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Mr. C. Harry Brooks tells of a very interesting and instructive visit to the clinic of Dr. Emile Coue in a book entitled the Practice of Auto-suggestion, published by Dodd, Mead & Co. The clinic is situated in a pleasant garden attached to Dr. Coue’s house at the end of the rue Jeanne d’Arc, in Nancy. He states that when he arrived the room reserved for patients was already crowded, but in spite of that, eager newcomers constantly tried to gain entrance. The window sills on the ground floor were beset and a dense knot had formed in the door. The patients had occupied every available seat and were sitting on camp stools and folding chairs.

He then tells of the man remarkable cures which Dr. Coue proceeded to effect by no other means than suggestion to the patient that the power of healing lies within the patient himself. There was also a children’s clinic in charge of Mademoiselle Kauffmant who devotes her entire time to this work.

Mr. Brooks thinks that “Coue’s” discoveries may profoundly affect our life and education because it teaches us that the burdens of life are, at least in a large measure, of our own creating. We reproduce in ourselves and in our circumstances the thoughts of our minds. It goes further, it offers us a means by which we can change these thoughts when they are evil land foster them when they are good, so producing a corresponding betterment in our individual life. But the process does not end with the individual.

The thoughts of society are realized in social conditions, the thoughts of humanity in world conditions. What would be the attitude towards our social and international problems of a generation nurtured from infancy in the knowledge and practice of auto-suggestion? If each person found happiness in his own heart, would the illusory greed for possession survive? The acceptance of auto-suggestion entails a change of attitude, a revaluation of life. If we stand with our faces westward we see nothing but clouds and darkness, yet by a simple turn of the head we bring the wide panorama of the sunrise into view.”

The New York Times, under date of Aug. 6, 1922, published an excellent likeness of Emile Coue and a review of his work by Van Buren Thorne, M. D. He says that the keynote to the system of treatment of mental and physical ills devised and elaborated by Emile Coue of Nancy, France, can be described in a single paragraph:

“The individual is possessed of two minds, called the conscious and the unconscious. The latter is referred to by some psychologists as the subconscious mind, and is literally the humble and obedient servant of the conscious mind. The unconscious mind is the director and overseer of our internal economy. By means of its activities the processes of digestion and assimilation of foods are carried on, repairs are made, wastes are eliminated, our vital organs function and life itself persists.

When the thought arises in the conscious mind that extra efforts toward the repair of some deficiency, either physical or mental are needed, all the individual has to do, in the opinion of Dr. Coue, is audibly to enunciate that thought in the form of a direct suggestion to the unconscious mind, and that humble obedient servant immediately, and without questioning the dictates of its conscious master, proceeds to obey instructions.”

Dr. Coue, Mr. Brooks, and large numbers of persons of repute in France, England, and elsewhere in Europe, have declared that the results in many cases under their direct observation have been nothing short of marvelous. Those who have not witnessed the benefits of this form of treatment--hence may incline to be skeptical--are more likely to give attention to what follows when they are informed of three facts regarding the Nancy practice. First, Dr. Coue has never accepted a penny for his treatments in the many years of his ministration; second, he is in the habit of explaining to his patients that he possesses no healing powers, has never healed a person in his life, and that they must find the instruments of their own well-being in themselves; third, that any individual can treat himself without consulting any other person.

It may be added that a child who is capable of comprehending the fact of the conscious and subconscious mind, and is competent to issue orders from one to the other, is quite capable of the self-administration of the treatment.

“For what man knoweth the things of a man save the spirit of the man which is in him?” Mr. Brooks quotes from First Corinthians for his title page. Doubtless this was selected as an apt biblical reference to the existence of the conscious and unconscious minds. But neither the treatment, nor this book about it, dwells at length upon any possible religious significance of the methods employed or the results obtained.

The single thing that has contributed largely to the recent rapid spread of knowledge concerning Dr. Coue’s method of practice at Nancy is his insistence upon the benefits to be derived from the frequent repetition of this formula: “Day by day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” As I remarked, no great stress is laid upon the religious significance of his alleged cures; yet, says Mr. Brooks, “religious minds who wish to associate the formula with God’s care and protection might do so after this fashion: ‘Day by day, in every way, by the help of God, I’m getting better and better.’” The secret of success in the treatment is to so beget confidence in the conscious mind that what it repeats is accepted at its face value by the unconscious mind, and as Mr. Brooks puts it: “Every idea which enters the conscious mind, if it is accepted by the unconscious, is transformed by it into a reality and forms henceforth a permanent element in our life.”

But let us see how this book came to be written, and then watch Dr. Coue at work.

Mr. Brooks is an Englishman who became interested in Dr. Coue’s work at Nancy and went there to observe it at first hand. In his foreword to the volume, Dr. Coue says that Mr. Brooks visited him for several weeks last summer, and that he was the first Englishman who came to Nancy with the express purpose of studying methods of conscious auto-suggestion. He attended Dr. Coue’s consultations and obtained a full mastery of the method. Then the two men threshed out a good deal of the theory on which the treatment rests.

Dr. Coue says that Mr. Brooks skillfully seized on the essentials and he has put them forward in the volume in a manner that seems to him both simple and clear.

“It is a method,” says Dr. Coue, “which every one should follow--the sick to obtain healing, the healthy to prevent the coming of disease in the future. By its practice we can insure for ourselves, all our lives long, an excellent state of health, both of the mind and the body.”

Now let us enter Dr. Coue’s clinic with Mr. Brooks. Back of the house there is a pleasant garden with flowers, strawberry beds, and laden fruit trees. Groups of patients occupy the garden seats. There are two brick buildings--the waiting and consultation rooms. These are crowded with patients--men, women and children.

Coue tells him he is going to get better, and adds: “You have been sowing bad seed in your Unconscious; now you will sow good seed. The power by which you have produced such ill-effects will in the future produce equally good ones.”

“Madame,” he tells a woman who breaks into a torrent of complaint, “you think too much about your ailments, and in thinking of them you create fresh ones.”

He tells a girl with headaches, a youth with inflamed eyes, and a laborer with varicose veins, that autosuggestion should bring complete relief. He comes to a neurasthenic girl who is making her third visit to the clinic and who has been practicing the method at home for ten days. She says she is getting better. She can now eat heartily, sleep soundly, and is beginning to enjoy life.

A big peasant, formerly a blacksmith, next engages his attention. He says he has not been able to raise his right arm above the level of his shoulder for nearly ten years. Coue predicts a complete cure. For forty minutes he keeps on with the interrogation of patients.

Then he pays attention to those who have come to tell him of the benefits they have received. Here is a woman who has had a painful swelling in her breast, diagnosed by the doctor (in Coue’s opinion, wrongly), as cancerous. She says that, with three weeks’ treatment, she has completely recovered. Another has overcome her anaemia and has gained nine pounds in weight. A third says he has been cured of varicose ulcer; while a fourth, a lifelong stammerer, announces a complete cure in one sitting.

Coue now turns to the former blacksmith and says: “For ten years you have been thinking that you could not lift your arm above your shoulder; consequently, you have not been able to do so, for whatever we think becomes true for us. Now think: ‘I can lift it.’”

The man looks doubtful, says half-heartedly, “I can,” makes an effort, and says it hurts.

“Keep it up,’ Coue commands in a tone of authority, “and think ‘I can, I can!’ Close your eyes and repeat with me as fast as you can, ‘ca passe, ca passe.’”

After half a minute of this, Coue says, “Now think well that you can lift your arm.”

“I can,” says the man with conviction and proceeds to raise it to full height, where he holds it in triumph for all to see.

“My friend,” observes Dr. Coue quietly. “You are cured.”

“It is marvelous,” says the bewildered blacksmith, “I believe it.”

“Prove it,” says Coue, “by hitting me on the shoulder,” whereupon the blows fall in regular sequence.

“Enough,” cautions Coue, wincing from the sledge-hammer blows. “Now you can go back to your anvil.”

Now he turns to patient No. 1, the tottering man. The sufferer seems inspired with confidence by what he has seen. Under Coue’s instructions he takes control of himself, and in a few minutes he is walking about with ease.

“When I get through with the clinic,” says Coue, “you shall come for a run in the garden.”

And so it happens; very soon this patient is trotting around the enclosure at five miles an hour.

Coue then proceeds to the formulation of specific suggestions. The patients close their eyes and he speaks in a low, monotonous voice. Here is an example:

“Say to yourself that all the words I am about to utter will be fixed, imprinted and engraved in your minds; that they will remain fixed, imprinted and engraven there, so that without your will and knowledge, without your being in any way aware of what is taking place, you yourself and your whole organism will obey them. I tell you first that every day, three times a day, morning, noon and evening, at meal times, you will be hungry; that is to say, you will feel that pleasant sensation which makes us think and say: “How I should like something to eat.’ You will then eat with excellent appetite, enjoying your food, but you will never eat too much.

You will eat the right amount, neither too much nor too little, and you will know intuitively when you have sufficient. You will masticate your food thoroughly, transforming it into a smooth paste before swallowing it. In these conditions you will digest it well, and so feel no discomfort of any kind either in the stomach or in the intestines. Assimilation will be perfectly performed, and your organism will make the best possible use of the food to create blood, muscle, strength, energy, in a word--Life.”

“They (Dr. Coue and Mlle. Kauffmant),” says Mr. Brooks, “have placed not only their private means, but their whole life at the service of others. Neither ever accepts a penny-piece for the treatments they give, but I have never seen Coue refuse to give a treatment at however awkward an hour the subject may have asked it. The fame of the school has now spread to all parts, not only France, but of Europe and America. Coue’s work has assumed such proportions that his time is taken up often to the extent of fifteen or sixteen hours a day. He is a living monument to the efficacy of “Induced Autosuggestion.”

In “Regeneration,” Mr. Weltmer says:

“The last battle in which the race is engaged is now on. It is not a battle of cannon and sword, but it is a conflict of ideas. It is not going to be destructive, but constructive. It will not be a destroying warfare, but a fulfilling. It will not promote discord, but will insure harmony. It will not knit the human family together in combinations and associations, lodges and congregations, but will individualize the race, and each person will stand alone, recognizing within himself all the potentialities that exist, recognizing within himself all the Divine principles, constituting a part of the perfect whole.

“When man sees himself thus, he will see this kingdom within, is not within him only, but within all men. We must assume that the power to do, to act, or to perform the work we give our minds to do, exists in the mind; but before we entrust the mind with this work, we must have a clear conception of what is to be done. In order to regenerate the body we must conclude or assume to be true, that the power to generate life and health is in us; we must know where it is generated and how to generate it.

“Could we but comprehend it, could the veil of ignorance that enshrouds us be lifted, and we be allowed to look into the storehouse of knowledge, such as the prophet or seer was allowed to look upon, could we but climb where Moses stood, and view the landscape o’er, could we experience what Paul did during the time when he says: ‘I know not whether I was in the body or out of the body,’ we would be able to comprehend what he means when he says: ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man, the glory that shall be revealed in us.’”

The brain is an organ through which we communicate our thoughts to other organs in our bodies, and receive impression from the outside through the mediums of the senses. Great men have by great thoughts developed a finer quality of brain than others; this leads people to think that the great mind was the outgrowth of the fine brain, when if they will look upon the brain as any other organ of the perishable body they will see that it is but the organ through which the mind finds expression.

All attainments come in their regular order, as orderly as the movements of the sun and planets; first we desire, second we believe, third we try the belief, fourth we have knowledge.

We entertain a belief, and the belief comes into our minds and controls us. A man in the throes of poverty can throw off the shackles, if he can add to his belief.

A suggestion, to be a controlling influence, must be a positive suggestion left undisturbed; it must be regarded by the person entertaining it as a fixture in his life; not subject to change or modification.

Still another method of making an application of the principle of suggestion is described by Mr. J. R. Seaward, of Hamilton, Mont. He says:

“I am a man 36 years of age and have a family, and they rejoice with me that I am free from the use of tobacco. I chewed, or rather ate the weed for 15 years. Didn’t mean to form the habit when I started in, but thought that it was conducive to my growth from youth to manhood. After the habit had grown on me for several years unresisted, I discovered that I was in the grip of a slowly but surely growing octopus that had me freely within its embrace, and I was helpless to release myself.

I had followed carpenter and shop woodwork for trade, and all woodworkers know there is something about lumber that makes a man want to use tobacco. When I got so that I had to chew all the time and the strongest I could get and then was not satisfied, I began to wonder where I was headed for. Slowly the idea that I was a slave to the weed dawned on me and I began to think about cutting down on it, or out altogether.

I will now explain to you the way in which Friend Wife broke me of a vile habit and convinced us both of the marvelous power of Suggestion when properly applied.

At about the time that I struck bottom, there came to my notice some literature, telling of the power of directed thought, and I became interested in the study of that, and also in some inspirational literature which later came to my notice. I was rather skeptical at first, but as I read and thought and commenced to look for proof in the events of our daily lives and in our environment, the truth commenced to dawn upon me. I began to see and know that life manifestations were fed from within and grew from within, and if the within be in a state of decay, it invariably showed without. In fact, I know now that “The Man of Gallilee,” said something when He said, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” If he thinks himself a slave to tobacco or other obnoxious habits, so is he. He must think himself free to remain free.

But to think one’s self away from a habit that clings as close as thought itself, is a hard matter unaided. At the time we tried suggestion for the elimination of my tobacco habit I slept in one bedroom with one of the children and wife slept in another bedroom with our then youngest boy, about eight months old. As often is the case she had to be up at times during the night to wait on the baby and it was at those times that she gave me mental treatments while I was asleep.

It isn’t necessary to be in the same room, though it is all right if it happens to be the case. While I was sleeping she would visualize herself or mentally project herself as though she was standing or kneeling beside my bed and speaking to me. Her suggestions were of a constructive and positive nature rather than of negative. It went something like this: “You are now desiring freedom from the tobacco habit; you are free and desire and enjoy mastery more than indulgence; tomorrow you will want only about half the normal amount of tobacco and each day it will be less until you are free within a week and shall never have any more craving for tobacco. You are Master and free.”

She made the above suggestion (in substance) to me each time that she was awake during the night and I do pledge on oath that within six days from the time she started treatment I had completely quit craving tobacco, and quit using it.

That has been several months ago, and today I am more master of my habits of thought and word and deed than ever before in my life. I have changed from an under-weight, nervous wreck to a full-weight, healthful, strong, energetic, and clear-thinking man, and everyone who knew me remarks how differently I look and act and seem. Since that time, I have followed the study and the practice of constructive and directed thinking.”

You know that in wireless telegraphy or telephony they use an instrument called the tuning coil that vibrates in harmony with an electrical wave or vibration of a certain length. It is in tune with that particular tune of wave and consequently they are in harmony and allow the vibration to go on to the other receiving instrument unhindered. Yet there may be other wireless vibrations of a higher or lower “tune” or key passing at the same time, yet only those in harmony are registered by the receiver.

Now our minds are just about the same way only we regulate our “tuning” coil by our Willpower. We can tune our minds to low-vibration thoughts such as the animal impulses of nature, or we can “tune” them to thoughts of an educational or mental nature, or we can, after some qualifications are met, tune ourselves to receive purely spiritual thought vibrations. This power constitutes the Divine power that is given to man. Of course you will readily see that there never was a primitive hut or modern mansion built without the application of this principle of directed constructive thinking and visualization.

The backbone of salesmanship of all kinds if the understanding and skillful use of suggestion. When cleverly used it tends to relax one’s conscious attention and warm up ad quicken the Desire, until a favorable response is gained. Window displays and counter displays as well as illustrated advertising all rely on the power to drive a suggestion into the very center of Desire, where it grows to the point of action if in harmony with the thought vibrations of the Desire. If the desire does not recognize or is not in harmony with the suggestion it is as “seed that has falled upon stony ground,” and is without harvest of action.

Thought and action do produce material results as is easily verified in the builder and his plans--the dressmaker and her pattern, or the school and its product, all in harmony with the leading constructive thought. The quality of thought determines the measure of success in life.

All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, till they take root in our personal experience.



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