Lets talk about trance and hypnosis now.
I mentioned earlier that sensory deprivation tanks help enhance imagination. I also theorized that this is the basis of dreaming (we are disociated from external reality much like in a sensory deprivation tank).
And it’s quite simple. The less external input someone has, the more they can respond to other input.
And so based on that, let’s give a very simple definition of hypnosis.
Hypnosis is when the subject checks out of other stimulus and checks in to the hypnotist.
And it’s not about conscious concentration… it’s about focus below the level of consciousness. All those automatic patterns and responsiveness, thats what we want focused and responsive to us.
There are a few ways of creating that. One obviously is when they respond to your suggestion. That creates a forward momentum of them checking in to you and checking out of other stuff.
Another way is by ‘deepening’. As a good subject once mentioned in an online discussion group, that can often creates a stronger and more absolute focus/fascination/responsiveness on the hypnotist.
Focus/fascination/absorption/responsiveness is a zero sum game. When two stimuli conflict (the physical heaviness of the arm vs the suggested lightness) one will win. The more we can dissociate the subject from external reality and stimuli, the more ‘space’ there is for the hypnotist to take over.
And so dissociation from external stimuli (trance) and association to the hypnotist (‘hypnotic’ trance) CREATES higher responsiveness to suggestion.
And thats why a lot of subjects get very still. Very not-smooth in their speech and behavior as well. All of those automatic and not-conscious response patterns are now dissociated to the normal external reality they usually respond to and are now responding to the hypnotist.
This is what the old time hypnotists called rapport. Responsiveness to the hypnotist to the detriment of other responsiveness.
And thats why emotion is so useful. When we are emotionally aroused, all of our responsiveness (the not-conscious patterns as well) become focused. And so it’s quite easy to hijack that focus and responsiveness and place it on the hypnotist.