Thursday, June 04, 2015

Coué: Imagination v. Will....Winner: Imagination

Reading one of John Galsworthy's follow-up novels to his famous Forsyte Saga, set in the late 19th/early 20th century England, I kept encountering a strange French word/name: Coué. I didn't immediately look it up, but gathered from context that it was some kind of method for ...what's nowadays called "self-help"; a specific system which, in the early 1920s, must have been "the fashionable in-thing" from France. On finishing the novel I searched the net for information on Coué/Couéism. It turns out that it was the brainchild of Émile Coué, French Pharmacist and Psychologist .

From THIS website
Émile Coué (1857-1926), a French Psychologist and Pharmacist, introduced a new method of psychotherapy based on the simple use of auto-suggestion, or ‘self-suggestion’, whereby a person repeats suggestions to themselves in order to spur the imagination. He believed that where there was conflict between the will and the imagination, the imagination invariably wins the battle. So rather than using will power alone, one must also make use of their imagination to better health. He believed that repetition of suggestion increased the likelihood of images being projected into reality; most especially when implanted in the morning, and again before sleeping. Coue learned hypnosis from Liébeault and in 1913 founded the Lorraine Society of Applied Psychology.

Coué's best known affirmation was, and still is : "Day by day, in every way, I am getting better and better." Followers of his system were advised to repeat to themselves, in a clear and focused state of mind this, or other custom-designed affirmations, over and over several times each day, especially first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Coué noticed, also, that he could improve the effectiveness of a medication by praising its effectiveness to his patients, producing a kind of placebo effect.

Coué 's natal chart:

Born on 26 February 1857 in Troyes, France at 3 PM (data from - AA rating = reliably accurate).

Émile Coué certainly lived up to that Aries pioneering reputation! He had four personal planets plus North Node of the Moon in Aries. His natal Sun was in Pisces, however, along with the sign's modern ruler, Neptune, planet of imagination, creativity, dreams, illusions, which points to his gravitation to the particular area of his pioneering - a type of mini-hypnosis or auto-suggestion. His Pisces Sun harmoniously trines Saturn in Cancer blending in Saturn's work/career connection. A helpful sextile from Mercury in Aquarius to Jupiter in Aries points to the blending of a forward-thinking mind with philosophical yet dynamic purpose. Leo rising speaks to the degree of showmanship Coué surely exhibited, helping him to propel his method to a wider, international audience.


Sonny G said...

considering all the negative we Hear- Say - and keeps repeating in our minds, positive affirmations wouldnt hurt us and might even help. Cant hurt to give that a try.
I remember one from my etheric healing teacher that I still repeat on a daily basis::

"I will manifest into this reality by the direct intensity of the desire of my Heart"

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ I agree 100% !

We went to see "Tomorrowland" at the weekend - the message of the movie, well wrapped up in all kinds of CGI and George Clooney is based on that old "Two Wolves" parable.

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all"

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed".

From here:

mike said...

There's much that can be said on this topic. I am particularly aware of this with parent-child relationships and the things parents say to their children. Parents can make or break a kid. It tends to be "inherited", passed from one generation to the next, to the next. My grandfather and his siblings were lined-up, stripped, then beaten with a whip by their mother every morning for the malfeasance they might produce that day...the penalty for the misdeeds paid in advance. What a sicko-perverse great grandmother I had! I wonder what happened to her as a child to produce that need to inflict pain.

The placebo effect is powerful. Astrology suffers from this, too, as to how the astrologer conveys the energy of the natal chart to a client. And I have to say that I have to plead guilty for providing negative determinations, as well...there are many aspects-placements that are typically not productive of pleasantries, yet in the right conditions can advance the individual in a positive fashion. Challenging astrological aspects-placements tend to produce challenges.

Many variations of the guided and-or self-suggestion method(s) exist now, with "The Law of Attraction" being the recent trendy, which stretches the boundaries of suggestive feedback into a requiem of self-indulgence. I certainly believe that our subconscious has tremendous power over our consciousness and can be conditioned via positive feedback methods...likewise for the power of negative conditioning, which surrounds us daily via fear mongering, loss of security, duplicitous moral-ethical outcomes, bullying, etc.

I learned many years ago to be very careful of what I feared, as fear is an open invitation for its manifestation, with fear and desire dredged from our subconsciousness, compelling most lives on Earth.

Sonny G said...

Annie, that was terrific. I followed the link and saved the graphic of it. I'll print that out, frame it and sit it on my desk.. thank you ~!!

I agree Mike, parents and other authority figures can damage a child for life and once those messages are absorbed, that pattern follows them into adulthood where the negative continues daily from one source or another..

we surely do Become what we Think

Anonymous said...

Back in 1986 Dr Shad Helmstetter wrote a book, 'What To Say When You Talk to Yourself'. In a nutshell, he discovered that the brain pathways we create can become ruts and that by creating new self-talk habits, we can create new pathways. The book is worth a read because of his unexpected and quite rapid successes applying his (then) theory to himself. Interestingly, our habits will conform to the new pathways without our 'active' involvement. His current work involves further research into neuroplasticity.

The brain is an endlessly fascinating organ and our understanding of it, and, hence, of ourselves, is expanding at an incredible rate. I just wish society as a whole would implement some of this knowledge so we could make progress towards solving seemingly insoluble dilemmas which we continue to justify as 'human nature'.

Anonymous said...

And, many belated thanks to you, Twilight, for offering us all a space to exercise our brains on so many interesting topics in an atmosphere of intelligent mutual respect.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Yes it's a topic that can go in several directions. The child-parent thing is part of our programming, and we remain unaware what's happening, I suppose, until later in life. Some of it isn't nearly as harsh as your great-grandmother's style, even small things can leave marks too, which take effort and determination to remove.

Re the placebo effect in astrology: I'm not qualified to give advice, but I guess it's up to the practitioner to assess what level of positive/negative a client has the personality to be absorb without undue discomfort. Very significant will be the way and tone in which it is told too.

I've never paid much attention to self-help books and methods, I think what helped to put me off the concept was that "Secret" fad which was around a few years ago - I saw it as part of the self-indulgence thing you mentioned, and didn't believe it would work anyway, though it would not have done much harm either except to pander to selfish desires.

I do quite like this idea of training the mind to think positive when stuff begins to trouble you - it's a different thing from the "Secret" method. Feeding the right wolf!

A favourite quote of mine from "Dune" by Frank Herbert:
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

It ain't always easy to do though, but a good thing to aim for.

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ Good - I'm pleased it helps - it helps me, and I love wolves!

Twilight said...

Sabina ~ That sounds like a book worth seeking out - thank you for the tip! Yes in spite of technology's leaps forward in past decades, the brain still retains many mysteries. Maybe that's as it should be, until we grow up as a species, allow our wisdom levels to expand a bit! If we knew everything right now, I dare say we'd be liable to do more harm than good with the knowledge.

(2nd comment) Oh! Well thank you so much for those kind words. I'm grateful to have the input of some very good commenters, including yourself, all of whom I think of as friends - perhaps gathering in small groups, sometimes just two or three of us, to chat over a cyber drink, or cyber coffee or a nice cyber meal. :-)

Bob said...

I do use some thoughts to stop from stooping over when I walk and to stop shuffling. Tendencies from an old injury. I can dance better than I walk.

I have the Sun opposite Pluto (less than 1°) and square Saturn (less than 1°) with Saturn square Pluto exact in my chart. Many with an early life similar to mine may not have come through it as well as I think I have, perhaps because of choices made as we continued on in life. Edgar Cayce said that astrology is an influence but not stronger than an individual's will. I believe that. My chart does not run my life - my choices do.

Here is some of my back round posted in another forum in response to another's post.

Re: Killing myself

Please do not end your life ****. Yes there is a lot of stress in your life right now according to transits and
progressions to your horoscope. But things do change. It takes time.

I never new my father and strongly suspect that my father was a customer who paid my mother for sex. My earliest memory is more like a vision. In it I am floating above the scene of myself in diapers at the window-sill several stories above the street. The room is dark and I am alone, crying. My next memory is a man (my stepfather?) holding me and wanting to leave the apartment or house we were in following a very violent fight that ended with my mother unconscious on the floor but he did not for some reason. Perhaps because I was crying my eyes out (I was not yet 3). My family was together until I was 14. Up until then it was like my mother beat me once a day for exercise. Once my stepfather came in and stopped her from beating me with a hanger and told her that he could hear my screams a block away at his brother's house. They divorced when I was 14 and mother signed papers making us children (me and 4 brothers and sisters [she had them with my stepfather]) wards of the state. The kids were placed in an orphanage and I in a foster home. For months I went to sleep with a band of pain around my chest because I could not stop them from being sent to that orphanage nor could I get them out. I had been their protector when there were terrible fights in the home in which butcher knives, cast iron skillets, heavy wooden kitchen chairs were used (by my mother) and caretaker, making meals when we were alone. I found all of them after 34 years and learned that one of my sisters could not stand to eat Tomato soup because I made it so often (I couldn't really make meals - just grilled cheese sandwiches and Tomato soup). Before the family blew up I had seen my 5 year old brother run over and killed by a milk truck when I was 9. I have a black out as to what happened for the next hours or days after that until his funeral. There were a series of events which saw me picked up by police and held for several days with nobody knowing where I was (fortunately I was found to have no connection to the events that precipitated those episodes and never lost a job but my reputation was tarnished in the eyes of some I am sure). It was years before I figured that I was "easy pickings" as I had no family to stand by me. The worst was when I was taken in because I stopped by my former foster home to pick up a Christmas card from my father (to me he was never a stepfather, he was my dad) my foster mother told me was there when my fiance, her mother, and I met while we were all out shopping. That house was robbed that night (it was a mansion [my foster parents did not own it] and had many high powered rifles used for big game hunting - another story. Even with my witnesses as to where I had been that entire night I was taken while on my job and held for 3 days. In the end, the serial burglars' (6 committed in a town of about 3,000 within a time frame of several months) were sons of city leaders and they all got off with a slap on the wrist.

More . . .

Bob said...


Things finally got better after I moved away from there and went on with my life but those early, formative, years were pure hell in many ways but eventually I was able to deal with them to my satisfaction and have had many successes and relatively few disappointments since then. But that was a long haul to survive - about 20 years to start my life. I thought I would die before I reached 18. Then 21, then 30. After I reached 30 I stopped thinking like that. I am now 73. I am not trying to make little of your situation but to share to show you that somebody without your life experience (none really - except what I experienced as I went through it) came through the dark. Like everybody, I experienced difficult times since then but they were not constant. I grieved and moved on. You can do the same.

I can only imagine the torment you are going through. I don't know what to tell you. All I can do is ask you, beg you, to continue to live. I am not a religious person - don't belong to any church - but I pray every night, and every day, usually in thanks but sometimes for others. I will pray for you. I just have.

I had charts showing the difficult aspects taking place but there is no reason to post them. They will not help you in any way.

The edited response:

To my dearest Bob,

Yes, i come here every day because as a bipolar i’ll want to live and everything is beautiful for an hour then for no freaking reason i want me dead. It’s exhausting. Anyway.

Your letter is a music i know. Not the beatings, the heartbreaking feelings.

To accept so much, and more, and again, and again, and more...

I teared up reading some of the childhood you had. Because i know it’s much more horrible than words can say.

. . . Taking the heat like a heavy weight champion but really being a child.

Now you’re 72 (like my biological father , you survived. And you’re here helping others. Writing songs. . . .

Damn i’m chatty. It all comes to that: i genuinely admire you Bob. With all my heart

I live on a Social Security check. In the last month I have given about $500 to needy strangers.

Twilight said...

Bob ~ Thank you for your contribution and for sharing detail of your very, very harsh early years. Strength of mind, resilience and determination have brought you safely this far - I'm in awe!

I like your observation that astrology is an influence but not stronger than an individual's will. That's a very important point to always keep in mind.

Bob said...

As I woke this morning it occurred to me that I should make it clear that I do not use food pantries or participate in government programs at any level except Medicare and Medicaid, which cost me nothing because of my income level. I do not have television, do not own a car, do not have a cell phone, nor family or significant other to spend money on. I very seldom take a drink (although the years I worked on the road in construction, every night was party night), have been blessed with good health - only seeking treatment twice in 40 years (1974 and 1997) through July 3rd of last year when symptoms caused me to think I might be having a stroke but thankfully it turned out to be Carpal Tunnel which I corrected through exercise. Found out then that I had slightly high BP for which I was given a prescription which I fille at my own expense and did not apply for compensation. The bottle sits unopened on the counter nearly a year later. I do not get flu shots or have yearly check-ups. The only used medication in my possession is a bottle of aspirin from the Dollar Store with an expiration date of Oct 2010. I quit smoking 2 1/2 years ago, saving more than $80 per week that was going up in smoke. I am very frugal, but do not scrimp when I do go out, buy good quality clothing (my favorite sweater is 100% Virgin Wool. It is 50 years old and in excellent condition.) and have a very sparse diet (Drs. would be horrified but I am 5'8" and weigh around 190# although it does not show unless I wear tuck in shirts without a jacket). I sometimes order delivery of prepared food 3 times in a week and am generous with a tip. For cab drivers I usually tip between 60 and 75% but rarely use them anymore as the service sucks - having to wait more than an hour after being told 15 to 20 minutes. I will walk, take public transportation or pay a neighbor for transport. I go months without getting a haircut, trimming, and sometimes cutting, my own hair but not as consistently as years ago when I cut it for 7 years.

I bought a snow shovel this past winter so I could shovel a pathway across my neighbor's yard for her as she likes to use her patio door to get to her car but the landlord or his handyman only shovel the sidewalk which goes around the building. Since buying it I now shovel the sidewalk if I get to it before they come.

I am very frugal in my own lifestyle but spare no expense when it comes to others. I once shared a breakfast bought with the last money I had with someone who I thought was worse off than myself. Having no money left with which to rent a place to stay or buy food to eat, I got a temp job later that day which became a job for a week by the end of the day and by the end of that week became a permanent job.

Twilight said...

Bob ~ My awe continues! I do envy you your ability to get by without much intervention of the medical profession - I've always dreaded doctor visits, since a child (something inherited from mother and grandmother I guess). I've avoided it myself as much as possible but sometimes needs must. It's not that I disrespect what the med. profession does - just that I don't want them doing it to me, unless absolutely necessary. ;-)

If I recall correctly, your birthday is quite close to mine, first decan Aquarius, though my year is a tad before yours. Something in common - I've cut and styled my own hair for years - most of my life in fact - I dislike hairdressers almost as much as doctors! Must be something to do with losing control.... of myself, by myself. Something else we have in common - liking quality "stuff". I've never been able to afford much of the best of the best, but just occasionally I have done so and fully enjoyed the experience and memories of it.

Your life has not been easy - mine has, very easy in comparison, though in comparison to some others mine hasn't always been 100% easy either. Swings and roundabouts etc....

Thank you again, for sharing here. :-)