CHAPTER XXII MENTAL ACTIVITY
Thoughts are things. If not things they are nothings, which is tantamount to saying that thought does not exist. If you design a house, your drawing is an image of the thought-house which was in your mind before you made the draft. You see a certain vessel which is used for holding water, and you name the vessel a bucket. The image of that bucket is in your mind, and when you hear the word bucket, your mind recognizes the vessel either because you have seen it or heard it described. You use the word bucket in the hearing of a thousand people who have seen or known of the same bucket, and every person of that thousand will perceive in his mind the exact image of that bucket. The word bucket is not in the image of the object, but when spoken refers the mind of the hearer who has seen it to the image of the bucket as it is indelibly printed on or in his psychic ether. Drawings are things, images are things – emblems of other things. From these drawings, images, and emblems of things the mind constructs the particular thing in psychic ether, and this psychic house, bucket, or other thing, is the thought, and wrought in material form is the shape and counterpart of the spiritual thought.
It is absolutely impossible for the mind to be inactive for one single moment whether in sleep or awake. The matter composing the mind is in a state of constant activity, so intense in its vibratory action that it is impossible for that substance to be inactive for one instant. The brain in which ideas are fashioned is a perfect machine in constant motion. The creations or product emanating from such instrument are never visible unless physically clothed, and only a very few mental conceptions ever find expression in this world of ours. The mental products from millions of minds in active operation vary as do the products that come from the machines in the countless factories. The mental emanations flowing from a brain highly developed appear to spirit people as lines of force extending and undulating from the soul-center, the longer those lines of force, the more active the substance composing them, and the lighter their appearance.
The electric or gas light, as we use that term, is simply burning substance in a high degree of activity, and the greater the activity the more perfect the light. The mental emanations going out from great, generous souls are light. Those from one selfish and cruel are slow in action and necessarily have a dark appearance. It is like comparing the flame of a tallow candle to the incandescent lamp. Thoughts again may emanate from a brain so undeveloped as to give out but little light, in reality casting a shadow in the etheric atmosphere.
There are millions of those lines of force or emanations going out from mentalities continuously, and they make up what has ordinarily been termed the auras of individuals. Much talk of the aura surrounding each individual has been practically meaningless because of the failure to comprehend that mind is matter, and that thoughts have form and substance. Admitting this hypothesis, we can see at once how every individual is surrounded with thought emanations that go out from his mentality as the perfume goes out from the rose. It may be sweet and intoxicating or it may be sickly and offensive. There is scarcely a state in which man finds himself that has not its counterpart in vegetable life. Those emanations or lines of force are perfectly visible to the inhabitants in the afterlife who know from actual observation the character as well as the thought of the individual. We in the physical world, not having eyes developed to catch those emanations, because of their very high potency, know very little concerning them. If we knew, our knowledge would revolutionize the conduct of men. But we feel the effect of those lines of force when we come in contact with them; instinctively we feel the personality of others. Thought emanations from others, both in and out of the physical body, make an impression upon our sub-conscious brain, and these with our own suggestions are continually entering our brain machine, are weighed, are either rejected or accepted, and are expressed, so that there is a continual taking in and throwing off in our mental operations. It is a process as natural as the heart action and as little understood. Few people are able to tell the process through which and by which they reach their conclusions, but mental lines of force strike our mentality, come in contact with our own emanations so that unconsciously we receive an impression and arrive at a conclusion as to the personality of another. The first impression that we unconsciously get is always the one which should guide us.
These thought-lines, as I have said, have colour, depending upon their length, and as there is no stagnation in Nature their general condition is constantly changing; that is to say, they are progressing toward the light or becoming darker.
As the individual self reaches a high state of spirituality with good thoughts and aspirations, the graceful lines of force reach far, the personality is lighted up, and we feel the presence of a good man or a good woman. The ignorant who live for self, with uncontrolled temper and unlicensed passion have little spiritual development, live in darkness day by day, and their surroundings are exactly in accord with their mental state, for every man occupies just that position in society which he is qualified to occupy. That must be so, or the law of cause and effect would be a failure.
So we see that in our daily life we are creating a condition about us and around us, spiritually as well as physically. We are making a physical condition in which we live from day to day and a spiritual one as well, and into the latter we pass at the moment of dissolution. When divested of the flesh garment, we continue in just that mental state which we have created and from which there is no escape, until we, by great individual effort, change our mental state and acquire new and higher aspirations and thereby create a better environment.
There are some individuals who bring into a home peace, happiness, and joy. There are other pessimistic individuals who cast a gloom wherever they go. In the presence of the last-named the laughter of children stops. There are individuals whose personality is so offensive that we avoid them whenever possible. The physical outlines, clothing the personality, are indicative also of the true character of the individual. Men living on the earth-plane are, with our present understanding of these things, very apt to be judged according to their outward or physical appearance. In the afterlife, divested of the flesh garment, character is apparent to all those with whom intercourse is held, and many will stand before the mirror of Nature in their nakedness; in truth, our personality has always been visible to the inhabitants of the afterlife, because they too are living a material existence, and being etheric, all etheric or mental action is visible to them when they come within the zone of our thought action.
The very proper desire of mankind is to enrich itself, but the difficulty is that we have yet to learn of what true riches consist. True, money is necessary during this little journey on earth, but true wealth consists of happiness, and that is found in leading a chaste, upright, just life, in doing something for others, and being true to oneself. Lives of that character grow rich indeed, and they do not have to wait until the afterlife to enjoy the wealth so gathered. Upon the other hand, the captain of finance who, with ruthless hands, has taken from others what they have earned and has accumulated a great horde, having no lofty aspirations, goes out into the next world a pauper indeed, for his better self has not been developed, and the lines of force that have emanated from his mentality are short and dark.
Those who pass out having led fairly good lives, find a condition where it is light, a condition of their own making; in the change they seldom lose consciousness, but pass into an environment where to the limit of their capacity, everything is understood, where without the loss of a day they are ready to continue to labor, to comprehend the economy of Nature’s law, to better understand their duties and their responsibilities, and to continue a part of the active force. Those who have led narrow and selfish lives find just the condition that they have been from day to day making, and that condition is a grossly material one. If you were to build a house without windows, how could you expect light to penetrate? The position of men in the state referred to is not one to be desired. If the world would only learn that true wealth and happiness are found in doing the best we can under all circumstances, and that wealth righteously gathered is not only enjoyed here, but is taken into the afterlife, the ambition and desire of humanity would be changed in an instant. It is a misfortune to have been wrongly educated, and especially to have been taught that money can purchase happiness, or that money is the one goal that all should seek.
A spirit speaking on this general subject has said:
“You all give off an aura, and if you knew the conditions emanating from some people, you would very quickly eject them from your home. In those whose lives are not strictly upright we find the aura very bad, mixed, cloudy, confused. The emanations of people of good health vary in shade from white, pale pink, to rose colour. When the auras approach the dark colours, browns, greys, and blacks, we know that the person is wrong in some way. Now this aura is influenced by passions such as hate, envy, malice, evil speaking, anger, and when one sets out to do an injury to another, let me assure you that he injures himself far more than the other person.
The power of thought for good or ill is demonstrated in various ways.
Let a number of persons concentrate an evil thought upon another, and the effect will be found most disastrous. Again, when a band of people concentrate their thought upon one who is ill, they thereby send him vital force and strength and power. The result is restoration to health. This is the basis of the health that comes through Christian Science practice. It is all the result of concentrating the lines of force at a specified point. The result is good or bad depending upon the character of the force that is projected and concentrated at a given point.
I have been told that a clean, highly developed thought goes out into the ether with the appearance of a search light, starting from a central point and radiating through space. Mind is matter, and thoughts are things, and so wonderfully active is the operation, that we are continually forming our mental creations in such refined substance.
With all our development, and it has been great, we are able to hear only a few of the sounds that vibrate in our atmosphere. With all our achievements we are unable to see motion except it be slow in movement and in physical garment.
On this subject one said:
We can also read the thoughts of another – conditions being favorable – as readily as you can gain a knowledge of the characters of symbols of a language not your own. Thoughts being motions of the mind, assume specific and definite forms, and when distinct in the mind, can be clearly perceived and understood by any spirit who is in sympathy with the mind in which they are generated.