Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

30 Days of Hypnosis: Day 12

What’s your favorite pop culture reference about hypnosis?

Whew! So many possibilities.

The first one that comes to mind is “The Hyp­not­ic Eye”. A movie about a sin­is­ter stage hyp­no­tist who entrances his love­ly sub­jects cer­tain­ly plays to many of the pub­lic mis­con­cep­tions regard­ing hyp­no­sis, plus the pro­duc­ers had a pro­fes­sion­al stage hyp­no­tist instruct the actor how to per­form on cam­era as well as hyp­no­tiz­ing the actress­es to go in to a trance on cue. Regret­tably, it suf­fers from low pub­lic knowl­edge so it bare­ly reg­is­ters as a pop cul­ture icon.

Anoth­er one that comes to mind is the clas­sic spi­ral motif that so rep­re­sents hyp­no­sis in pop­u­lar cul­ture. That and the spooky, swirly music that seems to always accom­pa­ny it in any adver­tise­ment or tele­vi­sion episode scene tran­si­tion. The same also goes for dan­gling crys­tals and star­ing eyes.

But I guess my favorite has to be “Tril­by”. No oth­er work so influ­enced the pop cul­ture regard­ing hyp­no­sis through­out its his­to­ry. It is one of the few cul­ture icons that direct­ly influ­enced the Eng­lish lan­guage, with the addi­tion of “Sven­gali” as a term for a manip­u­la­tive mentor.

30 Days of Hypnosis: Day 2

What was it like the first time you were tranced or tranced someone?

Actu­al­ly, I should amend that to the first two times I was tranced. This is a sto­ry I often tell to per­suade peo­ple that hyp­no­sis is real.

In 1984, I attend­ed a con­ven­tion in Cleve­land, Ohio. I pri­mar­i­ly want­ed to meet Mar­i­on Zim­mer Bradley, the writer and cre­ator of the Dark­over nov­els and sto­ries, but the real treat was in meet­ing Kather­ine Kurtz. I knew Kather­ine from her Deryni nov­els, a series of nov­els set in a medieval fan­ta­sy set­ting much like medieval Europe, where the mag­ic is pri­mar­i­ly used by the Deryni. The Deryni are a muta­tion from human­i­ty which grants them psy­chic pow­ers, includ­ing telepa­thy and telekine­sis, plus what can only be described as mag­ic. One of the tele­path­ic tal­ents used was the abil­i­ty to induce a hyp­not­ic trance state in unsus­pect­ing or unward­ed sub­jects. It should come as no sur­prise, then, that Kather­ine was trained as an Erick­son­ian hyp­no­tist, and she reg­u­lar­ly wrote that into her sto­ries.

On the final day of the con­ven­tion, Kather­ine and a few oth­ers par­tic­i­pat­ed in a pan­el on hyp­no­sis, and as part of it, she did a group induc­tion and two guid­ed imagery ses­sions for the audi­ence. I par­tic­i­pat­ed whole­heart­ed­ly and that is a mem­o­ry I still treasure.

Which leads to the sec­ond time I was ever hypnotized.

A good friend of mine just fin­ished train­ing as a hyp­no­tist, and I invit­ed him to come to the month­ly meet­ing of the local Doc­tor Who fan club, where per­formed a demon­stra­tion of hyp­no­sis for the mem­bers of the club. (I should point out that we would watch a Doc­tor Who episode at every meet­ing: this time it was ‘Masque of Man­drago­ra’, which has one of the most evoca­tive hyp­no­sis induc­tions ever.) After the meet­ing was over, I vol­un­teered to do a more per­son­al demon­stra­tion for anoth­er of the club mem­bers. He gave me the tra­di­tion­al post-hyp­not­ic amne­sia sug­ges­tion and brought me out of trance.

And that’s when I went into a fugue state.

I could­n’t think, I could­n’t speak: I could only mouth words that I did­n’t know how to say. It only last for maybe 15 sec­onds before I was put back into trance and then the sug­ges­tion was removed.

I did­n’t under­stand then but I believe I under­stand now what hap­pened: my sub­con­scious under­stood the sug­ges­tion to for­get being hyp­no­tized to mean for­get ever being hyp­no­tized, and my pre­vi­ous expe­ri­ence was some­thing I def­i­nite­ly want­ed to remem­ber, so the two impuls­es were in con­flict and my mind was frozen.

And those were the first two times I was ever tranced.

“Only Human” by Gareth Roberts (2005) — Doctor Who


A “dirty” rip in time and a Nean­derthal in 21st Cen­tu­ry Lon­don. That’s enough to draw the Doctor’s atten­tion. How­ev­er, when­ev­er and wher­ev­er he came from, the Doc­tor can’t get Das the Nean­derthal back to his own time with­out the effects of time trav­el killing him, so the Doc­tor enlists Cap­tain Jack Hark­ness to mind him for a month to accli­mate him to the 21st Cen­tu­ry while the Doc­tor and Rose inves­ti­gate the past, only to find a par­ty of sci­en­tists from the future exper­i­ment­ing on humanity’s ancestors.

⇒ Con­tin­ue read­ing ““Only Human” by Gareth Roberts (2005) — Doc­tor Who”

“The Last of the Gaderene” by Mark Gatiss (2000) — Doctor Who


Some­thing mys­te­ri­ous is hap­pen­ing with mys­te­ri­ous peo­ple mys­te­ri­ous­ly at a near­by aban­doned air­field, which is the cov­er for an impend­ing alien inva­sion. Already the aliens have tak­en pos­ses­sion of sev­er­al Very Impor­tant Peo­ple at the Defense Min­istry to smooth oth­er every­thing and are hunt­ing for the Lost MacGuf­fin in order to begin the inva­sion. For­tu­nate­ly some­one was old friends with the Brigadier and knew just how to bypass secu­ri­ty to con­tact him direct­ly. The Brig, of course, sends the Doc­tor, after he gets back from a lit­tle side trip that has noth­ing to do with the main sto­ry, and soon every­thing turns into (pseu­do) Zom­bie Apoc­a­lypse! with vil­lagers get­ting implant­ed with alien embryos to con­trol them to hold off the UNIT troops until the actu­al inva­sion begins. All is saved when a WW II Spit­fire air­plane dives into the tele­por­ta­tion beam and halts the inva­sion permanently.

⇒ Con­tin­ue read­ing ““The Last of the Gaderene” by Mark Gatiss (2000) — Doc­tor Who”

“The Harvest of Time” by Alastair Reynolds (2013) — Doctor Who


Mys­te­ri­ous events involv­ing dis­ap­pear­ing oil rigs and a secret Defense Min­istry project attract UNIT’s atten­tion, espe­cial­ly when the Master’s involve­ment becomes appar­ent. The Mas­ter is being used as a con­sul­tant by a Min­istry of Defense com­mu­ni­ca­tions project but in real­i­ty he is using them to broad­cast a tachy­on res­cue sig­nal to his past and future selves. How­ev­er, the rapa­cious alien race of the Sild inter­cept the sig­nal and use it to pluck var­i­ous incar­na­tions of the Mas­ter out of time, start­ing to erase him from exis­tence. Then the alien inva­sion begins, whose object is to cap­ture the Mas­ter him­self as the Mas­ter Stroke of their Mas­ter Plan of cre­at­ing the Mas­ter Com­put­er, built of all the incar­na­tions of the Mas­ter they were col­lect­ing. 1 They don’t find him, thanks to the inter­fer­ence of the Doc­tor who came to res­cue him, which only leads to the aliens cap­tur­ing him any­way in the far-flung future. But that is exact­ly what the Mas­ter wants, because the Mas­ter is in con­trol of the com­put­er, not the Sild, as they discover.

⇒ Con­tin­ue read­ing ““The Har­vest of Time” by Alas­tair Reynolds (2013) — Doc­tor Who”

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