The physical phase of personal magnetism depends upon two coordinated manifestations of nerve-force, as follows:
-the generation within the nervous system of a plenteous supply of nerve-force, and
-the conscious projection, by the will, of that supply of nerve-force into the personal atmosphere, and even to a greater distance under special conditions.
By “nerve-force” I mean that strange, mysterious form of energy, which controls all physical movements, and yet, at the same time, appears to be something higher than physical itself. It is akin to electricity or magnetism, in its real nature, and, like these forces is impossible to define. Nerve-force is something far different from the matter of which the nervous system is composed. The nervous system, from spinal cord to the most delicate nerve filament, is at the best but a system of wires, relayes, etc., over which the nerve-force travels, or, else complicated reservoirs in which the nerve-force is stored.
The ordinary nerves serve as wires and cables over which the nerve-force travels to move the parts of the body, which we will to move, or which our subconscious mentality desires to move. Certain parts of the brain are great reservoirs of nerve-force, as are also the great groups of nerve-matter called the plexus, prominent among which are the solar plexus, and the sacral plexus.
All ocultists, ancient and modern, have recognized the existence of a mighty subtle force of a nature which is most potent it its effects and activities, but which, nevertheless, defied all power of analysis or definition. The reason that science has never been able to classify nerve-force, is because, like electricity, it is in a class by itself, and is different from any other form of force.
The ocultists have given it many names, as for instance, “vital force”, “vital energy“, “life force”, “vital fluid”, “vital magnetism”, and in any case of the Orientals, the terms as “prana” or “akashic-energy” have been applied to it. But under all of these different names, the ocultists have always meant the one and the same thing, nerve-force.
The old materialistic school of physiology has attempted to show that nerve-force, like the bodily material, is derived from the food we eat, and is created by chemical combustion of the latter. This, however, is only partly true. While it is true that there is a certain amount of nerve-force in fresh food, and while it is true that a certain amount of this nerve-force is taken up by the system of the person eating the food. Food chemical combustion results in giving bodily heat, but never in creating nerve-force.
The true source of nerve-force is the same as the source of electricity, namely the universal ether that fills space. Like electricity also, this force is available to human wants only when it is associated with. The atmosphere is charged with nerve-force, which is taken up and absorbed by the nervous system, and stored away in its great reservoires, from whence, in turn, it flows over the nerves when required, by the physical or mental needs of the individual.
The process of breathing, in its higher and lower forms, is not alone that of extracting oxygen or other elements from the air, but also that of extracting the universal nerve-force at the same time. When this is understood, it will be more easily understood why the living thing perishes so soon if the process of breathing be interfered with. The understanding of this secret of nature throws a much-needed light upon the important part played by breathing, in the life of all creatures.
Even without the spark electricity and magnetism will often affect other substances by what is known as “induction”, without the actual contact of the two conducting materials. What is true of electricity and magnetism, is likewise true of nerve-force, for it will not only often leap over the barriers of the nervous system, but will, and constantly does, affect other nervous systems by a kind of “induction”.
The experience of every individual will bear ample and generous testimony to the fact that certain persons, flying over with vigorous nerve-force, will so radiate the energy that it is actually perceptible to those shaking hands with them, or even coming into their vicinity. These individuals fairy radiate health and vigor, and exert a positive healing and invigorating effect, on those with whom they come in contact. In a similar manner, is manifested a lack of sufficient nerve-force, by those unfortunate individuals who go around unconsciously absorbing the nerve-force of others, and, in extreme cases, becoming actual vampires sucking the vital forces from those around them. Who of you have not met this last class of persons, and have not noted how depressed or weakened one is after having been in the company of such persons for some time?
The life-habits of individual differ, and just as one is physical strong and robust, and another weak and delicate, so is one individual strong and delicate in nerve-force, and another weak in it.
The individual may, by the proper exercises, to “energize” his nervous system that he will largely increase the degree of activity of his nerve-force, and may render it far more available for his requirements.