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Inspirational Article


Healing by Spiritual Affirmation

by Paramhansa Yogananda

From Praecepta Lessons, 1934

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Words are vibrations of thought. Thoughts are vibrations of power and energy. Strong words or commands, such as "Wake up," uttered feebly without the background of latent vigorous force, are meaningless. Hence, when you mechanically affirm, "I am prosperous," but in the background of your mind you think, "I am always poor, and I am going to remain so. What is the use of prosperity affirmations anyway?" then, of course, no results will be forthcoming.

Don't be swayed from your goal. In affirming for any desired end, you must free yourself again and again of all devastating negative thoughts. Thought is the force which runs the complicated cellular machinery of the body as well as the machinery of human destiny and the entire Cosmos. Thoughts carry on all the chemical, psychological, and metabolistic functions of the body. The thoughts of the general public, and of politicians especially, shape the destiny of the national machinery.

If you are angry and affirm with anger in your heart, "I am peace, I am peace," your parroting peace will mean nothing, but instead you will develop more anger. If you affirm, "I am rich," with a belief that you will never be rich, you will remain poor. Your negative thoughts will keep you paralyzed, impotent, and unable to initiate the right modus operandi which will yield you the desired result.

Thinking on God keeps the Cosmos in balance and rhythm. Hence, the right thoughts expressed in rightly uttered words will set up rhythmic etheric vibrations and initiate proper actions in the affirming individual and in all circumstances connected with the successful attainment of the desired result.

First, sit calmly. Quiet the fanciful, subconscious mind. Stop the conscious mind from being restless. Induce the all-powerful superconsciousness by meditating deeply. Then make the following affirmations in groups or singlely, loudly or in whispers, or mentally. All affirmations must be impregnated with ever-increasing devotion and concentration with each repetition.

A mechanical repetition is taking the name of God in vain. It is like you are thinking of going to a picture show while you are uttering "God" again and again. To utter "God" once with devotion, and to increase the devotion with each repetition of the word, is to keep sinking deeper in the ocean of power, until you reach the bottom of God's perception.

When you utter "God" again and again, forgetting time and with ever-increasing devotion, and when your consciousness forgets itself in affirming, at that point you will feel the presence of God. In group affirmations it is best to repeat a sentence. Let one person utter it or explain its meaning, and let him advice his colleagues of the uselessness of mechanical utterance of words without thinking of their corresponding meaning.

Most people in a church choir sing with concentration on the music and on the glory of captivating their listeners and extracting cheers and praise from them, but they think little of the One to whom they are singing the song. Such singers never think of God, to whom the song or anthem is addressed. Hence, in group singing, the leader must see to it that his colleagues do not mechanically grind out a song louder and louder, emotionally and unthinkingly.

The devotional thought in a song must be predominating, while the sound of the words in producing that song must meekly, gently, and softly follow the increasingly warm thought.

All affirmations repeated by a group may be started loudly or softly, but must end in chanting them mentally for some time in silence, until the words change into vibratory messengers of thought let loose in the ether to execute their desired errands. Individuals would do better to start affirmations in a whisper, or mentally, and with deep, ever-increasing mental affirmations.

First, affirm for wisdom and bliss, then for harmony, then for health, then for true happiness for all mankind. Affirmations remind the soul of what it already has, and what it does not have because of forgetfulness. They are statements of Truth, and are different from begging prayers. Beggars seldom get what they want from the Father, but a reformed son, trying to remember that he is a "Son of God," can, by means of affirmations, have anything through the proper application of the vibratory law.

A few examples of affirmations (from Metaphysical Meditations, 1932):

I am well, for Thou are present in all my body parts.

I will spread the sunshine of goodwill wherever the darkness of misunderstanding lies.

I am the prince of peace sitting on the throne of poise, directing the kingdom of activity.