Toward the end of the 1950s there was a public panic when it was revealed that advertisers were trying to influence buyer behavior on a subconscious level by planting hidden messages in advertisements and in movies. These messages were called “subliminal suggestions” (from the Latin sub-limen, meaning “below consciousness”).
The idea of using subliminal messages through movies and television is hardly new. In particular, televisions have “programs” that come on “networks” which have different “channel.” All the terminology “tel-lie-vision” is doing to your mind is right in front of you.
Third century Indian Yoga master Patanjali taught that thoughts (caused by seeing a symbol, hearing a word, etc.) or any physical act (such as gestures made by another) leave behind impressions (samkara) that subtly (subliminally) influence a person’s future thought and actions.
Subliminal suggestion works in two ways: first by creating an association of one thing with another in a viewer or listener’s mind and, second, by taking advantage of preconceived connections the person has.
To accomplish this, mind-slayers employ a host of words-ploys, evocative symbols, and gestures targeting these subliminal connections.
Madison Avenue (in the borough of Manhattan in New York City) fully understands the value of subliminal suggestion. That’s why the Pillsbury Doughboy is modeled after a fetus (backing and giving birth being closely related in women’s mind) and why Joe Camel’s nose is modeled after male genitalia (associating smoking with “manly” virility).
Subliminal suggestion works best when attacking the viewer or listener while asleep rather than on a higher reasoning level. The parts of the brain responsible for hearing and processing information share no psyche self-defense against environmental influences during your sleep cycle. Subliminal suggestion during your sleep cycle is called sub-ception.
The carriers of these subliminal messages unconsciously employ any number of words, symbols, or gestures purposely designed to penetrate into a person’s mind castle without his normal conscious “gatekeeper” recognizing them as dangerous and thus suggestions are directed to deeper parts of the mind; some observers have argued that the unconscious mind is incapable of critical refusal of turning those suggestions away.
So, do you think the mental images, words, or concepts that influence your thoughts and behaviors are your own or “suggestions” influence of subliminally perceived messages processed earlier at a relaxed sensory level (visual or auditory) without an accompanying conscious sensory experience?
Source: In part from “The Power of Suggestion: Subliminal Suggestion,” from The Black Science, by Haha Lung
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