Yogi Philosophy - Psychic Influence, Etc.
( Originally Published 1903 )
One of the things which have puzzled scientific investigators and students of the history of mankind is the persistent recurrence of stories, legends and traditions relating to the possession and practice of some form of Psychic Influence by men of all races and in all ages. The investigators have found it easy to dismiss the more primitive forms of these stories by the explanation that they were merely the result of the crudest form of superstition among the uneducated and undeveloped people. But as they turned over the pages of history they found that the "idle superstition" still maintained its original force, and that its forms increased in number and variety. From the repulsive Voodoo practices of the African savage, one may trace a straight line to the Witchcraft epidemic in New England, and thence on to the present time, when the Western world has apparently gone wild on "psychism," and the daily papers are filled with sensational tales of mesmeric influence, hypnotism, personal magnetism, etc. The books of all ages are filled with tales of psychic influence, the Bible containing a number of instances of its practice for good or evil.
At the present time, attention is often called to the wonderful instances of the power of the mind, personal magnetism, etc., and it is quite common to hear the expression that one has, or has not, "personal magnetism"—is, or is not, "magnetic." Much nonsense has been written on this subject, and some of the wildest assertions and theories regarding it have been advanced. And, yet, the truth itself is far more wonderful than are the wildest fictions which have been written and taught regarding it. Underlying all the popular notions and misconceptions regarding Psychic Influence lies a solid basis of fact, the greater portion of which is undreamt of by even many of those who have been feeding the public taste for sensationalism.
We need scarcely, tell our students that the Orientals have known and practiced, for centuries past, all known forms of occultism, and, in fact, have possessed the secrets which the investigators of the West have been striving so laboriously to uncover. Scraps of the knowledge have filtered through, and have been eagerly seized upon by Western writers, and used as the basis for startling claims and theories.
And, much of this hidden knowledge will, and must, remain hidden for years to come, because of the undeveloped state of the race and the general unfitness of people for this secret wisdom. To spread before the general public even a small part of certain of the hidden teachings, at this time, would be dangerous indeed, and would bring upon the race one of the greatest curses known to man. This not because of any wrong in the teachings themselves, but because the selfishness of the average man or woman is such that they would soon begin to use this knowledge for their own personal profit and ends, to the detriment and hurt of their fellow-men. This would avail them nothing if the entire race knew enough of the subject—had advanced far enough intellectually and spiritually to grasp and comprehend these teachings, and thus be able to protect themselves from the selfish attempts of their unscrupulous brothers and sisters. For, as all occultists know, no Black Magic can affect the man or woman who knows his or her real place in nature—his or her real powers to resist the practices of those who have acquired bits of occult knowledge without the spiritual growth which would teach them how to use same properly. But the average person of to-day does not know—and will not be convinced—of his own power, and therefore is unable to protect himself from the psychic attempts of even those who have grasped some fragments of occult teachings, and are using them for selfish ends.
The improper use of psychic power has long been known to occultists as "Black Magic," which, so far from being a remnant of the superstition of the Middle Ages, is a very real thing, and is being practiced to-day to a great extent. Those so practicing it are sowing the seeds of their own punishment, and every bit of psychic force expended for base and selfish ends will unquestionably rebound and react upon the user, but nevertheless these people are influencing others that they may reap some material gain or pleasure, and the public is being more or less imposed upon by such people, although it laughs at the idea—considers the matter a joke—and regards those who teach the truth as wild visionaries or being mentally weak.
Very fortunately, those who would so prostitute psychic powers know comparatively little regarding the subject, and can use only the simpler forms, but when they come in contact with those entirely ignorant of the subject, they are able to accomplish more or less by their arts. Many men find, sometimes by accident, that they can influence others to their bid-ding, and, not knowing the source of their power, often use it just as they would any physical power, or mental strength. Such people however usually have gradually brought to their knowledge (in pursuance with well-established occult laws) something which will lead them to a better understanding of the subject, and they begin to see their mistake. Others pick up a little bit of occult teaching, and "try it on" others, and, seeing the effect, start on the road to "Black Magic," although scarcely knowing what they are doing. These people, also, are warned in certain ways, and given every chance to rectify their error. Others seem to understand something of the risk they are running, but willingly take it, being fascinated by their new sense of power, and blinded by it.
None of these people are allowed to go very far with their selfish work, as there are certain influences at work to counteract their efforts, and a little good always counteracts a great deal of the selfish psychic work—this being an old occult truth.
But outside of this bit of elementary "Black Magic," of which we have spoken more in the way of a warning and a caution, many people are endowed with faculties which make them powers among their fellow-men and women, and their influence is felt in every-day life, just as the influence of the physically strong man is felt in a crowd of weaker people. It needs but a moment's glance at one's acquaintances to show that some of them have a greater influence than have others. Some are naturally looked to as leaders and teachers, while others naturally fall into place as followers. These strong, positive men come to the front in warfare, business life, the bar, the pulpit, in the practice of medicine, and in fact, in all walks of life and all branches of human endeavor. We notice this fact, and speak of this man being possessed of a great deal of "Personal Magnetism," or of that one lacking it. But what do we mean by "Personal Magnetism"? Can anyone give an intelligent answer ? Many are the theories which have been advanced to account for this phenomenon, and many are the plans advanced to develop this "power." Of late years many teachers have sprung up, claiming to have discovered this secret and offering to teach it to all comers at so many dollars a head, many sensational announcements having been made to attract purchasers of "courses" of instruction, and many the appeals to the most selfish motives have been made in order to awaken an interest in what is offered for sale. In the majority of cases these teachers have practically nothing to offer and teach, while in some few cases they have worked out a sufficient knowledge of the subject to be able to give directions whereby one may possess himself of a sufficient degree of psychic power to gain a certain amount of influence over the ignorant and weak of the race. But, fortunately, the majority of these purchasers of these teachings have not sufficient confidence in themselves or in the teachings to put into practice even the comparatively meagre teachings given them. But at least a few have sufficient self-confidence to put these plans into practice, and are able to do considerable harm by their ignorant and selfish use of powers which are intended for high uses. All these things must pass away as the race advances in knowledge and understanding of the occult truths, and, in the meantime, those who really understand the subject are doing what they can to educate the race in its principles, that they may protect them-selves, psychically, and may not be tempted to make a selfish use of the higher powers.
The man or woman of spiritual growth and development can afford to smile at the efforts of these dabblers in "Black Magic," at least so far as the fear of any personal injury to or effect upon themselves is concerned. Such a one rises to a higher plane to which the efforts of the selfish occultist (?) cannot penetrate. We will have something to say on this subject of Self Protection, toward the end of this lesson, after we have given the student a general idea of the several forms of Psychic Influence in general use.
We wish to be distinctly understood, however, when we say that no attempt will be made in this lesson to uncover a degree of occult knowledge which might place in the hands of the chance reader a weapon to use for his own selfish ends. This is a lesson designed for the Self Protection of those who read it—not for the advancement of a knowledge of "Black Magic" even in its elementary forms. And let us here caution those who read what we will write on this subject that we are serious in what we say regarding the selfish use of occult knowledge—if they knew but a fragment of the trouble which one may bring upon himself by improper occult practices, they would drop the subject as quickly as they would a venomous serpent which was beginning to warm into life from the heat of their hands. Occult powers are for the proper use and protection of mankind, not for misuse or abuse, and, like playing with the wires of a dynamo, meddling with these powers is apt to prove unpleasant to the person who will not heed the warning.
Although many Western writers deny it, all true occultists know that all forms of Psychic Influence, including what is called "Personal Magnetism," "Mesmerism," "Hypnotism," "Suggestion," etc., are but different manifestations of the same thing. What this "thing" is may be readily imagined by those who have followed us in our preceding lessons. It is the power of the Mind of the individual, operated along the lines mentioned in our preceding lessons. We trust that the student has acquainted himself with what we have said regarding "The Instinctive Mind," "Thought Dynamics," "Telepathy," "Thought Forms," etc., as well as the potency of Prana, that he may understand this lesson without too much repetition.
Psychic Influence—and by this we mean all forms of it—what does it mean? Of what does it consist? How is it called into operation? What is its effect? Let us try to answer these questions.
We must begin with the Instinctive Mind—one of the Seven Principles of Man. We told you (in Lesson II) that this is a plane of mentation shared in common with us by the lower animals, at least in its lowest forms. It is the first form of mentation reached in the scale of evolution, and, in its lowest stages manifests entirely along sub-conscious lines. Its beginnings are seen as far back as the mineral life, manifesting here in the formation of crystals, etc. In the lower forms of plant life it shows but feebly, and is scarcely a degree above that manifested by the mineral. Then, by easy and progressive stages it grows more distinct and higher, in the scale, in plant life, until in some of the higher forms of plants it even manifests a rudimentary form of consciousness. In the kingdom of the lower animals, the Instinctive Mind is seen in varying stages, from the almost plant-like intelligence of the lowest forms of animal life, until the almost human intelligence of some of the higher animals. Then in the lower forms of human life we find it scarcely removed from the highest form shown in the lower animals, and as we ascend in the scale we find it becoming shaded, colored, and influenced by the fifth principle, the Intellect, until we reach the highest form of man known to us at this time where we see the Intellect in control, asserting its proper position, and influencing the lower principle only for good, and avoiding the mistakes of the less developed man who pours harmful auto-suggestions into the Instinctive Mind, and works actual harm to himself.
In this consideration of the Instinctive Mind, we must pass over its wonderful work in superintending the work of the physical body, and also some of its other manifestations, and must confine ourselves to the subject of the part the Instinctive Mind plays in the matter of Psychic Influence—a most important part, by the way, as, without the Instinctive Mind there could be no operation of Psychic Influence, as there would be nothing to be acted upon. The Instinctive Mind is the instrument played upon by Psychic Influence. We speak, often, as if one's Intellect were influenced in this way, but this is incorrect, for the per-son is influenced in spite of his Intellect, not by means of it—the influence is so strongly impressed upon the Instinctive Mind that it runs away heedless of the protests of the Intellect, as many persons afterwards recollect to their sorrow. Many are the persons who, in their own words, "knew better all the time, but did it just the same."
We will start with what is known as "Suggestion," and which really lies at the bottom of all forms of Psychic Influence, personal or "absent." By Suggestion we mean the influencing or control of the thoughts and actions of another by means of a positive command, or a subtle insinuation of the desired thought, or any combination of the two, or anything that may come between these two extremes. Personal Suggestion is quite common in everyday life, in fact, we are constantly giving and taking suggestions, consciously and unconsciously, and one can scarcely get away from the giving and taking, so long as he associates with other persons—hears their voices or reads what others have written or printed. But these everyday suggestions are relatively unimportant, and lack the force of a conscious and deliberate suggestion by one who understands the "Art of Suggesting." Let us first see how and why the suggestions are received and acted upon.
As we have said, in the early forms of life the Instinctive Mind worked on alone, uninfluenced by Intellect (for Intellect had not yet unfolded or developed) totally unconscious, as in plant life. As the scale of evolution was mounted, the animal began to become dimly conscious, and commenced to be "aware" of things, and to perform a something like primitive reasoning about them. In order to protect itself from its enemies, the animal had to be guided by the rudimentary consciousness which was beginning to unfold, and which manifested in and through the Instinctive Mind. Some animals progressed more rapidly than others of their kind, and naturally began to assert themselves and their peculiar power—they found themselves doing the thinking for their fellows. They came to be recognized as being the ones to look to in cases of danger, or when food became scarce, and their leading was generally recognized and followed.
Leaders sprang up in flocks and herds, and not alone (as has been commonly taught in the text-books) be-cause of their brute strength, but also because of their superior brain-power, which may be described as "cunning." The "cunning" animal was quick to recognize danger, and to take means to avoid it—quick to discover new ways to gain food, and overcome the common enemy, or the prey. Anyone who has been much around domestic animals—or who has studied the ways of the wild animals who flock together—will realize exactly what we mean. The few led and directed, and the many blindly followed and were led.
And, as the development went on, and Man was evolved, the same thing manifested itself—leaders sprang into prominence and were obeyed. And all along the history of the race up until the present time, this same state of affairs exists. A few lead and the many follow. Man is an obedient and imitative animal. The great majority of people are like sheep—give them a "bell-wether" and they will gladly fol-low the tinkle of the bell.
But mark this fact—it is a most important one—it is not always the man or woman of the greatest amount of what we call "intellectual attainment," education or "book-learning" who is the leader of men —on the contrary, many of such people are often the most confirmed followers of leaders. The man or woman who leads is the one who feels within himself, or herself, that something which may be called a consciousness of power—an awareness of the real source of strength and power behind them and in them. This "awareness" may not be recognized by the Intellect, it may not be understood, but the individual feels somehow that he is possessed of power and force, or is in contact with power and force which he may use. And (speaking of the ordinary man) he consequently gives himself a personal credit for it, and begins to use his power. He feels the reality of the word "I." He feels himself as an individual—a real thing—an entity—and he, instinctively, proceeds to assert him-self. These people, as a rule, do not understand the source of their power, but it is a matter of "feeling" with them, and they naturally make use of the power. They influence others, without understanding just "how," and often wonder how it all comes about. And how does it come about? Let us see.
Let us look to the persons who are influenced. What part of their mental mechanism or armament is affected? The Instinctive Mind, of course. And why are their Instinctive Minds affected so easily, while others are so much less so ? That's just the point ; let us look into the matter.
In the original state, and during the process of evolution, the Instinctive Mind was not influenced thusly, because there was nothing to influence it. But as Man developed, the individuals who became aware of the dawning sense of their "individuality" and real power, began to assert themselves, and their own Instinctive Minds and the Instinctive Minds of others began to be influenced. The man whose consciousness of individuality—whose awareness of the "I"—is largely developed, invariably influences the Instinctive Mind of the one in whom the consciousness is not so fully developed. The Instinctive Mind of the less conscious man takes up and acts upon the suggestions of the stronger "I," and also allows the latter's thought-waves to beat upon it and to be ab-sorbed.
Remember, once more, that it is not the man of purely intellectual attainment, culture, or "learning" who has this consciousness, although, of course, the higher the intellectual attainment of the man the greater the scope of the power of the conscious "I" he may possess. Uneducated men are seen to have this power, as well as the most highly educated, and although their deficient education and training pre-vents them making use of their power to the extent possible to their more favored brother, still they exert an influence upon all in their "class," and also upon many who have greater intellectual powers than have they. It is not a matter of education, or of abstract reasoning, etc.--it is a matter of "consciousness." Those who possess it somehow feel the "I" within them, and although it often leads one to an absurd degree of egotism, vain self-pride and conceit, yet a man possessing this consciousness to any extent invariably influences others and forces his way through the world. The world has given to this manifestation of this consciousness the name of "self-confidence," etc. You will readily recognize it, if you think a moment and look around you a little. There are, of course, many degrees of this consciousness, and, everything else being equal, the man or woman will exert an influence upon others in precisely the degree that they possess this power. This consciousness may be developed and increased. It is, however, inferior to the consciousness of the man or woman of spiritual attainment, or development, whose powers greatly exceed this consciousness on the mental plane.'
But to get back to our subject of how the Instinctive Mind is influenced. The man whose consciousness of "I" is sufficiently developed, suggests to his own Instinctive Mind, and the latter naturally looks to its master as the only source of command or instruction. But the one who has not this consciousness has given but feeble commands of this kind, and his Instinctive Mind is not instilled with that confidence that it should possess, and finds its master frequently (often invariably) allowing it to receive the commands and instructions of others, until it automatically takes up and acts upon almost any forcible suggestion coming from without. Such outside suggestions may be either verbal suggestions or suggestions conveyed by the thought-waves of others.
Many people have no confidence whatever in their own "I"—they are like human sheep, and naturally follow their leader—in fact, are unhappy unless they are led. The more forcible the commands, the more ready they are to obey. Any statement made to them positively and authoritatively is accepted and acted upon. Such people live upon "authority," and constantly seek for "precedents" and "examples"—they need somebody to lean upon.
To sum up the matter—they are mentally lazy so far as exercising the "I" consciousness and developing the same is concerned—and they consequently have not asserted their control over their Instinctive Mind, but allow it to be open to the suggestions and influence of others, who, very often, are less qualified to direct it than they are themselves, but who hap-pen to have a little more "self-confidence" and "assurance"—a little more consciousness of the "I."
Now as to the means whereby the Instinctive Mind is influenced. There are innumerable methods and forms of practices, conscious and unconscious, where-by such effects are produced, but they may be roughly grouped into three general classes, viz. (1) Personal Suggestion ; (2) Thought Influence, present and distant, and (3) Mesmeric or Hypnotic Influence. These three forms shade into each other, and are generally combined, but it is as well to separate them here, that we may understand them the better. We will take them up in turn, briefly.
Let us first consider Personal Suggestion. As we have said, this is most common, and is constantly practiced more or less by all of us, and we are all more or less affected by it. We will confine ourselves to the most striking forms. Personal Suggestions are conveyed by the voice, the manner, the appearance, etc. The Instinctive Mind takes for granted, and accepts as truth the words, appearance and manners of the positive person, and acts upon the same, according to degree of its receptivity. This degree varies in persons, according to the degree to which they have developed the "I" consciousness, as we have before stated. The greater the amount of the "I" consciousness, the less the degree of receptivity, unless the per-son is tired, his attention is distracted, is off his guard, or voluntarily opens himself to the influence of the other's mind or words.
The more positive or authoritative the suggestion the more readily is it taken up by the receptive Instinctive Mind. Suggestion affects a person not through his Intellect but through his Instinctive Mind —it operates not by argument but by assertions, demands and commands. Suggestions gain force by being repeated, and where one is not influenced by a single suggestion, repeated suggestions along the same lines have a much greater power. Some persons have cultivated such a proficiency in the art of Suggestion that one has to be on his guard not to unconsciously accept some of the subtle suggestions insinuated into the conversation. But one who realizes the "I" consciousness, or, better still, the Real Self and its relation to All, has no need to fear the power of the suggestionist, as the suggestions will not be able to penetrate his well-guarded Instinctive Mind, or even if it does lodge around the outer surface of the mind, it will soon be detected and discarded with a smile of amusement. But, a word of caution ; be on your guard towards those who attempt to lead you not by argument or reason, but by assertion, pretended authority, plausible manner and a general "taking it for granted" way with you. Also keep your eye on those who ask you questions and answer them in advance for you, thus : "You like this pattern, don't you ?" or "This is what you want, isn't it?" Suggestion and assertion go hand in hand. You can generally tell a Suggestion by the company it keeps.
Secondly, let us consider Thought Influence, present and distant. As we have stated in previous lessons, every thought results in the projection of thought-waves of greater or lesser strength, size and power. We have explained how these thought-waves are sent forth, and how they are received by another individual. We are all receiving thought-waves at all times, but comparatively few affect us, as they are not in harmony with our own thoughts, moods, character and tastes. We attract to our inner consciousness only such thoughts as are in harmony with our own. But, if we are of a negative character, and allow our Instinctive Mind to go without its proper master, and become too receptive, we are in danger of having it accept, assimilate and act upon the passing thought-waves surrounding us. We have explained the action of the thought-waves in other lessons, but we did not point out this phase of the matter, preferring to take it up here. The unguarded Instinctive Mind is not only affected by all sorts of passing thought-waves, which are floated down to it, but is also peculiarly liable to be affected by a strong, positive, conscious thought-wave directed toward it by another who wishes to influence its owner. Everyone who is trying to influence another person, for good or evil, unconsciously throws off thought-waves of this kind with greater or less effect. And some who have learned some of the rudimentary occult truths and have prostituted them into Black Magic, consciously and deliberately send thought-waves towards persons whom they wish to influence. And if the Instinctive Mind is unguarded by its proper master, it is more or less apt to be affected by these efforts of selfish and malicious minds.
The tales of Witchcraft days are not all mere delusions and superstitions, but underneath the exaggerated reports and tales may be found a great foundation of occult truth, readily recognized by the advanced occultist as rudimentary occult power prostituted into Black Magic. All the combined Black Magic or Witchcraft in the world could not affect a man or woman who possessed the higher form of consciousness, but one of a fearful, superstitious turn of mind, with little or no self-confidence or self-reliance, would be apt to have an Instinctive Mind ready and ripe for the entrance of such hurtful thought-waves or thought-forms. All the conjurations, "spells," etc., of the voodoos, "witches," conjurers, etc., etc., have no efficacy beyond the thought sent out with their use—and the thought is made more powerful because it is concentrated by means of the rites, ceremonies, "spells," images, etc., of the unholy devotees of Black Magic. But it would be just as powerful if concentrated by some other means. But, no matter how concentrated or sent forth, it can have no effect unless the Instinctive Mind is ready to receive and assimilate it, and act upon it. The man or woman "who knows" need have no fear of these practices.
In fact, the very reading of this lesson will clear away from many minds the receptivity which might have, or has had, allowed them to be influenced to a greater or lesser extent by the selfish thoughts of others. This, mind you, not because of any virtue in this lesson (we are claiming nothing of the sort), but merely because the reading of it has caused the student's mind to awaken to its own power, and to assert itself.
Remember, the mind attracts only such thoughts as are harmonious with its own thoughts—and the Instinctive Mind is influenced against its own interests, only when its owner has admitted his own weakness and lack of ability to master and guard it. You must guard your own Instinctive Mind, and assert your master and ownership of it, as, otherwise, that owner-ship may be asserted, claimed and usurped by others more masterful than yourself. You have the strength and power necessary within you, if you but assert it. It is yours for the asking—why don't you demand it? You may awaken the "I" consciousness and develop it by the power of assertion, which will aid in its enfoldment. We will have more to say on this point in the following pages.
We will now consider the third form of Psychic-Influence, which is known as Mesmerism, Hypnotism, etc. We can merely touch upon that subject here, as its varied forms and phenomena would fill books, if spread out. But we think we can make it clear to you in a few words, as you have followed our thoughts in this and the preceding lessons.
The first thing to remember is that Mesmerism Hypnotism is but a combination of the two methods just mentioned, plus a greater amount of Prana projected with the Personal Suggestion or Thought- . Wave. In other words, the Suggestion or Thought-Wave becomes charged with Prana to a greater degree than is ordinarily the case, and becomes as much stronger than the ordinary suggestion or thought-wave, as a thought-form is stronger than an ordinary thought-wave. In short, mesmerism or hypnotism is practically the bathing of the person in a flow of thought-forms, kept stimulated and active by a constant supply of Prana, which has in such cases often been called "the mesmeric fluid." And, another thing to remember is that no person can be mesmerized or hypnotised unless his Instinctive Mind is unguarded or without its proper master, un-less the person agrees to be mesmerized and actually consents to it. So that, in the end, it comes down to the fact that no person need be mesmerized or hypnotised unless he is willing or unless he believes that he may be, which is the same thing in the end. Mesmer-ism has its uses in the hands of the advanced occultist who understands its laws, but in the hands of those ignorant of its proper use it is a thing to be avoided. Be careful about allowing yourself to be hypnotised by the ignorant pretender. Assert your own power, and you may accomplish for yourself all that anyone else can, on the same plane.
We have, in the brief space at our disposal, touched upon the various forms of Psychic Influence, and may have an opportunity at some future time of going deeper into the subject with you. But we trust that we have said enough to give you at least a general knowledge of the subject, and have at the same time given you a timely warning and caution. We will con-elude by saying something to you about the "I" consciousness and its development, which we trust you will read with the attention it merits, and will put into practice that which is indicated.
There is, of course, a still higher form of consciousness than the "I" consciousness—the spiritual consciousness which causes one to be aware of his relation to, and connection with, the source of all power. And those possessing this higher consciousness are far beyond the influence of Psychic Influence of others, for they are surrounded with an aura which repels vibrations on a lower plane. Such do not need the "I" consciousness, as it is included in their higher consciousness. But those on the mental plane of development (and but few of us have progressed further) will find it well to develop and unfold their consciousness of the "I"—the sense of individuality. You will be aided in this by carrying in mind, and meditating often, that you are a real being—that you are an Ego—a bit of the Universal Life set apart as an individual that you may work out your part of the Universal Plan, and progress to higher forms of manifestation. That YOU are independent of the body, and only use same as an instrument—that YOU are indestructible, and have eternal life—that YOU cannot be destroyed by fire, water or anything else which the physical man looks upon as a thing which will "kill" him—that no matter what becomes of your body YOU will survive. YOU are a soul, and have a body. (Not that you are a body having a soul, as most persons think and act upon.) Think of yourself as an independent being, using the body as a convenience. Cultivate the feeling of immortality and reality, and you will gradually begin to realize that you really exist and will always exist, and Fear will drop from you like a discarded cloak, for Fear is really the thought weakening the ill-guarded Instinctive Mind—once get rid of Fear, and the rest is easy. We have spoken of this matter in "Science of Breath," under the title of "Soul Consciousness," on page 70. In the same book, on page 61, under title "Forming an Aura," we have hinted at a plan whereby weak and fearful persons may protect themselves while they are building up a sure foundation of self-confidence and strength. The affirmation or mantram which has proven of more benefit than any other in these cases is the positive assertion of "I AM," which expresses a truth, and tends to a mental attitude which is taken up by the Instinctive Mind and renders it more positive to others, and less liable to be affected by suggestions, etc. The mental attitude expressed by "I AM" will surround you with a thought aura, which will act as a shield and a protection, until such time as you have fully acquired the higher consciousness, which carries with it a sense of self-confidence and assurance of strength.
From this point you will gradually develop into that consciousness which assures you that when you say "I," you do not speak only of the individual entity, with all its strength and power, but know that the "I" has behind it the power and strength of the Spirit, and is connected with an inexhaustible supply of force, which may be drawn upon when needed. Such a one can never experience Fear—for he has risen far above it. Fear is the manifestation of weakness, and so long as we hug it to us and make a bosom friend of it, we will be open to the influences of others. But by casting aside Fear we take several steps upward in the scale, and place ourselves in touch with the strong, helpful, fearless, courageous thought of the world, and leave behind us all the old weaknesses and troubles of the old life.
When man learns that nothing can really harm him, Fear seems a folly. And when man awakens to a realization of his real nature and destiny, he knows that nothing can harm him, and consequently Fear is discarded.
It has been well said, "There is nothing to fear, but Fear," and in this epigram is concealed a truth which all advanced occultists will recognize. The abolishing of Fear places in the hands of Man a weapon of defense and power which renders him al-most invincible. Why do you not take this gift which is so freely offered you? Let your watchwords be : "I AM." "I AM FEARLESS AND FREE."