The Key to Wisdom, the Inlet to Power, And the road to Success, are all found In the Principle of Suggestion.
Truth and Unity
Truth is a fixed quantity. Man perceives but does not create Truth. Truth and the Universe are Co-extensive.
It is not Truth and error; it is only more or less Truth. The Universe is One. This Universe is divided, by my Consciousness, into myself and that which is not myself. This division is purely a mental one; I make it when I say, "I AM"; this means there is a manifestation of the Universe which I am not. That which I am not is named variously: God, Energy, Force, Nature, etc. Names cannot change IT. They are names, and names are symbols only for that which is. I am in the Universe, not a portion of it, but I am a manifestation of IT. Thus my recognition of Self divides the Universe, to my consciousness, into what I call "I," which is the Within, and what I call "Not I," which is the Without. This is the simplest of all philosophy. It is as simple as Cause and Effect.
"I" and "Not I."
Between the "I" and that which is not "Not I," lies that which makes a dividing line in the Universe, between the Absolute and the Individual, which I call "I," namely Sensation. Consciousness abides in the power to sense that which is the Me, and distinguish it from the Non-Me. Sensation is differentiated into five special senses. By means of these senses, I know that I am not that which I sense. I am the "I" which senses. Because I sense, that is because I feel, I think. I am something that feels and thinks. What is this "I"? It is not that which is felt and is thought about. We name it Ego, Soul, Spirit, Self. This is simply naming the "I AM." It names but does not explain. Now that "I AM," because I feel and think, the questions rise: Can I feel what I choose to feel? Can I think what I choose to think? It is with these questions that this book deals. If I can thus choose, I am a free man. If I cannot, I am a slave.
Power of Choice
Can I control the Non-Me so that it will make me feel and think as I choose? This is the most important question man has ever considered. Is he an instrument in the hands of the Non-Me, or is he an independent individuality in a Universe where he can use, at will, the forces of that Universe? Heretofore the answer has been, "No!" But the twentieth century opens with the answer, "Yes."
How? To teach "how," is the object of this book.* Briefly the answer is this: The phenomena called Hypnotic, but which are the daily phenomena of Suggestion, when once their significance is known, contain this needed knowledge. To understand this significance, we must look, through the demonstrations of science, into the phenomena of sensation. Sensation is recognition by the Ego of that which is without itself. Sensation arises from contact of the Within and the Without. What contacts? To science, all is motion. The Ego is a form of motion.
*NOTE: This "How" is still further elucidated in my pamphlet "How to Control Fate through Suggestion."
The Without is a form of motion. All contact is through radiation from centers. These radiations are called, when passing through space, Vibrations. All contact is that of some vibration upon the Ego. The body does not feel; it is only the channel through which vibrations impinge upon the Ego. A body which the Ego has left does not feel. Dead bodies have no sensation. Vibrations differ in speed. Pitch is the better word. Vibrations of different pitch produce different sensations. We call one sensation taste, one odor, one sound, one light, but these are only differentiations of the one sense of touch.
The beginning of consciousness lies in Feeling. By it we are kept in touch with Unity, of which we are simply a manifestation. Unity is indivisible. Thus I, the Ego, am a necessity to Unity, for without an Ego there would be neither sensation nor thought. Individuality is manifest in Unity, through Thought, born of Feeling. Whatever I sense, be it pleasure or pain, joy or sorrow, beauty or goodness, music or love, is produced in me as a response of the Ego to some vibration. This response we call an emotion. "E" means out; thus we have an out-motion to meet the "in"-motion; an involution and an evolution. When the Ego does not respond to the Vibration, as in very young children; in the blind, and in the deaf; there is in these neither light nor sound. But the vibrations from without, which would cause these sensations, were they received, still exist. Thus does the individual make his own world. The blind lives in a world of darkness, and the deaf in a soundless one.
Key to Wisdom
Can the individual who sees and hears refuse to see and hear? This is a question of more import than wireless telegraphy or aerial navigation. When one does so choose, or so refuse, he will see and hear only the pleasant. Happiness is ever his who shall achieve this power of conscious choice. To know how to choose and how to live in the world of chosen sensation, is the knowledge above all other knowledge. To possess it is to have the Key to Wisdom. This it is to be Self-Controlled, to be the Master of Fate. This is to create each day the conditions we wish. That it can be done, thousands today, in their self-created conditions of health and prosperity, testify. Conditions may be as consciously determined and wrought out as are the statues and paintings in the galleries. This knowledge comes as all other comes from Mother Nature herself; from observing the phenomena of daily life.
Responsibility of Choice
Each person now, in ignorance of his power and of the laws of mind (and foremost among them is the Law of Suggestion), creates his body and his surroundings without being conscious of so doing, from his choice. Each day's conditions are the result of choices made without knowledge of results. These are common expressions: "If I had known more last year;" "Had I chosen differently;" "Had I forgiven;" "Had I bought or sold, how different my life would be." And one is condemned for his intemperance, his crime, his poverty, or his ignorance, "because he could do better," thus implying a belief, at least in a limited power of choice, and a limited responsibility for the conditions of life. Every one realizes that his life would be very different today had he made a different decision on certain matters a year ago. Thus do we shape destiny according to our intelligence. This proves the point I wish to emphasize: each one, whether he is conscious of it or not, creates his own conditions of life. Seeing this clearly in a few cases, we are compelled to say that it is the same in cases where we cannot understand the law. The cause of conditions is located within. Each person has this power of choice. When he knows how to choose, and will so choose, he need not be unhappy, sick, or poor.
Where Lies Choice
We have now only to apply the wisdom the facts of daily life teach us. All choice comes from the one Law of Suggestion. Where lies choice? Not in sensation, the primal recognition of the Ego, of Self and of that which is not Self; it lies in sensation when, by that portion of the nervous system which the Ego created for that purpose, it is transformed into thought. It is in Thought that men differ. All feel alike. Sensation is one. The vibrations that make light in one cannot make sound in another. The sound once made, each person thinks his own thought, born of it. The car whistle causes the engineer and the traveler, the boy and the farmer, to think differently. In the wife of the engineer it may awaken emotions of fear; in that of the passenger, emotions of joy. Yet the sensation, caused by vibration on the ear, is one in all. But over sensations presides the individual Ego, and it decides how sensations shall affect him. He is king in his domain, the world of Thought. "The kingdom of God is within YOU!" said Jesus. Thus is Thought the creator of that real world in which the Ego lives. Thought-created are all the conditions of life.
Universal Energy is One. It manifests as Life. It is One in all men. Life manifests first as Sensation which is the same in all. But sensation is transmuted into thought, where all are unlike; they become individuals. The Indian, the Californian, the Mexican and the Chinaman have all had the same sun, soil, wind and water in California. How different the thought each has used. How different the conditions of the four. Where lies the creative power?
Results of Thinking
"Whatsoever a man thinketh in his heart, so is he," says an ancient book. So the Dhammapada, said to be the word of Buddha, says: "Whatsoever a man thinks, the result follows him like a shadow." Thinking determines the effect of natural conditions upon the man. Thinking determines how vibrations from the Without shall affect the Ego. Therefore, no matter what the sensation, man has the power to say of it: "It is good thus to feel."
Fate Can Be Controlled
"All is Good!" This Affirmation will change pain to pleasure; grief to joy; despair to peace. When feeling badly, dear reader, did you ever have some friend or some unexpected good come to you and thus change your thought and send all bad conditions from you? Once from your mind, they went from your body. Did you ever have a pain and have it leave when your attention was turned to something else? A common case is the departure of a toothache when the dentist's tools are seen. This is the principle of hypnotism and all there is in the schools of Mental Healing. By Suggestion, one is caused to think of something else and, when pain is forgotten, it does not exist. The strongest Suggestion for the time rules the individual. Can we think pain, can we think health, whenever we choose? Yes.
Each person has power, when he knows himself, to say what he shall feel and think. Otherwise, he is a leaf in an infinite stream called "Fate;" a machine wrought upon by some outside power. Within a certain limit, this power of choice and control is admitted. We now remove all limitations, realizing that they are self-imposed. Limitations are the direct results of ignorance. Man has the power of Self-Control. All one needs is to learn to use this power in the same way he has learned to us other forms of power, viz: by experience.
That one may realize this power, it is necessary for him intelligently and consciously to apply the Law of Suggestion. He ignorantly and instinctively applies it all the time. He should use it intelligently and manifest the same self-control the platform subject does when he sleeps at the word of the operator.
What is Suggestion? And what is A Suggestion?
SUGGESTION IS THAT WHICH CAUSES A SENSATION OR A THOUGHT. A SUGGESTION IS ANYTHING USED WITH AN UNDERSTANDING OF ITS POWER TO PRODUCE A CERTAIN MENTAL RESULT WHEN ACCEPTED BY ANOTHER PERSON.
Suggestion is the objective side of life. The subjective is Affirmation. An Affirmation is a statement of Truth. Each person is controlled by his convictions of Truth. He cannot get away from these convictions. On arising in the morning, he sees a fog. He looks at the thermometer and sees it 20 above zero. These are Suggestions and he says: "It is cold." This decision is an Affirmation born of the Suggestion. The Suggestion produced a feeling which was transmuted in the brain to the Affirmation of Truth, "It is cold." But the rugged schoolboy in New England would say as he saw the thermometer, "Oh, a jolly morning!" and off he would go for a December skate. Each makes his own world. The same Suggestion awakens different thoughts in each; different emotions in each.
Suggestion being anything from without coming to the consciousness, it follows that, when a person acquires power over himself so that he ignores unpleasant Suggestions and receives only those he wishes, he has acquired the power of making his life what he chooses it to be. He then rules the "Kingdom" within. Like a king, he receives from without only that which he chooses and that which comes with the credentials of pleasure and health.
Subjectively, as a manifestation of Unity, man is potential power in every direction. In the objective life he is unfolding that which he is in the subjective. Being all potential power, why should he not affirm that power? Why limit the manifestation of the subjective "I AM" to the little power he has heretofore manifested? There is no reason, except habit. Let him say henceforth:
"I possess, and, since, by thinking I have power to direct the manifestations of the subjective life I am, I affirm that I am power to do that which I desire to do!" He who will so affirm, will do.
Power of Thought
This Affirmation is Suggestion transmuted into Auto-Suggestion. This is the power by which the conscious man through desire and reason, controls the manifestations of his life, when he wills. Thought is power. It is the power, the only power, the Individual uses to direct the Absolute power in which he lives and moves as an Ego, an individualized being.*
*The reader is referred to the author's work, "Man's Greatest Discovery," 25c, for a discussion of this fact.
In Self-Suggestion, Auto-Suggestion or Affirmation (for they are all one), lies the Diamond Drill, the Powder, the Key, and the Book promised in the "Proem."
Through the use of Affirmation, life can be made to one's desires, because all conditions, whether of good or ill, come from Affirmation. It is the only power any person possesses. It is the power the hypnotist uses. Self-assertion is the key to character Affirmation, to lift one from conditions not desirable must rest upon that arch of character whose key is Self-assertion. Without that mental characteristic, there can be no success in any direction. Therefore this Affirmation includes all others—"I AM!" Affirmations that follow this, that mean the victory of Self over Fate are, "I Can" and "I Do!" The Will that uses these is a cultivated and concentrated one. Will that is scattered over several Affirmations at the same time means constant failure.
The "Open Sesame."
We have now reached the word of power, have found the "Sesame" to the hidden treasure of the Soul. It is the word, CONCENTRATION; one thought at a time. Pay attention to what you are thinking.
Yes! This is the recognized key to success. But it is also the key to the failures in health, business and happiness. Worry, anxiety, fear, grief, doubt, are all evidences of concentration. The question turns on the kind of thoughts for concentration. Concentration upon the wrong thoughts produces all the evil. Evil is the evidence of an uncontrolled mind. The business man in business concentration has awakened genii that make him a slave. Such concentration is not the key to Peace and Victory. Concentration is the "Open Sesame," but the treasure is not his until he learns not only to open but also to close the cave, not only to release the genii, but to imprison them at will. The opposite of Concentration is as important as concentration. This is the "Letting Go," the Giving up, the Relaxing, the Changing, at will, the thought upon which one has concentrated. This is the secret of success. This is the power the hypnotic subject possesses. The subject has learned that, which when learned and practiced by any one, will relieve him of worry, fear, pain and disease, and will open to him, while in the flesh, the door to Paradise.
All the possibility of this lies in those phenomena which have been used, heretofore, generally to amuse or at best by physician to relieve pain. The application of the Law of Suggestion is as limitless as human experience.
Voluntary Concentration upon a chosen thought is the long sought "Philosopher's Stone." He who has acquired it, is Master. It is the secret of the power of hypnotic subject, of "Christian Scientist," and "Hindu Fakir;" it underlies all occult phenomena of every name and is the secret of the success of men in every rank and walk of life. Is it worth attaining? Is it worth the time and effort? Can you afford to learn it? These are not questions for a wise man to consider. Can you afford not to have it? Remember, all possible power lies within the Ego, awaiting expression. The only safe ways of manifestation are those directed by Self. The more faith in Self, the more power. They who have influenced the world have been those who had faith in themselves. Self-Assertion led to CONCENTRATION. The Affirmation of success has ever been, "I CAN!"
Here is the quatrain worth memorizing for the Philosophy of Life it contains. It is from Mrs. Helen Wilmans:
"He who dares assert the I,
May calmly wait,
While hurrying Fate,
Meets his demand with sure Supply."
Outside Emerson's essay on "Self Reliance," no better words than these have been uttered. To that essay I recommend the reader as we turn to another phase of the subject.
Prof. Gates' Evidence
"But what has this to do with Hypnotism?" will again be asked. Everything. The phenomena under that name demonstrate the truth of all this philosophy. My words are as true, based upon these phenomena, as are those in the works of physics in our schools. Like the physical scientist, I go to nature for my facts. Telepathy has as clearly demonstrated Thought to be Force, as have the experiments in the laboratory demonstrated electricity to be a mode of motion. Prof. Elmer Gates has demonstrated by chemistry that thoughts of envy, jealousy, hate, anger and all others we call evil, produce a poison in the system which ultimately causes disease. Thought controls bodily conditions. This again demonstrates the efficacy of Mental Healing. Study the stage performance. Learn how to do it and then repeat it in your parlor, go farther and experiment upon yourself. Remove sensation from your body. Pierce your arm with a needle without pain. Watch the patient in the hospital as he submits to a surgical operation with only Suggestion as an anesthetic and thus learn the meaning of Suggestion in daily life. If the boy on the stage, the patient in the hospital, can at a word concentrate upon the thought of painlessness, what is impossible through intelligent use of concentration in daily life? The boy on the stage throws away the cold coin, saying, "Hot." Later you can see the blister upon his hand. Disease is created in the same way by thinking of it. Have not these phenomena a meaning for each person? Have they for you? What is the power that produces such marvelous results? Merely the thought, the Affirmation, of the person: "It does not pain me;" "I do not feel it;" "It is hot;" "It burns me."
Thoughts are equal in power. They are all from one source. The difference lies in the individual's power of concentration. All power comes from the subconscious. Whether it shall be directed upon one thought or diffused over many, is for each individual to determine, and that determination controls the conditions of this life.
Remember, Suggestion is, WHATEVER CAUSES AN EMOTION OR A THOUGHT; it will then be seen that it is an ever-present factor in life. No intellect is possible where Suggestion is not. No conscious manifestation of mind until Suggestion calls its latent faculties into expression. The primal manifestation of consciousness is a recognition of Suggestion. Affirmation is a primal manifestation of self-consciousness. This is why Affirmations, or, what is the same thing, convictions of truth, govern life. Truth is the Affirmation of existence as interpreted by the individual who affirms. Each individual is therefore subject to Suggestions from without, until he shall learn, by experience, his power of choice. The power of choice can be developed only through doing, and this doing we call experience. Each one has the power of Affirmation; and in the power of choosing Affirmations, lies the power of creating Destiny as desired. Destiny ceases where choice begins. Desire, through choice, becomes master of life.
All things center in the simple fact of sensation I FEEL and its corollary, BECAUSE I FEEL, I THINK. Now affirm, would you be master, "I have learned what to think that I may feel what I choose, and I have learned not to feel or think that which I do not wish to feel or think." In this development is seen the necessity of the objective life. It awakens the Ego into a consciousness of itself. Without the objective, no manifestation of life; there would be only the possibility of life. Thus are the subjective and the objective one. They cannot be separated. And without argument, it is here affirmed that they are one forever.
It has already been asserted that each person has the power of choosing and of ignoring Suggestions. One can at will determine his life. At will is used understandingly. These two words are mighty. When this statement is seen to be truth, it will also be seen that this is the most important fact mankind has yet found. Its significance cannot be measured for a century. This is the statement:
WHEN MAN KNOWS HIS POWER, HE WILL NEVER MORE BE THE SLAVE OF CIRCUMSTANCES. HE WILL MOULD CIRCUMSTANCES TO HIS WILL.
This is demonstrated by the simple phenomenon of the hypnotist's suggestion to his subjects, "You cannot open your hand." The hand remains fast because the Suggestion, taken as truth, becomes in him an Affirmation. He says: "I cannot open my hand." His saying so makes it impossible for him to open the hand until he shall say: "I can." This demonstrates the power of concentration. The subject concentrates his mind upon the thought, "I can't open my hand." Since Thought is power, Thought holds his hand fast. He simply concentrates upon the thought and lets Thought, as a vibration from the Infinite One, have its way with his hand. It is a scientific demonstration of the Affirmation, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." It also demonstrates something else equally as important, that which makes the Principles underlying the fact practical: A MAN CAN THINK WHATEVER HE WISHES, AND CAN MAKE THAT THOUGHT A REALITY IN THE OBJECTIVE LIFE.
Source of Power
This is the key to human destiny. This is the most important fact man has ever discovered. It means the evolution of all that now is into something beyond the dream of poet or the vision of seer. Each man can affirm and be that which he wishes to be. All he has to do is to follow the lead of the hypnotic subject and choose, at will, the view of Truth that is to him most desirous, and then hold the chosen view in concentrated attention as the subject does i.e., he is to let the Suggestion control him. The power of Thought is limitless.
All Power Comes From the Subconscious
This subconscious is the Human Soul, the Ego. It does nothing that is not willed by the Conscious mind. The Subconscious is to the Conscious man the only fountain of power, intelligence, and love. The conscious man controls the expression of this fountain by his Will. To learn how to Will is the most important thing in education. When one has so trained his Will that it will seize upon a chosen thought with the same tenacity that it seizes in ordinary men upon a thought born of chance Suggestion, and will hold that chosen thought as long and as persistently as does he whose body fails under the unwelcome strain of worry, anxiety, fear, sorrow, remorse, and kindred conditions, then is that individual Self-Centered, Self-Poised, Self-Controlled. He will then hold closely thoughts of pleasure, success and health as realities; be the master of conditions. This is the condition temporarily of the hypnotic subject. It can be the permanent condition in life, and will be his who chooses determinedly what Affirmation to make and what sensations shall be born of the Suggestions that come to him from the objective life. The hypnotic subject has this power; he can accept or reject Suggestions. When the operator says "hot!' he can laugh or can say "cold;" and what he says is so to him. He has then, and ever has, his choice. He chooses to accept the Suggestion of operator as Truth, and so choosing, he affirms that this dollar is hot and the thought produces the sensation of burning, and will, if persisted in, raise a blister.
The Law of Life
This is the real, constant condition of every man. He accepts the Suggestions of the weather, business, social life, of economic, political, bodily and financial conditions and says "Yes" to them and affirms that he is cold or hot, prosperous or unlucky, well or ill, happy or miserable, lonesome or contented, that times are good or hard, and they are as he affirms. Life is to him only a list of Affirmations born in the Suggestions of the external world or from experiences which, by Affirmation, become again objective realities. These conditions are produced in him just as they are produced in the hypnotic subject. The Law is one, just as the flash of the electric spark in the laboratory is one with the lightning's flash. But there is this difference. The flash in the laboratory is under control of an intelligent Will and does a predetermined work. That in the bolt from the cloud has no conscious Will to guide it but follows the law of the Absolute, and it may destroy. So with Thought in the ordinary affairs of life. It works its way without being understood and directed; it tears down as well as builds up. When one shall learn to choose and to direct, as the subject on the platform has learned to do, then all Thought will be chosen to build up and to make happy.
Suggestion itself is merely a blind vibration. Feeling is a blind, unintelligent response; but Affirmation is the act of a soul, is the choice of an individual. To the extent that one exercises consciously this power of choice in his Affirmations, does he develop the one feature that distinguishes him from the brute and which makes him man and that is the power of Self-control.
That the subject has done this for one hour; that one man has; proves it possible to every one. As the subject can, by his Will, make his body insensible to the prick of a pin, so may every person become insensible to pain. As one person can master, through necessity, a condition of weakness by an Affirmation, as in case of a mother when sick but recovering when her child is injured, so may all become immune to disease by refusing to receive a Suggestion that will result in disease.
One's body is his castle. No vibration can enter it unless it comes by neglect on his part or by an invitation. Vibrations affect only body; they have no power over the Soul. Nothing touches the Soul that is willed out by the conscious man. When anything is felt, he should refuse to think of it and should call the Will into activity and hold a pleasant thought instead. Then has the vibration done its work of creating happiness. Allow it to awaken a thought of pain, and allow the Will to hold that thought of pain and disease results.
The Unity of Power
To attain this condition of power, study the conditions necessary for the subject to receive his Suggestions and cultivate them in yourself until you can suggest and affirm that which you desire. All vibrations are merely vibrations until, through sensation, they are converted into Thought, just as vibrations of light that do not reach the eye are only vibrations. As we can close the eye to light vibrations, so we can close sensation to those which produce pain or sorrow; then they are not. Thus is life made one continual round of peace. Study these phenomena labeled "Hypnotic" just as the phenomena of lightning have been studied, and the results will be, to him who studies and demonstrates, similar to those that have followed the wake of "Spiritualism," "Christian," "Divine," and "Mental" Science and the various schools of magnetic healing and metaphysics. All these are demonstrating some of the infinite possibilities, that lie in Suggestion and its counterpart, Affirmation.
Not Operator's Will
Whatever may have been the past opinion, or whatever be that of many now to the contrary, it is not the Will of the operator that produces the phenomena of hypnotism. It is the concentrated Will of the subject. This fact is one that will, when its significance is understood, revolutionize all thinking and living and lift this study, now ignored by the cultured, into the first place in the Philosophy and the Art of Living.
The only Principle concerned in the phenomena is the constant one of Concentration; fixing the WILL upon an Affirmation that is the result of a chosen Suggestion. Three words form the Shibboleth of the New Thought (which means the New Civilization), viz: SUGGESTION, AFFIRMATION, and CONCENTRATION. Understanding these, forms the true Science of Mind', properly using them, constitutes the Art of Living. Power of The study of Suggestion removes from Will. the mind all fear of evil results from the control of one mind over another, for such control is impossible. The Will can be used only by the individual upon himself. This is an important fact in this study. The person of the cultivated Will, the person of Concentration, always has the advantage of the one of diffused Will.
Leaders, commanders, bosses, masters, operators in Suggestion, all owe their position to the fact that they use their Will upon themselves and give the Suggestions that will produce, when accepted by those of less concentration, the desired mental conditions. It is not a question of "can" or "cannot" in the battle of life; it is the "will" and "will not." The healthful and successful WILL health and success. The others do not use what they possess in like proportion. All have equal power to do. It is the difference between doing and not doing. The subject has learned to choose and to will himself into acceptance of the Suggestion for the time being, knowing that he can, at any time, will himself not to accept it. Having accepted it, it rules him. He has learned to lay it aside at will.
But accepted Suggestions in the businessman become worry. Why? Because he is in the condition of every person who does not develop latent power. He has never brought his Will into obedience to his thought. When once his Will has fastened to an Affirmation, it does not readily let go and take another because he has, by neglect, taught it to cling until, by some external Suggestion, he is compelled to change his Affirmation. I trust that this is so clearly seen that no reader of this book will hereafter claim that one person acts under the will of another, but that each reader will affirm that every person acts that which he wills to act. He has willed either to neglect training his Will or has willed to cultivate it. The man who is, under the circumstances, obliged to obey the mandate of another is no more under the Will of that other than is the boy who does not wish to learn to skate under the Will of him who, by physical power, forces him to put on the skates; he learns obedience under fear; he wills obedience through choice of one of two unpleasant conditions.
This fact understood, away goes the fear of hypnotism and all belief that one person can hypnotize another to commit crime. This is a groundless fear, a fear that arises in ignorance. The editor of the Suggester and Thinker in an editorial in his magazine, says of this belief in the evil of hypnotism: "It originated in fancy alone and belongs to the age of superstition, darkness and witchcraft and cannot exist today upon any legitimate grounds."
Every Suggestion that is repugnant to a person is by him rejected. This principle of Self-Protection is the most deep-seated of any in our lives. Ever alert to protect against danger are all the instincts of man. In this Art of Suggestion the reason is never appealed to. Should one attempt to reason with the subject to induce him to accept a Suggestion, every condition of acceptance would be destroyed. Perfect tranquility of mind is the necessity of hypnosis. This tranquility can be obtained only through consent of the subject. Consequently, whenever a Suggestion given antagonizes the Will or Conscience of the subject, he passes out of the condition of the subject, and is under the control of some Auto-Suggestion. It is utterly impossible for one person to suggest to another the commission of an act which he would not do without the Suggestion. This fact is well known to every practitioner in Suggestion and to all careful investigators. Each person controls his own life at all times. He does nothing that he does not will to do. The only way one can be brought to do that which he has willed against is not by using hypnosis, but by using Suggestion in persuasion, argument or command. Either of these is powerless in hypnosis.
Safety of Hypnosis
In hypnosis, the frontal brain of the subject is, to a greater or less degree, inactive, and that portion of the brain, the cerebellum most closely connected with the Ego, is most active. When conversing with a person in hypnosis, that is, with a somnambular, it is with the Ego, through the sympathetic nervous system, that all our conversation is carried on. One converses thus with the spirit of the man. He talks to the seat of moral consciousness. Conscience is supreme. Any Suggestion given to the Ego that runs counter to conscience is immediately repelled.
An antagonistic Suggestion insisted upon will awaken the subject. A person in hypnosis is in the state most safe from evil Suggestions, for here all the external glamour is removed and only the enormity of such a Suggestion is present to the soul. Here lie the great possibilities of this Art in the redemption of man. From this source come the cures in all the fields of healing. The Soul is stimulated on the way it desires to go. The operator, the teacher and the healer are helping the evolution of the Ego by opening to it the possibilities of the objective life. Illustrations of this fact frequently occur in my classes. I had a fine subject and, causing him to see a lizard, told him to take it up. He would not. I insisted. This caused him to awaken with a start. Another fine fellow was asleep. I suggested that, as we were on the street, we go in a saloon and get a glass of beer. "No, sir! I don't drink beer." "But come, you must.' He awoke with a start. "What awakened you?" I asked. "I don't know, but some one hit me," was the reply.
Degrees of Self-Hypnosis
Now that Suggestion is being made the excuse for wrong doing, when the press is telling of persons marrying, stealing and committing all sorts of evil because they were hypnotized, it is well to dwell upon the impossibility of this, so that all may feel hereafter that it offers no excuse for any evil. None can hide under this cloak. All these reported cases, if they are facts, are cases of Auto-Suggestion of Self-Hypnotism. This is the condition in which all persons are whenever an abnormal condition is encouraged. If a woman thought a man was hypnotizing her and concentrated her mind upon that thought, she would pass into this condition through self-hypnotism. The press, by telling these stories, creates these imagined conditions in susceptible persons. Past education has developed a feeling of non-responsibility and of fear in the individual, which prepares him to receive these Suggestions from the press and convert them into Auto-Suggestions and thus give them control over his life. Here is the great evil of press reports of crime.
From this self weakness, comes the present reliance upon Authority. No person of self-reliance will claim to be hypnotized to do a foolish or an evil thing. The weak and the silly, the very ones that have not concentration enough to be hypnotized by an operator, are the ones constantly susceptible to self-hypnotism. They are constantly receiving Suggestions from the crowd they are in. They thus become the tool of the fashions, fads and follies of the day. They are the ones who need most to place themselves under the care of a good operator and, through his instructions, learn to concentrate and to protect themselves from the consequences of their willing but ignorant acceptance of Suggestions. Involuntary Suggestion, involuntary concentration, involuntary and unconscious choice, are to be avoided. When one has learned the Art of Suggestion, he knows too well the power of a Suggestion of evil; for, whether it is accepted by the subject or not, if he has given it with a desire to work evil, that evil as surely follows him as does his shadow. No person is so chary of Suggestions which are not of good, as one who has practiced the Art.
The daily press is scattering broadcast the seeds of this belief and fear in stories born in the brain of the reporter. They are his solution of facts. They are never sustained by the opinions of experts. When the reported cases of evil are investigated, they are not sustained by evidence. It has been reported that hypnotism has been made the plea of extenuation in courts. Never has a criminal been condemned, or a person acquitted, in this country upon the plea of hypnotism. Never has any judge considered such a plea. I will only cite one typical case. It goes its rounds in the press several times a year. Concerning it, I give as high an authority as exists upon the matter. Chief Justice Albert H. Horton, of the Kansas Supreme Court, in an address reported in the State Journal (Topeka) , for April the 6th, 1895, says: "In affirming the conviction of Gray, no new doctrine was announced, no new rule of evidence established. Hypnotism was not considered nor ruled upon in any way. The reports are therefore wholly unfounded." But Judge Horton's statement is ignored, and the lie of a reporter is made the basis for creating fear by teacher, preacher and editor.
But more injurious than the press reports are some of the advertisements of the teachers and schools where the words, "secret power," "subtle power," and others are used to convey the idea that they have something mysterious and hidden and that the possession of this something will enable its possessor to influence any person to do his will, and will enable a graduate of their school to win everything he wishes in the battle of life. These claims are false. They mislead. NO such power exists. All persons may cultivate and attain all that is claimed for "Hypnotism" and "Personal Magnetism" by a simple application of this Law of Suggestion.
The Soul of man is perfect. All Souls are alike. Each contains a spark of Infinity. All that any one needs is to let the god in him (the good in him) manifest. Suggestion opens the way. There is no patent right held by any person, or any class of persons, upon any method of this unfoldment. No method is universal. No limitations are possible. All is one Principle. The Principle of Suggestion is limitless and will make and adapt its method to the time and place. Once understand the Law of Suggestion, the Principle of Concentration, and you have entered the Holy of Holies; have the key to all the ancient mysteries; have knowledge of the way to the Occult Powers of the Soul.
"Protection" against evil influences is claimed by some of these schools and teachers. Especially is this promised by those teachers who gather the press reports of the evils of hypnotism with which they induce people to become their pupils. "Protection" from what? The Ego is all powerful. The only evil is ignorance. The only safeguard is knowledge.
Knowledge of what? Of Self. No person can be protected from his thoughts. He must protect himself. All the possible evils there are in Suggestion are those that lie in thinking. A person must think. Now think no evil and none is possible.
Thought is creative. It creates every condition in life. What shall he think? is the question that concerns him. What are the results of thoughts and how are thoughts controlled? should be his questions. No power, no statute law can protect man from himself. Neither can they change him or cause him to think to order. As long as he fears, he must suffer the effects of fear; as long as he thinks pain, he must suffer pain; as long as he thinks he must be protected, he will be weak and will not protect himself from self-created evils.
Each person is responsible to himself for the thoughts he encourages. He cannot escape the results of his own thinking. If he will not keep harmful thoughts, "tramp thoughts," from his mind, he must take the consequences of such company.
The School of Suggestion is the University of the Soul. All other schools are of the intellect. This school opens the door through which to reach the Ego itself. None other is equal to it.
Telepathy is now brought in as a factor of fear and people are warned in advertisements to go to certain teachers of hypnotism that they may learn to protect themselves from the evil thoughts of others. Promises are made that "this subtle power of thought" will be taught them so that they may succeed in their selfish purposes. "This mysterious silent power," one advertisement reads. I affirm positively that it is more difficult to influence one silently to do what is not in harmony with his own thought than it is by oral Suggestion. A Suggestion is at all times a Suggestion. Its effect is the same whether given orally or telepathically. Those that do not conflict with desire, will or conscience, will be readily received when silently given. It then does not meet with the intellectual limitations that are often put upon it when conveyed orally. But positively I repeat: no Suggestion repugnant to a person will be received telepathically. It falls as unnoticed, as harmless, as buckshot on an iron-clad.
When a thought is sent that meets Harmony, with acceptance in the person to whom directed, then it will, if conditions adhere, be responded to in action. A case in illustration: A friend and I were riding in the streetcar and, as we were about to pass the home of a lady friend, my companion remarked: "I wonder if Mrs. B. will see us?" I thought it not likely. But, as the car stopped at the crossing, she came to the window and recognized us. Later we inquired why she came and she said: "While standing overseeing my dinner, I felt to go to the window." Our thought had reached her and, being a pleasant one, and her mind not being concentrated upon anything in particular, she was ready to respond. Had her mind been occupied with some necessary thought, or had our thought been unpleasant, she would not have responded.
Modern operators in Hypnotism are unanimous in the opinion that no evils result from it. Earlier authorities think it "possible," but give no instances. Later ones do not think it possible. T. J. Hudson, the author of "The Law of Psychic Phenomena," says in a magazine article: "That hypnotism and its chief handmaiden, Suggestion, have been proven to be an unalloyed blessing to millions of the human race, cannot be successfully controverted." Hudson Tut tie, as good an authority as there is in the ranks of Spiritualism, says of the trance which he calls "The Hypnotic State": "There is nothing in the trance which affects the physical senses; on the contrary, it gives them rest similar to normal sleep." Amid all the European and American authorities that I have been able to find, none reports any instance of evil results. American operators who have hypnotized thousands and have seen some persons used as subjects for many years are most positive as to its harmlessness. The best authorities are those who, from the platform, give exhibitions, for they meet all classes and have the most extended practice. I have never conversed with one whose experience has not been that of my own, which is, that we cannot, cause a subject to do that which he wills not to do nor that which is morally repellent to him.
Professor A. E. Carpenter, who probably has had as large an experience in this line as any living operator, told me twenty years ago that such was his experience. Professor Caldwell, one of the well known operators twenty years ago, told me the same. Professor Connet so taught his pupils. His law was: "You cannot cause a pupil to work against his will, against his conscience, nor to injure his person or property." H. L. Flint, as well known upon the hypnotic stage as any person in the Mississippi Valley, in a late interview reported in the press, said, in reply to the question as to whether or not a man can be hypnotized to commit crime, "I should say unconditionally, 'No!' When under hypnotic influence, the subject's moral sensibilities are more acute than in the normal state and often, when in hypnosis, he cannot be made to do those little peccadilloes that he will do when normal. It is correct to say that he will never do anything that he will not do at any other time, as far as his moral nature is concerned."
Thomas L. Adkin, dean of the New York Institute of Physicians and Surgeons, says in an article in Practical Psychology: "I have hypnotized in public and in private about 15,000 people. I have seen fully 25,000 people under hypnosis in the past fourteen years. I have never seen the slightest harmful results. Anyone who has had any practical experience with the subject is well aware that no harm can be done by hypnotic Suggestion...I was a subject myself for five years; was hypnotized thousands of times and, if any harmful results were produced, I am not aware of it...I know a subject who has been hypnotized twenty or thirty times every night by different public hypnotists for the past twenty-five years, and he is just as sound mentally and physically as he ever was .... To hypnotize a man, you ask him to think a certain way; or, in other, words, ask him to concentrate his mind upon a certain subject. Now, then, if it does not injure one to think, it does not injure one to be hypnotized." This is the testimony of experts and will close the case with every reader of this book.
Another phase of Suggestion, intensifying the position I have already taken, is that reported of several who have acquired a development of Autosuggestion, so that, without operator, they can throw themselves at will into all the conditions they have seen or heard of subjects doing. The papers have recently told of a man who will permit his flesh to be pierced without feeling pain. Any person can do this when he has overcome the fear of pain. Many of my students do it. By Self-Suggestion, they can produce any chosen phenomenon by simply thinking, "It is so!" thus demonstrating that it is the subject, not the operator, that does the work.
This power, when developed and rightly applied, lifts one out of any undesirable condition and enables him to make life each day, in body and in estate, to his order; for he so first makes it in thought and concentrates upon it and what is so made and held must manifest objectively. This is a Universal law; The One Law. I AM THAT WHICH I THINK I AM. Thought IS power. We are so to realize this as to build to desire and not to let Thought run riot as we now do. Where now it is harmful, we shall Will that it bless.
Very convincing of the truth of our theory, is the phenomenon called "Post-Hypnotic." While in hypnosis, a Suggestion is given the subject that he will, at a certain future time, do a certain thing. This also, through misunderstanding, has given rise to fears so that the great lessons to be learned from it are not perceived. For illustration: A young man while asleep in my class was told that when he awoke he would find an unnamed article which the gentleman who gave the Suggestion had hidden. The young man awoke, took part in the exercises of the class for over an hour. Suddenly he went to a lady and asked her for the nickel she had. "What nickel?" Looking very stupid, he said, "I don't know. I only felt to ask you." She gave him the nickel which the gentleman had previously given her.
A Deeper Lesson
Post-Hypnotic Suggestions cannot be carried out on the plane of the intelligence or the conscience of the maker, for the intelligence and character of the subject are the ever-present factors with which he deals. It is impossible to execute a post-hypnotic Suggestion which conflicts with the intelligence, prejudices, will or conscience of the subject. But a deeper lesson is here. No good thought is ever dropped into a mind that does not remain there to influence future conduct. The words of the teacher, the admonition of the mother, the advice of the father, the loving greeting of a friend, all fall into the subconscious storehouse to influence future conduct. Let no person be discouraged because it seems the efforts for good are lost. No word that is upward tending is ever lost because the tendencies of humanity are upward. Each person is an unfolding soul and the test of unfoldment is virtue. The desires are for goodness; therefore each good thought is a seed-thought of power sown in the soul. Sleeping or waking, words of love or truth react upon the Ego and bring forth fruit. "My word shall not return to me void," said the old prophet. By the use of Post-Hypnotic Suggestion, every latent faculty of the mind can be stimulated. Because of this, it is one of the most potent and successful methods of education. The retention by the mind of Suggestions given it, and the ability to intensify this impression by first rendering the intellect non-resistant by repose, offer the teacher his opportunity by making to his pupils Suggestions in the line of the ideal, such as is found is no other system of education.
Suggestions given in sleep are retained. Like seeds in the ground awaiting spring, rains and sun, they lie in the subconscious, ready to spring into activity at the first opportunity. This is the reason why Mental Healing is so successful. This explains the cures by Suggestive Therapeutics. Post-Hypnotic Suggestion is the best method to cure all such vices as intemperance, profanity, worry, fear and licentiousness. All life, health and power within the Soul lie open to Suggestions given in sleep. To utilize this knowledge with children will hasten the "New Day." The healing power of Suggestion during sleep is well known to practitioners of Suggestive Therapeutics.
Its possibilities in the cure of habits are beginning to be known. The mother has, in the Law of Suggestion, power to wield for the intellectual and moral development of her child while it lies sleeping. By its use, she can then sow in the sub-consciousness of her child the germ-thoughts of any study, can correct any habit, can awaken any slumbering faculty and can lead it in the way of her ideal. She has only to use this Art to make her home an Eden.
A young man, one of my subjects, was complaining that he could not perform his problems in mathematics. When he was asleep, I suggested to him that he was now in the Divine Mind and could learn and master the Law of Numbers and that he would do so. Before he awoke, he solved the problems and had no further trouble in the study. Had he dreamed this out in his sleep, it would have been a somewhat common occurrence. He did in hypnosis, at will, only what others are doing without the knowledge of the Law.
I asked a lady to go to sleep and find a lost article. She did so. Others go to sleep and dream of finding lost articles. In her case, advantage was taken of the Law of Suggestion and at will she slept and found. A young man said that he was trying to invent a certain machine that puzzled him. I placed him in Hypnosis and said: "Now you are in the Divine Mind where all machines lie. Find that which you wish. If it is possible, you can find it." In a few minutes he said: "How simple that is." "Remember it when you are awake," was my command. He did so; it was a success.
"A dream," one says. Yes, but a dream induced at will. A lady was puzzling over an essay. In hypnosis she found and on awaking, wrote what she found. A lady was to take part in a concert but was full of fear. In hypnosis I suggested that she was confident of success and would, in the joy of the occasion, lose all fear. She enjoyed the evening. This condition can be readily cultivated so that one can bring from the subconscious, at will, any desired manifestation of Truth. A student of mine suggested that he would awaken in the morning with the material of a sketch that he had for some time wished to write. The morning brought the sketch. A student who had never written a poem thought that he would try Suggestion. Upon retiring at night, he concentrated upon the affirmation: "I will awaken and write a poem in the morning." Earlier than usual, he arose and the poem wrote itself. Thus will a knowledge of Suggestion lead the Conscious man to direct the manifestation of the Ego in his daily life.
This understanding of Suggestion explains the phenomena called "occult" and "spiritual." It explains the wonders of the Hindu Fakir and Buddhist priest, of Egyptian Hierophant and Grecian Sybil, of Roman Seer and Mohammedan Sheik, of Mediaeval Occultist and modern evangelist, of medium and clairvoyant, of Psychometrist and Hypnotic subject, of Christian Science, of Mental Science, and of the Magnetic Healer. All these find, in Concentration under the Law of Suggestion, their power. In this Law and the understanding of it, lies the future evolution of man. Some idea of what lies within the possibilities of Suggestion may be obtained from the consideration of the fact that the two greatest reform movements during the last century, if not for several centuries, arose from its application, namely: "Modern Spiritualism" and "Christian Science."
Andrew Jackson Davis, more than any other person, is responsible for that philosophy which has ramified into so many movements, all of which may be classified as branches of the New Thought. While a little boy, having never read through a single book, Davis became a hypnotic subject and from this he developed into a wonderful teacher. Through the hypnotic trance, subconsciousness was awakened and, in this state, he gave the lectures published under the title, "Nature's Divine Revelations."
Davis soon grew independent of his operators and developed what he calls the "Superior Condition," a better name than the phrase now in common use: "In the Silence."
Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy was, in her early career, a Spiritualist Medium. Dr. Quimby, of Maine, had, from his studies in Suggestion then called "Animal Magnetism," discovered that disease is a belief. He developed a system of mental treatment. Mrs. Eddy, then Mrs. Baker, was a patient and a student under Dr. Quimby. This was her start. To the philosophy of Dr. Quimby, she applied an original Biblical interpretation. Rightly does she claim the name of "Christian Science" for the philosophy and Art founded upon her interpretation of the Bible. But she has no claim to originality in the Principle for the beginnings of this stream were, like that of Spiritualism, in the spring of Suggestion. Such movements, resulting in such blessing, affecting every avenue of modern thought and activity, are only prophecies of what shall be when Suggestion is generally understood. Enough has been accomplished to warrant all the assertions made in this book of its future use. We have now only to learn the Law and its mode of operation and then to take the same advantage of it that has been taken of other Laws, to make living a Fine Art.
Life and Art (Focus and Concentration Equal Love)
To live conscious of one's power; to understand the principle of Concentration and apply it; to understand the Law of Suggestion and make it a servant of Will; to affirm each day that which is desired as the only reality; this it is to be an artist in life. To all who do this, Living has become A FINE ART. It is the object of this book to help its readers to become such artists. The whole secret lies in DOING.
Many read New Thought literature and think that, as the schoolboy attains knowledge of letters and memorizes geographical names, they can attain this power of self-control. Not so! It comes, as comes the ability of the artist to handle the chisel and hammer in bringing the statue from the marble; as comes the power of the architect to place on paper the structure already in his mind; the power of the mechanic to build a machine that he sees only in possibility; the power of expression that enables the poet to place in ever living words the bright ideal of beauty that haunts him. All these grasped the principles, first intellectually, then they practiced until they made the channel within themselves for Thought to manifest under the direction of their Will. When they were ready, the statue carved itself; the palace drew its own design; the machine built itself; the poem forced itself into expression. The way had been prepared by doing at it, not trying, but by doing each day the very best possible, and thus each day coming nearer to the real, which is eternally within the mind.
The piano player teaches all persons how to build a nervous structure to order. He begins awkwardly and bunglingly to fumble the keys. Each day his fingers learn better to obey his Will. After a long practice, they have learned to play what is in the mind. They find the keys and strike them without the conscious direction of the player. The Will has been materialized in them; the nerve cells are thoughts that have, by conscious direction, been transformed into them. After the nerves have thus been reconstructed under the direction of the Will, the player forgets his fingers, lets them do the mechanical part, while he plays mentally only. He listens to the internal music while the fingers play.
John Fiske says: "This result is possible only because of a bodily change which has taken place in him. Countless molecular alterations have been wrought in the structure of sundry nerves and muscles, especially in the grey matter of sundry ganglia and nerve centers. Every ganglion concerned in the needful adjustment of eyes, fingers, wrists, or in the repetitions of musical sounds, has undergone a change more or less profound. It is enough for us to know there is such a registration of experiences." In relation to this "registration," he says: "Any creature's ability to perceive and act depends upon the registration of experiences in his nerve centers. It is either individual or ancestral experience that is thus registered; strictly speaking, it is both." Here we have all the physiological evidence necessary to demonstrate scientifically the facts of mental healing and to prove our theory as to the place and power of Suggestion. Experiences register themselves in brain and nerve changes.
Mastery of Fate
Each Suggestion affects the nerve tissue. It builds itself into bodily expression. The body is the materialized experiences, of the individual. The only experiences are those of thinking and feeling. The body is therefore materialized feeling and thought. This is the greatest discovery man has made of his power over Nature. He can, by the conscious use of his Will, mold her into the semblance of his own ideal. He does now, as far as his body is concerned, mold her unconsciously. He is learning consciously to build not only body but environment to his ideal, through the use of his Will. Nature's side of the expression is in the building of the external man, the babe. The director of the finer forces is Suggestion. Man's side is Auto-Suggestion, or the better word is Affirmation. We have found in this word, Affirmation, the Key to Power. Science found it for us. But she never opened the treasure-house. Now the key is placed in the lock. Will you turn it and possess? In this book are the necessary directions.
They have been found by the effects of Thought conditions artificially produced by Suggestion. Experiments have taught us how to become receptive to Suggestion. Now become to yourself both subject and suggestor. You have learned the Law. All you need now is practice. Practice leads, through Demonstration, to Realization. This won, you are the Master of Fate.
The Manifest Ideal
No knowledge is superior to this. This is all that any healer, seer or conqueror ever learned. The pass-word is CONCENTRATION. With this word, the portals of sense may be passed. Its word of power is AFFIRMATION. Its bugle call is SUGGESTION. To all who enlist under this banner, there is nothing but victory. Victory means Health, Success, Prosperity and Blessedness. The Way:
AFFIRM THE IDEAL. HOLD TO IT THROUGH CONCENTRATION. LET THE IDEAL MANIFEST. Faith in self must give birth to the Affirmation, I AM! The end is Self-Control.
More Articles by This Author Henry Harrison Brown
- Born in 1840
- An early leader in the New Thought movement
- Published NOW magazine which was "...a Monthly Journal of Positive Affirmations, devoted to Mental Science and the Art of Living."
- Unitarian Minister