The capability of your subconscious mind is far beyond what you think it is. Many experts claim that most of us use only ten percent of our subconscious mind. After this lesson, you will see why a few pundits believe most of us use less than three percent. Before I go over a few of the feats the subconscious mind is capable of, I need to clarify a couple of definitions.
First, you need to know what I mean by conscious and subconscious minds. The part of your brain that you are aware of is your conscious mind. On the flip side, the part of your mind you are unaware of is your subconscious mind. It is that simple: everything in these lessons is simple.
Another aspect of the mind that needs clarifying is the difference between “brain” and “mind.” The brain is that three-pound organ in your head. The “mind” is something larger and more elusive. There is a huge difference between brain and mind and there are books that go into intricate details on these differences. From a Western point of view, the brain is the physical anatomy and the mind is what the brain generates through its activity. From an Eastern point of view, some say, the mind is the source of the thoughts supplied to the brain. For the purpose of this course the difference is not important so the words, “brain” and “mind,” are used interchangeably.
Recent discoveries in the new field of psychoneuroimmunology show that the brain is not confined within the cranium—it actually extends throughout the body. Mind and body are no longer two distinct entities. Your mind can control, directly or indirectly, the body and vice versa. This new field is exciting but, again, for our purposes, you can think of the brain simply as that wrinkled organ in your head.
Just a few decades ago our medical establishment said it was impossible to control involuntary functions, such as heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure. They were partially right. It is impossible to directly control involuntary functions. But involuntary functions can be controlled indirectly by using the conscious mind to communicate your intent to the subconscious mind.
Biofeedback is now an accredited method in the medical profession for controlling involuntary functions. A few of its capabilities are reducing blood pressure, stress, anxiety, and eliminating migraine headaches. But a doctor’s prescription, an expensive, sophisticated instrument, and a skilled technician are required.
Biofeedback is not the only way to influence your subconscious mind. There are other ways that are easy and cost nothing. The purpose of this book is to explain these ways in easy-to-follow steps.
Different, Really Different
The crux of using your subconscious mind is to appreciate how different it is from your conscious mind. Even though the conscious mind and subconscious mind exist in the same body, they have vastly different characteristics. If another man or women communicated with you as your subconscious mind communicates with you in dreams, for example, you would think the man or woman was crazy. But your subconscious mind is not crazy just because your dreams are obscure to your conscious mind; it is just different.
Carrying this analogy further, consider the huge difference between men and women. Besides the physical differences, there are emotional differences and, as a result, men and women interact differently. A popular book explains these differences. Most men are goal-oriented and want to work out their problems alone. Most women are more into relationships and feelings. They need to talk to someone who just listens. These are valid differences, but even if you do not know this much, men and women can still talk and get along. At worst, if the differences are too large, they can go their separate ways.
But your conscious mind and subconscious mind cannot be separated. And, if they do not work together, the results can be harmful. Results can be, for examples poor health, seeking destructive relationships, and inappropriate behavior, such as, poor eating habits and temper outbursts.
The subconscious mind contains the software for your involuntary functions, emotions, and habits. Most of your habits and emotional conditioning were programmed in early childhood before you had mature faculties to make proper decisions. Many were programmed haphazardly and usually by parents, teachers, peers, TV and, recently, perhaps, computer games. Freud said, “We learn as children how we react emotionally and this is carried into adulthood. When we are children, we do not have the faculties that we do in adulthood. We do not know what we are going to need in adulthood to cope. Therefore, as adults we (often) react as children.”
These old programs are still influencing, if not controlling, your behavior even though many are counterproductive. Some may even be destructive. When you understand the subconscious mind and a few laws it obeys, you can change these childhood programs. You will become the master of your genie.
The Power of the Subsconscious Mind
The subconscious mind has a largely untapped potential. A few observed feats the subconscious mind is capable of are listed below. Examples in this section are extraordinary feats performed by human beings with ordinary minds and bodies (except for the athletes). If these ordinary people, with ordinary subconscious minds, can do these feats, then you and I can do them. But to do them, we must rely on our subconscious mind, not our conscious mind. The conscious mind cannot make your body to do these feats. The conscious mind has to know how to use the subconscious mind to do them.
The following feats were performed without drugs or prayer. In addition to the following examples, there are miraculous healings of the body, such as spontaneous remissions of cancer or other diseases attributed to prayer or a visit to a sacred place, such as Lourdes. Such cases have been documented. But the power of prayer is another subject. Prayer is addressed in a sequel lesson.
I will start with stage hypnotists. Most of you have had an opportunity to see one perform. Essentially, all they do is plant a suggestion in the subconscious mind of the subject. But the results, to our conscious minds, seem extraordinary.
- I witnessed a hypnotist tell a man that he just returned from another planet, and he asked the subject to describe his visit to this planet. The subject demonstrated a vivid imagination by describing the planet in detail. This person in a normal mental state would probably avow he has a poor imagination. Maybe his conscious mind has poor imagination, but his subconscious mind has a vivid one. Moreover, in a normal mental state he would, likely, not be able to vividly and spontaneously describe something in such detail from his imagination in front of a large audience.
- Hypnotic subjects can exhibit extraordinary strength. I have a picture from a national newspaper that appeared many years ago of Johnny Carson suspended between two chairs. Kreskin, the well-known mentalist (he refuses to be called a hypnotist), planted a suggestion in Carson’s subconscious mind that he was super strong and that he could keep his body rigid. He had Carson place his head on one chair and the soles of his feet on another. Carson remained rigid even when someone sat on his stomach. If it was not for the fact that his subconscious mind accepted the suggestion, Carson could not have performed this feat. (Do not do this. You could strain a muscle.)
- A suggestion planted in a subject’s subconscious mind can change his personality and make him or her do things they would not do under normal circumstances. I witnessed stage hypnotists make: an ordinary woman strut around the stage acting as if she had just won the Miss America contest; a man pursue a broom stick acting as if it were a gorgeous movie star, and; a man attack (he had to be held back) a larger man, who he knew was a muscled college wrestler, because the wrestler kicked an imaginary dog.
- Hypnotized subjects can be made amnesiac. A woman volunteer on a PBS TV program was hypnotized and she told to forget the number 7. Later, when out of the hypnotic state, they took her to a stage set up like a game show. The host told her she would win $1,000,000 for answering this simple question: What is 4 plus 3? She could not come up with the correct answer. They gave her two more chances with two more simple questions in which the answer was 7. Each time she could not recall the number 7. They then asked her to count the fingers on her hands. She counted 1,2,3,4,5,6,8,9,10,11. She could not say the number 7. She was also confused about having 11 fingers.
- Some doctors, dentists, and therapists use hypnosis for medical purposes. I recently read, for example, that hypnosis is being used on severe burn patients. Other examples include control of chronic pain, anesthesia, birthing, and eliminating phobias. On the same PBS TV show mentioned above, a hypnotherapist cured a woman of a lifelong fear of snakes in just a few minutes. She fearlessly held a boa constrictor and let it wrap around her shoulders. The hypnotherapist also cured a man with a lifelong fear of spiders. The man let a tarantula crawl on his shoulders.
- Dr. James Esdaile, a Scottish surgeon, practicing in the 1800’s used hypnotism in operations before anesthesia was available. His rate of success was ten times above that of his colleagues. The hypnotized patients felt less pain and anxiety, which allowed their immune systems to repress infections. Dr. Esdaile also planted suggestions in their subconscious minds to expedite healing. The mortality rate for operations in the mid 1800’s was 50 percent. In 161 operations performed by Dr. Esdaile using hypnosis, the mortality rate was 5 percent.
- A young man I knew was embarrassed about the thick glasses he wore. He read two books by Margaret Darst Corbett who wrote about the theory of ophthalmologist, Dr. William H. Bates. Dr. Bates believed that poor eyesight was epidemic in our society due to stress caused by our hectic culture. This stress tensed the eye muscles, which distorted the eyeball. The distorted eyeball shifted the focal point and blurred vision. Dr. Bates cited examples of aboriginal cultures, which were free of the stresses of modern societies, where the people seldom had poor eyesight, even at old age.
- Dr. Bates’s cure was eye exercises designed to relax the muscles in the eye sockets so the eyeballs could return to their original shapes, making the use of glasses unnecessary. Eliminating eyeglasses was not popular with opticians, oculists, and ophthalmologists. It was not popular with anybody else either because the exercises were tedious, required dedication, and results were uncertain.
The young man used his subconscious mind (the method discussed in Lesson Eight) to relax his eye muscles. Within weeks he could read without glasses.
- Phantom pregnancies (pseudocyesis) occur in some woman due to psychological reasons. When a woman has a phantom pregnancy, her subconscious mind causes:
- Cessation of menstruation
- Breast enlargement
- Desire for strange foods
- Progressive abdominal enlargement
- Labor pains
- Impressive examples of the power of subconscious mind have been reported in medical journals in cases of patients with multiple personality disorder. Multiple personality disorder occurs when, due to severe psychological trauma, a person develops more than one personality to cope. Cases have been reported in which one personality:
- Has asthma while another personality—in the same body—does not have asthma. Incidentally, cases of patients in which the doctor (one case was reported by Carl Jung) found that the asthma was due to a traumatic experience associated with breathing. Thus, the subconscious mind is capable of creating asthma. So one would assume it is also capable of eliminating it.
- Has a high IQ, while another has a low IQ. This is not so impressive because it is easy for the subconscious mind to make anyone act dumb.
- Is drunk, but when the person changes personalities, is sober. This is impressive because the subconscious mind, it seems to me, has to alter the chemistry in the brain.
- Is right-handed; the other is left-handed.
- Has different colored eyes from the other personality. I knew a man who changed the color of his eyes from brown to blue. It took him weeks to do it. But the person with multiple personality disorder does it in minutes
- Has scars, cysts, or tumors, while the other does not. This is plausible because there are records of hypnotists who have caused blisters to form on subjects and then make them disappear just as fast. The hypnotists touch the subjects with an ordinary object, such as a pencil, suggesting to them that it is a red-hot poker, and blisters form. Then the hypnotists suggest the subjects’ skin is normal and the blisters disappear.
- Has an immediate healing. A multiple personality disorder patient who was allergic to wasp bites was stung near the eye. The eye area swelled so much that he was rushed to a hospital. Before arriving at the hospital, he changed personalities and the swelling disappeared.
- This following experiment demonstrates the effect our attitudes and beliefs can have on our bodies and heath. In 1985, a Harvard professor, Ellen Langer, conducted an experiment that showed people could become younger. The professor recruited 100 people over 70 years old in the Boston area. She sent them on a 10-day vacation to a resort where she arranged the decor to resemble that of the 1950’s, a time when the subjects were decades younger. She played 50’s music, displayed 50’s magazines and newspapers, and had the subjects dress as they did in the 50’s. The professor also instructed the 100 people to “act as if” they were back in the 1950’s.Physical and psychological tests were performed on the 100 subjects before and after the 10 days. In every category, the subjects tested younger. What changed? What took years off their apparent age? The only cause was a change in their thinking. Their subconscious minds accepted the concept of being younger.
Your conscious mind sets limits for you. When you rid yourself of these limits, and let your subconscious mind take over, you can do things you thought impossible. Fifty years ago, experts wrote papers explaining why the human body could not run a mile in less than four minutes.
- Everyone, except Roger Banister, thought that running a mile in less than four minutes was impossible. When Banister broke the four-minute barrier in 1954, other runners duplicated the feat within months. What changed in these other runners? They did not magically become better conditioned or alter their running style. They changed their belief! They now knew a four-minute mile was possible, and if Roger could do it, they could do it.
- Vasily Alexeev, a world-class Russian weightlifter, could not lift 500 pounds though he routinely lifted 495 pounds. In 1974, his coach played a trick on him to prove a point. He put 500 pounds on the bar and told Vasily the bar had 495 pounds on it. Thinking it was only 495 pounds, Vasily lifted the bar as usual. After Vasily was told him he had lifted 500 pounds, he changed his belief and was able to do it in competition.
- A trained athlete lifting 500 pounds is not as impressive as a mother in panic lifting a car that has fallen on her son. How can she do it? Because in panic her conscious mind is put aside and does not tell her it is impossible. She has an adrenalin rush and just does it. I have only heard of such stories secondhand but a similar story appeared in the Phoenix Gazette. An incident was reported about a mechanic who lifted a car off two friends after it slipped off a tow bar. He also helped them out from under the car while holding it on his knees.
These are but a few examples that demonstrate the power in the subconscious mind, and this power is available in your subconscious mind.
You will get results if you follow the rules and methods outlined in these lessons. You will achieve goals efficiently and faster than you thought possible. It is more than likely that you will not credit these lessons for your successes. One reason is that nothing dramatic happens during or after programming your subconscious mind. A chorus of angels or band of trumpets does not announce that your affirmations are working or that you have achieved your goals. It just happens—it happens naturally and without conscious effort.
If you look for signs, question your progress, or interfere in any way by using your conscious mind, you will likely stymie or kill your progress. Changes are subtle and effortless. You must toss out your Puritan ethic of hard work. For if you work hard at it, that is, with your conscious mind, your conscious effort will work against you. Your subconscious mind, your genie, works unconsciously and effortlessly. The less you strain, the more you relax and let it happen, the more successful you will be. This will make more sense after the first three lessons. So read on, relax, and enjoy success!
States of Mind
Using your subconscious mind effectively requires being in an altered state of mind. This altered state is natural, but it is different from your normal awake state of mind. The first proof of the need to use an altered state to access the subconscious mind, as far as I know, was demonstrated by the work of Elmer and Alyce Green at the Menninger Foundation from 1964 to 1973. The husband-wife duo studied individuals who did what seemed, at the time, superhuman feats. They studied, among others, Indian fakirs while they were buried alive for six days, laid on a bed of nails, or changed their heart rates and body temperatures. They studied Jack Schwarz, of Oregon, while he pierced himself through the arm with unsterilized metal rods. Schwarz controlled his bleeding, never became infected, and the wounds healed rapidly without leaving a mark. The Greens measured such things as body temperature, skin resistance, blood pressure, pulse, and brain waves.
These subjects had one thing in common while they performed these extraordinary feats: they were in altered states of mind.
There are four states of mind—beta, alpha, theta, and delta—and they are distinguished by a change in brain waves measured by an electrocephalograph.
The beta state is our normal awake state and is characterized by a brain wave frequency of 14 cps (cycles per second) to 100 cps. Not only is the frequency higher than other states, it is more erratic. This is because our awake mind is busy. We are aware of many things that are going on around us. This awareness is essential for conducting our daily business and survival. Our attention constantly drifts. We are in the beta state most of our awake hours.
The alpha state is characterized by a brain wave frequency of 8 to 13 cps. You naturally go into the alpha state many times each day, but usually only fleetingly. Occasionally you may hover in this state. You would recognize it as daydreaming. Perhaps at one time or another you became bored, for example, standing in a slow line. You stared but your concentration was not on the thing you were staring at. Your mind was someplace else. You were in alpha. The alpha state is referred to as the “meditative” state—a state of relaxed, focused concentration. When you are in this state, you lose track of time. You may have stared at the wall for five minutes, but you think, incorrectly, you were staring at the wall for only a few seconds.
The theta state (4 to 7 cps) is similar to the alpha state but deeper and characterized by sudden intuitive insights. These insights are global. A classic example of global insight is comparing the way Beethoven and Mozart composed music. Beethoven composed linearly, measure by measure, often going back and forth changing notes. Mozart said that a composition would come to him all at once and in entirety. All he had to do was to write it down on paper. That is the epitome of global thinking.
Last is the delta state (3 cps and lower.) This is the sleep state in which there is no consciousness. Dreaming occurs in the alpha and theta states.
|The Four States of the Mind|
|BETA||14 to 100||Awake||Very busy.
Aware of many things.
|ALPHA||8 to 13||Meditative||Focused attention.
Different concept of time.
|THETA||4 To 7||Inspirational||“Aha” insights.
|DELTA||3 and lower||Sleep||No conscious awareness.|
Getting back to the Green’s subjects who performed extraordinary feats, the one thing their subjects had in common when they were controlling involuntary body functions, was that they were in the alpha or theta states of mind. Thus, the alpha and theta brain wave states are the doorways to your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind will accept suggestions and commands readily when you are in the alpha and theta states of mind. Suggestions and commands to your subconscious mind are relatively ineffective when your mind is in the beta state where your conscious mind dominates.
To use your subconscious mind effectively, you need to learn to go into the alpha state at will and stay there. Going into alpha is easy. You naturally go into it many times each day, albeit, usually only for seconds. It takes a little practice to go into the alpha or theta state at will and stay there. Exercises that teach you to go into these states are given after each lesson. The theta state is probably even more effective, but rather than referring to both the alpha and theta, I will simply refer to the alpha state from here on.
Now I am going to give you a very easy way to plant a suggestion in your subconscious mind while in the alpha state. It goes by two long names.
Hypnopompic and Hypnagogic Peridos
These are just fancy names for the short periods when you wake in the morning and fall asleep in the evening. When you wake in the morning and when you fall asleep at night, you go from delta to beta and beta to delta states, respectively. As you do, you pass through the alpha and theta states. So twice each day you have an opportunity to program your subconscious mind while in the alpha state. This is also why you should never go to bed while worrying. Worry is a powerful affirmation and you would be implanting this powerful, negative affirmation directly into your subconscious mind.
|The Mental Alarm Clock|
|The Mental Alarm Clock is an exercise you can do tonight. After you go to bed and as you feel yourself getting drowsy, but just before you lose control of your thoughts, say to yourself “I am wide awake at, say, 5:55 a.m., Saturday, September 25,” or whatever tomorrow’s date is. Use a time five minutes before your mechanical alarm clock rings. That way you will not be anxious of oversleeping. Also, use visualization. Picture your alarm clock ringing at the time you select. Exaggerate. See your alarm clock reach out and shake you awake. Some people do not use a mechanical clock because their mental alarm clock is infallible.|
Getting into the Right Attitude
Before we go on, you have to get into the right attitude. There is a psychological barrier you must overcome. The barrier is, “You do not get something for nothing.” The price of this book is virtually “nothing” compared to what it is worth. If this book were taught as a course by a big-name guru it would cost more than $500. I paid thousands of dollars for books and courses, and I spent countless hours reading to obtain the information distilled into this course. So you need to convince your subconscious mind that just because this book did not cost much, it is, nevertheless, extremely valuable. So, to get into the right attitude, you may either pay me $500 (Just send me a check. I trust you.), or you may do the following exercise. The choice is yours.
You have not learned about some key mental attitudes yet. After we have had a chance to go over them, the importance of this exercise will be clear. These attitudes are essential for getting the most out of these lessons. So for now, just trust me and do the following exercise. The key attitudes are DESIRE, EXPECTATION, and CONFIDENCE. When you pay $500 or for a seminar led by a well-known motivator, you go into his or her classroom with a strong DESIRE to “get it”, whatever “it” is. You EXPECT to get it or you would not have paid $500. Lastly, you have utmost CONFIDENCE in the teacher or again you would not have paid him or her $500.
You are going to do a little bit of acting. First, let me assure you that you are a good actor. Some psychologists would say you are always acting—acting out the role that you think others expect you to play. It is time to act. Grab your left forearm with your right hand and hold on to it. Act as if your right hand is stuck to your left arm. No matter how hard you try to pull it off, you cannot pull your right hand away from your left arm. The harder you try, the more it sticks. Go ahead and try to pull your right hand away from your left arm, but you cannot! Okay, that is enough. Now act as if your right hand is normal and take it off your left arm. See. You can act.
Now you are ready for a bigger acting role. First, get comfortable and relaxed. Sit in a soft chair and place your feet flat on the floor. Visualize a pleasant scene. For example, say you went on a dream vacation to Hawaii. Remember how it was. Picture yourself on the beach. Imagine that you are there now. Feel the gentle Trade Winds blowing across your body. Feel the heat of the sun on you body. Listen to the wind passing through the palm trees. Relax as if you have not a care in the world. Let your mind wander. Just feel the joy of being at your favorite place.
Have someone else read the following to you in a quiet, slow voice. Better yet, record it and play it back. If neither option is available, or you simply do not want to take the time to record it, that is okay. Just do your best to stay in this relaxed mood and read the following to yourself. As you read it, visualize the following scene as vividly as you can. See it, feel it, and hear it.
Before you start, pretend an expert, an expert you trust, has hypnotized you. You know what hypnotized people look and act like. They look totally relaxed and if their eyes are open, they seem to stare without seeing. If someone is going to read the following to you, then shut your eyes and show complete relaxation. Your head is probably cocked to one side resting on your shoulder and your arms are hanging limply at you sides. If you are going to read the following to yourself, then act like you have been hypnotized and the hypnotist has asked you to open your eyes and read the following, but under a deep hypnotic state. Okay, go on.
|Getting into the Right Attitude|
Picture yourself on a stage. You are an actor rehearsing for an important play. Nobody else is in the auditorium except me, the author and director of the play. I am coaching you. Now in the first scene you must project the emotion of strong DESIRE. Think of a time when you felt a strong DESIRE…a time when you experienced a strong motivation to accomplish something. Maybe it was winning a game, or getting an “A” on a test. See yourself in your mind’s eye. See yourself pucker up your face and set your jaw in determination. See how you acted. Relive how you felt. Hear what was going on at the time. Get absorbed in the atmosphere of this strong DESIRE.
Now picture this book. Picture yourself reading these lessons and learning these lessons. Overlay the picture of yourself studying these lessons over the picture of the time your had a strong DESIRE. Let these sensations set in for a minute…
Now it is time to rehearse the next scene in the play. In this scene, you are to emote the feeling of showing a high EXPECTATION. This scene is easy. Just remember, say, a Christmas Eve or Hanukkah, when you were young. If it is a Christmas, see all the presents under the Christmas tree. Visualize the bright colored wrappings and colored bows. Remember how eager you were to open those presents…to find out what is in those packages. Recall how you could not wait. You thought you would burst from anxiety. Recall how you could not sleep that night because the EXPECTATION was so intense. See, and feel, and hear the atmosphere of that eve. Now allow these sensations to set in for a minute…
Now overlay that mental picture of a time when you felt a strong EXPECTATION with the picture of yourself reading and learning these lessons. Superimpose this picture of reading this book over the picture of Christmas Eve while experiencing the same feelings and emotions.
Now it is time to rehearse for the last scene. In this scene, you must show complete CONFIDENCE, so start by showing absolute CONFIDENCE in the director and author of your play. Look out into the audience at me and emote confidence in my ability to direct you…
Now again, overlay this picture of yourself reading and studying these lessons.
Now it is time to awake from the hypnotic state. Picture me as the director of your play saying to you, “You are fully awake on the count of “3.” I am going to count from 1 to 3 and as I do you return to a fully awake state of mind. “1,” you are waking up…“2,” acting like you feel refreshed and relaxed…“3” you are wide awake!
Do you think that was too easy to be of any value? I will say it again, “If it is not easy, if it is not effortless, then you are not doing it right!” So lighten up! The methods you will learn in this book are easy; if you exert effort, you will fail.
Do you believe you were hypnotized? You probably do not. But do not be too certain about that. If you were not hypnotized, you were not acting. Some experts believe that hypnosis is nothing more than acting.
To prove hypnosis is acting, on a TV show aired on PBS, a professor asked a volunteer to act as though he was hypnotized. The professor did nothing else. No induction. No staring at a candle flame or a swinging pendulum. The volunteer assumed the typical hypnotized look. He appeared to be completely relaxed. His head rested on his shoulder. His eyes were closed. His arms and hands hung limply at his sides. The professor then said, “Here is a delicious apple. You may eat it while I talk to the host.” The object the professor handed the volunteer was not an apple—it was a Spanish onion. Nevertheless, the volunteer ate the onion thinking it was a delicious apple. This volunteer was never hypnotized by any standard routine. He was only acting as though he were hypnotized!
So, if you really imagined the acting scenes, you were hypnotized, or more importantly, you were in the alpha state.
An accredited hypnotist states on his web page that if you close your eyes and imagine yourself walking through your house, or apartment, opening each door as you walk through it, you were hypnotized while you were imaging it. Hypnosis can be that simple.