Excerpts from

  The Magic in Your Mind
by U. S. Anderson

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Book description
This book reveals a mental magic that guarantees increased achievement and assures success. Many people have locked themselves in prisons of their own making because they have been unsuccessful. The Magic in Your Mind teaches the magic by which men become free and begin to grow into the image of the secret self.

Perfect action and perfect works stem from an inner conviction of the mental cause behind all things. A man changes the state of his outer world by first changing the state of his inner world. Everything that comes to him from outside is the result of his own consciousness. When he changes that consciousness he alters his perception and thus the world he sees. By understanding the process and effect of mental imagery, he goes directly along the correct path to his goal.


This book reveals a mental magic that assures success, that ab­so­lutely guarantees increased achievement, whether your pro­fes­sion is in the arts or business, in science or sales, in sports, war, or poli­tics. Here you will learn the secret way in which your mind is tied to the source of all power; you will learn how you are capa­ble of becoming anything and doing anything you can visual­ize.

Every man’s consciousness is constantly changing, is trapped at the knife-edge overlap of past and future, reacts rather than acts, is in­complete and partial, eternally seeks itself, for since the mere state of being throws no light on that state, consciousness learns of itself through reaction to outside stimuli. If a man comes to believe he is unsuccessful, it is because he carries the impression he has been un­suc­cessful, and this conclusion, once adopted, inescapably molds him into the shape of the thing he believes, locks him in a prison of his own making.

The magic by which a man becomes free is imagination. By train­ing himself to cast up mental pictures of the thing he desires, by resisting sensual stimuli, even envisaging the exact opposite, he tends to assume a factual position in ac­cordance with his vision, for his vision then becomes his ex­perience, rather than the sensual stimuli that moved him before. Consciousness always assumes a form to suit its knowl­edge of itself, and where such knowledge breaks beyond the limits imposed by sensory experience, man be­gins to grow into the image of the Secret Self.

There is only one mind in all creation; that mind is in everyone, is in its true state of being not confined to anyone, not confined to the body. It is a central, knowing consciousness in which everything dwells, which dwells in everything. In a bodily-confined state it assumes the limitations imposed upon it by the knowledge of itself which it receives through the senses, but when bondage to those senses is broken by development of an inner power to perceive and know di­rectly, then slavery to its embodiment is at an end.

Perfect action and perfect works stem from an inner con­viction of the mental cause behind all things. A man changes the state of his outer world by first changing the state of his inner world. Every­thing that comes to him from outside is the result of his own con­sciousness. When he changes that consciousness he alters his per­ception and thus the world he sees. By coming to a clear under­standing of the process and effect of mental imagery he is led ir­revocably along the cor­rect path to his goal. By working with this cause of all things—his own consciousness—he achieves infallibil­ity in works, for inasmuch as his mental imagery propels him into action, that action is always true to the picture in his mind and will deliver him its material counterpart certainly.

In this book you will find a program for training the image power of the mind, so that a scene or situation cast up in con­sciousness will arrive in three dimensions, with color and sound, pulsing with life, as real for you as the outside world. Haven’t you ever dreamed such dreams? Haven’t you some­times in sleep become immersed in a mental and spiritual world with such solidity and dimension that you were certain it was real and the material world a delusion? If ever you have known the overwhelming power of mental imagery to influence your attitude and perception, then you will quickly see that the salvation of each of us is to train his image power to obey him. In this manner it is possible to become free from the prompt­ings and urgings of nature, from death and disease and destruction, from ineffectuality and frustration. For the man whose inner power of vision transcends the constantly distracting stimuli of the outer world has taken charge of his own life, is truly master of his fate.

Chapter 1


SHAKESPEARE’S Hamlet in his famed soliloquy pondered, “To be or not to be,” and thus faced squarely the primary chal­lenge of life. Most people only exist, never truly are at all. They exist as predict­able equations, reacting rather than acting, walking com­pendiums of aphorisms and taboos, re­flexes and syndromes. Surely the gods must chuckle at the ironic spectacle of robots fan­cying themselves free, but still, when finally the embodied con­sciousness rises above the pain-pleasure principle of nature, then the true mean­ing of free­dom is made apparent at last.



We exist in order that we may become something more than we are, not through favorable circumstance or auspi­cious occurrence, but through an inner search for increased awareness. To be, to be­come, these are the commandments of evolving life, which is go­ing somewhere, aspires to some un­sealed heights, and the awak­ened soul answers the call, seeks, grows, expands. To do less is to sink into the reactive prison of the ego, with all its pain, suffering, limitation, decay, and death. The man who lives through reaction to the world about him is the victim of every change in his en­vironment, now happy, now sad, now victorious, now defeated, af­fected but never affecting. He may live many years in this manner, rapt with sensory perception and the ups and downs of his surface self, but one day pain so outweighs pleasure that he suddenly per­ceives his ego is illusory, a product of outside circumstances only. Then he either sinks into complete ani­mal lethargy or, turning away from the senses, seeks inner awareness and self-mastery. Then he is on the road to really living, truly becoming; then he begins to uncover his real potential; then he discovers the miracle of his own conscious­ness, the magic in his mind.

Mastery over life is not attained by dominion over ma­terial things, but by mental perception of their true cause and nature. The wise man does not attempt to bend the world to fit his way or to coerce events into a replica of his desires, but instead strives for a higher consciousness that enables him to perceive the secret cause behind all things. Thus he finds a prominent place in events; by his utter har­mony with them he actually appears to be molding them. He moves effortlessly through the most strenuous action, the most per­ilous times, because his attunement with the mental force that con­trols the universe guides him to perform the work that needs to be done.



This mental force that controls the universe may be called anything you like and visualized any way you choose. The important thing is to understand that it exists, to know some­thing about how it works, what your relationship to it is. It might, for instance, be lik­ened to an enormous electro­magnetic field. All conscious forms of life then would be tiny electro-magnetic fields within the univer­sal field and finding positions within it, each according to the kind and quality of its field. Where each individual field would wind up within the main field then would be a matter of inexorable law and absolutely unavoidable, as is illustrated by the millions of people who perform the same tasks over and over with absolutely the same results, almost as if following ritual. Per­haps they are always sick, always defeated, “just barely misers,” perhaps always broke, always out of a job. If we give just the slightest reflection to our own lives we cannot help but be startled by how we seem dogged by the same situ­ation in all things, year after year, time after time. This deadly recurrence is the source of most frustration and men­tal illness, is the bottom root of all failure.

Yet it is avoidable. And the way by which it is avoidable brings complete emancipation of the mind and spirit. For the tiny electro-magnetic field has inherent within it the ability to change the kind and quality of its field, so that it will be moved about within the main field with all the power and sureness of the main field until it arrives at the position its new quality of consciousness demands.

The important thing to remember about this illustration is that the tiny electro-magnetic field does not move itself. It is moved by the large field. And behind its movement lies all the power of the large field. Any attempt by it to move itself is obviously futile since it is held in place by a power infinitely greater than itself. And it is held where it is because of what it is. The moment a change occurs within itself, it is moved by a power outside itself to a new position in the field, one in keeping with its new potential.



The foregoing is admittedly an analogy, but nevertheless S.W. Tromp in his remarkable book, Psychical Physics, has proved be­yond all doubt that the human being exudes cer­tain electro-mag­netic fields, that the earth itself gives off an electro-magnetic field, and his illustrations are so impeccably documented that there can­not possibly be any scientific quar­rel with them. We indeed may be on the very threshold of scientific proof of those invisible areas of human aspiration that have hitherto been the province of philoso­phers, divin­ers, and priests. Departments of investigation into the para­normal abilities of the human psyche have been estab­lished at our leading universities, and it is now surely only a matter of time until we are faced with the final irrevocable proof of our intuitive perception—the power of mind over matter.

It is a mental world we live in, not a physical one at all. The physi­cal is merely an extension of the mental, and an imperfect exten­sion at that. Everything we see, hear, and feel is not a hard and inescapable fact at all, but only the im­perfect revelation to the senses of an idea held in mind. Pre­occupation with sensory experi­ence has focused attention on effects instead of causes, has led scientific investigation down a blind alley where everything grows smaller into infinity or larger into infinity and walls man off from the secrets that lie behind life. It is not the planets and stars, the elements and winds, or even the existence of life itself that is the miracle that demands our attention. It is consciousness. It is the mere fact of being, the ability to say, “I.” Consciousness is an in­disputable fact, the greatest miracle of all, and all the sights and sounds of the world are merely side-effects.



To be conscious is to be conscious; there are not different kinds. The “I” that is in your neighbor is the exact same “I” within you. It may appear to be different through being attached to different sensory experience, but that is only be­cause it has allowed itself to be conditioned by such experi­ence. In point of actual fact consciousness is never the result of experience but the cause instead, and wherever we find it, it is primarily aware of existing, of being “I.” There is only one basic consciousness in all creation; it takes up its resi­dence in all things, appears to be different according to the things it enters into, but in essence is never changed at all. It is intelligence, awareness, energy, power, creativeness, the stuff from which all things are made. It is the alpha and omega of existence, first cause; it is you.

“Everything in Nature contains all the powers of Nature. Every­thing is made of one hidden stuff,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson. He pierced the veil, perceived behind the sense-enamoring dance of nature’s myriad forms the workings of the one mind and one intelligence from which all life and aspiration spring. There can be no inner peace or surety of action without this basic spiritual knowl­edge. The man who lives isolated from the roots of his being has cut himself off from the source of all power and dwells alone and without resource in a hostile and threatening world. Let him once perceive the true nature of life and his relationship to it and he soon sees that the world always reflects his thoughts.



The surface mind or sense-self or ego is the villain of the play that is being enacted on the human stage at present. Man as a form of life is sufficiently evolved so as to understand his separateness and uniqueness. He looks in the mirror and understands that the re­flected animal is he. He is concerned with the appearance and wel­fare of this animal and ponders its relationships with the world and others. He does not truly understand what he is, only that he is conscious and confined within a particular body, and the experi­ence and knowledge he acquires, together with his disposition as to their use, he labels “I,” and thus he is deluded into calling a ghost by his own name.

Hidden behind this ghost, obscured by its struggles and fancies, is the Secret Self, which even though hidden, ignored, or misunder­stood, nevertheless moves all things on the chess­board of life ac­cording to their natures and aspirations. We are never ego or sense-self. These are masks we don as we play at the parts we find in life. What we truly are is not a changing thing, but is whole and entire, powerful and serene, limitless and eternal. It springs from the inex­haustible source of life itself, and when we learn to identify our­selves with it, then we have hitched a ride on a power so far be­yond our tiny temporal selves that our lives are changed in the most amazing manner.



“To be what we are and to become what we are capable of being,” wrote Robert Louis Stevenson, “is the only end of life.” But when we stultify our divine birthright in manacles of mental and spiritual limitations, then we have no alterna­tive but stagnation and pain. As long as we are responsive solely to the stimuli that impinge upon our senses from the outer world, we have no choice but to be vic­tims of every circumstance. Locked to the senses, we reel under each stimu­lus, now aggressive, now afraid, now joyful, now sad, now seeking death, now life, but always our inner serenity and equi­librium are in the hands of something we neither under­stand nor control; and so we are puppets, pulled by invisible and un­known strings, swirling in the maelstrom of life like scraps of paper in the wind; and if perchance we garner knowledge enough to perceive our helplessness, then we often are overcome with such depths of sadness as to make effort against our bonds an almost unimaginable thing.

But the moment that we pause long enough in the head­long rush of life to see that we are not moving in accord with or in response to our own decisions but rather in reaction to the world around us, then we have taken the first step toward freedom. Only one who knows his slavery can aspire to be free, just as true freedom is possible only to one who has ex­perienced chains. Our hates, loves, fears, envies, aspirations, deceits are for the most part products of circumstance, of false and limiting codes and mores—more often innate terrors of mountains that are molehills; and the solution to all of them is to stand fore-square before them, daring them to do their utmost, exposing them for what they are, thus fore­swearing allegiance to the cupidity of the deluding and blind­ing ego which forever keeps us thinking we are greater than others and less than we truly are.



It is not necessary to become a mystic, even a philosopher, cer­tainly not a melancholy metaphysician in order to come to grips with the spiritual side of existence, to establish a mental causation in your life that will give you control of circumstance. What is necessary, however, is that you do not immediately throw out the door everything that has to do with spirit simply because it is the established province of religion. You may be a Christian or a Hindu, a Moslem or a Buddhist, a Taoist or Shintoist, but that only increases your individual human responsibility to think through all issues that bear on the world and life and death and your individual being. Only when you come to grips with your own mental es­sence, only when you arrive at a realization of the ephem­eral, ever-changing nature of “I” will it become apparent that everything is in a constant state of growth and development and aspiration, and there are no limits and finalities and defeats, and anything is possi­ble to one who first conceives the image in his mind.

There is within us a power of complete liberation, de­scended there from whatever mind or intelligence lies behind creation, and through it we are capable of becoming anything and doing any­thing we can visualize. The mental stuff of which we are made is of such kind and quality that it re­sponds to the formation of images within it by the creation of a counterpart that is discernible to the senses. Thus any picture we hold in our minds is bound to resolve in the material world. We cannot help ourselves in this. As long as we live and think, we will hold images in our minds, and these images develop into the things of our lives, and so long as we think a certain way we must live a certain way, and no amount of willing or wishing will change it, only the vision we carry within.



It is astounding and sad to see the many thousands of peo­ple whose mental machinery keeps delivering to them the very effects they say they do not want. They bewail the fact that they are poor, but that doesn’t make them richer. They complain about their aches and pains, but they keep right on being sick. They say that nobody likes them, which means they don’t like anybody. They aren’t bold, they aren’t aggres­sive, they aren’t imaginative; mentally they quiver and quake and are bound to negative delusions. It simply doesn’t matter what the picture in your mind is, it is delivered nonetheless, with the same amount of faithfulness and promptness if it is a picture of poverty or disease or fear or failure as it would be if it were a picture of wealth or health or courage or suc­cess. The law of life is this: all things both good and evil are constructed from an image held in mind.

A tightrope walker edges swiftly out on his elastic and minuscule support. High in the air, wavering, suspended on a thin black line, he seems to transgress all normal laws of behavior. What is as­tonishing is not that he is able to do this thing so well but that he dares attempt it at all. Yet what he is doing is an inescapable result of mental law. Long before he set his first uncertain steps on the taut wire, he made a picture in his mind. Throughout his early bumbling at­tempts the picture persisted. He saw himself, agile, bal­anced, adroitly crossing the swaying wire, and this vision sustained him through all early failures, Now he flaunts his skill and courage in the very face of death, nonchalantly, as the specta­tors gasp. He is sure, poised, confident, delivered of all fear and mishap by the sus­taining picture within.



The image power of the mind is imagination, but just what imagi­na­tion is and where it comes from nobody seems to know. A fa­mous surgeon is reputed to have remarked that he had sliced open many a brain without ever having seen a picture or found a thought. The imagination certainly is no more exclusive property of the brain than of an arm, a leg, or the stomach. Thinking is performed not by a part of the body or even the whole body but by the inhabitant within. It is that function which enables conscious­ness to know its surroundings and to know itself. Only one who thinks is able to say, “I”. Only one who can say, “I” is able to cast up pictures within his own being, known to no others.

The eternal striving knowledge and capacity, the most apparent thing about life, is resolved always by two principal elements of the strife—the knower and the thing to be known. By definition these appear to be separate, and we observe that a man ordinarily copes with the outer world by tabulating the manner in which it impinges upon his senses. A thing is so long and so wide and weighs so much and is so hard and a certain color. A name is given it, and as long as each subse­quent time it is encountered it main­tains the majority of its original characteristics, a man recognizes it for what it is and knows it when he sees it. If you ask him if it is near, he is able to answer instantly, simply by glancing around. If its presence produces some particular effect upon him, like fear or anger or love or tension, then the mere presence or absence of this object may be said to materially affect his life. In that case, his state of mind is not a matter of his own determina­tion, but instead is the direct result of the object as he en­counters it or avoids it in the outer-world.



Life in animal and vegetable forms is purely a matter of reaction. There is first the organism, then there are the ele­ments that intrude their presence upon it. The conflict thus engendered resolves itself in the process of evolution as each organism attempts to overcome the obstacles it meets, but this influence, through the lower stages of evolution, apparently comes only from outside and is the result of processes and forces beyond the control of the organism. Nature holds the world and life in an iron grip, and lower animal as well as vegetable life is led inexorably along a path it neither under­stands nor can avoid. A thing is the kind of thing it is through a creative process that appears to be outside it; existence it­self, in any shape or form, appears to be beyond the power and scope of the individual being. We are born and we die, and nothing within our known powers or knowledge can aid or stop these events. And insofar as we live in response to the senses, we are automatons only, and the shape of our lives is predestined by the circumstances we encounter.

Imagination is the tool by which we may be delivered from our bondage. We can decide what we will think. We can de­cide to origi­nate thought from some secret wellspring within rather than in response to the stimuli of the outer world. We can resolve that the images in our minds will no longer be products of the conditions we meet, but instead that our visualization will be the result of our inner resources and strength, in conformance with our goals and desires. Thus the quality of our consciousness will be tempered by our true motivations and we are freed at once of the trap of defeat­ing our purposes through giving credence to every obstacle. The unalterable law is this: only that which takes root in mind can become a fact in the world. Thus the man whose consciousness is influenced only by the goals and purposes he has set within is delivered of all defeat and failure, for obstacles then are only tem­porary and have no effect upon his inner being. Only that which conforms to his inner vision is accepted home at last and allowed to take root in the plastic, creative medium of the Secret Self.



It is knowledge about and faith in this Secret Self that is the key to correct use of the imagination. No man lives in the dark when he learns where the light is. To understand the Secret Self is to free oneself from bondage to circumstance, to loose within a power compounded upon itself, to provide life with perfect working and perfect serenity. This entity within each of us, not the ego, not experience, not time or circumstance or place or position, but con­sciousness only, the “I” divested of all accoutrements except pure sense of exist­ence, this is the self that contains all power, whose essence is greater than the individual, greater than ten thousand individuals, for it is the supporting structure upon which all things are built, the evolving self of the universe. It is not confined to the body, to a time or place or condition, but is in all times and places and conditions. It is infinite and eternal and only one, but being so as easily manifests as the finite and temporal and many. All are contained within it, yet each contains it all, for by its very nature all of it is every­place at the same moment.

The Secret Self is timeless and eternal. It is the self of the universe and it is the self of each of us, the self of you. It was never born and it will never die. It enters into each of its creations and be­comes that creation. What is going on in life and the world and the universe is completely its working and the result of its secret purpose and undivulged goal. The nature of its being is mental; its essence is dynamic and cre­ative. It is the eternal stuff that occupies all space and time and within which there is no dimension. It is all ends and middles and opposites and extremes, and it is infinitely cre­ative. The myriad forms of life are but a tiny indication of its vast potential for plastic multiplicity out of its essential oneness.



The Secret Self is within you. It is not visited upon a for­tunate few and withheld from others, but is totally existent in the heart of each of us. Insofar as we are able to divorce ourselves from the world and the ego and sensual stimuli we will become increasingly aware of its existence within and consciously strive to identify ourselves with it. It is through this identification that the seeds of power are sown. One who is able to cast off the limitations of ego and im­prove the quality of his consciousness through disciplinary use of the imagination is able by means of direct identification to be­come one with the Secret Self and thus attain to a measure of its power for perfection. The potential for achieving this astounding goal lies within each of us. By means of inner mental ascendancy and picto­rial definition a man may be­come one with the purposes of the Secret Self and thus be­come infallible in his works and his goals.

This is a pretty big capsule to swallow. Our materialistic society with its reverence for the products of science has ex­cised three-quarters of our mentality. We have concerned ourselves too much with the world, what it is, what is in it, how we can use it, and today we know little more of the origins and purposes of life than we did before men were able to read and write. It is difficult when we know something of the principles of the gasoline engine, the generation and transmission of electricity, the refining and temper­ing of steel, of electronic and radio transmission, to admit the pos­sibility that something radically opposed to the viewpoint of sci­ence could have a foundation in fact. Science says, “The laws of nature are supreme, and man must learn to live with them in order to prosper.” Now comes this diametrically opposed theory, “Nature is subservient to mind, not the mind of man as we know it, but the Supreme Mind or Secret Self that lies behind life, and this Secret Self is within each of us. We can come to know it and to use it, and thus transcend the laws of nature and free ourselves from bondage to the senses and the material world.”



What is going on in life is the evolution of the individual to complete oneness with the Secret Self. The universal being that lies behind creation has differentiated into finite form, taken dis­guise, so to speak, in order to work out the manifold sides of its in­finite and eternal nature. Therefore the man who expands his con­sciousness is fulfilling the fondest wish of life. It is not neces­sary that we become saints to understand as much of the Secret Self as is necessary to use its power in our affairs. To know this law is enough: whatever we accept as a permanent mental image in our consciousness must man­ifest in our world, for we become in life what we are in con­sciousness, and nothing can alter that fact.

It takes a great deal of courage to admit to yourself that if you are sick, frightened, frustrated, or defeated you have brought these con­ditions on yourself and no one but yourself can get rid of them. Occasionally someone so afflicted will experiment with the power of his mind to cure him, but will give it only the most cursory trial. If, for example, he is ill and in pain, he might say, “I visualized myself well and happy, but I hurt just as much as ever.” What he didn’t do above all things was visualize himself well and happy. He visualized himself sick and in pain. The moment he began to visu­alize himself well and happy, he would become well and happy. This is not a law that works once in a while or part of the time or on auspicious occasions. It works all of the time and it works in the exact same way, and it is return­ing to you right now in the material world the images you maintain in your mind. You cannot escape them. They sur­round you, sustain you, or torment you. They are good or evil or uplifting or degrading or exalting or painful accord­ing to the vision that prompts them, and as long as you are alive, as long as you think and imagine, you are literally sur­rounded day and night by the images that predominate in your consciousness.


The startling power of the Secret Self is that it always makes mani­fest the image it beholds. Nothing illustrates this fact better than the current experiments with hypnosis. A man may be in such ex­cruciating pain that even narcotics will not relieve him, but he can be put under deep hypnosis and told that there is no pain at all, and presto, there is no pain. He may have a deep and abiding fear of crowds, but under hypnosis it can be suggested to him that he likes crowds, and lo and behold, he enjoys them most of all. He can become stronger, healed of disease, smarter, more aggres­sive, pos­sessed of endurance and indomitableness, all because these things are impressed upon his psyche as facts and the image in his mind grows from them.

“Aha!” the cry goes up, “find me a good hypnotist. I want to be smart and strong and successful and all those good things and to be rid of weakness and pain and failure.” And hypnosis can do it too, if you are willing to abdicate as the person in charge of your life. If you are willing that someone else run it every hour of every day throughout the whole of it, then you can turn your life over to a hypnotist and he can remake it in the image you outline. However, it will make small difference to you. You may still be in the vehi­cle, but you no longer will be driving. If effort and strife and the overcoming of obstacles are the spurs to growth that the Secret Self intends them to be, then surely you will have abdicated from life itself.

You need no hypnotist to put the power of the Secret Self to con­structive work in your life. No hypnotist can overcome the nega­tive image making of your mind unless he is with you twenty-four hours a day. You are the only one in con­stant rapport with your­self, and thus you are the only one able to police the thoughts and images you entertain. If you let the image be prompted by some­thing outside you, then you exercise no control over your life. If you accept images only in accord with your desires, then life will deliver your inner goals. In any case, the magnificent promise of the Secret Self is this: you can change your life by altering the images in your mind, for what comes to you in the end is only that which you have been accepting in consciousness.

Now there are many people who agree with this premise but are quick to point out that the images in the conscious­ness of most persons are projected there from the subcon­scious and are not of their own choosing. Most schools of psychotherapy apparently feel this way, for they propose a tedious and time-consuming treatment bent on expurgating from the subconscious memories of painful and bitter occa­sions which might prompt unpleasant images in the mind. Seven or eight years of this process have not noticeably emp­tied painful memories from the subconscious of most patients, and in any case, if a treatment is truly efficacious, it cannot possi­bly consume so long a time. The saddest thing about the modern “put the blame elsewhere” school of psy­choanalysis is that the per­son undergoing it accepts it as justi­fication for his failure to police his consciousness and there­after expects such policing to be accomplished by having the neighborhood rid of criminals. If he achieves some semblance of a changed consciousness in the hands of the psychiatrist, he soon goes back to a world full of negative thoughts and ideas, and just because he does not police his own mind, they readily find acceptance there. You may not be able to alter the positions of the stars, to stop the earth from revolving, to cause the winds to blow or the sea to calm, but you can choose what you will think. You can think what you want to think. You can think only in response to an inner vision and a secret goal, and if you take your stand with a firm heart and a high resolve you will be successful and you will not be intimidated and you will project your image clear and true and its counterpart will return to you in the world.



In a little village on the western slopes of the Great Divide lived a man whose entire life had followed one ignominious pattern. For thirty-five years he had been an oil well driller and had followed the frontiers of oil exploration throughout the United States. Dur­ing that time he had drilled forty-four wildcat wells and not one of them had made a strike. He had drilled in Texas, Oklahoma, Kan­sas, Louisiana, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Wyo­ming, and still he had not hit. Oil operators wouldn’t hire him anymore. He became known as “Dry Hole” Casey, a nice guy, but strictly out of luck. Finally he took a job, in a Colorado mine and eked out his days without hope. He kept his drilling rig, though. It was his first love. Weekends would find him in the backyard, lubricating and cleaning its parts, handling them with ritual­istic care.

One day in late spring, when the snow stood in broad glittering fields on the slopes of the mountains and the rivers and streams were high and roily, he wandered up into the woods and sat gazing over the valley. The valley was a basin hemmed in on three sides by precipitous intrusions of granite, and these mountains had been productive of many minerals, lead, zinc, silver, tungsten, manga­nese. Our friend gazed to the west, to where the basin sloped down to a plateau. Suddenly his mind formed the perfect picture of a faulted anticline, a predominant type of subsurface oil trap. The image seemed superimposed over the scene before his eyes, so that he could almost see the oil below the surface of the ground. He trembled before his vision, could not resist it. It seemed like a sudden visitation from heaven, and he left the mountainside abso­lutely certain that within the small valley lay a major oil field.

Next day he quit his job in the mine and with his savings managed to procure oil lease options on the land he visual­ized as being the most favorable. Now he had to raise capi­tal to complete his leasing arrangements and provide funds to drill an initial well, a gargan­tuan task, since everyone who knew him knew also his history of failure. But the vision in his mind persisted. It led him to take a bus to an eastern city in quest of funds. It led him after a week of dis­couragement to a park bench and a seat alongside an elderly man who quietly and patiently fed the squirrels.

It was a bright warm day, and the squirrels were active, playing and clowning over the proffered food, and the two men laughed at their antics, and each told stories of other squirrels and other times and agreed that the foibles of humanity were not shared by ani­mals. Warmed at each other’s company, they agreed to lunch to­gether at a nearby restaurant. In the course of the luncheon, the oil driller told his new-found friend of his vision and his problem. His friend was interested, ques­tioned him closely about the vision he had had on the moun­tainside, seemed impressed that it per­sisted.

“How much money do you need?” he asked.

“Fifty thousand dollars,” replied the oil well driller.

“I will provide it,” the man said suddenly. “We will be equal partners.”

It seemed incredible, but there it was—a chance acquaint­anceship on a park bench, and the money was provided. It is almost an­ticlimactic to relate that the subsequent well dis­covered a rich oil field. There simply was no alternative. And the man who put up the money knew that it would. He had had sufficient experience with the power of inner vision to manifest in the world to be abso­lutely sure of his position. He did not dwell for a moment on his partner’s previous failures, only on the vision that possessed him now.



What strange alchemy prompted our oil driller to have this clear vision in his mind, a vision that subsequently made him a rich man, when his whole previous life had been one un­broken line of fail­ure? Surely the wells he had drilled before had been drilled in response to a vision too. Why should they have failed?

They failed because the vision he possessed then was one of failure. Sure, he would have denied it, but it was true. Perhaps a sense of the great hazard connected with searching for oil lay at the crux of his subconscious. Perhaps he felt that the odds were against him. Perhaps he was conscious of the fact that there are millions of acres of land without oil under them. In any case, his vision was one of failure, from what­ever cause, and he was led into those arrangements that would inevitably cause him to put his drill bit down in barren soil. And in two cases, where he actually had drilled on produc­tive land, he once had ceased making hole only twenty-seven feet above the productive formation and another time failed to make a test of a sand that later produced several million barrels. But he could not help himself. He was only following the dictates of the vision in his mind.

See how different his behavior was in the discovery of the basin field. He saw the oil. He knew it was there. There was not the slightest doubt in his mind, and that is the way he acted. There was no resisting him this time. His vision was for production, and that is what resulted.

Why? Why did he finally have a positive vision after har­boring a negative one for so many years? Such a question could not be answered with certainty without making an in­tensive study of the man, but in all probability the debili­tating and crippling factor was fear. Fear more than any other single thing warps and distorts our vision. Our oil driller most likely was afraid of failure, and his ap­prehension twisted his inner vision from success to defeat. He couldn’t win as long as the fear stayed with him. Finally, when he had reached the absolute bottom, when the business he loved had rejected him and the men in it no longer would hire him, fear simply left him. Everything bad had happened already, what more was there to fear? And in this psychologically re­lieved attitude, the Secret Self was able to get through the mask of vanity, and the ensuing vision inevitably brought success.



“It is computed,” wrote Jonathan Swift, “that eleven thou­sand per­sons have, at several times, suffered death rather than submit to break their eggs at the smaller end.” The resistance of the human mind to change is amazing, especially when it appears so obvious that life itself is nothing more than change. Multitudes of people, many of them very intelligent, argue that all cause is in the physi­cal world and that men­tality only observes. They seem determined to go down to their deaths with this frightfully errone­ous view­point, even though their own inner attitudes belie their stand, even though their slogans extol the power of mind over matter.

On locker room doors and conference room walls the framed and placarded slogans emblazon their messages: “A quitter never wins. A winner never quits.” “A team that won’t be beat, can’t be beat.” “Put your heart in it. All else will follow.” “Make up your mind, and you make up the future.” But these verbal expositions to thought­ful vision are regarded as having precedence only in such matters as team effort, to bind together the group for a purpose, and their tremendous importance to individual creativeness is largely overlooked. From the inner vision all things are done—the bridge is built, the tower constructed, the oil well drilled, the mo­tion picture made, the book written, the pic­ture painted, music composed, outer space probed, secrets of the atom exposed.

There is absolutely no such thing as accomplishment un­less it is preceded by a vision of that accomplishment. You simply can’t reach across the table and pick up a dish unless you first have the mental image. All things come to all people according to the pic­tures that form in their minds, and the effort that is expended in this world to escape fates that are inevitable is sufficient to con­struct a tower to the sun. No amount of movement, of physical en­ergy expended, can pre­vail against a wrong mental image. Simi­larly, the possessor of the correct mental image is guided to per­form the work to be done, effortlessly, almost nonchalantly. Most of the struggling and striving in the world is done by people who are trapped into unwanted circumstances through incorrect mental vis­ualization, and the fact that they visualize the very thing that they profess to abhor is the contradictory situation that is filling our psychiatrists’ couches.


Bernard Spinoza wrote, “So long as a man imagines that he cannot do this or that, so long is he determined not to do it; and conse­quently, so long is it impossible to him that he should do it.” The picture that forms in the mind, whether for good or ill, will deliver its inevitable consequence. The problem is not with the mental or spiritual fact of physical fulfillment of mental visualization, but rather of finding a key that will enable each person to cast up mental images at will, hold them until realization, and not have other images intruded by the recalcitrant subconscious, which so often runs contrary to the wishes of the conscious mind. In the deeper reaches of the human psyche the seeds are formed that moti­vate a whole life, and a man either accedes to or takes com­mand of these invisible prompters. If he accedes, his life will be run from a source beyond his conscious control. If he takes com­mand, he becomes master of his fate.

Taking command is never as simple as it sounds. It re­quires a firmness and boldness that only few people innately possess. Most of us live as complete slaves to reaction, absolute victims of the commands of the subconscious, and we seldom if ever even think it possible that we can overcome our feelings and react in an en­tirely different way than circumstances would have us do. For ex­ample, if you participate in a test and defeat seems inevitable, you only make it certain by acceding. But if you keep alive your spirit by a vision of victory, by an absolute resistance to the importuni­ties of de­feat and disaster, who knows what miracles may occur? The mental vision that resists all sensual stimuli becomes at length a thing unto itself and its resolution as objective fact in the material world cries out for utterance and will not be stifled. Na­ture’s vast creativity springs from the infinite potentiality of the Secret Self. Anything possible of conception is sure to eventually be created as a solid material fact for all the world to witness. There is no such thing as an idea without a visible resolution, for the great plasticity of the Secret Self shapes every idea contained within it, and whoever is possessed of a thought is possessed of a thing as well, as long as he holds his image clear.



Creativeness is not part of the surface self, of the ego, the con­scious mind, the physical or sensual being. It emanates upward through the levels of consciousness from the Secret Self, takes shape and form through a power greatly beyond and infinitely more powerful than the small individual “I.” That part of a man which is most powerful of all is invisible, seems apart from him completely, is hidden in the deepest recesses of his being, is not callable by name, is not recog­nizable through the physical senses, cannot be coerced, but responds innately and completely to image. This is the great plastic Secret Self from which all things are made, the creative self of the universe, maintaining a sameness in all differentia­tions, being eternally one in the midst of multiplicity; this is the Secret Self within you, which is not different from you, which in final analysis is altogether you. You are not con­scious mind or ego or memory or sensual being, but were born directly from the mind that formulated and constructed the universe, and you are not different from that mind but attached to it by a mental and spiritual construction that makes you and it the same.

Abandonment of the surface self and seeking self-balance in the deeper regions of consciousness is the pathway to power and per­fection in works. For when a man attunes himself to the life force and mental entity that gives him consciousness and lives within him, then he takes on by a process of identifi­cation the effective­ness and potency of the infinite and eternal entity from which his individual life has sprung. His horizons expand, his consciousness widens; there wells up from secret and subterranean springs a constantly increasing and never-ceasing power for perfection and perfect understanding. His faith is placed with simplicity and un­failing trust in the in­herent power of the Secret Self to return in material fact those mental images that live within him, and he need not have the key that unlocks the universe in order to use effec­tively this basic law. It bothers him not that there exist doors in the mental and spiritual realm that thus far have not yielded. He need not know all and understand all to use those truths he thus far has discovered, and he lives in the con­sciousness that life is a mental adventure and not a physical journey.



We all have seen people achieve great ends effortlessly. We have seen others strive frantically toward some goal only to consistently fall short. We are assured on all sides that hard work makes the successful man, yet we discern almost im­mediately that hard work sometimes fails of accomplishment while fortune often smiles on the man who seems to make little effort at all. Shakespeare wrote, “There is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at the flood leads on to fortune.” The story is told of the man whose furnace refused to work and who subsequently called a repair man. The repair man struck the furnace a blow with his hammer, and it promptly re­sumed working. He presented a bill for one hundred dol­lars. “Out­rageous,” sputtered the irate householder. “I want that bill item­ized.” “All right,” answered the repair man. He scribbled on the bill, “Striking one blow with hammer—one dollar. Knowing where to strike—ninety-nine dollars.”

It is not how hard we work that matters, but what we get done. It is not the wailing and gnashing of teeth that is the show, but the things that are built and accomplished. The knowledge of the sim­ple lever six thousand years ago might have saved a million hours of backbreaking labor, and had television existed in the time of Christ a different shape in­deed might have been given the Christian Church. Knowing where and when to strike, just as the repair man so aptly illustrated, is the goal to be sought, and not the energy to run a million circles around a field which does not need to be circled even once. Knowledge is the thing, not physical effort; all things exist because of mental causes, have risen in the physical world in response to ideas held in mind. Mind is first cause, and he who is guided by this knowledge dis­covers the foun­tain of power.

Your Secret Self is a giant self, dwarfing into nothingness your surface mind and ego. It is a self without limits in space and time, and anything is possible to it. Its manifestations on the human scene sometimes seem supernatural. It outcrops in our geniuses in those with “second sight,” in our artists, our explorers, our pio­neers, our adventurers. Its presence may be intimately felt in the fields of parapsychology, extra­sensory perception, precognition, clair­voyance, thought transference. It stands behind all human en­deavor and aspiration as the guiding intelligence of evolution. Life is going somewhere high and lofty and worthwhile, and the path by which the heights are to be scaled is safe and secure and well-known. Only in partial knowledge is there confusion, and only through the separate and incomplete view of the surface self are we rendered impotent and afraid in a world that should be ours. The little mind that sits immediately behind our eyes has not the hori­zons nor the expanded consciousness to see the larger picture, the worthier and greater goal of the Secret Self. All individual suffer­ing, frustration, and failure stem from the failure of the surface mind to find and properly identify itself with the Divine. In isolat­ing ourselves from the true roots of our being, we are thrown out of kilter with the power and surety of the Supreme. By fancy­ing our­selves to be sense-minded only, we are like the severed tail of a snake, possessed of movement still, but senseless now, with­out purpose or entity, helter-skelter, scratching out a crazy pat­tern in the dust.


We are one body only, one mind only, one deep and abiding in­telligence. We are not tiny infinitesimal parts of an infinite and incom­prehensible whole, but we are that very whole, that entire mind, that great and vast intelligence from which the universe has evolved, and everything contained within the universe is contained within us, and if we truly understand ourselves we understand the world and every­thing in it.

You can be anything you want to be, do anything you want to do, tread any path you will to tread, become master of your fate, ordain your future, but you will not do these things by railing against cir­cumstance, by throwing yourself fran­tically against events and per­sons simply because they do not seem to be in accord with your plans. Only by perceiving the hidden purpose behind events, the true motivations that actuate people, will you be able to attune yourself to life, to act in accord with the gigantic tides that bring the future. This faculty is yours once you have gleaned the exis­tence of the Secret Self and have set about striving to live in accord with it rather than with the surface self that has moved you hereto­fore.

We all aspire to goals, desire to improve our understanding and our abilities. We would not be alive if growth were not inherent in us. But oftentimes our growth becomes calcified through being ringed around with impermeable layers of selfishness and conceit. This selfishness is not necessarily just acquisitiveness; it may even be exemplified by an overwhelm­ing generosity; it is simply primary concern for the ego, a living by and in accordance with the little “I” that constitutes the average person’s knowledge of himself. Such conceit makes knowledge of self a constant judgment, a com­pari­son with others, favorably or unfavorable. It feeds on flattery and victory, is decimated by criticism defeat. It has, no true exis­tence, but depends entirely upon circumstance and the reactions those circumstances set up within it. As a conse­quence, it is always exultant or sad, for its impression of itself is that it is either better than or worse than everything that confronts it. It has absolutely no knowl­edge of equality


Breaking through the limiting boundaries of the ego into the un­impaired vision and knowledge and joy of the Secret Self is the undoubted goal of evolution, the purpose of life. This transforma­tion, truly a transfiguration of the mind and spirit, is not an abso­lute thing but a matter of degree, is par­tially achieved at this mo­ment by thousands of living persons, is possible of limited attain­ment by anyone who lives. To exist immersed in the ego is to live a restricted life, to realize only a small fraction of your po­tentiality. Such deliberate subordination to the dictates of nature is a subjec­tion to pain and suffering and death and decay. Such subjection is normal to lower forms of life, seems part of the plan by which the Secret Self is emerging from matter, but when con­sciousness has reached the point where it recognizes its imprison­ment, when it sees its subjection to circumstance and pleasure and pain, then it must strive to be free, to establish a truer order for its development. It then must break through the barriers of its aware­ness, cease living in the ego and attain the widened horizons and powers of the Secret Self, or it will fall back into the inertia of the sensual nature, lose its capacity for growth and development and so cease to repre­sent the Secret Self at all. To the person trapped and resigned to be trapped in the ego, there is no final end but suffering and pain. Only in the Divine lie the ultimate resources that over­come all obstacles, and only in seeking to discover the Secret Self has a man firmly set foot on the one and only path that leads to success, se­renity, and joy


Nothing, of course, can be accomplished without a fight. Life itself is a struggle, and each of us enters it daily. It is simply a question of where to expend the effort: pursuing the material wraiths of the physical world that constantly seem to elude us or concentrate on an inner resource that controls the outer world. It is a wise man who expends his energies devel­oping his consciousness. He shortly will find that all the aspects of the world have assumed an order and a benignity he would not have thought possible. All things appear to do his bidding, not because he truly bids them, but be­cause he understands them. It is this knowledge, attained by inner perception, of the potentiality of each thing and circum­stance, that leads to beneficent power, that allows a man to move through the most intense conflicts with serenity and surety. He sees the thing to be done because he knows the outcome that must be achieved, and because of this inherent percep­tion of the laws of life and nature, he appears to be modeling each event, shaping each thing, yet it is not he who does this but the Secret Self within him, to which he has entrusted himself completely and which guides his steps and actions with omnipotent assurance.

Will you have the power and assurance and serenity of the Secret Self? Then there is something you must give up. You must give up the ego, that thing within you that you always have thought to be your very self. You must seek to shed that sense of separateness that is a product of your surface mind and to search deep within your consciousness for the pure core of being that is the self of all things. It will not be easy. The sensual nature with its constantly distracting stimuli brings daily clarion calls from the outer world. But if your life has provided you full measure of pain and frustra­tion from chasing these tempters and deceivers, then you will face them with resistance and resolve to pursue them no more. The path to power lies within you. All things will be found there. The fight is not between the world and you, but between your ego and your true self. Simply choose to find your true self, and in the end you cannot lose.

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