Influence and limitations of hypnosis; Preface of behavioural psychology
In a preceding article, we have investigated the influence that hypnosis made in the broad field of interpersonal psychology.
As mentioned in that article, the important end-goal of interpersonalogy is
to move other’s minds and making them do what you want.
We’ve covered how those who delved into hypnosis worked to achieve this goal and realised the limitations to their initial approach to hypnosis, and ironically that discovery brought the field of hypnosis to its next level, effectively giving birth to the modern hypnosis.
In any field, when one actually reaches the level of proficiency the first thing they will realise is its realistic limitations. Those who have not reached that level will only see its rumoured possibilities.
Just like leaving the immersive characters of a fantasy novel and coming back to the real world to see real people.
While the discipline of hypnosis improved greatly thanks to many scientific works, that was coupled with realising the boundaries of its application.
Not only is it ridiculous to suggest someone you like to undergo a hypnotic process in order to create positive perception towards you,
without their positive approval and cooperation, the hypnosis would not even begin,
and to top it off, even with the cooperation and they enter a deep state of hypnosis, we cannot move them in a way that they would consciously reject.
That brings us back to square one, not meeting the initially proposed goal of interpersonalogy: to move other’s minds and making them do what you want.
Hence, in order to meet the fundamental end-goal, instead of approaches that attempt to control people based on mysterious methods, new methods that study the common psychological and behavioural patterns shared by all human kind emerged. These methods aimed to move people without artificially trying to control their mind, and the behavioural psychology stood at the centre of it.
The processed we have learnt so far such as
- Pre-work of showing them that you are about to approach them before actually doing so; Pre-Approach Knowledge
- Intermediate stage of dampening the discomfort and burden to prevent rejection of approach; LTHB
- After approach, entering the space even before they develop vigilance against you; Space Occupation
- Through an indirect touch, arousing attraction, trust and rapport from the subconscious level; Shape-Contact
- Even when they activate subconscious vigilance system, negating that by drawing their agreement; Allured Agreement
would be best described as the behavioural side of things from SoGye.
Various initiatives from hypnosis
The field of hypnosis after its inclusion into a mainstream academia, gave up on the interpersonal aspects which did not have much relation to hypnosis in the first place, and instead concentrated on the actual hypnosis.
Certainly, various initiatives arose from the field of hypnosis such as age regression technique, hypnopsychotherapy, hypnosurgery and dreaming techniques. However, these sub-fields are completely detached from our main focus of interpersonal efficacy, thus will not be further discussed.
After hypnosis was equipped with the element of ‘cooperation’, the next aspect it had on its sights was ‘trance‘.
Often described as a state of unconsciousness, subconsciousness or non-consciousness; dream-like state; state of ecstasy; state of ego-absence.
To put it simply, it is a broad concept describing the opposite state of awake and normal conscious state. It is an unconventional mental state experienced through means such as meditation, hypnosis, certain substances and music.
Hypnosis of the past often used relaxation as its flavour of trance. Both the physical, musculoskeletal relaxation as well as the mental relaxation were used in combination.
Hence the imagery that comes into our mind when we hear ‘hypnosis’ almost always belong to the branch of hypnosis using relaxation trance.
“As I count from ten, with every count you will feel comfortable and enter a deep state of relaxation. Your eyelids are getting heavier, your shoulders are getting comfortable and lazy, your arms are getting comfortable and lazy……”
Progression of hypnosis similar to above are such.
Therefore, the old hypnosis had a single, uniform formula:
Create trance with relaxation -> bring about hypnosis with the state of trance
However, just like how the mainstream psychologists with overall human interaction in mind brought along the concept of ‘cooperation’ to improve hypnosis,
the phenomenon of trance caught the attention of the scientists once again, and the secrets of trance were uncovered one by one.
As trance was a broad concept that described what was opposite to a normal range of conscious mental states, it cam to a conclusion that relaxation is not obligatory for a state of trance.
With this, the hypnotists began to reject the central formula of
relaxation -> trance -> hypnosis
that was thought to be absolute in the past.
This was the birth of a new trend of hypnosis that some branches of hypnosis call “modern hypnosis”. (As an opposite of modern hypnosis, the branches of hypnosis that focus on relaxation trance are called “classical hypnosis”.
What modern hypnosis has yet to uncover
However, that was the end of it.
That’s because the scientists have not discovered everything yet.
‘Trance is a broad concept that is opposite/different to a conventional conscious state, and trance can be experienced in a number of ways’ is where the progression of knowledge has came to its end.
Hypnotists started to experiment many different methods to find the key that directly created trance.
Pre-hypnotic rapport to build trust and familiarity is essential;
trance can be created without relaxation but just with lingual direction;
trance can be created without words but just with non-verbals;
even subliminal messages that tap into the subconscious is effective;
soundwaves beyond 20~20000Hz that human cannot hear can bring about trance…
These are all examples of such propositions to creating trance.
ironically even long before the inception of such claims,
the mankind already had the solution to this.
The answer lies in what was continued from the ancient times until now; meditation.