God and Self Hypnosis – Shaken Or Stirred?
Does the practice of self hypnosis open you to demonic obsession or possession? Is it a substitute for prayer and the work of the Holy Spirit? Is there any value in it for religious people?
Many religious people are misinformed about self hypnosis. Here’s an example. A devout Christian friend of mine said she didn’t need hypnosis because she had prayer and the Holy Spirit to solve her problems. She thought that as a clinical hypnotherapist I would now substitute hypnosis for prayer – or even deny the power of the Divine. She disapproved of it so much, she tossed it off and compared it to Ouija board use. She just thought self hypnosis and God could not coexist.
Hypnosis: The Caricature and the Truth
That caricature of hypnosis still persists in the minds of many religious and nonreligious people. Here’s the truth:
* Hypnosis, hypnotherapy and self hypnosis have wide acceptance in the medical community (the proliferation of hypnosis-related science articles and books throughout the world strongly highlight how how relevant it is).
* Hypnosis will not “take over your mind.” It’s simply a focusing of your mind’s attention to create positive change.
* It’s not supernatural.
* It’s not mind control. You’ll have full awareness during the entire procedure in the vast majority of cases. With self hypnosis the person can do the inductions and suggestions all by herself.
When pressed about their knowledge of hypnosis and where their objections come from, some religious people become vague and circular in their smoke-filled arguments. Many have never experienced it or researched it. And instead of searching for the clear substantive evidence, they protect their religious faiths with dogma and salve their egos with emotion-filled hearsay. (Of course modern scientific hypnotherapy didn’t exist when the sacred scriptures of the world religions were penned.)
Do God and Hypnosis Mix?
As a man with a strong faith and connection with the Divine, I can tell you self hypnosis and God can coexist. Many of my feelings about my morality-based habits and challenges have been improved by using hypnosis-related techniques.
You’ve heard the expression “God helps those who help themselves.” Since hypnosis is used as a tool for change by millions, hasn’t God provided it so we could reach for and then maintain our goals? For more than five decades modern hypnosis has helped psychiatrists cure the mentally ill, medical doctors alleviate pain and the rest of us reduce our stress and overcome bad habits.
So, When Does Hypnosis Need the Help of Spirit?
There are times when no amount of hypnosis can surmount some problems. That’s when I turn to spiritual practices like prayer. And what a powerful combination prayer and hypnosis can make!
Both have a lot in common. When we pray deeply and earnestly we enter into an altered state of consciousness identical to certain levels of trance with self hypnosis. But here’s the difference: with prayer we hope to open up the line of communication with the Divine and invoke assistance — whether for ourselves or for others.
Demonic Possession vs. The Hypnotic State
The idea that hypnosis could relegate a mentally healthy person to demonic obsessions or possessions could come from the fear that because we are unconscious in the hypnotic state certain forces could take us over. But… we remain completely aware, awake and in control (morally) during hypnosis. So we needn’t fear that invisible entities will gain entry to our souls.
I’ve been practicing self hypnosis and clinical hypnotherapy since 1996 and I haven’t seen anything which hints at aligning with the demonic. Hypnosis makes my prayer life more effective and full of wonder. (More in a future article.)
Self hypnosis should be seen as a gift from above. It’s a simple and effective way to work on our challenges — not a replacement for prayer or connection with the Divine. It can really work with the tools of spirit to help make each of us become our best. Isn’t that what the Divine wants?
Self hypnosis and God don’t only coexist; they both can expand our wonder and alignment with the universe.