Practical Mental Influence

10. Magic Black and White

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By William W Atkinson (1908)

The use of the word "Magic" in connection with Mental Influence is quite ancient. Occultists make a clear distinction between the use of Mental Influence in a manner conducive to the welfare of others, and its use in a selfish, base manner calculated to work harm on others. Both forms are common and are frequently mentioned in all occult writings.

White Magic has many forms, both in its ancient manifestations and in these latter days of revived occult knowledge. The use of Mental Influence in this way generally takes the form of kindly "treatments" of persons by others having their welfare at heart. In this particular class fall the various treatments of the several cults and schools of what is known as Mental Science, or similar names. These people make a practice of giving treatments, both "present" and "absent," for the purpose of healing physical ailments and bringing about a normal Physical condition of health and strength. Similar treatments are given by some to bring about a condition of Success to others, by imparting to the minds of such persons the vibrations of courage, confidence, energy, etc. , which surely make for success along the lines of material occupation, etc. In the same way one may "treat" adverse conditions surrounding others, bringing the force of the mind and will to bear on these conditions with the idea of changing the prevailing vibrations and bringing harmony from in-harmony, and success from failure.

The majority of persons, not informed along these lines, are surrounded by a mental atmosphere arising from the prevailing mental states, thoughts, feelings, etc. , and also arising from the thought–currents which they have attracted to them by the Law of Mental Attraction. These Mental Atmospheres, when once firmly settled around a person, render it most difficult for him to "break away" from their vibrations. He struggles and fights, but the prevailing vibrations are beating down upon him all the time and must produce a strong effect upon even persons of strong will, unless indeed they have fully acquainted themselves with the laws of Mental Influence and have acquired the power of Concentration. The habit of a lifetime, perhaps, has to be overcome, and besides the constant suggestive vibrations from the mental atmosphere are constantly bringing a pressure to bear upon the person, so that indeed he has a might task before him to throw off the old conditions, unaided and alone. And, so, while individual effort is preferable, there comes a time in the lives of many people when "a helping hand," or rather a "helping mind," is of great service and aid.

The person coming to the mental aid of a person needing his or her services is performing a most worthy and proper act. We hear a great deal about "interfering with other people’s minds" in such kind and worthy "treatments," but in many cases there is but little real interference done. The work of the helper is really in the nature of neutralizing and dissipating the unfavorable. Mental Influence surrounds the other person, and thereby giving the other person a chance to work out his own mental salvation. It is true that everyone must do his or her own work, but help of the kind above indicated is surely most worthy and proper.

In these White Magic treatments the person giving the treatments forms the Mental Picture of the desired condition in his mind, and then sends his thought–currents to the other person endeavoring to reproduce the Mental Picture in the mind or thought– atmosphere of the other person. The best way of doing this, of course, is to assert mentally that the desired condition actually exists. One may be of great help and aid to others in this way, and there is no good reason why it should not be done.

And now for the reverse side of the shield - We wish it were possible to avoid even a mention of this hateful form and manifestation of Mental Influence, but we feel that ignorance is no protection, and that it is useless and foolish to pursue the policy of the ostrich which sticks its head in the sand when pursued, that not seeing the hunter the latter may not see him. We believe that it is better to look things in the face, particularly where it is a case of "forewarned being forearmed."

It is a fact known to all students of occultism that Black Magic has been frequently employed in all times to further the selfish, base aims of some people. And it is also known to advanced thinkers today that even in this enlightened age there are many who do not scruple to stoop to the use of this hateful practice in order serve their own ends, notwithstanding the punishment that occultists know awaits such persons.

The annals of history are full of records of various forms of witchcraft, conjuration and similar forms of Black Magic. All the much talked of forms of "putting spells" upon people are really forms of Black Magic, heightened by the fear and superstition of those affected.

One has but to read the history of witchcraft to see that there was undoubtedly some force at work behind all of the appalling superstition and ignorance shown by the people of those times. What they attributed to the influence of people "in league with the devil" really arose from the use of Black Magic, or an unworthy use of Mental Influence, the two things being one. An examination of the methods used by these "witches," as shown by their confessions, gives us a key to the mystery. These "witches" would fix their minds upon other people, or their animals, and by holding a concentrated mental picture there, would send forth Thought–Waves affecting the welfare of the persons being "adversely treated," which would influence and disturb them, and often bring on sicknesses. Of course, the effect of these "treatments" were greatly heightened by the extreme ignorant fear and superstition held by the masses of people at the time, for Fear is ever a weakening factor in Mental Influence, and the superstitions and credulity of the people caused their minds to vibrate in such a manner as to render them extremely passive to the adverse influences being directed against them.

It is well known that the Voodoos of Africa, and similar cults among other savage races, practice Black Magic among their people with great effect. Among the natives of Hawaii there are certain men known as "Kahunas," who pray people sick, or well, whichever way they are paid for. These instances could be multiplied had we the space and inclination to proceed further with the matter.

And in our own civilized lands there are many people who have learned the principles of Mental Influence, and who are using the same for unworthy purposes, seeking to injure others and defeat their undertakings, or else trying to bring them around to their own (the "treater’s") point of view and inclinations. The modern revival of occult knowledge has operated along two lines. On the one hand we see and hear of the mighty power for good Mental Influence is exerting among the people today, raising up the sick, strengthening the weak, putting courage into the despondent and making successes of failures. But on the other hand the hateful selfishness and greed of unprincipled persons in taking advantage of this mighty force of nature and prostituting it to their own hateful ends, without heeding the dictates of conscience or the teaching of religion or morality. These people are sowing a baleful wind that will result in their reaping a frightful whirlwind on the mental plane. They are bringing down upon themselves pain and misery in the future.

At this point we wish to utter a solemn warning to those who have been, or are tempted, to employ this mighty force for unworthy purposes. The laws of the mental plane are such that "as one sows so shall he reap. "The mighty Law of Attraction acts with the accuracy of a machine and those who seek to entangle others in a net of Mental Influence sooner or later are caught by their own snare. The Black Magician involves him to pieces. He is sucked down into the whirlpool of his own making, and is dragged down to the lowest depths. These are not idle remarks, but a statement of certain laws of nature, operation on the mental plane, which all should know and heed.

And to those who may feel appalled at this mention of the existence and possibilities of Black Magic we would say that there is one thing to be remembered, and that is that GOOD always overcomes EVIL on the mental plane. A good thought always has the power to neutralize the Evil one, and a person whose mind is filled with Love and Faith May combat a multitude whose minds are filled with Hate and Evil. The tendency of all nature is upward and toward Good. And he who would pull it back toward Evil sets himself against the law of Spiritual Evolution, and sooner or later falls a victim to his folly.

And then, remember this,Thought–Waves find entrance only to those minds that are accustomed to think similar thoughts. He who thinks Hate may be affected by Hate thoughts, while he whose mind is filled with Faith and Love is surrounded by a resistant armor which repels the invading waves, and causes them to be deflected, or else driven back to their senders. Bad thoughts, like chickens, come home to roost. Thoughts are like Boomerangs, in their tendency to return to their sender. To the poison of Black Magic Nature gives the antidote of Right–Thinking.

12. Self-Protection



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