And indeed he obtained, especially in the said branch, unprecedented practical results. Thanks chiefly to the experiments he performed on people in order to elucidate from every aspect the various manifestations of the power of human thought, he was reputed by those round him to be a redoubtable magician and wizard.
The experiments which he performed on his friends and acquaintances with the mentioned aim led, among other things, to the result that some of the people who had met or even only heard about him began to be afraid of him, while others, on the contrary, became exaggeratedly respectful, and even, as is said, began to lick his boots.
I think that the main cause of this false conception which people formed of him was not his deep knowledge and the extraordinary development of inner forces he had achieved, but simply his understanding of one property of the functioning of man’s organism, which might be connected to a certain degree with the servility of human nature.
This property, which is inherent in every ordinary man, to whichever class he may belong and whatever his age, is that, whenever he thinks about something concrete outside himself, then his muscles instantly strain, that is to say vibrate, in the direction taken by his thoughts.
For example, if he thinks about America and his thoughts are turned in the direction where, according to his notions, America lies, certain of his muscles, particularly, so to say, the fine ones, vibrate towards the same place; in other words, their entire tension strains in that direction.
In the same way, if the thoughts of a man are turned towards the second floor of a house when he himself is on the first floor, certain of his muscles are strained and, as it were, raised upwards; in short, a movement of the thoughts in a definite direction is always accompanied by a tension of the muscles in the same direction.
This phenomenon proceeds even among those who are aware of its existence and who try by all the means known to them to avoid it.