In order to discover truth we must be truthful ourselves and must welcome those who point out our errors as heartily as those who approve our discoveries.
- Max Muller.
Seeking happiness as our aim, we declare knowledge and obedience to that knowledge to be its means, and freedom its condition. The cultivation must receive attention not less than the improvement and equipment of the brain, if our lives are to be worthy, useful and happy.
- George Illis.
That you may have the same thought from other points of view I give the following extracts. This is from the editor of The New Thought Journal, London:
Reserve a special hour each day for cultivation of your ideal. Begin by reading for half an hour or so along the lines you wish to develop. Always use for this purpose the best and most inspiring authority you can find upon the subject, that you may come into rapport with those who have accomplished most in the field you wish to enter. Read that you may be enthused by their enthusiasm and enlightened by their accomplishment. Read slowly and meditate upon each sentence. To meditate is to be still mentally and let the spirit of the writer commune with your spirit, imparting to you the great things which can never be expressed in words alone.
Choose the highest reading on your special line, then "loaf and invite your soul," to absorb what is beyond your present understanding.
After reading and meditating thus until you are mentally and spiritually exalted in the desired realm, lay aside your reading and lie down (if possible) in a comfortable position, taking pains to give the lungs freedom for full breathing. Of course you have your windows well open. Never go into the silence, or go to sleep in a tightlyclosed room. The best position for receptive silence is to lie flat on the back without a pillow. Now breathe slowly and deeply through nostrils, filling the lungs comfortably full, beginning at the bottom; hold the breath as long as you can comfortably; then take pains to exhale very slowly and evenly. Breathe thus for six or eight minutes or more, while the Divine Breath flows through you, cleansing and rejuvenating every cell of brain and body. Then begin to picture yourself as developing on this desired special line. Think of all life as a school in which you are getting ready for your career. Think of everything that comes to you as a special lesson which is to be cheerfully learned in order to help in your development. Imagine yourself as making rapid progress. Dwell upon the idea that you are full of quiet, steady enthusiasm, growing enthusiasm, for your work on this line.
Never mind how enthusiastic you may feel about it; just keep on imagining and affirming the growing enthusiasm and wisdom and power you wish to feel. Then relax and let the spirit work in and through you for the accomplishment of your special desire. Allow no mental arguments against your desires. Dismiss adverse suggestions and give yourself up to the idea that all you desire is manifesting. Take it all for granted. Get into the silence of it as if it were a game you are playing Silence reason and PLAY. "Play pretend," just as you did when a child. Laugh at your fears and play with a will.
Keep this up daily, allowing nothing to interfere. It is of the utmost importance if you really mean to develop on that special line. Time will prove the value of this practice; you will find yourself growing in that deep, quiet enthusiasm which really accomplishes things.
Poets write in the condition of pefect concentration and fortunately Tennyson, in a letter, tells us how he induces it:
"A kind of waking trance," he says, "I have frequently had, quite up from boyhood, when I have been all alone. This has generally come upon me through repeating my own name two or three times to myself silently, till all at once as it were, out of the intensity of consciousness of individuality, the individuality itself seemed to dissolve and fade away into boundless Being, and this not a confused state, but the clearest of the clearest, the surest of the surest, the wisest of the wisest, utterly beyond words, where death were almost laughable impossibility, the loss of personality (if so it were) seeming but the only true life. I am ashamed of my feeble description. Have I not said the state is utterly beyond words? But in a moment, when I come back to my normal state of 'sanity,' I am ready to fight for mein liebes Ich and hold that it will last for eons."
- "Memoir" by Hallam Tennyson.
He also gives this same method of concentration, until all consciousness of personality is lost in Principle, through Concentrating upon his own name, in his poem, "The Ancient Sage," putting these words into the discourse of the sage:
For more than once when I
Sat all alone, revolving by myself
The word that is the symbol of myself,
The mortal limit of the Self was loosed,
And past into the Nameless, as a cloud
Melts into heaven. I touched my limbs, the limbs
Were strange, not mine - and yet no shade of doubt,
But utter clearness, and thro' loss of self
The gain of such large life as matched with ours
Were sun to spark - unshadowable in words,
Themselves but shadows of a shadow-world.
There is much of helpful suggestion in the following beautiful extract from an article by Winifred Hathaway in Mind.
You must concentrate. You must first systematically and carefully select and determine upon the subject of your desires. You must be exact in every detail; do not blame results if you have concentrated upon a confused idea. You must then give it your undivided attention. It has been stated that meditation is a lost art. For the masses it is, but for the individual, by constant attention, it will become habit. At first the effort will be a conscious one, objective, but by ceaseless thought it will gradually become subjective; even in sleep the mind will carry on a train of thought. To one accustomed to concentration the object of desire comes almost immediately; but to the novice the time is long; only patience, exhaustless, infinite, can bring about the desired result. By actual experience it has been proved that a full year is necessary to acquire this art; but is it not worth the effort? Once possessed nothing is impossible; realized hopes and dreams; matured plans; are the result. And above all, the knowledge that you are the master of your fate. But remember, that you are responsible for the use of your accomplished desires.
If you wish for money you will be held accountable to the last cent; or for fame, 'tis yours to keep untarnished; if for mental attainments, desire also the wisdom to use knowledge, for if one minutest particle fail to fulfill its mission yours is the blame.
The use of artificial means is well explained in this extract from Hudson Tuttle.
The usefulness of all such objects, as a bright coin, a set in a ring, or glass of water, is in fixing and concentrating the mind. A glass of water or a brilliant set, have just as much potency for this purpose as "magic mirrors," "crystals," etc., all duly "magnetized." It must be understood that the "influence" does not come from these objects, but the state which the mind attains by its attention. The object gazed at is secondary and inconsequential. Highly recommended as this method has been it is by no means to be cultivated. It is the process by which the Hindu gains his "wisdom," and becomes the type of passive imbecility and hopeless laziness. The way to receive the highest spiritual gifts is to strive for spiritual strength. The way to become impressible to great thoughts, is to bring the mind up for their reception.
Allons! through struggles and wars!
The goal that was named cannot be countermanded.
Have the past struggles succeeded?
What has succeeded? yourself? your nation? Nature?
Now understand me well - it is proved in the essence of things that from the fruition of success, no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary.
- Walt Whitman.
Theory, advice, instruction, are comparatively worthless without he who seeks shall use that which he finds. This book has that value for you which you shall determine.
To read and then lay it aside, no matter how much you enjoy it; no matter how much you find in it to admire; will benefit you little. To be of benefit you must adopt the Truth you find here, as the method of living. You must practice it. Demonstration alone is Possession.
Select your season and make sacred promise to yourself that you will keep it as carefully with yourself as if you made it to your dearest friend. When that season comes, be it five minutes, or be it an hour, retire to your ordinary place of relaxing and in your ordinary way of keeping this tryst, keep it - Relax - Concentrate - think.
Keep this up. It will soon become your custom so to retire into the "closet of meditation" whenever any question arises. There you will listen to the "still small voice" which the prophet heard, and as he was led, you will be: "He leadeth me!" will become your constant Affirmation.
I have done all I may. I have told you how I, how many others, have found the way. I have pointed out the road. Now I leave you with the only direction possible for travelling it. Practice! Through practice you will enter the Silence where by Telepathy we shall often meet. Your friend.
HENRY HARRISON BROWN.
"Now" Folk Mountain Home, Glenwood, Cal.
December 25, 1906.