Post-hypnotism

Postby moonlightress » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:41 am

I was lucky enough to run into Jimmyh on this subforum in a previous thread, who knows stuff I also want to know about. He’s agreed to try and explain his ideas to me and since there may be others who are interested, I’m starting this thread. Thanks, Jimmy. :D I’d planned to begin by copying over some posts from the previous thread where we got started, and I will, but I have a question first.

You once described yourself as a “post-hypnotist”. I never asked what that actually was, at the time. I mean, I think I have some idea, but what exactly did you mean by that term?
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#1

Postby jimmyh » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:07 pm

You once described yourself as a “post-hypnotist”. I never asked what that actually was, at the time. I mean, I think I have some idea, but what exactly did you mean by that term?

The term “hypnotic phenomena” exists because people find things like name amnesia to be “weird” and “not normal”. What is “normal” though? Anyone who is at all familiar with the scientific literature on hypnosis will know that anything you can do with hypnosis you can also do *without* hypnosis, so “hypnotic phenomena” can’t actually describe a natural category of things that exist out there in the territory.

What it refers to is a group of things which demonstrate the common failure of people’s maps of “normal human psychology” to allow for things like forgetting one’s own name, or greatly modifying one’s pain response, or whatever. The commonly drawn envelope of “normal stuff that can be done” doesn’t include the things we call “hypnotic phenomena”, and the only way to quickly learn to deal with this when you learn that hypnosis is real is to draw a *second* envelope around the things that can be done *in hypnosis*. A fresh hypnotist might know how to solve a problem like “it hurts” by doing “an induction, then a deepener, then giving suggestions that follow a certain form”, while simultaneously having *no idea* how to deal with something like that without hypnosis.

“Post hypnotism” is the idea that you no longer find use for two separate envelopes, because your “normal stuff” envelope now fully encompasses all of the so called “hypnotic phenomena”. “Post hypnotism” means you don’t need to shift mental gears into “doing hypnosis” mode and thinking of what you’re doing as “hypnotizing” to access them when the situation calls for it. It’s not enough to know on an intellectual level that there is no fundamental divide if you don’t actually know how to bridge the gap and get things that look like hypnotic phenomena without doing hypnosis. In this sense it is hard and there are no shortcuts. I’m not even sure I’m 100% there. From time to time I do have the thought “okay, I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to do this without ‘cheating’ and ‘doing hypnosis’”, though lately I’ve been having success without having to shift gears, and without missing out on the results.

The reason I find it to be an important concept is that very very little of the value in expanding one’s ability to understand and do things lies in the narrow enclosure that we normally think of when we think of hypnotic phenomena. Yes, it can be cool to pull out now and then, but it’s an extreme example of a *corner case*. It’s not every day that “you can’t remember your name” becomes a critical skill.

The further you get from the corners the more space opens up to apply to more things, and so the widest/most fruitful margin is always going to be in expanding ones “normal” capabilities to encompass slightly more “hypnotic” things, rather than extending one’s abilities “with hypnosis” to extend further into the corner. *Rarely* do you have a friend who can’t sleep due to pain which fits so easily into the form where “would you like me to hypnotize you to not be bothered by pain” can even be a potentially fitting solution.

Usually it’s more like “my friend/lover/coworker/whatever thinks X and won’t listen when I explain the problems with that”, and “can I hypnotize you to listen better” is usually out of the question. Usually the solution is such a small incremental improvement that it doesn’t stand out as “OMG, impressive magic hypnosis!”. Usually it just looks like “just rapport” or “slightly better social skills, well within the normal range”, or whatever.

The difference is that there’s actually a set of principles to use in determining how to do things better. Instead of relying on models things that aren’t precise enough to be actionable (e.g. “it’s about rapport!” “how do I do rapport?”) which leave you kinda floundering and struggling to learn by randomly throwing things at the wall until something sticks, you can actually start to look at interactions within the frame of “hypnosis” and debug *why* the person hasn’t accepted your suggestions. It doesn’t mean you become some transcendent immortal superperson because there are still problems to be solved. Just because you know how to navigate doesn’t mean that you automatically know where you are, how to get to where you want to go, or are able to cross the terrain you’re faced with. However it *does* mean that you’re ready to at least address the problem, if you want to take a crack at it. It takes those formerly opaque and seemingly impermeable walls and turns them into merely “problems to be solved”, so that you can start to expand the envelope of what you’re capable of — even if it’s nothing special yet. Not “unreachable”, just “homework”.

The other really cool thing is that those walls aren’t just pushed slightly further back. They just *don’t exist*. Corners may cover a small fraction of the territory, but sometimes they can be *really cool* parts of the territory, quite untouched and very worth exploring. Yes, *sometimes* it just looks like “slightly better rapport, but nothing special”, but other times it goes a bit further and really does start to look “special” (or “hard to believe”) from the outside. Once you get there everything seems “just normal”, of course (by design!), but it’s a very different kind of normal, and that takes nothing from the experience.
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#2

Postby moonlightress » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:46 pm

I’m glad I asked, instead of assuming I knew what the term meant, because it’s not quite what I had understood by it.

jimmyh wrote:What it refers to is a group of things which demonstrate the common failure of people’s maps of “normal human psychology” to allow for things like forgetting one’s own name, or greatly modifying one’s pain response, or whatever.

What, no hypnocrack? :lol:

The reason I find it to be an important concept is that very, very little of the value in expanding one’s ability to understand and do things lies in the narrow enclosure that we normally think of when we think of hypnotic phenomena. [.…]

Usually the solution is such a small incremental improvement that it doesn’t stand out as “OMG, impressive magic hypnosis!”. Usually it just looks like “just rapport” or “slightly better social skills, well within the normal range”, or whatever.


“Slightly better rapport but nothing special” is not to be sneezed at. And one person’s “slightly better” is another’s “impressive magic hypnosis”. The hypnotic phenomena corners *are* very cool and fun and impressive, but I never could get any sensation in my hand and I’m more interested in Speaking with “the subconscious” about the more normal, everyday stuff.

I have a feeling that combining your cognitive approach with my hypnotic-trance/emotional/spiritual angle could be a kind of turbo-charge to problem-solving, hence my interest. It muddies the waters with confounding variables, I know, but then I’m not out to investigate any hypothesis; it’s mainly from self-interest that I ask (plus, of course, curiosity about how it would work.)

The difference is that there’s actually a set of principles to use in determining how to do things better [.…] you can actually start to look at interactions within the frame of “hypnosis” and debug *why* the person hasn’t accepted your suggestions. [.…] it *does* mean that you’re ready to at least address the problem, if you want to take a crack at it.


And is scripting that ‘set of principles’ what you were referring to at the end of that blog post? That’s where we’d got up to in the other thread. Instead of running back and forth between threads I’m going to copy over the relevant bits from before; here they come.
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#3

Postby moonlightress » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:49 pm

Referring to the blog post:

jimmyh wrote:
moonlightress wrote: Those last two paragraphs. Really? Like, really? How? You can teach someone how to do this? Did you ever script it? And if you did, *where is the script*? :shock:

OK, a hypnotist can do it. [.…] If all hypnosis is indeed self-hypnosis, then it follows that you should, in theory, be able to do this yourself. But even if you can convince yourself it’s possible to do that, then making the leap from doing it in trance - with your second-guessing, inner-critic conscious lulled to “sleep” - to just doing it consciously? That idea’s a *mind-bend*.


I know a lot more things now than I did six years ago when I wrote that ;). Some things have changed, some haven’t.

One of the big things is that I see things as “mostly regulated, if poorly and incoherently” rather than “often unregulated”.
Imagine someone were to say “Man, my factory is running too hot, but I lost the keys so I can’t get in to adjust the thermostat”. If you simply take this at face value, then it seems that the thermostat setpoint is unregulated, and if you can find a way in and change it, the change will persist and be helpful (or not, depending on whether you chose a good new value). If you hand them the keys, you’d expect them to say “thanks!” and go adjust it for themselves.

If you realize that it’s not actually their factory at all, and that this is *why* they don’t have the keys, then all of a sudden your expectations change. If you adjust this thermostat, it’ll almost certainly get changed back, and might have unintended consequences in the meantime. If you give them the keys, they might not be so keen to go in and change things, despite their words.

When things are actively regulated (even poorly), it becomes necessary to deal with the regulating body and it becomes *unnecessary* to actually go adjust thermostats yourself. Simply convince the regulator to do it themselves.

As it applies here, it no longer seems weird that I could give people these keys and have them not say “holy sh** this is amazing” and then go on to do lots of great things with it. It kinda seems more like giving the keys to the guy who owns the factory, not the guy who is paid to understand and run the damn thing. Of course he isn’t going to know what to do with them.

I still think that there is a good amount of stuff where the door is closed and people can be taught to walk in and “just fix things”, but that it has to be done quite differently if you want them to actually make use of it much.

These days I kinda just talk about the things that you can do, and don’t take seriously the idea that the door is “locked”.
For example, over the weekend we had the brakes go out on a ranger and though the driver did the exact right thing, still my friend got pretty banged up in the crash and wasn’t sure he was going to be able to sleep well due to the pain. “Man, this pain is going to wake me up, and that would be bad [and I don’t feel like I can change this]” kind of thing. I just talked to him for a couple minutes along the lines of “But you wouldn’t *need* to wake up, right? I mean, you cleaned and dressed your wounds well, so it’s not like if you slept through the night there would be any *problems* or anything, right? Nothing you might *need* to wake up and address?”. “Oh, no. It’s fine. It’s taken care of”. “Okay, good. So you can just sleep through the night and if it hurts it hurts, but it’s nothing worth waking up for since sleep is more important right now”. “Yeah”. “Good. So do you think you’re going to sleep fine?” “Yeah, I think I’ll be good”.

It’s that easy. However, that’s how you have to do it. You can’t just say “pain begone!” or the pain will start saying “**** you” in return. What needs to be taught isn’t “here are the keys”, but “There is no lock, just go in and talk to the guy who is regulating things. He’s reasonable”. It’s a little different to teach that, but it’s teachable too.

The way I teach it these days is partly by walking people through some examples like that so that they can see how it works, and also to just reside in the frame that it’s completely doable and that there is no locked door. If *I* don’t think there’s any reason people can’t do something, and I’ve earned their respect as someone who wouldn’t be wrong about something like that, then they just know it’s an option. No “hypnosis” necessary, even for things you might normally think of as “hypnotic phenomena”.
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#4

Postby moonlightress » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:50 pm

jimmyh wrote:
moonlightress wrote:If all hypnosis is indeed self hypnosis, then it follows that you should, in theory, be able to do this yourself.

Hah. When you can hypnotize people without them without their knowledge or consent for things that they continue to believe are impossible even after the fact, I think it’s a bit of a stretch to say *all* hypnosis is self hypnosis. It takes two to tango, but it only takes one willing participant to suplex the unwilling one.

But yes, it’s something you can do yourself.
moonlightress wrote: But even if you can convince yourself it’s possible to do that, then making the leap from doing it in trance - with your second-guessing, inner-critic conscious lulled to “sleep” - to just doing it consciously? That idea’s a *mind-bend*

Well, the thing is, you already know it’s possible. Because I’m taking it for granted, and you know that it’s quite unlikely I’d be saying this if it weren’t true. You still have to figure out how to accept that, but it’s a significantly different thing than trying to figure out if it’s possible or not.

It’s not really a matter of doing it in the face of an active inner critic, it’s that you shut the bitch up in a slightly different way. Instead of saying “shh, sleep now darling”, you just look at her and say “do you have a point. If you do, I’ll listen”. It just kinda becomes *normal* to have the room to think and consider these things. Can you imagine what *that* would be like?

To just have space to work consciously and unconsciously because the inner critic isn’t going to say anything unless she actually has something worth stopping to listen to?
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#5

Postby moonlightress » Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:52 pm

moonlightress wrote:
jimmyh wrote:... It just kinda becomes *normal* to have the room to think and consider these things. Can you imagine what *that* would be like?

You’re telling me 2+2=5, right? :shock:

Funny enough, just this morning I listened to a tape that went: <induction> "Imagine you're standing in front of a door labelled "Your subconscious mind". Now imagine yourself opening that door."

The possibility, yes. The accepting, however, involves a substantial restructuring of my map and that's non-trivial because it has far-reaching implications. I'm alternately reeling (read: thrown into trance) and pushing it away, trying to work out *if* I can handle *that*.


moonlightress wrote:Isn’t it interesting; it’s possible I learned more from the struggle with your *omission* of the piece of information (in the other thread) about what to do when you don’t know what to do. I really *don’t* know what to do. I *do* expect the information to be true and useful. Right now I’m doing “nothing”, just swimming in cognitive dissonance.

Is that the secret? Remain in the cognitive dissonance and resist the impulse to defend against it, while the parts of your mind throw the ball to each other in turns, as they swim around the whole pool to find the goalpost?


[End of posts copied over from the previous thread.]
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#6

Postby moonlightress » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:08 pm

So, to today…..

A waterpolo game later, subconscious processing in trance with hypnotic acceptance, done. I can't imagine it, yet, but I'd really like to. I mean, I get that it's possible, in theory, but, I don't know, getting my conscious on board with how exactly that’s going to work, is going to take a little longer.

My critic didn’t like the word ‘bitch’ and was back-chatting about it, but I acknowledged she had a point, so we’re good now. Maybe that’s a start?

jimmyh wrote:It’s that easy. [.…]

What needs to be taught isn’t “here are the keys”, but “There is no lock, just go in and talk to the guy who is regulating things. He’s reasonable”. It’s a little different to teach that, but it’s teachable too. [.…]

The way I teach it these days is partly by walking people through some examples like that so that they can see how it works, and also to just reside in the frame that it’s completely doable and that there is no locked door.


It's easy for you to say “It’s that easy.” .... :shock:

I can’t wrap my mind around “There is no lock, just go in and talk to the guy who is regulating things. He’s reasonable.”

Would you consider “walking me through a few more examples”? Not pain=tickle, not temperature. Not hypnotic phenomena. Just examples of “can you make it so I don’t wake up from the pain tonight?”
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#7

Postby moonlightress » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:25 pm

Scratch the bolded parts below, I just changed my mind.

moonlightress wrote:The hypnotic phenomena corners *are* very cool and fun and impressive, but I never could get any sensation in my hand and I’m more interested in Speaking with “the subconscious” about the more normal, everyday stuff.

Would you consider “walking me through a few more examples”? Not pain=tickle, not temperature. Not hypnotic phenomena.

I just had a brainwave. :D I've thought of an application that would be *so cool* and highly relevant to me, and I imagine it would fall in the “hypnotic phenomena” category. I had a look around the net and found it has indeed been tried with hypnosis, with statistically significant success. Very significant.

Here’s the WebMD article:
Hypnosis Halts Hot Flashes for Some Women

And here’s the (full text!) PubMed report of the study:
Clinical Hypnosis in the Treatment of Post-Menopausal Hot Flashes: A Randomized Controlled Trial

(Which article has been cited in 12 other articles.)

Are you interested in trying this idea out in practice; same procedure as last time? Head straight for a corner case, why not? Go big or go home.

If I can see it's possible in theory, and you say it’s possible in practice, my question is, how? “Just go in and talk to the woman who’s regulating things” is, presumably, the kind of PHS which ran into:
jimmyh wrote: [......] a lower level refusal to play by the stupid new rules.

The right way to have it implemented is to have the new abilities simply added to your locus of control.

I’m all ears. I’m psyched to give this a go with just the way you do it. No confounding variables (assuming motivated intention isn’t confounding). No trance. If it works in trance, it should be able to be done out of it. (If you’re right, that is. But we already covered that part in the last thread. Call me suggestible. :D )

Plus, this isn’t one you can try out on yourself…. :lol:

Are you interested in trying? What do you think? Is it possible? Of course it’s possible. Right?
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#8

Postby jimmyh » Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:30 am

“Slightly better rapport but nothing special” is not to be sneezed at. And one person’s “slightly better” is another’s “impressive magic hypnosis”.


Exactly.


The hypnotic phenomena corners *are* very cool and fun and impressive, but I never could get any sensation in my hand
Oh, so you mean you achieved complete anesthesia? :P


and I’m more interested in Speaking with “the subconscious” about the more normal, everyday stuff.


Ideomotor signals can be fun. I can’t remember if I’ve told this story on my blog or not, but way back when I was first playing with this stuff I tried to do the “speaking with the subconscious through ideomotor signals” to help me not be seasick. The actual wording I used was “feel comfortable”, which turned out interestingly. I did get the “yes, that would be okay” signal and I did feel comfortable, but then about 5 minutes later I felt like I was going to puke… just without discomfort. And a bit later I noticed I was cold because I was shivering… also without discomfort.

My blog post about adapting to polyphasic sleeping describes what I do these days when I want that kind of thing changed. Much less “crazy magic” in the way it’s framed, but the results were just as far out there compared to the expectations I had going into it.

And is scripting that ‘set of principles’ what you were referring to at the end of that blog post? That’s where we’d got up to in the other thread. Instead of running back and forth between threads I’m going to copy over the relevant bits from before; here they come.

I don’t understand the question

A waterpolo game later, subconscious processing in trance with hypnotic acceptance, done. I can't imagine it, yet, but I'd really like to. I mean, I get that it's possible, in theory, but, I don't know, getting my conscious on board with how exactly that’s going to work, is going to take a little longer.

can’t imagine what, exactly?

My critic didn’t like the word ‘bitch’ and was back-chatting about it, but I acknowledged she had a point, so we’re good now. Maybe that’s a start?


Haha, awesome. I hadn’t meant it in the “nasty unpleasant woman” sense, just the informal “not using the most polite terms because we’re all friends here and we don’t have to” sense where it basically means “person”.

It's easy for you to say “It’s that easy.” ....

Once you find the right mindset to come from..
I can’t wrap my mind around “There is no lock, just go in and talk to the guy who is regulating things. He’s reasonable.”

Why not? Just because the person regulating has made some choices that you didn’t agree with at the time?

Forget about “wrapping your mind around it” as a “truth”. What *would* you expect it to look like if there’s no lock and you can just go talk to the regulator?
Are you interested in trying this idea out in practice; same procedure as last time? Head straight for a corner case, why not? Go big or go home.

If I can see it's possible in theory, and you say it’s possible in practice, my question is, how? “Just go in and talk to the woman who’s regulating things” is, presumably, the kind of PHS which ran into:
[...] Are you interested in trying? What do you think? Is it possible? Of course it’s possible. Right?

Shrug. I don’t have any personal experience with it, so it’s not like I can guarantee a “yes, it’s possible” and demystify it for you. But if the study says they got results, it’s probably something you can influence at least a little bit.

I don’t really get the problem though. What is it exactly? You “feel hot”, and then what? Where does the “problem” part come in? Does it actually get in the way of anything, or is it just a “it feels uncomfortable and I don’t like it” kind of thing?
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