Excerpts from

The Life Power and How To Use It

Elizabeth Towne

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Book Description
1906. Contents: Methuselah and the Sun; Three-Fold Being; Soul, Mind, and Body; How to Aim; The Substance of Things; The Spirit and the Individual; Crooked Paths; the Breath of Life; Affirmations and Wheels; Your Forces and How to Manage Them; Duty and Love; Will and Wills; Vibrations; Immortal Thought; God in Person; The Nobility.

Chapter 1


The sun gives forth to us heat and light rays, without which this old world could never be. Glory to warmth and light, which are power and wisdom shed upon us.

But there is likewise a third kind of ray shed by old Sol, whose mission we may not so readily bless. The sun’s actinic rays are death-dealing. They cause disintegration, decomposition.

There are people who declare that time was when a great canopy of vapor hung over the earth and revolved with it, as Jupiter’s vapory canopies now do; and that this vapory canopy kept off almost completely the actinic rays, while it admitted light and heat rays. Thus they account for Adam’s and Methuselah’s great ages. And they say that, unless this vapory canopy is again formed around our earth, to ward off these death-dealing rays, we shall never attain immortality in the flesh. They claim that as heat and light rays are power and wisdom, so the actinic rays are the Devil of the Bible, the Destroyer. And they believe that before man can be saved the Destroyer must be cast into outer darkness—shut out by that sheltering canopy of vapor.

An interesting and apparently plausible theory, is it not? But there are facts yet to be reckoned with. It is true that if a great watery veil spread itself over the earth today there might be no more death.

But neither could there be growth. Every form of life would continue as it is, wrinkles, gray hair and all. Why? Because there must be dissolution of old forms before there can be new ones made with that material. Take a photo plate as an instance: Here is a glass surface covered with a delicate gelatine; expose it in a dark-room under a red light and you can see just what it looks like; hold it there as long as you please and it still looks the same.

Now shut it into the black camera and sally forth on pleasure bent. The delicate film is undisturbed. But you come to a beautiful bit of woodland you want to “snap.” You turn your focus upon it, and one little snap of a second’s duration transforms that gelatine surface. Just for one instant of time you let in those actinic rays, and then all was darkness again inside the camera.

Now back you go into the dark-room and turn up the red light, by which you see again your beautiful bit of woodland, reproduced on that delicate gelatine surface. If you let in a bit of daylight your picture would be gone in a wink—the delicate gelatine would be “pied” in an attempt to reproduce whatever it faced. But you don’t let in the light of day; you “fix” your bit of beautiful woodland by dipping the plate in a solution which hardens the particles of gelatine to the glass.

Henceforth the light cannot affect that gelatine; the picture you have, but life, progress, change, possibilities, are gone from the delicate gelatine forever.

But if you could live forever under a red light you would not need to “fix” your negative; it would forever retain that picture. And if you continued to live under the red light you might as well throw away your camera and plates—you could never take another picture. And you wouldn’t need such amusement either—not for long. A few days in the red light and you would be sick, and a few more days and you would go mad. Finally nature would “fix” you, and there would be no more change. (I wonder if scientists have ever tried keeping a dead form hermetically sealed under red glass. The cutting off of the actinic rays ought to arrest decay and facial change.)

You see, the actinic rays, the devil or destroying rays of the sun, are absolutely essential to all change in the photo plate. Probably the actinic rays soften and separate the atoms of the gelatine, which are immediately polarized into the form of the scene it faces in the light and heat rays. Without the softening action of the actinic rays the gelatine could not take the form of the scene it faces; and without the light and heat rays it could not “see” and “feel” the scene, even if the actinic rays were present. It takes the trinity of rays, light, heat and actinic, to produce a photograph negative.

It is said that all inventions are but clumsy copies of mechanisms found in the human body and brain; that man contains on a microscopic scale all the inventions ever thought of, or that ever will be thought of. This is another way of saying that man is the microcosm, the universe the macrocosm. Victor Hugo expresses the same truth when he says “man is an infinite little copy of God.”

The entire photographing process goes on in body and brain. Not a thought or sight but is photographed upon some tiny cell. Not a cell but may be cleaned of that impression, resensitized and given another impression.

Perhaps cells are immortal, as science claims. If so every cell must have undergone this cleaning, resensitizing and re-photographing process countless billions of times—with countless possibilities ahead.

And in every one of these picturings and repicturings the actinic rays are utterly indispensable. So, I cannot believe that the immortality of anything but a marble statue is dependent upon the cutting off of the sun’s actinic rays. To be sure the actinic rays cause dissolution; but dissolution merely precedes resolution; dissolution gives light and heat (wisdom and love-power) a chance to produce yet higher forms.

Blessed be the destroying rays—blessed be nature’s Devil; for he but clears the way for God himself, and cleans up and rearranges the rubbish after God has passed.

But when the race was in its childhood it looked upon the work done by these actinic rays, and fear was born. It saw things die; it saw destruction in the path of the wind; and like any child it imagined evil things. It personified the destroying power as Diablos, the Devil—which means destroyer.

It saw also the building, growing principle in nature and imagined a Builder.

But being a child it drew the childish conclusion that Destroyer and Builder worked eternally against each other, that they were enemies.

You see that was before the race had conceived the idea that two could work together; it was every man-savage for himself and the devil take the hindmost.

So the baby race began to love the Builder, God, and dislike and fear the Destroyer; and in its ignorance it personified both.

But here and there a clear-seer arose who glimpsed the truth. God spoke through Isaiah saying, “Behold, I make peace and I create evil; I, the Lord, do all these things.” Solomon said the Lord “creates evil for the day of evil.” And every seer of every Bible has tried to make clear the oneness, the all-wisdom all-power, all-presence of God.

All life is one. The sun is God manifest. The Destroyer belongs to the trinity and can no more be dispensed with than can the other two members, wisdom and love-power. And you may rest assured the Destroyer touches only that which needs dissolution that it may be transmuted.

Has anything gone out of your life? Have you lost that which you esteemed dear? Grieve not. It has been destroyed or taken away to make place for yet higher things.

God gives and God takes away in answer to your own highest desires. The Destroyer is but cleaning the plate for a more beautiful picture.

Be still and know that all things are working for the manifestation of your deepest desires. Work with things, not against them.

Chapter 2


Man is a three-strata being, instead of a two-strata one as Thomson J. Hudson theorizes. The obvious stratum is commonly called conscious or objective mind. This is the surface mind, the everyday mind, the mind we use in our waking hours.

Then there is the sub-conscious mind. The sub-conscious or subjective mind is the stratum of mind which receives the knowledge and wisdom which has passed through the conscious mind. The sub-conscious stratum of mind holds the habits and instincts formed at some time and place in and by the conscious mind. “Sub” means under; the sub-conscious mind lies under the conscious mind, as the depths of the lake lie under the surface.

But there is a third layer of mind which lies within and beyond both conscious and sub-conscious mind, and whose workings Hudson confounds with those of the sub-conscious mind. This may be called, for the lack of a better name, the super-conscious mind—the mind above conscious mind—the mind above consciousness.

This super-conscious mind is what we call God, out of which comes all wisdom.

Conscious mind is the point of contact between what we have already learned in this and previous states of existence, and the limitless reservoir of truth yet to be learned. Conscious mind is like unto the surface of a lake; sub-conscious mind is like the depths of the lake, every drop of which has at some time been on the surface, and is liable at any time to be recalled there; but super-conscious mind is like the rains of heaven and the streams from snow clad heights, whence the lake is perpetually replenished.

That which we already know, which we do by instinct, rests in the sub-conscious mind, ever ready to be recalled to the conscious mind. The conscious mind has to do with that which we are now learning. Super- conscious mind contains all wisdom, knowledge and power. In it we live and move and have our being and from it we are able to call, by aspiration and inspiration whatsoever we would know.

The visible universe as it is, is the sub-conscious and conscious mind of God; it represents what has been thought out of the universal reservoir of truth. But it is only a taste of the wonderful supplies still awaiting our aspiration and inspiration.

Think of all the wonderful discoveries and inventions of the last sixty years—all thought out of that great universal reservoir; and eye hath not seen nor ear heard the glories that yet await us in the great superconscious realm.

Mrs. Boehme illustrates individuality and solidarity by a star-shaped diagram. Each point of the star represents a person, a formed character; in other words, it represents the sub-conscious or habit self, the "nature" of the person. The center of the star represents God, the universal mind, with which every person is one on the unseen side. Looking at the points alone there is diversity, separateness; but looking from the center outward toward the points we see that points and center are all one, with no separating lines.

Now imagine a line cutting each point off from the center—an imaginary line, not a real one—and you will have a fair illustration of the conscious mind. The conscious mind lies between the personality and the universality of each of us; between the human and the divine of each; between what has been realized, and that limitless reservoir of beauties waiting to be realized.

Look at the star from the center and you will see that each point is simply a little bay projecting outward from the center; so each individuality is an inlet of God, each individual mind an inlet of divine mind.

And conscious mind is the imaginary line where personal mind and divine mind meet. You can readily see that one’s conscious mind, then, would be filled with personality or divinity according as he looks down and is occupied with the “physical” being, or looks up and aspires toward the universal part of himself, the God part.

Now imagine the center of the star as being fluid, ever living and always free; and think of the points as being nearly solid, partially fixed. Imagine the points as containing water of life so muddy with false beliefs that it continually deposits along its edges layers of mud, ever hardening; with the water growing thicker and the beaches ever widening. Thus will you perceive the difference between personality and universality.

Now imagine the conscious mind endowed with will; note that when it turns toward the point of the star, toward the “material” part of itself, it becomes tense with anxiety and thus shuts off the point from the center, preventing a free play of the currents of life through the star-point, the personality. So the personality dries up, literally. This is the process by which we grow old.

Then imagine the conscious mind turned in faith and love toward the center of life—think, with this broader vision and knowledge of life, how lightly it would hold the things of personality, of that little point of personality; knowing that the personality is only a little inlet of divinity, and that the broad opening between the two is always open, that personality exists as a result of ever-flowing currents of divinity, and. that only his own grasping and straining can hinder the currents;—knowing all this, conscious mind turns away from the already realized personality and throws wide the opening into the great center of all life.

Thus conscious mind looks up, not down; and comes into his kingdom of love, wisdom, power. This is inspiration and aspiration. Yes, you may receive what you will, provided you call upon the super-conscious mind, the One mind over all. Whatsoever you can ask this mind believing you receive, you shall have.

When you can’t ask in faith it is usually because you have not dwelt enough with the thought of God, the divine self of all creation. When we dwell much in the thought of personality, things, “materiality,” then God seems faint and far away and impotent, and we can’t believe we shall receive what we ask.

We need daily periods for withdrawing from the physical life and dwelling upon the thought of our oneness with omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, and our oneness with each other. Thus does faith grow, aspiration and inspiration become our mental habit, and the waters of life flow freely through us.

The One Spirit will guide you in all the affairs of life, and you are “safe” only when following its promptings.

If you would know the spirit’s leadings, measure your impulses by the Golden Rule; for the spirit is Love to All.

"The Life Power and How To Use It" by Elizabeth Towne

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