In 1902 a remarkable book was written by James Allen (1864-1912). The work was called “as a man thinketh” and it he shows the reader that the life you are living now is a direct result of the thoughts you had in the past. He expertly illustrates how the thoughts you are thinking now are determining the life that you are going to live tomorrow. I am sure many of you will be aware that the title of Allen’s little book is a direct quote from the biblical passage Proverbs 11:17 which states “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”. The literal 21st century interpretation would be “whatever thoughts you believe to be true and hold dear to yourself are creating your world, life and personality!”
What we continually dwell, the very thoughts we think all day long, eventually seep into the recesses of our deeper mind to form a subconscious pattern and this pattern then forms our beliefs, regulates our actions and creates our expectations. These are the thoughts that take root in your “heart” which is really the subconscious mind or the seat of your consciousness! These patterns then, in turn, begin to shape our other conscious thoughts and thus it begins the cycle. This can work in a positive or negative way. The cycle of negative or positive thought patterns, which we call behaviours, tend to condition our responses in life and also affect the physical & spiritual world in which we live.
“So how does all of this work?” You may ask.
Have you ever been woken by an alarming clock/radio playing a piece of music in the morning and had that same piece of music reverberate in your head for the remainder day? I bet you have. That’s because we are at our most susceptible to outside influences when we are in a very relaxed state. This is usually first thing in the morning and last thing at night (or when you are half asleep watching the television!). Have you ever heard a pop song that you hated then after it had been played on the radio for a few weeks you found yourself singing along to it and actually beginning to like it? If I had a penny for every time I’ve heard someone say “I hated that when it first came out but it really grows on you”! Outside stimuli that is repeatedly and repetitively presented to any of your five senses will eventually seep into your subconscious mind – usually unnoticed.
In the above examples repetition was enough to ingrain the song into your mind. Where you listening to the lyrics? On many occasions the messages in the lyrics can influence your mood and behaviour and affect your outlook for the rest of the day. Music and radio have a great impact on our lives however, television has an even more powerful impact!
Many cults use music, sound and visual stimuli as devices or conduits for their messages. They literally ‘brain wash’ their scriptures, creeds and messages using hypnotic techniques. For instance meditation or relaxation techniques are taught and very soothing sounds or music is played over a soothing voice speaking in a relaxed manner. Sometimes up-tempo motivational music is played that is very often incorporated into a fast-paced sermon or speech. Both these states are hypnotic in nature. They are used to create a certain brain wave pattern that allows for the easy absorption of information. In the aforementioned cases they are designed to promote an ideal state for the mind to absorb and accept the teachings of the cult that are presenting them.
If you think this is a new phenomenon then think again! All throughout the earth’s war-torn history armies have used similar techniques by employing the use of drummers and pipers on the battlefield in order to motivate their soldiers. Cults have been found to use many similar techniques to ‘brain-wash’ their followers!
You may wonder how a drummer or piper could motivate an entire army or how someone could allow themselves to be brain-washed by a fanatic but it has been shown by much research that anyone can be mesmerized into a cult! Why? Because they use hypnotic brain-washing techniques and these techniques work! Have you ever found yourself buying something you didn’t really need, just to try it out, because you seen an advertisement about it on the television?
Perhaps you are asking yourself, “well, if someone else can brain-wash me into buying a product or service I don’t really need or even brain-wash me into believing a cult leader is the new messiah, then is it possible to move myself into such a hypnotic state and brain-wash myself into believing anything I want?”. If you aren’t asking that question then maybe you should. You are being bombarded with hypnotic and subliminal suggestions every minute of the day so why not choose the suggestions you want instead of letting ones chosen by others in? You can brain-wash yourself into believing anything you want – that you are totally confident or that you really will own that house, drive that car, date a model or reach that goal.
Through the use of hypnosis or self hypnosis we ourselves can create a state of trance or deep relaxation and condition ourselves into believing anything we want. Hypnosis works by first creating a very relaxed state of body and then a relaxed yet alert state of mind when the brain displays alpha waves. It is while in the alpha state that we can directly access and communicate to the subconscious mind. At this point you have bypassed any internal obstacles. The subconscious mind, the “heart”, will accept any suggestion you give it without reserve or judgement.
However, the key difference between hypnosis and the techniques used by most cults is that they engage their followers on their terms. With self hypnosis you are in control. Don’t you think it’s time you programmed your own mind for a change?