How I came to tap the power of belief
Is there some force, or factor, or power, or science -- call it what you will -- which a few people understand and use to overcome their difficulties and achieve outstanding success? I firmly believe that there is, and it is my purpose in this book to try to explain it so that you can use it if you desire.
Around 1933 the financial editor of a great Los Angeles newspaper attended lectures I gave to financial men in that dry and read my brochure T.N.T. -- It Rocks the Earth. Afterwards, he wrote,
"You have caught from the ether something that has a mystical quality -- a something that explains the magic of coincidence, the mystery of what makes men lucky."
I realized that I had run across something that was practical and workable. But I didn't consider it then (neither do I now) as anything mystical, except in the sense that it is unknown to the majority of people. This "something" has always been known to a fortunate few down the centuries, but for some unknown reason it is still barely understood by the average person.
Years ago, when I started to teach this science by means of ? lectures and my brochure, I wasn't certain that the concepts could be grasped by the ordinary individual. But since then, I have seen those who have used it to double and triple their incomes, build their own successful businesses, acquire homes of their dreams, and create sizable fortunes. I am now convinced that any intelligent person who is sincere with himself can reach any heights he desires. I had no intention of writing a second book, although many urged me to do so. But a few months ago, a woman in the book business who had sold many copies of my first little book literally read me the riot act:
"You have a duty to give to the men and women who seek places for themselves in the world, in easily understood form, the new material that you have given in your lectures. Everyone of ambition wants to get ahead, and you have amply demonstrated that you have something that will help anyone. It's up to you to pass it along."
It took time to sell myself on the idea. But having served as a soldier in World War I, mostly in France and Germany, and having been active for many years in ex-service men's organizations as well as a state commission for the rehabilitation of ex-service men and women, I realized that it would be hard for many individuals to make outstanding places for themselves in a world from which they had long been separated. It is with a sincere desire to help them, as well as all ambitious men and women, that I write this more full and detailed exposition of the Power of Belief. Thus this work is written also to help develop individual thinking and doing.
Since this book may fall into the hands of some who may call me a crackpot or screwball, let me say that I am past the half-century mark and have had many years of hard practical business experience -- as well as a goodly number of years as a newspaper man. I started as a police reporter. Police reporters are trained to get facts and take nothing for granted. For a two-year period I was church editor of a large metropolitan newspaper, during which I came in close contact with clergymen and leaders of all sects and denominations, mind-healers, divine healers, Spiritualists, Christian Scientists, New Thought-ers, Unity leaders, sun and idol worshipers -- and, yes, even a few infidels and pagans.
The well-known English evangelist Gypsy Smith was making a tour of America at that time. Night after night as I sat on his platform, watching people stumble down the aisles, some sobbing, others shouting hysterically, I wondered....
Again I wondered when I accompanied the police in answering a riot call: some Holy Rollers in a moment of hysteria had knocked over a stove and set fire to their meeting hall. When I attended my first (and only) meeting of Shakers, I wondered -- as I did while attending various spiritualistic meetings. I wondered as I heard the testimonials at the Christian Scientists' Wednesday night meetings. I wondered when I watched a group of people immersed in the icy waters of a mountain stream and coming up shouting "Hallelujah!" even though their teeth were chattering. I wondered at the Indians' ceremonial dances and their rain-dance rituals. Billy Sunday also caused me to wonder as, in later years, did Aimee Semple McPherson.
In France during the First World War, I marveled at the simple faith of the peasants and the powers of their village curées. I heard stories of miracles at Lourdes, and of somewhat similar miracles at other shrines. When in a famous old Roman church, I saw elderly men and women climb literally on their knees up a long flight of stairs to gaze upon a holy urn -- a climb that is no simple task for an athletically trained young person -- I wondered again.
Business brought me into contact with the Mormons, and when I heard the story of Joseph Smith and the revelations on the plates of gold, I was again given to wonder. The Dukhobors of western Canada, who would doff their clothes when provoked, likewise made me wonder. While in Hawaii I heard much about the powers of the kahunas who could, it was claimed, cause people to die or live by praying. The great powers attributed to these kahunas profoundly impressed me.
In my early days as a newspaper man, I saw a famous medium try to make "spirits" respond before a crowded courtroom of antagonistic scoffers. The judge had promised to release the medium if he could get the "spirits" to speak in the courtroom. Yet they failed to materialize, and I wondered why -- because the medium's followers had testified to remarkable séances.
Many years later, I was commissioned to write a series of articles on what the police call the "fortune-telling racket." I visited everyone from gypsy phrenologists to crystal-ball gazers, from astrologers to spiritualistic mediums. I heard what purported to be the voices of old Indian "guides" tell me the past, the present, and the future, and I heard from relatives I never knew existed.
Several times I have been in a hospital room in which people around me died, while others with seemingly worse ailments were up and -- apparently -- fully recovered within a short time. I have known of partially paralyzed people who got over their condition in a matter of days. I have known people who claim to have cured their rheumatism or arthritis by wearing a copper band around their wrists -- others by mental healing. From relatives and close friends I have heard stories of how warts on hands suddenly disappeared. I am familiar with the stories of those who permit rattlesnakes to bite them and still live; and with hundreds of other tales of mysterious happenings and healings.
Moreover, I have made myself familiar with the lives of great men and women of history and have met and interviewed many outstanding men and women in all lines of human endeavor. Often I have wondered just what it was that took them to the top. I have seen coaches take seemingly inferior baseball and football teams and infuse them with something that caused them to win. In the Depression days, I saw badly whipped sales organizations do an abrupt about-face and bring in more business than ever before.
Apparently I was born with a huge bump of curiosity, for 1 have always had an insatiable yearning to seek answers and explanations. This quest has taken me to many strange places, brought to light many peculiar cases, and caused me to read every book I could get my hands on dealing with religions, cults, and physical and mental sciences. I have read literally thousands of books on modem psychology, metaphysics, ancient magic, Voodoo, Yoga, Theosophy, Christian Science, Unity, Truth, New Thought, Couéism, and many others dealing with what I call "Mind Stuff," as well as the philosophies and teachings of great masters of the past.
Many were nonsensical, others strange, and many very profound. Gradually I discovered that a golden thread runs through all the teachings and makes them work for those who sincerely accept and apply them, and that thread can be named in the single word belief. It is this same element or factor -- belief -- that causes people to be cured through mental healing, enables others to climb high the ladder of success, and gets phenomenal results for all who accept it. Why belief works miracles is something that cannot be satisfactorily explained; but have no doubt that there's genuine magic in believing. "The magic of believing" became a phrase around which my thoughts steadily revolved.
I am convinced that the so-called secret fraternal organizations guard a real "royal secret" which very few members ever grasp. The conclusion must be that "no mind ever receives the truth until it is pr...