| The Boy Scout Law: "A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly,|
courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty,
brave, clean, and reverent."
Human beings are natural storytellers. Every society tells stories to its young which attempt to explain, in words which are simple enough that children can understand, the meaning of life and the identity of the people into whom they were born. As adults, we re-enact aspects of these same metaphors in patriotic and religious rituals. Most of the time, the effect of such rituals is benign, as illustrated above. But unfortunately, this power can easily be abused; for there is no absurdity so palpable that it will not be accepted if it is presented to children by those in authority and frequently repeated with great solemnity.
Most of us are familiar with Charles Dickens' story, "A Christmas Carol," in which the miserly Scrooge has a dramatic personality change after he is visited by three spirits: the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. If Dickens had been writing in the twenty-first century instead of the nineteenth, he might have had Scrooge make three or more visits to an experiential hypnotist. Instead of giving him the fright of his life (or "scaring the Dickens out of him," which we now know is largely ineffective), in our new book, Virtual Reality Hypnosis (Gibbons & Woods, 2016), Kelley Woods and I demonstrate how we would use Kelley's Mindful Hypnosis (Ellner & Woods, 2013) and my BEST ME Technique (Gibbons, 2001, 2001; Gibbons & Cavallaro, 2013; Gibbons, & Lynn, 2010) to provide Scrooge with a series of reward-based experiences in an alternate universe (if only in his imagination), which may be incorporated directly into to the ongoing narrative of his life ( Sarbin & de Rivera, 1998) and allow him to bring those experiences back with him to incorporate into his present personality.
Gibbons, D. E., & Woods, Kelley T. (2016). Virtual reality hypnosis: Explorations in the Multiverse. Amazon Books.