Now I would like you to think of some musician who plays the same instrument you do, whose playing you are especially fond of— or, if you wish, you can think of one of the great virtuosos on this instrument from the past. I'm going to count backwards from five to one; and by the time I get to one, you will be able to feel just as if you were this person, feeling as he [she] feels and playing as he [she] plays.
You will always be able to hear and to respond to my voice, and I will return you to your own identity in a while; but until I do so, every aspect of the situation to which I guide you will seem completely real, and you will be able to experience it all just as if you were really there. So just continue listening to my voice now, as I begin to count backward from five to one.
Five. Your awareness of the present is beginning to grow dim as you feel yourself being mentally transported into a new situation and into a new identity. And by the time I get to the count of one, the transition will be complete. Four. You are beginning to lose awareness of the present completely now, as my words transport you on to the identity of the person you have chosen. Three. You are becoming aware of yourself as this other person now, as the musician you have selected. Feel yourself entering this other body, and feel your identities beginning to merge. Two. You can feel great wellsprings of talent and ability flowing through every muscle and every fiber and every nerve of this new body as your identities merge completely now; and you can see yourself playing as you have never played before. One. Your identities have merged completely now, and you can see and feel yourself playing as you have never played before. Live the experience, and enjoy it fully for a moment, and then it will be time to return.
[After a moment's pause:] Now I am going to return you to your original identity. But you will be able to carry back with you the feelings which you have experienced, and your own playing and your own confidence will be greatly enhanced as a result. By the time I get to the count of five, you will be back to your normal identity; but you will remain in trance for a while, until I bring you out.
One. Beginning to lose your awareness of yourself as the other person, and beginning to become aware of your original identity once more, here in trance, with me once again. Two. Coming back now, coming all the way back, but remaining in trance for just a while longer. Three. Beginning to be fully aware of your true identity now. Four. Almost back. Five. Now you have fully resumed your own identity, but you will still remain in trance for a while, until I bring you out.
As a result of the experience you have just undergone, you will notice a great many improvements taking place in your own musical performance. Whenever you begin to play for others, you will become completely absorbed in the music with the very first note. You will become so absorbed in the piece you are playing that all sense of self is lost, and all traces of fear and doubt are lost as well. Your timing and your concentration will be perfect, and as you and the music merge together, you will be able to tap into the feelings you have experienced just now and feel the same wonderful sense of power and ability flowing out from the innermost depths of your being and flowing on to touch the hearts of everyone who hears you play.
When the performance is ended, you will realize just how deeply you have been able to tap into the boundless wellsprings of talent and ability which lie within you, and you will experience a great surge of exaltation and a deep sense of personal fulfillment and satisfaction at the realization that you have been able to perform so well. It will always be a source of deep personal satisfaction to you that you are able to use your own vast talents so fully and so well, and you will come to look forward to each performance supremely confident that you are honing your talent to its finest possible edge, looking forward to the inevitable moment of triumph which this awareness will bring to you when the performance is completed.
[A specific situation may also be suggested which represents a special moment of triumph in the career of the artist chosen, or in the future career of the artist himself. Moreover, if the subject is able to open his eyes without disturbing his ongoing experience of trance, he may actually perform for a few moments while imagining himself in the identity of another. With the subject seated before his instrument and ready to play, an induction may be administered in the usual manner and the preceding suggestions may be administered as far as the count of two, at which time the following verbalizations may be substituted:]
You can feel great wellsprings of power and ability flowing through every muscle and every fiber and every nerve of your body as your identities begin to merge completely. One. Your identities have completely merged together now, and you can open your eyes and begin to play. Live the experience fully and play as you have never played before.
[After a moment or two has elapsed, the subject may be requested to close his eyes and the suggestions for canceling the identification may be administered as previously indicated.]
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Hypnosis has been defined as a state of heightened suggestibility in which the subject is able to uncritically accept ideas for self-improvement and act on them appropriately. When a hypnotist hypnotizes his subject, it is known as hetero-hypnosis. When an individual puts himself into a state of hypnosis, it is known as self-hypnosis.