“You are completely relaxed… you feel warm and comfortable … you feel you really need to close your eyes and sleep… your eyelids are getting heavy… heavier… and heavier… slowly, you close them… now they are closed… you are getting sleepier…. and sleepier…. you are going to SLEEP…… deeper and deeper asleep… SLEEP!”

Many of us are familiar with this scene: A bizarre-looking man holds a clock pendant and continuously, determinedly swings it in front of a vulnerable, lost-looking young woman. He utters the phrase repeatedly, in slower and lower intonation: “You’re getting sleepy… You’re getting sleepy…” The girl stares blankly into the clock. The world turns and swirls around her, spiralling and spiralling. Then eventually, she starts to act like (a) a zombie, (b) a vamp, (c) a chicken, or (d) all of the above simultaneously.

Thanks to popular culture, hypnotism has achieved an eerie, mystical, otherworldly and sometimes evil reputation. While the scenario illustrated above may have a little ring of truth to it (Hypnosis using verbal suggestion is powerful, and people under hypnosis can be made to believe and therefore act as a different identity), there is certainly a lot more than meets the eye about hypnotism.

Doubtless one of the most intriguing – yet also one of the most bewildering – topics to come across man, hypnotism transcends boundaries as it continues to be studied, analyzed, and interpreted in diverse fields of wisdom. From medicine, psychology, new age, self-help, religion, history, media and popular culture, hypnotism is accorded with different meanings, interpretations, and uses: the conclusions never final, the reports ever-evolving.

This may be rooted from one thesis: that studying hypnotism would inevitably mean studying the human mind, and definitely, the human mind is an ever-changing overlapping universe of significance, interpretation, and purpose.

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This post was written by Daniel Platt

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