Excerpts from

"How To Find Your Real Self" 

by Milfred Mann

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There is certainly nothing more necessary in the world today than a practical philosophy of life. By a practical philosophy, I do not mean beauti ful ideals and wonderful dreams in which we seek refuge from a terrifying world. I mean the kind of philosophy which is liveable, useable, expendable. I mean the kind of philosophy that far outdistances the abstract ideas of the world's great thinkers. I mean the kind of philosophy that Jesus demonstrated and taught- a Pragmatic Mysticism.

Many people have asked, "Just what is that?" Pragmatism is a term that came into favor about the turn of the century from William James. He was, and still is, the greatest of all American psychologists, and we might add the title of philosopher to him also. He said that Pragmatism in terms

[p. 8] of self is that which is usable, that which is expendable. In other words, Pragmatism is anything that has a cash value not only in the sense of buying an article, but in the real sense of your own inner resources, explored, developed and used. Is it useable? Will it help you? Can you work it? Pragmatism is certainly very workable. In other words, it is what we call the metaphysical concept, or what I personally prefer to call Pragmatic Mysticism. It is not the kind of belief that makes you withdraw from the world, or live in a cave, or mortify the flesh, or deny yourself anything that makes for gracious living. It is a pragmatic, every-day, usable UNION WITH GOD. That is what it is in simple terms.

A number of years ago, before I had encountered Metaphysics, I was in the business world. I had a photographic feature syndicate, which supplied newspapers and magazines with picture feature stories of the type we find in "Life," "Look," etc. We would take a series of pictures that told a story. Sometimes they were sent to us

[p. 9] by photographers throughout the world, and sometimes we made them with our own staff of photographers. This one, to which I now refer, was our own brain-child. It was called "What is a human being made of?" We decided to make the particular human being in question a pretty girl, and we then proceeded to analyze her. We discovered that she consisted of such things as salt, calcium, silica, sulphur, potassium and sundry other elements. The total cost of the various elements which make up the human body was, at pre-inflation figures, $2.94. That is what we each are worth as far as our physical bodies are concerned. It was a little more if you had gold in your teeth, and a little less if you had dentures, which seems reasonable. But that is the cash value of a human being.

In those days I was very much of an atheist, and this value rather fitted in with my own idea of what humanity was really worth - including me. Then shortly after that I discovered Metaphysics. I was, as many of us have been, dragged to a lecture. During one of the first lectures I attended a state-

[p. 10] ment was made that was a challenge to me. The man who spoke was, in my mind, the greatest of all Metaphysical teachers,- Emmet Fox. He had the most brilliant mind I had ever met. You couldn't ignore this man. You couldn't laugh him off. He made sense. He ended this particular talk by saying, "Do you know who you are? Do you really know who you are? YOU are a special enterprise on the part of God." That hit me. There certainly was a wide gap between the $2.94 cash value of a human body and "a special enterprise on the part of God."

I knew, as we do sometimes know - with a tremendous inner conviction, that Dr. Fox was right. I knew that I was what we might term "spiritually near-sighted," since I had never tried to see beyond the physical plane. The two concepts were as far apart as the North and South Poles, and I decided to explore for myself the vast territory that lay between them, through the study of Metaphysics. I had to find out for myself whether or not it was just a beautiful dream, or was there

[p.11] something which I could actually use in my daily living. So I had to first study, then absorb, and finally apply what I had learned.

I discovered I was very much "a special enterprise on the part of God"- and so was every other human being. I also discovered that this was only the beginning. My mental acceptance of the idea did not help me very much in the manifestation of it. There was much more to be done.

What does it mean to be "a special enterprise on the part of God"? You are, you know. Whether you realize it or not, you are "a special enterprise on the part of God." If you go into business,- and most of us are in business of some sort or another, or you enter into an undertaking of some kind, you equip it. You equip it with everything you think it will need. It is your idea, and you endow it, you clothe it, you activate it with everything that is necessary for its existence. And you expect it to function well. That is what God did with us. He created us in His image, after His likeness. He supplied us with everything we need, from

[p. 12] the physical plane to the spiritual plane. He made us to stand on our own feet by giving us free will to do as we pleased.

We have done, often unknowingly, what we pleased,- and the results have been anything but pleasing. We have lost sight of our heritage, and because of environment and training, our strongest tendency is to blame the other fellow for our woe. If we do not blame fellow-man, then we stoically and subtly blame God, by saying "It is God's will." Both ideas are wrong and only help to prolong the difficulty.

God created each one of us "a special enterprise," and He endowed us with a mind. He gave us Self-consciousness. No other species on the face of this planet has that. You know who you are. You may not know the all of who you are, because no one does. But you do know "I am So-and-so." You do have the power of original thought. You can form a concept. You can carry it out. There is an interesting test you can try for yourself that is very revealing. Ask yourself, "Who am I?" Then watch

[p. 13] the first three replies that come into your mind. You will inevitably find that your answers will include, "I am a salesman," or "I am a housewife." But you are not that. That is your field of activity; that is not what you are. This is a simple way of learning just what you think about you.

You have Self-consciousness. You have the kind of mind that recognizes its own identity. You have free will. You have the potentiality and the pos sibility of developing that mind. You are not a slave. You do not have to live at the beck and call of every peril that seems to lurk in the outer world. You are supposed to live as a child of God,- a Son of God,-- a co-creator with God. That is the essence of Being, which is instilled in every human soul. You are not here to live a possible sixty or seventy years, and for the most part of it go through hell. You are here to create something in your life that only you can do for yourself. Only I can do it for me. Each one of us does it a bit differently. Each one of us offers God a slightly different, unique experience as we begin to find ourselves

[p. 14] and proceed to build our lives in accordance with the Divine Plan. That is why there are no two people exactly alike in the world. Not even identical twins are completely identical. No one else can do it in exactly the same way. "You are a special enterprise on the part of God."


How do we find ourselves? We do so by going "within." We get to know ourselves, to understand how we are made, and then we learn to use the magnificent power within us. We do it by understanding the mind, what it is, and how it works. There is nothing more fascinating than the mind. Actually, it consists of three sections,-the conscious, the subconscious and the Superconscious. The part with which we are busiest is that which we call the conscious mind. That is the area through which we absorb all our knowledge of the outer world. It is the part of the mind with which we think. It is the part of the mind of which we are constantly aware. It is always busy thinking during our waking hours. It flits from pillar to post with the ease and rapidity of a wild monkey. It is the part of the mind that receives scholastic training,

[p. 16] and retains it just as long as it needs it. Surprisingly enough, it is the least important part of the mind. It is like a filter through which thoughts pass, at random for the most part, until we learn to use it. It is the intellect.

Much more important is the subconscious mind. That is the part of the mind which makes you feel. It reminds you of things you have forgotten. In one sense, the subconscious mind is the eternal storehouse. Everything that has ever happened to you, everything that you have ever thought, or done, or said, even though you may have no conscious recollection, is stored in the subconscious. Your loves, your fears, your hates, your good deeds, your courage, your resentments, your animosities, your charities -they are all there. And you are the sum total of all of that at this moment.

If you would like to know a little of the ideas the subconscious holds, you can do so by watching yourself. The clearest answer will come by looking in a mirror at yourself, because the body is the complete out-picturing of what the subconscious mind

[p. 17] is expressing. Its closest manifestation is through the physical body, and it reflects itself in the health, vitality, and appearance. Then, watch what you do. Watch what you say. Watch your reactions. Are they what they should be? Do you flare up at others? Do you take offense easily and then blame it on your sensitive nature? Are you always busy protecting your pride? Do you go around the world with a chip on your shoulder? If you do, you will know that there is smething stored in the subconscious that is causing a bit of trouble. Get rid of it, because if you continue, sooner or later you are to going to `come a cropper' and take a bad fall.

Besides being the storehouse of memory, the subconscious is also the power house of the human being. Its function is to create,--and that it does, unquestioningly, when the conscious mind gives the order. It cannot reason, and it knows no logic. It continues to carry out the orders until the conscious mind re-directs it. The subconscious mind knows everything of the past and the present. It also has an idea of what the future might be, be-

[p. 18] cause of past performance. But, because it is plastic, it can and will change the future direction of your life, provided it is given the impetus and instruction to do so.

The third part of the mind is actually the most important, and it is also the one with which we have the least knowledge and contact. It is that part of the mind which gives us life. It is called the Superconscious Mind. It is what we term the Presence of God in us. It does not matter what we call it, whether it is called the Presence, the Indwelling Christ, the Divine Spark, or my own favorite term for it,--I AM. It is that within us which is our goal - the conscious realization of the Indwelling Christ, conscious union with your Real Self. It is that Presence, that Super-conscious Mind, which is within you and gives you the ability to think, feel, move. It is Life incarnate,--and you are its incarnation. When the Presence decides you have done all you can in this life span, it withdraws from the physical body, taking with it the conscious and subconscious parts of the mind until another

[p. 19] incarnation. But at this stage of our evolution the Superconscious Mind does little more than animate us. It is equally true that if your desire for union with the Presence is strong enough,- if you seek the Giver more than you seek the Gifts,- you will find Him. Then you will also find that "having the Giver, you have all Gifts."

The subconscious is the part of the mind with which we are mostly at grips. The subconscious, while it produces our good for us, also produces all of our problems. Nothing, absolutely nothing, has ever happened to you or to me or to any other human being in this world, except that we have consciously or unconsciously brought it to pass, be it good or bad. There is no sense blaming the other fellow for things that happen to you. He had nothing to do with it. He was merely an instrument, brought to you by the Law which you set in motion, --the Law that governs the subconscious mind.

When this idea is grasped and realized, two things occur. The first is almost universal. I made this statement some years ago to a small group of

[p. 20] people, all of whom I knew intimately. I was startled to find some fifteen or twenty pairs of eyes looking at me, each one saying silently but so eloquently, "You can't include me in that! You know how awful my mother-in-law, or my parents, or my relatives in general have been to me." It illustrates so clearly our intense dislike of admitting the fact that we could possibly be responsible or wrong. Yet we are. When we can face this as the Truth,--for it is,--we have taken the first tremendous step in the right direction. It is the beginning of a soul-cleansing.

The beginning of freedom lies in facing our own responsibility for what happens in our lives. It must then logically follow that since we are respon- sible for both the good and the bad in our lives, we cannot attribute it to other people and outside circumstances. People and circumstances that have hurt us are the instruments used by the Law which we have consciously or unconsciously invoked. It is the great Cosmic Law, and it is summed up simply in the words, "Like attracts like." It brings back

[p. 21] to us that which we have put forth. Once we understand this, we are free from all resentments. And we know by now that resentments are the cancers of the soul. Their inception and growth is due to our emotional reactions to people and incidents in our lives.

Suppose, for example, you were in a rush and you ran through a doorway, colliding most forcibly with the door, and you were bruised. Would you hit the door back? Would you bawl the door out for being in the way? Would you talk about the door to everyone you met? Would you brood over the door and rehearse the action again and again? Of course you would not. But--if someone by accident stepped on your foot in a crowded bus or subway, particularly if it happened to connect with your pet corn, you know what your reaction would be. The least you would do would be to glare. You would not be angry with the door for being in the way, but you would be more or less annoyed with yourself for being silly, for being stupid, for not being careful. Yet, when it comes to another human

[p. 22] being colliding with us, the reaction is one of indignation, antagonism and fury. That is what we call our normal, natural reaction,-- although it is neither normal nor natural. This is a trivial example, but the same attitude appears in deeper, more personal relationships. We are always concerned with what the other fellow has done, is doing, or will do to us. It is that attitude which we must change. When we reach the point of understanding that only we ourselves are the Cause and Effect of all that happens to us, then we overcome the greatest poison in our lives--resentment, which is the parent of most of our problems.

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