Excerpts from

  The Art of Thought Reading
by Joseph Dunninger

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Book Description
Thought reading is the ability of one person to receive, interpret and analyze the projected thoughts of another. Thought reading and thought transference has been practiced for many years… long before it became the sub­ject for discussion as it is today. A familiar phrase: "I wish I could read his thoughts..." is heard nearly every day. It is not the complicated affair some would make you be­lieve. It is the combination of experimenting, proper appli­cation, sound common sense, judgment and knowledge of people.

In this very hard to find book, world famous master mentalist Joseph Dunninger teaches the art and science of thought transference in 12 easy to follow lessons. He gives many examples of mind reading feats that he has practiced and performed time and time again in front of live audiences around the world and on television. He provides many exercises to train and sharpen the mind for greatest receptivity to the thoughts of others. This is a practical handbook suitable for anyone wishing to become proficient at the fascinating art of thought reading.

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Can I become a thought reader?

That is the question sure to crop up whenever mind reading, thought reading or telepathic experiments are discussed.

Of course you canproviding you are willing to study and devote time and patience in experimenting.

Yes, you too can learn to read thoughts.

You wouldn't expect a person to seat himself at a piano and immediately, without years of study and practice, ex­pertly play the classics, would you? Of course not. The same applies to thought reading. To read the projected thoughts from the mind of another, one must thoroughly understand the whys and wherefores of this study. Turn a deaf ear to the self-appointed critics who are jealous of the success of others.

Almost anyone, born with the qualities necessary to learn, can master the methods of communicating his or her thoughts to someone else. One must take into considera­tion the differences between the mental temperament of most people, as it depends chiefly upon the individual adaptability of the persons who are really serious in their desire to study thought reading.

Thought reading is the ability of one person to receive, interpret and analyze the projected thoughts of another.

One taking up this study must be ready to bind themselves to a hard taskmaster. Put forth every effort sincerely to master, from the written word and experience as you go along, the various methods and rules, and understand fully the natural laws involved in this art. There is no simple formula to follow, no short cuts to make the way easier, nor any hocus pocus about thought reading. You must apply yourself and have unlimited patience, devote many hours every day to experimenting, so that when you do master this work you receive your reward in being able to demonstrate successfully many tests that will prove star­tling as well as bewildering to your audiences.

The party projecting the thought must do so in all seri­ousness, aiding the thought reader in his receiving of that thought. It is a simple procedure but must be practiced time and again before any real semblance of success is forthcoming.

Persons are born who possess and have been gifted with various qualities which endow them with certain ability in their chosen lines of endeavor and who study and adjust their minds as the years go on to the development of these certain faculties which others do not possess.

One man is a success in medicine, another in finance and so on. Whatever a person thinks himself best fitted for is the profession he should follow, but he must be taught and then allowed free swing in practicing whatever his life work is to be. He will make many errors as he wends his way along, but he will also rectify his mistakes, and become more and more expert in his line. The thought reader's path is no different.

There is no illusion, or anything supernatural about thought reading. It is a study, a most exacting one. The mentalist, or thought reader, has developed his mind along channels of thought, far out of the beaten track. He is no different than the accomplished pianist, the artist who paints beautiful pictures, or the mathematical expert who makes figures do handsprings.

The thought reader, we might say, employs mentalistic gymnastics. He must possess quick judgment and the ability to bring immediately into use his well-developed imagina­tion. His work is not the jugglery of the mountebank, nor is it based on any pretense of being aided by black magic or witch's formula. He is a well-read, experienced student of the mind, its workings and the results one can sensa­tionally and entertainingly obtain and present by combin­ing mentalism with the unexpected.

There is considerable glamour and romance in the work of a thought reader, who also understands the fine points of both human nature and showmanship. Imagine the effect on an audience when the mentalist tune's in on the mind of another person, he has never seen before, who may be across the stage or platform from him or many miles away. Thought reading recognizes no distance. When you become skilled in this work you will find it no more difficult a task to receive the projected thoughts of someone two thousand miles away, than if he were seated opposite you in your own den or living room.

And in passing allow me to warn you that when you meet up with the skeptic or the person who, on general principles scorns and ridicules everything, especially things of this type he does not understand, pass him by... don't waste your own valuable time. You will meet up with the creature who knows it all and, jealous of your success, wants to challenge your abilityignore him. He is usu­ally some publicity-seeking ape and should be brushed aside.

Don't try to convince doubters. When a person makes up his mind (or what he thinks is his mind), and lets his silly tongue drool words of criticism, waste no time on this type of poor misguided, self-centered and self-opinionated blow-hard.

The thought reader's road is most difficult, and trying at times. But study and patience, together with continued ex­perimenting, will bring its own reward.

Anyone under the proper conditions can impress upon the mind of some other thinking individual the mental images he thinks of, and if he projects to you a clear, vivid picture of his thought, you will receive his vibrations and assemble them into a pattern which clears the beamed thought in his mind.

We all have powers and faculties that have been idle and undeveloped, and in many cases never even been thought about. It is up to you to bring, by experimentation and application of your studies, these latent powers into working. This is all up to you. You must dig out the for­gotten faculties you possess. Some people have never at­tempted to draw a picture, and upon trying are surprised at their own efforts. This holds true in the developing of a thought reader. How do you know you cannot do a thing until you have given it proper time, study and attention once you let your interest dwell on whatever you are think­ing about?

Experimentation will teach you how to utilize sound and thought waves, mentalistically speaking. Emotional vibra­tions play an important part. When you are studying or carrying out an experiment, concentrate on a definite thought at all times this avoids scatter-thoughts that confuse. If you are concentrating on one clear thought you are attempting to project to another person, clear your mind of everything, and dwell only on that one thought. Feel as if every nerve, fibre and brain cell in your body is sending that mental impression to the other party.

When you are ready to present your tests and brain puz­zlers before an audience, remember that one-third of your spectators are present to be entertained and perhaps amazed; another third are present because they are deeply interested in the miracles-plus presented, and believe in you and your work. The remaining third are in your audience because they are curious, skeptical and maybe out and out scoffers. Don't allow your audiences to master you you are there to master them. Take your spectators as you find them, present your demonstrations and tests to the best of your ability, and if you do become experienced enough to present an entertaining performance, you will have won over more than two-thirds of the audience and quite a per­centage of the remaining curious and skeptical. It is all up to you. You are the master of your fate.

Thought reading and thought transference has been practiced for many years long before it became the sub­ject for discussion as it is today. A familiar phrase: "I wish I could read his thoughts..." is heard nearly every day. It is not the complicated affair some would make you be­lieve. It is the combination of experimenting, proper appli­cation, sound common sense, judgment and knowledge of people.

Science has made rapid strides in recent years. Who would think of scoffing at predictions of more startling and wonderful inventions yet to come?

If a person wrote a short note, sealed it in his own en­velope, then placed it into his pocket and later the thought reader stepped onto the platform, called the gentleman's name, gave his address and read off the serial numbers on the last government bond he purchased, and to top it all the mentalist tells him the contents of the note he holdsthe contents of which only he himself knowsand still has in his possessionwouldn't that startle anyone and prove most amazing? Well, that's just what the expert thought reader does, and one of my own favorite tests that I present continually in my work. Explanation after explanation has been given me as to how I accomplish this. Some of them as complicated as Mr. Einstein's theories. But what they never seem to take into consideration, is the fact that that which we do not understand may be as simple as can be. I have seen dyed in the wool skeptics watch this experi­ment, and these hard-boiled doubters were among the first to applaud and admit they were completely bewildered. But, remember alsothat the man who writes the nota­tions must think clearly of those jotted items and project them to me, otherwise I too, would be all at sea




Through the ages man has mentally projected his thoughts through space to another. Finally man hit upon a number of basic rules and a method of procedure from which, after con­siderable experimentation, startling results were attained.

From the early beginning of serious experimentation and result-getting work, mentalists and thought readers reviewed their work and simplified their methods and found that they could cut their original experimental time to less than half, while tests were in the laboratory stage and better and quicker and more sensational results were brought to light.

Vibratory influences rule our lives. The sound of a bell is caused by vibra­tions in the ether, and when these vibrations reach a certain high velocity of speed the human ear experiences the sensation of sound. Light, we think, gives us illumination through the sun. All the sun really does is to give forth energy which, in turn, pro­duces vibrations in the air at a terrific speed, thus we have light waves that in turn register upon the sense of sight and we experience light. Then the light vibrations and waves are reduced to a certain speed and in this process light becomes heat.

Interesting as this all really is, we are primarily interested in thought waves, impulses, and vibrations, but these facts are good to know and at times the mentalist can speak of these man-discovered miracles to break the monotony, which makes for excellent pattering when the thought reader appears before the public demonstrating his amazing tests and experi­ments.

You will readily understand that it takes time, patience and hours of experimentation to acquire the pro­fessional touch and showmanship so vital to the thought reader's presen­tation.

We are all equipped with a mental radio apparatus which, combined with the natural faculties of our minds, when once we understand the various principles of how vibrations and im­pressions of thought waves operate, enables us to receive projected thoughts from others.

When thoughts are beamed to us along mental waves and beams we do not have to worry about super-high frequency, multiplex microwaves nor intricate reflector towers. Modern ap­paratus employed for transmitting messages over 2500 miles of lines, 54,000 miles of wire and 180 miles of aerial and underground cables com­bined with parabolic reflecting send­ing and receiving antennae, does not have to bother us. Mental or mind messages are not sent in relays and the human mind needs no towers thirty-odd miles apart to relay our messages broadcast by the mind.

Our thoughts can be sent winging through space faster than any piece of man-discovered apparatus that will ever be invented, wonderful as it may be. Our minds require no engineers and other experts to control the thought vibrations we care to send forth into space.

The speed of the impressions sent by our minds is not only amazing and unbelievable, but startling and seem­ingly impossible. The accuracy of the message is up to the sender. And the correct receiving of the message is dependent upon the understanding and application of the natural laws that govern our minds.

Take for example the workings of the telephone. One authority says: when a person speaks into a telephone mouthpiece, the telephone wires do not carry the voice. The wire only guides the vibrations that the voice creates in the atmosphere. A radio sta­tion broadcasting sound in the form of music or dialogue sends vibrations in the air, the vibrations scatter and are received by radio receiving sets that happen to be tuned in on that certain wave length.

The mind's wave length is impos­sible to measure. Distance is no hin­drance to mental messages. Every time you think, vibrations are created in the air that continue to travel through space until they are received by some other person whose mind happens to be in tune with the send­ers. Each and every one of us are senders and receivers of thoughts. Our everyday thoughts are continu­ally, even if we are unaware of it, affecting the thinking of someone somewhere whose mind happens to be tuned to the same mental key as our own. In the same manner, our own individual thinking is also affected by the thoughts that we continue to re­ceive from another mind. There is no mystery about it. It is an established and proven fact.

Television would be impossible if not for vibrations. A picture sent over the wires by newspapers does not travel through the air. It is only the vibrations, created by that picture which can almost immediately cause a duplicate of that picture or photo­graph to be received upon the neces­sary apparatus at a distant place. Sound waves vibrate slowly. Heat waves vibrate more rapidly. Faster than all these, including ultraviolet rays, X-ray and electricity radio waves, thought waves and impres­sions are the most rapid vibrations known to man.

Certain objects and images during experimenting in thought projection and reading, are more rapidly trans­ferred from one mind to another. When an object is selected for trans­mission, a picture of the item is sort of mentally televised after the image has been properly sized up and pro­jected. This may sound complicated, but it isn't. For exampleyou want to televise mentally a certain book; you picture in your mind the shape of the book, the title of the book, the page number and certain words or a line or two from the book. Picturing this vividly in your mind, you begin to send them slowly, and with a certain firmness of purpose. All other thoughts must be relegated to the background. No other thoughts can enter on this thought beam, otherwise your mental photograph will become confused and marred in the sending.

Women are apt to have a confusion of thoughts that sometimes throws the mentalist who is the receiver, off balance a bit. But he quickly gets back on the thought beam, or on the right thought wave path, and continues on. He, in a split second, commands his mind to become passive, and pictures a large blackboard in his mind's eye. He can instead imagine a large white screen not unlike a motion picture screen upon which flitting phantoms appear. By concentrated effort, aided and abetted by the experience he has had, designs appear on these screens of the mind and he is again ready to proceed.

There is absolutely no reason for any reader of thoughts to claim occult or supernatural powers. This claim is only a come-on for the gullible. The results attained by a successful thought reader may seem to border on the supernatural, but there is nothing psychic about his work. When you reach the stage that the greater per­centage of your experiments is successful, you are only following natu­ral laws and harnessing the faculties you have developed during your studies. You must develop a quick retentive memory. Study people. Talk with them. Mentally file their man­nerisms, odd figures of speech, and anything and everything about them that might come in handy when you meet their type again. There are many types of persons, but how many types are there, after all, when one takes the time and trouble to classify them?

Have someone write a few words on a card, place it into an envelope and seal it. Have them concentrate upon the writing, and project it to you. Try to analyze what type of per­son they are, as far as your quick siz­ing up of them is concerned. What would they be apt to think about quickly? Call your powers of mental imagination into play. Then beam every concentrated effort toward re­ceiving, from them, the impression they are sending you.

Hand a slate to someone with the request that they draw, no matter how crudely, some kind of a design have him take his stand as far away from you as possible, then send you the mental impression of what he drew. Repeat this experiment time and again, until you are able to re­ceive the projected image as near per­fect as you can. Although this is a most difficult test, it is not by any means an impossible one. Keep a rec­ord of all your tests and, from time to time, look them over and compare them with previous efforts.

Practice and perseverance will win for you. You must not expect mirac­ulous results immediately. Some peo­ple are better adapted for thought reading than others, and have re­ported unbelievable results in a com­paratively short time.

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