I wish to invite you to the consideration of a great principle of Nature—a great natural force that manifests its activities in the phenomena of Dynamic Mentation—a great Something the energies of which I have called "MIND POWER."
My thought on the subject is based upon the fundamental conception that:—
THERE EXISTS IN NATURE A DYNAMIC MENTAL PRINCIPLE—A MIND-POWER—PERVADING ALL SPACE—IMMANENT IN ALL THINGS MANIFESTING IN AN INFINITE VARIETY OF FORMS, DEGREES, AND PHASES.
I hold that this energy, or force, or dynamic principle, is no respecter of persons. Its service, like that of the sun and rain, and all natural forces, is open to all—just and unjust; good and bad; high and low; rich and poor. It responds to the proper efforts, no matter by whom exerted, or for what purpose called into effect. But the proper effort must be exerted, consciously or unconsciously, else there will be no operation of the force.
I believe that the activities of this dynamic mental principle are intimately correlated to manifestations of the mental operations known to us as desire, will, and imagination.
We shall learn something of the laws and principles and modes of operation of its energies and activities, as we proceed with our consideration of it, in this work. It may be difficult for you to grasp this conception of Mind-Power at the start—but it will grow upon your understanding as its activities are presented to you, one by one, like a great panorama.
My terms will be explained and illustrated by examples, as we proceed—so you need not analyze them at this point. It may be as well, however, to state that I have used the term "Dynamic" in its original Greek sense, i.e., "powerful"; "possessing power," etc.
I have postulated of my conception of Mind-Power that it pervades all space—is immanent in all things—and manifests in an infinite variety of forms, degrees, and phases.
But, it may be urged, this is nothing more than science claims for the principle of physical energy—then is Mind-Power identical with the physical energy of science?—is it nothing more than a high form of mechanical or material energy?
No, Mind-Power is very far from being a blind, mechanical energy—it is a living, mental force, which I hold is behind the manifestations of physical energy and mechanical force. It is not the physical energy of science, but is something of the nature of a living will, which is rather the cause of physical energy, than identical with it.
Let us take a familiar example. You desire to move your hand—and it moves. Why? Because of the manifestation of the wonderful and mysterious force called "will" which is stored up within you, and which you have released to move the hand. You send a current of nerve-force which is really a manifestation of Mind-Power or will-force from your brain, along the nerves of the arm, which contracts the muscles of the arm and hand, and your desire is gratified.
Your desire, or wish, set into motion the Mind-Power which acted upon the material substance of your body and caused it to act. What was it that flowed along the nerve-wires? Was it electricity, or magnetism? No! It was that subtle and mysterious thing that I am calling Mind-Power, and which is bound up with the will principle of mind.
Mind-Power is an actual living force. It is the force that makes plants grow—and animal bodies grow—and which enables all living things to move and act. It is the force which enables the growing mushroom to raise up the slabs of paving stone—or causes the roots of a tree to split open the great boulders, into the crevices of which they have crept.
Mind-Power is not an abstraction or speculative nothing—it is an existent, living, mental, acting force, manifesting sometimes with an appalling power, and sometimes with a delicate, subtle touch that is almost imperceptible, but which accomplishes its purpose.
In order to reach a clear conception of the universality of Mind-Power, let us consider its manifestations as we see them, unquestioned in the universe— on the many planes of life and activity. Beginning with the more familiar instances of its operation and manifestation, let us then proceed to delve still deeper until we reach instances not so easily perceived; and then still further back until we find it in places and in things that are generally regarded as lacking in Mind-Power and life.
And, here let me say that I hold that life and Mind-Power are always found in company with each other—there is some close relationship between the two—they are probably twin-phases of the same thing, or else twin-manifestations of the same underlying reality. There is no life without mind and Mind-Power—and no Mind-Power, or mind, without life. And, further, I claim that there is nothing without life in the universe—nothing lifeless there, or anywhere.
The universe is alive, and has mind and Mind-Power in every part and particle of itself. This is not an original idea of my own, of course,—the leading scientific thinkers admit it today, and the Hindu philosophers have known it for fifty centuries. Do you doubt this? Then listen to these authorities who ably express the thought of their scientific schools.
Luther Burbank, that most wonderful man who has revolutionized our conceptions of plant-life, and who has practically held Plant-Life in the palm of his hand, says: "All my investigations have led me away from the idea of a dead material universe tossed about by various forces, to that of a universe which is absolutely all force, life, soul, thought, or whatever name we choose to call it.
Every atom, molecule, plant, animal or planet, is only an aggregation of organized unit forces held in place by stronger forces, thus holding them for a time latent, though teeming with inconceivable power. All life on our planet is, so to speak, just on the outer fringe of this infinite ocean of force. The universe is not half dead, but all alive."
Dr. Saleby, in his important scientific work, "Evolution: the Master Key," goes even still further in his claim of a living universe; and life accompanied by mind. He says, among other things: "Life is potential in matter; life-energy is not a thing unique and created at a particular time in the past.
If evolution be true, living matter has been evolved by natural processes from matter which is, apparently, not alive. But if life is a potential in matter, it is a thousand times more evident that mind is potential in life. The evolutionist is impelled to believe that mind is potential in matter. (I adopt that form of words for the moment, but not without future criticism.) The microscopic cell, a minute speck of matter that is to become man, has in it the promise and germ of mind.
May we not then draw the inference that the elements of mind are present in those chemical elements—carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulphur, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, chlorine— that are found in the cell? Not only must we do so, but we must go further, since we know that each of these elements, and every other, is built up out of one invariable unit, the electron, and we must therefore assert that mind is potential in the unit of matter—the electron itself."
Flammarion, the eminent French scientist, says: "The universe is a dynamism. Life itself, from the most rudimentary cell up to the most complicated organism, is a special kind of movement, a movement determined and organized by a directing force. Visible matter, which stands to us at the present moment for the universe, and which certain classic doctrines consider as the origin of all things—movement, life, thought—is only a word void of meaning.
The universe is a great organism, controlled by a dynamism of the psychical order. Mind gleams through its every atom. There is mind in everything, not only in human and animal life, but in plants, in minerals, in space."
Prof. J. A. Fleming, in his work on "Waves, Air and Aether," says: "In its ultimate essence energy may be incomprehensible by us except as an exhibition of the direct operation of that which we call mind and will."
Let us then follow the hint given by the scientists—let us proceed to examine the evidences of the immanence of life and Mind-Power in all of the things of the universe—things organic; things inorganic; and things beyond organism, shape and form—back into the very ether of space itself. And in the search we shall find these evidences everywhere—in all things.
Nowhere does life and Mind-Power escape us. Immanent in all things— manifesting in an infinite variety of forms, degrees, and phases, we find these twin-principles. I invite you to join in one of the most interesting and fascinating explorations known to modern science.
We do not need any proof to demonstrate the existence of life, mind and Mind-Power in man, or in the lower animals. The activities resulting from its presence are in constant evidence. And if we examine the plant kingdom we will see manifestations of life, mind, and Mind-Power there also.
Plants not only manifest "appetency," or "the instinctive tendency on the part of low forms of organic life, to perform certain acts necessary for their well-being, particularly in the selection and absorption of the material substances necessary for their support and nutriments";—not only "instinct" or "involuntary and unreasoning prompting or impulse, and the response thereto";—but also, in certain cases, there appears mental action closely akin to conscious choice and will. I refer you to the many recent works on mind in plant-life for illustrations and proofs of this statement.
And biology shows us that there is life, mind, and Mind-Power inherent in the cells of which our bodies, blood and the material of animal and plant life, is composed. These cells are "little lives," and manifest mental power and faculty. They perform their particular functions, and live, grow, reproduce themselves, and act just as do the tiny forms of animal life at the bottom of sea—the latter being but little more than single cells, or cell-groups. The possession of memory on the part of the cells of organic matter is an accepted scientific fact.
At this point the orthodox and conservative scientist usually stops, drawing a line between "organic" and "inorganic" matter. But the daring minds of advanced scientists of today have brushed aside the dividing line, and have moved to a position where they meet the Hindu philosophers and the occultists, and now admit and teach that life, mind and Mind-Power invade the "inorganic" world to its utmost limits, and that universe is indeed alive and possesses Mind.
Some of the lower forms of "organic" life, so-called, possess no organs, and are but masses of jelly-like matter without signs of even rudimentary organs—and yet these life-forms show evidences of desire, choice, and will. And Science has admitted the existence of life and mind in the crystals, the latter "growing" in a manner showing vital and selective energy, and even rudimentary sex.
More than this, the metals and minerals, under scientific tests, have shown "responses" that are similar to the same action in organic life—showing life and rudimentary sensation, the latter of course being a manifestation of mind. Some of the cold, careful scientific records read like fairy tales to those not familiar with the wonderful achievements of recent science. I wish that I had the time and space to recount these tests—but I must hasten on.
Enough to say that in mineral and metallic forms there has been found "response" indicating the existence of "sensation '' in varying degrees; and that in the crystallization of minerals and metals there has been evidenced the action of the same instinctive mental-life energy which as "appetency or instinct" builds up the bodies of living organic forms.
If you wonder at this—think of the miracle which is performed every second by plants absorbing the minerals of the earth, which are then converted into living plant-cells; then we eat the plants and convert the plant-cells into animal-cells which serve as the basis of our blood, muscles, organs, and even our brains. In fact, every particle of organic substance was evolved in this way. Think over this and you will see that Nature is One in her essence, and that she is alive and possesses Mind-Power.
But we do not stop even at this advanced point. Minerals and all forms of matter are composed of infinitesimal atoms, or particles. The particles combine by reason of some inherent "attraction" existing between certain of them, known as "chemical affinity," etc. Chemical affinity is a peculiar thing—it manifests in likes and dislikes, loves and hates; it is impossible to study these manifestations without recognizing an elementary manifestation of "like and dislike"—"love and hate."
You think that this is far fetched, do you? Well, listen to these words from some of the leading scientists about this power to receive sensations, and power to respond to the same, and maybe you will change your mind.
Haeckel, the great German scientist, holds that the atoms of which matter is composed may "receive sensations," and "respond to sensations." He dwells upon this fact in his latest works ''The Riddle of the Universe," and "The Wonders of Life," and writes as follows regarding "sensation in the inorganic world": "I cannot imagine," Haeckel says, "the simplest chemical and physical process, without attributing the movements of the material particles to unconscious sensation." He also says, in another place: "The idea of chemical affinity consists in the fact that the various chemical elements perceive the qualitative differences in other elements—experience 'pleasure' or 'revulsion' at contact with them, and execute specific movements on this ground." He adds, later, that the "sensations" and "responses" in plant and animal life are "connected by a long series of evolutionary stages with the simpler forms of sensation that we find in the inorganic elements and that reveal themselves in chemical affinity."
Nageli, another scientist, says: "If the molecules possess something that is related, however distantly, to sensation, it must be comfortable to be able to follow their attractions and repulsions; uncomfortable when they are forced to do otherwise," And so you see that Science now is preparing to admit elementary life and Mind-Power in the atoms and particles of matter.
But we have not as yet reached the utmost, limit of scientific investigation regarding the presence of mind in the universe. "Further than the atoms!" you may ask. Yes, further than the atoms! What is true regarding the atoms is true of the ions or electrons of which they are composed—these tinier particles are attracted and repelled; form groups and combinations which regulate the kind of atom produced; and manifest the same kind of "affinity" that is noticeable in the atoms.
And more than this—these particles, as well as all forms of physical energy, are believed to emerge from the ether, that subtle, tenuous, universal substance, which, although unseen, and intangible, is held to exist in order to account for the phenomena of the universe. If there is Mind in the particles that emerge from the Ether, is it too much to claim that there must be Mind in the Ether itself? Is this preposterous? Not so! Listen to the words of the following scientific authorities on the subject:
Flammarion says: "Mind gleams in every atom. There is mind in everything, not only in human and animal life, but in plants, in minerals in space!"
Cope says: "The basis of life and mind lies back of the atoms, and may be found in the universal ether." Hemstreet says: "Mind in the ether is no more unnatural than mind in flesh and blood." Stockwell says: ''The ether is coming to be apprehended as an immaterial, super-physical substance, filling all space, carrying in its infinite, throbbing bosom the specks of aggregated dynamic force called worlds. It embodies the ultimate spiritual principle and represents the unity of those forces and energies from which spring, as their source, all phenomena, physical, mental and spiritual, as they are known to man."
Dolbear says: "Possibly the ether may be the medium through which mind and matter react. Out of the ether could emerge, under proper circumstances, other phenomena, such as life, or mind, or whatever may be in the substratum." And, so, we have the best of authority to support the inevitable conclusion that there must be Mind-Power even in the ether.
For my own part, I go still further, and for several years back have been claiming that the Ether and the Universal Mind-Power Principle are one and the same thing—that is, that that theoretical something that science has called "the Ether," is in reality the Universal Mind-Power Principle from which all manifestations of activities emerge—the Universal Mental Dynamo!
I cannot prove this, of course—but it is logical. But my argument does not depend even upon this—for admit that there is Mind-Power in the ether, and my case is won. And in the ether it must be, even if the ether is not but another name for it. For if Mind-Power is not in the ether, from whence does it come into the particles of matter, and in matter itself, organic and inorganic?
Resting the consideration for a moment, let me say that with mind as reason, intellect, etc., I have nothing to do in this book, for this is a consideration of the dynamic phase of mind—the Power phase— Mind-Power, or Dynamic Mentation. I am trying to show you that Mind-Power exists everywhere, and is manifest in every activity of the universe. "In every activity of the universe!" you say; "surely you do not include physical activity and energy such as natural forces etc.!"
Yes, I do mean just that! "How can that be?" you ask, "What has Mind-Power to do with electricity, light, heat, magnetism, gravitation, etc.?" It has everything to do with them, in my opinion. I will explain it to you in a few words, for I cannot go into this subject at length in this book, but must hasten on to the other parts of my subject.
Here it is in a nut-shell: All the forms of natural physical energy, or forces, known as light, heat, electricity, magnetism, etc., are held by science to be forms of energy arising from the vibration of the particles of matter. Now what causes the vibration?
Motion of the particles, of course! And what causes the particles to move? Just this, the attraction and repulsion existing between them! And what causes the particles to exhibit this attraction and repulsion toward each other? Now here is where we get to the heart of the matter; listen well! We have seen that the particles are attracted to, or repelled by, each other—in the matter of "likes and dislikes"; "love and hates"; or "pleasure or revulsion"; or "comfortable and uncomfortable experiences related, however distant, to sensation," etc.
And these attractions and repulsions are held to result from "capacity to experience sensations" and the power to "respond to sensations." And both the power to receive and experience "sensations," and to respond thereto, are manifestations of mentality, which Haeckel has compared to "desire" and "will." And if mentality is the cause of the sensations and of the response there; and the latter are the causes of the attractions and repulsions; and the latter are the causes of the motion, to and fro, of the particles of matter; and the latter, in turn is the cause of the vibrations; and the vibrations are the causes of the manifestations of light, heat, electricity, magnetism, etc.,—then am I not justified in claiming that mind and Mind-Power are the motive-force of all physical energy?
And, am I not justified in postulating the existence of a universal mental dynamic principle? I tell you, friends, that the future will show that this dynamic mental principle is the source of energy—not energy the source of mind. I know that this is revolutionary, but I believe that it will meet the requirements of the future. I have been preaching this thing for several years now—and many have been the smiles; the jeers; and the sneers.
But, from the beginning, I have felt a keen appreciation of the words of Galvini, when he said, bitterly: "I am attacked by two very opposite sects—the Scientists and the Know-Nothings; both laugh at me, calling me the Frog's Dancing Master; but I know that I have discovered one of the greatest forces in nature."
And, now, in conclusion, I must ask you to form a mental picture of this great universal dynamic mental principle; pervading all space; immanent in all things; and manifesting in an infinite variety of forms, degrees and phases. We can think of it only by means of symbols. Let us then consider it as a great living, throbbing, pulsating, mentating OCEAN of Dynamic Mind-Power. In the depths of that Ocean of Mind-Power there is quiet, and calm and peace—the embodiment of latent power, and potential energy. On its surface are ripples, waves, great movements of energy, currents, whirlpools, eddies—phases of fierce tempest alternating with phases of calm and quiet.
And from the depths of that Ocean of Mind-Power, all mental and physical Power emerges—and to its bosom all must return. And in that ocean there is an infinite store of energy, from which may be drawn that which the human centers of consciousness and power require, when they learn the secret.
This Ocean of Mind-Power is our only source of dynamic energy—but we have at our disposal as much of its force as we can carry off over our channels of supply. It is the use of this power that we call Dynamic Mentation.
Now, do you understand what I mean by the Universal Principle of Dynamic Mind-Power—this Universal Mental-Dynamo!
Several years ago I told a friend of this conception, and after he had listened to me attentively and with interest, he reflected a few moments, and then suddenly asked: ''But where do I come in?''
And that is the question that many of you are asking now, no doubt. Well, while here I cannot dip into metaphysics or philosophical speculation, or even into my favorite occult sources, I will say that each of you is a CENTRE OF POWER in that Ocean of Dynamic Mind-Power and each "I" is a master of the power. You have the Whole Thing back of you—and you are free to draw upon it for all that your channel will carry to you. And you are allowed to enlarge your channel. That is enough for this time—more will follow as we proceed.