Within You is the Power

It is very necessary to point out that right thinking and correct use of the imagination must be accompanied by corresponding right action. Many people make use of auto-suggestion and expect it to destroy their bad habits and build up better ones, but it never will, or can do so, unaided. Auto-suggestion is useless if it is not followed by constructive action. Young people should expend their energies in physical culture and games. Older people should interest themselves in hobbies and intellectual pursuits. It is only advanced students who can control their thoughts so that they can govern their life forces by mental means. Those less advanced, when attacked by evil or weak thoughts, must get up and _do_ something quite different, and thus get their minds off the forbidden subject and interested in the new object of attention. It is a case of directing the desires and life forces into different channels, by controlling the thoughts and attention. Here is seen the value of true religion, for it brings fresh ideals into the life and directs the attention to higher and better things. The writer realizes that a change must take place in the heart of the individual before he can desire these better things. When, however, this change has taken place, the battle has only just begun, for each one has to work out his own salvation.

At first, then, most people will find it necessary to do something in order to attract their attention and guide their thoughts to something quite different from the forbidden subject. Later on, however, when they become more advanced in the science of right thinking, they will be able to direct their thoughts into any desired direction. This necessitates constant vigilance. Each thought has to be carefully scrutinized before being allowed to pass the threshold of the mind. By reversing every negative or unworthy or ignoble thought into its opposite, a change is wrought in the brain and nervous system. The cells formerly used for wrong thinking and for the production of wrong action go out of use as new cells are brought into use for the production of right action.

This stage leads to one higher still, when it becomes a settled habit to reverse bad thoughts into good ones and perform right actions instead of bad or weak ones. The power of the sub-conscious mind, which at one time seemed so evil, produces right action more or less automatically. When once the habit of cleaning the teeth is established there is experienced an uncomfortable feeling until they have been attended to. When once a dirty person has learnt to wash himself thoroughly and keep himself decent, he will feel uncomfortable if he gets dirty. The same rule applies in the more important things and habits of life. If those who are in the bondage of habit will only direct their thoughts and attention to the building up of good habits, their old weaknesses will die a natural death.

It must not be thought that the victory over life-long habits is easy. It may seem so at first, but sooner or later temptation will come with added force, which may result in a sad fall. If this should happen it is most important that too much attention should not be paid to the incident. Instead, the beginner should pick himself up, and, making a mental note of the immediate cause of his downfall, thus benefiting by the experience, press on again towards freedom. It is most helpful to realize that not only is the sub-conscious mind willing to be guided aright, if we will only persevere long enough (until persevering itself becomes a habit), but that we also have behind us all the Spiritual powers of God. The Infinite One sees to it that the odds are not overwhelmingly against us. Our difficulties are not insuperable, although they may appear to be so. We can always win through if we faint not. Heaven looks on with sympathetic interest and rejoices with the struggler when he succeeds, and mourns with him when he fails. The struggle is a stiff one, for it is only by this that the seeker after God can become strong in character, but the victory can always be won. When the situation appears hopeless, let the struggling one remember that there is a way of escape somewhere, and that God, who is his freedom and deliverer, will reveal it to him if he faints not. If all who seek deliverance will realize that the Power of the Infinite is on their side, and that they are bound to become victors if they will only keep on, they must succeed. And what a joy is theirs! There is no happiness quite like that which comes to one who has fought the good fight and overcome habit and weaknesses of character.

May every reader experience this supreme joy of overcoming.


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