Induced Autosuggestion is not a substitute for medical practice. It

will not make us live for ever, neither will it free us completely from

the common ills of life. What it may do in the future, when all its

implications have been realised, all its resources exploited, we cannot

say. There is no doubt that a generation brought up by its canons

would differ profoundly from the disease-ridden population of to-day.

But our immediate interest is with the present.

The adult of to-day carries in his Unconscious a memory clogged with a

mass of adverse suggestions which have been accumulating since

childhood. The first task of Induced Autosuggestion will be to clear

away this mass of mental lumber. Not until this has been accomplished

can the real man appear and the creative powers of autosuggestion begin

to manifest themselves.

By the use of this method each one of us should be able to look forward

to a life in which disease is a diminishing factor. But how great a

part it will play depends upon the conditions we start from and the

regularity and correctness of our practice. Should disease befall us

we possess within a potent means of expelling it, but this does not

invalidate the complementary method of destroying it from without.

Autosuggestion and the usual medical practice should go hand in hand,

each supplementing the other. If you are ill, call in your doctor as

before, but enlist the resources of Induced Autosuggestion to reinforce

and extend his treatment.

In this connection it must be insisted on that autosuggestion should be

utilised for every ailment, whatever its nature, and whether its

inroads be grave or slight. Every disease is either strengthened or

weakened by the action of the mind. We cannot take up an attitude of

neutrality. Either we must aid the disease to destroy us by allowing

our minds to dwell on it, or we must oppose it and destroy it by a

stream of healthful dynamic thought. Too frequently we spontaneously

adopt the former course.

The general opinion that functional and nervous diseases alone are

susceptible to suggestive treatment is at variance with the facts.

During Coue's thirty years of practice, in which many thousands of

cases have been treated, he has found that organic troubles yield as

easily as functional, that bodily derangements are even easier to cure

than nervous and mental. He makes no such distinctions; an illness is

an illness whatever its nature. As such Coue attacks it, and in 98 per

cent. of cases he attains in greater or less degree a positive result.

Apart from the permanently insane, in whose minds the machinery of

autosuggestion is itself deranged, there are only two classes of

patient with whom Induced Autosuggestion seems to fail. One consists

of persons whose intelligence is so low that the directions given are

never comprehended; the other of those who lack the power of voluntary

attention and cannot devote their minds to an idea even for a few

consecutive seconds. These two classes, however, are numerically

insignificant, together making up not much more than 2 per cent. of the


Autosuggestion is equally valuable as an aid to surgical practice. A

broken bone--the sceptic's last resource--cannot of course be treated

by autosuggestion alone. A surgeon must be called in to mend it. But

when the limb has been rightly set and the necessary mechanical

precautions have been taken, autosuggestion will provide the best

possible conditions for recovery. It can prevent lameness, stiffness,

unsightly deformity and the other evils which a broken limb is apt to

entail, and it will shorten considerably the normal period of


It is sometimes stated that the results obtained by autosuggestion are

not permanent. This objection is really artificial, arising from the

fact that we ignore the true nature of autosuggestion and regard it

merely as a remedy. When we employ autosuggestion to heal a malady our

aim is so to leaven the Unconscious with healthful thoughts, that not

only will that specific malady be excluded, but all others with it.

Autosuggestion should not only remove a particular form of disease, but

the tendency to all disease.

If after an ailment has been removed we allow our mind to revert to

unhealthy thoughts, they will tend to realise themselves in the same

way as any others, and we may again fall a victim to ill-health. Our

sickness may take the same form as on the preceding occasion, or it may

not. That will depend on the nature of our thought. But by the

regular employment of the general formula we can prevent any such

recurrence. Instead of reverting to unhealthy states of mind we shall

progressively strengthen the healthy and creative thought that has

already given us health, so that with each succeeding day our defence

will be more impenetrable. Not only do we thus avoid a relapse into

former ailments but we clear out of our path those which lie in wait

for us in the future.

We saw that in the Nancy clinic some of the cures effected are almost

instantaneous. It would be a mistake, however, to embark on the

practice of Induced Autosuggestion with the impression that we are

going to be miraculously healed in the space of a few days. Granted

sufficient faith, such a result would undoubtedly ensue; nay, more, we

have records of quite a number of such cases, even where the help of a

second person has not been called in. Here is an example. A friend of

mine, M. Albert P., of Bordeaux, had suffered for more than ten years

with neuralgia of the face. Hearing of Coue, he wrote to him, and

received instructions to repeat the general formula. He did so, and on

the second day the neuralgia had vanished and has never since returned.

But such faith is not common. Immediate cures are the exception, and

it will be safer for us to look forward to a gradual and progressive

improvement. In this way we shall guard against disappointment. It

may be added that Coue prefers the gradual cure, finding it more stable

and less likely to be disturbed by adverse conditions.

We should approach autosuggestion in the same reasonable manner as we

approach any other scientific discovery. There is no hocus-pocus about

it, nor are any statements made here which experience cannot verify.

But the attitude we should beware most of is that of the intellectual

amateur, who makes the vital things of life small coin to exchange with

his neighbour of the dinner-table. Like religion, autosuggestion is a

thing to practise. A man may be conversant with all the creeds in

Christendom and be none the better for it; while some simple soul,

loving God and his fellows, may combine the high principles of

Christianity in his life without any acquaintance with theology. So it

is with autosuggestion.

Autosuggestion is just as effective in the treatment of moral

delinquencies as in that of physical ills. Drunkenness, kleptomania,

the drug habit, uncontrolled or perverted sexual desires, as well as

minor failings of character, are all susceptible to its action. It is

as powerful in small things as in great. By particular suggestions we

can modify our tastes. We can acquire a relish for the dishes we

naturally dislike, and make disagreeable medicine taste pleasant. So

encouraging has been its application to the field of morals that Coue

is trying to gain admittance to the French state reformatories. So

far, the official dislike for innovations has proved a barrier, but

there is good reason to hope that in the near future the application of

this method to the treatment of the criminal will be greatly extended.

By way of anticipating an objection it may be stated that the Coue

method of Induced Autosuggestion is in no sense inferior to hypnotic

suggestion. Coue himself began his career as a hypnotist, but being

dissatisfied with the results, set out in quest of a method more simple

and universal. Conscious autosuggestion, apart from its convenience,

can boast one great advantage over its rival. The effects of hypnotic

suggestion are often lost within a few hours of the treatment. Whereas

by the use of the general formula the results of Induced Autosuggestion

go on progressively augmenting.

Here we touch again the question of the suggester. We have already

seen that a suggester is not needed, that autosuggestion can yield its

fullest fruits to those who practise it unaided. But some persons

cannot be prevailed on to accept this fact. They feel a sense of

insufficiency; the mass of old wrong suggestions has risen so

mountain-high that they imagine themselves incapable of removing it.

With such the presence of a suggester is an undoubted help. They have

nothing to do but lie passive and receive the ideas he evokes. Even

so, however, they will get little good unless they consent to repeat

the general formula.

But as long as we look on autosuggestion as a remedy we miss its true

significance. Primarily it is a means of self-culture, and one far

more potent than any we have hitherto possessed. It enables us to

develop the mental qualities we lack: efficiency, judgment, creative

imagination, all that will help us to bring our life's enterprise to a

successful end. Most of us are aware of thwarted abilities, powers

undeveloped, impulses checked in their growth. These are present in

our Unconscious like trees in a forest, which, overshadowed by their

neighbours, are stunted for lack of air and sunshine. By means of

autosuggestion we can supply them with the power needed for growth and

bring them to fruition in our conscious lives. However old, however

infirm, however selfish, weak or vicious we may be, autosuggestion will

do something for us. It gives us a new means of culture and discipline

by which the "accents immature," the "purposes unsure" can be nursed

into strength, and the evil impulses attacked at the root. It is

essentially an individual practice, an individual attitude of mind.

Only a narrow view would split it up into categories, debating its

application to this thing or to that. It touches our being in its

wholeness. Below the fussy perturbed little ego, with its local

habitation, its name, its habits and views and oddities is an ocean of

power, as serene as the depths below the troubled surface of the sea.

Whatever is of you comes eventually thence, however perverted by the

prism of self-consciousness. Autosuggestion is a channel by which the

tranquil powers of this ultimate being are raised to the level of our

life here and now.

What prospects does autosuggestion open to us in the future?

It teaches us that the burdens of life are, at least in large measure,

of our own creating. We reproduce in ourselves and in our

circumstances the thoughts of our minds. It goes further. It offers

us a means by which we can change these thoughts when they are evil and

foster them when they are good, so producing a corresponding betterment

in our individual life. But the process does not end with the

individual. The thoughts of society are realised in social conditions,

the thoughts of humanity in world conditions. What would be the

attitude towards our social and international problems of a generation

nurtured from infancy in the knowledge and practice of autosuggestion?

If fear and disease were banned from the individual life, could they

persist in the life of the nation? If each person found happiness in

his own heart would the illusory greed for possession survive? The

acceptance of autosuggestion entails a change of attitude, a

revaluation of life. If we stand with our faces westward we see

nothing but clouds and darkness, yet by a simple turn of the head we

bring the wide panorama of the sunrise into view.

That Coue's discoveries may profoundly affect our educational methods

is beyond question. Hitherto we have been dealing directly only with

the conscious mind, feeding it with information, grafting on to it

useful accomplishments. What has been done for the development of

character has been incidental and secondary. This was inevitable so

long as the Unconscious remained undiscovered, but now we have the

means of reaching profounder depths, of endowing the child not only

with reading and arithmetic, but with health, character and personality.

But perhaps it is in our treatment of the criminal that the greatest

revolution may be expected. The acts for which he is immured result

from nothing more than twists and tangles of the threads of thought in

the Unconscious mind. This is the view of eminent authorities. But

autosuggestion takes us a long step further. It shows how these

discords of character may be resolved. Since Coue has succeeded in

restoring to moral health a youth of homicidal tendencies, why should

not the same method succeed with many of the outcasts who fill our

prisons? At least the younger delinquents should prove susceptible.

But the idea underlying this attitude entails a revolution in our penal

procedure. It means little less than this: that crime is a disease and

should be treated as such; that the idea of punishment must give place

to that of cure; the vindictive attitude to one of pity. This brings

us near to the ideals of the New Testament, and indeed, autosuggestion,

as a force making for goodness, is bound to touch closely on religion.

It teaches the doctrine of the inner life which saints and sages have

proclaimed through all ages. It asserts that within are the sources of

calm, of power and of courage, and that the man who has once attained

mastery of this inner sphere is secure in the face of all that may

befall him. This truth is apparent in the lives of great men. Martyrs

could sing at the stake because their eyes were turned within on the

vision of glory which filled their hearts. Great achievements have

been wrought by men who had the fortitude to follow the directions of

an inner voice, even in contradiction to the massed voices they heard


Suppose we find that the power Christ gave to his disciples to work

miracles of healing was not a gift conferred on a few selected

individuals, but was the heritage of all men; that the kingdom of

heaven within us to which He alluded was available in a simple way for

the purging and elevation of our common life, for procuring sounder

health and sweeter minds. Is not the affirmation contained in Coue's

formula a kind of prayer? Does it not appeal to something beyond the

self-life, to the infinite power lying behind us?

Autosuggestion is no substitute for religion; it is rather a new weapon

added to the religious armoury. If as a mere scientific technique it

can yield such results, what might it not do as the expression of those

high yearnings for perfection which religion incorporates?

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