Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Hypnosis As Therapy
HYPNOSIS AS THERAPY
At this point there inevitably comes to mind the possibility of using hypnosis therapeutically. Our point of departure is the realization that every symptom of illness is based on a faulty program. In hypnosis it is possible by suggestion to replace such a program for another more desirable one and thus make the symptom disappear. I am using intentionally here the word “symptom” although the hypnotherapist would rather call it an “illness”.
This is precisely the weak point of hypnotherapy. Like every other method in orthodox medicine it can cause symptoms to disappear, but fails to cure the “sick person” as such. Where the crucial difference lies may become clear only at the end of this book. At this point I merely want to warn against any over-optimistic tendency to see in hypnosis the key to curing disease.
From the esoteric viewpoint “healing through hypnosis” can never be justified because suggestive hypnotherapy does not achieve “healing” in the real sense. It can remove pains and symptoms and is therefore comparable with, for instance, surgery. I do not dispute the success of hypnotherapy, any more than I dispute the success of an appendectomy. Both can prove necessary and helpful in certain cases. But neither of the two methods can ever touch the essential realm of illness and therefore cannot “heal” in the real sense.
From the experience of hypnotherapy developed the methods of autosuggestion, positive thinking and finality thinking. These systems teach how man can heal illnesses, gain eternal health, earn money, obtain possessions and so forth, by repeating positive thoughts an picturing them mentally.
One of the great pioneers of autosuggestion was the non-medic Emile Coué from Nancy whose teachings and formulae (“Every day, in every way, I feel better and better”) started an entire movement in all Europe known under the name “Couéism”. The basic axiom of Coué was: “It is only our imagination which makes man healthy or sick; if we can direct our imagination we obtain the power to make man healthy or sick, because man is what he thinks”. Since this basic axiom is wrong, the method founded on it is wrong too. It would be more correct to say: “Man is not what he thinks, but what he was thought up to be” (Hans Blüher).
Coué missed the metaphysical aspect of illness with the same obstinacy that modern day medicine displays. Like modern medical experts, he firmly believed that his method only required a wider dissemination to eradicate illness in the world. This kind of thinking is endearing but not adequate in meeting the problem of illness. Suggestions can never heal because they are always lies. Healing can only take place through an encounter with truth. What I have said applies to all suggestive procedures and systems which evoke health, happiness and wealth.
I am not disputing the possibility of achieving the promised effects by means of such practices, but I must certainly contest the ever-spreading opinion that these methods are consonant with the teachings of esotericism. From the mere effectiveness of an action we cannot deduce its justifiability.