Repeating mantras, words and phrases such as “quit smoking”, “stop smoking”, “smoking cessation” and “must have to should quit smoking”, create dangerous programs in the simple mind computer. The brain doesn’t work too well with using complex sentences as mantras. When we look at meditation we see the use of simple mantras and not complex academic sentence structures. There is valid reasoning behind this, because we are not trying to convince the conscious mind of what we already know, we are trying to reach the subconscious mind and impregnate it with new ideas. The main method is repetition, we repeat a mantra enough many times for it to stick in the subconscious mind and become automatic. This applies for mantras, thought patterns and actions. When we are learning to drive a car, we repeat the actions until they become subconscious habits, we just repeat the actions. There is no need to recite the process of internal combustion for the engine to run, we just turn the key. The main purpose of the subconscious mind is action, breathing, walking and even sleeping. The subconscious mind is concerned with automation of as many processes as possible so that the conscious mind can focus on growth and learning.
The brain works best with simple mantras. The simpler the mantra the easier it is for the subconscious mind to absorb it. If the mantra is too complex the mind will simplify the mantra by cutting out “filler” words. For example, in the phrase “I want to quit smoking”, the words “I want to” are simply filler to the mind and are too complex to program the subconscious mind with, so the brain will remove the filler words and we get “quit smoking”. We now have two verbs. This confuses the brain so it splits the mantra into two separate mantras “quit” and “smoke” and now we have two perfect mantras that can be successfully programmed into the simple mind computing machine. We find ourselves “quitting” a lot and “smoking” a lot. To the subconscious mind the order of the words gets lost and the loop looks something like “quit smoking quit smoking quit smoking”. Where did it start and where does it end? The mind doesn’t comprehend “quit smoking quit” and focuses on quitting and on smoking. The mind finds that it is doing a great job smoking, it even tries to outperform its self and smokes more. The mind also finds that quitting has become a new habit, quit on careers, quit on relationships, quit, quit and quit. We have successfully programmed ourselves to fail at what we wanted to achieve and we fall back into the deep, damp, dark well of guilt and “should” and “must” and we light up another cigarette and we inhale failure and exhale despair.
Another good example of the power of mantras is “I don’t want to be alone,” which is based on the fear of loneliness. Fear spinning out of our control creating deep currents in our subconscious generates the mantra and we repeat it beyond counting on a daily basis. We fear being alone so much and we want to escape it so bad that we start to fear the fear of being alone. The feeling translates into word symbols. “I don’t want to be alone” and “I’m afraid to be alone”. When we repeat the mantra enough many times the keywords will crystallize and separate from the filler. “Do and don’t, do not” make no difference to the brain, they are the same as far as the brain is concerned. In fact “Do and do not” cause confusion to the brain because one of them says “Do” or “go” while the other says “do not” or “go not.” The brain simplifies the sequence into “go stop go stop go stop.” Where did it start and where does it end? In the words of The Clash “Should I stay or should I go?” The “do, do not, want, to and be” are just filler words, the keyword here is “alone”. The brain will be programmed with the word “alone” and will be subconsciously programmed to seek out situations where it can be alone. The other keyword is “afraid” and so the brain seeks out situations where it can be alone and afraid. We are now at the very center the fear amplification theater, the amphitheater of fear. We are subconsciously seeking out what scares us the most and the amplified fear paralyzes us in that terrible situation. We become victims of our fear.
A much more efficient mantra on the same theme is “I want to have great fulfilling relationships”. When we repeat the mantra enough many times the words “I want to have” fall away because they are fillers, the words “great fulfilling” are subjective value judgments. The subconscious mind is not too good at judging value. The keyword “relationship” will crystallize after some meditation. The subconscious mind will now actively seek out relationships, any relationships. It is up to the conscious mind to filter out the fulfilling relationships from the unfulfilling ones. It is up to the conscious mind to judge the value of each individual relationship. The subconscious mind is no longer focused on escaping loneliness, it is focused on seeking out relationships. The conscious mind is no longer focused on avoiding pain, it is focused on seeking love. We have now taken control and our whole being is working towards our goal of great fulfilling relationships.
We now possess the language tools to create effective mantras that will push us in the direction we want to move instead of drag us away from the direction we don’t want. “I want to be free”, “I want to be healthy” and “I will succeed” are just examples of the endless opportunities. Repeating the words “freedom, health and success” are so much more empowering than repeating the words “quit, stop or smoke”. An excellent mantra for daily use, taught by yoga gurus is, “Every day, every way, I am getting better and better and better.”
We can now with the power of language shape our inner world and we are now able to change our outer world. We can take charge of our imagination and start to shape the world we want to live in. Our inner dialogue will start to shape our communication with others, and new levels of intimacy will be available to us in our relationships. When we remove vague terms from our internal communication, we become clearer in our external communication and we can reach others on a deeper level and get what we need and want. We want to be free and we want to be happy in fulfilling relationships. We now have the language tools to describe the kind of relationship we want to have with cigarettes. Is there any potential for fulfillment, in the past, now or in the future in that relationship?