Let's start by looking at the nitty-gritty.
What is it you can actually do to get someone to do something for you, a simple behavior?
One of the simplest things you can do is a post-hypnotic suggestion.
Now post-hypnotic suggestions are wonderful creatures.
They are basically ways that you can use trance to suggest something which someone later on when they're outside of the trance will actually activate and actually act on. So that you don't have to be present as a hypnotist while suggesting something.
You can actually suggest something for the future which will occur whether or not you happen to be present.
One of the great hypnotists, a man called George Estabrooks, put it in a very insightful way.
"There is a rule in hypnotism that everything we can get in trance can also be obtained by means of the post-hypnotic suggestion. Also, anything that we find in either can be found in auto-suggestion, meaning self-suggestion. And finally, everything we obtain in any of the three will be encountered in everyday life."
[His book Hypnotism by George Estabrooks, 1946, is currently our of print]
Now, this is an important insight because post-hypnotic suggestions are not some strange magical power that a hypnotist has.
While they're powerful things and can be used in powerful ways, this is a natural way that the mind remembers to do things.
Think about it this way.
An alcoholic is recovering. He walks past a bar, gets a whiff of alcohol, goes straight inside and before he knows it he is drinking.
What caused his consciousness to shut off and the behavior to take over?
Here's another more everyday example.
A friend of yours decides to stop smoking. He does it very well for a while. Then one night he's out with friends. He has a drink or two and suddenly the drink and the friendship and the atmosphere of the bar...bang!
He starts smoking again.
Again, what happened to shut off his willpower, his decision to stop smoking?
Both these examples can be explained away in terms of post-hypnotic suggestions. These ones were self-induced.
So when you create a post-hypnotic suggestion to someone a couple of things are happening.
Post Hypnotic Suggestion Condition 1: Suggest A Behaviour
The first one is you're going to create a behavior, an action. So you just suggest that it is going to happen sometime in the future.
Post Hypnotic Suggestion Condition 2: Select a Trigger
The second thing you'll do is create a triggering mechanism. You need some kind of mechanism that will release the action at the right point and at the right time.
Post Hypnotic Suggestion Condition 3: Bypass Consciousness The third thing that has to happen is somehow you've got to stand outside of normal conscious awareness, so that the conscious mind does not interfere with it.
Now, one of the things that characterizes a post-hypnotic suggestion is the fact that the person who has been suggested to do some new behavior is under a kind of compulsion to act out that behavior.
In other words, it is not a volitional thing.
Even if the person recalls the fact that the post-hypnotic suggestion was given and tries to resist, the person will ultimately still feel compelled to complete the task in some way.
This is an important thing to realize because it shows a nature of pure unconscious action.
So post-hypnotic suggestions by their very nature bypass the ability of the conscious mind to interfere or even resist things.
That's why they're so useful for getting behaviors from people.
Now one of the things that is in the nature of post-hypnotic suggestions is that they seem to work along the lines of the access state principle.
In other words, when you suggest a particular behavior in a particular kind of trance, in order for that behavior to come out again, the person automatically slips back into that trance again.
So this is an important thing because we have to create a mechanism to trigger the action.
That mechanism is actually the one that triggers the state that triggers the action.
So, when you're designing a post-hypnotic suggestion, and in a moment we'll look at the actual protocol for doing this, you must bear in mind what state you are creating, what action you are creating.
Later on we will show you how to put that together into the COMILA formula to have a whole process in which the post-hypnotic suggestion can actually sit.
The last thing you need to know about post-hypnotic suggestions is that they're not some kind of all-powerful way of dominating someone else's will.
You see, the unconscious mind still has to work within the bounds of ethical constraint. To use hypnosis to try to get someone to break that ethic is something that has been bound to failure in many different kinds of experiments.
In fact, George Estabrooks the very person who came up with that insightful description of how post-hypnotic suggestions work is a man who is famous for trying to recreate the Manchurian Candidate, to create some kind of hypnotic assassin, that we know that he's got that role by using hypnosis.
The thing is, he tried for several years and failed miserably.
So it tells you a lot about how the unconscious mind works. If you want to use post-hypnotic suggestions, use them for a win-win scenario and you're bound to be successful.
Try and create something that will be a detriment to someone else and you'll probably have your fingers burned quite badly.
So I strongly advise you to keep this within the bounds of the ethical constraints and you'll see a lot of success in what you are doing.
Was this article helpful?
Hypnosis is a capital instrument for relaxation and alleviating stress. It helps calm down both the brain and body, giving a useful rest. All the same it can be rather costly to hire a clinical hypnotherapist, and we might not always want one around when we would like to destress.