The power of mental fascination

Here’s an interesting quote by William Walker Atkinson:

“Ancient history is full of instances of the operation of Mental Fascination among the people of the early days. It is related that Julius Caesar, while quite a young man, fell in with pirates near the Isle of Rhodes, who captured his ship, and took him prisoner.

They held him for several weeks, while awaiting the ransom money being raised by his relatives. Plutarch writes that while the young Caesar was the captive of the pirates, he asserted his mastery over them to such an extent that he seemed a ruler rather than a prisoner.

When he wished to rest or sleep, he forbade them to make any noise, and they obeyed him without question. He abused them and ordered them around like servants, and they did not seem able to disobey him. He did not hesitate to threaten them with death when he regained his liberty, and they did not resent it—and he afterward made good his threats.

All the great generals of history have possessed this quality. Caesar, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Frederick the Great, and the modern Mystic‑Warrior, Gen. Gordon, all managed their men in a mysterious and wonderful manner, so that their troops worshiped them as almost gods, and went to their death willingly and joyfully.

The single instance of Napoleon, when he returned from Elba, and confronted the Bourbon army drawn up to capture him, should satisfy anyone of the possession of the greatest Fascinating power by this wonderful man.

You remember that the troops were drawn up confronting Napoleon, their muskets leveled at his breast in obedience to the command “Aim!” Napoleon, who was on foot, marched deliberately toward the troops, with measured tread, gazing directly into their eyes.

Then the officers shouted, “Fire!” A single shot would have killed Napoleon, and would have brought to the man who fired it a fortune from the Bourbon

But not a man obeyed the order, so completely were they under the spell of Napoleon’s fascination. Instead of firing, they threw down their guns and ran joyfully toward the Corsican shouting, “Vive l’Empereur!” Their offices fled, and Napoleon, placing himself at the head of the troops, marched on to Paris.

Other troops flocked to his standard at each point where he confronted them, although they had been sent out to capture or kill him. By the time the gates of Paris were reached, he was at the head of an immense army. The fascination manifested by this man was one of the marked instances of its possession of which we have any record. And it seems to endure to this day—
almost a century after his death. The very mention of his name makes one’s blood tingle.”

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