Personal Magnetism, Will Culture, Self-Control

Personal Magnetism is the individual expression of a subtle irresistible and dynamic »Force« in man, which enables him to exert an unusual influence upon others. You all have come into contact with men of this type. They are endowed with marvelous, almost miraculous powers of influencing, persuading, attracting, fascinating, ruling and bending to their own Will-Force men of widely varying mental peculiarities and temperaments. Men actually go out of their way to please them. They attract others without any visible effort and others feel drawn to them in spite of themselves. Various are the examples of such power as afforded by history.

Now what is this power due to? How to develop it within yourself? Is it possible for everyone to acquire it? Has it or can it be put to any higher and nobler use than merely to enslave others’ minds in order to make them subservient to your selfish purposes on the relative plane of existence? If so, what is that higher use? I know of a Christian gentleman, Mr. K. by name, who had been smitten with the young governess of a Magistrate in Benares.

This grown-up man sought out a young College student who was a born leader of men and who was adored, admired and universally respected by all students, teachers and professors. “I wish you would teach me Mesmerism so that I may »fascinate« that girl”–this was the application of Mr. K. Well, the upshot of it all was that Mr. K. got a severe and stern rebuke from the young mesmerist, who in all truth was a born Yogi and cared not for the petty ways and small thoughts and attainments of men of this world. I find that nearly all modern Western writers on and teachers of this subject are much, in fact solely, taken up with the idea of sensationalism through Occultism, so much so that when a really thoughtful man investigates their writings he feels utterly disgusted, repelled and horrified at the very name of Occultism. “»It is sin to manifest power«,” said Vivekananda.

The man who studies Yoga and Occultism simply with a view to develop, display and demonstrate Psychic and Super-normal Powers and »Siddhies« always ends in »Lust« and is caught up in a psychic machinery of law and destructive thought forces that effectually grind him to pieces. His spiritual progress is thrown back over ages and he is made to retrace his steps slowly and painfully. I cannot too strongly condemn the modern tendency to “impress” others, to “strike terror” into others, to “psychologize” others towards the accomplishment of our personal motives. If you are one such, do, for heaven’s sake, open your eyes to your gross ignorance and low propensities or be not surprised if one day you find yourself face to face with some powerful scoundrel who would not scruple to crush you in all possible ways. “Harm watch, harm catch.” I am going to give you in practical form what constitute the real cause at the back of a “Magnetic” personality–that which when developed makes a god-like man of any human weakling.

This power is by no means the especial and peculiar possession of some divinely gifted individuals. »Everyone can cultivate it«. It is in you and needs vigorous stirring up as a condition of its awakening. There are some men who are born great; others are made so by certain unforeseen circumstances; a third class becomes great through conscious and intelligent effort.

Now, what are the causes behind Personal Influence?

(1) Some say that the right control of the Sex-Force or Celibacy is the cause.

(2) Others say that vegetarianism leads to it.

(3) Still others assert that it is physical energy and nerve force.

(4) A fourth class has it that there emanates a current of magnetism from the human body and influences everyone coming within its “Magnetic field”.

Taking the last view point first, I should say, with certain other leading mental Scientists, that the human dynamic force is different from “magnetism” as the latter bears direct reference to the loadstone.

Again, my own personal observations as well as those of others prove conclusively that although “magnetic” personalities have remarkably well-disciplined and highly trained physical energies, it is rarely or never a huge gigantic physique with large, unsightly muscles that exerts this force. No, it is decidely something other than mere physical energy and brute strength. A light, active, vigorous physique is desirable and any one can have it.

Again, the principle value of a non-flesh diet lies in the fact that fruits, nuts, corn and vegetables are possessed of rhythmic qualities and go to build up a fine, sensitive physique capable of greater powers of endurance and sustained mental effort than the ‘carcass’ of any animal ever can. Matter does affect mind in the lower stages of organic evolution but the process is largely reversed as soon as CONSCIOUS evolution commences. Therefore vegetarianism, although highly commendable, from a strictly scientific point of view for the development of an active and energetic, refined organism, is by no means a rigid and indispensable necessity in this respect. In fact, some most “magnetic” individuate make ‘graveyards of their stomachs’ as a Mental Scientist puts it.

Lastly, Bramhacharya or Celibacy, as practised by Sannyasis in India, has a strictly spiritual significance although it certainly has much as everything to do with Personal Magnetism. To the average man I would say: “Strive for CONTINENCE, chastity and control in this direction.” Do not emasculate, as that would be a waste of force. The stronger this force, the better. All Sannyasis learn consciously or unconsciously to transmute this energy into mental and spiritual force and generally their minds dwell on a plane of mental and spiritual effort where there cannot be even a breath of sensuality or grossness. They have gone beyond such things utterly; the same statement applies to all advanced thinkers, philosophers and workers, whether married or unmarried. To me the very name of philosophy carries with it an atmosphere of Chastity, Solemnity, and Divinity.

But although there is some measure of truth in all the above four statements, they all miss the real thing. The question resolves itself into this: “»What makes one man superior to another«?” The study of nature shows us that the higher form of intelligence controls the lower. All leaders of mankind, such as Napoleon, Alexander, etc., were clearly ahead of the times. But they strove for low things and their SUCCESS from our point of view is doubtful. Let us take higher ground. Buddha, Christ, Zoroaster, etc., etc., of ancient times and Vivekananda and a few others in modern times exhibited tremendous powers of influencing men. You study their lives and writings and try to find out just those things that constituted the basic cause of their heroic fibre.

If I were asked to sum up the secrets of their Power I would say: 1. “»Their Intelligence« and »Thought-Power.« 2. Awakened »Will-Power« and »Self-Control«.”

1. It was by their intelligence that they could take fearless possession of the world, handle men and women easily, read human nature at a glance and “be all things to all men,” »i.e.«., put their fingers direct on the spiritual, mental, and physical »necessities« of widely varying temperaments and help each right where he stood in the ladder of evolution.

2. It was by their developed thought-force that they drew the whole world to themselves. The positive thinker generates a force that draws all such as are »negative« to him. Nearly the whole world was negative to these Masters and hence felt attracted to them. »These were the human touchstones«.

3. It was by their strong, manly, marvellous Will-Power that they drove their suggestions into other minds and gained an immediate ascendency over whatever environments they were placed in. The whole man is summed up in his Will. Every other power in man is subservient to the Will. And say what you will, it is this power more than any other that we respect in others. It is the central staff in our character. Intelligence is the directive energy. Will-Power is the propulsive energy. And the latter when wielded under the guidance of the former makes of man a veritable God.

4. It was by their unusual power of »Self-control« that they could stand square upon their feet and could remain unshaken by the waves of conflicting opinions and the hostile attacks that continually dashed up against them. »Master yourself«, i.e., your personal, relative and lower self, and beyond the shadow of a doubt, »the mastery of others is already yours.« But the world will teach you bitter lessons and rend you to pieces if you try consciously to control it while you are still a slave to your lower self. Be great. Strive for Perfection. So will you be recognised by others. And according to the transcendent energy of the highest law of our

Being it is the consciousness of heights scaled, accomplishments achieved and consequent dawning of a Loftier Ideal upon our intellectual horizon that fills us with Strength and Peace rather than the recognition of our worth by others. It is a serious mistake to care for fame, praise and admiration. You get them only when you do not care for them in the least, when your soul has outgrown all such clinging to the relative in the light of »eternal thought«, when you have risen to the Absolute and learnt to read the meaning of the “LARGER WORLD” of life. Do not pass by this lightly. In it is the key to Peace, Power and Poise. All that is Real and Permanent, is on the plane of the Absolute.

Now we are drawing to the practical side of our Lesson. The four principal points, you will please remember, are: (1) Intelligence. (2) Thought-Force. (3) Will-Power. (4) Self-Control. You might feel surprised at my retailing this “ancient history” instead of teaching you how to approach a man, make him your slave and command him to fall down at your feet and do your bidding. Perhaps you expected me to tell you how to sail through the air, pass through solid walls, materialize and dematerialize at will and like Appolonius of Tyana vanish in the flash of an eye from the court of Ionysius and appear elsewhere at a distance of 19,000 miles at the same moment. No, no. I will take it for granted that you are made of different stuff and »an earnest seeker after the truth«.

If you strive to build yourself on the basis of the simple principles as laid down in this series of lessons you will in time grow into the Higher Self and at last become one with it. Moreover, your daily life will be the Occasion for the practical application of these principles, thus enabling you to pursue your way through life calmly, earnestly, independently and with the quiet dignity of a man “who knows what he is about”. I cannot and would not speak of “get-rich-quick” methods of self-development because they are the veriest rot imaginable.

Now then: (1) Intelligence and (2) Thought-Force are the natural results of an organised brain.

Concentration is the key to such development. Concentration has been fully explained in Lesson No. 1. By the constant exercise of concentration, objectively and subjectively, in your daily life you will in a short time become conscious of growing Strength. The exercises I give you in this lesson on Self-Control, Will-Culture and Memory-Culture if gone through with perseverance will further develop Concentrative ability. In fact, this entire series of lessons will call for Effort and Concentration. “Rome was not built in a day”–nor can you achieve real greatness in a few months. No. All I can do is to indicate the line and the nature of the effort required of you and if clearly followed, Progress and Growth will commence from the first day. In connection with this, a little digression would be necessary. The Occultist says: Nature, unaided, fails.

The purposiveness of Deity, manifesting in nature an evolution, is present in all individual centres but it has the way to full expression opened out to itself only when the more evolved centres of life consciously cooperate with it. Evolution is started and carried only by the creation of centres within the GREAT CONSCIOUSNESS and by preserving and enlarging or expanding these centres. So long as the race had not reached “SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS” (see Yoga Lessons) the sub-conscious forces of nature had entire control over evolutionary processes, but this stage was reached by the race according to the LAW OF AVERAGES in the seventeenth century and you are now expected to take your progress in your hands and consciously direct your inner forces along such lines as best correspond to the stage of your growth.

So independent study and steady thinking form the secrets of a keen and broad intelligence. You will always find that the man who is more powerful than yourself and moves you at his will has an intelligence and understanding far superior to yours and he can read your whole nature as he would an open book, although you find him quite beyond your depth. Learn to regard earnestly the workings of different mentalities around you. Become a student of human nature. To you, each man ought to be only a partial expression of his mind. Examine closely into the motives acting behind each personality. Learn to respond more quickly to the »Thoughts« and »Feelings« of a man than to his outer speech and action. The latter are objective expressions of the subjective self.

The study of Phrenology and Physiognomy are good things to start with in your efforts to acquire knowledge of human nature. »Mind is One« and at the same time, »Many«. Subjectively, it is ONE. Objectively; many. So by looking »impartially« into “yourself” in the calm light of the intellect and through silent introspection, you will always find a clue to the working bases of other minds. Each man is a puzzle and most of all are »YOU« a puzzle unto yourself. Solve either and you have solved both. “MAN, KNOW THYSELF.”