Mrs. C. L. Baum
We come now to one of the most important subjects that the student of Divine Science is called upon to consider. Its fundamental significance lies in its close relationship to the subject of Omnipresence, as will be seen when we define thought.
There is but one Mind filling the Universe. This is the Divine Mind, the Mind which is God. Thought is the activity of Divine Mind. Now all ideas in Divine Mind are perfect, even as IT is perfect. Likewise all activity of Divine Mind is perfect. It follows then, that Divine Mind thinking, expresses Divine result which is perfect. This applies to the whole creation in its many manifested forms, for these are created only by perfect Mind, in perfect action, bringing forth perfect results everywhere. The body, therefore, is the perfect result of Divine Thought, for God created man in his own image and after his likeness. Man is therefore an expressed idea of Divine Mind. There is nothing else to create the body except this perfect Cause, and no matter what the feelings and senses may indicate, the truth is that the body is of divine origin and is perfect.
Now just as there are not many minds, but one; neither is there any separation between the Universal Mind and the individual mind. They are one, although the consciousness may not be sufficiently illumined to perceive this unity. Similarly, this incomplete illumination of consciousness prevents the perception of the perfect body and of the perfect action which is keeping that body in health all the time. When we become conscious of the unity of Divine Mind and individual mind, we shall perceive the divinity of all things, including our own bodies.
There is no place where this perfect Mind is not; it is the one great, silent, eternal reality everywhere. "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord."
Thought is the eternal movement; the divine action everywhere. It is God moving upon the face of the waters; God thinking; and as God thinks, this activity goes forth continuously. Thought is the commonest power we have, and it is given to all alike. It is a steady and continuous flow through us, and just as the woodland stream bestows its beneficence equally on all the forms of vegetation along its banks, so thought passing through us, offers to all alike the power which will come from its recognition and use. Thought thus becomes a great individual power; something that can not be taken away from us nor received from any other individual. It flows continuously and cannot be held, bound or limited; it is as universal as God, which is its source; as subtle and intangible as sunshine, yet just as real.
Thought is the vital force actuating the universe and sustaining the race in its life journey. It is not generated within, nor can it be held there any more than sunshine could be held and accumulated. So the expression "holding a thought" is in reality a misnomer. The better view is that thought is a force that flows through us continuously, and as we meditate on any subject, our beliefs or ideas are carried out by the stream of thought into the universe. Thus, while we do not create thought, we have the power to use it.
Whence comes thought? Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and since thought is a good and a perfect gift we know that it has its origin in Divine Mind and that it permeates the universe. We have many evidences of the universality of thought and of the power of the individual to color it with his mentality. Take for example, the many instances of telepathic and psychic experience. We feel the unannounced presence of a person; we instinctively become aware of the likes and dislikes of individuals; we suddenly get a thought from someone without the intervention of spoken or written words; two friends in close accord will often speak of the same thing at the same time, and letters of friends pass in the mails because the thought of one person for the other inspired each to write at the same time. Thus instances could be multiplied without end.
Thought thus becomes a universal language through which we may all understand one another when spoken words would be unintelligible. If this force were universally recognized and used we should live in a constant state of love, harmony and peace; knowing that we send to, and receive from one another, either consciously or unconsciously, a continuous message of thought which is colored by the degree of consciousness.
Without thought we can do nothing, with it all power in heaven and earth is ours. We, then, may be moved to ask, "If the Divine Mind is always thinking, if the activity is perfect and the result perfect, whence come inharmony, sickness, sin and negative conditions generally?" The answer is, through the misuse of thought. Man sometimes applies this force to ignoble ends; instead of using it in love and co-operation, to the ends of peace, harmony, health and happiness, he mis-uses it with the result that negative conditions appear. It is necessary to emphasize what has been stated before, viz., that thought in itself is a perfect force, impersonal, but susceptible to the coloring influence of individual belief. Not knowing the power of this divine force, we have considered ourselves wholly as matter, born of earth, subject to sin, sickness and death; and because we have believed this and have used thought in this way, we have become subject to the belief with its resulting negative conditions. The truth is that the substance of the body is Spirit, indestructible, immortal and perfect, and in unity with all that eternally is. To know this perfectly would be to lose all conception of negative conditions.
Thought is a free force, illimitable and inexhaustible. We may use it consciously as much and as often as we will. Through it we find our unity with our Source; through it we come into direct communication with the universal, with the Infinite. It raises us out of the belief in the material and personal to a fuller conception of the spiritual and divine, and establishes the truth of what we really are.
We have seen, now, that the individual is master of the force we call thought. This brings us to a consideration of what is called mental atmosphere. We have all recognized this subtle and intangible condition in our friends and acquaintances. The presence of one person is a blessing, while the advent of another brings in the utmost confusion and discord. Now the mental atmosphere of individuals is a direct result of their use of thought. If a man color his thought with positive ideas of love, joy, cheerfulness, peace, courage, confidence and power, his mental atmosphere will show those qualities and people will feel them when in his presence. On the other hand, if he color his thought with sadness, gloom, faith in evil, fear, weakness, worry, sin and other negative beliefs, he will project them into his mental atmosphere and they will be apparent to all his associates. In the same way, the atmosphere of a home or of a gathering of people is instinctively felt, and represents the state of consciousness in that home or gathering. Plainly, then, the point to be observed is, to keep the consciousness so harmonious that thought passing through us and out into the universe will produce a mental atmosphere of unity and harmony with the Infinite and with all creation.
At this point it may be well to get a clear conception of the difference between ideas and beliefs, for the indiscriminate use of the terms leads to confusion. Ideas always come from Divine Mind; beliefs are man's conceptions. Ideas are always true; beliefs are very often false. Ideas will always produce inward harmony; beliefs often give rise to discord. Ideas are always positive; beliefs are mostly negative. Ideas are always in accord; beliefs usually result in confusion.
Now we may have faith in either ideas or beliefs, and get results according to our faith. Faith in a true idea will bring one positive, healing, uplifting result; while faith in beliefs will bring various results according to whether the beliefs are false or true.
One of the most prevalent beliefs which is not true and which we should dismiss from the mentality, is that we are continually creating our own bodies. This is a false belief. God is the only Creator in the universe. He has created our bodies of perfect spirit substance. He has not made an imperfect creation, and we do not have to re-create anything that He has made. Let us dismiss the belief that we can create anything or that it is necessary for us to add anything to God's creation. Let us establish in our consciousness the true idea that all which God has created is eternally perfect. The only part necessary for the individual to play is to eliminate from the mentality every false belief, so that the truth may appear in all its beauty, and creation in all its perfection. Whatever light, life, peace and harmony there is, is of God, eternal and changeless. No negative belief is a creation. Darkness is not a creation; it is a lack of light. Death is not a creation; it is a change. Disease (dis-ease) is not a creation; it is a lack of consciousness of ease. Similarly, all negative things merely indicate the lack of consciousness of the positive truth.
"Come unto me (the Divine within you), and I will give you rest" - rest from all these false beliefs; rest in the divine activity which is always thinking in and through you in harmony and peace; rest in the divine idea, perfect within you. Think with the All-good, and such peace as you have never dreamed of will enter your soul.
Peace, be still.
"Speak to Him now, for He hears.
When courage fails, and faith burns low,
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