This section is from the book "Mental Therapeutics Or Just How To Heal Oneself And Others", by Theron Q. Dumont. Also available from Amazon: Mental Therapeutics or Just How to Heal Oneself and Others.
As these lessons are designed to teach self-healing by the principles of Mental Therapeutics as well as the healing of others by the employment of the same principle, I have thought it advisable to insert at this particular place in the course a lesson devoted to Auto-Suggestion as applied to self-healing. I shall follow the same course when we come to the proper point in the study of the succeeding phases of Mental Healing.
By Auto-Suggestion in general is meant the employment of Mental Suggestion directed to one's own subconscious mind; or, in the present case, the employment of Mental Suggestion directed to one's own Corporeal Mind. In this form of Mental Suggestion, the person enacts the dual role of suggestor and suggestee-the one making the suggestions, and the one receiving the suggestions, both at the same time. So true is this in fact that in Therapeutic Auto-Suggestion each and every one of the principles of Mental Suggestion, as applied to other persons, which we have considered in the preceding lessons, are applicable to the requirements of the person himself when he is treating himself by Auto-Suggestion. To all intents and purposes the person being treated (who is also the person giving the treatment, of course) is to be considered as a distinct entity, or different person.
This may seem somewhat confusing to the student, at least at first; but when the psychology of the process is analyzed it will be seen as being as strictly natural and scientific as is any other form of Mental Suggestion. The secret of the whole process is found in the fact that in Auto-Suggestion the conscious "I" suggests to the subconscious "Me". "When you have grasped this principle you have gained the secret of all true Therapeutic Auto-Suggestion. And, until you have fully grasped this fact, you will not be able to apply the principles of Therapeutic Auto-Suggestion effectively.
In order to get the best effects of Therapeutic Auto-Suggestion, you should make a clear mental distinction between the conscious self which is giving the suggestions and the subconscious self which is receiving them. You should actually visualize the "I" suggesting and giving orders to the "Me." You should visualize the subconscious "Me" as a distinct entity, subordinate to the "I," and should give your suggestions in that spirit. So true is this that the best authorities now advise that in giving Therapeutic Auto-Suggestion the person should actually address the subconscious "Me" by name, instead of saying "I" in giving the Auto-Suggestion.
This idea of addressing the subconscious mind as a separate entity, and using a name in doing so, was first suggested by William Walker Atkinson, an American writer on the subject, about ten years ago; the idea being developed in greater detail in his later writings. It has been taken up and adopted by many subsequent writers on the subject, and is now employed by many American and European teachers of various forms of Therapeutic Auto-Suggestion under some name or guise. In one of his works this authority says of this principle previously announced by himself:
"I have always contended that there is a much better way of making the affirmation or autosuggestion, than the familiar 'I am this, or that.' I have found that the nearer one comes to the perfect playing-out of the dual role of suggestor and suggestee, the better will be the result, and the clearer the impression made upon the subconscious mind. Accordingly, one should endeavor to 'talk to himself' just as if he were speaking to some other person. He should give his suggestions to himself precisely as if he were suggesting to another person. Whatever may be the explanation of this psychological process, the fact remains that by following this course the person will be able to register a much clearer, deeper, and more lasting impression than by using the 'I am this or that' form of affirmation or auto-suggestion. In fact, I think that the idea of 'affirmation' may as well be discarded, first and last, in the practical work of Auto-Snggestion, and that the 'I' of the person should actually suggest to the subconscious 'Me' of himself. Let it be 'suggestion,' instead of 'affirmation.'
"In making these suggestions to yourself, you should always address yourself as if you were speaking to a third person. Instead of saying 'I am courageous and fearless,' you should suggest to yourself as follows: 'John Smith (here use your own name, of course), you are courageous and fearless; you fear nothing; every day you are gaining in courage and fearlessness, and are getting stronger, stronger, stronger, every day you live, etc' Do you get the idea? Try both methods now-interrupting your reading for the purpose. Make as strong an 'I' affirmation as you can, and then try the effect of the strongest suggestion of the 'John Smith, you are, etc.,' kind, addressed to your subconscious 'Me.' Imagine that you are addressing and suggesting to another person whom you are very desirous of building up and strengthening. You will find a new field of Auto-Suggestion opening up before you. A little knack is required, but a few trials will show you the value of this improved method. Talk to 'John Smith' as if he were an entirely different individual. Tell him what you wish him to do and become, and how you expect him to act. You will be surprised to see how obedient this subconscious mentality will become. You will find that by this plan you will be able to fairly pour the positive suggestions into the receptive subconscious mind-and that the 'John Smith' part of you will accept the impressions just as if there were actually two persons taking part in the process, instead of merely one. This is not mere childish play or make-believe-it is a process based upon the soundest psychological principles."
In a public address of the authority just quoted, in which this subject was introduced, the speaker said: "Continued experience has convinced me that I was on the right track when I enunciated this principle of Auto-Suggestion, and I am not surprised at the popularity it has since attained. I have very little to add to the principle and method as originally stated. I may add, however, that from the reports of many persons who have experimented with this method in their own cases I have come to the conviction that the best effects are secured when the auto-suggestor addresses himself by some familiar nickname, or abbreviation of his name, which has been used in his childhood days. It would seem that by the use of the name familiar to the mind in the days of its early development, one is able to penetrate to deeper levels of subconsciousness than even by the use of the formal name used in later years. In such cases then, instead of 'John Smith,' let us say, 'Here, you, Jack Smith,' or 'Here you, Reddy Smith'-or, in short, whatever name seems to sink in the deepest."
The principle of addressing the organ-minds in suggestion has also been extended to Auto-Suggestion by the same authority, and those who have adopted his methods and principles of treatment. It will be found effective to address the mind in the troubled organ just as if it were really an entity, and to direct the suggestions directly to it. It may be found well to gently tap the body directly over the location of the organ in question, using the tips of the fingers for the purpose-something like giving a gentle tap at the door before venturing to enter the room. This seems to have a peculiar psychological effect in the direction of arousing and attracting the attention of the organ-mind; and thereafter the "talk" to the organ-mind will have a much greater effect.
For instance, if you are troubled with an inactive Liver, you should tap a little over the place where the Liver is located, a little more in the case of the Liver than in the case of some other organs-for the Liver is slow, stubborn, and hard to arouse; remember, we have compared it to a pig, and it must be treated like a pig-mind. Tap, tap, tap, until the sleepy, lazy Liver is aroused and cocks its ears in your direction. Then say to it: "Here, Liver, you wake up and listen to me; wake up and listen, I tell you; wake up right now and listen to me! You haven't been doing your work properly; you have been too sluggish and lazy about it; you have got to do better, I tell you, got to do better; do you hear me? I am feeding you well, and keeping you comfortable, and not giving you any more work to do than you should do; and I expect you to perform your natural work properly. Get busy now, and do your work properly; I insist upon you doing your work properly, and I intend keeping after you until you do. Come now, get busy, and do your work, for I intend prodding you up until you do it. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for acting that way! But you're going to do better from now on; better from now on, I tell you!" This may seem foolish; but just try it on a sluggish Liver and see how well it works. Of course, you should treat your Liver right, and not impose unnatural tasks upon it by eating improperly; treat it right, and insist that it treats you right. You can often actually feel the Liver-mind" getting busy" after a treatment of this kind.
The Stomach may be addressed in a similar way; but you must remember that the Stomach is not a piggish animal like the Liver. On the contrary, as I have said elsewhere, it is more like a good-natured old-fashioned Newfoundland dog, which is desirous of pleasing its master, and who will respond readily to kindness and confidence. Treat the Stomach right, and let it know that you have confidence in it and faith that it will perform its work of digesting your food properly-and then notice the improvement in this respect. The trouble with many persons is that they have so abused their stomachs that it has grown discouraged-its spirit is broken, like that of an abused dog. It feels that "nobody loves me," and that its owner is always ready to beat and abuse it. Change your mental attitude toward your Stomach, and let it know that yon have done so, and then notice how quickly it responds, and how glad it is to do what you want, so long as you do not impose unnatural tasks upon it.
In the same way the Bowels will respond to coaxing mixed with firmness. You have prob-a ably discouraged them by refusing to heed their calls, and they have "laid down on the job.'* Reform yourself, and you will reform them; but you will have to let them know the new condition of affairs before they will take up new habits. Tell them that you expect them to operate at a certain time of the day, and that you will faithfully attend to your part of the bargain; keep this up until the new habit is firmly established.
As we proceed, you will learn about the treatment of other ills by Mental Therapeutics; and you may apply to your own case, by Auto-Suggestion and otherwise, all the methods described as efficacious when applied to other persons by means of Suggestion and other ways. The principle is one-the only difference is that of the means of application. Any principle that may be applied to the treatment of a patient may also be applied by you in your own case, by means of Auto-Suggestion, along the lines indicated in this lesson. Do not forget this fact!