Whether we accept the teachings of evolution or not, the fact remains that man is the highest product of the animal kingdom. Physically, he is the best type of life with which the earth is peopled. In man Nature's organic functions reach their most complete development. But it is his mental and not his physical qualities that give to him his pre-eminence. Without the guidance of the God-given power of mind (soul), man would be little better than the beast. As an example, note the pitiable spectacle of the idiot.

While mankind is easily distinguished from the brute creation, individual man is quite as easily distinguished from his brother man. Heredity has done much toward maintaining a similarity in the human family, but the influence of environment and Mentalism has done more to change it. As a result, no two persons can be said to be alike, in the sense that they exactly resemble each other, either mentally or physically. Even in the case of twins, there is a marked difference. If all men should think alike, they would look alike and work alike. All differences would be eliminated, and they would as closely resemble each other as "one pea resembles another." There would be no such thing as opinion, and no such quality as comparison.

Mentalism molds man's every physical and mental quality, and thus controls his whole being. At no time can he completely divorce himself from the influence of this dominating power which surrounds him. It is the force within him which acts and reacts upon him without consulting him; it is the unseen power that shapes and controls his life, and makes his Destiny.

"As is the mind, so is the form," and "As a man thinks, so is he." Man thus becomes, in a measure, the servant of his thoughts, and through them he works out his fate. Man's character and destiny are molded through the influence of his own thoughts and the thoughts from those who constitute his environments. Thus the fatalistic element is in a sense removed, and man is shown to be a free agent capable of developing such a character and destiny as he may desire. He may chose and select such mental influences and environments as will be beneficial to him, or he may allow himself to be dominated by evil thoughts from impure environments, and thus build up an evil character, which will react and dominate his being and form his destiny.

The traits of character and the talents displayed by the child are the products of the thoughts of the parents. The child's nature was formed either by these thoughts or by the thoughts of those who influenced the parents during the nine months preceding the birth of the child. The responsibility of every father and mother in shaping the early destiny of their children is very clearly defined by the Law of Mentalism. If the child is given the advantage of a good physical, mental and moral foundation on which to build its future character and destiny, it will be able to accomplish much greater results, and be a credit to the parents, and a benefit to all humanity. Those who understand Mentalism can readily see how the sins of the parents are visited upon the children, even unto the third and fourth generation.

An example of how Mentalism or Thought shapes our destiny through our character, is shown by the following illustration:

Two sons were bom in a certain family, the second two years after the first. The anticipated birth of the first son produced great pleasure and much hope in the minds of both parents. They were supremely happy, and during the period previous to its birth, were constantly thinking of it. With the highest and most noble thoughts, they planned for the child's future career. In this unity of thought and love the very highest and noblest characteristics of their natures were execised and transmitted to the unborn child. After its birth it possessed an unusually agreeable disposition. As it grew into boyhood, it developed a kind, noble, ambitious, sincere character. The talents he displayed were those he had inherited from the thoughts and desires of his parents. In following his career it led him into the associations and society of refined and intellectual people. His environments in consequence were in harmony with his tastes and character, and with the assistance of this class of people, success was easily attained.

During the time between the birth of the first and second son, conditions had changed, and the mutual love and sympathy between the parents no longer existed. Therefore, the prospective birth of another child did not produce a sensation of pleasure and hope as before, but instead its birth was looked upon as a burden and a misfortune. The thought of the approaching birth irritated the parents, and all that was unpleasant in their natures was revealed. They neglected to plan for the future of this child as they had for the first. These unfavorable thoughts were transmitted to the child yet unborn. After its birth it was found to possess a cross, irritable temper. For this it was disliked the more by its parents, and continued to be the innocent victim of parental ignorance. During childhood days, it received but little care or attention, and grew up without the loving influence which had been so lavishly bestowed upon the first born. While growing from childhood to youth, he was forced to select his associates from those whom he chanced to meet and they, as is usual in such cases, were not of an elevating character. Under these unfavorable conditions and environments, he developed only the baser, more selfish and material characteristics. His associates were not those who could assist him to rise to any position of importance. He drifted on, making no success, and always getting into trouble. His life was a failure in all respects, except as an object lesson to others, and a punishment to his parents.

The Mentalism of the parents formed the embryo character of both their children and attracted souls in harmony with their thoughts. The children, according to their respective characters, selected their companions and environments. Their career was worked out under the influence of the Mentalism of these associations. The influence of the people with whom the first son associated was for good, and it assisted him to win success and happiness. The influence of the people with whom the second son was brought into contact was not of an elevating character, so it retarded his development, and helped to make his efforts unsuccessful.

It is a well-known fact that "Like attracts like," and that "Birds of a feather flock together." The attraction of like to like is the result of each being tuned in harmony.

Could any one conscientiously attribute the success of this one life, and the failure of the other, to any set purpose of destiny? No, the credit for the one and the blame for the other belonged to the parents. Had the second son, even after birth, received the right influence, his thoughts would have been directed into a better course; the previously implanted characteristics would have been largely overcome, and his mental organization tuned in harmony with natures of a more elevating character. He would then have selected his associates from among a more cultured and intellectual class, and his career would have led him into different environments, and his destiny would have been of a different character. Had he even been taught the power of his own Will to shape his career, and then been given a little encouragement, he could have changed the course of his destiny.

There is a cause for everything. Nothing ever has been or can be that is not first created by thought. Where there is no thought, there is no plan or picture to work from. No one can work without a mental pattern to guide him. All construction is the execution of the mental dictates of man. Thought precedes all action, consequently our environments are the result of the thoughts of those around us. If a man has a love of Nature and the beautiful, he will display those thoughts in the way he furnishes his house, in the care of his lawn, in the cultivation of flowers, in the character of the building he occupies, in his dress and in his speech. If the grosser elements predominate in his mind, you will find his immediate surroundings to be in keeping. This applies to all phases of human action. Thought illuminates and transforms matter. Architecture is but frozen music; it is the intelligence of man congealed in stone and wood. The house, the hall, the cathedral, all correspond to the thoughts which conceived them. Our environments thus become a living picture, illustrating the kind of thoughts we think. Our neighbor's thoughts are illustrated in like manner. The environments in which we live must influence our thoughts in a more or less degree. The thoughts of the people we associate with has much to do in molding our character and talents, which in turn shapes our destiny. It is also evident that the things we do, the success we gain, etc., cannot be greater than the combined influence of the thoughts under which we work. Then as environment plays a large part in our thoughts, it is easy to see how our entire career and destiny can be changed by placing ourselves under the influence of different thoughts and new environments. We would then necessarily think and act differently.

When one is not making a success, it is because the mental influence of those with whom he is associating is not of benefit to him. He should change his environments and associates for those that are more congenial and helpful, and thus gain success and become the ruler of his own destiny. If the right influence is not to be had near at hand, he should reach out through the power of Mentalism and enlist the assistance of people at a distance who are in harmony with him. Every man is a free agent, and he can, if he exerts his Will, shape his own life and be the master of his fate. If he refuses to take advantage of this privelege, he will become the slave of the combined thoughts of others, and they will shape his destiny for good or evil.

"All goes to show that the soul in man is not an organ like the power of memory, of calculation, of comparison, but only uses these as hands and feet; it is not a faculty, but a light; it is the master of all these." - Emerson.

"In the instruction of dreams, we shall catch many hints that will broaden and lighten into knowledge of the secret of Nature." - Emerson.