In medical terms, we have a term called ‘placebo effect’. A patient takes a dummy medicine but he is told it is actually the real medicine, and he is cured of the ailment! But recent research indicates that the placebo effect is actually far more revealing.
I read about an interesting research at the University of Turin in Italy.
They tried an experiment where they connected electrodes to the person and gave him controlled electric shocks. First they established a pain scale for the person by finding the minimum current he could feel and the maximum current he could bear.
Now, before they gave the shock, a red or a green light would appear on the screen in front of the person. Green light meant the shock would be a mild one. Red light meant the shock would be stronger. The person was supposed to then rate the pain from the shock on a scale of 1 to 10, from mild to strong. Now the person tried this for 15 minutes. At the end he felt that in the beginning the shocks were strong while in the end the shocks were mild.
But the shocking thing was actually it was exactly the opposite. The last series of shocks were all strong. Then how did the shocks get perceived as mild? Just before the mild shock was administered, the light shown to the person was green indicating that the shock about to come was a mild one.
So the person’s mind was prepared, conditioned to believe the shock coming up was going to be a mild one. When the shock was actually administered, even though physically it was a strong one, because his mind was anticipating a mild shock his body actually felt a mild shock!
So researchers are now saying that the placebo effect is much deeper and has lot more significance than what was thought before.
They have found that even drugs do not always have the direct effects. Their results can be influenced by expectations. Doctors have found that if the person is not told that he is being given an injection of a painkiller, he has to be given a larger dose to get the painkilling effect. Whereas if he knows that he is getting a painkiller, much lower doses give the same effect!
The mind is so powerful, it can directly create a physical change in you. Just like the senses can surrender to the mind, in the same way the senses can surrender to the divine consciousness too. This is exactly what happened in the case of Krishna and Arjuna when Arjuna saw a green crow when Krishna told him to see the ‘green’ crow.
Your senses say you are a human being. But I say you are a spiritual being. As long as you trust your senses, you will be a human being. When you trust the master you will experience that you are a spiritual being. That shift is what I call the ‘cognitive shift’.
source: Living Enlightenment