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Thought as a Force Has Scarcely Been Tested: It is Only Now Beginning to be Believed in: Its Power is Something Not Dreamed of at This Time

I have spoken of the connection between the brain and the body by means of the nerves. When the brain comes to the conclusion that such and such things are possible, such as walking through fire unharmed, the nerves carry this conclusion to every part of the body, and the body being negative to the brain (less intelligent) accepts it as true. And it is true. It is true because the brain creates. Every statement of the brain is a creation. In the realm of mind, and there is no other realm, for all is mind, it is a perfectly reasonable conclusion that the statements of the brain create, and that nothing can successfully stand against them.

Man has thought himself up from the primordial life cell; that cell that is a seed germ; the first faint expression of the Principle of Attraction.

He has come up from his earliest beginning all the way by thought. In every upward step in evolution he has known more than he previously knew. He has had a larger range of experiences, all of which are recorded in his brain and impressed upon his body by the brain's messengers, the nerves. His body has refined and strengthened continually because he kept gaining more knowledge, which to the mental creature is power.

Knowledge gives the only power there is. I think everyone will admit this. Then, if man is all mind or intelligence or brain—stuff that thinks—it must be that with every bit of added knowledge he becomes a greater creature. It is because man is a mental creature that his growth proceeds by the acquisition of knowledge. A man made of dead matter, such as God is said to have made, could only have increased in strength and size by the addition of more dead matter. But the mental man, every atom of whom is a spark of pure intelligence, susceptible to infinite development through his constantly growing experiences, is a different creature. He is alive all over. He created himself through his power to think; he did this on the unconscious plane where he was always thinking, though without observing the trend or character of his thought, until he has brought himself up from the first life cell to his present state of development. Think of what this means. If man has reached his present state of development by thought, and if every atom of his body is involved in his power to think, thus proving that he is a purely mental creature, then it shows forth clearly that he is in his own hands. He was not made; he unfolded out of himself by the power of thought inherent in him and in all things. He has now reached a certain stage in his unfoldment, and has stopped because his thought tells him that men die at "three-score years and ten," or thereabouts. Man believes he must die because all his predecessors—so far as he knows—have died. He does not consider the facts in the case, and cannot consider them so long as he is ignorant of them.

He does not know that, being a purely mental creature, he has built himself up from his far-away beginning by a mental process, namely, the acquisition of more and more knowledge continually. If he really knew this, he would see that he had always been in his own hands, even when he was in much lower grades of belief than at present—grades of belief that showed him forth in vegetable and animal forms. And if he has been in his own hands in these extremely low conditions, and even then had the self-building power that pushed forth to constant unfoldment, what has deprived him of the power?

Surely, nothing has deprived him of it. It is as strong in him now as it ever has been; the only trouble is that he has not known it.

The science of mind unfoldment, the beginning of which this book is endeavoring to make clear, will show him how to use this power in his farther conquests through life. This book is written with no other purpose than to show thinkers the possibility of conquering death. Life is now much more precious than it has ever been, much more enjoyable, much more alive. Every year discloses more and more of the vital principle. We traveled by stage coach once; now by steam car; presently we will go through the air, and even then we will be dissatisfied and will keep on exploring the elements for other means of propulsion for our inventions. For we stop absolutely nowhere; there is no stop to us. The idea that we must die and leave the world undeveloped, when we want to be here and have a hand in its development, is absurd. We are not dead enough at this time to accept such a possibility.

We are in an age of the aggregation of enormous fortunes; and even after surrounding ourselves with all the luxuries the genius of man can suggest, there are millions of money left over uninvested. And in what shall this money be invested? In something that will add to our happiness.

Yes, but we die; and so far as we know, the thing ends there. At all events, whether it ends there or not, the strand of our efforts is broken; and this is not what we desire. We can scarcely find a man or woman so old and decrepit that he or she does not still cling to life. Pain, disease, poverty are all acceptable before death, even with the glittering chance of the Christian's heaven on the other side.

What in the name of all that is true does this mean?

It means that the world is here for men to live in. The idea that it is not worth trying to do anything with is passing away. Look at the inventions that have been constructed out of its resources; and here are men, physical scientists, who tell us that we have scarcely reached the outward verge of these resources; and again there are those who tell us they are endless.

Thought as a force has scarcely been tested at all. It is only now beginning to be believed in; its power is something not dreamed of at this time.

One thing certain—it is thought expressed in and through the body, by means of the nerves leading from the brain, that has lifted life from its lowest to its present high plane. Such a force as this need not, and will not, stop where it is.

Thought is not only the greatest of all forces, but is what no other force is; it is an intelligent force. It is not propelling an engine on a track; it is doing work that is a thousand times greater; it is bringing forth the Law or Attraction into externals, and thereby increasing life and decreasing death.

I have observed for a long time that as I acquired more knowledge of the latent resources of nature, or as I let my imagination dwell on them, so that wonderful possibilities not yet actualized appeared within the range of my intellectual vision, my body would grow stronger. I would seem to go up a step higher in my power over the negatives of life, so that my treatment of the patients who applied to me for cure was more effective, and cured more rapidly. My power to speak the word for the greatness, the undying potency of life, was stronger.

And what assurance of endless development toward happiness and freedom from the thousand disagreeables of life this gradual growth of power indicates! How can anyone be timid or fearful, or apprehensive of fate or luck or circumstance, who feels within himself that this strange power of overcoming obstacles is increasing constantly? I tell you this is mastery; and its meaning is endless conquest. It means freedom. And oh, what a meaning this is! I think that the single word "freedom" embraces every hope and aspiration the human heart can feel.

When I was a child I heard grown-up people talk of the happiness of childhood; but I knew that I was not happy. I could not do as I pleased; I was not free; the control of my parents galled me constantly. I thought I should be happy when I got to be a woman; but when I grew to that estate I found more bonds still. And it is a fact that my bonds increased constantly with the years until I came into the freedom of that greatest of all truths, namely, all is mind; and that, therefore, progression is a mental movement; and the liberation from bonds is the liberation from ignorance; in consequence of which all one has to do—in order to achieve freedom—is to emancipate himself from the deeply seated race beliefs that hold the world in chains, and to use his intellect in prospecting for new truth.

To answer for one's self—independently of the opinions of others—the questions that arise in one's mind, is the path by which all freedom if attained.

And freedom means nothing less than life; life in the fullest and completest sense; life in absolute exemption from every shade of fear and anxiety.

To be afraid of anything, to dread any event the future may hold for you, is to be enslaved; is to be held in bonds that gall; is to be unhappy and wretched and sick. To be afraid of anything or to dread anything argues ignorance on our part; for ignorance is the matter of fear, and fear is the one tyrant; the one and only enslaver of men.

And yet men will not seek answers to their own questions; they will not gratify the bristling curiosity of their ever searching minds. They content themselves with shirking these questions, or answering them by platitudes handed down through a hundred generations of unthought. We consider it cruel to stifle the breath of a young creature at its birth; it seems an awful thing to cut off life in its budding source; but we do not dream how cruel it is to cut off the tendrils of the growing mind as they reach forward in the spirit of longing inquiry.

And yet this is murder no less than in the former case; and it may be murder in a much higher degree; murder that is more far-reaching in its stultifying effects upon the growth of the people.

I begin to regard a mental question as a sacred thing; a thing that must not be ignored; a thing that must be cherished, held fast and never lost sight of until the answer to it comes. How often have I said that the question and answer were only the two poles of the same thing! The question is simply the forerunner of the answer, and the growing mind that projects the question holds in latency the power that answers it.

These mental questionings are sign manuals of growth. They are to be, held quietly in the thought until the thought answers them. Do not refer them to your preacher or your doctor, and do not hunt their solution in books, but simply wait in faith, knowing that the answer will soon be born out of your own organization. The answers to your mental questionings that you get from other people are not your answers. They may be correct, but they are not yours; your answers, when evolved out of yourself, will become a part of your body; they will actually take the form of flesh and blood and be a portion of your visible existence.

I would not give a cent for any truth that does not build my body into greater strength, harmony, beauty, endurance and power. I use the thoughts of other people and their writings as stimulants only to the questioning capacity of my own mind.

Every day I want my mind to suggest more questions. Very few things pass unnoticed by the mind that is put in train for true growth; every little thing and every trifling event have their hidden cause which the growing mind questions, and whose answers add to its caliber. For a man is a purely mental creature, and he grows by stimulating his intellect to ask questions, which his intellect also answers.

It does me very little good to read a book that is in consonance with my own opinions; but a book that disagrees with me in many particulars is a source of interest and growth to me. There is greater stimulus to the mind in a line of argument that carries you out of your own peculiar beliefs and methods than in one that agrees with you. Only observe closely what you read, and what you hear and see, and your mind will find food in everything.

I find a great amount of mental apathy among the people. This condition is deadly; get out of it by all means. One had better center his intellect on the veriest trifles than to feel that his interest in all things is on the wane. The cause of this mental apathy is apparent enough. It is the result of ages spent in farming out our thinking. We pay the preachers and lawyers and doctors to think for us. We even pay gardeners and artists to find out for us what is beautiful and what is not. And see how utterly dependent we are upon the opinions of others for every conceivable thing; we consult the fashion magazines when we have a dress to make, and we observe closely just how the trimming on hats is worn when we contemplate the purchase of a new one. We scarcely know how to express an idea on a new book until we have read what the critics say of it.

We will not do our own thinking, and we do not dream of what we miss by this neglect. To think is to live. Thought is life and builds itself in the body as a constantly increasing vital power. It is the power whose increase is pledged to banish disease, poverty, old age and death.

It is necessary that we should form the habit of thinking. It is essential to our healthy and prolonged existence that we should do it. Go to work and learn how to think; take some subject and examine it mentally on all sides, and form conclusions of your own about it. This will be the beginning of the growth of your reasoning powers, and if you keep it up for even a month you will be stronger—not only mentally, but physically. Do you know why? It is because body and mind are one, and you cannot strengthen one without strengthening the other. And there is nothing but your lack of faith to prevent this strengthening from going on until disease and old age and death are beneath your feet.

Studying man from the standpoint of evolution, we cannot find a stopping place for him. He is made of mental stuff, and he generates more and finer mental stuff; namely, thought. And with this thought—self-evolved—he can do anything he wants to do.

What is to prevent him from going on in self-creation until he becomes absolute master of his body and his surroundings? Nothing but his inherited belief in his own limitation; a belief which he holds in common with the rest of the race in its present plane of development. As he created himself, there is no one who can limit his further creation except himself. He can do it by his ignorance of the mighty fact that he is a seed germ of unending growth. Because men are dead intellectually to this great truth is the reason their bodies die. Moreover, in proportion as the race is dead to this truth, just in that proportion does it show forth disease and old age.

Being haunted by these thoughts for many years, and feeling great discontent with even the ultimate of race progress as expressed in our institutions and society generally, I conceived the idea that there was something better in life than anyone had ever found. I had long believed that happiness was not only a legitimate pursuit, but by far the highest pursuit of a human being; and my thoughts of happiness did not point to a heaven after this life was spent, but to happiness here on earth, and now.

Having made man the great study of my life, I had come to believe in him. He assumed vast proportions in my sight. I looked at him from every point of view and felt that the noblest part of him, and by far the largest part, had been entirely overlooked in his estimate of himself. That part was his imagination.

And what is the imagination? It is a portion of man's mentality so full of vivid and glorious prospects of what might be that his ordinary brain cannot credit it. It is that region of the mind which holds in latency the power of his redemption from every bond that clogs his footsteps at this time. It holds the promise of his release from disease, old age and death. It gives him the assurance of his power to live here as long as he wishes—not in age and decrepitude, but in constantly replenished youth, vigor and beauty, and to build the earth into a paradise fit for the gods, such as he will become simply through a knowledge of his own limitless capacity, and the self-trust which develops it.

The imagination is as much a part of man as that portion of his mentality which he is now expressing in everyday use. What does it mean? Is there anything that means nothing? Only the unperceiving dullard will say so. To me the imagination is the forerunner of higher development than any person has yet believed in. It has been said that the imagination is full of idle wishes. Ah! but wishes are not idle. They are promoters to investigation, and stimulants to action in unexplored realms of thought.

Long ago I knew that every wish is the sure prophecy of its own fulfillment, provided the intelligence will hold faithfully to a belief in it. Everything the heart desires will come, if one is only true to it long enough. What does this prove?

Simply that man is his own creator, as I have already stated so many times, and that the method of his creation is to trust his desires long enough for them to become fixed in organic form.

The imagination is the intrepid advance courier of individual progress; it is that stirring in the bulb which heralds the coming of the lily. But it will die, and its hopes will die, unless the practical everyday intellect now in use recognizes it at something near its worth. And as long as its neglect continues, the human lily will not advance beyond the bulb—which is its present condition—and man will perish in the beginnings of his existence, and will not reach the blossoming of his glorious promise.

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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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