The Wright Way

The Wright Way

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Hypnotic Reality

One of the things I've come to realise about the Hypnotic Reality, is that there are some really useful things to know about how to best interact with it. In experiential terms this relates to both our own experience and also that for others.

It is well understood of course if I have guided someone into an altered state of reality for therapeutic or changework purposes, or am even helping them to experience the amazing power of their own imagination through displays of progressive hypnotic phenomena.

However, if I encounter someone in an altered state (what I describe as a Hypnotic Reality) who I might need to guide to a place of greater comfort or safety, then the best way I have of interacting and getting their compliance is for me to actually step into their Reality. It comes from one of the first things I learnt when working in the hypnotic domain - the need to "go there myself first".

So when might we encounter such a person in an altered state? It's when certain hypnotic phenomena are displayed by the subject, such as time distortion, catalepsy, anaesthesia, amnesia, positive or negative hallucination, sonnambulism, age regression etc. Even post-slumber disorientation can be described as an altered state because it is a transition between an unconscious state and a waking consciousness. Once we realise the reasons for these displays and also the usefulness of them, then to be able to navigate around them for the subject can be invaluable.

The Sleepwalk

After my mother had suffered a number of strokes she could only walk consciously with the aid of a wheeled walker or a Zimmer frame. She could also move around enclosed spaces by holding onto walls, rails etc. but there was always a concern that her hand(s) might slip and cause her to fall. Her bedroom had an en-suite bathroom, so once she had gone to bed there was no need for her to emerge from her room until the next morning.

However there was one occasion, in the middle of the night - about 3am - that I became aware of some sounds of movement in the passageway outside my bedroom. I got up and went to look and found her about to go downstairs and she was obviously sleepwalking. We had a conversation - as you do with sonnambulists - and I discovered she was going down to get the breakfast ready. I said it might be a better idea to do it later in the morning when everyone had got up and that it was ok for her to go back to bed and get a bit more sleep until then. She acquiesced, turned around and went back along the passage, through her bedroom doorway and got back into bed. I wasn't aghast, although I was fascinated by what I saw. She did not hold onto anything as she walked along - and actually walked in the way she had always walked, as if she had never had any strokes.

Conversations in Trance

Recently my Dad had fallen asleep in an armchair, and was in slumber for a couple of hours. During this time his right hand and wrist had become wedged around the chair arm, in such a way as to eventually cause cramp. However, I didn't notice this until he started to stir and was talking in German. He was clearly associated into a wartime experience in POW Camp (hence talking in German) and that whole right side of his body was both numb and cramped and presumably felt 'frozen' - something he must have endured many times in the course of 5 harsh winters.
I talked to him, and took his right hand and arm and manipulated them, entirely in a way I might do with any client who I was guiding into and around a Hypnotic Reality. His spoken responses were first in German and then half in English, and then completely in English. In sound terms they were all in in the style of "a hypnotic conversation". I knew our dialogue was taking place at an unconscious level and that the best way for him to come back to the 'here and now' would be by gentle guidance. This I did for him, and once 'back in the room' we then set about massaging the cramp out of his right hand and arm which took about 15-20 minutes.


In both these instances it doesn't need much imagination to contemplate what might have happened (a) if I had not been present and more to the point (b) I did not have an understanding of negotiating the highways and byways of the Hypnotic Domain.

For me it was both a fascinating and a learning experience - and broadened my experience of the mind-body link in a very powerful way. And for my parents? Well, to be honest, they had no idea of what had actually taken place for them. The Hypnotic Reality was not imprinted in their conscious memory!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Never Assume....

A dear, and now departed, friend and former work colleague had a number of catchphrases - one of which was:

Never Assume

This of course is SO true, and yet we all have a tendency to fall into the trap of "knowing what's coming" because we've either seen, heard, felt, smelt or tasted it ALL before. Even if we haven't we have, because we are so very good at distorting something we don't know into being like something we do know.

"How did you find X?"
"Yea, it was nice - a bit like Y, to be honest. And I love Y, so I was comfortable with it."
Recalibrating 'new' experiences in terms of old ones is a very common mental trait by coding events using metaphor after the event.

However, to do it before the event, is to actually start to close the Mind to being fully in the moment and really experiencing something completely new, and - more often than not - totally rewarding!

This last month has found me out in terms of my knowledge and love of the music of Beethoven.
I assumed I had heard all there was to hear - and loved it all from the very familiar (5th Symphony, say) to the less well known piano or chamber music. I admire his humanistic qualities, his musical language and stunning level of invention. I believe he is one of the greatest creative artists of all time and this, it would seem, allows me to assume I know everything about my experience of Beethoven.

The turning point for me was watching a programme called "In Search of Beethoven" that went out on the Sky Arts channel. It was a lengthy programme and, to be fair, was just interesting by virtue of its familiarity. Until I heard one particular comment late on in the programme:-

"What makes every piece he ever wrote sound different? It is because in sketching out and crafting every work he chose a particular soundscape for it."

Chose a particular soundscape

Now this wasn't just about instrumentation, key signature, tempo, melody and counterpoint and interpretaive markings. This was beyond the fundamentals of his musical language.
This is ALL about the meaning he wanted to convey to the listener and how, in creative terms, he preframed it.

Then I extended my thinking on this, as to how might we carry this into the art of living our own lives.

For what purpose. you may ask?
Purpose inasmuchas we are all capable of greatness, to be genius, at some part of our life.
Come on - not everyone can be a Beethoven though can they?
Perhaps not in musical terms - but there is more to man's existence on the planet than conveying YOUR MESSAGE through the expressive medium of music.
Beethoven was pretty ordinary at loads of other things, and probably woefully inadequate at some as well. We are just mighty fortunate that he found his genius and expressed it for posterity.

There must have been for him instances where he assumed things, such as the true nature of the intentions of Napoleon Bonaparte for instance! However in music there was never any assumption. As a passionate musical revolutionary he left no room for assumption.

Are you a passionate revolutionary?

So what are you a passionate revolutionary about? If you don't know then I invite you to never assume that you are not one or cannot be one! If you are able to express your true message in life then therein lies fulfillment. The life you were meant to lead!

How often do we bring the meaning of our communication, our deeds and actions, to truly bear upon our world and the people in it in such a way? Given that everything we say and do has an impact on THE world - not just our world - then surely we can really bring meaning into our lives through bringing more gravity into the things we say and do.

So - Beethoven's 5th Symphony - that much played and well known old 'war horse'. I've just heard a brilliant and very 'fresh and new' rendition by a conductor who revealed much in an interview afterwards about how he saw the work. He said,
"This work has become so popular over the last 200 years that there has become an almost overwhelming expectation about how it should sound. And in and through that expectation it has lost its original meaning, the meaning Beethoven must surely have ascribed to it, given the nature of the man and his art."

In other words, the world has assumed the music and the soundscape that the piece occupies and has played it that way ever since!

So, what about soundscape and meaning Beethoven wanted to convey here in part of the Missa Solemnis - a work that I was in danger of never knowing until now, by virtue of my foolish assumptions? For me it is an expression of wonder and joy at the whole of creation.
I leave you to decide for yourself however - far be it from me to ever assume again!!

Gloria Part 1