MIND OVER MATTER
This month, we are "Minding the Mind," because the real estate that is between our ears is very, very important real estate!
I shared a quote last Sunday from Charles Fillmore's Atom Smashing Power of Mind, that bears repeating today, so here it is: "To be ignorant of mind and its laws is to be a child playing with fire, or a man manipulating powerful chemicals without knowing their relation to one another. This is universally true; and all who are not learning about mind are in like danger, because all are dealing with the great cause from which springs forth all the conditions that appear in the lives of men and women. Mind is the one reservoir from which we draw all that we make up into our world, and it is through the laws of mind that we form our lives."a
That is why we are spending this entire month on this topic and today, we are going to look at the phrase: "Mind over matter." It's a common phrase, and is used to speak to the creative nature of our minds. And, of course, our minds are creative, but is "mind OVER matter" accurate? Is it really mind OVER matter?
MIND AS MATTER
What do you think? I say the answer to that is actually NO! So if it isn't mind OVER matter, then what is it? It is mind AS matter and matter AS mind!
Here are just of few - a few of VERY many - passages from our New Thought leaders on this topic.
In The Edinburgh Lectures, Thomas Troward said: "The universal mind is the creative power throughout Nature; and as the originating power it must . . . give rise to . . . various forms. . . ."b
In The Basic Ideas of Science of Mind, Ernest Holmes wrote: "There is but One Mind; It is Omnipresent - It is all there is. Everything, visible and invisible, is but a manifestation of this One Mind - the result of Its Creative Action and the becoming of that which It creates."c
And in Talks on Truth, Charles Fillmore said: "Mind is not a thing; Mind is. It is that which, through orderly process, produces the thing. This orderly process, we have learned by observation, is from an invisible center to a visible circumstance. So if anywhere in the universe you behold a form, you may know that within that form there is a potential center from which spring all its qualities."d
So, it is not and never will be mind OVER matter, but mind AS matter whether that is Mind in the Capital "M"/Macrocosm/Big Picture sense or mind in the Lower Case "m"/microcosm/little picture sense.
So, here is an example of it in both!
Eleven-year old Angela was stricken with a debilitating disease involving her nervous system. She was unable to walk and her movement was restricted in other ways as well.
The doctors did not hold out much hope of her ever recovering from this illness. They predicted she'd spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. They said that few, if any, were able to walk again after contracting this disease.
The little girl was undaunted. There, lying in her hospital bed, she vowed to anyone who'd listen that she was definitely going to be walking again someday.
She was transferred to a specialized rehabilitation hospital in the San Francisco Bay area. Whatever therapies could be applied to her case were used.
The therapists were charmed by her undefeatable spirit. They taught her about imaging -- about seeing herself walking. They thought if it would do nothing else, at least it would give her hope and something positive to do in the long waking hours in her bed.
Angela would work as hard as possible in physical therapy, in whirlpools and in exercise sessions. But she worked just as hard lying in her bed faithfully doing her imaging, visualizing herself moving, moving, moving!
Then, one day, as she was putting every ounce of energy into imagining her legs moving again, a miracle happened. Her legs didn't move, but the bed did! In fact, it began to move around the room! She screamed out, "Look what I'm doing! Look! Look! I can do it! I can move, I moved!"
Now, it seems that at that very moment everything else in the room was moving too, and people were screaming and running for cover. Equipment was falling and glass was breaking.
You see, it was an earthquake. But don't tell that to Angela. She's convinced she did it. And only a few years after that incident, she was back in school. On her own two legs.
Because, anyone who can shake the earth between San Francisco and Oakland can certainly conquer a silly little disease, now can't they?e
In Observations, by Holmes: "The universal creative Mind is the same mind you and I are using now and it is because of the unity of this Mind, the oneness, the indestructibility, the eternality, the changelessness of this Mind that we may be certain that our thought acts in and through this Mind in accord with the immutable Law of Cause and Effect. Therefore it follows that if we set up a vibrating point at the center of our own thought receptive to that which is good, to that which is beautiful and true, we shall irresistibly be attracting that condition into our own environment."f
And that is exactly what Angela did. That is a true story by the way. Comes from the first Chicken Soup for the Soul!
Thoughts ARE things. They don't become things; they are things!
And Holmes tells us in one of the shortest yet most powerful lines in the SOM that: "Trained thought is more powerful than untrained thought."g
So I need your help with the rest of our time together this morning. Tell me, how do you train your body to be more powerful, to be stronger? Talk to me. What do you do? Ideas:
* Give it proper fuel / nutrition
* Lift that which is heavier than you can comfortably lift
* Repetition - can't go to the gym just once
* Use visible progress to motivate you to keep going
* Get a personal trainer
How does that translate to training your mind to be more powerful, to be stronger?
Here is fodder:
*Nutrition/Fuel - Fuel your mind with only what you want. "Stand guard the portal of your mind"
Emerson reminds us. Choose to think only what you want to think!h
"We must come to believe that at the center of our lives there is a Wholeness, and we should think of the mind as the door through which It enters. Therefore we should be very careful to guard what comes into our mind from the opinion of others, and to regulate what comes into it from any source."
* Lift that which is heavier than you can comfortably lift - Strengthen your mind with concepts you might not readily think. Like the concept that Good really is all there is. Like the concept that Love really is the answer. Like the concept that we really are responsible for our own experiences (remember that from last month?! It was Principle One of the success principles we explored). Build mental muscle by doing things that are challenging; get out of your comfort zone! Now, that's some spiritual heaving lifting!
* Repetition - Do your spiritual reading, meditation, take classes, come to church on a regular basis, stay involved here! The repetition is what builds strength of thought!
* Watch and get motivated by the results - Pay attention to the "Coincidences" that occur in your life. Be fueled and inspired by them!
* Get a trainer was another idea - That, of course, equates to getting your own personal chaplain! EVERYONE should have one!
Mind/mind is always at work, always creating, always forming itself into matter. Whether it's creating through our lives that which we desire depends on how we are using our piece of Mind and how we have trained it!
Einstein once said: "Everything is energy and that is all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you can't help but get that reality. It can be no other way. That is not philosophy; it's physics."i
And even though it's physics (science) not philosophy, it can still be somewhat mind blowingly awesome, can't it? I want to leave you with a story of the awesome nature of God. I shared it not that long ago, but it's so awesome, I just have to share it again!
A young boy was sitting on a park bench with one hand resting on an open Bible. He was loudly exclaiming his praise to God. "Hallelujah! Hallelujah! God is soooooooooooooo great!" he yelled without worrying whether anyone heard him or not.
Along came a man who had recently completed some studies at a local university. Feeling himself very enlightened in the ways of truth and very eager to show this enlightenment, he asked the boy about the source of his joy.
The boy replied with a bright laugh, "Do you have any idea how awesome God is? I just read that God opened up the waters of the Red Sea and led the whole nation of Israel right through the middle."
The enlightened man laughed lightly, sat down next to the boy, and began to try to open the boy's eyes to the "realities" behind the miracles of the Bible. "That can all be very easily explained. Modern scholarship has shown that the Red Sea in that area was only 10 inches deep at that time. So, it was no problem for the Israelites to wade across."
The boy was stumped. His eyes wandered from the man back to the Bible lying open in his lap. The man, content that he had enlightened a poor, naive young person to the finer points of scientific insight, turned to go. Scarcely had he taken two steps when the boy began to rejoice and praise louder than before. The man turned to ask the reason for this resumed jubilation.
"Wow!" Exclaimed the boy happily, "God is greater than I thought! Not only did He lead the nation of Israel through the Red Sea, He topped it off by drowning the whole Egyptian army in just 10 inches of water!"
aCharles Fillmore Atom Smashing Power of Mind, p. 87
bThomas Troward The Edinburgh Lectures, p. 27
cErnest Holmes The Basic Ideas of Science of Mind, p. 15
dCharles Fillmore Talks on Truth, p. 33
eChicken Soup for the Soul, pg. 171
fObservations, by Holmes, p. 34
gErnest Holmes Science Of Mind pp. 47, 209, 400
hRalph Waldo Emerson