freaked out

#45

Postby ahimsa42 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:00 pm

cathB wrote:Thank you for the Links.. this is turning out to be a very interesting discussion. Ahimsa2. As I said at the top of this page not all Hypnotists are reputable hypnotists. I agree with Richard the point/reference to the Butcher. analogy. (nod)


no problem-i hope you find them as interesting as i did.

i also think it has been a very enlightening discussion and have learned a great deal both from the responses and by further investigating on my own. it seems that the key factors in effective hypnosis are having a subject who is highly suggestible along with getting subjects to believe that they have no ability to resist suggestions thereby making their actions seem involuntary when they are of course not so in any way.

i think this is the crux of why i would consider compliant subjects to be acting so foolishly. if they want to remember their name or to be able to count or speak they are very much able to do so but they have bought into the experience so much that they have willingly fooled themselves into being controlled & manipulated and are extremely gullible imo.
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#46

Postby jimmyh » Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:26 pm

this is where i would strongly disagree on both counts. how is the fact that he was unable to walk back to his seat any indication of mental flexibility? it would seem to me instead to be a lack of discipline and will power. how was accepting the suggestion when he decided not to not an indication of vulnerability? i guess the label of foolishness would be a personal thing based on how i would feel if i allowed myself to be mentally manipulated in such a manner.


Okay, so you disagree with the idea that you're simply missing the perspective that allows one to have increased mental flexibility without being vulnerable and foolish. Does that mean that you *can* say the "Despite the fact that Richard Feynman was a brilliant physicist" statement from start to finish?

Notice what is going on here. You have two beliefs which are at odds with each other, and instead of taking sides with one and discarding the other, you deflected your attention away from the conflict to point at the way things look to you. This is precisely why suggestions are hard to undo. It means finding a way to let go of beliefs which feel *true*.
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#47

Postby jimmyh » Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:36 pm

A hypnotist will see talking into a shoe as empowering, liberating, creative and a display of strength.[...] It makes it what a hypnotist wants to believe is truth.


These statements are empirically false. I'm a hypnotist and that has never been my perspective, nor have I ever wanted to believe it. Intellectual honesty isn't some unfathomable feat.
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#48

Postby cathB » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:27 pm

Ahmisa2
The whole point of a Stage show is too entertain. otherwise it wouldn't be a show. The role of a stage hypnotist is to look out for the 20% of the population whom are most hypnotisable. They look for the eager, willing participants. I thought you knew that. Admittedly I didn't like your link shown on youtube it made me a bit "Freaked out" as it were. I don't believe it is like that everywhere otherwise we live in a very dark world.... I think that clip was the extreme version of events... Stage hypnotists (or the ones I know) do NOT exploit their subjects or hypnotees. :D

Ok that's it from me. I hope some of what I've said has been helpful and not a load of gobble-de goup? :)
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#49

Postby ahimsa42 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:52 pm

jimmyh wrote:
this is where i would strongly disagree on both counts. how is the fact that he was unable to walk back to his seat any indication of mental flexibility? it would seem to me instead to be a lack of discipline and will power. how was accepting the suggestion when he decided not to not an indication of vulnerability? i guess the label of foolishness would be a personal thing based on how i would feel if i allowed myself to be mentally manipulated in such a manner.


Okay, so you disagree with the idea that you're simply missing the perspective that allows one to have increased mental flexibility without being vulnerable and foolish. Does that mean that you *can* say the "Despite the fact that Richard Feynman was a brilliant physicist" statement from start to finish?

Notice what is going on here. You have two beliefs which are at odds with each other, and instead of taking sides with one and discarding the other, you deflected your attention away from the conflict to point at the way things look to you. This is precisely why suggestions are hard to undo. It means finding a way to let go of beliefs which feel *true*.


i would be more than willing to change my beliefs if there were sufficient evidence to do so. thus far, no one has presented any evidence how loss of rational thought & accepting suggestions with no basis in reality is in any way a positive experience.
for some reason (perhaps financial?) hypnotists seem to spin non-resistance to their suggestions as a positive attribute when the evidence says it is anything but.

for example if you were to walk up to a stranger and tell them they just forgot their name or how to count and they were then unable to do so, they would be considered a very weak minded, gullible person. in fact, Darrin Brown has a video doing something similar on the tube in the UK telling people they forgot where they are getting off at. unless it is staged and all an act, the people whom it works on look completely moronic, foolish and should be embarrassed to no end-especially in the light of the one person who would not comply and very easily gave his answer several times. if the easily manipulated subjects on the tube are an example of the mental flexibility of which you speak, i want no part of it and can only relate to the guy who refused to be confused by having a few words mumbled into his ear.

as far as Feynman, i think you are conflagrating his obvious brilliance in physics & math with all area's of his mind. i'm not sure if you are aware of this, but at one point Feynman decided that brushing his teeth was not necessary and that cavities are not caused by bacteria on teeth. this eventually led him to have major dental issues when he got older. his training as a scientist obviously did not carry over into his own personal health and he ignored the well established evidence and paid the price. i would consider his hypnotic experience to be in a similar vein and would have had much more respect for him if he walked straight back to his seat.
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#50

Postby jimmyh » Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:09 pm

as far as Feynman, i think you are conflagrating his obvious brilliance in physics & math with all area's of his mind. i'm not sure if you are aware of this, but at one point Feynman decided that brushing his teeth was not necessary and that cavities are not caused by bacteria on teeth. this eventually led him to have major dental issues when he got older. his training as a scientist obviously did not carry over into his own personal health and he ignored the well established evidence and paid the price. i would consider his hypnotic experience to be in a similar vein and would have had much more respect for him if he walked straight back to his seat.


You're getting closer, but that still isn't an answer to the question. The question wasn't "is Feynman infallible in realms outside of physics", it is:
can you really say "Despite the fact that Richard Feynman was a f***ing brilliant physicist, there is absolutely no chance that he saw something I don't. It's not that I'm missing the perspective that allows one to have increased mental flexibility without being vulnerable and foolish, it's that he misses the fact that it's impossible. He clearly can't see the seemingly common sense thing that *I* can see, which is that if you can succeed in tricking your brain to believe illogical things, you are a fool and should feel ashamed"?


Clearly smart people can and do get things wrong, especially when outside their field of expertise. If you read carefully, you'll notice that I'm not making the argument "Feynman seemed to think this, and he's infallible, so therefore you're wrong".

What I'm asking, is whether you believe that you have a sufficiently good understanding of the situation such that when extremely intelligent people disagree with you and seem to see things differently, that is not a hint that maybe you should stop to wonder whether there is a *chance* that you might be missing something.

It's a very different question.
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#51

Postby ahimsa42 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:03 pm

you are correct jimmy-that is a different question and one which i misinterpreted. actually, i have admitted from the beginning that there is something i am missing and don't understand why anyone would want to experience this. i think it has been refined down to the following point:

how is tricking your brain to believe that illogical and irrational suggestions are reality in any way beneficial when in every other circumstance other than hypnosis it is detrimental and often times extremely so?

from my perspective, the exact opposite is true and maintaining one's grip on reality is far more valuable than buying into what i would consider acting foolish and embarrassing.

i stated from the start that i consider therapeutic hypnosis to be of great benefit but this is a case of helping oneself see things more clearly rather than confusing their mind and senses into buying into a false reality as directed by the hypnotist. i cannot recall watching one video of people under trance being manipulated to do silly things and not having felt them to be embarrassing and cringe worthy. i also have heard others here say that they feel the same way.

without valid evidence or an acceptable explanation of why willingly entering such a state is productive, i see no reason to not consider critical thinking and mental clarity/freedom to be vastly superior to direction by "irresistible" suggestion into not being able to function in a rational, coherent manner.
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#52

Postby jimmyh » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:41 pm

you are correct jimmy-that is a different question and one which i misinterpreted. actually, i have admitted from the beginning that there is something i am missing and don't understand why anyone would want to experience this.


Okay good, I think we're back on the same page.

I get where you're coming from. If you doubt that, you can quiz me, but that really is where I started off and to a good degree I still feel that way. For example, not once have I let someone hypnotize me to forget my name, stick my hand, talk to a shoe, or do anything else silly or which lessens my direct control over my own mind and body. My desire for control over my own mind has been strong enough that I've only voluntarily taken pain killers I think three times in my life, and not once in the last fourteen years. That means that when I was recovering from back surgery I took nothing. In the year leading up to it I had to accept prescriptions for vicodin on two separate occasions because it freaked the doctors out to see how much pain I was in, and it was easier to say "ok, sure" and then not take any than it was to convince them that I actually didn't want the drugs.

I used to be so rigidly against giving up control in hypnosis that I couldn't have done it even if I wanted to and you offered me a large sum of money. As I have grown more familiar with the ins and outs of the territory, I have been able to relax my grip a bit, but I still haven't found any reason to accept such suggestions, have not, and would not. The closest I got was "playing pretend" until I could feel it starting to become real. At that point, I knew that I could let my name amnesia become real if I had wanted to, but I didn't want to so I pulled my name back and held onto my control.

You're 100% right that maintaining control of ones own mind is important, and giving that up, in general, is not something to take lightly. I generally don't recommend people be hypnotized even therapeutically, and in some other contexts I very strongly advise against hypnosis. When the benefits of hypnotic methods become relevant, I don't try to use challenge suggestions or silly suggestions as convincers, and I have a very strong tendency to minimize the hypnotic nature of the interaction anyway, instead preferring to explain things such that people can fix their own problems fully under their own control as opposed to lending me enough control so that I can do helpful and non-silly things with it.

When I see videos of people handing over their coat or talking to a shoe, I generally do not admire their ability to accept those suggestions. As you've noted, it's entirely possible to accept such suggestions because you are a vulnerable fool who lacks for an ability to control your own mind. There are strengths which make accepting such suggestions more difficult/less likely, and in the average case of someone who can easily accept name amnesia, their ability to accept such suggestions would be hindered if they had more of these strengths. Heck, one time I even made a friend because when I met him he responded to "would you like to see what it's like to be hypnotized?" with "No way! I'm not trusting you with my mind!", and I thought "this guy gets it!".

If you still think I do not sufficiently appreciate the importance of maintaining control and the ability to reject blatantly absurd/harmful suggestions, let me know, and we can address that. However, we do have to address this part first, because I won't be able to explain how other people can be "less than compelled" by this way of thinking if part of you is still thinking that I must not understand the costs and risks of these ways of thinking. In order to understand how other people think which are currently alien to you, we have to be able to shift focus from "to me," to "in their shoes,". That's why I chose to focus on the question that brings back the emphasis on "there is something I'm missing" -- if you want a resolution to this conundrum, that's where we're going to have to look, since the entire world isn't going to just say "shoot, he has a point" and then stop thinking that way.

So what do you think? Have I passed your "this guy gets where I'm coming from" test yet, or do you still need convincing that I'm not another bozo that is all-too-happy to believe irrational things because he doesn't sufficiently respect the truth?
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#53

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:43 am

ahimsa42 wrote: how is tricking your brain to believe that illogical and irrational suggestions are reality in any way beneficial when in every other circumstance other than hypnosis it is detrimental and often times extremely so?


Try to think of a few circumstances when believing in an irrational suggestion is beneficial.

We provide children comfort in the face of pain all the time with suggestions that are less than fully rational. To a child diagnosed with terminal cancer for instance, several illogical/irrational suggestions come to mind. The child does not yet have the cognitive faculties to think critically about a concept such as an after life, so what would you suggest?

From child to adult, there is not as big a leap as we might wish to believe.
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#54

Postby ahimsa42 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:53 am

lol, now i am even more confused jimmy as it sounds like we are on the exact same page so am very interested to hear what you have to say next as i cannot reconcile the two seemingly exactly opposite viewpoints.
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#55

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:59 am

jimmyh wrote:
A hypnotist will see talking into a shoe as empowering, liberating, creative and a display of strength.[...] It makes it what a hypnotist wants to believe is truth.


These statements are empirically false. I'm a hypnotist and that has never been my perspective, nor have I ever wanted to believe it. Intellectual honesty isn't some unfathomable feat.


It’s not all about you jimmy. I realize that you are the transcendent butcher.

If a person writes butchers sell meat it doesn’t mean there are no exceptions. In a public forum even if a person writes, ALL butchers sell meat it is okay. It is a public forum, not a highschool exam on propositional logic. If jimmy the butcher says, “I don’t sell meat. Your statements are empirically false, because I am an example of a butcher that doesn’t sell meat,” it is a weak attempt to distract for whatever motive.

My statements stand, butchers believe it is okay to sell meat and hypnotists believe talking into a show shows courage.
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#56

Postby ahimsa42 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:06 am

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:
ahimsa42 wrote: how is tricking your brain to believe that illogical and irrational suggestions are reality in any way beneficial when in every other circumstance other than hypnosis it is detrimental and often times extremely so?


Try to think of a few circumstances when believing in an irrational suggestion is beneficial.

We provide children comfort in the face of pain all the time with suggestions that are less than fully rational. To a child diagnosed with terminal cancer for instance, several illogical/irrational suggestions come to mind. The child does not yet have the cognitive faculties to think critically about a concept such as an after life, so what would you suggest?

From child to adult, there is not as big a leap as we might wish to believe.


i have mixed feelings about this. personally i would always prefer the truth no matter how harsh rather than a comforting lie and cannot recall a time when this was not the case. even as a child i wanted to know what was true and real rather than being mislead intentionally. regardless of the perceived benefit which may have been trying to be accomplished.

it brings to mind the phenomena of christmas & santa claus. i always found it quite disingenuous to lie to children about the existence of a mythical, magical being who brings them presents. not only is it a form of hypocrisy to teach children to always tell the truth but then intentionally lie to them, but i think it also hinders their development of critical thinking skills and opens them up to thinking irrationally as adults. of course, it is possible that this was the intent in order to more easily indoctrinate them into the cultural religious beliefs but imo that is just another very valid reason to be opposed to this kind of story telling being sold as reality.
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#57

Postby jimmyh » Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:29 pm

I don't have time to flesh this out into enough detail to explain/justify all the components and make it easy to understand, but if you trust me to get where you're coming from this can at least be a pointer in the right direction:

There is a difference between "simply recognizing the downsides of a potential action" and "fear"/"anxiety"/"aversion". "Control freakiness" fits into the latter category, as it is not just the appreciation of the importance of control (and willingness to let go of it to the extent that it's the right thing to do), it is "freaking out" about anything that threatens control, without regard to what the risks are in this context specifically. When "control" is the end of your thinking and not just used as a means to get what you want, then you display rigidity any time control in this situation is not the most instrumentally useful.

Fear is useful and can save us from terrible things, but only because we might do something dumb without it. When we appreciate the risks of a situation, we no longer need fear or aversion in order to not do it. We *just don't do it*. Because it wouldn't make sense. "Why would I want to do *that?*"

Perhaps the most important reason to reverse the normal rules and do things that would otherwise be scary (and might still be) is "play". Play is skill building. It's an opportunity to explore things which usually have unacceptable consequences without having to rigidly avoid anything that *might* fail, so that we can learn when and how they do, and how to more skillfully navigate such areas when it counts. "Violence is NEVER OKAY!" is something that freaked out people may say sometimes, but kids play fighting and wrestling with each other doesn't have the same consequences that grown up real violence does, so it's *okay*. You might end up with scrapes and bruises which definitely aren't *ideal*, but if it can teach you a bit about how to handle yourself, when you can't, the line when people get angry, and how much that can hurt... then it's worth it. Childhood scrapes and bruises heal. Injuries from adult fights (which you might have been able to avoid with practice) may not.

Some people continue "play fighting" into adulthood, and will do it much more deliberately and systematically. Since everyone is so much stronger and the consequences higher, they have to introduce rules like "if they tap you must let go", and the tap is sacred. That's allows them to put themselves in positions that would otherwise be terrifyingly dangerous, and which some people need some time to get used to. Without that protection, you can't play because the cost of losing is just too high. With that protection, it becomes safe to not only play, but to start in positions you expect to lose from so that you can become more resilient in those bad positions. It's still never the *aim* to lose and have to tap, but it is an acceptable cost of getting to play. Getting to challenge yourself, to test yourself, and to learn to defend yourself should bad things happen in a context where you can't just "tap".

Even this may seem reckless. It might seem like there is little point to continued training, given how easy it is to avoid fighting as an adult, and you might notice the prevalence of injuries and think it's crazy. And these are valid points. Just because someone is in "play" mode does not mean they are right to be. They could be lacking a proper respect for the very real dangers that they're exposing themselves to, and suffer the consequences. I knew someone, for example, who completely tore up both his knees (in separate instances) while drunk wrestling and needed surgeries to fix. He later died when a different form of "play" of his was a bit too risky.

However "play" *does* have a valid role, and the decision is not so easy in general. Sometimes the skills developed in play really are needed, and make the people who play *safer* than those who abstain out of fear. Sometimes the context really *can* be known to be safe enough to let go and let yourself do otherwise dangerous things and have it not be a bad idea.

These things can often require some cognitive "stretching" to get your mind to accept in these possibilities to even be evaluated, instead of reflexively and rigidly flinching against it with "violence is NEVER OKAY", even when it's the equivalent of two five year olds having fun play fighting.

Regardless of whether you end up in engaging in more play or holding to the idea that it's not a risk worth taking, and not a place that play makes sense, the fluidity to be able to comprehend how others can genuinely hold the perspective that it is (and have this make sense with respect to their experiences, knowledge, and belief) is a valuable thing on its own, and never "too dangerous" (since you can always just "not do it" anyway).

Non-Feynman cases are going to take an even larger cognitive stretch in order to be able to understand them, so I'll just cover Feynman here.

Feynman fought back. He resisted. He just didn't resist *right away*.

He let himself get put in a disadvantageous position first. Not because he's an idiot who didn't recognize the dangers of being out of control *in general*, and not because he was too foolish to notice that he was being put in a disadvantageous position in the first place. He did it because resisting right out of the gates would have been *too easy*. *Anyone* can resist hypnosis if they don't let the hypnotist say a word before they plug their ears and scream "lalala I can't hear you!". As the guy on BBC said, it's nearly impossible to hypnotize someone who doesn't want to be hypnotized *if they start resisting early enough*.

Inversely, it's nearly impossible to resist if you wait long enough. If you accept the first 99 suggestions, you're no longer going to be in a good position to reject the 100th, because many of the previous 99 are going to be things like "you don't have to keep your guard up around me". If you accept that one, it no longer matters how good your guard is because you won't be using it.

Feynman let himself be challenged. He walked into it saying "okay, if I'm wrong about this hypnosis thing, I'm willing to be impressed and to lose, even if it means I end up being the fool who walks around the room or talks to his own shoe". He went in and gave it a chance.

It's essentially the same thing I did when I "almost" accepted the suggestion to forget my name, then pulled it back at the last second. It's the same in that we were both exploring what it feels like from the inside, and in doing so learned more about our own minds, how to control them, and what the limits are. It's different in that, being a hypnotist who had a pretty good idea of what he was doing, I knew when that line was approaching and calibrated appropriately. Feynman stepped up to the plate without such preparation, and as a result of hypnosis being more real than he was anticipating, overshot a bit. He didn't overshoot *much* though. Someone that overshot a lot would walk around the room having no idea that it was a hypnotic suggestion, confabulate reasons for doing so, and insist that he'd never been hypnotized -- *that* would be worrying, and a sign that he probably wouldn't be able to keep in control even when he's trying to. He also wasn't *incapable* of resisting that suggestion. If the stakes were raised, not only could he have called upon more will power, he could also have simply voided the "hypnotic contract" and done so without needing to invoke any will power whatsoever.


It's a form of play you wouldn't be willing to engage in, and he "lost" in a way you couldn't easily accept losing. His object level performance wasn't bad though, given the decision to play in that way, and so the only question is whether his decision to engage in that depth of play was reckless to the point of being foolish -- taking into account the inherent safety of the situation, the level of direct control he retained, and his general level of intelligence, competence, and ability to make it through life without grave errors of reasoning screwing him over.

It's very counter intuitive. Sometimes it's counter intuitive because it's hard to imagine how people can be so dumb and so wrong. Other times, however, that explanation doesn't fit and we have to examine as "real" things which our minds want to exclude. Sorta like getting on a roller coaster which is way more terrifying than any real roller coaster because it's much more convincingly "real" -- even though we rationally know that it is ultimately not. The skill in "undoing" a manipulative hypnotists suggestion and the ability to notice and confront *potentially* irrational fears are one in the same, as they are both about finding and ferreting out things which we would like to believe, yet ultimately may not be true and are not able to be convincing with all things considered.



This turned out longer than I had anticipated, but I'm still cutting a lot of corners and leaving a lot out. I also didn't take the time to thoroughly edit and preemptively address any objections that might come up, so I don't expect this to be *easy* to get. This is where the answer is to be found though, and this is my limit of "how much effort I'm willing to put in to make it easy to understand". I might be willing to answer specific questions, but if they start with "to me,", then too bad, that's all you get :P.
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#58

Postby jimmyh » Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:32 pm

I realize that you are the transcendent butcher.


Interesting. In the past it had seemed like you were offended at the possibility of *anyone* transcending things like this. Good to hear.

If a person writes butchers sell meat it doesn’t mean there are no exceptions. In a public forum even if a person writes, ALL butchers sell meat it is okay. It is a public forum, not a highschool exam on propositional logic.


This is a weird response. I never said "it's not okay", just that it's empirically false.

If you want to say "yeah, it's not quite true and I was oversimplifying because I don't think precision is important here, but I think it's true enough", then that's fine and I wouldn't even see that as unreasonable.

I'll still disagree with it though, both because precision *is* important on things like this and because your generalization is not even mostly true. Perhaps I should have been clearer, but it's not *just* me that doesn't fit that description. I mean't it more as "you're zero for one so far", not "there exists a single exception!". It just isn't a useful description of very many hypnotists at all.

(Going out of one's way to knowingly add inaccurate qualifiers is different though, and is bad discourse whether you're still in high school or not)

it is a weak attempt to distract for whatever motive.


Don't be silly Richard. Nothing I do is ever weak or dishonest. You know that :p
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#59

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:26 pm

jimmyh wrote:...because precision *is* important on things like this


Empirically false.
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