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D2. The Law of Change.

A condition of mind can be brought on you resulting to you in good or ill, sickness or health, or poverty or wealth, by the action, conscious or unconscious of other minds around you, and also through the thought suggested you by objects or scenes around you.

This is the secret of what in former times was called the “spell.” Through the action of thought a state of mind can be brought on any person which may make them act conformably to such thought.

The “spell” is a matter of every day occurrence in some form or other. To remain for an hour in sight of grand scenery casts on the mind a “spell” of pleasurable thought. To remain for an hour in a vault surrounded by coffins and skeletons would, through the associations connected with such objects, cast on you a “spell” of gloom. To live for days and weeks in a family, all of whose members hated you or were prejudiced against you, would most likely cast on you a “spell” of depression and unpleasant sensation. To live in a family whose members were always sending you warm and friendly thought would place a “spell” of pleasurable sensation.

If when sick you are obliged to remain for days and possibly weeks in the same room, your mind will become weary of seeing continually the same objects in it. Not only is the mind wearied at sight of these objects, but the sight of each one, from day to day, will suggest the same train of thoughts, which also soon become wearisome. Mind weariness from this or any other cause has a natural drift towards despondency. Matters present and future then assume their darkest aspect and the darkest side of every possibility comes uppermost. Despondent thought, as has been many times repeated, is force used to tear the body down instead of building it up.

This action and condition of thought is one form of the “spell.” This is quickest broken by a change to another place and another room.

For this reason “change of scene” is frequently recommended to the invalid. Change of scene and locality mean not only a change of objects seen of the eye, but a change also in thought, as new ideas and possibly a new condition of mind comes through seeing the new set of objects. The new condition of mind will “break the spell.”

There is a much closer connection between things tangible and seen of the eye and things intangible than is generally imagined. In other words, there is a close connection between things material and things spiritual.

The force or element we call “thought” is all‑pervading, and takes innumerable varieties of expression. A tree is an expression of thought as well as a man, and so are all what we call inanimate objects.

There is not a thoroughly dead or inanimate thing in the universe. But there are countless shades of life or animation. Many things seem dead to us, like a bone or a stone; but there is a life or force which has built that bone or stone into its present condition, and that same life or force, after that bone or stone has served a certain purpose, will take it to pieces again and build its elements into other forms. The unbuilding process we call decomposition. It matters not if the stone change or rid itself of but one atom in a thousand years. Time is nothing in the working of Nature’s forces. Decomposition, then, is a proof of the existence of all‑pervading and ever‑working life or force. Otherwise, the stone or bone would remain without change through all Eternity. Incessant change is ever going on in boundless universe, and is an inevitable accompaniment of all life; and the greater the life and force in you the more rapid and varied will be the changes.

Everything from a stone to a human being sends out to you as you look upon it a certain amount of force, affecting you beneficially or injuriously according to the quantity of life or animation it possesses.

Take any article of furniture, a chair, or bedstead for instance. It contains not only the thought of those who first planned and moulded it in its construction, but it is also permeated with the thought and varying moods of all who have sat on it or slept in it. So also are the walls and every article of furniture in any room permeated with the thought of those who have dwelt in it, and if it has been long lived in by people whose lives were narrow, whose occupation varied little from year to year, whose moods were dismal and cheerless, the walls and furniture will be saturated with this gloomy and sickly order of thought.

If you are very sensitive and stay in such a room but for a single day, you will feel in some way the depressing effect of such thought, unless you keep very positive to it, and to keep sufficiently positive for twenty‑four hours at a time to resist it would be very difficult. If you are in any degree weak or ailing you are then most negative or open to the nearest thought element about you and will be affected by it, in addition to the wearying mental effect first spoken of any object kept constantly before the eyes.

It is injurious, then, to be sick or even wearied in a room where other people have been sick or where they have died. Because in thought element all the misery and depression not only of the sick and dying but of such as gathered there and sympathized with the patient will be still left in that room, and this is a powerful unseen agent for acting injuriously on the living.

Those “simple savages” who after a death burn not only the habitation but every article used by the deceased when alive, may have known more of Nature’s injurious and beneficial forces than we. Living more natural lives they unconsciously acted according to the law, even as animals in their wild and natural state do, thereby escaping many of the pains and discomforts of the artificial life we have made both for ourselves and the animals we domesticate.

People who have some purpose in life, who travel a great deal, who are ever on the move and in contact with different persons and places, have, you will notice, more vitality, more energy, and physically preserve a certain freshness not evident with those who follow year after year an unvarying round of occupation, carrying them day after day to one certain locality, or office, or desk, or workman’s bench just as a pendulum oscillates from side to side.

These last look older at forty than the active, changing person does at sixty, because their unvarying lives, the daily presence and sight of the same objects at their dwellings or places of business, contact with the same individual or individuals at meals and in leisure moments, and interchange of about the same thoughts year in and year out, weave about them an invisible web composed of strands or filaments of the same unvarying thought, and this web literally strengthens from year to year exactly as strand after strand of wire laid together forms at last the massive bridge‑supporting cable. But the unseen cable so made binds people more and more firmly to the same place, the same occupation and the same unvarying set of habits. It makes them dislike more and more even the thought of any change. It is another form of the “spell” which they have woven for themselves. It is the sure result of always keeping unchanged your state of mind.

We do not live on bread or meat alone. We live also largely on ideas. The person ever planning and moving new enterprises, the person who throws his force into beneficial public movements, and who from either of these causes is led into a varied and ever changing contact with individuals, receives and puts out a far greater variety of thought than the man who lives continually in a nutshell.

There is a time and use for retirement and solitude. There is a time and use for contact with the world. It is desirable to establish the golden mean between the two. 

The person whose range of life and movement is narrow, who is doing nearly the same thing and seeing nearly the same things and people from year to year has a tendency to feed mostly on the same old set of thoughts and ideas. Out of himself he generates the same order of old, stale idea and expression. Start him in a certain train of idea or association and he tells you time after time the same old story, forgetting how many times he has told it you before. He has about the same forms of expression for every occurrence and every hour of the day. He regards the world and things generally as about worn out. Lacking in life and variety of thought himself, be regards everything else as lacking in life and variety. For life is to us exactly as we see it through the spectacles we so often unconsciously make to look at it. If our mental spectacles through living unaware in violation of the Law, are blurred, cracked, discolored and dim, the whole world will to us seem blurred, discolored and dull in hue.

Such a person “ages,” as we term it, very rapidly. Because his physical body is as much an expression of his daily and prevailing order of thought as the apple is an expression or part of the apple tree. Feeding and living in the same set of ideas continually is analogous to feeding continually on a most limited variety of food. Both bring on disease. In some of the 

English prisons what are called “oat meal sores” afflict the prisoners through being fed so much on that single article.

But the average mental condition shows itself on the body far more rapidly than any result from material diet. It is feeding on the same stale set of ideas, aided by living continually amid the same physical surroundings and with the same individuals who are likewise subsisting mentally on the same stale mental diet that whitens the hair, stoops the shoulders, wrinkles the face and causes shrinkage of tissues and bodily inertia and weakness. Our land is full of people who at forty‑five through this cause look older than others of sixty‑five. It is full also of young men and women in the physical sense, who through their poverty of idea, and lack of real life, will be old, worn and haggard within twenty years. They are in substance as much old fogies, “grannies” and “daddies” now as are those they ridicule as such. They are traveling in the same narrow rut of idea. Slang phrases and worn‑out chaff borrowed from others constitute four‑fifths of their talk and probably five‑sixths of their thought.

To this class also belong those deemed of a higher order intellectually, or of more “culture,” but whose thought after all is very largely a repetition of what they have heard or read, who look up to and idolize some human authority, living or dead, and who have really very few ideas of their own, not possibly because new ideas occasionally do not suggest themselves to them, but who have not the courage to secretly entertain and familiarize themselves with such ideas. They smother them. They succeed at last in killing them and putting out the little light endeavoring to shine on them. When you destroy or so kill out of yourself the capacity for truthful idea to act upon you, you are killing also by degrees your body. You are cutting off the only source of new life for the body.

Of this order of minds the only claim to youth lies in that physical freshness belonging to the earlier growth and life of the body, which, owing to their mental condition, will fade in twenty years as surely as the absence of sunshine and water will soon wither the young and growing plant.

Such are now unconsciously weaving for themselves the web and “spell” of “age” and decay.

A constant renewal of physical life lies only in a never‑ceasing change of mental conditions. New ideas beget newer and fresher views of life. There are millions on millions of truthful, new ideas to come to us, so that we keep the mind in the proper state to receive them. We have not to plod and “study hard” to receive them. There is no “hard study” in the kingdom of God or the kingdom of infinite good. If in the line of communication with that kingdom we will ever receive new thought, as the plant receives the sunshine and air, and like the plant just as much as suffices to give us life for the day and the hour. Every mind is now, or is to be at some period of its existence (not possibly in this present physical existence), a fountain for the reception of such new idea. But such new thought cannot come from books or from the minds of others. These may for a time serve to start you on the road, or as temporary props or helps. But if you depend altogether on books or people for new thought, you are living on borrowed life. You, in so doing, keep your own mind closed to the inflowing of the element which its own individual needs call for, and which is for it alone and no other mind. You must draw your own sustenance from the infinite reservoir of truthful thought. Until you do you are not a “well of water springing up into everlasting life,” nor have you reached the initial point of that real and perfected existence which feels at home anywhere in the universe and can draw its self‑sustaining life at any place in the universe.

No agency fetters more or does more harm to both mind and body as a very close and constant association with a mind or minds inferior to yours in tastes, in refinement, in breadth of views and quality of motive.

Such order of mind ever near you and with which you are much in sympathy, will infuse into yours more or less of its grosser desire or taste. It will blind you more or less to higher and healthier views and modes of life. You will, unconscious to yourself, live and act out much of that mind’s life. You will be peevish or cynical or mean in your dealings, when it is not the real you that is so thinking or acting, but the constant flow to you and reception by you of the grosser force or element of that mind, which you thus act out. You become, then, literally a part of the other and inferior mind. This will surely affect the body, which in its material substance becomes a material expression of that lower mind grafted on yours. Unless you sunder this mental tie, the inferior graft may outgrow the original tree. You will become physically inert, lifeless, and be affected with some form of disease, because you are then giving that inferior graft your own thought or force. It can appropriate but a small part of that force, but from what it can, it draws its own stinted life. You are then giving of your gold and getting base metal in return. You are then giving of your life and getting a slow and living death in return. For the mind most clear and active in thought, considerate, wise and prudent, broadly but not recklessly benevolent in action, does give to others, and especially to those with whom it is in close sympathy, life and vigor, both of mind and body.

Talking openly has very little to do with the good or ill results coming of minds in close association and sympathy. It is not what people talk. It is what people think of each other that most affects them. A person always near you and ever thinking of you with dissatisfaction or peevishness, or putting out the thought of opposition to your aims and wishes, will eventually make you feel unpleasantly, be his or her words ever so fair. Such a person under these circumstances will at last injure you in mind and body. That person is throwing a “spell” on you.

On the contrary, the near presence of a person pleasantly disposed toward you and who wishes to bring you pleasure or benefit without “an axe to grind,” will give you a feeling of rest and quiet, though such person may not say a word for hours.

These different sensations are among the many proofs that thought is a literal element, in some way ever affecting us, and ever bringing results as it comes to us from others or is sent by us to others. In this last case the “spell” may be beneficial to you.

There is but one way of breaking the evil spell caused by continual association with the inferior mind or minds, which spell will surely prove fatal if continued in, and which is proving fatal to thousands to‑day. That method is an entire separation from such mind or minds.

Such sundering of these injurious mental ties cannot, however, in every case be abrupt, or evils may result as great as those it is sought to avoid. If a graft, however injurious, be roughly torn from the tree, the tree also is injured, and perhaps destroyed. If your life has been one of long association with a lower mind, and both of you have, as previously stated, grown into a common life and you are suddenly torn apart, the shock may prove to you injurious.

If one subsists for a long time on an injurious food, still a certain kind of life is derived from that food, and as the system has become accustomed to it, it cannot be immediately replaced by a healthier food. The system at first may not be able thoroughly to assimilate and digest such healthier food. There is a similar action and result as regards our mental diet.

Once convinced of the evil resulting to you from any close, inferior association, and you will first assume, in mind, that such tie must be sundered. Assume this persistently, and half the work is done. That changed state of mind is the force then always working to free you, as your former state of mind, which endured, suffered and submitted internally, was the force which bound you more and more firmly. The separation is now in your changed mental attitude simply a work of time. You have little to do, save wait and take advantage of opportunities as they offer themselves. You have, in fact, committed yourself to another current of thought, and the forces coming of your changed mental condition and interior resolve are the spiritual correspondence of a great river to whose current you have committed yourself, and which is slowly bearing you away from your former enslaved condition. This is not a figurative illustration, change permanently a state of mind in which you have been for years; change unwilling submission into a hidden resolve no longer to submit; change endurance of near associations into a permanent and hidden resolve that you will separate from such associations; change that enforced content called “resignation to circumstances,” as, for instance, resignation to the presence of inferior, squalid and unpleasant material surroundings into that positive internal mental attitude, which in plain language says, “I won’t put up with this any longer. My body may be obliged to submit, endure and suffer from these things temporarily, as it has done in the past, but in mind I will neither endure nor be resigned as I have been,” and you have placed yourself in the action of another power which will gradually bear you away from the old source of ill.

It is not so much what we do as what we think that brings results. By the force put out of what you permanently think are you carried as on a current to those results. You need do but very little until you see that the time and opportunity has come for doing. It would be poor judgment for a man floating on a log down the Mississippi to keep on splashing the water and thereby using up his strength for the sake of “doing something.” He had better remain quiet and take the chances of being picked up by a passing boat or steamer or wait until he sees an opportunity of catching on to some near projecting headland. Then such strength as he may have been able to reserve may be used to some purpose. When you are in the right current of thought you need in similar manner to reserve your strength until you meet the opportunity that current will bring you, as many projects are injured through unwise and overmuch doing as by too little. If you don’t know what to do, wait. When you wait till your hurry is over you may see what really needs to be done.

Above all things, in any emergency or experience such as is suggested here, demand daily and hourly in silent thought the aid of a Higher Wisdom and Divine Power. There must come response to such demand. I do not assume to lay down a certain unbending rule to govern every individual life. Every individual life when it places itself in the line of communication with its Higher Wisdom through a persistent mental attitude, asking silently for such wisdom, will make its own methods for riddance of the ills from which it desires to free itself, and such methods belong to it individually, and cannot safely be copied and used by any one else. The Spirit of Infinite Good does not reveal itself alike to any two persons. The besetting error of our time is to copy or imitate other people’s methods in everything, or to become blindly obedient to a book or the mind that wrote a book. Your mind, ever asking for Wisdom and Truth, is a power beyond any book, and is now or is to be the reservoir into which ideas will flow different from those contained in any book. The power which generates and suggests new ideas is ever coming to the world. The book does not advance after it is written. But the mind which put ideas in that book may be ever going ahead and finding new meanings and broader interpretations for what it wrote years before. If you wish to find out regarding the latest developments in chemistry or any material science, you do not have recourse to the books written a hundred years ago about such matters. You get the latest works on these subjects, and if possible you will go farther and get access to those now making such sciences their special studies, knowing that they may know something regarding them never yet written.

So even now in your own kingdom of mind there may be ideas and truths beyond any ever written, which you reject as “mere imaginings,” or dare not assert either by word or act for fear of ridicule or opposition.

Complete isolation from their kind and loneliness is one terrible fear besetting some who live in associations which are really not congenial to them, but from which they dare not separate for fear of that loneliness. Try not to fear this. Permanent solitude is not in the order of Nature for anyone. Minds alike in thought were made to mingle and give each other pleasure. It is often the clinging to that order of association which, after all, only wearies you, and which may oblige you often to play an enforced part to meet such association, that forms the barrier keeping you from your real companions. So long as (in mind) you accept the lower association, so long are you keeping the better away and sending it farther from you. So soon as you reject the lower (in mind), so soon do you set in motion the force to bring the better to you.

Q's note:

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Image Credit:


Travel Weekly (n.d.). [Image]. Retrieved July 1, 2021, from


Mulford, P. (1886-1887). The law of change. Your forces and how to use them (pp.579-590). Hollister, Missouri: YOGeBooks by Roger L. Cole. doi: 2015:01:16:10:43:09

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