People of many different religious traditions have attested to the life changing potential of mystical and transcendental experiences involving the experience of contact with a consciousness beyond one's own. In one study of the Fundamentalist Christian experience of "salvation," for example, subjects readily attested to both the personal reality of the experience and its subsequent influence upon their lives, although such experiences did not seem to be universally attainable and did appear to be related to the ability to respond to suggestion (Gibbons & DeJarnette, 1972; Gibbons, 1988).
Mother Theresa (now Saint Theresa) had a mystical experience while she was still in her teens, and spent the rest of her life trying to re-capture it. But you don't have to closet yourself away and spend years in meditation, which may or may not be effective. With high-responding hypnotic clients who are willing to to undertake the journey, we are able to induce these types of experiences practically at will (Gibbons & Woods, 2016).
A 58 year old retired English teacher and mother of five grown children recently had been divorced after a marriage of forty years and came to me for help with depression. She was spending the greater part of each day in bed, with the blankets drawn up over her head. She was taking antidepressants, but they did not seem to help.
The theme and content of such experiences should be determined by the needs and preferences of the client, with the goal of providing reassurance, strength, and encouragement.
Lawrence (M. A. Lawrence, personal communication, June 27, 2003) reports the successful application of the Best Me Technique with nursing home residents who are dealing with end-of-life issues.
The Best Me Technique would appear to possess numerous other potential applications. Good results have been reported using the Best Me Technique to enable experientially gifted clients to experience now, and in intensified form, the rewards which would not normally be theirs until a goal has actually been attained, thereby eliminating the need for "will power" or external environmental incentives (Gibbons, 2003).Sexual relations in multimodal trance between committed partners who respond well to suggestion can take on near sacramental qualities as the lovers consecrate themselves to one another anew (Gibbons & Woods, 2016).
Recently, Kelley Woods and I (Gibbons & Woods, 2016) have been suggesting to hypnotized clients that they are being transported to an alternate universe where time and space do not exist. After orienting them to the Multiverse and inducing emotions which are as pleasant as possible -- i.e., "dissolving into an ocean of infinite, unbounded, and everlasting love," we are then able to provide suggestions such as the following: "with practice, you will be able to feel this kind of fulfillment whenever you put your whole self into working towards a goal you have chosen. As you think about achieving the goal ahead of time, you can believe it will happen, expect it to happen, and feel it happening! And with practice, you will be able to act, think, and feel as if it were impossible to fail!"
Experientialism is the philosophical theory that experience is the source of knowledge. It is indeed an honor to work with the imaginatively gifted among us; for they are truly "the bearers of the light," which all humankind will one day follow.
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Gibbons, D. E. (1988). Were you saved or were you hypnotized? The Humanist, 48, pp. 17-18.
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