The New York Times, under date of August 6, 1922, published an excellent likeness of Emile Coue and a review of his work by Van Buren Thorne, M.D. He says that the keynote to the system of treatment of mental and physical ills devised and elaborated by Emile Coue of Nancy, France, can be described in a single paragraph:
The individual is possessed of two minds called the conscious and the unconscious. The latter is referred to by some psychologists as the subconscious mind, and is literally the humble and obedient servant of the conscious mind. The unconscious mind is the director and overseer of our internal economy. By means of its activities, the processes of digestion and assimilation of foods are carried on, repairs are made, wastes are eliminated, our vital organs function, and life itself persists. When the thought arises in the conscious mind that extra efforts toward the repair of some deficiency, either physical or mental, are needed, all the individual has to do, in the opinion of Dr. Coue, is audibly to enunciate that thought in the form of a direct suggestion to the unconscious mind, and that humble obedient servant immediately, and without questioning the dictates of its conscious master, proceeds to obey instructions.
Dr. Coue, Mr. Brooks, and large numbers of persons of repute in France, England, and elsewhere in Europe, have declared that the results in many cases under their direct observation have been nothing short of marvelous. Those who have not witnessed the benefits of this form of treatment — hence may incline to be skeptical — are more likely to give attention to what follows when they are informed of three facts regarding the Nancy practice.
- First, Dr. Coue has never accepted a penny for his treatments in the many years of his ministration;
- second, he is in the habit of explaining to his patients that he possesses no healing powers, has never healed a person in his life, and that they must find the instrument of their own well-being in themselves;
- third, that any individual can treat himself without consulting any other person.
It may be added that a child who is capable of comprehending the fact of the conscious and subconscious mind and is competent to issue orders from one to the other is quite capable of the self-administration of the treatment.
“For what man knoweth the things of a man save the spirit of the man which is in him?”
Mr. Brooks quotes from First Corinthians for his title page. Doubtless this was selected as an apt biblical reference to the existence of the conscious and unconscious minds. But neither the treatment, nor this book about it, dwells at length upon any possible religious significance of the methods employed or the results obtained.
The single thing that has contributed largely to the recent rapid spread of knowledge concerning Dr. Coue’s method of practice at Nancy is his insistence upon the benefits to be derived from the frequent repetition of this formula:
“Day by day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.”