top of page
Ring of Light Bulbs

4. How Thoughts Are Born.

As in combinations of elements or chemicals, new substances are formed, so in the combination of thought substance, as it flows and mingles from mind to mind, new thoughts are formed or born.

The character and quality of your thought are shaded, and to a greater or less extent changed, by every person with whom you associate, as theirs mingles and forms a new combination with yours. You are, to an extent, a different person through conversing an hour yesterday with a, than if you had interchanged thought with b. You have then grafted on you a shade of a’s nature, or quality of thought.

If you are much with the low and degraded, the thought in you born of your thought chemicalization with theirs, will be, despite your greatest endeavor and aspiration, weighed down with their grossness. So “evil communications corrupt good manners.” If your associates be refined, pure, lofty, aspiring, the thought born of such commingling and chemicalization is lofty, pure, aspiring, and powerful.

Associations with the low and impure lessen the power of your thought. What weakens the mind weakens the body, and also lessens the power of your thought to accomplish results afar from the body, on any business.

If there is constant association and mingling of the thought of a broad and generous mind with one low, ignoble, narrow, and mean, the force of the higher spirit or thought may be exhausted in repelling the lower. Thousands of finer natures are, to‑day, physically sick, because their spirits are saturated with the lower, grosser, more narrow thought of those around them.

New thought or idea brings strength to body as well as mind. For this reason, the real, active intellect of the world lives long, like Victor Hugo, Gladstone, Beecher, Bright, Bismarck, Ericcson, and others. True, there is a sort of fossilized life and intellect which may exist many years, but it enjoys little and accomplishes nothing. Increased knowledge of the laws of thought (that great silent force in nature) will, in the future, enable the spirit to use its body, not only in full, but ever‑increasing possession of its mental and physical powers so long as it pleases.

People’s bodies decay and lose vigor through thinking continually the same set of thoughts. Thought is food for your spirit as much as is bread food for the body. Old thought is literally old, stale substance or element. It does not properly nourish the spirit. If the spirit is starved, the body will suffer. It will become either a semi‑animated fossil, or, if the spirit be sufficiently strong to assert its demands caused by the gnawings of its hunger, there will be perpetual unrest, uneasiness, and some form of bodily disease. From such cause are thousands suffering to‑day.

New thought is new life, and renewal of life. A new idea, plan, or purpose fills us with hope and vigor. One secret of eternal life and happiness is to be ever pushing forward toward the new, or “forgetting the things which are behind, and pressing forward to those which are before.” Eternity and endless space are exhaustless of the new. Senility comes through ever looking back and living in the past. You have nothing to do with the person you were a year ago, save to profit by that person’s experience. That person is dead. The “You” of to‑day is another and a newer individual. The “You” of next year will be still another and a newer one.

When our spirits are growing healthfully, we have done forever with a part of ourselves at each day’s end. That part is dead. It is with us a dead thought. We have no further use for it. To use it will injure us. It is cast off as our bodies daily cast off a certain portion of dead skin. To him or her, who has increase of new thought, a new world is lived in daily. As regards happiness, it does not matter so much where we are, so that we can bring to ourselves this daily inflowing of new thought. We can so bring to ourselves happiness in a dungeon when people closed to new idea are miserable in palaces. We are, then, on the road to an independence, almost complete, of the physical world. Independence means power. So long as we are in any way dependent on a person, a food, a drug, a stimulant, or any condition of things around us, are we to that extent the slave of these things. So perpetual inflowing of new idea makes a way for escape out of the dungeons of material and spiritual poverty. You may be rich in this world’s goods, yet very poor in not being able to enjoy them. You cannot long remain poor in the worldly sense, if you are spiritually rich. But spiritual richness asks for no more than it can use and enjoy for the hour and the day. It will not hoard in bank vaults.

Daily inflowing of new thought brings new power. To him or her who so daily receives, a fresh force is added, pushing their undertakings farther forward toward success. The silent force of your mind then keeps up its steady pressure on other minds who are consciously or unconsciously co‑operating with you.

In the higher realms of mind are those who are ever joyous, cheerful, and confident of future success and happiness. They have lived up to the Law, and proven it. With them “faith is swallowed up in victory.” They know that by keeping the mind in a certain state, properly controlling their thoughts, there is brought a constant inflowing of happiness and power. Because power and happiness must move together. So must sin, pain, and weakness. They know, also, that their every plan (the Law being followed) must prove a success. Hence, life with them must be a constant succession of victories. Of this their faith or belief is as certain as is ours that fire will burn, or that water will extinguish fire.

We can, by earnestly and persistently desiring it, connect ourselves with this order of mind, and draw from them new life and force‑giving element. We clear the way to such valuable connection by the endeavor to drive from us all envy, gloom, quarrelsome, or other impure thought. Any thought doing us harm is an impure thought. Lifelong habit may make this at first a difficult task. Constant effort or aspiration will drive such damaging thought away with more and more ease. All impure thought is as rubbish or uncleanliness about us, preventing the near approach of the higher order of mind. A thought to such a spirit is as real a thing as is a stone to us. To them in thought we may be literally covered with garbage—or flowers.

It is an absolute necessity for an intellect overflowing with richness of thought, with visions of the grandeur and beauty of life’s possibilities, to give expression to that thought. This necessity is a law of nature. Such minds are as pent‑up springs, which must burst forth. It is not for such a duty, in the ordinary sense of that word; it is a necessity. If you are rich in thought, you must give out of such thought wherever you find opportunity. You are as a tree overloaded with ripe fruit. When the fruit is ripe, it must fall; when the thought is ripe, it must come forth. If there be none near you to hear it, you must go where it can be heard; you must go from the necessity of self‑preservation. You cannot with safety keep a gift, a talent, a truth, a capacity for doing any thing well, all to yourself.

You see and admire the method of an actor or artist; then you absorb of his thought. But you will not be a mere copy of his method. His thought combines with your own. There is an actual chemical operation of unseen element. There is a combination of his thought and your own, resulting in the formation, of a new element—your own original idea. The purer your thought and motive, the more unselfish your purpose, the greater the rapidity of such combination, the more original and striking your thought. By such means is thought born in you. The qualities of justice and unselfishness are themselves elements and scientific factors in such birth.


Image Credit:


Luxury Travel Magazine (n.d). [Image]. Retrieved June 30, 2021, from


Mulford, P. (1886-1887). How thoughts are born. Your forces and how to use them (pp.37-44). Hollister, Missouri: YOGeBooks by Roger L. Cole. doi: 2015:01:16:10:43:09

bottom of page