How to De-Hypnotize Yourself | Self-Help Psychology Podcasts

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Today’s podcast has been edited and adapted from The Philosophy of Self-Help, An Application of Practical Psychology to Daily Life, by Stanton Davis Kirkham, published in 1912.

When you recognize the principles upon which the philosophy of self-help is based, you can hardly fail to have a new sense of freedom. It will begin to occur to you that the most prevalent form of slavery is a bondage to false beliefs and to the tyranny of the senses. You will conclude, therefore, that true freedom lies in the perception of truth, and in perfect self-control, and that (since you have been in slavery to your own sensations and opinions), you may now be your own liberator.

As ignorance binds, truth makes free. Every false belief is a link in the chain; but wisdom overcomes ignorance, as love casts out fear and light dispels darkness. Mental Freedom and moral evolution is, therefore, always in the direction of freedom. Defects of character and disposition are obstacles we interpose between ourselves and the light, obstacles to our own progress. As these are surmounted one by one, we begin to see more clearly, and experience greater freedom.

Enlightenment and freedom go hand in hand. False beliefs shackle us — for whatever we believe, stands to us, in the place of truth. And usurpers are never just rulers. The Aztecs were vanquished more by their own fear and superstition than by any prowess of the Spaniards, and thus were enslaved because of beliefs which obscured their vision of the facts and paralyzed their activity.

In a like manner, we are all victims to our own fears and to false concepts, which shut out the light of truth and diminish our native energy, if they do not wholly obstruct our activity. Let us not blame either Society or Fate, then, for conditions which are personal to us and for which we have the remedy in our own hands.

While there has been much discussion regarding self-help via hypnosis, apparently no one has recognized the fact that we are all hypnotized, more or less, by the group-think of the world around us. As this is one of the factors which militates against our freedom, there is something to be said of the necessity for de-hypnotization. The important question is not — can we be hypnotized or not; but being already in a state of hypnosis, how are we to be de-hypnotized and freed from the tyranny of false world-beliefs?

Some are in a profound hypnotic sleep and their acts are purely automatic, their opinions wholly reflected. Others are merely in a drowsy state and are obedient only to the hypnosis of certain ideas from which they have never been free. This hypnosis, begun by their parents and by a corrupt education system, has been fostered ever since by the verbose nonsense of the news media and by the pressure of the group-think itself.

There is only one remedy for ignorance and that is enlightenment. But if you do not know you are in slavery, you will not seek freedom. The most hopeless class intellectually are the half-educated who think they are wise. And in this day of the mass distribution of cheap knowledge and half-truths, when everyone has a smattering of information, and people learn from the news media a thousand things which are not true, this class is growing rapidly.



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