Hypnosis does not exist.
There’s no such thing as hypnosis - and by the way it’s also evil!
It is ironic that many people still cling to these kinds of beliefs.
I am not just referring to people from particular religious denominations that have issues with hypnosis or hypnotic ideas. The statements above have been made about hypnosis by men of science, doctors and academics.
So why is there such a controversy about hypnosis?
I believe that one of the reasons for this is due to a fundamental misperception about what hypnosis actually is.
The first of the misperceptions is easy to deal with, it has plagued hypnotists pretty much from the start: the question of control.
Many people, even educated ones, believe that hypnosis is some irresistible form of mind control. They refuse to believe it exists largely because they don’t want it to exist - it frightens them. This kind of hypnosis challenges their concept of free will.
Now of course we know that hypnosis is not a form of mind control. The hypnotist does not create mindless zombies - hypnotic slaves to do his bidding. But the people that cling to the misperception that hypnosis eliminates free will are frightened by their own ideas. And so they say that hypnosis is evil or that hypnosis does not exist.
This is a knee jerk reaction based on ignorance. The funny thing is that many of the people that believe hypnosis doesn’t exist actually do… believe in hypnosis that is.
How do I know?
Try this simple experiment. The next time someone glibly tells you that hypnosis doesn’t exist, just look them calmly in the eye and ask “Really? Would you like me to hypnotize you now?!?”
You will be surprised with how many of these stalwarts will back away from your offer.
Only someone exceedingly cruel would press the point and ask “What could be the harm in me hypnotizing you given that it doesn’t exist? So how about it, ready for some hypnosis?”
Of course you would never do such a thing. As a respectable hypnotist you will explain to them the truths about hypnosis. As they learn hypnosis the myths will be dispelled. The truth will set them free. At least after a little teasing!
The second misperception is tied in with the first to some extent. It is more sly and devious.
Going back to the idea that hypnosis is mind control or makes possible remarkable things - uncovering hidden talents as it were - the idea has grown up in some circles that hypnosis cannot exist because anything that is possible with a hypnotic trance can be learned and done without hypnosis (at least without a formal induction.)
There is some validity to this point of view. Except of course that the concept of what hypnosis is misunderstood.
Hypnosis is not some mystical state open only to a chosen few. Hypnosis is a very natural phenomenon that we all experience as part of life. And that is the problem: for many people the hypnotic state feels so familiar, so comfortable that they fail to recognize it when it happens. They think “this cannot be hypnosis, it feels just like the time I was falling asleep last night” or some similar activity.
So the main argument can be restated as: hypnosis cannot exist because the experience of hypnosis is virtually identical to naturally occurring phenomena.
This is one of the reasons why a hypnotist, when he starts to work with a new hypnotic subject, sometimes has to go through a period of hypnosis training. It allows the person to realize that they are naturally doing the right thing.
Its not that hypnosis does not exist, but more that most activities can be hypnotic given the right conditions!
The hypnotic induction seen in this light is more of a process of preventing the hypnotic subject from interfering with the natural development of hypnosis than of artificially trying to force them into a hypnotic trance (which after all cannot exist!)
So the next time someone tells you that hypnosis doesn’t exist, you can smile at them and say: “That’s Right! Now would you like to experience hypnosis? After all in doesn’t exist so you may as well enjoy the experience!”