Chapter 4   -  Spoon Bending

Chapter 4 Illustration

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   "Spoon bending?" The young woman in Dr. Harmon´s office frowned at him. "What does bending spoons have to do with it?"

    "Let me put it this way, Clarissa," Dr. Harmon answered, smiling, "Albert Einstein once stated it was his observation that even the brightest of individuals use no more than ten percent of their minds´ abilities. Well, it has become obvious as we learn more and more of what the mind can do that Dr. Einstein was either wrong, or he deliberately overstated that percentage for reasons of his own. My own opinion is that humans use, as a matter of course, no more than maybe one one-thousandth percent of the mind´s total ability. For instance, what enables people to walk barefoot on burning coals heated to a temperature that melts lead and aluminum?"

    "I read some place it´s because the body releases little jets of water through the bottoms of the feet and that cools them down," Clarissa suggested, still frowning.

    Doctor Harmon laughed. "I´ve heard that too. Makes you wonder if the ones promoting that theory realize what steam is all about, doesn´t it?"

    Now Clarissa smiled again. "Oh, yes. I see what you mean."

    "Good. Then you also see, even when we DO manage to demonstrate for ourselves the remarkable powers of our minds, we immediately try to reason the demonstration away. Even if we have to bend our reasoning minds to do it."

    "Which brings us right back to spoon bending!" Clarissa noted, laughing.

    "Very good, my dear," Dr. Harmon acknowledged, joining her laughter. "Which affords me the opportunity to explain the unexplainable by telling you about my classes in spoon bending, as they are popularly called. It is really a course in psychokinesis which is the ability to mentally affect physical objects. It is exciting to watch as even the most ardent skeptics observe their own minds altering physical matter."

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    "Does everyone´s spoon bend?" Clarissa asked.

    "Most everyone´s, and that percentage increases when I use the suggestion given me by my friend Dr. Freda Morris, a former professor of Psychology at UCLA. Which was, to put young children in with the group as a wonderful catalyst to making it all happen. You see, young children´s spoons always bend quickly and easily."

    "They do?" Clarissa asked with interest. "How?"

    "We suspect it is because they believe, without any doubt, that it will happen. We tell them if they look at the spoon and imagine it bending, their spoons will grow very soft, very fast, and bend easily with just the slightest touch. Almost as soon as we are done telling them, they start, and - just like that - it happens. That, in turn, makes believers out of some of the adults and THEIR spoons begin to bend. Pretty soon, the whole class has spoons made out of putty and they are laughing and joking as they bend the metal every which way, some even tying them in knots."

    "You´re kidding!"

    "I assure you, I am not. Of particular interest are the staunch left-brained adults." Doctor Harmon cleared his throat and looked under his bushy brows at Clarissa, who laughed again. "They desperately try to rationalize how they are accomplishing the ´inexplicable´. Sometimes to the point of denying what they are doing even as they are doing it! One of my favorite stories is the engineer who observed with a real note of desperation in his voice, ´Well, yes, it SEEMS to be this spoon gets much softer when I keep saying bend, bend, bend.´

     "Meanwhile, another student, - a lovely, elderly lady from Arkansas - kept exclaiming, ´Why land a goshin´, this ole spoon just feels like taffy!´

    "The engineer became quite upset, insisting, ´This is not happening. Metal does NOT soften like this just by holding it and thinking it will bend.´

    "Afterwards, the engineer brought me his bent spoon and insisted I come to his plant later that week - which I did. When I arrived, he handed me a piece of tempered steel that he said was known to be absolutely impossible to bend by human hands. Maybe that was true, but by focusing my MIND on bending it, I was able - with my hands - to bend it easily."

    "Really?" Clarissa, leaned forward. "What do you think happened? I mean, seriously, how did you do it?"

    "The same as with the spoons, Clarissa. I focused my mind on the metal softening in my hands. Then, when it softened, I bent it easily. What happens exactly is not really known. Not yet anyway."

    "Well, what do you think is happening?"

    "I thought you weren´t interested in spoonbending," Dr. Harmon teased.

    "I am now," Clarissa answered firmly. "If the mind can protect the body from burning on 1500 to 1700 degree coals and bend steel - like you say it can - then what else can the mind do that we don´t know about or understand?"

    Dr. Harmon beamed at her. "Exactly. Very good, Clairissa. I do know this, the engineer and I examined the steel I´d bent using the power of my mind. There was no stretching on one side and pressuring, or compacting, on the other side, as would be expected when a piece of metal is bent with physical or mechanical power. Also, when metal bent with the mind is examined under a micron microscope, we see that the random locking of the molecular structure has become more linear. Meaning, the molecules are now in little rows that allows the metal to bend without the breaking or pressuring seen in metal bent by muscular or mechanical strength. So one possible explanation is that our minds realign the molecular structure of the metal."

    "Wow. So," Clarissa summed up. "The purpose of classes like fire-walking and spoon bending is to demonstrate the power of one´s mind."

    "Yes. Then we teach how to avail oneself of that power in order to effect changes."

    "You mean like healing," Clarissa commented, as she mused over what he had just said.

    "Healing, as well as other changes; like the improvement you are seeking in your marital relationship."

    Clarissa´s face flushed as she remarked, "I love my husband, I just don´t like sex."

    "I understand that," Dr. Harmon assured her and gently added, "I also understand you wouldn´t be here today if you didn´t want to change that."

    "Well," Clarissa flushed even more deeply, "he deserves a wife who enjoys his attentions. He likes sex. A lot," she added with an anger in her voice that did not escape Dr. Harmon´s notice.

    "How would you evaluate your husband´s sexual skills?" Dr. Harmon asked. The matter-of-fact and comforting tone of his voice visibly relaxed Clarissa, and the blush had left her cheeks.

    "Excellent. He is not my first lover, so I know."

    ""And you? Have you been checked medically to see if you have a hooded clitoris or some other condition that might be negatively affecting your sexual pleasure?" Dr. Harmon asked.

    The question, though intimate, was presented in such a clinical and detached manner, that Clarissa answered easily. "Yes, I´ve had a thorough check-up. My doctor is the one who recommended you," she added.

    "Good. I noted that you put that on your intake form. How would you assess your relationship with your husband, Clarissa? Forgetting about the sexual relations."

    "If only we could, forget the sexual relations," Clarissa mumbled glumly, "then it would be great."

    "Yet, you deserve a pleasurable sex life, Clarissa," Dr. Harmon gently reminded her. "So maybe we need to find out what´s blocking you from doing that, and change it, hmmmm?"

    "I´d like to." Clarissa´s eyes were misty. "But how?"

    "I don´t how. You´ll have to tell me."

    "If I knew THAT, I wouldn´t be here." Clarissa´s eyes had shifted quickly from misty to steely.

    "You may not know consciously, Clarissa, but some part of your mind does know."

    "You mean my subconscious mind?" Clarissa asked.

    "I see you know something about the mind. What do you know about the subconscious?" Dr. Harmon questioned her.

    "I know the subconscious mind is the emotional mind. I´ve read it holds the memories, controls the body, and directs the processes of the body and the brain."

    "My, Clarissa. You are much better informed than most of my first-time clients. I´m impressed."

    "Well, I´ve been working on this, uh, sexual problem, for some time. And, I think I know what´s wrong." Now Clarissa was staring at Dr. Harmon with a fixed gaze. He waited, without speaking, for her to continue. A few moments passed. "I think I was sexually abused!" Clarissa blurted out finally.

    "Do you have conscious memories of such abuse Clarissa?" Dr. Harmon asked.


    "What leads you to suspect it then?"

    "Well, the fact I hate sex for one thing. And just a feeling I have."

    "Tell me about that feeling," Dr. Harmon settled back in his chair. His face and manner displayed an open and non-judging attitude. Clarissa felt relieved. He seemed as interested in finding out the truth as she was. She didn´t want to believe she´d been sexually abused, and he didn´t seem to have leaped to the conclusion she was, despite her suspicions.

    "Well," Clarissa began, "it was my grandfather, my mother´s father. I always felt really funny around him. My mother is the one who told me about sex, only she didn´t tell me very much. She was too embarrassed. Then, while she was talking, I kept seeing my grandfather, which really confused and upset me. So I couldn´t look her in the eye, which I think embarrassed her even more. So I guess I didn´t get a very good introduction to sex." Clarissa clasped her hands tightly in her lap and continued. "I love my church, but its attitude towards sex certainly isn´t helpful. Sex is the original sin and all of that. I figured out for myself that if sex is sinful or only to be used for procreation, then God wouldn´t have designed us for pleasure. At least, the possibility of pleasure." Clarissa smiled wryly, took a deep breath, and continued. "My first time was pretty awful. It was, oh, I don´t know, furtive and clumsy and over so quickly. I hardly felt anything beyond a short stabbing pain. After that, I avoided the guy almost as much as he avoided me. My reputation at school was shot, though, and I had to ignore a lot of smirks and smutty comments." Clarissa shuddered. "It was just so icky. We moved away not long afterwards, thank goodness. My next time was with a boyfriend. I´d gone with him for some time and he was hassling me to start. I didn´t want to; I was afraid after the first time."

    "Was that experience better?" Dr. Harmon prompted Clarissa after she´d remained silent for several moments.

    "What? Oh, yes, well, it was better, but not great. I really couldn´t understand why everyone made such a fuss about sex. He seemed to enjoy it though. We went together for two years and the sex was okay. I mean, I couldn´t really feel anything, but it wasn´t upsetting either."

    "Upsetting? You mean it didn´t hurt you?" Dr. Harmon asked.

    "I mean I didn´t really care I wasn´t feeling much. With my husband though, it´s different. He wants me to enjoy it. He´s always asking me what would please me more than he´s doing. I can´t imagine what more he could do! I feel so angry at myself that he has to work so hard. My marriage is important to me. I just keep," Clarissa´s voice trailed off.

    "You keep what, Clarissa?" Dr. Harmon prompted again.

    "I know it sounds really stupid," Clarissa mumbled in a small voice, looking down at her hands in her lap, "but I just keep thinking about my grandfather." She looked up at Dr. Harmon. "Do you think he abused me sexually, Doctor? Is that why I can´t relax enough to enjoy myself?"

    "Clarissa, you are a very smart woman. You are right, a large part of the problem is that your prior experiences with sex have convinced you that it is not something you are going to enjoy. So your belief - reinforced each time you don´t enjoy yourself - is proven correct every time, because you expect it to be."

    "Like the spoon bending," Clarissa observed.

    "Exactly. What the mind expects tends to be realized. And while certain kinds of tensions in specific areas of the body are helpful to sexual pleasure, a nervous body, stressed mind, and uptight feelings are definitely working against you. So the inability to relax is another stumbling block."

    "Can you fix that?" Clarissa asked hopefully. "Can you teach me to relax and enjoy myself?"

    Dr. Harmon smiled. "I can certainly train you in relaxation techniques that will prove helpful if you allow yourself to use them."

    "Why wouldn´t I?" Clarissa demanded. "If you teach me to relax, I can overcome my feelings. I´ve been meditating and praying about this. I´m also doing affirmations and visualizations."

    "Good, that is all very helpful in creating positive expectations and behaviors," Dr. Harmon agreed.

    "Well, none of it has helped so far, but I´m hoping hypnosis will add to their effectiveness," Clarissa responded.

    "It´s certainly true most, if not all, methods for creating positive change either involve hypnosis or are more effective with it," Dr. Harmon agreed again. "However, in this case, Clarissa, it is likely you will have to eliminate your negative beliefs and patterns about sexual relations first, before you can successfully establish the positive changes."

    "Why is that?" Clarissa asked.

    "Simply put, when new programming contradicts old programming, the subconscious resists the new programming. Hypnosis can change this unless the emotional levels of your mind have a strong attachment to the old programming, then the subconscious will block anything - including will power, hypnosis, or anything else - that tries to change it."

    "So what can I do?" Clarissa protested. "Give up?"

    "No, far from it," Dr. Harmon reassured her. "What will work is to convince the part of the mind that is attached to the old programming to let go of its emotional attachment to it."

    "How do we do that?" Clarissa asked. "It sounds difficult."

    "It´s sometimes complex, but not difficult. At least, no more difficult than struggling with the things in your life that no longer serve you. The rewards far outweigh the temporary discomfort of giving up old habits and beliefs. Many of our clients continue to come in to see us long after the need for therapy has ended because they enjoy the transformations they keep creating for themselves. Pamela calls what we do ´soul work´. It does seem to be a means of accelerating soul growth, as well as personal satisfaction and fulfillment."

    "So what I´m doing might have worked if I didn´t have any subconscious resistance to them working, right?" Clarissa pressed.

    "Yes, if you´ve been doing them correctly," Dr. Harmon cautioned her. "For example, people often program the subconscious to bring to them exactly the opposite of what they want because they fail to realize the importance of images to the subconscious mind. For instance, when you say or think the word ´sugar´, an image of sugar is projected on the screen of the mind. The subconscious links this image to stored data in its memory banks about sugar. If some of that data is connected to desire or will then desire and will are triggered. The subconscious acts upon images to which desire or will are attached."

    "So that means," Clarissa spoke slowly and thoughtfully, "that affirming ´no sugar´ projects an image of sugar to the subconscious, thus triggering a desire for the sugar."

    "Exactly. The data stored in the subconscious indicates a desire and will for the sugar, not the contrary."

    "But wouldn´t an image of sugar - like in a bag, a cup, or a spoon - with a large line drawn through it work?" Clarissa asked. "And why wouldn´t the words ´no sugar´ project such an image?"

    Dr. Harmon shrugged. "Maybe it does, we don´t really know. However, we do know when people say ´no sugar´ or draw a line through a mental image of a substance they crave, the cravings for that substance increases, not decreases. It´s much more effective to begin building a new data bank of the desired change and attach will and desire to that image."

    "In other words," Clarissa interjected, "if I wanted to weigh less, which I do, I should suggest the weight I want to weigh, not keep saying ´fat go away´ which I´ve been saying, That just keeps bringing up the image of a fat me."

    "You got it," Dr. Harmon said, nodding in agreement. "Now close your eyes a moment and think of the words sexual intimacy."

    Clarissa did so, then a moment later sighed dejectedly. When she opened her eyes, Dr. Harmon said gently, "You just demonstrated perfectly how the mind works. As you thought of the words, your conscious mind projected the thought forms, or images, on the screen of the mind. Your subconscious mind is visual, even though you are not, Clarissa, and it responded instantly to that projected image. It linked that image to your stored data, or beliefs, about sexual intimacy. Then, as it is the seat of the emotions and in control of the body, it responded emotionally and physically to those beliefs. You sighed."

    "I had a feeling of hopelessness," Clarissa added.

    "Noted," Dr. Harmon responded. "Your subconscious beliefs are that you do not enjoy sexual intimacy. Emotionally, you hold little hope of doing so soon."

    "I´m not trying to escape the subject," Clarissa said, neatly escaping the subject, "but how do you know I´m not visual?"

    "I watch the movement of your eyes," Dr. Harmon told her. "Whether you are speaking or listening, they look straight ahead or side to side. They seldom shift upwards - which would indicate a visual person - or downwards - which would indicate a kinesthetic person. You have to see a person speak to hear them."

    "That´s true!" Clarissa exclaimed. "It drives me crazy when my husband tries to talk to me from across the room, or worse yet, from another room. He thinks I´m being controlling when I ask him to look at me when he speaks to me."

    "You aren´t," Dr. Harmon assured her. "You are watching his lips mouth the words. That´s very important for auditory people. Tell me, does your husband speak rapidly, leave sentences unfinished, and jump quickly from idea to idea?"

    "Yes, that drives me even crazier!" Clarissa exclaimed again. "What does that mean?"

    "He´s visual. Watch his eyes next time and you´ll see what I mean. His eyes will shift upwards as he speaks. He´s seeing pictures, so he doesn´t need all the words. Your need to hear all of what he sees probably drives him a little crazy, too," Dr. Harmon said laughing. "Just understanding how the other communicates will help your relationship a great deal."

    "It will help me at work, too," Clarissa said, fascinated. "I´m a teacher. I´m going to see to it the auditory kids sit in the front of the class where they can see and hear me clearly."

    "Wonderful! Also suggest they read their studies aloud when they do homework. Even recording as they read and listening to it again helps auditory students a great deal. The kinesthetic kids need to learn by doing. A logical sequence of steps or ideas is always important to them and auditory people. Kinesthetic people like to be touched and get close to people, unless there is an emotional aversion has been created to this for some reason."

    "Well, that explains another person at work. He always stands too close to me and touches my arm alot, but he never says or does anything suggestive. I´ve had a hard time figuring him out."

    "Probably kinesthetic," Dr. Harmon agreed. "Watch his eyes and his hands. If he glances down frequently and touches his own body frequently, he´s kinesthetic."

    "My husband uses his hands alot," Clarissa added, "he kind of paints pictures of what he´s saying."

    "Yes, visual people do that. Kinesthetic people speak with their hands, as well, though the hands tend to stay at waist level and below. Most people have some of all three kinds of communication, but do tend to be predominately of one type," Dr. Harmon added. "Some will switch, depending on whether they are listening or speaking. It´s helpful to be aware of that, too. All relationships, personal and professional, improve when the other person´s mode of communication is understood and used."

    "Is that why visualization is so frustrating for me?" Clarissa asked. "I never see anything."

    "That´s right, and you may not see anything in hypnosis either, especially if frustration gets in the way. Simply imagine - in hypnosis and with visualization, which is often used in hypnosis - of what you would see if you could see what the words are saying. Or just think of the words. Your subconscious will see them as they are projected on the screen of the mind. You don´t have to worry about that. Just be certain, when you use visualization or self-hypnosis, that you are thinking of what you do want, as we discussed, and not what you don´t want. That´s true of prayer, as well," Dr. Harmon added. "Pray for what you want."

    "But doesn´t God know what you mean when you pray?" Clarissa protested.

    "I don´t know what God knows, but I do know how the mind works. When you pray, you are projecting words or thoughts as images on the screen of your mind. Prayer brings in spiritual energy for the use of the subconscious in manifesting the images you are projecting, unless, of course, there is an inner block or resistance to getting it."

    "So that´s why prayers aren´t always answered," Clarissa said. "We block them ourselves."

    "That´s right, prayer is not magic. It works, or doesn´t work, according to the principles of the mind. After all, the mind is what the Creator gave us for creating our own destinies. We just have to learn to use the mind wisely and knowingly."

    "So, to get back to imaging. What would a person who is trying to heal their body of a disease imagine? The body fighting off the disease?" Clarissa asked.

    "That just puts the focus on the disease," Dr. Harmon answered. "It´s much more powerful to focus, by word, thought, and deed, on a healthy body."

    "What if a person is so sick they just can´t imagine being well?" Clarissa asked. "Or like with me, I´ve never been slender so I have a hard time thinking of myself as slender, or believing in it."

    "The first step in healing or change of any kind is to acknowledge what one wants to change," agreed Dr. Harmon. "The second step is to discover what created the condition in the first place and what continues to contribute to its existence. Once those things have been found, understood, and corrected, then one can begin to take the steps that will create the transformation."

    "I understand," Clarissa said, nodding. "You´re saying the emotional causes for illness and or weight have to be addressed first and then the changes can occur. I imagine it´s the same with addictions and phobias and that kind of thing, isn´t it?"

    "Yes," Dr. Harmon agreed, "it´s the way the mind works. Addictive behavior can be controlled with drugs, medication, and coping mechanisms, but to end the desire for them, the emotional factors that created and continues to trigger them must be addressed. Fears and phobias are emotionally driven, too. There always seems to be, in my experience, a beginning point for these things. An experience that first created the thoughts and beliefs to which the emotions became attached. Thought is the creator of our reality. Physicists and metaphysicians tend to agree on that."

    "How early in life do experiences begin to affect us, Dr. Harmon?" Clarissa asked.

     "We make up our minds about an astonishing number of important matters very early in life, Clarissa. Often without even realizing it. Take reading minds, for instance."

    "Reading minds? You mean being psychic, knowing other people´s thoughts, that sort of thing?"

    "Yes. Everyone is psychic at the subconscious levels of mind. The subconscious mind ´reads" not only the images on your screen of the mind, but on everyone else´s minds as well. Most babies and very young children read minds quite readily and easily. They are taught, however, to suppress this ability."

    "Why?" Clarissa asked curiously, "and how?"

    "Humans like to keep secrets. We are taught from very young, by our families, culture, and society, that secrets are important. It happens as easily as a child asking mommy why she´s mad at daddy, or asking daddy why he´s feeling sad. Now, the child can see, mad and sad thoughts in their minds, so when the response is ´I´m not mad´ or ´I´m not sad´, the child perceives the message is ´Stay out of my mind´. After repeated messages of that kind, children learn reading what someone else is thinking is not acceptable. So they learn to suppress the ability. The subconscious mind continues to ´read´ minds, but it has been given the instruction not to bring this information to the conscious awareness."

    "But do children and babies really understand what they are seeing?" Clarissa asked dubiously.

    "I have, in forty years of clinical research and practice, done over 50,000 regressions. Many have been to early childhood, birth, the womb, even to conception. I didn´t believe memory could go back so far when I first began my clinical practice. But it kept happening spontaneously, to myself and other therapists, when we would suggest in hypnosis that a person go to the root of a problem, or find the cause of a symptom."

    "People have memories of the womb?" Clarissa asked incredulously.

    "One client, a middle aged man," Dr. Harmon recounted, "was speaking, in a regression, of floating in and out of his body while in his mother´s womb. He described, in vivid detail, a violent argument his parents were having. He even described the dress his mother was wearing - a brightly colored dress with large stripes. Afterwards, he expressed his doubts about the regression, feeling he ´must have made it up.´

    "The next week he returned and reported that he´d called his mother and asked her about the argument. Shocked, his mother replied, ´But you couldn´t know about that! Your father and I never spoke of that matter again.´ When he described her dress, there had been a long pause. Shakily, she´d told him, ´I threw away that dress away as soon as you were born. I looked like an elephant in a circus tent in that dress. I even tore up the one picture of me in it when I threw it out. How could you know these things?´

    "Another client, a woman," he continued, "spoke in regression of her sadness as her twin left her, just before birth. She asked her mother about this and was told, ´How did you find out? You had a twin that was still born. Your father was so heartbroken. It was the son he´d always wanted. We agreed never to speak of him, not even to each other. I know I never told you about him.´

    "There are hundreds of regressions like these in my client files and the client files of my colleagues. I stopped doubting long ago."

    "But how can a person have a memory of conception?" Clarissa protested. "The brain isn´t even formed yet."

    "The mind works through the brain, Clarissa, but is independent of the brain. The mind exists with the spirit before conception of its body. After the spirit enters the body, it must wait for the brain to catch up to its mind."


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