by George Henry.
The Illustrated London News, Oct. 05, 1918.
I got into the railway carriage the other morning just in time to hear the commencement of one of those rip-snorting arguments that do so much to liven up an otherwise somnolent line.
The subject—well, I don’t think one need draw the reader into it. It really doesn’t matter. What concerned one at this time, and still concerns one now, was the intellectual aspect of this warfare of words.
Brown started off with a long tirade. He spilled facts and figures that did not seem to me to bear mature consideration. He eloquently voiced some epigrammatic phrases that somehow seemed to have a ring of familiarity.
Jones responded in like manner and, curiously enough, his alleged facts and figures, as also his epigrammatic phrases, also gave one the impression of being old, familiar friends.
The argument waxed fast and furious, now and again fading out to mere ineptitude as each man got out of his depth…
Afterwards, when I had time to think it all over, I came to the startling realization that neither Brown nor Jones was voicing his own thoughts. Now I come to think it, I remember that Brown was carrying a copy of the "Daily Snort," while Jones was a reader of the "Morning Rumble."
Little wonder that some of those epigrammatic slogans sounded well-worn. It also explained why the argument had occasionally degenerated in futile spluttering when the two men got into realms of thought which had not been explored for them by their favorite journalists.
I have coined a term for their mental state—"Mental Indigestion."
There is a close analogy between the mind and the body in this respect. IF you overload the stomach and neglect to take sufficient exercise, sooner or later you will find that the stomach does its work inefficiently. You feel torpid (inactive) and "heavy" and quite a number of unpleasant symptoms are the final result.
It is the same with the mind.
Fill your mind with facts and neglect to exercise it and you will get "mental indigestion." And then, like the chronic dyspeptic (indigestion), you fly for succor to artificial aid.
The dyspeptic pours stuff out of bottles into his stomach—stuff that artificially digests his food for him.
The sufferer from "mental indigestion" gets ready-made intellectual digestion by letting somebody else form his opinions for him. His daily paper performs the same function as the dyspeptic’s "dope."
Now, if there is one thing above all others that the experience of the last four years has taught us, it is the necessity for every individual to think for themselves—to consider every aspect of every question, problem or event—individual and national, that crops up; and to form a mature, unbiased opinion upon it.
I venture to assert that if every man and woman of the nation formed his or her opinion on these lines, we should be within measurable distance of a real Utopia.
Further, if every man read one-quarter of the amount he usually reads and thoroughly digested that quarter, the individual and the nation would be the better for it.
Over and over again the nation has been stampeded into chaotic action merely by the constant repetition of some superficially ingenious parrot-cry which, if it had been the subject of careful reflection, would have received the contempt of indifference.
Right thinking means right action.
I would like to see that sound, sane axiom blazoned in heavy type beneath the title of every newspaper, magazine and journal in the country, as a reminder to all men that every individual is free to blaze his own trail in the vast empire of the mind.
As it is, mental indigestion is a very prevalent disorder. It does not confine itself to any one class—there’s quite as much evidence of mental indigestion at Westminster as there is in Wigan.
But, thank goodness, every man is not so afflicted. Within the last three years a silent but overwhelming revolution of thought has been going on in our midst. There is a vast army of men and women in existence to-day who:
- have learned the Laws of Thought,
- have realized the powers that were in them,
- have been taught that every individual is capable of efficient intellectual effort on his or her own behalf.
And saying this I have reached the point where this article is elevated to the dignity of advertisement; for these men and women are Pelmanists.
To me it seems that the greatest value of Pelmanism is in its ability to show all men how to throw off the intellectual torpidity and brain-sloth that comes of mental indigestion.
I know men who, before Pelmanism came to them, would have been utterly at a loss to express their opinions on any subject. They had never sufficiently considered a subject to form an opinion and, consequently, lacked the confidence to try.
Now, because they have been led to examine into their own thought-processes they find it a matter of ease to take any subject, separate and classify its components or deduct an opinion from a set of circumstances.
Instead of taking for granted all that they are told, they go about the world with eyes and ears alert and, from their observations; they create ideas for themselves. And in this wise are they nearer the truth than the "mental dyspeptic" can ever hope to be.
I have just been privileged to read an essay on Pelmanism written by a well-known lady of title, who is a student of the system. She says,
"Next to absence of thought, slipshod and confused thought is rampant among us. People take their opinions from newspapers, from rumor, from their neighbors, anywhere except from their informed recesses of their own minds. Pelmanism strikes at the root of two great national defects—mental sloth and fear of efficiency. It reveals to every student that he has in him the power to think for himself, to control and govern his life…"
If this were all that Pelmanism did—and in point of fact it is but a tithe of the benefit that results from its study—if it were all, I repeat, Pelmanism would be the greatest educational force—the most powerful force for good—that this generation has seen.
The time is coming when, even more than in the present, right thinking will be a vital necessity if we are to re-build a stately social order from the ruins that now confront us, and in that time the Pelmanists—now adding their numbers by thousands every week—will play a great part in the great efforts which must be made to arrive at the fruition of great ideals.
Remember, What matters most in your life is YOU and what you do with your life.
Pelmanism is an authoritative message to taking Action—the Pelman Course reveals, in simple terms, that all action in life is preceded by THOUGHT.
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