Self-Suggestion and the New Huna Theory of Mesmerism and Hypnosis, by Max Freedom Long, , at sacred-texts.com
Using self-suggestion is a simple process which may be divided into three steps: First, quite naturally, one must decide what is to be suggested to the low self by the middle self—to the subconscious by the conscious mind self. Second, one relaxes the body, stills the trains of thought that may be running through the mind, and, when the low self is in this way made ready to accept suggestion, the third step is taken. This third step is to give the suggestion to the low self either aloud or silently.
One may succeed in getting some response from the low self on the very first attempt to use self-suggestion, but usually it takes a little period of practice before one gets a full and swift response.
Now let us elaborate and detail the steps. It is best to begin with something very simple and easy. If the ultimate goal is a hard one like breaking a habit such as that of smoking or overeating, it is best to wait until the low self has been taught by easy stages to accept suggestion on lesser things, and has, become accustomed to react properly to bring about little changes. One learns to crawl, then to walk, and then to run. An attempt to reverse the process and start with the running cannot help but be a waste of time.
A bit of theory needs to be considered at this point. All who have learned to use suggestion agree upon this: YOU as the middle self, must have faith
that what you suggest is possible and good and desirable. YOU must clear your mind of doubt, otherwise you pass on the doubts to the low self, and prevent it from believing what you tell it is going to take place.
It is difficult at first for the middle self to believe that what it suggests to the low self will be brought about by it with swift and effortless work behind the scenes. Going slowly and learning that the low self is responding, even if very slightly, will make all the difference. "Nothing succeeds like success" is an old saw which applies here to perfection. Nothing builds confidence in the middle self as does the discovery that the low self is actually responding.
A simple little test of self-suggestion is one having to do with the yawn. For some reason, as we all know, a yawn is something that carries an almost ludicrous suggestive power. The low self seems almost unable to resist it. Let one person in a room begin to yawn, and soon others will begin to feel an almost uncontrollable desire to yawn.
Make this test on your low self. It is self-suggestion in its simplest form. Try it and see if you are one of the ninety out of a hundred who can give this suggestion effectively on the first attempt.
Get off by yourself where you will not be disturbed for a short time. Sit down and make yourself very comfortable. Run your attention over your legs, arms, hands and wherever you find the muscles are not relaxed, making them relax their tension. The face and jaw muscles and those of the hands are the ones most apt to be slightly tense, and the mind will always have to be slowed down and its thought trains stopped so that there is a relaxation of thinking activities or mental tensions. It may take several
minutes, and on this first attempt to relax it is well to do a good job because you will be setting a pattern of sorts for your low self to follow in subsequent periods of relaxation.
When you come to feel relaxed and resting in body and mind, begin slowly and without effort to make a mental picture of yawning. There is a great difference between the ways people make mental pictures of a yawn. No two will do it exactly the same way, but that makes little difference as long as the basic idea of a yawn is brought into the focus of consciousness.
You may picture others yawning, or yourself, or you may talk about yawning in words—silently or aloud—talking to yourself. Keep dwelling on the idea of yawning, imagining yourself yawning and enjoying it. Your low self may respond almost the moment you begin to think of a yawn, or it may take time—up to several minutes—but soon it will accept the idea and the mental picture which you are holding with the intention that the low self will accept it as its own and react to it. When it does accept the idea, it will cause the yawn. It may cause a whole series of yawns, and if so, be sure you enjoy them, lest you outline another response pattern that is not good. Always tell yourself (and the low self will hear you) that the thing suggested is good and pleasant. Then be sure that you take time to enjoy whatever it is after the low self suddenly brings it about. This holds true in everything, even in enjoying fresh courage after self-suggesting it and having it replace fear of failure in some situation, or even after suggestion has caused the low self to stop a nagging pain or a bothersome worry cycle which is keeping you awake
at night. The low self loves praise. Be quick to say, "Fine! Good job! Well done!"
The low self is another "self", according to Huna. Believe this or not, as you please, but address it as you would a close friend with whom you live in the body, and who can do things with the body and with your feelings and energy which you cannot do. Call it "You" and give it quiet orders if you wish. Or, if you have learned to talk to your low self through the use of the pendulum, and have learned by what name your low self likes to be called, use that name.
The two selves are so closely associated in the body that one may also say "We" if the middle self is planning to do its very best to help bring about conditions which are to be desired, such as conditions in which one begins to make more friends. In such a case one might say, "We are going to begin tomorrow to do the things which will make friends for us. We will be cheerful and friendly and will take a genuine interest in those we meet. We will be TRULY interested in them and the things they do, say, think and desire. We will do what we can to help them, and soon we will have friends all around us who will love and help us in turn."
If you make up your mind very firmly to work to accomplish something, half the job is done. The other half is to get the low self to believe that you are firm in your determination and to share it with you. Just making the decision as a middle self, with the low self only notified of what you have decided to do will get you little help from it. In fact, it may trip you up before you go far. To make the low self share your determination and do its very important part to bring about the new condition, you must take
time to relax the low self in the body, make it ready to accept the suggestion, and then give the suggestion. You may repeat the giving of the suggestion a number of times before you get the full cooperation of the low self, but in time it will begin to pull its share of the load.
There are two ways in which the low self reacts. One way is to start, upon being given a command with suggestion, to do something it already knows how to do, such as control a bodily process or imitate a way of doing things which it has observed, or to do things which it knows well how to do, but which it does not like to do. This first way is true "conditioning". The second makes use of things already known, simply causing them to be put into action, as does the hypnotic command to a subject to act like a dog. The subject does not have to learn to act like a dog. He already knows enough about dogs to be able to imitate barks, growls and waggings. Conditioning begins at the very beginning.
When you teach a dog to do a trick by making him do it over and over until he is expert at it and obeys your order immediately, you have "conditioned" him or taught him a new set of chain reactions in which thoughts and muscular movements follow one after the other. We can train the low self to perform tricks in exactly the same way.
Learning to use a typewriter, or to write, or spell or skate, come under the heading of conditioning. Almost every word you write on the typewriter or with a pen is a trick in itself. Like the command to the dog to "sit up", we learn a whole series of commands or things which stimulate the conditioned response. One sits down at the typewriter and thinks
of a word or of a single phrase. This thinking is all the command the trained or conditioned low self needs. It types the word or phrase. It also spells the word. You, the middle self do little more than stand by to decide what triggering command thoughts are to be decided upon and given to the low self. The team work between the two selves is a thing wonderful to contemplate. But we must not forget that we had, in the beginning, to teach the low self day after day to respond to the thought or sound of a word and to learn to spell it. We must remember the first slow words and lines on the typewriter before the low self learned or was conditioned to that skill.
The amusing test with the yawning may be carried on further and into the realm of a conditioned reflex (as such things are often called). All that is needed is to teach the low self to respond to the command, "Yawn". Once it learns to respond after a series of relaxation and suggestion sessions, you need only give the command, "Yawn", and in short order the low self will respond by making the whole man have an irresistible desire to yawn, and by following up with the yawn itself. You can even teach the low self to respond with a yawn to a command given in some other way. The sound of a bell could be used, or some other word. It is all a matter of training.
It is all but impossible to tell exactly where triggering off a conditioned reaction chain ends and where the use of suggestion to set the low self into motion begins. One seems to run into the other. That is why it is best to repeat suggestions. The low self will have its response quickened each time we recall the idea given in the suggestion the day before and
present it anew. Each time the idea is recalled and recharged with "will" and vital force, then given back to the low self, the fresh charge stimulates proper and continuing action.
On the other hand, the repetition, once reactions start to come along regularly, acts to condition or train the low self and provide it with a habit of doing certain things in certain ways, also doing them more and more skillfully as the reaction is learned and becomes more and more automatic.
The low self is a creature of habit. Once it has learned to do a thing in a certain way, it uses the same ideas each time as a pattern by which to work. When a new pattern is given to it, considerable pressure of the suggestive order must be exerted day after day until the low self is made to stop trying to use the old pattern and accept the new.
Trying with only the middle self "will" to force the low self to give up an old pattern or reaction, while accepting for use a new and different pattern, leads to Churchillian "Blood, sweat and tears" in many cases, especially where we find narcotics, tobacco or alcohol being used habitually. Suggestion, which adds massive ingredients of vital force to the new pattern ideas, makes the "will" a hundred times more effective by giving it a tool with which to work. The "will" may be likened to a man trying to pull a nail with his fingers. The charge of vital force may be likened to a claw hammer, and with the hammer, the nail comes out of the wood with ease.