Frequently Asked questions
It is really not a simple explanation to fully explain the subconscious, because of the many "metaphysical" definitions. Many people think of it as a kind of spooky, non-material thing. However, the subconscious mind is an organic center and, in fact, a material concept. It is really a subjective part of the mind, the part which carries out orders, operating below the level of conscious awareness-sort of a sum total of all functions of the nervous system.
The conscious mind reasons both inductively and deductively, while the subconscious mind merely accepts, as true, whatever information it receives. In the hypnotic state, we communicate directly with the subconscious mind only, by-passing the critical faculty, which is the reasoning factor, and therefore the subject is capable of believing things which may not even be true.
Let’s put it this way, to simplify the matter: Consider that the so-called "subconscious mind" is not really a "mind", at all. Think of it as sort of a mechanism consisting of the brain and nervous system, which is used by-and directed by-the mind.
Having no ability to reason, it just literally accepts whatever you feed into it. Thus, if you feed in negatives, this is what you will get. This is why people acquire bad habits, feelings of inferiority, phobias and fears. Imagined fears become real fears. The subconscious is subjective and will merely carry out orders and this is really the secret of why hypnotic conditioning is so effective. In the hypnotic state, we are communicating directly with the subconscious and – using the same "power" which had been used negatively – we can redirect this capability to positive goals.
Let us say that what suggestions can do, suggestion can undo!
This ia another word for "self-hypnosis." The principles involved are as old as hypnosis itself and, indeed, there is very little differences between the two. In the final analysis, it boils down to the subjects being taught to make constructive suggestions to themselves. Remember the old "Day by day, in very way, I’m getting better and better"? This was promulgated by Emile Coué, a 19th-century French pharmacist, who was a devout student of the "power of suggestion." This little adage, "day by day " caught like fire-with astounding results-all over Europe and the United States. Unfortunately, it was proclaimed by many as some sort of panacea for all ills and even Mr. Coué was carried away. News of subsequent failures traveled fast and the "fad" died out. You see, hypnosis is an excellent modality for positive, constructive, healthful conditioning and can enable one to improve everyday abilities immeasurably. What really happens is that you tap abilities which you did not realize you possess!
No! In the first place, it would take a component psychologist, or psychiatrist, to uncover "deep-lying" problems. This would not be the function of a hypnotist. Of course, hypnosis could be employed to facilitate the analytic process and shorten the term of care. So, self-hypnosis, per se, would not be helpful in this instance.
This is the "law of reversed effect"; for instance, trying hard to recall someone’s name can be a difficult task, trying hard to fall asleep, to stop eating, etc. Will power is not as strong as imagination and this is why hypnosis is an excellent aid for self-improvement. A skilled hypnotist makes full use of these principles, since the subconscious mind responds well to imaginative stimulation.
Self-hypnosis, often designated by other names, such as autohypnosis, autoconditioning, psychocybernetics, etc., is not in the least dangerous. It is an excellent technique employed in conditioning the subconscious mind to be responsive and is employed in many areas of self-improvement.
In fact, when you think about it, Zen Buddhist meditation and other religious rites (Samadhic state of Yoga, Kavannah, etc.) do utilize this ability of subconscious "power." Christian Science, although now denying use of self-hypnosis, certainly can truthfully attribute "recoveries" to this innate capability of the mind. Concentration involved in such religious prayer-states are certainly not "dangerous".
Often, we hear the question about "waking up," if you employ self-hypnosis. No problem! (In the first place, as we state repeatedly, you are not asleep in the hypnotic state). The subject is trained through a program of conditioning, to emerge from the "state" automatically.
The main difference is that stage hypnosis involves, usually, having the subject appear ridiculous – even humiliated, at times. Thus, having witnessed such antics, a person may be inclined to resist being hypnotized for therapeutic purposes. Actually, the "hypnosis," per se, is no different, except that it is used for different purposes, one purpose being for entertainment and the other for overcoming ailments or problems which, if your physician feels advisable, may well respond to hypnotic conditioning. We might mention, here, that our professional associations do not support stage hypnosis. A stage hypnotist, of course, selects his subjects from a large audience after giving various tests for suggestibility, while a physician, or hypnotechnician, will work with anyone desiring help.
This involves a state known as "catalepsy," as state in which a subject’s arm, or leg, can be made rigid. Actually, complete rigidity is not necessary to maintain a limb in a given position.
Not really. There are, no doubt, some such performers who do not cohorts, but a capable hypnotist would not find it necessary. Some performers do, also, use their own pre-conditioned subjects, who actually do enter a fairly deep state of hypnosis. A less confident hypnotist might just have his cohorts "pretend" to carry out suggestions. I do not support stage hypnotism, primarily because many performers cause fears and stigmas by their activities. In any event, back to the original question, a stage hypnotist uses various "suggestibility tests" to select good subjects from the audience.
Religious healing occurs, really, because of an inherent belief-call it faith, if you will-produced by increased susceptibility to suggestion. In our opinion, when such a "phenomenon" occurs, it signifies the absence of any organic problem to start with. In effect, this "power of suggestion" can be termed "hypnosis." Again, the only danger would be in delaying proper care, medically, if required. Psychosomatic and psychogenic situations respond quite nicely to hypnosis … or call it what you will, i.e., faith healing, etc.
Depends on person’s individual belief. Since one never can tell about the beliefs of others, this is difficult to answer. However, let’s tackle the question, in general.
In the early days, there was much discussion on the moral, ethical and religious aspects of mesmerism (the forerunner of modern hypnosis). Some folks regarded the "trance" state as the healing gift of God, while others saw it as a manifestation of the Devil. There were even some who advocated that those who dabbled in such affairs should be treated as sorcerers and witches!
There are no longer any serious objections on such superstitious grounds and physicians and other practitioners who practice hypnosis are not accused of sorcery. Greater enlightenment has erased such criticism and science now knows that there is no weakening of the will, no domination of the subject, etc. Such objections are invalid.
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