Self-Suggestion and the New Huna Theory of Mesmerism and Hypnosis, by Max Freedom Long, , at sacred-texts.com
After you have learned the knack of concentration and that of charging the ideas to be used for suggestion purposes, you will be ready to take up the matter of teaching the low self to relax.
The Huna theories offer a much needed explanation to tell us why the low self accepts suggestion more readily when we are physically relaxed and when the mental activities of the low self have been slowed down, even if not completely stopped.
It is the matter of the charge of vital force again. If the low self and its body are both normally active, there is a heavy charge of vital force in its shadowy body. This force is not of the same grade as that used by the middle self, but we can picture two heavily charged batteries set together and their terminals connected with the idea that the battery with the stronger charge will release some of its electricity to fill the other. If both batteries are at the same level of charge, there will be no interchange.
Huna tells us that administering suggestion is a process of planting a powerfully charged thought form idea in the mind of the low self, the middle self doing the planting.
If the low self is as heavily charged as the middle self, it tends to reject the offered thought form ideas. But if it is relaxed in body and mind it be-
comes negative. If the middle self and the suggestion structure remain positive, the low self seems even to attract the suggestion to itself and to begin at once to react to it.
When the low self is relaxed, it ceases to need more than a minimum charge, and because of this, the middle self can draw much of the vital force to its center of consciousness to help it to "think hard" and pour a charge of added "will" force into the suggestion structure.
The original kahunas must have thought that anyone would know how to relax, for the word they used for "to relax" was "hoolulu" which also means "to sow or plant seeds"—the symbol of planting the tiny forms of the suggestion idea in the low self. However, the kahunas, by this combining of meanings left no doubt that the low self was to be relaxed and that something must be planted.
The first step in bringing about low self relaxation of body and mind must be taken by the middle self. Once more it takes over the handling of the voluntary muscles, just as in taking over the breathing action. The low self in the body is commanded by the use of the "will" to obey, or conform, to the middle self's mental picture of going to a comfortable chair or couch and making the body comfortable. That done, the mental picture is held over the low self as a command to cause it to stop thinking, or at least to slow down its rate of thinking. The kahunas had a phrase meaning "relax the mind", which translates, "relax the intestines", in which the intestines symbolize, as always, the low self, so we know that it is not the middle self which is to be relaxed. It is to increase its activities even as it uses the "will" to
make the low self ease up on its activities. The use of the "will" to command the low self always has a little of the element of suggestion in it whether we realize it or not. We command the body to act, and we take over the voluntary muscles and start the action, usually starting or triggering a habit of previously learned chain type reaction. For example, the low self, once started, will turn the eyes to see where there is a comfortable chair, move the body to it and cause it to sit down, lean back, and find a comfortable position.
When we wish to relax the body for a purpose other than that of rest or sleep, we are apt to run head-on into the habit reactions of the low self which get triggered off as we give it the idea of relaxing. It cannot use inductive reason, so is easily confused when it does not know exactly what is wanted or why it is wanted. Also, it may have ideas of its own, as, in this instance, that it does not need rest or sleep at this time. If the middle self insists, the low self will usually try to oblige, after some objection. It will rest obediently, but is apt to fidget and to let its thoughts go wandering off. If the idea of relaxation is associated with that of sleep, it may obediently put one to sleep, and that upsets all the plans, for sleep uncouples the two selves and cuts off the supply of vital force from the middle self so that it ceases to function almost entirely.
The hypnotists, under Dr. Braid's leadership, learned that the needed relaxation could be obtained by tiring the eyes so much that the low self would rest of its own accord, and in resting, would fall into the relaxed state in which suggestion is most readily accepted. The eyes use up most of the vital force
when they are put under a muscular strain, and when they tire and close, the type of relaxation that goes ahead of natural sleep comes easily. Looking with the eyes strained upward at a bright point of light or at a whirling disk on which has been painted a spiral line, tires the eyes quickly and tends to cause relaxation in modern hypnotic practice.
But the eyes are only a part of the body. In addition to tiring them by trying for a few moments to stare up at a point between the eyebrows, which is an experiment one can try, there are other ways to be employed to tire and relax the whole body.
The "Decubitus" method of relaxation worked out by Dr. Frederick Pierce can be used. This method should be used following or before or as a part of the eye tiring exercise. It consists of tiring the main muscles of the body, then relaxing them by letting go. A tired muscle will relax far more completely and far sooner than one not first made to use up its supply of vital force by working under some strain.
Dr. Pierce advised taking the legs, one at a time, then the arms, then the body and neck. Each was to be lifted, or the muscles tightened and held as in lifting until they tired slightly, after which the limb or other part was relaxed, pressed against the chair or couch for a moment and then let go entirely while the mental command was given to relax completely.
A "one shot" method is to tense all the muscles throughout the body or to stretch and yawn vastly and hold the stretch until slightly tired, then let go all over and command the low self to relax.
When testing out these methods, it has been found good to examine different parts of the body to see whether there is any remaining muscular tense-
ness. The hands, face and chest muscles are oftenest found still a little tense and in need of conscious effort to make them let go completely. Or, the eyes may have opened wide, after having been first relaxed, in which case they are to be partly drooped or closed, not fully closed, however, as that 'would invite the low self to put one to sleep and so upset the apple cart filled with waiting suggestion-ideas.
After the relaxation, the body is allowed to sit or recline inert and the low self is watched and made to stop churning up thoughts—often thought trains connected with the activities of the day. These trains can be stopped or slowed down and they will usually vanish as soon as one begins slowly to increase the breathing rate and to hold the mental picture of drawing all the vital force into the middle self center of consciousness and adding to it while one recalls the ideas one had been working to perfect, thinking them over backward and forward—"thinking hard" about them. This will be concentration and will automatically add the "will" charge and command to the structures. In a matter of from ten seconds for the experienced person, or a minute or so for the beginner, the suggestion thought form cluster and its charge of "will" force will be ready for planting.
The planting is done by telling the low self silently, in a whisper, or, if no one is near to hear, in a normal voice, to take the mental image on which you have been working and care for it carefully because all the things in it are going to be very helpful, very delightful, very useful, very important and very necessary to bring about. Command it quietly to begin to do all it can to bring about the desired condition, and promise that you will do all you can. Be
sure you mean it and that you keep your promise. If you leave it all to the low self and begin to do things contrary to what you plan, the low self will fall back quickly into its old and habitual way of doing things, and the suggestion with its charge of force will probably be disposed of by hitching it to some other set of remembered ideas and muddling them both.
These muddled suggestions, when strong, may cause the low self to react in strange and irrational ways in unexpected fields if not kept under attentive watch by the middle self. In case you, the middle self, decide to change or cancel a suggestion and give up trying to bring about the better mood or whatever it may be that you have started to try to get, do not leave the suggestion lying around in the memory store room like a time bomb whose firing pin may be pulled inadvertently by the low self in trying to dispose of it.
Take up the idea to be cancelled and think hard and long to picture it as cancelled. See it as something no longer wanted. Tell the low self in a regular relaxation-suggestion session that the other suggestion is being changed back to a simple memory of something once desired, but no longer wanted. It is now only a simple memory to be stored in the usual way. Make a mental effort to draw the forces from the ideas and to picture them as cancelled.
If a suggestion covers something which the low self can do or bring about all by itself, and you cannot help, do not let go your hold entirely when you give the suggestion daily to the low self. Tie a thread of shadowy body substance to it by holding the attitude of quiet expectancy whenever the matter embodied in the suggestion is recalled. Also, as the suggestion
comes to mind, say to the low self, "That's right. Keep working on it to bring it about. Good!" A little praise is a great help, and confident expectation is a steadying and guiding influence.
After a period of relaxation it is well to tell the low self that the very pleasing and valuable little session is over and to command it to get back to the work of the day, full of energy and ready to undertake anything with enthusiasm. This is a valuable step to take because the place where suggestion begins to work and where it leaves off is hard to determine. Also, it varies with the individual. Some of us are very suggestible and some not. It is always safe to put in what the Scientologists call "the cancellor".
The hypnotist is always careful to suggest a full recovery from the receptive condition at a definite time, even if a posthypnotic suggestion is left in the low self of the subject to be reacted to later. Usually the command runs something like this, "When I count back from five to zero you will be wide awake and will feel fine." The reverse count is made and the subject comes out of the trance, be it slight or deep.
In mesmerism, if no suggestion is given, the subject comes back to normal as soon as the stunning charge of vital force has been absorbed and distributed through the shadowy body of the subject. There is, in such a case, no need for cancelling because no suggestion has been given. Ordinarily, it has been found by hypnotists, suggestions begin to lose their power in a week or ten days. Patients under treatment to prevent attacks in epilepsy, or to prevent suffering from the pains of chronic illness, must have suggestions renewed periodically.
The difference between suggestion administered
by a hypnotist and by oneself in self-suggestion, is mainly a matter of whether the operator's middle self or one's own makes the charged set of ideas and plants them in the relaxed and receptive low self. In the case of the hypnotist, he has to use either telepathy or words to implant a suggestion. While rapport is sometimes continued telepathically after a session, when the operator wishes it to continue, the work is largely done by the low self as it reacts steadily to the suggestion structures which it has accepted. As a rule, there is no more use of telepathy after an "aka" or shadowy thread of connection has been established by first contact between operator and subject than there is between two strangers who chance to meet, shake hands, and go their separate ways.
In discussing the details of mesmerism and self-suggestion, it comes to appear to be a complicated and difficult mechanism, but it is really very simple. Let us review the few and easy steps which need to be taken in using self-suggestion.
1. Decide what you are going to suggest.
2. Think hard about it to make strong ideas.
3. Breathe hard and accumulate extra vital force while thinking hard about the suggestion ideas to charge them with force.
4. Relax the low self in mind and body.
5. Speak the suggestion silently or aloud to it.
6. Finish by telling the low self that the session is over and for it to stop relaxing and take up the work of the day alertly.
7. Expect the low self to react. When you recall the suggestion, do it placidly until the next session, when you will again become
very positive in repeating the suggestion.
8. In case it becomes necessary or good to delay or even give up a planned effort to accomplish some aim, explain the reasons to the low self, then make the mental picture of the project being delayed or even given up completely. Charge the idea and administer it in self-suggestion in the regular way. Do not let the effort go by default lest the old suggestion structures worry the low self and cause a mental clutter. A mental house needs to be kept neat and clean and well ordered at all times.