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R.Y FOUNDAT[ON \Vhef~ the Post IllJJm.inatcJ the Future
Man's Greatest Discovery
by Ernest Holmes
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As heard on "This Thing In Life" Sunday April 8, 1951
Man's Greatest Discovery by Ernest Holmes
Friends, the greatest discovery ever made about man is the discovery of the creative power of thought. And this is what I want to talk about today - how your thought can help in healing your body and how it can help you to control the circumstances and situations around you. Thousands of books have been written on this subject, too, and there are probably ten or fifteen million people in this country who are trying to use the creative power of their thought for definite purposes. With due modesty I might even say that several of my own books have for years been among the best sellers in this field and of course, they have all dealt with the creative power of thinking. Millions of magazines are printed each month for those who believe in the creative power of thought and who are trying to use it. There would not be such a vast inquiry and eager attention unless there were a great truth involved. The relationship of our thinking to what happens to us, both in our bodily health and our circumstances, is one of the greatest discoveries man has ever made. But if we were to ask: How is thought creative? we couldn't answer the question any more than: Why does a chicken come out of an egg? or Why do acorns become oak trees? or Why does gravity hold everything in place? When we discover a principle in nature we have to accept it. We cannot explain why thought is creative, but we can accept the fact and see what we can do with it. We are operated upon by mental and spiritual forces just as we are operated upon by physical ones; just as gravitational force holds a physical object in the place we set it, so there is another kind of force that operates upon our thinking and tends to bring into our experience those things which we hold in mind. And this will explain why faith is effective because faith is a positive mental and emotional acceptance, an affirmative attitude of mind which uses the great creative power of thought constructively. It will also show why some prayers are answered and others are not. It gives us a key - and I believe a right one to the teachings of Jesus about prayer. Jesus said that when we pray we should believe that we already have what we pray for. He said when you pray, believe that you receive, and you shall have. And again, when he said, "It is not I ... but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works," was he not implying that there is in everyone a Divine Creative Principle which he can make conscious use of?
For instance, we might say, if we move our furniture about in the room, "It is not I, but gravitational force that holds the different pieces of furniture in place." The only part we play is in shifting the furniture about and setting it in the position we wish it to remain in. This is our individual freedom. We can use the laws of nature consciously, decide what we want them to do for us, but we are not these laws, they are greater than we are and we may have implicit confidence in them because we know they will never let us down. We know that when we plant a certain kind of seed we will get a certain kind of plant. We know that when we mix certain colors together we will get another color. We do the planting and the mixing, but nature produces the results. If we can keep these simple thoughts in mind and come to realize that the creative power of our thought is a power that we take out of nature rather than put in, it will be a great help to us. And this is exactly as it should be, because you and I, with our little wills and our small imaginations and our personal opinions, have neither the intelligence nor the knowledge always to know what is best. Jesus knew that no one can set himself up in opposition to the laws of God and hope to succeed. But Jesus also knew something else. He knew that the laws of God are to be used. He knew that they ought to be used, and he knew that freedom comes when we use them rightly. To Jesus spiritual laws were just as real as physical ones are to us. He knew that there is a silent, invisible, creative force which acts upon us and through us at all times, whether we believe it or not and his purpose and mission in life was to show us first, that these laws exist; next, what they are and how they work and thirdly, how to use them in such a way that only good will result. Jesus never said that it is wrong to be happy. He never intimated that God wishes us to be sick or poor or disconsolate. Quite the reverse. Jesus used spiritual power for every conceivable purpose, for what we call small things as well as for what we call big things. And he said that everything he did was an example for us to follow and that if we followed his example definite signs would follow our belief, our faith and our acceptance. In coming to use these laws, then, for definite purposes, we should start with this fundamental proposition in mind: there is a law of good that operates upon our thinking: there is a Power greater than I am working for me. This Power is good. This Power is right where I am, operating in my thought, now. I am not responsible for the Power. I do not have to make it work; I do not have to beg it or intrigue it or coerce it. I merely use it.
If, then, we can come to see that such a law exists and that we are using a
Power greater than we are, we shall at once be relieved of any sense of responsibility about it as though we had to make it work. For we do not sit around holding thoughts or trying to compel things to happen. As a matter of fact, this would defeat the very purpose we wish to accomplish. We no more make this law creative than we compel an acorn to become an oak. We do not
hold thoughts over the acorn nor do we visualize an oak tree. What we do is to plant an acorn and let nature create the oak tree for us. This invisible force was real to Jesus. He had implicit faith in it. And because he did, all those things which have seemed so miraculous to the ages followed. He was a spiritual scientist who had come to understand that there is a universal principle of mind, a creative intelligence which acted upon his faith and conviction, and which acted upon this faith and conviction for definite purposes. He could tell the paralyzed man to get up and walk, turn the water into wine, multiply the loaves and fishes by a process which, to him was just as natural as it would be for us to use any of the laws of nature with which we are familiar.
It was his faith in these laws which gave him the power he had because Jesus did not possess a power that other people do not have. He used a power which all people have, but which few people make use of. And he plainly told those around him that they could do the same thing. Some of his immediate followers experienced the same miraculous signs following their belief. And throughout the ages these signs have followed many people's belief.
To understand that faith is operated upon by a natural law gives us the key to the whole situation. But it isn't enough to believe in a principle. This is only the starting point. Principles have to be used if they are going to produce definite results for us, and whether the principles are called physical, mental or spiritual makes no difference.
It isn't enough to say that faith can do anything, for most people already
believe this. What we have to do is not only to realize that faith can do things, we have to find out how faith is acquired and then we have to use it for definite purposes. And this is why we always follow these talks with a meditation and you will notice that these meditations are always affirmative statements and they are always affirmative statements about something. In our meditation we try to arrive at certain definite conclusions which the mind accepts and then we try to apply these conclusions to specific needs. Always the meditation is for the purpose of causing the mind to accept something, to believe in something, and to expect something to happen. To merely state that you believe that God is all there is will not necessarily cause anything to happen. But when you believe that God is all there is, and when you have implicit confidence in the law of good, and when you use this belief for a definite purpose, then something will happen. And the reason why it happens is that you are surrounded by a creative power, a creative mind or a creative principle - whatever you choose to call it. You are surrounded by such a creative power which actually does operate upon your thinking. This is the key to the whole situation. Let us, then, learn to make known our requests with thanksgiving and in acceptance. And having done this, in that silent communion of our soul with its Source, let us believe that the law of good will do the rest.
Let us take as the thought for our meditation today these simple words: "It is done unto you as you believe." And let us see if together we cannot believe with childlike simplicity and faith the affirmations we are about to make together. Believing that the final power of the universe is good, and accepting the simple thought that God is right where I am, I empty my mind of all confusion, I let go of every doubt and fear, and I turn away from every sense of want or lack or limitation as I lift up my thought to the great Giver of all life with complete acceptance. I now affirm that all the power there is and all the love there is and all the life there is, belongs to me, as it does to everyone else. I let this power flow through me. I realize that this life is my life now. I believe that Divine Intelligence is always acting upon my mind, telling me what is best to do, counseling me wisely and guiding me gently but surely into pathways of peace, of prosperity and happiness, into pathways of physical health and wholeness and into pathways which lead to loving companionship and right relations with others. Knowing that we all live and move and have our being in God, I find myself at one with all people. Realizing that love is the great motivating power of life, I permit this love to flow through me to others. And accepting that my faith is operated upon by a Power greater than I am, I persistently hold this thought in mind, that my faith, my conviction, my sense of the Divine Presence, shall operate upon everything I touch and everyone I meet, to help, to heal, to prosper, and to bless.
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