The Collison Newsletter October 2013




The verse from Proverbs 23:7 "As a man thinks in his heart, so he is" is well-known and widely quoted. But what does it mean and how does it happen?


Émile Coué (1857-1926), the French psychologist, gave us the immortal words: "Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better." His book My Method, published in 1923, explains how his simple mantra, repeated often, especially when relaxed or in an altered state of consciousness as when drifting off to sleep, brings about improvement in all aspects of life, including health.


Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) published his book Think and Grow Rich in 1937. This is one of the best selling books of all times, and is said to be one of the first which introduced the Positive Mental Attitude concept.


Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993) published his best selling book The Power of Positive Thinking in 1952. This was one of the earliest writings describing how positive effects and outcomes can result from appropriate thoughts and correct thinking patterns. Over five million copies were sold. He published multiple other books subsequently, along the same lines, for example You Can if You Think You Can, 1987.


Today, there are hundreds of books and writings about positive thinking and its benefits. For example, to name but a few: Every Day Positive Thinking (Louise Hay), The Path to Success is Paved with Positive Thinking (Wally Amos), The Positive Power of Negative Thinking (Julie K. Norman), The power of your Subconscious Mind (Joseph Murphy).

"As a man thinks.." 

This is the activity of the conscious mind.


There is a dual nature of your mind, the conscious and the subconscious. They are not two minds. They are two spheres of activity within one mind. Your conscious mind is your reasoning mind. You make all you decisions and choices with your conscious mind. On the other hand, without any conscious choice on your part, your heart is kept functioning automatically, and the vital functions of digestion, circulation and breathing as well as the constant replacement of all tissues (for example, all the red cells in your blood are replaced every four months) are carried out by your subconscious mind through processes independent of your conscious mind. This involves the autonomic nervous system, hormones, the immune system, cellular communication etc (to say the least, I have over simplified a very complex system!).


Your subconscious mind accepts what is presented to it ... by what you consciously believe. It does not reason things out as does the conscious mind, it does not argue with you controversially. It accepts what your conscious mind decrees. Your subconscious mind is like a bed of soil that accepts any kind of seed, good or bad. It has no choice but to receive what is presented to it. Your thoughts (the activity of the conscious mind) are the seeds. Positive thoughts will result is positive outcomes. Negative, destructive thoughts continue to work negatively in your subconscious mind. Sooner or later, they will emerge and take shape as an outer experience that corresponds to their content. Your subconscious mind does not engage in proving whether your thoughts are good or bad, true or false. It responds according to the nature of your thoughts or suggestions. For example, if you consciously assume that something is true, even though it may be false, your subconscious mind will accept it as true and proceed to bring about results that must necessarily follow because you consciously assume it to be true.


Remember, in the conscious mind there are auto-suggestions (your own thoughts and the suggestions you give yourself) and hetero-suggestions (suggestions from another person). In all ages, and in every part of the world, the power of suggestion has played a dominant part in the life and thought of humankind. Negative suggestions are everywhere, for example, you can't, you're too old, you'll fail etc etc. Resist such negativity and actively replace such with positivity ...I can, I am succeeding etc.

" his heart.." 

Of course, we do not think in our heart (it is a pump for the circulation of the blood). Our thoughts take place in our brain, in the conscious part of it. The 'heart' refers to the emotions, the feelings, the imaginations, the imagery and the visualisations that accompany the thoughts. The more active these are, the stronger the thoughts are. And these thoughts can be either positive or negative, your choice. You have conscious control over the activity (thoughts) of your conscious mind.

" he is." 

This refers to the outcome which is the result of the subconscious mind taking up, uncritically, the thoughts of the conscious mind, and translating them into activity within the body and beyond our body which is part of the universal consciousness. An example of this latter is the effects of 'the pointing of the bone' on a person: the person may be several hundreds of kilometres away, and unaware that the bone has been 'pointed' at him, but responds or reacts to the intent of the person ‘pointing the bone’. We are all interconnected.


Think good, and good follows. Think evil, and evil follows. You are what you think all day long.


Hold clearly in your conscious mind the end result that you are seeking and want for your self or for others. Develop a clear mental image or picture of the outcome that you want (the you as you want to be) and visit this image often, especially when relaxed and in an altered state of consciousness (meditation, yoga, prayer, hypnosis, drifting off to sleep etc).

"As a man thinks in his heart, so he is."

What About Belief?  Is it Necessary? 

Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a conjecture or premise to be true. Here are some definitions, to enable a clear understanding of what the word really means:

Belief (noun):

i)          Something believed; an opinion or conviction.

ii)        Confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof.

iii)       Confidence; faith; trust.

iv)      A religious tenet or tenets; religious creed [credo ... I believe] or faith.

To believe (verb):

i)          To accept as true or real.

ii)        To credit with veracity.

iii)       To expect or suppose; think.

iv)      To have firm faith, especially religious faith.

v)        To have faith, confidence, trust.

vi)      To have an opinion; think.


“Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them."  (Mark 11: 24)


Prayer is an altered state of consciousness (as also experienced when drifting off to sleep, or in hypnosis, transcendental meditation or TM, Zen or Yoga), which involves the conscious mind (our active thoughts i.e. what it is that we focus on to the exclusion of all else, that which we ask for in prayer) and 'the heart' aspect ... the linked emotions and feelings and imagery to what is being asked for. This is another way of achieving "as a man thinks in his heart".


But now is added "belief and believing". Belief appears to be the necessary ingredient for the end result to become a reality, and without which the prayer (the positive thought) will not become a reality. To summarise:


As a man thinks in his heart, BELIEVING (accepting that the desired end result is a reality and a fact), so he is.


*Copyright 2013: The Huntly Centre.

Disclaimer: All material in the website is provided for informational or educational purposes only. Consult a health professional regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations expressed herein, with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.


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