Mastermind groups harness the energy of members to support individuals’ goals. The Master Mind is well known from Napoleon Hall’s book, Think and Grow Rich. Hill defines it as “the coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.” This principle has been used by career coaches, entrepreneurs, and committed self-helpers. Numerous guides, tutorials, and testimonials for mastermind groups are available. They give practical steps to support career and business endeavors. But there are deep truths at the root of Napoleon Hill’s work that have been obscured by exclusive attention to achieving material success.
The Spiritual Road to Prosperity
An earlier, unacknowledged source of Hill’s ideas and program was Annie Rix Militz, a New Thought writer and teacher. She published The Master Mind Magazine from 1911 to 1924. Her course, “Six Lessons on the Power of Right Thinking to Bring Success,” was presented serially in the magazine. Mrs. Militz wrote that “the right attitude of mind and heart” is needed for “prosperous attainment.”
Positive thinking approaches towards healing the body could also be used to improve the “health of circumstances,” according to Militz. But first, she cautioned, we must uncover underlying assumptions about wealth. She identified two errors. Pursuing wealth because of greed and material desires represented one kind of error. Another misconception was held by spiritually-minded persons. They implicitly rejected worldly riches, believing that comfortable circumstances represented the abandonment of their spiritual path. Mrs. Militz explained these errors resulted from ignorance of the source of abundance.
Prosperity is the Presence of God
Annie Rix Militz taught that good fortune is to be sought within. She believed prosperity comes through cultivating the proper mental environment. In spiritual practice, one seeks to maintain a positive expectancy and unwavering faith in the good. Comfortable circumstances would naturally manifest as a by-product of this open (allowing) state of mind and commitment to spiritual truth. Militz found support for this idea in scripture: “Seek first the kingdom of God.” She explained: “it means a certain indifference to the things [wanted], even a carelessness as to how long they seem in coming, and utter disregard whether they ever come—such is the paradoxical state of mind of one who knows such riches inevitable.”
How does one cultivate a mental state of positive expectancy and faith that the good is at hand? In Lesson One, Militz identifies twelve qualities, or “names” of God: 1. Prosperity. 2. Omnipresence. 3. Omnipotence. 4. The Good. 5. Life. 6. Health. 7. Love. 8. Wisdom. 9. Peace. 10. Purity. 11. Faith. 12. Truth. She proposes daily meditation on the idea of Oneness– that God is All One. Each of the qualities (or names) of God implies all the others.
Inspiration and Confidence
Realization of divine Oneness creates a joyful mental atmosphere that attracts the good into a person’s life. To cultivate the proper inner state of awareness, Mrs. Militz suggested the following exercise. It focuses inner attention and uses rational argument to convince the intellect of spiritual truth.
Begin an inner dialogue that uses the framework of the twelve names of God. You may say to yourself: “Since God is Prosperity (1) and God is the Good (4), therefore, Prosperity is the Good. Prosperity is, then, of God and will bring me only good. It will not cause pride or lead me into error. True Prosperity brings me into unity, not only with God, the Good but with all those who seek Love (7) and Peace (9). Because God is All One.
The Rich Mentality
Riches are primarily a state of mind. Realization of abundance is an acknowledgment of the unceasing flow of life, it is not a matter of accumulating money or things. The practice of cultivating mindfulness of inner richness and of feelings of joy and gratitude creates a mental atmosphere of abundance. Annie Rix Militz said: “You are not building up this Rich Mentality. It is already there in its fullness and perfection. It is your part to uncover it, to cooperate with it, and to believe in it.” Inevitably, outward circumstances will evolve to accord with this inner truth.
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OM TIMES AUTHOR BIO
Maryjane Osa, Ph.D., is a sociologist, speaker, and educator. She is writing a book about the “spiritual but not religious” cultural trend in American society.” Maryjane is a spiritual practitioner working in the New Thought tradition. Connect with Maryjane on Facebook: www.facebook.com/dr.maryjane.osa. Or check out her website and blog: www.maryjaneosa.com .