Self-Suggestion and the New Huna Theory of Mesmerism and Hypnosis, by Max Freedom Long, , at sacred-texts.com
Back in the dawn ages, so we are told, everything lived in the seas which covered most of the earth. Then some of the creatures began to evolve and to come out onto the land. Amongst these was the serpent, and while he failed to develop legs or wings in the many centuries which followed, he managed to develop a most amazing method of capturing his prey.
He became the first mesmerist.
In the very new and poorly constructed semi-science called "Psychology", so little is known as yet of the nature of the forces of mind and thought that no differentiation is made between mesmerism, such as is used by the serpent, and hypnotism, in which suggestion is the key.
As all students of Huna now know, one can accumulate an extra supply of vital force very easily, and this force, when converted to the "will" type of energy of either the low or middle self, becomes a strange and exceedingly potent thing.
The serpent evolved the ability to accumulate extra vital force and to project it along the line of its vision toward a bird. The force had a startling effect. The bird lost the power to control its actions, and could only flutter helplessly in a state of "fascination" while the serpent wriggled near, reached out, and began to devour it.
Close observers have noted that Mother Nature provides an anesthetic for the prevention of pain in
many of her smaller creatures who must serve as food for the others. The bird or the rabbit faints and becomes unconscious just as the snake reaches it. It is popularly believed that this death is caused by fright, but the evidence of Huna indicates that, with the close approach of the mesmerist serpent, the full power of the surcharge of vital force strikes the victim and causes the unconsciousness.
Human mesmerists have demonstrated similar powers by walking into a room where volunteer subjects are seated and waiting. The mesmerist then sweeps his gaze down the row, projects his mesmeric force, and the more sensitive of the subjects tumble unconscious to the floor, lying there for several minutes before returning to consciousness. No suggestion is given. Both the serpent and the mesmerist rely on the impact as the executioner does on the shock of the electrical current.
Another point which is not well understood by the psychologist is that it is the low self (subconscious) which is affected by the vital force shock which is directed and put into such violent action by the mesmerist.
Birds and animals are all low self creatures. Only man has added to his inherited animal or low self, a middle self (a conscious mind self) which in turn has a connection with a still higher self (the Superconscious) which still is not recognized in the text books.
Over a hundred years ago, mesmerism came to public notice because of the healing work of a Dr. Anton Mesmer. He used it and it came to be named for him. His healing was spectacular as well as successful. He soon became famous through the
whole of Europe.
He called the force "animal magnetism", and believed that when he was more highly charged with it than a patient, it would flow from his body to that of the patient and would bring about healing. The very fact that he expected this flow of the force, acted as a mental command to cause it to flow, and it did.
But like the serpent, he sometimes caused so much vital force to enter one who was waiting to be healed, that fluttering movements, hysteria or even unconsciousness resulted. This unconsciousness was supposed to be sleep, but it was something very different. However, it gave rise to the belief that sleep and mesmerism were in some way related.
In England, some time after Dr. Mesmer was gone, Dr. James Braid, working on this problem of mesmeric sleep, made what he considered a very remarkable discovery. He found that "suggestion" could produce the same artificial sleep. In addition he discovered that by having a patient stare in a certain way at a small bright object held well above the eye level, he could produce this form of sleep without (so he thought) the use of either suggestion or anything resembling magnetic force.
Not knowing what lay behind mesmerism, he did not realize that suggestion always contains a slight amount of vital force—Mesmer's "animal magnetism"—or that suggestion can be silently administered just by expecting the subject to fall asleep when causing him to stare at a bright eye-tiring object. (Simple tiring of the eyes causes natural sleep. Given the element of suggestion or the impact of a charge of vital force directed by the will,
the sleep produced is artificial.)
From Huna we learn that suggestion is the planting of a thought or idea in the mind of the subject, either by vocal or telepathic means. We further learn that an implanted idea has no mesmeric or hypnotic power at all unless mesmeric force is added to the idea at the time it is created or while it is being implanted. One may say to a friend, "Go jump in the lake", but, lacking the mesmeric force to go with this idea as it is given to the friend, he does not react to it even in the slightest way. On the other hand, if a hypnotist gave this idea in the form of a suggestion accompanied by enough mesmeric power, the subject would obediently begin to look for a lake into which to jump.
We may well marvel that men as clever as were Mesmer and Braid, should fail to unravel the mystery of what happens in mesmerism and suggestion. For one who knows Huna, it seems so very simple. But overlook it they did—and in doing so, they overlooked the most important element in the whole matter.
This MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT is the fact that a simple idea, when filled with mesmeric force, will cause the low self of another to react in a surprising way. MOREOVER, one's own low self will react in much the same manner when given SELF-SUGGESTION.
One can give himself self-suggestion easily and quickly. It takes little training and almost no physical exertion. Once it has been given, the low self takes over and does all the work of putting the suggestion into action. This furnishes us with a tool of the greatest value. What things we fail to be able to do, no matter how we square our jaws and vow to
bring about the change, can be accomplished without strain for us by the low self, once it has been given an idea heavily charged with mesmeric force.
One other point needs to be noted. This is that when a suggestion is to be given to the low self, it must have its normal charge of vital force made inactive through relaxation of the body and its controlling part of mind. In the course of this relaxation, its "will" must also be relaxed and made almost inactive, otherwise the middle self, who acts as the mesmerist-hypnotist in giving the force-charged idea as a suggestion, will not be able to implant it in the low self where it will cause the automatic reaction to begin.
Modern hypnotists have learned that slight tiring of the subject's eyes causes a weariness which will soon bring bodily relaxation. (Actual sleep is to be avoided.) This relaxed condition is needed to make the subject ready to accept suggestion, but the whirling disk with its painted spiral, now so popular, or the old bright point of light held above the eye level of the subject, have little to do with actual mesmerism or hypnosis. In the case of the factory hand who is put to sleep by the eye strain of machine parts moving constantly before him, that is sleep, not hypnosis. Nor is the beady eye of the serpent what causes the bird to become mesmerized.
A popular misconception has been that sleep suggestion, when administered by a phonograph or tape recorder is effective. There is no mesmeric force in mechanically spoken words. Such words can be only a reminder to the low self. True, if the low self is given self-suggestion or is "conditioned" by being hypnotized by an operator and commanded to
accept the mechanically spoken words as true suggestion, results follow, these coming as post hypnotic reactions. Sleep recordings have been at their best as builders of memory impressions. In a state of light sleep the low self will hear and often remember things if they are repeated over and over—such as words and phrases in a foreign language.
Conversely, sleep suggestion administered by voice to a child or adult can attract the attention of the sleeper and sink into his low self. The breaking of childish habits has been easy with this method, while all but impossible by scolding or other non-suggestive use of force when the child is awake and its "will" is active and defensive.
In an article published some time ago, Howard Van Smith stated that Dr. Boris Sidis, a psychologist and professor at Harvard University, undertook to use suggestion on his sleeping son, Billy, in order to determine the value of such methods in hastening education. The learning process was not only hastened, it was made effortless in so far as remembering things was concerned. At the age of three years the child was using a typewriter. At four he was reading text books with comprehension. At seven he had finished the elementary grades of public school, taking but five months to go through all eight grades. At the age of eight, he completed, in six weeks, the entire high school course, and invented the perpetual calendar which is still much used. His ability to reason as well as remember developed with the same swiftness and he could grasp abstract ideas with ease. At the age of eleven he lectured by invitation of the Harvard dons and discussed the theory of the fourth dimension, also pointing out what he considered
a defect in the Einstein theory of relativity. Unfortunately, he died in 1944 before the full possibilities of the method could be determined. His sister, Helene, was handled in a less intensive manner and did not pass her college entrance examinations until her fifteenth year.
Neither of the Sidis children had unusual mental ability if judged by the usual intelligence tests of the time, but work done with them matches rapidly accumulating evidence which shows that, given the properly charged and vitalized ideas when in a receptive condition, the low self can and will memorize and otherwise react as by magic. We who are the middle selves, and who live in the body with the low self, have a natural reasoning power, but in order to use it, we must have the proper material in the form of stored memories to work with—to recall and to compare. Given a mass of such memories by suggestion, the reasoning process will grow and the middle self learn swiftly to use the stored knowledge.
There, in a largish nut shell, we have a brief outline of mesmerism and suggestion as presented by Huna to add to and correct the little which is generally known. Let us now consider some of the details.
First, it may be well to admit the fact that few of us wish to learn to use mesmeric suggestion as professionals. Most of us will use self-suggestion.
The goal and reward of self-suggestion is the control of the low self to bring about its full cooperation in all the things, we, the middle selves, decide should be done. There are some delightful and highly valuable things which can come from such cooperation.
To begin with we can break habits which have defied us for years. The defiance always stems from the low self and not until it is caused to make the correction itself, will it be done swiftly and effortlessly.
Then there are all the good things the low self can do in matters of bettering health, stopping pain, developing better learning capacity, and providing us with a cheery mood instead of the "blues". One gets sound and restful sleep, a cessation from worry, and peace of mind. When the low self is given the right suggestion it will respond by making the tasks of the day something to be performed with pleasure and cheerfulness instead of with wearisome effort.
Compared with the usual struggle to stop smoking, and the days and nights of inner conflict which so often ends in failure, self-suggestion is a telephone conversation in which the middle self gives orders before hanging up and rushing away to the dance or theater, certain that the orders will be faithfully and fully obeyed.
At this point Huna leaves the standard text books on suggestion and takes one on and out into the realm where greater rewards begin to materialize.
The most wonderful thing of all is that full cooperation can be obtained from the low self in making contact with the High Self and inviting it to take its proper part in the three-self, or normal, way of living. This can gain us intuitive guidance and endless direct and indirect help. This is where miracles become possible.
It is rather necessary that one come to understand the mysterious and intangible things involved in any use of suggestion. To begin with we can do
no better than to return to Dr. Mesmer and have a close look at what he actually succeeded in doing. It makes little difference that he was wrong in his early belief that he could draw animal magnetism (our vital force, and the "mana" of Huna) from magnets which he held in his hands or carried in his pockets, since we now know that magnetism in metals is not what is found in the human body as vital force. We must ask what it was that Mesmer used, and where it came from.
What he did is no secret. He made as strong a mental effort as he could to attract magnetism into his body from magnets. He imagined himself becoming fuller and fuller of the magnetism, until he carried a charge that was very large indeed. This worked in a strange way. When he imagined the magnetism as a living animal force, and imagined that he was becoming more and more highly charged with it, he inadvertently caused his low self to increase its supply of vital force. His low self was able to add to the normal charge in his body in an unexpected way.
Once so charged, it must be remembered, his touch allowed the vital force to enter the patients, to cause all the reactions that were later recognized as signs that hypnosis was taking effect. But the reaction to mesmerism was much greater than to later hypnosis. Patients often became violently ill, fell down in fits, or seemed to lie for a time in trance as if dead, only to recover, entirely cured.
We must not overlook what he was NOT doing. He was not consciously using suggestion, at least not the kind of suggestion known later under the heading of hypnosis. However, because he held the strong
intention and purpose of causing the magnetic force to leave him, enter the body of the patient, and bring about a cure, there must have been a certain amount of telepathic suggestion administered.
The mesmeric healings were made by the use of a large amount of vital force combined with a small amount of suggestion. In the later hypnotic healing efforts, almost no mesmeric force was used, but the amount of suggestion was great. The first system worked much better than the second. This was probably because a suggestion is an idea which is planted in the low self of the patient by the operator. If this idea is highly charged with the vital force under the direction of the "will" or command of the middle self, it impresses the patient's low self greatly and causes it to react in the desired manner. If the idea is barely empowered with the force, it gets only a slight response.
Dr. Mesmer became the center of a storm in medical circles. It could not be denied that he had brought about many cures, but his theory of animal magnetism could be, and was, violently attacked by his enemies. They demonstrated rather conclusively that holding a magnet in the hands did not give one the mesmeric power. Even Dr. Mesmer eventually conceded the point, but he laid stress on the fact that the force, while not of the metallic magnet type, still was a similar animal force and that it could be generated in the body.
His enemies would have none of his corrections. They were thoroughly prejudiced. However, some of Mesmer's friends continued to experiment with the force and to produce similar effects with resultant healing. Moreover, there are recorded observations
of the fact that Mesmer and his followers could place their hands on various things or objects and transfer the charge of vital force to them. Tubs of water were charged in this way by Mesmer, and iron rods were placed so that one end protruded from the water of the tub. Several iron rods were placed in each large tub, and, when the patients came to the charged tubs and grasped the rods, the force which was stored in the water entered them through the rods and they reacted in the same way that other patients had done when touched directly by the famous healer.
Baron Jules Du Potet, a friend of Mesmer, carrying on this experimental transfer of the force, made a name for himself by charging certain trees. His patients came to them, touched them or had themselves bound to a tree with strong cords so that they would not fall away from it and lose contact if rendered unconscious for a time by the thing we now call "mesmeric shock". The healings were numerous.
Trees do not offer silent suggestion of the telepathic sort, or vocal suggestion. Later critics of mesmerism as a healing system make much of this, especially when they claim that all healing must come from the use of hypnotic suggestion. Not in modern texts on psychology will the answer to this puzzle be found, but in Huna. Furthermore, the answer given by Huna at this juncture needs to be written in letters a foot high to insure that it will be given full attention and that it will not be forgotten.
Huna tells us that the large charges of vital force used in mesmerism or suggestion MUST BE DIRECTED to cause them to act in the special ways, otherwise the charges will soon be dissipated and will fade without accomplishing a thing.
The directing is done by the middle self, and its "will" is the tool which it uses to give and enforce the direction. This is easily grasped and accepted, but next comes something quite incredible, even if proven true by what often happens when vital force is so directed and set to work causing effects.
The middle self "will" which is vital force impregnated in some way with an element of the conscious self, takes on a peculiar quality and shows a strange and enduring power. It seems to mix with the vital force of the body of the healer and to remain in the mixture. Note what happened when the force was placed in the tubs of water by Mesmer or in trees by Baron Du Potet. The surcharge of force stayed for a long time where it was ordered to go, and with it went the directing element of "will" so that when a patient touched the rods or the trees, the "will" caused the force to go into the body of the patient. Not only that, but, when in the body, to activate the very slight idea or suggestion of healing imparted by the healer when placing the vital force in the object for healing use.
There again we have the tiny element of suggestion made very great and very powerful because of the overweening size of the charge of vital force placed in it. But no one from the time of Mesmer to the present has ever understood that there was a definite force guided by a definite admixture of "will", placed in the water tubs of Mesmer or in the charged trees—and made to stay there separated to all intents and purposes from the healer who generated the original charge.
A thing never understood is that an idea—an immaterial thing which cannot be seen even under a
microscope—is a material and actual thing capable of absorbing a large amount of vital force and that the force in turn can carry in it a directing amount of "will" energy from the middle self. Here are three "nothings", at least in so far as modern psychology is concerned. They are intangible, invisible and unidentifiable. By all test tube rules they should not exist. But they do exist, and this is well proven because we are able to observe them in action and to note the very definite results which they produce when applied as the basic forces and materials of suggestion—that is, a suggested idea plus a charge of vital force directed by the "will".
It is quite possible that these unbelievable things might not have been understood, or even guessed to exist, for a long time to come had not the ancient Huna lore been rediscovered.
In passing, it may be well to remind ourselves of the Polynesian native priests who were expert at the use of the shock charges of mesmeric force. Not only did they, like some of the medicine men of the American Indian tribes, know how to use the force to render a subject unconscious by a touch of a finger, but they made a fine art of charging throwing sticks with mesmeric force and using them in battle. The priests often stood behind the spearsmen and tossed the charged sticks over their heads to strike the body of an opposing warrior—the contact knocking him out so that he was easily overcome. It has been suggested that this practice was also known to the very old and primitive civilization of the Aboriginals in Australia. In their boomerangs they have the world's finest throwing sticks, and these, returning to the thrower after striking the victim, would have been
ideal for the carrying of shock charges of mesmeric force.
There are many people who deny the possibility that suggestion exists or that there is such a thing as genuine mesmerism or hypnosis. The slogan of this school of thought has long been, "It is only the subject's imagination at work."
A recent series of tests at Duke University did much to put this negative school of thought out of the running. Rats and mice, who, we suppose, lack characteristic human imagination which might make them wish to imitate the hypnotic state and the hypnotic responses, were the subjects of experiments. They were caged so that they would have to use either of two exits to escape. An experimenter was hidden from their sight some 8 to 15 feet away, but was able to look through a small hole in a screen to see the rodents, select one, and to try to influence it to leave by whichever exit hole was determined upon.
In the May, 1957 issue of "Fate" magazine, an experimenter, Dorothy Les Tina, explained in a short article the nature of the tests and her own experience with several tame mice purchased from a pet shop. The mice were placed in a partitioned box so that when a string was pulled from a distance, one mouse at a time would be released into a larger box in which two exit holes had been cut. As each mouse was released, she concentrated her gaze on it and tried to "will" it to leave by a selected exit. At first she got little more than the results which could be attributed to chance. Then her score began to rise, and in time she was able to make scores of 10, 12, 14 and even 15 hits out of 15 tries.
This experiment, carried out under the direction of Dr. Gardner Murphy, was classified as a test of the power of "mind over matter" or the power of mind to move matter—"psychokinesis". Tests had already shown that some people could influence the fall of dice, supposedly with only the power of their minds. In this case the influence was supposed to exert itself on the movements of living creatures. The writer of the article was left, she said, with some unanswered questions. Apparently she could not determine whether she had established a form of rapport with the mice and was able to influence them with telepathically transmitted suggestion, or was in some way able to influence directly their muscular movements to cause the mice to walk to the selected exit hole. In any case, we can be quite certain that the mice did not realize that attempts to influence them by suggestion were being made, and, because of a fondness for the operator, used their imagination to try to pretend a response which would match the suggestion given.
We may safely say that suggestion of the mesmeric-hypnotic sort is something real and valid. It is not imagination. It produces predictable results.
With this point settled, we may go a step farther, using Huna information as our general basis, and give a fairly comprehensive definition of suggestion—a definition which has been sadly lacking or sadly defective for the past several decades.
Suggestion, of the mesmeric or hypnotic type, is composed of a central idea which has been given the power to cause an appropriate reaction on the part of the subject by charging it with more than the normal charge of vital force. With the charge of vital force
there is added a directing force of "will", which is vital force slightly changed and put to use by the middle self of man. The doubly charged idea is introduced into the low self center of consciousness of the subject, after which the reaction to it may begin.