Special Regimes For Fear Of Crowd Hostile
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
FIRST SPECIAL REGIME OF SUBSTITUTION OF THOUGHT: Danger Denied or Minified. Emphatic ideas "reverberate" throughout body and soul, tending to induce all sorts of action according to their nature. This action the subconscious self, making over through heredity from ancestors, has learned to associate with the corresponding ideas. How much this statement is true cannot be said, but enough evidently for the inheritance of instinctive life. But the great bulk of action going with ideas has to be learned in a more or less conscious way. Under the idea of danger, your subconscious self tends to stir up the whole physical system in the interest of self-preservation. This was the great primitive function of the subconscious self before higher mental functions began to unfold in the conscious self. As some sea-plants are anchored by a cord or cable many feet long, so the instinct of fear is anchored by heredity running through centuries back to the man-animal whose whole business consisted in trying to stay alive.
The idea of danger stimulates physical activities which we have all learned. Here is the "line of least resistance." To act as suggested by the idea of danger is the easiest thing to do. Hence the physical functions naturally, as we say, act in their accustomed fear-inspired way unless they are checked.
Now, it should be remembered that will is initiative idea. What seems to be a separate power (will) is nothing but idea. There is nothing in the universe but thought-action and thought-" substance." As a matter of fact, thought-action is the fundamental "substance" itself. So, if you fiercely try to check activities while holding fast the idea which has started them, you contradict will in the sense that you are only using a statement that the ideas shall not go on while all the time that stronger idea which has held the throne for centuries in the subconscious self of ancestors, and now holds the throne in your own self, is really saying that they shall go on. The remedy for this state of things lies in the reverberating power of an opposite idea.
You are therefore urged to call up always, when facing the hostile crowd, the thought that there is no danger, at least that it is not near so real or so great as may appear (remember that the idea, danger, need not be, and is not, the fear-feeling). A talismanic sentence may now be given for the realization of this work:
"This danger is imaginary. There 's nothing in it!" Or: "The danger is not nearly so great as these people seem to pretend. They do not even intend danger to me!"
Kindly observe ! The suggestions here offered concern not at all your escape from the danger of the crowd or your protection while facing it, nor the success of your display of "nerve," nor the difficulty of carrying out the suggestions. The. present theme is courage, not self-defense, substitution of ideas, not overawing the mob, the conquest of fear, not an easy method for working "miracles."
You may get hurt by this crowd; but why add the preliminary hurt of the danger-thought run riot? The "nerve" display may be feeble; but the memory of a good effort will linger long in your mind. The substitution of "no danger" may prove difficult; but the difficulty will give you future confidence if you overcome it. There are no miracles, and nothing is "easy" in this world. Resistance is the price of organization, for organization is harmony-centred resistance, and organization by self-effort is the price of growth. There are many "new thought" books, and they are made "easy" enough, heaven knows; but they also die easily, as we all discover.
Infallibly, if you employ the talismanic sentences given, will the rioting idea of danger be calmed and diminished in power. In that event, you have achieved victory, because you will have then acquired the initial power to check the first impulses of fear-action anywhere within your personality.
SECOND SPECIAL REGIME OF SUBSTITUTION OF THOUGHT: Strength and Ability Asserted. It may be thought that danger awakens a mere feeling of weakness, and that one is not responsible for the working of natural physical laws. But this is error. The human personality is agent, therefore intelligence, therefore will. All its activities originate in and make for knowing. Feeling is a result of some form of knowing. In the subconscious self it is the idea which first comes to existence, and feeling is reaction to that idea. Feeling obtains in the conscious self as a report of the idea. The feeling of weakness is created by the idea of weakness in the subconscious self. You could not feel afraid if you had no idea of danger, and you could experience no feeling of weakness if you had the thought of completely adequate power successfully to cope with danger.
You are invited, then, to resolve on vigorously and willfully thinking strength, adequate power, when the hostile crowd confronts you — or in the presence of any sort of danger. Of course this will be difficult, but if you persevere the effort will in time beget the required confidence. The effort consists in switching the mind off from the danger-weakness idea onto the notion of full power A sentence talismanic may well be: "I am power! I can perfectly cope with this danger! Body and soul are electrically charged with courage-confidence—courage-confidence—courage-confidence." Thus you will displace in subconsciousness the idea of weakness by the energetic thought of power. By so much, then, the weakness feeling fades before the feeling of adequate power.
THIRD SPECIAL REGIME OF SUBSTITUTION OF THOUGHT: The Stand-Your-Ground Idea Maintained. When you remember that feeling reports idea, and that action expresses feeling, you see that flight is merely the idea of weakness (born in the subconscious self, developed in the conscious self) carried out. It is suggestion: "Crowd hostile; I am weakness; run!"
Now, all feeling tends to spread and to multiply. It spreads throughout the system. This spreading forth induces action in the nerves and organs — or constitutes such action. That action suggests anew the original ideas — weakness — flight. When you yield, it is because the idea of flight has been suggested. The flight is action of the whole person. This in turn grows every instant, suggesting more action. The result is a panic. If these activities cannot expand with the growth of the fear-idea, there is collapse. There is more activity within the personality than can be taken care of, and the whole personality is swamped.
It is in this sense that we say that we fear because we run. We fear because we know — have the idea of danger — a mental action; think weakness — a mental action; feel weakness — a psycho-physical action; turn, flee — a physical action born of the idea of flight.
The remedy, then, must initiate in ideas. First must arise or be compelled the idea — "Danger nothing," or, "Danger slight;" then must be forced the idea —"I am equal to this situation;" and so must be cultivated the idea of steadfastness in presence of danger, whether or no. In the latter case a talismanic sentence may be used: "I am master here, and I stand solid — solid — solid."
You are therefore invited to combine this regime with the preceding, and to practise the combination for long, until courage-confidence becomes habitually your main thought in regard to danger, whether conceived or present.
The last element in our analysis will then have disappeared, for the ideas substituted cannot possibly comport with fear, — either of thought or of feeling. Your success will be measured by your effort. It is not said that you will succeed easily or after a brief effort. It is insisted, however, that sooner or later you will infallibly banish the fear-feeling from your soul, confronting any hostile crowd, if you persevere in the regime.