How to Demonstrate Success
NEW THOUGHT, metaphysics and the various schools of mental science have
gained so wide a following, and those who have practiced the principles they teach
have had so many outstanding favorable results, that few today deny the possibility
of demonstrating success, at least in some measure, through the use of mental power.
Success, however, implies to various people so widely different things that a
discussion of its attainment divides quite naturally into two distinct sections; one
devoted to ascertaining what the success is that should be desired, and the other
devoted to determining how that success can be attained.
What Is Success?
–In the narrower sense of the word, the realization of any desire may be called a
success. Thus a man may be a successful thief, and measure the amount of his success
by the value of booty acquired. If he steals only a few hundred dollars he may feel his
success has been meager; but if, through organizing a holding company and
manipulating its assets, he manages to steal several million dollars, he feels his
success has been quite gratifying.
The headhunter who catches a few unwary victims asleep and cuts off their heads, in
the more restricted meaning of the word, is successful. In the circle wherein he moves
he has a right to feel proud of himself, and very likely will be made chief of his
village. And, in whatever measure it is aware of realized desires, a fly, when it finds
the opening into a screen fly-trap and thus feeds on the syrup within, must feel
successful; for its knowledge, like that of many people, is not inclusive enough for it
to realize that the gratification of the immediate desire is at the expense of future
In the narrow sense, therefore, the person who sets out to rent a house and gets a
satisfactory tenant has demonstrated success. One who determines to demonstrate
money through mental power, and observes his bank account steadily increasing, has
succeeded. Many people thus have demonstrated money, have demonstrated a home,
have demonstrated marriage, have demonstrated social position, and have
demonstrated health through mental means. Concrete results prove the efficiency of
the methods they have used. The question here is not whether through mental power
they have obtained their desires, but whether these realizations, in the broader
meaning of the word, have led even in the directions of true success.
In this wider significance, success is the continuous and perfect adaptation of the
individual to his environment. That is, it is not a temporary benefit, like the
attainment of the syrup in the trap by the fly, which in the long run is paid for at
enormous cost. It is the acquirement of something which benefits the individual in
one section of his three-fold nature without robbing him of that which is even more
valuable in another section. For man is not merely physical, he is also mental and
To indicate what I mean by success in the broader sense, let me illustrate by an
observation I once made on a band of wild horses. These horses lived in the desert
region of Nevada, where similar wild horses still may be found today. For success,
that is, for continued existence in the wild state, three things were absolutely
essential to them: They had to have feed, they had to have water, and they had to have
safety from the hunters, both Whites and Indians, that so frequently watched the
water holes and attempted their capture.
To this band of wild horses, led by a big palomino stallion, cream colored with black
mane and tail, the acquisition of any two of these essentials to their success offered
slight difficulty. Plenty of feed grew near their water hole, so that food and water
could be had with little trouble. Off across the desert at widely spaced intervals there
were also other little water holes where they could drink in safety, but near which the
small amount of bunch grass that had there grown had all been consumed. That is,
they could easily enough have water and safety, food and water, or food and safety
but on this occasion, and no doubt on many another, hunters lay in wait for them close
to the water hole where there was still sufficient grass.
But the wise old palomino was too sagacious to permit any of his band to avail
themselves of the opportunity to realize the immediate desire at the expense of future
slavery. They went without water as long a time as they could, and then when it
became absolutely essential, they traveled forty miles from their feeding ground to
get it, returning again for further feed. This required a tremendous expenditure of
energy, but it solved the problem of procuring all three requisites, for after weeks of
vain waiting the hunters grew discouraged and departed.
The Three Essentials of Man’s Success
–If a man is to accomplish much, either for himself or for others, his body must not
be too badly diseased, and he must have food, clothing, shelter, and it is better to have
the comforts of life. Many people, it is true, have not had good health nor the
comforts and yet have made marked contributions to social welfare; but commonly a
person can do better work and more of it, with a healthy body which does not have to
combat distress in the environment. To put it another way, to get the best
performance out of either an automobile or a man it should be given the physical
things that are helpful to it. Society needs the whole man, not just a part of him, and it
needs him at his maximum efficiency; which can be developed only under favorable
There have been people in the world, many of them, and there are some today, who
believe that spiritual success can only be obtained through torturing, or ignoring the
needs of, the physical body. Monastic life largely was based upon this assumption.
The early Puritans frowned on all that gave bodily sense of pleasure; not recognizing
that a harmonious body can do more than one under the pressure of severity. And in
India, where extremes of mystical folly have always gone further than anywhere
else, even today there are those who deem themselves exceptionally holy merely
because they do no ill to others, not even to the extent of defending themselves from
invasion by lower forms.
To Western occultists, but not to many of mystical turn, it would seem that where a
conflict of interests arose, it were better for those higher in the scale of evolution,
because they can contribute more toward universal welfare, to survive than for those
lower. That is, if they were set upon by savages, it were better to fight than merely to
turn the other cheek and perish without resistance. Early Christians, however,
thought differently, and permitted themselves to be fed to lions and otherwise slain in
great number, without a struggle other than to pray for their persecutors. And certain
sects of Hindu holy men at the present time permit body lice and other vermin to live
upon them without remonstrance, getting sustenance from human blood, in the belief
that even to brush them off would be moral transgression.
Or to carry the thought into present day controversy, and setting aside the facts as to
the physical benefit to be derived from the different types of diet: there are those,
many of them, who contend that when they live on a strictly vegetarian diet, with no
fish or flesh, they find themselves negative and unable to do more than about half as
much work as when their diet contains some animal food. Herbert Spencer, for
instance, experimented upon himself, to determine how such a diet would influence
the vigor of his writings.
Human bodily chemistry is so varied that there are certainly those who do better work
without animal food. George Bernard Shaw seems to be an example of this. But there
is a wide school of mysticism which contends, that regardless of its weakening effect
upon some individuals, and its tendency to make these individuals mediumistic and
easily dominated by more vigorous minds, it is better to live on a strictly vegetarian
diet than to partake of any meat. But Western Occultists hold that, regardless of what
that diet consists, it is better for the person to eat that which experiment proves in his
individual case enables him to live harmoniously with his fellowman and turn out a
maximum of work which is socially constructive. That is, they believe what a man
accomplishes is vastly more important than what he puts into his stomach.
Yet probably the majority of people pay so much attention to their physical welfare
that they ignore the other two elements making for real success in life. Those who
devote themselves exclusively to making money, with which to buy physical things,
miss the best of living. They exist almost exclusively on the animal plane; for all
creatures so long as they persist make a living and provide for their offspring. The
man who does nothing to benefit others outside his family is spiritually still on the
level with the brutes.
Then there are others who make a decidedly mental success, who are physical
failures, and perhaps even spiritual failures. Francis Bacon, for instance, was always
in debt and often in serious trouble over financial matters; yet he was intellectually
and spiritually a success. He gave the world the product of his mighty intellect, and
because he did thus in a measure assist in human progress, in that measure was he
also spiritually successful. Henry David Thoreau, American author and philosopher,
also was able to solve two of man’s essentials to complete success; but unable to
solve the third, which in turn detracted from the possible value of the other two. He
was a great man spiritually, and his writing proclaimed him a great intellect; but his
abject poverty led to hardships of which he prematurely died; leaving the world
vastly poorer than otherwise it would have been.
Yet to a degree, most of us succeed in being physically a success. We live the allotted
span of years without too great ill health to prevent some accomplishment. But
during these years few of us make the gains either in mental attainment or in
spirituality that lies within the compass of our inherent energies. We are unlike the
horses which traveled forty miles to secure the third requisite. We are content to
drink at the waterholes where lurks everyman’s danger of inertia.
If we neglect spirituality, and goad ourselves to it, we can without such tremendous
effort adjust ourselves so as to gain both intellectual and physical success. Study and
thought sharpen the intellectual powers, and there are always loopholes in the laws of
the land that a clever man can crawl through to get the best of his fellows. One
method, becoming increasingly prevalent with the broadening knowledge of
psychology, is to use mental force to take from others what is desired.
The principle of the thing is as old as man, it is only that the method has now become
more refined. Jacob procured the birthright of Esau for a mess of pottage through
intellectual cleverness; and worthless mining stocks and oil stocks have been sold to
widows and orphans. The Island of Manhattan was secured from Indians for a few
trinkets, and later it was the custom to trade an Indian a bottle of whiskey, with which
to demoralize himself, for a whole band of horses. In these instances physical
compulsion was not used. Instead there was a clever appeal to desires.
Nor in high pressure salesmanship, by which a merchant is sold a supply of
something so great that he can never dispose of it, or someone is sold something for
which he has no possible use, is physical force used. Instead, suggestion is applied
through carefully thought out methods in such a manner that the critical faculties of
the purchaser are bludgeoned into temporary insensibility. Yet from the standpoint
of spiritual success, although not so considered in civil law, it is as much a crime thus
unfairly to take from another through mental processes as it is to take the same from
him at the point of a gun.
Wealth, except in the form of natural resources, which as they exist in nature belong
to society, comes from industry and the hard experience of human toil, as the late
President Calvin Coolidge expressed it. When, therefore, an individual takes wealth
from society, that is, acquires it in any form from another, he should be prepared to
recompense society by returning wealth to it in some other form. However we
camouflage it, we cannot escape the truth that when we take from society that which
represents the efforts of others, and use it for our personal adaptation, and do not
render an equivalent service to society by adding to its adaptability, that is, giving it
equivalent value in return, we have become indigent.
Those individuals, therefore, who acquire mental power and cleverness, yet use
these, not to discover some superior method of living, or of production and
distribution; not in invention, not in better organization, and not in anything else
through which society is benefited; but use their abilities to take from society what
members of society have produced; or hoard and maintain wealth inherited from
ancestors, without themselves making some adequate contribution to the welfare of
the whole, are successful in only two essentials. They have acquired mental and
physical success, but are living in abject spiritual poverty.
In the larger sense, in which success implies a perfect and continuous adaptation to
the whole universe, those mental and spiritual factors that provide for progressive
after-death conditions must be included. This means that for such complete success,
in which all three essentials are met, discrimination must be exercised not to give
undue weight to one factor at the expense of the others. And that the discrimination
may have the materials with which to work, it must be provided with the most
inclusive knowledge. It is this inclusive knowledge that the B. of L. lessons have
been written to supply.
Success in Attaining Any Single Objective.
–When, through a careful analysis of its possible effect upon others, it is decided
that a particular condition is beneficial to universal welfare; and is something to be
desired and striven for, the first step in demonstrating it is to have a definite and clear
conception of just what it is that is thus wanted. The clear visualizing of it, or holding
it clearly in thought, is called its formulation. If formulation is not definite and clear,
the results are likely to be indefinite and indecisive also; for the energies tend to fill in
whatever is held thus before the attention.
It should be realized that on the four-dimensional plane work is accomplished, not
through physical or chemical processes, but through the power of thought. When an
image, therefore, is held before the attention, and desire energy diverted into it, that
condition is actually constructed upon the astral plane, and has a real existence there.
But just because a thing has an existence on the astral plane does not signify that it
will become also a physical reality. Such an image is a pattern, which may, or may
not, be filled in by three-dimensional conditions.
Whether, once formulated, it does become reality depends upon two things: the
amount of energy that is diverted into the astral pattern, and the resistance offered by
physical environment to being manipulated to fit this particular pattern. Certain
thought-cells of the astral body, by their previous conditioning, readily respond to
the urge to work to bring about the thing which is being demonstrated. Other groups
of thought-cells may have so been conditioned that by natural inclination, as
indicated by birth chart and progressed positions of the planets, they offer resistance
to bringing about the condition; or certain of them may acquire an autosuggestion
which makes them work energetically to oppose the realization desired.
The object, therefore, is to present the image in such a way, and to use suggestion
efficiently, and otherwise to divert as much of the desire energy of the structures
within the unconscious, that they will furnish their energy to the thought-cells which
have set about bringing to pass that which is to be demonstrated through mental
power. The amount of energy thus diverted into the image, after overcoming
opposition from other thought-cells, is the effective energy released into the
performance of this special work.
The work, of course, while performed from the four-dimensional plane, consists of
manipulating the environment. To bring a given thing to pass, certain changes in the
attitude of individuals, certain changes in the abilities of the one demonstrating, or
certain changes where physical conditions are concerned, must first take place. That
is, alterations must be made, if the thing desired is to be demonstrated.
Yet, whether the changes are in oneself, such as developing specific abilities, are in
the desires or opinions of others on whom the venture depends, or are adjustments of
the physical environment; to accomplish these alterations requires the expenditure of
energy. Work is never accomplished apart from energy consumption. And the
amount of energy it is necessary to expend to bring the various changes to pass
constitutes the resistance of the environment.
One might try to demonstrate a condition, and have a tremendous supply of desire
energy within the unconscious mind to release into it, and yet fail because the
resistance of environment was too great. If one should endeavor to demonstrate
himself Emperor of the whole world, the resistance of environment would be so great
that, unless he were more energetic than anyone so far ever has been, he could not
succeed. I point this out merely to indicate that the amount of energy that the
thought-cells of the unconscious mind must possess to demonstrate some things is
within the reach of almost anyone; yet the amount required to demonstrate other
things is beyond the energy production of any living being. There is a direct relation
between the amount of energy which the individual can divert into the mental image
of that which he is demonstrating, and what he can accomplish with such energy.
And the greater the resistance of environment, the more mental force is required to
change it as desired.
Developing the Effective Mental Energy
–At first thought it might seem that the best manner to vitalize a mental image is to
concentrate the thoughts of the objective consciousness upon it, and keep thinking
about it as powerfully as possible. Objective thinking alone, however, may have very
little power to divert the desire energies of the thought-organizations within the
unconscious mind into such an image. For success, the image must gain as
completely as possible the full attention of the unconscious mind. And if in addition
it can be linked up with energy of the Drive for Significance, the drive for Self
Preservation, or the Drive for Race Preservation, so that the desire energy of one or
more of these powerful drives is directed into the image, the thought-cells they
energize will work with great force to bring the thing to pass.
To thus bring the image to the attention of the unconscious mind, suggestion and
affirmation are suitable agents. Yet needless to say, they must be applied in a manner,
as explained in Chapter 7 (How to Apply Suggestion) and Chapter 8 (The Correct
Use of Affirmations), which will prevent the development of negative desires, and
preclude contrary auto suggestions. The last part of Chapter 8, in particular, gives
much detail on how to keep the selected image before the attention of the
unconscious mind and how energy may be diverted into it. It remains here, therefore,
merely to add, that whatever method the individual finds most effective in this
respect is the one to use.
If there is a feeling of doubt, or of resistance to the thought that the matter will be
demonstrated, this is an indication that the thought-cells are not wholeheartedly
working from the four-dimensional plane to bring the thing to pass. That is, they have
not completely accepted the work allotted them. When they do properly take hold of
the job, there is felt an inner convention, or complete faith, that the thing will be
Mere wishing the thing will come to pass, and thinking about it in a listless manner, is
very apt to give the thought-cells responsible for the work confused orders, or a
feeling of hesitancy and doubt. That is, fantasy thinking is very likely to undo what
may have been given a very good start. And for the same reason, after the matter once
has been set in motion, it is better not to think about it at all except as such times as
there is abundant positive mental energy to direct into the formulated image. Every
weak and uncertain thought associated with the matter detracts from the vigor of the
thought-cells doing the work.
Thus it is better to have some one period of the day set aside to use in the
demonstration, during which the mind is positively and completely absorbed in the
undertaking, than to use catch-as-catch-can intervals during which the mind may be
partly occupied with other things. And if one finds oneself depleted, or too tired, it is
better to skip the regular period set aside for this work; as when one’s forces are thus
at low ebb one easily may become negative, and permit contrary images to force
themselves before the attention.
Do Not Instruct the Thought-Cells How to Do Their Work
–When you call in a healer, you do so presumably because he is a specialist in his
line and knows more about it than you do. Likewise, when you employ a lawyer, you
do so because he is supposed to know how to get the results you want better than you
do. And the unconscious mind, having so wide a field of information at its command,
and its thought-cells being accustomed to get results by working from the
four-dimensional plane, knows far better what steps to take, and how to take them,
than does your objective mind. Therefore, do not attempt to visualize the steps it must
take, or give it orders as to how it must proceed. The final result to be demonstrated
when clearly held before attention constitutes sufficient orders. Let it, as an expert in
a field your objective mind knows very little about, perform the work in its own way.
To put the matter into other words, to think of intermediate steps is to place
limitations, or modifying clauses, which make the work more difficult. These
limitations act as suggestions to the unconscious to curtail the scope of its activity.
They are like sending an ambassador to a foreign country with orders to secure
certain concessions, and then telling him just what he must do in each detail after he
gets there. If he is a real diplomat, and worthy of the mission, he has the ability to
meet each contingency as it arises. Yet every limitation set as to what he must, or
must not do, by that much hampers his work and makes success less likely.
Give the Thought-Cells as Much Aid as Possible in Their Work
–The more information relative to the matter to be demonstrated the unconscious
mind has at its disposal, the more readily it can discern the means by which to bring
the condition to pass. Give it as wide a field of reliable information as possible
regarding the matter, from which thus to select its methods. If it is health that is to be
demonstrated, through reading and study learn as much as possible about hygiene,
diet, and the principles upon which a sound constitution must rest. Thus
concentrating the objective consciousness on gaining health information, also gives
the unconscious the impetus during sleep, or even at other times, to seek still further
information on the astral plane, or to tune in on the minds of those who possess such
Or if it is some invention that is to be demonstrated, reading and studying everything
accessible that has a bearing upon the problem will enable the unconscious to acquire
a field of information from which more readily to select the necessary processes.
With so vast a field of knowledge relative to the matter to be demonstrated, it will
find much less difficulty in selecting the particular method which will enable it to do
the job assigned to it, whatever that may be.
Do Not Require the Unconscious to Make Bricks Without Straw
–Here in California the little red Argentine ants are a pest to the household.
Housewives frequently attempt to demonstrate the absence of these nuisances. And
reports have been received from those who by direct mental power alone, and
without the employment of any physical agent, have been able to drive these
creatures from their premises.
On the market there are one or two preparations which placed in line of march
quickly discourage them, and cause them to leave. And the point I here wish to make
is that, for most persons, it is quicker, and a far easier process, to drive the ants out
with one of these preparations than by merely concentrating mentally on their
removal. One who attempts to demonstrate the absence of ants, therefore, and places
a restriction upon the method his unconscious mind is to use, saying that nothing
physical shall be employed, is at a decided disadvantage. It is likely that if he set out
to demonstrate ant removal without such restrictions, that his unconscious would
find it far easier to direct him to any corner drug store and to the proper preparation
for their removal, than to exert a pressure upon a thousand ant minds sufficient to
cause them to leave.
Every law of nature has well defined conditions which limit its operation; otherwise
it would not be a law. This is as true of mental and spiritual laws as of those physical.
When people in their enthusiasm overlook these limitations imposed by nature to the
operation of some law, fanaticism is the result. All have witnessed cases of political
fanaticism, in which the natural hindrances to the perfect working of some
sociological principle was entirely ignored. All have known instances of religious
fanaticism, in which the evidence of human experience was completely lost to sight
in the interest of some blind and irrational belief. And most of us likewise have
witnessed fanaticism in what was expected of the mind. We have seen those who
demanded it without physical agents to restore a rotted and broken appendix, that it
set a broken bone, or that it materialize money out of thin air.
The individual who undertakes to demonstrate some condition should not set some
impossible limitations as to what agents should bring the desired end about. For
instance, some years ago, two of the great industries of France were being ruined.
The vineyards were dying of Philloxera, and another disease was attacking the
silkworms. It might have been possible to exterminate these diseases that were
impoverishing the country by giving them absent treatments. Such would have been
the direct mental method. But they were not eradicated in this manner; and had such
direct methods been imposed as a condition of their removal, in all probability these
industries would have vanished.
Instead, a man since famous, Louis Pasteur, studied the diseases until he knew the nature
and the habits of the bacteria causing them. With this information at his command, it was
easy to stamp the diseases out. He applied the indirect mental method. He set his mind to
work to demonstrating superiority over these diseases, and placed no fanatical
limitations on how the result must be obtained. Thus was he able to demonstrate a
For that matter, the use of physical agents is an absolute essential to obtaining many
desirable conditions. The air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat, are
all physical remedies by which depleted humors and tissues are replenished and
weakness healed. Yet even the most fanatical follower of the divine power of mind to
perform wonders does not abstain from using these purely physical remedies. Nor
should one who expects to demonstrate money refrain from entering the fields, such
as the professions and business, through which money more commonly comes. Even
should he succeed in sitting at a desk and visualizing people coming in and placing
money before him so successfully that they did so, unless he gave some value in
return, he would be dishonest, and also quite likely to end his career by being hauled
into a court of law.
The Bible relates that Pharaoh commanded the Israelites to make bricks without
straw; but the result was not in his favor. Instead of such an attitude, when
demonstrating a condition, give the thought-cells working from the four-
dimensional plane every reasonable condition that may be expected to make it
easier for them to bring the desired result about.
Fanaticism In Demonstrating
–I have just spoken of the folly of placing undue restrictions upon the manner in
which the thought-cells are to perform their work. And right here I should not neglect
also to point out that when the impossible is expected of the unconscious mind, and it
is crowded forcefully into the effort through receiving vigorous and insistent
suggestions and affirmations, that, in the effort to satisfy the demand, it frequently
offers a substitute. That is, just as when the impossible feat of repressing the Drive for
Race Preservation is attempted, the objective mind usually is given the belief that
these desires are not present, yet their energy nevertheless escapes through some
subversive channel; so delusional substitutes are offered when the demand is too
insistent that an impossibility be performed.
A real estate man of my acquaintance, a year or two ago, started using the
Affirmations sent out by a certain school which has a wide following, to sell
properties given into his custody. This school taught that the proper method was to
affirm, over and over, that the desired transaction had been completed.
Now if you hammer into the unconscious mind any suggestion often enough and
with sufficient force, it comes to believe that suggestion. In this case, therefore, when
the thought-cells failed to cause the sale of a given piece of property–or perhaps
they never even tried to make it–they nevertheless accepted the suggestion as true.
The man believed he had sold the property, told his friends he had sold it, and drew a
check on the bank for the money he had obtained from the sale. But as he had no
money in the bank, and had not made the sale, this led to confinement in the
psychopathic ward of the county hospital.
In the same neighboring small town, in which the teachings of this school had, and
still have, a strong foothold, a woman, about the same time, was demonstrating,
through the use of affirmations, that her house had been rented. She had reached the
point where she was telling her friends she had demonstrated renting her house
through the use of affirmations, when the real estate man was arrested. Her relatives
perceived that she was close to the same psychopathic condition, took her in hand,
and brought her back into touch with reality before it was necessary to have her
Paranoia, one of the three prevalent forms of insanity–dementia praecox and
manic-depressive insanity being the other two–is not due to brain injury, but to
building into the unconscious some idea which has sufficient desire-energy that it
dominates the whole mentality. A hypnotized person, given some belief through
suggestion, can be converted temporarily into a paranoiac. He can be given the
conviction he has sold his real estate and deposited the money in the bank, or that he
has rented his house, even though in reality he has not done so.
There is a certain percentage of those who believe themselves to be completely
healed of some malady through absent treatment or some mental method, also, who
are merely hypnotized into the belief they no longer have the complaint. It is true,
they no longer feel pain. Yet later, as the disease still makes inroads in spite of their
belief that it has vanished, they all at once completely collapse.
These instances in which the unconscious mind acquires a conviction that something
has been demonstrated when it has not, are no legitimate detraction from the value of
suggestion, affirmation, or other mental methods to demonstrate health, or to
demonstrate anything else which is advantageous to universal welfare. It merely
again emphasizes the danger of a prevalent type of fanaticism which, where religion,
psychic matters, or mental power is concerned, refuses to keep in close touch with
reality by carefully checking actual results against theoretical considerations. A
thing should not be accepted as true merely because it professes to be a Divine
Revelation; nor should health or anything else be considered demonstrated until
ample proof has been acquired from the three-dimensional realm.
–To visualize health, hold in the mind as clear a picture as possible of the body in a
state of health. To demonstrate a bank account, visualize yourself making repeated
deposits in the bank. To demonstrate success as a musician, hold the image of
yourself playing the instrument of your choice before a vast and applauding
audience. That is, hold before the mind, and then energize, the end desired.
In principle, such demonstrating has been constantly applied since life appeared
upon the earth. Creatures have desired safety, have desired to procure food, have
desired to reproduce, and to do various other things. When environmental conditions
changed they did not know how to meet these new situations, but their intense desire
to adjust successfully to them kept the image of the end sought before their
unconscious minds. The thought-cells within their astral forms then set about
devising means to secure these ends.
We can not say, with forms of life lower than man, just how much success was
obtained in this demonstrating by the adults who first felt the need of something
better. Probably the impress of the desire for a given end was more pronounced upon
the genes of the reproductive cells, so that succeeding generations feeling the same
urge were able to bring it to pass in a manner more marked. But we do know that this
process has been at work among all life-forms, and is at work today.
Game in a country where it has never been hunted by man, for instance, is usually
tame at start. But no matter how tame at first, let hunting commence, and usually by
the next generation or two–in answer to the desire for safety–the game will have
become exceedingly wild and cunning. Even individuals that have never before seen
man will exhibit fear and cleverness. No better example of this can be cited than the
coyote of Western America. A few years ago it was easily captured or killed. But now
it has developed such craft that in spite of bounties on its scalp and a good price for its
pelt, and the fact that every man’s hand is raised against it, in the face of ruthless
persecution, it has increased in number and widened its range.
A slightly more complex illustration of the force of desire for a given end to
demonstrate its realization, which is in reality the chief factor in the origin of species,
may be obtained from a study of either protective or of revealing coloration.
Protective coloration–as space does not permit a discussion of revealing
coloration–has been acquired by the desire to be concealed from natural foes or
from intended victims. The image of the desired end in the unconscious mind has
impelled the thought-cells to change the color pattern so that it blends with the
As a single example, taken from birds in the U.S., let us examine the Jays:
These jays no doubt, all had a common ancestor. They are perching birds, and the one
in the eastern states, the blue jay, lives largely in trees of moderate foliage, or at
certain seasons, of no foliage at all. Hence, to match the sky, we find the upper parts
light purplish blue; the wings and tail barred with black to resemble tree-twigs; and
the breast grayish or brownish, shading to white on the belly, much as the under side
of the tree leaves are lighter than their uppers.
Now in the Rocky Mountain region, where snow covers the higher mountains a large
part of the year, we find a jay of an entirely different genus; the Rocky Mountain Jay.
To correspond with his environment, his upper parts are light slate gray and his under
parts brownish gray.
Moving on still westward to the Pacific Coast region, we find throughout the
chaparral belt, a jay of still another genus; the California jay. He lives largely in the
brush and is blue and brown above and white below, except for bluish streaking on
the throat. When motionless he blends nicely with the vari-colored foliage and dead
sticks of his environment.
But if we ascend the mountains of the Pacific Coast into the gloomy firs, with their
dense dark foliage, we will again find the same genus as the blue Jay of the East, but
represented by an entirely different sub-species; the stellar jay. Living in the dark
forests, the fore parts of his body are dull blackish changing to pale blue on the lower
back and belly. And as he is a bird of the trees, like his eastern brother, his wings and
tail of purplish blue are likewise barred with black.
Before leaving this subject of the power of desire to attain a specific end, such as
safety or food or protection of offspring, through the action of the thought-cells from
the four-dimensional plane, rather than through the chance survival of individuals
which varied slightly from their fellows, I should give at least one example from the
vegetable kingdom. For this purpose I shall mention the knob cone pine, a tree with
which I am personally familiar, as it is common to the Pacific Slope.
It is called a fire type pine, because it has learned (demonstrated) the ability to take
advantage of the fires that so frequently sweep the region where it grows. Instead of
depositing its seed every year or two only to have the young seedlings killed by the
shade of surrounding trees, it retains its cones with the scales tightly closed about the
seeds for a period of from 15 to 25 years. If, however, a fire runs through the forest,
charring the tree and perhaps burning its leaves, the cones still clinging to the
unburned branches slowly begin to open, and a few days or a week after the fire has
passed seeds begin to drop into the ashes or upon the soil. Under these conditions
they sprout and grow, unhampered by the crowding of other trees. These knob cone
pines have demonstrated perpetuating themselves in a region where other types of
trees often are permanently eradicated.
When man, therefore, sets out to demonstrate success through the use of mental
power, he is not employing some new principle. He is employing the same process
which mostly has been responsible for the evolutionary advancement of physical life
upon the earth. Every step taken by physical life-forms has been in response to the
impulse to demonstrate some condition urgently needed. And man, through
understanding how this principle operates, can vastly hasten a progress that left to the
undirected working of nature is relatively slow.
He must, of course, first determine what it is that he wants. And to apply the
principle, he must cultivate DIRECTED THINKING, so that he can hold his mind to
the images he desires to realize, without permitting fantasy creations to intrude. And
through DIRECTED THINKING he also must learn how to Direct his Desires, and
to Condition more primitive desires so that their energies shall be diverted into the
special channels of his choosing. As explained in Chapter 4 (Desire and How to
Use It), such persistently directed desire is commonly called Power of Will.
There is all the difference of night and day between wishing a thing and willing it. In
wishing it, the Image of the thing desired is present in the mind, but it is a fantasy
creation which does not receive positive energy. Instead, the person is negative to the
wished for thing, and this frustrates its realization.
Young birds do not learn to fly by sitting on a limb and dreaming about it. They learn
to fly by actual effort spent in the act of trying to fly. And psychologists estimate,
from experimental work with what people commonly do, and what they are trained to
do, that most of us live at about 50% of our possible achievements in the various
things we attempt to do.
We arrive at a certain level, in physical performance or in mental output, and stick
there. Instead of making perfect, practice, unless accompanied by intelligently
applied effort to improve, merely links habitual errors more deeply into the
unconscious. No matter how much you play golf or bridge or tennis, or how much
you walk, you may not improve your technique. Instead, most of us go through life
walking, talking, and thinking about the same as we did when we left school or
college. There has not been sufficient Directed Desire and Directed Thinking applied
to learning how to do these things, or to doing more important things, better.
The laboratory psychologists find that, merely through striving to do so,
accompanied by effort in the practice, the ordinary person can double the speed with
which he reads in about six weeks. This is not so important, except that it indicates
what people can do toward developing talents they did not suspect they possessed,
and toward demonstrating traits of character and abilities that will enable them to
contribute vastly more to universal welfare, and thus make for real success.
To learn to do something better you must think about it. When you have done poorly,
try to discern just what led to poor performance. When you have done better than
your average, recall just how you felt, and just what you did that was different. Then
strive hard to reproduce that which led to better work. Thinking about it between
performances, if the thought is Directed to acquiring a better technique, is a great
help. The unconscious mind learns to do the thing properly through seeing the correct
procedure in imagination.
To Demonstrate Success, first have a clear-cut image of just what it is that you wish
to accomplish. Furnish the unconscious mind with as much information as possible
about the thing. Permit it to use whatever physical channels are available to bring its
realization. Other than to prohibit any transgression of morality, give it no
instructions as to the details by which the end sought shall be brought to pass. Then,
positively and confidently, direct as much desire energy into this image as can be
made available. And finally, be willing to work, for the get-something-for-nothing
motive sooner or later is sure to backfire; and always be willing to render society
adequate recompense for what is received from it.