No real progress in life ever comes haphazardly. A sportsman must work
hard to master the techniques he needs to become proficient whether it’s
downhill skiing or climbing Mt. Everest. And a pianist must work at least
as hard to master the movements of his fingers, to play with ease the most
intricate musical passages.
Living, too, is an art. Unfortunately, it is one to which most people
devote little energy. They take life as it comes, and wonder why things
keep going wrong.
Thoughts are things. Words, which are crystallized thoughts, have
immeasurable power, especially when we speak them with concentration. The
mere thought of fatigue is enough to sap our energy. To strengthen that
thought by the words, "I’m exhausted," gives definition, and therefore
added power, to the thought itself.
The opposite is also true. If one feels exhausted, but suddenly finds
his interest drawn to something, (let’s say an old friend from out of town
calls unexpectedly) his fatigue may vanish altogether! One is what one
thinks. If in addition to that friend’s visit, he verbalizes it with the
words, "I feel wonderful!" he may find that, instead of only feeling
vaguely better, he actually feels as though he had acquired a new
So many of our failures in life, to master a new language, to give up
smoking, financial success, getting along well with others, to do well at
whatever we want to do–are due simply to the thought that what we want to
accomplish is alien to us.
By the same token, many of our successes are the result of fully
accepting the new as our own. French, for example, can be learned more
easily by the student who absorbs himself in the thought, "I am French,"
than by the person who says (as children in the classroom often do),
"Those people talk funny!" And, again, smoking. As Mark Twain once said,
"Smoking is the easiest habit in the world to give up. I’ve done it a
The difficulty is that our habits lie buried in the subconscious mind.
Thus, even when we resolve to change them, (our annual New Year’s
resolution) we find ourselves being drawn back repeatedly, and quite
against our conscious will, into the old ways.
Affirmations, on the other hand, when repeated with deep concentration,
then carried into the subconscious, can change us on levels of the mind
over which most of us have little conscious control.
We are what we think. But far more than what we think on the conscious
level. We are the myriad conflicting patterns of feeling, habit, and
reactions that we have built up over a lifetime---indeed, over
lifetimes---in our subconscious minds. To heal ourselves, we must also set
those inner conflicts in order.
Nor is it enough to affirm change on the conscious and subconscious
levels. For we are part of a much greater reality with which we must live
in harmony. Behind our human minds is the divine consciousness.
When we try to transform ourselves by self-effort alone, we limit our
potential for healing and growth. Affirmation should be lifted from the
self-enclosure of the mind into the greater reality of
To be healed is to "be rid of an imperfection." To be perfect is to
express the superconscious---the source of creativity and solutions.
Therefore, in using affirmations we concentrate on positive qualities
which are the solutions to our disease and imperfections.
The superconscious is that level of awareness which is often described
as the higher Self. It is from this level, for example, that great
inspirations come. It is through the superconscious that divine guidance
descends and true healing takes place. Without superconscious attunement,
affirmations, like any other merely human attempt at self-upliftment, have
only temporary benefits.
Affirmations should be repeated in such a way as to lift our
consciousness toward superconsciousness. This can be accomplished when we
repeat an affirmation with deep concentration at the seat of spiritual
awareness in the human body, the Christ center, which is a point in the
forehead midway between the two eyebrows.
In my book,
I have outlined a method for the effective use
of affirmations that includes the conscious, subconscious, and
superconscious levels of awareness. The first step is to repeat the
affirmation loudly to command the full attention of your conscious mind.
For instance, the affirmation for success: I leave behind me both my
failures and accomplishments. What I do today will create a new and better
future, filled with inner joy. Then repeat the affirmation quietly to
absorb more deeply the meaning of the words. Then speak them in a whisper,
carrying their meaning down into the subconscious. Repeat them again,
silently, to deepen your absorption of them at the subconscious level.
Then at last, with rising aspiration, repeat them at the Christ
At every level, repeat them several times, absorbing yourself
ever-more-deeply in their meaning.
By repeated affirmation you can strengthen, and, later, spiritualize
your awareness of any quality you want to develop.
Affirmation is only the first step toward self-healing. We must do our
human part. Without additional power from God, however, our efforts are
forever incomplete. Affirmation, in other words, should end with
Why should one pray only after repeating the affirmations ? Why not
before ? Prayer is always good, certainly. But if it isn’t uttered with an
affirmative consciousness, it can easily become weak and beggarly: a plea
that God do all the work, without man’s active participation. Effective
prayer is never passive. It is full of faith. It matures in an attitude of
To become established in any new quality, it helps first to affirm it,
following the sequence that I have described. Then, however, offer that
affirmation up in loving prayer to God.
It is at the point of our deepest and most positive attunement with Him
that He helps us the most. By divine attunement, our resistance becomes
minimized, and our cooperation with His grace fully open, willing, and