| by Rahel Steingart

"I wonder what you'll say to this," said an old friend, a bright and well-balanced woman, a teacher and mother of three. "I'm learning a method of coping with life, and of achieving nearly everything I want.

I hear a lot of things that have no rational explanation, and I find that hard to swallow. But the point is,  it works.
"You know I haven't the time or the money to waste" I said, when she urged me to try the Silva Mind Control Method myself.

"You are an exhausting person to be with. You simply ooze tension," my friend told me. More easygoing that I am, she was still under enough strain to make her go through a pack of cigarettes a day. Eventually she finished the course. " You know what?" she said, " I've been off cigarettes for a fort night!"

I asked how she'd managed it, and she explained two basic concepts of the method. In self-programming, the brain is treated as a computer which you can feed with whatever input you wish, such as a command to stop smoking. The second concept is energy. Everyone possesses a mine of unexploited mental energy, and the course teaches you to use it, both for your own benefit and others.

The very first technique learnt at the course, though, is physical relaxation, which in itself has a tremendous effect on the way you feel, your mood and your health. People tend to think that what happens in their lives is determined by outward circumstances, which they themselves are helpless against, the instructor told me. "That is a great mistake, because the opposite is true. Outside events largely depend on what you  think, plan, and imagine. The course provide you whit tools for changing your faulty way of thinking and your entire attitude to life."

The course consist of a series of techniques. There are techniques for eliminating headache, improving study results, curing insomnia,
tobacco addiction and overeating. Like other skills, they require learning and drill. So what does the serious student derive from the course?

A Jerusalem graduate:" My whole life has changed. I always used to take everything to heart. I'd feel the whole world was against me.
I thought my bosses at the office didn't appreciate my work, so I gave up working enteraly after my first child was born. A few months after finishing the course, I went and got a job again, this time as a saleswoman in a clothes store. Now I feel people thing the world of me. I've also taken up my university studies again after 10 year gap. Has she had any success with influencing others?

Her two-year old son, she said, had been burnt by searing tea. She had placed her hand over the burn, and the child had stopped crying. Then she had entered the relaxation state, keeping her hand over the burn for another two minutes. When she removed it, there was no trace of injury, not even a red mark. She wasn't surprised, buy I was, even thought I had managed slightly to relieve my daughter's stomach ache when she had intestinal flu. Or was it just coincidence?

That's precisely what the sceptic think, at least after their first few successes, the course instructor told us. Even after finding a parking place at Jerusalem's crowded Mahane Yehuda market five times in a row, I'm still not sure it wasn't accidental. Perhaps believing in the method makes you more relaxed, and therefore more likely to spot a parking place.

But even I couldn't explain Peter's story as a coincidence. A soldier in the air force, attended the course in Jerusalem. Two weeks after he graduated, his five-year-old brother came down whit a bad attack of stomach-ache and diarrhea. The child was crying with pain, so Peter decides to try the placing–of-hands remedy. He passed his hand several times over the little boy's stomach, and both the pain and the diarrhea passed. "My whole family, he says, were absolutely stunned."

Peter himself had been a tense person before the course and now is much more relaxed. Other graduates tell similar stories.


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