WHAT IS THOUGHT TRAINING?
Nona L. Brooks
Short Lessons in Divine Science
© 1940 by Nona Brooks
Divine Science Federation International
Denver, 6th ed., 1973
Purpose: To show how the intellectual perception of our good may be changed into the consciousness of already possessing that good.
 I have been giving the basis of healing in order that each one might know why we believe in healing, and how it may be done. There are two things that I wish to recall to your attention, because they are two important items, if we are going to understand many things in the healing work. First, there comes to us in our search for Truth, the perception of Truth. We reason; we listen; we decide that a certain thing, a certain thought presented is the Truth. If it is Truth, it is something to be known positively and to be lived. After this perception, we reach out; we wish more. We have taken a good step, but we are not perfectly satisfied, and never shall be, until there comes to us something that is indescribable; That Something we call consciousness. We perceive a great deal of Truth of which we have not yet become conscious. What is the link? How can we develop from the perception into the consciousness of Truth? Thought training is the link; thought is the instrument of the work.
After we have perceived Truth, the next thing for us to do is to work in thought until we come to the consciousness of Truth.
The three steps in the process of unfoldment then are: first, perception, followed by thought training in that perception, then consciousness--realization.
 When consciousness comes, we have reached the place of peace, the place of rest. The place of peace and rest is not the place of inactivity, because the place of the most powerful action is that which comes forth spontaneously from consciousness. When we are conscious, the effort to act, the effort to express is ended, and the expression of the Truth of which we are conscious, is free, joyful, spontaneous. Remember that most of us in our present place of unfoldment are working from perception to consciousness, and this is the reason that so much attention is given to the training of thought.
I have heard words like these: “I have been treating for months; I have been thinking this way for a long time, and yet I am not well. Conditions are not removed.” The mere speaking of the word is not the whole; it is but a means to an end. The person who comes to you with such a statement, shows you that the Consciousness has not come to her or to him. It is but a mechanical process of which this person is speaking--good in its place, yes; but power, peace, and harmony will come to us only when we are conscious of Truth. Each of us is just as peaceful, just as harmonious and just as powerful, as he is conscious, not a bit more nor less.
Consciousness is the one thing to be worked for.
When I say, worked for, do not think that I mean any straining, any labored work. I mean a steadfast determination to gain the realization of Truth, and a peaceful, persistent going forward to the accomplishment--the attainment of consciousness. It will never be refused to anyone who is faithful, according to law, and  law never changes. No one can ever hold us back. We alone retard our own development.
There is a great difference between curing and healing. We have much of both in our midst, and if we understand this, many problems are solved for us. Here are examples of the three methods previously discussed. A patient comes to a healer, and tells a lengthy tale of woe; the healer goes to work sending the thought directly to the body of the patient; thus the patient through suggestion comes under the domination of the healer’s personal will, in order to build up tissue or to regulate action. While some cures are wrought by this method, it is through personal will power, and does not lead to the highest realization.
Again, there is the one who says, “All ills are mental. I will send my thoughts to the thought of the patient.” Hence he begins using suggestion and the power of personal will. The healer endeavors to change the thought of the patient, and some good work is done in this way.
In the second method, which is known as faith healing, the worker attempts to turn the thought of his patient to prayer. He says, “Let us beseech the Father to heal you.” But we know that God is not moved, for He is our health now. He knows only health--wholeness.
The third, the method that is best, as we see it, the one that we should seek above all things else, because it goes so much deeper, is this: Someone comes to the healer to ask for healing. What is the healer to do?
 He is not to send out his thought to the body or to the mentality of the patient, but to turn his thought directly to God.
Turn there, and train thought to listen to what the Universal Spirit is saying. The Universal Spirit speaks of Life Omnipresent; It speaks of Love changeless; It tells of the infinite power of this Presence; thought listening there becomes illumined. There will be no more great effort to send out a healing thought; the consciousness of God-Presence becomes vivid. It illumines all until it reveals the perfect body. In other words, consciousness reveals life and health until it sees the true state of the patient; when this consciousness of Wholeness includes the patient we get the best healing. There is a spiritual uplift, an awakening of the consciousness of the one who desires to be healed, such as no other way of doing the work can accomplish.
I ask you to keep this in thought, because all of the healing that is done today is on one of these three planes. I do not condemn any one of these, but I advise you to remember always the highest, and work for that. Anyone can cure or heal, if he puts himself in the right mental attitude. He can do surface work through his will power, and the right kind of healing by putting his thought in the right relation to God.
A GROUP OF QUESTIONS
There are two ways in which to answer questions; one is from principle, and the other is from experience. Let me explain what I mean. People have come to me at different times saying, “Do you think such and such a thing can be  healed? My answer according to Principle is, “Yes, I know that it can.” “Have you seen it done?” is the question that often follows. When we answer simply from what we have seen, our answer accords with experience. When we answer from what we know can be done, our answer accords with Principle. Both are good; both are helpful. But do not base your acceptance of what can be done with this Truth by what you have seen or by what someone else has seen.
There would be no progress in the world, if we did not see beyond experience.
Marconi knew before he could send a message that such a thing was possible, and then he carried it out into experience. So it is with you and me; if we apply Principle, the Principle that lies back of everything (the One Presence and the One Power), we shall know what can be done, whether it has been done or not.
If Jesus had waited to know what others had done before he attempted to live this way, the life of power would never have been lived by him. He was bold enough to see Truth ahead of what anyone had ever seen before, and he was brave enough to stand and live the truth he saw, alone. This is why he was so mighty, and why he demonstrated. Accordingly, do not let us ask, “Can this be done? Have you seen it?”
Let us learn Principle, and know for ourselves that “All things are possible to them that believe.”
“Can every disease be healed?” This is answered above. If we go to Principle every time, we shall answer these questions within ourselves. Thousands and thousands are healed  right along who have been pronounced incurable, not by one physician but by many. Sometimes a seeker will say, “Well, you know, this is one of the hardest things to heal, and I have never known a case like it to be healed.” Someone says, “I have seen everything cured but deafness.” Deafness has been healed; even if it had not been, there would be no reason for saying that it could not be; for whatever we see in Principle, we may declare boldly: “It can be done.”
The power of our healing and the power of our living depends upon our attitude.
We must not listen to experience as a proof, but we must see the possibility from the standpoint of Principle. Every disease there is may be healed; I have seen every kind healed.
Are people receptive to healing whether or not they ask for it?
Yes. But there is a difference in people. Some do not ask for treatment because they do not know what it is; they are, however, in their souls, longing for truth, and whether or not they ask for it, they are ready to be helped. Of course, one who shuts himself off and is not receptive within can not be reached; or, if he is reached, it is by a long process of what would be very laborious work. There are so many ready to be helped that it is better to spend time with the many who are ready than to work with the one who is resisting.
What words shall we use when giving a treatment?
 Do not think the word you use is all-important. Remember the word is a means to an end. Remember, also, another thing; a formula is a good thing in the beginning, but if adhered to too strictly, growth in understanding is retarded. Any formula is soon outgrown. It is well to give a patient some statement, some simple words of truth, to keep his thought on something besides his ills.
Let us not say that we have no formulas, or that we must always have formulas. The highest and best healing is the consciousness that goes forth without spoken words; but at times it is necessary to use the word; do not fear to do so. I feel so sure that the universal Spirit knows exactly what each one of us needs that, when I treat anyone, I sit at first perfectly quiet and receptive, thinking of God’s Presence. I have the greatest faith that just exactly what is needed to be realized will be given; the right words, if words must be spoken. We can not make definite rules along that line.
As to how often the treatments should be given, that, the healer must decide; but bear this rule in mind, that the fewer treatments one can give to accomplish the work, the better.
Try to live so well, to be so conscious of the presence and the power of God that you need give but one treatment.
Give each treatment as though it were the only one, and give it with such consciousness that it will be the only one needed, if the patient is receptive. If there are more needed, give  them until the patient realizes and manifests his wholeness.
Shall we treat those surrounding the patient?
We were taught at first to treat each member of the [patient's] family, but it is being proved over and over again that we do not have to treat in that way. We can treat the little baby alone if our consciousness is clear and strong and we do not give power in our own thoughts to adverse conditions, as we call them; the one who believes in evil most is the one who is going to do the most treating.
When we see nothing but the presence and power of God, we shall know it includes all, and we shall trust it wholly.
Do Divine Scientists believe in medicine?
Principle, understood, will assure us there is no need for medicine. I have heard it said we often recommend both treatment and medicine.
Never is a physician recommended, never is medicine recommended by the one who sees Principle clearly.
Occasionally someone says to me, “I have been ill for two or three weeks and I had a physician; my husband (or my mother) insisted.” I find that where there is just a little hankering for a physician there will generally be two or three outside who will say you should have one. I have found also that, to those who stand firm in the consciousness of the one Presence and Power, the husbands have not usually suggested a physician or any remedies. Divine Science does not recommend medicine. However, we do not condemn.
 The one who understands the Divine Presence will never feel a need of anything else.
The question is asked, “Is it not helpful to have a diagnosis?”
It simply gauges the attitude of the healer at the time she recommends a diagnosis; she believes the disease is there, a something that she must call by name; she gives a reality to the claim.
The one who is positively conscious of God’s presence and God’s power, cares not for the name of the disease.
He realizes that the power of God is much more powerful than any name under heaven, and there is no temptation to learn human opinion.
What we need more than anything else, what the world needs, is those who are willing to stand for principle despite all that threatens. Do we think that something hard will come to us if we stand by principle? It cannot be half so serious as the fact that we have swerved from principle.
Man’s development is the supreme thing in the universe, and whatever tempts us to fall below the highest we see is withdrawing us from the fullest development to which our souls can come at that time. True to principle, no evil can possibly befall; I care not what the results may seem.
What is the true nature of the body?
It is most important for us to know the truth about the body for, thereby and by that alone, shall we free it from the many ills to which we have believed it heir.
 To get the true perception of anything invisible or visible, we must continually refer to our Basis.
To learn the truth of the body, let us go to [the] first principles of our teaching to find what is revealed to us there of the true nature of the body. Our fundamental statements are: God is Omnipresent; therefore what God is, is omnipresent. God is Life, God is Mind, God is Spirit.
The God-Life, God-Mind, God-Substance is everywhere present; there is no other life, no other intelligence.
“I am, and beside me there is none else, saith the Lord.” “Of Him and through Him, and to Him are all things.”
The Substance of the body is Spirit; there is nothing else for it to be. “That which is born of spirit is Spirit.” “Like produces like.” Knowing the body to be Spirit, we come into the perception of its true nature. We no longer condemn it to weakness and limitation. We see it as holy, as whole--an expression of Universal Life. We reap the fruits of our thoughts; for we begin to see the true state of the body.
The true state of the body is health.
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