Several questions and concerns came in regarding my article ‘Wanting vs. Having: Disabling Hypnotic Language.’

Regarding my statement, " 4) When we stop wanting and start acting as if we have it, the subconscious mind notices our interest in having and stops denying access to the experience of the inner quality, in this example, peace," this concern came in:

Questioner: Pretending to myself I have something that I don't have sounds like a recipe for confusion and maybe disappointment! I can kind of see that role playing lets a person realize they can be different, but acting different from what you are is bad for us, right?

Jack: Many people have misinterpreted this statement. I guess I should have been clearer. I am not saying to pretend you FEEL the feeling. I am saying to contemplate how you would act if you felt the feeling (or were in a given state, or had a given resource) and act that way.

Q: OK. Doesn't it lead to disappointment if you then don't get the feeling for real?

J: This brings up a central issue, perhaps the central issue! Since you have studied some Buddhist thought, I'll present it this way -- the "personality self" created by identification with the mind/body is impermanent and the source of suffering because it grasps at its idea of the world and what is happening in relationship to itself as center of everything. 'Trying to get a feeling' is grasping and leads to suffering. Above, I presume an intention to relate with honor and to benefit through action, regardless of what feelings come and go.
In the main school of Buddhism, you take a vow to benefit all beings forever through the way you live. When you live by this vow you practice releasing the tendency to live by desire/grasping. To put it in a more Western way, when you live by a vow, you stop treating your interactions with the world like a business deal where you constantly keep track of what you are getting back and if it meets your fearful expectations of what payoffs you need to be happy. This desire/grasping reference frame delivers all the despair and discouragement of which you speak. But when you shift to living in the transpersonal context of the vow, suffering recedes and is replaced by joy as your relations with the world become more open and generous.

Q: You write, "Every time a potentially irritating situation came up for these family members, they chose to act in hostile ways triggered by irritation." Surely they don't choose to act negatively like this. Their reactions are powerful habits formed by long repetition. Stress causes us to repress too much and not release it. 'Karmic reactivity' reaction based on unreleased past experiences.

J: There is always a moment of choice.

Q: You can create awareness that choice may be possible and then create moments in which choice can be made. But people tend to be slaves to unthinking habit and believe it can't be different. I see a world with a lot of people beating themselves up because they tell themselves they should be different. The more neurotic and battered by life you are the more you lose choice to your own over-active defensive reactions (i.e., fears).

J: You are describing what happens when people are entranced by the grasping hypnotic identification with the body/mind as being all important and all that you are. But it is not a permanent problem. Sooner or later, people start working on it and getting free of it -- in this or another lifetime. I am not preaching a reincarnation belief here as truth -- jus that this belief in expanded being and opportunity can start breaking open the narrow dark view of life. Even if the belief isn't "true," it is a very skilful uplifting perspective, versus the depressing perspective of life as a one shot deal where everywhere you look you see suffering. Pick perspectives that keep you encouraged and in high self regard.

May we all prosper with enhanced compassion and wisdom! Let's make a difference together. Good luck.

©2009 Jack Elias,

Author's Bio: 

Jack Elias, author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, is the director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning, in Seattle, WA training Transpersonal Hypnotherapists since 1988. Through on-site and distance learning programs, Jack teaches a unique synthesis of Eastern and Western perspectives on the nature of consciousness and communication to an international student body.He presents simple yet powerful techniques for achieving one’s highest personal and professional goals It is a genuinely new presentation expanding the art and discipline of hypnotherapy, making personal transformation and rapid healing possible -- mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.