Christian Hypnosis

By Ken Ericcson

Christian hypnosis may well refer to the salient points that some Christian practices employ in their own search for truth or God. In most religions, the search for truth in silence, in prayer, sacred texts and congregational assemblies seem to portray that of modern-day hypnosis. In the greater part of the Christianity, hypnosis has not met so much resistance. Pentecostals and born-again Christians who rely on biblical texts to justify the evil of hypnosis constitute a minority to the leading Christian denominations. Individuals who undergo deep prayer also go in a similar fashion into a trance much like that of hypnosis.

Christian hypnosis may well point to the exercise of prayer. In prayer, a period of silencing and relaxation is provided before the formal prayer period. Intense concentration and focus is expended during


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the whole course of deep "encounters" where certain behaviors, realizations and personal discoveries are unearthed. The desire which is essential in hypnosis is also employed in the beginning of prayer periods as most prayer exercises, especially in contemplation and meditation, have "graces" that a person begs for. Dyad interactions of a hypnotist, usually in the person of a religious or a spiritual director who have degrees in therapy and psychology, and the subject usually in the person of a retreatant or discerner happen almost everyday.

Slain by the spirit may also point to stage hypnosis that happens when charismatic groups claim that they do healing services. Christian hypnosis by far had its worse semblance in demonic possessions that had been said to happen in the past. E. M. Thornton in 1976 postulated that hypnotism as well as other mental states like mesmerism, hysteria and possession share the basic root of being social constructs engineered by the dominant forces at a given experience. Stage hypnosis usually fulfills the basic desire of any willing subject to play his or her social role and be the center of attention.

By the use of suggestion and considering how influential it is in hypnosis, it may shed some light on the way people evangelize and live their faith through Christian hypnosis. Socially, when a given dogma or belief has been established, highly susceptible and "open" persons may play the role that the given theological system imposes on them be it for good or bad. But hopefully it is for good. Through Erickson's ideo-dynamic reflex, perhaps a daily dose of good reading could condition one's mind to imitate what they read.

Hypnosis has been used for its medical benefits and perhaps as well as for its convenience in the formation of a religious identity. Christian hypnosis therefore is not at all bad when used to help people find their inner freedom and goals in life. Some Christian practitioners of hypnosis cite some biblical texts that prove the practice long before the biblical time. Genesis 2:21-22 was taken to refer to God putting Adam into a hypnotic trance to lessen his pain as God takes one of his ribs. When Joseph received the message in a dream to take Mary as his wife in Matt 1:20-25, it is claimed that he did as what was suggested to him in his sleep which is similar to what happens in hypnosis.

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