Thoughts Are Things Paperback – Jan 22 2008
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About the Author
Prentice Mulford (1834–1891) was a noted literary humorist and California author. In addition, he helped found the New Thought movement. Mulford was born in Sag Harbor, New York and, in 1856, sailed to California where he would spend the next 16 years. During this time, Mulford spent several years in mining towns, trying to find his fortune in gold, copper, or silver. After leaving the mining life, Mulford ran for a position on the California State Assembly in Sacramento. Although he was nominated, he ultimately lost the election. He returned to San Francisco and began writing for a weekly newspaper, The Golden Era. Mulford spent five years as a writer and editor for various papers and was named by many San Franciscans a "Bohemian," for his disregard for money. Mulford states in his autobiography, "poverty argued for us possession of more brains" (Prentice Mulford's Story 130). He became known for his humorous style of writing and vivid descriptions of both mining life as well as life at sea. In 1872, Mulford returned to New York City, where he became known as a comic lecturer, author of poems and essays, and a columnist for The New York Daily Graphic from 1875-1881. Mulford was also instrumental in the founding of the popular philosophy, New Thought, along with other notable writers including Ralph Waldo Emerson. Mulford's book, Thoughts are Things served as a guide to this new belief system and is still popular today. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Publisher
Kessinger Publishing reprints over 1,500 similar titles all available through Amazon.com. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Ideas such as, "Your real self moves with inconceivable rapidity as your thought moves" or that, "To say 'Impossible!' is to set up your relatively weak limit of comprehension as the standard of the universe. It is audacious as to attempt the measurement of endless space with a yardstick" were likely not normal topics at the dinner table or even in most literary circles and hence, Prenitice is regarded as one of the pioneers in the "New Thought" movement. Many of today’s authors who discuss the power of thought and manifestation would likely credit the ideas and words of Prentice Mulford as being essential in this area of experience.
On the "negative side", if I can call it that, with this book being written over 120 years ago, I sometimes found the "older" literary style to be a little foreign to me and on more than one occasion I had to re-read a section to get the gist of what was being said. Another aspect of the book that I didn’t resonate with were the sections titled, "Immortality of the Flesh" and "The attraction of Asperation." I understand that this is only a personal preference and I am sure there will be people who enjoy this part of the book as well.
As a final point of clarification for those contemplating whether or not they want to read this book, I will have to admit to one of my sins: I use a highlighter while I read!!!Read more ›
I loved how far he takes the idea of what our spirits could attain if given the chance to be free and nurtured.
A reminder about being true to who we really are. It is the first book along these lines that I have read.
thinking and offers a basic foundation for those of New Thought who followed.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Mulford explains we have, in effect, two minds: the mind of the body and the mind of the spirit. The mind of the body is limited and fights change. It thinks things must always be the way they've always been. The mind of the spirit trusts in the Supreme Power which made all things and knows that anything is possible if you believe.
Long before the law of attraction became widely known, Mulford talked about the fact that what we talk about and think about is what we attract to ourselves. He explains that if a group of people talk about disease or suffering, they will eventually bring disease and suffering to themselves in some form. He also notes that the surest way for a woman to become ugly is to be discontented, cross, complaining and envious of others. He therefore encourages the reader to call on the help of the Supreme Power to get into the thought current of things that are healthy, natural, strong and beautiful, and leave the negative thinking behind.
While the book talks about many aspects of the power of thought that will be familiar to today's readers, he also covers some topics you don't hear discussed as much today. One of my favorite chapters is the one on cultivating courage. He notes that courage and presence of mind mean the same thing; and cowardice and lack of mental control mean about the same thing. He notes that courage comes from discipline regarding so-called little or trivial things. It means focusing on whatever you're doing at the moment, rather than allowing your thoughts to scatter in many directions. This focus allows you to have the presence of mind to do what needs to be done, rather than to panic.
A great example of courage he gives is: "It was this electric vigilance and mind watchfulness that gave an American officer during the Revolution, who, in the confusion of battle, suddenly found himself in front of a British regiment, the deliberation to ask, 'What troops are these?' 'The Royal Scots,' was the reply. 'Royal Scots remain as you are,' was his answer, and he rode off to his own lines. That man had a mind trained to give him time to think."
I have not read another book on thought quite like this one, and would encourage anyone interested in better understanding the power of thought to give this book a try!
Thoughts that are constantly held in your mind, will express itself in your body.
The spiritual mind will know in time that your thought influences people for or against your interests, though their bodies are thousands of miles
To say a thing must be, is the very power that makes it.
The spiritual or more enlightened mind says: "If you would help to drive away sickness, turn your thought as much as you can on health, strength and vigour, and on strong, healthy, vigorous material things, such as moving clouds, fresh breezes, the cascade, the ocean surge; on woodland scenes and growing healthy trees; on birds full of life and motion; for in so doing you turn on yourself a real current or this healthy life'giving thought, which is suggested and brought you by the thought of such vigorous, strong material objects.
When you entertain any idea and say to yourself in substance: "Well, such a thing may be, though I cannot now see it" you remove a great barrier to the carrying out and realization by yourself of the new and strange possibilities in store for you.
Hospitality is expected from relatives, when to expect hospitality is to make such entertainment the result of a demand. Presents are expected from relatives, when to expect a gift makes it rather extortion. Real gifts are always surprises. No one expects a surprise since expectation destroys surprise.
No real or lasting good comes of any gift bestowed on another unless the heart goes with it, and its bestowal is to the giver an act of unalloyed pleasure.
The most sincere desire to help that person, but you feel a keen sense of pleasure in giving such help, and then you throw upon that person a certain thought'element which will never leave them
Genuine heartfelt love is literally life giving, and if received by the child is for it a source of cheer, health, strength, and activity.
If you allow your will constantly to be overborne by another; if you give up your own preferences and inclinations, and become only another's echo; if you live just as others desire, you will lose more and more, for this existence, the power of self'assertion.
No person is really reformed by another; in the sense such a term is sometimes used. Reform must come from within. It must be self'sustaining. It must not depend wholly on another's presence or influence. If it does, it is only a temporary reform. It will fail when the influence of the person on whom it depends is removed.
We need to be careful of what we think and talk. Because thought runs in currents as real as those of air and water. Of what we think and talk we attract to us a like current of thought. This acts on mind or body for good or ill. If thought was visible to the physical eye we should see its currents flowing to and from people.
When people come together and in any way talk out their ill'will towards others they are drawing to themselves with ten'fold power an injurious thought current. Because the more minds united on any purpose the more power do they attract to effect that purpose. The thought current so attracted by those chronic complainers, grumblers and scandal mongers, will injure their bodies. Because whatever thought is most held in mind is most materialized in the body. If we are always thinking and talking of people's imperfections we are drawing to us ever of that thought current, and thereby incorporating into ourselves those very imperfections.
If but two people were to meet at regular intervals and talk of health, strength and vigour of body and mind, at the same time opening their minds to receive of the Supreme the best idea as to the ways and means for securing these blessings, they would attract to them a thought current of such idea.
If you dwell a great deal on your own faults you will by the same laws attract more and more of their thought current, and so increase those faults. It is enough that you recognize in yourself those faults. Don't be always saying of yourself, "I am weak or cowardly or ill'tempered or imprudent," Draw to yourself rather the thought current of strength, courage, even temper, prudence and all other good qualities. Keep the image of these qualities in mind and you make them a part of yourself.
The surest way for a young woman to become ugly is to be discontented, peevish, cross, complaining and envious of others. Because in these states of mind she is drawing to her the invisible substance of thought, which acts on and injures her body. It ruins the complexion, makes lines and creases in the face, sharpens the nose and transforms the face of youth into that of the shrew in very quick time. I am not moralizing here or saying: "You ought not to do thus and so." It is simply cause and result. Put your face in the fire, and it is scarred and disfigured, because of an element acting on it. Put your mind in the fire of ill'will, envy or jealousy, and it is also scarred, seamed and disfigured, because of an element as real as fire, though invisible, acting on it.
You lose gradually all fear as it is proven more and more to you that when you are in the thought current of Infinite good there is nothing to fear. You realize more and more clearly that there is a great power and force which cares for you. You are wonderstruck at the fact that when your mind is set in the right direction all material things come to you with very little physical or external effort.
There is no limit to the power of the thought current you can attract to you nor limit to the things that can he done through the individual by it. In the future some people will draw so much of the higher quality of thought to them, that by it they will accomplish what some would call miracles. In this capacity of the human mind for drawing a thought current ever increasing in fineness of quality and power lies the secret of what has been called "magic."
The quality of mind or emotion underlying all this hurried mental condition and consequent hurried act, is fear. Fear is but another name for lack of power to control our minds, or, in other words, to control the kind of thought we think or put out.
The cultivation of courage commences in the cultivation of deliberation in so called little acts like these. Deliberation and courage are as closely allied as fear and hurry. If we do not learn to govern our force properly in the doing of the smallest act we shall find such government far less easy in the doing of all acts.
If we analyze what we fear, we shall find we are in mind trying to deal with too much at once of the thing feared. There is only a relatively small amount to be dealt with now. In any transaction - in the doing of anything there is but one step to be taken at a time. We need to place what force is necessary, and no more on that one step. When that is taken we can take the next. The more we train our minds so to concentrate on the one step, the more do we increase capacity for sending our force all in one given direction at once.
Awkwardness, lack of address, lack of tact are all due to this lack of command of mind caused by lack of deliberation, or in other words, a trained incapacity for taking time to think or plan the proper thing to do. The terror'stricken person if the ship seems in sudden danger runs up and down the deck to no purpose, and this physical action is an exact correspondence of the life long condition of his mind whose thought has been ever so darting from one thing to another, just as the whim seized him. The more deliberate person whose mind is trained to take time to think and hold or concentrate its thought, holds himself steady, and so gives himself time to see what may be the opportunities for escape. And these two persons would pick up a pin in a very different manner and with very different mental action and method.
For instance, you say to the woman who goes out to wash by the day and has never done anything else. "Mrs. A., why don't you start a laundry? You can make a great deal more money in so doing." "I start a laundry! Where in the world is the money coming from to start a laundry?" is her reply. Here the woman instead of entertaining your idea gives way immediately to fright concerning what seems to her the immense sum required, and following the same unreasoning, headlong, panicky style of thought, sets up in a moment an opposition to your proposition. She dare think only of working for day's wages as she is called upon by those who hire her. And thousands for this reason dare not think, or find it disagreeable for them to think, of getting into some broader, more responsible and more profitable sphere of business, because they bunch at once all its possible difficulties into a mass, and out of mere habit will look only at that awful and imaginary bunch. But Mrs. C., the more deliberate washerwoman, hears your proposition and entertains it. In time she says to herself, "Why should I not start a laundry? Other people have and have succeeded." She lives in the idea, talks to one and another about it, and finds out how they started. The longer she keeps in this current of thought the more plainly does she see the ways and means by which other people have "set up for themselves." Finally, the idea so grows upon her, that she takes some step toward that end, and then another and another, and so by degrees drifts into the business.
Note: a good point to remember, keep your mind on one thing at a time and think on a idea before you just toss it away, because of fear. Edit this note
You will remember that anything which is done in mind, expends quite as much force as if done with the body, so that the persons who linger abed in the morning and think with dread of the breakfasts to be cooked, or the rooms to be swept, so far as expenditure of force is concerned, will be doing those acts then and there while lying on their backs.
Cultivate deliberate act and movement in all things, and you lay more and more the solid foundation for courage, either moral or physical. But deliberate act does not always imply slowness. Just as thought moves with electric rapidity, so may it move the body when occasion requires, but the thought must be clearly planned, seen and outlined in mind before it is allowed to act on the body.
If the corners of a mouth are turned down, it is because most of the time the thoughts which govern and shape that mouth are gloomy and despondent. If a face does not invite people, and make them desire to get acquainted with its wearer, it is because that face is a sign advertising thoughts behind it which the wearer may not dare to speak to others, possibly may not dare to whisper to himself.
Persistency in thinking health, in imagining or idealizing yourself as healthy, vigorous, and symmetrical, is the cornerstone of health and beauty. Of that which you think most, that you will be, and that you will have most of. You say "No." But your bed'ridden patient is not thinking, "I am strong;" he or she is thinking, "I am so weak."
Here is the cornerstone of all successful effort in this existence or any other. Never in thought acknowledge an impossibility. Never in mind reject what to you may seem the wildest idea with scorn; because, in so doing, you may not know what you are closing the door against. To say anything is impossible because it seems impossible to you, is just so much training in the dangerous habit of calling out "Impossible!" to every new idea. Your mind is then a prison full of doors, barred to all outside, and you the only inmate. "All things" are possible with God. God works in and through you. To say "Impossible!" as to what you may do or become is a sin. It is denying God's power to work through you. It is denying the power of the Infinite Spirit to do through you far more than what you are now capable of conceiving in mind.
"God working in us and through us."
If you demand persistently the truth and only the truth you will get it, and the whole truth means power to accomplish seeming impossibilities. "Thy faith hath made thee whole" said the Christ of Judea to a man who was healed. To us this passage interprets itself as meaning that the person healed had an innate power of believing that he could be healed. This power which was of his own spirit (and not of Christ's) so acted on his body as instantly to cure his infirmities. Christ was a means of awakening this power in that man's spirit.
The path of self-healing lies in the calling for the elements of health and strength, to drive out disease. That is you pray for such elements and they come to you. Strength or vigor is an element of spirit or more refined matter. The more often is your will exercised in praying for it, the quicker will it come. This is the secret for the perpetual maintenance and increase of vigor or any other desired quality.
As you are ruled more and more by the attraction of aspiration, the desire to be more and more of a God or Goddess, the determination to conquer all the evil within you, which is the only way to conquer any and all evil outside of you, your form will in accordance grow more upright, your eye will be more open and uplifted, your heart will be "lifted up," your cheeks will bloom with fresher color, your blood will fill more and more with a finer and powerful element, giving to your limbs strength, vigor, suppleness and elasticity of movement. You are then filling more and more with the Elixir of Life, which is no myth but a spiritual reality and possibility.
But the motive must be the natural heart-felt zealous wish to impart what you receive to others. You cannot call the fullness of this power to you if you intend living only for self. You may get it to a degree and accomplish much by it. Your demand if living only for self may bring to you houses, wealth and fame. But the demand based on the selfish motive will in the end bring only pain, disease and disappointment.
Whatever the mind is set upon, or whatever it keeps most in view, that it is bringing to it, and the continual thought or imagining must at last take form and shape in the world of seen and tangible things. I repeat this assertion often in these books and in various forms of expression because this fact is the cornerstone of your happiness or misery, permanent health and prosperity, or poverty. It needs to be kept as much as possible in mind. Our thought is the unseen magnet, ever attracting its correspondence in things seen and tangible. As we realize this more and more clearly, we shall become more and more careful to keep our minds set in the right direction. We shall be more and more careful to think happiness and success instead of misery and failure. It is very wonderful that the happiness or misery of our lives should be based on what seems so simple a law and method. But so-called "simple" things in Nature on investigation generally turn out incomprehensible and ever deepening mysteries. What most concerns us is to know a cause or agency that will produce a given result. When we realize that we can and do think ourselves into what we are, as regards health, wealth and position, we realize also that we have found in ourselves "the pearl of great price," and we hasten to tell our neighbor that he may seek and find in himself this pearl and power also
Cultivation of the power of the spirit over the body that can prevent these ills. That power we first begin to cultivate and increase when we come to recognize and believe that mind or spirit is the power governing our bodies, and that whatever mind persistently images, thinks or imagines it makes.1928
The positive thoughts of others can encourage and sustain us or their negative thoughts can cage us, control us, even poison us. We must guard against negative outside influences.
Be careful what you think, and try whenever possible to dwell on thoughts of strength, beauty, love, and joy. You will become what you think of.
The main value of the book is in providing some historical prespective on the evolution of thinking about the power of thoughts. There are many modern authors who have expanded on Mulford's thoughts. In my opinion it is very easy to find many books which have better developed the ideas contained in this book.
Kessinger did a real disservice to Mulford. My experience with this book was so bad that I will never consider buying another Kessinger Publishing book.
If you can overlook the extremely poor quality reproduction, it is worth reading. To me there is just too many books worth reading to spend time laboring over a book that is so poorly printed.
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