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Personal experiences form the basis for the author's argument that goals may be obtained through subconscious forces
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The late Claude M. Bristol was a lawyer, lecturer, investment banker, and foreign correspondent. He is the coauthor of the long-time bestseller, TNT: The Power Within.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
With an Introduction by Palmer Hoyt, Editor and Publisher, The Denver Post, Denver, Colorado; Member, United States Air Policy Commission
· HOW I CAME TO TAP THE POWER OF BELIEF
· MIND-STUFF EXPERIMENTS
· WHAT THE SUBCONSCIOUS IS
· SUGGESTION IS POWER
· THE ART OF MENTAL PICTURES
· THE MIRROR TECHNIQUE FOR RELEASING THE SUBCONSCIOUS
· HOW TO PROJECT YOUR THOUGHTS
· WOMEN AND THE SCIENCE OF BELIEF
· BELIEF MAKES THINGS HAPPEN
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
Generally speaking, people are more interested in themselves and their success than anything else. For this reason Claude M. Bristol’s book, The Magic of Believing, ought to enjoy widest readership.
In simple straightforward language, Mr. Bristol has set forth some basic principles of the fuller use of the mind in achieving practical objectives. He has illumined these potential uses with a wealth of descriptive instances, many of them based on his own personal experiences and observations embracing many years as a newspaper man and a successful business executive. He has traveled extensively over the world and has long investigated and studied what he calls “Mind Stuff.”
Claude Bristol has been helping people to help themselves for twenty years and I have been conversant with what the author has done with his theme during the period. I am also conversant with persons mentioned in this interesting book and with various successes they have achieved.
Mr. Bristol believes deeply that any person can achieve any given aim if he believes strongly enough and he presents a well documented case to prove his point. He makes no claim to being a “mental healer,” but his observations on the relationship of mind to health are of more than passing interest.
The Magic of Believing does not delve into the occult. At the same time it does not limit the possibilities that telepathy and the use of the subconscious present.
The Magic of Believing should be an inspiration to any one who reads it carefully because, in its development and its documentation, it is a clear picture of how the great potential possibilities of the mind may be utilized to achieve the ambitions of anyone interested.
Having served in World War I as well as having had a part in the war effort where I came in close contact with service people of World War II, and being aware of potential postwar problems, I should like to see a copy of this book in the hands of every ex-service man and woman as well as all others sincerely interested in making a place for themselves in the years to come.
Editor and Publisher
The Denver Post
Is there a something, a force, a factor, a power, a science—call it what you will—which a few people understand and use to overcome their difficulties and achieve outstanding success? I firmly believe that there is, and it is my purpose in this, first complete exposition of the subject, to attempt to explain it so that you may use it if you desire.
About fifteen years ago the financial editor of a great Los Angeles newspaper, after attending lectures I had given to financial men in that city and after having read my brochure, T.N.T.—It Rocks the Earth, wrote:
“You have caught from the ether something that has a mystical quality—a something that explains the magic of coincidence, the mystery of what makes men lucky.”
I realized that I had run across something that was workable, but I didn’t consider it then, neither do I now, as anything mystical, except in the sense that it is unknown to the majority of people. It is something that has always been known to a fortunate few down the centuries, but, for some unknown reason, is little understood by the average person.
When I started out years ago to teach this science through the medium of lectures and my brochure, I wasn’t certain that it could be or would be grasped by the ordinary individual; but now that I have seen those who have used it double and triple their incomes, build their own successful businesses, acquire homes in the country, and create sizable fortunes, I am convinced that any intelligent person who is sincere with himself can reach any heights he desires. I had no intention of writing a second book, although many urged me to do so, until a few months ago, when a woman in the book business, who had sold many copies of my first little book, literally “read the riot act” to me, declaring:
“You have a duty to perform to the ex-service men and women, and all others who seek places for themselves in a postwar world, to give them in easily understood form not only what you contained in your T.N.T.—It Rocks the Earth but the new material that you have given in your lectures. Everyone of ambition wants to get ahead and you have amply demonstrated you have something that will help anyone, and it’s up to you to pass it along.”
It took time to sell myself on the idea, but having served as a soldier in World War I, mostly in France and Germany, and having been an active official for many years in ex-service men’s organizations as well as a member of a state commission to aid in the rehabilitation of ex-service men and women, I realized that it would be no easy task for many individuals to make outstanding places for themselves in a practical world from which they had long been separated. It is with them in mind, as well as all ambitious men and women, and with a sincere desire to help, that I write this full and detailed exposition of the power of belief.
I am cognizant of the fact that there are powerful forces at work in this country that would dominate us, substituting a kind of regimentation for the competitive system which has made America great among nations. They would attempt to destroy individual thinking and initiative, cherished ever since our Pilgrim Fathers established this country in defiance of Old World tyranny. I believe that we must continue to retain the wealth of spirit of our forefathers, for if we don’t we shall find ourselves dominated in everything we do by a mighty few and shall become serfs in fact if not in name. Thus this work is written also to help develop individual thinking and doing.
Since I am aware that this book may fall into the hands of some who may call me a “crackpot” or a “screwball,” let me say that I am past the half-century mark and have had many years of hard practical business experience, as well as a goodly number of years as a newspaper man. I started as a police reporter, and police reporters are trained to get facts and “accept nothing for granted.” For a two-year period I was church editor of a large metropolitan newspaper, during which I came in close contact with clergymen and leaders of all sects and denominations, mind-healers, divine healers, Spiritualists, Christian Scientists, New Thought-ers, Unity leaders, sun and idol worshipers, and, yes, even a few infidels and pagans.
Gypsy Smith, well-known English evangelist, was making an early tour of America at that time, and as I used to sit night after night on his platform, watching people stumble down the aisles, some sobbing, others shouting hysterically, I wondered.
Again I wondered as I accompanied the police in answering a riot call when some Holy Rollers in a moment of hysteria knocked over a stove and set fire to their meeting hall. When I attended my first and only meeting of Shakers, I wondered as I did while attending various spiritualistic meetings. I wondered as I heard the testimonials at the Wednesday night meetings of Christian Scientists. I wondered when I witnessed a group of white people being immersed in the icy waters of a mountain stream and coming up shouting “Hallelujah,” even though their teeth were chattering. I wondered at the ceremonial dances of the Indians and their rain-calling programs. Billy Sunday also caused me to wonder, as in later years did Aimee Semple McPherson.
In France during the first war I marveled at the simple faith of the peasants and the powers of their village padres. The stories of the so-called miracles at Lourdes, as well as of somewhat similar miracles at other shrines, also held great interest. When I saw elderly men and women in a famous old Roman church climb literally on their knees up a long flight of stairs to gaze upon a holy urn—a climb that is no simple task for an athletically trained young person—I wondered again.
Business brought me into contact with the Mormons, and when I heard of the belief in the story of Joseph Smith and the revelations on the plates of gold, I was again given to wonderment. The Dukhobors of western Canada, who would doff their clothes when provoked, likewise made me wonder. While in Hawaii I heard much about the powers of the kahunas who, it was claimed, could, by praying, cause people to die or live. The great powers attributed to these kahunas profoundly impressed me.
In my early days as a newspaper man I saw a famous medium try to make the “spirits” respond before a crowded courtroom of antagonistic scoffers. The judge had promised the medium he would be freed if he could get the “spirits” to speak in the courtroom. They failed to materialize and I wondered why, because the medium’s followers had testified to remarkable prior séances.
Many years later I was commissioned to write a series of articles on what is known in police parlance as the “fortune-telling racket.” I visited everything from gypsy phrenologists to crystal-ball gazers, from astrologers to spiritualistic mediums. I have heard what purported to be the voices of old Indian “guides” tell me the past, the present, and the future, and I heard from relatives I never knew existed.
Several times I have been in a hospital room in which people around me died, while others with seemingly no worse ailments were up and apparently fully recovered within a short time. I have known partially paralyzed people who claim they have cured their rheumatism or arthritis by wearing a copper band around their wrists—and have known others who claimed a cure by mental healing. From relatives and close friends I have heard stories of how warts on hands have suddenly disappeared. I am familiar with the stories of those who permit rattlesnakes to bite them and still live, and with hundreds of other tales of mysterious healings and happenings.
I have, moreover, made myself familiar with the lives of great men and women of history; I have met and interviewed many outstanding men and women in all lines of human endeavor; and I have often wondered just what it was that took them to the top while others were lost in obscurity. I have seen coaches take apparently inferior baseball and football teams and infuse them with “something” that caused them to win. In the depression days I saw sales organizations, badly whipped, do an abrupt about-face and bring in more business than ever before.
Apparently I was born with a huge bump of curiosity, for I have always had an insatiable yearning to seek explanations and answers. This yearning has taken me to many strange places, brought to light many peculiar cases, and has caused me to read every book I could get my hands on dealing with religions, cults, and both physical and mental sciences. I have read literally thousands of books on modern psychology, metaphysics, ancient magic, Voodooism, Yogism, Theosophy, Christian Science, Unity, Truth, New Thought, Couéism, and many others dealing with what I call “Mind Stuff,” as well as the philosophies and teachings of the great masters of the past.
Many were nonsensical, others strange, and many very profound. Gradually I discovered that there is a golden thread that runs through all the teachings and makes them work for those who sincerely accept and apply them, and that thread can be named in the single word—belief. It is this same element or factor, belief, which causes people to be cured through mental healing, enables others to climb high the ladder of success, and gets phenomenal results for all who accept it. Why belief is a miracle worker is something that cannot be satisfactorily explained; but have no doubt about it, there’s genuine magic in believing. “The magic of believing” became a phrase around which my thoughts steadily revolved.
I am convinced that in the so-called secret fraternal organizations there is a real “royal secret” which very few members ever grasp, and the conclusion must be that “no mind ever receives the truth until it is prepared to receive it.” I am convinced also that some of these organizations, like many secret orders which have a knowledge and an understanding of life, use parables and misinterpretations to mislead. In one order, candidates are provided with a very profound book (to be studied in connection with the degree work), which itself would be well-nigh an open-sesame to life if these candidates would understand and follow its tenets; but few read it, complaining that “it is too deep” for them.
When T.N.T.—It Rocks the Earth was first published, I imagined that it would be easily understood, as I had written it simply; but as the years went by I found that some readers protested that it was too much in digest form, while others said they couldn’t understand it. I had assumed that most people knew something about the power of thought. I was mistaken, and I realized that those who had an understanding of the subject were comparatively few. Later in my many years of lecturing before clubs, business and sales organizations, I discovered that while most people were vitally interested in the subject, it had to be fully explained. Finally, I undertook to write this book in words that anyone who reads can understand and with the hope that it will help many to reach their goal in life.
The science of thought is as old as man himself. The wise men of all ages have known about it and used it. The only thing the writer has done is to put the subject in modern language and bring to the reader’s attention what a few of the outstanding minds of today are doing to substantiate the great truths that have come down through the centuries.
Fortunately for the world, people generally are coming to the realization that there is “something to this mind-stuff after all,” and the writer believes that there are millions of people who would like to get a better understanding of it and prove that it does work.
Therefore, I start with relating a few experiences of my own life, with the hope that by hearing them, you will gain a better understanding of the entire science. Early in 1918 I landed in France as a “casual” soldier, unattached to a regular company. As a result it was several weeks before my service record, necessary for my pay, caught up with me. During that period I was without money to buy gum, candy, cigarettes, and ...
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