Hypnosis


The Robert Anton Wilson Preface Spectacular continues with another all-time favorite…

from Angel Tech: A Modern Shaman’s Guide To Reality Selection by Antero Alli:

Herein are all the great neurological scripts of the past synthesized and modernized for our day: the Tarot. Cabala. The Hindu Chakra System. Alchemy. And here, too – praise be to the Sun Absolute! — is a refreshing absence of the cant, the pomposity and the deliberate mystification that makes most books on those subjects virtually unreadable.

Some, who like to talk of things “mystical” but have no first-hand knowledge, may find Antero’s realism a bit disconcerting. A look at my Prometheus Rising and Cosmic Trigger (Falcon Press) might help lead the reader into that set of no bovine excreta. It might do these folks some good to remember that Sufism begins with ritual dances (to gain control over the involuntary nervous system) and yoga with body-relaxation techniques. They might even ponder a bit on the traditional Christian teaching that the body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. They might further ponder Gopi Krishna’s assertion that rebirth is a matter of moving energies properly through the spinal cord, or Da Free John’s correlation of various levels of consciousness with the sympathetic, autonomic and central nervous systems. (But remember these are all models and like models they age.)

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(Robert Anton Wilson’s introduction to Monsters and Magical Sticks: There’s No Such Thing As Hypnosis by Steven Heller, Ph.D. and Terry Steele.)

Nothing is.
Nothing becomes.
Nothing is not.
— Aleister Crowley, The Book of Lies

Although I have been using a form of “hypnosis” for more than fifteen years now, I found this book by Steven Heller and Terry Lee Steele not only illuminating, but intellectually staggering. It occurs to me that I have never really understood “hypnosis” before.

When I was first taught “hypnosis,” it was called “guided meditation,” and was supposed to be a sort of synthesis of psychoanalysis and Buddhism, bringing one rapidly to the bedrock of consciousness. Then I was taught it all over again, but it was called “astral projection” and was supposed to be literal journeys of some literal “ego” outside the body. By then I was being asked to lead seminars myself, and began including some of these techniques without making any specific claims about them except that they showed some unusual properties of the human mind.

Since I had no degree at the time, if the word “hypnosis” was raised at all, I always said that we were using “guided meditation,” which was only somewhat similar to very mild “hypnosis.” I did not want anybody to think they were going into deep hypnosis, since I was not sure I knew how to handle that.

Well, of course, many people very obviously went into “deep hypnosis” whether I intended it or not, and I learned eventually that I could handle that, and I got a degree and was qualified to mess with people’s minds. But somehow “hypnosis”—whether “mild” or “deep”—always seemed a bit weird to me and I preferred to work with techniques I thought I understood better.

Now I have read Heller and Steele and realize that I am using “hypnosis” all the time, whether I know it or not. But then, it appears that every salesperson, every lawyer, every politician, every cop, and every husband and wife having a quarrel, are using “hypnosis” as well as they know how and the world is, in many respects, a circus with rival gangs of hypnotists trying to hypnotize one another.

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