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The Substantiality of Thought

You cannot tell me, neither can I give you the component parts of thought, or explain its action except by its effect. But I do know that thought produces an effect as surely and as unerringly as electricity or magnetism, which is equally as invisible to the naked eye as is thought. Indeed, the fact is already demonstrated that thought is infinitely more powerful as an agent than electricity. What is more, it is an intelligent agent, which electricity is not; and to me it does not appear a wild idea to suppose that the time will come when thought will supersede electricity as a motor power, just as electricity has superseded steam. This idea may seem like pure insanity to the reader, but it is hardly sixty years since the idea that electricity would take the place of steam seemed like insanity to our grandparents.

Thought transference is a common theme of discussion nowadays; even as slow a coach as the public press begins to be exercised about it.

If your attention has not been called to it, you may not have noticed it; but to those whose interest has been awakened, and who are perhaps a little on the watch, it would almost seem as if everybody had suddenly discovered that he was a member of a committee specially appointed to investigate and report instances, going to prove the frequent occurrence of the transmission of thought messages between people long distances apart. And now that your attention is called to it, I venture to believe that you will yourself find evidence within a week of the fact that the transference of thought, of ideas from yourselves to others, and from others to yourself, is of daily occurrence.

How often do you hear people in reply to some remark made by another say, "I was just on the point of making that same remark myself!'' How often have you thought of some person of whom you had not heard or thought for years, and have had that person spoken of almost at the same time by another person; or perhaps the person himself whom your memory had recalled would be near at hand and hastening to your presence.

His thoughts had reached you before he did.

And what do such things prove? Simply that thought is as capable of producing an effect as electricity, or magnetism, or drugs, all of which are in use for the healing of the body by the recognized schools of therapeutics.

And if thought can affect the body, which is corporeal, why not other equally dense substances?

Do not certain drugs possess certain chemical properties? What is the effect of the mingling in solution of an acid and an alkali?

You perhaps feel inclined to smile at the implication that thought substance may have the effect of an acid or an alkali; but did you never come into the presence of a person whom you temporarily felt to be an acid while you were an alkali?

I tell you that thought is as much a substance as any drug; and when backed by a human will, gifted with an understanding of the Law, it is as much more powerful than drugs as it is finer, higher, more closely related to the vital power.

Ignorant of his own power, faithless with regard to his right of present dominion, man abrogates his authority and descends to the plane of animalhood in his contentions with animals and with the grosser forms of nature, when he could and should assert his power as a superior by virtue of his nearer approach to godhood.

But, someone may ask, "Do you, or do Mental Scientists claim to exercise the power to affect dead matter? Can you indeed say to the mountain, 'Be thou removed and cast into the sea,' and will it be done?"

We claim nothing but what we can prove by the force of reason and logic.

Do you suppose the king who from his birth had denied his kingship, asserting that not he, but another, was rightfully entitled to rule, will be recognized and obeyed by all the moment he is ready to proclaim his rightful sovereignty?

Since the race had birth, countless ages ago, men have refused to ascend the throne and wield dominion in their proper personalities, their true selves; and they have publicly by word and act, proclaimed themselves the thralls of circumstances and conditions; bound slaves to coarser, cruder, less perfect creatures than they themselves are.

They do so still.

Is it fair, then, is it reasonable to expect that when only a few thousands have come so recently into partial knowledge of their heirship, that all men and all things else will acknowledge their claim and obey their commands?

Yet who was it that said, "If ye have faith even as a grain of mustard seed you shall say to the mountain, 'be thou removed and cast into the sea, and it will be done?'" Oh! friends, there is no soul in existence who even dreams, in the wildest flights of his imagination, of the power that is vested in man. For man is the seed germ of all possible development; and every bit of new wisdom that he acquires gives him added power over all things in the external world. As his power to accrete wisdom is not limited, so neither is his power over external nature limited. Thus he conquers his surroundings by widening the realm of his own thought sphere, by making the most of his own intellect and by believing more and more in himself.

But to go back a moment to the power of thought in its influence upon others, and also in reference to its being a substance. The very air is full of thoughts, or beliefs, of various characters, and men breathe them into themselves unless fortified by a high knowledge of the power vested in their own individuality, to control all objects negative to themselves. These thoughts and beliefs are legion.

Go into a forest on an autumn morning, just after the sun has risen and melted the first frost from the leaves of the beech and maple and oak trees, and when the fresh morning breeze is stirring the branches, the fallen leaves shall not be thicker about you than are the thought forms that meet you in the village street on your return, or of as many shapes and colors.

And of these, many shall pass you by, or fall unheeded at your feet; others will touch but lightly your own lightest thought; while others shall mingle with your own well-spring of ideas, so as to seem, and really become, a part of its overflowing motive power to action.

To ignorance all things, the cause of which is not clear to the understanding, are miracles. To the intelligence of the Nineteenth century there is nothing outside of Law, hence no miracles in the common meaning of the word.

Bead by the light of an understanding of the Law the statement that Jesus went to a place where he could do no mighty works, because of the people's unbelief, is that the very air was permeated with doubts; so much so that he was met by a sea of adverse thoughts, and could not do the things which he had found it easy to do where there was more faith and less opposition in the mental world—the world of first cause, the world of creativeness.

One strong in the faith based on a fuller knowledge of the Law may heal the sick, may do much even against the unbelief of those about him; he may do more with those who put forth no opposing force, but until all men cease to deny the kingship of the real man, the rightful ruler, the mental man, the will man, there will be opposition and doubt to face and conquer. This will, of course, diminish in force as time proceeds and intelligence spreads, and every year will make a difference in this respect in favor of the growths of new truth.

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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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