I wish to invite you to the consideration of a great principle of Natureâ€”a great natural force that manifests its activities in the phenomena of Dynamic Mentationâ€”a great Something the energies of which I have called â€œMind Power.â€ My thought on the subject is based upon the fundamental conception that:â€” There exists in Nature a Dynamic Mental Principleâ€”a Mind Powerâ€”pervading all space â€” immanent in all thingsâ€”manifesting in an infinite variety of forms, degrees, and phases.
I hold that this energy, or force, or dynamic principle, is no respecter of persons. Its service, like that of the sun and rain, and all natural forces, is open to allâ€”just and unjust; good and bad; high and low; rich and poor. It responds to the proper efforts, no matter by whom exerted, or for what purpose called into effect. But the proper effort must be exerted, consciously or unconsciously, else there will be no operation of the force. I believe that the activities of this dynamic mental principle are intimately correlated to manifestations of the mental operations known to us as desire, will, and imagination. We shall learn something of the laws and principles and modes of operation of its energies and activities, as we proceed with our consideration of it, in this work. It may be difficult for you to grasp this conception of Mind Power at the startâ€”but it will grow upon your understanding as its activities are presented to you, one by one, like a great panorama. My terms will be explained and illustrated by examples, as we proceedâ€”so you need not analyze them at this point. It may be as well, however, to state that I have used the term â€œDynamicâ€ in its original Greek sense, i. e., â€œpowerfulâ€; â€œpossessing power,â€ etc.
I have postulated of my conception of Mindâ€Power that it pervades all spaceâ€”is immanent in all thingsâ€”and manifests in an infinite variety of forms, degrees, and phases.
But, it may be urged, this is nothing more than science claims for the principle of physical energyâ€”then is Mindâ€Power identical with the physical energy of science?â€”is it nothing more than a high form of mechanical or material energy? No, Mindâ€Power is very far from being a blind, mechanical energyâ€”it is a living, mental force, which I hold is behind the manifestations of physical energy and mechanical force. It is not the physical energy of science, but is something of the nature of a living will, which is rather the cause of physical energy, than identical with it. Let us take a familiar example.
You desire to move your handâ€”and it moves. Why? Because of the manifestation of the wonderful and mysterious force called â€œwillâ€ which is stored up within you, and which you have released to move the hand. You send a current of nerveâ€force which is really a manifestation of Mindâ€Power or will force from your brain, along the nerves of the arm, which contracts the muscles of the arm and hand, and your desire is gratified. Your desire, or wish, set into motion the Mindâ€Power which acted upon the material substance of your body and caused it to act. What was it that flowed along the nerveâ€wires? Was it electricity, or magnetism? No! it was that subtle and mysterious thing that I am calling Mindâ€Power, and which is bound up with the will principle of mind. Mindâ€Power is an actual living force. It is the force that makes plants growâ€”and animal bodies growâ€”and which enables all living things to move and act. It is the force which enables the growing mushroom to raise up the slabs of paving stoneâ€”or causes the roots of a tree to split open the great boulders, into the crevices of which they have crept. Mindâ€Power is not an abstraction or speculative nothingâ€”it is an existent, living, mental, acting force, manifesting sometimes with an appalling power, and sometimes with a delicate, subtle touch that is almost imperceptible, but which accomplishes its purpose. [see Life Force]
In order to reach a clear conception of the universality of Mindâ€Power, let us consider its manifestations as we see them, unquestioned, in the universeâ€”on the many planes of life and activity. Beginning with the more familiar instances of its operation and manifestation, let us then proceed to delve still deeper until we reach instances not so easily perceived; and then still further back until we find it in places and in things that are generally regarded as lacking in Mindâ€Power and life.
And, here let me say that I hold that life and Mindâ€Power are always found in company with each otherâ€”there is some close relationship between the twoâ€”they are probably twinâ€phases of the same thing, or else twinâ€manifestations of the same underlying reality. There is no life without mind and Mindâ€Powerâ€”and no Mindâ€Power, or mind, without life. And, further, I claim that there is nothing without life in the universeâ€”nothing lifeless there, or anywhere. The universe is alive, and has mind and Mindâ€Power in every part and particle of itself. This is not an original idea of my own, of course,â€” the leading scientific thinkers admit it today, and the Hindu philosophers have known it for fifty centuries. Do you doubt this? Then listen to these authorities who ably express the thought of their scientific schools. Luther Burbank, that most wonderful man who has revolutionized our conceptions of plantâ€life, and who has practically held Plantâ€Life in the palm of his hand, says: â€œAll my investigations have led me away from the idea of a dead material universe tossed about by various forces, to that of a universe which is absolutely all force, life, soul, thought, or whatever name we choose to call it. Every atom, molecule, plant, animal or planet, is only an aggregation of organized unit forces held in place by stronger forces, thus holding them for a time latent, though teeming with inconceivable power. All life on our planet is, so to speak, just on the outer fringe of this infinite ocean of force. The universe is not half dead, but all alive.â€
Dr. Saleeby, in his important scientific work, â€œEvolution: the Master Key,â€ goes even still further in his claim of a living universe; and life accompanied by mind. He says, among other things: â€œLife is potential in matter; lifeâ€energy is not a thing unique and created at a particular time in the past. If evolution be true, living matter has been evolved by natural processes from matter which is, apparently, not alive. But if life is a potential in matter, it is a thousand times more evident that mind is potential in life. The evolutionist is impelled to believe that mind is potential in matter. (I adopt that form of words for the moment, but not without future criticism.) The microscopic cell, a minute speck of matter that is to become man, has in it the promise and germ of mind. May we not then draw the inference that the elements of mind are present in those chemical elementsâ€”carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulphur, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, chlorineâ€”that are found in the cell. Not only must we do so, but we must go further, since we know that each of these elements, and every other, is built up out of one invariable unit, the electron, and we must therefore assert that mind is potential in the unit of matterâ€”the electron itself.â€
Flammarion, the eminent French scientist, says: â€œThe universe is a dynamism. Life itself, from the most rudimentary cell up to the most complicated organism, is a special kind of movement, a movement determined and organized by a directing force.
"Visible matter, which stands to us at the present moment for the universe, and which certain classic doctrines consider as the origin of all thingsâ€”movement, life, thoughtâ€”is only a word void of meaning. The universe is a great organism, controlled by a dynamism of the psychical order. Mind gleams through its every atom. There is mind in everything, not only in human and animal life, but in plants, in minerals, in space.â€ Prof. J. A. Fleming, in his work on â€œWaves, Air and Aether,â€ says: â€œIn its ultimate essence energy may be incomprehensible by us except as an exhibition of the direct operation of that which we call mind and will.â€
Let us then follow the hint given by the scientistsâ€”let us proceed to examine the evidences of the immanence of life and Mindâ€Power in all of the things of the universeâ€”things organic; things inorganic; and things beyond organism, shape and formâ€”back into the very ether of space itself. And in the search we shall find these evidences everywhereâ€”in all things. Nowhere does life and Mindâ€Power escape us. Immanent in all thingsâ€”manifesting in an infinite variety of forms, degrees, and phases, we find these twinâ€principles. I invite you to join in one of the most interesting and fascinating explorations known to modern science.
We do not need any proof to demonstrate the existence of life, mind and Mindâ€Power in man, or in the lower animals. The activities resulting from its presence are in constant evidence. And if we examine the plant kingdom we will see manifestations of life, mind, and Mindâ€Power there also. Plants not only manifest â€œappetency,â€ or â€œthe instinctive tendency on the part of low forms of organic life, to perform certain acts necessary for their wellâ€being, particularly in the selection and absorption of the material substances necessary for their support and nutrimentsâ€;â€”not only â€œinstinctâ€ or â€œinvoluntary and unreasoning prompting or impulse, and the response theretoâ€;â€”but also, in certain cases, there appears mental action closely akin to conscious choice and will. I refer you to the many recent works on mind in plantâ€life for illustrations and proofs of this statement. And biology shows us that there is life, mind, and Mindâ€Power inherent in the cells of which our bodies, blood and the material of animal and plant life, is composed. These cells are â€œlittle lives,â€ and manifest mental power and faculty. They perform their particular functions, and live, grow, reproduce themselves, and act just as do the tiny forms of animal life at the bottom of seaâ€”the latter being but little more than single cells, or cellâ€groups. The possession of memory on the part of the cells of organic matter, is an accepted scientific fact.
At this point the orthodox and conservative scientist usually stops, drawing a line between â€œorganicâ€ and â€œinorganicâ€ matter. But the daring minds of advanced scientists of today have brushed aside the dividing line, and have moved to a position where they meet the Hindu philosophers and the occultists, and now admit and teach that life, mind and Mindâ€Power invade the â€œinorganicâ€ world to its utmost limits, and that universe is indeed alive and possesses Mind.
Some of the lower forms of â€œorganicâ€ life, soâ€called, possess no organs, and are but masses of jellyâ€like matter without signs of even rudimentary organsâ€”and yet these lifeâ€forms show evidences of desire, choice, and will. And Science has admitted the existence of life and mind in the crystals! the latter â€œgrowingâ€ in a manner showing vital and selective energy, and even rudimentary sex. More than this, the metals and minerals, under scientific tests, have shown â€œresponsesâ€ that are similar to the same action in organic lifeâ€”showing life and rudimentary sensation, the latter of course being a manifestation of mind. Some of the cold, careful scientific records read like fairy tales to those not familiar with the wonderful achievements of recent science. I wish that I had the time and space to recount these testsâ€”but I must hasten on. Enough to say that in mineral and metallic forms there has been found â€œresponseâ€ indicating the existence of â€œsensationâ€ in varying degrees; and that in the crystallization of minerals and metals there has been evidenced the action of the same instinctive mentalâ€life energy which as â€œappetency or instinctâ€ builds up the bodies of living organic forms. If you wonder at thisâ€”think of the miracle which is performed every second by plants absorbing the minerals of the earth, which are then converted into living plantâ€cells; then we eat the plants and convert the plantâ€cells into animalâ€cells which serve as the basis of our blood, muscles, organs, and even our brains. In fact, every particle of organic substance was evolved in this way. Think over this and you will see that Nature is One in her essence, and that she is alive and possesses Mindâ€Power.
But we do not stop even at this advanced point. Minerals, and all forms of matter are composed of infinitesimal atoms, or particles. The particles combine by reason of some inherent â€œattractionâ€ existing between certain of them, known as â€œchemical affinity,â€ etc. Chemical affinity is a peculiar thingâ€”it manifests in likes and dislikes, loves and hates; it is impossible to study these manifestations without recognizing an elementary manifestation of â€œlike and dislikeâ€â€”â€œlove and hate.â€ You think that this is far fetched, do you? Well, listen to these words from some of the leading scientists about this power to receive sensations, and power to respond to the same, and maybe you will change your mind. Haeckel, the great German scientist, holds that the atoms of which matter is composed may â€œreceive sensations,â€ and â€œrespond to sensations.â€ He dwells upon this fact in his latest works â€œThe Riddle of the Universe,â€ and â€œThe Wonders of Life,â€ and writes as follows regarding â€œsensation in the inorganic worldâ€: â€œI cannot imagine,â€ Haeckel says, â€œthe simplest chemical and physical process, without attributing the movements of the material particles to unconscious sensation.â€ He also says, in another place: "The idea of chemical affinity consists in the fact that the various chemical elements perceive the qualitative differences in other elementsâ€”experience â€˜pleasureâ€™ or â€˜revulsionâ€™ at contact with them, and execute specific movements on this ground.â€ He adds, later, that the â€œsensationsâ€ and â€œresponsesâ€ in plant and animal life are â€œconnected by a long series of evolutionary stages with the simpler forms of sensation that we find in the inorganic elements and that reveal themselves in chemical affinity." Nageli, another scientist, says:
â€œIf the molecules possess something that is related, however distantly, to sensation, it must be comfortable to be able to follow their attractions and repulsions; uncomfortable when they are forced to do otherwise.â€ And so you see that Science now is preparing to admit elementary life and Mindâ€Power in the atoms and particles of matter. [see Law of Force]
But we have not as yet reached the utmost limit of scientific investigation regarding the presence of mind in the universe. â€œFurther than the atoms?â€ you may ask. Yes, further than the atoms! What is true regarding the atoms, is true of the ions or electrons of which they are composedâ€”these tinier particles are attracted and repelled; form groups and combinations which regulate the kind of atom produced; and manifest the same kind of â€œaffinityâ€ that is noticeable in the atoms. And more than thisâ€”these particles, as well as all forms of physical energy, are believed to emerge from the ether, that subtle, tenuous, universal substance, which, although unseen, and intangible, is held to exist in order to account for the phenomena of the universe. If there is Mind in the particles that emerge from the Ether, is it too much to claim that there must be Mind in the Ether itself? Is this preposterous? Not so! Listen to the words of the following scientific authorities on the subject:
Flammarion says: â€œMind gleams in every atom. There is mind in everything, not only in human and animal life, but in plants, in minerals in space!â€ Cope says: â€œThe basis of life and mind lies back of the atoms, and may be found in the universal ether.â€ Hemstreet says: â€œMind in the ether is no more unnatural than mind in flesh and blood.â€ Stockwell says: â€œThe ether is coming to be apprehended as an immaterial, superâ€physical substance, filling all space, carrying in its infinite, throbbing bosom the specks of aggregated dynamic force called worlds. It embodies the ultimate spiritual principle and represents the unity of those forces and energies from which spring, as their source, all phenomena, physical, mental and spiritual, as they are known to man.â€ Dolbear says: â€œPossibly the ether may be the medium through which mind and matter react. Out of the ether could emerge, under proper circumstances, other phenomena, such as life, or mind, or whatever may be in the substratum.â€ And, so, we have the best of authority to support the inevitable conclusion that there must be Mindâ€Power even in the ether.
For my own part, I go still further, and for several years back have been claiming that the Ether and the Universal Mindâ€Power Principle are one and the same thingâ€”that is, that that theoretical something that science has called â€œthe Ether,â€ is in reality the Universal Mindâ€Power Principle from which all manifestations of activities emergeâ€”the Universal Mental Dynamo! I cannot prove this, of courseâ€”but it is logical. But my argument does not depend even upon thisâ€”for admit that there is Mindâ€Power in the ether, and my case is won. And in the ether it must be, even if the ether is not but another name for it. For if Mindâ€Power is not in the ether, from whence does it come into the particles of matter, and in matter itself, organic and inorganic? [see Compound Interetheric, Subdivision]
Resting the consideration for a moment, let me say that with mind as reason, intellect, etc., I have nothing to do in this book, for this is a consideration of the dynamic phase of mindâ€” the Power phaseâ€”Mindâ€Power, or Dynamic Mentation. I am trying to show you that Mindâ€Power exists everywhere, and is manifest in every activity of the universe. â€œIn every activity of the universe?â€ you say; â€œsurely you do not include physical activity and energy such as natural forces etc.!â€ Yes, I do mean just that! â€œHow can that be?â€ you ask, â€œwhat has Mindâ€Power to do with electricity, light, heat, magnetism, gravitation, etc.?â€
It has everything to do with them, in my opinion. I will explain it to you in a few words, for I cannot go into this subject at length in this book, but must hasten on to the other parts of my subject. Here it is in a nutâ€shell: All the forms of natural physical energy, or forces, known as light, heat, electricity, magnetism, etc., are held by science to be forms of energy arising from the vibration of the particles of matter. Now what causes the vibration? Motion of the particles, of course! And what causes the particles to move? Just this, the attraction and repulsion existing between them! And what causes the particles to exhibit this attraction and repulsion toward each other? Now here is where we get to the heart of the matter; listen well! We have seen that the particles are attracted to, or repelled by, each otherâ€”in the matter of â€œlikes and dislikesâ€; â€œlove and hatesâ€; or â€œpleasure or revulsionâ€; or â€œcomfortable and uncomfortable experiences related, however distant, to sensation,â€ etc. And these attractions and repulsions are held to result from â€œcapacity to experience sensationsâ€ and the power to â€œrespond to sensations.â€ And both the power to receive and experience â€œsensations,â€ and to respond thereto, are manifestations of mentality, which Haeckel has compared to â€œdesireâ€ and â€œwill.â€ And if mentality is the cause of the sensations and of the response there; and the latter are the causes of the attractions and repulsions; and the latter are the causes of the motion, to and fro, of the particles of matter; and the latter, in turn is the cause of the vibrations; and the vibrations are the causes of the manifestations of light, heat, electricity, magnetism, etc.,â€”then am I not justified in claiming that mind and Mindâ€Power are the motiveâ€force of all physical energy?
And, am I not justified in postulating the existence of an universal mental dynamic principle? I tell you, friends, that the future will show that this dynamic mental principle is the source of energyâ€”not energy the source of mind! I know that this is revolutionary, but I believe that it will meet the requirements of the future. I have been preaching this thing for several years nowâ€”and many have been the smiles; the jeers; and the sneers. But, from the beginning, I have felt a keen appreciation of the words of Galvini, when he said, bitterly: â€œI am attacked by two very opposite sectsâ€”the Scientists and the Knowâ€Nothings; both laugh at me, calling me the â€˜Frogâ€™s Dancing Master,â€™ but I know that I have discovered one of the greatest forces in nature.â€ And, now, in conclusion, I must ask you to form a mental picture of this great universal dynamic mental principle; pervading all space; immanent in all things; and manifesting in an infinite variety of forms, degrees and phases. We can think of it only by means of symbols. Let us then consider it as a great living, throbbing, pulsating, mentating Ocean of Dynamic Mindâ€Power. In the depths of that Ocean of Mindâ€Power there is quiet, and calm and peaceâ€”the embodiment of latent power, and potential energy. On its surface are ripples, waves, great movements of energy, currents, whirlpools, eddiesâ€”phases of fierce tempest alternating with phases of calm and quiet. And from the depths of that Ocean of Mindâ€Power, all mental and physical Power emergesâ€”and to its bosom all must return. And in that ocean there is an infinite store of energy, from which may be drawn that which the human centers of consciousness and power require, when they learn the secret. This Ocean of Mindâ€Power is our only source of dynamic energyâ€”but we have at our disposal as much of its force as we can carry off over our channels of supply. It is the use of this power that we call Dynamic Mentation.
Now, do you understand what I mean by the Universal Principle of Dynamic Mindâ€Powerâ€”this Universal Mentalâ€Dynamo?
Several years ago I told a friend of this conception, and after he had listened to me attentively and with interest, he reflected a few moments, and then suddenly asked: â€œBut where do I come in?â€ And that is the question that many of you are asking now, no doubt. Well, while here I cannot dip into metaphysics or philosophical speculation, or even into my favorite occult sources, I will say that each of you is a Centre of Power in that Ocean of Dynamic Mindâ€Power and each â€œIâ€ is a master of the power. You have the Whole Thing back of youâ€”and you are free to draw upon it for all that your channel will carry to you. And you are allowed to enlarge your channel. That is enough for this timeâ€”more will follow as we proceed.
[Mind Power - Table of Contents]