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SEVEN STEPS IN PRACTICAL OCCULTISM

Lesson Two

Your life on earth began with the union of two tiny cells. One carried with it the essential history of your father's ancestry. The other summed up the life story of your mother's family tree. When these two cells united, subconsciousness took command of the development of your body. Subconsciousness has controlled every function of your organism from that day to this.

We call this mode of life-activity subconsciousness because whatever it does occurs below the level of our conscious awareness. By careful study of the results of its work, psychologists have accumulated a fund of exact knowledge about its marvelous powers. In this lesson you will find a concise statement of certain salient features of that knowledge. This information will enable you to proceed intelligently toward the attainment of the objective you chose as a result of your study of Lesson 1.

After centuries devoted to the examination of the life processes of the human body, the sciences of biology, physiology and organic chemistry are yet in their infancy. We know very little about what happens when the heart beats, when the liver makes sugar or manufactures bile, or when food is transformed into living cells. An action apparently so simple as the raising of one's arm is actually so complex that it would take thousands of pages to list what has been recorded concerning the chemical, mechanical and physiological transformations involved in its performance. Yet all that might be written would be but a partial account of what really occurs, and it has been said that in all probability, continuous research for the next two centuries will not suffice to exhaust the analysis of this one simple action.

Subconsciousness knows all about these processes. It makes finer adjustments than any machine devised by man. No chemist can duplicate some of the wonders that a baby's glands perform daily. Subconsciousness does this just as well for an infant savage as for an adult scientist. None of these marvels of body control depend on our conscious knowledge.

Subconsciousness cures every disease. Medicines do not cure. They merely set up a chemical action to which the real healing power reacts; and whatever that is, it is hidden in subconsciousness. Surgery does not heal. Neither do mechanical adjustments. They simply remove obstacles to the free manifestation of the hidden curative power.

This power may be aroused by purely mental methods, which often succeed where drugs, surgery and adjustments have failed. Do not misunderstand what has just been written. B.O.T.A. has no wish to be responsible for another healing cult. Yet it is known that mental methods have cured every disease when other methods of therapy have been tried without success. Shall we, then, incontinently abandon other systems of therapy? By no means. But undoubtedly you will be glad to learn practical, sane ways to utilize the mental curative force, so as to be able to help yourself and others.

The subconscious healing power is not limited to the cure of functional and nervous ills. Not long ago, the medical profession were practically unanimous in denying the possibility of mental healing. Then the doctors began to admit that such methods might occasionally relieve a few nervous and functional disorders. Today, such leaders as the Mayos, and many others, frankly acknowledge that stubborn organic ailments are sometimes cured by mental means without the use of drugs, adjustments, or surgery.

If sometimes, why not always? The honest answer to this question is, "We do not know." In this course, we aim to tell you what we do know. From reports sent in by persons who have used mental methods to change their emotional attitudes, thereby stimulating the subconscious healing power, we know that organic heart disease, abnormal growths, piles, eczema, asthma, and other ailments which often baffle ordinary physicians, have been cured.

This, however, is not a lesson on mental healing. Subconsciousness can restore your body to health and keep it well, but it has other wonderful powers. Experiments have shown that it keeps a perfect record of all our experiences. Whatever affects any of our senses leaves a subconscious impression, and when right conditions are provided, any detail of this complete story of our past may be recalled. Thus the secret of a good memory is not really a matter of retaining impressions, but of making clear ones, relating them properly together, and bringing them to the surface of consciousness when needed.

When one knows this secret of recollection, he has at his disposal the wealth of experience stored in his mind as a result of his acts of conscious attention. Practice moreover, will enable him to make use of the greater treasure consisting of an immense number of impressions which have been recorded without his conscious knowledge.

Furthermore, subconsciousness arranges and works upon this mass of mental records, and seems to have power to think on its own account. This subconscious reasoning, however, has certain limitations. It is restricted to deduction, that is, to drawing conclusions from premises. Apparently the subconscious thought processes tend to elaborate every logical conclusion from a given premise. This deductive process, however, will elaborate false premises just as logically as it will develop conclusions from true ones. This is why there are so many false doctrines, so many strange superstitions. However logical a series of deductions may be, they are worth nothing unless the initial premise be correct. You will learn how to guard against this tendency of subconsciousness to accept false premises. Thus you will be able to use your subconscious thinking processes, safely and constructively.

Our instincts and our intuitions come to us by way of subconsciousness. Instincts, so to say, come from below and are part of our subconscious inheritance from the past. Intuitions, on the other hand, come through subconsciousness, but from

Superconsciousness, concerning which more will be said in another lesson.

When Zerah Colburn, at the age of eight, could instantly give the square root of a number like 106,929 or the cube root of one like 268,336,125 without stopping to think, superconscious perception of mathematical truth was transmitted to his conscious mind through the channel of subconsciousness. The records kept by experimental psychologists afford many instances of similar prodigies.

Children have been able to play the most difficult pieces almost as soon as they could sit at a piano. Others have excelled in musical composition before reaching their "teens". It may be objected that these are the inexplicable manifestations of genius. Yet the fact remains that leaders in every field have testified, again and again, that "something tells" them the most valuable things they know in their own special lines of endeavor.

For example, the texts of the Sumerian language, in the cuneiform characters, were deciphered because Rawlinson had "guessed" that a phrase like "king of kings" would occur frequently in the inscriptions. The phrase was isolated and its decipherment led to the recovery of the whole system of writing. Such guesses come to us from something outside the range of our ordinary mental processes.

For all practical purposes, that something is subconsciousness and it can be controlled. Persons who develop unusual skill of any kind soon learn that this is true. The best billiard shots, the most spectacular plays in golf or tennis, the brilliant flashes of genius displayed by a master of chess, are such manifestations of subconsciousness. So many of the best things said by public leaders are straight from subconsciousness. Here, too, a writer finds his best inspirations.

This is not all. The mere selection of some definite aim, with determination to realize it, starts the operation of hidden activities which provide us with the necessary materials, and puts us in contact with those persons whom we need to meet in order to attain our goal.

Not long before his death, Edison gave an interview in which he said, speaking of the spectacular success of his friend, Henry Ford: "Henry? Why, Henry taps the subconscious." Mr Ford himself said he was certain that whenever we determine to do something and stick to our determination, we send out mental entities which put us in touch with other people and bring us the materials we need for the execution of our plans

As yet, no completely satisfactory explanation of this hidden operation of our subconsciousness has been advanced. There have been many attempts to account for the facts. Books on New Thought and Mentalism have put forward a theory called the "Law of Attraction". There are other theories, some plausible, and apparently reasonable, others highly fantastic. What we really know boils down to this:

Something in us below the surface makes connections for us with whatever we need in order to be what we want to be, do what we want to do, and have what we want to have. This something can be put in operation by any one who will learn and practice the necessary technique.

All these subconscious operations are manifestations of the force described in the preceding lesson. Modern psychology, infant science though it be, has discovered enough about how our minds behave to show us that ancient occult methods for directing our hidden powers rest on a firm basis of natural law. Anyone who can understand the teaching of certain books written long ago soon perceives that the art of directing and using this inner force is no new thing. In every age there have been some persons who understood this art, and they have left records of which you will get the essence in this course of instructions.

Some of these records have strange forms, but we have keys to their meaning. Thus it is possible to give you a series of clear, specific instructions which will show you just what to do in order to make your mind and body effective instruments for realizing your aim in life.

This technique will be explained in language you can understand. It constitutes a practical art of life which has been subjected to rigorous tests. Modern science explains some of it, but not all. A child may learn to swim even though he has no scientific knowledge of the laws of physics which enable him to do so. You can learn how to manage your latent powers even though you may not yet be able to understand "just why" your practice produces the results it does.

Fix your attention on powers you can use immediately in order to realize your chosen objective. Know that when you direct subconsciousness you employ forces which can enable you:

1. To keep your body functioning efficiently;

2. To develop your intuitive knowledge of the laws of nature you must employ to achieve your One Aim;

3. To get in touch with the persons and things you need in order to reach your chosen goal.

Now do you begin to see that the statement you wrote out when studying Lesson 1 means a great deal more than you may have realized at first? When you say, "I will apply all my powers," you are including these mighty subconscious forces described in this lesson, as well as any other powers of personality of which you may have been aware when you wrote out your statement of purpose. In choosing your specific object, you have already set in motion the mighty agency which has aided thousands of other persons to grow in wisdom, power, happiness and true spirituality.

You can learn more about this Great Magical Agent, as Eliphas Levi called it. You can direct its currents. You can learn to use it for every conceivable good end. It is yours to command, yours to employ for the production of revolutionary changes in your personality and your circumstances. You are now part of an organized movement which utilizes these potencies of subconsciousness every day, and every hour of the day. Some of the achievements of persons connected with this movement have been simply astounding. Yet they have been accomplished by persons in no essential respect more gifted than you.

Devote a full week to the study of this lesson. Continue making your declaration of purpose every morning and every night. As you say the words, remember that they are planting potent suggestions in your subconsciousness to which it will certainly and fully respond.