Here’s an interesting quote from William Walker Atkinson:
“Dr. Fothergill, a well-known English Physician, now deceased, once wrote a little book upon the subject of the will. The good doctor was a close student of personal magnetism, although he did not choose to use the term itself in his writings, because of the narrow code of professional ethics then imposed upon the medical profession in Great Britain. I have personal magnetism, in theory and practice. I therefore take great pleasure in quoting from him on the particular subject now before us, as follows:
“The conflict of will, the power to command others, has been spoken of frequently. Yet what is this will power, which influences others? What is it that makes us accept, and adopt too, the advice of one person, while precisely the same advice from another has been rejected?
Is it the weight or force of will, which insensibly influences us, the force of will behind the advice? That is what it is! The person who thus forces his or her advice upon us has no more power to enforce it than others; but all the same we do as requested. We accept from one what we reject from another.
One person says of something contemplated, ‘Oh, but you must not,’ yet we do it all the same, though that person may be in a position to make us regret the rejection of that counsel. Another person says, ‘Oh, but you mustn’t,’ and we desist, though we may, if so disposed, set this latter person’s opinion t defiance with impunity.
It is not the fear of consequences, nor of giving offense, which determines the adoption of the latter person’s advice, while it has been rejected when given by the first. It depends upon the character or willpower of the individual advising whether we accept the advice, or reject it.
This character often depends little, if at all, in some cases, upon the intellect, or even on the moral qualities, the goodness or badness, of the individual. It is itself an imponderable something; yet it carries weight with it. There may be abler men, cleverer men; but it is the one possessed of will who rises to the surface at these times – the one who can by some subtle power make other men obey him. The will-struggle goes on universally.
In the young aristocrat, who gets his tailor to make another advance in defiance of his conviction that he will never get his money back? It goes on between lawyer and client; betwixt doctor and patient; between banker and borrower; betwixt buyer and seller. It is not tact, which enables the person behind the counter to induce customers to buy what they did not intend to buy, and which when bought, gives them no satisfaction, though it is linked therewith for the effort to be successful.
Whenever two persons meet in business, or in any other relation in life, up to lovemaking, there is this will-fight going on, commonly enough without any consciousness of the struggle. There is a dim consciousness of the result, but none of the processes. It often takes years of the intimacy of married life to find out with whom of the pair the mastery really lays. Often the far stronger character, to all appearances, has to yield; it is this will-element, which underlies the statement. ‘The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.’ In ‘Middlemarch’ we find in Lydgate a grand aggregation of qualities, yet shallow, hard, selfish Rosamond masters him thoroughly in the end. He was not deficient in will power, possessed more than an average share of character; but in the fight he went down at last under the onslaught of the intense, stubborn will of his narrow-minded spouse. Their will-contest was the collision of a large, warm nature, like a capable human hand, with a hard, narrow, selfish nature, like a steel button; the hand only bruised itself while the button remained unaffected.””
If you will substitute the term “magnetic force,” for “will,” “will power,” etc., in the good doctor’s words, you will see how perfectly he was in accord with the teachings contained in this book.””
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