SPOTLIGHT ON HYPNOSIS:
THE POWER OF INTENTION AND IMAGINATION
By Jimmy Eldred Quast
In my previous column, I began talking about the power of intention. This month I am continuing to speak about that same topic. My scientist friend, Dr. Candace Pert, once asked me if I knew where the function of ‘intention’ is located in the human brain. When I responded that I did not know, she said, “It’s not in the brain!” While we can map out most human functions as being controlled within certain fairly precise areas of the brain, ‘intention’ does not seem to be there at all. So where could it possibly be, you might ask?
Some of our best scientific minds believe that the mind and the brain are not the same thing. They suggest that the brain is physical, but the mind is not. I prefer to just use the terms ‘conscious mind’ and ‘unconscious mind.’ When I speak of the unconscious mind, I am referring to the non-physical or non-brain part of our consciousness.
The groundbreaking psychologist, Karl Jung, described the unconscious mind as having some pretty amazing traits. He said the unconscious mind is “innate, transpersonal, transcendent, intrinsically positive, and a receptacle for all memory, experience and imagery.” Some years later another amazing mental health professional, Doctor Milton Erickson, the father of modern hypnotherapy, agreed with Jung’s description and added a couple of additional characteristics to the unconscious mind. He said it is also “learned, autonomous, and the primary source of our highest potentials” including problem solving and healing. All of this simply means that the unconscious mind has many of the essential attributes of divinity. Intention is powerful because it operates not only within us, but well beyond the limits of our skin. Intention seems to be part and parcel of that transpersonal and transcendent part of the non-physical mind. As I have said from time to time, the Bible describes the power of our minds very simply in the statement, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
Doctor Larry Dossey points out that this transcendent, non-physical mind bears a strong resemblance to something that society has defined since ancient times as the soul or spirit. Could it be that science and religion are finding some common ground? That’s a topic worthy of further discussion, but right now I am really interested in how we can make practical use of this creative mind we each possess. The truth is that even though we all possess one, most of the time we are clueless as to what it is for. It cannot be said often enough - either wittingly or unwittingly, our thoughts create our reality. Henry Ford once said, “Think you can, or think you can’t. Either way you are right.”
About ten years ago, I was diagnosed as having small cataracts in each eye. I induced self hypnosis and imagined washing the round windows on the top floor of my building every day for several weeks. The cataracts disappeared. Over 12 years ago, I used a similar approach with different imagery to get rid of my high blood pressure which remains normal to this day. At around the same time period, my dentist had scheduled me for surgery on my gums to correct my periodontal disease. I only had a few days to apply my mind to altering that particular problem. When I showed up for the surgery, they took one look at my healed gums, and cancelled the procedure.
Several months ago, my 81-year-old mother had successful hip surgery after years of pain in one hip. Then I started having pain in my own right hip. The pain worsened steadily and frighteningly in spite of mechanical and pharmaceutical efforts to remedy it. In hindsight it is now obvious to me that my mind was becoming more and more preoccupied with frightening imaginings about how my hip was probably deteriorating just like my mother’s had. Since I have been working with these principles professionally and personally for many years, it seems odd now, that I only realized how destructive my thoughts were becoming as I woke up one morning about three weeks ago. It made me think of the TV repairman who’s own TV set stays broken because he doesn’t have time to fix it. I immediately realized that my intention was to be healed. Therefore I placed myself in a light state of hypnosis, remembering all over again what a simple thing that is to do. Then I used the power of my imagination to go inside my hip in order to have a look around. I expected that something would be out of order there and I found two things. One was heat and redness. So I used my imagination to change the color to a more comfortable one and to put some ice on the hot areas. Then I imagined using my hands and fingers to feel the area around the hip joint, whereupon I felt something gritty and irritating. It felt like sand which I knew should not be there. So I washed that sand away with some clear water and felt again to make sure it was all gone.
To anyone not experienced with the application of mental intention through imagery, this might sound silly at best. All I can say to you is that there was an immediate and dramatic reduction in my hip pain, which continued to steadily improve each day as I continued to use a simplified form of the same imagery. In fact I made it so simple that I could do it while waiting for a red traffic light to change.
Our market-based society has given us so much, but it has also robbed us of our individual power. Science often focuses on the intention of discovering something that can be packaged and sold for huge profits. We have come to value and trust that work more than we do the effectiveness of our own natural gifts that are priceless, but cost almost nothing. We even do this after science has verified the value of those natural gifts.
Note: hypnosis for medical issues may require a physician’s referral.