We’re often accused of losing our minds when what the speaker means is that our memories are fading. The instant recall that we think we enjoyed in our youth seems to be itself, just a distant memory and ideas and facts that once upon a time, sprang easily to mind now seem to be more difficult to grasp, retain and use at a moments notice. Add the pressure of a situation like an exam, a presentation or an interview and things that were at least partially clear before the event suddenly become a blurred haze of white noise in our minds.
Then there’s hypnosis. That evil mind control that allows hypnotists to make a female biddable to their wicked ways or to set men out to commit crimes without any after knowledge of the event. Surely something like that couldn’t possibly be of any use to someone suffering from poor memory. Hypnosis makes the memory vanish, not appear?
Fortunately the truth of hypnosis is far from the paranoid scenarios painted in the previous paragraph. Although hypnosis has been used for wicked purposes, so has money, so has television, so has electricity and many other conveniences of the world. Should we always solely blame the tool rather than the wielder of the tool? That’s what hypnosis is, a tool to help or hinder as the user and their subject see fit. This article is about one of the uses for that tool.
It is also true that part of the mainstay of stage hypnosis is the use of hypnotic amnesia, making the subject forget what he has just said or done, usually for the entertainment of the audience, whether that be on stage or in the street. The hypnotist asks something personal like the last few digits of the subject’s phone number, which the subject tells them under hypnosis. The hypnotist then makes the amnesia suggestion and wakes the subject up. The subject is then astonished as the hypnotist ‘reads’ the subject’s mind and tells them the last few digits of the number. Cue hilarity of the subject’s friends or the audience who of course, have seen the whole thing. The kinder hypnotist then tells the subject to go back into trance and relieves them of the distress of having their innermost thoughts told to the world. Which begs the question – If memory can be removed, can it be restored?
The answer is, of course it can. Top British hypnotist, Jonathan Chase, is fond of saying, “If a phobia can be removed, then it is just as easily to installed”. They are both thought processes and mental attitudes and can be influenced by hypnosis.
Hypnotism would be used to install and reinforce the positive mental actions that are routinely used by memory improvement trainers, courses and books and because under hypnosis the unconscious mind is directly addressed (rather than via the filter of the conscious mind), the results are far more effective than just attending the course or reading the book.