1. Physical Fitness and Personal Magnetism
A SUCCESSFUL soul requires a successful body. No life is worthwhile that is not enjoyed, and there is no fun in living with a body which is always making demands for consideration. The leg says, “I cannot go there.” The eye says, “This light strains me and I won’t work here.” The head says, “I ache and I won’t think.” The liver rebels at sitting still, the arms rebel at moving. The stomach puts in a claim for damages, the heart murmurs, and the lungs wheeze. The kidneys command,
“Come along to the grave with me; I’m all worn out.”
What is a poor man to do in the face of a situation like that? Even if he manages to “keep going,” he has little chance of “getting there.” Success demands the ability to “work overtime,” “stand the strain,” and remain magnetic at all times.
One should go definitely to work to recreate the body and develop personal magnetism. Our former books have given the method of treatment for physical healing, therefore we shall not discuss it here. But a word should be said about the creation of that over- plus of energy and physical fitness which we call “personal magnetism.”
One of the great errors of the metaphysical systems of healing of our day lies in the disregard of the biological laws. It is said correctly that “matter is spirit at its lowest level,” and then the fact is forgotten that there are laws of the lowest level as well as the highest. On the lowest level spirit is vibration, and form is built up by the groupings of electrical energies or corpuscles of electricity which we call electrons. In the body these energies are in a constant state of change, being cast off, consumed, and replaced every moment of time.
The Originating Spirit may have brought energies into existence by the divine fiat or the Word, but having been brought into existence they are henceforth subject to the laws of their level. In the body new tissues are built up and wasted energies are replaced by the processes of nourishment, digestion, assimilation, osmosis, oxidation, and metabolism in the presence of the catalyzer which we call life or spirit. Without the life or spirit these processes do not take place. Without nourishment or oxygen, they cannot. Each is necessary to the other. The power of the Word (mental treatment) is the stimulation of these natural processes so that they take place harmoniously and rapidly. The body, from the physical point of view, therefore, is an electrical machine which uses energy and replaces it. It is a battery which must be constantly recharged, and when it is fully charged it is capable of remarkable magnetic vibration? When the body is so charged, it
becomes a wonderful instrument for the ego or persona in the expression of personal magnetism.
The body is made up of sixteen primary elements, including oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, iron, magnesium, potassium, silicon, etc. These elements are being constantly consumed and must be replaced. They are taken into the system through the stomach, lungs, and skin. The ego or psyche presides over the processes by which they are converted into new energies, but it must have the material to work upon. It is necessary, therefore, to provide it.
- Sane and careful attention should be paid to diet. By diet we do not refer merely to the popular misconception which thinks that it means half-starving oneself or eliminating everything one naturally likes. We mean scientific selection of proper foods and combinations of foods so as to provide the necessary elements for the replacement of those elements already consumed. No amount of mental treatment will permanently compensate for lack of proper nourishment, and those who desire the attainment of personal magnetism should learn the art of eating just as they would learn any other art. It is not our purpose here to teach dietetics. The student should turn to books already written on the subject.
We have known many great teachers of mental science who have disregarded this law of the lower level and have suffered the consequences in lessened vitality or even given up functioning on this level altogether.
Intelligence or the spirit is all-powerful, and should be used in the selection of sane diet as well as in mental treatment. A large majority of persons may possibly be dietetically adjusted, that is, their food selections proper and well-balanced, in which case this word is not necessary for them. For those others who need it, however, too much emphasis cannot be placed upon the necessity of right eating.
In addition to the consideration of sane selection of foods, attention should be paid to simplicity (not more than four kinds at a meal), moderation (eating just enough and no more), water (to keep the system clean and replace the seventy percent of which the body is composed), and green or raw vegetables and fruits to maintain alkalinity. For general and popular purposes, the whole literature of vitamins may be boiled down into the statement that “cell salts” found in these foods are necessary to keep the body sweet, clean, and magnetic. The ordinary processes of the body produce acids which must be counteracted, balanced, and eliminated by alkalinity. The large part of diseases commonly called autointoxication, scorbutus, pellagra, scurvy, is really acidosis, and can be cured by the
proper use of fruits and vegetables. A system overcharged with acidity cannot be magnetic. On the contrary, we find the person so afflicted expressing nervousness, depression, weariness unrelieved by rest, nerve tension, gloom, and other negative states. The whole “ignition system” is slowed up, the spark plugs are fouled, and there is neither brilliancy nor magnetism.
Summing it all up, then, the man or woman who desires to succeed must pay attention to what goes into and what goes out of the body.
- Deep breathing is essential to the bodily processes.
After food is taken into the body it must be digested, and then passed through the appropriate channels to every cell of the organism. Meanwhile the blood picks up oxygen from the lungs and delivers it to the cell, where energy is created by the action of the oxygen upon carbon, just as we create heat or energy by burning coal in our furnaces.
It is a tragic fact that with a world full of oxygen, many are slowly dying for lack of breath.
Practice deep breathing. Learn to fill the lungs when breathing. It is not necessary to strain to do it. Simply watch yourself from time to time to see that you are
getting the air. Don’t economize on it. Occasionally breathe as deeply as you can and then hold the breath while you beat your chest all over with light blows.
Take brisk walks and breathe deeply all the way. Vary this by what has been termed “vitalic breathing.” In this you take a partial breath on the first step, add to it on the second, and fill the lungs on the third. Then you exhale the whole on the fourth step. (One, inhale; two, inhale; three, inhale; four, exhale.) Vary this with two inhalations to one exhalation. Try it on running upstairs or practice by “still running” in your own room.
One who is much confined at his work and begins to feel nervous or depleted can overcome it immediately by right breathing and mental treatment. Sit down in an open chair with the arms hanging loose at the sides. Begin to lean forward, letting the head drop slowly by its own weight; then as far as you can, let each vertebra drop forward as though it were hinged on the one below it, until you have gradually let the whole upper body drop to the lowest point. While doing this you should exhale. Then slowly reverse while you inhale, until you are sitting upright once more. Do this three times. As you go down, state to yourself that you are dropping all your weariness and nervousness. As you come back, mentally affirm that you are filled with vitality and vigor.
One should be particularly careful on going to sleep to see that he is breathing deeply and to fix in his mind that he is going to breathe deeply all night long. It is unnecessary to state that one should sleep always with an open window, but just as important is the value of the open nose.
- Personal magnetism is impossible in a weak muscular body. Out-of-door exercises are by far the most desirable, but good gymnasium work or bedroom calisthenics can be made to keep the system in tone, particularly if they be of the variety which exercises the abdominal part of the body as in the famous “daily dozen.”
- All these efforts to build up electrical energies will be of no avail if they are being constantly short-circuited. Many people continually ground their wires by unnecessary dissipation of energy, as in worry, uncertainty, apprehension, jerky movements, tapping the feet, drumming with the hands, fault-finding, chattering incessantly without thinking, “driving themselves,” pressing (as they call it in golf), and so on.
Practice ease of movement, walk easily, talk easily, learn to be deliberate without being lazy, refuse to “be fussed,” give up trying to “force” everything, look at things without staring at them. The last furnishes a good illustration of the difference between dissipating
and retaining energy. Some sightseers go tensely from place to place. As Mary W. Montagu said in a letter to Mr. Pope,11 “Everybody stares here; staring is a-la- mode—there is a stare of attention and interest, a stare of curiosity, a stare of expectation, a stare of surprise.” Learn to allow impressions to flow in on you rather than to go out and seize them.
It is needless to say that energy can be conserved only as self-control is realized. Only the masterful mind can exercise a magnetic influence. It has often happened in history that men who have lacked physical vigor have compensated for it by the most positive quality of mind. You should determine to possess both.
Emotional storms, jealousy, hatred, “hurt feelings,” easy anger, vindictiveness or a desire to get even, brooding over wrongs or failures, all these and many other mental states cause the natural energies of the body to leak out, leaving the system demagnetized and thus a prey to mental, moral, and physical failure.
I know that I am possessed of a body capable of creating and storing powerful magnetic forces. Every day and hour I shall so act and think as to build up
11 “Life and Letters,” p. 138, Vol. II.
these forces. I am in the midst of the electrical energies of Nature and I shall draw upon her. Around me is the Vast Flowing Vigor of the Universe, all space is interpenetrated by the Vitality and Energy of Spirit. In It I live, move, and have my being, and Its strength is now become my strength, Its life is my life; every breath I breathe is the breath of the Spirit; I am radiant, happy, free, magnetic!