I’ve been recently dabbling in the mystic art of hypnosis. Or, should I say, I’ve been interested, lately, in the super focused, state-of-mind, science trick called hypnosis. Either way you look at it, hypnosis is real. The purpose is what we’re after, however, not the validity of the claim of hypnosis. So, is it a black magic gate way activity, secretly luring unaware and uneducated people down a dark and immortally ill path? Or is it simply one of the stupid human tricks designed and created with good intentions and great possibility? Here, we lay out some facts and allow you to decide for yourself. When it comes to the important questions, like for instance, “is this a dark activity that will take my soul?” I want you to be at least a little more informed than when you started reading, if not having made up your mind for yourself. But first, before I start laying out the facts (which will all be based upon my experience), let me tell you of my experiences with hypnosis.
I first encountered hypnosis, like many American children, watching the TV or a movie, I forget the original exposure media, but I do remember a man holding a watch in his hand, suspended slightly above the subject’s eye level repeating the overly familiar mantra: “you’re getting sleepy”. At first impression I can recall that I surmised this was some sort of magic trick. I held that belief until I started reading comic books, which is when I believe that hypnotists held some sort of evil mind control power. Ah, the young mind. We made some wild assumptions as children, didn’t we? I mean, we never do that today…
I actually believed that hypnotists held evil mind control power until only a few years ago, when I saw a stage hypnotist. This guy was hilarious and incorporated a very positive hypnotic suggestion at the end of the show, which was awesome of him to gift everyone since we’re bombarded by negative and downright hateful hypnotic suggestions everyday through the media and in conversations. Who couldn’t use a little positivity? “Evil? How could hypnosis be evil when we just saw him incorporate a very positive hypnotic suggestion? He is using hypnosis to build up a healthy self image in other people.” I found it funny, to myself of course, that his for-a-positive-life hypnotic suggestion came at the end of the show, almost like a benediction at the end of a church sermon. A silly simile.
He had, before the show began, asked if anyone wanted to be a part of the show. I sat on my hands. I was there as a spectator, not a participator. I was told by my parents that hypnosis was from the devil who, by the way, controls the minds of those who dabble in the mystic arts of witchcraft and of black magic, so I wanted nothing to do with this, other than watch, of course. As I admired the bravery and the stupidity of the participants on stage I found that I was questioning the reason that hypnosis was available to us as humans. “Could we use this to our benefit somehow? Is this simply a method of entertainment? Is it possible that this is only another method of self destruction?”
One of my life long interests includes the medical field, I’ve always wanted to be a surgeon, so naturally I wondered how hypnosis would fit with that interest. I’ve spent hours online, since then, learning about hypnosis and hypnotic suggestions. Did you know there are recorded events of surgeries that have taken place without local anesthesia thanks to hypnosis? That’s amazing! Okay, now I was hooked. If there was good to be done with hypnosis I wanted to learn about it. It’s like my girlfriend always says about her wardrobe: “it’s good to have options”.
For the past 6 months or so I’ve been learning (off and on, when I have time) to read as much as I can about hypnosis and the myths that surround it. I will now show you my findings as we judge whether hypnosis is just, simply, a stupid human trick or if it really is a dark magic reserved for those destined to spend their eternity in hell.
What is it, really?
Hypnosis, basically, is an altered stated of mind that increases suggestibility. It’s this suggestibility that is the key for hypnosis to be successful. It’s in this state of mind that the hypnotist can make a hypnotic suggestion that would become ingrained in the subconscious mind and, subsequently, acted upon. For example, a man is successfully hypnotized and the hypnotic suggestion instructs him to forget the number 4. Amusing. Especially when the hypnotist pulls the man out of hypnosis and asks him to hold up his hand and count the fingers out loud. It proceeds like this:
Hypnotist: “Please, hold up your hand and count your fingers out loud.”
Man: “1, 2, 3, 5, 6. Wait, I thought I only had five fingers? …um, lemme try again…1, 2, 3, 5, 6! What?!?” and so on.
You may start to see where this becomes useful or dangerous, depending on the hypnotist and his/her intentions. This is where the definition of hypnosis becomes hazy and unclear, due to abusers with ill intent.
Hypnosis is old, and a little shady. Some of the first recorded hypnosis in history includes Egypt’s old kingdom, some 5,000 years ago. It was a tool used by the priests there to aid the weary in hopefully gaining a cure for their ailments in locales called “sleep temples”. It spread through the world with much popularity. And now the shady part…
Apparently it aided oracles in their offerings, also. Oracles were employed by temples to divine the future, something that shouldn’t be performed by us mere mortals, in my opinion. You know, since we know nothing about immortality and the future, relatively speaking when compared to God, the Almighty. And since it’s not a healthy practice…just sayin’.
It’s purpose and intent.
This is completely up to the hypnotist.
An evil desire?
This is also what helps to define (for good, or evil) the current status of hypnosis. If more hypnotists were devoted to helping others battle their addictions and emotional ailments instead of trying to greedily take what does not belong to them we would have a more positive image of hypnosis. Until then, we don’t
Who can use it?
This is the funny part…ready? Anyone. Seriously. And by the way, we’re hypnotized everyday by all sorts of little things. TV, driving, work, daydreams…all can create a state of hypnosis. Oh, and by the way, you don’t need a hypnotist to be hypnotized. Actually a hypnotist doesn’t hypnotize you! You allow yourself to be hypnotized and the hypnotist only assists you. So, anyone who has ever had a dream when they sleep, a day dream, or zoned out can be hypnotized.
Who is affected by it?
Anyone who wants to be hypnotized. That’s it. And that’s where the science aspect comes in. I believe that the previous users of hypnosis could only understand and explain hypnosis as a sort of mystic, divine gift or some sort of magic that only wizards and conjurers could wield. I think it’s really only a form of natural science which we’ve only begun to understand.
What about the idea that you won’t remember what happened/won’t have control of your body while being hypnotized?
True. Also, not true. It depends on the hypnotist and the suggestions. If the hypnotic suggestion instructed you to (in verbatim) “forget everything that took place under hypnosis” then, yes, you will not feel like you were in control of your body. However, a good hypnotist will first ask you about this and proceed with much caution and care. We have seen, however, people being taken advantage of while being hypnotized. So be careful if you do decide to explore hypnosis, there is a danger if the hypnotist has ill intent!
So that’s what I know about hypnosis. There are many more points to cover that I will decidedly not explore this time, however, maybe another time I will. Please use the poll below and also a comment if you feel so inclined to help me get an understanding of your opinions. Thanks everyone!