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By David Cherubim
(Frater Aurora Aureae)
Copyright © 1995 e.v.
The Order of the Thelemic Golden Dawn.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

To begin with, the word hypnosis is derived from the Greek word "hypnos," which means, "sleep." Hypnosis, however, is not sleep. It is rather an artificially induced experience that superficially resembles sleep, but, I must emphasize, hypnosis is not sleep. Induced hypnosis is more akin to the state of mind that we experience immediately before falling into sleep or immediately upon awakening from sleep, during which our defense systems are at rest and our consciousness is directly linked to the subconsciousness. This state of mind is often called the "Alpha State". This same state of mind is produced when we are deprived of sleep, during which we can be very vulnerable to the works of hypnotism.

But, in point of fact, hypnosis is a phenomenon that plays a vital role in all of our daily activities. It stands to good reason, then, that in our pursuit of scientific knowledge we should diligently investigate and develop a positive understanding with regard to the subtle mechanisms of hypnosis and their effects upon the human personality. The principle that underlies all science is the study of causes. By investigating and understanding the Science of Hypnosis, and its relation to yourself as a living personality on earth, you can observe, study, and eventually control the cause and effect relations of certain hypnotic tendencies which constitute aspects of our own human personalities.

Now there are two forms of hypnosis: hetero-hypnosis and self-hypnosis. Hetero-hypnosis results from being hypnotized by another, whereas self-hypnosis results from being hypnotized by oneself. With regard to the practical operations of Magick, it is to the art of self-hypnosis that we must direct our attention, even if hetero-hypnosis is ultimately but a form of self-hypnosis. The object of self-hypnosis is, like that of Magick, to cause change to occur in conformity with Will, via linking the conscious mind to the subconscious to direct suggestions to the latter and achieve the goals of the former. Self-hypnosis is a highly suggestible state in which the individual is able to direct his/her subconscious mind to uncritically accept information from his/her conscious self to actualize such information in the form of an internal or external experience. These phenomena are not mystical, but natural, capable of being subjected to scientific methods of analysis. The phenomena of self-hypnosis are principally rooted in the activities of the autonomic nervous system (subconscious mechanism), which is basically reflexive in nature.

Induction of the self-hypnotic state is ultimately dedicated to the direction of our feelings (subconscious reactions) to set into motion new conditioned response patterns or mechanisms of behavior. Of course, it would be but an act of stupidity to induce self-hypnosis without a fundamental knowledge and acceptance of one's own human conditions, nature and Will. Like Magick, it should not be done out of frustration or anxiety, with the neurotic hope of overcoming all of one's difficulties in the twinkling of an eye, or to trick oneself into believing that all is wonderful when all is not. Hypnosis, like Magick, demands a basic and honest insight into one's own life before it can be properly applied to improve oneself. Only then is it truly a science. William James, one of America's most distinguished psychologist-philosophers, once said: "Only a science which is directly related to life is really a science." Self-hypnosis, when properly applied, is such a science, and is therefore worthy of your study and attention, here and now.

Love is the law, love under will.

Further Reading

Magick and the Science of Self Hypnosis: Text
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