Personal Power

William Walker Atkinson and Edward Beals

First published in 1922.

This online edition was created and published by Global Grey on the 2nd January 2023.

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Table of Contents

Personal Power: Your Master Self

Foreword

Your Master Self

Your “I Am I”

Conscious Egohood

Cosmic Power

The Twin-Manifestation

The Three Formulas

Realizing Your Ideals

“The Master Formula”

Creative Power: Your Constructive Forces

Imagination

The Imaging Faculties

Constructive Imagination

The Builder and the Plan

The Mental Laboratory

The Laws Of Invention

Creative Composition

The Art Of Creation

Dynamic Idealization

Desire Power: Your Energizing Forces

Emotive Power

Desire and Actions

The Evolution Of Desire

The Evolution of Desire (Continued)

The Evolution of Desire (Concluded)

Attraction of Desire Power

Knowing What You Want

Wanting It Hard Enough

Paying the Price

Unconscious Desire

Faith Power: Your Inspirational Forces

The Power of Faith

The Psychology of Faith

Expectant Attention

The Secret of “Faith-Cures”

Faith and the Subconscious

Faith and Enthusiasm

Faith and Mental Power

The Attractive Power of Faith

Faith in Yourself

Faith in the Infinite

Will Power: Your Dynamic Forces

Will Power

The Nature of Will

Conative Will

Deliberative Will

Determinative Will

Active Will

Will-Training

Will Consciousness

Will-Atmosphere

Subconscious Power: Your Secret Forces

Your Secret Forces

Subconscious Mentation

Subconscious Vital Processes

Subconscious Habitual Action

Subconscious Emotion And Memory

Subconscious Psycho-Analysis

Subconscious Thought

The Superconscious Planes

Spiritual Power: The Infinite Fount

The Quest for Truth

Material Substance

Actuating Energy

Immanent Spirit

Spirit: Essential Life

Spirit: Essential Power

Creator and Creation

Unison with Infinity

Thought Power: Radio-Mentalism

The Power of Thought

Radioactive Thought

Thought-Atmospheres

Thought-Contagion

Thought-Attraction

Thought-Waves and Forms

Rules of Thought-Induction

“Treating” Thought Conditions

Thought Power Methods

The Law of Correlation

Cosmic Thought Power

Perceptive Power: The Art of Observation

Your World of Experience

Consciousness and Sensation

The Mechanism of the Senses

Perception and Discernment

Observation and Experiment

Cultivating Observation

The Science of Apperception

The Power of Attention

Mental Concentration

Reasoning Power: Practical Logic

Practical Logic

The Psychology of Reasoning

The Law of Logical Analysis

The Law of Logical Synthesis

The Law of Logical Judgment

The Law of Logical Analogy

The Law of Logical Induction

The Law of Logical Causation

The Law of Logical Deduction

Some Practical “Points”

Character Power: Positive Individuality

The Springs of Character

Positive and Negative Qualities

The Egoistic Qualities

The Intellectual Qualities

The Motive Qualities

The Emotive Qualities

The Associated Qualities

The Moral Qualities

The Spiritual Qualities

The Seven Principles of Character-Building

Regenerative Power: Vital Rejuvenation

Regeneration

The Power of Sex

Derivative Sex Attributes

Transmutation of Sex-Energy

The Ductless Glands

Offices of the Genital Glands

Gland Transplantation

The Secret of Regeneration

The Practice of Regeneration

Transmutation


Personal Power: Your Master Self


Foreword

This book is devoted to the subject of the development, cultivation and manifestation of Personal Power— Personal Power in all its phases, aspects and modes of manifestation and expression. “Personal Power,” as understood and taught in this book, may be defined as: “The ability or strength possessed by the human individual, by which he does, or may, accomplish desired results in an efficient manner, along the lines of physical, mental, and spiritual effort and endeavor.”

This book is not written with the purpose of reforming the world, nor of conducting a propaganda for the advancement of some particular creed, belief, body of teaching or doctrine; nor is it written on behalf of any particular organization, cult, society, or school interested in enlarging its membership, or in spreading its doctrines. Instead, it is written for YOU—YOU are the individual in whom we are interested, and for whom this instruction is intended.

You have been attracted to this book, and it to you, by reason of certain ever-operative though little-known laws of life and being. You have long awaited the coming of this book; you are now ready to absorb its teachings; “your own has come to you” after your period of watching and waiting; and you will recognize it as your own, by reason of a certain intuitive perception which comes to those who are ready to receive that which it contains. You have demanded this book: here it is.

This book is different in many respects from anything that you ever have read. A careful and earnest study of the truths presented in it will work a marked change in you, though you may not fully realize it at this time. You will never be exactly the same after its reading: it will have left its indelible impress upon you.

You may come to think that you have put it aside, and that you have no further interest in its teachings. But you will find that certain memories of the statements contained in it will abide with you, and that echoes of its teachings will ring in the ears of your mind. In the words of Whitman, its “words will itch in your ears till you understand them.” Its basic truths, and the suggestions as to their application, will stick in your mind as the burr sticks in the fleece of the sheep which has acquired it in its wanderings.

You can no more escape from the influence of the truths presented in its pages than you can run away from your own shadow. At every turn and cross-roads of the path of experience hereafter, you will find yourself almost unconsciously applying the principles of this instruction, and employing some of the methods taught in it. You are hereby warned that such will be the case: if you are not willing to experience such results, now is your time to put away the book.

If, however, you decide to proceed with the reading and study of this book, we have several suggestions to make to you. You need not expect to master this instruction at the first reading. There is much solid food contained in it—many things requiring careful mental mastication, digestion, and assimilation. You will need to read the book several times, from start to finish, with intervals between each reading. Yet the instruction is quite simple, and at each reading you will acquire many important facts, principles, and methods.

The proper way in which to read this book for the purpose of study—in which to extract from its pages that which is condensed in them—is to start by reading it carefully, from beginning to end, but without trying to memorize any particular portion, or to impress any particular detail upon your mind. Then lay it aside for a short time, while you think over its teachings in a general way. In this mental rumination try to classify the several most important topics and divisions of the general subject, but without direct reference to the book itself. Having done this, take up the book again, and this time carefully absorb each and every phase and feature of its instruction. Take your time in thus re-reading and restudying it. You will find something new in this book each and every time you take it up—no matter how many times you have previously “gone over it.”

Finally, you are not asked to accept as true the instruction contained in this book merely because we have asserted it to be true. You have at your disposal the means of testing and proving the truth of our assertions—the test of actual application, experiment, and experience. If you will earnestly and persistently put into practice the principles and methods set forth in it, you will find yourself actually manifesting and demonstrating the results logically flowing from them.

All that you are asked to do is to accept at least tentatively— as a “working hypothesis”—the general principles announced in this book, and to adopt as a “working plan” the methods it presents to you. Reserve for yourself the right to accept or to reject either principles or methods, or both, after you have subjected them to an earnest, faithful, diligent, and persistent trial in actual life and work. If you will do this, you will, in all probability, need no further argument to convince you of the truth of the underlying principles of this instruction, and of the efficacy of the methods suggested in it.

Here is the prophecy: If you will recognize, by means of your intellect, the Fundamental Principles of Personal Power; and will realize them in your feeling; then will you be able to manifest and demonstrate them in your everyday life and work, by means of the methods herein indicated, or by similar methods devised by yourself but based upon the same general principles. The principles are basic and fundamental; the methods are designed merely to enable you to apply effectively the principles—you are at liberty to adapt or to modify the latter to suit your own individual requirements.

If you attain the first two of the above stages, then assuredly you will attain the third stage—the stage of manifestation. These first two stages may be attained by any person of average intelligence, provided that he will faithfully and earnestly apply himself or herself to the task. You are hereby challenged to test the truth of this prophecy by such a trial and experiment: but that trial and experiment must be made in good faith, in an earnest, serious spirit, and must be pursued with diligence, persistence, and insistence.


Your Master Self

The active agent of all of your conscious experience is, of course, YOURSELF. The centre of your conscious experience is that “YOU” element of your being—that self-conscious Something or Somewhat, the actual existence and presence of which you assert when you say “I AM I.” This “I AM I” element of yourself is the one fact of your existence of which you are always absolutely certain, and concerning which you can never compel yourself to entertain any doubt.

Every time you say, or think, “I,” you assert the existence of your Self, and its presence in consciousness. No power of argument, no weight of evidence, no sophistry, no casuistry, no fallacy, can ever really convince you that your “I” does not exist; nor that it is not present in being at that moment of consciousness. You cannot truthfully assert, “I am not in existence, here and now”— for, even when you attempt to make such a denial and negation, you are conscious that it is the “I,” itself, making the attempt, and uttering the statement. Thus, even your very attempt at denial and negation is transmuted into an affirmation and assertion of your self-existence, and of the presence of Yourself at that particular time and place.

This conscious certainty of the existence and presence of the “I” is the axiomatic basis of all philosophy. It is the one indisputable, incontrovertible, irrefragable fact of your thought and consciousness—the one fact that cannot be gainsaid, denied, refuted or overthrown. It is the one point concerning which you can feel absolutely sure and certain. Even the most acute metaphysical or philosophical argument will fail to shake your belief in your own existence, and your presence in being.

You are always able to declare in the face of all arguments, “I AM I!” You may doubt the evidence of your senses—but you can never doubt this consciousness of your own existence as a conscious being. Here, at least, you feel that you are standing on the solid rock of certainty. Your uncertainties begin only when you start to ask yourself “What and why am I?” and “What else really IS?” But both of these questions imply your assurance that you, Yourself, are present in existence at that time and place. When you say “now,” you mean the particular period of time or duration which YOU are then experiencing. When you say “here,” you mean the particular position in space or extension which You are then experiencing. You must always say and think “I AM I, Here and Now!” but the Here and Now are relative to Yourself, and have no other meaning to you.

If you think that we are here “making much ado about nothing,” and that we are telling you something which everyone knows without being told, we will answer you by saying that upon this very point philosophers and metaphysicians have earnestly disputed from the beginning of human thought— this, because they realized that this one point, if absolutely established, furnished man with his one solid rock of reasoning; his one certain point from which he might chart and diagram his world of experience. That they have reported—as they have been compelled to report—its certainty and essential reality, is an indication of its ultimate truth. For they have made every attempt to undermine or to surmount it: they saw the folly of merely “taking it for granted.” They knew that too many things which men “took for granted” are illusions or delusions—the flatness of the earth, or the stationery position of the earth, for instance.

Moreover, those great minds which for thousands of years have been investigating the subject of Personal Power, long since discovered the fact that before one can hope to exercise any phase of Personal Power he must first arrive at a clear, distinct, and fundamental consciousness of HIMSELF— his “I AM I”—as a reality transcending all of his mental and physical instruments; and that upon the degree of his actual consciousness of the independent existence of this “I AM I” centre of his being depends the degree of his ability to manifest Personal Power.

So, you see, we are not wasting your and our time in telling you something not needing telling. Instead, we are endeavoring to awaken in you the actual and vivid conscious perception of a fundamental truth, without which you cannot hope to manifest or demonstrate Personal Power. Omitting this basic and fundamental instruction, there would be no reason for presenting the rest of the subject to you.

This Ego, Self, “I,” or “I AM I,” which stands at the centre of your conscious experience, and which is the real Seer, Doer, Feeler, Thinker, Willer, and Actor in your life journey, is the Master Self—the King on the Throne of your Personal Being. To omit reference to it here would be like omitting the character of Hamlet from the play of that name. Before you can hope to manifest and demonstrate Personal Power, you must become consciously aware of that Something or Somewhat which employs and manifests that power.

Personal Power might be present in abundance, but unless there were also something present able to employ and use it, there would be no manifestation or demonstration possible. YOU are that Something. You must become consciously aware of your essential and fundamental Self, before you will be able to employ the instruments at your hand. You must recognize your sovereignty, before you may mount your throne and rule your kingdom.

We wish, however, to state emphatically at this point that in our consideration of the Master Self—the Ego or “I” which asserts “I AM I”—we shall confine ourselves entirely to the reports of consciousness concerning its presence and existence, its nature and character. We shall point out to you just how you may discover its presence at the centre of your being, and how you may awaken its latent powers and possibilities so that they may be applied effectively as Personal Power.

We shall avoid entirely the advocacy of any particular one of the many various metaphysical, philosophical, or theological speculations or dogmas concerning its nature, character, source or origin, or its destiny. We prefer to leave these subjects in the hands of those who specialize upon them; we have no desire to invade their special fields of thought, conjecture or speculation. We prefer to base our thought upon the fundamental report of self-consciousness—that inevitable, invariable, and infallible report made by self-consciousness whenever it is awakened.

For the purpose of our consideration of the Master Self in this book, and that of the instruction to be based upon this, it is sufficient to assert merely: (1) that there exists in you a Master Self, Ego, “I,” or “I AM I” entity, to which all your personal faculties, powers and activities are subordinate; (2) that this Master Self (whatever else it may be or may not be) must be regarded as a focalized centre of Presence and Power manifested and expressed by the Ultimate Presence-Power in its manifestation and expression in the Cosmos.

These two general postulates are supported by all human thought on the subject, and in one form or the other are accepted by all phases of philosophical, metaphysical, or theological thought, though variously interpreted and explained. Moreover, actual human experience is in agreement with them. We shall present the general argument to you as we proceed, showing you how firmly based and grounded they are in human thought and experience. But, even so, you are not asked to accept them as truth until your own reason and experience so report them to you.

Let us begin, then, with the consideration of the first of the above-stated postulates, viz., “There exists in you a Master Self, Ego, “I,” or “I AM I” entity, to which all of your personal faculties, powers and activities are subordinate.” The argument and proof of this proposition is to be drawn entirely from your own conscious experience, and not from any philosophical, metaphysical, or theological theories or dogmas, whatsoever. Self-analysis will furnish you with the proof; that proof once so obtained will be far more satisfying than the mere “say so” or “thus saith” of others.

We earnestly ask you to proceed carefully with this process of self-analysis, for it will bring to you results of the most practical and vital character. Do not pass over this part of the instruction as being merely theoretical, or speculative—for it is far from being so. And, above all, do not take the position that “I am willing to take this for granted without actual proof, without bothering about the investigation”; for by so doing you will miss the very kernel of the instruction. For, know you, that the process of self-analysis will not only “prove the thing” to your satisfaction: it also will awaken within you the Power of the “I AM I,” or Master Self, in a way impossible by any other means. You must not only recognize this “I AM I” intellectually, but must also realize it in feeling, before you can manifest and demonstrate it in action.

In the following several sections of this book we shall, through your own self-analysis, make you acquainted with your Master Self, your Ego, your I or “I AM I.” You will be led not only to “see” it, but also to “feel” it within yourself. This “seeing” and “feeling” constitute the first two stages or steps in Personal Power—the “doing” stage or step is the third, and results from the attainment of the first two. The more thoroughly grounded you are in the first two stages or steps, the better will you be able to attain the final one.


Your “I Am I”

We ask you now to proceed to the discovery of your Master Self by the process of self analysis. In the most general sense, one’s self is a composite of personal mental and physical qualities, parts, factors, and elements. When you say, “myself,” (employing the term in this sense), you mean your entire personal being, outer and inner, body and mind, and possibly “spirit” as well. You use the term “self” to distinguish your entire personal being from that of another person, or those of other persons. Here you perform a process of analysis or separation. This is really the first stage or step of your self-analysis by which you proceed to discover your Master Self, or Real Self.

The second stage or step of self-analysis is that in which you abstract your Ego, “I AM I,” or Master Self from the physical self—the inner from the outer. You may do this by an act of consciousness, in which reason co-operates with the imagination. You find that the innermost report of consciousness is that the “I AM I” consciousness is not necessarily involved with your consciousness of your body; but that, on the contrary, the “I AM I” may conceive itself as existent even independent of the body which it inhabits. When self-consciousness says, “I AM I,” it means thereby that it, itself, the “I AM I” consciousness, is not the body, but rather is a Something or Somewhat inhabiting and occupying the body; the latter being merely a physical garment which it occupies; or the instrument or machinery which it employs in physical activity.

The “I AM I” may raise the hand attached to the physical body, by an act of will operating the physical muscles by means of currents of nerve-force directed by the mind. The “I AM I” may stand aside and contemplate the moving hand, and the act by which the hand is moved, just as it may contemplate any physical object not attached to the body. Try this, and you will see and feel this to be the case. You will find that you have the consciousness of your “I AM I” deliberately moving your hand by an act of will; the hand being merely a portion of your physical machinery. Move your hand up and down, then sidewise, until the full conception and consciousness of your true relation to it is fully grasped by you.

You will discover, by similar experiments, that you may likewise move any and every part of your physical body—even the whole body itself. Gradually there will dawn upon you the recognition and realization that your body, and each and every part or portion of it, is but a fine piece of physical machinery, the movements of which you control by your will and mind. You will, then, perhaps for the first time, realize that your body is merely your physical machinery, any part of which, or the whole of which, the “I AM I” may use, employ, control, direct, or set in motion, or render motionless, when it has learned the control of the nerves and muscles attached to and regulating the movement of the several parts of the body.

It is true that the involuntary nervous system has taken over to a great degree certain movements of the physical body—particularly those movements and processes having to do with the internal organs; but science informs you that all of the involuntary muscles were originally voluntary organs or tissues, and that they have been gradually transformed to the involuntary and subconscious field of activities, the change being made in the interest of vital economy, i. e., that the self may have time in which to attend more closely to its voluntary physical activities. For that matter, most of your important voluntary muscular movements you have had to learn by practice and experiment; as, for instance, the movements of walking, using your knife and fork, writing, dressing yourself, etc. Furthermore, it is known that the Hatha Yogis, of India, and others who have experimented along these lines, have regained the control of the involuntary muscles, and may start and stop their action, or reverse the same, at will—this being true not only of the muscles of the organs of digestion, assimilation, and elimination, but even of the heart itself.

Your reason recognizes the fact that the particles of your body are constantly changing; your body today being entirely different from that which you occupied a few years ago, and quite different from that which you occupied when you were a child. But, at the same time, your consciousness informs you that your “I AM I” or Ego, or Master Self is identical with that of a few years ago, or even that of your childhood. You are the same “I AM I” that you always have been, so far as your memory can report.

So, you see, that not only is your body something that is used, controlled, and moved at will by your “I AM I” or Master Self, through its established mental and physical machinery, but also that your body is not at all the same body which you owned and used a few years back. In short, you see that while your body is constantly being changed, repaired, made-over by the elimination of old, worn-out material and the substitution of new, fresh material, your “I AM I” remains unchanged in essential identity during your whole physical existence. The body is an impermanent and changing machine, while your “I,” which operates it, is the permanent and constant element of your being—the same operator engaged in running a constantly changing machine.

Moreover, by using your imagination, you will discover that while it is possible for you to fancy yourself as occupying bodies of a different kind, almost any kind in fact, one after another, yet it is absolutely impossible for you even to imagine yourself as being a different “I AM I” under such conditions. The imagination will report that while it is able to picture you as taking-on and laying-aside different bodies, just as you now change suits of clothing or costumes, yet it is unable to picture you as laying aside your identical “I AM I” and becoming another. Even when exerted to its wildest flights, the imagination will be compelled to report that the “I AM I” remains the same, no matter how different the various bodies successively occupied by it may be.

The imagination is even able to picture you as standing by your sleeping or dead body, viewing it as it would the body of another—in fact, many persons have had this experience in their dreams; but even in that case the “I AM I” is seen and felt to be “the same old ‘I’,” and as not having lost its sense of identity, continuity or completeness. You can never imagine yourself as standing aside and viewing your “I AM I” or Master Self in this way—for when you try it you will find either that (1) there is nothing to look at the “I AM I,” or else (2) that the “I AM I” has nothing at which to look. You may profitably try the above experiments with the imagination; they will serve to fasten upon your consciousness certain essential limitations of the imagination which it cannot transcend; and certain essential attributes of the “I AM I” of which it cannot be divested even by will and imagination. You will thereby gain a vivid experience of certain fundamental facts of your mental being which have heretofore been unknown to you.

The lesson taught in this second stage of self-analysis is this: That the physical body, in its parts, and in its totality, is not your “I AM I” or Master Self; but is merely something “belonging to,” and used by you in your task of expression and physical manifestation. What, ever else your “I AM I” or Master Self may be, or may not be, it certainly is not your physical body, in its parts or in its totality.

If you wish corroborative proof, you have but to inquire of persons who have lost their arms, or legs, or other important parts of their body. They will invariably inform you that their “I consciousness”—their consciousness of “Self”—is not in the least affected or diminished by the loss of portions of their body. They will tell you that “the same old I” is present, feeling as complete as ever, and not being conscious of any loss of real “selfhood.” More than this, authoritative medical annals inform you that in cases of paralysis extending over the greater portion of the body, the “I AM I” consciousness is still intact and undiminished—the report always is “I am still here; I AM I, just as much as I ever was.”

We ask that you master this first step of self-analysis, at least to the extent that you actually “feel” in consciousness that there is a Something or Somewhat which “owns,” occupies and uses your physical body as an instrument of expression, a machine for producing physical activity; but which, in itself, is superior to and master of that instrument or machine—and that that Something or Somewhat is YOU, yourself. Do not rest content with merely acquiescing in the statement, by reason of your “seeing” it intellectually. Seek to “feel” it as a fact of actual consciousness—for thereby you gain an important step in the unfoldment of Personal Power.

Do not hesitate to call to your aid your imagination, as well as your intellect—for both of these are valid instruments of your mental mechanism, each performing its own offices for you. Do not say “I can imagine anything,” for really you cannot— the above experiments will show you that the imagination, as well as the intellect, has its limits and boundaries, beyond which it may not proceed. Do not pass this by as mere fancy, or as unimportant; it is quite important, and has a distinct and particular part to play in the instruction which we are offering you in this book. We are seeking to have you “see” and “feel” that you are Something or Somewhat far more fundamental, essential and “real” than you have ever imagined yourself to be.

You may possibly think that now, having shown you that the “I AM I” or Master Self is not the physical body, we are about to tell you that therefore it must be “the mind”; if so, you now look forward to the usual talk upon the subject of “all is mind,” of which you have heard so much—possibly too much. But you are mistaken if you suppose this. You will be required to disentangle yourself from your “mind stuff,” as you have from your “body stuff,” before you are conscious of the full, clear, brilliant light of the “I AM I” or Master Self. You are like the fly which is endeavoring to disentangle itself from the “sticky fly-paper” in which it was caught; you have now released yourself from the body of the paper, but your legs and wings are still full of the “sticky stuff”; you must now proceed, like that fly, slowly and carefully to free yourself of the foreign materials which keep you from using your wings and legs in perfect freedom, and under perfect control.

The third stage of your self-analysis is that in which you abstract your “I AM I” or Master Self from that part of your mental nature which you call your “emotional nature,” i. e., your various feelings, emotions, agreeable or disagreeable mental states, and your desires. Remember, however, that you are not to be asked actually to discard this important part of your nature, any more than you are expected actually to discard your very useful physical body. On the contrary, you will be expected to employ still more efficiently both physical body and emotional nature, once that you have discovered that they are but your instruments and machinery, physical and mental, rather than being essential and inseparable elements of the “I AM I” or Master Self. You are being asked to learn how to use as a Master these instruments and that machinery, instead of being used by them as their Slave! But to be the Master, you must first discover that you are superior to, and essentially independent of these useful instruments and pieces of machinery. When you have learned this, then you may use these things as they should be used—by YOU as the Master, not as the Slave! First learn to know—then proceed to use!

You proceed to the attainment of the third stage of your self-analysis by three steps, viz.: (1) the discovery that your emotional states are temporary, impermanent, and changing; (2) the discovery that your emotional states may be observed, considered, examined, analyzed, and controlled by the “I AM I” or Master Self; and that in such processes they are able to be set aside as objects to which the attention of the “I AM I” or Master Self; is being directed, the latter always remaining as the subject which is conducting the examination; and (3) that after you have mentally abstracted or set aside all of your emotional states, there is still a Something or Somewhat left unchanged, unimpaired, constant, and permanent—which cannot be set aside as an object of attention—the “I AM I” or Master Self.

The first of the three above-mentioned steps is quite easy of accomplishment. You have already discovered that your emotional states are impermanent and changeable. You remember that only a few years ago—perhaps only a few months, weeks or days ago—you entertained an assortment of feelings, emotions, likes and dislikes, wishes, wants and desires, vastly different from those entertained by you today. Your loves and hates have changed many times—often exchanging places, perhaps—at least, changing in degree of intensity, and in direction of object. In some cases they have faded away so completely that it now requires a distinct effort of memory to recall them as having been previously experienced by you.

Some persons are more constant in their feelings than are others; but some degrees of change are experienced by all persons. The feelings of the child change as the period of adolescence is approached; the emotions of the adolescent are different from those of the child, and from those of the matured man or woman; the emotions of middle-age are different still; and those of old-age have their own particular character. Moreover, the constant play of circumstances and environment works changes in the emotional states of the individual. You have had personal experience of some of these changes; and observation and inquiry will satisfy you as to the rest.

But, your own experiences and your inquiries concerning those of others, will disclose to you that in all such cases the “I AM I” of the individual—his Master Self—remains constant, unchanged and identical through all these innumerable changes and transmutations of the emotional states. The “I AM I” or Master Self has survived these emotional storms; tempests, calms and “dead winds”—in fact, its memory has forgotten many of them. The individual frequently wonders “was it possible that I ever felt in this way about these things, or these persons?” The “I AM I” or Master Self, is the constant, permanent Something or Somewhat which survives the temporary and ever-changing winds and storms of the emotional states.

The second step likewise is easy, when you have once grasped the idea. It consists merely of the examination, consideration, observation, and analysis of your emotional states. You find it quite easy to turn the light of attention upon any particular emotional state previously experienced. Your attention being directed earnestly to it, you easily perceive its past history; how it originated; what called it into expression; how it rose to its height or climax; how it faded away or at least grew weaker; what ideas served to strengthen or weaken it, to feed or to starve it; how it became transmuted into another form of feeling; and so forth and so on. In short, you will find that you are able to examine, consider, observe and mentally analyze any emotional state experienced by you, just as you would a tiny creature under the microscope. You place the emotional state as the object, to be viewed under the microscope of attention; the “I AM I” or Master Self being always the subject conducting the examination at the observation end of the microscope.

Moreover, you remember many instances in which you have controlled, held back or urged forward, guided and directed and generally “managed” some of your emotional states— this in the degree of the awakening of your “I AM I,” and by its employment of the will. You have learned, at least to some extent, how to restrain or inhibit many of your emotional states, your feelings and impulses, your desires and your tendencies— this in response to the dictates of prudence, ethics, morality, justice, self-respect or self-interest, as the case may be. In short, you have demonstrated, at least to some degree, that the “I AM I,” or Master Self, is the driver of the emotional steeds— the latter being the creatures guided and directed by the reins, bit and curb of will. And, in doing this, you have demonstrated that the “I AM I” or Master Self is one thing, and the emotional states quite another thing—that the two are not identical, at all.

In the third step of this stage of your self-analysis, you proceed to the discovery of the fact that, after you have mentally abstracted and set aside all of your emotional states, there is a Something or Somewhat left, unchanged and unimpaired, fixed, constant and permanent—the “I AM I” or Master Self, abiding at the very centre of the kernel of your being. You may do this by the exercise of your memory, and of your imagination, aided by the employment of your power of pure self-consciousness.

You will see that just as in the past your emotional states have changed or been transmuted, leaving the “I AM I” or Master Self present in constant, unchanged and unaltered fullness of being, so may you now at the present time mentally picture your “I AM I” or Master Self experiencing several entirely different sets or assortments of emotional states, feelings, desires, etc.,—and yet ever remaining the same “I AM I” or Master Self in spite of the changes. You may imagine yourself as playing many different parts and characters in the Drama of Life, yet always remaining the same, identical “I AM I” or Master Self, abiding behind the mask and under the distinguishing emotional garments fitted to the role being played.

Moreover, you may mentally picture yourself as having no emotional feelings at all, at any given time, providing that the objects and ideas originally calling forth your emotional states have been wiped out of conscious or subconscious existence in your memory. But even in such an extreme case, you will be fully convinced that your “I AM I” or Master Self would remain the same constant, identical Something or Somewhat that it is now, and always has been.

The lesson taught in this third stage of self-analysis is this: That the emotional nature, in all of its stages, forms, aspects, modes, and manifestations, is not the “I AM I” or Master Self; but, instead, merely something “belonging to” that essential and permanent entity. Whatever else your “I AM I” or Master Self may be, or may not be, it certainly is not your emotional nature, in its parts or in its totality.

The fourth stage of self-analysis is that in which you abstract the “I AM I” or Master Self from your “thinking states.” Your “thinking states” are composed of “thoughts” of various degrees of complexity, ranging from the simplest perception arising from sensation or sense report of any kind, to the higher combinations of thought which we call “concepts,” “ideas,” “beliefs,” “judgments,” “conclusions,” etc.

By carefully examining your “thinking states,” you will discover there a condition which closely resembles that associated with your “feeling states.” That is to say, you will find your “thinking states” to be (1) impermanent and changing; (2) capable of examination, observation, experiment, analysis, control and direction—thus being capable of being set aside as objects of the attention directed by the “I AM I” or Master Self—the latter being the subject exercising the power of attention; and (3) that after you have mentally set aside and examined all of these “thinking states,” or thoughts, there is a Something or Somewhat left constant, unchanged, unimpaired, and permanent—the “I AM I” or Master Self, which remains identical throughout all the processes of thought and thinking, transcending them all.

Just as you found the “feeling states,” so now you find the “thinking states,” to be subject to the law of change, modification, alteration, transformation, and transmutation. You have but to look backward over your past life—even but a few years back, for that matter—to discover that there has been a constant evolution and development in your thoughts, judgments, beliefs, and conclusions. You know that new concepts, new ideas, new judgments, new conclusions have replaced those formerly held by yourself. Your experience has wrought many remarkable changes in this respect; many of your former beliefs, ideas, and convictions having been perhaps entirely reversed.

Moreover, you know that impaired health, old age, overwork, fatigue, or other physical causes have operated to alter, modify and determine your ideas, opinions, beliefs and convictions; and to alter and affect your powers of memory, reasoning and constructive imagination. Again, your experience has taught you that environment and changed conditions have tended to modify greatly your thoughts, ideals, and beliefs, as well as your feelings. In short, you perceive that your “thinking states” are changeable, shifting, impermanent things, and not fixed, constant, unchangeable and identical in nature.

But, equally are you convinced that back of, and at the centre of, these shifting currents of thought and thinking, there dwells, and has always dwelt, a Something or Somewhat—an “I AM I” or Master Self—which has remained constant, unchanged, unaffected and essentially identical. “You” are always “You,” and have always remained “You”—and naught but “You”— notwithstanding all of these changes of your “thinking states” or streams of thought. The “Thinker” has always been there— always the same—no matter how the thoughts may have come and gone, changed and altered, as the years have passed by.

Likewise, you know that the “I AM I” or Master Self is always the subject of the stream of thought which flows before it. Moreover, you know that by turning the attention upon any one set of ideas, it may detain them in consciousness, or thrust them out of consciousness, at will—if the will has been trained to the work. Likewise, you know that it may call upon the memory or the imagination to do their respective work. The “I AM I” or Master Self may create thoughts at will, combining the simpler elements into the more complex, comparing them, and passing judgment upon them—this constitutes the processes of reasoning. There is a clear distinction between That-which-knows, and That-which-is-known—between That-which-thinks, and That-which-is-thought. One is the subject, Thinker—the other the object, Thought. The “I AM I” is the substance or subject of consciousness, and is not identical with any known phase, aspect, or mode of Thought.

Finally, you will discover that having mentally abstracted and set aside all of the “thinking states,” in your process of self-analysis, there is still something left constant, unchanged, unimpaired, permanent and identical—the “I AM I” or Master Self. This step or stage of total abstraction from the “thinking states” is accomplished only by the use of the imagination, in the case of the ordinary individual.

There are found, it is true, certain individuals, some of the Oriental ascetics and mystics for instance, who have deliberately trained their minds so as to obtain a state of absolute quietude and freedom from the influence of the stream of thought; but such training is not advised for the ordinary individual, it having no practical advantage; but belonging rather to the category of abnormal psychology. There is no advantage to be gained by reaching the stage in which you “think of nothing”, although it is worthy of note that such mental states may be produced by those who are willing to undergo certain rigid and strenuous training of the power of attention.

By the use of the imagination, however, you may easily picture yourself as immune to the impressions from the outside world (as in the case of one whose sense-organs are inactive), and as having shut off or inhibited the reports of memory. Were your sense-impressions temporarily inhibited, then you would have no new “raw material of thought”; and if, also, your memory were likewise temporarily inhibited, then your mind would be an absolute blank, without any report of consciousness other than that of self-consciousness. But, even so, there would still be the report of self-consciousness—the report of your own existence, “here and now”—of that you could not divest yourself while you were conscious at all.

What, then, would be this report of self-consciousness, which would refuse to be inhibited, and which would persist in spite of the inhibition of the sense-reports and the memory-reports? The answer is suggested by the definition of the term “self-consciousness”, viz., “The consciousness of oneself as existent and in being”. With impressions from the outside world, and also the reports of memory, temporarily inhibited or shut-off, your consciousness would be driven back upon that fundamental, essential, and ultimate report: “I AM I”.

It is worthy of note here that those who have cultivated the methods of total abstraction from the “thinking states”, (the Oriental ascetics, for instance), report that even in the state of the utmost possible abstraction and detachment they still find the report of existence and being, the consciousness of “I AM I”, persisting, even though the consciousness of the details of the personality have been abstracted with the rest of the “not-I” states of consciousness. It would seem that, try as he may, man is never able to escape the “I AM I” consciousness while he is conscious at all—it is something from which he cannot abstract himself, and something which he cannot set-aside from his consciousness.

But, as we have said, you are not advised to experiment with the production of abnormal psychological states in order to prove to yourself that it is possible to absolutely inhibit the “thinking states,” and thus to discover the “I AM I” consciousness shining brightly in a mental world otherwise devoid of the light of consciousness; in fact, you are advised against indulging in any such extreme experiments. All that we wish you to do is to employ your imagination to the fullest, and thereby discover that it is possible for you mentally to picture yourself in such a condition—to realize that such a mental state is possible—this is sufficient for the purpose before you in this instruction.

We wish you to realize fully that there exists at the centre of your being—at the centre of your “thinking states” as well as of your “feeling states”—a Something or Somewhat which inevitably, invariably, and infallibly reports “I AM I” so long as there is even the faintest glow of consciousness manifested. This Something or Somewhat which reports “I AM I” is that Master Self which is your Real Self—YOU, in yourself, of yourself, and by yourself.

This “I AM I” or Master Self is the permanent subject of your thinking processes and activities, and yet is superior to them and capable of rising above them. The “thinking states” rise and fall, appear and disappear, to be succeeded by others manifesting the same process of appearance, expression, and disappearance—but the “I AM I” or Master Self remains constant, permanent and abiding throughout all of these processes of thought. The stream of thought may flow past, ever-changing, ever-passing, ever-becoming, never the same for even two consecutive moments; but the Thinker on the banks of the stream remains ever the same identical “I AM I” or Master Self—not a procession of “I’s,” nor a series of changing “I’s,” but ever the same identical “I,” constant, unchanged, unimpaired.

The lesson taught in this fourth stage of self-analysis is this: That the “thinking states,” in all of their stages, forms, aspects, modes or manifestations of their activities and processes, are not YOU—the “I AM I” or Master Self-but are merely something “belonging to” and used by YOU. Whatever else your Master Self may be, or may not be, it certainly is not your “thinking states,” in their parts or in their totality.

The fifth stage of your self-analysis is that in which you abstract your “I AM I” or Master Self, from that part of your mental being which is indicated by the term “Will,” i. e., the power by means of which you perform actions, mental or physical. Will is always concerned with action, mental or physical: the Will-process is complete only when it manifests in action along mental or physical lines. Will is called into manifestation by Desire, which in turn arises from Feeling or Emotion: it always goes out in the direction of an Idea which has aroused the Feeling, Emotion or Desire. Desire is the connecting-link between Feeling and Will.

That which we call “the Will” is far nearer to the “I AM I” or Master Self, than are the “feeling states,” or the “thinking states.” It lies closer than either to YOU—it has an intimate character, so intimate that it is almost impossible to divest yourself of it even in imagination. It is the body of the kernel of Self, the germ of which is your “I AM I” or Master Self.

Bigelow says: “Sensations originate outside of and inside of the body; emotions originate inside of the body; but the Will is deeper than either, and they are both objective to it. We cannot classify it with anything else. We cannot modify it by anything else; it, itself, modifies everything within its scope. Will is the assertion of a form of consciousness from the centre outward; when it is opposed by another form of consciousness from the circumference inward, we recognize a hindrance to the free action of the Will.” Barrett says: “We know little about the Will. We know that we have Wills, and that we Will. We are conscious that Willing is not thinking or imagining. Most of us know little more.”

Some philosophers and metaphysicians have held that Will is so intimately and closely bound up with the “I AM I” or Master Self, that it is impossible to disentangle them. But Practical Psychology has discovered that even Will, like Feeling and Thinking, is capable of being abstracted and set apart from the “I AM I” or Master Self, there to be examined, analyzed and subjected to experiments. Thus, it is discovered (1) that Will is impermanent and changing in its manifestations and processes; (2) that its processes may be set apart as objects, to be examined, observed, analyzed, and subjected to experiment by the subject “I AM I” or Master Self; (3) that you can conceive the “I AM ‘I’” or Master Self as existing unchanged, unimpaired and undisturbed in its totality—identical and constant—even when the Will-states have been abstracted from it. These processes may be performed with the Will-states as truly as with the “feeling states.”

You know from experience that there are different degrees of Will manifested by you at different times; that your Will-states vary at different times; that they change, are modified, are affected by changing feelings and emotions and changing ideas. You know from experience that by deliberately increasing the force of your emotional feeling, you can fan the Fire of Emotion so as to increase the supply and power of the Steam of Will. You know from experience that by deliberately directing and holding the attention upon certain ideas or objects you can cause the Will to move toward such ideas or objects. You know from experience that you may deliberately and systematically develop, train and cultivate Will Power, so as to increase enormously its effectiveness. In short, you know by actual experience that there is a Willer behind and back of the Will— and that the Will is but an instrument and machine operated by this Willer.

This Willer—this director and master of Will—can be nothing else but the “I AM I” or Master Self. There is nothing else to be the Willer—and nothing else which can control and direct the Will, that great mover of the other mental states and conditions.

The lesson taught in this fifth stage of self-analysis is this: That the Will, in all of its stages, forms, aspects, modes, or manifestations of its activities and processes, is not YOU, yourself, but is merely something “belonging to” and used by YOU. Whatever else your Master Self may be, or may not be, it certainly is not your Will, in its parts, or in its totality.


Conscious Egohood

There are seven stages of consciousness, as taught by the great masters of the Science of Being. Five of these stages we have just considered viz., the respective stages of (1) consciousness of separate existence—of existence as a separate and distinct individuality; (2) consciousness of the ownership and control of the instrument and machinery of the Physical Body; (3) consciousness of the ownership and control of the instrument and machinery of Emotion; (4) consciousness of the ownership and control of the instrument and machinery of Thought; (5) consciousness of the ownership and control of the instrument and machinery of Will. There are two other and higher stages of consciousness remaining to be considered.

In your consideration of the physical body, of the emotional-states, of the thought-states, of the will-states, respectively, you have found it possible to abstract your consciousness of each of these instruments from your consciousness of your “I AM I” or Master Self. Each and every one of these processes of self-analysis has found and left you conscious of the existence, “here and now,” of that “I AM I” or Master Self, independent of the several instruments and elements of machinery which it owns and uses. At the centre of each—even of Will—you found your “I AM I” existing in firm, constant and identical presence and power throughout all the changes in the activities and processes of its instruments and its machinery of expression and manifestation.

But, in the sixth stage of self-analysis, you will discover that you are unable to abstract a certain kind of consciousness from the “I AM I” or Master Self—you will be unable to set aside, examine, analyze, experiment with, and detach this form of consciousness from your Real Self, or “I AM I,” try as you may. Hence, you see, you will there have reached the stage of reality—of ultimate fact and being within yourself. This is a most important stage of your self-analysis—of your search for the “I AM I” or Master Self; therefore, you should approach it carefully, and conduct your inquiry with earnestness and diligence.

The sixth stage of your self-analysis is that known as Ultimate Self-Consciousness. First, you should clearly understand just what is meant, and just what is not meant, by us in this employment of the term “self-consciousness.” In the popular usage, the term means “an unpleasant and abnormal state of consciousness or awareness of one’s self as an object of observation by others.” The psychological usage, however, is quite different: it indicates that state of consciousness in which the “I AM I” is fully, keenly, and positively aware of its own existence as an actual entity, in being “here and now.” It is from this state of consciousness that the individual asserts positively, and with conviction, “I AM I, Here and Now!”

Comparatively very few individuals experience the full degree of this stage of consciousness. Many, of course, say “I AM I,” thereby distinguishing themselves from others—this, however, is merely the first stage of consciousness, not the sixth. Few proceed further in their realization of self-consciousness. Many are unable to differentiate in consciousness between the “I AM I” and the physical body. Still fewer are those who are able to make the distinction between the “I AM I” and the “feeling states”; and still fewer are those who can realize the “I AM I” as transcending the “thinking states.” Very rare and far between, indeed, are those who are able to distinguish between the consciousness of the will-states, and the consciousness of the “I AM I.” The great masses of the race think of the “self” as an aggregate or composite of mind and body, feelings, emotions, thoughts, will activities, etc., and seldom, if ever, catch even a glimpse of the essential and ultimate Selfhood of the “I AM I” or Master Self—the Real Self.

But the great individuals of the race—those who “stand out” from the masses—will usually be found to have evolved into quite a full state of Self-Consciousness; and, accordingly, they will have experienced that sense of Personal Power that comes with this recognition of the “I AM I,” Master Self, Real Self. This illuminating experience, once it comes to the individual, leaves him changed and different: he is never again the same man. A new world is opened to him. A new and positive sense of the reality of his essential being has impressed itself upon him. It comes to many as an awakening from a troubled sleep, or dream state—the dawning realization that “I AM I,” in spite of the dream illusion. In this dawn of the realization of Ultimate Self-Consciousness, the individual “finds himself” at last.

An old English writer once said: “Whether we try to avoid it or not, we must face this reality some time—this reality of our own Egohood—that which makes us say ‘I,’ and in saying ‘I’ leads to the discovery of a new world.” A leading American psychologist has said: “Self-Consciousness is a growth. Many persons never have more than a misty idea of such a mental attitude. They always take themselves for granted, and never turn the gaze inward.”

The dawn of Self-Consciousness—the awakening from the dream of Simple Consciousness—in the individual, is accompanied by a new awareness and consciousness of reality and actual existence; in fact, so strong often becomes this new consciousness of the certainty of real and actual existence, that compared with it all other forms of conscious existence fade into comparative insignificance. This consciousness, once firmly established, serves as a Tower of Strength for the individual, in which he may take refuge, and then defy the adverse conditions of the external world of thoughts and things.

The process of self-analysis, according to which you have proceeded to abstract, in turn, the consciousness of the physical body, the emotional-states, the thought-states, and the will-states, respectively, has now brought you to the point where you have nothing else left for you to analyze, for the purpose of possible abstraction, except the self-consciousness of the existence of the “I AM I” or Master Self—the Real Self. But when you undertake to subject that ultimate element of Selfhood to such process, you discover that further analysis, abstraction, simplification and reduction is impossible—you have reached something Ultimate which defies further analysis or simplification, or separation into parts, elements, or factors. It is the Irreducible Element—the Insoluble Residuum—of Selfhood: it is Egohood itself, in its final essence and principle.

You have discovered that this “I AM I” or Master Self, is not subject to changes, alteration or modification. It is not subject to Becoming, for it is Pure Being, always identical with itself, always constant, ever the same. It does not flow, nor is it in a state of flux. It is never transformed, nor is it transmuted. It does not change form, for it has no form. It does not manifest degrees, for it is absolute in its nature and being. It does not take on aspects, modes, or conditions of appearance. It is always itself, its whole self, and nothing but itself. In this respect it is seen to be entirely different from any of its instruments or machinery, mental or physical. It is not an instrument, nor a part of the machinery—it is That which owns and uses the instruments and the machinery of mental and physical expression and manifestation.

Moreover, your experiments will show you conclusively that you cannot set aside or abstract this “I AM I” or Master Self for the purpose of observation or experiment, as you have been able to do with the physical and mental instruments or machinery which belong to it. You can never make of it an object to be examined or observed by your subjective observer. Try the experiment! You will then find that if you place the “I AM I” at the objective end of your microscope of attention, there will be no subjective “I AM I” left to conduct the examination from the other end of the instrument. Likewise, if you place the “I AM I” at the subjective or observing—end of the instrument, then there will be no objective “I AM I” at the other end, ready to be observed.

Just as the eye sees all outside of itself, but can never see itself, so the “I AM I” may observe and examine everything outside of its essential self, but can never observe and examine its essential self. Here, you find a Something or Somewhat in which subject and object are inseparably joined and combined. Here, indeed, you find the hypothetical “stick with only one end” of the old metaphysicians. Here you find something which is always “subjective,” and never “objective”—something which is all “inside,” without any “outside” aspect or part.

Again, if you attempt to set it aside, as you did its instruments and machinery, mental and physical, you will find that you have nothing at all left of Selfhood—nothing to still assert “I AM I.” You cannot even think it out of existence, nor imagine it out of being, try as you will If you try to think of a world without this “I AM I” existent in it, and then proceed to examine this “I” less world, you will find that it is the “I AM I” itself conducting the examination. If you seek to get rid of it by some metaphysical casuistry or subtle sophistry, you will eventually discover that the “I AM I” is still there, “hidden behind some kindly metaphysical cloud, peering out cautiously, curious to observe how the world is getting along without it.” Throw the “I AM I” out of the door of your consciousness, and it will come in through the window; lock the windows and doors against it, and it will descend through the chimney—it will gain access, somehow, someway.

Even though in imagination you may picture yourself as occupying many different bodies, successively, each with its own emotional, thought, and will character, yet you will always find that it is the same identical “I AM I” playing the part of occupant. Or, though you may imagine yourself in the role of the King of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury, or the President of the United States, yet you always find YOURSELF playing these several parts—at the last, you will realize that YOU, the “same old I,” are the real actor playing the several parts, under the various masks and wearing different costumes. You may change characters, garbs, and roles—but you never can change “I’s”. You are YOU, and never can be not-YOU.

The unfoldment of Ultimate Self-Consciousness—Conscious Egohood—will bring to you the realization that you are a focal centre of Power in the cosmos—a focal centre of Real Power and Real Being. You will gradually realize that YOU are a Centre in the Cosmos, just as the sun is a centre with multitudes of objects whirling around it, or flowing past it.

The occult teachers of ancient days were wont to remind each of their students that he, himself, was “a Centre in the Cosmos; for, in the Cosmos, the circumference is nowhere (because the Cosmos is infinite), and, consequently, the centre is everywhere.” Therefore, the student was introduced to himself, and to think of himself, as a Focal Centre of Power and Being—as a central pivot of the Cosmos—which all else revolved. Rightly understood and interpreted, this statement is Truth: for each individual “I AM I” is, in fact, the pivotal centre of his own universe, with all the rest revolving about him, or passing in review before him.

Do not for a moment imagine that this realization of Conscious Egohood—this “I AM I” consciousness—will unfit you for the duties, tasks and work of practical everyday life. On the contrary, it will render you many times more efficient in any particular phase of practical life. Realizing the nature of your real being, and your relations toward your mental and physical instruments and machinery, you will no longer be caught up in their movements as a man might be caught in the machinery which he is operating; instead, you will be able to detach yourself so that you may operate the machinery with increased skill, efficiency, and power.

Conscious Egohood will cause the muddy waters of your mentality to become as clear as crystal, so as better to reflect the light of that brilliant star of the “I AM I” which is shining above with a fierceness, clearness, and steadfastness inexpressible in ordinary words. The most practical of all men is the man who realizes the realities of his own nature and being, and the character of his relations to his mental and physical instruments of expression and manifestation. When you recognize the nature of your Power; when you realize the conscious feeling of that Power; then will you be able to express and manifest that Power to a wonderful degree, and with an excellence, otherwise impossible to you. Such recognition will make you a better business man, a better engineer, a better lawyer, a better doctor, a better nurse; it will enable you to reach a higher point in your life-work, and to acquire a higher recompense for your services, than would be possible without it.

Cultivate the perception and realization of Conscious Egohood. Seek to develop it by means of thought, of feeling, of imagination—use all of your mental powers to this end—employ every instrument at your disposal to discover YOURSELF, your Real Self. Assert and affirm your real being by saying, thinking, and acting “I AM I.” There is a magic in these words. Their vibrations will set into motion every atom of your being, and they will re-echo the statement to your ears. You will find the affirmation a tower of strength in hours of need. In moments of weakness it will revive your failing courage and dwindling determination. It will serve as a power-house from which you may send forth currents of power and energy; it will serve as a great magnet which will draw to you the things, persons, and circumstances which you will need in your tasks of life. Use the White Magic of the “I AM I” affirmation.

As we proceed with our instruction, you will see that this “I AM I” is even greater and grander than we are now stating it to be. It is a focalized centre of Something or Somewhat infinitely greater—the point of contact between the Universal and the Particular, the Unmanifest and the Manifest, the Uncreate and the Create, the Infinite and the Finite. YOU are far greater than you know. When you say “I AM I,” you are uttering a tremendous statement of Truth, the full meaning of which you as yet only faintly glimpse. The individual who can say “I AM I,” with full recognition in thought, and with full realization in feeling, has lighted for himself a lamp which can never be extinguished by the winds of adversity nor the rains of circumstances. Such a one is well on the path to Mastery!

The seventh stage of your self-analysis—the stage to which you proceed after you have discovered the ultimate nature of the “I AM I” or Master Self—is that which is known as the stage of “POWER-Consciousness.” In this stage of consciousness, while holding firmly and with doubt-defying conviction to the recognition and realization of the “I AM I” as the ultimate and essential base and ground of your individual being, you nevertheless intuitively are aware of the existence of an Underlying Reality, with which in some intimate and essential way your “I AM I” is united, connected, and co-ordinated.

When this consciousness is awakened by the proper methods, you will become as actually conscious of this intimate relationship, as you are now conscious of the existence of your “I AM I” or Master Self. In fact, the two phases of consciousness will seem gradually to coalesce and combine in your higher perception of Reality. Even when the intellect has not as yet been able to “work out the puzzle,” or to “free the riddle,” the intuitive faculties will report that “it is true nevertheless.”

In the following sections of this book, we shall point out the road whereby the intellect may logically approach the facts concerning this highest Truth; for the present, we wish merely to indicate the general nature of the subject, and possibly to cause your intuition to begin to unfold so as to receive the full strength of the rays of the sun of Truth which is beating upon it.

In the stage of POWER-Consciousness, you will know that not only is your “I AM I,” your Master Self, your Real Self a real Centre of Power in the Cosmos: you will also know that back of, under, and around that “I AM I” or Real Self, is the great Ultimate Principle of POWER itself; that the “I AM I” is in actual contact with that POWER—and that the rhythmic vibrations of POWER are at least faintly discernible as they throb and thrill through your being.

Feeling this, all fear will drop away from you, and a new and strange courage will take possession of you: you will thereafter proceed to the Great Adventure of Life, fearlessly and confidently. You will enter into the conscious realization that POWER—All-the-Power-There-IS—is back of and supporting you. You will enter into the conscious recognition that in the great substance and strength of POWER, you live, and move, and have your being. With the dawn of this consciousness, you will, in all truth, be “born again.”

While it is true that but comparatively few individuals actually experience this consciousness in full degree, yet it is true that many experience it in at least some degree; all may gradually unfold into it if they will but turn their attention to that direction. The men and women who have “done things” in the world of everyday life, if they would speak frankly and freely for publication, could give to the world the testimony that at some time in their lives had come to them a certain strange and wonderful, mysterious sense of actual contact with, and relation to, a great Something, the essence of which was felt to be Strength or Power. Varying as are the reports of the different individuals who have testified to this phenomenon there is found a common and general agreement upon the fact that there has been an “actual contact with, and intimate relation to, a Something or Somewhat Infinitely Powerful and Strong.” There is always the consciousness of Immanent Presence, and of Power and Strength.

These individuals have interpreted to themselves these experiences in many ways, each coloring it according to his previous trend of belief or general philosophy of life. To some it has appeared to partake of a religious nature and color—as if the Supreme Being, or at least one of His arch-angels has hovered near, brooded over them, and reflected a portion of the Infinite Power upon them. Many a successful man has experienced this strange phenomenon, and has been comforted by the conviction that he has God “on his side,” or that God is “working in and through me.” One of the richest men of our times has repeatedly made statements at least implicitly expressing this idea; and many of the lesser lights of the world of success have had similar experiences and resulting convictions.

Others have attributed the experience to the presence and aid of some friendly beneficent entity or supernatural personality—a friendly “spirit” from “the other shore.” Others have felt it to be a hint of the presence and power of a kindly Destiny or Fate, or the influence of a beneficent “star.” Napoleon’s belief in his “star,” and the influence it exerted over him for many years of his rapid rise, is said to have arisen from an experience of this kind occurring at the Bridge of Lodi. He was reticent concerning the actual experience; but he often spoke freely of his Star of Destiny, at times going so far as to indicate the particular star which he believed was favoring him.

Others do not attempt to explain the experience, even to themselves; they are content to think of it as “That Something,” the presence and strength of which they have felt—the resulting sense of power after the visitation of which, they have experienced. Many others could testify to these strange experiences of contact with POWER, and to the resulting remarkable increase of Strength and Power therefrom, which afterward flowed into them and through them; the experience, however, is of such an intimate nature, and so likely to be regarded as “queer” by others, that most of these individuals have but little or nothing to say concerning it. The following may be stated as the rule: The more successful the individual has been—the higher he has risen in his particular field of endeavor—the greater is the degree of probability that he has undergone some experience similar to that which we have just stated.

There may be some who will criticize the above as “impractical,” and “fantastic”; but such criticism is not likely to come from those who have been exceptionally successful—who have “done things,” and accomplished great achievements—and who also have good memories of their early experiences. Repeat this statement to some man or woman of this kind—then see that individual smile in a peculiar way, and note the strange expression which will pass over his or her face, though a direct answer may be avoided.

This phenomenal experience is not “supernatural,” nor is it “mystic”; on the contrary, it is quite natural, and intensely practical in its effect. It means simply that the individual in the course of his mental or spiritual evolution has arrived at a stage where in the natural course of things he “contacts” POWER itself—the Principle of POWER which animates, energizes, and vitalizes the Cosmos. He becomes actually aware of the contact, and of the influx of Power which results from it. Moreover, in many cases—in most cases of the kind, in fact—when this contact is once experienced and established, thereafter the individual finds it comparatively easy to make a “short cut” to POWER by opening himself to the inflow of Strength and Power from the POWER Principle.

It is the phenomenon of the spiritual trolley-pole coming in contact with the great service-cable of POWER. It is the most natural, and the most practical thing in the world. As we have said, it has been experienced in some degree by many of the most practical persons in the world; and much of the subsequent success of such persons has arisen therefrom— and many of such know this to be the cause of their success and power. Moreover, many of the world’s most practical individuals are recognizing the existence of this phase of natural phenomena, and are striving to effect this contact of the “spiritual trolley-pole.” There is more inquiry concerning these things on the part of such individuals than the great masses of the people even dream of.

This is not the statement of a “new religion,” nor of some strange philosophy or “ism.” It has nothing to do with “supernaturalism,” “spiritism,” or any other teaching of that character. It is, instead, the statement of a cold, scientific fact, or series of facts, all of which may be demonstrated by any person who will lay aside his prejudices and his skepticism sufficiently long for him to “try out” the idea and plan with earnestness and in good faith, for a reasonable length of time. The results are open to any such person who will place himself in the proper mental attitude toward the facts, and who will await confidently and expectantly the dawning of the experience, and the inflow of the Power from the Principle of POWER.

It is true that many religious, or semi-religious, or quasi-religious sects and cults—and many new popular schools of philosophy and metaphysics—have recognized and adopted the general and fundamental principles of this great truth; and have interpreted the same, each in the terms of its own particular belief or theory; coloring it with the shade, tint, or hue of its particular beliefs or dogmas; labeling it with one of many new and wonderful titles; expounding it in strange, and often weird and bizarre fashion; but the fundamental facts are greater than any of these attempts to interpret and explain them in the terms of cults, sects, and schools—too great to be dwarfed by the limitations of the doctrines and dogmas built around them in the attempt to confine them. There is no monopoly of this great truth—no one has a corner on it: though many attempts in that direction have been made.

Those who will seek the intellectual recognition of the relation of the “I AM I” (as we shall set it forth in this book); and who will open the doors of their being to the conscious realization of the contact with POWER which comes to those who await and are ready for it; will gradually unfold the power and ability to manifest the superimposed Strength and Energy of POWER, through their mental and physical channels of expression and manifestation. You are invited to test and prove this for yourself.


Cosmic Power

In the second section of this book, we announced the two basic postulates upon which are grounded the teachings and instruction contained in the book. These two basic postulates, which we shall here repeat, are as follows: (1) There exists in you a Master Self, Ego, “I,” or “I AM I,” entity, to which all of your personal faculties, powers and activities are subordinate; (2) This Master Self (whatever else it may be or may not be), must be regarded as a focalized centre of Presence and Power manifested and expressed by the Ultimate Presence-Power in its manifestation and expression in the Cosmos.

In the foregoing sections, we have directed you to the discovery of the “I,” the “I AM I,” the Ego, or the Master Self, which is the centre of your Selfhood—your Real Self. In the last preceding section, we have directed your attention to “POWER-Consciousness,” i. e., the conscious recognition of the Ultimate Presence-Power, the Cosmic POWER, of which the “I AM I” or Master Self is the “focalized centre” of expression and manifestation. We now ask you to consider what the reason of man, exercised to its limits along the line of logical reasoning, inevitably, invariably, and infallibly reports concerning the presence and being of the Principle of Cosmic POWER.

The essence of this report of human reason, exercised to its limits along the lines of logical thought, may be stated as follows: There exists and is present an Eternal, Uncaused, Self-Existent Principle of POWER, from which all manifestations of Power directly or indirectly proceed. Let us now consider how and why the human reason is compelled to accept this conclusion, which is inevitably, invariably, and infallibly reported when it extends itself to its limits along the lines of logical thought.

All human thought directed along philosophical lines of inquiry and reasoning to cognition concerning ultimate principles of being and “the ultimate cause of things,” you will find, finally arrives at a point at which it is forced to postulate the presence and being of an Ultimate Principle of Presence-Power underlying and supporting that manifestation which we know as the Cosmos, i. e., the universe conceived as proceeding according to “law and order.” The discovery of this Ultimate Principle of Presence-Power is the great aim and purpose, intention and end, of philosophy; and all schools of philosophy, metaphysics, and theology assume without question the necessary existence of such Ultimate Principle, though they differ greatly concerning its nature or character.

Human reason is forced to this conclusion principally by the fact of its recognition of the following three axioms as necessary and fundamental bases of logical thought, viz.: (1) That the undoubted presence and manifestation of coordination (i. e., state of common action, movement, and condition; and mutual adjustment, correlation, and interdependence) in all of the objects, forms and activities of the Cosmos, point inevitably, invariably, and infallibly to a common source and origin, and common essential nature, of everything in the Cosmos. (2) That “from nothing, no thing can proceed,” and, consequently, that everything is capable of being traced back by steps and stages to an ultimate cause, origin, or principle of being. (3) That the world of constantly changing things and activities may be accounted for and explained intelligently under no other conception than that of an Ultimate Principle of Presence-Power which is the base, ground, and support of the world of changing things—the constant element, essence, or principle which itself never changes, but which holds together and co-ordinates all the changing things.

These axioms are regarded by the best thinkers of the race as “self-evident, necessary truths,” the contrary of which is unthinkable. Truth so firmly established and universally accepted as axiomatic as is this truth, cannot be attacked unless the validity of reason is also attacked. Therefore, we shall not attempt to argue or to “prove” the truth of these three axioms of human reason. We are content to rest upon the statement that the best thought of the race accepts them as true axioms, or self-evident truths; and that the contrary is unthinkable, and repugnant to logical thought.

We wish here to call your attention to several subordinate propositions, attached to the three axioms above stated, which are generally accepted as being axiomatic in nature, and which logically follow the acceptance of the three basic axioms. These subordinate propositions are three in number, and are as follows:

(1) “The Ultimate Principle of Presence-Power is Eternal.” That the Ultimate Principle of Presence-Power is Eternal, logically follows from (a) the recognization of it as ultimate, i. e., incapable of possible resolution or analysis; final, basic and fundamental; and (b) that “from nothing, no thing can proceed.” Ultimate Principle, being ultimate, basic and fundamental in the absolute sense, cannot have had a preceding cause, origin or source. And, as “from nothing, no things proceed,” it cannot be conceived as having sprung from Nothingness. Therefore, it must always have existed, without beginning, without interruption, without cessation. If there ever had been a time in which it was not in existence, or ever a time in which it ceased to exist, then it could not be in existence now. “If there ever was a time in which there was but Nothing, then there would be but Nothing now,” is a self-evident statement of truth, accepted as such by all logical thought of whatever school.

(2) “The Ultimate Principle of Presence-Power is Uncaused.” That which is ultimate, must necessarily be uncaused. That which is eternal, must likewise be uncaused. The reasoning leading to this conclusion has been stated in the preceding paragraph, and need not be repeated here. There is, and never could have been, anything which could have caused or created Ultimate Principle; and that which is Eternal is, by the fact of its eternity, beyond cause or causing process.

(3) “The Ultimate Principle of Presence-Power is Self-Existent.” That which is ultimate, eternal, and uncaused, must also necessarily be self-existent, i. e., existing of and by itself, and not depending for origin, continuance, and support upon any other thing. There is nothing else but itself which can serve to support or sustain Ultimate Principle; and nothing, not even itself, which could have originally brought it into being—it being conceived as ultimate, eternal and causeless, and as “The Whole Thing” in its essence and state of fundamental being.

Thus, you see, we cannot escape from the conclusion that the Ultimate Principle of Presence-Power is “Eternal, Uncaused, and Self-Existent.” Moreover, being “the Ultimate Principle of Presence-Power,” it is seen that all things must proceed, directly or indirectly from it, as from a source or origin. A Principle (in this sense of the term) is: “An ultimate and essential cause, source, or origin, from which all derivative effects, events, or things of any and all kinds, proceed or flow.” As we have said, all philosophical and metaphysical speculative thought has for its end and aim the explanation of all separate and particular activities by some one common, Ultimate Principle. All theology, likewise, postulates a Supreme Ultimate Being as the common source and origin of all manifested and created things. Whether Ultimate Principle be thought of as Spirit, Matter, or Energy—as Person, Substance, or Force—the basic and fundamental conception of it as “Ultimate Principle,” is found to be essentially the same.

Whatever else the various schools of philosophy, metaphysics, and theology hold that Ultimate Principle must be, and must not be, they will be found in tacit agreement upon the point that POWER must be an essential attribute of its being—an attribute of which it cannot be divested. This, because unless Ultimate Principle is POWER, or else possesses POWER as an attribute, then it never could have manifested, expressed, or created the Cosmos and its activities. A powerless Ultimate Principle would be merely a passive, inactive Something or Somewhat, and there would be nothing to “flow or proceed from it”—in fact, it would not be a true Principle at all.

Theology, beyond question, conceives the Supreme Being to be possessed of Infinite Power as an essential attribute of which it cannot be divested, and without which we cannot think of it. Without Power, the Supreme Being could not have created the world, nor have brought anything into existence in anyway whatsoever. Again, the very essence of religious feeling is that concerning the existence of a POWER upon which the worshiper may safely depend, and upon which he may rest: take away this conviction, and the very spirit of religious feeling would fade into nothingness. God without Power, would not be God at all, according to the accepted theological conceptions of God. There is no escaping this basic fact of theological teaching.

But, outside of theology and religion—even among those who do not accept either—we find an equal certainty that POWER must exist in the Something or Somewhat which is held to be the Ultimate Principle of the Cosmos. Philosophers, metaphysicians, scientists—even the most materialistic thinkers—hold as thoroughly as do the theologians that Ultimate Principle must be, or else must possess, POWER, whatever else may be asserted of it. This, because without POWER, the Ultimate Principle “could not perform work”; without Cosmic Power, there would and could be no Cosmos at all. Hence POWER is held to be self-evident, and a necessity of thought on the subject of Ultimate Principle, or of Cosmic Activities.

Herbert Spencer indicated the spirit of his own philosophy, and also pointed out the path over which other thinkers have since traveled, when he made his famous statement affirming the existence and the power of “That Infinite and Eternal Energy, from which all things proceed.” John Fiske, in his great work entitled “Cosmic Theism,” presented the Following formula as a full and complete basic statement of his theory of the Cosmos: “There exists a POWER, to which no limit in space or time is conceivable, of which all phenomena are manifestations.”

Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia University, sums up the conclusions of modern philosophical and scientific thought, as follows: “A strong, and in my view, the dominant tendency in philosophy, powerfully supported by the results of scientific knowing, is that which sees Totality as ENERGY, which is Will.”

Authoritative statements, similar to those just given, might be multiplied almost indefinitely—but the above will serve to illustrate the general conviction on the subject. In whatever direction in the field of human thought we may look, whatever else we find, we are certain to find this report of the necessary presence and existence of POWER at the very centre and heart of things—as the common fount, source, and origin of all things—in the Ultimate Principle of Being, or the Ultimate Cosmic Principle, call it what we will. Setting aside all the points upon which the varying schools differ concerning the essential nature of the Ultimate Principle, we find remaining the constant element of POWER—this cannot be reasoned away, nor can it be discarded from the problem or proposition of Ultimate Principle.

The Ultimate Principle conceived of as Spirit, as Substance, as Energy or Force, or as Matter, the element and attribute, or the essential fact, of POWER must always be ascribed to it.

After the conflicting claims have canceled each other out of the calculation—or else have been reconciled—we still find POWER uncanceled, impossible of cancelation, needing no reconciliation, the one undisputed and indisputable factor of the calculation: it is that which remains when all else has been eliminated in the attempt to reach an absolutely essential factor—the one factor which, if omitted or disregarded, destroys the meaning and value of the whole calculation.

In view of the above facts, we feel that we are justified in employing the term “POWER,” in this instruction, to indicate that Something or Somewhat which we find termed Ultimate Principle of Presence-Power, Ultimate Cosmic Principle, etc., and “from which all manifestations of Power directly or indirectly proceed.”

In following with us this conception of Ultimate Principle as POWER, you are not asked, nor are you required, to discard your other conceptions of the nature and character of Ultimate Principle. Hold fast to these if you prefer to do so, but do not intrude them into the instruction: for there are other students, equally earnest and equally clear of thought, who hold fast to other and possibly contradictory conceptions concerning those other elements. For the purposes of the present instruction, we ask you, with them, to lay aside those points upon which all of you cannot agree, and to confine yourself to these particular points upon which all of you are in common agreement and mutual harmony: those points are discovered to be represented in the present conception of the element of POWER as an essential fact, element, and factor in the final conception of Ultimate Principle, which, accordingly, in this instruction is termed “POWER.”

All philosophical, metaphysical, theological, and scientific thought concerning the ultimate nature of the Fundamental Principle of Presence and Power eventually reaches a point where it is confronted with an Ultimate Mystery—the mystery of the “why and wherefore” of Ultimate Being or Existence itself. This Ultimate Mystery may be indicated by the question which has come to each and every great thinker who has pursued the quest of knowledge to this point—the question which may be stated in these words: “How and why is there Being and Existence at all? How comes there to be Something or Somewhat instead of Nothing?”

Philosophy, metaphysics, theology, and science each has wrestled with this problem, and each has been compelled to withdraw from it in confessed or implied defeat. Each has “come out the door in which it went.” The deeper the thought seeking to plumb the depths of this Ultimate Mystery, the greater is the mystery perceived to be. As a great thinker has said: “Not only is this Ultimate Mystery insoluble, but the degree and extent of the mystery itself is almost inconceivable—the average mind does not even begin to comprehend the nature of the problem, nor the unsurmountable obstacles confronting those who dare to approach it in the spirit of rational inquiry.”

There have been countless theories and hypothesis advanced, it is true; so many, in fact, that it has been said that philosophical, metaphysical, and theological thought along these particular lines cannot be regarded as logical and exact thought, for the reason that no two of such thinkers have ever come into exact and perfect agreement concerning these ultimate questions. Some cynical observer has said that the search for the answer to these ultimate questions is like the task of “a blind man, in a dark room, hunting for a black cat—which isn’t there.” Some very careful thinkers, indeed, hold positively that “the black cat isn’t there,” for the reason that not only is the question beyond the limits of the human reason, but that, also, from the very nature of the case, there can be no answer.

It has been pointed out that the human reason, understanding, and even the human imagination, being the products of the power of the Ultimate Principle of Being, and being finite and limited in their nature, cannot be so employed as to solve the secret of their source, or to express Infinity in the terms of finite thought or imagination. They point out that Thought, which is the result of Causation, cannot be expected to explain the Causeless Cause: that Thought which is temporal cannot be sufficient to explain the Eternal; that Thought which is produced by, and which manifests Change, cannot solve the riddle of the Immutable and Changeless. They point out that “The Universe withholds its ultimate secrets,” and that though “Veil after veil will lift—there must be veil upon veil behind.” Gautama, the Buddha, warned his followers against striving to “measure with words the Immeasurable,” or to engage in the futile task of “sinking the string of thought into the Fathomless.”

The Ultimate Mystery, however, lies still deeper than the inability of the human mind to fathom it, which inability results from the finite nature of the human mind. As a few of the keenest thinkers have pointed out to us, the very attempt to “free the riddle” arises from an erroneous and fallacious fundamental mistake. This fundamental mistake consists in the illogical attempt to find an explanation, i. e., a “cause” for that Something or Somewhat which by its very nature is and must be “without cause,” having no “because” attached to it. The human mind is so accustomed to seek and to find “causes” in, of, and for things, that it falls into the childlike error of trying to find “causes” for the Causeless.

The very conception of Ultimate Principle carries with it the positive, fundamental and essential implication that such a Something or Somewhat must necessarily be Ultimate, Causeless, Absolute, and Eternal. That which is Ultimate cannot have had a Cause. That which is Absolute cannot have had a Cause. Such a Something or Somewhat must have always existed, without a Cause—such is the inevitable, invariable and infallible report of Reason extended to the full limits of its powers.

This, when rightly understood, does not really contradict experience, reason, or logic—though at first it may seem to do so. All that our experience, reason or logic insists upon is that: “Everything that comes into existence must be the effect of a preceding Cause, for Something cannot proceed from Nothing.” Reason, reporting that there must be conceded to be an Ultimate Principle of Being, is not postulating that Ultimate Being as ever having “come into existence”—indeed, it positively reports that such an idea is absurd and unthinkable. Therefore, there is no real demand for a Cause for Ultimate Principle, inasmuch as it is not in the class of “things which have come into existence.”

Here, then, we see that there is no explanation required for Being or Existence in its state of Ultimate Principle; as an eminent thinker has said: “It is unexplainable simply because there is nothing in it to explain.” The same thinker points out to us that even if the Ultimate Principle be conceived as being or having an Omniscient Mind, even then it could not explain its own Causeless Being, for there would be nothing to explain— even such an Omniscient Mind could only assert “I AM THAT I AM.” Again, this great thinker has told us that: “To ask ‘Why is Existence?’ is equivalent to asking ‘Why is the Possible?’”

Therefore, in the present instruction we shall make no attempt to explain the Ultimate Mystery of Being or Existence. We shall content ourselves with indicating the necessity of the conception of an Ultimate Principle of Presence-Power—this we call “POWER”—and to pointing out the ways in which it manifests and expresses itself in the activities of the Cosmos, and, particularly, to its manifestation as Personal Power in the individual—in YOU!

We may not be able to pierce the Veils of Nature, but we may at least report what has been learned concerning the appearance of that Something or Somewhat which not only conceals itself behind the Veil, but which also reveals and discloses its presence there by pressing up against the Veil, and by causing forms and movements in and of the substance of that Veil. As the Sufis say: “The Veils not only conceal the ONE—they also serve to reveal and disclose His presence and movements.”

We ask you to pause here for a moment, in order to fix upon your mind and memory a mental picture—a symbol by the means of which you may think of the Cosmic Manifestation of POWER, the Ultimate Principle of Power. Form a picture of the Cosmic Manifestation as a great Ocean of Power, in constant motion and activity, expressing on its surface many phases, forms, and aspects of its Power; and indicating below its surface many other forms, phases, and aspects of Power: but there abiding in its utmost depths a Something or Somewhat remaining Unmanifest, calm, peaceful, undisturbed, in Infinite and Eternal Presence, Being, and Power.

In this great Ocean of Cosmic Manifestation is contained all the Power manifested and expressed in Nature—even in yourself. YOU are a focalized centre of activity on the surface of that Ocean, yet with vibrating and whirling filaments extending far down beneath that surface, until finally they touch the Uncreate Depths of POWER. Verily, it has well been said that the Cosmos, and all contained therein, is bathed in a great Ocean of Power, in which, as the Greek poet, Aratus, quoted by Saint Paul, said: “we live, and move, and have our being”; the ultimate POWER of which, as Paul himself said, “is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

From POWER, all Power comes—including Personal Power. There is no other source or origin for Personal Power—YOUR Personal Power—than that of POWER, the Ultimate Principle of Power. All Power flows, directly or indirectly, from POWER, the Universal Source of Power, the Fount of Power, the Storehouse of Cosmic Power. All Power is in POWER—and he who would attain Personal Power must seek and obtain it from and through POWER. Let there be no mistake about this. There is no other source of Personal Power than POWER—there is nothing else competent to serve as the source of Personal Power. The heedless and ignorant are satisfied with Personal Power indirectly supplied them, after flowing through many winding channels. The wise seek to make a direct channel leading to POWER itself. There are “short cuts” to Personal Power, made by securing direct connection with POWER.

In the light of the above statements and teaching, re-read our second basic postulate, viz., “The Master Self, Ego, ‘I’, or ‘I AM I,’ is a focalized centre of Being and Power manifested and expressed by Ultimate POWER in its manifestations and expressions in the Cosmos.” Remembering that YOU are this “focalized centre”, you may begin to see the tremendous significance of that statement.


The Twin-Manifestation

In the preceding section of this book, we have shown you that it is impossible for the human mind to understand just what the Ultimate Principle of Power—POWER in itself—is in its essential nature and being. Likewise, we have shown you “just how” it is possible for us to know that there is such POWER at all. Just as you have seen that, when you consider the “I AM I” centre of being within yourself, you must rest content with the inevitable, invariable, and infallible report of self-consciousness that “I AM I”, so you find you must rest content with the inevitable, invariable, and infallible report of your reason that POWER, the Ultimate Principle of All-Power, IS and must be present and in being. In both cases you are confronted with a Final Mystery—not two final mysteries, however, but the two aspects of the one Final Mystery.

But, likewise, just as you find it possible to discover “just how” the “I AM I” manifests and expresses itself in your personal activities, so may you discover “just how” POWER manifests and expresses itself in the activities of the Cosmos; and “just how” you may draw upon POWER for Personal Power to be manifested and expressed in your personal activities: and, after all, that is the main point of practical instruction designed to aid and assist you in your life-activities in this very practical world of very practical things.

The Pragmatic Philosophy needed by you in your practical life, here and now, in this very practical world, properly concerns itself with the “just how” questions, and leaves the “just why” insoluble problems for those who enjoy the Sisyphean task of striving like “the blind man in the dark room, seeking to find the black cat—which isn’t there.” Sisyphus, you may remember, was that unfortunate character of ancient mythology who was subjected to eternal punishment in Tartarus; his task consisting of the eternal rolling of a huge stone to the top of a high mountain, the stone constantly recoiling, and thus rendering his task incessant, unceasing and unending—without possible accomplishment.

In considering what observation, experiment, and reason teach us concerning “just how” POWER proceeds to manifest its strength and energy in the activities of the Cosmos, let us begin by quoting to you an ancient Oriental fable, devised by the earliest teachers to illustrate the Cosmic Activities, as well as the human activities along the lines of Personal Power. By carefully grasping the principles set forth in this old fable, and by fixing them in your mind, you will have ever before you a most useful and practical diagram of the methods employed by POWER, and which also are to be followed in your manifestation and expression of Personal Power—both the Personal Power you now possess, as well as the cultivated, developed and trained Personal Power which you will acquire by applying the principles and methods embodied in the present instruction.

The ancient fable, which has been told by teacher to pupil in Oriental lands, for many thousand years, proceeds as follows:

Once upon a time, there dwelt in a vast forest two individuals, each of whom had been particularly blessed by the gods in certain ways, yet equally deprived of certain other particular blessings. Both of these individuals were giants in power, yet their power was so limited in certain directions that their lack was as great as was their possession.

The first of these forest-dwellers was a physical giant, filled with vigor and strength, and animated with a strong desire, longing and craving to move about, travel, and to play an important part in the world of men. But, alas! he had been born blind, and could find his way about the forest only by clumsily groping and feeling his way, stumbling along from tree to tree— always traveling in circles and never getting anywhere. He was never able to emerge from the forest, and to reach the world of men. The name of this giant was “VOLITION” which means, “The Power of Willing.”

The second of the forest-dwellers was a mental giant; possessed of wonderful powers of observation and perception, good judgment and discernment, able to reason and to plan, to imagine and invent. But, alas! he had been born with withered legs and paralyzed arms, and was unable to travel around and about by means of his own powers of locomotion, or to employ his arms in any natural activities. His great mental powers went to waste by reason of his physical deficiencies. In his way, he was quite as helpless as the physical giant. The name of this second giant was “IDEATION”, which means, “The Power of Thinking.”

And so, these two great giants—one a physical giant, the other a mental giant—dwelt apart from each other in the great forest; each being dependent upon friendly neighbors for his food and raiment; each living the life of a helpless beggar, and each unable to fulfill that destiny for which his great powers would seem to have fitted him. In neither existed that combination of “seeing” and “doing”—that necessary co-ordination of essential powers; yet each had what the other lacked, and each lacked what the other possessed. In each was Power going to waste— Power unable to express and manifest itself.

One day, the blind giant, groping and stumbling around in a circle, chanced to come near to the paralyzed giant. The latter called loudly to the former, and directed his steps to where the latter sat helpless. The two, meeting for the first time, conversed earnestly; before long a strong friendship was established between them. The bond of mutual sympathy, and of mutual need and lack, served to unite them in a mutual understanding and comradeship.

Then, there flashed into the mind of “Ideation” a brilliant thought. He saw at once, in a flash of intuitive insight, how the two giants might form a most advantageous partnership, to which each might contribute his own particular powers—the powers which the other lacked. “Volition” would contribute the body and physical strength—his strong body, strong legs, and strong arms; “Ideation” would contribute his strong sight, strong powers of observation and perception, strong powers of discrimination and judgment, strong powers of imagination, reasoning, and invention. The combination would be perfect, said “Ideation”; and “Volition” enthusiastically embraced the opportunity thus afforded him.

And so, “Volition”, the blind-giant, lifted up “Ideation”, the paralyzed-giant onto his shoulders; and the pair started forth through the forest, toward the world of men. Guided by the keen eyes and brain of “Ideation”, and carried by the sturdy legs and body of “Volition”, the pair traveled far and fared well.

The eyes of “Ideation” saw clearly and keenly; and his mind not only pointed out the best paths and roads to travel, but also planned well the journey. He mapped out new scenes of travel, and devised the best routes; and he discovered the places at which food and shelter were obtainable. He found work to be performed by “Volition”, and told him how to do it efficiently. In this way the pair supported themselves ably, under the direction of the keen-sighted and keen-witted “Ideation”.

On the other hand, “Volition”, the blind giant, with his superb physical strength, carried the pair easily and rapidly over the road, and performed the physical work which served to support the pair and to accomplish their joint-purposes. He did his work well—the work which such a strong, vigorous giant might be expected to do. Guided by “Ideation”, he no longer wasted time and effort in traveling about and in performing his tasks. His sturdy body, legs, and arms had found an equally strong pair of eyes, and a brain capable of functioning efficiently. And so, as has been said, the pair traveled far, and fared well.

The wise ancient Oriental teachers concluded their relation of the fable by the recitation of its moral and application, as follows:

“Here you have the story of Nature and of Man. Nature in her earlier years was like the blind-giant—filled with power and with longing to act, but unable to see its way before it. It stumbled and groped, often traveling around in circles and retracing its steps. Blind Nature, though strong of Will, was unable to perform its desired tasks as it wished to do; it made mistakes, it failed, it went ’round and ’round, ever trying to find a way—often proceeding into the ‘blind alleys’ of the forest, only to be forced to retrace its steps. It could not see; it often acted like a sleep-walker, with a strong purpose but lacking definite direction. Only when it evolved its Ideative powers and coordinated these with its blind Will, was it able to proceed with intelligence and in definite directions. This is the story of Nature, my sons. Thus does it work; thus does it proceed; thus does it create and accomplish.”

Then the sages continued: “And like unto it, is the story of Man. In each man there is the blind-giant of Will, full of energy and vigor, filled with the burning desire and urge to express and to manifest its powers of action; yet of itself capable merely of stumbling and blundering, groping and feeling its way, and usually traveling in circles. Likewise, in every man there is found the crippled and paralyzed Thought, keen-eyed and keen-witted, resourceful, observing, discerning; planning, inventing; but of itself incapable of moving about and of performing efficient work. Only when human Thought mounts the shoulder of human Will, and points out the way, the road, and the direction; and only when human Will permits and submits itself to this direction and guidance, and consents to use its strong body, strong legs, and strong arms to pursue the path, and to perform the work so pointed out to it by human Thought; only when this cooperative partnership is formed in the mind of Man, and proceeds to manifest and express its combined and co-ordinated powers—only then do the united pair, the ‘two-in-one’, become efficient, useful, and capable of effective and efficient expression and manifestation. This is the story of Man, my sons. Thus does he work; thus does he proceed; thus does he create and accomplish.”

Postponing for the moment the application of this principle to the Personal Power of Man, we would say that many of the brightest minds of philosophy have arrived at a similar conclusion concerning the character of Nature’s activities. But alas! many of them saw only one side of the story, and ignored the other. Some, like Schopenhauer, saw only the Will aspect, and sought to explain Thought as an evolution of WILL—a product of the activities of blind-Will in Nature. Others, certain of the great Idealists, saw only the Thought aspect, and sought to explain Will as a product of evolved Thought.

Each of these schools of philosophy explained matters quite satisfactorily up to a certain point—but each failed to perceive the dual-aspect of Nature’s activities the respective aspects of Will and Thought—the twin-manifestations, combined and co-ordinated as equal partners, each impotent without the other. Later philosophers, however, have seen the truth embodied in the ancient Oriental fable, and have sought to build systems of philosophy upon it—and the tendency is now in that direction. And this is well—for it is “the only way”

Schopenhauer postulated a Cosmic Blind Will as the Ultimate Principle of POWER, and explained the universe in its terms. Others followed him along these lines, with various modifications. Schopenhauer said: “Will is the innermost essence, the kernel of every living thing, and of the Totality of Existence”. Others held similarly, defining Will as “Desire with the Power to act; or Power with the Desire to act.” Wundt said: The Universe, as perceived by us, is the outer wrapper or sheath behind which is hidden a spiritual, creative activity—a striving, feeling sensing, like that which we experience in ourselves; the active principle of which is Conation, or impulse, tendency, desire, and Will.” In this connection you will recall the statement of Nicholas Murray Butler (previously quoted in this book), in which he says “The dominant tendency in philosophy, powerfully supported by the results of scientific knowing, is that which sees Totality as Energy, which is Will”

On the other hand, we find the Idealists, holding that the Ultimate Principle is Ideation, or Ideative Power; the universe being a purely ideative creation, a drama, a mental picture, a story, or perhaps even a day-dream or actual dream of a Universal Ideative Power. The Idealists hold that the universe, and everything in it, is but an Idea, or series of Ideas, in the Ideative Mind of a Supreme Ideator. Idealism (in this sense) is defined in the reference books as: “The philosophical doctrine which holds that the World is an Idea; and which teaches that material objects have no real existence, and that we have no rational grounds for believing in the reality of anything in the Cosmos but Ideas and their relations.” A variation of this philosophy is that which holds that Ideal Forms, existing eternally, constitute Reality; these have the power and ability to manifest and express outward semblances of themselves, which, however, usually appear more or less distorted or imperfect.

Von Hartmann came quite near to the combination of Volition and Ideation, in some portions of his “Philosophy of the Unconscious”. He said: “No one can will, without willing this and that. Only through a definite direction does the Will obtain the possibility of expression.” So in his philosophy he combined Cosmic Will and Cosmic Idea, the two combined forming his Cosmic Principle. He compared the two aspects of his Cosmic Principle to the color and the fragrance of the rose, neither of which contradict or oppose each other; or, again, with the two poles of the magnet, with opposite qualities, on whose relation and correlation the Cosmic activities depend. A modern psychologist says: “Will is called out by Ideas; it goes out only in response to ideas,” and, “An idea which is the object of Will, is transformed into a motive of voluntary action.” So, you see, the conception of the dual-aspect, or twin-manifestation, is coming into prominence, as it was bound to do in time.

If you will observe the processes and activities of Nature, you will see everywhere the evidences of Volition and Ideation—the blind Will moving into activity under the direction and impulse of Thought. The Idea is the Form or Pattern, which the Will is always endeavoring to manifest and express into objective and material existence. If you wish a “working philosophy” of the ways and manner in which Nature proceeds, and by which her creative activities seem to be accomplished, you can do no better than to employ, at least tentatively, the general idea of those philosophies which include the conception of the co-ordination and correlation of Will and Thought—of Volition and Ideation—as illustrated in the ancient Oriental fable.

By this, however, we do not mean to indicate that we believe that POWER, the Cosmic Ultimate Principle, IS, in itself, merely Volition and Ideation. On the contrary, we rest on our previous statement that all we can say of the essential nature of POWER is, simply, that it IS—and must be Eternal, Uncaused, and Self-Existent. All that we mean to imply concerning Cosmic Volition and Cosmic Ideation, is that these appear to constitute the Twin-Manifestation of POWER in the Cosmos, and seem to be the special and particular instruments or machinery by means of which POWER accomplishes its creative expression and manifestation in the Cosmos. Be sure that you understand us correctly in this distinction—for the differentiation is an important one. It is as illogical to identify POWER with its instruments and machinery, as it is to identify the “I AM I” or Master Self with its own particular instruments and machinery.

Personal Power, in Man, being a part of the general manifestation and expression of POWER in the Cosmos (for there is no other Power of which it may be the expression and manifestation) must come under the general rule of the expression and manifestation of POWER in the Cosmos. That is to say, it must be governed by the Twin-Manifestation along the lines of Volition and Ideation—of Will and Thought. Investigation and observation, aided by actual experiment, prove this to be the case, as might be expected.

The “I AM I” or Master Self, being a focalized centre of Presence and Power, created by POWER in its Cosmic Manifestation, naturally proceeds to express and manifest itself in activity, just as does POWER manifest and express itself in its greater activities, i. e., by employing the instruments and machinery of Volition and Ideation. All of Man’s activities are perceived to proceed under this rule.

In this connection, however, you must not overlook the fact that the mental and physical activities of Man proceed along the lines of subconscious processes as well as along those of the ordinary consciousness. There is subconscious Will, and subconscious Thought, as well as conscious Will and conscious Thought. In fact, a very large percentage of Man’s will-activities and thought-activities proceed on the subconscious planes or levels of his being.

Man’s physical growth, and the processes of his physical organism, proceed almost entirely along the lines of subconscious activity. There is ever present the Will, pressing forward to accomplish its work of growth, nutrition, repair, elimination, etc. There is also ever present Ideation, furnishing the mental pattern or design, which Will proceeds to objectify and materialize. The Idea of the oak-tree is implicit in the germ within the acorn; and the Will-power in the acorn, and in the growing tree ever presses forward to make that ideal real—to objectify and materialize the ideal form.

Ideation builds the inner form, and Will strives to materialize into outer form that which first existed in ideal form. This is as true of the human life as that of the oak; and of all forms of life in Nature. It is manifested equally, and as truly, in the formation of the crystals, as it is in living things. In every natural activity in which things and events are perceived to move according to law and order, and apparently toward a certain pattern, design, or plan, there exists first the ideal or inner form, around which the outer or material form or movement builds itself. One who carefully observes Nature’s processes cannot escape this conviction.

Then, viewing Man’s mental activities and processes, we perceive the same dual-principle in action. Man uses his Will in order to fasten his attention upon anything; he uses his Will when he strives to “think out” anything, when he tries to bring back an image from memory, when he tries to imagine or invent anything. Even in his “feeling states”, the Will is involved along subconscious lines. And, likewise, there is always present the mental pattern of Ideation. Will goes forth only in response to some idea. If ideas were shut out of the consciousness of Man, then he would “feel” nothing in the way of emotion, would desire nothing; and would not act to accomplish anything whatsoever.

If you wish to arouse the feelings or emotion of a man, you have but to present to him the appropriate ideas calling for those feelings and emotions. If you wish to arouse him to Will-activity, you have but to supply him with appropriate Ideas calling forth such action. Very few persons understand the dynamic force of Idea. To them an idea is merely an intangible something in the mind, having but little if anything to do with actual effort or activity.

But the psychologists know and teach that Ideation, by reason of its “pulling power” exercised over the Will, is one of the most active elements of all human action. Without Ideation there would be no Will-action; with heightened Ideation, the Will-action is enormously increased in power and efficiency. Practical psychologists now teach their students that it is possible to arouse, strengthen, and stimulate Desire and Will by repeatedly and constantly presenting to them the strong, clear, and definite ideas of the thing sought to be accomplished, objectified and materialized. They likewise teach that one may restrain, restrict or inhibit the activities of Desire and Will by resolutely withdrawing the attention from the idea in question, or else by directing the attention to an idea of an exactly opposite nature and character.

Professor Halleck, the eminent psychologist, says: “An idea always has a motor-element, however obscure; in other words, an idea is a practically incipient motor-action. A motor-action, unless restrained, tends to go out immediately in definite action. * * * It is a matter of dispute whether or not all that is necessary in voluntary effort has not been achieved when the mind has been kept filled with the idea, until action results as a natural consequence. In order to act in the direction of one idea in preference to another; we must first dismiss the one and voluntarily attend to the other. The motor-force thus developed in connection with the dominant idea lies at the bottom of every higher act of Will.”

During the last quarter-century, or perhaps longer, there has been a great revival of interest in the subject of Thought, Thought-Force, Mind-Power, or similar general conceptions involving the idea of the use of Thought in the direction of bringing about desirable conditions of physical health and strength, prosperity; happiness, and the general welfare of the individual. Under all of the many theories seeking to express the essential spirit of “this line of thought” (as many call it); and back of the various names, terms, and titles employed to indicate and to designate the same; there will be found the fundamental and basic idea and conception of the tendency of Thought, or Idea, to manifest itself in action, or in objective form and reality. The kernel of the conception is that of the power of the Ideal to become Real.

Thousands of persons, all over the world, have sought to demonstrate the power to create or to improve their environment, circumstance, health, success and ability, by means of Right Thinking. Many have fully demonstrated their ability to create (or at least to improve to a great extent) their own environment; to control circumstances; and to determine their own destiny; by the Power of Thought. They have proceeded upon the general principles expressed in the Biblical adage, “As a man thinketh, so is he”; and in the equally ancient Buddhistic adage, “We are that which we have thought.” Wrong Thinking is held by them to produce undesirable results and effects; while Right Thinking is held to produce desirable effects and results. The general conception may be expressed in the aphorism: “Ideas tend to reproduce themselves in external form and effects; the Ideal pattern tends to build around itself an objective material Reality.”

In most of these teachings, however, the element of Idea or Thought has been most strongly emphasized—over-emphasized, in some cases, many have thought—while, at the same time, the element of Will has been underemphasized. In fact, this last element—that of Will—has been practically neglected in some cases, and in others even denounced as evil by some who prefer explaining the subject in the terms of quasi-religious transcendentalism. But it is now being perceived by many of the most careful thinkers “along these lines” that a failure to include the Power of Will in connection with the Power of Thought results in depriving the individual of one-half of his Mental Creative Power. The effort to exclude Will from association with Idea is akin to trying to assert the existence of a magnet with only one pole.

As a matter of fact, all the results obtained through the Power of Thought have been in part due to the correlated and co-ordinated Power of Will, though the persons obtaining these results have not been aware of this fact. Ideation without Volition—Thought without Will—is but the paralyzed, keen-sighted giant of the fable, who can do nothing of himself, but who requires the strong body, strong arms, and sturdy legs of the blind-giant before effective results may be obtained.

But, at the same time, we must ever remember that it is equally true that the blind-giant of Will cannot proceed intelligently or effectively until he has raised the paralyzed, keen-sighted Ideation to his shoulders. In this union alone is there the real strength of that which is called Mind-Power, Thought-Force, or Thought-Power. Of these two combined, coordinated, and correlated mental elements may it be said: “‘United, they stand; divided, they fall.”

To the many persons who are earnestly seeking to manifest Thought in action, objective form, and material results, but who, while obtaining results sufficiently satisfactory to justify them in asserting that “there is something in it”, still feel that they have “somehow, someway, not quite got hold of it”, the idea of the correlation and co-ordination of Ideation and Volition— Thought and Will—the partnership of the two giants—will come as a welcome revelation. Many such persons, once this idea has been presented to them, will recognize its truth by reason of their own experience. They will realize that they have at last discovered the secret of Personal Power, and they will then proceed to a greater and fuller manifestation of that power than has heretofore been possible to them in their “one-sided” view of the principle involved.

On the other hand, there are many who have been striving for success by means of the application of Will-Power alone. But in many cases this method has failed to attain the desired end. Such persons are often found wandering around aimlessly, traveling around and around in circles, like the blind-giant—ever moving, but never “getting anywhere”. They feel strong Desire and strong Will stirring within them, but they do not know in what direction to apply these forces. They want to move and to act, but they do not know where to move or in what direction to act. They are like the squirrel in the cage, constantly on the move, but never making a step of real progress.

It should require no argument to convince one that without a pattern or mold, mental or physical, it is impossible to create anything. Idea is a mental image, form, pattern or mold which is followed by Will when it exercises its motive-power in creative activity and effort. This being seen, how can anyone reasonably expect to create environment, conditions or circumstances, unless he first mentally creates the idea, image, pattern or mold—the type or form of that which he wishes to create in the objective, material world? Likewise, it should require no argument to prove that the clearer, the stronger, and the more complete the mental pattern, mold, or image—Idea, in short— really is, then the better, the more efficient, and the more complete will be the materialization of that idea.

Just as in Nature, every process of materialization has been preceded by an “idealization”, so in Man every achievement in the direction of materialization—all of his creative work and results—has been preceded by his “idealization”—the image formed in the mind by Ideation. This being so, every intelligent person must see that if one wishes to attain success in any creative undertaking, he should first strive to “idealize” and create a clear, strong, definite mental picture, pattern, or design of that which he wishes to materialize in objective form. Successful men, indeed, have always followed this method, though they may not have understood the psychology underlying their action, nor the great Cosmic principle involved in it. Many failures in life are due, directly or indirectly, to a failure to understand and to apply this principle.

Those who hold to the teachings of the New Metaphysical Movement (under some of its many names) concerning the Power of Thought, and the Power of Mind, will find in the ideas advanced in this book not a contradiction of their own beliefs and convictions, but rather an addition to them, and an explanation of them. All that they now believe concerning the Power of Thought and its manifestations, this book also holds to be true in principle, perhaps even more strongly and with greater certainty than do they, themselves. But this book strives to lift the conception of Dynamic Thought from the realm of shadowy unreality and ghostly being, to that of a living, real, acting, striving, Creative Power—the body of which is Volition (Will) and the mind of which is Ideation (Thought).

We ask you boldly to face this truth—to recognize, realize, and to manifest the Twin-Giants of Personal Power, in whose being vibrates the energy, force and power of the Ultimate Principles of POWER Those whom POWER hath put together, let no man put asunder. In fact, no man can put them asunder if he would manifest Personal Power efficiently; for they are not two separate and distinct things—but rather the two poles or aspects of the same thing.

Let us now proceed to the consideration of the practical methods whereby the principles which have been considered, described and explained, may be manifested efficiently in actual effort in your life work. It is said that “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”: so let us proceed to the table upon which “the feast of good things” is spread.


The Three Formulas

The ancient sages of Oriental lands were wont to remind their pupils that the practical rules and methods of manifesting or expressing Personal Power could be reduced to three fundamental and basic rules, or formulas. The experience of modern investigators of the subject tend to corroborate this conclusion of their ancient brothers. Therefore, we have thought it well to present this phase of our subject to you in the form of these three ancient formulas, adapted to modern needs, and expressed in the plain terms of the western world rather than in the verbal imagery of eastern lands.

The Three Formulas of Personal Power are as follows: (1) The Formula of Idealization; (2) the Formula of Affirmation; and (3) the Formula of Actualization. A formula is, “a prescribed, set rule or method of application”. You are asked to consider carefully the description and instruction concerning these three several formulas, as hereinafter presented to you in detail under their respective headings and categories.

The Formula of Idealization. Idealization consists of the act or process of creating the ideal (mental) form, pattern, design, or mold of that which you desire to materialize in objective reality. Ideals, dearly defined in outline and sharply defined in configuration, well energized and vitalized by an inflow of Will-Power, tend to materialize themselves in objective reality, by means of (a) building up a corresponding ethereal pattern, outline, design or mold, around which is deposited the substance of materialization; and (b) by means of attracting to themselves the persons, conditions, things and environmental factors which aid in the process of materialization. Materialization is the act or process of investing with material form, or material properties, that which has previously existed in idealized form or condition.

In the Formula of Idealization there is embodied a wonderful truth concerning the manifestation of Nature’s Finer Forces, which truth was well known to the ancient esoteric schools of philosophy, and which has always been accepted (in one form or another) by the advanced students and teachers of the Ancient Wisdom or Esoteric Doctrines, of all lands, and in all times.

Our Western science, however, has heretofore been disposed to treat all such teachings as idle superstition, or “occult nonsense”. The wonderful discoveries of science during the past twenty years, however, have tended to break down the barrier between esoteric science and exoteric science, and, at the present time many careful advanced thinkers in the ranks of modern science are disposed to manifest a far greater tolerance toward these ancient teachings; and are furnishing explanations along the lines of modern scientific discoveries, which seek to account for the phenomena explained in other terms by the ancient thinkers.

In the meantime, however, thousands of persons are making wonderful demonstrations of these truths in their everyday life and work; and, consequently, are not much concerned over what modern science may or may not have to say concerning the explanation in modern scientific terms. They are interested far more in the fact that “the thing works”, and in learning “just how it works”, than in theories attempting to explain “why it works, if it does work as is claimed.”

The gist of the ancient and modern teachings upon the subject of the workings of the process of Idealization, may be stated as follows: A strongly projected Thought-Form, or Idealized Form, vitalized and energized by Will-Power, tends to attract to itself, and to build around itself, its materialized counterpart or material representation. In this way, the Ideal becomes Real (in the sense of objective and material existence and condition); and Idealization is transformed into Materialization.

It is not our intention, nor our purpose, in this book, to go into technical details nor to enter into academic discussions concerning the processes performed by Nature in working these wonders. To attempt this would be to enter into an endless discussion and explanation which would take the whole instruction out of the region of practical, popular examination and consideration. But, nevertheless, we wish to mention briefly the general principles involved, and thus to give you a hint as to the direction in which the technical explanation of these phenomena lies, and where it may be sought if one so desires to pursue the inquiry further in that direction.

A leading writer upon the teaching of Ancient and Modern Magic, says: “The central doctrine of Magic may be summed up as follows:

“(1) That a supersensible and real ‘cosmic medium’ exists, which interpenetrates, influences and supports the tangible and apparent world, and which is amenable to the categories of both philosophy and physics. This ‘cosmic medium’ or ‘astral light’ is first cousin to the intangible ether of the physicists. From the earliest times, occult philosophy has proclaimed its knowledge of this medium, always describing it as a scientific fact, outside the range of our normal senses, but susceptible of verification by the trained powers of the initiate. It was the first object of occult education and initiation to actualize this supersensible plane of experience, teaching the student how to impose upon its forces the directive forces of his own thought and will, as easily as he might impose these upon the material things of sense.

“(2) That there is an established analogy and equilibrium between the material and supermaterial world. This doctrine of Analogy, or correspondence between the seen and the unseen worlds, is the basis of the speculations of occultism. ‘As above, so below; as below, so above’, the first axiom of Hermes Trismegistus, is also agreeable to all Platonists. Says Éliphas Lévi: ‘Analogy is the last word of science, and the first word of faith; it is the key of all the secrets of nature’. It was admitted into the system of the Kabalah, and Boehme and Swedenborg gladly availed themselves of its method in presenting their intuitions to the world. Sir Thomas Browne said: ‘The severe schools shall never laugh me out of the philosophy of Hermes, that this visible world is but a picture of the invisible, wherein, as in a portrait, things are not in material shapes, but in ideal shapes which picture some material substance in that invisible framework’.

“(3) That the equilibrium between the material and supermaterial worlds may be controlled by the disciplined Thought and Will of man. In its essence, magical initiation is a traditional form of mental discipline, strengthening and focusing the will. Says Éliphas Lévi: ‘Just as the powers of the body can be developed to an amazing extent by athletics, so may the powers of the soul be likewise developed; learn how to will’. This power of the will is daily gaining recognition in the camps of science, as the chief factors in religion and in therapeutics— of the healing of the body and the healing of the soul—for our most advanced theories on these subjects are little more than the old wine in the new bottles.”

Modern philosophy, supported to a great extent by the facts of science, explain some of the asserted facts of “Magic”, as just stated, by the theory of Unconscious Will and Unconscious Idea as Cosmic Principles—the extension of this conception to Man, on the principle of Analogy, “as above, so below; as below, so above”, giving the key to the secret of the creative activities of Man. In short, it implicitly asserts that Man, the microcosm, may proceed to create by means of the deliberate employment of the same methods and processes, and through the same principles, as those employed by Nature, or the Cosmos, the macrocosm. And, as we shall show you in the following paragraphs, modern science postulates the existence of a counterpart of the “cosmic medium” or “astral light” of the occultists.

Modern science, in the conception of the Universal Ether, asserts the existence of an immaterial, imponderable substance similar to that postulated by the ancient Hindu philosophers under the name of “Akasha”, or “Prakriti”. This Universal Ether is held by modern Science to pervade all space, and to be “the ultimate state or condition of all materiality”; matter is held to be a derivative product of it, and to be destined eventually to return to it.

Stockwell says: “The Ether is coming to be apprehended as immaterial, superphysical substance, filling all space, carrying in its infinite throbbing bosom the specks of aggregated dynamic force called worlds. It embodies the ultimate spiritual principle, and represents the unity of those forces and energies from which spring, as their source, all phenomena, physical, mental, and spiritual, as they are known to us.” Bigelow speaks of: “That extraordinary entity upon whose inferential existence the lines of modern scientific thought seem to converge, the instellar Ether, which seems likely to prove the ultimate form of Matter out of which everything comes and to which everything must eventually return. The Ether is unconditioned, an entity of no properties, or more exactly not an entity at all, but an infinite possibility.”

So then, if you demand to know what support our Formula of Idealization has in ancient thought, or in modern science, you have it suggested to you in the foregoing. There is this intangible substance which is capable of being “worked up” into material form by Ideation animated by Will, in the Cosmic processes. It is but carrying the idea to its logical conclusion when it is asserted that the “I AM I,” being a focalized centre of the Universal Principle of POWER, may and does possess, in at least some degree, the power to create in the same general way, i. e. by Idealization energized and animated by Will Power.

Idealization, according to the formula, begins with the projection of an Ideal Form, or Thought Form, “clearly defined in outline and sharply defined in configuration, well energized and vitalized by an inflow of Will Power.” This Ideal Form, or Thought Form, is stated to tend to materialize itself into objective reality “by means of (a) building up a corresponding ethereal pattern, outline, design, or mold, around which is deposited the substance of materialization; and (b) by means of attracting to itself the persons, conditions, things, and environmental factors which aid in the process of materialization.”

You may project this Ideal Image, or Thought Form, by first creating a clear idea or mental picture, employing both thought and imagination in the process. You will find yourself aided in this by picturing the Ideal Image, or Thought Form, as superimposed upon the ethereal substance, whereupon it begins at once to crystallize into more substantial structure and body. You may be helped in this conception by employing the symbol of the projection of a picture by the familiar Magic Lantern. Think of your Ideal Image, or Thought-Form, as the picture painted or photographed on the lantern-slide; the Ethereal Substance as being the screen or sheet upon which the picture is thrown or projected; your Attention being the lens of the lantern or projecting apparatus which focalizes and concentrates the strength of the light; your Will as the light which projects the picture; your Desire as the fuel or energy which causes the light of Will to burn.

The Ideal Image, or Thought Form, must be kept energized by Will Power, as you have been told in the formula. This is a very important factor in the process. Be the Ideal Image, or Thought Form, ever so clear, sharp and strong, it will lack energy and power unless it be fed and kept supplied with the proper flow of Will Power. In order to so supply it, you should “keep your mind” on those features of the picture which make it desirable and wished for by you. You should frequently picture in your mind the pleasure, content and satisfaction which will be yours when the ideal is materialized when the dream comes true. By thus arousing Desire, you will keep flowing to the Ideal Image Thought Form, that energy, strength and vitality of the Will which it requires in order to grow and unfold itself.

You will find that the power of your Will, employed in this way, will be stimulated and strengthened by means of the cultivation of a strong craving, longing, hungry, thirsting Desire for the materialization of your Ideal Image, or Thought Form. By “craving” is meant: “urgently longing for; eagerly and strongly desiring and demanding; passionately longing for and demanding; insatiable longing for,” etc. The stronger and more persistent and insistent the craving of Desire, the greater is the Will-tension manifested in the Ideal Image, or Thought Form. The Flame of Desire must be kept burning brightly, in order that the Light of Will may be sufficient to do its work.

Likewise, the Will is stimulated to increased and intensified activity by the presence of the mental state of Hope, Faith, Belief—in short, Confident Expectation of the successful outcome of the attempt and task. Faith Power is an important element of Ideative and Volitional Power. It must not be overlooked in your practice of Personal Power.

The formula also states that the Ideal Image, or Thought Form, must be clear in outline and in configuration—clearly defined in both respects. Inasmuch as the Ideal Image, or Thought Form, is the pattern or framework around which your materialization is to be effected or built, it follows that the best effects are obtained when that pattern or framework is clearly defined and sharply outlined. The materialization proceeds to manifest along the lines of the idealization, and cannot be expected to be better than is its pattern and mold.

It is realized by us, of course, that, at least at first, you are not likely to find it easy to create or to build up a perfect, complete Ideal Image, or Thought Form, of that which you wish to become materialized. Moreover, we realize that you may wish to fill in the outlines of your pattern or framework, or to add some new details or features, or to make some improvements upon the original plan, as you proceed. These things are all possible under this method of Idealization; in fact, nearly everyone who accomplishes results by its means proceeds in just this way, from the very nature of the case. The principle of Idealization is not affected by such additions or changes—the Ideal Image, or Thought Form, is not rigid and fixed, but rather is flexible and capable of being remolded, re-shaped, altered, remodeled, and added to as you proceed. Even Nature proceeds according to evolution, trial, experiment, adaptation, improvement, and combination—so thus may you also proceed.

The best general rule for the practical performance of the projecting process of Idealization is as follows: Acquire the faculty of forming the clearest possible outline of the things and conditions you wish to materialize into objective form. If you cannot at first fill in the details of your projected Ideal Image, or Thought Form, you should at least build and draw strong, clear, firm general outlines; and then, as you proceed with your Idealization, and its materialization, you may add the missing or minor details; altering, changing, improving, remodeling, and reshaping the ideal pattern or framework. Do not hesitate to begin the process of Idealization simply because you cannot at first supply the details of your picture—the general outlines will be enough to start with, but let these be as clear, sharp, and strong as possible.

Finally, you should understand that by the term “Ideal Image, or Thought Form,” we always mean simply the IDEA of that which you wish to do, or to be, or to happen—the “object” of your Desire-Will-Faith-Idea, in fact. This object may be a plain, simple, and immediate thing; or, again, it may be an elaborate, complex, and remote thing; but the general principle remains unchanged, and the general method of applying it is the same.

The Ideal Image, or Thought Form, is the “form in the seed,” which you wish to materialize into the form of the plant, flower, and fruit. The following suggestions may aid you in forming your mental picture:

(1) Idealize the desired things, happenings, or conditions just exactly as if they were existent and active at that particular moment—right “here and now” before you.

(2) Idealize yourself as you wish to be or to do.

(3) Idealize others as you wish them to be or to do.

(4) Idealize happenings as you wish them to occur.

(5) Idealize conditions as you wish them to be.

(6) Idealize your environment as you wish it to be.

(7) Idealize your power, strength, and ability as you wish them to be.

Here is the method, in a nutshell: (1) Discover what you crave to be or to do, or to have happen. (2) Form a clear, strong, and distinct Ideal Image, or Thought Form, of such. (3) Vitalize and energize this by Will Power aroused by Desire and stimulated by Faith. (4) Project the Ideal Image, or Thought Form, into the Ethereal Substance, there to become materialized. (5) Keep the picture clear, strong, and corrected “up to date” in the same way. (6) Keep it supplied with continuous interest and attention, and energized by Desire, Faith, and Will Power. (7) Then wait confidently and expectantly its Materialization and Realization—for “lo! your own shall come to you.”

In the above condensed statement, you have the essence of that which many books have been written to express; many lessons have been given to teach; and which might be expanded into many volumes of instruction. Commit it to memory, and repeat it often to yourself.

The Formula of Affirmation. Affirmation consists of the act or process of expressing in verbal form—in words—the statement of the thought or idea of that which you desire to materialize in objective reality. Words are crystallized thought. When an idea is expressed in words, it takes on additional strength and power. The verbal expression of an idea gives to the latter a “body” and substance which it otherwise lacks. The “spoken word” was held by ancient occultists to have a mystical and esoteric significance and power. The experience of modern Mental Science (of various schools of interpretation of the basic principles of its teachings) has served to demonstrate the value of “Affirmations” in securing results of their idealistic thought directed toward practical ends.

The human race did very little intelligent or purposive thinking before it invented spoken language. Moreover, the greater and more adequate is the vocabulary of a people, or of an individual, the greater is the capacity for clear, definite thought on the part of that people or that individual. This does not mean that the more a person talks, or the more words he utters, the deeper is his thought—in fact, the reverse of such proposition is often found to be true. But it is true that the more terms that a person has at his command for use in his thinking, the clearer and more definite will be his thought. Words may be, and often are, employed to disguise or to conceal thoughts, or to conceal the lack of real thoughts and ideas: but without adequate terms, clear and close thinking is impossible.

Arnold Bennett says: “When a writer conceives an idea, he conceives it in the form of words. That form of words constitutes his style, and it is absolutely governed by the idea. The idea can only exist in words, it can only exist in one form of words. You cannot say exactly the same thing in two different ways. Slightly alter the expression, and you slightly alter the idea. A clear idea is expressed clearly, and a vague idea vaguely.” Hazlitt says: “Not only will an improvement in a thought improve its wording; an improvement in wording will improve the thought. To study clearness of statement is to study means of improving thought.”

Thus, you see, Affirmation has for one of its main purposes the strengthening of the thought or ideal, and the creation of a more clear, distinct, and definite outline of it. You may “hold the thought” of the thing or condition which you desire to materialize; you may form a strong mental picture of it; but neither the thought nor the picture will possess its full measure of strength or dearness until you embody the thought or idea, and describe the picture, in formal words. If you will carefully write down in words your thought or idea of the thing or condition which you desire to materialize, and will correct that written statement until you feel that you have reached the limits of your powers of effective verbal expression, you will then find that your thought and idea, and your mental picture as well, have taken on a new strength, vigor, body, and degree of definiteness and clearness.

We may mention in passing, rather for the purpose of suggestion and of indication of how men’s minds in the past have taken hold of this idea of the “power of words,” that many teachers of the ancient esoteric schools held that all true creative activities have proceeded from the original impulse imparted by words—this being true of the creation of the Cosmos and of the creations of Man. There was a mystic significance attached to the use of the term “The Word.” Poe refers to this old idea in his essay entitled “The Power of Words.” The oriental sages have much to say concerning the power of “mystic mantrams” to awaken vibrations in the Ether, and thereby to cause materialization.

The opening paragraphs of the Gospel of John are: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” Moreover, reference to the first chapter of Genesis will show that God is pictured by the writer of that book as creating the world, in successive stages or by successive steps, by divine fiat, or authoritative spoken word; as, for instance, “And God said, ‘Let there be light’: and there was light.” Again: “And God said, ‘Let there be a firmament, in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters’.” And so on, verbal command succeeding verbal command, until the work of creation is completed. We shall not pursue this phase of the subject further; the above will serve to indicate the trend of Man’s thoughts concerning the Power of the Spoken Word.

There is no set rule or form for the expression of the verbal Affirmation. If you will state in words, positively and definitely, that which is involved in your Idea, and which you have sought to picture mentally in the process of Idealization, you will be performing efficiently the process of Affirmation. There is no special virtue in any particular combination of words, however; so do not fall into the superstitious fallacy concerning verbal “charms,” etc., nor strive to invent “mantrams.”

The virtue in Affirmations lies in the thought or idea back of the words—the spirit of the words, rather than their form— and not in any magic or mystical combinations of words or sounds. If the words of your Affirmation are clear, definite, and “right to the point,” they will serve the purpose effectively. Do not become a blind follower of “cut and dried” forms of Affirmations announced by teachers and others claiming authority: your own forms are just as good as these; they may really be better if they more clearly and effectively express your own thought in the matter.

Here, however, is an important point concerning the employment of Affirmations: Always make your Affirmative Statements in the present tense. Do not say: “So-and-so will be such-and-such, bye-and-bye,” but, instead, speak up boldly and affirm that “So-and-so is such-and-such, right here and now.” And, in truth, such is the case—you are speaking the Word of Truth which transcends time-limitations. The “so-and-so is such-and-such” in the idealized form—the materialized form is even now crystallizing itself around it. Also, make your Affirmative Statements earnestly and positively—avoid half-hearted or “maybe” statements, lest only half-hearted or “maybe” results may materialize for you. Exercise the Power of Faith—express the Confident Expectation. Do not assume the tone of asking a favor—speak the Word of Command and Demand. You are not a Beggar—you are a Master!

Denials, or Reversed Affirmations, are useful at times— particularly when you feel the need of protection, and the necessity for clearing away obstacles which hinder your advance. Otherwise, positive Affirmations should be employed— constructive rather than destructive. It has well been said that darkness is more speedily and effectively dispelled by letting in the light than by attempting to shovel out the darkness; as a general rule it is well to proceed upon this principle. But we are not among those who refuse to see any virtue at all in Denials— on the contrary, we advise such method in certain cases, this always to be followed and fortified by positive Affirmations.

In employing Denials, or Reversed Affirmations, you boldly, firmly and positively deny out of your world of experience the obstacle or obstruction which is impeding your legitimate progress; or the antagonistic influence which is being directed against you. It is marvelous to see how, at such times, these antagonistic or obstructive things and circumstances will disintegrate and dissolve into ineffective nothingness, so far as you yourself, are concerned. The following is an example of the general form of Denial or Reversed Affirmation:

“I deny power and reality to this influence or obstacle. Over me it has no power or influence; for me it has no obstructing power. For my Master Self, my ‘I AM I,’ it has no practical existence.” Accompany this with an idealized mental picture of the obstructing thing disappearing from the scene, leaving the remainder of the picture intact without the presence of the thing which has been denied out of your experience. Then follow up this process with those of Idealization and Affirmation along constructive lines, i. e., along the lines of the creation and materialization of that which you desire to be manifested and expressed in reality.

Finally, always fill your Affirmation with Feeling, Faith and Will. Make it alive with feeling and emotion, desire, craving, and insistent urge; make it glow with Faith; make it strong with an inflow of Will-Power. Throw Will, Faith and Feeling into your Affirmation as well as into your Idealization. Do not fall into the habit of affirming in dead words, repeated parrot-like. Instead, throw yourself into them. Speak with the air of authority, as if to those who are in the habit of obeying your commands and of expressing into action your wishes. Do not bluster, or rant, or rave, but rather cultivate the voice of real strength and authority, calm; well-poised, and confident of itself. If you speak from the “I AM I” consciousness, you will be able to do this effectively.

The Formula of Actualization. Actualization consists of “making actual by action” that which you desire to materialize in objective reality, and the idea of which is represented in your mental pictures of Idealization, and in your spoken words of Affirmation. In Actualization, you make the “mental paths” which lead to achievement and accomplishment. You also strengthen the idealized framework, pattern, design, or mold of your Idealization, and give expression and manifestation to your verbal statements of Affirmation. The greater your ability to “act and act out” the faith of realization that is in you, the greater will be your ability to bring about that material realization of that which is now real in idealized form.

In Actualization, you proceed to exhibit in real action the spirit of that which you have Idealized and Affirmed. In Actualization, as in Idealization and Affirmation, there is a potent natural law or principle involved. We are not inventing these principles, nor are we claiming any right of discovery of them. On the contrary, we are but applying terms to, and describing the operation of, certain basic principles of Nature’s activities which have always existed, and always will exist, at least so long as there is a Cosmos.

The secret of the efficacy of Actualization lies in the natural principle under which “the measure of available strength is determined by the degree of the use and employment of such strength.” In all Nature, it is found that “Use determines Supply.” The available muscular strength of a man depends materially upon the degree of the previous use, exercise or employment of his muscles. The man who exercises or employs a certain set of muscles will be found to acquire a marked development of those particular parts of his body; while the man who has not exercised or used these will be found to lack the special development and strength acquired by the first man.

In the same way, exercise, employment and use tend greatly to develop and cultivate any of the mental faculties. The increased rate of development of a mental faculty arises not alone by reason of acquaintance and familiarity with the task, but also from the increase of the available power of that faculty which comes from its use and employment—the power comes in response to the demand and necessity for it which arises in the course of its use and employment.

The rule of Nature is to send strength and power to those parts or faculties which are used, employed, and exercised in due measure; and to weaken and atrophy those which are either used to excess or else not employed in due measure. The norm, or natural degree of strength, depends largely upon the degree of the manifestation of the norm, or the reasonable degree of natural expression, employment, use and exercise. The physical giant and the mental giant each owes his power not alone to natural aptitude and equipment, but also, and in a large measure, to the natural use and exercise of his aptitude and equipment.

Without attempting to illustrate the principle at greater length, we say to you that if you will proceed to act “as if” the desired power and strength were gradually flowing into you, then there will come to you such a gradual inflow; and there will be manifested in you a greater capacity for Personal Power. Act out the part, for which you are preparing yourself. Rehearse the part which you are expecting to play in earnest in the Drama of Life. Acquire the motions, gestures, outward manifestations, inward feelings, viewpoints, outlook, etc., of the individual you desire and expect to be. Train yourself for the part by earnest, patient rehearsal. The process of Idealization and Affirmation will bring Power to the very gates of your individual irrigation channels; but you must actually raise the gates in order to permit the inflow of its power and energy—you must use, employ and apply its power in actual work and activity, if you wish the flow to continue.

Personal Power is given to you for USE, and not for hoarding. There is a Law of Use as well as a Law of Attraction in Nature. Just as the Will-process is not complete short of actual action; just as Idea is not complete until it moves into outward expression; so is your Personal Power not complete until you have begun to use, employ, manifest, and express it. So do not content yourself merely with Idealization and Affirmation, but, instead, get to work and complete the process by actually manifesting and expressing the rays of Power which are flowing into you in order to bring about the materialization of that which you desire to manifest in objective form. Do not overdo the expression and manifestation—but do not underdo it; strive ever to maintain the Golden Mean, the Balance between the two extremes. In Poise there is Power.

Much of the adverse criticism which has been directed toward the followers of the various school of the New Metaphysical Movement (under its many names) is based upon the theory that such individuals are mere “day dreamers”; that they shirk the real tasks of living, and refuse to look at the actualities confronting them in everyday life; and, instead, content themselves with building “castles in Spain”, and indulging in day-dreams of what they would like to be, and to do, and to possess. So far as many persons are concerned, such criticism is merited in some degree; but here the trouble arises not because of the true metaphysical teaching on the subject, but rather because these individuals see but two-thirds of the Truth, and ignore the remaining one-third. They are strong in Idealization and Affirmation—overstressing the latter, particularly; but are very weak in Actualization—in fact, they often tacitly or expressly deny the need of it.

One may dream—in fact he must do so if he wishes to create and construct; he may affirm his power—he must do so if he wishes to achieve; but he must also “manifest into action” the ideals and the power possessed by him. He must say “I Dare and I Do!” as well as “I Can and I Will!” He must act as well as think, feel, and plan. He must express himself in action, as well as impress his thought and will upon the responsive ethereal substance. The word “actual” is derived from the same root as are the terms “act”, “active”, or “activity”. Before a thing becomes “actual”, it must be the subject of “action” and “activity.” Actuality follows activity—and activity results from action, and action from act. Actualization is a necessary factor of Realization and Materialization—without it Idealization and Affirmation are aborted, and are never able to manifest in the world of Realization and Materialization.

So, then, remember always to transmute the Thought, and Word, into ACTION. Otherwise, you are but a mere dreamer of dreams, a speaker of words, and not a doer of deeds. ACTION is the end and goal of Thought and Word!


Realizing Your Ideals

By means of the application of the combined powers of Ideation and Volition—of Thought and Will—employed according to the methods of the Three Formulas of Idealization, Affirmation, and Actualization, respectively, you proceed to “realize”, (i. e., to make real; to convert into actual objective existence) that which you have first created in “ideal” form (i. e., in the form of ideal image or thought). In other words, by employing these powers according to the said methods you proceed to materialize your idealized forms. Inasmuch as these idealized forms represent your strongest desires, you are here proceeding to remake your world of experience according to your “heart’s desire”.

In addition to the instruction already given you along these lines, and for the purpose of summing up the essential features of the proceeding instruction, we shall now present to your attention and consideration the leading principles of the process of realizing your ideals—of materializing that which you have idealized—of creating conditions in accordance with your “heart’s desire”.

The Essential Base. To begin with, you must always proceed from the base, ground, and foundation of POWER—the Ultimate Principle of Power. You must never lose sight of the fact that all Personal Power—all the Personal Power you ever have had, have now, or ever can have—must have POWER as its original source and fount. This original source must never be lost sight of by you. The more you recognize and realize that POWER is your great reservoir and storehouse of Power, the closer will be your conscious relation to that original source, and the greater will be your ability to draw upon that great reservoir or storehouse. You must always remember that “recognition and realization must always precede manifestation”. In the degree of your conscious recognition of POWER in thought, and of your conscious realization of it in feeling, so will be the degree of your conscious manifestation of it in action.

Students often become so carried away by the wonderful possibilities and the actual manifestations of Personal Power arising from the application of the principles and methods involving Will-Ideative energy, force and power, according to the methods of the Three Formulas, that in time they tend to forget or to overlook this fundamental fact that all Personal Power must proceed from POWER. They ignore the source of their supply. This, however, is a grave error, for by proceeding in this manner you will tend to close the channel of Infinite Supply, and thereby to limit, lessen and restrict the inflow of Power from POWER. Such course is akin to that of the car-conductor who allows his trolley-pole to become detached from the supply-wire, and who thereby loses his connection with the power which operates the driving machinery of his car. It would really be better for you to forget or to overlook all the rest of this instruction, rather than this, its basic and fundamental principle.

The Focal Centre. Second only to the recognition, realization, and manifestation of POWER, is the similar recognition, realization, and manifestation of that focalized centre of POWER which is your “I AM I” your Master Self, your Real Self. This “I AM I”, as we have repeatedly told you, is “a focalized centre of Being and Power, created and established by POWER In its Cosmic Manifestation.” The “I AM I” is to your individual world of experience that which POWER is to the Cosmos. It is the Supreme Fact of your individual existence, just as POWER is the Supreme Fact of All-Existence. It is the focalized Centre through which POWER flows and operates in your individual activities. It is the reflection of the Sun of POWER in the dewdrop of your mental and physical being.

You must always think of, picture, and act according to the idea of your “I AM I” as being a central point in your world of experience, around which all the rest moves, and circles, and passes in review. You are the Real Thing in the Passing Show which passes before you in an ever-changing, ever-proceeding stream, and which is presented to you for your edification, instruction, and experience. YOU are “IT” in that World of Experience—the one thing which you know from actual experience to be Real. YOU are that Something or Somewhat which would continue to exist even were all that World of Experience wiped out of existence—which will remain constant and unaffected so long as it is maintained as a focal point by POWER. You must always keep in mind this fact of your own reality and your place in your World of Experience.

This consciousness of Egohood must be brought to a pivotal and focused point of intense recognition and realization in thought and feeling. The consciousness of your reality and constancy, amidst the world of changing things and passing scenes, must be acquired by you—it must become a part of your inmost consciousness of thought and feeling. It is the real essence of the practical application of Personal Power. You must grow to feel that whatever else may change or pass away, YOU—the “I AM I”—will remain, abiding, constant, and identical. You must strive to acquire the consciousness of the philosopher who, being told that the world was coming to an end, calmly replied: “Well, what of it? I can get along without it!” The thought of “the crash of worlds” must not disturb you—you must learn to think and to feel that, “These things move me not!”

But, remember always, that this “I AM I”, which is YOU, is not the “John Smith”, or the “Mary Jones”, part of you—the part made up of the instruments and machinery of your personal expression and manifestation. It is not to the mere garments of personality that you are ascribing such great facts of being— it is to That which bears those garments for the time being. These incidental trappings of personality are but the things of the impermanent, changing, passing, phenomenal world which you are now experiencing in consciousness. The “I AM I” is that Reality which transcends these phenomenal instruments, machinery, garments, or attachments which in their aggregate constitute the “John Smith” or “Mary Jones” aspect of your individuality. Do not allow yourself to become entangled in consciousness with this outer aspect of personality—free your inner individuality from it in consciousness. Do not allow yourself to become spiritually “hide-bound” by this outer skin of your personality. Do not exchange your birthright of permanent Individuality for the mess of pottage of transient Personality.

You must lay aside forever the erroneous notion that you are a mere “worm of the dust”, a lowly creature fit only to crawl along on its belly, begging that it may not be trodden upon. You must realize that You are YOU—a magnificent manifestation and expression of POWER. For YOU, the processes of Evolution have toiled and labored for many ages. For YOU, Nature has undergone countless labor-pains through an ages-long period of delivery. For YOU, Time has waited long. Now that YOU are here, in your present state of personal existence, it is your right and duty to express and to manifest the full might and power that is in you, and to move forward fulfilling your manifest destiny. You are YOU; and YOU are ready to express yourself to the full measure of your inherent capacities.

In all your work, in all your play, in all your activities, physical and mental, carry with you the consciousness that You are YOU—a Centre of Power in the great Cosmic Manifestation of POWER. Base upon this consciousness all that you do—all your mental work, all your physical work. Falter not: be strong. Recognize and realize always that you are a focused, focalized, concentrated point of Reality—a focal point and centre of the Presence-Power of POWER. Recognize and realize that back of you, around you, and in You, is POWER—All-the-Power-there-IS; and that in the measure that you allow it to flow freely through you, that will be the measure of your Personal Power. Learn to affirm the “I AM I”, in full consciousness of what the words mean; mentally picture yourself as that “I AM I”; and then live up to and act out the truth of your being so expressed in thought, in feeling and in words.

By the careful observance of the foregoing instruction concerning the “I AM I”, conceived as a focalized centre of the Power of POWER, and as being the permanent, constant, identical element and factor of your being, you will find yourself unfolding into a greater and far more efficient phase of Personal Power. You will not only be creating a more definite, more intensely concentrated, and more highly focalized centre of manifestation of Personal Power, the source and real nature of which you have recognized and realized abiding on the higher and hidden planes or levels of your consciousness, your subconsciousness and your superconsciousness; you will also proceed to the gradual unfoldment of a higher power of knowing, of feeling, and of doing, by means of the increased efficiency and power of your instruments and machinery of expression.

This teaching of the “I AM I”—its powers and its possibilities— is not “milk for babes”: it is rather nourishing food for strong men and those who wish to become strong. The practical test of Truth is: “Will this make me stronger, better, and more efficient?” This teaching will meet the test of Truth, for it will assuredly make you stronger, better, and more efficient. It is in accordance with the Law of Evolution, which law proceeds to manifest on the spiritual and mental planes, as well as the physical plane. Fall in line and proceed with the Law of Cosmic Evolution, and the Powers of the Cosmos will come to your aid, and you will become as one of the Elect: if you oppose or run contrary to the Law, you will be ruthlessly pressed to the wall, and discarded as unfit. In the one case, you are nourished, supported, strengthened and encouraged by the Law; in the other case, you are relentlessly crowded out by its operations.

We here quote from the statement of one of the present writers, made in a much earlier work from his pen; this statement is quite as true now as when it was written many years ago:

“If you are a true individual, this teaching is just what you want. This is also true if you are not yet a true individual, but earnestly desire to be one. But if you are a weakling, and prefer to remain so, instead of rising and claiming your birthright of Strength, your heritage of Power, then by all means remain as you are, and depart in peace. In that case, you leave these teachings for those of the race who will not sell their birthright of Power for the mess of pottage of negative content and sheeplike passivity and docility, but who boldly claim their own, and demand their rightful portion. For those strong brothers of yours are the individuals—the true individuals—who are the coming inheritors of the earth.”

By the employment of the principles of combined Ideation-Will, along the lines of Idealization, Affirmation, and Actualization, you may build or rebuild your physical body along the lines laid out and patterned in your mind. You may “make yourself over” physically in this way, your degree of successful manifestation depending upon your degree of successful recognition and realization of the principles involved, and upon your degree of the efficient application of those principles.

This is no new and strange doctrine. On the contrary, it is being taught and practiced by the many schools of Mind Cure, Mental Healing, Faith Cure, Metaphysical Healing, etc., etc., which have been so much in public view during the past quarter-century. Thousands have been transformed from weak, sick persons into strong, healthy individuals, by means of methods similar in general nature to those presented to you in this book. More over, by means of systems of physical culture employing at least some of the elements of Idealization, and the employment of Ideation-Will, many have literally “made over” their physical bodies, building them up from frail, puny, undeveloped forms into strong, sturdy, efficient, well-developed physical instruments of expression.

The general principles involved in the process of Realizing the Ideal Body are those already presented to you; the methods employed are those likewise presented to you in this book. You start with the consciousness that the physical body, and all of its parts and organs, is but the instrument of the “I AM I”, Master Self and Real Self—the latter being the focalized centre of POWER. The Master Self assumes control of its physical instrument and machinery, and proceeds to build it up according to the highest possible pattern, design or mold.

In doing so, it employs the combined principles of Ideation-Will—the Ideal Form energized by Will Power. It proceeds by Idealization, or the creation and projection of the Ideal Image, or Thought Form. It accompanies this by the appropriate Affirmation of the Idea or Thought. It also proceeds to apply the method of Actualization, by means of which it “lives out the idea”, “acts out the part”; and also performs such physical actions, exercises, and methods as may seem appropriate, and observes such basic, natural laws of Health and Physical Well-Being as are announced by the best thinkers along these lines.

Such are the general principles and methods employed in the processes of Realizing the Ideal Body—of materializing into objective reality the perfect, healthy, strong, efficient body pictured in the mind as the ideal form. If you will apply the principles previously announced and explained in the preceding sections of this book, particularly those included in the description of the Three Formulas; and will employ the methods also herein stated and explained, carefully and intelligently adapting them to the special requirements of your individual case; you should be able to manifest to a satisfactory degree the results which you seek.

All this will require careful and persistent effort, careful attention, and insistent perseverance. We are not offering you a “magic wand” by means of the waving of which you may gain in a moment perfect health and perfect physical well-being. But, if you will observe the proper methods, based upon the sound fundamental principles herein stated, and will manifest Definite Ideals, Insistent Desire, Confident Expectation, Persistent Determination, and Balanced Compensation, there is no reason why you should not acquire that which you seek. All this means “work”—earnest work, persistent work—but the end is worth all the work which you bestow upon the task.

Realizing the Ideal Mind. What has just been said concerning the process of Realizing the Ideal Body, may also be said concerning the process of Realizing the Ideal Mind. By the employment of the general principles of combined Ideation-Will, applied along the lines of Idealization, Affirmation, and Actualization, you may develop and cultivate your mind as a whole, or any of its special faculties or powers, to a high degree or state of efficiency. Here, as in the case of the physical body, the “I AM I” is in control of its instruments and its machinery of expression, and is able to cultivate and develop, train and direct the operation of those instruments or machinery.

The “I AM I” or Master Self assumes active control of the mental faculties, and begins the process of exercising, energizing, stimulating and generally building-up and rendering effective these instruments of its expression. In this work, the “I AM I” calls to its aid the combined powers of Ideation-Will, and employs the same along the lines of Idealization, Affirmation, and Actualization. All of the processes are familiar to you by reason of their repeated presentation to you in this book.

In Idealization, the mind, or its special faculties under “treatment”, is pictured by the Ideal Image or Thought Form as it is desired to become and to be; the ideal is kept constantly in mind, as a pattern or mold along the lines of which materialization shall proceed. Affirmations or verbal statements, tend to crystallize the idea or thought expressed in Idealization; it gives “body” and substance to the idea or thought so pictured, and thus furnishes a firmer substance upon which materialization may proceed.

In the processes of Actualization, however, the mind (or its special faculties) is furnished with tasks calculated to exercise, unfold, develop, cultivate, strengthen and train the faculties or faculty under “treatment”. Mental faculties, like physical muscles, may be fully developed only by use, exercise, and actual employment and work; they grow strong and efficient only by contact with, and exercise upon, the actual work for which they are designed.

One must actually “think” in order to develop “thinking power”; one must actually “will”, in order to develop “willing power”; one must actually “perceive and observe”, in order to develop “perceptive power”; one must actually “plan and invent” in order to develop “creative mental power”; and so on along the entire list of the mental powers. Mental development, cultivation and training always involve mental employment, exercise, use and work. There is no exception to this rule; and any attempt to escape it results only in disappointment. So, in Realizing the Ideal Mind the processes of Actualization are vitally important and essential; but they may be increased in power and effect, and given definite direction and form by following the processes of Idealization and Affirmation, respectively.

The Mental Faculties are classified as follows: (1) Faculties of Thought; (2) Faculties of Feeling; (3) Faculties of Will.

Thought consists of (a) Sensation; (b) Perception; (c) Conception; (d) Generalization; (e) Comparison; (f) Deliberation; (g) Judgment; the higher processes of Reasoning being conducted along the lines of Induction and Deduction, respectively. Memory and Imagination are also important phases of Thought-activities.

Feeling consists of (a) Simple Feeling; (b) Complex Feeling, or Emotion; (c) Desire.

Will consists of (a) Desire-Will; (b) Deliberative-Will; (c) Action-Will; in all of their various forms and phases.

In the process of Actualization directed toward the end of Realizing the Ideal Mind, you should consult the best text books treating upon the special subjects of the particular faculties, or groups of faculties, and containing scientific exercises for the cultivation, development, and training of such faculties. There are a number of such good text books on the market, which may be found at any good book store.

In the present volume the full general principles and the methods of applying them are given: by applying these principles according to these methods, wonderful results may be attained in the direction of general Mind Development by Actualization. But, it will be readily seen that owing to the general nature and broad field of the present book it is impossible to present here in extended form the details of the cultivating, developing and training by Actualization of the several sets of faculties above referred to; in fact, as we have stated, several separate volumes are required to contain such detailed presentation of these several important subjects. Therefore, we must refer to such separate and special books such students who may wish to pursue any of these special subjects in further detail.

Realizing the Ideal Conditions or Environment. To realize the ideal conditions and environment—to manifest in material objective existence and form those “day dreams” of

Realizing Your Ideals the conditions and environment in accordance with “the heart’s desire”—surely this is to work a miracle of everyday life. Yet such miracles are being performed by successful men and women on all sides, in our own times, and have been so performed in the past by those individuals who were able to transform thought into action, and to transmute the ideal conditions and environment into those of materialized and objective form.

By the application of the principles and methods which we have asked you to consider in this book, you may reasonably expect to attain quite satisfactory results along these particular lines of manifestation; indeed, it is considered more than probable that the similar successes of the men and women above referred to have in a large measure been due to the more or less unconscious application of these basic principles, and the use of similar methods.

Many persons who never have heard these principles described, explained or illustrated, have intuitively become aware of them, and have applied them by methods similar to those herein announced by us. These principles and methods were not “discovered” nor “invented” by us—they are universal, and have always been employed to some extent, in some form and degree, by men. We have here merely stated them formally, explained their nature and action, and have pointed out the methods which the experience of the race has found to be the most effective.

In the present usage of the terms, “Conditions” means: “State or situation with regard to external circumstances or environment”; and “Environment” means: “That which environs or surrounds; surrounding conditions, circumstances, influences, or forces.” In short, “Conditions and Environment” are seen to mean “such portion of the external world as affects the individual by reason of its influence upon him.” If one is able to control and direct his conditions and environment, he is able to surround himself with conditions of life, and details of environment, in accordance with his “heart’s desire,” and with his day-dreams, ideals, plans, hopes, and ambition.

Our teaching is that man is not a slave of circumstances or conditions—not a prisoner to his environment. We hold, on the contrary, that the strong individuals of the race have always shown their power to modify, change, improve, transform and transmute, at least to a considerable degree, their original environment and their original conditions of life. The history of every successful man and woman will show such to be the case, and all the teaching of our young folks is based upon such premises. The difference between the slave-mind and slave-soul, and the master-mind and master-soul, is largely the submission of the former to its environment and its conditions, and the refusal of the latter so to submit, accompanied by its determination to create its own environment and to determine its own conditions of life.

The miracle of Realizing the Ideal Conditions and Environment—of making the dreams come true, and of materializing one’s ideal images—is none the less a miracle because it happens to be a common and familiar occurrence. Such miracles are being performed every day; they are possible of being so performed, anywhere and everywhere, now and at anytime, by anyone or everyone who will put into operation the right principles, and who will employ the most effective methods. We believe that the principles and methods set forth in this book contain the essence and cream of the best human thought on this subject, based upon the best experience of the race. We believe that the essential features of such principles and methods have been involved in the mental processes of the successful men and women who have conquered and re-created their environment, and broken down and then recreated their circumstances in life.

And now, to apply the principles and methods of our teaching to this process of Realizing the Ideal Conditions and Environment; how must you begin? Well, first of all, you must set into active operation the twin-powers of Ideation and Will. You must start with the creation and establishment, the support and maintenance, of a strong Dynamic Idea, or Creative Ideation, of the general conditions and environment which you wish to realize and materialize in objective form in the material world.

You should here carefully re-read and restudy what we have said to you in the section of this book entitled “The Twin-Manifestation of POWER”. You must raise the giant of Ideation to the shoulders of the giant of Will—and then bid the twin-giants to proceed to their task. You must pour into your Ideal Image the energizing and vitalizing power of Will. You must not only strengthen your Ideal Image by means of Idealization and Affirmation, but you must also strengthen and energize your Steam of Will by Faith and Confident Expectation, and by keeping fiercely burning the fires of Desire. You must fill yourself with Definite Ideals, Insistent Desire, Confident Expectation, and Persistent Determination so that that which you are holding in your mind in idealized form shall be manifested in materialized form and activity in your world of circumstances and environment. You must establish the “oneness of idea” and the “oneness of feeling” which distinguishes the Purposive Will.

Remember our illustration of the Magic Lantern, with its fierce flame of Desire supporting and sustaining the Light of Will; the Light of Will beats strongly and persistently upon the lantern-slide of Idealization, upon which is painted or photographed the Ideal Image or Thought Form; the picture is then thrown clearly and strongly upon the screen or sheet of the Ethereal Substance of the Cosmos, and there is reproduced in materialized form. Keep in mind this illustration, for it well symbolizes the process of the Materialization of the Ideal—the transmutation of the Ideal Image or Thought Form into the Material Form.

Now re-read and re-study carefully the preceding section of this book, entitled “The Three Formulas”. Read and study carefully every word of what we have there stated concerning the respective processes of Idealization, Affirmation, and Actualization. Then apply these processes to the task before you. Idealize the conditions and environment which you wish to materialize and realize in objective form. Affirm the idea by expressing it in words, and in affirming its reality. Actualize the idea by “acting out” the part which you must play in relation to the conditions and environment which you are now proceeding to materialize according to the idealized form and affirmed statement; and proceed to perform the actual work on the mental and physical planes which are necessary to perfect the process and to accomplish the end sought.

Form the clear mental image of that which you wish to materialize. Vitalize and energize that image or picture by Will Power aroused and sustained by Faith and Desire. Project that Ideal Image or Thought Form into the Ethereal Substance, there to be materialized. Keep the picture well defined and crystallized by positive Affirmation of its reality, and statements of your confident expectation of the outcome. Speak “the Word” of its Realization, early and often, and with the spirit and tone of certainty. Deny out of existence the obstructing and opposing obstacles to its accomplishment. Create the “mental path” by Actualization, and in the same way prepare the physical ground for the Realization. Perform each and all of these processes earnestly, confidently, persistently, patiently, insistently, with mind “one pointed”, and with every element of your being directed and devoted to the task.

Finally, we wish to direct to your careful attention and consideration a certain course of procedure to be followed by all individuals wishing to achieve success and to reach the heights of attainment in any line or field of human endeavor, physical, mental, or spiritual. This course of procedure was taught, at least in principle, by some of the oldest teachers of the race—it formed a part of the Inner Teaching of the Ancient Mysteries of many lands. It is based upon common-sense and also uncommon-sense—upon actual experience, and upon those intuitive glimpses of the Higher Truth which wise men and women have acquired through the channels of the superconscious faculties of the mind. It was and is followed in principle not only by the ancient “mystics” and their modern successors, but also by the most hard-headed, cold-blooded, practical “men of affairs” of today. It is universal in its field and scope, and in its application in actual practice. It is known as “The Master Formula of Attainment,” and it will be presented to you in the following section of this book.


“The Master Formula”

In the preceding section of this book we directed your attention to “The Master Formula of Attainment,” a working principle embodying the practical wisdom and extended experience of certain of the great ancient teachers, and of their modern followers, and which in this instruction is presented to our students in plain words and reduced to the condensed form of a definite formula, as follows:

“The Master Formula of Attainment consists of five elements:

I. Definite Ideals. II. Insistent Desire. III. Confident Expectation. IV. Persistent Determination. V. Balanced Compensation.”

Reduced to popular terms, the Master Formula may be expressed as follows: “You may have anything you want, provided that you (1) know exactly what you want, (2) want it hard enough, (3) confidently expect to obtain it, (4) persistently determine to obtain it, and (5) are willing to pay the price of its attainment.”

Definite Ideals consist of certain well-defined, clear, strong, and positive ideas, ideals, ambitions; aims, ends, intentions and purposes concerning the objects which you desire, hope, and will to attain. They necessitate strong, clear, definite purposes to attain and achieve. This element may be stated in popular terms as “knowing exactly what you want.” The clearer and more definite your ideas, ideals, and purposes, the greater is the strength of your process of Idealization, and the more powerful your mental element of Ideation.

The importance of having Definite Ideals—of “knowing exactly what you want”—cannot easily be overestimated. In fact, the failure to cultivate, develop and maintain this mental state may be said to constitute one of the great causes of failure or of imperfect expression on the part of men and women. One may be, and often is, quite strong in his development and exercise of the other four of the elements of the Master Formula, but if he is lacking in the element of Definite Ideals his efforts will be largely wasted and ineffective and he will fail to attain success and full achievement in his lifework.

A person lacking in Definite Ideals—one not “knowing exactly what he wants”—is like a man undertaking a journey without a definite idea of his destination, his route, and the other details of his journey. Like the man in the popular song of a few years ago, he sings: “I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.” Or, again, such a one is like a man who fires his gun aimlessly, without pointing it toward any particular object, and still expects to “hit something.” Or, once more, he is like a man trying to build a house without having in his mind an idea of what kind of structure he desires to build, how many rooms it will contain, or what will be its dimensions.

Everything that man has ever succeeded in building has first existed in ideal form in his mind. Everything that he has ever succeeded in accomplishing has been attained largely by reason of a definite purpose existing in his mind and serving to direct and employ his will. The more clearly he is able to “idealize” his desires and purposes, the more direct will be his work of actualization. The more clearly he is able to “idealize his purpose,” the firmer and more stable will that purpose become.

The man who wishes to climb the Mountain of Attainment must have not only Ideals, but also Definite Ideals. He must not only have a general Idea which he wishes to materialize into reality; he must also have Definite Ideals which he wishes to take on definite objective real form and manifestation.

Hazy, indefinite Ideals result in scattered purpose and misdirected energy. The man who wants one thing today, and another thing tomorrow, will likely get neither. He must learn to want certain things, definite things, today, tomorrow, and the day after, if he wishes to obtain them. Shifting purpose and conflicting desires prevent that concentration and focalizing of will which is a necessary element of all successful striving and attainment. One must proceed to eliminate the less advantageous desires, one by one, in order to clear away the space around the “great desires.” By so doing he is able to focus his attention upon the objects represented by the dominant desires, and thus create a Definite Ideal concerning them.

Many persons have found it difficult to create Definite Ideals because of the conflict of desires which they find within them. They want so many things that they are unable to decide just which things they want most; this being the case, it is almost impossible for them to create and maintain the Definite Ideals which constitute the first requisite of attainment. In that volume of the present series which is entitled “Creative Power,” this phase of the subject is considered in detail. If you are one who has been subjected to the “embarrassment of riches” along the lines of “Wants,” and who has been unable to create a strong and effective Definite Ideal of that which you want most, then we feel justified in recommending to your attention the book in question.

Make a mental note of this axiom: “The first step on the Ladder of Attainment is that of Definite Purpose—the stage of ‘knowing exactly what you want’.” Unless your foot is firmly planted on that step, you will never be able to reach the successive steps above it on the ladder.

Insistent Desire consists of the insisting, persisting, persevering, demanding that your desire, wish, want, craving, longing urge be gratified and satisfied. To “insist” is to “take a stand and refuse to give way; to hold to something firmly and determinedly.” Examples of Insistent Desire are had in that statement employed so repeatedly in the several books comprising the present course of instruction, viz.: “Desire as the starving man desires food; as the thirst-cursed man desires water; as the drowning man desires air; as the mother desires the welfare and safety of her children; as the wild animal desires its mate.” When you can and will desire like this, then you will manifest Insistent Desire. In the popular phrase, this is “wanting the thing hard enough.”

Very few persons really know what it is to “want the thing hard enough.” They may think and say that they “want” the thing, even that they “want it the worst way.” But they have not learned to “want” with that fierce hunger or terrific thirst of Desire which distinguishes the living creature that “wants” with a force which refuses to be denied. The difference between the men who “do things” and “get things,” and those of the opposite type, often consists largely of the element of Insistent Desire—the element of “wanting the thing hard enough.”

What we call “a strong will” in a man is often found to be really an Insistent Desire—a Power of Desire which demands to be satisfied, and will not rest content unless it be satisfied. If you know persons of this type, as you probably do, you will remember that their Flame of Desire burns fiercely, and that it draws freely upon the world for its fuel. You will also remember that persons antagonizing this fierce flame, who come in contact with it, are very apt to be burnt or at least singed by it. The more you analyze the spirit of Will, the more you will see that its very essence consists of Insistent Desire. It is impossible for a man to have a strong will unless he first has Insistent Desire. Desire has been aptly spoken of as “The Flame which generates the Steam of Will.” The stronger the Flame, the greater the quality and power of the Steam.

A little self-analysis will serve to reveal to you just what an important part is played by Insistent Desire in the processes of Will Power. You will see that every time in which you displayed great Will Power you first were filled with Insistent Desire. Likewise, looking backward, you will see that in cases in which your Will Power failed you your Desire was weak, or lost its insistent quality. The more that you explore the regions of Will Power, the more convinced will you be that Insistent Desire constitutes the very spirit and essence of that great mental power.

To “want the thing hard enough” is not merely to “wish” it mildly, or to desire to have it come to you in some degree. To “want it hard enough” is to want it as the wild creature wants its food and its mate—as the mother wants her young when they have strayed away from her. Insistent Desire is a strong elemental urge—a primeval, aboriginal force. It is the force that animates all living things in their elemental conditions, and which seems to be present even in the inanimate forces of Nature. It is the power manifesting in all evolution, in all progress, in all achievement. It is a Raw Force—something essentially elemental and primitive. It is the Force that “does things,” that “gains things,” in the world of change and becoming.

In that volume of this series entitled “Desire Power,” we have considered the subject of Insistent Desire in detail, and have indicated scientific methods for its development and cultivation. If you feel the need of helpful instruction along the lines of Insistent Desire, we feel warranted in recommending to your attention the book in question. It cannot fail to strengthen you in this particular element of your character.

Make a mental note of this axiom: “The second step on the Ladder of Attainment is that of Insistent Desire—the stage of ‘wanting the thing hard enough’.” Unless you plant your foot firmly on that step, you will never be able to reach the successive steps above it on the ladder.

Confident Expectation consists of the certain confident, undoubting Faith that you will obtain that concerning which you have Definite Ideals and Insistent Desire. It is the quintessence of Hope-Faith—the Hope that is confident, and the Faith that knows. It is illustrated by your Confident Expectation that the sun will rise tomorrow morning, or that Effect will follow Cause, or that the sum of two plus two will be “four.” When you can and will entertain this feeling toward the object of your Definite Purpose and Insistent Desire, then will you manifest Confident Expectation.

Confident Expectation is the essential spirit of Faith; and Faith has been termed “The White Magic of Power.” The psychological principle involved in Expectant Attention, Confident Expectation, and Hopeful Faith is an important dynamic energy; the principle manifests and expresses itself in practically all forms of human endeavor. The figurative statement concerning the movement of mountains by the power of Faith has a far more real and substantial practical basis than is imagined by the average person hearing or reading the words. Men are moving mountains of circumstances every day, mainly by their Faith Power.

It is an axiom of practical business that a man can sell that in which he believes the most; every sales-manager knows why many of his salesmen sell certain styles or grades of goods in far greater quantity than their fellow-salesman, and in greater proportion to other styles or grades—they “believe in” those particular styles or grades, that’s all! Many a man has failed to succeed in business simply because he couldn’t “believe in” that which he was trying to sell or promote. So true is this that the efficient sales-manager knows that he must first “sell” to the prospective salesman before the latter can sell to his customers. Likewise, he knows that if the sales-force once gets the idea that a certain line of goods is not desirable—if the salesmen once get to “disbelieve” in the goods—then that line of goods is doomed so far as that house is concerned.

There is a subtle principle of psychology involved in the operation of Faith Power—of Confident Expectation and Expectant Attention. The mental attitude indicated by those terms is accompanied by a sharpening of the perceptive and reflective mental powers; by an increased draught operating upon the Flame of Desire; and by a generally stiffening and strengthening of the will. Lack of Faith, or, worse still, Confident Expectation of failure and disaster, will serve to deaden the Flame of Desire, to weaken the will, and to paralyze and stupify the faculties of perception and reflection. None of the mental faculties will operate to the full extent, and in the most efficient manner, if Doubt, Disbelief and Unfaith exist in the soul of that individual.

To lose Faith is to “lose heart,” and to “lose heart” is to lose Desire and Will. When such a negative mental attitude is manifested by you toward your undertakings, then, indeed, does “the bottom drop out” of them. Every individual does his best when he earnestly “believes” in the failure of the undertaking. Faith, Confident Expectation and Expectant Attention cannot be left out of the Master Formula of Attainment; nor may it be omitted from any other rule of practical, efficient action.

When Doubt, Disbelief, and Unfaith rise to the stage of Confident Expectation or Faith in the adverse outcome of your endeavors, plans, projects and undertakings, then the negative quality is transformed into a quasi-positive one. That is to say, it passes beyond the stage in which it serves merely to retard, restrict, and interfere with the success of your plans and tasks— it becomes a power which operates actively to bring about the failure and undesirable outcome which you Confidently Expect and “believe” will result. In this way, Faith Power is “set into reverse,” and your car of Progress runs backward. This is no mere fanciful statement, or form of superstition: it is the statement of an active, working psychological principle which manifests itself in the life of every individual who allows himself to fall into this unfortunate mental attitude. Proofs of it are to be found on all sides, in the experience of others and, perhaps, in your own past experience.

In that volume of this series entitled “Faith Power,” we have considered the subject of Confident Expectation in detail—its underlying laws and principles being explained fully, and rules and methods for its successful application being presented to its readers. We feel justified in recommending that book to your attention and study, if you are one of the many who are “weak on” Faith Power, and who have not as yet learned how to set into operation the mighty forces of Faith and Confident Expectation.

Make a mental note of this axiom: “The third step on the Ladder of Attainment is that of Confident Expectation—the stage of confidently expecting to obtain the thing.” Unless you plant your foot firmly on that step, you will never be able to reach the higher ones of the ladder.

Persistent Determination consists of the persistent, insistent, unchanging, fixed, stable, tenacious, unyielding and firm will, intent, determination, and purpose of obtaining that which is fixed in your mind as Definite Ideals, in your emotional nature as Insistent Desire, and in your faith as Confident Expectation. It is illustrated by Disraeli’s famous statement: “A human being with a settled purpose must accomplish it; nothing can resist a will which will stake even existence upon its fulfillment”; and by Buxton’s equally famous expression of faith in “Invincible Determination—a purpose once fixed, and then death or victory.” When you can and do will and determine action upon your Definite Ideals, Insistent Desire and Confident Expectation, in this way, in this degree, to this extent, then will you manifest Persistent Determination.

Persistent Determination is an attribute of Will Power, and represents the essential principle of that highly important mental faculty. It expresses the mental attitude of Indomitable Will—the persistent determination that you must and will accomplish that which you have set out to accomplish, and must and will succeed in obtaining that which is the object of your Ideals, Desire and Faith. To succeed, to accomplish, you must determinedly apply your will to the task before you, and must hold fast the cutting-edge of your cold chisel of Will to the work before you. Moreover, you must “will to-will,” persistently and determinedly, that the outcome of your endeavors must and shall be successful.

You will catch the spirit of Persistent Determination when you consider the essential meaning of the two elements composing the term. “Persistence” is, “Tenacity, doggedness, staying quality.” “Determination” is “Strength and firmness of mind; firm resolve or resolution; absolute direction to a certain end.” The composite term indicates the staying, tenacious, dogged Will manifesting in an absolute direction toward a set, certain, fixed purpose or end. Or, it may be said to indicate the fixed and tenacious aim, design, intention, resolution, determination, and will to accomplish or to reach some particular object or end.

Persistent Determination manifests its power in its work of steadying and holding to its task the Dynamic Power of Will. Will Power must not be scattered or dissipated—it must be held firmly to the task before it. The man of Strong Will Power accomplishes nothing until he is able to apply it effectively in a definite, determined direction. He must manifest his Will in the spirit of steadfastness, firmness, fixed intention and purpose, positive direction, and unfailing constancy. He must “set his hand to the plow, and look not backward.” He must persevere despite obstacles and discouragements; he must manifest steadfastness in the face of opposition and hindrances.

In the volume of this series entitled “Will Power,” we have dwelt particularly upon this particular element of Will Power. We take the liberty of asking you to consider carefully the following passages from the work in question:

“The characteristics of Persistent Determination are stability, perseverance, fixedness of purpose, tenacity, doggedness, and persistent application. Persistent Determination enables you to hold your Will close to its task—to hold it there firmly and continuously until success is attained and the victory is won. Success in many instances depends upon the application of Persistent Determination— the manifestation of the power and determination to hold on to the last. Many a man possessing the other qualities of Will Power has fought a brave fight, but just before the tide turned in his favor he has relinquished his efforts, and has dropped out of the fight—defeated, not by circumstances, but by his own lack of Persistent Determination. By studying the lives of the great inventors—Morse and Edison, for instance—you will see the utmost importance of this faculty of ‘holding on,’ and this spirit of ‘never say die.’

“In Persistent Determination, and the Voluntary Action based upon it, the Will deliberately chooses an end or object to be attained, and then proceeds to manifest the Determination in outward form and action. It proceeds to its end with intensity of purpose, and directness of aim. The end must be clear, definite, and capable of distinct visualization. The effort to gain that end must call into operation the whole nature of the Will, and the whole force and energy of the Will Power. As it has been said: ‘The whole, living strength of the Will must be literally hurled into it, not once or twice, but again and again, until it is accomplished.’ The Persistent Determination must be real—it must be meant by you with the full power of your soul. You must not trifle with such resolutions; you must be in deadly earnest about them. Remember that the honor and integrity of your Will is at stake, and that you must not bring discredit upon it. To break such a resolution is to bring shame upon yourself and to your Will. This is the essence and spirit of Persistent Purposeful Determination. Strive ever too attain, sustain, and manifest it. This is ‘the flash of the Will that can’.”

We feel warranted in recommending that volume of this series entitled “Will Power” (from which we have just quoted) to your attention and study if you feel the need of strengthening, “The Master Formula” developing and cultivating Will Power. It is devoted exclusively to the consideration of the principles and laws of Will Power, and contains practical instruction along the lines of the development of that great mental force.

Make a mental note of this axiom: “The fourth step on the Ladder of Attainment is that of Persistent Determination—the stage of ‘persistently determining to obtain the thing’.” Unless you plant your foot firmly on that step, you will never reach the goal which you seek by means of that ladder.

Balanced Compensation consists of the willingness to “pay the price” of attainment in the shape or form of (a) untiring and unyielding, persistent and persevering work leading toward your definite end and purpose, aim and intention; and (b) the sacrifice of desires, aims, purposes, ideas, feelings, likes and dislikes—of all mental or emotional states, in fact—which oppose or contradict your Definite Ideals, and which threaten to impair, obstruct, or defeat their definite purpose. The Law of Compensation and Balance runs through all Nature and all Life. One must always Pay the Price. Two ancient aphorisms illustrate this, viz.: “Said the gods to man: What you want? Take it—but pay the price’,” and “Do as thou wilt—but pay the price!” The man who really “wants anything hard enough” is always ready and willing to “pay the price”—in work, toil, effort; and in the relinquishment of all that obstructs, diverts, or obstructs the attainment of that which he desires and wills.

Balanced Compensation is a great law of Nature: none escape it, nothing is free from its laws. Everything is balanced by something else. Everything must “give” something in order to “get” something. Everything must “give up” something in order to “get more” or something else. Emerson has brought out this universal principle in his great essay entitled “Compensation’; and the experience of every individual serves to illustrate the operation of this law. Everything must be “paid for” in the price of something else; everything maintains its position by reason of Balance. The wise men of the race recognize this great principle, and proceed in accordance with it; the fools seek to overcome it, and fail by reason of their folly.

All men who have obtained, attained, or achieved anything at all worth while, have “paid the price.” The “price” paid by them consists of various elements. Work performed; persistent application; perseverance; industry; diligence—all these form a part of the “price.” Service rendered to others, for which one receives compensation in one form or another—this is a part of the “price,” and a very important part, too. Other forms of the “price” are found in the sacrifice and renunciation of ideas, ideals, feelings, desires, ambitions, aims ends, which are opposed to the subject or object representing the “top values” or “prime motives” of the individual. The successful man is found always to have sacrificed and renounced the lesser values for the greater ones.

In the work of increasing your Desire Power, and your Will Power, you will be called upon frequently to “pay the price.” Your great desires demand the sacrifice of many minor desires which have been drawing to themselves a portion of the fuel required by the great “wants.” By extinguishing these minor flames you serve to give to the great Flame of Desire all the fuel that is needed by it to generate the Steam of Will. Your Will Power, operating in the direction of Persistent Purposeful Determination, finds that of necessity it must restrain, control or even inhibit entirely certain tendencies of your nature which are perceived to work against the success of the main object of your Desire and Will. The Will is ruthless in these matters; it unhesitatingly sacrifices many of the little things of your emotional nature for the “one big thing” that represents your Summum Bonum or Greatest Good.

In the two volumes of this series entitled “Desire Power” and “Will Power,” respectively, considerable attention has been devoted to the particular subject of feeding the Great Desires and Great Objects of Will by means of deliberately starving and inhibiting the lesser desires and objects of will which are found to interfere with the successful attainment of the “big things.” These books are recommended to your attention in case you feel the need of further and special instruction along the lines of Balanced Compensation. Most persons require such instruction; many fail by a lack of understanding of this great principle of Life.

Make a mental note of this axiom: “The fifth and final step on the Ladder of Attainment is that of Balanced Determination— the stage of ‘paying the price of attainment’.” Even though you have successfully climbed the four lower steps, yet you will fail of attainment if you are unable or unwilling to plant your foot firmly upon this fifth and final one. Unless you are willing to “pay the price,” your Definite Ideals, your Insistent Desire, your Confident Expectation, your Persistent Determination be sufficiently strong and active, then the very force of their urge will often raise you up to this final step of the ladder, and will make you willing and glad to “pay the price.”

The Secret of the Master Formula. “The Master Formula of Attainment” which has been presented to you is found to contain the quintessence of those Dynamic Forces of Life and Mind known, respectively, as Ideation, Desire, Faith, Will, and Balance. The simplicity of the Master Formula may at first prevent you from fully realizing its tremendous importance; we trust, however, that you will mentally masticate and digest it, so that you may fully assimilate its great truths and effective ideas. The longer you consider it, the more you analyze and dissect it, the more you synthesize its several elements into a “working principle,” the greater will be your appreciation of its value and efficacy. Hold fast to the Master Formula, for it will prove a Tower of Strength to you. We suggest that you visualize the diagram of it which appears in the first portion of this book— directly facing the first page of reading matter. Make a mental picture of it; and let its statement be your Working Slogan.

This is all that can be told you in the way of general directions. The details of the application must be worked out by yourself— but the forces which you have set into motion and activity will render this task easy by awakening your subconscious and superconscious mental faculties which will supply you with the necessary ideas and thoughts. The actual work must be done by yourself—but these awakened and aroused forces of your being will give you the strength and the power to do the work and accomplish the task: they will awaken an unsuspected “second wind” of power and energy within you, and will make you equal to the task. But, above all, your spirit must not “weaken”—and it will not weaken if you manifest the “Master Formula of Attainment,” of which we have just told you. You remember it: “Definite Ideals, Insistent Desire, Confident Expectation, Persistent Determination, and Balanced Compensation.”

Not only will the work of the materialization of the ideal proceed in the manner which we have repeatedly indicated in this book: but you will also set into operation that wonderful law of Nature called “The Law of Attraction.” This law operates in the direction of correlating you to the things serving to aid you in your work of materialization, and in attracting them to you. You will find things and persons, circumstances and events, gravitating toward you as you proceed.

Nature’s forces once strongly set into operation tend to attract to them that which they need for the full materialization of the idea involved in the process. The materials needed to fill in the picture, to fill the mold, to work out the pattern— all these will move toward the materializing ideal. How? you ask. Well, just as they do toward the Idea in the acorn, as it proceeds to evolve into the oak tree; just as they do toward the well-energized germ of life from which evolves the final form of the adult living creature. You are here setting into operation a great Law of Nature—“your own will come to you” when you have aroused this law into activity.

In these pages you have been asked to consider some great truths, to examine some tremendous principles, to manifest some mighty powers of Being—things far more potent and potential than you now even begin to recognize or realize. As you proceed to manifest these in actual experience, the wonder will grow rather than lessen. You will soon become conscious that you are in close contact with some of the most elemental and fundamental laws of Nature—and of activities proceeding from that which lies back of and under Nature. Herein, you have had set before you some wonderful instruments and machinery of Being—use them well, but do not misuse them. Do not trifle or play with them—if you use them at all, use them earnestly and toward definite and worthy ends.

As we have said, these teachings are not for weaklings nor for babes—they are for full-grown, strong men and women, the true individuals of the race. They are for the fearless and the courageous—and they will make such still more fearless and still more courageous. They will make their users stronger, better, and more efficient—the ends sought by all true individuals. Those who master these principles—who recognize, realize and manifest the Truth therein contained—they constitute the very Elect of that World of True Individuals which is now opening its hidden treasure to the race of strong individuals who are ready to inhabit it. The elements of these principles will constitute the stuff out of which the Supermen will be made—the Supermen who will inherit the earth!

We have passed on this message to you, charged with the spirit of that which we wish to arouse within YOU—we trust that its vibrations will awaken responsive rhythms within your own being. We trust that our words will awaken in you Definite Ideals to achieve a certain end; Insistent Desire to express your inherent and latent powers, energies, and forces, and to manifest your real destiny; Confident Expectation which comes only to him or her who recognizes and realizes the Truth in thought and feeling; Persistent Determination, which will apply itself closely to the task of Realizing your Ideals and manifesting your latent and inherent powers of being and doing; and that willingness to “pay the price” of Balanced Compensation for the Realization of your Ideals.

Above all, we trust that we have started you well on the road to the recognition, realization, and manifestation of that POWER from which All Power proceeds; and of the focalized centre of being and power of POWER which is YOU, yourself— the “I AM I”, the Master Self, the Real Self of YOU. If so, then you will find yourself filled with the spirit of Reality, conscious of your own Egohood, and intuitively and superconsciously aware of the POWER which is around you, under you, back of you, above you—and in YOU; and in which you “live and move and have your being”, and which is your Eternal Source of Supply of Personal Power.

If we have succeeded in our task, you will have advanced in the scale of conscious being and existence. Your former fear has given way to Fearlessness; your former doubt, to Certainty; your former restless condition, to Poise and Power; your former weakness, to Strength. In that case, “Your battle-cry will be changed: you will plunge into the thick of the fight, filled with the Berserker spirit of old, fearing nothing, sure of victory. Shouting your battle-cry of Freedom: ‘I AM I!’, ‘I Can, I Will! I Dare, I Do!’, you will plough your way through the ranks of the horde of ignorance and negativity, and triumphantly reach the victorious heights of the Mount of Achievement.”

This is our Message of Personal Power, to YOU, the Individual who has found his Real Self, and his source of POWER. We trust that its seed will find lodgment in fertile soil prepared for its reception; and that in due time it will send forth strong roots, and sturdy stalks from which will unfold stems, and leaves, and blossoms, and finally will bear the Fruit of Realization and Achievement of that which for so long has been your Ideal. Begin today—NOW—to make your dreams come true: your ideals become real. You CAN, if you WILL: you will DO, if you DARE!


Creative Power: Your Constructive Forces


Imagination

In this book you are asked to consider a wonderful phase of Personal Power which is latent, inherent and abiding within you—the Power of Imagination. This power is a phase of your Personal Power. Your Personal Power, in turn, is a phase of the manifestation of that POWER which is the source of All-Power, and which is expressed, manifested, and employed in all phases of Power of which you have, or can possible have, any cognizance.

By “Imagination” is meant: “The power of the mind to create mental images or objects of sense previously perceived; the power to reconstruct or recombine the materials furnished by direct apprehension; the power to recombine the materials furnished by experience or memory, for the accomplishment of an elevated purpose; the power of conceiving and expressing the Ideal.”

By many (possibly even by you up to this time), the idea and concept of Imagination is confused and confounded with that of Fancy; but this is an error which must be removed from the very start in your serious consideration of the subject of the Constructive Imagination, which constitutes the field of the investigation and instruction set forth in this book. Let us pause a moment, that you may note and familiarize yourself with this distinction and differentiation.

Webster says: “A distinction is now made between Imagination and Fancy. Properly speaking, they are different exercises of the same general power—the plastic or creative faculty. Imagination is the higher form of mental activity of the two. It creates by laws more closely connected with the reason; it aims at results of a definite and weighty character. Fancy is governed by laws of association which are more remote, and sometimes arbitrary or capricious. Hence the term fanciful, which exhibits Fancy in its wilder flights.”

As you proceed with this instruction, you will perceive the special and particular characteristics which distinguish that phase of Imagination called “Constructive Imagination” from that other phase called “Reproductive Imagination”; you will also learn to differentiate between the Passive form of Constructive Imagination (which is little, if anything, more than Fancy), and that active form which constitutes the true Constructive Imagination with which we have to deal in this instruction.

We ask you here to fix in your mind two pictures—each of which represents primitive man manifesting one of the two forms of Constructive Imagination. By seeing and remembering these pictures, you will always have at your command the touchstone with which you may test your imaginative processes.

The first picture is that of primitive man “sitting and thinking”—either passively contemplating the flow of the stream of Reproductive Imagination or Memory in which is pictured the experiences of his past; or else “day dreaming,” and “imaging” himself playing a part in some new drama of experience, or seeing others engaged in a like occupation. This is the incomplete stage—all right so far as it goes, and often useful to the extent of supplying raw materials for higher efforts, but insufficient in itself—proper for purposes of recreation, but useless if it extends no further.

Leaving our primitive dreamer, we ask you now to contemplate the primitive man who “imagines for a purpose,” who “imagines to a definite end”—see how different is this picture from that just contemplated.

Our primitive man with the dawning Constructive Imagination perceived the inadequacy of his natural physical equipment employed in his work of self-preservation, offense and defense, protection of his family, and in his striving for comfort and well-being. By means of such “imagining” this class of primitive man raised the race from its position of physical weakness and comparative helplessness, to its present position of dominance over the entire world of living things. What nature had denied man in physical weapons, he supplied to himself through the exercise of his Constructive Imagination. Constructive Imagination raised Man from his original lowly place in the world of living things to his present eminence and rank. By means of its power, Man has attained heights which would have seemed far beyond him to one observing him in his original state.

Man, in his original or aboriginal state, might well have been regarded by a visitor from a higher world as a most unpromising candidate for survival in the struggle for existence—let alone for the position of mastery and rulership over the other living creatures contemporaneous with himself. He was a much weaker animal than most of the others; he was less fleet of foot, and less agile in his movements; he was less well equipped with tooth and claw. The great sabre-toothed tigers, the huge reptiles, and the other powerful and ferocious animals of his environment, were far better adapted for the struggle for existence than was this poor, puny, weak creature called Man. It would have required a courageous imagination to pick Man as the probable winner in the struggle for existence, and the victor in the process of the survival of the fittest.

But this weak creature—this puny and insignificant animal— possessed the latent power of Constructive Imagination by which he was enabled to overcome his natural obstacles. By means of this mental power he was enabled to invent and to employ the implements, tools, and weapons with which he waged a defensive and offensive warfare against the fierce creatures of his environment; and to create the material contrivances with which he was able to overcome the handicaps of his environment with which Nature at first might have seemed deliberately to have burdened him. By means of this latent power he proved himself to be the “fittest” to survive, and the true victor in the struggle for existence.

Man lacked the strong teeth and claws of the carnivorous animals—but he created artificial claws and teeth, imitating those which Nature had so freely bestowed upon the lower animals, by making from the hard flint the spears, axes and knives, specimens of which we now find buried in the earth. By creating strong clubs from the limbs and branches of trees, he equaled and even surpassed the striking-weapons of the great beasts. By creating bows-and-arrows, he managed to overcome the handicaps of space, and was able to touch his enemies while himself beyond their reach. He took a hint from the caves and dens of the beasts, and improved upon them for his own occupancy. He took a hint from the birds, and improved upon their elevated nests by building for himself safe refuges in the cliffs and the high trees, reaching these by ladders of his own construction. He “imagined” the plan of rolling great rocks before the entrances of his caves and dens; and he afterward “imagined” the protecting doors of wood, and windows—and later, chimneys.

He “imagined” the idea of hurling stones at his enemies by means of slings, great bows and primitive catapults, and of rolling large boulders down the mountain sides upon his enemies below. He “imagined” the idea of improving upon the floating log—in turn creating rafts, flat-boats, hollowed-out logs; he “imagined” the idea of the directing and propelling poles, paddles and oars. He observed the rolling log, and from it he “imagined” the solid clumsy wheel—then the lighter, spoked wheel—and was thus enabled to move heavy objects over long distances with comparative ease.

He “imagined” the pulley and the lever, and learned to apply them. He “imagined” implements with which to mash his food, and grind his grain. He “imagined” the primitive hoe, and the crude irrigation or draining ditch. He “imagined” the idea of using the skins of animals as clothing for himself, to protect him against the weather. He “imagined” the idea of employing portions of trees for tent-building. He adapted common natural things, and converted them into uncommon artificial appliances for his comfort and welfare. And, finally, oh, wonder of wonders! he “imagined” the art and science of making and using fire!

And ever since, Man has continued to “imagine” things— ways of overcoming natural obstacles and handicaps, ways of converting natural things to his own use, comfort, and happiness. He “imagined” all of these things, little by little— and created them in material, objective form, following the outlines of his mental subjective form. And he still continues to “imagine” things—greater things, larger things, more complex things. He will always continue to so “imagine” things—for that is his characteristic quality, his Constructive Imagination, which distinguishes him from the lower animals. Those of the race who were successful constructive “imaginers”—either as individuals or as tribes or peoples—survived in the struggle, while the failures were crowded to the wall, or “went under.” The “fittest” constructive imaginers survived, and passed on to their descendants their knowledge, and transmitted to them their mental tendencies. Thus Man has evolved into the “imagining” animal—the creating creature.

Those individuals, or peoples of the race; who failed to keep up with the procession of the constructive “imaginers,” if not actually crowded out and destroyed in the struggle, survived only to become the parasites or the slaves of the conquerors.

The slave races have always possessed less developed powers of Constructive Imagination than have their masters—when slaves develop Constructive Imagination, they cease to remain slaves. When the germ of Constructive Imagination begins to work in the minds of a subject people, that people is on the way to freedom—history may be read in the light of this fact. The physical might of the masters in the end surrenders to the mental might of the one-time slaves. The cunning of the fox has often overthrown the physical strength of the lion.

The struggle for existence is still underway. The survival of the fittest is a fact of modern human existence, as well as of the past history of the race—and of the world in general. But now, more than ever, Constructive Imagination is the great element of the struggle—the great standard of the fitness to survive, succeed and accomplish. The people, the race, the nation, and the individual possessing the greatest degree of development and application of continuous and persistent Constructive Imagination will be found to be the “fittest” to survive, all else being equal—will prove to be the ultimate winner in the struggle for existence. If Man is ever succeeded by the Superman, as some have predicted, it will be found that the Superman is possessed of superior powers of Constructive Imagination, and of a greater faculty of exercising and applying them. Such is the Law of Evolution—of Progress—of Life.

This then is the second picture. Look upon the first picture, and then upon the one just presented to you. In the first you will see the figure of the primitive man who “just sat and thought; and sometimes just sat”—the “thinking” being merely “day dreaming” and Passive Imagination. In the second you will see the picture of the Real Thinker—so well depicted in Rodin’s magnificent figure of “The Thinker”; but his “thinking” is not “just thinking”—it is thinking for a purpose, and toward an end—it is Constructive Imagination directed toward a definite end and aim, and firmly held there until the right image is created; the image then being transmuted into material form.

“The Thinker” of Rodin’s figure is using his Imagination just as he has learned to use his Attention and his Will— deliberately, purposively, to a definite aim and end, and in a particular direction. He and his modern counterparts are evolving Creators. They are constructing, contriving, inventing, designing, planning, projecting—building in the mind that which afterward will be built in physical form. They are the Dreamers whose dreams shall come true; the creators of Ideals which shall become Real.

This, then, is Constructive Imagination. This constitutes the subject-matter of this book. This is the main theme of the instruction which we shall impart to you in the following pages. This is a far cry from the “mere imagination,” the Fancy, of the self-satisfied masses of the people, is it not?


The Imaging Faculties

One of the most characteristic, essential and distinctive attributes of your mental being is the power of producing mental images. Without this power you would be unable to think, to remember, to act intelligently. If your sensations did not impress themselves upon your mind so that it was afterward possible for you to recall them as images, you would always remain a mere infant in mental development. Your experience would remain as a closed book to you, and you could never hope to profit by turning over the pages of its records. You would be no wiser at fifty years of age than you were at three. You would have no memory, no imagination, no power of rational thought based upon experience.

A “mental image” may be defined as: “a representation in the mind, by means of an ideal picture, of an experience originally obtained through the medium of the senses.” By “representation” is meant: “the act of re-presenting or presenting anew in consciousness, the form or picture originally experienced through sense-reports.” The “representative powers of the mind,” (whether of memory or of imagination) are: “those powers of the mind whereby it forms ideal images or mental pictures of things not present to the senses at the time: such ideal images or mental pictures being the mental reproduction of any experience whatsoever.”

While the term “image” is borrowed from optics in order to symbolize the retained mental impressions of past experiences, the figurative term must not be too literally interpreted. Not only are the images or pictures of visual impressions and experiences retained in the mind, and are possible of representation or reproduction in memory or imagination, but the impressions of sound, taste, smell, touch and muscular sensations are equally retained and are subject to reproduction. There are auditory, gustatory, olfactory, tactile and muscular images or pictures in the mind, as well as visual or optical images or pictures. In fact, the completed and composite mental image or picture of any particular thing usually is a complex product, made up of the interwoven material of several kinds of sense-reports.

There is a close relation, yet a marked difference, between the original sense-impression and its represented image or picture. After an object is removed from vision, or the eyes shut, there remains in the mind the image of the thing seen, actually existent though more obscure than when it was perceived in vision; the same principle applies to images of impressions received through the other senses. Aristotle called these images “the phantasms which have the form of the object without the substance, as the impression of a seal upon wax has the form of the seal without its substance.” Psychologists have held that sensations have their origin in the objective stimuli, while the represented image has its stimulation from within.

It is generally held by psychologists that no sensation is actually “perceived” by the mind until a mental image of it is formed. Likewise, that the mind cognizes no physical experiences unless they give rise to mental images; the mind perceives, understands, and remembers nothing but mental images. Recollection, imagination, and the processes of thought are held to be possible only by means of calling up and arranging the mental images of things which have originally arisen through sense-experience. Even the higher operations of thought, such as judgment, reasoning, abstraction, generalization, combination of ideas, proceed by means of the employment of previously acquired mental images.

The two great general classes of mental representation are (1) Memory, and (2) Imagination. In spite of the popular distinction between these two phases of mental activity, there is present in them a basic unity of nature and essential principle. Both are processes involving the employment of representative images, and there is really no absolute line of demarcation between them or their products. It was formerly held that there existed an actual distinction between the two respective processes, the line of which was drawn as follows: (1) Memory reproduces or represents the exact image of the original mental impression, while (2) Imagination reproduces or represents a variation of such original impression, or a new combination of the elements of original impressions. But this absolute distinction or differentiation is not held generally by the best modern psychologists.

The present opinion is that even the best memory-images do not exactly reproduce the original impression; instead, they always omit certain portions, add details not in the original, and exhibit changes in arrangement of details. It is now stated as a law of psychology that “Representative images never exactly reproduce the original impression; this is true of the images of memory as well as of those of imagination.” There is, of course, admitted that some representative images more closely approach exact reproduction than do others; some are more literal copies of things experienced than are others. But the elements of variation, change, addition or commission, are always present and active.

You may arrive at a correct understanding of the real distinction between the processes of Memory and those of Imagination by considering the four essential elements involved in the process of completed Memory, viz., (1) Retention, in which the mind retains the image of the impression made upon it by the sense-reports; (2) Reproduction, in which the mind brings again into consciousness the mental image which it has retained; (3) Recognition, in which the mind identifies the reproduced mental image with the object causing the original impression; and (4) Localization, in which the mind locates the original impression (which has been recognized) at a certain more or less definite time and place.

Now then, what are the elements involved in the processes of Imagination? First, you will see at once that the element of Retention must be involved, as, otherwise, the mental image could never be again brought into consciousness. Secondly, you will see that the element of Reproduction must be involved, as, otherwise, the mind would lack the power to bring again into consciousness the retained mental image. So far, at least, Imagination and Memory travel along the same road; for, in both cases, the mind must possess and exercise the power of retaining the mental image, and also the power of reproducing it in consciousness. But here the absolute identity of the two processes cease; the stream of Representation divides itself into two branches, each of which pursues its own special course. The course of the Memory stream has been described in the preceding paragraph; that of the stream of Imagination you are now asked to consider.

In what is called Reproductive Imagination the mind merely reproduces a more or less correct mental image or picture of a previously experienced impression which has been retained in its subconscious storehouse. This, you will note, is precisely what Memory does in its first and second processes. Here the process may be regarded as that either of the Reproductive Imagination or of the Memory. Or, the idea may be stated in another form, viz., Reproductive Imagination is but a special instance of incompleted Memory; or else, Memory is a special case of Reproductive Imagination. There is no absolute line of distinction between the images of Reproductive Imagination and those of Memory in its second stage; both are the same product of the representative or imaginative power.

But, as we have said, here the identity ceases. In true Memory the reproduced image is now referred to the object causing the original impression—it is identified with that object by the process of Recognition. But in Reproductive Imagination the mind does not perform the process of full Recognition, i. e., identification with the object causing the original impression. At the most, the Reproductive Imagination performs but a quasi-recognition, i. e., it identifies the image with some image previously experienced in consciousness, but with no special effort to identify it with the particular original object. In fact, the image may be a composite of several original impressions, not referable to any special object; as when we are conscious of the image of “a horse” (of a general picture of the horse-species, rather than of some particular horse).

There is a difference between (a) having a mental image in consciousness, and (b) knowing that image as the image of a particular something previously experienced in consciousness. The image may be there, though the recollection of the particular original object of the experience may be absent. As a writer says: “Having the image of an absent object, and remembering the object, are not the same. There is no complete act of memory of an absent object until the image in the mind is recognized as the image of some particular object or thing already experienced.”

Thus, you see, that an image may be reproduced in Imagination, but not recognized or identified with any particular object previously experienced. Likewise, it may be reproduced in Imagination without being “localized” according to time and place. Thus true reproductive imaginative images may exist without involving the third and fourth essential elements of Memory. In short, while Memory involves the four respective elements of Retention, Reproduction, Recognition, and Localization, the process of Reproductive Imagination involves but two of these elements, viz., Retention and Reproduction, respectively. The representative stream of Memory-Imagination divides into two streams just before the third stage (i. e., Recognition) is reached by Memory, and quite a bit before the fourth stage (i. e., Localization) is neared.

But though the stream of Imagination lacks the two additional elements of Memory, it takes on new and more complex powers of its own—powers lacking in the case of Memory. As the stream flows on, Reproductive Imagination may become transformed into what is known as “Constructive Imagination”: this by the exercise of certain powers inherent in the nature of Imagination. Constructive Imagination is that phase of the imaginative activities which is generally regarded as being typical of Imagination in general; in fact, it is the only phase of Imagination known as “Imagination” to most persons.

Categories of Imagination. The imaginative processes are classified into two respective categories, as follows, (1) Reproductive Imagination, and (2) Constructive Imagination.

Reproductive Imagination, which we have just considered, consists merely of mental reproduction of images of past experiences—an exercise of reminiscent imaging power, differing little if any from the representative or reproductive activities of Memory. Constructive Imagination, on the contrary, consists of (a) reproductive imaginative images, (b) subjected to the additional process of reconstruction, recombination, and re-adaptation.

Reproductive Imagination represents merely the images corresponding to particular past experience. Constructive Imagination, on the contrary, represents images of past experience—not in their original form, however, but instead recombined, rearranged, reconstructed, and re-adapted, thus forming a composite or complex mental image of things not previously experienced as “wholes” by the mind producing them; and often even of things having no actual existence as “wholes” in the external world. Thus, Constructive Imagination may form a mental image of a house, bridge, railway system, ship, etc., not yet built; or it may form a mental image of centaurs, winged-steeds, mermaids, winged-angels, Satanic forms with hoofs, horns and tails—which are entirely out of the realm of actual human experience.

In Constructive Imagination we have a most important element of the constructive intellectual work performed by the mind of man. Without it certain phases of reasoning would be impossible. Without it, the psychological processes of association would not be manifested. Without it, the inventive faculties could not function. Without it, there could be no artistic creation. Without it, there could be no progress, no improvement, no discovery of new relations, no creative thought, no adaptation of old things to new uses and new ends. As Halleck says: “The products of the Constructive-Imagination have been the only stepping-stones for material progress. The Constructive Imagination of primeval man, aided by thought, began to conquer the world. The chimney, the stage-coach, the locomotive, are successive milestones, showing the progressive march of the Imagination.”

Constructive Imagination may be said to have two phases, viz., (1) Passive Construction, or the employment of the constructive powers of the imagination along the lines of pure fancy, or idle “day dreaming”; and (2) Active Construction, or employment of the constructive powers of the imagination along the lines of definite, purposeful, creative effort.

In Passive Construction, the Imagination may dally with the reminiscent images of past experiences, rearranging and recombining them into new forms—picturing idly the “might have been” aspects of those experiences, and indulging in imaginative fancyings in which the past experiences are transformed into other experiences of a more agreeable or more exciting nature. Or, in the same way the Imagination may project itself into the future of the life of the individual, indulging in “day dreams” in which are anticipated or “imagined” the possible experiences of that future. Or, again, it may passively permit the stream of “imaginative images”—the moving-picture film of Fancy—to pass before its vision, picturing (as in a play or story) the various movements of actors, the various scenes, actions, voices, situations of the imaginative play or story; here the whole picture is composed of a series of separate though connected pictures (as in the moving-picture connected film), seen as an actual continuous movement.

This Passive Construction has about it many of the characteristic qualities of the dream-states, in which the Imagination “runs itself” without any special direction. Many cases of its activity have well been called “day-dreams”, for they, indeed, are practically composed of “the stuff that dreams are made of.” The imaginative stream flows along, obeying merely the law of association, and lacking direction or voluntary guidance. Or, stating it otherwise, the boat of Imagination is allowed to drift along, aimlessly, without the use of the helm— the pilot being wrapped in sleep or reverie.

Those who can see in Constructive Imagination merely the passive phases just noted, are perhaps justified in their sneers at “mere imagination”—for they judge only by what they see in that category. Those, on the other hand, who realize the tremendous importance of Active Constructive Imagination in the intellectual life of the individual, may well be pardoned for indignantly refuting the charges of the first-named critics, and for terming them “ignorant and thoughtless critics of that with which they have never met in their own experience.” Each is right according to his own viewpoint—but the viewpoints are as far apart as the poles. Yet the two poles of anything, at the last, are perceived to be necessary parts of a unified whole.

Let us endeavor to illustrate the case of Imagination by reference to the better-known phases of Will—here we shall find a surprising analogy—one not generally recognized. We ask you to give careful attention and thought to what follows.

Ribot says: “Which among the various modes of mind-activity offers the closest analogy to the Creative Imagination? I unhesitatingly answer, the voluntary activity of the Will. Imagination, in the realm of the intellect, is the equivalent of Will in the realm of movements.”

The analogy between Imagination and Will manifests from the very beginning of each of these mental processes. In voluntary action, there is gathered together the raw materials of instinctive, involuntary and reflex movements: the Will coordinates and associates these in order to proceed. In the same way, Active Constructive Imagination gathers together the raw materials of Reproductive Imagination and Passive Constructive Imagination—the various images existing in those fields of mentality—in order that it may proceed further.

Then again, the movement in both instances is from the inner mental state toward the outer expression. Will begins with vague feelings and emotions, these rising to more or less definite desire; this in turn proceeds to actual outward expression in actions. So Active Constructive Imagination begins with the inner images of Memory or Reproductive Imagination, these then rising to the rank and character of the images of Passive Constructive Imagination; these in turn rising to the rank and character of definite outward expression in the images of Active Constructive Imagination.

Again, in Will rising to its higher stages, we always find present a more or less definite movement toward a certain end to be attained. The same more or less definite object to be attained is present in the rising processes of Active Constructive Imagination. The Will always proceeds toward the attainment of some thing desired, something tending to satisfy some inner want. In Active Constructive Imagination there is always present the urge toward the invention, creation, or construction of something more or less clearly perceived. As Ribot says: “We are always inventing for an end—whether in the case of a Napoleon imagining a plan of campaign, or a cook making up a new dish. In both cases there is now a simple end attained by immediate means, now a complex and distant goal presupposing subordinate ends which are means in relation to the final end.”

Finally, we find in both Will and the Active Constructive Imagination certain frequent instances and manifestations of incomplete process—of aborted expression. Will, in its normal and completed expression, culminates in action. But in actual experience this final action often is not reached; one may desire to do a thing, and even deliberately decide and determine to do that thing—but the spring of action is never released. One may desire to arise from his bed on a cold morning, and may decide and determine to do so—but he still remains beneath the warm covers. So in Passive Constructive Imagination one may content himself with idle, passive “day dreaming”, and never proceed deliberately to make his “dreams come true.”

Ribot says, concerning this last point: “There are likenesses between the abortive forms of the Creative Imagination and the impotent forms of the Will. In its normal and complete form, Will culminates in an act; but with wavering characters, and sufferers from abulia, deliberation never ends, or the resolution remains inert, incapable of realization, of asserting itself in action. The Creative Imagination also, in its complete form, has a tendency to become objectified, to assert itself in a work that shall exist not only for the creative individual but for everybody. On the contrary, with dreamers pure and simple, the Imagination remains a vaguely sketched inner affair, it is not embodied in any esthetic or practical invention. Revery is the equivalent of weak desires and incompleted Will; dreamers are the abulics of the Creative Imagination.”

We wish to point out another analogy here. The Passive and Active respective forms of the Constructive Imagination may be aptly compared to the respective Involuntary and Voluntary phases of Attention.

Involuntary Attention is that form of Attention in which the mind goes out toward any passing object which serves to arouse mere curiosity or transient notice—this form of Attention is the one most strongly manifested by the child or by the savage—moreover, it is the kind of Attention which alone is generally manifested by the great masses of persons.

Voluntary Attention, on the other hand, is that form of Attention in which the mind is deliberately and determinedly directed toward, and held upon, some definite object or subject, to the end that knowledge concerning such may be acquired— this form of Attention distinguishes the mind of the true student, the scientific mind, and the trained mind in general. The analogy between these two respective forms of Attention and the two respective forms of Constructive Imagination, is so close that we need but to direct your attention to it, further comparison being unnecessary.

Thus, you have seen, there are two distinct forms or phases of Constructive Imagination, viz., (1) Passive, and (2) Active. The former you have just now considered; the latter you are now asked to consider.

Note: In our further consideration of Active Constructive Imagination, in the following sections of this book, we shall drop the term “Active Constructive Imagination”, and shall substitute the general term, “Constructive Imagination,” this latter term being far more convenient than the former cumbersome technical term—and equally well expressing the essential idea embodied in the general concept of, “Constructive Imagination actively employed toward definite ends and aims.”


Constructive Imagination

In Constructive Imagination (i. e., Active Constructive Imagination) we find the elements of Reproductive Imagination (previously described) gathered up by the mind, its materials separated and classified, accepted or discarded according to determined values, and then deliberately and purposively employed toward the attainment of a definite end or aim. In these processes not only the Imagination, but also the Intellect and the Will play their part—the activity thus being complex, and the result that of co-ordinated mental power; yet Imagination is the main factor of the process, and the work is that of the imaginative mentality, the other mental powers merely being called in to assist.

In order rightly to comprehend true Constructive Imagination—its nature, its powers, its possibilities—you must first of all perceive that while it employs the raw material of Reproductive Imagination in common with “Passive” Constructive Imagination, yet its processes carry these materials to a higher plane of activity, there deliberately making selection of them, accepting and rejecting them according to ascertained value, and then weaving and combining them into new forms and shapes, new arrangements and adaptations—building new structure of fact from the crude materials furnished it. Man, by his Constructive Imagination, exercises his true Creative Power—and thus becomes a true and real Creator, the Microcosm manifesting the principles of the Macrocosm.

Let us now proceed to the consideration of the various steps or stages of the processes manifested by the Constructive Imagination. It will be well for you to become acquainted with the details of these processes for they will be employed by you in your activities along these lines, and you should acquaint yourself thoroughly with the way “the wheels go round.”

Dissociation. The process of Dissociation is the preliminary stage of Constructive Imagination. Dissociation is “the act of disuniting, separating, breaking-up, or parting that which has previously existed in associated or united form or condition.” Practically every image of Memory or Reproductive Imagination is concrete, i. e., composed and made up of several parts or elements united in a single image. Association is the primary element in remembering experiences, or in calling them into consciousness in Reproductive Imagination. Constructive Imagination begins its work by first separating and tearing apart the associated elements or parts of the reproduced images. It finds it necessary to tear down the old image before it can form the new image by reassembling its parts in new forms, or by combining some of these parts with the parts of other images likewise broken up by Dissociation.

Constructive Imagination without preliminary Dissociation would be as impossible as the task set by the town-council, in the familiar tale, which passed a resolution (1) that a new town-hall be built; (2) that the new town-hall be constructed of the materials of the old town-hall, and on the site of the old building; but (3) that the old town-hall be left standing, and be occupied and used until the new town-hall is completed.

Dissociation of familiar images is often quite difficult of performance. It is not easy to dissociate the color of “white” from our image of a swan—yet black swans are found in Australia. It is difficult for a dweller in the tropics to dissociate the idea of fluidity from his image of water—for he has never seen ice nor snow. It is difficult to dissociate the idea of cold weather, bare trees, etc., from our image of a December day— yet, south of the Equator, December is a mid-summer month. It was difficult for the opponents of Columbus to dissociate the idea of flatness from the earth, and to construct the image of men walking on the other side of the globe with their heads pointing downward. It is difficult to dissociate the idea of youth from your mental image of the person whom you have not seen for many years—yet the person actually exists as a middle-aged man.

Reconstruction. The Constructive Imagination, having dissociated the elements of reproduced images, then proceeds to reconstruct these elements into new combinations and arrangements; this, either by simply rearranging the elements of a particular image, or else by combining certain of these elements with certain other elements of another dissociated image. The following are the more common forms of Imaginative Reconstruction:

(1) Simple Partition. You can construct a new imaginative image by simply parting some particular element of a reproduced image from its associated elements, and then discarding the latter in the reconstruction. Thus you can imagine a human hand writing a letter, but not attached to a body; or a mighty eye, seeing all things, yet not attached to a body; or a detached human head floating through space; or a headless horseman; or a tree without branches, or vice versa. In fact, you can easily form the mental image of anything parted and separated from its usual associated images. That is to say, you can form such a mental picture though you may not really believe that any such thing does or can actually exist in that form and free from its natural associations.

(2) Variation in Size. You can construct a new imaginative image, or mental picture, of a familiar image magnified to almost any size. You can easily imagine giants whose beards brush the clouds. Gulliver’s Travels can be read by you and easily accompanied by your own illustrative images. The gigantic figures of ancient mythology are not beyond the powers of your Imagination. Likewise, you have no trouble in imagining a world a thousand times larger than our own, with all the familiar objects of our world magnified in like proportion. Jack’s marvelous Beanstalk, rising to the skies, is an easy task for your lively Imagination, particularly in childhood.

In the same way, you can construct a new imaginative image, or mental picture, of a familiar image diminished almost to any size. Fairies, elves, gnomes, midgets, dwarfs—all are familiar to the eyes of your Imagination. You can imagine an oak-tree capable of being covered by a thimble. Gulliver’s Travels can be illustrated by your own mental pictures of the Lilliputians. The mushroom throne and acorn coach of the fairies are quite easily imagined. Elephants as small as mice, whales as small as minnows, worlds as small as grains of mustard-seed—all these are easily created by a lively Imagination. The scientific Imagination of today sees each atom as a tiny solar system composed of revolving planets—scientific fancy can easily picture each of these electronic-planets as being inhabited, and as being like our own planet in every way.

Size is comparative to the Imagination, and may be varied at will. You can imagine objects as being as large as you please, or as small, without regard to objective reality. The laws of the Imagination are very liberal in respect to size.

(3) Variation of Position, Form, and Color. You can construct imaginative images, or mental pictures, of familiar objects changed in Position, Form, or Color, or all these combined, without any difficulty. Here also the laws of the Imagination are very liberal.

You can imagine the familiar object in almost any new position. Thus, you may place a fountain in the middle of a valley; place a prairie on a hill-side; terrace a mountain into plains; plant a garden in a desert; combine hills, valleys, streams, rocks, in a fantastic manner having no correspondence in Nature. You can imagine men with their noses at the back of their heads, their arms and legs exchanging places, ears on their knees. In short, the Imagination can vary the positions of objects, or parts of objects, at will.

You can imagine new shapes for familiar animals, trees, features of the landscape. You can imagine willows as straight as a pine, or spruce trees with branches like those of an oak. You can imagine roses with triangular petals; cubic eggs; octagonal oranges; cows as fleet-footed as a gazelle; crows as graceful as humming-birds; and rhinoceroses as soft-footed and sinuous as a cat. In short, the Imagination can vary the forms of objects, or parts of objects, at will. As a writer says: “The forms of objects are as flexible in the hands of the Imagination, as the clay in the hands of the potter.”

You can imagine a green or red sky, blue fields of grain, red leaves on trees, white vegetation in the garden, black snow on the mountain tops. The Imagination can vary the color of objects, or parts of objects, at will. As a writer says: “The imagination can make the eye as dark as midnight, or give it a heavenly hue; paint the evening sky with golden colors, and robe the summer landscape with all the splendors of autumn.”

(4) Recombined Images. You can construct imaginative images, or mental pictures, in which the separated elements of several dissociated things are combined in new arrangements. Thus, you can imagine the head and trunk of a man combined with the body of a horse—here you have created a Centaur. You can imagine the body and head of a man combined with the horns, legs and hoofs of a goat, the wings of a bat, the tail of an ox—here you have Satan. You can imagine the body of a goat combined with the head of a lion, and the tail of a dragon—here you have the ancient Chimaera. You can imagine a monster with the body of a dog, with three heads—here you have Cerberus. You can imagine the head of a maiden, the body of a vulture, and the claws of the eagle—here you have a Harpy. You can imagine a woman with serpents serving for her locks of hair—here you have the Medusa. Mythology is rich in illustrations of this kind. The patient in delirium frequently “sees” pink elephants with bat-wings, dragon-tails, and eagle-claws, floating around the room. Our dreams sometimes acquaint us with similar monstrosities, when we have been unwise in choosing the elements of our late dinners. There is practically no limit to this exercise of the Imagination—the possible combinations are almost infinite in variety.

(5) Idealization. You can construct imaginative images, or mental pictures, in which the actual images of experience are given a more perfect, more beautiful, or more nearly an ideal form. Thus, you can picture a perfect circle, though you never have found one in Nature; a more beautiful woman than you ever have seen; a more perfectly formed horse than has ever been observed by you. The artist exercising this form of Imagination often pictures that which Nature seems to be striving to manifest. You can also imagine ideal events— pictures of dramatic beauty; also ideal characters representing the full development of qualities which are merely partially represented, or even merely hinted at, in real life.

The poets, great prose writers, and the dramatists, manifest this form of idealistic Imagination. Homer, Virgil, Dickens, Thackeray, Scott, Milton, and above all, Shakespeare, furnish us with typical illustrations. Shakespeare has created characters which seem even more real to us than many of the actual characters of our experience. The great composers of music drew upon this phase of their Imagination and have given us harmonies and melodies never heard in nature. Artists of all kinds depend upon this idealistic Imagination for their inspiration; then they attempt to express in outward form—in painting, in sculpture, in poem, in drama, in story, in musical composition—that which they have formed first as mental images.

(6) Invention. You can also construct imaginative images, or mental pictures, of familiar objects adapted to new uses and ends, or of new objects adapted to familiar uses and ends. Thus the inventor imagined electricity being adapted to the business of transmitting messages, running machinery, producing heat and light, etc. Likewise, he imagined sewing, washing, weaving, reaping, binding, plowing, being performed by power machinery instead of by hand. The entire history of inventions is but the history of the employment of the inventive Imagination. As we have previously stated, the progress of man from savagery to civilization has been along the path of invention. Every tool, every instrument, every appliance of any kind—anything made by the hand of man in order to accomplish a new end, or an old end in a new way—is the result of the activities of his inventive Imagination.

(7) Planning. You can construct imaginative images, or mental pictures of the plans according to which you intend to proceed in your picture work. The general plans his battles, the architect plans his building; the business man plans his campaign of manufacture, sale, or other work. The clearer and the more definite the plan, the truer will be the result, all being equal. The mechanic, if he be a good one, will plan out in his mind the work which he expects to perform with his hands. Every work of construction, building, or general action contemplated by man, is planned and worked out in his Imagination before it assumes material form. The subjective form must always precede the objective form.

(8) Induction. You can make constructive imaginative images, or mental pictures, of the probable causes of a number of particular events or happenings, along the general lines of induction. The great triumphs of scientific induction have been made in this way. The scientist groups together the mental images of a number of events or happenings seemingly operating under the same general law, or from the same general causes (the latter being unknown); he then seeks to discover the missing law or cause, and in doing so he sets into operation his inductive Imagination, He “makes scientific guesses” in this way, and then proceeds to test out the several hypotheses so obtained. Many of the great discoveries of science relating to physical laws have been made clear with the assistance of this form of Imagination.

All, or nearly all, of the observed processes of Constructive Imagination will be found to fit into one or more of the above categories without undue strain. The list, however, is not intended to be exhaustive, but is rather merely suggestive as a loose classification.

Mechanical Construction and Purposive Construction. Psychologists note a certain distinction between the different classes of the images of Constructive Imagination, i. e., of those imaginative images which do not represent with any reasonable degree of exactness any actual object of previous experience. This distinction proceeds according to the following classification, viz., (1) Images mechanically constructed, i. e., in which the images are combined merely by a purposeless and indefinite process of joining together or associating parts of different reproduced images or memories: as for instance, where the head and trunk of a man are joined to the body of a horse, and the image of a Centaur thus constructed; or where the body of a woman and the tail of a fish are joined to construct the image of a mermaid; (2) Images definitely and purposively constructed according to a preconceived design and toward a definite end and purpose; as, for instance, where the different parts of a machine, a play, a picture, a musical composition, etc., are constructed as a mental image, particularly with the end of objective reproduction in view.

In the first of the above-mentioned cases, the imaginative construction is known as Mechanical Construction; in the second case, the imaginative construction is known as Creative Imaginative Construction, i. e., as true Constructive Imagination. The first type proceeds practically without a definite plan and purpose, and is more or less lacking in continuity. The second type proceeds with a more or less definite purpose and aim, according to a more or less definite plan, and with more or less manifestation of continuity. With the first type, we have but little to do in this connection. With the second type, however, we are vitally concerned in this instruction; therefore, we shall now proceed to a further consideration of its distinctive characteristics.

Elements of the Constructive Imagination. Halleck says: “The Mechanical Imagination joins dissociated parts without altering them. Such products are as inferior to those of the Creative Imagination as is a pile of bricks to a finished house.” The pile of bricks, to be sure, is “put together” and composed of a number of particular bricks; and so is the finished house: but in the former there is merely a haphazard throwing together, lacking plan, selection, and lack of purposive thought, while in the latter case there is a definite purpose, a selection of material according to its fitness for that purpose, and finally the employment of purposive thought directed to the end of the efficient construction of the building.

The elements of true Constructive Imagination, then are as follows: (1) Definite purpose; (2) Selection of materials according to estimated value; and (3) Employment of purposive thought, and logical reasoning based upon experience.

It is an axiom of psychology that no particular class of mental faculties manifests activity without calling to its aid certain other classes of mental faculties. There is always present a coordination of mental powers in all mental activities, one phase of power, however, always assuming the dominant role for the time being. Accordingly, as might be expected, we find evidences of such coordination in the processes of Constructive Imagination. You should acquaint yourself with the details of such coordinative activity, which we shall now present to your attention.

Emotion and Imagination. Emotional states, such as strong feelings or interest, play an important part in the processes of Constructive Imagination. The best psychologists hold that in the imaginative process there must be present not only the “fixed idea”, but also the “fixed feeling”. Ribot says: “The emotional factor yields in importance to none other; it is the ferment without which no mental creation is possible. The influence of the emotional life is unlimited; it penetrates the entire field of creative invention, with no restriction whatever. This is not a gratuitous assertion, but is, on the contrary, strictly justified by facts, and we are right in maintaining the following two propositions: (1) All forms of creative imagination imply elements of feeling; and (2) All emotional dispositions whatever may influence the creative imagination.”

In the process of Constructive Imagination, we find that Feeling and Emotion act as follows: (1) as an incentive to creative activity, and (2) as a coloring agent giving to the created product the shade or tint of itself. Some psychologists have sought to limit the influence of the emotional states to such forms of Constructive Imagination as are concerned with the productions of works of art and beauty; they would deny such influence to those phases of Constructive Imagination which are concerned with the production of intellectual and mechanical inventive images. But more careful investigators are fully convinced that even in the last mentioned phases of Constructive Imagination the emotional element plays its part, and manifests a decided influence.

Some careful teachers have gone so far as to hold that the emotional element is the primal, original factor in all invention, inasmuch as “all invention presupposes a want, a craving, a tendency, an unsatisfied impulse, often even a state of gestation full of discomfort.” This want, craving, often even a state of gestation and urging, of the unsatisfied impulse produces an emotional state of seeking for relief—for a relief which is possible only by the delivery of the completed idea of the invention. The inventor always experiences the changing emotional states resulting from partial success, temporary setbacks and discouragements, and, finally, the supreme joy of achievement, often reaching the stage of actual exaltation, accompanying the actual delivery of the child of the brain. An authority on the subject says: “I challenge anyone to produce a solitary example of invention wrought out in pure abstraction, and freed from any factors of feeling; human nature does not allow such a miracle.”

In cultivating and developing your power of Constructive Imagination, you will do well to begin by encouraging the emotional feeling which urges you toward creative invention. By stimulating and encouraging the feeling striving for creative expression, you are increasing the fire which generates the steam that runs the mental machinery of invention. Interest depends upon feeling—is, indeed, a phase of feeling. Interest is the mental force which directs the mind to the inventive task, and which holds the attention upon it. Interest is aroused and maintained by fanning the flame of feeling. In the activities of the Constructive Imagination, and of the Will, emotional feeling is the first requisite—the first element to be aroused.

Attention and Imagination. As might be expected, we find that Attention—Concentrated Attention—is also vitally involved in the processes of the Constructive Imagination. Definite, voluntary conscious mental activity of any kind or form requires the application of Concentrated Attention—the act of “holding one-pointed” the powers of consciousness. The “fixed idea” and the “fixed feeling” necessary in efficient Constructive Imagination are the results of Concentrated Attention.

The following quotations from eminent authorities will serve to illustrate the principle now under consideration.

Ribot says: “Psychologists always adduce the same examples when they wish to illustrate, on the one hand, tenacious attention, and, on the other, the developing labor without which creative work does not come to pass.” Newton says: “Genius is only long patience. * * * I keep the subject continually before me, and wait until the first dawning opens slowly little by little into a clear light. If I have made any improvements in the sciences, it was owing more to patient attention than to any other talent.” D’Alembert says: “Genius is always thinking of the thing.”

Kay says: “Possibly the most comprehensive definition of genius is the power of concentrating and prolonging the attention upon any one given subject.” Grillparzer says: “Inspiration is a concentration of that which, for the time being, represents all the forces and capacities upon a single point. The reinforcement of the state of mind comes from the fact that its several powers, instead of spreading themselves over the whole world, are contained within the bounds of a single object— they touch one another, and reciprocally help and reinforce each other.”

In that volume of this series entitled “Perceptive Power,” we have given the most approved scientific methods of cultivating and developing the faculty of Voluntary Attention.

Once more, we wish to impress upon your mind the fact that the mind is a unity, not a mere aggregation of particular mental faculties. Each faculty is found to call upon and to make use of the special powers of the other faculties. Each mental process is found to involve the elements of several faculties. The activities of the several faculties, or groups of faculties, are found to blend into each other in harmonious effective coordination. In the consideration of any one special faculty, or class of faculties, this important fact is often overlooked.

Observation and Imagination. You have seen that the Constructive Imagination depends upon the perceptive powers for its “raw materials.” Without a proper supply of these “raw materials” of perception and observation, the Constructive Imagination cannot proceed to continue and create those edifices of creative images which serve as the models or patterns of the subsequent materialization. Remember always, that the Constructive Imagination cannot create “something out of nothing.” Without having first sown the field of memory with the seed of perception and observation, there can be raised no crop of Constructive Imagination.

The child with three blocks is limited in his building operations—give him nine blocks, and he will be able to effect many more combinations. This is just as true of the individual who wishes to employed effectively his Constructive Imagination: his limits are determined by the amount of perceptive material at his disposal. The Eskimo dwelling in the Arctic regions can never hope to create imaginative pictures of the things of the temperate or the tropical zones, unless, by some chance, he has gained a knowledge of the latter by means of books, pictures, or the descriptions of travelers. Even in that exceptional event, as Halleck says, “He must interpret all that he reads in terms of the scant shrubbery with which he is familiar, and his best imaginative picture of tropical foliage will be meager and dwarfed.”

You will do well to cultivate your powers of Perception and Observation, in connection with your work of developing your powers of Constructive Imagination. Consult some good text book on this subject. We feel justified in calling your attention in this connection to that book of this series entitled “Perceptive Power”; it will be found to contain practical instruction based upon the best scientific methods of cultivating, developing and training the Perceptive Powers and the faculty of Observation.

We scarcely need to point out to you that a very large part of the mental processes of any and all kinds are performed, wholly or in part, on planes or levels of consciousness below the planes or levels of the ordinary consciousness. Modern psychology has so thoroughly demonstrated this fact that we need do no more than to mention it here. As might be expected, the processes of Constructive Imagination are performed to a great extent in this way.

We might even say that the conscious performance of Constructive Imagination is limited to (1) the initiatory stages in which the germ of the creative process is carefully considered in consciousness, and the initial impulse is imparted to it; after which it is placed in the subconscious field for incubation; (2) the intermediate stages in which the partially incubated creation is raised to the plane of consciousness, there to be examined by the conscious mentality; adjustments, adaptations and suggestions of improvement added; after which the incomplete process is again relegated to the subconscious levels; and (3) the last stage in which the practically completed creation is raised to the levels of consciousness for a final inspection; here the “finishing touches” are added and the work is completed. The greater part of the process, you will note, is performed on the subconscious levels or planes of the mind.

Hoffding says: “The interweaving of the elements of the picture in the imagination takes place in a great measure below the threshold of consciousness, so that the image suddenly emerges in consciousness complete in its broad outlines, the conscious result of an unconscious process.” The above statement, however, should have contained the proviso that the subconscious processes referred to were performed only after (and because) the conscious mentality previously had been actively employed in earnest and concentrated consideration of the subject in question.

The autobiographies and biographies of men of genius, great inventors, great scientists, and others actively employing Constructive Imagination, are filled with illustrations of the workings of the subconscious faculties of the mind; these show conclusively the important part played by these “below the surface” mental activities in all creative and inventive thought.

While the activities of the Constructive Imagination proceed more or less freely, or even spontaneously, and cannot properly be reduced to a mere mechanical form of procedure, nevertheless there are certain general stages or steps of the process which are sufficiently determined in form to be subject to classification. The following general classification is offered with the understanding that it is not rigid nor exclusive; it is merely an attempt to picture the several apparently separate steps or stages of a process which, in reality, is continuous rather than composed of separated parts.

(1) The Germ Stage. This is the stage of the first general thought concerning the nature of the thing sought to be created by the Constructive Imagination. A writer has stated it as, “the first idea coming to the mind as a possible solution of a problem which has been put to one, or has ‘struck’ him, by reason of his needs and requirements, or those of others, and which has assumed nebulous form by reason of his previous observations, studies and researches.”

The energy of this germ is supplied by the “desire Feeling” arising from the needs of the individual, or those of others which are known to him, and which represent obstacles to the efficient expression of his nature. This desired fuller expression may be in the direction of self-preservation, health, welfare, protection, or general comfort; or that of military or commercial supremacy or success; or that of sexual expression, with its many secondary forms of manifestation. Again, it may be in the direction of mechanical invention and construction, in response to the “mechanical instinct”; or that of artistic production; or that of social reforms and improvements. Likewise, it may be in the direction of knowledge of science or philosophy; or that of religious or theological interpretation or explanation, and all that pertains to these. In short, every form of desire, feeling, emotion, need, lack or want—every “frustrated purpose”—every emotional state which tends to manifest in will-action—may supply the motor or energizing element in the germ of Constructive Imagination.

Around this energizing element are loosely gathered the general ideas connected with the discovery and creation of that which will fill this want, satisfy this desire, comfort this feeling, fill this emotional void. The germ, so constituted, has been described by a writer as “an embryonic, unstable, and uncoordinated manifestation of the creative imagination—a transition stage between passive reproduction and organized construction.”

(2) The Incubation Stage. This is the stage in which the germ rests in the womb of the subconscious mentality. Here the mind operates along the lines of both conscious and subconscious activity. The conscious mentality observes the new ideas to which the interested attention now is directed by reason of the demands of the incubating germ in the subconscious mental womb, and then passes them down to the subconscious plane, there to be absorbed, assimilated and combined with similar ideative material. The subconscious mentality searches the stores of memory for associated facts, ideas and images which may be combined with the material of the germ or embryonic image.

Of this stage, a writer says: “The incubation is often very long and painful; or, again, even totally unconscious. Instinctively as well as voluntarily (subconsciously as well as consciously) the mind brings together all the materials that it can gather.” Another writer says: “Here is the germ, the principle of unity, the centre of attraction, suggesting, exciting, and grouping the proper association of images, in which it becomes enwrapped and organized into a structure—an ensemble of means converging to a common end.”

(3) The Delivery Stage. This is the stage in which the developed embryo—the evolved germ, with its accumulated associated and related images grouped around it in logical order—is raised to the plane or level of consciousness, and is “born” into the world of conscious thought and cognition. Here the happy subconscious and conscious parents exclaim: “Unto us a child is born!” As a writer says: “When the latent (subconscious) work is sufficiently complete, the idea suddenly bursts forth. It may be at the end of a voluntary tension of mind; or it may be on the occasion of a chance remark, tearing the veil that hides the surmised image.”

The child of Imagination, so born into the world of objectivity, must be carefully handled and provided for. It must be nursed until it is strong enough to adapt itself to its new environment. The Imagination must be drawn upon (as the breasts of the mother are drawn upon for milk) in order to provide for the off-spring. The young idea may perish if it is denied proper clothing and food. It must become gradually habituated to its new environment; undue exposure to the winds of objectivity may weaken or even kill it. This is more than a mere figure of speech—it bears a close resemblance to actual facts of experience, as many inventors and parents of new ideas know to their sorrow.


The Builder and the Plan

In the processes of Efficient Constructive Imagination, directed by a definite purpose and toward a determined end, you will find it advantageous to follow the general rule given below. This rule, which is the result of a careful study of the requirements of the case made by competent investigators of the subject, is not a hard-and-fast rule to be observed absolutely by you under all circumstances; rather it is a general framework of the actual method to be followed by you, the special details being supplied by yourself. Rightly understood and intelligently adapted by you to the special circumstances of particular cases, this rule will be found to meet the requirements of practically all the cases likely to require your attention.

General Rule

I. Create a clear mental picture of the general idea representing your Definite Purpose, i. e., the particular end which you wish to accomplish; the particular obstacle which you wish to overcome; the particular result which you wish to obtain; the particular desire which you wish to satisfy; the particular ideal which you wish to make real; the particular idea which you wish to materialize in objective form.

II. Form a comprehensive picture of the whole field of the proposed undertaking; get a comprehensive and inclusive view of the whole field of the business into which you purpose embarking; see the whole enterprise in all of its general aspects; compose a comprehensive idea including the whole matter under consideration.

III. Make a written list of all of the probable factors involved in the problem or undertaking; compile a list of all of the probable elements involved in the working out of the matter; gather together all of the ideas of the things at all likely to be called into the creative process; have within easy reach the ideas of all of the materials likely to be employed in the construction of the ideal form which you wish to materialize.

IV. Classify these ideas, elements and factors according to their general nature, their general uses, their known relations and associations; cross-indexing them under appropriate headings, and referring to the lesser elements, parts, or factors of which each is composed. Diagram and chart these ideas according to your system of classification, so as to have the whole matter under your mind’s eye, and so that you may be able to grasp the arrangement at a glance without having to hunt for scattered items.

V. Weigh the various factors one against the other, taking into consideration the associated and related values of each in the general idea, plan or purpose. Determine in this way which are the primary factors involved; which are the secondary; and which are the lesser values. Concentrate on the prime factors, and make these the central points in your process of Constructive Imagination—the focal centres around which you purpose grouping the associated factors or elements.

VI. Experiment by tentatively placing the secondary factors in association with and relation to the prime factors, regardless of how improbable or incongruous at first may seem such association and relation. Around the letter “A” build alphabet-block combinations of the letters B, C, D, E, F, G, etc., blocks, to see if they “make sense,” or if they suggest anything of rational meaning to you. Discard all combinations that seem lacking in utility—but only after actually making the test and experiment. Continue this until you have secured satisfactory results. Where there are several apparently satisfactory, or fairly promising combinations, weigh these one against the other to determine their comparative values, discarding the lesser values, and retaining the greater, until you have secured the “survival of the fittest.” Then proceed to test out the lesser factors in the same way, working out all the details of the plan.

VII. Having reached at least a fairly satisfactory working plan, idea, invention, or solution of your problem, you should then carefully detach yourself” from it—you should move from your personal point of view, and try to see it as others will see it. Try to imagine the effect it will have on the persons whom you wish to be interested in your finished product; how it will meet their requirements, satisfy their wants, arouse their desires for it. Your own created conjunction, plan, method, design or invention naturally will seem to you as the infant appears to its mother—no mother is an unprejudiced critic of her own baby. You must see the thing as others will see it, in order to arrive at an intelligent idea of the actual degree of utility possessed by your invention, creation, composition, or contrivance. You must employ past experience, reason, judgment, discrimination and cool decision in this final testing process.

In the present, and in several following sections of this book, we shall ask you to consider in further detail the several divisions or principles composing the above-mentioned General Rule, together with certain instructions designed to promote the effective application of each of these special points.

In the General Rule of Efficient Constructive Imagination, the first step is that of: “Creating a clear mental picture of the general idea representing your Definite Purpose, i. e., the particular end which you wish to accomplish; the particular obstacle which you wish to overcome; the particular result which you wish to obtain; the particular desire which you wish to satisfy; the particular ideal which you wish to make real; the particular idea which you wish to materialize in objective form.”

Definite Purpose is an essential characteristic of all true Constructive Imagination. This Definite Purpose may not be the actual purpose to objectify a subjective image already created in the mind—though often it is precisely this purpose of externalizing the created internal image. More often, however, the Definite Purpose is that of overcoming an obstacle; supplying a perceived want; discovering an efficient method of performing certain work. There is always present a “fixed idea” supported by a “fixed feeling.” The more definite the purpose, the more directly does the creative work proceed to its end. The more persistent the feeling and the desire inspiring it, the stronger is the urge toward the objective materialization.

Halleck says of this characteristic of the Creative Imagination: “The Constructive Imagination is always characterized by a definite purpose, which is never lost sight of until the image is complete. A child starts to build a house out of blocks. These are often changed and taken down many times, before the form in which they are built is such as to fix the growing, purposive image in the child’s mind. Before an architect builds a house, he must form successive images, which he alters whenever they conflict with the general plan of that special dwelling. An inventor often spends years in changing and re-combining the images of parts of his machine, but he is all the while dominated by a Definite Purpose. The images must be altered until matter poured into their mold fulfills the aim of the inventor.”

We would here, however, caution you against harboring the idea that the Definite Purpose is a crystallized, fixed, unchangeable archetype which the inventor strives to represent as best he can in material, objective form. Rather, the Definite Purpose is an evolving, developing Idea, moving forward as do all living forms. It advances and, usually, gradually takes on new and better forms and details; also, it frequently discards as inefficient or impracticable some of the forms or details which it had accepted at the start.

As a writer has said: “The Creative Ideal arises in the inventor and proceeds through him. Its life is a ‘becoming’ process, and not an unchangeable fixed form. Its ‘fixed’ character consists of its Continuity and Definite Purpose. * * * If we liken creative imagination to physiological generation, this Creative Ideal is the ovum awaiting fertilization in order to begin its development. * * * The Creative Ideal is a creative image tending to become real.”

Before you may expect successfully to accomplish creative mental work, you must know, at least in a general way, just what you wish to create. You must select at least the general goal toward which you desire to journey. You must not be content to sing, in the words of the familiar ballad, “I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on the way.” You must sketch at least the general map of the country over which you wish to travel, and to indicate with at least a fair degree of definiteness the place at which you hope to arrive at your journey’s end.

We do not hold that you must necessarily work out a detailed map of that country—the details you may fill in as you proceed. Neither do we hold that you should necessarily make a mark at some particular part of the map to indicate the place at which you expect to settle down—you will be better able to do this when you arrive at that general part of the country toward which you are journeying. We do insist, however, that you should know the general direction in which you are headed. The early settlers of America knew that they were “Going West,” and most of them had a very fair idea as to just what particular section of the Far West most attracted their interest and held their attention. The matter of the precise, exact location of the place at which they expected to “take up land” was usually left to be determined when they arrived on the general scene, and had a chance to “look over” the places still open to them for settlement. This is about as much as we can ask for from you in the matter now under consideration.

All true exercise of the Constructive Imagination is inspired by a want, a lack, an obstacle, a problem, or a “thwarted purpose”—the latter being stated by an eminent psychologist to be “the occasion for all reasoning.” If your every want were satisfied; if you suffered no lack; if there were no problem requiring solution, no obstacles to be overcome, no “thwarted purposes” present in your experience; then you would never be called upon to exercise your powers of Constructive Imagination. Your want, your lack, your unsatisfied desire, your “thwarted purpose”; these call into activity the creative powers of your mind.

It may not be always quite dear to you what constitutes the prime factors of your want, desire, lack, problem, or “thwarted purpose”; you may find it necessary to “boil down” the thing, evaporating the excess fluid in which this essence is dissolved. You must get to the real essential elements of the problem— get “down to brass tacks.” Here, as in many other instances and cases, you will find it helpful to “think with your pencil,” i. e., to express in written words the essence of the somewhat hazy general idea which is present in your mind as representing your problem or want. Unless you have practiced this plan, you can have no adequate conception of its value to you in thinking and planning.

In “thinking with your pencil” for the purpose of discovering the prime factors or essential elements of your problem or purpose; you must strive to get down to the bottom of the subject—to reach the centre of the thing. Once having found this, you may work backward and forward in any direction from that focal point. The focal point may be discovered by determined “pencil thought” upon the following two questions, viz.: (1) “What is the obstacle which I wish to overcome; what is the nature of this ‘thwarted purpose’; what is the gist of the difficulty; and (2) What is the first and main factor or element of my purpose in this matter; what is it necessary for me to accomplish; what is the general end to be accomplished; what is ‘the big idea’ which I wish to make real?”

Continue the task of analyzing and dissecting the subject until you finally reduce it to its ultimate elements of Definite Purpose. That Definite Purpose is always there, though usually hidden by a mass of comparatively nonessential ideas. It is your work to clear away this mass of encumbering material of thought, so that you may bring into plain view the precious thing at the centre of the mass. Or, employing another figure, it is “up to you” to carve away the mass of stone which hides the figure of your ideal—that ideal which is crying for release from the encumbering material; just as the sculptor with his chisel releases the hidden form of his ideal creation.

Your Definite Purpose once discovered, it becomes your Definite Ideal—the focal point around which is built the entire structure of your creation. The Definite Ideal is like the grain of sand which exists at the centre of every pearl, and about which the pearly material has gathered. It is “the big idea” around which your Constructive Imagination builds, deposits, and accumulates its wealth of material. Your Definite Ideal represents your desire, need, want, purpose, plan, design—it is the vital germ of the entire future organism—it is the seed from which will spring the downward-pressing roots, and the upward-pressing stalk. Without it there would be no creative growth. In the degree of its strength, definiteness, and clearness of form, so will be the degree of perfection and vigor in that which springs from it.

The importance of discovering and uncovering the Definite Ideal is not confined to its effect upon your conscious mental activities; its effect upon your subconscious faculties and powers of imagination is even greater still. By a clear conception of your Definite Ideal, and by its repeated impression upon your subconscious mentality, the idea becomes firmly, deeply and clearly “set” in the substance of the latter; and, thereafter, the subconscious faculties work steadily toward the end of the successful accomplishment of the purpose and ideal thus impressed upon it. The importance of this is realized only when you stop to think that over eighty-five percent of the activities of the mind are performed below the levels or planes of your ordinary consciousness. The fifteen percent of the work performed by your conscious faculties is confined largely to the task of supplying the subconscious faculties with the proper materials for their work, and to adapting, shaping, testing, and applying the manufactured product of the subconscious workshop.

Once having discovered and uncovered your Definite Ideal, you should strive to make as clear and definite a mental picture of it as possible. Keep the general picture in mind—either directly in consciousness, or else “at the back of your head” so that you will know that it is there even when you are not looking at it. Keep the “big idea” always in mind, consciously, subconsciously, and superconsciously. Get the “fixed idea” and the “fixed feeling” so firmly “set” in your mind that it could not be dug out without breaking up the mind itself. This Definite Ideal—this “big idea”—must be the mental picture, the ideal form which your entire mental being is striving to make real, to materialize, to objectify. Let no other mental picture rob this “big idea” picture of its prominent position. Hang it in your mental picture gallery in such a position that it will catch your mental eye the first thing in the morning, and the last thing at night.

Having firmly established your Definite Ideal, you should next proceed to map-out your general field and to note its prominent landmarks. In the words of the second section of the General Rule, you should: “Form a comprehensive picture of the whole field of the proposed undertaking; get a comprehensive and inclusive view of the field of the whole business into which you purpose embarking; see the whole enterprise in all of its general aspects; compose a comprehensive idea including the whole matter under consideration.”

In this process you need but to follow the general principles which already have been presented to you in the instruction concerning the discovery and visualization of your Definite Purpose—your Definite Ideal. These principles may be stated in condensed form as follows:

(1) “Think with your pencil.” Write down all of the ideas concerning the general field and plan, and then compare these for the purpose of selection. Eliminate the nonessentials, cancel the duplications and contradictories, and arrange the selected items in a logical and orderly classification. In short, make a chart or diagram of the general field and plan, showing the ground to be covered, the obstacles to be overcome, the strong places, the weak points, etc., etc., You will do well to bestow sufficient care and attention upon this task, for your chart will be to you what his map of the battle-field is to the commanding officer.

(2) “Visualize your Map.” Study your map until you can easily visualize it. Learn it “by heart” so that it will become as familiar as your “A, B, C’s,” or your Multiplication Table of childhood days. Impress your map upon your memory, so that you can bring it at will into conscious representation or recollection.


The Mental Laboratory

The third section of the General Rule tells you to: “Make a written list of all of the probable factors involved in the problem or undertaking; compile a list of all of the probable elements involved in the working out of the matter; gather together all of the ideas of the things at all likely to be called into the creative process; have within easy reach the ideas of all of the materials likely to be employed in the construction of the ideal form which you wish to materialize.”

Here you proceed to supply the Constructive Imagination with the raw materials for its creative processes. You have seen that the Constructive Imagination does not, and cannot, create “something out of nothing.” Instead, it creates by combination, adaptation, adjustment, transformation—always employing the material which you furnish it for the purpose. Therefore, you must supply it with the kind of mental images which are best adapted for the creation of the new forms, images or ideas which contribute to the manifestation of your Definite Purpose—your Definite Central Ideal. This material (composed of mental images) is then employed both by your conscious mentality and by your subconscious mentality, in their work of weaving or fusing the fabric or form of the necessary new images.

You must get busy at this point—you have much real work ahead of you here. You must begin by acquainting yourself with the list of the things which seem likely to come into use in the working out of your Definite Purpose—your Definite Ideal. You need not be absolutely certain that all of the material being gathered in by you for this purpose really will prove necessary or even valuable in the process; gather in all that seems “at all likely” to be of some use. In case of uncertainty on this point, give the material the benefit of the doubt, and add it to your list—you may discard it later, if need be. All that you need to do at this time is to gather together such materials as seem likely to be worth consideration in the matter. And, note this, make a written list of all such items of promising material; for you will be called upon to do considerable “thinking with your pencil” in the work ahead of you.

In the first place, you must fairly saturate yourself with the subject represented by your Definite Purpose and Definite Ideal, the achievement of which is so insistently desired, so confidently expected, and so persistently willed by you. You must learn at least the name and general character of every thing connected with or related to that subject—if but even remotely related to it. This, because the images or ideas of these related things are precisely the “stuff” upon which your Constructive Imagination must depend for the materials which it must weave or fuse into newer and more efficient images.

Every thing that ever was invented, created or composed by the Constructive Imagination, is constituted of several elements; and these elements previously existed as separate though related ideas—the same kind of ideas which you are now trying to accumulate as raw material. The men who invented, created or composed those new things were dependent upon these separate images or ideas for their material—without them these men could not, and would not have invented or created those new images. You are now in the same position as were they before their work was really begun—or rather, before their Definite Purposes and Definite Ideals had begun to assume clearly defined form and proportions.

Morse, Stephenson, Marconi, Edison, and the rest of the inventors, were once “in the same boat” in which you are now. To duplicate their processes, you must gather together the raw materials just as they did. This should be plain enough for you; but do not proceed further until this truth is thoroughly grasped and appreciated by you. You must be well grounded in the facts of this fundamental principle before you properly may proceed to set the same into creative activity. There is no royal road to Constructive Imagination. All, high and low, always have, must now, and must always hereafter, travel the same common road leading to the goal. This “all” includes yourself.

A moment ago, we told you that “you must fairly ‘saturate’ yourself with the subject represented by your Definite Purpose and Definite Ideal, the achievement of which is so insistently desired, confidently expected, and persistently willed by you. You must learn at least the name and general character of every thing connected with or related to that subject—even remotely related to it.” But just how are you to saturate yourself with such knowledge? Just how are you going to know at least the name and general character of everything connected with or related to that particular subject? The correct answer to these questions involves a most important method of the scientific application of Constructive Imagination, and you should consider carefully the following information given as the answer.

Consider this proposition: If some very wealthy man were to call you into his office and then make you the following offer, you would accept it at once, and would proceed to devise the proper means to accomplish the task and win the reward— there would be no hesitancy on your part about accepting it, we are sure. Here is the hypothetical rich man’s offer to you:

“Mr. Blank, I want someone to prepare for me the fullest and most complete list possible of the things concerning or related to this particular subject (here naming the subject of your Definite Purpose and Definite Ideal). I will give you a salary of double the amount you are now earning, and also pay all your expenses, while you are conducting the search and preparing the list. When you have completed the list, if it is found to meet the requirements of reasonable completeness and perfection, I will make you a present of one hundred thousand dollars. Will you undertake the task?” What would be your answer? You would accept, of course.

Then, what would be the first steps in your preparation of the list? Well, you would begin by reading the best text-books covering the general subject—starting off with the descriptive articles treating upon it which you would find in the best encyclopaedias. You would saturate yourself with the subject. You would consult with persons employed in occupations necessitating at least a working knowledge of the subject. You would read the trade journals circulating among those engaged in such callings—not forgetting to read the advertisements. You would carefully consider the price-lists and catalogues of houses dealing in the supplies required in those branches of work. In short, you would seek in every possible direction, and from every possible source, for the names of the things concerning or related to that special subject.

You would seek every possible “association” of that subject— the subjects closely associated with it, and having some practical relation to it. You would discover these associations by asking yourself:

(1) What is this thing?

(2) Of what is it composed?

(3) What is its purpose?

(4) For whose use is it intended?

(5) What is its past history—its evolutionary story?

(6) What are the things most resembling it?

(7) What thing is most unlike it—its “opposite?” and many more questions of that sort. You would seek to fill your mind with all the essential images connected with or related to your subject.

But you would not be satisfied with merely learning the names of these connected or related things—though even these are of great importance, and really form the first step of your task. You would seek also to learn the meaning of those names. You would consult the best dictionaries, reference works, encyclopaedias, etc., for the meaning of one term, you would uncover other terms closely associated with the one you are “running down”—then you would search for the meaning of these new terms. You would learn the past history—the story of the evolution of the prime factors of your special subject. You would learn the various attempts to solve certain of the problems involved; the failures and successes. You would learn the various theories advanced in the history of the subject, and the answer and objections to each. In short, you would fairly saturate yourself with the known facts concerning the subject, and the subjects associated with it. You would know the name of every thing involved in the subject, and the meaning of that name.

Briefly, you would fill your mind with the “mental images,” concepts, or ideas of each and every thing connected with or related to that subject. Of course, you would use your pencil in noting down these names and their meaning—you would “think with your pencil.” You would arrange your facts into classes—minor classes forming greater classes and so on. You would have on your list every important element involved in the matter. You would know what each of these meant—you would have an adequate conception of each and every one of these elements. You would not be satisfied until your list was made as complete and as comprehensive as possible. The one hundred thousand dollar reward would inspire you; but, as you worked, the growing interest in the task itself would urge you on—you would have awakened the “creative instinct” which had been lying dormant within you.

Well, then; this is just the way for you to go to work concerning the subject of your Definite Purpose and Definite Ideal. What you would do for the millionaire, you must do for yourself. You must work for yourself just as faithfully as you would work for such an employer. The same spirit must inspire you—the same interest must urge you on—the same “creative instinct” must be awakened. Here is what you must accomplish in this stage: You must make an inventory of all the essential elements involved in your special subject; and each name on that inventory must be so well understood by you that it constitutes a definite mental image, concept, or idea.

The ideal inventory of “important elements” must include (1) every discoverable important thing employed or used in connection with the subject; (2) every discoverable important fact concerning that subject; (3) every discoverable important item of information concerning the essential application of that subject; (4) every discoverable important event or experience in the history of that subject; (5) every discoverable important cause affecting that subject; (6) every discoverable important effect produced by that subject; and (7) every discoverable important law, principle, or method employed in the processes connected with that subject.

You must know (1) of what the thing is made; (2) how it is made; (3) who makes it; (4) who uses it or may use it; (5) what the users need it for, and how they use it—and how others may use it, and the other ways in which persons may use it; (6) how it is sold (or may be sold) to those who use it; (7) the general methods of its distribution, and the extent of such. The above are but general suggestions: you must adapt them and add to them according to the special requirements of the case.

For the purposes of such list-making, we make the following suggestions: Use freely a good encyclopaedia, preferably one having a classified index, or an efficient system of cross-indexing.

Use trade or professional textbooks, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, reference works, etc. Read the trade or professional journals relating to your subject—paying due attention to the advertisements—for advertisements, properly read, constitute a rich mine of suggestive ideas.

Before we pass on to the next step in the process of Constructive Imagination, we would again emphasize the importance of having a definite, clear idea or mental image back of every name or term representing an essential element of your problem or subject. A name or term without an associated meaning is like a skeleton without flesh, nerves and muscles— and, above all, without life. You do not know a thing merely by knowing its name—you know it only in the degree that you grasp the meaning sought to be expressed by that name. Get acquainted with your dictionary—turn its pages and put flesh and meat on the bare bones of the mere names and terms that you know—breathe life into them.

Halleck says concerning this point: “The formation of accurate images is essential to the right culture of the imagination. A good house cannot be built out of shapeless brick. The use of words without definite corresponding images is fatal to imagination. If we study any branch of science without representing to ourselves by imaginative power the meanings of the various terms, our time is somewhat more than wasted, for we are forming a bad habit. ‘Molecular vibrations: ‘tension of the ether,’ ‘undulations of varying amplitude and length,’ ‘valves of the heart,’ ‘stamens,’ ‘peltate leaves,’ ‘Gothic arches’— these are terms which should never be used without the ability to form sharp images in each case. A person who had been talking about defective flues as causes of fires, was asked to state plainly what he meant by ‘a defective flue.’ It was then seen that he had no clear image corresponding to the term, which was simply a mask for his ignorance. Persons who allow themselves to use terms in this way must not expect to have much imaginative power.”

Let your “meanings” of names and terms take on the aspect of mental pictures, or images, of the thing represented by the names. “See” the thing in your “mind’s eye” when you are intently thinking of it—visualize it into mental life and vigor— and it will take on a world of new meaning to you when you wish to employ it as an element of Constructive Imagination. A “lively imagination,” in the true meaning of that term, is an imagination in which the images are “alive,” and not mere lifeless verbal skeletons of things long since passed out of actual, moving existence. Breathe the breath of life into your mental images.

The fourth section of the General Rule tells you to: “Classify these ideas, elements and factors according to their general nature, their general uses, their known relations and associations; cross-indexing them under appropriate headings, and referring to the lesser elements, parts, or factors of which each is composed. Diagram and chart these ideas according to your system of classification, so as to have the whole matter under your mind’s eye, and that you may be able to grasp the arrangement at a glance without having to hunt for scattered items.”

By following this method, after having accumulated your materials of Constructive Imagination, i. e., your concepts, ideas, or mental images of the elements involved in the future creation of new images, you will arrange them according to some logical system of classification. In this way you file away each particular concept or idea according to its proper place in a more general class, and, thereby, you are able more easily to find it when you need it. This plan, as compared with that of simply piling your ideas and concepts in a miscellaneous heap, is akin to the scientific method of filing away correspondence in a filing cabinet as compared with that of simply throwing the letters together in a barrel, box, or large drawer.

A business man is able to find the letter he needs, simply by going to his file and placing his hand on the proper compartment; he has an immense advantage over the one who has to hunt through a large mass of unfiled correspondence. It is not enough to have the idea of a thing—it is necessary to know where to find that idea when you want it. Psychology informs us that one may far more easily remember facts filed in the memory records according to some system of logical classification, than where the facts simply exist “‘somewhere in the mind.”

Your classification of concepts or ideas should be according to the general nature of the ideas, their natural associations with other objects, their uses. For instance, in your mental file of “Building Materials,” there would be contained the concepts of Stone, Clay, Brick, Iron, Steel, Lumber, Concrete, Cement, Tile, etc. In your mental file of “Metals,’” there would be found the records of Iron, Copper, Gold, Silver, Nickel, Zinc, Platinum, Lead, Tin, Antimony, Manganese, Mercury, Aluminum, Cobalt, Tungsten, etc. In your mental file of “Mechanical Devices,” there would be filed your records of Axles, Shafting, Wheels, Levers, Pulleys, Cranks, Cams, Eccentrics, Winches, Windlasses, Inclined Planes, Wedges, Toggle Joints, Endless Screws, Belts, Gear-Wheels, Gearing, Couplings, etc. In your mental file of “Fibres and Textiles,” there would be placed your records of Cotton, Flax, Hemp, Jute, Linen, Manilla Hemp, Noils, Ramie, Shoddy, Silk, Organzine, Floss Silk, Wool and Worsted, Coir, Artificial Silk, Artificial Cotton, Vegetable Silk, etc. In your mental file of “Dairy Products,” you would place your records of Milk, Skim Milk, Casein, Cream, Butter, Cheese, Buttermilk, Milk Sugar, Ghee, Kephir, Koumiss, Whey, etc. The above illustrative examples should be sufficient to indicate the general idea of efficient and practical classification.

Each general classification, moreover, should be subjected to sub-classification. Large classes should be divided and subdivided into the lesser classes. Small classes should be raised to higher and still higher classes, and so on until the highest general class is reached. The following table illustrating “Geometrical Figures” will serve as an example of such classification;

Plane

Solid

 

In the above illustration we have the smallest class of figures grouped according to its most positive quality; this group raised to the respective class of Plane or Solid, as the case may be; and this last class included in the general class of “Figures.” One having at hand this table, would have a complete index of his mental images representing the various forms included in the general class of “Geometrical Figures.” He would have a map or diagram of his knowledge of the subject; it being understood that each of the above terms must be accompanied by a clear mental concept of each figure—a dear “meaning” of each, capable of being stated in the terms of logical definition.

The ideal theoretical system of classification would really be that in which each article was classified according to all its characteristics, its uses, its possible combinations, its associations, its relations, etc. Such a system, however, would be well nigh impossible; and, for that matter, would be far too complex and cumbersome for ordinary practical use. But you should not lose sight of the general principle, nevertheless.

The ideal for practical use would be a classification showing: (1) every possible use or end to which a certain thing might be applied, employed or directed; and (2) every possible thing which might be applied, employed, or directed to a certain use or end. The nearer you approach to this ideal, in your work of classification of the things concerned with, connected with or related to the general subject of your Definite Purpose and Definite Ideal, the better will be your chances of the successful achievement of that purpose, the successful realization of that ideal.

It is said that a certain eminent inventor possesses a very complete index, and series of cross-indexes, of nearly everything concerned with the general field in which he is working. For instance, he has lists showing (1) all the discovered uses to which each and every such thing has been put; the discovered effects of its combinations with other things; the things most nearly related to or resembling it; and, (2), each and every such thing which has been discovered to be possible of use, employment and effect in the direction of producing or effecting a certain result, effect, combination or composition. In short, he has the cause-relations and the effect-relations of every object on his list, noted and classified, indexed and cross-indexed.

When this inventor wishes to know the possible causes of a desired effect, he turns to his indexes, and the information is at hand. Likewise, when he wishes to know the possible results and effects related to a particular thing, he puts his hand on the information in the same way. The list is kept checked up and posted by a corps of assistants who note the reports contained in the scientific journals, etc., and also the results of their employer’s own original experiments. He has built up, and maintained, a veritable encyclopaedia of information relating to the things concerned with his own particular line of work. Consequently, he not only has a wealth of valuable information on hand, but he also saves an immense amount of time and labor when he is engaged in actual experimental and inventive work.

While the illustrated instances above cited represent extreme cases, yet they serve to bring out the principle involved. It is not expected that you should undertake any such elaborate system of classification; yet you should not fail to employ its general principle to the highest degree of which you are capable, or which you find possible under the circumstances. All else being equal, the person who has (1) the greatest store of concepts or mental images concerning the general subject of his Definite Purpose and Definite Ideal; and who (2) has that material the most thoroughly classified and indexed, either in his memory or mechanically; that person will manifest the highest degree of success in his work of Constructive Imagination.

You will do well to impress upon your memory all new facts arranged according to their logical classification. You will do well also to use your pencil in making written lists of the things involved in your creative work. In short, in every possible manner and by every possible method seek to (1) Acquire concepts, ideas, or mental images related to your Definite Purpose and Definite Ideals; and then (2) Classify these concepts, ideas, or mental images according to a definite, logical, scientific plan, so that you may find them easily and quickly when you need them in the work of Constructive Imagination. With well-selected materials, in sufficient amount and stored away systematically so that you may “put your hand on them” when needed, you will have progressed very far on the road to the achievement of your Definite Purpose and Definite Ideal by the processes of the Constructive Imagination.

Now then, when you have (1) acquired the concepts, ideas, or mental images related to your Definite Purpose and Definite Ideal; have (2) ascertained and thoroughly apprehended the full meaning of each of these items of material; and have (3) properly classified, indexed, and charted them so that you have The Mental Laboratory them arranged for efficient reference; what have you at your command?

In the first place, you have compiled what may be called a “Thesaurus” of your Image-Ideas. A “Thesaurus” is, “A treasury, or repository: the term often applied to a comprehensive reference work, a lexicon, containing lists of words arranged according to the ideas or concepts which they express.” A Dictionary contains a list of words, with the definition of each— the statement of the idea or concept which each expresses. A Thesaurus, on the other hand, contains lists of words arranged in groups, each group representing a certain general idea or concept which its several particular words express. When you wish to know the meaning of a word or term, you consult your Dictionary. When you wish to find the several words or terms expressing a certain idea or concept, you consult your Thesaurus; discovering there the term denoting the general class of ideas or concepts which you have in mind, you find arranged opposite it the several particular words or terms employed to express that class of ideas or concepts.

In the Thesaurus of Image-Ideas which you have compiled, you will find the image-ideas related to, or associated with, the general idea or concept which you are employing in your work of Constructive Imagination. The smaller classes are grouped into greater classes, and these into still greater, and so on and so on, until under your Central Image-Idea you will find classified and grouped each and every particular related or associated image-idea. Stop a moment, and consider how valuable such a Thesaurus of Image-Ideas will be to you, or to any thinker, discoverer, investigator, researcher, or inventor, or business man, in the work of Constructive Imagination! The individual here performs his creative work surrounded by all the materials which he will require—all at hand!

Employing another illustrative figure of speech, we may say that, by following the previously mentioned plan of the collection and classification of the materials of image-ideas, you have built and stocked for yourself a great and valuable Mental Laboratory. You have proceeded upon the same general plan as that employed by scientists in the creation of their experimental laboratories. In these laboratories—their workshops in which these scientists perform their experimental work—are to be found the various elements which, when combined in certain arrangements and proportions, produce the sought-for synthetic compositions. The scientist in his laboratory, and in his actual work, follows the Same general plan which you are to follow in your experimental work along the lines of Constructive Imagination, i. e., he tries first this combination, and then that one, until he reaches the best working combination—the most satisfactory composition.

It is stated that Edison has perfected a similar laboratory, which he employs in his work of creative invention. It is reported that, several years ago, he proceeded to test out every conceivable substance which seemed at all possible of being used as a filament for the electric-light bulb; and that, step by step, by experiment after experiment, employing the process of test, trial, elimination, and selection, he finally settled upon the best possible known substance for that special purpose.

Luther Burbank is said to conduct his experimental work in Plant Creation in a similar way: he tests, trys, experiments; combines, separates, eliminates; and finally, selects and preserves the “fittest.”

Moreover, Nature, herself, in her creative evolutionary processes, is discovered to proceed along the same general lines; the history of Natural Evolution is but a record of ages-long series of experiments, tests, combinations, adaptations, and “natural selection,” ending in the “survival of the fittest” for the particular purpose at each particular stage of the process. The plan is but the taking of a leaf from the Book of Nature—it is based upon the sound, fundamental principles of Natural Creation.

Herbert Spencer once thought out a plan whereby the patterns for fabrics, woven, knitted, or printed, and for wall papers and other decorative material, might be easily and systematically discovered or created by means of the same general plan to which we have referred, and which is followed in laboratory work. His plan was that of combination and re-combination of certain elemental patterns, figures, and designs according to a definite and systematic plan of test for desirable combinations and conjunctions. He said concerning this plan: “Could there not be a methodical use of components of designs, so that relatively few ideas should, by modes of combination, be made to issue in multitudinous products? And could not this be so done that draughtsmen might produce them with facility, the system serving, as it were, not as a physical kaleidoscope, but as a mental kaleidoscope?”

Elmer Gates, the psychologist-inventor, is stated to have made many of his important discoveries and inventions in precisely the way indicated in our preceding consideration of Effective Constructive Imagination—the method of combining the elements of previously classified concepts and images. In fact, he is said to attribute his success in his inventive work directly to the psychological methods based upon this general principle, which he had previously worked out and systematized.

It is stated that Professor Gates has secured practically all of his many important discoveries and inventions in electricity and accoustics—his special branches of inventive work—in just this way. He is said to have spent several years and much money in acquiring the materials for his list of concept-images which formed the elements of his constructive work in these branches. He is reported to have worked with a list of about 2,000 simple concept-images in electricity alone, from which he has produced about 15,000 complex idea-images. In acoustics, he is said to have worked with over 3,000 simple concept-images, from which he has evolved nearly 10,000 complex idea-images. Many believe that his methods and ideas, when finally known and adopted, will work a revolution in the world of inventive thought.

The general plan of the Mental Laboratory, or of the Mental Thesaurus, which we have outlined for you in this section of this book, is applicable not only for the inventor, the investigator, the researcher, but for the business man, the clerk, the salesman, the stenographer, or the worker in each and every line of business, trade or profession. The principle is universal and may be applied in every field of human endeavor and industry. In fact, it is not too much to say that some of the elements of this plan have been consciously or unconsciously employed by every individual who has worked his way up from a subordinate position to one of authority and command.

The essence and substance of the general idea is the gathering up and storing away of as many as possible of the facts associated with the work in which you are engaged—the ideas of the things likely to be needed at some time in that work—so that you may have them within easy mental reach at such times in which you have need for them. The task is two-fold, viz., (1) the task of acquiring the necessary concepts, ideas and mental images in question; and (2) the logical, scientific classification and filing away of these facts, concepts and ideas, so that you may be able to “put your finger on them” easily and quickly when you have need for them. The individual who will saturate himself with these essential facts, and who will classify and store them away for future use, is certain to reap his reward of success, appreciation and achievement in his particular line of work.

Now then, let us proceed in the following section of this book to the consideration of the final steps or stages of the processes of Constructive Imagination; in them is performed the work of combination, adaptation, arrangement and composition of the elements or image-ideas which form the “stock in trade” of your Mental Laboratory.


The Laws Of Invention

Having accumulated a sufficient store of idea-image materials, selected according to the principle of probable value in your work of Constructive Imagination, with the intent of achieving your Definite Purpose and Definite Ideal; and having classified these materials according to logical order or special relations of use, etc.; you are now ready to proceed to the task of combining, adjusting, adapting and creating these materials into new images, ideas or concepts, according to new plans of association, correlation or coordination.

You should never lose sight of the fact that all work of Constructive Imagination consists of joining together things already known—but in new combinations and orders of arrangement, correlation, or coordination. All great inventions are the result of evolution in recombination. We may trace the history of the evolution of the electric telegraph, the telephone, the electric light, the steam engine, the automobile, etc., through their many stages. Someone invented some simple recombination, but was unable to complete the task. Another added some new recombination; still another discovered an improvement; and so on, until at the last, some inventor by a bold stroke of Constructive Imagination effected a more complete recombination, adding some new and important combinations, and the invention was perfected. No, not perfected fully; for in after years many other “improvements” were added, and the simple thing grew into greater perfection.

In the Field Museum, in Chicago, at one time were exhibited a series of models showing the evolutionary history of the locomotive. From the simplest and crudest beginning, the invention was traced along the course of its history, each decided improvement being shown. It was almost impossible at first to realize that the crude contrivances, the clumsy machines representing the first attempts, were the actual ancestors of the latest and most improved types of the modern locomotive— but such was the fact. In this connection, it is interesting to note that some of these earlier types were as truly the ancestors of the automobile, as of the locomotive.

The rapid progress in the late stages of the evolution of the modern automobile from the crude “horseless carriage” of a quarter-century further back, is a matter of personal knowledge to the middle-aged man of today. But the automobile had a much earlier history, as you may see by reading the article upon “Automobiles, in any good encyclopedia. It may surprise you to learn that as far back as 1802 a steam road-carriage was driven from Cambridge to London, England—a distance of over 90 miles.

It is said that the inflated rubber tire of the bicycle was an important factor in the rapid development of the modern automobile; and that the improvements in the gasoline engines, made possible by the development of the automobile, solved the great difficulty in the case of “flying machines,” and thus made possible the modern aeroplane. Here you have typical examples of the “recombination” principle in Constructive Imagination. The history of the evolution of the telephone is also worth study in this connection; look it up in some standard encyclopedia.

Ribot says concerning this fact of the evolution of inventions: “Mechanical and industrial imagination, like esthetic imagination, has its preparatory period, its zenith and decline: the periods of the precursors, of the great inventors, and of mere perfecters. At first a venture is made, effort is wasted with small result,— the man has come too early, or he lacks clear vision. Then a great imaginative mind arises, blossoms; after him, the work passes into the hands of pupils, imitators, or perfecters, who add, abridge, modify. Such is the order.”

The history of the application of steam as a power for operating machinery is a long one; its beginnings are found in the Eolipile of Hero of Alexandria, its critical and thrilling period is found in the work of Newcomen and Watt, its period of fruit-bearing lies in the present. The history of time-keeping, or time-measuring, instruments furnishes us with another example of the evolutionary progress of invention. First, came the simple Clepsydra, or water-clock, in which time was measured by the flow of water; then came a water-gauge causing a hand to move around a dial; the two hands, indicating hours and minutes, respectively. Then came a great improvement, i. e., the addition of weights, by means of which the Clepsydra became a true clock; this improved clock was at first cumbersome and massive, but gradually became smaller and lighter. Then, Tycho-Brahe contrived a clock-form capable of measuring seconds of time. Then came another great improvement, i. e., Huygens’ invention of the spiral spring replacing the weights; the clock gradually evolved into the crude, large and cumbersome watch. The watch, in turn, by gradual steps evolved into the thin, small, and marvelously accurate modern watch.

Man observed the efficient natural instruments and implements of the lower animals—and began to improve upon them. He employed the models of the sharp cutting teeth of the rodents as the designs for his evolution of the axe, the chisel, the saw. From the woodpeckers, he borrowed the idea which he gradually worked out in the form of the auger, the gimlet, the wimble. From the tigers and other carnivorous animals, he took his model for his crude knives and other cutting implements. From the beaver, he learned how to make and use the trowel. From the claws of the digging animals, he evolved the idea of the hoe and the rake. From the fish’s fin, he secured the rudimentary idea of the oar. From the wing of the bird, he acquired his first idea of the sail. From the spinning insects, he learned the nature and use of the spindle and distaff. From these humble beginnings arose the marvelous array of the highly efficient implements, tools and machinery employed by civilized man today.

More than this: from his original weapons of offense and defense, the battle-axes and clubs, he evolved his tools of work such as the hatchet, the tree-cutting axe, the hammer. The lifting power of the battle-axe, or war-club, empirically discovered, gave him his first idea of the principle of the lever. The use of the rude sail developed the idea of the wind-mill; the rolling log in the water suggested the water-wheel to him— the water-wheel, first employed to grind grain, afterward was used to saw wood, lift heavy materials, move great hammers. From these rude applications of natural power, he gradually developed the higher and more complex forms now in common use. The use of the horse and the ox to pull trees and logs, itself an adaptation, gradually evolved into the use of these animals to pull chariots and wagons; these in turn were the beginnings of the motor-vehicles of today.

Ribot says: “Every invention, great and small, before becoming a fixed and realized thing, was first an imagined idea, a mere contrivance of the brain, an assembly of new combinations or new relations. In inventions, man has imagined to a great extent. By the very law of the complexity of inventions, all inventions are found to be grafted upon one another. In all the useful arts, improvements have been so slow, and so gradually wrought, that each one of them passed unperceived, without leaving its author the credit for its discovery. The immense majority of inventions are anonymous—some great names alone survive. But, whether individual or collective, Imagination remains Imagination. In order that the plow, at first a single piece of wood hardened by the fire and pushed along by human hand, should become what it is today, through a long series of modifications described in special works, who knows how many imaginations have labored! In the same way, the uncertain flame of a resinous branch, guided vaguely in the night, leads us through a long series of inventions to gas and electric lighting. All objects, even the most ordinary and now common, that now serve in our ordinary, every-day life, are ‘condensed Imagination’.”

One is impressed by the striking analogy between the processes of Invention, as just described, and the processes of “grafting” in horticulture. Horticultural “grafting” is defined as: “The process of taking a shoot or scion cut from one tree or shrub, and inserting it in a vigorous stock of its own or a closely allied species, so as to cause them to unite, and thus to cause the graft to derive a larger supply of nutritive power than it could otherwise obtain.”

By reference to the history of any invention—we have given actual illustrations of several—you will see that the new idea-image always is grafted upon the stock of some older idea-image. The new contrivance is the graft of a new contrivance upon an earlier contrivance either of Nature or of Man. Nature also is seen to proceed in the same way in her processes of Creative Evolution.

Bergson tells us that “Creation” and “Evolution” are but two names for the same universal creative process: all Creation is Evolution and all Evolution is Creation. He says: “A great creative process is in progress, sweeping everything along in its course. The actual present is all existence gathered up in this creative process. The past is also gathered up into it, exists in it, is carried along in it, as it presses forward toward the future. It is an unceasing becoming, which preserves the past and creates the future. It is Creative Evolution—a process in which Past, Present, and Future are involved.”

Psychologists and philosophers alike are in agreement concerning the fundamental fact that even the highest forms of Constructive Imagination are dependent upon the raw materials of reproduced sense-experiences; and that Constructive Imagination can build only with these materials, for it has no others with which to build. But this fact has been over-emphasized—in some cases to even such an extent that the term “creative” has been tacitly denied to even the highest activities of the Constructive Imagination. This particular view is too often presented as “the whole truth,” the other half of which must be supplied in order to perfect the whole. We ask you to consider the following statements expressing and illustrating the opposing viewpoints; for we wish you to perceive the truth in both of its aspects, and thus see the thing as it is.

Thought from the first of these two respective viewpoints furnishes the report that even the most efficient Constructive Imagination is “tied to the stake of perception by a cord of greater or less strength.” In this view, the Imagination is held to be entirely dependent for its working materials upon the perceptions arising from sense-experience. Those holding to this view argue that, because of this fact, the Imagination is not truly a “creative” power; that, inasmuch as it does not create its own materials, and must draw its materials from outside of its own realm, it does not truly “create,” but merely “puts together,” in more or less new combination, the materials which it obtains from without. Say these reasoners, the Imagination is entirely dependent upon outside materials for its constructive work; it is limited to the materials obtained through the experience of its owner, or those of others.

These thinkers point out that the Imagination is like a builder who uses the material of a disorderly pile of bricks in order to build a fine house; or like the watchmaker who puts together the numerous parts of the intricate timekeeper; or like the artisan who; employing masses of metal, makes an engine, a sewing machine, a bicycle. Carrying this idea to its logical conclusion, we may say (as one writer points out) that: “Thus a painting is a mere combination of forms and colors; an oratorio, of sounds; an epic poem, of words or ideas previously existing in the mind. The elements of a poem like ‘Paradise Lost’—its streams, flowers, angels and deities—were all in the mind of the poet before he began to write, and all that Imagination did was to combine them into one harmonious whole.” In short, in this view, Imagination is merely the power of combination— it does not include the true creative element; its materials are previously existent—all that Imagination does it to put them together.

Thought from the second viewpoint furnishes a somewhat different report—its argument being more or less of the nature of what in legal procedure is known as a “demurrer.” A “demurrer” (in plain language) asks the question: “Well, even admitting that what you say is so—what of it? The “demurrer” asks judgment on this point: whether the matter alleged by the opposite party, even assuming it to be true, is sufficient in law to sustain the action or the defense, as the case may be.

Say this set of reasoners: We admit that the Imagination does not “create something out of nothing”; and that its creative work is performed by combining, arranging, adapting, or weaving the raw materials furnished by perception, apperception and experience. But is this not true of all other kinds of creative work of which the human mind has any knowledge? Does the human mind know of anything having been “made from nothing?” Can it form a conception of any such happening? Is not the term “creative” a statement of the act of putting-together, combining, manufacturing, making, composing, constituting “something from other things”? If this be so—and it is beyond question true—then the opposing side is merely quibbling over the meaning of a word and are not dealing with facts!

These thinkers say further: The opposite side has told but a half-truth—not the whole truth; that which is withheld is as important as that which has been stated. Every work of art, every process of reasoning, every product of hand, brain, reason, imagination, or their combinations, is a composition, a joining, a fusing, a welding, a putting-together. Sounds are combined in music; words are combined in a poem; colors are combined in a painting; but do sounds, words, and colors alone make these productions works of art? Shakespeare’s immortal works are, in this view, but aggregations of letters of the alphabet; but did Shakespeare play no part in the creation—was he not a creator of his works? The omitted portion of the truth is this: It is not alone the materials employed in the construction, but also the manner in which these materials are combined, arranged, and put together, that constitutes the creation. As a writer has said: “This power of ideal conception which uses these dead elements to express its living ideals, is the work of the Constructive Imagination!”

Brooks gives us the essence and spirit of this second viewpoint, in the following able statement made many years ago:

“Imagination can combine objects of sense into new forms, but it can do more than this. The objects of sense, in most cases, are merely the materials with which Imagination works. Imagination is a plastic power, moulding the things of sense into new forms to express its ideals; and it is these ideals that constitute the real products of Imagination. The objects of the material world are to it like clay in the hands of the potter; it shapes them into forms according to its own ideals of grace and beauty. He who sees no more than a mere combination in the great creations of the Imagination, misses the essential element, and elevates into significance that which is merely incidental.”

You will readily see that here, as in many other cases, the truth of the matter is found only in the reconciliation of the two opposing sides; each side voices a half-truth—the whole truth is found by uniting the two halves. It is true that the Imagination must do its work by employing the materials of perception, apperception, and experience; but there is the marvelous “combining power” required to “put together” these elements, factors, and parts of the material so furnished. A child has the necessary twenty-six letters plainly marked on its alphabet building-blocks; but it might try for eternity to compose a “Paradise Lost,” one of Shakespeare’s Plays, a Synthetic Philosophy, an Emerson’s Essay, or a work on the Higher Mathematics, by means of an accidental “putting together” of those letters! It needs that “something else” to accomplish the task; and that “something else” is the discriminating, selecting, combining faculties and powers of the efficient Constructive Imagination!

Finally, there is another element usually involved in the higher products of the Constructive Imagination. In the processes of the Constructive Imagination, just as in many of Nature’s subtle processes, the work of “creation” is accomplished, not by the mere more or less purposive “setting in place” of separate bits of material, as, for example in the building of a toy-house with the materials of building-blocks, or of a card house with a pack of playing cards; there is often, rather, a “fusing” of material and its subsequent hardening, as, for instance, in the fusing of copper, tin and zinc, into the “new” metal called bronze; or the crystallization of the particles of water into ice. Water is “created” from particles of oxygen and hydrogen, but these two elements become fused by chemical action, and really form a new substance, not merely a “put together” mixture. Thus, things may be put together in such a subtle way as to constitute a new thing differing from either of its constituents.

A thing is often more than “the mere sum of its parts”—to this sum must be added the new element of “mutual relation” or “working relation.” This new element figures largely in the creative processes of Constructive Imagination. Thus, King Milanda’s Chariot, in the ancient Buddhist story, consisted not alone of its several parts, but also of the arrangement, mutual relations, and working unity of those parts—these last-mentioned elements being supplied by the Constructive Imagination of the designer of the chariot. Again, the color, Green, is composed of Yellow and Blue—yet Green is a true color, differing from either of its compositive parts, or from both of them when not united.

Ribot says: “All creation whatever, great and small, shows an organic character; it implies a unifying, synthetic principle.” Colozza says: “We know nothing of a complex psychic production that remains simply the sum of its component elements, each preserving its own character, with no modifications. The natures of the components disappear in order to give birth to a novel phenomenon that has its own and particular features. The construction of the imaginative ideal is not a mere grouping of past experiences; in its totality it has its own individual characteristics, among which we no more see the composing lines than we see the components, oxygen and hydrogen, in water.” Wundt says: “In no scientific or artistic production does the whole appear as made up of its parts, like a mosaic.” Mill says that imaginative creations are cases of “mental chemistry”; the facts bear him out in the statement.

Neither should it be forgotten that a very high order of mental activity is manifested in every process of true Constructive Imagination. The mental powers of Comparison, Discrimination, Deliberation, Judgment, and Selection are involved in the higher processes of Constructive Imagination. The imaging powers produce and exhibit a great number of images, each of which is a candidate for the office which Constructive Imagination is striving to fill properly and adequately. Here we have another instance of the “struggle for existence,” and the “survival of the fittest.” Here, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” Image after image is produced, examined, tested, and then either rejected or else either tentatively or permanently accepted.

The processes of Comparison, Deliberation, Discrimination, Selection, and Judgment are manifested in Constructive Imagination as truly as in the processes of the Will. Constructive Imagination selects its material quite as truly as does the builder of houses or bridges. Imperfect material is rejected, and doubtful material is subjected to a test or experiment. Constructive Imagination is not at the disposal of every image that appears in its field of mental vision: instead, it exercises its power and prerogative of choice and decision, as truly as do Reason and Will.

In fact, the presence of Logical Thought is manifest in the higher processes of Constructive Imagination, the two classes of mental activities being so closely interwoven in many cases that it is quite difficult to distinguish between them. Reason scrutinizes closely the images which present themselves as candidates for admission to the inner chambers of the mind. Many appear, but few are accepted. Only those are admitted which comparison determines to be fitted for the requirements of the purpose occupying the field of attention.

As a writer says: “The inventor never thinks harder than when he is comparing his images with each other, and rejecting the unfit. Thought also enables him to change an image in conformity with a certain plan.” Another says: “The predominance of the exact logical processes establishes from the outset the difference between the ‘imaginative dreamers’ and the ‘imaginative thinkers’.” Wundt, indeed, goes still further, when he lays down the rule that: “Imagination is, in reality, a thinking in particular sense ideas; as such it is the source of all logical or conceptual thought.” And a leading teacher says: “The man who does not think in images will never be a clear thinker, and those who are compelled to follow him are to be pitied!’

Thus, you see, that just as in your Logical Thought you should avail yourself of the powers of Constructive Imagination, so in the processes of Constructive Imagination you should always endeavor to coordinate the powers of Logical Thought with those of the strictly imaginative faculties.


Creative Composition

The General Rule tells you to: “Weigh the various factors one against the other, taking into consideration the associated and related values of each in the general idea, plan or purpose. Determine in this way which are the primary factors involved; which are the secondary; and which are the lesser values. Concentrate on the prime factors, and make these the central points in your process of Constructive Imagination—the focal centres around which you purpose grouping the associated factors or elements.”

The General Rule also tells you then to: “Experiment by tentatively placing the secondary factors in association with and relation to the prime factors, regardless of how improbable and incongruous at first may seem such association and relation. Around the letter “A” build alphabet-block combinations of the letters B, C, D, E, F, G, etc., blocks, to see if they make sense, or if they suggest anything of rational meaning to you. Discard all combinations that seem lacking in utility—but only after actually making the test and experiment. When there are several apparently satisfactory, or fairly promising combinations, weigh these one against the other to determine their comparative values, discarding the lesser values, and retaining the greater, until you have secured the survival of the fittest. Then proceed to test out the lesser factors in the same way, working out all the details of the plan.”

In the above-stated principles of the General Rule there is condensed the statement of the general methods employed by Man in all of his inventive processes, from past time to the present—and in fact, the methods seemingly employed by nature herself. There is, therefore, nothing entirely new in the method. The “newness,” however, is there: it consists of the fact that Man has discovered how to apply this method consciously, deliberately, systematically and scientifically, instead of blindly, instinctively, hap-hazardly, and in a hit-or-miss manner. Modern psychology has simply harnessed this mental process, and now drives it under perfect control. Thus, the old method becomes a new one, because applied in a new way.

The old-new method has been given several names. Perhaps the name, “Creative Composition” fits it as well as any, so we shall employ it here. “Composition” means: “The act of composing, putting together, joining together, uniting, associating, correlating.” “Creative Composition,” then, means: “The act of recomposing, recombining, readapting, rearranging, or newly putting together the mental image-ideas of Man or of Nature, in the process of Constructive Imagination proceeding toward the achievement of a Definite Purpose and the realization of a Definite Ideal.”

In Creative Composition, you begin with the building materials of mental image-ideas which you have gathered together and arranged according to a convenient and efficient classification. For the purpose of a familiar illustration of the scientific principle involved, let us ask you to think of these building materials of mental image-ideas as resembling the familiar building-blocks of childhood.

You have the general idea of your Definite Purpose and Definite Ideal before you. You perceive clearly the obstacle which you wish to overcome; the new means to an old end, or new ends for old means; the bridge which you wish to build over the space separating the two sides of the stream of Ideas. How shall you proceed to accomplish these ends by means of your imaginative building-blocks? The answer is: Simply as the child proceeds when he wishes to build the structure which he has in mind, i. e., by taking up the various building-blocks of various sizes and forms, and experimenting with them. The child puts this block alongside of that block, and finding that the combination will not answer, he continues to make new and still newer combinations, until at last he discovers the combination that will work.

If you will examine the history of inventions and scientific discoveries, you will find that the great triumphs in these respective fields have been made in just this way. The two terms “Experiment” and “Experience” are closely connected; both have the same origin—both spring from the Latin word “experior,” meaning, “to try.” Experiment is a trial or test made with the hopes of discovery. Experience is the knowledge gained from experiments. All inventions, all scientific discoveries, all results of Constructive Imagination, proceed along the line of Experiment, trial, tests, “putting this and that together” to “discover how it will work.” This is the whole story, told in a few words.

In working toward the achievement of your Definite Purpose and Definite Ideal through the Constructive Imagination, you must “put this and that together,” along the lines of experiment, trial and test. You must arrange your imaginative building-blocks, first in this new combination, and then in that one; you must at times even break apart some of the blocks, using portions of them to add to others, and thus to form new combinations. You must proceed with the idea that: “Somewhere in these blocks there abides the certainty of a successful combination; and it is ‘up to me’ to find it.” In your imaginative building-blocks there is hidden the secret of the exact combination for which you are seeking; you can discover this only by experiment; and if you continue to experiment faithfully and intelligently you will surely discover the solution of the problems.

Here is the process reduced to a familiar illustrative formula: You have twenty-six imaginative “alphabet blocks” before you for your experiment, each block having a letter of the alphabet stamped on its face, from “A” to “Z,” inclusive. You start by taking the “A” block and combining it with the “B” block, then the “C” block, and so on until the “Z” block is reached. If the desired combination is not reached in this way, you begin with the “B” block and test it with all the blocks from “C” on to the end of the list. Then try the combination of the “C” block with all the others, in turn, from “D” downward. By continuing this process sufficiently long, you will exhaust the possibilities of the two-letter combinations.

If necessary, you may then proceed to experiment with the three-letter combinations, following the same general rule. Then, if necessary, proceed with the four-letter combinations, in the same way. And so on, if the desired result is not obtained, until the blocks have been tried and tested in every possible combination or arrangement, order and sequence.

By this process (extended to its utmost limits), you will in turn have formed the combination of every one of the many thousands of words in the largest English Dictionary. Stop to think of it for a moment: Every word in any or all of the great dictionaries is made up and composed of combinations of certain of 26 letters—no more. And a list of new words, exceeding in number the known words, could be composed and made-up in the same way.

But, of course, in the actual practice of Creative Composition, you will not be faced with so formidable and so complicated a task as that above illustrated. Your combinations will be far more simple, owing to the fact that your imaginative image-ideas are classified properly. For instance: if you wish to conjoin your “house” block with your several “building material” blocks, you have but to go to your “building material” compartment, and Creative Composition pick out the following respective “building material” blocks, i. e., “brick,” “stone,” “wood,” “iron,” “steel,” “concrete,” etc. If you wish to form a combination between the image-idea of some utensil and some undetermined particular kind of metal, you have but to test your “metallic utensil” block with each of the following “metal-class” blocks, i. e., “iron,” “copper,” “gold,” “silver,” “nickel,” “zinc,” “platinum,” “lead,” “tin,” “antimony,” “manganese,” “mercury,” “aluminum,” “cobalt,” “tungsten,” etc.

If you wish to associate your image-idea of a textile fabric with that of some particular kind of textile material not yet decided upon, you have but to test out the respective blocks of “cotton,” “flax,” “hemp,” “jute,” “linen,” “wool,” “silk,” etc., until the desired combination is discovered. If you wish to employ a geometrical form, you will take out each of the image-idea blocks named in our diagram of Geometrical Figures in a preceding section of this book, until you discover the one best suited for the purpose.

If you wish to invent or to discover some new particular color, you need but to take out the three blocks of the Three Primary Colors, i. e., Red, Blue, and Yellow, and then by experimental combinations, employing shade and tint agencies, you will in time reach any possible tint, shade or hue in the great world of colors. Nature has proceeded in just this way, for she has made a world of almost infinite variety of material things, by the combination and “Creative Composition” of about eighty elements of material substance, these in turn having been created and recombined from still more elementally material.

As we have said, all inventions and discoveries have been made in just this way, viz., by the process of Creative Composition. The locomotive is a combination of “wagon,” certain mechanical agencies and appliances, “stove,” “tea-kettle” and “engine.” The automobile is the combination of “wagon,” “stove,” “gas,” “explosion,” “engine,” and certain mechanical contrivances. The wagon was the primary building block of both locomotive and automobile. The wagon, in turn is but the combination of wheel, axle, and body; the wheel itself being an evolution from the rolling log.

The aeroplane is but a combination of “kite,” “engine,” and “propeller”—all old ideas formed by Creative Composition into a new one. The steamboat is but the idea of “boat,” plus “steam-engine” and “mill-wheels.” The primitive boat, itself, was but the combination of “floating log,” plus the idea of “hollowing-out.” The farm-tractor now employed in plowing, etc., is but the combination of “plow’” and “automobile.” The plow itself was the combination of the image-idea of “hard sharpened stick,” and magnified “spear-head” or “battle-axe.”

In short, every contrivance of Man, every tool, every instrument, every utensil, every article designed for use, of each and every kind, will be found to have been evolved from very simple beginnings along the line of experimentation and Creative Composition. Every thing made by Man is “put together,” made up of material parts; and the idea of every such thing is “made up” of simpler and more elemental ideas, united and combined in Creative Composition. This is the only way in which Man has ever invented or contrived anything; and this is always the way in which you must proceed in your work of Constructive Imagination. The truth of the matter is so simple that most persons entirely overlook it: you have possibly never thought of it until you now have it presented to you in this book—and this without any reflection on your intelligence, we assure you.

But here is an important point. While Man has always employed this principle in his inventive and creative work, he has done so almost entirely instinctively and unconsciously— and with an almost entire absence of scientific system and logical order. Now that modern psychology has uncovered the process for us—has taken off the cover so that we may see “how the thing works,” and “how the wheels go ’round”—we may hope for much more effective and efficient exercise of the power of the Constructive Imagination in the future. Already a number of great inventors and scientific investigators have taken advantage of the new teaching of psychology concerning this phase of mental operation, and they have thereby attained results far superior to those possible under the old hit-or-miss methods.

Artists and writers, also, employ the same general methods of Creative Composition, though in most cases in a more or less haphazard and instinctive way. The various characters, situations, scenes and combinations of pictures, stories and plays, are gathered together from a comparatively small list of elements—the great variety of results arising from the many possible combinations and arrangements of these few elements. If this seems incredible to you, you have but to remember the almost infinite number of possible combinations of the 26 letters of the alphabet—the largest dictionary contains only a small proportion of the possible word-creations by such combinations. Again, from 52 playing cards, are derived all of the numerous combinations of “hands” dealt out in card games—in many games, in fact, a smaller number of cards is used.

That modern writers are turning this principle of Creative Composition to practical account is evident to those who study the advertising columns of magazines devoted to the writing craft. For instance, there is advertised a book for story-writers called “The 36 Dramatic Situations,” which is described as follows: “A catalogue of all the possible situations that the many relations of life offer to the writer. The author has read and analyzed thousands of plays and novels, and resolved their basic story material into fundamental categories. A true philosophic consideration, but practical in every respect, that makes available to every writer all the possible material that life offers him.” Again, there is advertised a book called “The Fiction Factory,” which is described as follows: “A writer who wrote thousands of stories and made thousands of dollars by setting up a story-mill, tells how he did it, and gives a record of his work in this instructive, stimulating book. * * * It should be in the hands of everyone interested in how authors do their work.” You may smile at these advertisements, and shrug your shoulders—but you buy and read the stories so composed.

Jack London, the popular novelist, in his story of “Martin Eden” (which many regard as being largely autobiographical) pictures his hero as busily engaged in writing “newspaper storiettes” for the syndicates which supply them to the newspapers in all parts of the country. These productions were what are known as “pot boilers,” of course—written hastily to meet the popular demand and to gratify the popular taste. Martin had not yet arrived at the place and time where his more finished, more subtle, and more realistic efforts were appreciated by readers and accepted by publishers.

London pictures Martin busily engaged in reading over his rejected storiettes, and thus finding out how not to write such productions, as well as “just how” to write them. He found out what to put in, and what to leave out. In this way he worked out a perfect formula. This formula consisted of three parts, viz., (1) A pair of lovers jarred apart; (2) They are united by some deed or event; (3) Wedding bells. He reached the conclusion that the third part was an unvarying quantity; but that the first and second parts could be varied an infinite number of times.

The application of the formula, in London’s own words, was as follows: “Thus, the pair of lovers could be jarred apart by misunderstood motives; by accident or fate; by jealous rivals; by irate parents; by crafty guardians; by scheming relatives; and so on and so forth. They could be reunited by the brave deed of the man-lover; by a similar deed of the woman-lover; by change of heart in one lover or the other; by forced confessions of a crafty guardian, scheming relative, or jealous rival; by voluntary confession of same; by lover storming girl’s heart; by lover making long and noble self-sacrifices; and so on, endlessly. It was very fetching to make the girl propose in the course of being united, and Martin discovered, bit by bit, other decidedly piquant and fetching ruses. But marriage bells at the end was the one thing that he could take no liberties with.”

The author relates that Martin soon worked out half a dozen stock forms, which he always consulted when constructing storiettes. “These forms,” he adds, “were like the cunning tables used by the mathematicians, which may be entered from top, bottom, right, and left, which entrances consist of scores of lines and dozens of columns, and from which may be drawn, without reasoning or thinking, thousands of different conclusions, all unchallengeably precise and true. Thus, in the course of half an hour, with his forms, Martin could frame up a dozen or more storiettes, which he put aside and filled in at his convenience. * * * The real work was in constructing the frames, and that was merely mechanical. * * * He had no doubt whatever of the efficacy of his formula. * * * His machine-made storiettes, though he hated them and derided them, were successful.”

We have also read the story of the early life of a great painter of whom it is told that in order to keep the wolf from the door he painted stock pictures for the trade-pictures bearing a fictitious name—which were designed for sale at the popular auction houses of that time. He could paint such pictures in a day or two—sometimes in a few hours, in fact—and, in spite of their hasty preparation, they showed signs of merit and skill (if not of genius), and appealed to the taste of those attending the auction sales; they sold well and served to keep the pot boiling. His main difficulty was that of providing subjects for his pencil and brush; so he set to work to overcome this difficulty. Like Martin Eden, he discovered a formula—he invented a system.

He prepared a series of cardboard disks; upon each disk he wrote the name of some main element or detail of a picture. The four seasons each were thus noted—each suggesting the associated facts of scenery. Mills, meadows, hills, mountains, the sea, lakes, forests, etc., each were noted down. Thus he had at his disposal several hundred elements or details of a popular picture. He made a great combination wheel of his disks, so arranged that when he gave the wheel a twirl, it would finally come to rest with a number of details appearing directly under the arrow point placed just over the top of the wheel. Thus he would read, for instance: “Autumn,” “hill,” “lake,” “old-mill,” etc., etc., and he would then have the general subject of his picture—the details and treatment to be supplied from “fancy,” inclination, and the mood of the moment. In this way he avoided too marked monotony, too much repetition, and, above all, too much time and thought expended upon hunting for subjects.

“Sordid”—“mere mechanical construction”—“prostitution of talent”—you may say. Well, perhaps so; yet the plan accomplished the purpose, and overcame the obstacles—in each case it served as a stepping-stone to better things. The real fault was in the cheapness and superficiality of the work— in its absence of animating “spirit”—not in the mechanism of arranging and combining details. For even the greatest artist and writer must have his “mechanism,” as well as his “genius” and “inspiration.” You would be surprised to learn how laboriously the materials and the combinations of the great artists, writers and playwrights, are obtained and conjoined. You see only the finished product—you lose sight of the mental mechanism which built it up. Yet that mechanism is always there—it must be there. Art serves to conceal it, but not to dispense with it. The machinery is always present and active—though there be also present “the god in the machine.” Even God or Nature employs machinery in Creation!

We shall close our consideration of the methods of Efficient Constructive Imagination by reminding you that the General Rule finally tells you: “Having reached at least a fairly satisfactory working plan, idea, invention, or solution of your problem, you should then carefully detach yourself from it—you should move from your personal point of view, and try to see it as others will see it. Try to imagine the effect it will have on the persons whom you wish to be interested in your finished product; how it will meet with their requirements, satisfy their wants, arouse their desires for it, etc. Your own created conjunction, plan, method, design, or invention naturally will seem to you as the infant does to its mother—no mother is an unprejudiced critic of her own baby. You must see the thing as others see it, in order to arrive at an intelligent idea of the utility of your idea. You must use past experience, reason, judgment, discrimination and cool decision in this latter testing process.

The above statement speaks for itself, and is sufficiently comprehensive to stand alone. All that we wish to add is these few words: If your detached inspection and survey convinces you that your work will not fill the requirements of those for whom it is intended, then, back to the mental work-shop with it; you will be able to cure the defects, strengthen the weak points, and to reshape the form in accordance with “the heart’s desire” of Those-Who-Must-Be-Satisfied, by precisely the same methods already employed. Find out first what is required, then adapt these new factors to the old form by the same old method, and the desired result will be obtained. The principle is universal in its application, and will fit any case to which it is applied. It is as invariable as the Laws of Mathematics; but, like those Laws, it requires skill, patience, work and determination to apply it to difficult problems.

We can close our treatment of the subject of Efficient Constructive Imagination in no better way than by quoting the statement of Herbert Spencer, in which he attributes to Constructive Imagination the rank of “the highest intellectual faculty.” His statement follows: “Instead of Constructive Imagination being, as commonly supposed, an endowment peculiar to the poet and writer of fiction, it is questionable whether the man of science, truly so-called, does not possess even more of it. When Imagination rises into the constructive form, there is an ever-increasing originality which tells at once on the industrial arts, on science, and on literature.” Spencer might as truly have added: “and on business, on manufacturing, on selling, on distribution, or service of all kinds wherein wants are met, demands filled, obstacles overcome, and ‘thwarted purposes’ set aright.”

Without the power of Constructive Imagination, man will never be all that there is in him to be; never do all that is in him to do; never reach all that is in him to reach. “It lights up the whole horizon of thought, as the sunrise flashing along the mountain-top lights the world.”


The Art Of Creation

Passing on from the consideration of the more familiar forms of the application of Efficient Constructive Imagination, you are now asked to enter into a consideration of a still higher phase of that Creative Power which is a mode of manifestation of your Personal Power. Your Personal Power, in turn, is but a phase of the All-Power—that POWER in which you live and move and have your being, and which is that ALL which is in All-Things, and in which All-Things are. You are now asked to consider the subject of your Creative Power in its higher phases of manifestation.

Creation is an attribute of the highest Power of which you can have any knowledge, or of which you may dream. Whatever else the Supreme Power may be, or may not be, it must be conceived as Creative Power. The fact that the Power behind Creation must be Creative; and the fact that Creation must be the result of Power; must bring to the mind of the true thinker the conviction that in Creative Power is to be found Power in its most essential and elemental aspect. In Creation you participate with the Supreme Power!

To “create” is to “bring into being; to cause, to produce.” Man may be said apparently to create in several ways, yet at the last he is found to be able to create in only one essential way; and that one essential way in which he can create is found to be the way in which the Ultimate Creative Power proceeds in its own creative work. It will be well for you to become convinced of the essential and elemental nature of your own Creative Power, in order that you may realize the majesty and dignity of the forces and energies which you call into play and operation in your own creative activities.

First of all, you can create material objects by means of combining other material objects. Thus you bring into being houses, boats, railroads, shoes, and every other class of things which are manufactured or made from material things.

Secondly, you can create material things by changing the arrangement of the constituent parts of other material things, as for instance, you create butter by means of churning cream, or you create ice by freezing water.

Thirdly, you can create things by analysis or separation of the parts of other things, for instance, you create certain chemical substances by separating them from more complex substances of which they have formed a part; or you create a statue by cutting away the surrounding marble from about the form of the created thing.

The above classification will be found roughly to include practically all the forms and phases of creation with which you are most familiar. But we have omitted from it its most essential element—that element which constitutes the spirit of all of your creative work, namely the element of Mental Creation. At the last, all of the above-mentioned forms of creation are discovered to be merely the objectification of the subjective Mental Creation.

In the three forms of creation, above mentioned, you have merely employed the materials at hand, and formed new combinations with them. You brought none of these original materials into being. You merely found them in being and gave new objective forms to them. But how did you arrive at a knowledge of those forms which you afterward objectified? Here we come to the heart of the subject. The answer is: The forms of your creations, each, any, and all of them, existed in your mind before you objectified them. Your, creations, then, at the last, are seen to be Mental Creations in the sense that they were mentally designed and deliberately caused by you.

Of course, if you merely threw the materials together without any design, then you cannot be said to have mentally created the new thing—in that case the latter was created, not by you, but by the forces of Nature. This, also, would be the case in the event that you discovered a chemical process “by accident” and without design, or where you unwittingly set into operation some of Nature’s forces, and thereby called into appearance certain new forms, arrangements, separations or combinations. But wherever and whenever you have deliberately employed your Creative Power toward definite ends, then your first step and stage has been that of Mental Creation.

Everything that man has ever created, contrived, built, invented or manufactured has first been created in his mind as a Mental Image. The Brooklyn Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramids, and also the simplest mechanical construction, each and all existed in the minds of their inventors, architects and builders before they took on objective form. There can be no such thing as constructive or creative work by man without the antecedent mental creation by means of mental images. Therefore, in its essential and elemental nature, all human creation is Mental Creation.

Philosophers have carried this idea up to the realm of metaphysics, and have asserted that we are compelled to think of the Supreme Creative Power as having first formed the mental image of the Universe before the form of the physical world could have come into being. More than this, they hold that the actual creation of the “materials” of the Universe must have been mental, because the material substance could not have been present until it was called into being by the mental forces—that, at the last, the material world is but a “materialization” of previously existing mental images or forms, and that the very work of the “materialization” was performed by mental powers and energies, for there were no material powers present and existent in the beginning.

Edward Carpenter illustrates this idea in the following statement contained in one of his books: “There is now a disposition to posit the mental world as nearer the basis of existence than is the material world, and to look upon material phenomena rather as the outcome and expression of the mental. In observing our own thoughts and actions and bodily forms coming into existence, we seem to come upon something which we may call a law of Nature, just as much as gravitation or any other law—the law, namely, that within ourselves there is a continued movement outwards, from feeling toward thought, and then to action; from the inner to the outer, from the vague to the definite; from the emotional to the practical; from the world of dreams to the world of actual things and what we call reality.

“We may fairly conclude that the same progress may be witnessed both in our waking thoughts and in our dreams—namely, a continual ebullition and birth going on within us, and an evolution out of the Mind-stuff of forms which are the expression and images of underlying feeling; that these forms, at first vague and undetermined in outline, rapidly gather definition and clearness and materiality, and press forward toward expression in the outer world. And we may fairly ask whether we are not here within our own minds witnessing what is really taking place everywhere and at all times—in other persons as well as in ourselves, and in the great Life which underlies and is the visible universe.

“You may say that there is no evidence that man ever produces a particle of Matter out of himself; and I will admit that this is so. But there is plenty of evidence that he produces shapes and forms: and if he produces shapes and forms that is all we need. For, what Matter is in the abstract no one has the least experience and knowledge. All that we know is that the things we see are shapes and forms of what we call Matter. And if (as is possible and indeed probable) Matter is of the same stuff as Mind—only seen and invisaged from the opposite side—then the shapes and forms of the actual world are the shapes and forms of Mind, thus projected for us mutually to witness and to understand.”

But we do not need to fall back upon metaphysical speculations in order to support our general contention that there is Mental Image back of every phase and form of Physical Creation. Throughout all Nature we may find striking instances and illustrations of the general principles that there is an “idea,” or “mental image or form,” present in all of Nature’s creative processes, from the formation of a crystal to the development of the forms of living creatures. The formation of a crystal; the development of the plant or tree from the seed; the evolution of the living form from the egg-cells; all of these reveal to us the fact that “idea” or “mental form” is immanent and involved in every process of birth and growth in Nature. This being perceived, we are justified in claiming that “All Creation is Mental Creation”—the materialization of a mental form, image, or idea.

Throughout all Nature we may perceive the presence of an Inner Image or Form which serves as the framework or pattern upon which Nature materializes her objective forms. These ideal forms have attracted the attention of the philosophers, and they have sought to account for their presence. From the time of Plato down to the present, philosophers have speculated concerning the nature and evident presence of these ideal forms upon which Nature builds her material shapes and structures. In the above quotation from Carpenter you will note the reference to “the evolution out of Mind-stuff of forms which are the expressions and images of underlying feeling; these forms, at first vague and undetermined in outline, rapidly gather definition, and clearness, and materiality, and press forward toward expression in the outer world.”

Paul Carus, a modern philosopher, also says: “All science consists in describing forms, and tracing their changes. All differences that we can scientifically comprehend are the forms of matter or energy. All that we can do or try to do is by molding and remolding things. Forms are the types of possible entities, and do not exist as such in the shape of material realities, but we cannot say that they are nonexistent, nor that they are nought. They are ‘may-bes’ or potentialities, and according to the law of their combination the things of the material world are molded. They are the factors which determine material reality; and in this sense pure forms are more important than are material and actual things. They are super-real, and their super-reality contains the norms of all existence. Pure Form looks like nonentity, and yet the laws of Pure Form are the factors that determine existence in all of its details. Pure Form conditions the Cosmic Order and governs the universe.”

The “Pure Form” of the philosophers is undoubtedly immaterial in its nature; it clearly must be Mental Form; In other words, Nature is seen to proceed just as does man in his work of creation. She builds the material universe upon mental patterns, or upon mental frameworks. Just how or why this is so the human mind is unable to grasp, but all investigation reveals the fact that the creative processes proceed in just this way. In this correspondence between human creative activity, and that of the Cosmos, we have a striking illustration of the principle embodied in the ancient Hermetic axiom: “As above, so below; as within, so without.” The Macrocosm and the Microcosm evidently work under the same laws, and manifest according to the same general principles.

Beginning with the particles of which the atoms are composed, and with the atoms of which all forms of matter are composed, we see the creation of material forms apparently proceeding in accordance with some pre-existing pattern, ideal form, type or idea. Atoms group themselves in certain combinations, forming certain elements of matter, all of which forms are true to general types, and are as nearly identical as the bits of metal which are cut out by the same die or else produced from the same mold. This uniformity and adherence to type certainly is explainable only upon the hypothesis that before the material form is produced there must exist some pattern, type, idea or mental form which governs the materialization. There is no hit-or-miss, or higgledly-piggledy arrangement of the atoms—they group themselves according to typical forms, and these forms must exist ideally before the material form can be produced.

That which we call the “inner nature” of anything is really a combination of certain inherent “mental forms” which are constantly striving to express themselves in action and objective appearance. The “inner nature” of the atom is clearly represented in and by its activities—the “inner nature” of the animal is likewise so represented by its action and its physical form. The voluntary, self-moved, spontaneous actions of any particular thing clearly represent the “inner nature” of that particular thing. The differences between classes of things result from the difference in the “inner natures,” and the “inner natures” are merely the ideal forms or types, the mental images, which constitute the elemental and essential basis of the character of those things.

The operation and manifestation of these “inner natures,” or creative ideal forms, has a striking illustration in the case of the crystallization of the minerals or chemical elements. These crystals are formed in the “mother liquor” according to well-known and clearly defined shape, form and order. Each species of crystal has its own particular form and arrangement— some have a range of several of such forms, each, however, being true to type and pattern. Each species of crystal obeys its own order and rule concerning its form. Crystals grow just as do plants, according to a certain pattern and type-form. These forms and orders of arrangement are not caused by outside forces or energies—they result from the “in forces” of the mineral or chemical substance—from the operation of internal, inherent energy, and in response to some inner idea, form or pattern which constitutes the “inner nature” of the mineral or chemical compound.

In the same way, we find that in the material form of the germ of the acorn there dwells an “inner nature” composed of these ideal forms or mental images, these inner patterns. These inner forces determine the material form which the sprout, root, leaves, and the complete tree shall assume. The deviations from the ideal forms result from the influence of external forces serving to modify and deflect, to cramp and to hinder, the expression of the inner form—but the inner pattern is always there doing the best it can to represent itself truly in material appearance. In every acorn there abides the design, pattern, form, and idea of the future oak—and the acorn never evolves and unfolds anything not according to that pattern, design or idea. In the same way, the seed or germ or every plant, animal, or human being contains within itself its “inner nature” composed of ideal form and pattern, type or mold.

It is this “inner nature” or ideal form that causes the acorn to develop into the oak, instead of into the pine-tree. It causes the egg of the chicken to develop into a chick, and not into a baby hawk. It causes the creature to develop from seed-germ into completed adult form, always true to type and ideal pattern. Scientists who have witnessed the unfoldment of living forms from the reproductive cells, or egg-body, have testified in glowing words of wonder and admiration to the evident presence of “something like a directive mind” at work in the processes under way in the tiny speck of protaplasm which we call the reproductive cell or egg of the animal.

Huxley, describing the development of the tiny egg of a newt (small aquatic salamander) said: “The plastic matter undergoes changes so rapid, and so purpose-like in their succession, that one can only compare them to those operated by a skilled modeler upon a formless lump of clay. As with an invisible trowel, the mass is divided and subdivided. Then, it is as if a delicate finger traced out the lines to be occupied by the spinal column, and molded the contour of the body; pinching up the head at one end, the tail at the other, and fashioning flank and limb into due salamanderine proportions, in so artistic a way, that, after watching the process hour by hour, one is almost involuntarily possessed by the notion that some more subtle aid to the vision than the achromatic lens would show the hidden artist, with his plan before him, striving with skilful manipulation to perfect his work.”

The same great scientist, speaking of the continued life of the newt, says: “As life advances, and the young amphibian ranges the waters, the terror of his insect contemporaries, not only the nutritious particles supplied by its prey (by the addition of which to its frame, growth takes place) are laid down, each in its proper spot, and in due proportion to the rest, so as to reproduce the parent stock; but even the wonderful powers of reproducing lost parts, which are possessed by these animals, are controlled by the same governing tendency. Cut off the legs, the tail, the jaws, separately or all together, and these parts not only grow again, but the new limb is formed on the same type as those which were lost. The new jaw, or leg, is a newt’s, and never by an accident more like that of a frog.”

In the above graphic word-picture of Huxley, we catch a glimpse of the subtle, silent manifestations of this materialization of mental images in Nature; for the same kind of processes are under way on all sides of us, on all planes of Nature’s activities, and in all of her phases of life-processes. There is constantly under way a process of growth, production, reproduction, building, repairing, replacing and general creative construction; and in each and all such forms and phases we may see the presence of a given pattern, form, type or mold—an ideal design or scheme upon which the materialization is effected.

The “governing tendency” referred to by Huxley is seen to be none other than the operation of that principle of Creative Mental Form upon which all materialization depends.

Moreover, we may see the operation of the same principle in the direction of the variation of form, faculty and function in the life forms—indeed, this principle constitutes the directing force of Evolution. Lamarck and other scientists have shown us that Evolution proceeds not only by Natural Selection, but also by the Unfoldment of Ideal Forms, or Mental Images. Thus, the new needs and requirements of the evolving life-forms are first manifested as ideal forms, or mental images, patterns, molds, or types, in the subconscious mentality of the creature; these then moving toward representation, expression and manifestation on the objective, material plane. Thus the “inner nature” gradually becomes modified by environment, and the “outer form” gradually responds to these changes.

Illustrating this principle, we call your attention to the fact that certain schools of scientific thought hold that the long legs and long neck of the giraffe were evolved in response to the Creative Idea working through many generations of its ancestors. The ancestors found it difficult to reach the tender, juicy branches of certain trees, which were needed as food. This need and this difficulty were recognized by the subconscious mentality of the animal, and the Creative Idea began to shape and fashion the ideal form or mental image of the long legs and long neck which afterwards manifested in physical form in the descendants of the animal. In the same way were evolved and perfected the long legs and long bills of the wading, fish-catching birds. Again, thus were evolved the cruel beaks and talons of the hawks, eagles and other carnivorous, prey-capturing birds; and the claws and fangs of the carnivorous animals.

In short, many thoughtful scientists recognize the existence and activity in Nature of a principle which tends to manifest in objective, material form that which has previously existed as a mental form or ideal image in the subconscious mentality of living creatures; the mental form or ideal image having arisen in response to a strong need, want, lack or desire of the creature—as in the illustrative cases above cited. The advance guard of the new psychology carries this principle to its logical conclusion when it asserts that the human being is able to set into operation great natural forces tending to produce similar objective results when he deliberately creates strong ideals, and then passes the same down to his subconscious mentality. Here is a hint at a mighty principle.

Many persons are disposed to regard as more or less unreal and unsubstantial anything that is purely ideal and mental in its nature. To such we would cite the celebrated rule of Spinoza, viz.: “A thing has only so much reality as it possesses power.” Applying this rule to the ideal forms or mental images underlying material forms, you will discover that such possess a very high degree of reality and substantiality. Ideal forms and creative mental images are not merely such stuff as dreams are made of, but in reality are strong, powerful forces. In fact, many manifestations of natural forces are really efforts toward the expression of the Creative Idea. The inner form striving to manifest in the outer form often exercises a tremendous force. The inner form of a growing plant has been known to crack a heavy concrete block; and the power of growing roots, arising from the inner urge of the ideal form, has been known to tear asunder heavy foundation stones.

John Burroughs, the great naturalist, says concerning this force of the inner form striving for outward expression: “We know that the roots of trees insert themselves into seams in the rocks, and force the rocks asunder. This force is measurable, and often is very great. Its seat seems to be in the soft milky substance called the cambium layer under the bark. These minute cells, when their force is combined, may become regular rock-splitters. One of the most remarkable exhibitions of plant force I ever saw was in a Western city where I observed a species of wild sunflower forcing its way up through the asphalt pavement. The folded and compressed leaves of the plant, like a man’s fist, had pushed against the hard but flexible concrete until it had bulged up and then split, and let the irrepressible plant through. The force exerted must have been many pounds. I think it doubtful if the strongest man could have pushed his fist through such a resisting medium. If it was not Life which exerted this force, what was it?”

In the same way, the great giants of the forest have pushed their way up toward the skies, counteracting the pull of gravitation, and lifting weights which it would have required mighty machinery to move. The mental pattern in the giant redwood trees proceeds to the materialization of the gigantic outer form of the tree, and the “inner urge” of the ideal form calls to its aid the mighty latent forces of Nature in order to materialize that which is contained in the ideal form or mental image of the living organism of the tree. Nature seems ready to furnish such power to the inner urge, provided that such is sufficiently needed, insistently desired, and persistently demanded, and provided that it is called for in the right way. If man ever obtains the inner secret of this demand, he will have the creative powers and forces of Nature in his hands. Already he has acquired a portion of this secret, and is able to perform mighty creative work by directing his mental powers toward the physical plane. In this instruction we seek to disclose the principles of this process to you.

The attention of certain philosophers has been attracted by this manifestation in Nature’s activities of a process closely resembling Constructive Imagination. They venture the hypothesis that the creative powers and processes of the human mind have an equivalent in Nature’s processes of growth in living forms, vegetable and animal. A little-known, though worthy, metaphysician has gone so far as to elevate to the rank of the Ultimate World Principle that which we know as the Constructive Imagination. He asserts that there is a Cosmic Constructive Imagination working in Nature, producing the myriad forms and varieties of vegetable and animal forms. He holds, further, that the same principle, in the form of the human Constructive Imagination, enables man to become a Creator on his own plane of life.

This metaphysician holds that Constructive Imagination is the essential characteristic attribute of the Ultimate Principle of the Cosmos. He holds that this essential attribute is inherent in the very essence of all things, and in the world as a whole. He postulates its existence in the All-Thing as an immanent principle, just as in the kernel of the plant-seed there exists an immanent principle which will give to the evolving plant its form and its type of organism. This Cosmic principle, he asserts, has manifested the myriads of vegetable and animal forms which have existed, or now exist; and will so manifest those forms which shall in the future exist in the world. He holds that the first creations were quite simple, but that little by little the Cosmic Constructive Imagination increased its energy and manifested in more complex forms. He cites Darwin as testimony that in Nature there has been a slow evolution of organized forms, proceeding from the simple to the more complex, and so on.

We are not here concerned with philosophical hypotheses, nor with metaphysical speculations, but, at the same time, we feel it proper to direct your attention to the fact that there is manifest in all Nature the operation of a powerful principle which proceeds from the inner form to the outer manifestation—from the ideal image to its materialization in objective form. We have given you in the foregoing pages certain typical illustrations of the operation of this natural principle or process. By looking around you at the world of living and growing things, you will be able to perceive countless instances of the operation of the same power, once your attention has been called to it.

Likewise, we wish to call to your attention the fact that many earnest thinkers hold that that which is called the Constructive Imagination in the mind of man is but a special form of the same great natural principle; and that man himself, like Nature as a whole, has within himself the power of Creation by means of the materialization of his Ideal Forms. Your experience has taught you that the men who have accomplished the great creative achievements in art, literature, mechanics, invention, building and business construction, have created the outer manifestation in accordance with the inner ideal or mental picture—the latter serving as the model, type, mold or pattern of the former. But the principle operates over a much wider area, and extends to a much deeper level of being, than you have realized.

It is a fact acknowledged by many very careful observers and reasoners that the man of strong ideals—he whose mind contains strong, dear mental pictures of that which he hopes to accomplish—actually sets into operation the forces, powers and energies of his entire mental and physical being. These, in turn, draw upon the common source of Nature for their nourishment and subsistence, and all the power so generated tends toward manifestation and expression in the material form which is being built upon the mental framework or pattern of the Creative Idea. Just as the oak is able to draw upon Nature for power with which it may lift itself far above the surface of the earth, and to send forth mighty limbs and branches; just as the growing plant is able to secure from Nature sufficient force to enable it to push aside, or break through the obstacles in the path of its progress—even through concrete blocks as we have seen; so may the Creative Idea of the “man who knows” be able to draw upon Nature for the still more subtle forces of her laboratory needed to materialize his ideal forms—to make his ideals become real.

Not only this, but there is a rapidly growing body of human thinkers who hold that man, in such cases, is not necessarily limited to the mechanism of his own organism in the expression of his inner urge by means of the forces which he has attracted to him. They hold that he even may (and often really does) throw out mental or spiritual filaments which contact the things of the outside world, thereby attracting to himself the external forces and things requisite for the successful materialization of his inner ideal, his mental forms, his Creative Idea.

In this book we have sought to present to you the essential principles of this great subject of Creative Power—of the materialization and actualization of your Creative Ideas. In doing so, however, we first asked you to become far better acquainted with an existing field of mental activity which you have previously undervalued and grossly misunderstood— your Power of Constructive Imagination. This mental stone, heretofore rejected by the builders of the Temple of Mental Power, is now being recognized by advanced thinkers as quite worthy of being given the place of honor as the cornerstone of the great structure. We are fast approaching the place in which we shall see the inner meaning of the ancient philosophers who asserted that in Will and Imagination—combined and harmonized—are to be found the Secret of Power.


Dynamic Idealization

In the instruction contained in the several books of the series of which the present volume is a part, there is frequent reference made to “The Master Formula of Attainment,” which is as follows:

I. Definite Ideals;

II. Insistent Desire;

III. Confident Expectation;

IV. Persistent Determination;

V. Balanced Compensation.

The spirit of the Master Formula is expressed in popular phrasing as follows: “You may have anything you want, provided that you (1) know exactly what you want; (2) want it hard enough; (3) confidently expect to obtain it; (4) persistently determine to obtain it; and (5) are willing to pay the price of its attainment.”

In other books of the series these several elements of the Master Formula are considered in detail, are fully explained, and methods for their effective application are indicated. In this concluding section of the present book, however, we ask you to consider the first element (i. e., that of “Definite Ideals”) from an angle somewhat different from that adopted in the other books of the series.

In these other considerations of the subject of “Definite Ideals,” that important element of the Master Formula generally has been treated as practically synonymous with the idea of “Definite Purpose.” But Definite Purpose really is but one of the several phases or forms of Definite Ideals—the particular phase or form which is involved in the manifestation of Will Power; to some extent, in that of Desire Power; and in that of Logical Power. In Faith Power, however, there is manifest a somewhat higher form of Definite Ideals. Likewise, in some of the higher mental and spiritual activities there is found present and active a transcendental phase or form of Definite Ideals. Thus, you see, the term “Definite Ideals” represents a general concept or idea which has several lesser elements; it includes the concept of Definite Purpose and also several other important secondary concepts.

In our present consideration of the subject, we shall confine our attention to that aspect of Definite Ideals which may be called “Creative Ideals.” The term is appropriate, for the essential nature and characteristic activities of such Ideals are primarily creative. Creative Ideals call into operation the strongest and most intense activities of Desire Power; the most earnest and inspiring Faith Power; the most persistent and determined Will Power; the most capable and efficient Subconscious Power. In fact, it acts upon and through the most potent energies of all of the mental, emotional, and volitional elements of the mind, soul, or spirit of man. More than that, it reaches out into the great world beyond the personal limits of the individual, and operating through some of Nature’s subtle but potent forces, it sets into motion and activity many things, persons, events, causes and processes over which (in the ordinary view) the individual apparently has no direct control.

Perhaps it will be as well to begin by arriving at a clear and definite understanding of the term, “Ideal,” as employed in this instruction. It has well been said that, “There is a mighty magic in words, rightly understood.” The old Chaldean Oracle announced this ancient thought in these lines:

“There are Names in every nation, God-given, Of unexplained power in the Mysteries.”

First of all, we find that our term has its origin in the term, “Idea,” which evolved from an old Greek word meaning “to see.” Idea is defined as: “(1) A mental image of any visible object, object of sense, or spiritual object; (2) a general notion, or a conception formed by generalization; hence (3) any object apprehended, conceived, or thought of, by the mind; also, (4) a belief, opinion, doctrine, or principle; and, (5) a plan or purpose of action.” Underlying all of these meanings is found the essential notion of “existing in the mind.” An “idea” is always mental; never material.

The term, Ideal (as an adjective) means: (1) Existing in idea or thought; (2) existing in imagination only; and (3) reaching an imaginary standard of excellence, efficiency, beauty, utility, etc. As a noun, the term is defined as: “A mental conception regarded as a standard of perfection; a model of excellence, beauty, efficiency, utility, etc.” Here we have the blending of the two essential attributes, viz., (1) existing in thought or imagination; and (2) a standard of excellence. “Excellence” is synonymous with “superiority, worth, goodness, greatness.”

So, in the end, we have a concept of an Ideal, defined as: “A mental image of something of superior worth, goodness and value, serving as a standard of excellence, beauty, efficiency, utility, etc.” As we always desire, hope for, and strive to attain things of “superior worth, goodness and value” (the degree of “worth, goodness and value” being determined by the comparative resemblance of such things to the accepted “standard of excellence, beauty, efficiency, utility, etc.,”) it follows that Desire, Faith, and Will are always (consciously or unconsciously) striving to reach, achieve, or attain an Ideal. To the end of such achievement or attainment, the forces of Creative Power, Desire Power, Faith Power, and Will Power are set into activity.

In many cases the Ideal manifests in the form of “purpose or plan of action” (one of the above definitions of Idea, you will remember); but in other cases it manifests rather as “a mental or spiritual germ, striving to express and manifest itself in objective, material form; drawing to itself, and reaching out after, that which promises to contribute to or aid in such objective and material expression and manifestation.”

Here, then, we have the concept of the Ideal seeking to express and manifest itself in objective and material expression and manifestation, and, by reason of this inner urge, drawing to itself and reaching out after that which promises to contribute or aid in such expression and manifestation. But, you may ask, “Why and how is this Ideal entitled to be termed ‘Creative’?” Let us answer this question, in the first place, by asking you another question: “Thinking over the subject discussed in the preceding section of this book, of what does this concept of the striving, seeking, acting ‘mental or spiritual germ’ remind you?” We think that the following several paragraphs will represent the essence and spirit of your answer.

You will be reminded, first of all, of the fact that in all man’s material creations there has been, and necessarily must have been, a preceding “mental image or form”—an Ideal, in fact—of which the later material, objective form of the created thing was merely a copy; that there must always be the “mental pattern, map, design, or mold” which is reproduced in the material creation. There must always be the Inner Form, before there can be the Outer Form! “But,” you may object, “here the Ideal is merely the pattern, model, or mold, which the Imagination and Will employ in their creative work; the Ideal, in itself, is not ‘creative’.” This is true, at least to a certain extent; we need not here argue the fine distinctions, however, for we have a clear case presented in Nature’s activities, to the consideration of which we shalt now proceed.

Letting your mind dwell upon the subject considered in the preceding section of this book, you will remember that in all material creations of form—in all purposive groupings, arrangements, conformations, configurations—there is found to be present an inner Ideal Form, composed of the aggregate of mental forms, striving to express itself in action and objective manifestation. You will remember that we found this inner Ideal Form operative in the cases of the grouping of the atoms (and of the smaller particles composing the atoms); in all chemical processes; in the processes of crystalization; in the life-processes and the growth of plants; in the sprouting of seeds; of the development and evolution of the germ in the egg. You will remember the interesting description of the development of the newt’s egg given by Huxley. You will remember the instances of great power exerted by growing roots, plants, and sprouting seeds. You will remember what was said concerning the evolution of needed physical instruments manifested by the lower animals—the explanation of the long legs of the wading-birds, the claws and beaks of the birds-of-prey, the long neck and legs of the giraffe.

Finally, you will remember the logical conclusion arrived at by those observing these and similar instances of this wonderful working of Nature’s Forces, viz., “That there exists, and is manifest in all Nature, the operation of a mighty principle which proceeds from the inner form to the outer manifestation—from the ideal image to its materialization in objective form.” You will find yourself compelled to think that in all of Nature’s activities and processes, in which is performed the work of “creation” of form, combination, composition, or coordination, there certainly exists an Ideal Form serving as a pattern, plan, mold, map, chart or design, upon which and by means of which, Nature builds and creates.

More than this: when you carefully reason concerning this matter, you will find yourself becoming impressed by the idea and conviction that the essence and spirit of such manifestations and expressions abide in the germ Ideal Form itself and that instead of being a mere inert pattern, model or mold, the Ideal Form is a living, acting, creative Force, drawing to itself the materials needed for its outward, objective expression and manifestation—such expression and manifestation being the essential desire, need, and energizing principle of its being. Thus the Ideal Form is seen to be not only an Inner Form, but also a Something or Somewhat which may be described as “a Power with the Desire to act, or a Desire with the Power to act”—a definition which has also been applied to Will, it may be noted. Here, once more, is seen the close relation of Imagination to Will; a resemblance which by many philosophers (and by all occultists) is regarded as of the deepest significance.

That there is a dynamic force in the Ideal Forms which are found to be present in Nature’s creative processes, cannot be doubted. Everything points to this conclusion. On all sides proofs supporting this contention may be found. In Nature, it is seen that there is a Creative Ideal Form as the nucleus of every creative process. Forms, combinations, coordinated activities,— arrangements of parts, elements and factors of composition— are found to group themselves around the nucleus furnished by the Creative Ideal.

Just as the germ in the seed or egg gathers to itself the material that it needs for growth; just as the seed or egg freely employs the natural forces at its disposal (and they are always at its disposal, you should note) in order to manifest and express itself in creative growth; so in every Creative Ideal Form there is found to be present that power to employ natural forces for its purposes; the instinctive knowledge how and when to employ those forces efficiently; and the desire, will and ability to draw to itself the material needed for its growth, development, expression and objective manifestation.

Proceeding from the Macrocosm to the Microcosm—from Nature to Man—and applying the ancient Hermetic axiom, “As above, so below,” we would consider it logically certain that in Man, the individual, we should find a corresponding condition of things, i. e., the presence and power of the Creative Ideal Form; the action of the latter in the direction of drawing to itself the material required for its objective expression and manifestation; and the capacity for employing natural forces for the purpose of accomplishing its end. We should expect to find that, in Man as in Nature, the Creative Ideal Form not only seeks to express and manifest itself in objective form and action, but also actually does so express and manifest itself, and also is able to press into its service the subtle forces of Nature— provided, always, that the Creative Ideal Form be (1) sufficiently strong and active, and (2) sufficiently clear and definite; the spirit of the requirements being that of Concentrated Power, discover that we have not been deceived nor Conducting the above-mentioned inquiry, we mocked; we find that the axiom, “As above, so below,” holds good in this as in many another case. We find that the men and women who have accomplished great things have always possessed these Dynamic Creative Ideals; and that those who have so possessed them have found operating within themselves a mighty power of Nature, and have been conscious of the effects of these activities manifesting in the world outside of themselves.

The individuals of great attainments sooner or later have become aware of this correspondence between the inner Dynamic Creative Ideal, and the events and happenings of the outside world which are correlated to the inner purpose. The individual with the Dynamic Creative Ideal has established within himself a great focal centre of Energy and Power—and to that centre are being attracted and drawn things, persons, circumstances, thoughts, ideas, powers, and other things which are needed for the objective expression and manifestation of the Inner Ideal Form.

Even in the lesser activities of man, in the more mechanical forms of work, he is able to perform better work, and to perform his work more efficiently, if he maintains a sufficiently clear and strong Creative Ideal Form of that which he wishes to materialize in objective form. Psychologists have told us that the best workmen are those who visualize the whole of what they propose to do, before they take a tool in their hands; this being equally true of strategists, artists of all kinds, physicists who contrive new experiments, and all others who do not follow mere routine. They have told us, for instance, that no man can be a good plumber unless he uses his Imagination— the Ideal and its mental image must precede the actual laying of the pipe. Likewise, that the blacksmith is efficient only in the degree in which he employs his Imagination; every time he strikes the red-hot iron, he makes it approximate the ideal image in his mind.

Kay says: “A clear and accurate idea of what we wish to do, and how it is to be effected, is of the utmost value and importance in all of the affairs of life. A man’s conduct naturally shapes itself according to the ideas in his mind, and nothing contributes more to success in life than having clear, strong ideals, and keeping them continually in view. Numerous unexpected circumstances will be found to conspire to bring it about, and even what seems at first hostile may be converted into means for its furtherance; while by having the Ideal constantly before the mind, one will be ever ready to take advantage of any favoring circumstances that may present themselves.”

Bain says: “By aiming at a new construction, we must clearly conceive what is aimed at. Where we have a very distinct and intelligible model before us, we are in a fair way to succeed; in proportion as the Ideal is dim and wavering, we stagger and miscarry.” John Burroughs says: “No one ever found a walking fern who did not have the walking-fern in his mind. A person whose mind is full of Indian relics picks them up in every field through which he walks. They are found and quickly recognized, because the eye has been commissioned to find them.”

In the great field of activities comprising the realm of Desire, we find that the energizing force of Desire is called forth in proportion to the degree of clearness, definiteness and distinctness of the Ideal presented to it. Desire always is called into action by the presence and power of Ideas and Ideals. Desire is always the “want” of this thing, or the “want to do” that thing; it cannot “want” or “want to” unless an Idea or Ideal is present in sufficient force and definiteness to call forth its activities. In fact, a strong Ideal often arouses and attracts to itself such a degree and amount of Desire that the Ideal itself seems to be but a focal point of Desire, or the Desire seems to be the very soul of the Ideal. In Desire Power, the dominant “want” or “want to” is the Definite Purpose; the idea of the achievement or attainment of the end of the “want” or “want to” is the Definite Ideal.

Likewise, in the activities of Faith Power there is always found present a Definite Ideal. Faith must always have its object—the more definite and certain its object, the greater and more stable is the Faith. Faith is one of the great elemental spiritual powers. In its form of Confident Expectation and Expectant Attention it powerfully moves the Will. But, Faith Power is but latent and static unless it be aroused into dynamic power by the presentation to it of an appropriate Idea or Ideal.

Finally, the activities of Will Power are called forth only in response to the Idea or Ideal which has, in the first place, aroused the Desire which rises into Will; and which, in the second place, has served as a standard of measurement of Will-values; and, which in the third place, now serves as a beacon, standard, or mark placed far ahead on the Path of Attainment, serving to point out the way to be traveled and the direction to be followed.

It is an axiom of psychology that “the Will goes out in action only toward an Idea or Ideal presented to it.” It might be added that “the Will is held to its path only by the perception of the Idea or Ideal which marks its course and indicates its direction.” Certain philosophers and psychologists have noted that it is almost impossible to distinguish between concentrated Will and a highly developed, definite, concentrated Idea or Ideal— the two seem to have been combined and blended into one mental power. This correspondence between Imagination and Will frequently has been noted in the present work.

But, in pursuance of the rule of the Unity of the Mind, we find that just as truly as Desire, Faith, Imagination and Will may be, and are, called into action, power, and strength by the presentation of an Idea or Ideal, so is it true that the Creative Ideal may be strengthened, energized, and given definite form by the application of the respective powers of Desire, Faith, Imagination and Will.

There is always action, reaction, and interaction in the realm of the mind; its powers are correlated and coordinated—each is bound up with the others, and each aids and helps the others when needed. We may concentrate our attention upon any one of the great powers of the mind, and that particular power will seem to be the dominant one. When, however, we proceed to contemplate and to study the others, we find that each, in turn, seems to be the dominant power. The truth is that no one of these great powers can operate effectively unless the other powers co-operate with it, and proceed with it in coordinated action.

The Creative Ideal, in order to be effective—indeed, in order to be truly creative—must be (1) Strong, and (2) Definite. Its strength is increased by the energizing power of Desire, the inspiring power of Faith, and the determining power of Will. Moreover, by means of Imagination presenting to it mental pictures of itself as actually expressed and manifested in objective, material form, the Creative Ideal is further aroused into action, in response to that essential urge, instinct, or appetency of its nature which causes it to strive ever to manifest itself in outward action and form. In strengthening an Ideal Form which you wish to raise to the rank and power of a Dynamic Creative Ideal, you should bring to bear upon it the combined powers of your Desire, Faith, Imagination, and Will.

The Creative Ideal, in order to be effective and truly creative, must be dear, positive, and definite. Here the Ideal calls upon those mighty twin elements of the spirit—the ideative and volitional faculties—namely, Imagination and Will. Imagination supplies the definite pattern, model, or design which the Ideal wishes to manifest; while Will proceeds to cut away the encumbering marble or granite which hides the definite form of the Ideal as represented by the artist’s pattern, design, or mold.

Will, however, does not create the Ideal—the Ideal is self-created, or else is originally created by that “I AM I” which is the centre and focal point present in the mental kingdom. But Will serves a necessary purpose and an essential task when it proceeds to chip away, to chisel away, to hammer away, all the great mass of mental granite or marble which hides the beautiful Inner Form of the Ideal—its Pure Form. The Ideal Form is actually existent—never forget that; but, before it maybe perceived and employed as a model, standard and guide, it must be released from that which encumbers its Pure Form and hides it from view.

In the Master Formula of Attainment, the first element is that of “Definite Ideals”—not merely Ideals, but particularly Definite Ideals. In all of the principal books of this series, this element of Definite Ideals is dwelt upon at considerable length, in one form or another. In the preceding sections of the present book, you will find it presented under the form of “Definite Purpose.”

The factor of definiteness is emphasized in all such presentations; for upon such definiteness depends much of the power of the Ideal Standard, or Purpose. It must “stand out” in attention, perception, and thought. It must represent the “just what” of the want, ambition, faith, effort, or thought. It denotes “just what” you like, desire, believe in, adopt as a standard of values, use as your guide on the road of attainment, and strive to manifest and express in thought, word, and deed.

An Ideal, Standard, or Purpose is “definite” in the degree in which it is “certain, clear, plain, distinct, specific, exact, precise, fixed in understanding and meaning”; its mental form must be “distinct, clear, sharp, clear-cut, sharp-cut.” Indistinctness, indefiniteness, ambiguity; uncertainty, vagueness, and obscurity of understanding and meaning, are to be avoided in your Ideals—that is, if you wish to have them creative and dynamic.

Strong and Definite Creative Ideals are properly called “Dynamic Ideals,” for they manifest all the qualities and powers which are indicated by the term, “dynamic.” Dynamic means: “Powerful; filled with energy; capable of manifesting force, energy, power, motion and action.” The dynamic aspect or phase of anything is that in which the thing manifests motion, action, activity; its static aspect or phase is that in which it exists in a state of rest and inaction.

Your Dynamic Ideals are those Ideals existing in your mind which are (1) sufficiently powerful to move into action, and to manifest their inherent force and energy; and (2) sufficiently definite to concentrate those forces and energies into a “one pointed” focus of Ideas and Will. Only a Dynamic Ideal can be a Creative Ideal; and all Dynamic Ideals are, and must be, Creative Ideals, by reason of their very nature. The Dynamic Ideal must create, for creative activity is its essential nature. Creation, as you know, consists of compounding, composing, building, putting-together, making, manufacturing new forms from the materials at hand.

The Dynamic Ideal tends to express and manifest itself in creating a new environment for its possessor, in building a new set of conditions for him—such environment and conditions, however, being in harmony and agreement with the spirit of the Ideal. In short, the Dynamic Ideal tends toward “making the Ideal become Real”—in building up a material world of experience corresponding to its inner mental world of experience. It “experiments” in order to build up the “experience.” It tears down, re-builds, builds anew, just as the mind of the inventor, the artist, the writer, proceeds in creating its particular form of expression.

The Dynamic Creative Ideal, in fact, is composed of two associated elements, namely (a) the element of definite and concentrated Idea, and (b) the element of definite and concentrated Will. The Idea plans, invents, and points out the direction of the action; the Will executes the action according to the plan thus furnished it.

This brings us back once more to the teachings of the ancient occultists, who held that, at the last, there are but two fundamental mental or spiritual forces—and these really are but twin-aspects of Spirit. These two fundamental forces, or aspects, are (1) Imagination, which was held to involve all thinking, reasoning, and mental imaging of any sort; and (2) Will, which was held to involve all feelings and desires, all voluntary action, all determination, judgment, decision, and volition. All other mental faculties or powers were held to be but (a) phases or derivative forms of Imagination or Will; or (b) combinations and compositions of Imagination and Will, in which the elements of each are blended.

In that book of this series entitled “Personal Power,” we have shown you that the Twin-Giants of Personal Power are Ideation-Volition, or, in other words, Idea-Will. The more you ponder over this teaching, the stronger will grow your conviction of the underlying identity of Ideation and Volition; that Imagination and Will are Twin-Giants, inseperable, always operating in conjunction with each other. This being so, you will begin to understand how and why a strong, vigorous Definite Ideal may become a Dynamic Creative Ideal by means of calling into operation and effect its twin-aspect of Dynamic Will. For the purposes of easy thought on the subject and the manifestation of this principle, you may think of the Dynamic Creative Ideal as having the soul of Idea and the bodily strength of Will.

You may render your Ideals dynamic and creative by means of the employment of Desire, Faith, Imagination and Will. Applying the principle of the Master Formula, you (1) must know exactly what you want that Creative Ideal to be; (2) you must desire insistently that it be such; (3) you must confidently expect that it will be such; (4) you must persistently determine that it will be such and (5) you must pay the price of work, service, application, concentration, and of the relinquishment of opposing ideas and ideals, desires and feelings. By means of Insistent Desire, Confident Expectation, and Persistent Determination, the Creative Ideal may be raised to the rank and power of Dynamic Idealization.

Keep your Creative Ideals always before you; think of them, dream of them, make them a part of your very soul. Encourage them by visualizations of their realization in objective form; “brace them with affirmations”; give to them the force of habit by endeavoring to act upon their principles as often and so far as is possible. Think, feel, and act in their terms. Assimilate them to such an extent that your personal mental and physical instruments of expression may become their outward machinery. Let even your personal being become as the willing instrument of the manifestation into objective form of these Dynamic Creative Ideals. Live for the purpose of making your Ideals become Real.

What will be the result of the creation and maintenance of such Dynamic Creative Ideals? you may ask. Here is the answer of those wise and illumined members of the race who established the esoteric schools of ancient philosophy—and of the equally wise and illumined members of the race of today, who are striving to sow the seeds of the Inner Teachings in the minds of those who are prepared to receive them, nourish them, and allow them to develop, grow, and bear blossom and fruit. Here is the answer of such great souls:

“You are the creator of your own world of experience. Consciously or unconsciously, you are molding your world of experience, and determining your own destiny. In ignorance or in wisdom, for good or for evil, you are creating, building, constructing the scenery of that world in which you live, and move, and have your being. For weal or for woe, you are thus building. For better or for worse you are thus constructing. Your personal world of experience is largely what you, yourself, have made it. Your Ideals ever tend to become Real. You are always realizing your Ideals. What you have been doing unconsciously, you may now proceed to do consciously. By creating and controlling your Ideals, you create and control your world of experience. You may become an active master of Creation, instead of a passive slave.”

The strong, definite Dynamic Creative Ideal will call forth the full powers of your body, of your mind, and of your spirit. Reason, Imagination, Invention, will perform their best work under its influence; Desire will energize more intensely, and Will determine more persistently, under its influence. The wonderful storehouse of the Subconscious will open wide its doors when the Creative Ideal gives “the right knock.” The still higher realm of the Superconscious will superimpose its wisdom and knowledge upon the conscious mind, when this be demanded by the Dynamic Ideal. All things will work together for good for him in whom the Dynamic Creative Ideal is manifesting its power. “I call them all forth; and forth come they in answer to my call,” says the Spirit of the Ideal in the old allegory of the Orient, “and chief of all, and the first to come forth, is my twin-brother WILL!” concludes that Ideal Spirit.

Definite Ideal and Concentrated Will—these are the Twin-Giants of your Creative Power. Cultivate and develop both of them, and to an equal extent. Do not let your Definite Ideals suffer by reason of the lack of pulling and pushing power of your Concentrated Will. Neither let your Concentrated Will become static and inert, by reason of the lack of the directing and guiding power of your Definite Ideals. Grasp the hands of the Twin-Giants, one on the right of you, one on your left; and then let the “I AM I” give the command, “Forward; March!” Naught can oppose the phalanx composed of your Definite Ideals, your Real Self, your Concentrated Will. Rightly may such a combination shout its battle-cry: “I Can, I Will; I Dare, I Do!”

The “Will that Can” is the “Will that Knows.” The ancient Buddhists had an old aphorism which ran something like this: “To Know rightly, is to Think rightly; to Think rightly, is to Will rightly; to Will rightly, is to Act rightly; the root of Action is Knowledge; the fruit of Knowledge is Action.” The ancient Chaldeans had a similar proverb: “He who Knows, is able to Will effectively; he who Wills effectively, Creates his World!” All through the Secret Doctrines runs this song of “Ideal-Will”—of Knowing and Doing; and the most practical thinkers of our own times and lands echo the ancient reports.

Perhaps the highest phases of philosophical and metaphysical thought are those which hold that the only adequate explanation of the Universe is to be had in that hypothesis which postulates the existence of an Eternal, Infinite Spiritual Principle, the essence of which is Life, Will, and Ideative Consciousness—the essential Powers of which are Animation, Ideation, and Volition, respectively. In this view, Universal Creation (Creative Evolution) is accomplished by means of the Power of the Living Will, taking the forms and configurations patterned by the Living Idealizing Power.

Daring thinkers have likened the Universe to a Cosmic Dramatization of the Ideas and Ideals evolved by the Infinite Consciousness of SPIRIT, the machinery of Creation being operated by the Infinite Will of SPIRIT. Be this as it may, every careful and honest thinker has been compelled (at least at times) to admit that there is no escape from the conviction that the Universe shows the progressive working-out and manifestation of a Cosmic Purpose, Intention, End, Aim; in short, that the Universe is the Materialization of a pre-existing Cosmic IDEA or IDEAL!

The processes of Cause and Effect show the presence and operation of something like Pure Deductive Logic in the activities of the Universe. Many poets, writers, and dramatists have pointed out that in the processes of the Universe there is manifested the presence and action of something that might he called “The Author”; a Something or Somewhat that develops a Cosmic Plot of Creation, and then logically, consistently, and artistically proceeds to perform the work of material Evolutionary Creation upon the lines of that ideal Plot. They point out that the characters, circumstances, actions and events of the Universe always “hang together”— always manifesting that Unity, Coherence and Balance which distinguish the literary compositions of the best writers.

This lofty conception may be but the fanciful expression of the perception by competent observers of that “something at work in the Universe” which bears a close resemblance to the “something at work” in their own minds; or, again, it may be the result of a deep intuition of Truth. Whatever it may be at the last, it certainly expresses a conviction that has come to many deep thinkers in all ages and all lands, many of whom had never heard the like expression of others of their kind.

Whatever may be the Ultimate Truth, it is certain that Man has at his disposal a mighty Creative Power, which in its more familiar phases is called “Constructive Imagination”; and which in its less familiar, esoteric, transcendental phase is called— What? Man, in his own realm is a Creator—and the limits of his realm are determined by himself, by his Imagination, by his Will!


Desire Power: Your Energizing Forces


Emotive Power

Desire Power is one of the many phases of Personal Power—of that Personal Power which flows into and through the individual from that great source of the All-Power of All-Things which in this instruction is known as POWER.

You do not create your own Personal Power of any kind, though you may modify it, adapt it, develop it, and direct it. POWER, the source of All-Power, has always existed and will always exist. You generate Personal Power by drawing upon the great Source and Fount of All-Power; by opening your natural channels to its inflow; and by supplying it with the proper physical and mental mechanism by means of which it is enabled to express and manifest itself efficiently.

There are not, in reality, many distinct kinds of Personal Power— though there are many forms and phases of its expression and manifestations. Just as, by means of being supplied with the appropriate apparatus, Electricity is transformed into light, heat, energy, motive-power, telegraphic power, telephonic power, and “wireless message” power, so is your Personal Power transformed into mental power and physical power; into thinking power, feeling power, and willing power; by reason of the various channels of expression and manifestation supplied to it.

Personal Power manifests along the lines of mental activity in three great forms, viz., along the respective channels of (1) Feeling, (2) Thinking, and (3) Willing. These three channels, however, are not absolutely set apart and separated from each other, but, on the contrary, have many intersecting and connecting lines or channels of intercommunication; their activities are closely coordinated. Accordingly, in practically all instances of mental activity, we find the coordination and blending of the activity of these great phases of mental activity.

Desire is the highest wave of the waters of Feeling or Emotion. Feeling is “the agreeable or disagreeable phase of a mental state.” Emotion is a complex form of Feeling, into which is blended the element of the representative ideas of memory or imagination. Desire is the strong urge or pressure of Emotion toward an idea or object which promises emotional satisfaction and content; or away from an idea or object which threatens emotional dissatisfaction or discontent. If the emotional urge becomes sufficiently strong, the Desire develops a conational activity, i. e., an activity tending toward will-action along the lines of the satisfaction and gratification of the Desire. On one side, Desire arises from Emotion; on the other side, Desire evolves into Conation—and Conation is the elementary active phase of Will.

Before you can expect to understand the nature of Desire, its laws, the principles of its development and application, you must first know something of the general form of mental activity of which it is the highest and most active phase, i. e., the mental activity known as Emotion.

Emotion is defined as: “An excitement of the feelings, whether pleasant or unpleasant”; Feeling being “the agreeable or disagreeable side of any mental state.” Feeling may be described as “a simple emotional state”; and Emotion may be described as “a complex state of Feeling”—the difference is a matter of degree and not of kind. Emotion, however, has Idea blended with it—memories of previous experiences supplied by recollection or instinct (the latter reporting race-memories). Feeling (simple) may arise from a purely physical cause, and no definite Idea may be involved in it. But Emotion (complex) necessitates the presence and influence of representative Idea to direct it and to continue it beyond the stage of simple Feeling.

A leading teacher of psychology illustrated this distinction to his pupils by directing their attention to the analogy of the junction of the Upper Mississippi and the Missouri rivers. He pictured the Missouri as a stream of Representative Ideas, and the Upper Mississippi as a stream of simple Feeling arising from sense-impressions. The two streams meet; their waters join and, blending, compose the complex Lower Mississippi of Emotion now flowing to the Gulf of Desire and Will. The teacher, however, always cautioned his pupils to remember that this illustration was used merely for convenience: for Feeling and Idea are never so far apart (before the junction) in the mind as are the waters of the two rivers.

The highest activities of Feeling and Emotion are known as Affection and Desire, respectively.

Affection is defined as: “An emotional drawing of the mind toward any person or thing, which does not necessarily depart even when that person or thing is absent.” In its latent state, Affection may be termed a “disposition or tendency toward a person or thing.” In its active state, Affection may manifest as Passion, especially in the presence of its object. The term is usually employed to denote the state of emotional feeling toward persons, but it is also properly employed in connection with anything capable of exciting regard. Affection, likewise, has its negative aspect; in such aspect the tendency or disposition is that of drawing-away-from, instead of drawing-toward, the object or person arousing the emotional feeling. Positive Affection arises from Attraction; Negative Affection arises from Repulsion. Affection, then, is seen to be composed of the following two elements, viz., (1) the Emotional Feeling, and (2) the tendency or disposition to be attracted toward (or repelled from) the object arousing the emotional feeling.

Desire is a more complex, and a more active phase of Emotional Feeling than is Affection. Desire combines and includes the element of Affection, but it goes beyond the latter. It may be defined as: “The strong wish or inclination to attain, secure, reach, or to retain, hold, and own, the object which has attracted it; or to get away from, escape or be free from, the object which has repelled it.” Desire always reaches out to the object of Positive Affection, or withdraws from the object of Negative Affection. Affection simply is attracted toward or repelled by its objects; Desire takes up the task where Affection drops it, and then wishes to lay hold upon the object, to possess it or attain it, or (in its negative aspect) to avoid or escape from that object. Affection (in its positive phase) loves the object; Desire (in its positive phase) not only loves it but also “wants” it and is not satisfied without its attainment or possession: Note this distinction, for it is important in the application of the fundamental principle involved in Desire.

The power inherent in Emotion is indicated by the term designating it. The term “Emotion” is derived from the Latin term “emotio,” meaning “a moving out.” The latter term, in turn, was derived from the Latin prefix “e,” meaning “out,” and the verb “moveo,” meaning “to move.” The essence and spirit of the term, as indicated by its origin, is that of “movement,” motion, activity. It is significant that the same Latin verb “moveo” which supplies us with our English term “Emotion,” also supplies us with our English term “Motion.” Both terms mean “to move”; the “e” in “Emotion” specially indicating “outward motion; to move outward.” So that Motion and Emotion are seen to be closely connected in origin and meaning. Motive Power and Emotive Power are but forms and phases of the same thing, at the last analysis—some philosophers, indeed, claiming that they are one in essential principle.

Too many persons have fallen into the habit of undervaluing Emotion, and of rather being inclined to apologize for its presence and manifestation in and by themselves. They seek to give it a subordinate place in the Trinity of Mind, and to exalt above it the coordinated elements of Thinking and Willing, respectively. This, principally because the term “emotional” has been attached to and associated with certain unattractive phases of emotional activity; as for instance, the sickly sentimentality, maudlin sentiment, the “slushy gushing” and the neurotic hysterical hyper-emotionality manifested by certain persons who are regarded as being “quite emotional.” The abnormal has been mistaken for the normal—the morbid, for the natural and healthy state.

Emotion includes not only some of the richest and most noble elements of our mental and spiritual natures, but also much that is of the most practical pragmatic value in our everyday work and activity. Not only does it manifest its presence in those experiences and activities which we usually include in the category of “the things of the soul,” but it also is found to play a quite important part in the activities of the intellect and of the will. In fact, Emotion illustrates the aptness of the term, E-motion, by imparting motion and activity to both intellect and will. The promise implicit in its name is fulfilled in its actual accomplishment.

Emotion includes in its category that which thrills the heart of man, and which causes him to manifest the fine forces of affection, love and friendship. It contains within its realm the desires which urge him forward on the path of life, and which direct his vision to the banner of Victory placed far ahead over the portals of the future. Emotion lies much closer to the heart and nearer to the springs of human action than does Intellect, great as are the achievements of the latter; and it plays a highly important part in the determination of the character of the individual. While we extol the virtues of Intellect, let us not ignore or undervalue those of Emotion. Man does not live by Intellect alone: Emotion must be present to add spirit and soul to the body of Personal Power.

Man has a heart as well as a head. In fact, the heart plays a greater part than does the head in the actions of mankind as a whole. Rob human action of the inspiration of the heart, and you have left but a cold mechanical product. Remove Emotion from human life, and you will have taken away the source of its greatest beauties and charm. The Man of Personal Power has Intellect, Emotion, and Will well balanced—this constitutes the Balance of Poise and Power. Intellect is not to be undervalued: Will is to be viewed with respect and admiration; but Emotion is seen to be the essence of the life and soul of the other two elements, and of the individual as a whole. Well says the old adage: “Keep thy heart with all diligence, out of it are the issues of life.”

But, more to the point, at least in the case of the practical men of the world who may read these words, is the fact that in Emotion is to be found a practical phase of Personal Power—a force or energy which enables men to attain, to accomplish, to succeed, to do things worth while. It is one of the tragedies of our modern educational system that, while the greatest attention is devoted to training “the head,” training “the heart” is practically neglected. It is generally considered quite practical and according to common sense to train and cultivate the intellect; but usually even to hint at the desirability of training and cultivating the emotions lays one open to the charge of being “impractical and visionary.” It is only when persons are shown the important part played by Emotion in all the activities of Intellect and Will, that they will even seriously listen to suggestions that Emotion should be accorded attention in the educational field.

Yet, as all psychologists know, the Intellect is influenced, swayed, directed and often entirely controlled by Emotion. Many of man’s greatest intellectual triumphs have resulted from the motive power supplied by Emotion. Moreover, the Will has its very roots embedded in Emotion; the motives which move the Will to action are always found to arise from Emotion These are not mere general or careless statements made to strengthen the argument; on the contrary, they express the cold, hard facts of scientific psychology. The fact that such statements may be new to you is but another proof of the public neglect of this important subject.

Ribot, in the following statement, ably sets forth the conclusions of those philosophers, psychologists and physiologists who maintain that Emotional Feeling is the most fundamental aspect of the life of all conscious creatures, and that it underlies the phase of Intellect in the scale of evolutionary development; that, in fact, it constitutes the very kernel of Life and Mind as these are found to be manifested in living forms. He says:

“Concerning the place of the Feelings in the total psychic life, I wish to say that that place is first. The Feelings appearing first, it is clear that they cannot be derived, and are not a mode or function of Intellect, since they exist by themselves and are irreducible: thus stated the question is simple and quite evident. The physiological evidence in favor of the priority of the Feelings need only to be recalled; it all centres in one point: organic vegetative life always and everywhere appears before animal life; physiologists constantly repeat that the animal is grafted on the vegetable which precedes him.

“Organic life is directly expressed by the needs and appetites, which are the stuff of the affective life. The myriads of animals are only bundles of needs, their psychology consisting in the search for food, in defense, in propagation; but even closed in as they are from the outside world, desire in them is not less intense. Even in man, foetal life, and that of the first months after birth, is much the same: almost made up of satisfied or unsatisfied wants, and consequently of pleasures and pains. From the purely physiological point of view, Intellect appears not as mistress, but as servant.

“The psychological evidence is not difficult to supply, and indeed it has already been presented by Schopenhauer in so brilliant and complete a manner that it would be a bold task to present it afresh. For Schopenhauer, ‘to Will’ is to desire, to aspire, to flee, to hope, to fear, to love, to hate: in a word, all that directly constitutes our good and our ill, our pleasure and our pain. Will (in the sense indicated by Schopenhauer) is universal. The basis of consciousness in every animal is Desire. This fundamental fact is translated into the impulse to preserve life and well-being, and to propagate. This foundation is common to polyp and to man. The differences between animals are due to a difference in knowledge: as we descend in the series, intelligence becomes weaker and more imperfect, but there is no similar degradation in Desire. The smallest insect wills what it desires as fully as does man.

“Desire-Will is always equal to itself. It is fundamental. It is a fact anterior to all intelligence and independent of it. It is the basis of character: ‘the man is hidden in the heart and not in the head.’ Its power is sovereign. It is not Reason which uses Desire, but Desire which uses Reason to reach its ends. Under the influence of intense Desire, the Intellect sometimes rises to a degree of vigor of which none would believe it capable. Desire, love, fear, render the most obtuse understanding lucid. Desire, guided by experience, rests upon proved pleasure and pain, seeking one and avoiding the other. Impulse is the primordial fact in the life of the feelings. Spinoza sums up the whole spirit of the question in his passage: ‘Desire is the very essence of man, from which necessarily flow all those things which tend to preserve him’.”

Indeed, philosophers have even dared to speculate that just as Desire-Feeling is the essence and kernel of the life of the individual, so a Cosmic Desire-Feeling must be postulated as being the very essence and kernel of the Cosmos—of All-Nature; in all of her manifestations and forms of expression, inorganic as well as organic. Along this same line are those metaphysical conceptions of the Infinite Power, or Infinite Being, as necessarily having Desire-Feeling as its attribute; for, otherwise, it is asked, how may we conceive of the Infinite ever having begun its manifestation and expression of the created world? Say certain metaphysicians: “The Infinite must have felt that Creation was ‘desirable,’ else it would never have created anything at all.” Such speculation, however, is outside of our field here; we have mentioned it merely to illustrate how fundamental is the idea, and how it ever asserts its power in man’s philosophical thinking.

Emotion, then, is perceived to be the great incentive to individual motion and action in human life, at least. It is no longer to be regarded as a merely internal, subjective mental state. On the contrary, it is seen to be the internal phase of a mental activity striving to express itself in outward and external activity. Emotion is well called E-Motion. Emotion is an incentive to action—to mental and physical motion. Emotion strives ever to express itself in action. On its lower side, It blends into certain forms of Sensation; on its upper side, it blends into Will.

Emotion is not that manifestation or expression of fanciful, sentimental, neurotic, hysterical feelings or impulses— something to be apologized for by the person manifesting it. Emotion is no more to be gauged by the neurotic, hysterical, hyper-emotionality miscalled “emotion,” than is Intellect to be gauged by the fantastic so-called “reasoning” of the inmate of a lunatic asylum, or that of the many “out patients of Bedlam” whom we meet in everyday life. Neither Emotion nor Intellect is to be gauged by the perverted forms of these great mental activities.

Men are accustomed to speak of Intellect as the most potent of the powers of the mind; but they reckon ill who leave out Emotion. Descartes said: “I think; therefore, I am!” But Feeling is even more fundamental than is Thought: and men say with even greater certainty, “I Feel; therefore, I am!” Likewise, we are in the habit of quoting with satisfaction the aphorism: “As a man thinketh, so is he”; but we fail to remember that the actual words of the aphorism are, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Here, “thinketh in his heart,” really means “feeleth in his heart”—for “the heart” is the familiar figurative term employed to denote the seat of Feeling, just as “the head” is employed to denote the seat of Thinking. So, at the last, then, our favorite aphorism is seen to read, “As a man feeleth in his heart, so is he.”

We are here not endeavoring to exalt Emotion over Thought and Will, but are merely seeking to restore to its place in the Trinity of Mind a most important element of the Mental Power of Man which many persons have become accustomed to overlook and neglect. Or, changing the figure of speech, we may say that in Emotion we have that cornerstone of the Temple of Mental Power which has been rejected by many of the modern builders. Without the element of Emotive Power there can be no Motive Power in the human mind.


Desire and Actions

Desire, as we have seen, is the crest of the wave of Emotional Feeling. At the same time, Desire may be said to be the elementary stage or phase of Will. Emotion, rising to Desire, tends to become transformed into Will. Before reaching the stage of Desire, we find Emotion manifesting the stage of Affection, under the several forms of the latter known as Love, Liking, Fondness, Attraction, Passion, Admiration, respectively. The spirit of Affection is represented by the phrase, “I like.”

Desire evolves from the stage of Affection, and manifests the inclination to wish, to want, to long for, to hanker after, to crave eagerly, to obtain or to enjoy the object of its Affection. Desire manifests in several forms, as for instance, Aspiration, Ambition, Craving, Hunger or Thirst (employed figuratively), for Attainment; or, the simple ‘Wish or Want. The spirit of Desire is represented by the phrase, “I want.”

Desire, however, only moves toward that to which it is attracted by Affection. It “wants” only that which it “likes.” That which it neither likes nor yet dislikes fails to stir it into activity. That which it dislikes, it positively “wants not”; it seeks to avoid, or to escape from, or to be rid of or free from such things.

The degree of Desire depends materially upon the degree of Affection for the object, though other elements enter into the calculation. As Gordy says: “I will to do this, or that, because of some pleasure or benefit—and that, when analyzed, will be found to consist of some form of pleasure which I hope to gain, or of some pain which I hope to avoid.”

Here is the working principle, briefly stated: We entertain an Affection or “like” for that which gives us pleasurable feelings or emotions; we Desire or “want” that for which we entertain an Affection or “like,” i. e., that which gives us pleasurable feelings or emotions; and we Will or “act” to do that which seems to tend to satisfy or accomplish our Desire or “want.” In this working principle we may find the Secret of Action—the workings of the inner machinery of Will which causes us to “do things.” We must find a thing pleasurable in order that we may “like” it; we must “like” it before we may “want” it; we must “want” it before we will move into action to “do things” tending to attain, secure, gain, and accomplish that which will satisfy the Desire.

Desire is stirred into activity, and moves out into expression, only in response to an object—it is moved only by an incentive of an emotional character. Professor Halleck gives us the simple rule in his celebrated statement: “Desire has for its object something which will bring pleasure or get rid of pain, immediate or remote, for the individual or for some one in whom he is interested. Aversion, or a striving away from something, is merely the negative aspect of Desire.”

You will find that all forms and phases of Desire are covered by the above statement. To be Desire, a mental state must include and possess the above-stated elements; if a mental state includes the above-stated elements, then it must be Desire. You are advised to commit the definition, or statement, to memory; and to test your feelings by means of it, when you are in doubt as to whether you desire a thing, or not.

Desire exerts a tremendous influence upon all phases of human action. It is the motive power of Will; the latter tends to move toward the object of the greatest Desire, and to flow through its channels. The Will is always moved by a “motive,” i. e., a cause, or reason inciting to action; and that “motive” always is found in Desire and the ideas attached to it. It is an axiom of psychology that “The Will goes out toward the strongest motive present in conscious or subconscious attention at the time of action.” The “strongest motive” always is that idea representing the object of the strongest desire, or of the aggregate or average of the strongest desires, present in attention at the moment of action.

Desire also plays an important part in our thought, reasoning, and judgments. It quickens our perception, and energizes our thought processes. It is proverbial that our judgments are affected by our feelings, emotions, affections and desires. It has been truly said that most persons, when they seek to reason, strive rather to find “excuses” for their previous decisions, rather than to advance logical reasons for new decisions; the decisions themselves have already been made, in most cases, because of feelings, emotions, affections and desires. Our feelings and desires frequently cause us to perceive only the facts which we wish to discover, and to overlook those which we do not wish to be uncovered.

Johnson says: “Affection and Desire put the magnifying end of the telescope to our intellectual eye where our own interests are concerned, and the minimizing end when we are looking at the interests of others for whom we entertain no affection.” Halleck says: “Thought is deflected when it passes through an emotional medium, just as a sunbeam is deflected when it strikes water.” Gulick says: “Our hopes, fears, ambitions, loves and likes are the controlling factors of our lives. The purely mental, logical, or reasoning function is chiefly the servant of our desires and fears.”

That men are influenced more easily, more readily and more frequently through their emotions, desires and affections, than through their reasoning faculties, is well known. The orator, lawyer, statesman and preacher, the salesman and the advertising man, all know that the road to men’s heads runs through men’s hearts. The great orators have been men of emotional power—men who put their hearts into their words,, and thus aroused the hearts of their hearers. Rochefoucauld said: “The passions are the only orators that always succeed.” Henry Clay said: “Caesar controlled men by exciting their fears; Cicero by swaying their passions.” Brooks says: “It is the tender sentiment, the quivering lip, the trembling accent, the moistened eye, that are often the must eloquent pleaders.”

Davenport says: “The cool, rational speaker has little chance beside the skillful orator. The crowd thinks in images, and speech must take this form to be accessible to it ... The crowd is united and governed by emotion rather than by reason. Emotion is the natural bond, for men differ less in this respect than in intellect.” Burke said: “There is a moving tone of voice, an impassioned gesture, which affects independently of the things about which they are exerted. So are there words, and certain dispositions of words, which being peculiarly devoted to passionate subjects, and always used by those who are under the influence of any passion, always touch and move us more than those which far more clearly and distinctly express the subject matter. We yield to sympathy what we refuse to description.”

An old writer once said: “Few speakers succeed who attempt merely to make people think—they want to be made to feel. People will pay liberally to be made to feel or to laugh, while they will begrudge a sixpence for instruction or talk that will make them think. The reasons are palpable and plain: it is heart against head; soul against logic; and soul is bound to win every time.” Cardinal Newman once said: “The heart is commonly reached, not through reason, but through the imagination, by means of direct impressions, by descriptions. Persons influence us, voices melt us, deeds inflame us.”

One has but to recall instances of the great influence exerted over the public mind by the emotional appeals to affection or dislike, to prejudices for or against, to desires, ambitions, aspirations, cravings, longings and things eagerly “wanted,” made by orators, politicians, statesmen, actors, and preachers, in order to realize the potent effect of Emotion, Affection and Desire upon men’s thoughts, opinions, beliefs and convictions.

A modern writer says: “A large part of the business of life consists in moving the emotions and desires of men so as to get them to act.” Another says: “The successful man is he who is able to persuade the crowd that he has something that they want; or that they want something that he has.” The successful salesman, advertising man, or any other man who has things to sell other men, all bring into play the force of Desire in those whom they are seeking to interest in their projects. They appeal to the “want” or “want to” side of the mind of men. They play upon men’s sympathies, their prejudices, their hopes, their fears, their desires, their aversions.

Men “do things” and “act” because of the motive power of their emotional nature, particularly in the form of Affection and Desire. This is the only reason impelling or influencing men to “do things.” Were this motive power absent, there would be no action or doing of things; there would be no reason or cause for such action or doing, in that event. We act and do solely because we “like” and “want.” Were the emotional element absent, there would be no element of volition. Without Desire we would make no choices, would exercise no decision, would perform no actions. Without the “want” and “want to,” there would be no “will to do,” and no “doing.” Desire is the motive power of Action; take away the motive power and there cannot be and will not be any movement, activity or volition. Without the motive power of Desire, the machinery of voluntary action ceases to operate, and comes to a complete standstill.

An old writer, whose words have been preserved for us though his name is unknown to the present writers, enunciates a profound truth in the following rather startling statement:

“Every deed that we do, good or bad, is prompted by Desire. We are charitable because we wish to relieve our inner distress at the sight of suffering; or from the urge of sympathy, with its desire to express its nature; or from the desire to be respected in this world, or to secure a comfortable place in the next one. One man is kind because he desires to be kind—because it gives him satisfaction and content to be kind. Another man is unkind because he desires to be so—because it gives him satisfaction and content to be so. One man does his duty because he desires to do it—he obtains a higher emotional satisfaction and content from duty well done than he would from neglecting it in accordance with some opposing desires. Another man yields to the desire to shirk his duty—he obtains greater satisfaction and content from refraining from performing his duty, in favor of doing other and contrary things which possess a greater emotional value to himself.

“The religious man is religious in his actions, because his religious desires are stronger than are his irreligious ones—he finds a greater satisfaction and content in religious actions than in the pursuits of the worldly-minded. The moral man is moral because his moral desires are stronger than his immoral ones—he obtains a greater degree of emotional satisfaction and content in being moral than in being immoral. Everything we do is prompted by Desire in some shape or form, high or low. Man cannot be Desireless, and still act in one way or another—or in any way whatsoever. Desire is the motive-power behind all action—it is a natural law of Life. Everything from the atom to the monad; from the monad to the insect; from the insect to man; from Man to Nature; and possibly from Nature to God; everything from lowest to highest and from highest to lowest—everything that is—is found to act and to do things, to manifest action and to perform work, by reason of the power and force of Desire. Desire is the animating power, the energizing force, and the motive-power in, under, and behind all natural processes, activities and events.”

In order to appreciate fully the influence and power of the emotional states, culminating in Desire, upon the decisions and actions of men, it may be necessary for you to indulge in a little introspective speculation, employing your imagination in the task. You may start out with the assumption that no thing has a greater emotional value to you than any other thing; that you feel no greater desire to attain, possess, or enjoy any one thing more than another; that you do not “want” or “want to” in any particular direction any more than in any other. Admitting the existence of such a state of mind and feeling, you may then proceed logically to create an imaginative picture of the state of affairs certain to result from such mental state.

In such event, you would find that not only would “all things look alike to me,” but that you would feel alike concerning all things. All things having an equal emotional value to you, you would really experience no emotional “wanting,” craving, or desiring for anything. Hunger and thirst having ceased to exist for you; comfort and discomfort would have passed away from you; love and hate, like and dislike, no longer would have any meaning for you. You would quite as willingly starve or suffer extreme thirst as to satisfy hunger or thirst. You would quite as willingly suffer extreme discomfort and pain, as to enjoy comfort and experience pleasure. You would be quite as willing to experience insult, revilement and cruelty directed toward yourself, or those near to you, as you would be to be shown kindness, consideration, respect and kind treatment. Poverty and wealth would alike be valued or not valued by you—one would be quite as good as the other.

You would no longer feel affection toward your parents, your mate and your offspring, and you would not raise your hand to protect them from any assault or injury. All love and all sympathy would be foreign to you, as would also all hate, dislike, or desire to avoid anything or anybody. You would have no love of friends, nor of home, nor of country. The impulses of sex, high and low, would not affect you. You would have no liking or desire for truth and honesty, and yet no desire to lie or to be dishonest. You would have no desire to create, to construct, to invent. You would have no sense of love, of beauty, of art, of music—no desire to think, learn, read, or to use the mind in any way. You would have no moral or religious instincts or tendencies, yet you would suffer no temptations to indulge in vice or courses frowned upon by ethics and religion. All feelings, high and low, good and bad, virtuous or vicious, all would be lacking in you.

In such an event, you would have no tastes concerning anything, no preferences about anything, no love or hatred for anything, no like or dislike of anything, no desire or aversion for anything; and consequently you would not exert your will to attain or to avoid anything—you would not will at all, you would not act at all in any direction. You would be a “living dead man,” for all that constitutes the meaning of life would be absent from your being. Apathy and Lethargy would be your lot. You would not even live long, for you would feel no desire to act to supply yourself with nourishment, nor to secure protection from the elements or from hostile forces or things.

If the world were Desireless there would be no activity in it. Not only would all living things cease to manifest their natural characters and natures, but even the inorganic forms would cease to act, and move, and perform their natural processes. For, know you. Desire dwells even on the lower planes of Nature— even on the planes of the so-called “lifeless” things. Everything that has the power of “self movement” is found to move to or away from certain other things for which it may be said to have “like or dislike.” The attraction and repulsion among the atoms and molecules of matter are held by scientists to proceed according to well-defined “like and dislike,” love and hate,— Desire, in an elementary form. The “chemical affinity” between the chemical elements clearly proceeds along the lines of “like and dislike.” This being so, a Desireless World would lack the activities of these inorganic elements, the cessation of the natural forces—and all would be at a standstill.

This idea has been objected to by some on the grounds that most of our actions—and those of all other creatures and things—proceed along the lines of habit rather than of actual Desire. The answer to this is (1) all habits, original or inherited through race-memory and instinct, have been created and established by repetitions of actions found “agreeable,” and hence according to Desire—they are derivative or secondary manifestations of Desire; and (2) your own experience will prove to you that it is decidedly more “comfortable” and “agreeable” to act according to habit, than in the opposite direction. The difficulty experienced by one in overcoming an objectionable habit is sufficient proof that one “wants to” act in the habitual manner, and finds it agreeable and pleasant so to do; Desire reigns in the field of habit, as in every other mental field. The “line of least resistance” runs along the path of habit, and in response to a marked feeling of comfort.

We feel assured that you have now convinced yourself that all of your actions are directly or indirectly caused by your Desires; and that the latter are based upon your particular emotional values. i. e., upon the kind, character, direction and degree of your “likes and dislikes.” The more closely you study and analyze the actions and doings of yourself and other individuals, the more firmly established will be your conviction that: “All voluntary action proceeds along the lines of Desire, and arises from the presence and activity of Desire.” There is no known exception to this rule; the more extended the observation and experiment, the greater is the proof of the rule.

In testing out the truth of the above-announced rule of action, you should always bear in mind the true and full definition of Desire. For convenience, we here again quote the Halleck rule, viz., “Desire has for its object something which will bring pleasure or get rid of pain, immediate or remote, for the individual or for some one in whom he is interested. Aversion, or a striving away from something is merely a negative aspect or Desire.” Observation and experiment will prove conclusively to you the truth of the rule that all voluntary actions arise from Desire (in the above-stated sense of the term), and always proceed along the lines of Desire.

However, there is another step in our reasoning on the subject—a step which many hesitate to take, and over which many stumble and fall, in their reasoning—a step which logically follows the acceptance of the foregoing rule, and which is the inevitable, invariable and infallible conclusion of the premise or proposition advanced in that rule. This second, or derivative rule, is as follows: “All voluntary action proceeds along the line of the strongest Desire-motive, or the aggregate or average of such motives, present in conscious or subconscious attention at the moment of decision or action.”

Stated in simpler terms this rule is: “‘You always act according to the greatest ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ of which you are cognizant at the time.” So true and invariable is this rule, that it may be truthfully asserted that you not only always do so act, but that you cannot act to the contrary—if you act at all, ‘you must act according to this rule. This last is a hard saying for most persons when it is first presented to their notice; but it is a true one, and the repugnance to it arises from a misunderstanding concerning, or at least a failure to comprehend fully, the real meaning of the proposition. We ask you to give the matter careful attention, for it is important.

The principal objection urged against this rule by many persons when it is first presented to them is that which may be expressed in the statement, “But, I actually often do things against my desires and inclinations, and which I really do not want to do at all.” At first, this statement may seem to express the truth; but a little analysis will soon uncover the fallacy. The analysis may begin with the following question, “But why did you do the thing which you say you did not want to do?” There is always an answer, and that answer usually begins with the word “because.” A “because” is a “cause,” or “reason”—it is a motive to action. And that “because,” “reason,” or motive is always discovered to be some form or phase of Desire—a “want” to secure or to avoid or escape something. The “why?” implies a motive, the “because” states the motive, and the “want” is the essence of the motive.

You may desire very much to attend the opera, but you decide to stay home at the last moment. Why? Because of the wishes of your wife, the illness of your child, the notice of the visit of a friend, or some other “because” based upon a desire, wish, or “want to.” There may be a conflict of desires, but the strongest desire at the moment wins the battle. You may discard even a strong desire for a present and immediate pleasure or benefit in favor of a desire for a remote one promising greater benefit or satisfaction. You may inhibit and suppress a strong desire, because of your desire to give pleasure, or to avoid causing pain, to some one for whom you care; or, for fear of condemnation and disapproval on the part of others; or, because of the promptings of “conscience,” and the feeling that you would afterward repent or feel remorse because of the action; or, because the force of habit, custom, usual mode of action, etc., brings down the balance of Desire against the proposed action. In short, you may decide not to do the thing you first desired and “wanted to” do, so strongly,—but only because of the greater desire for something else or to escape something else.

These illustrations might be continued almost indefinitely, but the above examples indicate the general principle involved. You will find that the strongest element of Desire to have, or to avoid or escape, will win the day. The rule is: “‘You always act according to your greatest ‘like’ or ‘dislike,’ of which you are cognizant at the time.”

When you feel regret, repentance or remorse because of past actions or failure to act, it is simply because time has added new elements, or has given you new points of view. Your emotional values have changed, and the problem no longer is the same which confronted you when you made the decision. New facts, new ideas, new conditions may add to the emotional values of one course of action, and subtract from the values of others. But the action you now wish you had taken, like the one which you now wish you had not taken, always is based upon the same rule of the strongest like or dislike present at the moment of the decision.

Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) presented his philosophy based upon this principle of voluntary action in a somewhat blunt and startling form. Helvetius, the French philosopher, had announced the same conclusions in the Eighteenth Century— but few have heard of Helvetius, while many have heard of Mark Twain.

Helvetius, in his main work, advanced the principle that, “The grand lever of all human conduct is self-satisfaction!” He admitted, however, that self-satisfaction may assume many and widely contrasted forms. For instance, said he, the self-satisfaction of a good man consists in his subordination of private to more general interests—first to the circle of persons in which he moves, then to the general community, and finally to the world at large. Self-satisfaction, he held, may be base or noble, egotistic or altruistic, immoral or moral, irreligious or religious, low or high, selfish or unselfish (in the ordinary usage of these terms), and so on—but it remains self-satisfaction all the time, in all cases, and is never self-dissatisfaction or the refusal to satisfy the self, at the last.

Helvetius taught, in short, that man acts in the direction of satisfying and contenting his own strongest feelings, emotions, and desires. This seems to be a harsh doctrine, until it is thoroughly understood and appreciated; but all of our moral and ethical training is based upon its fundamental truth. We endeavor to have the individual “feel right,” in order to have him “act right.” If we can not get him to love the right, we then proceed to get him to fear the consequences of wrong-doing. We work upon his Desire-nature in either case. This is all that Helvetius meant, i. e., that men act according to inner motives—the strongest motives of self-satisfaction deciding the nature of the action.

Clemens uses the term “contenting the spirit” in place of Helvetius’ term “self-satisfaction”—but both mean the same, at the last. Clemens says: “There is only one impulse which moves a person to do things. That sole impulse is the impulse to content his own spirit—the necessity of contenting his own spirit and winning its approval. The act must do him good, first; otherwise he will not do it. He may think he is doing it for the other person’s sake, but it is not so; he is contenting his own spirit first—the other person’s benefit has to always take second place. There is but one law, one source, of men’s acts. Both the noblest impulses and the basest proceed from that one source. This is the law, keep it in your mind: From his cradle to his grave a man never does a single thing which has any first and foremost object but one—to secure peace of mind, spiritual comfort, for himself. He will always do the thing which will bring him the most mental comfort—for that is the sole law of his life. * * * Always spirit-contenting reasons. There are no others.”

There is another general rule concerning Desire which it is important that you should note and remember. The rule is as follows: “The degree of force, energy, will, determination, persistence and continuous application manifested by an individual in his aspirations, ambitions, aims, performances, actions and work is determined primarily by the degree of ‘want’ and ‘want to’ concerning that object.”

So true is this principle that some who have studied its effects have announced the aphorism: “You can have or be anything that you want—if you only want it hard enough.” To “want a thing hard enough” is equivalent to “paying the price” for it—the price of the sacrifice of lesser desires and “wants”; the casting off of the non-essentials, and the concentration of Desire upon the one essential idea or thing, and the application of the will to its attainment or accomplishment.

Much that we have been in the habit of ascribing to the possession and the manifestation of a “strong will” has really been due to the element of Will which is called Conation, i. e., Desire tending toward expression in Will-action. The man filled with an ardent, fierce, burning, craving and urge for and toward a certain object, will call to his aid the latent powers of his Will, and of his Intellect—these under the motive power and stimulus of Desire will manifest unusual activity and energy toward the accomplishment of the desired end. Desire has well been called the Flame which produces the heat which generates the Steam of Will.

Very few persons, comparatively, know how to Desire with sufficient intensity and insistence. They content themselves with mere “wishing” and mild “wanting.” They fail to experience that Insistent Desire, which is one of the important elements of the Master Formula of Attainment. They do not know what it is to feel and manifest that intense, eager, longing, craving, insistent, demanding, ravenous Desire which (to use a favorite and oft-repeated expression of ours) is akin to the persistent, insistent, ardent, overwhelming desire of the drowning man for a breath of air; of the shipwrecked or desert-lost man for a drink of water; of the famished man for bread and meat; of the fierce, wild creature for its mate; of the mother for the welfare of her children. Yet, if the truth were known, the desire for success of the men who have accomplished great things has often been as great as these.

We are not necessarily slaves to our Desires; we may master the lower or disadvantageous desires by Will, under the Power of the “I AM I,” or Master Self. We may transmute lower desires into higher, negatives into positives, hurtful into helpful, in this way. We may become Masters of Desire, instead of being mastered by it. But before we may do so, we must first desire to do so, to accomplish and to attain this end. We may even rise to the heights of Will—the place where the “I AM I” may say, truthfully, “I Will to Will” and “I Will to Desire”; but even there we must first desire to so “Will to Will” and “Will to Desire.”

Even at these sublime heights of Egohood, we find Desire to be the fundamental and elemental Motive Power: this because it abides at the very heart of things—the heart of ourself—the Heart of Life. Even there, we essay and accomplish the highest deeds and acts of Will solely and simply because they serve to “content our spirit,” to give us the highest degree of “self satisfaction”—to gratify, satisfy and give expression and manifestation to our greatest, most insistent, most persistent and strongest “want” and “want to.”


The Evolution Of Desire

Desire is the one mental element, attribute or quality which is discovered to be present universally in all living things. Differ as do the various forms and varieties of living things in respect to the qualities, attributes or faculties of observation, perception and thinking, nevertheless in each and every living creature is to be found present and active the fundamental element, quality or attribute of Desire. Though the thinking powers decrease as the scale of life is descended, the element of Desire is found to lose nothing in power in the tower forms of life, though the degree of complexity of manifestation of course is lessened.

As the evolutionists have pointed out, and as the philosophers of certain schools have been quick to note and to assert, the element of Desire appears earlier in the scale of life than does Intellect, and therefore is perceived to be far more fundamental and basic than is the latter. Even in vegetable life there is manifest the presence and activity of unconscious Desire, though there is no sign of Intellect. The new-born human babe can scarcely be held to manifest Intellect, but there can be no mistake concerning the presence of Desire as a fundamental element of its mental being. When Intellect first appears in living creatures, it seems to have been evolved for the purpose of serving Desire.

In view of the discovered facts concerning the elemental and fundamental character of Desire, certain philosophers have asserted that in Desire is to be found the primal stuff from which the entire psychic being of living creatures has been evolved. In short, this view holds that Nature—the inner nature of Nature— is spiritual; and that the basic and fundamental essence of that spiritual nature of Nature is Desire in its elemental form. They claim, in the words of Schopenhauer, that “Desire is the kernel of all life, in the individual creature and in the entire universe.” To these philosophers, Desire is not a mere mental quality, but is rather the essential element of Life, and, therefore, of all living things.

The Buddhists go so far as to assert that Desire (called by them “Tanha,” or “The Will to Live”) is the real Creative Power of and in Nature—and which is the “cause” of the continuous process of Creative Evolution. The following quotation from Subhadra Bhikshu, a Buddhist writer, gives a general idea of the Buddhistic conception of the power and offices of Desire as the Creative Principle of Nature. This writer says:

“The Will-to-Live (Tanha) inherent in all of us, and the essential factor in our being, is the true creative power; it is the cause of our existence, and is, in fact, the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer of all things. The term ‘the Will-to-Live,’ in the Buddhist sense of the word, does not merely imply what the Western world understands by ‘conscious will,’ but rather that instinctive life-love which, partly consciously, partly unconsciously to themselves, is inherent in all living beings, animals and plants, as well as man. In this term, ‘the Will-to-Live,’ or craving for existence, are summed up all those functions, powers, desires, inclinations and disinclinations, which tend to the preservation of life, and the acquisition of comfort and enjoyment.

“The Western student of Buddhism must be repeatedly reminded not to confound ‘the Will-to-Live’—that is, the desire for life, the cleaving to existence—with the ‘conscious will’ or the so-called ‘free will.’ Conscious will is but a fraction of the whole ‘Will-to-Live’—namely, such portion as passes through the organ of the brain, which is the vehicle of consciousness. But the greater portion of ‘the Will-to-Live’ never reaches consciousness in plants and animals, and but imperfectly in men. It shows itself as a mere blind instinct, an inveterate cleaving to existence, an effort to grasp at everything that makes life pleasant, and to avoid whatever hurts or endangers it.”

Schopenhauer, von Hartmann, and, to some extent, Bergson, tend to regard the “Spirit of Nature,” or the “Universal Life Principle,” as having Desire as its essential element or factor. Schopenhauer postulated the existence of a World Spirit, or Universal Life Principle, the essence of which is Desire—the spirit of longing, craving, lusting for, wishing, seeking for, tending toward outward expression and action. He held that this principle of Desire manifests itself in various degrees and phases in physical, chemical, magnetic, and vital force in Nature; its most striking phase, however, being “the Will-to-Live” which manifests in all living forms, seeking expression and objective manifestation—its characteristic phases being the striving to maintain and to perpetuate life, the struggle for existence and the instinct to perpetuate the species.

We have presented to you the above characteristic forms of this school of philosophical thought, that of the Buddhists and that of the Western Voluntarists, not as necessarily representing the philosophical thought of the present writers, nor for the purpose of awakening an interest in such schools of philosophy on the part of our readers, but merely for the purpose of directing your attention to the recognition by careful thinkers of the fact that Desire is fundamental, elemental and omnipresent in Nature’s processes, activities, and forms. We direct your attention to the facts, the reference to the philosophies built upon them being merely incidental and secondary.

We can never hope to know what Desire is “in itself”; like all great forces, it is to be known only through its manifestations and expressions. We know it most intimately by reason of its presence in ourselves, but even so we thus know it merely in the particular phase of development it has reached in ourselves; for the rest we must look at its manifestation in other forms of life. The philosophers assert, and with apparent support of facts, that the principle of Desire is to be found actively manifesting in inanimate things—in atoms, molecules, and masses of inorganic matter, and in the physical forces and energies of matter. But we shall not go that far back in our examination; instead, we shall begin with the elementary living forms.

Even in the most lowly life forms—even in the forms of plant-life—we find Desire manifesting along three general lines, viz., (1) the line of the preservation of the physical form or body; (2) the line of the satisfaction of hunger, or the desire for nourishment; and (3) the line of the preservation of the species, or satisfaction of the desire for reproduction. These three lines of Desire, and the activities resulting from their expression, are the three phases of the great elemental Desire for Life, or “the Will-to-Live.” They represent the elemental Desire of Life to live, maintain life, and to secure the transmission of life to offspring.

These three phases of Desire are present in the moneron, and are present in man. Even in the single cells of which the bodies of plants and animals are constituted, these three phases of Desire are manifested actively—each living thing, cell to man, strives to protect its physical form intact, to secure food and nourishment, and to propagate itself. This Desire is elemental and basic—it proceeds along the lines of appetency, or instinct, and of conscious feeling. It is manifested with as great vigor in the lowly life-forms, as in the higher. Nature (in its Spirit of Desire) works ever to preserve and maintain the life of the individual form through which it manifests; to cause it to secure the proper nourishment to sustain life; and to cause it to propagate its kind, and to reproduce itself through offspring.

Here then we have a basic foundation of Desire, upon which the entire structure is built.

The Desire to Live. The desire to live, to preserve and protect the physical body from danger and injury; the “will-to-live”; the “fight for life”; all these are forms and phases of that basic, instinctive Desire to Live which is found in all living creatures, vegetable or animal, from single cell to man. The living creature does not need to reason itself into this belief—it is instinctive. Even the most pessimistic individual, while asserting that his reason shows him the valuelessness of life, will flee from anything threatening his life—he cannot help this, for it is instinctive.

From this Desire to Live spring many other likes and dislikes, with their appropriate desires. The things believed to be conducive to life and health, are held to be “good”; those believed to be harmful are held to be “bad.” Man instinctively seeks the life and health-giving things, and avoids the opposite. Pain is the danger signal of Nature, warning against things threatening life or health. Primitive and elemental pleasure-producing things are usually found to have been originally conducive to physical well-being.

The qualities or feelings of combativeness and destructiveness, the elements of courage and bravery, as well as the traits of caution, cunning, prudence observed in the lower animals, in primitive man, and in civilized man, arose chiefly in response to the instinctive feeling and desire for life and self-preservation. The living creature found it necessary to protect itself from its enemies, and developed the qualities of self-defense; those individuals or species lacking in these qualities perished in the struggle for existence. These tendencies became “set” in the early history of the human race—in fact, they were probably well established in the inherited nature of primitive man, having reached him through evolution. That these qualities, and their desires, have persisted in civilized man in their original force, though usually hidden beneath the surface, is evidenced by man’s reversion to his primitive emotional states and desires during times of war, and by his taste for witnessing and engaging in physical sports in which the elements of strife, combat, struggle, and competition are involved.

Here is a good place in which to call your attention to an interesting and important fact of psychology. The principle may be stated as follows: “A habit originally formed in the race by reason of necessity, and becoming set by repetition during many generations, gradually acquires the quality of pleasure-producing; and as a pleasure-producing activity such habit persists, firmly fixed, in the race long after the original necessity has disappeared.” This explains the fact that hunting, fishing, trapping, tests of physical skill and strength, games requiring physical strength and agility, etc., are found to be “pleasure-producing” by men who are no longer compelled to exercise these powers and arts for self-protection, self-preservation, and physical well-being.

Many of man’s instinctive fears and dislikes have originally arisen from the early experiences of the race in which the element of self-preservation was called into play. These aversions caused actions and courses of conduct which preserved primitive man from injury or death in the fierce struggle for existence on the physical plane which raged in his day. That they persist even to this day, when the necessity for them has largely disappeared, is not to be wondered at in view of the fact that countless generations of men manifesting them have given to them a “set” habit form in human instinct and character.

Professor Schneider says: “It is a fact that men, especially in childhood, fear to go into a dark cavern, or a gloomy wood....... It is quite sure that this fear at a certain perception sometimes is directly inherited. Children who have been carefully guarded from all ghost-stories are, nevertheless, terrified and cry if led into dark places, especially if sounds are made there. Even an adult can easily observe that an uncomfortable timidity steals over him in a lonely wood at night, although he may have a fixed conviction that not the slightest danger is near. This feeling of fear occurs in many men even in their own homes after dark, although it is much stronger in a dark cavern or forest. The fact of such instinctive fear is easily explicable when our ancestors through innumerable generations were accustomed to meet with dangerous beasts in caverns, especially bears, and were for the most part attacked by such beasts during the night and in the woods, and that thus an inseparable association between the perceptions of darkness, caverns, woods, and fear took place, and was inherited.”

The Desire for Nourishment. The desire for nourishment in the shape of food, drink, etc., is also an elemental, primitive, instinctive feeling and want. The continuance and the well-being of every physical body depends upon nourishment, and the “Will-to-Live” implants in each creature the strong, insistent urge toward obtaining such. So elemental is this phase and form of Desire that the terms “hunger” and “thirst” represent the strongest ideas and feelings of want, craving, and desire of which the human mind is capable. The terms “Tanha,” and “Trishna,” which the Buddhists employ to indicate the nature of the “Will-to-Live,” mean “hunger” and “thirst,” respectively. One of the definitions of “hunger” is “a strong or eager desire or longing.”

Many of the secondary desires of animals and men are derived from the elementary desire for food and nourishment. For instance, they long for the places in which food abounds; they desire the means of obtaining that food: man desires the qualities and powers which will enable him to secure food. The desire for food is the prime economic necessity, and the actions of individuals and of nations proceed along the lines of this need and desire. In times of famine, this elemental urge pushes aside the later tendencies of civilization, and causes men to revert to the condition of their primitive ancestors with whom hunger was a common experience. A starving man often becomes like a savage, or a wild beast, in many respects. In the state of civilization, men are not so keenly aware of this strong elemental desire, because they scarcely ever become really hungry; but let them be deprived of food for a short time, and the old savage demand manifests itself in its original vigor.


The Evolution of Desire (Continued)

The Will-to-Live, or the Life Forces of Nature, are concerned not merely with the preservation and continuance of the life of the individual, but also quite as truly and forcibly with that of the propagation and transmission of life to the offspring—with the life of the species as well as that of the individual.

Desire for Reproduction. The elemental desire for reproduction of the species, for the transmission of life through offspring, is one of the most fundamental and basic, and also one of the most powerful desires of all living things. Its essential spirit manifests along subconscious lines, and the living creature acts instinctively to manifest and express the urge of the desire usually without any conscious recognition of the end in view of Nature, or “the Will-to-Live”—but those ends are definite and certain, nevertheless. So strong is this desire, in its various forms and phases, that the individual creature will often sacrifice its own life in the pursuit of the objects of the desire.

This elemental desire manifests in two general forms or phases—each of which proceeds with the same original end in view, though existing only subconsciously. These two general forms or phases are as follows: (1) love of and desire for mates; and (2) love of, desire for, and desire to protect and provide for the offspring. The love of home, country, people—and its derivative emotions of patriotism and loyalty to race—also spring from the same general source. Nature, or “the Will-to-Live” has here in view the perpetuation of the tribe, family, species, and race.

The Love of Mates is a very strong emotion, and its associated desires are of the very strongest nature. Men have willingly laid down their lives in the pursuit of and the protection of their mates; the lower animals manifesting the same general tendency in quite as strong degree. As the scale of life is ascended, this form of desire takes on an additional complexity and an increased degree of refinement and delicacy—but the elemental urge is always underneath and back of the feeling and desire.

The “call of sex,” and the “mating instinct” distinguishes the race of men, as well as the lower animals. In primitive man this desire is but little above that of the lower animals; while in cultured man it rises far above its source, and is closely involved with other feelings and desires. But even in its higher forms, the elemental and primitive urge is there—the flavor of its salt pervades the entire ocean of love of man for woman and of woman for man, penetrating even into its most sheltered bays, inlets, and ocean-flowing rivers. Even in the so-called Platonic Love its tang is perceptible, though seemingly unsought and often ignored for a time.

Nature—whatever we may mean by that term—is seemingly inspired by the “Will to Live” to manifest existence through her manifold forms of life; she finds it necessary to cause her creatures to perpetuate their kind, in order that she may so manifest that “Will-to-Live” in the futurity of life-forms. Unless her creatures are inspired in some way to pass the Flame of Life from the torches of one generation to those of another, she will not be able to manifest continuous and unbroken existence. This being the case, Dame Nature proceeds to arrange adroitly for the maintenance of the Cycle of Life. She works in wondrous ways to bring about the fulfillment of her desires and purposes, and but few escape her net.

Instead of employing merely a driving force, however, she also employs an attracting energy. This energy is manifested in the feelings, emotions, affections, and desires of the Love of Mates—the “mating instinct,” the “call of sex.” Keeping her massive form in the background, and well out of sight, Nature employs the rosy-cheeked, plumply-formed cherub named Cupid to awaken the heart of man to love. She employs diplomacy to effect her purposes.

Emerson tells us: “The lover seeks in marriage his own private felicity and perfection, and no prospective end. But Nature hides in his happiness her own end—the perpetuity of the race. We are made alive and kept alive by the same means.” Bronson says: “When the man and maid meet, exchange glances, and experience those peculiar little flutterings of the heart, there is something more than this really happening. Nature is then at work—her best beloved work. In the happiness of the lovers is concealed the cheerful content of Nature. In their ecstatic smiles may be discerned the complacent expression of satisfaction on the face of Nature. In their ardent avowals, protestations, and promises, may be heard the echoes of Nature’s contented sigh. The lovers feel so exalted by the Song of Love, that they think that Nature must stand still, observe, and listen. Nature, indeed, does observe, and listen—and very keenly, too; but she does not stand still—not even for a moment. She is too busily engaged in working out things for the lovers, and, incidentally, for herself as well.”

In the case of primitive man, the mating instinct was but little more than the sex instinct of the lower animals; the mating was for but a brief period, and mates were changed with the seasons. But, as man ascended the scale, the mating instinct took on a higher, more complex, and more permanent form. There gradually dawned upon the race-consciousness the idea of Home and Family—of a more permanent union. The idea of companionship began to manifest its wondrous powers with ever-increasing force. The idea of a “mate” began to take on a new meaning—the meaning of companionship and comradeship.

In the beginning, man wanted merely a physical mate. Then he wanted a companion—a social mate. Then he began to want his mate to share his emotional nature, his likes, his tastes— he wanted her to “love the things that I love.” The aesthetic emotions and desires also came into play. The intellectual feelings and desires also entered into the combination. Finally, man now wants to be mated physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We hear now of mental mates, physical mates, and even of “soul mates.” The primitive element of sex is always there, however, though manifesting along more complex and more subtle lines. To all prospective mates, Sex utters this warning: “They reckon ill who leave me out.” Nature and “the Will-to-Live” are still managing affairs in their own interests.

The Love of Offspring. Another phase of the Desire for Reproduction is that which manifests in the love of offspring, and in the desire to protect and provide for the young. The love of offspring, and the desire to protect and provide for the young, is one of the strongest and most persistent forms of feeling and desire. It is found highly manifested in the higher species of the lower animals, and it is one of the chief motives of human conduct and activity. The parent animal or human being frequently does not hesitate to risk or even to sacrifice life in defense of the offspring; it is common for the parent to suffer hunger and privation in order that the wants of the offspring be satisfied.

Here, again, Nature or “the Will-to-Live” is strongly in evidence in its careful and persistent endeavor to secure the welfare of the young creature. The “will to protect and provide for the young,” manifest in Nature, is evidenced not only in the implanting in the race of the feeling and desire to maintain more or less permanent mating-union on the part of the parents. Nature has in view not merely the birth of the young creature, but also its protection after birth until such time as it is able to take care of itself. For the first end, it superimposes the “mating instinct” upon the emotional nature of the living things; for the second, it superimposes the “love of offspring,” and the “family feeling” upon the nature of the animal or man. In this last, we have the key to many important desires and activities of man and of the lower animals.

Science has established the truth of the general proposition that, “The degree of the manifestation of the mating instinct in the direction of a more or less permanent association between the male and female animal, and in the establishment and maintenance of the family group, is directly determined by the degree in which the male parent is needed to provide for, and to aid the mother and the offspring.” This statement refers to the species, not to the particular individual.

In many cases, the association of the mates extends over merely the period of the immediate needs of the offspring and the nursing mother. The young of the reptiles and fishes require no paternal or parental care, and as a consequence there is no real union or mated association between the parents; even where there is a semblance of permanency in the union, it will be found that the female requires some degree of temporary protection for a short period preceding the birth of the young. All such association among the reptiles and fishes is seen to depend entirely upon the welfare of the future offspring.

Birds mate and form a union which lasts only during the nesting season, as a rule. The male is needed to protect the nest, to feed the brooding hen-bird, and to feed the young. The cuckoo, and similar nest-stealing birds which lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, and are thereby relieved of any care of hatching the eggs or feeding the young, display no real attachment for their mates beyond the period of the temporary sexual impulse, and they form no mating unions of even the most brief duration. Such birds, always relieved of the responsibilities of parenthood, are the “varietists” of the bird family, associating promiscuously and indiscriminately, and not remaining in each other’s society for any definite period.

Not only this, but even the real mothers in the animal kingdom manifest material affection only in the degree of the requirements of the young, and only during the period in which such protection is needed. For instance, the reptile-mothers and the fish-mothers have no responsibility for their offspring, the young creatures being able to take care of themselves from birth; consequently the mother-fish or mother-reptile in such cases shows no sign of maternal affection; this is also true of the insects. Yet, strange to say, such creatures usually are found to possess an instinctive affection for their eggs, and will even risk or sacrifice their lives in order to protect their eggs, or else in order to deposit the eggs in conditions favorable for their protection and development; this done, the emotional feeling, affection, and desire pass away, having served Nature’s purpose adequately.

The instinctive care and trouble manifested by the female insect in providing a promising and appropriate place for depositing her eggs is one of the great wonders of natural history. The housewife experiences proof of this instinct when she discovers valuable clothing destroyed by the moth, because the mother-moth has sought a nice dark closet containing soft woolen fabrics in which to deposit her eggs. The wasp which stings into insensibility the spider, in order to deposit her eggs in the living body of the latter so that her future offspring may be provided with fresh food, is another illustration of this law of Nature. The ordinary dung-beetle evidences a similar care and solicitude for the welfare of her eggs. Yet none of these creatures manifests even the slightest degree of affection for their young when they are hatched—their young do not need such affection and care, and, consequently, the mother creatures are not endowed with the feelings and desires leading to these.

Professor William James says: “Why does the hen submit herself to the tedium of incubating such a fearfully uninteresting set of objects as a nestful of eggs, unless she have some sort of a prophetic instinct of the result? Why does a particular maiden turn our wits upside down? The common man can only say, ‘Of course we love the maiden,—that beautiful soul clad in that perfect form, so palpably and flagrantly made from all eternity to be loved!’ And so, probably, does each animal feel about the particular actions it tends to perform in response to certain stimuli. To the broody hen, the notion seems monstrous that there should be a creature in the world to whom a nestful of eggs was not the utterly fascinating, precious and never-to-be-too-much-sat-upon object which it is to her. What a delicious thrill may not shake a fly, when at last she discovers the one particular leaf (or other object or material) that out of all the world can stimulate her egg-laying? Need she care or know anything about the future maggot and its food?”

You have noticed how, when the offspring no longer require attention, care, and food, the mother-animal thrusts them away from her and compels them thenceforth to conduct their business of life “on their own.” When that period has passed, all her maternal affection seems to die out; and thenceforth the young animals are no more to the mother than are any of the many other animals of her acquaintance. The need of the offspring has passed—the emotion has played its part, and the desire passes away.

Even in human life we often see the strongest affection grow up in the heart of a woman for some motherless child not connected with her by ties of blood; this particularly if the care of the young child has temporarily devolved upon her. Even the coldest-hearted woman usually will learn to love a babe for whom she is compelled constantly to care and provide; and even the hardest-hearted man will feel an affection for a child for whom he is compelled to care in person—there is “something inside of them” which makes them act and feel that way. Farmers know that if a motherless lamb is once permitted by a mother-sheep to nurse at her teats, then that lamb will thereafter be carefully protected by that mother-sheep, even though she did not welcome it before the nursing, and, indeed, had to be coaxed into allowing it to nurse in the first instance. The need of the young creature awakens the instinctive affection and desire of the older animal.

It is held that the instinctive feeling and desire of the human creature for a permanent mating and union—the creation and maintenance of “the family”—arose from the long-continued needs of the human mother and child for the protection of the father. By the time that one child was comparatively able to take care of itself, another infant was there to be protected and provided for. Says Saleeby: “The unique helplessness of the human baby—one of the most wonderful and little appreciated facts in the whole of Nature to eyes that can see—has a supremely practical point of view. The principle of Marriage is that of survival-value. Nature’s invariable criterion is that of survival-value or service to race-culture. That form of Marriage which does not permit the babies to survive, the babies do not permit it to survive. It is not a question of the father’s taste and fancy; but of what he leaves above ground when he is under ground.”

This then is the deep soil from which has sprung and grown the wonderful love of man and woman for each other, in its highest and most beautiful forms, as well as in its crudest and ugliest phases. From this soil also has sprung the beautiful love of parents for their children, of children for parents. It is the cause of the “cling to” feeling and desire so marked in the woman and the child; of the desire to be “clung to” by the woman and the child which lies deeply embedded in the soul of the man. The soil is “Nature’s needs for the welfare and perpetuation of the race”; the blossoms and flowers are due to man’s and woman’s cultivation of the soil, and tender care for the growing plant.


The Evolution of Desire (Concluded)

The Desire for Property. The desire for property is another elemental feeling and motive to action. Property means: (1) “The exclusive right to possession, enjoyment, and disposal of anything, vested in the individual”; and (2) “that which is possessed, enjoyed, and subject to disposal of the individual.” The love of and desire for possessions is imbedded in the deep soil of human nature. Some of the lower animals possess it to a marked degree; and nearly all the lower animals feel the right of possession of places, positions, etc., as well as their supply of food.

In the case of primitive man, this feeling and desire arose from the necessity of providing for his welfare and that of his family. It was necessary for him to possess a place of abode—a cave, a tree, a tent, etc. It was necessary for him to lay by and accumulate a supply of food at certain seasons; and to have land to till and cultivate for food production. The individuals manifesting this desire, tended to survive and to have their families survive; those in whom it was weak tended to fall in the struggle with environment. The survivors transmitted their tendencies to their descendants; the losers left no descendants to whom their improvident tendencies were transmitted. And so the tendency became “set” as a habit in the mental and emotional nature of the race.

The wants of primitive man were few and simple. A little food laid by for himself and his family; a few skins to cover their bodies; a rude cave, hut, or tent to shelter them; implements of war and of the hunt—this was about all. As man rose in the scale, his wants multiplied, and consequently he began to desire to acquire and to accumulate not only a greater number of things, but also a greater variety of things. The rest is merely a matter of the evolution of this form of desire—a proceeding from the simple to the more complex, from the few things to the many, and so on. This is the story of the Desire for Property, with its accompanying feelings and emotions. Originally based upon necessity, it has now extended to comforts and even luxuries. Normally manifested, it is to the interest of the individual and of the race; abnormally manifested, it is a curse to both.

The Derived Desires. In the course of the Evolution of Desire, man has acquired many forms of feeling and desire derived from the elementary desires which are instinctive to him, and which have been considered by us in some detail. Thus his love for his family has extended to his affection for his general family, his tribe, his nation. From this has developed in him the desires of love of country, patriotism, and loyalty to his government, and also the social feelings of friendship, companionship, sympathy, justice, truth, politeness, as well as the desire for the observance of moral codes, laws, rules of right conduct.

In the same way, the necessities of procuring food, defending himself and family, acquiring possessions, and so forth, have aroused in him the feelings and desires connected with invention, creative work, constructive imagination, thought, reasoning and other intellectual powers and activity. The old adage that “Necessity is the mother of invention” may be extended to include in the brood of Necessity the activity of Thought and Reasoning—the entire Rock of the family of Intellect.

From less well-defined sources have sprung the feelings and desires connected with the Aesthetic Emotions—the love of beauty, art, music, literature, culture, refinement, etc. That they sprung from the elemental soil, there can be no doubt; though the line of ascent is not so clearly discernible. From the original enjoyment of the experiences of the hunt, the battle, the conflict with nature, beasts and hostile men, have arisen the feelings and desires connected with games, sports, the drama, stories and other forms of recreation, exercise and “play.” Play has evolved directly from activities concerned with necessity, as all psychologists know; the desires based upon it are reflections of the older and cruder desires of the elemental nature.

From the deep recesses of man’s nature have sprung the feelings and desires connected with what is called “religion.” From the crudest beginnings, and the grossest forms of superstition, have sprung the beautiful plant and flower, blossom and fruit, of the highest conception of religion held by the most advanced of the race today. As Herbert Spencer said: “The ultimate form of the religious consciousness is the final development of a consciousness which at its outset contained a germ of truth obscured by multitudinous errors.” John Fiske said: “That inward conviction, the craving for a final cause, the theistic assumption, is itself one of the master facts of the universe, and is as much entitled to respect as any fact in physical nature can possibly be.” Darwin holds that the religious feelings, emotions, affections and desires are highly complex, consisting of love, complete submission to an exalted and mysterious superior being, coupled with a strong sense of dependence, fear, reverence, gratitude, hope for the future, and perhaps many other elements.

And so, the evolution of man’s desires has proceeded from lowly elemental beginnings and sources to wonderful heights and endings. But the sources and soil must never be forgotten when you consider the subject of the essential nature of Desire. Moreover, be it noted, in times of great stress, necessity, or unusual conditions, it is found that the forms and phases of Desire which have evolved last in the scale—the latest comers into the family of Desire—are the first to be discarded by the man or woman; then follow the next recent, and so on, until if the necessity be sufficiently great and the pressure of circumstances sufficiently strong, the individual tends to revert to the primitive type and to manifest only the most elemental and primitive forms and phases of feeling and Desire. The “cave man” is far nearer to the surface of civilized humanity than most persons realize. Shipwrecked men, men lost in the wild places of earth, men in times of famine and pestilence, often have shown a surprising tendency to revert in a remarkably short time to the plane of their primitive ancestors. It has well been asserted that “Civilization in man is only skin deep.”

Some idealistic thinkers who have become hypnotized by the dream of the culture and refinement which to them seems destined to be the common possession of the coming human race—a state of culture and refinement in which the elemental and fundamental instincts, feelings, emotions and desires of man will have been buried deep beneath the surface of things as unworthy and “un-nice”—are greatly disturbed when they are forced to see that at present, at least, the buried instincts are not entombed so very deep after all, and that they will not stay interred in times of storm and stress. They regard these facts as regrettable, and as something to be deplored by the race. To them the “elemental” is detestable—something to be apologized for. To them the surface feelings and desires are the only worthy ones—the feelings and desires of the great depths of human nature are unworthy, and to be regarded as bearing “the mark of the beast” upon them.

These idealistic thinkers overlook the fact that the Fires of Desire create the Steam of Will, and that the accomplishments of the race depend materially upon the fact that these inner fires be kept burning fiercely, with a dear draught, and free from clinkers and ashes. Civilization and refinement have brought much to man, without doubt, but many men reaching for their ideals of culture and refinement have lost much of their original, elemental power of Desire. They have allowed their fires of Desire to become deadened by the ashes of artificial civilization, and clogged with the clinkers of non-essential feelings and desires. They fail to see that the Fires of Desire require proper supervision and control; their drafts must be kept at least partially open, and their grates kept free from dead ashes and clinkers.

The men and women who have accomplished great success in any line of human effort have cleared away the ashes and clinkers of their Fires of Desire—they have kept the furnace clear and clean, and have opened wide the drafts when necessary. If you will carefully consider the strong, successful men and women in any walk of life, you will find that each and every one of them is filled (or has been filled during his or her period of intense activity) with this strong, insistent, elemental Desire-force of Nature—this active principle of Desire which manifests in a degree of “want” and “want to” which will not be denied. Differ as they may in their secondary qualities, these strong individuals nevertheless possess in common this essential primal quality, and they manifest it when required— it is one of the characteristic qualities of their class. It is this basic quality which has done much for them in their respective successful careers.

If you would succeed, you must get acquainted with that fierce, burning, insistent, elemental “want” and “want to” within your own nature, which perhaps has been hidden from sight under the accumulated ashes of the centuries of culture and refinement of the race, with its years of artificial methods of living which have followed in the train of civilization. Your primitive and elemental “want” and “want to” must be as strong as the vital demand of the drowning man for air; of the demand of the desert-lost or shipwrecked man for water; as the demand of the famishing man for food or the demand of the wild creatures of the forests and jungles for their mates; as the demand of the mother for the welfare of her children.

All of these forms of deep and burning Desire are expressions of the elemental forces and energies of Nature—of “the Will-to-Live”—the motive power of which Nature employs in the performance of her work, and by means of which she accomplishes her purpose. You do not need to employ this elemental energy in the same manner or in the same direction as that followed by the primitive man or the wild creature, however—you may transmute it into a higher order of expression, and a higher plane of manifestation. You may transform Desire into Ambition or Aspiration—but in doing so you must not fail to preserve every ounce of the essential and elemental energy and strength of this fundamental principle of Nature—the Principle of Desire.

The Principle of Desire in Nature, in its constant pressure toward manifestation and urge toward expression, while apparently concerned more with the preservation and welfare of the species, and of the race, than with the welfare of particular individuals—while often apparently indifferent to the welfare of the individual creature, and concerned apparently only with the preservation of the species—nevertheless acts always upon the principle that the species and the race can be served only by means of service rendered to the individual. Therefore, while it manifests a tremendous amount of energy in the maintenance of the reproductive desires and activities, at the same time it serves highly important offices in the support and development of the individual creature.

Biologists hold that the principle of Desire, working along subconscious lines, is the moving cause of the physical and mental evolution of the life-forms. The presence of an obstacle to progress is seemingly noted by the Life Principle, or the Will-to-Live, and thereupon an increased degree of Desire Power is generated and manifested in the life-form. The Desire Power always moves toward the securing of that which will promote the efficiency of the creature, and which thereby increases its chances of survival in the struggle for existence—the fight against environment. It sets into operation the life-processes which make for change in the physical and mental equipment of the creature, and which proceed by evolutionary development to unfold the needed physical or mental equipment.

A writer on the subject of the Hindu philosophies, in considering the teachings of those philosophies concerning the presence and power of Desire in Nature, says:

“In the Hindu classic, the ‘Mahabarata,’ it is related that Brahma created the most beautiful female ever known, and called her Tillotama. He presented her to all the gods in turn, in order to witness their wonder and admiration. Siva’s desire to behold her was so great that it developed in him four faces, in succession, as she made the tour of the assembly; and Indra’s longing was so intense that his body became all eyes. In this myth may be seen exemplified the effect of Desire in the forms of life, function, and shape—all following Need and Desire, as in the case of the long neck of the giraffe which enables him to reach for the high branches of the trees in his native land; and in the long neck and high legs of the fisher-birds, the crane, the stork, the ibis, and others of the great family.

“The Will-to-Live finds within itself a desire to create suns, and they are evolved. It desires planets to revolve around the suns, and they are thrown off the suns in obedience to the law. It desires plant-life, and the plant forms appear, working from lower to higher form. Then came animal life, from monad to man. Some of the animal forms yielded to the desire to fly—and lo! wings were gradually evolved, and the world was filled with birds. Some of the animals felt a desire to burrow in the ground, and lo! came the moles, the gophers, and other burrowers, each fitted with physical and mental equipment for their particular modes of life. Nature wanted a thinking creature, and lo! man-like forms began to evolve, and finally Man with his wonderful brain came and manifested his powers.”

Lamarck’s theory of evolution follows the line of the Hindu thought above noted far nearer than does that of Darwin. Darwin taught that evolution was due primarily to, or was accomplished chiefly through, Natural Selection and the Survival of the Fittest. Lamarck, while admitting the importance of these elements, nevertheless insisted that in that impulse of Nature which is akin to “Desire arising from Need” is to be found the primal urge toward evolution and progress in the living forms. Lamarck held that Need and Desire are back of, and precede, function and form in living things, the latter being the consequences of the Desire.

The Oriental teaching concerning the power of Desire in evolutionary development, which is being closely followed in some of the most advanced forms of our Western philosophy, does not hold that this Creative Desire is manifested chiefly along the lines of consciousness as we know it. On the contrary, it manifests far more commonly below the plane of ordinary consciousness—on the planes of subconsciousness, instinct, appetency, etc. The “want” is there, though the creature does not experience it in its surface consciousness. It exists in plant-life, as well as animal—manifesting in each according to its needs.

In response to this “below consciousness” Desire, the plants have evolved means of protection for themselves and their seeds—bark and the hard-covering of the nuts, the spines of the cactus, the thistles, etc., have been evolved in accordance to this Creative Desire. The sweetness of the berries, designed to attract the birds which eat them and thus distribute the seeds, have resulted from the same cause—this rule holding good in the case of the color of the flowers, and the honey contained within them, both of which has been evolved in order to attract the insects which serve to carry pollen and thus fertilize the flowers. The burrs, containing seed, which fasten to the wool of the sheep and other animals, and are thus carried to a distance and are distributed—these too have been evolved in response to Need and Desire.

In the same way the tusks, teeth, fangs, and claws of animals—the stings of insects—and all the wonderful offensive and defensive equipment of living things, have been evolved in response to Need and Desire. The hard shells of the crustaceans, the turtles, the armadillos—the spines of the porcupine and the hedgehog—the keen eye and powerful wings of the eagle— the swiftness of the hawk—the bill of the woodpecker—all have been evolved under the same law.

The story of the evolution of the horse from its original form of the Eohippus to its present form gives us a striking illustration of the principle. In response to the law of Need and Desire, manifesting along the lines of evolution, the Eohippus—a small animal no larger than a domestic cat, with several toes on each foot, with teeth resembling those of the monkey or the pig, with short neck, arched back, and rather short legs—has developed by eleven or more distinct stages to the horse of today—with its long legs, long neck, straight back, complex and long grinding teeth, hoofs, and large size. This almost incredible development has been due to the Need of the animal arising from its changing environment, and the Desire proceeding from that Need.

Man, today, has evolved into the conscious and self-conscious plane of life; but his Desire Power still is latent within him, awaiting his call upon it. Just as it has built up the bodies and brain of the animals through the slow stages of evolution, so it will build for man the mental and physical characteristics indicated by his Need—provided that he will only “want it hard enough,” and will arouse and stir into activity the great store of elemental, primitive Desire Power within himself. He may set it to work for himself along conscious lines, just as Nature set it to work for herself along subconscious lines in the past. That which has performed such great creative work in the past, can and will perform equally wonderful creative work now, provided that it is called upon properly, and is set to work under the direction of Intellect and Will, definitely and purposively employed.


Attraction of Desire Power

Not only does the principle of Desire Power manifest itself in the direction of unfolding, evolving and developing new attributes and powers in living things, so as to supply the demand created in them by Need, as we have explained in the preceding section of this book, but it also proceeds to accomplish similar purposes and ends by means of another important phase of power possessed by it, i. e., the power of Attraction.

“Attraction” is defined as, “an invisible power in a body by which it draws anything to itself; the power in Nature acting mutually between bodies or ultimate particles, tending to draw them together, or to produce their cohesion of combination, and conversely resisting separation.” The term, “Attraction,” is derived from two Latin terms, viz., “ad,” meaning “to”; and “trahere,” meaning “to draw”; the two being combined in the derivative Latin term, “attractus,” meaning “a drawing together.”

In physical science, the principal forms of Attraction are gravitational attraction, the chemical affinity of the atoms, the cohesive attraction of the molecules, the attraction of electrified bodies, and the attraction of the magnet exerted upon iron or steel. In psychology, the principal forms of attraction are those arising between living beings by reason of their mutual “likes”—the force called “Repulsion” (being the negative form of Attraction) acting in the same manner but in an opposite direction, and resulting from mutual “dislikes.”

While freely admitting that the Attraction and Repulsion existing in and manifested between living things is the result of the action of “in-forces” rather than of outside forces, physical science has usually held that the Attraction and Repulsion existing in and manifested between non-living objects and things is the result of some outside stress or strain operating on the objects or things, though the nature of such outside forces is admitted to be unknown and mysterious.

Of late years, however, there has been a decided tendency toward the acceptance of the hypothesis that even non-living objects and things (as, for instance, the chemical elements and particles of matter) possess the property of “like or dislike” for certain other objects and things, and the power to respond to such inner states. This hypothesis attributes Attraction and Repulsion in inanimate things to “in-forces” rather than to outer forces,—thus bringing inanimate and animate objects under the same general Law of Attraction.

While this new hypothesis throws a most interesting light upon the subject of “chemical affinity” and other forms of physical Attraction and Repulsion—showing that even the atoms have their “loves and hates” and their response thereto— we shall not consider this aspect of the subject, inasmuch as it lies outside of the field of our present work. Instead, we shall consider that phase of the new knowledge which has an important bearing upon the subject of the nature and power of the Attraction of Desire in living things. If “chemical affinity,” magnetism, etc., are really manifestations of the power of “like and dislike”—in short, of Desire—then the Attraction of Desire in living things is seen possibly to possess a power of “drawing” which is but little suspected by the average person.

The “mental scientists,” and the other schools of practical metaphysics, for the last quarter-century or more have been teaching “the attractive power of thought,” i. e., the doctrine that thoughts have an attractive power tending to attract or to draw toward a person the things and conditions corresponding to the character of his general thought. The new knowledge concerning Desire Power in inanimate things serves to explain scientifically the undoubted facts advanced by the metaphysicians to support their own theories. Here, however, it is seen that Desire rather than Thought is the chief mental attracting power. Inasmuch, however, as the “attractive thought” of the metaphysicians is usually inspired and energized by the Desire Power of the person exercising it, it is seen that the two teachings incline to blend and harmonize with each other rather than to oppose and contradict each other.

The many instances of the coordination between different living things—between plant and insect, for instance—by means of which each supplies to the combination that which the other lacks, which has long puzzled the scientific observer, is now explainable under this new hypothesis of the Attraction of Desire. The plant requires the services of the insect in order to perpetuate its species. It attracts the insect by reason of its Desire Power having evolved the honey which the insect requires for food; and by means of advertising the presence of the honey through the colors of the flowers. There is a correlation between flower and insect which has arisen by reason of Desire Power. The curious adaptations of the food requirements of certain plants, and the apparently instinctive response of certain chemicals to these, furnish us with other striking examples. Different things “need” each other in order to express their respective natures and to manifest their respective destinies—and so they “attract” each other. Science furnishes us with many examples of this reciprocal service and correlation.

Passing by the more general aspects and phases of this important and wonderful operation of Nature’s Finer Forces, and proceeding directly to those phases of the general process which are immediately concerned with the human individual, we would say that the essential spirit of this particular operation may be stated in the following aphorism: “The strongest and most persistent desires of the individual tend to attract to him (or him to) that which is closely related to or correlated with those desires.” That is to say: the strong insistent desires of a person tend to attract to him those things which are closely related to such desires; and, at the same time, tend to attract him toward those related things. The Attractive Power of Desire operates in two general ways, viz., (1) to attract to the individual the things closely related to his desires; and (2) to attract the individual to such related things.

It is as yet not known exactly how Nature proceeds in this important process of Attractive Desire or Desire Power, but in a general way it may be said that the action is chiefly performed on the planes of the subconscious mentality rather than on the planes of ordinary consciousness; and that the general class of mental activity known as “telepathy” undoubtedly is called into play in the process. The entire subject is involved in the general activities of “the subconscious,” as, indeed, are all similar subjects. Whatever may be the correct hypothesis, however, the truth of the main facts of the Attraction of Desire is a matter of the actual experience of the race, and is corroborated by the incidents of actual experience occurring in the life of nearly every person manifesting definite purpose, insistent desire and determined will.

In your own experience, in all probability, you have experienced many cases of the operation of this subtle law of Nature. You have become intensely interested in some particular subject, and your desire for further ‘progress and attainment along the lines of that subject has been actively aroused. Then you have noticed the strange and peculiar way in which persons and things related to that subject have come under your observation and attention—sometimes even being apparently forced upon you apart from any act on your part. In the same way, you have found yourself attracted in certain directions in which, unknown to you, were to be found persons or things related to the subject of your desire, information concerning that subject, conditions in which the subject was involved or being manifested. In short, you have found that things happened “as if” you were either attracting persons, things, and circumstances to you, or else that you were being attracted, drawn, or “led” to such persons, things, or circumstances.

Under such conditions, you will find arising on all sides certain events connected with and related to the subject of your desire; books containing information concerning it; persons having some connection with it; conditions in which that subject plays an important part. You will find, on the one hand, that you seem to have become a centre of attraction for things, persons and circumstances related to that subject; or, on the other hand, that you are being attracted to certain centres of attraction related to that subject. In short, you will discover that you have set into operation certain subtle forces and principles which have “correlated” you with all related to that subject.

More than this, you will find that if you will maintain for a considerable time a continuous and persistent interest and desire in that particular subject, you will have established a vortex-centre of attraction for that which is related to the subject. You will have set into operation a mental whirlpool, steadily spreading its circumference of influence, which draws into itself and to your central point the related and correlated things, persons, and circumstances. This is one of the reasons why after you “get things going” in any particular line of interest and desire, things tend to “come easier” to and for you as time passes. In such cases, that which required enormous effort in the earlier stages seems to move almost automatically in the later ones. These are matters of common and almost universal experience with those who have been actively engaged in any particular line of work in which strong interest and insistent desire have been aroused and maintained.

You must not, however, hastily jump to the conclusion that all forms of Mental Attraction are Desire Attraction. The general Mental Attitude has its corresponding attractive power; the mental states of Confident Expectation—of Hope and Fear, respectively—also have their attributes of attractive influence. But the attractive power and influence of Desire is far more fundamental than are the other forms and phases of Mental Attraction, and, in a way, may be said to be the basic form. These matters are mentioned here solely for the purpose of preventing misunderstanding and confusion.

So, you see, Desire Power tends not only to develop and evolve within you the qualities and powers necessary to enable you to manifest and express yourself along the lines of the desires persistently held by you; it also tends to attract to you, and you to them, the things, persons, circumstances and conditions related to or correlated with the subject of such desires. In other words, Desire Power employs every means at its disposal in order to express and manifest itself more fully, and (through you) to attain its object and end—its greatest possible degree of satisfaction and realization. When you have thoroughly aroused Desire Power within you, and have created for it a strong, positive focal centre of influence, you have set into operation powerful forces of Nature, operating along subconscious and invisible lines of activity. In this connection, remember the adage: “You may have anything you want—if you only want it hard enough.”

The attractive force of Desire Power operates in many different ways. In addition to the “drawing power” operating along the lines of “something like telepathy” of which we have spoken, it also operates in other ways on the subconscious planes of the mind in order to influence, guide and direct the person to the other persons, things, conditions, and circumstances related or correlated to or with the particular desire which is being persistently and insistently held by that person. Under its influence, the subconscious mentality raises to the levels of consciousness new ideas, thoughts, plans, which if applied will tend to “lead” the person in the direction of the things which will serve to aid him in the realization of those desires which he is insistently harboring.

In this way, the person is led to the related things, just as in the other ways the things are led to him. Desire Power pushes, as truly as it pulls—it urges you forward as truly as it attracts things to you. In some cases the process is entirely subconscious, and the person is amazed when he finds “by chance” (!) that he has “stumbled upon” helpful things in places in which he had least expected to find them, and in places to which he had apparently been led by Chance. But there is no Chance about it; persons are undoubtedly “led to” helpful things and conditions, but by Desire Power operating along the lines of the subconscious mentality, and not by Chance.

Many successful men could tell (if they would) how often in their respective careers, at critical times, the most peculiar happenings have been experienced by them, seemingly “by chance” or “by accident,” which served as the means of transforming defeat into victory. In this way they acquired “by chance” some important bit of information serving to supply the missing link in their mental chain, or else giving them a clue to that which had previously escaped their thought. Or, perhaps, they unexpectedly “ran into” the person who afterward turned out to be the one particular person who alone could have helped them in certain ways. Or, again, they have picked up at random the particular newspaper, magazine, or book which either gave them the required information, or else mentioned some other book or thing which filled the need.

These things happen so often, and in such a striking way, that many men of active experience have learned to expect them, to rely upon them, and to act upon them. Not knowing the true underlying causes of the happenings, they usually refrain from mentioning their experiences to their friends for fear of being regarded as superstitious or credulous; but if the subject happens to be introduced in confidential conversation between men of this kind, it will be found that the instances cited are numerous, and are so strikingly similar in general nature that the careful thinker is forced to the conclusion that there is some fundamental principle involved in the events, and that there is a logical sequence of cause and effect indicated.

Not knowing the true cause of these happenings, men are prone to ascribe them to “luck,” fate, destiny, chance, or else to think of them simply as “one of those things beyond explanation.” Some men who have become familiar with them have learned to recognize them readily when they experience them, by reason of a “feeling” that “here is another of those things.” They learn to distinguish between a mere general and vague notion, and a “sure enough hunch.” Sometimes, men think that these things are the result of the aid of a kindly Providence operating in their behalf; others feel that they have helpers “on the other side”; still others feel that there is “something almost uncanny” about the whole thing; but so long as it is perceived to operate in their behalf all are willing to take advantage of the aid of the Unknown Power.

Of course, the subconscious mentality of the individual is the “helper,” or “directing genius” in such cases, and the happenings are merely phases of the general phenomena of the Subconscious. But, nevertheless, Desire Power is the animating principle involved. The subconscious mentality, like the conscious mentality, is energized and aroused into activity by the urge of Desire Power. Desire Power employs every possible form of energy, activity and motive-power at its command; and also presses into service all kinds of machinery and instruments, mental and physical. The Fire of Desire kindles every faculty of the mind, on conscious and subconscious planes, and sets them all into active work on its behalf. Without Desire Power in some form or phase, none of these faculties would manifest activity; where activity is manifested by them, there is always implied the presence and urge of Desire Power.

Sometimes Desire Power will operate in strangely indirect ways in order to accomplish its results. By means of the “under the surface” perception of the subconscious faculties, Desire Power seemingly perceives that “the longest way ’round is the quickest way home,” and it proceeds to cause the individual to pursue that “longest way ’round” in order to attain his desire in the shortest possible time. In such cases it often acts so as to upset and overturn the plans which one has carefully mapped out; the result makes it seem to one that failure and defeat, instead of victory and success, have come to him. It will sometimes tear the person away from his present comparatively satisfactory environment and conditions, and then lead him over rock roads and hard trails; and finally, when he has almost despaired of attaining success, he finds it literally thrust upon him.

Such instances are not invariable, of course, but they occur sufficiently often and with such characteristically marked features that they must be recognized. It often happens that, as one who has experienced it has said, “It seems as if one were grabbed by the back of his neck, lifted out of his set environment and occupation, dragged roughly over a painful road, and then thrust forcibly but kindly upon the throne of success, or at least into the throne-room with the throne in plain sight before him.”

But, at the last, those who have experienced these strenuous activities of Desire Power operating through the subconscious nature and in many other ways are found to agree universally in the statement, “The end justified the means; the thing is worth the price paid for it.” It requires philosophy and faith to sustain one when he is undergoing experiences of this kind, but the knowledge of the law and principle in operation will of course greatly aid him. The right spirit to maintain in such cases is that expressed in the phrase of the A. E. F. in France, “It’s a great life, if you don’t weaken.”

Desire Power employs freely the subconscious faculties in its work of Realization through Attraction. It employs these in man just as it employs them in the case of the homing pigeon, the migrating birds, the bee far from its hive—it supplies the “homing instinct” to the man seeking success, as well as to the animal seeking refuge. It is said that animals separated from their mates, seemingly are attracted to them over long distances. Lost animals find their way home, though many miles over strange country have to be traveled. Let a person establish a “refuge” for birds, and the birds will soon begin to travel toward it—even strange species from long distances putting in an appearance. Water fowls travel unerringly toward water; the roots of trees manifest the same sense of direction toward water and rich soil.

In high and low, the Law of Desire Attraction manifests its power. Man is under the law, and may even cause the law to work for him when he understands its nature. Man may harness Desire Power just as he has harnessed other great forces of Nature—may harness it and set it to work for him. Once set to work for him, this power will work “without haste, and without rest” toward the end impressed upon it—it will work for him while he is awake and working otherwise, and when he is asleep and resting from his conscious work. Desire is the “force of forces,” because it is the inmost kernel of all the other forms of natural force, physical or mental. All force depends upon inner Attraction or Repulsion—and these are but the manifestation of Desire Power, positive or negative.


Knowing What You Want

In the preceding sections of this book we have called your attention to the aphorism, “You may have anything you want—if you only want it hard enough.” This aphorism is embodied in the Master Formula of Attainment which is set forth constantly in the instruction contained in the series of books of which the present volume forms a part. The Master Formula of Attainment, stated in popular form, is as follows:

“You may have anything you want, provided that you (1) know exactly what you want, (2) want it hard enough, (3) confidently expect to attain it, (4) persistently determine to obtain it, and (5) are willing to pay the price of its attainment.”

We shall now ask you to consider three of the above five elements of the Master Formula of Attainment, viz., the element of Definite Ideals, or “knowing exactly what you want”; the element of Insistent Desire, or “wanting it hard enough”; the element of Balanced Compensation, or “being willing to pay the price of its attainment.” Each of these three elements is highly important, and should be carefully examined and considered. Let us begin with the first requisite, i. e. “Knowing exactly what you want.”

When you consider the question, “Exactly what do I want?” you will be apt to regard it as one quite easy to answer. But after you begin to consider the question in detail, and in real earnest, you will discover two very troublesome obstacles in your way on the road to the correct answer. The two obstacles are as follows: (1) the difficulty in ascertaining a clear and full idea of your desires, aspirations, ambitions, and hopes; and (2) the difficulty in ascertaining which ones of a number of conflicting desires, aspirations, ambitions, and hopes you “want” more than you do those opposing them.

You will find yourself filled with “the divine discontent” of a general dissatisfaction with your present condition, circumstances, possessions, and limitations. You will feel, perhaps strongly, the “raw desire” of the elemental Desire Power within you, but you will not have clearly outlined in your mind the particular directions in which you wish that elemental force to proceed into manifestation and expression.

You will often feel that you wish that you were somewhere other than where you now are; that you were doing something different from what you are now doing; that you possessed things other and better than you now possess; or that your present limitations were removed, thus giving you a wider and fuller expression and manifestation of the power which you feel to be within you: all these general feelings will be experienced by you, but you will not be able to picture clearly to yourself just what “other things” you really want to take the place of those which are now your own.

Then, when you attempt to form the clear picture, and definite idea, of what you want, you will find you want many things, some of them opposing each other, each offering attractive features, each bidding actively for your favor and acceptance— thus rendering a choice and definite decision very difficult. You find yourself suffering from an embarrassment of riches. Like the perplexed lover in the song, you say, “How happy would I be with either, were t’other fair charmer away.” Or, like the psychological donkey who was placed at an equidistant point between two equally tempting haystacks, and who died of hunger because he couldn’t make up his mind which one he wanted most, you may remain inactive because of strong conflicting desire-motives.

It is because of one or both of the above-mentioned conditions that the great masses of persons do not avail themselves of the great elemental urge of Desire Power. It is there, ready to exert its power, but they lack definite direction and power of decision, and so remain, like the vegetables or the lower animals, content to allow Nature to work along the instinctive lines of self-protection, propagation, etc., without employing initiative or self-direction.

The few of the race who break these barriers, and who strike out for themselves, are found to have known very clearly “just what they wanted,” and to have “wanted it hard,” and to have been willing to pay the price of attainment. In order to set to work the forces of Desire Power in a special direction, the individual must make clear an ideal path over which they may travel, as well as to arouse the forces so as to cause them to travel over that path.

Self-Analysis. You will find that a scientific application of the principle of Self-Analysis, or mental stock-taking, will aid you materially in overcoming the two great obstacles in the Path of Attainment, which we have just mentioned. Self-Analysis in this case consists of a careful analysis of your elements of Desire, to the end that you may discover which of these elements are the strongest, and that you may clearly understand just what these strongest elements are really like in character. You are advised to “think with pencil and paper” in this work of self-analysis—it will greatly aid you in crystallizing your thought and, besides, will give a definite and logical form to the results of your work.

The following suggestions and advice will aid you materially in this task.

Begin by asking yourself the question: “What are my strongest desires? What do I ‘want’ and ‘want to’ over and above anything and everything else? What are my highest Desire-Values?” Then proceed to “think with pencil and paper,” and thus to answer your important question above stated.

Take your pencil and begin to write down your strongest desires—your leading “wants” and “want tos”—as they come into your consciousness in response to your inquiry. Write down carefully the things and objects, the aims and ideals, the aspirations and ambitions, the hopes and confident expectations, which present themselves for notation in the course of your mental stock-taking. Note all of them, without regard to the question of whether or not you ever expect to be able to secure or attain them.

Put them all down on the list, no matter how ridiculous and unattainable they may seem to you at the time. Do not allow yourself to be overcome by the magnificent aims and ideals, aspirations and ambitions, which thus present themselves. Their very existence in your Desire-nature is, in a measure, the prophecy of their own fulfillment. As Napoleon once said: “Nothing is too magnificent for a soldier of France!” You are that soldier of France! Do not impose limitations on your Desire-nature in this way. If a magnificent desire is within you, it should be respected—so put it down on the list.

By this process of Self-Analysis you bring to the surface of your consciousness all the various feelings, desires; longings; and cravings which have been dwelling in your subconscious mind. Many of these deep desires are like sleeping giants—your exploration of your subconscious mental regions will arouse these—will cause them “to sit up and take notice,” as it were. Do not be frightened by these awakening sleepers. Nothing that you find there is alien to you. Even though you may find it necessary to transmute them, or to inhibit them in favor of more advantageous desires, at a later stage of your work, do not now deny them a place on your list—put them down on paper. The list must be an honest one, therefore be honest with yourself in the analysis.

At first, you will find that your list is a more or less higgledy-piggledy conglomeration of “wants” and “want tos,” apparently having but little or no logical order or systematic recitation. Do not let this disturb you, however—all this will be taken care of as you proceed; order and arrangement will establish themselves almost automatically when the proper time arrives. The main thing at this stage is to get all of your stronger desires into the list. Be sure to exhaust your subconscious mine of strong desires—dig out of that mine anything and everything that has strength in it.

The next step is that of the cold-blooded, ruthless, elimination of the weakest desires, with the idea and purpose that in the end there will be a “survival of the fittest” on your list. Begin by running over your list, striking off the weaker and less insistent—the mere temporary and passing—desires, and those which you clearly recognize as likely to bring you but little if any permanent satisfaction, continued happiness and lasting content.

In this way you will create a new list of the stronger desires, and those having a greater permanent and satisfying value. Then, examining this list, you will find that some of the items will still stand out from the others by reason of their greater comparative strength and greater degree of permanent value. Make a new list of these successful candidates, including only those possessing the greatest strength and value to you, and dropping the others from the list. Then continue this process of elimination of the weakest and the least satisfying until you reach that point where you feel that any further elimination would result in cutting away live wood.

By this time you will have become aware of a most significant and important fact, namely, that as your list has grown smaller, the strength and value of the surviving desires have grown greater. As the old gold-miners expressed it, you are now “getting down to pay dirt”—getting down to the region in which the nuggets and rich ore abide. When you have reached this stage, you will do well to stop work for the time being; this will give you a needed mental rest, and will also furnish your subconscious mentality with the opportunity to do some work for you along its own particular lines.

When you again take up your list for consideration, you will find a new general order and arrangement of its items pictured in your mind. You will find that these remaining desires have grouped themselves into several general classes. Your subconscious mental faculties will have performed an important task for you. Then you will be ready to compare these general classes, one with the other, until you are able to select certain classes which seem stronger than the others. Then you will be ready to proceed to the task of eliminating the weaker general classes, making a new list of the stronger ones.

After working along these general lines for a time, with intervals of rest and recuperation, and for subconscious digestion and elimination, you will find that you have before you a list composed of but a comparatively few general classes of “wants” and “want tos”—each of which possesses a far greater degree of strength and value than you had previously suspected. Your subconscious mind has been working its power upon these classes of desires, and they have evolved to a higher stage of strength, definiteness, clearness and power. You are beginning at last to find out “just what you want,” and are also well started on your way to “wanting it hard enough.”

General Rules of Selection. In your task of selection, elimination, “boiling down,” and chopping away the dead wood, etc., you will do well to observe the three following general Rules of Selection:

I. The Imperative Requisite. In selecting your strongest desires for your list, you are not required to pay attention to any fears lurking in your mind that any of the particular desires are apparently unattainable—that they are beyond your power of achievement, and are rendered impossible by apparently unsurmountable obstacles. You are not concerned with such questions at this time and place—ignore them for the present. You are here concerned merely with the question of whether or not your “want” or “want to” concerning a certain thing is felt “hard enough” for you to sacrifice other desirable things— whether you feel that the particular desire is of sufficient value for you to “pay the price” of its attainment, even though that price be very high. Remember the old adage: “Said the gods to man, ‘Take what thou wilt—but pay for it!’” If you are not willing to “pay the price,” and to pay it in full, then you do not “want it hard enough” to render it one of your Prime Desires.

II. The Test of Full Desire. We have told you that, “Desire has for its object something that will bring pleasure or get rid of pain, immediately or remote, for the individual or for some one in whom he is interested.” Therefore, in passing upon the comparative strength and value of your respective desires, or general classes of desires, you must take into consideration all of the elements of Desire noted in the above definite statement—the indirect as well as the direct elements of personal satisfaction and content.

You must weigh and decide the value of any particular desire, or class of desires, not only in the light of your own immediate satisfaction and content, but also in the light of your own future satisfaction and content; not only in the light of your own direct satisfaction and content, but also in the light of your indirect satisfaction and content derived from the satisfaction and content of others in whom you are interested. Your future satisfaction and content often depend upon the sacrifice of your present desire in favor of one bearing fruit in the future. You may be so interested in other persons that their satisfaction and content has a greater emotional value to you than the gratification of some desire concerned only with your own direct satisfaction and content. These Desires-values must be carefully weighed by you. If you leave out any of these elements of Desire, you run the risk of attaching a false value to certain sets of desires. You must weigh and measure the value of your desires by the use of the standard of the full content of Desire.

III. Seek Depth of Desire. You will find it advisable to omit from your list all purely superficial and transient feelings, emotions and desires. They have but a slight value in the case. Instead, plunge into the deep places of your mental being or soul; there you will find abiding certain deep, essential, basic, permanent feelings, emotions and desires. In those regions dwell the “wants” and the “want tos” which when aroused are as insistent and as imperative as are the want of the suffocating man for air; the want of the famished man for food; the want of the thirsting man for water; the want of the wild creature for its mate; the want of the mother for the welfare of her child.

These deep desires are your real emotional elements—the ones most firmly and permanently imbedded in the soil of your emotional being. These are the desires which will abide when the transient, ephemeral ones have passed and are forgotten. These are the desires for which you will be willing to “pay the price,” be that price ever so high in the form of the sacrifice and relinquishment of every other desire, feeling or emotion. Measure your desires by their essential depth, as well as by their temporary weight. Select those which are embedded so deeply in the soil of your emotional being that they cannot be uprooted by the passing storms of conditions and circumstances.

The Struggle for Existence. You are now approaching the final stages of your discovery of “just what you want.” You now have a list of Insistent Desires—the survivors in the Struggle for Existence on the part of your many desires and classes of desires. If you have proceeded earnestly and honestly in your work of Self-Analysis and Selection, you will have a group of sturdy Desire-giants before you for final judgment. By a strange psychological law these surviving candidates have taken on much of the strength and energy of those which they have defeated in the struggle; the victors will have absorbed the vitality of those whom they have defeated, just as the savage hopes to draw to himself the strength of the enemies killed by him in battle. Your Desire Power has now been concentrated upon a comparatively small group of desires, with a consequent focusing of power.

You will now find that your “wants” and “want tos” have arranged themselves into two great classes, viz., (1) the great class of those desires which while different from other desires, or classes of desires, are not necessarily contradictory to them nor directly opposed to them; and (2) the great class of those desires which are not only different, but are also actually contradictory and opposed to other desires or classes of desires.

The merely “different” classes may abide in mutual harmonious existence and relation with or to each other, just as do light and heat, or the color and odor of a flower. But two contradictory and opposing classes of desires cannot co-exist and coordinate their energies in the same individual; both remaining in the fore, there will be friction, inharmony, strife, and mutual interference.

One might as well try to ride two horses moving in different directions, as to try to maintain in equal force two opposing or contradictory sets of desires. The two sets, each one pulling in an opposite direction and with equal strength, will bring the Will to a standstill. The individual, in such a case, will either oscillate between the two attracting poles, or else he will come to a “dead centre” between them. Something must be done when you find an opposing set of desires of this kind well to the fore in your category of strong desires. You must set in operation a process of competition, from which one set must emerge a victor and the other set be defeated.

In this process of competition, you will need to employ your best and keenest powers of analysis and judgment. In some cases the matter may be settled quickly, and the decision easily arrived at, because when your full attention is turned upon the two competitors, one will be seen to stand out so much more clearly than the other that the latter will be almost automatically retired. The full power of Reason and Feeling focused in such a case will usually result in a quick and sure decision.

But there are instances in which both of the opposing sets of desires seem to possess an equal power and value in your emotional and intellectual scale. Here you are apparently in the condition of the poor donkey, previously mentioned, who starved to death because he was unable to decide which of the two haystacks was to be eaten. The matter must be decided by the introduction of an additional element which will add weight to one set or the other, and thus bring down the balance on that particular side. This added element is usually found in one or the other of the following two classes of mental processes, viz., (1) Imagination, and (2) Association. Let us consider each of these.

The Element of Imagination. The imagination, employed in the case of the desire-conflict now before us, usually is very effective in bringing about a decision. In employing it, you have but to imagine yourself, first, in the actual possession of the object of the one set of desires; and then, instead, in possession of the object of the second set. In this process you draw upon your own recollections and experiences, and upon your recollection of the experiences of others. You imagine “how it would feel” to have attained the object of, first, this “want” or “want to,” and then that one. You place yourself in imagination in the position that you would occupy in case you should attain the object of this desire or of that one. Then you pass judgment as to which seems to be the better, i. e., to afford the greater degree of satisfaction and content, present and future, direct and indirect.

This process has the advantage of overcoming the handicap placed upon a future satisfaction in favor of a present one. The future experience is brought into the field of the present, and thus may be compared with a present experience relieved of the handicap of time. This is a matter of great importance, for ordinarily the present-time value of an emotional feeling or desire is far greater than that of a past-time or future-time value of a similar experience. The test of imagination usually results in (1) strengthening the present value of a really advantageous emotional feeling and desire, and (2) in weakening the present value of an apparently advantageous, but really disadvantageous, one. The use of the memory and the imagination is to be highly recommended in the task of deciding the real and actual value of an emotional state or desire.

The Element of Association. The element of association introduced into a desire-conflict will often result speedily in a determination and decision in favor of one side as against the other. Association will add strength to one set of desires, and will weaken the opposing set, in most cases. The Association of Ideas is that psychological law which binds one set of ideas, or mental states, to others; so that by bringing one set into consciousness we tend to bring there also the associated sets. In the present case we bring into consciousness the associated consequences of each set of desires.

You may proceed to apply the test of Association as follows: Seek to uncover and discover as many as possible of the associated results of the attainment of the set of desires in question—strive to think of “what else will happen” in case you attain that set of desires. This is something like inquiring into the family and social connections of two rival suitors or sweethearts—weighing their respective relations and associations and the probable future consequences of marriage with either of them.

It is always well, in cases of doubt concerning the comparative value of conflicting sets of desires, to consider carefully just what other things are associated with each of the two respective sets of desires—just what other results are likely to accompany the attainment of the object or end of each set of desires under consideration. In other words, you should ascertain the kind of relations and friends possessed by each of the rival suitors or sweethearts. In this way you will often find that one of the two apparently equal sets of desires has some very agreeable and advantageous relations and associates, while the other has some very disagreeable and disadvantageous ones.

You thus discover, figuratively speaking, “just what kind of family you are marrying into”; and you thus take stock of the respective associated and related “in laws,” friends, associates, and entanglements of each of the suitors. This is of great value, since in spite of the oft asserted statement that “I am not marrying the whole family,” one usually really does do just that very thing.

The idea of the application of the test of Association in such cases may be expressed in a few words, as follows: The real test of any particular desire depends not alone upon the immediate results likely to accompany its attainment, but also upon the associated and related results which follow in its train of association and correlation—the results which necessarily “go with it,” and which are so closely bound up with it that they cannot easily be detached from it. In some cases, the test of Association will reveal the fact that the price of the attainment of a certain set of desires is excessive—often actually prohibitive. In other cases, on, the contrary, you will find by this test that you are getting a great bargain by reason of the “extras” which go with the thing itself. The objects of some desires are thus found to be “damaged goods”; while those of others are found to have an associative value not apparent to the casual observer.

An Appeal to the Touchstone. In cases in which careful analysis, deliberation, the tests of imagination and association, and all other means of weighing and measuring, trying and testing, fail to reveal the advantage of one set of desires over the opposing set, resort must be had to the Touchstone of Positivity so often referred to in this instruction. The Touchstone by which the Positivity of any mental state, thought, feeling, desire, or action is determined is as follows: “Will this tend to make me stronger, better, and more efficient?” In the degree that any mental state meets the requirements of this test, so is its degree of Positivity and consequent desirability.

In testing two sets of conflicting desires in this way, you ask yourself: “Which of these two desires, if attained, will tend to make me stronger, better, and more efficient?” This is the Test Question. The answer should represent your final decision in the matter. The Touchstone is your Court of Last Resort, to be appealed to when all other tests have failed. Its report represents the best, highest, and most valuable elements, mental, moral, and spiritual, within your nature; all that is worst in you is absent therefrom. It represents your Summum Bonum—your Chief Good.

The Survival of the Fittest. By this time, your list of desires has resolved itself into a schedule or inventory of a few strong, dominant, prime desires, and of a larger number of lesser ones. The strongest desires should be finally tested in order to discover whether they are merely “different” from each other, or whether they are essentially mutually antagonistic and contradictory.

If they come under the latter category, then they must be pitted against each other until one of the pair wins the victory, and one goes down in defeat; for two sets of this kind must not be permitted to dwell permanently in your region of Desire: “a house divided against itself shall not stand.” There must be fought a fight to the finish. One of the opposing sets must be rolled in the dust, while the other stands proudly erect as the victor. The defeated one, thereafter, must be compelled to say, “After you, monsieur,” as our French cousins politely express it.

If two sets of desires are merely “different,” and are not essentially and necessarily conflicting and antagonistic, then they may be permitted to remain dwelling in mutual peace and harmony, at least for the time being. This permission, however, is conditioned by the fact that there must not be too many of such sets occupying the front seats of Desire at the same time.

The tendency should always be in the direction of concentration and focused energy; you should beware of scattered power and energy arising from a great diversity of desires and aims.

If you discover that there are too many strong “different” desires left after you have reached this stage of selection and elimination, you should carefully weigh each remaining set, subjecting it to the tests of memory, imagination, association and rational judgment, discarding all that are not found profitable and sufficiently advantageous. If you find that any of your desires cost you more than you get out of them; get rid of all those which do not pay for their keep.”

Continue until you have left only a comparatively few sets of desires, all of proved value and superlative emotional strength and depth. These should be recognized as well worth the price which you are prepared to pay for their maintenance and support. Treat in the same way any new desires which arise within you. Test them just as you have tested their predecessors, and insist that they prove that they are “worth while” before you decide to keep them. If they cost you more than you get out of them, discard them. Insist that they shall “pay their keep” and yield you some emotional profit beside. Run your emotional and desire establishment on business principles.

You have now finally reached the stage in which you have on your list nothing but your Dominant Desires—the survivors in the Struggle for Existence—the Survival of the Fittest. These Dominant Desires must thereafter rule your emotional realm. Any new comer must prove its worth by a test of strength with these Dominant Desires—if it shows its strength, and is able to hold its place, very well; it may be added to the list. Those going down in defeat must be eliminated. This will require strength and determination on your part—but you are a strong and determined individual, or at least are becoming one.

The process of Self-Analysis and Selection which you just considered will furnish you with two classes of reports, viz., (1) it will demonstrate to you your strongest classes of desires—your Dominant Desires; and (2) it will cause you clearly and definitely to picture and form a strong idea of each of such Dominant Desires. In both reports it will cause you to “know exactly what you want,” which is the first requisite of the Master Formula of Attainment.


Wanting It Hard Enough

According to the Master Formula you must not only know exactly what you want,” but must also “want it hard enough,” and be “willing to pay the price of its attainment.” Having considered the first of the above stated three requisites for obtaining that which you want, we ask you now to consider the second requisite, i. e., that of “wanting it hard enough.”

You may think that you “want it hard enough” when you have a rather keen desire or longing for anything, but when you compare your feeling with that of persons manifesting really strong, insistent desire, you will find that you are but merely manifesting a “wish” for that for which you have an inclination or an attachment. Compared to the insistent “want” or “want to” of thoroughly aroused Desire, your “wish” is but as a shadow. The chances are that you have been a mere amateur—a dilettante—in the art and science of “wanting’ and “wanting to.” Very few persons really know how to “want” or “want to” in such manner as to arouse fully the elemental forces of Desire Power.

An old Oriental fable illustrates the nature of Desire aroused to its fullest extent. The fable relates that a teacher took his pupil out on a deep lake, in a boat, and then suddenly pushed him overboard. The youth sank beneath the surface of the water, but rose in a few seconds, gasping for breath. Without giving him time to fill his lungs with air, the teacher forcibly pushed him under once more. The youth rose to the surface the second time, and was again pushed under. He rose for the third time, almost entirely exhausted; this time the teacher pulled him up over the side of the boat, and employed the usual methods to restore him to normal breathing.

When the youth had fully recovered from his severe ordeal, the teacher said to him: “Tell me what was the one thing that you desired above all other things before I pulled you in—the one desire to which all other desires seem like tiny candles compared with the sun?” The youth replied, “Oh, sir; above all else I desired air to breathe—for me at that time there existed no other desires!” Then said the teacher, “Let this, then, be the measure of your desire for those things to the attainment of which your life is devoted!”

You will not fully realize the measure of Desire pointed out in this fable, unless you employ your imagination in the direction of feeling yourself in the drowning condition of the youth— until you do this, the fable is a mere matter of words. When you can realize in feeling, as well as recognize in thought, the strength of the desire for air present in that youth, then, and then only, will you be able to manifest in expression a similar degree of Desire for the objects of your prime “wants” and “want tos.” Do not rest satisfied with the intellectual recognition of the condition—induce the corresponding emotional feeling in yourself to as great a degree as possible.

Varying the illustration, you will do well to induce in yourself (in imagination) the realization of the insistent, paramount desire for food experienced by the starving man lost in the dense forest in mid-winter. The chances are that you never have been actually “hungry” in the true sense of the term; all that you have mistaken for hunger is merely the call of appetite or taste—the result of habit. When you are so hungry that an old, stale, dry crust of bread will be delicious to your taste, then you are beginning to know what real hunger is. Those men who, lost in the forest or shipwrecked, have tried to satisfy intense hunger by gnawing the bark of trees, or chewing bits of leather cut from their boots—these men could give you some interesting information concerning hunger. If you can imagine the feelings of men in this condition, then you may begin to understand what “insistent desire” really means.

Again, the shipwrecked sailors adrift at sea with their supply of water exhausted; or the desert-lost man wandering over the hot sands with a thirst almost inconceivable to the ordinary person; those men know what “insistent desire” means. Man can live many days without food; but only a few days without water; and only a few minutes without air. When these fundamental essentials of life are withdrawn temporarily, the living creature finds his strongest and most elemental feelings and desires aroused—they become transmuted into passions insistently demanding satisfaction and content. When these elemental emotions and desires are thoroughly aroused, all the derivative emotional states are forgotten. Imagine the emotional state of the starving man in sight of food, or the thirst-cursed man within reach of water, if some other person or thing intervenes and attempts to frustrate the suffering man’s attainment of that which he wants above all else at that time.

Other examples of insistent desire may be found in the cases of wild animals in the mating season, in which they will risk life and defy their powerful rivals in order to secure the chosen mate. If you ever have come across a bull-moose in the mating season, you will have a vivid picture and idea of this phase of elemental desire raised to the point of “insistent demand.”

Again, consider the intense emotional feeling, and the accompanying desires experienced by the mother creature in connection with the welfare and protection of her young when danger threatens them—this will show you the nature and Desire Power character of elemental desire aroused to its fullest extent. Even tiny birds will fight against overwhelming odds in resisting the animal or man seeking to rob their nests. It is a poor spirited mother-animal which will not risk her life, and actually court death, in defense of her young. The female wild creature becomes doubly formidable when accompanied by her young. “The female of the species” is far “more deadly than the male” when the welfare of its young is involved. The Orientals have a proverb: “It is a very brave, or a very foolish, man who will try to steal a young tiger-cub while its mother is alive and free in the vicinity.”

We have called your attention to the above several examples and illustrations of the force of strongly aroused elemental emotions and desires, not alone to point out to you how powerful such desires and feelings become under the appropriate circumstances and conditions, but also to bring you to a realization of the existence within all living things of a latent emotional strength and power which is capable of being aroused into a strenuous activity under the proper stimulus, and of being directed toward certain definite ends and purposes indicated by the stimulus. That this strength and power is aroused by, and flows out toward, the particular forms of stimulus above indicated is a matter of common knowledge. But that it may be aroused to equal strength, power, and intensity by other forms of stimulus (such stimulus having been deliberately placed before it by the individual) is not known to the many; only the few have learned this secret.

We ask you to use your imagination here, once more, for a moment. Imagine an individual who has “his mind set upon” the attainment of a certain end or purpose to such a degree that he has aroused the latent Desire Power within him to that extent where he “wants” or “wants to” that end or purpose in the degree of strength, power, insistency, and fierceness, manifested by the drowning man who “wants” air; by the desert lost man who “wants” water; by the starving man who “wants” food; by the wild creature who “wants” its mate; by the mother animal who “wants” the welfare of its young. This is the individual in whom the elemental Desire Power has been aroused to such an extent, and directed toward the attainment or achievement of his Dominant Desire. How would you like to compete with such a man for the attainment of that object of his Desire Power? How would you like to be the opposing obstacle standing directly in his path of progress and attainment? How would you like to play with him the part analogous to that of one who would try to snatch away the bone from a starving wolf, or pull the tiger cub from the paws of its savage mother?

This is an extreme case or illustration, of course. Very few individuals actually reach the stage indicated—though it is not impossible by any means; but many travel a long way along that road. The strong, successful men who have “made good,” who have “arrived,” who have “done things,” in any line of human endeavor, will be found to have travelled quite a distance in that direction, on the road of Desire. They have aroused within themselves the strong, elemental Desire Power which abides in latency in the depths of the mental and emotional being—the “soul,” if you will—of every human creature; and have caused that elemental force to pour through the channels of the particular Dominant Desires which they have brought to the surface of their nature from the depths of the subconscious self.

Look in any direction you may, and you will find that the strong, masterful, dominant, successful men are those in whom Desire Power has been aroused and directed in this way. These men “know what they want”—just as the drowning man, the starving man, the thirst-cursed man, the wild mating creature, the mother creature, each knows what he or she wants—they have no doubts concerning their Dominant Desires. And these men also “want hard enough” that which represents their Dominant Desires—just as did the drowning man, the starving man, and the rest of our illustrative examples. And, like those examples, these men were also “willing to pay the price.”

Run over the list of the successful men and women with whose careers you are acquainted. Place on that list the great discoverers, inventors, explorers, military men, business men, artists, literary men and women, all those who have “done things” successfully. Then check off name after name, as you discover the biographical report of the Desire Power manifested by these individuals. You will find that in each and every case there were present the “Definite Ideals, Insistent Desire, Confident Expectation, Persistent Determination, and Balanced Compensation,” which constitute the Master Formula of Attainment of our instruction. And this second requisite—the “Insistent Desire”—is found to be this elemental Desire Power directed into the appropriate channels of manifestation and expression. These individuals “knew just what they wanted”; they “wanted it hard enough”; and they were “willing to pay the price.”

It is this spirit of “wanting it hard enough” that distinguishes the men and women of strong purpose and determination from the common herd of persons who merely “wish for” things in a gentle, faint, conventional way—that distinguishes the true “wanters” from the dilettante “wishers.” It was the recognition of this spirit in men that caused Disraeli to say that long meditation had brought him to the conviction that a human being with a settled purpose, and with a will which would stake even existence itself upon its fulfillment, must certainly accomplish that purpose.

“But,” you may say, “admitting the truth of your premise, how am I to proceed in order to arouse the dormant latent Desire Power within me, and to cause it to flow forth in the direction of the attainment of my Dominant Desires?” Answering the question, we would say, “Begin at the very beginning, and proceed to arouse and draw forth the latent Desire Power, by presenting to it the stimulus of suggestive and inciting ideas and pictures.” For, from beginning to end, there prevails the principle expressed in that axiom of psychology which says:

“Desire is aroused and flows forth toward things represented by ideas and mental pictures; the stronger and clearer the idea or mental picture, the stronger and more insistent is the aroused desire, all else being equal.”

You should proceed to apply this principle from the very beginning even at the stage of semi-awakened Desire Power. There abides within you a great store of latent, dormant Desire Power—a great reservoir of Desire Power which is almost dormant, but which contains within itself the latent and nascent powers of wonderfully diversified manifestation and expression. You will do well to begin by “stirring up” this great reservoir of Desire Power—arousing it into activity in a general way, to the end that you may afterward direct its power and cause it to flow forth into and along the channels of expression and manifestation which you have provided for it.

In the great crater of a mighty volcano of Hawaii, in plain sight of the daring visitor to the rim of the abyss, there abides a large lake of molten lava, seething and bubbling, boiling and effervescing in a state of hissing ebullience—a lake of liquid fire, as it were. This great fiery lake is comparatively calm on its surface, however, the ebullition proceeding from its depths. The whole body of fiery liquid manifests a rhythmic tide-like rise and fall, and a swaying from side to side of the crater. The observer is impressed with the recognition of a latent and nascent power of almost immeasurable possibilities of manifestation and expression. He feels borne upon him the conviction that this seething, rising and falling, swaying, tremendous body of liquid fire, if once fully aroused into activity, would boil and seethe up to the edge of the crater, and overflowing would pour down into the valleys beneath carrying before it and destroying every obstacle in its path.

This great lake of molten lava—this great body of liquid fire— is a symbol of the great body of latent and nascent Desire Power abiding within every individual—within YOU. It rests there, comparatively inactive on the surface, but ever manifesting a peculiar churning ebullition proceeding from its great depths. It seethes and boils, effervesces and bubbles, rises and falls in tide-like rhythm, sways in rhythmic sequence from side to side. It seems ever to say to you, “I am here, restless and disturbed, ever longing, craving, hankering for, hungering and thirsting for, desiring for expression and manifestation in definite form and direction. Stir me up; arouse my inner force; set me into action; and I will rise and assert my power, and accomplish for you that which you direct!”

In this stage of Desire Power, its most general stage, you will be filled with a vague discontent and dissatisfaction—a longing, wishing, lusting for, and striving toward expression and manifestation of some kind, though you know not just what it is you want nor just what you wish to do. The inclination and urge is there, but the direction is lacking. Here, Desire Power manifests in but a vague sense of unrest—in an almost unconscious urge and striving toward outward expression—in an almost unconscious inclination or tendency toward outward manifestation and action toward more or less definite ends. But even here there is the presence of Idea which has stirred up and is calling forth the latent and nascent Desire Power; but that Idea is merely that of a general urge toward outward expression and manifestation—it arouses but a general discontent with the present state, accompanied by the conative urge toward the achievement of a better condition, state, or channel of expression.

Some good teachers maintain that there is no possible development of Desire Power at this stage, and, indeed, no need for it. But we, the present writers, feel that this is a mistake. We believe that even at this early stage or phase of Desire Power, it is possible to arouse and stimulate it into activity, to the end that it may later be directed into definite channels of expression and manifestation. Moreover, we believe that Nature has proceeded in just this way in her numerous sharp advances, rises, and “jumps” in the evolutionary process, in which the living things have made progress at a rate far beyond the normal. We believe that Nature has caused a “bubbling over” at such periods, and has caused the overflowing Desire Power to seek new and wider channels of manifestation.

Of course, we realize that this stirring up or agitation of your latent Desire Power is apt to—in fact, certainly will—create additional Discontent on your part; but what of it? Some philosophers praise the Spirit of Contentment, and say that Happiness is to be found only therein. Be that as it may, it may be as positively asserted that all Progress proceeds from Discontent.

It is, of course, very philosophical to follow the advice, “If you can’t have what you like, you must like what you have,”—this idea produces a certain feeling of content. But we would add to the aphorism the following qualifying clause, viz., “but you can’t be sure that you can’t have what you like, until you have exhausted all possible means of getting it.”

While admitting the value of Content, at the same time we believe in preaching the “Gospel of Discontent” to a sane degree and extent. We believe that Discontent is the first step on the Path of Attainment. We believe that it is just this very Divine Discontent that causes men and women to undertake the Divine Adventure of Life, and which is back of and under all human progress. Content may be carried quite too far. Absolute Content results in Apathy and Lethargy—it stops the wheels of Progress. Nature evidently is not Content, else it would cease to manifest the process of Evolution. Nature has evidently been ever filled with the Spirit of Discontent, judging from her invariable manifestation of the Law of Change. Without Discontent and the Desire to Change, there would be no Change in Nature. The Law of Change shows plainly Nature’s opinion on the subject, and her prevailing feelings and desires in the matter.

You will do well to begin by “treating” your great body of elemental Desire Power for increased activity, and for the transmutation of its static power into dynamic power— bringing it from its state of semi-rest into the state of increased restlessness and tendency to flow forth into action. You may do this in the same way that you will later employ in the case of specific, particular, and definite desires, i. e., by presenting to it suggestive and inciting ideas and mental pictures!

Begin by presenting to your elemental Desire Power the suggestive idea and mental picture of itself as akin to the great lake of molten lava, or liquid fire, filled with latent and nascent energy, power, and force; filled with the elemental urge toward expression and manifestation in outward form and action; able and willing to accomplish anything it desires to do with sufficient strength, providing a definite channel is provided for its flow of power. Show it the picture of itself as ready and willing to transmute its static energy into dynamic force, and to pour forth along the channels which you will provide for it— and above all else, quite able to do this if it will but arouse itself into dynamic action. In short, present to its gaze your idealistic and ideative mental equipment in the form of the surface of a great mirror, reflecting the picture of the elemental Desire Power as it presents itself to that mirror—let Desire Power see itself as it is. Supply Desire with its complementary Idea.

You will do well to accompany this mental picture with a verbal statement or affirmation of the details of that picture. Treat your elemental Desire Power as if it were an entity—there is a valid psychological reason for this, by the way—and tell it in exact words just what it is, what are its powers, and what is its essential nature displaying the disposition to express and manifest itself in outward form and activity. Pound these suggestive statements into it, as firmly, earnestly and persistently as you can. Supply the Desire Power with the element of Idea and Mental Pictures. Give it the picture of what it is, and the pattern or diagram of what it can do if it will.

The result of this course of “treatment” applied to your elemental Desire Power will soon show itself in an increased feeling of more vigorous rhythmic tidal-movement and side-to-side movement, as previously described; and in an increased rate and vigor of its seething, boiling, effervescing ebullition. From its depths will arise mighty impulses and urges, upheavals and uprisings. The great molten-lake of Desire Power will begin to boil with increased vigor, and will show an inclination to produce the Steam of Will. You will experience new and strange evidences of the urge of Desire Power within you, seeking expression and manifestation along the channels which you have provided for it. As yet, however, the desires will not have taken on definite form or direction; they will manifest merely in the state which has been called that of “Raw Desire”—the great elemental general Desire Power immanent in all things.

But before reaching this stage, you must have created the channels through and in which you wish the overflowing Desire Power to flow when it reaches the “boiling over” stage. These channels must be built along the lines of those desires which you have proved to be your Dominant Desires. Build these channels, deep, wide and strong. From them you can afterward build minor channels for your secondary and derivative desires arising from your Dominant Desires. At present, however, your main concern is with your main channels. Let each channel represent the clear, deep, strong idea and mental picture of “just what you want” as you clearly see and know it. You have found out exactly what you want, when you want it, and how you want it; let your channels represent as closely as may be just these ideas. Build the banks high, so as to obviate any waste; build the walls strong, so as to stand the strain; build the channel deep and wide, so as to carry the full force and quantity of the current.

By “creating the channels” of your Dominant Desires; we mean establishing the paths to be traversed by the overflowing current of Desire Power which you have aroused from its latent and nascent condition. These channels or paths are created mentally by the employment of Creative Imagination and Ideation. These mental forces proceed to manifest in the direction of creating and presenting to your consciousness the ideas and mental pictures of your Dominant Desires which you have discovered in your process of Self-Analysis. The work of creating these channels is really but a continuation of the mental work performed by you in the discovery of your Dominant Desires.

In creating these channels you should observe three general rules, as follows:

(1) Make the Channels Clear and Clean by creating and maintaining a clear, clean, distinct, and definite idea of each of your Dominant Desires, in which idea the entire thought concerning the Dominant Desire is condensed and in which there is no foreign or non-essential material.

(2) Make the Channels Deep and Wide by forming mental pictures or suggestive ideas appealing to the emotional feelings associated with the Dominant Desires, and thus tempting the appetites of those desires by the representation of the objects of their longing, and by the presentation of imaginative pictures of the joys which will attend their final achievement and attainment.

(3) Make the Banks Strong by means of the employment of the Persistent Determination of the Will, so that the powerful swift current may be confined within the limits of the Dominant Desire and not be permitted to escape and waste itself by scattering its energy and force over the surrounding land.

When your current is flowing freely, you will find it necessary to build minor channels serving to bring about the attainment of objects and ends helpful to the accomplishment of the objects and ends of the major channels. In building these minor channels, follow the same general rules and principles which we have given you. From the great main channels down to the tiniest canal the same principle is involved. Always build clear and clean, by means of definite ideas and aims; always build deep and wide, by means of suggestive ideas and mental pictures; always build strong banks, by means of the determined will.

In concluding this consideration of the second requisite, i. e., the element of “wanting it hard enough,” we wish to impress upon your mind the tremendous vitalizing, and inciting power exerted by Suggestive Ideas and Mental Pictures upon Desire Power. Suggestive Ideas and Mental Pictures act upon Desire Power with a tremendous degree of effect in the direction of inciting, arousing, stirring, stimulating, exciting, spurring, goading, provoking, moving, encouraging, animating, and urging to expression and manifestation. There are no other incentives equal to these. All strong desires are aroused by such incentives, consciously or unconsciously applied.

For instance, you may have no desire to visit California. Then your interest in that part of the country is aroused by what you read or hear concerning it, and a vague desire to visit it is aroused in you. Later, information in the direction of giving you additional material for suggestive ideas and mental pictures serves to arouse your desire to “go to California.” You begin to search eagerly for further ideas and pictures, and the more you obtain the stronger grows the flame of your desire. At last, you “want to hard enough”, and brushing aside all obstacles you “pay the price” and take the trip across the plains. Had you not been furnished with the additional suggestive ideas and mental pictures, your original desire would soon have died out. You know by experience the truth of this principle; you also know how you would use it if you wished to induce a friend to visit California, do you not? Then start to work using it on your Desire Power when you wish to incite it into “wanting hard enough” something that you know to be advantageous to you!

It is customary to illustrate this principle by the figure of pouring the oil of Idea upon the flame of Desire, thereby keeping alive and strengthening the power of the latter. The figure of speech is a good one—the illustration serves well its purpose. But your memory and imagination, representing your experience, will furnish you with one a little nearer home. All that you need do is to imagine the effect which would be produced upon you if you were hungry and were able to form the mental picture or create the suggestive idea of a particularly appetizing meal. Even as it is, though you are not really hungry, the thought of such a meal will make your mouth water.

Again, you may readily imagine the effect produced upon you, when you are parched and intensely thirsty on a long ride, by the vivid mental picture or strong suggestive idea of a clear, cold spring of mountain water. Or, again, when in a stuffy, ill-ventilated office you think of the fresh air of the mountain-camp where you went fishing last Summer,—when you picture plainly the joys of the experience—can you deny that your Desire Power is intensely aroused and excited, and that you feel like dropping everything and “taking to the woods” at once.

Raising the principle to its extreme form of manifestation, try to imagine the effect upon the famishing man of a dream of plentiful food; the dream of the thirst-cursed man in which is pictured flowing fountains of water. Try to imagine the effect upon the mate-seeking wild bull-moose of the far-off bellow of the sought-for mate—would you like to impede his path on such an occasion. Finally, picture the emotional excitement and frenzy of desire on the part of the tigress when she comes in sight of food for her half-starved cubs; or her force of desire when she hears afar-off the cry of distress of her young ones.

In order to “want” and “want to” as hard as do these human beings and wild things which we have employed as Illustrations, you must feed your Desire Power with suggestive ideas and mental pictures similar in exciting power to those which rouse into action their dominant and paramount “want” and “want to.” Of course, these are extreme cases—but they serve to illustrate the principle involved.

In short, in order to “want it hard enough,” you must create a gnawing hunger and a parching thirst for the objects of your Dominant Desires; this you must intensify and render continuous by repeatedly presenting with suggestive ideas and mental pictures of the Feast of Good Things, and the Flowing Fountain, which awaits the successful achievement or attainment of the desires.

Or, you must be like the half-drowned youth wanting “a breath of air” above all else—wanting it with all the fierce energy of his soul and being; and you must ever keep before you the suggestive idea and mental picture of “all the air there is” which is to be found just above the surface of the water of Need in which you are now immersed. When you can create these mental and emotional conditions within yourself, then, and then only, will you really know just what it is to “want hard enough.”

Think well over this idea, until you grasp its full meaning!


Paying the Price

According to the Master Formula, in order to get what you want you must not only know exactly what you want,” not only “want it hard enough,” but also “be willing to pay the price of its attainment.” We have considered the first and the second of these elements of successful attainment; let us now consider the third one, and learn what it means to “be willing to pay the price of attainment.”

This final element of successful attainment—this last hurdle in the race—often is the point at which many persons fail: riding gallantly over the first several hurdles, they stumble and fall when they attempt to surmount this final one. This, not so much because of the real difficulty in passing over this obstacle, but rather because they are apt to underestimate the task and, accordingly, to relax their energies. Thinking that the race is practically over, they fail to observe care and caution and thus meet failure. With the prize almost in hand, they relax their efforts and lose it.

The Law of Compensation is found in full operation in the realm of Desire, as well as in every other field and region of life and action. There is always present that insistence upon Balance which Nature invariably demands from those who seek her prizes. There is always something to be given up, in order that something else may be gained. One cannot have his pie and his dime at the same time—he must spend the dime if he would buy the pie. Neither can one keep his dime and yet spend it. Nature boldly and plainly displays her sign, “Pay the Price!” Once more let us quote the old adage: “Said the gods to man, ‘Take what thou wilt; but pay the price’.”

When in actual experience you perform the process of selection of the Dominant Desires, with its attendant Struggle for Existence and Survival of the Fittest among the competing desires, even then you are beginning to “pay the price” of the attainment of your Dominant Desires; this because you are setting aside and relinquishing one or more sets of desires in favor of a preferred set. Every set of desires has its opposing set, and also other sets which would to some extent interfere with its full manifestation; you must “pay the price” of attainment of the one set of desires by relinquishing the other sets.

In order to attain the object of your desire for wealth, you must “pay the price” of relinquishing desires for certain things which would prevent you from accumulating money. In order to attain the object of your desire for all possible knowledge in some particular field of study and research, you must “pay the price” of relinquishing your desires for a similar degree of knowledge in some other field of thought and study. In order to attain the object of your desire for business success, you must “pay the price” of hard work and the passing by of the objects of your desires for play, amusement, and enjoyment which would necessitate the neglect of your business. And so on; to attain the object of any one set of desires, you must always “pay the price” of the relinquishing of the objects of other sets of desires.

In some cases, this process of the inhibition of opposing desires is akin to that of weeding your garden, or of pruning your trees—getting rid of the useless and harmful growths which interfere with the growth and development of the useful and advantageous thing. In other cases, however, the desires which you must inhibit and put away from you are not in themselves harmful or useless. On the contrary, they may be very advantageous and useful in themselves, and may be actually worthy of being adopted as Dominant Desires by others; but, at the same time, they are of such a nature as to prove an obstacle to your progress along the line of your own chosen Dominant Desires.

Things may oppose and antagonize each other without either of them being harmful or “bad” in themselves. You cannot travel at the same time both forks of the road; nor can you travel north and south on any road at the same time; though either of these courses of travel may be good in itself. You cannot very well be a successful clergyman and a successful lawyer at the same time; if you have strong desires for both of these careers, you must choose the one you desire more and set aside the other. The girl with the two attractive suitors—the man with the two delightful sweethearts—the child with the dime, gazing longingly at the two different tarts—each must choose one and pass by the other, and thus “pay the price.”

Not only in the preliminary process of discovering and identifying your Dominant Desires are you called upon to “pay the price,” but you are equally called upon to do so at almost every subsequent step and stage of your progress in actual experience. There is always something presenting itself to tempt you into “sidetracking” your Desire Power; some alluring desires which beckon you from the straight Path of Attainment. Here you will find that it is hard to “pay the price”; and often you will gravely question yourself, asking if the things represented by the Dominant Desires are, after all, worth the price you are being called on to pay for them. These temptations and struggles come to all—they constitute one of the tests whereby it is determined whether you are strong or whether you are weak in regard to your Desire Power. Here is the real test of whether or not you “want it hard enough” to make you willing to “pay the price.”

Particularly difficult to overcome and conquer are those temptations which induce you to relinquish your desire for future attainment in favor of the gratification of present desires; or which tempt you to forego the attainment of permanent future benefits in favor of temporary, ephemeral present benefits. The tempter whispers in your ear that you are foolish to content yourself with the skim-milk of the present in the hope of obtaining the full cream of tomorrow. The ever-present suggestion to “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die” must be boldly confronted and conquered if you wish to attain the object of that which your reason and judgment, as well as your self-analysis, has shown that you really want above everything else. The habit of saying: “Get thee behind me Satan!” must be cultivated; and when you have got him behind you, look out lest he give you a push from behind!

Here you determine whether or not you really “want it hard enough.” The drowning man is in no doubt concerning the value of the breath of air. He is willing to “pay the price of it,” no matter how high that price may be. The famishing man knows the value of food—the parched man knows the value of water: they are willing to “pay the price,” and are not liable to be sidetracked from their Dominant Desire. The bull-moose seeking his mate is willing to “pay the price” of danger and possible death lying in his path—but you cannot sidetrack him. The mother tiger cannot be sidetracked from the pursuit of food for her hungry cubs—she is willing to “pay the price” of risk of life without hesitation. When you begin to “want it hard enough” along the same lines, and reaching toward the same degree of intensity and insistence manifested by these creatures, then you will not hesitate to “pay the price”—to pay it in full, and without hesitation; when you reach this stage the tempter will whisper into ears deaf to his voice.

In order to hold the current of Desire Power within the bounds of your channels of Dominant Desire, the banks must be erected and kept in a state of strength by Will Power. The “Will to Will” must be called into manifestation. While Desire is one of the fundamental elements of Will, it is not all of Will. Will is a subtle combination of Conative Desire and of Purposeful Determination. It springs from Desire, but it evolves into something which is capable of mastering Desire by its power of “Willing to Will.” In the book of this series entitled “Will Power” the subject of Will in all of its phases is considered in detail. Those who are specially interested in this phase of the general subject are referred to the said book—it should prove helpful to them.

Here follow three general rules which you should note very carefully in connection with the subject of inhibiting and setting-aside the temptations of conflicting desires—of those desires which are constantly springing up and tempting you to forego “paying the price,” or to become “sidetracked” from the Path of Attainment of your Dominant Desires. Two of these rules are along the lines of which we have spoken in connection with the influence of Representative Ideas upon Desire Power.

I. Under temptation by sidetracking desires, use every effort to feed the Flame of Desire of your Dominant Desires, by an increased supply of suggestive ideas and mental pictures tending to stimulate its beat and incite its energy.

II. At the same time, strenuously avoid feeding the flame of the tempting desires by suggestive ideas and mental pictures likely to arouse or incite them. On the contrary, carefully and positively refuse to admit such ideas and pictures to your mind so far as is possible; seek to starve the fires of such desires by withholding from them the fuel necessary for their continuance and support.

The third rule involves another psychological principle, and is as follows:

III. So far as is possible, transmute the sidetracking desires into forms more in accordance with the general trend of the Dominant Desires, thereby converting them into helpful rather than harmful emotional energy.

In the case of the first rule above stated, you tend to inhibit the energy of the sidetracking desires by imparting additional energy to the Dominant Desires. When the attention is strongly attracted or held by the suggestive ideas and mental pictures of a strong set of desires, it is not easily diverted by those of a weaker set. The strong light of the former tend to cast the latter into a comparative shadow. The attention firmly concentrated and held upon one particular set of ideas and mental pictures refuses to accept the demand of another set. Keep the attention busy with the advantageous set, and it “will have no time” for the consideration of the opposing set. With these opposing suggestive ideas and mental pictures kept out of the field of conscious attention, the desires associated with them tend to die down and finally to disappear.

In the case of the second rule above stated you deliberately and determinedly refuse to feed the flame of the sidetracking desires with the fuel of suggestive ideas and mental pictures. Instead, you proceed deliberately and determinedly to starve that flame. No flame of desire can long continue to burn vigorously if its supply of suggestive fuel be cut off from it. Cut off the fuel supply of any desire, and it will begin to decrease in vigor and force. Refuse to allow your mind to dwell upon the ideas or mental pictures tending to suggest the sidetracking desires. When such ideas and pictures intrude themselves and seek to attract the attention, you must deliberately turn your attention to something else—preferably to the suggestive ideas and pictures of your Dominant Desires.

The Roman Catholic Church evidently recognizes the value of this rule, for its teachers instruct their pupils to form the habit of turning their attention to prayers and certain forms of devotional exercises when temptations assail them. The attention being directed to and held firmly upon the devotional exercise or ceremony, it is withheld from the suggestive ideas and mental pictures of the tempting desire; and, accordingly, the latter loses strength and in time dies away. Without detracting from the value of the religious element involved, we may say that it is certain that the purely psychological effect of such course is highly advantageous. You would do well to apply the principle in your own case.

In the case of the third rule above stated, you transmute the energy of the sidetracking desire into that of desires more in accordance with the general trend of your Dominant Desires. In this way you not only obviate the danger of the interference and distraction of the sidetracking desires, but also actually employ the basic energy of Desire Power to feed the flame of the advantageous desires. Here, the principle involved is not so well known as are those involved in the other rules; but that principle is sound, nevertheless, and is capable of being employed with remarkable results by the individual possessing sufficient will power and determination to apply it.

As an example of this principle of the transmutation of the form of Desire Force, let us point you to a fact well known to scientific observers, viz., that the energy of the sexual passions may be transmuted into the energy of any kind of mental or physical creative work. This fact is also known to priests and others who are called on for advice from those wishing to control passions of this kind. The explanation probably lies in the fact that sexual desire is essentially creative in its fundamental nature, and therefore is capable of being diverted to other forms of creative activity. But whatever may be the true explanation, it is a fact that the person experiencing strong intruding sexual desires may proceed to master and control them by means of engaging in some form of creative work in which the elemental creative energy is transmuted into other forms of creative force.

For instance, one may create by writing, musical composition, artistic work, or making and constructing things with the hands—in fact, by any kind of work in which things are made, put together, constructed, or created in any way. In all of such work, provided that sufficient interest is thrown into the task, it will be found that the strong impulse of the intruding sexual passions will gradually lose its force, and that the person will then experience a sense of new energy in the creative work which he has undertaken in order to transmute the previous form of Desire Power.

The experienced physician knows that the best possible prescription for certain classes of cases of this kind coming to him for treatment and advice is that of “interesting work” for head or hands or both. There is much truth in the old saying that “An idle brain is the devil’s workshop”, and the similar one that “The devil finds plenty of work for idle hands to do.” This principle may be set to work against “the devil,” by simply reversing its action by giving head and hands plenty to do.

Another illustration of this principle is found in the case of the beneficial effect of certain games—in fact, of nearly all games played in moderation. Here the sidetracking and distracting desires which seek to take one away from his appointed tasks, and from the manifestation of his Dominant Desires, are transmuted into the interest, feeling, and desires of Play. Play is a safety-valve of emotional feeling. It serves to transmute many a distracting desire into the conative energy expressing itself in an interesting game. This is true of games involving purely mental skill, as well as those in which physical skill is also involved. Baseball has been a wonderful benefit to the American people in this way. Golf is playing an important part in the direction of affording a “transmutation channel” of energy for busy men who tire under the somewhat monotonous strain of the strenuous pursuit of the object of their Dominant Desires. In cases of this kind, not only are the distracting desires transmuted in this way, but the games themselves give recreation, exercise and a restful change of occupation to the individual.

“Paying the price” of your Dominant Desires does not necessarily imply that you must give up everything in life not actually concerned in furthering the interests of those particular desires—in such case, indeed, you would probably actually injure your own interests by too closely restricting your circle of interest and attention. The real meaning of the injunction is that you must “pay the price” of giving up, inhibiting, or at least transmuting any and all desires which; directly and certainly oppose and seriously interfere with the attainment of the objects of your Dominant Desires. That price, indeed, you must be prepared to pay. In many cases, such desires may be transmuted into forms which will in a sense “run along with” the pursuit of the objects of your Dominant Desires, and thus be rendered helpful rather than harmful. Many emotional elements may be turned to account in this way by the process of transmutation. You should give some thought to this matter of transmutation when you are threatened by distracting and sidetracking desires.

Another form of “paying the price” is that of the labor and work to be performed by the individual in his task of attainment of the object of his Dominant Desires. This work and labor, however, is not alone performed by the exercise of the Persistent Determination of the Will, though this is the active element involved; there is needed also the inhibition and starving out of the conflicting or sidetracking desires which strive to draw the individual away from his appointed tasks and toward the actions requiring less work, and which for the time being seem to be richer in promise of pleasure and satisfaction.

The price paid by the men and women who have achieved marked success almost always is found to include self-denial, and sometimes even actual privation during the earlier days of the undertaking; work far in excess of that rightfully demanded of the wage earner, both in amount and in time is demanded of them; application and unwearied perseverance are required of them; indomitable resolution and persistent determination must be “paid” by them. There is here the constant giving up of the present pleasure in favor of that hoped for in the future. There is here the constant performance of tasks which might easily be avoided, and which are really avoided by the average person, but which are required to be performed by the individual who is inspired by the Dominant Desire and who is working for the accomplishment of “the one big thing.”

Napoleon “paid the price” in his earlier days when he refused to indulge in the frivolous pursuits of his fellow-students at Brienne, and instead, deliberately devoted his spare time to the mastery of the elements of military science and history. Abraham Lincoln “paid the price” when he studied the few books he could find by the light of the fireplace, instead of indulging in the pleasures and dissipations of the other young men of his neighborhood. Read the history of any successful man and you will find this invariable “paying the price” of study, application, work, self-denial, economy, thrift, industry, and the rest of the needful things.

Never delude yourself with the thought that you can escape “paying the price” of the attainment of the objects of your strong desires. The price must always be paid—the greater the object of attainment, the greater is the price demanded. But you will find that if you have learned how to “want it hard enough” then the price will be comparatively easy to pay—the thing will be deemed well worth it.

If you feel that the price that you are being called upon to pay for the object of your Dominant Desires is more than the thing is worth, then there is something wrong about the whole matter. In such case, you should carefully “take stock” of your feelings, weighing and comparing them carefully as we have suggested in our consideration of Self-Analysis, and selection of Dominant Desires. You may find that what you had supposed to be a Dominant Desire is not really such at all. Or you may find that you have failed to include some necessary element or phase of the Dominant Desire. Or, that you have failed to make some possible transmutation of distracting desires; or have failed to inhibit or starve out sidetracking desires. Or, possibly, that you have failed to feed the flame of your Dominant Desire properly. At any rate, there is something wrong in such a case, and you should seek the remedy.

While the Law of Nature provides that you must “pay the price” of the attainment of any and all desires, it also provides that the attainment must always be worth the price. If you find that the present and probable future value of any object of your desire is not worth the price you must be called upon to pay for it, then you should carefully consider the whole matter most critically, viewing it from all angles, and in the light of all possible relations and associations, with full deliberation concerning the probable consequences of an opposite course, and with thoughtful judgment concerning all alternative courses. The dissatisfaction may be merely temporary and passing, or on the other hand, it may be growing in strength and promise of permanency.

Any desire which upon careful consideration, deliberation, and judgment may seem not to “pay for its keep”—to be not worth its storage charges or floor space in your emotional nature—is a fit object for a final retrial upon its merits, a re-valuation of its points, in order to decide whether it shall be retained and treated for additional strength, energy, and emotional value, or else discarded and rejected. The test should always be: “Is this really worth while—worth the price I am called on to pay for it; would its rejection cost me more than its retention?” The Touchstone of Merit should be: “Does this render me stronger, better, and more efficient—and, therefore, more truly and permanently happier?”

In the history of philosophy we find many theories concerned with the matter of the satisfaction of pleasurable desires and the avoidance of pain—the achievement of the greatest possible amount and degree of “contenting of the spirit” of the individual. The ancient Greek philosophers especially devoted much attention to this particular subject—but they failed to come to a common understanding. The Epicureans held that the chief end of life is to obtain the greatest satisfaction of the pleasurable desires; the Stoics, on the contrary, held that the chief end of life is to avoid and escape pain. Between these two poles raged the conflict of thought on the subject. Some emphasized the fact that an excess of pleasure brings about a reaction of satiety and even actual pain; while even in continued pain there is to be found a compensating element of resignation and inner content of a spiritual nature.

Here, as elsewhere, the truth seems to lie between the two extremes—at the point of the Golden Mean. “Nothing too much” is the axiom of those who perceive the danger of proceeding to extremes in anything. They hold that while the satisfaction of the pleasurable desires is proper and good, yet there is an element of benefit even in a moderate degree of pain. Without pain, they say, there is no contrast by reason of which pleasure is appreciated, The escape from pain, or the avoidance of pain, is doubly pleasurable when the nature of the pain is known by experience. But, even here, we find the tacit admission that the chief end of life is the attainment of Happiness—the “content of the spirit”—for which all living things, consciously or unconsciously strive.

Perhaps the most practical of all the philosophical theories upon the subject of the securing of the maximum of pleasure and the minimum of pain is that theory without a name, but which is followed by many of the strongest and most successful men of the world. This theory combines the principles of both Epicurianism and of Stoicism, and seemingly blends them in a practical harmony. The cardinal principle of this practical philosophy may be expressed in the Following adage: “Sacrifice the lesser pleasure to the greater, taking into consideration the element of permanency and ultimate value. If any desire is found to result in a greater degree of pain than of pleasure, sacrifice it, unless it contributes to the success of a greater desire; if it results in a greater degree of pleasure than of pain, preserve it, unless it tends to weaken or to interfere with the success of a greater desire.”

In the consideration of the above, you must never lose sight of the fact that the “greater desires,” or the “greater pleasure,” may consist of the satisfaction arising from the performance of Duty, and of the practice of rational Altruism,—in fact, it often does so, for acts of duty, altruism, patriotism, self-sacrifice for an ideal, etc., are performed only when there is secured a greater “content of spirit” by the performance or practice, than by the opposite course.

So, at the last, recognizing that you must always “pay the price,” you are justified in seeking to get the greatest satisfaction for the price paid, and to refuse to accept emotional goods which are not worth the price demanded for them. There should be observed an “economy of desire,” by means of which the Law of Compensation is made to yield a full return for every expenditure. You should always “get your money’s worth” when you “pay the price”, and it behooves you to examine carefully the wares offered for sale on the counters of Desire. If you find that you have any unprofitable desires, not worth the price which you are continually being called upon to pay for them— do not hesitate to “scrap” them at once. At least, strive to retain only such Dominant Desires as will in the end enable you to say, honestly, to yourself: “It was well worth the price it cost; I am satisfied!”

You have seen that Desire is that emotional state which is represented by the phrase, “I want!” You have seen that “Desire has for its object something which will bring pleasure or get rid of pain, immediate or remote, for the individual or for some one in whom he is interested.” You have seen that “You always act according to your greatest ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ of which you are cognizant at the time.” You have seen that “The degree of force, energy, will, determination, persistence, and continuous application manifested by an individual in his aspirations, ambitions, aims, performances, actions and work is determined primarily by the degree of his desire for the attainment of the objects thereof—his degree of ‘want’ and ‘want to’ concerning that object.” You have seen that “Desire is the Flame that produces the Steam of Will,” and that, therefore, Desire is the source from which all human action springs.

You have seen that not only does Desire Power directly or indirectly cause all human action, but that it also sets into operation the Life Forces which develop the mental and physical faculties and powers of the individual along lines designed to further and more efficiently manifest and express the dominant desires of the individual. You have seen how Desire Power presses into service the powers of the subconscious mentality in the work of manifesting and expressing the strong desires. You have seen how the subconscious powers act so as to attract to the individual the things, persons, conditions, and circumstances serving to enable him to better manifest and express his sovereign desires; and how, in the same way, they tend to attract the individual to those things, persons, conditions, and circumstances. You have seen how Desire Attraction works silently, even when one is asleep, toward the end impressed upon it by the character of the strong desires.

You have discovered the importance of “knowing exactly what you want,” and have learned how to gain such important knowledge by Self-Analysis and Selection. You have discovered the importance of “wanting it hard enough,” and have learned how to feed the Flame of Desire so as to cause it to burn fiercely. You have learned how to set into motion and activity the great body of Elemental Desire, and how to cause it to flow forth through the channels of manifestation and expression which you have carefully built for its flood. You have discovered the necessity of “paying the price of attainment” of the objects of your desire, and have learned the general rules concerning such payment.

You have been informed concerning the tremendous power of the Desire Power within your being, and have become acquainted with the laws governing its manifestation and expression, and the rules regulating its control and direction. If you have entered into the spirit of this instruction, and have allowed its influence to descend into the subconscious depths of your mentality, you have already become aware of the aroused energy of the Desire Power in those depths. You will have found yourself filled with a new and unfolding consciousness of Personal Power within you. You will have experienced that intuitive feeling that there have been set into operation in you certain subtle but dynamic forces which will tend to make you “stronger, better, and more efficient.”

As you proceed to arouse into further activity these great forces of your nature, and to direct their channel of manifestation and expression, you will from time to time receive actual evidence and proof that you are travelling along the right road, and are employing the proper methods. You will be astonished to receive proofs and actual results in the most unexpected manner, and from sources and directions never dreamt of before. You will realize more and more, as you proceed, that you have set into operation one of Nature’s most potent forces, in fact, “the force of forces.” Finally, you will begin to realize that the very actual presence within you of a Dominant Desire which has won its place in the “struggle for existence,” and which has stood all the tests, is practically “the prophecy of its own fulfillment.”


Unconscious Desire

No modern consideration of the general subject of Desire Power would be complete without at least a passing reference to the psychological theories and teachings of the Freudian school—the school popularly known under the name “Psycho-Analysis.”

In the teachings of the founder of this school, Dr. Sigmund Freud, of Vienna, and in those of his followers, there is found the basic postulate of “the Unconscious,” i. e., a subconscious psychical element of our mental being the essence of which is Desire manifesting along the lines of subconscious mentation; this Unconscious Desire is held to employ the forces and powers of the subconscious mentality in order to effect its purposes and to satisfy its longings.

Freud employed the term “libido” to indicate the conative impulse of this Unconscious Desire. That term, however, having acquired a somewhat unpleasant connotation for English and American minds, the later writers in these two countries have frequently substituted the term “craving.” But whether it is called “libido,” or “craving,” the same essential striving and conative impulse of Unconscious Desire is sought to be indicated; and this craving, striving, and impulse to action constitute the essential nature of the Unconscious Desire of the Freudian philosophy.

Dr. Wilfrid Lay, one of the most popular American exponents of the Freudian philosophy, in his excellent work entitled “Man’s Unconscious Conflict,” says of the power of Unconscious Desire, and of its essential nature:

“In the Greek mythology the Titans are the children of Earth and Heaven and; because they warred with the gods, were cast into the gulf of Tartarus, where they lie prostrate, but occasionally, becoming restive, they shake their bonds, and in so doing cause the earth to tremble. In each one of us there lives a Titan. As the Titans represented the crude forces of nature that were later brought into subjection by the gods who introduced a reign of order, so the Titan that is in each one of us represents the primal impulses of animal life which have through the ages been brought into some semblance of order by the force of society. But just as the Titans in the old mythology made themselves felt in disturbances of the equilibrium of the world, so sometimes do the Titans residing in us all break loose and do much damage in our daily life. And as the Titans were chained in the deep pit, and could never show their faces to the light of day, so these primordial vital forces are generally controlled by the restraints of organized society, and are as little in evidence to most people as if they, too, were chained at the bottom of a pit. Their writhings, however, are not without effect on our daily thoughts and on our bodily functions. That part of our mental life of which as a general rule we know nothing, but which exerts a great influence upon our actions, is known in the newer psychology as the Unconscious, and in this book I frequently refer to it as the unknown Titan. * * * *

“These two theories—first, that a large part of our mental life is unconscious (unknown or unknowable), and second, that a creative force, by whatever name it may be called, is constantly impelling all animate life—have been used together in working out the science of Psycho-Analysis. The prime mover of the human soul, then, is its continual Craving for Life, for Love, and for Action. * * * The will to live, love and act, conditioned as it is by the power that has gone on living and loving and acting for countless generations, is the only source of all human strength.”

Thus, from the above-quoted statement concerning the nature and actions of the Unconscious Desire of the Freudians, you will see that the basic postulate of Freud and his followers is quite similar to that of Schopenhauer, von Hartmann, and others of the Voluntaristic school of philosophy referred to in the preceding sections of this book: in fact, the Freudians have built upon the original foundations of older philosophers just mentioned—the latter, in turn, had built upon still older foundations of Buddha, Heraclitus, and others of the ancient schools of philosophy. In all of such teachings will be found the fundamental postulate of a universal Something or Somewhat, the very essence or kernel of Nature, the inmost characteristic of which is an Insistent Desire, a craving, longing, striving, hungering, thirsting, moving toward action promising to “content its spirit.” In short, to employ the figure so often quoted by us in this instruction, it is “A Power with the Desire to Act; or a Desire with the Power to Act.”

The Freudians, however, do not pursue the metaphysical road in their treatment of the Unconscious Desire; they prefer the nearer and safer highway of psychology. They emphasize the fact that in human life and behavior the Unconscious Desire is the predominant moving-power. They labor strenuously to uncover the hidden unconscious sources for many of our supposed free, conscious actions; and in many cases they make out a very good case for the supremacy of the Unconscious, though in others their explanations and conclusions seem to be more or less forced or even fantastic. Passing by the extreme and radical theories of some of this school, it must be admitted that its teachings have done a great work in revealing to us the hidden springs from which flow the streams of thought, feeling and action which constitute our respective personalities.

Likewise, they have bestowed upon the race certain valuable, efficient methods of correcting abnormalities and faults arising from the uncontrolled operations of the Unconscious.

The Freudians throw an interesting light upon the real causes of many of our common everyday actions which we fondly imagine that we are performing of our own free will and by reason of certain conscious motives. The teachers show us that these “certain conscious motives” are not at all the real motives of our actions; the real motives are to be found in certain far-below-the-surface buried and hidden desires, cravings, longings, desires. These real motives are often completely concealed from us, and are revealed only through methods of Psycho-Analysis conducted along scientific lines.

Our so-called “reasons” are often mere excuses or pretexts, evolved in order to quiet our minds and consciences while the Unconscious Desire proceeds to manifest and express itself through us. Ernest Jones, in his works treating upon the subject of Psycho-Analysis, employs the term “Rationalization” to indicate that tendency on our part to ascribe a conscious reason or motive to those of our actions which are really caused and motivated by the wishes, desire and craving of the Unconscious. Lay also gives numerous examples of actions “which seem unaccountable, and indeed are unaccountable except on the grounds of their having been motivated by the unconscious wish.”

Freud gives the keynote of his general theory concerning the influence of our past experiences, and of the feelings resulting from them, upon our present thoughts, feelings and actions, in his statement: “We are what we are because we have been what we have been.” A writer on the subject, adds: “Down in the dark hidden mental pit of the Unconscious that even we ourselves do not know, and yet from which impulses are always springing and affecting our reactions to life, are many instinctive cravings, many anti-social, egotistic, jealous, hostile thoughts. We often have to repress them consciously, but much oftener they are unconsciously repressed. Sometimes a slip comes and they are revealed against our own will—at least discovered to those who understand something of the operation of the subconscious mind—an increasing number now.”

Dr. Drysdale says: “Experiences long buried and long forgotten continue to exercise a dynamic force in the life of individuals, influencing their reactions and apparent motives. They are subconscious undercurrents, repressed usually in the normal person, but active. In breaks such as lapses in speech, gaps in memory, the cue to the underlying repressed thought may often be found. Every experience possesses the power to reflect its influence upon our later life. No experience is ever wholly lost. Our present actions are to a large extent the outcome of antecedent acts or impressions. It must be admitted that life is a constant conflict between our natural instincts, motives and desires and the standards established by the society in which we move and have our being. We repress from conscious memory many experiences that date back to days of childhood, but they lurk in the mind subconsciously. Apparently long-forgotten, it may be that the recollection of the incident will crop out at any time, resurrected by some idle word or fleeting thought, as a disturbing or antagonistic mental influence.”

We shall not go further in this brief consideration of the teaching of the Freudian school concerning the subject of Unconscious Desire as expressed and manifested by “the Unconscious” or Hidden Self of the individual. In that volume of this series entitled “Subconscious Power,” we have explained the general teaching of that school, as well as having given a careful statement of the entire general subject of the Subconscious, Superconscious, or Unconscious planes of mental activity: we recommend that book to your attention if you are especially interested in that particular phase of psychology. The more technical features of the Freudian teaching are foreign to the field and scope of the present instruction, and we must refer you to the special textbooks of that school for more detailed information concerning these. We have sought here merely to point out to you that the Freudian teaching is found to fit in with our general teaching concerning Desire Power—it serves to corroborate our basic theories, and to sustain our principal facts, rather than to oppose or contradict them.

The better and more practical writers and teachers on the subject of the Freudian philosophy and Psycho-Analysis, instead of following the example of those other teachers who emphasize the abnormal and unpleasant phases of Unconscious Desire, strive rather to point out the benefits which may be secured by means of acquiring a control of Unconscious Desire and then setting its forces to work in your behalf rather than against your best interests. This, again, you will see is in accord with our own teachings. We have insisted early and late, from beginning to end, that you must be the Master of your Desire Power—not its Slave. Desire Power, conscious or unconscious, may be a terrible master; but once you acquire control of it, it becomes your willing and faithful servant.

Especially helpful and practical is the teaching of exponents of the Freudian philosophy concerning the process of “Sublimation”—the process of sublimating the crude and gross desires into the finer metal approved of by the cultured and trained conscious mentality of the individual, just as the ancient alchemists sought to sublimate the baser metals into gold. The elemental force of Desire Power may be drawn through proper channels to higher levels of activity and accomplishment, there to be set to work in the direction of that which makes you “stronger, better, and more efficient,” and which also serves better the purposes of civilization and the welfare of the race. This teaching concerning Sublimation also is found to accord with our own teaching as contained in the present book and others of this series; in fact, many of the methods set forth in these books, and presented to you in this instruction, are based upon this precise principle, i. e., that of transmutation or sublimation of the elemental Desire Power into the higher forms of its expression.

In this book you have been asked to consider the facts which have been discovered concerning the nature, character and modes of activity of Desire Power, that great elemental psychic energy which is seen to pervade all existence and to be present universally. Analyze the actions of any or every living thing, and you will find Desire Power inspiring and motivating it. Nay, examine the motions of the so-called inanimate objects of Nature, and you will find even there the energizing forces of “something like Desire Power.”

If Nature be regarded as a magnificent Cosmic Machine— then Desire Power is the motive-power that runs that universal machinery. If Nature be regarded as a Living Macrocosm—then Desire Power is the living motive-power inspiring and causing its activities. From whatever angle Nature may be viewed, under whatever hypothesis or theory it may be regarded, Desire Power is perceived to be the Something or Somewhat directly responsible for making “the wheels go ’round.” The old Hermetic axiom, “As above, so below; as within, so without; as in great, so in small,” is seen to apply here: the individual and the Cosmos both are seen to have as their essential motive-power that original, aboriginal, elemental, fundamental Something which we know as Desire Power.

In view of this fact, you scarcely need to be urged to study the methods of operation of this mighty Force, so that you may harness it to your machinery of life and action. Like Gravitation or Electricity, its power is available to all who have the courage, intelligence, and perseverance to master it and to press it into service. It is as free as the air or the sunshine; it costs nothing to run your living machinery with it—nothing but persistence and determination. You do not have to supply it with power, or to add energy to it: it has within itself far more power, energy or force than you will ever have occasion to make use of. All that you need do is to tap on to its free energy, and to set it to work for you in the direction of running the mental and physical machinery with which you have provided it.

Let us ask you to consider the following remarkable statement of Dr. Wilfrid Lay, to whom we directed your attention in the first pages of the present section of this book. Speaking of the Desire Power of the Unconscious, Dr. Lay says:

“I call your attention to the enormous power of the Unconscious. It is the accumulated desire in each one of us, of aeons of evolution, the present form, in each individual, of that vital force which has kept itself immortal through thousands of generations of men behind us, and millions of generations of animals behind them. It need not be anything but a source of power to us, power that we can draw upon, if we rightly understand it, just as we can turn on power from a steam pipe or an electric wire. It need not be destructive, indeed it is not destructive, except in the most distracted souls, but on the contrary ought in each one of us, when we have learned to manage it rightly, to be as much and as completely at our command as is the power in the automobile. As in the automobile, there are a few simple things that we have to learn and the rest is furnished by the maker of the car, and we do ill to tamper with it. The experience of having a fifty-horsepower auto placed at one’s command (if it is to be driven by oneself) is a situation into which there are many persons, both men and women, who are very loath to enter. And similarly there are many persons who for various causes would not be willing to have developed the fifty-thousand-generation-power which resides in them. * * * * To all intents and purposes, and as far as human flesh is able to bear the strain, this power which is largely in the hands of the Unconscious in most men and women is illimitable.”

Desire Power is a Cosmic Force designed for the controlled and directed use of the strong. It is at the disposal of all—but only few are courageous and determined enough to avail themselves of its services. The masses of men merely dally with it, play with it, handle it gingerly: the Masters of Men boldly grasp its controlling levers, and turn its power into their mental and physical machinery. It is a Master Force fitted only for the service of Masters. It is the rightful servant only of those whose slogan is: “I Can, I Will; I Dare, I Do!”

You can be a Master of Desire Power, and thus a Master of Men, a Master of Circumstances, a Master of Life, if you but will to be so. You are the Master of your Fate—the Captain of your Soul—if you will but recognize, realize and manifest the Power of the “I AM I” which is your Real Self, and of which Desire Power is the willing servant.


Faith Power: Your Inspirational Forces


The Power of Faith

In this book you are asked to consider the facts concerning the presence and manifestation of a most potent form of Personal Power, and, therefore, of that Universal Principle of POWER of which all Personal Power is the direct or indirect expression and manifestation. This form of Personal Power is one of the five great elements or factors involved in the expression and manifestation of Personal Power in general— the others being, respectively, Ideative Power, Desire Power, Will Power, and Compensative Power. This particular element or factor of Personal Power is equal in importance, efficacy, and power to either of the elements or factors which we have just mentioned—it is their peer and equal in every respect. Its name is Faith Power.

You may experience a sense of surprise, mingled with incredulity, when you hear Faith Power mentioned as an equal of Ideative Power, Desire Power, Will Power, and Compensative Power—particularly of Will Power. You may, indeed, approach the consideration of this particular phase of Personal Power with mental reservations, and with lurking doubt concerning the value and importance, the power and efficacy, of Faith Power in this special connection. This, because to you the idea of Faith has heretofore represented certain things, and involved certain meanings, which were not associated in your mind with the activities of the practical world of men and action. To you, Faith has doubtless been a term properly applied in sermons and theological books, but which has but little or no practical place or meaning is the world of action and deeds—in the world in which most of us live most of our time, and perform most of our actions.

But we hasten to assure you that the Faith Power which forms the subject-matter of this book, is not at all the kind of Faith Power which you have in mind, and of which you are uncertain so far as is concerned its efficacy and power in practical everyday life. We assure you that the Faith Power of this book is something having a most intimate and important relation to Personal Power along practical lines, and is something which, in the current phrase, “you need in your business.” Moreover, we are certain that you will admit the truth of this contention by the time you finish the study of this book—or even when, much earlier in the study, you discover just what we mean by Faith and Faith Power.

The term “Faith,” and the concept embodied in the term, has undergone a process of evolution in which several distinct stages are in evidence, and has finally been subjected to a division into several distinct concepts each of which has its own particular meaning, import and significance.

Originally, it seems to have been employed solely for the purpose of indicating fidelity to promise or duty—faithfulness, fealty, honesty, integrity, truth, constancy. Thus, one was said to act “in good faith,” to be “faithful to his trust,” to be “faithful and true”—in short to manifest the quality of “faith” in the direction of honesty of purpose, steadfastness, constancy and loyalty toward that or those to whom one was bound by duty, promise or honor.

In time, the term took on the additional meaning of “firm belief, and confidence, particularly in regard to moral or religious precepts or doctrines.” Faith, in this usage, became the term indicating a lively and firm belief in and assurance of the truth of presented facts, doctrines, dogmas and propositions, particularly in absence of immediate and personal knowledge of their truth. In this sense, the term indicated a certain surrendering of the rational demand for immediate and certain intellectual conviction, in favor of the claims of real or assumed authority. Thus, the faithful believer expressed and manifested a “faith” concerning certain dogmas and authoritative teaching of which he had, and could have, no immediate knowledge, and which in many cases seemed to be beyond his understanding, and even contrary to his actual experience. Thus, Faith became the expression of a belief based upon confidence in and reliance upon authority rather than upon logical reasoning or actual knowledge.

Later, from the combination of the two older concepts, there arose a new concept—a new meaning—involved in the old term, Faith. Faith, in this new meaning, consisted of (1) confidence, (2) earnest belief or conviction of truth, and (3) hope, or expectation of the realization of the object of faith. In this meaning, Faith may be defined as: “Earnest belief in the power of certain causes to produce certain effects; an abiding confidence that such effects will be so caused; and a confident expectation of the happening of such caused effects.” Here, you will see, there is a mingling of the original concepts of Faith and Hope, respectively.

Hope, alone, indicates “a desire for some good, accompanied by at least some expectation, confidence or trust that it is obtainable or will be obtained.” But Faith, in the later meaning, took over this concept of Hope, and added to it the “firm and earnest belief, trust, confidence and expectation, of the fulfillment of the Hope. Moreover, it indicated that not only the “good” which was the object of Hope may be “confidently expected,” but that, likewise, a “bad” thing may be the subject of the confident expectation. In this way “the bad thing feared,” as well as the “good thing desired,” might become the object of the “confident expectation and belief”—the object of Faith, in fact.

Analyzing this last conception and meaning of Faith, seeking to eliminate the non-essential factors and elements, and to preserve all the essential ones, we find that at the last we have left merely the concept of “Confident Expectation and Expectant Belief.”

Think over the above mentioned concept for a few moments, and you will see that Faith, in this usage, is identical with “Confident Expectation.” The term, Confident, means: “Having full confidence, belief, and expectation; sure, certain, positive.” The term, Expectation, means: “State of expecting, or looking forward to, something that is believed about to happen or occur, or to come about; the act or state of awaiting confidently some approaching event.” Here, you see, there is the idea of (1) a firm belief, accompanied by (2) the firm conviction of the realization; it is a combination of Faith and Hope raised to their highest degree of certainty.

In the several books of this series, the general subject matter of which is the recognition, realization, and manifestation of Personal Power, frequent reference is made to The Master Formula of Attainment, which consists of the following elements: (1) Definite Ideals, or the mental attitude of “knowing exactly what you want”—of creating and maintaining strong, clear, definite ideas, ideals and purposes; (2) Insistent Desire, or the mental attitude of “wanting it hard enough”— the strong, authoritative element of Desire manifesting itself; (3) Confident Expectation, or the mental attitude of undoubting Faith, unfailing Hope, in the success of your efforts, and the realization of your Ideals and Desires; (4) Persistent Determination, or the mental attitude of Indomitable Will, persisting in its determination that you shall succeed in the attainment and realization of your Ideals and Desires; and (5) Balanced Compensation, or the mental attitude of willingness to “pay the price” of attainment.

In other volumes of this series we have considered in detail the respective elements of Ideative Power, Desire Power, Will Power, Compensative Power. In the present volume we shall direct your attention to that additional element of Personal Power—the Power of Confident Expectation, which is properly termed Faith Power.

Though perhaps not so familiar to the general reader as are the other four elements mentioned, this element of Faith plays a part equal to that of any of them, mighty as their power undoubtedly is. He who leaves out of the calculation this element of Faith, is discarding or neglecting to use one of the five great instruments of Personal Power, each of which is equal in importance to the other—such a one is robbing himself of one-fifth of his available Power, and that missing part may bring to him defeat in place of victory.

We shall not attempt to decide, or to explain, just why Faith, or Confident Expectation, should play such an important part in the activities of Personal Power. Such an attempt would take us to the very heart or centre of POWER—the Universal Principle of Power—itself; and even there it might be difficult to find that which we seek. Enough for the present purpose is for us to state that extended and careful investigation establishes the truth of this contention concerning Faith Power—and to point out to you the evidences of its presence and strength. The “just why” phase of the subject is quite difficult; but the “just how” phase is easily stated and explained. Faith Power meets the test of Pragmatism.”—it works,” and produces results when properly applied.

By reason of your familiarity with the idea, you will readily admit that the man in whom has been kindled the fierce Flame of Desire, will brush aside obstacles, and surmount obstructions in his path—and if you have learned the “inside facts” you will also realize how such a man will attract to himself that which fits in with his Insistent Desire. In the same way, you will readily admit that the man of the Persistent Will cut and bore through the obstructing rock of circumstances, and reach his goal—circumstances themselves seeming to fall in with the purpose of such a Will.

But when it comes to ascribing similar virtues and power to Faith—to admitting that Faith Power is equal in force and efficacy to either Desire Power or Will Power—your unfamiliarity with this phase of the subject may cause you to withhold your judgment and assent. Yet, as you will presently discover, Faith Power is as strong, efficacious and powerful as is Desire Power, or as is Will Power. We insist upon this fact, not for any academic reasons, but simply and solely because we wish you to realize this important truth to the end that you may set it to work for you in your own manifestations of Personal Power.

We have referred above to the several elements of the Master Formula of Attainment. Let us now examine in further detail these elements, leaving the third element, that of Confident Expectation, for the last.

(1) Definite Ideals. One must know as certainly, as positively, as dearly, and as definitely as possible “exactly what he wants.” The man who lacks this clearness of direction cannot be expected to walk straight toward the object of his desires. Many men, otherwise well equipped mentally, fail to obtain or to attain success, simply because they do not know “exactly what they want.” Lacking a specific and definite goal, they wander along by-paths and side-roads, traveling often in a circle. The definite aim is necessary if the straight road to attainment is to be traveled. The better one knows “exactly what he wants”—the more clearly he is able to visualize and picture it in his mind— the straighter and more direct will be his path to it, and the less will be his danger of becoming confused and bewildered, and of becoming “side-tracked.” This proposition is axiomatic— self-evident.

(2) Insistent Desire. One must insistently desire that which he wants—must “want it hard enough”—in order that his full powers of application and endeavor may be awakened, aroused and called into action. The men who, as the Americans say, “get there”—or, as the French say, who “arrive”—are not those of faint wishes or wants, of feeble desires and cravings, but rather those who are filled with the ardent urge of desire and longing— with the fierce lust of “wanting that which they want, when they want it.” The world is filled with “pink tea” wishers—and their names comprise a large portion of the list of the failures. The small list of the really successful individuals is filled with the names of those who “wanted it hard enough.” In order to attain a thing, you must “want it the worst way,” as the saying goes; you must “want it so hard that it hurts.” Otherwise, your energies and powers of will are not called forth. This, also, is axiomatic—self-evident.

(4) Persistent Determination. One must persistently will, determinedly resolve, and firmly apply one’s full powers of Will to the attainment of that which one knows that he wants, and which he wants “hard enough” to cause him to “pay the price” of attainment. This final stage of mental power must be present and applied, else the whole enterprise fails. This element, perhaps, is the one most strongly emphasized in the popular opinion and thought on the subject—so strongly, in fact, that the other elements are often under-emphasized. The need of the “strong will” is universally recognized—and the handicap of the “weak will” is universally admitted. One must “will to will,” if he would attain success. This, also, is axiomatic—self evident.

(5) Balanced Compensation. One must obey the Law of Compensation—the Rule of Balance—manifest in all Nature. He must be prepared to “pay the price, of attainment in the form of (a) diligent work; (b) service to others; and (c) relinquishment of desires, aims, and performances opposed to the subject or object of his Definite Ideals, Insistent Desires, and Persistent Determination. This also is axiomatic—self-evident.

Now, let us return to the consideration of the third element, i. e., that of Confident Expectation:

(6) Confident Expectation. One must confidently expect to realize that which he knows definitely that he wants, which he earnestly and insistently desires, which he persistently and determinedly wills to attain, and for which he is willing to “pay the price.” In the measure that he does this, he also opens the draft of his mental furnace in which burns the Flame of Desire, and as a consequence, he generates a greater supply of the Steam of Will. Doubt is the shutting-off of the drafts of the furnace, which results in the deadening of the Fire of Desire, and the decreasing of the supply of available Steam of Will. Faith is the stimulation of Desire and Will; Doubt, their deadener; and Unfaith, the destroyer of both. Let us, however, drop all figures of speech and proceed to consider concrete examples.

In your own experience you have known the power and energy of the Desire and Will which have come to you by the introduction of the element of Faith into the mental equation. When you have become tired and wearied, so much so that your desires have burned low and your volition has become less intense, you have discovered something which re-aroused your Faith in the outcome, your Hope in the attainment—your Confident Expectation, in short—and lo! your desires once more asserted their power, and your will again sprang back to the task. On the other hand, when you have been going along nicely, and have seemed to be succeeding, a series of depressing circumstances, the appearance of unfavorable conditions, have caused Faith to droop and Doubt, Distrust, and even Unfaith to manifest itself. When this has occurred, you have found that you “lost heart”—and to “lose heart” means that your Desire loses its insistent urge, and your Will loses its persistent application and determination.

Again, you have been pursuing some plan, have been building upon some idea in which you had Faith, have been selling goods in which you believed, and have been doing well in that direction. Then, alas! Doubt and Distrust have crept in; you lost your Faith in the idea; you lost confidence in the goods handled by you; and, as a consequence, “the bottom dropped out” of the thing, and you found your Desire weakening and your Will losing its power of application and its determination. Most of us do our best when we “believe in” the thing which we are doing; and but few of us can do creditable work if we “don’t believe in it.” Thus, Faith is found to exert a tremendous influence over Desire and Will, in either direction. Faith can truly say, “They reckon ill, who leave me out!”

We feel that we are justified in asking you to regard as axiomatic—self-evident—these statements concerning Faith, or Confident Expectation, just as truly as you so regard the similar statements made concerning Thought, Desire and Will, respectively. We feel that we are warranted in asking you to admit to an equal place of importance with Thought, Desire and Will this element or factor of Personal Power known as Faith, or Confident Expectation, even though you have not previously recognized its importance and power. Moreover, we feel that we need not apologize to you when we ask you to analyze your own mental and emotional make-up for the purpose of discovering whether you have not, heretofore, omitted this important element from your characteristic mental attitude; or, at least, whether you will not do well to take it into greater account in the future.

Before proceeding to the elaboration of this idea of Faith or Confident Expectation, however, we wish to call your attention to a fact of even as great importance as those just presented to you. We allude now to the positive effect of Faith, or Confident Expectation, wrongly applied. You have seen and undoubtedly now realize, that Doubt, Distrust, and Unfaith exert a strong negative influence in the direction of deadening the Fire of Desire, and restricting the Steam of Will; but you have probably failed to realize that this Doubt, Distrust, and Unfaith may become transmuted into an active Faith and Confident Expectation in the wrong direction, and may thus become an active power working to produce failure, non-success, and defeat. Faith may, and does, cause “mine own to come to me”; but, reversed in its direction, it may, and does, often cause the condition of “that which I have feared hath come upon me.”

Analyzing Faith as you have done, and finding that its essence is Confident Expectation, viz., the belief and expectation of the happening or coming-about of things, you will readily perceive that if that Confident Expectation is directed to something bad rather than good, something “feared” instead of “desired,” it may work with equal effect though in the wrong direction. Confident Expectation of evil—the Fear of dreaded results— is as truly Faith as is the Confident Expectation and Hope of good and desired things; though very few persons even begin to realize this fact—this very important fact of life and action. This realization brings to mind many corroborative facts—facts serving to support it—which go far toward explaining many things in your personal experiences which have heretofore perplexed you greatly, and which have been laid aside by you as beyond explanation.

Leaving aside for later consideration in this book the psychological (or even “spiritual”) causes which operate to produce the above state of affairs, we wish here to call your attention to certain general facts concerned with the operation of this law and mental action.

You are more or less aware of the Law of Attraction in the mental world by means of the operation of which ideas, things, men, conditions and environment are correlated to your habitual thoughts and general mental attitude, and by means of which such things are attracted to and drawn toward you, or you toward them. This is no longer deemed to be “moonshine” and idle fancy; too many practical men have discovered its truth, and applied its principles successfully, to allow of this old accusation. Despite the sometimes fanciful theories employed to interpret and explain this class of facts, the facts themselves are most real and far from fanciful.

Well, then, we wish to remind you here—or perhaps to inform you for the first time—that this is a rule that “works two ways—in either direction.” Faith, i. e., Confident Expectation, if directed toward evil and feared things, operates with as much force as if directed toward good and desired things. It serves to fill the mind with visualized pictures of the undesirable things, in place of those desired; it arouses the negative aspect of Desire, which is Aversion—and which has a force of its own, sometimes operating in the wrong direction; it arouses the negative aspect of Hope, which is Fear—which has a strong attracting power in the wrong direction. In short, it reverses the entire mental and spiritual machinery of the individual, and causes his forces to travel in the wrong direction—in the same way and with the same power with which they travel in the right direction when energized by Faith and Confident Expectation of the right kind. Negative Faith, i. e., Doubt, Distrust, and Unfaith, sometimes transmutes itself into positive Faith—but Faith in the wrong set of things, in the wrong direction. So, you see, it is of the utmost importance to you that you should learn the laws of Faith Power, and to acquire the art of running its machinery properly, in the right direction, and to avoid the reversed process above indicated. There is much more to this subject of Faith Power than you have imagined.


The Psychology of Faith

The general conception of Faith—the idea of Faith held by most persons—is that it is an emotional state independent of, if not indeed actually contrary to Reason. This idea arises by reason of the tendency to view Faith only from one particular angle. If Faith were subjected to an “all around” view, the observer changing his position and shifting his viewpoint in his observation, it would be seen that while Faith often seems to transcend Reason and to be independent of its reports, yet it is not contrary to or opposed to Reason, and, in fact, depends largely upon Reason for its direction and application.

Faith, in its essence and fundamental substance, may be said to be beyond Reason—to transcend Reason. Yet, without the employment of Reason and experience, Faith degenerates into mere blind credulity. While not dependent upon Reason for its basic foundation, and while not having Reason as its fount and spring, yet Faith must needs employ Reason as its useful instrument of manifestation and expression, and must use the sign-posts of Reason as guides pointing out the road over which it travels.

It is equally true that Reason must be based upon Faith, for, of itself it has no ultimate foundation. Reason and Faith are not antagonistic, when they are rightly understood: rather are they brothers-in-arms, each helpful and useful to the other. The ideal is the well-balanced coordination and correlation of Reason and Faith.

Intellect, of which Reason is a manifestation and form of expression, is an instrument evolved by Life, or Spirit—call it what you will—for special purposes. In its own field it is supreme. But its own field is a limited one—though this fact is not generally recognized. There are other fields of mentation in the vast domain of Life or Spirit. When Intellect is pushed beyond its limits it becomes dazed and confused, and seems to lose its normal powers.

As Bergson has strikingly pointed out to us, there are things which Reason, of itself, can never know—yet which, when discovered by Intuition, require the use of Reason to manifest efficiently; likewise, though Intuition knows these things by reason of its essential nature, very often the knowledge is not raised into consciousness until Reason demands to be furnished with it.

When Reason recognizes this fact, and is willing to call upon Intuition for these reports, and to apply them when thus revealed, then, and then only, does Reason rise to its greatest heights of attainment.

So, in the same way, only when Intuition recognizes Reason as its most effective instrument of manifestation does Intuition proceed properly and efficiently along the road of practical accomplishment.

The intellectual pride which seeks to banish Intuition from the field of Thought, and which strives to make Reason the sole occupant of that realm, is as one-sided and as illogical as is that anti-intellectual tendency which would exalt Intuition and Faith to the position of absolute rulers of the domain of Thought, denying to Reason any right of entrance to it. These are twin-errors—each one insisting upon gazing at but one particular side of the shield while refusing to walk around it so as to perceive its reverse side.

The truth of the matter as indicated in the above statements is not generally recognized. There are many, of course, who see that Faith is more or less inefficient unless Reason is called in to aid and direct its expression and manifestation. The examples of the effect of blind credulity and unreasoning Faith are numerous, and are readily recalled as illustrations of the need for Reason in the manifestation of Faith. The intellectualists seem to have the matter all their own way, at first sight; but a little closer examination will reveal the other side of the question—the twin-truth. For when we demand to be shown the roots, bases, and foundations of Reason, we are reluctantly pointed to what?—Faith!

All deductive reasoning is based upon a premise or proposition—the Major Premise is the sacred truth upon which the deduction is made. There is always the tacit assumption that the truth of the Major Premise is axiomatic, i. e., self-evident and not requiring proof, argument, or demonstration. If this be admitted, the subsequent reasoning is mechanical, and almost mathematical in its certainty.

But when one claims that the person asserting the premise or proposition is “begging the question,” i. e., assuming without warrant, the truth of the premise, or tacitly implying that it is accepted or not disputed—when the objecting one states, “I dispute your Major Premise”—then the trouble begins. The Burden of Proof, in Logic, rests upon the person advancing the premise or proposition, and he then may be called upon to “prove” the truth of his premise or proposition.

When such person attempts to furnish such proof, and to support it by logical argument, he simply shifts his position a step or two backward. When that step is reached, he halts, and re-commences his argument—how? By advancing another premise or proposition—usually another Major Premise which he assumes to be axiomatic, or self evident. If this be objected to, he must again retreat and erect another line of entrenchments; and so on, and so on.

If his opponent be sufficiently persistent and determined, this retreat is continued indefinitely, unless the first man disgustedly discontinues the argument, and refuses to “play”— this, of course, being his right, and in no way being a confession of defeat or in any way a victory for the skeptical opponent: the discussion simply is “off” in such case.

All this brings us to the point where we perceive that sooner or later we reach a stage in reasoning in which there is something “taken for granted,” something “assumed for the purposes of the argument,” something which has not as yet been proved, but which is to be employed as the basis of the proof of something else—in short, something which is based on Faith, expressed or implied. That basis of Faith, however, need not be blind Faith, or unreasoning credulity—it should, indeed, not be so. It may be, and usually is, something which seems “reasonable” and not inconsistent with Reason—but, nevertheless, it is accepted by an act of Faith, as Logic defines that term, for it is not positively known, nor has it been “proved” logically. There is no escape from this conclusion, disagreeable as it may be to the extreme intellectualists; the better the logician, the more freely will he confess to this fact of logic—it is usually only the amateurs who seek to dispute it.

Leaving the field of Formal Logic, and entering that of the Practical Logic of everyday thought and life, we find the same state of affairs existing. The most important reasoning of practical everyday life is based upon Faith. We do not know positively that the sun will rise tomorrow morning—all that we know is that in the history of the race the sun always has risen in the morning, and we “believe” that it will continue the practice on the morrow; but we do not “know” absolutely that such will be the case, we cannot prove it absolutely by argument—even by mathematics—unless we admit the existence of Universal Law, or the Law of Causation, whereby “the same causes, under the same conditions, will produce the same effects.”

You may object to all this as silly—but, instead, it is the strictest application of the rules and laws of logical thought. Of course, you say that we “know” that the sun will rise tomorrow morning, and may even tell to a second the time of its rising. Certainly we “know” this—but we know it only by an act of Faith. That Faith, moreover, is the belief that there exists Universal Law—that “natural things act and move under Law”—that “the same causes, under the same conditions, produce the same results.” That law, and every other natural law, is to us merely an hypothesis, well established by experience, observation, and experiment, it is true—but still an hypothesis, a “guess,” an assumption based upon Faith. The conviction of “knowing” is really intuitive—it is an act of Faith. The Faith, it is true, is directed by Reason—but in its essence it still is Faith!

Science, that supposedly cold intellectual school of thought, has its foundations in Faith—though it is usually thought to turn its back upon Faith, and to stand upon the “solid rock” of Reason and Intellect. Its “laws,” at the last, are merely “the way things work,” which means “the way that observed things have been found to work in the past”—the “habit of procedure observed by Nature.”

The Law of Causation is a tremendous statement of Faith. The laws of Chemistry; the laws of Physics; these are statements of Faith. The molecules and atoms of matter have never been perceived by the senses—they are “unknown” so far as sense-knowledge is concerned. Things act “as if” molecules and atoms exist, so we assume that they do exist—we take them on Faith. The keenest minds in Science admit this—they frankly state that “of the ultimate nature of things we know absolutely nothing.”

Science adopts hypotheses by acts of Faith; when subsequent investigations shake the faith in them, they are discarded in favor of others likewise based on Faith. Faith blended and harmonized with Reason—but not blind Faith or unreasoning credulity—is the Faith of Science. The combined hypotheses of Science, raised to the dignity of “principles” and “laws” in many cases, constitute the Creed of Science, i. e., that which begins with the statement: “I believe in,” etc. This Creed, like all others, is a Confession of Faith—Faith directed and regulated by Reason, it is true, but still Faith.

Philosophy, like Science, is based on Faith—Faith rationally interpreted, but still Faith. Philosophy holds as axiomatic, self-evident, the contrary of which is unthinkable, the basic proposition that “From Nothing, no thing can arise, flow or proceed,” and its corollary: “Had there ever been a time in which Nothing was, and no thing was in existence, then no thing would be in existence now.” But it does not positively “know” that such is the fact; it cannot prove that Something cannot arise from Nothingness. All that it knows is that it cannot think such a thing to be possible, and that it has had no experience with anything of that sort. You may say that it knows this truth “intuitively”—and so it does, as a fact, just as it knows many other things intuitively; but that which is the report of Intuition is a report arising from fields of mentation outside those of Reason—though the reports are not necessarily conflicting with or opposed to each other. All “intuitive knowledge” is belief based upon Faith, at the last.

Geometry is an “exact science”—yet it is based solely upon certain laws and principles which are accepted by Faith, for they cannot be proved absolutely by Reason. The Laws of Geometry are articles of the Creed—of the Confession of Faith—of Geometry. Geometry begins With a series of “I believes”; these are called axioms, self-evident facts requiring no proof, and assumed to be truth. Yet these are all “I believes,” not “I knows”; for they cannot be proved as universal truths. They act “as if” they were universal truths—everything tested by them indicate their correctness; yet until each and every thing in the universe is so tested, until infinite space is measured, there can be no positive “proof” that they are universal laws and truths. In fact, there are certain schools of “transcendental geometry” which have found quite different, and often quite contradictory laws which act “as if” they were true.

This does not mean that there is no truth in such laws and the conceptions based upon them; we would be insane to ignore them in our practical life. Moreover, this does not mean that men do not “know” these things to be true—they do “know” them to be true so far as they may be conceived, but the “knowing” is intuitive, not purely intellectual: Intellect discovers them through its reasoning processes, and Intuition reports the conviction of their truth. They represent acts of Faith— Faith rationally interpreted. This may be a hard saying to many of us, but it is one made by the keenest minds of the race. The most certain laws of Physics, Chemistry, and Geometry are, in the end, based upon Faith, rationally interpreted. Such Faith is justifiable—that is freely admitted and approved of; but we insist that Faith must be accorded its proper place in the consideration, and not merely bidden to stand in the ante-room of thought while Intellect is made the honored guest, the “lion,” in the reception room.

In the ordinary affairs of life and action you act according to Faith. You do this so naturally and instinctively, so constantly and habitually, that you are not aware of it. You start on a railroad journey. You buy your ticket, having faith that the train will start from the station named on the time-table, and approximately on the time noted in it. You have faith that it will proceed to the destination promised. You do not “know” these things from actual experience—for you cannot so know what lies in the future: you take them for granted, you assume them to be true, you act upon Faith.

You take your seat. You do not know the engineer or the conductor—you have never seen them, nor do you even know their names. You do not know whether or not they are competent, reliable, or experienced. All that you know is that it is reasonable to suppose that the railroad company will select the right kind of men for the task—you act upon Faith, upon Faith rationally interpreted. You have Faith in the company, in the management, in the system of conducting the matter, in the equipment, etc., and you stake your life and wholeness of body upon that Faith. You may say that you only “take a chance” in the matter; but, even so, you manifest Faith in that “chance,” or else you wouldn’t take it. You wouldn’t “take a chance” of standing in the path of a rushing express train, or of leaping from the Eiffel Tower, would you? You manifest Faith in something—even if that something be no more than the Law of Averages.

You place your money in a bank; here again you manifest Faith—Faith rationally interpreted. You sell goods on credit to your customers—Faith again. You have Faith in your grocer, your butcher, your lawyer, your physician, your clerks, your insurance company. That is to say, Faith of some kind, or of some degree—else you would not trust anything whatsoever to them. If you “believe” that a man is dishonest, incompetent, or insane, you do not place confidence in him, nor trust your affairs or interests to him; your Faith is in his “wrongness,” and not in his “rightness”—but it is Faith, nevertheless. Every “belief” short of actual, positive knowledge, is a form or phase of Faith.

You may say that these things denote, not Faith, but rather Confidence or Expectation of some degree. This is merely changing the terms but not the meaning. In the preceding section of this book we have shown you that the very essence and substance of the present usage and meaning of the term and concept, Faith, is “Confident Expectation.” The expectation may not be very pronounced, the confidence may be limited, but, nevertheless, it is Confident Expectation of some kind, form, phase, or degree. Even the “belief” that some undesirable and feared thing may happen is the negative phase of Faith. Fear is a form or phase of Faith—of Faith mingled with the negation of Hope. Fear and Hope are both forms or phases of Expectation; when raised to the degree of Confident Expectation they are markedly forms of Faith.

You have the Faith that if you step off a high building into space, you will fall and be injured, perhaps killed: this is your Faith in the Law of Gravitation. You have a similar Faith in certain other physical laws—you have the Confident Expectation that evil results to you will follow certain courses of action concerning these physical laws. You have Faith that poisons will injure or destroy your physical body, and you avoid such. You may object that you “know” these things, not merely “believe” them; but you don’t “know” anything directly and immediately until you experience it—and you cannot experience a future happening before its time. All that you can do concerning each and every future experience is to “believe” certain things concerning it— and that “belief” is nothing else but Faith, interpreted more or less rationally and correctly.

You do not “know” certainly and positively, by direct experience, or by pure reason, a single thing about the happenings of tomorrow, or of some day next week, or of the corresponding day of next year. Yet you act as if you did possess such knowledge—but why? Simply because of your Faith in the Law and Order of the Universe; of the operation of the Law of Causation, whereby effects follow causes; of the Law of Probabilities, or the Law of Average; or of some other Natural Law. But your knowledge of and belief in such Laws are but forms of your Faith, i. e., Confident Expectation that “things will work out according to the rule observed in past actions.” You cannot get away from Faith in your thoughts and beliefs concerning the present and the future, any more than you can run away from your shadow in the bright daylight.

Without Faith rationally interpreted, without Confident Expectation in at least some degree, there could be no rational action or procedure. All human intercourse and communication, all human coordination and correlation between individuals, all dealings between man and man, all enterprises designed and carried on by man, and all the plans and purposes of the race of men—all these, each and every one of them, are based on some form of Faith, of Faith more or less rationally interpreted. We know certainly only the events of the present moment; or of the past—the events and happenings of the future, even of one moment hence, we know only by and through Faith more or less directed and guided by Reason. We live by Faith—we act through Faith.

From the foregoing, and the reflections aroused in your mind by the consideration of it, you will perceive that Faith has as true and as sound position and place in the psychology of the human being as have Reason and Intellect. Faith is not an alien intruder—it is a native of the mental realm which it inhabits, and its claims to citizenship are quite well founded. In its place, and within its normal limits, its work is as useful as is that of Intellect or Reason; outside of that place, and beyond those limits, however, its work is as ineffective, or even as harmful, as is that of Intellect which so transcends its normal field of activity. The mind may be “debauched by arrogant Intellect,” as well as “outraged by unreasoning Faith.” It is only in the well-balanced, thoroughly harmonized, combination of Faith and Reason, Intellect and Intuition that the human mind manifests its highest efficiency and performs its best work.

Intellect and Reason are comparatively late comers to the mind; in the history of mental evolution. Instinct (which is a phase of, or reflection of Intuition) was there long before Reason. Faith, by reason of its relation to Intuition, is more deeply rooted in the mental soil than is Reason—hence its wonderful power, manifested often in the very face of Reason. By reason of this relation to the most elementary and essential, fundamental and basic facts of mental substance and process, Faith has a motive-power and an attractive-power closely resembling that of Desire and Will. Indeed there are many thinkers along the lines of esoteric philosophy who indicate that the element of Faith, or Confident Expectation, plays a much more important part in the activities and accomplishments of Desire and Will than is apparent to those who view only the exoteric phase of the subject.

As we proceed with this consideration of Faith Power, in the present instruction, you will perceive many instances of this elemental power of Faith; and of the results arising from it. Faith not only blazes the trail which is followed by us in subsequent travels of Will; it also digs the channels through which flow to us the currents of things, events, happenings and persons from the outside world. Well did the ancient sages accord to Faith an equal position in the Mental Trinity with Desire and Will, respectively. “Insistent Desire, Confident Expectation, and Persistent Determination”—Desire, Faith, and Will: truly a Trinity of Personal Power!

Without the Confident Expectation, there will be no kindling of the flame of Insistent Desire—no application of the steel of Persistent Determination. Unless Faith expresses itself in the Confident Expectation of the obtaining or attainment of the thing desired and willed, then will Desire find it difficult to “want it hard enough,” and Will will find it impossible to “persistently determine to obtain it.” Desire and Will depend upon Faith for their Inspirational Forces—by means of the latter, the Energizing Forces of Desire and the Dynamic Forces of Will are inspired and vitalized, and have the Breath of Life breathed into them.


Expectant Attention

Psychologists have noted the effect of, and realized the important part played by that mental state known as Expectant Attention. Expectant Attention is that concentrated direction of attention toward some action, event or happening which the individual expects to occur, i. e., to which he looks forward, with more or less confidence and belief, as likely to occur or to come to pass. This mental attitude, you will note, is a form or phase of Faith or Confident Expectation such as we have considered in the foregoing sections of this book.

It is an axiom of psychology that the laws of Attention operate so as to cause the individual to perceive far more clearly the objects or facts toward which his attention is specially directed, and to perceive far less clearly those objects or facts which are outside of the field of his special attention. In fact, Attention always proceeds by manifesting a selective action. In such selective action it more or less unconsciously (or, rather, subconsciously) brings and holds in the field of consciousness those objects which have attracted its notice, and shuts out of that field those objects which have not so attracted the same.

Out of the multiplicity of sights and sounds which knock at the door of consciousness at almost every moment of your life, you select those which fit in with the general subject, idea, or line of thought to which your attention is directed, and at the same time reject the consideration and perception of those not so fitting in with such. If you are especially interested in violin music, you will hear clearly the notes of the violins, while the remainder of the instruments manifesting sound in the performance of a large orchestra are relegated to the “fringe of consciousness” and are perceived only as a general background. Another person would ignore the violins and would hear only the notes of his favorite instruments. In the same way, at a theatrical performance where a number of persons are on the stage at the same time, you are apt to see the actions and to hear the words of your favorite actor, while those of the others are far less distinct in your consciousness. Likewise, you read from the pages of a book only that which is associated with your previous ideas concerning its subject: hence the old saying, “We get from a book only what we give to it.”

The professional magician understands and employs these laws of Attention. He manages to direct your attention to one of his hands, and to hold it there, while his other hand performs the baldest and boldest kind of deception upon you without detection. Or, he manages to direct your attention to some other part of the stage, while under your very eyes (though unobserved by you) he makes certain changes which are necessary for the successful performance of his feat. Pickpockets and swindlers take advantage of this same state of affairs; they cause us to direct our attention to some other thing or place, while we leave unguarded the receptacle containing our possessions. We are all keenly awake to that to which our interested attention is directed, while we are all more or less asleep concerning the things from which such attention is diverted.

This rule applies not only to your perception of objects through the senses, but also to your thoughts concerning any subject. You may imagine that you are exercising your reasoning powers judiciously, impartially and without bias, but in most cases you are considering only the facts, data and arguments which are in accord with your preconceived notions, beliefs and prejudices in the matter. You tend to see only that one particular side of the question—that one set of facts—that one line of argument, the opposite aspect or phase being practically ignored by you. Or, even if you are particularly careful not to fall into this error, you at least tend to overemphasize the favorite set of facts or arguments, and to underemphasize the other and opposed group.

Moreover, once having made up your mind concerning a subject, you fall into the habit of unconsciously or subconsciously selecting from your world of experience those facts and data which serve to corroborate your own belief, and those which serve to contravert the opposite belief. You find on all sides facts, data and arguments sustaining your position, and overturning the opposite contention. You tend to become blind to undesired and unwelcome facts, data and arguments, though you may not realize this unless you are especially watchful over your mental processes. From the same experience, however, you would gather a similar array of desired evidence on the other side were you committed to the views of that side of the case. When we say “you,” we mean “all of us” as well. Our subconscious minds are strong partisans; they eagerly search for and select the desired objects of thought, and determinedly shut the door to the opposite class of objects.

The axiom of psychology, “Attention follows Interest,” is exemplified by common experience. We tend to perceive that in which we are especially interested, and to ignore that which is uninteresting. The man interested in trees perceives a world of facts while walking through a park, which facts are totally unperceived by the average man. The man interested in stone arrow-heads finds them in walking through a field, though others pass them by unobserved. As John Burroughs has told us, the man with the walking-fern in mind finds walking-fern in every bit of woods, while the rest of us are not aware of its presence there. In short, all of us tend to perceive in the outside world that which corresponds with what already exists in our inner mental world.

You, yourself, have often experienced the operation of this law of the mind when once you have become interested in some new subject, idea or set of facts. While up to that time you have never observed any special facts or data connected with that which has become your object of interest, now you will have come to the conclusion that the whole world is apparently becoming aroused to an interest in that particular subject, just as you have been. You will feel this to be so because now every newspaper, magazine or book which you pick up seems to contain special references to that subject, and items of interest concerning it; likewise, you will hear the subject discussed in the trains and street-cars, in the clubs, and wherever a number of persons meet and enter into conversation. On every hand you find something which “fits into” this subject of your new interest.

But, the fact is that the change is not in the outside world—it is in yourself. That which is within your mind is seeking for, and finding, that in the outside world which agrees and harmonizes with itself. Another person not so interested, or even you, yourself, were you not so interested, would be almost, if not indeed totally unaware of these same interests on the part of others, even in the same places, conditions and surroundings. A new object of interest on your part acts like a pair of colored spectacles—you see the outside world of things and happenings tinted in harmony with your glasses. Technically stated, your Attention follows your Interest, and in so doing it manifests its characteristic selective power.

The application of the mental laws just called to your attention is quite important in view of their practical effects upon your everyday life. By reason of these laws, the degree of your success in any particular line of work depends materially upon the degree of interest which is aroused in you concerning such work. If your interest is keen, then you will perceive and discover on all sides, in every day of your life, certain facts, data and other things which will serve the purposes of that work— you will find yourself dwelling in a world surrounded by such facts. If, on the contrary, you manifest little or no interest in your work, but perform the same almost mechanically, then this world of helpful things, ideas and facts will not exist for you—you will dwell in another world. There will be nothing in you to call out of the outer world that which is in harmony with itself.

The above-mentioned psychological laws, and their effects may be stated briefly as follows: (1) You perceive only that toward which your attention is attracted and directed, and only in the degree to which that attention is so called forth; (2) Attention follows Interest, and is called forth by it only in a direct ratio to the degree of that Interest: therefore you perceive only that in which you are to some degree interested, and only according to the measure of the degree of Interest manifested; (3) your world of perceptive experience is created by your Interested Attention, by reason of the fact that such Interested Attention selects from the outside world such facts as are in agreement with its inner states, and rejects those facts which are opposed to such; (4) the same state of affairs is manifested in your mental world of memory, recollection, and selection of ideas—you select and perceive those which accord with your Interest, and reject the opposite class.

Now, the above brings us back to our consideration of the subject of Expectant Attention, which, as we have said, is a phase of Faith or Confident Expectation. Expectant Attention is a very potent and active form of Interested Attention. In it you not only are interested in an object, subject or state of affairs, but, in addition, you “believe” in certain conditions or facts, and “expect” that certain results will occur by reason of their presence. You not only have your Attention directed toward the thing by reason of your Interest in it, and see that which is in accordance with this, but you also “expect,” i. e., confidently believe, that certain events will happen or come to pass concerning those things, or proceeding from them.

The cat watching at a mouse-hole, or the dog digging out a woodchuck, manifests the keenest and most active kind of attention imaginable. This, not only because the animal is intensely interested in the object of obtaining his prey, but also because he hopes to capture it, “expects” to secure it—because he “believes” that he will get it in the end. If the animal did not so keenly believe and expect the successful result, his interest and attention would lack that intensity which is now present; and his energies would not be so actively called forth and manifested.

This rule is equally true of human endeavor. When you believe in the probability of a successful outcome of an undertaking, you experience the keenest interest in the work leading to it; your work is in direct relation to that expectation. If, on the contrary, you entertain grave doubts of the efficacy of your efforts and work, your energies will slacken, your interest will abate, and your attention will relax—and, as a consequence, your work will become less effective. Again, if you not only doubt and question the successful outcome, but also go so far as to actually “believe” that the effort will result in failure, then your interest will become dead, your attention weak, and your work of the poorest and most ineffective quality. More than this, if your “belief,” and “expectant attention” be that of the certainty of failure, then you will actually find yourself unconsciously working with that idea in mind, and toward that end—you will be deliberately (though subconsciously) “riding to a fall.”

What has been said above concerning the effect of Interest, Attention and Expectancy, upon the conscious activities of your mind, is trebly true concerning your subconscious activities. The subconscious mind is peculiarly liable to be affected by “beliefs” of the kind noted, to “suggestions” in accordance with these coming from your conscious mentality. It accepts as true your beliefs and convictions, your confident expectations, your earnest hopes concerning the probable result of courses of action or existing causes—and it proceeds to manifest its powers in the direction so pointed out to it. Accordingly, it blinds the Attention to facts, ideas and conditions running contrary to your beliefs and expectations, and it renders keen your powers of perception of those facts, ideas, and conditions which agree with your beliefs and expectations.

The subconscious mentality is very active—it works even while you sleep, and while you are thinking of other things— and, though in the first place it is influenced greatly by your conscious thoughts and beliefs, it eventually acquires control over the latter to a marked degree. Inasmuch as over seventy-five percent of your mental operations are performed on the sub-conscious planes of mentation, you will see that this subconscious mentality is capable of influencing your mental attitude, and your mental direction of effort, to a very considerable extent. Accordingly, you will realize how important it is to have your “beliefs” and “expectant attention” under control, and to have them working in the right direction.

Let us give you a few illustrations of the above-stated principle, drawn from the experiences of everyday life experiences on the physical plane, but in which the subconscious mental influence is manifest. These illustrations may be deemed trivial by those who fail to perceive that the principle operating in them is also involved in far more important happenings and action. We ask you to accept these as simple illustrations of a far from simple general class of phenomena.

Several years ago, one of the writers of this book knew a young man who was an expert bowler. He was a very careful player, with mind and muscles well under control, with great powers of concentration on his play, and with nerves not easily “rattled.” When questioned carefully by the writer concerning the mental operations leading to his careful play, he gave some very interesting and instructive answers.

Among other things, he said that he attributed his successful play largely to his gradually acquired habit of arousing a mental state of certainty, assurance, and confident expectation that his aim would be perfect. He said that sometimes it was rather difficult to arouse that feeling; as he expressed it, “it is sometimes slow a’coming,” but that he would wait a few moments until “it came.” This “coming,” as he called it, was manifested by a certain “sort of ‘click’ in my mind,” which was the signal to send the ball forward. When that “click” came, he “just knew for certain” that his aim was perfect. The Confident Expectation, or Expectant Attention, served so to coordinate his mental calculation and his muscular effort that success was assured.

He told the writer that early in his bowling experience he was subject to being “rattled” by the remarks and chaffing of opposing players, and, so, often failed to make a “strike” which ordinarily was quite easy. He said that he managed to overcome this difficulty by cultivating the power of shutting out from his consciousness the remarks of others. He added, however, that even quite late in his experience he lost a game by reason of having accepted the adverse suggestion of a bystander. As nearly as the writer can recollect the conversation, he used the following words in describing this occurrence:

“I was at a close stage of the game, and I could win only by putting the ball between the 1 and 2 pins, which ought to have been easy for me to do, judging from my past record. Just as I was about to bowl, a friend of my opponent said, quietly, as if to his friend: ‘Just watch him hit the 4 pin.’ Somehow, or someway, there crept into my mind the idea that I was going to hit the 4 pin, which was about the worst thing I could do just then. I can’t say that I was exactly afraid; but I got the notion that I was going to hit that 4 pin in spite of myself—I actually believed and expected it. I aimed with my usual care, straight between the 1 and 2 pins, and then let the ball go. I never could tell how it happened, but my ball rolled right toward that 4 pin, and struck it fair and square. And so, instead of making a ten strike I got only a split. That fellow sure hoodooed me, all right. I never knew how he did it, but do it he did.”

Here was evidently a case of misdirected Expectant Attention—Faith reversed! He believed and expected the bad shot, and, although he used his habitual care, his subconscious mind manifested his belief and unconsciously to him influenced his muscular action at the critical moment. His “click” of certainty in ordinary cases was the result of the same psychological principle. In either case, in each case, the subconscious mentality was striving to make true in outer action the inner belief. It was a case of “Thought taking form in action”: of the response of the physical muscles to the subconscious mental state.

We understand that baseball players report a similar state of affairs. They often “just know” the probable result of their batting, or of their catching of the ball in the field—they experience that certain state of Expectant Attention which is a phase of Confident Expectation, and their muscles become a perfectly coordinated machine. Again, when a player allows himself to be “rattled” by the shouts from the benches—when he allows the adverse suggestions to obtain lodgment in his subconscious mind—then the Faith is reversed, and “that which he fears comes upon him.” In either case there is manifested in action the mental picture formed in the mind of the player. The ideal tends to become real; Expectant Attention creates the ideal, and the subconscious mentality performs the action.

The writer was once told by an ex-manager of noted pugilists that a similar condition is found to exist among prize fighters. He said: “If a boy believes that he is going to be licked, then licked he is in advance of the match. If, on the contrary, he feels in his heart that he is the better man, then his chances of success are enormously increased. There’s a whole lot of this mind-stuff in ring fighting, believe me!”

The writer personally met with a similar case, occurring twenty years ago—in the days of bicycles and cable-cars. He was riding on the “grip-car,” on the front part of the bench of the open car then used. Hearing the gripman using strong language, he looked ahead, and there saw a young colored man riding a bicycle and trying to cross the street on an angle, just in front of the car. Ordinarily there would have been no difficulty in his making the crossing—there was plenty of room and plenty of time for it. But when the gripman swore at him, and called out “Look out, there, you’re going to run into the car,” the young man’s hand seemed to turn in spite of himself, and he (seemingly deliberately) turned his wheel and ran straight into the car. When picked out of the wreck of his bicycle, badly shaken up but uninjured, he was asked why he turned his wheel toward the car. He answered: “I dunno, I dunno; I ’speck dat wheel just got skeered and runned away with me.” The real truth was that his Expectant Attention was active, and the wheel acted just as he looked for it to act—his subconscious mentality performing the action. Many old-time bicycle riders will understand and appreciate this illustration—they “have been there” themselves!

The same principle may be seen in operation in the actions of children; children are very apt to take on the suggestions of their elders, and to act upon them subconsciously even when they “don’t want to.” We have witnessed the unfortunate result of the admonition: “Look out, Myrtle, you’ll drop that vase; look out, its slipping now!” Of course, “bang” went the vase! Again: “Look out, Johnny, be careful; you’ll slip off the banister!” Johnny accepts the suggestion, his subconscious mentality believes it, and the action follows.

We once saw a little boy walking along the top of a high brick wall; he made the trip backward and forward several times without trouble. But when, finally, a grown-up shouted a warning of danger, coupled with the assertion that the boy would fall off, the boy’s Expectant Attention was aroused, and down he came. A leading tight-rope performer has stated in a newspaper interview that if he entertains the thought that he will fall, he is almost certain to become “wobbly,” and then needs to exert considerable will-power to maintain his balance.

The above recited illustrations of the effect of Confident Expectation, in its phase of Expectant Attention, in these little simple matters of everyday experience, are likewise illustrations of the operation of the same psychological principle—the principle of Faith in its many forms—in many far more important, and far more complex, matters of life and action. As we proceed in our consideration of the subject in this instruction, you will perceive this same universal principle at work along many different lines, and in many different forms, phases and aspects of its power.

For the present, we ask you merely to bear in mind this statement: The entire set of mental processes, conscious, subconscious, and unconscious, tend to proceed in the direction of Expectant Attention, or Confident Expectation, which is a phase of Faith. The mind, consciously, subconsciously, or unconsciously, strives to build around itself a world corresponding to its beliefs, and to act along the lines of its beliefs, even when such a world or such actions are not desired. Hope and Fear, when expressions of Confident Expectation, or Expectant Attention, are potent motive powers, particularly along subconscious lines of mentation.


The Secret of “Faith-Cures”

Among the many phases and forms of the application and manifestation of the mental principle of Faith Power is that important phase or form known generally as “Faith-Cure.” The consideration of the phenomena arising from the application and manifestation of this phase or form of Faith Power is well worth while, not alone because of their importance on their own account, but also because of the fact that in such consideration there is brought to light the operation of the potent force inherent in such general principle itself.

By Faith-Cure is meant “the cure of disease by the exercise of faith in some external force or power, or in the force or power inherent in the mental or spiritual nature of the mind or soul of the individual.” The following definitions, given by authoritative reference works, will perhaps bring out still more clearly the essential elements and meaning of this concept and term:

“Faith-Cure, or Faith-Healing, is a form of ‘mind cure’ characterized by the idea that while pain and disease really exist they may be neutralized and dispelled by faith in Divine power; the doctrine of Christian Science holds, however, that pain is only an illusion and seeks to cure the patient by instilling into him this belief.”

“Faith-Cure is a term applied to the practice of curing disease by an appeal to the hope, belief, or expectation of the patient, and without the use of drugs or other material means. Formerly, Faith-Cure was confined to methods requiring the exercise of religious faith, such as the ‘prayer cure’ and ‘divine healing,’ but has now come to be used in the broader sense, and includes the cures of Mental Science; also a large part of the cures effected by patent medicines and nostrums, as well as many folk practices and home remedies. By some, it is held to include also Christian Science, but the believers in the latter regard it as entirely distinct.”

Careful investigators and researchers along these lines are now generally agreed that the cures undoubtedly made by the various practitioners of the numerous schools and forms of Faith-Cure (under their different names and theories of cure) have as their underlying effective principle the mental condition or state of Faith; this principle operating so as to call forth the innate power of the mental-physical organism to resist and to overcome the abnormal conditions which manifest as disease. Thus, all cures wrought by the mental forces of the individual, under whatever name or method, are, at the last, Faith Cures.

That this innate power to resist and overcome disease actually exists in the human organism is now admitted by the best authorities; it is known as “the protective and recuperative power of the organism,” or else as the “vis medicatrix naturae,” or “the healing power of Nature.” The power is known to dwell in that part of the mental equipment of man known as “the subconscious mentality,” which has direct control and supervision of many of the physical processes, and which is absolutely in charge of the “involuntary processes” by means of which the most important functions of the body are performed.

This innate power of the organism, so lodged in the subconscious mentality, is found to respond readily to the ideas accepted as true by the individual—to his “beliefs,” in short. These beliefs are forms of Faith, at the last. The belief and Faith of the individual in the effect and influence of any energy, force or power is capable not only of effecting cures of diseased conditions, but also of inducing and bringing about such conditions in the first place. That belief, “Expectant Attention,” Confident Expectation—in short, Faith—is capable of causing the manifestation of conditions of physical disease, is now too well established to admit of doubt; advanced schools of therapeutics recognize this fact, and impart instruction based upon it. That the same kind of mental conditions act in the direction of curing disease is now practically admitted by the same schools.

Science, after extended investigations of the subject, now holds that the truth (or lack of it) involved in the respective particular religious, metaphysical or philosophical theories advanced by the different Faith-Cure schools, really have nothing whatsoever to do with the curative principle really employed— except that the plausibility of such theories may tend to arouse and maintain the belief and Faith—the Expectant Attention and Confident Expectation—of the patient, thereby setting into operation the innate healing powers of the organism through the activities of the subconscious mentality. The fact that the various opposing schools, with their widely differing and often absolutely opposing sets of theories, are found to make cures in about the same proportion to the cases treated, is held to point conclusively to the existence of this common and universal element of Faith as the real factor of the cures.

It is admitted by practical psychologists that the Expectant Attention, the Confident Expectation—the Faith—of the average person is more keenly aroused and more firmly held by the attractive religious or metaphysical explanations offered by many of these schools of Faith-Cure than by the coldly scientific explanation furnished by scientific observers; such attractive explanations and theories appeal more strongly to the imagination, and thus more easily set in force the activities of the subconscious mentality. But when Science administers its “masked suggestion” in sufficiently attractive guises, it produces results equally efficient.

The glowing verbal pictures painted by the quacks, the charlatans, and the patent-cure promoters among the “material remedy” practitioners, as well as by the exploiters of nostrums and “patent medicines,” however, are quite attractive to the average imagination—and, as a consequence, many “cures” are made in this way. In all of such cases, be it noted, the theory and the method are merely incidental—the principle of Faith-Cure is the active factor in the cure. It is not a matter so much of “just what” is believed in and is the object of Faith, as it is of “just how much” it is believed in and becomes an object of Faith. The theory and method, the instrument and vehicle, of the treatment is merely the capsule in which the active and potent force of Faith is hidden.

Faith-Cure, in its many forms, is as old as the race; it has been practiced from time immemorial. Formerly practiced by the “medicine men” of the tribes, through incantations, magic ceremonies, charms, etc., it gradually was taken over by the priesthood of the various early religions, and its instruments were prayers, sacred rites, sacred objects, etc. The history of “Mental Medicine” is filled with innumerable forms of the application of this potent force of Faith and Confident Expectation—of Expectant Attention, as the scientific writers call it. The same principle operated through the instrumentality of various strange drugs and medicines in the history of Material Medicine, as reference to the medical textbooks show beyond a doubt.

The “Encyclopaedia Britannica,” in its article on “Faith Healing,” says: “In the Christian Church the tradition of faith-healing dates from the earliest days of Christianity; upon the miracles of the New Testament follow cases of healing, first by the Apostles, then by their successors; but faith-healing proper is gradually, from the third century onwards, transformed into trust in relics, though faith-cures occur sporadically at times. Catherine of Siena is said to have saved Father Matthew from dying of the plague, but in this case it is rather the healer who was strong in faith.

“With the Reformation, faith-healing proper reappears among the Monrovians and Waldenses, who, like the Peculiar People of our own day, put their trust in prayer and anointing with oil. In the 16th century we find faith-cures recorded of Luther and other reformers; in the next century of the Baptists, Quakers, and other Puritan sects; and in the 18th century the faith-healing of the Methodists in this country was paralleled by Pietism in Germany. In the 19th century Prince Hohenlohe, canon of Grosswardein, was a famous healer on the continent; the Mormons and Irvingites were prominent among English-speaking peoples; in the last quarter of the 19th century faith-healing became popular in London, and Bethshan homes were opened in 1881, and since then it has found many adherents in England.

“Under faith-healing in a wider sense may be included (1) the cures in the temples of Aesculapius and other deities in the ancient world; (2) the practice of touching for the king’s evil, in vogue from the 11th to the 18th century; (3) the cures of Valentine Greatrakes, the ‘Stroker’ (16281683); and (4) the miracles of Lourdes, and other resorts of pilgrims, among which may be mentioned St. Winfred’s Well in Flintshire, Treves with its Holy Coat, the grave of the Jansenist F. de Paris in the 18th century, the little town of Kevelaer from 1641 onwards, the tombs of St. Louis, Francis of Assasi, Catherine of Siena, and others.

“From the psychological point of view, all these different kinds of faith-healing, as indeed all kinds of faith-healing, as indeed all kinds of mind-cure, including those of Christian Science and hypnotism, depend upon suggestion. In faith-healing proper not only are powerful direct suggestions used, but the religious atmosphere and the autosuggestions of the patient co-operate, especially when the cures take place during a period of religious revival or at other times when large assemblies and strong emotions are found. The suggestibility of large crowds is markedly greater than that of individuals, and to this greater faith must be attributed the greater success of the fashionable places of pilgrimage.”

In general accounts of the phenomena of Faith-Healing, such as the one above quoted, you will generally find two points needing more detailed comment, namely, (1) the point that cures are made even when the patients “do not believe” in the healing power invoked; and (2) the easy reference of the basic cause to “Suggestion”—the statement often being made that “it is merely Suggestion.” Let us consider these two points in a little further detail.

In the first place, the person subjecting himself to these healing agencies always has some degree of “belief” and Faith in the possible efficacy of the agency employed, else he would not take the trouble and spend the time and money necessary to take the treatment. This Faith may be merely “a sneaking belief,” but it is always there. Particularly where money is involved this element must be present; for one does not part with money for treatments which he feels certain will do no good—there is always some hope, belief and Faith present. Even the man who sneers at the idea of his warts being cured by a “powwow” has at least a faint hope of some possible good accruing to him, else he would not bother with the matter at all. This faint hope, belief, or Faith, is taken up by the subconscious mentality and is there intensified, magnified, and concentrated.

It may be stated as a positive and invariable principle that: “Without some degree of Faith and Hope, some degree of Expectant Attention, there can be no Faith-Cure.” This belief, hope, and Faith may be hidden, and apparently rejected by the conscious mentality—but its seeds and roots are present in the subconscious mentality, and begin to grow and send forth shoots and sprouts under the power of the Expectant Attention.

In the second place, to “explain” the phenomena of Faith-Cure by the statement, “It is merely Suggestion,” is but to give the phenomena a new name. Affixing a new term is not a true “explanation.” Of course, Faith-Cure is “Suggestion”—but what is “Suggestion?” Analyzing the phenomena attributed to Suggestion, and reducing the idea of Suggestion to its essential elements, we find that Suggestion consists of: (1) placing a strong idea in the mind—grafting it on the mind, as it were; (2) arousing the Expectant Attention of the results implied or indicated in the suggested idea; and (3) setting into operation the activities of the subconscious mentality in the direction of bringing about the result pictured by the Expectant Attention, which in turn has been aroused by the suggested idea. There you have the whole idea of Suggestion in a nutshell!

The “suggested idea” may be one of disease, as well as of healing; it may be deliberately or otherwise grafted on the mind by another person, or it may arise through the “auto-suggestion” of the person himself, made up of the material of ideas or suggestions that he has “picked up” in his experience with the world: in each case, and in all cases, the “suggested idea” is an idea which strikes the mind with force, and which seems “quite reasonable,” i. e., worthy of some belief. The Expectant Attention may be that of either Fear or of Hope, as we have explained to you before; its characteristic element is “holding in mind with the idea that it will come to pass, happen or occur, in some way.” The action of the subconscious mentality we have previously described to you; its action is that of accepting the suggested idea, manifesting the Expectant Attention even more powerfully and more consistently than does the conscious mentality, and setting about to make the idea come true, to realize the expectation, to make “come about” that which is ideated and expected.

You will find these elements in all cases of Suggestion, just as you will find it in all cases of Faith-Cure. Suggestion is the underlying element in Faith-Cure, to be sure; but Suggestion itself is merely a name employed to describe the mental activities to which we have referred. To say that “Faith-Healing is merely Suggestion,” does not “explain” the matter, unless it is stated or admitted that Suggestion is a means of arousing certain mental activities. “Suggestion” is an excellent term, when rightly understood; but it must not be employed as a “fetish,” or as an easy manner of dismissing certain important phenomena. Suggestion is made up of (1) Strong Ideas or Mental Pictures, and (2) Expectant Attention arising from Confident Expectation—and the latter is Faith. When this combined Idea-Faith is planted in the subconscious mentality of the person, it begins to grow, sprout, and to bring forth leaves, blossoms, and fruit in action and physical form.

Now then, all phenomena of Faith-Cure, and of Suggestion as well, are seen to depend upon the presence and action of the element or principle of Faith Power in the mentality of the individual. This Faith Power, however, is a much greater thing than mere Healing-Power, great as is the importance of this particular and special phase of its manifestation. Healing-Power is merely one of many phases of the force and power of Faith Power; merely one of its many forms of manifestation. The study of this phase of the whole subject, and the application of the valuable principles involved in it is well worth while; but at the same time you should not allow yourself to rest content with this one phase or form of its manifestation. The whole is always greater than any one of its component parts.

What is the great lesson to be learned from the consideration of the wonderful phenomena of Faith Power in its phase of Faith-Cure, or of Healing-Power? The answer is that there are two elements involved in that lesson, viz., (1) that there exists and is active a great natural principle, inherent in your natural mental-physical organism, which tends to produce decided and marked effect upon your physical body, either in the direction of disease or that of health and the cure of disease, and that this power is at your disposal and command, and to a great extent under your own control; (2) that this great principle is but a phase or form of a still greater universal principle of your being, which greater principle operates in the direction of setting to work forces which tend to materialize in objective form that which exists in your mind in subjective form, i. e., as Idea and Faith combined, correlated, and coordinated: this greater power, like its lesser and specialized form, is available for your use—it responds to your demands when properly made, and submits itself to your general direction of Idea and Faith.

By an application of the first of the above-stated elements of this greater principle of your being, and of Nature as a whole, you may keep yourself in health, strength, and general desirable physical well-being; or you may bring about by it a gradual return to health and physical well-being, if you have lost these; again, if you allow this principle to be directed wrongly and abnormally, you may lose your physical well-being and health, and may start on the downward path of disease, the end of which is an untimely death. Your physical condition is very largely dependent upon the character and kind of the Ideas and Ideals which you permit to be planted in your mind, and by the degree of Expectant Attention, or Faith, which you permit to vitalize these Ideas and Ideals.

Briefly stated, the course to be followed by you in this matter is as follows: (1) Encourage Ideas and Ideals of Health, Strength, and Vitality—the ideas of Physical Well-Being—to take lodgment in your mind, there to send forth their roots, sprouts, blossoms, and fruit; cultivate these Ideas and Ideals, and vitalize them with a goodly amount of Expectant Attention, Confident Expectation and Faith along the lines of these conditions which you desire to be present in yourself; see yourself “in your mind’s eye” as you wish to be, and “confidently expect” to have these conditions manifested in you by your subconscious mentality; (2) never allow yourself to hold the ideas of diseased abnormal conditions, and, above all, never allow yourself to cultivate the mental habit of “expecting” such conditions to manifest in your body—cultivate the attitude of Faith and Hope, and discard that of Fear; (3) if your mind has been filled with these negative, harmful and destructive mental elements of Idea and Expectancy, and if your body has manifested Disease in response to them, you should proceed to “kill out” these noxious mental weeds by a deliberate, determined and confident cultivation of the right kind of Ideas and Ideals, and states of “Expectancy”; it is an axiom of advanced psychology that “the positives tend to inhibit and to destroy the negatives”—the weeds in the mental garden may be “killed out” by the careful and determined cultivation of the positive plants of Hope, Faith and Confident Expectation of the Good and Desirable.

As to the application of that greater principle of Faith Power, of which Faith-Cure and Healing-Power is but one phase of manifestation, we say to you that we are now leading you, step by step, in the direction of a full understanding of the nature and power of that greater principle, and of its practical and efficient application. The consideration of its power in the phase of Faith-Cure or Healing-Power is important for you, because it causes your mind, conscious and subconscious, to awaken to a realization of the presence and power of this principle of Faith Power as a whole, and furnishes you with concrete examples of that presence-power, and of its manifestation in the everyday, practical life of the individual. Faith Power is present and active—it is potent and powerful—and it is friendly to you if you recognize and realize its existence; it is ready to serve you, and to serve you well, provided that you call upon it properly and furnish it with the proper channels through which to flow in its efforts to manifest itself. This is the great truth back of the special lesson of Faith-Cure!


Faith and the Subconscious

In the preceding section of this book we indicated to you the influence of Faith or Confident Expectation upon those faculties of the mind, or those great fields or planes of mental activity, which are generally grouped under the classification of “The Subconscious.” In that presentation, however, we considered only those subconscious mental activities which are concerned with the preservation or the restoration of physical well-being. Faith, however, influences and directs the subconscious mentality in many other ways than in that of Faith-Cure or Faith-Healing along the lines of Mental Therapeutics, as you will see as we proceed with this instruction.

The Subconscious—that great field or plane of mental activity—is the seat of far greater power, and the source of far deeper and broader streams of mental force, than the average person even begins to realize. In that field, or on that plane, are performed over seventy-five percent of man’s mental activities.

Our subconscious mentality has well been compared to the great mountain-like elevations of land under the surface of the ocean—abiding there in substantial form and serving as a support and base for that which appears above the surface, though invisible to the ordinary observer; the islands which appear above the surface representing the important, though comparatively limited area and extent of the conscious mentality.

Others, with equal force, have compared the conscious mentality to the comparatively small area of a mighty iceberg floating through the seas of the Arctic region, the subconscious mentality being represented by the far greater substance and body of the iceberg which is submerged beneath the waters, and which is invisible.

Again, the conscious mentality has been compared to the comparatively small section of the light spectrum which is visible to the human eye, which section includes the various light-waves ranging from red to violet—the subconscious mentality being represented by that enormous field of the infra-red rays on the one side, and the ultra-violet rays on the other.

Our mental world is far more extensive than we usually conceive it to be; it has great comparatively unsounded depths, and equally grand comparatively unsealed heights: the explored and charted areas of our conscious mentality are incidental and subordinate to those broad areas of which even the brightest minds of our race have merely explored the borderland, the expanded uncharted interior of the strange country still awaiting the exploring expeditions of the future. Our position in relation to this great Terra Incognita of the mind is similar to that of the ancient civilized world toward the earth as a whole; we are as yet awaiting the Columbus who will explore the Western Continent of the mind, and the Livingstones and Stanleys who will furnish us with maps of the mental Darkest Africa.

Yet, even the comparatively small explored areas of the Subconscious have revealed to us a wonderful land—a land filled with the richest raw materials, precious metals, wonderful species of animal and plant life. And our daring investigators have discovered means of applying and using some of the Faith and the Subconscious wonderful things which have been discovered in even that borderland of the new mental world.

The past fifty years have been very fruitful for the race in this direction. We have learned not only of the existence of this new land filled with wondrous things, but we have also learned much concerning the nature of those things; and, what is still better, we have learned much concerning the best methods of converting those things to our own uses. We have as yet much more to learn along these lines, but what has been already learned has revolutionized our conceptions of the mind, and has opened up to our conscious use great mental powers, the very existence of which were formerly unsuspected.

We shall not enter here into a detailed consideration of the fields and planes of the Subconscious realm of the mind, nor into a full description of what has been found to abide in those regions. We have considered these matters and subjects fully in that volume of this series which is entitled “Subconscious Power,” to which book we refer you if you are desirous of studying in further detail these subconscious faculties of the mind and the most efficient methods of applying and using them. In the present volume we are concerned almost entirely with the consideration of Faith Power in its effect upon the mind as a whole, the conscious planes as well as the subconscious; but inasmuch as Faith Power performs such a large part of its activities on the planes or in the fields of the Subconscious, we find it necessary to make constant reference to the latter in our consideration of Faith Power.

While it is true that Desire is the motive-power of all human action, conscious and subconscious, and that without Desire (conscious or subconscious) there could and would be no such action; and while it is true that Desire and Will go out toward Idea, and that without Idea (conscious or subconscious) there would be no moving of the mind to action: still it is equally true that the measure of the degree and the direction of such activity is dependent very largely upon the degree of Faith, Confident Expectation or Expectant Attention manifesting in the individual.

This is true concerning the activities of the conscious mentality—it is doubly or trebly true of the activities of the subconscious mentality. In fact, the subconscious mentality has been discovered to be very “set in its beliefs,” and to hold steadfastly to them when once they have taken lodgment within it; so much so, in truth, that it will often balk and rebel when the conscious mentality strives to set it to work in opposition to its fixed beliefs and habits of action. It is often found to be necessary to “re-educate the Subconscious,” when it has been filled with erroneous beliefs and ideas, before it can be set to work in a new direction—a direction opposed to its old beliefs and ideas.

Certain fields, at least, of the subconscious mental activity— certain of the subconscious mental faculties, at least—remind the scientific observer very much of the mind of the child. That is to say, like the mind of the child it is quite open to original impressions, and quite disposed to exercise Faith and belief concerning ideas presented to it, provided that these ideas do not conflict with those already accepted by it; but, also, like the mind of the child, it will hold fast to these ideas when they have been accepted as truth and forcibly impressed upon it, and will find it difficult to accept or act upon ideas opposed to them. Like the child mind, also, it readily forms habits of belief, thought, and action, and when these are once “set” it requires much work to change them or to reverse their action.

We have evidences of this fact in our everyday lives—you, yourself, can testify to its truth. Like nearly every other person, you have found yourself strongly influenced by silly, irrational, superstitious ideas, notions and habits of thought and action, long after you have thoroughly convinced yourself that such superstitions have no basis in fact or in truth. Your conscious mentality frees itself from the bonds of the superstition, but when you come to the test you find within yourself, deep down in your mental and emotional being, a distinct, definite and positive tendency to act according to the old belief or notion. You feel the pull of the Subconscious upon your Will, and it often requires the greatest exercise of Will-power to overcome that subconscious influence. The subconscious mentality must be “re-educated” before it will cease to protest and pull against your conscious reasoning mind.

You, in all probability, have still some pet superstitions— notions which your reason pronounces to be absolutely ridiculous in their untruth and lack of reality—which, when it “comes to the pinch,” cause you to feel quite uncomfortable if you attempt to act contrary to them. It has well been said that while we laugh at the pet superstitions of others, we hug close to those of our own which are equally ridiculous. We pride ourselves on our rational actions, and our intellectual habits of thought and belief, but when it comes to walking under a ladder, sitting at a table with thirteen persons present, doing things on Friday, breaking a mirror, etc., etc., we show plainly the force of this old pull and influence of subconscious belief and Faith. And, if we act contrary to these, in spite of ourselves we find Expectant Attention being directed toward the result feared by the subconscious elements of our mental being.

It is amusing to those who are free from those particular superstitions, and quite interesting to the scientific observer, to note that so many intelligent, well-informed, rational persons will hesitate to return for some forgotten thing after they once have left the house; or that they will “knock wood” after having made some statement expressing success, freedom from trouble, etc.; or that they will show visible concern and distress when they spill salt at the table, or break a mirror, or do something else which their subconscious mentality believes to be a “hoodoo.” As for sitting at a table of thirteen guests, some of the very bravest and most intelligent will feel that it “is all wrong,” and will sigh with relief when an extra guest is pressed into service to break the evil spell.

Yet, in each of these cases, the person will frankly acknowledge that he has no rational or intellectual belief in the evil omen— he knows that there is absolutely “nothing to it”—but he “feels queer about it,” nevertheless, when he comes to the point of “flying in the face of it.” These persons are like the man who said that in the daytime he absolutely scorned the idea of ghosts, but that in the middle of the night he believed implicitly in them. These queer contradictions of human nature are accepted as matters of fact by most of us, though they are usually regarded as beyond rational explanation. However, when the action of the subconscious mentality is recognized, a new light is thrown upon the subject, and the perplexing mental duality is explained—the two sides of the mental shield are perceived and known to be just what they are.

But these hidden beliefs of the Subconscious, and its direction of action in accordance with them, are not confined to those superstitions concerning “unlucky” things and evil omens. Quite as strong, and quite as active, are the subconscious beliefs and notions about “lucky” things and good omens. The principle is the same in each case, though the direction is opposite. Many very intelligent men secretly feel that certain things are “lucky” for them, or that certain things act as charms bringing them success and good luck in their undertakings. Many a man has a sneaking belief in the efficacy of a horseshoe over the door, though he may pretend that it has been placed there “just for fun”; you will discover the strength of the subconscious belief if you attempt to remove the symbol. You would be surprised to learn how many otherwise intelligent persons carry “lucky-stones,” “lucky coins” or other “charms” held to bring success or to avoid the opposite.

Not only this, but the Subconscious entertains deep-rooted convictions and beliefs concerning the general success or non-success of the individual. The person who has constantly impressed upon his subconscious mentality that he is “unlucky,” and that “Fate is against me,” has created a tremendous power within himself which acts as a brake or obstacle to his successful achievement. He has created an enemy within himself which serves to hold him back, and which fights against every inner effort in the direction of success. This hidden enemy hampers his full efforts and cripples his activities.

On the contrary, the person who believes that “luck is running my way,” and that “things are working in my favor,” not only releases all of his latent energies but also actually stimulates his full powers—along subconscious lines as well as conscious. You have probably had the experience of feeling that things were going against you, and as a result your enthusiasm and interest then burned very low; later you became convinced by some little circumstances that “my luck has turned,” and as a result your spirit manifested itself in keener desire and determined will. If you have not had this experience yourself, you have doubtless perceived it manifesting in other persons under your observation.

Many men have become so convinced of their propitious Destiny that they have overcome obstacles which would have blocked the progress of one holding the opposite conviction. In fact, most of the men who have used their failures as stepping-stones to subsequent success have felt within themselves the conviction that they would triumph in the end, and that the disappointments and temporary failures were but incidents of the game.

Men have believed in their “stars,” or in the presence and power of something outside of themselves which was operating in the direction of their ultimate triumph. This has given to them an indomitable will and an unconquerable spirit. Had these same men allowed the conviction of the operation of adverse and antagonistic influences to take possession of their souls, they would have gone down in the struggle—and would have stayed down. In either case, however, the real “something” which they have believed to be an outside thing or entity, has been nothing more nor less than the influence and power of their own Subconscious—in one case pulling with them, and in the other pulling against them.

The man with his Subconscious filled with belief and Faith in his non-success, and in the inevitable failure of his efforts— the man whose Confident Expectation is that of non-success, failure and inability, and whose Expectant Attention is directed toward such an outcome and the incidents and circumstances leading up to it,—is like a man in the water who is swimming against the stream. He is opposing the strong current, and his every effort is counteracted and overcome by the adverse forces of the stream. Likewise, the man whose Subconscious is saturated with the conviction of ultimate victory and final success—whose Confident Expectation is directed toward that end, and whose Expectant Attention is ever on the look-out for things tending to realize his inner beliefs—is like the swimmer who is moving in the direction of the current. Such a man not only is not really opposed by the forces of the stream, but, instead, has these forces at work aiding him.

The importance of having the Faith, Confident Expectation and Expectant Attention of the Subconscious directed toward your success, achievement and successful ultimate accomplishment—and the importance of not having these mighty forces operative against yourself—may be realized when you stop to consider that in the one case you have three-quarters of your mental equipment and power operating in your favor, and in the other case you have that three-quarters operating against you. And that three-quarters, in either case, not only is working actively during your waking hours, but also “works while you sleep.” To lose the assistance of that three-quarters would be a serious matter, would it not? But far more serious is it to have that three-quarters actually working against you—having it on the side of the enemy! This is just what happens when the Subconscious gets into action under the influence of wrongly directed Faith, Expectant Attention and Confident Expectation.

The ideas, plans, inner suggestions, hints, “hunches” and other strange mental states which are constantly rising from the depths of the Subconscious to the surface of conscious thought, are potent factors in the mental work, achievements and accomplishments of the individual. To the man of Hopeful Confident Expectation these point out the road to increased efficiency and progress. To the man of Fearful Confident Expectation they point out the dangers, obstacles, hindrances, defeating influences and the other things which paralyze man’s will and cause his spirit to sink and his heart grow heavy with discouragement. The spirit, the soul, the heart of the man are colored by these subconscious influences; and, in turn, they tend to provoke action and movement in the direction corresponding to the state of belief indicated by that color. The inner state manifests in the outer action—the ideal tends to become real—the materialization proceeds in the shape and form of the visualization.

Expectant Attention plays an important part in this manifestation of the Faith and Confident Expectation of the Subconscious. We have pointed out to you that Attention is attracted to, and drawn out by those objects and subjects which are the subject of its interest and belief; and that it ignores objects and subjects contrary to these. So true is this that if two men of equal mental powers and intellectual efficiency were subjected to precisely the same conditions and set of circumstances—were caused to undergo the same general experiences, in fact—each might obtain entirely opposite results were their respective subconscious mentalities filled with opposite conditions of Faith and Confident Expectation.

The Expectant Attention of each man would cause him to perceive things which were imperceptible to the other man of equal mental power and intelligence; one would see the thorns, the other the roses; one would see the hole, the other the body of the doughnut; one would see only the things making for failure, the other the things conducive to his success. Each would see that for which he was looking—and would be looking for that which his Confident Expectation believed would be found, and to which accordingly his Expectant Attention would be directed. This is why one man would be able to say, in the end: “And lo! mine own hath come to me”; and the other, “That which I feared hath verily now come upon me!”

But this is not all. In other books of this series we have called your attention to the power of the mind to attract to itself the things of the outside world which are correlated to its thoughts. In the books, “Personal Power,” and “Thought Power”, respectively, we have gone into details concerning this subject which is merely referred to at this place. That such Law of Mental Attraction exists is now admitted by many of the world’s most careful thinkers—it is no longer held to be a vague and fanciful notion held by a few visionaries. Whatever may be the theory held to be underlying it—and there are many such—the presence and power of this Law must be admitted by all unprejudiced persons. Its results and effects form evidence found at every turn—evidence which is valid and incontrovertible.

This Law of Mental Attraction, being mental in its essence and in its form of action, must operate on all planes of the mind—and, indeed, has been discovered so to act. The mind has many planes of activity, and as we have said, at least three-quarters of its operations are performed below or above the plane of ordinary consciousness. The Subconscious plays a most important part in the operations of this Mental Law of Attraction—the forces under this Law are largely set in motion and activity by impulses coming from the region of the Subconscious. This being the case, you may realize how important it is for you to so train, educate, re-educate and direct your subconscious mental faculties that they may he filled with the Faith of Hope, and not the Faith of Fear—that your Confident Expectation may be directed forward, and not backward—that your Expectant Attention may see the helpful things, and not those which hinder and pull back.

Get busy with your Subconscious. Train it, educate it, re-educate it, direct it, incline it, teach it, suggest to it, along the lines of the Faith in Success and Power, and not those of the Faith in Failure and Weakness. Set it to work swimming with that current. The Subconscious is much given to Faith—it lives on Faith, it acts upon Faith. Then see that you supply it with the right kind of Faith, and avoid as a pestilence that Faith which is based on Fear and is grounded in Failure and Despair. Think carefully—and act!


Faith and Enthusiasm

Faith is the underlying principle of that remarkable quality of the human mind which is known as Enthusiasm. It is its essence, it is its substance, it is its actuating principle. Without Faith there can be no manifestation of Enthusiasm. Without Faith there can be no expression of the activities of Enthusiasm. Without Faith there can be no exhibition of the energies of Enthusiasm. Without Faith the quality of Enthusiasm remains dormant, latent and static—Faith is needed to arouse it, to render it active, to cause it to become dynamic.

Moreover, the Faith required for the manifestation and expression of Enthusiasm must be positive Faith—Faith in the successful outcome of the undertaking—Faith exhibiting its positive phases—Faith in the attainment of that which is desirable and which is regarded as good. You can never manifest Enthusiasm toward that which you confidently expect to be a failure, nor toward that which you feel will bring undesirable results and effects. Negative Faith has no power to arouse Enthusiasm: the presence of Positive Faith is necessary to awaken this wonderful latent mental or spiritual force.

Enthusiasm is a mental or spiritual force which has always been regarded by mankind with respect—often with a respect mingled with awe. To the ancients it seemed to be a special gift of the gods, and by them it was regarded as animating the individual with almost divine attributes of power, and as causing him to absorb a portion of the essence of the divine nature. Recognizing the fact that men under the influence of Enthusiasm often accomplish almost superhuman tasks, the ancients came to believe that this added power and capacity arose from the superimposition of power from planes of being above that of humanity. Hence, they employed terms to define it which clearly indicated their belief in its transcendent nature.

The term, “Enthusiasm,” is directly derived from the ancient Greek term meaning, “to be inspired by the gods.” The two compositive elements of the original term are, respectively, a term denoting “inspiration,” and one denoting “the gods” or “divinity,” the two terms in combination meaning literally “inspired by the gods.”

The present meaning of the term, in its English usage, is: “(1) Inspiration as if by a divine or superhuman power; or, (2) enkindled and kindling fervor of soul; or (3) ardent and lively zeal or interest.” The term, “Enthusiast,” formerly was employed in the strict sense of “One moved or actuated by Enthusiasm”; but it has gradually acquired the corrupted meaning of “visionary, fanatic, zealot, or one carried away by zeal or fanaticism”; this latter meaning having arisen by reason of the intemperate actions and expressions of persons carried away by zeal or fanaticism, lacking the balance of Reason and Logic.

The implied discredit arising in this way has in some degree extended to the term, Enthusiasm, itself; this is much to be regretted, for the term has an honorable history and in its true meaning indicates a most important and valuable quality of the human mentality. It should be needless for us to add here that in the present consideration of the subject we are employing the term Enthusiasm only in its true sense and with its most approved meaning and implication.

It is interesting to note that in the history of the term, “Enthusiasm,” the word has been almost invariably associated with the idea of “Inspiration.” The latter term originally meant, “breathing in,” and in its figurative sense it indicated a “breathing in” of divine or superhuman power. As we have pointed out to you, Enthusiasm originally meant “to be inspired by the gods.” Later, the definition was extended to include the “inspiration” of great writers, poets, artists and orators; thus, Socrates speaks of the inspiration of the poets as a form of Enthusiasm.

In its present usage the term, Enthusiasm, has come to mean, “a lively, ardent, wholehearted interest in or devotion to a cause, subject, or object,” and the word, Inspiration, is employed to indicate “an elevating, quickening, enthusiastic interest, which stimulates and animates the intellect and the emotions of the individual.” The two expressions, Enthusiasm and Inspiration, respectively, have travelled hand-in-hand through the centuries; even today, in the more or less figurative and metaphorical employment of these words, we find that the quality of Enthusiasm is held to manifest and express itself in that “quickening stimulation of intellect and emotions” which denotes Inspiration in such modern usage.

Here the student of psychology finds another instance and illustration of the general rule according to which modern psychology employs the present knowledge of the Subconscious to account for much that was formerly attributed to supernatural, or at least superhuman influences and power. Enthusiasm and Inspiration which the ancients believed to be the result of the “breathing in” of divine or supernatural essence, or the superimposition of supernatural or superhuman power, are now held to be the result of the aroused and quickened activities of the Subconscious—of that wonderful region of the mentality of man from which emerges so much of the greatest importance to him.

In the Subconscious of man there abide many wonderful powers of mind and will. It would seem that man has “merely scratched the surface” of his mental capacity and power; and that great stores of power remain beneath that surface, as yet untouched, awaiting the “tapping” of the mental tools of the individual. At times, under great stress and under great necessity, the individual seems to “contact” these hidden storehouses of power, and, accordingly, he is able to perform work which ordinarily is far beyond his power of accomplishment. At such times we say of him that he “is veritably inspired,” and he seems, indeed, to have “breathed in” some strange potent influence which magnifies his powers and efficiency. But, the necessity over, the individual usually loses his new power, and sinks back to his ordinary condition; he has not as yet learned how to maintain or retain the “contact” once accomplished. .

William James, in his celebrated essay, “The Powers of Man,” called attention to this comparatively common occurrence, i. e., that of the sudden inrush of increased power in times of necessity. He compared it to the “second wind” which comes to the person who has overexerted his ordinary physical powers. Such person after feeling exhausted and fatigued to such an extent as almost to be compelled to cease his efforts—when he is “all out of breath”—suddenly experiences a feeling of relief, and finds that his “second wind” has come to him, and that he is thereby enabled to make a fresh start.

Professor James held that man not only possesses the power of developing a “second wind” in physical exertion, but that also he has the power of developing a mental “second wind” in much the same manner. He points out to his readers that often when a man is compelled to perform mental work under an increased strain by reason of unusual necessity, and when as the result of such effort, he finds himself on the verge of complete exhaustion, then, in many instances, he seems to tap a deeper stratum of mental energy, and lo! his mind takes on a new freshness and manifests renewed power. The mental “second wind” thus attained, he is able to make a fresh start. James held that not only is the mental “second wind” capable of development, but also that there is the possibility of the development of a “third wind,” a “fourth wind,” and so on—the limit not being as yet known.

Others who have used the James’ theory of the mental “second wind” as a foundation for further speculation and experiment, have sought to locate the storehouse of this latent “second wind” of the mind. They have pointed out that it must be “stored away” somewhere, for it could not have proceeded from nothingness. These psychologists, and others, are practically in general agreement in the belief that this hidden storehouse is located in the great regions of the Subconscious, and that its stores are possible of being drawn upon only when the Subconscious is aroused, stimulated or “quickened” by great interest—when it is “inspired” by great feeling—in short, when it is filled with Enthusiasm!

The above-stated conclusion agrees with our own general experience—with your own personal experience, in fact. You have found that when you become quite intensely interested in a subject, object, study, pursuit, or cause, so that your Enthusiasm is thoroughly aroused, then there comes to you a highly increased and greatly intensified degree and amount of mental energy and power. At such times your mind seems to work with lightning-like rapidity, and with a wonderful sense of ease and efficiency. Your mental powers seem to be quadrupled—your mental machinery seems to have some miraculous oil poured into the proper place, thus removing all friction and allowing every part of the mechanism to move smoothly and easily and with wonderful speed. At such times you feel, indeed, actually “inspired.” You feel that a new world of attainment would be opened to you if you could but make this mental condition a permanent one.

This increased sense of mental power, this increased ease of mental work, this increased capacity for accomplishment, all these are manifestations and expressions of that “second wind” which is one of the qualities of the Subconscious, and which is called forth whenever and wherever you can manage to arouse your Subconscious faculties to a sufficient extent. You will find by exercising your powers of remembrance that in the cases mentioned you have been conscious of a greater or less amount of Enthusiasm, i. e., of a lively quickening of interest in the matter before you and toward which you have directed your concentrated attention. This Enthusiasm has so stimulated and vitalized your intellectual and emotional powers that your reserve force of mental energy has been drawn upon and you have become conscious of an inflow of efficiency and capacity in the performance of the task, duty or work before you. You may readily see how and why the ancients believed this to be the action of a supernatural or superhuman power which was “breathed in” by them and which was in effect Inspiration.

Looking around you in your world of practical everyday work and effort, you will see why business men and other men of affairs regard as an important factor of successful work that mental quality known as “enthusiastic interest” on the part of the persons performing that work. This “enthusiastic interest” in the work or task is found to call forth all the mental and physical powers of the worker. He not only puts into his task every ounce of his ordinary capacity, but he also draws upon that hidden reserve force of his Subconscious mentality and adds that to his ordinary full energy. When he approaches the fatigue limit his “enthusiastic interest” carries him on, and before long he has “caught his second wind” and obtained his fresh start.

Ask any successful sales-manager for a list of the essential characteristics of the successful salesman, and on that list you will find this capacity for or habit of “enthusiastic interest” occupying a prominent place. This, not only because of its highly important effect upon the work of the salesman himself, but also because “Enthusiasm is contagious,” and the lively, quickened interest of the salesman tends to communicate itself to the subconscious mentality of his customer.

In the same way the Enthusiasm of the public speaker, orator, advocate or statesman energizes and quickens his entire intellectual and emotional nature, thus causing him to do his best, likewise communicating itself to his audience by means of “mental contagion.” The man with “his soul afire” tends to fire the souls and hearts of those around him. The spirit of the enthusiastic leader, foreman, or “boss,” is “caught” by those under him.

Enthusiasm is clearly a manifestation of the emotional phase of man’s mentality, and it appeals directly and immediately to the emotional nature of others. Likewise, it is clearly a product of the subconscious mentality, and accordingly it appeals directly and immediately to the subconscious mentality of others. Its effect is characteristically animating, energizing, inspiring, “quickening.” It not only stirs the feelings and sets fire to the spiritual nature, but it also stimulates and vivifies the intellectual faculties. The “live wires” in the world of men are those individuals who possess the quality of “enthusiastic interest” highly developed, and habitually manifested when the occasion calls for it. Overdone, it defeats its object—the Golden Mean must be observed; but lacking it the man is what is known in the idiom of practical men as a “dead one.”

As we have previously pointed out to you, Enthusiasm without Faith is a mere term having no real substance or meaning. Or else it is a sham, a counterfeit, a “bluff”, or perhaps a hysterical imitation of the real mental quality. The man of true Enthusiasm does not “gush,” nor is he a visionary or a fanatic—these are the signs of the abnormal development or manifestation of this valuable quality. The man of true Enthusiasm is characterized by his abiding Faith in his proposition or subject; by his lively interest in it; by his earnestness in presenting it and working toward its accomplishment; by his untiring, indefatigable efforts on its behalf. Faith, however, is the foundation upon which all the rest is built; lacking Faith, the structure of Enthusiasm falls like a house-of-cards.

The more Faith a man has in that which he is doing, toward which he is working, or that which he is presenting to others, the greater will be the manifestation of his own powers and capacity, the more efficient will be his performance of the work, and the greater will be his ability to influence others and to cause them to see things in the light of his own earnest belief and interest. Faith arouses and sustains Enthusiasm; lack of Faith deadens and inhibits it; Unfaith and positive Disbelief kill it. It is clear that the first step toward the cultivation and development of Enthusiasm is that of the creation of Faith in the subject or object toward which you wish to manifest and express Enthusiasm.

If you have no Faith in the subject or object of your activities, then you will never be able to manifest Enthusiasm concerning that subject or object; and if you are unable to manifest at least a fair degree of such Enthusiasm, then you will never be able to express your full energies or to manifest your full powers in those activities. Finally, if you are unable to express your energies to the full and to manifest your powers adequately in those activities, then you will never be able to attain the full measure of success in your work connected with that particular subject or object. If you cannot arouse Faith and Enthusiasm in your work, you would do well to change your work so as to have it cover that in which you can arouse Faith and manifest Enthusiasm.

Faith, however, is not all that is involved in Enthusiasm. Added to Faith there must be a keen interest in the subject or object toward which you have directed your Expectant Attention. Interest adds zest to your activities, and renders pleasant the tasks which without it would be monotonous drudgery and slavish toil. Interest transforms toil and work into a labor of love. When you are deeply interested in a task, you “like” to perform the work connected with it. Interest arouses the creative instinct in the heart and soul of the worker; and all true creative expression is pleasant, and is capable of affording satisfaction to the worker. The best work is not that work performed merely by the hands—nor even that in which the head adds its work to that of the hands; it is only when the heart takes its place in the working partnership, and adds its power to that of head and hands, that the really creditable and worthy work of the individual is performed.

Interest may be aroused and maintained by an intelligent observation of the subject or object of the work. Everything is capable of arousing interest if you will look deep enough and long enough for its interesting qualities and properties. The discovery of interesting facts or qualities in anything creates new interest—this new interest attracts still newer interest, and this still further interest, until finally you find yourself quite deeply engrossed by the subject or object. There is an emotional satisfaction in the discovery of new facts and qualities in anything under your observation; and there is a similar pleasure in discovering improved ways of performing a task. Interest developed to a sufficient extent leads directly toward Enthusiasm.

Interest, however, is quite difficult to arouse concerning anything in which you have no Faith. Lack of Faith is a negative mental quality, and it serves to deaden all the mental powers which are involved in the consideration of and thought concerning a subject or object. Still more harmful is a positive Unfaith in a subject or object—a positive belief that the thing is not worthy, not good, not worth while, not honest, not destined to succeed, or, rather, destined not to succeed. Disbelief, or belief directed toward the undesirable qualities or prospects of a thing, quickly deaden all interest in that thing; and, interest absent, the thing becomes hateful, and all work connected with it grows loathsome. Faith being absent, Interest dies; and, Interest dying or dead, there can be no Enthusiasm felt, expressed or manifested.

Lack of Faith, however, or even positive Unfaith, often may be overcome by a careful and extended examination and consideration of the subject or object in question. Your lack of Faith, or even your positive Unfaith concerning that subject or object may arise from an imperfect knowledge concerning it. Before discarding a thing as incapable of arousing and maintaining Faith in your mind concerning it, you should examine it from every angle and from every point of view, so as to be sure that you really understand it “down to the ground floor.” Do not allow your prejudices to exert an undue influence upon you—this is a most common mistake and fault. Get your facts right before you act. You may discover new facts which will change your whole mental attitude toward the thing in question; and you may thus find a firm foundation for a new Faith in it.

But, having observed every precaution, and having tested the thing from every angle and viewpoint, and having finally come to the positive and certain conclusion that there is not and can never be any Faith in you concerning that thing, then there is but one course for you to pursue—and that course is to get away from that thing as soon as you can do so with due regard for your duties toward yourself and to others who may be interested with you in the thing. Time and labor bestowed upon a thing in which you have no Faith, and toward which you feel sure that you can never entertain Faith, is time and labor wasted. Get out and take hold of something in which you have, or can have, Faith—toward which and concerning which you feel that you can manifest and express Enthusiasm!

Life without Faith and Enthusiasm is a living death—persons living that life are mere walking corpses. If you would be “a live wire” instead of “a dead one”, you must begin to arouse and develop Enthusiasm in your heart and soul. You must cultivate that keen and quickened Interest, and that lively and earnest Faith in what you are doing, and in the things to which you are giving your time and work. You must mentally “breathe in,” and “inspire,” that Spirit of Life which men for many Centuries have called “Enthusiasm,” and which is the twin-sister of Inspiration.

Then will you know the exhilaration of that “enkindled and kindling fervor of soul”—that “ardent and lively zeal”—the mark of true Enthusiasm.


Faith and Mental Power

In the volume of this series entitled “Personal Power,” and in several other volumes of the same series, we have repeatedly called the attention of our readers to the fact that the powers and energies of the mind are called forth under the influence of those mental activities known respectively as (1) Ideation, (2) Desire, and (3) Will.

First, there must be present in the mind a strong, clear, definite idea and mental picture of the object toward which the mental energies and powers are to be directed and applied. Second, there must be present in the mind a strong, insistent, burning desire, longing and craving for the attainment of the object toward which the mental energies and powers are to be directed and applied. Third, there must be present in the mind a strong, determined, and persistent will that there shall be attained that object toward which the mental energies and powers are to be directed.

These three mental factors operate in the direction of arousing and maintaining in action the mental powers and energies necessary for the accomplishment of the particular work required for the attainment of the object of attention, desire and will. If any of the three be but weakly manifested, or Faith Power practically absent, then there will be a corresponding weakness in the action of the mental powers and energies. In effective mental action there must always be the clear, definite idea of that which is sought after; the ardent, insistent desire for it; and the strong, persistent will for its attainment. Underlying these three there must always be that strong, lively, unfailing Faith which serves as the base and foundation of the entire structure.

Not only does Faith serve as the base and foundation of the mental structure just mentioned, but its influence must also ascend to and permeate that which rests upon it. Faith not only supports and sustains, but it likewise correlates and coordinates the three mental factors, and also animates, energizes, stimulates and inspires them. When we examine the matter closely we perceive this action and influence of Faith upon each of the three aforesaid mental factors involved in all successful activities and performances of the mind of man. Without the presence and action of Faith there is a weakening and deadening of Ideation, of Desire, and of Will. Quickened Faith increases the efficiency of each and every one of these three mental factors, in their individual or their coordinated existence.

Let us now consider in a little closer detail the action and influence of Faith upon these three several mental factors involved in the successful manifestation of Mental Power.

Faith in Idealization

In this instruction the term “Idealization” is employed in the sense of “the act of creating the ideal (mental) form, pattern, design or mold of that which you desire to materialize in objective reality.”

In the volume of this series entitled “Personal Power,” we present the idea of Idealization as follows: “Ideals, clearly defined in outline and sharply defined in configuration, well energized and vitalized by an inflow of Will Power, tend to materialize themselves in objective reality, by means of (a) building up a corresponding ethereal pattern, outline, design or mold, around which is deposited the substance of materialization; and (b) by means of attracting to itself the persons, conditions, things, and environmental factors which aid in the process of materialization. Materialization is the act or process of investing with material form, or material properties, that which has previously existed in idealized form or condition.”

In the same volume are given the following suggestions concerning the materializing of the Ideal Form—the “form in the seed”—which you desire to manifest in the form of plant, flower and fruit:

“(1) Idealize the desired things, happenings, or conditions just exactly as if they were existent and active at that particular moment—right ‘here and now’ before you;

“(2) Idealize yourself as you wish to be or to do;

“(3) Idealize others as you wish them to be or to do;

“(4) Idealize happenings as you wish them to occur;

“(5) Idealize conditions as you wish them to be;

“(6) Idealize environment as you wish it to be;

“(7) Idealize your power, strength or ability as you wish them to be.”

It is of paramount importance in all cases in which you wish to accomplish something by the power of your mind, whether along exoteric or esoteric lines of activity, that you should first create in your mind a clear, strong, definite idea, ideal, or mental picture of the thing or condition which you wish to create or bring into material form in the objective world. The importance of this creation of a clear, strong, definite idea or ideal of that which you wish to attain, accomplish, or gain possession of, cannot easily be overestimated. From the simplest task to the greatest achievement, the materialization is rendered far easier of accomplishment, and far more effective in its results, by reason of the previous existence of a strong, clear, definite mental idea, ideal or form. The Ideal Form must always precede the Material Form.

We shall not extend our consideration of Idealization in this place, for it has been covered fully in other volumes of this series. Our purpose here is merely that of pointing out to you the fact that it is most difficult, if not indeed actually impossible, to practice Idealization effectively unless there first exists in your mind a firm, earnest, steadfast Faith concerning the possibility of the accomplishment, or of the bringing to pass of the desired thing or condition.

Faith so directed clears the path of the idealizing activities— it removes all obstacles and hindrances to their action—it enables the mind to form clearly the idea or mental image, and to endow the same with the appearance of reality. Doubt, Distrust, or feeble Faith, on the contrary, interfere with the process of Idealization, and renders the ideal or mental picture hazy, indefinite and indistinct. Unfaith, or Faith extended in the opposite direction, tend to distort the ideal form, if not, indeed, to cause it to take on the form of the opposite to that which is desired.

Feeble Faith, or Distrust and Doubt—and still more, Unfaith or wrongly directed Faith—cause you to feel that all effort toward attainment is futile, useless, and “not worth while.” They cause the poison of “I Can’t” to enter the mind—and the battle is lost before it is begun. The creative imagination and the ideative faculties refuse to create strong, dear definite ideas or ideals of that which they feel can never be accomplished or gained. On the contrary, when you feel that there is a strong probability or “chance” of the successful accomplishment or attainment, when Confident Expectation manifests itself— when the “I Can and I Will” spirit asserts itself within you—then your mind eagerly performs the work of Idealization, and your creative imagination vividly pictures the mental forms which you desire to manifest in material, objective form and effect.

So, right here in the first stage of the manifestation of Personal Power—in the stage of Idealization—you are confronted with the necessity of developing and maintaining Faith and Confident Expectation, and with the necessity of inhibiting Doubt, Disbelief, Distrust, Unfaith or Faith wrongly directed. Before you can materialize that which you wish, you must first know exactly what you wish—must know it in clear ideal form, the more definite and clearer the better. Faith aids in this Idealization, while Doubt, Disbelief, Distrust, Unfaith or Faith wrongly directed, will tend to paralyze your ideative powers by means of the insidious introduction of the feeling of “What’s the use?” “It can’t be done,” “I don’t ‘believe it,” “It is impossible”—these, in themselves, being ideas, ideals or mental pictures opposed to the accomplishment or attainment of the desired thing, and which, like all other ideals will strive to become real, and to take on material, objective form.

Here is the principle in concise form: Faith encourages and promotes effective Idealization; Doubt, Unfaith, Distrust and Disbelief, retard and render ineffective the process of Idealization.

Faith in Desire

Desire is the second factor of Mental Power. You must not only “know definitely exactly what you want,” and manifest it by means of Idealization; you must also “want it hard enough,” and manifest it in Insistent Desire. Desire is the flame and fire which create the steam of Will. The Will never goes out into effective action except when drawn forth by active and sufficiently strong Desire. Desire furnishes the “motive” for Will; Will never becomes active in absence of a “motive.” When we speak of a man having a “strong will,” we often mean really that he has strong Desire—Desire strong enough to cause him to exert every ounce of power and energy in him toward the attainment or accomplishment of the object of Desire.

Desire exerts a tremendous influence upon all of the mental faculties, causing them to put forth their full energies and powers and to perform their work efficiently. It stimulates the intellect, inspires the emotions and quickens the imagination. Without the urge of Desire there would be but little mental work performed. The keynote of Desire is “I Want”; and to gratify and satisfy that “want” the mind puts forth its best energies. Without Desire, you would do but little thinking, for there would be no motive for such. Without Desire you would perform no actions, for there would be no moving-reason for such. Desire is ever the “mover to action”—to action mental as well as physical.

Moreover, the degree and the intensity of your work, mental or physical, is determined by the degree of Desire manifested in you concerning the object or end of such work. The more you want a thing, the harder will you work for it, and the easier will such work seem to you to be. The task performed under the influence and incentive of strong Desire will seem much easier than would the same task performed without such influence and incentive—and infinitely easier than would the same task appear if its end and object were contrary to your Desire. No argument is needed to establish these facts—they are matters of common knowledge, and are proved by the experience of everyday life.

In the volume of this series entitled “Desire Power,” we have given our readers the following general rule concerning the effects of Desire upon actions and performance of work, and consequently upon the attainment and accomplishment of one’s ideals:

“The degree of force, energy, will, determination, persistence and continuous application manifested by an individual in his aspirations, ambitions, aims, performances, actions and work, is determined primarily by the degree of his Desire for the attainment of these objects—his degree of ‘want’ and ‘want to’ concerning that object. * * * So true is this principle that some who have studied its effects have announced the aphorism: ‘You can have or be anything you want—if you only want it hard enough.’”

We shall not go into a detailed consideration of the effect and force of Desire at this place: we have considered it in other volumes of this series. Our purpose here is merely that of calling to your attention the important fact that without Faith it is practically impossible for you to manifest strong, ardent, insistent Desire. If you are filled with Doubt, Distrust, Unfaith or Disbelief in a thing, or concerning the successful accomplishment or attainment of anything, you will not be able to arouse the proper degree of desire for that thing or for its accomplishment and attainment. Lack of Faith, or, still more, positive Disbelief, tends to paralyze the Desire Power; it acts as a brake or as a damper upon its power. Faith, on the contrary, frees the brakes of Desire, or turns on the full draft of its fire.

Desire, in order to be efficient, must be insistent, urgent, imperative, refusing to be denied. It must be that eager longing, craving, seeking, striving which will not rest content unless satisfied or gratified. It must be (as we have repeatedly stated in the various volumes of this series) the same kind of craving and fierce demand that is capable of arousing a “want” or “want to” equal to that of the drowning man’s desire for air, the desert-lost man’s desire for water, the starving man’s desire for food, the mother animal’s desire for the welfare of her offspring, and the wild creature’s desire for its mate. Such a degree and intensity of Desire is practically impossible without the existence of a strong, earnest Faith, and a high degree of Confident Expectation.

Here is the principle in concise form: Faith encourages and sustains, promotes and maintains Desire in its highest degree of efficiency; Doubt, Disbelief, Distrust and Unfaith retard and restrict, inhibit and paralyze this efficient manifestation of Desire.

Faith in Will-Action

Will-Action is the third factor of Mental Power. You must not only “know clearly just what you want,” and see it in your “mind’s eye” in ideal form—you must not only “want it hard enough,” and arouse its power to a degree of insistence and demand which will not brook denial or defeat—you must also call into service the persistent, determined, indomitable application of the Will, which will hold your energies and powers steadfastly and relentlessly to the task of accomplishment and attainment. You must “will to will”, and must make your Will will itself in the act of willing.

Will is perhaps the most mysterious of all of the mental powers. It seems to dwell on a mental plane alone by itself. It lies nearer and closer to the “I AM I” or Ego, than does any other phase of mentality. It is the principal instrument of the “I AM I”—the instrument which the latter employs directly and immediately. Its spirit is Persistent Determination—its essence is Action. Whenever you act, then do you employ your Will. Will Power is the dynamic phase or aspect of Mental Power. All other mental force is more or less static—it is only when the Will becomes involved in the process that Mental Power manifests its dynamic phase or aspect. Wise men have held that “All Power is Will Power at the last”; and that, “All activities are forms or phases of Will-Action, at the last.” In the Cosmos, as well as in the individual, Will Power is the essential and basic phase of Power.

While it is true that Will goes out only in response to Desire, consciously or unconsciously present and active; and while it is likewise true that Will always moves toward an Idea previously existent in the mind; it is also true that Will is greatly encouraged in action and in efficiency by the presence and power of an earnest Faith or Confident Expectation, and that its action is retarded, restricted, weakened, or perhaps absolutely inhibited by an absence of Faith, or by the presence of Unfaith, Doubt, Distrust or Disbelief.

You may satisfy yourself concerning the influence of Faith upon the Will by means of the consideration of a few simple hypothetical cases. For instance, you may be admiring a distant star, and speculating concerning its scenes and possible inhabitants. You feel a strong desire to know something about that distant object. You feel that you would like to travel through space until you reach its scenes; or that you would like to reach out and draw it toward you that you might inspect it. Yet you make no move toward flying through space; nor do you extend your hand (like the infant reaching for the moon) and attempt to grasp it. Why not? Of course, simply because you have no Faith that such attempts would be successful; you manifest positive Doubt, Distrust and Disbelief concerning the idea; and your Will is not called into action concerning it.

Upon the same principle, though the case is not such an extreme one, your Will does not move into action concerning many other familiar objects, being “inhibited by your positive Disbelief concerning the possibilities of its accomplishment. Again, if you have only a faint degree of Confident Expectation of the possible or probable outcome of an undertaking, then your Will moves but feebly toward action concerning that undertaking. If you feel that “the chances are all against me,” or that “I haven’t a chance in the world of doing this”, then your Will is practically paralyzed so far as is concerned any action directed toward the accomplishment of that thing. In the degree that you doubt or disbelieve in the efficacy of an action, so will be the degree of the weakening, restriction or inhibition of your Will-Action concerning that thing.

The converse of the above proposition is likewise true. In the degree that you have Faith in an undertaking or course of action, and in the degree of your Confident Expectation of the successful result of action in that direction, so will be the degree of the ease, efficiency and force of your Will-Action in that direction. The greater your Faith and your Confident Expectation, the greater will be the ease and efficiency of your manifestation of Will-Action concerning the object of your Faith and Expectant Attention. Here is the principle in concise form: Faith encourages and stimulates Will-Action and Persistent Determination; Doubt, Distrust, Disbelief and Unfaith restrain, restrict, retard and inhibit Will-Action and Persistent Determination.

Faith in Combined Idea-Desire-Will

From the foregoing, you will realize that in order to manifest your Mental Power to its full degree of efficiency, or even to an approximate degree of effectiveness it is necessary that you should experience and entertain at least a very considerable amount of Faith, and a lively degree of Confident Expectation concerning the object, subject, achievement or attainment toward which your Mental Power is to be directed. If you have not this degree of Faith and Confident Expectation you cannot expect to be able to manifest an effective degree of Mental Power in the case.

In the event of finding yourself in such a position, you must either (a) strive to arouse, develop and cultivate a true Faith and a rational Confident Expectation concerning the object of your endeavors; or else (b) to withdraw from the attempt because you fail to find a rational and valid basis for such Faith and Confident Expectation. To continue the attempt without Faith, and without at least a very fair degree of Confident Expectation, is to violate the essential laws of your own mental and spiritual being.

However, as we have pointed out to you before, it is not proper to withdraw from a task or a pursuit or undertaking because of lack of Faith and Confident Expectation, until you have thoroughly examined the matter in the light of reason free from prejudice, nor until you have satisfied yourself that there is no valid and true basis for Faith in the thing in question. However, the fact remains undisputed that without Faith and Confident Expectation your Mental Power will refuse to manifest itself actively and efficiently. Your “heart” must be in the undertaking or task, or your “head” will not do its best work therein—and your “hands” will follow the lead of the “head.” Efficiency comes from the exercise of Head, Heart and Hands!


The Attractive Power of Faith

In addition to the influence exerted by Faith over and upon those phases of Mental Power which manifest in the more familiar activities of Thought, Desire, and Will, which you have considered in the preceding section of this book, Faith also plays an important part in those less familiar activities of the mind which operate in the direction of affecting and influencing the things, conditions and persons in the outside world. This is particularly true concerning that phase or form of Mental Power which manifests along the lines of the Law of Mental Attraction.

While the orthodox and more formal schools of psychology do not as yet openly admit the validity of the phenomena of Mental Power to which we have just referred, nevertheless there exists a large and rapidly growing body of careful thinkers, experimenters, and observers who have thoroughly satisfied themselves of the reality of such phenomena, and of the validity of the teachings concerning the mental laws governing them.

That Thought travels in subtle waves, currents, and streams of vibratory energy which extend far from the brain of the persons originating them; that these vibratory thought-waves or thought-currents affect and influence other persons and things; that Thought is contagious and awakens corresponding mental vibrations in others at a distance; all this has now come to be accepted as truth by millions of persons all over the world, and though not as yet formally accepted and taught by the orthodox, conservative schools of psychology, the general hypothesis is accepted as true by great numbers of very careful thinkers, and the body of experimental and practical proof supporting it is increasing rapidly in size and importance.

One of the most interesting, and at the same time most important and practical phases of this general class of mental phenomena is that which is known as Mental Attraction, or Thought Attraction—the Attractive Power of Thought manifesting along the lines of the Law of Mental Attraction. It is with this particular phase that we are specially concerned in this consideration, rather than that of Thought Power in general. We have considered the general subject of Thought Power, Thought Vibration, etc., in that volume of this series entitled “Thought Power”; in the present volume we are concerned with Thought Power only so far as it is associated with Faith Power— and the Attractive Power of Thought is closely linked with that of Faith Power, as you will see as we proceed with the present consideration of the subject.

The Attractive Power of Thought, manifesting along the lines of the Law of Mental Attraction may be stated as follows: (1) Thought, in the form of subtle vibratory force, travels in constantly widening circles from the centre represented by the brain of the individual; (2) these thought-waves coming in contact with the minds of other persons tend to set up corresponding vibrations there, manifesting what has been called “the contagion of thought”; (3) these thought-vibrations of the individual manifest that general law of Thought by reason of which Thought continually strives (a) to manifest itself in action, and (b) to materialize in objective form that which exists within itself in ideal form; (4) these thought-vibrations operating as above stated, tend to attract and draw to the individual the objects and conditions of the outside world which are correlated to the thought of the individual, or else to attract and draw the individual to such correlated objects or conditions.

The Attractive Power of Thought, sometimes called “The Drawing Power of the Mind,” operates along the lines of what is known as the Law of Mental Attraction, as we have said. This Law of Mental Attraction operates along certain general lines of manifestation, though exhibiting numerous special phases or forms of such manifestation. Its general principle of operation is well expressed by the term “Correlation.” Correlation means “reciprocal or mutual relation”; and “relation” meaning “connection, kinship, alliance, attachment or affinity.” Correlation, then, means: “Mutual or reciprocal relation, connection, kinship, alliance, attachment or affinity.” Things which are correlated are tied or linked together by mutual affinity, kinship, alliance or similar connection.

One of the cardinal principles of Mental Science is that Thoughts and the Things represented by them are correlated, i. e., linked and connected by subtle ties or bonds of attachment, affinity or kinship. The second principle of Mental Science is that correlated things tend to attract each other; thus the things of the outside world tend to attract the thoughts which are correlated to them, and the thoughts tend to attract the things to which they are correlated. Thus there is set up a process of mutual attraction or “drawing to”; things attracting and drawing to themselves correlated thoughts, and thoughts attracting and drawing to themselves correlated things, conditions, happenings or persons. The same mental law also operates so as to draw to the individual the thought-currents of others which are correlated to his own by reason of similar rate of vibrations; or of common nature of the thought.

Thought Attraction has been compared with the action of the magnet—and, indeed, the mind is a powerful magnet attracting and drawing to itself those things which are in harmonious vibration with it. It has also been compared to the action of Gravitation—and the analogy is quite striking. The Law of Mental Attraction might well be called the Law of Mental Gravitation. Gravitation is “that attraction or force by which all bodies or particles in the universe tend toward each other.” Not only does the earth attract the tiny particle of matter, but the latter also attracts the earth; not only does the sun attract the earth, but the latter also attracts the sun; not only does the earth attract the moon, but the latter also attracts the earth, as is evidenced by its pulling-force upon the earth’s tides. There is the mutual and reciprocal “pull” of Gravitation in force between all material things.

The Law of Mental Attraction, or Mental Gravitation, acts along lines very similar to those of the action of physical Gravitation. There is present and active the mutual and reciprocal “pull” between Thoughts and Things, and between Thoughts and Thoughts—Thoughts, however, are Things at the last analysis. This principle extends even to so-called inanimate objects: this mystery is explainable under the now well-established law that there is Mind in everything, even in the apparently inanimate objects of the universe, even in the atoms and particles of which material substances are composed. We shall not argue this last point here—it has been considered in detail in other volumes of this series: we are stating here merely the general fact.

Just as “birds of a feather flock together,” so do the thought-waves and thought-currents of different individuals draw together, and also are attracted to the different individuals manifesting the same general character of thoughts. There are “affinities” in the world of thought-vibrations, just as there are “affinities” between chemical substances and between individual living creatures. We not only draw to us thought-vibrations in harmony with our own, but we also draw to ourselves other persons whose general thought-vibrations are similar to our own. The negative phase of attraction—that phase known as “repulsion”—operates along the same general lines as the positive phase.

The following lines, quoted from that volume of the present series, entitled “Thought Power,” will give you in short form a general idea of the more complex operations of the Law of Mental Attraction:

“Not only do you attract thought-vibrations, thought-waves, thought-currents, thought-atmospheres, etc., of a harmonious character, and to which your thoughts have a natural affinity; you also attract to yourselves (by the power of Thought Attraction) other persons whose thoughts have an affinity and harmony with your own. In the same way you attract to yourself (and are attracted toward) other persons whose interests run along the same general lines as your own.

“You draw to yourself the persons who may be necessary for the successful carrying out of the plans and purposes, the desires and ambitions, which fill your thoughts most of the time; and, in the same way, you are drawn toward those into whose plans and purposes you are fitted to play an important part. In short, each person tends to attract toward himself those other persons whom he ‘needs’ in order to materialize his ideals and to express his desires—providing that he ‘wants hard enough’ and providing that the other persons are in harmonious affinity with his plans and purposes.

“There are other, and still more subtle, phases of the operation of Thought Attraction which must be noted here, although they involve the operation of certain powers of the mind, and of Nature, which are but little understood by the great masses of persons. We have reference here to the fact that by Thought Attraction not only other thoughts, not only other persons, are attracted to oneself, but also that the conditions, environment and circumstances necessary for the effective expression and manifestation of one’s thoughts are often brought into being for him; they can scarcely be said to have been attracted to him—rather does it seem that he is attracted to and by them. There is evidently a correlation established between these things and one’s thoughts—subtle natural forces are called into operation in order that there may be a coordination of ‘the person, the time, the place, the conditions, the opportunity,’ required for the expression and materialization of the thought.”

Persons who have had their attention directed toward the operations of the Law of Mental Attraction, and who have learned to apply the principles of its manifestation in their own affairs in life, observe many wonderful instances of its power in the happenings of their everyday life. Books, newspaper items, magazine articles bearing on some subject which is prominent in their thoughts, all these come to hand in an almost uncanny way. Persons who fit into the general scheme of the thought-plan come into one’s life. Peculiar “happenings” come to pass in the same way. Things arise which “fit in” with the general idea. Unexpected circumstances arise which, although often at first sight seemingly obstructive and undesirable, in the end are found to dovetail perfectly into the whole scheme of things. No wonder that many persons having these experiences are at first inclined to attribute them to supernatural or superhuman influence—but they are in full accordance with Natural Law, and are a part of the Powers of Man, when rightly understood.

It is undoubtedly true that clear Idealization and Insistent Desire, combined with the Persistent Determination of Will, give power, energy, and force to the Attractive Power of Thought in the cases just recited. Thoughts characterized by strong, clear-cut ideas and ideals, inspired by Insistent Desire, and stiffened by Persistent Will, are far more effective in Thought-Attraction than are thoughts of the opposite character. But the factor of Faith or Confident Expectation plays an equally important part in the process. Here, as in every other manifestation of Mental Power, or Personal Power of any kind, the factor of Confident Expectation is most important, and one which must always be pressed into service and never overlooked or undervalued.

As we have repeatedly stated in this book, Faith and Confident Expectation is the great stimulator and energizer of Mental Power; and Doubt, Disbelief, Distrust and Unbelief are the great weakeners, depressants, and inhibiting forces of the mind. The Attractive Power of Thought is highly increased by the presence of a lively Faith and spirited Confident Expectation; it is greatly decreased, weakened, hampered and often almost entirely inhibited by the presence of marked Doubt, Disbelief, Distrust and Unbelief. The general law concerning Faith and Confident Expectation is as fully and actively operative in the phenomena of Thought Attraction as in any of the other phases of Mental Power.

When your thoughts concerning an object, a plan, an undertaking, a course of action, is strongly colored by Faith and Confident Expectation, they are given an active, forceful attractive quality. They may be said to be “inspired” by that confident, expectant, hopeful mental attitude, and are accordingly filled with life and spirit. On the contrary, when your thoughts of this nature are colored with Doubt, Distrust, Disbelief and Unfaith, they lack life and spirit, and are weak and ineffective. When that Unfaith is of such a pronounced character as to be actually a Faith in the futility of the plan, and a Confident Expectation of its ultimate failure, then the thoughts, strong enough to produce effects and results, tend to attract the opposite of that desired, in short, to attract the undesirable results instead of the desirable effects.

You may understand this better by realizing that the effect of transmitted thought-vibrations is almost precisely similar to the effect of one’s mental attitude manifested in a personal interview. You need no argument, no illustrations, to convince you of the different effect produced upon you, and in you, on the one hand, by the confident, hopeful, expectant, optimistic mental attitude of the person seeking to interest you in a plan or an undertaking, and on the other hand, by that of the person with a similar purpose whose mind is filled with Doubt, Distrust, Unfaith and Disbelief in the thing which he is presenting to your attention and which he is advocating.

In such instances, you fairly “catch” the mental vibrations of either of these classes of persons, and you are distinctly aware of the mental reaction which they induce in you. The first class produces an effect which may be called “inspiring”; the second class, an effect which may be called “dispiriting.” The one class invites success and cooperation; the other class invites failure and a refusal on your part to fall in with the idea presented. In either case the effect produced upon you is correlated with the character of the thoughts prominent in the mind of the other person.

Some persons, in such an interview, are so filled with faith, hope, confidence and belief in their plans and propositions, and in the successful outcome of the interview, that it requires an effort on your part to refuse this to them. Others, under similar conditions, manifest merely a luke-warm and colorless mental attitude—they seem to lack conviction concerning the merits of their proposition, and to entertain grave doubts of their ability to attract and hold your attention and interest, let alone to arouse your desire and to obtain a judgment in their favor; it is quite easy to say “No!” to such persons, for you are convinced that they feel, in their hearts, that such “is just what I expected.” Others have such a degree of Doubt, Unfaith, Disbelief and lack of confidence in the proposition, and in the outcome of the interview, that it amounts to Faith and Confident Expectation of being “turned down cold” at once—their mental ears are pricked ready to catch your emphatic “No!”—here you find refusal to be the line of the least resistance. You know this from actual experience.

Well, then, this same principle operates in the case of Thought Attraction by means of the transmitted thought-vibrations of the individual. There are present in such case the conditions which attract and those which repel. The thought-vibrations of the individual are really that individual himself, so far as is concerned the particular degree of Thought Attraction. They produce the same effect at long-range that are produced at short-range in the personal interview. The principle is the same in either case. Your mental attitude and the character of your thoughts determine the effect to be produced in the long-distance mental calls, just as truly as in the short-distance ones. The same causes are present and active, and, of course, the same effects and results follow. Wherever Mental Power is present and active, it acts according to the same principles, irrespective of the distance from the person exercising it; space does not change its character or its laws of operation.

This being understood, you will see that it is not sufficient for you to arouse your Faith and Confident Expectation concerning an undertaking, project, plan, idea, object or subject merely when you are actually in the presence of persons who are considered likely to serve your purposes in the matter. You must also create and maintain a habitual mental attitude of Faith, Belief and Confident Expectation in the things in which you are interested, and in which you hope to interest others. You must not allow Doubt, Distrust, Disbelief and Unfaith to overcome you during the hours in which you are away from the other persons in the case. And, above all, you must never allow yourself to fall into the Slough of Despond—into the mire of positive Doubt, Distrust and Disbelief concerning your projects—lest you start into operation, in the wrong direction, the power of Faith and Confident Expectation.

Your Mental Atmosphere is not confined to your immediate position in space; it extends in all directions, and is filled with vibrations, waves, currents, whirlpools and swirlpools of Thought Power—and these influence and produce effects upon other persons whose thoughts are turned upon similar objects, or upon yourself and your undertakings. Remember, always, that “Thought is contagious”—at long range as well as at short range, over long distances as well as in your immediate vicinity.

If you have a lively Faith in your undertakings, and a firmly established Confident Expectation of their success, then others in the general line of interest will tend to “catch” this mental attitude. Just as true is it that if you entertain marked Doubt toward your proposition or undertaking—if you are filled with Distrust, Disbelief and Unfaith regarding it—then such other persons will tend to “catch” these mental vibrations, and will act accordingly. First, be sure that the undertaking is a proper subject or object of Faith and Confident Expectation, and then deliberately and determinedly cultivate, develop and maintain such mental attitude concerning it, until it becomes “set” and habitual. If you cannot do this, you will do well to drop your connection with the thing, and to turn your attention to something toward which, and concerning which, you truly feel Faith and Confident Expectation, and are able to manifest the proper mental attitude toward it.

The more complex phases and forms of the manifestation of Thought Attraction, namely, those phases and forms which are concerned with the attraction of circumstances, happenings, conditions and environments, while more difficult to explain satisfactorily in simple terms, nevertheless are governed by the same general underlying principles of the Law of Mental Attraction. The mental forces are set into activity by Desire; they move out toward the object of clear and strong Idealization; they are held firmly to the task by Will; and, last but not least, they are largely dependent upon Faith and Confident Expectation for their color and effectiveness.

Your conditions and environment, the circumstances and happenings which come to you, are very largely the result of the operation of the Law of Mental Attraction—and they are accordingly, to a great extent, manifestations in objective, material form of your mental ideas, ideals and pictures, the force and nature of such manifestation depending largely upon the degree of Faith and Confident Expectation possessed and expressed by you in your thought upon these subjects and events—or upon the degree of Doubt, Disbelief, Distrust and Unfaith, those negative phases of Faith which serve to slow down the action of Faith Power, or perhaps even to reverse its machinery.

You create environment, conditions, circumstances, events, assistance, means to ends, by Mental Power operating along the lines of the Law of Mental Attraction. Mental Attraction, like all forms or phases of Mental Power, is the transformation of the subjective Ideal into objective Reality—the thought tends to take form in action, the mental form tends to take on objective materiality and substance. The Ideal is represented by the clear, strong, definite mental picture or ideal form manifested in Idealization; Desire furnishes the flame and heat which generate the steam of Will needed in the creative process; but the Idealization is impaired and weakened, the Desire dies away, the Will loses its determination, unless Faith be there to create the Confident Expectation. The less the Faith and Confident Expectation, or the greater the Doubt, Disbelief, Distrust, Unfaith and Lack of Confidence, the weaker is the Idealization, the weaker the Desire, and the weaker the Will Power manifested.

Without Faith, there can be no Confident Expectation; without Faith, the Fires of Desire die away; without Faith, the Steam of Will ceases to be generated; and thus Attainment becomes impossible. Whenever you think of the Law of Mental Attraction, think of Faith—for Faith is its very soul—its inspiration.


Faith in Yourself

In the foregoing sections of this book we have asked you to consider the subject of the importance of developing and maintaining Faith in the subjects and objects, the undertakings and propositions, which constitute the basis of your endeavors and work—and also that of the Confident Expectation concerning the successful outcome of your endeavors in their behalf, when these actually have been undertaken. In the present section we ask you to develop, maintain and manifest Faith in Yourself, and Confident Expectation concerning the outcome of your expression of Personal Power, in thought, will, and work.

Important as is the maintenance of the confident, expectant mental attitude toward the objects and subjects of your endeavors, and toward their successful outcome, even still more important is the intelligent, intuitive mental attitude of Faith and Confident Expectation concerning Yourself, your possession of Personal Power, and your ability to manifest efficiently your latent, innate powers and energies in actual objective performance. You, the individual, are the base and ground, the coordinator and correlator of your active forces and energies, and the creator of the world which constitutes your environment; and YOU are the proper subject of the manifestation of your earnest Faith and your most certain Confident Expectation.

Among the many characteristics and qualities which make for success of the individual there is none more fundamental, essential and basic than that of Self Confidence and Self Reliance—both of these terms being but expressions of the idea of Faith in Oneself. The man who has Faith in himself not only brings under his control and direction those wonderful powers of his subconscious mentality, and the full power of his conscious mental faculties and instruments, but also tends to inspire a similar feeling in the minds and hearts of those other individuals with whom he comes in contact in the course of his pursuit of the objects of his endeavors. An intuitive perception and realization of one’s own powers, and energies, capacity and efficiency, possibilities and capabilities, is an essential attribute of the individual who is destined to success.

A study of the world of men will disclose the fact that those men who eventually succeed, who “arrive” ultimately, who “do things,” are marked by this deep intuitive Faith in themselves, and by their Confident Expectation of ultimate success. These men rise superior to the incidents of temporary defeat; they use these failures as stepping-stones to ultimate victory. They are living expressions of Henley’s “Invictus”—they, indeed, are the Masters of their Fate, the Captains of their Souls! Such men are never really defeated; like rubber balls, they have that “bounce” which causes them to rise triumphantly after each fall—the harder they are “thrown down,” the higher do they rise on the rebound. Such men are always possible—nay, probable and certain—victors, so long as they maintain this intuitive Faith in Self, or Self Confidence; it is only when this is lost that they are really defeated or destroyed.

The failures in life are discovered usually to be either (1) those who have never manifested this Faith in Self, or Self Confidence; or else (2) those who have permitted themselves to lose the same under “the bludgeonings of Chance.”

Those who have never felt the thrill of Faith in Self, or of Self Confidence, are soon labeled by their fellows as lacking the elements of successful achievement—the world soon “gets their numbers” and places them where they belong. Their lack of Self Faith and Self Confidence is felt by those with whom they come in contact; the world lacks Faith in them and has no Confident Expectation of their success.

Those who once have had this Self Faith or Self Confidence, but who have lost it by reason of temporary failure or set-backs, are in even a still worse condition; this, because while the “never-had-it” class have merely a lack of the inspiriting quality, these “had-it-but-lost-it” individuals actually have now a positive Unfaith, Distrust, and Disbelief in themselves and their abilities—they believe that “luck is against me,” and they actually entertain Confident Expectation that “the worst is yet to come.” They have set the Law of Mental Attraction operating against them, instead of for them. Their only hope is to reverse their backward-running mental engine, and once more to get that “I Can and I Will” spirit.

The study of the life-story of the successful men in all walks of life will illustrate this principle to you so forcibly that, having perceived it, you will never again doubt its absolute truth. In practically every case you will find that these successful men have been knocked down, and bowled out, many times in the early days of their careers—often even later on in life. But the knock-out, though perhaps dazing them for a short time, never robbed them of their gameness, their will-to-succeed. They always arose to their feet before they were counted out; and they always grimly, but resolutely, faced Fate. Though their “heads were bloody; they were unbowed,” as Henley triumphantly chants. Fate cannot defeat such a spirit; in time, Destiny recognizes the fact that “here is a man”—and being feminine, she falls in love with him and bestows her favors upon him.

If you will examine carefully the variety of “confident” men in the world around you, you will find that they may be grouped into two general classes. The first of these classes is made up of the vainglorious, egotistical, conceited men—the braggarts, the boasters, the cheap persons who are enamored by their own personality, and who delude themselves, as they seek also to delude the world, into the belief that they are really great and wonderful men. They are conceited, not self-believers. They are filled with vanity, not with true self reliance and self respect. They are the peacocks and apes of the world of men, not its lions and eagles. They are base counterfeits of the self reliant, self confident men of the true type. They are but laths painted to resemble iron. They are “false fronts,” possessing no real stability or power, and having nothing serving to “back them up.” The world soon discovers them to be (in the slang phrases so expressive of the spirit of the idea)—“two spots trying to be aces,” or “four flushers.” Yet, at least for a time, they often manage to fool persons—but sooner or later they crumple, shrivel and fade from view.

The second class of confident individuals is made up of men who pay but little attention to the superficial aspects of personality—except, perhaps, to employ such as their tools and instruments in working upon the world of superficial observers. Instead, they have a deep underlying Faith in “That Something Within” which they have discovered to be the centre of their power and being. The “I AM I” looms large in their mental vision—but that “I” is the great “I” of true individuality, and not the insignificant “i” of superficial personality. These men distinguish and differentiate between the “John Smith, grocer, age 46,” part of themselves, and that mysterious “I AM I” which recognizes that the outer mask of personality is merely that of the part they are now playing in the Great Game of Life—in the Cosmic Drama.

The truly great and successful men in all walks of life intuitively recognize that the elements of personality (which the masses of the public seem to think constitutes the real individuality of the successful man) are at the best but petty and trifling things— things worn about the individuality as one wears his everyday garments—and that the real individual, himself, is hidden from the sight of the lovers of superficiality, though being the most real thing in the world to the true individual himself. The true individual has the most intense Faith in his “individuality,” but regards his “personality” as merely something necessary for his personal manifestation and presence, and never as “the thing-in-itself” of his being.

This statement will appear meaningless to those who are unable to distinguish between the “inner individuality” and the “outer personality”—between the “I” and the “Me,” as some have expressed it. But all who have caught even the faintest glimpse of the Real Self—who have entered into the dawn of the “I AM I” consciousness—these will know what we mean, and will strive toward a fuller realization and manifestation of “That Something Within.” That moment in which the soul first experiences this consciousness of “I AM I,” it is born into a new world—a world in which Faith in itself becomes an intuitive perception, and in which the Confident Expectation of the realization of that Faith becomes an habitual mental attitude.

We are not seeking to lead you into a maze of metaphysical speculation or mystic contemplation by calling your attention to this great subject and object of your Faith in Yourself—this immanent “I AM I”—this wondrous Something Within yourself, which abides in that Secret Place of your Temple of Being. Instead, we are asking you to lay aside, at least temporarily, all such mental activities directed toward abstract subjects or objects, and to turn your gaze inward until, becoming accustomed to the seeming darkness, you will see, at first faintly, then plainly, that magnificent being which is YOURSELF, glowing in a light soft but penetrating—the Inner Light. When you have found this, then verily have you found that true subject and object of Faith in Yourself—the only true subject and object of Self Faith, the subject and object of which all the subjects and objects of mere temporal ephemeral personality are but pitiful imitations or base counterfeits.

When you have found this Real Self—“That Something Within”—this “I AM I”—then have you found that Inner and Real Self which has constituted the subject and object of that Faith and Confident Expectation which have inspired, animated, enthused, and sustained the thousands of men who have reached the Heights of Attainment by the Path of Definite Ideals, Insistent Desire, Confident Expectation, Persistent Determination, and Balanced Compensation. It is this intuitive perception and consciousness of the Real Self which has caused men to live out the ideal of “Invictus,” in the spirit of that glorious poem of Henley. Nothing but this inner realization would have been sufficient to fill the soul of man with this indomitable spirit and unconquerable will. No mere vanity of personal being, no mere belief therein, would have been sufficient—there is needed the certain, positive Faith based upon the underlying individuality, upon the Real Self, upon the “I AM I,” to enable man to utter that tremendous statement: “I am the Master of my Fate; I am the Captain of my Soul!”

In the spirit of this realization in consciousness of your Real Self, of your “I AM I,” read once more that inspired poem of Henley to which we have so repeatedly alluded in our preceding consideration of this subject of Faith in Yourself. It will serve as a refreshing and stimulating bath in the fountain of Inspiration for you. It is, indeed, inspiration, and you feel it to be such. It is the voice of its author’s “I AM I” calling to the “I AM I” within yourself—the roar of the Lion of Individuality within him which awakens corresponding vibrations in that Lion within Yourself!

Faith in Yourself Invictus

By W. E. Henley

“Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods there be

For my unconquerable soul.

“In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced or cried aloud;

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody but unbowed.

“Beyond this vale of doubt and fear

Looms but the terror of the Shade,

And, yet, the passing of the years

Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

“It matters not how straight the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll;

I am the Master of my Fate, I am the Captain of my Soul.”

It was in this spirit of the consciousness of the Real Self, and of this conviction of its innate power and its destiny to eventually triumph, that the ancient Stoic philosophers bade their followers to centre their consciousness upon the Indwelling Spirit rather than upon the physical garment called the body, or even upon those instruments of the self called the mind. They were wont to remind their followers that: “A man may not always master the details of his external circumstances, but he can be Master of himself, and, accordingly, the Master of his Fate.” It was in this spirit that the ancient Hindu sages bade their students to. “Dwell in the consciousness of the Real Self: for THAT cannot be wounded by the sword, nor killed by the spear; neither can it be burned by fire, drowned by water, crushed by earth, or blown out by the air.”

The wise teachers of the race have for centuries taught that this Faith in the Real Self, in the “I AM I,” will enable the individual to convert into the instruments of his success even those circumstances which apparently are destined to defeat his purposes; and to transmute into beneficent agencies even those inimical forces which beset him on all sides. They have discovered, and passed on to their followers, the knowledge, that such a Faith is a spiritual power, a living force, which when trusted and rightly employed will annihilate the opposition of outward circumstances, or else convert them into workers for good.

They have noted how “the casualties of life seem to bow to a spirit that will not bow to them, and will yield to subserve a design which they may, in their first apparent tendency, threaten to frustrate.” They have discovered that “when such a spirit is recognized, it is curious to see how the space clears around a man and leaves him room and freedom.” They have seen, and told us, that “there is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can circumvent, or hinder, or control, the firm resolve of a determined soul”—and that there can be no “determined soul” in the absence of Faith in the Real and Indwelling Self.

We are here not preaching to you the doctrine of the cultivation of a bumptious, conceited, forward, pushing, cock-sureness, based upon vain conceit and cheap assurance of personal merit and capacity. There is no mental attitude further removed from the true conviction of individual innate power and capacity than is that pitiful imitation of it which is far too common. The blustering, noisy, boasting, egotism which seeks to exalt the personal self and to glorify its achievements or possible attainments, is the very antithesis of that quiet, calm, restrained sense of innate power and capacity which is experienced and manifested by the individual who has found within himself that centre of Personal Power which is his Real Self—his “I AM I.”

Egotism, that cheap self-praise, self-exaltation, and vain conceit, is but the tawdry and pinchbeck imitation of that true Egoism which is based upon the certainty of the power and possibilities of the individual Ego, or the “I AM I.” The former marks the person whose overweening vanity causes him to exalt and glorify his mean personal attainments and his pitifully weak personal powers. The latter distinguishes the individual of true power and real capacity, who manifests his efficiency and capabilities in deeds, not in words—in actions, not in braggadocio—in performance, not in swaggering, boasting, vaporings concerning his fancied ability and his imaginary deeds. There is a difference as wide as that betwixt the poles between true Egoism and base Egotism—be sure that you differentiate between these two opposing mental attitudes.

The Real Self—the “I AM I”—which is the true and proper subject and base of your Faith in Yourself, and of your Confident Expectation based upon this, is that Something Real within yourself which abides permanent, stable, firm, immutable, amidst the surrounding temporal, shifting, changing physical and mental processes which compose your emotional equipment. It is the true Individual surrounded by the incidents and instruments of your personality. It is that Centre of Being around which moves the complex mechanism of your personal existence. It is that absolutely subjective Entity which acts through the objective instrumentality of your mind and body which you have regarded as your Self, but which in reality are but phases of the mechanism through which the Self acts in order to manifest itself in objective existence.

In that volume of this series entitled “Personal Power” we have instructed you concerning this Real Self, and therein have pointed out to you the methods of mental analysis by means of which this Real Self may be disentangled from its machinery of mind and body. In fact, this discovery of the Real Self, and of its effective manifestation, when once achieved, forms one of the two great essential principles of this entire course of instruction embodied in this series of books. Our concern here is merely that of identifying that discovered Real Self with that Self which is the true and only valid basis for your Faith in Yourself, and of your Confident Expectation of its successful manifestation in thought, word and deed.

Your Real Self is a ray from the great Sun of Spirit—a spark from the great Flame of Spirit—a focal point of expression of that Infinite SELF of SPIRIT. The Orientals strive to indicate this relation of the SELF to the Self by the illustration of the reflection of the sun in a million water-pots—there is but one real Sun, but in each pot there is a perfect represented image of that Sun which serves to illumine the water in the pot, and which shines with force and power when the waves and ripples of the water are stilled and calm.

Others have compared the Self to the tiny whirlpool in the great Ocean of SPIRIT. Others have sought to illustrate it by the analogy of the brilliant glow in the electric-lamp—the result of the power of the principle of Electricity manifesting through the resisting carbon in the lamp. But all of these illustrations and analogous representations are feeble and inadequate, though they may serve to point out and to indicate the nature of the relationship between the Infinite Power and its individual expressions.

Enough for us to state here is the fact that You—your Real Self, your “I AM I”—is real, permanent, firm, stable, true, the only thing that is so in your entire personal being; just as Spirit is the only thing so in the Infinity of Being manifested in and through the Cosmos. Your Faith in it is as fully warranted as is your Faith in the Infinite Power of the Cosmos—for at the last the two are one in essence and fundamental being. Your Real Self is the absolute fact of your being—the one and only such absolute fact; all the rest is relative and comparative, finite and conditioned by circumstance. Your Real Self is your Master Self.

It is the King on the Throne of your personal being. When you realize this, then you will assert your kingship and your mastery over all of your mental powers, conscious, subconscious and unconscious—and of your physical powers as well. Surely such an Entity is worthy of your Faith, and of your Confident Expectation of the manifestation of its powers.

The earnest Faith in your Real Self, and your Confident Expectation concerning its manifestation and expression in your work, your endeavors, your plans, your purposes, serve to bring into action your full mental and spiritual power, energy, and force. It quickens your intellectual powers, it employs your emotional powers efficiently and under full control, it sets into effective action your creative imagination, it places the powers of your will under your mastery and direction. It draws upon your subconscious faculties for inspiration and for intuitive reports; it opens up your mind to the inflow of the illumination of your superconscious spiritual faculties and powers. It sets into operation the Law of Mental Attraction under your direct control and direction, whereby you attract to yourself, or you to them, the circumstances, events, conditions, things and persons needed for the manifestation of your ideals in objective reality. More than this, it brushes away the obstacles which have clogged the channels of your contact with and communication with SPIRIT itself—that great source of Infinite Power which in this instruction is called “POWER.”

Discover your Real Self, your “I AM I”—then manifest your full Faith in and toward it; and cultivate your full Confident Expectation concerning the beneficent results of that Faith.


Faith in the Infinite

Faith in the successful outcome of your efforts, your undertakings, your expression of your innate powers, leads inevitably to your Faith in Yourself—your Faith in your Real Self and in its powers and capacities for the efficient performance of the work which constitutes your field of outward expression. In truth, Faith in your Real Self—in your “I AM I”—inevitably leads you to that highest and most magnificent manifestation of Faith and Confident Expectation; namely, Faith in and the Confident Expectation of the manifestation of the beneficence and kindly power of that Infinite Presence-Power from which all things proceed, and in which all things live and move and have their being.

That there exists an Infinite and Eternal Presence-Power—an Infinite and Absolute Principle of Life, Mind, Will—which is the source, fount and origin of all manifested living existence, which is the creative agency by means of which all creation exists and is performed, which is the combining, correlating and coordinating power evident in all the processes of the Cosmos—such is the inevitable, invariable and infallible report of human reason exercised to the full limits of its powers along the lines of philosophical thought, and such is also the report of human Faith extended to its full capacity. Reason finds this report inevitably present as the base and ground of its most profound thought: Intuition corroborates and verifies such conclusion. The opposite of this ultimate report of combined Reason and Intuition is unthinkable; to deny it is equivalent to the denial of the very base and ground of rational thought itself.

In that volume of the present series entitled “Spiritual Power,” we have considered this subject in detail and at length, and have shown not only that Reason is compelled by its fundamental laws to make a final report of this kind, but also just why it is compelled to do so. In addition, we have shown that Intuition agrees in this final report of Truth, and just why this is inevitable.

The consideration of the facts so presented brings the conviction that this fundamental intuition of Truth is as firmly established, and as little open to successful denial and refutation, as is the fact of the fundamental intuitive assurance of the reality of your actual existence as a living entity. Here, Faith becomes an actual “knowing”—it rises to the position of a Faith that “knows,” not merely “believes.”

Reason and Intuition, employed to their full limits of power and capacity for the discovery and announcing of Truth, establish the following Basic and Fundamental Facts of Existence, viz.:

(1) That there is present in being and power an Infinite and Eternal Creative Power which is the Causeless Cause of the Cosmic Manifestation, in whole and in its parts—of the World and its manifold activities which are experienced by us through our consciousness.

(2) That there is present and in being an Infinite and Eternal Coordinative Power which combines, correlates and coordinates the activities of the multiplicity of apparently separate objects and activities of the Cosmos into one harmonious whole operating under Universal Law and Order in which there is no room or place for Blind Chance or Accident.

(3) That there is present in being and power an Infinite and Eternal Life Principle, which is the constant, permanent, unchangeable, invariable, identical essential Essence of Livingness which animates and inspires the countless manifestations of Life and Livingness perceived to exist in the Cosmos; and which is the essential base and ground for the multiplicity of changing, temporal, impermanent living forms and their activities which arise, abide for a time, and then pass away in the Cosmic Process.

(4) That the Infinite and Eternal Creative Power; the Infinite and Eternal Coordinative Power; the Infinite and Eternal Life Principle; are, at the last, but One—one in essence, substance and reality: they are but aspects under which we become aware of the Absolute Presence-Power which is the source and origin; the base and ground; the creator and the author; the supporter and the sustainer, the combiner, correlator and coordinator; the essence and substance of the entire Cosmic Manifestation consisting of an Infinity of Universes with all contained therein. This One Absolute Presence-Power is Absolute Unity, Absolute Presence, Absolute Power. It is the Ultimate Reality, the Final and Basic Fact, the Absolute Truth of Existence. There is and can be nothing known to us except this Ultimate Reality and its Cosmic Manifestations.

(5) This Ultimate Reality—this Infinite and Eternal Presence-Power—is discovered to be Immaterial and not Material: it is perceived to be Pure Spirit in its Ultimate Essence, in its real nature, character and being. Its fundamental laws are Spiritual Laws, this being true even of the physical laws and principles operative in the World of Materiality which is its Cosmic Manifestation.

The World of Manifestation, in its Essence, is contained in the being of this Infinite and Eternal Presence-Power; and this Infinite and Eternal Presence-Power is immanent and present in each and every part and portion, object or activity, of that World of Manifestation. There is nowhere “outside” of the Infinite Presence-Power, for in its presence and in its power this Ultimate Reality abides in everything, everywhere, and in all time. All is in the ALL; and the ALL is in All-Things.

(7) YOU—your Real Self, your “I AM I”—are a centre of power, a focal point of expression and manifestation, in and of that Infinite and Eternal Spiritual Power. In the degree that you realize this, so will be the degree of your possible manifestation of Personal Power. In the degree that you realize this, so will be the degree of your possible individual contact with the Infinite Presence-Power, and of the opening, and freeing of your spiritual channels of communication with and from it. You may become “In Tune with the Infinite”—“In Unison with Infinity”—in this way. In this way, you may Contact the Infinite in consciousness. In the degree that you recognize and realize your actual essential identity with the Infinite and Eternal Presence-Power, so will be the degree of your possible manifestation, expression and actualization of that Ultimate Reality which is the Source, Origin and Fount of Infinite Power— and which is the Infinite Self of which your “I AM I” is the focal point or centre of expression and manifestation.

In the volume of this series entitled “Spiritual Power,” to which we have referred, we have transmitted to you the following Message of Truth as announced in principle by the great illumined spiritual teachers of the race, of all ages, all peoples, all lands, all creeds, which our students are requested to commit to memory and to make the essential and basic fact of their mental and spiritual lives. Hearken to this Message of Truth as announced by such high authorities: The Message of Truth. “You, yourself, in your essential and real being, nature, and entity, are Spirit, and naught but Spirit— in and of SPIRIT; spiritual and not material. Materiality is your instrument of expression, the stuff created for your use and service in your expression of Life, Consciousness and Will: it is your servant, not your master; you condition, limit and form it, not it you, when you recognize and realize your real nature, and awaken to a perception of its real relation to you and you to it. The report of SPIRIT, received by its accredited individual centers of expression, and by them transmitted to you is this:

“‘In the degree that you perceive, recognize, and realize your essential identity with ME, the Supreme Presence-Power, the Ultimate Reality, in that degree will you be able to manifest My Spiritual Power. I AM over and above you, under and beneath you, I surround you on all sides. I AM also within you, and you are in Me—from Me you proceed, and in Me you live and move and have your being. Seek Me by looking within your own being, and likewise by looking for Me in Infinity, for I abide both Within and Without your being. If, and when, you will adopt and live according to this Truth, then will you be able to manifest that Truth—in and by it alone are Freedom and Invincibility, and true and real Presence and Power, to be found, perceived, realized and manifested’.”

In the above-stated Message of Truth will be found the essence of the esoteric teaching and inner doctrine of all of the world’s great religions and most profound philosophies. In all religions there exist (1) the exoteric or outer teaching and doctrine intended for the great masses of persons who are unable to understand or to grasp the deep truths and doctrines—those who are not as yet ready for the full Truth, and who are “not as yet able to bear the Truth”; and (2) the esoteric or inner teaching and doctrine intended for those who have developed spiritual perception to an extent enabling them to grasp, understand and assimilate the full spirit of the Truth. In the sacred writings of all of these great religions will be found constant though carefully-guarded references to the existence of this dual-aspect of teaching and doctrine.

The essence and substance of this Inner Doctrine, or Esoteric Teaching, is found to be practically and essentially the same in all of the great world religions and philosophies, notwithstanding the wide difference in the exoteric teaching and doctrines and in the “names and forms” employed therein. This essence and substance is found to be capable of expression in three brief general axioms, as follows:

I. Ultimate Reality, Truth, Being and Principle is One and One Only; in its essential and fundamental nature it is Spiritual and not Material: the One Ultimate Principle of Being is SPIRIT.

II. The soul or spirit of man is identical in nature and essence with the Infinite Spiritual Principle or Being: it is a spark from the Divine Flame, a Ray from the Divine Sun, or a Reflection of the Divine Presence. This undetached fragment from the Divine Life is immanent within the being of every human individual, though usually undetected by reason of being hidden and covered with the mass of finite, personal characteristics; but no matter how much hidden or covered over, it is always there, its light burning brightly though obscured from ordinary perception.

III. By Faith in the Infinite Presence-Power, which abides Within and Without the individual soul, and by the Confident Expectation of its manifestation through the channels of individuality, the individual soul proceeds to clear away the obstructing debris of finite personality, with its mass of Doubt, Distrust, Disbelief and Unfaith, and to afford a clear passage of the spiritual light and power of the Indwelling Presence-Power; by so doing it also opens the channels of contact with and inspiration from the Superimposing Presence-Power of Infinity.

Pause a moment at this point, and consider carefully the above three axiomatic statements of the esoteric teaching and doctrine of all the great religions and philosophies. You will find that you have always known of these, though you have never clearly recognized them. If you have studied the great religions other than your own, you will now see that this teaching and doctrine is implicit in each and all of them. Piercing the surface of the exoteric teachings and doctrines of your own religion, you will find this teaching and doctrine expressed in them in veiled and guarded terms: now that your eyes have been opened to the Truth, you will find corroboration of these teachings in many hitherto perplexing and mystifying passages in your own Scriptures.

If, as is probable, you have been reared in some branch of the Christian Church, you will find in the words of the Master, and of that great teacher, Saint Paul, numerous corroborations of this Truth. If, instead, you are a Jew, you will find in the Hebrew Scriptures abundant testimony along the same lines— the ancient prophets of Israel knew and taught this Truth, as references to their writings will fully establish. Likewise, if you are a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Mohammedan, you will find in your Sacred Books a full corroboration of the above statement. As the ancient Oriental sages were wont to say: “The Truth is One, though men call it by many names, and express it by many different terms.”

Moreover, in all of the esoteric teaching and doctrine, so announced by the founders of the great religions and their successors, you will find that the Road to the Recognition, Realization and Manifestation of the Truth is always that of the Path of Faith. Even before Works, there is placed Faith. Before the manifestation, there must come the full realization; and before the full realization must come the full recognition and the perception, accompanied by the deep feeling of Faith. Before the believer may justly expect to reap, he must sow the seeds of Confident Expectation. Everywhere we find the repeated and constantly reiterated note of Faith, Faith, Faith! We are constantly admonished to have Faith, coupled with the promise that if Faith be had and maintained “all the rest shall be added unto you.”

In Jewish and Christian theology, Faith is “that mental act of man which places him in an acceptable relation to God.” In Mohammedanism, Faith in Allah is a prerequisite to knowledge of the Divine, and the bestowal of Divine aid. In Hinduism, Faith in Brahman is the Master Key. In Buddhism, Faith in “The Law which makes for Good” is an absolute necessity to the seeker after Nirvana. Everywhere, Faith is held to be the first, and absolutely necessary step toward Attainment. If this be true concerning the exoteric teaching and doctrine, it is thrice true of the esoteric presentation of the Truth—for in the latter it takes on a mystic and occult significance. As an ancient mystic once said: “There is a White Magic in Faith which transcends all other forms or powers of Magic.”

In the exoteric teachings and doctrine, Faith is advocated and demanded because of its claimed power to place man in close relationship with the Supreme Being, and to render possible a spiritual rapport or sympathetic accord with Divine Power. It is there held that the Supreme Being demands Faith as a prerequisite of the bestowal of favors and gifts. In the esoteric teaching and doctrine, however, while Faith is still more earnestly insisted upon as a prerequisite of Attainment, there is not this rather naive and primitive explanation: instead, Faith is explained as that act by means of which the individual soul enters into a fuller recognition and realization of its essential identity with, and contact with the Divine Principle, and thus is enabled to unfold and to manifest those divine powers which are inherent and latent within its nature. Faith, in the exoteric sense, is a “rapport,” i. e., “sympathetic accord” relationship: in the esoteric, it is rather a “rapprochement,” or “act of re-approach or coming-together again after a separation,” or “act or fact of again coming or being drawn near or together.”

Even those not accepting the doctrine of the essential identity of the individual soul with the Universal Soul, and who occupy the agnostic position regarding this question, must be forced to admit as logically sound the argument that if the individual soul is potentially divine, then the act of earnest, positive Faith in its potentially divine nature and possibilities must serve to unfold into manifestation such powers. The esoteric doctrine, however, does not rest merely upon this undoubtedly logically sound premise or proposition—it bases its chief claim upon the fact that the soul which proceeds “as if this were so” soon begins to manifest its powers to such an extent that further doubt is impossible. Thus the proof or the esoteric teaching and doctrine is, at the last, a matter of actual personal experience. Cries the mystic: “Taste, only taste; taste, and you will know the virtue of the Wine!”

Faith in the Infinite, then, consists primarily of the firm, earnest, positive belief in the three axiomatic statements heretofore presented to you (or their equivalents which are found in the esoteric teachings of any and all of the various great religions or philosophies of the world). If this Faith be had and maintained, then it inevitably follows that Faith in the beneficent Good nature of the Cosmic Activities will arise. If the Ultimate Spiritual Principle is embodied in the individual soul, then it must be inclined to be “good” to that soul. Ultimate Reality must be “good” to itself, and if it recognizes the individual soul as a divine fragment of itself, then it must be “good” to that part of itself.

The esoteric teaching and doctrine, however, hold that this recognition of common identity of the Universal Soul and the individual soul is more or less a mutual process; they hold that the individual soul striving to enter into this consciousness of identity with the Divine—seeking its Greater Self—sets into operation certain powers of the Universal Soul which cause the latter to seek “rapprochement,” or “re-approach or coming-together,” of the two apparently separated portions of the Divine Essence, i. e., the Macrocosm and the Microcosm. This being granted, it is easily seen that the act or mental attitude of Faith in the Infinite, and in one’s essential relation to it, or essential identity with it, must operate in the direction of the “rapprochement,” or “coming-together-again,” of the Universal Principle and its Particular Manifestation. Like the water-spout appearing on the high seas, the water from the ocean swirls around and rises to meet and to be united with the descending whirling mass of heavy vapor from the clouds.

Royce says: “We long for the Absolute only in so far as in us the Absolute also longs, and seeks, through our very temporal striving, the peace that is nowhere in Time, but only, and yet Absolutely, in Eternity.” Evelyn Underwood says: “All mystical thinkers agree in thinking that there is a mutual attraction between the Spark of the Soul, the free divine germ in man, and the Fount from which it came forth. The homeward journey of man’s spirit, then, is due to the push of a divine life within answering to the pull of a divine life without. It is a going of like to like, the fulfillment of a Cosmic necessity.” Recejac says: “According to mysticism, the soul is led to the frontiers of the Absolute and is even given an impulsion to enter, but this is not enough. This movement of pure Freedom cannot succeed unless there is an equivalent movement within the Absolute itself.”

Francis Thompson, in his mystic poem entitled “The Hound of Heaven,” describes with a tremendous power, and often with an almost terrible intensity, the hunt of Reality for the unwilling individual Self. He pictures Reality as engaged in a remorseless, tireless quest—a seeking, following, tracking-down of the unwilling individual soul. He pictures the separated spirit as a “strange, piteous, futile thing” that flees from the pursuing Reality “down the nights and down the days.” The individual spirit, not knowing its relation to and identity with the pursuing Absolute, rushes in a panic of terror away from its own Good. But, as Emerson says, “You cannot escape your own Good”; and, so the fleeing soul is captured at last. By Faith in the Infinite, however, the individual soul overcomes its terror of the Infinite, and, recognizing it as its Supreme Good, it turns and moves toward it. Such is the mystic conception of the effect and action of Faith in the Infinite.

Even those philosophers who view the Cosmos as an Infinite Process, operated by an Infinite Spiritual Law rather than by the Will of a Divine Being—even they, unreservedly and fully, likewise teach and preach the paramount value of Faith in the Infinite. Heraclitus, the ancient Greek philosopher who taught the doctrine of the Eternal Becoming; the Stoics with their doctrine of Cosmic Law and Order; and the ancient Buddhists with their doctrine of “The Law of Eternal Change”;—all these taught as the highest wisdom the unquestioning Faith in “The Law.” Everything, they said, is under Law, and proceeds according to Order. Wisdom consists in having absolute Faith in that Law, and in “falling in with” its action, movement and processes. “Faith in and obedience to the Law is the highest religion,” said these thinkers; and they held that only through such could the individual reach the Mount of Attainment.

There are many practical philosophers of our own lands and age who, while more or less agnostic concerning the existence of a Divine Supreme Being, (at least of such conceived as a Person), nevertheless are in full agreement with the ancient philosophers just mentioned in the general conception that the Cosmos is governed by Infinite Law and proceeds according to Eternal Order—and this Law and Order they conceive to be Spiritual rather than Material.

Like Heraclitus, the Stoics, and the original Buddhists, the modern philosophers conceive it to be the highest wisdom on the part of man, as well as his manifest duty toward himself and the universe as well, to arouse and to manifest a firm, absolute, certain and unquestioning Faith in the existence and operation of the Infinite Law and the Eternal Order, and in the belief that it operates in the direction of Ultimate Good; and to endeavor to move along with the Cosmic current, to acquire and to maintain the Cosmic rhythm, to “beat time” and to “keep step” with the Cosmic Order—in short, to get and to keep “In Tune with the Infinite.”

These thinkers, while very practical and pragmatic, nevertheless manifest toward this Infinite Law and Eternal Order a mental attitude of Faith and Confident Expectation which closely resembles the corresponding mental attitude of the devout religious believer. To them, as to him, Faith is the cardinal principle of their thought and action. They do not shrink from that extreme test of Pragmatism, viz., “Would you trust your life to it?” Instead, they trust not only their lives, but their welfare, their happiness, and all that is worth while in human existence, to the operation of that Law. They have found it to be the most practical form of philosophy—a philosophy that “works out” in actual life, and which surely “pays” in the end. This Pragmatic Philosophy, like most of the philosophies worthy of the name, and like all of the great religions, is based upon Faith and Confident Expectation. Like all other forms of earnest thought and belief, it has its roots in Intuition—and Intuition breathes the very spirit of Faith.

It is not our purpose, nor our duty, to direct you concerning your form of religious belief, or regarding your school of philosophy—these are matters entirely for the exercise of your own Reason with the cooperation of your Intuition. But we conceive it to be our duty, and it is certainly our purpose, here to advise you, with all the earnestness at our command, to cultivate the mental attitude of Faith, absolute and unquestioning Faith, in the presence and power of an Infinite and Eternal Ultimate Reality of a Spiritual Nature; and to cultivate an equally earnest and fervent Faith in the operation of the Law and Order manifested by that Ultimate Reality (call the latter what you will—God, Principle, Power, Truth, Law, or the Unknowable Reality). Following this, and dependent upon it, should be the Confident Expectation that this Infinite Law and Eternal Order will tend to operate in the direction of your ultimate Good, in the measure in which you have Faith in it and Confident Expectation concerning its ultimate beneficent results.

Even if you cannot perceive the merit of the philosophical reasoning which leads to this conclusion, even if you are devoid of the religious conviction which brings the similar report, you are justified in accepting such a conception as warranted by the Rule of Pragmatism which is expressed in the axiom: “That which works may be accepted as Practical Truth.” Lack of Faith in the Infinite Law and Eternal Order weakens you, and renders you less efficient—therefore such is a negative quality. Actual Distrust, Disbelief, Unfaith and Doubt are worse than mere negative qualities—they are positive and active in the wrong direction, and tend to reverse the movement, action and direction of the Cosmic Forces, producing that Shadow of Good which is called Evil.

* * *

“Before beginning, and without an end,

As space eternal and as surety sure,

Is fixed a Power divine which moves to Good,

Only its Laws endure.

“It maketh and unmaketh, mending all;

What it hath wrought is better than hath been;

Slow grows the splendid pattern that it plans

Its wistful hands between.

“It will not be condemned by any one;

Who thwarts it loses, and who serves it gains.

The hidden good it pays with peace and bliss,

The hidden ill with pains.

“Such is the Law which moves to Righteousness,

Which none at last can turn aside or stay;

The heart of it is Love, and end of it

Is Peace and Consummation sweet. Obey!

“Ho! ye who suffer I know ye suffer from yourselves;

Naught else compels. * * * *

Within yourself deliverance must be sought;

Each man his prison makes. * * * *

Laugh and be glad; for there is liberty!”

***

Prentice Mulford, that eccentric genius who was really one of the great pioneers of the practical phase of the modern New Metaphysical Movement, although he is seldom given the credit to which he is really entitled in this particular field, once expressed very forcibly the spirit of the true teaching concerning Faith in the Infinite, in the following remarkable passage culled from one of his early books:

“A Supreme Power and Wisdom govern the Universe. The Supreme Mind is measureless and pervades endless space. The Supreme Wisdom, Power and Intelligence are in everything that exists, from the atom to the planet. The Supreme Power has us in its charge, as it has the suns and endless systems of worlds in space. As we grow more to recognize this sublime and exhaustless wisdom, we shall learn more and more to demand that wisdom, draw it to ourselves, and thereby be ever making ourselves newer and newer. This means ever perfecting health, greater and greater power to enjoy all that exists, gradual transition into a higher state of being, and the development of powers which we do not now realize as belonging to us. Let us then daily demand Faith, for Faith is power to believe and power to see that all things are parts of the Infinite Spirit of God, that all things have Good or God in them, and that all things, when recognized by us as parts of God, must work for our good.”

The following statement of the general basic principles of the modern New Thought movement was made several years ago by one of the writers of the present book. It is reproduced here because we think that it presents in concise form the essential spirit of the philosophy of that great modern school of thought just named, after the non-essential and debatable teachings of its various branches have been “ironed out.”

“I. There exists a great underlying Something or Somewhat that is beneficent and well-disposed toward you, and which tries to help, aid, and assist you whenever and wherever It can do so.

“II. Faith and Confident Expectation regarding the beneficent power of that Something or Somewhat tends to open the channels of Its influence in your life; while Doubt, Unbelief, Distrust, and Fear, tend to dam up the channel of Its influence in your life, and to rob It of the power to help you.

“III. To a great extent, at least, you determine your own life by the character of your thought; by the nature and character of your thoughts you furnish the pattern or mold which determines or modifies the efforts of the Something or Somewhat to aid you, either in the direction of producing desirable results, or else in bringing about undesirable results by reason of your damming up the source of your Good.

“These three fundamental principles of New Thought—which is really the oldest kind of thought expressed in new forms—will serve you as the strongest kind of basic platform for practical New Thought demonstration. If you will stand firmly on this platform; make its teachings and principles a part of yourself; and strive to manifest its truth and facts in your own life; then you will be the very best kind of New Thoughtist, even though you may never have heard even a word of New Thought teaching, metaphysical speculation, or philosophical theorizing.”

In that volume of this series entitled “Spiritual Power,” especially in its concluding section entitled “Unison with Infinity,” you will find a far more extended reference to this particular phase of the general subject of Faith and Confident Expectation directed toward the Infinite. If you are interested in this special teaching, we feel justified in recommending to your attention the book just named.

The advanced students of the Esoteric Teaching contained in the Scriptures of all the great religions, as well as their inspired teachers, are aware that in “The Book of Psalms,” in our own Scriptures, are to be found several of the great masterpieces of the esoteric teachings concerning Faith Power—in them is given the essence of the Secret Doctrine concerning Faith in the Infinite. Chief among these are the Twenty-Third Psalm, and the Ninety-first Psalm, respectively. So important are these two great esoteric poems—so filled with practical, helpful information are they—that we deem it advisable to reproduce them here that you may avail yourself of their virtue and power at this particular stage of this instruction. Accordingly, they are given on the next following two pages of this book.

The Psalm of Faith

(Psalm XXIII)

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in the green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

The Psalm of Security (Psalm XCI)

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God in Him will I trust. Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most high, thy habitation. There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and the adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, and therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.”

The teachers and students of the Inner Teachings, the Ancient Wisdom, the Secret Doctrine, are also aware of the esoteric spiritual significance of the lines of the well-known hymn, “Lead Kindly Light,” written by Newman in a period of spiritual stress. Few who read or sing this hymn realize its esoteric spirit and meaning—none but “those who know” perceive and recognize that which dwells under the surface of those wonderful words and lines; but it is a matter of common notice and comment that even many persons who are outside of the fold of the Church find great inspiration, help, courage and practical aid from that wonderful hymn.

We feel that we may close this part of our instruction no more fitly than by quoting the lines of that magnificent verse: we trust that you may be able to plunge beneath its surface and discover “in the deep places” the spirit of that great Chant of Faith Power.

The Chant of Faith Power (“Lead Kindly Light”) “Lead kindly light, amid the encircling gloom;

Lead thou me on.

The night is dark, and I am far from home;

Lead thou me on.

Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see

The distant scene; one step enough for me,

Lead thou me on.”

Carry with you ever the spirit of the ancient aphorism of the wise sage, which we have already quoted for your benefit in the pages of this book, and which adorns its title-page:

“Faith is the White Magic of Power.”


Will Power: Your Dynamic Forces


Will Power

Of all the varied manifestations of Power proceeding from that POWER which the best human thought perceives to be the source and origin of all the Power in the Universe, that manifestation which we know as Will Power seems to be the most fundamental, the most elemental, the most universal. It is seen by philosophers to constitute the very kernel or heart of all phases and forms of Personal Power. Many, indeed, have held that in Will Power abides the ultimate principle of the Universe—and that all forms of Power, Force and Energy, at the last, must be thought of in terms of Will Power.

Whatever may be the ultimate facts of the Universe, there can be no dispute concerning the dominating position occupied by Will Power in the life and being of the individual man. When you undertake the task of self-analysis, you will find your Will at the very centre of your being—so close to the “I AM I” or Ego, that it is most difficult to disentangle it from your Real Self.

Your sensations, your passions, your emotions, your tastes and your talents are found to be under the control of your trained Will. You may set them aside from yourself and analyze them, correct them, improve them; but the Will lies closer to yourself—you cannot set it apart from yourself as you can the other mental states. It is neither sensation nor emotion— though it may dominate both. It is always subjective and active, abiding and operating from the very citadel of your being.

Emotion and Thought may lie deep in your being—but Will lies still deeper. Emotion and Thought are objective to the Will, and may be influenced and directed by it. You are conscious of your sensations and of your emotions as merely incidental to your existence. But you are directly conscious of your Will, just as you are conscious of your self-existence. You can modify your other mental states, but you cannot modify your Will in the same way; the Will is your sole instrument of modification and it cannot be turned back on itself. The office of the Will is that of Action; and in its activities it directs and orders, commands and regulates the other mental states. In fact, the Will acts chiefly through and by means of its control and direction of your other mental states.

Will Power may be developed and trained, of course— otherwise this book would have no purpose and intent. But it is not to be developed and trained as are the other mental states or powers—for these are modified by the action of the Will upon them. Unlike theirs, its development consists rather of the unfolding into fuller expression of a fundamental power which already exists—the transformation of latent and static Will into active and dynamic Will. This form of “development” is defined as “the act of freeing from that which envelopes.” Its training, likewise, is different. Instead of its being trained by a higher mental faculty or power, the Will itself proceeds to improve, deepen, widen and strengthen the channels through which its currents flow. We, therefore, employ the term, “the development and training of the Will,” only in this sense.

Will Culture really is the process of providing the Will with the appropriate mental instruments for its fuller expression and manifestation, and of encouraging it to employ them. The Will always is there, abiding in full power. It is your part to supply it with the proper incentives to action; and to furnish it with the channels of habit and use through which it may flow freely. Strange to say, you must employ the powers of Will itself in order to provide these requisites for its own fuller expression. At the last, the Will itself must “will” to provide itself with the instruments of Willing. The Will must will to will; and to will into being the instruments of its future willing. But the Will always is content to do these things when properly aroused.

We need not labor to convince you that it is desirable for you to possess developed and trained Will Power. You know from your own experience and observation that to have “a strong will” is to be a strong individual—one who is regarded with respect. You know also that to have a “weak will” is to be a weak individual—one to be pitied, if not indeed to be scorned. You may, however, have fallen into the error of supposing that the possessors of the “strong will” are individuals especially favored and blessed by Nature, or by the powers above Nature. You may be among those who regard Strength of Will as akin to height, complexion, or similar personal characteristics which have been bestowed upon certain individuals without any effort on their part, and to which no other individuals may hope to attain if they have not been born with them.

If you have fallen into this error, now is the time for you to rid yourself of it. Thoughtful psychologists take an entirely different view of the case. While recognizing the fact that to some individuals the manifestation of Will Power is easier at the beginning—that it “comes more natural” to some than to others, those who have made a careful study of this subject know that it is equally true that each and every individual has within himself a bountiful supply of latent Will Power which he may develop and train to a marvelous degree if he will employ the proper scientific methods. In fact, experience has proved that many of the individuals who have thus acquired a high degree of Will Power are able to manifest it more consistently and more habitually than many of those who were “born to it” but who have not learned how to apply it effectively.

It is true that in order to develop and train your Will Power you will need to arouse and apply a certain degree of Will itself—you will also find that your Will Power once set into operation in this direction will rise to the occasion, and that your supply of such power will prove to be equal to your demands upon it. One may start with even a far less degree of Will Power than that possessed by the average man, and then proceed step by step in an ever-increasing ratio of attainment and development until the heights are reached. Accompanying the very application of Will Power to the task of developing itself by special training, there is a correlated arousing of its latent energies; the employment of Will Power in this effort tends to strengthen and energize its power of manifestation in other directions.

We ask you to take careful notice of this peculiar situation. Will Power may be developed and trained only by Will Power. Will Power is required to develop and to train Will Power. Will Power is self-developed and self-trained. Will Power applies its energies to itself, and by means of this it tends to perfect and improve itself. The other mental faculties and powers find it necessary to call on Will Power to perfect them; but Will Power requires no outside aid, and can obtain none—it must ever fall back upon its own inherent powers when it wishes to develop or improve itself. If you had no Will Power, you would never be able to develop any—since you would have nothing else with which to develop it. But, fortunately, you have Will to start with, though it may exist merely in a latent or dormant state. “Will Power is your heritage, and it will be at your service if you demand it.

When you employ Will Power to develop Will Power, you not only build a mental path over which the Will thereafter travels, but you also actually strengthen and develop the Will itself by the very task of building such paths or roads. In creating the tools for the use of the Will, you also render the Will itself stronger, better and more efficient. Here we have a striking illustration of the old Biblical statement that “To him who hath shall be given.” The more persistent and the longer continued the efforts of your Will to develop and train your Will Power, the stronger will your Will become by reason of the energies expended in the effort. By employing Will Power in the task, you will actually gain Will Power as the result. This is a very significant fact, and one which you should always bear in mind. The more of Will you give, the more of Will you have—this is the way of the Will!

Here at the very beginning, you should realize that there is no royal road to the development and training of Will Power. There is no magic charm which when worn will transform the weak-willed individual into the strong-willed one. There is no miraculous drug, concealed in an attractive capsule, which needs but to be swallowed by one in order to render himself a veritable Sampson of Will Power, or a Napoleon of Will. There is no magician’s wand which when waved over the individual may transform him in the twinkling of an eye into the man with the Will of the Titan. Those who have dreamed of such a miraculous and magic process of transformation may as well realize these facts, right here at the beginning.

But equally true is it that the wonderful results which many have dreamed of securing by some kind of miraculous or magic power are possible of attainment by you, provided that you will apply yourself to the task in the right spirit and with a firm determination to succeed. You may obtain the highest success in this direction, but you must work for it just as you must work for anything else worth while in life. Just as you may develop yourself physically by exercise along the lines of scientific physical culture, so you may develop your Will Power by scientific methods and exercises. This, indeed, is the only way. Will Power may be obtained in no other way. But, on the other hand, the reward will far more than repay you for your efforts; moreover, once you have taken the first few steps, you will find that your interest will increase, and you will be encouraged by the many little indications of the actual development of Will Power which will make themselves manifest even from the start.

We would here call your attention to another important and interesting fact concerning the task of the development and training of Will Power. While the discipline and exercise of the task entails some degree of self-sacrifice in the direction of setting aside certain minor courses of action which may have a strong basis of habit, you will find yourself more than compensated for the loss by the pleasure which comes from the consciousness of the unfoldment of new powers within yourself. The new interests will soon supplant the old ones, and the joy of possession will overbalance the price of denial.

In this connection, we would impress upon you the fact that no intelligent application of Will Power is a loss—such is always a gain. In every intelligent exercise or application of the Will you are making an investment in Will Power—you are making a deposit in the Bank of Will, and this bank pays at attractive rate of interest. We know of no better investment for you. Your expenditures are transformed into savings stored up as a reserve fund drawing good interest. This surely should prove an attractive proposition for you.

We take it that you have already developed at least the average degree of Will Power. The fact that you have undertaken the study of this book is evidence that you have, developed at least some degree of “the Will to Will”—that you know what a valuable thing Will Power is, and that you desire to possess and manifest still more of it. We are proceeding upon such assumption, even when we may seem to be giving instruction designed for those of a lesser degree of attainment. Do not make the mistake of passing over any of the simple and elementary phases of our instruction merely because you may think that you have passed beyond that stage, and have outgrown the need for such instruction. The rule is this: That which will make a weak Will strong, will make a strong Will stronger. Even the most elementary method or exercise may be employed profitably by those of giant Will Power, particularly where the strength has not been effectively trained or efficiently directed.

If you are seeking by the methods of this book to direct the efforts of some weaker-willed friend or relation, we would say to you that you are on the right road. There are no exceptions to the rule that Will Power is capable of development and training in the case of any individual. While there is Will, there is hope. There is latent Will in everyone—even in the weakest-willed person. Moreover, those who are suffering from a diseased Will, or from a discouraged Will, may feel certain that the right effort will raise them from their unfortunate condition. There lives no man to whom the benefit of Will Culture is denied. There is no man so weak, so old, so burdened with a long series of Will-failures, to whom it may not be said truthfully that “The Gate of Hope is still open to you; enter into your own kingdom of Awakened Will!”

Now, right here at the beginning of our instruction, we shall ask you to recall an experience of your youth—if you have ever lived in the country, you will understand the principle involved therein. We allude to the process whereby the good old pump on the farm was “set a-going” by means of the process of “priming” it, i. e., of pouring into the pump a pailful of water in order to set into operation the internal mechanism whereby the working of the pump-handle brought up to the spout a free and full supply of water. Now, then, here at this point we are going to ask you to “prime” your good pump of Will Power, in order to “set it a-going.” Later, you will find some good suggestions concerning that which you should pour into the pump of Will Power in the process of “priming” it. Pour these in, and before long you will feel the thrill of the mounting Will Power—the Will to Will.

Priming the Pump of Will Power

I. Begin by realizing just how much you really want to attain strong and effective Will Power. Let the feelings of your subconscious mentality rise to the surface of your consciousness. You will discover that you have some very strong feelings on the subject—give to these feelings the full possession of your mind. Let the desire for Will Power permeate your whole being. Do not rest satisfied until you want Will Power as the drowning man wants air, as the starving man wants food, as the thirsting man wants water, as the wild creature wants its mate, as the mother creature wants its young. Before you can get anything you must “want it hard enough.”

II. Picture yourself in imagination as already possessed of strong Will Power. See yourself, in mental pictures, as manifesting the actions of the man of giant Will. See yourself as the man of invincible determination—of the purpose once fixed, and then victory or death. See yourself as the man possessed of that strong and indefatigable Will which treads down difficulties and dangers as the boy treads down the frozen snow in winter. See yourself as possessed of that settled purpose which demands fulfillment, and which will not be denied. See yourself as possessed of that passionate and unwearied Will which performs that which seems impossible to the eyes of the cold and feeble. See yourself as the man who will not yield to the casualties of life, but who forces them to yield to him; and who compels circumstances to serve his purposes and designs, though they had at first seemed determined to frustrate them. See yourself as possessed of that Spirit of Will, that firm, decisive spirit, which clears a space around you, and leaves you room and freedom for action. Memorize and ponder over the following lines from Ella Wheeler Wilcox:

“There is no chance, no destiny, no fate,

Can circumvent, or hinder, or control

The firm resolve of a determined soul.

Gifts count for nothing, Will alone is great;

All things give way before it soon or late.

What obstacles can stay the mighty force

Of the sea-seeking river in its course.

Or cause the ascending orb of day to wait?

Each well-born soul must win what it deserves.

Let the fools prate of luck. The fortunate

Is he whose earnest purpose never swerves,

Whose slightest action, or inaction,

Serves the one great aim.

Why, even Death itself

Stands still and waits an hour sometimes

For such a Will.”

III. Next, carefully consider the question of whether or not you are ready and willing to pay the price of effort, exercise and training necessary for the attainment of strong Will Power. Proceed honestly in this matter; do not try to deceive yourself. Weigh carefully the advantages which will accrue to you as the result of your attainment of the qualities and powers seen in the mental picture which you have just considered. Against these balance the degree of work, time, attention, and the general mental discipline which you must perform as the price of your attainment. Balance the “goods” against the “price,” and decide whether or not you will get full value for your money.

You must settle this question once and for all, right here at the beginning—you must not carry it over into the later stages of this instruction, there to plague and torment you. If you find that you are not willing to pay the price, all well and good—in such case close this book and dismiss the subject from your mind: leave it for some more courageous and determined soul. But if, as we anticipate, you decide that “the game is worth the candle,” and “the goods are cheap at the price,” then close the contract with yourself, and proceed as follows:

Having fully “made up your mind,” you should proceed to enter into the task of Will Development with Full Determination and Resolute Purpose. You must manifest not a mere passive or lukewarm resolve, but a real, red-blooded, virile resolution, which your manhood compels you to fulfill. You must Will to Will in this matter. You must throw the whole force of your being into the task of this Purposeful Determination. You must be prepared to act now in the manner in which you pictured yourself acting a few moments ago. You must burn your bridges behind you, and must enter upon the road from which their is no retreat.

Take as your battle-cry, “I Can, I Will; I Dare, I Do!” Carry its inspiration with you. In your hours of struggle, effort, and battle against the forces of lethargy, apathy, inertia, and the tendency to “side track” the decision, sound this note insistently and persistently. In your hours of discouragement, in which the tempter whispers in your ear, “What’s the use?” set the vibrations of the battle-cry into motion. And, finally, in your hours of triumph, in which you enjoy your achievement with that keen pleasure that comes only to him who has overcome obstacles by sheer persistence, determination and Will, let this be your vibrant note of Victory!

Sound this note over and over again, until its vibrations energize every atom and cell of your being. Let its rhythm awaken the thrill of Will Power within you—until the “I Can, I Will; I Dare, I Do!” sounds from the very centre of your being. Sound it over and over again, until you are fully conscious that its vibrations have begun, and that the whole mighty structure of your being is quivering and thrilling, throbbing and beating, with the rhythmic vibration of the energy of your Persistent Determination—the Spirit of your awakened Will to Will.

This, then, is the water of suggestive idea and mental imagery, of Definite Course and Determined Purpose, which you are pouring into your Pump of Will so as to “‘prime” it and to “set it a-going”—and “set it a-going” it surely will!


The Nature of Will

Psychology finds itself confronted by a paradox when it undertakes the consideration of the Will. While it is able to indicate clearly the several stages of the activity of Will, and also to point out positively the methods whereby the Will may be developed and trained, yet when it seeks to indicate the essential nature of Will it finds itself baffled at every turn and, in the end, is compelled to content itself with explaining the Will by a recital of its activities.

The Will is elusive. When we think that we have pinned it down for an examination of its essential nature, we find that we have merely laid hold of one of its manifold phases of activity; the Will in itself remains free from our confining instruments, defying us to fasten it down even by a satisfactory definition. Compared with the knowledge we have of the fundamental nature of the emotions, the reason, the memory and the imagination, our knowledge of the essential nature of Will is very unsatisfactory. Yet, at the same time, we know that we have a Will and that we will; and, moreover, we know how to train our Will and how to develop and unfold its power.

We have but to attempt to define the Will, even with the aid of the best dictionaries, in order to realize how far beyond all possible definitions of it is our intuitive and direct knowledge of its presence, its powers, its activities. Turning to the dictionaries, we find that Will is defined as: “The power of the mind which enables a person to choose between two courses of action; also, the actual exercise of the power of choice”; and, in a secondary meaning, “strong wish or inclination; desire or conative feeling.” The dictionaries further inform us that “the power of choice” is the distinctive attribute of Will, and that the exercise of that power is more properly called “volition.”

Now, this definition is not in accord with the fuller conception of the term “Will” which most of us entertain; moreover, it is not in full accord with the teaching of the best modern psychology. Most of us, when we employ the term “Will,” have in mind the exercise of the strong purposeful, determined power of the Ego or “I AM I.” We know that within ourselves is a strong dynamic force, which when applied with a set and determined purpose is capable of acting with tremendous force, overcoming obstacles, breaking barriers, and sweeping away opposition. Moreover, the best modern psychology informs us that Will always is concerned with Action; and that without Action there is no completed process of Will.

In the present book we shall consider Will as being essentially concerned with Action; and as being most characteristically manifested in the mental states which we know as “Purpose” and “Determination,” respectively. All the other phases of Will we shall regard as being merely incidental to this phase of Purposeful Determination, and as contributing to such phase. By following this course, we believe we shall be emphasizing the practical aspect of Will Power, and that we shall be keeping the inquiry and instruction in the channel promising the greatest benefit to you in the accomplishment of your ends and aims, your ambitions and your hopes.

The term, “Purpose,” seems to express satisfactorily this understanding and conception of Will. It is defined as: “The view, aim, design, intention, determination, resolution or will to accomplish or reach some particular object.” Another definition is: “That which a person sets before himself as the object to be gained or accomplished; the end or aim which one has in view in any plan, measure or exertion; that which one intends to do, hence his intention, design, plan or project.” Employed as a verb, the term, “Purpose,” is defined as: “To intend, to design, to determine or resolve on anything as an end or object to be gained or accomplished.” The term, “Determination,” in this particular meaning, is defined as: “Strength or firmness of mind; firm resolve or resolution; and absolute direction to a certain end.”

In the mental state of Purposeful Determination, and in its resultant action, we have at least a “working principle” of the phase of Will Power with which we are vitally concerned in this book. We shall consider and apply the principles of the other phases of Will toward the end of the accomplishment of this “Purposeful Determination” phase of Will Power. We ask you to fix this principle in your mind, and to keep it in view throughout the entire course of this inquiry and instruction. Memorize the term—“Purposeful Determination.”

We have thought it well to present to you at this point a brief and general synopsis of the Five Stages of Will—the stages which each and every process of Will manifests as it unfolds into active expression. The more clearly you understand the processes of Will; the more clearly will you be able to Will. These Five Stages of Will are as follows: (1) Feeling and Emotion; (2) Desire and Impulse; (3) Deliberation and Consideration; (4) Determination and Decision (5) Voluntary Expression and Action. Here follows a brief description of each of the above-stated Five Stages of Will.

(1) The Stage of Feeling and Emotion. Feeling is defined as: “The simple agreeable or disagreeable side of any mental state.” Emotion is the complex of Feeling. Feeling is the indispensable element of all emotional states. While Feeling, in itself, is not to be regarded as a phase or aspect of Perfected Will, yet it is true that Feeling is one of the “raw materials” of Will Action. Or, stating it in another form, all Will-activities have their roots embedded in the soil of Feeling and Emotion. This fact is not generally recognized by the average person, but it is one which every one is forced to admit when he analyzes and examines his Will-processes. In the category of Feeling and Emotion we, of course, include the moral and religious feelings and emotions, as well as each and every other form or forms of Feeling and Emotion.

It has well been said that “The phenomena of the world have value to us only in so far as they affect our feelings.” The importance of this is recognized when we realize that all Will-activities proceed from Desire, and that Desire is but the active aspect or phase of Feeling. We “will” to do only what we desire to do; and we desire to do only what our feelings report as comfortable, satisfying and contenting, rather than the opposite. If an object or subject fails to arouse interest and agreeable feelings—if it thus possesses no interest or attraction for us—then we experience no Desire or Impulse to have or to do anything concerning the attainment of that object or subject. If we have no aversion or repulsion (also phases of feeling) concerning a subject or object, then we experience no Desire or Impulse to avoid or escape, or to get rid of or away from, that subject or object. Without agreeable or disagreeable feelings or interest concerning any particular thing, we have no Desire or Impulse to act in any way concerning or relating to that thing—it has no Will-value for us in such case.

If Feeling and Emotion were eliminated from our mental being, then all things alike would prove absolutely uninteresting to us. In such case, in the familiar phrase, all things would “look alike to us”—we should not “want” any of them, nor should we “want to” take any action toward attaining any of them; likewise, we should not “dislike” any of them nor should we “want to” take any action in the direction of escaping, avoiding or getting away from anything whatsoever. In such case, our Will would be so absolutely passive and inert that it might as well be non-existent.

(2) The Stage of Desire and Impulse. The essential active element of Desire and Impulse is that which in psychology is called “Conation,” which is defined as: “That element of consciousness which shows itself in tendencies, impulses, desires and acts of volition; it is essentially a mental state of unrest, and it manifests whenever a mental state tends by its nature to develop into something else.”

Desire is defined as: “A conative tendency toward that which promises emotional satisfaction and content, or else away from that which threatens emotional dissatisfaction and discontent.” Desire has for its object the satisfaction of some form of pleasurable feeling, or the escape from some form of painful feeling. This pleasurable feeling, or painful feeling, however, may be concerned with either (a) immediate, or (b) remote events; likewise, such events may concern either (c) the individual himself, or (d) others in whom he is interested and to whom he is related by the bonds of affection or sympathy. No matter how complex may be the feelings arousing the conative impulses of Desire, their ultimate analysis will show that the basic feeling is that inspired by some promised pleasure or some threatened pain, immediate or remote, direct or indirect, deemed likely to be experienced by the individual.

Desire is the connecting link between Feeling and Will. On one side it is blended with Feeling, on the other side it blends into Will. It depends for existence upon Feeling; it depends for expression upon Will. Desire always manifests by a more or less definite “want” or “want to”; this accompanied by a peculiar feeling of tension or strain, known as Impulse. The stronger the Desire, the stronger is this tension or strain of Impulse—this conative urge toward Action.

Feeling and Emotion inspiring Desire may manifest on the open plane of consciousness; or, again, they may abide more or less concealed in the recesses of the subconscious mentality; or, again, they may exist in the guise of habit. But wherever they exist or abide, or in whatever form or guise they present themselves, they are always Feeling and Emotion in the stage of transformation into the conative energy of Desire, and striving to escape and find release in Voluntary Action of the Will.

(3) The Stage of Deliberation and Consideration. Deliberation is: “The act of deliberating or weighing in the mind.” In this stage you find yourself confronted with several alternative courses of action, or else with the question “to do or not to do” some particular thing. In each and every instance of Deliberation, however, you will find that each alternative course of action will involve certain phases of Desire, i. e., certain tendencies to attain or to secure something promising emotional satisfaction and content, or else to escape from and to avoid something threatening emotional dissatisfaction and discontent.

These alternative appeals of Desire to Will present conflicting emotional attractions or repulsions, or both; these you weigh one against the other—one set against the other—until finally you strike the balance of Decision. In such cases, you will find yourself (figuratively speaking) tasting these several dishes of emotional food, noting the agreeable or disagreeable qualities of each, and endeavoring to decide which promises the greater degree of emotional satisfaction or dissatisfaction, content or discontent.

The fact that in this process of Deliberation you call upon reason, memory, imagination and other mental powers or faculties, to assist you in your Decision, must not cause you to overlook the all-important part played in it by Desire. You will find that in the end you have decided upon the course of action which promises you the greatest emotional content and comfort, and the least emotional dissatisfaction and discomfort. You have employed Reason, and its assistant faculties and powers, merely to enable you to discover which of the alternatives possesses the greater promise of ultimate and permanent emotional value along the lines of content and comfort. Your “reasons” governing your Decision concerning Will-Action are always found to be based upon motives of this particular kind.

(4) The Stage of Determination and Decision. Determination (in this usage) is: “The act of terminating or bringing to an end; the state of Decision.” In this stage, the processes of Deliberation, or the “weighing of motives” is brought to an end, and “the mind is made up.” The old school of psychology held this to be the last and final act of Will—its characteristic act. This, indeed, would be true if we could accept the old definition of Will as “the faculty which chooses or makes choice”; but under the later conceptions and definitions of Will, in which it is perceived that Will is essentially concerned with Action, we see the necessity of pursuing our inquiry further.

There is a marked difference between the usage of merely “making up your mind,” or of even “deciding to act”; and that of the actual performance of the associated action which you have decided to perform. Many a time you have “made up your mind,” and have “decided to act,” only later to fail to act or to carry out your decision. This distinction is illustrated by William James’ familiar story of the man “making up his mind” and “deciding” to get out of bed on a cold morning when the alarm clock sounded—frequently he finds it necessary to “make up his mind” and to “decide” several times before he finally expresses the thought in action.

In this inquiry and instruction, accordingly, we have taken cognizance of that further phase of Determination which is defined as, “Strength and firmness of mind; firm resolve or resolution; absolute direction to a certain end.” In this phase of the Stage of Determination, you reach the process of Purposeful Determination—here the Stage of Determination blends into that of Voluntary Action, and becomes one with it.

(5) The Stage of Voluntary Expression and Action. Voluntary Action is defined as: “The process of acting and moving by Will Power.” This is the final stage of the Will. It is Will in full flower. It is toward this end that Will has been struggling and striving, which effort has given activity to all of the processes of the preceding stages or phases of Will. Voluntary Action is the very spirit of Will. Without the manifestation of Voluntary Action, the Will process is practically incomplete.

Determination is the Decision to Will, or, in its more active phases, the resolve or resolution, the Purposeful Determination to Will; or, in still more intense manifestation, even the Will to Will, itself. But in Voluntary Action we have what has been called “Will willing itself in action, and manifesting itself as Will.” Here the trigger of the Will has been pulled by the “I AM I.” Here the spring of Action has been released. Here the Will drives itself into action—sets itself to work. Here the Will not only “wills to will,” but also actually “wills” itself into full manifestation and expression. Here we have the real Will—Will expressing its purpose, its determination, and its full power and inner nature.

This is the phase of Will that so eludes our definition and formal terms, because we have no terms, other than those of Will itself, with which to define it. In the previous phases or stages we could employ the terms of Feeling, Desire or Reason in striving to indicate the nature of the processes of such stages or phases; but here we have nothing else with which to compare Will—for there is nothing else of its kind. Will is unique—sui generis—alone in its class—in a class by itself. You cannot hope to apprehend intellectually its essential nature; but you can and do know it, and experience it within yourself, as the closest instrument, implement and power of the “I AM I,” the Ego, the Self!

Expression and Inhibition. There are two general phases or forms of Voluntary Action with which you must become acquainted. The first phase or form is that of Expression: here the Will-action proceeds in the direction of the actual expression and manifestation of the mental states animating and inspiring the Will. The second phase or form is that of Inhibition: here the Will-action proceeds in the direction of checking, restraining, keeping back or inhibiting the expression of certain insistent but objectionable mental states seeking to inspire the Will to action; here the effort is exerted in response to the stronger, opposing mental states which have won in the Will Conflict during the stage of Deliberation and Decision. In Inhibition, the Will is employed for the purpose of binding, locking up and restraining the activity of the defeated set of Desires which repeatedly present themselves in an attempt to reverse the former Decision of the Will.

Many regard the phase of Expression as the characteristic activity of Voluntary Action; and from one point of view this is correct. But you should never lose sight of the fact that the man who can and will manifest the phase of Inhibition, when necessity arises, and wisdom dictates such course, is none the less the man of giant Will Power. In fact, the man of the strong Will usually accomplishes his great results of Expression only after he has manifested Inhibition in the direction of refraining from acting upon many very strong Impulses and Desires which are opposed to his “top values” of Will. In many cases, indeed, one employs in Inhibition a degree of Will Power not less than that required in the processes of Expression. It often is quite as hard “not to do a thing,” as it is to “do a thing.”

The man of Purposeful Determination and Will Power achieves his distinction very largely by reason of the fact that he is able to hold before his mental vision one Ideal, or set of Ideals—one set of Prime Motives—one set Purpose—one Top Value—and then resolutely and determinedly, even ruthlessly, to thrust from his region of Will all conflicting and opposing tendencies and desires, inclinations and impulses, urges and cravings. In order to manifest into action the One Great Ideal, such a man finds it necessary to inhibit and to restrain a host of lesser ideas, desires, inclinations, urges and cravings. In order to accomplish some One Great Thing, you will often find it necessary not to do many other things which conflict with and oppose that One Great Thing”.

In the exercises which form a part of this instruction, you will be asked to manifest this phase of Inhibition by Will Power. By doing so; you will make progress in the attainment of the Giant Will. This not necessarily because of any special demerit or evil in the inhibited desires and actions, but simply and solely because by reason of such deliberate and determined action of the Will you may develop Will-muscle, and may learn how to hold fast the fiery steeds of Desire which are pulling your chariot of Will.

The steeds of Desire serve well their rightful purposes when they are held well in hand; but, unrestrained, they frequently run away, and end by overturning the chariot and perhaps destroying the driver. Their training consists of alternative stimulation and Inhibition, deliberately and determinedly devised and executed. The purpose of the training is that, through actual practice and exercise, the fiber of your Will shall be made strong and firm, tough and tenacious. By training your Desire-nature to submit to the control of the Will intelligently applied; and by training your Will to control intelligently your Desire-nature; you not only develop the art of efficient Voluntary Action, but also train the Desire-nature to exert to the full its wonderful powers, or else to withhold its forces when the object of the Purposeful Determination is best served by such restraint.

Expression and Inhibition are the two great levers of your machinery of Will. Acquire the art of employing each efficiently and effectively, under the guidance and direction of your Reason, and in the service of your Prime Motives, your Top Values, your Great Ideals.


Conative Will

In your task of developing and training your Will Power you must carefully acquaint yourself with each and every one of the several stages or phases of Will, to the end that you may master each particular phase in turn. In order to acquire complete control over your processes of Willing, you must master each of the phases of the general activity involved in them. You must attack the subject in detail, conquering each of the phases or divisions in turn. When you have made this conquest of the several divisions or phases, you will find that you have made a conquest of the whole.

If you have failed heretofore to attain the conquest of Will Power, you will probably find that your failure has resulted from the fact that you have made the mistake of attempting a frontal attack upon the opposing army—directing your attack upon its strongest point where it is able to bring to bear upon you the maximum of its defensive strength. Such attempts usually result in defeat. The true general attacks the flanks of the enemy, cutting off his bases of supply, and then defeating him in detail. This method of attack is the plan which in this book we shall advise you to follow. We will teach you how to gain control of the bases of supplies, and then how to attack one flank after another until you have gained the control and mastery of the entire organized forces of Will Power. Having accomplished this, you may then press these captured forces into your own service; causing them to fight for you instead of against you.

You should begin your attack upon that wing of the army of Will which may be called the general phase of Conative Will. In this category we include the Feeling and Desire phases of Will which have been indicated in the preceding section of this book.

Conation is defined as: “That element of our mental states which shows itself in tendencies, impulses, desires and acts of volition. Conation essentially is Unrest. It exists when and so far as an existing mental state tends by its nature to develop into something else.” Conation manifests itself in an attempt, an endeavor, a striving to attain something of which the idea or mental image exists in consciousness or subconsciousness. A typical instance is that effort of the memory to recall a name which has escaped recollection for the moment. It is, on the mental plane, akin to that which on the physical plane is manifested as muscular strain arising from contraction of the muscles, plus a feeling of pleasantness or unpleasantness, as the case may be.

A leading reference work says: “Conation is common to desire, yearning, longing, craving, wishing and willing; indeed to all states of consciousness which have an inherent tendency to pass beyond themselves. In desire, consciousness endeavors to pass from the want of an object to the possession thereof; or, if an unpleasantly toned idea enters consciousness—say the idea of an embarrassing situation—a conation arises, and consciousness makes a forcible effort to eject the unpleasant idea.”

Conation is that mental state in which the Feeling element of Desire tends to transform itself into the element of Will—where it transforms the “I want” or “I want to” into “I do.” It follows the rule of Desire which causes the movement toward the object or condition promising the greater emotional satisfaction and content, and away from the object, or condition threatening the greater emotional dissatisfaction and discontent. Will arises from Affection; Affection arises from Emotion and Feeling. Affection says, “I like”; Desire says, “I want,” or “I want to”; and Will says, “I do.” In order to understand Conative Will, you must first understand and control the Feelings, Emotions, and Affections from which Conative Will springs.

Very few persons realize that Feeling, Emotion, Affection and Desire are really phases of Will. Psychology, however, informs us that the Conative Will is the supply department of the army of Will Power; that it is the branch of the Will Power organization which supplies the active branches of the service with the material with which they work, and without which they cannot manifest activity. It is very important for you to realize this fact fully, since you must begin your work of developing and training the Will by acquiring control over the processes of the Feelings, Emotions, Affections and Desires which go to make up that which is called Conative Will.

You are familiar with the praise accorded to “the strong Will,” but very likely you are not quite so familiar with the fact that under the surface of that valuable mental quality and power there must always exist a strong, ardent, insistent and persistent Desire. Without strong, ardent, insistent Desire, even the strongest Will will fail to be called into action. Well has it been said that “Desire is the Flame, the heat of which generates the Steam of Will.” The men of the “strong will” are almost always found to be men of strong Desire. What is called “Aspiration” and “Ambition” is really merely a special form of strong Desire, given definite form and direction by Idea. Likewise, all forms of religious or spiritual craving, or moral aspirations, are forms of Desire.

Nearly everyone believes that he has Desire well developed within his being, but, as a matter of fact, very few persons have even begun to realize just what Desire really is. The great masses of persons believe Desire to be merely the faint, colorless “wanting,” or the equally gentle and mild “wishing” which represents the extent of their development of Conative Will. They usually have not even the most remote idea of what it means, or “feels like,” to be filled with that eager, longing, craving, ravenous Desire which expresses itself in an insistent demand for the desired object or condition, and not in a mere “wishing” for it, or perhaps even “longing” for it.

Such persons have no conception or experience of what it is to “want” a thing as fiercely, insistently, persistently, ardently, overwhelmingly, and vitally as the drowning man wants a breath of air; as the shipwrecked or desert-lost man wants a drink of water; as the famished man wants food; as the fierce, wild creature wants its mate; as the mother wants the welfare of her young. Until they know by actual experience what it “feels like” to “want” in this way, they do not know what Desire really is. You will note that we repeatedly employ the above illustration of Insistent Desire in this instruction. We do so purposely, that its repetition will stamp it indelibly upon your mind.

But those individuals of the race who have accomplished great things—those great masters of circumstance, those great directors of fate, along all lines of human life and endeavor— men like Caesar, Napoleon, and other men like them in less prominent places in life—these men know full well what it means to experience this fierce, elemental thirst of Desire; and their strong Will Power has been aroused into action, and maintained in persistent and determined action, by the elemental force thus set into manifestation and expression.

Such men and women act upon the principle that “You may have anything you want, provided that you want it hard enough,” and they begin by “wanting it hard enough.” The failure of many persons is originally caused by their lack of the power to “want things hard enough.” When you learn to “want a thing hard enough,” you will have taken the second great step on the Path of Attainment which is mounted by the energy of Will Power: the first step is that of “knowing just what you want” Definite Ideals and Insistent Desire—these, with Will, are the prerequisites of Persistent Determination.

Desire supplies the “motives” for all action of the Will. Without these motives the Will would not proceed to action at all, in any direction whatsoever. If you had no Desire concerning a particular thing, then you would not manifest Will-activity toward or away from that particular thing. In such case, you would remain perfectly neutral and passive in your attitude toward that thing. This holds good concerning your mental attitude and action toward or away from anything, or everything.

The general rule concerning the effect and influence of Desire upon Will-activity is as follows: You always act in the direction which at that particular moment of consciousness seems to promise the greatest degree of emotional satisfaction and content, or which threatens the least degree of emotional dissatisfaction or discontent—the promise or threat being either direct or indirect, immediate or remote in time and place.

This rule holds good even when you act to relinquish an immediate or present good in favor of a future or remote good; also when you relinquish a present good because of the fear of some unpleasant remote or future consequence of the action. In all cases you will find that your actions are based upon the rule that one always seeks that which will bring him pleasure, or get rid of pain, immediate or remote, for oneself or for others to whom he is bound by ties of sympathy or affection. This pleasure or pain may be on the planes of physical, mental, moral, or spiritual emotional feeling, respectively—the principle applies to all planes of emotional activity and manifestation.

The technical rule of psychology concerning Will Action is as follows: “The Will proceeds to action along the lines of the strongest motives present and active, in thought and in feeling, at the moment of the action.” In considering this rule, you must always remember that the “motive” always is to be found in Feeling, Emotion, or Affection, raised to the conative plane of Desire; this being more or less influenced and directed by Reason. Reason, Intellect, Memory and Imagination, however, serve merely as the directors and aids to the Desire element of Will in such cases. At the last, they are seen but to serve to point out the road over which the strongest Desires may travel most efficiently and successfully, and whereby undesirable consequences may be avoided—they indicate merely the “how,” and the direction, whereby the Desire may be most effectively and fully satisfied.

The realization of this absolute but comparatively little known rule concerning Will Action brings us to some startling logical conclusions when we seek to reason out the matter to its end. We then see that our highest and most unselfish, as well as our lowest and most selfish actions are performed under this same rule. You must not for a moment fall into the error of identifying Desire with merely the unworthy examples of that mental state; on the contrary, the very highest aims, aspirations, ambitions and striving toward high ideals are likewise in the category of Desire. Anything that we wish to do, want to do, or strive to do—high or low, egoistic or altruistic, moral or immoral, social or unsocial, commendable or reprehensible, material or spiritual—all these are forms of Desire based upon Feeling, Emotion, Affection. The highest morality is that based upon the strong Feeling, Emotion, Affection and Desire to live a moral life, which satisfies and contents the spirit; rather than upon Fear, or the mere wish to be well-regarded by other persons and to meet with popular approval.

But, here, you must not fall into the error or fallacy of believing that man is a mere automaton moved hither and thither by Desire, or as a mere helpless slave of Desire. While it is true that you act by and through your Will; and that Desire is the “motive” of Will-activity; it likewise is true that by the introduction of Ideas and Ideals even Desire is given form and direction—strength and power toward a definite end. By means of the scientific introduction of Ideas and Ideals you may give to any form, phase, aspect or mode of Desire and Feeling a degree of strength and power which it did not possess previously.

In such cases your Will wills that Desire shall be in accordance with Will; it wills that it shall be supplied with the right kind of Desire Power which is required in order to call into activity the needed degree of Will Power. The untrained Will is like a stream flowing through a channel dug for it by others; the trained Will, on the contrary, first digs its own channel and then flows through its self-imposed, self-limited banks and walls—it is self-limited, and, at the last, self-directed.

Keen reasoners, at this point, sometimes object that even in such cases Will is moved by Desire in some form or degree. Such reasoners hold that all that the Will accomplishes in such cases is to master one set of feelings and desires in favor of a higher and more dominant set. This is close reasoning; it is logically correct and has never been successfully contraverted. But, even so, the principle of the control of Desire by the Will remains undisturbed, so far as is concerned its pragmatic and practical application.

While you may never expect to escape the influence of Desire, even in your highest will-activities, yet you may stand upon the high position of the Dominant Will, and from that position may control, stimulate, weaken, encourage or depress the power of the lower forms of Desire and Feeling. In fact, when you reach the heights of Will Power, you will find that the element of Desire seems almost to blend into the essential element of Will itself—almost to become identical with it. In such cases, you will be forced to the conscious conviction that here, at the last, you have ceased merely to “desire to will,” and instead have reached the point where you are able to “will to will.”

Be the metaphysical theory whatever it may, the fact remains that to him who has climbed the Heights of Will there sooner or later comes this supreme report of consciousness of the Freedom of the Ultimate Will. But such heights are reached only by those individuals who have paid the price of attainment— who have persistently climbed the steep mountain paths of Will Power, and have at last reached the clear space at the top. Such experiences are unknown to the great masses of the people. The average person is practically the slave of his Desire—usually of his cruder and most primitive ones; he does not understand even the first principles of the Mastery of Desire by the Dominant Will. The great mass of persons are Will Slaves—there are but few real Will Masters.

Here, in a nutshell, is the distinction between the Will Slave and the Will Master: The average person is moved to Will-activity by the forces of Feeling, Affection and Desire—the strongest Desire-motive always winning the day. Those who have arrived at a scientific understanding of the subject, however, know that while it is true that the strongest Desire always wins the battle, nevertheless, it is equally true that the strength of Feeling, Affection and Desire is directly proportionate to the strength of the Ideas or Ideals animating it. Consequently, by the skilful employment of Attention (itself one of the principal weapons of Will) in the direction of holding in consciousness a certain set of Ideas or Ideals, one may cause these Ideas or Ideals to energize the set of feelings and desires associated with them, and at the same time to weaken the opposite set of feelings and desires.

By the control of the Attention, the “I AM I,” through the Will, is able to control Feeling and Desire, to make them act as his servants, and thus to attain to the mastery of Will. By the scientific employment of Ideas and Ideals, through the Attention, you may control, direct, and master the activities of the Conative Will. But, as we have said, the average person has not even the faintest glimmering of this truth—and, as a consequence, such person remains throughout his life a Will Slave instead of becoming a Will Master.

It is an axiom of psychology that: “The degree of force, energy, will, determination, persistence, and continuous application manifested by an individual in his aspirations, ambitions, aims, performances, actions and work is determined primarily by the degree of his desire for the attainment of his objects—his degree of ‘want’ and ‘want to’ concerning those objects.” This is the more technical statement of the principle embodied in the aphorism which has been previously quoted to you, i. e., “Desire is the Flame that produces the Steam of Will”; the logical inference being that when you wish to produce and use the Steam of Will you must first supply the full Flame of Desire.

In that book of this series entitled “Desire Power” we have considered in close detail the subject of Desire in its relation to other forms and phases of Personal Power, including the phase of Will Power. In it we have drawn upon familiar human experience, and upon the facts of natural history concerning animal-life, for the purpose of illustrating the nature and character of Desire regarded as the motive power of Will-activity, etc. The following paragraph, marked by quotation marks, reproduced from the pages of the book referred to, follows the presentation of those illustrations. We advise you to study carefully the principle announced therein, and to commit to memory the spirit of those principles, as expressed in the Master Formula of Attainment, as follows: “You may have anything you want, provided that you (1) know exactly what you want. (2) want it hard enough, (3) confidently expect to obtain it. (4) persistently determine to obtain it, and (5) are willing to pay the price of its attainment.”

“We have called your attention to the above examples and illustrations of the force of strongly aroused elemental emotions and desires, not alone to point out to you how strong such feelings, emotions and desires become under the appropriate circumstances and conditions, but also to bring you to a realization of the existence within all living things of a latent emotional strength and power which is capable of being aroused into strenuous activity under the proper stimulus, and directed toward certain definite ends and purposes indicated by that stimulus. That this strength and power is aroused by, and flows out toward, the particular forms of stimulus above indicated is a matter of common knowledge. But that it may be aroused to equal strength, power and intensity by other forms of stimulus (such stimulus having been deliberately placed before it by the individual) is not known to the many; only the few have learned this secret.”

The method, above referred to, whereby the latent Desire Power may be aroused and stimulated by the presentation to it of the stimulus of suggestive and inciting ideas and mental pictures, is based Upon the following psychological principle: “Desire is aroused and flows forth toward things represented by suggestive ideas and mental pictures; the stronger and clearer the suggestive idea or mental picture, the stronger and more insistent is the aroused desire, all else being equal.” The knowledge of and the application of this principle renders you the Master of Desire instead of the Slave of Desire—the latter condition and state being that of the great multitude of persons who have not learned the secret of the Mastery of Desire.

The following quotation from Professor Halleck will serve to illustrate the principle involved in the process of the employment of the power of Attention in the direction of presenting to Desire the stimulus of suggestive ideas and mental images in order to more fully arouse and to further strengthen the feeling and conative tendency. Halleck says: “The first step in the development of the Will lies in the exercise of Attention. There is a sense of effort in voluntary Attention. * * * * Ideas grow in distinctness and in motor power as we attend to them. If we take two ideas of the same intensity and centre the Attention upon one, we shall notice how much it grows in power. Take the sensations from two aches in the body and fix Attention upon those of one of them. That idea will grow in motor power until we may act in a direction supposed to relieve that special pain, while the other is comparatively neglected. If we, at the start, want several things in about an equal degree, whether a bicycle, a typewriter, or a cyclopedia, we shall end by wanting that the most on which our Attention has been most strongly centered. The bicycle idea may thus gain more motor power than either of the two other; or, if we keep thinking how useful a cyclopedia would be, action may tend in that direction. * * * *

“We may state as a law the fact that the will determines which motive shall become the strongest, by determining which ideas shall occupy the field of consciousness. * * * * Every idea which becomes an object of desire is a motive. It is true that the will tends to go out in the direction of the greatest motive, that is, toward the object which seems most desirable; but the will, through voluntary attention, puts energy into a motive idea and thus makes it strong. It is impossible to centre the Attention long upon an idea, without developing positive or negative interest (attraction or repulsion). Thus does the will develop motives. * * *

“We have seen that emotion and desire arise in the presence of ideas, and that the will has influence in detaining or banishing a given idea. If one idea is kept before the mind, a desire and strong motive may gather around that idea. If another idea is called in, the power of the first will decline. The more Macbeth and his wife held before themselves the idea of the fame and power which the throne would confer upon them, the stronger became the desire to kill the king, until it finally grew too strong to be mastered. They were, however, responsible for nursing the desire; had they resolutely thought of something else, the desire would have been weakened.”

The “suggestive ideas and mental pictures” which we have urged you to employ in order to arouse and heighten the vigor and power of Desire are as follows: suggestive ideas and mental pictures serving to awaken deeper and stronger Feeling and Emotion concerning the object of your Desire, and tending toward awakening a stronger degree of Affection for that object, which, as a consequence, heightens the Flame of Desire and thus produces a greater pressure of the Steam of Will. These suggestive ideas and mental pictures should “tempt the appetite” of the Desire by presenting to it pictures and suggestions of the satisfaction and content, pleasure and joy, which will follow the achievements or attainment of the objects of the Desire.

This principle is elaborated in that book of this series, entitled “Desire Power,” in which are also given suggestions and methods designed to aid the working out of the principle.


Deliberative Will

You are now asked to consider that phase of Will Power known as the Stage of Deliberative Will. Deliberation is defined as, “The act of deliberating or weighing in the mind.” In the stage of Deliberation you weigh with more or less care the general or special alternative courses of action presenting themselves to the Will. Each of the alternative courses possesses certain points of attraction, and also certain points of repulsion.

The attractive points arise from the promise of emotional satisfaction and content; the points of repulsion arise from the threat of emotional dissatisfaction and discontent. These opposing points are to be balanced one against the other, to the end that the Stage of Determination and the resulting Stage of Voluntary Action may be reached, and the processes of Will thereby completed.

You probably have been accustomed to regard the process of Deliberation as one concerned solely with intellectual activity. You probably have imagined that when you deliberate concerning alternative courses of action you approach the matter in the spirit of cold reasoning, and that your decision is made wholly from the standpoint of logical judgment. But, as a matter of fact, the part played by your Intellect and Reason in the deliberation concerning actions, and in the judgments resulting from this, usually is merely the part of the searcher after facts relating to (1) the direction and means whereby the greatest emotional satisfaction and content may be secured; and (2) the probable results of the action along the lines of either of the two alternative courses—the said results always being measured by their probable effect upon your state of emotional satisfaction and content.

In short, your Reason is employed to search the records of experience in order to discover and uncover the association’s and relations of each of the two alternative courses of action, to the end that you may have the fullest possible information concerning the probable ultimate emotional value of each action; and also to discover and recommend to the Will the most effective methods whereby you may apply either of the alternative courses of action if such be accepted.

It is true that in the case of persons of trained intellectual powers, of wide experience, well-stocked memory, and active constructive imagination, the intellectual faculties play a far more important part in the processes of Deliberation and Decision than in the cases in which these processes are performed by persons lacking those mental qualifications and this extended experience.

Reason performs valuable services in the direction of holding up to the Will the probable results of given alternative courses of action, that the Will may more clearly determine the actual emotional value of those courses. It also renders valuable service to the Will in the matter of discovering, uncovering, inventing and creating methods whereby the “good” of the Will may best be realized and expressed. In this, and in similar ways, it provides the Will with positive and negative motives for choice and action, and thus throws additional weight into the alternative courses upon which Deliberation is being had.

Reason serves Will in this way by placing its forces of memory, imagination and association of ideas at the disposal of Will. It also aids Will in the direction of furnishing it with the fullest possible information concerning the alternative courses of action under consideration—by “telling it all about them” to the best of its ability. This is of the greatest value in the process of Deliberation, and very often determines the Decision.

A course of action “clearly and definitely known” has a very great advantage as a candidate for Will-action over one not so known. Reason proceeds to aid Will in this way with a machine-like coldness, provided that Emotion be kept from interfering with the work. Reason has nothing to gain but the satisfaction of its own nature in thought—Reason is very cold-blooded, and tends to proceed with the appalling inexorableness of a machine. It is unfeeling and unmoral—it proceeds logically from premise to conclusion without regard to emotional or moral values.

But, at the last, Reason acting as an aid to Will always is found to be operating merely in the direction of discovering facts concerning the probable emotional value of courses of action under consideration; or else to be planning and deciding upon the most effective methods of expressing and manifesting those Desires, or Ideas and Ideals connected with Desires, which have been accepted by the Will as containing the promise of emotional value. In short, Reason in such cases is concerned merely with the task of uncovering, or in directing the effective expression of, certain courses of action possessing emotional value. This emotional value is always determined by the greater degree of promised emotional satisfaction and content, or the least degree of threatened emotional dissatisfaction and discontent.

You should note here, however, the following distinction: The emotional element is directly involved only in Deliberation and Decision concerning the advisability of performing certain actions or courses of action. It is involved in this way in all questions of “to do or not to do,” and to all questions of “which of these two courses of action shall I choose?” It is not involved in this way in cases of purely intellectual effort, or processes of logical reasoning, as, for instance, in the working out of problems of formal logic or mathematics. Neither is it directly involved in cases in which Reason is called upon to decide and determine which of certain ideas, plans, methods or courses of procedure will best serve to accomplish certain definite ends and aims. In cases of the latter class the Deliberation and Decision concerning the advisability of undertaking certain tasks, or courses of action, have been previously performed along the lines of comparative emotional value; and all that now remains to be deliberated and decided is “how” best to carry out and execute the designs already adopted, and in what way may best be accomplished the ends already accepted as being emotionally advantageous.

The rule, however, applies invariably to all cases in which you experience the conflicting pulls or pushes of “I want to do this, in one way; while in another way I do not want to do it”; or in cases in which you say to yourself, “This seems to be what I want, or to lead to what I want; but I fear that it may bring about complications or related results which I do not want”; or where you say to yourself, “I want to do this, and I want to do that; but I do not know which I want to do more than the other.” In such cases the conflict really is a Desire Conflict, or an Emotional Conflict, and not a direct Intellectual Conflict at all.

You may feel inclined to resent this statement, and probably may even indignantly deny its truth—many persons feel this way when first this fact is presented to them; for most of us like to think that we decide every question of conduct and action from the standpoint of pure logic and cold reason—but we do not do so at all in cases such as we have just mentioned. If you cannot see the truth of this statement, and are inclined to dispute it, you would do well to submit it to the following test of your own reason and experience, and settle it at once and for all; for unless it is settled in your mind you may not be able to enter fully into the spirit of certain points of our instruction which are based upon this particular psychological principle.

Here is the test of reason and experience—apply it to yourself, honestly and in the scientific spirit, and answer it in the same way. Ask yourself the following questions: “What are the true reasons governing my decisions concerning alternative courses of action and conduct, or of refraining from any certain action or course of conduct, in which the element of feeling, emotion, affection or desire is involved? Do I, or do I not, consider and decide the question of ‘shall I, or shall I not,’ or ‘which shall I do or choose?’ from the standpoint and with the motive of securing the greatest emotional satisfaction and content, or the least emotional dissatisfaction and discontent—the greatest pleasure or the least pain?”

In answering these questions, you should bear in mind that the pleasure and pain may be immediate and remote, and may be concerned directly with your own personal experience or that of others in whom you are interested or to whom you are connected by the bonds of sympathy or affection; all of these forms of emotional satisfaction and content, or emotional dissatisfaction and discontent, come under the general rule.

A careful self-analysis, and a frank, honest report based thereupon, is certain to bring to you the conviction that your deliberations and decisions in cases of this kind, concerning your actions or courses of conduct, invariably are conducted and made upon this basis of the greatest emotional value. The “reasons” for your actions and courses of conduct are never divorced from your Feelings, Affections and Desires. In fact, in the absence of Feeling, Affection and Desire there could not and would not be any “reasons” at all for your actions or courses of conduct. The only “reason”—the only “cause” and “because”—of your actions, or of your choice of actions, or of your acting at all, is the “reason,” the “cause,” and the “because” arising from the promise of emotional satisfaction and content, or the threat of the opposite results—the probable emotional value, in short, passed upon to some extent by Reason.

Sometimes it is difficult to trace back the path to the determining Feeling, Affection or Desire of an action or course of conduct, so remote or so complex such may be at times; but the influence of the Feeling, the Affection or the Desire is always there, animating and inspiring the action or course of conduct— for, otherwise, there would and could be no “reason,” “cause,” or “because” at all for your conduct or action, and, consequently, no answer to the question, “why,” asked concerning such action or conduct. In this connection you should remember that we include Habit (resulting from antecedent actions based upon emotional content) among the emotional motives; you know that it is more comfortable to act according to habit than contrary thereto, and “comfortable” implies Feeling and Desire.

Before Conative Will is transformed into Active Will there must occur a greater or less degree of mental activity in the Stage of Deliberation. Conative Will becomes transformed into Active Will only in response to some idea or object calling it forth into expression and manifestation. There are usually several alternative ideas or objects presented to the Will for decision and choice—or at least there is the alternative of “to do or not to do.” Here, Deliberative Will, assisted by Intellect, weighs and appraises these conflicting alternatives: the process of Deliberation may be extended over a considerable period of time, or else it may be almost instantaneous—but it is always performed.

Pleasure and pain, agreeable or disagreeable mental states, are the precedents of all definite activities of Will. Action is found always to proceed toward the most agreeable, and away from the most disagreeable mental state. The Will is always interested—never disinterested—in its actions. It always moves to gain some end—to acquire something which to it seems “good.”

Life is largely a matter of securing the agreeable and escaping the disagreeable. But it must not be forgotten that by the shifting of the mental point of view our emotional feelings often change from the agreeable to the disagreeable, and vice versa—sometimes there is a violent shifting from one pole to the other of our emotional nature. Such changes arise from the discovery of new attributes in the objects and ideas presenting themselves for Deliberation, Decision and Determination. Thus, while Feeling, Affection and Desire are the motives for all Will actions, the other mental faculties play an important part by presenting to them the ideas and mental images which tend to influence and direct the emotional faculties, and thus have an important influence on Will itself.

Finding Your Definite Purposes

We shall now illustrate to you the process of Deliberative Will by an appeal to your own personal experience. While doing this you will also be obtaining some practical exercise along the lines of efficient Deliberative Will work and activity. In the following illustrations and examples, the particular principles under consideration will be brought out; and at the same time you will take several important steps in the direction of actual practice and training of your Will Power. Instead of illustrating the principles in question by introducing abstract and impersonal examples or instances, we shall employ illustrations and examples from your own personal experiences, so that in examining these illustrative examples you will at the same time be actually exercising the mental faculties which furnish them.

Begin by asking yourself the following question: “For what purpose do I wish to develop and train my Will Power, and to manifest it in action? In what direction do I wish to apply and employ it when I have acquired it? What is the chief end which I seek to accomplish and to attain through the possession and manifestation of developed and trained Will Power?”

Upon your answers to these questions must depend the character of the special instruction and information to be obtained by you from the study of this book. Think well over these questions—ponder them carefully and answer them fully, frankly and honestly to yourself. You will do well to commit your answers to writing for future reference; to “think with pencil and paper” is a very helpful method and one advised in this course of instruction. The following suggestions and advice should materially aid you in this task of discovering and uncovering your Definite Purposes toward the attainment and achievement of which you seek to develop and train your Will Power.

If you are like most persons who undertake this task of determination of their Definite Purposes, which they seek to attain and achieve by means of their Will Power, you will find yourself perplexed to furnish the correct answers to the questions just propounded to you, and which you are expected to answer as fully as possible. You, like many others, probably have not as yet “found yourself” in this important matter. That is to say, you have not as yet discovered and uncovered your Definite Purposes in Life. If this be so, then this instruction has reached you at the right time, because, until you discover and uncover your Definite Purposes, you cannot expect to employ efficiently even that degree of Will Power which you have already developed, not to speak of that additional degree which you hope to attain.

Most persons in this stage (and this probably includes yourself) find themselves filled with merely a vague and general—though perhaps quite strong—inclination and tendency to push forward into action, thereby to attain and achieve that which will be “good” to them and for them. They feel the general outward pressure of Conative Will, but they do not as yet know in just what direction to exert that inner power. This condition is all right so far as it goes—but it does not go far enough. The sense of Will Power is there, but Will Power without Definite Purpose is inefficient and useless. There is needed here a strong, definite, positive, purposive direction for the Conative Will. We shall now present to you the methods whereby this needed element may be supplied.

Dominant Desires. In the first place, you should discover your Dominant Desires, i. e., the strongest and most insistent Desires which abide within your mental and emotional being. It is no easy matter to discover and uncover your Dominant Desires without some instruction concerning the process. You will find that your mental and emotional being is filled with a multitude of desires, great and small, transient and permanent, many of which oppose and interfere with others. There is required of you a determined and careful weighing and measuring of your Desires, the element of depth and width, as well as of weight, being taken into the calculation. There must be a weeding of the Desire garden, a cutting away of the dead wood of the tree of Desire; a test of strength and vitality between opposing sets of Desires, resulting in the Survival of the Fittest.

In that book of this series entitled “Desire Power” we have gone into detail and into an extended consideration of this process of the discovery of the Dominant Desires, to which you are referred if you are especially interested in the subject—the detailed and extended consideration of this special feature cannot be repeated in this book, and is confined to that book dealing with the special subject of Desire Power. The following condensed synopsis, however, will serve to give you the essence and substance of the general principle involved:

(1) The regions of the mind are explored for the purpose of bringing to light the various feelings, emotions, affections, longings and desires which compose your emotional nature. These, as they are brought to light, are carefully noted on a written list. (2) Then begins the process of elimination as follows: (a) the weaker and less insistent desires, and those plainly of a transient, passing nature, are struck from the list, leaving there only the stronger and more permanent ones; (b) the list is then again carefully scrutinized—those desires which “stand out” by reason of their superior power are retained, the remainder being eliminated; (c) the process is continued along these lines of critical selection, until further elimination is deemed inadvisable for fear of “cutting away live wood.” (3) Then the surviving desires are arranged into classes, and these classes are subjected to competition with each other, the stronger and more permanent being retained, while the weaker and less permanent are discarded. (4) Then the surviving sets of desires are compared carefully for the purpose of discovering antagonism and opposition, i. e., the qualities of contradiction which render coordination and harmonious cooperation impossible, and which tend to pull the Will in two opposite directions and thus to bring it to a stand-still or “dead center.” (5) The opposing and contradictory sets of qualities must be pitted in competition against each other, for one or the other must be discarded from the field of the Will. Each must be viewed from every possible mental and emotional angle, and subjected to the most rigid tests. The final result will reveal the stronger of each opposing and contradictory sets of qualities— those which have won in “the struggle for existence,” and which represent the “survival of the fittest.”

The survivors in this process of selection and elimination will represent the strongest and most deeply rooted desires of the individual, and will constitute his Dominant Desires. These Dominant Desires represent his strongest and most enduring Affections, based upon his most vigorous, hardy and sturdy Feelings, and rising to the stage of Conative Will in the form of Insistent Desire. They represent that which one “wants hard enough”—wants so insistently as to render him willing to “pay the price of its attainment.”

Energizing Ideas. But Desire is not the only element involved in Deliberative Will. In fact, it may be said that every great department of mental activity is involved therein. The presence of Ideas and Ideals is necessary in the process of Deliberation.

Action is influenced by representative ideas of objects and things of the outside world. Each clear and strong idea opens a path to possible action, and, therefore, constitutes an element of the deliberative process. Memory and Imagination are also called into play with great effect in the processes of Deliberative Will.

Professor Halleck says: “The greater variety of ideas a man has, the more numerous are the courses of action open to him. If an intelligent physician has an idea of twenty-five different methods of treating rheumatism, he may vary his treatment accordingly, and may succeed where a less skilled doctor would fail. If a business man has a dozen ideas to fit a given emergency, he may act in any one of these directions; if he has but one idea, he can act but in one direction. Idea must proceed to open a path for intelligent action. Before Columbus sailed, he had an idea of land beyond the seas. Even a plumber must have an idea of how to make a short cut for his pipe, before he can do it.”

The same well-known teacher said: “Deliberation is a process of both intellect and will; of intellect to represent ideas and compare them, and of will to hold the ideas before the attention or to dismiss them and make room for others. In the deliberative process, the whole man makes himself felt; all his past experiences count. In impulsive action, the momentary state triumphs. * * * Let us take a rational human action and see how much deliberation may be involved in it. I wish to leave the city during the heated term. Before I act, I not only have the desire to go, but I must know where to go. I find out the location, the merits and the defects of a number of summer resorts. Then I proceed to deliberate. A has surf bathing; B is on a mountain and has fine tonic air; C is near by and some of my friends are going there, but the mosquitoes are annoying and will not allow one to take a walk with any comfort; D has fine air and no mosquitoes, but the place is too fashionable and too much given to dress; E suits for all reasons, save that it is too expensive: F would answer but it is too far off. I then take into my deliberations the possibility of staying all summer in the city. Three hot days come. The nights are so warm that one cannot sleep. I then continue my deliberations about the summer resorts. Will is necessarily present in its most important aspect in every act of deliberation. I balance one idea against another. By will power I turn my attention undivided upon one idea; then I dismiss it, and turn my attention to another. I consider the surf bathing of A, the mountain air of B, the annoyance at C, the fashion at D, the expense at E, the distance to F.”

The intellectual faculties are called into play in the processes of Deliberative Will in the way pictured in the above illustration concerning the matter of choice of summer resorts. It produces from the region of Imagination and Memory many facts bearing upon each of the alternative courses of action. It brings up the associated and related facts which add to or detract from the merits of the alternative. It also serves to expose the false nature of some of the alternative courses of action, and to add to the validity of others. It acts in the direction of choosing and adapting means to given ends, and it establishes the logical relation of cause and effect between different things. Before one can “know what he wants,” he must understand the true nature of the alternative wants—he must know the relations and consequences, the associations and the results, of particular courses of action.

The person who wishes to know intelligently “just what he wants,” and just what course of general action will bring to him the greatest ultimate content and satisfaction, must employ his reasoning faculties in addition to exploring his emotional nature. He must use head as well as heart. He must learn how to observe and examine things, how to obtain correct perceptions, how to form logical judgments, how to use his powers of imagination and memory in the task. As Halleck has said: “In the deliberative process, the whole man makes himself felt.”

The subject of Deliberative Will blends into and harmonizes with that of Determinative Will in many particulars. Determination is the final step or stage of Deliberation, and, at the same time, the first step or stage of Voluntary Action. With this fact in mind, let us now proceed to the consideration of Determinative Will, to which subject the following section of this book is devoted.


Determinative Will

The Stage of Determination is the fourth stage of the Will-process. Determination is defined as follows: “(1) The act of terminating or bringing to an end; the state of Decision; also (2) Strength and firmness of mind; firm resolve or resolution and absolute direction to a certain end.”

The first definition indicates the termination or ending of the process of Deliberation—the decision resulting from the process of Deliberation. The second definition indicates the beginning of a new process, i. e., the process of impulsion toward voluntary action, and the direction of that impulse. In the following consideration of Determinative Will you will see that both of these stages are manifested by Will passing through the Stage of Determination.

You must remember, here, that in studying this subject you are employing a method which may be stated as “Finding Your Definite Purposes,” and which is represented by the effort to answer the following questions which you have propounded to yourself:

“For what purpose do I wish to develop and train my Will Power, and to manifest it in action? In what direction do I wish to apply and employ it when I have acquired it? What is the chief end which I seek to accomplish and to attain through the possession of developed and trained Will Power?”

You have subjected these questions to the test of the Deliberative Will, and are now presenting them to the Determinative Will for decision, and for subsequent positive action upon that decision. The process of Deliberation cannot be arrived at at the present time in absence of sufficient evidence to warrant an intelligent conclusion.

Professor Halleck illustrates the act of Decision following his Deliberation concerning the summer resort (previously quoted), as follows: “With reference to the summer resort, deliberation does not end the voluntary process; the act of will is yet incomplete. Some thing more is necessary than (1) a desire to go, and (2) deliberation about a large number of resorts. My next voluntary step is to choose among the many resorts concerning which I have been deliberating, and to decide to go to one. G satisfies my reason, for the place has sailing and fishing, good walks, few mosquitoes and moderate charges. I then cut short the deliberation and decide to go to G. Decision is a termination of the process of deliberation.”

The illustration just quoted, however, ends with the performance of the first stage or phase of Determinative Will, i. e., the stage in which the Deliberation is brought to an end, and the Decision made; here the individual says: “I have decided to go to G; I shall go to G.” He has “made up his mind” to go to G—but he has not as yet actually set into operation the Will-machinery of action upon that decision. He must also come to the point in which he can and will truthfully say: “I have now the definite purpose of going to G; I intend to go there, and I now begin to exert my Will Power to that end.” This last represents the second phase or stage of Determinative Will.

In consideration of this particular phase of the activities of the Will, we find present the typical examples of the distinction between the strong, healthy Will, on the one hand, and the weak, flabby Will, on the other hand. The individuals composing the first class make up their minds firmly and positively, and then release their impulsive and directive powers toward the related Will-action. The individuals composing the second class, on the contrary, find it most difficult (1) to make up their minds; (2) to keep their minds made up; and (3) to exert their impulsive and directive powers into manifestation and action.

The decision which terminates the process of Deliberation is distinctly an act of Will, and the sense of voluntary strain and effort is clearly perceptible in the process. Many find Decision to be the hardest part of the whole voluntary process. Such persons frequently find it almost impossible to make up their minds—to decide and determine their course of action; they have a decided tendency to allow others to make up their minds for them.

Another large class is composed of persons who are in the habit of making up their minds in a flash, without due deliberation or exercise of judgment; such persons frequently find themselves in trouble as the result of their hasty judgments, and often are required to expend considerable time and energy in their endeavors to rectify matters or to escape from the consequences of their ill-considered decisions. The course of the wise person lies in the direction of escaping these two undesirable extremes, and in maintaining the Golden Mean between them.

Many persons who recognize in themselves the tendency to waver in making decisions, and to escape so far as possible the real act of Decision and Determination, have vainly sought the cure for their trouble in the conventional advice and platitudinous instruction concerning the use of the Will in such cases. These persons have felt intuitively that there must be some scientific method, based upon sound psychological principles, which would enable them to overcome their handicap, and serve to establish a new habit of making decisions and determinations.

Such intuition is well grounded in fact, for such a method does exist and will accomplish its object; in the following several pages we shall present it to your attention.

In most cases in which it is found difficult to arrive at a Decision following the process of Deliberation, the trouble will be discovered to lie in the fact that the emotional-intellectual value of the conflicting alternatives are too nearly alike to admit of an easy decision.

When the full emotional-intellectual value of the alternatives is clearly perceived, then the Decision is easy in most cases, for the weight is clearly on one side. In most cases the choice is made almost automatically. It is axiomatic that the choice between the alternatives is quick and easy in the direct degree that their respective values are clearly and definitely known.

In some cases, however, even the process of careful Deliberation fails to reveal a preponderance of weight on either side; and the discovery of new attributes has served merely to raise both of the alternative courses to a higher plane of interest, without bestowing upon either a greater proportionate weight. In such cases, the person is like the donkey who starved to death because he was unable to decide between two equally attractive haystacks. It is clear that, if Determination is to be reached in such cases, some new element must be introduced.

The Element of Fixed Standard

This new element to be introduced into the task of Determination is known as “The Element of Fixed Standard,” to which we shall now direct your attention. We ask you to consider carefully the following method designed to apply the principle of this added element, for it contains the secret of the correction of many weaknesses of the Will, and the key to the cultivation of prompt, positive and certain Decision and Determination.

The fundamental and essential principle of the Fixed Standard is expressed as follows: You must establish in your mind a clearly defined, certain and positive Fixed Standard of Will Values, based upon an accepted general idea of your Summum Bonum, or Chief Good, with relative degrees of “goodness” or “badness” on the scale of Will Values, said relative degrees being determined by the respective nearness or remoteness to the Summum Bonum or Chief Good.

This Summum Bonum, or Chief Good, which constitutes your Fixed Standard, must be decided upon by yourself— no one else can do the work for you. It must represent your Sovereign Ideal—your highest conception of general conduct and action—by means of which all special conduct or action is to be measured, weighed or gauged. The term “Standard” is defined as: “That which is established by authority as a rule for the measure of quantity, quality, extent or value; that which is established as a rule or model; a criterion; a test.” In the present case, your Fixed Standard is the accepted test, rule or measure of Will Value.

Your Fixed Standard may be modeled upon the character of some great man whom you wish to adopt as a model or, perhaps upon a composite character made up of the approved and esteemed characteristics of a number of such individuals. Or, again, it may be the idea of some accepted adage, aphorism or rule of conduct, which seems to embody your ideal of behavior and action; as, for instance, the Touchstone of Positivity frequently referred to in our instruction, which is expressed in the Test Question: “Will this make me stronger, better and more efficient?”

Or, again, it may be some accepted statement of the general principle of ethical conduct and action, as, for instance, the celebrated Categorical Imperative of Kant, viz., “Act only on that maxim whereby thou canst at the same time will that it should become a universal law,” or in simpler form, “Act always so that you might wish your action and conduct to become the standard of the action of and conduct of all persons.” Other aphorisms of this kind are, respectively, the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”; or the axiom of Grotius: “Wrong no man, and render unto every man his due.”

Or, again, you may adopt as your standard the maxim: “My every action must contribute to my ultimate success”; or the rule that your every action must be in the direction of the betterment of the world, or along the lines of some particular ethical, moral or religious teachings.

We have mentioned the above examples and illustrations merely to indicate to you the general principle involved, and not that you must adopt any one of them—you may have some Fixed Standard of your own which will far better suit your particular purposes. Our purpose here is merely to have you adopt some Fixed Standard, not any particular one.

The Touchstone of Positivity, so frequently mentioned in this instruction, however, may be adopted by you as a sound, practical basis of conduct and action, for, rightly interpreted and understood, it represents a very high ideal of practical philosophy. Its Test Question: “Will this make me stronger, better and more efficient?” is based upon the threefold ideal of Strength, Virtue and Efficiency—surely not an unworthy ideal, and not contrary to the Categorical Imperative or to the Golden Rule, for it could not be objected to as a rule of universal conduct and action, or of justice to others. We offer it as a suggestion, but you are free to reject it in favor of a rule of your own, without impairing in any way whatever the application of the principle or the method now to be explained to you.

The adoption of your Fixed Standard will give you something with which to measure, weigh or value any and all alternatives of action which are perplexing your Determinative Will. From it you will build a scale or table of Will Values—a clearly defined and certain scale with which to measure, weigh and value the alternative courses of action which are constantly presenting themselves for the decision of Determinative Will. This scale or table of Will Values must be established as far as possible before the time of actual choice or decision. It must cover so far as is possible every probable demand upon you for decision— particularly the general principle of choice involved in any special subject likely to come prominently before you.

In other words, you must proceed to conduct your Deliberation long before the time in which your course of action is likely to arrive, so that when the hour of trial comes you will have your basis of Decision and Determination already firmly and positively made, and thus be able to announce it without delay, yet backed by the weight of your previous careful consideration. In this way, you really map out or chart in advance the course over which your Will shall proceed on its future journeys, and thus escape the danger of the rocks and reefs which wreck the craft of the mariner lacking such chart.

In your Table of Will Values you must have numerous degrees or grades of values. At the head of your list must appear your “top values”—certain principles of action of surpassing value to you, and which must always be dominant. These “top values” must represent conduct and action operating to secure results and consequences strongly in line with your Fixed Standard. Thus, if you have adopted the Touchstone of Positivity, your “top values” will represent actions and conduct which clearly and positively tend to make you “stronger, better, and more efficient.”

Your “top values” (whatever they may represent) must never be sacrificed, no matter what may be the temptation—any course of action which contradicts or negates your “top values” must be rejected at once. Your “top values” must have an almost religious significance; you must be so inspired by them that a suggestion of their violation will cause you to become horrified and indignant. These “top values” must be regarded as something sacred and to be treated with reverence.

At the other extreme of the scale there must be “bottom values,” i. e., certain courses of action which must be viewed with loathing and disgust, and which, under no circumstances whatsoever must be followed by you. You must firmly establish these “bottom values,” and must keep away from the courses of action and conduct represented by them. There must be no flirting with them, no compromise with them—they must be regarded always as essentially evil and opposed to your real well-being and to your permanent happiness, satisfaction and content. These “bottom values” must be to you what the Devil was to the old—time orthodox church-people—there must be no compromise with Satan; you must always assume the attitude of “Get thee behind me, Satan!” to these “bottom values” In case your Fixed Standard is the Touchstone of Positivity, then your “bottom values” will represent those courses of action and conduct which unquestionably “will tend to make you ‘weaker, worse, and less efficient’.”

Between these ever-to-be-sought “top values” and the ever-to-be-avoided “bottom values,” there will be a wide range of middle-values or neutral values, arranged in their respective places according to their respective degrees of likeness and unlikeness, nearness, and remoteness, to the values situated at the two respective poles of the scale. Your judgment will dictate the proper place on the scale for each and every kind of value, and you will find it a very interesting task to place and arrange these possible courses of conduct and action upon your scale. You will do well to use pencil and paper here, and actually to construct a “black and white” scale or diagram of this kind.

The main fact to be remembered—the one vital fact upon which the value of the whole system depends—is that the arrangement must be committed to memory so that it may be recalled easily at any time. Each grade, class or sub-class, on the scale must have its own definite and particular place, so that it may always be found when looked for; and each class must be definitely set off and apart from the one above it and the one below it on the scale. The more definite and positive your classification, the greater the degree of effective availability has your scale.

The ideal scale is that one by which you may immediately determine which of any two alternative courses of action possesses the greater Will Value for you. The nearer to this ideal you can come, the more effective will become your Table of Will Values. A little active use of your imagination at this point will convince you of the wonderful service that a table of this kind will render to you. Think of being able to have a Table of Will Values as all-inclusive and as infallible as is the Multiplication Table! You will find that it is as great an improvement upon the ordinary hit-or-miss method as the use of the Multiplication Table is an improvement upon “counting off” on your fingers.

If you have gone properly about the work of building your Table of Will Values, you will find that in the end your “top values” will represent (a) your strongest feelings, emotions, affections and desires; (b) subjected to the careful scrutiny, analysis, synthesis and final judgment of your reasoning faculties, and (c) tested by your highest ethical or moral principles and standards. In establishing your Table of Will Values, your physical, mental, moral and spiritual natures have participated—it represents the essence of your whole nature and character.

When you find yourself confronted with two or more perplexing alternatives calling for Decision and Determination, you have but to apply to each of the alternative courses the following test-questions: “What place on my Table of Will Values has this proposed course? How closely does it resemble, harmonize with and conform to my “top values”? How far is it away from my “bottom values”? The answer will give the proper value to you of each of the two alternatives, immediately and directly; your Decision and Determination will speedily follow. Moreover, by this method the Will is trained into the habit of Decision and Determination along the lines of the highest Will Values.

However, you must remember that your Table of Will Values may be added to, improved, modified and subjected to the process of evolutionary development, as your experience broadens and widens your intellectual, emotional and moral horizon. The Table of Will Values of the youth, while properly to be employed by him at the time, cannot properly be held to govern the man of matured experience. As with everything else in Nature, the Law of Evolution should govern this Table of Will Values. The system is no rigid, inflexible code which when once formed and adopted can never afterward be improved and enlarged. On the contrary, the intelligent, progressive man will see to it that his Table of Will Values keeps pace with his ever-advancing knowledge and experience.

But, here, you should note two very important points of advice and caution concerning proper changes in your Table of Will Values, viz., (1) Never change or modify your scale of Will Values when under the influence of temptation, or upon the suggestion of others interested in your decision, or when under the fire of opposition; (2) while your scale of Will Values remains unmodified and unimpaired concerning any decision or choice of a course of action, you should live up to it implicitly and positively—it must be strictly adhered to until modified in the proper manner, and under the proper circumstances. i. e., free from outside urge or temptation, suggestion or opposition.

The following additional advice concerning these points doubtless will be of assistance to you:

(1) As we have said above, your Table of Will Values should never be changed or modified while you are “under fire” either of temptation, direct opposition, or the suggestions of others. All your changes, modifications, and evolutionary developments in your table of Will Values should be made by you when you are apart from, and free from, the direct influences just referred to; this because when under the direct influence of these psychological forces your judgment is not always perfectly clear, and your emotional nature often is agitated.

Here is the rule: The changes and modifications—those amendments to your Constitution of Will—should be made only under the same (or similar) circumstances, and with the same care, consideration, deliberation and subjection to tests, which were involved when you made the decisions leading to the original formation of your Table of Will Values—your Constitution of Will By observing this rule you will keep your feet on solid rock, and will escape many dangers and unpleasant experiences.

(2) Again, we have told you that you should stand by and live up to your existing Table of Will Values at all times. So long as your scale remains unmodified and unimpaired concerning any particular course of action, you should regard it as absolutely binding upon your Will and judgment at that time. Any other course would lead you into that state of instability and uncertainty, of indecision and lack of determination, which is the mark of the weak and flabby will.

Your Table of Will Values represents the best that is in you— the best in the whole of your nature—at any given time, and, consequently, in the long run it will be found to be by far the safest and the sanest guide to your actions and decisions. It represents you, yourself, in your state of calm and careful knowledge and decision—as contrasted with you, yourself, under the disturbing influences which shake your judgment and disturb the waters of your emotions. It represents the judgment of “Philip sober,” as contrasted with that of “Philip drunk.”

Note this distinction, however: though the stubborn, bigoted man stands by his Table of Will Values, he does not let the Law of Evolution play upon the same—he admits no new ideas, no new viewpoints, no new facts arising from changed circumstances. The man of true firmness and stability of Will, however, while likewise standing firmly by his Table of Will Values, nevertheless always is willing and anxious to “keep up with the times” in his Table of Values; and he is always working to improve its quality under the proper conditions. While both men stand by their Table of Will Values as they exist at the time on all occasions, there is a difference as wide as the distance between the poles manifested in their respective methods. In one case the code is petrified and rigid, while in the other it is flexible, alive, and subject to improvement under the proper conditions. The man who really is “firm” is fixed in Purpose, but he is willing to change his Position when his Purpose is thereby served. The “stubborn” man, however, is fixed only in Position— he sticks to his Position even if his Purpose is imperilled and destroyed thereby. Note the distinction.

The above—stated two cautionary rules will be found to work out well in practice, in the long run—the few exceptions, or apparent exceptions, serving principally to emphasize the general rule. There are but very few cases in which these rules will not prove to be the formulae of the wisest and sanest action and conduct. If you have exercised due care in building up your Table of Will Values, the exceptions to these rules will prove to be remarkably small—so small, in fact, that they may be said not to count in the sum-total of your experiences.

This system based upon the Table of Will Values is not nearly so arbitrary as it may seem at first glance. Inasmuch as your Table of Will Values has been built carefully, and as carefully passed upon in final decision, it represents the best in your emotional being, your intellectual being, your moral being. This being so, it follows that in living up to these highest reports of your whole being, and in avoiding that which is reported by your whole being as being low and unworthy, you are living up to that which is of the greatest real and permanent value to you—you are being true to yourself, and, according to good authority, in doing this you are also being true to all other men.

Establishing a Conscience of Will Values. If you proceed with proper earnestness and determination in the work of building up and establishing your Table of Will Values based upon your chosen Fixed Standard, and then proceed to apply the standards of that Table honestly and conscientiously, then, before long you will find that you have established what may be called a Conscience of Will Values in your subconscious mental being. This new conscience will grow strong, and will soon manifest itself as strenuously and as efficiently as does the more familiar ordinary “moral conscience” with which all of us are more or less familiar.

The newly-awakened Conscience of Will Values, existing in the subconscious regions of your being, will sound the alarm-bell when you are in danger of violating the principles of your Fixed Standard and of failing to observe your “‘top values.” It will render you uncomfortable when you are not living up to the requirements of your standards; it will impart the feeling of a warm glow of satisfaction when you comply with the principle. The man in whom this Conscience of Will Values has been awakened is blessed; he will have a “something within” which will keep his feet on the right path, and which will warn him from straying into the by-paths which beset the Road of Attainment. And thrice blessed is he who, having this Conscience, acquires the habit of steadfastly heeding its warnings and obeying its orders.

This section of this book should be studied in connection with the one immediately preceding it, and the one immediately following it, for the three sections are closely related in subject matter, and the instruction in each blends very closely with that in the two others.

In the present section we have considered merely the first phase of the Determinative Will, i. e., the phase of Decision or “making up your mind” The consideration of the second phase, i. e., the phase of “firm resolve or resolution, or absolute direction to a certain end,” will be carried over to the section immediately following the present one, i. e., the section dealing with Voluntary Action. The reason for such division of the subject, and such blending of the two phases of Will-action, will become more apparent to you as we proceed.