All students of the Occult are aware of the fact that men may be, and are, largely influenced by the thoughts of others. Not only is this the case in instances where thoughts are directed from the mind of one person to the mind of another, but also when there is no special direction or intention in the thought sent forth. The vibrations of thoughts linger in the astral atmosphere long after the effort that sent forth the thought has passed.
The astral atmosphere is charged with the vibrations of thinkers of many years past, and still possesses sufficient vitality to affect those whose minds are ready to receive them at this time. And we all attract to us thought vibrations corresponding in nature with those which we are in the habit of entertaining. The Law of Attraction is in full operation, and one who makes a study of the subject may see instances of it on all sides.
We invite to ourselves these thought vibrations by maintaining and entertaining thoughts along certain lines. If we cultivate a habit of thinking along the lines of Cheerfulness, Brightness and Optimism, we attract to ourselves similar thought vibrations of others and we will find that before long we will find all sorts of cheerful thoughts pouring into our minds from all directions. And, likewise, if we harbor thoughts of Gloom, Despair, Pessimism, we lay ourselves open to the influx of similar thoughts which have emanated from the minds of others. Thoughts of Anger, Hate, or Jealousy attract similar thoughts which serve to feed the flame and keep alive the fire of these low emotions. Thoughts of Love tend to draw to ourselves the loving thoughts of others which tend to fill us with a glow of loving emotion.
And not only are we affected in this way by the thoughts of others, but what is known as “Suggestion” also plays an important part in this matter of sub-conscious influence. We find that the mind has a tendency to reproduce the emotions, moods, shades of thought, and feelings of other persons, as evidenced by their attitude, appearance, facial expression, or words. If we associate with persons of a gloomy temperament, we run the risk of “catching” their mental trouble by the law of suggestion, unless we understand this law and counteract it. In the same way we find that cheerfulness is contagious, and if we keep in the company of cheerful people we are very apt to take on their mental quality.
The same rule applies to frequenting the company of unsuccessful or successful people, as the case may be. If we allow ourselves to take up the suggestions constantly emanating from them, we will find that our minds will begin to reproduce the tones, attitudes, characteristics, dispositions and traits of the other persons, and before long we will be living on the same mental plane. As we have repeatedly said, these things are true only when we allow ourselves to “take on” the impressions, but unless one has mastered the law of suggestion, and understands its principles and operations he is more or less apt to be affected by it. All of you readily recall the effect of certain persons upon others with whom they come in contact. One has a faculty of inspiring with vigor and energy those in whose company he happens to be. Another depresses those around him, and is avoided as a “human wet-blanket.” Another will cause a feeling of uneasiness in those around him, by reason of his prevailing attitude of distrust, suspicion, and low cunning.
Some carry an atmosphere of health around them, while others seem to be surrounded with a sickly aura of disease, even when their physical condition does not seem to indicate the lack of health. Mental states have a subtle way of impressing themselves upon us, and the student who will take the trouble to closely observe those with whom he comes in contact will receive a liberal education along these lines.
There is of course a great difference in the degree of suggestibility among different persons. There are those who are almost immune, while at the other end of the line are to be found others who are so constantly and strongly impressed by the suggestions of others, conscious or unconscious, that they may be said to scarcely have any independent thought or will of their own. But nearly all persons are suggestible to a greater or lesser degree.
It must not be supposed from what we have said that all suggestions are “bad,” harmful, or undesirable. Many suggestions are very good for us, and coming at the right time have aided us much. But, nevertheless, it is well to always let your own mind pass upon these suggestions, before allowing them to manifest in your sub-conscious mind. Let the final decision be your own–and not the will of another–although you may have considered outside suggestions in connection with the matter.
Remember always that YOU are an Individual, having a mind and Will of your own. Rest firmly upon the base of your “I” consciousness, and you will find yourself able to manifest a wonderful strength against the adverse suggestions of others. Be your own Suggestor–train and influence your sub-conscious mind Yourself, and do not allow it to be tampered with by the suggestions of others. Grow the sense of Individuality.