Category Archives: WISDOM
Find it tricky to make anything go your way? Not particularly adept at getting literally anything you want out of life?
Your problem, friend, is that you’re going about everything entirely the wrong way. What you need is some insider knowledge from the masters of persuasion. So to help you get on the right track I got some tips from a bunch of professionals who are well-versed in making people do what they want them to do: a hypnotherapist, a hostage negotiator, an activist and a barrister.
Darren Marks is the founder of Harmony Hypnotherapy, a hypnotherapy clinic in London. He is an expert in hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming, and is also a certified hypnosis and hypnotherapy instructor for The International Association of Counsellors and Therapists.
I think the key thing is that persuasion is always about making someone look at things from the outside as well as the inside. When you have that eagles-eye perspective you can learn new things and gain different lessons from experiences in a way which you can’t do when you’re looking at a situation through your own eyes; you’re too in it, it’s too emotional, too difficult.
When people come and see me, it’s not so much about trying to get them on my side and more about trying to get them on their own side. Almost always, the people who are seeing me are having an inner conflict. With stopping smoking, there’s going to be the part of a person that wants to stop, and another part of that person that doesn’t want to stop – otherwise they wouldn’t make an appointment with someone like myself. A really important part of that process would be what I’d call an inner-negotiation. I’ll get the person to visualise, to imagine the part of them that wants to stop and the other part of them that doesn’t want them to stop and they have a conversation and they work out the way forward.
Rapport is also an integral part of persuasion, so when people come and see me the first time, most of that first appointment is me getting to know them and them getting to know what it is that I do and how it works, because they have to feel really comfortable in order for the process to work with them. So it’s just kind of becoming friends with people and making a good connection. That’s always the first step. Once you do that, people are generally not resistant.
The hypnotic experience itself is a natural state. If you’ve ever daydreamed or been immersed in a film or a book, or gone for a walk or a drive, and kind of forgotten how you got there because you’ve drifted off into this relaxed daydream-type state, that, in effect, is what hypnosis is like. In many respects, it’s very similar to meditation, but it’s what you do when you’re in that relaxed state that’s really important. That inner-negotiation process, when you’re in a relaxed and focused state, becomes a much simpler thing to do than if, say, you’re getting really annoyed with yourself. It’s being in that right state of mind which enables you to change your perspective. Persuasion is about changing perspective. When you change your perspective on something and it feels completely different, then you can change your behaviour and your opinions.
David Ryan was a hostage negotiator and a hostage negotiator coordinator for New Scotland Yard and was also trained by the FBI. Nowadays he teaches the board of directors at big corporations how to protect themselves from criminal duress and crises.
The first thing is to identify who it is you’re dealing with. There are many personality types, but the main two are people who are emotionally-involved and people who are instrumentally-involved. An instrumental criminal is calm, cool and collected, and knows exactly what his options are and is trying to level those options for his benefit. It wouldn’t be of any value using emotional language on this person. An emotionally-involved person is somebody who’s at the end of their tether and is about to crack, so you’d treat them in a different way. They’re highly-agitated, they’re in a situation that’s not normal for them and they’re not listening to logic. So applying logic from a conversation is not going to work until you show that you can calm them down and that you can show in the words and the tone that you’re using that you understand how they’ve got themselves to where they are. Once you’ve got to that point then you can start building influence, leading to persuasion. It’s a much slower process with a criminal who’s instrumental.
Also, if you’re trying to persuade someone, it’s important to understand what their situation is. It’s about perspective and reality. For example, it’s easy to persuade a criminal who thinks he’s got all the cards in his hand that actually, from the other point of view, he hasn’t got all of the control that he thinks he has.
But, as with all persuasion in life, it’s best if you can use someone else rather than yourself to persuade them, because you’re the authoritative figure. If I was in business, I’d be using my customers as ambassadors to persuade people to use the company. In a hostage negotiation or domestic intervention I would ideally be using the perpetrator to convince themselves that they need to persuade themselves to change. Because if you as a person of authority seeks to persuade directly, you may fail. It’s about getting the person concerned to persuade themselves – we call it adventure five. So you would have maybe five issues that you need to tackle and you will have five reasons for each of those five issues why you could give them a view that would say, “This might be better for you than this option.” You might only use one because the first reason you use could be the one that identifies with the person you’re talking to, but you have to have more than one or two reasons to fall back on.
WILL MCCALLUM is Head of Oceans and a former political adviser at Greenpeace UK. He is a long-time environmental activist. His most recent campaign was to try to get companies that sell single-use plastic bottles to commit to drastically reducing their plastic footprint.
The main way you persuade someone is by getting their attention, but that can be quite hard, so getting them to speak with you can be the first stage of trying to persuade them. Sometimes we’ll do that by emailing them or phoning them up. Sometimes we’ll do it by leaving a two-and-a-half-ton concrete statue on their front door. But one way or another, getting their attention is the first step. The next is being really, really clear about what it is you’re talking to them about. Instead of having a long old list of stuff that kind of doesn’t really make sense or can get a bit confused, make sure you’re incredibly clear about what it is you want them to do.
The next step is presenting it in a way they understand. Lots of people we’re trying to persuade have never heard of the things we’re talking to them about. You need to present an issue in language that makes sense to the person you’re talking to, whether that’s through economic argument or talking about it in brand terms and advertising terms, in the same way that you would alter your message if you were talking to your grandma or to your friend.
It’s also important to not assume that the people you’re talking to know what you’re talking about. Knowing your audience and knowing what resonates with them is not a special skill – anyone can do it. This would be the same for a day-to-day situation, too, e.g. don’t assume that your colleagues are fully up on the thing that’s stressing you out, so if you snap at them they’re not going to take it all that well. Being clear in your communication is key.
Michael Wolkind is a criminal defence barrister who specialises in serious crime and criminal appeals.
If I have an opponent who’s aggressive, I love it, because it’s only a matter of time before you put a pin in them and they lose all their air. To be persuasive, it’s much better to be horribly reasonable and as charming as possible. But even if you’re really nice, you’ve always got to be in control.
In court, I want the jury to like me; I want them to believe that what I’m saying is sincere. Your words as well as your body language matters. The jury are watching everything you do. They want to believe in you – it’s important that they don’t think it’s you just projecting your own personality, that it’s genuine and related to the facts. If I have to be extremely harsh on one witness I will make sure that subtly they notice that on other occasions I am very nice. So they think the witness deserved it, because look at him now – he’s very nice.
It’s also important that the people you’re trying to persuade are interested in everything that’s being said, but that you adapt what you’re saying to persuade different audiences. You know whether they’re sympathetic by their own body language and gestures. You can’t help but see the jury glancing over to a defendant when you say certain things. I did a series of pornography cases for clients who had cinemas and bookshops all over the country about 30 years ago in which I would address London juries with the actual films because they thought they were sophisticated – they were fine and cool with the material. Whereas, outside of London, I’d have to address juries in a different way.
Another tactic of persuasion is to preempt the bad parts of your speech. So in court, I’d preempt the bad parts of a client’s character. In some cases I will make an opening speech where I will talk about their terrible offences, and by the time the jury actually hear what they are, they’re disappointed that it’s not several cases of mass murder. Make the concessions early; get the concessions over with and in on your terms – nice and smoothly. Still, the most important method of persuasion is the evidence itself.
By Amy Walker / Vice
There is a saying that ignorance is bliss. This might be true for some, but it is as far as I am concerned the root cause of most of our suffering, pain and anxiety. Accepting life, people, religion, politics, perceptions, choices, rules and laws at face value imprisoned the mind of mankind. Looking at anything in life from a single perspective is the lazy way out. Seeing and experiencing from a limited range of perspectives have shackled man almost since its inception. Primitive man could not read, write or decipher the range of threats that confronted them and were forced to turn to priests and other individuals for guidance. This disposition provided a wonderful opportunity for those that claimed that they understood to take over control of their followers minds. The initial flimsy net that these opportunists wove gradually grew stronger and more sophisticated.
You will later see how this initial ignorance created an ideal vehicle of enslavement for those in control. Mankind have been kept in a state of ignorance since the beginning of time by greedy power hungry individuals, groups and organizations. Primitive methods of pain, pleasure and hope were used to restrain the masses. Man experienced fleeting moments of pleasure while they blindly obeyed the “commands” of these controllers. Thousands of written laws, spiritual and otherwise came into being over the years. Those that remained subdued and subservient were praised and rewarded while anyone that questioned anything faced the intricate range of pain that these controllers could bring to bear on them. They were cruelly tortured in the dark ages when they questioned anything to do with religion or the state.
Mankind became the slaves of the controllers. They were carefully manipulated to let go of a fair percentage of their hard earned income. The state took their pound of flesh while the religious leaders demanded at least ten percent of all income earned as well. The system sucked in mankind to such an extent that only a handful of individuals over the years showed the courage to point out the deadly trap that we find ourselves in up to today. Do you grasp that the slaves of this system not only police the deadly system on behalf of the controllers, but breed the future slaves that will take over from them when they produce children? I can write a fairly substantial book on this subject matter, but believe that you can see what I am addressing in this document.
My plea is that everyone make it his or her business to get rid of the veil of ignorance that is responsible for most of their anxiety, pain and lack. You might have noticed that I post a very wide range of perceptions daily on an endless range of subjects. My motivation is that I want you to look at stuff from many different perspectives. Nothing is as it seems. I will continue to write on the endless range of methods used to keep us ignorant if I get a fairly acceptable responds on this post.
262. It is very important that you realize that you play a strong role in your own future. You decide who you are, what you want, what you can and cannot do and what you deserve. The choices that you make individually and collectively in conjunction with the other players in your life decide your future. It does not only decide your future pleasure, joy and happiness but it also plays a vital role in the moment-to-moment way you experience life.
This series will be continuedtomorrow
The Akashic Records or The Book of Life can be equated to the universe’s super computer system. It is this system that acts as the central storehouse of all information for every individual who has ever lived upon the earth.
More than just a reservoir of events, the Akashic Records contain every deed, word, feeling, thought, and intent that has ever occurred at any time in the history of the world.
Much more than simply a memory storehouse, however, these Akashic Records are interactive in that they have a tremendous influence upon our everyday lives, our relationships, Akashic body our feelings and belief systems, and the potential realities we draw toward us.
Upon time and space is written the thoughts, the deeds, the activities of an entity – as in relationships to its environs, its hereditary influence; as directed – or judgment drawn by or according to what the entity’s ideal is. Hence, as it has been oft called, the record is God’s book of remembrance; and each entity, each soul – as the activities of a single day of an entity in the material world – either makes same good or bad or indifferent, depending upon the entity’s application of self towards that which is the ideal manner for the use of time, opportunity and the expression of that for which each soul enters a material manifestation. The interpretation then as drawn here is with the desire and hope that, in opening this for the entity, the experience may be one of helpfulness and hopefulness.
It is no exaggeration to state that the computer has transformed (and is still in the process of transforming) the entire planet. Whether it’s technology, transportation, communication, education, or entertainment, the computer age has revolutionized the globe and the ways in which we understand and interact with one another. No segment of modern society has gone unaffected. The amount of information now stored in computer memory and crossing the Internet highway daily is literally unfathomable. And yet, this vast complex of computer systems and collective databases cannot begin to come close to the power, the memory, or the omniscient recording capacity of the Akashic Records.
The Akashic Records contain the entire history of every soul since the dawn of Creation. These records connect each one of us to one another. They contain the stimulus for every archetypal symbol or mythic story which has ever deeply touched patterns of human behavior and experience. They have been the inspiration for dreams and invention. They draw us toward or repel us from one another. They mold and shape levels of human consciousness. They are a portion of Divine Mind.
They are the unbiased judge and jury that attempt to guide, educate, and transform every individual to become the very best that she or he can be. They embody an ever-changing fluid array of possible futures that are called into potential as we humans interact and learn from the data that has already been accumulated.
Biblical References: Book of Life
Information about these Akashic Records – this Book of Life – can be found in folklore, in myth, and throughout the Old and New Testaments. It is traceable at least as far back as the Semitic peoples and includes the Arabs, the Assyrians, the Phoenicians, the Babylonians, and the Hebrews. Among each of these peoples was the belief that there was in existence some kind of celestial tablets which contained the history of humankind as well as all manner of spiritual information.
The first reference in Scripture to some unearthly volume is found in Exodus 32:32. After the Israelites had committed a most grievous sin by worshiping the golden calf, it was Moses who pleaded on their behalf, even offering to take full responsibility and have his own name stricken “out of thy book which thou hast written” in recompense for their deed.
Later, in the Old Testament, we learn that there is nothing about an individual that is not known in this same book. In Psalm 139, David makes reference to the fact God has written down everything about him and all the details of his life – even that which is imperfect and those deeds which have yet to be performed.
For many individuals this Book of Life is simply an imagery symbol of those destined for heaven and has its roots in the custom of recording genealogical records of names or perhaps early census taking. Traditional religion suggests that this book – either in literal or symbolic form – contains the names of all those who are worthy of salvation. The Book is to be opened in connection with divine judgment (Dan. 7:10, Rev. 20:12). In the New Testament, those redeemed by Christ are contained within the Book (Philippians 4), those not found in the Book of Life will not enter the kingdom of Heaven.
As an interesting corollary, in the ancient world, a person’s name was symbolic of his or her existence. According to Sir James George Frazer, author of The Golden Bough – one of the most extensive volumes on world mythology – there was such a bond between one’s name and one’s existence “that magic may be wrought on a man just as easily as through his name as through his hair, his nails, or any other material part of his person.” In ancient Egypt, to blot a name out of a record was equivalent to destroying the fact that the person had ever even existed.
H.P. Blavatsky and Rudolf Steiner on the Akashic Records
Closer to our current era, a great deal of contemporary information on the Akashic Records has been made available by both reputable psychics and modern-day mystics – individuals who have somehow perceived beyond the limits of three dimensions. According to H.P. [Helena Petrovna] Blavatsky (1831-1891), Russian immigrant, mystic, and founder of the Theosophical Society, the Akashic Records are much more than simply an account of static data which may be gleaned by a sensitive; instead, the records have an ongoing creative stimulus upon the present:
Akasha is one of the cosmic principles and is a plastic matter, creative in its physical nature, immutable in its higher principles. It is the quintessence of all possible forms of energy, material, psychic, or spiritual; and contains within itself the germs of universal creation, which sprout forth under the impulse of the Divine Spirit.
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), the Austrian-born philosopher, educator, and founder of the Anthroposophical Society possessed the ability to perceive information beyond the material world: a “spiritual world” which was just as real to him as the physical world was to others. Steiner claimed that the ability to perceive this other world could be developed, enabling an individual to see events and information every bit as concrete as the present:
…man can penetrate to the eternal origins of the things which vanish with time. A man broadens his power of cognition in this way if he is no longer limited to external evidence where knowledge of the past is concerned. Then he can see in events what is not perceptible to the senses, that part which time cannot destroy. He penetrates from transitory to non-transitory history. It is a fact that this history is written in other characters than is ordinary history. In gnosis and in theosophy it is called the “Akasha Chronicle”…To the uninitiated, who cannot yet convince himself of the reality of a separate spiritual world through his own experience, the initiate easily appears to be a visionary, if not something worse. The one who has acquired the ability to perceive in the spiritual world comes to know past events in their eternal character. They do not stand before him like the dead testimony of history, but appear in full life. In a certain sense, what has happened takes place before him.Edgar Cayce and the Akashic Records
In terms of contemporary insights, perhaps the most extensive source of information regarding the Akashic Records comes from the clairvoyant work of Edgar Cayce (1877-1945), Christian mystic and founder of A.R.E. For forty-three years of his adult life, Edgar Cayce possessed the uncanny ability to lie down on a couch, close his eyes, fold his hands over his stomach, and put himself into some kind of an altered state in which virtually any type of information was available. The accuracy of Cayce’s psychic work is evidenced by approximately one dozen biographies and literally hundreds of titles which explore various aspects of his information and the thousands of topics he discussed.
When asked about the source of his information, Cayce replied that there were essentially two. The first was the subconscious mind of the individual for whom he was giving the reading and the second was the Akashic Records.
Cayce’s Sojourn to Access the Records
Most often, when giving a reading which discussed a person’s soul history and his or her individual sojourn through space and time, Cayce would begin with a statement such as, “Yes, we have before us the records of the entity now known or called _________.” In discussing the process for accessing these records, Edgar Cayce described his experience as follows:
I see myself as a tiny dot out of my physical body, which lies inert before me. I find myself oppressed by darkness and there is a feeling of terrific loneliness. Suddenly, I am conscious of a white beam of light. As this tiny dot, I move upward following the light, knowing that I must follow it or be lost.
As I move along this path of light I gradually become conscious of various levels upon which there is movement. Upon the first levels there are vague, horrible shapes, grotesque forms such as one sees in nightmares. Passing on, there begin to appear on either side misshapen forms of human beings with some part of the body magnified. Again there is change and I become conscious of gray-hooded forms moving downward. Gradually, these become lighter in color. Then the direction changes and these forms move upward and the color of the robes grows rapidly lighter. Next, there begin to appear on either side vague outlines of houses, walls, trees, etc., but everything is motionless. As I pass on, there is more light and movement in what appear to be normal cities and towns.
With the growth of movement I become conscious of sounds, at first indistinct rumblings, then music, laughter, and singing of birds. There is more and more light, the colors become very beautiful, and there is the sound of wonderful music. The houses are left behind, ahead there is only a blending of sound and color. Quite suddenly I come upon a hall of records. It is a hall without walls, without ceiling, but I am conscious of seeing an old man who hands me a large book, a record of the individual for whom I seek information.
Yes, we have the body here, and the record as has been made and as may be made with the will as exercised, and the condition irrespective of the will’s influence or effect as has been created. We have conditions that might have been, that are, and that may be. Do not get the three mixed up or crossed purposes of either.
Once given the record, Cayce had the ability to select the information which would be most capable of assisting the individual at that time in his or her life. Frequently, a reading might suggest that only a selection of the available material was being provided, but that the individual was being given that which would be “most helpful and hopeful.” Additional insights were frequently provided in subsequent readings once an individual had attempted to work with and apply the information which had been given previously.
As a means of perhaps alluding to the fact that the Akashic Records were not simply a transcription of the past but included the present, the future, and certain probabilities as well, in reading 304-5, Cayce began the reading with a curious statement.
When discussing the Book of Life, he stated it that it was “The record of God, of thee, thy soul within and the knowledge of same.” (281-33)
On another occasion (2533-8) Cayce was asked to explain the difference between the Book of Life and the Akashic Records:
Q. [What is meant by] The Book of Life?
A. The record that the individual entity itself writes upon the skein of time and space, through patience – and is opened when self has attuned to the infinite, and may be read by those attuning to that consciousness…
Q. The Book of God’s Remembrances?
A. This is the Book of Life.
Q. The Akashic Records?
A. Those made by the individual, as just indicated.
The Edgar Cayce readings suggest that each of us writes the story of our lives through our thoughts, our deeds, and our interactions with the rest of creation. This information has an effect upon us in the here and now. In fact, the Akashic Records have such an impact upon our lives and the potentials and probabilities we draw toward us that any exploration of them cannot help but provide us with insights into the nature of ourselves and our relationship to the universe.
There is much more to our lives, our histories, and our individual influence upon our tomorrows than we have perhaps dared to imagine. By accessing information from the Akashic Records, the universe’s computer database, much might be revealed to us. The world as we have collectively perceived it is but a faint shadow of reality.
By Kevin J. Todeschi, Author of
Edgar Cayce on the Akashic Records