Via Salon, Suzanne Clores reminisces:
In a Greek Orthodox Church annex in suburban New Jersey, I’m about to start my first morning of a four-week mind control summer camp. It is 1980. I am 9 years old. The classroom resembles an industrial park conference room.
The Silva Mind Control Method was founded in the 1950s, but taught in the 1960s around the same time as the Human Potential Movement. The HPM was an American subculture that yielded “The Inner Peace Movement,” thinkers like Alan Watts and Jean Houston, and the Esalen Institute.
The self-educated American parapsychologist Jose Silva trained his own children in deep relaxation, visualization and ESP techniques in effort to help them in school, and noticed remarkable improvement. Thirteen years later, the Silva Mind Control Method was founded.
The instructor, a woman named Mimi, scurried from desk to desk to introduce herself to the reluctant kids. I followed her strange directions without hesitation. Close my eyes, imagine the number “3” three times, and then watch it disappear. Then do the same with “2.” Then do the same with “1.”
“Next begin counting backwards from 10. Every time you say a number, see it in your mind. Then see two red lines crossing it out. When you see that red ‘x,’ say to yourself, ‘Cancel cancel.’”
We learned concentration exercises, some for memory, some for intuition, some for projecting our thoughts. These exercises required us to put three fingers together in what’s known as the Three Fingers Technique — the thumb, index and middle fingers press together to better facilitate or anchor our memory. We practiced transmitting messages to other people while in this concentrated state. We practiced listening to other people’s silent thoughts and feelings. We practiced directing our energy towards good outcomes and towards what we wanted. The elevated, dreamy sensations I carried around after class sometimes confused me. Why didn’t I feel this clear-headed all the time?
As it turns out, there were real chemical reactions and even medicine going on here. Meditation has since been linked to the Relaxation Response — a state that soothes neural structures involved in attention and control of the autonomic nervous system. Distance Healing (which includes seeing auras around loved ones) is a complimentary therapy often used in cardiac and terminally ill patients.
As for sending our thoughts out telepathically, doctors on the cutting edge of alternative medicine frequently talk about non-local consciousness (mental activity outside the confines of the brain) as the gap to bridge in healing. I didn’t know it, but many of the Silva exercises of 1980 would become the basis for complimentary medicine 30 years later.
Read the rest at Salon