In the mind of man there is the dawning of a new and vital fact that the authority of law is resident in his own life; that health, strength, and happiness, as conditions of mind and body, must be made manifest through conscious effort on his part by the use of spiritual qualities and mind-faculties; that through the indwelling spirit his mind must be quickened and renewed and his body strengthened and made whole. Contents: Preface What The New Thought Stands For The Unity Of Life Demand And Supply The Law Of Attraction Mental Influences Freedom- Individual And Universal Hearing And Doing The Mission Of Jesus The Religion Of Christ Things Worth Remembering The Laws Of Health Spiritual Treatment The Life Of Power The Way Of Salvation The Kingdom Of God The Spirit Of Praise The Kingdom Of Man The Dawn Of A New Age The Controlled Life Health Of Mind And Body The Continuity Of Life
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The Will To Be Well
Charles Brodie Patterson
The Will To Be Well
What The New Thought Stands For
The Unity Of Life
Demand And Supply
The Law Of Attraction
Freedom— Individual And Universal
Hearing And Doing
The Mission Of Jesus
The Religion Of Christ
Things Worth Remembering
The Laws Of Health
The Life Of Power
The Way Of Salvation
The Kingdom Of God
The Spirit Of Praise
The Kingdom Of Man
The Dawn Of A New Age
The Controlled Life
Health Of Mind And Body
The Continuity Of Life
The Will To Be Well,C. B. Patterson
Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck
86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9
Cover Design: © James Steidl - Fotolia.com
The age of materialism is passing away; and the pessimism and infidelity of the past, with which it was so closely associated, no longer fill the minds of men with discord and unrest As a transitory condition it was doubtless necessary, because the real side of life is made evident through contrast Probably the world has never seen nor known an age that has been more densely materialistic than the one just passed; not that it was altogether physical in its nature, but the intellect of man was used to subvert and subordinate the spiritual sense to the intellectual reasoning and sense desires.
On the physical side of life the world has been ransacked for every kind of mineral poison with the expectation that through their introduction into the physical organism health and strength would be the result
In man's intellectual and religious world the spirit has played no part Dogmatic utterances, binding creeds, and the degradation of himself to a "worm of the dust" and a miserable sinner," have served to fill up the sum of his intellectual vagaries.
But this is all passing away before the coming of a newer and higher conception of life; and this New Thought lays its foundation in an Omnipotent Life and a Universal Intelligence acting through universal law — law while exacting conformity to its requirements, shows itself to be beneficent in character.
In the mind of man there is the dawning of a new and vital fact that the authority of law is resident in his own life; that health, strength, and happiness, as conditions of mind and body, must be made manifest through conscious effort on his part by the use of spiritual qualities and mind-faculties; that through the indwelling spirit his mind must be quickened and renewed and his body strengthened and made whole.
In giving the contents of this book to the world the author earnestly hopes that the reader may find something that will prompt him to make a more serious and thoughtful study of life and its requirements.
Within the last twenty-five years two great movements, thoroughly idealistic in their tendencies, have taken root in our own country and are now spreading to the uttermost parts of the earth. One is known under the name of Christian Science, and was founded by Mary Baker Glover Eddy; the other, which is now popularly known as the New Thought Movement, had as its first great apostle P. P. Quimby, of Portland, Me., and later Julius A. Dresser, of Boston, and Dr. W. F. Evans. Mr. Dresser taught and practised mental healing, and wrote but little. Dr. Evans wrote a number of books, the most important being, "Primitive Mind Cure" and "Esoteric Christianity."
It is not within the scope of this article to trace the history of these two great movements, but rather to show certain points wherein they agree or disagree. Fundamentally, there are certain beliefs held by them in common. The New Thought devotee as well as the Christian Scientist holds to the thought of the oneness of life — that all life is one life; that all knowledge is one — and that Grod is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. Starting with this fundamental idea of life, it might be thought by some that the two bodies would reach virtually the same conclusions; but that there is a radical difference will be clearly shown in the following paragraphs.
Let it be understood, first of all, that the writer does not attempt to discuss this subject in an antagonistic way, or from any desire to find fault with Christian Science. He recognizes the &ct that there must be great vitality in a religious system that has wrought such wonderful changes in the minds of thousands of people in so short a time, and is more than willing to give due credit to its founder for the truly marvelous work she has accomplished. There is no desire to be unjust, but merely to make a plain statement of the facts of the case. The writer has no thought of making any attack on Mrs. Eddy or her followers, and concerning the points wherein he seems to criticize will deal with certain phases of their belief rather than with the work of any individual; for he is in general accord with their affirmative religion, or philosophy, but in direct opposition to their philosophy of denials which he believes to be unchristian. He grants without question the good they have accomplished in healing the sick and in bringing greater happiness and peace into the lives of others. He believes, however, that this has been accomplished, not through any denial of matter, or of sin, sickness, and death, but through the presentation of the affirmative side of their religion — the oneness of life and the omnipotence of God.
This article is written to make clear the distinction between the New Thought Movement and Christian Science, as the question is so often asked. In what does the real difference consist? The first great point of divergence appears when Christian Science affirms the whole material universe to be an illusion of what it terms '' mortal mind" and that through the denial of matter one realizes one's spiritual origin. This is identical with the position held by many of the Hindu people, both of the past and the present time — that Mind (matter) is an illusion of mind. Of course, in this denial of matter the physical form of man is also denied away.
The New Thought believer, on the other hand, looks upon the visible universe as an expression of the power of God. He perceives that there must be an outer as well as an inner; that there must be effects as well as causes; that all the great material universe is the visible word of God — God's word becoming manifest in material form; that the body of man, to some degree, represents man's spiritual and mental life; that by the influx of man's spiritual consciousness the mind is renewed, and the body strengthened and made whole. In this conception of the outer world, the New Thought believer claims to be in thorough accord with what the great Nazarene taught; because, while he said the flesh was of no profit in comparison with the spirit, yet he drew his greatest lessons from external nature. He said: "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow." He pointed out how God has clothed the flowers with a beauty and perfection that man's highest art can not equal. He affirmed that God cared even for the grass of the field; and King David said: ''Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard."
Christian Science denies away sin, sickness, and death. The New Thought claims that all three have an existence, but an existence that is overcome, not through any process of denial, but through the introduction of true thought into the mind of man; that to deny them away is to attribute the qualities of an entity to the very thing that is denied; that, in order to deny anything away, it must first be pictured in the mind; and that, instead of putting it away, the mental picture is thus perpetuated. Jesus recognized both sin and disease when he said: "Go, and sin no more, lest a worse thing befall thee." There is nothing in his teachings to show that he ever denied away either sin or disease, but much to prove that he recognized both as conditions that should be overcome by good.
Another point of difference between Christian Science and the New Thought Movement is the question of individual freedom — the God-given right to think and act for one's self. Christian Science says, Read the Bible, and then take "Science and Health" as its interpreter. Leave all other sources of knowledge alone, it commands, because all else is the product of "mortal mind." The New Thought stands with the Apostle Paul, when he said: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." Paul does not concede the right to any one else to do the thinking or the proving, believing that each mind must deal individually with the problems of life and thus work out its own salvation.
Still another point of disagreement arises in the founding of church organizations. Christian Science, with its thoroughly organized following, has founded church after church. New Thought people think that we have churches enough; that we do not need religions made up of creeds and "beliefs" as urgently as we need a religion based upon the true worship of God — (in spirit and in truth. The real temple of God is in the human soul; the New Thought Movement, therefore, does not stand for any ecclesiastical or theological propaganda. It would bring to the minds of the people a knowledge of the laws that regulate and control life everywhere; it would show that through perfect conformity to the inner laws of life come perfect health and happiness, and that it is possible to manifest God's kingdom here and now.
When we come to the healing of disease, a radical difference is found in that the Christian Science practitioner denies away disease and then affirms the oneness of life and of health, declaring that we are to draw our vitality from the one great Source; while the New Thought practitioner stands fairly and squarely on the affirmative side of life. No such thing as denial enters the mind of the New Thought healer when he treats his patient He recognizes all wrong mental conditions — malice, hatred, envy, jealousy, pride, sensuality, and kindred emotions, indications of a lack of development, and perceives that with the introduction of affirmative thought no direct denial is needed: that the affirmation carries all necessary denial within itself.
When the feeling of love enters the life, the false feeling of hate must go out; when the thought of law and order enters the mind, unlawfulness and disorder can have no place. The New Thought healer affirms that all life is one; that in God "we live and move and have our being;" that He has given to us all things — health, strength, and happiness. Every thought given by the healer is one of strength, of health, of beauty and loving-kindness; no disagreeable or unwholesome thought goes forth to the patient, as would naturally be the case if the mind of the healer were engaged in denying away mistakes that he hopes to overcome. We believe that our thoughts make us what we are; that it is indispensably necessary to keep the mind filled with clean, wholesome thought — and in so doing there is no room for contradictory ideas.
To recapitulate: Christian Science and the New Thought agree that all life is one; that all intelligence is one; that God is the All in all.
And they disagree on the following points: Christian Science says that the visible world is "mortal mind;" the New Thought declares the visible universe to be an expression of God's handiwork. Christian Science asserts that sin, sickness, and death have no existence ; the New Thought affirms that they have an existence, but their existence is only limited and their destruction comes through right thinking and hence right living. Christian Science stands for a great religious sectarian organization; it stands for slavery of the individual to an institution — at least at present. The New Thought stands for a knowledge of spiritual truth among all people and perfect freedom of the individual, in both thought and action, to live out the life that God intended him to live. Christian Science stands for a woman and a book; the New Thought Movement stands for God manifesting through the soul of man, for the eternal laws of creation, and for the absolute freedom of the individual to work out his own salvation. Christian Science stands for a treatment of disease that includes both a negative and an affirmative philosophy; the New Thought in its treatment of disease rests on the omnipotence of God as the one and only healing power of the universe, and is therefore thoroughly and solely affirmative.
Having pointed out the distinctions that exist between the two movements as the writer sees them, let us briefly outline the New Thought and what it stands for, even though it may be necessary to repeat a few statements already made in order to give a clear, comprehensive view of the movement. We do not believe that the New Thought had its origin in the mind of any one particular person or number of persons, but that it is as old as the soul itself. It is God's truth seeking to become manifest in the individual life. We believe, however, that Jesus Christ showed forth the great yet simple truths of life in as clear and comprehensive a manner as they have ever been given to the world. Yet we do not believe that he was the only great prophet of God, but that all peoples have had their prophets — that Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed, Zoroaster, and Confucius were prophets of God, and brought life and understanding to the people.
The New Thought teaches the universality of religion; that God's spirit is more or less active in the minds of all people, and that each individual receives according to his desires and needs; that there is a natural evolutionary process in the life of man, and little by little he is unfolding to latent powers and possibilities; that the ideal man already exists, but the ideal is still seeking perfect expression; that man grows as naturally as does the plant or the tree, and that there is law and order from beginning to end; that law is universal, and it is through knowledge of universal law that man brings his life into oneness with the universal life — into a condition of harmony wherein he expresses both health and happiness.
There are different stages of religious development, as there are different stages of physical, mental, and spiritual growth. On one plane of religion, man lives a purely sensuous life; on another, the mind becomes enamored of creeds and rituals formulated by the human mind ; on a third, man worships God in spirit and in truth. I believe there is no religion in the world devoid of truth — that the truth it contains is that which holds it together; that all mankind is working for a single end ; that, although we have differences in the present, they exist rather in form than in spirit, and will gradually melt away. We would rejoice with all people when they rejoice. In whatever way any body of people, calling themselves Christian Scientists or by any other name, bring greater happiness and a higher and truer knowledge of life to others, instead of finding fault, let us gladly indorse that which they have accomplished. We know that whatever good is wrought is of the Spirit of God — in both thought and work.
In defining the principles professed by the New Thought followers, we are free to admit that they do not always adhere to their highest ideals; but exception should not be taken to the law, but rather to the failure to live up to its requirements. The New Thought teaches that we should live from the center of life outward; that we should recognize the power of God working within us to will and to do. There should be such an outflow of faith and love and hope from the soul into the mind of man that his thought would really become transfigured, his body transformed, and God's kingdom expressed "on earth as it is in heaven." We believe that any reform that shall ever come into the world will not be through a work that deals solely with the external life, but will have its inception in the heart — in the soul and life — of man; that there is no problem in life that can not be solved through a knowledge of the law of God — as it is written in the heart of man — and obedience thereto. The New Thought stands for a vital Christianity that goes to the very heart of things; that pays no attention to the letter or the form, but creates both letter and form for itself in perfect accord with the inner word.
We have, therefore, no desire to build up any sectarian organization or to tear down any that now exists. We would say, with Paul, that "the unknown God whom ye ignorantly worship. Him we declare unto you." God — who is in all, through all, and above all — worketh within you to will and to do. Having no sectarian organization, yet offering the right hand of fellowship to members of all religious denominations; having no belief in creed or dogma, yet recognizing the full rights of all who desire and feel the need of both: the New Thought Movement has not come to destroy but to fulfill. It has not come to tear down, but to build up; yet that building will not be made by the hands of man, but will abide in the hearts of the people — wherein their minds will become strengthened and their bodies made whole.
While the movement is an aggressive one, it would antagonize no body of people. It is aggressive for the fundamental position it takes, being affirmative from beginning to end. It affirms the omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence of God — with all that these words imply. It stands for a gospel of peace and good-will to all men. It is optimistic throughout It declares that it is easier for man to be well and happy than to be the reverse. It is easier to go with the law than to put one's self in opposition to it. Losing the idea of itself as a sectarian religion, it finds itself in reality a universal religion.
In our study of the science of life, we should always bear in mind that the universe is governed by law, in each and every part. Nothing is exempt from the operation of law — from the atom to the sun.
When we make a careful study of law in relation to man we find that it is founded on love, because whenever we conform to the law of love every result is good — it benefits and helps us in every way, far beyond our anticipations; but when we act in opposition to it we get results that are not beneficial. The one who obeys the law is blessed; the one who does not obey is not blessed.
Put two healthy plants of the same species in boxes filled with earth ; place them in the sunlight, water one of the plants and allow the other to go without water. In a number of days you will find one plant all shriveled up by the sun and the other growing luxuriantly. The difference in their condition is due to the relation of the plants to the sun. One is benefited by the heat and light; the other through lack of care on your part has its form destroyed. The power that gives life to the plant can also destroy it, and so we may receive vitality from the omnipotent Source of all life and yet not receive the fulness that is our due because of wrong relations to that Source. Our life is like that of the withered plant — in a condition not in accord with Nature. When we are in harmony with law we grow just as unconsciously, in one sense, as does the plant.
We make a great many useless efforts to grow, but when we understand the laws of life and conform thereto our growth is natural and without struggle. Yet we need to recognize the fact that we have something to do-— to get all the knowledge of true living that we can, and then to make proper use of it. We are far from wise when we seek knowledge merely for its own sake; but we show wisdom when we seek knowledge in order that we may use it. It is required of us that we relate ourselves to the world about us in the right way. How are we related to it? How are we related to God and to our fellow-man ? These are some of the great questions of life.
Let us first consider our relation to God. The soul is differentiated spirit; that is, each soul contains within itself a picture (or image) of the great universal soul. All divine possibilities and all qualities are in the soul — the God love, the God life, the God power. The universal soul is the all-comprehensive Soul. Everything that is in God enters into the human soul; thus does God seek expression through the life of man. When we give expression to the Godlike qualities within us, the individual soul comes into conscious relationship with the universal soul, and we begin to realize that the soul is at one with God — one in faith, one in purpose, and one in love.
We only begin to live as we realize our soul life; then we begin to see the unity of life in the world about us. We see that everything is related to everything else and that we ourselves are related to every part — that there is no separation between our own lives and the lives of others. Our neighbor is ourself. We are members one of another. Only as each individual sees his relation to the great Whole does he become thoroughly helpful.
We can see, therefore, how much depends upon the way in which we relate ourselves to mankind In doing for others we do for God and for ourselves. If this view of life were more widely taken, all dissensions and all '' hard feelings" all bitter and unkind words, would pass away, and we should no more think of finding fault with another than of criticizing some organ of the body.
If the body were weak or diseased, we would try to overcome that condition by giving it more care and thought. We should do the same with our fellow-men. Instead of finding fault with those who injure us, we should reflect that anger, strife, and discord are unreal things; that they appear only on the surface of life; that they never enter the soul of man. The real self does not express these conditions; they are images that we picture in our minds because we believe in the separateness of God and man. When we realize that we are not separate, but all one, we shall not think anything of the unkind word or deed, because we know it proceeds from unreality and will pass away as we express more and more of God's own image and likeness.
If we take this view of life, we shall find that the little things that have disturbed us in the past will have no power over us in any way. We shall keep on doing good, whatever other people may do. The Christ law is that we should do good to others, and we can only do that when we recognize the oneness and unity of life. When we look at the individual life as separate or detached, we see a great many things that seem to be wrong in the outer world. In one sense they are wrong, but sometimes through wrong-doing we learn how to do right. We learn the law of God through the results that follow its infraction. We know the truth by that which contradicts it.
Much time is wasted in lamenting the evil condition of the world, but the world is not made better by such lamentation. A thought that is not productive of good is idle, and the sooner one gets rid of it the better. The true way to help the world is to let one's light so shine that others may see and learn.
As we try to bring our lives into harmony with eternal law, we often find that we have formed bad habits; and when we try to get rid of them it seems almost impossible, and we wonder why this is. It is because we are related to the rest of mankind. There is a law of attraction. When we form certain habits and continue them until they have become thoroughly established in mind, we have through the power of thought related ourselves to all people thinking and doing the things that have occupied our attention. Those others are our real relatives.
Suppose it has been our habit to take exception to people who differ with us. Suppose it has been our custom to find fault with people who it seemed to us were not doing right Through this critical habit all the fault-finding people of the world have become related to us, and the effect of this relationship is that if we try to give up fault-finding there is an impulse that leads us to continue to criticize others. That impulse is the power of other minds, related to us, acting upon our own. Until we break off that relationship and establish a new one the result will be the same. If we form a habit of thinking kindly and saying kind words, in a short time we become mentally related to all kindly-natured people in the world, and it becomes much easier to say a kind word and do a kind deed than the reverse. This is because we have all the force of loving thoughts pouring into our lives.
To be well and strong let us take this thought: ''It is right that I should be well and strong. God is the Source of my life; in Him I live and move and have my being. I have no life apart from God; He is my strength and my help, and everything is mine because it is God's." By letting the mind dwell on this and similar thoughts, little by little we establish a relationship with all healthy minds, and all our thoughts become filled with health (harmony). A mind is only sane as it sees and knows that ''all is of God that is or is to be, and God is good."
By viewing life in this way we become related to all this order of thought; it keeps pouring in upon us, and we become strong and vigorous and express health and poise. We see the brightness of life, the joy of living, and the joy of being in the world and doing good.
We can not easily break away from these relationships of life if they have once been thoroughly fixed. It is only through persistent effort that this can be done, but the reader should not think that because he has tried once and failed he can not succeed. Any one can overcome any condition. If little by little we have been building up an environment of sickness and disease, we have the power to overcome it; the only question is as to whether we will use that power. Power is given to us to be thoroughly well and strong, to be thoroughly poised, and to do God's will in everything — not in some things, but in everything. We are all equal to it so far as we know God's will; and that is all that is expected, because if we do the will we shall "know of the doctrine" — we shall know the truth.
We are equal to everything that presents itself in life ; otherwise it would not present itself to us. The very fact that a duty to perform comes to us shows that we have the power to do it; otherwise it would not come. Each and every one of us is confronted by something, and the problem that seems the largest one to us today is the one for us to solve — if we will only let ourselves do this. It makes no difference how hard it seems to be; the fact that we can do what we will remains true. It is not, however, according to the weak, human will, but through the recognition of the universal will acting in and through us, that we can express what we desire to express. When we will in God's will to do things right, we can do all things; for no ideal can enter His mind to which He can not give expression.
Life is made up of little acts rather than of great ones. The little things we do day by day constitute the real sum of life. In our haste to accomplish definite results in the world we forget about the little things in our desire to accomplish the great things, and we fail in the latter because we do not know how to achieve the former. There is nothing so trivial in life as to be unworthy of consideration. We should understand life so as to make our thoughts clear even to little children; to do away so far as practicable with the complex side of life; to be as simple-minded as possible; to keep the mind free from all things that tend to tangle or clog it. We should start with the thought of God — God in all life; God in our own individual lives. We should not go through life trying to keep ourselves separate from the world in which we live, feeling that because we have some knowledge of divine law we are above our fellow-men. We should rather go through the world in the spirit of helpfulness — giving and receiving.
No matter how evil a thing may seem to be, if we examine the root of it we will find God there. No matter how bad a man may seem to be, if we can reach his soul we will find God there. And it will make us more charitable, because we will see that the evil of life is only on the surface, where change and growth are forever taking place — where we make mistakes, sometimes wilfully and sometimes unconsciously, yet knowing that through such errors we profit in the end. Then let us think the God thought of life in everything — in our dealings with our fellows, with children, and with animals. Let us try to see God in mind and also in Nature, because God is in both. We should try to see God first in our own lives, for then we shall see Him in everything — everything is expressing God. Let us try to be wise, because when we have the wisdom of God in our own minds we shall find it in everything; for God's law is in everything, and everything moves in accordance with it.
Sometimes things seem to be deflected from their natural course, yet everything moves ultimately in its natural order. We know that the earth in its circuit round the sun is deflected from its path as it passes a greater planet, but having passed it is no longer deflected. We should not get discouraged about things that seem to fail. There are no failures in the plan of God. Failure at its worst is only seeming. Everything is progressing toward a definite end. Vicissitudes are inevitable; therefore, discouragement should never enter into the mind of man. It is the inner life that is important, not that on the surface; it is the inner which is really trying to express itself outwardly, and frequently failing to do it perfectly. Perfect expression comes through effort that is not strained, but directed when the mind is in a state of peace and rest. We succeed only when we put the restless, anxious side of affairs out of mind and allow the restful side to dwell in our thoughts.
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