N.S.B. Cosmic Center
This page will take you into articles of psychology that are carefully selected. Emphasis and highlights are mostly ours, not made by the original author.
Here is our current selection:
The Magic of Believing (1948) by Claude Bristol
2. Mind-Stuff Experiments
In order to get a clearer understanding of our subject, you should give some thought to thought itself and to its phenomena. No one knows what thought really is, other than some sort of mental action. But like the unknown element of electricity, we see its manifestations everywhere. We see it in the actions and expressions of a child, in an aged person, in animals, and to varying degrees in every living thing. The more we contemplate and study thought, the more we realize what a terrific force it is and how unlimited its powers are.
Glance around as you read this. If you are in a furnished room, your eyes tell you that you are looking at a number of inanimate objects. That is true so far as visual perception is concerned, but you are actually looking at thoughts or ideas which have come into materialization through the creative work of some human being. It was a thought, first, that created the furniture, fashioned the window glass, gave form to the draperies and coverings.
The automobile, the skyscraper, the great planes that sweep the stratosphere, the sewing machine, the tiny pin, a thousand and one things -- yes, millions of objects -- where did they come from originally? Only from one source: From that strange force -- thought. As we analyze further, we realize that these achievements, and in fact all of our possessions -- a thousand and one things -- came as a result of creative thinking. Ralph Waldo Emerson declared that the ancestor of every action is thought; when you understand that, you begin to comprehend that our world is governed by thought, and that everything external had its counterpart originally within the mind. It is just as Buddha said many centuries ago: "
Your very life is your thinking -- and the result of your thinking processes. Your flesh, bones, and muscles can be reduced to 70 percent water and a few chemicals of small value, but it is your mind and what you think that makes you what you are. The secret of success lies not outside, but within the thoughts of man.
Figuratively, thought makes giants out of pigmies, and often turns giants into pigmies. History is filled with accounts of how thought made weak men strong and strong men weak, and you see evidence of its working around you constantly.
You do not eat, wear clothes, run for a bus, drive your car, turn on the television, or read a newspaper -- you don't even raise your arm -- without a preceding thought-impulse. While you may consider the motions you make as more or less automatic, perhaps caused by some physical reflexes, behind every single step you take in life, regardless of its direction, is that formidable and powerful force --
The very way you walk, the way you carry yourself, your talk, your manner of dress, all reflect your way of thinking. A slovenly carriage is an indication of slovenly thinking, whereas an alert, upright carriage is the outward sign of inward strength and confidence. What you exhibit outwardly, you are inwardly. You are the product of your own thoughts. What you believe yourself to be, you are.
Thought is the original source of all wealth, all success, all material gain, all great discoveries and inventions, and of all achievement. Without it there would be no medicine, no great museums, no great plays or novels, no modern conveniences -- in fact, there would be no advance over life in the most primitive ages.
Your thoughts -- those that predominate -- determine your character, your career, indeed, your everyday life. Thus it becomes easy to understand what is meant by the statement that "
Sir Arthur Eddington, the famous English physicist, said that to an altogether unsuspected extent, the universe in which we live is a creation of our minds; while Sir James Jeans, who was equally famous in the same field, suggested that the universe was merely a creation that resulted from the thought of some great universal mind
More recently, science has uncovered parallels between the behavior of subatomic particles and various tenets of Eastern metaphysics. The greatest scientists and thinkers are not only voicing the ideas of the wisest men of old, but are confirming the fundamental principle of this book.
Almost since the beginning of the human race, men have been molded by those who knew something of thought's great power. All the great religious leaders, kings, warriors, and statesmen understood this science and have known that people act as they think -- and also react to the thought of others, especially when it is stronger and more convincing than their own. Accordingly,
men of powerful dynamic thought have always swayed people by appealing to their minds -- whether sometimes to lead them into freedom or into slavery. There never was a period in history when we had more reason to study our own thoughts, understand them, and learn how to use them to improve our lives by drawing upon the great source of power within each of us.
Undoubtedly, we become what we envisage. There was a time when I would have laughed at people who talked about the magnetic force of thought, how thought correlates with its object, how it can affect people and inanimate things even at great distances. But I no longer laugh, nor do others who know something of its power, for anyone who has any intelligence sooner or later comes to realize that thought can change the surface of the entire globe.
George Russell, the famous Irish editor and poet, was once quoted as saying that we become what we contemplate; and he certainly demonstrated it in his own life by becoming a great writer, lecturer, painter, and poet. However, it must be kept in mind that many of the thoughts we think are not ours at all, at least not of our own originating. We are molded by the thoughts of others; by what we hear in conversation, what we read in newspapers, magazines, and books, what we hear in the movies, on TV, and on the radio; even by chance remarks from bystanders. And these thoughts bombard us constantly. Some of them, which harmonize with our own inmost thoughts and open the way to greater visions in our life, are helpful. But too often these thoughts are upsetting, weaken our self-confidence, and turn us away from our higher purposes. It is these outside thoughts that are the trouble makers, and later I shall explain how you can keep free of them.
Few people give much thought to the law of cause and effect as it applies to the operation of the mind. Much less do they understand the meaning of such axioms as "
The words of Paracelsus just quoted are well worth rereading, for once you grasp their meaning and discover how to apply the principle, you will certainly have more light on how to succeed in your undertakings. However, I must point out that hard work alone will not bring success. The world is filled with people who have worked hard but have little to show for it. Something more than hard work is necessary: namely, creative thinking and firm belief in your ability to execute your ideas. The successful people in history have succeeded through their thinking. Their hands were merely helpers to their brains.
Another important point: For success, it is essential that your desire be an all-obsessing one, your thoughts and aims be coordinated, and your energy be concentrated and applied without letup. It may be that you want riches or fame or position or knowledge, for each person has their own idea of what success means. But whatever you consider it to be, you can have your objective, provided you are willing to make it the burning desire of your life.
A big order, you say? Not at all. By using the dynamic force of believing, you can set all your inner forces in motion, and they in turn will help you reach your goal. If you are married, you remember the stimulating and emotional experience of courting the person you wanted for your spouse. Certainly it wasn't nerve-racking work -- quite the contrary, you'll admit -- but what were you using, if not this very same science, even though unconsciously? From the time you got the idea until your marriage, the desire to win a partner was uppermost in your mind. The thought, the belief, was with you every minute of the day, and perhaps in your dreams as well.
Now that you have a clearer picture of the roles that thought and desire play in your daily life, the first thing to determine is precisely what you do want. Starting out with the general idea that you simply want to be a success -- as most people do -- is too vague. You must have a pattern clearly drawn in your mind. Ask yourself. Where are you headed? What is your exact goal? Have you visualized just what you really want? If success is to be measured in terms of wealth, can you fix the amount in figures? If in terms of achievement, can you specify it definitely?
You must ask these questions, for in their answers are factors which will determine your whole life from now on. Strange as it may seem, not one out of a hundred people can answer these questions!
Most people have a general desire to succeed, but beyond that, everything is indefinite. They merely go along from day to day, figuring that if they have a job today, they will have it tomorrow -- and that somehow, they will be looked after in their old age. They are like corks floating aimlessly on the water, drawn this way and that by various currents, either washing up on shore or becoming water-logged and eventually sinking.
Therefore, it is vital that you know exactly what you want out of life. You must know where you are headed, and keep a fixed goal in view. That, of course, is the overall picture; it makes no difference whether you want a job or a better one, a new house, a place in the country, or just a new pair of shoes. You must have a fixed idea before you'll obtain what you are after.
Remember, there is a great difference between a need and a desire. You may need a new car for driving to work, and you may desire one in order to give pleasure to your family. The one for business you will buy as a matter of necessity. The one for your family you will plan to get as soon as possible. For this car, you will read brochures and visit a number of dealers, because it is a model you have never had before, something that will add to your responsibilities and compel you to seek new powers of judgment within yourself and new resources outside. Desire for something new, something different, that is going to change your life, makes you exert an extra effort. And the power of believing alone sets in motion those inner forces by which you add what I call plus-values to your life.
So if you ever hope to achieve anything or gain more than you have now, begin with desire. It is the prime motivating force in all of us and, without an all-consuming desire, nothing can be achieved or gained. However, as you shall see, there is more to it than mere desire.
I am aware that metaphysicians claim that thoughts are things. They may be in a general sense; but so far as their effect upon us individually is concerned, they do not become real to us until we give them life with our own thinking or through the workings of our imaginations.
This may appear a little strange at first reading, but it will perhaps become clearer if I site a few examples. For instance, you are advised to wear rubbers when you go out in the rain. We've all heard the remark, "
However, I do not advise anyone accustomed to wearing rubbers to go without them; neither do I suggest to anyone afraid of drafts to stay in them -- because lifelong habits and beliefs with their consequences are not going to change overnight.
For centuries, outstanding thinkers have claimed that man could shape events and control matter through his mind alone, and the more you study this science, the more you will realize the amazing powers of your own mind.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes and for many years a member of the British Society for Psychic Research, declared that in thought alone there was a constructive and destructive power akin to the "
There are many professional gamblers who contend that a strong mental influence has much to do with achieving socalled
At Duke University, Dr. J. B. Rhine and his associates demonstrated that psychokinesis, the name given to designate the mind's power to influence material objects, is much more than idle theory. Dice --yes, the regular old dice used in crap games-- were thrown by a mechanical device to eliminate all possibility of personal influence and trickery. Experiments of this type were started in 1934, and there were many tests in which millions of throws of the dice were made. The results were such that Dr Rhine declared, "
Meditate over this for a few minutes and realize what it means to you. Those experiments give you some idea of what is meant by "
While thoughts do create and exercise control far beyond any limits yet known to man, I cling to the theory that they create only according to their pitch, intensity, emotional quality, depth of feeling, or vibratory plane. In other words, thoughts have a creative or controlling force in the exact ratio of their constancy, intensity, and power -- comparable to the wave length and wattage of a broadcasting station.
While many explanations have been offered, it is fairly certain that thought is not a form of electrical energy, but something else yet to be defined. In a series of telepathy experiments, subjects were placed in a Faraday Cage, which effectively blocked any possible transmission of electrical energy. Yet the subjects' scores were still well above chance: whatever was carrying data from one mind to another, it was clearly not electrical. Nevertheless, I have done a great deal of experiments with high-frequency electricity, the field in which the great electrical genius Nikola Tesla pioneered. And so, whenever I think of thought and its radiations or vibrations, I instinctively link them up with electricity and its phenomena. In this manner they become more understandable to me.
I find that I am far from being alone in holding this analogy. Nowadays, practically every hospital is equipped with an EEG, or electro-encephalograph -- an apparatus that detects and records a patient's brain waves. These "
In 1944, Dr. Harold S. Burr and his coworkers at Yale University, after experimenting for twelve years, reached the conclusion that all living things are surrounded by an electrical aura of their own making, and that life is connected electrically to the whole pattern of the universe. For years, mystics, occultists, and metaphysicians have claimed that each individual possesses such an aura, and there are countless cases in which these auras have been recorded as actually seen.
Then in the late 1960s, Soviet researchers announced the discovery of Kirlian photography: a technique for capturing the "
Hermes Trismegistus and the ancient Hermetic philosophers all taught the theory of vibration. Pythagoras, the great geometrician and philosopher who lived in the sixth century before Christ, held that everything that exists is a vibration. This is the very essence of our scientific electronic theory of today -- that all matter consists of electrons (with a negative charge), neutrons (with a neutral charge), protons (with a positive charge), and other subatomic particles, each with their own charges, which constantly act and react with one another.
For want of a better term, I use the word "
When you realize that your nervous system is reached only through vibration -- in other words, that our five known senses record vision, hearing, touch, taste, and smell by means of vibrations given off by the external things themselves -- you get a better understanding of the nature of vibrations. For example, we hear a loud noise. It comes to us only via the sound vibration through the air. We see a green leaf, but it is merely a pattern of light waves as gathered by the eyes and transmitted to the brain. There are, however, many vibrations pitched at a
We have all heard of the power of "
Among pictures descriptive of the experiments of Yale investigators is one showing that when subjects dipped their forefingers in
As I looked at those pictures, I recalled an instrument perfected many years ago by a French scientist, Dr. Hippolyte Baraduc. Known as a "
Two of these instruments were placed side by side, and the operator held the fingers of both hands within half an inch of the glass, his mind concentrated on the delicately balanced needle. By changing his mental attitude or the polarity of his thinking, the operator could cause corresponding changes in the direction of the needle, now in one direction and now in another, the needle following his changing thought currents.
Here is a simple experiment embodying similar principles. Take a piece of medium-weight paper, about three inches square, and fold it diagonally from corner to corner. Then open it and make another diagonal fold so that there are two folds or creases forming intersecting diagonals. Again open the paper, which will now present the appearance of a low, partially flattened-out pyramid. Now take a long needle and force it through a cork so that the point extends an inch or so above the top of the cork. Place the cork with its needle, point up, on an inverted water glass, so that there may be free movement of the paper which is to revolve on the needle point. Then take the piece of paper and place the spot where the creases intersect on the point of the needle, with the four sides of the pyramid sloping downward.
Place the glass, with the cork, needle, and paper on a table or desk in a room free from drafts. Keep away from heat registers or windows, thus avoiding possible heat waves or air currents. Then place your hands around the piece of paper in a semi-cupped position, keeping the fingers a half inch or so away, so that the paper may revolve freely. Now order it to revolve upon the needle point. At first it will wobble -- perhaps revolving slowly at first and in one direction or the other; but if your hands remain steady and you concentrate upon a certain direction of movement, the paper will revolve until it turns rapidly upon the needle point. If you mentally order a change in direction, the one-way movement will cease and the paper will start revolving in the opposite direction. Of course, it is essential that you do not breathe or exhale in the direction of the paper.
Many explanations of what causes the paper to revolve have been offered -- heat waves from the hands, a body reflex of some kind, and the like. If the paper revolved in only one direction, then one of these explanations could be possible. But when a person, with a little practice and confident and concentrated thinking, can cause the paper to revolve first in one direction and then in another by reversing the polarity of their thinking, it is clear that the principle is the same as that which governs experiments with the biometre.
Another similar experiment uses a dialette, a small disc of cardboard bearing the facsimile of the face of a clock, with numbers from one to twelve. (This is better known as the Rosicrucian Dialette and is issued by Amorc, Rosicrucian Brotherhood.) A sharp needle is pushed through its center and on top of the needle is balanced a sliver of thin cardboard in the shape of an arrow. The disc is placed on top of a glass filled with water in which the lower part of the needle is submerged. The operator places their hands around the top of the glass, the disc, and arrow; then orders the arrow to revolve, change its position, or stop at any desired position or number.
However, not everyone can immediately get satisfactory results in these experiments, because the power of mind, thought concentration, and projective influence vary from individual to individual. If a form of electricity emanates from our hands or fingers in particular and if waves, either dynamic or magnetic vibrations, are set up by our thinking, we then have an explanation of table-tipping, automatic writing, the performances of the planchette or Ouija board, and many other mediumistic and occult operations.
Dr. Phillips Thomas, research engineer for the Westinghouse Electric Company, in 1937, told the Utah session of the American Electric Institute, "
Since some of my readers may not have a clear understanding of the radiation of thought, I offer a simple explanation. A pebble tossed into a pond immediately sets up a series of ripples or small waves, which spread out circle-like on the surface of the water and ultimately reach the shoreline, where they appear to stop. The larger the pebble, the higher the waves. Two stones of different sizes and weights, tossed in simultaneously at different places but in close proximity, will each set up a series of waves, converging upon each other. Where the two sets meet, there appears to be a struggle as to which is to overcome or pass the other. As far as our physical vision is concerned, if the waves are of the same size, both seem to stop or merge at their meeting-point; but if one is larger than the other, it sweeps over the smaller and creates waves in the wake of the smaller ripples.
Think about this in connection with your own mental impulses -- for example, how thoughts of one nature stop or overwhelm others. You can readily appreciate that the more powerful or concentrated the thought, the quicker its tempo, the greater its vibration, the more it sweeps aside weaker vibrations and the more rapidly it does its creative work.
We hear much about various stages of meditation, levels of consciousness, thought concentration, the strength of our faith -- all of which deals with the intensity or degree of power we send forth. Creative force comes only when a thought is completely rounded-out, when the imagination can visualize the fulfillment of your ambition and see in your mind a picture of the object you desire -- a house, a car, a television -- just as if you already possessed them.
After studying the socalled mystic teachings, the various mental sciences, and the regular church teachings, I am convinced that they all work in varying degrees, but only to the extent that their followers believe. So it is with prayer, whether it be a part of a church service or the purely spontaneous and personal supplication of the individual.
However, I am forced to conclude that many people go through the lip-service of saying their prayers without the slightest belief that those prayers will be answered. Consequently, they are not answered. I am frequently reminded of the story of the old lady, professing a belief in prayer, who planned to go shopping. The day before, she prayed that the sun would shine on her shopping day. Upon completion of her prayer she glanced out of the window, saw some black clouds, and instantly declared, "
In the late fall of 1944, an article by Thomas Sugrue in the Saturday Review of Literature declared that the mind-cure movement had grown so rapidly that it was now encountered everywhere. He cited several cases in which sufferers had secured phenomenal results. One woman, who at sixty-two had been partially crippled, her fingers bent with arthritis, had taken up a system of Yogi breathing and had entirely recovered from her physical ailments. Mr. Sugrue declared that after her restoration to health, those who saw her judged her to be about forty. Another woman achieved excellent results under an occult system of metaphysics, and guesses as to her age were fifteen years under her real age. Sugrue told also of a retired missionary who for the past twelve years had experimented with psychic phenomena and had obtained most startling results.
We can come to only one conclusion: that is that all the systems, creeds, and cults work as a result of the firm beliefs of the individual -- and that brings us to the magic of believing.
Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, brought forth the hypothesis that a powerful force within us, an unilluminated part of the mind -- separate from the conscious mind -- is constantly at work molding our thoughts, feelings, and actions. It isn't an organ of socalled physical matter, such as we know the brain to be, and science hasn't located its tangible position in the human body. Nevertheless, it is there, and from the beginning of recorded time, man has known that it exits. The ancients often referred to it as the "
No matter what we call it -- I prefer the term subconscious -- it is recognized as the essence of life, and the limits of its power are unknown. It never sleeps. It comes to our support in times of great trouble, it warns us of impending danger, it often aids us to do what seems impossible. It guides us in many ways and when properly employed, performs socalled miracles.
Objectively, it does as it is told -- that is, when it is commanded or besought by the conscious mind; subjectively, it acts primarily upon its own initiative, although there are times when its activity appears to be the result of influences from the outside.
Sir Arthur Eddington is quoted as saying, "
When this idea is fully comprehended, it becomes breathtaking. It is more understandable in the light of the electronic or vibratory theory.
Every student of the subject knows what may be accomplished by getting into direct contact with the subconscious mind -- thousands have employed it to achieve wealth, power, and fame in this world, as well as to cure physical ailments and solve countless human problems. And its power is there for you to use. The only steps you have to take are to believe in its power and use the technique set forth in this book -- or else devise a system of your own that will put it to work for you.
Dana Sleeth's syndicated column covering the observations of a hillbilly was well known to newspaper readers in the 1920s. He once told me that he considered the subconscious mind one of his greatest aids, not only in furnishing him with ideas but in helping him find lost tools and other articles. Mr. Sleeth at the time was living in the hills, remote from cities and towns, alternating as a columnist and farmer. He had made an extensive study of the subject, and we often discussed it in letters covering our ideas.
Never forget: inventions, great musical compositions, poetry, fiction, and all other ideas for original accomplishment come from the subconscious. Give it the thought or the material and keep it going with a deep-rooted desire for performance, and you will get results. There is an old saying that once we start weaving, the Gods will furnish the skein, and how true that is!
When you start to operate with the aid of this power, the bricks automatically fall into place as though a magical hand had touched them. Results will certainly follow in a most astounding manner. Ideas for accomplishment will pop here and they will pop there.
What may appear as coincidences are not coincidences at all, but simply the working out of the pattern which you started with your own weaving.
I am certain that thousands of successful men and women reach great heights and accomplish marvelous results without knowing anything about the subconscious mind and with no knowledge that it was the power which made for accomplishments.
Living here in the hills away from people and everyday influences, I have often felt that those who live close to nature were in a much better position to utilize the subconscious than others. I believe that day will come when science will prove that the great power of the subconscious is one of the most formidable forces in shaping and controlling our lives.
A passing, momentary thought-flicker dies almost in birth, although it may later reveal cumulative power. But the force that brings into play the great system of the subconscious is a sustained thought -- or, as I mentioned before, a fixed mental picture. In order to bring subconscious forces into action, there are many methods for stepping up the tempo of the vibrations of conscious thought although some times, just a single utterance, a momentary glance and a word or two traveling from one person to another, will bring the subconscious into immediate action. So it is with catastrophic danger, moments of great peril and periods of great stress, which suddenly confront a person with the necessity for immediate action. The subconscious comes to the aid of those in the habit of making quick decisions almost instantaneously, and it comes into operation when you have cleared your conscious mind of its multitude of conflicting thoughts. "
Perhaps the most effective method of bringing the subconscious into practical play is through making mental pictures. Use your imagination to perfect an image of the thing or situation as you would like it to exist in physical form. This is usually referred to as visualization.
However, most sustained and continuing manifestations come as a result of deep-seated belief. Through this belief, with its strange power, miracles happen and peculiar phenomena occur for which there appears to be no known explanation. I refer now to unquestioning belief -- a firm and positive conviction that goes through every fiber of your being -- when you believe with your heart and soul.
Call it a phase of emotion, a spiritual force, a type of electrical vibration -- anything you please -- but that's the force that brings outstanding results, sets the law of attraction into operation, and allows sustained thought to correlate with its object. Belief changes the tempo of the mind or thought-frequency. Like a huge magnet, it draws the subconscious forces into play, changing your whole aura and affecting everything about you -- including people and objects at great distances. It often brings into your individual sphere of life results that are sometimes startling -- results you never dreamed possible.
Countless references to belief appear in the Bible. It is the first condition for membership in many religious, fraternal, and political organizations. Leaders everywhere are looking for people who have the kinds of beliefs they will fight for, because the people charged with the vibrations of strong beliefs sometimes do the miraculous, things others often say are unbelievable. That kind of belief has the magic touch. Indeed, it is the basic principle in both white and black magic.