To understand the hypnosis principle one must understand how a posthypnotic suggestion works. If you've ever seen a stage hypnotist you may have seen this at work.
First the hypnotist puts the person in a fairly deep trance. When the subject is in a deep trance he will remember nothing that happened in the trance state unless he is told to remember.
Then to entertain the crowd he will give a suggestion that will take effect after the subject is awakened. He may say something like: "After you are awake anytime you see me scratch my head you will burst out singing the Star Spangle Banner." He may end this suggestion with another that he will not remember what he heard in the trance state.
Next he wakes the subject up and starts carrying on some small talk. Then he scratches his head. Suddenly, the subject starts singing the National Anthem.
The audience, of course, thinks it's funny and laughs like crazy.
But here's the interesting thing. If the hypnotist asks the subject why he started singing, the subject will not have a clue as to the real cause. He will usually not admit he does not know but will formulate a reason within his belief system that sounds as rational as possible to him. He may say, "I've just been feeling patriotic lately and thought the audience may like it." Or, "I just thought it would be a funny thing to do at the spur of the moment."
We laugh when we see this happening to this unsuspecting victim but what we do not realize is that it also happens to most of us.
We also have posthypnotic suggestions planted in us that are triggered when certain key words are spoken or events happen.
How could we have post-hypnotic suggestions within us, you ask? When have you been hypnotized?
A powerful unconscious suggestion can be implanted in a number of ways. The most commonly known is through a hypnotist. But such powerful suggestions can also be planted through repetition of belief or thought sometimes even over a period of years. For many of us our belief systems are like powerful hypnotic suggestions. The interesting thing is our conscious belief systems change over time, but often the implant of past belief remains, just waiting to be triggered by a key word. You have probably seen this at work with friends, family or spouse. You make an innocent sounding remark and the person seems to over react and maybe lashes out at you.
Each of us must find our programming and neutralize it. To understand this, visualize the hypnotic subject suddenly remembering the posthypnotic suggestion. Now that he realizes what is going on he has power to not sing when the hypnotist scratches his head. He may still feel an impulse to sing but he can now resist because he is aware.
Even so when we realize how we are programmed we then have power over the programming and can respond as we consciously see fit rather than as some computer program.
When we recognize and master the hypnotic suggestions within us we become masters of our fate - which reminds me of one of my favorite poems:
"Out of the night that covers me, black as the pit from pole to pole.
I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul.
"In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance my head is bloody, but unbowed.
"Beyond this place of wrath and tears, looms but the horror of the shade,
and yet the menace of the years finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
"It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul."
("Invictus," by William Earnest Henley)
Copyright © 2006 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved