Skip to main content

Chapter 12

First Steps

“Who hath despised the day of small things” (Zech. 4: 10).

WE cannot become adepts in right thinking and thought-control all at once. We all have to grow from small beginnings, gradually increasing in strength and stature. In other words, we all have to make a start in an apparently small and humble way. I say “apparently” advisedly, for although it may seem to be a small thing deliberately to think thoughts opposite in character to those which our feelings and natural or lower nature prompt us to think, yet it is really a big undertaking and, if we are successful, a high achievement. It may seem to be a small thing deliberately to think thoughts of goodwill about one who has wronged us, or upset us, but it is really a tremendous thing of eternal importance. If we merely give way to the promptings of our earth nature we remain on par with the beasts, allying ourselves with mortality, death and decay. But if we deliberately think thoughts of goodwill we step out in the path of liberation and freedom, which has no end, reaching up to the stars.

It may appear to be a small thing to think deliberately thoughts of things pure and noble in place of thoughts of sensuality; yet, in reality it is a great achievement, for thoughts of the latter kind form the very taproot of man’s unhappiness, weakness and woe.

It may appear to be but a small thing to think thoughts of steadfastness and overcoming, in the face of apparent defeat and failure, yet it is not such a small thing after all, for upon it the success of our life largely depends.

It may seem to be a small thing to think deliberately of God and things eternal in place of thoughts of mortality and things temporal; yet to do so is of importance for it is only thus that we can enter into eternal life, through becoming at one with that which knows no decay.

It may seem to be a small thing to think deliberately of one’s unity and one-ness with the Source of all Light and Life, instead of as seperate and alone, but this also is a matter of importance, for through this we enter into a realisation of the Truth.

It may seem to be a small thing to think deliberately of health, wholeness and the joy of living, instead of brooding over disease, sickness and death; but the results of such thinking are far reaching, for upon it our health largely depends, and without health it is very little we can accomplish.

But while it is true that we are engaged in a great adventure, yet we have to commence in a small way, being satisfied at first with small achievements. That is to say, satisfied in one sense, but not in another. We have to be satisfied if we can at first win seemingly small victories, simply because it is impossible to win greater ones; but in our heart we yearn for greater things, and mean to achieve them when we are strong enough. The better part of us, which is eternal and heavenly, and which is fed by right thinking, in harmony with the laws and practices of Heaven itself, is at first but a weak babe, so to speak. The lower part of us which is “natural” (i.e., belonging to the lower nature) and the reverse of heavenly, is strong and well grown. How then is the weak babe of goodness and heavenly nature to overcome the strong tyrant of the lower ? It cannot do so of itself. It would fail if it were not for the fact that we can draw upon inexhaustible fountains of life and power. Every time that we raise our thoughts above the things of time and sense to the eternal realms of the good, the beautiful and the true, we open ourselves to receive an influx of Divine life and power. Every time that we think thoughts that are heavenly and strong in character in place of those that are devilish or weak we ally ourselves with Heaven; and then all the Divine Forces hasten to minister to us and help us.

Therefore, although the new and heavenly nature is weak, and the old nature is strong, yet the former wins in the long run, if we are steadfast and persevering in raising our thoughts to higher and better things, thinking the best thoughts that we can, in spite of the claims of the old established habit of thinking. Finally, the new nature swallows up, as it were, the old nature, but it is a long drawn out struggle. What we call right thinking is not merely thinking positive thoughts in place of negative ones. It is this and a great deal more. Right thinking has different meanings to different people. To the beginner it consists in thinking positive thoughts in place of negative ones, together with a call to high heaven for help. The negative thought and its corresponding positive opposite are the negative and positive poles of the same thing. We can live at either end according to our thoughts. Here follows a negative train of thought in one column, together with a Positive counteracting opposite, that will I hope, serve as a key to future right thinking and overcoming.



Thought or Suggestion

Thought or Affirmation

Life is evil and cruel. What terrible thing or evil is it that may affect me at any moment? Failure, bankruptcy, loss of employment, workhouse, disease, accidents, operation, hospital, bereavement?

Life is good and is always striving to bring to me the highest good. No evil can come nigh me: nothing can hurt or destroy. The Divine blessing rests on all my affairs, the blessing that maketh rich and addeth no sorrow. The life of God fills me with health, strength and joy of living.

If you were to sit down and meditate upon the negative train of thought, especially if you were in the midst of a first class “worry”, the result would be that your fears would be increased and at the best you would become depressed. If, instead, you meditate upon and affirm the sentences given in the above right hand column you find that you become braced and strong, ready once again for the battle of life. Not only so, but if you allow the negative train of thought to engage your attention and sink into your mind, then you allow yourself to accept the adverse suggestion, which in turn may bring the things feared into actual manifestation. If, on the other hand, you stick to and affirm the positive thoughts given in the second column, then the evil suggestion is driven out and the positive, life-giving Truth is put in its place. The one who can do this becomes strong and steadfast, while the things that he affirms become, in course of time, manifest in his life and experience.

A quiet time should be spent regularly every day (the last thing at night and early in the morning are good times) in meditating upon the positive thoughts given above, and upon others like them. But during the day it is equally necessary to chase away the adverse suggestion, and in this case it must be done quickly. The meditation would be far too long to be made use of in the midst of the rush and tear of everyday life. What is needed is a short affirmation that will knock the evil suggestion on the head and replace it by a positive declaration of absolute Truth, Therefore we can meet the various suggestions of evil in the following manner:

Suggestions of Evil

Disease, Sickness, Illness,

Poverty, Penury.

Affirmations of Truth

GOD is my Health.

GOD is my abundant and everlasting Supply.


GOD is my success (or GOD Is in me as my power to achieve).

Hate, Resentment.

GOD is Love in me. (Changing me and finding expression through me.)

It is no exaggeration to say that one who will put the above teaching steadily into practice will transform his life, through becoming changed for the better in himself. If our life is difficult and our environment depressing or uncongenial, it is not these that have to be changed. It is the worst possible thing for a man to pray for his life to be made easier and more comfortable. One who says: “If only my circumstances were different I could get on,” perpetuates his misery and binds the chains of his bondage more closely to him. We must never pray for tasks equal to our strength, but rather for strength equal to our tasks. It is we who have to be changed, not our circumstances. We have to overcome our circumstances and limitations, by growing beyond them. When we become changed, our circumstances and environment become changed correspondingly. We can become built up in character only to the extent that we overcome in thought.



Syndicate content