How to Project Your Thoughts – Magic of Believing
Success is a matter of never-ceasing application. You must work at it diligently, or else it takes wings and flies away. At no time can you afford to rest on your laurels or pause for self-admiration, because others may be coveting your place and would love to push you out of it, especially if they observe that you have a weak hold or are doing anything to strengthen your position.
Despite the great strides that America has made, the country still has many great resources that haven’t yet been tapped. But I can confidently believe that we haven’t seen anything yet, that still greater things will be accomplished by men with imaginations and the will-to-do. Those of us who are still alive 50 years from now may well be looking on a world that makes the late 20th century seem as the Industrial Revolution does today.
As late as 1948, laboratory scientists were working on what many at the time considered fantastic ideas – including wearable fabrics made from wood fiber, materials that would be water and fire-resistant, machines that would capture energy from the sun, and even apparatus that would record our unspoken fears and anxieties on a graph. All these “miracles,” now quite commonplace, came from men’s imaginations or from their subconscious minds. Perhaps in less than fifty years, thought-transference or telepathy will be as commonplace as the radio of today. Who knows?
It has been said that man can materialize anything that he can conceive of mentally, and the millions of devices we use and enjoy today prove it. When man fully comprehends the great power of his mind and earnestly puts it to work, he will have dominion over not only this earth and everything on it, but he may reach out to control the nearby planets. You yourself have this inner spark, but you must fan it until the fire is white-hot and you must constantly stoke it, which you do by adding fuel – ideas, ideas, more ideas, and action.
One man I knew who had many achievements to his credit – and who was over seventy – declared that most people fall by the wayside because they are never starting anything.
“I make a plan, and have for years, to start something new – new for me – at least once a week. It may only be making some simple gadget to use in the kitchen, or it may be an entirely new sales plan or reading an unfamiliar book. In following this plan, I not only keep my body and mind active, but also I put to use a lot of imaginative qualities that otherwise might fall asleep and atrophy. To me, the idea of a man’s retiring when he’s sixty-five is a great mistake. As soon as a man retires and quits being active, mentally and physically, he’s on the way to his grave in short order. You have seen what has happened to horses when they are retired. You know what happens to your automobile when you leave it outside unused and neglected; it starts to rust and is soon headed for the junk shop.
“Humans are the same; when they go on the shelf, they rust out or wither and die.”
The plan of starting something new at least once a week brings us to the matter of how valuable individual initiative is for any person who seeks success. Without it, an individual is stopped as soon as they start. Men remain in minor clerical positions all their lives because they never display initiative in their work, never attempt to find new ways of doing it, and never suggest improvements.
During World War II, a number of organizations placed suggestion boxes in their plants and offered prizes for the most practical. Frequently these suggestions led to greatly improved methods in plant operations, as well as rewards in advancement for the employees offering the suggestions.
In a number of instances, suggestions led to patentable devices that brought fame and fortune to those employees supplying the initial ideas. Bear in mind that no matter how long a piece of work has been done in a certain way, there’s always a better way – the war demonstrated that.
So give heed to initiative. Even if you are just a clerk behind the counter in some store, you must have some ideas of how goods can be better displayed or how the customers can be better served.
Good ideas for lighting, color schemes, arrangement of the counters and display shelves are always acceptable to management, and are often rewarded.
Closely linked with initiative are interest and attention. The more interest you take in your work, naturally the more attention you give it and the greater the results. We all do best what interests us, so if the task before you does not interest you, look for one that will. The more absorbing the interest, the better – that factor alone will give you momentum and carry you a long way forward.
One woman I knew was employed as assistant to the manager of a large department store.
Although her salary was fixed under the war-time ceiling, for several years she received the store’s highest Christmas bonus because of her interest and initiative. The head of the store often sought her advice, rather than the manager’s.
The personnel manager of a huge defense plant employing many thousands of men told me that the greatest fault he found in people was that he could not depend upon them. Some fail to keep their word, others are always late for their engagements, still others are forever changing their minds. So if you tell someone else that you are going to do a certain thing, do it even though its fulfillment may cause you some inconvenience, no matter what the consequences or the cost in time or energy. You will be amply repaid, for building a reputation for reliability will be of great value to you as you proceed up the ladder.
Many employees hold to the idea that their work is given to them merely to further their employers’ interests. They never entertain the thought that they are actually working for themselves, with the employer merely furnishing the tools and a place for them to work. There is an old saying that unless a man has learned to take orders, he can never learn to give them. How true this is, but few people, working day after day, ever realize it is within their own power to sit some day in the executive’s place and give orders.
“The only way to have a friend is to be one,” said Emerson, but few ever give thought to this fundamental requirement. You can’t cast your bread upon the waters without having it returned, and you can’t do a good deed without having a good deed done to you in return. This is true, no matter how Pollyanna-ish it may sound to some people.
Rare indeed is the man or woman who doesn’t make an enemy now and then. You get out of tune with someone, or perhaps they get out of tune with you. Naturally, you don’t like them; as a result of your thinking, they don’t like you. Fortunate is a person who is able to make a friend of that enemy – and it’s so easily done. Several men have taken a violent dislike to me, perhaps because of something I may have said in an unguarded moment, and would have figuratively liked to cut my throat. But they have become my staunchest friends merely by my thinking and believing that they were really friendly people.
I don’t know whether the idea of converting enemies into friends came to me out of the blue, whether I read it, or whether someone told me. But it has been part of my creed for years, and I’ve always found it to work. For example an executive who had taken a dislike to me for something I said critically about his company’s operations. For months, he was profanely knocking me at every opportunity. Naturally, my first impulse was to fight back and knock him in return. But the day came when I realized that his enmity had resulted from something I had said about him rather than the company.
“He’s not a bad guy,” I said to myself. “I’m wrong. I started the feud, and I’m sorry. The next time I get near him, I am going to tell him that mentally.” One night I met him in a club of which we were both members. He would have avoided me, but we met nearly face to face, and I spoke first, saying, “How are you, Charlie?” He caught “something” from my voice that meant a gesture of friendliness on my part, and immediately responded in the friendliest of manners. Today we’re the closest of friends.
So remember, some of your enemies may be of your own making. Those friends or enemies are merely a reflection of our own thoughts – the other fellow will consider us an enemy or friend according entirely to the picture which we ourselves conjure up.
Only today, as I write this I had an example of this kind of thought projection. The waste pipe of my laundry sink had clogged, and I had to call a plumber. A few blocks from our home was a plumbing shop, whose proprietor was unfriendly and offensive in his treatment of customers.
Several times I had tried to get him to do work for us, but he was always too busy. The last time I had called him, he told me that I would have to wait my turn – probably he could get around to fix up the water heater in a couple of weeks. I had asked if he could give me the names of other plumbers who might help me, but he had been entirely uncooperative. Naturally, his unfriendly treatment gave me a bad impression of plumbers in general, and I found myself damning all of them.
However, I had to get the heater repaired and I quickly realized that my angry attitude toward plumbers engendered by this experience would cause me to have difficulty in obtaining the services of any one of them. I simply changed my thought, saying something like this to myself, “All plumbers are good fellows – the guy you called is just an old grouch – forget it.”
I called a friend, the manager of a wholesale plumbing house. He suggested a plumber who would help me, and I telephoned Mr. Jones at once. He said he was busy, but if an imperative job had to be done, he would be out immediately.
His promise pleased me, and the plumber immediately felt my gratitude when he entered our home, fifteen minutes after my call. In less than two hours – he worked swiftly, unlike some plumbers I had employed – the heater had been replaced. I was genuinely delighted by his service and told him so. Naturally that pleased him.
Today it was a little before 8 A.M. when I called him again for help. I reminded the plumber who I was, and that he had been the one who had fixed my water heater. He remembered me immediately and said he’d be out as soon as possible – probably around noon. Within five minutes after I hung up the telephone, a man appeared at the front door, asking if I had called a plumber.
I asked him how come he was on the job so soon when his boss had just told me that he couldn’t send a man before noon, and he replied, “Mr. Jones had just received your call as I came into the shop, and he told me to come up to your home and do what was necessary before I went out on my all-day job.”
I was elated with this treatment and told the plumber so, which, of course, pleased him. With my help, he repaired the waste pipe in less than half an hour. I told him of my previous experience with the old plumber and his own boss, Mr. Jones.
“My boss is a fine fellow,” he replied. “He’s always putting himself out to help people and he’s building a huge business as a result. Never have I found a better boss.”
If you wager, think and believe that the other fellow is a fine chap, that’s what he’ll turn out to be – for never forget that what you get back is a reflection of what you project mentally.
Do not reject this great truth. Just apply it and you’ll be amazed at the startling results. Watch the bus driver respond, the elevator operator beam, and the clerk behind the counter hurry to oblige you when you send out friendly thoughts. It can be used in every encounter in life, and if you’re wholly sincere about it, you will never have to worry about making enemies.
“And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise,” says the Bible. Many successful men, irrespective of any motive that may activate them, work on the assumption that when they do something for another person, something will be done for them. That may sound rather calculating, but the basic law of reciprocity remains, regardless of the situation or circumstances. Simply, there must be a logical effect from every cause.
Doing something for others always pays dividends in one form or another. When you try to please the boss, it isn’t a matter of boot-licking. It’s just common sense to make them a friend, for in any organization, the people who get ahead do their work well and try to please the boss. The boss does the promoting, and the more pleased he is with you and your work, the faster is your own progress. No matter how great your self-esteem, if you expect progress in any large organization, you must not only do your work well, but you must have the boss’s good will. Look around a bit and you’ll see this principle at work everywhere. You saw it work in the schoolroom when you were young, you see it at work in the Army, you see it in American politics, and if you have studied animal life, you have recognized it working among the highest and the lowest species.
Take the initiative. Always try to do something for the other fellow, and you will be agreeably surprised how things come your way, how many pleasant things are done for you.
You can experiment for yourself with your dog. Pet him and be kind to him, and his tail will wag in grateful appreciation. He’ll try to lick your hand or your face if you’ll give him a chance. Scold him or strike him and he may cringe, snarl, or even try to bite you. The reactions of people are similar, and no matter what motivates you to do something for the other person – whether merely a friendly impulse or your own knowledge of the law of cause and effect – the results will be the same.
Sincere compliments will always gain you friends, for most people are extremely susceptible to compliments. Compliments gratify their ego, and up you go in their friendly estimation. Early in their careers, successful politicians learn the art of making friends by doing things for others and speaking in praise of them. The paper boy you befriend today may some day be the policeman who stops you when you have violated some traffic rule, and then you will discover what it means to have a friend at court. The same principle applies in all walks of life, yet many people overlook it.
Not long ago, I was sitting in the office of the merchandise manager of one of the largest department stores in the country when in came a woman employee to thank him for some advice he’d given her about accepting a better position in another city. When she left, he said, “You know, one thing I like about this job is the number of people who come to me for advice. While my job here keeps me on the run, I always take time off for employees who come to me for advice. It flatters me and makes me feel as though I’m quite a fellow, and naturally I feel like doing everything I can for people who compliment me.”
This brings me to another point – a person who desires riches must go where riches are. Alone on a desert island, a man would probably have a tough time eking out an existence, to say nothing of trying to amass a fortune. So it is in everyday pursuits. Therefore, if you want money, you’ve got to associate yourself with people who have it or who know how to make it. This may sound rather crass. But the truth is that if you are after money, you must go where it’s being spent. Also, you must become personally acquainted with those who have the authority to spend it. If you are selling advertising and know that the head of the firm is the man with the final say, don’t waste your time trying to convince minor clerks and junior executives. The same holds true if you are trying to sell other commodities or – what is more important – yourself.
“If you work for a man, for goodness’ sake work for him,” said Elbert Hubbard. That brings me to a failing of many people I have worked with over a period of years – lack of interest in their jobs.
They make no effort to learn anything outside the small sphere in which their work places them.
Once I made a bet with the executive of a large concern whose name was frequently in the newspapers that I could find at least twenty people in his own local organization who had never heard of him or the position he occupied. Not only did he lose the bet, but his pride was hurt when he got the proof. Curiosity prompted me to check with other nation-wide organizations, and not a single employee could tell me the name of the head of the company or the street address of its main office.
This may sound unbelievable, even ridiculous. But if you have friends working in a minor capacity with some large institution, ask them the name of their treasurer or senior vice-president. Unless the company publishes a house organ or employee newsletter, the ignorance will surprise you.
Many people accept positions and make no attempt to learn anything about what the adjacent department manufactures or even about the company’s general operations. Perhaps the heads of big organizations err in not carrying on educational campaigns for the benefit of employees.
Of course, there are large corporations that have house organs containing the names of the executives and main office locations, giving details about their method of operation. Yet I talked with a woman who had been employed by a large manufacturing plant for many months. Outside of the name of the personnel manager who had hired her, she did not know the name of a single executive of the company in spite of the fact that the company’s publication with articles written by various department heads went into her hands every month.
The job you now hold is the steppingstone to the job above it. Before you start moving toward it, how much do you know about it – just how much do you know about your company and its policies both inside and out? If you are a salesperson for a major oil company or even a telephone operator, within a short time after your employment you should surely learn the names of the people who head the company and something of their history. Many firms carry group insurance, with the employees paying a small part of the premiums. How many employees ever read their policies? Few do, and, further, few know anything about their Social Security rights or what the various deductions taken from their payroll checks actually represent.
“Man is heir to the wisdom of the ages found within the covers of great books,” remarked one of our great wise men, and yet it is surprising how many people never read a book. Strange as it may sound, very few businessmen read anything besides the newspapers and a few trade journals.
Professional men more or less limit themselves to books and literature dealing with their respective fields. I mention books, for no matter what it may be – biography, fiction, history, or a scientific text – it is a rare book that doesn’t contain an idea or two useful in your own work. No one has a monopoly of knowledge, but we all know that knowledge is power when put to use. The more you read, the more your thinking is stimulated, and if you are a person of action, the more your efforts are accelerated.
Now is the time to mention the highly interesting phenomenon of idea association and how one idea quickly links itself with another. This is of great value and should be cultivated by everyone, especially by people engaged in creative work such as advertising, writing, or selling.
For example, think of an automobile. Consider for a moment how many ideas can be derived from the mental picture of the automobile. It’s made of steel, alloys and plastics – each furnishing major ideas that can be broken up into many others. Then consider the wheels and tires – casings, the hubcaps, the valves – all bringing further associations. Think of the roads over which they have traveled, and their construction. Then think of oil and gasoline, which brings further ideas through association. Before we know it, you have started a seemingly endless association of ideas.
Let’s take a single idea in business. Suppose you are interested in the growth and sale of a new strain of orange. The first question naturally is: Can it be grown and sold at a profit? Naturally, association of ideas will lead you to determine all matters dealing with soil, location, climatic conditions, costs, labor problems; these will lead on to marketing programs, packaging, dealers who would be interested, brokers, shippers, and finally, the ultimate consumer. The field of ideas becomes enormous through association started with the thought of a single orange. I should say a word about packaging and eye-appeal, because here again we deal with the power of suggestion. Dealers in groceries, fruits, and garden vegetables know that even if there is no improvement in the products themselves, artistic, attractive-looking packages will bring a better price. To discover this fact for yourself, you have only to stroll through a grocery store and note the articles that attract your attention. Excellence in packaging distinguishes the skilled chef from the ordinary restaurant cook. The expert chef knows the value of eye-appeal and accordingly arranges food on the platters to give it a more appetizing look, while the average short-order cook, probably neither knowing nor caring, piles it on in any old fashion.
For several years I owned a celery farm. My renter, a slovenly fellow, was always complaining that he could not compete with the Japanese and gave this as an excuse for not being able to fulfill his rent contracts. Intuitively, the Japanese knew the value of proper packaging. Their celery would be thoroughly washed, placed in new crates, and if sold in the form of hearts, would frequently be attractively wrapped in paper carrying a boastful little message about the quality of the celery. My renter never, in my memory, washed a single bunch of celery. He packed it in second-hand crates and then complained that his Japanese competitors were getting all the business.
Anyone who has traveled through the great farming belts of the Midwest and Canada can tell by a glance at the house or barn whether the farmer is alive or whether he is dying on his feet. I think of some of the great orchardists of the Pacific Northwest couldn’t sell a whole wagon-load of pears or apples for twenty dollars. Yet men who had the idea of attractive packaging and marketing made large fortunes. It’s nothing to get people to pay two dollars or more for a dozen apples or pears carefully wrapped in tissue paper. Some alert orchardists sell their products by mail to thousands of buyers throughout the world. I happen to know a number of these operators personally, and their success in each instance has been a predicated upon an idea that came to them in a flash and which developed as a result of their believing.
Now consider this matter of packaging in connection with yourself. Do you have eye-appeal? Do you wear clothes to give yourself the best appearance? Do you know the effect of colors and study those which best suit your form and temperament? Does your whole appearance set you apart from many who pass unnoticed in the crowd? If not, give thoughtful attention to personal packaging, for the world accepts you as you appear to be. Take a tip from the automobile manufacturers, Hollywood make-up artists, and any of the great restaurant owners, who all know the value of eye-appeal and package their goods accordingly. When you have proper packaging and highest quality goods within, you have an unbeatable combination. The you within can do the same thing for the outside you – and you too will have the unbeatable combination.
To satisfy yourself on what the right appearance for you really is, just pass by where there is construction under way. If you are well-dressed and have an air of prosperity and importance, workmen in your path will step aside. Or you might step into an outer office where others may be waiting to see a certain executive. Notice that the important-looking individual with the air and voice of authority gets first attention, not only from the office attendants but from the executive.
No better example of the impressiveness of a good appearance can be given than the distinction made among defendants at a police station. The stylishly dressed, well-poised businessman is seldom ill-treated, while the man who looks like a bum lands almost immediately in a cell. As a police reporter on metropolitan newspapers for a number of years, I saw this happen countless times. The fellow who looked as though he might be somebody and who had been arrested for a minor infraction, often got a chair in the captain’s office until he could telephone a lawyer or some friend to obtain his release, while the low-life type was carted off to jail, to get his release when and if he could.
The head of a huge automobile distributing agency told me that he was frequently called upon to close a sale with wealthy men who always bought the most expensive cars. “Not only do I take a shower,” he said, “and change all my clothes, but I go to a barbershop and get everything from a shave to a shampoo and manicure. Obviously, it has something to do with my appearance, but further than that, it does something to me inside – it makes me feel like a new man who could lick his weight in wildcats.”
If you are properly attired when you start out on some important undertaking, you will feel within yourself that sense of power, which will make people give way before you and even stir others to help you on your way. The right mental attitude, keeping your eyes fixed on your goal, and throwing around you the proper aura – which is done by an act of imagination or an extension of your personal magnetism – will work wonders, as Theos Bernard learned when he was cornered and stoned by a crowd of natives in Tibet. In his book Penthouse of the Gods, he says that his first reaction was to fight, but immediately dismissed the thought when he recalled having been taught to assume and maintain his own aura. Thus he straightened his shoulders, lifted his head high, directed his eyes straight ahead, and moved forward with a firm and rapid stride. Not only did the crowd give way, but others came forward and made a path for him.
A number of years ago I was friendly with the chief of a large metropolitan fire department. This middle-aged man seemed to fear nothing. Once, I told him that his associates declared he led a charmed life, and he laughed. “I don’t know as you’d call it that. Maybe I’m somewhat of a fatalist, but I’ve never believed that I would be killed as long as I’m chief. When I go into a place of danger, I always throw a white circle about myself, and nothing can come through that circle. It was a trick I learned from the Indians who lived near us when I was a kid. Maybe it’s the worst kind of superstition, but that white aura has saved my life more times than I like to think about.” He lived to retire and died in his seventies – from natural causes.
Many baseball fans know how the great Babe Ruth “called the shots.” If he wanted to hit a home run into right or left field, that’s where he batted the ball. How he did this is perhaps known only to that great hero of all American boys, but surely it was uncanny. Against the mightiest pitchers he was able to bat the ball where he wanted, and his home-run record is something that stood for a long time.
Ernie Pyle, the famous war correspondent, experienced a premonition of death. When he left for the Pacific Theater, Ernie had the feeling that he would not return. On the other hand, many ex-servicemen told of having the feeling or belief that they were going to come through intense fire without being wounded – and come through they did. You will find that many people subjected to great danger believe in the efficacy of this white circle or aura. Perhaps here again, it is the result of the magic of believing. Throughout the world, millions of automobile owners keep a small St. Christopher medal in their cars which they believe will save them from accidents. But why stop there?
The vibrations set up by others affect us much more than we realize, for we take on the characteristics of those with whom we associate more or less constantly. After long years together, a man and wife frequently grow to resemble one another and acquire many of one another’s habits.
A baby will take on the emotional characteristics of the mother or the person who habitually cares for it, becoming susceptible to the same fears, likes and dislikes – and frequently these emotional qualities remain for life. Lovers of pets, especially of dogs, declare that animals take on some of their owners’ emotional characteristics – they will be ugly, friendly, happy, or quarrelsome, depending on the emotional pattern of the human with whom they associate most closely.
It is always important to remember that a negative person can raise havoc. In an organization or home, a strong negative personality can do the same amount of damage as a positive personality can do good; and when the two are pitted against one another, the negative frequently becomes the more powerful. We all know what happens to a man living among uncivilized people – occasionally he goes native. Englishmen employed as plantation or mine operators in jungle outposts used to guard against this by shaving and meticulously dressing for dinner each evening.
To have a smoothly running organization, all its members must be attuned to the thinking of the principal executive. Thus an extremely nervous person in a position of authority can put nearly every co-worker into a nervous state. You can see this happen in almost any office or shop where the executive is of a nervous type. Sometimes this emotional pattern will extend throughout an entire organization – which, after all, is only the extended shadow of the man who heads it. A strong negative personality who is out of tune with the ideas of the management, can extend his negative vibrations to others in an organization and do great damage, just as one rotten apple in a box will soon rot all the others.
Likewise, one woman weeping can cause others in the same room to weep. One person laughing can make others laugh. And the yawn of a single person can cause an epidemic of yawns. We seldom realize how much our emotional vibrations affect others, and how much we are affected by theirs.
If you would remain a positive type, avoid associating too much with any negative or pessimistic personalities. Many clergymen and personnel counselors often become the victims of prolonged streams of people who come to them with their troubles. The steady impact of woe and sorrow vibrations eventually reverses their positive polarity and reduces them to a negative state.
To better understand the effect of these suggestive vibrations, you need only remember your varying feelings upon entering different offices or homes. The atmosphere, the creation of the people habitually frequenting the place, can be instantly detected as upsetting, disturbing, tranquil, harmonious, cold or warm – the arrangement of the furniture, the color scheme, the very walls themselves, all vibrate to the thinking of the persons occupying the room, and bespeak what type of thoughts they think. Whether the home is a mansion or a shack, the vibrations are always a key to the personality of those who occupy it.
Are you afraid to take on responsibilities, afraid to make decisions, afraid to step out alone? Most people are – that’s why there are so few leaders and so many followers. If you’re confronted with a problem, the longer you put it off, the greater it becomes, and the more fearful you become of your ability to solve it. In not deciding, you fail to act, and in failing to act, you invite failure. Therefore, learn to make decisions. Experience will soon teach you that once a decision is made, problems and troubles begin to disappear. Even though your decision may not be the best one, the mere deciding gives you strength and raises your morale. It’s the fear of doing the wrong thing that attracts the wrong thing. Decide and act, and chances are that your troubles will fade into thin air – whether you make a mistake or not. All great men make quick, firm decisions that flow from their intuition, their accumulated knowledge, and previous experience. So learn to be audacious in your actions.
I make no claim to being a faith-healer, but anyone who knows anything about the power of mind knows the effects of emotionalized thinking upon the condition of the body, and what suggestion can do toward bringing disease as well as curing it. Some faith-healing movements such as Christian Science effect cures by denying that the disease exists, and thousands attest to the validity of this method of healing. Followers of other schools of healing make no attempt to deny the disease, but instead ignore it, affirming that they are basically well and happy and getting better every day. Members of the various schools of thought are the best judges of the methods that work for them; but in all cases, the individual’s belief determines the success of the method of cure.
However, it is interesting that Christian Science, which advocates denial, has a tremendous following, and its membership continues to increase by leaps and bounds.
Just how far suggestion can cure disease and physical ailments is still a matter of great controversy among the various schools of mental healing and members of the medical profession. But many thousands in our country alone – and the number increases daily – firmly believe that a cure of their ailments came as a result of mental-healing.
It has long been known that fear, hate, and worry can lead to many bodily ills, even to fatal illnesses, although some members of the medical profession still refuse to acknowledge this. Yet as early as February 19, 1945, a Life Magazine article entitled “Psychosomatic Medicine,” declared that during the war, 40 percent of all Army disability cases were found to originate from psychosomatic causes. The article pointed out that many cases of hay fever, bronchial asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure, rheumatic disease, arthritis, diabetes mellitus, the common cold, and various skin conditions such as warts, hives, and allergic reactions were caused either by emotional upsets directly or by physical disturbances in which the emotions were an aggravating factor. “Psychosomatic” refers to a combination of mind and body ailments brought on by emotions; the prescribed remedy is a combination of medical treatment and psychotherapy that locates the source of the emotional disturbances and tries to eradicate it.
Because of the experiments of the psychiatrists and psychoanalysis in recent years, the whole subject of both medical and mental treatment is probably due for a complete revision, with resulting mind-cures which may prove astounding.
However, those who understand the science of psycho-therapeutics are fairly well agreed that a cure does not come through the treatment of the healer nearly so much as from the patient himself.
In other words, the suggestion – no matter in what form the healer gives it (whether in accordance with the principles of psycho-therapeutics or in conjunction with some special religious belief) – is in turn transmitted by auto-suggestion to the patient’s own subconscious mind, where it becomes effective. The following statement may invite criticism, but if a patient refuses to believe in the healer’s suggestive appeals, the purpose is never accomplished. The healer and the patient have to be en rapport to get results, and my theory is that any person who understands the use of the power of suggestion could get the same results without the aid of a healer, provided he were sufficiently strong and constant in their own convictions and suggestions. The same mirror technique, and the cards with suitable affirmations, can be used here too to great advantage.
In recent years there has been a renewed interest in telepathy or thought-transference, arising out of the experiments and investigations carried on in many colleges and universities, particularly those conducted under the direction of Dr. J. B. Rhine of Duke University. Of course, Joseph Dunninger, radio’s self-styled mentalist, with his so-called feats of thought-projection and mind-reading, did much to widen popular discussion of the subject.
It has always struck me odd that many people who profess to believe in the Bible, in which there are countless stories of visions, clairvoyance, and telepathy, declare that today telepathy and kindred phenomena are not possible. The records of both the American and British Societies for Psychical Research are filled with case reports of telepathy, clairvoyance, and similar phenomena.
But despite the published reports of scientific findings, many people scoff at the idea that telepathy exists.
Notwithstanding the general skepticism, some of the world’s greatest scientific thinkers have declared that telepathy is not only possible but is a faculty that most people can use when they understand it. In addition to the findings of both the American and British Societies for Psychical Research and the results made public by Dr. Rhine, there are numerous books on the subject. A few of the older and better-known ones are Mental Radio, by Upton Sinclair; Beyond the Senses, by Dr. Charles Francis Potter, the well-known New York preacher; Thoughts Through Space, by Harold Sherman and famous explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins; Telepathy, by Eileen Garrett; and Experimental Telepathy, by Rene Warcollier, Director of the Institute Metaphysique International in Paris.
When the results of Dr. Rhine’s experiments were first made public, many men rushed into print to declare that the results could be laid to chance. Considerable time and money were spent in an effort to prove that telepathy was non-existent. Yet the experiments continued at Duke and at other leading universities. I often wondered why many opposing so-called scientific investigators do not try to prove that the phenomena exist instead of trying to prove the contrary; but here again, I have a theory that belief is the miracle worker – and this is partly substantiated by what Dr. Rhine himself said in his book on extrasensory perception. He declared that satisfactory results were secured when the experimenters caught the “spirit of the thing” – in other words, while there was enthusiasm, spontaneous interest, and the belief that it could be done. But the ability to transmit and receive weakened once the original novelty wore off. When students were called back later to continue their experiments in the course of their studies, enthusiasm was lacking, and the results not satisfactory.
Dr. J. B. Rhine wrote an article in the August 25, 1946 American Weekly magazine, captioned “Scientific Evidence Man Has a Soul.” Since his explanations deal directly with the subject matter of this book, I quote the article almost in full – courtesy of the late Dr. Rhine, and with the permission of The American Weekly.
“What has science to say about the soul? For the answer to this question, we would naturally turn to psychology because it is literally ‘the science of the soul.’ But here we have a surprise coming, for we find that the soul theory of man has been practically dropped from psychology books and lectures.
“Most psychologists will even smile tolerantly if one speaks of ‘the mind itself’ as if there were such a thing apart form the brain. Everything has to be physical to be real, according to the prevailing view; any thing non-physical or spiritual, as the soul is supposed to be, therefore simply has to be dismissed as pure superstition.
“However, some things occur now and then that just do not fit at all with this physical view of man. For example, a person may awaken from a horrible dream in which a friend or relative is dying. The shocking picture turns out to be essentially true and the timing about right, although the friend may be a thousand miles away. The oddest feature of all this is that in some cases, the event perceived may not occur until hours or days after the dream; yet it may have been accurately pictured and even experienced in considerable detail.
“The first thought is, of course, that such experiences are mere coincidences. Not many people get beyond this first easy explanation, but fortunately a few have done so; and when one studies great numbers of these experiences, they lose all appearance of being accidental. The scientific think to do, of course, was to set to work to discover what might be behind these happenings.
“Obviously if any of these ‘psychic’ experiences showed that the mind has the power to reach out beyond space and time, they would plainly be transcending physical law. The mind would then be demonstrated to be a spiritual rather than a physical system. Here was a clue to the soul – nothing more; but it provided the necessary lead to reliable evidence.
“From these ‘psychic’ experiences the ESP tests were derived. ESP is the abbreviation of extrasensory perception, which includes telepathy and clairvoyance, two different methods of acquiring knowledge without the use of the recognized sense organs such as the eyes and ears. In a typical telepathy test, the person tries to identify which card or number or other symbol is being held in mind by another person who is, let us say, located in an adjoining room. In a clairvoyance test, on the other hand, it is the object itself, commonly a card, which the percipient tries to perceive. In a word, telepathy is the ESP of the state of mind of another person; clairvoyance, the ESP of an object.
“At Duke University in 1930 a small group of psychologists began a series of ESP experiments of both types, telepathy and clairvoyance. This work was sponsored by the great British psychologist William McDougall, Fellow of the Royal Society, who was at the time head of the Department of Psychology at Duke. This work, carried out in what came to be called the Parapsychology Laboratory (‘para’ meaning the unusual, the exceptional, the unorthodox), was by no means the first of its kind.
“Experiments had been done here and there, some even in universities, for as much as fifty years before. But there had been no systematic, consecutive experimentation following up the problems through the years, such as took place at Duke. That university was the first to offer a permanent haven to active research on ‘psychic’ problems.
“The Parapsychology Laboratory found fresh confirmatory evidence of both types of ESP, telepathic and clairvoyant. They developed and standardized new tests, making it easier to repeat the experiments. This had the effect of starting a movement of ESP experimentation which spread to many other institutions here and abroad. Elaborate precautions were taken to insure that no sensory cues were possible and that no error could affect the test results. The tests were of such a nature that the scores could be evaluated by standard and long-approved statistical methods. It could be shown clearly that the scores could be evaluated by standard and long-approved statistical methods. It could be shown clearly that the scores made in the tests could not reasonably be accounted for, either by chance or by experimental weakness of any kind.
“Once the experimenters were satisfied that the occurrence of ESP was soundly established, they set to work on the vitally important question as to what relation that capacity had to the physical world. Do telepathy and clairvoyance operate strictly under physical law? Or do they reach beyond the limits of physics as the spontaneous ‘psychic’ experiences seem to do?
“Fortunately it was a simple matter to test ESP in relation to space. For example, we needed only to conduct tests with long distance between the cards and the person trying to identify them by ESP, and compare the results with short-distance tests. Both telepathy and clairvoyance gave as good results at great distances as they did with small. Distance measured in yards, miles, or hundreds of miles simply did not matter in the operation of ESP, as far as the experiments went. For that matter, angles, barriers, and other physical conditions seemed likewise to have no effect on success in the ESP tests.
“What, then, about time? We argued that if space does not influence ESP, time should not affect it either. The tests for ESP of the future, or precognition (prophesy is a more familiar word), were easily derived form the regular ESP tests. People who could successfully identify cards extra-sensorially at a distance were then asked to try to predict the order of the cards after the deck was shuffled. We found that they scored as well on decks of cards that were mechanically shuffled before checking as they did trying to identify the cards in the deck at the time. Moreover, they did as well at predicting the order of the cards ten days ahead as for a two-day period. Length of time beyond the prediction and the check-up following the shuffling made no more difference than had length of distance in the earlier experiments.
“There was only one interpretation of these experiments possible – namely, that the mind of man somehow transcends the space-time limitations of the physical world. As the experiments were confirmed by other research men in other laboratories, the conclusion became firmly established that the mind does indeed possess properties not belonging to physics as we know it. Since space and time are the surest indications of what is physical, the mind must, therefore, be extra physical or spiritual in nature. And all we mean by the ‘soul’ in man is that the mind is non-physical – or spiritual – in nature. The ESP experiments, then, have yielded evidence of the soul in man.
“To some people this will seem a very small beginning on the problem of the soul. Certainly we must not exaggerate the extent of the findings. Actually we have done little more than produce evidence for an elemental sort of soul theory. There is, of course, a great deal more to the religious concept of the soul than has been found in these researches. There are many great problems remaining. Is the soul capable of separation from the body? Can it survive bodily death? If it can and does, can discarnate souls have any contact with the living, or in any way influence them? What about the idea of a world-soul or God? What about communication between souls, especially the soul of man and God?
“These and many other fundamental questions of religious doctrine remain untouched by anything thus far discussed in this article. All we have a right to conclude is that the physical concept of man which has increasingly prevailed in intellectual circles since the rise of materialism is now thoroughly disproved.
“There is something – how much, we do not know – definitely extra-physical about humans. There is an order of reality in human life not subject to the laws of time and space.
“But it is just as important, I think, to recognize, too, the tremendous possibilities we cannot see. The soul-theory of man gives us much to build on in our further thinking on religious problems. We have now verified the essential foundation upon which the spiritual philosophy of man was originally erected. It remains for scientific inquiry to go on further to find out by the same methods all we can about human personality, its nature and destiny – in short, to take up the other great questions of religion.
“There was a time when experimental inquiry into the problems of religion would have met with vigorous opposition from orthodox religious leaders. Many conservatives would resent the intrusion of science into the domain of what they think should be pure faith. But a great many deeply religious men are eagerly reaching out for a more tangible sort of knowledge regarding the human mind and all of its potentialities that lie far beyond our present knowledge.
“Surprisingly enough, it has been from orthodox science that we have met the main opposition. The scientific conservative especially fears any dividing in nature, any such dualism as that of soul and body – so much that he is likely to refuse to look at evidence which suggests such a duality. Such anxiety is quite groundless, for it, as we may now claim to know, man does have a soul as well as a body, both fundamentally different, the two are still in some sense unified.
“They do interact; therefore, they have something in common. Two things cannot affect each other if they differ in every single point. Therefore, there must be a world of hidden realities, probably neither physical nor mental as we know them, from which the manifestations of mind and body, the psychical and physical, originally stem. This realm beyond mind and matter lies there almost as unknown as the American continents were to Columbus, silently awaiting some fortunate explorer of the future. But he will have to be someone who, like the great Genoese sailor, was daring enough to question existing charts of knowledge and belief – and put them to experimental test.”
I have often attended seances at which the medium has refused to perform, declaring that someone in the audience was a scoffer, a non-believer whose vibrations were creating a hostile atmosphere.
The materialistic skeptic may laugh at this, but I have attended large meetings were one lone heckler’s persistent hostility has not only disrupted the audience but completely defeated the efforts of the speaker.
I think that anyone who understands the vibratory theory of thought can see why unsympathetic vibrations can be monkey wrenches thrown into the machinery. Dr. Rhine discovered in his psychokinesis tests that when a subject operated in the presence of an observer who tried to distract them and depress their scoring, the results were always below expectancy. And, contrariwise, when the same subject performed alone or in the presence of neutral or sympathetic observers, the score of successes was correspondingly high.
You have only to read the history of witchcraft, the story of voodoo medicine men and “hexers,” and even the achievements of present-day mental-healers. There is undoubtedly some force at work which influences others even at a distance. The suggestion first planted in the mind of the patient (or victim, as the case may be) doesn’t account for the results – especially in the absent-treatment method where the patient may have no knowledge that the healer is “working” on them. Whether telepathy is involved here is something that has not yet been established.
Practically all of the great electrical scientists, including Edison, Steinmetz, Tesla, and Marconi, were greatly interested in telepathy. Dr. Alexis Carrel not only believed in telepathy but declared that scientific men should study it, just as physiological phenomena are studied. After twenty years of investigation by its members, the secretary of the London Society for Psychical Research stated that telepathy is an actuality. Experiments at various colleges continue to pile up amazing evidence of its existence. Yet many scientific men still refuse to accept the findings. Moreover, the number of laymen carrying on investigations of their own is constantly growing, even though they are regarded in certain quarters as being eccentric and somewhat gullible. I have often wondered if those who belittle are really being fair, both to themselves and those interested in the phenomena, especially when the research work may lead to greater discoveries than hitherto dreamed possible.
Many horse and dog fanciers, especially those who have these animals as pets over a period of years, stoutly maintain the existence of telepathy between the animals and themselves. There have been countless stories of telepathic phenomena among primitive people in all parts of the world.
Long years ago, a business executive told me that he got rid of people who were taking up his time by simply repeating mentally, “It’s time for you to go. Leave now. Leave now.” The visitor would shortly get fidgety, look at their watch or get up from their chair, and soon be on their way.
You can get the same results when visitors overstay their time in your home. When you feel it is time for them to go, simply say to yourself, “Go home now, go home now, go home now.” You will find they glance around the room, looking for the clock and say, “Guess it’s about time we were leaving.”
Some skeptics will say that telepathy has nothing to do with this, that your facial expressions, bodily movements, signs of nervousness or weariness all warn the visitor that it is time to leave.
Experiment for yourself; but take care that you give the visitor no outward sign, either by word or facial expression, that it is time to depart. You will find that at times, especially if the visitor is intent upon putting over a point or winning an argument, this procedure will not work. But the moment there is a lull in the conversation, try it, and the results will astonish you.
A number of years ago, I had my office on the second floor of a large building. Later, my firm moved up to the tenth floor. Often upon entering the elevator, I would say, “Ten, please,” to the operator, and then immediately begin thinking about how I used to work on the second floor. Time after time, the elevator operator – who didn’t know me or my earlier association, stopped at the second floor and then turned around to look at me.
A Pacific Coast clergyman who was a deep student of Mind Stuff told me that every time he wanted flowers in his church, he simply sent his thoughts out to members of his congregation and someone would send flowers. Every memorial window in his church, he told me, came as a result of the mental suggestions he gave whenever he felt the time was propitious for another window.
In a radio program in April, 1945, Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews told of one of the most unusual “coincidences” on record. Just after the publication of one of his songs, an American songwriter discovered that the same piece of music, note for note, had been composed and published in Germany only a short time before. That the compositions were identical to the last note makes the story more unusual than the many cases reported of widely separated people who have had the same idea at the same time. While living on the West Coast, I submitted an article to an eastern publication, only to receive a note from the editor saying he’d just accepted an article embracing the same material from another writer living in the East. Elisha Gray claimed that he had the idea of the telephone at the same time as Alexander Graham Bell. Independent simultaneous discovery often happens among writers, inventors, chemists, engineers, and composers.
Even during the preparation of this book, when suggestions were being made for changes and additions, my agent and I were often surprised to learn that we both received similar ideas at almost identical times. The idea of using the identical people as examples came to us almost simultaneously.
Early on, my publisher suggested that I expand the manuscript. I had been engaged in additional research work for a week when my adviser sent me a letter stating that he had suggested to the publisher the identical subject matter I had been working on. We found that the same thoughts had come to us at approximately the same time. Naturally, there is no way of knowing whether my adviser in New York caught my thoughts or whether I caught his – I merely report the facts.
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