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(Chapter One of Open Your Mind to Receive by Catherine Ponder.)


Why should you deliberately open your mind to receive? Because most of us have endured a pinched, narrow existence for no good reason. We have blocked our good from getting through to us in the process. There's nothing divine about a pinched existence. There's nothing divine about a narrow, limited way of life. It proves nothing but the foolishness and ignorance of man who actually lives in a universe of lavish abundance. Anyone who leads a pinched, narrow existence is not expressing his true nature. He is only cheating himself.

If this has happened to you, there is something you can do about it!

The word "receive" means "to accept." Psychologists tell us that we can have anything we can mentally accept, but that we must mentally accept it first. A great part of the act of receiving is to accept the good you want mentally rather than fighting it mentally.

A well-meaning young businessman said to me at a book-autographing party:

That explained his disbelief. He was still so conditioned to the limited beliefs of the world that he had not yet learned that "nothing is too good to be true."

I explained that for every success story that gets into my books, there are scores of others that do not. The results of` prosperous thinking are so numerous I cannot possibly relate them all. (And those reported to me are only a fraction of the happy experiences people have had who used the ideas suggested.)

This young man was still trying to open his mind to receive. He was trying to mentallv accept the belief that unlimited good is his heritage. To help him do so, I suggested he speak forth this well-known statement for at leastfive minutes a day:




A housewife said, "Although I have studied the power of prosperous thinking for years and have had great improvement in my life from that philosophy, I recently discovered something I had been doing wrong. I had been saying the was on a 'fixed income.' I had been trying to bring more financial income to me in a certain way. I had not opened my mind to the possibility of unlimited supply coming to me in unlimited ways.

"When I realized my mistake, I spoke these words over and over aloud for a long time: 'I am receiving. I am receiving now. I am receiving all the wealth that the universe has for me now '

"Within a few hours, I received a telephone call from the new cable television company in town, inviting me to come in and discuss the possibility of doing a number of children's shows for them on material I had already developed for handicapped children and for slow learners.

''1 went for the interview and this job is now assured. It is one that will bring a considerable income to me. As I continued speaking the word of receiving, my retired husband's business quickly picked up. A number of customers appeared with furniture for him to repair. These jobs will keep him busv and happy for some time."

This woman continued to daily speak the word that she was receiving. Later she reported. "Money seems to be coming to me fiom all points of the universe. I have just sold a children's film which will be shown in schools as an entertainment feature for kindergarten and for underprivileged youngsters. Also, a film on games for children which I made months ago has now been marketed and orders are beginning to flow into the distributor. All this happened after I began daily to open my mind to receive."

Many people fight ther good rather than accepting it. They foolishly think they cannot have their good nor should they be asking for it. Such attitudes are no part of the child of a King. Do not burden yourself with such false ideas.

Take just the opposite approach, as did this housewife, and see what happens as you open your mind to receive.



Most of us have heard a great deal about giving but not nearly enough about receiving. At the Christmas Season, the emphasis is usually on giving, giving, giving. The result is that many people have a hang-up about receiving.

Giving is only one-half of the law of increase. Receiving is the other half. We can give and give, but we may unbalance the law unless we also expect to receive. Many people unbalance the law by not expecting to receive and so they do not.

As related earlier in Open Your Mind to Prosperity, a very beautiful and fashionably-dressed lady once said to me, "When I first took up the study of prosperous thinking, I prospered so much so quickly that it startled me. I had just gotten a divorce and had only a few months' living expenses on hand. I decided to take a chance and use that money to go into business on a shoestring.

"I expected to make between $4,000 and $6,000 the first year from my new business. Instead I made between $4,000 and $6,000 during the first few months. I made $30,000 that first year in business, and I will probably make at least $50,000 this year."

My reason tbr repeating this lady's story here is because of her last statement. She said, "My greatest problem has been in trying not to feel guilty about receiving so much."

It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom, and it should be your good pleasure to receive it.



A recent newspaper story reported on a manufacturer of T-shirts who had gone bankrupt. The new story showed why: Thinking it a joke, he had placed this slogan on the back of each T-shirt: "Money isn't everything."

This man could not mentally accept the idea of prosperity in the form of monev. He had not opened his mind to receive, so of course he did not. Conversely, perhaps you've heard the other quip, "Monev isn't everything. There is also hunger, misery and poverty."

You must be careful what you notice, talk about, or give your attention to, because that is what you are identifying with, and that is what you will bring into your life.

Whatever you notice, you are inviting into Your life.

Whatever you talk about, you are inviting into Your life.

Whatever you identifv with in your thoughts, words and actions, you are inviting into your life.

If you notice, talk about and identify with war, crime, disease, financial problems, inharmony, this is what you a inviting into your own life. Through the law of mind action it will come.

disease, financial problems, inharmony, this Is what you are inviting into Your own life. Through the law of mind action it will come.


There once was a man who thought he was about to go broke in the restaurant business. He invited me to eat in his restaurant. When I walked in, I could see one obvious reason why business was not good. His restaurant had such a dismal, uninviting atmosphere. I suggested he brighten it up if he wanted people to come there to relax and to eat.

On my way out, I discovered another reason why business was not good. Near the cash register was a "Joke sign" which read, "This is a non-profit business. We didn't plan for it to be. It just worked out that way."

The joke was on that man. He had mentally identified with "non-profit" and that was what he had attracted. I suggested he throw away that sign and stop talking about lack if he wanted to prosper.

Identification with a certain state of mind will bring that state of mind and affairs to you, so be careful. What you notice, give your attention to, talk about, and get all worked up over emotionally is what you are invrting into your life -- whether you mean to or not.

Open your mind to receive by noticing, giving attention to, and talking about what you want to bring into your life -- nothing else.



I once dined with a famous metaphysician at his "hill house" overlooking Los Angeles. While on a lecture trip in that area, I was surprised to receive his invitation to dinner because I knew that he had undergone serious surgery just a few weeks previously. Many who knew him were predicting that he was through and that he would be forced to retire because of his health.

Nevertheless, when I arrived at his beautiful home for dinner, he greeted me pleasantly. Other friends soon joined us and we had a happy evening together, as we chatted and reminisced about many things. His recent surgery was never mentioned. The state of his health was not discussed.

In spite of all the dire predictions, this man made a tremendous comeback in his health and in his career. He was soon accepted by an even more prestigious church than he then served. Next, he wrote several books on which he lectured on a round-the-world trip. I had the pleasure serving as one of the guest ministers in his thriving church while he was away.

For a number of years thereafter he continued going strong. He spoke several times a week in his own church and elsewhere. He had a daily radio program, a dial-a-prayer ministry, and, on occasion, a television show. He still wrote a book a year. Only fifteen years later, did he finally retire. When he passed on at the age of eighty-six, he had outlived most of his relatives, friends and co-workers of long standing.

More than two decades ago, when everyone said he was through, this man deliberately opened his mind to receive an inflow of health by identifying with the good. He made a comeback (when '' they" said it couldn't be done) by concentrating on happy, pleasant things rather than by dwlling on the dreary operations he had just experienced.



Open your mind to receive by telling God what you want instead of constantly telling people.

Telling people what you want can dissipate your good because God is the source of your supply -- not people. Although people, ideas, and opportunities are all channels of your supply, God is the source because He creates those ideas and opportunities. Through the law of mind action, He helps attract the appropriate people and circumstances to you to help expedite those ideas and opportunities through which your good can come to pass.

A statement you will want to use often to help you identify with the source of your good is this:




Giving is the first step in receiving. When you want to receive, give! However, there are three kinds of giving. All three are equally necessary to your long term growth and success.

First. Give to God, Put Him first financially. Why? As explained in Buddhism and elsewhere, this is the first quality to be developed in your character on the road to Enlightenment. Many conscientious people study self-help methods galore, yet do not receive the benefits from them that they should because they ignore this first step.

Various schemes have been suggested for getting rich quick. Most of them fail because they are based on ''getting'' -- not ''giving.'' They have no spiritual basis. The reason many people fail to receive their good in life is because they do not practice giving or returning impersonally to the universe on a systematic basis a portion of all that the universe shares with them.

Two businessmen in Chicago once told me they had held the local franchise on one of the most famous success courses in America, one that cost thousands of dollars to take. Though they prospered for a time, they eventually went broke. They finally realized why: Their course had only emphasized "getting"-- not "giving." Their course had not taught the spiritual side of prosperity. It had not taught its students to tithe their way to prosperity by returning to the universe a tenth of all they received. It was only after these two businessmen found their way into one of the local New Thought churches and began to put God first financially, that their financial affairs stabilized and they began permanently prosper.

When any person withholds that which belongs to the universe, his life is thrown oot of balance, and he experiences lack in some form. It may be lack of supply, lack of health, lack of love, lack of spiritual understanding, or lack of directlon in his life. It is only as we let go of our littleness that we can expand into the larger life.

So it is not enough to say that you believe God is the Source of your supply (as previously suggested). You must prove that you believe God is the Source of your supply by first sharing with Him. This keeps you in touch with a universal source of abundance.

The billionaire Solomon pointed out what the wise use this ancient success method could mean to you when he advised: "Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase. So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy vats shall overflow with new wine.' (Proverbs 3:9, 10)*

This success principle is more fully explained and documented in Chapter 7 as a method for helping you open your mind to receive.

* Bible passages quoted herein are from the American Standard Version or the King James Version of the Holy Bible.



Second. Give to yourself. Yes, open your mind to receive by giving to yourself, because all progress begins with self-improvement. It is just as possible to overgive to others as it is to undergive to yourself. Overgiving to others and undergiving to yourself unbalances the law and keeps your good from coming through. You must first give your allention to the improvement and development of yourself before you can possibly help others.

You cannot possibly give to others unless you first have something to give. You must first have strength, wisdom, and substance before you can share these qualities with others. There are those misguided people who think it is selfish to emphasize self-improvement first. But it is only after self-improvement that you are capable of helping others.

When you do just the opposite, when you overgive to others and undergive to yourself, you feel depleted and you are. This causes within you a sense of lack which is degrading and limiting. Because of this, overgiving to others is self-defeating. It accomplishes nothing constructive.

Psychologists talk about the sin of parents who overgive to their children. This suppresses their children's talents and it overworks the parents. Such overgiving harms everyone concerned. In the recent "age of permissiveness,'' we have witnessed the damaging results of overgiving parents in their confused, bewildered children.

Conversely my own father reluctantly gave as little as possible to his children. The philosophy of under-giving had been a part of his upbringing. It caused us many hardships, and it took me years to overcome the poverty- consciousness that resulted. So let us seek to strike a happy balance.

The philosophers of old advised, "To thine own self be true.'' Give something to yourself right away. It might be a new book you wish to read, an item of clothing or jewelry, or something for your home or office. It might be the treat of going out to dinner, to the theater, to a party, or taking a vacation. It might be the deliberate setting aside of some daily time for prayer, meditation and inspirational study. It might be something; big or small, tangible or intangible.



Third. After giving to God and to yourself, then give something to someone else. After you give something to someone else, bless whatever it is that you give. Bless the person or persons to whom you gave it. Then release both the gift and the recipient. Any man, woman, or child can transform his life by transforming what he gives out -- what he gives to God, what he gives to himself, and what he gives out to others.

When you aren't sure what to give to others, that is the time to declare, "I GIVE UNDER DIVINE DIRECTION." Then watch the hunches and ideas that come. You'll be shown what to give, where, and to whom.

Many of the blessings you want most are within your reach! By your acts of giving, you open the way to attract the blessings you desire. These blessings have probably been waiting to reach you, but they were blocked by your own lack of giving. There was no free channel through which they could pass.

By giving under divine direction, you open a channel through which these blessings are freed to arrive. An early prosperity teacher of mine often said, "First give to God. Then give to mankind as God directs."



After you give to God, yourseIf and others, then get read to receive! You can get ready to receive by preparing to receive.

There are those who say, ''I give, but I do not expect 1 receive." And they do not.

An unhappy lady explained, "I teach a private prosperity class in in my home, but I do not take an offering. I give, but I do not believe I should expect to receive.'' And she didn't, but she resented not receiving.

She should have resented not receiving, because she was unbalancing the law of increase by giving, giving, giving, and by not opening the way to receive.

It was pointed out to this lady that it was fine to teach such a class, but that she was not only short-changing herself, she was also short-changing her students by giving them the impression they could get something for nothing.

She should either have charged handsomely for her course, or opened the way right there in class for her students to prove the law of increase by extending an invitation to them to give generous tithes and offerings in apprecition for the priceless instruction they were receiving. She was cheating herself and she was cheating them by her fearful attitude.


It is reported that in the early days of the Unity movement, a visiting metaphysician spoke to the workers employed by the Unity School of Christianity at their headquarters then located in Kansas City, Missouri. The guest speaker was introduced by Unity's co-founder, Charles Fillmore. Early in his talk, this well-meaning but somewhat self-righteous speaker said, "In my ministry, we do not past the offering plate. We leave one at the back of the room and if anyone wishes to give something, the plate is available. But I do not stress giving.''

According to the oft-repeated report, that's as far as he got! Charles Fillmore walked up to the lectern and said ''You may think and teach what you wish in your organization, but in this one, we believe in passing the plate because we know the law of giving and receiving. Not only do pass the plate in our meetings, but each plate is always filled to overflowing. Students of Practical Christianity want to give so they can prosper, and so they can help this movement to prosper."

It is little wonder that Mr. Fillmore later became known as one of "the pioneers of positive thinking" or that the Unity movement, which he co-founded, became a successful organization which has inspired millions over the years.

You can see how a contrast in attitudes brought a contrast in results. One teacher did not believe in teaching the universal law of giving and receiving and did not. Her students were few. The other teacher did believe in teaching the universal law of giving and receiving, and he became head of a prosperous organization thar has helped countless people around the world.

You can give up any false ideas you may have had about receiving. Your receiving doesn't stop anyone else's receiving. We live in a lavish universe, and there's plenty for all.



The owner of a charm school was widowed with small children to support. People kept saying, "She is a lovely gir1, but nobody wants to marry someone with all those children. That's too much financial responsibility to assume."

This attractive widow paid no attention to that kind of talk. She taught prosperity principles in her charm course. She told her students they must develop a prosperous consciousness in order to be charming and successful in every phase of their lives.

Shc did everything that occurred to her personally to prepare to receive a better way of life. She bought a striking gold designer's suit which she constantly wore. It cost $200, which was a huge sum for such an item 23 years ago. Once a week she invited me to dine with her, always in the best restaurants, though sometimes she barely had the price of our lunch.

Did the act of preparing for greater good attract it to her? She married a widower of third-generation wealth. He had four children, he helped raise her three, and later they had one of their own: a total of eight children.

While everyone around her was talking lack and limitation, she was quietly preparing for just the opposite, and what she prepared for she got! I find it interesting that none of the people who tried to mentally limit her future ever attracted wealth to themselves -- not through hard work, marriage, or a "windfall." The limited thoughts they meant for her they unwittingly attached to themselves.



Many people's prayers are not answered because they keep asking in prayer, but they do not follow through by getting ready to receive.

After you prepare to receive, you are then ready for the next step:

Speak the word of receiving (as did the housewife early in this chapter). When you daily declare that you are receiving, your words make a believer out of your subconscious mind which then starts working with you to help make it so.

The way to avoid a pinched, narrow way of life is to deliberately speak the word of receiving. Declare daily:


A businessman started doing this, and within one year his income became eight times what it had been.

Another businessman says he has received unexpected checks of $1,000 or more every time he has consistently declared:




As a teacher of practical mysticism recently said, "Students of prosperity need to know when to release the inner work they have done, then relax, so that outer results can come." There are resting places in mental action. "There is a time to fish and a time to dry your nets."

On various occasions in my life, greater good has come to me -- after long periods of inner work -- when I felt guided to release it all to its perfect results. Several books have gotten finished after I did this. Happy changes in location and work, a better income, larger homes, have all appeared after I worked inwardly, then turned loose, relaxed and let go.

So after speaking the word of receiving for a period, then declare that you have received, and release it. Assume that greater good is already yours, since you have claimed it on the inner plane. This helps that good to appear on the outer plane as visible results in rich appropriate form under divine timing.

When you have reached this point of release, declare:


As you then relax and let go, this process can open the way for unlimited results.



1. The word "receive" means "to accep." Psychologists tell us we can have anything we can mentally accept, but we must be able to mentally accept it first.

2. Most of us have heard a lot about giving but not enough about receiving. Many people have a hang-up about receiving.

3. Giving is only one-half of the law. Receiving is the other half. Many people unbalance the law by overgiving. Many people unbalance the law by not expecting to receive.

4. It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom and it should be your good pleasure to receive it.

5. What you notice and talk about, you are inviting into your life. What you identify with in your thoughts, words, and actions, you are inviting into your life.

6. Open your mind to receive by identifying with the good.

7. Open your mind to receive by telling God what you want, instead of telling people. Telling people what you want can dissipate your good. People are channels, but God is the source.

8. When you want to receive, give. There are three kinds of giving. All are necessary:

a) Give to God. Put Him first financially. This is the first quality to be developed on the road to Enlightenment.

b) Give to yourself. Self-improvement is necessary before you can help others improve.

c) Give something to someone else.

9. Get ready to receive. Prepare to receive.

10. Next, daily speak the word of receiving. This gains the cooperation of your thought and feeling nature which then begins to work for you. Finally, declare that you have received, and then release it. This causes your accumulated good to move from the invisible plane and to become visible results.

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by Catherine Ponder.

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