THE ULTIMATE TECHNIQUE FOR SOURCING SKILLS, IDEAS, AND INSPIRATION: THE INVISIBLE COUNSELORS TECHNIQUE
The author of arguably the world’s most influential Self-Help book, “Think and Grow Rich”, was a far-out guy. He intended to write about success, wealth, and mindset - later in life receiving spirit visitations from “masters”, and unknowingly stumbling onto what we would now call something like quantum jumping through the exploration of his “The Invisible Counselors Technique”.
Napoleon Hill (born Oliver Napoleon Hill, 1883) was a notable figure in the 20th century American Self-Help movement. He’s most famously known for penning the modern day bible on success, “Think and Grow Rich”, which has become among the top 10 best sellers of all time within the self-help genre.
Hill’s life was full of ups and downs, successes and failures. His assertions have been challenged and doubted. Despite all of this his work lives on and remains reputable - whether the man himself was or not, is to most, irrelevant.
Think and grow rich
“Think and Grow Rich”, Napoleon’s magnum opus, was published in 1937. If there is any book that I hear being recommend more often by high performance achievers it’s this one.
The book has influenced everyone from modern-day business moguls, musicians and artists, to a new generation of young self-starters.
Whatever our opinion about Napoleon, “Think and Grow Rich” is championed by those whose advice we’d only be wise to listen to.
In the book there is a chapter titled, “The Invisible Counselors Technique”, which teaches a technique of the same name. It’s simple yet powerful - how powerful, Hill was soon to find out…
1. First, in meditation, we envision a room holding a conference table with chairs.
We visualize this from a first-person perspective. The room is completely empty and we are seated at the head of the table.
2. Next, we invite our counselors in.
This can be anyone, dead or alive, who we’d like to acquire information from. Napoleon’s counselors consisted of Lincoln, Plato, Aristotle, William James, Edison, among others.
It makes sense to pick people who are knowledgeable in the areas of the information that we are seeking to obtain.
3. It is important to hold a definitive purpose when calling the meeting.
Set an intention.
Think of it as the groups primary purpose. It allows us to stay focused and to be direct with what we hope to accomplish during the meeting. According to Hill, we should appoint ourselves and act as the chairperson. This gives us a sense of authority over the group.
4. Finally, we call on the members for their expertise and remain open to what we see and what we hear.
Sounds like nothing more than a harmless exercise in imagination, right? Hill certainly thought so when he was fine-tuning it. What had happened rather quickly, Hill noticed, was that his counselors began to take on a life of their own - exhibiting personalities, habits, and traits that were completely out of his imagination’s control. For example, Lincoln would stroll in late and never smiled. Other members would get into spats over their disagreements about the topics at hand.
This could had been Hill’s imagination gone wild, though it was enough to spook him out.
Napoleon was initially hesitant to add this chapter into the book and considered it to be “controversial”. Though, Hill stood firm, claiming it to be his “ultimate technique for sourcing skills, ideas, and inspiration”.
So then, where were these skills, ideas, and inspiration coming from?
There are many theories. Which one you subscribe to will most likely be dictated by what school of thought you associate with.
An exercise in imagination, visualization, and creativity
This is the most obvious explanation.
Even if this is the extent of the depth of the technique, it still goes to show how powerful the imagination is if only from a rational materialist’s perspective.
But what is imagination?
Because some, like 20th century mystic, Neville Goddard, taught that imagination is what gives birth to our reality.
Tapping into the unconscious mind.
Hill may have been remembering what he had already known about his counselors; through education, previous study of them, or picked-up elsewhere.
Perhaps he was imagining the advice that he would expect to be given to him by them.
Accessing our subconscious mind.
Neville Goddard’s tradition would assert that the subconscious mind is God, while Carl Jung described the subconscious as being a direct line to God.
In both schools it is believed that the subconscious holds within it all the answers to everything throughout space and time.
Could the subconscious be where this unfamiliar stream of data was coming from?
In a broad sense, this is exactly what Hill was doing. The real question is channeling to what and to where? His imagination? His subconscious? Another dimension? An energy, perhaps meeting with these characters on another plane, in another realm of existence?
Every mystic ever, spiritual teachers who hold weight, and Quantum theorists posit that there is but one consciousness which our brains simply act as filters (or antennas) to.
The idea that there is only One Mind is the backbone of Ernest Holmes’ Science of Mind theology.
Neville Goddard believed that there was only One imagination and that it’s the creative force.
Dr. Joe Dispenza likens it to a “human Wi-Fi system”.
Cellular biologist turned spiritual author/lecturer, Dr. Bruce Lipton, points to Magnetoencephalography imaging (or MEG) to lend credibility to the theory that thoughts come from outside of us (MEG’s measure the energy field around the head).
This runs parallel to what great thinkers and artists have said throughout time when they’ve claimed to be “divinely inspired” or “moved by something outside of them”.
What’s Really Going On?
So, what is really going on with the Invisible Counselors Technique one could only take a stab at. While I remain curious, I don’t think the mechanics are as important as the techniques merit.
To make my point, I’d like to present a closely related practice called “Quantum Jumping”, developed by Burt Goldman.
In Quantum Jumping the practitioner goes into a meditative state to source information from another version of themselves. This is based in the Quantum theory that there are infinite parallel realities which hold infinite versions of ourselves. Burt believes that we can communicate with these Quantum versions of ourselves through Mind.
You may be saying to yourself that this is ridiculous.
Mindvalley CEO and founder, Vishen Lakhiani, certainly thought so. That didn't stop him from making Burt an associate, even publishing his book on the subject. Vishen recognizes Quantum Jumping as a potent exercise in creative imagination.
Whatever your belief is, The Invisible Counselors Technique is a great addition to any personal development arsenal.
Besides, sometimes it’s just better to experience firsthand anyway.