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Chapter 4
Just How to Apply A Mental
ALL organic activity, whether that activity expresses chiefly on the
three-dimensional plane or chiefly from the four-dimensional plane, is due to
releases of desire energies by the thought-cells and thought structures of the
unconscious mind. Whether such releases bring events into the life which are
fortunate or events which are disastrous is wholly determined by the direction in
which the desires of the thought-cells and thought structures have been Conditioned
to release their energies. The work of mental alchemy, therefore, is chiefly that of
Conditioning and Reconditioning desires in such a manner that when they release
energy it will be in a direction to attract only fortunate events.
Experience stores in the stellar-cells and four-dimensional structures energies of
specific kinds. Some, belong to the Aggressive family, seek strifeful activity; some,
belonging to the Religious family, strive for expansive activity; some, belonging to
the Power family, impel to actions that influence significance; and so with the other
seven families. We call this desire energy derived from a certain type of experience
an Urge. And the nature of the Urges can not be changed. That is, we can not change a
Power Urge into a Safety Urge, nor a Social Urge into an Intellectual Urge. Each type
of thought-element always expresses through its characteristic type of thought
But by association with another thought-element its desire-energy can be made to
perform a quite different than usual type of work. Hydrogen, for instance, always
expresses as hydrogen, and never as oxygen. Both are highly inflammable gases.
When brought together under certain conditions they explode. Yet when otherwise
Conditioned they unite as water, a combination which commonly is used to
extinguish fire rather than to produce it. Thus also can thought-elements be joined to
do a work that neither can do alone; and which both combined are not capable of
performing except when they are properly Conditioned.
The joining of thought-elements so that they combine as a thought compound within
the astral body, and thus become added to the psychoplasm of the thought-cells, is
under the same law which governs all mental processes, that is, the LAW OF
ASSOCIATION. Thoughts or mental images are related to each other only through
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Resemblance or Contiguity. And all thinking, either by the objective consciousness
or by the unconscious mind, is due to the affinity or antipathy of the desire energies of
thought-cells and images released through a chain of ASSOCIATIONS in which
Resemblance or Contiguity play the important part.
Either because they are in the same proximity of space or time, or because they are
similar or dissimilar, mental images, thought elements, and other mental factors are
united in the mind, and consequently when opportunity for energy releases occur,
express their energies together. We thus remember one event because, through
Resemblance or Contiguity, it is joined to another event or thought which has been
before consciousness. And because we know that experiences thus enter into union
with other experiences or with the thought factors already present in the unconscious
mind according to this universal mental law, we know just what to do to cause a
thought or experience to enter into a mental compound with another thought or
mental factor.
Whenever we think about the likeness or unlikeness of something new before the
attention to some experience, mental image, or thought that has entered
consciousness on a previous occasion, we unite that which we are now thinking
about to the earlier mental factor through Resemblance; and because now, in order to
think about the resemblance both must be before consciousness, we unite them also
through Contiguity. Even if the thought of similarity or contrast is absent, merely to
think of the two experiences, images, or thoughts at the same time unites them by
As these are the only two ways by which thought factors are ever united, or
thought-elements joined in a mental compound, it is obvious that when we desire to
build a compound after a predetermined pattern we must employ one, or better still as
giving a more powerful union both, of these two methods, That is, to cause a thought
or mental image to combine with another thought or mental image, both should be
thought about at the same time, and their similarity or dissimilarity considered in
Whatever thoughts, therefore, have been built into the unconscious mind in the past,
and now form a portion of it, can be made to enter into combination with any other
family of thoughts merely through thinking about them at the same time, and
comparing them as vividly and energetically as possible. In fact, whatever
compounds now are present in the thought-cells and thought structures of the
unconscious mind, and which are entirely responsible for the events which come into
the life, have been formed in precisely this way. There is no other manner in which
they can be formed.
But accompanying every experience, in addition to its family energy, that is, which
designates it as Aggressive, Utopian, Intellectual, etc., there is the energy of feeling.
And it is this Conditioning energy, this quality of pleasure or pain, which determines
the direction in which the energy will work when it finds opportunity for release.
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As explained in Chapter 2, the type of compound formed when two thoughts are
united through the LAW OF ASSOCIATION depends entirely upon, not the family
energy of their thought-elements, but the quality and volume of feeling which
accompanies their union. It is this feeling energy which Conditions their desires to
strive to express in a certain manner. Each thought-element has its own manner of
expression. But when united with other thought-elements it is the pain or pleasure,
and its kind and intensity which determines whether, when it has opportunity to
express according to its family, it desires, and consequently works for, those things
which are detrimental, or for those which are beneficial.
There are ten different types of compounds into which it is possible for almost any
two of the families of thought-elements to enter. They are thus different because the
volume or quality of the pleasure or pain which accompanied their formation is
different. But broadly speaking, they are classed either as harmonious compounds or
as discordant compounds. Harmonious compounds are formed when the
Conditioning energy accompanying their formation is that of pleasure.
Thought-cells embracing such compounds work from the four-dimensional plane to
attract fortunate events into the life. Discordant compounds are formed when the
Conditioning energy accompanying their formation is that of pain. The thought-cells
embracing such compounds work from the four-dimensional plane to attract
unfortunate events into the life.
General Principles to Be Followed
--If, as readily can be demonstrated is the case, the power of thought-cells to bring
into the life events which are unfortunate is not due to the families to which the
thought-elements in the compound belong, but is entirely due to the energy with
which the thought-elements were joined, it is obvious that if the Conditioning energy
is changed the misfortune will be changed.
It is not the family energy which causes thoughts to join in a compound, it is the
Conditioning energy, the feeling of pleasure or pain which is coincident with
Resemblance or Contiguity. The LAW OF ASSOCIATION which governs all
mental processes is the feeling which is present when mental factors are Contiguous
or are Similar or Dissimilar. That is, the LAW OF ASSOCIATION is an expression
of pleasure-pain relations. In various shadings and diverse degrees these are the only
relations the mind can possibly recognize. Thoughts are the reproduction in
consciousness of sensations, as is fully explained in Course 5, Chapter 2.
Whatever the Conditioning energy which accompanied the formation of a
thought-compound, if that thought-compound is to be Converted into a compound
the thought-elements of which are united by a different type of Conditioning energy,
these elements must be treated with the feeling of pleasure or pain in volume and
intensity sufficient to completely alter their relation one with another. Yet as their
present form of union is determined exclusively by the feeling energy imparted to
them at the time of formation, if feeling energy in greater intensity and volume, but of
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another kind, can be applied to them it will, of necessity, break down the old
compound and rearrange the elements in a new compound such as this latest and
strongest Conditioning energy indicates.
Thoughts are not isolated units, but when thoughts of one family are present in
consciousness, thoughts of some other family also commonly enter the
consciousness through the LAW OF ASSOCIATION. Nor have the events of the
past been isolated one from another. One kind of occurrence usually has been
coincident with events which relate to another family of thoughts. Thus have the
compounds within the unconscious mind been built. And because such compounds
express in characteristic thoughts and actions, and because the most powerful of
them are mapped by the aspects in the birth-chart, there are two methods by which the
compound responsible for a condition in the life can be ascertained.
Careful observation reveals that the individual who customarily has one kind of
fortune relative to a certain department of life habitually thinks about this department
of life in a manner quite differently than does the individual who has another kind of
fortune relative to it. I mean that close association with those who attain high honors
shows that their usual manner of thinking about honor has been very different than
those who merely desire high honors and never attain them. And that those who make
a success of marriage, have a different attitude toward marriage and the domestic
partner than do those who suffer severely through matrimonial relations.
Not only so, but at those particular times in the life when fortune or misfortune is
attracted, those closely associated with the individual discern, even before the event
has transpired, that the thoughts and attitude of the individual have changed. Even
those events which apparently come out of a clear sky and with no warning, are
immediately preceded by a change in the thought processes; and people taken into
the person's confidence note the mental change that has taken place.
To illustrate by the disease which, next to heart trouble causes most deaths and so far
has offered the most stubborn resistance to physical remedies: People who are
subject to fear, envy, greed, grief, worry or extreme self-centeredness in their
thinking are the only ones who ever have cancer. This does not mean that people who
develop cancer are always selfish: for worry, grief, fear and sorrow often arise from
an intense interest in others.
We know that only people who habitually have such thoughts are predisposed to
cancer because of intimate observations of a great many such persons; and because
we have analyzed the birth-charts and progressed aspects of 100 persons who
developed cancer. We can not say that a person who has a prominent and afflicted
Saturn in his birth-chart will have the disease known as cancer. But we can say quite
definitely that a person in whose birth-chart Saturn is not thus prominent will not
have cancer; and that he will not become a slave to worry, grief, fear, envy, greed or
self-centeredness. In all the charts examined of those who have had this disease, there
is not one without this powerful influence of Saturn. And extensive observation has
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also indicated that only when Saturn is thus prominent does the person develop this
type of discordant thinking.
When this birth-chart position is present, we are warranted in saying that the
individual has a predisposition toward cancer, and that given certain conditions the
disease will become a reality. Yet some persons who have a prominent and afflicted
Saturn do not acquire the disease. That is, they never permit fear, grief, worry, or
self-centeredness to dominate their thinking sufficiently that the disease gets a
We do know from ample observation that a prominent and afflicted Saturn indicates
one who thinks about caution, safety and acquisition. The thought-compounds in
which the Safety thought-elements are dominant are so active that there is almost a
constant release of the desire energies of the thought-cells containing them. Thus the
thoughts and actions are constantly colored by the desire for safety in its many forms.
But these Safety Urges, which are so powerful that they can not and should not be
repressed, if wisely directed can find an ample and satisfactory outlet through careful
planning, system, order, persistence, elimination of waste and hard work. Yet when
they are thus energetic, and no special training is imposed to divert them into strictly
constructive channels, they easily acquire the habit of expressing as fear, worry,
greed or self-centeredness. And if they do, the individual becomes definitely
predisposed into the direction of cancer.
At the time cancer develops, there is always a progressed aspect to Saturn, within one
degree of perfect; very frequently a progressed aspect to Saturn from the Sun. And
from observation, we know when people come under a progressed aspect to Saturn,
especially if Saturn is prominent and afflicted in the birth-chart, that responsibilities
or losses are attracted which, unless some other trend of thinking is deliberately
cultivated, bring fear, worry or grief.
In other words, we know quite positively that the planetary positions in the
birth-chart which give a predisposition to cancer, also give a predisposition toward
discordant and contractive thoughts of fear, self-centeredness, worry and
acquisition. And at the time the disease develops these same discordant thoughts and
emotions are more than usually dominant in the person's life. Clinical observers
report that preceding cancer the patient almost always has suffered a loss, often
where the affections are concerned, to which he is unable to become inwardly
reconciled. He is unable to relinquish the desire for that which has departed.
We are justified, therefore, especially as these thoughts are recognized to have a
profound effect upon the adrenaline secretions, and therefore upon the chemical
composition of the humors in which all the cells of the body are bathed, in stating that
fear, worry, greed, self-centeredness, and especially acquisitiveness which inwardly
holds to that which has been lost, and grieves for it, are the thought-cause of cancer,
and always are unusually dominant just preceding the development of the disease.
Or to take another familiar and easily observable example: Blood poison attacks only
those who habitually have thoughts of anger, lust, irritation, or strife; and
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immediately preceding such an attack those associated with the individual note that
he is unusually prone to anger, irritation, lust or combat.
Although the observational work, and statistical research, has not been completed in
reference to all the many types of happenings that are attracted into people's lives;
the extensive work that has been done indicates that not merely covering the 160
diseases, the birth-chart and progressed constants of which are stated in Course 16,
but that for all the more common events that people experience, both the habitual
kind of thinking responsible for the event, and the thinking which became unusually
active just preceding the event, and which attracted it at that time, can be pointed out
in a similar manner.
Research work and statistical studies covering thousands of birth-charts, and the
progressions present at the time events occurred, make it certain that whenever any
event which is unusual enough to the individual to be considered important by him
occurs in his life, there has been an increase in some corresponding kind of thinking.
The normal thought-cell activities for each of the twelve departments of life are
different with each individual. These activities determine the normal, or usual,
prominence and fortune of the life in each department. The amount of money earned,
the honor attained, the health, or the success in love, normal to one individual may be
far above that of another because his thought-cells are capable of releasing desire
energies in sufficient volume, intensity and harmony to attract such fortune. They
may even normally be above what another individual attains at the most fortunate
time in his life. It all depends upon the thought-cell activity relative to the department
of life.
But, whatever the normal fortune or misfortune, due to the habitual thought-cell
activity and the habitual method of thinking which accompanies it, we now know
that events which by the individual are considered important because they are
somewhat better or worse than his normal, never come into his life except at a time
when his thoughts are stimulated in a particular way, as mapped by a major
progressed aspect leading into the house of the birth-chart ruling the department of
life affected. And such a progressed aspect, as much observation demonstrates, is
invariably accompanied by a definite change in the kind or intensity of the thinking,
unless it is recognized and an effort made to think in a more fortunate manner. But
when a different type of thinking is deliberately cultivated at the time, the event
which otherwise would be attracted, does not come into the life.
To use cancer to illustrate, not merely the cause and prevention of that disease, but
the cause and prevention of any other misfortune: The habitual worry, fear, anxiety,
self-centeredness, or greed is the expression of thought compounds in the astral body
in which the Safety thought-elements combined with a smaller amount of other
thought-elements under the influence of distressing Conditioning energy. Because
pain was built into the thought-compounds, whenever the desire-energy finds
opportunity for release, either in thought or in action, it moves in the direction of
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As released in thought it expresses painfully as worry, fear, anxiety, greed or
self-centeredness; and the new energy acquired from such objective recognition is
added to the thought-cells from which they gained their impetus. Thus a vicious
circle is formed, in which through the attention given their thought-expression,
discordantly compounded stellar cells acquire additional energy with which to
perform their type of work.
But if, whenever there is a tendency toward fear, anxiety, worry, greed or
self-centeredness, the individual thinks about the matters that give rise to these
thoughts harmoniously, developing a feeling of pleasure in using system, order,
persistence and hard work to accomplish things which are beneficial to others, this
feeling will gradually Recondition the Safety thought-elements within the
compound. Then their desire energies will cease seeking to express in thought as
fear, worry, and anxiety, and will seek to express through ambitions which are
pleasantly linked with the welfare of others, and which are unassociated with
discordant thoughts.
Furthermore, as the events attracted into the life are due to the work of the
thought-cells on the four-dimensional plane, these Safety thought-cells will now,
because of the harmonious desire energy they contain, work to attract into the life
only conditions that are favorable to the individual, instead of the losses which they
attract when they feel distress.
A thought-compound, whether chiefly of the Safety thought-elements or chiefly of
some other thought-elements, commonly also contains the thought-elements of
some other family. That is, the Safety elements may be combined with the
Aggressive elements, the Power elements, or with any of the other elements. They
have been built into the unconscious mind together. Such combinations are clearly
indicated in the birth-chart, and also can be clearly recognized in the thinking.
That is, if the fear, worry, anxiety, greed, or self-centeredness, when it arises into
conscious thought, relates to strife and combat, we may be sure the Aggressive
thought-elements are inharmoniously present with the Safety thought-elements in
the combination. If the fear, worry, anxiety, greed, or self-centeredness, when it
enters the conscious thoughts is related to religion or philosophy, we may be sure the
Religious thought-elements are part of the compound. If when it enters the conscious
thoughts it is related to intellectual attainments, the Intellectual thought-elements are
involved. If it is related to women and domestic problems, the Domestic
thought-elements are present. If the thoughts of worry, fear, greed or
self-centeredness have to do with superiors, the male sex and the exercise of
authority, the Power thought-elements are part of the compound. If they relate to
affectional matters, the Social thought-elements are involved; if they relate to ideals
and visionary schemes, the Utopian thought-elements are involved; if they relate to
independence of thought and action, the Individualistic thought-elements are
present; and if they relate to cooperation or coercion, the Universal Welfare
thought-elements are inharmoniously contained in the compound.
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In the same way, if thoughts of anger, lust, irritation, or strife, when they arise into the
conscious thoughts, relate to religion or philosophy, it indicates that the Aggressive
thought-elements have combined with the Religious thought-elements; if when they
arise into conscious thought they relate to women and the home, it indicates the
Aggressive thought-elements are in a compound with the Domestic
thought-elements. And in this manner, by recognizing the family to which the
thoughts that possess the most feeling energy, and therefore indicate the most
important element in the compound, belong, and about what they relate, as indicating
the other family of thought-elements in the compound, can be determined the
thought-elements of any compound through its expression in thought.
But these thought-compounds also are in definite compartments of the astral body.
This determines the department of life experiences with which are responsible for the
compound's formation, and the department of life affected by the release of their
desire energies. Therefore, if the thought when it arises into consciousness is
associated with the welfare of the physical body, this indicates it has its source in a
compound in the first compartment; if the thought when it arises into consciousness
is associated with money or personal possessions, this indicates it has its source in a
compound in the second compartment; if it is associated with brethren or studies, it
indicates it has its source in a compound in the third compartment.
In order to apply the principles of Conversion or Antidotes it is not necessary to
possess a birth-chart or to know the progressed aspects at the time, although these are
very helpful. The cause of difficulties in any department of life can be ascertained
from the discordant thoughts which come into the mind when its affairs are before
consciousness; the families of thoughts which thus arise into objective
consciousness indicating the thought-elements within the compound causing the
To reach these thought compounds, therefore, it is only necessary to think thoughts
with the purpose of using them to displace, or add to, other definite thoughts, such as
to displace the fear of the Safety Urges, the antagonism of the Aggressive Urges, or
the disruptiveness of the Individualistic Urges. The fact that the new thoughts and
those of the old compound are in the consciousness simultaneously is sufficient,
under the LAW OF ASSOCIATION, to cause them to unite. Or they may be reached
merely by thinking about the department of life as affected by the thoughts held in
consciousness. This adds them to the same compartment of the astral body. And as
this thinking is done for the definite purpose of changing the thought compounds in
this compartment, the new thought-energy and the new thought-elements are added
to the proper compound.
--Bearing in mind that Conditioning energy, that is, the feeling of pleasure or pain, is
entirely responsible for the type of compound formed; when it is desired merely to
rearrange the thought-elements within a compound without adding
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thought-elements to it of another family, it is apparent that the essential thing is to add
pleasant feeling energy to the compound in as much intensity and volume as
possible. The thought-cells work the way they do because their compounds have
been Conditioned by pain. Therefore, to get them to work just as energetically to
bring fortunate events into the life, they must be thoroughly Reconditioned by
While the characteristic trend of any family of thought-elements can not be changed,
each family can express this characteristic trend either constructively or
destructively. Therefore, the first essential in Conversion is to recognize both the
destructive and the constructive thoughts that belong to the families of
thought-elements within the compound to be converted. Then, whenever the
thoughts enter consciousness expressing the destructive, or discordant trend, they
should resolutely be converted, through as pleasant associations as possible, into
thoughts expressing the constructive, and therefore, harmonious trend.
This process of diverting strong desires to release their energies in a manner
characteristic of their own urge, yet through a better channel of expression, the
psychologists call Sublimation. As explained in Course 5, Chapter 5, to sublimate a
primitive desire so that it will find greater satisfaction in a socially acceptable
expression, as many pleasurable qualities should be associated with the wished for
expression as possible. And the Conversion of a thought-compound, so that the
stellar-cells embracing it will work as desired, follows the same general principle. In
either case there is a Reconditioning through making the new expression more highly
pleasurable than the old.
The technique of Conversion is more difficult than that of Mental Antidotes, because
whenever the department of life which is thus to be treated comes to mind there is a
tendency, due to the thought compounds in it, to feel and think discordantly. And
because whenever the thought families that need conversion come into the
consciousness, their painful releases of desire energy tend to stimulate the same kind
of thoughts which are responsible for their formation. That is, the thoughts and
Conditioning energy which have been built into the thought compound, tend to
release their energies in similar thoughts and similar feelings.
To overcome this difficulty, a distinct and intensely pleasurable emotion must be
cultivated whenever one succeeds in substituting the harmonious and constructive
expression of the thought family for its detrimental expression; whenever one
succeeds in thinking harmoniously about the things represented by the two thought
families in their relation to each other; and whenever one succeeds in thinking
harmoniously about the department of life over which the thought compound has
One, can not, however, just command oneself to feel a particular emotion with any
assurance it will then be felt. Enjoyment is a Conditioned response. But each
individual has various powerful desires straining for satisfaction, the release of
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which, even through thinking about their fulfillment, is accompanied by a feeling of
joy or intense pleasure.
It is also true that thinking about the realization of these insistent and irrepressible
desires, whatever they may be, builds thought-elements relating to their family, into
the thought compounds with which they are mentally associated. But as used in
Conversion, their function is more artificially to prime the more stable Conditioning
energy which is to be permanently built into the compound and rearrange its
Everyone possesses ambitions or wishes the realization of which he believes would
bring intense enjoyment. And it is no difficult matter to think that the constructive
and happy expression of any thoughts and actions belonging to any family of
thought-elements can effectually be made to aid in such realization. That is,
recognizing that fear, greed, worry, anxiety and self-centeredness detract from
health, efficiency and success; it is not difficult to perceive, and think about it, how
careful planning, system, order, persistence, elimination of waste and hard work will
assist to realize almost any fond hope. Or recognizing that anger, lust, irritation and
strife attract enmity and opposition, it is not difficult to perceive, and think about,
how initiative, courage and constructive measures will aid in the realization of
almost any desires.
Nor is it difficult to perceive and think about, how the things relating to two thought
families, in their relation to each other, if properly harmonized and blended to
mutually aid each other, also can be made to assist in the realization of almost any
desire. And thus through thinking about their blending while also thinking about the
pleasure to be derived from the realization of the strong desire, this pleasurable
Conditioning energy will be added to their union.
Or take any department of life, such as is mapped in a birth-chart by a definite house
over which a certain planet has rule. It is not difficult to perceive and think about how
a more pleasant and optimistic habit of thought in relation to it will assist in the
attainment of some fond desire. Thinking about its affairs at the same time one thinks
about the pleasure that could be derived from the realization of the fond desire, adds
the Conditioning energy of the fond desire to the thought-compounds within the
section of the astral body thus designated.
To apply the processes of Conversion, one must first determine the compound the
thought-elements of which need to be Reconditioned. Next one should determine the
constructive expression of these thought-elements, the manner in which they should
be reunited harmoniously to give the desired result, and the department of life chiefly
affected by them. Then should be formulated a plan by which through artificial
association in the processes of thinking, the constructive expression can be
associated with the pleasant realization of various strong desires: by which the
proper combination of thought factors can be associated with the pleasant realization
of these strong desires, and by which the department of life chiefly affected by the
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thought compound can be associated with the pleasant realization of these strong
These artificial associations, however, while adding both pleasant Conditioning
energy and thought-elements to the compound, are not to be considered as the
permanent habits of thought by which the Reconditioning is completed. They are just
the priming.
After the habit has been artificially established of feeling pleasure in the constructive
expression of the thought-elements, they will be so strongly Conditioned to feel
pleasure when thus expressing, that there will be no need to continue to associate
them with the realization of other desires. As explained in Course 5, Chapter 4, Sir
Isaac Newton had no spontaneous attachment to numbers; but their association with the
pleasant realization of strong desires finally developed a pleasure in the exercise of
mathematical ability. Nor was Abraham Lincoln, as explained in Course 5, Chapter 4,
born with a sympathy for all men. He acquired it through the artificial association of
thoughts of other people with his love for one woman. Yet, when the feelings were
once established, he required no thought of that early lost love to bring forth his
kindliness. He had become so Conditioned that the exercise of kindness toward all
creatures was a source of constant joy.
When the Discordant Stellar
Compound is Composed of Mental
Antidotes It Can Be Effectively
Changed For the Better Only By
--When the thought-compound to be changed is mapped in the birth-chart by Mars
discordantly aspecting the Moon or Pluto, Jupiter discordantly aspecting Mercury or
Uranus, or Saturn discordantly aspecting Venus or Neptune, as the thought-elements
within the compound already are antidotes, what they need is to be changed in their
mutual relations. Such change, even though in the process further antidotes are added
to the compound, is chiefly that of Conversion.
Even without a birth-chart to afford guidance, the habitual trend of thought in
reference to certain factors in the life will indicate when such mental antidotes have
combined, through the discordant Conditioning energy coincident with their
formation, in a detrimental thought compound. But however ascertained, due to the
fact that the elements in the compound are mental antidotes. such discordant
compounds are the easiest of all to change into harmonious compounds. Given a little
encouragement, in the way of new and pleasant Conditioning energy, and such
elements will rearrange themselves as desired. They yield most readily to the process
of Conversion.
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Mental Antidotes
--Mental antidotes are more easily applied effectively than the process of
conversion, because the family of thoughts that are cultivated to overcome the
difficulty is different, and consequently not already associated with discordant
Conditioning energy where the special compound to be treated is concerned. When
thinking and experiences of the nature of the antidote are substituted for the old type
of habitual thinking and feeling, there is no pronounced resistance to any pleasure
effort is made to develop.
In the endeavor to rearrange the thought-elements within a Safety compound, if that
compound has had built into it much distress, it is difficult to think about the things to
which it relates in terms of persistence, economy, hard work and system without at
the same time experiencing the distress stored by past experiences in the compounds.
By artificial association with other pleasurable releases of desire energy it is possible
to do so, and thus alter the compound through Conversion. But this is less easy than to
think about love, entertainment, social matters and friendship as contributing
something highly pleasurable to the life, or even to the things related to the Safety
As explained in detail in Chapter 3, each family of thought-elements can express
destructively, and thus attract misfortune, or it can express constructively, and thus
attract good fortune. And in the application of mental antidotes, no less than in
conversion, the thoughts and feelings should be exclusively those of the constructive
side of the thought-element's expression. The difference between the two methods is
not in the manner in which the thoughts are applied, so much as that the family of
thoughts used to accomplish the desired work is not the same.
From a consideration of the events that have been experienced, from a consideration
of the habitual thoughts, or from a consideration of the birth-chart and progressed
aspects, the antidote that will alter in the desired manner the compound to be changed
is selected. This antidote belongs to one of the ten families of thought-elements.
To do the work required of it, it must be applied along with a volume and intensity of
pleasure; and as essential in this, the thinking must express only the constructive
trend of the thought-families expression. That is, if the Social thought-elements are
applied as antidote, experiences and trains of thought should be cultivated which
relate to the joy and happiness of love or friendship, to feelings of elation in the
contemplation of works of art, or rapture in listening to good music. Social relations
which result in unpleasant emotions, or the contemplation of past experiences in
which love has been unrequited or friendships have been broken, or in which sorrow
has arisen from affection, should not be employed as antidotes.
Thus in selecting any antidote, only thoughts and experiences relating to the proper
thought family should be used; and it is necessary through some means to acquire an
unusual volume of pleasure in employing them. Yet one can learn to take a high
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degree of pleasure in any type of experience or trend of thinking, by associating it as
intimately as possible in the mind with thoughts of experiences which habitually give
much pleasure.
Essentials in Applying Either
Conversion or a Mental Antidote
--Whether the attempt is made to change a thought compound through merely
rearranging the elements it already contains, as in conversion; or through adding to it
another thought-element which, because of its natural and harmonious affinity for
the element chiefly responsible for the discord, builds a new type of compound,
which is the method of mental antidotes; certain factors are essential to success.
First of all, after careful analysis of the nature of the compound within the astral body
responsible for the difficulty, or which for some reason it is desirable to alter, a
definite kind of thinking must be decided upon which most effectively will bring
about the desired change. And some method must be devised, by which this new line
of thinking will become habitual, and it will always be remembered to use it when the
old type of thinking which it is used to displace starts coursing through objective
When muddy water is placed in a bottle, muddy water comes out in pouring, unless it
is first changed. If disagreeable Conditioning energy is placed in a
thought-compound, when the compound finds opportunity to express, disagreeable
energies come out; that is, energies which impel to four-dimensional and
three-dimensional actions which are unfortunate. Therefore in either Conversion or
applying Antidotes the most important factor of all is that a high degree of pleasure
accompany the experiences and thoughts which have for object the changing of the
thought-compound within the astral body.
As one can not force oneself to feel intense pleasure in a given line of thought or
given activity, to insure that the Conditioning energy which is applied to the
thought-compound is intensely pleasurable, with as high a harmonious emotional
content as possible, it is usually necessary at first artificially to associate the decided
upon thinking and activity with the satisfaction of other desires which already are so
conditioned that their release, even through thinking intently about their expression,
gives rise to intense and pleasant emotions.
After a certain amount of practice of this kind, it will be found that the new mental
attitude, new trains of thought, and new activities will give rise to the intense and
pleasant emotions, without the necessity of thinking about the satisfaction of other
They will acquire a pleasure all their own; so that their expression is habitually
accompanied by pleasure such as builds harmonious Conditioning energy into the
compound to which they are related.
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This, therefore, either in Conversion or in applying Mental Antidotes, is the most
important thing to be sought; that the individual after a time shall be able to think, and
without artificial association to act as priming, the kind of thoughts he has selected to
apply, and that they shall give rise to feelings well charged with pleasure.
In order that the thought-elements thus cultivated and thus charged with harmonious
Conditioning energy shall reach and enter the compound within the astral body
selected for alteration, the Law of Association is employed in three distinct ways.
1. When thoughts come into the objective thinking belonging to the family of thought-elements
which are dominant in the compound to be changed, the new and selected type of thinking is
immediately substituted for them. The selected thinking, substituted for the old, is thus added
directly to the dynamic stellar structure requiring change.
2. Whenever thoughts come into the mind relating to the department of life chiefly affected by the
compound to be changed, the new and selected thinking should be used. And opportunity should
from time to time be cultivated to think of this department of life in association with the new and
selected kind of thinking. Thus will this new thinking be added to the same compartment within
the astral body in which the compound requiring change resides.
3. When the attention is attracted to the relation existing between those things in life signified by
the two thought-elements of the compound, or between the departments of life which they chiefly
influence, the selected kind of thinking should be associated with these things. This will add the
energy and the thought-elements of the selected mental activity directly to the compounds the
composition of which it is desired to alter.