Chapter 4   -  Spoon Bending

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  "Why don´t we remember our birth and all of that, then? And why can´t we read right away and speak in full sentences if the mind is already developed before birth?"

      "Good questions, Clarissa. First, the brain must develop the proper connections for speech and reading. Secondly, we DO remember everything. We just don´t consciously recall it all. Do you recall every day of your adult life?"

    "No," Clarissa admitted.

    "Exactly. We seem to store some memories in places or ways that are immediately accessible to conscious recall. Other memories and information are stored in ways or places that require altered states such as hypnosis and dreams in order to access them. It would be confusing to be consciously aware of all of one´s experiences. Imagine being aware at any moment of all your different experiences with their attached sensory and emotional energies. It would be overwhelming."

    "What if a person doesn´t believe what they said in a regression, does the regression still help them?" Clarissa asked.

    "If the regression has helped the person to understand or resolve the issue involved, then the benefit is gained whether the person believes in the regression or not."

    "So maybe regressions are just the mind talking in symbols and stories, like in dreams," Clarissa commented.

    "Maybe," Dr. Harmon agreed. "I never insist my clients believe anything. I´m here to guide people to their own truths, not mine. What they choose to believe of what their own minds tell them is up to them."

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    "Do people ever make up stories in hypnosis?" Clarissa asked.

    "Yes, though they are far less likely to do so if the hypnotist is well-trained and non-leading. If knowing whether a story was ´made up´ is important to a client, we use a tool that can tell us that."

    "What tool is that?" Clarissa asked eagerly.

    "It´s called neuro-muscular response, or NMR, and it will enable us to know, Clarissa, whether your grandfather did or did not molest you."

    "How does it work?" she asked.

    "Let me demonstrate it to you," Dr. Harmon answered. He got up from behind his desk and moved around to sit on a stool beside Clarissa´s chair.

    "Will this hurt?" she asked, eyeing him warily.

    Dr. Harmon feigned shock. "Now, would I hurt you, Clarissa?"

    She smiled and relaxed visibly. "No."

    Dr. Harmon shook his head. "Really, what a question. All I want you to do, Clarissa, is to lift your arm." Clarissa lifted her left arm straight out in front of her. "Good, now move it about 15 degrees back toward the left shoulder. You can lower it about 15 degrees, too, so it doesn´t take so much muscle strength to hold it up. Good. Now, does that hurt?"


    "Of course not. Nor will this; I´m placing my two fingers just above your wrist. Now I´m also going to push down slightly with my two fingers while I stabilize your shoulder with my other hand, like this." Clarissa´s arm lowered as Dr. Harmon pushed down lightly. "Does that hurt?"

    "No, not at all."

    "What I´m testing, Clarissa, is the strength of your deltoid muscle, here in your arm." Dr. Harmon showed Clarissa the location of the deltoid in the upper top of her arm, and she nodded her understanding. "That´s why the angle in which you hold your arm is important. We want to test only the deltoid. Now this time, think ´yes´ and say ´yes´ aloud. When you do, I will say ´hold´ and push down with my fingers again. All right, proceed."

    Clarissa said, "Yes."

    Dr. Harmon said ´hold´ and then pushed down on Clarissa´s arm. This time Clarissa´s arm remained strong and resisted the pressure of Dr. Harmon´s fingers pushing down on it.

    "Excellent. Now, think ´no´ and say ´no´," Dr. Harmon instructed her. As Clarissa followed these instructions, Dr. Harmon repeated the process. After saying ´hold´, so Clarissa could resist, he pushed down with the same degree of pressure. This time the arm lowered easily.

    "Wow! What was that?" Clarissa exclaimed. "Did you push harder?"

    "Let´s do it again and you tell me," Dr. Harmon answered, and they repeated the process. "Did I push harder for the no?" He asked when they´d finished.

    "You sure didn´t seem to," Clarissa acknowledged "What do you call this again?"

    "NMR which stands for Neuro-Muscular Response. It´s a refined process of muscle testing which is also called applied kinesiology. Muscle testing began with bio-feedback research, which made it clear that what the mind is thinking affects the muscles of the body. I´ve refined the process to accurately access various levels of the mind and spirit."

    "I have heard of muscle testing," Clarissa observed. "My friend´s herbalist uses it."

    "Many people in the health field use it. Unfortunately, many of them are not using it correctly because they don´t fully understand how the mind affects it. That´s why I´m taking care to explain it to you, Clarissa. It is not as simple as it looks. It requires training to use it properly. Precise and careful wording must be used, or the answers will be misleading. It´s important to know WHICH level of the mind the answer is coming from, and whether any other mind - including my own - is interfering with the answers. I have to keep my mind blank when I test you so as not to interfere with your answers."

    "It sounds almost dangerous," Clarissa commented.

    "It´s not a tool I would want anyone to use on me if they were not well trained and didn´t keep their own thoughts and expectations out of it," Dr. Harmon agreed. "Like a surgeon´s scalpel, it can be precise and accurate when used in skilled hands, but very clumsy, even dangerous, when used in unskilled hands."

    "Are pendulums a form of muscle testing?" Clarissa asked.

    "Yes, they are. The pendulum is responding to a pulse response, triggered by the mind. The response moves from the brain to the fingers that hold the string or chord which moves the pendulum. Used properly, pendulums can be a good self-help tool, but they are not, unfortunately, as reliable as NMR."

    "Why not?"

    "Again, the mind interferes. If part of your mind wants a particular answer it can manipulate the pulse that moves the pendulum."

    "Can´t the same thing happen with the NMR?" Clarissa asked.

    "Yes," Dr. Harmon answered truthfully, "but it takes more concentrated conscious effort to do so. For one thing, we are working with larger muscle fulcrums with NMR. The deltoid in your arm or the gluteus medius at the side of your hip are harder to manipulate mentally than your fingers. We also use the large muscles for testing so clients can see and feel the responses themselves. I could tell you what your response is simply by feeling the muscle response with my fingers, but it doesn´t do you any good to take my word for it."

    "I like seeing it happen. In fact, I wouldn´t believe it if I couldn´t. It´s a weird feeling though," Clarissa remarked, "to have your arm strong when you say one thing and weak when you say another!"

    "I agree with you. Even after all these years, it still amazes me."

    "Shall we use it to find out now if my grandfather molested me?" Clarissa asked.

    "Yes, we will also want to know whether any memories of molest are accurate or the result of mistaken perceptions."

    "What to you mean, inaccurate," Clarissa demanded, "You mean whether I made them up?"

    "No. The subconscious records memories subjectively; meaning according to what it thinks it sees or perceives. It can be mistaken in what it perceives. There is another level of the mind, however, that records what happens accurately. We can access both levels of the mind with NMR."

    "How can that be, Dr. Harmon?" Clarissa asked.

    "It´s a lot like electricity, Clarissa. No one knows, yet, what electricity is really all about; for instance, where does it come from and why does it work? No one knows, nevertheless, people have learned a great deal about how to use it Pamela and I use NMR a great deal. While we aren´t sure exactly why or how it works, we´ve learned to use it in a way that brings accurate results. The more our skills in using it evolve, the more accurate we see it become."

    "All right," Clarissa said, "on with the NMR."

    "Very good, Clarissa. Now we need to test your polarity."

    "My what?"

    "The flow of energy in your body. The Chinese have studied energy flows, called meridians, for centuries. Acupuncture and acupressure work with specific points along these meridians. It´s important to be in the correct polarity balance while working with any kind of muscle testing, such as the NMR."

    "Okay," Clarissa agreed. "How do we do that?"

    "Very easily. Place your open hand, palm down, on top of your head. Now ´hold´ just like before, only don´t think or say anything.." Clarissa did so, and her arm remained strong.

    "Now turn that same hand palm up on top of your head and resist my same pressure on your arm when I say ´hold´ again."

    The arm weakened and lowered.

    "Amazing," Clarissa commented. "Am I in balance?"

    "If you weren´t, there would have been an opposite response. The palm down would have weakened the muscle and the palm up would have made it stronger. In that case, I would have had you tap around your thymus gland to balance the polarity."

    "How would I do that?" Clarissa asked.

    "Place one, two, or three fingers about two and a half inches below the hollow in your clavicles. That is about where your thymus gland is. Now go back up about an inch and starting toward the right shoulder, tap a circle of about a three inch diameter around the thymus. You´ll be tapping counter-clock wise. Your body is the clock. Yes, that´s right," Dr. Harmon nodded as Clarissa tapped a circle around the area of the thymus. "That tapping helps the immune system, as well as establishes a greater differential between the weak and strong muscle response."

    "Why don´t you just start with it then?" Clarissa asked.

    "It´s important to know the polarity flow of a client. For one thing, it establishes whether other influences are affecting the energy balance."

    "What other influences?" Clarissa asked curiously.

    "We´ll talk about that another time. Right now, let´s continue with the NMR. With your permission, I´d like to work with your gluteus medius muscle. That´s the large muscle, on the side of the hip, that controls the leg. The legs are much stronger than the arm and don´t tire as easily. I touch just above the ankles, instead of the wrist, if that is okay with you."


    "Okay. Now, remember, this is not a muscle contest. Nor is it fool-proof. Since we have at least one fool here - me - we have to work with this very carefully to be sure we are using it correctly."

    Clarissa laughed. "I don´t believe for one moment you are a fool, Dr. Harmon."

    "Well, we´ll be careful anyway, you never know," Dr. Harmon answered, grinning. "Okay, just put your legs straight out on the foot rest in front of you, about 12 inches apart. Good. I´ll touch both legs, just above the ankles, like this. Now when I say ´hold´, resist my pulling your far leg to the leg nearest me." Clarissa did so. "Good, now just like before, let´s test the ´yes´ and the ´no´ response."

    Dr. Harmon had Clarissa say and think ´yes´. He then said ´hold´ and applied the same pressure. The leg did not move. They repeated the process for ´no´ and the leg moved across the foot rest of the chair easily.

    "Boy, it hardly felt like you put any pressure on that leg at all," Clarissa exclaimed, "but I can see that you did! I really tried to resist, but I just couldn´t hold my legs apart."

    "Then it´s working perfectly. One more thing, you know how I touched your shoulder with my other hand when we were working with your arm?" Clarissa nodded. "Well, I was anchoring your shoulder, but I was also being careful to put both of my hands on your body. It´s important to have an enclosed energy connection between us. When I´m touching both of your ankles, or just above your ankles to be more precise, we have that complete energy connection. Now, are you ready to begin our work?"

    "For twenty minutes already," Clarissa replied.

    "Why Clarissa, you aren´t trying to tell me I talk too much are you?" Dr. Harmon teased.

    "Not really. I´m glad you´re taking the time to explain it to me. Otherwise, I´d be pretty confused by now. I´d think you were using magic or something."

    "That has been my experience," Dr. Harmon agreed. "I believe people should know how their own minds and bodies work so they can take responsibility for them. Now, Clarissa, state your name and you´ll see how this works."

    "My name is Clarissa."

    Dr. Harmon pulled on Clarissa´s right leg. It came half-way to the left leg. "Hmmmm, sort of, or maybe," Dr. Harmon remarked.

    "What does that mean? That´s my name," Clarissa objected.

    "Well, let´s see. Did you keep your thoughts on your statement?" Clarissa nodded. "Good, because the muscle responds to the thought. If you think one thing, and say another, it will respond to the thought, not the statement. Do you have more than one name?"

    "No. Well, yes," Clarissa corrected herself. "I have a middle and a last name."

    "Try those." This time the leg response was strong; the legs did not move together at all. "See?" said Dr. Harmon. "Your subconscious mind believes your whole name to be your name. Clarissa is just part of your name."

    "Sort of my name in other words. I understand," Clarissa said, nodding. "So we are talking to the subconscious mind with this NMR, right?"

    "At this moment, yes, because we haven´t specified which level of mind it is to access, so it just accesses itself. It´s own programming, in other words."

    "But you can access other levels?" Clarissa pressed.

    "Yes. I´ll demonstrate. Tell me, do you think you are a worthy human being?"

    "Yes, I think so. I have my faults, but every one does."

    "Consciously you believe yourself to be worthy. Let´s check on that," Dr. Harmon suggested. Make the statement, ´My conscious mind accepts I am a worthy human being.´" Clarissa did so, and the response was positive.

     "Good, now state, ´My subconscious belief is that I am a worthy human being.´" Again the muscle response was positive.

    "Your subconscious agrees with that," Dr. Harmon noted, as Clarissa´s legs remained strong. Now say, ´I believe I am as worthy as any human being living or dead.´" Clarissa repeated the statement and this time the muscle response was weak. "No," observed Dr. Harmon, "your subconscious does not agree. Now say, ´My Higher Self knows I am as worthy as any human being, living or dead.´" This time the response was strong.

    "What happened, Clarissa?" Dr. Harmon asked.

    "I don´t know, you tell me." she challenged.

    "Well, I would observe that it seems your subconscious has been programmed to believe there are others - either in history or alive today - that are more worthy than you. Would you agree with that?"

    "Oh sure. Jesus, Ghandi, Madame Curie - lots of people."

    "But the Higher Self, the level of truth beyond the programming, says ´The subconscious belief is wrong. You ARE as worthy as Jesus, Ghandi, Madame Curie, the President, or anyone else. Maybe especially some Presidents." Clarissa and Dr. Harmon both laughed. "The point of soul work, such as what we are doing here, is to bring the subconscious beliefs into line with the Higher Self knowledge and truths. That allows us to be powerful. Of course, we often have to change the old subconscious programming before it will accept that truth."

    "So we can test whether I was sexually abused by my Grandfather with both my subconscious and my Higher Self, right?"

    "Yes, that´s right. Each will give us valuable information," Dr. Harmon replied. "But before we test this, Clarissa, I want you to be very certain you are ready for this information. Once the door to sexual abuse is opened, it becomes very difficult to close it again. Working with sexual abuse can be emotionally disruptive as you work to complete your healing. Will your husband be supportive of this? It can be difficult on a relationship unless both mates are very committed to the relationship and the healing process. Are there any other factors in your life that are already so taxing that your healing work would put you on overload? Are you willing to commit to working with it, should we find that sexual molest is present? These are very important questions to consider before we proceed."

    "If I was molested and I don´t heal that experience, will I ever be able to enjoy sex fully?" Clarissa asked.

    "I don´t know, Clarissa. It has been my considerable experience, and that of my colleagues, that sexual abuse and molest, however brief, does affect many things in life, including sexual enjoyment. We can ask your Higher Self, with the NMR, if the thought you were molested sexually by your grandfather has created blocks to your enjoying sex. The reason we ask the Higher Self is because it is not influenced by belief or subject to incorrect perceptions. Would you like to begin with that?"

    "Yes. How do I do that?"

    " First tell me, would you rather use the term sexual abuse or sexual molest?"

    "Is there a difference," Clarissa asked.

    "Not in my mind. The question is whether there is a difference in your mind."

    "Well, I guess I am more comfortable, now that you´ve mentioned it, with the term sexual molest."

    "Then we will use that. Now, we are ready for you to make a statement. The reason we have you make statements, rather than questions, is it seems to elicit more accurate responses. Perhaps a statement such as, ´The thought I was sexually molested blocks me from responding positively to sexual stimulation with my husband.´"

    "Okay," Clarissa said, then stated, "I was sexually molested by my Grandfather, and this thought blocks my ability to enjoy sex."

    "If you will notice, Clarissa," Dr. Harmon interjected gently, "that is a compound statement. One part may be true, and the other part not true. So the mind will be unclear to which it should respond, and we will get a wishy-washy response."

    "Oh," Clarissa replied, nodding. "Then how about this one: The thought I was sexually molested by my grandfather blocks my enjoyment of sex."

    "Hold," Dr. Harmon said. As he watched her eyes to be certain she was keeping her mind on her statement, he tested her muscle response. The legs and the eyes remained steady.

    "That answer is ´yes´, Clarissa. Now," Dr. Harmon continued, "have you had sufficient time to decide whether you are prepared to know if you were sexually molested, and are you ready to commit to the therapy necessary for healing it, if you were? If you are, I´m prepared to help you every step of the way. But the emotional work is yours to do. If you are not ready, then it is best to wait until you are. Shall we stop now, while you think this over?"

    "No." Clarissa´s voice was firm. "This is what I came in to do. Let´s do it."

    "Okay. Then let us proceed. Make a statement to the effect that your grandfather sexually molested you in this life."

    "In THIS life?" Clarissa protested.

    "It may be that the soul you know as your grandfather, today, was with you in a previous life. It may be that he sexually molested you in that life, not this one. Even if you don´t believe in past lives, your subconscious mind undoubtedly does. We´ve found that to be true with everyone we´ve tested. It is important to know whether this molest occurred, if it did occur, in this life or another. A lot of damage has been done by therapists who don´t know how to recognize whether an abuse memory is from a past life experience."

    "Would it bother me in this life if he abused me way back in another life time?" Clarissa protested.

    "Yes, it could. Especially since he is in your life today."

    "Okay, let´s ask." Dr. Harmon held both of Clarissa´s legs, just above the ankles, and she stated clearly, "My Higher Self knows my grandfather sexually molested me in this life time."

    The muscle response was weak, allowing Dr. Harmon to pull Clarissa´s legs together.

    "That was a ´no´, wasn´t it," Clarissa whispered.

    "It was a no," Dr. Harmon confirmed.

    "Whew, that´s it then." Clarissa was smiling with relief.

    "Except," Dr. Harmon cautioned her, "you have a thought in your subconscious mind that your grandfather sexually molested you. That belief, even though it is incorrect, affects you, Clarissa. It is necessary to change that belief."

    "But we know now it didn´t happen," Clarissa protested. "Doesn´t that clear it?"

    "Let´s see," Dr. Harmon suggested. "Make this statement: ´I no longer believe my grandfather sexually molested me.´"

    Clarissa did so, and the muscle response was weak, indicating a ´no´ response.

    "Now state this, Clarissa, ´My subconscious mind believes my grandfather sexually molested me in this life.´"

    The response was a ´yes´ response.

    "You see, Clarissa," Dr. Harmon explained, "your subconscious mind still believes you were sexually molested, despite the knowledge of the Higher Self. We will need to change that belief if you are to be free of your symptoms of sexual abuse. Let´s see how old you were when the thought you were sexually molested by your grandfather began, as well as the number of times your subconscious believes you to have been molested by him."

    NMR testing indicated one incident of sexual molest at three years old.

    "Only one?" Clarissa questioned. "Would that be enough to affect my sexual responses with my husband?"

    "Yes," Dr. Harmon responded. "Especially when it is exacerbated by subsequent negative sexual experiences. At three years old you had an experience with your grandfather that made you very uncomfortable with sexual energy. Your later experiences with sexual energy made you even more uncomfortable. When your husband and you have sexual relations that discomfort is triggered. Now negative expectations for future relations are added and failure to enjoy and respond happens once again. The pattern is reinforced each time."

    "Gosh, what about people who were abused or molested a lot!" Clarissa exclaimed.

    "They often have a lot of healing work to do," Dr. Harmon acknowledged. "Fortunately, hypnosis speeds that up considerably."

    "How long will mine take?" Clarissa asked anxiously.

    "I don´t know," Dr. Harmon answered. "It takes as long as it takes. It has been my experience that the subconscious beliefs can be readily changed when the level of the mind that programmed the belief - in this case your three year old mind - changes its mind because of new evidence and understanding. What we need to do is find out what really happened. Since you´ve booked a second hour, we can do that now if you´d like."

    "More NMR testing?" Clarissa asked.

    "No, right now we need to work with the three year old who believes she was molested. We will need to speak with her."

    "Really?" Clarissa sounded dubious.

    "Really," Dr. Harmon replied firmly. "Just because you grew up doesn´t mean the three year old that you were doesn´t exist. Her thoughts, feelings, and beliefs remain with you, as a kind of inward spirit presence. We will need to go to the inner levels of the mind to find her."

    "How do we do that?"

    "By guiding you inward, through hypnosis, your subconscious mind will bring her forward. That way, I can speak to the three year old you without the adult you interfering." Dr. Harmon had been watching Clarissa carefully as he´d explained this to her. Now he observed, "You aren´t comfortable with hypnosis, are you, Clarissa?"

    "Well, my minister thinks it´s mind control and dangerous."

    "I see, what do you think?"

    "I asked my minister if he´d ever read anything about it and he hadn´t. So I did. Everything I´ve read says all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. I´ve also read that the subject is in control, really, and can come out of the trance whenever he or she wants to."

    "That´s absolutely true," Dr. Harmon agreed. "But you´re still uncomfortable, why?"

    "I went to a hypnosis show once," Clarissa admitted. "It´s hard to believe those people weren´t under the hypnotist´s control - they did such silly and stupid things. I don´t think some of them would have done what they did if they hadn´t been hypnotized."

    "Possibly not," Dr. Harmon agreed. "Tell me, Clarissa, did the hypnotist ask for volunteers?"

    "Yes, and she did a bunch of tests of some kind. To see who would be best, I guess."

    "Those were suggestibility tests," said Dr. Harmon. "She used them to determine who would respond most readily to both her and the hypnosis. Half the skill of the stage hypnotist is picking the best subjects. Did you notice the hypnotist not using anyone who did well on the testing?"

    "Yes, come to think of it. A boy who seemed quite shy. I wondered why he went up in the first place. But he looked like he was hypnotized immediately, so I was surprised when she had him go back into the audience."

    Dr. Harmon laughed. "The hypnotist probably hated to do it, because the boy was obviously a good subject. But for a stage show, subjects willing to go along with the show are important. She probably decided the boy´s shyness was just too strong, or that he would be too upset afterwards. A stage show is more fun when the hypnotist chooses people who have fun letting themselves go."

    "You mean people who might do silly things when tipsy or drunk?" Clarissa asked.

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