Is positive thought a psychological stimulus or a mental sedation? When a person crisis arises, the phrase “Hold a positive thought,” is commonly suggested to those involved. Have these words become just a cliché, or have they practical value?
Holding a positive thought is usually defined by the average practitioner as thinking of the opposite state. In other words, if a prevailing condition, or circumstances, is believed to be malevolent or adverse, it is then declared to be negative. By “negative” is meant that it negates, opposes, or interferes with some goal, objective, or state which is desired. Consequently, the opposite, the positive thought, is the wish and the image of the preferred condition.
But is this pleasing mental picture going to provide the necessary or desired result? Will the mere thought of a wanted improvement or the dissolution of a situation actually bring it about? Positive thinking which does not go beyond the simple positive thought can bring disappointment to those people who believe in just that.
Practical metaphysics advances holding positive thoughts when confronted with adversity. However, this approach goes beyond what many of its adherents understand or actually do. The popular metaphysical principle is generally construed to mean that the positive thought is projected into the Universal or Cosmic Mind: and thereafter in some mysterious way, the thought, like a missile, will destroy all the negative opposition.
Psychologically, this attitude is vicarious; simply, it is the transference of one’s problems to another realm and power for solution. The individual is making what he considers to be a Supreme Force or Intelligence servile to himself. If cosmic laws are involved in acting to correct an unjust or adverse condition, the individual, in just transferring the thought, is in effect disassociating himself from the essential laws.
In metaphysics and true mysticism, the cosmic or universal mind is not an agency of detailed solutions for human perplexities. It has not an alphabet, nor does it communicate in language. Rather, as a source of stimulation of the human intellect, it is a factor in the illumination of the mortal mind. It does not provide an accretion of new ideas, but rather causes a rearrangement of the individual’s thought. The conscious thought of the individual and the related latent ideas in his subconscious become a material factor in the clarity necessary to bring about the desired effect.