mental energy, good character, changes in thought

“To learn to forget is as necessary and useful as to learn to remember. We think of many things every day which it would be more profitable not to think of at all. To be able to forget is to be able to drive away the unseen force (thought) which is injuring us, and change it for a force (or order of thought) to benefit us.

“Demand imperiously and persistently any quality of character in which you may be lacking, and you attract increase of such quality. Demand more patience or decision or judgment or courage or hopefulness or exactness, and you will increase in those qualities. These qualities are real elements. They belong to the subtler, and as yet unrecognized, chemistry of nature.” ~Prentice Mulford

Learn to Forget

This is probably contrary to everything you have ever heard. Rarely does someone tell you to forget. Only if it is something terrible like witnessing a murder would they say that. But there are many other times when forgetting is useful.

Many of us grew up as members of a conventional church that teaches social behavior more that any form of spiritual enlightenment. Such churches teach us to listen and conform. To forget such teachings can benefit us greatly.

Some of us grew up in poverty. There is nothing wrong with that, nothing to be ashamed of. But when it gives us the belief that we are doomed to live in poverty all of our lives, this is something we need to forget.

Others, on the other hand, grew up in luxury with servants to do just about everything for them. They had cooks to make meals, tutors to help with school, and so on. When it comes to spiritual growth, however, you can’t get your servants to do it for you. Neither can you buy your way in. You have to forget those ideas and learn to do things yourself. A spiritual awakening is a personal thing.

Of course there are things we should never forget. We may have forgotten what it is like, but deep down we do remember that we originated in the spiritual realms. Only the Great Fall has left us in the universe of matter. And we need to return to spirit and change this world back to spirit. We must always remember that.

Quality of Good Character

Mulford says we must not only work on improving our character, but “Demand imperiously and persistently” that we get the characteristics we desire. Today’s teachers of similar philosophies would say instead that we need to believe that it is already ours, it is in our hands.

Several decades ago, people laughed at such philosophies. Now even ivy league universities use visualization techniques to help students win games and get better grades.

Qualities of Good Character

The first thing Mulford puts on his list of things to demand is patience. That is certainly appropriate. If you don’t have patience, you are not likely to achieve much. We have all laughed at the cartoon images of the guy digging a mine and giving up just before reaching the gold We have probably also seen memes on social media that say something like, “I’ve been on this diet for six hours and still haven’t lost that ten extra pounds!”. We laugh, but it is true that a lack of patience is often a cause for failure in many human activities.

The ability to make a decision is the second quality of good character on his list. His too is important and there are two parts to it. Some of us find it almost impossible to make a decision when faced with several choices. Other make decisions hastily and without thinking through the consequences of the decision. We need to be able to make decisions, but they need to be wise decisions. This is one area where spiritual development can help us even on the material level. The person who has strong intuition, which comes from spiritual development, can make wise decisions more accurately and more quickly that others.

Kindness, tolerance, and an open mind are other qualities of good character that all need to develop, especially if we desire spiritual growth. And forget those things that make us angry, jealous, or feel limited. Those things are lies.


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