The Role of the Imagination
Imagination, before beginning to explain the practical application of auto-suggestion and the extremely simple method by which it is possible for everyone to gain complete mastery over his or her physical organism, I must speak of the all-important role of the imagination.
Dominance of the imagination
Dominance of the imagination over the will. Contrary to the generally accepted theory the will is not the invincible force it is claimed to be; in fact, whenever imagination and will come into conflict it is always imagination that triumphs. Try to do something while you are repeating: “I cannot do it”-and you will see this truth confirmed. The mere idea of inability to accomplish a thing paralyzes the will power.
Self-mastery and the imagination
Self-mastery is attained when the imagination has been directed and trained to conform with our desires-for although, in one sense, the imagination is inclined in the subconscious, yet it dominates the latter, and therefore, if we know how to guide it, our subconscious self will take charge of our material being and do its work just as we wish it to be done; or, in other words, exactly in conformity with our conscious suggestions.
I cannot too strongly insist that in the practice of autosuggestion the exercise of will must be strictly avoided, except in the initial phase of directing or guiding the imagination on the desired lines. This is absolutely the only manifestation of will necessary, or even desirable. Any other voluntary effort is positively harmful in connection with auto-suggestion, and will almost certainly have an effect contrary to the one desired.
Intimation and famous people
Analyze the so-called strong-willed characters of history, Caesar, Napoleon, etc. You will find that they were all men of big imagination. Certain ideas were implanted in their minds, and their tenacious suggestions impelled them into action. This, however, is a digression.
Law of converted effort
Law of converted effort. What I want to drive home for the moment is the law of what my friend Charles Baudouin calls “converted effort.” Suppose a man suffering from insomnia decides to try the effect of auto-suggestion.
Unless previously warned, he will repeat to himself phrases like this: I want to sleep; I will sleep; I am going to sleep. And all the time he will be making desperate efforts to coax sleep. That is fatal.
The very fact of exerting effort has converted the latter into a force acting in a sense contrary to the original suggestion, with the result that the poor man tosses and turns in his bed in sleepless wretchedness.
Imagination should be unhindered
The imagination should be unhindered.
Let the imagination do its work alone, unhindered.
Be quite passive.
Through mysterious, still unexplained processes, our subconscious self accomplishes marvelous things.
Think of the very commonest movements of the human body and ask yourselves how they are operated.
What has set in motion the complicated mechanism when you stretch your arm to reach a glass on a table or when you take a cigarette from your case? No one knows.
But if we cannot explain the phenomenon we do know that, in actual fact, it is an order resulting from a mere suggestion which is transmitted through the nervous system, and translated into action at a speed infinitely greater than that of lightning.
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