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How to Grow

Affirmation is creation. When the student in Mental Science has come into sufficient understanding of the principles underlying this mighty truth, he may begin to affirm for himself, and his affirmation creates.

Let us say that he knows he is all mind; and that his mind, which is himself, has risen to a condition of positiveness—through the acquisition of truth—where he knows himself master of all other minds, that; by reason of ignorance and undevelopment, are negative to him. It is then that he can make his affirmations, and they begin to create.

He has passed through his denials; he has denied the existence of evil, and of all the world's fallacies based on that belief. He knows that the whole system of the race's accepted convictions is pure nonsense. How can it be otherwise when it rests on a false premise; the premise that evil is a self existent power equal to good, and far more prevalent in its operations? From a clear understanding of the situation has the student denied this until his conviction stands unalterable. One might suppose that he was done now; and that he had reached a place where he could rest and let the universal Life Principle grow for him. But just let him try this, and see what happens.

The thing that happens is this. His sense of freedom from the old world's beliefs will not be a clay old before he is overtaken by a feeling of despondent helplessness. He then begins to wonder what ails him, and to go down within himself in search of a new and more sustaining truth. Here he perceives what he had previously learned, but had half forgotten; namely, that man is his own creator. Then he wonders for a moment how a man can create himself. Again he finds answer from out the unlimited storehouse of self, which says, "Have I not cleared off this garden spot which is my me, and got it ready for the planting of a new growth quite different from the weeds eradicated by the denials? Then let me plant what I most want." But how? Quick as a flash the me responds, "By affirmations."

At first this almost dazes the student. It seems too easy. "Can a man affirm himself to be what he most desires to be, and have an unfailing result in consonance with his affirmation?"

It may take days, even months, for his faith to accept such a tremendous truth; but gradually he does accept it. It is the natural sequence of all that he has learned before; he simply must accept it. And ^he does accept it, though in weakness; not doubting it, but held back from a full realization of it by the entire body of race beliefs, which—at this stage of race progress—permeate the very atmosphere he breathes. And it is this fact that makes the result of our best affirmations so Blow to show forth. It is the affirmations themselves, thousands of times repeated in the light of our fullest intellectual recognition, that .have to drive back or change this great worldwide unbelief that the whole race has accepted as the truth of truths. It is the affirmations, and nothing else, that have the power to banish the widespread error that we are born into, and that is the breath of our lives, until we acquire the knowledge that contradicts it.

And so our affirmations—those assertions born of the ideal—are the only weapons in our power by which we can recreate. The denials made clear a space in our minds where we could begin to plant our affirmations; but unless we do plant our affirmations growth stops right there. Those who wait for some outside power to affirm them into strength drift backward again. Those who expect some god to do it for them will soon find themselves on the down grade. Those who lie back and call on "the spirit" to come and make them over will wander into many a labyrinth of feeble ideas without finding the way. It is only he who has got it fully imbued in his mind that man is self-creative, who will feel the boldness and the courage to begin to make the affirmations correctly.

And what is the correct way? It is the plainest and simplest matter in the world. I have proved intelligently that I am all mind; and I know that in the past I have been a statement of the world's beliefs. But I no longer believe the world's beliefs, although my body still shows them forth; I have denied the world's beliefs until I am comparatively clear of them in my thoughts, even if not in my body. The next thing to do is to begin to affirm that I am what I' desire to be. I am what I desire to be in my thoughts, at least, and from my thoughts or from my ideal I make the affirmations. Among these affirmations are the following: "I am well and strong and vital; I am on the road to eternal youth; I am beautiful and pure and good; I am opulent and happy and free."

Now, of course, I am aware all the time I make these affirmations, that on the old plane of thought they are not true. But I reason with myself again, and assure myself that I have left the old plane of thought, and that it is my privilege to create a new plane of thought; so I try to drop all the old beliefs out of my mind, because when I drop them out of my mind they are dropped out of my body; for mind and body are one. Therefore, I let go of them; they are there; oh! yes, there is no mistake about that, but I have withdrawn the sustenance of my belief from them and they will gradually fade away. They being born in a belief of evil, are negative to these later thoughts which were born in a belief of absolute good; and if I hold faithfully to the truth in the matter they will slowly disappear, while my affirmations will slowly become established in their place.

In making the affirmations, our best attitude toward the old beliefs is that of relaxation; as if we were not holding them in thought at all; as if we had nothing to do with them, and were not concerned about them.

It is very difficult to ignore the old beliefs at first, but it can be done after it has been practiced awhile. Every time your thought would touch them, abstract it, as if there was nothing in that direction worthy of your attention. Don't fight the old beliefs; don't assume a position of antagonism against them; to do this would be to recognize them; to recognize them would be to hold them in your mind; to hold them in your mind is to hold them in your body, for body and mind are one.

There is a great deal of talk about practicing a certain kind of breathing. There is a peculiar kind of breathing that comes with the creative thought; but when one comes into the proper thought the breathing comes too. To imitate this style of breathing is an easy thing to do, but to do it does not bring the right thought, and is of no consequence whatever in the new growth we are formulating. The right effort is purely of the intellect; it is an effort to comprehend certain high truths that bring us in unison with the Law of Life; in proportion as we come in unison with the Law we come into the universal or "divine breath." But to counterfeit the divine breath, which any one can be taught to do, does not bring us into an understanding of the Law, and does not lift us one particle along the road of deathless progression that we are seeking.

I suppose even the most casual observer has noticed that certain states of thought and feeling affect the breathing. But if anyone will think a moment he will know that it was the thought and feeling that produced the unusual breathing, and not the unusual breathing that produced the thought and feeling.

To watch every breath 'you draw would be a very foolish thing to do. But to think with concentration, to bring forth new truth from out our organizations through our power to abstract thought from our surroundings, and focus it upon some object under investigation—this is an effort towards real growth; and then when our intellectual light has become strong enough to establish us in the great fact of man's creativeness, and we begin to affirm ourselves to be just what our highest ideal prompts, then there comes a breathing very noticeably different from the ordinary breathing. But if at such a time we drop the intellectual effort and concentrate our attention upon the breathing, in a moment the spell is broken for the time being.

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Helen Wilmans

  • Born in 1831 and died in 1907
  • Studied under Emma Curtis Hopkins
  • Was a journalist and author
  • Was active in the Mental Science Movement
  • Was charged with postal fraud for healing through mail. Fighting this charged caused her lose most of her fortune.
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