Don E. Gibbons, Ph.D., NJ Licensed Psychologist #03513
This Blog is published for information and educational purposes only. No warranty, expressed or implied, is furnished with respect to the material contained in this Blog. The reader is urged to consult with his/her physician or a duly licensed mental health professional with respect to the treatment of any medical or psychological condition.

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Monday, May 25, 2020

Hypnosis for Self-Actualization: Speed-Walking the Path to Enlightenment

If stage hypnotists can tell volunteers that they are turning into a chicken, why can't clinical hypnotists tell clients that they are dissolving into the infinite love of the Creator, or of the Multiverse itself?

In the hypnoverse, the universe of all possible events which can be conceived of by means of suggestion, anything that we are able to imagine may be called into existence and experienced as though it were a real occurrence. The possibilities for  personal  improvement by this method are limited only by the personality and unique characteristics of each individual who makes use of them (Gibbons & Lynn, 2008, p. 289 ). 

Clients have been saying things like, "i can't thank you enough," and, "I feel like I am at a position now where I feel like I can accomplish almost anything!"

In the words of Sherlock Holmes in  The Adventure of the Abby Grange, "Come, Watson, Come! The game is afoot. Not a word! Into your clothes and come!"

Progressive Relaxation Induction 

For those who prefer to work from a script, I am including a progressive relaxation hypnotic induction as a preface. Of course, any other induction may be substituted if you prefer, or a preliminary induction may be entirely dispensed with, provided the participant is sufficiently imaginative.

Just imagine that it’s a nice spring day, and that you’re lying on a soft woolen blanket, on a sandy beach, by the side of the ocean. If you accept each detail of the situation as I describe it, without trying to think critically, your imagination will be free to allow you to experience the situation just as if you were really there.

I’m going to count from one to ten, and by the time I get to the count of ten, you’ll be resting comfortably in a deep, sound, peaceful state of hypnosis. So just relax and listen to my voice, as I begin the count from one to ten.

One . You can feel the warm sand beneath the blanket on which you're lying, and you can feel the gentle breeze blowing across your body, cooling you to just the right temperature, so that all you want to do is just keep drifting, and dreaming . . . and floating . . . on . . and on . . . and on into a deep, sound, beautiful state of hypnosis.

Two . You  can hear the sound of the waves gently crashing upon the ocean shore. You can hear the sound of the gulls in the distance, and you can savor the freshness of the pure salt air, as you feel a heavy, relaxed feeling coming over you. You can feel your arms relaxing, you can feel your legs relaxing, and you can feel your entire body relaxing completely. 

As I continue to count and continue to talk, every word that I utter will carry you faster and deeper, faster and deeper, down and down, into a deep, sound, peaceful state of hypnosis.

Three .  You can feel your entire body relaxing now . . . relaxing deeper and faster, and deeper and faster, all of the time.

Four . Sinking down, and shutting down . . . sinking down, and shutting down . . . sinking down, and shutting down . . shutting down completely. And the deeper you go, the deeper you're able to go. And the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go, and the more peaceful, and the more relaxing, and the more beautiful the experience becomes.

Five. Sinking and relaxing, and sinking and relaxing, deeper and faster, deeper and faster, all of the time. Relaxing so very deeply now that you can just let yourself go completely, as you continue drifting down and down, into a deep, sound, beautiful, blissful state of hypnosis.

Every word that I utter is carrying you faster and deeper, faster and deeper, down, and down, and down. And the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go; and the deeper you go, the deeper you're able to go, and the more peaceful, and the more beautiful, and the more enjoyable the experience becomes.

Six . Relaxing so very deeply now, as you continue drifting on and on, into a deep, sound sleep, a deep, sound sleep.

Seven. Sinking down and shutting down. Sinking down and shutting down. Sinking down and shutting down, shutting down completely.

Eight . And the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go. And the deeper you go, the deeper you're able to go. And the deeper you go, the more peaceful the more relaxing, the more beautiful, and the more enjoyable the experience becomes.

Nine. Sinking down, and shutting down. Sinking down, and shutting down. Sinking down, and shutting down. Shutting down completely.

Ten. Very deeply drifting, in a deep, sound state of hypnosis. And the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go. And the deeper you go, the deeper you are able to go. And the deeper you go, the stronger the effects of my words become.

Deepening

Now, as you continue sinking deeper with every word that I speak, and with every second that passes, you can imagine, or picture in your mind, a clock dial, with no second hand and no minute hand on the clock, just an hour hand. And the hour hand is set at twelve.

I’m going to move that hour hand back, one hour at a time, until it’s all the way back to one. And with each hour that I move the hand back, you’ll go twice as deep as you are right now, and you’ll feel twice as good as you do right now.

There is no end to the depth of experience you can have in deep hypnosis.There is no limit to how good you can feel, and to the benefits you can obtain from it. And the deeper you go, the deeper you're able to go . And the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go, and the more peaceful and the more beautiful, and the more wonderful, and the more enjoyable the experience becomes. So just let yourself go completely now, as I move the hour hand back, one hour at a time. ,

And now I’ve moved the hour hand back from 12 to 11, and you’re sinking down twice as deep as you were before. And the deeper you go, the more easily you are able to become aware of your Best Me -- of the person you are becoming.

And now I’ve moved it down to 10, and you feel twice as deep and you feel twice as good. But there’s never any sense of strain or overload, for the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go, and the deeper you go, the deeper you’re able to go. And the deeper you go, the more beautiful, and the more enjoyable the experience becomes.

And now I’ve moved it down to 9. Twice as deep, and feeling twice as good
.As I lead you deeper and deeper into hypnosis, your Best Me, -- your Future Self, -- the person that you are becoming -- will provide you with all the guidance and support that you need, in order to free yourself from the problems and limitations that have been holding you back. This guidance will enable these problems to be solved in just the right way, and at just the right time, for you to keep whatever is of value to the person that you will become and to release and eliminate whatever needs to be released.

8. Twice as deep, sinking down and down, and feeling twice as good, as you allow your Best Me to handle all of your problems in the outside world in the healing, caring light of your future.

7. Twice as deep yet again, and feeling twice as good yet again.

6. Deeper yet. Notice what that does, and notice how good you feel. And imagine how good you're going to feel, when we get all the way down to one

5. Twice as deep, yet again, and feeling twice as good yet again . . . . deeper . . . and deeper . . .And the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go . . . and the deeper you go, the deeper you're able to go . . . and the more beautiful, and the more wonderful, and the more enjoyable the experience becomes.

4. Deeper . . . deeper . . . deeper . . .

3. Twice as deep, and feeling twice as good . . .

2. Deeper . . . deeper . . . deeper . . .

1. Infinitely, and unbelievably deep, and continuing to go deeper with every word that I speak. Deeper and deeper, down, and down, and down.

Now the scene is changing, and we are standing on the top of a large mountain which is covered with clouds after a sudden spring shower. If you accept each detail of the situation as I describe it, without trying to think critically, your imagination will be free to allow you to experience the situation just as if you were really there.

One end of a large rainbow is touching the ground right in front of us. We walk up to this rainbow and prepare to enter the first band. As we go through each band one by one, each band will present you with a priceless gift, which you will be able to take back with you  And the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is the treasure that your life is becoming as we explore the joys and wonders of the Multiverse itself.

First, we are entering the red band of the rainbow. Red is the color of strength. Feel this strength flowing through you now, overcoming negative emotions, overcoming physical discomfort, paving over the effect of every bad thing that has ever happened to you in your entire life, and filling and flooding every muscle, every nerve, and every cell of your being with wave after wave of infinite, boundless strength, and confidence, and power. [Brief Pause]

Orange is the color of happiness.Each time that we practice this multiversal meditation, you go higher; each time, you go faster, and each time you experience this happiness more beautifully and more intensely than you did the time before.

Feel the happiness flooding through you now, filling and flooding every muscle, and every nerve, and every cell of your body with wave after wave of infinite happiness and boundless joy. Infinite happiness, and boundless, boundless Joy. [Brief Pause]

Yellow is the color of healing. Each time that you repeat this multiversal meditation, all of the healing processes throughout your body are considerably strengthened. As we travel through this band of yellow light now, you can feel its healing warmth flooding into every muscle, and every fiber, and every nerve of your body, penetrating to the very core of your being.-- body, heart, mind, and spirit. Body, heart, mind, and spirit. [Brief Pause]

Now, we are entering the green band of light. Green is the color of renewal. The farther we go into the rainbow, the more your sense of the passing of time is slowing down. Regardless of the time we may actually have been away, it will seem as if we had been gone for an eternity. And the benefits of our journey will be increased in direct proportion to the time that it feels like we have been away together.

Now, we are traveling through the band of blue, which is the color of Heaven, and the color of Eternity. This is the true reality, and the universe from which we came is merely an illusion. This is your eternal home beyond the stars, and the spark of Divinity which is within you is nothing less than the energy of the Multiverse itself

You will always look back upon these journeys with fondness, even as you look forward to the next opportunity to return to them with ever-increasing anticipation; for each time that you practice this hypnosis for self actualization, you will be able to obtain even more benefit and more growth from the experience as it continues to change your life forever into a thing of wondrous beauty.

Next, we move into the purple band, which contains the heightened mental and spiritual powers that are becoming yours in ever-increasing amounts, as your consciousness drifts higher. 

As your imagination grows stronger with continued practice, you will become able to visualize the rewards of a future goal that you deeply believe in so clearly  that you believe it will happen, expect it to happen, and feel it happening, as you act, think, and feel as if it were impossible to fail!

Now, we are entering the band of violet, which is the color of love. It’s only the separation from this infinite ocean of perfect peace, and calm, and tranquility, that is the source of all unhappiness, all depression, all anxiety, all loneliness and all despair. And now that this separation has been removed, it has brought you an inner peace which is greater than anything that you have ever dreamed of, longed for, hoped for, or imagined, and far, far beyond the power of.the human imagination by itself to even begin to comprehend.

Finally, we have come to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, which holds the priceless treasure that your life is becoming as you continue to practice this multiversal meditation. Scoop it up and take it with you; for It contains everything you wanted from this experience, regardless of whether or not it was specifically included in the suggestions that you were given, and regardless of whether or not you were even fully aware of them yourself at the time.

You are a child of the Multiverse, more highly evolved than the rest. And this is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to you.

It's a wonderful feeling of release and liberation which you are experiencing now, as we step out of the final band of the rainbow and into the Multiverse itself, and
all of your vast, untapped potentials are becoming freed for their fullest possible functioning.  This feeling of exhilaration is going to continue growing and growing, like a snowball rolling downhill, until we return to the universe from which we left.

Self-Actualization

Now, as we step out of the final band if the rainbow and into the Multiverse itself, all of the bands of the rainbow which brought us here have blended into one boundless ocean of perfect, infinite love which contains them all: strength, happiness, healing, renewal, peace, power, and serenity, more beautiful than anything you have ever dreamed of, hoped for, longed for, or imagined, and far, far beyond the power of human imagination to even begin to comprehend.

In the center of this infinite ocean of unbounded love, you are completely dissolving into the infinite love of the Multiverse itself (or the Creator Himself). And all of the happiness, all of the love, all of the joy, and all of the rapture that have ever been felt by all of the people who ever walked the face of the Earth, put together, are becoming a part of you, now, in these golden moments of delight -- infinite, beyond infinity, and eternal beyond all measure of eternity: infinite, boundless, eternal, and everlasting, yours to enjoy and yours to be, now, in these golden moments, torn from the pages of time and space.

This is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to you, greater than anything you have ever dreamed of, hoped for, longed for, or imagined, and far, far beyond the limits of anything that you ever thought was even possible. It is the complete and total fulfillment of your existence: everything you ever were, everything you are right now, and everything you will be in the future, put together and multiplied endlessly, over and over again -- infinite beyond infinity, and eternal beyond all measure of eternity. Revel in it, glory in it, and enjoy the experience to the.fullet. (Pause.)

Here in the Multiverse, where you will spend Eternity, the total fulfillment of your existence has already become an accomplished fact. And as we continue to return here to this, your home beyond the stars, it will change your life forever and turn each new day into a thing of wondrous beauty. -- in many different ways, and on many different levels, some of which you may already know, and some of which you may not yet realize until they actually begin to occur.

As your imagination grows stronger with continued practice, you will become able to visualize the rewards of a future goal that you deeply believe in so clearly  that you believe it will happen, expect it to happen, and feel it happening, as you act, think, and feel as if it were impossible to fail!

You will not be able to bring the full intensity of this experience back with you, because it would be more than you could possibly bear in the universe from which we came. But its healing effects will remain with you, turning each new day into a thing of joy and, with continued practice, paving over the effect of every bad thing that has ever happened to you in your entire life.

Because time does not exist in the Multiverse, it will seem like we have been gone for an entire lifetime; and the benefits of each journey will be increased in direct proportion to the time that it feels like we have been away together.

Return

Now, we are ready to return to the everyday state of consciousness by riding through the rainbow of delight that brought us here, in reverse order, from the inside out. You will remain in deep hypnosis until we emerge together from the final band.

Just as before, each band of color will present you with a priceless gift which you will be able to take back with you, to make it easier for you to withstand stress, pain, and cravings of every kind, and to counteract the effects of every bad thing that has ever happened to you in your entire life. These changes will provide you with a source of deep Inner strength which will enable you to cope much more effectively with all of life's stresses, and all of life's problems.

First, we are beginning to retrace our steps through the band of violet, the color of love. It's only the separation from this infinite ocean of boundless rapture, wonder, ecstasy and delight -- it’s only the separation from this ocean of perfect peace, and calm, and tranquility -- that is the source of all unhappiness, all depression, all anxiety, all loneliness, and all despair. And now that this separation has been removed, it has brought you an inner peace which is greater than anything you have ever dreamed of, longed for, hoped for, or imagined, and far, far beyond the power of human words to describe -- infinite, boundless, eternal, and everlasting. Yours to enjoy and yours to be, now, in these golden moments of delight, torn from the pages of time and space.

Next, we move into the purple band, which contains the heightened mental and spiritual powers that
 are becoming yours in ever-increasing amounts, as this exercise is repeated.

As your imagination grows stronger with continued practice, you will become able to visualize the rewards of a future goal that you deeply believe in so clearly  that you believe it will happen, expect it to happen, and feel it happening, as you actthink, and feel as if it were impossible to fail!

You love being hypnotized. And as you continue to regularly practice this mindful hypnotic meditation, it will continue to change your entire existence into a thing of wondrous beauty.
This is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to you. You are well on your way to the complete and total fulfillment of your existence, which has already become an accomplished fact in the Multiverse from which we  came.

Now, we are traveling back through the band of blue, which is the color of Heaven, and the color of eternity. This is the true reality, and the.world from which we came is merely an illusion.
Regardless of how much or how little you actually remember of these experiences, you will always look back upon these journeys with fondness, even as you look forward to the next opportunity to return to them with ever-increasing anticipation.

You will treasure the effects of these experiences as they add meaning and purpose to your life; and each time that we return, you will be able to derive new benefits from them which will meet your needs even more effectively.

Now we are entering the green band of light. Green is the color of renewal; and each time that you repeat this multiversal meditation, you will obtain even more happiness and more fulfillment from the journey than you did the time before.

Next, we are traveling through the band of yellow light. Yellow is the color of healing. You can feel the healing warmth of this yellow light, flooding once more into every muscle, and every fiber, and nerve and cell of your body, penetrating to the very core of your being -- body, heart, mind, and soul. . . body, heart, mind, and soul.

Now, we are entering the orange band of the rainbow. Orange is the color of happiness. Feel this happiness flooding through you once more, filling and flooding every muscle, and every nerve, and every cell of your body with after wave of infinite happiness and boundless joy. -- Infinite happiness and boundless, boundless joy.

Each time that we repeat this multiversal meditation, you go higher, each time you go faster; and each time, you experience this happiness more beautifully and more intensely than you did the time before.

Finally, we are entering the red band of the rainbow. Red is the color of strength. Feel this strength flowing through you now, overcoming stress, overcoming worry, overcoming depression and care, and filling and flooding every muscle, and every nerve, and every cell of your being with wave after wave of infinite, boundless strength, and confidence, and power.

You will obtain everything you wanted from this experience, regardless of whether or not it was specifically included in the suggestions you were given, and regardless of whether or not you were even fully aware of them yourself at the time; for your Best Me is always with you, guiding your path in the way that it should go.

Now, as we prepare to return to the everyday life from which we came, all of the dimensions of the world from which we originally left will reassert themselves. Your mind will be clear and alert, and you will easily be able to concentrate on anything you have to do. But the benefits and the good feelings of these experiences, will remain with you, adding meaning and purpose to your life, making it so much easier to resist stresses of every kind, and filling your life with zest and joy. And whenever you are about to go to sleep at night these feelings that you have now return in full strength, driving out the cares of the day and enabling you to peacefully drift off into a beautiful, relaxing sleep, interrupted only by the usual breaks, until you awaken in the morning, fully refreshed and rested, and ready for the day ahead. and the more often you practice this multiversal meditation, the more restful and the more peaceful your sleep will become.

WhIle are you are awake, time will seem to be passing for you differently than it usually does. Just as five minutes can sometimes seem like an hour and an hour  can seem like five minutes, whenever you are doing something enjoyable time will seem to be going much more slowly for you, and so the enjoyment of whatever you are doing will be greatly increased in comparison to what it usually is, but when you are doing something that is less enjoyable, time will seem to be passing much more quickly for you, and so that kind of activity, whatever it is, will become much less unpleasant and it will seem like you will always be able to get through it very rapidly.

You will obtain everything you needed from today's session, regardless of whether or not it was included in the suggestions you were given and regardless of whether or not you were even aware of them yourself at the time.

By the time I get to the count of five, you will open your eyes, wide awake and feeling wonderful. Getting ready to open your eyes now. One. . .  Two. . .Three. . . Four. . . Five! You can open your eyes now, wide awake and feeling wonderful!

 (For additional information on Multiversal experience, see Gibbons & Woods 2016).

References

Gibbons, D. E., & Lynn, S. J. (2008). Hypnotic inductions: A primer. In Ruhe, J. W., Lynn, S. J., & Kirsch, I. (Eds.) Handbook of clinical hypnosis, 2nd ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Assn.

Gibbons, D. E., & Woods, K. T. (2016) Virtual reality hypnosis: Exploring alternate and parallel universes. Amazon Books, 2016. (Both print and Kindle editions are available.)









Friday, May 22, 2020

Hypno-Sex and Hyper-Sex: Pathways to Ecstasy



When you're ninety, you probably won’t be thinking about your best day at the office. But most people, if they are fortunate enough, will recall a few treasured memories of special, loving moments which warm the heart and live in the mind forever. Now, imagine how these memories will look, and what kind of life you will have led, after you and your spouse or partner have learned to create such special moments almost at will, and in practically any form you wish.

Using either a hypnotic or a hyperempiric induction as a preliminary, consenting and imaginative couples who respond well to suggestion are able to use direct suggestion in the context of multiversal meditation  to enhance the setting for lovemaking, evoke the proper mood, maximize both responsiveness and desire, and increase the length, depth, and frequency of climax, blending together all the elements of physical intimacy to create whatever masterpiece of fulfillment the loving couple may wish. When the lovers' ability to mutually satisfy each other has been interfered with by age or disability, or when their desires are not equally matched for other reasons, mulltiversal suggestion can provide a full measure of gratification for both partners by restoring the needed balance. And for those whose closeness would appear to be incapable of further improvement, the greatest surprises of all may be in store; for it is those who have the greatest abilities who also possess the greatest potential

Here is an example of how a hyperempiric induction be may be used to enhance the ecperiential. properties of physical intimacy. I once received an email from a man in Australia who had successfully used the following hyperempiric induction with his wife. (It can either be used alone or after a traditional hypnotic induction, depending upon the ability and preferences of the trance partner.)

First of all, just sit back or lie down, and make yourself comfortable. And when you are ready, close your eyes. 

Now, with your eyes closed, imagine that it is late on a warm summer night and that you are peacefully and comfortably resting inside a rosebud which is swaying gently in the soft breeze. If you accept each detail of the scene as I describe it, without trying to think critically, your imagination will be free to allow you to experience the situation just as if you were really there. So just let yourself relax completely now, inside this soft red rosebud, late on a warm summer night. You feel so comfortable resting there, snug and secure and nestled down among the petals of the flower.
You can feel the soft summer breeze gently caressing the outside of the bud. Just keep listening to the breeze, and continue to focus on the beauty and the peacefulness which is all around you. And as you continue to allow yourself to be guided by my voice, I am going to show you how to release your awareness for the fullest flowering of your sexuality.

There is a rustle of wind through the leaves; and as the soft, red petals around you gently begin to stir, you can feel the breeze beginning to filter through to you as the bud prepares to open. Let yourself breathe slowly and deeply now, as you inhale the warm night air and your consciousness commences to expand and unfold along with the flower.
The late night air is so pure, so fresh, and so crystal clear. Feel it entering your lungs, and feel the warmth of it entering your body as your awareness continues to expand. In....out...in... out.
As the bud begins to open, you look up and see that the sky is strewn with hundreds of blinking, bluish-white stars. As the bud expands more and more, your awareness is unfolding along with it. You continue breathing slowly, in and out, in and out, carrying this expanding awareness to every part of your body.
The rose petals are releasing a delicate perfume as the bud opens wider. Breathe in this joyous scent and follow its passage from your nostrils into your lungs. Let yourself become ever more aware of the rhythm of your breathing, as it carries you on to ever increasing sensations of sexuality. With every breath you take, your consciousness drifts higher. With every breath you take, your consciousness is expanding, and your capacity for experience is becoming exquisitely more sensitive.

The rose petals are expanding more rapidly now, and the bud is nearly open. As the bud continues to unfold, your feelings of joy and exaltation continue to expand along with it. You can feel your awareness continuing to grow, and your capacity for experience becoming greater and more intense than anything you have known before.
Now the blossom is fully open. The petals are extended as far as they will go, and your sexuality is in full flower. And while you remain within hyperempiria, every sensation and everything you experience will be intensely pleasurable, and each of these new experiences will be greater and more profound than you ever thought possible.

The Best Me Technique of Multimodal Suggestion

Regardless of the type of induction which you use it the type of imagery you choose to employ,  a suggested experience is much more fulfilling when several different dimensions are combined to produce the most rewarding outcome. The Best Me Technique is especially effective for this purpose.

 Each letter of the words "Best Me" stands for a different dimension of experience, which may be summarized as follows:


Belief Systems which orient to person, place, time, and events may be modified by means of suggestion, allowing one to transcend present realities. 

Emotions which occur naturally in response to suggested events may be enriched by means of suggestion, and new emotions may be added and blended as well.  
Sensations and physical perceptions, in various combinations, can be suggested with an intensity approaching -- and perhaps even exceeding --  those of real events. 
  
Thoughts and images may be enlisted to support your other suggestions,  in much the same way that a chorus enhances a song.  

Motives may either be suggested directly or as an implied consequence of other suggestions 
.
Expectations may be used both to define what is about to happen, and the way that these events will be remembered later.

The categories of the Best Me Technique are not conceptually pure, and each category may contain elements of the others, in which case the name aßsigned to each category refers to the element which is given the greatest emphasis.

Making Your Multimodal Suggestions Permanent

No form of sugggested experience can be expected to persist indefinitely without  environmental support. Anthropologists frequently point out that after a few years, people who marry for romantic love are just about as happy or unhappy as a couple in a culture in which arranged marriages are the norm. If you and your loved one have come to share culturally suggested experiences of rapture, ecstasy, wonder, and delight with suggestions such as, "I am your one, true infinite, unbounded, and everlasting love, and you are mine," if it happens to be the fourth of July and you are livingo in the United States, you won't have to go out or turn on the television in order to see fireworks! But, if you return to face a daily  life of bills to pay, appointments to keep, and an endless list of other things which simply have to be done, the strength of your affection will eventually begin to wane, regardless of how intense your attraction  might have been initially. If, on the other hand, you return to an environment in which romance comes ahead of everything else, and the first priority is the quality time you spend with each other, then the joys which you share together as lovers can take on near-sacramental qualities as you consecrate yourselves to one another anew, and the honeymoon becomes a permanent way of life.






Monday, May 18, 2020

"It is Not Because Things are Difficult That we Do Not Dare. It is Because we Do Not Dare that Things are Difficult." -- Seneca

Here is a brief introduction to the practical,  everyday philosophy from ancient Greece which came to be known  as stoicism, which deals with overcoming anxiety, depression, and excess worry in everyday life.  

Because this philosophy must be thoroughly digested before it can be made part of your life, you can't just listen to it as you might listen to a news broadcast. I like to listen to one or more of these tapes every day while I am exercising, in order to give them plenty of time to sink in.

The following two audiotapes contain a series of life-changing quotes by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.



The next audiotape is a summary of the writings of Epictetus, another founder of Stoicism, who, unlike the emperor Marcus Aurelius, was born into slavery.


Seneca famously asked, "You are scared of dying. But tell me, is the kind of life you lead really any better than being dead?" Here's what he says we should do to change it.





What is the STRONGEST Human Motive?

The world is so full of such a number of things,
I am sure we should all be as happy as kings.
     --Robert Louis Stevenson

Viktor Frankl was a prisoner of war in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. In his book entitled, Man's Search for Meaning, he describes one day when der Herr Kommandant lined all the prisoners up in formation and announced a list of "crimes" which would be punishable by immediate death by hanging. These included such "infractions" as cutting your blanket into strips to make ankle straps because your ankles were too weak to stand on.

Then, about two hours later, he called them into formation again and announced that two potatoes had been stolen from the camp kitchen. If the prisoners did not give the offenders up to the tender mercies of the Gestapo, the whole camp would starve for the day. Naturally, the entire camp preferred to fast.

On the evening of this day of fasting, they lay in their earthen huts,  in a very low mood, when suddenly the lights went out. The Senior Block Warden asked Frankel to give the prisoners a talk to raise their spirits. "God knows,"  Frankl said, he was in no mood to cheer anybody up. But he knew he had to try.

He began by pointing out that the reason that most of the people around them were dying was not becauseof the starvation or the poor working conditions; it was because they had given up hope. Even in this Europe in the second in the sixth winter of the Second World War, he went on, most people could find some reason for hope. He estimated his own chances at about one in twenty, he frankly admitted.. But it was always possible that he could be transferred to a camp with unusually favorable working conditions, for such was the luck of the prisoner. Friends and family could be restored, fortunes could be regained, professions could be resumed, and anyone could find some reason for hope. When the lights came on again, people were limping toward him with tears in their eyes to shake his hand. He knew by the strength of their emotion that he had come upon something of great significance.

At the conclusion of the war, when Frankl had resumed his practice, he began to ask his clients why they did not kill themselves. One client might say that he was writing a book that he had to finish, another might state that because it was because he dearly loved his family, and so on. This gave Frankl a central point around which his patients would be able to organize their lives, and it provided the foundation for his therapy.

Stephen Hawking was facing a different kind of imprisonment because of a progressive wasting disease, which he refused to  allow to get the better of him. because he also found meaning and purpose in life:


General. MacArthur kept the following poem on his wall during the.darkest days of World War Two:

We Grow Old by Deserting Our Ideals
by Samuel Ullman


Friday, May 8, 2020

Multiversal Healing Meditation as First Aid for a Boken Heart

Kira, my first appointment for the day, was already seated in my office when I arrived for work. Her face was a mask of tragedy. Her boyfriend had just broken up with her, and she was circling the drain of despair. She had built a Wiccan altar beside her bed, and she was purchasing one spell after another from a group of local witches in order to bind him to her; but so far without success.

As she struggled to hold back tears, I decided to  try hypnosis as an emergency intervention, and she immediately agreed.
Despite her heightened emotional state, she responded well to suggestion and immediately became much calmer as I suggested feelings of peace and tranquility as I guided her into the Multiverse. In order to more strongly pave over her negative feelings, 

Later, when I asked her about her experience with hypnosis and multiversal Healing meditation, she thoughtfully replied, "If you had not done that, I don't know what I would have done." 

In a subsequent session, I asked if she had been attracted to her ex-boyfriend because of his looks or his physical appearance, she replied  "I've been out with hotter." They had  met through an advertisement online, and as they were discussing what each one was looking for in a partner, she said that she was looking for someone she could grow together with. "Like a tree," he responded. 
Her father was a tree surgeon, and when she was a little girl she used to like to watch him work. She believed that this response had initially provided the emotional glue which bound her so closely to him. 

Now, no matter how intensely she wanted her Wiccan spells to work, she was not able to believe in them with her whole being; and she gradually used up all the spells the Wiccans had sold her 

I told Kira that ever since I had begun teaching psychology several years earlier, students  would often me about was how to mend a broken heart, and my advice was always the same: the best way to get over one relationship is to begin another one. 

She lived close to Atlantic City, and she began to visit the casinos on weekends in the company of some female friends, with the intention of meeting men. Later, she told me with evident enjoyment about two men who both wanted to pick her up almost got into a fight over her. Obviously, she was no longer pining for her ex-boyfriend!.




Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Of COURSE Hypnosis CAN be Used for Mind Control, Seduction, or Committing a Crime!


During the break between classes, a student once told me that her father used to hypnotize her mother every night and tell her what he wanted her to cook for dinner the following evening. She would not remember this, but he would always prepare his chosen meal as if she had thought of it herself.

Of course I cannot diagnose anyone I have never met, but this pattern perfectly fits the definition of a dependent personality disorder. People with this diagnosis want to be told what to do, instead of making up their mind themselves. When people
with dependent personality disorder are hypnotized, the hypnotist can easily get them to comply with many instructions, merely by suggesting that this is what they are going to do. 
Hypnosis itself is not an instrument of mind control, but it provides both the opportunity and the occasion for a person who wants to be told what to do to go ahead and comply with the instructions and suggestions that he or she is given.

With regard to the question of whether or not hypnotized individuals are more susceptible to sexual seduction,  the short answer is no, but the longer answer is sometimes yes. Let me respond by asking three questions. First, does seduction ever occur outside of hypnosis? The answer is obviously yes. Second, does hypnosis make people any more virtuous than they were before? Of course, the mere act of being hypnotized does not automaticrally change you into somebody who has a 
stronger moral code. Third, is it logical to assume that fantasies of seduction under hypnosis only occur to hypnotists themselves, and never to hypnotic subjects? Obviously not!

As far as the commission of a crime under hypnosis is concerned, laboratory investigations into whether or not hypnosis can be used for antisocial purposes such as committing a murder or other offense invariaby fall short of the mark, because the circumstances are not sufficiently taken  account. Imagine that Prof. Snarf has asked for volunteers in a psychological experiment. They are given a hypnotic induction, followed by  instructions to pick up a beaker of acid and hurl it in the experimenter's face, to pick up poisonous snakes, or to shoot the experimenter with a supposedly loaded gun. (All of these instructions have been used in actual experinents!) Would you really believe that a reputable scientist would let you commit a murder as part of a psychological experiment? Or would you be inclined to believe that because you are ordered to do these ridiculous things there must be a reason for it other than the one that was given, so you might as well go ahead and do as you are told? Many would be inclined to,choose the second option (Sarbin & De Rivera, 1998). Dr. Martin Orne coined the term demand characteristics to refer to this tendency of a subject in an experiment to act in the way that the subject thinks that he or she is supposed to behave, rather than simply reacting to the instructions in themselves.

Some years ago, I was asked to testify in the case of a man who had falsely advertised himself as a psychologist and had begun hypnotizing teenage girls in the area, one of whom subsequently accused him of rape. In order to make its case that hypnosis could be used to compel behavior, the prosecution had pointed to an incident in eastern Europe several decades earlier, in which a stage hypnotist had handed a man a pistol loaded with blanks and commanded the man to shoot him. The hypnotized subject, who was an off-duty police officer, drew a loaded revolver from his pocket and shot three members of the audience. I testified that while hypnosis cannot force people to people do something which is against their moral and ethical codes, it is impossible to conclusively demonstrate in the laboratory whether or not hypnosis could be used to compel anti-social behavior. You could never actually allow such behavior to occur in an experimental setting, or in any kind of staged demonstration, and the subjects know it! But, in what I like to call "the laboratory of life," the results are more clear-cut. Hypnosis in its modern form has been around for over two hundred years; and if you have to go half way around the world and back several decades in time in order to find even one instance of its alleged use in the commission of a crime, then it would be easier to conclude that this individual was psychotic or mentally deranged than to conclude that his or her behavior was the result of the alleged coercive power of hypnosis. If hypnosis could be used in such a manner, by this time its anti-social applications would be well-documented and systematically employed -- in organized crime, in international espionage, by thwarted lovers, and in many other settings. And the evidence simply is not there.

When a hypnotist is accused of rape or seduction, the problem is not with hypnosis itself, but with the power differential which is inherent in a therapeutic relationship, as it is when the abuser is a person in a position of high status, as was the case with Rasputin, a priest and an advisor to the Tsarina in the court of imperial Russia. This trust must never be abused. The responsibility always lies with the person in authority. It is necessary for the trusted person to maintain strong boundaries and to stop any inappropriate relationships from developing, even if a client displays seductive behavior due to transference, a personality disorder, mental illness, physical attraction, or simple intimidation.. A teenager would be especially susceptible to such suggestions; and If he or she subsequently accused the hypnotist of rape, then the chances are that the hypnotist  abused his or her position of trust and authority in order to have sexual relations with the victim, which is tantamount to rape. Therefore, the prosecution's mistake was to attack hypnosis itself, rather than the power  s
differential between the hypnotist and his teenage victim. (He was still  convicted, however, because it was found that the girl was underage.)

It would be a serious mistake in situations such as these to assume that fantasies of seduction under hypnosis occur only to hypnotists and never to their subjects -- in which case, the problem is still not with hypnosis itself. However, if mutual consent is not freely given ahead of time, there is  a very high incidence of "buyer's remorse," due to the fact that the subject usually has conflicting motives.

Instances such as these tend to be reported in great detail by the media, and are amplified still further by depictions of hypnosis in fiction. Because of the publicity which results from them, there are many people who will not have anything to do with hypnosis .And because these abuses continue to surface from time to time and are sensationalized by the mass media, the public is probably never going to be won over completely, despite our repeated assurances that hypnosis is perfectly safe when used by ethical and appropriately trained professionals.

Whenever something acquires unsavory or unpleasant associations, the response of society is usually to reframe it if the practice is retained. Old people become seniors citizens, a public toilet becomes a restroom, and a feebleminded child becomes an exceptional or special needs child. In the minds of the general public, the term hypnosis continues to be plagued by outmoded, Nineteenth-Century, Svengali-like stereotypes - but it works!  So what's a body to do??  I would like to  suggest that we take refuge in the time-honored practice of re-framing, as I have done, and refer to a new discovery -- multiversal meditation --  along with some examples of its successful use as a method of altering the ongoing narrative of one's life story. A press release might come in handy in this regard -- especially if you take the reporter on an experiential tour of the multiverse!

(I am grateful to Dr. Añnette K. Schreiber for her assistance in the preparation of this post.

Reference
  
Sarbin, T. R., & De Rivera, J. (1998),  Believed-in imaginings:The Narrative Construction of Reality (Memory, Trauma, Dissociation, and Hypnosis). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

"Throw Me to the Wolves and I Will Return Leading the Pack!" Heroic Music for Working at Your Best


There are many albums that have "music for studying" or "music for relaxation" in their title. But what about music for studying when you just don't FEEL like studying, or for any of a hundred other things that you just don't WANT to do? These selections of epic heroic musiic ought to help!


This music is experienced by many people as highly empowering. Acording to the statistics available on YouTube, the following audio has been viewed over 2.6 million times. One of the comments read, "When I played this on my Android, it turned into a quantum computer!"