Mentalists employ the powers of concentration and insight that arise out of a deeper understanding of basic emotions, attitudes, feelings, and knowledge.
A “state of mind”, while not exactly the same as a “mental state”, is an “attitude” or “mental habit” and some basic “knowledge” is needed to sustain such habits, such as noticing an emotional response in others, or knowing where you are in relation to another being. Some of the mentalists I have read have used their power of insight to generate mental states that are similar or identical to these basic mental habits. This seems to be an important source of their power (and of the power of their mentalism). The more powerful mentalists generally have more power, not because they are more intelligent, but because they are more skilled at generating, managing, and sustaining strong mental “habits” that will help them in their work. Thus they are more knowledgeable, they are more knowledgeable of what goes on around them, and they are better at managing their own minds.
Mentalism is a set of ideas and practices that we may use. Some mentalists may find that some of the ideas and practices they use are less than effective. Some mentalists may decide to abandon them, and others may continue using them, but eventually the practices they adopt are less and less productive. It depends on their skill and motivation, but it seems that mentalism is a highly difficult set of experiences to have. Once the experience has become part of the mind’s basic makeup, the mind seems to automatically adopt some of the mentalist’s ideas and practices.
In fact, the mentalists sometimes use practices that seem to be effective. What is the difference between that and a mentalist doing a good job? The difference here probably has to do with what we usually call “performance”. If someone is great at doing something, then everyone else should be perfect at being as good or better than him. For example, in an area of science, scientists of the same skill could accomplish much the same thing if they worked together. But what people are able to do together is often different. A person who is extremely talented at using tools in their environment or in their life would not be able to accomplish the same thing as someone who is not very good at anything, but who did something very well.
Mentalism is different. It is “performance” in that it is a method. In the area of psychology, the mentalists perform an idea or
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