Wordweaving The Science of Suggestion By Trevor Sylvester: CliffNotes Summary (part 1)

I can’t give you a PDF on WordWeaving, The Science of Suggestion, but I can give you my summary notes.

Here are my notes summarizing pages 1 – 19.

This is a book written by a professional hypnotherapist named Trevor Sylvester. The goal of this book is to teach one how to use the power of words to direct language in a way that creates an effect in the mind of oneself or others, producing a change. Specifically, the language intervention can do two things: shift the focus or change the meaning of something in a person’s conscious or unconscious reality.

The book claims that the vast majority of our actions and decisions are controlled by the unconscious mind (90%). Therefore, learning to communicate effectively with the unconscious mind is an important part of this skill set.

There is some discussion on the filter systems of the mind, noting that the mind processes about seven bits of data per second from among the 2 million bits it’s exposed to. The criteria used to select what is allowed in are as follows:

1. Relevance to survival

2. Shock value

3. Preferred medium or modality

According to the author, all other data not passing this filter is deleted.

One can surely say that as far as the conscious mind is concerned, a significant amount of information is deleted from our awareness moment by moment. Whether or not the unconscious mind receives it all is another question.

The book also discusses distortion and generalization in relation to how the mind processes information. Distortion refers to the fact that the mind often sees what it wants to see in a piece of reality, filling in details from stored memory or imagination, rather than seeing what is actually there.

‘Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.’

A supporting statistic shared here talks about how the thalamus is the junction box of the brain. It first receives sensory data from the outside world, then sends the signals to various parts of the brain for processing. The claim is made that when the information returns to the thalamus after processing, there is an additional 80% of data filled in by the mind. This additional 80%, if true, would account for the distortion.

According to the author, the mind makes up 80% of what it experiences.

Generalization is the process the mind uses to learn, process new information, and make sense of things. It’s basically where the mind takes a new piece of information, compares it to something familiar, and reaches one of three general conclusions:

1. This is the same as.

2. This is different from.

3. This is the cause or the effect of.

In other words, the mind searches for something familiar for comparison. Once the comparison is found, the new piece of data neatly fits into the shelf of the mind as a result of this comparison.

Finally, at least for the introduction portion of the book, the stimulus-response pattern is expanded into additional steps: Stimulus, memory matrix, emotion, response, termination, evaluation. Understanding these additional stimulus-response steps seems to indicate that they can provide additional targets for our suggestions to change the focus or meaning, either consciously or unconsciously, so that mind data is processed in a way that serves us rather than hinder us.

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