What is reality and what is unreality? What is trance? Reality might be defined as seeing things as they really exist. It is interesting how our reality can change from moment to moment. One moment we might see someone as a wonderful person. They do one thing that we do not and suddenly they are transformed into a monsterous jerk. Which reality is real? Has the world changed, or has the way we look at it changed? One definition of trance is that it is a state of reduced consciousness. Here is one of Wikipedia definitions, " Trance is an abnormal state of wakefulness in which a person is not self-aware and is either altogether unresponsive to external stimuli or is selectively responsive in following the directions of the person who has induced the trance. Trance states may occur involuntarily and unbidden", I remember listening to Tara Brach talking about how we live our lives in a trance. A young child may feel very good about themselves until they enter school and find they that they are unable to do some of the things that are expected of them. They may be criticized for the way they talk, walk, their weight or any number of things. They may be told that they are not capable in some area, and they will never be able to learn like other children. They may be told that they are not good enough. These subtle messages are not intended to harm for the most part, however, they are received and taken into the child's heart and mind. Some children may learn that they are intelligent, capable and deserving of being loved. The hypnotic trance has been performed. If a child does not perform well or is criticized they may learn to see their world differently. (Schools can be wonderful and dangerous places) It is common in the field of hypnosis to talk about such things as "installing beliefs'', in such instances the hypnotist may want to install a belief that the person in his or her care is capable in some way. It may be that they are capable of relaxing, quitting smoking, eating healthier, or being more successful in business. Prior to the installation of the belief, they held the belief that they could not relax, quit smoking, be successful or were unlovable. It is what the hypnotist says that the person will believe. It is as if he or she needs to create a trance to remove another trance. Just as the hypnotist can install a belief, so can our society install a belief in us. We may very easily learn that we are incapable, that the world can't provide for or needs, that we are inadequate. Are these beliefs reality? They may not be reality, however, they can become our reality. It is very much like being "fused", to a thought, we are no longer able to see the thought with detachment, it becomes a part of us and we live our lives in the trance of unreality. We might ask ourselves, which reality is real? In any helping relationship a large part of what the helper is doing is to help an individual come out of the trance that is having a negative impact on their life. Our goal is to break the trance that interferes with their happiness and success.. It is much like resetting a computer while keeping all of the valuable and useful information. It is possible to break the trance that we can't be successful. From this perspective we all can be hypnotized, and we are all hypnotists.
Living in a Trance
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