Sunday, January 29, 2012

Auto-suggestion: prodromes of sleep

The Rev. Dr. Louis Albert Banks was born in Corvallis, Oregon in 1855. He was educated at Philomath College, leaving when he was sixteen as a licensed preacher of the United Brethen Church. He became a school teacher while studying for the bar. In 1877 he began the practice of law. In 1883 he was ordained an Elder.

The Rev. Dr. Louis Albert Banks offered the following ten auto-suggestions, which, regularly and heartily repeated by an intelligent majority amid the prodromes[1] of sleep, would shortly regenerate society[2]:

I. I will not permit myself to speak while angry. And I will not make a bitter retort to another person who speaks to me in anger.

II. I will neither gossip about the failings of another nor will I permit any other person to speak such gossip to me. Gossip will die when it cannot find a listener.

III. I will respect weakness and defer to it on the streetcar, in the department-store and in the home, whether it be displayed by man or woman.

IV. I will always express gratitude for any favor or service rendered to me. If prevented from doing it on the spot, then I will seek an early opportunity to give utterance to it in the most gracious way within my power.

V. I will not fail to express sympathy with another's sorrow or to give hearty utterance to my appreciation of good works by another, whether the party be friendly to me or not. One buttonhole bouquet offered amid life's stress of trial is worth a thousand wreaths of roses laid on the coffin of the man who died discouraged and broken-hearted.

VI. I will not talk about my personal ailments or misfortunes. They shall be one of the subjects on which I am silent.

VII. I will look on the bright side of the circumstances of my daily life, and I will seek to carry a cheerful face and speak hopefully to all whom I meet.

VIII. I will neither eat nor drink what I know will detract from my ability to do my best work.

IX. I will speak and act truthfully, living with sincerity toward God and man.

X. I will strive to be always prepared for the very best that can happen to me. I will seek to be ready to seize the highest opportunity, to do the noblest work, to rise to the loftiest place which God and my abilities permit.

Auto-suggestion is the great psychological miracle, and few realize the part it plays in the drama of life. It accounts for much self-deception and self-elation. It governs physiological changes; it regulates the number of births among intellectual people; it renders immune from disease or prepares the soil for the reception of bacilli; it has changed non-contagious into contagious maladies, tuberculosis being now in the act of transit; it overcomes physical defects, and perpetuates comeliness and youthful feeling. It is the medium of utterance for hereditary tendencies. It lays bare the secret of influence — the influence of what is seen and heard, of things unsaid, of things undone. It is the hidden power of the mother's kiss which so graciously dispels the woes of childhood. It explains the accomplishment of seemingly impossible feats. It is the "I won't die'' that makes a man live years of usefulness when his physicians have given him but a month of misery. It was the " I will live" that lifted John Wickliffe from the pallet of death in the presence of taunting friars, and imbued him with physical and mental energy to translate the Word of God into the majestic Anglo-Hebraic of the fourteenth century. It is the channel, as already indicated, through which genius finds expression; and we may contend with no small show of reason that the transliminal self of a Stratford butcher's apprentice, under the spell of an objective suggestion inspired in his boyhood by the Pageants of Coventry, created the deathless plays of Shakespeare.

[1] A prodrome is an early symptom (or set of symptoms) that might indicate the start of a disease before specific symptoms occur. It is derived from the Greek word prodromos or precursor. Prodromes may be non-specific symptoms or, in a few instances, may clearly indicate a particular disease, such as the prodromal migraine aura.
For example fever, malaise, headache and lack of appetite frequently occur in the prodrome of many infective disorders. A prodrome can be the precursor to the onset of a chronic neurological disorder such as migraine or epilepsy, where prodrome symptoms include euphoria, scotoma, disorientation, aphasia, or photosensitivity.
It also refers to the initial in vivo round of viral replication.
Prodromal labour, mistakenly called "false labour," refers to the early signs before labour starts.

BY John Duncan Quackenbos, A.M., M.D.

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