Be a king. Be a master. Stand erect at the head. Make yourself self-reliant. Rise from the bottom to the top. In your dictionary have no such word as Failure. This you can do by realizing the power of your thought over your fortunes. Believe in yourself-in your ideal. Have an ideal worthy of a true man. Worship before it always. Make your ideal kingly and you will become kingly.Orison Swet Marden-the inspirational editor-has told in his great book, "Every Man A King," how mind mastery may be secured.
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Every Man A King
Or Might In Mind-Mastery
Orison Swett Marden
Every Man A King
I. Steering Thought Prevents Life Wrecks
Ii. How Mind Rules The Body
Iii. Thought Causes Health And Disease
Iv. Our Worst Enemy Is Fear
V. Overcoming Fear
Vi. Killing Emotions
Vii. Mastering Our Moods
Viii. Unprofitable Pessimism
Ix. The Power Of Cheerful Thinking
X. Negative Creeds Paralyze
Xi. Affirmation Creates Power
Xii. Thoughts Radiate As Influence
Xiii. How Thinking Brings Success
Xiv. Power Of Self-Faith Over Others
Xv. Building Character
Xvi. Strengthening Deficient Faculties
Xvii. Gain Beauty By Holding The Beauty Thought
Xviii. The Power Of Imagination
Xix. Don't Let The Years Count
Xx. How To Control Thought
Xxi. The Coming Man Will Realize His Divinity
Every Man A King, O. S. Marden
Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck
86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9
Cover Design: © James Steidl - Fotolia.com
We build our future, thought by thought, Or good or bad and know it not — Yet so the universe is wrought. Thought is another name for fate, Choose, then, thy destiny , and wait — For love brings love, and hate brings hate,
—Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
CERTAIN man of no great learning, so runs an old legend, fell heir to a ship. He knew nothing of the sea, nothing of navigation or engineering, but the notion seized him to take a voyage and command his own ship. The ship was gotten under way, the self-appointed captain allowing the crew to go ahead with their usual duties, as the multiplicity of operations confused the amateur navigator. Once headed out to sea, however, the work grew simpler, and the captain had time to observe what was going on. As he strolled on the forward deck, he saw a man turning a big wheel, now this way, now that.
"What in the world is that man doing?'„ he asked.
" That's the helmsman. He is steering the ship."
“ Well, I don't see any use in his fiddling away there all the time. There's nothing but water ahead, and I guess the sails can push her forward. When there's land in sight, or a ship coming head on, there'll be time enough to do steering. Put up all the sails and let her go."
The order was obeyed, and the few survivors of the wreck that followed had cause to remember the fool captain who thought a ship steered herself.
You say no such man ever existed, and you are right. That isn't admitting that no such foolishness exists, however. You wouldn't be so foolish, would you ?
Think a moment. Are you not in command of something more delicate, more precious, than any ship — your own life, your own mind ? How much attention are you giving to the steering of that mind? Don't you let it go pretty much as it will? Don't you let the winds of anger and passion blow it hither and thither? Don't you let chance friendships, chance reading, and aimless amusement sway your life into forms you never would have deliberately chosen ? Arc you really captain of your own ship, driving it to a sure harbor of happiness, peace, and success ? If you are not, would you not like to become such a master of the situation? It is simpler than you perhaps think, if you will but realize certain fundamental truths and put to work your own better nature. To tell you how, and to direct your efforts is the object of this series of little talks on the use of thought in life-forming.
Considering that mind governs everything in our world, that force has been singularly neglected and misunderstood. Even when tribute has been paid to its power, it has been treated as something unalterable, a tool that could be used if one was born with the genius to do so. Of recent years, the control of thought, and its use to modify character already formed, to change even external surroundings, or at least their effect on one's self, and to bring about health, happiness, and success, have been more and more studied and understood. The possibilities of thought training are infinite, its consequences eternal, and yet few take the pains to direct their thinking into channels that will do them good, but instead leave all to chance, or rather to the myriad circumstances that buffet and compel our mental action if counter-effort be not made.
There can be no more important study, no higher duty owed to ourselves and those about us, than this of thought-control, of self-control, which results in self-development. Perhaps because thought in itself is intangible, and most of us really have so little control over it, there is an impression that direction of mind action is a difficult and abstruse affair, something that requires hard study, leisure, and book knowledge to accomplish. Nothing is further from the truth. Every person, however ignorant, however uncultured, and however busy, has within himself all that is needful, and has all the time needful, to remake his intellectual nature, his character, and practically his body and his life. Every person will have a different task, different problems to solve, and different results to aim at ; but the process is practically the same, and the transformation is no more impossible for one than for another.
A sculptor's chisel in the hands of a bungler may mar the loveliest statue ; in the hands of a criminal it may become a burglar's tool or a murderer's bludgeon. With the power in our hands to make or mar our natures, what reckless fools we are not to try to know how to produce beauty and harmony, happiness and success. The sculptor dares not strike random blows while gazing away from the marble. With eyes steadfast, he makes every stroke count toward the final result, and that result he has fixed in his mind and in the model he has made after his ideas. We must do likewise in chiselling our characters, forming our environment, making our lives. We must know what we want, know we can get it, and set ourselves directly at the task, never relenting or relaxing in its performance.
The difference between our thought and an ordinary tool is that we must do something with it. We cannot lay it down and say we shall strike no blow. We must think, and every thought is a blow that forges a part of our lives. Let us, therefore, resolutely determine to turn thought to good use, to the best use, and then stiffen our will to carry out that determination.
However earnestly we may set about this important task, life-long habits and set ways of thinking will make it difficult for adults. The great field for work in this direction of thought-control is with the new generation. As M. E. Carter says: " If parents and guardians would devote their energies to teaching the young under their care the lesson of thought-control instead of laying so much stress upon — and enforcing obedience to — external authority, the problem of upbringing the rising generation would be wonderfully simplified, and a much higher order of human beings would soon appear upon this planet. The child taught to hold right thoughts and to expel wrong ones by governing its own mental realm needs less and less external authority, and will grow up pure-minded and truthful because of having nothing to hide, nothing to repress. Mental control is the only self-control, and those who learn it early escape unhappiness and many hard experiences which darken the lives of those who fail to learn that greatest of all life's lessons."
Thus for our own sakes, and for the sakes of those tender beings whose lives are largely in our keeping, let us consider the great blessings that will flow from proper understanding and control of our own life forces.
It is astonishing what power our mind has over our body. Let the mind therefore always be the ouster. — Goethe.
BEFORE one can do much toward controlling; thought, there must be realization of its power and importance, not mere acceptance of a statement. You must feel, you must be convinced, that a bad thought harms you, that a good thought helps you. There must be no playing with fire and a careless feeling that it matters little if you are off your guard part of the time. You must know in your inmost consciousness that thought alone is eternal, that it is the master of your fate, and that the thought of every moment has its part in deciding that fate. You must feel that proper control of your own thoughts will cause all good things to come naturally to you, just as all bad things will be your portion if you misuse your God-given powers. Such realization must come through consideration of proved facts.
Thought is being recognized more and more at its proper value in the work of the world. By people of views varying greatly in detail the power of thought is stated to be almost omnipotent in human affairs. Practical demonstrations of seemingly marvellous results are convincing unthinking and material minds. Scientific experiments, instead of destroying the claims of the thinkers, substantiate them, and give scientific explanations.
Prof. W. G. Anderson, of Yale University, succeeded in practically weighing a thought, or the result of a thought's action. A student was poised on a balance so that the centre of gravity of his body was exactly over its centre. Set to solving mathematical problems, the increased weight of blood at his head changed his centre of gravity and caused an immediate dip of the balance to that side. Repeating the nine multiplication table caused a greater displacement than repeating the table of fives, and, in general, the displacement grew greater with greater intensity of thought. Carrying the experiment further, the experimenter had the student imagine himself going through leg gymnastics. As he performed the feats mentally, one by one, the blood flowed to the limbs in quantities sufficient to tip the balance according to the movement though of. By purely mental action the centre of gravity of the body was shifted four inches, or as much as by raising the doubled arms above the shoulders. These experiments were repeated on a large number of students with the same results.
To test still further the mastering influence of mind over muscle, the strength of the right and left arms of eleven young men was registered. The average strength of the right arms was one hundred and eleven pounds; of the left arms ninety-seven pounds. The man practised special exercises with the right hand only for one week. Tests of both arms were again made, and, while the average strength of the right arm had increased six pounds, that of the unexercised left arm had increased seven pounds. This showed clearly that the brain action connected with the gymnastics developed not only the muscles put in action, but also other muscles controlled by the same portion of the brain. This could come about only by sending blood and nervous force to the proper parts by purely mental action. Dr. Anderson says of the results :
" I can prove by my muscle-bed that the important thing in all exercises is the mental effort put forth. I can lie down on this muscle-bed and think of a jig, and though apparently my feet do not move, and actually the muscles are not active, the muscle-bed sinks toward my feet, showing that there has been a flow of blood toward the muscles, and that if I did dance a jig, the muscles would be well supplied with blood under this mental stimulus."
Sandow has long taught that bodily exercise without proper thought would do little to develop muscles, and that a very little exercise, with the mind directing it, will practically rebuild the body. Certain professors of physical culture are selling this knowledge for good prices. Professor Anderson's experiments demonstrate the truth of these statements, and further that exercise involving competition and lively interest in games does far more good than merely mechanical movements, performed without interest in gymnasiums. He says that walking is poor exercise for brainworkers, as it is so purely automatic that it does not call the blood from congested brain centres, which go on solving intellectual problems. A run, a brisk walk, with a definite object necessitating the thought of speed, will send the blood to the legs and build them up. Exercising before a mirror, watching the muscles swell with the different motions, is found to aid development.
Before these experiments, Prof. Elmer Gates, at Washington, had proved that he was able, by thinking intently of a hand when it was plunged in a basin even-full of water, and willing that the blood should flow there, to make the water overflow. Thus the amount of extra blood sent to the hand could be measured, since it corresponded to the overflowed water. Every one cannot do this on first trial; perhaps not in a hundred trials, but the mind can be trained to such control of the body.
Years ago, by experiments on the famous Beaumont, whose wound in the stomach healed leaving an orifice, physicians demonstrated the great effect of depressing or elevating emotions on digestion and other functions. A telegram announcing disaster collapsed and made feverish the follicles that were actively secreting gastric juice, and left food undigested for hours.
Recent experiments on dogs by the Russian scientist Prof. Ivan Pavlov have proved conclusively that secretion of the gastric juice in the stomach does not, as long supposed, take place automatically when saliva is secreted or when food enters the stomach. On the contrary, it is secreted when a dog is made to anticipate that it is to be fed with a much-loved food, as raw meat, even though that meat is not given to it, or, if given, is not allowed to pass into the stomach but drops out of the oesophagus by a slit made for that purpose. All manner of mechanical irritation did not avail to cause a flow of gastric juice unless there was excited an idea of pleasure in eating. If the pneumogastric nerve was severed, even this anticipated gastronomic pleasure, or the actual passage of the loved meat through the severed oesophagus, did not cause gastric secretion. The part played by the mind in what have been called mere mechanical, physical functions has been thus shown. The psychological side of digestion, as of every other manifestation in the body, is the more important.
The most wonderful result of the experiments made by Professor Gates was the discovery that certain states of mind produce chemical products in the body. He says:
" In 1879 I published a report of experiments showing that when the breath of a patient was passed through a tube cooled with ice so as to condense the volatile qualities of the respiration, the iodide of rhodopsin, mingled with these condensed products, produced no observable precipitate. But, within five minutes after the patient became angry, there appeared a brownish precipitate, which indicates the presence of a chemical compound produced by the emotion. This compound, extracted and administered to men and animals, caused stimulation and excitement. Extreme sorrow, such as mourning for the loss of a child recently deceased, produced a gray precipitate; remorse, a pink precipitate, etc. My experiments show that irascible, malevolent, and depressing emotions generate in the system injurious compounds, some of which are extremely poisonous ; also, that agreeable, happy emotions generate chemical compounds of nutritious value which stimulate the cells to manufacture energy." As Professor Gates has had to point out emphatically, to counteract ridiculous statements, the color of these precipitates depends on the chemical used, but with the same chemical the emotions produce different colors.
Prof. Jacques Loeb's experiments at the University of Chicago and at Stanford University have seemed to show that thought produces phenomena similar to those of electricity, that the particles of living matter change from positive to negative and negative to positive by the influence of thought. This makes the old comparison of thought to a " telegram from the brain " all the more apt, and enlarges the conception of what the mind can do in changing bodily conditions.
Every volition and thought of man is inscribed on his brain, for volition and thoughts have the beginnings in the brain, whence they are conveyed to the bodily members, wherein they terminate. Whatever, therefore, is in the mind is in the brain, and from the brain in the body, according to the order of its parts. Thus a man writes his life in his physique, and thus the angels discover his autobiography in his structure. — Swedenborg
It is not necessary to appeal to scientific experiments alone to prove the control of the mind over health and disease. Every-day expense gives ample demonstration. Striking and interesting incidents by the hundred have been collected and published by physicians, but a few will suffice.
We are so accustomed to the deadly effects of certain kinds and degrees of thought that we do not think what it is that causes illness and death. Some one dies of " shock." What does that mean ? Simply that some sudden and powerful thought has so deranged the bodily mechanism that it has stopped. Fright — that is, a thought of fear — stopped the heart's action. Excitement set it beating so hard that a blood-vessel burst in the head. Sudden joy caused a rush of blood to the brain that ruptured the delicate membranes. A loved one died, and the thought of grief prevented nutrition, repair of waste, and the performance of other bodily functions dependent on normal mental condition, and the person pined away and died, from some disease the enfeebled body could not resist, or from no disease at all but the sick and mourning thought. Recently a trolley wire in London broke and fell into the street with sputtering fire. A young lady, seemingly as well as any one, was about to board a car, but, on seeing the accident, fell dead. Nothing had touched her. She had suffered no harm. She simply thought she waa in danger, and thought so intensely that something gave way and separated her spirit from her body. A mind more composed, less easily startled, would have saved her life. A beautiful young lady was struck in the face by a golf stick. It broke her jaw, but that was healed in a few weeks. However, a scar was left that marred her beauty. The idea of disfigurement so preyed upon her mind that she shrank from meeting people, and melancholia became habitual. A trip to Europe, expensive treatment by specialists, did no good. The idea that she was marred and scarred took all joy from her life, all strength from her body. She soon could not leave her bed. Yet no physician was able to find any organic disease. Very silly, no doubt, but it illustrates what diseased thought can do in overcoming perfectly healthy bodily functions. Had she been able to dismiss the idea she brooded over, her health would have been restored.
Fright and grief have often blanched human hair in a few hours or a few days. Ludwig, of Bavaria, Marie Antoinette, Charles I. of England, and the Duke of Brunswick are historic examples, and every little while modern instances occur. The supposed explanation is that strong emotion has caused the formation of chemical compounds, probably of sulphur, which changed the color of the oil of the hair. Such chemical action is caused suddenly by thought instead of gradually by advancing years. Dr. Rogers says : " Many causes which affect but little the constitution, accelerate the death of the hair, more especially the depressing passions, corroding anxieties, and intense thought."
Men have died because they thought they were terribly wounded when no wound existed. The story of the medical student who was frightened to death by fellow-students, who pretended to be bleeding him, has often been told. A man who thought he swallowed a tack had horrible symptoms, including a local swelling in his throat, until it was discovered that he was mistaken. Hundreds of other cases have been verified where belief sufficed to produce great suffering and even death.
On the other hand, sickness and disease gave way before strong thought of any other kind, excitement, alarm, or great joy.
Benvenuto Cellini, when about to cast his famous statue of Perseus, now in the Loggia dei Lanzi, at Florence, was taken with a sudden fever and forced to go home and to bed. In the midst of his suffering, one of his workmen rushed in to say: "O Benvenuto, your statue is spoiled, and there is no hope whatever of saving it." Dressing hastily, he rushed to his furnace, and found his metal " caked." Ordering dry oak wood brought, he fired the furnace, fiercely working in a rain that was falling, stirred the channels, and saved metal. He continues the story thus : " After all was over, I turned to a plate of salad on a bench there and ate with a hearty appetite and drank, together with the whole crew. Afterward I retired to my bed, healthy and happy, for it was now two hours before morning, and slept as sweetly as though I had never felt a touch of illness." His overpowering idea of saving his statue not only drove the idea of illness from his mind but also drove away the physical condition and left him well.
It is related of Muley Moluc, the Moorish leader, that, when lying ill, almost worn out by incurable disease, a battle took place between his troops and the Portuguese, when, starting from his litter at the great crisis of the fight, he rallied his army, led them to victory, and then instantly sank exhausted and expired.
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