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Hypnosis & Meditation

answered 04:31 PM EST, Fri December 09, 2011
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I believe that some experiences with certain drugs and certain altered states of consciousness have really helped me to come to terms and to understand my own spirituality and my own place in the world. I believe that altered states of consciousness give me a different perspective on life and how I should live it and help me to understand God and my place in the universe. Unfortunately, I have abused drugs and now I am no longer really able to achieve altered states of consciousness through chemical means. Are there any types of therapies that help people grow spiritually through the use of altered states of consciousness without using drugs? Maybe trances or hypnosis or meditation based…not sure – but very interested to find out!

Dr. James Strawbridge Says...

Many psychologist use hypnosis as a means for treating mental dysfunction. The process of hypnosis is relatively easy, which is surprising considering the power that is associated with the phenomenon. In short the process is one of distracting the conscious mind long enough to implant alternate suggestions to the inner mind. Many people think the process of putting the conscious mind asleep, but this is a common misconception of hypnosis. Hypnosis is not sleep, but rather a form of tightly focused concentration.

Many spiritual traditions use meditation as a vehicle for development. Meditation too, is a process of focusing the mind, but usually at a lower level of intensity. The lower level of intensity makes meditation easier for the individual to attain and control. Once the mind is focused to the degree common in hypnosis, the ability to direct the course of activity is usual. This is one of the major difficulties in trying to use hypnosis by yourself. To reach a deep level, you have to have an outside source of direction. But there are relatively simple methods of overcoming this difficulty. It is possible to create your own recording, and by doing so you also end up with a hypnotic session that is custom tailored to your exact goals. There are tapes you can also purchase to help as well.

Spiritual growth and development takes many forms depending on the culture in which you live. The content of the hypnotic session depends greatly on your beliefs. If you believe that spiritual growth takes place when you live according to a prescribed set of rules without deviation, then you would use hypnosis to instill a 'natural' tendency to live according to those rules.

If you believe that spiritual growth and development happens as you become more like the Supreme Being, then you would use hypnosis to create whatever internal changes that need to happen to bring yourself closer to that state.

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Page last updated Dec 10, 2011

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