– Giving inanimate objects life. To a child, “Teddy Bear”
is alive and the walls can hear. They possess human qualities.
Animism is another of the traits of childhood thinking.
Animism occurs when inanimate objects are given animate
qualities. All objects come alive when animism is at play
or work. This means that, to a child, the walls do have
ears and the shoes under a child’s bed can come to life.
Her teddy bear or doll is a real living and breathing being.
The shirt in the closet becomes a monster in the night.
Cartoons, animated films and children’s books utilize this
animism principle to reach children where they think. All
of us retain this ability throughout our life. We just put
so many ayers over it (Meta-States), but it still resides
Street” was angry today.
My watch tells me it is time for me to go to work.
find little evidence where this style of thinking leads
to problems in adulthood with the exception of those suffering
a pathological disorder in that they are totally out of
touch with reality.
We use these same cognitively limited styles
when we generate problem states or limiting beliefs. If
you alter one of the perceptual pieces the whole irrational
structure crumbles. The cognitive styles identified by
Piaget, build walls around information and beliefs that
prevent alternative information from being considered.
Therapy in general, and hypnotic language in particular,
challenges the narrow thoughts or beliefs and expands
awareness. This expanded awareness defeats and removes
these cognitive clogs.
A Case Study by John Burton, Ed.D. (Burton
and Bodenhamer, 2000):
A particular case serves as a good example
to illustrate the influence of these cognitive principles
and how hypnotic language can bring about a more effective
choice. This case involved Doug who tended to fly into
a rage when others made comments that he perceived questioned
his sense of personal worth. Doug and his fiancé, Linda,
came in for counseling. Doug's temper outbursts had almost
ended their relationship. Doug regularly took offense
at benign comments that Linda made about his actions and
his appearance. Both agreed, when looking back, that the
comments could easily have been taken as either lightweight
or offering alternative perspectives rather than criticism.
But when Doug heard Linda's criticism, he immediately
personalized them as a threat to his sense of personal
worth. Upon hearing her comments, Doug would go into a
rage. He would yell, cuss and berate Linda. This led to
several short breakups between them. In order for their
marriage to survive, they had to overcome these accumulated
Several cognitive elements became evident
when Doug described his reasoning about these comments
that led to rage.
First, Doug took them as a personal (personalizing).
Doug believed that Linda's comments must be about him.
Doug had "I" trouble as his awareness totally
focused on himself. Rather than a comment about
a behavior or his appearance, Doug felt the comments referred
to him as a person thus addressing his sense of personal
worth. He ignored the lengthy relationship
history with his fiancé that included much mutual support
and encouragement (Forgot their prior good times).
Doug admitted that the good times occupied
at least 98% of their time together. The fits of rage
(narrow mindedness) his focus on the 2% of the time
with “derogatory” comments. Centering on these comments
led Doug to conclude, “She is always finding fault
with me.” So, in Doug's eyes, Linda "caused"
his rage (cause-effect
thinking). The rage response also required
and black-white thinking. Due to Doug's tendency
to center his focus on just the bad times with Linda,
he over-generalized to "all" of their relationship
as being bad. Nor, could Doug see and shades of good or
bad. In his mind it was either good or bad and mostly
bad. He inductively
reasoned that since he perceived Linda as making specific
judgments about his sense of personal worth, she must
have believed that everything about him had a bad connotation
in her eyes (making mountains out of mole hills)). His
personalizing prevented Doug from taking Linda's point
of view. Doug could not consider a different purpose for
the comments at the time they were spoken.
Part 2 - Growing Up Our Thinking: A Biblical
We are responsible (Take responsibility for your
thinking.) - “In those days people will no longer
say, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s
teeth are set on edge.’ Instead, everyone will die for
his own sin; whoever eats sour grapes—his own teeth will
be set on edge.” (Jeremiah 31:29-30)
a. Playing the “Blame Game”
doesn’t work with God.
b. He holds us responsible for our action.
c. Jesus did
not excuse behavior; He forgave it but only when He saw
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, repent:
for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”
Mark 1:15 “…The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom
of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
The Bible compels us to put away childish thinking
I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a
child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I
put childish ways behind me.” (I
If as some in our society believe that we cannot change
our thinking, then God would not have commanded us to
Numerous Scriptures command us to change our thinking:
Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) “For
as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…”
Romans 12:1-2 – “Therefore,
I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer
your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to
God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform
any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed
by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to
test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing
and perfect will.”
Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brothers,
whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if
anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such
To know Christ is to be made brand new and that
includes our thinking or we certainly wouldn’t be brand
Ezekiel 36:26 “I will give you a new
heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from
you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
I Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any
man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are
passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
What happens to “black and white thinking,”
the refusal to “see past positive examples,” “jumping
to conclusions,” “personalizing,” playing the “blame game,”
“narrow mindedness,” and the “making of mountains out
of mole hills” when you apply your position in Christ
to that kind of childish thinking?
Position in Christ"
to bear on:|
- Narrow mindedness
the "blame game"
- Making Mountains
out of Molehills
- Black and
out past positive memories
Having brought Christ to bear
on your childish thinking,
you will “grow up” your thinking.
What a great example of how “higher levels modulate
In the Meta-States model as developed by L. Michael
Hall, Ph.D. (1995),
that when we apply one thought to another thought,
the original thought will modify. In the above example,
when we apply our “new creature” status to childish
we in fact
“grow up our thinking” in and through
the Lord Jesus Christ.
Childish thinking will not stand under
the Lord’s thinking.
Burton, John, Ed.D. and Bodenhamer, Bobby
G., D.Min. Hypnotic Language: Its Structure and Use.
(2000). Wales: Crown House Publishers, Ltd.
Hall, L. Michael. (1995). Meta-states:
A Domain of Logical Levels, Self-reflexive Consciousness
in Human States of Consciousness. Grand Junction,
CO.: ET Publications.
The Child’s Conception of the World. (1965).
New Jersey: Littlefield, Adams & Company.
©2000 Bobby G. Bodenhamer, D. Min. All rights