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CREATIVE MIND AND SUCCESS
By Ernest Holmes
Dover Publications, Inc.Copyright © 2007 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
AN INQUIRY INTO THE TRUTH.
AN inquiry into Truth is an inquiry into the cause of things as the human race sees and experiences them. The starting point of our thought must always begin with our experiences. We all know that life is, else we could not even think that we are. Since we can think, say and feel, we must be. We live, we are conscious of life; therefore we must be and life must be. If we are life and consciousness (self-knowing) then it follows that we must have come from life and consciousness. Let us start, then, with this simple fact: Life is and life is conscious.
But what is the nature of this life; is it physical, mental, material or spiritual? A little careful thinking based upon logic, more than any merely personal opinion, will do much in clearing up some of these questions that at first seem to stagger us with their bigness.
How much of that which is may we call life? The answer would have to be: Life is all that there is; it is the reason for all that we see, hear, feel —all that we experience in any way. Now nothing from nothing leaves nothing, and it is impossible for something to proceed from nothing. Since something is, that from which it came must be all that is. Life, then, is all that there is. Everything comes from it, ourselves included
The next question is, how do things come from life? How do the things that we see come from the things that we do not see? The things that we see must be real because we see them. To say they are not real will never explain them nor answer any question about them. God's world is not a world of illusion but one of divine realities. The truth must not explain away things that we see. It must explain what they are. We are living and experiencing varying degrees of consciousness and conditions. Only when the why of this living and of our experiences is understood will we know the least thing about the truth. Jesus did not say that things are illusions. He said that we must not judge from the standpoint of the seen but must judge righteously or with right judgment; and He meant that we must get behind the appearance and find out what caused it. So let us not in any way fool ourselves nor allow ourselves to believe we have always been fooled. We are living in a world of realities. Whatever we have experienced is a reality as far as that experience is concerned, although if we had had a higher understanding of life, the unpleasant experience might have been avoided.
WHAT LIFE IS.
IN the first place, what do we mean by life? We mean that which we see, feel, hear, touch or taste, and the reason for it. We must have come into contact with all we know of life. We have already found what life is or we could not have had any of these experiences. "In the beginning was God" or life. Out of this life which is, everything which is is made. So life must flow through all things. There is no such thing as dead matter. Moreover, life is one, and it cannot be changed except into itself. All forms are forms of this unity and must come and go through some inner activity. This inner activity of life or nature must be some form of self-consciousness or self-knowing. In our human understanding we would call this inner knowing, or consciousness, "thought." The Spirit, or Life, or God, must make things out of Himself, through self-recognition, or self-knowing or, as we would call it thinking. Since God is all, there is nothing to hinder Him from doing what He wishes, and the question, "How do things come into being?" is answered: God makes them out of Himself. God thinks, or knows, and that thing which He thinks or knows appears from Himself, and is made out of Himself. There is no other possible explanation for what we see. Unless people are willing to begin here, they will never understand how it is that things are not material but spiritual.
MAN'S PLACE IN CREATION.
BUT where does man come in? He is. Therefore it follows that he, too, is made out of God, since God, or Spirit, is all. Being made out of God, he must partake of His nature, for we are "made in His image."
Man is a center of God in God. Whatever God is in the Universal, man must be in the individual world. The difference between God and man is one of degree and not of quality. Man is not self-made; he is made out of God.
The question might arise, why did God do this? No living person can answer this question. This is something that is known only of the Father. We might suppose that God made man to live with Him and to enjoy with Him, to be one with the Father. It is true, indeed, that those who have felt this most deeply have had a corresponding spiritual power that leads us to suppose that God really did make man as a companion. Man is the individual and God is the Universal. "As the Father hath life within Himself, so hath he given it to the Son to have life within himself." Man's mind is made out of God's mind, and all that man is or ever will be, all that he has or ever will have, must partake of the Divine nature. Man did not make it so, but it is so, and he must accept the fact and see what he can do with it. If he has the same power in his individual life that God has in the Universal, then this discovery will mean freedom from all bondage when he learns how to use his power. As God governs His Universal world so will man govern his individual world, always subject to the greater law and life. This could not be otherwise if we realize what follows from it, for so realizing we find ourselves living in a very different world from the one in which we thought we were living. God governs not through physical law as result, but first by inner knowing —then the physical follows. In the same way, man governs his world by the process which we will call, for want of a better name, the power of his thought.
Man's inner life is one with the Father. There can be no separation, for the self-evident reason that there is nothing to separate him from God, because there is nothing but life. The separation of two things implies putting a different element between them; but as there is nothing different from God, the unity of God and man is firmly established forever. "My Father and I are One" is a simple statement of a great soul who perceived life as it really is and not from the mere standpoint of outer conditions.
Taking as the starting point that man has the same life as God, it follows that he uses the same creative process. Everything is one, comes from the same source and returns again to it. "The things which are seen are not made of the things which do appear." What we see comes from what we do not see. This is the explanation of the whole visible universe, and is the only possible explanation.
As God's thought makes worlds and peoples them with all living things, so does our thought make our world and peoples it with all the experiences we have had. By the activity of our thought things come into our life, and we are limited because we have not known the truth; we have thought that outside things controlled us, when all the time we have had that within which could have changed everything and given us freedom from bondage.
The question, then, naturally arises: Why did God create man and make him a free agent? If God had created us in such a way as to compel us to do or to be anything that was not of our choosing, we should not have been individuals at all, we should be automatons. Since we know that we are individuals, we know that God made us thus; and we are just discovering the reason why. Let any man wake up to this, the greatest truth in all ages, and he will find it will answer all questions. He will be satisfied that things are what they are. He will perceive that he may use his own God-given power so to work, to think and to live that he will in no way hinder the greater law from operating through him. According to the clearness of his perception and greatness of his realization of this power will he provide within himself a starting point through which God may operate. There will no longer be a sense of separation, but in its place will come that divine assurance that he is one with God, and thus will he find his freedom from all suffering, whether it be of body, mind or estate.
THE BEGINNING OF UNDERSTANDING.
MAN is beginning to realize that he has life within himself as the great gift of God to him. If he really has life, if it is the same nature as the life of God, if he is an individual and has the right of self-choice which constitutes individuality; then it follows that he can do with his life what he wants to do: he can make out of himself that which he wishes. Freedom is his, but this freedom is within law and never outside it. Man must obey law. If he disobeys it, it has to act as law, and so acting has to punish him. This he cannot change but must submit to. Freedom comes to the individual from understanding the laws of his own life, and conforming to them, thereby subjecting them to his use, to the end of health, happiness and success.
Law obtains throughout all nature, governing all things, both the seen and the unseen. Law is not physical or material but mental and spiritual. Law is God's method of operation. We should think of God as the great Spirit whose sole impulse is love, freely giving of Himself to all who ask and refusing none. God is our Father in every sense of the term, watching over, caring for and loving all alike. While all is love, yet, in order that things may not be chaotic, all is governed by law. And as far as you and I are concerned, this law is always mental.
OUR CONDITIONS GOVERNED BY OUR THINKING.
IT is easy for the average person to see how it is that mind can control, and to a certain extent govern, the functions of the body. Some can go even further than this and see that the body is governed entirely by consciousness. This they can see without much difficulty, but it is not so easy for them to see how it is that thought governs their conditions and decides whether they are to be successes or failures.
Here we will stop to ask the question: If our conditions are not controlled by thought, by what, then, are they controlled? Some will say that conditions are controlled by circumstances. But what are circumstances? Are they cause or are they effect? Of course they are always effect; everything that we see is an effect. An effect is something that follows a cause, and we are dealing with causation only; effects do not make themselves, but they are held in place by mind, or causation.
If this does not answer your thought, begin over again and realize that behind everything that is seen is the silent cause. In your life you are that cause. There is nothing but mind, and nothing moves except as mind moves it. We have agreed that, while God is love, yet your life is governed absolutely by mind, or law. In our lives of conditions we are the cause, and nothing moves except as our mind moves it.
The activity of our mind is thought. We are always acting because we are always thinking. At all times we are either drawing things to us or we are pushing them away from us. In the ordinary individual this process goes on without his ever knowing it consciously, but ignorance of the law will excuse no one from its effects.
"What," someone will say, "do you think that I thought failure or wanted to fail?" Of course not. You would be foolish to think that; but according to the law which we cannot deny, you must have thought things that would produce failure. Perhaps you thought that failure might come, or in some other way you gave gave it entrance to your mind.
Thinking back over the reason for things, you will find that you are surrounded by a mind, or law, that casts back at the thinker, manifested, everything that he thinks. If this were not true, man would not be an individual. Individuality can mean only the ability to think what we want to think. If that thought is to have power in our lives then there has to be something that will manifest it. Some are limited and bound by law through ignorance. This law is sometimes called "Karma," it is the law that binds the ignorant and gives freedom to the wise.
We live in mind; and it can return to us only what we think into it. No matter what we may do, law will always obtain. If we are thinking of ourselves as poor and needy, then mind has no choice but to return what we have thought into it. At first this may be hard to realize, but the truth will reveal to the seeker that law could act in no other way. Whatever we think is the pattern, and mind is the builder. Jesus, realizing this law, said, "It is done unto you even as you have believed." Shall we doubt but that this great Way Shower knew what he was talking about? Did He not say, "It is done unto you"? What a wonderful thought. "It is done unto you." Nothing to worry about. "It is done unto you." With a tremendous grasp of the power of true spiritual thought, Jesus even called forth bread from the ethers of life, and at no time did He ever fail to demonstrate that when one knows the truth he is freed by that knowledge.
THE author once attended a patient who was suffering from a large growth. She was operated on and about fifty pounds of water were removed. In a few days the growth had returned. Where did it come from? Not from eating or drinking. Neither did it move from one part of the body to another part, as that would not have increased her weight. It must have been created from elements which she took in from the air. It had to come from something not physically seen, something appearing from nothing that we see. What we call "creation" is the same thing—the visible appearing from the invisible. Was not this phenomenon a creation?
Cases as remarkable as this are occurring every day. We should not deny this fact but try to explain it. In the case of this woman there must have been an activity of thought molded forth into form, else how could this growth have appeared? There is nothing manifest but that there is a cause for the manifestation. Investigation proves that behind every condition, whether of body or environment, there has been some thought, conscious or unconscious, which produced that condition. In the case of this woman the thought was not conscious. But creation is going on all the time; we should realize this and learn how to control it so that there may be created for us the things that we desire and not those that we do not want. Is it any wonder that the Bible says, "With all thy getting get understanding"?
Jesus understood all this, and so it was no more effort for Him to do what He did than it is for us to breathe or to digest our food. He understood, that is all. Because Jesus did understand and did use these great laws with objective consciousness, people thought He must be God. And when to-day something unusual occurs, people think that a miracle has been performed. Jesus was not God. He was the manifestation of God; and so are all people. "I say that ye are gods, and every one of you sons of the Most High."
A thinking person will be compelled to admit, in view of all this, that creation is first spiritual, through mental law, and then physical in its manifestation.
Man does not really create. He uses creative power that already is. Relatively speaking, he is the creative power in his own life; and so far as his thought goes, there is something that goes with it that has the power to bring forth into manifestation the thing thought of. Hitherto men have used this creative power in ignorance and so have brought upon themselves all kinds of conditions, but today hundreds of thousands are beginning to use these great laws of their being in a conscious, constructive way. Herein lies the great secret of the New Thought movements under their various names and cults and orders. All are using the same law even though some deny to others the real revelation. We should get into an attitude of mind wherein we should recognize the truth wherever we may find it. The trouble with most of us is that unless we see sugar in a sugar bowl we think it must be something else, and so we stick to our petty prejudices instead of looking after principles.
THE first thing to realize is that since any thought manifests it necessarily follows that all thought does the same, else how should we know that the particular thought we were thinking would be the one that would create? Mind must cast back all or none. Just as the creative power of the soil receives all seeds put into it, and at once begins to work upon them, so mind must receive all thought and at once begin to operate upon it. Thus we find that all thought has some power in our lives and over our conditions. We are making our environments by the creative power of our thought. God has created us thus and we cannot escape it. By conforming our lives and thought to a greater understanding of law we shall be able to bring into our experience just what we wish, letting go of all that we do not want to experience and taking in the things we desire.
Excerpted from CREATIVE MIND AND SUCCESS by Ernest Holmes. Copyright © 2007 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
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