The story of dynamic mentation runs along with the history of the human race, for it has always been known to man in some form. Coming to primitive man along with other inheritances from still lower forms, it was used from the beginning. Its earliest forms were similar to its employment by the lower animals, such as has been mentioned in a preceding chapter. The positive minds of the race influenced and dominated the more negative ones. Without understanding its laws, the positive barbarians discovered that they possessed a stronger power of inducing mental states among their negative companions, and were thus enabled to work their will upon them. Many of the leaders of barbarian races owe their positions of prominence and leadership to this law of mental induction.
But along with the rise of leaders there was manifested a similar rise in power and influence of the priests. All races have had their priests, and have today. A priest is a man whose office is that of a mediator between men and their divinities one who claims to represent the supernatural entities in their dealings with men's religious, or spiritual 'middle-man,' as it were (I use this expression in all seriousness, and with no desire to speak lightly of the priestly offices, which have played an important part in the history of the race). The priests, not being occupied with warfare, or agriculture, and by reason of their support being contributed by the people, found plenty of time to 'think,â€ a somewhat rare privilege in the early days (and even in these times, for that matter). And, so, there gradually arose, among all peoples, a priestly caste that possessed the bulk of intelligence of the race. These priests soon began to recognize the importance of Mind-Power, and they studied its underlying principles and laws of operation. This of course gave them an additional hold on the people, and a power over them. There seems to be no doubt but that even in the early days of the race, the priestly caste held a very wide knowledge of the laws and practice of dynamic mentation.
In the heart of Africa today, we find the Voodoo men, or conjurers, or medicine men, well versed in the application of Mind-Power. It was also known among the early American Indians, although their degenerated descendants seem to have lost the knowledge, except in a few instances. The power of the priesthood among primitive races, is based almost entirely upon some form of dynamic mentation. And, as we see the race ascending in the scale, so do we see the priests displaying a broader and fuller knowledge of the subject in question. The history of the oriental races show that a full knowledge of the operation of Mind-Power has been possessed by them for thousands of years. In the pictured stories of the Egyptians, the traces of which appear in their ruined temples and other buildings, we see that they understood the art perfectly. In ancient Persia and Chaldea, the art arose to great heights. In fact, among all of the advanced ancient races of men, we find an important place given to the subject before us.
Among the Ancient Mysteries, and the various ceremonies of the temples, of the early races, we see many instances of the use of this power. Back of the rites and ceremonies were always the underlying principle and application. In the early use of the force, its employment was largely along the lines of healing. But still we read in the pages of early history of many instances of mental fascination, pure and simple. That which was afterward called Mesmerism, hypnotism, etc., was well known to the ancients, and, in fact, some of the recorded results coming down to us from the past, have never been equalled by modern experimenters. Some of the feats of the modern Hindu magicians, or fakirs, have never been equalled by Western hypnotists. Ancient history is full of instances of the operation of dynamic mentation 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 itâ€”and he afterward made good his threats.
It is related of Alcibiades, the Athenian, that he once made a bet with some of the young Athenian nobles, that he would publicly box the ears of Hipponikos, a venerable and greatly respected citizen. Not only did he bet that he would do this thing, but be also claimed that he would afterward compel the old man to give him his favorite daughter in marriage. The day following, when Hipponikos came out, Alcibiades walked up to him and gave him a resounding box on the ears. The old man seemed dazed and bewildered and retired to his home. A great public outcry arose, and the young man seemed likely to fall a victim to the indignation of the citizens. But the next day Alcibiades went to the home of Hipponikos and, after making a pretence of baring his back for punishment, he managed to induce in the old man a feeling of good humor and mirth, and obtained his pardon and goodwill, the latter increasing daily thereafter until finally he grew so devoted to the young man that he offered him the hand of his daughter in marriage, which was accepted. Anyone who is acquainted with the recorded character of the Athenians will realize what a wonderful occurrence this was. It was a striking exhibition of dynamic mentation, without a question. All the great generals of history have possessed this quality.
Caesar, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Frederick the Great, and the modern mysticâ€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 dynamic 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!â€ A single shot would have killed Napoleon, and would have brought to the man who fired it a fortune from the Bourbon King. 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 officers 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 most 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. All great leaders of men, statesmen, orators and politicians have the power of dynamic mentation developed to a considerable degree. If you have ever come in contact with a man of this sort, you will always remember the impression he made upon you. Every man who knew James G. Blaine will remember his 'personal magnetism,' of which so much was said during his lifetime. Anyone who heard the famous speech of Wm. J. Bryan, at the Chicago Convention, in which he made use of the famous expression: 'Thou shalt not press upon the brow of Labor the crown of thorns; thou shalt not crucify Mankind upon a Cross of Gold,' needs no further proof of the reality of dynamic mentation.
Bryan was almost unknown to the majority of the delegates, and no thought of nominating him was entertained by them. But his 'magnetism' was so great that it swept the convention like a mighty tidal-wave, carrying all before it, and Bryan was carried around the hall on the shoulders of the delegates, who afterward made him their nominee for President. And although defeated twice, this man still possesses a wonderful fascination over hundreds of thousands of people in this country, who would rally around his standard at any time that he would sound the call. Henry Ward Beecher, at the great meeting in England, manifested the same power. The whole meeting was against him, and drowned his words by hoots, yells, and other noises. But Beecher looked them straight in the eye, and gradually cowed them into subjection, and then talked to them for two hours, and fairly carried the meeting by storm. He was but one man facing thousands of other men hostile to him, and determined to prevent him from speaking. But the single man won by his dynamic will. It was not alone the words, in these cases it was the Mind-Power behind the words. Fothergill relates the following remarkable incidents in the life of Hugo, Bishop of Lincoln, which is another illustration of one phase of dynamic mentation:
'Perhaps no exhibition of heroism was ever more remarkable than when Hugo, Bishop of Lincoln, bearded Richard Croeur de Lion, in the church of Roche d' Andeli. In pursuit of war in Normandy, Richard demanded more supplies from his barons, and the bishop refused to supply any men; the see of Lincoln was bound to military service, he admitted, but only within the four seas of Britain. Richard was not a man to be lightly crossed, and Hugo was summoned to Normandy. So enraged was the king with the spiritual peer that when he presented himself in Normandy to answer the charge against him, two friendly barons met him to urge upon him the necessity for sending a conciliatory message to the king before entering his presence. The bishop declined the advice. The king was sitting at mass when the prelate walked up to him and, despite the monarch's frown, said, 'Kiss me, my lord king." The king turned away his face. Hugo shook him and repeated his request. 'Thou hast not deserved it,' growled the king fiercely. 'I have,' returned the prelate, and shook him all the harder.
The king yielded, the kiss was given; and the bishop passed calmly on to take part in the service. Mere indifference to death could never have produced such a result. There was something more. As well as utterly fearless, Bishop Hugo possessed a will-power of most unusual character, of which several instances are on record. Not only did he face the king and justify his refusal to supply men in the council chamber afterwards; but he went farther, and rebuked him for infidelity to his queen. The Lion was tamed for the moment. The king acknowledged nothing, but restrained his passion, observing afterwards, 'If all bishops were like my lord of Lincoln, not a prince among us could lift his head among them.' Such is the story as told by Froude. Yet Richard was the last man to permit a liberty to be taken with him, as his whole history showed.
'Hugo was such a remarkable illustration of what high will-power can do, that another story may be related of him. King Henry Plantagenet had made Hugo Bishop of Lincoln; yet shortly afterwards, on preferring a request for a prebendal stall for a courtier, his request was refused. Hugo had already braved his wrath once, and the king, despite the episode of Thomas a Becket, was savagely angry. Henry was with his suite in Woodstock Park, and sat down on the ground pretending to be mending his glove when the bishop approached him. The king took no notice of his spiritual peer. After a brief pause Hugo, pushing aside an earl, sat down by the king's side. Watching the royal proceedings he remarked- "Your Highness reminds me of your cousins at Falaise.' Falaise was famous for its leather work, and it was at Falaise that Duke Robert met Arlotta the tanner's daughter, the mother of William the Conqueror. This reference to his ancestry was too much for the king, who was utterly worsted in the discussion which followed."
Can anyone doubt the existence of the subtle force of Mind-Power in the instances just related? There was Mind-Power behind the words, actions and courage of Hugo without it he would have failed.