Victor Hugo colorfully explains that “Suggestion consists in making a small incision in the spirit of another into which we insert our own idea”. The choice of the word “incision” illustrates very well that we forcefully penetrate the other, and moreover this is done in order to place something there that does not come from him; our own idea. That is far from being harmless, as we generally believe. In this way, during a session, the hypnotist can suggest to the subject that he is cold, that he is either tired or very fit, that he sees a bright light, and so on, and the subject will feel and see everything he is told. Unable to resist the suggestions, he will somaticize what is proposed to him. The information received by his spirit is transmitted to his brain, which in turn modifies the sensory and organic functions to the desired state.
Something similar happens sometimes on a smaller scale when, for example, we start to feel tired and out of sorts after several people have remarked that we do not look well!
It is the possibility of modifying the body’s organic functions according to the idea one has of them that is used in medical hypnosis. Several physical ailments can be treated in this way: migraines, indigestion, eczema, allergies, high blood pressure, arthritic pains, and so on. By suggesting a different organic function to the spirit of the patient, we can exercise an influence on him so that he obtains relief from disagreeable symptoms, and in certain cases, complete recovery.
Hypnosis is also used to treat psychic problems such as anxiety, fears and phobias; impatience, aggression, lack of self confidence; dependency on tobacco, alcohol, food (bulimia), or on different drugs. The suggestions made to the spirit will redirect the behaviour of the subject towards a more positive conduct. This is because his thinking and actions will be guided towards the new ideas implanted in him. For example, the suggestion “I no longer have a craving to smoke” will replace the old idea “a cigarette makes me feel good”. Since the goal of medical hypnosis is positive we tend to believe that the method is also. But is it really?
The Subconscious Mind, or the Spirit?
According to the medical field, hypnosis acts on the brain, or more precisely on the part of the brain harbouring the subconscious mind. This part of the brain is described as the reservoir of all our resources of knowledge. It would also be the centre of creativity, imagination and would constantly react to what our senses perceive.
This type of definition does not apply to the brain but to the immaterial spirit that animates the body and uses the brain. The latter is but a tool at the disposal of the spirit. It resembles a high performance computer in the hands of its user. But in the same way as a computer is completely void of creativity, imagination, and so on, so also is the brain. The spirit, on the other hand, possesses all of these faculties and constantly uses them throughout the course of its activities. The brain does nothing but put everything into a concrete form in the coarse material world.
It is damaging to consider hypnosis as acting upon the brain and not on the spirit because we lose sight of an essential point. The spirit is, in fact, the seat of the free will. Therefore, it is only when the spirit uses its free will that it can progress and advance inwardly, because it then experiences everything it does fully.