Prentice Mulford's Story—Life by Land and Sea. Your Forces and How to edition published isbn: ‑1‑‑‑7 (pdf) .. About Prentice Mulford. IV. Prentice Mulford's complete book collection can be read free at bestthing.info, along with more free New Thought Books including free Divine Science books, free Science of mind books, free Unity books and other free metaphysical books. bestthing.info provides free. Free PDF, epub, site ebook. Prentice Mulford was one of the leaders of the New Thought Movement. This book served as a guide to this new belief system.
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y. Prentice Mulford, as an exten sion of the remarks which appear in the original Introduction. Mulford's gift is described by the title of this selection as a Gift of the . THOUGHTS ARE THINGS – PRENTICE MULFORD. 2. Thoughts are Things. ESSAYS SELECTED FROM THE WHITE CROSS LIBRARY by Prentice Mulford. in the case of Prentice Mulford, as complete as would appear from his own account is a matter for some doubt; but certainly the contrast between the early and.
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.
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 existences we allow it to work blindly.
Then we are in the ignorance of that condition known as the material mind. 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. Without success, Mulford eventually left the mining life and turned his attention to politics.
He ran for a position on the Calfifornia State Assembly in Sacramento, and although he was nominated, he did not win the election. Mulford spent about 5 years as a writer and editor for various papers and was referred to as a "Bohemian" by many San Franciscan due to his disregard for money.
In his own autobiography, Mulford stated "Poverty argued for us possession of more brains". He also became well known for his humorous writing style and vivid descriptions of both the mining life as well as life at sea. He wrote many interesting and imaginative articles and was a fixture in many literary circles along with the likes of Harte, Twain, and the Bohemian set in the 's.
In , Prentice Mulford became interested in mental and spiritual phenomena. Ten minutes spent in growling at your luck, or in growling at others because they have more luck than yourself, means ten minutes of your own force spent in making worse your own health and fortune. Every thought of envy or hatred sent another is a boomerang. It flies back to you and hurts you. The envy or dislike we may feel toward those who, as some express it, " put on airs," the ugly feeling we may have at seeing others riding in carriages and "rolling in wealth,' represents just so much thought i.
If this has been your common habit or mood of mind, do not expect to get out of it at once. Once you are convinced of the harm done you by such mood, a new force has come to gradually remove the old mind and bring a new one.
But all changes must be gradual. Your own private room is your chief workshop for generating your spiritual force and building yourself up. If it is kept in disorder, if things are flung recklessly about, and you cannot lay your hands instantly upon them, it is an indication that your mind is in the same condition, and therefore your mind as it works on others, in carrying out your projects, will work with less effect and result by reason of its disordered and disorganised condition. IIl-temper or despondency is a disease.
The mind subject to it in any degree a sick mind. The sick mind makes the sick body. The great majority of the sick are not in bed. When you are peevish, remember your mind is sick. Demand then a well mind. When you say to yourself, "I am going to have a pleasant visit or a pleasant journey," you are literally sending elements and forces ahead of your body that will arrange things to make your visit or journey pleasant.
When before the visit or the journey or the shopping trip you are in a bad humour, or fearful or apprehensive of something unpleasant, you are sending unseen agencies ahead of you which will make some kind of unpleasantness. Our thoughts, or in other words, our state of mind, is ever at work " fixing up " things good or bad for us in advance. As you cultivate this state of mind more and more you will at last have no need of reminding yourself to get into such mood.
Because the mood will have become a part of your everyday nature, and you cannot then get out of it, or prevent the pleasant experiences it will bring you. Our real self is that which we cannot see, hear, or feel with the physical senses--our mind.
The body is an instrument it uses. We are then made up entirely of forces we call thoughts. When these thoughts are evil or immature they bring us pain and ill-fortune. We can always change them for better thoughts or forces. Earnest steady desire for a new mind or self will surely bring the new mind and more successful self. And this will ever be changing through such desire for the newer and ever more successful self. All of us do really "pray without ceasing.
You carry into company not only your body, but what is of far more importance, your thought or mood of mind, and this thought or mood, though you say little or nothing, will create with others an impression for or against you, and as it acts on other minds will bring you results favourable or unfavourable according to its character.
What you think is of far more importance than what you say or do. Whatever you do has been done because of a previous, long held mood or state of mind before such doing. The thought or mood of mind most profitable in permanent results to you is the desire to do right. This is not sentiment, but science. Because the character of your thought brings to you events, persons, and opportunities with as much certainty as the state of the atmosphere brings rain or dry weather.
To do right is to bring to yourself the best and most lasting result for happiness.
You must prove this for yourself. Doing right is not, however, doing what others may say or think to be right. If you have no standard of right and wrong of your own, you are acting always on the standard held or made by others.
Your mind is always working and acting on other minds to your advantage or disadvantage whether your body is asleep or awake. Your real being in the form of a thought travels like electricity through space. So when you lay the body down to sleep, see that your mind is in the best mood to get during your physical unconsciousness the best things. For if you go to sleep angry or despondent your thought goes straight to the unprofitable domain of anger or despondency, and will bring to your physical life on awakening, first the element and afterwards that ill success which anger and despondency always attract.
Health is involved in the Biblical adage, " Let not the sun go down on your wrath. People who from year to year live in moods of gloom or discouragement are building elements of gloom and discouragement into their bodies, and the ill results cannot be quickly removed.
The habit of hurry wears out more bodies and kills more people than is realised. If you put on your shoes hurriedly while dressing in the morning you will be very apt to be in a hurry all day. Pray to get out of the current of hurried thought into that of repose. Hurried methods of doing business lose many thousands of dollars.
Power to keep your body strong and vigorous--power to have influence with people worth holding--power to succeed in your undertakings comes of that reposeful frame of mind which while doing relatively little with the body, sees far ahead and clearly in mind.
So, when in the morning, be you man or woman, you look at what is to be done and begin to feel yourself overwhelmed and hurried by the household cares, the writing, the shopping, the people to be seen, the many things to be done, sit right down for thirty seconds and say, " I will not be mobbed and driven in mind by these duties. If that is done well, so will all the rest. All of us believe in many untruths today. It is an unconscious belief. The error is not brought before our minds.
New Thought Wisdom
Still we go on acting and living in accordance with our unconscious error, and the suffering we may experience comes from that wrong belief. Demand, then, every day ability to see our wrong beliefs. We need not be discouraged if we see many more than we think we have at present.
They cannot be seen and remedied all at once. Don't take a " tired feeling " or one of languor in the day time for a symptom of sickness. It is only your mind asking for rest from some old rut of occupation. If your stomach is disordered make your mind responsible for it. Say to yourself, " This disagreeable feeling comes of an error in thought. Say again, "It is a state of my mind which causes this physical ailment, and I demand to get rid of such state and get a better one.
Tell your child never to think meanly of itself. For if it becomes habituated to such thought, others will feel it and think of the child first and of the grown-up person afterwards as of small value. Nothing damages the individual more than self-deprecation, and many a child Is weighted down with the elements of failure before it goes into the world through years of scolding, snubbing, and telling it that it is a worthless being.
Tell your child in all its plans to see or think only success. To keep in the permanent mood of expecting success, brings causes, events, and opportunities, which bring success.
Let us also tell this to ourselves very often, for we are but children also, with physical bodies a few years older than the infants. We have as yet but the vaguest idea of what life really means, and the possibilities it has in store for us.
One attribute of the relatively perfected life to come to this race is the retention or preservation of a physical body so long as the mind or spirit desires it. It will be a body also free from pain and sickness, and one which can be made or unmade, put on or taken off, at will. Say of anything that "it must be done" and you are putting out a mighty unseen power for doing.
When your mind is in the mood of ever saying "must," whether you have in mind the particular thing you aim at or not, still that force is ever working on your purpose.
But we need to be careful as to what that force of "must" is put on. Always in your individual aims and purposes defer to the Higher Power and Infinite Wisdom. The thing you may most desire might prove a curse. Be always, then, in the mood of saying, "There is a Power which knows what will bring me the most permanent happiness better than I do.
If my desire is not good let it not come, for in its place I shall have something better. It is necessary to have great care in the choice of those on whom we put our love and thought.
One may help build us up; another tear us down. We need to ask for wisdom that we may know whom to receive in close association. As you are a part of God or the Supreme Power, and a peculiar part, you can always estimate yourself as the very best of such peculiar part. No one else can approach or equal or excel you, as you represent and put out your own peculiar powers, gifts, or shades of mind and character. You will in time command the world of your own mind, and while others may compel your admiration, you will do yourself a great injury if you worship them or abase yourself or grovel before them even in mind.
Idolatry is the blind worship of anything or any body save the Infinite Force from which alone you draw life, power, and inspiration.
The thought of a woman coming to you, or a man, in sympathy or love, with ideas, aims, and aspirations equal to or above yours, may prove to you a source of strength of muscle, health of body, and clearness of mind.
His or her thought so flowing to you is a real element. If a man or woman inferior to you mentally is your companion or much in your thought, your mind will be much less clear and your health will eventually suffer. Be you man or woman, your life cannot be complete and you cannot build yourself rapidly into higher and higher powers until you meet and recognise spiritually your eternal complement or completement in the other sex.
And from such complement there is no departure. When we eat and drink let us remember that with every mouthful we place and build a thought into our selves in accordance with the mood we are in while eating. So be sure to be bright, hopeful, and buoyant while eating, and if you cannot command such mood of mind, pray for it. To ask night and morning of the Supreme Power for the highest wisdom that is, the greatest good and happiness , and to demand this in that frame of mind which acknowledges the superiority of that Wisdom over your own, is certainly to put yourself in the current of the greatest and most enduring health and prosperity.
Because another and better current of thought then begins to act on you and will gradually carry you out of errors and into the right. It will lead you by degrees into different surroundings, different ways of living, and will in time bring you the association you really need and what is best for you.
This idea is expressed in the adage: "You can't teach an old dog new tricks. It is not a truth. If your mind is allowed to grow and strengthen, it will learn more easily and quickly than during the infancy of the body.
It will learn more and more quickly how, to learn any new thing. Learning how to learn, learning how to grasp at the principles underlying any art, is a study and a science by itself.
The child, in most cases, does not learn so quickly as many suppose. Think of the years often spent at school, from the age of six to sixteen or eighteen, and how little, relatively, is learned during that period.
But this time of life is not regarded as of so much importance as that after eighteen or twenty. He or she would be deemed to have a dull intellect, who should require fourteen years to gain only so much as what a large proportion of children gain from the age of six to twenty. It is possible for any man or woman whose mind has grown to that degree, that they can acknowledge that every possibility exists within themselves to learn any art, any profession, any business, and become skilled therein, and this even without teachers, and at the period termed "middle age," or after, providing, First, That they are in living earnest to learn.
Second, That they fight obstinately against the idea of " can't," or that they are too old to learn. That in all effort to become proficient in their new calling, they cease such effort as soon as it becomes fatiguing or irksome, and that they make of such effort a recreation, and not a drudgery. Fourth, That they allow no other person to argue, sneer, or ridicule them out of the truth that the human mind can accomplish anything it sets its forces persistently upon.
Fifth, That they keep their minds in the attitude of ever desiring, demanding, praying for whatever quality or trait of character or temperament they need to succeed in their effort; and that whenever the thought of such effort is in mind, it shall be accompanied with this unspoken thought: "I will do what I have set out to do. Real "study" is easy and pleasing mental effort; as when you watch the motion of an animal that awakens your curiosity, of a person that interests you.
You are studying when you admire and examine the structure of a beautiful flower; you are studying the method and style of an actor or actress when they most hold and compel your attention and admiration. All admiration is in reality study. When you admire anything that is beautiful, your mind is concentrated upon it.
You are quite unconsciously examining it. You remember, without effort, many of its features, or characteristics. That unforced examination and attention is study. There is a great deal laid down as rules and "canons of art" which shackle and repress originality. The idea is constantly, though indirectly, impressed on learners, that the utmost limit of perfection has been reached in some art by some " old master," and that it would be ridiculous to think of surpassing him.
Now, genius knows no "old master. Any man or woman who loves to look at trees and flowers, lakes and rivulets, waves, waterfalls, and clouds, has within him or her the faculty for imitating them in the effects of light, shade, and colour,--has, in brief, a taste for painting. You say, "People to be artists, must have the art born within them. But how! Put your effort on it for an hour, half an-hour, fifteen minutes, a day.
Begin anywhere. Anything in this world will do for a starting point. Begin, and try to imitate on paper a dead leaf, a live one, a stone, a rock, a log, a box, a brickbat.
A brickbat lying in the mud has lying with it light, shade and colour, and the laws governing them, as much as a cathedral, and is a better foundation than a cathedral to begin on.
Begin with the stub of a pencil, on the back of an old envelope. Every minute of such work after beginning is so much practice gained. Every minute before such beginning, providing you intend to begin, and do not, is so much practice lost, as regards that particular art. Mind, however, you make of such practice a recreation, just as boys do in ball throwing and catching, or as the billiard player does who takes up the cue for half-an-hour, matched only against himself, or as the horseman does who exercises the horse for practice before the race.
When the work becomes irksome, when you get out of patience, because your brickbat won't come out on the paper like the original, drop it, wait for your patience-reservoir to fill up, and take for your next copy a log, a tree trunk, or anything else.
You say that you should go to a teacher of this or that art, so that you can become " properly grounded in its principles," and that, by such teacher's aid, you shall avoid blundering and stumbling along, making little or no progress.
Take up any trade, any handicraft, any art, all by yourself, and grope along in it by yourself for a few weeks, and at the end of that time you will have many well-defined and intelligent questions to ask about it, of someone more experienced in it than yourself,--the teacher. That is the time to go to the teacher. The teacher should come in when an interest in the art or study is awakened. To have him before, is like answering questions before they are asked. You cannot teach a dog to paint. The intelligence using the dog's organisation has not grown to an appreciation of such imitation of natural objects.
But you can teach him to draw a cart, to "point" to game in the cover, to swim out to the water-fowl you have shot, and bring it to you. Because the dog has these instincts, or desires, born in him.
The trainer, his teacher, brings them out. Some men and women have no more admiration for a beautiful landscape than the dog. Of course, neither can ever be taught to paint, because they have not the desire to paint, nor the admiration of the thing to be painted.
Of course, such ability may be weighted down and kept back by many causes, such as ill-health of body, ill-health of mind, unfavourable surroundings, and, perhaps, greatest of all, utter ignorance that such desire is a proof of the possession of power to accomplish the thing desired. How did you learn to walk, and how did you learn to talk? Could anyone have taught you, if desire to walk and talk had not been born with you? Did you go to a walking teacher, or a talking teacher? Did you not learn both accomplishments after ten thousand failures?
So far as you can remember, was it not rather an amusement than otherwise, to learn both, or at least, was there any idea of work associated with these early efforts? You place a boy or girl by the water-side, and give them full liberty, and they will learn to swim as naturally as they learn to walk, because the desire to swim is in them. If, after learning, they see a better swimmer, they will naturally try to imitate him; and all this endeavour, from first to last, will be for them far more recreation than work.
The better swimmer who comes along represents the teacher; and the boy and girl who can already swim fairly well, and are anxious to swim better, represent pupils who are in a condition to be taught.
Think for a moment, how much it was necessary to teach your body in training it to walk. First, to balance yourself upright on two feet without falling. Secondly, to balance yourself on one foot without falling.
Thirdly, to move the body. Fourthly, to give it the direction in which you wanted to go.
And yet we call walking a "mechanical," and not a mental, effort. If you are determined to paint, and love the creations of nature and art well enough to try and imitate them, you will be constantly studying effects in light and shade on rocks, stones, cliffs, towers, steeples.
You will observe and study, and be rejoiced at the many changing aspects and colours of the sky, as you never were before. You will discover, as you continue to observe, that nature has a different shade of colour for every day of the year, and almost every hour of the day. You will suddenly find in all this a new and permanent recreation, without money and without price.
You will then find new interests and new sources of amusement in studying the works of painters and their methods, which will be revealed to you just so fast as your appreciation grows up to them.
The same principle will apply to any branch of mechanics or art,--to anything. Of course, it is best to pursue that for which you have the most inclination, that is, admiration. If you are in any occupation that does not suit you, and you want to engage in some art that does suit you, if you have fifteen minutes in the day to spare, begin on that art.
If it is painting, paint a brickbat in some idle moment as well as you can, and only as a means of amusement. If it is carving, you have always the means for practice, if you have a jack-knife and a bit of wood. If it be music, a banjo or guitar with but a single string will give you means for practice.
For you must commence in the simplest way, even as you crept before you walked. There must be imperfect effort before there can be relatively perfect result. Because, when you do so begin, you begin to practise with one instrument far more ingenious and complicated than any you can download for use in your art; namely, your mind.
If we begin in this way, we begin something else; we begin drawing toward us ways, means, helps, and agencies unseen, but powerful, to help us.
We are not to expect success in an hour, a day, a month, a year. But if we persist, a relative success is coming all the while. The effort of this month is better than that of last. There may come periods of weariness and discouragement; periods when, as we look back, we seem to have made no advance; periods, in fact, when we seem to have gone back, when we seem to be doing worse than at the start; periods when we lose all interest in the work.
It makes us sick to look at it, even to think of taking it up again; and a certain sense of guilt at our neglect intensifies the sickness.And this will ever be changing through such desire for the newer and ever more successful self.
Your Forces and How to Use Them
Let the dead then, who are still above ground, bury their dead. Composed as we are of this force, we are ever attracting more of it to us and making it a part of our being. The material mind does not regard its thought as an actual element as real as air or water. 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 Infinite Mind knows no fear, and it is your eternal heritage to grow nearer and nearer to the Infinite Mind. 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.
There is a great deal in Prentice Mulford which seems commonplace enough today. The tree produces the new leaf with each return of spring.