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The Magic of Believing Mass Market Paperback

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; First Pocket Books Printing edition (May 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671745212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671745219
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (223 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

The late Claude M. Bristol was a lawyer, lecturer, investment banker, and foreign correspondent. He is the coauthor of the long-time bestseller, TNT: The Power Within. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

How I came to tap the power of belief

Is there some force, or factor, or power, or 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 book to try to explain it so that you can use it if you desire.

Around 1933 the financial editor of a great Los Angeles newspaper attended lectures I gave to financial men in that dry and read my brochure T.N.T. -- It Rocks the Earth. Afterwards, he 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 practical and 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. This "something" has always been known to a fortunate few down the centuries, but for some unknown reason it is still barely understood by the average person.

Years ago, when I started to teach this science by means of ? lectures and my brochure, I wasn't certain that the concepts could be grasped by the ordinary individual. But since then, I have seen those who have used it to double and triple their incomes, build their own successful businesses, acquire homes of their dreams, and create sizable fortunes. I am now 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. But a few months ago, a woman in the book business who had sold many copies of my first little book literally read me the riot act:

"You have a duty to give to the men and women who seek places for themselves in the world, in easily understood form, the new material that you have given in your lectures. Everyone of ambition wants to get ahead, and you have amply demonstrated that you have something that will help anyone. 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 active for many years in ex-service men's organizations as well as a state commission for the rehabilitation of ex-service men and women, I realized that it would be hard for many individuals to make outstanding places for themselves in a world from which they had long been separated. It is with a sincere desire to help them, as well as all ambitious men and women, that I write this more full and detailed exposition of the Power of Belief. Thus this work is written also to help develop individual thinking and doing.

Since this book may fall into the hands of some who may call me a crackpot or 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. Police reporters are trained to get facts and take 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.

The well-known English evangelist Gypsy Smith was making a tour of America at that time. Night after night as I sat on his platform, watching people stumble down the aisles, some sobbing, others shouting hysterically, I wondered....

Again I wondered when I accompanied the police in answering a riot call: some Holy Rollers in a moment of hysteria had 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 Christian Scientists' Wednesday night meetings. I wondered when I watched a group of people immersed in the icy waters of a mountain stream and coming up shouting "Hallelujah!" even though their teeth were chattering. I wondered at the Indians' ceremonial dances and their rain-dance rituals. Billy Sunday also caused me to wonder as, in later years, did Aimee Semple McPherson.

In France during the First World War, I marveled at the simple faith of the peasants and the powers of their village curées. I heard stories of miracles at Lourdes, and of somewhat similar miracles at other shrines. When in a famous old Roman church, I saw elderly men and women 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 the story of Joseph Smith and the revelations on the plates of gold, I was again given to wonder. 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 could, it was claimed, cause people to die or live by praying. 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 "spirits" respond before a crowded courtroom of antagonistic scoffers. The judge had promised to release the medium if he could get the "spirits" to speak in the courtroom. Yet they failed to materialize, and I wondered why -- because the medium's followers had testified to remarkable séances.

Many years later, I was commissioned to write a series of articles on what the police call the "fortune-telling racket." I visited everyone from gypsy phrenologists to crystal-ball gazers, from astrologers to spiritualistic mediums. I 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 worse ailments were up and -- apparently -- fully recovered within a short time. I have known of partially paralyzed people who got over their condition in a matter of days. I have known people who claim to have cured their rheumatism or arthritis by wearing a copper band around their wrists -- others by mental healing. From relatives and close friends I have heard stories of how warts on hands 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 happenings and healings.

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

Apparently I was born with a huge bump of curiosity, for 1 have always had an insatiable yearning to seek answers and explanations. This quest has taken me to many strange places, brought to light many peculiar cases, and caused me to read every book I could get my hands on dealing with religions, cults, and physical and mental sciences. I have read literally thousands of books on modem psychology, metaphysics, ancient magic, Voodoo, Yoga, 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 great masters of the past.

Many were nonsensical, others strange, and many very profound. Gradually I discovered that a golden thread 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 -- that 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 works miracles is something that cannot be satisfactorily explained; but have no doubt that there's genuine magic in believing. "The magic of believing" became a phrase around which my thoughts steadily revolved.

I am convinced that the so-called secret fraternal organizations guard a real "royal secret" which very few members ever grasp. The conclusion must be that "no mind ever receives the truth until it is pr...

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Customer Reviews

The information is simple, yet very powerful.
R. R. Formby
This book will help positively change the way you look at situations in your life.
I had picked up this book years ago and finally read it this past week.
Luvs Books

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

250 of 253 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 9, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first heard about "The Magic of Believing" in 1973,listening to Larry Glick's late-night talk show on WBZ Boston -- he was absolutely sold on it and kept bringing on celebrity guests who felt the same way, and I eventually bought a copy. I was skeptical going in, and for a while after - this was'nt the first self -help book I had read and not the most polished in style. But there was something about it -- the down-to-earth commonsense of the author I think (Bristol seems to have been above all a practical guy)-- that kept me reading it to the end. I started to do some of the mechanical things -- aids to visualization -- he suggested, figuring what the hell, what's to lose?. I decided the goal to set was to move up from my earnings at the time ($20k per year) to three times that amount -- virtually "impossible" where I was working. To cut to the chase. A year later I was making $80,000 per year, I kept doing better each year and I am still doing well. Things fell into place without any planning too many to relate. I gave up a salaried job I hated in order to free-lance but without any real prospects for doing well at it -- the idea was to tread water until I found something I liked better. But a first client appeared out of nowhere and referred me to another. Work kept coming in and did not stop. Every year I did better. I don't really know how it works, and I don't particularly care. I do know it worked for me -- and still does, and not just financially. So do I believe Bristol was on to something? You bet your life I do. I have also had a chance to observe other people for whom things seem to work out well, none of whom have read this book. They confirm one of its basic principles. People tend to get what they expect -- they fulfil their own prophecies. In general, optimists thrive, the pessimists don't. What this book shows is that these attitudes are not "givens" -- to an extent they can be self-generated.
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166 of 171 people found the following review helpful By Stogie Chomper on January 7, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Of all the self-help and self-improvement books I have read in my life, this one is best. Claude Bristol wrote "The Magic of Believing" in the late forties when the subconscious mind was less understood. He only knew that there was some kind of powerful psychic force that exists, that can be tapped for man's good. Intuitively, I think I have always known this. I first learned it in college, when I made an effort to change my beliefs about what is possible -- and made the Dean's List for the first time in my life.
The mind is like a thermostat, and once set at a level of accomplishment, it will not allow the individual to exceed that set level. The thermostat is really what you believe is possible for you. When "the area of the possible" expands for you, your accomplishments will expand as well.
This is not really "magic," it only seems that way. It is really natural forces at work that are not completely understood, yet may be used for your benefit.
I reread this book every few years. I am always amazed at the insights it contains.
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96 of 97 people found the following review helpful By John P. Morgan VINE VOICE on September 7, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I find human beings fascinating. We go through life thinking that somehow the world is outside of us, that things just seem to happen to us, that there really is no way to get ahead in life so stop complaining...nobody will listen anyway, right? Most of us just settle for the leftovers...fighting over the scraps like scavenger dogs and yet within the heart and soul of each of us there lives a King...a Queen...that desires to come forth and lay claim to what is rightfully ours to express, extend, and experience. But how do we do this? How do we go from rags to riches? How do we step away from our past and into a glorious present?

By believing...

I see you smirking. I know, I know, you've heard that before. But did you really believe or did you just pretend to believe when in fact you did believe you just believed that you didn't believe even though you were still believing? Got it?

We cannot escape believing. We believe even when we don't believe. It's not a question of whether or not we are believing, it becomes a matter of what we are willing to believe. I once believed that God was out to get me. Everywhere I went I met with dissapointment, failure, and rejection. I believed that I was cursed and you could not talk me out of it no matter what. And then I got this book. I don't exactly know how it came into my experience, but there must have been a smidgen of optimism in my fog of despair to allow some clarity to shine through.

While reading this book I had an ephiphany. I am the writer, the director, the producer, and the star actor of my own show. My Life is my very own production. Let's just say that bad things really did happen in my life. Good things could've been happening at the same time but I believed in the "bad" more than the "good".
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63 of 66 people found the following review helpful By K.B. on March 26, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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. Also liked The Prayer Project: How Each One of Us Can Make The World a Better Place to Live - In a Few Minutes a Day.
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