In working this out he discovered that when the will and the imagination are in conflict, it is the imagination and not the will that wins. This is because imagination is a thing of feeling while the will is a thing of the intellect. Not that there is anything wrong with the will, because, in a certain sense, one would use his will to stimulate his imagination. But it is the imagination that is the real creative factor within us.
It was Coue’s concept that most of our troubles, be they physical or of any other nature, are a result of negative thought patterns so deeply buried in the mind that they work almost unconsciously.
Now let us look backward nearly two thousand years and listen to the words of wisdom of the one whose spiritual genius stands out so boldly across the pages of human history. For if there is anyone who ever lived who knew the answers to the problems of humanity it was Jesus, the Christ. Jesus most certainly said that the Kingdom of God is within us, that every individual life is rooted in the living Spirit, and that every man has direct immediate and personal relationship to this living Spirit.
The self-realization, then, that Coue sought to arrive at through breaking down negative thought patterns, was fundamentally right. And the negative thought patterns we have to break down are those mental states that deny our Divine Sonship, that would make us believe that we are separated, isolated and alone, struggling against uneven odds and with but dismal hope for success.
Jesus, who understood life better than anyone else, said, “It is done unto you as you believe.” But he added, “Who by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature?” At first this seems a contradiction until we understand its meaning.
When we discover an energy in nature and how to use it, we realize that it is not because of our will power of by taking thought that it operates, for our taking thought and our will were merely the mental instruments we used to discover something which is self-operating.
We take thought and make a conscious decision when we wire a building for electric lights, and yet, our thought does not create the energy that lights the building. It merely channels it. It decides how we are going to use it. We are always using silent forces in nature that seem to be flowing through everything and everyone. For instance, we set up a generator by a waterfall and take out energy. The generator is a mechanical thing. Our use of the power which flows through this mechanical instrument is our will and our choice.
Now, there is another kind of a waterfall and another kind of a mechanical instrument through which it flows. This other kind of energy is a spiritual power flowing through our thought. Jesus had set up his generator in such a relationship to This Thing Called Life and the law of good that he was able at all times, and under every circumstance, to draw upon a spiritual energy which flowed through him into action. He used this energy to heal the sick, to raise the dead, to give sight to the blind, and in a hundred other ways.
And Jesus did not say: I am the only one who knows about the eternal waterfall or the law of good. He did not say: I am the only one who has a generator. He did not say: I am the only one whom God has chosen to use this power. This is exactly what Jesus never did say, because he was not only the most inspired, he was also the most intelligent man who ever lived.
What Jesus did say was: What I have done, you can do also. He said: Watch what I am doing and learn how to do it for yourself. But in some peculiar way we have tried to interpret the words of Jesus as though they didn’t mean exactly what they said and as a matter of fact, Jesus meant what he said and said what he meant, nothing more and nothing less. This is the great mistake we have made. This is the error we have fallen into.