Everything we see has a language.
"There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification."
We have many voices in ourselves. Each impulse, sense, and faculty, each nature in our composite being, has its voice. And everything which belongs to Nature has its voice, not audible like our own, and yet a voice that speaks to us in its own language.
The language of Nature is suggestion. We hear its voice, its mute speech, and are misled by it, not, at first, understanding its language. But when we come to understand it we are no longer misled, we are helped by it. We become able to see the grand unity in Nature, our ordained relation to it, and that ultimate result which is her and our crowning glory.
Experiments with suggestion, with hypnotic phenomena, have proved that most people are susceptible to what is called a hypnotic influence. Experiment has passed the stage of ridicule and reached the stage of examination. For some, its results are indicative of a field of research which may or may not yield results worth the effort to obtain them. For others they indicate a truth back of a vast array of facts, which holds the facts together, and incites a desire to find and know that truth.
Let us agree that this truth is worth finding and possessing, and then make effort together to that end.
What are you?
According to the mute language of natural suggestion, you are that flesh and blood thing which you see.
According to this language the figure is the number to the boy who is beginning to know, and who, some day, consequently, will know all. It speaks to him with its own voice, as that which is visible to, and which makes an impression upon him.
Hearing this mute assertion, receiving from the plane of object this sense-impression, you in your turn suggest—" This is I." Your own natural suggestion has met and blended with Nature's mute suggestion and, practically—for it is so to you—the visible personal shape is you, yourself.
This natural suggestion of yours is unconscious, but it brings consequences, for the law of cause and effect constantly operates whether we are ignorant or wise. This sense-conclusion, this thought of yours, which is your suggestion responsive to the Nature-suggestion, is builded as the body, and for which Nature furnishes the pattern or shape.
And to you, the body is you, yourself, and will remain you as long as your own assent is given to this suggestion. Practically you are this body, living, enjoying and suffering in it, unable to see or feel that there is anything but it.
This suggestion of your own in answer to suggestion from objects is involuntary or natural. It is but response to the mute suggestion of Nature; for you stand before her great blackboard as the beginner in self-knowledge, and how can the beginner know the whole?
Because it is involuntary or natural, in one sense you are not responsible for its consequences. Yet in another sense, you are responsible, for if suggestion from within did not meet suggestion from without there would be no consequences. You are not to blame in the ethical sense, for you have yielded unconsciously to the spell of Nature; but there could be no spell nor its consequences had you not yielded.
Unconsciously you are self-hypnotized and are susceptible to still more suggestion while the spell lasts. Because you are “cast into a deep sleep" (Adam), because you are not awake to your own real being and its powers, you believe that other objects can harm you. The workings of Nature appear in dreadful guise, adding their suggestion, which meets response in you, to the ignorantly self-induced state which you call your mixed miserable and happy existence.
This hypnotic state is universal. We dream and suffer and enjoy alike. We are not awake to those grand realities that lie outside of this state. We are all fast asleep till, some time, a voice that penetrates this sleep rings in our ears calling "Awake thou that sleepest!"
In this naturally ignorant self-induced state—mortal-sense consciousness—by means of our experiences in it, another kind of self-consciousness is slowly growing. It is obscure, hidden, we do not realize it at first. We are living only in the outer, hardly conceiving that there is an inner life, an inner breathing of the soul.
But it goes on till this other soul, growing within the outer existence, is grown enough to add its voice to the rest; and some day we are startled at its call. Then has come the time when a great possibility is before us, the possibility of coming out of this hypnotic state and so out of its pain and suffering.
For then we become able to conceive another state, the state of freedom from these conditions; and within us is the power to help ourselves by voluntary suggestion.
Here is the parting of the ways, one that leads down to death and destruction, and one that leads up to life eternal and joy unspeakable.
Voluntary suggestion is the great power awaiting our command, a power which, used according to a higher than the natural ideal, will bring us to that ideal as our state of consciousness. This is use instead of being used, the difference between a servant and a master.
God and Nature furnish us the means for mastery of nature, but we have to find out how to use the means; and we gain this knowledge by finding out how not to use them; and we make this discovery through the consequence of our involuntary and ignorant yielding to the mute suggestion of objects—to sense-impression.
The action and reaction weave a spell, the soul is spellbound for a season, and only through experience does it first desire and then make effort to awake from the spell.
Have you learned this great truth from your study of the principles of the Science of Being, even if you have not yet learned it from existence itself?
Then put your knowledge into practice and use voluntary suggestion according to that real being which is yours now, even though you are not conscious of it.
Truth always waits for manifestation, but it will never be manifest till you suggest it to yourself.
How did you learn when you went to school? How did you get possession of the truth of mathematics? That truth was, is now, and ever will be; but how did it become your truth?
You said—you voluntarily suggested to yourself, again and again, “five times five are twenty-five;" and if you had not done this would you have become a mathematician? Was there any other way by which you could know and prove that waiting truth, but by speaking your word, first making your word the word?
Why not try that way now, if you wish to be rid of the nightmares that belong to the spell? No matter what your sense-impression, your feeling, you can say what you will. You can say you are free from suffering and are every whit whole, if you choose. You can voluntarily suggest this truth—for it is true of your being—to yourself, saying it again and again as you did your multiplication table.
Will this do any good? Well, you try it persistently for three months and see. Whatever your feeling, if it is discordant, unpleasant, painful, affirm—voluntarily suggest the opposite condition; and you are entering upon the way which eventually will make you the master of sense-impressions.
The strongest suggestion rules, and this affirmation is supported by truth itself for it is the word of truth. It is stronger than the word of sense-impression. This is the present seeming; the other is the eternal reality.
Try to see what a power and opportunity are yours, and set yourself to the doing of this work, the work of co-operation with the Great Design. Your use of voluntary suggestion will transform you into that which you declare; change you, the sense soul, into that realization of God-being which is the divine soul, and crown of Creation.
Here is where free will belongs. We are free to use or to be used. We are used by natural and involuntary suggestion for a time; but in that time there grows gradually in us the government that we must be more than flesh and blood; and as another self-idea, or ideal, dawns upon us, at once we become capable of choice, for now there are two self-ideas to choose between. When we become capable of choice, the rest lies with ourselves.
Remember that we are talking of the soul, not the being which is already complete. The soul grows, and from germ to maturity. Its growth to maturity depends upon voluntary suggestion of its true being. This is why we should see to it that we govern our thoughts, for every thought is a suggestion to our own soul. We perpetuate the Nature-spell, of we help to break it and cause it to vanish, by bringing the soul out of the natural into the spiritual.
As the soul awakens out of this deep sleep, as it is transformed, all seen as objective is transformed also. Not so much evil is seen because there is not so much to be seen. Objective nature is only a mirror in which is reflected the Soul. Its passive suggestion must be met with positive suggestion and the scenes in the mirror will change.
The Mount of Transfiguration is at hand for us, we can find and ascend it through voluntary use of Thought-Force. This is the creative energy, and it always produces according to our word.
How are you thinking? According to the Nature-spell, or according to your true being? Are you one of the commonly passive mass, or are you individualizing your soul? Will you continue to experience what belongs to this hereditary passivity, or will you realize your “heredity from God" by declaring it unto yourself as the beginning of that end?
"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."
Is your thought the general and passive, or the individual and positive?
To overcome does not mean to attack and demolish, but to come over, pass over what stands in the way. It means to go forward. "Speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward." Whatever the obstacle we can move forward, if we do not stop to do battle with the obstruction. We are always greater than it, and it has to give way if we move forward. We can move over it or under it, through or around it, some way, somehow.
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More Articles by This Author Ursula N. Gestefeld
- Born April 22, 1845 and died in 1921 (burried at Graceland Cemetery, Chicago).
- Involved in Christian Science
- Most famous work is The Woman Who Dares.