What do symbols mean to us? Now for some of us, we may be religious, we may wear crosses that empower us. We may wear Stars of David that empower us. Certain symbols empower us, whether you're religious, or whether you perhaps have a ring, you have a necklace. Or as I'm gonna show you today in the series, whether you've got some ink, whether you've got some tattoos that are meaningful to you. They're symbols of empowerment and they mean something to you and can really, really help you in some moments to remember who exactly you are. Now, in life we're filled with lots of symbols around that can be empowering to us.
But then there's also other symbols out there that can be dis-empowering to us. An example of this is like, we talked about religious symbols there if you are indeed religious. But then there's other symbols, stuff like a swastika, which is a negative symbol to many, many people out there. And it's very, very interesting and it conjures up different thoughts and feelings for different people. Now, we've talked in some other videos about muscle testing before, which originally comes from kinesiology. And about 20 years ago this guy called David Hawkins, who wrote a book called Power Verses Force and many other books, and he pioneered a lot of the muscle testing techniques that I use. And I'll just very very quickly, a way to muscle test is essentially - you need someone else for this - but you'd extend your arm out like so, somebody would ask you a question, and ask you to keep your arm strong while they would get two fingers and try and push down. And most of the time you would be asked to resist it if you've got your arm out, versus two fingers.
So what they would do is they would test people, and they would have a picture of a cross, a picture of Jesus Christ, a picture of Mahatma Gandhi, or even Mother Teresa. And even if people did not identify themselves as being religious, when those people were tested in that environment, they all tested strong. I.e., the person who was testing couldn't push down so they actually were empowering symbols to them. And then they would have other people, even people that may have identified themselves as being Nazis, they would be in the presence of their swastika, would have their arm out, and be tested with that symbolism there, and would test negative and weak down like so, so it's very, very kind of interesting that even though you might identify with a certain level of belief, your unconscious mind essentially identifies the stuff that's empowering and good. Just a little touch on symbols and how they can affect us and what we do.
But today's video is about one of my tattoos that means something to me. And I've done a couple of these videos and shared some of my tattoos with you. And what I wanna share with you today is from the movie The Matrix. I don't know if anyone here has seen the movie The Matrix, but it has a lot of symbolism to me. So I'm gonna show you the tattoo and I'm gonna explain what it means to me and how empowering it is to me, and how it affects the work that I do with people. So if I get in front of the camera right now to show you, because it's in a bit of an interesting area, just behind my neck like so. And you'll notice what it is, is actually the plug from the movie The Matrix. And basically what that symbolizes is being unplugged, because in today's society we are always being pulled from different media sources out there, whether it's the media we watch, whether it's social media or other people's opinions. We're being pulled off of our center all of the time. We're being told what to believe, we're being told what to think. But how many of the thoughts, how many of the beliefs that you have right now, did you sit down at a table one day, or on your couch, and say, "I'm gonna choose to believe X?" How many of us have done that? Versus we've got these beliefs about the world and about people perhaps we've never met. Or experiences perhaps that we've never experienced. But they've seeped in over and over again through messages from the media, from social media or from perhaps people that we may know, but we've never had that direct experience.
So what this symbol symbolizes for me is about being awake. You see, most people that I see, they come to me and they think that they need to be hypnotized. But what they don't realize is that they're already hypnotized to feel pretty bad and to have struggle in their life. Oftentimes my job as a hypnotist is to do the complete opposite, believe it or not. And it's actually to awaken people up, because you see, when you're awake you don't have a choice. Do you want to continue to live the life that you're on now and have the suffering, or do you actually want to have the ability of seeing your life for what it is, not for how you wished it would be and realizing that you may need to make some changes there, and only you can make those changes?
So oftentimes that's my job and this is what this symbol realizes to me, that a long time ago I decided to become unplugged. I decided to think for myself. I decided to sit down and be very analogical with my thoughts and be very critical on why I think the way that I think, and why do I feel the way that I feel. Is that my thought? Is that my feeling? Or have I taken that from someone else? To really question reality, I mean reality around us, what's real for us. And I'd urge you to do the same. Sometimes it can be a scary thing and sometimes these wolves or these sheep are revealed to be wolves in sheep's clothing. But you see things for how they truly are, through your experiences, not because someone else told you to believe a certain way. And that's about the work that I do, and that's why this tattoo's very important to me. Again, it's about becoming unplugged, it's about seeing things for what they are.
And in the movie The Matrix, which shares a lot of the philosophy from Descartes, many of the people are plugged into a machine, and they're slaves, but they didn't realize they were slaves. So quite frankly their life was not completely horrible, but it never had the true life that they wanted. Never really achieved those true heights that they wanted. But they never really knew because they were living in a virtual reality world. Then some people become realized that they were plugged into a machine and these things weren't real. And the world that they lived in was not all hunky dory, it was not all sunshine and flowers, but knowing that didn't dis-empower them. Didn't make them hate the world or where they were. It simply shined a torch on where they were, and now seeing things for what they truly were gave them the ability to be empowered, to make changes in their lives.
My job is not to talk positively to you. It's not to stroke your ego, it's not to tell you about rainbows and unicorns. It's simply to give you an opportunity to see the world and your life for what it is, and give you the ability to change it, to be empowered, to stop the victimization of yourself that's going on around there. This is what this tattoo means for me. It means being awake. It reminds me be awake, to stay awake, to critically look at the world and to realize that you can change just like that when you decide to become unplugged.
Luke Michael Howard PhD,