It is a strange and almost amusing fact that there should be at the same time, on the part of the general public, such a general acceptance of the existence of personal magnetism, on the one hand, and such an ignorance of the nature of this wonderful force, on the other hand. -from Chapter 1, "Personal Magnetism" The New Thought movement of the turn of the twentieth century combined Christian spirituality with paranormal power in an effort to give practical expression to the forces of the universe. Or so its proponents believed. One of the most influential thinkers of this early "New Age" philosophy promises here, in this 1913 book, to show the reader "how to develop your personality" and "how to develop a dominating influence" through such exercises as: . Projecting Nerve Force . Mental Radiation . The Positive Aura . The Magnetic Duel . Magnetic Self-Defence . The Power of Controlling Others The roots of today's groundswell for self-help, personal empowerment, and pop spirituality can be explored in this one small, highly entertaining book. Also available from Cosimo Classics: The Advanced Course in Personal Magnetism, by Theron Q. Dumont.
American writer WILLIAM WALKER ATKINSON (1862-1932)-aka Theron Q. Dumont-was born in Baltimore and had built up a successful law practice in Pennsylvania before professional burnout led him to the religious New Thought movement. He served as editor of the popular magazine New Thought from 1901 to 1905, and as editor of the journal Advanced Thought from 1916 to 1919. He authored dozens of New Thought books-including Arcane Formula or Mental Alchemy and Vril, or Vital Magnetism-under numerous pseudonyms, some of which are likely still unknown today.