What is Suggestion? And what is A Suggestion?
SUGGESTION IS THAT WHICH CAUSES A SENSATION OR A THOUGHT. A SUGGESTION IS ANYTHING USED WITH AN UNDERSTANDING OF ITS POWER TO PRODUCE A CERTAIN MENTAL RESULT WHEN ACCEPTED BY ANOTHER PERSON.
Suggestion is the objective side of life. The subjective is Affirmation. An Affirmation is a statement of Truth. Each person is controlled by his convictions of Truth. He cannot get away from these convictions. On arising in the morning, he sees a fog.
He looks at the thermometer and sees it 20 above zero. These are Suggestions and he says: “It is cold.” This decision is an Affirmation born of the Suggestion.
The Suggestion produced a feeling which was transmuted in the brain to the Affirmation of Truth, “It is cold.”
But the rugged school-boy in New England would say as he saw the thermometer, “Oh, a jolly morning!” and off he would go for a December skate.
Each makes his own world. The same Suggestion awakens different thoughts in each; different emotions in each.
Suggestion being anything from without coming to the consciousness, it follows that, when a person acquires power over himself so that he ignores unpleasant Suggestions and receives only those he wishes, he has acquired the power of making his life what he chooses it to be. He then rules the “Kingdom” within. Like a king, he receives from without only that which he chooses and that which comes with the credentials of pleasure and health.
Subjectively, as a manifestation of Unity, man is potential power in every direction.
In the objective life he is unfolding that which he is in the subjective. Being all potential power, why should he not affirm that power? Why limit the manifestation of the subjective “I AM” to the little power he has heretofore manifested?
There is no reason, except habit Let him say henceforth:— “I possess, and, since, by thinking I have power to direct the manifestations of the subjective life I am, I affirm that I am power to do that which I desire to do!” He who will so affirm, will do.
Power of Thought
This Affirmation is Suggestion transmuted into Auto-Suggestion. This is the power by which the conscious man through desire and reason, controls the manifestations of his life,— when he wills. Thought is power It is the power, the only power, the Individual uses to direct the Absolute power in which he lives and moves as an Ego, an individualized being.* In Self-Suggestion, Auto-Suggestion or Affirmation (for they are all one) lies the Diamond Drill.
Through the use of Affirmation, life can be made to one’s desires, because all conditions, whether of good or ill, come from Affirmation. It is the only power any person possesses. It is the power the hypnotist uses.
Self-assertion is the key to character Affirmation, to lift one from conditions not desirable must rest upon that arch of character whose keystone is Self-assertion.
Without that mental characteristic, there can be no success in any direction. Therefore this Affirmation includes all others—”I AM!” Affirmations that follow this, that mean the victory of Self over Fate are, “I Can” and “I Do!” The Will that uses these is a cultivated and concentrated one. Will that is scattered over several Affirmations at the same time means constant failure.
The “Open Sesame.”
We have now reached the word of power, have found the “Sesame” to the hidden treasure of the Soul. It is the word,
CONCENTRATION; one thought at a time. Pay attention to what you are thinking.
Yes! this is the recognized key to success. But it is also the key to the failures in health, business and happiness. Worry, anxiety, fear, grief, doubt, are all evidences of concentration. The question turns on the kind of thoughts for concentration.
Concentration upon the wrong thoughts produces all the evil. Evil is the evidence of an uncontrolled mind. The business man in business concentration has awakened genii that make him a slave. Such concentration is not the key to Peace and Victory. Concentration is the “Open Sesame,” but the treasure is not his until he learns not only to open but also to close the cave, not only to release the genii, but to imprison them at will.
The opposite of Concentration is as important as concentration. This is the "Letting Go," the Giving up, the Relaxing, the Changing, at will, the thought upon which one has concentrated.
This is the secret of success. This is the power the hypnotic subject possesses. The subject has learned that, which when learned and practiced by any one, will relieve him of worry, fear, pain and disease, and will open to him, while in the flesh, the door to Paradise.
All the possibility of this lies in those phenomena which have been used, heretofore, generally to amuse or at best by physician to relieve pain. The application of the Law of Suggestion is as limitless as human experience.
Philosopher’s Stone. Voluntary Concentration upon a chosen thought is the long sought
“Philosopher’s Stone.” He who has acquired it, is Master. It is the secret of the power of hypnotic subject, of “Christian Scientist,” and “Hindoo Fakir;” it underlies all occult phenomena of every name and is the secret of the success of men in every rank and walk of life.
Is it worth attaining? Is it worth the time and effort? Can you afford to learn it? These are not questions for a wise man to consider. Can you afford not to have it? Remember, all possible power lies within the Ego, awaiting expression.
The only safe ways of manifestation are those directed by Self. The more faith in Self, the more power. They who have influenced the world have been those who had faith in themselves. Self-Assertion led to CONCENTRATION. The Affirmation of success has ever been, "I CAN!"
Here is the quatrain worth memorizing for the Philosophy of Life it contains. It is from Mrs. Helen Wilmans:
“He who dares assert the I, May calmly wait, While hurrying Fate, Meets his demand with sure Supply.”
Outside Emerson’s essay on “Self Reliance,” no better words than these have been uttered. To that essay I recommend the reader as we turn to another phase of the subject.
Prof. Gates’ Evidence.
“But what has this to do with Hypnotism?” will again be asked. Everything. The phenomena under that name demonstrate the truth of all this philosophy.
My words are as true, based upon these phenomena, as are those in the works of physics in our schools. Like the physical scientist, I go to nature for my facts. Telepathy has as clearly demonstrated Thought to be Force, as have the experiments in the laboratory demonstrated electricity to be a mode of motion. Prof. Elmer Gates has demonstrated by chemistry that thoughts of envy, jealousy, hate, anger and all others we call evil, produce a poison in the system which ultimately causes disease.
Thought controls bodily conditions. This again demonstrates the efficacy of Mental Healing. Study the stage performance. Learn how to do it and then repeat it in your parlor, go farther and experiment upon yourself. Remove sensation from your body.
Pierce your arm with a needle without pain. Watch the patient in the hospital as he submits to a surgical operation with only Suggestion as an anesthetic and thus learn the meaning of Suggestion in daily life. If the boy on the stage, the patient in the hospital, can at a word concentrate upon the thought of painlessness, what is impossible through intelligent use of concentration in daily life?
The boy on the stage throws away the cold coin, saying, “Hot.” Later you can see the blister upon his hand. Disease is created in the same way by thinking of it. Have not these phenomena a meaning for each person? Have they for you? What is the power that produces such marvelous results? Merely the thought, the Affirmation, of the person: “It does not pain me;” “I do not feel it;” “It is hot;” “It burns me.”
Thoughts are equal in power. They are all from one source. The difference lies in the individual’s power of concentration. All power comes from the subconscious. Whether it shall be directed upon one thought or diffused over many, is for each individual to determine, and that determination controls the conditions of this life. Remember, Suggestion is, WHATEVER CAUSES AN EMOTION OR A THOUGHT; it will then be seen that it is an ever present factor in life. No intellect is possible where Suggestion is not. No conscious manifestation of mind until Suggestion calls its latent faculties into expression.
The primal manifestation of consciousness is a recognition of Suggestion.
Affirmation is a primal manifestation of self-consciousness. This is why Affirmations, or ; what is the same thing, convictions of truth, govern life. Truth is the Affirmation of existence as interpreted by the individual who affirms. Each individual is therefore subject to Suggestions from without, until he shall learn, by experience, his power of choice. The power of choice can be developed only through doing, and this doing we call experience. Each one has the power of Affirmation; and in the power of choosing Affirmations, lies the power of creating Destiny as desired. Destiny ceases where choice begins. Desire, through choice, becomes master of life.
All things center in the simple fact of sensation—I FEEL—and its corollary,—BECAUSE I FEEL, I THINK. Now affirm, would you be master,—”I have learned what to think that I may feel what I choose, and I have learned not to feel or think that which I do not wish to feel or think.” In this development is seen the necessity of the objective life. It awakens the Ego into a consciousness of itself.
Without the objective, no manifestation of life; there would be only the possibility of life. Thus are the subjective and the objective one. They cannot be separated. And without argument, it is here affirmed that they are one forever.
It has already been asserted that each person has the power of choosing and of ignoring Suggestions. One can at will determine his life. At will is used understandingly. These two words are mighty. When this statement is seen to be truth, it will also be seen that this is the most important fact mankind has yet found. Its significance cannot be measured for a century. This is the statement:— WHEN MAN KNOWS HIS POWER, HE WILL NEVER MORE BE THE SLAVE OF CIRCUMSTANCES. HE WILL MOULD CIRCUMSTANCES TO HIS WILL.
This is demonstrated by the simple pie phenomenon of the hypnotist’s suggestion to his subjects,— “You cannot open your hand.” The hand remains fast because the Suggestion, taken as truth, becomes in him an Affirmation. He says: “I cannot open my hand.” His saying so makes it impossible for him to open the hand until he shall say: “I can.”
This demonstrates the power of concentration. The subject concentrates his mind upon the thought, “I can’t open my hand.” Since Thought is power, Thought holds his hand fast. He simply concentrates upon the thought and lets Thought, as a vibration from the Infinite One, have its way with his hand. It is a scientific demonstration of the Affirmation, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
It also demonstrates something else equally as important, that which makes the Principles underlying the fact practical:—A MAN CAN THINK WHATEVER HE WISHES, AND CAN MAKE THAT THOUGHT A REALITY IN THE OBJECTIVE LIFE.
Source of Power.
This is the key to human destiny. This is the most important fact man has ever discovered. It means the evolution of all that now is into something beyond the dream of poet or the vision of seer. Each man can affirm and be that which he wishes to be. All he has to do is to follow the lead of the hypnotic subject and choose, at will, the view of Truth that is to him most desirous, and then hold the chosen view in concentrated attention as the subject does— i. e., he is to let the Suggestion control him. The power of Thought is limitless.
All power comes from the sub-conscious. This subconscious is the Human Soul, the Ego. It does nothing that is not willed by the Conscious mind.
The Sub-conscious is to the Conscious man the only fountain of power, intelligence, and love.
The conscious man controls the expression of this fountain by his Will. To learn how to Will is the most important thing in education.
When one has so trained his Will that it will seize upon a chosen thought with the same tenacity that it seizes in ordinary men upon a thought born of chance Suggestion, and will hold that chosen thought as long and as persistently as does he whose body fails under the unwelcome strain of worry, anxiety, fear, sorrow, remorse, and kindred conditions, then is that individual Self-Centered, Self-Poised, Self-Controlled.
He will then hold closely thoughts of pleasure, success and health as realities; be the master of conditions. This is the condition temporarily of the hypnotic subject. It can be the permanent condition in life, and will be his who chooses determinedly what Affirmation to make and what sensations shall be born of the Suggestions that come to him from the objective life.
The hypnotic subject has this power; he can accept or reject Suggestions. When the operator says “hot/’ he can laugh or can say “cold;” and what he says is so to him.
He has then, and ever has, his choice. He chooses to accept the Suggestion of operator as Truth, and so choosing, he affirms that this dollar is hot and the thought produces the sensation of burning, and will, if persisted in, raise a blister.
The Law of Life.
This is the real, constant condition of every man. He accepts the Suggestions of the weather, business, social life, of economic, political, bodily and financial
conditions and says “Yes” to them and affirms that he is cold or hot, prosperous or unlucky, well or ill, happy or miserable, lonesome or contented, that times are good or hard, and they are as he affirms.
Life is to him only a list of Affirmations born in the Suggestions of the external world or from experiences which,
by Affirmation, become again objective realities. These conditions are produced in him just as they are produced in the hypnotic subject. The Law is one, just as the flash of the electric spark in the laboratory is one with the lightning’s flash. But there is this difference.
The flash in the laboratory is under control of an intelligent Will and does a predetermined work. That in the bolt from the cloud has no conscious Will to guide it but follows the law of the Absolute, and it may destroy.
So with Thought in the ordinary affairs of life. It works its way without being understood and directed; it tears down as well as builds up. When one shall learn to choose and to direct, as the subject on the platform has learned to do, then all Thought will be chosen to build up and to make happy. Suggestion itself is merely a blind vibration.
Feeling is a blind, unintelligent response; but Affirmation is the act of a soul, is the choice of an individual. To the extent that one exercises consciously this power of choice in his Affirmations, does he develop the one feature that distinguishes him from the brute and which makes him man—and that is the power of Self-control.
That the subject has done this for one hour; that one man has; proves it possible to every one.
As the subject can, by his Will, make his body insensible to the prick of a pin, so may every -person become insensible to pain.
As one person can master, through necessity, a condition of weakness by an Affirmation, as in case of a mother when sick but recovering when her child is injured, so may all become immune to disease by refusing to receive a Suggestion that will result in disease.
One's body is his castle. No vibration can enter it unless it comes by neglect on his part or by an invitation.
Vibrations affect only body; they have no power over the Soul. Nothing touches the Soul that is willed out by the conscious man. When anything is felt, he should refuse to think of it and should call the Will into activity and hold a pleasant thought instead. Then has the vibration done its work of creating happiness. Allow it to awaken a thought of pain, and allow the Will to hold that thought of pain and disease- results.
Published in 1902 by: Henry Harrison Brown