“To awaken, one must realize that one is in a state of sleep, a state of self hypnosis.” — George Ivanovich Gurdjieff
“And, in order to realize that one is indeed in a state of sleep, one must fully recognize and understand the nature of the forces, which operate to keep one in the state of sleep, or hypnosis. It is absurd to think that this can be done by seeking information from the very source which you induce the hypnosis.” — George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (1)
Gurdjieff makes several good points about the state of sleep he calls hypnosis. He tells us we must realize or admit we are asleep. But to awaken, we must remove ourselves from the source producing the hypnotic effect. Then replace the harmful programming.
Group Hypnosis And Self Hypnosis
Intelligence is not a safeguard against the hypnotic power of groupthink manipulation tactics. The more one exposes themselves, the more susceptible they are to suggestion. It is a slippery slope that leads to more extreme beliefs and harmful ideologies. Even the most intelligent person will succumb to these tactics.
This type of programming requires constant indoctrination. Repetition of false assumptions is the essence of the technique. You establish mythology as fact. You keep repeating the premises until it is accepted as fact.
Groupthink manipulation has two primary tools, self hypnosis, and group hypnosis. The effect of these tactics produces a subliminal effect precisely like the hypnosis you see performed on stage. The individual is programmed to overcome their rational thought processes and learns to ignore facts that threaten these beliefs.
Many people begin indoctrination as children. Children are easy to program because they trust their families and caregivers. Vulnerable people are also at risk. That is because vulnerable people are looking for answers to significant life problems. The tactics of group hypnosis appease them and make them customers.
The Hypnotic Power of Irrational Belief
Religion confuses confidence with faith and belief. We have confidence in the sun rising each day because we have evidence to support this probability. They require belief and faith belief for things that have no credible proof. The best liars are those who sincerely believe the lie is the truth. So, they develop “apologetics” to justify factual and logical inconsistencies. They use circular logic to justify illogical arguments. But it works because they repeat it until they accept it.
This type of propaganda eventually overcomes rational thinking. These techniques were developed eons ago by the mystery religions of Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, and Persia. These mind-control tactics are just as useful today, and they are used to install any value or behavior.
Groupthink manipulation leads to irrational thinking. Irrational thinking makes programming easier. Group hypnosis uses irrational belief as a foundation for unhealthy bias and prejudice. It uses fear and greed as motivators. It preys on our existential fear of death, selling the afterlife. Belief in things that don’t exist includes an imaginary friend battling an imaginary enemy. The hypnotic power of faith can overcome intelligence, facts, and logic.
This leads to irrational thinking, which lacks common sense and sound reasoning? It results in poor judgment. Irrational beliefs have no proof or basis in logic and reason. They need faith to substantiate their beliefs because they are foolish and baseless. Faith and belief are the tools of self hypnosis.
Group hypnosis is the bedrock of Western organized religion. These are Semitic origin religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These “Abrahamic” religions are the rebranding of the mystery religions mentioned above. Western organized didn’t create anything; they appropriated the mind-control that the mystery religions developed. These religions are the primary source of the hypnotic state Gurdjieff talks about. The Semitic religions could not exist without using self hypnosis to overcome common sense reasoning.
The Hypnotic Power of Faith and Belief
An irrational belief is a powerful tool. It creates a platform for selling any values or ideology. It does not need to have a factual basis. Once you establish mythology as a fact, then you can add anything to it. When the irrational belief enters the culture, it also becomes a political tool.
Now you create an elaborate system of contradictory philosophies. This system creates a need for an authority to interpret confusing messages. Next, you open up outlets to propagate and disseminate this religion. You use your army to take over any existing beliefs and rebrand their locations as your own—all the while selling faith in the afterlife. There are rewards for believers and eternal punishment for those who do not fall in line.
“Eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions God’s, infinite love.” ― Bill Hicks
The only way to support this illogical and morally corrupt position is with the hypnotic power of irrational belief.
Using the Ego to Reinforce Groupthink
The Ego floods the mind with thoughts. It does this to maintain control of our awareness. The ego likes to be in control. It’s like the car is in control of the driver. We become so familiar living in this hypnotic state we don’t even notice.
Religion wants to keep the Ego in control. It uses faith and belief to install illogical and contradictory elements. These counteract our common sense. This way, we don’t question the circular logic and contradictions. Circular reasoning is a prominent tool used for religious indoctrination. It proves the hypnotic power of religious indoctrination can install belief in anything. Group hypnosis is a useful tool for controlling the mind. If you can get people to believe in an imaginary friend, anything is possible.
The Abrahamic religions adopted groupthink manipulation social programming techniques from their predecessors. Here they found these powerful self hypnosis techniques. This is also where we find the concepts of the afterlife, hell, demons. These concepts tie into our basic fears. They use these fears to control their acolytes.
Breaking the Hypnotic Power of Religion
To move beyond this state of “hypnosis,” we must do two things. First, silence the idle chatter of the Ego. Second, counter the programming of group hypnosis.
To silence the inner chatter, we use the right form of meditation. Some people can do this easy two-step beginning mediation practice. Others find that the techniques of mindfulness meditation work well. More advanced forms like Japa or Transcendental Meditation (TM) are even better.
To counter this type of hypnosis, you must recognize the sources and remove yourself or minimize contact with the programming. Western organized religion is the primary source of this harmful programming. This can be hard for many people for several reasons.
First, self hypnosis is powerful and addictive. Since these religions control much of the cultural narrative, it is hard to escape its overt influence. Many people attend weekly meetings where this programming is reinforced. It comes from TV and radio programming.
There are two tools we recommend to help remove this harmful programming. First, the Enneagram of Personality Profile, Second, Comparative Analysis. These are two analytical tools that help you uncover the thought scripts, bias, and prejudice of your thinking.
We also recommend you partner with others on the same mission of discovery. Ensure they are there to seek the truth and not simply find reasons to hang onto their current beliefs.
Lessons from Gurdjieff’s System
Researching Gurdjieff’s work, we found some interesting things. He was a researcher of consciousness. His approach was eclectic. Eventually, he started his system by combining several methods. He sought ways to counteract the effects of self hypnosis created by religion. Instead of challenging their belief system, he used a more efficient tactic. Planted seeds using the subconscious mind to illuminate their inner truths. This forces the person to see their irrational beliefs.
We think this an excellent strategy for achieving this goal. And it mirrors practices and processes found around the globe in other ancient traditions. His process involves a progressive approach using the six following elements.
1) First, he developed a form of the Enneagram personality profile. Thus, enabling the student to identify the thought processes fixating the mind. And consequently causing a perpetual state of self hypnosis. So, you realize you are asleep. Now you can awaken.
2) He uses a series of complex movements. These are “sacred dances” requiring a high level of focus. Because they need full attention, they suspend the mind’s internal dialogue.
3) Next, they teach students a form of silent meditation using a mantra. Again, the goal here is to free the mind of all conscious and subconscious thoughts. That is reaching the 4th state of consciousness directly.
4) Then, he alternated the sacred dance with periods of silent meditation for lengthy periods. This is a “round” of silence and activity. The Observer can take more control of the objective presence within the mind. The Ego becomes a passenger instead of the driver.
5) Last, the student needs to normalize and become comfortable in these new spaces. We are not accustomed to being in control. So, the mind needs time to adjust to the new freedom. Normalizing occurs over time. The longer the student engages in these elements, the more comfortable they become.
6) After normalizing is complete, one can achieve a separate state of consciousness known as “Witnessing.” In this state, one simultaneously holds the state of transcendence while in a waking state of consciousness. Here people report the experience of “oneness” with all things. Here the driver is in control of the car instead of the car being in control of the driver.
Consciousness Development Tools
We do not exist between our ears. The real you, the person you talk to inside your head, is not limited by time or space dimensions. Our consciousness is designed to access higher states of consciousness. All we need are the keys to open our awareness, and these tools exist. We call these tools spiritual technologies.
Everyone has their own way of awakening their spiritual gifts sleeping in their DNA. Awakening is a process. When we open them, it sets our spiritual walk into motion. It opens our minds to new potentials.
Accessing these spiritual gifts was the central goal of many ancient cultures. We can trace the investigation of consciousness back to ancient cultures around the world. We enjoy the benefits of generations of their research. These early pioneers give us several tools for exploring consciousness.
We call the processes of these early explorers spiritual technologies. These processes stand up to science’s rigorous tests; they are repeatable and produce unique physiological changes. Using these tools, we can reach higher states of awareness that differ from waking, sleeping, and dreaming.
We use a blended learning model incorporating those processes which are safe and reliable. We are not the first to use this eclectic approach. For example, Gurdjieff’s strategy was to adopt techniques proven effective. Human physiology hasn’t changed in thousands of years, so the ancient pioneers’ work stands the test of time.
Faith and belief are enemies of progress. Not just individual progress, but the improvement of society. The hypnotic power of the cultural narrative can be overcome. We have powerful weapons, facts, evidence, science, and logic. Are they enough to overcome generations of group hypnosis and irrational belief?
Thanks for reading this article. We welcome your opinion, so don’t hesitate to comment or email us. We hope it provides some food for thought. You can find more mind-opening topics on our blog.
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(1) George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, Wikipedia
(2)Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia
We apologize for the dramatically incorrect term self-hypnosis. We omitted the hyphen to utilize the google keyword, which does not use a hyphen.