“Your thought is your real strength. When you lift a weight, you put your thought on the muscle that lifts. The heavier the weight, the more of your thought do you put on it. If, in so lifting, a part of your thoughts is turned in some other directions, if someone talks to you, if somethings frightens or annoys you, a part of your strength or thought leaves you. It goes to whatever has taken away a part of your attention from lifting. It is mind, thought, spirit, that uses the muscles to lift, as we use a rope to pull up a weight. There is no lifting or working without intelligence.” Prentice Mulford
I am writing this while the Winter Olympics are taking place. Interviews of the athletes, and the comments by reporters, tell us one important thing. The strength of the athletes mind is as important as the strength of his body. I would go so far as to say that very often the winner is the one with the strongest, most disciplined, mind rather than the one with the strongest muscles. It is often the winner thought strength that makes her the winner.
Henry Ford said that whether you believe you can, or believe you can’t, you are correct. That means that your beliefs, your thoughts, affect what you can accomplish. Why are some families poor generation after generation? Because they grow up in an environment that causes them to think that is their lot in life. If one of those switched-at-birth incidents happened where a wealthy family got the baby of a poor family, and vice-versa, the baby born poor but raised in wealth would be more successful than the other baby. You might say that it is because the wealthy persons baby is given more opportunities to succeed, and that is true. Nevertheless, it is primarily the way they think that makes the one succeed and the other not.
Lifting Weight With Thought Strength
I like Mulford’s example of thought strength using weight lifting. I know this to be true because I have personally experienced it. In one case, I was working out in a gym when a butterfly landed on my knee. It broke my concentration and I had difficulty completing the exercise. On another case, at a time when I easily lifted over a hundred pounds at the gym, I had to get help lifting my seventy pound dog into the car to take him to the vet to be put to sleep. My sadness prevented me from concentrating on the act of lifting, so my muscles had no strength.
Spiritual Thought Strength
While spiritual development is not much like lifting weights, the need for thought strength still applies. Just as those Olympic athletes must have mental discipline and thought strength, so must the spiritual initiate. One of the reasons the ancient mystery schools put initiates through a series of trials was to verify that they had that mental strength. If not, they had to start developing it quickly or be rejected from the school. Real spiritual development is not a task for the lazy.
The spiritual student must have thought strength to get him to practice his spiritual disciplines regularly. This may mean doing your techniques when you want to watch a TV show. Or it may mean you go outside to watch a sunrise when it is bitterly cold. The student may even have to give up hanging around with a person who is bringing him down y sucking up his energy,or simply by laughing at the idea of spiritual development. Dealing with all of that takes plenty of thought strength and discipline.
Satan’s greatest weapon is intellect. He knows how to use it to trick us into doing things that he can make sound perfectly right and logical. And he has lots of thought strength. We need it also to successfully resist his lies.