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Chapter XXIX - Mind Building

Chapter XXIX

Mind Building



I shall now briefly run over the mental faculties most necessary to be developed by the man who wishes to gain the dynamic qualities. I shall add a few words of advice regarding the development of each of the said faculties. I. Continuity. This faculty has been so named by the phrenologists, and defined as the faculty that enables a man to “stick-to-it” until it is done—that gives him patience to complete his task—that gives him stability. Its lack makes a man restless; changeable; shifting; disconnected; scattered; unstable; and unreliable. To cultivate this faculty follow the three-fold method, in the direction of concentrating, dwelling upon, and sticking to a matter once undertaken; doing thorough work; and fighting to make a change.

II. Vitality. This faculty is defined by phrenologists as the one that makes a person tenacious of life; and which causes him to fight off death, sickness, or weakness. This is a necessary faculty for the dynamic individual to develop, for by so doing he not only becomes stronger, but also imparts a certain quality of strength and resistance to his personality that will be felt by others. As an example, contrast the “fight for life” in an animal of the cat family, and then the lack of it in a sheep or rabbit—then think which of them is more respected and regarded in the world of animals. By all means cultivate that resolute fight for life, that is manifested by all strong creatures. Try the three-fold method along the lines of holding on to life, and manifesting the “will to live.”

III. Combativeness. This phrenological faculty manifests in the direction of resistance; opposition; courage; boldness; defensiveness; defiance; spirit; self-protection; determination; “let me alone”; “get-out-of-my-way”; etc. It goes with all strong characters. It is true that its perversion renders one a nuisance and a quarrelsome and brawling person, and such state is to be avoided. But its absence makes of one “a human door-mat,” and the world proceeds to wipe its feet on him. The dynamic individual must have this faculty well-developed, and also well-controlled. It must be the case of the “soft voice and the big stick,” of which we have heard so much of late. The world loves the brave man, and hates a coward. And this means mental bravery, and mental cowardice, principally, in these days of mental struggle. By all means learn to stand up like a man, and, looking the world firmly and calmly in the face, say in the words of the old verse: “Come one; come all! this rock shall fly from its firm base, as soon as I.” Don’t be a brawler, but don’t be a weakling. Avoid the rabbit and sheep mental attitude. Develop this faculty by the three-fold method, along the lines of debate; argument; mental conflict; mental resistance; asserting your individuality; insisting upon your rights; self-confidence; self-assertion; and “I Can and I Will.”

IV. Destructiveness. This name is not well-chosen, in my opinion, by the phrenologists, but I shall not attempt to change it here. It is used by them to indicate the faculty that manifests in: Determination to overcome obstacles; beating down resistance; brushing away barriers; making headway; pushing to the front; clearing away underbrush; pushing through the crowd; holding your own; etc. Its perversion renders one a hated man, and one who is not sufficiently regardful of the rights of others, and whom it becomes the duty of society to restrain. But, still it is a quality that is needed by the dynamic individual, lest he allow himself to be walked over with impunity; outraged; and treated with contempt by the world; or which will cause him to be pushed aside and imposed upon. Its absence also causes one to be overcome with impotence when obstacles confront him, or resistance shows itself. Its absence causes one to be a whining “I can’t” person; and also causes one to be too much subject to precedents, pretended authority, etc., and kills off his originality. To develop this faculty, use the threefold method along the lines of breaking new mental ground; striking out into new paths; breaking down barriers; overcoming restraint; holding your own; pushing to the front, even if you have to elbow the crowd, etc.

V. Acquisitiveness. This term is used by phrenologists to indicate that faculty which manifests in: Getting; acquiring; possessing; drawing to oneself; obtaining and securing desired things, etc. It may be perverted into miserliness; penuriousness; meanness; hoggishness, etc., but nevertheless its proper use and development is necessary. Unless one has a desire to have and hold, he will not be apt to make any progress in the world. One must want to get things, before he will act energetically. And so far as money is concerned, while I freely admit the evils of an extreme greed and desire in this respect, yet I am just as fully convinced that a man must possess a certain amount of this “money-wanting” quality in order to make him an active center of force.

For when one wants money, he really wants the things that money buys. Money stands for nearly all that is necessary for a man’s well-being and sustenance. Money in itself is nothing— and a man is a fool who loves or seeks it for itself. But it is also a “symbol” of almost everything else, and without it he can get practically nothing else. So, just as I think it justifiable and proper for a plant to desire and seek, and draw to itself the sustenance of the soil, air, water, and sunlight, so do I think it proper, desirable and praiseworthy for a man to desire, and insist upon drawing to himself the proper sustenance of life— and money means just that, to the sane man, and nothing more.

The people who decry this “desire for money,” are principally those who either (1) have failed to accumulate money themselves, by reason of lacking the necessary qualities (the really unfortunate ones do not join in the condemnation of the desire); or (2) those who have inherited money of which they did not know the labor, excitement, or satisfaction of making for themselves, and who, therefore, grow righteously disgusted at the money which they did not have to use their heads or hands to acquire. These people are like those who take no exercise, and get indigestion at the sight of a good dinner; while those who have worked well come to the dinner with a good appetite, and cannot understand the “sick-feeling” of the others. It is a law of Nature that makes both of these classes of people “sick” at the sight of that for which they have not worked; or (3) that class of “parasites” who live by hard work of others, doing nothing themselves, and deeming themselves far above those “muckers,” or “money-grubbers,” who work, and toil and labor to support these “parasites.”

People are all after money—every blessed mother’s son and daughter of them—in one way or another. What is the use of denying it. Some day we may have better economic conditions—I pray to God that we may—but until that time all of us must chase the nimble dollar to the best of our ability. For unless a man does this thing, then shall he not eat; nor be clothed; nor have shelter; nor books; nor music; nor anything else that makes life worth living for one who thinks and feels.

Therefore I feel justified in saying to you: Develop a normal degree of acquisitiveness, if you wish to amount to anything in the world’s work. Develop it by the threefold method, along the lines of realization of what it means, and what it will do for you, in this stage of the world’s economic evolution. But—Don’t Be a Hog! To be sure, “while you’re getting, get all you can,” but give the other fellow a chance. “Live and Let Live!”

VI. Secretiveness. This is the name given by the phrenologists to that faculty that manifests as: policy; tact; concealment; self-repression; self-restraint; etc. Its perversion leads to deceit; double-dealing; duplicity; lying; false-living, etc. But a certain amount of it is necessary, lest one fall into the error of wearing-his-heart-on-his-sleeve; transparent-simplicity; loose-mouthedness; “blabbing”; lacking ordinary prudence; indiscretion, etc. Develop this faculty by the threefold method along the lines of tact; diplomacy; reticence; cautiousness; politeness; etc., the main object being to acquire the faculty of keeping your own secrets; keeping your affairs to yourself; avoiding that “leakiness” that has ruined so many men—and women. Regarding this—“and women,” I would say that my business experience has taught me that in spite of the alleged “secret-telling” of women, it is true that the women stenographers in an office are far less liable to disclose their employers’ secrets than are the men employes. And then again, while a woman may have a tendency to “pass on a secret,” still she knows how to keep certain secrets that concern herself, or the man she loves—or the child she loves—in a manner, and in ways that cause a man’s hair to rise in bewilderment.

VII. Cautiousness. This faculty manifests in carefulness; prudence; watchfulness; foresight; judgment, etc. Perverted it leads to timidity, irresolution, etc. But a certain amount of it is necessary. One should learn to use judgment and reason— to “be sure he is right, before going ahead.” If deficient in this quality, develop it by the threefold method along the lines of care, prudence, watchfulness, thought, use of judgment, etc., and by “looking before you leap.” If you have too much of it, restrain by similar methods, along the lines of boldness, daring; “don’t worry”; take-a-risk-on-it, etc., and a general spirit of not crossing a bridge until you come to it.

VIII. Approbativeness. This faculty manifests in a desire for approval; praise; flattery; fame; show and ceremony connected with one’s personality, etc. It is seen frequently in a perverted sense. Very few of us need to develop this quality—we have enough, or more than enough of it already. If you wish to restrain this faculty, you may use the threefold method along the lines of indifference to public approval or opinion; “what-does-it-matter-anyway”? “they say; what do they say? let them say”; “do not worry about it—your friends will not care, and your enemies will persist anyway, so what’s the use”? “what care I for the opinions of the crowd, anyway?—they are 95 per cent fools at the best”; etc., etc., etc. Learn to live your own life, and stand upon your own feet. Other people would like to even “breathe” for you if you would let them—but say “scat” to them, and shake them off when they bother you. You’ve got to live your own life, and why bother with the people who are always telling you “you mustn’t do it this way—do it as I say,” when their own lives are glaring examples of the folly of “their way.”

Pick out a right object—follow a right course—and let the crowd mind its own business, if it will—and if it won’t, forget it. You will find it ready enough to shower favors upon you when you finally succeed. And do not be deceived by its praise or flattery—the same people who are singing your praises to-day, will damn you to-morrow if occasion offers. They are throwing roses at you now—to-morrow they may throw rocks with equal grace and delight. Don’t be a slave to the crowd or its opinions—make yourself master of it, if you would rule it. It is managed through its selfish fears and interest, rather than through its love. It has a mean trick of turning on the thing it loves, “and tearing it to pieces, just as a female-spider devours her mate. But when it fears—well, then, it lets you alone. Not high spiritual teaching, perhaps—but a bit of worldly wisdom. Shake off the crowd from your heels—you mind your own business, and tell it to do the same. And look it in the eye while you are telling it, too. It will understand you, if you don’t truckle to it. But never cringe to it—else it will rend you to pieces.

IX. Self-Esteem. This is the faculty of self-respect; self-reliance; self-love, etc. Perverted it means tyranny; superciliousness; imperiousness; hauteur, and other forms of egotism carried to extremes. This quality is necessary to be developed, normally. One must learn to respect himself; value himself; rely upon himself; love himself; hold his head high; look the world in the face; believe in himself; and take his own place in the world, without false modesty, or shrinking. Develop it by the three-fold-method, along the lines of realizing just what you are—a centre of energy, power, and strength in the Universal Ocean of Mind-Power. Think of yourself in the word of Black Hawk, the Indian chieftain, who said to Jackson: “I am a Man!” Be a “man among men,” and insist upon the fact. Learn to say “I Am.” Feel that back of and under you is the great Ocean of Universal Mind-Power, and realize that you are of and in this wonderful thing.

Believe in yourself; love yourself; look out for yourself. I tell you friends, I believe in you, everyone of you, for I know what you are and what you have in you—and I want you to believe in yourselves. I want you to say “I” without being afraid. Don’t be afraid to “Assert the I.” Don’t be afraid to say “I.” Say “I; I; I; I; I; I; I,” until you begin to realize what a wonderful thing that “I” of you is, after all. Recognize the “Ego” as a centre of power, and stop all this foolishness about being a “worm of the dust.” Don’t be “meek and humble” like Uriah Heep. On the contrary, stand up, with head thrown back, looking the world straight in the eyes, without fear, and say firmly and positively: “I believe in Myself.” You have heard it said that “God helps those who help themselves”—and He does, unquestionably. But this is also true—God believes in those who believe in themselves. And so does the world, because God has made it so! So start in now, and say, early and often, “I believe in Myself!”

X. Firmness. This term does not have to be defined—you all know what it means. It is the faculty of stability; fixity; decision; perseverance; tenacity; manifestation of the determined will. Too much of it may make you mulish, and stubborn—but very few of you have too much of it, along the right lines. You need to develop it by the threefold-method along the lines of “putting your hand to the plow, and looking not backward”; sticking to your original plans, despite the talk of others; resisting tendencies to “sidetrack” you. This is the faculty that keeps the will to the task, like the chisel to the metal, until the work is done. Be firm as a rock against which beat the storms, but which yields not an inch, nor is it hurt a particle. Have a mind of your own, and hold to what you believe is right. See your object, and march straight to it, firm in your determination and purpose. By all means develop the faculty of firmness.

XI. Hope. This is the faculty of expectation, and anticipation. It gives us one of the three features of success—“Earnest Expectation.” You must believe in your success and must “earnestly expect” it. Cultivate hope and “earnest expectation” by all means. Be not a mere dreamer or visionary, through excessive hope—but cultivate desire; then develop earnest expectation; then will to act. Each of these features is necessary to the great three. Develop it by the threefold-method, along the lines of “looking on the bright side,” visualization; “looking aloft”; not worrying; and belief in the efficacy of earnest demand accompanied by earnest work. Visualization is the greatest incentive to hope and earnest expectation. When you can see the thing done “in your mind’s eye,” you have started to build in earnest—the rest is a mere matter of detail and work.

XII. Mirthfulness. This is the faculty of humor. By all means cultivate the sense of humor. It will save you from more follies and ridiculous positions than anything else. And cultivate the cheerful spirit for it will make life easier for you, and will lubricate the machinery of work and endeavor. It will also make friends for you, and will tend to remove the obstacles which the world throws in the way of people who are sour, disagreeable and “grouchy.” Smile and the world smiles with you; frown and you get a frown. Develop this faculty, by all means, by the threefold-method, along the lines of humor, joy, cheerfulness. And, so, now I have called your attention to the faculties most prominent in the dynamic individual. I have not spoken of his religious or moral faculties, because these lessons are dealing with another part of his make-up. But do not imagine that the qualities named here have no connection with the religious or moral life. There is nothing that I have recommended here that will not apply as well to the minister as the business man—to the priest as well as the salesman. The same mental qualities that make a bad man “great” and “strong” will make a good man “great” and” strong.” Morals are one thing and degrees of strength another. Good men may be strong or weak; bad men may also be strong or weak. And in the degree of “strength” will be the degree of influence, for good or evil, that a man will manifest. With this in mind, I think that it would be a great thing for the world, if some one were to distribute this book among the “good” men of the world. The evil men have a knowledge of the subject, already.

In closing this chapter, let me remind you that these mental states, cultivated and developed as I have shown you, will manifest themselves in your outward manner and demeanor, as mental suggestions to those with whom you come in contact. The symbol will spring from the inner reality. And they will also manifest in the shape of currents of Desire-Force and Will-Power, which will sweep far and wide, as well as near and close, influencing and affecting those within their field of induction. From these mental states will flow a strong stream of power which will tend to “draw” to you that which you demand and desire; and which will also tend to “force and compel” the things that you so will. You are a great centre of power, which radiates from you continually. Realize this, and endeavor to charge that force with the best qualities and properties, that while you are asserting your own individual rights, you will still be doing something toward the great work of strengthening the race, to the end that it may produce more real individuals ready and capable of playing their part in the great drama of life on the stage of the universe. This talk is along new lines and is radical in the treatment given the subject. It is as “meat for strong men, and not milk for babes.” There is no “bromide” or “pink-tea effects” in it. It is vital, radical, and positive. Its message is “Strength.” All truth that is worth while, renders its possessor stronger—if any teachings cannot stand this test, discard them. Nature’s Law is toward producing strong individuals—fall in with it, and Nature will come to your aid, for then you will be one of its chosen ones. Fall in with the law of evolution—do not run contrary to it. In the one case, you are nourished, supported, strengthened and encouraged—in the other, you are relentlessly crowded out by the operations of the law.

If you get one-half the benefit from the study of this book that I obtained from the writing of it, you will be well repaid for your task. It is as a “live wire,” charged with the elemental force, energy and truth about certain occult natural laws. It contains a message for you, which I trust you will heed—for you need it. If you are an individual, this teaching is just what you want. And the same is true if you are not one, but want to be one. But, if you are a weakling, and prefer to remain so, instead of rising and claiming your birthright of strength—your heritage of power; then by all means remain as you are, and go on your own way. Leave these teachings for the others of your brethren, who will not sell their birthright of power for the mess of pottage of negative content, and sheep-like passivity, but who are boldly claiming their own, and demanding their rightful portion—these strong brothers of yours, the individuals who are the coming inheritors of the earth.

I have tried to infuse my words with the strong, vital energy, which I feel surging through me as I write out this message of strength to you. I trust that these words will act as a current of verbal “electrons,” each carrying its full charge of dynamic power. And I trust that each word will act to so fill you with the Mind-Power that gave them birth, and will thus awaken in you a similar mental state, desire and will, to be strong, forceful, and dynamic—determined to assert your individuality in being and doing that which the universal creative desire and will is hoping that you will be and do. I send to you this message charged with the very dynamic vibrations of my brain, as it transforms and converts the Mind-Power into thoughts and words. I send it to you—yes, you, who are now reading the words—with all the energy, force and power at my command, to the end that it may pierce your armor of indifference, fear, and doubt, and “I Can’t.” And that reaching into your heart of desire, it may fill you with the very spirit of individuality, conscious egohood, perception of reality, and realization of the “I.” So that from hence on your battle cry will be changed, and you will plunge into the thick of the fight, filled with the Berserker rage, like the Icelandic hero of old, and shouting your positive cry of freedom, “I Can; I Will; I Dare; I Do!” you will mow your way clear through the ranks of the horde of ignorance, and negativity, and reach the heights beyond. This is my message to you—the individual!

finis



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