Psychic Influence, as the term is used in this book, may be said to be divided into three general classes, viz., (1) Personal Influence, in which the mind of another is directly influenced by induction while he is in the presence of the person influencing; (2) Distant Influencing, in which the psychic induction is directly manifested when the persons concerned are distant from one another; and (3) Indirect Influence, in which the induction is manifested in the minds of various persons coming in contact with the thought vibrations of the person manifesting them, though no attempt is made to directly influence any particular person. I shall now present each of these three forms of psychic influence to you for consideration, one after the other in the above order.
Personal Influence, as above defined, ranges from cases in which the strongest control (generally known as hypnotism) is manifested, down to the cases in which merely a slight influence is exerted. But the general principle underlying all of these cases is precisely the same. The great characters of history, such as Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Julius Caesar, manifested this power to a great degree, and were able to sway men according to their will. All great leaders of men have this power strongly manifested, else they would not be able to influence the minds of men. Great orators, preachers, statesmen, and others of this class, likewise manifest the power strongly. In fact, the very sign of ability to influence and manage other persons is evidence of the possession and manifestation of this mighty power.
In developing this power to influence others directly and personally, you should begin by impressing upon your mind the principles stated in the preceding chapter, namely (1) Strong Desire; (2) Clear Visualization; and (3) Concentration.
You must begin by encouraging a strong desire in your mind to be a positive individual; to exert and manifest a positive influence over others with whom you come in contact, and especially over those whom you wish to influence in some particular manner or direction. You must let the fire of desire burn fiercely within you, until it becomes as strong as physical hunger or thirst. You must "want to" as you want to breathe, to live. You will find that the men who accomplish the great things in life are those who have strong desire burning in their bosoms. There is a strong radiative and inductive power in strong desire and wish—in fact, some have thought this the main feature of what we generally call strong will-power.
The next step, of course, is the forming of a clear, positive, distinct and dynamic mental picture of the idea or feeling that you wish to induce in the other person. If it is an idea, you should make a strong clear picture of it in your imagination, so as to give it distinctness and force and a clear outline. If it is a feeling, you should picture it in your imagination. If it is something that you wish the other person to do, or some way in which you wish him to act, you should picture him as doing the thing, or acting in that particular way. By so doing you furnish the pattern or design for the induced mental or emotional states you wish to induce in the other person. Upon the clearness and strength of these mental patterns of the imagination depends largely the power of the induced impression.
The third step, of course, is the concentration of your mind upon the impression you wish to induce in the mind of the other person. You must learn to concentrate so forcibly and clearly that the idea will stand out clearly in your mind like a bright star of a dark night, except that there must be only one star instead of thousands. By so doing you really focus the entire force of your mental and psychic energies into that one particular idea or thought. This makes it act like the focused rays in the sun-glass, or like the strong pipe-stream of water that will break down the thing upon which it is turned. Diffused thought has but a comparatively weak effect, whereas a concentrated stream of thought vibrations will force its way through obstacles.
Remember, always, this threefold mental condition: (1) STRONG DESIRE; (2) CLEAR MENTAL PICTURE; and (3) CONCENTRATED THOUGHT. The greater the degree in which you can manifest these three mental conditions, the greater will be your success in any form of psychic influence, direct or indirect, personal or general, present or distant.
Before you proceed to develop the power to impress a particular idea or feeling upon the mind of another person, you should first acquire a positive mental atmosphere for yourself. This mental atmosphere is produced in precisely the same way that you induce a special idea or feeling in the mind of the other person. That is to say, you first strongly desire it, then you clearly picture it, and then you apply concentrated thought upon it.
I will assume that you are filled with the strong desire for a positive mental atmosphere around you. You want this very much indeed, and actually crave and hunger for it. Then you must begin to picture yourself (in your imagination) as surrounded with an aura of positive thought-vibrations which protect you from the thought forces of other persons, and, at the same time impress the strength of your personality upon the persons with whom you come in contact. You will be aided in making these strong mental pictures by holding the idea in your concentrated thought, and, at the same time, silently stating to your mind just what you expect to do in the desired direction. In stating your orders to your mind, always speak as if the thing were already accomplished at that particular moment. Never say that it "will be," but always hold fast to the "it is." The following will give you a good example of the mental statements, which of course should be accompanied by the concentrated idea of the thing, and the mental picture of yourself as being just what you state.
Here is the mental statement for the creation of a strong, positive psychic atmosphere: "I am surrounded by an aura of strong, positive, dynamic thought-vibrations. These render me positive to other persons, and render them negative to me. I am positive of their thought-vibrations, but they are negative to mine. They feel the strength of my psychic atmosphere, while I easily repel the power of theirs. I dominate the situation, and manifest my positive psychic qualities over theirs. My atmosphere creates the vibration of strength and power on all sides of me, which affect others with whom I come in contact. MY PSYCHIC ATMOSPHERE IS STRONG AND POSITIVE!"
The next step in Personal Influence is that of projecting your psychic power directly upon and into the mind of the other person whom you wish to influence. Sometimes, if the person is quite negative to you, this is a very simple and easy matter; but where the person is near your own degree of psychic positiveness you will have to assert your psychic superiority to him, and get the psychic "upper hand" before you can proceed further. This is accomplished by throwing into your psychic atmosphere some particularly strong mental statements accompanied by clear visualizations or mental pictures.
Make positive your psychic atmosphere, particularly towards the person whom you seek to influence, by statements and pictures something along the following lines: "I am positive to this man"; "He is negative to me"; "He feels my power and is beginning to yield to it"; "He is unable to influence me in the slightest, while I can influence him easily"; "My power is beginning to operate upon his mind and feelings." The exact words are not important, but the idea behind them gives them their psychic force and power.
Then should you begin your direct attack upon him, or rather upon his psychic powers. When I say "attack," I do not use the word in the sense of warfare or actual desire to harm the other person—this is a far different matter. What I mean to say is that there is usually a psychic battle for a longer or shorter period between two persons of similar degrees of psychic power and development. From this battle one always emerges victor at the time, and one always is beaten for the time being, at least. And, as in all battles, victory often goes to him who strikes the first hard blow. The offensive tactics are the best in cases of this kind.
A celebrated American author, Oliver Wendall Holmes, in one of his books makes mention of these duels of psychic force between individuals, as follows: "There is that 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, 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."
An English physician, Dr. Fothergill by name, wrote a number of years ago about this struggle of wills, as he called it, but which is really a struggle of psychic power. He says: "The conflict of will, the power to command others, has been spoken of frequently. Yet what is this willpower that influences others? What is it that makes us accept, and adopt too, the advice of one person, while precisely the same advice from another has been rejected? Is it the weight of force of will which insensibly influences us; the force of will behind the advice? That is what it is! The person who thus forces his or her advice upon us has no more power to enforce it than others; but all the same we do as requested. We accept from one what we reject from another. One person says of something contemplated, 'Oh, but you must not,' yet we do it all the same, though that person may be in a position to make us regret the rejection of that counsel. Another person says, 'Oh, but you mustn't,' and we desist, though we may, if so disposed, set this latter person's opinion at defiance with impunity. It is not the fear of consequences, not of giving offense, which determines the adaption of the latter person's advice, while it has been rejected when given by the first. It depends upon the character or will-power of the individual advising whether we accept the advice or reject it. This character often depends little, if at all, in some cases, upon the intellect, or even upon the moral qualities, the goodness or badness, of the individual. It is itself an imponderable something; yet it carries weight with it. There may be abler men, cleverer men; but it is the one possessed of will who rises to the surface at these times—the one who can by some subtle power make other men obey him.
"The will-power goes on universally. In the young aristocrat who gets his tailor to make another advance in defiance of his conviction that he will never get his money back. It goes on between lawyer and client; betwixt doctor and patient; between banker and borrower; betwixt buyer and seller. It is not tact which enables the person behind the counter to induce customers to buy what they did not intend to buy, and which bought, gives them no satisfaction, though it is linked therewith for the effort to be successful. Whenever two persons meet in business, or in any other relation in life, up to love-making, there is this will-fight going on, commonly enough without any consciousness of the struggle. There is a dim consciousness of the result, but none of the processes. It often takes years of the intimacy of married life to find out with whom of the pair the mastery really lies. Often the far stronger character, to all appearances, has to yield; it is this willelement which underlies the statement: 'The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.' In Middle-march' we find in Lydgate a grand aggregation of qualities, yet shallow, hard, selfish Rosamond masters him thoroughly in the end. He was not deficient in will-power; possessed more than an average amount of character; but in the fight he went down at last under the onslaught of the intense, stubborn will of his narrow-minded spouse. Their will-contest was the collision of a large warm nature, like a capable human hand, with a hard, narrow selfish nature, like a steel button; the hand only bruised itself while the button remained unaffected."
You must not, however, imagine that every person with whom you engage in one of these psychic duels is conscious of what is going on. He usually recognizes that some sort of conflict is under way, but he does not know the laws and principles of psychic force, and so is in the dark regarding the procedure. You will find that a little practice of this kind, in which no great question is involved, will give you a certain knack or trick of handling your psychic forces, and will, besides, give you that confidence in yourself that comes only from actual practice and exercise. I can point out the rules, and give you the principles, but you must learn the little bits of technique yourself from actual practice.
When you have crossed psychic swords with the other person, gaze at him intently but not fiercely, and send him this positive strong thought-vibration: "I am stronger than you, and I shall win!" At the same time picture to yourself your forces beating down his and overcoming him. Hold this idea and picture in your mind: "My vibrations are stronger than are yours—I am beating you!" Follow this up with the idea and picture of: "You are weakening and giving in— you are being overpowered!" A very powerful psychic weapon is the following: "My vibrations are scattering your forces—I am breaking your forces into bits—surrender, surrender now, I tell you!"
And now for some interesting and very valuable information concerning psychic defense. You will notice that in the offensive psychic weapons there is always an assertion of positive statement of your power and its effect. Well, then, in using the psychic defensive weapon against one of strong will or psychic force, you reverse the process. That is to say you deny the force of his psychic powers and forces, and picture them as melting into nothingness. Get this idea well fixed in your mind, for it is very important in a conflict of this kind. The effect of this is to neutralize all of the other person's power so far as its effect on yourself is concerned—you really do not destroy it in him totally. You simply render his forces powerless to affect you. This is important not only when in a psychic conflict of this kind, but also when you wish to render yourself immune from the psychic forces of other persons. You may shut yourself up in a strong defensive armor in this way, and others will be powerless to affect you.
In the positive statement, "I deny!" you have the Occult Shield of Defense, which is a mighty protection to you. Even if you do not feel disposed to cultivate and develop your psychic powers in the direction of influencing others, you should at least develop your defensive powers so as to resist any psychic attacks upon yourself.
You will find it helpful to practice these offensive and defensive weapons when you are alone, standing before your mirror and "playing" that your reflection in the glass is the other person. Send this imaginary other person the psychic vibrations, accompanied by the mental picture suitable for it. Act the part out seriously and earnestly, just as if the reflected image were really another person. This will give you confidence in yourself, and that indefinable "knack"
of handling your psychic weapons that comes only from practice. You will do well to perfect yourself in these rehearsals, just as you would in case you were trying to master anything else. By frequent earnest rehearsals, you will gain not only familiarity with the process and methods, but you will also gain real power and strength by the exercise of your psychic faculties which have heretofore lain dormant. Just as you may develop the muscle of your arm by calisthenic exercises, until it is able to perform real muscular work of strength; so you may develop your psychic faculties in this rehearsal work, so that you will be strongly equipped and armed for an actual psychic conflict, besides having learned how to handle your psychic weapons.
After you have practiced sufficiently along the general offensive and defensive lines, and have learned how to manifest these forces in actual conflict, you will do well to practice special and specific commands to others, in the same way. That is to say, practice them first on your reflected image in the mirror. The following commands (with mental pictures, of course) will give you good practice. Go about the work in earnest, and act out the part seriously. Try these exercises: "Here! look at me!" "Give me your undivided attention!" "Come this way!" "Come to me at once!" "Go away from me—leave me at once!" "You like me—you like me very much!" "You are afraid of me!" "You wish to please me!" "You will agree to my proposition!" "You will do as I tell you!" Any special command you wish to convey to another person, psychically, you will do well to practice before the mirror in this way.
When you have made satisfactory progress in the exercises above mentioned, and are able, to demonstrate them with a fair degree of success in actual practice, you may proceed to experiment with persons along the lines of special and direct commands by psychic force. The following will give you a clear idea of the nature of the experiments in question, but you may enlarge upon and vary them indefinitely. Remember there is no virtue in mere words—the effect comes from the power of the thought behind the words. But, nevertheless, you will find that positive words, used in these silent commands, will help you to fit in your feeling to the words. Always make the command a real COMMAND, never a mere entreaty or appeal. Assume the mental attitude of a master of men—of a commander and ruler of other men. Here follow a number of interesting experiments along these lines, which will be very useful to you in acquiring the art of personal influence of this kind:
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