History of The Silva Method - page 1
Here's how the Silva Method came into being and grew
Learning to use the right brain to solve problems is
what we call the second phase of human evolution.
— Jose Silva
— Jose Silva
This interview was conducted with Jose Silva, founder of the world's Number One mind development program, in 1977 by Alice McKnight and appeared in the July 1977 issue of Counseling and Values magazine. It is reprinted with their permission. Figures and statistics in this interview were correct in early 1977, slightly more than one decade after the Method was first made available to the public.McKnight: Mr. Silva, will you please give us a few comments about the beginnings of the Silva Method of Mind Control?
Silva: The Silva Method was designed to be the American Dynamic Meditation System. As such, it is still in process, as all dynamic things are.
We began the Silva Method in 1944, but it wasn't until the 1960s that we began teaching the course to groups structured as it is today.
Our original research had as its purpose increasing the IQ of individuals, in particular, children, but when we discovered during our experiments that we were achieving deep levels of the mind and our subjects were able to anticipate our questions — that is, they gave us answers before we presented the questions — we knew that we were on the threshold of a whole new dimension of mind and man's control of his own mind.
When we had verified to our own satisfaction that the subjects in our research design were, indeed, using the psi factor — or psychic functioning — in answering unvoiced questions, giving us information about persons they had not personally met, and were doing this at a level of mind that can best be called subjective, we wrote a letter to a leading university then doing research in parapsychology. We described our work and results, requesting that a representative of the department come to observe our research. This was in 1953. The reply was terse and to the point: We had apparently stumbled onto "natural" psychics because the psi phenomenon is not teachable, just observable.
A little dismayed, but undaunted, we continued our mental training exercises with different individuals and groups of people continuing to prove to our own satisfaction that the psi factor is teachable and that it is learnable.
Since my background is in electronics, and since I had a wife and family to support while I was doing this research with the mind, I seemed to draw a logical connection between electronics and human brain-mind function.
I studied Freud, Jung, Braid, Esdaile, Liebeault, Bernheim, and many others. I also studied the principles of yoga and hypnotism, and for a time was an active Rosicrucian.
In those early years, all that I read, experienced, and put together — what turned out to be a new arrangement and application of old concepts — has become, and is still becoming the Silva Method. In the years since we began lecturing to the public, many other groups, academic and otherwise, have begun doing research along the same line. There are a number of "consciousness-raising groups" on the market now, and several academic and medical institutions are engaged in mind potential research.
We like to think of ourselves — the method and our graduates — as being pioneers in the subjective education field.
We organized the Laredo Parapsychology Foundation, which we later named the Institute of Psychorientology, in 1944.
McKnight: What does the word "psychorientology" mean?
Silva: Psychorientology means: Educating the mind to function consciously within its own psychic dimension. It means becoming aware of the enormity of human potential and learning how to actualize this potential for the better of humanity.
The main focus of our Basic Lecture Series is to acquaint students with the potential of their whole person and how, by using more of their mind, they can slough off limiting ways of thinking and unproductive habits to become, as we are fond of saying, "the beautiful people that they are called to be."
If I may digress for a moment, I do want to say that the notion of being "called," of being in touch with a higher guidance factor, is a central concept in the Silva Method. We shall not get into a theological statement because our collective semantics prove to be such stumbling blocks in the communication of humanly organized spiritual — religious — systems. Let it suffice to say that we are God-oriented.
Since we are dealing with human relationships and with improving the lot of humanity on this planet, we see in our work the mirroring of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin' s concept of spiritual evolution and the striving toward the attainment of Christ consciousness.
We believe that our concept of homo sapiens can only lead us to a more all embracing concept of homo amans, which has essentially been the central message of the several avatars on our planet.
Although historically it appears that humans have hearkened more to the "wars and rumors of wars" aspects of Biblical tradition, we have reason to believe that we are part of a new phase of human evolution on this planet, and, that the message of "Peace I bring," and "the kingdom of God is within" is ushering in a new age of spiritual development and understanding.
McKnight: in what ways has the Basic Lecture Series — the BLS — changed during the past ten years?
Silva: The Basic Lecture Series as it is currently being presented varies little in design from the first presentation I made outside Laredo and Nuevo Laredo in 1966. We are presenting the same useful techniques for more successful living and the same mental exercises or conditioning cycles — with some constructive changes in wording — but we have expanded and broadened our lecture material considerably.
A graduate of the Basic Lecture Series from any place in the world can repeat at no additional cost the entire BLS any number of times anywhere in the world that it is offered. Currently, we have the BLS being presented in all states in the USA. and in 31 foreign countries. (Editor's note: As of 1995, the BLS is being presented in 103 countries and in 29 languages.)
Recently we began diversifying our lectures and conditioning offerings; for special needs we have designed special programs:
We are manufacturing and marketing kits that contain pertinent literature and taped material. These are useful to the person who feels that he or she cannot take time out of a busy schedule to attend the class time required for graduation from the BLS.
Too, the taped programs can be useful to the graduate of the BLS for relaxation or reinforcement purposes.
We are sincere in our belief that it is essential that every person be encouraged to realize that he or she can use more mind to make this world a better place to live in; we believe that the method of mental training that we have devised is the most efficient and effective means for doing this.
It is the American Dynamic Meditation System, the Silva Method.
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