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The Master Mind

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The Master Mind


Manifest Your Desires Effortlessly

In this book there will be nothing said concerning metaphysical theories or philosophical hypotheses; instead, there will be a very strict adherence to the principles of psychology. There will be nothing said of ''spirit'' or "soul''; but very much said of "mind." There will be no speculation concerning the question of "what is the soul," or concerning "what becomes of the soul after the death of the body." These subjects, while highly important and interesting, belong to a different class of investigation, and are outside of the limits of the present inquiry. We shall not even enter into a discussion of the subject of "what is the mind"; instead, we shall confine our thought to the subject of "how does the mind work."

For the purposes of the present consideration of the subject before us, we shall rest content with the fundamental postulate that "Every man or woman has a mind," and the corollary that when an intelligent man or woman speaks of "myself," he or she is conscious that his or her "mind" has a more intimate relation to that "self" than has his or her "body.'' The ''body" is usually recognized as "belonging to" the "self," while the "mind" is usually so closely identified with the "self" that it is difficult to distinguish them in thought or expression.

Many philosophers and metaphysicians have sought to tell us "just what" the mind is; but they usually leave us as much in doubt as before the so-called explanation. As the old Persian poet has said, we usually "come out the door in which we went," in all such discussions and speculations concerning the nature of mind, or "just what mind really is." We can, and do, know much about how the mind works, but we know little or nothing about what the mind really is. But, for that matter, so far as practical purposes are concerned, it makes very little difference to us just what the mind is, providing we know just how it works, and how it may be controlled and managed.

What the Mind Is

A well-known psychologist has well said: "It used to be the fashion to begin psychologies with a discussion concerning the material or immaterial nature of the mind. It has been well said that psychology is no more bound to begin by telling what the mind is, than physics is obliged to start by settling the vexed question as to what matter is. Psychology studies the phenomena of mind, just as physics investigates those of matter.

Fortunately, phenomena do not change with our varying views as to what things really are. The phenomena of electricity remain the same whether we consider it a fluid, a repulsion of molecules, or vibrations of the ether. If a man hold the strange theory that electricity was a flock of invisible molecular goats that pranced along a wire with inconceivable rapidity, he would still have to insulate the wires in the same way, generate the current in the same way. A strong discharge would kill him as quickly as if he held a different theory. In short, his views of the ultimate substance of electricity would in nowise change its phenomena.

If any materialist should hold that the mind was nothing but the brain, and that the brain was a vast aggregation of molecular sheep herding together in various ways, his hypothesis would not change the fact that sensation must precede perception, memory, and thought; nor would the laws of association of ideas be changed, nor would the fact that interest and repetition aid memory cease to hold good. The man who thought his mind was a collection of little cells would dream, imagine, think, and will; so also would he who believed his mind to be immaterial. It is very fortunate that the same mental phenomena occur, no matter what theory is adopted. Those who like to study the puzzles as to what mind and matter really are, must go to metaphysics. Should we ever find that salt, arsenic, and many things else, are the same substances with a different molecular arrangement, we should still not use them interchangeably.

Another well-known psychologist, speaking upon the same subject, calls our attention to the custom of a celebrated teacher of psychology who usually began his first lecture by bidding his pupils to "think about something, your desk, for example"; he who would then add: "Now think of that which thinks about the desk"; and then, after a few moments concluding the remark with the statement: "This thing which thinks about the desk, and about which you are now thinking, is the subject matter of our study of psychology."

The psychologist above mentioned has said further on this subject: "The mind must either be that which thinks, feels, and wills, or it must be the thoughts, feelings, and acts of will of which we are conscious—mental facts, in one word. But what can we tell about that which thinks, feels, and wills, and what can we find out about it? Where is it? You will probably say, in the brain. But, if you are speaking literally, if you say that it is in the brain, as a pencil is in the pocket, then you must mean that it takes up room, that it occupies space, and that would make it very much like a material thing. In truth, the more carefully you consider it, the more plainly you will see what thinking men have known for a long time—that we do not know and cannot learn anything about the thing which thinks, and feels, and wills. It is beyond the range of human knowledge. The books which define psychology as the science of mind have not a word to say about that which thinks, and feels, and wills. They are entirely taken up with these thoughts and feelings and acts of the will—mental facts, in a word—trying to tell us what they are, and to arrange them in classes, and tell us the circumstances or conditions under which they exist. It seems to me that it would be better to define psychology as the science of the experience, phenomena, or facts of the mind, soul, or self—of mental facts, in a word."

And, so in this book, we shall not invade the field of metaphysics or the region of philosophy, with the endless discussions of "about it and about" concerning the "just what is" of the soul, self, or mind. Rather shall we dwell contentedly in the safer region of "mental facts," and speak only of the "just how to do things'' with the mind, based upon the discovery of "just how the mind works" made by advanced psychology. This is the method of the Pragmatic Plan now so favored by modern thinkers—the plan which is concerned with the "how," rather than with the "ultimate why." As William James has said: "Pragmatism is the attitude of looking away from first things, principles, categories, supposed necessities; and of looking forward toward last things, fruits, consequences, facts." As another writer has said: "Modern psychology is essentially prismatic in its treatment of the subject of the mind in giving to metaphysics the old arguments and disputes regarding the ultimate nature of mind, it bends all its energies upon discovering the laws of mental activities and states, and developing methods whereby the mind may be trained to perform better and more work, to conserve its energies, to concentrate its forces. To modern psychology the mind is something to be used, not merely something about which to postulate and theorize. While the metaphysicians deplore this tendency, the practical people of the world rejoice."

Mind Mastery vs. Mind Slavery

But, you may say, what do you mean by "The Master Mind?" What is the difference between a Master Mind and any other form of Mind? Simply this, good readers, that the Master Mind is consciously, deliberately, and voluntarily built up, cultivated, developed, and used; whereas the ordinary mind is usually unconsciously built up, cultivated, and developed, without voluntary effort on its own part, but solely by the force and power of impressions from the outside world, and is usually employed and used with little or no conscious direction by its own will. In short, the ordinary mind is a mere creature of circumstances, driven hither and thither by the winds of outside forces, and lacking the guidance of the hand on the wheel, and being without the compass of knowledge; while the Master Mind proceeds in the true course mapped out by Intelligence, and determined by will—with sails set so as to catch the best breeze from the outside world, and steered by the master-hand at the wheel, under the direction of the compass of intelligence. The ordinary mind is like a dumb, driven animal, while the Master Mind is like the strong-willed, intelligent, masterful Man.

The average man is a very slave to his thoughts and feelings. A stream of thought and feeling flows through him, moving him hither and thither with little or no voluntary choice on his own part. Even those men who have attained a certain degree of mental mastery do but little more than to feebly steer their mental bark by the rudder of a wobbling will—they do not realize that Mastery is possible to them. Even a well known writer has said: ''We do not voluntarily create our thinking. It takes place in us. We are more or less passive recipients. We cannot change the nature of a thought; but we can, as it were, guide the ship by a moving of the helm.'' It would be truer to say that we can deliberately and voluntarily select and choose the particular wind which is to force our mental boat forward or, changing the figure, to choose and select the particular stream of thought and feeling which is to be allowed to flow through our mind.

There are three general conditions of human mentality, viz.: (1) Mental Slavery, in which the mind is the slave and servant of outside forces and influences; (2) Partial Freedom, in which the mind is largely controlled by outside influences, while at the same time a limited amount of voluntary control and direction has been acquired; and

(3) Mental Mastery, in which the mental faculties, and emotional organism have been brought under the control of the will and judgment, and the individual is a master of, and not a slave to, environment and circumstances. The great masses of persons are in the first or the above named classes; a comparatively small number have passed into the second class; while a still smaller number have passed into the third class, and have become the Master Minds of their time and place.

A talented writer has said along these lines: "We moderns are unaccustomed to the mastery over our inner thoughts and feelings. That a man should be a prey to any thought that chances to take possession of his mind, is commonly among us assumed as unavoidable. It may be a matter of regret that he should be kept awake all night from anxiety as to the issue of a lawsuit on the morrow, and that he should have the power of determining whether he be kept awake or not seems an extravagant demand. The image of an impending calamity is no doubt odious, but its very odiousness (we say) makes it haunt the mind all the more pertinaciously, and it is useless to expel it. Yet this is an absurd position for man, the heir of all the ages, to be in: lag-ridden by the flimsy creatures of his own brain. If a pebble in our boot torments us, we expel it. We take off the boot and shake it out. And once the matter is fairly understood, it is just as easy to expel an intruding and obnoxious thought from the mind. About this there ought to be no mistake, no two opinions. The thing is obvious, clear and unmistakable. It should be as easy to expel an obnoxious thought from the mind as to shake a stone out of your shoe; and until a man can do that, it is just nonsense to talk about his ascendancy over nature, and all the rest of it. He is a mere slave, and a prey to the bat-winged phantoms that flit through the corridors of his own brain. Yet the weary and careworn faces that we meet by thousands, even among the affluent classes of civilization, testify only too clearly how seldom this mastery is obtained. How rare indeed to find a man! How common rather to discover a creature hounded on by tyrant thoughts (or cares, or desires), cowering, wincing under the lash—or perchance priding himself to run merrily to a driver that rattles the reins and persuades him that he is free—whom he cannot converse with in careless tete-a-tete because that alien presence is always there, on the watch.

"It is one of the prominent doctrines of some of the oriental schools of practical psychology that the power of expelling thoughts, or if need be, killing them dead on the spot, must be attained. Naturally the art requires practice, but like other arts, when once acquired there is no mystery or difficulty about it. It is worth practice. It may be fairly said that life only begins when this art has been acquired. For obviously when, instead of being ruled by individual thoughts, the whole flock of them in their immense multitude and variety and capacity is ours to direct and dispatch and employ where we list, life becomes a thing so vast and grand, compared to what it was before, that its former condition may well appear almost ante-natal. If you can kill a thought dead, for the time being, you can do anything else with it that you please. And therefore it is that this power is so valuable. And it not only frees a man from mental torment (which is nine-tenths at least of the torment of life), but it gives him a concentrated power of handling mental work absolutely unknown to him before. The two are co-relative to each other.

"While at work your thought is to he absolutely concentrated upon and in it, undistracted by anything whatever irrelevant to the matter in hand—pounding away like a great engine, with giant power and perfect economy—no wear and tear or friction, or dislocation of parts owing to the working of different forces at the same time. Then when the work is finished, if there is no more occasion for the use of the machine, it must stop equally, absolutely—stop entirely—no worrying (as if a parcel of boys were allowed to play their devilments with a locomotive as soon as it was in the shed)—and the man must retire into that region of his consciousness where his true self dwells.

"I say that the power of the thought-machine is enormously increased by this faculty of letting it alone on the one hand, and of using it singly and with concentration on the other. It becomes a true tool, which a master-workman lays down when done with, but which only a bungler carries about with him all the time to show that he is the possessor of it. Then on and beyond the work turned out by the tool itself is the knowledge that comes to us apart from its use; when the noise of the workshop is over, and mallet and plane laid aside—the faint sounds coming through the open window from the valley and the far seashore; the dim fringe of diviner knowledge which begins to grow, poor thing, as soon as the eternal click-clack of thought is over—the extraordinary intuitions, perceptions, which though partaking in some degree of the character of the thought, spring from entirely different conditions, and are the forerunners of a changed consciousness.

"The subjection of thought is closely related to the subjection of desire, and has consequently its specially moral as well as its specially intellectual relation to the question in hand. Nine-tenths of the scattered or sporadic thought with which the mind usually occupies itself when not concentrated on any definite work, is what may be called self-thought—thought of a kind which dwells on and exaggerates the sense of self. This is hardly realized in its full degree till the effort is made to suppress it; and one of the most excellent results of such an effort is that with the stilling of all the phantoms which hover around the lower self, one's relations to others, to one's friends, to the world at large, and one's perceptions of all that is concerned in these relations, come out into a purity and distinctness unknown before. Obviously, when the mind is full of little desires and fears which concern the local self, and is clouded over by the thought images which such desires and fears evoke, it is impossible that it should see and understand the greater facts beyond, and its own relation to them. But with the subsiding of the former, the great vision begins to dawn; and a man never feels less alone than when he has ceased to think whether he is alone or not."

From the above the reader may get a general idea of what we mean when we speak of the Master Mind. But, as we proceed with the unfoldment of the general idea upon which this book is based, the reader will catch the spirit of the idea in a way impossible for him now when the subject has been presented to him merely in its general aspects. There are so many angles of viewpoint, and so many varied applications of the general principle involved, that it is necessary for the careful student of the subject to understand the many details of the presentation before he can expect to "catch the spirit of it," at least to the extent of being able to put into actual practice the working method which will be presented for his consideration in this book. But, it may be safely stated that any one of average intelligence, with ordinary study and practice, may master these principles and methods of application to such an extent that he will know for himself, by actual results obtained, that he is no longer a Mental Slave but has developed into a Mental Master.

The individual of the Master Mind is able to so control his powers of attention and concentration that he will be able to choose and select exactly the kind of thoughts and ideas which he requires in his business of life and effort. Moreover, he will be able to manifest these thoughts and ideas into effective and efficient action and expression, so as to obtain precisely the kind of results desired by him. Moreover, he will be able to govern, select, control, and choose the character and quality of his thoughts and ideas, but also to manifest the same power regarding his emotions and feelings, his tastes and "likes." And this last is very important, for, as we shall see presently, most of our thoughts and ideas come to us in response to our feelings, desires, and likes.

Not only this, but the individual of the Master Mind is able to set to work intelligently, and under full control, those marvelous faculties which operate on the subconscious planes of mind, and which are able and willing to perform much of our mental work for us below the surface of ordinary consciousness, and thus leave free for other tasks the faculties ordinarily employed in the thinking processes. It is believed by the best authorities on the subject that fully eighty-five percent of our mental activities are performed on planes under the surface of our ordinary consciousness. This being so, it is seen at once that one who is able to control and master these subconscious mental activities will and must be capable of results impossible to those who allow their subconscious mentality to wander about like horses in a pasture, or else rush like runaway horses in whatever direction they like and thus wreck the chariot rather than reaching the goal of the ambitious.

In short, the individual of the Master Mind is indeed a MASTER of his mental machinery, and is able to turn out a mental product of the highest quality and degree of efficiency. And, thus being the Master of himself, he becomes the Master of much in the outside world. To the Master Mind, even circumstances seem to come under conscious control and management; and other men and women seem to be ready to accept direction and control from such a masterful mentality. The Master Mind creates a world for itself, in which it dwells supreme, and to which it attracts and draws that which is conducive to its welfare and happiness, its success and achievement.

You are invited to become a Master Mind. Will you accept the invitation? If so, you will carefully study the principles herein explained, and apply the methods herein set forth and described.