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What is Hypnoscopesis

«With sight concealed the psyche views the body’s torments…»

Hippocrates (460-370 B.C.)

What is Hypnoscopesis?

Hypnoscopesis is a concept that I developed in order on the one hand to broaden and enlarge the semantics of the concept of hypnosis and on the other to make it more specific. The idea sprang up as I was working with Altered States of Consciousness (ASCs). Others call them Exceptional Human Experiences and others yet call them mystical experiences.

That which is important for us is that these states of consciousness differ significantly from the ordinary forms of consciousness that we live in everyday life and they can be achieved or triggered by a wide variety of inductions. In our case tough we are particularly concerned with hypnotic forms of induction.

The question arises what happens as soon as we reach hypnotic trance? We achieve inner insight. The Greek work for it is endoscopesis. Let us look at the explanation offered by a classic Greek Dictionary Helios:

“It is a form of clairvoyance in which people that are in a hypnotic state, describe alterations or the presence of foreign bodies within their or somebody else’s organism”.

In modern terminology we would say that we have a “Search Engine” that sets forth to track down the root of our problem, that paradoxically, is most of the times very accurate and effective. The difference between hypnoscopesis and hypnosis, then, is that while in hypnosis we have a passive stance, in hypnoscopesis we have an active role and we wilfully participate in the direction of tracking down the root of our problem.

Some scientists in the past tried to bridge over the gap between hypnotists and psychoanalysts by coining the word hypnoanalysis. What they wanted to achieve was analysis through hypnosis. That attempt failed for two reasons. First, it was a time and energy consuming endeavor. Secondly, by definition it was an oxymoron scheme, simply because analytical thinking cannot exist when someone is in hypnosis.

On the contrary, hypnoscopesis is a more accurate term simply because endoscopesis is a complex and multi-dimensional procedure. At first, a heavy load of emotional and traumatic material is released producing a strong sense of relief. Then insight follows. Insight is an automatic process that cannot easily be put to words or described, but is of catalytic importance for our psychic balance and harmony. This psychological process is of imperative importance, (to my view it is far superior to mental processing) which, is finally leading us to the much desired catharsis.

So by coining this new word, hypnoscopesis, by no means do I intend to give the impression of a discovery or an innovation. It is well known that this technique was used abundantly in the Asclepeaums of antiquity the primary temples of healing. At those places the patients were encouraged by the priest-physicians to enter into the hollow depths of mother Earth which were around or in the temples of Asklepios so that during the night they would enter the sleep-like trance state which Greeks called enkoimisis. During enkoimisis the much desired vision (the onar) came, a dream from the god of Medicine or a message from other gods, in which a specific and personal prescription for therapy would be offered. Ancient Greeks trusted the capacity of the human organism for self-healing. The duty of the priests was to interpret the visions and dreams in case the patients could not…
Hippocrates the father of modern medicine was the chief priest on the Asclepeaum of Kos and he must have known a lot when he expressed the statement on top
of the page…

What is hypnosis after all?

Hypnosis is a technique that bypasses the critical factor of the mind in order to establish a focus and sustain attention with the intent of achieving a detached mental state. That state is characterized by a deep somatic and noetic relaxation, whereas:

* our consciousness is enlarged, broadened and able to perceive other dimensions of reality.

* A deeper communication with the subconscious mind and its endless resources is facilitated.

* powerful, beneficial changes in behavior can be achieved through suggestions, in case they do not clash with our ethical code.

* Most of the time we perceive reality and retain control.

Usually, a process is triggered by the hypnotist, in order to locate the source of our problems. According to the encyclopedia Brittanica:

“Hypnosis is the term applied to a unique, complex form of unusual but normal behavior which can be induced in all normal persons under suitable conditions and also in many persons suffering from various types of abnormality. It is primarily a special psychological state with certain physiological attributes, resembling sleep only superficially and marked by a functioning of the individual at a level of awareness other than the ordinary conscious state”…

Why is hypnosis still eliciting public awe?

I think that this strange insistence on this bizzare sensation most people have when they hear the word hypnosis should be attributed to Hollywood, which perpetuates the stereotypes. The truth is that after the ostracizing of hypnosis by the scientific community in the ’20s those who kept the flame alive were the stage hypnotists who kept their audience mesmerized by their sensational feats both believers and skeptics. Of course real scientists never lost interest on the research of such phenomena but they had to hush up when they faced the possibility of being labeled charlatans. We had to reach at the end of the fifties in order to have a relative acceptance by the medical establishment. It was then recognized that hypnosis has a relative complementary scientific value. But in order to do so they had to strip hypnosis from any “metaphysical” or “paranormal” connotations giving it a dimension that seemed
more decent and acceptable. They identified hypnosis with relaxation reaching the other end and thus they ignored phenomena such as reversible amnesia, partial or total anesthesia to pain, extended muscle catalepsy, or acting out of particular post-hypnotic suggestions precisely at the time set. They also turn their backs to the phenomena of extra sensory perception and past life recalls.

Could somebody have a past life recall?

Even though some people still stubbornly reject such a possibility simply because their limited paradigm does not accept it, that does not necessarily mean that it does not happen. As it was put by an American psychiatrist Brian Weiss when he unexpectedly ran into a spontaneous past life recall ” nothing in my background had prepared me for this. I was absolutely amazed when these events unfolded”.

Can anyone be hypnotized?

Yes most people can. There is a consensus though not to hypnotize people that have been characterized by physicians as psychotic or epileptic. From clinical observations and evaluations about ninety percent of the population can be hypnotized and only one in in five people can go in deep hypnosis.

Are there different levels and depth of hypnosis?

Yes even though there are some disagreements on the nature of the borders that are set. But generally it is accepted that we have three levels of hypnosis with two stages each. So we have light, medium and deep hypnosis.

a. Light Hypnosis

1. Eye catalepsy and inability to move small groups of muscles.

2. Catalepsy of bigger groups of muscles and a sense of floating or being heavy.

b. Medium Hypnosis

3. Catalepsy of a larger area of the body and alteration of the sense of smell and taste.

4. Occurrence of amnesia, analgesia and partial anesthesia in some parts of the body.

c. Deep Hypnosis

5. Positive hallucinations(we see something that does not exist)

6. Achievement of extensive anesthesia, somnambulism and negative hallucinations(not seeing something that exists).

The first three stages we call mnemic because we retain the ability to control and remember everything while the three last we call amnesic because we lose the ability to recall.

Is there a chance that I will not wake up?

Of course not. This is usually said because people confuse hypnosis with chemical anesthesia. Hypnosis though, is a natural procedure. It is a capability of the brain where there is no need for chemicals or drugs to achieve it. Actually, all of us during the course of the day enter into a very light state of hypnosis even though we are not aware of it.

In what ways and in what areas could hypnosis benefit me?

There are so many areas that we would need a lot of space to express them. However, very briefly I will provide you with a list.

  • Improvement of self-respect, self-esteem and self-value.
  • Eliminating of phobias and feelings of insecurity and timidity.
  • Controlling obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
  • Setting up goals and finding means to achieve them.
  • Fighting of stress, insomnia, persistent headaches and migraines.
  • Improvement of determination with the installment of positive motives.
  • In some cases problems with allergies, stuttering, skin diseases, or, tics could be coped with.
  • Improvement of sex life.
  • Reconciliation with the reality of death and support of our fellows at their loss.
  • The most basic thing is to restructure and reevaluate our life’s course.

The list is not exhaustive… What we have to consider here is that hypnosis is not a panacea. It’s success relies on our own active participation. We have to contribute actively with all our resources to achieve the desired effect. To set things straight, hypnosis is not a pill. We are solely responsible for what we experience and it is our stance that will make the difference.

If I enter hypnotic trance am I in any kind of danger?

No you are not. It is probably the safest therapeutic method around. From the time of its renaissance with Mesmer in the 18th century till today no serious side effect has ever been reported.

“Physicians often worry that hypnosis involves significant risks to patients. Actually the phenomenon is not dangerous and has fewer side effects than even the most benign medications.”

Professor David Spiegel

“The so-called dangers from hypnosis are imaginary. Although I have hypnotized many hundreds of patients, I have never seen any ill effects from its use.”

Dr. Julius Grinker.

“The only danger of hypnotism is that it is not dangerous enough”

Professor Pierre Janet.

“Hypnotism is a natural phenomenon and there are no deleterious effects from its use.”

Professor Louie Thorpe.

To my mind the greatest danger you may face is to fall asleep.

Is there a chance that I will reveal thoughts and information that I do not want to disclose?

Hypnosis is not the truth serum. No hypnotist can force us to disclose information without our consent. Even in the cases that hypnosis is used in courts as in the United States the use of it is primarily for reasons of recalling minor details that are stored deeper in the memory banks and that would probably help the jury to reach a just decision.

Can hypnosis bring positive changes in our lives?

Of course it can since thousands of our fellows have benefited from it.

They Utilized their Imagination

They Activated their Endless Dynamic

They Aligned with their Purpose in Life