "good," if we deny sickness, then we affirm prosperity and affluence. By denials we can take out all the evil, care, fear and worry out of our lives and build up in their place by means of affirmations, perfect good, success, affluence, happiness, health, love, peace and courage.
Everything being in the mind, then everything that is taken out of the mind is taken out of the life, and everything that is put into the mind, comes into the life.
Thus it is possible with mathematical accuracy and certainty to recreate the life, to cast out all the undesirable and to build up in its place only the beautiful, the good, the true.
Life is what we like to make it. We can make it like heaven itself, full to the brim with all that is good and beautiful, or we can turn it into a perfect hell. Therefore do not accept the suggestions of those, who having failed in life, proceed to call it hard names. We can make life a continual joy, if we create a heaven within us by the quality of our thinking and mental processes. All that we see in life, all that we experience, yea, even life itself, is but the outward expression of the life within. The life within is built up by our thinking.
You will have seen by this time the purpose and value of affirmations.
Affirmations are concentrated thoughts. Back of each affirmation is a strong emotion and this gives it tremendous driving force.
Not only do affirmations impress the subconscious mind thus producing action in accordance with the Will, but they project outwards from the mind into space, attract forces and help from other sources and bring them to minister and to bless.
Not only so but they also arouse the subliminal mind to inspire, to create, to impart wisdom.
By the use of affirmations all the finer forces are aroused to action and the life is transformed from weakness or ineffectiveness to strength or purposefulness.
By the use of affirmations, the Will is strengthened until it becomes so strong all else has to bend to it.
By the use of affirmations, the body is strengthened and made healthy, and exercise and body culture become a pleasure instead of a duty.
By the use of affirmations difficult tasks and unpleasant duties become easy of accomplishment.
By the use of affirmations it is possible to break bad habits of a life-long standing, and replace them with good ones.
By the use of affirmations we can build up character, mold our circumstances, shape our destiny, captain our soul, we can be what we will, do whatever we desire attain to all our ideals.
Therefore it is of the utmost importance that you should be most diligent in practicing the affirmations—always. Never let a single night or morning pass without spending several minutes in quiet concentration on the affirmation given you in this Course.
Reading this Course through will do you but little good, it is DOING what it teaches that is going to make you strong and successful.
Mental and Physical lethargy must be overcome. It is by sustained action that you can accomplish, you cannot dream yourself to success, you have to win it.
Therefore you must concentrate, concentrate, concentrate, upon the affirmations and visualizing exercises. The latter are form of affirmation and are of equal importance.
A Word Of Warning
Do not keep changing your affirmations. Do not affirm one thing one day and another the next; it causes confusion in your mental World, and makes "confusion worse confounded" in your life. Of course as you overcome weaknesses and bad habits you will alter your affirmations accordingly. You will always find some defect that wants eradicating. Otherwise keep to the affirmations given in these lessons.
By this I do not mean that you are not to make denials, reversions and affirmations at all times adapted to all the varying circumstances and difficulties of life, because these are, for your own protection, necessary.
Thus, if you see a sight that suggests evil to you, a drunken man, an act of hate, a quarrel, an act of immorality; or if you read that which is lowering and depressing and suggestive of lower things, then, for your own protection, you must reverse it.
For instance if you see an angry violent man, if you do not reverse this, the suggestion of evil conveyed to you by this sight will sink into your subconscious mind and cause cells to vibrate in sympathy, thus making YOU more susceptible to anger thoughts, besides lowering the tone of your mind generally. Therefore you must raise yourself to your perfect Mental World and deny anger, by saying, Man being a perfect mental creature, can never be angry. There is no anger in this perfect world of Mind, all is love and goodwill." By so doing not only will you stop the suggestion of evil from harming you, you will also at the same time make yourself stronger than ever before, and, strange as it may seem to you now, you will reduce the anger in the mind of the angry man. The reason of this is, that there is really only one Mind, we are all inlets of the same sea, and if we cast evil out of our own mind, then we also make the world and the minds of others the better by so doing. Thus by purifying himself does man become a savior of the world.
These reversals of denials and affirmations, made in your perfect World of MIND, must be taking place all day; it is in this way that every evil is transmuted into good, every difficulty into accomplishment, every threat of failure into success, and every pain or sickness or disease thought changed into perfect health. This must go on continually, thus will you grow in power daily.
But apart from this you will doubtless have some plan towards which you are moving. You have some ambition to be realized, some creative purpose in your mind which you wish to accomplish. To attain to this end you deny failure, you affirm success, you visualize a picture of that which you wish to achieve. That being so, and having made up your mind, now STICK TO IT.
Do not change your affirmation, do not alter your mental image. KEEP IT UNCHANGED until it is accomplished. If you vary it and change it you will bring the utmost confusion into your life. Therefore do not change, modify or alter the main creative plan of your life, see to it that the image remains unimpaired, getting clearer and more sharply defined from day to day. If you do this you will see it working out with mathematical precision in your life.
This Course has been prepared so as to guide students by a sure and safe path to the goal of their ambitions.
It will guide you if you follow the lessons exactly. Therefore while taking this Course, do not read any other metaphysical literature. Concentrate on this teaching, persevere with the "doing" of this teaching, and you will be able, like the writer, to prove and demonstrate its truth in yaw life and circumstances.
I want you to start seriously to develop your visualizing powers. By this you will improve your memory out of all knowledge, but that is quite a minor matter. What is of importance is that what you create in the form of a mental vision, if persistently held in the mind, will assuredly manifest itself in your life. Thus you have two methods by which you can alter your life, create better circumstances, and achieve success. 1st, by Denials and Affirmations, and, 2nd, by Meditation, Concentration and Visualizing. The two should work together. For instance, you make an affirmation, preceded by a denial, next, you conjure up a mental picture of what you have affirmed yourself to be.
You wish to be successful, therefore first of all you must deny evil and affirm Good, because evil is the general cause of all your troubles and lack of success; next you will affirm Success and follow this by visualizing either yourself in your perfect mental world, radiant and successful, or else dwell only on the perfect world of MIND where there is no failure or limitation of any description.
First you clear away the mist of evil which clouds your vision and numbs your faculties and crowds your life with difficulty, this you do by killing it by the use of the denial "There is no evil." Use this denial until the mist clears away and you get a clear view of your perfect world of Mind, then affirm "There is only Infinite Good." Then deny poverty and failure, because they have no part in a perfect world, neither can they affect you, who are in essence, a perfect mental creature.
Having killed failure and poverty by denial, then affirm I am Success, I am a perfect mental creature, one with the Source of all Good, part of the Universal Mind. I am Success. Like a magnet, I attract to me all that I need. A thousand invisible forces hasten to do my bidding. I am carried along by an irresistible power, I am Success, Success, Success.
Make this affirmation preceded by the denials, night and morning, always making the affirmation in "Your perfect mental world," buttress it up by repeating it during the day, each time raising yourself to your higher world; do this, and you will revolutionize your life.
In order to increase your powers of mental imagery, do the following exercise:
Take a simple flower, or picture, and gaze at it very attentively for several minutes. Examine it in every possible way. Impress every detail upon your mind, then close your eyes and call up an exact mental image of the thing you have been looking at. If the image is crisp and sharply defined with no details missing you will have done well, if not, keep on trying until you succeed.
When you go into a strange room or office examine carefully every detail; where each piece of furniture is, what pictures are on the walls, what is on the floor, the kind of fireplace and everything else that forms part of the furnishing. After you get home or when in the train, close your eyes and recall, by making a mental image, as much as you can, of what you saw.
Practice this visualizing as much as possible during the coming week, and make affirmations to suit your growing developments. Whatever your need may be, you can make a denial and affirmation to supply that need. Whatever difficulty you have to face you can overcome it by denial and affirmation made in your perfect World of Mind.
This Course seeks first to build a firm foundation of character upon which you can later erect the superstructure of success. Seek first to eradicate all weaknesses of character and in their place install their opposites. For instance, if you have been a procrastinator, become instead noted for your instant action. If you have been pessimistic, become cheerful and optimistic instead. If unpunctual, become the most punctual person who ever lived. If you have been sullen and morose, seek to be bright and cheerful. All this is possible and really quite easy of accomplishment, by the use of denials, affirmations and mental imagery.
When you have built up your character, the road of success will become comparatively easy, because success is principally a matter of character.
The elementary general affirmation has now served its purpose and must now be strengthened. You have progressed sufficiently to join us in the greatest denial and affirmation of all, which is
There is NO EVIL
Only INFINITE GOOD
It is very difficult for the beginner to realize that "There is no evil." There are entities in your mind which prevent you from understanding this truth, but they will be cast out by the denial. So powerful is this denial that it makes some people quite ill at first. But this only proves how great is the cleansing work that is going on in the depths of the mind. Keep on making the denial night and day; keep looking up into your perfect world of mind, and after a time you will suddenly realize that FOR YOU there is no evil, only Infinite Perfection and everything that is beautiful and true. Precede every other affirmation by this denial and affirmation. Before starting any important work make use of them; and previous to engaging in any meditation, always use them; raising, at the same time, your mind into its perfect world.
By this means you will so cleanse and strengthen your mind that you will transform your life.
For meditation this week think upon these words of James Allen:
"The soul that is impure, sordid and selfish, is gravitating with unerring precision toward misfortune and catastrophe; the soul that is pure, unselfish, and noble, is gravitating with equal precision toward happiness and prosperity. Every soul attracts its own, and nothing can come to it that does not belong to it. To realize this is to recognize the Universality of Divine Law."
And also upon these words of Buddha:
"All that we are is the result of what we have thought; it is founded on our thoughts; it is made up of our thoughts."
And again, these further words of James Allen: "Your own thoughts, desires and aspirations comprise your world, and, to you, all that there is in the Universe of beauty and joy and bliss, or of ugliness and sorrow and pain, is contained within yourself. By your own thoughts you make or mar your life your world, your Universe."
Referring to earlier in this lesson, it should be stated that quicker results will be obtained if in addition to visualizing yourself radiantly successful, you will create a sharply defined picture of the exact success that you wish to achieve.
If it is money that you want then "see" the money falling in showers upon your desk, if it is service to others that you desire, then "see" yourself nursing the sick and ministering to the broken-hearted, whatever you picture in this way persistently, will, in time, be brought to pass in your life. Nothing ever “happens”, it is always "brought to pass." You cannot get what you want merely by a pious wish, you have to work for it by mental imagery, then in time the way will open for you in a most marvelous manner.
Continue to practice concentration on one thought or mental image, inhibiting all ether thoughts until the senses are entirely stilled. Then say as before: "My Subliminal Mind draws upon the All-Wisdom and solves my every problem."