In psychic and magickal fields the subject of psychic protection brings up images of guardian spirits, amulets, and specially cast circles for use against malevolent entities and curses. In esoteric circles these tools are perfectly valid, but in the run up to the Christmas/Yule/Solstice celebrations you are much more likely to need protection against the invasive attacks on the mind being launched by big business. These attacks are in the forms of subliminal images, sensory manipulation, and depth psychology. Their target is your money and they are more than happy manipulating your psyche to achieve their aim.
This type of attack began in earnest back in the middle of the last century when the field of depth psychology came to the attention of the business world. Psychologists such as Skinner– the founder of Operant Conditioning - along with exponents of Jungian and Freudian psychotherapy provided consulting services to major advertisers to enhance their product for maximum effect on the viewer. Until this time advertising, particularly pictorial advertising, had been based on promoting the product in a direct manner featuring it openly or prominently in a positive situation.
What the depth psychologists did wasn’t so much to alter the adverts themselves as their subtext – the story that the picture featuring the produce tells. Before depth psychology these were simple taken from life tableaux with little to be read into them. The application of depth psychology lead to subtle changes that resulted in much more for the viewer to fill in at a subconscious level. Once you engage the subconscious in this manner you are getting in touch with areas of the mind that affect behaviour, and are also connected to drives and impulses that are normally repressed or never properly examined by most people.
This is usually combined with indicators, or cues, that also bypass the consciousness. These are usually referred to as subliminal images, a term many people are aware of in the form of banned advertising where adverts are ‘flashed’ for milliseconds in a film or TV program. This is alleged to have the result of viewers spontaneously buying the product in the advert without realizing why, which is why the technique is officially banned from use. But this is an aspect of the technique rather than its full application which is much more about managing and controlling attention, running much deeper than simple ‘cutting in’ images on TV and films.
Key areas that are focussed on include out of sight action, pointing, and muted or skewed images. Each of these on its’ own can be persuasive, but combined they can affect many areas of the mind at once, increasing the chances of having a powerful influence on behaviour. The subtext of the picture began to involve Freudian and Jungian images and archetypes which charged the image with buried meanings that were translated at an unconscious level. Needless to say these were mainly aimed at the adult viewer but it has never been evidentially proved where the cut-off point is and what effect, if any, these images have on the minds of children.
Although this appears to be a relatively new form of influencing people it has direct connections with the art of earlier times. The artist Fragonards’ “The Happy Accidents of the Swing”, and even the classic Canova sculpture “Three Graces” seem quite innocent until you notice the other images in the painting, and remember the style of clothing in the time it was painted. As for the Three Graces note the hand placements, scarf and lines of sight. The inferences are what make these artistic pieces powerful and give them mass appeal. This is the same with the adverts your see on billboards, magazines, and other pictorial media, but they are slanted towards using these implications to make you buy things.
The best defence against this form of psychic attack is awareness. In addition to the directing of attention subliminal images in the form of symbols and concealed words are also embedded in the adverts. Many of these are too distorted, small, or otherwise imperceptible to someone not aware of them, but they are picked up by the subconscious. They are also positioned so as to be picked up by your peripheral vision which, due to its’ importance in survival, connects directly to instinctive reactions.
These pictures are generally drawn from Freudian images and Jungian archetypes to evoke an innate response connected in some way to the product being advertised. Once you become aware of them they can become very obvious. The best way of spotting them is similar to looking at a 3D picture: look through the picture and defocus your gaze, then you can become aware of ‘areas of interest’ that attract your attention. When you look at them they may disappear, and it may take several switches of gaze back and forth until you spot the hidden picture. With practice you can spot them consciously with less effort, but the side effect of this is that you can sense so many at once that the overload can cause a headache.
Other techniques to bypass the conscious mind include the use of specialized types of florescent lighting with a flicker rate that tends to induce a state of mind that makes you susceptible to the package advertising and lose track of time. When you are at a large supermarket if you look discretely at your fellow shoppers you may notice many of them with slow eye blink rate almost sleepwalking. This is the state of mind advertisers like as it makes you extra susceptible to their advertising, and the smell of baking bread and coffee increase impulse buying of food – especially if you shop on an empty stomach
Large shopping trolleys are also a common way of coercing people to spend more by making a reasonable amount of shopping look smaller than it is. When I visited LA a few months ago I couldn’t find any shopping baskets or a small trolley which suggests that this is a key method of aiding overspending.
The best defences against this sort of mind manipulation are awareness, organisation, and self confidence. Be aware that you are being subjected to non-verbal suggestion in a variety of ways, tell yourself that you will only buy what you need and will be aware of any attempts to influence you. Making a list and sticking to it helps keep impulse purchases under control especially if you have the self confidence to ignore the optical illusion that you don’t have enough in your trolley for you and your family’s needs. Eat before you shop, especially when buying food, and ignore any urges to impulse buy as it is most likely being triggered by one of the attempted mind control methods mentioned. Keep your focus and remember; you control your own mind, no-one else does.