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THERE is a sure way to avoid criticism: be nothing and do nothing. Get a job as a street sweeper and kill off ambition. The remedy never fails.


Lesson Twelve


"You Can Do It if You Believe You Can!”

THIS lesson occupies a key-stone position in this course, for the reason that the psychological law upon which it is based is of vital importance to every other lesson of the course.

Let us define the word concentration, as it is here used, as follows:

"Concentration is the act of focusing the mind upon a given desire until ways and means for its realization have been worked out and successfully put into operation."

Two important laws enter into the act of concentrating the mind on a given desire. One is the law of Auto-suggestion and the other is the law of habit. The former having been fully described in a previous lesson of this course, we will now briefly describe the law of habit.

Habit grows out of environment - out of doing the same thing in the same way over and over again - out of repetition - out of thinking the same thoughts over and over - and, when once formed, it resembles a cement block that has hardened in the mold - in that it is hard to break.

Habit is the basis of all memory training, a fact which you may easily demonstrate in remembering the name of a person whom you have just met, by repeating that name over and over until you have fixed it permanently and plainly in your mind.

"The force of education is so great that we may mold the minds and manners of the young into whatever shape we please and give the impressions of such habits as shall ever afterwards remain." -Atterbury.

Except on rare occasions when the mind rises above environment, the human mind draws the material out of which thought is created, from the surrounding environment, and habit crystallizes this thought into a: permanent fixture and stores it away in the subconscious mind where it becomes a vital part of our personality which silently influences our actions, forms our prejudices and our biases, and controls our opinions.

A great philosopher had in mind the power of habit when he said: "We first endure, then pity, and finally embrace," in speaking of the manner in which honest men come to indulge in crime.

Habit may be likened to the grooves on a phonograph record, while the mind may be likened to the needle point that fits into that groove. When any habit has been well formed (by repetition of thought or action) the mind attaches itself to and follows that habit as closely as the phonograph needle follows the groove in the wax record, no matter what may be the nature of that habit.

We begin to see, therefore, the importance of selecting our environment with the greatest of care, because environment is the mental feeding ground out of which the food that goes into our minds is extracted.

Environment very largely supplies the food and materials out of which we create thought, and habit crystallizes these into permanency. You of course understand that "environment" is the sum total of sources through which you are influenced by and through the aid of the five senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling.

"Habit is force which is generally recognized by the average thinking person, but which is commonly viewed in its adverse aspect to the exclusion of its favorable phase. It has been well said that all men are ‘the creatures of habit,’ and that ‘habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day and it becomes so strong that we cannot break it.’

"If it be true that habit becomes a cruel tyrant, ruling and compelling men against their will, desire, and inclination - and this is true in many cases - the question naturally arises in the thinking mind whether this mighty force cannot be harnessed and controlled in the service of men, just as have other forces of Nature. If this result can be accomplished, then man may master habit and set it to work, instead of being a slave to it and serving it faithfully though complinings. And the modern psychologists tell us in no uncertain tones that habit may certainly be thus mastered, harnessed and set to work, instead of being allowed to dominate one's actions and character. And thousands of people have applied this new knowledge and have turned the force of habit into new channels, and have compelled it to work their machinery of action, instead of being allowed to run to waste, or else permitted to sweep away the structures that men have erected with care and expense, or to destroy fertile mental fields.

"A habit is a ‘mental path’ over which our actions have traveled for some time, each passing making the path a little deeper and a little wider. If you have to walk over a field or through a forest, you know how natural it is for you to choose the clearest path in preference to the less worn ones, and greatly in preference to stepping out across the field or through the woods and making a new path. And the line of mental action is precisely the same. It is movement along the lines of least resistance - passage over the well-worn path. Habits are created by repetition and are formed in accordance to a natural law, observable in all animate things and some would say in inanimate things as well. As an instance of the latter, it is pointed out that a piece of paper once folded in a certain way will fold along the same lines the next time. And all users of sewing machines, or other delicate pieces of machinery, know that as a machine or instrument is once ‘broken in’ so will it tend to run thereafter. The same law is also observable in the case of musical instruments. Clothing or gloves form into creases according to the person using them, and these creases once formed will always be in effect, notwithstanding repeated pressings. Rivers and streams of water cut their courses through the land, and thereafter flow along the habit-course. The law is in operation everywhere.

"These illustrations will help you to form the idea of the nature of habit, and will aid you in forming new mental paths - new mental creases. And - remember this always - the best (and one might say the only) way in which old habits may be removed is to form new habits to counteract and replace the undesirable ones. Form new mental paths over which to travel, and the old ones will soon become less distinct and in time will practically fill up from disuse. Every time you travel over the path of the desirable mental habit, you make the path deeper and wider, and make it so much easier to travel it thereafter. This mental path-making is a very important thing, and I cannot urge upon you too strongly the injunction to start to work making the desirable mental paths over which you wish to travel. Practice, practice, practice - be a good path-maker."

The following are the rules of procedure through which you may form the habits you desire:

First: At the beginning of the formation of a new habit put force and enthusiasm into your expression. Feel what you think. Remember that you are taking the first steps toward making the new mental path; that it is much harder at first than it will be afterwards. Make the path as clear and as deep as you can, at the beginning, so that you can readily see it the next time you wish to follow it.

Second: Keep your attention firmly concentrated on the new path-building, and keep your mind away from the old paths, lest you incline toward them. Forget all about the old paths, and concern yourself only with the new ones that you are building to order.

Third: Travel over your newly made paths as often as possible. Make opportunities for doing so,.........................................


.............................without waiting for them to arise through luck or chance. The oftener you go over the new paths the sooner will they become well worn and easily traveled. Create plans for passing over these new habit-paths, at the very start.

Fourth: Resist the temptation to travel over the older, easier paths that you have been using in the past. Every time you resist a temptation, the stronger do you become, and the easier will it be for you to do so the next time. But every time you yield to the temptation, the easier does it become to yield again, and the more difficult it becomes to resist the next time. You will have a fight on at the start, and this is the critical time. Prove your determination, persistency and will-power now, at the very beginning.

Fifth: Be sure that you have mapped out the right path, as your definite chief aim, and then go ahead without fear and without allowing yourself to doubt. "Place your hand upon the plow, and look not backward." Select your goal, then make good, deep, wide mental paths leading straight to it.

As you have already observed, there is a close relationship between habit and Auto-suggestion (self-suggestion). Through habit, an act repeatedly performed in the same manner has a tendency to become Permanent, and eventually we come to perform the act automatically or unconsciously. In playing a piano, for example, the artist can play a familiar piece while his or her conscious mind is on some other subject.

Auto-suggestion is the tool with which we dig a mental path; Concentration is the hand that holds that tool; and Habit is the map or blueprint which the mental path follows. An idea or desire, to be transformed into terms of action or physical reality, must be held in the conscious mind faithfully and persistently until habit begins to give it permanent form.

Let us turn our attention, now, to environment.

As we have already seen, we absorb the material for thought from our surrounding environment. The term "environment" covers a very broad field. It consists of the books we read, the people with whom we associate, the community in which we live, the nature of the work in which we are engaged, the country or nation in which we reside, the clothes we wear, the songs we sing, and, most important of all, the religious and intellectual training we receive prior to the age of fourteen years.

The purpose of analyzing the subject of environment is to show its direct relationship to the personality we are developing, and the importance of so guarding it that its influence will give us the materials out of which we may attain our definite chief aim in life.

The mind feeds upon that which we supply it, or that which is forced upon it, through our environment; therefore, let us select our environment, as far as possible, with the object of supplying the mind with suitable material out of which to carry on its work of attaining our definite chief aim.

If your environment is not to your liking, change it!

The first step is to create in your own mind an exact, clear and well rounded out picture of the environment in which you believe you could best attain your definite chief aim, and then concentrate your mind upon this picture until you transform it into reality.

In Lesson Two, of this course, you learned that the first step you must take, in the accomplishment of any desire, is to create in your mind a dear, well defined picture of that which you intend to accomplish. This is the first principle to be observed in your plans for the achievement of success, and if you fail or neglect to observe it, you cannot succeed, except by chance.

Your daily associates constitute one of the most important and influential parts of your environment, and may work for your progress or your retrogression, according to the nature of those associates. As far as possible, you should select as your most intimate daily associates those who are in sympathy with your aims and ideals - especially those represented by your definite chief aim - and whose mental attitude inspires you with enthusiasm, self-confidence, determination and ambition.

Remember that every word spoken within your hearing, every sight that reaches your eyes, and every sense impression that you receive through any of the five senses, influences your thought as surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. This being true, can you not see the importance of controlling, as far as possible, the environment in which you live and work? Can you not see the importance of reading books that deal with subjects which are directly related to your definite chief aim? Can you not see the importance of talking with people who are in sympathy with your aims, and, who will encourage you and spur you on toward their attainment?

We are living in what we call a "twentieth century civilization." The leading scientists of the world are agreed that Nature has been millions of years in creating, through the process of evolution, our present civilized environment.

How many hundreds of centuries the so-called Indians had lived upon the North American continent, without any appreciable advance toward modem civilization, as we understand it, we have no way of ascertaining. Their environment was the wilderness, and they made no attempt whatsoever to change or improve that environment; the change took place only after new races from afar came over and forced upon them the environment of progressive civilization in, which we are living today.

Observe what has happened within the short period of three centuries. Hunting grounds have been transformed into great cities, and the Indian has taken on education and culture, in many instances, that equal the accomplishment of his white brothers. (In Lesson Fifteen, we discuss the effects of environment from a worldwide viewpoint, and describe, in detail, the principal of social heredity which is the chief source through which the effects of environment may be imposed upon the minds of the young.)

The clothes you wear influence you; therefore, they constitute a part of your environment. Soiled or shabby clothes depress you and lower your self-confidence, while clean clothes, of an appropriate style, have just the opposite effect.

It is a well known fact that an observant person can accurately analyze a man by seeing his workbench, desk or other place of employment. A well organized desk indicates a well organized brain. Show me the merchant's stock of goods and I will tell you whether he has an organized or disorganized brain, as there is a close relationship between one's mental attitude and one's physical environment.

The effects of environment so vitally influence those who work in factories, stores and offices, that employers are gradually realizing the importance of creating an environment that inspires and encourages the workers.

One unusually progressive laundryman, in the city of Chicago, has plainly outdone his competitors, by installing in his work-room a player-piano, in charge of a neatly dressed young woman who keeps it going during the working hours. His laundrywomen are dressed in white uniforms, and there is no evidence about the place that work is drudgery. Through the aid of this pleasant environment, this laundryman turns out more work, earns more profits, and pays better wages than his competitors can pay.

This brings us to an appropriate place at which to describe the method through which you may apply the principles directly and indirectly related to the subject of concentration.

Let us call this method the -


In presenting you with this "Magic Key" let me first explain that it is no invention or discovery of mine.

It is the same key that is used, in one form or another, by the followers of New Thought and all other sects which are founded upon the positive philosophy of optimism.

This Magic Key constitutes an irresistible power which all who will may use.

THE person who receives no pay for his services except that which comes in the pay envelope is underpaid, no matter how much money that envelope may contain.

It win unlock the door to riches!
It will unlock the door to fame!
And, in many instances, it will unlock the door to physical health.
It will unlock the door to education and let you into the storehouse of all your latent ability. It will act as a pass-key to any position in life for which you are fitted.
Through the aid of this Magic Key we have unlocked the secret doors to all of the world's great inventions.
Through its magic powers all of our great geniuses of the past have been developed.

Suppose you are a laborer, in a menial position, and desire a better place in life. The Magic Key will help you attain it! Through its use Carnegie, Rockefeller, Hill, Harriman, Morgan and scores of others of their type have accumulated vast fortunes of material wealth.

It will unlock prison doors and turn human derelicts into useful, trustworthy human beings. It will turn failure into success and misery into happiness.

You ask - "What is this Magic Key?"

And I answer with one word - concentration!

Now let me define concentration in the sense that it is here used. First, I wish it to be clearly understood that I have no reference to occultism, although I will admit that all the scientists of the world have failed to explain the strange phenomena produced through the aid of concentration.

Concentration, in the sense in which it is here used, means the ability, through fixed habit and practice, to keep your mind on one subject until you have thoroughly familiarized yourself with that subject and mastered it. It means the ability to control your attention and focus it on a given problem until you have solved it.

It means the ability to throw off the effects of habits which you wish to discard, and the power to build new habits that are more to your liking. It means complete self-mastery.

Stating it in another way, concentration is the ability to think as you wish to think; the ability to control your thoughts and direct them to a definite end; and the ability to organize your knowledge into a plan of action that is sound and workable.

You can readily see that in concentrating your mind upon your definite chief aim in life, you must cover many closely related subjects which blend into each other and complete the main subject upon which you are concentrating.

Ambition and desire are the chief factors which enter into the act of successful concentration. Without these factors the Magic Key is useless, and the main reason why so few people make use of this key is that most people lack ambition, and desire nothing in particular.

Desire whatever you may, and if your desire is within reason and if it is strong enough the Magic Key of concentration will help you attain it. There are learned men of science who would have us believe that the wonderful power of prayer operates through the principle of concentration on the attainment of a deeply seated desire.

Nothing was ever created by a human being which was not first created in the imagination, through desire, and then transformed into reality through concentration.

Now, let us put the Magic Key to a test, through the aid of a definite formula.

First, you must put your foot on the neck of skepticism and doubt! No unbeliever ever enjoyed the benefits of this Magic Key. You must believe in the test that you are about to make.

We will assume that you have thought something about becoming a successful writer, or a powerful public speaker, or a successful business executive, or an able financier. We will take public speaking as the subject of this test, but remember that you must follow instructions to the letter.

Take a plain sheet of paper, ordinary letter size, and write on it the following:

I am going to become a powerful public speaker because this will enable me to render the world useful service that is needed - and because it will yield me a financial return that will provide me with the necessary material things of life.

I will concentrate my mind upon this desire for ten minutes daily, just before retiring at night and just after arising in the morning, for the purpose of determining just how I shall proceed to transform it into reality.

I know that I can become a powerful and magnetic speaker, therefore I will permit nothing to interfere with my doing so.


Sign this pledge, then proceed to do as you have pledged your word that you would do. Keep it up until the desired results have been realized.

Now, when you come to do your concentrating, this is the way to go about it: Look ahead one, three, five or even ten years, and see yourself as the most powerful speaker of your time. See, in your imagination, an appropriate income. See yourself in your own home that you have purchased with the proceeds from your efforts as a speaker or lecturer. See yourself in possession of a nice bank account as a reserve for old age. See yourself as a person of influence, due to your great ability as a public speaker. See yourself engaged in a life-calling in which you will not fear the loss of your position.

Paint this picture clearly, through the powers of your imagination, and lo! it will soon become transformed into a beautiful picture of deeply seated desire. Use this desire as the chief object of your concentration and observe what happens.

You now have the secret of the Magic Key!

Do not underestimate the power of the Magic Key because it did not come to you clothed in mysticism, or because it is described in language which all who will may understand. All great truths are simple in final analysis, and easily understood; if they are not they are not great truths.

Use this Magic Key with intelligence, and only for the attainment of worthy ends, and it will bring you enduring happiness and success. Forget the mistakes you have made and the failures you-have experienced. Quit living in the past, for do you not know that your yesterdays never return? Start all over again, if your previous efforts have not turned out well, and make the next five or ten years tell a story of success that will satisfy your most lofty ambitions.

Make a name for yourself and render the world a great service, through ambition, desire and concentrated effort!

You can do it if you BELIEVE you can!

Thus endeth the Magic Key.

· · · · · · · ·

The presence of any idea or thought in your consciousness tends to produce an "associated" feeling and to urge you to appropriate or corresponding action. Hold a deeply seated desire in your consciousness, through the principle of concentration, and if you do it with full faith in its realization your act attracts to your aid powers which the entire scientific world has failed to understand or explain with a reasonable hypothesis.

When you become familiar with the powers of concentration you will then understand the reason for choosing a definite chief aim as the first step in the attainment of enduring success.

Concentrate your mind upon the attainment of the object of a deeply seated desire and very soon you will become a lode-stone that attracts, through the aid of forces which no man can explain, the necessary material counterparts of that desire, a statement of fact which paves the way for the description of a principle which constitutes the most important part of this lesson, if not, in fact, the most important part of the entire course, viz.:

When two or more people ally themselves, in a spirit of perfect harmony, for the purpose of attaining.........................................

YOU have a tremendous advantage over the person who slanders you or does you a wilful injustice; you have it within your power to FORGIVE that person.

......................a definite end, if that alliance is faithfully observed by all of whom it is composed, the alliance brings, to each of those of whom it is composed, power that is superhuman and seemingly irresistible in nature.

Back of the foregoing statement is a law, the nature of which science has not yet determined, and it is this law that I have had in mind in connection with my repeated statements concerning the power of organized effort which you will notice throughout this course.

In chemistry we learn that two or more elements may be so compounded that the result is something entirely different in nature, from any of the individual elements. For example, ordinary water, known in chemistry under the formula of H2O, is a compound consisting of two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen, but water is neither hydrogen nor oxygen. This "marrying" of elements creates an entirely different substance from that of either of its component parts.

The same law through which this transformation of physical elements takes place may be responsible for the seemingly superhuman powers resulting from the alliance of two or more people, in a perfect state of harmony and understanding, for the attainment of a given end.

This world, and all matter of which the other planets consist, is made up of electrons (an electron being the smallest known analyzable unit of matter, and resembling, in nature, what we call electricity, or a form of energy). On the other hand, thought, and that which we call the "mind," is also a form of energy; in fact it is the highest form of energy known.

Thought, in other words, is organized energy, and it is not improbable that thought is exactly the same sort of energy as that which we generate with an electric dynamo, although of a much more highly organized form.

Now, if all matter, in final analysis, consists of groups of electrons, which are nothing more than a form of energy which we call electricity, and if the mind is nothing but a form of highly organized electricity, do you not see how it is possible that the laws which affect matter may also govern the mind?

And if combining two or more elements of matter, in the proper proportion and under the right conditions, will produce something entirely different from those original elements (as in the case of H2O), do you not see how it is possible so to combine the energy of two or more minds that the result will be a sort of composite mind that is totally different from the individual minds of which it consists?

You have undoubtedly noticed the manner in which; you are influenced while in the presence of other people. Some people inspire you with optimism and enthusiasm. Their very presence seems to stimulate your own mind to greater action, and, this not only "seems" to be true, but it is true. You have noticed that the presence of others had a tendency to lower your vitality and depress you; a tendency which I can assure you was very real!

What, do you imagine, could be the cause of these changes that come over us when we come within a certain range of other people, unless it is the change resulting from the blending or combining of their minds with our own, through the operation of a law that is not very well understood, but resembles (if, in fact, it is not the same law) the law through which the combining of two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen produces water.

I have no scientific basis for this hypothesis, but I have given it many years of serious thought and always I come to the conclusion that it is at least a sound hypothesis, although I have no possible way, as yet, of reducing it to a provable hypothesis.

You need no proof, however, that the presence of some people inspires you, while the presence of others depresses you, as you know this to be a fact. Now it stands to reason that the person who inspires you and arouses your mind to a state of greater activity gives you more power to achieve, while the person whose presence depresses you and lowers your vitality, or causes you to dissipate it in useless, disorganized thought, has just the opposite effect on you. You can understand this much without the aid of a hypothesis and without further proof than that which you have experienced time after time.

Come back, now, to the original statement that:

"When two or more people ally themselves, in a spirit of perfect harmony, for the purpose of attaining a definite end, if that alliance is faithfully observed by all of whom it is composed, the alliance brings, to each of those of whom it is composed, power that is superhuman and seemingly irresistible in nature."

Study, closely, the emphasized part of the foregoing statement, for there you will find the "mental formula" which, if not faithfully observed, destroys the effect of the whole.

One atom of hydrogen combined with one atom of oxygen will not produce water, nor will an alliance in name only, that is not accompanied by "a spirit of perfect harmony" (between those forming the alliance), produce "power that is superhuman and seemingly irresistible in nature."

I have in mind a family of mountain-folk who, for more than six generations, have lived in the mountainous section of Kentucky. Generation after generation of this family came and went without any noticeable improvement of a mental nature, each generation following in the footsteps of its ancestors. They made their living from the soil, and as far as they knew, or cared, the universe consisted of a little spot of territory known as Letcher County. They married strictly in their own "set," and in their own community.

Finally, one of the members of this family strayed away from the flock, so to speak, and married a well educated and highly cultured woman from the neighbor-state of Virginia. This woman was one of those types of ambitious people who had learned that the universe extended beyond the border line of Letcher County, and covered, at least, the whole of the southern states. She had heard of chemistry, and of botany, and of biology, and of pathology, and of psychology, and of many other subjects that were of importance in the field of education. When her children began to come along to the age of understanding, she talked to them of these subjects; and they, in turn, began to show a keen interest in them.

One of her children is now the president of a great educational institution, where most of these subjects, and many others of equal importance, are taught. Another one of them is a prominent lawyer, while still another is a successful physician.

Her husband (thanks to the influence of her mind) is a well known dental surgeon, and the first of his family, for six generations, to break away from the traditions by which the family had been bound.

The blending of her mind with his gave him the needed stimulus to spur him on and inspired him with ambition such as he would never have known without her influence.

For many years I have been studying the biographies of those whom the world calls great, and it seems to me more than a mere coincidence that in every instance where the facts were available the person who was really responsible for the greatness was in the background, behind the scenes, and seldom heard of by the hero-worshiping public. Not infrequently is this "hidden power" a patient little wife who has inspired her husband and urged him on to great achievement, as was true in the case I have just described.

Henry Ford is one of the modem miracles of this age, and I doubt that this country, or any other, ever produced an industrial genius of his equal. If the facts were known (and perhaps they are known) they might trace the cause of Mr. Ford's phenomenal achievements to a woman of whom the public hears but little - his wife!

We read of Ford's achievements and of his enormous income and imagine him to be blessed with matchless ability; and he is - ability of which the world would never have heard had it not been for the modifying influence of his wife, who has co-operated......................

DEFEAT, like a headache, warns us that something has gone wrong. If we are intelligent we look for the cause and profit by the experience.

..................with him, during all the years of his struggle, "in a spirit of perfect harmony, for the purpose of attaining a definite end."

I have in mind another genius who is well known to the entire civilized world, Thomas A. Edison. His inventions are so well known that they need not be named. Every time you press a button and turn on an electric light, or hear a phonograph playing, you should think of Edison, for it was he who perfected both the incandescent light and the modem phonograph. Every time you see a moving picture you should think of Edison, for it was his genius, more than that of any other person, who made this great enterprise possible.

But, as in the case of Henry Ford, back of Mr. Edison stands one of the most remarkable women in America - his wife! No one outside of the Edison family, and perhaps a very few intimate personal friends of theirs, knows to what extent her influence has made Edison's achievements possible. Mrs. Edison once told me that Mr. Edison's outstanding quality, the one which, above all others, was his greatest asset, was that of -


When Mr. Edison starts a line of experiment or research or investigation; he never "lets go" until he either finds that for which he is looking or exhausts every possible effort to do so.

Back of Mr. Edison stand two great powers; one is concentration and the other is Mrs. Edison!

Night after night Mr. Edison has worked with such enthusiasm that he required but three or four hours of sleep. (Observe what was said about the sustaining effects of enthusiasm in Lesson Seven of this course.)

Plant a tiny apple seed in the right sort of soil, at the right time of the year, and gradually it will burst forth into a tiny sprig, and then it will expand and grow into an apple tree. That tree does not come from the soil, nor does it come from the elements of the air, but from both of these sources, and the man has not yet lived who could explain the law that attracts from the air and the soil the combination of cells of which that apple tree consists.

The tree does not come out of the tiny apple seed, but, that seed is the beginning of the tree.

When two or more people ally themselves, "in a spirit o f perfect harmony, for the purpose of attaining a definite end," the end, itself, or the desire back of that end, may be likened to the apple seed, and the blending of the forces of energy of the two or more minds may be likened to the air and the soil out of which come the elements that form the material objects of that desire.

The power back of the attraction and combination of these forces of the mind can no more be explained than can the power back of the combination of elements out of which an apple tree "grows."

But the all-important thing is that an apple tree will "grow" from a seed thus properly planted, an great achievement will follow the systematic blending of two or more minds with a definite object in view.

In Lesson Thirteen you will see this principle of allied effort carried to proportions which almost stagger the imagination of all who have not trained themselves to think in terms of organized thought!

This course, itself, is a very concrete illustration of the principle underlying that which we have termed organized effort, but you will observe that it requires the entire sixteen lessons to complete the description of this principle. Omit a single one of the sixteen lessons and the omission would affect the whole as the removal of one link would affect the whole of a chain.

As I have already stated in many different ways, and for the purpose of emphasis, I now repeat: there is a well founded hypothesis that when one concentrates one's mind upon a given subject, facts of a nature that is closely related to that subject will "pour" in from every conceivable source. The theory is that a deeply seated desire, when once planted in the right sort of "mental soil," serves as a center of attraction or magnet that attracts to it everything that harmonizes with the nature of the desire.

Dr. Elmer Gates, of Washington, D. C., is perhaps one of the most competent psychologists in the world. He is recognized both in the field of psychology and in other directly and indirectly related fields of science, throughout the world, as being a man of the highest scientific standing.

Come with me, for a moment, and study his methods!

After Dr. Gates has followed a line of investigation as far as possible through the usual channels of research, and has availed himself of all the recorded facts at his command, on a given subject, he then takes a pencil and a tablet and "sits" for further information, by concentrating his mind on that subject until thoughts related to it begin to FLOW IN UPON HIM. He writes down these thoughts, as they
come (from he knows not where). He told me that many of his most important discoveries came through this method. It was more than twenty years ago that I first talked with Dr. Gates on this subject. Since that time, through the discovery of the radio principle, we have been provided with a reasonable hypothesis through which to explain the results of these "sittings," viz.:

The ether, as we have discovered through the modern radio apparatus, is in a constant state of agitation. Sound waves are floating through the ether at all times, but these waves cannot be detected, beyond a short distance from their source, except by the aid of properly attuned instruments.

Now, it seems reasonable to suppose that thought, being the most highly organized form of energy known, is constantly sending waves through the ether, but these waves, like those of sound, can only be detected and correctly interpreted by a properly attuned mind.

There is no doubt that when Dr. Gates sat down in a room and placed himself in a quiet, passive state of mind, the dominating thoughts in his mind served as a magnetic force that attracted the related or similar thought waves of others as they passed through the ether about him.

Taking the hypothesis just a step further, it has occurred to me many times since the discovery of the modern radio principle, that every thought that has ever been released in organized form, from the mind of any human being, is still in existence in the form of a wave in the ether, and is constantly passing around and around in a great endless circle; that the act of concentrating one's mind upon a given subject with intensity sends out thought waves which reach and blend with those of a related or similar nature, thereby establishing a direct line of communication between the one doing the concentrating and the thoughts of a similar nature which have been previously set into motion.

Going still a step further, may it not be possible for one so to attune his mind and harmonize the rate of vibration of thought with the rate of vibration of the ether that all knowledge that has been accumulated through the organized thoughts of the past is available?

With these hypotheses in mind, go back to Lesson Two, of this course, and study Carnegie's description of the "master mind" through which he accumulated his great fortune.

When Carnegie formed an alliance between more than a score of carefully selected minds, he created, by that means of compounding mind power, one of the strongest industrial forces that the world has ever witnessed. With a few notable (and very disastrous) exceptions, the men constituting the "master mind" which Carnegie created thought and acted as one!

And, that "master mind" (composed of many individual minds) was concentrated upon a single purpose, the nature of which is familiar to everyone who knew Mr. Carnegie; particularly those who were competing with him in the steel business.

If you have followed Henry Ford's record, even slightly, you undoubtedly have observed that concentrated effort has been one of the outstanding features of his career. Nearly thirty years ago he adopted a policy of standardization as to the general......................

IS it not strange that the word "Boomerang" has been in the dictionary all these years without its having become generally known that a "Boomerang" is an instrument which comes back and may wound the hand that throws it?

................type of automobile that he would build, and he consistently maintained that policy until. the change in public demand forced him, in 1927, to change it.

A few years ago, I met the former chief engineer of the Ford plant, and he told me of an incident that happened during the early stages of Mr. Ford's automobile experience which very clearly points to concentrated effort as being one of his prominent fundamentals of economic philosophy.

On this occasion the engineers of the Ford plant had gathered in the engineering office for the purpose of discussing a proposed change in the design of the rear axle construction of the Ford automobile. Mr. Ford stood around and listened to the discussion until each man had had his "say," then he walked over to the table, tapped the drawing of the proposed axle with his finger, and said:

"Now listen! the axle we are using does the work for which it was intended, and does it well, and there's going to be no more change in that axle!"

He turned and walked away, and from that day until this the rear axle construction of the Ford automobile has remained substantially the same. It is not improbable that Mr. Ford's success in building and marketing automobiles has been due, very largely, to his policy of consistently concentrating his efforts back of one plan, with but one definite purpose in mind at a time.

A few years ago I read Edward Bok's book, The Man From Maine, which is the biography of his father-in-law, Mr. Cyrus H. K. Curtis, the owner of the Saturday Evening Post, the Ladies' Home journal, and several other publications. All through the book

I noticed that the outstanding feature of Mr. Curtis' philosophy was that of concentration of effort back of a definite purpose.

During the early days of his ownership of the Saturday Evening Post, when he was pouring money into a losing venture by the hundreds of thousands of dollars, it required concentrated effort that was backed by courage such as but few men possess, to enable him to "carry on."

Read The Man From Maine. It is a splendid lesson on the subject of concentration, and supports, to the smallest detail, the fundamentals upon which this lesson is based.

The Saturday Evening Post is now one of the most profitable magazines in the world, but its name would have been long since forgotten had not Mr. Curtis concentrated his attention and his fortune on the one definite purpose of making it a great magazine. · · · · · · · ·

We have seen what an important part environment and habit play in connection with the subject of concentration. We shall now discuss, briefly, a third subject which is no less related to the subject of concentration than are the other two, namely, memory.

The principles through which an accurate, unfaltering memory may be trained are few, and comparatively simple; viz.:

1. Retention: The receiving of a sense impression through one or more of the five senses, and the recording of this impression, in orderly fashion, in the mind. This process may be likened to the recording of s picture on the sensitized plate of a camera or kodak.

2. Recall: The reviving or recalling into the conscious mind of those sense impressions which have been recorded in the sub-conscious mind. This process may be compared to the act of going through a card index and pulling out a card on which information had been previously recorded.

3. Recognition: The ability to recognize a sense impression when it is called into the conscious mind, and to identify it as being a duplicate of the original impression, and to associate it with the original source from which it came when it was first recorded. This process enables us to distinguish between "memory" and "imagination."

These are the three principles that enter into the act of remembering. Now let us make application of these principles and determine how to use them effectively, which may be done as follows:

First: When you wish to be sure of your ability to recall a sense impression, such as a name, date or place, be sure to make the impression vivid by concentrating your attention upon it to the finest detail. An effective way to do this is to repeat, several times, that which you wish to remember. Just as a photographer must give an "exposure" proper time to record itself on the sensitized plate of the camera, so must we give the sub-conscious mind time to record properly and clearly any sense impression that we wish to be able to recall with readiness.

Second: Associate that which you wish to remember with some other object, name, place or date with which you are quite familiar, and which you can easily recall when you wish, as, for example, the name of your home town, your close friend, the date of your birth, etc., for your mind will then file away the sense impression that you wish to be able to recall, with the one that you can easily recall, so that when bringing forth one into the conscious mind it brings, also, the other one with it.

Third: Repeat that which you wish to remember, a number of times, at the same time concentrating your mind upon it, just as you would fix your mind on a certain hour at which you wished to arise in the morning, which, as you know, insures your awakening at that precise hour. The common failing of not being able to remember the names of other people, which most of us have, is due entirely to the fact that we do not properly record the name in the first place. When you are introduced to a person whose name you wish to be able to recall at will, repeat that name four or five times, first making sure that you understood the name correctly. If the name is similar to that of some person whom you know well, associate the two names together, thinking of both as you repeat the name of the one whose name you wish to be able to recall.

If someone gives you a letter to be mailed, look at the letter, then increase its size, in your imagination, and see it hanging over a letter-box. Fix in your mind a letter approximately the size of a door, and associate it with a letter box, and you will observe that the first letter box you pass on the street will cause you to recall that big, odd-looking letter, which you have in your pocket.

Suppose that you were introduced to a lady whose name was Elizabeth Shearer, and you wished to be able to recall her name at will. As you repeat her name associate with it a large pair of scissors, say ten feet in length, and Queen Elizabeth, and you will observe that the recalling of either the large pair of scissors or the name of Queen Elizabeth will help you recall, also, the name of Elizabeth Shearer.

If you wish to be able to remember the name of Lloyd Keith, just repeat the name several times and associate with it the name of Lloyd George and Keith's Theater, either of which you can easily recall at will.

The law of association is the most important feature of a well trained memory, yet it is a very simple law. All you have to do to make use of it is to record the name of that which you wish to remember with the name of that which you can readily remember, and the recalling of one brings with it the other.

Nearly ten years ago a friend gave me his residence telephone number, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and although I did not write it down I remember it today as well as I did the day he gave it to me. This is the way that I recorded it:

The number and exchange were Lakeview 2651.

At the time he gave me the number we were standing at the railroad station, in sight of Lake Michigan; therefore, I used the lake as an associated object with which to file the name of the telephone exchange. It so happened that the telephone number was made up of the age of my brother, who was 26, and my father, who was 51, therefore I associated their names with the number, thus insuring its recall. To recall the telephone exchange and number, therefore, I had only to think of Lake Michigan, my brother and my father.

An acquaintance of mine found himself to be suffering from what is ordinarily called a "wandering.................................

DO you see that "lucky" fellow over there who holds a position through "pull"? Let me whisper a secret in your ear - Fate is standing in wait for him just around the corner, with a stuffed club, and it is not stuffed with cotton.

.....................mind." He was becoming "absent-minded" and unable to remember. Let him tell you, in his own words which follow, how he overcame this handicap:

"I am fifty years old. For a decade I have been a department manager in a large factory. At first my duties were easy, then the firm had a rapid expansion of business which gave me added responsibilities. Several of the young men in my department developed unusual energy and ability - at least one of them had his eye on my job.

"I had reached the age in life when a man likes to be comfortable and, having been with the company a long time, I felt that I could safely settle back into an easy berth. The effect of this mental attitude was well nigh disastrous to my position.

"About two years ago I noticed that my power of concentration was weakening and my duties were becoming irksome. I neglected my correspondence until I looked with dread upon the formidable pile of letters; reports accumulated and subordinates were inconvenienced by the delay. I sat at my desk with my mind wandering elsewhere.

"Other circumstances showed plainly that my mind was not on my work; I forgot to attend an important meeting of the officers of the company. One of the clerks under me caught a bad mistake made in an estimate on 'a carload of goods, and, of course, saw to it that the manager learned of the incident.

"I was thoroughly alarmed at the situation! and asked for a week's vacation to think things over. I was determined to resign, or find the trouble and remedy it. A few days of earnest introspection at an out-of-the-way mountain resort convinced me that I was suffering from a plain case of mind wandering. I was lacking in concentration; my physical and mental activities at the desk had become desultory. I was careless and shiftless and neglectful - all because my mind was not alertly on the job. When I had diagnosed my case with satisfaction to myself I next sought the remedy. I needed a complete new set of working habits, and I made a resolve to acquire them.

"With paper and pencil I outlined a schedule to cover the working day: first, the morning mail; then, the orders to be filled; dictation; conference with subordinates and miscellaneous duties; ending with a clean desk before I left.

"'How is habit formed?' I asked myself mentally. `By repetition,' came back the answer. `But I have been doing these things over and over thousands of times,' the other fellow in me protested. `True, but not in orderly concentrated fashion,' replied the echo.

"I returned to the office with mind in leash, but restless, and placed my new working schedule in force at once. I performed the same duties with the same zest and as nearly as possible at the same time every day. When my mind started to slip away I quickly brought it back.

"From a mental stimulus, created by will-power, I progressed in habit building. Day after day, I practiced concentration of thought. When I found repetition becoming comfortable, then I knew that I had won."

Your ability to train your memory, or to develop any desired habit, is a matter, solely, of being able to fix your attention on a given subject until the outline of that subject has been thoroughly impressed upon the "sensitized plate" of your mind.

Concentration, itself, is nothing but a matter of control of the attention!

You will observe that by reading a line of print with which you are not familiar, and which you have never seen before, and then closing your eyes, you can see that line as plainly as though you were looking at it on the printed page. In reality, you are "looking at it," not on the printed page, but on the sensitized plate of your own mind. If you try this experiment and it does not work the first time it is because you did not concentrate your attention on the line closely enough! Repeat the performance a few times and finally you will succeed.

If you wish to memorize poetry, for example, you can do so very quickly by training yourself to fix your attention on the lines so closely that you can shut your eyes and see them in your mind as plainly as you see them on the printed page.

So important is this subject of control of attention that I feel impelled to emphasize it in such a way that you will not pass it by lightly. I have reserved reference to this important subject until the last, as a climax to this lesson, for the reason that I consider it, by far, the most important part of the lesson.

The astounding results experienced by those who make a practice of "crystal-gazing" are due, entirely, to their ability to fix attention upon a given subject for an unbroken period far beyond the ordinary.

Crystal-gazing is nothing but concentrated attention!

I have already hinted at that which I will now state as my belief, namely, that it is possible, through the aid of concentrated attention, for one so to attune one's mind to the vibration of the ether that all the secrets in the world of unfathomed and uncharted mental phenomena may become as open books which may be read at will.

What a thought this is to ponder over!

I am of the opinion, and not without substantial evidence to support me, that it is possible for one to develop the ability of fixing the attention so highly that one may "tune in" and understand that which is in the mind of any person. But this is not all, nor is it the most important part of a hypothesis at which I have arrived after many years of careful research, for I am satisfied that one may just as easily go a step further and "tune in" on the universal mind in which all knowledge is stored where it may be appropriated by all who master the art of coming after it.

To a highly orthodox mind these statements may seem very irrational; but, to the student (and, so far, there are but few people in the world who are more than mere students, of an elementary grade, of this subject) who has studied this subject with any appreciable degree of understanding, these hypotheses seem not only possible, but absolutely probable.

But put the hypothesis to a test of your own!

You can select no better subject upon which to try an experiment than that which you have selected as your definite chief aim in life.

Memorize your definite chief aim so you can repeat it without looking at the written page, then make a practice of fixing your attention on it at least twice a day, proceeding as follows:

Go into some quiet place where you will not be disturbed; sit down and completely relax your mind and your body; then close your eyes and place your fingers in your ears, thereby excluding the ordinary sound waves and all of the light waves. In that position repeat your definite chief aim in life, and as you do so see yourself, in your imagination, in full possession of the object of that aim. If a part of your aim is the accumulation of money, as it undoubtedly is, then see yourself in possession of that money. If a part of the object of your definite aim is the ownership of a home, then see a picture of that home, in your imagination, just as you expect to see it in reality. If a part of your definite aim is to become a powerful and influential public speaker, then see yourself before an enormous audience, and feel yourself playing upon the emotions of that audience as a great violinist would play upon the strings of the violin.

As you approach the end of this lesson, there are two things which you might do, viz.

First: You might begin, now, to cultivate the ability to fix attention, at will, on a given subject, with a feeling that this ability, when fully developed, would bring you the object of your definite chief aim in life; or,

Second: You might tilt your nose in the air and with the smile of a cynic say to yourself - "Bosh" and thereby mark yourself a fool!

Take your choice!

This lesson was not written as an argument, nor as the subject of a debate. It is your privilege to accept it, in whole or in part, or reject it, just as you please.

Fish don't bite just for the wishin',
Keep a-pullin'! Change your bait and keep on fishin'; Keep a-pullin'! Luck ain't nailed, to any
spot; Men you envy, like as not, Envy you your job and lot!
Keep a-pullin'

But at this place I wish to state, however, that this is not an age of cynicism or doubt. An age that has conquered the air above us and the sea beneath us, that has enabled us to harness the air and turn it into a messenger that will carry the sound of our voice halfway around the earth in the fractional part of a second, certainly is not an age that lends encouragement to the "doubting Thomases" or the "I-don't-believe-it Joneses."

The human family has passed through the "Stone Age" and the "Iron Age" and the "Steel Age," and unless I have greatly misinterpreted the trend of the times it is now entering the "Mind Power Age," which will eclipse, in stupendous achievement, all the other "ages" combined.

Learn to fix your attention on a given subject, at will, for whatever length of time you choose, and you will have learned the secret passage-way to power and plenty!

This is concentration!

You will understand, from this lesson, that the object of forming an alliance between two or more people, and thereby creating a "Master Mind," is to apply the Law of Concentration more effectively than it could be applied through the efforts of but one person.

The principle referred to as the "Master Mind" is nothing more nor less than group concentration of mind power upon the attainment of a definite object or end. Greater power comes through group mind concentration because of the "stepping up" process Produced through the reaction of one mind upon another or others.


Success, as has been stated in dozens of different ways throughout this course, is very largely a matter of tactful and harmonious negotiation with other people. Generally speaking, the man who understands how to "get people to do things" he wants done may succeed in any calling.

As a fitting climax for this lesson, on the Law of Concentration, we shall describe the principles through which men are influenced; through which cooperation is gained; through which antagonism is eliminated and friendliness developed.

Force sometimes gets what appear to be satisfactory results, but force, alone, never has built and never can build enduring success.

The world war has done more than anything which has happened in the history of the world to show us the futility of force as a means of influencing the human mind. Without going into details or recounting the instances which could be cited, we all know that force was the foundation upon which German philosophy has been built during the past forty years. The doctrine that might makes right was given a worldwide trial and it failed.

The human body can be imprisoned or controlled by physical force, but it is not so with the human mind. No man on earth can control the mind of a normal, healthy person if that person chooses to exercise his God-given right to control his own mind. The majority of people do not exercise this right. They go through the world, thanks to our faulty educational system, without having discovered the strength which lies dormant in their own minds. Now and then something happens, more in the nature of an accident than anything else, which awakens a person and causes him to discover where his real strength lies and how to use it in the development of industry or one of the professions. Result: a genius is born!

There is a given point at which the human mind stops rising or exploring unless something out of the daily routine happens to "push" it over this obstacle. In some minds this point is very low and in others it is very high. In still others it varies between low and high. The individual who discovers a way to stimulate his mind artificially, arouse it and cause it to go beyond this average stopping point frequently, is sure to be rewarded with fame and fortune if his efforts are of a constructive nature.

The educator who discovers a way to stimulate any mind and cause it to rise above this average stopping point without any bad reactionary effects, will confer a blessing on the human race second to none in the history of the world. We, of course, do not have reference to physical stimulants or narcotics. These will always arouse the mind for a time, but eventually they ruin it entirely. We have reference to a purely mental stimulant, such as that which comes through intense interest, desire, enthusiasm, love, etc., the factors out of which a "Master Mind" may be developed.

The person who makes this discovery will do much toward solving the crime problem. You can do almost anything with a person when you learn how to influence his mind. The mind may be likened to a great field. It is a very fertile field which always produces a crop after the kind of seed which is sown in it. The problem, then, is to learn how to select the right sort of seed and how to sow that seed so that it takes root and grows quickly. We are sowing seed in our minds daily, hourly, nay, every second, but we are doing it promiscuously and more or less unconsciously. We must learn to do it after a carefully prepared plan, according to a well laid out design! Haphazardly sown seed in the human mind brings back a haphazard crop! There is no escape from this result.

History is full of notable cases of men who have been transformed from law-abiding, peaceful, constructive citizens to roving, vicious criminals. We also have thousands of cases wherein men of the low, vicious, so-called criminal type have been transformed into constructive, law-abiding citizens. In every one of these cases the transformation of the human being took place in the mind of the man. He created in his own mind, for one reason or another, a picture of what, he desired and then proceeded to transform that picture into reality. As a matter of fact, if a picture of; any environment, condition or thing be pictured in the human mind and if the mind be focused or concentrated on that picture long enough and persistently enough, and backed up with a strong desire for the thing pictured, it is but a short step from the picture, to the realization of it in physical or mental form.

The world war brought out many startling tendencies of the human mind which corroborate the work which the psychologist has carried on in his research into the workings of the mind. The following account of a rough, uncouth, unschooled, undisciplined young mountaineer is an excellent case in point:

Rotarians Plan to Present Farm to Arvin York,

Unlettered Tennessee Squirrel Hunter

By George W. Dixon

How Arvin Cullom York, an unlettered Tennessee squirrel hunter, became the foremost hero of the American Expeditionary Forces in France, forms a romantic chapter in the history of the world war.

York is a native of Fentress County. He was born and reared among the hardy mountaineers of the Tennessee woods. There is not even a railroad in Fentress County. During his earlier years he was reputed to be a desperate character. He was what was known as a gunman. He was a dead shot with a revolver, and his prowess with the rifle was known far and wide among the plain people of the Tennessee hills.

One day a religious organization pitched its tent in the community in which York and his parents lived. It was a strange sect that came to the mountains looking for converts, but the methods of the evangels of the new cult were full of fire and emotionalism. They denounced the sinner, the vile character and the man who took advantage of his neighbor. They pointed to the religion of the Master as an example that all should follow.


Alvin Cullom York startled his neighbors one night by flinging himself down at the mourners'.....................................................

HERE are twelve good reasons for Failure. The first one is the avowed intention of doing no more than one is paid to do, and the person who makes this avowal may see the other eleven by stepping before a looking-glass.

............................bench. Old men stirred in their seats and women craned their necks, as York wrestled with his sins in the shadows of the Tennessee mountains.

York became an ardent apostle of the new religion. He became an exhorter, a leader in the religious life of the community and, although his marksmanship was as deadly as ever, no one feared him who walked in the path of righteousness.

When the news of the war reached that remote section of Tennessee and the mountaineers were told that they were going to be "conscripted," York grew sullen and disagreeable. He didn't believe in killing human beings, even in war. His Bible taught him, "Thou shalt not kill." To his mind this was literal and final. He was branded as a "conscientious objector."

The draft officers anticipated trouble. They knew that his mind was made up, and they would have to reach him in some manner other than by threats of punishment.


They went to York with a Bible and showed him that the war was in a holy cause - the cause of liberty and human freedom. They pointed out that men like himself were called upon by the Higher Powers to make the world free; to protect innocent women and children from violation; to make life worth living for the poor and oppressed; to overcome the "beast" pictured in the Scriptures, and to make the world free for the development of Christian ideals and Christian manhood and womanhood. It was a fight between the hosts of righteousness and the hordes of Satan. The devil was trying to conquer the world through his chosen agents, the Kaiser and his generals.

York's eyes blazed with a fierce light. His big hands closed like a vise. His strong jaws snapped. "The Kaiser," he hissed between his teeth, "the beast! the destroyer of women and children! I'll show him where he belongs if I ever get within gunshot of him!"

He caressed his rifle, kissed his mother good-by and told her he would see her again when the Kaiser had been put out of business.

He went to the training camp and drilled with scrupulous care and strict obedience to orders.

His skill at target practice attracted attention. His comrades were puzzled at his high scores. They had not reckoned that a backwoods squirrel hunter would make fine material for a sniper in the front-line trenches.

York's part in the war is now history. General Pershing has designated him as the foremost individual hero of the war. He won every decoration, including the Congressional Medal, the Croix de Guerre, the Legion of Honor. He faced the Germans without fear of death. He was fighting to vindicate his religion, for the sanctity of the home; the love of women and children; the preservation of the ideals of Christianity and the liberties of the poor and oppressed. Fear was not in his code or his vocabulary. His cod daring electrified more than a million men and set the world to talking about this strange, unlettered hero from the hills of Tennessee.

Here we have a case of a young mountaineer who, had he been approached from just a slightly different angle, undoubtedly would have resisted conscription and, likely as not, would have become so embittered toward his country that he would have become an outlaw, looking for an opportunity to strike back at the first chance.

Those who approached him knew something of the principles through which the human mind works. They knew how to manage young York by first overcoming the resistance that he had worked up in his own mind. This is the very point at which thousands of men, through improper understanding of these principles, are arbitrarily classed as criminals and treated as dangerous, vicious people. Through suggestion these people could have been handled as effectively as young York was handled, and developed into useful, productive human beings.

In your search for ways and means of understanding and manipulating your own mind so you can persuade it to create that which you desire in life, let us remind you that, without a single exception, anything which irritates you and arouses you to anger, hatred, dislike, or cynicism, is destructive and very bad for you.

You can never get the maximum or even a fair average of constructive action out of your mind until you have learned to control it and keep it from becoming stimulated through anger or fear!

These two negatives, anger and fear, are positively destructive to your mind, and as long as you allow them to remain you can be sure of results which are unsatisfactory and away below what you are capable of producing.

In our discussion of environment and habit we learned that the individual mind is amenable to the suggestions of environment; that the minds of the individuals of a crowd blend with one another conforming to the suggestion of the prevailing influence of the leader or dominating figure. Mr. J. A. Fisk gives us an interesting account of the influence of mental suggestion in the revival meeting, which bears out the statement that the crowd mind blends into one, as follows:


Modern psychology has firmly established the fact that the greater part of the phenomena of the religious "revival" are psychical rather than spiritual in their nature, and abnormally psychical at that. The leading authorities recognize the fact that the mental excitement attendant upon the emotional appeals of the "revivalist" must be classified with the phenomena, of hypnotic suggestion rather than with that of true, religious experience. And those who have made a close study of the subject believe that instead of such excitement tending to elevate the mind and exalt the spirit of the individual, it serves to weaken and degrade the mind and prostitute the spirit by dragging it in the mud of abnormal psychic frenzy and emotional excess. In fact, by some careful observers, familiar with the respective phenomena, the religious "revival" meeting is classed with the public hypnotic "entertainment" as a typical example of psychic intoxication and hysterical excess.

David Starr Jordan, chancellor emeritus of Leland Stanford University, says: "Whisky, cocaine and alcohol bring temporary insanity, and so does a revival of religion." The late Professor William James, of Harvard University, the eminent psychologist, says: "Religious revivalism is more dangerous to the life of society than drunkenness."

It should be unnecessary to state that in this lesson the term "revival" is used in the narrower signification indicating the typical religious emotional excitement known by the term in question, and is not intended to apply to the older and respected religious experience designated by the same term, which was so highly revered among the Puritans, Lutherans and others in the past. A standard reference work speaks of the general subject of the "revival" as follows:

"Revivals occur in all religions. When one takes place a large number of persons who have been comparatively dead or indifferent to spiritual considerations simultaneously or in quick succession become alive to their importance, alter spiritually and morally, and act with exceeding zeal in converting others to their views. A Mohammedan revival takes the form of a return to the strict doctrines of the Koran, and a desire to propagate them by the sword. A Christian minority living in the place is in danger of being massacred by the revivalists. Pentecostal effusion of the Holy Spirit produced a revival within the infant church, followed by numerous conversions from outside. Revivals, though not called by that name, occurred at intervals from apostolic times till the Reformation, the revivalists being sometimes so unsympathetically treated that they left the church and formed sects, while, in other cases, and notably in those of the founders of the monastic orders, they were retained and acted on the church as a whole. The spiritual impulse which led to the Reformation, and..............................

NOTHING is so contagious as enthusiasm. It is the real allegory of the tale of Orpheus. It moves stones, it charms brutes. Enthusiasm is the genius of sincerity and truth accomplishes no victories without it.


....................................the antagonistic one which produced or attended the rise of the Society of Jesus, were both revivalist. It is, however, to sudden increase of spiritual activity within the Protestant churches that the term ‘revival’ is chiefly confined. The enterprise of the Wesleys and Whitefield in this country and England from 1738 onward was thoroughly revivalist….Since then, various revivals have from time to time occurred, and nearly all denominations aim at their production. The means adopted are prayer for the Holy Spirit, meetings continued night after night, often to a late hour, stirring addresses, chiefly from revivalist laymen, and after-meetings to deal with those impressed. Ultimately it has been found that some of those apparently converted have been steadfast, others have fallen back, while deadness proportioned to the previous excitement temporarily prevails. Sometimes excitable persons at revival meetings utter piercing cries, or even fall prostrate.

"These morbid manifestations are now discouraged, and have in consequence become more rare."

In order to understand the principle of the operation of mental suggestion in the revival meeting, we must first understand something of what is known as the psychology of the crowd. Psychologists are aware that the psychology of a crowd, considered as a whole, differs materially from that of the separate individuals composing that crowd. There is a crowd of separate individuals, and a composite crowd in which the emotional natures of the units seem to blend and fuse. The change from the first-named crowd to the second arises from the influence of earnest attention, or deep emotional appeals or common interest. When this change occurs the crowd becomes a composite individual, the degree of whose intelligence and emotional control is but little above that of its weakest member. This fact, startling as it may appear to the average reader, is well known and is admitted by the leading psychologists of the day; and many important essays and books have been written thereupon. The predominant characteristics of this "composite-mindedness" of a crowd are the evidences of extreme suggestibility, response to appeals of emotion, vivid imagination, and action arising from imitation - all of which are mental traits universally manifested by primitive man. In short, the crowd manifests atavism, or reversion to early racial traits.

Dials, in his Psychology of the Aggregate Mind of an Audience, holds that the mind of an assemblage listening to a powerful speaker undergoes a curious process called "fusion," by which the individuals in the audience, losing their personal traits for the time being, to a greater or less degree, are reduced, as it were, to a single individual, whose characteristics are those of an impulsive youth of twenty, imbued in general with high ideals, but sacking in reasoning. power and will. Tarde, the French psychologist, advances similar views.

Professor Joseph Jastrow, in his Fact and Fable in Psychology, says:

"In the production of this state of mind a factor as yet unmentioned plays a leading rôle, the power of mental contagion. Error, like truth, flourishes in crowds. At the heart of sympathy each finds a home... No form of contagion is so insidious in its outset, so difficult to check in its advance, so certain to leave germs that may at any moment reveal their pernicious power, as a mental contagion - the contagion of fear, of panic, of fanaticism, of lawlessness, of superstition, of error….In brief, we must add to the many factors which contribute to deception, the recognized lowering of critical ability, of the power of accurate observation, indeed, of rationality, which merely being one of a crowd induces. The conjurer finds it easy to perform to a large audience, because, among other reasons, it is easier to arouse their admiration and sympathy, easier to make them forget themselves and enter into the uncritical spirit of wonderland. It would seem that in some respects the critical tone of an assembly, like the strength of a chain, is that of its weakest member."

Professor Le Bon, in his The Crowd, says: "The sentiments and ideas of all the persons in the gathering take one and the same direction, and their conscious personality vanishes. A collective mind is formed, doubtless transitory, by presenting very clearly marked characteristics. The gathering has become what, in the absence of a better expression, I will call an organized crowd, or, if the term be considered preferable, a psychological crowd. It forms a single being, and is subjected to the law of the mental unity of crowds....The most striking peculiarity presented by a psychological crowd is the following: Whoever be the individuals that compose it, however like or unlike be their mode of life, their occupation, their character, or their intelligence, the fact that they have been transformed into a crowd puts them in Possession of a sort of collective mind which makes them feel, think and act in a manner quite different from that in which each individual of them would feel, think and act were he in a state of isolation. There are certain ideas and feelings which do not come into being, or do not transform themselves into acts, except in the case of the individuals forming a crowd….In crowds it is stupidity and not mother wit that is accumulated. In the collective mind the intellectual aptitudes of the individuals, and in consequence their individuality, is weakened….The most careful observations seem to prove that an individual immerged for some length of time in a crowd in action soon finds himself in a special state, which most resembles the state of fascination in which the hypnotized individual finds himself….The conscious personality has entirely vanished, will and discernment are lost. All feelings and thoughts are bent in the direction determined by the hypnotizer….Under the influence of a suggestion he will undertake the accomplishment of certain acts with irresistible impetuosity. This impetuosity is the more irresistible in the case of crowds, from the fact that, the suggestion being the same for all the individuals of the crowd, it gains in strength by reciprocity. Moreover, by the mere fact that he forms part of an organized crowd, a man descends several rungs in the ladder of civilization. Isolated, he may be a cultured individual; in a crowd, he is a barbarian - that is, a creature acting by instinct. He possesses the spontaneity, the violence, the ferocity, and also the enthusiasm and heroism of primitive beings, whom he further tends to resemble by the facility with which he allows himself to be induced to commit acts contrary to his most obvious interests and his best known habits. An individual in a crowd is a grain of sand
amid other grains of sand, which the wind stirs up at will."

Professor Davenport, in his Primitive Traits in Religious Revivals, says:

"The mind of the crowd is strangely like that of primitive man. Most of the people in it may be far from primitive in emotion, in thought, in character; nevertheless, the result tends always to be the same. Stimulation immediately begets action. Reason is in abeyance. The cool, rational speaker has little chance beside the skillful emotional orator. The crowd thinks in images, and speech must take this form to be accessible to it. The images are not connected by any natural bond, and they take each other's place like the slides of a magic lantern. It follows from this, of course, that appeals to the imagination have paramount influence….The crowd is united and governed by emotion rather than by reason. Emotion is the natural bond, for men differ much less in this respect than in intellect. It is also true that in a crowd of a thousand men the amount of emotion actually generated and existing is far greater than the sum which might conceivably be obtained by adding together the emotions of the individuals taken by themselves. The explanation of this is that the attention of the crowd is always directed either by the circumstances of the occasion or by the speaker to certain common ideas - as 'salvation' in religious gatherings....and every individual in the gathering is stirred with emotion, not only because the idea or the shibboleth stirs him, but also because he is conscious that every other individual in the gathering believes in the idea or the shibboleth, and is stirred by it, too.

SOME men
are successful
as long as
stands back
of them
some men
are successful
in spite of Hell!
Take your choice.

And this enormously increases the volume of his own emotion and consequently the total volume of emotion in the crowd. As in the case of the primitive mind, imagination has unlocked the floodgates of emotion, which on occasion may become wild enthusiasm or demoniac frenzy.”

The student of suggestion will see that not only are the emotional members of a revival audience subject to the effect of the "composite-mindedness" arising from the "psychology of the crowd" and are thereby weakened in resistive power, but that they are also brought under the influence of two other very potent forms of mental suggestion. Added to the powerful suggestion of authority exercised by the revivalist, which is exerted to its fullest along lines very similar to that of the professional hypnotist, is the suggestion of imitation exerted upon each individual by the combined force of the balance of the crowd.

As Durkheim observed in his psychological investigations, the average individual is "intimidated by the mass" of the crowd around him, or before him, and experiences that peculiar psychological influence exerted by the mere number of people as against his individual self. Not only does the suggestible person find it easy to respond to the authoritative suggestions of the preacher and the exhortations of his helpers, but he is also brought under the direct fire of the imitative suggestions of those on all sides who are experiencing emotional activities and who are manifesting them outwardly. Not only does the voice of the shepherd urge forward, but the tinkle of the bellwether's bell is also heard, and the imitative tendency of the flock, which causes one sheep to jump because one ahead of him does so (and so on until the last sheep has jumped), needs but the force of the example of a leader to start into motion the entire flock. This is not an exaggeration - human beings, in times of panic, fright, or deep emotion of any kind, manifest the imitative tendency of the sheep, and the tendency of cattle and horses to "stampede" under imitation.

To the student experienced in the experimental work of the psychological laboratory there is the very closest analogy observed in the respective phenomena of the revival and hypnotic suggestion. In both cases the attention and interest is attracted by the unusual procedure; the element of mystery and awe is induced by words and actions calculated to inspire them; the senses are tired by monotonous talk in an impressive and authoritative tone; and finally the suggestions are projected in a commanding, suggestive manner familiar to all students of hypnotic suggestion. The subjects in both cases are prepared for the final suggestions and commands, by previously given minor suggestions, such as: "Stand up," or "Look this way," etc., in the case of the hypnotist; and by: "All those who think so-and-so, stand up," and "All who are willing to become better, stand up," etc., in the case of the revivalist. The impressionable subjects are thus accustomed to obedience to suggestion by easy stages. And, finally, the commanding suggestion: "Come right up - right up - this way - right up - come, I say, come, come, COME! " etc., which takes the impressed ones right off their feet and rushes them to the front, are, almost precisely the same in the hypnotic experiment or séance, on the one hand, and the sensational revival, on the other. Every good revivalist would make a good hypnotic operator, and every good hypnotic operator would make a good revivalist if his mind were turned in that direction.

In the revival, the person giving the suggestions has the advantage of breaking down the resistance of his audience by arousing their sentiments and emotions. Tales depicting the influence of mother, home and heaven; songs like "Tell Mother, I'll Be There"; and personal appeals to the revered associations of one's past and early life tend to reduce one to the state of emotional response, and render him most susceptible to strong, repeated suggestions along the same line. Young people and hysterical women are especially susceptible to this form of emotional suggestion. Their feelings are stirred, and the will is influenced by the preaching, the songs, and the personal appeals of the co-workers of the revivalist.

The most sacred sentimental memories are reawakened for the moment and old conditions of mind are reinduced. "Where Is My Wandering Boy Tonight?" brings forth tears to many a one to whom the memory of the mother is sacred, and the preaching that the mother is dwelling in a state of bliss beyond the skies, from which the unconverted child is cut off unless he professes faith, serves to move many to action for the time being. The element of fear is also invoked in the revival - not so much as formerly, it is true, but still to a considerable extent and more subtly. The fear of a sudden death in an unconverted condition is held over the audience, and, "Why not now - why not tonight?" is asked him, accompanied by the hymn; "Oh, Why Do You Wait, Dear Brother?" As Davenport says:

"It is well known that the employment of symbolic images immensely increases the emotion of an audience. The vocabulary of revivals abounds in them - the cross, the crown, the angel band, hell, heaven. Now vivid imagination and strong feeling and belief are states of mind favorable to suggestion as well as to impulsive action. It is also true that the influence of a crowd largely in sympathy with the ideas suggested is thoroughly coercive or intimidative upon the individual sinner. There is considerable professed conversion which results in the beginning from little more than this form of social pressure, and which may never develop beyond it. Finally, the inhibition of all extraneous ideas is encouraged in revival assemblies both by prayer and speech. There is, therefore, extreme sensitiveness to suggestion. When to these conditions of negative consciousness on the part of an audience there has been added a conductor of the meetings who has a high hypnotic potential, such as Wesley or Finney, or who is only a thoroughly persuasive and magnetic personality, such as Whitefield, there may easily be an influence exerted upon certain individuals of a crowd which closely approaches the abnormal or thoroughly hypnotic. When this point is not reached there is still a great amount of highly acute though normal suggestibility to be reckoned with."

The persons who show signs of being influenced are then "labored with" by either the revivalist or his co-workers. They are urged to surrender their will, and "Leave it all to the Lord." They are told to "Give yourself to God, now, right now, this minute"; or to "Only believe now, and you shall be saved"; or "Won't you give yourself to Jesus?" etc. They are exhorted and prayed with; arms are placed around their shoulders, and every art of emotional persuasive suggestion is used to make the sinner "give up."

Starbuck in his The Psychology of Religion relates a number of instances of the experiences of converted persons at revivals. One person wrote as follows:

"My will seemed wholly at the mercy of others, particularly of the revivalist M_. There was absolutely no intellectual element. It was pure feeling. There followed a period of ecstasy. I was bent on doing good and was eloquent in appealing to others. The state of moral exaltation did not continue. It was followed by a complete relapse from orthodox religion."

Davenport has the following to say in reply to the claim that the old methods of influencing converts at a revival have passed away with the crude theology of the past:

"I lay particular stress upon this matter here, because, while the employment of irrational fear in revivals has largely passed away, the employment of the hypnotic method has not passed away. There has rather been a recrudescence and a conscious strengthening of it because the old prop of terror is gone. And it cannot be too vigorously emphasized that such a force is not a ‘spiritual’ force in any high and clear sense at all, but is rather uncanny and psychic and obscure. And the method itself needs to be greatly refined before it can ever be of any spiritual benefit whatever. It is thoroughly primitive and belongs with the animal and instinctive means of fascination. In this bald, crude form, the feline employs it upon the helpless bird and the Indian medicine-man upon the................................

YOU need have no fear of competition from the person who says, “I'm not paid to do this and I'll not do it.” He will never be a dangerous competitor for your job. But watch out for the fellow who remains at his work until it is finished and performs a little more than is expected of him, for he may challenge you at the post and pass you at the grand-stand.

........................ghost-dance votary. When used, as it has often been, upon little children who are naturally highly suggestible, it has no justification whatever and is mentally and morally injurious in the highest degree. I do not see how violent emotional throes and the use of suggestion in its crude forms can be made serviceable even in the cases of hardened sinners, and certainly with large classes of the population the employment of this means is nothing but psychological malpractice. We guard with intelligent care against quackery in physiological obstetrics. It would be well if a sterner training and prohibition hedged about the spiritual obstetrician, whose function it is to guide the far more delicate process of the new birth."

Some who favor the methods of the revival, but who also recognize the fact that mental suggestion plays a most important part in the phenomena thereof, hold that the objections similar to those here advanced are not valid against the methods of the revival, inasmuch as mental suggestion, as is well known, may be used for good purposes as well as bad - for the benefit and uplifting of people as well as in the opposite direction. This being admitted, these good folks argue that mental suggestion in the revival is a legitimate method or "weapon of attack upon the stronghold of the devil." But this argument is found to be defective when examined in its effects and consequences. In the first place, it would seem to identify the emotional, neurotic and hysterical mental states induced by revival methods with the spiritual uplift and moral regeneration which is the accompaniment of true religious experience. It seeks to place the counterfeit on a par with the genuine - the baleful glare of the rays of the psychic moon with the invigorating and animating rays of the spiritual sun. It seeks to raise the hypnotic phase to that of the "spiritual-mindedness" of man. To those who are familiar with the two classes of phenomena, there is a difference as wide as that between the poles existing between them.

As a straw showing how the wind of the best modern religious thought is blowing, we submit the following, from the volume entitled Religion and Miracle, from the pen of Rev. Dr. George A. Gordon, pastor emeritus of the New Old South Church of Boston:

"For this end professional revivalism, with its organizations, its staff of reporters who make the figures suit the hopes of good men, the system of advertisements, and the exclusion or suppression of all sound critical comment, the appeals to emotion and the use of means which have no visible connection with grace and cannot by any possibility lead to glory, is utterly inadequate. The world waits for the vision, the passion, the simplicity and the stem truthfulness of the Hebrew prophet; it awaits the imperial breadth and moral energy of the Christian apostle to the nations; it awaits the teacher who, like Christ, shall carry his doctrine in a great mind and a great character."

While there have undoubtedly been many instances of persons attracted originally by the emotional excitement of the revival, and afterwards leading worthy religious lives in accordance with the higher spiritual nature, still in too many cases the revival has exerted but a temporary effect for good upon the persons yielding to the excitement, and after the stress has passed has resulted in creating an indifference and even an aversion for true religious feeling. The reaction is often equal to the original action. The consequences of "backsliding" are well known in all churches, after a spirited revival. In others there is merely awakened a susceptibility to emotional excitement, which causes the individual to undergo repeated stages of "conversion" at each revival, and a subsequent "backsliding" after the influence of the meeting is withdrawn.

Moreover, it is a fact known to psychologists that persons who have given way to the emotional excitement and excesses of the typical revival are rendered afterwards far more suggestible and open to "isms," fads and false religions than before. The people flocking to the support of the various pseudo-religious adventurers and impostors of the age are generally found to be the same people who were previously the most ardent and excitable converts of the revival. The ranks of the "Messiahs," "Elijahs" and "Prophets of the Dawn," who have appeared in great numbers in this country and England during the past fifty years, have been recruited almost exclusively from those who have previously "experienced" the revival fervor in the orthodox churches. It is the old story of the training of the hypnotic subject. Especially harmful is this form of emotional intoxication among young people and women. It must be remembered that the period of adolescence is one in which the mental nature of the individual is undergoing great changes. It is a period noted for peculiar development of the emotional nature, the sex nature, and the religious nature. The existing conditions at this period render the psychic debauchery of the revival, séance or hypnotic exhibition particularly harmful. Excessive emotional excitement, coupled with mystery, fear and awe, at this period of life, often results in morbid and abnormal conditions arising in after life. As Davenport well says: "It is no time for the shock of fear or the agony of remorse. The only result of such misguided religious zeal is likely to be a strengthening in many cases of those tendencies, especially in females, toward morbidity and hysteria, toward darkness and doubt."

There are other facts connected with the close relation existing between abnormal religious excitement and the undue arousing of the sexual nature, which are well known to all students of the subject, but which cannot be spoken of here. As a hint, however, the following, from Davenport, will serve its purpose: "... At the age of puberty there is an organic process at work which pushes into activity at nearly the same time the sexual and the spiritual. There is no proof, however, of the causation of the latter by the former. But it does appear to be true that the two are closely associated at the point in the physical process where they branch in different directions, that at that critical period any radical excitation of the one has its influence upon the other." A careful consideration of this important statement will serve to explain many things that have sorely perplexed many good people in the past, in connection with revival excitement in a town, camp meetings, etc. This apparent influence of the devil, which so worried our forefathers, is seen to be but the operation of natural psychological and physiological laws. To understand it is to have the remedy at hand."

But what do the authorities say of the revival of the future - the new revival - the real revival? Let Professor Davenport speak for the critics - he is well adapted for the task. He says:

"There will be, I believe, far less use of the revival meeting as a crass coercive instrument for overriding the will and overwhelming the reason of the individual man. The influence of public religious gatherings will be more indirect, more unobtrusive. It will be recognized that hypnotization and forced choices weaken the soul, and there will be no attempt to press to decision in so great a matter under the spell of excitement and contagion and suggestion. . . . The converts may be few. They may be many. They will be measured, not by the capacity of the preacher for administrative hypnotism, but rather by the capacity for unselfish friendship of every Christian man and woman. But of this I think we may be confident - the days of religious effervescence and passional unrestraint are dying. The days of intelligent, undemonstrative and self-sacrificing piety are dawning. To do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with God - these remain the cardinal tests of the divine in man.

Religious experience is an evolution. We go on from the rudimentary and the primitive to the rational and the spiritual. And, believe Paul, the mature fruit of the Spirit is not the subliminal uprush, the lapse of inhibition, but rational love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness - self-control."

· · · · · · · ·

The Law of Concentration is one of the major principles which must be understood and applied intelligently by all who would successfully experiment....................................

UNTIL you have learned to be tolerant with those who do not always agree with you - until you have cultivated the habit of saying some kind word of those whom you do not admire – until you have formed the habit of looking for the good instead of the bad there is in others, you will be neither successful nor happy.

.....................................with the principle described in this course as the "Master Mind."

The foregoing comments, by leading authorities of the world, will give you a better understanding of the Law of Concentration as it is often used by those who wish to "blend" or "fuse" the minds of a crowd so they will function as a single mind.

You are now ready for the lesson on Cooperation, which will take you further into the methods of applying the psychological laws upon which this philosophy of success is based.

IF you hesitate or turn backward while under fire, you're not a Fighter -you're a "Quitter"; and the Devil, himself, hates the person with a rubber backbone. He smells bad burning.


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