The Arcane Formulas of Mental Alchemy by William Walker Atkinson is a guide for teaching arcane topics. The book begins with a discussion on Egohood, as ‘the state of Realization of the Ego, the Perception and Realization of the I AM.’ It is followed by a discussion on ‘freeing oneself from the restrictions imposed by the illusory identification of the Self or Ego with the physical body’. This is followed by a discussion on the aspects of will, ‘a part of the normal consciousness of each one of you, yet neither a part of sensation nor emotion, but, on the contrary, capable of dominating both.’ Other essentials in mental alchemy, namely, Mastering the Opposites, Mastery of Rhythm, Cyclicity and Balance, are described next, followed by a discussion on how, will causes a man in his immediate vicinity to become charged with the positive power, radiating and vibrating with intense energy. And the book clarifies, ‘Mental Alchemy, under whatever name it may masquerade, may be found to consist, at the last ,of simply, the power to create strong, clear Mental Images, and to project them into the outer world by means of the concentrated Will.’
The book concentrates more on the importance of projecting Mental Images for better perception of reality and discounts popular concepts like Thought-Force, or Mind-Waves, while emphasizing the importance of will. It exhorts each one to ‘forget all about theory, for the time being, and then proceed to get down to actual world, the great plane surface upon which you wish to throw or project your Mental Images that they may materialize objectively’. In fact, rather than some esoteric descriptions of hazy nature, I found this book quite logical, straight and simple in its approach to the subject. The book’s ending makes this plain. Consider Will as the Light, Mental Image as the picture Slide, the world as the screen on which the Picture is projected, picture thrown on the screen is the Idea each one will have.