This section is from the book "Applications of Psychology to the Problems of Personal and Business Efficiency", by Warren Hilton. Also available from Amazon: Psychology and Achievement - Applied Psychology 12 Volume Set.
AS A working unit you are a kind of one-man business corporation made up of two departments, the mental and the physical.
Your mind is the executive office of this personal corporation, its directing "head." Your body is the corporation's "plant." Eyes and ears, sight and smell and touch, hands and feet - these are the implements, the equipment.
We have undertaken to teach you how to acquire a perfect mastery of your own powers and meet the practical problems of your life in such a way that success will be swift and certain.
First of all it is necessary that you should accept and believe two well-settled and fundamental laws.
I. All human achievement comes about through bodily activity.
II. All bodily activity is caused, controlled and directed by the mind.
Give the first of these propositions but a moment's thought. You can conceive of no form of accomplishment which is not the result of some kind of bodily activity. One would say that the master works of poetry, art, philosophy, religion, are products of human effort furthest removed from the material side of life, yet even these would have perished still-born in the minds conceiving them had they not found transmission and expression through some form of bodily activity. You will agree, therefore, that the first of these propositions is so self-evident, so axiomatic, as neither to require nor to admit of formal proof.
The second proposition is not so easily disposed of. It is in fact so difficult of acceptance by some persons that we must make very plain its absolute validity. Furthermore, its elucidation will bring forth many illuminating facts that will give you an entirely new conception of the mind and its scope and influence.
Remember, when we say "mind," we are not thinking of the brain. The brain is but one of the organs of the body, and, by the terms of our proposition as stated, is as much the slave of the mind as is any other organ of the body. To say that the mind controls the body presupposes that mind and body are distinct entities, the one belonging to a spiritual world, the other to a world of matter.
That the mind is master of the body is a settled principle of science. But we realize that its acceptance may require you to lay aside some preconceived prejudices. You may be one of those who believe that the mind is nothing more nor less than brain activity. You may believe that the body is all there is to man and that mind-action is merely one of its functions.
If so, we want you nevertheless to realize that, while as a matter of philosophic speculation you retain these opinions, you may at the same time for practical purposes regard the mind as an independent causal agency and believe that it can and does control and determine and cause any and every kind of bodily activity. We want you to do this because this conclusion is at the basis of a practical system of mental efficiency and because, as we shall at once show you, it is capable of proof by the established methods of physical science.