The Power of Awareness
IT WILL be extremely helpful at this point to cite a number of specific examples of the successful application of this law. Actual case histories are given. In each of these, the problem is clearly defined and the way imagination was used to attain the required state of consciousness is fully described. In each of these instances, the author of this book was either personally concerned or was told the facts by the person involved.
This is a story with every detail of which I am personally familiar.
In the spring of 1943, a recently drafted soldier was stationed in a large army camp in Louisiana. He was intensely eager to get out of the army, but only in an entirely honorable way.
The only way he could do this was to apply for a discharge. The application then required the approval of his commanding officer to become effective. Based on army regulations, the decision of the commanding officer was final and could not be appealed. The soldier, following all the necessary procedure, applied for a discharge.
Within four hours, this application was returned – marked "disapproved". Convinced he could not appeal the decision to any higher authority, military or civilian, he turned within to his own consciousness, determined to rely on the law of assumption.
The soldier realized that his consciousness was the only reality, that his particular state of consciousness determined the events he would encounter.
That night, in the interval between getting into bed and falling asleep, he concentrated on consciously using the law of assumption. In imagination, he felt himself to be in his own apartment in New York City. He visualized his apartment, that is, in his mind's eye he actually saw his own apartment, mentally picturing each one of the familiar rooms with all the furnishings vividly real.
With this picture clearly visualized, and lying flat on his back, he completely relaxed physically. In this way, he induced a state bordering on sleep, at the same time retaining control of the direction of his attention. When his body was completely immobilized, he assumed that he was in his own room and felt himself to be lying in his own bed – a very different feeling from that of lying on an army cot.
In imagination, he rose from the bed, walked from room to room, touching various pieces of furniture. He then went to the window and, with his hands resting on the sill, looked out on the street on which his apartment faced. So vivid was all this in his imagination that he saw in detail the pavement, the railings, the trees and the familiar red brick of the building on the opposite side of the street. He then returned to his bed and felt himself drifting off to sleep.
He knew that it was most important in the successful use of this law that at the actual point of falling asleep, his consciousness be filled with the assumption that he was already what he wanted to be. All that he did in imagination was based on the assumption that he was no longer in the army. Night after night, the soldier enacted this drama. Night after night, in imagination, he felt himself, honorably discharged, back in his home, seeing all the familiar surroundings and falling asleep in his own bed. This continued for eight nights.
For eight days, his objective experience continued to be directly opposite to his subjective experience in consciousness each night, before going to sleep. On the ninth day, orders came through from Battalion headquarters for the soldier to fill out a new application for his discharge.
Shortly after this was done, he was ordered to report to the Colonel's office. During the discussion, the Colonel asked him if he was still desirous of getting out of the army.
Upon receiving an affirmative reply, the Colonel said that he personally disagreed, and while he had strong objections to approving of the discharge, he had decided to overlook these objections and to approve it. Within a few hours, the application was approved and the soldier, now a civilian, was on a train bound for home.
This is a striking story of an extremely successful businessman demonstrating the power of imagination and the law of assumption. I know this family intimately, and all the details were told to me by the son described herein.
The story begins when he was twenty years old.
He was next to the oldest in a large family of nine brothers and one sister. The father was one of the partners in a small merchandising business. In his eighteenth year, the brother referred to in this story left the country in which they lived and traveled two thousand miles to enter college and complete his education. Shortly after his first year in college, he was called home because of a tragic event in connection with his father's business. Through the machinations of his associates, the father was not only forced out of his business, but was the object of false accusations impugning his character and integrity.
At the same time, he was deprived of his rightful share in the equity of the business.
The result was he found himself largely discredited and almost penniless. It was under these circumstances that the son was called home from college.
He returned, his heart filled with one great resolution.
He was determined that he would become outstandingly successful in business. The first thing he and his father did was to use the little money they had to start their own business. They rented a small store on a side street not far from the large business of which the father had been one of the principal owners. There they started a business bent upon real service to the community. It was shortly thereafter that the son, with instinctive awareness that it was bound to work, deliberately used imagination to attain an almost fantastic objective.
Every day, on the way to and from work, he passed the building of his father's former business – the biggest business of its kind in the country. It was one of the largest buildings, with the most prominent location in the heart of the city. On the outside of the building was a huge sign on which the name of the firm was painted in large bold letters.
Day after day, as he passed by, a great dream took shape in the son's mind. He thought of how wonderful it would be if it was his family that had this great building – his family that owned and operated this great business.
One day, as he stood gazing at the building, in his imagination, he saw a completely different name on the huge sign across the entrance. Now the large letters spelled out his family name (in these case histories actual names are not used; for the sake of clarity, in this story we will use hypothetical names and assume that the son's family name was Lordard).
Where the sign read F. N. Moth & Co., in imagination, he actually saw the name, letter by letter, N. Lordard & Sons. He remained looking at the sign with his eyes wide open, imagining that it read N. Lordard & Sons. Twice a day, week after week, month after month, for two years, he saw his family name over the front of that building. He was convinced that if he felt strongly enough that a thing was true, it was bound to be the case, and by seeing in imagination his family name on the sign – which implied that they owned the business – he became convinced that one day they would own it.
During this period, he told only one person what he was doing. He confided in his mother, who with loving concern tried to discourage him in order to protect him from what might be a great disappointment.
Despite this, he persisted day after day.
Two years later, the large company failed and the coveted building was up for sale.
On the day of the sale, he seemed no nearer ownership than he had been two years before when he began to apply the law of assumption. During this period, they had worked hard, and their customers had implicit confidence in them. However, they had not earned anything like the amount of money required for the purchase of the property. Nor did they have any source from which they could borrow the necessary capital. Making even more remote their chance of getting it was the fact that this was regarded as the most desirable property in the city and a number of wealthy business people were prepared to buy it. On the actual day of the sale, to their complete surprise, a man, almost a total stranger, came into their shop and offered to buy the property for them. (Due to some unusual conditions involved in this transaction, the son's family could not even make a bid for the property.)
They thought the man was joking. However, this was not the case. The man explained that he had watched them for some time, admired their ability, believed in their integrity, and that supplying the capital for them to go into business on a large scale was an extremely sound investment for him. That very day the property was theirs. What the son had persisted in seeing in his imagination was now a reality. The hunch of the stranger was more than justified.
Today, this family owns not only the particular business referred to, but owns many of the largest industries in the country in which they live.
The son, seeing his family name over the entrance of this great building, long before it was actually there, was using exactly the technique that produces results. By assuming the feeling that he already had what he desired – by making this a vivid reality in his imagination, by determined persistence, regardless of appearance or circumstance –, he inevitably caused his dream to become a reality.
This is the story of a very unexpected result of an interview with a lady who came to consult me.
One afternoon, a young grandmother, a businesswoman in New York, came to see me. She brought along her nine-year-old grandson, who was visiting her from his home in Pennsylvania. In response to her questions, I explained the law of assumption, describing in detail the procedure to be followed in attaining an objective. The boy sat quietly, apparently absorbed in a small toy truck, while I explained to the grandmother the method of assuming the state of consciousness that would be hers were her desire already fulfilled.
I told her the story of the soldier in camp, who, each night, fell asleep, imagining himself to be in his own bed in his own home.
When the boy and his grandmother were leaving, he looked up at me with great excitement and said, "I know what I want and, now, I know how to get it". Surprised, I asked him what it was he wanted; he told me he had his heart set on a puppy.
To this, the grandmother vigorously protested, telling the boy that it had been made clear repeatedly that he could not have a dog under any circumstances... that his father and mother would not allow it, that the boy was too young to care for it properly, and furthermore, the father had a deep dislike for dogs – he actually hated to have one around.
All these were arguments the boy, passionately desirous of having a dog, refused to understand. "Now I know what to do", he said. "Every night, just as I am going off to sleep, I am going to pretend that I have a dog and we are going for a walk". "No", said the grandmother, "that is not what Mr. Neville means. This was not meant for you. You cannot have a dog".
Approximately six weeks later, the grandmother told me what was to her an astonishing story. The boy's desire to own a dog was so intense that he had absorbed all that I had told his grandmother of how to attain one's desire – and he believed implicitly that at last he knew how to get a dog.
Putting this belief into practice, for many nights, the boy imagined a dog was lying in his bed beside him. In imagination, he petted the dog, actually feeling its fur. Things like playing with the dog and taking it for a walk filled his mind.
Within a few weeks, it happened. A newspaper in the city in which the boy lived organized a special program in connection with Kindness to Animals Week. All schoolchildren were requested to write an essay on "Why I Would Like to Own a Dog".
After entries from all the schools were submitted and judged, the winner of the contest was announced. The very same boy who weeks before in my apartment in New York had told me "Now I know how to get a dog" was the winner. In an elaborate ceremony, which was publicized with stories and pictures in the newspaper, the boy was awarded a beautiful collie puppy.
In relating this story, the grandmother told me that if the boy had been given the money with which to buy a dog, the parents would have refused to do so and would have used it to buy a bond for the boy or put it in the savings bank for him. Furthermore, if someone had made the boy a gift of a dog, they would have refused it or given it away.
But the dramatic manner in which they boy got the dog, the way he won the city-wide contest, the stories and pictures in the newspaper, the pride of achievement and joy of the boy himself all combined to bring about a change of heart in the parents, and they found themselves doing that which they never conceived possible – they allowed him to keep the dog.
All this the grandmother explained to me, and she concluded by saying that there was one particular kind of dog on which the boy had set his heart. It was a collie.
This was told by the aunt in the story to the entire audience at the conclusion of one of my lectures.
During the question period following my lecture on the law of assumption, a lady who had attended many lectures and had had personal consultation with me on a number of occasions, rose and asked permission to tell a story illustrating how she had successfully used the law.
She said that upon returning home from the lecture the week before, she had found her niece distressed and terribly upset. The husband of the niece, who was an officer in the Army Air Force stationed in Atlantic City, had just been ordered, along with the rest of his unit, to active duty in Europe. She tearfully told her aunt that the reason she was upset was that she had been hoping her husband would be assigned to Florida as an Instructor.
They both loved Florida and were anxious to be stationed there and not to be separated. Upon hearing this story, the aunt stated that there was only one thing to do and that was to apply immediately the law of assumption. "Let's actualize it", she said. "If you were actually in Florida,what would you do? You would feel the warm breeze. You would smell the salt air. You would feel your toes sinking down into the sand. Well, let's do all that right now".
They took off their shoes and, turning out the lights, in imagination, they felt themselves actually in Florida, feeling the warm breeze, smelling the sea air, pushing their toes into the sand.
Forty-eight hours later, the husband received a change of orders. His new instructions were to report immediately to Florida as an Air Force Instructor. Five days later, his wife was on a train to join him. While the aunt, in order to help her niece to attain her desire, joined in with the niece in assuming the state of consciousness required, she did not go to Florida. That was not her desire. On the other hand, that was the intense longing of the niece.
This case is especially interesting because of the short interval of time between the application of this law of assumption and its visible manifestation.
A very prominent woman came to me in deep concern. She maintained a lovely city apartment and a large country home; but because the many demands made upon her were greater than her modest income, it was absolutely essential that she rent her apartment if she and her family were to spend the summer at their country home.
In previous years, the apartment had been rented without difficulty early in the spring, but the day she came to me, the rental season for summer sublets was over. The apartment had been in the hands of the best real estate agents for months, but no one had been interested even in coming to see it.
When she had described her predicament, I explained how the law of assumption could be brought to bear on solving her problem. I suggested that, by imagining the apartment had been rented by a person desiring immediate occupancy and by assuming that this was the case, her apartment actually would be rented. In order to create the necessary feeling of naturalness – the feeling that it was already a fact that her apartment was rented – I suggested that she drift off into sleep that very night, imagining herself, not in her apartment, but in whatever place she would sleep were the apartment suddenly rented. She quickly grasped the idea and said that in such a situation she would sleep in her country home, even though it was not yet opened for the summer.
This interview took place on Thursday. At nine o'clock the following Saturday morning, she phoned me from her home in the country – excited and happy.
She told me that on Thursday night she had fallen asleep actually imagining and feeling that she was sleeping in her other bed in her country home many miles away from the city apartment she was occupying. On Friday, the very next day, a highly desirable tenant, one who met all her requirements as a responsible person, not only rented the apartment, but rented it on the condition that he could move in that very day.
Only the most complete and intense use of the law of assumption could have produced such results in this extreme situation.
Four years ago, a friend of our family asked that I talk with his twenty-eight-year-old son, who was not expected to live.
He was suffering from a rare heart disease. This disease resulted in a disintegration of the organ.
Long and costly medical care had been of no avail.
Doctors held out no hope for recovery. For a long time, the son had been confined to his bed. His body had shrunk to almost a skeleton, and he could talk and breathe only with great difficulty. His wife and two small children were home when I called, and his wife was present throughout our discussion.
I started by telling him that there was only one solution to any problem, and that solution was a change of attitude. Since talking exhausted him, I asked him to nod in agreement if he understood clearly what I said. This he agreed to do.
I described the facts underlying the law of consciousness – in fact that consciousness was the only reality. I told him that the way to change any condition was to change his state of consciousness concerning it. As a specific aid in helping him to assume the feeling of already being well, I suggested that in imagination, he see the doctor's face expressing incredulous amazement in finding him recovered, contrary to all reason, from the last stages of an incurable disease, that he see him double checking in his examination and hear him saying over and over, "It's a miracle – it's a miracle".
He not only understood all this clearly, but he believed it implicitly. He promised that he would faithfully follow this procedure. His wife, who had been listening intently, assured me that she, too, would diligently use the law of assumption and her imagination in the same way as her husband. The following day I sailed for New York – all this taking place during a winter vacation in the tropics.
Several months later, I received a letter saying the son had made a miraculous recovery. On my next visit, I met him in person. He was in perfect health, actively engaged in business and thoroughly enjoying the many social activities of his friends and family.
He told me that from the day I left, he never had any doubt that "it" would work. He described how he had faithfully followed the suggestion I had made to him and day after day had lived completely in the assumption of already being well and strong.
Now, four years after his recovery, he is convinced that the only reason he is here today is due to his successful use of the law of assumption.
This story illustrates the successful use of the law by a New York business executive.
In the fall of 1950, an executive of one of New York's prominent banks discussed with me a serious problem with which he was confronted.
He told me that the outlook for his personal progress and advancement was very dim. Having reached middle age and feeling that a marked improvement in position and income was justified, he had "talked it out" with his superiors. They frankly told him that any major improvement was impossible and intimated that if he was dissatisfied, he could seek another job. This, of course, only increased his uneasiness.
In our talk, he explained that he had no great desire for really big money, but that he had to have a substantial income in order to maintain his home comfortably and to provide for the education of his children in good preparatory schools and colleges. This he found impossible on his present income. The refusal of the bank to assure him of any advancement in the near future resulted in a feeling of discontent and an intense desire to secure a better position with considerably more money.
He confided in me that the kind of job he would like better than anything in the world was one in which he managed the investment funds of a large institution such as a foundation or great university.
In explaining the law of assumption, I stated that his present situation was only a manifestation of his concept of himself and declared that if he wanted to change the circumstances in which he found himself, he could do so by changing his concept of himself. In order to bring about this change of consciousness, and thereby a change in his situation, I asked him to follow this procedure every night just before he fell asleep:
In imagination, he was to feel he was retiring at the end of one of the most important and successful days of his life. He was to imagine that he had actually closed a deal that very day to join the kind of organization he yearned to be with and in exactly the capacity he wanted.
I suggested to him that if he succeeded in completely filling his mind with this feeling, he would experience a definite sense of relief. In this mood, his uneasiness and discontent would be a thing of the past. He would feel the contentment that comes with the fulfillment of desire. I wound up by assuring him that if he did this faithfully, he would inevitably get the kind of position he wanted.
This was the first week of December. Night after night, without exception, he followed this procedure.
Early in February, a director of one of the wealthiest foundations in the world asked this executive if he would be interested in joining the foundation in an executive capacity handling investments. After some brief discussion, he accepted.
Today, at a substantially higher income and with the assurance of steady progress, this man is in a position far exceeding all that he had hoped for.
The man and wife in this story have attended my lectures for a number of years. It is an interesting illustration of the conscious use of this law by two people concentrating on the same objective at one time.
This man and wife were an exceptionally devoted couple. Their life was completely happy and entirely free from any problems or frustrations.
For some time, they had planned to move into a larger apartment. The more they thought about it, the more they realized that what they had their hearts set on was a beautiful penthouse. In discussing it together, the husband explained that he wanted one with a huge window looking out on a magnificent view. The wife said she would like to have one side of the walls mirrored from top to bottom. They both wanted to have a wood-burning fireplace. It was a "must" that the apartment be in New York City.
For months, they had searched for just such an apartment in vain. In fact, the situation in the city was such that the securing of any kind of apartment was almost an impossibility. They were so scarce that not only were there waiting lists for them, but all sorts of special deals including premiums, the buying of furniture etc. were involved.
New apartments were being leased long before they were completed, many being rented from the blueprints of the building.
Early in the spring, after months of fruitless seeking, they finally located one which they seriously considered. It was a penthouse apartment in a building just being completed on upper Fifth Avenue facing Central Park. It had one serious drawback.
Being a new building, it was not subject to rent control, and the couple felt the yearly rental was exorbitant. In fact, it was several thousand dollars a year more than they had considered paying.
During the spring months of March and April, they continued looking at various penthouses throughout the city, but they always came back to this one.
Finally, they decided to increase the amount they would pay substantially and made a proposition which the agent for the building agreed to forward to the owners for consideration.
It was at this point, without discussing it with each other, each determined to apply the law of assumption. It was not until later that each learned what the other had done.
Night after night, they both fell asleep in imagination in the apartment they were considering. The husband, lying with his eyes closed, would imagine that his bedroom windows were overlooking the park. He would imagine going to the window the first thing in the morning and enjoying the view. He felt himself sitting on the terrace overlooking the park, having cocktails with his wife and friends, all thoroughly enjoying it. He filled his mind with actually feeling himself in the penthouse and on the terrace. During all this time, unknown to him, his wife was doing the same thing.
Several weeks went by without any decision on the part of the owners, but they continued to imagine as they fell asleep each night that they were actually sleeping in the penthouse.
One day, to their complete surprise, one of the employees in the apartment building in which they lived told them that the penthouse there was vacant. They were astonished, because theirs was one of the most desirable buildings in the city with a perfect location right on Central Park. They knew there was a long waiting list of people trying to get an apartment in their building. The fact that a penthouse had unexpectedly become available was kept quiet by the management because they were not in a position to consider any applicants for it. Upon learning that it was vacant, this couple immediately made a request that it be rented to them, only to be told that this was impossible. The fact was that not only were there several people on a waiting list for a penthouse in the building, but it was actually promised to one family. Despite this, the couple had a series of meetings with the management, at the conclusion of which the apartment was theirs.
The building being subject to rent control, their rental was just about what they had planned to pay when they first started looking for a penthouse. The location, the apartment itself, and the large terrace surrounding it on the South, West, and North was beyond all their expectations – and in the living room, on one side, is a giant window 15 feet by 8 feet with a magnificent view of Central Park; one wall is mirrored from floor to ceiling, and there is a wood-burning fireplace.
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