TRIBUTE to MAXWELL MALTZ
Notes from Creative Living for Today
Excerpts from Psycho-Cybernetics and Self-Fulfillment
Notes from The Search for Self-respectMaxwell Maltz’s Contributions to Human Trinity HypnotherapyDr. Maxwell Maltz was a world famous plastic surgeon who discovered the incredible power of a person’s self-image for good or bad. Over the years, he realized that people’s real problems were not their outward physical appearance, but their inner self-image. Following this discover, he wrote several books using the term, “Psycho-Cybernetics” Many of Dr Maltz’s ideas entered my mind by osmosis so that when I talk or write, it seems like the ideas are all mine. As I read Dr. Maltz, I discovered that “Cybernetics” means “goal-seeker” and carries with it the image of a helmsman who steers a ship to port. “Psycho-Cybernetics” is the steering of one’s mind to produce good thoughts and actions so that a person can achieve success, happiness, and peace of mind. Areas I would like to highlight from Maxwell Maltz are self-image, relaxation, imagery, and forgiveness.Self-image: A person’s self-image is a blueprint for his/her life and the person follows that blueprint (good or bad) until the blueprint (self-image) is changed. In a “Peanut” cartoons, Charlie Brown was standing next to a school house. Charlie said, “I hate being a nobody, I wish I were a television star. If I were a TV star, I would not have to go to school.” Next the school house speaks up, “I’d like to be the Sistine Chapel kid, but I’m not.” Charlie Brown’s difficulty in thinking of himself as a somebody is a very real problem for lot of people. Dr. Maltz points out that even some people who are considered successful are oppressed by a sense of person insignificance. The inability to have a good self-image, to have a high opinion of oneself is one of the greatest problems of our day. There are those who feel inferior and those who try to lord it over others. The interesting thing is that they are both symptoms of a poor self-image. What is self-image? You can’t see it, you can’t touch it, you can’t taste it; but it is nevertheless real. It is as real as you can be. It is your blueprint for life. It is you inner picture of yourself. It is your opinion of yourself.
Relaxation: The ability to change begins with the ability to relax. Dr. Maltz does not call this hypnosis but with the combination of relaxation and imagery, hypnosis is achieved. In the Forward to the latest edition of Psycho-Cybernetics, hypnosis is explained as part of the “normal operating process of the human brain and nervous system. When people are convinced that the hypnotist words are true statements, hypnotic subjects are able to produce remarkable phenomena.” Dr. Maltz encourages the use of hypnosis to bring about change in the self-image.
He emphasizes the point that one cannot begin to properly develop new personality patterns until one becomes dehypnotized from negative impute. The dehypnosis comes with hypnosis using different suggestions. Much hypnosis comes without formal induction. It is not an exaggeration to say that we are more or less hypnotized whenever we uncritical accept an idea or statement as true. When a person uses self-hypnosis, he can give himself audible or mental suggestions for reprogramming of the mind. Progressive relaxation allows a person to reach a hypnotic state where one can change his self-image and thereby change his life. Imagery: Imagination plays a far more important role in a person’s life than most people realize. A person acts and feels not according to what things are really like, but according to the image she holds in her mind about what they are like. The person has a certain mental image of herself, her world and the people around her. She lives and behaves based on that image. By the use of “Creative Imagery,” a person can change her self-image. A favorite technique of Dr. Maltz was “The Theater Of The Mind.” Mental pictures of the way one wants to be offers the person the opportunity to “practice” new traits and attitudes. Your subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between an actual experience and one that is vividly imagined. As a person recognizes her capability and images accomplishing that which she wants to happen, the subconscious mind begins to work out a way to make it happen. “The Theater Of The Mind” can be used whether you are a visual person or not. It works just as well with those who think mostly with inner voices, sounds, and feelings.
One use of “The Theater Of The Mind” is the “step in-step out” technique. This is helpful in releasing unpleasant memories. Remember and unpleasant memory, “step out” of the memory and watch yourself in it from the audience of your mental theater. Make the screen as small and as far away as necessary to learn from it and without re-experiencing the unpleasant feelings. Repeat until the screen is so small that you cannot see it or feel it.
Follow that with a series of pleasant memories on your mental screen. “Step in” to each memory, relieve each experience as if it were actually happening again. Allow yourself to feel the pleasant feelings fully. If you do this each day, your subconscious mind will begin to automatically draw you to a positive, pleasant experience and reduces the negative effect of the unpleasant experience. One can also use “The Theater Of The Mind” to picture himself doing what he wants to happen in his life and activities. These mental pictures become the person’s reality and changes come to his life.
Forgiveness: One of the most destructive aspects of human life is the failure to forgive. Forgive others. Do it not only for their sack, but for your own. Dr. Maltz realized that people need psychological surgery. People need to remove emotional growths and scares and very often forgiveness is the surgical tool needed for the operation. A person should forgive even when the person who harmed her doesn’t ask for nor desires forgiveness. A person needs to forgive in order to free herself from the power that the other person has over her. Just as it is important to forgive others, it is equally important to forgive oneself. So often unresolved guilt (whether real or imaginary) creates a need to make amends, to make restitution, to suffer enough to pay back the wrong, to set things right by damage to self and thus to balance the account. Guilt, whether real or imagined must either be forgiven or punished. It is not that God punishes, but if a person does not feel forgiven, she will find a way to punish herself. The message is clear, “forgive yourself and begin to live the more abundant life.”
Dr. Maltz writes that God has offered us forgiveness, peace of mind and happiness that comes from the forgiveness of ourselves and others. The most adequate and realistic self-image of all is to conceive oneself as made in the image of God. You can not believe of your self as made in the image of God, deeply and sincerely and not receive a source of strength and power. With this understanding, one is never to young or to old to change his self-image and start a new, more productive, more creative life. In the Preface to his book, The Power Of Self-image Psychology, Dr. Maltz writes, “God brought us forth on the earth to live, not to stagnate. He meant us to be happy, to enjoy our lives. He meant us to relish every moment, to weave loving care into every day that we live-no matter how young or old we are.”
Ann’s Case History:
Ann is a 39 year old female who came to me in hopes of finding relief from a panic disorder. She had trouble leaving her home and would leave home only with a few close friends. Even with friends, she felt uncomfortable. She had a fear of being alone. She said, “I need someone.” Ann was very close to her mother, but felt forsaken by her father. “Dad was there but he was not available. He did not matter very much.” Her father had abandoned her emotionally and she was afraid that her mother would also leave her.
She once said to me, “What is life without anxiety? If I don’t have anxiety, I’m dead.” I asked her, “Can you replace anxiety with hypnosis and still be alive?” She replied, “I hope so” and she did. I saw Ann several times. In one session, I used Dr. Maltz’s “Theater Of The Mind” which is a desensitization technique. I had her imagine a time when she was experiencing a panic attack. Now “step out” of that memory and watch yourself as on the screen from the audience of your mental theater. Now make the screen small and as far away as necessary to experience the panic feeling being reduced. The further the picture goes, the smaller the picture becomes and the better you feel. Keep doing this until you are able to release all unpleasant feeling. Now think of a very pleasant experience from your past and see it on your mental movie screen. “Step into” that memory, relive that experience as if it were actually happening again. Allow yourself to feel the pleasant feeling fully. Do this over and over again replacing the panic memory with the happy memory, until the happy memory clears away all the other feelings.
Waterfall For Cleansing:
On another occasion, I used this script. “Imagine that you are taking a walk in the woods. You are walking along a beautiful path. As you walk, you may experience a number of things. Possibly you are aware of the trees; some large, some small. It is a warm but comfortable summer day. Perhaps you feel a comfortable breeze… Gently cooling your face and arms… Maybe you can hear the crunch of leaves, twigs and grass beneath your feet. As you look up through the leaves of the trees, you see a sparkling of sunlight dancing to the tune of the wind.
You come to an open area with a small pond. At one end of the pond is a beautiful waterfall. At the other end is a stream which runs as far as the eye can see. You set down by the pond and enjoy the sound of the waterfall, birds singing, and frogs croaking… As you sit there, you sense that there is something special about the waterfall. It seems to be inviting you to come over to it and indeed you do… You reach out and touch the water and the temperature is just right so you walk under the falls… You feel its cleansing flow and you realize that it is not only cleansing your body, but it is also cleansing your mind and soul. You feel that any anger, bitterness, feelings of rejection, grief, guilt, abuse, panic, and all other negative emotions are being cleansed from your system. You look down toward your feet and notice that the water coming from your body is a murky brown and it is flowing across the pond and down the stream at the other end. The more negativity that you release the murkier brown the water appears to be. As you feel these negative emotions being cleansed from your system, the water around your feet begins to clear, and you can see the murky brown water flowing further and further down the stream.
As the murky water flows down the stream, further and further away, you feel more and more comfortable, more at peace with yourself… It gives you a strong feeling of relief… You are feeling yourself being cleansed of all those negative feelings: The anger, bitterness, feelings of rejections, grief, guilt, abuse, panic, and all other negative emotions are being cleansed from your system… Notice the feelings of comfort and peace increase as the murky brown water flows down the stream further and further away, you feel a sense of release and relief… You are getting rid of those problems…
The murky brown water is flowing further and further away. It is now beyond sight and you can breathe deeper and exhale slowly a few times… Now really enjoy the freedom, the relief, the calmness, and peacefulness flowing through you and having replaced the negative feelings. These feelings of comfort, serenity, and well-being remains with you even after you come out of the hypnotic state. Let go of the past, the past is past. Now you can make it past by putting it in the past where it belongs… do it right now… You are through living in the past… You’re living right now, this very moment… You can handle the situation… You can overcome your problems… Life is worthwhile, life is meaningful, life is good… Love yourself, feel good about yourself, be calm within yourself, be at peace with yourself. (You may open your eyes now.) ” The last two times Ann came to me she drove her car and came alone. This was a major gain for Ann.
THE FACE OF PERSONALITY: It was as if personality itself had a “face.” This non-physical “face of personality” seemed to be the real key to personality change. If it remained scarred, distorted, “ugly or inferior”, the person himself acted out of this role in his behavior regardless of the changes in physical appearance. I this “face of personality” could be reconstructed, if old emotional scan could be removed; then the person himself changed, even without facial plastic surgery. Once I began to explore this area, I found more and more phenomena which confirmed the fact that the “self-image”, the individual’s mental and spiritual concept or “picture” of himself, was the real key to personality and behavior. (p vii)Animals cannot select their goals. Their goals (self-preservation and procreation) are pre-set, so to speak. And their success mechanism is limited to these built-in goal-images, which we call “instincts.” Man, on the other hand, has something animals haven’t – “Creative Imagination”. Thus man of all creatures is more than a creature, he is also a creator. With his imagination he can formulate a variety of goals. Man alone can direct his Success Mechanism by the use of imagination, or imaging ability.We often think of “Creative Imagination” as applying only to poets, inventors, and the like. But imagination is creative in everything we do. Although they did not understand why, or how imagination sets our creative mechanism into action, serious thinkers of all ages, as well as hard-headed “practical” men, have recognized the fact and made use of it. “Imagination rules the world,” said Napoleon. “Imagination of all man’s faculties is the most (p 17) “God-like,” said Glenn Clark. “The faculty of imagination s the great spring of human activity, and the principal source of human improvement… Destroy this faculty, and the condition of man will become as stationary as that of the brutes.” said Dougold Stewart, the famous Scottish philosophy. “You can imagine your future’, says Henry K. Kaiser, who attributes much of his success in business to the constructive positive use of creative imagination. (p 18)Imagination sets the goal “picture” which our automatic mechanism works on. We act, or fail to act, not because of “”will,” as is so commonly believed, but because of imagination. A human always acts and feels and performs in accordance with what he imagines to be true about himself and his environment. This is a basic and fundamental law of mind. It is the way we are built. When we see this law of the mind graphically and dramatically demonstrated in a hypnotized subject, we are prone to think that there is something occult or supra-normal at work. Actually, what we are witnessing is the normal operating process of the human brain and nervous system.
For example, if a good hypnotic subject is told that he is at the North Pole he will not only shiver and appear to be cold, his body will react just as if he were cold and goose pimples will develop. The same phenomenon has been demonstrated on wide awake college students by asking (p 31) them to imagine and that one hand is immersed in ice water. Thermometer reading show that the temperature does drop in the “treated” hand… When college students, wide awake, have been told to image that a spot on their foreheads was hot, temperature readings have shown an actual increase in skin temperature.
Your nervous system cannot tell the difference between an imagined experience and a “real” experience. In either case, it reacts automatically to information which you give to it from the forebrain. Your nervous system reacts appropriately to what “you” think or imagine to be true.
The Secret of “Hypnotic Power”: Dr. Theodore Xenophon Barber has conducted extensive research into the phenomena of hypnosis, both when he was associated with the psychology department of American University in Washington, D. C., and also after becoming associated with the Laboratory of Social Relations at Harvard. Writing in Science Digest recently he said:
“We found that hypnotic subjects are able to do surprising things only – when convinced that the hypnotist’s words are statements . . . When the hypnotist has guided the subject to the point where he is convinced that the hypnotist’s words are true statements, the subject then behaves differently because he thinks and believes differently.
“The phenomena of hypnosis have always seemed mysterious because it has always been difficult to understand how belief can bring about such unusual behavior. (p 32) It always seemed as if there must be something more, some unfathomable force or power, at work.
“However, the plain truth is that when a subject is convinced that he is deaf, he behaves as if he is deaf; when he is convinced that he is insensitive to pain, he can undergo surgery without anesthesia. The mysterious force or power does not exist. ” (“Could You Be Hypnotized?”, Science Digest, January, 1958). A little reflection will show why it is a very good thing for us that we do feel and act according to what we believe or imagine to be true. (p 33) You act, and feel, not according to what things are really like, but according to the image your mind holds of what they are like. You have certain mental images of yourself, your world, and the people around you, and you behave as though these images were truth, the reality, rather than the things they represent. (p 34)
Research Quarterly reports an experiment of the effects of mental practice on improving skill in sinking basketball free throws. One group of students, actually practiced throwing the ball every day for 20 days, and were scored on the first and last day. A second group was scored on the first and last days, and engaged in no sort of practice in between. A third group was scored on the first day, then spent 20 minutes a day, imagining that they were throwing the ball at the goal. When they missed they would imagine that they corrected their aim
The first group, which actually practiced 20 minutes every day, improved in scoring 24 per cent. The second group, which had no sort of practice, showed no improvement. The third group, which practiced in their imagination, improved in scoring 23 per cent!
Know the Truth About Yourself: The aim of self-image psychology is not to create a facetious self which is all-powerful, arrogant, egoistic, all-important. Such an image is as inappropriate and unrealistic as the inferior image of self. Our aim is to find the “real self,” and to bring our mental images of ourselves more in line with “the objects they represent.” However, it is common knowledge among psychologists that most of us under-rate ourselves; short change ourselves and sell ourselves short. Actually, there is no such thing as a “superiority complex.” People who seem to have one are actually suffering from feelings of inferiority – their “superior self” is a fiction, a cover-up, to hided from themselves and other their deep-down feelings of inferiority and insecurity. How can you know the truth about yourself? How can you make a true evaluation? It seems to me that here psychology must turn to religion. The Scriptures tell us that God created man “a little lower than the angels” and “gave him dominion”; that God created man in his own Man. In the first place such an all-wise and all-powerful all-loving Creator, then we are in a position to draw some logical conclusions about that which He has created – Man. In the first place such an all-wise and all-powerful Creator would not turn out inferior products, any more (p 43) than a master painter would paint inferior canvases. Such a Creator would not deliberately engineer his product to fail, any more than a manufacturer would deliberately build failure into an automobile. The Fundamenta1is1s tell us that man’s chief purpose and reason for living is to “glorify Good, ” and the Humanists tell us that man’s primary purpose is to “express himself fully .”
However, if we take the premise that God is a loving Creator and has the same interest in his Creation that an earthly father has in his children, then it seems to me that the Fundamentalists and the Humanists are saying the same thing. What brings more glory, pride, and satisfaction to a father than seeing his offspring do well, succeed and express to the full their abilities and talents? Have 1 you ever sat by the father of a football star during a game? Jesus expressed the same thought when he told us not to ! hide our light under a bushel, but to let our light shine ! -“so that your Father may be glorified. ” I cannot believe that it brings any “glory” to God when his children I go around with hang-dog expressions. being miserable, r afraid to lift up their heads and “be somebody.”
As Dr. Leslie D. Weatherhead has said. “If . . . we have , in our minds a picture of ourselves as fear-haunted and i defeated nobodies, we must get rid of that picture at once 1 and hold up our heads. That is a false picture and the 1 false must go. God sees us as men and women in whom I and through whom He can do a great work. He sees us as already serene, confident. and cheerful. He sees us not as pathetic victims of life, but masters of the art of living; not wanting sympathy, but imparting help to others, and therefore thinking less and less of ourselves, and full, not of self-concern, but of love and laughter and a desire to serve. . . . Let us look at the real selves which are in the making the moment we believe in their existence. We must recognize the possibility of change and believe in the self we are now in the process of becoming. That old sense of unworthiness and failure must go. It is false and we are not to believe in what is false.” [Leslie D. Weatherhead] (p 44)
“Hold a picture of yourself long and steadily enough in your mind’s eye and you will be drawn toward it.” said Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick. “Picture yourself as defeated and that alone will make victory impossible. Picture yourself vividly as winning and that alone will contribute immeasurably to success. Great living starts with a picture, held in your imagination, of what you would like do or be.”
Your present self-image was built upon your own imagination pictures of yourself in the past which grew t of interpretations and evaluations which you placed ) n experience. Now you are to use the same method to . d an adequate self-image that you previously used to . d an inadequate one.
Set aside a period of 30 minutes each day where you be alone and undisturbed. Relax and make yourself comfortable as possible. Now close your eyes and exercise your imagination.
Many people find they get better results if they imagine themselves sitting before a large motion picture screen and imagine that they are seeing a motion picture of themselves. The important thing is to make these pictures as vivid and as detailed as possible. You want your mental pictures to approximate actual experience as much as possible. The way to do this is pay attention to small details, sights, sounds, objects, in your imagined environment. One of my patients was using this exercise to overcome her fear of the dentist. She was unsuccessful, until she began to practice small details in her imagined picture – the smell of e antiseptic in the office, the feel of the leather on the chair arms, the sight of the dentist’s well-manicured nails as his hands approached her mouth, etc. Details of the (p 45) imagined environment are all-important in this exercise, because for all practical purposes, you are creating a practice experience. And if the imagination is vivid enough and detailed enough, your imagination practice is equivalent to an actual experience, insofar as your nervous system is concerned.
The next important thing to remember is that during this 30 minutes you see yourself acting and reacting approximately, successfully, ideally. It doesn’t matter how y acted yesterday. You do not need to try to have faith you will act in the ideal way tomorrow. Your nervous system will take care of that in time-if you continue to practice, See yourself acting, feeling, “being,” as you want to Do not say to yourself, “I am going to act this way morrow .” Just say to yourself, “I am going to imagine myself acting in this way now-for 30 minutes-today. Imagine how you would feel if you were already the sort of personality you want to be. If you have been shy timid, see yourself moving among people with ease poise-and feeling good because of it. If you have fearful and anxious in certain situations-see yourself acting calmly and deliberately, acting with confidence courage – and feeling expansive and confident because you are.
This exercise builds new “memories” or stored data in your mid-brain and central nervous system. It builds new image of self. After practicing it for a time, you be surprised to find yourself “acting differently ,” more less automatically and spontaneously-“without trying. This is as it should be. You do not need to “take thought” or “try” or make an effort now in order to feel ineffective and act inadequately. Your present inadequate feeling doing is automatic and spontaneous, because of memories, real and imagined, you have built into y automatic mechanism. You will find it will work just automatically upon positive thoughts and experiences – upon negative ones. (p 46)
Dehypnotize Yourself From False Beliefs: My friend Dr. Alfred Adler had an experience when young boy which illustrates just how powerful belief be upon behavior and ability. He got off to a bad start in arithmetic and his teacher became convinced that he “dumb in mathematics.” The teacher then advised parents of this “fact” and told them not to expect . much of him. They too were convinced. Adler passively accepted the evaluation they had placed upon him. And his grades in arithmetic proved they had been correct. One day, however, he had a sudden flash of insight and thought he saw how to work a problem the teacher had put on the board, and which none of the other pupils could work. He announced as much to the teacher. She and the whole class laughed.
Whereupon, he became indignant, strode to the blackboard, and worked the problem much to their amazement. In doing so, he realized that he could understand arithmetic. He felt a new confidence in his ability, and went on to become a good math student. Dr. Adler’s experience was very much like that of patient of mine some years back, a businessman wanted to excel in public speaking because he had a message to impart about his outstanding success in a difficult field. He had a good voice and an important topic, he was unable to get up in front of strangers and put (p 48) message over. What held him back was his belief that he could not make a good talk, and that he wou1d fail to impress his audience, simply because he did not have an imposing appearance. . . he did not “look like a successful executive.” This belief had burrowed so deeply into him that it threw up a road block every time he stood up before a group of people and began to talk. He mistakenly concluded that, if he could have an operation to improve his appearance, he would then gain the confidence he needed. An operation might have done the trick and it might not. . . my experience with other patients had own that physical change did not always guarantee personality change. The solution in this man’s case was found hen he became convinced that his negative belief was preventing him from delivering the vital information he had. He succeeded in replacing the negative belief with a positive belief that he had a message of extreme importance that he alone could deliver, no matter what he looked e. In due time, he was one of the most sought after speakers in the business world. The only change was in belief and in his self-image.
Now the point I want to make is this: Adler had been hypnotized by a false belief about himself. Not figuratively, but literally and actually hypnotized. Remember that the power of hypnosis is belief. Dr. Barber’s explanation of the “power” of hypnosis: “We found that hypnotic subjects are able to do surprising things only when convinced that the hypnotist’s words are true statements… When the hypnotist has guided the subject to the point where he is convinced that the hypnotist’s words are true statements, the subject then behaves differently because he thinks and believes differently.”
The important thing for you to remember is that it does not matter in the least how you got the idea or where it came from. You may never have met a professional hypnotist. You may have never been formally hypnotized. But if you have accepted an idea – from yourself, (p 49) your teachers, your parents, friends, advertisements – or from any other source, and further, if you are firmly convinced that the idea is true, it has the same power over you as the hypnotist’s words have over the hypnotized subject. (p 50) It is no exaggeration to say that every human being is hypnotized to some extent, either by ideas he has uncritically accepted from others, or ideas he has repeated to himself or convinced himself are true. These negative ideas have exactly the same effect upon our behavior as the negative ideas implanted into the mind of a hypnotized subject by a professional hypnotist. Have you ever seen a demonstration of a honest-to-goodness professional hypnotist? If not, let me describe to you just a few of the more simply phenomena which result from the hypnotist suggestion. (Durbin: What Maltz is describing here is the work of stage hypnotist, not a therapeutic hypnotherapist. I would add in agreement with Matlz that most of the job of the hypnotherapist is to dehypnotize people who have accepted negative suggestions about themselves that limit them.) The hypnotist tells a football player that his had is (p 53) stuck to the table and that he cannot lift it. It is not a question of the football player “not trying.” He simply cannot. He strains and struggles until the muscles of his arm and shoulder stand out like cords. But his hand remains fully rooted to the table.
He tells a championship weight-lifter that he cannot lift a pencil from the desk. And although normally he can hoist a 400 pound weight overhead, he now actually cannot lift the pencil. Strangely enough, in the above instances, hypnosis does not weaken the athletes. They are potentially as strong. as ever. But without realizing it consciously they are working against themselves. On the one hand they “try” to lift their hand, or the pencil, by voluntary effort, and actually contract the proper lifting muscles. But on the other hand, the idea “you cannot do it” causes contrary muscles to contract quit apart from their will. The negative idea causes them to defeat themselves – they cannot express, or bring into play their actual available strength.
The gripping strength of a third athlete has been tested on a dynometer and has been found to be 100 pounds. All his effort and straining cannot budge the needle beyond the 100 pound mark. Now he is hypnotized and told, “You are very, very strong. Stronger than you have ever been in your life. Much, much stronger. You are surprised at how strong you are.” Again the gripping strength of his hand is tested. This time he easily pulls the needle to the 125 pound mark. Again, strangely enough, hypnosis has not added anything to his actual strength. What the hypnotic suggestion did do was to overcome a negative idea which had previously prevented him from expressing his full strength. In other words, the athlete in his normal waking state had imposed a limitation upon his strength by the negative belief that he could only grip 100 pounds. The hypnotist merely removed this mental block, and allowed him to express his true strength. (p 54) The hypnosis literally “dehypnotized” him temporarily from his own se1f-limiting beliefs about himself.
As Dr. Barber has said, it is awfully easy to assume that the hypnotist himself must have some magical power when you see rather miraculous things happen during a hypnotic session. The stutterer talks fluently. The timid, shy, retiring Caspar Milquetoast becomes outgoing, poised, and makes a stirring speech. Another individual who is not especially good in adding figures with a pencil and paper when awake, multiplies two three-digit figures in his head. All this happens apparently merely because the hypnotist tells them that they can and instructs them to go ahead and do it. To on-lookers, the hypnotist’s “word” has a magical power. Such, however, is not the case. The power, the basic ability, to do these things was inherent in the subjects all the time–even before they met the hypnotist. The subjects, however, were unable to use this power because they themselves did not know it was there. They had bottled it up, and choked it off, because of their own negative beliefs. Without realizing it, they had hypnotized themselves into believing they could not do these things. And it would be truer to say that the hypnotist had “dehypnotized” them than to say he had hypnotized them.
Within you, whoever you may be, regardless of how big a failure you may think yourself to be, is the ability and the power to do whatever you need to do to be happy and successful. Within you right now is the power to do things you never dreamed possible. This power becomes available to you just as soon as you can change your beliefs. Just as quickly as you can dehypnotize yourself from the ideas of “I can’t ” “I’m not worthy ” “I don’t deserve it” and other self-limiting ideas. (55)
At least 95 per cent of the people have their lives blighted by feelings of inferiority to some extent, and to millions this same feeling of inferiority is a serious handicap to success and happiness.
And this feeling of inferiority comes about for just one reason: We judge ourselves, and measure ourselves, not against our own “norm” or “par” but against some other individual’s “norm.” When we do this, we always, with: out exception, come out second best. But because we think, and believe and assume that we should measure up to some other person’s “norm,” we feel miserable, and second-rate, and conclude that there is something wrong (p 56) with us. The next logical conclusion in this cockeyed reasoning process is to conclude that we are not “worthy”; that we do not deserve success and happiness, and that it I would be out of place for us to fully express our own abilities and talents, whatever they might be, without apology, or without feeling guilty about it. All this comes about because we have allowed ourselves to be hypnotized by the entirely erroneous idea that “1 should be like so-and-so” or “I should be like everybody else.” The fallacy of the second idea can be readily seen through, if analyzed, for in truth there are no fixed standards common to “everybody else.” “Everybody else” is composed of individuals, no two of whom are alike. The person with an inferiority complex invariably compounds the error by striving for superiority. His feelings spring from the false premise that he is inferior. From this false premise, a whole structure of “logical thought” and feeling is built. If he feels bad because he is inferior, the cure is to make himself as good as everybody else, and the way to feel really good is to make himself superior. This striving for superiority gets him into more trouble, causes more frustration, and sometimes brings about a neurosis where none existed before. He becomes more miserable than ever, and “the harder he tries,” more miserable he becomes.
Inferiority and Superiority are reverse sides of the same coin. The cure lies in realizing that the coin itself is spurious. The truth about you is this: You are not “inferior.” You are not “superior.” You are simply “You.” “You” as a personality are not in competition with any other personality simply because there is not another person on the face of the earth like you, or in your particular class. You are an individual. You are unique. You are not “like” any other person. You are not “supposed” be like any other person and no other person is “supposed”‘ to be like you.
God did not create a standard person and in some way label that person by saying “this is it.” He made every , human being individual and unique just as He made ” every snowflake individual and unique.
God created short people and tall people, large people and small people, skinny people and fat people, black, yellow, red and white people. He has never indicated any preference for anyone size, shape or color. Abraham Lincoln once said, “God must have loved the common people for he made so many of them.” He was wrong. There is no “common man”-no standardized, common pattern. He would have been nearer the truth had he said, “God must have loved uncommon people for he made so many of them.”
An “inferiority complex,” and its accompanying deterioration in performance, can be made to order in the psychological laboratory . All you need to do is to set up a “norm” or “average,” then convince your subject he does not measure up. A psychologist wanted to find out how feelings of inferiority affected ability to solve problems. He gave his students a set of routine tests. “But then he solemnly announced that the average person could complete the test in about one-fifth the time it would really take. When in the course of the test a bell would ring, indicating that the ‘average man’s time’ was up, some of the brightest subjects became very jittery and incompetent indeed, thinking themselves to be morons.” (“What’s On Your Mind?”, Science Digest, Feb. 1952.) Stop measuring yourself against “their” standards. You are not “them” and can never measure up. Neither can “they” measure up to yours-nor should they. Once you see this simple, rather self-evident truth, accept it and believe it, your inferior feelings will vanish.
Dr. Norton L. Williams, psychiatrist, addressing a medical convention, said recently that modern man’s anxiety and insecurity stemmed from a lack of “self-realization,” (p 58) and that inner security can only be found “in finding in oneself an individuality, uniqueness and distinctiveness that is akin to the idea of being created in the image of “God.” He also said that self-realization is gained by “a simple belief in one’s own uniqueness as a human being, a sense of deep and wide awareness of all people and all things and a feeling of constructive influencing of other through one’s own personality.” HOW TO USE RELAXATION TO DEHYPNOTIZE YOURSELF: Physical relaxation plays a key role in the dehypnotization process. Our currently held beliefs, whether good or bad, true or false, were formed without effort, with no sense of strain, and without the exercise of “will power.” Our habits, whether good or bad. were formed in the same way. It follows that we must employ the same process m forming new beliefs, or new habits, that is, in a relaxed condition. It has been amply demonstrated that attempting to use effort or will power to cure bad habits. has an adverse rather than a beneficial effect. Emile Coue`. The little French pharmacist who astonished the world around 1920 with the results he obtained with “the power of suggestion,” insisted that effort was the one big reason most people failed to utilize their inner powers. “Your suggestions (ideal goals) must be made without effort if they are to be effective,” he said. Another famous Coue` saying was his “Law of Reversed Effort”: “When the will and the imagination are in conflict, the imagination invariably will win.” The late Dr. Knight Dunlap made a lifelong study of habits and learning processes and perhaps performed more experiments along this line than any other psychologist. His methods succeeded in curing such habits as nailbiting, thumb-sucking, facial tics, and more serious habits where other methods had failed. The very heart of his (p 59) system was his finding that effort was the one big deterrent to either breaking a bad habit, or learning a new one. Making an effort to refrain from the habit, actually reinforced the habit, he found. His experiments proved that the best way to break a habit is to form a clear mental image of the desired end result, and to practice without effort toward reaching that goal. Dunlap found that either “positive practice” (refraining from the habit) or “negative practice” (performing the habit consciously and voluntarily), would have beneficial effect provided the desired end result was kept constantly in mind.
“If a response habit is to be learned, or if a response pattern is to be made habitual,” he said, “it is essential that the learner shall have an idea of the response that is to be achieved or shall have an idea of the change in the environment that the response will produce. . . The important factor in learning, in short, is the thought of an objective to be attained, either as a specific behavior pattern or as the result of the behavior, together with a desire for the attainment of the object.” (Knight Dunlap, Personal Adjustment, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.)
In many cases, the mere relaxation of effort, or too much conscious straining, is in itself enough to eradicate the negative behavior pattern. Dr. James S. Greene, founder of the National Hospital for Speech Disorders, New York City, had a motto: “When they can relax, they can talk.” Dr. Matthew N. Chappell has pointed out that often the effort or “will power” used to fight against or resist worry , is the very thing that perpetuate worry and keeps it going. (Matthew N. Chappell, How to Control Worry, New York, Permabooks.) Physical relaxation, when practiced daily, brings about an accompanying “mental relaxation,” and a “relaxed attitude” which enables us to better consciously control . our automatic mechanism. Physical relaxation also, in itself, has a powerful influence in “dehypnotizing” us from negative attitudes and reaction patterns. (p 69)
Picture to yourself what you would like to be and have, and assume for the moment that such tings might be possible. Arouse a deep desire for these things. Become enthusiastic about them. Dwell upon them – and keep going over them in your mind. Your present negative beliefs were formed by thought plus feelings. Generate enough emotion, or deep feeling, and your thoughts and ideas will cancel them out. (p 73)
You Can Acquire the Habit of Happiness: Dr. John A. Schindler’s definition of happiness is, “A state of mind in which our think is pleasant, a good share of the time.” From a medical standpoint, and also from an ethical standpoint, I do not believe that simple definition can be improved upon. It is what we are talking about in this chapter.
Happiness is Good Medicine: Happiness is native to the human mind and its physical machine. We think better, perform better, feel better, and are healthier when we are happy. Even our physical sense organs work better. Russian psychologist K. Kekcheyey tested people when they were thinking pleasant and unpleasant thoughts. He found that when thinking pleasant thoughts they could see better, taste, smell and hear better, and detect finer differences in touch. Dr. William Bates proved that eyesight improves immediately when the individual is thinking pleasant thoughts, or visualizing pleasant scenes. Margaret Corbett has found that memory is greatly improved, and that the mind is relaxed, when the subject is thinking pleasant thoughts. (p 95) Psychosomatic medicine has proved that our stomachs, liver, heart, and all our internal organs function better when we are happy. Thousands of years ago wise old King Solomon said in his Proverbs: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth up the bones.” It is significant, too, that both Judaism and Christianity prescribe joy, rejoicing, thankfulness, cheerfulness as a means towards righteousness and the good life.
Harvard psychologists studied the correlation between happiness and criminality and concluded that the old Dutch proverb, “Happy people are never wicked,” was scientifically true. They found that a majority of criminals came from unhappy homes, had a history of unhappy human relationships. A ten-year study of frustration at Yale University brought out that much of what we call immorality and hostility to others is brought about by our own unhappiness. Dr. Schindler has said that unhappiness is the sole cause of all psychosomatic ills and that happiness is the only cure. The very word “disease” means a state of unhappiness-“disease..’ A recent survey showed that by and large, optimistic, cheerful businessmen who “looked on the bright side of things” were more successful than pessimistic businessmen.
It appears that in our popular thinking about happiness we have managed to get the cart before the horse. “Be good,” we say, “and you will be happy.” “1 would be happy,” we say to ourselves, “if I could be successful and I healthy.’. “Be kind and loving to other people and you will be happy.” It might be nearer the truth if we said “Be happy – and you will be good, more successful. healthier. feel and act more charitably towards others.”
Common Misconceptions About Happiness: Happiness is not something that is earned or deserved. Happiness is not a moral issue, any more than the circulation of the blood is a moral issue. Both are necessary to (p 96) health and well-being. Happiness is simply a “state of mind in which our thinking is pleasant a good share of the time.” If you wait until you “deserve” to think pleasant thoughts, you are likely to think unpleasant thoughts concerning your own unworthiness. “Happiness is not the reward of virtue,@ said Spinoza, “but virtue itself; nor do we delight in happiness because we restrain our lusts; but, on the contrary , because we delight in it, therefore are we able to restrain them.” (Spinoza, Ethics.) (p 97)
“Men are disturbed,” said the sage [Epictetud], “Not by things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen” (p 101)
Deliberately choosing to think pleasant thoughts is more is more than a palliative. It can have very practical results. Carl Erskin, the famous baseball picture, has said that bad thinking had got him into more spots than bad pitching. “One sermon has helped me overcome pressure better than the advice of any coach,” he said. “Its substance was that, like a squirrel hoarding chestnuts, we should store up our moments of happiness and triumph so that in a crisis we can draw upon these memories for help and inspiration. As a kid I used to fish at the bend of a little country I stream just outside my home town. I can vividly remember this spot in the middle of a big, green pasture surrounded by tall, cool trees. Whenever tension builds up both on or off the ball field now, I concentrate on this I relaxing scene, and the knots inside me loosen up.” (Norman Vincent Peale, ed., Faith Made Them Champions, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall, 1954.) (p 104)
Our self-image and our habits tend to go together. Change one and you will automatically change the other. He word “habit” originally meant a garment, or clothing. We still speak of riding habits, and habiliments. This gives us insight into the true nature of habit. Our habits are literally garments worn by our personalities. They are not accidental, or happenstance. We have them because they fit us. They are consistent with our self-image and our entire personality pattern. When we consciously and deliberately develop new and better habits, our self-image tends to outgrow the old habits, our self-image tends to outgrow the old habits and grow into the new pattern. (p 108) WHEN you receive a physical injury, such as a cut on the face, your body forms scar tissue which is both tougher and thicker than the original flesh. The purpose of the scar tissue is to form a protective cover or shell, nature’s way of insuring against another injury in the same place. If an ill-fitting shoe rubs against a sensitive part of your foot, the first result is pain and sensitiveness. But again, nature protects against further pain and injury by forming a callus, a protective shell.
We are inclined to do very much the same thing whenever we receive an emotional injury, when someone “hurts” us, or “rubs us the wrong way.” We form emotional or spiritual “scars” for self-protection. We are very apt to become hardened of heart, callous toward the world, and to withdraw within a protective shell. (p 149)
Our emotional scars cannot be doctored or medicated. They must be “cut out,” given up entirely, eradicated. Many people apply various kinds of salve or balm to old emotional wounds, but this simply does not work. They may self-righteously forego overt and physical revenge, but they “take it our” or “get even” in many subtle ways. A typical example is the wife who discovers her husband’s infidelity. Upon the advice of her minister and/or psychiatrist she agrees she should “forgive” him. Accordingly she does not shot him. She does not leave him. In all overt behavior she is a “dutiful” wife. She keeps his house neatly. She prepares his meals well, and so on. But she make his life hell on earth in many subtle ways by the coldness of her heart and by flaunting her moral superiority. When he complains, her answer is, “Well, dear, I did forgive you – but I cannot forget.” Her very “forgiveness” becomes a thorn in his side because she is conscious of the fact that it is proof of her moral superiority. (p 159) She would have been more kind to him, and been happier herself, had she refused this type of forgiveness and left him. Forgiveness is the scalpel which removes emotional scars. (p 160)
Each of us needs a quiet room inside his own mind – quiet center within him, like the deep ocean that is never disturbed, no matter how rough the waves may become upon the surface. The quite room within, which is built in imagination, works as a metal and emotional decompression chamber. It depressurizes you from tensions, worry, pressures, stresses and strains, refreshes you and enables you to return to your work-a-day world better prepared to cope with it. (p 193) Relaxation is nature’s own tranquilizer. Relaxation is non-responsive. Learn physical relaxation by daily practice, then when you need to practice non-response in daily activities, just “do what you’re doing” when you relax. Use the quite room in your mind technique both as a daily tranquilizer to clear your emotional mechanism of “carry-over” emotions which would be inappropriate in a new situation. (p 201)
Notes from Maxwell Maltz’s Creative Living for Today
THE SWEETNESS OF FORGIVENESS: You must forgive yourself. You must exonerate yourself for the unwise decisions you’ve made, for the foolish things you’ve done, for the time you’ve let yourself down, for the times you’ve let your friends down. You must stop torturing yourself for your lack of wisdom when you needed it, for your cautiousness when you should have been bold, for your boldness when you should have been cautious. you must forgive the times when you’ve lost your temper over trifles, failed to stand up for your rights when you should have, stepped on others peoples’ toes with your insensitive remarks, given in to the inconsiderate egotism that is so much a part of human nature. You must erase your shame over the hundreds and hundred of gross and petty failures in your life.
For there is great sweetness in forgiveness; it is balm for the scars of life. Without it, there is no quiet room in your mind to escape to for peace; there is only a room jangling with tension. No one can live creatively if he cannot forgive his own blunders and imperfections. He is more likely to suffer from insomnia at night and fatigue during the day. You must realize that you are a creature of God, part of God’s plan, that you are unique and have value as a human being. You must understand that as a human being you are not perfect; see your successes, cherish them; see your faults, too, but forgive them. Once you are able to forgive yourself, then perhaps you can forgive others. No matter who you are, you have been hurt unless you have lived in cellophane. But you must stop holding grudges.
Too many people waste their time obsessed with hatred for those who have hurt them; isn’t it time to forgive and forget? Then you an make plans an set goals and work at the satisfying project of making each day a life in itself, of living, driving, loving, challenging, moving each precious day of your lives. Drink in the sweetness of forgiveness – of yourself and of others. You must forgive a parent, a friend, a loved one, for errors in the past. Forgive the hurt they caused you. Forget it by loving the present … now!
GIVE YOURSELF A SPIRITUAL FACE LIFT: In removing old emotional scars, you alone can do the operation. You must become your own plastic surgeon – and give yourself a spiritual face lift. The results will be new life and new vitality, a new-found peace of mind and happiness. To speak of an emotional face life an the use of “mental surgery” is more than a smile.
Old emotional scars cannot be doctored or medicated. They must be “cut out,” given up entirely, eradicated. Many people apply various kinds of salve or balm to emotional wounds, but this simply does not work. They may self-righteously forego overt and physical revenge, yet “take it out” or “get even” in many subtle ways. A typical example is the wife who discovers her husband’s infidelity. Upon the advice of her minister and /or psychiatrist she agrees she should “forgive” him. Accordingly she does not shoot him. She does not leave him. In all overt behavior she is a “dutifull” wife. She keep his house neatly. She prepares his meals well, and so on. But she makes his life hell on earth in many subtle ways by the coldness of her heart and by flaunting her moral superiority. When he complains, her answer is ,”Well, dear, I did forgive – but I cannot forget.” Her very “forgiveness” becomes a thorn in his side, because she is conscious of the fact of her moral superiority. She would have been more kind to him, and been happier herself, had she refused this type of forgiveness and left him.
FORGIVENESS IS A SCALPEL WHICH REMOVES EMOTIONAL SCARS: “‘I can forgive, but I cannot forget,’ is only another ways saying ‘I will not forgive.” said Henry Ward Beecher. “Forgiveness ought to be like a canceled note – torn in two, and burned up, so hat it never can be shown against one.” Forgiveness when it is real and genuine and complete, and forgotten – is the scalpel which can remove the pus from old emotional wounds, heal them, and eliminate scar tissue. Forgiveness which is partial, or half-hearted, works no better than a partially completed surgical operation on the face. Pretended forgiveness, which is entered into as a duty, is not more effective than a simulated facial surgery. Your forgiveness should be forgotten, as well as the wrong which was forgiven. Forgiveness which is remembered, and dwelt upon, re-infects the wound you are attempting to cauterize. If you are too proud of your forgiveness, or remember it too much, you are very apt to feel that the other person owes you something for forgiving him. You forgive him one debt, but in doing so, he incurs another, much like the operators of small loan companies who cancel one note and make out a new one every two weeks.
YOU CAN FORGIVE – IF YOU’RE WILLING: Therapeutic forgiveness is not difficult. the only difficulty is to secure your won willingness to give up and do without your sense of condemnation – your willingness to cancel our the debt, with no mental reservations. We find it difficult to forgive only because we like our sense of condemnation. We get a perverse and morbid enjoyment out of nursing our wounds. As long as we can condemn another, we can feel superior to him. No one can deny that there is also a perverse sense of satisfaction in feeling sorry for yourself.
In therapeutic forgiveness we cancel out the debt of the other person, not because we have decided to be generous or do him a favor, or because we are a normally superior person. We cancel the debt, mark it “null and void,” not because we have made the other person “pay” sufficiently for his wrong – but because we have come recognize that the debt itself is not valid. True forgiveness comes only when we are able to see, and emotionally accept, that there is and was noting for us to forgive. We should not condemned or hated the person in the first place.
Not long ago I went to a luncheon also attended by a number of clergymen. The subject of forgiveness came up in general, and the case of the adulterous woman whom Jesus forgave in particular. I listened to a very learned discussion of why Jesus was able to “forgive” the woman, how he forgave her, how his forgiveness was a rebuke to the church men of his time who were ready to stone her, etc. etc.
FORGIVE YOURSELF AS WELL AS OTHER: Not only do we incur emotional wounds from others, most of us inflict them upon ourselves. We beat ourselves over the head with self-condemnation, remorse and regret. We beat ourselves down with self-doubt. We cut ourselves up with excessive guilt. Remorse and regret are attempts to emotionally live in the past. Excessive guilt is an attempt to make right in the past something we did wrong or thought of as wrong in the past. The past can simply be written off, closed, forgotten, insofar as our emotional reactions are concerned. We do not need to take an “emotional position” one way or the other regarding detours that might have taken us off course in the past. The important thing is our present direction and our present goal. We need to recognize our own errors as mistakes. Otherwise we could not correct course. “Steering” or “guidance” would be impossible. But it is futile and fatal to hate or condemn ourselves for our mistakes. (p146-165)
Grief and Loneliness: Grief brings loneliness. There is an ancient Greek saying that of all ills common to all men, the greatest is grief. None of us can escape it. It makes some men tender and compassionate; others, not as strong perhaps, it makes hard, encased in protective armor.
Earlier I wrote about the tragic death of my father and of my agony. Finally, I terminated my self-imposed separation from others and returned to the world of people. We can suffer up to a point. The body can endure so much torment; then no more. It is fitting; it is a need of the soul to grieve for a loved one lost, but the time must come when we stop grieving and return to the joyful business of living. For endless grief becomes a self-destructive force which must b stopped, like a leak in a roof; otherwise there will be a flood and enormous loss in its wake. Endless obsession over pain means a separation from other people; it means loneliness.
Shakespeare believed that everyone can master a grief, but he that feels it; nevertheless we must master our sorrows. Time will help us if we help time; the thing to remember is that we must eventually shake off our grief and return to the everyday realities-before the inner scar becomes permanent. When this happens, we have an illness-worse than an ulcer-which we contract deep inside ourselves, bathing in a form of selfishness that is unpleasant and leads to a feeling of loneliness. Then one may find some false pleasure indulging in grief, proving Samuel Johnson’s contention that grief can be a species of idleness. The cure for grief is movement toward people, reaching out toward people with the richest qualities you have in you to give, breaking down the wall of separateness that is the fence behind which the lonely person hides. It may be helpful to remember the words of the British statesman Benjamin Disraeli: “Grief is the agony of an instant; the indulgence of grief the blunder of a lifetime.” (p 171)
Excerpts from Psycho-Cybernetics & Self-Fulfillment
Batam Books: Imaginative development of will power: You must use your imagination to develop the kind of will power that will lead you to success and more success. Go to your closet and get out your motion-picture projector. Now flash the picture on the screen. The screen of your mind. What do you see? You see success pictures – our features for today: the knockout punch of the leading heavy- weight prize fighter; an actress so involved in her role that she brings tears to your eyes; a politician (staking his reputation on a speech in which he takes a bold, affirmative stand; a great pitcher unwinding and firing, striking out his man and winning the ball game. Two double features, four winners.
You must use such imagination to project into your mind success pictures of yourself. To develop your will toward success. To build you power to create success. You see in your mind, again and again, your past successes and your good moments. Properly using your imagination, you build your self-image and pave the way for clear thinking. (p 51)
Imagination! You can’t see it, you can’t hold It ill your hand-yet it is there. The poet William Blake, whose lines still live many years after his death, once wrote this: “To see a World in a grain of sand, And a Heaven in a wild flower. Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour.” Blake’s undying words express most vividly this power – of creative imagination. Is creative imagination the gift of the few only? Does it belong only to poets, philosophers, artists, and inventors? I don’t believe this for one second. For we all have imagination. It is apart of us-like our feet, our arms our heart our brain.
Children live in a world that, to a great extent, is make-believe. They make up names for their dolls. They make up new words. They make up new forms of relationships as they play. Reality does not stand their way-perhaps because they I do not know it too well; they turn to their imagination to brighten up their world.
Adults, for realistic reasons, cannot allow such free rein of imagination. For, as adults, it is obvious that we must at all times be in touch with our responsibilities and be prepared to meet the demands that others make on us. Living in frenetic days of automation and conformity, channelizing our days into routines and rigid patterns we may feel necessity demands that we starve the free workings of our imagination.
Yet you must hold on to your capacity for using your imagination. You must use this capacity intelligently: to broaden your horizons to exercise your originality and your uniqueness, (p 78) and to formulate and oversee the successful attainment of your goals. . .
Creative imagination is an essential attribute of the successful individual. And you don t have to be an Edison or a Shakespeare or an Einstein. You are a human being, just as are the acknowledged great of our world, and you have a capacity for imagination, too. It may be neglected; it may be hidden; It may be forgotten-but it is there. . .
Imagination means the growth of images in your mind, images which you can manufacture for you on welfare. If you build in your mind good healthy images – and make a daily task of this – you will be on your way to building a wonderful image of yourself. An image that you can relish.
Using your imagination is a satisfying full-time job. It doesn’t end when you leave your or your store or your factory. No, sir Imagination stays with you; it is a part of you-like the blood pouring through you, like your heartbeat. And, indeed, imagination is the heartbeat of fulfillment. I Creative imagination belongs to everybody who wants it: rich or poor, child or adult, executive or clerk. All of us, in living creatively, turn to our imagination to work out new answers to old problems. (p 79)
You can use this power [of imagination] for good or for bad. You can fill your imagination with anticipations of pleasure or with forebodings of catastrophe. And your use of your imagination will to a large extent determine whether you move yourself toward pleasure or plunge yourself back into disaster. (p 94)
Notes from The Search for Self-respect
SELF FORGIVENESS: Forgive yourself and you soar to your greatest dignity as a human being. Like Neil Armstrong, you walk on the moon. Forgive yourself and like Galileo or Newton, you explore new areas in yourself – areas free of guilt, inner areas in which you can build yourself into a giant among men. You can be a giant among man, because you forgive yourself; an ethical religious man, because you absolve yourself; a philosopher, because you think of your virtues: a plastic surgeon, because you remove your emotional scars; and a human being, because you thrill to feel life without guilt. Actively forgive yourself and with your forgiveness give yourself an inner strength to move toward higher goals.
REACH OUT: Thus we reach out, attempting to reach full awareness, toward our full self-respect as human beings, judging ourselves charitably, coming to grips with our true personalities, appreciating ourselves with friendship, and then reaching out toward others not with animosity or prejudice, but with the same helping hand of friendship and constructive intentions.
SELF-RESPECT: With self-respect, you reach out toward your full potential as a human being. Because without self-respect, you are a criminal in hiding, living in a prison you have guilt around yourself, and even if the prison is comfortable and luxurious, it is still a prison. No necessary connection between financial and material success and self-respect.
REVENGE: Maybe you have been wronged, but why dwell on it for a life time? Whom do you destroy with your fantasies of revenge? The person you hate” no, you destroy yourself. The fires of revenge consumes you. You do not sleep well. You do not work well. You do not eat well. Your obsession with revenge spins you round and round, trapped by your own resentment. We will make mistakes as long as we live, but the mistake of resentment is especially regrettable because it is self-destructive and leads us into pockets of tension form which we find it very hard to escape.
CONTENTMENT: So many people feel negatively about themselves. So many people accuse themselves unceasingly of so many crimes, so many guilts. So many people do not feel they deserve to feel content. They feel guilty about so many things in the past. They keep remembering their past mistakes, their past failures, and when they look at themselves in the mirror, they may even hate the sight of themselves.
It doesn’t matter that you have sinned, erred, blundered; it doesn’t matter if you’ve been clumsy, insensitive, arrogant. All of us at times succumb to our weaknesses; you have and you will again. The important thing is not to let your guilt and the whole impact of crushing negative feeling take away your knowledge that you have a right to a life of contentment and human dignity. Once you have respect for yourself, don’t turn around and develop another irrational feeling – one of superiority. This too would be self-defeating.
DEVELOP YOURSELF: As a creature of God, living in His universe, you are an individual and owe it to yourself to develop in yourself the qualities that arise from your unique needs and to develop to the fullest extent your creative capacities.
EMPTY: So many in our society feel empty. In spite of the fact that most us are well fed, well clothed, whisking around in cars and jets, so many people still feel an internal lack. As a results of this emptiness, people have withdrawn from life and from themselves, cut themselves off from their creative powers and turned their eyes toward externals in an effort to fill the void of their emptiness so turn to many things … Do you suffer form emptiness? If you do, take heart; you are not alone. You are one of many people wrestling with one of the dread disease of the 20th Century. To reach up to your full feeling of dignity, you must overcome this emptiness.
FRAGMENTED: Many of us, succumbing to the pressures of our modern technological civilization, live fragmented lives. We rush around in all directions, cornered and misdirected in our confusion, unnerved in our rush to scoop up what we think is good in life. In the process, they lose track of themselves. We desire wholeness, but a man or woman cannot be whole if he or she is internally divided, at war with himself, or herself. The battleground is not only in Indo-China and the Middle East, it is in the heart of every individual who sees these negative feelings and who builds thick walls of resentment inside himself, separating himself from himself and from other people.
CHAPTER 6: DR MAXWELL MALTZ: Dr. Maxwell Maltz was 61 years old when he created his self-improvement phenomenon, Psycho-Cybernetics. N For many years, Dr. Maltz had a flourishing practice as a reconstructive and cosmetic facial surgeon. He lectured internationally on his medical specialty and was also a prolific author. He was inspired to move from treating “outer scars” to “inner scars” after observing that after many patients were given the perfect faces they wanted, their unhappiness and insecurities weren’t cured. Dr. Maltz suggested that many people have an inaccurate perception of themselves, distorted by unchallenged and often erroneous beliefs imbedded in the subconscious mind.
In 1960, after a decade of counseling hundreds of patients and testing his evolving “success conditioning techniques” on athletes and salespeople, he published his findings. The original Psycho-Cybernetics was an instant best-seller and created great demand for Dr. Maltz as a motivational speaker until his death in 1976.
Based on a wealth of case history material, Dr. Maltz developed seminars, workshops, and radio broadcasts, as well as writing over a dozen more books, all applying the principles of Psycho-Cybernetics to different purposes, from business success to sex life improvement. He also authored The Magic Power of the Self-Image, Five Minutes to Happiness, Live and Be Free Through Psycho-Cybernetics, and three novels. Maxwell Maltz’ legacy has lived on, making him one of the 20th Century giants in the field of self-esteem and motivation. Today, the Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation is leading a publishing renaissance of his works, beginning with the compiled course, The Zero Resistance Living System.
Dr. Maxwell Maltz created his self-improvement phenomenon: ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’ at age 61, as the climax to an already varied, colorful and exceptionally successful career. For many years, Dr. Maltz had a flourishing practice as a reconstructive and cosmetic facial surgeon, lectured internationally on his medical specialty, and pursued a dual career as a prolific author. He was inspired to move from treating “outer scars” to “inner scars” after observing that so many patients’ unhappiness and insecurities were not cured, as they and he had believed would occur when he gave them the perfect new faces they desired. Dr. Maltz first wrote of this discovery in his book “New Faces, New Futures.” In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Maltz suggested that many people “see themselves” inaccurately, their perceptions distorted by unchallenged and often erroneous beliefs imbedded in the subconscious mind.
After a decade of counseling hundreds of patients, extensive research of everything from German missile guidance technology (then more advanced than our own) to hypnosis, and testing his evolving “success conditioning techniques” on athletes an salespeople, he published his findings, in 1960, in the original ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’ book. It was an instant bestseller and made Dr. Maltz one of the most in-demand motivational speakers throughout the 1960’s and the early 1970’s.
Dr. Maltz went on to amass a wealth of “case history” material, seminars, workshops, radio broadcasts, over a dozen books all applying ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’ to different purposes, from business success to sex life improvement. He also authored and had published “The Magic Powers of the Self-Image”, “Five Minutes to Happiness”, “Live and Be Free through Psycho-Cybernetics” and three novels.
Maxwell Maltz passed away at age 76, but his legacy has lived on: in fact, his works have grown in popularity, purely through work-of-mouth. Dr. Maltz’ wife and business partner of many years, Anne Maltz, began working with Mr. Kennedy in 1988 to further advance Dr. Maltz’ life works via a publishing renaissance and a new, comprehensive, “ultimate” home study course. contact info: Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation. 1903 Ashwood Court, Suite C, Greensboro, NC 27455, phone: 336-282-6303, fax: 336-282-5707
Creative Living For Today
Psycho-Cybernetic; (Workbook And 8 Audio Tapes)
Psycho-Cybernetic And Self Fulfillment
The Magic Power Of Self-Image Psychology
The Search for Self-Respect
Dr. Maxwell Maltz Dead at 76 (2003)
[Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation: http://www.psycho-cybernetics.com/index.html] Dr. Maxwell Maltz created his self-improvement phenomenon: ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’ at age 61, as the climax to an already varied, colorful and exceptionally successful career. For many years, Dr. Maltz had a flourishing practice as a reconstructive and cosmetic facial surgeon, lectured internationally on his medical specialty, and pursued a dual career as a prolific author.
He was inspired to move from treating “outer scars” to “inner scars” after observing that so many patients’ unhappiness and insecurities were not cured, as they and he had believed would occur when he gave them the perfect new faces they desired. Dr. Maltz first wrote of this discovery in his book “New Faces, New Futures.” In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Maltz suggested that many people “see themselves” inaccurately, their perceptions distorted by unchallenged and often erroneous beliefs imbedded in the subconscious mind.
After a decade of counseling hundreds of patients, extensive research of everything from German missile guidance technology (then more advanced than our own) to hypnosis, and testing his evolving “success conditioning techniques” on athletes an salespeople, he published his findings, in 1960, in the original ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’ book. It was an instant bestseller and made Dr. Maltz one of the most in-demand motivational speakers throughout the 1960’s and the early 1970’s.
Dr. Maltz went on to amass a wealth of “case history” material, seminars, workshops, radio broadcasts, over a dozen books all applying ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’ to different purposes, from business success to sex life improvement. He also authored and had published “The Magic Powers of the Self-Image”, “Five Minutes to Happiness”, “Live and Be Free through Psycho-Cybernetics” and three novels. Maxwell Maltz passed away at age 76, but his legacy has lived on: in fact, his works have grown in popularity, purely through work-of-mouth. Dr. Maltz’ wife and business partner of many years, Anne Maltz, began working with Mr. Kennedy in 1988 to further advance Dr. Maltz’ life works via a publishing renaissance and a new, comprehensive, “ultimate” home study course.