Your e-mail upsets and angers me. My feelings are NOT directed at you, but at this system of religion that has so blinded us all. You are a dear sweet sister and I know you are merely speaking from a heart of love. Yet out of the overflow of ignorance that is out there amongst Christians, many speak out. How can you make such strong claims if you, by your own admission, are “by no means…an authority on the subject”? This is the type of legalistic blindness I had that led me away from pursuing a psychology and/or hypnosis at the age of 18.
Having said all this, I will answer your message point by point. You’ll notice as I go through, that your comments/questions are based on many flawed presuppositions.
1) “Is being under the influence of another’s suggestions, while in a hypnotic state of mind, being of sober mind?”
Your presupposition is that the person is UNDER the influence. This is furthest from the truth of what hypnosis is. Hypnosis is a natural state of mind that we ALL experience at least twice a day & often many times a day. I will define it later. You are presupposing that the person is submitting to another’s will. NO….NO….NO!!! The client is absolutely in control at ALL times….period! There are merely agreeing to be led by someone to their desired goal. They are NOT under anything but rather are IN a natural AND common state of mind.
2) In order for this kind of “therapy” to be effective must the subject/patient be willingly susceptible to suggestion?
Again, your question is presupposing that the client is “subject”. THEY ARE NOT!!! THEY are in control & are merely following the direction of the hypnotist or being willingly guided. For example, just like a midwife assists the mother in the NATURAL birthing process, so do I assist someone like a “mental midwife” in the natural process of how the mind operates, in order to “give birth” to the transformation they desire. Also, your presupposition is flawed in that EVERYONE is “susceptible to suggestion”. It’s not right or wrong, bad or good. It is merely the human condition.
3) The power of “suggestion”? Is this the way of Christ?
Again, do you see what you are assuming??? The power of suggestion is NOT the way of Christ. Why is that wrong or evil? If a police officer runs in to the room & yells, “Get in the basement! There is a mad man with a machine gun!” What would we do? Our heart rates would jump; fear would grip some; some would cry; we would run; etc., etc. Why? Aren’t they “succumbing” to the “power” of suggestion? Is that the way of Christ? Just the mere questions sounds silly now doesn’t it. But guess what? I just described people who were in a light state of hypnosis. You see the “trance” state as many call it, is VERY normal & natural. You experience it every day as you are about to fall “into” natural sleep & when you are “waking” from a natural sleep.
4) Is it possible, that while under such loss of at least a certain amount of control, perhaps even willingly giving up our will temporarily, we could be opening the door for something other than what we intend?
___, you can see that I don’t even have to answer this because it has been answered. A person is NOT under anything! They do NOT loss control of anything! Their will is NEVER surrend….period!!! They are actually in MORE control than in a “waking” state. In other words, your SM is in a state of HIGHTENED awareness. So, theoretically speaking ____ if a person is truly IN Christ, then they would be MORE opened to Jesus NOT the devil or evil, because our identity is newly created IN Christ Jesus!
5) In what way is this being of sober mind?
I was excited when I read this. The Greek word for “sober” is nafo. Here is a brief definition of this word: 1) to be sober, to be calm and collected in spirit; 2) to be temperate, dispassionate, circumspect. Hmmm? Sounds a little like hypnosis to me. In what way is what I just explained (above) NOT sober minded. As a matter of fact, when a person is experiencing the wonderful state of hypnosis, their awareness is extremely heightened as well as all of their senses. Could this not be defined as “sober minded”. When you are “seeing” or experiencing your past or a recent past event, everything becomes much, much clearer. Sounds a bit like a sober minded person.
6) Is it not Christ Himself who changes us from within? Can we (ourselves) or another person change us, as regarding the increase of Christ in us; the Life of Christ? If not, what is being changed in us and by whom? If it is so that it is not Christ, then all other would only be considered other than Christ, be that the will of man or a different other. What is the point if it is not Christ?
I am SO glad you asked all of these questions. First YES…Jesus recreates us within our spirits into a NEW CREATION. Hypnosis has nothing do with our new life in Jesus. This is NOT what I am speaking about in regard to hypnosis.
Believe it or not THIS is the very reason why I decided to pursue & use hypnosis. Case in point…..YOU! Why do you still struggle with the fears you have; and maybe some other issues? I know you love Jesus & you ARE being conformed into His image, and yet you STILL have serious fears and anxiety. You see, we ALL have had our “organic” computer (subconscious minds- SM) programmed since we were young by events, comments, traumas, etc. Because our SM’s job is to protect us from things real OR imagined. Like the hard drive of a computer, ALL we’ve ever experienced and learned is stored there. We then spend the rest of our lives responding according to this “programming” AND we don’t even realize it.
This motivated me to pursue hypnosis, because although Father has used me in the lives of many, many people, what I saw was people would often have an issue (like a habit, fear, addiction, depression, etc.) that seemed to “hang on” EVEN THOUGH they had experience a large measure of freedom. Now, not only will these folks be eternally set free in Jesus, and become a “new creation”, but their soul can be set free AS WELL from those old “tapes” programmed in the SM!!!
Is it evil or spiritually unhealthy to go to a surgeon to repair something that is physically malfunctioning after you are saved? Of course not! So why is it so wrong to pursue surgery for your soul? (I’m NOT talking about your spirit….please see the difference)
Simply put here is the best definition of hypnosis I have arrived at (with a lot of help from Dave Elman):
“Hypnosis is a natural state of mind in which the critical factor of the conscious mind is bypassed, and an establishment of acceptable selective thinking (resulting in physical & mental relaxation).”
Here’s another one by Gil Boyne:
- An extraordinary quality of relaxation.
- An emotionalized desire to satisfy the suggested behaviour: The person feels like doing what the hypnotist suggests, provided that what is suggested does not generate conflict with his belief system.
- The organism becomes self-regulating and produces normalization of the central nervous system.
- Heightened and selective sensitivity to stimuli perceived by the five senses and four basic perceptions.
- Immediate softening of psychic defenses.
___, hypnosis happens ALL the time in life. Most folks just don’t recognize it. For example: “highway hypnosis” where you miss an exit; “zoning out” while the teacher is talking; “day dreaming”; “in the zone” are some obvious ones. There are several biblical examples (words) used that support all that I said above as well (but that’s for another time).
The bottom line is this: hypnosis is neither mysterious nor nefarious; neither unnatural nor supernatural. It IS as certain as gravity and as scientific as turning water into ice. The fear Christians have in hypnosis is mistaking that which is unknown for that which is evil. My dear sister like gravity, just because a person doesn’t believe it exists or they think it’s evil does not protect them from its effect.
I wasn’t intending on writing so long, but it is extremely important that the truth be told. Again, I know your intentions were pure and motivated by love in writing what you wrote. I am not upset with you. As a matter of fact, I’ve been waiting for someone to ask those questions. You just happened to be the first…LOL!
Sincerely In Jesus!