The Secret of the Ages, by Robert Collier, , at sacred-texts.com
"Without vision the people perish" did not refer to good eyesight. It was
the eyes of the mind that counted in days of old just as they do today. Without them you are just so much power "on the hoof," to be driven as a horse or an ox is driven. And you are worth only a little more than they.
But given vision—imagination—the ability to visualize conditions and things a month or a year ahead; given the eyes of the mind—there's no limit to your value or to your capabilities.
The locomotive, the steamboat, the automobile, the aeroplane—all existed complete in the imagination of some man before ever they became facts. The wealthy men, the big men, the successful men, visioned their successes in their minds’ eyes before ever they won them from the world.
From the beginning of time, nothing has ever taken on material shape without
first being visualized in mind. The only difference between the sculptor and the mason is in the mental image behind their work. Rodin employed masons to hew his blocks of marble into the general shape of the figure he was about to form. That was mere mechanical labor. Then Rodin took it in hand and from that rough hewn piece of stone there sprang the wondrous figure of "The Thinker." That was art!
The difference was all in the imagination behind the hands that wielded mallet and chisel. After Rodin had formed his masterpiece, ordinary workmen copied it by the thousands. Rodin's work brought fabulous sums. The copies brought day wages. Conceiving ideas—creating something—is what pays, in sculpture as in all else. Mere hand-work is worth only hand wages.
“The imagination,” says Glenn Clark in “The Soul's Sincere Desire,” “is of all qualities in man the most God-like—that which associates him most closely with God. The first mention we read of man in the Bible is where he is spoken of as an 'image.' 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.' The only place where an image can be conceived is in the imagination. Thus man, the highest creation of God, was a creation of God's imagination.
“The source and center of all man's creative power—the power that above all others lifts him above the level of brute creation, and that gives him dominion, is his power of making images, or the power of the imagination. There are some who have always thought that the imagination was something which makes-believe that which is not. This is fancy
[paragraph continues] —not imagination. Fancy would convert that which is real into pretense and sham; imagination enables one to see through the appearance of a thing to what it really is.”
There is a very real law of cause and effect which makes the dream of the dreamer come true. It is the law of visualization—the law that calls into being in this outer material world everything that is real in the inner world. Imagination pictures the thing you desire. VISION idealizes it. It reaches beyond the thing that is, into the conception of what can be. Imagination gives you the picture. Vision gives you the impulse to make the picture your own.
Make your mental image clear enough, picture it vividly in every detail, and the Genie-of-your-Mind will speedily bring it into being as an everyday reality.
That law holds true of everything in life. There is nothing you can rightfully desire that cannot be brought into being through visualization.
Suppose there's a position you want the general managership of your Company. See yourself—just as you are now—sitting in the general manager's chair. See your name on his door. See yourself handling his affairs as you would handle them. Get that picture impressed upon your subconscious mind. See it! Believe it! The Genie-of-your-Mind will find the way to make it come true.
The keynote of successful visualization is this: See things as you would have them be instead of as they are. Close your eyes and make clear mental pictures. Make them look and act just as they would in real life. In short, day dream—but day dream with a purpose. Concentrate
on the one idea to the exclusion of all others, and continue to concentrate on that one idea until it has been accomplished.
Do you want an automobile? A home? A factory? They can all be won in the same way. They are in their essence all of them ideas of mind, and if you will but build them up in your own mind first, stone by stone, complete in every detail, you will find that the Genie-of-your-Mind can build them up similarly in the material world.
“The building of a trans-continental railroad from a mental picture,” says C. W. Chamberlain in “The Uncommon Sense of Applied Psychology,” “gives the average individual an idea that it is a big job. The fact of the matter is, the achievement, as well as the perfect mental picture, is made up of millions of little
jobs, each fitting in its proper place and helping to make up the whole.
“A skyscraper is built from individual bricks, the laying of each brick being a single job which must be completed before the next brick can be laid.”
It is the same with any work, any study. To quote Professor James:
"As we become permanent drunkards by so many separate drinks, so we become saints in the moral, and authorities and experts in the practical and scientific spheres, by so many separate acts and hours of working. Let no youth have any anxiety about the upshot of his education whatever the line of it may be. If he keep faithfully busy each hour of the working day he may safely leave the final result to itself. He can with perfect certainty count on waking some fine morning, to find himself one of the competent
ones of his generation, in whatever pursuit he may have singled out.…Young people should know this truth in advance. The ignorance of it has probably engendered more discouragement and faintheartedness in youths embarking on arduous careers than all other causes taken together."
Remember that the only limit to your capabilities is the one you place upon them. There is no law of limitation. The only law is of supply. Through your subconscious mind you can draw upon universal supply for anything you wish. The ideas of Universal Mind are as countless as the sands on the seashore. Use them. And use them lavishly, just as they are given. There is a little poem by Jessie B. Rittenhouse * that so well describes
the limitations that most of us put upon ourselves that I quote it here:
. . . . . .
"For Life is a just employer;
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.
"I worked for a menial's hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have paid."
Aim high! If you miss the moon, you may hit a star. Everyone admits that this world and all the vast firmament must have been thought into shape from the formless void by some Universal Mind. That same Universal Mind rules today, and it has given to each form of life power
to attract to itself whatever it needs for its perfect growth. The tree, the plant, the animal—each one finds its need.
You are an intelligent, reasoning creature. Your mind is part of Universal Mind. And you have power to say what you require for perfect growth. Don't be a niggard with yourself. Don't sell yourself for a penny. Whatever price you set upon yourself, life will give. So aim high. Demand much! Make a clear, distinct mental image of what it is you want. Hold it in your thought. Visualize it, see it, believe it! The ways and means of satisfying that desire will follow. For supply always comes on the heels of demand.
It is by doing this that you take your fate out of the hands of chance. It is in this way that you control the experiences you are to have in life. But be sure to
visualize only what you want. The law works both ways. If you visualize your worries and your fears, you will make them real. Control your thought and you will control circumstances. Conditions will be what you make them.
Most of us are like factories where two-thirds of the machines are idle, where the workmen move around in a listless, dispirited sort of way, doing only the tenth part of what they could do if the head of the plant were watching and directing them. Instead of that, he is off idly dreaming or waiting for something to turn up. What he needs is someone to point out to him his listless workmen and idle machines, and show him how to put each one to working full time and overtime.
And that is what YOU need, too. You are working at only a tenth of your
capacity. You are doing only a tenth of what you are capable of. The time you spend idly wishing or worrying can be used in so directing your subconscious mind that it will bring you anything of good you may desire.
Philip of Macedon, Alexander's father, perfected the "phalanx"—a triangular formation which enabled him to center the whole weight of his attack on one point in the opposing line. It drove through everything opposed to it. In that day and age it was invincible. And the idea is just as invincible today.
Keep the one thought in mind, SEE it being carried out step by step, and you can knit any group of workers into one homogeneous whole, all centered on the one idea. You can accomplish any one thing. You can put across any definite idea. Keep that mental picture ever in
mind and you will make it as invincible as was Alexander's phalanx of old.
The error of the ages is the tendency mankind has always shown to limit the power of Mind, or its willingness to help in time of need.
"Know ye not," said Paul, "that ye are the temples of the Living God?"
No—most of us do not know it. Or at least, if we do, we are like the Indian family out on the Cherokee reservation. Oil had been found on their land and money poured in upon them. More money
than they had ever known was in the world. Someone persuaded them to build a great house, to have it beautifully furnished, richly decorated. The house when finished was one of the show places of that locality. But the Indians, while very proud of their showy house, continued to live in their old sod shack!
So it is with many of us. We may know that we are "temples of the Living God." We may even be proud of that fact. But we never take advantage of it to dwell in that temple, to proclaim our dominion over things and conditions. We never avail ourselves of the power that is ours.
The great Prophets of old had the forward look. Theirs was the era of hope and expectation. They looked for the time when the revelation should come that was to make men "sons of God."
[paragraph continues] "They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
Jesus came to fulfill that revelation. "Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full."
The world has turned in vain to matter and materialistic philosophy for deliverance from its woes. In the future the only march of actual progress will be in the mental realm, and this progress will not be in the way of human speculation and theorizing, but in the actual demonstration of the Universal, Infinite Mind.
The world stands today within the vestibule of the vast realm of divine intelligence, wherein is found the transcendent, practical power of Mind over all things.
191:* From "It Can Be Done." Copyright 1921, George Sully & Company.
199:* From "The Door of Dreams," Houghten, Mifflin & Co., Boston.