Here’s an interesting quote from William Walker Atkinson
“You will remember that when you have come in contact with any of the strong characters in any walk of life – the great preachers, lawyers, statesmen, orators, businessmen, etc. – those whose success depends upon the strong effect they produce upon other persons, ‐ you have been conscious of a feeling that they radiate strength and power. You actually felt the power coming from them.
And, you will also remember that this power did not seem to you to be mental power, or intellectual strength, alone – it seemed, instead, to have much of the physical in it. So strong is this power in the case of some of the world’s great characters that they seem to be personified will power – mighty centers of vitalized energy, affecting all with whom they come in contact.
In order to realize the difference between this power and pure intellectual strength and ability, you have but to remember another class of gifted persons, namely, the great students, writers, etc., and other men who have developed great intellectual power. These men as a rule are not “magnetic,” as the term is generally used. They do not radiate or throw off force, and the element of physical magnetism is almost entirely absent. They seem to be centers of great intellectual energy – but nothing more.
I am not now speaking of individuals in whom both the intellectual and the physical are well balanced and combined, but instead, of those individuals who are distinctly “mental” or intellectual. A moment’s thought will recall many examples of the type to which I refer – the teachers, preachers, lawyers, and students whose intellectuality is well developed, but who lack that “something” which impresses persons.
Another appeal to your memory will show you; also, that the “magnetic” person is almost always possessed of that indefinable something, which we call “strength” and energy. He may not be a stout, large person – he may even be a scrawny, lank individual, of slight frame and small stature – but even in the last case he will be “wiry” and like a coiled wire spring, full of latent energy.
The magnetic person is never the weak, flabby, jellyfish type. I have seen these thin magnetic persons on their deathbeds, weakened by disease, but even in their last moments they gave one the impression of keen spring‐like strength.
The other type of magnetic person, the stout type, also gives the impression of power and strength – a something within which stores and radiates strength and power. Is this not so in your own experience? Did you ever see a great leader – a magnetic personality – who did not convey the idea of “strength” in the physical sense? I think not.
Now, remember, that I am not claiming that physical nerve‐force alone constitutes personal magnetism. Far from this – there are many men who possess and radiate physical nerve‐force who are not personally magnetic in the full sense of the term. The combination of mental magnetism, and physical magnetism is needed to produce the full phenomenon of personal magnetism, remember. But, I do insist that mental magnetism without its physical counterpart is like a mind with a body – it lacks substance and effectiveness.”
As you can see from this quote, there’s more to personal magnetism than what meets the eye. Remember that when Atkinson is talking about “strength”, it’s not related to the gym type of physical strength, but to physical tension energy that runs in the body and makes it truly alive!
The same way that the intelectual energy is not simply about being a learned scholar. As Atkinson mentions, I’m sure you know a lot of greatly intelligent professors that are very far from being magnetic. There’s another aliveness of the mind that is needed.
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