Mental Magic in Human Life Part Three

I have continued this article about Mental Magic, showing what William Walker Atkinson has studied about.
I am fully aware of the fact that many ingenious theories have been advanced by modern writers attemptind to account for the phenomena of Mind Power. But all students of the subject are aware that these theories, cleverly as they have been designed, are more or less self-contradictory, and many a reader has thrown aside the subject in disgust after a vain attempt of reconciling the opposing views. And to make the matter worse, various cults and sects and “isms” have sprung into existence, the promulgators and leaders of which have used the accepted phenomena of Mind Power as a fundation upon which to build airy structures of religion, philosophy and metaphysics.
Many of these cults have practically claimed a monopoly of the great natural force, and have assumed the right to be the sole custodians of the secrets thereof, alleging that they have the “only real article-all others are base imitators,” not with standing that all of them show that they have arrived at at least a working knowledge of the force, and are obtaining results-each obtaining about the same percentage of successes, not with standing the fact that each denies the other fact of possessing the information and the right to use it.
It is not apparent to any intelligent observer that they are all using the same great natural force, in spite of their conflicting theories-and that their results are obtained in spite of their theories, rather than because of them?
In a former work, which has served as a basis for the present one, I grouped the phenomena of manifestations of Mind Power under the general term of “Mental Magic”, the use of the term being justified by the following facts: The word “Magic” was derived from the Persian word “Mag”, meaning “a priest”. The Persian priest were “wonder-workers”, or “magicians”, the latter word being derived from the word “Magi”. the name of the hereditary caste of priests of ancient Persia and Medea. This Magician order, or esoteric cult of the Zoroastrian priesthood, represented the center of the ancient occultism at that period of the world’s history, and its influence was felt in all parts of the world, and continues down to this time.
So highly were its members respected and considered, that the term “Wise Men” and “Magi” were synonimous. The “Three Wise Men” mentioned as appearing at the birth of Christ, were known as the Magi, or “wise men from the east”.
From the word “Magi” came the term “Magic”, which Webster has defined as : “The hidden wisdom supposed to be possessed by the Magi; related to the occult powers of nature; mastery of secret forces in nature; having extraordinary properties; seemingly requairing more than human power.” So, we may consider the word “magic” to mean “mastery of the occult forces of nature”, the term indicating the existence of such forces, and the possibility of the mastery or control of them.
And in ancient times “magic” was always believed to be connected in some way with the use of the mind, particularly in its aspects of will, desire and imagination. Effects were believed to result because some magician either “willed it”, “desired it to be”, or else “image it would occur”- in each case the result happening as a materialization of the mental conception or wish. “Wishing” was always believed to be a magical operation, and if we examine a wish we see it is composed of the use of imagination, coupled with desire, and backed up with will.
And so, I felt that I was justified in using the term “Mental Magic” in considering the various phenomena resulting from the manifestation of Mind Power.

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