Friday, December 30, 2011

The Most Beautiful Thing

The most beautiful thing that a person can hear is their own name, and likewise the most insulting thing is being addressed incorrectly. Names have an almost magical power. An interesting study of ancient magic (and even some current practices) reveals that spirits and daemons could be controlled simply by knowing the name of the spirit, daemon or god that one wished to invoke. The Seal of Solomon suggested that the old wise king was able to erect his magnificent edifice through the control of daemons, or magic spirits, simply by knowing their name. Also during this time in history, each town was governed by a Ba'al, or Lord, and each one had its own name - typically the one that the town was named after. When Moses asked the burning bush who he should tell the children of Israel was the God that summoned them back to the land of their fathers, he was not given a name. If moses had told the children of Israel that the name of their God was Baat or Gimmel (if those are even real names) then those same children would erect effigies. And indeed they did when Moses went up into Mt. Sinai and left his brother Aaron in charge. The people demanded a god to worship and he obliged with a statue. Let's bring this a little bit into the future and relate this to hypnosis. Hypnosis deals directly with the subconscious so you'll really need to pay attention and be somewhat clinically objective of yourself. Perhaps your name is Bill, but for some unknown reason your co-worker keeps calling you Bob. Aside from the fact that you've corrected him time and time again, and it being really annoying to have to do so, deep down there's a twinge of hurt. He doesn't recognize you as an individual. How about if someone you think you've never met before approaches you at the shopping plaza? "Hey Bill" she says. You don't recognize her and, aside from wondering where she heard your name before, you're thinking somewhere inside you, "I'm actually important enough for her to have taken the time to find out who I am." Your ego has been fed. Now let's bring it home to hypnosis. If I have a client who seems very resistant to my suggestions, I will subtly drop his or her name into the script. Subconsciously they say, "What was that? He said my name? Maybe I should pay attention. What else will he say?". At that point, I've got them. There is a very special thing that happens when you have someone's suggestibility - their head turns. This is meant to be taken quite literally. The client's head actually turns toward the hypnotist like a flower to the sun. Until that happens, until you have their undivided attention there is a little lack of confidence on the hypnotists part. What we're trying to do is earn your trust. If you turn your back, it means you don't trust us. We work and work and work to try to understand how you trust so that we can learn how you... well, how you learn. If we can't figure it out, then the session fails (not the client's fault at all). Now, addressing someone by name is also a matter of mutual respect and equality. The last name is used as a matter of deference. Yes, Mr. Smith or No thank you Miss Jones. But first names are informal - used by friends, family and equals. It's assumed that in session you're being addressed by the first name. A first name symbolizes vulnerability and vulnerability equals trust. Think of this in a very primal manner. An animal afraid of something will curl up in a fetal position, using his back as protection. In humans, the most resilient part of our body is our bony back. Our front exposes the soft tissue organs, our visceral vulnerability. When we are vulnerable, we let down our filters and guards, allowing more learning or suggestibility. We are literally more open to suggestion. Therefore, we want the client to physically face us when hypnotized and the easiest way to expose that vulnerability is by addressing the client by his/her first name. Told you names have power.

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