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Excerpts from

  12 Lessons in Concentration
and Will Power

F.W. Sears

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Book Description
1919. Topics covered in the 12 lessons include: Concentration Rightly and Wrongly Used; Character of Thoughts We Think; Thought Habits; Inharmonious Thought Habits; Consciousness and Thought Habits; I'll Try Thought Habit; Overcoming Self-Consciousness; Law of Harmony; Law of Force; Oneness of All Life; Individuality; and Will Power.


We should never be afraid to spend our money for anything which will benefit us.

There is plenty of money in the world and there is no reason why we should not relate with whatever amount we may want.

When we do not it is because we have used our concentration and will power wrongly and not because there is any lack in the supply of money.

When we try to get the best of anyone in any deal we are only beating ourself by using our concentration and will power wrongly.

When we do anything with the consciousness of  "economizing" we are simply shutting ourself away from the universal abundance of the supply of everything through the wrong use of our concentration and will power.

When we attempt to control others and make them buy our goods whether or not they want them, we are using our concentration and will power wrongly and no matter how much profit we may make today as the result, the day will come when we will lose it all and everything else we may have.

All this is the result of the Universal Law which works out the effects of causes we set in motion through the wrong use of our concentration and will power.

We may say "I don't believe such rot," but that doesn't in any way affect its truth.

The time was, and not so very long ago either, when the most intellectual men in the world did not believe such "rot" as that the world was round, and they proved conclusively (to their own satisfaction) that it couldn't be round or else the water would all fall off of it.

The best educated men of that day, as well as the Christian religion, taught also that the sun revolved around the earth and ostracized and excommunicated those who did not profess similar beliefs, but that did not make the earth square neither did it make the sun revolve around the earth.

"Ignorance of the law excuses no one," so say our civil and criminal courts," and this is in full accord with the Universal Laws; our " beliefs," no matter what they may be, do not in any way excuse our ignorance.

It is evident that you wanted to learn something you did not know otherwise you would not have purchased these lessons.

The first thing for a real student to do is to become receptive to his teacher.

This does not mean that he has to become acceptive and swallow everything whole at one gulp without regard to whether or not it appeals to his reason, logic and common-sense, but it does mean that he should become receptive, and that when he finds something which does not agree with his preconceived ideas he should not reject it at once as being untrue but he should go to work to see how well he can prove its truth to himself.

There is nothing in these lessons but what the Author knows is true because he has proven them for himself and has taught thousands of his students how to prove them during the past few years.

There are two ways in which to learn any lesson: One way is to memorize the words. This is the method usually adopted by most students.

The other way is to learn by absorption. That is, read the lesson over quietly, carefully, calmly, while in a relaxed condition and so absorb it rather than attempt to memorize it.

When we memorize a lesson we only get the form, the words; we get little or nothing of either their consciousness or vibration.

Memorizing a thing gives us an intellectual knowledge of it, its theory, but gives us little or nothing of its wisdom or understanding.

When we absorb a lesson we may not at first be able to express our conception of it as intellectually as it is written but we at least get the soul of it, the wisdom and understanding of it, because we feel it and live it in our consciousness.

This is the true method of obtaining wisdom and understanding, and it is the method the Author would most earnestly recommend in the study of these lessons.

My best wishes are always with you.



The power of concentration when rightly used is man's greatest asset, but when wrongly used becomes his greatest liability.

In order to understand just what is meant by the words "rightly" and " wrongly " as used in the "Sears Philosophy" let me say that "rightly" means harmoniously or under the Law of Harmony, and that "wrongly" means inharmoniously or under the Law of Force.

Heretofore man has always been taught by those who discussed this subject, whether as a writer or teacher, that all it was necessary for him to do was to acquire a strong power of concentration and the world and everything in it he wanted would be his. That with such a power of concentration he could make anything come to him he wanted.

The result of such teaching has been that man's entire work was devoted to acquiring the power to concentrate first and then directing that power towards some one thing for as long a period as he might desire.

Numerous methods for acquiring this power of concentration have been given, the idea seeming to be with each teacher that it was the method which was the important thing.

No attention whatever has been given to the principles underlying man's use of the power of concentration nor to the consciousness with which it was used, and the will power which manipulated it.

It is in this fact there is found the first difference between the "Sears Philosophy" and all other teachings.

Methods are unimportant as they are purely accessories, and any method a student finds helpful to his particular state of consciousness is good for him no matter how bad it may be for others.

When a student adopts a method which is destructive and inharmonious in his life the day comes when he realizes this truth and so learns that "the cure of a thing is in the thing itself." His experience then becomes "good" to him.

Man's consciousness is created by his thought habits, and these in turn are the result of the thoughts he thinks, not for a day or two, but for years.

There are only two kinds of consciousness; harmonious and inharmonious.

The former is the effect of man's use of the Law of Harmonious Attraction in his life and results in increasing, upbuilding and developing him along constructive lines.

The latter is the result of his use of the Law of Force (mental as well as physical) and disintegrates and destroys while seeming to upbuild.

The action of both of these Laws is so subtle, and the relationship between cause and effect so difficult to see objectively in many cases that unless man has developed a good perception and is a close analyst he fails to see and understand.

Every thought man thinks is either constructive or destructtive and adds to one while taking from the other of these two kinds of consciousness, harmonious or inharmonious.

Through man's will power he is able to control the kind of thoughts he thinks and therefore determine whether he will make his consciousness and thought habits more harmonious or more inharmonious.

No one can control this for him. He must do the work for himself. When anyone else does control his thoughts it is because he has given his power of self control to some one or some thing outside of himself.

Few persons lack the power to concentrate.

Most persons use this power ignorantly and therefore destructively the larger portion of the time.

What is Concentration?

It is the ability to fix the human mind on some one thought, idea, image, vision, thing, to the exclusion of all else.

The length of time one concentrates on anything is a factor of the will power, not of concentration itself.

There are many different kinds of concentration and many different methods of using this power.

One of the most common methods taught, and which many mistake as being the only real method, is that which is called "going into the Silence."

Under this method the student is taught, in a general way, to fix his mind on some one thought or thing and hold it there for a period of time; then let go, take his mind off of everything so that he may become receptive to that for which he has concentrated, and remain in this receptive condition for a period of time.

This method is taken from the Eastern philosophies which are taught by the Hindus and other occultists.

In its finality this method is one of the most destructive possible to imagine, no matter how "high" and "unselfish" the thought may be on which one has concentrated nor how "holy" the object of the concentration may be before "going into the Silence."

The giving up of the control of the human mind to any mind or consciousness manifesting through some other form, even though it may be to what the world calls God himself, or to any of the lesser "Masters," no matter how "good" the object of such control may be, weakens the power of the human mind to exercise its own will in just the degree that one gives up such control, and when this is continued and persisted in for any length of time there is only one result and that is astralization, obsession, or both.

In all my experience and observation as a teacher I have never found anyone who practiced "going into the Silence" for any length of time but who became abnormal, weak-willed, and more or less unreliable as the result of it.

To become astralized is to have fastened upon one a disembodied entity; i.e., a soul which has laid down its physical body at death and is on the astral plane, which is the plane where we all go to at death.

The astral plane is made of material very much finer than is that of the physical plane. It lies all around and within the physical, the two planes interpenetrating each other.

Any condition of astralization devitalizes the physical body through the sapping of its life energy much the same as a bloodsucker or leech does. The effect is that of an invisible vampire.

To be obsessed is to have an astral entity control the human mind. This control may be either in part or in whole; periodically or continuously. In the latter event the person would be insane.

All nervous diseases of every kind and nature are the effect of astralization or obsession.

This is why the medical practitioners find it so difficult to "cure" nervous diseases.

The patient, while under the influence of the astralizing or obsessing entity, cannot control his own mind and his power of concentration is used destructively by the controlling entity.

Everyone, even though he may be insane—unless he is an imbecile—concentrates on something with his human mind during his waking hours.

There is never a moment when one's human mind is absolutely a blank.

The human mind only becomes what we call a "blank" when we cease to exercise our human will power in controlling what shall fill it.

Man's trouble is not that he lacks the power to concentrate but rather that he uses this power so ignorantly, unconsciously and destructively that he sets causes in motion which weaken his will power and so makes it exceedingly difficult for him to concentrate on what he wants.

We have no difficulty in concentrating indefinitely either on what interests us or that which worries and annoys us.

Our trouble begins when we attempt to make ourselves concentrate along lines which are out of our beaten tracks and which require a change in our habits of thought to accomplish.

All this is the result of our having used the Law of Force in developing our power of concentration and so weakened our will power that it will not respond to our continued attempt to force or make it follow our instructions.

Our brain goes to sleep as did that of the disciples of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Our own troubles are of vital importance to us and so we unconsciously revive and revitalize them and the causes which produced them by our continually thinking of and concentrating upon them.

By referring to Matthew, Chapter 26, verses 36 to 45, we may read the story of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and from it learn how he concentrated on sorrow.

It says that he "began to be sorrowful and very heavy." He said to the disciples who were with him, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death."

It says also that he prayed, saying, "O my Father if it be possible let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will but as thou."

He prayed a second time saying: "O my Father if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done."

Also that he prayed a third time, saying the same words.

From this history we can see how he not only concentrated upon his troubles but also that he gave up the control of his will power to some personality outside of himself which the world has called "God."

The religionist has considered this a highly laudable thing to do. Whether or not you believe this to be so, the fact still remains that to do so weakens one's will power and makes him subservient to some power exercised by some personality other than his own.

Having taught the law and its universal application, our business is not to attempt to force the student to comply with it, but to permit him to use as much or as little of it as each one may desire.

The student may well ask as to why one who knew the power of concentration as well as the man Jesus must have known it would have used it so destructively as he did in Gethsemane.

It is a truth that no one ever lives up to his highest ideals all of the time.

To do so would be to cease to grow. Stagnation and then death is always the result when the growth of anything ceases.

The man Jesus was no exception to the rule, as one can readily understand who reads the history of him in the New Testament,

As fast as we master one ideal through the constructive use of our power of concentration a still greater one comes into our vision, no matter whether these ideals are of money, health, love, strength, courage, power, harmony, or anything else.

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