Therapy, hypnosis and meditation
WHILE USING HYPNOSIS IN THE SERVICE OF MEDITATION, I HAVE NOTICED THAT THE LINE BETWEEN THERAPY AND MEDITATION IS DISSOLVING. AS WITNESSING CAN BECOME EASY AND NATURAL IN HYPNOSIS, IT SEEMS TO PROVIDE THE GROUND FOR A QUANTUM LEAP INTO NO-MIND.
BELOVED MASTER, WOULD YOU SPEAK ON THE TRANSFORMATION OF HYPNOSIS INTO MEDITATION?
Prem Purna, it is one of those crimes that Christianity is responsible for. There was a day when hypnosis was a recognized door towards meditation, but Christianity in the Middle Ages condemned hypnosis alongside witchcraft. That condemnation still lingers on, even in the minds of those who are not Christians but who are influenced without their knowing by Christian ideas.
Why was Christianity against hypnosis? You will be surprised to know it was against hypnosis because it leads directly to meditation; neither the priest is needed nor the church is needed - not even God is needed. This was the trouble.
If meditation succeeds in the world there are not going to be any religions anymore, for the simple reason that you will be in direct contact with existence and yourself. Why should you go through brokers and all kinds of agents who know nothing, except that they are knowledgeable, except that they have been disciplined for years in how to influence people and win friends.
It is not something religious that they are doing. What they are doing is the politics of numbers:
gather as many numbers as possible into your fold; that becomes your strength and your power.
Hypnosis was a danger to the priesthood, and Christianity is absolutely based from the very beginning on priesthood. Jesus does not declare himself to be enlightened, nor has any other Christian after him declared him to be enlightened. He declares something nonsensical - that he is the only begotten son of God. God is a hypothesis, and hypotheses are not Indians who go on producing children. Hypotheses are barren; they produce nothing.
Just the other day I received from Germany... There was a Protestant conference of Christians, and they had invited our sannyasins. They were hoping to refute our sannyasins and their ideas, but the whole thing backfired. There is nobody in the world who can refute my sannyasins because we are proposing neither beliefs nor hypotheses.
We are simply living life.
Our philosophy is not something beyond the clouds; it is something rooted in the earth. It is something as scientific as anything can be.
This question had arisen there, and there was great difficulty because the sannyasins said, "Osho is enlightened and Jesus Christ is not." And the priests of Protestant Christianity could not produce any evidence that Jesus was enlightened; there is no statement anywhere. All that he was proclaiming was that he is the only begotten son of God. In fact that is a definite indication of UNenlightenment.
He does not know himself, and he is pretending to know God. And his prayer is just like our Vimal - twenty minutes and the religion is finished! Then the remaining time you are free to do everything irreligious, and then again for twenty minutes you refresh yourself for your irreligiousness. The statements that Jesus has made are so ordinary because he was simply repeating the old prophets.
The sannyasins have informed me that it was a strange situation when they confronted the high priests of Protestant Christianity. They looked at each other, what to do? Enlightenment has not been a Western experience, and the reason why it could not happen in the West is Christianity.
Christianity never wanted you to be directly connected with existence. You have to go via the priest, the pope, the son, and THEN God. In between, the mediators are many. And nobody knows who is lying... Of course you can never discover, because you don't have any direct line with God. The priest has a direct line with the pope, the pope has a direct line with Jesus, Jesus has a direct line with God - and the numbers are not given in the telephone directories.
Hypnosis was the door, has always been the door to meditation. Once a man enters into the world of meditation, he has such clarity, such a strength, so much life arising in him that he no longer needs any father in heaven. He no longer needs any priest to pray for him. He himself has become prayer - not prayer to any God, but simply a prayerfulness, a gratitude to the whole.
It was absolutely necessary for Christianity to condemn hypnosis and to condemn it as something created by the devil. For the same reasons witchcraft was brutally destroyed; millions of women were burnt alive because they were also doing the same thing. They were trying to contact the ultimate on their own without going through the proper channel of the church.
Your question is very significant, Purna. You are asking, "While using hypnosis in the service of meditation..." Hypnosis in itself can be used dangerously unless it is used in the service of meditation. I will have to explain to you what exactly is meant by hypnosis and how it can be misused if it is not used singularly in the service of meditation.
Hypnosis literally means deliberately created sleep. It is now known that thirty-three percent, that is one third of humanity is capable of going into the deepest layers of hypnosis. It is a strange number, thirty-three percent; strange because only thirty-three percent of people have the aesthetic sense, only thirty-three percent of people have sensitivity, only thirty-three percent of people have friendliness, only thirty-three percent of people are creators. And my only experience is that these thirty-three percent of the people are the same, because creativity and sensitivity are meditation, are love, are friendliness. All need essentially one thing: a deep trust in oneself, in the existence, and a receptivity and opening of the heart.
Hypnosis can be created in two ways. Because of the first, people became impressed by the Christian propaganda that it is dangerous. That is hetero-hypnosis: somebody else hypnotizes you, a hypnotist hypnotizes you. There are so many wrong ideas attached, and the most fundamental is that the hypnotist has the power to hypnotize you. That is absolutely wrong. The hypnotist has the technique, not the power.
Nobody can hypnotize you against yourself, unless you are willing. Unless you are ready to go into the unknown, untraveled darkness, no hypnotist can manage to hypnotize you. But in fact hypnotists don't deny that they have the power; on the contrary, they claim that they have the power to hypnotize people.
Nobody has the power to hypnotize anyone. Only you have the power to hypnotize yourself or to be hypnotized by somebody else - the power is yours. But when you are hypnotized by somebody else it can be misused.
The process, the technique, is very simple. The hypnotist hangs a crystal from a chain just over your eyes, and tells you, "Don't close your eyes until you cannot keep them open. Fight to the last, keep your eyes open! "And the crystal shines in your eyes. Naturally, eyes have to blink continuously to keep themselves from getting dry. They are the most delicate part of your body. You blink your eyes because your eyelids function like windshield wipers on a car: they bring liquid to your eyes and they clean your eyes of any dust, or anything that may have entered. They keep your eyes fresh and always showering.
The hypnotist says, "Stop blinking; just stare at something shiny!" - shiny because anything shiny will soon make your eyes tired. If you are told to look at a powerful enough electric bulb just hanging above your head, naturally your eyes will get utterly tired. And you are told that you are not to close them, unless you feel they are closing by themselves.
This is one part. The other part is that the hypnotist is continuously saying that your eyes are becoming very heavy, your eyelids seem to be utterly tired... Just by your side he is repeating these words continuously, that your eyes are becoming tired, the lids want to close - and to you just the opposite direction has been given so that you go on fighting to the last. But how long can you fight?
It takes no more than three minutes at the most, because double processes are going on. You are focused on the light which is tiring your eyes, and the hypnotist goes on repeating like a parrot, in a very sleepy voice, that sleep is coming over you. You cannot resist; it is impossible now to keep your eyes open.
Now these suggestions... and the person is fighting, he knows that his eyes are becoming tired, and the eyelids are becoming heavy, burdened. A point comes within three minutes, not more than that, when he cannot resist the temptation to let them close. The moment the eyes are closed, the man starts repeating, "You are going into deep sleep, and you will be able only to hear my voice and nothing else. I will remain your only contact."
The person goes deeper and deeper into sleep, with continuous suggestions. There is a point when he stops hearing anything else except the sleepy voice of the hypnotist saying, "You are going deeper, deeper, deeper" - and then he tests whether you have gone deeper or not. He will prick your hand with a safety pin, but you are so asleep that you cannot know about it, you will not feel it.
In fact, in the Soviet Union they have started hetero-hypnosis even for operations; no anesthesia is needed. A person can go so deep given the right conditions: a very sleepy atmosphere, dim, neither dark nor light, and a shining, forcefully shining light focused on his eyes; a very subtle music in the room, beautiful fragrance... all these help him to go into such a deep sleep that operations can be done, have been done, and the person knows nothing.
So the hypnotist tries a few things: he takes your hand up and lets go of it, and the hand falls because you cannot hold it, you are fast asleep; in sleep you cannot hold it up high. He lifts your eyelids up, he looks into your eyes and only the white of your eyes is seen; your pupils have moved upwards.
The deeper the hypnosis, the higher your pupils will move upwards. That happens in deep sleep every day, and that also happens when somebody dies. That's why all over the world people immediately close the eyelids of a dead person, for the simple reason that it is so frightening to see somebody with completely white eyes. In India it has been known for centuries that when a man is going to die, his eyes start slowly moving upwards, and the sign and symbol is that he cannot see the tip of his own nose.
You can see... Remember: the day you cannot see your nose - because when the pupils of the eyes are moving upwards; they cannot see the tip of the nose - six months at the most.
So the hypnotist opens the eyelid and sees whether underneath it is white, and all that used to be there, your pupil, has moved upwards. Then he is certain that you are no longer capable of hearing anybody, you are no longer capable of disobeying him; whatever he will say, you will do.
This is the danger. He can say to you, "Just take out all your money and hand it over to me," and you will immediately take out all your money and hand it over to him. He can take your ornaments or he can tell you to sign any document that may create trouble for you, for example that you have sold your house, or donated your house.
There is one thing more to be understood, which is very dangerous: he can give a post-hypnotic suggestion. A post-hypnotic suggestion means that he can say to you, "After ten days you will come to me, you will have to come to me, bringing all your money, all your ornaments, anything valuable that you have. Leave it on my table and simply go back."
It is possible to give a post-hypnotic suggestion that after twenty-four hours you will shoot somebody.
All these orders will be followed because the person does not know... as far as his consciousness is concerned, he has no idea what has happened under deep hypnosis. Deep hypnosis reaches your unconscious.
These were the dangers that Christianity exaggerated, saying that this is against religion, against morality. A woman can be raped and she will not know, or a woman can be told, "You have fallen in love with me," and a great romance will begin from the moment she wakes up. She will feel a little hesitant because her conscious mind will not understand what has happened, but there is no communication between the conscious mind and the unconscious. The unconscious is so powerful - nine times more powerful - that when the unconscious wants to do something, the conscious may start protesting but that protest is futile.
All these things were spread, wildly exaggerated among man. But the purpose of the church was not to save you from these dangers; the purpose was that hypnosis should become condemned so that nobody can enter from that door into the ultimate realm of satyam shivam, sundram.
Christianity kept people completely ignorant about another kind of hypnosis; that is self-hypnosis, not hetero-hypnosis. Only hetero-hypnosis can be misused; autohypnosis or self-hypnosis cannot be misused. There is nobody; you are alone.
You can do the same thing by yourself. You can put an alarm clock on, and then repeat three times that within fifteen minutes, when the alarm goes off, you will come back from your deep hypnotic sleep. And then the procedure is the same.
You look at the light, and you do what the hetero-hypnotist was doing. Looking at the light, you go on repeating inside, "My eyes are becoming heavy, heavy... heavier, heavier. I am falling into sleep.
I cannot keep my eyes open anymore; I am trying my best, but it is impossible" - and it also takes exactly three minutes. That is the maximum; it may happen in two minute, it may happen in one minute, but the longer you struggle, the deeper will be the hypnosis.
I have heard about a man, an old man, who was torturing his family. Every day he would figure out how many diseases he had. The doctors were tired; they said he had no diseases. He listened to the medical program on the television and learned the names of the diseases. Then he started torturing the family, "I am suffering from this, I am suffering from that. Nobody is taking care of me."
This was simply a way for an old man to attract attention.
Nobody gives attention to the old people, so they find their own ways. They become more irritable, more angry, more fussy; they have their own techniques to attract attention. Their whole lives they were nourished by attention, but now nobody looks at them, nobody even bothers whether they exist or are finished.
One Indian singer, who loves me, Jagjit Singh, tells a beautiful joke. One of his friends who lives in London had come, so he asked him, "How are you?"
He replied, "Alright."
Jagjit Singh said, "And how is your wife?"
He replied, "She is also alright."
"And how are your children?"
"They are also alright."
Jagjit Singh finally asked, "And what about Daddy?"
And the man said, "Daddy? - he has been alright for almost four years." Four years ago he had died, so the friend is saying that he has been alright, completely alright, forever alright since four years ago!
Old people have only these methods to attract attention - that they are suffering from migraine, that they have a stomachache. The greater their medical vocabulary is, the more they will manage.
Finally, doctors started refusing, saying, "He is a mad person. He has no sickness, no disease; we have checked him so many times."
But the son said, "What can we do? - we should bring the doctor."
So the doctors finally suggested that perhaps a hypnotist may be helpful: "Bring the hypnotist, so he can hypnotize him and tell him that he is absolutely alright. That is the only medicine he needs.
If his unconscious grips the idea of being alright, then there is no problem."
The sons were very happy, and they brought the hypnotist. He looked like a doctor with his bag and paraphernalia, with his small Sigmund Freud beard, with one glass on one eye - one has to be properly dressed according to his profession, and this is impressive! - and he asked the old man, "What are your troubles?"
The old man listed so many troubles. The hypnotist said, "Okay, you just lie down. I will be holding this pendulum which shines because it has a battery attached. You have to keep your eyes on it until you cannot keep them open."
Old people become very cunning and very clever after a long life's experience. The old man thought, "This seems to be a con man by the way he is dressed... and what kind of treatment is going on?"
He thought, "Let us see." He did not wait for three minutes, he immediately closed his eyes, and when the hypnotist took his hand, he dropped it. He knew all the tricks... an old man, he has seen everything in the world!
The hypnotist said, "He is completely at ease and asleep. Now I will give him the suggestion that 'you are perfectly alright, you don't have any disease and you will not harass your children with diseases that don't exist!'" And the old man remained silent.
His sons were very happy: "Why have we never thought of the hypnotist? We have been wasting so much money paying the doctors, and all that they say is 'You harass us. Although you give us money, it is sheer harassment. The man is not sick at all.' This man is the right man!"
The old man was lying completely still. All suggestions over, the hypnotist collected his fee. One of the sons went out the door to see him off to his car, but even before he returned, the old man opened one eye and asked, "Has that crackpot gone or not?"
If you immediately close your eyes, nothing will happen because you will remain conscious.
Whatever the hypnotist is saying, he will look like a crank: What nonsense is he talking? "Your eyes are becoming heavy" - they will not become heavy. "You are falling deep in a sleep" - you are not falling, you are perfectly alert. And he is cheating; he is saying that you don't have any diseases!
But if you are doing a session of self-hypnosis, there is no danger. You just go through the whole process, looking at a bright thing that tires your eyes - that is its only function - and you go on repeating what the hypnotist was repeating, but inside your being. Finally, you will find you cannot keep your eyes open; they are closing. You have lost control over them. That feeling of losing control over your eyelids immediately gives you the feeling that you are certainly falling into deep sleep.
As long as you are aware, you go on repeating, "I am going deeper, deeper, "and a moment comes when you have gone deepest into your unconscious. And after ten minutes the alarm will go off, and you will come back from your unconscious to the conscious. You will be surprised how fresh, how young you are feeling within yourself - how clean, as if you have passed through a beautiful garden full of flowers, with a cool breeze.
You can also give yourself post-hypnotic suggestions. They have to be given at the last moment when your eyes are closing and you feel that now you will be going deeper. Before going deeper you start saying, "From tomorrow my health will be better." Just choose one thing, not too many; don't be greedy! And just a fifteen-day session or three-week session just on yourself, whatever you are saying... perhaps that your meditation will go deeper from tomorrow. You will find that your meditation is going deeper and you can create a very beautiful link.
When the meditation goes deeper, then you can suggest to yourself, "Tomorrow my hypnosis will go even deeper." You can use both to bring you to the very depths of your unconsciousness.
Once you have touched the depths of your unconsciousness, then you can start a second suggestion: "Although I will be in the dark unconscious, a slight awareness will remain so that I can see what is happening." And then go on repeating, "My awareness which was slight is becoming bigger and bigger and bigger..." And one day you will find the whole unconscious is lighted with your alertness - and that's what meditation is.
Hypnosis can be used, should be used, without any fear. Either together, by people who trust each other and love each other, so there is no fear that they will exploit... you are with your very intimate friends; you know that they cannot harm you, you can open yourself, you can be vulnerable. Or just yourself... by yourself it will take a little longer, because you have to do two persons' work yourself.
That is a little disturbance.
But now, because tape recorders are available you can dispose of the other person completely, and give the suggestion part to the tape recorder. And the tape recorder certainly cannot misuse it; it cannot tell you to kill your wife, unless you have put that on the tape. Then I cannot help; whatever you put in the tape recorder it will repeat!
You can put the whole process in the tape recorder, all the suggestions of falling into sleep, heaviness of the lids, going deeper. And then when you are deepest - a gap of four, five minutes, so you settle in your deepness, then from the tape recorder comes the voice saying that your meditation will become deeper from today, that you will not have to struggle with your thoughts. The moment you will close your eyes, the thoughts will start dispersing themselves.
The tape recorder can be immensely helpful because there is no question of anybody to trust. You can trust your tape recorder without any fear. And you can lock the door so that nobody plays with your tape recorder - otherwise somebody may trick you!
Self-hypnosis has to be in the service of meditation; that is its greatest use. But it can serve health, it can serve long life, it can serve love, it can serve friendliness, it can serve courage. All that you want, self-hypnosis can help you with. It can dispel your fears of the unknown, it can dispel your fear of death; it can make you ready for being alone, silent, peaceful. It can make you able to continue an undercurrent of meditation the whole twenty-four hours.
You can even suggest, "While I am asleep my small flame of awareness will continue all through, the night without disturbing my sleep."
Purna, you are saying, "I have noticed that the line between therapy and meditation is dissolving.
That has been my deep desire for long. Therapy should dissolve into hypnosis, and hypnosis should dissolve into meditation. Then we have created one of the greatest forces for enlightenment, which has never been used in the past.
Therapy has never been used. Therapy will cleanse you of all garbage, it will take away all your conditionings; therapy will help you to cathart anything that has been there and you have been repressing inside. Therapy will throw it out.
Therapy is a beautiful cleansing process, and a mind cleansed will fall into hypnosis more easily, without any struggle. Perhaps even those who are not easily available to self-hypnosis or to hypnosis - the people who don't belong to the thirty-three percent - With therapy even they may start belonging to the group which is available for hypnosis. Therapy can change one hundred percent of people into authentic candidates for hypnosis.
So therapy has to be used in such a way that it slowly dissolves into hypnosis, and then hypnosis has to be used so that it can become steps going towards meditation.
These three things together I propose to be my trinity. God and the holy ghost and Jesus Christ...
forget all that nonsense. That is not a trinity. But something scientific, something that you can do yourself, something that is possible to be practiced... Except for that, religion is so full of garbage, and people have become more interested in the garbage and forgotten the essential. In fact, the essential has become so small in comparison to the Himalayan garbage that has accumulated on top of it down the centuries that it is even difficult to find where it is.
What I am proposing is a simple thing: you don't need any priest, you don't need any church, you don't need any holy scripture. All that you need is a little understanding and a little courage. Cathart totally in therapy. You don't know how much crap there is inside you. When you start catharting, then you will know - "My God, is this me or somebody else? What am I doing? What am I saying?"
Sometimes what you say does not even make any sense. But it has been there, otherwise it cannot come to you. It has been a hindrance to your meditation, and it will be a hindrance to your going deep into hypnosis. It will become a barrier somewhere in-between.
So therapy has to be the first thing. The second thing is hypnosis, and the third thing will grow out of it - your meditation.
The ultimate in meditation is enlightenment.
When meditation comes to its completion, then your whole being becomes full of light, full of blissfulness, full of ecstasy.
THE OTHER MORNING IN DISCOURSE, FOR A FEW MOMENTS I FELT AS IF MY FACE WERE DISAPPEARING. IT WAS A VERY PLEASANT SENSATION, AND, AT THE SAME TIME, A FEELING OF ASTONISHMENT AND SURPRISE AROSE. WOULD YOU PLEASE SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THIS?
Prem Gatha, it was not your original face that was disappearing; what was disappearing was your mask. Only the mask can disappear. The original face can be covered, but it cannot by any means be made to disappear. The mask is used to cover your face; we have many masks and we go on changing them as the situation requires.
If you are seeing your servant, you have one kind of mask. You are the master. When you are facing your boss, you have a different mask; although he is humiliating you, you are still smiling. The original face cannot smile, so it is only a mask; deep down you are cursing but you have to smile; otherwise your job is in danger.
I heard of an office where the boss used to come only for one hour, but when he came, he would gather the whole office, the clerks, the typists, and tell them jokes. He had only three jokes to tell, and it was a very strange situation: those people had heard those jokes thousands of times, but still when he told them - because there were only three, that means each joke would be repeated at least twice in a week - they would laugh so loudly and clap as if they had heard them for the first time.
Even the boss sometimes thought, "What is the matter? Do these people forget all about it?"
But one day the secret was disclosed. One typist girl did not laugh. Everybody looked at her: what has happened to her? She has always been laughing louder than anybody....
The boss also was very much hurt that he had told a joke and she was simply sitting there, not even smiling. He said, "What is the matter with you?
She said, "Nothing is the matter with me. I have accepted another job; now I will laugh there, not here. Let these idiots continue to laugh. It is because of your jokes that I am changing my job! I am tired because you have told these jokes so many times that sometimes I find myself telling them to myself. It has become such a difficult thing... in the night, in my sleep I am telling the joke and then I wake up perspiring. These three jokes have become my nightmare.
"I have changed my job and now for the last time I have come just to see how it feels not to laugh. I am feeling so good because for the first time it is my original face that you are seeing; otherwise all these people who are laughing and opening their mouths ear to ear, these are only masks. Inside they are cursing you, they want to kill you. They know that unless they kill you... "They talk when you are gone, and I have been here listening to their talk. They are thinking, How to kill this fellow? - because unless you kill him, he will kill you! Those three jokes are enough to kill anyone; they have become almost their blood, their bones, their marrow. Even while typing they forget and start typing the joke. If year after year you have to hear the same thing and you have to pretend..."
What you felt, Gatha, was certainly beautiful. This is my only longing, to see you in your original faces. Let these masks disappear; just become yourself and you will feel light, you will enjoy it. The first time you may feel astonished, but as it will go on happening again and again, astonishment will disappear and the pleasantness will become deeper. A moment comes when a person becomes absolutely original. Then his whole life is full of blissfulness.
You have been forced to wear masks because you are expected to behave in a certain way, to talk in a certain way, to dress in a certain way. You don't have any freedom. The society imposes on you a complete imprisonment, from all nooks and corners. This is your slavery and this is your misery.
This is your pain and this is your hell.
Get out of all this falseness and just be simple - as simple as the birds singing, as simple as the trees enjoying the sun, as simple as small children.
Little Hymie Goldberg was taken to a seance. When he arrived, the medium asked Hymie if there was anybody he would like to contact and speak to.
"I'd like to speak to my granny," said Hymie.
"Certainly, my dear," said the medium, going into a deep trance. She began to moan and talk in a strange voice, saying; "This is your granny speaking from heaven... a wonderful place in the skies...
Is there anything you would like to ask me, Hymie?"
"Yes, granny," said Hymie, "what are you doing in heaven when you're not even dead yet?"
A childlike innocence.
Little Ronnie was growing up.
"Mom," he asked one day, "where do babies come from?"
"Why, the stork brings them," replied his mother.
"But, mom," asked Ronnie, "who fucks the stork?"