Every successful concern is the result of a One-Man Power. Cooperation, technically, is an iridescent dream things cooperate because the man makes them. He cements them by his will.
But find this Man, and get his confidence, and his weary eyes will look into yours and the cry of his heart shall echo in your ears. “O, for some one to help me bear this burden!”
Then he will tell you of his endless search for Ability, and of his continual disappointments and thwartings in trying to get some one to help himself by helping him.
Ability is the one crying need of the hour. The banks are bulging with money, and everywhere are men looking for work. The harvest is ripe. But the Ability to captain the unemployed and utilize the capital, is lacking sadly lacking. Your man of Ability has a place already. Yes, Ability is a rare article.
But there is something that is much scarcer, something finer far, something rarer than this quality of Ability.
It is the ability to recognize Ability.
The sternest comment that ever can be made against employers as a class, lies in the fact that men of Ability usually succeed in showing their worth in spite of their employer, and not with his assistance and encouragement.
If you know the lives of men of Ability, you know that they discovered their power, almost without exception, thru chance or accident. Had the accident not occurred that made the opportunity, the man would have remained unknown and practically lost to the world. The experience of Tom Potter, telegraph operator at an obscure little way station, is truth painted large. That fearful night, when most of the wires were down and a passenger train went through the bridge, gave Tom Potter the opportunity of discovering himself. He took charge of the dead, cared for the wounded, settled fifty claims drawing drafts on the company burned the last vestige of the wreck, sunk the waste iron in the river and repaired the bridge before the arrival of the Superintendent on the spot.
“Who gave you the authority to do all this?” demanded the Superintendent.
“Nobody,” replied Tom, “I assumed the authority.”
The next month Tom Potter’s salary was enhanced, and in three years he was making ten times this, simply because he could get other men to do things.
Why wait for an accident to discover Tom Potter? Let us set traps for Tom Potter, and lie in wait for him. Perhaps Tom Potter is just around the corner, across the street, in the next room, or at our elbow. Myriads of embryonic Tom Potters await discovery and development if we but look for them.
I know a man who roamed the woods and fields for thirty years and never found an Indian arrow. One day he began to think “arrow,” and stepping out of his doorway he picked one up. Since then he has collected a bushel of them.
Suppose we cease wailing about incompetence, sleepy indifference and slipshod “help” that watches the clock. These things exist let us dispose of the subject by admitting it, and then emphasize the fact that freckled farmer boys come out of the West and East and often go to the front and do things in a masterly way. There is one name that stands out in history like a beacon light after all these twenty-five hundred years have passed, just because the man had the sublime genius of discovering Ability. That man is Pericles. Pericles made Athens.
And today the very dust of the streets of Athens is being sifted and searched for relics and remnants of the things made by people who were captained by men of Ability who were discovered by Pericles.
There is very little competition in this line of discovering Ability. We sit down and wail because Ability does not come our way. Let us think “Ability,” and possibly we can jostle Pericles there on his pedestal, where he has stood for over a score of centuries the man with a supreme genius for recognizing Ability.
Success is in the blood. There are men whom fate can never keep down they march forward in a jaunty manner, and take by divine right the best of everything that the earth affords. But their success is not attained by means of the Samuel Smiles-Connecticut policy. They do not lie in wait, nor scheme, nor fawn, nor seek to adapt their sails to catch the breeze of popular favor. Still, they are ever alert and alive to any good that may come their way, and when it comes they simply appropriate it, and tarrying not, move steadily on.
Good health! Whenever you go out of doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost; drink in the sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every hand-clasp.
Do not fear being misunderstood; and never waste a moment thinking about your enemies. Try to fix firmly in your own mind what you would like to do, and then without violence of direction you will move straight to the goal.
Fear is the rock on which we split, and hate the shoal on which many a barque is stranded. When we become fearful, the judgment is as unreliable as the compass of a ship whose hold is full of iron ore; when we hate, we have unshipped the rudder; and if ever we stop to meditate on what the gossips say, we have allowed a hawser to foul the screw.
Keep your mind on the great and splendid thing you would like to do; and then, as the days go gliding by, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing the opportunities that are required for the fulfillment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the elements that it needs. Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought that you hold is hourly transforming you into that particular individual you so admire.
Thought is supreme, and to think is often better than to do.
Preserve a right mental attitude the attitude of courage, frankness and good cheer.
Darwin and Spencer have told us that this is the method of Creation. Each animal has evolved the parts it needed and desired. The horse is fleet because he wishes to be; the bird flies because it desires to; the duck has a web foot because it wants to swim. All things come through desire and every sincere prayer is answered. We become like that on which our hearts are fixed.
Many people know this, but they do not know it thoroughly enough so that it shapes their lives. We want friends, so we scheme and chase ‘cross lots after strong people, and lie in wait for good folks or alleged good folks hoping to be able to attach ourselves to them. The only way to secure friends is to be one. And before you are fit for friendship you must be able to do without it. That is to say, you must have sufficient self-reliance to take care of yourself, and then out of the surplus of your energy you can do for others.
The individual who craves friendship, and yet desires a self-centered spirit more, will never lack for friends.
If you would have friends, cultivate solitude instead of society. Drink in the ozone; bathe in the sunshine; and out in the silent night, under the stars, say to yourself again and yet again, “I am a part of all my eyes behold!” And the feeling then will come to you that you are no mere interloper between earth and heaven; but you are a necessary part of the whole. No harm can come to you that does not come to all, and if you shall go down it can only be amid a wreck of worlds.
Like old Job, that which we fear will surely come upon us. By a wrong mental attitude we have set in motion a train of events that ends in disaster. People who die in middle life from disease, almost without exception, are those who have been preparing for death. The acute tragic condition is simply the result of a chronic state of mind a culmination of a series of events.
Character is the result of two things, mental attitude, and the way we spend our time. It is what we think and what we do that make us what we are.
By laying hold on the forces of the universe, you are strong with them. And when you realize this, all else is easy, for in your arteries will course red corpuscles, and in your heart the determined resolution is born to do and to be. Carry your chin in and the crown of your head high. We are gods in the chrysalis.
No woman is worthy to be a wife who on the day of her marriage is not lost absolutely and entirely in an atmosphere of love and perfect trust; the supreme sacredness of the relation is the only thing which, at the time, should possess her soul.
Women should not “obey” men anymore than men should obey women. There are six requisites in every happy marriage; the first is Faith, and the remaining five are Confidence. Nothing so compliments a man as for a woman to believe in him nothing so pleases a woman as for a man to place confidence in her.
Obey? God help me! Yes, if I loved a woman, my whole heart’s desire would be to obey her slightest wish. And how could I love her unless I had perfect confidence that she would only aspire to what was beautiful, true and right? And to enable her to realize this ideal, her wish would be to me a sacred command; and her attitude of mind toward me I know would be the same. And the only rivalry between us would be as to who could love the most; and the desire to obey would be the one controlling impulse of our lives.
We gain freedom by giving it, and he who bestows faith gets it back with interest. To bargain and stipulate in love is to lose.
Perfect faith implies perfect love; and perfect love casteth out fear. It is always the fear of imposition, and a lurking intent to rule, that causes the woman to haggle over a word it is absence of love, a limitation, an incapacity. The price of a perfect love is an absolute and complete surrender.
To give a man something for nothing tends to make the individual dissatisfied with himself.
Your enemies are the ones you have helped.
And when an individual is dissatisfied with himself he is dissatisfied with the whole world and with you.
A man’s quarrel with the world is only a quarrel with himself. But so strong is this inclination to lay blame elsewhere and take credit to ourselves, that when we are unhappy we say it is the fault of this woman or that man.
Especially do women attribute their misery to “That Man”. And often the trouble is he has given her too much for nothing.
This truth is a reversible, back-action one, well lubricated by use, working both ways as the case may be.
That form of affection which drives sharp bargains and makes demands, gets a check on the bank in which there is no balance.
There is nothing so costly as something you get for nothing.
Growth of noblest magnetism depends, in the larger sense, upon general adherence to a single, preeminent, ideal life-purpose, and, in the particular sense, upon specialization of the individual in studied magnetic conduct related to that end.
Continuous, intense affirmation of actual possessed magnetic power stimulates the success-elements, maintains receptivity, emphasizes demand, harmonizes and intensifies inner etheric vibrations, and induces a positive movement of the universal ether and its forces inward toward the central self.
The inner psychic attitude the character of magnetic intention determines the quality and effectiveness of the effort to multiply endowment into environment, and, therefore, the kind and degree of magnetism attained.
Self-pity, complaint, and all kindred states, confuse, weaken and waste every variety of magnetic power, while heroic acceptance of conditions for their betterment, and courageous assertion of self as master, conserve and enormously develop the noblest magnetism in proportion to the sway of the magnetic intention.
Whoever, on occasion of any psychic (magnetic) failure or defeat, dedicates the whole of aroused desperation to recovery of ground, infallibly induces a stress in the etheric life around him which ultimately draws to his aid, with the onsweep of worlds, the Universal Forces.
“Everything is transmitted, everything is transformed, everything is reproduced” (Ochorowicz); in physical and psychic health alone, therefore, are the Universal Forces transmitted through perfect etheric vibrations, transformed through effective etheric conduction, and reproduced in magnetism by adequate and harmonious psychic control of etheric capabilities.
The effectiveness of magnetism in action depends upon harmony of “tone” between its possessor and any other person, and in securing such “tone” harmony, on any magnetic plane, in any particular psychic state, at any given time, psychic and physical magnetism mutually cooperate.
The magnetic intention (“I INTEND MAGNETICALLY”) intensifies otherwise unconscious magnetism, and runs through all the mass of general etheric vibrations like a theme in complicated music, imparting to them unity, character, intelligence, and definite and enormous effectiveness in practical employment.
In the employment of magnetism, long-run purpose establishes etheric character, and specialized purpose confirms that character if it concentrates the general purpose, but confuses that character, perhaps destroys it, if it antagonizes the general purpose.
Magnetic effectiveness is proportioned to accuracy and fullness of adjustment, to things, to laws, to forces, to times, to situations, to qualities, to facts, to truths, to persons, and only studied experience can discover and establish such adjustment.
The problems of adjustment to persons are these:
With inferiors, to put self magnetically, without appearance of condescension, on their levels for the end in view, applying then the general principles of magnetism.
With equals, to apply the general principles.
With superiors, to assume their level while magnetically deferring, without adulation or humility, to such superiority, regardless of its reality or unreality, for the end in view, applying the general principles of magnetism.
The magnetic value of adjustment expresses the force and completeness with which the individual can identify himself with another person, suggesting oneness through attitude, gesture, act, eye, tone, language, and telepathic sympathy.
Magnetic skill exhibits in the manner in which beneficial reactions are received and utilized, negative or indifferent reactions are ostensibly ignored, yet constituted stimulation for further persistent magnetic action, and hostile reactions are refused, without ostentation, but with determination (if worth while) to “win out” through better adjustment and increased magnetic endeavor.
Magnetism ostensibly ognores, and refrains from, exciting antagonism; but, when antagonism is evident, rejects it and proceeds on the indirect attack, or openly accepts it and adopts the direct or the indirect method as the one or the other promises speediest and most perfect harmony of “tone”.
The projection of magnetic influence proportions to inner, conscious intensity of psychic and nervous states. Exploding powder in the gun calls for the man behind the weapon, and the soul within the man, and powerful vibrations within the soul’s arena, and magnetic intention within the vibrations, and psychic energy within the intention.
The attitude of magnetism, the magnetic intention and psychic pose, “I stand positively magnetic toward this person or this situation,” constantly maintained, ultimately instructs in all the arts of magnetic self-handling through the law of auto-suggestion, and realizes in practical form its own ideals.
When, in the application of magnetism, one affirms, mentally, intensely, persistently, “I am receiving and exerting power,” he unconsciously calls to aid all the success-elements and makes himself a center toward which the Universal Forces inevitably gravitate.
The magnetic attitudes, faith, demand and affirmation, constitute a magnetic telescope through which the distant goal of success is magnified and all nearer obstacles, lures and irritating conditions are closed out of view.
Long-continued association with some fixed, great and attractive idea sets into operation certain deep, subconscious operations of the soul, which, for a time unrecognized and unmanifest in life, gradually and surely coordinate all individual powers thereto, induce a working of the whole system in harmony therewith, and finally emerge in the objective life and consciousness as a unified, actual dynamic force. The idea has swung the individual, has transformed him, has harmonized and intensified his faculties and his personal ether, has come to sovereignty in his personal atmosphere, and from there exerts a dynamic force upon other people and life’s conditions.
This Article has tried to saturate you with the idea of success coordinating with its necessary elements, and has thus endeavored to swing your whole being into mighty belief that large success is also for you.
First impressions are apt to be permanent; it is therefore of importance that they should be favourable. The dress of an individual is that circumstance from which you first form your opinion of him. It is even more prominent than manner, It is indeed the only thing which is remarked in a casual encounter, or during the first interview. It, therefore, should be the first care.
What style is to our thoughts, dress is to our persons. It may supply the place of more solid qualities, and without it the most solid are of little avail. Numbers have owed their elevation to their attention to the toilet. Place, fortune, marriage have all been lost by neglecting it.
Your dress should always be consistent with your age and your natural exterior. That which looks outrageous, on one man, will be agreeable on another. As success in this respect depends almost entirely upon particular circumstances and personal peculiarities, it is impossible to give general directions of much importance. We can only point out the field for study and research; it belongs to each one’s own genius and industry to deduce the results. However ugly you may be, rest assured that there is some style of habiliment which will make you passable.
If, for example, you have a stain upon your cheek which rivals in brilliancy the best Chateau-Margout; or, are afflicted with a nose whose lustre dims the ruby, you may employ such hues of dress, that the eye, instead of being shocked by the strangeness of the defect, will be charmed by the graceful harmony of the colours. Every one cannot indeed be an Adonis, but it is his own fault if he is an Esop.
Almost every defect of face may be concealed by a judicious use and arrangement of hair. Take care, however, that your hair be not of one colour and your whiskers of another; and let your wig be large enough to cover the whole of your red or white hair. It is evident, therefore, that though a man may be ugly, there is no necessity for his being shocking.
“In civilized life it has at last become possible for large numbers of people to pass from the cradle to the grave without ever having had a pang of genuine fear. Many of us need an attack of mental disease to teach us the meaning of the word.” William James.
We have all heard the seemingly discriminating remarks that fear is normal and abnormal, and that normal fear is to be regarded as a friend, while abnormal fear should be destroyed as an enemy.
The fact is that no so called normal fear can be named which has not been clearly absent in some people who have had every cause therefor. If you will run over human history in your mind, or look about yea in the present life, you will find here and there persons who, in situations or before objects which ought, as any fearful soul will insist, to inspire the feeling of at least normal self-protecting fear, are nevertheless wholly without the feeling. They possess every feeling and thought demanded except fear. The idea of self-preservation is as strongly present as with the most abjectly timid or terrified, but fear they do not know. This fearless awareness of fear suggesting conditions may be due to several causes. It may result from constitutional make-up, or from long continued training or habituation, or from religious ecstasy, or from a perfectly calm sense of spiritual selfhood which is unhurtable, or from the action of very exalted reason. Whatever the explanation, the fact remains: the very causes which excite fear in most of us, merely appeal, with such people, if at all. to the instinct of self-preservation and to reason, the thought-element of the soul which makes for personal peace and wholeness.
Banish all fear.
It is on such considerations that I have come to hold that all real fear-feeling should and may be banished from our life, and that what we call “normal fear” should be substituted in our language by “instinct” or by “reason,” the element of fear being dropped altogether.
“Everyone can testify that the psychical state called fear consists of mental representations of certain painful results” (James). The mental representations may be very faint as such, but the idea of hurt to self is surely present. If, then, it can be profoundly believed that the real self cannot be hurt; if the reason can be brought to consider vividly and believingly all quieting considerations; if the self can be held consciously in the assurance that the White Life surrounds the true self, and is surely within that self, and will suffer “no evil to come nigh,” while all the instincts of self preservation may be perfectly active, fear itself must be removed “as far as the east is from the west.”
These are the ways, then, in which any occasion for fear may be divided:
As a warning and as a maker of panic. But let us say that the warning should be understood as given to reason, that fear need not appear at all, and that the panic is perfectly useless pain. With these discriminations in mind, we may now go on to a preliminary study of fear.
Preliminary study of fear.
Fear is (a) an impulse, (b) a habit, (c) a disease.
Fear, as it exists in man, is a make-believe of sanity, a creature of the imagination, a state of insanity.
Furthermore, fear is, now of the nerves, now of the mind, now of the moral consciousness.
The division depends upon the point of view. What is commonly called normal fear should give place to reason, using the word to cover instinct as well as thought. From the correct point of view all fear is an evil so long as entertained.
Whatever its manifestations, wherever its apparent location, fear is a psychic state, of course, reacting upon the individual in several ways: as, in the nerves, in mental moods, in a single impulse, in a chronic habit, in a totally unbalanced condition. The reaction has always a good intention, meaning, in each case, “Take care! Danger!” You will see that this is so if you will look for a moment at three comprehensive kinds of fear fear of self, fear for self, fear for others. Fear of self is indirectly fear for self danger. Fear for others signifies foresensed or forepictured distress to self because of anticipated misfortune to others. I often wonder whether, when we fear for others, it is distress to self or hurt to them that is most emphatically in our thought.
Fear, then, is usually regarded as the soul’s danger signal. But the true signal is instinctive and thoughtful reason.
Even instinct and reason, acting as warning, may perform their duty abnormally, or assume abnormal proportions. And then we have the feeling of fear. The normal warning is induced by actual danger apprehended by mind in a state of balance and self-control. Normal mind is always capable of such warning. There are but two ways in which so-called normal fear, acting in the guise of reason, may be annihilated: by the substitution of reason for fear, and by the assurance of the white life.
Let it be understood, now, that by normal fear is here meant normal reason real fear being denied place and function altogether. Then we may say that such action of reason is a benefactor to man. It is, with pain and weariness, the philanthropy of the nature of things within us.
One person said: “Tired? No such word in my house!” Now this cannot be a sound and healthy attitude. Weariness, at a certain stage of effort, is a signal to stop work. When one becomes so absorbed in labor as to lose consciousness of the feeling of weariness, he has issued a “hurry call” on death. I do not deny that the soul may cultivate a sublime sense of buoyancy and power; rather do I urge you to seek that beautiful condition; but I hold that when a belief or a hallucination refuses to permit you to hear the warning of nerves and muscles, Nature will work disaster inevitably. Let us stand for the larger liberty which is joyously free to take advantage of everything Nature may offer for true well-being. There is a partial liberty which tries to realize itself by denying various realities as real; there is a higher liberty which really realizes itself by conceding such realities as real and by using or disusing them as occasion may require in the interest of the self at its best. I hold this to be true wisdom: to take advantage of everything which evidently promises good to the self, without regard to this or that theory, and freely to use all things, material or immaterial, reasonable or spiritual. I embrace your science or your method; but I beg to ignore your bondage to philosophy or to consistency. So I say that to normal health the weary-sense is a rational command to replenish exhausted nerves and muscles.
It is not liberty, it is not healthful, to declare, “There is no pain!” Pain does exist, whatever you affirm, and your affirmation that it does not is proof that it does exist, for why (and how) declare the non-existence of that which actually is non-existent? But if you say, “As a matter of fact I have pain, but I am earnestly striving to ignore it, and to cultivate thought-health so that the cause of pain may be removed,” that is sane and beautiful. This is the commendable attitude of the Bible character who cried: “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” To undertake swamping pain with a cloud of psychological fog that is to turn anarchist against the good government of Nature. By pain Nature informs the individual that he is somewhere out of order. This warning is normal. The feeling becomes abnormal in the mind when imagination twangs the nerves with reiterated irritation, and Will, confused by the discord and the psychic chaos, cowers and shivers with fear.
I do not say there is no such thing as fear. Fear does exist. But it exists in your life by your permission only, not because it is needful as a warning against “evil.”
Fear is induced by unduly magnifying actual danger, or by conjuring up fictitious dangers through excessive and misdirected psychical reactions. This also may be taken as a signal of danger, but it is a falsely-intentioned witness, for it is not needed, is hostile to the individual because it threatens self-control and it absorbs life’s forces in useless and destructive work when they ought to be engaged in creating values.
An excellent and gentle man of my acquaintance has said, “When fifty-one per cent of the voters believe in cooperation as opposed to competition, the Ideal Commonwealth will cease to be a theory and become a fact.”
That men should work together for the good of all is very beautiful, and I believe the day will come when these things will be, but the simple process of fifty-one per cent of the voters casting ballots for socialism will not bring it about.
The matter of voting is simply the expression of a sentiment, and after the ballots have been counted there still remains the work to be done. A man might vote right and act like a fool the rest of the year.
The socialist who is full of bitterness, fight, faction and jealousy is creating an opposition that will hold him and all others like him in check. And this opposition is well, for even a very imperfect society is forced to protect itself against dissolution and a condition which is worse. To take over the monopolies and operate them for the good of society is not enough, and not desirable either, so long as the idea of rivalry is rife.
As long as self is uppermost in the minds of men, they will fear and hate other men, and under socialism there would be precisely the same scramble for place and power that we see in politics now.
Society can never be reconstructed until its individual members are reconstructed. Man must be born again. When fifty-one per cent of the voters rule their own spirit and have put fifty-one per cent of their present envy, jealousy, bitterness, hate, fear and foolish pride out of their hearts, then socialism will be at hand, and not until then.
The subject is entirely too big to dispose of in a paragraph, so I am just going to content myself here with the mention of one thing, the danger to society of exclusive friendships between man and man, and woman and woman. No two persons of the same sex can complement each other, neither can they long uplift or benefit each other. Usually they deform the mental and spiritual estate. We should have many acquaintances or none. When two men begin to “tell each other everything,” they are hiking for senility. There must be a bit of well-defined reserve. We are told that in matter solid steel for instance the molecules never touch. They never surrender their individuality. We are all molecules of Divinity, and our personality should not be abandoned. Be yourself, let no man be necessary to you. Your friend will think more of you if you keep him at a little distance. Friendship, like credit, is highest where it is not used.
I can understand how a strong man can have a great and abiding affection for a thousand other men, and call them all by name, but how he can regard any one of these men much higher than another and preserve his mental balance, I do not know.
Let a man come close enough and he’ll clutch you like a drowning person, and down you both go. In a close and exclusive friendship men partake of others’ weaknesses.
In shops and factories it happens constantly that men will have their chums. These men relate to each other their troubles they keep nothing back they sympathize with each other, they mutually condole.
They combine and stand by each other. Their friendship is exclusive and others see that it is. Jealousy creeps in, suspicion awakens, hate crouches around the corner, and these men combine in mutual dislike for certain things and persons. They foment each other, and their sympathy dilutes sanity by recognizing their troubles men make them real. Things get out of focus, and the sense of values is lost. By thinking some one is an enemy you evolve him into one.
Soon others are involved and we have a clique. A clique is a friendship gone to seed.
A clique develops into a faction, and a faction into a feud, and soon we have a mob, which is a blind, stupid, insane, crazy, ramping and roaring mass that has lost the rudder. In a mob there are no individuals all are of one mind, and independent thought is gone.
A feud is founded on nothing it is a mistake a fool idea fanned into flame by a fool friend! And it may become a mob.
Every man who has had anything to do with communal life has noticed that the clique is the disintegrating bacillus and the clique has its rise always in the exclusive friendship of two persons of the same sex, who tell each other all unkind things that are said of each other “so be on your guard.” Beware of the exclusive friendship! Respect all men and try to find the good in all. To associate only with the sociable, the witty, the wise, the brilliant, is a blunder go among the plain, the stupid, the uneducated, and exercise your own wit and wisdom. You grow by giving have no favorites you hold your friend as much by keeping away from him as you do by following after him.
Revere him yes, but be natural and let space intervene. Be a Divine molecule.
Be yourself and give your friend a chance to be himself. Thus do you benefit him, and in benefiting him you benefit yourself.
The finest friendships are between those who can do without each other.
Of course there have been cases of exclusive friendship that are pointed out to us as grand examples of affection, but they are so rare and exceptional that they serve to emphasize the fact that it is exceedingly unwise for men of ordinary power and intellect to exclude their fellow men. A few men, perhaps, who are big enough to have a place in history, could play the part of David to another’s Jonathan and yet retain the good will of all, but the most of us would engender bitterness and strife.
And this beautiful dream of socialism, where each shall work for the good of all, will never come about until fifty-one per cent of the adults shall abandon all exclusive friendships. Until that day arrives you will have cliques, denominations which are cliques grown big factions, feuds and occasional mobs.
Do not lean on any one, and let no one lean on you. The ideal society will be made up of ideal individuals. Be a man and be a friend to everybody.
When the Master admonished his disciples to love their enemies, he had in mind the truth that an exclusive love is a mistake. Love dies when it is monopolized. It grows by giving. Your enemy is one who misunderstands you why should you not rise above the fog and see his error and respect him for the good qualities you find in him?
In all application of magnetism to persons, you are urged to remember that your very first goal, always and preeminently, is an agreeable feeling within their minds. You should never try to induce a person to act your way until you have thoroughly established in him a good feeling toward yourself. This is the prime initial step. When such a condition has been secured, you are then ready for the magnetic assault and then only.
When you are dealing with other people, endeavoring magnetically to win them to your wish, you should summon the general magnetic feeling within yourself, will them to do as you desire, and at the same time think of them as already consenting and acting. Your inner condition should be perfectly calm, buoyant, hopeful, whatever the external means employed, your mind should be concentrated upon the thing desired, and its accomplishment should be thought of as now secured. The response of the person may be delayed, but this should not discourage you, for some minds do not take suggestions (those of your unspoken will are referred to) quickly, and they do not act instantly upon their own thought. It is invariably best to induce people to believe that they are acting on their personal impulse or judgment; they should be made to feel perfectly free, not at all coerced, and that they are doing their own will rather than yours simply because they wish so to do.
We may summarize all these suggestions in the words of a distinguished scientific writer:
“Life is not a bully who swaggers out into the open universe, upsetting the laws of energy in all directions, but rather a consummate strategist, who, sitting in his secret chamber over his wires, directs the movements of a great army.” This is a good description of magnetism.
The success-magnetism assumption: We are now ready for the great assumption-principle of magnetism in applied life.
Think of every goal as already reached, of every undertaking as already achieved.
It is the natural right of every human being to be happy to escape all the miseries of life. Happiness is the normal condition, as natural as the landscapes and the seasons. It is unnatural to suffer and it is only because of our ignorance that we do suffer. Happiness is the product of wisdom. To attain perfect wisdom, to comprehend fully the purpose of life, to realize completely the relationship of human beings to each other, is to put an end to all suffering, to escape every ill and evil that afflicts us. Perfect wisdom is unshadowed joy.
Why do we suffer in life? Because in the scheme of nature we are being forced forward in evolution and we lack the spiritual illumination that alone can light the way and enable us to move safely among the obstacles that lie before us. Usually we do not even see or suspect the presence of trouble until it suddenly leaps upon us like a concealed tiger. One day our family circle is complete and happy. A week later death has come and gone and joy is replaced with agony. Today we have a friend. Tomorrow he will be an enemy and we do not know why. A little while ago we had wealth and all material luxuries. There was a sudden change and now we have only poverty and misery and yet we seek in vain for a reason why this should be. There was a time when we had health and strength; but they have both departed and no trace of a reason appears. Aside from these greater tragedies of life innumerable things of lesser consequence continually bring to us little miseries and minor heartaches. We most earnestly desire to avoid them but we never see them until they strike us, until in the darkness of our ignorance we blunder upon them. The thing we lack is the spiritual illumination that will enable us to look far and wide, finding the hidden causes of human suffering and revealing the method by which they may be avoided; and if we can but reach illumination the evolutionary journey can be made both comfortably and swiftly. It is as though we must pass through a long, dark room filled with furniture promiscuously scattered about. In the darkness our progress would be slow and painful and our bruises many. But if we could press a button that would turn on the electric light we could then make the same journey quickly and with perfect safety and comfort.
The old method of education was to store the mind with as many facts, or supposed facts, as could be accumulated and to give a certain exterior polish to the personality. The theory was that when a man was born he was a completed human being and that all that could be done for him was to load him up with information that would be used with more or less skill, according to the native ability he happened to be born with. The theosophical idea is that the physical man, and all that constitutes his life in the physical world, is but a very partial expression of the self; that in the ego of each there is practically unlimited power and wisdom; that these may be brought through into expression in the physical world as the physical body and its invisible counterparts, which together constitute the complex vehicle of the ego’s manifestation, are evolved and adapted to the purpose; and that in exact proportion that conscious effort is given to such self-development will spiritual illumination be achieved and wisdom attained. Thus the light that leads to happiness is kindled from within and the evolutionary journey that all are making may be robbed of its suffering.
Why does death bring misery? Chiefly because it separates us from those we love. The only other reason why death brings grief or fear is because we do not understand it and comprehend the part it plays in human evolution. But the moment our ignorance gives way to comprehension such fear vanishes and a serene happiness takes its place.
Why do we have enemies from whose words or acts we suffer? Because in our limited physical consciousness we do not perceive the unity of all life and realize that our wrong thinking and doing must react upon us through other people a situation from which there is no possible escape except through ceasing to think evil and then patiently awaiting the time when the causes we have already generated are fully exhausted. When spiritual illumination comes, and we no longer stumble in the night of ignorance, the last enemy will disappear and we shall make no more forever.
Why do people suffer from poverty and disease? Only because of our blundering ignorance that makes their existence possible for us, and because we do not comprehend their meaning and their lessons, nor know the attitude to assume toward them. Had we but the wisdom to understand why they come to people, why they are necessary factors in their evolution, they would trouble us no longer. When nature’s lesson is fully learned these mute teachers will vanish.
And so it is with all forms of suffering we experience. They are at once reactions from our ignorant blunderings and instructors that point out the better way. When we have comprehended the lessons they teach they are no longer necessary and disappear. It is not by the outward acquirement of facts that men become wise and great. It is by developing the soul from within until it illuminates the brain with that flood of light called genius.