“Too much association with anyone of lower thought may lessen your natural power to attract. You may carry a part of their selfish, cynical, gloomy, or other evil thought with you wherever you go. You put it out with your own. It is felt as a disagreeable alloy with your own.
“Your value and charm for others, as a companion, depends far more on what you think, than on what you say. If your thought is all pure, clean, bright, confident, and courageous, you are a value, and an increasing value wherever you go.
“People will always be glad to see you. When you bring yourself (your thought), you bring an actual pleasure to people. You bring also a power and strength to them. Your thought helps to strengthen their bodies. They feel better for seeing you. You are a fountain of health and pleasure wherever you go. You can disarm the sourest temper, and the person most opposed to you. When you can say in mind, ‘I refuse to look upon any person as my enemy,’ you will have no enemies. When we talk of ‘having enemies,’ and keep on, in thought, looking on certain people as enemies, we are making them enemies.” ~Prentice Mulford
Anyone of Lower Thought
Mulford has an interesting idea of what constitutes “lower thought”. I’m sure we can all agree that thought of murder, rape, theft, and other forms of violence are lower thought, but Mulford goes beyond those obvious kinds of lower thought. He adds to that list selfish, cynical, and gloomy thoughts. I think we can say that he would consider the rampant greed, me-first attitude, and lack of consideration for others among certain groups today to also be lower thought. I agree with him, those are all types of lower thought. And he wisely advises those of us seeking spiritual growth to avoid those of lower thought as much as possible. Obviously, that also means we should try to avoid having such thoughts ourselves.
Power of Thought
For a number of decades, we have been hearing about the power of thought from various sources. There was Positive Thinking, Visualization, and now Manifesting. They are all variations on a theme: using our thoughts to get what we want. But Mulford is looking at the other side of the coin, how our thoughts affect other people, and how their thoughts affect us. In a very real sense, we are constantly swimming around in a sea of thought and it is impossible to avoid being affected by it. But just as you can sometimes avoid the cold water in a lake by swimming near a hot spring at the bottom of the lake, you can avoid the lower thought of many of those in that sea of thought by trying to stay surrounded as much as possible with those who are sending out positive, higher thoughts. And when you can’t avoid being around those of lower thought, send out enough higher thought to create a barrier to their fears and negativity.
Thoughts Louder Than Words
We often say actions speak louder than words, and that is usually true. It is also true that thoughts speak louder than words. We often say one thing when we are thinking another. Astute people may become aware quickly that what you say isn’t what you really think or feel. Whether they are lower thought or higher thought, others are receiving them and those thoughts affect them. They may simply feel a general unease around you, or may specifically distrust what you say. Either situation is not good for you. We should all practice saying what we actually think when possible. There will be some situations where that simply can’t be done, but try to keep those to a minimum. People will sense your honesty and trust you more.
The Spiritual Side of It
Most important of all, higher thought, positive, loving thought, can help you grow spiritually. Spiritual growth is largely a matter of reaching higher levels of consciousness where angels and other spirits dwell. You don’t reach those higher levels when you are full of lower thoughts. So try to not think lower thoughts, and avoid those who do.