Hypnotism and Mesmerism

A greater mind can influence a smaller mind. This is mesmerism or hypnotism. This is not at all a new science. It has existed from beginning less time. It was only Mesmer and Braid who popularized this science in the West. Sages knew this science in days long gone by. Demosthenes and Socrates, Visvamitra and Patanjali Maharshi used hypnotism and mesmerism in olden days. It was James Braid, the Manchester surgeon, who gave this name hypnotism to this science and who first founded this science in the West. The term ‘hypnotism’ has a Greek origin which means sleep. Mesmer (1784-1815) was a philosopher, physician and astrologer. He brought in the theory of animal magnetism. He believed that man had a wonderful magnetic power by which he could heal and influence other people. He made use of this power in the treatment of various diseases. The system of mesmerism is known after his name.

All orators possess the power of hypnotism. Consciously or unconsciously they subdue the minds of hearers. The hearers are swayed by the powerful speech of orators. They are charmed, as it were, for the time being. All the religious preachers and prophets of the world possessed this power to a remarkable degree. Suggestion is the master-key to hypnotism. The hypnotist suggests and the operator acts implicitly. The lesser mind implicitly obeys the higher mind.

Suggestion is an idea communicated by the operator to the subject. Suggestion is a science. One should be very clever in putting the suggestion in a skillful manner. We live in the world of suggestion and under the magic spell and influence of hypnotism. Hypnotism is a mighty power in the world. We are all hypnotized by the spell of Maya (Delusion). We will have to dehypnotize ourselves to obtain the knowledge of Self. Spiritual and Religious teachings gives powerful suggestions to dehypnotize ourselves. Hypnotism is a state of mind in which suggestions, verbal and visual, are received as true whether they are true or not. There is an irresistible desire to carry out the suggestions. The power of will and the power of suggestion are very closely linked together.

The operator develops his power of hypnosis through the practice of crystal-gazing and other methods of concentration. Pranayama also helps a lot in the development of this power. Brahmacharya also is very essential. A man of loose character cannot become a powerful hypnotist. A man can be hypnotized by gazing or suggestion or passes. The operator makes some ‘passes’ in front of the subject and the subject passes into a hypnotic state. The passes in the reverse direction will bring back the subject to normal consciousness. Sometimes, if the hypnotist is a powerful man, he can hypnotize several persons in a group or bunch. That man who resists the suggestions of the hypnotist cannot be hypnotized so easily. If one believes in the hypnotizer and thinks he can be hypnotized, he can rapidly come under his spell and operation.

There is also another variety of hypnotism called the stage hypnotism in which the hypnotist hypnotizes the whole audience and shows several tricks. He puts a lady in a small tight box in standing posture, ties her hands and closes the box and then cuts the box with a saw. Afterwards he opens the broken box and the lady comes out without any injury. A famous Fakir ascended the platform in England with a red rope in his hand, threw it in the air and climbed up through the rope and then vanished in the air. This is stage-hypnotism. This is the famous ‘rope-trick’ of the Fakir. There was no impression in the plate of a camera. This is a trick only after all. A hypnotist hypnotizes a boy and places his head and feet over two chairs. He then places a large weight over his body. The body does not bend. He asks the audience to clasp the fingers of both hands and makes a strong current of electricity to pass. They all actually feel the shock of the current. He first starts the current in his own hands and thinks strongly that the current should pass to the hands of others.

Hypnotism is very beneficial in the correction of bad habits of boys and in the treatment of hysteria and other nervous diseases. The opium habit and the drinking habit are also removed. The hypnotist should not misuse the power in wrong channels. He will get a hopeless downfall. Wherever there is power, there is side by side a chance for misuse. There are temptations also. One has to be very careful.

A hypnotist looks at the second-hand of a watch and the second-hand stops immediately. He asks a subject to look at the second-hand of a watch and stops his thinking. His eyes become listless. A hypnotist makes the body of a hypnotized subject to levitate and move in the air through a big iron ring. The hypnotized person is blindfolded. He is able to walk over a rope that is distributed on the ground in quite a zigzag manner. He is able to read the contents of a sealed letter and give proper answers to questions. Here the unconscious mind of the subject operates. He can see through an opaque wall. Marvelous are the mysteries of the science of hypnotism! Thanks to Mr. James Braid of happy memory!

Reference

Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda

Personality – Part 1

In common parlance when one says that Dr. Tagore has a good personality, he means that Dr. Tagore has a strong, stalwart, tall figure, a beautiful complexion, a fine nose, sharp and lustrous eyes, broad chest, a muscular body, symmetrical limbs, curly hair and so on. That which distinguishes one man from another is personality. In reality, personality is something more than this. It includes a man’s character, intelligence, noble qualities, moral conduct, intellectual attainments, certain striking faculties, special traits or characteristics, sweet powerful voice, etc. All these things put together constitute the personality of Mr. So and so. The sum total of all these things makes up the personality of a man. Mere physical characteristics cannot make up the personality.

What you call an umbrella is really a long stick plus a black cloth and some thin iron pieces. Similarly, what you call ‘personality’ is really the external physical body, plus brain and the nervous system and the mind which has its seat in the brain.

If one man is able to influence many people, we say that such and such a man has a magnetic personality. A full-blown Yogi or Jnani is the greatest personality in the world. He may be of a small stature. He may be ugly also. He may be clad in rags. And yet he is a mighty personality, a great Mahatma. People flock to him in thousands and pay homage to him. A man who has attained ethical perfection by the continued practice of right conduct or Yama and Niyama has also got a magnetic personality. He can influence millions. But he is inferior to a Jnani or a Yogi who has got full knowledge of the Self.

Dr. Samuel Johnson had an awkward figure, a pot belly and unsymmetrical limbs. But he was the greatest personality of the age. He was neither a Yogi nor a Jnani. But he had intellectual attainments. He was a great essayist. He had good command of the English language. He was famous for his bombastic style. It was called Johnsonian English. Just hear some of his lines: “Will you be kind enough to allow my digits into your odoriferous concavity and extract therefrom some of the pulverised atoms which, ascending my nasal promontory, cause a great titillation of all my olfactory nerves?”

Rich people also have some personality. This is due to the ‘Money-power’. They may be licentious. Money has its own share in the making up of the personality of man. It infuses in him a sort of colouring. The charitable nature may cover up their licentious nature and may send some fragrance abroad. People flock to them. Lord Jesus says: “Charity covereth a multitude of sins.”

Character gives a strong personality to man. People respect a man who has a good character. Moral people command respect everywhere. He who is honest, sincere, truthful, kind and liberal-hearted always commands respect and influence at the hands of people. Sattvic virtues make a man divine. He who speaks truth and practices Brahmacharya becomes a great and dynamic personality. Even if he speaks a word, there is power in it and people are magnetized  Character-building is of paramount importance if a man wants to develop his personality.

Reference

Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda

Watch the play!

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delusion

In deep sleep, you are not a self-conscious person—yet you are alive. When you are alive and conscious, but no longer self-conscious, you are not a person any more.

During the waking hours, you are as if on the stage, playing a role—but what are you when the play is over? You are what you are: what you were before the play began, you remain when it is over.

Look at yourself as performing on the stage of life. The performance may be splendid or clumsy, but you are not in it, you merely watch it; with interest and sympathy, of course, but keeping in mind all the time that you are only watching while the play-life is going on.

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

2012 in review…

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for “Known is a drop, Unknown is an Ocean”. It’s my pleasure to share with you all… 🙂

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 42,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 10 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Thought Energy – Utilize Effectively

Just as energy is wasted in idle talk and gossiping, so also energy is wasted in entertaining useless thought. Therefore, you should not waste even a single thought. Do not waste even an iota of energy in useless thinking. Conserve all mental energy. Utilize it for higher spiritual purposes in divine contemplation. Conserve all thought-energy and utilize it for meditation and helpful service to humanity.

Do not store in your brain useless information. Learn to unmind the mind. Unlearn whatever you have learnt. They are now useless for you. Then only you can fill your mind with divine thoughts. You will gain new mental strength as all the dissipated mental rays are collected now.

In physics you have the term “power of orientation”. Though the mass of energy is there, the current will not flow. It must be connected to the magnet and then the electric current will flow through the power of orientation. Even so, the mental energy which is dissipated and misdirected in various worthless worldly concerns should be well-directed in proper spiritual channels.

Cultivate Good Thoughts

Drive away from your mind all unnecessary, useless and obnoxious thoughts. Useless thoughts impede your spiritual growth; obnoxious thoughts are stumbling blocks to spiritual advancement. You are away from God when you entertain useless thoughts. Substitute thoughts of God. Entertain only thoughts that are helpful and useful. Useful thoughts are the stepping-stones to spiritual growth and progress. Do not allow the mind to run into the old grooves and to have its own ways and habits. Be on the careful watch.

You must eradicate through introspection all sorts of mean thoughts, useless thoughts, unworthy thoughts, impure thoughts, thoughts of jealousy, hatred and selfishness. You must annihilate all destructive thoughts of disharmony and discord. You must develop thought-culture of good, loving, sublime thoughts, divine thoughts. Every thought must be of a constructive nature. It must be strong, positive and definite. The mental image must be of a clear-cut and well-defined nature. You must develop right thinking. Every thought must bring peace and solace to others. It should not bring even the least pain and unhappiness to anyone. Then you are a blessed soul on the earth. You are a mighty power on the earth. You can help many, heal thousands, spiritualize and elevate a large number of persons as did Jesus and Buddha.

Just as you grow jasmine, rose, lily, lotus flowers in a garden, so also you should cultivate the flowers of peaceful thoughts of love, mercy, kindness, purity in the vast garden of mind. Through introspection, you have to water this garden of mind with meditation and sublime thinking and remove the weeds of vain, useless discordant thoughts.

Reference

Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda

Thoughts -) Destiny!

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“Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habit.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” – Lao Tzu

Thoughts -> Words -> Actions -> Habit -> Character -> Destiny! 🙂