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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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Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Mayflower A History From Beginning to End by Hourly History

The Mayflower A History From Beginning to End by Hourly History.

In last two weeks I have collected a large number of books. Out of those, I have picked the book on The Mayflower Ship published by Hourly History.

There is a strong reason to select this book. I am receiving the Hourly History Publication books as free of cost books. I have already talked about them in the case of three titles by them. I have raised some objections against the contents of these books. They are as follows.

  1. The publication does not reveal the name of the author. The publication declares that it is written by Hourly History. The search on the Internet has not yielded any result on their identity. This is not acceptable.
  2. They are using the term 'History'. But they are mainly publishing biographies. It is a very narrow use of the term of the concept 'History'.
  3. They call their work as the history. However, they are not following the basic rules of history. They are not authenticating the source of their information. They are not providing the bibliography and references to authenticate the claim of being called the history.
  4. They do not appeal to the concept of Historicism. They do not bring out those questions, trends and change and continuity relations, and the cause and effect relations.
  5. There are some more flaws which I will bring out gradually.

The good point about these titles is that they are taking up some difficult aspect of history and provide their version within forty to fifty pages. The contents can be read within one to two hours. They form chapters which give a good pen portrait of the personality or the event.

Now, in the case of their title on The Mayflower, I want to drop two objections. I provide the actual features which neutralize my objections. They are as follows.

They have provided a bibliography.

They have raised the appropriate historic questions about the historic trends, change and continuity and the cause and effect relation.

They have definitely done a good job in the case of this title.

The Good Job:

I am writing these points after a long gap. I had read this book earlier. I had written the above piece just after completing the reading. Now, I am writing about the book, not even looking into the contents at present. I remember two major points.

It is in the first chapter, I am sure about it, that the writer has started the topic as per the craft of history. He has raised the right questions before coming to the actual theme. The questions are about the reasons and effects of the migration. It is E. H. Carr, who has emphasised that history is an interpretation. It is a dialogue between present and past. If you want to know about the reasons and causes of a ship moving to New Lands today, then it is the history which is at work. Therefore, in 2017 you want to talk about something which had taken place in 1620, it is not mere a fashion or act of entertainment that has moved you to undertake that activity. You are seeking an answer for something which is bothering you in 2017 or something which will come up after 2017. The written records are definitely needed for the history. However, those writings of past are not there to be read as they are preserved. You must know the reason for seeking information from that. Now, the author of this title has done that job.

The second good job is to explain the difference between the Pilgrims and Puritans. If you write the history of America, then, you must be sure about the various denominations of the Protestant and Reformation. If you merely mark all of them Protestants, then you fail the job in the field of history. The author of this title know his facts and he is equally successful in narrating them.

Another feature which emerges, and I am ready to accept, that it may be my mere assumption, the author of this title did not write it in one sitting. In between, he gone into some further research and reading. He is seen repeating his arguments in two the chapters. There, it conveys the feeling that he has started from there again.

If one reads the contents of Wikipedia on the Mayflower Ship, one can find more facts and data there. But, mere repetition of the facts is not all the history. It is here, this title scores over the content of the Wikipedia.

It has also taken up the most difficult issue of the American History and that is aboriginals of America. It has not shied away from taking up that question. It is other thing, that till this day, I have not found any good account of the original question. It is really good to see that this author has picked up the points at the right place. He has done all this within the little space of 40 pages.

I am highly impressed. I strongly recommend.

If the publisher happens to read this post, then, I must request him to reveal the names of different authors.

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Art of Logical Thinking; or, The Laws of Reasoning by W. W. Atkinson

The Art of Logical Thinking; or, The Laws of Reasoning by W. W. Atkinson

Before I say my thing, I will like to ask few questions to the readers of this post.

Are you a student?

Are you a fresh research scholar?

Do you want to understand the research methodology in any field of enquiry?

Are you troubled by your thoughts and seeking some clarity?

If the answers to above questions are in affirmative then kindly be attentive.

I strongly recommend it to you to read this book.

A Confession:

I have been reading books on logic. I am having notes on research methodology. I have books on this topic. I have J. S. Mills book on it. I have Kant's book on Reasoning. I listen to many people who claim that they are talking logically. I have confronted the opposition that had questioned my ability to do a logical thinking. I read and come across the statements which appeal to logic. I confess I am not sure about the concept of LOGIC and reasoning. I have read the books on this topic but I have never completed the books. I struggle to read through the pages of the established scholar which have been declared the semantic discourses. I have never completed the reading of such authorities. I have read about the writing of the philosophers and logicians. I have pretended to understand them but have never developed the concrete comprehension of the subject.

Now, here is a book, which I have completed. I feel satisfied to some extent. Therefore, I invite you to use it.

I have displayed the compilation of the complete works on Atkinson. This title is listed on number two in the list the compilation which I use.

I had actually started the first book in the compilation. The title of that book is The Art of Expression and The Principles of Discourse. It was suggested in the first chapter of that book that the title on Logic should be read.

In this book on Logic, the author has also suggested that one should also read the title on the Subconscious and Supreconscious in order to fully understand this book. I have already reviewed that book. However, I may again read that book and write a fresh review on that. But, in any case, you can read this book without consulting the suggested title.

The Content:

It is written in the peculiar style of the author about which I have commented again and again. No doubt, he has quoted many authorities. But, in this book, there is a discernable difference. He provides the quotation to take forward or explain a point. The narration is straight. It is without the Latin or Grecian terms. It is in simple English. That is the mark of the author. It proves highly effective in case of a topic like logic.

The books which I have read earlier, they generally talk about Deductive Logic. There are many books which provide rules of syllogism. The understanding of the aspect of syllogism is required to clear entrance tests to many courses and even jobs. I have found that the similar type of tests are conducted in different countries. My experience is that all such books are not meant for everyone. Some people highly recommend them. But many fail to get benefit out of them. It may also prove true in case of this title. I am enthusiastic in recommending this very particular title. But, it may not prove useful to others. Even then, I suggest that it is worth trying. Atkinson writes small chapters. It helps a lot in developing the comprehension of the subject.

Atkinson has not directly taken up the Deductive Logic. He has taken up the topic in the following order.

He talks about the concept of Reason.

Then, he talks about the idea of concept, image, term, judgement and propositions. In this way, he lays the foundation of the subject. If you are able to grasp the gist of these lessons then you are ready to move to the actual topics.

He takes up Inductive Logic first. That has played the trick. It is more useful to understand the Inductive Logic before the deductive logic. In general books, which are actually written to prepare you for the entrance examinations, they lay more stress on deductive logic. They are actually guided by the form of questions which appear in the question papers. But when they try to explain the rules of Syllogism, for many students, it becomes a herculean task to understand them. They actually try to learn the lessons in place of polishing their deductive logic abilities.

In case of preparing experiments and developing hypothesis, this book may seem to many as an old version of research. The field of research methodology has progressed much. You may find it an archaic work. Even the arrangement and sequence of research methodology may be found bit out of order. You will find that there is less stress on issue of framing the question. But, on the whole, he is able to bring in the right discourse. I am quite sure, those who will follow this book, may appreciate my suggestion. You will definitely develop the right understanding of Inductive Logic and Deductive Logic from the quantity of the content which he has given.

In case of Fallacy, he has not devoted much efforts. However, he has tried to cover up many points.

Finis. For me, it is a new thing, that he ends his book with a term written as "FINIS". He has written a similar end to his other books also.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy is the book which I take up here as a topic.

The edition of the book by Dr. Joseph Murphy, which I have read was published in India by Manjul Publishing House. It is the sixth impression by the publisher released in India in the year 2017. The ISBN is 978-81-8322-500-7. The copyright is with The Joseph Murphy Trust.

How did I choose this book?

I picked this book on Kindle Store while I was compiling the review on "Mental Power: The Secret of Mental Magic" by W. W. Atkinson.

I write small notes on Kindle itself as well as on a register while reading the book. The review is generally developed on the basis of the notes which are handwritten on a register. While reading the book 'Mental Power', the word 'Mental' was irritating me. The word 'mental' conveys a derogatory and negative meaning also. Among the Hindi speaking people, it is generally remarked कि वह तो mental है ! It is an abuse. Atkinson has used this word excessively and extensively. He has written titles of many chapters using this term.

It so happened that when I was converting the written notes, on W. W. Atkinson, typing it for blogging, I thought of selecting a title to be displayed under the advertisement section. I used the phrase 'Mind Power' for the search on Kindle Store. In the result section, I located this book. When I explored the reviews on the title, I read the notes written in appreciation on writings of Dr. Murphy. I made further searches. I found author was actually a contemporary of Atkinson. Dr. Murphy was born in the later years of the nineteenth century. Atkinson started writing in the beginning of the twentieth century. Atkinson died in 1933. Dr. Murphy died in 1982. Dr. Murphy was decorated with a university degree. A brief summary of the content conveyed that the subject of the title was similar to what I had been reading for sometime by now. The price of the book was on the  higher side but within the range. There was a variation in prices quoted with different vendors. So, I selected the lowest prize and bought it. The subject was similar to the topics on which I am presently writing. Therefore, I started reading it after completing the reviews on "Mental Power".

The Observations:

When I was reading the book, I was reminded again and again of the contents of the books written by W. W. Atkinson. I felt as if I was reading a subject content which I had already read. It was like having an old wine in a new bottle.

However, there were some discernable differences also in dealing with the subject. Dr. Murphy openly talked about the content of the Bible. Atkinson was very particular in abstaining from the use of any term which was associated with religious scriptures.

The term 'science' is a fashion. You talk about universal forces. Then, here and there, you insert the term 'science'. You use the term scientific way of Prayer. What is this 'Scientific Prayer'? Do we conclude that there can be a prayer, which is 'a scientific prayer' and another 'a non-scientific prayers'?

PPT Style Structure:

He has adopted a 'PPT' style (Power Point Presentation). He wrote when there was no perception of the way of giving Power Point Presentations. He has written small paragraphs. A set of two or three paragraphs has a heading. Every chapter ends with a summary. The summary consists of points in form of a list. The whole book is basically a draft of contents, which can be easily converted into Power Point Presentation. The quantity of the content under each heading is such that each of it can be easily get settled in one slide.

Know-How of His Technique:

His technique of making the best use of the powers of subconscious mind is as follows:

Step 1:
Create a question, or raise a desire.

Step 2:
Visualise as if you have found and answer or realised your desire.

Step 3:
Go to sleep or develop the ability to move into a phase of slumber with a paryer having positive assertions. (No elaboration or criticism can be given here as the motive is not to write a book on it. No doubt, it can be a basis of an essay that can be written separately.)

Step 4:
The movement you awake, again raise the question and repeat the prayer.

The author, Dr Murphy, gives an assurance that if you "believe and persist", soon you will activate the mystic powers of the subconscious mind which are divine and omnipotent. There is too much stress upon the aspect of faith and belief.

Have patience. You will get a perfect answer and the desired result.

A Note:
In chapter 18, 'How Your Subconsious Removes Mental Block', under the heading "Three Magical Steps" he has given a similar practice. He has been repeating this suggestion throughout the book and virtually imparted a status of a ritual.

Do not talk much about spirituality. Make it a 'a priori' knowledge that the subconscious is all powerful and omnipotent. It is not bound by space and time. It is a part of the Absolute.

Verdict or a conclusion:
The whole book aims at learning self-hypnotism. It is not a healthy approach.

Papa is Preaching Approach:

At many places during the course of the reading this book, your attentiveness and focus receive a jarring impact and jolt. He begins with an assertion. He appeals to the concepts of 'belief' and 'faith'. He tells an anecdote as a testimony. Most of the times, he claims that the quoted anecdotes are part of his personal experience and an empirical observation. He ends there. He takes the next heading. He repeats the same game plan.

The whole tone of the narration is like ' a Papa Preaches that ....'.

Dr. Joseph Murphy Trust description:

The site of the Trust claims that he was an heir to James Allen, Dale Carnegie, Napolean Hill and Norman Vincent Peale. He is a precursor, the trust claims, to Tony Robbins Zig Ziglar and Earl Nightingale. The site claims that there was a 'human potential movement' and Dr. Joseph Murphy was one of the pioneer. They give it as an evidence that the title has crossed the one million sale record and still counting. Well, even I am one of the buyers of the digital format of the book.

A Self Help book for a particular society and times:

It is a self-help and self-improvement book meant for the people who lived in the sixties and seventies of the twentieth century in the USA. The author has talked about the subconscious mind. He attributed it with unlimited powers guaranteed by the unknown source (you may call it divine if you learn it on your own.). The technique to access the powers of subconscious is the prayer – a scientific prayer. According to the author, you must perform this 'ritual' before going to bed. With such a package, at his disposal, which he preaches, he has talked about becoming rich and solving martial problems. In the case of the chapter on Martial Problem, Dr. Murphy is just giving his personal views. There is enough evidence in his suggestions and narration that the person is experienced and far ahead in the field of psychic growth and probably spiritual attainments than anyone who reads his book. But, somewhere, while reading him, you suddenly feel that here he is just giving his views. He is not talking about the topic. He is abstaining from telling something openly.

Similarly, in chapter 15, the author declares that the greatest discovery of 19th century apart from the development in the field of physical sciences was the discovery of "power of subconsciousness touched by faith". He has attributted this thesis to William James, the American Psychologist. The similar thing is more apparent in a succeding chapter. The last chapter titled, "How to Stay Young in Spirit Forever" is a politicla statement addressed to his contemporary times.

I just wished that I should have skipped this title. I did not read it continuously. There was no continuity. Even, in the case of developing this essay, which was surprising written continuously, it took much time to get typed. In between, I went through many more books. It has created a type of clutter of half begun books. I am returning back to W. W. Atkinson and other books.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Mental Power: The Secret of Mental Magic by W. W. Atkinson

Mental Power: The Secret of Mental Magic by W. W. Atkinson

The description is quite long.

I have called this blog as a review of the books which I have read. But, I have repeatedly stated that I write what I want to write. In between these two motives, I exercise a freedom. However, the readers may like or dislike it. I may write a piece which may be as long as the book. You will complain that your essays are longer than the book. You have called your blog a review of a book. You are cheating us. You are wasting our time and money. It is not fair.

Well, I will not apologise. I will again say that I have read the book. Now, I write what I want to write. I will not say that Take it or Leave it. I just invite you to experience it in order to know that you will experience a similar thing if you read this book.

In case of the book by W. W. Atkinson titled "Mental Power: The Secret of Mental Magic", I would like to make some comments.

The first comment is as follows.

I say it with confidence that it is a book of Motivational reading. What is Motivational reading? I do not know. Well, the general category which is popular for such a kind of books is "self improvement book".

The way I have written the above paragraph, it may convey the impression, that I am not sure about what I have to say. Secondly, it may happen, that someone also read this book and then after that, he may comment on my observations on this book that Mr. Blogger you do not have well developed intellectual edifice. Therefore, you are not sure of the category of this book. It is a very effective book on the method of use of the Mind. One can learn many truths of the methods of use of Mind. The author of the book has given a practical, pragmatic and an effective methods to raise your Mind to the optimum level.

I continue to present my observations and impressions on the content of the book and now I again shift to another set of comments.

General Comments:

Suppose you imagine and desire a thing. You desire such a thing which seems unachievable or you just do not have the right idea or plan to work for it. Now, at such a stage, you come across a person or book, who or which, propose to you that they would get it for you. You will listen to them. You may not understand whatsoever they bring before you but you persist with the pursuit. If it is allowed, then it can be said, that you pretend to understand them.

Take another case. You are skeptical. Someone proposes to you that you can do wonders if you follow him. You listen to him. You read his book. You do not come to a lesson for sometime wherein those practical and workable acts are clearly spelt out which may bring the action on the ground or give to some effective demonstration and presentation. But, the author continues to give a fresh theory. He creates his own terms and concepts. He continues to dismantle some established terminology. What will you do? Quit.

I have given two comments by now. Now, here is the third one. I believe that you will accept a proposition that, within ones own heart, everyone desires power. If you can develop a weapon (here, in this case, it is the mind, a thing which is with you, in your possession and under your exclusive ownership.) with which you will control others then you would definitely like to acquire it. But, you will definitely demand that you must see something real. If someone suggests to you that he will help you to develop such a weapon, then you may continue to listen to him and read his book. You will demand that something real should come out. It is your mind. You want to convert it into a miraculous weapon. You will persist. But, you must see some real thing.

Now, let me take up the fourth comment. I believe that it is wrong to suggest or sell a thing which you do not possess. A salesman does such a thing. He sells a thing which he actually does not possess or own. It is more true in case of an agent of insurance products. He persists with an art to create a sale.

While reading the book, I have felt that all the four points given above, were energised and active from time to time.

Apart from that, I would like to present the following views in reference to the book in question.

I adopt the method of Atkison in order to suggest you my secret doctrine. It is as follows.

Have you ever watched a small child? The children have an impressionable and sensitive mind. They easily accept and believe spectacular suggestions. You show them the movies of Batman, Spiderman and Superman. They start behaving like those characters. They adopt their gestures. The suggestion of superhuman powers is readily grabbed by these young impressionist brains. Do you think that they are acquiring right mental energies? I will not answer it.

Even the grown up people have impressionist mind. Your lifelong learnings and experiences are very important. The strength of your culture is very important. The impressionist mind tends to believe the unbelievable things. Your learnings and culture have a role to play in such a response.

It is generally suggested that one should read self-improvement books. As far as the information with me goes, it is believed that even in big companies, the self-improvement and motivational sessions are organised. But they are generally conducted by experienced psychologists.

I do not feel ashamed in accepting it that at present, I am infatuated by the writings of W. W. Atkinson. I wait for evening hours to find time to read his books. I wait for sundays or holidays to write about his books. I snatch time from my daily routine to read his writings. His writings, his phrases, his explanations are quite soothing to me. But, I have not found effective results from the tasks which he has suggested. It is not meant for this particular book. I am including all the books which I have read by now. I accept that I have not even practised them seriously and with conviction. It may also be possible that I am not all that intellectually developed and intelligent to put his suggestions to practice. I am sceptical about his claims on a different aspect of psychology and spiritual aspects. There is a reason behind it. When he talks about magneto-electric personality, when he forges terms, when he enunciates theories of two poles of mind like one is Desire Force pole and other is Will Power force; the poles similar to electric points on electric batteries, when he creates parallel with the laws of physics and evolution, when he boasts about the efficacy, authenticity, scientific validity and transcendental truths as discovered by him and only him, I lose conviction in believing and then following his clues and suggestions. He appropriates a role of a teacher for himself and considers you as his student. He writes as if he is talking in a class to freshers in a course. This form of narration somewhere turns you away from him.

I study and teach history. I follow the views of Collingwood wherein he says that thought can be recreated. I know the objections of E. H. Carr against his theory. This is not the place to discuss that issue here. But, I believe in Collingwood and K. K. Dutta. These scholars said that while reading history, a historian was expected to use imagination for recreating the thought. No doubt, this criterion goes against the theory of evolution and selection of Charles Darwin. It is because of that E. H. Carr had criticised R. G. Collingwood. While using imagination, a historian is expected to develop a psychological understanding. Therefore, I read such topics as it is given in many titles of W. W. Atkinson. However, when I think that even general public will also read such thing, then I start wondering about the impact which it will leave on them. On the Internet, it is mentioned at many places that the writings of W. W. Atkinson are still popular and his works are republished again and again. It is only because of such a reason, even I have come across it. There, I become somewhat doubtful about the efficacy of such titles. I fear that it may induce illusions and finally dissatisfaction. He keeps on invoking the theory of secrets of Eastern Philosophy and Hindu literature. I do not know, how it will be creating a distorted picture about all of it in the minds of people who do not have enough chance and occasion to make efforts to get to the actual facts.

The Chapter Making of W. W. Atkinson in Mental Power

This is really a long book. This is a book with 29 chapters.

In the book, he refers to Hindu literature. Which is that Hindu literature? As I have already pointed out, that he keeps on referring to Hindu literature but he never tells the name of the author and title to which he is referring. Then he builds a theory. He breaks that theory and the concepts involved in it into numerous chapters and thus the book is written. Many of the concepts are his own creation. You may call it a work of creativity. No doubt, he is a good writer.

From Chapter I to Chapter V, which include The Mental Dynamo, The Nature of Mind Power, The Mentative Induction, Mental Magic in Animal Life and Mental Magic in Human life, virtually make a single whole. He seems to have a special infatuation for snakes. He has described a whole chapter around snakes. It is in the chapter Mental Magic in Animal life. He should have called it as, "A Hunter with the Weapon of Mind". In this set, he is building the background on which he then goes to build the whole edifice of his book. All my comments are actually related to this strategy. However, if you sustain your interest and curiosity up to Chapter 5, then only, you will continue. Otherwise, you will discontinue this book.

From Chapter VI to Chapter XI, one may find a different set of narration. He writes an imaginary story in chapter VII, titled Desire and Will in form of a fable. This set of chapters is a tricky one. It may amuse you because of different factors. In writing of Atkinson, you find a mixture of arguments and I will elaborate on it in coming paragraphs. He is a product of his time, society and education. He believes in mysticism. He believes in science. He had read European literature. He has read logic and law. He knows about American literature. He is a product of historic changes taking place in America. The mixture of these factors is fully revealed in his writings. You should know the America of the earlier decades of the twentieth century in order to appreciate and understand the contents of these chapters.

Mental Atmosphere, the title of Chapter XII is spread over to Chapter XIII titled Channels of Influence, and to Chapter XIV and XV titled Instruments of Expression and Mentative Instruments respectively. After that, Mental Suggestion that is Chapter XVI is spread over to four kinds of Suggestion that is explained in Chapter XVII and then finally Chapter XVIII – How Suggestion is Used. They are the work of his imagination at its best. You may approve of it. But, I have found it a mixture of arguments. However, I will not call it a fallacy of multiple arguments.

Chapter XXI is titled The Ocean of Mind Power. I have given it an individual standing. In this chapter, he is elaborating on his main postulate of Two Poles of Mind viz. Will Power and Desire Force. He is a master of his art. He has given a theory. Then in fifteen chapters, he built a justification for that and now he is announcing his success. However, the whole explanation displays a picture of a construction undertaken by an imaginative mind. If you reach here, then there is every possibility, that, you have become his student.

Chapter XIX and XX are a study in contrast. He is very critical of Hindu pretentions. I do not believe that he had ever visited India. In one book, that is on Telepathy, he had given a distorted version on 1857 event in India. (The American Civil War took place in 1860.) In this very set, he is also highly appreciative of Hindu achievements. His admiration for that race is reflected in succeeding chapters. How is it so?

Chapter XXII titled A Glimpse of the Occult World also deserves a separate place. The content of this chapter is beyond the grasp of a reader like me. The dimension which are described in here, are beyond my knowledge, experience and visualization.

I will call it a work of imaginative mind and if it is allowed, then it is a product of a weird mind. He claims to know the ultimate secret in the chapter on the Occult World. He invites you as your student and expresses a desire to share with you all the highest secrets of Occult. He is sympathetic with you because he already knows that it is beyond your capabilities and experience to perceive and imbibe the content of occult secrets. Hence, he is ready to give you only a glimpse of it. It is up to you to receive it or reject it. It is not fair.

Chapter XXIV has a title which I am unable to understand that how he has called it an Indirect Influence. The core topic of this chapter is the concept of "Visualization". The author begins with his own classification and then writes a panegyric on Visualization.

The idea of Visualization deserves a separate treatment. It should have been placed in an earlier location. The book would have been a different thing if he had talked about visualization along with Desire Force and Will Force Poles theory.

From Chapter XXV to Chapter XXVII, form a single set. They are not his own writings. This is what I have felt. He had borrowed it from some published source. But he kept on emphasizing in the chapters that they were the result of his years of experience, learning based on empirical observations and experimentation. When you end the book with Chapter XXIX, titled Mind Building, you may learn on your own the actual working of the author. This chapter is totally different in style from his usual style. The difference is quite loud and evident. This chapter is based on Phrenology. This field of study is now abandoned and redundant. Here, you will find a list of personality traits which are now studied by psychologists with scientific methods. In their methods, Phrenology does not find any place.

I would like to write few things more. If you have read it up to this point, then kindly persist and continue to the end.

I do not know the actual background of W. W. Atkinson. I have read some information on his background on the Internet. But, I have not found any scholarly work on him. In a case of one website, I have found that a scholar with a university has provided the collection of his work on a website. His site is associated with the university where he works. However, I have written on Atkinson under the influence to which I am exposed through reading his writings.

Keeping in view the above mentioned factor, I would like to present some views. When you come across some new information and explanation, it is your responsibility to use your discrimination intellect to decide on the nature, authenticity and credibility of the information or the data which you have gathered. It is easy to say it than to practice. For that, you must have developed the ability of learning. You must have grown from the stage of a receiver of information to the stage of a learner and thinker. If your writer knows his job well, you will get influenced. The result will be that you approve the content. But, if you become critical, then you earn a better credit. If there is something to appreciate then appreciate. However, it is more beneficial if you try to question it and reconsider it in your contemplation and reflection. If you have developed or learned to explore such an ability of your brain and are in a position of exploring such an ability of the brain, then you may learn that there are some gaps in the provided information and the data. This thing happens a lot while reading the works of W. W. Atkinson. He can create chapters. He writes well. But, like a Marxist scholar, he keeps on shifting his parameters. Like a magician, such scholars play with illusions and play of hidden cards and devices. They may make use of conceit, sleight of hands, and play of expressions and eyes and in a case of a writer like W. W. Atkinson, the play of arguments. You may find it in abundance in the writings of W. W. Atkinson.

W. W. Atkinson begins with some esoteric or mystic assertions. He, then, tries to claim that it can be scientifically proved. Then, he again shifts to mysticism and suddenly to psychology. From psychology, he will shift to general philosophy or testimonies. He is good in writing and he manages this affair well. You read and he plays his game. This his style. In this book, he has adopted another device. He has forged new terms and concepts. Thus, a mixture is assembled.

In the case of his other writings, he has mainly referred to Eastern Philosophies or Yogic Philosophies. He has presented his material with a motive of presenting it to the American world. He has avoided picking and using names from Sanskrit literature. Along with this, he has synchronized his explanation with the scientific knowledge which he possessed and in form, in which, it was popular during his lifetime.

It is suggested somewhere on the Internet itself, that he had done all his writings under some possessive spirit. But, here, in the case of this title, a real W. W. Atkinson, is writing for his readers. He readily uses the phrases like, 'I Say', 'I Propound' or 'I assure you' or 'I am the first person to tell such a thing' and so on.

It is difficult to digest and accept many of his claims. In first five chapters of this book, he is virtually constructing a theory. He constructs many phrases. He claims that he is the first person to use the word 'mentation', 'telementation' in place of telepathy and 'Desire Force'.

It is a normal feature in his writings that he tries to give a scientific justification to his explanation. In this book, he constructed a theory. He is very confident about the discovery or you may say, invention, of his theory. He is convinced that his theory would be accepted along with other established theories like that of Newton. He declares, while synchronising it with the contemporary progress in electricity field, that there are two poles in your mind. One is Desire Force Pole which attracts and the other is Will Power Force, that radiates. The Desire Force Pole receives and attracts and Will Power Pole emits and influence. I am really impressed by his writing skills. When I continued my reading from chapter to chapter, and these two poles were mentioned again and again, I started visualizing that I had two horns on my head. One horn was a Desire Pole and the other was a Will Pole. Will anyone like to experience this visualization?

While reading his book and also his other writings, I observe that he is quoting numerous scholars and thinkers from Europe. He was living and writing when American history had witnessed its Gilded Age, the Populist and Progressive Movements. It was a period in which, journalism was progressing to its new heights. It was a period dominated by Carnegie, J. J. Adams, Tesla, Davis and Harley, Morgan Stanely, Wright Brothers, Ford and such many other finance and science giants. But, I do not find any direct reference to them in his writings. Not at least, up to now thus far, when I have already read his ten books.

At one place, he has written, while giving instructions on how to conduct the mental healing, that readers should not take his instructions lightly because of their simplicity or ordinary structure. It suggests that even he knew that some readers would not take his writings seriously because of the of the overall nature of his writings. It is an important point to observe. Atkinson knew the skill of writing. You can read his book and get attracted towards it. How far you will accept whatsoever he claims in his writings, it all depends on your learning and experiences. For me, as I have already written, that is a mixture of scientific explanation, imaginary constructs and skilful art of suggestion. He has written a book wherein he has described the art of suggestion and it can be read in the title, 'The Subconscious and Superconsciousness' 'Suggestion and Auto-Suggestion'. He is a great artist of Suggestion.  

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

George VI A Life from Beginning to End by Hourly History

George VI by Hourly History

The book George VI by Hourly History has turned out to be a lecture for me on the personal level. It has made me realize that there are big gaps in my study of Indian History, which I claim to know well.

I definitely have this awareness that my study of History of India is not complete. It is not because of my fault. The contours of the study of history were framed by the syllabus which I had studied at University level. It remained truncated because I was made to teach the History of India as per the syllabus framed by the university.

Presently, as per my understanding, the situation has aggravated further to a worst scenario. In case of Punjab University Chandigarh, at Undergraduate Level, the syllabus for History is covered in six semesters to be completed in three years. The first three semesters cover History of India from Ancient times starting from 3000 B. C. (BCE) to around 700 A. D. (CE). The second paper is called Medieval India starting from 1206 to 1707. The third paper is about Modern India which begins from 1757 and ends with 1964. Then there are two papers on Punjab History. There is only one paper on World History without any game plan. The History of Punjab is also taught to the student upto plus 2 level. Even there, they begin with the year 1469 and Guru Nanak. You ask the students to recollect the names of the ten gurus, well I will not tell about the response which you would get. The folklores are repleted with the stories of ear pierced Yogis. The books do not tell that there was Nath tradition of Gorkhnath that had dominated this region. (The same tradition from which Yogi Adityanath comes, the present Chief Minister of Uttar Pardesh. He is also an ear pierced Yogi. Can you see it?)

When India got Independence, from the rule of George VI, there were three major problems before India. The first problem was of refugees who were in a range of one crore approximately (figures vary from documents to documents. I have never cared to check the parliamentary reports.) The second problem was the unification of India with the Princely States. The third problem was to adopt the right Economic policy of India. It is believed that when the government of Nehru tried to seek the information from the historians, they did not have any information on the Economic History of India. The nationalist historians had started writing on the economic history of India from 1920 but they did not have enough data to provide to the government. The Nehru government took the help of a statistician Prasnta Chandra Mahalanobis and established the Planning Commission. This event had also brought in forefront the need of writing the history of India for the "We the People" who had adopted their constitution on November 26, 1949. By that time, The History of British India by V. A. Smith was one of the most respected work on History to be used for the country. The chapters in that book were framed as the rule of Clive, Warren Hasting, Cornwallis, etc. That was the time, when the country was imbued with the heightened feeling of nationalism and even Marxist had formed their group in form of Nationalist Marxist. A feeling was floated that it was a mark of servitude that the History of Modern India was based on the chapters framed on the working of the Governor Generals of Bengal, then the Governor Generals of India and finally the Viceroy of India. By 1960, the country or rather Congress found a historian in Tara Chand to write the history which changed the history of Modern India into the Freedom of Struggle of Indians. The Marxist contributed in writing to Freedom Struggle of India which is still popular in the titles written by Bipin Chandra and S. S. Sen. The history which was then written tried to remove the British names out of the books of History. But, after that, the definition and the chapter forming of the history of India was dominated by the intellectual, historians and scholars with strong Marxist mindset.

Now the trend is about writing and popularizing the regional history. Every state is telling more and more about their state to their young people as I have already tried to show in case of the syllabus of Punjab University Chandigarh. No where, there is a history of India for the "We the People".

All through this period, that is for the last 70 years till now in 2017, Indians have not written the History of India and definitely do not have any clear idea of history. If you have to learn history of India, you may like it or not, you have to talk about the English names and their working. It is only in case of selection tests for various selection examinations, they try to ask unexpected MCQs, and then, there they would ask, who was the Queen of England in 1858? or Who was the Prime Minister of Britain in 1945? Why are you asking such questions? Are you studying the History of Britain?

In case of American Historians, I have found, that they are very clear about their European Heritage. Whenever, there is a need, or whenever, they talk about the history of USA, they try to delve deeper into their European heritage. They are not adverse to invoke this aspect of history in making of United States and do not adopt any double standards there.

Anyhow, this is my ranting. I write what I want to write. In short, I always find it a shortcoming in my study of History of Modern India, that I know that I do not have full understanding of the British Politics and History when I try to explain the STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM of INDIA in equally louder sound.

It is here in the case of this book that I had just enjoyed reading this small biography of Prince Albert, who became George VI in 1936.

I have already talked about two titles which are published by Hourly History and have posted it on this blog itself. I have pointed out two major flaws in their work. They do not tell about the actual writer of the title. Dear Friends, Hourly History is no Author. Kindly reveal your identity. The publication must reveal the identity of the individual author. The second objection is that they do not give any bibliography or references and called their work as work of History. The same objection is raised here for this title also. But this title is somewhat different and I have enjoyed reading it.

I had completed the reading of this title on April 24, 2017. This time I had discontinued the reading of W. W. Atkinson and just picked up this title. I actually downloaded it on April 24, 2017 and just read it. I did not google much. I did not try to see the Wikipedia entry. I definitely searched for some terms and names. But I did not go for a further search on the internet. I read it from chapter to chapter while attending to my other primary duties. But, I returned back to read the next line or chapter, the moment I got the time. It is a book meant to be read in an hour. I read it and probably devoted only an hour on all counts.

The very first chapter attracts your attention to learn about Albert. It was written by a person who knew that he was writing about an elite person but he also knew how to create a profile of a person from the time angle and also from psychological, social and political angles even if he was portraying a profile of a member of a royal family. This tile of the chapter is "Introduction".

The Introduction is followed by following ten chapters.
Early Years
Prince Albert in the Navy
The Great War
Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
The Reign and Abdication of King Edward VIII
Becoming King Geoge VI
The Second World War
Post-Wars Years
Final Years

Wikipedia Connection:
It was only after completing the reading of the whole book, that I tried to check into Wikipedia. There I found that the portrait which was displayed on the title of this book was similar to the one, that appeared on Wikipedia. I reproduce it here and it displayed to your right hand side with the acknowledgement.
King George VI (Source: Wikipedia)

I also found that in case of the conclusion, there was an apparent similarity in the conclusion written in this book and lines written under the paragraph titled the Illness and Death.

Wikipedia Book.

As I have already mentioned that while reading this title I did not explore the interenet contrary to what I claim that it is a practice with me that I explore the Internet extensively while reading the book. It is a practice with me. However, now I feel, that a Wikipedia Book must be compiled to substantiate this book. King George VI definitely lived an eventful period in the history and had left a great mark on the history of his own country. I will soon produce that compilation.

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