Practical Mental Influence

9. The Need of the Knowledge

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By William W Atkinson (1908)

Although the true scientific principles underlying the subject of Mental Influence have been but recently recognized and taught to the general public, still the knowledge is far from being new. The occultists of the old civilizations undoubtedly understood the underlying principles and used them in practice, thus gaining an ascendancy over the masses. And more than this, the masses themselves had a more or less comprehensive knowledge of the working principles of the subject, for we find among all peoples, in all times, records of the use of this power. Under one name or another – under one form or another – Mental Influence has been operated and used from the earliest times. And today, even in the most remote portions of the globe, and among the most savage and barbarous races we find instances of the employment of this force.

The forms of the manifestation of Mental Influence are many and varied. In some cases it manifests under the form of a fascinating, attracting power exerted by some people, which causes such persons to draw or attract other persons to them. Persons are allured or "charmed" by others possessing this power, and their affections are taken captive by this mysterious force. Some persons are spoken of as "fascination," "possessing powers of charming, "having winning ways," having "great personal magnetism," etc.

Others exert another form of the power in the driving of and compelling others to do their bidding, and people speak of them as having "a compelling will," being able "to work their will" on those around them, possessing "dominating powers," etc. We are also brought face to face with the wonderful effects of "Mental Science" under one form or another, under this name or that term, with the many forms of "treatments" followed by the different schools and cults. Then we read in the pages of history about the mysterious powers recorded under the name of Witchcraft, Hexes, Voodoo’s, and Black Magic, including the Hawaiian "Kahuna" work. And turning back the pages of history to Ancient time, Greece, Persia and Egypt, not to speak of India, ancient and modern, we find innumerable instances of the employment of, and knowledge of, Mental Influence in some of its forms.

And although many will seek to deny the fact, scientific investigators and students realize that there is but one real underlying principle under and back of all of the various forms of manifestation. The good results, and the evil results, all arise from the employment of the same force, strange as it may appear at first thought. The secret lies in the fact that this Mental Influence is a great natural force, just as is electricity or any other natural forces, it may be, and is, used for both good and evil purposes. The electricity which runs out machines, lights our houses and performs countless other beneficent tasks in the service of man is also used to electrocute criminals, and the unfortunate person who touches a "live wire" may be struck with instant death. The sun, which warms our earth and renders life possible, also kills countless persons exposed to its rays on the desert, or even in our large cities. Fire, that great friend of man, which has been one of the most potent factors in the evolution of the race from barbarism to civilization, is also a mighty enemy, destroying both property and lives. Water, that most necessary element, which renders life possible, and which is necessary to grow our grain and to perform countless other good services for us, also acts as an enemy at times, drowning people and sweeping away their homes. Gravitation, which holds all things in place, from suns and stars down to the tiniest atom of matter, also causes people to fall to their death from high places, or brings down on their heads objects from above them. In short, every natural force or power is capable of producing either beneficent or baleful effects to man, according to the circumstances of the case. We recognize these things, and accept them as a law of nature. And yet some would deny the identity of the power of Mental Influence as manifested in its good and bad uses.

There will be people who ascribe to God all the good qualities of Mental Influence, and ascribe to the Devil all of its evil uses. These people have primitive minds. Their counterparts are seen in those who would credit God with the helpful rain or sun, and who ascribe to the Devil the same things when there occurs a flood or a drought. Such reasoning is worthy only of the savage mind. The forces are natural forces, and work according to their own laws, imminent in their constituent qualities and nature, and are in that sense "above good and evil. " When they work for man’s interest and comfort man calls them "good" – when they work harm and discomfort to him man call them "bad" – but the force remains unchanged, being neither "good" nor "bad. "And thus it is with the power of Mental Influence – it is above "good" and "bad" in it – it is a great natural force, capable of being used for either weal or woe to mankind. But, remember this, there is a difference. While the force in itself is neither good nor bad the individual who employs it may be, and is, "good" or "bad," according to its use. Just as a man commits a good or bad act when he uses his gun to slay a wild beast attacking another man, or else turns it upon his brother or neighbor, as the case may be – so is a man good or bad according to his use of Mental Influence. The merit or demerit lies in the intention and purpose of the user, not in the force or power employed by him. Therein lies the difference.

On all sides of us we may see the manifestation of the possession of Mental Influence. We see men who are able to sway those around them in some mysterious and wonderful way, either by their powers of persuasion of by their dominant will power. Some spring into prominence and power suddenly, in a way unaccountable to those who are ignorant of the secret of Mental Influence. As we have said in a previous chapter, certain people seem to have "something about them" that makes them attractive or successful in their relations with other people. The "personal magnetism" of leaders manifests itself strongly, some having this power to such an extent that the masses follow them like a great flock of sheep after the "bell–whether" with the tinkling bell around his neck.

We have all come in contact with the "agent" or salesman who managed in some way to sell us things that we did not want and had no use for, and after he had gone we wondered and wondered how it all happened. If we had but understood the laws of Mental Influence this could not have happened.

We have all felt ourselves, at some time or another in our lives, in the presence of individuals who almost compelled us to do what we knew in our hearts we should not do. Knowledge of the laws of Mental Influence would have enabled us to overcome the temptation.

And not only in the case of personal interviews have we been affected. There is a far more subtle and dangerous use of the power, i.e., in the shape of "distant influence," or "absent treatment," as it had been called. And the increase in the interest and knowledge of Occult matters during the past twenty years has resulted in a widely diffused knowledge of this great force, and its consequent employment, worthily and unworthily, by many people who are thereby enabled to gain an influence over their neighbors and fellow men, who are not familiar with the laws of the force. It would surprise many people if they knew that some of the multi-millionaires of the country, and some of its greatest politicians and leaders, were secret students of Occultism, and who were using their forces upon the masses of the people.

Not only this, but there are Schools of Occultism which teach their pupils the theory, practice and art of Mental Influence, under one name or another – under this guise or that – the result being that there are a greater number of people equipped for the use of this force and instructed in the practice of employing it turned out every year than is generally imagined. There are Schools for Salesmanship giving disguised instruction in the art of Mental Influence. Nearly every large concern employing selling agents has private instructors for their men, who teach them the principles of Mental Influence disguised under the name of "Psychology of Business," or some such name.

And besides these, there are a number of people who have studied at the feet of some of the great metaphysical, semi-religious cults of the day, who have received instruction in Mental Influence disguised under the name of some creed or religious teachings, who have departed from the moral principles inculcated by their by their teachers, and who are using their knowledge in the shape of "treatments" of other persons for the purpose of influencing them to accede to their wishes or to act so as to bring financial gain to the person giving the treatment. The air is full of this Black Magic today, and it is surely time that the general masses were instructed on this subject. And this is the purpose of this little book, published and sold at a popular price in order to bring it within the reach of the purses of the "plain people," who have been exploited and influenced by those who have acquired a knowledge of the principles of Mental Influence, and who are using it unworthily upon their fellow men.

There is self-protection possible to all, and this little book purposes to teach you how to use it.

11. Magic Black and White



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