The Light of Reason
Founded by James Allen, 1902
Editor Mrs. James Allen
Vol. XX. May 1918 No. 5
—Isa. xiv. 24.
Or grasp the ocean in my span,
I must be measured by my soul;
The mind’s the standard of the man."
It is only very recently that the creative power of the mind has at all been recognized by the people, and perhaps only within the last half-century has it been written about in such a way as to awaken an interest in its vast importance. It is true that the thinkers and philosophers of all time have known the power of mind over matter, but the religious teachers have either failed to preach it, or have not themselves realized it, and doubtless many who did know the creative power of the mind deemed it not wise to give out the teaching broadcast as the people were not sufficiently evolved to use it wisely. As most of my readers are doubtless aware, it is the primary teaching of the New Thought Movement. It was Emerson,—the Prophet of the New Thought—who first wrote on this important subject for the people, and in his Essays and lectures made it so plain that he who runs may read. Prentice Mulford also, in what is called the White Cross Library, did much to enlighten the public on the subject. It was not a new idea when these men wrote their immortal books, just as the so-called New Thought teaching is not new. The truth that Emerson brought to light in his Essays was as old as Eternity, if I may use such an expression, and the New Thought teaching is only called new inasmuch as it is a new revelation of Divine Truth to a people now sufficiently evolved to use it wisely. As the mind of man slowly evolves through the ages, truth is presented to him in clearer and clearer language through selected channels chosen by the Master to carry the light to awakening mind. The priests, that is those who were priests indeed were always aware of the creative power of the mind, as also were the ancient philosophers. In the Book of Proverbs we have that well known word of truth,—
"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he,"
and perhaps it will be helpful to my readers to quote from other ancient books bearing on the same aspect of Truth. Here are a few I have come across in my readings.
That maketh wretch or happy, rich or poor.
—Titus Maccius Plautus
Enough for the present to show that this great truth is not new in any sense of the word, it is only new to the people. It was taught ages ago in India, and right throughout the Hindu and Buddhist Scriptures you will find it expressed in the plainest language. It is no "new thought" to the students of the Veda—the ancient sacred literature of the Hindus. So it is no new thing when we say that man is the creator of his own world—his destiny, by the power of his own thought, even down to the smallest detail of his life.
I find that there is a general idea among all classes of thinkers and writers that a great change took place in the world during the closing years of the last century. I have talked with those who say that in 1874 the Gospel Age came to an end, and the First Resurrection took place, the Saints arising to meet our Lord in the air. (Rev. v. 6). That then began the "time of trouble" spoken of by Daniel (Daniel xii. 1) and again by our Lord (Matt. xxiv. 21) and referred to in Rev. xvi, 18. And indeed one cannot help but believe, in the light of present day happenings, that they have very much to build their convictions upon. I know that our James Allen believed that a new Cycle commenced about 1874, bringing to the world a new order of things, and he held that from that time the Cosmic Light would be perceived and entered into by an ever increasing number of those who watched for Truth and Righteousness. In a book on Occultism written in 1902 I find this statement,—
"According to the Occultist's estimate the first half of the cycle on this planet was reached in 1898; at that time the childhood of the race ended. Before that the evolutionary law provided for its children, but since that date the Cosmic Consciousness has been gradually relaxing its effort, and henceforth each individual must rely upon his own strength and knowledge for his success in life. This gives each man an opportunity to develop his best qualities."
The difference in the dates is quite immaterial as always there must be an over-lapping as one dispensation or cycle in passing merges into or impinges upon another. It is quite feasible to think that a cycle would begin to end in (or about) 1874 and complete its over-lapping of the incoming cycle in 1898. Evolution is always gradual; it never works through sudden changes or by fits and starts.
That a great Cosmic change took place about those dates, there cannot be the slightest doubt, and we must not wonder that different schools of thought interpret it in different ways. That we should hold different interpretations of it matters very little, but it would matter very much, and does matter very much that countless people, and many religious communities, seem unaware of any important spiritual changes taking place, and go on year after year satisfied with the old order of things, leaving the Watch Tower without the watchman neglected and forgotten. The trumpet is not blown in the street, and the people are not warned. Verily, He shall come as a thief in the night.
As I said before, one Truth that has come to light as a result of the changes that have certainly taken place is that Man is his own creator, the maker of his own life and destiny. There are today many schools, churches, and societies teaching this Truth, and in all parts of the world men and women have made it a subject of countless books, sermons and lectures. It is the dispensation of the Power of Thought.
Daniel Webster said "Mind is the great leveler of all things. Human thought is the process by which human ends are alternately answered." And Seneca said,—"lt is the mind that makes rich and happy, in what condition soever we are, and money signifies no more to its than it does to the gods." These men were before their time, so the peoples took little or no heed to their message, but now the time has come when they must take heed for it is the fullness of the time for the teaching, and no one who wishes to know Life in all its beauty and blessedness can afford to pass by unheeding.
Let us take some of the ordinary things of life and examine them and we shall find how this law works. Probably we have never asked why men and women form themselves into cliques and classes. Take any community, either a town or a village, and notice how the people divide themselves up into circles with strong lines of demarcation between each. And how jealously these lines are guarded too! Here we have no accident, no idle caprice, for it is the Law of Attraction—it is mind meeting mind; it is like attracting like. Men and women are always surrounded by those who are most in harmony with their thoughts. Have you noticed how this is always the case in a Hydro, Hotel, Club or Convalescent Home—indeed any place where large numbers of men and women are congregated together. In a very few days you will find they have divided themselves, or have been divided, up into small companies, and if you are sufficiently acquainted with them you will find that never by any chance will you find Mr. A. with Mr. B., or Mr. X. with Mr. Q., simply because Mr. A’s. thoughts are so unlike Mr. B's. thoughts, there can be no fellowship between them; and Mr. X. is interested in those things that have no part nor lot in the thoughts of Mr. Q. So, by the character of our thinking, or the power of our own thoughts, our associations and friendships are formed. We blindly imagine at times that we choose our own friends. That is true only in so far as we choose our own thoughts, for the one is the outcome of the other. Thought and thought alone is the cause of all such attractions and repulsions. The old saw that "a man is known by the company he keeps" is perfectly true and is based on law.
Hitherto this truth has not been taught, but now it must be taught for the time is ripe. The time is not far distant when all men and women will know that every part of their lives, good, bad, and indifferent is the outcome of their thoughts. One writer has declared that even the condition of our health is a placard open to everyone who passes by to read the state of our minds and character, and that the time will come when we shall be ashamed of illness, and to be sick will be looked upon as a disgrace. In those days he says men will not say "I have a headache," but will confess "I have eaten too much," or "I have been drinking too much," or "I have been angry, or selfish, or proud, or self-indulgent," &c., &c., thus going back to causes and not harping on effects. Do you remember the words of Macbeth,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow;
Rase out the written troubles of the brain;
And, with some sweet oblivious antidote,
Cleanse the foul bosom of the perilous stuff,
That weighs upon the heart?
Shakespeare knew that the roots of all trouble and disease are in the mind.
The time has gone by when men could glibly preach and speak about their adverse circumstances, unhappy environment, and diseased bodies being the will of God. We know better today. And this is the New Thought Message, that man is the maker of his own circumstances by the power of his own thinking. Our environment is the outcome of our thoughts and is neither the result of chance nor the ruling of Providence. May I quote again?
We cannot escape the Law that "whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap."
Environment is but our looking glass."
lf any who read these words think that they have the power to think impure thoughts, and to constantly dwell in unclean imaginations, and yet walk in fellowship and friendship with the pure and good, they are greatly deluded, for the Law of Attraction—that creative faculty of the mind from which it is impossible to escape, will sooner or later draw to the thinker those who are in harmony with his or her thoughts. Men and women have at times tried to evade this law, they have "thought in secret" one way but have spoken and acted in another way, thinking thereby to deceive those whom they have wished for various reasons to associate with. But as well try to keep back Niagara, for the force of the law governing the one is just as strong as the law governing the other. "There is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed," and if you would not be known to think a thing—don’t think it. If you would not be known to say a thing—don’t say it. If you would not be known to do a thing—don’t do it. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY!
Draws different threads, and late or soon
Spins, toiling out his own cocoon.
Thought in the mine may come forth gold or dross;
When coin’d in words, we know its real worth.
It is madness to suppose for one moment that it pays to pretend to be what we are not, or to imagine that it is possible to hide one's real thought, which is always the foundation of our character and destiny. And character and destiny are open books for all to read.
Our thoughts are the gods with whom we dwell.
Henry Wood says, —
"Every living form is an external index of some kind of mind. In every detail it is a result and never a cause. For instance, the tiger-mind picks up material, and moulds it in every particular to express exactly the mental propensities and characteristics of that animal. Feline cunning ferocity, strength and adaptation to environment are all mental qualities. Body is passive material, being only acted upon.
The life (or even here we may say the mind) of the beech-tree gathers up matter and erects it into a shape, but never makes a mistake regarding the exact form of visible expression. The grain of the wood, bark, every branch twig and leaf, all articulate beech, and nothing else.
The human mind, or life, erects its own animate form with exactitude, though the identical material may have been used for other grades of mind a hundred times before."
So in this life we ever "go to our own place," and "dwell with our own gods." We are not at home elsewhere.
Man should not be controlled by his physical body, but should control it by the power of his mind. Man need not be the victim of circumstances, and will not be when he realizes the power of right thinking.
Man should not be the slave of environment, and will not be when he has learned how to use the creative faculties of his mind.
A base mind makes a base life.
An empty mind results in an empty life.
A cruel mind creates a life of suffering for itself, here, or hereafter.
A kind, sympathetic, and compassionate mind creates a happy, blessed and prosperous life.
A beautiful mind makes a beautiful life.
Why, think you, did the Apostle Paul admonish us to think on all that was true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of virtue, and of praise? Because he knew the force of the Law of Mind operating in the thoughts of each one, bringing ever into the life all things in accordance with, in exact measurement to, the thought.
Mental causation is always primary.
I believe it is possible to habitually think in a given direction (at first by the choice of the thinker, who is absolutely free to choose his own thoughts), but after a time I also believe it is possible to be caught up by streams of thought in harmony with our own, and so to be borne away on an irresistible tide of mental influences. When this happens to the thinkers of low and unclean thoughts how horrible is their condition! It is too awful to contemplate! There was a time when they might have controlled their thoughts; when they might have turned the creative forces of the mind into pure, beautiful, and constructive thinking. But they went too far; they put off the cleansing and controlling of the mind too long, and were at last caught in the whirlpool of some terrible mental force, and their downward career was swift and terrible.
We do not realize the terrific power of mind-force.
Charles Brodie Patterson said in one of his books, —
"Let us consider the law of attraction. When we form certain habits and continue them until they become thoroughly established in mind, we have, through the power of thought, related ourselves to all people thinking and doing similar things. Such people are now, in very truth, our relatives. The effect of this relationship is, that even when we try to give up these habits the impulse to continue is strong, almost unbreakable. This impulse is the power of other minds that we have thus related to us acting upon our minds."
But if there are currents of thought forces for evil, so also are there currents of thought forces for good, and none of us can possibly know how much we are helped by the thoughts of others. To that thinker whose mind is centered in the highest ideals, that dwells on the purest and noblest imaginations, that is ever striving to reach the loftiest virtues—to that mind will be drawn those currents of mind—stuff that are in sympathetic vibrations with his own, and he will be caught up and carried along by those blessed and beautiful influences which he himself has attracted.
No man liveth unto himself.
We are all bound in the bundle of life, and attract those forces which are in harmony with our thoughts. And herein is great encouragement for the lonely seeker after the Ideal. Though you may be far away from those whose thoughts are like your thoughts, and though you may be surrounded by those whose thought are not as your thoughts, have no fear, for ten thousand may think evil around you, but you can never be caught in the current of their thoughts, for they are outside your sphere and therefore powerless to harm you. But your own beautiful aspiring thoughts will wing their way to others who think with you, opening up a channel of communication between you, though you may be many miles apart, and their thoughts will wing their way back to you, for Thought is omnipresent and defies all time and space.
Strike through a finer element of her own?
As I write, sitting by my study fire this Good Friday night, my thoughts go out to the battle fields of Europe where so many dear ones are striving against great temptations, lonely and isolated. But in my heart is a deep thanksgiving to know that my thoughts reach them; that a part of my spirit—my very self—is able to go to them swiftly and surely on the wings of strong love, and reaching them, must bless and help them. Oh, dear ones, striving daily to think the thoughts of God after Him, you are never alone, for hearts in tune with yours are ever with you, and invisible hands are stretched out to clasp your hands, and you are one of an innumerable company whose citizenship is in heaven. Therefore take heart, be strong, and of a good courage, wearing, even unto death, the "white flower of a blameless life," "before a thousand peering littlenesses."
And is it not a beautiful and inspiring thing to know that Thought is free! Men may take away our liberty; they may deprive us of free speech; they may compel us to do the thing we would not wish to do, but they can never make us think as they will.
God has given to every man the divine right to control his own thoughts, and neither man nor woman, devil, angel or god can compel him to think other thoughts than those he wills to think.
Thought is the gate of heaven, or the gate of hell, which ever we will. Our thoughts are the gods with whom we dwell!
Of deathless spirits; nor eternity
Serves sordid Time, that withers all things rare.
Not love but lawless impulse is desire
That slays the soul; our love makes still more fair
Our friends on earth, fairer in death on high.
—From Celestial Love by Michelangelo (Sonnet)