Born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1885, Robert Collier trained to become a priest early in his life, before settling on a career in business, achieving success in the fields of advertising, publishing, and engineering. After recovering from a chronic illness with the help of mental healing, Collier began studying New Thought, metaphysical, and success principles. He distilled these principles into a popular and influential pamphlet series, The Secret of the Ages, in 1926. He began issuing a second pamphlet series called The Secret of Gold in 1927 and completed it the following year under the title The Life Magnet. He died in 1950.
The Secret of the Agesby Robert Collier
The author of "Secret of the Ages", Robert Collier, during an active and successful life developed the basic ideas which opened up new vistas of living for countless multitudes of people. Brought up to be a priest, he worked as a mining engineer, an advertising executive and a prolific writer and publisher. His family carries on his quest to help people open up their… See more details below
The author of "Secret of the Ages", Robert Collier, during an active and successful life developed the basic ideas which opened up new vistas of living for countless multitudes of people. Brought up to be a priest, he worked as a mining engineer, an advertising executive and a prolific writer and publisher. His family carries on his quest to help people open up their minds to the potential within themselves and thereby to achieve wealth, success, health and happiness out of life.
Basically his concept is that there isa within each person-unknown to most of us-a sleeping giant who, properly aroused and stimulated can carry us onto happiness, fame and fortune. It is a "Genie-of-the-Brain more powerful, more the servant of our every wish, than was ever Alladin's fabled Genie-of-the-lamp-of old." Robert Collier published books, lessons, and magazines, of which over two million have been distributed, the most successful of which was "Secret of the Ages".
Collier's ideas on selling illustrate his dramatic grasp of the essentials of human nature. You must appeal to certain motives to make him buy, such as: love, gain, duty, pride, self-indulgence, and self-preservation. These are the six prime motives of human action. You have to find the motive that will impel your reader to do as you wish and then persuade him to order your product by showing him how he is going to benefit, and this you cannot do unless you have the faculty of putting yourself in his place. Would he be richer, healthier, happier, for having your product? Would it help his standing in the community? Would it enable him to do anything, write anything, say anything better than he could before? Is it something everyone should have? Would it help him to help those he loves? Would it prevent loss of money or the respect of others? Summed up, arousing the right motives comes down to making the reader want what you have to offer, whether that be merchandise or money or credit or a clean bill of health-not merely for what it is, but WHAT IT WILL DO FOR HIM! Many men have tried to write successful sales copy but few seem to have the knack of really reaching the customer.
Testimonies from many successful people who have studied "Secret of the Ages" leaves no doubt that this gifted man developed and communicated ideas which provide the key to unlocking the potential for success in anyone who is willing to make the effort.
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The Secret of the Ages
By ROBERT COLLIER
Dover Publications, Inc.Copyright © 2012 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
The World's Greatest Discovery
"You can do as much as you think you can,
But you'll never accomplish more;
If you're afraid of yourself, young man,
There's little for you in store.
For failure comes from the inside first,
It's there if we only knew it,
And you can win, though you face the worst,
If you feel that you're going to do it."
—Edgar A. Guest.
What, in your opinion, is the most significant discovery of this modern age?
The finding of Dinosaur eggs on the plains of Mongolia, laid—so scientists assert—some 10,000,000 years ago?
The unearthing of ancient tombs and cities, with their confirmation of the Scriptural story, and their matchless specimens of bygone civilizations?
The radio-active time clock by which Professor Lane of Tufts College estimates the age of the earth at 1,250,000,000 years?
Radio? Airplanes? Atomic energy? The Hydrogen Bomb?
No—not any of these. The really significant thing about them is that from all this vast research, from the study of bygone ages, men are for the first time beginning to get an understanding of that "Vital Force" which—somehow, some way—was brought to this earth thousands or millions of years ago. They are beginning to get an inkling of the infinite power it puts in their hands—to glimpse the untold possibilities it opens up.
This is the greatest discovery of modern times—that every man has within him a particle of "Creative Force" endowed with infinite Intelligence, infinite Resource; that he can call upon this Power at will; that it is as much the servant of his mind as was ever Aladdin's fabled "Genie-of-the-lamp" of old; that he has but to understand it and work in harmony with it to get from it anything he may need—health or happiness, riches or success.
To realize the truth of this, you have but to go back for a moment to the beginning of things.
In the Beginning
It matters not whether you believe that mankind dates back to the primitive Apeman of 500,000 years ago, or sprang full-grown from the mind of the Creator. In either event, there had to be a First Cause—a Creator. Some Power had to bring to this earth the first germ of Life, and the creation is no less wonderful if it started with the lowliest form of plant life and worked up through countless ages into the highest product of today's civilization, than if the whole were created in six days.
In the beginning, this earth was just a fire mist—six thousand or a billion years ago—what does it matter which?
The one thing that does matter is that some time, some way, there came to this planet the germ of Life—the Vital Force which animates all Nature—plant, animal, man. If we accept the scientists' version of it, the first form in which Life appeared upon earth was the humble Algae—a jellylike mass which floated upon the waters. This, according to the scientists, was the beginning, the dawn of life upon the earth.
Next came the first bit of animal life—the lowly Amoeba, a sort of jelly fish, consisting of a single cell, without vertebrae, and with very little else to distinguish it from the water round about. But it had life—the first bit of animal life—and sufficient Intelligence and Resource to find the means of sustaining life, and to PROGRESS. From that life, according to the scientists, we can trace everything we have and are today.
All the millions of forms and shapes and varieties of plants and animals that have since appeared are but different manifestations of life—formed to meet differing conditions. For millions of years this "Life Germ" was threatened by every kind of danger—from floods, from earthquakes, from droughts, from desert heat, from glacial cold, from volcanic eruptions—but to it each new danger was merely an incentive to finding a new resource, to putting forth Life in some new shape.
To meet one set of needs, it formed the Dinosaur—to meet another, the Butterfly. Long before it worked up to man, we see its unlimited resourcefulness shown in a thousand ways. To escape danger in the water, it sought land. Pursued on land, it took to the air. To breathe in the sea, it developed gills. Stranded on land, it perfected lungs. To meet one kind of danger it grew a shell. For another, a sting. To protect itself from glacial cold, it grew fur. In temperate climes, hair. Subject to alternate heat and cold, it produced feathers. But ever, from the beginning, it showed its power to meet every changing condition, to answer every creature need.
Had it been possible to kill this "Life Germ," it would have perished ages ago, when fire and flood, drought and famine followed each other in quick succession. But obstacles, misfortunes, cataclysms, were to it merely new opportunities to assert its power. In fact, it required obstacles to awaken it, to show its energy and resource.
The great reptiles, the monster beasts of antiquity, passed on. But the "Life Principle" stayed, changing as each age changed, always developing, always improving.
Whatever Power it was that brought this "Life Germ" to the earth, it came endowed with unlimited resource, unlimited energy, unlimited LIFE! No other force can defeat it. No obstacle can hold it back. All through the history of life and mankind you can see its directing intelligence—call it Nature, call it Providence, call it what you will—rising to meet every need of life.
The Purpose of Existence
No one can follow it down through the ages without realizing that the whole purpose of existence is GROWTH—expression. Life is dynamic—not static. It is ever moving forward—not standing still. The one unpardonable sin of nature is to stand still, to stagnate. The Gigantosaurus, that was over a hundred feet long and as big as a house; the Tyrannosaurus, that had the strength of a locomotive and was the last word in frightfulness; the Pterodactyl or Flying Dragon—all the giant monsters of Prehistoric Ages—are gone. They ceased to serve a useful purpose. They did not know how to meet the changing conditions. They stood still—stagnated—while the life around them passed them by.
Egypt and Persia, Greece and Rome, all the great Empires of antiquity, perished when they ceased to grow. China built a wall about herself and stood still for a thousand years. Today she is oppressed by Communism. In all Nature, to cease to grow is to perish.
It is for men and women who are not ready to stand still, who refuse to cease to grow, that this book is written. It will give you a clearer understanding of your own potentialities, show you how to work with and take advantage of the infinite energy all about you.
The terror of the man at the crossways, not knowing which road to take, will be no terror to you. Your future is of your own making. For the only law of Infinite Energy is the law of supply. The "Life Principle" is your principle. To survive, to win through, to triumphantly surmount all obstacles has been its everyday practice since the beginning of time. It is no less resourceful now than ever it was. You have but to supply the urge, to work in harmony with it, to get from it anything you may need.
For if this Vital Force is so strong in the lowest forms of animal life that it can develop a shell or a poison to meet a need; if it can teach the bird to circle and dart, to balance and fly; if it can grow a new limb on a spider to replace a lost one, how much more can it do for you—a reasoning, rational being, with a mind able to work with this "Life Principle," with an energy and an initiative to urge it on!
The evidence of this is all about you. Take up some violent form of exercise—rowing, tennis, swimming, riding. In the beginning your muscles are weak, easily tired. But keep on for a few days. The Vital Force flows into them more strongly, strengthens them, toughens them, to meet their new need. Do rough manual labor—and what happens? The skin of your hands becomes tender, blisters, hurts. Keep it up, and does the skin all wear off? On the contrary, the Vital Force provides extra thicknesses, extra toughness—callouses, we call them—to meet your need.
All through your daily life you will find this "Life Force" steadily at work. Embrace it, work with it, take it to yourself, and there is nothing you cannot do. The mere fact that you have obstacles to overcome is in your favor, for when there is nothing to be done, when things run along too smoothly, this "Life Force" seems to sleep. It is when you need it, when you call upon it urgently, when you seem to have used up every bit of Vital Force in you, that it is most on the job.
It differs from "Luck" in this, that fortune is a fickle jade who smiles most often on those who need her least. Stake your last penny on the turn of a card—have nothing between you and ruin but the spin of a wheel or the speed of a horse—and it's a thousand to one "Luck" will desert you! But it is just the opposite with the "Life Principle." As long as things run smoothly, as long as life flows along like a song, this "Life Principle" seems to slumber, secure in the knowledge that your affairs can take care of themselves.
But let things start going wrong, let ruin and disgrace stare you in the face—then is the time this "Life Force" will assert itself if you but give it a chance.
The "Open, Sesame!" of Life
There is a Napoleonic feeling of power that insures success in the knowledge that this invincible Life Force is behind your every act. Knowing that you have working with you a power which never yet has failed in anything it has undertaken, you can go ahead in the confident knowledge that it will not fail in your case, either. The ingenuity which overcame every obstacle in making you what you are, is not likely to fall short when you have immediate need for it. It is the reserve strength of the athlete, the "second wind" of the runner, the power that, in moments of great stress or excitement, you unconsciously call upon to do the deeds which you ever after look upon as superhuman.
But they are in no wise superhuman. They are merely beyond the capacity of your conscious self. Ally your conscious self with that sleeping giant within you, rouse him daily to the task, and those "superhuman" deeds will become your ordinary, everyday accomplishments.
W. L. Cain, of Oakland, Oregon, wrote: "I know that there is such a power, for I once saw two boys, 16 and 18 years of age, lift a great log off their brother, who had been caught under it. The next day, the same two boys, with another man and myself, tried to lift the end of the log, but could not even budge it."
How was it that the two boys could do at need what the four were unable to do later on, when the need had passed? Because they never stopped to question whether or not it could be done. They saw only the urgent need. They called upon all their vital forces—never doubting, never fearing—and the Genie which is in all of us waiting only for such a call, answered their summons and gave them the strength—not of two men, but of ten!
Medical men would explain it by saying that, under the stress of excitement, their glands pumped such stimulants into their blood that they were capable of almost any effort. But whether you call it glands or the answer to prayer, the fact remains that there is a Power in each of us capable of superhuman effort, and that under the stress of urgent need, we can call it forth.
It matters not whether you are Banker or Lawyer, Business Man or Clerk. Whether you are the custodian of millions, or have to struggle for your daily bread. The "Life Force" makes no distinction between rich and poor, high and low. The greater your need, the more readily will it respond to your call. Wherever there is an unusual task, wherever there is poverty or hardship or sickness or despair, there is this Servant of your Mind, ready and willing to help, asking only that you call upon him.
And not only is it ready and willing, but it is always ABLE to help. Its ingenuity and resource are without limit. It is Mind. It is Thought. It is the Telepathy that carries messages without the spoken or written word. It is the Sixth Sense that warns you of unseen dangers. No matter how stupendous and complicated, nor how simple your problem may be—the solution of it lies within yourself. And since the solution is there, this Mental Giant can call it forth. It can KNOW, and it can DO, every right thing. Whatever it is necessary for you to know, whatever it is necessary for you to do, you can know and you can do if you will but seek the help of this Genie-of-your-Mind and work with it in the right way.CHAPTER 2
"It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll,
I am the Master of my Fate;
I am the Captain of my Soul."
First came the Stone Age, when life was for the strong of arm or the fleet of foot. Then there was the Iron Age—and while life was more precious, still the strong lorded it over the weak. Later came the Golden Age, and riches took the place of strength—but the poor found little choice between the slave drivers' whips of olden days and the grim weapons of poverty and starvation.
Now we are entering a new age—the Atomic Age, which is really the Age of Mind—when every man can be his own master, when poverty and circumstance no longer hold power and the lowliest creature in the land can win a place side by side with the highest.
To those who do not know the resources of mind, these will sound like rash statements; but science proves beyond question that in the well springs of every man's mind are unplumbed depths—undiscovered deposits of energy, wisdom and ability. Sound these depths—bring these treasures to the surface—and you gain an astounding wealth of new power.
From the rude catamaran of the savages to the giant liners of today, carrying their thousands from continent to continent, is but a step in the development of Mind. From the lowly cave man, cowering in his burrow in fear of lightning or fire or water, to the engineer of today, making servants of all the forces of Nature, is but a measure of difference in mental development.
Man, without reasoning mind, would be as the monkeys are—prey of any creature fast enough and strong enough to pull him to pieces. At the mercy of wind and weather. A poor, timid creature, living for the moment only, fearful of every shadow.
Through his superior mind, he learned to make fire to keep himself warm; weapons with which to defend himself from the savage creatures round about; habitations to protect himself from the elements. Through mind he conquered the forces of Nature. Through mind he has made machinery do the work of millions of horses and billions of hands. What he will do next, no man knows, for man is just beginning to awaken to his own powers. He has split the atom—now he is harnessing its power. He is beginning to get an inkling of the unfathomed riches that are buried deep in his own mind. Like the gold seekers of '49, he has panned the surface gravel for the gold swept down by the streams. Now he is starting to dig deeper to the pure vein beneath.
We bemoan the loss of our forests. We worry over our dwindling resources of coal and oil. We decry the waste in our factories. But the greatest waste of all, we pay no attention to—the waste of our own potential mind power. Professor Wm. James, the world-famous Harvard psychologist, estimated that the average man uses only 10% of his mental power. He has unlimited power—yet he uses but a tithe of it. Unlimited wealth all about him—and he doesn't know how to take hold of it. With God-like powers slumbering within him, he is content to continue in his daily grind—eating, sleeping, working—plodding through an existence little more eventful than the animals', while all of Nature, all of life, calls upon him to awaken, to bestir himself.
Excerpted from The Secret of the Ages by ROBERT COLLIER. Copyright © 2012 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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