Question: Self-hypnosis in deep states

#90

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:12 am

jimmyh wrote: It’s hard to do good science on anything that has so many different factors involved that are hard to measure and disentangle, but it’s pretty easy to do small scale personal empiricism. You just have to pay attention to your results, tweak things, and note the differences.


The idea of small scale personal empiricism is where we probably go down different epistemological paths. It is this form of knowledge, which we all inherently use, that can be traced back to so many flawed, harmful, and even deadly applications.

One foundational component of inquiry is certainly personal empiricism, but to then make claims that can be generalized to the larger group requires either (1) a person willing to place their faith in your personal observations or (2) replication and validation by peers.

The first path results in faith based inquiry, similar to that of prayer. Hypnosis prevents tooth decay, because of my personal observation. And for my neighbor that was using hypnosis but has tooth decay they must not be doing hypnosis in the correct manner. It is too complex or there are too many variables to determine exactly why they have tooth decay, but I am confident hypnosis has prevented my tooth decay given my personal observation.

The second path challenges faith based inquiry, establishing a standard of proof that can be observed, replicated, and thereby validated. This shows that my personal observations are exactly that, personal and nothing more. Hypnosis doesn’t prevent tooth decay generally speaking, at least to a degree of error of 0.01.

Neither path is necessarily superior or better than the other. There is no way to disprove that hypnosis does not prevent tooth decay. It certainly is possible that my personal observation is correct, that hypnosis prevents tooth decay...at least it does for me. I mean, I did have one cavity, but based on this result I tweaked the process and have not had any tooth decay since.

Both paths are legitimate methods used to explore and navigate the world. It is just for me personally, if it comes to an area where perceived consequences are high, then I am highly skeptical of placing too much faith in my personal empiricism. If on the other hand perceived consequences are low, then it can be really enjoyable to go down the first path.
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#91

Postby jimmyh » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:57 am

The idea of small scale personal empiricism is where we probably go down different epistemological paths. It is this form of knowledge, which we all inherently use, that can be traced back to so many flawed, harmful, and even deadly applications.

I would draw a distinction between “personal reasoning” and “personal empiricism”. “Personal reasoning” being “whatever the hell it is that convinces you, without special care to think about what *ought* to be convincing” and “personal empiricism” referring to cases where people actually stay firmly tied to direct observations because they know not to trust their own extrapolations. Practicing empiricism even on a personal level is leaps and bounds better than just doing whatever the hell you feel like. It’s still fallible, of course, and Science helps to reduce this error rate somewhat, but a careful personal experimenter is actually pretty good.

One foundational component of inquiry is certainly personal empiricism, but to then make claims that can be generalized to the larger group requires either (1) a person willing to place their faith in your personal observations or (2) replication and validation by peers.

The first path results in faith based inquiry, similar to that of prayer.


I think you’re conflating two different things here. One is “the ability to generalize”, which doesn’t really have to do with science *per se*. Even if you run a rigorous scientific study measuring Bob’s ability to treat pain with hypnosis, that doesn’t automatically tell you how successful Eric will be when attempting to do the same thing. You can randomly sample a large number of hypnotists from some pool and measure their average effect, but 1) this still only directly tells you about people from that pool, and 2) while it’s true that science is a much better way of determining the average effectiveness of hypnotists from that pool than trying to extrapolate from Bob’s personal experience, it’s fundamentally a different question than the one bob has been studying with his informal empiricism, and so it’s not actually a comparison of “personal empiricism vs science”, it’s a comparison of “personal empiricism+extrapolation vs science”, and it’s that extrapolation stage that is the most shaky because it is the least well grounded in direct observation and requires the most theoretical assumptions to hold.

Separately, there is the issue of “epistemic hygiene”. To oversimplify a bit, things get less and less reliable the more links down the “telephone” chain you get, and so it is unwise to trust third hand information the way you can trust your own experiences. Science is a good way guarding against this, but it doesn’t actually mean Bob’s empiricism isn’t reliable — it just means that we can’t trust it, because we can’t reliably distinguish between people like Bob and people like Eric — and Eric is kinda a doofus who doesn’t reason well. If we *do* know that Bob is meticulous and careful with his reasoning and data, then it becomes a bit different. For example, if we were to scientifically study Bob’s ability to make correct predictions and found him to be incredibly accurate, then “What Bob says is extremely likely to be true” will be a *scientifically validated* statement, and not just a matter of “faith”. Similarly, one can use personal empiricism and their general reasoning abilities in determining how much and where to trust Bob — with results that will depend on how good they are at empiricism and reasoning.

Hypnosis prevents tooth decay, because of my personal observation. And for my neighbor that was using hypnosis but has tooth decay they must not be doing hypnosis in the correct manner. It is too complex or there are too many variables to determine exactly why they have tooth decay, but I am confident hypnosis has prevented my tooth decay given my personal observation.


If that were your genuine belief, and it were based only on your own teeth, it would just make you an idiot that doesn’t understand basic principles of reasoning like “statistical significance” and “base rate” and the like. Having taken and understood stats 101 is enough to preempt this particular failure mode.

The second path challenges faith based inquiry, establishing a standard of proof that can be observed, replicated, and thereby validated. This shows that my personal observations are exactly that, personal and nothing more. Hypnosis doesn’t prevent tooth decay generally speaking, at least to a degree of error of 0.01.

Two possibilities here.

One is that Bob can do it, Eric can’t, and you’ve been studying Eric. Not all “hypnosis” is created equal, and if you try to paint things with too broad a brush, science cannot save you. If this is the case, then you need to study Bob or you’ll miss the boat. Period.

If you’re actually studying Bob and get that result, it doesn’t show “the results are personal and nothing more”, it shows “Bob is wrong about hypnosis and cavities, and probably isn’t a very good reasoner”.

Neither path is necessarily superior or better than the other.


Neither is better across the board, but for any given application one is going to be superior, and often by a large margin. Personal empiricism is orders of magnitude faster, but relatively easier to **** up. Is it better to take the bus or to ride your ninja H2R? Well, it depends. How much cool sh** can you do when you aren’t limited to a snail’s pace? How skilled of a rider are you, and what’s the penalty for failure?

Both paths are legitimate methods used to explore and navigate the world. It is just for me personally, if it comes to an area where perceived consequences are high, then I am highly skeptical of placing too much faith in my personal empiricism. If on the other hand perceived consequences are low, then it can be really enjoyable to go down the first path.


I actually think this is wise. The temptation to indulge in some romanticized fantasy of street racing has left many bloodied and dead. If you don’t *know* how much traction you have, how to recover when you lose it, and when you can’t afford to, then taking the bus is *absolutely* the right decision. It doesn’t matter how much fun you may be missing or how safe motorcycles may be “when done right” if you don’t know how to do it right and can’t trust yourself to not fool yourself into thinking you’re there when you’re not.
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#92

Postby moonlightress » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:37 pm

jimmyh wrote: She doesn’t have to admit it to get it cleared. If she doesn’t want to talk about it, let her not do the talking. If she wants to pretend she’s over it, let her pretend. “Man, I’m glad you forgive me because honestly I don’t know if I’d be able to if I were in your shoes. I’d just feel like <exactly what you think she feels like, and why>”. She either has to agree that it’s worth being mad (in which case she’s back to admitting it and you can work from there) or she has to start to accept that maybe those aren’t good reasons to continue being mad at you.


It's not a good idea to dredge it up now, when she’s already said “it’s fine now” and made it clear she doesn’t want to discuss it. Instead I’ve sent a FB friend request (she unfriended me back then) with the note: “Hi C. :) Facebook sometimes glitches and unfriends me from people, and I only just noticed it had done it again. If that was the case, I’d like to connect again? If it wasn’t, of course I’ll respect that. :) Karen.” It pretty much accomplishes the same things, plus a couple more. It gives her an ‘out’, it hands her an olive branch *and* she has to accept she needs to let go. It even lets me rehearse the way I want to live, because life’s too short to waste time on negative stuff. I didn’t make her mad intentionally, the guilt is a waste of my energy, to hang onto, and the rest is her problem.

She just replied, "Hi Karen, don’t really know how FB works sometimes. Great! Reconnected!" She took the 'out'. :lol: :lol: Thanks for the suggestion!

Hi messenger. I’m definitely want to hear you out if it’s important to you, but before you get started… is it really about the things you’re saying, or are you just trying to say *anything* that might get you some more space and safety? …
… I think I’ve been pretty clear that there’s no pressure to accept or look into anything you’re not comfortable accepting or looking into, but I’ll say it again just to make sure.

It’s all about the messages being heard, so the “email read” receipt can go back to the sender. Like you talked about in your blog, some time back. It’s not a space/safety thing; that’s amply provided for by the time lag/context and the fact I haven’t forgotten how to say, “I’ll pass, thanks”. It’s always been clear, but thanks for the reminder anyway. :D I was just sitting by the keyboard and typing what came up in my head, as it came. The stream-of-consciousness, I said I’d do *next time* ;) the urge to defend came up. But I can see how it could look like I was fending off what you said.

What it *was* about, was using that screwdriver you mentioned earlier, to get the lid off so we could get to the thing inside. There was a thick layer of dusty messengers on the lid which needed clearing first, before the screw even became visible. Then, the screw turned out to be stripped. Some prodding and jiggling and protest and fuss ensued, until you got out the drill, to drill out the screw - yes, there *was* a reason you used the harder ‘douche security guard’ example. It just took me a bit of time to pick up on it.

I can’t download the 6+ hours of stream-of-consciousness that’s gone through my head since I woke up this morning. You engineers *are* working on the problem of how to install a usb port in the brain, aren’t you? ;)

I went to bed last night, my mind confused and utterly exhausted, because the pace has been fast here this week (I’ve been on vac and had loads of time, last day today) and there’s been so much input. I threw all my jumbled thoughts and feelings, along with your blog post and your last 2 posts here, none of which I could decipher, into the subconscious cauldron and said “Can you make any sense of this? Because I’m more confused than ever and I don’t know how to do it.” and went to sleep.

I hope I never, ever get jaded and stop marvelling over how the subconscious just knows how to work stuff out if you’re willing to let suggestions bounce back and forth in there.

I did feel the pang of “ouch, it sucks to be him”, and I did it anyway. What I said was both true and necessary. If he’s not ready to hear people say he’s a douche then he shouldn’t go out of his way to be a douche. As cruel as it sounds, it’s *not my problem*.

This morning, a memory came to mind. I travelled with a friend to a quilt convention 2 years ago, and as we were checking into the hotel, the desk clerk started insisting that the discount they’d applied when she paid for the advance booking wasn’t valid because it only applied to a longer stay. She had already checked this and had been told telephonically by the hotel office that it did. The clerk was having none of it. He recited his “rules”, she explained what she’d been told, he restated his bs, she tried to re-explain, he repeated the bs, she tried again, he repeated the bs and by now she was close to tears because he was insisting and she hadn’t budgeted for it. A queue was forming behind us.

And then in a flash Mama Wolf came out. Without a growl or with fangs bared or anything other than a quiet, unflinching assertiveness. I looked the clerk in the eye and said, “we understand what you’re saying and how it works, but L. was told otherwise by your office, and she’d even confirmed it. Clearly, a mistake was made, but whose mistake was it?” He folded. Someone in the queue behind us laughed. His jaw locked tight and he glared at me, but gave us the keys.
Regardless of what I did or said, it was always going to be the case that the guy had been a douche. The question is only whether I act to distract him from the reality or if I point him towards it — and if I point him towards it, do I help him make it more manageable. Because I had a hundred more people to spend my limited time with who came to celebrate with us, and because he was such a blatant douche about it, helping him manage his emotions that being a douche to me had caused him was not a favor I inclined to do.
I looked at it, saw how much it would hurt if he saw himself the way I saw him, and I did it anyway because it was the right thing to do.

I’d felt nothing. He had it coming to him. He’d been told what his colleague in the booking office had said, but he’d stayed on his power trip. I’d made him look small. Because I cared infinitely more about my friend breaking down, when he was the one being the douche, I wasn’t inclined to help him with that either.

After the memory, the thought came up, “You already know how to do this. You’ve done it before. You’d just forgotten that you knew.

How incredible is it that my subconscious took the example you used deliberately, that I protested about, and then handed me a memory that matched so closely??? How amazing is that? My mind is blown. It’s been blowing on a regular basis since I started on this hypnosis journey.
As realizations go, it’s a biggie.

Of course my dusty light saber needs to be practiced with again, of course I'll need to tackle the feelings that come up, but believe it or not, I’m kinda looking forward to getting an opportunity to do so…

Every time I’m home on vac and before I travel back to school, I cycle to a little forest close by, to sit on a tree-stump, in the exquisite tranquility. A nature-refuel is good for the soul. I used the trigger words I have for deep trance and then drifted around in it for a while. Flooded with gratitude I thought, “Thanks, subconscious. You’re a good friend. Thanks.”
---

"Since you do so well when you allow yourself to turn down the “importance” of your fears until they just disappear, why not allow yourself to do it outside the special context of “hypnosis” as well?"

"Can you look into their eyes and let their soul be crushed by your honest opinion, or would you flinch and hide your view? Because I think that’s at the crux of your issue here."

"Use what you’ve learned in hypnosis about how to accept suggestions."

But I don’t know how to do that!! What do you mean?

You already know how to do this. You’ve done it before. You’d just forgotten that you knew.

Why didn't I think of that before?
---

Is that what you meant by “Shh, bad Amanda, *look*”?

I know I could let it go without saying, but: I’m grateful. Thank you, Jimmy.
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#93

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:05 am

moonlightress wrote: (If I may give you a little feedback? It's generally not your opinions that are offensive, it's the way they're offered up.)


I am aware of your observation. You are not the first to offer up such feedback. And I treat the feedback as a typical type I or type II error.

A type I error is where less than honest advice is accepted. It is the situation where I am ever so careful not to offer up anything that might be in the least bit taken the wrong way, but the error is in not being able to offer up a direct, honest opinion. A type I error avoids offending a single person, making sure to reflect everyones fears and provide complete validation in exchange for advice that is accepted, but not very helpful. Note, they might claim to find it extremely helpful, because it validates them.

A type II error is honest advice, but it is rejected. This is where in providng an honest opinion you run the risk that the opinion doesn’t validate the person and is discomforting, resulting in a rejection of the advice.

There is a balance between type I and type II errors. In participating in the forum people must decide for themselves which error they would rather risk. Obviously I don’t want to make any errors, at least not intentionally. But, in participating for several years I have decided that if I am going to make an error, I would rather it be type II. I would rather offer up honest advice and run the risk of it being rejected. This means that I can fully expect that at least a percentage of people will take it wrong and reject it because they feel it was delivered with the wrong tone, etc.

I try to adjust to reduce errors, but I also recognize that there is a limit to exactly how far I’m willing to shift to make sure a type II error never occurs. To completely reduce type II error in a public forum, in my opinion, is counterproductive. The very purpose of a public forum, even one labeled self help, is to share viewpoints that don’t necessarily agree with each other.

I do think though, that this was more a case of the somewhat distressed woman standing on the steps, asking “Please can someone tell me how to help myself, because I’m in a hole here?”


This is not, at least to me, what the woman was initially asking. Instead, she asked for simple directions, “Yes or no, is this the way to market street?” It was a question, does X work, yes or no. From my perspective, it was and continues to be self-evident that to say something works can be traced back to the degree to which it is functional.

If for example a person practices various versions of X for several years, but still struggles metaphorically with certain monsters meant to be alleviated by X, then is it working if they still can’t put their feet on the floor? The answer is certainly relative, in that the person might have previously been unable to even open their eyes and now they see opening their eyes as great progress and therefore they see it as working. Fair enough, but it is equally fair that others might have a different perspective that X is not working given the objective is to do away with the monster all together.

And in this story, to some extent I seem to represent at least in some form or another the monster, the security guard, or the person you mentioned you had a class with who you found disagreeable. And to whatever extent this is or is not true or accurate is irrelevant. It only matters the extent to which you believe it true and then in my opinion the forum is a safe place for you to practice and/or strengthen your ability to deal with whatever struggle you might be facing.
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#94

Postby moonlightress » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:42 pm

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote: And in this story, to some extent I seem to represent at least in some form or another the monster, the security guard, or the person you mentioned you had a class with who you found disagreeable.


My orthopaedics lecturer: Yes
The Security guard: Yes
The metaphorical "monster": No. I'm not *that* nasty.. And you're not anywhere near that powerful.

Error types?
Meh, personally I think it's possible to combine them in one reply. Except in cases like the security guard and the desk clerk, where your Type 2 applies. You make that decision on a case by case basis, like Jimmy said a while back. Most of the forums I've been on and off since 1993, have been mental health forums like this one, where people tend to be vulnerable, seeking support *and* asking "what suggestions do you have for me to feel better?" Considering the first 2 are frequently present, I've found that in the vast majority of cases, a combination makes a person more likely to consider an <honest truth>. It also increases the likelihood they'll absorb a subsequent <honest truth> It's kinder too, but that may just be me; I have a thing about kindness, because I think it makes the world a better place and that in itself is helpful for them . We do need the sometimes harsh truth, but a little kindness doesn't go amiss. A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.
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#95

Postby Joe100 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:10 am

moonlightress wrote:
Joe100 wrote:Run a few rounds and let us know what happens.

In essence, whenever you get stuck or static, acknowledge that, then get back to where you were.

Awesome, thank you. I'll do that. :)
By "static" - do you mean the opposite of dynamic or do you mean interference?


I meant interference. But quite honestly, it would apply to the other definition as well!
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#96

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:48 am

moonlightress wrote: A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.


And you prefer more sugar. I get that, but how has that worked for you thus far? Since 1993 is a significant amount of time to conduct some ‘personal empiricism’, as jimmyh might call it. What have been the results?

From the perspective of an outside observer it seems evident the medicine hasn’t worked very well, irrespective of the amount of sugar.

Earlier you stated that you have tried all sorts of medicines (therapies or strategies) and they have all failed. Was this because they were delivered without enough sugar or too much sugar? Now your medicine of choice is hypnosis. Maybe you should try CBT again, but with a little less sugar this time.

Or maybe...and I’m just throwing this out there for discussion...maybe you are always so fixated on if the medicine tastes good that the medicine is always diluted to the point that it never works. Is it possible your threshold for medicine is so low that the pound of sugar that must be included makes the medicine either ineffective or so slow that 25 years later you are still searching for a cure?
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#97

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:53 am

jimmyh wrote:I would draw a distinction between “personal reasoning” and “personal empiricism”. “Personal reasoning” being “whatever the hell it is that convinces you, without special care to think about what *ought* to be convincing” and “personal empiricism” referring to cases where people actually stay firmly tied to direct observations because they know not to trust their own extrapolations. Practicing empiricism even on a personal level is leaps and bounds better than just doing whatever the hell you feel like. It’s still fallible, of course, and Science helps to reduce this error rate somewhat, but a careful personal experimenter is actually pretty good.


You might be discussing a different type of ‘reasoning’ than I’m use to. There is knowledge or ‘truth’ that is gained exclusively through reason that is impossible to gain through experience. There is no empirical basis for the concept of infinity for example. You can only come to the knowledge of infinity through reason. You can’t experience or observe iinfinity directly.

Personal empiricism is orders of magnitude faster, but relatively easier to **** up.


Yes. And I think or believe that this is where we mainly differ. I believe I am more conservative. I fear or am more risk averse when it comes to making claims of ‘truth’ that I perceive as having higher consequences. I’m not saying I’m correct about the consequences, it is just my perception. When it comes to hypnosis then, I’m fine with exploring and enjoying the idea of the potential, but when someone asks if it can solve XYZ issue then I am less willing to make a claim based on personal empiricism. If that makes any sense?
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#98

Postby moonlightress » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:15 am

Jimmy:

I feel sheepish now. :oops: Why did I kick up all that dust? All that arguing… I was even defending my defending, ffs! :roll:

That conclusion from the memory, “You already know how to do this” is the answer to both “can you look the security guy in the eye?” and “why not use what you’ve learnt in hypnosis to apply it on the spot?” --- <groan> bear with me here, please. It’s taken a little while for the pennies to drop. I think they have now, though. I feel sheepish that it took so long, but never mind that now.

jimmyh wrote:When I said “I wonder what’s going to happen next time?”, the idea wasn’t to hint “it’s gonna be hypnosis!”, but just to point you to the question of what happens next time because you’re going to have the explicit question to answer of “is this worth ‘defending’ against, or should I actually listen and take it for what it’s worth?” (and the question of "what *is* it worth?"). It seemed to me that the answer was likely going to be the latter, and that by pointing it out now you’d be more likely to change that response *now* and not have to rely and remembering the connection next time.

It should have been more likely. Even more so, because at that point I’d got myself into a trancey kind of state, where you’d think I’d take that on board more readily? I knew it was worth listening to, I knew the suggestion was in line with where I wanted to go, but I still threw out the defences. Why? I hadn’t grasped what you meant.

If you *hate* sci-fi, and you know I know you hate sci-fi, and I lean on it and emphasize “you should really read this sci-fi book” *anyway*, it calls for a very different kind of response. Now you need to actually suspend disbelief in order to find the meaning.

So I say “I’m afraid to be assertive in case people get angry at me” and you say “read this sci-fi, can you look in his eyes and crush his soul and have that be ok?” and my mind goes <scream! No I can’t!> :shock: . But now there’s a conflict because “this guy is definitely worth listening to” is still very much active (it's not ever been inactive, or I would have left). To my mind, you’re now asking me to accept 2+2=5. It can’t be done because <litany of defences>. It’s all too dangerous, so now there’s wavering around “is this worth ‘defending’ against, or should I actually listen and take it for what it’s worth?” <sh**, I don’t know. Well, of course I do know, but now I’m not so sure I *want* to know, after all>. (I’ll extend myself a little self-compassion for defending, it’s an old self-preservation impulse, but it wasn’t necessary here and it was pointless and counterproductive.)

What I’m doing is going meta and pointing your awareness at the question of how much you *should* be critical and looking to reject what I say vs how much you want to really dive into it and explore the idea as something that is potentially real and true, the way you would in hypnosis. Your impulse is to react defensively in order to protect yourself. Do you need to do that? Here? With me, in this context?

Clearly, no, I didn’t need to, especially not here with you. I’d looked at it critically at the outset. It was safe and intriguing, so I wanted to, and decided to, dive in and explore. So why did I defend, anyway? I hadn’t grasped that I’d been able to disregard the fear in hypnosis, which meant I already knew how to accept a suggestion I wanted to accept, regardless of fear, so why not here? “Because I need training wheels” (OK, I’m actually laughing at that now :lol: ) Only after the memory came up and I looked at the thought of “You already know how to do this”, the penny dropped. And then another penny dropped about your blog post, “you don’t have to know *how* to do something before you can do it, just look at the red sky and go, “of course, why didn’t I know that I already knew?” (Is my interpretation of what you meant in the post, right?)

Ideally, if I’m doing my job right, the answer will be “no”. If I’m doing my job right, it’ll be the kind of “no” that’s *just true*, and when you find yourself seeing this, the need to defend yourself just melting away, because your perception of the danger has just melted away before it. If you just *want* to say “no”, but it comes out in a defensive “no, but I can’t help it” sort of way, then that would mean “yes, I do still feel like I need it” — and it would mean that this is the sticking point to be resolved first before I can communicate what I expect to be helpful to you.

Yup, and that was a sticking point. It was what the <litany of defences> was about, wasn’t it? I did get stuck there. I hadn’t seen, or rather, I didn’t believe, what you said earlier about me already having the kind of courage called for. I’d rejected that observation out of hand. How can I have courage if I’m scared? Nope, doesn’t make sense.

To continue with the explanation, the idea is that once you can look at the situation and realize that you don’t *have to* defend yourself, you can start looking at the question of whether this information is expected to be true and useful, and how strongly.

And of course, *now* that makes perfect sense, but it didn’t at the time that I was trying to face the idea of having to look the security guard in the eye. :shock: At that point I'd forgotten that I’d even *agreed* with you earlier that that was the crux of my issue, and that therefore the information *was* going to be true and useful.

....when you *know* the person wouldn’t be saying things unless they’re both true and useful, then when they say something surprising you get that “drop” feeling…….Like “woah, this is profound.. I don’t even know which way is up anymore”. It’s not that you’re “hypnotized” in the sense that you’re deliberately not checking things for consistently because you’re supposed to accept them, it’s just that inconsistency with your worldview is expected and therefore not interesting.

Expected, yes. When actually confronted with the end-point though, “whoa, not what I had expected. I knew it’d conflict with my worldview or what would be the point of even going into this? But I didn’t know it would quite so mind-bending: "I'm afraid of spiders - here, stroke this one that's as big as you are” (is how my mind saw it) :lol: :lol:

You’re still going to want to bring it into coherence with your worldview *eventually*, since that’s how you make sense of things and get to use the information most fully. When you do though, it’s going to be with the focus of “understanding your suggestion so that I can accept it” rather than “rejecting it”.

Summarizing; have I understood this right now?: In hypnosis, I learned it was perfectly possible and fine with me, to go into it expecting to have my worldview challenged and changed; the danger of the unknown or the fear, was uninteresting, because it was expected. That wasn’t hard (at all actually), but I think what made that easy was that suspending disbelief is easier in trance when the critical mind is parked elsewhere. That’s how hypnosis in trance works, no?

Now knowing that, it shouldn’t be difficult going into this, here and expecting the same thing could happen. Essentially, this situation isn’t any different. I made the critical assessment that it was safe and potentially very useful, as I’d done for the formal hypnosis. (You even said as much early on! “You clearly have that courage since you can set your fears aside and go into trance”.) I didn’t see, then, that the situations were so similar, and all I had to do was apply that, and the fears would melt away, because I already knew how to make them do that.

It’s a matter of degree. Once you feel like you can afford to engage with my ideas fully and without holding back, how likely are they to be true and useful?

Highly likely. Because I had assessed “this guy is worth listening to” and because, “face it, how’s the other way been working for you, huh?” :lol:

The thing to take from formal hypnosis is the ability to discard your critical impulses when you can see them to be irrelevant (my emphasis). Someone with no experience with hypnosis might not even know what it looks like to not be critical of things. When you say “how much does it make sense to focus on finding reasons I might be wrong, vs finding out what it would mean to you if I were to be right?”, most people would have to figure out what the latter even looks like on the spot.

And that’s another thing I didn’t grasp before. “how much does it make sense to focus on finding reasons I might be wrong, vs finding out what it would mean to you if I were to be right?” It makes no sense whatsoever. Why would I sacrifice the chance to learn something that could potentially be very valuable, just for the stupid sake of needing to be “right”?? I look at it now and I’m quite aghast.
Does that make any more sense?

Yeah. Like a mountain of sense. And if I’d understood all that earlier, the less-than-scenic route might not have been necessary.

Take-home message: Someone will come along and make a suggestion. I already know how to assess the wisdom of setting my critical faculty aside if the suggestion sounds good and worth considering, so I apply that on the spot, even though it seems to conflict with my world view.
Similarly, someone will come and confront me, with anger. Sheer habit may still make me respond, at first, with “I can’t handle this”. But it’s a fact that I can, and I have a memory as concrete proof. It’s pointless to argue for my limitations. Why would I want to assert something I know to be false?
---

There’s a little pile of pennies at my feet. Thanks for your patience. The experience has made me even more suggestible. And I’ve now gone from “this guy is worth listening to” to “this guy *knows* stuff.” :P :lol:
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#99

Postby moonlightress » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:59 pm

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote: Earlier you stated that you have tried all sorts of medicines (therapies or strategies) and they have all failed.
……25 years later you are still searching for a cure?

I wasn’t going to dignify this with a reply, since your assessment is based on inaccuracies and incomplete information, the post has a haughty and sarcastic ‘tone’ to it, and it’s hard to find your intention to contribute constructively. This isn't how I particularly enjoy behaving, but I’ve judged it to be the right thing to do here, as a part of the person I’d like to be. I have another purpose for spending my time writing this.

For the record:

1. CBT didn't work for me. I've not said "nothing has worked for me" anywhere, because that isn't true. I said, "some of us, for whom nothing has worked". I say ‘us’ because I’ve been someone who has struggled with depression and sought support, and for some of us in this group of people, nothing has worked. That’s how I advocate; by saying ‘us’. (I guess your interpretation worked better for your purpose.) When you’re ill, you have to conserve your energy and don’t have any left to speak up for yourself, for the times when someone tells you to “grow up” as you did in the thread Jimmy referenced. I’ve been one of those people, and by gods, when we get well, we’ll speak up for all of us.

2. Large chunks of my time on mental health forums have been spent helping others, not seeking support myself. Because, guess what, therapy and self-help and, would you believe, even the ‘pseudoscience’ of hypnosis, have helped me immensely and paying things forward, gives my life meaning. In addition, and this may surprise you, given that the only side of me I’ve shown here has been as a person in point 1, I’m also a mental health professional. I don’t work as such anymore, but with a foot on either side, I can frequently spot opportunities to pace and lead, to give it a name from the hypnotist’s toolbox. I’m not doing that right now because I am pursuing fresh studies and spending my free time enjoying my art and, right now my interest in self-improvement, by engaging in a highly enriching discussion here (thank you), where I’ve been very fortunate to even be able to do some work on my own issues. Of which I’m not ashamed, refer back to point 1. It’s called being a ‘wounded healer’.

3. My anxieties, fears and struggles do not constitute all of me. Contrary to how it might appear, I’m loving and living my life, despite them. My interests and the fun of learning new things outweigh those by far. Sometimes when I’m tired and depleted, my scar tissue aches and I cry; there’s no shame in that. Sometimes I put myself in positions where it aches, to try out something like Acknowledgement, and learn from it, experientially. Then I sometimes need to come to metaphorical town squares to ask for help. I’ve learned it's brief and never lasts. I’ve learned it’s ok to be vulnerable sometimes, it trains your ability to empathize. There is much beauty and strength in the art of human Kintsugi. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kintsugi

4. There are more things about me that might surprise you, but since I’m only writing this as an advocate, I’m not inclined to fill you in. You do a good enough job yourself, expanding the fears and vulnerabilities you’ve seen in me here, to fill out your picture of the rest of me, to use for your agenda. All that does is paint a very unflattering picture of yourself. It certainly doesn’t give the impression of you wanting to provide constructive help, nor does your comment of ‘grow up’, in the other thread. I still can’t figure out your purpose for being here, but I suppose presenting yourself as an authority with the answers, who doesn’t need to learn anything from anyone (therefore your answers must be both effective and helpful), is a sort of purpose. Even at the risk of erring on the side of Type 2 errors and leaving some wounded people in your wake. But then again, maybe they were security guards who needed to be told the truth, how would I know?

5. A person in the silent 'audience’ here on the thread (there's an average of 230 views per day), with a username that’s a synonym of ‘despondent’, clicked on ‘like’ for the post where I explain my realization. It’s not to do with me getting a like; I interpret that as meaning that something about this thread is useful to you. Thank you for letting me know; my heart made a happy little jump when I saw it. (Find a hypnotist in your area. :) ) If there are more of you out there who are getting something from this thread, this post is for you.

I don’t care how you live your life, Richard, that’s your own business; but I do care about all those who have been the butt of your rudeness and Type 2 errors, and who have been hurt by your attitude. You’re a cause that needs resistance. What I’m writing won’t change a thing about you, you’re not open to that and that’s your prerogative. You’ll defend yourself to the bitter end to save face, and I’ll speak for those towards whom you’ve acted like Jimmy’s security guard and my desk clerk. That cause is worth the time I’m spending on this reply.

I tried to treat you with respect, but I haven’t been able to find anything in you that’s remotely flattering. Jimmy gave me a great suggestion right at the outset of this thread: not to be hung up on the outcome of showing respect, nor feel obligated to do so (thank you). But then I don’t know all of you either, only what I see here. I’d like to believe you’re a loving husband and father, or good friend, or maybe kind to animals. There’ll be something, there always is. You managed to address one post, with a modicum of decency, to me. Thank you for that, it felt nice to see a smidgen of evidence that there’s something like that in there, somewhere.

There you go, lots of fuel for your engine. Knock yourself out. The best defense is offence, remember. Oh, and don’t forget to use me as the poster child for proving your point.

Karen
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#100

Postby jimmyh » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:49 pm

Richard, try saying it this way instead:
Forgive me if this seems like a stupid thing to say, but I don’t get why, if it actually works, you’re still having these problems after 25 years? Can you explain to me how that is not sufficient evidence that it’s not working very well?


See if you like the way she responds to that better.
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#101

Postby moonlightress » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:32 pm

Joe100 wrote:I meant interference. But quite honestly, it would apply to the other definition as well!


Thanks Joe.
I haven't got to this yet. I have a funny feeling there might not be anything there anymore? But, of course I'm going to check... :lol:
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#102

Postby Joe100 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:41 pm

Cool! Let us know what happens when you check.

Joe
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#103

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:04 am

jimmyh wrote:Richard, try saying it this way instead:
Forgive me if this seems like a stupid thing to say, but I don’t get why, if it actually works, you’re still having these problems after 25 years? Can you explain to me how that is not sufficient evidence that it’s not working very well?


See if you like the way she responds to that better.


Perfect! This is exactly what I find interesting. It even received a like by ‘moonlightress’ so there is agreement. Terrific!

And in moonlightresse’s latest response, she indicates there is a need to take a stand against certain discourse, or those that post opinions best labeled as “uncalled for”. Other adjectives have been used, comparisons made or implied and feedback given that my responses should be modified.

The fundamental question, why?

Who is being intolerant here? Who is being told to modify what they think and how they behave? Who is being the aggressor? Who is being manipulative? It certainly isn’t me. I have repeatedly stated this is a public forum and all opinions are welcome. I have even explained why I choose to respond and provided options for anyone that finds whatever I say so uncomfortable that they no longer wish to engage.

If anything needs to be resisted it is this enabling of a victim mentality, where the supposed victim uses anything said that makes them uncomfortable as justification to become the intolerant manipulator. This, in my opinion...again, in my opinion is fundamentally a dangerous approach if we as a society set the standard for discourse so pathetically low. This is not a therapists couch, it is a public forum and as such we should feel free to engage in discourse that is not always comfortable.

If moonlightress likes the way jimmyh phrases it, but not the way I phrase it...well, tough. The way I phrased it isn’t making some sort of ad hominem or intentional attack on moonlightress. I asked a reasonable question, but not phrased how moonlightress found to her liking. Had I phrased it how jimmyh suggested then things would be okay for moonlightress. Oops. Oh well, not my problem.

This goes back to the ridiculous degree to which we have enabled people to become offended by the slightest thing. Really? Is life really so bad that if you phrase it like jimmyh it is great, but if you phrase it how I phrased it then it must be resisted? Is this the big issue in life? Life must be looking pretty good if that is the big thing that ruffles feathers and makes people want to take a stand.

Anyway, at the end of the day the question I think we need to ask ourselves is, “How is it working out for you?” I know my answer.
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#104

Postby jimmyh » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:52 am

Relax Richard, no one is going to make you change. Moonlightress is just sharing her opinion on a public forum, and even went out of her way to say that it’s your prerogative to not change.

You spoke of not wanting to make *any* errors, but that you were willing to err on the side of “type II” because you want to make sure the perspective gets shared instead of silenced out of fear of offense. That’s very reasonable, and I still intend to give you a more thorough response to that comment, because I thought it was really good. I just thought that in the meantime you might like to see another option of how you could phrase things allows you to get your perspective out *and* not have it rejected — and in fewer words to boot.

Did I make a type II error in offering that suggestion?
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