Self-Suggestion and the New Huna Theory of Mesmerism and Hypnosis, by Max Freedom Long, , at sacred-texts.com
Once one has come to understand the theory behind concentration and meditation (as we are using the two terms) and has experimented to see how best to create mental thought form images to be used as suggestions, the theory behind the charging of the idea structures with vital force and "will" power needs to be taken up in more detail.
The history of Mesmer's "animal magnetism" is one that has run anything but smoothly. Because it was not "electricity", as this force was coming to be known, and because Braid had taught that tiring the eyes brought on a receptive state much like normal sleep, in which suggestions were accepted by the subject, there was a general discarding of mesmerism and of all tentative belief that vital force might be involved in hypnosis. However, one school of thought was developing in which it was taught that the hypnotist must "dominate" his subject with his "will".
The "domination" theory rapidly came into favor even though no one could say what "will" might be. It seemed to the onlooker that the hypnotist was imposing his "will" on his subject in order to make him do the outlandish things which amused audiences in the theaters. A cult grew up quite aside from the field of Braidian suggestion, and the new leaders wrote books and sold courses telling of the wonders of the human "will" and how to use it.
The "will" was not spoken of as vital force or power because even weak invalids had been seen to be able to exert a "will" power sufficient to lay all relatives and doctors by the heels. The flavor of the legendary "evil eye", or the fire-flashing eye of the born commander of men permeated the writings. To use the "will" power was to pull oneself up by the boot straps in some magical fashion which could not be explained, but which was proclaimed possible. One could do it if one just would, but "do or die" was the motto for a surprisingly long time after those testing the validity of the system found it lacking.
In a book written in 1894, titled "The Will Power", its author, J. Milner Fothergill, M.D., wrote on his opening page, "What the will is, is a matter upon which metaphysicians have not yet been able to make up their minds, after all the attention bestowed on the subject; and when they have come to some conclusion, either of agreement or fixity of disagreement, the results will have no practical value. . . .Will is one of the 'little men who stand behind us', mind, soul, spirit, will, intangible something, revealed to us,—how? . . . Yet we never hesitate to use these words, nor is there any difficulty about their being comprehended by others . . . a man may have moderate abilities, and yet attain great success because he possesses a firm will. . . . It is the will which enables a man to carry out what the intellect devises."
Dr. Fothergill filled many pages with accounts of men, good and bad, famous and infamous, who had made their places in history through the use of will power. He concluded his book with a summing up, "The will may not endow a man with talents or capacities: but it does one very important thing, it
enables him to make the best, the very most of his powers If this little book enables one single reader to plant his feet firmer in the ground in fighting the battle of life, it will not have been written in vain."
Even without the knowledge of what composes the will power of which he wrote, Dr. Fothergill hit one nail squarely on the head when he disclosed the dismal truth that most people refuse to act even after having the wonderful benefits of the use of the will power explained to them. He was very right. It is not enough to show that something is good. One has to make people want it badly .enough to rouse themselves and start going after it. The desire must be equally strong in the low self, and this is where self-suggestion comes in, as we shall eventually see.
Psychologists have long argued as to the nature of desire and of the inner drive which causes the individual to strive to get the thing desired. One may desire something greatly, but make no effort to get it.
The dictionaries define "will" as wish or desire, but stumble over the difference and say that an "act of consciousness" is added in some way to the wish or desire to make it become a "will" to fulfill the wish.
In the year 2,000 A.D. we may possibly read this definition: "Will: to want something and then to go after it."
In his very excellent, "New Dictionary of Psychology", the learned Philip Lawrence Harriman exposes the lack of real information in the careful definition, "Will: a controversial term of ambiguous connotation. In rational psychology, will is a central
concept; in radical behaviorism, it is a label for the triumph of the strongest stimulus; in philosophical psychology, it is a mental faculty. Many contemporary psychologists consider the matter to lie outside the province of psychology, though there is a strong implication of determinism in modern psychology."
"Determinism" is the Freudian theory that physical or mental conditions force us to do things and that we have no freedom of choice—so, no "will". In their "Freud, Dictionary of Psychoanalysis", edited by Dr. Nandor Fodor and Frank Gaynor, one may search in vain for any definition of "will" or mention of the theory of "determinism".
In their "Hypnotism Handbook", Cooke and Van Vogt come near to the Huna idea of the vital force charge laid on a suggestion thought form. They say that each word spoken by the hypnotist in the administration of suggestion has "energy" and that upon this "energy" and upon the correct understanding of the meaning of the word hinges the getting or not getting of results. That states the principle, even if no reason is given as to why there is energy in the words, or how it gets there.
Searching through Powis Hoult's "A Dictionary of Some Theosophical Terms," one finds no definition of "will", but is helpfully referred to the material under the heading of "Yoga". Under that heading the several main schools of Yoga are listed, but the only word which might be used to indicate the "will" is the Sanskrit, "yama", which is given the meaning of a "restraining" action. This is typical of the very brief and indirect meanings of the words used in early Yoga writings. One must see that all acts of "will" which restrain the low self from doing the
wrong things (which is the basic or beginning step in Yoga), must be balanced by compensating acts to cause the low self to begin doing the right things. There are always two sides to every question, and there are usually two balanced meanings, or positive and negative meanings behind most simple statements of Yoga principles.
Owing to the lack of a suitable understanding of the nature of the "will" in psychological circles, we are forced to turn back to the system of psychology discovered centuries ago by the ancestors of the people we now know as the Polynesians. Only in their Huna lore can one find the understanding that is needed to throw light on the problem.
The kahunas, or native priests of pre-Polynesian times, very evidently invented a special vocabulary to use to describe the elements which they found to make up a man. There were, in the ten elements which they recognized and named, three which were part of the life force or "will"—the three "manas".
The reason there were three words used, was that man is composed of three selves, and that each self has a "will" of its very own, just as each has its own form of thinking ability, and its own type of shadowy body.
If we accept the Huna discovery as correct, we can then go on to ask how the three "wills" of the three selves differ, how they may be made to give a single drive in one selected direction, and how "will" and desire differ.
Let us first consider the "will" of the low self. This self is an animal self living in an animal body. It may desire something but make no effort to get it. Or it may decide to do or not to do something, apparently
without the emotion of desire being aroused, and make a great effort to have its own way. A balky mule is the prize example of the "will" of an animal at work. The mule decides not to move. No desire for food can coax it forward. Beating cannot move it. To all intents and purposes it wants nothing, unless we might say that it wants to refuse to move. Its stubborn resistance is vast and amazing. On the other hand, a mule may wish to get into a green field, and may go to surprising lengths to break through a fence and accomplish its purpose.
The low or animal self has the lesser or deductive power of reason. It reasons from what it remembers, then arrives at a conclusion, and from this its desire and "will" are stirred into action. Everything depends on the memories of former experiences. These are thought form ideas and the reaction to them depends on how heavily charged they were with vital force when the original events took place that gave rise to the memories used in later reasoning. To this must be added the instinctive needs which cause desires and "will" drives to satisfy them.
The strength of a desire or of a "will" drive depends upon the degree to which an original event or experience has left its imprint. Great emotions cause strong and "will" filled memories. These, when recalled, will cause the same emotions and drives to awaken, even if not quite as strong as in the original experience. That is the key to everything in suggestion—the more a set of ideas is charged with vital force as it is formed, the more of a reaction it will cause when recalled as a memory.
Next consider the Huna information about the
middle self and its "will". This self, as has been said, lives as a guest in the physical body which is owned and controlled by the low self. It has no power to remember and must depend on the low self to care for all memories and give them back when wanted. It can produce no emotions for itself. Its two talents are, first, that of using the superior or inductive form of reason, and, secondly, it can take the vital force from the body (where it is manufactured by the low self) and use it to make its own grade of "will" force.
The "will" force of the middle self has what might be likened to a higher potential, in speaking of electricity. Because of this, it can overcome any lower potential of the "will" such as that of the low self.
On the other hand, the low self has the ability to avoid control by the more potent "will" of the middle self. This is largely because the middle self must charge ideas with its powerful "will" force and try to get the low self to take them as something to be put into the memory storage, and also spur it to react to them on contact by the shock of the heavy charge. The low self may be said to balk and refuse to react to highly charged ideas if they cover something which it fears or disagrees with—something which runs counter to its own preferred sets of similar ideas.
The two selves, living in the same body and being so closely interdependent for mutual assistance, share the same emotions as well as memories, and the middle self is often swept away by the strength of the emotions of fear or anger or love generated by the low self. It is, therefore, much easier and better for the two selves to work in harmony, and as the
middle self is more evolved and more intelligent, it must take the lead in harmonizing the relationship. It must be the wise and kindly guide. It is the older brother who is, or should be, its "brother's keeper".
The High Self, who also draws on the low for its supply of life or vital force, has also its own superior way of thinking as well as its own desires and potential of "will". The "will" of the low self is mesmeric and may be thought of as a great club. That of the middle self may be likened to the bullet shot from a gun, and that of the High Self to a lightning bolt.
The language used by the discoverers of Huna is the only one known today which contains words to name all the different elements in the system. The language, quite evidently, was constructed for the purpose of containing these words and hiding their true meanings under an overload of one or more common meanings. Some complicated Huna ideas were hidden by symbol words. For instance, the word "water" was the symbol for the vital force and for its use in any potential of strength as the "will" by the three individual selves.
To understand what the kahunas discovered concerning the several elements used in mesmeric suggestion or self-suggestion, is not difficult. One has but to consult the secondary and symbolic meanings in the words they used. (The Hawaiian dialect of the Polynesian tongue is replete with such meanings.)
We may see how the kahunas looked upon suggestion by observing the fact that their main words for it are "kumu manao", meaning "exchange thoughts", and showing that there was the belief that the operator caused the low self of the subject to accept a suggested idea to replace one which was to be taken in
trade or removed. In self-suggestion the trade is between the low and middle selves, and the low self must be made to desire what is offered before it will be willing to give up what it has already in exchange.
They called the things exchanged, "seeds", and these stood for the highly vitalized sets of ideas used to be implanted by the middle self into the low self as suggestions. The "seed" was also "the likeness of a thing", or, in other words, a mold or shadowy body duplication of some original thing. It was not, for example, the actual condition in which more friends were being made, but it was a wonderful little picture of the condition, and, as such, it commanded and also guided the low self when used as a suggestion. It helped create the condition of which it is the tiny, invisible likeness.
The relaxation needed to quiet the body and mind of the low self so that it will accept suggestion "likenesses", was also given a name. It was the same word used for seed, "ano", but a different one of its several alternate meanings was employed. This is the meaning of "a sacred place of stillness". This is again a symbol. It symbolizes the relaxed and quiet condition in which the low self is made receptive. It is the receptiveness of one kneeling expectantly before a shrine, waiting confidently for a requested blessing to be bestowed. No more beautiful and significant symbol than this could have been selected to describe the ideal state into which the low self must be induced to fall. It is a state of trust and faith as well as of expectancy. It is a quiet emotional state of great value when suggestion is to be given.
To make a set of ideas, charge it with the "will" force of the middle self, and then cause the low self
to accept it as a suggestion, was a three-part act which was called "manao" or "nanao". The common meanings of these words, together with their secondary meanings and symbol values, tell us what the kahunas considered necessary when giving suggestion. The words also provide some sidelight information on the nature of the low self.
To make a rather mixed set of meanings more easily grasped, the process can be given in stages. First, one must be able to hold the low self, and it is described in this pair of words and their root meanings as "slippery" and hard to find or to hold, once found. It is a self which may easily lead one astray or cause one to turn aside instead of driving straight ahead to grip and control it with suggestion. It is described as a self living in a dark hole where it cannot be seen and where the hand is thrust in to try to find it. Once found, the suggestion must be forced upon it, as food is forced on one refusing to eat.
Secondly, the words indicate that one MUST THINK HARD, which symbolizes the intense concentration on the ideas while they are being charged with the "will" force and made ready for use as suggestions. The root of the word (mana) names the basic vital force so necessary to the making of thought structures and "will" charges.
The ancient kahunas usually invented two or three words with the same general sets of meanings lest one might get lost or its meanings changed with the passage of time. In keeping with this precautionary custom, they invented a second word, "hahao", for suggestion. Its meaning, as given in the dictionaries, is literal and direct. It means, "to suggest
something to the mind of another". But in the roots of the word the kahunas took care to tell how such suggesting was to be done. The roots give the meaning of "to breathe hard", which is the symbol of accumulating extra vital force to use in making the suggestion ideas and charging them. This is a companion activity to go with the "hard thinking".
The root "hao" means "to place a little thing into a larger thing", and this tells us that the tiny thought structures of the suggestion, once made ready, are to be given to the low self to place with its other remembered ideas in the large place where all memories are stored.
The word for "faith" or "to believe" is very important in any discussion of suggestion, and for this meaning we must go back again to the word "manao". Not only does it mean "to think", but it means "to believe."
To sum up, the kahunas instructed those wishing to use suggestion:
TO THINK HARD
TO BREATHE HARD, and
TO BELIEVE COMPLETELY.
Mention has been made of the accumulation of extra vital force by hard breathing. This needs a fuller explanation.
For our purposes we may simply say that to accumulate extra vital force to pour into the suggestion idea structure and to use to make the force of "will" to add also, we need to:
(1) Take over the breathing job from the low self and begin breathing more heavily. This will hold the attention of the low self and, if we expect the vital force to be built up rapidly above the normal supply,
the low self will use up a little more of the food elements in the body and give us the extra charge. All extra vital force is stored in the shadowy body of the low self and is right at hand as we think and create mental images and charge them heavily.
(2) Keep on breathing more deeply and controlling the breath as the middle self. There are several reasons why this impresses and holds the attention of the low self, but we need not go into 'them here. While performing this part of the work—the breathing, or "ha", one also begins to "think hard". To think hard is to exert the "will" of the middle self to make the low self stand by attentively and allow us to concentrate the whole attention on the task of making the mental images, or, if they were made in earlier sittings, to recall and review them carefully, attentively and strongly in every detail, trying to charge them while so doing. The "hard thinking" or concentration needs to be "pulsed", that is, let the idea go for an instant, then take it up again. It is a process similar to winking the eyes when gazing with fixed attention at some interesting object or spectacle. The momentary wink allows the needed pause to restore the mana or force used up in the gazing. The concentration on the suggestion ideas will build the vital force into them and make the charge larger and stronger. The force of the "will" is added at the same time by holding and reaffirming the determination that the idea embodied in the suggestion shall become a fact in living—an actual and lasting condition, this being greatly desired and the determination to bring it about unwaveringly backed by faith, and with no slightest doubt of the outcome. Such an idea, charged and held with the desire for it built to a high
point, then overlaid with the fullest determination to bring it to realization, has in it the ingredient of the middle self "will". This ingredient will remain in and with the suggestion as long as the middle self keeps the desire and determination running strong. The low self will be moved to do what it alone can do to help along with the plan, and in many things it will do almost all of the actual work, once it is given suggestion in this way often enough to keep the charge replenished and gradually increased from day to day.
These things are very simple, but because they are very new to most of us when we first become acquainted with them, they may appear very complicated and even difficult. This newness passes after a few readings of explanations and after testing out a few of the steps, then trying in a small way on something which is rather easy to put through, such as changing the attitude toward others so that more and more friends will be made, or brightening up or raising the average mood level.
To make a beginning, the use of the self-suggestion method starts with the middle self, which is you, and with the exertion of a little of your "will". You will have to find some way to make yourself desire to have the benefit of the method which is being laid before you. If you can find just a little desire, this can be changed to a little "will", and that will be a decision to give it a try. Once you have passed that first hurdle, the going becomes easier and enthusiasm builds. Soon you will be involved in the most delightful and rewarding part of the process, the part in which you will have the fascinating and wonderful experience of being able to contact your own High Self and invite it to aid and direct you in all things.