More About the Author
Roy Masters--who in his 80s continues to broadcast the longest-running counseling show in talk radio history-- started his journey toward understanding human nature in the most unlikely of places.
Growing up in pre-WWII England, one day as a teen he walked through a vaudeville show in the south coast town of Brighton, when a stage hypnotist caught his eye. He watched, fascinated, as the performer easily put his volunteer subjects under a hypnotic spell and induced each of them to do strange and outlandish things, like dancing around the stage with a broom, and forgetting their own names.
How, the young Roy wondered, could a smiling, personable stranger cause well-dressed, educated, competent adults to forget their names? Puzzled by the mysterious power the hypnotist had exercised over his subjects, Roy distinctly remembers pondering the question: "Why can't hypnotism be used to make people act sensibly, rather than foolishly?" Inspired by the idea of harnessing this baffling force for good, he later pursued the art of hypnotism and established a successful hypnotherapy practice.
It was during those years of practicing hypnosis therapeutically, however, that Masters made his central and pivotal discovery about the nature of human beings' emotional problems, addictions and complexes.
As clinical psychologist Ron Carlson, Ph.D., would later describe this breakthrough: "Roy Masters' books reveal with penetrating insight that, unbeknownst to most of us, we are tethered to our thoughts in a destructive, hypnotic way which forms the basis of our emotional and mental problems."
In other words, Masters had discovered that people didn't really need hypnosis, because their core problem was that they were already hypnotized--not by a clever stage performer, but by the stresses, pressures and seductions of daily life. After all, it stood to reason that whatever little-understood forces were at play on a hypnotist's stage must also exist in real life as well. Virtually everyone, it turns out, is far too easily influenced by the intimidation, impatience and cruelty of other people, which in turn reprograms them in negative and destructive ways.
Over years of counseling as well as personal experience, Roy realized that the root of the power of negative suggestion lay in our wrong emotional response, and so he began to search for a way to help people overcome the hypnotic power of stress. After years of searching, he discovered a remarkably effective meditation method, and has been teaching it--with spectacular results--ever since.
This "meditation exercise"--a simple observation technique called Be Still & Know, from the Psalm verse, "Be still and know that I am God"--is at the core not only of Masters' unmatched track record in helping people overcome even the most serious mental-emotional problems, but now comprises the centerpiece of a successful program within the U.S. military ("Patriot Outreach") that is helping thousands of U.S. military personnel and their families to overcome the ravages of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).