Part I: INTRODUCTION
An Overview of the Evolution of Humanity's Thought
If we traced humanity's history
into the dim past we would come to a place where humankind did not
consciously know itself. We would come to a point where only Instinctive
Lifeexisted. Self-conscious humanity had not yet evolved.
Nothing can be more apparent than that self-conscious humanity, as it
now appears, is the result of growth and unfoldment. But in order to
unfold, it had to have something to unfold from. And since
humanity is intelligent, it is logical to assume it unfolded from
something with intelligence.
We can think of Instinctive Humanity as that inner Something that gives
rise to intelligent life. We do not see it but it must be there. We
might say that this is God in humanity or the idea of God working
But if Instinctive Humanity is an idea of God, why is humanity, as we
know it, not always perfect? The answer is that basically it is
perfect -- but as soon as individuality evolves to self-consciousness
it has to be left alone to discover itself. Even God cannot become
mechanically individual; it would be a contradiction in terms. If
humankind has the attributes of self-choice and free will, it must
be free to discover and use those aspects of its nature for itself.
NATURE AWAITS HUMANITY'S
From the day when evolution
humanity to the point of self-choice, human beings had to be left free.
So, from that day forward, Instinctive Life has depended on humanity's
unfoldment to express Itself fully. It is true that during the course
of evolution, It has been present within and has carried on the
automatic functions of the body. It has even silently suggested what
courses of action to choose -- via human intuition. But It has left
humanity alone in all other ways. It may, and must, hold humanity as
perfect being, but It also must let humanity discover this fact for
So, throughout human history Instinctive Life, That Which we call God,
has been -- and must still be -- silently waiting. As the great
discoveries are made, God responds by supporting each step of human
advancement. We can see this unfolding throughout the story of human
Consider the discovery of any natural forces. We know that they must
have always existed. But, so far as human beings are concerned, they
exist only after they have been discovered and we have learned how to
make use of them.
Electricity was a reality when Moses led the children of Israel from
the land of Egypt. But because neither Moses nor any of his followers
knew about it, they could not use it. All of the laws that govern the
world of nature have always existed. None can be consciously used until
they are understood. Instinctive Life has to await humanity's discovery
of Its laws before those laws can expand the human relationship to the
great Whole. This not only applies to forces that affect the outer
world, it is also true of forces that operate within. The unfoldment of
these inner, finer forces through humanity is what we call its
THE FIRST GREAT DISCOVERY
The first great discovery that
humankind made was that it could think. There was a day when a person
first rose from the ground and said, "I AM." This marked the beginning
of personal self awareness which meant humanity was now free to refuse
to advance its understanding. It could not progress further until it
Compulsory evolution stopped when personal awareness dawned. From that
day, human beings could work only in conscious union with
Nature and Its forces. But they did not have to work separately from
It. Instinctive Life is an integral part of humanity. It cannot leave.
And It constantly seeks to express more of Its limitless possibilities
in and as humanity.
Humankind is evolving from an Infinite Basis we can think of as the
great Unknown, but not the great unknowable. The unknown becomes the
known through humankind. Whatever more Instinctive Life is to do as and
for humankind must be done through human beings. Nature must work
through humanity in order to work for it just as nature works through
all the rest of life in order to work for it.
The great discovery that humanity could think and choose meant human
beings could plan and execute. As a result they built great
civilizations and technologies. They harnessed electricity to their
inventions and leashed steam, compelling it to do their bidding. They
leveled forests, built cities, made the desert bloom, and threw lines
of commerce around the globe. Indeed, humanity has seemed to possess
THE INNER SENSE AWAKENS
But even with its new
humankind felt a vague sense of something more, something greater,
something more advanced. There has been a sort of mystical inner sense
of things, an instinctive urge, a blind groping after a greater light.
In spite of all of its apparent power, humankind has still been
unhappy, sick, lonely and afraid. Cities have crumbled into dust and
nations have fallen into ruin. Humanity has suffered deeply and death
has seemed to cover all of life and life's work with a pall of darkness
THE GREAT QUESTION "WHY"
The great question "Why" has
been upon humankind's lips. Few answers to this question have been
offered and even those few have been largely passed by, unheeded.
Humanity has struggled along what has seemed a weary road with a heavy
heart and bleeding feet -- only to be met at the end by what it saw as
the finality of the grave. The lack of a sense of completion has beset
every pathway. Suffering human beings have held up their hands in
speechless anguish. Their broken cries have rent the air with
supplications to an apparently unheeding Deity.
What is it all for? Human beings have looked for answers from the wise
only to discover their foolishness. They have sought out the learned
only to find a lack of wisdom. The cries of why, why, why have appeared
to go into an empty nothingness. Yet for some, a vague inner answer has
seemed to come from somewhere. Some subtle inner sense of things, some
unknown presence has said, "Know thyself." All along, Instinctive Life
has been guiding self-conscious humanity to search into its own nature,
to look deep within itself for the answers to life's questions. But
humankind could not hear until it evolved to a point where it could
begin to understand this inner voice and see how to do its bidding.
THE GREATEST DISCOVERY OF ALL
Humanity's response to this
Instinctive Voice started its greatest adventure, the discovery of
Mind. Until that point, humanity's discovery of its ability to think
seems not to have made much difference. Human beings had always been
able to think; this simply gave them the ability to know their needs
and try to supply them. Thinking was nothing new.
The ability to think seemed to be an automatic thing; it came with
being human and would doubtless die when the human being died. The
brain seemed to be the organ of thought and, of course, when death
stilled the brain it would no longer operate -- this was considered
THE BRAIN DOES NOT THINK
But the day came when some wise
being said that it is not the brain that thinks at all. If the brain,
of itself, could think, we could cut it out and it would keep right on
thinking. No, the brain, of itself, cannot think. Yet, without a brain
a human being cannot think. That simply means that a human being needs
a brain in order to know that it thinks. But the brain, on its own,
does not think. If the brain does not think and humanity does think,
there must be a thinker behind the brain.
But where is this thinker? We do not see it. Have we a right to say
that a thinker is there when no one has ever seen it? Yes. There isn't
a single force of nature that we can see. Have we ever seen electricity
or gravity? No. The only evidence we have of their existence is that we
see what they do. We have light and motive power that work by
electricity, so we have a right to suppose that there is an unseen
force we can call electricity at work in them. This is true throughout
nature; we see effects and not causes or the forces that implement
WE DO NOT SEE THE THINKER
But to return to the thinker,
proof of its reality is in the evidence of its works. We know that the
legs do not walk because if they are severed from the body, they cannot
carry anyone very far. Cut off the hand and it cannot hold anything in
its grasp. Pluck out the eye and it cannot see. So it is with all the
organs of the body. There is a thinker and doer back of the organism
who is using it for a conscious purpose.
THE BODY IS UNCONSCIOUS WITHOUT
This is a great discovery for it
that the body without the thinker also could not be sick or suffer.
Without the thinker there can be no movement or response of the body.
If the body, of itself, has no life and no power to act, why then does
it get sick?
Let's follow the course of humankind's thought since it first
discovered that the body cannot act on its own. Humanity first realized
that Instinctive Life built up the body through evolution. After having
created and evolved a perfect body, It left it to humanity to do with
as it willed. At first, humanity was ignorant of this, thinking that it
had no control over a body that was self-operating. But as soon as it
discovered this was not the case it began to formulate certain theories
and test them.
Humanity discovered that not only could it consciously think and
decide, but something happened to its thoughts after it thought them.
They went somewhere for they would come back as remembrance. Humanity
had now discovered that it could consciously think and that its thought
would come back to it again. This led to the conclusion that memory is
an inner mental action.
Humankind reasoned, "Memory is the storehouse of all our conscious
thoughts and it is active. Our bodies are not conscious of life, but
our thought is conscious of our body. The body is operated on by
thought so it must also be operated on by memory since memory is the
storage of conscious thought. Memory, of itself, is an unconscious
operation of what was once a conscious thought."
CONSCIOUS AND UNCONSCIOUS
Humanity named its memory
thought" and called its conscious thought its "objective mind." It then
came to the conclusion that it had two minds, one conscious and one
unconscious, or subconscious. The conscious mind was the one that it
used all the time in its self-conscious state and the subconscious mind
was the storehouse of all its past conscious thoughts, the seat of its
memory. It follows that anything stored as memory was once a conscious
thought. So, as conscious thought acts, unconscious thought must
eventually also operate.
This conclusion led to the theory that the subconscious mind is the
builder of the body. Not that it really makes the body in the first
place, for Instinctive Life does that -- but that the subconscious mind
keeps the body going and always acts on the thoughts of the conscious
After carefully watching this process, humanity found that it could
consciously choose what to think. And it also found that conscious
thinking could make such an impression on unconscious thought that the
unconscious would then do what the consciousness directed it to. This
led humanity to induce that there is a law of suggestion that gives
rise to habits and that this law is a law of action and reaction.
Habits are repeated conscious ideas that have created patterns in the
inner thought. These patterns are then carried out to logical
A NEW BASIS OF THOUGHT
Human beings began to reason,
"Instinctive Life within me is perfect. Yet I appear to be imperfect.
My apparent imperfection must be the result of imperfect thinking.
Suppose that in reality I am, and always have been, perfect. I will now
begin to think differently about myself and see what happens."
In response to this new viewpoint, the body often healed. So humanity
came to this conclusion, "God made me perfect but It also made me an
individual, which means that I can do with myself as I will. I cannot
really destroy my body but I can make it most uncomfortable. Since God
created me out of Itself, I was created perfect. I can think of each
one of the organs of my body as a perfect idea."
As human beings began to experiment further, they discovered that
thoughts of peace produced serene conditions while thoughts of fear
produced disturbed conditions. Confidence made human beings strong
while fear made them weak. In fact, humanity was able to trace each of
its mental attitudes to a physical correspondent.
Humankind also discovered that, asleep or awake, its inner mind works
all the time. People learned that by analyzing their dreams as well as
their conscious thought, they could discover what was disturbing them
and use thought to heal it. This later came to be called
THE LAW OF MIND
Then another idea came to
the whole process works in accordance with a law. Humanity had
discovered the law of mind just as it had, at another time, discovered
the law of electricity. If something works by a law, then human beings
can always use it and it will always respond. From this understanding
humanity gradually built up a definite technique for the practice of
Humanity found that if it thought of itself as always being in a state
of underlying perfection, it would always feel better. But how was
humankind to think of itself when it appeared to be sick? Could it
reasonably deny that it was sick and imperfect when it was suffering?
Yes, for the sickness had to be the result of unconscious thoughts of
imperfection. By using conscious thought to change the unconscious
beliefs, humanity could eventually change the effect.
Human beings then experimented and learned how to acknowledge sickness
-- and yet turn away from it. When the body was sick, a human being
could go back into mind and think of the body pattern as being perfect.
And since human thought works independently of the body, human beings
could turn from the image of sickness to the idea of health and say, "I
am perfect, no matter what the appearance may be." And, eventually, the
body would respond. In the meantime, human beings could ease their
bodily discomforts through medical means.
UNCONSCIOUS MIND AT WORK
But it seemed that some kinds of
sickness appeared that had never entered the minds of the individuals
suffering from them. How was humankind to reconcile this fact with its
For a while this was a hard
solve but, by more careful study of its inner self, humanity discovered
that what it called its subjective or unconscious mind took all of its
conscious thoughts and did something with them. It found that there
were certain combinations of thought which, if brought to their logical
conclusions, would produce certain kinds of diseases. A human being did
not have to think consciously of a certain disease to have it manifest.
It only needed to think certain kinds of thoughts.
For instance, if human beings were excited all the time they would
produce nervousness. If they became angry they would secrete irritants
into their systems -- and so on through all the categories of human
ailments. Somewhere in mind these ailments had their reasons for being.
And then it was found that even though human beings could not always
tell exactly what thoughts caused a specific illness, they could still
think of the body pattern as perfect and begin to heal.
Humankind knew that as time went on and its body of knowledge grew, it
would find out more and more about itself and be better and better able
to open itself to healing. Humanity had started on the right track.
Some people began to believe that they would eventually know enough
never to be sick again.
ANOTHER GREAT DISCOVERY--
Then a new discovery came --
beings could think about others and help them heal, too. The others had
to be receptive to the ideas but it seemed to make no difference where
they were. Human thought could act to help heal them. This was an
astounding fact. It meant that there must be a common mind somewhere --
a medium through which thought operates. Thought could not reach from
one person to another unless there were a mental medium between the
thinker and the other person. This seemed strange; for it meant that
what human beings had learned to think of as individual subjective
minds, was, after all, only the personal use that was made of something
that is in and around everyone.
Human beings began to think with others who wanted them to, and they
learned that Something responded to that thinking and caused some
action to take place in the others' bodies. They called this medium
"Universal Mind," or "the Law of God." It seemed to be as omnipresent
as the law of electricity or the laws governing any of the other forces
DISCOVERY OF SPECIES-THOUGHT
In thinking about these laws and
observing how they operate, humankind came to see how the whole species
might have held certain kinds of thoughts and how those thoughts might
have operated through anyone who was open and receptive to them. For
instance, if someone were to feel discouraged, they might "tune in" to
collective thoughts of discouragement and start to feel even worse.
Humankind named this process species suggestion and began to wonder how
individuals could protect themselves from it. They soon discovered that
conscious thought could keep species thought from operating through
individuals. Human beings could choose what thought would affect them.
Human beings could consciously
to think of themselves as perfect ideas in the Mind of God. They found
that when they did, they could neutralize the effects of species
suggestion. After all, species suggestion was nothing but thought and
thought could be consciously changed. So human beings learned how to
use thought to build mental "walls" around themselves which could not
be entered unless they chose. They consciously identified their
thinking with the Mind of God, invoking "Divine Protection."
A UNIVERSAL MEDIUM WHICH ALL
TO BELIEVE IN
Human beings had now discovered
they could help themselves and others to heal by thinking into some
kind of Universal Law of Mind. Like all the other known forces of
nature, this one seemed to operate according to a great Impersonal Law
that could be consciously used -- and the way to use It was through
right thinking about health.
Humanity began to realize that the whole human species could be healed
by knowing the Truth about itself. But because the Law was mental it
could work only for those who believed in It. Many people did not yet
believe. So those who did believe decided to help themselves heal along
with any others who wished to be helped -- and then wait for the rest
of the world to realize the facts.
ANOTHER QUESTION COMES UP--WHY
If this Mind could produce such
physical effects on the body, why couldn't It produce similar effects
on conditions in human affairs? Why were some people rich while others
were poor? Was this fate? Was it because there was not enough to go
around? If there was One Mind that created bodies and conditions,
shouldn't it give to all alike?
Why were some people strong, happy and prosperous while others were
unhappy, weak and poor? Could it be that just as humanity had thought
itself into sickness, it had also thought itself into poverty?
Questions like these caused humankind to search ever more deeply into
the nature of things. Some human beings succeeded and some failed even
though they lived in the same world, under the same conditions. So
there must be something within individuals, and not outside of them,
that made these things happen. Humankind began to realize that
conditions did not make themselves. It gradually became clear that
everything in human life was affected by humanity itself.
HUMANITY REALIZES CONDITIONS ARE
CONTROLLED BY THOUGHT
As humanity realized that its
and political affairs were controlled by thought working through the
avenue of the One Mind, it discovered that by changing its thought it
could remold its affairs. Changed thinking could bring changed
conditions into being.
But would there be enough to go around if everyone became prosperous?
Humankind pondered on this and realized that the answer had to be yes.
Instinctive Life is Limitless.
HUMANITY REALIZES IT MUST THINK
As humanity discovered that
cocreated its affairs by thinking, it learned that if it thought
correctly, it could bring into its experience the things it wished to
enjoy. Since this was all in accordance with Law, humanity could choose
to do it consciously. That meant that the time would come when everyone
could think correctly. Poverty, unhappiness, and all that goes with
them, could and would be swept from the face of the earth. Lack was
never intended to be; humanity had misused its power. Once this was
understood, humanity could change its whole way of thinking and thereby
be happy and have plenty.
But not everyone could believe this. Many said it was foolish or too
good to be true. However, it was soon demonstrated that whoever would
believe in the Law of Mind -- and comply with It -- could prove It to
be true. If some did not wish to believe this, so be it. There were
those who would and the direct proofs of their lives would eventually
convince the others. At some point, everyone would be saved from
unbearable conditions. The thing to do was to teach the Law to those
who would believe It and use It. The lessons which follow are intended
to do just that. Humankind is made up of individual people and the
place to begin is with those who can believe in the greater possibility.
Human beings must each work out the law of their own being. It is
within their power to change their environment and completely heal
their bodies. Whether or not they will do so depends entirely upon
their own conviction and their own determination. Nature supports
humanity and is always ready to serve, but every human being is a
sacred individual and nothing is ever forced.
The Law is available to everyone. It exists. Anyone can choose to
follow It. Those who comply with Its nature through consistently
practicing right thinking and right living produce results that prove
that life holds all and more than any of us have ever imagined.
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