Yes, there is no lack of choice material for the conscious mind to work upon, nor is there lack of capacity in the subconscious storehouse to receive it. How can one best utilize the sub-conscious in our program of mental discipline? I use the word ” utilize ” advisedly, for no knowledge need ever be lost. I like that fine old story, in French Literature. Dumas has given us an example of this subsequent use of stored-up knowledge in his well-known novel, The Count of Monte Cristo. He shows us the old political prisoner, the Abbe Faria, who has been shut out from the sight of men for years, resurrecting his old fund of information for the benefit and instruction of his fellow prisoner, Edmond Dantes, and exciting the interest and concentrated attention of the latter he develops him from a bright but uneducated fisherman sailor into a well informed and educate. man of the world. The old abbe has stored away in his mind the learning of a lifetime and draws from it for the benefit of Dantes.
Just as a definite method for mental work is the best kind of discipline, helps us to get the best out of memory in the field of consciousness, so a logical system helps us to utilize to the best advantage our subconscious minds.
” System means much to the memory, there-fore, make use of Sequence whenever you desire to remember faces, figures or thoughts. Arrange all things in proper order before putting them away in the charge of memory and then as soon as you lay hold of one thing of the series, all the members will come forth in their proper order.” *
I like to think of the subconscious memory as the treasure-house of the mind, stored with precious jewels of thought, not as an attic riled full of worthless old junk. The selective principle determines which it shall be. In order to give your subconscious mind a fair chance, check up on your conscious activities of the day. The following suggestion is good: discard all that is not worth rememberingconcentrate on that which is worthy of preservation. There is much that we do not know about the subconscious mind, but we do know that we should avoid giving it negative material to work upon while we sleep. Only the positive, the optimistic, the constructive, the happy thought should be held in mind during our last waking moments. In regard to this Marden says:
” If you drop to sleep with a vivid, strong picture of what you are trying to accomplish; in other words, if you have a little talk with your-self along the line of your ambition, your aspiration, what you are determined to do in life, if you reaffirm your vow to do your best to achieve your ambition, if you register it with vigor, you will incorporate this picture into your very being while you are unconscious and you will have more courage and more confidence the next day, a little more determination to win out. You will have fewer doubts and fears regarding your future.”
Just so we should have noble ideals in the depths of our inner life, for that which we hold within will surely have an outer manifestation. This thought has been perfectly expressed in As a Man Thinketh:
” He who cherishes a beautiful vision, a lofty ideal in his heart, will one day realize. it. Columbus cherished a vision of another world, and he discovered it; Copernicus fostered the vision of a multiplicity of worlds and a wider universe and he revealed it; Buddha beheld the vision of a spiritual world of stainless beauty and perfect peace, and he entered into it.
” Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals; cherish the music that stirs in your h eart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for ou t of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment; of these, if you but rema:m true to them, your world will at last be built.”
THE BRIDGE BETWEEN TODAY AND YESTERDAY
This God-given faculty of memory is a marvelous thing, ” Cell after cell, fiber Biter fiber in the numberless minute elements of he brain have been indissolubly connected by channels of live communication, impressed and modified by acts and ideas till the whole has became a supreme register of past experiences ready to be called up at a moment’s notice by the wonderful power of association.”
All that you are, all that you have ever been, is written there as vividly as the handwriting on the wall. Of all the wonderful miracles none other is so inscrutably marvelous as the human memory.
Like a golden thread it unites all the parts of our past life. Otherwise they would be scattered in fragments. Between what you are to-day and what you were yesterday a gap of unconsciousness lies, the nocturnal sleep. Only, memory can close that gap, memory alone can span the bridge between your to-day and your yesterday. If the faculty of memory were lost, we would start life as a new and strange individual daily, having everything to learn all over again, only to forget it all the following night.
Suppose to-night after you fall asleep, this mystic thread of memory should snap. In the morning when you awaken, all would be a blank, all the acts of your past life gone, all the old associations gone, all the ties that bind you to the present broken, everything blotted out, your very name forgotten.
MEMORY THE CROWNING GLORY OF THE HUMAN MIND
So let us realize what a blessing this God-given faculty is, let us develop it and use it. Apply the golden rule of memory: ” Observe and reflect, link thought with thought,” and store them away in the treasure-house of the mind to be held in trust for the service of humanity, so that memory may become the “Recording Angel ” of your daily life.
In conclusion, it is my earnest wish. that this book may not only help each of my readers to develop a good memory, but that it may also inspire a fuller appreciation of this crowning glory of the human mind.