Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Secret of the Ages by Robert Collier

Collier, Robert. The Secret of the Ages. 2nd ed. 1948. New York: Tarcher, 2007.

The secret of the ages, according to Collier, is that Mind is all and all is Mind. It is through our thoughts, for good or bad, impressed upon the stuff of the universe that brings what we have into our lives.

Collier teaches there is a Universal Mind. The universe itself and everything in it, including us, are part of and expressions of this Universal Mind. This mind conceives only good and perfection, so all we need for successful living is available to us.

We relate to the Universal mind through our minds. We have the conscious mind of our thoughts. We have the superconscious mind, part of the Universal Mind. We have the subconscious mind.

The subconscious mind is the workhorse of the system. It operates our body and accomplishes our desires effortlessly through its own intuitive genius and by drawing on the infinite knowledge and wisdom of the superconscious mind.

Though the subconscious mind is the master of achievement, it is the slave of the conscious mind. Whatever result we hold in the conscious mind the subconscious achieves through its ability to solve problems, control our bodies and impress our desires on the universe.

Therefore, the secret of the ages is the control of our conscious thoughts and faith in the subconscious and superconscious minds to accomplish our good and perfect desires.

Collier quotes and alludes to the Bible frequently, but very narrowly. I think it is fair to say that his philosophy and view of God are not Biblical. He equates God with the Universal Mind. It is an impersonal force, a mirror that reflects back to us in the material world the images we hold in our minds. I think one can reason from the Bible and experience the plentiful providence of a benevolent God. However, the God of the Bible has a personality and His own purposes and plans.

Though the book is over 80 years old (its first edition was published in 1925 under the original title of The Book of Life), it lessons are indistinguishable from the teachings of many modern self-help gurus. You’ll find the same viewpoint in the 2006 film and book The Secret (produced by Rhonda Byrne and popularized by Oprah Winfrey).

If you’re interested in this book, you may also be interested in
Acres of Diamonds by Russel H. Conwell
Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker
The Success Principles by Jack Canfield with Janet Switzer
Write It Down, Make It Happen by Henriette Anne Klaus