However, most other things that signify 'normal' for my life began to change later on, when I went to the Skeptic's Meetup.
` "Who wants to sit next to me?" I announced.
` A man sitting in the corner pointed to the bench next to him. He was Robert Schryvers, hypnotist extraordinaire, and he was about to do a presentation. But not before I got to stand up and talk about how much fun I had at The Amazing Meeting and then told everyone to read my blog because I was going to write all these posts about it.
The Skeptics should already be aware of the fact that hypnosis can be used to fabricate false memories, for example, of being sexually abused by one's family members, which sometimes results in those families being destroyed, friends and neighbors turning their backs, and innocent people going to prison.
` Other common false memories that are induced by hypnotic suggestion include abuse in satanic rituals, alien abduction, and experiences of a past life (which are often then found to come from the person's knowledge -- accurate or not -- in this life).
Of course, hypnosis, when used properly, can be a very powerful therapeutic modality:
The truth is, everyone goes into a sort of 'trance' every day, as when we are absorbed in a book, or doing some routine action and aren't consciously paying attention to it. Rob explained to the folks how this 'spaced out' mode can be used to help people in a clinical setting, and how re-framing and suggestion are an excellent combination when convincing people that they can change their bad habits, which includes overcoming fears.
` That's because the unconscious parts of the mind are more receptive to suggestions when one is in a 'trance', so the hypnotist induces this state (if 'state' is the right word) in order to reach a 'deeper' level of the person's mind. People regularly 'hypnotize themselves into' believing certain things, including the existence of limitations within themselves that aren't really there, and the hypnotist's job is to reverse those limiting beliefs.
I have a post coming up about how that works, with some examples, so for now I'll mention the hypnosis demonstration and quick induction skillz. I don't remember if he used the handshake interrupt or the arm drop technique on Bevin, who thought she couldn't be hypnotized, because it happened so fast!
` Quick inductions begin with misdirection, overloading the person's mind until their conscious awareness can't take any more and the person just drops into a state of suggestibility without necessarily realizing what is going on. Bevin did exactly what he told her to do, which was evidently curling up each finger until only one remained... (Sorry this isn't the best photo.)
` Why would they not think they were hypnotized deeply enough? Because they expected to be more 'out of it' when hypnotized, although in fact the experience involves focusing very closely on what the hypnotist is saying and being aware of things that you are imagining.
` Also, since they are being influenced in not a very conscious way, they are not consciously aware of the effects of the hypnosis. In truth, most of our minds are 'unconscious' at any given time, because we can only pay attention to about seven things in our short term memory. With the everyday 'conscious' mind taking a step back and observing in a more dissociated state, the suggestions can more easily reach parts of the mind beyond this anywhere but here.
Well, it goes something like that.
It was all so amazing that I couldn't help but chat about it excitedly with Rob afterwards, and he did some conversational technique to get me to chill out because I was still that excited, spazzy, and wired from TAM, and from just being myself and OMG hypnosis is so awesome!!1!
And so, I became determined to use the Modality of Muahaha in order to help myself.
[Edit: OMG I can feel my fingers again and stuff, thanks to Rob's help! HOLY SHITE!!!]
Another time, I went to Seattle with Lou Ryan and was so interested in the spotlights circling on the clouds near the Space Needly that I tried to get video of them. It didn't work very well, but you can see Lou Ryan lying on the fountain at the end:
Dilly is so odd -- she likes to play, unless she is exploring Outer Space (such as the deck). Then she just sits on top of what I call 'Vada's victims' (pieces of vine that Vada plays with). In this video, when the chicken coop was just beginning to be constructed, you can get a good idea of what it's like to hang out on the porch with me, superhero Lou Ryan, Vada and Dilly.
` Even better, I will have a very special co-host -- gee, I wonder... who could it be? I bet the Church Lady knows!