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Silva History
Jose Silva’s life is a fascinating and insightful story filled with amazing “coincidences” that guided him toward what would ultimately become a body of work that would help millions of people discover their latent abilities. It will give you a clear understanding of how The Silva Method works and how you can use it in your life.

The Beginning
Jose Silva was born on August 11, 1914, in Laredo, Texas. When he was four, his father passed away from injuries suffered in a train accident. His mother later remarried, and he, his older sister, and younger brother moved in with their grandmother. Two years later, he became the family bread-winner, selling newspapers, shining shoes and doing odd jobs. In the evenings he watched his sister and brother do their homework, and they helped him learn to read and write. Jose never had the opportunity for formal education.

He has never gone to school, except to teach.
Jose’s rise from poverty began one day when he was waiting his turn in a barbershop. He reached for something to read. What he picked up was a lesson from a correspondence course on how to repair radios. Jose asked to borrow it, but the barber would only rent it and only on the condition that Jose complete the correspondence course examinations in the barber’s name. Each week Jose paid a dollar, read the lesson and completed the examination.

Soon a diploma hung in the barbershop, while across town, Jose, at the age of fifteen, began to repair radios.
As the years passed, his repair business became one of the largest in the area, providing funds for the education of his brother and sister, the wherewithal for him to marry, plus eventually some half-million dollars to finance the twenty years of research that led to his mind-training method.

Jose’s research was sparked by a a psychiatrist whose job was to ask questions of men being inducted into the Signal Corps during World War II. “Do you wet your bed?” the Army psychiatrist asked. Jose was dumbfounded. “Do you like women?” Jose, the father of three, and destined one day to be the father of ten, was shocked. Surely, he thought, the man knew more about the human mind than the barber knew about radios. Why such odd questions?

It was this perplexing moment that started Jose on an odyssey of scientific research that led to his becoming one of the most creative scholars of his age. Through their writings, Freud, Jung, and Adler became his early teachers.

The “odd” questions took on deeper meanings, and soon Jose was ready to ask a question of his own: Is it possible, using hypnosis, to improve a person’s learning ability – in fact, to raise his I.Q.? In those days I.Q. was believed to be something we were born with, but Jose was not so sure.
The question had to wait while he studied advanced electronics to become an instructor in the Signal Corps. When he was discharged, with savings gone and $200 in his pocket, he began slowly to rebuild his radio repair business. At the same time he took on a part-time teaching job at Laredo Junior College where he supervised three other teachers and was credited with creating the school’s electronics laboratories.

Five years later, with television on the scene, his repair business began to flourish and Jose called a halt to his teaching career. His business once again became the largest in the area. His workdays ended about 9pm each night. He would have dinner, help put the children to bed, and when the house was quiet, study behaviorism, transcendental meditation, yoga and parapsychology. His studies also led him into hypnosis.
What he learned about hypnosis, plus what he knew about electronics, and some F’s on his children’s report cards brought him back to the question he had raised earlier – can learning ability, the I.Q., be improved through some kind of mental training?

Can Learning Ability Be Raised Through Mind Training?
Jose already knew that the mind generates electricity – he had read about experiments early in the century that revealed the Alpha brain wave rhythm. And he knew from his work in electronics that the ideal circuit is the one with the least resistance, or impedance, because it makes the greatest use of its electrical energy.
Then he asked himself:
Can we lower our brain impedance?
If so, would the brain work more effectively by doing so?

Jose began using hypnosis to quiet the minds of his children, and he discovered what to many appeared to be a paradox. He found that the brain was more energetic when it was less active. At lower frequencies, the brain received and stored more information. The crucial problem was to keep the mind alert at these frequencies, which are associated more with daydreaming and sleep than with practical activity.
Hypnosis permitted the receptivity Jose was looking for, but not the kind of independent thought that leads to reasoning things out so they can be understood. Having a head full of remembered facts is not enough; insight, reasoning, understanding and action is necessary, too.
Jose Finds the Answers with Mental Training
Jose soon abandoned hypnosis and began experimenting with mental training exercises to quiet the brain yet keep it more independently alert than with hypnosis. This, he reasoned, would lead to improved memory combined with understanding and hence to higher I.Q. scores.
The exercises that evolved into the Silva techniques called for relaxed concentration, vivid mental imagery and ways of reaching the slightly lower alpha brain frequencies. Once reached, these frequencies proved more effective than the fully awake beta frequencies used for learning.

The Proof
His children’s grades improved sharply over a three-year period and during that time Jose continued to improve his techniques.
Jose had scored a new discovery – a very significant one, which other research, principally biofeedback, later confirmed. He was the first person to prove that we can learn to function with awareness at the alpha and theta frequencies of the brain.
Another discovery, an equally astonishing one, was soon to come.

Silva’s Child Reads His Mind
One evening Jose guided his daughter into a meditation and questioned her about her studies. As she answered each question, he framed the next question in his mind before verbally asking the question. This was the usual procedure, and so far the session was no different from hundreds that had gone before.
Suddenly, the routine was momentously changed when his daughter answered the very question he was planning on askingbefore he had a chance to verbally express the question.
She repeated this again and again. Jose would only frame the question in his mind and she would answer it. She was reading his mind.

This was in 1953, when ESP was becoming a respectable subject for scientific inquiry, largely through the published work of Dr. J. B. Rhine of Duke University. Jose wrote to Dr. Rhine to report that he had trained his daughter to practice ESP but received a disappointing answer. Dr. Rhine hinted that the girl might have been psychic to begin with. Without tests of the girl before the training, there was no way to tell.
Meanwhile, Jose’s neighbors noticed that his children’s schoolwork had remarkably improved and asked if Jose would train their children too? At the beginning of his experiments these highly skeptical people had been wary of his probing into the unknown. However, the success of a man working with his own children could not be ignored.

Over the next 10 years he trained 39 Laredo children with even better results and improved his techniques with every child he taught. After the letter from Dr. Rhine, this was just what Jose needed. If what he had accomplished with one child could be accomplished with others, he would have chalked up the kind of repeatable experiments that are the basis of the scientific method.
He had developed the first method in history that could train anyone to use ESP, and he had 39 repeatable experiments to prove it.
Now to perfect the method.
Silva’s Course Takes Shape
Within another three years, Jose developed the course of mind training, which is now standard and as effective with adults as with children. So far it has been validated by over 6,000,000 experimentsthe graduates of his course. This is a measure of repeatability that no open-minded scientist can ignore.

These long years of research were financed by Jose’s growing electronics business. No university, foundation or government grants were available for such an unusual and unfamiliar field of research. With all this success, Jose did not become a celebrity, guru or spiritual leader with followers or disciples.
He was a plain man of simple ways, who spoke with the soft, almost lost accent of a Mexican-American. He was a powerfully built, stocky man with a kindly face that creased easily into a smile.

Anyone who asked Jose what success had meant to him was answered with a flood of success stories from Silva graduates of the course and although Jose smiled easily, when he heard people tell him, “Jose, you’ve changed my life for the better!” - his smile would fade a little and he would loudly respond, “No, I didn’t do it. You did, with your own mind.”
Jose passed away peacefully in February of 1999 and The Silva Method remains his greatest creation.
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