Welcome back dear friends, this week I would like to introduce the metaphor of self-hypnosis, what I mean by this, how this subconsciously begins and then the kinds of symptomatic outbreaks it can create and cause in our lives. Let’s just say, you are beginning to feel very, very sleepy…
Of course, this is what hypnosis in its literal manifestation means to many of us, and in our modern times it is something associated with stage shows in Vegas or else in suspicious clinics offering to help promote weight loss or trigger the will-power to stop smoking or break other unhealthy habits. Yet it is forgotten hypnosis was practiced by Freud (in his early stages), helping his patients reproduce repressed memories and intense emotional blockages and then move beyond them. At first Freud himself was guilty of literalizing his findings, uncovering a sort of traumatic experience in childhood often of a sensual nature, which then had the power to capsize the adult life.
This is where I want to focus, how often each of us has some core blockage operating on a subconscious level, some place of contention between oppositional desires, wants or feelings. This can be something as ordinary as desiring to be both noticed and recognized yet also being terrified of attention and any acclaim, or it can be something much more forbidden, seemingly dangerous and therefore troubling. What happens when such a pattern becomes active in our life, especially in ways we are not even aware of? How does this refer to hypnosis?
Self-hypnosis as a symbol, then, refers both to all the ways we subconsciously divert, sabotage, block and otherwise inhibit the more disturbing elements of this inner conflict and then the somatic disorders and upheavals generated from such a subliminal place. These inner fissures and tensions and blockages if left unseen and unacknowledged can build into a crisis of the psyche and body resulting in panic attacks, skin inflammations, stomach and digestive disorders and even a complete arresting of our capacity to function as adults. We see this quite often in our current culture of self-serving, infantile aggressions, desires and pure self absorption. The adult, responsible, community oriented aspects of our being never have the chance to be expressed or brought forth as we become trapped in a world where our least appealing qualities continually are triggered.
In hypnosis, even involuntary actions can be controlled, suggesting the tremendous power and authority present in an unseen aspect of our own being, and how vulnerable this part is to suggestion, how in essence it can be susceptible to almost anything once in this state. Yet there is good news too! The acted out symptoms of self-hypnosis can be dispelled once consciousness returns, but this requires great work, focus and discipline on our part, because a subconscious pattern (in operation since perhaps even infancy in some seed form) is not going to come introduce itself to us while we are laying on our backs thinking happy thoughts. We must face our darkness, we must go into the places we have ignored and left untended, for fear of what we might discover there.
The spiritual path is one of work, but it can be done joyfully. We do not ever have to fear what is inside of us, we do not necessarily even need to know why it is there. But we must meet it, we must be willing to mediate our own oppositional energies moving and dancing and shaking within us. This is not easy, this is not done by reading one best seller and then moving on, it does not arrive by one class or even one workshop. You work, you stumble and get deceived and fooled and then learn and get back up. You feel all the love and strength and support of your community. You accept the joyful limitations and responsibilities of being a human adult and discover something so much greater and freer within this structure. It is time we live as true magnificent adults on this planet, who is with me?