Thinking for Results, Chapter Seven
by Christian D. Larson
Man is as he thinks and his thoughts are invariably created in the likeness of his mental conceptions of those things of which he thinks about habitually. Therefore as man improves his mental conceptions of all things he will improve himself in the same measure. To improve these mental conceptions attention should always be concentrated upon the ideal of everything of which we think. That is, all thinking should move toward the greater, the larger and the superior. Whatever we think about we should always think about its ideal side, its larger side and its superior side. Everything has two sides, the limited or objective side and the unlimited or subjective side. When we consider only the limited objective side of those things we think about our mental conceptions will be small, superficial and materialistic. But when we consider the unlimited subjective side of those things our mental conceptions will be larger, finer and of far superior worth.
The capacity, the power and the brilliancy of the mind depends entirely upon its mental conceptions. If the mental conceptions are formed in the likeness of the external, common or the ordinary, the mind will be inferior in every respect, and vice versa. It is therefore of the highest importance that every mental conception be as high, as perfect and as ideal as it is possible to make it. And to bring this about it is necessary to train the mind to concentrate attention upon the ideal side of everything and to think with the larger, the greater and the superior always in view.
When thinking about persons, no mental conceptions should be formed of the mere external or personal side. The superior man alone should receive direct attention. To look through the person, so to speak, and view the inner possibilities, and all the worthy qualities that we know to exist back of the imperfect manifestation — this is the correct and the scientific way to think about the people we meet. When we analyze the inferior things we see about a person and permit those things to affect our minds we form inferior and detrimental conceptions in our own minds. When we think a great deal about the smallness we imagine we see in others we tend to breed smallness in ourselves. But when we think only of the larger and the better side of others we cause our minds to rise in the scale and thus gain power and understanding we never had before. In this connection the law is that when we look with deep interest for everything that is superior in others we actually develop the superior in ourselves.
When we think of the body we should not think of it as common flesh as the majority do, because the physical form will tend to express the crude and the common when we think of it in that way. When your mental actions are low, crude and coarse your body will have an ordinary earthy appearance, but when those actions are highly refined your body will express a more refined appearance to correspond. All such actions constitute, or are produced by, the thoughts we think. Therefore all our mental actions are as crude or as fine as our thoughts themselves.
To be scientific in this, however, we should think of the body as a great temple with millions of apartments, each one furnished most gorgeously with nature's own wealth and beauty, and this is what the body really is. Every cell of the body when viewed under a microscope is like a crystal palace, and the body is composed of millions of such. We should always think of the body as a divinely formed structure, as an ideal creation, and we should mentally view its perfect elements, its forces and laws in this manner as they perform their daily miracles. We should think of the body as it is in its true inner self, as it is in its fine and delicate structures and we should not think of those mperfections in its appearance which our own crude mental actions have produced; for when we form in mind the highest conception possible of the ideal physical form we will not only cause the body to grow more beautiful every year, but we will also enrich the mind with thoughts of high and superior worth.
When we think of the mind we should not think of its flaws or undeveloped states, but try to realize how great and wonderful the mind really is, and then hold attention upon our highest conception of true greatness. When all our mental activities onove towards this lofty idea of a brilliant and prodigious mind we shall steadily develop our own mind up to that superior state; for according to a well known metaphysical law we mentally move towards the ideals we persistently hold in mind. Therefore by directing our attention upon the greater side of the mind we shall actually arise into mental greatness thus tending directly to develop superiority in our own minds. This is the path to mental greatness, but it is so simple that few have found it.
When we think about life we should always view the sunny side of personal existence and the real life of interior existence. Instead of viewing life as a burden or as a misery to be endured now, that glory may come in the future, we should think of the unbounded possibilities that real life has in store here and now. Our mind should be concerned with the real life itself and should seek to form the very highest conceptions possible of such a life. There is no greater subject for thought than life when we look at life as an eternity of rich and marvelous possibilities. And to view life in this way will not only elevate and enlarge the mind, but will also give us the conscious realization of a continuous increase in life. And as life increases everything in mind and personality will increase to correspond. A great life produces a great mind and a high soul, but to attain the greater life we must enlarge our view of life. And this we do by turning all attention upon real life itself, and the marvelous possibilities of real life. Realizing these facts we should never think of that which is small when we have the capacity to think of that which is great. And we all can think of the great. There is a beautiful and a wonderful side to all life, and the possibilities of all life are unbounded. We therefore understand the value of training ourselves to take the correct view of life, for to think of the larger and the more beautiful side of all life is to enlarge and beautify the life that is in us.
The same principle should be observed in all our thought about nature, and to learn how to enter into that perfect communion with nature where we can see her real beauty and her wonderful power, is to apply a faculty that deserves the highest state of cultivation in every mind. Those mental conceptions that are formed while we are in perfect touch with the true in nature are of exceptional worth and will add largely to the power and superiority of mind. Therefore when we think of nature all attention should be concentrated upon the ideal, the beautiful and true side. When we see what may seem to be flaws it is wisdom to pass them by and never permit them to impress our minds. Even a weed should be thought of with respect because it is also a product of natural law, and it is our privilege to transform the weed into something that has real beauty and worth. But here it is highly important to remember that our power to perfect anything in nature can only increase as we think less of its flaws and more of its hidden splendors.
When we come to the subject of our own personal life and experiences we cannot apply too well the principle of scientific thinking, because what we think of the experiences of today will largely determine what experiences we are to have tomorrow. What we receive from life passes through the channel of experience and every channel tends to modify that which passes through. The subject therefore is vitally important. As frequently stated before, scientific thinking is thinking that produces the larger, the better, the greater and the superior; thinking that promotes progress; thinking that produces results. And such thinking is scientific because it is in harmony with the purpose of life which is to advance constantly in the producing of greater and greater results; consequently to think scientifically about experience every mental conception formed by experience should be formed in the likeness of those facts that will be found back of the experience. Every experience can teach us something we do not know; therefore instead of deploring the experience we should receive it with joy and proceed at once to look for the truth it has come to convey. No experience will be unpleasant if we meet it with the one desire to know what it has to teach; and what is better still when we think of experience as a messenger of truth we will form only lofty mental conceptions of all experience. We will thus not only gain much new truth, but we will enrich the mind with these many superior conceptions. In the usual way we meet unpleasant experiences with a heavy heart, and we meet the pleasant ones with the thought of personal gratification. Those mental conceptions that we form while thinking of our experiences in the usual way will therefore be ordinary and frequently detrimental. In the meantime, the new truth that those experiences could have conveyed will remain unlearned and undiscovered.
The reverses and misfortunes of life are usually looked upon with regret, and are deplored as so many obstacles in our way, but such thought is not conducive to good results. Reverses come because we have failed to comply with the laws of life, therefore instead of regretting the experience we should use it as a means of finding wherein we have failed. And having done this we may proceed once more with the positive assurance of gaining increased success. Misfortunes may also be employed as builders of character because there is nothing that strengthens the mind and the soul so much as to pass through reverses without being mentally or morally disturbed. The spiritual giant can pass through anything and gain good from anything. To him misfortunes are not disagreeable; they are simply opportunities to bring out greater life and power, to learn more laws, to gain a better understanding of things, and thus achieve still greater things when the next attempt is made. But though we may not have attained such a lofty state we can at least pass through reverses with our minds fixed constantly upon the high goal in view. The result will be greater moral stability, greater mental power and the turning of fate in the direction we ourselves desire to move.
That knowledge and power is gained through pain is a well known belief and it is one of those beliefs that contains much truth; and it is also true that when we have learned the lesson the pain came to teach the pain disappears. When the pain is felt attention should at once be directed upon that finer and larger life that lies back of the personal man. We feel pain because the outer forces are not in harmony with the more perfect life within; therefore to remove the pain this harmony must be restored. To restore this harmony we should proceed to gain consciousness of the finer forces of the inner life because when we become conscious of the inner life, which is always in harmony, the disorder of the outer life will disappear. The more we think of the pain the more conscious we become of the discord in the outer life and the more difficult it becomes to gain consciousness of the harmony of the inner life.
Therefore to think scientifically about pain is to take the mind beyond pain into the inner realms of life where perfect harmony reigns. The result will be freedom from pain and the discovery of a new interior world. When we take this higher view of pain, reverses, misfortune, troubles and the like, we gradually work ourselves out of the lower and the confused, and will before long get out of them entirely. It is therefore evident that when we think scientifically about the ills of life we proceed directly to rise above them and will therefore meet them no more. This is perfectly natural because when your thoughts are high you will rise in the scale; you will leave behind the inferior and the wrong and you will enter into the possession of the superior and the right. When we think about ourselves we should always think about the unlimited possibilities of the within. Attention should be directed upon the larger self, and every thought should be formed in the likeness of the highest mental conceptions that we can form of the superior. We may, however, recognize the existence of flaws in our nature; in fact, it is necessary to know where the weak places are in order to remove them; but the mind should never hold its attentiln upon those weak places.
The mental eye should never look upon the imperfect, but should look through it and direct its vision towards the ideal. And here we find the reason why the average person does not improve as he should. The fact is he thinks of himself as he appears to be in the limited personal self. He patterns his thought after the small life that he can see in the outer self. And as man is as he thinks he will therefore not rise above the quality or the nature of his own thought. No one can rise any higher than his thoughts. Therefore, so long as your thoughts are like your present limited personal life you will never become any more than you are now. The mind, however, that transcends its present states, talents and qualities and tries to gain mental conceptions of the larger and the superior will steadily rise and become as large as those new conceptions that have been formed, and may later rise still higher thus reaching greater heights of consciousness, ability, and power than was dreamed of before.
In the world of feeling the thorough application of the law of scientific thought is extremely important, the reason being that we generally live upon those planes where our feelings are the strongest. All our feelings therefore should be transformed to the highest planes of thought and living that we can possibly think of. But since feelings deal principally with forces, whether in mind or personality, it is in the world of force that we shall have to direct our attention if a change of feeling is to be made. And this is done very simply by training the mind to always try to feel the finer and the more powerful forces that are back of every state, condition or action. Whenever anything takes place in your system try to feel the finer forces in that part of the system where the action is taking place. This experience may not give you any new sensation at first, but you will gradually become conscious of a whole universe of finer life and action within yourself. Then your mind will be living in a much larger world and in a much richer world. These finer life forces that you feel within yourself are the powerful creative energies of the subconscious, and it is these energies that are so valuable in the development of the mind and the reconstruction of the body. Therefore, whenever you exercise the sense of feeling try to feel the higher and the finer that is in you. You will soon succeed and the results will not only add enjoyments, both to mind and personality, but will also give you the mastery of new and powerful forces. An expanding and ascending desire should be back of every action of the mind, and all efforts to gain the conscious realization of the new should aim at the very largest mental scope and realization possible. Every desire should desire the largest, the purest, the most refined and the most perfect expression that present mental capacity can be conscious of. This will add remarkably to the joy of living and will have a refining effect upon the entire system. The most refined expressions of desire give the greatest pleasure, whether the channel of expression be physical, mental or spiritual. But no desire should be destroyed. The proper course is to refine it and turn it into channels through which the forces back of that desire can be wisely employed now. When we refine our desires those desires will never lead us into wrongs or temptations because the fact is that a refined desire never desires to do wrong. On the contrary, every desire that desires higher and higher expressions will, through such a desire, tend to enter into the right, the more perfect and the superior. In this connection, we should remember that all ascending actions are right actions, that all descending actions are wrong actions, and that this is the only difference between right and wrong.
Every mental aim should have the greater in view, and every plan that is formed should embody the largest possibilities conceivable. Too many minds fail because their plans are so small and their aims too low; but the larger and the higher is invariably the purpose of scientific thought — thought that thinks for results. Every mental force, therefore, should be an aspiring force and should have the power to spur us on to greater efforts and higher goals. This is extremely important as we shall know when we learn that all forces are creative. When all the forces of your system are trained to aspire, everything that is being created in your system will be created more perfectly and you will steadily advance. In like manner, when every mental action is constructive, everything that may be placed in action in your mind will tend to build you up and will tend to work for the purpose you have in view. Mental actions that have no particular aim are usually destructive, but every action of the mind can be made constructive if we make it a point to always think for results. The first step in this connection, and the only really important step, is to have a strong desire for mental construction constantly held in mind, and to give this desire increased attention when our mental actions are especially strong. In all our efforts our object should be greater things, and to realize this object no building power in mind or personality must be idle or misdirected. On the contrary, everything within us should be trained to work for all those definite results that we have in view, and all actions of mind and body should be so perfectly directed upon the production of those results that everything we do under any circumstance will tend to work constantly and directly for those results. It is when we proceed in this manner that our thinking is right, designed and scientific, and it is such thinking alone that we can employ when we aim to think for results.