Friday, May 16, 2008

Hypnotism at the Source

While I was sorting my mother's possessions, I came upon all sorts of things. This is the actual manual which my sister used to hypnotize me one summer long, long ago. The booklet must have bee printed in the 1800's judging by the typeface and language.

It was eerie to find her teenage notations in the margins of the booklet. And look, there near the bottom is information for hypnotizing chickens. Or crabs. Always useful.

Once I attended a group hypnotism session in Berkeley. In the middle of the group session, when everyone's eyelids were held down with imaginary lead weights, I opened mine and saw that my arm was held straight up, as was just about everyone else's in the room. But when she brought us out of the trance, most people claimed they weren't hypnotized. I know I was, because I bought the book. (which wasn't nearly as charming as this ancient pamphlet.)


Anonymous said...

I love comments in stray books, things/books found at random. I ran across a book in a box of books and household leftovers at an auction last week. The schoolbook (1930s?)bore the name of its child/owner written many times, you know the way children practice in struggling pencil, pressing and wobbling. Her name was Billie Ducks. I should have got that one for you, Sally. any method you wish. Sounds like cookbook language. The only thing that hypnotises me is an occasional sleeping pill, your ambien.....Kate

Linda said...

"They can be hypnotized so deeply that teeth can be pulled..." You're lucky your sister didn't pull all your teeth out. (I would have tried that on my sister.)

"I opened mine and saw that my arm was held straight up," do you mean you didn't realize you were holding your arm up until you opened your eyes?

Namowal said...

That stuff used to fascinate me when I was a kid. I was stuck with self hypnosis because nobody else was interested. My dream was to be able to give myself crazy post hypnotic suggestions- like when I woke up I'd perceive everyone having blue hair or chicken heads . I figured it'd be a cool way to custom tweak reality, but I never could get it to work.

stray g said...

Did it work when your sister tried it on you? I like the concept of stray books.