Scientific research in the metaphysical field has demonstrated the fact that man is as he thinks, that he becomes what he thinks, and that what he thinks in the present, determines what he is to become in the future; and also that since he can change his thought for the better along any line, he can therefore completely change himself along any line. But the majority who try to apply this law do not succeed to a great degree, the reason being that instead of working entirely upon the principle that man is as he thinks, they proceed in the belief that man is what he thinks he is.
At first sight there may seem to be no difference between the principle that man is as he thinks and the belief that man is as he thinks he is, but close study will reveal the fact that the latter is absolutely untrue. Man is not what he thinks he is, because personality, mentality, and character are not determined by personal opinions. It is the thought of the heart, that is, the mental expression from the subconscious that makes the personal man what he is; but the subconscious is effected only by what man actually thinks in the real field of creative thought, and not by what he may think of himself in the field of mere personal opinion.
It is subjective thought that makes you what you are; but to think that you are thus or so, will not necessarily make you thus or so. To create subjective thought you must act directly upon the subconscious, but it is not possible to impress the subconscious while you are forming opinions about your personal self. A mere statement about yourself will not affect or change the subconscious, and so long as the subconscious remains unchanged, you will remain unchanged. While you are thinking simply about your external or personal self you are acting upon the objective, but to change yourself you must act upon the subjective.
Man may think that he is great, but so long as he continues to think small thoughts, he will continue to be small. No matter how high an opinion he may have of himself, while he is living in the superficial, his thoughts will be empty, and empty thoughts are not conducive to high attainments and great achievements. Man becomes great when he thinks great thoughts, and to think great thoughts he must transcend the limitations and circumscribed conditions of the person, and mentally enter into the world of the great and the superior. He must seek to gain a larger and a larger consciousness of the world of real quality, real worth and real superiority, and must dwell upon the loftiest mountain peaks of mind that he can possibly reach. He must live in the life of greatness, breathe the spirit of greatness, and feel the very soul of greatness. Then, and only then, will he think great thoughts; and the mind that continues to think great thoughts will continue to grow in greatness.
It is not what you state in your thought but what you give to your thought that determines results. The thought that is merely stated may be empty, but it is the thought with something in it that alone can exercise real power in personal life. And what is to be in your thought will depend upon what you think into your thought. What you give to your thought, your thought will give to you, and you will be and become accordingly, no matter what you may think that you are. The cause that you originate in the within will produce its effect in the without, regardless of what your opinions may be. Your personal life will consequently be the result of what you think, but it will not necessarily be what you think it is.
Having discovered the fact that the physical body is completely renewed every eight or ten months, you will naturally think that you are young, but to simply think you are young will not cause the body to look as young as it really is. To retain your youth you must remove those subconscious tendencies and conditions that produce old age, and you must eliminate worry. So long as you worry you will cause your personality to grow older and older in appearance, no matter how persistently you may think that you are young. To simply think that you are young will not avail. You must think thoughts that produce, retain and perpetuate youth. If you wish to look young, your mind must feel young, but you will not feel young until the whole of your mind produces the feeling of youth.
To develop the feeling of youth in the whole mind, you must become fully conscious of the fact that youth is naturally produced in your entire system every minute, and you must train the mind to take cognizance only of the eternal now. So long as we feel that we are passing with time, we will imagine that we feel the weight of more and more years, and this feeling will invariably cause the body to show the mark of years, growing older and older in appearance as more years are added to the imaginary burden of age. You will look young when you feel young, but to simply feel that you are young will not always cause you to feel young. The real feeling of youth comes when we actually think in the consciousness of youth and give the realization of the now to every thought.
You may think that you are well, but you will not secure health until you think thoughts that produce health. You may persistently affirm that you are well, but so long as you live in discord, confusion, worry, fear and other wrong states of mind, you will be sick; that is, you will be as you think and not what you think you are. You may state health in your thought, but if you give worry, fear and discord to that thought, your thinking will produce discord. It is not what we state in our thoughts, but what we give to our thoughts that determine results. To produce health, thought itself must be healthful and wholesome. It must contain the quality of health, and the very life of health. This, however, is not possible unless the mind is conscious of health at the time when such thought is being produced. Therefore, to think thoughts that can produce health, the mind must enter into the realization of the being of health, and not simply dwell in the objective belief about health. Again, to produce health, all the laws of life must be observed; that is, the mind must be in that understanding of law, and in that harmony with law where the guiding thought will naturally observe law. To simply think that you are well will not teach the mind to understand the laws of lire and health, nor will that thinking place you in harmony with those laws. That thinking that does understand the laws of life will not come from the mere belief that you are well, but from the effort to enter into the understanding of all law, the spirit of all law, the very life of health, and into the very soul of all truth.
You may think that your mind is brilliant and may undertake most difficult tasks in the belief that you are equal to the occasion, but the question is if your conception of brilliancy is great or small. If your conception of brilliancy is small, you may be right to that degree in thinking you are brilliant; that is, you may be brilliant as far as your understanding of brilliancy goes. Whether that is sufficient or not to carry out the task that is before you is another question. Your opinion of your mental capacity may be great, but if your idea of intelligence is crude, your intelligence-producing thought will also be crude, and can produce only crude intelligence. It is therefore evident that to simply think that you are brilliant will not produce brilliancy, unless your understanding of brilliancy is made larger, higher and finer. What you understand and mentally feel concerning intelligence, mental capacity and brilliancy, is what you actually think on those subjects, and it is this understanding or feeling or realization that will determine how much intelligence you will give to your thought. Your thought will be as brilliant as the brilliancy you think into your thought, and how much brilliancy you will think into your thought will depend upon how high your realization of brilliancy happens to be at the time. When your thinking is brilliant, you will be brilliant, but if your thinking is not brilliant you will not be brilliant, no matter how brilliant you may think you are.
To make your thinking more brilliant, try to enter into the consciousness of finer intelligence, larger mental capacity, and the highest order of mental brilliancy that you can possibly realize. Do not call yourself brilliant at any time, or do not think of yourself as lacking in brilliancy. Simply fix the mental eye upon absolute brilliancy, and desire with all the power of mind and soul to go on and on into higher steps of that brilliancy.
When all the elements and forces of your system are working in such a way that beauty will naturally be produced, you will be beautiful, whether you think you are beautiful or not, and it is the actions of the subconscious that determine how the elements and forces of the system are to work. Therefore, the beautiful person is beautiful because her real interior thinking is conducive to the creation of the beautiful. That person, however, who is not beautiful, does not necessarily think ugly thoughts, but her interior mental actions have not been brought together in such a way as to produce the expression of beauty; that is, the subconscious actions have not been arranged according to the most perfect pattern. But these actions can be arranged in that manner, not by thinking that one is beautiful, but by thinking thoughts that are beautiful.
When you think that you are beautiful, you are liable to think that you are more beautiful than others, and such a thought is not a beautiful thought. To recognize or criticise ugliness and inferiority in others is to create the inferior and the ugly in yourself, and what you create in yourself will sooner or later be expressed through your mind and personality. So long as you worry, hate or fear, your thought will make you disagreeable in mind and character, and later on in the person as well; and no amount of affirming or thinking that you are beautiful will overcome those ugly states of mind that you have created. You will thus be as you think–worried, hateful and ugly, and not beautiful as you may try to think you are.
The personal man is the result, not of beliefs or opinions, but of the quality of all the mental actions that are at work throughout the whole mind. Man is as he thinks in every thought, and not what he thinks he is in one or more isolated parts of his personal self. You may think that you are good, but your idea of goodness may be wrong. Your thought therefore will not be conducive to goodness. On the contrary, the more you praise yourself for being good, the less goodness you will express in your nature. In addition, to think of yourself as good will have a tendency to produce a feeling of self-righteousness. This feeling will cause the mind to look down upon the less fortunate, and a mind that looks down will soon begin to go down, and you will be no better than those whom you criticized before. You are only as good as the sum total of all your good thoughts, and these can be increased in number indefinitely by training the mind to perpetually grow in the consciousness of absolute goodness.
To grow in the consciousness of goodness, keep the mental eye upon the highest conception of absolute goodness. Try to enlarge, elevate and define this conception or understanding of goodness perpetually. Pattern your whole life, all your thoughts and all your actions after the likeness of this highest understanding. Then never look back nor try to measure the goodness that you may think you now possess. Press on eternally to the higher and larger realization of absolute goodness, and leave results to the law. More and more real goodness will naturally appear in all your thoughts and actions. You will therefore become good, not by thinking that you are good, but by thinking thoughts that are created in the image and likeness of that which is good.
From the foregoing, it is evident that man is as he thinks, and not necessarily what he thinks he is. But there is still more evidence. That your personal self is the result of your thought has been demonstrated, but what thought? To make yourself thus or so, the necessary thought must first be created, but to think that you are thus or so, will not create the thought that can make you thus or so. The reason is because it is subconscious thought alone that can produce effects in your nature, physical or mental, and you cannot enter the subconscious while you are thinking exclusively of your personal self. What you think about yourself is always objective thought, and mere objective thought is powerless to effect or change anything in your nature. To think thoughts that can give you more life, you must enter into the consciousness of absolute life, but you cannot enter the absolute while you are defining or measuring the personal. If you wish to possess more quality, you must give your thoughts more quality and worth, you must forget the lesser worth of the personal and enter into the consciousness of the greater worth of absolute worth itself.
So long as you think that you are thus or so in the personal sense, your thought will be on the surface. You will mentally live among effects. You will not create new causes, therefore will not produce any changes in yourself. You will continue to be as you are thinking deep down in the subconscious where hereditary tendencies, habits, race thoughts and other mental forces continue their usual work, regardless of your personal opinion or empty thoughts on the surface.
To change yourself you must go to that depth of mind where the causes of your personal condition exist. But your mind will not enter the depth of the within so long as your thought is on the surface, and your thought will be on the surface so long as you are thinking exclusively about your personal self. The secret therefore is not to form opinions about yourself or to think about yourself as being thus or so, but to form larger conceptions of principles and qualities. Enter the richness of real life and you will think richer thoughts. Forget the limitations, the weaknesses and the shortcomings of your personal self as well as your superficial opinions of your personal self, and enter mentally into the greatness, the grandeur, the sublimity and the splendor of all things. Seek to gain a larger and a larger understanding of the majesty and marvelousness of all life, and aspire to think the thoughts of the Infinite.
This is the secret of thinking great thoughts, and he will positively become great whose thoughts are always great. In like manner, he who thinks wholesome thoughts, and wholesome thoughts only, will become healthful and wholesome. Such thoughts will have the power to produce health, and thoughts never fail to do what they have the power to do. Place in action the necessary subconscious thought and the expected results will invariably follow.
Man therefore is not what he thinks he is because such thinking is personal, and consequently superficial and powerless. The thought that determines his personality, his character, his mentality and his destiny is his subjective thought, the thought that is produced in the subconscious during those moments when he forgets his personal opinions about himself and permits his mind to act with deep feeling and subjective conviction. But those thoughts that enter the subconscious are not always good thoughts. Man’s subjective thinking is not always conducive to the true, the wholesome and the best, as his thinking is not always right. For this reason, man himself is not always good, nor his life as beautiful as he might wish to be. His thinking is in his own hands, however. He can learn to think what he wants to think, and as he is and becomes as he thinks, we naturally conclude that he may, in the course of time, become what he wants to become.
The greatest remedy in the world is change; and change implies the passing from the old to the new. It is also the only path that leads from the lesser to the greater, from the dream to the reality, from the wish to the heart’s desire fulfilled. It is change that brings us everything we want. It is the opposite of change that holds us back from that which we want. But change is not always external. Real change, or rather the cause of all change, is always internal. It is the change in the within that first produces the change in the without. To go from place to place is not a change unless it produces a change of mind–a renewal of mind. It is the change of mind that is the change desired. It is the renewal of mind that produces better health, more happiness, greater power, the increase of life, and the consequent increase of all that is good in life. And the constant renewal of mind–the daily change of mind–is possible regardless of times, circumstances or places. He who can change his mind every day and think the new about everything every day, will always be well; he will always have happiness; he will always be free; his life will always be interesting; he will constantly move forward into the larger, the richer and the better; and whatever is needed for his welfare today, of that he shall surely have abundance.