The GOD In You ( Audio Book )

The GOD In You – Prentice Mulford / Intro

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The book contains 8 chapters , Total length 2 hrs 49min

Prentice Mulford

The GOD In You

Prentice Mulford



THERE is a gospel older than Christianity, older than Buddhism, older than Brahmanism,
older than the classic religions of Greece and Rome, older than the worship of idols and the
worship of ancestors. This gospel has been preached under varying forms and names, and
with stress laid upon different aspects of its truth and its applicability to differing conditions
of civilisation and to the different characters of the peoples to whom the message has been
addressed. It is probably as old as the earliest traditions of civilised man, and the preaching
of it becomes a periodical necessity through the very evolution and growth of civilisation
itself. It acts as an alternative medicine, a corrective of the tendency inherent in civilisation
to drift insensibly into channels of artificiality, to substitute the letter for the spirit, the creed
for the life, the formula for the thing signified, habit for deliberate conscious action, the cant
catchword for the life-giving principle, the spurious imitation for the genuine product. The

Gospel to which I allude Is the Gospel of the Return to Nature.
In every generation of the world’s history since man was civilised, the realisation of this state
has been the dream of a few idealists who saw it existing in the far distant past of the
world’s history in an allegorical form as the fabled Golden Age sung of by the poets. If it is
older than all the religions, it yet takes its place as an essential element of all of them in the
first stages of their existence. Jesus Christ struck the keynote in his preaching when he
bade his disciples “suffer the little children to come unto me, for of such is the Kingdom of
Heaven,” and again when he said, “Except ye be born again as a little child ye cannot enter
into the Kingdom of Heaven.” And the refrain of very many of his injunctions to his disciples
was the adoption of what we should now call the Simple Life so much talked about but so
little lived in these days of the twentieth century. Buddha gave expression to the same
thought and practised it in his renunciation of his princely life and his adoption of the life of
the wondering preacher, of the begging friar. The same truth was inculcated in China by
Lao-tsze and again to a later age, in France, by Jean Jacques Rousseau in his Social
Contract and his Discourse on the Origin of Inequality among Men.”
Man is born free, and yet everywhere he is in chains.” Such were the opening words of this
inspiring message to the Peoples of the Earth. Man is born natural and civilisation makes
him artificial. He is born in touch with Nature and life under the open sky and in the green
fields. Civilisation draws him to courts and towns. Mankind is born to liberty and equality:
civilisation makes him either a tyrant on the one hand or a slave on the other. The thought
underlying this gospel, whether preached by Christ or by Rousseau, or today by Edward
Carpenter in his Civilisation, its Cause and Cure, contrasted as the characters of the
preachers will appear, is essentially the same.

Why were the Scribes and Pharisees hypocrites? Why, except because they had turned
from the spirit to the letter, from Nature to artificiality? What was the crime of the French
Monarchy but that it fostered and perpetuated unnatural conditions and artificial restrictions
which froze the life-blood of the French people? What were the faults which Prentice
Mulford saw in American civilisation, if they were not the faults which arise directly from the
too rapid growth of the luxuries and so-called advantages which civilisation and commercial
development bring in their train, and from the neglect of those forces which are inherent in
Nature itself and without which the life-blood of a nation of necessity becomes contaminated
and impoverished?

“You are fortunate (writes Prentice Mulford) if you love trees, and especially the wild ones
growing where the great Creative Force placed them and independent of man’s care. For all
things that we call wild or natural are nearer the Infinite Mind than those which have been
enslaved, artificialised and hampered by man. Being nearer the Infinite, they have in them
the more perfect infinite force and thought. That is why, when you are in the midst of what is
wild and natural, where every trace of man’s works is left behind, you feel an indescribable
exhilaration and freedom that you do not realise elsewhere.”

This sentence seems to me to strike a note of the greatest importance in connection with all
these “Return to Nature” movements in whatever period of the world’s history they may have
occurred. It is especially noteworthy how each movement of the kind has been followed by a
great uprising of the life forces of the nation or nations to whom it was preached. It acts on
the generation which listens to its preaching like the winds of spring on the sap of winter
trees. It is the great revivals consequent on such preaching that let loose the pent-up
energies of the human race and in doing so make the great epochs of history. Christianity
was the result of one such great movement. The French Revolution was the result of such

The gospel of Rousseau was preached not to the French nation only. It was preached in
France, it is true, but it was preached to mankind at large, and the fact that it was listened to
by many nations outside France is more than half the explanation of the triumphs of
Napoleon, the heir of the new French Democracy. In the early days of his triumph Napoleon
came to the peoples of the other countries of Europe as much in the guise of a deliverer as
of a conqueror. The soldiers that fought in the armies against him had heard the message
of freedom and equality and were in no mood to contend with its conquering arm. The
gospel according to Jean Jacques Rousseau was this life-giving force. Like a tonic breath
from the sea, like a draught of champagne, it was at the same time invigorating and
intoxicating to its hearers. Prentice Mulford was right, the Gospel of Nature, wherever
preached, “has ever made man feel an indescribable exhilaration and freedom.”
Where Mulford differed from Rousseau was in seeing more clearly, more spiritually, what
the Return to Nature really signified. That it signified the getting in touch once more i: with
“the Infinite Force and Mind as expressed by all natural things.” This Spirit of Nature, “this
Force of the Infinite Mind,” was given out, he maintained, by every wild tree, bird, or animal.
It was a literal element and force, going to man from tree and from living creature. If you
loved Nature, if you loved the trees, you would find them, declared Mulford, responsive to
such love.

“You are fortunate (he says) when you grow to a live, tender, earnest love for the wild trees,
animals, and birds, and recognise them all as coming from and built of the same mind and
spirit as your own, and able also to give you something very valuable in return for the love
which you give them. The wild tree is not irresponsive or regardless of a love like that. Such
love is not a myth or mere sentiment. It is a literal element and force going from you to the
tree. It is felt by the spirit of the tree. You represent a part and belonging of the Infinite Mind.
The tree represents another part and belonging of the Infinite Mind. It has its share of life,
thought, and intelligence. You have a far greater share, which is to be greater still–and then
still greater.”

And again:–
“As the Great Spirit has made all things, is not that All-pervading mind and wisdom in all
things? If then we love the trees, the rocks and all things, as the Infinite made them, shall
they not in response to our love give us each of their peculiar thought and wisdom? Shall we
not draw nearer to God through a love for these expressions of God in the rocks and trees,
birds and animals?”
Poets have told us the same story. Sir Walter Scott did so, for instance, in his beautiful lines
in “The Lay of the Last Minstrel”:-
“Call it not vain. They do not err. Who say that, when the poet dies, Mute Nature mourns her
worshipper And celebrates his obsequies; That say mute crag and cavern lone For the departed hard
make moan, And rivers teach their rushing wave To murmur dirges o’er his grave.”
Wordsworth, too, understood the communion with Nature, as is shown by many of his

verses, and most of all by his lines on the vision of the daffodils. The sight of the daffodils
dancing by the lake was to him like the midnight dance of fairies or elves on the greensward,
instinct with conscious vitality, and the impulse of contagious motion. This picture of the
‘daffodils’ delight in their own life and beauty recalled itself automatically to the poet’s mind,
and bade him join them in their fairy revels. No poet could have put the mood of communion
with Nature in lines of greater felicity. They are, indeed, well known, but to the lover of
Nature they will bear quoting again and again. The poet exclaims:–
” I gazed and gazed, but little thought What joy the show to me had brought. For oft, when on my
couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood. They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of
solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.”
Other poets have voiced the same sense of communion with Nature in varying forms and
degrees of intensity. A lesser known one of the present day has claimed poetry as Nature’s
mouthpiece, and condemned its neglect as a refusal to be brought into touch with Nature’s
many voices by the most articulate means at its disposal. Take the following verses as an
example :-
“If thou disdain the sacred Muse, Beware lest Nature, past recall, Indignant at that crime, refuse Thee
entrance to her audience hall. Beware lest sea and sky and all That bears reflection of her face Be
blotted with a hueless pall Of unillumined commonplace. Ah! desolate hour when that shall be, When
dew and sunlight, rain and wind Shall seem but trivial things to thee, Unloved, unheeded, undivined!
Nay, rather let that morning find Thy molten soul exhaled and gone, Than in a living death resigned
So darkly still to labour on.”

We see that poets galore have voiced this sentiment and have even expressed it like Sir
Waiter Scott in the form of a belief in the conscious Life of Nature. Poets live in a world of
fancy and imagination. We do not take their statements too literally. It is different when we
come to a man who writes essays, which he would have us take as a guide in life, who, in
his wildest flights, expects to be taken as intending to convey the full force of what he says,
in however spiritual a sense.

You cannot say of the lines of Scott what the great Earl of Chatham said in quite a different
connection, that ” though poetry they are no fiction.” * You feel that Scott was by way of
expressing a poetic mood, the literal truth of which he would never dream of substantiating
over the dinner table, Prentice Mulford, on the other hand, preached this doctrine as an
actual truth to be accepted and acted upon, to be made a basis upon which to erect a
practical manual on the subject of how to live most intensely, of how, in short, to be most
alive while living. Prentice Mulford, in preaching his gospel, echoed in other words the
message proclaimed by the Founder of Christianity: “I have come that ye might have life,
and that ye might have it more abundantly.”
To Mulford every man is an unconscious psychometrist. The infection of good or evil is

“Everything (he tells us) from a stone to a human being sends out to you as you look upon it
a certain amount of force affecting you beneficially or injuriously according to the quality of
life or animation which it possesses. Take any article of furniture, a chair or a bedstead, for
instance. It contains not only the thought of those who first planned and moulded it on its
construction, but it is also permeated with the thought and varying moods of all who have
sat on it or slept in it. So also are the walls and every article of furniture in any room
permeated with the thought of those who have dwelt in it, and if it has been long lived in by
people whose lives were narrow, whose occupation varied little from year to year, whose
moods were dismal and cheerless, the walls and furniture will be saturated with this gloomy
and sickly order of thought.

“If you are very sensitive, and stay in such a room but for a single day, you will feel in some
way the depressing effect of such thought, unless you keep very positive to it, and to keep
sufficiently positive for twenty-four hours at a time to resist it would be extremely difficult. If
you are in any degree weak or ailing you are then most negative or open to the nearest
thought- element about you, and will be affected by it, in addition to the wearying mental
effect (first mentioned) of any object kept constantly before the eyes.
“It is injurious, then, to be sick, or even wearied, in a room where other people have been
sick, or where they have died, because in thought-element all the misery and depression,
not only of the sick and dying but of such as gathered there and sympathised with the
patient, will be still left in the room, and this is a powerful unseen agent for acting injuriously
on the living.”

The above quotation is from an essay on ” Spells, or the Law of Change”; but our author
develops the same idea to a fuller extent in another essay, that on “Positive and Negative
Thought,” in which he enlarges on the importance of being positive and not negative when
surrounded by those who are emitting poisonous thought atmosphere, such as envy,
jealousy, cynicism, or despondency. This, he tells us, is as real as an noxious gas and
infinitely more dangerous. If you are then in a negative or receptive state you are to all
intents and purposes a sponge, absorbing evil influences, the full harm of which may not be
realised till days afterwards.

You must know, then, when to be in a positive and when in a negative frame of mind. As a
rule you must be positive when you have dealings with the world and negative when you
retire within yourself. These conditions inevitably alternate one with another, and the
exercise of much positive force will bring about a natural reaction after a certain time. Why,
asks Prentice Mulford, did the Christ so often withdraw from the multitude? It was, he avers,
because after exercising in some way the immense power of concentrated thought, either by
healing or talking, or by giving some proofs of his command over the physical elements, at
which times he was positive and expending his forces, he, feeling the negative state coming
upon him, left the crowd so that he should not absorb their lower thought.
Prentice Mulford lays great stress on the reality, indeed, substantiality of thought. “As a man
thinketh, so is he.” “Your spirit,” says Mulford, ” is a bundle of thought.” What you think most
of, that is your spirit. ” Thought,” he says again, ” is a substance as much as air, or any
other unseen element of which chemistry makes us aware. Strong thought is the same as
strong will. Every thought, spoken or unspoken, is a thing as real, though invisible, as water
or metal. When you think you work. Every thought represents an outlay of force. 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. If the thought is absorbed by others, 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 helping others towards health and strength, as well as

In thought every man should look forward and cast the past behind him. ” Nature buries its
dead as quickly as possible, and gets them out of sight. It is better, however, to say that
Nature changes what it has no further use for into other forms of life. The tree produces the
new leaf with each return of spring. It will have nothing to do with its dead ones. It treasures
up no withered rose leaves to bring back sad remembrance.” . . . ” Nothing in Nature is at a
standstill. A gigantic incomprehensible Wisdom moves all things forward towards greater
and higher powers and possibilities. You are included in and are part of this force.”
If then, argues Mulford, you do not move forward with the rest of Nature, you will inevitably
sink, and rightly sink, into decrepitude and decay. Why are outworn creeds outworn? Simply
because they have not changed with the changing thought of man, they have not evolved
with the evolution of the race. They have remained behind on a lower plane while man has
moved forward to a higher. If you cling to them you cling to what will draw you back and
draw you downward. It is the same in business. The business methods of one generation
must be changed and modified in order to adapt the business to the conditions and
demands of the uprising generation. The “good old times” may have been good in their way,
though their goodness is generally exaggerated; but to attempt to revive their ways of
thought for the use of later generations is like putting new wine into old bottles.
Prentice Mulford had absorbed among his other ideas the eastern doctrine of
metempsychosis. The race had evolved, he held, from the lowest forms. It could, therefore,
evolve indefinitely higher. Man, as at present constituted, was not its ultimate aim. The
possibilities of human evolution were infinite.

“It is a grand mistake (he writes), that of supposing that any man or woman is the result of
that one short life which we live here. We have all lived possibly in various forms as animal, bird,
snake, insect, plant. Our starting-point of matter in existence has been dragged on the sea’s
bottom, embedded in icebergs, and vomited out of volcanoes amid fire, smoke and ashes. It
has been tossed about on the ocean and has lain maybe for centuries and centuries
embedded in the heart of some Pleiocene mountain. We have crept up and up, now in one
form, now in another, always gaining something more in intelligence, something more of
force, by each change, until at last here we are, nor have we got far along yet.”
If man’s power of developing is indefinite it follows, thinks Mulford, that his power of
prolonging life is also limitless; i.e. not merely prolonging life under other conditions outside
the physical body, but even of prolonging life within the physical body itself. Hence his essay
dealing with Immortality in the Flesh–an essay which more than any other has led to Mulford
being dubbed a crank and a mad dreamer. ” We believe,” he writes, “that immortality in the
flesh is a possibility, or in other words, that a physical body can be retained so long as the
spirit desires its use, and that this body instead of decreasing in strength and vigour as the
years go on, will increase and its youth will be perpetual.”

There is a Law (says Mulford) of Silent Demand, and silent continuous demand made with
concentration of will and thought can obtain whatever it asks for–whatever it claims as its
own, in view of the fact that each human being is part of the Infinite Life and has inalienable
relationship to the Supreme Power. “There will be built,” our author predicts, “in time, an
edifice partaking of the nature of a church where all persons of whatever condition, age,
nationality, or creed may come to lay their needs before the great Supreme Power and
demand of that Power help to supply those needs. It should be a church without sect or

creed. It should be open every day during the week and every evening until a reasonable
hour. It should be a place of silence for the purpose of silent demand or prayer. It should be
a place of earnest demand for permanent good, yet not a place of gloom. A church should
be held as a sanctuary for the concentration of the strongest thought power. The strongest
thought power is where the motive is the highest. You can get such power by unceasing
silent demand of the Supreme Power of which you are a part.”

This power of silent demand can be utilised, then, for all purposes. It can be utilised, for
instance, to keep the body in health, to make good the wearing away of the tissues, to
prevent the ageing and final perishing of the physical body. “The body is continually
changing its elements in accordance with the condition of the mind. If it is in certain mental
conditions, it is conveying to itself elements of decay, weakness, and physical death. If in
another mental condition, it is adding to itself elements of strength and life. That which the
spirit takes on in either case is thought or belief. Thoughts and beliefs materialise
themselves in flesh and blood. Belief in inevitable decay and death brings from the spirit to
the body the elements of decay and death. Belief in the possibility of a constant inflowing to
the spirit of life brings life.”

These ideas, as I have already suggested, seem fairly far-fetched. But it is a curious fact
that science does not appear to reject them quite as decisively as one would have expected.
Messrs. Carrington & Meader, in their book on Death, its Causes and Phenomena, which
bears very directly on this interesting question, quote the observation of a physician, Dr.
William A. Hammond: “There is no physiological reason why man should die,” and also Dr.
Monroe in his statement that the “human body as a machine is perfect. It is apparently
intended to go on forever.” And again, they cite the observation of Dr. Thomas J. Allen, who
states that “the body is self-renewing and should not therefore wear out by constant

The point is not so much perhaps that natural death, as we call it, is unnatural, as that the
reason why mankind die after a certain age has never been satisfactorily explained from a
medical point of view, and the medical evidence points to the fact not so much that man
might conceivably be immortal as that the process of decay might be indefinitely retarded.
That, in short, man might live to a far greater age than he does at present.
There is a great deal in Prentice Mulford which seems commonplace enough today. Men of
the twentieth century are familiar with his doctrines and his teachings. They have been put
forward with a great air of originality by many of his followers, and they have been repeated
in various forms and with varying degrees of exaggeration. I doubt, however, if they have
ever been put forward so freshly and so forcibly as they were by the pioneer of what we now
call the New Thought Movement–Prentice Mulford. There is in no other leader of this New
Thought Movement such a sense of the communion with Nature, so fresh and full a
recognition of the possibility of utilising Nature’s forces for the benefit of body and spirit. For,
as I have already explained, Prentice Mulford was, not only the first and greatest of the New
Thought teachers, but also par excellence an apostle of the Return to Nature. RALPH



Neville Goddard, Summa Theologica, Manly P Hall, A Course In Miracles

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