Hypnosis and Self-Knowledge : Most people do not understand hypnosis. Many think they cannot be hypnotised, and many believe someone hypnotises them. What they know about hypnosis is mostly from watching hypnosis performed on stage or TV. So they have the wrong idea about hypnosis and what it does to the individual. Here I am going to try to dispel this misconception and help you understand the magic inside you.
Do you know that we live in a hypnotic world? Hypnosis is all about how we manipulate and influence our subconscious mind. What we see or hear is all hypnotic. It affects our subconscious mind. Not only that, but when we think, we are also hypnotising ourselves. Our thinking influences our subconscious mind. As I see it, the ego in our mind is a product of self-hypnosis. That is, it is dependent on the thinking process. The ego is afraid that if stopped thinking, it might disappear from the mind. Thus in most people’s mind, thinking never stops. It keeps on going like a squirrel in a cage.
To understand hypnosis, therefore, we must learn how our subconscious mind works. Our subconscious mind is full of conditioned reflexes we have acquired since birth. It does not recognise the right from wrong or the good from the bad. That is, it has no discriminatory power. Our subconscious mind is a neutral energy source that sustains and protects us. All our vital functions are under subconscious control; for example, our cardiovascular system, respiratory system, gastrointestinal system, immune system etc., are all under subconscious control.
You may wonder how thinking is hypnotic? If you become aware, you will observe that words and sentences make up our thinking. That is, we tend to verbalise what we see and what we feel. Yes, when we think, we talk to ourselves. Now, these words have a powerful conditioned response in our psyche. It is a hypnotic response. The meaning does not matter, but the type of words you use do.
For example, if you say, “What is going to happen?” it creates an instant feeling of anxiety in your subconscious mind. If you say, “Everything is fine”, you will feel a lot better even if you did not mean it. Same thing if you say, “I hope I will be fine”. It creates an instant doubt in your mind. But if you say “I am fine”, you will feel good straight away even if you did not mean it.
Now, if someone says, “I love you”, and you know he does not mean it, you will still feel good about it. Why? It is because your subconscious mind is reflexly responding to positive words. This person you know is a crook, liar and thief. Every time he sees you, he keeps telling you, “I love you” I can assure you might change your opinion of him. It is because you have no control over how your subconscious mind responds.
Let me give you another example. If someone says, “I hate you”, and you know he does not mean it, I can assure you will not feel good about it. If he keeps repeating that phrase, I have no doubt you will feel like throwing a punch at him. On this occasion, you will observe your subconscious mind is reacting negatively to the negative words.
Hence one can surmise that when we say positive words, we produce positive chemicals in our brain. When we say negative words, we make harmful chemicals. The meaning of the words or your beliefs does not matter. So the way one feels at a given moment is dependent on how many good and harmful chemicals we have generated in the system. If the total has more positive chemicals, one will feel happy. If the total has more bad chemicals, one will feel negative – depressed and miserable. The problem is most of the world outside is negative. It is distorting our perceptions and thinking. It is stimulating your subconscious mind negatively. One can see mental illness is increasing in societies all over the world. It is the result of individuals developing negative perceptions and habits in thinking. Thus every one of us is a potential candidate for mental illness.
Since our subconscious mind governs how we feel at any given moment, let us examine how we give substance to our feelings. For example, we can look at a flower without saying a single word in our mind and understand what it is. But once we put a word and label it and say “rose”, it instantly gives a new definition and form to the feeling. It is a subconscious response. From this, you will understand how emotions can play havoc on the individual. The ego has the habit of analysing and verbalising everything, which in turn activates thinking and emotions. So if you are angry, for instance, and keep verbalising and mulling, you will become even more enraged. However, if you did not say a single word in your mind and just observed your feeling and see how long you can make it last, you will find it has no substance. The mood will fade away.
To understand further how our subconscious mind controls our emotions and feelings, we need to look at our perception of time, the time as we know by the clock. I have labelled the ego a time-traveller because it is always thinking about the past, the present and the future. Do you realise that it is the word you use in your mind that makes you travel in time? So when we say “the past”, you are instantly transported into the past. When we say “the present”, we now look at the present, and when we say “the future”, we now instantly project ourselves into the future. The tenses we use in our day to day language to communicate makes us travel in time. The words stir up our imagination. They have a conditioned response in our subconscious mind. But do you know in reality, there is no time? We live in a timeless world. The ego is afraid that it would be stuck in the present if it did not verbalise everything it sees or hears. It is this fear that drives the ego to keep thinking all the time. It is the reason why we hear this inane chatter everywhere around us in the media, TV, Radio and Newspaper, etc. We know how to keep ourselves in a trance-like state. Do you understand what I mean when I say that the world is turning us all into zombies?
Can you now appreciate the fact that we are all conditioned beings? The environment in which we grow up hypnotises us, so we are already hypnotised. To wake up from this self-hypnosis, we have to become aware of our conditioning. Awareness deconditions us. It wakes us up from this hypnotic world, so we can start thinking for ourselves.