Working with the Law – Preface by Raymond Holliwell
(editor note: this page is associated with the blog post ‘Why I am writing The Explanation book series‘)
STUDENTS for many years have come to this School asking for a better
understanding of God, and desiring knowledge of the best way to get the most out of
life. They have heard God spoken of as being afar off, when He is as close to us as the
breath we breathe, closer than our hands and feet. They have heard Him spoken of as:
Love, Divine Mind, Divine Intelligence, Jehovah, God, Lord, First Cause, Primal
Substance, and other names. Being of an analytical mind, I too, have wanted to know
the facts of a Truth. If it is a Truth, there are facts to be had, and they can prove
themselves, not alone in Spirit but in a very practical way.
It is my intention to present these lessons simply, without high-minded words or
vague statements that sound pretty and promising. The terms above named are all
synonymous. They mean one and the same thing, and I choose to use a simpler name
that everyone will understand.
I shall call God working in our lives “LAW.” Interpreting the Law in several ways
should bring it more clearly into our way of thinking. Then as we strive to work with the
Law we are living closer to God, and such living brings a better understanding.
As you grow in knowledge and are able to form better opinions, do not hesitate
to change your views. Remember, “The wise man changes his mind; the fool never.”
There can be no progress without change, no growth without renewal.
There must be a constant stream of new thought, better thought, and truer
thought to insure progression in life. As soon as you perceive the better, let go of the
old, grasp the new. To continue to hold on to the old and inferior when the new and
superior is at hand is to retard growth, and to this one cause may be traced many of
the ills of man.
Proceed to use your thinking faculty and take care that it does not use you.
Master your mind and guide it intelligently; that is, exercise discrimination in all your
thinking. Learn to think as you ought to think, give your mental life to the matters that
are absolutely essential to your welfare, and the balance of your thought to themes of
beauty, truth and progress. In other words, live with the ideal, but do not neglect the
Aim to adjust the two, and to strive to be on the outside what you idealize on
the inside. Your thoughts make you; and your ideals, principles, or ruling desires will
determine your destiny.
Learn to use your powers unless you wish to be used by them. Make a daily
effort to use the knowledge you have gained. Try to improve upon all your opinions.
Endeavor to obtain a truer and larger conception of each of your personal views.
This process entails effort, but all such mental discipline is highly constructive. It
leads to a steady increase of mind-power, and it is the mind that matters most among
life’s actualities. You may occasionally blunder. We are all inclined to do this, more so in
the earlier stages of our mental development. However, we learn by our mistakes’
Then by the constant use of our intelligence we cause our faculties to grow so
strong and alert that in time, we are able to avoid further errors.
Man’s problems are mental in nature; they have no existence outside of
themselves, and it has been discovered that nearly all will yield up their solutions when
subjected to a broad and exact analysis.
You can acquire this ability by studying the Law of life and its modes of
expression. Then by constant effort use your thinking faculty in constructive ways as
you work with these Laws. Have good and sound reasons for all the views you hold.
As you try to find these, many of your old-time views will fall to pieces. Form
clear and definite ideas regarding your convictions as to why you do as you do, and as
to why you think as you think. Such practice is like conducting a mental house cleaning.
The practice of clear thinking tends to clarify the mind, tones up the faculties,
sharpens the perceptions, and gives one a stronger and better grasp of the basic
essentials for a larger and richer life.
Clear and exact thinking is a very great necessity. It is, in fact, a sure means to
advancement on the material as well as on the spiritual planes.
A line of distinction, however, should be drawn between mere surface thought,
that is, ordinary, trivial and commonplace thinking, and real thought, which is
associated with the understanding of Truth. The latter is deep thinking which arouses
dormant powers, quickens the perceptions, and leads to the enlargement of the
understanding. The former is but a passing phase of mental activity, while the latter
governs the life of man.
The shallow, surface thought that we give to the ordinary duties and small things
of daily life is not the thought that reforms our character, develops our mind or changes
our destiny. It is the positive, deep, and penetrating thought that comes from profound
and strong conviction born of a higher perception and a clearer realization of the Truth.
The surface idea is not the real thought.
The inner convictions which control one’s aims, desires, and motives, constitute
the real thought of the individual and wholly determine the course of his life and
Psychologists tell us that every individual is controlled by his convictions,
whether he is aware of it or not. Such convictions largely determine the nature of his
thinking; the inner thought coming from the heart represents the real motives and
desires. These are the causes of action. If his ideas or convictions are wholesome and
true to his higher nature all will be well, and he will reflect something of the harmony
and beauty and utility of his constructive and superior views in his personal life. If his
convictions or ideas are not wholesome and true, he will reflect something that is
discordant, inharmonious, and evil.
Always make it a point of moving forward in your mind, ever seeking to unfold
your power of thought and to develop hidden possibilities.
Learn to train the mind to clear and exact thinking. Your ability to do so will grow
rapidly by regular exercise and discipline. No normal person wants to decrease in power
and ability. Therefore, strive to cultivate your intelligence and to express better, bigger,
and superior thought on all matters about which you may think. There is so much good
in the world that it can out balance the evil; therefore, you can go on thinking more
constructive and good thoughts every day, about yourself, your fellowman, life, and all
natural things, to the constant enrichment of your mind and the improvement of your
You cannot get the most out of these lessons by reading them once or twice.
They should be read often and studied with scrutiny. You will find with each reading
something clearer than before.
Author of Working with the Law
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