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The Enchanted Elephant

Have you heard of the story of the elephant and the rope? It is on the Internet. It will give you some idea of how your subconscious mind works and how distorted perceptions can enslave you.

"A man passing by a group of elephants observes that these huge creatures were being held by a tiny rope tied to their front leg. There were no chains or cages, and one could see they could easily break away from their bonds at any time. But for some reason, they did not.

Seeing the trainer nearby, he asked him why these animals just stood there and made no attempts to get away. "Well," said the trainer, "when they are very young and much smaller, we use the same size rope to tie them. At that age, it's enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free."

This story shows how we are all conditioned beings. Our perceptions and the cultural environment we grow up in, conditions our thinking. It is, therefore, most essential to learn about our subconscious mind and how we can break free of this conditioning.

Most people have no idea how their subconscious mind works. They eat, they drink, and they sleep without even knowing what their subconscious mind is doing. They work, they play, they argue and fight without even knowing that they have a subconscious mind. When they have any unpleasant experience, they try to forget it. They hope and wish things might be different and use it as a garbage dump. But our subconscious mind never forgets anything. It will behave the way you train it.

Yes, you may temporarily forget a problem and put it aside. But years later it can come back and disturb you. Why? It is because you have not resolved the issue.

Do you know that your breathing, your heartbeat, your digestion, your sexual orientation and other vital functions are all under subconscious control? Even your immune system which protects and heals you are also under subconscious control. So shouldn't you learn more about your mind and the part you don't understand?

Is it possible for you to manipulate your subconscious mind? Of course, it is. You are manipulating it all the time yet are not even aware of it. The world outside you is also manipulating you, and you think you cannot be hyponotised.

If you observe, you will find that most of what we do, our activities are all directed towards appeasing our subconscious mind, that is manipulating our subconscious mind.

So when we pray to God or some Higher Power, for instance, what are we doing? We are saying words and sentences (verbalising) in our mind to some higher authority that help us soothe our subconscious mind. Words, not their meaning, have a powerful hypnotic effect on us. They give form to our feelings. If we did not verbalise, you would find there is no substance to our emotions. Hence when we pray, we are directing our attention to the most potent energy source within us, which is keeping us alive. And that is our subconscious mind.

When we attend a funeral, we always say beautiful things about the person who is gone, although we know the contrary background of that person. Why? It is because when we say all the good things about the other person although they may not be accurate, it helps us to feel better. We do it for ourselves, not the other person to appease our subconscious mind.

Also, we may perform rituals and ceremonies so that the departed soul may rest in peace. But in fact, they are performed for our benefit. It is how we console ourselves for the loss we have incurred. Yes, we are all very selfish individuals. Whatever we do, we do things to make ourselves feel better. We are always trying to do something to appease our subconscious mind.

Again when we are listening to music or dancing to a tune, what are we doing? We are stimulating our subconscious mind in a way that makes us feel happy. We use music in so many ways to entertain ourselves.

Going to a restaurant eating delightful food in a friendly company is another way of enjoying ourselves. Taking part in a game, playing a sport, watching TV, listening to the radio or going to the cinema etc. are all activities designed to make ourselves happy.

Even when people take drugs, drink alcohol, etc., what are they doing? Some people might like to drown their sorrow or get kicks with drinks and drugs. But again, it is the subconscious mind they are trying to please.

As one can see, our subconscious mind is the most powerful energy source we have that keeps us going 24 hours a day. Yet most of us are not even aware of it. We take it for granted, like the elephant in the room.

No matter who you are or what you are, your perceptions and thinking are influencing your subconscious mind all the time. If you ignore this fact, you will be in the same boat as that elephant thinking that the rope you are tied to is preventing you from doing your own thing.

Freedom is a state of mind, and so is enslavement. They both affect our behaviour and physical condition. The secret to breaking free from this conditioning lies in your perceptions. It is your perception you must change. Your perceptions make you think the way you do. Without changing them, you are the same person. And if you do not change, your thinking is the same, and your destiny will be the same as that of the roped elephant.

This article applies not only to all individuals but also applies to groups. The medical profession is a perfect example of an elephant that needs waking up to its responsibilities. You have to congratulate the government for doing such an excellent job with them. They have trained these doctors from being independent thinkers to being bureaucratic thinkers. At the same time, they have also made them believe in the system of self-regulation. Once that achieved, one can see how this dumb animal's perception and thinking is now making it regulate itself- fait accompli for the government.

After reading this article if you agree and see the truth in what I have written, and realise that you are at present in the same position as this roped elephant, what must you do? Do you continue in the same way or try to break free from your tied place? What would you think of yourself if you remained in your present position? Please think. Your liberation lies in your perception.

Please read the second edition of my book "The Enchanted Time Traveller - A Book of Self-knowledge and the Subconscious Mind". This time it has a preface and additional chapters to help you discover your true potential. It is a must-read self-help book for all health professionals and all interested in solving their problems, not living with them. Visit Website:

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Medical practitioner| Author of "The Enchanted Time Traveller - A Book of Self-Knowledge and the Subconscious Mind"

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I would like to offer you my experience of “sheltering in place” for three months thirty-three years ago, and what I learned.

When asked as a child what I most wanted to be when I grew up, my only answer was, “I want to be a mother.” Often this answer was met with a comment like, “Oh, you must want to be something other than just a mother!” But for me, there was no more exciting adventure than wanting to be a mother.

I was blessed in 1976 with the birth of a little girl, and then again in 1981 with another little girl. I loved being a mother so much, and found so much joy in just being with our girls, Rami and Mira. But I yearned for more children, and always thought that four would be a perfect number for me. Barry was very happy and content with our two girls, but my desire was so strong that he lovingly consented to another baby.

In 1987, I became pregnant again and I was thrilled!!! I meditated with the baby, sang to her, lovingly stroked my hands over my belly, and told my baby stories. I was totally in love with this unborn baby, and Barry and our girls were as well. I was so sure that the baby was a girl, that I named her Anjel, because she was my angel. Anjel was an important part of our family. Then two days after Christmas when I was six months pregnant, we discovered that our precious Anjel no longer had a heartbeat.

Devastated, I needed an operation to have her body removed and got to hold her lifeless form for a short time. My milk came in, just as if I had given birth to a live baby. My body was still trying to finish what it had started six months before.

I went into a very deep grief. Barry agreed to take on my part our business work, so my only job was to watch and care for our two little girls. It was a joy to be with our girls, and they were at an age where they loved playing alone and together making up stories. That left me lots of time all to myself to deal with the grief that I felt. I tried going out with our daughters a few times, but it seemed I always saw another woman who was pregnant, and that would send me running to our car in tears. Barry and I decided that I would stay completely at home and only see him and our girls while I was healing from the grief.

And in this period of sheltering at home, this is the most important lesson I learned. The practice of gratitude is powerful and can bring us through even the hardest times. There are some things that are easy to be grateful for, and it is powerful to concentrate on those. But there are also things that seem too hard to feel grateful for. It is during these times when gratitude is so difficult to feel, that we can be grateful that someday we will understand.

There were days when my grief over the loss of our baby was so extreme that I could hardly function. During these times, I would give thanks that one day I would understand why our baby was taken from us. I would thank God that one day I would receive a gift from this experience and that this gift would bring me great joy. It was the act of giving thanks in the future, even though I did not feel it in the present, that brought me through one of the most difficult periods of my life. And the gift that eventually came was a beautiful little baby boy that rested in my arms two and a half years later.

We have a very dear friend, Sister Sally, who lives in South Africa. She runs The Holy Family Care Centre for 76 orphans, many of whom have HIV or AIDS, making them very vulnerable to the current coronavirus pandemic. Like us, they are also required to “shelter in place.” The children, some of whom are babies, are all home from school for the rest of the year. They are a five-hour drive to the nearest hospital in Limpopo. She has ten volunteers and some of them cannot speak English. Of these volunteers, one has limited nursing training, so she is in charge of any sick children. Sister Sally is in charge of keeping all of these vulnerable children, as well as her ten volunteers, safe and healthy. This would be an overwhelming task for anyone.

I just spoke to Sally, and her energy and spirit was high. On the phone, she expressed all of the things that she is grateful for, like the fact that she has ten volunteers who are willing to stay given the obvious risks. She is practicing thanking God ahead of time for protection. This act of gratitude is keeping her going and keeping her spirits up.

Perhaps it is difficult to be sheltering at home for an unknown amount of time. Perhaps you have fears that you will get the virus or that someone you love will die from it, or you will lose your job and have financial hardship. Perhaps it is difficult to feel your purpose and energy while you sit at home day after day. Perhaps you are afraid that life will never return to normal, and you can hug people without fear, go to dances, sporting events, religious services, or just have a large family dinner together.

The practice of giving thanks ahead of time, with the hope that one day a gift will come to you from all of this, can bring you through even the hardest day. As you do this day by day, your gratitude will become stronger than any fear you can have.

Here are a few opportunities to bring more love and growth into your life, at the following longer events led by Barry and Joyce Vissell:

Jul 19-24, 2020 — Shared Heart Summer Retreat at Breitenbush Hot Springs, OR (for singles, couples and families)

Oct 7-13, 2020 — Assisi Retreat, Assisi, Italy

Joyce & Barry Vissell, a nurse/therapist and psychiatrist couple since 1964, are counselors near Santa Cruz, CA, who are passionate about conscious relationship and personal-spiritual growth. They are the authors of 9 books. Call 831-684-2299 for further information on counseling sessions by phone/Skype or in person, their books, recordings or their schedule of talks and workshops. Visit their web site at for their free monthly e-heartletter, their updated schedule, and inspiring past articles on many topics about relationship and living from the heart.

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