Throughout the ages, a major challenge has confronted the great teachers of Truth. It had to be met by philosophers, psychologists, scientists, and teachers of religion. That challenge is: “By what method can the human mind be reached with the Truth that sets it free?”
Offhand, this would seem to be no problem at all. We might answer “Why, just tell people about the bright new life they can have. They will respond eagerly enough!”
Yet, we know from tragic evidence that this is not so. Even a brief glance at the headlines reveals that men have lost the ability to respond to self-enrichment. The mind of man, far from welcoming advancement, resists it fiercely. The ego-centered self, fearing defeat at the hands of Truth, fights back with every weapon it can frantically grasp. The human mind, when faced with the very power that gives light and libery, has invented a multitude of evasions, resistances, rationalizations, and counterfeits.
Faced with this challenge, the great teachers of history developed ways and means to carry the Truth beyond these mental barriers. They have discovered methods for giving a man his first magnificent glimpse that leads to his True Self.
Of all these techniques, only one was widely used at all. And it was superbly successful. It worked. People took command of their own lives. Inner strength replaced weakness and fear. Problems unraveled. An entirely new self-identity appeared. Anger and anxiety turned to calm. Physical ailments vanished. Each new day, which formerly threatened another terror, now presented another conquest. Lives took on fresh meaning and permanent purpose.
Regardless of the human problem, no matter how disastrous or how long it had lasted, a healing took place. The technique proved all-powerful.
What was it? The mental picture; visualization, imagination, thinking big thoughts.
What is a mental picture?
A mental picture is a scene played upon the screen of the mind. by means of a story or anecdote, the mind is helped to see a certain truth. The value of mental pictures, is enormous. The thinking process itself is largely a projection of mental scenes; that is why constructive visualizations are essential to our health and happiness.
How can mental pictures work for you?
An absorbed mental picture goes to work at once. It transforms our thinking. Like a powerful current beneath the surface of the sea, it supplies energy and wisdom, even when we are not sonsciously aware of it. Quietly it works, giving us whatever we need for a conquest. This enormous secret was known and used b y all the great teachers of history. The new testament presented mental pictures by means of parables. Zen Buddhism did likewise with its anecdotes and analogies. Ancient wise men, like Socrates and Plato, taught with stores and legends. Moderns, like Emerson and Thoreau, made full use of illustrations in their lectures and writings. Why? Because mental pictures speak a language that everyone understands. All of us are capable of forming mental images and of drawing meaning from them.
All this is of thrilling significance. It means that anyone can start exactly where he is – regardless of his present knowledge or understanding- and go on to higher levels of fortune. A mental picture, once implanted, works ceaselessly and effortlessly. You have heard the ancient saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. We can modernize it by saying that a mental picture is worth a thousand hours of effort! In fact, some psychologists are now claiming that 1 hour of visualizing, or painting these mental pictures in your head, is worth 7 hours of physical effort.