12 The Use And Mis-Use Of Mental And Spiritual Powers
The average individual knows nothing of mental forces, and, although he may suffer from the effects of unconscious wrong thinking, yet he is in no danger of making deliberate mis-use of the inner powers. One, however, who has learnt how to use these interior forces must be very careful to use them aright or he will find that the invisible powers of mind and spirit are far more powerful and destructive than dynamite. It is not meant by this that he can blow himself up thereby, but it does mean that he can injure himself, not only in this life, but for ages to come, and, in addition, seriously retard his spiritual evolution.
All use of the mind to coerce other people or to influence them by means of suggestion, not for their benefit, but for your advantage, is highly destructive, not to them actually, _but to you_. On the face of it, it looks an easy road to success and prosperity, but, actually, it leads to failure and poverty. The mis-use of the mental powers in this way is really a form of black magic, and the fate of all black magicians is very terrible. Even the use of the mind to coerce other people _for their good_ is not desirable. It never does any real good, although it may seem beneficial for a time, and its use, therefore, is to be deprecated. Healing, so-called, by hetero-suggestion, is not permanent, for as soon as the healer ceases to "pump" suggestion into the patient the latter begins to relapse into his former state. Far better results accrue if the patient is taught to use auto or self-suggestion for himself. It is seen, then, that the use of the mind to influence others is distinctly harmful if it is used selfishly, and of no real use if used unselfishly. Hypnotism is harmful, no matter which way it is used, and is also detrimental to the patient. Because of this some of our more thoughtful neurologists have given up its use.
We have no right to endeavour to influence other people by the use of our inner forces, even if our object is their good. Each soul has the right to live its life in its own way, and choose for itself either good or evil. That is the object of life, so that each evolving soul should learn wisdom through the lessons learnt as a result of its own mistakes. Far worse is it if others are coerced, not in order to help them, but to defraud them or to make them buy goods they do not require, or sign agreements they would not otherwise put their name to.
One who mis-uses his mental and spiritual powers literally smashes his life up. He works against the laws of life and the universe, and encompasses his own ruin.
There is, however, a far more subtle way of mis-using the mental and spiritual forces than by coercion, mind domination and hetero-suggestion. This method is equally destructive, and if persisted in builds up a painful future. With this method other people are not influenced or dominated, but the finer forces of Nature are coerced by the human will. Mental demands are made on the invisible substance from which, we are told, all things are made, and wealth is compelled to appear. In addition to this, sickness, so it is claimed, is banished, and the invisible forces of life are compelled to operate in such a way as to make Life's pathway a bed of roses, without thorns, so that life becomes shorn of all its discipline and experience.
Its devotees "enter the Silence," and there visualize exactly what they think they want, and compel it to appear, in material form, by the strength of their desire or through the exercise of their will.
Some followers of this cult may be able to make an apparent success of it, but I have never yet met any. If they do, however, they will live to regret it, for they are merely practitioners of black magic. Their efforts are of the same nature as sorcery. All such methods build up a heavy debt of future suffering, and seriously hinder the soul in its evolutionary journey.
Entering the Silence is a good thing: it is really entering the inner silence of the soul, the inner sanctuary where the Divine Spirit abides in fulness. To mis-use this inward power for selfish and material ends, and for forcing our human will upon life, so as to make it conform to what _we_ think it ought to be is a crime of the first magnitude, which can result only in ultimate failure and disaster.
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