Just How Subtle Are Hypnotic Connections?
I’ve had many strange experiences with hypnosis.
Some have been more, “huh, that’s curious”. Like the time a Norwegian hypnotist and I hung out for a week, practicing our craft on each other. Half way through, he said something to me in Norwegian – a language I nary speak a word of – and I understood him.
That sort of thing happens more often now. I’ll be with a client and they’ll have their eyes closed, not saying anything… and I’ll know they’re thinking about numbers or imagining something bright.
Those are anecdotes though. Maybe it’s luck. Or I’m enjoying a little wishful thinking or selective memory.
But anecdotes are weak evidence because you can’t replicate or validate them.
Other folks can replicate these.
Before I go on, just imagine that for a moment – imagine knowing what a person is thinking. Not just what they’re feeling – as useful as that is, it’s relatively simple since we all broadcast our emotions all the time.
No, I’m talking about complex inner thoughts.
For example, I know someone who teaches how to read minds. By looking into someone’s eyes, they can tell they’re thinking of a wide space with lots of babbling noise, lots of movement and flashing light, there’s something tall off to the side… you’re thinking of a theme park or carnival.
They not only do that on command, they teach it.
“Yeah right, I’ll believe that when I see it.”
Then see something equally as subtle and impressive:
The French mesmerist Marco Paret has about a billion videos on YouTube. His approach to wordless hypnosis is intense.
He puts folks deep under. They’ll have their eyes closed and he’ll force their eyelids open, shining a torch in their face – their pupils don’t dilate.
For a moment, they’re catatonic, let alone blind.
Even so, he’ll stand near them, run his hand five inches over their right arm… and that arm starts twitching.
He moves faster and they respond faster. He slows it down and so do they.
Again, he teaches this method. If he’s faking it, that’s one hell of a trick to make it work for his students too.
And he’s far from the only mesmerist like this in the world.
What’s going on here?
You might be tempted to say this proves psychic powers, energy auras or something else outside the realm of science.
Or you might be a sceptic. Maybe there’s something else to Marco’s technique, like he subtly blows on the arm he wants to move.
That would make more sense than psychic energy…
But even the most cynical take on all of this is still impressive. There are a hundred light breezes blowing on your body right now, too faint to bother noticing. None of them get you twitching.
In a hypnotic state, you can become incredibly intuitive and observant, responding to even the tiniest cues in your environment.
It’s like the hair sticking up on the back of your neck, right before a not-so-great situation.
And with another person in the room?
You can – I’m not saying you will, but you can – feel a rich connection unlike any you’ve experienced before.
Even if all of this is simple, mechanical biology, it’s still one of the most amazing and inexplicable things you can experience.