Now in the name of all the gods at once, upon what meat doth this, our Caesar, feed that he is grown so great? —Shakespeare
We are often told of late that "thoughts are things." This is only a partial statement. Thoughts are living entities.
We may even bring them into the objective life, by proper and persistent concentration.
It becomes, then, a vital question, "How shall thought be fed?" What is its proper diet to produce the best results? The matter of thought diet is of greater importance than we realize.
Disease results from thought; health is restored and established by thought. What best nourishes the largest life? Let us proceed to a study of mental diet.
We will find that disease has a large menu, while the diet of health is simple and strong.
Here is a list of some things that should be avoided in order to bring a sickly mind to a normal condition. We may find in it some items that are generally allowed, and have not usually been suspected of containing poisonous elements.
We must immediately strike out from the bill of
fare all unpleasant recollections, every memory of past struggle or weakness.
It is better even to forget our victories.
"True conquest is the causing the black event to fade and disappear as an early cloud of insignificant result in a history so large and advancing."
Emerson is right. It is the highest ideal of life.
We must avoid all emotions of regret, resentment, and self-pity.
We must not indulge in self-congratulation.
We must banish every sentiment of resignation, hope, anticipation, doubt, and fear.
If we analyze these carefully we will discover that every one of them has fed our restless thoughts that have prolonged and nourished the disease against which we were struggling; they have subjected us to the alternations of elation and depression. These are the storm winds of emotional latitudes. They are found in our tropical, and not in our temperate, zones.
We must sail out of them into the higher latitudes. We must establish ourselves in a sturdier life. We must reach the spiritual planes which are far beyond the emotional experience.
To do this we must let the old thoughts die away, must kill them by starvation.
The new thoughts thrive on different food. They have a different appetite,—normal and vigorous.
They demand knowledge of good, and not of evil. They have no interest in pathology or the dissecting room.
Knowledge brings confidence.
We are glad and strong in the life of today in consequence of learning that "the soul becomes a tranquility out of the knowing that all things go well."
We make too much of our faults and failures. We take ourselves too seriously. We suffer needless pangs of disappointment and discouragement.
If we have failed, let us scramble to our feet, and not spend time on our bruises and bandages. Bruises do not heal by looking at them. We are still too keenly alive to the troubles of the past, and cherish its resentments, though perhaps unconsciously.
It is no wonder that the previous chapters of our book of life were closed to us at birth. We are not handicapped with the recollection of all that went before in our long rounds of evolution.
Let us cultivate forgetfulness as a fine art. Let us lift up our eyes with confidence to the hills, to the heights of our better nature, which is thoroughly equipped for all our times of need.