General Remedies For Fears For Others
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
FIRST REMEDY: Improved Health-Tone. You are urged to make it your chief business to swing into the vibrant currents of health, and are referred to chapters on this subject in the present work and to the second volume in The Power-Book Library, "Power For Success," which is as certain as law to tone up the spiritual force for health in any average person who will multiply self into its pages.
SECOND REMEDY: Acquiring Vigorous Will-Power. You are urged to cultivate your will-power to a high degree of energy and symmetry. You may develop the ability to send throughout the body, and to any point therein, a warm current or flow of conscious vitality, which ability will prove of the greatest value in dispelling all sorts of disturbing fear-feelings as they may occur and give you mastery over them. You will find "Power Of Will," the first volume in The Power-Book Library, a very helpful study in this respect.
THIRD REMEDY: Attaining the Oversight of Reason. You are urged to bestow upon all in whom you are naturally interested a full measure of reasonable care, so that you always may be able to affirm: "I have certainly done for these friends what I reasonably could do; more may not be expected; I now, therefore, cease imagining evil possibilities and a greater solicitude for them, banishing from mind all apprehension concerning their welfare." If this seems difficult, remember that persistent and patient effort will infallibly build up in your life the habit of fearless repose.
FOURTH REMEDY: Toning Down the Imagination. Conscious that you are blameless in the matter of reasonable care, you are now to cut down your imagination concerning possible evils or perils to others. This process should be indirect; that is, the fear-thought should be displaced by contrary thoughts be-getting cheerful moods. Fear feeds on thought of danger or evil. Therefore, let fear be starved by ignoring it. Whenever you are disturbed by apprehensions, refuse to entertain the imaginations which troop into mind; shut them out; persist in banishing them. Above all, compel the mind to dwell on agreeable thoughts not connected with the friend. If the subject continues to occupy attention, make the friend the centre of pleasant scenes, follow him in thought where you suppose him to be and surround him with imaginary circumstances of a fortunate nature. But it is better to turn resolutely away from him and concentrate thought on other matters.
FIFTH REMEDY: Giving "Absent Treatment" for Good Fortune. You are urged occasionally to think intensely and as though "wiring" your friend a message, on his sure safety, happiness and prosperity. The object of this regime is your own welfare, but you will inevitably convey to the other person influences for good. And these influences will react upon yourself, creating in your thought assurance concerning him and so helping to build up in your soul a larger degree of general courage.
SIXTH REMEDY: Cultivation of Confidence in the Friend's Self-Preserving Ability. You are urged to develop within your mind a strong feeling of confidence in other people's capacity for taking reason-able care of themselves. This suggestion is vastly important. Let us apply it to some of the worry cases enumerated on a previous page.
I FIRST VARIETY OF WORRIES — THE PARENT WORRIES ABOUT THE CHILD. The latter, then, is constantly hampered with fears and restrictions, the result being unhappiness for both. Neither is benefited in the slightest degree. Indeed, the parent's fears, by plain and by occult processes, tend to make the child cowardly, and thus to lessen its powers of self-help. The child needs the knock-about experiences of life. Nature designs that the jungle and the man-field shall be no drawing-room. Undue restrictions simply increase child-dangers. If your fears have imprisoned the young cub or the dear gazelle, give it more liberty. This is precisely what you will refuse to do, but it is a scientific remedy — both for the child and for yourself. The child has more ability for self-helpfulness than you believe, unless you have ruined its birth-right. It is an animal, and is solidly full of Nature's instinct of self-preservation. It is human, and therefore endowed with double wit for using that instinct. Because you are unduly fearful, your confidence in the child must be forced by exercise of will, by reason, and by the constant emphasis in thought of the fact that in almost all instances your fears have proven unnecessary.
If the child is timid, here lies the greater reason for enlarging its world and for making it familiar with the roughness of life.
If the child is forever getting into trouble, the fact may be due either to a curious stupidity or to an excess of animal spirits. The stupid child never comes to great harm. Nature is afraid of hurting him. The bright child carries an amount of "steam" which is usually adequate to its protection. In both cases let reasonable care and self-control take the place of worry and fret. The substitution is a habit: cultivate it.
If your fears regard the child's moral welfare, the main regime will seek to develop and train its will-power. Kindly imagine the following paragraph to be printed in red letters:
Will-power in the child demands the right atmosphere for its noblest exercise. What oxygen is to the blood, morality is to the will. Seldom will a child go seriously wrong if its home atmosphere is filled with that essence of all moral health, honor. Here is the climax of the most truly practical philosophy, of the idealest morals, of the whole subject of religion. When you convince the child that you hold your sense of personal honor too high to permit stooping to the mean thought, the immoral act, or the unworthy line of con-duct, he will sink the suggestion deep into his soul and strive to imitate you. Almost invariably is this the case; the exception is, indeed, a hopeless example.
But there is a vast difference between the honor of mere religiosity and the religion of genuine honor. Some moral atmospheres are deceptive. If honor is "skin deep," the "chip of the old block" will exhibit heredity. In too many homes there is a kind of morality which is bred merely of selfish regard for the opinions of society.
It is not a reality of the soul. It lacks in profound valuation of personal dignity closeted with itself. In other homes a so-called religious life abounds which seems entirely compatible with littleness, penuriousness, irritability, harsh judgment, jealousy, envy, criticism, want of high principle.
The sense of honor in the above suggestions is the acme of right living. It signifies a feeling of personal dignity too deeply seated and too greatly valued to permit its possessor to harbor the low thought and the ungenerous wish, or to indulge in any action which is calculated to injure health,, demean the mind, hurt the conscience, render others unhappy, or diminish reverence for the All-Good. By so much also it involves the cultivation of corresponding virtues. In a word, it is a full-orbed, full-toned high-mindedness. That mighty pagan, Aristotle, held High-mindedness, Megalopsukia, in supreme regard, as being a" kind of ideal self-respect" and the "crown of all the other virtues."
If you cultivate such a sense of honor in the child, you will have less occasion to worry, but, by a psychic law, you will also have originated within your soul a large confidence in the child's will for and power of self-help.
In any event, this form of fear before us is wholly useless. You are aware of the fact, yet you worry and fret, nevertheless. You have gotten into a habit of anxiety. The cure will be found in a contrary habit, that of confidence and courage. There are two ways in which these traits may be acquired.
SEVENTH REMEDY: Dismissing the Fear. You are urged, whenever the fear arises, to dismiss it from thought. It will appear again and again, repeatedly — perhaps. Repeatedly, then, and instantly, put it away.
At the same time summon a sense of confidence in the child's or other person's welfare by thinking of either as safe, or as acting self-preservatively. Better than all, affirm: "I have done what I could for this person, and I cannot and will not worry about him."
It can never be too strongly emphasized that we are what we incessantly think we are — provided that conduct consistently carries out the thought. One of the "Twin Verses" in Buddha's "Path of Virtue" reads thus: "All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him." If we think and act courage, the mighty law of suggestion will banish fear.