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Faith and Hypnosis

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posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 10:50 PM

Faith and Hypnosis

It’s almost impossible to deny spirituality outright, as those who are self-proclaimed spiritual always have a peculiar happiness about them at all times. Whether its for show or legit is uncertain, but I like to think that they are sincere in their smiles, and at least sincere to themselves.

However, for those who find intellectual difficulties in such practices, and in turn emotional boredom, and assume that because of this they themselves cannot enjoy this peculiar happiness, might actually be a bit mistaken. There is a chance that even the godless ones too have ample opportunity to tap into this “spiritual” well, usually kept hidden for those of some particular faith.

I’m theorizing that matters of faith – whether it be a complete conviction, or a strongly held belief – is a form of self-hypnosis. Promises of such things as truth, redemption, judgement, reward, and immortality is a form of auto-suggestion, delivering to us what we all know as the placebo effect.

Here’s the Coué method of conscious auto-suggestion, developed by Émile Coué:

Coué still believed in the effects of medication, but he also believed that our mental state was able to affect and even amplify the action of these medications. He observed that his patients who used his mantra-like conscious suggestion, "Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better", (French: Tous les jours à tous points de vue je vais de mieux en mieux), replacing their "thought of illness" with a new "thought of cure," could augment their medication plan. According to Coué, repeating words or images enough times causes the "subconscious" to absorb them. In contrast to Coué's opinion, Shultz, believed autogenic training was a method for influencing one's autonomic nervous system, not the so-called "subconscious."

The Coué method centers on a routine repetition of this particular expression according to a specified ritual, in a given physical state, and in the absence of any sort of allied mental imagery, at the beginning and at the end of each day. Unlike a commonly held belief that a strong conscious constitutes the best path to success, Coué maintained that curing some of our troubles requires a change in our subconscious/unconscious thought, which can only be achieved by using our imagination. Although stressing that he was not primarily a healer but one who taught others to heal themselves, Coué claimed to have effected organic changes through autosuggestion.


How is a mantra like “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better” any different than reciting the Lords Prayer or the Salah? The Coué Method of Autosuggestion sounds like prayer to me. But one thing is for certain: words, positive reinforcement, suggestion, repetition, and sometimes deception – the building blocks of religion to this day – can offer a sort of placebo effect (although it has been highly criticized if there is any such effect at all), or at least a deception where one thinks he is getting better, whether it heals them, or it simply keeps them in good spirits. Who knows.

The study conducted by Alladin and Alibhai (2007) represents the first comparison of a treatment which uses hypnosis as an adjunct to a well-established psychological therapy for depression (Beck´s Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression) with the same therapy without hypnosis. The results of this study indicated that both patients who received cognitive hypnotherapy and those who received cognitive-behavioral therapy improved relative to their baseline scores. However, the former showed significantly greater changes in depression, anxiety, and hopelessness than those who were treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy without hypnosis. Moreover, these improvements were maintained at the 6 and 12 month follow-ups.

One of the areas where the application of hypnosis demonstrates abundant empirical evidence as to its efficacy is in the management of both chronic and acute pain (Lynn et al, 2000, Montgomery, DuHammel & Redd,
Efficacy of Clinical Hypnosis

With a little observance, we can see this effect in matters of faith, where one is convinced despite the lack of evidence, and where hypnotism “demonstrates abundant empirical evidence as to its efficacy is in the management of both chronic and acute [faith].”

Self-hypnotism is abundant in church. We see people seemingly rise from their wheelchairs without pain. Or when the televangelist makes people collapse with his mystic forces. People dancing in a fit of jubilation, crying, overwhelmed by the moment – completely hypnotized.

We see it in matters of “spirituality”, as can be seen in this video, where a man fails to use his chi to knock out a skeptic. Why does the other guy fall? Is he too embarrassed to let his teacher know it doesn’t work? Or is he hypnotized? The teacher even says you must believe it.

Look around. People are hypnotized. They believe it all, and feel better because of it. No one can blame them for that.

Self-hypnosis can be practiced by anyone. That peculiar happiness that surrounds the faithful is within reach. No individual is prohibited; no God needed; no mysticism necessary; just a choice: Do you feel like deceiving yourself today?

posted on Aug, 27 2013 @ 02:13 PM
The video's were quite entertaining.
Was waiting for someone to turn super saiyan with all those energy waves that were thrown around.
It knocked me of my feet, really did, from laughing.

posted on Sep, 1 2013 @ 06:08 PM

I’m theorizing that matters of faith – whether it be a complete conviction, or a strongly held belief – is a form of self-hypnosis.

I suspect "learning" requires a suggestible state, so it's rather difficult to truly separate self-hypnosis in the mind, as if it's like being pregnant or dead and something one either is or is-not within. There are many gradient degrees of it (which is why conversational hypnosis works just fine).

That said, it's true one can focus on states of mind which are less or more suggestible...

I think faith is faith, whether you have it in your wife's fidelity, the sun rising, whether you'll succeed in a business venture, or the certainty of a religious doctrine. I don't believe it varies depending on the arbitrary subject in question. Faith is not reserved for the spiritual, it's a fundamental part of human psychology.

The most significant faith I have experienced came from acceptance, to wit:

All acceptance is by faith. Not blind faith as "trust," but faith as an absolute commitment, and when you make the latter, you realize it is the former.

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