Making Changes in Hypnosis

As a preliminary to deciding what to do to change things for the better this very important chapter builds on the analysis of cybernetic processes to emphasise a general and very central technique of Hypnotherapy We start from the general principle that amplification is involved and the observation that organic systems are typically provided with a multitude of increasing positive feedback loops which act precisely like amplifier's. Many Hypnotic phenomena are shown to centre around the principle of deliberately creating and activating such loops. As a secondary but still important principle we note that in many other cases a pre-existent loop of this nature is present but is held in check by the activity of another system. In such cases it is enough to inactivate the controlling system in order to tap into the activating power of the loop. But even then the inactivation is likely to be achievable by means of establishing a positive feedback loop.

THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER led us up to the point in the therapeutic process at which we have a particular change in mind. It is now necessary to spend a little time looking in more detail at some rather important principles underlying the creation of change in the fields of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy.

In previous chapters we have touched on the importance of positive feedback loops in Hypnotherapy in creating problems and of negative feedback loops which prevent the problems from disappearing. In this chapter we will be looking at the other side of the coin: we are looking at the ways in which these feedback loops and their manipulation is CENTRAL TO UNDERSTANDING HOW VERY MANY HYPNOTIC TECHNIQUES WORK.

It is worth remembering that our primary tool is sound waves of minimal energy. (The power involved in ordinary conversation is around 10 microwatts, i.e. one millionth of the power of a ten-watt bulb. Most of that acoustic energy goes into imperceptibly heating up the room, and only a very small fraction will hit an ear-drum. An ear can in fact respond to about one million millionth of the acoustic power of typical conversation: one million million millionth of the power of a ten-watt bulb! Remember that when anyone says of a remark, "How illuminating!") Somehow we have to use this minute amount of energy to create large-scale changes in the functioning of a human being.

This can only be done in one way: by amplification. Consequently we are, in the field of Hypnosis, dealing constantly and at many levels with the problem of amplifying changes.

We will see in this chapter that the primary mechanism for amplification is the creation of a positive feedback loop. Closely related to this is the removal of a negative feedback mechanism that is limiting an existing positive feedback loop.

Let us start by emphasising the extent to which we can power a change by introducing increasing positive feedback loops.

The atom bomb works because the greater the number of neutrons flying about in a lump of uranium, the greater the number of uranium atoms which disintegrate as a result of a collision with a neutron. But the greater the number of disintegrations, the greater the number of neutrons flying about, since each of these uranium atoms (of the rare 235-isotope variety) releases several neutrons as it decays. In shorthand:

/{neutrons} > /{splitting of uranium atoms} > /{neutrons}.

[For meaning of symbols see Symbols.]

This simple process forms a powerful increasing feedback loop which leads to the well-known mushroom cloud, provided only that the lump of uranium is not so small that too many of the neutrons escape from it before they get a chance to hit an atom.

Anyone familiar with the workings of a laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) will realise that there is a similar process at work there. Without explaining the terms in detail: the greater the number of photons of light in the laser, the greater the number of excited atoms which are stimulated into emitting further photons, which in turn leads to the stimulation of yet more atoms until nearly all of the atoms have decayed from their initial excited state, and all the photons emerge in step. In shorthand this is:

In common parlance we may call such increasing positive feedback loops the "bandwagon effect": the more people who get on the bandwagon, the more other people are drawn to get on, and so on.

It is sometimes also called the "snowball effect": you picture a large snowball rolling down a snowy hill, growing larger and larger as it collects the snow it passes over. The bigger it gets the more snow it collects, which makes it still bigger, and so on. (People tend to use "vicious circle" when they do not like the result and "bandwagon effect" when they do: but both are positive feedback loops, and may be either increasing or decreasing in terms of activity.)

The bandwagon or snowball effect can be seen at all levels of the universe. We have seen it in lasers and atom bombs. We may also see it in the condensation of intragalactic dust to form stars: the more dust collects into one place, the greater its gravitational force to attract more dust, which increases the combined mass, making it possible to attract more dust, and so on.

In economics the more successful a product is, the cheaper the unit cost, which makes it possible to advertise more widely and sell at a lower price and attract more customers, which allows a further reduction of the unit cost and so on until the market saturates. We have the increasing positive feedback loop for sales:

Once you see the pattern, it becomes visible all around you at all levels.

In our field we have already seen increasing positive feedback loops being involved in the creation of problems such as blushing:

/{expectation of blushing} > /{blushing} > /{expectation}.

Hynotism and Self Hypnosis

Hynotism and Self Hypnosis

HYPNOTISM is by no means a new art. True, it has been developed into a science in comparatively recent years. But the principles of thought control have been used for thousands of years in India, ancient Egypt, among the Persians, Chinese and in many other ancient lands. Miracles of healing by the spoken word and laying on of hands are recorded in many early writings.

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