If you want to become smarter, faster, healthier, emotionally balanced, more intuitive and just all-round better at life, what do you do?
Why, you upgrade your brain, of course.
You might think of your brain as being a fixed thing that you’re stuck with. That’s not the case. It might be harder to upgrade your brain than to upgrade your computer…
But at least it’s cheaper.
Our hunter-gatherer ancestors had to solve complex problems in a chaotic world. From the jungles to the deserts, we lived in environments that both nurtured us and challenged us. These were different problems to what we face today, and none of our favourite tools were around.
The scientific method helps you peel back universal laws, but those don’t help a hunter-gatherer. They need to know how to catch their prey, avoid their predators and defeat their rivals. They couldn’t form big institutions or commission studies.
All they had to use were their minds. With necessity driving invention, they created techniques to use their minds in new ways.
I’m not saying that someone who hunts their food with handcrafted spears is smarter than an Oxford professor. If they swapped lifestyles for a week, both would struggle. Each solves different problems in different ways.
One can take their time, delve through libraries and spend hours in abstract thought. Using this, they can uncover new facts about the world.
The other has nothing but a campfire and their kin. Their problems change over time and space. No two hunts are ever the same.
Both situations demand genius. Both have rituals and techniques to sharpen the intellect. But when you don’t have standardised schooling and sprawling academia, you use different tools to hone your mind:
The wisdom of your community, and your mind itself.
This is why so many cultures have some form of shamanism. From Australia to America, from tiny islands to massive continents, the same solutions to the hunter-gatherer’s problems arise.
When your livelihood relies on understanding nature’s whims, it’s human to worship it. By respecting nature and paying close attention to its messages, you find new ways to feed your family.
When you compete with other predators over the same prey, you look to them for inspiration. You wear the skins of wolves and alter your consciousness to see the world as they do.
Your healers become your leaders, as only they can grapple with the complexity of the world. Your wisest, most intuitive fellow is your best doctor and politician.
The world is easier to understand if you assume it’s human. Storms are intelligent, animals are intelligent and death is intelligent. They are fickle and strange beings, but you can fathom them. Trying to understand the world as physical systems needs supercomputers. Figuring out our cousins and rivals comes much more naturally to us.
So it’s only human to imbue the world with what we understand.
And the best way to understand anything is to think about it. Then, when that fails, alter your consciousness and think about it again. Hence the chanting, dancing and psychedelics that form the core of so many shamanic religions.
Over time, the thousands of traditions evolve. One culture learns to alter their consciousness through meditation. Another finds solace in chemistry, pursuing bolder and bolder highs. Another turns to prayer.
Today, we see the world as a collection of physical systems. That idea has enriched civilisation more than almost any other has. It takes rigorous science to invent vaccines, airplanes, computers and space travel.
The old ideas lack the predictive power of science and so are discarded. Shamanic vision quests give way to apprenticeships, which give way to schools.
These are better fits for the modern world.
And then one culture infuses science into mysticism and discovers hypnosis. It blossoms over hundreds of years and we learn that appeasing the intellect isn’t enough. You can’t neglect it and hope to run a decent civilisation, but it’s not the path to greater intelligence.
The intellect is a powerful, relentless pursuer of the truth. Then, when it gets stuck, it needs to hand over control. It takes an altered state of consciousness – whether through a dream, a midnight walk, a drug trip or deep meditation – to create a new thought for the intellect to run with.
And nothing balances the intellect and the instinct better than hypnosis. It was born of the two and it thrives when they balance. Where ancient rituals and modern medicine overlap, hypnosis is there, beating a path for others to follow.
Study and feed your intellect. Then give it a break and let the rest of you flourish. Not because it’s relaxing, but because it’s how the parts of your brain work best. Like the muscles in your arms, they either strengthen together or not at all.
Do this and your brain upgrades. Experience hypnosis to strengthen something you’ve neglected for too long.
It doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. You’re on the verge of hypnotic experiences right now.
In fact, you’re minutes away from them.
But only if you want to be. For some people, it takes years to get to the stage where they’re ready for what’s next.
Everyone else is ready for what’s here: