by Paramahansa Yogananda

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Why Affirmations Work

Man's word is Spirit in man. Spoken words are sounds occasioned by the vibrations of thoughts; thoughts are vibrations sent forth by the ego or by the soul. Every word you utter should be potent with soul vibration. A man's words are lifeless if he fails to impregnate them with spiritual force. Talkativeness, exaggeration, or falsehood makes your words as ineffective as paper bullets shot from a toy gun. The speech and prayers of garrulous or inaccurate persons are unlikely to produce beneficial changes in the order of things. Man's words should represent not only truth but also his definite understanding and realization. Speech without soul force is like husks without corn.


Spiritual Power in Man's Word

Words saturated with sincerity, conviction, faith, and intuition are like highly explosive vibration bombs, which, when set off, shatter the rocks of difficulties and create the change desired. Avoid speaking unpleasant words, even if true. Sincere words or affirmations repeated understandingly, feelingly, and willingly are sure to move the Omnipresent Cosmic Vibratory Force to render aid in your difficulty. Appeal to that Power with infinite confidence, casting out all doubt; otherwise the arrow of your attention will be deflected from its mark.

After you have sown in the soil of Cosmic Consciousness your vibratory prayer-seed, do not pluck it out frequently to see whether or not it has germinated. Give the divine forces a chance to work uninterruptedly. ...


Use of Will, Feeling, and Reason

As one uses different affirmations, his attitude of mind should change; for example, will affirmations should be accompanied by strong determination; feeling affirmations by devotion; reason affirmations by clear understanding. When healing others, select an affirmation that is suitable to the conative, imaginative, emotional, or thoughtful temperament of your patient. In all affirmations intensity of attention comes first, but continuity and repetition mean a great deal, too. Impregnate your affirmations with devotion, will, and faith, intensely and repeatedly, unmindful of the results, which will come naturally as the fruit of your labours.

During the physical curing process, the attention should be not on the disease, lest one's faith be dampened, but on the infinite powers of the mind. During mental overcoming of fear, anger, bad habits, and so on, one's concentration should be on the opposite quality; that is, the cure for fear is the consciousness of bravery; for anger, peace; for weakness, strength; for sickness, health. ...

The subconscious idea-habit of disease or health exerts a strong influence. Stubborn mental or physical diseases always have a deep root in the subconsciousness. Illness may be cured by pulling out its hidden roots. That is why all affirmations of the conscious mind should be impressive enough to permeate the subconsciousness, which in turn automatically influences the conscious mind. Strong conscious affirmations thus react on the mind and body through the medium of the subconsciousness. Still stronger affirmations reach not only the subconscious but also the superconscious mind—the magic storehouse of miraculous powers.

Declarations of Truth should be practised willingly, freely, intelligently, and devotionally. One's attention should not be allowed to lag. Straying attention should be brought back again and again like a truant child and repeatedly and patiently trained to perform its given task.


Attention and Faith Are Necessary

All affirmations, in order to reach the superconsciousness, must be free from uncertainties and doubts. Attention and faith are lights that lead even imperfectly understood affirmations to the subconscious and superconscious minds.

Patience and attentive, intelligent repetition are wonder-workers. Affirmations for curing chronic mental or bodily afflictions should be repeated often, deeply and continuously (utterly ignoring unchanged or contrary conditions, if any), until they become part of one's profound intuitional convictions. It is better to die, if death has to come, with the conviction of perfect health than with the thought that a mental or physical ailment is incurable.

Though death may be the necessary end of the body according to present human knowledge, still its "destined hour" may be changed by the power of the soul.

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