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The body is made up of cells; some in a radiant state, and some crystalized into form. The visibility of these radiant thought-forms is the result of an affirmation of the ponderability of substance, or, we might say, that it is the belief in man's mind that his body is material instead of spiritual. The affirmative state of mind is a binding, holding process, and it involves all thoughts, and their manifestations, that come within its scope. If man affirms his unity with the life, substance and intelligence of God, he lays hold of these spiritual qualities, but if he affirms the reality of matter and the physical body, he attaches his Ego to the gross instead of the spiritual.
Affirmations and denials do not have to be made in set terms, like, “I affirm my body to be material," but the general trend of the mind, the sum total of thought in all its aspects, aggregates the affirmation that fixes and crystalizes thoughts into forms. The great desire and striving of men and women for material possessions is the strongest kind of affirmation, and affects both mind and body in marked degree. Stomach troubles and constipation are almost universal complaints with those who are financially grasping. The tense state of mind which this affirmation sets up extends throughout the body, and all the muscles, nerves and organs become fixed and almost unmovable. This was forcibly illustrated in a certain banker, who was so grasping that his right hand closed up, and he could not open it. Again, a set ambition and intense desire to excel in some chosen field of work, will produce like results. A dominating will, fixed in any direction, is a form of affirmation, and it affects the life-action in the organism according to its intensity. Inactivity, stiffness, rigidity, may all be traced to excessive affirmation.
The metaphysical remedy for this selfish state of mind is denial. “Deny thyself and follow me.” The “me" here referred to is the higher self, the Christ. Denial is a putting away of the mental error, and conscious reaxation of both mind and body. The healer does not tell the patient audibly that his constipation is caused by his grasping or stingy state of mind, but he mentally denies it, and holds the patient open and receptive to the Great Unselfish Mind of the Universe. People do not realize how they are bound by their selfishness, and it is not wise to tell them openly, until they are in understanding of the difference between their real being and this mortal personality.
Where the “No” phase of mind is too much in evidence, the whole consciousness is in relaxation. This excessive negation makes the thought indefinite and vacillating, and the body weak and flabby. Prolapsus, dropsy, certain forms of kidney complaints, and nearly all relaxations in body and functions, are the result of the “I can't" state of mind. A busi. ness man, who has for years been intent upon moneymaking, who meets with a large loss, and mourns over it, is apt to have kidney trouble of some kind. He believes that he has lost his substance, and a void thought begins its dissipation of the very tissues of his body. One who has been very ambitious for the attainment of some office or position, and defeated, will usually “let go" the positive mental pole and drop to the negative. The result is bodily weakness somewhere. We speak of such people as having “lost their grip.” This is exactly what they have done, their mental relaxation has loosened their grasp upon the organism, and it is in a condition of dissolution. Physicians have marveled that so many public men have diabetes and Bright's disease. It is because they have been defeated in their ambitions, like Blaine, and given up. The “failure" state of mind throws the whole organism into a panic, and its functions are weakened in their life-action. Instead of the tonic of aspiration and hope, there is the enervation of discouragement and despair.
These are conditions that come to those who trust in the arm of flesh. When the mind of man
is set on high, he never gives up, nor allows defeat to thwart his righteous ambitions. His thought is not set on selfish attainment, consequently he does not experience a mental vacuum when he meets with loss. To one in spiritual understanding there is no loss. The going and coming of material and intellectual things is but change in the panorama of life. This is constantly taking place, and will continue so long as we live in the consciousness of duality, the “Yes” and “No” state of existence.
The object of man's existence is to demonstrate the Truth of Being. This demonstration takes place through experience. But there are two ways of working out experience. The first is through knowing the law underlying every process, and the second is through blindly testing the process without understanding the law..
In the allegory of the Garden of Eden we have the illustration of the choice the race, to which we belong, made when a certain stage of discretion was attained. Adam represents generic man. In his early stages he was under the Law of Divine Knowing — the Lord God was his guide and instructor, and he made no mistakes, but lived constantly in the Divine Light.
All experience develops personal identity - the consciousness of the power of self. This is the bringing forth of that free-will which is inherent in all. In the course of his demonstrations of Being man arrives at this place where he feels his own capacity, and he knows he can exercise it without restraint. "Satan" is the personal mind that tempts man to try experience without knowledge. In Divine Illumination man does not enter consciously into that dual condition typified by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – he simply knows it as that which might be if he forsook his guiding light. In the Serene Mind of God there is no duality, no good and bad, day and night, understanding and ignorance the brilliancy of the All Knowing dissolves all shadows and negations.
It is man's privilege to abide in this light, and know how to work out the problem of existence as accurately as the mathematician, who follows without deviation the rules of his science. The Lord admonishes the unfolding Adam not to "eat," that is, incorporate into his consciousness this knowledge of duality-good and evil. But, like the child who refuses to take the advice of one who knows, man sees wisdom and pleasure in the realm of opposites, and falls into its delusions. This dual mentality naturally sets up positive and negative forces in his consciousness, which are reflected into his body. The commotion is so great that the soul is forced out of its temple — man is put out of the garden, and in time forgets his former Edenic state.
Some metaphysicians argue that this eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was a necessary step in man's evolution that it is through experience that we learn all truth, and without this experience we would always remain infants. We admit that we develop through experience, but it need not be blind experience. Just here is the difference between the Christian and the Gentile - the one seeks the guiding light of the Spirit in all his ways, while the other ignores that light. Hard experiences come into our lives because we do not know the law of harmonious thinking. If we think that evil exists as a power in the world, and that it is working in our lives and the lives of those about us, we make it an active force, and it appears to be all that we imagine it. The poet truly discerned, “There is neither good nor ill, but thinking makes it so."
Some metaphysicians claim that it is not wise to make denials; that the affirmation includes all the mental movement necessary to man's perfect development. This position would be tenable if we had built up our consciousness according to Divine Law. The student who has carried his mathematical problem forward without making an error does not find
it necessary to erase. But if he sees where he has made a wrong computation, what then? Nothing but an erasure, followed by a right computation, will bring the correct answer. We have all fallen short of Divine Ideals, and we must cross out our errors, and add in the truths, until our characters are up to the Jesus Christ standard.
Repentance is a form of denial. The forgiveness of sin is an erasure of mortal thoughts from consciousness. The joy which comes to the converted Christian is the inflow of Divine Love after the mind has been cleaned by the denial of sin. This is a real experience, which may be repeated again and again by one who understands the law of mind action, until the whole man is sanctified and freed from sin. Christians look back upon this joyous exaltation which they had when they were converted, as an experience which comes but once in a lifetime, and that it is brought about by the Lord as a special sign of their change of heart. But metaphysicians, who have studied the laws of mind, and practiced denials and affirmations as a science, find that they can throw themselves into this ecstatic state at will.
To attain this, begin each day by a denial of all thoughts of selfishness. This is following the command of Jesus, “ Deny thyself and follow me.” The mortal self is the Ego around which revolve all thoughts that bind us to error. We cannot cross it out all at once, but little by little we cast out the specific thoughts that have accumulated, and built up that false state of consciousness termed Judas. In the life of Jesus, Judas represents the false Ego which error thought has generated. This “son of predition" is so interwoven into the consciousness that to kill him at one fell swoop would destroy the mentality, so he must be counted as one of the twelve, while we know that he hath a devil.”
In the symbology of Jesus' life, Judas is represented as the treasurer; he “carried the bag.” This means that this Ego has possession of the life centre