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Excerpts from

Your Forces and How to Use Them
by Prentice Mulford

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Book Description
Treatise on the nature of soul and its attributes of Wisdom and Supreme Power. God; You Travel When you Sleep; The Art of Forgetting; How Thoughts are Born; The Law of Success; How to Keep Your Strength; The Art of Study; Profit and Loss in Associates; What are Spiritual Gifts; The Process of Re-Embodiment; Universal Nature.


A Supreme Power and Wisdom governs the Universe. The Supreme Mind is measureless, and pervades endless space. The Supreme Wisdom, Power and Intelligence is in every-thing that exists from the atom to the planet.

The Supreme Power and Wisdom is more than in everything. The Supreme Mind is everything. The Supreme Mind is every atom of the mountain, the sea, the tree, the bird, the animal, the man, the woman. The Supreme Wisdom cannot be under­stood by man or by beings superior to man. But man will gladly receive the Supreme thought and wisdom, and let it work for happiness through him, caring not to fathom its mystery.

The Supreme Power has us in its charge, as it has the suns and endless systems of worlds in space. As we grow more to recognize this sublime and exhaustless wisdom, we shall learn more and more to demand that wisdom draw it to ourselves, make it a part of ourselves, and thereby be ever making ourselves newer and newer. This means ever per­fecting health, greater and greater power to enjoy all that exists, gradual transition into a higher state of being and the development of powers we do not now realize as belonging to us.

We are the limited yet ever growing parts and expressions of the Supreme Never Ending Whole. It is the destiny of all in time to see their relation to the Supreme and also to see that this straight and narrow path to ever-increasing happi-ness is a perfect trust and dependence on the Supreme for the all round symmetrical wisdom and idea which we, individually cannot originate. Let us then daily demand faith, for faith is power to believe and power to see that all things are parts of the Infin­ite Spirit of God, that all things have good or God in them, and that all things when recognized by us as parts of God must work for our good.

Chapter 1


YOU travel when your body is in the state called sleep. The real "you" is not your body; it is an unseen organization, your spirit. It has senses like those of the body, but far superior. It can see forms and hear voices miles away from the body. Your spirit is not in your body. It never was wholly in it; it acts on it and uses it as an instrument. It is a power which can make itself felt miles from your body.

One-half of our life is a blank to us: that is, the life of our spirit when it leaves the body at night. It goes then to countries far distant, and sees people we never know in the flesh.

Sleep is a process, unconsciously performed, of self-mesmerism. As the mesmeric operator wills another into unconsciousness, so do you nightly will yourself, or rather your body, into a state of insensibility.

What the mesmeric operator really does is to draw the spirit out of the body of the person he mesmerizes. He brings the thought of his subject to some focus or centre, as a coin held in the hand. While thus centred, the thought (or spirit) of the subject is put in such a condition that he can most easily affect it by his will. He wills then the per­son's spirit out of his body. This done, he throws his own thought in that body. It is then as a house left open by its owner. The mesmerizer then takes possession of that body by the power of his own thought. It is not the subject at all who sees, feels, and tastes as the operator wills: it is the spirit or thought of the mesmerizer himself, exercised in an­other body, temporarily left vacant by its own spirit.

Thought is a substance as much as air or any other unseen element of which chemistry makes us aware. It is of many and varying degrees in strength.

Strong thought or mind is the same as strong will. Some persons are so weak in thought, as compared with the practised mesmerizer, that they cannot resist him. Others of even stronger thought can give themselves up voluntarily to his control. You need not be overpowered by any one in this way, providing you resist them in mind, and call upon the higher power to assist you, if you feel their thought overcoming you.

When we "go to sleep," the spirit has been by its day's workings sent widely scattered away from the body: with so little of its force left by it, the body falls into the trance state of slumber. As the mes­merizer draws the spirit away from the body of his subject, so has our spirit drawn itself away from our bodies by its many efforts during the day.

Your body is not your real self. The power that moves it as you will is your spirit. That is an in­visible organization, quite distinct and apart from your body. Your spirit (your real self) uses your body as the carpenter does his hammer or any tool to work with.

It is the spirit that is tired at night. It is ex­hausted of its force, and therefore not able to use the body vigorously. The body is really then as strong as ever, as the carpenter's hammer has the same strength when his arm is too weak to use it.

The spirit is weak at night, because its forces have in thought been sent in so many different directions during the day that it cannot call them together. Every thought is one of these forces, and a part of your spirit. Every thought, spoken or unspoken, is a thing, a substance, as real, though invisible, as water or metal. Every thought, though unspoken, is some­thing which goes to that person, thing, or locality on which it is placed. Your spirit, then, has during the day been so sent in a thousand, perhaps ten thousand different directions. When you think, you work. Every thought represents an outlay of force. So sending out force for sixteen or eighteen hours, there is not at night sufficient left in or near the body to use it. The body therefore falls into the condition of insensibility we call sleep. During this condition the spirit collects its scattered forces, its thoughts which have been sent far and wide; it returns with its powers so concentrated to the body, and again possesses it with its full strength. It is when scattered as so many scattered rills of water trickling in many directions. Put all these together in a single volume, and you have the power that turns the mill-wheel.

Could you call all of your spirit at once to its centre, and so collect its widely scattered forces, you could be fresh and strong in as many minutes as it now takes hours to rest you. This power was known to the first Napoleon, and sustained him for days with very little sleep during the crisis of his cam­paigns when his energies were taxed to the utmost. It is a power which can be acquired by all through a certain training.

It is done by first placing the body in a state of as complete rest as possible; stopping all involuntary physical motions, such as the swinging of limbs, tap­ping with the foot, or drumming with the fingers. All such involuntary movements waste your force, and, worse, train you unconsciously to a habit hard to break, of wasting force. The involuntary working of the mind, the straying of thought in every direc­tion,—towards persons, things, plans, and projects,—the useless frettings over cares great and small, must be similarly stopped, and the mind for a few minutes made as near a blank as possible.

Concentration of thought on the word "in-drawing," or "drawing into self," or the mind-picture of your spirit with its fine electric filaments reaching to persons, places, and things far from you, being all drawn back, and massed in a focus, is a help to do this; because whatso you imagine in your mind is a spiritual reality. That is, what you image, you are actually in spirit and In­spirit doing. Every plan or invention clearly seen in thought is of thought-substance, as real a thing as the wood, stone, iron, or other substance in which afterward it may be embodied and made visible to the body's eye, and made to work results on the physical stratum of life.

If a man thinks murder, he actually puts out an element of murder in the air. He sends from him a plan of murder as real as if drawn on paper; its thought is absorbed by others; so is this element and unseen plan of murder absorbed by other minds; it inclines them towards violence if not murder. If a person is ever thinking of sickness, he sends from him the element of sickness; if he thinks of health, strength, and cheerfulness, he sends from him con­structions of thought affecting others to health and strength as well as himself. A man sends from him in thought what he (his spirit) is most built of. "As a man thinketh, so is he." Your spirit is a bundle of thought; what you think most of, that is your spirit. Imagine, then, yourself as such a being, drawing in all these filaments, sent and placed as they are to so many things. The thoughts so passing from you in one minute could hardly be plainly written out in an hour. You gather them to a centre. You have then gathered in and concentrated your full motive power; then you can put all its force on any thing you please. When the eye and mind are put on any single object that does not tax the energies, say a spot in the wall, the positive thought or filaments reaching out are drawn in to the common centre. Your absorption on any single thing loosens them from their near or far point of contact. Before such loosening, the spirit is as the expanded hand and ringers. When the thought is drawn in, the spirit is as the closed or clinched fist.

When thought is sent out to any thing, you send out your force. When it is centred in a single thing, and so drawn in and kept from straying every moment, you are drawing in force.

The Hindu "adept" becomes able, through a cer­tain training of mind, to send his spirit or himself from his body. It is still connected with it by the fine unseen current of life known in the Bible as the "silver thread." When that thread is snapped, body and spirit are completely severed, and the body dies. The "adept" has allowed himself to be buried alive. Rice has been sown over his grave, and sprouted. Seals were put in his coffin, and the grave carefully watched. He has so remained for weeks, and when dug up "came to life."

The real man was never buried at all. It was only his body in the self-induced trance state, that was buried. Between his body and spirit, possibly miles away, the fine thread of spirit kept up the body's life, or rather such supply of life as the body needed to keep it from decay. When the body was dug up, his spirit returned, and took full possession of it. He was able to do with his own body what the mesmerizer does with the body of his subject. He sent his own spirit out of it; the mesmerizer sent his subject's spirit out. Before so sending out his spirit, the adept makes his mind a blank. Before drawing out the spirit of his subject, the operator causes the subject to make his own mind a blank; in other words, he stops the resisting forces of the other person's thought by turning all his thought to a centre.

Your spirit can, and does frequently, go from your body to other places during sleep. It is then still connected with it by this thread of exceedingly fine element. This can be drawn out to a great distance. It is as an expanding or contracting electric wire con­necting your spirit with the instrument it operates, your body.

This power of the spirit so to leave the body ac­counts for the phenomenon of persons being seen in two places far distant at the same time. It is the spirit that is seen by some clairvoyant eye. It is the "double," the "doppel ganger" of the German, the "wraith" of the Scotch. The spirit may even be far from the body just previous to the body's death. It is only the feeble supply of life sent it through the connecting thread, which causes the in­voluntary throes (so called) of dissolution. These are not as painful as they seem. The real self, the spirit, even then may be unaware of the "death-bed scene." It may go to some person, possibly at a distance, to whom it is much attracted; and thereby is solved the mystery of the apparitions, seen by dis­tant friends, of persons whose deaths at or about the time of such appearances were not heard of until months after.

Sometimes people, during periods of sickness, fall uncon-sciously into a state where the spirit leaves the body, without snapping the threads of life. The body's trance has then been mistaken for its real death, and it (the body) has been buried alive. The spirit has been compelled to return to its body in the coffin. The thread could only be severed after such return.

Your real being is ever sending out, with each thought, a fine electric ray or filament, representing so much of your life, your force, your vitality, and reaching to the object, place, or person to which such thought is sent, be it six feet or thousands of miles from your body.

Your thought is your real strength. When you lift a weight, you put your thought on the muscle that lifts. The heavier the weight, the more of your thought do you put on it. If, in so lifting, a part of your thought is turned in some other direction, if someone talks to you, if something frightens or an­noys you, a part of your strength or thought leaves you. It goes to whatever has taken away a part of your attention from lifting.

It is mind, thought, spirit, that use the muscle to lift, as we use a rope to pull up a weight. There is no lifting or working without intelligence. Intelli­gence, thought, mind, and spirit mean about the same thing.

It does not matter, in order to give strength, whether the spirit, when once called together, be near the body or at a distance from it. So that it brings its forces (its thoughts) together, be it far from its body or near it, it is strong; and when it again takes possession of your body, and wakes it up, it is able to use the body with its full strength.

But the spirit may remain scattered all night. It may never be able to bring its forces together at any time. It may be living, as many now are, with its thought always in advance of the act it is now doing or trying to do. It is walking the body and sending out its force (its thought) to the place it hurries to. It is writing with the body, and thinking of something else. When it frets, it sends out force to the thing fretted about. These states of mind, acts of thought, and useless waste of force become at last so confirmed in habit, that the spirit may lose all power of bringing all its strength together. In this state it gathers no strength by night or day.

Sleeplessness comes of the difficulty of the spirit to bring itself to a centre and collect its forces. Insanity comes of the total inability of the spirit to focus its thoughts. The permanent cure for sleep­lessness must commence in the daytime. You must drill your mind to put its whole thought on the act you are now doing. If you tie your shoe, think shoe and nothing else. Then you bring yourself to a centre, and collect your forces. If you tie your shoe, and think of what you are going to buy the next hour, you are sending needlessly half of your force from yourself. You are in reality trying to do two things at once. You do neither well. You are scat­tering your spirit on as many things as you think of while tying the shoe. You are cultivating the bad habit of scattering your force, until such habit becomes involuntary. You are making it more and more difficult for your spirit to collect itself together. By so doing, you make it more difficult for the spirit to return with strength to its body in the morning, or to leave it at night. You can get no healthy sleep at night unless your spirit does withdraw from its body. Sleeplessness means simply that your spirit cannot leave its body.

If you fall into the dangerous habit of fretting, your spirit may fret as much on going from its body at night as when using it in the daytime. Or, if you are of a quarrelsome disposition, it may be quarrel­ling, fighting, and hating all night, and so return to its body without any strength to use it; because all quarrelling, if only in thought, is constantly using up force.

It is for this very reason dangerous and unhealthy to let the "sun go down on your wrath;" that is, to have in mind, just before the body's eyes close in sleep, the recollection of the persons you dislike, and be then engaged in sending hating thought to them. The spirit will keep up the process after "it leaves the body. To hate is simply to expend force in tearing yourself, your spirit, to pieces. Hate is a destructive force. Good-will to all is constructive: it builds you up stronger and stronger. Hate tears you down. Good-will to all draws to you healthy and construc­tive elements from all with whom you come in con­tact. Could you see the actual, elements as they flow from them to you, in their liking for you, you would see them as fine rills of life feeding yours. Could you see the contrary elements of hatred which you may excite in others, you would see them flowing toward you as dark rays or rills of dangerous, poison­ous substance. If you send out to it its like, the thought of hatred, you only add to the unhealthy force and power of that element, because these two opposed and dangerous elements meet and mingle, act and re-act on those who send them, ever calling on each to send fresh supply of force to keep up the war, until both are exhausted. Self-interest should prompt people to hate none. It weakens the body, and causes disease. You never saw a healthy cynic, growler, or grumbler. Their soured thought poisons them. Their bodily disease originates in their minds. Their spirits are sick. That makes the body sick. All disease originates in this way. Cure the spirit, change the state of the mind, replace the desire to make others feel disagreeably by that of making them feel agreeably, and you are on the road to cure dis­ease. When the spirit originates no warring, hating, gloomy, despondent thought, no manner of unpleasant thought, the body will take no disease whatever.

You can only oppose successfully the hatred or evil thought of others by throwing out toward it the thought of good-will. Good-will as a thought-ele­ment is more powerful than the thought of hate. It can turn it aside. The "shafts of malice," even in thought, are real things. They can and do hurt people on whom they are directed, and make them sick. The Christ precept, "Do good to them that hate you," is based on a scientific law. It means that thoughts are things, and that the thought of good can always overpower that of evil. By power is here meant power in as literal a sense as in speak­ing of the force that lifts a table or chair. The fact that all thought, all emotion, all of what is called sentiment, or qualities such as mercy, patience, love, etc., are elements as real as any we see, is the corner­stone to the scientific basis of religion.

What you call dreams are realities. Your spirit away from your body at night goes to and sees per­sons and places. To some of these you may have never gone with your body. You remember on the body's awakening very little of what you have seen. What you do remember is mixed pell-mell together. That is because your memory of the body can hold but a little of what is grasped by the memory of your spirit. You have two memories, one trained and adapted to the life of your body, the other of your spirit. Had you known of the life and power of your spirit from infancy, and recognized it as a reality, the memory of your spirit would have been so trained that it would remember all of its own life and bring it back to you on the awakening of the body. But as you have been taught to regard even your spirit as a myth, so you make of its memory a myth. Were a human being taught from infancy to discredit the evidence of any of its senses, then that sense would be blunted and almost destroyed. Let all associated with a child for years deliberately set to work and tell it that they could not see the sky or houses, fields, or other familiar objects at hand; and with none allowed to break the delusion, that child's eyesight as well as its judgment would be seriously affected. We are similarly taught to deny all the senses and powers of our spirits; or, rather, the real powers of ourselves, of which the senses of the body are a faint counterpart, are persistently denied. Sub­stantially we are taught that we are nothing but bodies. This is equivalent to telling the carpenter that he is nothing but the hammer he uses.

If in a so-called dream you see a person who died years ago, you see simply a person whose body, being worn out, could no longer be used by him on this stratum of life.

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