For you to understand why hypnotism is possible, its causes and effects and the results which can be achieved with it, you should not only know how to induce the state of hypnosis, but you should know some of the rules of the mind. These rules explain why hypnotism is possible.
Rule Number One
Every thought or idea causes a physical reaction. Your thoughts affect the various functions of your body. Worry thoughts may bring on ulcers. Anger thoughts affect your adrenal glands and result in surcharging your blood with its product. Frightful thoughts affect your pulse rate. Hunger and thirst thoughts affect your stomach and salivary glands. Sex thoughts affect your sex organs.
Such thoughts may reach the subconscious and become a fixation there, to become a compulsion, driving the person on to do or not to do things which even the person doing the things may realize are silly, wrong or useless to do or not to do. But remember, that if an idea is accepted as true, it will be lodged in your subconscious mind to govern your actions later.
Rule Number Two
The next rule in importance and one which is of vital concern to the hypnotist is: the expected sensation tends to be realized. It is not my intention here to say that a person must expect the sensations of hypnosis in order to be hypnotized. It is not necessary for the subject to know anything about hypnotism or the sensations of hypnosis.
Children and older persons who have never heard of it or seen it performed and who know absolutely nothing about it, can be hypnotized. However, it is my intention to say that a person really expecting to be hypnotized is easier to hypnotize than one who is doubtful, either of the ability of the hypnotist or of his susceptibility as a subject.
Rule Number Three
The third rule of the mind is: imagination is more potent than knowledge when dealing with the mind of another; or stated thus: imagination of the subject is more potent than his knowledge. This is a good rule to remember when treating patients through hypnosis. The subject's imagination may have been excited by yellow journal accounts of terrible things hypnotists have done to people. If such is the case, the subject would be difficult to hypnotize.
Belief is not necessary for induction of hypnosis, but real disbelief is a positive hindrance. It blocks the operation and effect of the formula for induction of the state. Hypnosis is a natural state brought on as a result of a natural reaction to stimuli applied to the mind. Actual disbelief is negative to this stimuli.
Rule Number Four
Another rule which the hypnotist should know and remember is: only one idea can be entertained at one and the same time. This does not mean more than one idea cannot be remembered or harbored in your memory, but it refers to the conscious mind recognizing an idea. This has its corollary in the rule that: conflicting ideas cannot be held at one and the same time. This rule has to do with the recognition of an idea as true, correct, guiding, dominating the personality, and accepted.
Another rule of the mind which plays an important part in hypnotism and in the treatment of nervous ills through its application is: an idea once accepted tends to remain until replaced by another idea or is forgotten. Another companion rule to this is: once an idea has been accepted, there is opposition to replacing it with a new idea.
Once an idea has been accepted, it tends to remain. The longer it remains, the more it tends to become a fixed habit of thinking. This is how habits of action are formed, both good and bad ones. There is the thought and then the action. We have habits of thinking as well as habits of action, but the thought, the idea, comes first.
These are the main rules of the mind as they relate to hypnosis.
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