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Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality

Getting a Handle on our Mind

From the Chapter: Power of Suggestion: Crowd Thinking as read in 4th edition of, 21st Century Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

The power of suggestion has a long and capricious history. Research of the human mind and its functions became rather primitively active in the 18th century with Franz Anton Mesmer.[1] He recognized that human beings can be manipulated, but didn’t understand the process. Mesmer theorized this manipulation occurred by means of a physical magnetic fluid. Mesmer even concluded that this magnetic fluid could be transmitted from one breathing creature to another as a therapeutic influential agent. He termed his theory animal magnetism. Today, it is realized that he had actually hit upon the power of suggestion or collective mentality. Concerning Mesmer’s theory, the Encyclopedia Americana states, “Although it was later deemed a pseudoscience, the theory helped pioneer the study of the unconscious mind, hypnosis, and the development of medical psychiatry.”[2] Mesmer and his therapeutic animal magnetic fluid were eventually discredited. The Encyclopedia Americana continues, “Two separate commissions composed mainly of leading French scientists concluded that no such physical substance as animal magnetism exists.”[3] Ironically however, Mesmer’s name is preserved in the term, “mesmerize”. When people are being influenced by mortal’s persuasion or peer pressure, or when they are getting caught up in groupthink, or obsessed by some event, they are “mesmerized.”

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In the 19th century, the term “hypnotism” came into vogue, describing the process that characteristically induces the mental state of suggestibility. Today, hypnotism is studied, used as a form of entertainment, and sometimes utilized in the treatment of mental and physical disorders, but the scattered experimentation and observations are still not completely understood. Human beings can feel hypnotized for no apparent reason doing things they wouldn’t normally do, while on the other hand there are some persons who just can’t be hypnotized. Why?

Humankind is advancing toward an understanding of mental phenomena, of crowd thinking or hypnosis. In the 20th century, Carl Jung[4] distinguished three psychic levels: (1) consciousness, (2) the personal unconscious, and (3) the collective unconscious.

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Observations of the workings of hypnosis, the collective unconscious, or crowd thinking, offer convincing evidence that they are not remedial agents. I am convinced that the effects of outside mortal mental influences on those who practice it, and on the people who do not resist it, lead to moral and physical death.

If hypnotism seems to heal disease—or mental collective noise seems to alleviate loneliness—this appearance is deceptive, since error cannot remove the effects of error. Discomfort under error is preferable to comfort. In every instance, the effect of suggestion is just the effect of illusion. Any seeming benefit derived from mental manipulation is proportional to one’s faith in magic.

Openness to outside influence is denial of inner influence

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The process, either unconsciously or consciously, of thought manipulation has no scientific foundation, for God is uninfluenced and always conscious—always consciously governing all that is real, harmonious, and eternal. God expresses divine consciousness in us. God did not give us an animal or human consciousness to lose control of or control. In Science, a hypnotic state is a belief, a denial of the one spiritual influence. Crowd thinking, mass human consciousness, or mental noise, possesses no intelligence, power, or reality. Human physical senses can’t distinguish crowd thinking or mental noise because they are unreal concepts of the so-called human, mortal mind…

Gravitational pulls, the stars, and electromagnetic forces do not have power over us, just as they have no power over our Maker. God governs the universe. We reflect God’s power have the dominion not to be influenced by the planets, by earth and its mortal people.

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The mild forms of suggestion are disappearing and its aggressive features are coming to the front. The mechanism of crime, hidden in the dark recesses of mortal thought, is every hour producing more complicated and subtle confusion. So inconceivable are the present methods of the human mind’s influences that they trick people into indolence and produce the very apathy on the subjects which the criminal desires. The power of suggestion, with its many different disguises such as herd mentality and the adoption of unoriginal thinking, causes people to make errors throughout the thought process.

In a psychology textbook, readers are asked, “Hypnosis: Altered consciousness or Role Playing?”[5] Answering that question is not as important as realizing that we need to spiritually think for our self; otherwise, indifferent, self-destructive, and depressed behavior is believed to be our own thinking, and it will be exhibited. We also need to encourage in others the right and responsibility to think for themselves as God created them able to do.

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[1] Mesmer, Franz Anton (1734–1815) German physician

[2] The Encyclopedia Americana International Edition, Volume 18. Connecticut: Grolier Incorporated, 2003.

[3] Ibid

[4] Carl Gustav Jung  (1875–1961) Swiss psychiatrist and founder of the school of analytical psychology.

[5] Weiten, Wayne. Psychology Themes and Variations, Briefer version 6th Edition. Thomson Wadsworth, 2005.

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