Image-ning

“In the treatment of skin conditions by changing a person’s focus of attention, Erickson is illustrating the dictum that Paracelsus expounded in the fifteenth century: ‘As man imagines himself to be, so shall he be, and he is that which he imagines.’ There really are physical effects associated with mental imagery. These effects can be attained inside of the body also, but they simply are more demonstrable on the skin. The most obvious examples are blushing when we think about an embarrassing situation, or the development of an erection when we fantasize an erotic image. A person who imagines himself as worthy holds himself erect and moves decisively and confidently. It is, then, surprising that his skeletal structure, muscle tone, and facial expression develop quite differently from those of someone who ‘imagines’ or images himself to be a nonentity?”

From “My Voice will go with You – The teaching tales of Milton H. Erickson,” by Sidney Rosen