The future of hypnosis will be to fully realise the incredible potential of our natural hypnotic abilities.
40 or so gal dating herd of boy toys
The popular image of the hypnotist as a charismatic and mystical figure can be firmly dated to this time.
Inevitably, these magical trappings led to Mesmer’s downfall, and for a long time, hypnotism was a dangerous interest to have for anybody looking for a mainstream career.
Mesmer was the first to propose a rational basis for the effects of hypnosis.
Although we now know that his notion of “animal magnetism”, transferred from healer to patient through a mysterious etheric fluid, is hopelessly wrong, it was firmly based on scientific ideas current at the time, in particular Isaac Newton’s theories of gravitation.
On the one hand, a history of hypnosis is a bit like a history of breathing.
Like breathing, hypnosis is an inherent and universal trait, shared and experienced by all human beings since the dawn of time.
We’re often scared (even if nothing has actually happened yet with a particular person) that we may be letting our last chance or even best chance saloon slip away.
We may be imagining all sorts of problems that may or may not exist or we’re rationalising our own boundaries, values, and even prior experiences of being in one of these situations (so knowing that we may struggle with the emotional consequences) and are thinking along the lines of, ‘Well…
At the same time, the nature of “ordinary” consciousness is better understood as a series of trance states that we go into and out of all the time.
The history of hypnosis, then, is like the search for something that was in plain view all along, and we can now see it for what it is – a universal phenomenon that’s an inextricable part of being human.
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