POWER & SUCCESS COLLECTION: The Secret Of Success, The Power Of Concentration, Thought-Force in Business and Everyday Life, How To Read Human Nature, Practical Mental Influence and more - William Walker Atkinson - ebook

POWER & SUCCESS COLLECTION: The Secret Of Success, The Power Of Concentration, Thought-Force in Business and Everyday Life, How To Read Human Nature, Practical Mental Influence and more ebook

William Walker Atkinson



This carefully crafted ebook: "THE ARCANE TEACHINGS - Complete Collection: The Arcane Formulas - Mental Alchemy, The Arcane Teachings & Vril - The Vital Magnetism" is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. The Arcane Teaching has come down to the present age through the corridors of time, from the dim ages of past eras, races, and schools of thought. In the Arcane Lessons you will see that the individual is but a Centre of Consciousness and Force in the great Life Principle, Cosmic Will or Spirit. In the Arcane Teaching, the term "Vril" indicates the universal principle of vital-energy, life-force, or vital magnetism, as it is sometimes called. The term itself is believed to have had its origin in the language of ancient Atlantis, tradition holding that the Atlantean root vri, meaning life, is the source of the word Vril, the latter expressing the idea of vital principle or life-energy. The Arcane Teachings Collection contains three books: The Arcane Teachings, The Arcane Formulas; or, Mental Alchemy & Vril; or, Vital Magnetism. William Walker Atkinson (1862-1932) was a prolific writer. His works treat themes related to the mental world, occultism, divination, psychic reality, and mankind's nature. They constitute a basis for what Atkinson called "New Psychology" or "New Thought".

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William Walker Atkinson

POWER & SUCCESS COLLECTION: The Secret Of Success, The Power Of Concentration, Thought-Force in Business and Everyday Life, How To Read Human Nature, Practical Mental Influence and more

e-artnow, 2016
ISBN 978-80-268-4880-6

Table of Contents

The Secret Of Success
Thought-Force in Business and Everyday Life
Suggestion And Auto Suggestion
The Power Of Concentration
The Inner Consciousness
Practical Mental Influence
Practical Mind Reading
How To Read Human Nature

The Secret Of Success

Table of Content
The Secret of Success
The Individual
Latent Powers
The Power of Desire
The Law of Attraction
Personal Magnetism
Attractive Personality
An Afterword

The Secret of Success

Table of Content

It is with some hesitation that we bring ourselves to write this little book, entitled "The Secret of Success." Not that we are not in sympathy with the subject – not that we do not believe that there is a "Secret of Success" – but because there has been so much written on the subject of "Success" that is the veriest twaddle – masses of platitudinous wordiness – that we hesitate to take the position of a teacher of Success. It is so easy to fill pages of paper with good advice – it is so much easier to say things than to do them – so much easier to formulate a code of precepts than to get out into the field of active endeavor and put into practice the same percepts. And, you may imagine why we hesitate to assume a role which would lay us open to the suspicion of being one of the "do as I tell you, and not as I do" teachers of the Art of Success.

But there is another side of the question. There is, besides the mere recital of a List of Good Qualities Leading to Success – a list with which every schoolboy and reader of the magazines is acquainted – a Something Else; and that Something Else, is a suggestion that the Seeker for Success has a Something Within himself which if expressed into activity and action will prove of great value to him – a veritable Secret of Success, instead of a code of rules. And, so we propose to devote this little book to unfolding our idea of what this Something Within is, and what it will do for one who will unfold it and thus express it into action. So, therefore, do not expect to find this book a "Complete Compendium of Rules Conducive to Success, Approved of and Formulated by the Successful Men of the World who became acquainted with these Rules only after they had Attained Success, and consequently had Time and Inclination to Preach to Others." This is not a book of that sort. It is Quite Different. We hope you will like it – it will do you good in any event.

All people are striving and seeking Success. Their idea of Success may differ, but they have all agreed upon the desirability of Attainment. "Attainment"-that is the word, which embodies the essence of that which we call Success. It is the "Getting-There" idea – the idea of Attainment – of Reaching the Goal for which we set out. That is the story – Attainment.

Many men and women have endeavored to point out the way to Success, and while some have rendered valuable service to those who were following them on the Path of Attainment, yet none have been able to tell the whole story of Success. And this is not to be wondered about, for the reason that on the road to Success each and every individual must be, in a measure a law unto himself, or herself. No two temperaments are exactly alike – Nature delights in variety; no two sets of circumstances are precisely the same – infinite variety manifests here also. And so it would be folly to attempt to lay down rules of universal application, which would surely lead all to the great goal of Success. One has but to look around him on all sides and see the different needs of the different individuals composing the crowd, in order to recognize the futility of any attempt to lay down lines of universal instruction on this subject. Each and every man who has succeeded has done so in a different way – generally along some original lines of action – in fact, the faculty or characteristic known as Individuality, seems to have played an important part in the success of the majority of persons who have attained it. And Individuality renders those possessing it to a marked degree to be likely to depart from any set of rules or laid-out courses of action. And so, it may be stated as a general principle that each must work out his own Success along the lines of his own Individuality, rather than by following any set rule or line of conduct.

In view of what we have just said, it may seem strange that feeling as we do we have ventured to write a little book entitled "The Secret of Success," –particularly as we have started the said book by declaring the impossibility of laying down any set rules on the subject. This may seem like a paradox, but a little examination will show you that it is not so. It is true that we believe that each and every person must work out his own Success, along the lines of his own Individuality, instead of along some cut-and-dried plan. And right here is where the "Secret of Success" comes in. "Along the lines of his own individuality," we have just said – then it must follow that one must possess Individuality before he may work along its "lines. "And in the measure that he possesses Individuality, so will he possess the first prerequisite to Success. And that is what we mean by "The Secret of Success" – INDIVIDUALITY.

Every person possesses dormant and latent Individuality – but only a few allow it to express itself. The majority of us are like human sheep trotting along complacently after some self- assertive bellwether, whose tinkling bell serves to guide our footsteps. We have absorbed the notion somehow that these bellwethers possess the sum and substance of human knowledge and power, and ability to think – and instead of unfolding our own dormant powers, and latent possibilities, we allow them to remain in obscurity, and we trot along, jogitty-joggity-jog after our pet bellwether. People are very much like sheep in this way – they are obedient and imitative animals, and rather than assume the responsibility of directing their own footsteps, they wait until someone takes the lead, and then away they stampede after him. Is it any wonder that the leaders claim the choicest pickings for themselves, and allow the flock to get only the scrubby grass? Not a bit of it – they have earned the choice bits by reason of lock of Individuality and Initiative on the part of those following them – in fact, they were chosen as leaders because of this self-assertive, and self-directive quality. If they had stood back in a modest, mild manner, they would have been pushed aside by the flock that would disclaim them as leaders, in favor of others who knew how to push to the front.

Now, in this little book we shall not endeavor to awaken a spirit of "bellwetherism" in you, nor to urge you to strive to lead the flock – there is nothing in the mere leading of people other than vainglory and petty self-satisfaction. The desirable thing is to possess sufficient Individuality and Initiative to be your own bellwether – to be a law unto yourself, so far as other men are concerned. The great men – the strong men – care nothing for the flock, which so obediently trots along after them. They derive no satisfaction from this thing, which pleases only inferior minds, and gratifies only petty natures and ambitions. The big men – the great spirits of all ages – have derived more satisfaction from that inward conviction of strength and ability which they felt unfolding into activity within themselves, than in the plaudits of the mob, or in the servility of those imitative creatures who sought to follow in their footsteps.

And, this thing called Individuality is a real thing. Inherent in each of us, and which may be developed and brought into activity in each one of us if we go about it right. Individuality is the expression of our Self – that Self which is what we mean when we say "I". Each of us is an Individual – an "I" – differing from every other "I" in the universe, so far as personal expression is concerned. And in the measure that we express and unfold the powers of that "I", so are we great, strong and successful. We all "have it in us" – it depends upon us to get it out into Expression. And, this Individual Expression lies at the heart of the "Secret of Success". And that is why we use the term – and that is what we shall tell you about in this little book. It will pay for you to learn this "Secret".

The Individual

Table of Content

In our last lesson we stated that we considered the "Secret of Success" to consist principally of the Free Expression of the Individual – the "I." But before you will be able to apply this idea successfully, you must first awaken to a realization of what the Individual – the "I" within you – really is. This statement may appear ridiculous at first to many of you, but it will pay you to acquaint yourself fully with the idea behind it, for upon the true realization of "I" comes Power.

If you will stop and take stock of yourself, you will find that you are a more complex being than you had at first considered yourself to be. In the first place there is the "I," which is the Real Self or the Individual, and there is the "Me," which is something attached to and belonging to the "I" – the Personality. For proof of this, let the "I" take stock of the "Me," and it will find that the latter consists of three phases or principles, (ie. 1. The Physical Body; 2. The Vital Energy; 3. The Mind). Many people are in the habitat of regarding their bodies as the "I" part of them, but a little consideration will show them that the body is but a material covering, or machine through which and by means of which the "I" is able to manifest itself. A little thought will show that one may be vividly conscious of the "I Am" part of himself while totally oblivious of the presence of the physical body. This being so, it follows that the "I" is independent of the body, and that the latter falls into the "Me" classification. The physical body may exist after the "I" has left it – the dead body is not the "I." The physical body is composed of countless particles which are changing places every moment of our lives – our body of today is entirely different from our body of a year ago.

Then comes the second principle of the "Me" – the Vital Energy, or what many call Life. This is seen to be independent of the body, which it energizes, but it, too, is transitory and changeable, and readily may be seen to be but a something used to animate and energize the body – an instrument of the "I," and therefore a principle of the "Me". What, then, is left to the "I" to examine and determine its nature? The answer that comes naturally to the lips is, "The Mind, by which I know the truth of what you have just said. "But, stop a moment, you have said, speaking of the mind, "by which I know" – have you not, in saying this, acknowledged the mind to be a something through which the "I" acts? Think a moment – is the mind YOU? You are aware that your mental states change – your emotions vary – your feelings differ from time to time – your very ideas and thoughts are inconsistent and are subject to outside influences, or else are molded and governed by that which you call "I", or your Real Self. Then there must be something behind Mental States, Ideas, Feelings, Thoughts, etc., which is superior to them and which "knows" them just as one knows a thing apart from itself but which it uses. You say "I" feel; "I" think; "I" believe; "I" know; "I" will; etc. , etc. Now which is the Real Self? The Mental States just mentioned or the "I" which is the subject or Real Cause of the mental phenomena? It is not the Mind that knows, but the "I" which uses the Mind in order to know. This may seem a little abstruse to you if you have never been made a study of the subject, but think it over a little and the idea will clearly define itself in your mind.

We are not telling you these things merely to give you an idea of metaphysics, philosophy, or psychology – there are many books that go into these matters at length and in detail – so it is not for that reason. The real reason is that with a realization of the "I" or Real Self, comes a sense of Power that will manifest through you and make you strong. The awakening to a realization of the "I", in its clearness and vividness, will cause you to feel a sense of Being and Power that you have never before known. Before you can express Individuality, you must realize that you are an Individual. And you must be aware of this "I" within you before you can realize that you are an Individual.

The "Me" side of you is what is called Personality, to the outer appearance of yourself. Your Personality is made up of countless characteristics, traits, habits, thoughts, expressions and motions – it is a bunch of peculiarities and personal traits that you have been thinking was the real "I" all this time. But it is not. Do you know what the idea of Personality arose from? Let us tell you. Turn to the pages of any good dictionary, and you will see that the word originated from the Latin word "Persona", meaning "a mask used by actors in ancient times", and which the word in turn was derived from two other words, "sonare," meaning to "sound," and "per," meaning" through," the two words combined meaning "to sound through" – the idea being that the voice of the actor sounded through the mask of the assumed personality or character. Webster gives the following as one of the meanings of "Person," even to this day: "A character or part, as in a play; an assumed character." So then, Personality means the part you are playing in the Great Play of Life, on the Stage of the Universe. The real Individual concealed behind the mask of Personality is YOU – the Real Self – the "I" – that part of you which you are conscious when you say "I AM," which is your assertion of existence and latent power. "Individual" means something that cannot be divided or subtracted from – something that cannot be injured or hurt by outside forces – something REAL. And you are an Individual – a Real Self – an "I" – Something endowed with Life, Mind, and Power, to use, as you will.

A poet named Orr wrote:

Lord of a thousand worlds am I, And I reign since time began; And night and day, in cyclic sway, Shall pass while their deeds I scan. Yet time shall cease ere I find release, For I AM the soul of Man


Table of Content

To many of you, the title of this lesson – Spiritedness – may seem to have some connection with "spirits," "disembodied entities," or else the "soul" or some higher part of it, to which the name Spirit is often applied. But, in this case, we use the word in a different sense, and yet in a sense approved by many advanced teachers and investigators of the occult and spiritual. One of the meanings of the word "spirit" as given by Webster is as follows: "Energy, vivacity, ardor, enthusiasm, courage," etc. , while the same authority defines the word "spirited" as: "Animated; full of life and vigor, lively," etc. These definitions will give you a hint of the sense in which we are now using the term, but there is still more to it.

To us the word Spirit expresses the idea of the real essential nature of the Universal Power, and which is also manifested in man as the center of his being – his essential strength and power, from whence proceeds all that renders him an Individual. Spiritedness does not mean the quality of being ethereal, "goody-goody," spiritual, otherworldly, or anything of that sort. It means the state of being "animated," meaning, "possessed of life and vigor" – so that the state is really that of being filled with Power and Life. And that Power and Life comes from the very center of one’s being – the "I AM" region or plane of mind and consciousness.

Spiritedness is manifested in different degrees among different men – and even among the animals. It is an elementary, fundamental, primitive quality and expression of Life, and does not depend upon culture, refinement or education – its development seems to depend upon such instinctive or intuitional recognition of the Something Within – the Power of the Individual which is derived from that Universal Power of which we are all expressions. And even some of the animals seem to possess it.

A recent writer on the "Taming of Animals" expresses instinctive realization of Spiritedness among some of the higher animals as follows: "Put two male baboons in the same cage, and they will open their mouths, show all their teeth, and ‘blow’ at each other. But one of them, even though he may possess the uglier dentition, will blow with a difference, with an inward shakiness that marks him as the under dog at once. No test of battle is needed at all. It is the same with the big cats. Put two, or four, or a dozen lions together, and they also, probably without a single contest, will soon discover which one of them possesses the mettle of the master. Thereafter he takes the choice of the meat; if he chooses, the rest shall not even begin to eat until he has finished; he goes first to the fresh pan of water. In short he is ‘king of the cage. ‘Now, then, when a tamer goes into a den with a big cat that has taken a notion to act ‘funny,’ his attitude is almost exactly that of the ‘king beast’ above mentioned would be toward a subject rash and ill advised enough to challenge his kingship."

You will notice in the above quotation, that the writer states clearly that it is not always the baboon with the fiercest tusks that is the master, neither does the "king lion" necessarily assert his dominion by winning a physical fight – it is something far more subtle than the physical – it is the manifestation of some soul quality of the animal. And so it is with men, it is not always the biggest and strongest physically who rule – the ruler becomes so by reason of the mysterious soul quality which we call Spiritedness, and which men often call "nerve," or "mettle," or "sand." When two individuals come into contact with each other there is mental struggle – there may not be even a word uttered – and yet soul grapples with soul as the two pairs of eyes gaze into each other, and a subtle something in each engages and grapples with a subtle something in the other. It may be all over in a moment, but the conflict is settled for the time, and each of the mental combatants knows that he is victor or defeated, as the case may be. There may be no feeling of antagonism between the parties engaging, but nevertheless there seems to be an inward recognition on both sides that there is something between them always leads. And this leadership does not depend upon physical strength, intellectual attainment, or culture in the ordinary sense, but upon the manifestation and recognition of that subtle quality that we have called Spirit.

People unconsciously assert their recognition of quality in themselves and others, by their use of the term. We often hear of people "lacking spirit"; being "spiritless"; and of others having had "their spirit broken;" etc. The term is used in the sense of "mettle. "A "mettled" horse or man is "high-spirited," according to the dictionaries; and the same authorities define "mettlesome" as "full of spirit," so you see the term is used as we have employed it – but the explanation of the source of the "spiritedness" is not given. Breeders of thoroughbred racing horses will tell you that a horse having "spirit" will run a gamer race and will often outdistance and out-wind a horse having higher physical characteristics, but less "spirit" or "class." Horsemen insist that the possession of "spirit" in a horse is recognized by the other horses, who are effected by it and become discouraged and allow themselves to be beaten, although often they may be better racing machines, physically. This spirit is a fundamental vital strength possessed by all living things in degrees – and it may be developed and strengthened in one’s self. In our next lesson we shall recite a few instances of its manifestation among men.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, in one of his books, gives the following vivid description of the conflict of spiritedness between two men: "The Koh-i-noor’s face turned so white with rage that his blue-black mustache and beard looked fearful against it. He grinned with wrath, and caught at a tumbler, as if he would have thrown its contents at the speaker. The young Marylander fixed his clear, steady eye upon him, and laid his hand on his arm, carelessly almost, but the Jewel felt that he could not move it. It was no use. The youth was his master, and in a deadly Indian hug in which men wrestle with their eyes, over in five seconds, but which breaks one of their two backs, and is good for three score years and ten, one trial enough – settles the whole matter – just as when two feathered songsters of the barnyard, game and dunghill, come together. After a jump or two at each other, and a few sharp kicks, there is an end to it; and it is ‘After you, monsieur,’ with the beaten party in all the social relations for all the rest of his days."

Fothergill says: "Emily Bronte sketched out her ideal of a being possessed of immense willpower in a thorough ruffian – Heathcliff. A massive, muscular brute! Well, it was a girl’s conception of a strong man; but I think I have seen some quiet, inoffensive-looking men in spectacles, who could very soon have shown the ruffian where the superiority lay."

A celebrated historical example of Spiritedness, under apparently overwhelming odds, is that of the interview between Hugo, Bishop of Lincoln and Richard Coeur de Lion, in the church of Roche d’Andeli. In his desire to prosecute the war in Normandy, Richard demanded additional supplies and money from his barons and bishops, but Hugo refused to furnish men or money. He claimed that although the See of Lincoln was legally bound to supply men and money for military service within the four seas of Britain, the war in Normandy did not come under that head, and he defied the king. King Richard, called the Lion-Hearted, was a dangerous man to defy, and so when he summoned Bishop Hugo to Normandy, and the latter went forth to beard the lion in his den, few doubted the outcome, and the bishop’s downfall was taken as a matter of course. When the bishop landed in Normandy two friendly barons who informed him that the king was in a terrible rage against him, and who advised him to send some humble, conciliatory message to him before entering the royal presence. But the bishop refused to do this, and proceeded boldly to meet his monarch. Richard was sitting at Mass when the bishop entered. Hugo walked up to him, and disregarding his frown, said, "Kiss me, my lord King!" Richard turned wrathfully away, withholding his salute. But Hugo, gazing into his eyes, and shaking the royal shoulder vigorously, repeated his demand. "Thou hast not deserved it," roared the king in anger and chagrin. "I have," retorted Hugo, shaking the royal shoulder the harder. The king gradually dropped his eyes from those of the bishop, and gave the kingly salute and kiss, and the bishop passed on calmly to take part in the service. Hugo afterward defied the king in his council chamber, and persisted in his refusal, and even ventured to rebuke his royal master for infidelity to the queen. The council was astounded, for knowing Richard’s courage and fiery temper they expected to see Hugo crush in a moment – but instead he emerged the victor in the struggle of Spiritedness. The historian says: "The Lion was tamed for the moment. The King acknowledged nothing, but restrained his passion, remarking afterward, "If all bishops were like my lord of Lincoln, not a prince among us could lift his head among them. ""

And this was not the first time that this doughty Bishop of Lincoln had vanquished a king. In his earlier days, shortly after King Henry Plantagenet had created him bishop, he became involved in a fierce dispute with that monarch. Henry was at Woodstock Park surrounded by his courtiers when Hugo approached. The king feigned not to see the bishop, taking no notice whatsoever of him. After a few moments of strained silence, the bishop, pushing aside a powerful earl who was seated by the king’s side, took his place beside the king. The king pretended to be mending his leather glove. The bishop cheerfully and lightly said: "Your Majesty reminds me of your cousin at Falaise." Falaise was the place at which Henry’s ancestor Duke Robert met Arlotta, the daughter of a tanner of leather, who bore him his illegitimate son who was afterward known as William the Conqueror. The Bishop’s impudent allusion to the king’s ancestry was too much for the latter, and he was badly worsted in the encounter and later acceded to the wishes of the bishop.

But as Fothergill truly says: "It is a great mistake to suppose that this Will is disposed to air itself on all occasions; far from it. It often has a tendency to conceal itself, and is not rarely found under and exterior of much pleasantness. There are men, and women, too, who present an appearance of such politeness that they seem to have no will of their own; they apparently exist merely to do what is agreeable to others; but just wait till the time comes, and then the latent will-power is revealed, and we find under this velvet glove the iron hand – and no mistake about it. It is the secret of the diplomatist. Talleyrand possessed it to a remarkable degree, and was a cool, bold, successful diplomat; Cavour also possessed this power and used it wisely. The blusterer and bragger are devoid of it." It is a subtle, tenuous Power, resting latent beneath the surface and out of evidence – but when needed it flashes forth like the dynamic electric spark, driving all before it. It is an elemental force, of irresistible power.

Latent Powers

Table of Content

The majority of you know by actual experience in everyday life that we have within our physical organism that which we call "second-wind." We have essayed some physical task, and after a bit found ourselves "winded," that is short of breath, and we are tempted to stop and rest our panting bodies. But, we have also found by experience that if we will stick to the task at hand the feeling of physical distress will usually pass away, and we will gain what is called our "second-wind." Now just what this "second-wind" is, is a matter that has long perplexed physiologists, and even today they have not been able to hand us down a very good guess at the underlying cause of the phenomenon. It seems to be a fresh start acquired by reason of the opening up of reserve stores of vital energy – latent physical power stored away for such emergencies. All persons who have engaged in athletic sports know very well the details of this peculiar physiological phenomenon – its actuality is too firmly established to admit any doubt.

And, as is often the case, examination shows a curious parallel between the working of Nature on the mental plane and on the physical. Just as there is a physical "second-wind," so is there a mental reserve force or latent energy upon which we can draw and thus get a fresh start. The phenomena attendant upon physical "second-wind," as noted above, is almost exactly duplicated by certain mental phenomena. We may be jaded while performing some tedious bit of mental work, and we begin to feel that we are "all in," when lo! Some new in – and away we are off with a full mental "second-wind" doing our work with a freshness, vigor and enthusiasm far surpassing the original effort. We have tapped into a fresh source or supply of mental energy.

The majority of us have little or no conception of the reserve mental energies and forces contained within our being. We jog along at our customary gait, thinking that we are doing our best and getting all out of life that there is in it – think we are expressing ourselves to our utmost capacity. But we are living only in the first-wind mental state, and behind our working mentality are stores of wonderful mental energy and power – faculties lying dormant – power lying latent – awaiting the magic command of the Will in order to awaken into activity and outward expression. We are far greater beings than we have realized – we are giants of power, if we did but know it. Many of us are like young elephants that allow themselves to be mastered by weak men, and put through their paces, little dreaming of the mighty strength and power concealed within their organisms. Those of you who have read our little manual entitled "The Inner Consciousness" will recall what we said therein regarding the regions above and below the plane of the ordinary outer consciousness. And on those hidden planes of the mind, are untold possibilities – the raw materials for mighty mental tasks and achievement – the storage batteries of wonderful accomplishment. The trouble with us is that we do not realize the existence of these faculties. We think that we are merely what we manifest in our ordinary dogtrot gait. Another problem is that we have not had the incentive to take action – we have lacked the interest to do great things – we haven’t wanted to hard enough. This "want-to-hard- enough" is the great inciting power in life. Desire is the fire which rouses up the steam of Will. Without Incentive – and that means Desire – we accomplish nothing. Given the great, earnest, burning ardent Desire as an animating force – the great incentive to take action, and we are able to get up this mental "second-wind" – yes, third, fourth, and fifth winds – tapping one plane of inward power after another, until we work mental miracles.

We wonder at the achievements of the great men in all walks of life, and we are apt to excuse ourselves by the sad remark that these people seem to "have it in them," while we have not. Nonsense, we all have it in us to do things a hundred times greater than we are doing. The trouble is not in greater than we are doing. The trouble is not in the lack of power and mental material, but in the Desire and Interest, and Incentive to arouse into activity those wonderful storehouses of dynamic power within our mentality – we fail to call into our disposal, and which is like all other natural powers and forces eager and anxious to be manifested and expressed. Yes, that’s what we said "anxious and eager," for all natural forces, penned up and in a static condition seem to be bursting with desire to manifest and express into outer dynamic activity. This seems to be a law of life and nature. Nature and all in it seems to be eager for active expression. Have you not been surprised at yourselves at times, when under some slightly higher pressure and incentive Something Within you seemed to break its bounds and fairly carry you off of your feet in its rush into active work? Have you not accomplished tasks under the s tress of a sudden urgent need, that you would have deemed impossible in cold-blood. Have you not carried all before you when you "warmed-up" to the task, whereas your ordinary self would have stood around doing nothing under ordinary circumstances.

Earnestness and Enthusiasm are two great factors in bringing into operation these latent forces, and dormant powers of the mentality. But one need not stand by and wait until you work yourself into a fit of fervor before the energies spring into action. You can by a careful training of the Will – or rather, by a carefully training of yourself use you Will – manage to get hold of the mental throttle, so that you may pull it down and turn on a full head of steam whenever necessary. And when you have once mastered this, you will find that you are not any more tired when running under full pressure, than when you are crawling along – this being one of the Secrets of Success.

To many a person, the term "The Will," means merely a firm, steadfastness of mind, akin to Determination and Fixity of Purpose. To others it means something like Desire. To others, it means "the power of choice," etc. But to occultists, the Will is something far more than these things – it means a Vital Power – an Acting Force of the Mind – capable of dominating and ruling the other mental faculties as well as projecting itself beyond the mental organs of the individual and affecting others coming within its field of influence. And it is in this sense that we use the word "Will" in this lesson.

We have no desire to take the reader into the dim realms of metaphysics, or even into the lighter but still arduous paths of scientific psychology, but we must acquaint him with the fact of the existence of this thing that we call Will Power, and its relation to the "I." Of all the mental faculties or powers, that of the Will is the closest to the "I" or Ego of the person. It is the Sword of Power clasped in the hand of the Ego. One may divorce himself in thought from the other mental faculties and states, but when he thinks of the "I" he is bound to think of it as possessing that power which we call Will. The Will is a primal, original power of the "I" which is always with it until the end. It is the force with which he rules (or should rule) his mental and physical kingdom – the power of which his Individuality manifests itself upon the outside world.

Desire is the great motive power inciting the Will to action in life. As we have shown you the action of Will without the motive power of Desire is unthinkable, and therefore it follows that the culture and right direction of Desire carries with it the channel of expression and manifestation of the Will. You cultivate certain Desires, in order that the Will may flow out along these channels. By cultivating the Desire along certain lines, you are making channels along which the Will may flow in its rush toward expression and manifestation. So be sure to map out your Desire channels clearly by making the proper Mental Images of what you want – be sure and make the Desire channels deep and clear-cut by the force of repeated attention and autosuggestion.

History is filled with examples of men who have developed the use of the Will. We say "developed the use" rather than "developed Will," for man does not develop his Will – his Will is always there ready for use – a man develops his ability to use the Will – perfects himself in its use. We have frequently used the following illustration, and have not been able to improve upon it: Man is like a trolley car, with the upraised trolley-pole of his mind reaching out to the live wire of Will. Along that wire is flowing the current of Will Power, which it "taps" and draws down into his mind, and by which he is able to move, and act and manifest power. But the power is always in the Wire, and his "developing" consists in the ability to raise the pole to the Wire, and thus "tap into" its energy. If you will carry this idea in your mind, you will be able to apply this truth more easily in your everyday life.

A great promoter of the steel-pen, and electroplating industries, possesses this quality to a marked degree. It has been said of him that: "He had, to begin with, a strong, powerful, almost irresistible Will; and whoever and whatever he opposed, he surely conquered in the end." Buxton said: "The longer I live, the more certain I am that the great difference between men, between the feeble and the powerful, the great and the insignificant, is Energy – Invincible Determination – a purpose once fixed, and the Victory or Death. That quality will do anything that can be done in this world – and no talents, no circumstances, no opportunities, will make a two-legged creature a man without it. In this last quotation and the one preceding it, the idea of Persistence and Determination is identified closely with that of Will. And they are closely identified, the idea being that the Will should be held close, fast, and steadily against the task to be accomplished, just as the steel chisel is held firmly up against the object on the lathe, until its work is accomplished. It is not the mere Determination or Persistency that does the work – these would be of no avail unless the Will were there to do the cutting and shaping. But then again, there is a double-aspect of Will here – the Will in one phase does the work, while in another it forces the mind to hold it up against the task. So, in a sense the Will is the power back of Determination and persistency, as well as the force doing the work – the cutting-edge of the chisel, as well as the firm hand that holds it to its work.

Simpson has said: "A passionate Desire, and an unwearied Will can perform impossibilities, or what would seem to be such, to the cold and feeble." Disraeli said: "I have brought myself by long meditation to the conviction that a human being with a settled purpose must accomplish it, and that nothing can resist a Will which will stake even existence upon its fulfillment." Foster says: "It is wonderful how even the casualties of life seem to bow to a spirit that will not bow to them, and yield to sub-serve a design which they may, in their first apparent tendency, threaten to frustrate. When a firm, decisive spirit is recognized, it is curious to see how the space clears around a man and leaves him room and freedom." Mitchell has said: "Resolve is what makes a man manifest; not puny resolve; not crude determination; not errant purpose – but that strong and indefatigable Will which treads down difficulties and danger, as a boy treads down the heaving frost lands of winter, which kindles his eye and brain with a proud pulse-beat toward the unattainable. Will makes men giants. "

So, raise that mental trolley-pole, and touch the live wire of Will.


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You often have heard the word "Enthusiasm" used – have used it often yourself. But have you ever thought of what the word really means – from what source it originated – what is its essential spirit? Few have. The word "Enthusiasm" is derived from the Greek term meaning "to be inspired; to be possessed by the gods, etc.," the term having been originally used to designate the mental state of an inspired person who seems to be under the influence of a higher power. The term originally meant, "Inspired by a superhuman or divine power; ecstasy; etc." It is now used, according to Webster, in the sense of: "Enkindled and kindling fervor of soul; ardent and imaginative zeal or interest; lively manifestation of joy or zeal; etc." The word has acquired a secondary, and unfavorable meaning in the sense of "visionary zeal; imaginative fervor; etc. "; but its real and primary meaning is that ardent, lively zeal and interest in a inner forces of one’s nature. Real enthusiasm means a powerful mental state exerted in favor of, or against, some idea.

A person filled with Enthusiasm seems indeed to be inspired by some power or being higher than himself – he taps on to a source of power of which he is not ordinarily conscious. And the result is that he becomes as a great magnet radiating attractive force in all directions and influencing those within his field of influence. For Enthusiasm is contagious and when really experienced by the individual renders him a source of inductive power, and a center of mental influence. But the power with which he is filled does not come from an outside source – it comes from certain inner regions of his mind or soul – from his Inner Consciousness. Those who have read our little manual entitled "Inner Consciousness" will readily understand from what part of the mentality such power is derived. Enthusiasm is really "soul power," and when genuine is so recognized and felt by those coming within its field of influence.

Without a certain amount of Enthusiasm no one ever has attained Success, and never will do so. There is no power in personal intercourse that can be compared to Enthusiasm of the right sort. It comprises Earnestness, Concentration, and Power, and there are a very few people that cannot be influenced in some degree by its manifestation by another. Few people realize the actual value of Enthusiasm. Many have succeeded by reason of its possession, and many have failed by reason of its lack. Enthusiasm is the steam that drives our mental machinery, and which indirectly thus accomplishes the great things in life. You cannot accomplish tasks properly yourself unless you manifest a degree of interest in them, and what is Enthusiasm but Interest plus Inspiration – Inspired Interest, that’s what Enthusiasm is. By the power of Enthusiasm the great things of life are brought to expression and accomplishment.

Enthusiasm is not a thing, which some possess and others lack. All persons have it potentially, but only a few are able to express it. The majority is afraid to let themselves "feel" a thing, and then to let the "feeling" express itself in powerful action like the steam in an engine. The majority of persons do not know how to get up the steam of Enthusiasm. They fail to keep the fires of Interest and Desire kindled under their mental boiler, and the consequence is they fail to get up the steam of Enthusiasm. Enthusiasm may be developed, by cultivating interest and love of your task. Interest, confidence, and desire arouse Enthusiasm, and it remains for you to either concentrate it so that its effect will be directed strait toward the object, person or thing that you wish to move, or else allow it to dissipate itself in the air without result. Like steam, Enthusiasm may be dissipated or used – by concentrated direction it produces results; and by foolish waste and dissipation it fails to do so. The more interest you take in a thing, the greater does your confidence and desire grow – and from these arise the steam of Enthusiasm. So remember always that Interest is the mother of Enthusiasm.

The enthusiastic man naturally tends toward the optimistic frame of mind, and by doing so he diffuses an atmosphere of confident, cheerful expectation around him which tends to inspire confidence in others, and which aids him in his endeavors. He surrounds himself with a mental aura of Success – he vibrates Success – and those into whose presence he comes, unconsciously take on his vibrations. Enthusiasm is very contagious, and one filled with the right quality, kind and degree of it unconsciously communicates his interest, earnestness and expectations to others. Enthusiasm plays an important part in that which is called Personal Magnetism. It is a live, warm, vital mental quality, and it quickens the pulse of the one using it, and those who are affected by it. It is different from the cold-blooded indifference that one meets with so often in business, and which causes many a sale to be lost, and many a good thing to be "turned down."

The man who lacks Enthusiasm is robbed of more than half his force of Personal Influence. No matter how good his arguments may be – no matter how meritorious his proposition may be – unless he possess the warm vital quality of Enthusiasm, his efforts are largely wasted, and his result impaired. Think over the salesman who have approached you and remember how some of them produced the chilling effect of a damp cellar upon you, while others caused you to sit up and take notice in spite of yourself by reason of their earnest interest and enthusiasm. Analyze the impression produced upon you by the different people with whom you have come in contact, and then see how great an influence Enthusiasm exerts. And then remember the effect it produces upon yourself, when you feel it. Enthusiasm is Mental Steam – remember that.

A few days ago there was erected a tablet, in one of the great colleges of the land, as a memorial to a former student in its halls. This young man saved the lives of seventeen people during a great storm on the lake. He swam out after them, one by one, and brought them all in alive. He fainted away from exhaustion, and when he recovered consciousness, his first words were, "Boys, did I do my Best?"

The words of this young man express the great question that should urge every true seeker after Success to so live and act that he may be able to answer it in the affirmative. It is not so much a question of "did I do so much," or "did I do as much as some one else?" as it is matter of "DID I DO MY BEST?"

The man who does his best is never a failure. He is always a success, and if the best should be but a poor pretty thing, still the world will place the laurel wreath of victory upon his brow when he accomplishes it. The one who does his best is never a "quitter," or a "shirker" – he stays right on his job until he has bestowed upon it the very best that there is in him to give at that particular time. Such a man can never be a failure.

The man who does his best is never heard asking the pessimistic question, "What’s the Use? "He doesn’t care a whole lot about that part of it – his mind is fixed upon the idea that he is "on his job," and is not going to be satisfied with anything less than his Best. And when one really is able to answer the great question with an honest, "Yes, I did my Best," then verily, he will be able to answer the "What’s the Use" question properly – it is "of use" to have brought out the Best work in oneself, if for no other reason than because it is a Man Making process – a developer of the Self.

This infernal "What’s the Use" question seems to have been invented by some pessimistic imp of darkness to use in discouraging people making desperate struggles or leading forlorn hopes. It has brought down many a man into the Mire of Despondency and Failure. Chase it out of you mind whenever it appears, and replace it with the question, "Am I doing my Best," knowing that an affirmative answer settles the other question also. Anything is "Of Use" if it is in the right spirit, in a worthy cause, and because one’s own manhood demands it. Yes, even if one goes down to death in the doing of it still it is a Success. Listen to this story, told in a recent magazine article: It is a story of a sailor on the wreck of a German kerosene steamer, which dashed against the rocks of the Newfoundland coast in the early part of 1901. She had taken fire, and had been run ashore on a submerged reef about an eighth of a mile from the coast. The coastline itself was a wall, some four hundred feet high. When morning dawned, the fisherman on shore saw that her boats were all gone, and all the crew and officers had apparently been lost – all except three men. Two of these three men were standing on the bridge – the third was aloft, lashed to the rigging. Later, the watchers saw a tremendous wave strike the vessel, sweeping away the bridge and the two men who had been standing on it. Several hours later they saw the man in the rigging unlash him and beat his arms against his body vigorously, evidently to restore the circulation, which had been almost stopped by the lashing and the extreme cold. The man then took off his coat, waved it to the fishermen on top of the cliff and then plunged into the sea. The first thought was that he had given up the fight and committed suicide – but he as not that kind of a man. He struck out for shore, and reaching it made three separate attempts to secure a foothold on the rocks at the bottom of the cliff. But, he failed – three times was he swept away by the surf, and finally, seeing the futility of his efforts, he swam away again, toward the ship. As the narrator well says:"At that crisis in the struggle ninety-nine men out of a hundred would have given and allowed themselves to drown; but this man was not a quitter. "

After a fierce battle with the waves the man gained the ship, and after a desperate struggle managed to board her. He climbed again into the rigging and waved his hand to the fishermen high up on the cliff, who were unable to help him. He lashed himself fast, and until dark could be seen signaling the fishermen above, to show them that he was still alive and game. When the following morning broke the fishermen saw that his head had fallen to his breast – he was motionless – frozen during the night. He was dead – his brave soul had gone forth to meet its maker, and who can doubt that when that man confronted his Maker his eyes were looking firmly and bravely toward the Presence, and not bowed down in shame or fear. Such a man was indeed worthy to face his Maker, unabashed and unashamed. As the writer, George Kennan, has said in words that make one thrill: "That man died as a man in adverse circumstances ought to die, fighting to the last. You may call it foolish, and say that he might better have ended his sufferings by allowing himself to drown when he found that he could not make a landing at the base of the cliff; but deep down in your hearts you pay secret homage to his courage, his endurance, and his indomitable will. He was defeated at last, but so long as he had consciousness neither fire nor cold not tempest could break down his manhood. "

The Caucasians have a favorite proverb that says: "Heroism is endurance for one moment more. "And that one moment more tells the difference between the "quitter" and the man who has "done his Best. "No one is dead until his heart has ceased beating – and no one has failed so long as there is one more bit of fight in him. And that "one moment more" often is the moment in which the tide turns – the moment when the enemy relaxes his hold and drops back beaten.

The Power of Desire

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What is Desire? Let us see! Webster tells us that it is: "The natural longing to possess any seeming good; eager wish to obtain or enjoy," or in its abnormal or degenerate sense: "excessive or morbid longing; lust; appetite. " "Desire" is a much-abused term – the public mind has largely identified it with its abnormal or degenerate phase, just mentioned, ignoring its original and true sense. Many use the word in the sense of an unworthy longing or craving, instead of in the true sense of "aspiration," "worthy craving and longing," etc. To call Desire "aspiration" renders it none the less Desire. To apply to it the term "laudable aim and ambition" does not take away from it is character of Desire. There is no sense in endeavoring to escape the fact that Desire is the natural and universal impulse toward action, be the action or good or bad. Without Desire the Will does not spring into action, and nothing is accomplished. Even the highest attainments and aims of the race are possible only when the steam of Will is aroused by the flame and heat of Desire.

Some of the occult teachings are filled with instructions to "kill out desire," and the student is warned to beware of it even in its most insidious and subtle forms, even to the extent of "avoiding even the desire to be desireless – even desire not to desire. Now this is all nonsense, for if one "wishes," or "wants," or "is inclined," or "thinks best to," or "is pleased to" Kill Out Desire – in any of these cases he is but manifesting a Desire "not to desire," in spite of his use of other names. What is this "wishing to; wanting to; feeling like; inclination; being pleased to;" and all the rest, but just plain, clear, unadulterated Desire masquerading under some of these names. To proceed to "kill out desire" without "desiring" to do so is like trying to lift oneself by pulling on his own bootstraps. Folly. What is really meant is that the occultist should proceed to kill out the lower desires that he finds within his nature, and also to kill out the "attachment" for things. Regarding this last we would say that all true occultist know that even the best "things" are not good enough to rule and master one-nothing is good enough for the soul to allow itself to be unduly attached to it so that the thing rules the soul instead of the should mastering the thing. That is what the teachings mean – avoidance of "attachment. "And in this the occult teachers are clearly right. Desire is a frightful master – like fire it sweeps away the supports of the soul, leaving nothing but smoldering ashes. But, also like Fire Desire is a splendid servant and by its harnessed power we are able to generate the steam of the Will and Activity, and to accomplish much in the world. Without proper Desire the world would be without activity. So do not make the mistake of using Desire any more than you would refuse to use fire – but in both cases keep the mastery in your own hands, and avoid allowing the control to pass from you to Desire.

Desire is the motivating force that runs the world; as little as we care to admit it in many cases. Look around you and see the effects of Desire in every human act, good or bad. As a writer has said: "Every deed that we do, good or bad, is prompted by Desire. We are charitable because we Desire to relieve our inner distress at the sight of suffering; or from the Desire of sympathy; or from the Desire to be respected in this world, or to secure a comfortable place in the next. One man is kind because he Desires to be kind – because it gives him satisfaction to be kind; while another man is cruel from precisely the same kind of motive. One man does his duty because he Desires to do it – he obtains a higher satisfaction from duty well done than he would from the neglecting of it in accordance with some weaker desires. The religious man is religious because his religious desires are stronger than his irreligious ones – because he finds a higher satisfaction in religion than in the pursuits of the worldly-minded. The moral man is moral because his moral desires are stronger than his immoral ones – he obtains a greater satisfaction in being moral than in being the contrary. Everything we do is prompted by Desire in some shape or form – high or low. Man cannot be Desireless and act in any way. Desire is the motivating power behind all actions – it is a natural law of life. Everything from the atom to the monad; from the monad to the insect; from the insect to man; from man to Nature, acts and does things by reason of the power and force of Desire, the Animating Motive. "

All the above at the first glance would seem to make of man a mere machine, subject to the power of any stray desire that might happen to come into his mind. But this is far from being so. Man acts not upon EVERY desire, but upon the STRONGEST Desire, or the Average of his Strongest Desires. This Average of Desires is that which constitutes his Nature or Character. And here is where the Mastery of the "I" comes in! Man need not be a slave or creature of his Desires if he will assert his Mastery. He may control, regulate, govern and guide his Desires in any directions that he pleases. Nay, more, he may even CREATE DESIRES by an action of his Will, as we shall see presently. By a knowledge of psychological laws he may neutralize unfavorable Desires, and grow and develop – yes, practically Create New Desires in their place – all by the power of his Will, aided by the light of his Reason and Judgment. Man is the Master of his Mind.