Choices and Illusions
The road to spiritual awakening can take many paths. Like me, you can be visited by visions or energetic experiences and start asking why they are happening. Or, like Eldon Taylor, the author of Choices and Illusions: How Did I Get Where I Am, and How Do I Get Where I Want to Be?, you can begin to question how your own perception of the world works…and just as importantly, how other people in the world are influencing you.
Learning more about how we see things habitually…our perceptual bias, and therefore how we respond to that data, knee-jerk or otherwise can be a big awakening for many people.
My first conscious experiences of this came through intuition. The inside not matching the outside, my responses not matching the data and the apparent responses of others, so I started to question the status quo, quietly and internally at first, and then more consciously and actively as my confidence grew and I found others on the same branch of the path having similar thoughts and experiences. That’s when I began to open up more to my natural intuitive responses and ultimately began to trust them.
Eldon Taylor, author of over 300 books including the New York Times best seller Choices and Illusions has studied the workings of our minds and mental energy to help us all on the path to self-actualization and awakening.
One of his favorite questions is
“What was your last truly original thought?”
He relates in his book that many people struggle to answer this and work hard to find something that wasn’t a response to another idea, thought or circumstance already in many other people’s experience. We are all programmed, as Eldon says, to obey rules, become more alike and conform and yet the spiritual truth is that we are all as individual as our fingerprints, from the physical level all the way through to our souls.
So where to put ourselves in this information age, when we are working so hard, moving so fast and yet called to the path of spiritual enlightenment and Personal Truth?
Eldon Taylor’s book is a great help here!
He asks us to become mindful and gives us practical and actionable ways to do this. By mindful he literally means ‘learn how your mind works and how you respond to others’.
Here are three examples from Choices and Illusions
1. Our Beliefs dictate reality
Now I’m not talking about the kind of belief that means we can walk on water…although one day…who knows!
The study Eldon Taylor refers to in Choices and Illusions: How Did I Get Where I Am, and How Do I Get Where I Want to Be? relates to how doctors talked and related to terminally ill cancer patients, and what effect it had on the patients’ recovery rates.
Hope your ears are perking up now.
Using Eldon’s subliminal InnerTalk program, he conducted a survey in 1991 with physicians to look at life expectancy in comparison with actual mortality rates of patients who used the InnerTalk program to support beliefs in the mind-body connection to health.
In this small pilot study it was discovered that it was not the patient’s attitude, but the physician’s attitude to health and the belief in the mind/body connection which resulted in greater recovery rates.
The study results were
– If the physician did not believe that the patient’s involvement with the InnerTalk program could affect cancer, the patient died, regardless of which treatment procedure was used.
– Those patients whose physicians agreed, to some degree, that the mind played a role in the patient’s health, then the survival/remission rate increased to 46%.
– If physicians strongly agreed that the mind or the attitude of the patient is important to health and/or healthcare, the survival/remission rate increased to 60%.
– Where both the patient and the physician believed strongly that the mind played a role in wellness, the survival/remission rate increased to 100%.
This is one small study. What else can our beliefs do? And a larger question here points to the responsibility of doctors to speak positively and support their patients in believing in the effect that belief itself can have on wellness! That one point in the book is huge!
2. Our psychological defense mechanisms affect what we see and perceive
Now I know that when something offends me, these particular muscles in my face go tight, kind of in my cheeks. There’s nothing I can do about it, it just happens! Sometimes I don’t even know WHY I’m offended, but those muscles go off anyway.
In Choices and Illusions you can learn more about your own natural psychological defense mechanisms, essentially those knee-jerk responses, that can have us running a program and zooming off in the direction of an emotional response without being mindful and questioning why we might be headed in that particular emotional direction.
After all, knowledge is power.
So, here’s a short summary of our psychological defense mechanisms, more in the book
Isolation – avoiding the connection of ideas to avoid discomfort, essentially.
Projection – projecting blame or responsibility onto another.
Regression – reverting to a younger or less vulnerable state, again to avoid discomfort in connection with current reality.
Repression – an unconscious filter to stop us recalling or experiencing stored emotions or presently uncomfortable emotions.
Sublimation – the substitution of an activity to stop us responding or reacting in perceived negative ways, for example, deep breathing when we are angry (sublimation can be useful sometimes, but it can still affect our perception of the world).
3. Subliminal Messages do Influence Behavior
Eldon Taylor says in Choices and Illusions
“The effects of subliminal stimuli on humans, including behavior, is so robust…you have got to wonder where individuals who deny it have been in the last ten years.”
Eldon created a pilot study where two groups of people listened to the sound of the ocean with three subliminal information deliveries, approximately one minute apart.
The two different subliminal messages were:-
Group A: “DANGER, DANGER, DANGER, WATCH OUT!–AH-H-H-G-H!DANGER!”
Group B: “People are walking”.
Body responses were monitored for both groups. The first group had responses with gross reactions or changes in the measurement of body functioning coinciding with the delivery of the “danger” message. The bodies of the subjects in Group A responded as though danger existed, some individuals reporting reveries of being killed or killing, one person was very upset, one zoned out completely, all very different yet valid responses to the fight or flight response.
Something to consider when there was a global response at the weekend to the #MuslimBan political situation created by the US government. There was a huge ‘danger’ message there for many. How much of that was manipulation, it’s worth asking oneself.
In conclusion, if you are on the awakening path and want to know more about how your mind (and others’) work, Choices and Illusions: How Did I Get Where I Am, and How Do I Get Where I Want to Be? is a great choice.
Bio: Eldon Taylor is considered to be an expert in the area of preconscious information processing and has served as an expert trial witness with regards to both subliminal communication and hypnosis.
With a background in criminalistics and lie detection, Eldon’s approach has always been very down-to-earth, science-based and pragmatic. He is a New York Times best-selling author and the subject of his books range from exposing the darker sides of mind programming and brainwashing to the spiritual search for life’s meaning.