Magic of an Outrageous Emotional Self-Control
Let's Be Playful a Little
These days there is no lack of awareness about the multiple benefits from exercising - some pertaining to health, others to beauty. And yet, we are not likely to see someone having opened anything like a "brain-gym", with possible mental gadgets for deep meditation, self-hypnotic re-programming, alpha-brain-wave training...whatever, that would advance us mentally.
While I am not planning to be the first one to do it, at least, in this little article I am about to offer you a mini version of something that has a potential to increase your ability to use your mind for an emotional self control. Later on I will explain the part of the title which calls it "outrageous", but the magic just could happen, all depending on your willingness to once more use your mind the way you did it as a kid.
Imagination - Working for Us and against Us
Neuro-scientists are telling us that our subconscious part of the mind - which is responsible for 90-something percent of our total mental activities - can't tell the difference between a real and imagined experience. Did you know that just by vividly imagining your sit-ups you could lose your stomach fat?
We all know from personal experiences those instances when we over-reacted to something that turned out to be false. Imagination can certainly play a trick or two on us, and the psycho-therapy textbooks are filled with examples of the folks being "emotionally fixated" on a traumatic experience of childhood that was completely unrealistic.
I mean something like "not being loved", or every dog, including tiny puppies being "dangerous", not to go into the rest of the garden variety of nonsensical phobias - all figments of a dark imagination.
Emotional Magic Is just a Make-Believe Event
When you were a kid, you must have played a mother with your doll, or those heroic make- believe games, and it's only your present age that would make a difference between you "being" a Tarzan, Flash Gordon, Prince Valiant, Cisco Kid - or Superman, Captain America, or Spiderman.
Well, would you like to play that make-believe game once more? - this time being another kind of a hero, an Emotion-Controller, someone who could produce at will some peace, or happiness, even a bliss.
Just like the rest of us "serious, and down-to-earth grownups" you must have discarded as silly a possibility of experiencing a magic in your life. In your book of life, "happiness has to be deserved by some effort" - not triggered by some abracadabra-hocus-pocus nonsense. Now, how do you know, if you never tried?
It was only recently that I tried to put into words something that I have been only intuitively successful with for quite some time.
A little bit of this and a little bit of that from my general knowledge about the mind came handy, before I got the full picture of what was at work.
O.K., being goal-oriented by nature, our nervous system has a built-in feedback mechanism, which is telling us when we have been successful and when we are off-course. Every plane has it, or a torpedo. Otherwise, we would be doing something a wrong way without being aware of a need to correct it.
"Me - Tarzan - You Jane"
Our feedback mechanism is particularly useful in our learning process, so that we don't learn something a wrong way. My late father had a poor ability to learn new languages, because he never bothered much to correct himself.
So, after decades of using English as his second language, his English was just slightly better than the jungle-man's : "Me Tarzan - you Jane". Well, he obviously had a way to silence his negative feedback signals, and too bad he never used that to his advantage.
Namely, that's something that we are about to be doing in our little game of make-believe. It won't be just "imagining" but also a mental act of something that I coined "closing the sequence". O.K., nothing too technical, don't worry.
Tarzan Turning Shakespeare
How does a learned material get accepted by our mind as correct? By a positive signal from our feedback mechanism. "You got it" - it tells you, and then you store it into your memory bank as a new data, or a new skill.
When we look closely at the process, we see a sequence starting with an intention, continuing with an act, and ending with the positive signal of accomplishment. We can trick our mind by closing such sequences even if we "got it all wrong".
We did it a lot as kids while playing make-believe games and convincing ourselves that we, no doubt, were Supermen. And the way my father convinced himself that his English was as good as Shakespeare's. Let's see how it works.
We might as well start by seeing the difference between a closed and an open sequence. Closed one tells us that we are "right" - open one is open for a correction. Easy, isn't it? Now, while still unable to make yourself feel instantly great, if you tell yourself "I am feeling great", of course, nothing happens, and it stays an open sequence.
How do you make it closed? By mixing it with a couple of closed sequences. For example, if I say to myself in this order: "I am a man; and I am 71 years old; and I am feeling great" - my mind will, normally, recognize the first two statements as true, and the last one as false.
However, what happens when I keep mixing these closed sequences with an open one? After a while, the mind gets confused over which is right and which is wrong, and since most of them are right, it will close the open one as well.
You see, that's exactly what makes liars successful - they mix a lie into a few obviously-true statements and we "swallow the bitter pill with a spoonful of sugar". At the beginning of this article I started by saying how important physical exercises are. But, when you really think of them, most of them look absolutely silly, don't they?
So you see a dude pedalling a bicycle like crazy and moving nowhere. And you see another one huffing and puffing as he does another crazy thing, which has nothing to do with any of those normal activities of the day.
By the same token, you might call this mental exercise all kind of names, because people "really" don't lie to themselves swallowing a lie in a sandwich of two pieces of truth. But, like my doctor said after I told him how I had cured an ugly polyp on my foot with my mind and hand passes of so called Pranic healing - "Whatever works."
You've Been Doing It All Along
When my father was convincing himself that he was speaking English, in his mind those couple (sometimes more) correctly pronounced words meant that "all" the rest were correct as well. He tricked his feedback mechanism into giving "O.K." signals - consequently learning most of his words incorrectly.
Canada is a multi-cultural society, and no one here is fussing over people's accents or wrongly pronounced, even misused words. So we are all Shakespeares here, except maybe for a few Hemingways. Which is a simple proof that we could also use this for making ourselves feel relaxed, or happy, or confident, or anything.
The craziest about all this is that most of us have already been using it in a negative way all of our lives. Take a person who told herself a few times as a kid that she was "not attractive", and she bought it as true, even though some people told her that she was beautiful. Mixing lies with truth may work both ways, oftentimes depending on the emotion attached to it. Next thing to learn.
Say It with a Feeeeeling
Those experiences that get imprinted into our subconscious mind as "true" are mostly the ones that have a strong emotional charge attached to them. Look how hard it is to learn some new material if you feel bored. Then change it by adding some ambition to pass the test with a high mark, and there you go absorbing everything with no problem.
Likewise, as you are doing these exercises of closing these open sequences, put some enthusiasm into it. Breathe deeper, put a little Mona Lisa smile on your face and let those statements, both true and the false one echo within your whole being.
You can even improvise a little, so put a winner's "Yes!" in front, like: "Yes! I AM a man, and YES! I AM 71 years old, and YES! look, I AM feeling divinely blissful!" You can take your mind for a little ride, and continue like this : "Here, I DON'T believe it, and it all sounds SILLY, and THAT'S EXACTLY WHY I AM feeling so divinely blissful!" This is Ericsonian hypnotic twist to it - confusing the mind with absurd non-sequiturs. When mind is confused with illogical causality, it is more suggestible.
Be That Wizard
Now you understand why my title calls it "outrageous". You are not supposed to be sensible, logical, or even "normal", simply because none of these qualities are ever present in make-believe games, and even less in magic.
If you are anything like me, if you persist doing it for a while, a totally new dimension of your capabilities will open right in front of your eyes. And you may get some incredible insights about the way that your mind has been operating all along.
You may even go quite philosophical about "what really is truth", as so much in your belief system will look like nothing more than exactly that - a make-believe stuff. Somewhere back there we closed an open sequence that started with nothing but an appearance, and then it made its way into the fund of our convictions, even though it was only ourselves who made a "fact" out of it.
So, here you got it. Up to you if you would care to once more hire that kid in yourself to explain to you "what reality is all about" - and then, with a devilish smirk on your face change something about your emotional daily routine. In the privacy of your mind no one will be stopping you.