Copy of article in Sunday Times, KZN, 1999.
DOZENS of Durbanites have been living in a dream world for the past month – and they reckon everyone else should, too.
Drawn from vastly different backgrounds, each member of the group claims to have day-dreamt their way through daily problems – and even long-held phobias – since attending a revolutionary seminar in December.
Called “Mindlink”, the course claims that the dream state is more real than “reality” when it comes to the way we see ourselves and the world around us. More significantly, it claims that these things can be changed simply by “bluffing” our dream machine – the subconscious mind – into believing perceptions we prefer. Weird? - - Certainly; but the results are staggering.
One local businesswoman – Linda Thompson, 30 – went into the course with a crippling phobia for cockroaches.
Now, she scoops them up calmly in a glass and carries them out of her Berea flat.
Michael Behrman, the director of a Durban computer software company, needed sleeping pills and prescription painkillers to control daily migraines last year, but says he hasn’t used one in the past fortnight.
“I’m normally a sceptic, but how do you argue with evidence like this?” said Behrman. “One of the women who did the course with me lost 13kgs inn two weeks, without doing anything unhealthy. It’s not magic – the subconscious is just a tool we’ve forgotten how to use.”
Another participant reported trouble remembering things. Now, he can not only recite the items on a lengthy order sheet, but can remember their numbers instantly when the items are read back at random.
Rod Briggs, director of the Mindlink Foundation, insists that all these results are completely grounded in science – specifically a branch called “psychoneuroimmunology” (PNI). British-born Martial Arts expert and academic, Briggs says the possible effects of alpha-wave techniques are limited only by the limits of the imagination.
Here’s how it works: The electrical current pattern used by the brain during the dream cycle of sleep – called the alpha wave – can be accessed while a person is fully conscious (in beta wave).
By visualising the colours of the spectrum from red to violet – high to low frequency – while sitting in a relaxed frame of mind, people can dip below the “limen” into the dream state.
However, since the dreamer remains fully conscious, he or she can consciously alter the alpha brain programs – home to things like habits and phobias – which are based there.
Seminar participants do this by creating a subliminal “office” – complete with calendar, workstation, clinic and big screen – from which almost every aspect of life is claimed to be controlled.
The screen, for instance, is used to literally “read” things which need to be remembered, as well as for visualizing positive reactions to feared things – which are then supposed to happen automatically in real situations.
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