Hypnotism - What It Is, and Isn't

Practitioners Offer Weird Definitions


About three years ago when i began hearing statements that certain techniques of Scientology were actually procedures for the covert induction of osis, I set out to find out the facts. Not facts about Scientology, of which I had enough already, but about hypnosis.

There were two things I wished to ascertain: First, what IS hypnosis? and, secondly, what are the bad and the good aspects of hypnosis?

These facts, which are very briefly presented herein, were not obtained through further investigating of pettifogging fakirs. This data has been evolved first through thoroughly learning the views and the techniques of leading ethical hypnotherapists.

By "ethical hypnotherapist" is meant a therapist who plainly and honestly states that he IS a practitioner in hypnotherapy or hypnoanalysis. He is an accredited specialist who receives all or most of his practice through referals from medical doctors or clinics. Some ethical hypnotherapists frankly employ hypnosis as an adjuvant to their main occupation as top-flight dentists, to control pain, anxiety, and hemorrhaging. Others hold diplomas in medicine, sometimes specializing in neurology, obstetrics, and surgery.

The first thing discovered was that it is NOT the publicity-seeking charlatans of cults and fake-science racketeers who have developed and advanced the practice of the phenomena of hypnosis, but sincere, hard-working, medically trained investigators who are intensely seeking to perfect hypnosis as a short-cut to effective and relatively less expensive psychosomatic medicine.

The next and rather astonishing thing I encountered Was that among ethical workers, "hypnosis" is considered as yet to be undefinable. Not one doctor that I worked with could technically define hypnosis or clearly say what it actually is. One professional book says vaguely that hypnosis is a special sort of conditioned reflex. This is erroneous, since the best subjects are hypnotizable on the first try, without conditioning. Another writer says that hypnosis is a condition wherein the inductee fancies that he is a child and that on this basis, he identifies the operator with his parents. This formulation evidently is based on some specific experience with some particular patients. This is merely an exposition of certain effects in certain cases--probably effects that were desired by the operator. This has nothing to do with cause. Another says hypnosis comprises a way of acting "as a hypnotized person is supposed to act". A quite useless statement. Another definition that at least faces in the right direction, is that hypnosis is the manifestation of accepting suggestions to be even more suggestible than is normal. BUt the best practitioners informed me flatly that they simply could not say precisely what hypnosis is--that they only knew a little about how to use it.

Yet hypnosis, which has a completely extraordinary historical background, has been practiced for thousands of years!

It soon became apparent to me that when some person arbitrarily states, "this--or that --is hypnosis", he rarely has any insight into

what is taking place. Also, since hypnosis has often been utilized by crooks for their own financial enrichment, the belief has been spread that hypnosis is dangerous, evil, weakens the mind, and the like. This is completely false to fact. If there is anything objectionable about hypnosis it is this fact: The very persons who most Ida:11y denounce it are sometimes the most accomplished users of it-- covertly. This is a vicious procedure. it the viciousness is in the dirty procedure--not in the phenomena of hypnosis.

The word "hypnosis" is derived from a Greek word, hypno--sleep. So the word itself is merely a sort of equivalent of "sleepsis". This is meaningless, for sleep is almost the very slightest factor in hypnosis. In fact, the deeply tranced inductee, despite a physical appearance of being asleep, is actually not only NOT asleep, but his perceptions and powers are often fantastically superior to the best he can do in a most wide-awake, alert, unhypnotized state.

Concurrently with another investigation into the sources of anti-sexual and anti-physical-body notions, as set forth in "The Power and Glory of Sex", I began looking into hypnosis on the basis of electropsychometric research. This research featured the dynamic application of the basic principles of creative psychical imagery, of the type set forth in "Creative Image Therapy".

As this work proceeded, the true nature of hypnotic phenomena became apparent. This was far easier to uncover than the concurrently investigated sources of human anti-sexuality. The consequence of this research is that hypnosis is now clearly and understandably definable in a manner that is satisfactory both to the professional and to the casual reader.

To understand the phenomena of hypnosis, it is essential to grasp the basic thesis of "Creative Image Therapy% which is this: That all human action on the physical level is preceded by an image or picture on the mental or psychical level. "First the repeatedly-duplicated image, then the event!"

Every single brick or stone in the biggest building is first IMAGED into position before it is physically placed in that position. And every single cell in the wondrous human body is first IMAGED in the autonomous subconscious area before it is constructed in the physical body.

Mental imaging probably is the MAIN ACTIVITY of every living human being. "Thinking"-- outside of mathematics--is mainly continuous imaging of persons, objects, things, in ever- varying positions and relationships. Possibly anything that can be mentally imagined can be eventually created, provided: that the mental picture is recreated, that is repeated or duplicated, with sufficient inteintsy for a sufficient number of times. This is how we create our physical bodies: by duplication of cellular images. This is how we get our sustenance: by duplication of images of the procedures of producing or obtaining foods. This is how we spend most of our time by imaging our relationships with other persons, with objects, with everything in this universe--and then by manifesting these image patterns in appropriate physical actions.

Now, our endless and interminable patterns