repeat after me…getting better all the time

“Every day in every way I am getting better and better.” The “every day” formula. Some ninety years ago, millions of Americans intoned those words twice a day, confident that by so doing they were improving their health, expanding their happiness, and even perhaps, empowering themselves to win the heart of a loved one, make more money or achieve a desired end. The ritual distinguished a fad for optimistic autosuggestion that swept the Western world, particularly the United States in the early 1920’s under the aegis of a retired French pharmacist Emile Coue. If Coue were alive today and met Donald Trump….Could the deficit be reduced? Could the mantra of magic words be invoked to make Trump disappear? Because, at present, every day… we have the blues.

---Coué learned hypnosis from Ambroise-Auguste Liébault, the founder of Nancy School, and in 1913 Coué founded the Lorraine Society of Applied Psychology. His book Self-mastery through conscious autosuggestion caused a sensation on its publication in England (1920) and in the United States (1922). Coué introduced a new method, the self-starting of conscious autosuggestion. He modified the theory of Abbé Faria by proposing that for autosuggestion to flow from the mind, one has to feed it first. By repeating words or images as self-suggestion to the subconscious mind, one can condition the mind, and then the conditioned mind will produce an autogenic command when required. His familiar mantra, "Day by day, in every way, I am getting better and better" (Tous les jours à tous points de vue je vais de mieux en mieux), is sometimes known as Couéism, or the Coué method. The method depended in part on routine repetition of the formula. Read More:

Couesism, as the creed was popularly called, had much going for it. It costs nothing, and could be practiced in private. And it demanded no effort beyond the energy required to repeat the formula earnestly enough to keep distracting thoughts at bay. Indeed, effort was discouraged, for Coue’s method depended not on willpower but on the more potent faculty of imagination: it sought to bypass the will and impose on the imagination the autosuggestive phrases that would purge it of the malefcient influences at work therein.

Still, Coueism would probably not have taken the West by storm had it not been for the singular appeal of its chief proselytizer, a puckish sexagenarian with a white beard, false teeth, and a tobacco stained mustache, whose simplicity, honesty, and single-minded devotion to the relief of suffering humanity won him a vast following and international fame.

---Trump's latest trick, after donning the putrid mantle of "birtherism", has been to change the subject. When Trump was challenged by CNN's Anderson Cooper over his repeated, unsubstantiated claims to have investigators in Hawaii working to uncover the facts of Barack Obama's birthplace, Trump has literally trumped himself with a fresh, equally unsubstantiated claim, that he was now interested in uncovering Obama's educational records.---Read More:

After his wedding, Coue visited a laboratory for the study of the treatment of disease by hypnosis; an event whose significance was not to emerge until years later. Gradually, in his daily work, Coue learned to diagnose his customer’s ills: he discovered that he could greatly speed up a sufferer’s recovery with consoling talk and implanting in the patient’s mind a lively expectation of the results to be obtained from the pills he had dispensed. The he got began using hypnosis, but found that many people could not be put in a trance. So, he evolved the method that would bear his name with its autosuggestive litany.

After WWI, a book entitled Suggestion and Autosuggestion was dedicated to Coue by Geneva professor of psychology in 1920. Published in England, it aroused great interest, and brought about the publication, the following year of Coue’s own Self-Mastery Through Conscious Autosuggestion. In 1921, Coue was invited to England and for the next two years he was continually making headlines with one apparently miraculous cure after another.

---Republicans must dread looking at the opinion polls. Name recognition and bombast has put Trump way ahead of the rest of the putative field: one in four Americans in a Pew poll said he was the Republican candidate they had heard the most about. A serious Gallup poll actually put him tied for the top spot for support among likely Republican voters. On the other hand, the American public at large has no illusions about the soi-disant billionaire. In a USA Today poll, 50% of Americans say he would be a "poor" or "terrible" president, while 64% say that they "definitely" would not vote for him. (Trump's polling figures are in fact statistically identical to Sarah Palin.)---Read More: image:

Press reports credited Coue with having cured almost every known affliction including heart disease, paralysis, stuttering and inability to digest strawberries. In 1922, Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt visited Coue in France and organized, to much fanfare, Coue’s visit to America. The hype was tremendous. The press claimed he cured seasickness and the mania of autosuggestion inflamed America. Coue spiked the rumor that he took enormous sums from wealthy patients or that he was either a doctor or a miracle man. The medical profession was obviously skeptical, but Coue ignored the naysayers and set out to demonstrate his method to groups of people suffering from various complaints.

After expounding his theory and reciting the “Every Day” formula in a low monotone, he would step among his auditors, stopping to touch an afflicted part and mutter over an over “ca passe”- it’s going- until he was satisfied that his “suggestion” had done its job. One one occasion, Coue, chatting with reporters, remarked that Christ had surely used autosuggestion in performing some miracles, and that while religion was a help, it was not at all necessary to the practice of his method.

---I have often wondered why our thoughts, if left to their own devices, drifting without conscious control or steering, tend to be self-destructive. In Freud's words, between the life-impulse - Eros - and the death-impulse - Thanatos -, we tend to naturally gravitate towards the latter. It needs the perceptive mind of an Emile Coue to extend the work of people such as Liebault and Abbe Faria and introduce to the general public, the power of the conscious mind in steering the thoughts back to the Eros and towards self-development. Dr. Emile Coue. The man who introduced the concept of self-application of auto-suggestion. The man who told us that almost all our ailments stem from a base of distorted or mistaken thinking, and that if the distortions and mistakes are rectified, the ailments would automatically vanish.---


These remarks incensed many clergymen, in particualr the fundamentalist Samuel C. Benson, who launched a rival campaign to heal the sick with the Bible. Benson claimed Coue had thrown down the gauntlet to Christianity and that his system nullified the work of the Christian church. The issue now is Christ or Coue, the Antichrist!” In Detroit, Henry Ford showed him through the Ford works, telling the press, ” I have read Coue’s philosophy; he has the right idea.” In Chicago, Coue electrified a crowd of three-thousand by inducing six cripples to throw away their crutches and walk. And back East in Boston he made a convert of the soprano Mary Garden, who shortly announced that she had not only been cured on bronchial pneumonia but could reach a high note in Tosca that hitherto eluded her.

When Coue sailed home, curing several fellow passengers en route, he had captivated Americans as no Frenchman had since Lafayette arrived for a triumphal tour in 1824. Of the twenty-six thousand dollars his tour had netted, ten thousand went to a new Coue institute in New York; the rest was for his institute in Paris. The fame meant his workload became untenable and he eventually became exhausted an unwell. Autosuggestion proved unavailing and he died of heart failure at the age of sixty-nine.


Coue deduced the following laws from his experiments:

1. When the will and the imagination (unconscious) are antagonistic, it is always the imagination which wins, without exception.

2. In the conflict between the will and the imagination, the force of the imagination is in direct ratio to the square of the will.

3. When the will and the imagination are in agreement, one does not add to the other, but one is multiplied by the other.

4. The imagination can be directed.Read More:

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