In this week’s spotlight I would like to address the notion of group think. I continue to be surprised at how often people repeat lines they have heard spoken by pundits on both sides of the political arena that are false to fact. Then I thought back to a meeting I had with a friend of mine who was visiting from Germany. He loves magic so we decided to take in a magic show while there. I was asked to assist the magician by pretending to have lost my watch, a watch that he would find. I wondered, how many tricks are really not tricks but rather staged events? Now, I have studied and used hypnosis for over thirty years and I know of certain hypnotic tricks that are absolutely not staged. Maybe next time we will take in a hypnosis act.
Speaking of hypnosis, and now the segue, this past week I gave a lot of thought to an idea suggested by Richard Bach in his book, Hypnotizing Maria. Imagine that a stage hypnotist has hypnotized you. The experience will seem quite real even if it is a pure hallucination, negative or positive in nature. (A negative hallucination occurs when you fail to see what is there and a positive when you see what is not there). So imagine that you have been imprisoned in a room without doors. Further, imagine that the room is made of solid concrete like a bomb shelter or bunker and that the walls, floor and ceiling are several feet thick. You’re trapped inside this room without exits.
Okay—think about this for a moment. Perhaps you circle on the stage floor walking around the room that only you can see. The audience has been told that you believe that you are trapped in a solid concrete room. You touch the cold walls when the hypnotist suggests that you try to find a way out. They are hard. You push on them and find that they are not just cold and hard, but the surface is rough like a sidewalk. You kick the wall and hurt your foot. When prompted to by the hypnotist, you search for seams, door, openings of any kind, and find none. You begin to worry—how will you get out? What if the light disappears? Where is the light coming from? Fear begins to crawl over you.
Okay—now imagine that you are in the audience. You are witnessing a hypnotized individual trapped in an imaginary room. That is, the barrier perceived as a concrete wall does not actually exist. The walled in subject is trapped only by their beliefs. From your perspective in the audience, it seems almost ridiculous that this self-imposed belief, this hallucination, this state of mind in hypnosis, could possibly be real. You laugh at the antics of the hypnotized as they become frantic to escape. Their antics grow ever more panicked. You laugh louder and harder.
Okay—now imagine that you are living in a world full of your own self imposed limitations, definitions, preconceived notions, emotional biases, and so forth, and you’re doing so right now—right this very minute as you read this article. How many of these self-imposed walls have you been hypnotized to believe are real? Isn’t that what accepting a suggestion is—a state of hypnosis? How many suggestions have you accepted from the world around you, your peers, the media, etc. that have become your walls, your barriers, your false to fact beliefs?
We live in a world where it seems that most seek to entrap us in this or that argument, as though they are our only choices. They are not! Perhaps we need to de-hypnotize ourselves. Questioning everything we believe is one way to begin. I wrote both Choices and Illusions and Gotcha! to expose the extent of this programming and our true choices. I hope you will seek to separate the false from the real.
As always, thanks for the read and I’d love your thoughts on this one.
NY Time Bestselling Author of Choices and Illusions