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The Silva Mind Control Method
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463 of 473 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2001
The first time I read this book was when it first came out in 1977. I've re-read it several times since then. My copy is marked up and dog-eared, yellowed and brittle, and falling apart. Yet, it's still an interesting read every time I pick it up.
The first part is a quick biography explaining how Jose Silva came to his discovery and development of the Silva Method. The rest of it is a how-to manual. It lays the groundwork for his later books which concentrate on applying these principles to your life.
The Silva Method is based on a simple philosophy that you become what you think you are. If you have a negative self-image, then you become that person in the real world. If you want to change who you are in the real world, you need to change who you are in your mind. And he tells you how to do it.
On one level, it's a beginner's course in positive thinking, giving you step-by-step instructions on active meditation and creative visualization. Silva tells you how to go to your "alpha level" (a semi-conscious dream state), create a positive self-image, and turn it into reality. Even if you never get past this beginning stage, if all you can do is repeat Emile Coue's daily affirmations, "Every day in every way, I'm getting better and better" and "Negative thoughts have no influence over me", you'll still be so much better for it. It's really like positive self-programming.
But, on another level, it's also an advanced course teaching you how to expand your mind to increase your intelligence, improve your memory, develop ESP, heal your injuries and disease, and even heal others. Getting there is a little more difficult for most of us because it involves a leap of logic and faith. We have to overcome our belief systems.
You may have some difficulty with this book if you tend to be very literal in a scientific sense. We all know the mind is capable of many things, but there's no hard scientific evidence for some of Silva's more extraordinary claims. There's only anecdotal evidence, mostly of the kind that cannot be measured or quantified. Believing that your mind can influence yourself may be easy to accept, but believing that your mind can influence others requires a leap in logic.
You may also have some difficulty with this book if you tend to be very literal in a strict Christian sense. The Silva philosophy is that you can control, or at least greatly influence, your own destiny. And you need a strong faith ... in yourself. Then you can do anything ... even things we might think of as "miracles". That might be hard to reconcile with your belief that only God can perform miracles. He also speaks of God in a more universal sense, a "Higher Intelligence". It sounds more like the "Force" in Star Wars than the Biblical God.
Anyway, Silva's books can mean many different things to many different people. The scientific community has debunked it. The religious community has denounced it. And it sounds a little too New Age-ish.
But, in the final analysis, it's really a recipe for finding -- within ourselves -- the happiness, peace, understanding and success we're all searching for.
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150 of 156 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 1999
Before proceeding any further let me tell you won't waste your time from reading such a book like this. There's sufficient scientifical evidence from the practical findings done by Jose Silva and there's enough literature on the field of brain activity and visualization which NOW strongly support his remarkable techniques. Any Psychologist is witness to that. I first learned about Jose Silva Mind Control Method by reading this practical and amazing book. After trying some of the techniques outlined on it and seeing and enjoying the amazing results I decided to attend a seminar in MEXICO CITY in 1987. I graduated from the Basic Course and to my surprise EVERYTHING improved in my life since then EVERY DAY, IN EVERY WAY!!. My grades as a student, my personal finances, my relationships with others, my job, my health. I don't mean that there was anything wrong or I was in any special need for something. I think what I received was the knowledge to use all the special faculties I was endowed with as a Human being. I do sincerely recommend this book and I wish you to practice the dynamic meditation Jose Silva presents. Personaly I practice every day the simple meditation which I believe is in no conflict with any religion or philosophical point of view, quite the contrary I belive is a natural state of being. One last word, you need not to be an oustanding visualizer to make Silva Method work, it only takes to be a HUMAN BEING with the desire to be better and the courage and discipline to do it. Believe in yourself!
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171 of 181 people found the following review helpful
Jose Silva's book about the Silva Method is good. However the 4-day workshop is excellent. Taking the course in 1981 forever changed my life. Before my introduction to the Silva Method I was skeptical if I could not see, feel, taste or touch something. I saw only the physical world and thought the way to understand and harness it was through science and technology.
The experiences of a fellow therapist and a psychologist I worked with, who I respected, closed my tiny materialistic window and opened a vast door to the invisible world of energy and spirit. They said they had each learned to diagnose and heal three people knowing only their names, age and location. Steeped in the medical model for healing I suspected my friends had been duped and thought about taking the course to expose the charlatans. Especially since the Silva training had a money back guarantee.
When I heard a 4-day Silva course was being offered locally, I signed up. The introductory lecture was about Jose Silva, the founder, and outlined the almost four decades of research and development of The Silva Mind Control Method.
The instructor said the five senses-touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight are only a part of the senses we are born with. He said the exercises would help us learn to use more of our minds and use it in a special way to prevent illness, improve our health, solve everyday problems, learn more easily, strengthen our imagination, deepen our spiritual awareness and tap into Higher Intelligence. He said that meditation takes place when we are in the Alpha Brain State and that an electroencephalograph (EEG) can measure it. The brain rhythms of the Alpha Brain State are about seven to fourteen cycles per second (CPS) and we are in this energy state when we first go to sleep and when we dream. Meditation is going into Alpha Brain State without losing awareness.
To become more relaxed and meditative we were told to "Project ourselves mentally to our ideal place of relaxation." I become more peaceful as I pictured my favorite bubbly mountain steam in North Georgia. We did two countdowns to control the depth of our meditation/relaxation and one to return to consciousness.
While in our meditative states we practiced positive affirmations and the power of visualization. For example we visualized an apple on a large movie screen about six feet in front of us. We studied the details of the apple-the color, smell, touch, and taste. At first I had difficulty as my mind wandered but the instructor reassured us that our concentration would improve as we trained our minds to focus.
We were also instructed to practice projecting ourselves in and around different forms from the inanimate, plant, animal and human kingdoms. We would look at the texture, form, light, odor, color, temperature, solidity and abnormalities.
Each day I found myself going to deeper levels of relaxation while fully conscious. My visualizations became so real on the third day I had a moment when I was unable to tell if the leaf I was viewing belonged to the external or my internal world. It was both scary and a profound moment of grace.
The meditation and continuous visualization culminated in our creating an internal healing laboratory with two spiritual assistants to help diagnose and heal the subjects with physical or emotional problems. When the subject's name, age and location was mentioned we were told an image would miraculously appear on our inner visual screen and their ailments would make themselves known via visual, auditory and kinesthetic means. I was skeptical.
I felt sure my partner would not be able to tell what was wrong with my girlfriend and two relatives. I was even more certain I would not be able to diagnose the three people my partner knew. I was wrong; we all did. And I learned that there is another reality, and that we have capabilities not taught in our schools. It was both alarming and ecstatic.
Needless to say I did not ask for my money back after the Silva workshop. In fact I took the course again twelve months later. I was delighted to learn that Silva graduates pay a minimal tuition fee or do not pay again.
The Silva course improved my self-esteem, made me more optimistic and gave me confidence in my intuitive abilities. It also changed how I viewed the world and empowered me to use my gifts for the betterment of humankind and the earth.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2000
Great book that helps you take control of your life. Silva developed the Silva Method many years ago. It is what he calls 'active meditation'. People use this to solve problems, get results they desire, create opportunities ( it really works! be more open minded!), cure illness etc.
Personally, i used this method once to cure a bad throat and loss of voice 2 years ago. I have had this weak voice and throat for weeks that wouldnt heal. Then one night i decided to 'go to my level', i did some visualisation and suggestion to myself, the next morning awoke with a great soothing feeling and clear sharp voice back!
If you have read Emile COue's books on Autosuggestion, or Dr Joseph Murphy's "How To Use Your Subconscious Mind" etc, then u will understand how it works. Silva takes it a step further by a scientific approach- inderstanding brainwaves or brain levels. Alpha- Beta - Theta etc,,, these are the brainwaves or cycles our brain function in. Silva method teaches you to get to Alpha - the most 'intelligent/spiritual' level of all, because it is directly connected to the subconscious at this level.
Lots of smart techniques that work. To many, his method is much like NLP, although NLP was not yet invented by Bandler(not until mid 70s) yet when Silva developed it. But still there are some similarities between them.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 1999
The Silva Method WORKS! I have been using the Silva Method for over one year now. It has solved my asthma, sinus disease, and has helped my sales career. "You are what you put in your mind". This method makes sure you program your mind correctly. Literally, everyday I AM getting better and better. My wife sees the change in me healthwise and attitude. Everyone should to do this excellent program.
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326 of 373 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2000
This is the kind of book I would probably never buy, but my mother did for some reason and I found myself reading it.
This book describes José Silva's method of mental development and stress control. Silva, a TV repairman started studying the electrical activity of the human body under certain conditions (meditation, hypnosis). Over several years, Silva noticed how the stages of lower electrical activity would mean a higher capacity for storage and attention and figured out that if he managed to control his awareness and remain conscious, but free of such electrical noise, following few steps would allow the development of certain `extraordinary' skills. These, he claims, can change your reality, depending on how you use your mind; including improving your health, reducing stress, improving your memory, and allowing you some abilities like perception and a distance and perception through time.
Silva's teachings are based on one single aspect: The way you think about your reality, the way your mind is lead eventually influences your material world, especially your own body. As Emile Coué said many years ago, "Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better", and Silva's followers agree. If you keep that spirit and follow Silva's procedures, you will notice improvements in about everything in your life.
To keep it short, that is what the book claims, or at least, that's what I got out of it. I was pleased with it in several ways, but a few problems are present... 1) Silva's book is very poorly written, I found the book to be miserably organized, from the first page to the non-existing glossary, giving it a very amateurish look, far from the scientific flavour that Silva would probably sometimes want us to notice.
2) Silva's claims are extraordinary. From amazing memory skills to eradication of nasty physical illnesses, this book makes it sound as if developing, experiencing and controlling these phenomena is something as easy as learning how to drive or playing a musical instrument. I found this approach extremely negative, as it reduces some of my belief in the whole book and leaves the reader wondering if there's anything really going on or if it is just a festival of wishful thinking and self-delusion. People who enthusiastically subscribe to New Age beliefs will be delighted, but sceptics will promptly use it to throw Silva's book in the pile of pseudoscience junk. It is a pity that those claims are so excessive and "easy". Silva is right, something is definitely going on, and leading-edge science is now becoming aware of radical new theories on the horizon about consciousness and matter; it can no longer be denied, but making it sound as something you can understand and control so easily is as dangerous as refusing it completely.
3) And for all those extraordinary claims, where is the extraordinary evidence? This book has a few case "studies" and reports, but hardly anything you can check for yourself. Silva offers very few connections to real documents, does not point to any studies most of the time and just expects you to accept the claims on some sort of faith. You get no notes and the References section is pathetically small. Major claims, little evidence. Even when the book was first release this would be a major problem, and now it is embarrassingly bad, when compared to similar titles.
4) The book is plagued by self-promotion. Not to Silva himself, but to the course. From page one to the end, you will constantly be reminded about the course, what students do there, you even have a few pages with the detailed schedule for the course, including coffee breaks. I don't mind having the address mentioned and a few contacts, but after a while, it gets a bit too much. I know about the course already, get on with the book.
Now the good parts: Well, I didn't hate it. I actually enjoyed reading this book. The paragraphs explaining you how to meditate and ridiculously simple, in fact, you get about one page telling you how to do it. Hardly effective, but it might be perfect for some people wanting to start it as quickly as possibly and later dwell deepen into it with the help of other titles.
I believe in the main argument of this book, your will somehow shape your physical reality, but not to such extent. The effects are still not really understood, very subtle and very hard to control at all. Still, even with all the exaggeration, the book will probably help you to get rid of your stress and it is surprisingly fun, you will very probably find yourself trying to do the meditation exercises, and will very likely feel better doing it.
If you require some proof to believe like I do, stay away from this book, or complement it with a scientifically solid work, especially material that covers mind-matter interaction effect studies involving living systems. I recommend "The Conscious Universe" from Dean Radin" for a start. If you don't need proof, well, believing in yourself is the main ingredient, so it will probably work for you. Also, if you want to learn more about meditation, you better look somewhere else, as Silva will give you NO details at all about it other than a quick how-to. "Full Catastrophe Living" by Jon Kabat-Zinn is a great book on this subject, which will definitely help. Religion is not directly mentioned and I don't think it will damage your interest in the book, no matter if you believe or not. Some religions will perhaps feel that the amount of control and power Silva says you can have is pretty close to heresy, and the book is closer to Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism, but it is not oriented to any specific faith.
Overall, an interesting book, based on some good arguments, but now very dated (1977), completely fails to show solid scientific evidence (many more studies and meta-analysis are now available) and lacking organization.
Still fun if you don't take it too seriously and are prepared to complement it with other titles, but lacking in many areas if you expect it to be complete and updated. Give it a try.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 11, 2000
...and if you would like to accomplish your goals more effectively, this book is for you. Silva tells you how he developed his method, and what he has done with it. Then he tells you how, step by step, you can accomplish the same things. It is a meditation method, but it's more ACTIVE than most (and more enjoyable). Many scientific studies have been done on this method and they find it has all the benefits of mantra meditation, including reduced stress, increased health, and a greater sense of well-being. In addition, you can use your relaxed frame of mind to accomplish tasks while you are meditating. For example, you might create a solution to a problem, or generate good ideas to help you reach a goal.
I'm the author of the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works, and I'm an expert on effective self-help. The Silva Method is a very effective way to help yourself to a better life.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2010
I took the Silva Class about two weeks ago. IF you want to know what Silva techniques are, all it is is Creative Visualization. Youre better off just reading the book by Shakti Gawain "Creative Visualizations." And "The power of your subconcious mind" by Dr. joseph murphy. Both books cost around $5-10 each. IT teaches basically everything Silva courses teaches. But if you want to go ahead and waste $585 like I did its up to you. Im just trying to save you some money. I wish I could have known....sigh....
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
I list this book as one of my favorites, not because it is the best written book out there, nor is the information the most up to date; rather I count it as one of my favorites because the information in it drastically changed my life over 15 years ago. I hope that by encouraging others to read it, they will experience the same types of improvements in their lives.

The book starts with an introduction of Jose Silva, founder of the Silva Mind Control Method and goes on to explain how the material was developed. It then overviews the Silva Mind Control course and the benefits one can expect from taking the course.

The material is a little dated as it was originally developed in the late 60's and early 70's, the book was written in the 70's and the course, other than being condensed to one weekend rather than two has changed little over time, despite the developments in our understanding of the mind since then.

I still think the book is a worthwhile read and millions of people all over the world still benefit from this material, even if it is a little dated. I still read the book myself about once a year. I also incorporate a daily meditation practice as a direct result of reading this material so many years ago.

My advice; read the book and get all the benefit that you can from it and when you are ready to take a course, look for more current material such as "Silva 2000, Essential Mind Power" which includes the best of the tried and true material, but has been updated and improved using the latest findings in mind science.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2004
I read this book as a teenager. It got me started on a journey of self-discovery. I managed to heal myself of a bad health condition and I found myself rapidly attaining my goals. I attended the Silva Mind Control Seminar in the early 90s and it was great. I also attended the newer version, Silva UltraMind in 2001 and it was fantastic. The ESP demonstrations were mind blowing. I like this book, but this book explains the concepts behind the older Silva Mind Control seminar rather than providing you techniques on how to actually apply Silva Techniques. For this I would recommend the book "How to Get Help from Your other Side" by Jose Silva (unfortunetly now out-of-print so you'll have to search through older book stores). I would also recommend the new course, Silva Ultramind which you can find at [...] This is the latest Silva System.
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