THE PRESENT TENSE.
To think or not to think—that is the question raised by different exponents of the new thought. Most of our teachers have been telling us that by thought we are created and by thought we are saved from death. But Sydney Flower says thought is killing us all. We are clogging up with Brain-Ash. And now I come to think of it, Jesus of Nazareth said, “Take NO thought.”
Evidently thought and its results are decidedly important to us who mean to Live and let who will do the dying.
But I fancy the thought advocates are not so far off as might appear. Truth is ever paradoxical.
And it is her paradoxes which MAKE us think, and do it in spite of ourselves. Truly, it were vain to say, Stop thinking.
It is useless to say, Forget.
And after all comes my own little suspicion that it is not thinking and remembering, but the kind of thinking and remembering we do, which chokes us with Brain-Ash.
The child thinks, and I suspect him of thinking harder and more nearly true than does the grown-up. But a child thinks new thoughts; or rather he thinks the same old thoughts with variations. And all his thoughts are made light and bright by vivid and hope-full imagination. It is as if his thoughts by some divine alchemy of imagination are transmuted into gas or electricity before his brain is stoked with them. There is no Brain-Ash in a child; there is only glow and white light of electricity.
But we grown-ups are stingy with our fuel. We put out the alchemic fires of imagination and burn our Facts direct.
Our consciousness is like a little bird in a wooden hogshead.
It flies around and around, and bruises its poor little wings against the sides; it soars three feet and bumps its head; it falls three feet and—thinks. “Life is only a wooden hogshead of a treadmill,” it says, and willingly gives up its little ghost.