How To Develop Capacities Which Are Lacking
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
ALTHOUGH much philosophical truth A is presented only as theory, there are, however, three practical steps of development. First, learning what limits the expression of the soul. Second, discovering, with scientific certainty, hidden capacities, which can be brought into actual manifestation. Third, learning the process by which the soul becomes conscious of its limitless possibilities, and brings its hidden capacities into expression.
Of course, your success will be limited if you believe that others possess many capacities which you have never possessed, and never will possess. If this is true, you want to be certain that it is true. If it is not true, you want to know that it is not. You have often heard that in essence, your soul is perfect, complete, and infinite, although it is not complete in its manifestation. Also, you have heard that everything which exists, can be brought into manifestation! The repetition of these truths, you have heard again and again. You now want proof.
Have you unlimited capacity?
There is but one basis of proof. It is the law of unity of action. All acceptance of scientific fact and spiritual truth is deter-mined by agreement with this law. You know that the sun is first seen in the east, each morning. There is proof of it. The proof is determined by the law of the unity of action. Each morning, the sun is always seen first in the east. That is the proof. But, if the sun were first seen in the north some morning, and then again in the west or south, there would be no unity of action, and no proof that the sun is first seen each morning in the east.
All proof of scientific and spiritual Truth depends on agreement with the law of unity of action. Unity of action depends on one basic law. If there were no such basic law, there could be no universe. Any statement of truth which agrees with the basic law of unity of action, is proved as an eternal certainty—whether it is the action of a star or an electron, the radiation of heat or of sound, the manifestation of the white light of the sun or the expression of the soul! All must manifest by unity of action; otherwise, the universe would be torn asunder in a second of time.
What is the proof of the infinite capacities of your soul?
Pure white light is complete light. It includes all colors—green, blue, red, violet, yellow, orange, et cetera. Although scientists once "thought" that there were but seven colors in each beam of white light, they now know that the number of colors of each beam of white light is limitless and that its color possibilities are infinite!
In like manner, man once "thought" that the capacities of each soul were limited.
Although pure white light possesses in-finite color capacities, yet, when I cover the pure white light in my study with a green glass globe, the globe limits the expression of light in my study, so that only green light—one little part of white light—is manifested. Pure white light possesses infinite color possibilities, yet when I limit its expression by covering it with a green globe, I shut off the manifestation of most of its color capacities, and it then seems to lack those color capacities.
So, also, when you have shut off the full expression of your soul, it seems that you do not possess the capacities which are shut off from expression.
If I desire white light when my study is flooded with green light, nothing but my own mistaken thinking prevents me from having white light.
If I mistakenly think that the white light (inside of the green globe) is actually green light, I limit my conception of Truth, and fail to make the effort necessary to remove the green globe.
Or, if I mistakenly think that the green globe is so "fixed" that it cannot be removed, I will not make sufficient effort to remove it, so that the white light can manifest in its infinite completeness.
So, also, nothing but mistaken thinking prevents you from removing the restrictions which limit the manifestation of your infinite capacities.
Your soul, in itself, is complete. Like a pure white light, it possesses infinite capacities. But, if you mistakenly think that your life is solely a green manifestation—or a red, or a yellow, or a blue manifestation—you will limit yourself to a partial expression of your real self, and you will fail to do what is necessary to bring your infinite powers and possibilities into expression.
Your real self—mind, soul, or spirit—whatever you call it—is perfect and complete. It possesses all the possibilities and powers possessed by any other soul in the universe. Why, then, do you seem to lack so many capacities, which you desire? What shuts them off from manifestation? What limits your soul expression ?
Change yourself by changing the means.
With a colored globe I can limit the manifestation of the infinite color capacities of pure white light. When my study is flooded with green light, I can change it to a red light by removing the green globe, and covering the white light with a red globe. And more—I can overcome any limitation of any particular color of light, by changing the globe which limits or restricts the manifestation or expression of the pure white light !
And, if I desire white light with its in-finite color capacities, I can discard all colored globes.
Your brain structure is not your soul—not even your mind. It is merely the means by which your mind expresses itself. Your mind does not depend on your brain for its existence, although it does depend on brain center activity for its expression.
Each brain center has been evolved during countless ages. There are millions of brain centers. Each was developed to make it possible for some soul capacity to manifest. When brain centers are unused f or years—perhaps unused for centuries—they become inactive, and certain capacities are shut off from expression. Then, the capacities, which should manifest by means of such dormant brain centers, seem to be lacking. But, as soon as a dormant brain center is awakened, the mind capacity at once manifests itself.
The soul is perfect.
The soul possesses infinite capacities. Your expression of such capacities is limited only by the number of unawakened brain cells in your brain. There are billions of them. In the brain of the most developed person, who has ever lived, there were probably hundreds of millions of brain cells which were more or less idle, or completely dormant.
"There are in every one potential forms of activity that actually are shunted from use," wrote the late William James. "Part of the imperfect vitality under which we labor can thus be easily explained. One part of our mind dams up—even damns up —the other parts.
"Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake. Our fires are damped, our drafts are checked. We are making use of only a small part of our physical and mental resources."
Is it possible to re-make yourself?
Can you change the dormant physical structure of your brain so that capacities which you have believed you do not possess can be brought into expression?
Is such development possible?
It is not possible if you depend solely on mind training and soul growth ; but, it is possible and certain if you learn what development is, and use the processes of growth which always produce changes in the physical structure.
Mind is perfect. You cannot perfect it by training. Soul is complete. You cannot "grow soul"—for it already possesses the capacities of the infinite, in the image and likeness of which it is made ! By mind development, we mean the development of the brain structure, so that mind will more fully express itself. By soul growth, we mean increased expression of soul.
Of course, you cannot change one form of life into another form of life. You cannot develop a carrot into a calla lily ! You cannot train a stupid pig to become an intelligent dog. But you can change the activity and increase the expression of any form of life.
Such changed activity changes the structure!
Astounding changes have been wrought in mere vegetable forms of life. Recall the miracles of Burbank. They were wrought in seemingly non-conscious and non-intelligent' forms of life.
Certainly, greater changes can be wrought in you—for, of all the living things on the earth, man is the most adaptable. He is the most capable of development, the most responsive to desires within and to influences from without, the most capable of growth and of change of structure.
It is stupid to believe that the structure of a prune or a walnut can be radically changed, but that man cannot be changed. It is stubborn ignorance to hold to the idea that man cannot rid himself of "natural" qualities, or that he cannot acquire others which are more desirable. It is lack of knowledge of how to awaken dormant brain structure, which makes men believe that they cannot bring into use capacities which they have thought they do not possess.
How can you awaken dormant brain centers?
What is the process of changing the structure so that capacities within yourself—capacities which you have assumed do not exist—can be brought into expression?
Thinking thoughts which are like those which you have been thinking, and performing activities which are like those you have performed in the past, will merely continue the action of brain centers already active!
But, whenever you perceive some quality of a thing—a quality which you have not previously perceived—you recognize some-thing new to you, and something different from, what you have previously recognized. Whenever you think differently than you have thought in the past, whenever you per-form an action differently than you have previously done it—then, the newness of the thought or act, because it is different, awakens structure which has been dormant.
Mere assertion or affirmation of the possession of qualities never does this. But, when, by discrimination, you change brain structure or build in new structure, you pro-vide increased means for mind expression.
Thinking likenesses keeps you in a standstill condition.
Thinking differences is the only basis of progress.
And vivid imaging is the only means of awakening consciousness so that it will perceive differences with enough mental vitality to change the structure, and bring hid-den capacities into manifestation.
Oh, yes, I realize that you "think" you think new thoughts every day, and daily do things differently.
Test yourself. Are not your thoughts, day by day, mere repetitions of old thoughts, varied only in form, or degree?
Test yourself. Are not millions of your activities the same day by day? When you sit down and cross your legs at the ankles, do you not always put the left foot over the right, or always put your right foot over the left?
Thousands of thoughts like your thoughts of yesterday ! Millions of little activities like the activities of the past ! Of course, you run like a machine, never awakening a new capacity, and ultimately, like a machine, you run down !
What a life for a soul divine !
Oh, read Chapter II again. Think differences ! Think vividly for five minutes each hour, every day for a month, and the angels of heaven will chant a paean of praise, glorifying a man reborn—a man of genius, with infinite capacity to do whatever he desires and dares to do !