When I was kid I happened to attend a hypnotism show arranged in my primary school. Hypnotism was an unheard and unseen phenomenon for me at that time. Curious that Hypnotism was something like Magic show, I joined other friends of mine to see the show. During the show the hypnotist requested some of the people in the audience, including me, to join his tricks on the stage. I was reluctant to go on stage with a fear that the hypnotist whom I thought to be a magician, would make me disappear or convert me into a pigeon. I put off the idea of going on stage , rather, pushed my close buddy to go ahead.
The hypnotist started his spell on the guys on the stage by waving his hand in front of their faces. He instructed them to go to sleep and in no time all the guys on the stage collapsed on floor in deep sleep, as though someone pulled the mat below their feet, like a block of woods collapse on ground. While all of the guys still lay on the floor in slumber, the hypnotist yelled that a war has broken out and that they need to get up and go on war. He ordered them to get up and get their weapons and armor ready. Within seconds everyone was on their feet, still eyes closed, they pretended to be soldiers and behaved like fierce warriors firing their gun and killing all the enemies on their way. Some lay on the ground pretending to be shot in chest. The scene was very funny. It seemed like they were acting just to make the audience laugh, however, the guys were too serious, some crying in agony and others acting in rage. Later on the hypnotist instructed that the war was over and they have won it, to which, all the guys on stage rejoiced their victory hugging and yelling in joy. Later on he moved all the people on one side and picked only my buddy. My buddy was tall and a little skinny. The hypnotist placed two small tables about 3 feet apart and asked my buddy to sleep on it with his face up, with the feet on one table and his shoulder and head on the other , and with his belly resting between the tables without any support. My buddy obeyed like an obedient student. He then asked one of our teachers who was tall and bulky and at least three times the weight of my buddy, to come on stage and climb up on my buddy’s belly. Everyone in the audience was shocked. I had a churning in my stomach to see the scene. I thought my friend is going to die. But, to everyone’s surprise, when the teacher stood on my friend’s belly, my friend didn’t budge a word in agony. His belly lay flat and stiff. He didn’t even seem to be aware that someone is standing on him. “Is this magic? Or my friend turned into a super human”, I thought to myself. I could not believe my eyes. How is this skinny, shy and gentle guy able to sustain the weight of a person who is at least three times his weight? It was something out of my imagination. The hypnotist performed several such acts in the show, before finally ordering everybody to come out of their slumber. When all of them woke, they were again just the same people as before; none of those who went through the exercise seemed to realize what happened to them, they were as normal as we were.
Couples of decades have passed since that show but the things I had seen in the show still remind me and put me to wonder about the magic of hypnotism. I have not seen any other hypnotism show after that nor have I met or heard anyone going through such hypnotic sessions. Those questions that surrounded the mystery of hypnosis haunted me and still continue to haunt to this day. I guess no one has a definitive answer to this phenomenon. What makes a hypnotized person, to sustain pain beyond limit, do the things that are beyond anybody’s imagination, unthinkable in normal life, has no explanation. Does hypnotism give you some super power to do things? Does it transform your nervous system and capabilities? What exactly does it do? Does it control your body or it does something beyond that. All I know is that hypnotism acts on your brain and controls your mind. What does that mean? The mind is so powerful that it can make you do things unimaginable? How can something abstract and considered subtle transform your body to such an extent? Is this power already inherent within us or was it induced by hypnotism? Did hypnotism trigger it or it was self existing and needed a kick-start?
There are varied viewpoints on this from different experts. None of which are totally proven though. If we are to believe in ancient philosophies, “Mind” is the ultimate power engine. Body is just a mechanism, which the mind instructs and controls to do any possible tasks. Mind does what it believes to be true. You make the mind believe that you are a powerful super human and it tries to imitate that and instructs the body to do the same. Buddha said, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” So was the hypnotist doing just that? Was he persuading the minds of his subjects to make it believe that it is super power and in turn asking the mind to perform such unthinkable tasks through it’s body? Did he really hypnotize or he just brought back the actual strength that the mind and the nervous system already possessed in them? It brings an interesting question to mind. What really is our strength? One that the hypnotist showed or one that we posses in a non hypnotized state? If we believe ancient philosophies, all human beings are creation of divine power and posses unimaginable capabilities. Wouldn’t that really mean that we are unaware of that real power and living in a state of hypnotism already? A state of hypnotism that prevents us from utilizing our real strength? A state of hypnotism that makes us believe that we cannot achieve what we want? Why are we not able to utilize the same power and strength in a non hypnotized state? Did the Hypnotist actually DE-Hypnotize the subjects for a while that brought back the original strength in them to perform the unthinkable acts?