This section is from the book "The Art And Science Of Personal Magnetism", by Theron Q. Dumont. Also available from Amazon: The Art and Science of Personal Magnetism: The Secret of Mental Fascination.
You will remember that when you have come in contact with any of the strong characters in any walk of life - the great preachers, lawyers, statesmen, orators, businessmen, etc. - those whose success depends upon the strong effect they produce upon other persons, - you have been conscious of a feeling that they radiate strength and power. You actually felt the power coming from them. And, you will also remember that this power did not seem to you to be mental power, or intellectual strength, alone - it seemed, instead, to have much of the physical in it. So strong is this power in the case of some of the world's great characters that they seem to be personified will power - mighty centers of vitalized energy, affecting all with whom they come in contact.
In order to realize the difference between this power and pure intellectual strength and ability, you have but to remember another class of gifted persons, namely, the great students, writers, etc., and other men who have developed great intellectual power. These men as a rule are not "magnetic," as the term is generally used. They do not radiate or throw off force, and the element of physical magnetism is almost entirely absent. They seem to be centers of great intellectual energy - but nothing more. I am not now speaking of individuals in whom both the intellectual and the physical are well balanced and combined, but instead, of those individuals who are distinctly "mental" or intellectual. A moment's thought will recall many examples of the type to which I refer - the teachers, preachers, lawyers, and students whose intellectuality is well developed, but who lack that "something" which impresses persons.
Another appeal to your memory will show you; also, that the "magnetic" person is almost always possessed of that indefinable something, which we call "strength" and energy. He may not be a stout, large person - he may even be a scrawny, lank individual, of slight frame and small stature - but even in the last case he will be "wiry" and like a coiled wire spring, full of latent energy. The magnetic person is never the weak, flabby, jellyfish type. I have seen these thin magnetic persons on their deathbeds, weakened by disease, but even in their last moments they gave one the impression of keen spring-like strength. The other type of magnetic person, the stout type, also gives the impression of power and strength - a something within which stores and radiates strength and power. Is this not so in your own experience? Did you ever see a great leader - a magnetic personality - who did not convey the idea of "strength" in the physical sense? I think not.
Now, remember, that I am not claiming that physical nerve-force alone constitutes personal magnetism. Far from this - there are many men who possess and radiate physical nerve-force who are not personally magnetic in the full sense of the term. The combination of mental magnetism, and physical magnetism is needed to produce the full phenomenon of personal magnetism, remember. But, I do insist that mental magnetism without its physical counterpart is like a mind with a body - it lacks substance and effectiveness.
The occultists inform us that in the personal atmosphere of the individual - his "aura," they call it - there is to be found not only the vibrations of his mental states and character, but also the vibrations of his physical magnetism, or nerve-force as I have called it in this book. They state that to those who have developed psychic or clairvoyant power, these nerve-force vibrations maybe seen extending from the body some two or three feet in either direction, the whole aura having an egg-shape, hence its name. It is said to have a faint violet color - something like a pale electric flame - and to quiver and vibrate in a manner similar to the motions of heated air arising from a stove, or the ground on a hot summer day, so familiar to every observer. They also claim that when a strong person is using his will, this nerve-force, carrying with it his mental magnetism, maybe seen shooting in great sheets or flashes from him to the other person or persons. I do not claim to posses this psychic vision myself, but the testimony of many of my psychic friends agree in this matter, and are in accord with the writing of the older occultists. And, at any rate, anyone experimenting with personal magnetism will be convinced that nerve-force or physical magnetism does act in just the way described, though it remains unseen by the eye of the ordinary person.
Another important bit of information furnished by the occultists which is fully verified by my own observations and experiments, and which in fact forms one of the foundation pillars of my system of personal magnetism, is that concerning the part played by nerve-force in the phenomena of telepathy, hypnotism, mental influence, and similar phenomena in which the mind of one person acts upon the mind of another - this of course being one of the main features of personal magnetism. I allude to what may be called the "vitalizing" of the thought-waves by the current of nerve-force, which is projected at the same time with it.
Thought-waves unaccompanied by currents of nerve-force lack force and effect, and are like cold mental power devoid of life and activity. You will grasp this idea better by reference to a common occurrence, for instance, you have heard many a sermon, speech, or recitation delivered by a person having marked intellectual ability, and filled with good sound thoughts, - and yet the delivery seemed dead, dull, colorless and lifeless, did it not? It lacked the life, vigor, and vim of the delivery of some other speaker of even less intellectual power, did in not? And, you have noticed that the personality of some admittedly intellectual personage lacked 'life"; while some other less gifted personality fairly radiated life and strength, and consequently, magnetic power. Well, this represents the difference between plain thought-waves, and thought-waves accompanied by strong nerve-force. The one lacks "body" and vitalizing force, while the other possesses this in abundance. Think over this carefully, until you "get it" - for in it lays one of the two great secrets of personal magnetism.
A person in whom nerve-force is actively present, and who has consciously or unconsciously acquired the art of combining it with his thought-waves, will send forth words or thoughts fairly charged with dynamic force, reaching and affecting those with whom they come in contact. like a high-power explosive shell, the nerve-force drives the thought-wave like a bullet to this mark, hitting the bull's eye with a tremendous impact, and making a powerful impression on the mind of the other person or persons. There are persons whose words seem fairly alive, so vital is their action upon the minds of others - these persons have strongly active nerve-force or physical magnetism used in connection with their mental currents. They flash out this combined force toward their audiences of many persons, and the latter are fairly lifted off their feet by the power.
The great leaders of men have had this nerve-force largely developed and actively employed. When they spoke, the other persons were almost compelled to do the bidding of the strong person. Julius Caesar and Napoleon Bonaparte were two marked examples of the use of this power, but, as a fact, every man who sways moves and rules other persons, is an example worthy of study. The student should, if possible, manage to be thrown in contact with this class of persons, so that he may see, or rather feel, for himself, the effect of this mighty force emanating from these individuals. He will then better realize just what part nerve-force plays in the matter of personal influence, and personal magnetism, and then be more firmly resolved to develop it in himself or herself.
There are some persons who seem, naturally, to absorb, store up and effectively use their nerve-force of physical magnetism. Such are very fortunate, for they are saved the trouble of cultivating the processes referred to. But those who do not possess this gift, naturally, may by practice and perseverance develop it in themselves. Nay, more, they may, eventually, even surpass the naturally-gifted man, for the latter does not understand the source or nature of his power, and is apt to neglect or abuse it, while the person who develops it in himself, according to rule, and with a full understanding, has the thing "on tap" as it were, and can always recuperate from an over drain on a nervous system. Knowledge is power, and a cultivated and developed faculty is often far more effective than a similar faculty present at birth, and not understood or worked for.
Beginning with the next chapter, I purpose giving you plain, simple directions for the increase of your nerve-force, the storing up of the same, and the conscious projection of it to vitalize your mental currents. The process is quite natural, and does not partake of any mystic ceremonies or anything of that sort. It is based on purely physiological principles, and is in full accord with natural laws. When you have once acquired the art and science of the absorption and storing of nerve-force, you will be surprised that you have never thought of it before.
When you acquire this power, you will be conscious of being a center of an enormous energy, and will also be made aware of your power by the effect upon other persons. Not only in the matter of personal magnetism, I mean, but also in the matter of imparting the vibrations of strength and energy. You will notice that other persons will be conscious of something in your handshake and touch that will surprise them. They will not understand just what affects them, but they will be conscious of some strange feeling pervading them. The best plan will be for you to keep your secret to yourself, and to avoid any impression of being out of the ordinary. You wish to create confidence, not fear - and the strange and mysterious causes fear rather than confidence. So keep your own secrets.