I have seen a huge interest in hypnosis over the last few years. I have also seen that there is limited interest in developing intelligence and creativity. Memory is still a topic with many followers, especially those trying to find a surefire method of remembering everything without effort.
The human mind has incredible powers. Our mind is capable of processing huge amounts of information at once, and is able to sort out a form of order from sensory chaos. As infants, we are placed in a world where nothing is familiar, yet we learn physics (balance, motion, cause & effect, gravity, momentum, etc.), language, some degree of psychology, and millions of details which are now processed at an unconscious level such as identifying objects from the mass of visual information fed into our brain (something our highly developed computers still struggle with).
Not only this, but our minds have powers which are still being discovered. Only in the last century has psychic perception been accepted as a scientific fact. Prayer itself has been scientifically tested and found to be a statistically valid exercise. While science has not found out why these abilities exist and what makes them work, it is agreed that the process is, at least in part, a mental one.
There is still much research being done. How does one develop these abilities to a point of being reliable? Which techniques are the best to use? What are the factors that influence a person's ability to use these mental skills? Are genetic factors involved? Are environmental factors important? How powerful can one mind become?
These are questions I struggled with during my research. While I do not claim to have concrete answers, I have been able to develop my own abilities and the abilities of many people I've worked with. There are some good systems readily available, although I find some degree of fault with almost all of them. The Silva Method is excellent. Max Freedom Long's book "The Secret Science Behind Miracles" gives some very fascinating insights to these higher abilities of the mind. Many books on shamanism give reasonably good instruction on developing your skills in this area. Any book by Joseph Murphy or Catherine Ponder will give many good examples of one form of mental power at work.
In every system of working with the higher functions of the mind, it is stressed that the power lies within the unconscious regions, that part of the mind generally labeled the subconscious. In every workable system, there is a whole training process where the subconscious mind is 'programmed' with symbols for communication with the conscious mind, or with symbols for what it is being requested to do.
And this is where hypnosis fits perfectly! Hypnosis is a phenomenon where the conscious mind is quieted to a state of nonresistance. During this state, the subconscious mind is easier to work with, to get information from and to create new programming. Using hypnosis, a patient can generate his/her own painkillers for painless surgery or dentistry. Using hypnosis, millions have been able to break their addiction to tobacco, alcohol, overeating, laziness, phobias, and a host of other maladies.
And hypnosis was the techniques which gave Edgar Cayce his ability to diagnose and prescribe treatments for thousands of suffers (and every one accurately!).
The evidence which points to the possibility of using hypnosis for developing and training the mind for any and all of the mind's natural abilities is overwhelming! And I'm definitely not the only person to notice this. Books can be found everywhere showing how to use hypnosis for all of these purposes.
But is hypnosis enough? Does hypnosis have all the power necessary to develop the mind to it's highest potential? I don't think so. If hypnosis could be used to accomplish everything we needed to accomplish, then why would we have a conscious mind at all? The process of hypnosis specifically eliminates the conscious mind from the equation, working with the subconscious mind exclusively.
We have two (or more) phases of mind for a reason. Any system that does not address the two modes of mind in it's development process can not be a complete system. Use this criteria to judge any system of development you consider pursuing.