Close to ten years ago I was at my favorite used book store looking through a box of “new arrivals” and came across a book with a dark blue textured cover titled “The Secret of the Ages” by Robert Collier. This book turned out to be and today remains in my top 20 preferred books. I am very grateful for the chance discovery.
Collier wrote about the practical psychology of abundance, desire, faith, visualization, confident action, and becoming your best. After overcoming an illness he became fascinated with the power of the mind and how to use it to create success in every area.
Originally in 1925 Collier published his most famous book in seven brown hardback volumes under the title “The Secret of Life”. He autographed the first volume of each set. A year later there was a second release of the exact same material in a red seven book set under the name “The Secret of the Ages” which became the permanent title. Within a few years the multiple volumes were combined into one hardback book and it was in-print into the 60’s.
Only in the last few years since the success in 2006 of Rhonda Byrne’s “The Secret” has Collier’s book become available again. Collier is given a little credit in Byrne’s book, but not nearly what I believe he is due. The new book seems to be a reworking of Colliers concepts and ideas. However, I am certain that he would be pleased that the material continues to be meaningful and contemporary even without ample credit to him.
As a way of expressing my gratitude to Mr. Collier for this work originally done 85 years ago, I am including a few passages here:
“…We make the world without but a reflection of the world within…Thoughts are the causes. Conditions are merely effects…”
“…No matter if you seem to be in the clutch of misfortune, no matter if the future looks black and dreary – FORGET YOUR FEARS! Realize that the future is of your own making. There is no power that can keep you down but yourself. Set your goal. Forget the obstacles between. Forget the difficulties in the way. Keep only the goal before your mind’s eye – and you’ll win it…”
“…Just as the first law of gain is desire, so the formula of success is faith. Believe that you have it – see it as an existent fact – and anything you rightly wish for is yours. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen…”
“…If you want more of the universal supply, you must use that which you have in such a way as to make yourself of greater service to those around you. If you want to make more money, see how you can make more for others. In the process you will inevitably make more for yourself too. We get as we give – but first we must give…”
In the “Secret of Life” Collier also included a poem without credit that my research indicates anyone from Anon to Napoleon Hill may have written it along with C.W. Longnecker or Walter Wintle.
If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don’t;
If you’d like to win, but think you can’t
It’s almost a cinch you won’t;
If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost;
For out in the world you’ll find
Success begins with a person’s mind –
It’s all in the state of mind.
Typing Collier’s thoughts here only make me more grateful for “The Secret of the Ages” coming into my life. Somehow it crystallized what I needed to know at the time I needed to know it. I have read the book cover to cover three times and am now on my fourth time through. As before I am benefiting from your wisdom Mr. Collier. Thank you Sir!
When the student is ready, the master appears. Buddhist Proverb