Next in order in our list of instruments of channels of mentative expression is the eye, that most wonderful of all the human organs, and which is as much an instrument for the expression of Mind-Power as it is an instrument for receiving the sense-impression of sight. Let us consider it in its former aspect.
In the first place, the eye is one of the most potent and effective instruments of suggestion, although I have not included it in that class.
The expression of the eye will induce mental conditions in others along the lines of suggestion, and those who understand and have mastered this art of using the eyes have at their disposal a wonderful instrument of suggestive influence. Those of us who have ever met a very "magnetic" man, or a "charming and fascinating" woman, have carried away with us a lively recollection of "the expression of the eyes" of such a person.
Actors and public speakers, as well as those whose business it is to meet and impress people, often make a close study of eye-expression in order to produce a heightened effect along these lines.
And what kind of an eye has our dynamic individual? Need you ask this question? What would you expect? Of all the physical avenues of expression of the mental state within, the eye is the most potent and nearest to the "soul within." The eyes have well been called "the windows of the soul," and they give a clearer idea of the inner man than all else combined.
And, therefore, we may expect our magnetic man to have an eye that reflects the power within him. And we are not disappointed, for even a hasty glance will show that he has what people call "an expressive eye." It manifests every mental state, at the will of its owner. Now stern, now tender, now commanding, now loving, now masterful, now caressing—it is an obedient instrument of the will operating it.
And it produces the most wonderful suggestive effect upon those coming under its spell. As an inducer of mental states, the eye has no equal among the physical agents—even the voice, wonderfully potent though it be, must yield precedence to it. It is more than a physical agent—it is a direct avenue for the passage of mentative currents.
Very dynamic people, when aroused by deep interest, emotion or desire— combined with will—seem to have a constant stream of mentative energy flowing from their eyes, which is felt by those within their field of influence. I need not call your attention to the wonderful power of eye, for you are fully acquainted with it from personal experience.
You know how power shows itself in the eyes of people. In cases where the will has been developed to a very high degree, it is true that the mentative energy can be so concentrated by a very earnest and powerful glance that an actual physical effect may be produced.
I have known and heard of cases in which a powerful glance halted people in their tracks. Cases of this kind are told of Napoleon, and others of developed Will-Power. Andrew Jackson is said to have so paralyzed the will of a noted desperado by his glance that he surrendered meekly and accompanied his captor, although fully armed and heretofore deemed absolutely fearless and dangerous.
The desperado afterward said that he could not understand just why he had not killed Jackson where he stood. It is related in some of the ancient histories, or tales that one of the old Greeks paralyzed an enemy by a single burning glance. You have all seen people flinch and quail before the masterful glance of one possessed of a developed Will-Power. You, personally, know how this feels.
Fothergill says: "The steady conflict of the eye is familiar to many of us. The boy looks at his mother to see if she is in earnest in her threat; when older he likewise looks at his schoolmaster to read his purpose.
Two men or women look at each other steadily; no word is said, yet the conflict is over soon, and one walks ahead of the other ever after."
Oliver Wendell Holmes describes an "eye-battle" as follows:
"The Koh-i-noor's face turned so white with rage that his blue-black mustache and beard looked fearful seen against it. He grinned with wrath, and caught at a tumbler, as if he would have thrown its contents at the speaker. The young Marylander fixed his clear, steady eye upon him and laid his hand on his arm, carelessly almost, but the Jewel felt it was held so that he could not move it. It was of no use.
“The youth was his master in muscle, and in that deadly Indian hug in which men wrestle with their eyes, over in five seconds, but breaks one of their two backs, and is good for three-score years and ten, one trial enough—settles the whole matter—just as when two feathered songsters of the barnyard, game and dunghill, come together. After a jump or two at each other, and a few sharp kicks, there is an end of it; and it is 'Apres vous, monsieur,' with the beaten party in all the social relations for all the rest of his days."
The following rules for the cultivation of eye-expression were obtained from one of the leading authorities in this line in America. I herewith give them in detail, for those who may desire to practice them. I know of none better for the purpose.
Exercises in Eye-Expression
"Begin by studying your eyes in a mirror. You will see that in the center of the eye-ball there is a black spot; this is called the "pupil" of the eye. The larger circle surrounding the pupil is called the "iris."
The white of the eye surrounds the iris. The upper eyelid moving over the eyeball produces a variety of expressions, each giving to the face a totally different appearance, or expression of suggestive meaning. All recognize the meaning of these different expressions, but very few of us understand the mechanism producing the impression.
Standing before your mirror, study these various expressions. The following exercises may help you.
1. Hold the upper lid in such a position that its edge rests half-way between the pupil and top of the iris. This gives an expression of Calmness.
2. Rest the edge of the upper eyelid at the top of the pupil. This gives an expression of Indifference.
3. The edge of the eyelid resting at the top of the iris gives an expression of Strong Interest.
4. The edge of the eyelid resting half-way over the pupil gives an expression of Deep Thought.
5. The edge of the eyelid resting just above the edge of the iris, and thus showing a narrow strip of white between the edge of the lid and the edge of the iris, gives an expression of Emotional Activity.
6. The above position, exaggerated so as to show as much of the white as possible between the edge of the iris and the edge of the lid, will give an expression of Emotional Excitement.
Practice the above expressions and positions. With a little practice nearly everyone may easily acquire the art of expression in the first four exercises, but the last two are more difficult of acquirement. The last exercise— Emotional Excitement—especially, is found to be quite difficult of attainment, and but a small percentage are able to produce the expression without considerable practice.
Practice these movements until you can reproduce them without the aid of the mirror, just as a man may learn to shave without a mirror, by constant practice before one.
The exercises will not only enable you to express the different mental states easily and freely, but will also tend to strengthen the muscles and nerves of the eyes themselves, providing that you proceed gradually and do not over-task the eyes at the beginning.
Do not scowl, or contract the brows in the practices. A few minutes at a time is all that you should use in practicing.
When you have mastered the above exercises, especially Nos. 5 and 6, you may try the following, which is the most difficult of all:
7. Rest the eyelid in the position of Strong Interest (No. 3), and then at the same time lift the edge of the under lid to the lower edge of the pupil. This position gives the expression of Close Scrutiny.
You will be surprised at the added power of expression that the careful practice of the above exercises will give you. You will be able to manifest more suggestive feeling, and will induce emotional states of feeling in others.
A little practice will give you such convincing proof of this that you will not need urging to further perfect yourself in them. The expressions of Emotional Activity and Emotional Excitement especially will produce a startling result if used on appropriate occasions when you wish to exhibit the appearance of the deepest emotional excitement and force,"
The following Development Exercises are highly recommended by the same teacher who has devoted years to study and experiment along these lines:
1. Open the eyes quite widely, but not so widely as to strain them, and hold them in that position for a few seconds, gazing into your mirror, which must be directly in front of you on a level with your eyes.
While gazing open them a trifle wider still, without straining, and throw an intense expression into them. Do not move the eyebrows, but allow them to remain normal.
2. Resume the above position, and then change to the expression of Strong Interest (see previous exercises), looking at yourself in the glass just as you would in looking at another person with that expression.
3. Resume position 1, and then gradually change to the expression of Emotional Activity (see previous exercises), gazing at yourself in the mirror.
4. Resume position 1, and then gradually change to the expression of Emotional Excitement (see previous exercises), gazing at yourself in the mirror.
5. Resume position 1, and then gradually change to the expression of Close Scrutiny (see previous exercises), gazing at yourself in the mirror.
In the above exercises you must act as if the reflection of yourself in the mirror were in reality another person whom you wished to influence.
The better you act this out, the better will your results be.
6. Practice the expression of Strong Interest on persons to whom you are listening, until you feel that you have awakened a response in them. I may add that the expression of DEEP INTEREST consists of but the same expression heightened by more feeling behind it; and the expression of LOVING INTEREST is the same, "only more so."
This "more feeling" may be either real or assumed, as in the case of the good actor.
7. Practice the expression of Close Scrutiny upon other persons upon appropriate occasions in which you desire to appear as taking a deep, critical interest in some proposition, undertaking, theory, etc.
Many persons have built up a reputation for being 'good listeners' and 'keen observers' by this practice. I mention it for what it may be worth to you. I am merely giving you the 'rules of the game,' not necessarily advising you to play it."
And now I have reached that part of my subject in which I must speak of the power of the eye to convey mentative force.
Owing to some law of nervous mechanism not fully understood as yet, the eye is one of the most effective mediums for the passage of mentative currents from one person to another. I shall not attempt to indulge in any special theory on the subject but shall proceed to the description of the facts of the case.
I may add, however, that advanced occultists inform us that portions of the human brain, during a manifestation of strong emotional effort, or exercise of will, resembles an incandescent surface, glowing and phosphorescent.
And that also there are seen great beams of this incandescent energy streaming out from the eyes of the person, and reaching the mind of other persons. And more than this, these "beams" of energy transmit mental states, thoughts, etc., of the person, just as scientists have found that "beams of light" will carry waves of electricity, and have thus been able to send telegraphic, and even telephonic messages, over such beams of light.
One who has mastered the fascination of the eye is able to convey most readily to others the mentative currents which tend to produce similar mental states by mentative induction as explained elsewhere in this book. If you will but remember the above illustration of the "beam of light" along which the electric and magnetic current, travel, and will form a mental picture of these mentative beams from the eye, you will understand the process much better, and you will at the same time tend to give to your own mentative beams a substantial reality, along the lines of visualization.
That is, when you wish to use these mentative beams, you should imagine them as actually existing in full force and reality, this will have a tendency to give them a material reality, and thus render them a highly efficient medium for the passage of your mentative currents.
And now, right here is the best place to instruct you in the proper use of the eye in what has been called "The Magnetic Gaze," but which would be more properly styled "The Dynamic Gaze." There has been much nonsense written on this subject, and in some of my own earlier writings I gave directions along these lines which I am now able to replace with more approved methods, and later discoveries coming from the study and experimentation of myself and others along these lines.
I am willing to improve upon my own methods as well as upon those of others—I have no false pride upon this subject, and if tomorrow I find that I can improve upon my work of today, I shall do so and give my students the benefit of the change, instead of stubbornly "sticking to it," just because I had once stated a theory, fact, or result.
There is no standing still in scientific work—he who stands still really goes backward.
The former instructions regarding the "Magnetic Gaze" told the student to concentrate his gaze "at the root of the nose" of the other person, that is, right between his two eyes. Now this was all very well, but there is a far better plan. This focusing the gaze between the eyes of the other person, really results in "crossing" your gaze, and thus robbing it of a portion of the direct electro-magnetic power that it possesses.
You may prove this by holding up a pencil before your eyes, and focusing your eyes upon it as you draw it nearer and nearer to your eyes. The nearer you get to the pencil, or to the other person, the more will your gaze be "crossed" and the effect impaired. A gaze from a pair of "crossed eyes" is not nearly so dynamic as one from a pair of straight eyes, giving out a direct, forceful impression.
The new "Dynamic Gaze" is performed as follows: You do not focus your gaze at a point between the two eyes of the other person, but, instead, you gaze directly and straightly into his two eyes with your two eyes. You will find this difficult, and tiring, if you perform it in the ordinary way—and herein lies the "secret."
Instead of focusing your eyes upon his, as if you really wished to see the color of his eyes, you must so focus your eyes that you are really gazing through him, as if he were transparent and you wished to see something beyond him. A little practice before a mirror will show you what I mean better than I can explain it to you in words.
Practice at "gazing through" objects will aid you in acquiring this gaze. Try for instance focusing your eyes upon the wall opposite you as you raise your eyes from this page. Then as you look at the wall slowly pass your hand before your eyes at a distance of about two feet, but don't change your focus—don't see the hand plainly, but keep your gaze focused on the wall, as if you could see it through the hand.
This gaze must not consist of a blank, vacant, stupid stare, but must be intense and earnest. Practice on objects as above stated, and with your mirror, will aid you in perfecting the gaze. It will help you if you have some friend with whom, you can practice it
The other person will not be aware that you are not "seeing" him, and are "gazing through" him—to him it will appear that you are giving him a very deep, intense, steady, earnest glance. He will see your pupils dilate, as they always do when looking at a distant object, and your expression will be one of calm, serene power.
And another important point about this gaze is that you may maintain it a long time without tiring the eyes, and without the eyes watering or blinking. You may out-stare another person, or animal, in this way, without fatigue, while the other's eyes grow tired and weak.
So much is this true that the results of my own investigation of the subject have convinced me that the animals who manifest "fascination," really focus their eyes beyond the object in just this way. If ever you get a chance to observe an animal fascinating another, you will see that I am right in this theory.
This "gazing through" the other person is accomplished by a certain "accommodation" of the eye, as occultists and opticians call it, and while you are performing it you cannot examine distinctly, or "see" distinctly the eyes of the other person, because your focus is different.
To show you why you are able to maintain this gaze such a long time without tiring your eyes, I would remind you of the ease with which you may maintain the expression of being "wrapped in thought," "day-dreaming," "lost in a brown study," "just thinking about things," etc., with which you all are familiar. In such a mental state you are able to "gaze into space" for a long time without the slightest fatigue, while a few seconds focusing your eyes upon a nearby object will tire them very much indeed.
And then, again, you know how long you are able to gaze at an object far out at sea, or far across the desert, or far down or across the mountain, without tiring your eyes. The whole secret is that short-range focusing upon an object tires the eyes much more than does "long-range" gazing into space. This being the case, it will tire you far less "seeing through" a person, than gazing at him and "seeing" him at short range.
In practicing the maintaining of the gaze for a long time, I would advise against tiring the eyes by gazing at short-range objects. Better practice at gazing at distant objects until you are able to maintain the gaze a long time, as you will be able to do after a little practice.
In fact, I advise you to practice the "gazing into space," because proficiency in that will enable you to perfect the "Dynamic Gaze." After you have practiced this "gazing through" method a bit, you will be able to look at an object a couple of feet away, and gaze right through it—that is, you will not consciously "see" it objectively, although apparently staring hard at it.
Avoid all exercises tiring to the eyes, and proceed slowly working from trifling successes to more important ones.
You will be surprised how a little intelligent practice along these lines will give you a penetrating glance, firm, earnest, and full of "magnetism" and "fascination," without the slightest sense of strain, fatigue or effort. You have long wished for such an expression—here it is for you.