In the last two sections, we introduced the Personality Defect Removal (PDR) process and covered how to identify our personality defects. The next step in the PDR process is to remove our personality defects, and we will go over a technique that enables us to do so in this section.
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We live in a highly-connected world where our collective actions and attitudes have an effect on society and the environment. While modern science has made tremendous strides in understanding human anatomy, in relation to understanding the deeper aspects of our consciousness it has not been as successful. What governs human behaviour and why do we do the things we do?
We are all conditioned by society to put up a strong front that shrouds our innermost feelings, which can include some form of unhappiness or stress. We try to put up a show that we are in control, but what if we aren’t and are actually breaking inside? Is there a way out of this situation and charade that we all take part in to varying degrees? When we look at the factors causing stress, intrinsically it is the personality defects in people. The defects in our personalities give rise to various problems and unhappiness.
2. The impressions in our minds dictate our overall state
Most of us experience a lot of stress and exhibit different negative emotions when faced with difficult situations or situations which have not gone our way. We know intellectually that we should not get angry, we should not be envious, we should not feel hurt over petty things or sulk and be depressed when things don’t go our way, etc. We want to be balanced and stoic even when facing adverse situations. Let’s look at a few common reactions to situations.
- When something doesn’t go the way I think it should, I get angry.
- When I see new a Jaguar car belonging to my friend, I am green with envy.
- When my boss does not appreciate my hard work, I end up sulking with the thought that no matter how hard I try, it is never good enough.
This is because our mind has control over us and it dictates our overall state of being – our thoughts, emotions, actions and reactions. Due to impressions of personality defects in the subconscious mind, numerous thoughts keep going to the conscious mind and the conscious mind gets dictated by these wrong or incorrect impulses and acts accordingly. For example, we may feel ‘I wanted hot steaming coffee, but my husband gave me lukewarm coffee.’ Then due to having the impression of anger in my subconscious mind, an incorrect impulse goes to the conscious mind – ‘Now get angry. He always does this. I will not take this anymore.’ And due to this strong impulse from the impression of the personality defect of anger, the conscious mind acts incorrectly as per the impulse and we become angry. This is because there is no positive stimulus given to the mind to counter that incorrect impulse.
So, by giving autosuggestions, we give a correct perspective or a positive suggestion to the subconscious mind to counter the negative impulse coming from the negative impression in the subconscious mind. In the case of the example with coffee above, this helps the conscious mind to understand that it should not get angry. The awareness that this is incorrect and that it will hurt others increases and this helps us to overcome our incorrect behaviour, thought or incorrect action and eventually the negative impression or personality defect.
3. Spiritual energy is needed to overcome the negative tendencies of the mind
To overcome the negative impressions of the mind, wishful thinking is not enough. This is because the negative impressions lie in our subconscious minds, so they need to be addressed at the level of the subconscious mind. Personality defect removal has the resolve of His Holiness Dr Athavale behind it, and as a result, Divine consciousness (Chaitanya) is present at each step of the process. Thus, when we take autosuggestions, in addition to the words in the autosuggestion, Divine consciousness enters our subconscious minds, driving rapid change in our personalities. Many have found that their personality defects have reduced and eventually been overcome by regularly taking autosuggestions.
4. What is an autosuggestion (AS)?
An autosuggestion is a positive suggestion given to the subconscious mind with regards to an incorrect thought, emotion, action, reaction or both. By taking an autosuggestion, we give a tailor-made positive suggestion to our mind to counteract the negative impression so that the defect is eventually neutralised.
- Mistake/Shortcoming – Anger : When my mother compared me to my sister by sharing how well she is doing in her studies, I became angry.
- Mistake/Shortcoming – Jealousy : When I saw my friend John’s new Jaguar car, I was green with envy.
- Mistake/Shortcoming – Insecurity (Feeling hurt) : When my boss did not appreciate my hard work, I ended up sulking with the thought that no matter how hard I try, it is never good enough.
Giving a positive suggestion or perspective to the mind for every incorrect thought or emotion helps to counter that negative feeling and unrest of the mind and give correct direction to the mind.
Autosuggestion – Anger : “Whenever my mother compares me with my sister by sharing how she is doing well in her studies, I will realise that my mother has my best interests in mind and she wants me to learn from my sister and do well in my studies, so I will remain calm.”
Autosuggestion – Jealousy : “Whenever I see John’s new Jaguar car and I feel envious, I will become aware of it and realise that he has worked very hard for this and he deserves every bit of it. I am here to support him and rejoice in his success and I will be happy for him.”
Autosuggestion – Insecurity : “Whenever my boss does not appreciate my work and I want to sulk, I will remember that this is a learning process and there are always ups and downs on the way to the top, so I will pray to God to give me the strength to persevere in my efforts.”
Autosuggestions are helpful for overcoming personality defects in ourselves, when we are under stress due to personality defects in others or when we are faced with a difficult life situation that cannot be changed. Autosuggestions not only help to overcome the present situations or negativity which one is faced with, but they also work for long standing issues, such as addictions and childhood traumas. When taking autosuggestion sessions, we repeat positive suggestions in daily sessions, which helps to reduce negative impressions. Reducing the negative impression by taking autosuggestions does not automatically increase the opposite quality, and we would need to make efforts to develop the quality. For example, reducing my anger by taking autosuggestions would not automatically increase my love for others. This is analogous to how a sick person will get better by taking medicine, but they will not develop a bodybuilder’s physique automatically. If the person wants to develop a muscular physique, they will need to do the appropriate exercises. Similarly, I would have to make conscious efforts to develop the quality of love for others even if my defect of anger reduces by taking autosuggestions.
5. Difference between affirmations and autosuggestions
Psychiatrists give affirmations to patients to overcome depression or other chronic defects, and for each session we may need to pay a lot of money. Psychiatrists often give patients affirmations, but they rarely help patients to understand and overcome their defects. The PDR process is tailor-made as per individual needs, and this is why the benefit from implementing it is more than the benefit from taking affirmations. Additionally, the spiritual energy in the PDR process further increases its effectiveness.
90-95% of the time, the root cause of a problem lies within our own defects rather than outside, so taking autosuggestions can help us to the extent of 90-95%. In comparison, affirmations help to the extent of 25-30%. There is still some benefit to taking affirmations because they can make us feel more positive, encourage us to work harder to achieve our aims, etc.
Another key point is that taking autosuggestions helps to reduce our destiny or karma. This is because our karma is stored in our subconscious minds in the form of impressions, and the spiritual energy in autosuggestions works to reduce these impressions directly. On the other hand, taking affirmations would not reduce our karma. Karma plays out through our personality defects. For example, let us say that I have the impression of emotionalism and I feel hurt when it is triggered. Then when my friend cheats me, I feel hurt and endure unhappiness. In this case, it may have been destined that I will be cheated by my friend, but the unhappiness I experience due to this destiny is due to the impression of the personality defect of emotionalism. By taking autosuggestions on emotionalism, the impression of emotionalism reduces and then I do not feel hurt when incidents occur that would have triggered this impression before.
Additionally, as the impression goes on reducing, the duration of the pain I experience also reduces. So if the impression is very strong, for instance if I have anger and it is a very strong impression, then the unhappiness I endure is a lot. As the impression of the defect of anger reduces, the duration of the unhappiness due to destiny that I experience also reduces.
Besides this, by taking regular autosuggestions one reduces the possibility of creating further adverse destiny. Due to personality defects, I incur more adverse destiny. For example, if I have the personality defect of criticising others, I hurt others by being very critical of them, and they are discouraged by it. Then I incur sin as I have hurt others. Through taking autosuggestions, when my personality defect of criticising others reduces then my behaviour changes and I am more understanding of others. This helps one to reduce the possibility of creating new adverse karma or destiny.
When the mind is not there then one begins to transcend their destiny. It is because of the mind that one feels pain.
So, by taking autosuggestions, we can reduce or overcome the suffering we are destined to undergo through an incident, but by taking affirmations, this would not happen. As we become sāttvik, our behaviour becomes better and hence we do not incur adverse destiny.
6. Guidelines when framing autosuggestions
1. Simplicity : Autosuggestions should be framed using simple language and a limited amount of words. To give an analogy, have you ever tried looking at a sheet full of text or a complicated spreadsheet? Do we feel like reading it or looking at it? Our mind generally has some resistance to read it or it rejects it straight away. This is because the mind likes things that are easy or simple. Likewise, when giving suggestions to the mind, the suggestions should be simple and use a limited number of words, so it is easy for the mind to get the message.
2. Starts with whenever : Autosuggestions always begin with ‘whenever’ indicating a specific incident in future tense. Using whenever also gives alertness to the mind.
For example, let us take the example of the mistake: “I was feeling lazy and I postponed going for a walk.”
So, in framing an autosuggestion, we need to indicate that incident in the future tense as follows – “Whenever I feel like postponing going for a walk…” and then we add what will be done to stop it.
3. Positivity : Autosuggestions should always be positive. Do not use words like don’t, no, not, won’t, can’t, etc. For example, we should not say, “I will not be angry”. Instead we can say, “I will remain calm.” This is because the mind has a rebellious nature and when we tell our mind not do something then it invariably wants to do that, but when we say the same thing in a positive way then the mind is more receptive.
4. Specific : Autosuggestions should be specific and not generalised, e.g. instead of “when people look at me and I become shy” we should state the exact incident, which is, “when Mary looks at me and I become shy”. Referring to “people” in a general way does not have the same effect on us as being specific in an autosuggestion. The mind is not able to identify the exact emotion if the autosuggestion is general as would happen when the name Mary is mentioned. This may be because I have a crush on Mary, so every time she looks at me emotions related to my crush come to the surface. Another example could be, my senior John bullied me in school and I was deeply hurt. Here the moment John is mentioned, I am reminded of all the incidents where he was not nice to me and the pent-up anger comes up. The same would not happen when someone else’s name is mentioned.
5. One defect at a time : In a given incident there may be more than one personality defect involved, but we give autosuggestions for one defect at a time. Let us take the example – ‘When my colleague did not help me with a project as he had promised earlier I was emotional and felt dejected.’ Here the defects can be: expectations, negative thinking and emotionalism. However, when framing an autosuggestion, we can choose one defect out of these. We can select the defect based on which defect is having a greater impact on our well-being or on others overall.
6. Select defects as per frequency : When more than one incident is occurring for one defect, choose only one incident for the autosuggestion which occurs more often. For example, let us say I am working on anger and it is manifesting in numerous ways. However, the most common manifestation is – ‘I got angry when my son was watching television instead of doing his homework,’ because it happens every day. Then, I would choose this manifestation to work on.
7. Start with 3 AS : To start, do at least 3 autosuggestion sessions every day. Write the autosuggestions and read them 5 times if you are unable to remember them. Later, we can increase the number to 5 autosuggestion sessions per day. We will cover this in more detail in the next section.
We struggle so much with our emotions, but we do not find solutions. This is despite trying many remedies, spending money on counselling, etc. Taking autosuggestions is a solution at the spiritual level, which addresses the root of our negative emotions. Many have found significant relief and experienced lasting happiness by taking 10-minute autosuggestion sessions regularly. Testimonies of those who have benefited by taking autosuggestions will be provided in later articles in this series. We hope that you will take the time to learn more about autosuggestions and the PDR process, so you can also have similar positive experiences.