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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Thought Culture, Or, Practical Mental Training by William Walker Atkinson

Thought Culture, Or, Practical Mental Training by William Walker Atkinson

After reading sixteen titles written by W. W. Atkinson, I thought of reading the first title in the compilation. The first book in the compilation is the "Art of Expression". On the first page, it is recommended that one should first read a book on Logic and then on Thought Training in order to fully utilize the content of the title. I have read the book on Logic. A review is already on this blog. This is the next book.

A Reminisance:

The books or the titles which I have already reviewed and commented upon on this blog, were mostly on esoteric sciences. There is a story behind it. I wanted to read about Patanjali. On the basis of my prior knowledge, I tried to acquire the book written by Swami Vivekananda on Patanjali. While I was searching for that on the Internet, I came across a book on Philosophy of a Yogi by Yogi Ramcharaka. The discourse in that book was written in such a manner that I was highly impressed by the thought process that it was inducing in my perception and understanding. Gradually, I observed that it was written by a person who had good knowledge of Christianity and Western literature. I directed my attention and efforts to learn about Yogi Ramcharak. In due course, I discovered that the real author was W. W. Atkinson. Soon, I was able to find a compilation of his writings for a very small amount.

One of the supporting factor in facilitating this reading was the free software of Kindle. I had learned about Kindle when it was not available in India. As it is a general response of most of the people, that when something new is introduced, the people tends to pass a judgement without caring to know that whether they are really genuine, right, and they are fully qualified to pass that judgement. I am no different from such people. Therefore, I did not care to look into the Kindle. I had learnt there were many more e-book reader softwares. However, in between, I was able to collect PDF format books from Google Books ( When I started, it was called Google Print). They were free. They were related to my subject of History. They were providing me such documents which I could have acquired only from archives. If I had ever tried that, at the maximum, I would have been declared a good research scholar and obtained a PhD. I have not done that. The technology has proved itself a blessing for the creatures like me. I was happy and content in realing PDFs of old books provided by Google Books. I even bought some google books also. But there I encountered a problem. I needed internet when I desired to read them. I could read them offline as I could do in case of PDF books. In India, the continuity of electricity supply and consistency of the internet are an issue. No doubt, it is gradually improving but, it is still there. I do not know what actually is the situation in the developed countries. But anyhow, let me come back to my topic of this post. When I was able to locate, Swami Viveknanda on Kindle store, then came the issue of getting that software. The bait was that the price was very less. Soon, I learnt that I could get the Kindle software free of cost. I downloaded it. Then I bought the books of Swami Vivekananda and also the book by Yogi Ramchakara. Till this day I have not read the books by Swami Vivekananda which I have downloaded. I had been reading W. W. Atkinson.

The guiding query, interest and motive were to read about Patanjali and Yoga and what he had told about Yoga. The books by Yogi Ramchakara was on Yogic practices. From there on, the event of reading on Kindle continued. The features on Kindle, like highlighting, which I had been doing on PDF also, the online dictionary, the facility to read it offline etc, all these facilitated my reading urge. But I was hooked to Ramchakara. My discovery of Atkinson behind that Yogi, was an award to me by my ownself. My topic was study of Yoga Philosophy. I knew little bit before hand. Therefore, there was enough grounds to explore the compilation which I had obtained as a lottery. However, I gradully learned about the method and style of writing by Atkinson. I found that he had developed numerous titles on different Ideas related to Yoga. There was no sequence. Therefore, I had then decided to read the compilation from the first title itself. I had an experience of the style of title making by Atkinson. I picked the first title called "The Art of Expression". In the first chapter itself, rather on the very first page, he had suggeted that one should read his book on Logic before fully appreciating his title. I did not continue with the Art of Expression book. I picked the title which he had suggested on Logic and immediately shifted to the book of Logic. I have posted the review on it on my blog already. It was in the book on the Logic,that, he suggested that one should also read his book on "Thought Culture". I, then, started that book. In the book on Thought Culture, he suggested that one should read his book on developing Memory. I completed the book on Thought Culture and started the reading of Memory Development. But, here I did not fulfill my commitement with this blog. I have completed the reading of book on Memory Development but had not written the review on Thought Culture. Now I am trying to do that.

The Review:

Thought Culture; or, Practical Mental Training is one of the title in which the smooth English of the writer is well demonstrated. I read it within few hours. In this book, it is suggested that one should also read his book on Memory development. I started that book after completing the reading of this book without posting my first impression on the blog. It was the attractiveness of the writing which was the motivation to learn about the memory development. Memory development is one issue which is cherished by people from all age group. Therefore, I should eagerness to read that book without writing any post.

No doubt, I had highlighted many lines within the book. I also recorded some comments. But, I did not write anything on the register which I usually did while reading. I even tried to look towards other titles also, which carried the term 'thought' in its title. However, I moved to the title of Memory development and then later to Memory Culture.

This book is definitely required to be read if you want to fully explore and get benefit out of his book on Logic titled the Art of Logical thinking about which I have already posted my comment.

The book contains fourteen chapters. In this way, it is one of the smaller book as compared to other books. It is a smaller book because it has a lesser number of chapters.

The firt four chapters are merely an introduction type chapters. He introduces you to the ides of Thought and Thought Culture or motivate to go for Mental Training.

The substantial topic begins in Chapter 5 titled Attention. Kindly look into the following list.
Attention, concentration and Desire
Association of Ideas
Derived Judgement (A difficult and technical chapter probably based on the hypothesis of William Stanely Jevons.)

If you are student and want to improve enjoyment of study, then learn the meanings of the terms given in the above list. You may learn the meaning of these terms from a dictionary or the Internet. However, I will suggest you to learn their meaning from this book written by William Walker Atkinson. Each term is a heading of a chapter. You can now make it out the actual nature of the suggestion. Those of you, who may have some training in psychology, may join in to talk about these topics in reference to the content in the book. It is a request that kindly do not give your modern research narrative here. Kindly come up with a narrative which everyone could understand in a way that it may benefit them without paying any fees to an expert. After all, everyone has his mind and owner of his or her mind. Help them to use it without imposing your intitutionalised degree on the society. I am not here to hurt some one but everyone owns his or her brain and mind. If you help to get optimum benefit of it, then it is right of the society of to get it as it is the society which has provided to you a setup in which you acquired your degree.

Now I will talk about "Memory: How to Develop, Train and Use It" as explained by W. W. Atkinson, in the next post.

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