Monday, February 05, 2007

Look Into My Eyes...

They say that seven out of ten people are susceptible to hypnosis. A hypnotist who entertains seeks these people out in an audience by giving numerous suggestions through his introduction and then watching who responds. Those are the folk who will end up on stage with him through the show.

It's not magic, it's about the ego. People want to believe, they need to believe. I've been doing demonstrations for a long time. They go like this. First, I ask for a volunteer, but I preface my request by stating that the experiment will only work with someone who is intelligent and creative. That being said, I give a person several suggestions. Voila, the suggestions hold. Why? Because if they didn't the ego might have to admit that the person wasn't creative or intelligent.

I remember once looking at a co-worker who was scheduled to meet a parent at the door. The parent was a short, offensive man, with buggy eyes.

You're going to laugh," I said. She looked at me in horror.

"Don't do this," she said.

"Too late, the suggestion has already been planted."

"Take it back."

"Can't."

Our supervisor stepped in. "Stewart, stop it. You're being ridiculous. And Sarah (that was my co-worker's name), you're not going to laugh."

"What if I do?" she asked, scratching herself. She was getting nervous. When she got nervous she broke out in hives. "Make him take it back."

"Stewart, take it back."

"I can't," I said. "It's out of my hands."

The day passed with Sarah becoming more and more anxious as the appointed hour neared. Being young, she worried about being taken seriously. Finally the parent arrived and Sarah met him at the door. She was wonderfully professional as she escorted him to the waiting room.

The supervisor, who had been worried about her, stopped by to make sure everything was going well. He poked his head into the waiting room to check on things. That was when I heard him laugh. Not a chuckle, but an uncouth bray that exploded into the room. He excused himself, hurrying away, face red, a vein rising at his temple.

As he passed me, he leaned close and spat: "You're an ass, Stewart."

Yeah, well...maybe he was right.


24 comments:

Sidney said...

Man, your powers are greater than I ever suspected.

Hypnosis is fascinating. I went to see a hypnotist when I was in college, and he told one guy he was an alien and another guy that he could speak the alien's language. Then he had the "alien" speak and the other guy could interpret it.

etain_lavena said...

:)Gosh! It is very interesting, it is said that if you will not do something in your non hypnotized form, you won't do it under. Is it True?

Danny Tagalog said...

Ah, but was it the supervisor's ego or your mastery of some form of suggestopedia?

Charles Gramlich said...

No wonder you have your own cult.

SQT said...

Now I know why Stewart makes me so nervous.

Claudia said...

LOL...that is classic!!

Avery said...

I have a friend who repeatedly goes to those smoking cessation hypnotists. Two weeks after the session, he's sitting in a bar, working on his fifth cigarette saying, "No, but it really works. I don't like the taste of these at all anymore."

gugon said...

The power of suggestion is a scary thing indeed.

I once read about this charming little experiment: With a look of concern on your face, ask a co-worker if they are feeling alright. Tell them they don't look so well. Then, have two or three co-conspirators tell that person the same thing at different times throughout the day. By the end of the day, the victim will be literally, physically sick.

In Haiti and other parts of the world where the belief in magic is very strong, the power of suggestion alone has been used to actually kill people.

Lee said...

My roommate recently got hypnotized to try to lose weight. The guy suggested to her that junk food looked really greasy and made her feel really gross and fried foods looked like maggots or something. I swear I've never seen a girl enjoy and describe food more deliciously. Maybe she's just contrary.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Sidney...It's all in the eyes.....z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z

Etain..I don't believe anyone will ever do anything with a suggestion that is against their will or character.

Danny, the supervisor was a pompous ass. I have no mastery or suggestion, just a rudimentary understanding how the ego will work to protect itself. Now that you know that, too..you have the same understanding.

Yes, Charles, and that's why Denise Richards won't stop calling me. And Sqt..I make you nervous because you're afraid I'm sending you the picture of myself from Comerica Park (where the Tigers play) with my shirt off, my belly painted orange with black Tiger stripes....grrrrrrrr.


Claudia, I thought it was pretty hilarious at the time. Thanks.

Avery, I've been thinking about getting hypnotised for food. Then again.


Lee...pretty funny. Gugon, I have read about those cases. In America during the early 1800's one of the Native American tribes rallied around Tecumseh. One of his men believed he was invulnerable and managed to work that suggestion to the other braves to rally them forward.

Lucas Pederson said...

Lol! That's good! A little scary, but good! Hypnosis has always scared me a little. But it's great fun to watch.

Travis said...

LMAO!!

**makes note not to look directly at the screen**

JR's Thumbprints said...

I see that indirect hypnosis works too.

ShadowFalcon said...

remind me not to look into your eyes...the power of suggestion can get you into all sorts of trouble

James Burnett said...

Ha! That's funny. But wasn't Sarah worried later that she wasn't intelligent, since in the end she didn't laugh? And in a twisted sort of way the supervisor should've felt good later. He, apparently, was intelligent enough to be influenced ;-)

thepinkangel said...

hahahahaha!!!!! I love this.

Kate S said...

But are you defeat Wayne's hypnocube?

Kate S said...

(that is, ABLE TO DEFEAT) I knew there was a reason I was on blog break...

Turnbaby said...

LOL this makes me smile but we already know I am a twisted puppy.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Lucas, Travis, thanks for the comments. It was pretty funny. I think if you knew the guy in question, you would have enjoyed it more. He was quite the arrogant bastard.

Thanks JR, Shadow. Thanks James, Turnbaby, Shadowfalcon, and Kate.

Donnetta Lee said...

Hey Stewart! You know I'm married to a psychologist. I tell him he's not a real doctor-just the pretend kind. So, he had a hypnotic regression that he wrote/created himself. We tried it one time when we were on vacation. That is, he hypnotized me. It ran into a regression, and I saw myself as a nun in another country. He wasn't impressed. But I thought it was rather interesting. Go figure. Donnetta (and bless you)

Clifford said...

I got a serious belly laugh out of that! Hmm... maybe I should see a hypnotist about the serious belly...

spyscribbler said...

Oh, that is too funny! Shame on you, playing with people's minds like that. Ha! Just keep telling us about it when you do!

Erika said...

that is awesome. Hypnotism has always amazed me!