This is Lesson 5 of Thought Bricks. In this lesson Bernard reminds us that “visualisation” is really about feelings. He encourages us to lean back and trust in the Lord, to cherish our “thought-moulds”, and give us another version of The Shaft exercise. At the end he shares a prayer from his personal prayer notebook. As usual the lesson follows Bernard’s letter.
My dear Student,
In the Lesson which you are receiving today I have said a great deal more about that important subject of Visualisation. I find many people get this word mixed up with ‘concentration’ and they write to tell me that they are not much good at it.
For instance, one Student wrote in several letters: ‘Dear Bernard, I am looking forward to your Course. At the moment I am completely “on the rocks”. I have tried several other Courses, but with no results… I find the Course very interesting and enjoy your letters and the short, simple way the Lessons are written. I shall be sorry when I come to the end of it. I keep on hoping and praying for more abundance and trust it will come soon, but I expect times are hard for a good many people just now.’ and she later wrote:
‘Dear Bernard, Thank you so much for your letter which is in itself an Inspiring Message. Also, thanks for the Course and all the trouble you have taken. Yes, I practise the ‘Heart-Chart’ and Visualisation daily, but I expect my powers of concentration are poor compared with yours, and I quite realise it is my fault when do not get results. I will write to you again soon. Meanwhile, Good Luck to you and your noble work.’
Now do you see what is happening in this case? This Student is making a right thought-mould one minute and then tearing it up and making a wrong thought-mould the next. It is not better concentration that she needs, but a slow, steady cherishing of her thought-picture as I have described in this Lesson. Fortunately, she writes also to say she is going through the Course all over again. So to her and to you – I wish success.
LESSON FIVE: THOUGHTS ARE BRICKS
I expect you are very familiar by now with these words: ‘Whosoever shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that whatsoever he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith.’ (Mark 11, 23.)
But are you familiar enough? Don’t just go quickly through these promises, taking them casually because your mind is so accustomed to them. Get them deep down within you, a conviction of the truth of this promise, so sure that it is almost engraved on your heart!
For, it is so very easy to skim through words without getting the sense of them. I remember hearing a preacher, once, who told of a young man who said to him: ‘I have been through the Bible 23 times’. And the preacher replied: ‘But how many times has the Bible been through you?’ Try, then to let these significant words of the Master’s ‘go through you’ rather than for you to go through them.
Did you, for instance, see the significance of a few lines towards the end of Lesson 3? I said: ‘Once, however, you realise that only. by thinking, by using your mind, can you make a mould, and, that ‘unthinkingly’ you are constantly making the wrong kinds of moulds all day, you see how essential it is to deliberately make the right kinds of moulds, and how well worthwhile this kind of thinking is.’
Here is the key to many failures. Very earnest people with plenty of faith in right thinking resolve to spend, say, a quarter of an hour a day on thought-building. They go in for affirmations and auto-suggestions and visualisations, they pray in many words or, in a few, they walk about at night, perhaps, wrestling with the elusive, or they strongly and with determination ‘demanding’ from the silent universe all that they need. So many people have done these things that it is probably quite familiar to you. But something seems to go wrong.
There appears to be an obstacle in the way. Small prayers are answered, perhaps, but the big ones go unanswered; the universe seems ‘dead’, deaf to their appeals. Why is this? (Have you guessed?) It is because these people are forming right moulds for a quarter of an hour twice a day and wrong moulds for the other, say, 15 waking hours! Many people for instance, desire a measure of prosperity so that they may live their days peacefully and without strain, so they build a ‘prosperity’ mould twice a day, then think how poor and needy they are all the rest of the day, comforting themselves with the memory of their ‘mould-making’.
So we must again remember the words: ‘Whosoever shall not doubt in his heart’, and: ‘Whatsoever things ye desire, when ye pray, – believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them’.
These teachings mean, obviously, that the only way to receive the things we desire is to make the right moulds for 24 hours out of the 24 – even while we sleep. Does this seem very difficult? It is not nearly so difficult as it sounds. What we have to do first, then, is to realise that the particular supply which we need already exists. Then, that Divine Mind is just as ready to give the supply to us as to anyone else, waiting only, for the right thought-mould. When, we have this straight in our minds we next form a vivid mental picture of what we need, thus making a mould for Divine Mind to fill with Life. We keep this mould intact in our minds and hearts and do not tear it apart with destructive thoughts of an opposite nature.
For instance, if we desire more health than we have, we first form a clear mind-picture of ourselves being in possession of this blessing. We keep, treasure and cherish this mind picture just as a good gardener cares for a seedling; we shelter it from the scorn and disbelief of others by being silent about it and we would no more damage it with thoughts of illness than we would tear up a seedling, stamp on it, put it back and expect it to grow again. We cherish the mind-picture, then, waiting quietly and confidently for it to be filled, with Life.
If thoughts of illness come we instantly say to ourselves: ‘This is only true outwardly. In the unseen, great changes are on the way for I have made a mould and the Father is filling it with Life. It must remain in the “womb” of the unseen until the day of birth comes, and then it will be born and I and all others shall see it.’ You see, there is nothing fanciful or emotional about this. It is an exact science with unchanging laws, and when we fully understand it we shall be able to manifest success as well as any other. Is it not, then, worth while to be a little patient in the learning?
This article from a former newsletter will, I think, be of value to you here.
THOSE STUMBLING BLOCKS!
These last few weeks I have been speaking, in these articles, on the subject of Stumbling Blocks in the way of attainment to Thought Power. Let us continue with this, shall we?
Stumbling Block A: The conviction that visualisation is too difficult to be achieved.
As I read the letters that are written to me on this subject, I realise that it’s not anything that I have written which causes people to have this idea, but something they have read, perhaps in various books and articles and lessons, elsewhere. So many writers seem to give the impression that what the write about is very difficult and deep I think there is a little vanity here – that they like to give the idea that they are very learned and what they teach is very difficult to acquire. As, however, I am not learned and know it, I have no such handicaps to overcome nor any need to give a false impression. I can go right ahead and say: ‘What I am telling you is easy – anyone can do it’.
That is just what I say about Visualisation. So do throw all your pre-conceived ideas of it overboard and start afresh with the righit idea. Visualisation is easy. Anyone can do it.
Suppose you are away from home on a visit to a friend. You have been staying with this friend for a fortnight and, suddenly as you sit at tea the friend says to you: ‘Do you like my new radio set? You reply: ‘Yes, very much’.
‘I think it is the same make as yours’, the friend continues; ‘yet you had yours two years ago. Do they differ at all?’
‘Not very much’, you say. ‘Mine has a slightly larger case and the dial is a different shape. I see that, in yours, they have strengthened the corners, which is a great advantage. Otherwise, in performance and appearance, the two are similar.’
Now how did you know all this? You were away from home so you were not actually looking at your set. And you could not have committed to memory all the details you gave – as well as the details of every piece of furniture in your home. Then how did you know? Why, you visualised, of course! It is a sort of mental memory-picture – either of something you have already seen, or something you want to see. Anyone can do that! So just go ahead with your visualising, my friends, and forget all about its so-called difficulty!
Stumbling Block B: The idea that things should not become more difficult for you when you thought-build, but should immediately get easier.
But this is an extraordinary idea! If you have been indulging in wrong thinking all your life and have “built” the wrong things, they very often have to work themselves out before something better can come in. If you had weeds in your garden and wanted to plant flower seeds, wouldn’t you expect to pull up the weeds first, and so disturb the soil a bit? See it that way and understand truly.’
The other day a Student Wrote: ‘I am very interested in the story of how you worked it out in regard to what you wanted. No doubt most of the Students will be interested because it gives us a better insight. We have read many books on the occult but the writers do not explain it enough to encourage the reader to show him the way.’
In view of this letter I have decided to tell you some details of two thought-moulds and their results. Would you like this? . . . I shall begin with my desire to live in the country. Firstly, I had several ties, which appeared to make such a procedure impossible. Then I had so little money. Also I had no means of earning my living even if I reached the country. An impossible situation, you say? Not at all. I simply leaned back upon the resources of Divine Mind, made a clear mental picture of myself-living in the country, cherished it silently and with absolute conviction left it to manifest in the fullness of time. And it did!
First my ties were gently loosed in a completely unexpected way. Then the way began to open for me to live in the country – but not in the district and the kind of country cottage I expected! Then a means of earning my living in the country unfolded to me. Everything was at first entirely different – but it afterwards all came true. For here I am in a country cottage with one and a half acres of secluded gardens, where there are moors and a river – and glorious views and all the peaceful freedom I desire . . . . But a not-so-true fulfilment came first – a stepping-stone to the real thing.
Quite a different circumstance I shall relate now. A few weeks ago I had been talking to someone about a favourite book of mine and I gave her a little copy of it which I used to carry around with me, but which I had not seen for about eight years. It reminded me of a special passage I had liked and I wanted to show it to her, but could not find it. I went upstairs, sat down and began to read methodically through. All I could remember was that it began on the left side of the page. But I soon saw that it would take a couple of hours to find it that way. I was just about to give it up when I decided to ‘ask’ that I should be given the page I wanted. I paused a moment, resting my faith in Divine Mind, the Source of our supply; then opened the book ‘at random’ – and there was the passage I wanted. It was on pages 52-53, so it would have taken me a long time to reach it. I was so touched and delighted that tears prang into my eves . . . . (Later I tried opening the book as a test. I tried 33 times before succeeding.)
One Student wrote to me this week to say how unlucky she Is because of big expenses. She says she has tried for years and years to win competitions, but failed. Another Student wrote this morning to ask for a “confidential method” for securing Supply, offering to pay the price I should name. But why should I take more money from him when he needs money? God is his Supply, just as He is the Supply for us all. The reason people don’t experience this is because they look on themselves and their purses as receptacles instead of pipe-lines or channels.
If we really trust God to supply us, whatever we need, and however expensive everything is, then we don’t have to cling fast to every penny in case we don’t get any more! We can know that we will get more, according to our needs. “The Lord loveth a cheerful giver” is very true. So if you have been feeling that “money is very tight” don’t hold on tight to it in the mistaken idea that you won’t get any more. Instead of being a channel you become a box, closed at both ends so that Supply cannot get in or out. You cannot close the channel at the outgoing end and keep it open at the in going end. If you close one end, both close Start right now, then, if you need Supply, and give something away. Not necessarily money but something you value and which you will willingly pass on to someone in need. Get that channel open at both ends and keep it open always. Then Supply shall flow increasingly to you.
A New Shaft Exercise
Here is another “Shaft” exercise for you to do each day. Go into a room alone.
Stretch out your hand in front of you and draw a “circle” around yourself, turning as you do so.
Imagine that you have built a circular wall around yourself and that it reaches right up to the sky.
Then imagine that the floor on which you are standing is the Earth.
In your imagination, then, you are standing in a pipe-line or channel between Heaven and Earth. Do you see?
Now, without any outward sound, “Shout” within yourself up this pipeline or channel:
I give myself to Thee…
Thy channel I will be…
In this hour…
Pour down they Power.
As you say “Power” visualise God’s perfect Supply pouring into and through you – an abundance of all good things from Heaven to Earth.’ (You need not ‘demolish the wall’ as in Lesson One, for I think you have learned the ‘Brotherhood of Man’ idea by now.)
Before I end this Lesson I will, give you a peep into my private Prayer Notebook. I put it into the pages of newsletter a while ago as I thought it would interest and help my Student Family. They were so touched and delighted with it that I will reproduce it here. The date is January 25th, 1953, and it is headed: ‘My Prayer.’ It came to me quite spontaneously, as I pray best with a pen in my hand. Here it is:-
‘Holy Father, hear the voice of Thy son! Eternal King, hear the voice of Thy Prince! Great Spirit of outpouring Love, hear the voice of this little centre of love, opened wide to Thee. Omnipotent Light, hear the voice of this tiny spark, a reflection from Thy Flame.
Tonight, I am smilingly relaxed in Thee. I feel Thy Power of outpoured blessing all around me – pulsating, glowing, warming me with its rays. Thou art the Great Gardener and I a small blossom whose face raises to meet Thine as Thou stoopest over it. Thou art the Mighty Shepherd who goes striding over the hills, and I am the lamb Thou seekest. Yes, Holy Father, Thou art my All. I know it, and am deeply content, for I have found Thee.
How blissfully I drink of Thy waters tonight. Oh ever-flowing Fountain of Truth How long I thirsted, but now I find Thee whenever I will, and Thy sparkling waters are my delight.
I bow to Thee, Great Spirit, Great King! I am Thy beggar who, coming at last to Thy gates, Thou didst take in, and clothe with a prince’s raiment.
All is well with me. All is well with the blessed Work I do for Thee. Thou hast inspired and prospered it. Thou hast taken each Student to Thy Heart. Open wide the hearts that are frozen and pour in the melting flame of Thy Love, dear God! Lift up the timid and whisper Thy words of tenderness to them.
Encourage those who strive, succor those who seek and receive those who have arrived, my beloved King. All is well with all my affairs; with all those whom I have contacted in this earthly life – I commend them all to Thee. May we all live in harmony and truth and prosperity and joy forever
Father God, now let it be
That I shall see Thee
In the midst of me;
As though a light leapt high In clear blue sky,
And blazing sun poured down
In might and power;
As though a river ran
Beneath cool trees,
And gentle breeze
Caressed the face of man.
Father God, now let it be
That I shall see Thee
In the midst of me.
Yet more than this, for just a frown
Or hasty act or careless word
May blot out all the holy scene
And hide me from my Lord!
So let me ever be serene…
Father God, now let it be
That I shall see
Thee In the midst of me.