THE Objective or conscious mind is the mind of the senses. It learns from books, persons, experience and experiments. It reasons on things learnt, and on thoughts received from a variety of sources, and having passed judgment, rejects some things as error, and accepts others as truth. Things considered to be truth are passed down into the subconscious mind to add to its existing store of memory and experiences.
Whatever is passed to the subconscious mind becomes translated into action. Thus if immoral or impure thoughts are entertained, then immediately physical changes take place in the body, which are simply these thoughts being translated into action by the subconscious mind. Thus if one repeatedly imbibes this class of thought, a time arrives when one is compelled by the subconscious mind to indulge in immoral practices.
This is why many people who have been all their lives apparently quite moral, and well behaved, suddenly break out into flagrant immorality. It is a great surprise and causes great distress to relations and friends.
They think that it is a sudden transformation, or that it is due to a certain temptation, or to the evil influence of a certain wicked person. It is instead none of these things. It is simply the result of evil thinking. Evil thoughts produce evil actions. Evil thoughts also attract other thoughts just as evil as themselves. In the same way a person who indulges in evil thinking, attracts other people of similar character.
There is a law running through the Universe which is that "like attracts like," and the operation of this law is unalterable. Think evil thoughts, and you will assuredly attract others just as evil, which will help to drag you down. If a man thinks evil thoughts he will become evil in word and deed. Let him think evil thoughts and he will attract other people even worse than himself.
In the same way if you entertain thoughts of failure, if you doubt your ability to succeed, if you feel that circumstances will arise which will "swamp" your business, then you will attract streams of "failure" thoughts which will help to keep success away. Not only so, but you will attract other people of a similar nature, whose pessimism will help to complete your final discomfiture.
Like always attracts like. Thus it is that "failures" always drift together, just as men of a successful type always draw to themselves others of the same type of mind. "Birds of a feather flock together" has behind it an unalterable law.
It is the same law that makes it impossible to think or fear sickness, disease or ill health, without drawing to yourself streams of thoughts of, a similar nature which causes certain cells to vibrate in the subconscious mind, and thus produce disease. And not only by so thinking do you produce disease, . but you also attract diseased people to you, who help by their "diseased mental outlook" to make your illness become more firmly seated.
The reverse is of course equally true. If you entertain "pure" thoughts you will attract thoughts of a similar kind from out the ether, and be strengthened and blessed thereby. By the same law you will attract other people of lofty minds who will aid you in your upward climb.
If you entertain beautiful thoughts, you will draw to yourself a constant stream of thoughts of a like nature, and you will attract to yourself friends of a noble and inspiring character.
In the same way, if you allow thoughts of success only to be held in the mind, and chase away all thoughts of failure, you will attract to yourself a full measure of successful thoughts. These will strengthen your determination and inspire you to greater effort. By the same law you will also attract to yourself men and women of a successful type of mind. You will find yourself sought after by successful people, and they will bring with them opportunities for your more abundant success.
Again, if you will only think thoughts of Health and Perfection, and kill by denial all thoughts of disease, if you will raise yourself into your Perfect World of Mind, and realize that there is no such thing as sickness, illness, ill-health or disease, but that instead there is only infinite Perfection and abounding Health, then not only will Health manifest itself in your body, but you will also attract to yourself, happy, radiant, healthy minded, and healthy bodied people, who will inspire and help you in every department of your life.
Therefore you will readily see how important it is that only the right type of thoughts should be allowed to enter the subconscious mind.
The Will and the Conscious Mind stand as sentinels at the door of the subconscious mind. To them is given the important task of deciding what shall, or what shall not, enter. Every kind of thought and suggestion, inimical to our welfare, meet us and strike us on every hand. Harmful thoughts seek to enter our minds at every turn. Books, magazines, race thought, the mental outlook of friends and acquaintances are all against our mental development.
The attitude of mind of the average person, of the common ruck, is not inspiring. It does not suggest "success," it expresses at best, only a passive acceptance of life. It takes like as it is, things as they come. It is not often that you meet a man who is conscious that he is "Master of his fate, the Captain of his soul."
How then can you escape all this deadening, destroying mental atmosphere?
FIRST. You must, in habit of thought, separate yourself from "the crowd." You must shut out their pessimistic belief-in-circumstances-weak-failure-low-lewd type of thoughts altogether, and live in an entirely different world—the inner world of your own creative thought. If you meet a noble or inspiring thought—and later you will be the recipient of a continuous stream of the finest thoughts the world has ever known—let it in.
I do not mean that you are to look down upon your fellows, for nothing is more destructive or contemptible. You must mix with your fellows, and while holding yourself proof against low and weak types of thought, seek to raise their minds by your own hopeful suggestions. When a friend talks as though failure were a possibility in his life, suggest instead that success is hastening his way. When people are sad, try to cheer them by hopeful suggestions. When they look on the dark side of life, show them the bright side. When they rail and rave, pour oil on the troubled waters. Seek to cheer people up and resolutely refuse to accept the suggestions of their minds.
The greatest antidote to this deadening atmosphere of doubt and helplessness, of ignorance and materialism, of fear and failure, due to the world's wrong habit of thought is the use of that mind cleansing denial "There is no evil." It goes right to the root of all trouble and failure, all that is undesirable in our lives, and destroys it.
The word "evil" embraces everything in life that is not of the highest good; failure, poverty, fear, sickness, disease, pain, ill-health, unhappiness; all that limits, con fines, cramps and fetters one's life, all these and much more are included in this one word. By this denial, all this evil atmosphere is neutralized, and the mind is cleansed, ready for the affirmation "Only Infinite Good" and these two words "Infinite Good" cover everything that we can possibly desire. Peace, Power, Plenty, Health, Happiness and Joy; Success, Achievement, Love, Service to all mankind, what more can one desire?
Therefore mix with your fellows, they are your brothers and sisters; seek to do all the good that you can, but continually cleanse your mind and thought by the use of the denial of evil, and build up your character and life and circumstances by affirmations of Infinite Good.
Thus while you are still mixing with the ordinary everyday type of men—and they have much that is lovable and noble in their characters—yet you will be as the poles apart. The fact that you are taking this Course proves that you are not as others. That you are taking a Course of metaphysical training shows that you are of a different type to the ordinary crowd, that you are marked out for distinction and progress.
SECOND. Everything that you read must be examined and criticized. You must remember that books, papers, magazines, letters, unless you consciously prevent them, will convey suggestions to your subconscious mind and in course of time become translated into action. Therefore if you read books of passion your life will be unbalanced and perhaps wrecked by gusts of violent desire, which call loudly to be satisfied. On the other hand, if you will read books written by lofty minds, you will receive thoughts which inspire and strengthen you.
You should therefore choose your reading wisely. Read the best literature, and do not then accept as Truth all that you read. Refuse resolutely to accept any idea that is not in agreement with your new conception of life. All ideas of man being the puppet of powers outside himself, of being the sport of fate and the victim of circumstances must be rigorously rejected. All that tends to strengthen your new conception of life, which is, that all things are delivered into your hands, and that you have the power to conquer both yourself and all difficulty and thus make your life sublime—all that tends to strengthen this mental attitude should be accepted.
The Will and the Conscious Mind stand at the gate; by them you must examine every thought, every suggestion. Hold everything up and examine it in the light of your newly found knowledge, and if it cannot stand this searching test, cast it from you.
You can never be successful if you allow thoughts of weakness or failure or fear to enter your subconscious mind. The one great outstanding characteristic that distinguishes successful men from the unsuccessful, is their absolute belief and faith in their own ability to succeed. Thoughts of failure, or fear, never enter the mind of the truly successful man. If you examine the character of any great and truly successful man, you will find this dominating characteristic—absolute faith in his own success, and with it an entire absence of fear or weakness.
Therefore it is certain that you can never be successful if you allow doubt and fear to enter your mind; it is only when by mind control you have cast out fear and doubt that you can enter the path that leads to success.
Some men are successful and are not conscious of the laws which govern success, They unconsciously work according to law—by instinct rather than knowledge. It is because they are naturally men of LARGE FAITH and UNFAILING COURAGE that they have become successful.
Therefore you, too, in order to succeed, must have a large faith and unfailing courage. Faith in the power within you and a courage that is born of knowledge. Thus can you be placed on the same footing as that of any other successful man, in fact you will be better equipped than the naturally successful man, for possessing knowledge will enable you to avoid many errors, into which he, through ignorance of the law, might fall.
Therefore in your reading you must close your eyes to all suggestions which are antagonistic to your newly found knowledge.
THIRD. By denial and affirmation you create a new mental outlook.
By denial we obtain immediate relief from our troubles. For instance, if, when you are in pain you will deny that there is pain in your perfect mental World and raise yourself above the ordinary life of the senses, and realize that you, your higher mental self, are a perfect mind, or mental creature, incapable of being attacked by pain, then the pain will quickly go. In the same way whatever trouble may confront you, by denial you obtain immediate relief. Denial kills the evil thought which is the cause of all the trouble, and cleanses and purifies the mind, making it ready for the affirmation.
Always precede an affirmation by the necessary denial. If you are going to affirm health, then first deny ill-health, sickness and disease. If you are going to affirm success, first deny failure, if you wish for prosperity and plenty, then first deny poverty and want, so as to get the mind ready for the affirmation "I am success; prosperity and plenty are already mine," you exclaim, how can I truthfully affirm that I am that which I know myself not to be?
The answer is: There are two YOUS. There is the finite, outside, surface, material YOU, and there is the great and glorious inner spiritual and mental being which is the real YOU. The former is a weak and coarse reflection of the latter. This glorious and real YOU is perfect and lives in a perfect mental world. When you affirm in your perfect Mental World, that you are perfect you mean the real and sublime YOU, and you are telling the truth.
Whatever good quality you affirm is quite true, because you (yourself, the real YOU) are perfect. By denial of evil and imperfection and by the affirming of infinite perfection you destroy evil in your material life and bring it more into harmony with the perfect life. Therefore what you affirm in your perfect mental world, is later, and sometimes instantaneously, manifested in your material world.
An affirmation has been described by one writer as "a statement of Truth consciously used so as to become the directing power of Life's expression." This is a good and true definition. Scientists will tell you that the submerged mind of man acts only upon suggestion. So powerful is the hidden mind and so subject is it to suggestion that we have in affirmations a weapon of extraordinary power for good, and in negative suggestion a terrible power for evil.
When we use an affirmation we make a statement of Truth which, if repeated often enough, will sink down into the recesses of our mind and become part of our very life. It will galvanize the hidden forces of our mind into activity and guide them into the path of achievement.
If in the past you have been a failure, then by constantly affirming "I am Success," you will gradually eradicate the weak-fearing-give-up-too-soon attitude of your material mind, and build up in its place the mental outlook of courage, cheerfulness, optimism and belief in your ability to succeed.
Failure or lack of success in life is not, as I have already pointed out, due to outward circumstances, but is simply a weakness of character. By affirmations you can build up your character and make its former weak points strongest in your armor.
It is by affirmations, then, that man can control himself, build up his character and shape his own destiny.
It was for this reason that I gave you in your first lesson the affirmation, which is a denial and affirmation combiner, "The old life is dead, I have entered the new life of Success and Power." In that affirmation if consciously applied and persevered with, you kill the old life of failure and partial success, and step out definitely into a new life of power and accomplishment. As a consequence, you will look upon life in a different way, you will act in a different manner, you will attract a different kind of people. Soon you begin to see evidences of the truth of these teachings manifested in your life and circumstances.
Therefore you can by affirmations make yourself proof against the harmful suggestions that meet you on every hand. By affirmations you build up the courageous, confident, hopeful, cheerful, absolutely certain attitude of mind, which is the only type of mind that can readily succeed.
As you begin to see evidences of the working of your newly found power, you feel lifted up in a strange and wonderful way. You feel as if you are being carried forward, by invisible powers, to success; it is as though some impelling force were pushing you in the back and urging you forward to the goal of your endeavor.
Therefore, persist and persevere with your affirmations. Continue to look for difficult tasks, and unpleasant, but very necessary duties, and aided by the power of affirmations. DO THEM.
Make affirmations to suit your own peculiar needs. If you are too energetic and inclined to run yourself to pieces, and rush and tear about and get your own nerves and everybody's else, on edge, affirm as follows: "I am perfectly calm, cool and collected. I refuse to get excited or flustered. I work quietly and methodically." Then mentally picture yourself at work in a very calm, cool and collected way, without hurry, fluster or excitement. You will find your work go much better in consequence, and certainly not less quickly.
If, on the other hand, you are inclined to be lazy or lethargic, affirm as follows: "I am the personification of industry and energy. I am busy from morning until night." Then picture yourself hard at work, doing good work and plenty of it. This you will find will help you vastly in enabling you to "stick" to your task, and to keep sticking to it day after day.
Thus you have within your grasp the power by which you can overcome every weakness of character; a key which will unlock every door; an art which is the open sesame to the unlimited treasure house of the Universal Mind.
By the use of this wonderful power you can turn failure into success, sorrow into joy, sickness into health, mediocrity into genius.
To you all things are possible—strength of purpose, the joy of achievement, all the glories of a life of self-mastery.
Unto you it is given to taste of the delights of heaven while yet upon earth—for heaven and hell are within you, they are but mental states.
Unto him who attains to the dazzling height of self-mastery, unto him who can stand erect, and unafraid, and untroubled by the things that vex and rend the hearts of men; unto him who is master of his passions, his emotions, his circumstances and his life; unto such a one has come that for which the world has longed and strived in vain, about which philosophers, poets and seers have, for centuries, spoken and written, and yet never have been able to grasp or to hold.
He who overcomes himself, overcomes the world; all its treasures are poured at his feet; "all the Divine Forces hasten to minister to his eternal joy."
Dear reader, all this is for yon. Persevere with the affirmations and practice the visualization exercises as taught in this Course, and you can never fail to succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
For visualizing exercises, picture the window frame of your bedroom, trace the wood of which it is made, step by step, process by process, right back to its original form, the tree in the forest. See clearly and distinctly every stage, leave out no detail.
In future I am going to close my eyes to the imperfections of other people and endeavor only to see their good points. Everyone has lovable traits in his or her character. Even the hardest "case" has a "soft spot" somewhere, therefore in future I will look only for the lovable traits and the "soft spots." In everyone I shall see something to admire and reverence, something to love.
And I shall not stop with people. I will also look for the good in every circumstance, in every difficulty, in every failure. I will look for the good in every blade of grass and every opening flower, in the wind that blows and the sun that burns my cheek. Rain or sunshine, fair weather or foul, I will see good in everything, see perfection underlying all. Out of these will grow a new sympathy, a more extensive and embracing love, a larger and wider consciousness, for everyone and everything are my brothers, each forms a part of the one whole, we are one with one another and the Universal Life and Mind of which we each form an individual part.
Continue to get your Subliminal Mind to solve your problems. Do not be disheartened by failures, simply try again until you succeed. One word of warning. After receiving your answer in the early morning, you get to business, or practice, or whatever your work may be, and you may think that the answer which came to you as a flash of inspiration must be a mistake, so opposed does it appear to ordinary worldly wisdom. Be not deceived, what you have received by inspiration is the sublimest wisdom, and the so-called "wisdom" which now seeks to reverse the decision, will, if followed, lead you to confusion and disaster. Infinite wisdom always appears to be foolishness to finite man.
Continue to hold a vision of glorious health and eternal youthfulness ever before your mental eyes. Also deny sickness and affirm health without ceasing, not in a strained way, but with confidence and conviction.