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THAT a course of lessons fully illustrating the action of thought, explaining its composition, and the correct method of using it, would prove a boon to many students of the Occult and mental sciences, who find this a very great drawback to serious advancement, appear almost a certainty.

The methods usually advocated seem to me very impractical; in the first place, how can a man who has never learned to control thought in everyday matters, such as banishing business worries when he comes home, or goes to bed, or in learning to control small habits, suddenly sit down and “concentrate on Spirit,” when probably his very idea of spirit is such as to awaken all his dormant fancies, and to call forth not one image, but hundreds? Then he fondly believes he is concentrating, until the utter absence of results proves that he has done no such thing, and he begins all over again.

It is only what may be expected, and even a general attempt to simplify the matter would be welcome; but I have had so many letters and so many appeals from men and women who cannot master this one subject – quite the most important in the whole school of Metaphysical and Occult teaching – the door, in fact, which will open to them the whole vista held out in books, an entrancing vision of knowledge, of health, of happiness, and the unseen, which too often will remain in books, simply because the initial step is too difficult – that I have made a great effort to meet the demand in a popular and practical form.

First of all I will beg of my pupils to begin at the bottom. Do not try to concentrate your thought on spirit before you are quite sure:

First. As to what THOUGHT is composed of.

Second. That you are able to concentrate your mind on some unimportant mundane matter, to the exclusion of all else.

Third. Do not try to concentrate your mind for half an hour at a time, until you can concentrate for two consecutive minutes.

Fourth. What spirit is.

I advise the student to practice keeping his mind on one subject for a minute at a time, and then gradually increase the time from day to day.

If you intended to train for, say, a foot race, you would not start with a twenty-mile walk after having been out of training for a long time. Nor if a little child is being taught how to read is he given a difficult scientific book to begin with. Yet men and women are put to a task far more difficult than these, without any preparation or gradual initiation into the processes employed.

Take some subject you are very much interested in for the commencement, then for one minute hold this before your mind’s eye, try to see if it in your imagination, and if you fail, wait another hour or so then try again.

By these means you gradually increase the elasticity of your brain, which, by continual exercises, can be expanded and made to perform tasks which were originally impossible. The next thing is to consider the part our brain plays in the matter of thought generation.

Look upon the brain simply as a very delicate machine, a dynamo that generates thought as an ordinary dynamo generates electricity. The construction of this machine needs some consideration for it is known that certain parts of the brain are put to certain uses, and that a brain left dormant grows gradually incapable of anything much above involuntary action, and that if certain parts even of the brain are neglected they in turn become atrophied and are useless.

The accompanying diagram shows the relative parts of the brain, and the work they do is as follows:

Fig. 1 is the cerebrum, and consists of two hemispheres, which are separated by a very deep fissure. The cerebrum is composed of a thick layer of gray matter, surrounding white fibrous nerve substance. The gray matter is drawn up in to folds, or convolutions, and the whole is covered by a delicate membrane composed of arteries and veins, supported by tissue.

( Diagrams not shown )

This part of the brain is the seat of sensation, of will, of intelligence, and also of the emotions; if this part of the brain is injured, the power of manifesting mental faculties is more or less lost.

Fig. 2 is the lesser brain, or cerebellum, and this guards and regulates the involuntary muscles and movements of the mind and body. I have always placed the subconscious mind here; it seems the most reasonable locality to apportion it to, for the subconscious mind is certainly an involuntary worker; it also depends very little upon the will of the emotions, for all the will-power in the world will not make it manifest if it is not in the state to do so, and the everyday working brain has quite enough to do to look after its own without taking on another function.

Fig. 3, the pons varolli, and Fig. 5, the medulla oblongata, do not immediately concern us, although, of course, their own work is very important. Thus, if the medulla oblongata is destroyed, death at once ensues.

From the under surface of the brain twelve pairs of nerves are given off, called the cranial nerves; each pair supply some sense to the body, generated by the brain machine, just as a dynamo turns out its streams of electricity. One pair of nerves supply the sense of smell; the next the optic nerves; the third pair move the eyeballs; the fourth supply the skin of the face, the muscles of the lower jaw, and the tongue; the sixth pair are supplied to the muscles which turn the eyeballs outwards; the seventh pair supply fibers to the muscles of the face; the eight pair supply the ear; the ninth pair are mixed nerves and they enable us to taste, and also supply the nerves to the pharynx; the tenth pair are very important mixed nerves which send fibers to her larynx, lungs, hear, stomach and liver; the eleventh pair are motor nerves which supply certain muscles to the neck; the twelfth pair are spending fibers to the tongue. So here we get a clear idea of our thought machine, a good thing to start with, since certainly no other kind of engineer would attempt to drive a machine of which he was absolutely ignorant. This direct arrangement from the brain center explains to a great extent how the form of concentration called mental healing can affect the body, and rebuild the tissues.

For each pair of nerves will carry the message given to them by the brain, and it naturally depends upon the message as to the effect produced. Here we get the machine we have to work with, and having mastered the technical parts of it, we will now proceed to see how thought acts, and how concentration affects thought.

It has long been a matter of consideration and study to me as to where the will really is located, and in this matter of concentration it is doubly important, because without that WILL man cannot possibly concentrate. It is the master of the Thoughts Machine, and I have found that the best way to meet the difficulty is to look upon the WILL as the OVER SOUL, that part of man which never dies, and which is carried on from incarnation to incarnation. I am assuming the theory of reincarnation to be something more that theory. It has been given to me to remember past lives, although only two or three; but even if one can remember any it surely renders the theory a fact.

This OVER SOUL, or will-power, is the force which sets the brain in motion, and which determines what effect the thought generated will have, and also what strength; it rests within ourselves to decide the state we are to reach in each successive incarnation (after we have been through a certain number), yet if we seek the intelligent co-operation of the over soul we can, if we so desire, accomplish in one life what might otherwise take centuries to perform.


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