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Reflecting self and other with hypnosis

Using hypnosis in times of confrontation

I have received a feedback from a participant that got me thinking.

The question of manipulation has been in the news and used in context with the news especially in recent years.

And I think hypnosis as kind of a “grandmother of the threat of manipulation” has a lot to teach us here. I get it, we human beings can worry a great deal about our life, and I am no exception. However, whenever I am threatened by something or someone else is threatened by something that is not really “a thing”, I suspect that my minds ability to have a trauma reaction is at work. “Manipulation” itself is not really a thing, “the news” is not really a thing, not even “facts” are really things. They are all ideas, concepts, words that help us exchange other ideas and concepts to shortcut long winded explanations. Even “hypnosis” is not really a thing unless we are only talking about the hypnotic state, which can be measured to a certain degree and thus I guess could be named as “a thing”.

However, there is so much more to hypnosis. It is not just the state that people are talking about. It is the idea that we can somehow work magic in our lives by seeing some sort of magician (namely a hypnotist) who will then by looking into someones eyes (not around the eyes, into the eyes) and mumbling spells and suggestions be taking full charge of the clients inner world, thus changing their lives for the better (or worse). Fortunately, life (and hypnosis) does not work that way.

The above perspective totally neglects the fact that all interactions are between people (hence the word ‘inter’). And the only person having any influence on ones inner world is oneself. Another person, therapist, doctor, hypnotist, news anchor, politician etc. may be able to influence the outer world of someone else, but never the inner. The inner is the realm of the self including the unconscious, which is vast, powerful and (in my opinion) wise.

Now, we may use the hypnotic state as a tool for reflection, as it can help take the power out of our habituated thought, feeling and action patterns. The famous hypnotist and MD Milton Erickson called this “depotentiating conscious sets”. (—>See an example of this kind of interaction here, where I am depotentiating conscious sets of a seminar attendee). Hypnosis can help us reflect before acting, reflect before feeling, reflect before thinking. And in my experience this makes it a very powerful tool for changing in a direction that makes our life more fulfilling, joyful, and peaceful, and in most cases the same for the people who are around us. Manipulation with no benign intention is meaningless when we know how to change in a positive direction.

So, coming back to the point of confrontation: These days there are heated arguments about many things, with opposing opinions. If hypnosis has taught me one thing, then this: Opposing opinions are not what we want to get rid of. It is what we want to integrate in order to create a more wholesome “bigger picture”. In order to integrate an opinion, we need to understand it. So, someone else explaining their opinion, and even trying to persuade us could be our ally in finding a bigger truth, a more wholesome understanding of life.

I am proposing that we learn from hypnosis to reflect internally, so that we get better at reflecting with others externally. All others are really doing is helping us reflect our own internal state. So, we should be grateful for whatever others are bringing to us, no matter how uncomfortable it may seem. And I get it. This is hard. For me too. But maybe, maybe, it gets easier with practice. Hypnosis and self hypnosis are useful practices in order to build a strong foundation of inner peace, joy, and fulfillment.

I couldn’t help but reflect some more on video. So, feel free to watch and reflect for yourself. Your comments are most welcome!

Much love and all the best

Karsten

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