The Word Foundation


Harold W. Percival



Hypnosis or hypnotism is a state of artificial deep sleep and dream in which the Doer in the physical body is made to see and hear and do what it is told by the hypnotizer to see and hear and taste and smell and do.

To be hypnotized one must be willing, or at least passively unresisting, while the hypnotizer is active and positive, as he looks into the subject’s eye and holds his hands or passes his fingers down the body of the subject, and tells him to go to sleep; that he is going to sleep; and, that he is asleep.

When hypnotized, the subject is made to see and hear and do what the hypnotizer bids him. But the Doer in the body does not know how the body acts, nor what he makes it do. If the hypnotizer tells the subject to fish, the subject will take anything at hand and will diligently fish with it and will catch imaginary fish. If told that he is in a lake and is swimming, the subject will lie on the floor and will go through the movements of swimming; or, if told that he is a chicken, a dog, or a cat, he will try to crow or cackle, bark or miaow. It has been repeatedly shown that the hypnotized one will do the silliest things and will make of himself a most ridiculous spectacle, in obedience to suggestions or commands from the hypnotizer.

Why, and by what means, can a human being be made to do such silly things without knowing what he does?

The body of a human is composed of elemental matter organized into an unconscious animal machine; a machine in which is the feeling-and-desire of the conscious Doer, who has the power to think. The body can be hypnotized no more than a chair can be hypnotized; it is the Doer in the machine that may be hypnotized and who then makes the machine do whatever is done. The Doer in the animal machine can be hypnotized because it is controlled by the senses, and by what the senses suggest to it that it should think about and do.

The conscious Doer in every man-body or woman-body is hypnotized, and remains hypnotized throughout the life of the body it is in. The Doer in every adult human body was hypnotized during the period from early childhood to the adolescence of the body. The hypnosis began when the Doer asked the parent or guardian of the child-body in which it found itself who and what it was and how it got there, and when in answer it was told that it was the body with the name given it, and that it belonged to the father and mother of the body in which it then was. At that time the Doer knew it was not the child-body; it knew that it did not belong to anybody. But as it was told repeatedly that it was the body, and as it had to answer to the name given the body, it became confused about what it was if it were not the body. And, as the development of the body advanced with youth, it gradually came to think of the body as itself until, at adolescence, it identified itself with and as the body. The knowledge of the function of the sex of its body effaced the memory of itself as being distinct and different from the body, and the Doer was then hypnotized. It is likely that the Doer in the body will deny the thought that it is now hypnotized. One may try not to believe the fact. But it is a fact.

The hypnosis that every Doer is in throughout its life has become by habit a fixed hypnosis. The fact that the Doer in every human has been hypnotized and hypnotizes itself makes it possible for another Doer in another human body to put it into an artificial hypnosis; that is, that the subject will act only on the external suggestion made by its hypnotizer. That is why a human can be made to do silly and ridiculous things when artificially hypnotized, without knowing what it does.

How the subject is to be hypnotized is quite another matter. That depends on the operator’s will, his imagination, and his self-confidence; then on his using the proper method of directing the electric and magnetic forces from his own body into the body of the subject, and of magnetizing that body so that it responds to and controls the subject’s body-mind by the hypnotizer’s thinking. And this depends on the consent of the subject to be hypnotized.

The words will, imagination, and self-confidence are generally used without the exact understanding of what each word really means, and as here given it. Will is the Doer’s own dominant desire, the preponderating desire of the moment or of the life, to which all the other desires of the Doer are subservient; and desire is the conscious power of the Doer, the only power that can change itself, and the power which causes the changes in the units and bodies in nature. Imagination is the state and ability of the feeling of the Doer in which it is to give form to an impression it receives through any of the senses, or to whatever is potential in itself. Self-confidence is the agreement and assurance of the feeling-and-desire of the Doer that it can do what it wills to do.

The human body is a machine for the generation and storage of electric-magnetic force to be used for whatever purpose is desired. This force emanates and radiates from the body as an atmosphere, and it can be directed from the body through the eyes, by the voice, and through the finger tips.

The hypnotist performs hypnosis by directing the electric and magnetic forces of his body through his sense-organs and body into the sense-organs and body of the subject.

While the hypnotizer gazes intently into the subject’s eye, an electric current streams from his eyes through the eye and the optic nerve to the pituitary gland of the subject. From there the electric charge begins to affect the brain and nerves of the body of the subject with drowsiness, relaxation, and then sleep.

As the hypnotizer holds the hands of the subject or passes his fingers along the subject’s arms and body he sends a magnetic current from his body through his finger tips and charges the subject’s body with his own magnetism.

When the hypnotizer tells the subject to go to sleep, that he is going to sleep, that he is asleep, he is combining the electric current from his hands, and the sound of his voice passes through the ears and auric nerve and is the command which puts the Doer of the subject into the hypnotic sleep.

In the hypnotic sleep the Doer is ready to obey the commands of the hypnotizer. After the subject’s body has been thoroughly charged with the hypnotizer’s magnetism, whether at the first treatment or only after many treatments, the Doer of that subject may then be hypnotized at any time by merely looking at or speaking to the hypnotizer or by the hypnotizer’s hands.

Will is the Doer’s desire expressed through the eyes; imagination of the Doer is expressed through the hands; the voice through the words of command coordinates will and imagination and is the measure of the Doer’s confidence in its own power to control and make the hypnotized Doer of the subject do what it is told.

This explains how a human being is made to do such absurd antics when hypnotized. The Doer in one human body, by its will and imagination and confidence, can put the Doer of another human body into the artificial sleep or trance. With his own electric and magnetic forces the hypnotist charges the entranced Doer’s body which will act in accordance with the hypnotist’s verbal or mental suggestions. Nearly always the consent of the subject is required. The subject would not obey if ordered to commit an immoral act that it would not do while awake.

The facts are that both Doers are hypnotized. The Doer of the hypnotist is in a fixed hypnosis because it thinks with its body-mind and is controlled by the senses of its physical body. The difference between him and the subject is that the latter’s Doer is thinking and acting in its own body under the influence of the hypnotist’s body through which he thinks and suggests what the subject shall do. But the hypnotizing Doer does not know that it has been hypnotized by its own body-mind and senses and is thinking and acting in a fixed hypnosis.

These are startling, shocking, staggering facts, at first seeming to be speculations too fantastic to be true, but the conscious Doer in every human body who would know what it is should think about these statements. As one continues to think, the strangeness will be forgotten and the Doer will gradually learn what to do to take itself out of the original hypnosis into which it let itself be put.

The Doer might help itself to understand its own hypnosis not only by examination of what is its own feeling-and-desire as different from the physical body, but by looking around and observing the silly, ridiculous, and sometimes frightful things that the other Doers are doing in their fixed hypnotic sleep—not knowing that they are hypnotized.

Then one who thinks seriously when asking of himself what he is, will come to these conclusions: that the physical machine in which he lives and operates has consumed many tons of food in the building and maintenance of the body to be the physical body that it is; that it has changed many times and continues to change its appearance; that the body is not at any time conscious of any part of the body or of itself as a whole, else it would also be conscious as the body during sleep; that while the operator desire-and-feeling is away during sleep the body is without desire-and-feeling and can do nothing; and that as soon as the operating identity of the Doer as desire-and-feeling returns, it takes possession of its machine and is conscious of the same identical one who has inhabited and operated the machine during all of its changes in life. It is as though the body were a motorcar, which, when parked by its operator, could not move from its place until its operator returned and again took possession of it.

Well, the question may be asked: If the Doer, as feeling-and-desire, is an entity and is not the body, who and what and where is it while away and the body sleeps; and why does it not know who and what it is and where it has been when it returns and takes possession of the body?

The answer is: The Doer is feeling-and-desire whether it is in the body, or away from the body during sleep. It does not know who and what it is while in the body because, when it came into the body during early childhood and made connection with the body-senses, it was confused; and when it asked to be told about itself, the Doer was made to believe it was the body by being trained to answer to the name given its body; and it remains in this fixed hypnosis so long as it is in the body.

Whether the Doer is or is not conscious of who and what it is while the body is in deep sleep depends on how deeply fixed its hypnosis is before it leaves the body. If while in the waking state of the body its belief is deeply fixed that it is the body, then the Doer is likely to be in coma during deep sleep—as it usually is, immediately after the death of its body. If, on the other hand, its belief that it is its body is not deeply fixed, or if it believes it is not the physical body and that it will survive the death of its body, then during the deep sleep of its body it may be conscious of other parts of itself which cannot enter its body because of the imperfections of the body, or it may be conscious of an intermediate state where it may be refreshed and renewed in strength, and it may be able to solve abstract problems which it could not solve while in the body.

But in any case, when the Doer is not in the physical body and is not in coma, after death or during deep sleep, it is always conscious:—conscious as the state or of the state in which it is. While it is away from its body during deep sleep and temporarily out of the hypnosis of its body-mind and the senses, it may be conscious of and as the desire-feeling of the man-body or as the feeling-desire of the woman-body which it inhabits. But as soon as it is again connected with the nerves of its body, and should ask who and what and where it is, the body-mind tells it the names of its body and it is at once under the hypnotic spell that it is the body with the names, and it continues its fixed hypnosis. That is why the Doer cannot remember who and what it is, and where it is and where it has been, and what it has done during its absence in a deep sleep of its body.

There is always a gap of forgetfulness through which the Doer must pass when it “goes to sleep” and when it “wakes up.” When it “goes to sleep” it must let go of the involuntary nerves of the senses and so be switched off and disconnected from the voluntary nervous system and its influence on the blood. Then it is temporarily free from its fixed hypnosis. Then any of many things may happen. It might enter any of the dream-states, or it might go into any one of several states of “deep sleep.” It may retain memories of some of its experiences in dreams, because dreams are connected with the impressions of the Doer with the senses; but it cannot bring back memories of its doings in the deep sleep states because it is then disconnected from the four special nerve senses of the involuntary nervous system, and it is not trained in the memorizing of the feeling-and-desire that are not directly related to seeing and hearing and tasting and smelling. That is why the conscious Doer in the body cannot remember who and what it is and where it has been while the body has been put to rest. Therefore it is, that all Doers in human bodies have been and are hypnotized and made to forget who and what they are; that they are by the body-mind and the senses made to believe things and do things that they would not under any circumstances believe or do if they could think with their feeling-minds and desire-minds uncontrolled by their body-minds.

And because the feeling-mind and desire-mind of the Doer when in deep sleep think of subjects that are not connected with the senses and are beyond the reach of the body-mind, the Doer forgets or cannot interpret such things in terms of the senses, even if it were able to feel and desire them when it returns to the body and is again under the hypnotic spell of the body-mind and senses.

If the Doer were not under the spell of its body-mind and the senses, feeling-and-desire would by its minds be conscious of and would be guided by the rightness-and-reason of the Thinker of its own Triune Self. Then the Doer would know and see things as they are, and it would know and do what it should do, and there would be no doubt about it. But while under the hypnotic spell in which it is, it seldom acts with its own judgment, but that of the body senses, or because it is commanded by other hypnotized Doers.

In evidence of this there is the modern method of business men who hypnotize the public by advertising. Business men have proven that when they continue to advertise a product over a certain period the public will surely buy that product. How long it will take and how much it will cost before the advertising hypnotizes the public into buying, and buying, and buying that product has been figured to a nicety by the experienced advertising hypnotizer. On opening the daily paper, or a magazine, that product stares at you. It shows and shouts that everybody is using it; you need it; you will suffer if you do not get it; you will be happy only when you get it. Billboards confront you; you hear it over the radio; you see it electrically flashed before you in your comings and your goings. Get it! Get it! Get it! A cosmetic, a drug, a cocktail—Oh, get it!

Before hypnotizing became a modern business, people were satisfied with good furniture that was manufactured to last. That was not good for the furniture business. Now there are fashions and seasons for furniture, and people are expected to keep in fashion and buy new furniture. Not so very long ago, a few hats or bonnets or suits or dresses were enough. Now! how mean that would be. A dozen, and as many more as you can get, and for each of the seasons. Every artifice and seductive device that can be conceived is employed by the hypnotizing advertiser to fascinate the public, by striking colors and appealing forms, by printed words and vocal sounds to reach and hypnotize the feeling-and-desire of the Doer in the human by compelling it to think with the body-mind through the senses for the objects of the senses. And the Doer is led to believe that it does what it does because of its own free will.

Why does business hypnotize the public to buy, and to keep on buying? Because business has first hypnotized itself to believe that it must have a big business, and then a bigger business, and finally the biggest business. And each business, to get more and more and the most business, must hypnotize the people to buy and to keep on buying. But no country is satisfied to sell only to its own people. It must export its products to the people of every other country; its exports must be greater than its imports; and the exports of each country must in each year exceed the exports of the preceding year, because, it must do an ever increasing business. But as each business in each country must sell more to its own people and must export more to the people of other countries every year, what will be the limit of buying and selling, and where will it end? The fight for business leads to war; and the war ends in murder—death.

Those who are hypnotizing others must hypnotize themselves that they must hypnotize others. And those who are not trying to hypnotize anybody are the ones on whom the hypnotizers practice the art. So, from age to age, the people of the world have been hypnotizing themselves and hypnotizing others into one belief after another according to the feeling-and-desire of the Doers, of the age in which the people are.