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The Magic of Believing: The Classic Guide to the Miracle Power of Your Mind

The Magic of Believing: The Classic Guide to the Miracle Power of Your Mind

3.9 15
by Claude Bristol

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This inspirational masterpiece reveals how faith and belief are the keys to success – as a special bonus it includes the author’s classic on unlocking the prospering powers of your mind, TNT: It Rocks the Earth.   

As if by magic, some people know how to make wishes come true. In this classic exploration of mental


This inspirational masterpiece reveals how faith and belief are the keys to success – as a special bonus it includes the author’s classic on unlocking the prospering powers of your mind, TNT: It Rocks the Earth.   

As if by magic, some people know how to make wishes come true. In this classic exploration of mental visualization and autosuggestion, journalist and businessman Claude M. Bristol discloses the secret of turning belief into success.

Bristol learned early in life that if he clearly visualized his goals, and strongly believed in them, he would attain them.

Since its first appearance in 1948, The Magic of Believing has persuaded millions of the literal truth of the Biblical text: “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”

This volume also includes Bristol’s first book, TNT: It Rocks the Earth (1932), a concise guide to harnessing your mental dynamite.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Tarcher Success Classics
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Penguin Group
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File size:
910 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt



With an Introduction by Palmer Hoyt, Editor and Publisher, The Denver Post, Denver, Colorado; Member, United States Air Policy Commission




“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”


Generally speaking, people are more interested in themselves and their success than anything else. For this reason Claude M. Bristol’s book, The Magic of Believing, ought to enjoy widest readership.

In simple straightforward language, Mr. Bristol has set forth some basic principles of the fuller use of the mind in achieving practical objectives. He has illumined these potential uses with a wealth of descriptive instances, many of them based on his own personal experiences and observations embracing many years as a newspaper man and a successful business executive. He has traveled extensively over the world and has long investigated and studied what he calls “Mind Stuff.”

Claude Bristol has been helping people to help themselves for twenty years and I have been conversant with what the author has done with his theme during the period. I am also conversant with persons mentioned in this interesting book and with various successes they have achieved.

Mr. Bristol believes deeply that any person can achieve any given aim if he believes strongly enough and he presents a well documented case to prove his point. He makes no claim to being a “mental healer,” but his observations on the relationship of mind to health are of more than passing interest.

The Magic of Believing does not delve into the occult. At the same time it does not limit the possibilities that telepathy and the use of the subconscious present.

The Magic of Believing should be an inspiration to any one who reads it carefully because, in its development and its documentation, it is a clear picture of how the great potential possibilities of the mind may be utilized to achieve the ambitions of anyone interested.

Having served in World War I as well as having had a part in the war effort where I came in close contact with service people of World War II, and being aware of potential postwar problems, I should like to see a copy of this book in the hands of every ex-service man and woman as well as all others sincerely interested in making a place for themselves in the years to come.


Editor and Publisher

The Denver Post

Denver, Colorado


Is there a something, a force, a factor, a power, a science—call it what you will—which a few people understand and use to overcome their difficulties and achieve outstanding success? I firmly believe that there is, and it is my purpose in this, first complete exposition of the subject, to attempt to explain it so that you may use it if you desire.

About fifteen years ago the financial editor of a great Los Angeles newspaper, after attending lectures I had given to financial men in that city and after having read my brochure, T.N.T.—It Rocks the Earth, wrote:

“You have caught from the ether something that has a mystical quality—a something that explains the magic of coincidence, the mystery of what makes men lucky.”

I realized that I had run across something that was workable, but I didn’t consider it then, neither do I now, as anything mystical, except in the sense that it is unknown to the majority of people. It is something that has always been known to a fortunate few down the centuries, but, for some unknown reason, is little understood by the average person.

When I started out years ago to teach this science through the medium of lectures and my brochure, I wasn’t certain that it could be or would be grasped by the ordinary individual; but now that I have seen those who have used it double and triple their incomes, build their own successful businesses, acquire homes in the country, and create sizable fortunes, I am convinced that any intelligent person who is sincere with himself can reach any heights he desires. I had no intention of writing a second book, although many urged me to do so, until a few months ago, when a woman in the book business, who had sold many copies of my first little book, literally “read the riot act” to me, declaring:

“You have a duty to perform to the ex-service men and women, and all others who seek places for themselves in a postwar world, to give them in easily understood form not only what you contained in your T.N.T.It Rocks the Earth but the new material that you have given in your lectures. Everyone of ambition wants to get ahead and you have amply demonstrated you have something that will help anyone, and it’s up to you to pass it along.”

It took time to sell myself on the idea, but having served as a soldier in World War I, mostly in France and Germany, and having been an active official for many years in ex-service men’s organizations as well as a member of a state commission to aid in the rehabilitation of ex-service men and women, I realized that it would be no easy task for many individuals to make outstanding places for themselves in a practical world from which they had long been separated. It is with them in mind, as well as all ambitious men and women, and with a sincere desire to help, that I write this full and detailed exposition of the power of belief.

I am cognizant of the fact that there are powerful forces at work in this country that would dominate us, substituting a kind of regimentation for the competitive system which has made America great among nations. They would attempt to destroy individual thinking and initiative, cherished ever since our Pilgrim Fathers established this country in defiance of Old World tyranny. I believe that we must continue to retain the wealth of spirit of our forefathers, for if we don’t we shall find ourselves dominated in everything we do by a mighty few and shall become serfs in fact if not in name. Thus this work is written also to help develop individual thinking and doing.

Since I am aware that this book may fall into the hands of some who may call me a “crackpot” or a “screwball,” let me say that I am past the half-century mark and have had many years of hard practical business experience, as well as a goodly number of years as a newspaper man. I started as a police reporter, and police reporters are trained to get facts and “accept nothing for granted.” For a two-year period I was church editor of a large metropolitan newspaper, during which I came in close contact with clergymen and leaders of all sects and denominations, mind-healers, divine healers, Spiritualists, Christian Scientists, New Thought-ers, Unity leaders, sun and idol worshipers, and, yes, even a few infidels and pagans.

Gypsy Smith, well-known English evangelist, was making an early tour of America at that time, and as I used to sit night after night on his platform, watching people stumble down the aisles, some sobbing, others shouting hysterically, I wondered.

Again I wondered as I accompanied the police in answering a riot call when some Holy Rollers in a moment of hysteria knocked over a stove and set fire to their meeting hall. When I attended my first and only meeting of Shakers, I wondered as I did while attending various spiritualistic meetings. I wondered as I heard the testimonials at the Wednesday night meetings of Christian Scientists. I wondered when I witnessed a group of white people being immersed in the icy waters of a mountain stream and coming up shouting “Hallelujah,” even though their teeth were chattering. I wondered at the ceremonial dances of the Indians and their rain-calling programs. Billy Sunday also caused me to wonder, as in later years did Aimee Semple McPherson.

In France during the first war I marveled at the simple faith of the peasants and the powers of their village padres. The stories of the so-called miracles at Lourdes, as well as of somewhat similar miracles at other shrines, also held great interest. When I saw elderly men and women in a famous old Roman church climb literally on their knees up a long flight of stairs to gaze upon a holy urn—a climb that is no simple task for an athletically trained young person—I wondered again.

Business brought me into contact with the Mormons, and when I heard of the belief in the story of Joseph Smith and the revelations on the plates of gold, I was again given to wonderment. The Dukhobors of western Canada, who would doff their clothes when provoked, likewise made me wonder. While in Hawaii I heard much about the powers of the kahunas who, it was claimed, could, by praying, cause people to die or live. The great powers attributed to these kahunas profoundly impressed me.

In my early days as a newspaper man I saw a famous medium try to make the “spirits” respond before a crowded courtroom of antagonistic scoffers. The judge had promised the medium he would be freed if he could get the “spirits” to speak in the courtroom. They failed to materialize and I wondered why, because the medium’s followers had testified to remarkable prior séances.

Many years later I was commissioned to write a series of articles on what is known in police parlance as the “fortune-telling racket.” I visited everything from gypsy phrenologists to crystal-ball gazers, from astrologers to spiritualistic mediums. I have heard what purported to be the voices of old Indian “guides” tell me the past, the present, and the future, and I heard from relatives I never knew existed.

Several times I have been in a hospital room in which people around me died, while others with seemingly no worse ailments were up and apparently fully recovered within a short time. I have known partially paralyzed people who claim they have cured their rheumatism or arthritis by wearing a copper band around their wrists—and have known others who claimed a cure by mental healing. From relatives and close friends I have heard stories of how warts on hands have suddenly disappeared. I am familiar with the stories of those who permit rattlesnakes to bite them and still live, and with hundreds of other tales of mysterious healings and happenings.

I have, moreover, made myself familiar with the lives of great men and women of history; I have met and interviewed many outstanding men and women in all lines of human endeavor; and I have often wondered just what it was that took them to the top while others were lost in obscurity. I have seen coaches take apparently inferior baseball and football teams and infuse them with “something” that caused them to win. In the depression days I saw sales organizations, badly whipped, do an abrupt about-face and bring in more business than ever before.

Apparently I was born with a huge bump of curiosity, for I have always had an insatiable yearning to seek explanations and answers. This yearning has taken me to many strange places, brought to light many peculiar cases, and has caused me to read every book I could get my hands on dealing with religions, cults, and both physical and mental sciences. I have read literally thousands of books on modern psychology, metaphysics, ancient magic, Voodooism, Yogism, Theosophy, Christian Science, Unity, Truth, New Thought, Couéism, and many others dealing with what I call “Mind Stuff,” as well as the philosophies and teachings of the great masters of the past.

Many were nonsensical, others strange, and many very profound. Gradually I discovered that there is a golden thread that runs through all the teachings and makes them work for those who sincerely accept and apply them, and that thread can be named in the single word—belief. It is this same element or factor, belief, which causes people to be cured through mental healing, enables others to climb high the ladder of success, and gets phenomenal results for all who accept it. Why belief is a miracle worker is something that cannot be satisfactorily explained; but have no doubt about it, there’s genuine magic in believing. “The magic of believing” became a phrase around which my thoughts steadily revolved.

I am convinced that in the so-called secret fraternal organizations there is a real “royal secret” which very few members ever grasp, and the conclusion must be that “no mind ever receives the truth until it is prepared to receive it.” I am convinced also that some of these organizations, like many secret orders which have a knowledge and an understanding of life, use parables and misinterpretations to mislead. In one order, candidates are provided with a very profound book (to be studied in connection with the degree work), which itself would be well-nigh an open-sesame to life if these candidates would understand and follow its tenets; but few read it, complaining that “it is too deep” for them.

When T.N.T.—It Rocks the Earth was first published, I imagined that it would be easily understood, as I had written it simply; but as the years went by I found that some readers protested that it was too much in digest form, while others said they couldn’t understand it. I had assumed that most people knew something about the power of thought. I was mistaken, and I realized that those who had an understanding of the subject were comparatively few. Later in my many years of lecturing before clubs, business and sales organizations, I discovered that while most people were vitally interested in the subject, it had to be fully explained. Finally, I undertook to write this book in words that anyone who reads can understand and with the hope that it will help many to reach their goal in life.

The science of thought is as old as man himself. The wise men of all ages have known about it and used it. The only thing the writer has done is to put the subject in modern language and bring to the reader’s attention what a few of the outstanding minds of today are doing to substantiate the great truths that have come down through the centuries.

Fortunately for the world, people generally are coming to the realization that there is “something to this mind-stuff after all,” and the writer believes that there are millions of people who would like to get a better understanding of it and prove that it does work.

Therefore, I start with relating a few experiences of my own life, with the hope that by hearing them, you will gain a better understanding of the entire science. Early in 1918 I landed in France as a “casual” soldier, unattached to a regular company. As a result it was several weeks before my service record, necessary for my pay, caught up with me. During that period I was without money to buy gum, candy, cigarettes, and the like, as the few dollars I had before sailing had been spent at the transport’s canteen to relieve the monotony of the ship’s menu. Every time I saw a man light a cigarette or chew a stick of gum, the thought came that I was without money to spend on myself. Certainly, I was eating and the army clothed me and provided me with a place on the ground to sleep, but I grew bitter because I had no spending money and no way of getting any. One night en route to the forward area on a crowded troop train when sleep was out of the question, I made up my mind that when I returned to civilian life, “I would have a lot of money.” The whole pattern of my life was altered at that moment.

True, I had been something of a reader in my youth; the Bible had been a “must” in our family. As a boy I was interested in wireless telegraphy, X-ray, high-frequency apparatus, and similar manifestations of electricity, and I had read every book on these subjects I could find. But while I was familiar with such terms as radiations, frequencies, vibrations, oscillations, magnetic influences, etc., in those days they meant nothing to me outside of the strictly electrical field. Perhaps the first inkling of a connection between the mind and electrical or vibratory influences came when upon my completing law school an instructor had given me an old book, Thomson Jay Hudson’s Law of Psychic Phenomena. I read it but only superficially. I either did not understand it or my mind was not ready to receive its profound truths, because, when on that fateful night in the spring of 1918 I told myself that some day I would have a lot of money, I did not realize that I was laying the groundwork for a series of causes which would unleash forces that would bring accomplishment. As a matter of fact, the idea that I could with my thinking and believing develop a fortune never entered my mind.

On my army classification card I was listed as a newspaper man. I had been attending an army training school to qualify for a commission, but the whole training-school course was discontinued just as we finished the course; thus most of us landed in France as enlisted men. However, I considered myself a qualified newspaper man and felt that there was a better place for me in the A.E.F.; yet, like many others, I found myself pushing wheelbarrows and lugging heavy shells and other ammunition. Then one night at an ammunition depot near Toul, things began to happen. I was ordered to appear before the commanding officer who asked me whom I knew at First Army Headquarters. I didn’t know a soul there and didn’t even know where it was located, and I told him. Then he showed me orders directing me to report immediately to that headquarters. A car and driver were provided and the next morning found me at First Army Headquarters in charge of a daily progress bulletin. There I was answerable only to a colonel.

During the months that followed I frequently thought about the commission to which I was entitled. Then the links began to form into a chain. One day entirely out of a clear sky came orders transferring me to the Stars and Stripes, the army newspaper; I had long had an ambition to be on its staff but had done nothing about it. The next day as I was preparing to leave for Paris I was called before the colonel who showed me a telegram signed by the Adjutant General’s office at GHQ, asking if I was available for a commission. The colonel asked whether I would rather have a commission than report to the army newspaper. Foreseeing that the war would soon end and I would be happier among other newspaper men, I said I would prefer the transfer to the Stars and Stripes. I never learned who was responsible for the telegram, but obviously something was working in my behalf.

Following the armistice, my desire to get out of the army became insistent. I wanted to begin building that fortune, but the Stars and Stripes did not suspend publication until the summer of 1919, and it was August before I got home. However, the forces I had unconsciously set in motion were already setting the stage for me and that fortune. It was about nine-thirty the next morning after my arrival home that I received a telephone call from the president of a well-known club in which I had been active. He told me to call a certain man prominent in the investment banking business who had read a newspaper item about my return and had expressed a wish to see me before I resumed newspaper work. I called the man and two days later embarked upon a long career as an investment banker, which later led me to the vice-presidency of a well-known Pacific Coast firm.

While my salary was small at the start, I realized that I was in a business where there were many opportunities to make money. Just how I was to make it was then not revealed, but I “just knew” that I would have that fortune I had in mind. In less than ten years not only did I have it, and it was sizable, but I was a substantial stockholder in the company and had several outside profitable interests. During those years I had constantly before me a mental picture of wealth.

Many people in moments of abstraction or while talking on the telephone engage in what is known as “doodling”—drawing or sketching odd designs and patterns upon paper. My “doodling” was in the form of dollar signs like these “$$$$$—$$$$—$$$—$$” on every paper that came across my desk. The cardboard covers of all the files placed before me daily were scrawled with these markings, so were the covers of telephone directories, scratch-pads, and even the face of important correspondence. I want my readers to have this story, because it suggests the mechanics to be used in applying this magic which will be explained in detail later.

During the past years, I have found that by far the greatest problems bothering most people are financial ones, and in the postwar days with their intense competition, millions are facing the same kind of problems. However, it matters little to what ends this science is used, it will be effective in achieving the object of your desire—and in this connection let me tell another experience.

Shortly after the idea of T.N.T.—It Rocks the Earth came to me and before I reduced it to writing, I decided on a trip to the Orient and sailed on the Empress of Japan, noted for its excellent cuisine. In my travels through Canada and in Europe I had developed a fondness for “Trappist” cheese (made by the Trappist monks of Quebec), and when I couldn’t find it on the ship’s menus I complained laughingly to the chief steward that I had sailed on his ship only to get some of the famous “Trappist” cheese. He replied that he was sorry but there was none aboard. The more I thought about it, the more I hungered for some of that cheese. One night a ship’s party was held and upon returning to my cabin quarters after midnight I found that a big table had been set up in one of the rooms and on it was the largest cheese I had ever seen. It was “Trappist” cheese. Later I asked the chief steward where he found it and he answered: “I was certain we had none aboard when you first mentioned it, but you seemed so set on having some I made up my mind to search through all the ship’s stores. We found it in the emergency storeroom in the bottom of the hold.” Something was working for me on that trip, too, for I had no claim to anything but ordinary service. However, I sat at the executive officer’s table and was frequently his personal guest in his quarters as well as on inspection trips through the ship.

Naturally the treatment I received made a great impression on me and in Honolulu I often had the thought that it would be nice to receive comparable attention on my journey home on another ship. One afternoon I got the sudden impulse to leave for the mainland; it was about closing time when I appeared at the ticket agency to ascertain what reservations I could get. I was told that a ship was leaving the next day at noon and I could get the only remaining cabin ticket. I purchased it and the next day just a few minutes before noon, as I started up the gangplank, in an offhand manner I said to myself: “They treated you as a king on the Empress of Japan. The least you can do here is to sit at the captain’s table. Sure, you’ll sit at the captain’s table.”

The ship got under way and as we steamed out of the harbor, word was received from the dining-room steward for passengers to appear in the dining room for assignment to tables. About half the assignments had been made when I came before him. He asked me for my ticket which I placed on the table. He glanced at it and then at me, saying: “Oh yes, table A, seat No. 5.” It was the captain’s table and I was seated directly across from him. Many things happened aboard that ship which pertain to this subject, the most prominent being a party supposed to be in honor of my birthday—just an idea of the captain’s, because my birthday was months off.

Later when I found myself lecturing, I thought it would be well to get a letter from the captain substantiating the story and I wrote him. He replied: “You know sometimes as we go through life, instinctively we get the idea to do this or that. That noon I was sitting in the doorway of my cabin watching the passengers come up the gangplank, and as you came aboard, something told me to seat you at my table. Beyond that I cannot explain, any more than I can explain how I can frequently stop my ship at the right spot at the pier at the first try.”

People who have heard the story—people who know nothing about the magic of believing—have declared that it was mere coincidence that the captain selected me. I am certain it wasn’t, and I’m also certain that this captain who knows considerable about this science will agree with me. There were dozens of people aboard that ship far more important than I could ever be. I carried nothing to set me apart, being one of those who can pass in a crowd. So obviously it wasn’t the clothes I wore or the way I looked that caused the captain to pick me out of several hundred passengers to receive personal attention.

In laying before you this very workable science, I am aware that the subject has been handled before from many angles, largely from religious and metaphysical approaches, but I am also cognizant that many people shy away from anything that smacks of religion, the occult, or the metaphysical. Accordingly, I am presenting it in the language of a business man who believes that sincere thinking, clear writing, and simple language will get any message across to the people.

You have often heard it said that if you believe you can do a thing, you can do it. An old Latin proverb says, “Believe that you have it, and you have it.” Belief is the motivating force that enables you to achieve your goal. If you are ill and the thought or belief is imbedded deeply within you that you will recover, the odds that you will do so are all in your favor. It’s the belief or the basic confidence within you that brings outward or material results. I speak of normal and mentally composed people. I wouldn’t tell a crippled person that he could excel in baseball or football, nor would I tell a woman who was quite plain-looking that she could make herself into a great beauty overnight, since the odds are against it. Yet these things could happen, for there have been many remarkable cures; and I firmly believe that when more is learned about the powers of the mind we shall witness many cures deemed impossible today by the medical profession. Finally, I would never discourage anyone; for anything can happen in this life—and that which can help bring it to pass is Hope.

Dr. Alexander Cannon, a distinguished British scientist and physician, whose books on the general subject of thought have stirred up controversy here and abroad, declares that while today a man cannot grow a new leg (as a crab can grow a new claw), he could if the mind of man hadn’t rejected the possibility. The eminent scientist claims that if the thought is changed in the innermost depths of the unconscious mind, then man will grow a new leg as easily as the crab grows a new claw. I know that such a statement may sound absurd or at least incredible, but how do we know that it will not be done some day?

Frequently I lunch with a group of medical men, all specialists in various branches of medicine and surgery, and I know that if I voiced such an idea to them it would be suggested that I be examined by a lunacy commission. However, I find that some of these medical men, especially those more recently graduated from our better schools, are no longer closing their ears and minds to the part that thought plays not only in causing functional disturbances in the body, but also in curing them.

A few weeks before this was written, a neighbor came to me to explain how his warts happened to disappear. He said that while a patient at the hospital he had wandered out on the porch where another convalescent patient was conversing with a friend. The friend was saying to the second patient: “So you would like to get rid of the warts on your hand. Well, just let me count them and they’ll disappear.” My neighbor said he looked at the stranger for a moment, then said: “While you’re about it, will you count mine, too?” He did, and my neighbor thought no more about it until he happened to look at his hands one day after he had gone home. “The mess of warts had entirely disappeared!” he told me.

I told this story to a group of doctors one day, and a personal friend, a well-known specialist, grunted, saying: “Preposterous!” However, across the table from him was another doctor who had recently been teaching in a medical school. He came to my aid, declaring that there were many authenticated cases of suggestion having been used to cure warts.

While I was tempted to ask if any of them knew that in January, 1945, the Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons had set up the first psychoanalytic and psychosomatic clinic in this country for the purpose of studying the unconscious mind and the relationship between the mind and the body, I kept silent, for I felt that I was too outnumbered for an argument. I was certain, however, that none of them recalled that several years ago newspapers and medical journals had reported how Heim, a Swiss geologist, had removed warts by suggestion, and had also cited the procedure of Professor Block, another Swiss specialist, in his use of psychology and suggestion for the same purpose.

Since this conversation, considerable publicity has been given to the findings of Dr. Frederick Kalz, noted Canadian authority, who flatly states that suggestion works, in many cases, even to curing warts which are infectious and caused by a virus. In an article appearing in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 1945, Dr. Kalz declared that, “In every country in the world some magic procedures to cure warts are known . . . It may be anything from covering the wart with spider-webs to burying toad eggs on a crossroad at new moon; all these magic procedures are effective, if the patient believes in them.” In describing the treatment of patients with skin trouble, he says: “I have often prescribed the very same ointment, accompanied by some promising words, which has been tried unsuccessfully by some other medical man, and got credit for a quick cure.” He also points out that especially suggestive is X-ray therapy, which works even when the technician fails to switch on the high power. Experiments with systematic fake irradiation bear out this observation. Here in Dr. Kalz’s work we see examples of the magic of believing actually at work in the curing of warts and the treatment of skin trouble.

Another time my medical friends and I were discussing telepathy and I remarked that some of our greatest students and scholars believed in it, mentioning that the late Dr. Alexis Carrel, member emeritus of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, was not only a thorough believer in the phenomenon but declared that there was definite scientific proof that man could project his thought even at great distances into other minds. This was a few months before the death of the famous scientist.

“Oh, he’s just a senile old man,” remarked another specialist at the table, a nationally known member of the American Medical Association.

I looked at him with astonishment, for when Dr. Carrel put forth his ideas in that remarkable book, Man the Unknown, published in 1935, he was regarded as one of the world’s foremost medical scientists and investigators. It will be recalled that he was the holder of the Nobel Prize for his medical research.

I have no quarrel with the medical fraternity. Quite the contrary, for generally its members are sincere, able and open-minded men, and a number, whom I highly esteem, are among my closest friends. However, I have related these stories to emphasize the point that some medical specialists, especially those inclined to restrict their studies to their respective fields, refuse to accept anything that may upset their early teachings and dogmatic beliefs. This resistance is not confined to the medical profession, for there are countless specialists in other lines, including business, who know very little outside of their chosen fields, and whose minds are closed to any idea beyond their limited imagination. Frequently, I have offered to lend books to these various specialists only to be told, upon informing them of the contents, that they were not interested.

This is the paradox. Many apparently well-educated men and women in their respective fields, will, in their broad ignorance, condemn the idea of thought power and will make no endeavor to learn more about it; and yet every one of them, if successful, has unconsciously made use of it. Again, many people will believe only what they like to believe or what fits into their own scheme of things, summarily rejecting anything to the contrary. Countless men whose ideas developed the very civilization in which we live today have been hooted at, slandered, and even crucified by the ignoramuses of their times. As I write this book, I think of the words of Marie Corelli, the English novelist, who became world famous in the last century.

“The very idea that any one creature (human) should be fortunate enough to secure some particular advantage which others, through their own indolence or indifference, have missed is sufficient to excite the envy of the weak or the anger of the ignorant . . . It is impossible that an outsider should enter into a clear understanding of the mystical spiritual-nature world around him and it follows that the teachings and tenets of that spiritual-nature world must be more or less a closed book to such a one—a book, moreover, which he seldom cares or dares to try and open. For this reason the sages concealed much of their profound knowledge from the multitude, because they rightly recognized the limitations of narrow minds and prejudiced opinions . . . What the fool cannot learn he laughs at, thinking that by his laughter he shows superiority instead of latent idiocy.”*

However, great investigators and thinkers of the world, including many famous scientists, are in the open today, freely discussing the subject and giving the results of their experiments. The late Charles P. Steinmetz, famous engineer of the General Electric Company, shortly before his death declared: “The most important advance in the next fifty years will be in the realm of the spiritual—dealing with the spirit—thought.” Dr. Robert Gault, while professor of Psychology at Northwestern University, was credited with the statement: “We are at the threshold of our knowledge of the latent psychic powers of man.”

Much has been written and said about mystical powers, unknown forces, the occult, metaphysics (beyond science), mental physics, psychology (the science of mind), black and white magic, and many kindred subjects, causing most people to believe that they are in the field of the supernatural. Perhaps they are for some, but my conclusion is that the only inexplicable thing about these powers is that it is belief that makes them work.

During the years that I have appeared before luncheon clubs, business concerns, and sales organizations, as well as talking over the radio to thousands of people about this science, I have seen results that can be termed phenomenal. And, as said previously, many who have used it in their business have doubled, trebled, and quadrupled their incomes. In some cases, even greater returns have been noted. My files are filled with letters from people in all walks of life, testifying what they have accomplished by using the science. As an instance, I think of Ashley C. Dixon, whose name is known to thousands of radio listeners in the Pacific Northwest and who a number of years ago wrote me voluntarily that it had enabled him to make more than $100,000. He said that he had studied this subject in an academic way, but had never fully believed it until he was forty-three, when with only $65 to his name, without employment, and no jobs available, he set out to prove to himself that the science would work. Mr. Dixon has given me permission to use his letter, from which I quote the following excerpts:

“Along came your book T.N.T. It put forth in workable form all that I had known before. It was like seeing Niagara Falls for the first time. One knew there was such a place; but confirmation was the actual personal contact with it. And so, T.N.T. gave me in print the facts I had known and used, but in a clear form. Here was something I could read and use day by day. Holding the thoughts till they were fully demonstrated.

“What has all this been worth to me in dollars and cents? That, of course, is the question of the average man. He wants to see something which will show up in the profit column; something material in the way of dollars and cents. Here’s the answer. Since I was forty-three, broke and needing food for the family, I have made a hundred thousand dollars. Most of it is in paid-up insurance and annuities. I have sold my business which cost me $5000 (originally borrowed) for $30,000 and am now working on a contract to run for the next ten years which will net me $50,000, if I loaf; and more if I care to work. This is not a boast. It is a factual statement of what has actually happened in the past ten years . . . It cannot be done in a moment, or a day or a month, but it can be done.”

In 1934, during the lowest point of the so-called depression, the head of the Better Business Bureau in one of the large Pacific Coast cities, heard of what was happening to firms and individuals who were following my teachings. He decided to investigate my work. Later he congratulated me publicly and subsequently wrote me as follows:

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
“In my opinion, one of the greatest inspirational and motivational books ever written in the United States is The Magic of Believing by Claude M. Bristol.”
Rev. Norman Vincent Peale

The Magic of Believing changed my life. Read it and any problem can be solved, happiness can be achieved, great rewards can be reaped.”
Phyllis Diller

“I began practicing the principles and philosophies in The Magic of Believing and found the secret of a successful formula.  I can truthfully say that since reading this book, I have experienced greater happiness.”

Meet the Author

Claude M. Bristol (1891-1951) worked for nearly forty years as a newspaper reporter and editor. After serving in World War One, Bristol became an advocate for the rights of veterans, whom he believed could better attain success in civilian life by harnessing the powers of the mind.

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The Magic of Believing 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is all about increasing the chances of getting what you want by believing that you CAN get it. Written in the 1940's, this book is still pretty popular. Interestingly, it's concepts are still being written about in more recent works such as "The Secret". I don't know how much science there really is to this stuff, but I will tell you that every successful person you talk to has believed, to varying degrees, that they COULD actually get to where they are today. There's just something about believing that it's possible to get what you want that makes things happen- and reading this book will go a long way towards getting your thoughts on the right track. The writing is laid back and the numerous examples make it interesting. Get the book if you feel like you need a little help in getting what you want out of life. It will get you headed in the right direction, and remember, you can't get what you want until you KNOW what you want. And believing you can get it is the whole point of the book. Other good goal-oriented books I liked include "Finding Happiness in a Frustrating World."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was recommended from another book I had read. This book teaches you to scratch the surface in a life long journey of self-manisfestation for anything in your life! Use it with caution and with good karma. The more you practise and re-read this book the further you expand the power of your mind. I was a little skeptical at first but, now I've attracted nothing short of great things in my life! This book is for those curious or wanting to release their inner most powers, the powers of the mind!
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the best books about the mind that I've read!! Page 11 paraphrases Dr. Alexander Cannon: 'Dr. Alexander Cannon...declares that while today a man cannot grow a new leg (as a crab can grow a new claw), he could if the mind of man hadn't rejected the possibility.' Claude Bristol concludes his discussion of Dr. Cannon by saying: 'I know that such a statement may sound absurd or at least incredible, but how do we know that it will not be done some day?' (page 11) This book is easy to understand and very practical. I love reading this book. I just ordered two more copies of it!! This book will help you realize your dreams! Read it as soon as you can!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Information might be helpful to those new to the concept of positive thinking. It had a few interesting facts about successful people and offered a couple of good techniques. I got kind of bored with it, so it took me over a week to finish it.
Brian_Marinelli More than 1 year ago
I first became aware of this book back in 1992 during a very challenging time in my life. I was at a crossroads with limited opportunities and even less prospects. I had no idea what my next move was. Finally, my Grandfather took me aside and handed me his personal copy of "The Magic of Believing" saying, "Read it!" My Grandfather claimed that the principles espoused in "The Magic of Believing" is what allowed him to build a multi-million dollar billboard company from the ground up. Once I began reading the book I was exposed to a world of possibilities that I had originally thought were beyond my reach. This is not just another book about "positive thinking"...it is much more that. "The Magic of Believing" gives you a nuts and bolts approach on how to move beyond your limitations, develop a CAN DO attitude and effectively utilize the law of attraction in your daily life. Even though this book was written back in the 1940's the information it contains is just as relevant today as when it was first published. In fact, new books, like "The Secret", borrow from the material in this tome. Personally, I reread "The Magic of Believing" at least once a year and always gain new insight and guidance within its pages. Brian J. Marinelli, Author
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Guest More than 1 year ago
A novel of a life time....it definitely changed my life...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Carl Bristol left a legacy behind. I have read numerous self-help books. Next to Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich book, this has to be among the best. The book is easy to follow and the excersises are practical.
Guest More than 1 year ago
...you're right!' -- Henry Ford. Have you ever known someone who constantly thinks doom and gloom, and seems to find it at every turn? Have you ever known someone who expects the best of every situation and always seems to get it? That, according to author Claude Bristol, is the Magic of Believing. The Magic of Believing works because Bristol was himself a skeptic at first. He presents this controversial topic with complete objectivity, addressing and overcoming objections throughout, and creates an excellent case for the power of belief. Bristol reminds us that '...whatever we fix our thoughts upon or steadily focus our imaginations upon, that is what we attract.' He doesn't assume that thought alone will bring success, but also encourages the reader to develop a plan of action, and gives simple steps to help make it a reality. I can personally vouch for the validity of this material. The unconscious application of these principles has taken me to international acclaim as an author, when three years ago my only resources were a written affirmation statement and a strong belief. Here's the funny part...it only works if you believe that it will work! If you don't, it won't. Do yourself a favor -- hang on to that naive belief long enough to see it work for you. This book could be where it all starts. Larry Hehn, Author of Get the Prize: Nine Keys for a Life of Victory