Before we can begin officially, exploring the world of hypnosis and NLP in media, we need to frame out the general state of affairs in broadcasting.
Start with this premise: Everything is hypnotic; from the voice inside your head to the advertisement on your television, to the scent of your lover, to the words in this article. Everyone, including yourself is selling you an idea, a belief set, a reality.
But realities were not so plentiful throughout human history. Prior to the printing press, there was a dearth of realities available to the average human. Information was held mostly by church officials and nobility, the few privileged to reading and writing, while the only reality your average farmer knew was the one he or she lived every day. They were familiar with their own lives, their own thoughts, their own habits and maybe those of their spouses and neighbors. Realities or at least behaviors and beliefs were not purchased so much as inherited.
Then, in 1436, with the emergence of Guttenberg ’s printing press came the rapid growth of intelligence and the spread of ideas. No longer were people confined to the static world of their close compatriots, they could explore the minds and fantasies of others who had written them down. A flower could smell of poetry and love, a pitchfork could become a tool for revolution.
People’s perception of the world transformed and reality became realities. Centuries later, enter radio and the budding of multi-media communication. Suddenly, children everywhere are exposed to delicious Ovaltine and astronaut quality Tang. Text took to the airwaves with resonant reverb. Books grew vocal chords and enraptured children in a new world of media, while outside of our awareness our minds expanded into areas of previously dormant potential.
From smoke signals to letters to books to radio to television to Internet to statistical research-based studies on the demographic appeal of a new reality TV show, media and communication came a long way. And, in their manifestation they have joined an older story, one that began even before the Precambrian era, one that was played out by our bacterial progenitors in their constant colonization and networking, and continued in every animal and plant species since; nature’s constant playful testing of new hypotheses in its growing of a global brain. Now, joining the other actors on the stage of planetary communication, humans have added self-awareness to the global brain. Mass media broadcasting is not only one of the most powerful cultural innovations in human history but in the history of life. With it, we have begun to reinvent the comprehensive network mother nature started growing so long ago. We are doing it with human-controlled technology. We now have the ability to shape and influence the realities, perceptions, and thoughts of entire cultures. And we are.
Humans have taken a global brain that has been growing for 3 billion years and made it self-aware. We are not bees mechanically doing nature’s bidding, pollinating flowers. We are self-aware, cultural creators. We design culture. We design trends. We design behavior. And we do it on massive scales. While the conformity enforcers of other species may spread new behavioral memes to their companions over days and weeks through behavioral modeling and other signals, humans can introduce messages and inundate entire cultures almost instantaneously.
Advertising and mass media have become sciences of the mind. Broadcasting is a ubiquitous force. Each culture is a test tube and an incubator for the experiment called humanity. Media has given us a new tool with which to control, influence, manipulate, and guide this experiment.
Media is a programming tool which directly or discretely influences almost everyone in the world. The cultural influence enacted by mass media is l a rgely invisible. Like air or gravity, it is everywhere around us, so much a part of our lives, our history, our understanding of the world that it has become a part of the scenery. It has become a natural part of life, always directing, always influencing with its invisible programs passing into peop l e ’s minds unnoticed signaling the appropriate responses from their central computers – each of our own nervous systems.
The question now is, when it comes to mass media, what realities are people being sold? What is the trance into which we are being inducted? What is the effect of each commercial, each s h o w, each station, each channel, each network – and mass media, as a whole, on humanity?
It is these questions which we must use to explore every aspect of mass media broadcasting. When we are touched by a new ad campaign, when we are wooed by the latest television s h o w, when we find ourselves singing the latest jingle, it can be with the deep-seated awareness that these messages have been packaged and delivered to us so that they are the perfect fit for our neurology.
So where, in the grand scope of this ancient story do our messages fit? Now that we know some of the story of the evolution of both realities and the global brain, we have some context for current broadcast media. We can begin to place ourselves within this evolution and the mythology which humanity is now living. Now it is time to unpack the cultural biases of our media. To find out how it helps and how it can help. To mine the depths for its uses and begin building around its strengths. And to ask the all important question of any hypnotist. How are we being induced into the various media trances and what are these trances being utilized for?
Devon White is an NLP master practitioner with the society of NLP™ and a facilitator of the MythoSelf® process. He is also the founder of Synergy Media Network, the premier network for broadcasting intelligence and a regular contributor to NLPWorld. Devon can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org