Excerpts from

The Power of the Spoken Word
by Florence Scovel Shinn

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The Power of the Spoken Word
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Florence Scovel Shinn taught metaphysics in New York for many years. Her meetings were well attended and in that way she was the means of bringing the message to a considerable number of people.

Her books have had a wide circulation not only in America but abroad. They seem to have a knack of finding their way to remote and unexpected places in Europe and other parts of the world. Now and again we meet someone who came into Truth through finding a Florence Shinn book in the most improbable location.

One secret of her success was that she was always herself . . . colloquial, informal, friendly, and humorous. She never sought to be literary, conventional, or impressive. For this reason she appealed to thousands who would not have taken the spiritual message through the more conservative and dignified forms, or have been willing to read . . . at least in the beginning . . . the standard metaphysical books.

She herself was very spiritual, although this was usually hidden behind a matter of fact and carefree treatment of her subject. The technical or academic approach was not for her. She taught by familiar, practical, and everyday examples.

She had been by profession an artist and book illustrator before becoming a Truth teacher, and belonged to an old Philadelphia family.

She left a collection of notes and memoranda which have been made into the present book. May it have a wide circulation.
—Emmet Fox

Chapter 1


"I have weapons ye know not of!; I have ways ye know not of! I have channels ye know not of! Mysterious weapons, mysterious ways, mysterious channels! For God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform." The trouble with most people is that they want to know the way and the channels beforehand. They want to tell Supreme Intelligence just how their prayers should be answered. They do not trust the wisdom and ingenuity of God. They pray, giving Infinite Intelligence definite directions how to work, thereby limiting the Holy One of Israel.

Jesus Christ said: "When ye pray, believe ye have it." What could be more simple or direct? "Become as a little child if you would enter the kingdom." We might paraphrase the scriptures and say, have the expectancy of a little child and your prayers will be answered. A child waits with joyful expectancy for his toys at Christmas. I give the illustration of the little boy who asked for a drum for Christmas. The child does not lie awake at night agonizing over his drum wondering whether he will get it. He goes to bed and sleeps like a top. He jumps out of bed in the morning ready for the happy day before him. He looks with wonder at that which is before him.

The grown-up person spends sleepless nights agonizing over his problem. Instead of a drum, he has spoken for a large sum of money. He can't think of any way it can come, and will it come on time? He will tell you he has perfect faith in God, but, he would like to know more about the channel and how it is to be done. The answer comes, "I have weapons ye know not of." "My ways are ingenious, my methods are sure."

"Trust in me, commit your ways unto me." Committing your ways unto the Lord seems very difficult to most people. It means, of course, to follow intuition, for intuition is the magic path, the beeline to your demonstration. Intuition is a Spiritual faculty above the intellect. It is the "still small voice" commonly called a hunch, which says, "This is the way, walk ye in it." I refer to intuition very often for it is the most important part of Spiritual development. It is Divine Guidance. It is the God within, it is the eye which watches over Israel and never slumbers or sleeps. With it, nothing is unimportant. Acknowledge me in all your ways and I will make plain your path. Remember —despise not the day of small things (of seemingly unimportant events).

It is very difficult for a person who has always followed the reasoning mind, to suddenly follow intuition, especially people who have, what they call, regular habits. They are accustomed to doing the same thing every day at the same time. Meals like clockwork. They get up at a certain time and go to bed at a certain time. Any deviation upsets them.

We have the power of choice —we may follow the magic path of intuition, or the long and hard road of experience, by following the reasoning mind. By following the superconscious we attain the heights. In the intuition, are the pictures of eternal youth and eternal life, where death itself is overcome. We have the power to impress the subconscious mind with the picture of Eternal youth and Eternal life. The subconscious, being simply power without direction, carries out the idea, and we have our bodies transmuted into the body which can never die. We see this idea partly expressed in the moving picture "The Lost Horizon." Shangrila was a symbolic picture of the "World of the Wondrous," where all conditions are perfect.

There is a Spiritual prototype of your body and affairs. I call it the Divine Design and this Divine Design is a Perfect Idea in your superconscious mind. Most people are far from expressing the Divine Idea of their bodies and affairs. They have stamped the contrary pictures of disease, old age and death upon the subconscious, and it has carefully carried out their orders. Now we must give a new order; "Let me now express the Divine Idea in my mind, body and affairs." If you will impress the subconscious by repeating this statement you will be amazed at the changes which soon take place. You will be bombarded by new ideas and new ideals. A chemical change will take place in your body. Your environment will change for the better, for you are expanding rapidly into the Divine Plan, where all conditions are permanently perfect.

Chapter 2


LUKE 10 : 19

God's gift to man is power; power and dominion over all created things; his mind, his body, and affairs. All unhappiness comes from lack of power. Man imagines himself weak and the victim of circumstances, claiming that "Conditions over which he had no control" caused his defeat. Man by himself, is indeed, a victim of circumstances; but linked with God-power all things are possible.

Through a knowledge of metaphysics we are discovering how this can be done. By your word you contact this power. Then, miraculously, every burden is lifted and every battle is won. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. Watch your words with all diligence. You are continually reaping the fruits of your words. "And he that overcometh and keepeth my works to the end, to him will I give power and dominion over the nations." Overcoming means to conquer all doubts, fears and negative vibrations. One man with perfect peace and perfect poise, filled with love and good-will, could dissolve all negative vibrations. They would melt away like snow under the sun.

Jesus Christ said: "All power is given unto me to bring heaven upon earth." Let us give thanks that this is now coming to pass — for evil is unreal and leaves no stain. This God-power is within you, your superconscious mind. It is the realm of inspiration, revelation and illumination. It is the realm of miracles and wonders. Quick and seemingly impossible changes take place for your good. A door opens where there were no doors. Supply appears from hidden and unexpected channels, for "God has weapons ye know not of."

To work with God-power you must give it right of way and still the reasoning mind. The instant you ask, Infinite Intelligence knows the way of fulfillment. Man's part is to rejoice and give thanks, and act his Faith. A very well known woman in England told of this experience: She was asking, with great feeling, for a realization of God. These words came to her "Act as though I were, and I am." It is exactly what I say, over and over again —only active Faith impresses the subconscious, and unless you impress the subconscious, there are no results.

Chapter 3


Be strong! Fear not; Fear is man's only adversary. You face defeat whenever you are fearful! Fear of lack! Fear of failure! Fear of loss! Fear of personality! Fear of criticism! Fear robs you of all power, for you have lost your contact with the Universal Power House. "Why are ye fearful, Oh ye of little faith?" Fear is inverted faith. It is faith turned upside down. When you are fearful you begin to attract the thing you fear: you are magnetizing it. You are hypnotized by the race thought when you are afraid.

Daniel was undisturbed because he knew his God was stronger than the lions, his God made the lions as harmless as kittens, so walk up to your lion as quickly as possible and see for yourself. Perhaps, all your life you've been running away from some particular lion. It has made your life miserable and your hair grey. A hairdresser once told me that she knew a woman, whose grey hair returned to its natural color when she stopped worry. A woman said to me during an interview, "I'm not a bit fearful, but I worry a lot." Fear and worry are twins and are the same thing. If you were fearless your worry cells would be dried up. Why are ye worried, Oh ye of little faith? I think the most prevalent fear is the fear of loss. Perhaps you have everything that life can give, but in creeps the old lion of apprehension. You hear him growling, "It's too good to be true! It can't last." If he gets your attention you may well worry.

Many people have lost what they prized most dearly in life. That is because invariably they fear loss. The only weapon you can use against your lions is your word. Your word is your wand, filled with magic and power. You wave your wand over your lion and transmute him into a kitten. BUT the lion will remain a lion unless you walk up to him. You may well ask, "HOW do we walk up to lions?"

Moses said unto his people, "Fear ye not, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will show to you this day for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again, no more forever! The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace." What a marvelous arrangement!

Infinite Intelligence knows the way out. Infinite Intelligence knows where the supply is, for every demand. But we must trust It, keep our poise, and give It right of way. So many people are afraid of other people. They run away from disagreeable situations, so of course, the situation runs after them.

"The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life: of whom shall I be afraid?" The twenty-seventh Psalm is one of the most triumphant Psalms! It is also rhythmic and musical. The writer realized that no enemy could harm him, for the Lord was his light and his salvation. Now remember, your only enemies are within yourself. The Bible is speaking of the enemy thoughts, your doubts, fears, hates, resentments, and forebodings. Every negative situation in your life is a crystallized thought, it has been built up out of your own vain imaginings! But these situations cannot stand the light of truth. So, you face the situation fearlessly, saying, "The Lord is my light and salvation; whom shall I fear?"

Jesus Christ was the greatest of metaphysicians and gave us definite rules for controlling conditions through word and thought. "Thou hast made me wiser than mine enemies." First of all, you must be wiser than your enemy thoughts, the army of the aliens. You must answer every negative thought with a word of authority. The army of the aliens will chant: "Business is dull and money is scarce." Immediately you reply, "My supply comes from God and now appears like mushrooms overnight." There are no hard times in the kingdom. You may have to keep this up for quite a while, like the song of the katydids — "Katy did—Katy didn't." and so on. Finally you win out, for the truth must prevail and you have put to flight the army of the aliens. Then, when you are off your guard, the army of the aliens begins again; "You're not appreciated, you'll never be a success." You answer immediately: "God appreciates me, therefore man appreciates me. Nothing can interfere with my divinely designed success." Finally the army of the aliens is dissolved and dissipated, because you do not give it your attention. You have starved the aliens out. Starve out the fear thoughts by not giving them your attention and acting your faith. The lion draws his fierceness from your fear, his roar is in the tremors of your heart. Stand still like Daniel, and you too shall hear the rush of angels sent to take your part.

The mission of Jesus Christ was to wake people up. "Awake thou that sleepeth." People were asleep in the Adamic dream of opposites. Lack, loss, failure, sin, sickness and death seemed realities to them. The story of Adam is, that he ate of the tree of Illusion and fell into a deep sleep. In this deep sleep he vainly imagined good and evil.

Bernard Shaw, in his book Back to Methuselah, says: "Adam invented murder, birth and death and all negative conditions." It was the development of the reasoning mind. Of course, Adam stands for Generic Mind. In the Garden of Eden stage, man functioned only in the superconscious. Whatever he desired or required was always at hand. With the development of the reasoning mind came the fall of man. He reasoned himself into lack, limitations and failure. He earned his bread by the sweat of the brow, instead of being Divinely provided for.

Jesus Christ's message was to bring people back into the "fourth dimension," the Garden of Eden consciousness. In the 14th Chapter of John we find the summing-up of all His teachings. He called it, "The Gospel," which means "Good Tidings."

With amazing simplicity and directness, He told the people that if they asked, believing, they would receive; attributing the power always to the Father within. God is the Giver, man the receiver! This Supreme Intelligence supplies man with all that he desires or requires! This was certainly a doctrine to wake people up! He proved His statements with miracles and wonders.

One of the most dramatic miracles was the healing of the man who had been blind from birth. The opponents of Jesus questioned the man, hoping to find something against Him. But the man would only say: "One thing I know; whereas I was blind, now I can see." This is a marvelous statement to make to yourself. "Whereas I was blind, now I can see." Perhaps you were blind to your good, blind to your opportunities, blind to your intuitive leads, blind to appearances, mistaking friends for enemies. When you are awake to your good, you know there are no enemies, for God utilizes every person and situation for your good. Hindrances are friendly and obstacles stepping-stones. One with God, you become invincible.

This is a very powerful statement: "God's Invincible Power sweeps all before it. I ride the waves into my Promised Land." Riding the waves, they take you to your destination, free from the undertow of negative thinking, which would pull you down. Your thoughts and desires are always taking you somewhere. Prentice Mulford says: "The persistent purpose, that strong desire, that never ceasing longing, is a seed in the mind. It is rooted there, it is alive! It never stops growing!

There is a wonderful law involved in it. This law when known, followed out and trusted, leads every individual to mighty and beautiful results. The law followed with our eyes open, leads to more and more happiness in life; but followed blindly with our eyes shut, leads to misery!"

This means that desire is a tremendous vibratory force and must be rightly directed. Take this statement: "I only desire that which Infinite Intelligence desires through me. I claim that which is mine by Divine right, and under Grace in a Perfect Way!" You will then cease desiring the wrong things, and the right desires will take their place. Your dreary desires are answered drearily, your impatient desires are long delayed or violently fulfilled. It is important never to lose sight of this. Many unhappy situations have been brought about through dreary or impatient desires.

Chapter 4


Psalm 24

In the dictionary, I find the word glory, defined as radiance, spender. "Mine eyes have seen the radiance of the Lord" that means the law in action. We cannot see God, for God is Principle. Power, the Supreme Intelligence within us, but what we see are the proofs of God. "Prove Thou me herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open the windows of hearing, and pour you out a blessing, so great, there be not room enough to receive it." We prove God by directing God-power and trusting in It to do the work. Every time we get a demonstration we have proved God. If you have not received the desires of the heart, you have "asked amiss," that is, you have "not prayed aright." You receive your answer in the same way in which you sent out your demand. Your dreary desires are answered drearily, your impatient desires are long delayed or violently fulfilled.

Suppose you are resenting lack and limitation and living in poor surroundings. You say with great feeling, "I want to live in a big house, with beautiful surroundings!" Sooner or later, you may find yourself a caretaker in a big and beautiful house, but you have no share in this opulence. This idea came to me as I was passing Andrew Carnegie's house and grounds on Fifth Avenue. It was all closed and the entrance and windows boarded up. There was just one window open in the basement. This is where the caretaker lived. It was certainly a dreary picture. So ask (or wish) with praise and thanksgiving, so that you will see the glory of the law in action.

All life is vibration. You combine with what you notice, or you combine with what you vibrate to. If you are vibrating to injustice and resentment you will meet it on your pathway, at every step. You will certainly think it is a hard world and that everybody is against you. Hermes Trismegistus said several thousand years ago, "To change your mood you must change your vibrations." I make it even stronger; I say, to change your world, you must change your vibrations. Turn on a different current in your battery of thought, and you'll see the difference immediately. Suppose you have been resenting people and saying you are not appreciated. Take the statement: "God appreciates me, therefore, man appreciates me, I appreciate myself." Immediately you will meet with some recognition on the external.

You are now a master workman and your tools are your words. Be sure you are building constructively, according to the Divine Plan. Judge Troward said: "Man is a distributor of God-Power, he does not create this force." We find in Hebrews: "What is man that Thou art mindful of him? And the son of man that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; and hath crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands, Thou hast put all things under his feet." Thou hast put all things under our understanding.

We are now coming into an understanding age. We no longer have the faith of peasants, we have understanding faith. Solomon said: "With all your getting, get understanding"; understanding of the working of Spiritual Law, so that we distribute this power within us in a constructive way.

The law of laws, is to do unto others as you would be done by; for, whatever you send out comes back and what you do to others will be done to you. So, the woman who refrains from criticizing, saves herself from criticism. Critical people are always being criticized. They are living in that vibration. They also have rheumatism, for acid thoughts produce acid in the blood, which causes pain in the joints. I read an article in the newspaper. It said a physician had had a peculiar experience with one of his patients. The woman had boils every time her mother-in-law paid her a visit. There is nothing peculiar in this, as she was boiling within (how many times we have heard people say they were in a boiling rage), so the boils appeared on her body. This does not include all mothers-in-law. I have known some very wonderful ones who have brought only peace and harmony with them. Skin trouble shows that someone has got under your skin. You have been irritated or angered. Here we see again, that man gives direction to this God-power, through himself. Vibrative to this power, all things are under his feet. "All sheep and oxen, yea the beasts of the field. The fowl of the air and the fish of the sea, whatsoever passes through the paths of the seas." What a picture of power and dominion for man!

Man has power and dominion over the elements. We should be able "to rebuke the wind and the waves." We should be able to put an end to drought. I read in the paper that the people in a certain drought district were requested not to sing, "It ain't going to rain no more." Knowing something of metaphysics, they realized the power of negative words. They felt it had something to do with the drought. We should be able to stop floods and epidemics, "For man is given power and dominion over all created things." Every time we get a demonstration we are proving our power and dominion.

We must be lifted up in consciousness for the King of Glory to come in! As we read the statement: "If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light," we seem flooded with an inner radiance. The single eye means to see good only, to be undisturbed by appearances of evil. As Jesus Christ said: "Judge not by appearances: judge righteous (right) judgment." There is an occult law of indifference. Jesus Christ knew this law. "None of these things move me." None of these things disturb me, we might say in our modern language. Selfishness and personal will bring defeat and failure. "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it." The imaging faculty is a creative faculty, and your fear-pictures will appear on the external, the result of your own distorted imagination. With the single eye, man sees only the Truth. He sees through evil, knowing out of it comes good. He transmutes injustice into justice and disarms his seeming enemies by sending good will. He is now backed by unnumbered hosts of Power, for the single eye sees only victory.

We read in mythology of the Cyclops, a race of giants said to have inhabited Sicily. These giants had only one eye in the middle of the forehead. The seat of the imaging faculty is situated in the forehead (between the eyes), so these fabled giants came from this idea. You are, indeed, a giant, when you have "the single eye."

The Power of the Spoken Word
Audio Book

130 minutes of audio. Can easily be burned onto CD or DVD

(includes affirmations plus a biography of Florence Scovel Shinn
MP3 format - suitable for any computer, mp3 players, i-pods, etc.)

Download immediately for just $9.95

Order in Adobe PDF eBook or printed form for $5.95 (+ printing charge)

or click here to order in printed form from Amazon.com for $7.95

Florence Scovel Shinn Page