Updated: Apr 29, 2021
The truth is, there is no such thing as magic. Sorry to bust your bubble. But have no fear - you'll still love a Las Vegas magic show. Why? Because of the way the subconscious filters information.
The subconscious mind is a powerful filter
Have you ever got to work and not remembered the drive? Have you had to rewind your favorite show because your mind wondered and you stopped hearing what was playing? Welcome to the subconscious mind and it's amazing filtration system.
The subconscious brings to consciousness the information which experience has programmed it to consider essential. This is the basis of the concept of “meta-programs”, which are mental programs which the subconscious mind uses to filter and translate the sensory information it is receiving to create the perception of awareness in the conscious mind.
Meta-program filters are based on the interaction of memories and the physical structure or “wiring” of the brain, in response to sensory stimulus from the five senses. The brain uses memory to understand the information coming in from our senses to give the events meaning.
As we grow those parts of the brain that are stimulated by the environment become active, whilst unused neurons and connections are lost on a “use it or lose it” basis. In this way events that are given meaning and structure at say three years old are used to guide responses until we are about eight, those at eight may guide responses to fifteen years old and so on. Thus even a small event as young child, which is reinforced and reused repeatedly to interpret environment can become embodied in a metaprogram that can influence the perception and behaviour even into a middle and old age.
Leveraging the subconscious mind through hypnosis
It’s good to realize that the part of the mind that makes judgements (the ‘critical factor’, or ‘critical faculty’) is regularly bypassed. When you’re watching a movie, you usually let yourself “pretend” that the movie is real. You know it’s not, but in order to enjoy the movie more, you allow yourself to think of the characters as real people and the situation as a real situation. That’s a critical factor bypass.
Children don’t have a fully developed critical factor. That’s why a critical factor bypass is not usually necessary in working with young children. So, it’s dangerous when a kid grows up in a situation where a parent (or other authority figure), is constantly telling a child that the world is a bad place or that the child is not worth anything. As an adult, it’s best to have your critical factor up and running when you’re exposed to advertising or propaganda.
The Critical Factor is a part of our Conscious Mind that examines, interprets, and filters incoming ideas. When similar ideas are presented to the Conscious Mind they are accepted easily but when ideas are too different from what is already held they are rejected. The Critical Factor is the gateway between the Conscious Mind and the Subconscious Mind, and hypnosis works to bypass this gateway to reprogram the subconscious.