Helping Hands

The Importance of Spiritual Ideals in Hypnosis

by Marjorie V. Reynolds, M. Ed., C. Ht. and Henry Leo Bolduc, C. H.

Archimedes, a Greek mathematician of the third century, B. C., said, "Give me a lever long engough and I can move the world." If you can find a stable, pivotal point, a fulcrum, on which to center yourself, you can move your own world. In the phsycial world, we have standards of weights and measures. In the professional life, do we have standards for measuring our behaviors? It is true that we have a formal code of ethics to which we must adhere in daily practice. An ideal, however, goes beryond that level. If we could hold an ideal, then we would not need a code of ethics, a law, to keep us in check. Laws exist for the protection of people who might be harmed by people who have not developed the love of living by a spiritual idea.

In one of my (Marjorie) philosophy courses at the university, I studied the topic, What is Good? Although the course with the theme of Good went for a full year -- not just a semester -- the topic was not pursued to include the ideal. Throughout the course, it seemed as if the professor equated good with ideal but, when he graded papers, good was not the top category.

Do we have a guide, a standard, an ideal to which we can look to judge each attitude and each behavior? The navigator looks to the north star; a mason uses a plumb line. For weights we have scales; for measures we have tapes and yardsticks. What about a gague or standard for our professional work? Such standard would be used for measuring our lives, of which th professional carrer aspect is only a small part. A top criterion for maing decisions should be in accordance with whatever we velieve to be the best avaliable. Some people abide by the Ten Commandements; other people consider those Commandments to be ten suggestions to apply when convenient. Some people know about the Golden Rule. Knowing something is quite different from knowing about it. You realy know something by applying its principles in your life and then evaluating its efficacy.

What is your idea? What is your standard of excellence for your life? What motivates your behavior?

As a hypnotist or hypnotherapist, you often work with spiritual or soul development as a primary focus. The work seems to go well when both therapist and client have a spiritual approach. The client seems to get best results when there is an issue wth an emotional charge combined with a spiritual focus. Rapport and attument can be facilitated easily when the fosuc represents your personal spiritual idea, something to which you are aspiring. It keeps you balanced and focused upon that which is important in your life.

When you use an affirmation (or a hypnotic suggestion), that affirming statement, using the client's words in phrasing the chosen ideal, becomes an open door through which your client can become atuned to the Creative Force, or God. It can be a word, a phrase, a picture, or a feeling.

Often, there are strong issues which are impacting emotionally upon the client. As a hypnotist, you need to set your sights upong the highest understanding/truth/measure/standard/guide that you know. Whan you live your highest ideal, you experience a spiritual awakening which enables you to go beyond any limited beliefs that you might have encountered.

Actions based upon a sound philosophy of life must flow from the higher consciousness. The standard you set, your spiritual ideal, is the emotivation which permeates your attitudes and your actions in your home, your job, and in your community interactions. It is the foundation and the direction of your life. It is the spirit -- the essence -- through which you function. It should be the highest principle which is in your awareness.

When you set an ideal, you might be verbalizing a motivation which you already might have been practicing for many years. On the other hand, you might be making a re-orentation to the inner world of the universality of mind. Such inner transformation --- or change of direction in life --- can be achieved by focusing your attention upon, and by putting into practice, a spiritual ideal which you have chosen.

If you are a beginner in working with ideals, there might be a tendency to confuse an ideal with an idea or goal. The western world has been very goal-oriented. More recently, groups seem to be mission-oriented. Many individuals, however, are aware that through personal transformation, often accomplished through hypnosis, meditation, or any inner work, life can be enriched at the inner level of being. When changes are made at the spiritual level, it is only a matter of time until changes are noted at the physical level --- in behavior.

Actions are physical, goals are mental, and ideals come from the spiritual part of the self. An ideal is concerned with the motive or the intention. It is the spirit behind the action. Two people can perform identical tasks: one in a loving caring manner; the other in a selfish, ego-centered way. An example would be: the person bagging your groceries. The completed product of service looks the same. The energy contributed, however, creates different vibrations. When you do something lovingly, because your motive is one of cooperation, kindness, love or any other spiritual ideal, you feel good because you have generated high-level spiritual energy. You have manifested the higher-level spirit.

When one little boy didn't want to go to school one day, he said, "It's not the school; it's the principle (principal) of the thing." In the school of life, one must do whatever the principle says. When you choose an ideal as a guide in your life, it serves as a sense of stability, a criterion for making decisions. It is a conscious choice of a personal standard by which you can judge your actions before they take place. Recently, in a meeting, somebody said, "I have standards; they might be low, but I have them." Your standards of attitude and behavior should be the highest that you understand. When you determine a principle by which you will live and then put it into practice, it becomes your ideal. You convert it from a word to a concept, then to an attitude, and then to an action. The ideal guides your actions.

Some people wait for a near-death or a kundalini experience or any other sensational revelation to awaken them. You can start right now where you are. Just orient yourself to an ideal instead of an ego. Just apply your will; make the choice. You can choose to act in a way consistent with your spiritual ideal.

As Dr. Frasier would say, "I'm listening." Perhaps you are saying, "But it's not that easy! When I get involve in a difficult situation, I often get stuck in doin something I really don't want to do. I just do it. Sometimes I know it's wrong; sometimes I don't realize it until later." Perhaps you think to yourself that it was the only thing which you could do at the time. Then you say, "I know better but I don't always do better."

A statement of orientation does not become an ideal until you become involved in it. Knowing which direction to take to a destination will not get you there until you take the first step and start moving in that direction. Something happens only after someone moves. You have to put your ideal into your experience. It is in the experience that those words become ideals. By choosing, you begin to awaken the energy to generate new behavior. In the application, the awareness expands the energy of the principle. It leads to spiritual understanding and wisdom.

Many of you are familiar with the Edgar Cayce Readings. In the hypnotic state, the Father of Holistic Healing used ideals mroe than then thousand times. From the Cayce Reading it is observed, "... ideals are not your mind --- ideals are principles acted upon by the mind."

All actions have a basis in one's philosophy of life. If you neglect to choose an ideal, then you default to something of a a lesser nature. Actions seem to grow out of a mental attitude; mental attitudes are based upon ideals. Slightly paraphrasing a Cayce Reading: the spritiual ideal is the guide, mind is the builder --- you build things in your mind before you act upon them --- and the physical action is the result of your spriritual belief system. Mental attitudes rest upon ideals, your belief system. Some ideals are not always the highest. Your behavior is the result of your ideal filtered through your mental attitude.

For the past two thousand years, the concept of a belief system has been strong. The departure from the Piscean belief system is taking place and we are moving into the New Age of Aquarius were higher level knowledge will be paramount. Sometimes, though, we'll know from intuition --- from flashes of insight. We'll know what we want but we won't be able to explain why we know. There is empirical or scientific knowledge and there is revealed knowledge.

An ideal is spiritual. Attitudes and actions can become mental and physical ideals when they express a way in which you choose to live. Mental ideals are expressions of your spiritual ideals in your mental activities: yout thoughts, attitudes, and emotions. For example, with a spiritual ideal of Peace, a mental ideal would be: to live in peace with ______ ( a specific person). Physical ideals are concerned with our actions. We make decisions regarding how we are going to express the feeling of what we have chosen as a spiritual ideal in a physical manner. We decide what we can do to express the feeling of what we have chosen as a spiritual ideal. Think in terms of specific actions such as: washing the car, etc. Physical ideals are expressions of spiritual ideals in words and in actions.

Physical goals are concerned with what you want, e.g., a car, a job, etc. They are concerned with the application, the behavior, of motivation. A physical ideal could be: to have a tidy desk or kitchen; a physical goal could be to put the books or dishes back where they belong. An ideal is a purpose connected with a motivation which is connected with spirit.

Compare the spiritual ideal to a faceted diamond. The overall spiritual ideal over many lifetimes of oneness with God would be represented by the whole faceted diamond. An idal for a lifetime (e.g., service, patience) would be represented by one facet of the diamond. A mental ideal is the attitude in which you approach your work or any area of your life. A physical ideal is the action you take based upon the mental attitude which is grounded upon the lifetime spiritual ideal.

How do you measure your life? When choices have to be made, do you have a vision, a measuring device, a standard by which you can measure your alternatives? Examine the spirit, the energy, within you. What is your motivation for doing what you do? Do you consider such factors as a sense of fairness, giving good service, unconditional love?

Are you demonstrating patience, kindness, oneness, and cooperation? You can determine the standards by which you live. You have free will; you can choose your standard of behavior. While you might not be able to determine another person's behavior, you can choose how you will relate to it. You can choose to free yourself from entanglements. When you act upon higher principles, when you put those ideals into practice, you attain stability. What is your ideal? How do you measure your life?

Working with ideals is one of the most productive applications of hypnosis. The Ideal is at the level of the unconscious mind, the natural level of hypnosis. Your personal work with ideals can be rich and rewarding. If you teach classes or workshops, remember to include exercises on ideals in the sessions; there can be valuable long-term results. Group work can be amost as valuable as individual sessions. Members tend to recieve valuable insights from their own personal unconscious minds and from the collective unconscious.

Here is an exercise to help you clarify your ideal. It is a fairly common type of exercise used by many group leaders. Perhaps you have used it several times. The exercise works well if you put it into hypnosis format.

Close your eyes for a moment.
1. Choose a person who, in your judgement, has lived, or is living a very highly evolved spiritual life. Select a word or phrase which applies to that person. When you are ready, open your eyes and write that word or phrase on your paper.
2. Write the names of about five other people whom you respect. What principle of living do they seem to have in common?
3. Write a word or a phrase which is or could become your spiritual ideal.

Nov. 5, 2003

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