Suggestion, or rather Autosuggestion, is quite a new subject, and yet at the same time it is as old as the world. It is new in the sense that until now it has been wrongly studied and in consequence wrongly understood; it is old because it dates from the appearance of man on the earth. In fact autosuggestion is an instrument that we possess at birth, and in this instrument, or rather in this force, resides a marvelous and incalculable power, which according to circumstances produces the best or the worst results. Knowledge of this force is useful to each one of us, but it is peculiarly indispensable to doctors, magistrates, lawyers, and to those engaged in the work of education. By knowing how to practise it consciously it is possible in the first place to avoid provoking in others bad autosuggestions which may have disastrous consequences, and secondly, consciously to provoke good ones instead, thus bringing physical health to the sick, and moral health to the neurotic and the erring, the unconscious victims of anterior autosuggestions, and to guide into the right path those who had a tendency to take the wrong one.
The Master Mind of Autosuggestion
Have you not noticed that the more you try to remember the name of a person which you have forgotten, the more it eludes you, until, substituting in your mind the idea
"I shall remember in a minute" to the idea "I have forgotten",
the name comes back to you of its own accord without the least effort?
C. (Cyrus) Harry Brooks (1890–1951), author of various books on Coué, claimed the success rate of his method was around 93%. The remaining 7% of people would include those who were too skeptical of Coué's approach and those who refused to recognize it.
In the general formula the attention is fully absorbed by the idea of betterment. The mind is directed away from all that hinders and impedes and fixed on a positive goal. In the general formula the attention is fully absorbed by the idea of betterment. The mind is directed away from all that hinders and impedes and fixed on a positive goal.
For deafness: Having closed the eyes and relaxed body and mind, say to yourself something of this nature :
" From this day forth my hearing will gradually improve. Each day I shall hear a little better. Gradually this improvement will become more and more rapid until, in a comparatively short space of time, I shall hear quite well and I shall continue to do so until the end of my life."
A person suffering from unfounded fears and forebodings might proceed as follows :
" From to-day onward I shall become more and more conscious of all that is happy, positive and cheerful. The thoughts which enter my mind will be strong and healthful ones. I shall gain daily in self-confidence, shall believe in my own powers, which indeed at the same time will manifest themselves in greater strength. My life is growing smoother, easier, brighter. These changes become from day to day more profound; in a short space of time I shall have risen to a new plane of life, and all the troubles which used to perplex me will have vanished and will never return."
A bad memory might be treated in some such terms as these :
" My memory from to-day on will improve in every department. The impressions received will be clearer and more definite ; I shall retain them automatically and without any effort on my part, and when I wish to recall them they will immediately present themselves in their correct form to my mind. This improvement will be accomplished rapidly, and very soon my memory will be better than it has ever been before."
Irritability and bad temper are very susceptible to autosuggestion and might be thus treated :
" Henceforth I shall daily grow more good-humoured. Equanimity and cheerfulness will become my normal states of mind, and in a short time all the little happenings of life will be received in this spirit. I shall be a centre of cheer and helpfulness to those about me, infecting them with my own good humour, and this cheerful mood will become so habitual that nothing can rob me of it."
Asthma is a disease which has always baffled and still baffles the ordinary methods of medicine. It has shown itself, however, in Coue's experience, pre-eminently susceptible to autosuggestive treatment. Particular suggestions for its removal might take this form :
" From this day forward my breathing will become rapidly easier. Quite without my knowledge, and without any effort on my part, my organism will do all that is necessary to restore perfect health to my lungs and bronchial passages. I shall be able to undergo any exertion without inconvenience. My breathing will be free, deep, delightful. I shall draw in all the pure health-giving air I need, and thus my whole system will be invigorated and strengthened. Moreover, I shall sleep calmly and peacefully, with the maximum of refreshment and repose, so that I awake cheerful and looking forward with pleasure to the day's tasks. This process has this day begun and in a short time I shall be wholly and permanently restored to health."
It will be noticed that each of these suggestions comprises three stages : ( 1 ) Immediate commencement of the amelioration. (2) Rapid progress. (3) Complete and permanent cure. While this scheme is not essential, it is a convenient one and should be utilised whenever applicable. The examples are framed as the first autosuggestions of persons new to the method. On succeeding occasions the phrase " from this day forth," or its variants, should be replaced by a statement that the amelioration* has already begun. Thus, in the case of the asthmatic, " My breathing is already becoming easier," etc.
* "to make better" or "to improve upon"
THE PRACTICE OF
BY THE METHOD of Émile Coué
C. HARRY BROOKS