Thoughts are Things ( Audio Book )

Thoughts are Things – Prentice Mulford / Chapter One

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The book contains 13 chapters , Total length 4 hrs 34min

Prentice Mulford

Thoughts Are Things

Thoughts are Things
by Prentice Mulford
“Go, speed the stars of Thought
On to their shining goals;
The sower scatters broad his seed,
The wheat thou strew’st be souls.”
First Published by G. Bell and Sons, Ltd., LONDON, 1908.

Chapter 5 – LOOK FORWARD!

THERE belongs to every human being a higher self and a lower self–a self or
mind of the spirit which has been growing for ages, and a self of the body, which
is but a thing of yesterday. The higher self is full of prompting idea, suggestion
and aspiration. This it receives of the Supreme Power. All this the lower or animal
self regards as wild and visionary. The higher self argues possibilities and power
for us greater than men and women now possess and enjoy. The lower self says
we can only live and exist as men and women have lived and existed before us.
The higher self craves freedom from the cumbrousness, the limitations, the pains
and disabilities of the body. The lower self says that we are born to them, born to
ill, born to suffer, and must suffer as have so many before us. The higher self
wants a standard for right and wrong of its own. The lower self says we must
accept a standard made for us by others–by general and long-held opinion, belief
and prejudice.
“To thine own self be true” is an oft-uttered adage. But to which self? The higher
or lower?
You have in a sense two minds–the mind of the body and the mind of the spirit.
Spirit is a force and a mystery. All we know or may ever know of it is that it exists,
and is ever working and producing all results in physical things seen of physical
sense and many more not so seen.
What is seen, of any object, a tree, an animal, a stone, a man is only a part of that
tree, animal, stone, or man. There is a force which for a time binds such objects
together in the form you see them. That force is always acting on them to greater
or lesser degree. It builds up the flower to its fullest maturity. Its cessation to act
on the flower or tree causes what we call decay. It is constantly changing the
shape of all forms of what are called organized matter. An animal, a plant, a
human being are not in physical shape this month or this year what they will be
next month or next year.

This ever-acting, ever-varying force, which lies behind and, in a sense, creates all
forms of matter we call Spirit.
To see, reason and judge of life and things in the knowledge of this force makes
what is termed the “Spiritual Mind.”
We have through knowledge the wonderful power of using or directing this force,
when we recognize it, and know that it exists so as to bring us health, happiness
and eternal peace of mind. Composed as we are of this force, we are ever
attracting more of it to us and making it a part of our being.
With more of this force must come more and more knowledge. At first in our
physical existances we allow it to work blindly. Then we are in the ignorance of
that condition known as the material mind. But as mind through its growth or
increase of this power becomes more and more awakened, it asks: “Why comes
so much of pain, grief and disappointment in the physical life?” “Why do we seem
born to suffer and decay”

That question is the first awakening cry of the spiritual mind, and an earnest
question or demand for knowledge must in time be answered.
The material mind is a part of yourself, which has been appropriated by the body
and educated by the body. It is as if you taught a child that the wheels of a
steamboat made the boat move, and said nothing of the steam, which gives the
real power. Bred in such ignorance, the child, should the wheels stop moving,
would look no farther for the cause of their stoppage than to try to find where to
repair them, very much as now so many depend entirely on repair of the physical
body to ensure its healthy, vigorous movement, never dreaming that the
imperfection lies in the real motive power–the mind.

The mind of the body or material mind sees, thinks and judges entirely from the
material or physical standpoint. It sees in your own body all there is of you. The
spiritual mind sees the body as an instrument for the mind or real self to use in
dealing with material things. The material mind sees in the death of the body an
end of all there is of you. The spiritual mind sees in the death of the body only the
falling off from the spirit of a worn-out instrument. It knows that you exist as before
only invisible to the physical eye. The material mind sees your physical strength
as coming entirely from your muscles and sinews, and not from source without
your body.

It sees in such persuasive power, as you may have with tongue or pen, the only
force you possess for dealing with people to accomplish results The spiritual mind
will know in time that your thought influences people for or against your interests,
though their bodies are thousands of miles distant. The material mind does not
regard its thought as an actual element as real as air or water. The spiritual mind
knows that every one of its thousand daily secret thoughts are real things acting
on the minds of the persons they are sent to. The spiritual mind knows that matter
or the material is only an expression of spirit or force; that such matter is ever
changing in accordance with the spirit that makes or externalizes itself in the form
we call matter, and therefore, if the thought of health, strength and recuperation is
constantly held to in the mind, such thought of health, strength and rejuvenation
will express itself in the body, making maturity never ceasing, vigour never
ending, and the keenness of every physical sense ever increasing.

The material mind thinks matter, or that which is known by our physical senses, to
be the largest part of what exists. The spiritual mind regards matter as the coarser
or cruder expression of spirit and the smallest part of what really exists. The
material mind is made sad at the contemplation of decay. The spiritual mind
attaches little importance to decay, knowing in such decay that spirit or the
moving force in all things is simply taking the dead body or the rotten tree to
pieces, and that it will build them up again as before temporarily into some other
new physical form of life and beauty. The mind of the body thinks that its physical
senses of seeing, hearing and feeling constitute all the senses you possess. The
higher mind or mind of the spirit knows that it possesses other senses akin to
those of physical sight and hearing, but more powerful and far reaching.
The mind of the body has been variously termed “the material mind,” the “mortal
mind ” and the “carnal mind.” All these refer to the same mind, or, in other words
to that part of your real sell which has been educated in error by the body.
If you had been born and bred entirely among people who believed that the earth
was a flat surface and did not revolve around the sun, you would in the earlier
years of your physical growth believe as they did. Exactly in such fashion do you
in your earlier years absorb the thought and belief of those nearest you, who think
that the body is all there is of them, and judge of everything by its physical
interpretation to them. This makes your material mind.

The material mind seeing, what seems to it, depth, dissolution and decay in all
human organization, and ignorant of the fact that the real self or intelligence has in
such seeming death only cast off a worn-out envelope, thinks that decay and
death is the ultimate of all humanity. For such reason it cannot avoid a gloom or
sadness coming of such error, which now pervades so much of human life at
present. One result or reaction from such gloom born of hopelessness is a
reckless spirit for getting every possible gratification and pleasure, regardless of
right and justice so long as the present body lasts. This is a great mistake. All
pleasure so gained cannot be lasting. It brings besides a hundredfold more misery
and disappointment.

The spiritual mind teaches that pleasure is the great aim of existence. But it points
out ways and means for gaining lasting happiness other than those coming of the
teaching of the material mind. The spiritual mind, or mind opened to higher and
newer forces of life, teaches that there is a law regulating the exercise of every
physical sense. When we learn and follow this law, our gratifications and
possessions do not prove sources of greater pain than happiness, as they do to
so many.
By the spiritual mind is meant a clearer mental sight of things and forces existing
both in us and the Universe, and of which the race for the most part has been in
total ignorance. We have now but a glimpse of these forces, those of some being
relatively a little clearer than those of others. But enough has been shown to
convince a few that the real and existing causes for humanity’s sickness, sorrow
and disappointment have not in the past been seen at all. In other words, the race
has been as children, fancying that the miller inside was turning the arms of the
windmill, because some person had so told them. So taught their would remain in
total ignorance that the wind was the motive power.

This illustration is not at all an overdrawn picture of the existing ignorance which
rejects the idea that thought is an element all about us as plentiful as air, and that
as blindly directed by individuals and masses of individuals in the domain of
material mind or ignorance, it is turning the windmill’s arms, sometimes in one
direction, sometimes in another; sometimes with good and sometimes with evil

A suit of clothes is not the body that wears such suit. Yet the material mind
reasons very much in this way. It knows of no such thing as clothing for the spirit,
for it does not know that body and spirit are two distinct things. It reasons that the
suit of clothing (the body) is all there is of the man or woman. When that man or
woman tumbles to pieces through weakness, it sees only the suit of clothes so
going to pieces, and all its efforts to make that man or woman stronger are put on
the suit instead of making effort to reinforce the power within which has made the

There are probably no two individuals precisely alike as regards the relative
condition or action on them of their material and spiritual minds. With some the
spiritual seems not at all awakened. With others it has begun to stretch and rub its
eyes as a person does on physical awakening, when everything still appears
vague and indistinct. Others are more fully awakened. They feel to greater or
lesser extent that there are forces belonging to them before unthought of. It is with
such that the struggle for mastery between the material and spiritual mind is likely
to be most severe, and such struggle for a time is likely to be accompanied by
physical disturbance, pain or lack of ease.

The material mind is, until won over and convinced of the truths, constantly
received by the spiritual mind at war and in opposition to it The ignorant part of
yourself dislikes very much to give up its long accustomed habits of thinking. Its
costs a struggle in any case at first to own that we have been mistaken and give
up views long held to.

The material mind wants to more on in a rut of life and idea, as it always has
done, and as thousands are now doing. It dislikes change more and more as the
crust of the old thought held from year to year grows more thickly over it. It wants
to live on and on in the house it has inhabited for years; dress in the fashion of the
past; go to business and return year in and year out at precisely the same hour. It
rejects and despises after a certain age the idea of learning any new
accomplishments, such as painting or music, whose greatest use is to divert the
mind, rest it, and enable you to live in other departments of being, all this being
apart from the pleasure also given you as the mind or spirit teaches the body
more and more skill and expertness in the art you pursue.

The material mind sees as the principal use of any art only a means to bring
money, and not in such art a means for giving variety to life, dispelling weariness,
resting that portion of the mind devoted to other business, improving health and
increasing vigour of mind and body. It holds to the idea of being “too old to learn.”
This is the condition of so many persons who have arrived at or are past ” middle
age.” They want to “settle down.” They accept as inevitable the idea of “growing
old.” Their material mind tells them that their bodies must gradually weaken,
shrink from the fullness and proportion of youth, decay and finally die.
Material minds say this always has been, and therefore always must be. They
accept the idea wholly. They say quite unconsciously, “It must be.”
To say a thing must be, is the very power that makes it. The material mind then
sees the body ever as gradually decaying, even though it dislikes the picture, and
puts it out of sight as much as possible. But the idea will recur from time to time as
suggested by the death of their contemporaries, and as it does they think ” must,”
and that state of mind indicated by the word “must” will inevitably bring material
results in decay.

The spiritual or more enlightened mind says: “If you would help to drive away
sickness, turn your thought as much as you can on health, strength and vigour,
and on strong, healthy, vigorous material things, such as moving clouds, fresh
breezes, the cascade, the ocean surge; on woodland scenes and growing healthy
trees; on birds full of life and motion; for in so doing you turn on yourself a real
current or this healthy life-giving thought, which is suggested and brought you by
the thought of such vigorous, strong material objects.
And above all, try to rely and trust that Supreme Power which formed all these
things and far more and which is the endless and inexhaustible part of your higher
self or spiritual mind, and as your faith increases in this Power, so will your own
power ever increase.

Nonsense! ” says the ultra material mind. ” If my body is sick, I must have
something done to cure that body with things I can see and feel, and that is the
only thing to be done. As for thinking, it makes no difference what I think, sick or
At present in such a case a mind whose sense of these truths new to it, has just
commenced to be awakened, will, in many cases, allow itself to be for a time
overpowered and ridiculed out of such an idea by its own material mind or
uneducated part of itself; and in this it is very likely to be assisted by other
material minds, who have not woke up at all to these truths, and who are
temporarily all the stronger through the positiveness of ignorance. These are as
people who cannot see as far ahead as one may with a telescope, and who may
be perfectly honest in their disbelief regarding what the person with the telescope
does see. Though such people do not speak a word or argue against the belief of
the partly awakened mind, still their thought acts on such a mind as a bar or blind
to these glimpses of the truth.

But when the spiritual mind has once commenced to awaken, nothing can stop its
further waking, though the material may for a time retard it.
“Your real self may not at times be where your body is” says the spiritual mind. It
is where your mind is–in the store, the office, the workshop, or with some person
to whom you are strongly attached, and all of these may be in towns or cities far
from the one your body resides in. Your real self moves with inconceivable
rapidity as your thought moves. ”Nonsense” says your material mind; “I myself am
wherever my body is, and nowhere else”
Many a thought or idea that you reject as visionary, or as a whim or fancy, comes
of the prompting of your spiritual mind. It is your material mind that rejects it.
No such idea comes but that there is a truth in it. But that truth we may not be
able to carry out to a relative perfection immediately. Two hundred years ago
some mind may have seen the use of steam as a motive power. But that motive
power could not then have been carried out as it is today. A certain previous
growth was necessary–a growth and improvement in the manufacture of iron, in
the construction of roads, and in the needs of the people.
But the idea was a truth. Held to by various minds, it has brought steam as a
motive power to its present relative perfection. It has struggled against and
overcome every argument and obstacle placed in its way by dull, material,
plodding minds. When you entertain any idea and say to yourself in substance:
“Well, such a thing may be, though I cannot now see it” you remove a great
barrier to the carrying out and realization by yourself of the new and strange
possibilities in store for you.

The spiritual mind today sees belonging to itself a power for accomplishing any
and all results in the physical world, greater than the masses dream of. It sees
that as regards life’s possibilities we are still in dense ignorance. It sees however,
a few things–namely, perfect health, freedom from decay, weakness and death of
the body, power of transit, travel and observation independent of the body, and
methods for obtaining all needful and desirable material things through the action
and working of silent mind or thought, either singly or in co-operation with others.
The condition of mind to be desired is the entire dominancy of the spiritual mind.
But this does not imply dominancy or control in any sense of tyrannical mastership
of the material mind by the spiritual mind. It does imply that the material mind will
be swept away so far as its stubborn resistance and opposition to the promptings
of the spiritual are concerned. It implies that the body will become the willing
servant, or rather assistant of the spirit. It implies that the material mind will not
endeavour to act itself up as the superior when it is only the inferior. It implies that
state when the body will gladly lend its co-operation to all the desires of the
spiritual mind.

Then all power can be given your spirit. Then no force need be expended in
resisting the hostility of the material mind. Then all such force will be used to
further our undertakings, to bring us material goods, to raise us higher and higher
into realms of power, peace and happiness, to accomplish what now would be
called miracles.

Neither the material mind nor the material body is to be won over and merged into
the spiritual by any course of severe self censure or self denial, nor self
punishment in expiation for sins committed, nor asceticism. That will only make
you the more harsh, severe, bigoted and merciless, both to yourself and others. It
is out of this perversion of the truth that have arisen such terms as ” crucifying the
body” and ” subjugating the lower or animal mind.” It is from this perversion that
have come orders and associations of men and women who, going to another
extreme, seek holiness in self denial and penance.
“Holiness” implies wholeness, or whole action of the spirit on the body, or perfect
control by your spirit over a body, through knowledge and faith in our capacity to
draw ever more and more from the Supreme Power.

When you get out of patience with yourself, through the aggressiveness of the
material mind, through your frequent slips and falls into your besetting sins
through periods of petulance or ill temper, or excess in any direction, you do no
good, and only ill in calling or thinking for yourself hard names. You should not call
yourself “a vile sinner” anymore than you would call any other person a “vile
sinner,” If you do, you put out in thought the “vile sinner” and make it temporarily a
reality. If in your mental vision you teach yourself that you are “utterly depraved”
and a “vile sinner,” you are unconsciously making that your ideal, and you will
unconsciously grow up to it until the pain and evil coming of such unhealthy
growth either makes you turn back or destroys your body, For out of this state of
mind, which in the past has been much inculcated, comes harshness, bigotry, lack
of charity for others, hard, stern and gloomy and unhealthy views of life, and these
mental conditions will surely bring physical disease.

When the material mind is put away, or, in other words, then we become
convinced of the existence of these spiritual forces, both in ourselves, and outside
of ourselves, and when we learn to use them rightly (for we are now and always
have been using them in some way), then to use the words of Paul: ” Faith is
swallowed up in victory,” and the sting and fear of death is removed. Life
becomes then one glorious advance forward from the pleasure of today to the
greater pleasure of tomorrow, and the phrase “to live” means only to enjoy.



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

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