The men, women and children wear strange costumes ; the shop windows are full of odd things from the Orient. The sight of it all makes us think we are in a foreign country, even though we know we are in America. And yet we are in a country of foreign thought. All the people and things about us are strange and unlike what we see from day to day in our street, because the people here do not think the thoughts that the people in our street think.
from this we learn a very great lesson. A man always surrounds himself by his thoughts.
The things he owns and wants, the house he lives in, the clothes he wears all follow the pat tern of the thoughts he habitually thinks; and as thoughts are always striving to manifest themselves, he surrounds himself with things which pattern his thoughts.
We should not wish to live in Chinatown street, because we should be neither happy nor in comfort. But the chief reason is, we do not carry that kind of street nor that kind of life in the mind.
Another very great lesson comes from this.
If we do not like the world we now live in, we can change it by changing our thoughts.
Most people, however, are very content with the world they live in. Even the poor are often happy because what they have and what they think are equal. But the moment a man real izes that being poor limits him in many ways, he is no longer happy. He wants other things; he wishes to live in a better street; to know people who are doing well. In other words, he wants to be "better off," as the saying is.
Now, any man can be better off if he desires it enough to think of it persistently. And it is from this fact that we may learn of the mind and its use.
If the mind has been thinking one kind of thoughts for many years, and the man that owns the mind decides that he will have better things by thinking of them, he will find that new thoughts take the place of the old, slowly, but surely, and following the change in thought, new and better things will replace the old, equally slowly but equally surely.
A garden that has run to weeds for years will, for a while, continue to produce weeds even for the best gardener in the world. He may plough it and plant it with seeds of a good crop, but weeds will persist. He knows this, so he plants seeds with one hand, and, as the farmers say, pulls weeds with two hands.
The weeds will persist forever. So the farmer makes up his mind that he must pull them forever. But after a while, even a stran ger will see that the garden is yielding crops. He may not see the weeds at all, in fact, but they will be lurking there because the earth thinks two kinds of thoughts, just as a man does; plant thoughts and weed thoughts.
Now, what a man can do with a garden he can do with the mind, and he can raise what he wants, weeds or crops. But both weeds and crops are natural to the mind. When the crop of good thoughts is growing he must still pull mind weeds with both hands.
The mind, then, is not a mechanism that runs the man. He can direct the mind if he so de sires. He can picture everything he wishes the mind to do, and if he persists long enough and hard enough, the mind will obey.
Any fortune a man may desire is his. He has only to say to himself : I will plant in my mind the seeds of fortune, of knowledge, of desire to help others; and slowly, but surely, these things will come to me, if I keep on pull ing up the mind weeds.
Now another great lesson comes forth : Every one of us is beyond and above the mind and we can make it obey.
The moment we know this and cling fast v.
it as a truth, we are in a new world. Some people call it the world of new thought. But it is not. It is the oldest sort of thought that ever was. Every great man has learned it, and every true man trusts it. And the reason for this is simple : "The ideal of life is in our blood and never will be still. Sad will be the day for any man when he becomes contented with the thoughts he is thinking and the deeds he is doing, when there is not forever beating at the door of his soul some great desire to do something larger, which he knows that he was meant and made to do." The man himself, back of mind and body, conceives what he wants the mind to do for him. And it will do it. This shows how great a duty rests on the man that owns the mind. The mind itself is a gift of the divine spirit. No command is laid upon the owner of the mind what to do with it. If he has become mean or low or selfish, if he is given to hatred, anger, revenge, his mind will raise just these crops and no other. But if he never that the mind is divine, it will give him divine things to have and to hold forever.