Passing on from the lower animal life to the plane of human life, we find on all sides many manifestations of Mind-Power along the lines of telementation and mentative induction. Now, as never before, is this mighty force being employed for worthy or unworthy purposes in everyday human life.
On the one hand we hear and see it being used for the curing of the ills to which the flesh is heir, many of which ills, by-the-way, having been brought on by improper methods of thinking: by the adverse suggestions of advertisements describing diseases, urging patent medicines, etc.; as well as by the ignorance of the masses of people regarding the effect of negative thoughts and depressing auto-suggestions.
We also see Mind-Power employed through the channel of suggestion, being exerted to bring about better and more positive mental states among those who have been manifesting negative mental conditions.
We also witness the exploitation of Mind-Power, under various names by numerous cults, sects, and organizations, through many schools, teachers, and publications—under many different names, and backed up by various "authorities." We also see the same force being improperly used in hypnotic exhibitions, and in other forms calculated to weaken the wills and positive mentality of other persons.
But it is all the same power—no matter how used. Like any other natural force, it may either be used for the service of mankind, or for its hurt.
I would caution the student of this work from being misled by the many names and terms used by teachers and writers describing some form of Mind-Power, and which the said persons claim to be "something new," or "something different"—it is always the same old thing—as old as creation, and just as universal as is electricity or light.
When you have become acquainted with the fundamental principles underlying this great natural force, you will be able to recognize it, always, beneath its many disguises, garbs, titles and formulas.
The same old Mind-Power, you will find it.
Whether in the form of personal magnetism, or the subtle fascinating charm of one mind over another—that form of mental force that influences as if by an irresistible charm; that bewitches, allures, charms, enchants, attracts; or in what has been called fascination, in which one person is able to influence another by exercising a powerful influence upon his or her affections, emotions, passions or thoughts; or in some of the other similar forms of the exercise of an unseen, inexplicable influence upon others; or in the phenomena known as "psychologism,'' etc., with which all are more or less familiar; or in the phenomena attendant upon the revival of the ancient occultism in the last twenty years, under various names and forms, the fundamental principle of which consists in forms of mental "treatments" of one kind or another, present or "absent"; or in the phenomena of what has been called "suggestion," of which we hear so much in scientific circles; or in the various forms of mind or faith cures, of which so much has been heard of late years, and upon which a number of religions and cults have been built; or in the repulsive forms of mental influence, known as Black Magic, etc., etc.—we have the same fundamental principle, and manifestation of some phase of the general phenomena of Mind-Power.
The same cause is under all its manifestations—"good" or "bad," "black" or "white." It is all the operation of the one great law, or principle of Nature.
We see on all sides men who seem to exert a wonderful and mysterious mental influence upon others—upon those associated with them, or upon the public mind. Leaders spring into prominence, apparently owing their power to some mysterious influence over the minds and wills of others. Some attain power and position—others attain wealth and social state, by reason of some inner force.
When we meet certain people, we become at once impressed by a something about them that makes its power and influence felt by us. They seem to radiate a peculiar force that bends our wills captive, and causes us to fall in with their desires, to a greater or lesser extent.
We know that when some people enter a room, they bring with them an indefinable influence that becomes apparent to all. Certain houses and stores have atmospheres of their own, which are perceptible to those entering them. Some places are depressing to all who live or do business in them. Some salesmen impart a sense of confidence and trust at once, while others cause the reverse. Some persons attract—others repel.
Some people seem to have a way of influencing the minds of others with whom they come in contact, so that these others will rally around the self-constituted leader, and thus cults, religion, and "isms" are formed.
We all know how far a strong "magnetic" leader may carry his followers. We have seen many instances of it during the past twenty years. People have followed some of these leaders like a flock of sheep. And they will always do so, until the underlying principle is understood and people protect themselves.
And all of these things go to form part of the phenomena of Mind-Power. Surely the subject is worth investigating.
Now, as never before, the subject of the mystic forces of Mind-Power is attracting the attention of the majority of thinking people. In ages past, the knowledge of the subject was possessed by but the few, who jealously guarded it from the minds of the masses, the latter obtaining but scraps of the hidden knowledge, and that adulterated with the grossest superstition and attributed to the particular form of primitive religion prevailing in the particular place, at that particular time.
And even now, notwithstanding the popular interest in the subject, but very few have arrived at a scientific understanding of the matter, and the majority take their knowledge of the New Psychology in the capsule of dogma and theory advanced by some particular cult or sect.
Mind-Power has been known to the race, in one form or another, from time before history was written. In the earliest records we find many traces of it among all peoples. And, even today, it is known and practiced, in a more or less ignorant manner, by all races, from the people of the highest civilization known to us, down to the ignorant African Bushmen.
Many have been turned away from a serious consideration of the subject by the fact that many of its forms have been accompanied by the grossest superstition, and the most absurd repulsive ceremonies. They have failed to see that underlying all the extravagant ideas and methods of application, there was to be found a fundamental law of Nature, as real and as constant as any other natural law or force.
And, inasmuch as this law is in constant operation, and all are subject to its influence and effect, does it not become the duty of intelligent people to acquaint themselves with this mighty force or law, in order that they may understand its workings; take advantage of its benefits; and protect themselves against its misuse?
Believing that there is but one answer to this question, this book has been written in order to throw light on a subject commonly left in the dark, or at least in the twilight of the human understanding.
I am fully aware of the fact that many ingenious theories have been advanced by modern writers attempting to account for the phenomena of Mind-Power. But all students of the subject are aware that these theories, cleverly as they have been designed, are more or less self-contradictory, and many a reader has thrown aside the subject in disgust after a vain attempt at reconciling the opposing views. And to make the matter worse, various cults and sects and "isms" have sprung into existence, the promulgators and leaders of which have used the accepted phenomena of Mind-Power as a foundation upon which to build airy structures of religion, philosophy, and metaphysics.
Many of these cults have practically claimed a monopoly of the great natural force, and have assumed the right to be the sole custodians of the secrets thereof, alleging that they have the "only real article—all others are base imitators," notwithstanding that all of them show that they have arrived at at least a working knowledge of the force, and are obtaining results—each obtaining about the same percentage of successes, notwithstanding the fact that each denies the other the fact of possessing the information and right to use it.
Is it not apparent to any intelligent observer that they are all using the same great natural force, in spite of their conflicting theories—and that their results are obtained in spite of their theories, rather than because of them?
In a former work, which has served as a basis for the present one, I grouped the phenomena of the manifestations of Mind-Power under the general term of "Mental Magic," the use of the term being justified by the following facts: The word '' Magic'' was derived from the Persian word "mag," meaning "a priest."
The Persian priests were "wonder-workers," or "magicians," the latter word being derived from the word "Magi," the name of the hereditary caste of priests of ancient Persia and Medea. This Magian order, or esoteric cult of the Zoroastrian priesthood, represented the center of ancient occultism at that period of the world's history, and its influence was felt in all parts of the world, and continues down to this time.
So highly were its members respected and considered, that the term "Wise Men," and "Magi" were synonymous. The "Three Wise Men" mentioned as appearing at the birth of Christ (Matt. II) were known as the Magi, or "wise men from the East."
From the word "Magi" came the term "Magic," which Webster has defined as follows: "The hidden wisdom supposed to be possessed by the Magi; relating to the occult powers of nature; mastery of secret forces in nature; having extraordinary properties; seemingly requiring more than human power, etc." So we may consider the word "magic" to mean: "mastery of the occult forces of nature," the term indicating the existence of such forces, and the possibility of the mastery or control of them.
And in ancient times, "magic" was always believed to be connected in some way with the use of the mind, particularly in its aspects of will, desire, and imagination. Effects were believed to result because some magician either "willed it"; "desired it to be"; or else "imagined it would occur";—in each case the result happening as a materialization of the mental conception or wish. "Wishing" was always believed to be a magical operation, and if we examine a "wish" we see it is composed of the use of the imagination, coupled with desire, and backed up with will.
And so, I felt that I was justified in using the term "Mental Magic" in considering the various phenomena resulting from the manifestation of Mind-Power.
But by the use of the term "Mental Magic," I meant more than the mere mental control of the "occult forces of nature." I meant that these "occult forces of nature" are themselves mental in character and nature, and that their control or mastery means simply the conscious use, control, mastery, and application of certain mental forces, called "occult," that are possessed by the race, and are used by all, either consciously or unconsciously.
The mastery or control of these forces means that one may learn to "knowingly" apply that which all have been using blindly and unknowingly. And as knowledge and intelligent use always means Power, the knowledge of the principles of these forces, and the consequent intelligent application of them, brings power to those acquiring it.
While it is true that that which is known as "magic" has always been mixed up with a mass of credulity, superstition, and meaningless forms and ceremonies, the close student will see that these excrescences and appendages necessarily arose from the superstitions of the mass of the people, and to the various forms of primitive religions that the lace has fostered during the procession of the centuries and ages.
The magicians were nearly always priests in the old days, that being the only career open to them, and one that enabled them to erect the barrier of primitive religious rites between their wisdom and the ignorance of the race.
The careful student will be able to trace the possession of something real and true always manifesting among the various forms and ceremonies of the various ancient cults.
There was always to be found an esoteric or inner cult, within the mass of the exoteric or ignorant priesthood and followers of the temples. There was always the light of Truth burning in the holy of holies of the temples, for those who were sufficiently advanced to worship at its shrine.
And, among the dim records of the ancient mysteries that have come down to us from ancient India, Egypt, Persia, Chaldea, Babylon, Greece, and Rome, and the other old centers of civilization and culture, we may always find the underlying principle of the existence of some mighty force connected with the human mind—or more particularly, the will—that was at the bottom of the mysteries, and magic, and miracles.
Back of all the ceremonies, rites, and incantations was the esoteric idea that the will was the real force employed under the mask of incantation and rites assumed to impress the imaginations and minds of the populace. Back of the amulet and charm was the working of the will of the person wearing them, which was called into effect by the faith or imagination (a real power and not a fancy as many believe) of the man ignorant of the real force.
As the writer on this subject in the Encyclopedia Britannica has truly said (although he was ignorant of the truth underlying the silly forms): ''There being an evident relation between an object and the thought of it, it becomes one of the chief practices of the sorcerer to try to make things happen by thinking about them."
And the same writer in another place speaks of: "The element in Magic, not depending upon 'spirits,' depends upon imagined powers and correspondences in nature, of which the adepts avail themselves in order to discover hidden knowledge, and to act upon the world around them by means beyond the ordinary capabilities of men. Thus by mere effort of will," etc., etc.
And the student who will look under the surface, and read between the lines, will be able to see the evidence of "Mental Magic" underlying all the forms of magic, mystery, and wonder-working miracles of all times and ages, and people—of all kinds, character or name. Behind all the masks he will see the features of this use of the Mind-Power of man—always the same, in spite of the fantastic and grotesque masks and trappings.
I could fill pages with recitals of the many disguises under which Mind-Power masquerades, but I must hurry on the telling "how," and I can do no more than to hastily call your attention to the many evidences of the use of this power in all parts of the world, and in all times.
The ancient mysteries of Egypt, Greece, etc., were systems of forms and ceremonies, wherein were hidden the use of Mind-Power. The sick were brought to the temples and healed. The minds of the populace were filled with the thoughts of victory impressed upon them by the will and subtle suggestions of the priests.
What we know in these days as "Mental Suggestions," including that which we now call "affirmations" or "auto-suggestions," were understood and skillfully used by the priests, or magicians, in order to control the people.
And it must not be for a moment supposed that these forces were used for evil purposes. On the contrary, the priests were the real governing classes— the powers behind the throne—and they felt the responsibility of power, and endeavored by their knowledge of the occult forces of the mind to lead the people in the right path.
Of course, selfish men there have always been, and we hear of cases away back in the early days of history where this power was prostituted for evil and selfish purposes, just as power is always capable of wrong application.
In all ages we learn of the healing of the sick by mental power, for Mental Healing presents an unbroken line from the earliest days down to the present, concealed often under fancy trappings, but the same in principle always.
And what we call "Mental Suggestion" has always been in force in the hands of the leaders of the race to influence, for good or evil, those under them. The great leaders of men have always been adept in the use of Mind-Power, although many of them have never suspected the sources of their power.
To many it may seem almost sacrilegious to state that the highest uses of Mind-Power, such as leading the race up to higher ideas, aims and accomplishments—to success, happiness and health—are merely higher forms of the same force that is used by the ignorant and repulsive savage in his rites, and dark practice.
But it is true. Mind-Power is like any other great natural force—it is above good or evil. It is neither good nor evil, but may be used for either. This is true of electricity, steam, explosives and every other natural force. And we might as well look this fact squarely in the face, and govern ourselves accordingly.
The same force that is used by the modern "healer," when he or she "treats" a patient for health, success, or some other desirable quality, is the same used by the black Voodoo; the Congo sorcerer; the Salem witch; the Hawaiian "Kahuna," who prays people into sickness and death; the medicine-man of the American Indian, with his charms and incantations; the wizards and enchanters of the Middle Ages; the practitioner of "adverse treatments," or "malicious mental magnetism," of the modern cults.
The same force pervades all, just as the same life-force flows through the saint and sinner; the angel and demon; the dove and the serpent; the lamb and the tiger—Nature's one force through all.
And just as Mind-Power is brought into operation through the prayers of the faithful of all religions, before their shrines, images and holy objects, so may the force be brought into operation through the fetishes, conjurations, enchantments, charms, spells and devil-worships of the ignorant and depraved minds.
The secret is this: The power does not come from the supposed source, but from within the mind of the man employing it. And, still more startling, to the uninitiated, is this statement, which is equally true: The power of the mind of the person affected is the real cause of the effect, rather than the power of the mind of the supposed causer, the latter merely calling into operation the power of the mind of the person affected.
Passing from the past to the present age, we see in greater use than ever this wonderful Mind-Power. No longer the property of the few, the information has filtered out among the masses, through various sources, and we see the force in use on all sides.
Often, the persons using it have not the true knowledge of its real nature, and such persons often involve themselves in a terrible whirlpool of effects by reason of a selfish and base employment of this power. Many are playing with this force like children playing with dynamite.
It is one of the purposes of this book to call the attention of such people to the nature of the force they are employing, and the possible, nay, probable, results of a misuse of it. Not that they are punished for such misuse, but rather by reason of it. Black magicians are invariably caught in the meshes of their own nets—are entangled in the psychic machinery of their own manufacture—and are blown up by their own psychic high explosives.
In concluding this little consideration of the subject, I would call the attention of the student to the fact that now, for the first time in the history of the world, Mind-Power is being employed for furthering commercial aims and ends.
Mental treatments for wealth and success are commonly known and advertised; instructions in the use of suggestion for commercial purposes are furnished both personally, and in correspondence courses; the laws and principles are explained, partially, at least, in books written for the instruction of those selling or advertising goods, and otherwise soliciting the patronage of the public.
It is true that the few strong men in business life have always made use of this force, consciously or unconsciously, but never before has it been taught generally as a part of a business education. It has been reserved for America to recognize the force, and to boldly apply it in this way, i.e., to the making of dollars.
And other countries are fast falling in line. And in view of this fact, is it not time that those who know of the real nature, principles, and laws of this force should give to the world their knowledge, that the race may know with what they are dealing—and may be enabled to extract the good from it by proper use, and, seeing the evil possibilities of improper use, may avoid such prostitution of one of nature's greatest forces.
Many students of the occult have sought to keep from the general public a knowledge of the fundamental principles of the great law of nature underlying the phenomena of Mind-Power. They have claimed that it was "dangerous" for people generally to know that such a force existed and could be used.
They have held that such knowledge should be carefully guarded by the few, and that its very existence should be denied to the many.
This may have been good reasoning in the earlier days of the world, when the masses were grossly ignorant, and when the only knowledge was locked up in the minds of the caste of priests and other leaders of the race. But the argument no longer applies, for the general intelligence of the race has refused to allow any locked doors in the Temple of Knowledge, and has insisted that all doors be thrown open to them.
The result has been that a considerable body of occult knowledge has been opened to the gaze of the public, and they are clamoring for more. Much of the knowledge possessed by the public regarding Mind-Power is but quasi-knowledge—half-truths— and the time has come when the whole truth should be taught.
The time has arrived when the public should be made acquainted with the great force underlying the phenomena of Mind-Power. People should be instructed regarding this force; its laws and operation; its intelligent and proper use, with directions designed to protect people against its improper use against them, on the part of others—this latter a most important matter in these days of occult and psychic investigation on the part of the public, and the attempted base and selfish uses to which some are putting the occult mental forces of Nature.
It is too late to deny or ignore the existence of the mighty mental force in Nature that underlies the various forms of phenomena that go to form the outward phase of Mind-Power, good and bad. Too much has been witnessed by the public concerning these matters for them to be hushed by the old cry, "There's nothing in it but imagination."
On the one hand they have witnessed the various "treatments" of the healers, tending toward the cure of disease, the attainment of success, etc. And on the other, they have heard whispers of "adverse treatments," etc., and have heard of, or read, the various courses of instruction in hypnotism, mesmerism, etc., etc., and have seen evidences of the good and bad effects of what has been called "suggestion," in all of its forms.
And they are beginning to realize that all of these things, differing as they may seem, have a common root in some one natural force. And they are demanding, like the man from Missouri, to "be shown." And they have a right to demand this.
The race has always recognized the existence of a mighty force of Nature which man has employed, consciously or unconsciously, in the direction of influencing his fellow men; other forms of life, and even the so-called lifeless things around him. In the earlier days this use of the force was called "magic" (black and white); mystical art; divine power; miracle; fascination; charming; enchantment; wonder-working; necromancy, etc., and in its more base and evil uses, black art; witchcraft; sorcery; voodooism, etc.
For it must be remembered that this great force of nature is capable of base as well as of noble use.
Like any other great natural force—like electricity; the power of explosives; steam; the X-rays; radium, etc.—this great force is capable of the highest and most beneficial uses by man when properly applied and is also capable of being applied to the most harmful purposes.
Different as are the results arising from the varying applications, the force is the same in each case. The forces of Nature are not possessed of a sense of good and evil— their function and purpose is to act in obedience to the laws of their nature without regard to the question of good and evil to those by whom, or against whom, they are employed.
This may seem like a terrible thing, but a moment's thought will satisfy you that it is true of all natural forces, and the question of good and evil, and its reward or punishment, belongs to another plane of life.
But, it may be asked, why do I wish to inform the public about a force, unknown to many, which is capable of evil as well as of good use and results? The answer is simple. Ignorance is no protection against anything, for the knowledge is always possessed of the few who may use it on the ignorant many without suspicion; the greater publicity is given to a thing, and the better it is understood, the better may its good effects be obtained and the less the danger of its improper use—forewarned is forearmed.
If a thing is good, the greater publicity given it the greater the good—if it is evil, the brighter the searchlight turned upon it, the less danger is there attendant upon it.
The danger of all evils lies in the darkness of concealment, not in the daylight of publicity. "Turn on the Light" has always been the watchword of progress and civilization. And more particularly is this so at this, the first decade of the Twentieth Century, when the interest in occultism and kindred subjects has made a number of people acquainted with Mind-Power, and has acquainted them with its uses, under various names and theories.
And in many cases it is being practiced upon people who are unfamiliar with the subject, and therefore it is time that someone should "turn on the light," that it may be seen by all men and known for what it is—capable of the highest and the lowest uses, but a great force of Nature.
And with this exposition of it, goes the remedy and protection against improper use, as well as the knowledge of its wonderful proper uses. If it be a bane—here is the antidote. But it is not necessarily a bane, any more than steam, electricity, and explosives are a bane to mankind. "What would be thought of people who would suppress knowledge of all natural laws, because of the possibility of improper use?
Ignorance is no protection. Truth and fact must be followed to the end, and it will be discovered that, in Nature, every force that may be possible of hurtful use, may be guarded against by natural means.
So much for the unpleasant side. But there is a very pleasant side to this subject of Mind-Power. This force has come to man just when he most needs it. He has used the so-called mechanical forces to clear away the obstacles that Nature put into his way in order to develop him into a Man, and now he turns to higher forms of energy and work—he is crying for new worlds to conquer. And these new worlds will be conquered by the mind, rather than by the muscle.
Great things are before the race, and one of the greatest forces in Nature in the work of the building up of the Super-Man, will be this force called Mind-Power. By it man will be enabled to fight off the forces of ignorance and materialism, and to draw to himself knowledge from the Universal Mind that will enable him to accomplish the heretofore impossible.
In this book I shall treat Mind-Power as I would any other great force or energy of Nature, i.e., in a scientific manner, stating the principles plainly and without concealment, and also giving in full what I and other experimenters along the lines of this subject have learned of the methods beneficial, and the reverse, concerning the applications of these principles.
In the case of the beneficial application, full directions will be given that the student may avail himself of the force to the fullest extent. In the cases where the subject of the harmful use of the force is alluded to, the student will be instructed how the same may be prevented, obviated, and neutralized, so that full protection is assured. This is what I should do in lessons upon electricity, steam, or explosives—and that is the course I purpose following in this work.
It is possible that this course may bring upon me the adverse criticism of those who believe "that the public is not ready for such knowledge," and that "such things should be reserved for the few." To such people, and all others, I would say that I have no sympathy with such an attitude, and I believe that the race is ready for all the Truth, and that which is proper for the few is proper for the many.
I believe that the greater the degree of knowledge the greater the degree of power and advancement. I believe that ignorance is not happiness; and that to keep a man ignorant of a natural fact, in order that he may escape its effect, is like allowing him to smoke when seated on a keg of powder rather than to acquaint him with a knowledge of explosives—or, to use another figure, to advise him to bury his head in the sand like an ostrich, rather than to look upon the approach of a possible danger. I do not believe in such sophistry! I do not believe in Ignorance! I do not believe in Darkness! Therefore, I purpose to "turn on the light!"