WE must not forget that the attributes of the mass are possessed by the atom (that is to say, each atom contains in itself everything to be found in the mass), and that every atom of brain matter or of thought is acting upon each neighboring atom in the same way that one brain will act upon another, and that this is going on indefinitely, so that every object throughout the cosmos is continually affecting the space surrounding it in various ways, its temperature (thought HAS a temperature, and to the sensitive this becomes at once apparent, whether hot, cold or normal, and it is my opinion that a machine will soon be made showing the thought temperatures of people), and its effects upon the surrounding space, with its magnetic or electric qualities, and in the case of thought with its spiritual, material, good and mistaken qualities.
It is because of the vastness of thought and its possibilities that the study of its laws is so interesting and so very complex. When a man makes a movement of his body, he at once alters the position of the ether, and sets up a stress or pressure; but when he thinks, he sets up a much more powerful stress; and when we consider the thinking which characterizes some minds, we can at once understand why they are like a rudderless boat in a stormy sea; they seem to be setting up all sorts of cross currents around them, and the result is a life of misery. When the organized thinker exercises mental power, he sets up an even stress, and, to use a simile, the wind only blows one way, and so this man is not literally devoured by his own conflicts. I do not think that any man would willingly attempt to make his life hell, when he can make it heaven to a very great extent. To show how deeply we are affected by the thoughts of others, consider a clever actress; she can play upon the feeling of her audience, move them to tears, horror, or laughter, just as she pleases, yet her mental state is only simulated; but for the time the greater number of that audience are really CONCENTRATING on the woman before them, and so are swayed by the emotions she depicts.
So I get my pupils to concentrate on what they love to begin with. That is why, as a general rule, people who take up the new thought can route poverty quicker than evil of the body. They are fairly used to sickness, etc., but they can never feel satisfied with the continual grind of poverty.
If you emit love, you will shake off that demon, hate; if you think only of success you will gain it; BUT if you give your heart to these things only you will succeed for a time only. Bear in mind that the voice of the Spirit must be obeyed also, and that before you can achieve earthly happiness you must be equally advanced in both spiritual and material things.
Man is mechanical, and his development to a certain plane is also mechanical, but after that the mind man holds full sway, and we can become just what our minds conceive, ordered only by such laws of nature as are part of our being, and intended for our general enfoldment. It is true, as mental science claims, that we can overcome evil and substitute good, but we can never be quite free from nature’s laws, and the very mistakes we make are prime factors in our mental development.
In the previous lessons we have been chiefly concerned with the projection of thought in a concentrated form, and passing on to the consideration of personal and creative magnetism, we will investigate the methods of concentrating our forces within.
That is to say, instead of projecting our thought outward to either convey a message, bring back an answer, or to attract certain affinities we desire from the infinite, we are now thinking of turning our thought forces inwards, and must contrive to do so in such a manner that no outward radiation takes place whatever.
I am assuming the student to be aware that all force comes from within, and that all spirit is also within; that I to say, there is no need to “prospect” outside the self. Within your own physical body are contained all your psychic forces, and also your spiritual body, whilst locked up in the memory of the past are all the teachings of spirit, all knowledge of life and so-called death, of love, of truth, of power, all that has ever been – you know it all; you have but to unlock the memory of past births and you will speedily find that before you is a store of knowledge such as you never imagined possible before.
To a certain extent we are ordered by destiny, yet so far as the general events of each incarnation are concerned we are alone responsible for them. Each man and woman is a power in them, possessing all the potentiality of divinity. They need not seek for light from without; they have it all within themselves.
This is the most difficult lesson the student has to learn; it is curious that he may read it in hundreds of books, be told it by as many teachers, but until he has arrived at a certain stage of development he cannot realize the fact for what it is worth.
This method of inward concentration is the most precious of all and the most important. The processes I have indicated in previous lessons appertain more to the acquirement of material things than spiritual, but this method applies more nearly to the realm of spirit.
I do not wish to be misunderstood. All thought, as all progress, comes from within, but under certain circumstances you project that thought, and under certain other circumstances it is turned inward, so that all the light of your reason is concentrated upon your soul.
When we project our thoughts we send them outside ourselves, maybe to travel on some mission, or to heal the sick, to carry a message to a friend, or any other material object, good in itself, but not always of the highest spiritual benefit – to the thinker. If you will look at Fig. I (Lesson 5) you will see the method involved. The outermost circle may be regarded as the limit of the brain; of course, meaning the machine, not the force generated.
( Fig I - Lesson 5 – Not Shown )
This circle I have marked “B.” “A” is the physical heart, the altar of the etheric centers of the body (according to the Rosicrucian teachings). Now the rays of thought, instead of being projected outwards, are turned directly inwards to the heart, and these rays, or vibrations, follow the direction of “B” to “A,” instead of from “A” to “B.” So that, like a dark lantern, there is nothing to be seen from outside, all the light is concentrated within.
As in the ordinary form of concentration, do not try too much at first. This is even more trying than the other, because, unless a very ardent student of the occult, it is less interesting. At the same time, where true progress is desire it is absolutely necessary.
As long as we learn from books and from lessons we are but novitiates, and the knowledge we obtain is second hand at best, but once we have really learnt how to concentrate we no longer remain in the outer temple, we are no longer dependent upon others, we know for ourselves. Study the foregoing diagram well; then, having gotten the idea firmly in your mind, sit down quietly and turn your thought inwards as I have described.
I find that pupils are more likely to achieve results if they use some word or words in their concentration, and suggest the following: breathe deeply, but perfectly evenly and without effort, do not attempt to count the breathing, nor to hold it any length of time; let the whole process be quite natural and not forced. Deep breathing, that is to say from the abdomen, or rather from behind it, from the solar plexus, has a most curious and direct effect upon all efforts in the way of concentration, clairvoyance and kindred powers of spirit.
As you breathe in, think; think, with every particle of your brain, “Love,” or “Wisdom,” “Life,” “Divinity,” but you must think it up with all your mind and continue to do so until you have taken it in its entirety. You must soak it in, and when you have got it, keep fast hold, and do not ever relinquish.
When you think these words you are gradually molding yourselves into these conditions. Perhaps the best word of all is “Power”; it means so much, but you must clearly realize what you do mean, and you must not take up any side issues, nor let our thoughts wander from the inward focus I have described. That is why I gave the other forms of concentration first, because they are easier to master, and prepare the student for the heavier task now under discussion. Remember that your thought can mold your body, and that as you think so you will become, so that when you stop for ten minutes or longer in the contemplation of your prospective power, wisdom and love, you are actually growing into these things, and as long as you think them intelligently you are bound to become them.
Now when you have accomplished this matter, try a little farther; but although you take all the lessons at once, you cannot do both these exercises at once, and you simply must take one step at a time.
Sit as before, breathe evenly; now ask a question, make your mind blank, and listen for the answer. You will get a clear message in perhaps a month or two. Do not be impatient, you cannot hurry this thing; just listen as if you were waiting for a human voice to speak to you. Listen intently, and at last you will get an answer, either directly or an impression.
It is very difficult for some people to make the brain a blank, and it is not at all easy to teach the process. I think, however, that the best way is to take it by degrees. Try to kill all thought for a minute at a time, gradually increasing the time, from day to day. In this way you obtain perfect control of your brain machine. You can eliminate thought altogether or think on any chosen subject at will, and you must not despair if you do not gain immediate results. You cannot possibly learn in a second, it takes time, and the longer you take to acquire your knowledge the more thorough it will be, and the results more lasting.