What's the Real Cause?

At a superficial glance it may sometimes seem that many material causes contribute to help or hinder a day's events. To take a simple example, a man's watch may stop in the morning, and he may miss his train, and this may set off a chain reaction of other difficulties that continue to have repercussions throughout the day.

More careful thought, however, shows that the real cause does not lie in the mechanism of the watch, or even in the train or the timetable. The real cause is mental. The man simply believes something that is not true, and his troubles follow directly from his mistaken belief. He does not have to believe what his watch says or act upon it. If he is alert enough to challenge its evidence, he can demonstrate the power of accurate thinking to stop in its tracks what seems to be a troublesome material cause.

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