This section is from the book "Handbook Of Suggestive Therapeutics, Applied Hypnotism, Psychic Science", by Henry S. Munro. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of Suggestive Therapeutics, Applied Hypnotism, Psychic Science.
At this juncture and while your patient is in this condition, by your better educated and better equipped personality, you pour some of your own psychic life in the form of suggestion into his. This statement, in the light of the modern teaching of physiological psychologists, is scientifically accurate. According to Prince, you substitute healthy complexes for those organized systems of associated ideas which have become conserved as residue in the unconscious and which reproduce themselves as automatisms over and over again; for, when once organized, they are conserved and become a part of our personality. The nervous system faithfully conserves and reproduces its experiences. The procedure, Whether suggestion is employed with or without hypnotism, means education, or, if you please, re-education. Even where hypnotism is employed, the consciousness induced remains a part of one's self as a psychophysiological complex, however absolutely the patient may have lost realization of the suggestions given in the subconscious state.
The aim of psychotherapeutic treatment is the formation of healthy complexes of ideas which will not stimulate the undesired complexes, but by their automatic activity will contribute to the well-being of the individual and adapt him to his environment.
It is estimated that the normal individual has from eight hundred million to thirteen hundred million cells of gray matter in his brain, and that the average individual uses but about one-tenth of this entire number. By the influence of personality upon personality, then, we convert latent energy into moving energy, potential energy into dynamic energy, and thus stimulate and encourage the functions of every cell in the human body.
Every time you come into the presence of a patient it is your privilege and duty to get the consent and co-operation of the ego, that highest element of the eelf-conscious individual, and appeal to this higher psychic quality - the man himself - the organized, intelligent life entity, that has simply thrown this physical cloak around him, and encourage it to vitalize and energize all life processes upon the physical plane. We thus assist the patient in making use of the normal mechanism of mind and body, of the physiological machinery already provided, to bring about restitution of the diseased organism and restore the individual to health.
We, as physicians, have studied dead eyes that do not see, dead tongues that do not talk, dead ears that do not hear. We all know that the mind, soul, spirit, or intellect, name it as you choose, is the real man, which functionates in correlation with the neuron elements, and yet this ever-present entity has been an unconsidered element in our consideration of human beings.
Most sick people need education, knowledge, and guidance to enable them to make use of the physiological machinery provided by nature for the purpose of acquiring and maintaining health, happiness, and success in life.
The great majority of mankind is practically untouched by the progress of present-day knowledge. The tremendous task of teaching men and women to think for themselves and learn the great lesson of self-reliance has scarcely begun. All but our most intelligent people are creatures of a school of thought, or belong to some intellectual herd. Never was there a time that so demanded fearless, independent, tolerant, logical thinking.
Reason is mankind's greatest, highest, and noblest faculty, and as such should be the supreme court of the mind; all other impulses that flitter, and dance, and play in the stream of human consciousness, either intellectual or emotional in character, should be subject to its rulings.
Will, the executor of reason and judgment, should be loyal enough to follow their dictates. It is upon this condition only that sanity is maintained. Will and reason, however, are, in keeping with the law of evolution, psychic qualities that are developed by education, knowledge, and experience.
Consciousness, the most fundamental faculty of the human soul, is a stream of endless psychic states, resulting from previous experiences, incessantly changing as the restless, whitecapped tides of ocean, that can exist only by virtue of its endless, unceasing motion; and this continuous change is what makes conscious life.
Conscious life itself, then, is a stream of varying psychical states, which quickly follow one another in perpetual motion, rolling, rising and sinking, ebbing and flowing, with never an instant of rest. The elementary psychic states which lie below consciousness constitute the subconscious realm. Here is a great ocean of memories, sensations, imaginations, emotions and impulses, desires and aspirations, hopes and ambitions, fears and disappointments, successes and failures, which are past impressions or memory pictures that linger in the human brain. These rise to the realm of consciousness, and are interpreted in thoughts and feelings from which there is no escaping, and these thoughts or feelings in turn constitute mental states which exert an influence upon all involuntary physiological processes.
The power of attention fixes the mind on such ideas and sensations or memory pictures as are most worth while to the indi-vidual. and by constant assertion and iteration, reasoning and persuasion, suggesting and impressing, we substitute such impressions as will bring the individual under their influence, both consciously and subconsciously.
By suggestion we can drive back these subconscious impressions or memory pictures, and, if we but have personality and selfhood to dare to make an appeal to the highest element of character within those of our patients who need thus arousing, we have rendered the greatest service that one human being can possibly render a fellowman. Arouse the higher intellectual faculties, the higher brain centers, and the highest moral ideal into action, and you truly put life into your patient.