Whenever you think or whenever you feel, whenever you speak, whenever you act, or whatever may be taking place in your life, your supreme idea should be that you are above it all, superior to it all, and have control of it all. You simply must take this higher ground in all action, thought and consciousness before you can control yourself and direct, for practical purposes, the forces you possess. Therefore, what has been said in connection with the “I Am,”the soul and the individuality as being one, and as standing at the apex of human existence, is just as important as anything that may be said hereafter in connection with the application of the forces in man to practical action. And though this phase of the subject may appear to be somewhat abstract, we shall find no difficulty in understanding it more fully as we apply the ideas evolved. In fact, when we learn to realize that we, by nature, occupy a position that is above mind and body, this part of the subject will be found more interesting than anything else, and its application more profitable.
We can define individuality more fully by stating that it is the invisible man and that everything in man that is invisible belongs to his individuality. It is the individuality that initiates, that controls or directs. Therefore to control and use a force in your own system, you must understand and develop individuality. Your individuality must be made distinct, determined and positive. You must constantly know what you are and what you want, and you must constantly be determined to secure what you want. It is individuality that makes you different from all other organized entities, and it is a highly developed individuality that gives you the power to stand out distinct above the mass, and it is the degree of individuality that you possess that determines largely what position you are to occupy in the world.
Whenever you see a man who is different, who seems to stand out distinct, and who has something vital about him that no one else seems to possess, you have a man whose individuality is highly developed, and you also have a man who is going to make his mark in the world. Take two men of equal power, ability and efficiency, but with this difference. In the one individuality is highly developed, while in the other it is not. You know at once which one of these two is going to reach the highest places in the world of achievement; and the reason is that the one who possesses individuality, lives above mind and body, thereby being able to control and direct the forces and powers of mind and body. The man, however, whose individuality is weak, lives more or less down in mind and body, and instead of controlling mind and body, is constantly being influenced by everything from the outside that may enter his consciousness.
Whenever you find a man or a woman who is doing something worth while, who is creating an impression upon the race, who is moving forward towards greater and better things, you find the individuality strong, positive and highly developed. It is therefore absolutely necessary that you give your best attention to the development of a strong, positive individuality if you wish to succeed in the world and make the best use of the forces in your possession. A negative or weak individuality drifts with the stream of environment, and usually receives only what others choose to give, but a firm, strong, positive, well-developed individuality, actually controls the ship of his life and destiny, and sooner or later will gain possession of what he originally set out to secure. A positive individuality has the power to take hold of things and turn them to good account. This is one reason why such an individuality always succeeds. Another reason is that the more fully your individuality is developed, the more you are admired by everybody with whom you may come in contact. The human race loves power, and counts it a privilege to give lofty positions to those who have power. And every man or woman, whose individuality is highly developed, does possess power—usually exceptional power.
To develop individuality, the first essential is to give the “I Am” its true and lofty position in your mind. The “I Am” is the very center of individuality, and the more fully conscious you become of the “I Am”the more of the power that is in the “I Am”you arouse, and it is the arousing of this power that makes individuality positive and strong. Another essential is to practice the idea of feeling or conceiving yourself as occupying the masterful attitude. Whenever you think of yourself, think of yourself as being and living and acting in the masterful attitude. Then in addition, make every desire positive, make every feeling positive, make every thought positive, and make every action of mind positive. To make your wants distinct and positive, that is, to actually and fully know what you want and then proceed to want what you want with all the power that is in you, will also tend to give strength and positiveness to your individuality; and the reason is that such actions of mind will tend to place in positive, constructive action every force that is in your system.
A most valuable method is to picture in your mind your own best idea of what a strong, well-developed individuality would necessarily be, and then think of yourself as becoming more and more like that picture. In this connection it is well to remember that we gradually grow into the likeness of that which we think of the most. Therefore, if you have a very clear idea of a highly developed individuality, and think a great deal of that individuality with a strong, positive desire to develop such an individuality, you will gradually and surely move towards that lofty ideal.
Another valuable method is to give conscious recognition to what may be called the bigger man on the inside. Few people think of this greater man that is within them, but we cannot afford to neglect this interior entity for a moment. This greater or larger man is not something that is separate and distinct from ourselves. It is simply the sum-total of the greater powers and possibilities that are within us. We should recognize these, think of them a great deal, and desire with all the power of heart and mind and soul to arouse and express more and more of these inner powers. Thus we shall find that the interior man, our real individuality, will become stronger and more active, and our power to apply our greater possibilities will increase accordingly. The value of individuality is so great that it cannot possibly be overestimated. Every known method that will develop individuality, therefore, should be applied faithfully, thoroughly and constantly. In fact, no one other thing we can do will bring greater returns.
The personality is the visible man. Everything that is visible in the human entity belongs to the personality, but it is more than the body. To say that some one has a fine personality may and may not mean that that personality is beautiful, in the ordinary sense of the term. There might be no physical beauty and yet the personality might be highly developed. There might be nothing striking about such a personality, and yet there would be something extremely attractive, something to greatly admire. On the other hand, when the personality is not well developed, there is nothing in the visible man that you can see, besides ordinary human clay. Everything existing in such a personality is crude and even gross; but there is no excuse for any personality being crude, unrefined or undeveloped. There is not a single personality that cannot be so refined and perfected as to become strikingly attractive, and there are scores of reasons why such development should be sought. The most important reason is that all the forces of man act through the personality, and the finer the personality, the more easily can we direct and express the forces we possess. When the personality is crude, we find it difficult to apply in practical life the finer elements that are within us, and here we find one reason why talent or ability so frequently fails to be its best. In such cases the personality has been neglected, and is not a fit instrument through which finer things and greater things can find expression. The personality is related to the individual as the piano is to the musician. If the piano is out of tune, the musician will fail, no matter how much of a musician he may be; and likewise, if the piano or instrument is crude in construction, the finest music cannot be expressed through it as a channel. To develop the personality, the principal essential is to learn how to transmute all the creative energies that are generated in the human system, a subject that will be given thorough attention in another chapter.
When we proceed to apply the forces within us, we find three fields of action. The first is the conscious field, the field in which the mind acts when we are awake. The second field is the subconscious, that field in which the mind acts when it goes beneath consciousness. It is also the field in which we act when asleep. The term, “falling asleep,” is therefore literally true, as when we go to sleep, the ego goes down, so to speak, into another world—a world so vast, that only portions of it have thus far been explored. The third field is the superconscious, the field in which the mind acts when it touches the upper realm, and it is when acting in this field that we gain real power and real inspiration; in fact, when we touch the superconscious, we frequently feel as if we have become more than mere man. To know how to act in the superconscious field, is therefore highly important, even though the idea may at first sight seem to be vague and somewhat mystical.
We are constantly in touch, however, with the superconscious, whether we know it or not. We frequently enter the superconscious when we listen to inspiring music, when we read some book that touches the finer intellect, when we listen to someone who speaks from what may be termed the inner throne of authority, when we witness some soul-stirring scene in nature. We also touch the superconscious when we are carried away with some tremendous ambition, and herein we find practical value in a great measure. When men of tremendous ambition are carried away, so to speak, with the power of that ambition, they almost invariably reach the higher and finer state of mind—a state where they not only feel more power and determination than they ever felt before, but a state in which the mind becomes so extremely active that it almost invariably gains the necessary brilliancy to work out those plans or ideas that are required in order that the ambition may be realized.
It can readily be demonstrated that we get our best ideas from this lofty realm, and it is a well-known fact that no one ever accomplishes great or wonderful things in the world, without touching frequently this sublime inspiring state. When we train the mind to touch the superconscious at frequent intervals, we always find the ideas we want. We always succeed in providing the ways and means required. No matter what the difficulties may be, we invariably discover something by which we may overcome and conquer completely.
Whenever you find yourself in what may be termed a difficult position, proceed at once to work your mind up into higher and higher attitudes, until you touch the superconscious, and when you touch that lofty state you will soon receive the ideas or the methods that you need. But this is not the only value connected with the superconscious. The highest forces in man are the most powerful, but we cannot use those higher forces without acting through the superconscious field. Therefore, if you want to understand and apply all the forces you possess, you must train the mind to act through the superconscious as well as the conscious and the subconscious.
However, we must not permit ourselves to live exclusively in this lofty state; though it is the source of the higher forces in man, those forces that are indispensable to the doing of great and important things; nevertheless, those forces cannot be applied unless they are brought down to earth, so to speak, and united with practical action. He who lives exclusively in the superconscious, will dream wonderful dreams, but if he does not unite the forces of the superconscious with practical action, he will do nothing else but dream dreams, and those dreams will not come true. It is when we combine mental action in the conscious, subconscious and superconscious that we get the results we desire. In brief, it is the full use of all the forces in mind through all the channels of expression that leads to the highest attainment and the greatest achievements.
When we proceed with the practical application of any particular force, we shall not find it necessary to cause that force to act through what may be termed the psychological field, and the reason is that the psychological field in man is the real field of action. It is the field through which the undercurrents flow, and we all understand that it is these undercurrents that determine, not only the direction of action, but the results that follow action. This idea is well illustrated in the following lines:
“Straws upon the surface flow;
He who would seek for pearls must dive below.”
The term “below” as applied to the life and consciousness of man, is synonymous with the psychological field, or the field of the undercurrents. Ordinary minds skim over the surface. Great minds invariably sound these deeper depths, and act in and through the psychological field. Their minds dive below into the rich vastness of what may be termed the gold mines of the mind, and the diamond fields of the soul.
When we enter the psychological field of any force, which simply means the inner and finer field of action of that force, we act through the undercurrents, and thereby proceed to control those currents. It is in the field of the undercurrents that we find both the origin and the action of cause, whether physical or mental. It is these currents, when acted upon intelligently, that remove what we do not want and produce those changes that we do want. They invariably produce effects, both physical and mental, according to the action that we give to them, and all those things that pertain to the personality will respond only to the actions of those currents; that is, you cannot produce any effect in any part of the mind or body unless you first direct the undercurrents of the system to produce those effects. To act through the undercurrents therefore is absolutely necessary, no matter what we may wish to do, or what forces we may wish to control, direct or apply; and we act upon those undercurrents only when we enter the psychological field.
In like manner, we can turn to good account all things in practical everyday life only when we understand the psychology of those things. The reason is, that when we understand the psychology of anything, we understand the power that is back of that particular thing, and that controls it and gives it definite action. In consequence, when we understand the psychology of anything in our own field of action or in our own environment, we will know how to deal with it so as to secure whatever results that particular thing has the power to produce. But this law is especially important in dealing with forces within ourselves, whether those forces act through the mind or through any one of the faculties, through the personality or through the conscious, subconscious or superconscious fields. In brief, whatever we do in trying to control and direct the powers we possess, we must enter the deeper life of those powers, so that we can get full control of the undercurrents. It is the way those undercurrents flow that determines results, and as we can direct those currents in any way that we desire, we naturally conclude that we can secure whatever results we desire.
Man lives to move forward. To move forward is to live more. To live more is to be more and do more; and it is being and doing that constitutes the path to happiness. The more you are and the more you do, the richer your life, the greater your joy. But being and doing must always live together as one. To try to be much and not try to do much, is to find life a barren waste. To try to do much and not try to be much, is to find life a burden too heavy and wearisome to bear. The being of much gives the necessary inspiration and the necessary power to the doing of much. The doing of much gives the necessary expression to the being of much. And it is the bringing forth of being through the act of doing that produces happiness that is happiness. Being much gives capacity for doing much. Doing much gives expression to the richest and the best that is within us. And the more we increase the richness of that which is within us, the more we increase our happiness, provided we increase, in the same proportion, the expression of that greater richness. The first essential is provided for by the being of much; the second, by the doing of much; and the secret of both may be found by him who lives to move forward.