I swear there is nothing but immortality. That the exquisite scheme is for it, and the nebulous float is for it, and the cohering is for it! And all preparation is for it, and identity is for it, and life and materials are altogether for it!
— Walt Whitman
Iwish you would read this quotation at the beginning of this lesson over several times carefully. Get out of it all that you possibly can. It contains the whole. The thought I will make most prominent in this talk is that all “preparation is for it.” A good cook first attends to the fire, so that her oven will be in readiness at the right time. She then gets her different ingredients on the table, before she begins putting things together. She has reached out on various lines, and brought in the right quantity of everything. Then she begins to mix them in their proper order. We begin consciously to prepare ourselves for a larger life. We reach out in various directions, drawing to ourselves the needed help. It must not be on one or two lines only if we wish to become rounded out and symmetrical. Do not fear but that you will find good on the different lines, if that is the thing for which you are looking. This does not mean to be carried away by every fad. Quite the contrary.
Select wisely, appropriating only that which can be of real use to you. For what is of great help to one may not be to another. And this brings me to one point of preparation which is considered helpful to us in getting a larger realization of life, in making us happy and well, — a form of affirmations. Why do we make them? We have in the past made them over and over again on the negative or personal side, and we see the result. Now we argue that affirmations made on the positive or individual side will counteract and bring a balance. This is all true; but affirmations may become mere parrot-talk, simply a repetition of words that mean absolutely nothing to the person who repeats them. There are so many stilted phrases given to patients, and it is impossible for them to get any realization from them. All that an affirmation can do is to help you to get a larger realization. After you have the realization, you do not make the affirmation any more than you would insist on affirming that you are a white man or a white woman. There is no necessity for it when you know it. Make your own affirmations, wording them so that they are a help to yourself.
I remember, after I had been treated for several months, I got up one morning, and said to myself, “I am a Law unto myself.” I said it over and over again. It was a great discovery. I said: “I will extend this Law. I have lived in a limited condition long enough.” I began from that hour to live that affirmation, and I have kept right at it for seven years. Don't think that you must have a new affirmation for every difficulty. Another affirmation that is helpful to me is, “I am a Soul.” Another: “I am not bound by any past. I am not limited by any future. I am now and forever eternally free.*' Repeat your affirmations with confidence, knowing that they are a truth. Sit quietly two or three times a day for five or ten minutes; and, as you say them, try to realize all that they mean. Take one at a time, and realize and live it. You will find your fears growing less and less, and that you are controlling your body and surroundings as never before. You derive no benefit from simply affirming, without making an effort to live it. True affirmation is living. Build yourself a new body, and bring to yourself harmonious conditions in this way. It can be done. Prove it to yourself.