“The Double Bind, is when an individual is bound in such a way, that there’s a feeling of no escape – or no alternative – to heading in one particular direction, or following a certain set of rules.”
For example, on entering a Hypnotherapists consulting room, you may well be asked: Would you like to sit in that chair or the one by the window? Either way, you’re expected – and bound – into sitting during the session; or are you likely to state: I’d prefer to stand, thank you. If so you’d probably be told the ‘yoga’ class is next door. A negative result for all concerned.
So you see, a Double Bind, is one where you’re left with no alternative, or certainly with the feeling, there’s no alternative.
Whether we like it or not binds are something we face everyday of our working lives. Do we take the bus, the train or do we drive to work? We’re bound by our commitment to work for a living, and of course, for most of us, travelling there. What we must remember though, is we’re not bound or tied to do a certain number of hours in any one week. We’re not bound to give our entire lives to work as so many seem intent on doing.
“In order to free ourselves from this particular bind, and turn it to our advantage, we must change our thinking.”
There must come a point, in the near future, where more of us realise the nonsensical nature of how we’re living out our lives. Leisure time will increase as more and more of us find that machines have taken our place. Automation, of labour-intensive work, makes perfect sense, as does the potential for AI technology, to replace jobs such as teaching or driving.
If in the future, wealth becomes better divided, we’ll certainly have more enjoyable lives, and more time for leisure activities. Removing the guilt, associated with having a leisurely lifestyle, and then becoming more creative with our free time, will be important for us to succeed at this upcoming change.
“The binds, many of us are neglecting to acknowledge, are there as a means for control. We’re steadily slipped deeper and deeper into appalling systems, that are dictating and creating appalling, unhealthy lives.”
These systems are telling us we must earn a certain amount of money – we’re initially bound into through needing to pay off student loans, for example – and we’re conditioned to believe in the need, for a certain – ever-increasing – amount of money, to live comfortable, happy lives. We believe money and lifestyle equal the level of happiness we experience.
So there are the binds, escaping these shackles starts by asking ourselves: What’s the point of the whole thing? We’re working forty to fifty hours a week to pay of the debt – a belief system – has generated.
Imagine a life with no debt, ten hours of work per week, and the rest as leisure time, filled with fresh air and energising, joyful exercise, that requires little financial outlay. It’s about state of mind. It is achievable, all we need do, is think ourselves out, of the binds we’ve placed ourselves in to.
“Balanced minds create balanced lives where work, exercise, time with family etc. are all in harmony.”
In addition to this, time just sitting silently watching through windows, is never wasted time. When we make this kind of time, we extend our lives, enhancing the richness of our experiences. This is something for us to get our heads around.
Teaching our children contentment happens when we have this for ourselves. Contented children will achieve whatever they choose, whilst those who’ve been taught to achieve, will always be busy wondering: Why can’t I find it?
“What would you say is hard to believe? Would you say it’s hard to believe there’s happiness in life, without the things we use to create it?”
For example, how can we live life without the emotional games we play, or the drugs we take, or the possessions we own? Is it hard to believe a life without these things?
What if our relationships were smooth and flowing, full of change, excitement, understanding, compassion and love? Would we find it hard to believe we had found such a thing? What if our life were filled with satisfaction in our work? What if life was filled with satisfaction and happiness in our home lives? Would it all just be too much, and too hard to believe?
“You may think there are far too many questions in those last two paragraphs, and so to a few explanations, and potentially, some answers.”
Imagine for a moment you believed all of the above were possible: the compassionate, loving relationships. The fulfilling work life. The fulfilling home life. A fulfilling life without drugs, without overeating, without the need for the amount we seek. In order for these things to become reality, and stay a stable reality at that, we do need to believe they’re possible.
Those who struggle to find this stability and happiness may think they believe it’s possible, yet at far deeper levels, their minds hold beliefs that jeopardise this stability and happiness.
“A restlessness is created through what this deeper part finds hard to believe.”
To explain, imagine a person who feels constant dissatisfaction in most, if not all, aspects of his life. Something many of us can no doubt relate to, is the feelings associated with dissatisfaction, and frustration. And so imagine this person who continues to feel this sense of dissatisfaction and frustration, no matter what successes, accomplishments and achievements he finds. How can we explain this?
“One way to help explain this is through understanding lack, and more specifically, lack of belief.”
When our minds don’t actually hold beliefs, at the deeper, unconscious levels, that instruct us to feel complete, happy or satisfied with what we have in life, then frustration and dissatisfaction is the result. We then continue to grasp and reach out for more in the hope we will find this elusive happiness, and satisfaction. When it comes to drugs, money and possessions, these are simply used as a means of calming and comforting the dissatisfied mind, if only for a while.
What if we held the belief: I am complete.
Or: I am whole.
Would this help do you think? There is strong evidence to suggest that wholeness (an acceptance of all aspects of life and our human selves) is in fact what we’re seeking through our excessive consumption. We’re constantly looking to find satisfaction (completeness, wholeness) through external trappings because we lack the above beliefs.
Think about this belief: There is nothing I want that will make me happy.
And then add this: Happiness is a state of mind I can achieve without want.
Now the cruncher: Imagine being taught this by parents as a child.
When you come to truly understand the power of belief, you’ll understand how it is there are happy people who have, nothing. They are out there. Could you find such a state of mind? Is it that hard to believe?
“Peace is a curious thing, elusive, yet desirable. It could be said it’s something we all want, however, it stands to reason, that if you’re going to give a young man a gun, and then tell him he must fight for a cause, and fight for his freedom, peace will remain elusive.”
When a young man is given this cause, through being taught, conditioned and even brainwashed into believing it – and bear in mind it might be a cause that’s seen as just and rightful by the majority – and if he’s kept angry and hungry enough, the nature of the human mind dictates, there will be no peace.
Consider the opposite of peace: unrest. Through being taught: “you don’t have what you need,” either directly or indirectly from an early age, we’re teaching our young unrest. When unrest is a state of mind, kept alive through the belief: “you must fight for what you want” peace again remains elusive.
Even when our young man actually finds what he wants and needs, there remains a state of unrest – bubbling under the surface – as wanting and dissatisfaction have become a conditioned state of mind. So peace is never found – by such a mind – until he understands how to placate his restlessness.
“Due to the lack of love we’re all currently experiencing, wanting is a state of mind the world over. It’s just that often, here in the west, we find a solution (to our restlessness) through numbing our minds with drugs and alcohol or money and positions.”
It could be said, time spent seeking peace, is time spent going against human nature. And if this is the case, it’s the very thing we must take out of the equation: human nature. We must move beyond our instinctive need to conquer and dominate.
As we naturally evolve, does our need for domination, diminish, as we become masters of our domain? Yes, provided we understand this: The domain we must conquer is that of our own minds.
“We will always be headed in the wrong direction as long as we look to dominate and control each other. Only once we become masters of ourselves: our minds and instinctive drivings, will we find peace.”
In the case of our cause being just, there’s no denying, when we have people at the top of our societal pyramids, who are corrupt, or just plain egotistical, psychopaths, we do need to find a way to remove them. The simple answer is of course to not put them there in the first place, however, and as we well know, it’s often only the power of hindsight that shows us this. So how we remove such people from power, and do this in a peaceful manner, is through democracy.
“Within democracy no one person is ever seen to have absolute control, a leader is simply a figurehead of government. Our safeguard is, this figurehead, has limited time in office.”
Democracy, with the correct calibre of leader, along with the collective aim – through education – to gain control over our restless minds, must become a global phenomenon, before we can ever hope to find peace.
“With all this considered though, we must accept, absolute peace, through the removal of all unrest, is an unachievable goal and only ever something we must strive for.”
Striving for peace will of course come to nothing if we continue in our failure, to recognise dangerous character traits, in those we place in power. We may consider the rules within democracy, as outlined above, sufficient safeguard against governments acting on the irrational decisions made by one individual. However, as time and hindsight has shown us, this can prove to be no protection at all.
Let’s for a moment bring everything down to the individual level. Convincing the individual – that reason must never be replaced by fear – is where our power ultimately lies. If enough people begin to recognise the importance of this, and the importance of calming restless minds, we collectively have the power to change the direction in which we’re currently headed.
“If some of this sounds like scaremongering, I apologise, yet we must never shoot the messenger who warns us of the dangers in placing restless, egotistical minds, in power. Remember: blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.”
For us to make this prophecy reality, we must change the polarity of our thinking: Reason and calming the restless mind, are the only true ways to finding peace, never through the escalation of violence. Ultimately, all of this – and I truly do mean, ALL OF THIS – starts with you.
“It’s so often forgotten, this word: appreciation. And it’s such a beautiful word after all. It’s so beautiful when we feel appreciated, is it not?”
Have we forgotten what it means to appreciate someone or something? Have we forgotten the reason why we must instil this in our young? A child may never appreciate you, however, you’re the adult, and as such must instil the importance of this quality, in the minds of the young, by appreciating them.
If we all just understood the importance of gratitude – we’ll take the wind out of the sails – of anger. We become resentful and angry when we’re not shown appreciation.
Think about all the times we use the services of others: be it trains, planes or having letters posted, do we actually appreciate those who deliver our mail, or indeed deliver us, safely to our destinations?
To shift your polarity for a moment, what about those who tend to our ills or disabilities? The doctors, nurses and health workers, do they actually appreciate us for seeking out their services? That’s right, how often do we feel appreciated by those who care for us? Without our illness or disability they’d have no caring to do.
We must all appreciate each other and never consider us, or our time and services, to be of greater value and power than others. Without each other – from those who work underground in the sewers, to those who heal our ills and cater for our disabilities – we all need each other.
“Without the Beautiful Lumbricina the land would die.”
Lawyers, police and judges need the criminal fraternity. Do lawyers, policemen or judges ever appreciate who in fact puts food on their tables? Without the law breakers they’d starve to death, would they not?
How would you feel if a doctor actually said to you: “I appreciate your time today and thank you for choosing me” would you be so shocked to hear this, or is this an example of how it must be, if we’re all finally to get along. What if a policeman said to the thief: “I appreciate your ability to create the need for society to employ me.” Would that appreciation compound his disability (to follow the law) or would it make him aware of the ridiculous nature of humankind and his wasted life?
How would it be if a health worker left you feeling loved and cared for, rather than with that strange – if not quite conscious feeling – of being abused? How about: “Thank You for allowing me to care for you.” How about: “Thank You for being my child.”
“No one is greater, more important, or more powerful than you. Did you realise this? Do you appreciate the power of you? Be grateful to your mind for showing you the way, and be grateful to your body, for taking you there.”
“Both are here. Both doors exist here on planet earth. Both heaven and hell are here and nowhere else.”
You see, it really is a choice – or certainly is for most – in terms of which door we choose. When I look around me, it would seem, many are choosing hell. In the process, hell is becoming more prevalent; more apparent in the world.
How we do the choosing isn’t in fact a complicated procedure. It’s what our minds unconsciously seek, that holds the key. Changing this involves becoming wise to it.
Take the example of a young boy in Aleppo who witnesses his mother and sister dying in the street: blown to pieces by a mortar rocket. Does this child live in hell? In the moment he sees his family destroyed by a mindless act, yes. Later though, he will have a choice.
The child can go on to harbour anger, bitterness and resentment for the suffering inflicted on him, through having his family brutally taken away, or he can look to understand it. He understands it to take away the pain and suffering. He gives the loss of life a purpose. “They died in the name of love” perhaps. “They died as an example of how mindless war is” perhaps. Or better still: “Wrong place, wrong time, and nothing more.” The religious, of course, understand it as ‘God’s Will.’ Hold to that, and we’re all pretty much powerless, to change anything.
During a recent experience, I realised, that the person who was bullying and abusing me (as many of us are, all we need do, is wake up, and open our eyes) was frightened. Terrified in fact. I could have easily added to her fear, yet on this occasion, I decided to respond to the situation with love. Not love of her, love of me.
“Love of me said: Becoming angry with this child will only harm you. In this way, even though I was – once again – being abused by the frightened, I remained calm.”
“When there is fear within, love is pushed aside.”
Be aware, at first, responding to abuse and anger with love, is hard, however, I firmly believe, that in time, it will soften even the most violent of abusers. My abusers – as do yours – live in their own personal hell. Don’t allow them to show you that door.
The more we allow frightened, unaware people, to influence how we think, react and live, the wider the door to hell is opened: A great yawning cavern of ignorance, hate, anger, and fear, lies before us.
I seek heaven here on earth as I believe it must exist. It exists, for the simple reason fear, and the man made hell we’re currently so busy creating, also exists. Think of war zones, Think of working 50 plus hours a week in a boring dead end job (as does my abuser). Think of being forced, on a daily basis, to do what we dislike. Think of being unable to breath because car emissions are choking our cities. Think: so much of the wildlife on this planet is under threat. Think: thousands of people starving to death in Yemen. Never think I always exaggerate. Starvation is the cruellest death.
“Heaven is found when we find a sanctuary within ourselves. When we no longer fear alone, when we no longer fear anger, when we no longer fear death, and when we no longer fear loss or change, we are safe in the sanctuary of our soul.”
Safe, because we’ve found our-souls through the removal of the misty haze, fear and confusion creates. In addition, to sanctuary within our-souls, when we clearly see suffering, as choice, we are freed by our own courage. Such a favourable position to be in. So favourable is this position, that we’re then able to spread this around, by teaching it others. When we teach it, we reinforce it within our-souls; ourselves.
At times I think to myself: ‘It’s not my job to teach this person how to be a good manager, a good, kind person, a loving mother or son, a beautiful wife, husband or parent,’ And yet, if I give up, we all give up. Don’t you think?
Think: how do I continue to choose suffering, then open and show others, the door to my personal hell? And then think: how could I make this place a more comfortable habitat for me and others? Think: what do I need to do, to open the door to my heaven, to experience it, and then share it with others? Think: I. Love. YOU.
The word hypnosis originates from the Greek word for sleep (hupnos). Even though this is how, and from where the word originates, hypnosis does differ, in some respects, to sleep. In fact, it could be said the use of hypnosis – in a modern therapeutic setting – actually wakes us to a new awareness of why we often seem to behave in limiting, and uncontrolled ways.
There has been, and still is to some extent, much confusion around the subject of hypnosis. Let’s clear it up.
Think of a time when you’ve drifted of into an imaginary would all of your own; think of how that has distorted time. Think of a time when you’ve been so lost in your own world, that you’ve not heard what someone said, or even seen them leave the room. Think of a repetitive activity – a car journey, coach, or train trip for example – and think of how you’ve not noticed time slipping away. Think of how good it felt, that time, when you were so very focused, to the exclusion of all other things; in the zone, as they say. All hypnotic states.
“It could be said we’re all constantly in a state of hypnosis, that simply varies from light, to slight, and back again during the course of our day.”
Sleep is something we do at night to rest our bodies. Our minds are potentially more active during sleep than during medium to deep hypnosis. Notice the use of the words medium to deep there.
Medium to deep hypnosis is used by the Clinical Hypnotherapist as a means of accessing the unconscious, non-critical, part of the mind. Once hypnosis has been induced, positive suggestions for change are indirectly (through judicious use of metaphor) or directly emplaced – “You find change attractive and exciting” – for example.
“It’s often the unconscious part of our minds that keep us on a self-destructive path. Reprogramming – that which has become an unconscious activity – is the name of the game here.”
Here’s a gentle example – of something that has potentially become unconscious: could a good hypnotist suggest you no longer remember where your keys are? Could he suggest you’ve forgotten where you put them? The simple answer is yes, however, the professional Hypnotherapist, is only interested in emplacing suggestions that are beneficial.
Analytical Hypnotherapy is used to help resolve the more stubborn confusion and conflict (neurosis) the mind may harbour. Often, we must understand the purpose and origin of a behaviour or way of thinking, before we can convince the mind to give it up.
So there we are, relax, it is all in the mind.
“It’s okay you can come in, don’t worry about the cushions, they’re there for you to sit on. Do you like my tent?”
Do you like all the swathes of fabric tied up into the roof? Beautiful. What colour would you say that is? Do you like how that gentle breeze moves the fabric? A gentle rustling sound. Can you hear it? And what about these large, beautiful colourful cushions, aren’t they fabulous?
Come in, sit, whatever’s the most comfortable for you. If you’d like to relax I can help you with that. Would you like to relax? That’s right. Just sit in whatever way is most comfortable for you, perhaps with your legs crossed, or lying down, either way is good. You may, or you may not, find it easier to close your eyes now, as we go on a journey together.
Imagine you’re becoming more and more relaxed, not too much, just enough to see that ball of blackness in front of your eyes. Can you see it now? You can see it, now. A ball of blackness in front of your eyes.
Think of that ball of blackness as fear. Fear of being alone. That fear that causes you to need; to need to be with those who are not empowering you, not loving you, just needing you. Need and love are two very different things you know. Love has no need.
Think of that black ball of fear as getting smaller now, that’s right, smaller and smaller now. That ball of fear that blocks your vision, keeping you stuck. It’s stopping you from seeing beyond that tiny space around you. A tiny world about you.
“As the fear; as the blackness diminishes, that world, your world, begins to grow. Can you see the light of that knowledge from behind that black ball of fear? The light from behind that ball is growing larger and larger now.”
The ball of fear, is getting smaller and smaller, that black ball of fear. Fear of the cold, fear of the dark, fear of alone, fear of hunger, fear of what others may think. Now, the light is growing bigger and bigger, filling you with confidence, filling you with love. Look how small that ball of fear has become.
So small now that there is no fear of being alone, no fear for those you leave behind; after all they’re welcome in my tent of shelter also. Or do you think they would rather grow that ball of fear, that ball of need?
Imagine a world where there is no one needing anything from you, no one wanting anything from you, just a place of freedom, where you can walk, or run, to that next experience, that next adventure away from all the pain and the suffering of those, who can’t even see the entrance to my tent. My tent of shelter.
As you open your eyes now, hold that light inside your mind; inside your soul; inside your heart. That light obliterating the darkness of fear, carrying you away to a brighter, better future, of courage and love.
You know what? You’re welcome in my tent of shelter whenever you need my friend, your welcome.
“Would you like to know how? Would you like me to share with you a simple formula for becoming the king and ruler of your domain? It’s so simple, that at first, you may not believe me.”
The rules, or formula, have in fact been given us some years ago, it’s just unfortunate that we’ve forgotten them. So when reminded, it’s as if we already knew, as it seems so damn obvious. It may well seem obvious, and yet it’s important, we never allow the following to escape us again.
Have no fear now. Never fear that which will change your life for the better.
“Now, it starts with knowing your own mind. Trusting your instincts and having the strength to go with them; allowing them to guide you.”
Secondly, never make the mistake of letting fear be your master. We may make snap decisions that are not properly thought through, and are made simply because it would make life seem easier, and less of a struggle. Life is struggle, yet it’s the periods of rest inbetween, that make the struggle worthwhile. For without the struggle, without the effort, nothing seems worthwhile.
“Those who have, what we may see as blessed, easy lives, often have the biggest struggle of all: gaining sense of purpose. Think of the British royal family, every day, they must have an almighty struggle, with understanding their purpose. Or do they?”
Your purpose is to evolve. To become more than the sum total of your experiences and beliefs. To move beyond fear. To move beyond the tendency toward settling for the easiest rout. To move beyond, limiting, childhood programming and conditioning. Finding the rout that offers you the greatest challenge – believe it or not – will always be the one that brings the greatest pleasure, and the greatest rewards.
Thirdly, gain the ability to take good advice from your elders. This advice may not seem of value when first given, yet time will tell, that those who have experienced their own difficulties are – on the whole – looking to save you from much of the hardships and suffering, they now know and understand, could have been avoided.
“Challenge does not necessarily equal suffering and hardships. Challenge is something that lifts and enlivens.”
And now we come to some further very important understandings. Contentment comes when we fully understand how we fight against it and ourselves. Contentment comes when we understand: all we give, is what we have. Be this anger, fear, hatred or the control of others, we only ever get back from others, that which we give.
So the alternative, and surest way to find contentment, is to only ever give love; this is the challenge; this is the struggle you must endure. We must endure this, find this and understand it, before we can find wholeness.
“Being your true self and becoming a whole person is quest enough when we think about it.”
If all we humans sought, was the goal of becoming the love that we are, our purpose here would be done. Suffering, hardship and pain may continue to be part of life, and yet we’d understand it, to the point of embracing it, in order to find our freedom.
To close, the biggest most precious thing we can all do right now, is to simply love one another. We do this by asking ourselves this one important question: How can I empower my fellow man now? When we all know and understand the importance of this question, there will be no pawns, just the King and Queen of love.