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Class on hypnosis.

In which we explore some basic facts about the way in which the brain and body work. Specifically we see how words and images can activate other systems in the brain which relate to feelings, muscles, senses, sense of balance etc. These are compared with "tests of hypnotisability" and "hypnotic inductions"

ENTERTAINMENT hypnotists love to make hypnosis look dark and mysterious and complicated. They love to pretend that they have special powers that no-one else possesses.  I love to make things bright and clear and open, and I do not claim any special powers.  In this first chapter I am going to ask you to try out various things and to think about them. These things are simple and everyday, and will turn out to be not at all mysterious, and yet they are a foundation on which much of hypnosis is built.

Words can trigger pictures in your mind.  This must seem a pretty obvious fact. You need only think of reading a novel and remember the pictures that come to mind as you do so to realise the obvious truth of this. But it is still worth doing a little
exercise on it, as follows.

First just think to yourself, "I am on holiday." STOP NOW; did you see a picture of it in your mind?  People vary, but it is unlikely, in the very short time I allowed you, that you saw anything very clearly.  Now allow yourself more TIME. Think, "I am on holiday." Pause. "It is my favourite kind of place".  Pause. "The weather is just how I like it." Pause. "I am wearing my favourite clothes." Pause. "I am doing my very favourite thing." Pause. "I am on holiday!" In all probability that extra time was repaid by a very much more vivid picture or pictures in the mind.  But it is best, especially if you are a student of hypnosis, to get someone else to do the same thing, perhaps with you saying the words: "Picture yourself on holiday." Pause. "It is your favourite kind of weather." etc.

In this way you will discover for yourself the fact that people can have quite different degrees of clarity of picture, and the pictures themselves can be quite different. I, for example, usually manage only rather washed out images.  The conclusions I would expect you to be able to agree with, after some experience, are the following simple ones.

Words can lead to pictures in the mind. It takes a little time for them to arise.

Remember to harm none!!!!

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