“Knowledge is an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty.” — Jacob Bronowski
Your adventure begins with a close look at how you might acquire some, if not all, of your beliefs. I could ask: Are you hypnotized?
Let’s consider an idea suggested by Richard Bach in his book Hypnotizing Maria. Imagine that a stage hypnotist has hypnotized you. The experience will seem quite real, even if it’s a pure hallucination. Imagine you’ve been imprisoned in a room without doors. The structure is made of solid concrete, like a bomb shelter or bunker; and the walls, floor, and ceiling are several feet thick. You’re trapped inside without exits.
Think about this for a moment. Perhaps you circle the stage, walking around the room that only you can see. The audience has been told that you believe you’re trapped in a solid concrete room. You touch the cold walls when the hypnotist suggests that you try to find a way out. You push on them and find that they aren’t just cold and hard, but their surface is rough like a sidewalk. You kick the wall and hurt your foot. When prompted by the hypnotist, you search for seams and find none. You begin to worry—how will you get out?
Now imagine that you’re in the audience instead. You’re witnessing a hypnotized individual trapped in an imaginary room. The walled-in subject is trapped only by his beliefs. From your perspective as an observer, it seems almost ridiculous that this self-imposed idea, this hallucination, this state of mind in hypnosis, could possibly be real. You laugh at the person as he becomes frantic to escape. His antics grow increasingly panicked, and you laugh louder and harder.
Hypnotized Into Accepting Ideas and Products
Now imagine that you’re living in a world of your own self-imposed limitations and that you’re doing so right now—this very minute, as you’re reading this. How many of these self-created walls have you been hypnotized into believing are real? Isn’t that what accepting a suggestion is—a state of hypnosis? How many ideas have you accepted from the world around you—your peers, the media, and so on—that have become your walls, your barriers?
Imagine that you were hypnotized and given a few posthypnotic suggestions. The hypnotist informed you that when you awoke, you wouldn’t remember the number 6. Now, when you’re awakened from hypnosis, the posthypnotic suggestion is in place. The hypnotist asks you to count to 10. You do so, skipping the number 6. The hypnotist shows you a bill for dinner for $65.05. You pay $5.05. To you, there is no number 6.
Does The Media Have You Under Hypnosis?
Let’s take this a step further. Imagine the posthypnotic suggestion included something like this: “You’ll be able to watch television and listen to the radio, but you won’t consciously acknowledge the promptings from them that urge you to do something; you’ll simply do what they tell you to do. When I ask why, you’ll make up a reason for acting that way, but you won’t be aware that you’re doing so.”
You see a TV commercial that tells you to buy ABC Magic Cold Remedy because you’ll get a cold soon. You buy the drug. When I ask why, you inform me that it’s preventive, just in case. You get sick, of course, and later use the product.
Does any of this sound familiar? Are you aware that research has shown that people do just this sort of thing? In one particular study, participants were shown a picture of a person while simultaneously being subliminally presented with a negative word. When they were asked to rate the person, they not only made a negative evaluation, but they also offered a reason for doing so, even though they were totally unaware of the subliminal stimulus. This kind of research has led many scholars to believe that everyone has a “confabulator” that comes up with things to fill in the gaps in memories and actions, just to make sense of some of their beliefs and the things that they do.
Are You Controlled & Programmed by Advertisers?
There are many areas of our lives in which we fail to be aware of ourselves. In the words of researcher Jonathan Miller: “Human beings owe a surprisingly large proportion of their cognitive and behavioral capacities to the existence of an ‘automatic self’ of which they have no conscious knowledge and over which they have little voluntary control.”
I am particularly fond of the adage: “To thy own self be true.” One reason I like it is the fact that knowing ourselves is a journey—an exploration—and one that demands we risk being wrong about everything we think that we know or believe.
Hypnotic Effect: Propaganda & Media Influence Us
The hypnotic effect, propaganda, media bombardment, and the like all influence us in both predictable and unpredictable ways. Violence actually begets violence. Constant stimuli systematically desensitize our levels of arousal, and the result is that it takes more and more and more sex, violence, and gore to meet our stimulus-response requirement.
Becoming “dehypnotized” takes much more effort than the snap of someone’s fingers. It’s incumbent upon each of us to become aware of all the ways we’re managed, manipulated, and even ushered into a sort of hive consciousness, if we truly wish to know who we are and why we’re here.
Excerpted with permission of the publisher,
Hay House Inc. www.hayhouse.com
What If? The Challenge of Self-Realization
by Eldon Taylor.
About the Author
Eldon Taylor is the host of the popular radio show, Provocative Enlightenment. He is an award-winning New York Times best-selling author of over 300 books, as well as numerous audio and video programs. His most recent books include Choices and Illusions, Mind Programming, and What Does That Mean? Eldon is also the inventor of the patented InnerTalk technology and the founder and President of Progressive Awareness Research, Inc. He has been called a “master of the mind” and has appeared as an expert witness on both hypnosis and subliminal communication. More than 20 scientific studies have been conducted evaluating Eldon’s technology and approach, all demonstrating its power and efficacy. His books and audio/video materials have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have sold millions worldwide. Website: www.eldontaylor.com