Full text of American writer Ernest Holmes’ talk titled “The Secrets of Belief”…
Listen to the MP3 Audio here: The Secrets of Belief By Ernest Holmes
This evening, I am going to talk to you about a power for good in the universe, greater than you are, greater than I am, greater than all of us. A power for good that we can use in everyday life for everything.
When the greatest teacher who ever lived said it is done unto you as you believe. What do you suppose he was talking about? This mastermind was talking about a spiritual power in the universe, something so close to us that it is in the mirror, than our hands and feet closer to us, than our very next being, as the old Talmud said.
And so, this power is not something we have to go in search after, it is something that is right here: close, nearer, than our very breath.
How then would we use the power that is so intimate? Certainly we should have to use it in an intimate way. And we would certainly have to believe that the power exists is a power not against us. It is willing and not reluctant, we should actually have to believe that it really is done unto us as we believe. Then we would have to believe.
What is belief anyway? These other things I want to discuss with you tonight: How it is that we could use this power for good, greater than we are, wonderful, the thing the whole world wants more than anything else in the world, the thing that you and I have for the taking, for the asking, for the using, power that responds to us, causing to our conviction in it.
However it is used in our own mind, in our own thinking, right, where we are, how close and how intimate such power is and how wonderful it is, just to believe that we’re going to learn how to use it.
First of all, just what it is, then we’re going to talk about how to use it. Then we are going to actually get right down and use it in our everyday life.
First of all, the power that is bigger than you are and greater than I am is of course, a spiritual power. Just what do we mean by a spiritual power? We mean something that is invisible, of course. We don’t see it. We don’t touch it. We don’t taste it; we don’t handle it. We don’t weigh it, we don’t measure it. But we do feel it, just as you feel beauty, just as you feel love, just as you feel anything in life.
This power greater we are is a power for good. It responds to us if we have faith and confidence in it. Now throughout all the ages people of course have prayed and their prayers have been answered. They’ve prayed with faith and it doesn’t make any particular difference what kind of a religion they have had. That power has responded to everyone in the way he has used it. That is why Jesus said, very simply, very directly, it is done unto you as you believe.
Let us then analyze the saying of Jesus that it is done unto you as you believe. And suppose in doing that, that we pause, after this little word as seems like such an insignificant word. But it’s the key to the teaching of this great master.
First of all, he said, it is done by a power greater than you are. It is done unto you by this power. You don’t do it. Who has the power to create life? You and I did not make life. We did not create it. We did not think of ourselves. We awoke to the fact that we live. And we looked about and wondered, what in the world is it all about? Why am I here?
Is there anything in the universe, great enough and good enough to come to my rescue when I needed? Quietly if I’m disturbed, to bring peace to my mind? If I am despised? Is there really power in the universe greater than I am? And is it good? And can I use it?
Jesus said, it is done unto you. There is a power that operates for you. And how does it operate? It operates as you believe.
Now suppose we kind of analyze just what do we mean by belief. A peculiar thing, but it’s very important. We do not believe a thing just because we affirm it.
I might say I believe there is an elephant here, but there isn’t any elephant. I might say, there is thundering lightning here but I know there isn’t. Belief is something that our own mind does not doubt. It is something that we ourselves inwardly do not deny. You can tell right off. If you believe what you’re saying.
Shakespeare caused one of his characters to say: my words fly upward, my thoughts remain below. Words without thoughts cannot, to heaven, go. So, you and I do not have to study very much to see, do I believe that there is a power greater than I am? Why, of course, we believe it. Some mysterious thing, which we call gravitational force, holding you and I in place right now where you sit in your home.
I’m standing here by this podium. I do not wonder whether or not this power is going to hold me in place. I walk a little to the right or the left. I change my position; always I am certain there is a power greater than I am holding me in place physically.
Now all I have to do is just to transpose this and say there’s another kind of a power; it is greater than I am. It responds to my belief, my faith, and my confidence in it. And as soon as I establish this, then I must be certain that I actually believe.
Now probably this is the key to the answer to every prayer that was ever answered since time began: the prayer of faith, of conviction. Again, the great teacher, the great metaphysician, the great way shower, he said, when you pray, believe that you already have what you’re asking for.
You know, Jesus didn’t say, God, all this power be displeased if you ask for a loaf of bread. As a matter of fact, he fed the multitude. He did not say God, all this power doesn’t wish you to have any enjoyment in life. He spoke of a joy, which would complete ours.
He said it is done unto you. But as you believe, therefore, he said, when you pray, believe that you have, just believe that you have; is it so hard to believe that we have? We believe that tomorrow will come. We believe that the sun will rise in the morning and set at night.
We believe that the ocean and the tide will be there at the moon. We believe the grass will grow. We believe that our food will digest and who is there who knows, how any of these things happen.
Did you ever stop to think that the united intelligence of the human race, all the scientists living, all the philosophers, all the theologians, everybody put together, does not know how it is that a hen can lay an egg? Nor does it know how it is that a chicken can come out of an egg? Isn’t that amazing?
All we know is we set the hen and the chicken does come out of the egg. This is the mystery of life. This is the mystery of faith. The power greater than we are, Jesus did not say: what is your particular religion? Spoke to every man in his own language.
Just believe and it will be done unto you. It seems too good to be true. Isn’t it? You and I will never know until we try it as we’re going to at the end of this short discourse. We’re actually going to use this power, you and I, for a definite purpose. I’m going to use it for a definite purpose. You are, will watch and see.
But let us be sure that we believe, just as we believe our food will digest. Just as we know the sun’s going to rise in the morning. Just as we know that the world is still round. Just as we know that you and I do not know how it is we can eat ham sandwiches, drink milk, tea or coffee and have it turned into flesh, bone and blood and marrow.
Everywhere we look, we are watching the mystery of life, the riddle of life. Someone has said and I think rightly that the riddle of life is understood only by him who knows that God is good, who makes a ladder of his faith and times from sense to soul, times no line between the human goodness and divine, but judging God, by what in men is best with a child’s trust leans on the father’s breath. It isn’t so hard to believe.
We just haven’t thought how easy it is to believe and you know if we just take it that way, and we’ll say, yes, the world is round, I am held in place by some power. And now I’m going to believe in another kind of a power, it actually exists. And I’m going to try it.
And then when we start to analyze what is belief, what is faith? Very simple. This is one of the great hurdles however, people say, well, I just haven’t got that kind of faith, merely because they think you’re talking about something that’s impossible. We’re only talking about that which is completely possible, which is completely simple and direct. And something which you in the secret place of your own mind sitting there alone, you know it as well as I do. We all believe we just haven’t quite thought practicing, I believe, until something really happens.
And then we have learned that while something in us rises and says no, the belief isn’t complete and what do we do then? We just reaffirm that belief. You know, the mind has a very interesting quality. It acquires habits through repetition of thought. And the person who will really take himself in hand understand this and say, even though there might be something in me that right now doesn’t believe what I say, my words may fly upward and my thoughts remain below, I am still good trading myself, I know that this can happen.
I know that there is a power greater than I am. There is nothing in me any longer that’s kind of contradicting. And quietly, sort of easily and gently about I think flexibly, you know, did you ever stop to think you live with yourself most of the time, no matter how many there are whom you love, it is yourself that you live with all the time. It is yourself. You’re going to have to learn to be a good friend to; there is one who is a friend to all of us.
And that is not say, am I good enough to use this power? Why of course we are the rain falls on us, isn’t it. And the sun shines for us, the wind blows for us. There is no God who denies anyone anything that is good and right. So using the faith we have and believing in the power greater than we are, we sort of begin to expect things to happen.
It would be a very interesting thing, even if it were only a game we were playing, how fascinating, how wonderful to believe that out of that which, up until now perhaps we had thought was a wistful wish, wishful dream. Something that couldn’t quite be true. Out of all this we have longed for and we have yearned for and we have wanted in the terrific, right now.
Maybe those dreams can come true. Right now maybe the desire of our heart is already met in some divine intelligence that knows the beginning from the end, just waiting for our cooperation.
So we will be trying the most fascinating experiment we have ever had in our life. That dream: is it difficult for an infinite power. That hope, is it too much to ask for that yearning and that longing? Do not we have a right to expect that whatever the intelligence is, and the power that put us here certainly knows how to take care of us?
Perhaps we just haven’t believed. Now we’re going to practice believing; we’re going to say to ourselves, yes, there is a power. We can use it. We will use it. And then we’re going to be intelligent and we’re going to figure out how to use it. Until we ourselves believe, wouldn’t it be wonderful if you and I knew that there is nothing between the right desire of the heart, the yearning of the mind, the longing of the soul? And that which might be, but our own beliefs, our own unbelief.
And if this is so, then we have the proposition why we can’t handle it, for you and I can control our thinking. And we can come to the place, if not instantly, then certainly, we shall come to it gradually. But it doesn’t matter how we got there. We are going to come to a place where we believe in the power greater than we are, believe in ourselves, because we know it.
And believe even right down to the method we’re using that our own thoughts, our own meditation of prayer, whatever you call it, will convince everything within us that seems to doubt. Perhaps out of all the doubt and the yearning and the longing, you and I will come to know, there is a power greater than you are and I am and we can use it.
Now, friends, we’re going to use this power very simply, very definitely and directly. And we’re going to try to believe that it is done unto us, as we believe. And we’re going to try to just let go have every doubt or uncertainty, every lack of conviction. Just because it’s a power bigger than we are, we can trust something greater than we are. We don’t have to trust ourselves.
Now we call this meditation. And meditation is something you do to yourself, something like this. Suppose you just get still a moment, let’s even close our eyes for just a moment, kind of shuts us out from these things that disturb, and let’s say, I really believe right now down deep in my heart, there is a power for good.
This power is directing me because it’s intelligent, I shall know what to do. I shall be directed… there will be some impulsion, something that will tell me what to do.
There is an intelligence you see that actually knows. So let’s turn again to it and say: every thought and idea that is necessary to the accomplishment of the good thing I desire, which expresses a more abundant life, and which brings only good to everyone, is all happening to me now. That’s quite simple, isn’t it?
But if this power is here, if it works the way… I’m sure it does, then it works on the simplicity around thinking it isn’t profound words. It isn’t any spiritual gymnastic we go through just like a child. It’s guiding me. It’s directing me, right now.
Now let’s again turn our thoughts inward, close our eyes. And let’s say each one of us that we greatly desire, that we shall bless everyone we meet, that we shall bring happiness and joy to every situation. Let’s believe that it is true, then it will be true.
And it’s true, not because you and I know very much, whether ignorant but there is a power and it does work and it’s working right now.
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