Trance, Hypnosis, Altered States / Social Mega-babble

Here we go again: Word problems; specifically, definitions of complex subjects – definitions that aren’t “defining” at all. Over-generalized psycho-babble, popular myth, neotenic novelty, “parlor games”, pseudo-religious “power-seeking” conspiracy theories. A study here and there; the product of some psychologist “dabbling” in the magic world “forbidden” by science, but the true home, magnet, and desire of the practitioners of human sciences – Supernatural POWER.

What a mess!

But – my intuition, and a lot of brain-scouring, which is what I call thorough analysis, tells me that a golden nugget of information lies buried in the mess: original and authentic human experience with multiple “brain states.” This process will be like tackling the warehouse of an unrepentant hoarder – in this case, the entire history of “mental products” manufactured by civilization; a growing thing; a monster in a cave, coveting the bones of the animals it has eaten; unable or unwilling to “clean house” of its cherished knickknacks (ideas) on which each generation begins and ends its purported “search” for knowledge.

Aye, yai, yai! How can I be so optimistic as to “believe” that “the word concept mess” can be untangled, when social humans are deathly afraid of any disturbance in the “force” of accumulated nonsense that is their universe?

I’m Asperger: Get out the pick and shovel; bring in the dumpsters, and get to work. It’s really not much different than “the hunt” for something of value at a thrift store, flea market or yard sale, just more “stuff” to dig through.

Some definitions and expanded info.

The (A) insert denotes aspects that (in my experience) relate to Asperger’s.

trance:  Etymology: L, transire, to pass across 1. a sleeplike state characterized by the complete or partial suspension of consciousness and loss or diminution of motor activity, as seen in hypnosis, dissociative disorders, and various cataleptic and ecstatic states. 2. a dazed or bewildered condition; stupor. 3. a state of detachment from one’s immediate surroundings, such as in deep concentration or daydreaming. (A)

Kinds of trances are alcoholic trance, death trance, hypnotic trance, and induced trance.

Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 9th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.

trance: Psychiatry – A state of focused attention and diminished sensory and motor activity seen in hypnosis, hysterical neurosis, dissociative types. See Ecstatic religious state, Neurosis.

McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


hypnosis: 1. a state of altered consciousness, usually artificially induced, in which there is a focusing of attention and heightened responsiveness to suggestions and commands. Contrary to popular belief, hypnosis is not sleep but rather intense concentration, something like the familiar experience of being engrossed in a book to the extent of shutting out the outside world. (A)

State of Hypnosis. The nature of hypnosis and the way it works are still largely unknown. One widely accepted theory is that the person’s egothat is, the part of the mind that consciously restrains instincts (an architectural model of the brain; a “hierarchical model” with an exalted “consciousness” at the top and dangerous “animal”  instincts held in a prison “basement” behind a heavy door – again with “consciousness” saving us from evil! This is a horror movie plot and not “reality”)is temporarily weakened under hypnosis at the person’s own wish. How deeply one responds depends on many psychologic and biologic factors. (And a lot of magical hocus-pocus) The ability to respond to hypnosis varies from person to person; it tends to increase after successive experiences.

Use of Hypnosis. A common medical use of hypnosis is in treating mental illness. Historically, Sigmund Freud developed his theory of the unconscious as a result of his experiments with a hypnotized patient. Out of this theory came some of the techniques of psychoanalysis. By lessening the mind’s unconscious defenses, hypnosis can make some patients able to recall and even re-experience important childhood events that have long been forgotten or repressed by the conscious mind. (Here we have one of those misbegotten “concepts” that plagues our thinking about “how the brain works” This “model” claims that there is a “place in the brain” named “the unconscious” This place is a type of “hell” for “bad stuff” – a storage unit that comes with every “apartment” (human being) This is not a “scientific” idea, but a bad analogy: the structure of a house or building does not correspond to the “architecture” of the brain. Warning! Don’t go near the creepy basement without a psychiatrist – shaman to guide you! ! It has been demonstrated that hypnosis can produce FALSE memories; whatever is truly happening during so-called hypnotherapy, the unconscious is not a “bad place” It’s not a location at all!) 

In certain cases when the use of anesthetics is not advisable, hypnosis has been used successfully during dental treatment, setting of fractures, and childbirth, usually in addition to pain-killing medicines. (Really? We read this all the time, but “proof” is hard to find – and the administration of pain-killers is glossed over, as though these have no effect on pain or pain tolerance!)

Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc.

self-hypnosis: (A) the process of putting oneself into a trancelike state by autosuggestion, such as concentration on a single thought or object. Some subjects are more susceptible than others. (As usual, we see the circuitous type of definition: the words “trance, trancelike, sleep, sleeplike, hypnosis” are used to define each other: there is no “definition” of the concepts except the usual highly generalized notion of “something like sleep” And yes, I think that Asperger’s are highly “self-hypnotic”.

Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 9th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.
altered state: A state of mind that differs from the normal state of consciousness, typically one induced by drugs, hypnosis, or mental disorder. (How enlightening! What this “common” definition tells us, is that ANY thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that lie outside a socially-generated list of “normal” thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, is an altered state. Attributing this “state” to drug use, hypnosis and mental illness sends a clear message that any “altered state” is abnormal or evidence for pathology!
Oxford Living Dictionary.

altered state of consciousness: any of various states of awareness (as dreaming sleep, a drug-induced hallucinogenic state, or a trance) that deviate from and are usually clearly demarcated from ordinary waking consciousness. (“Altered state” is negatively defined as any presentation of self to others, which does not conform to the socially-prescribed “judgement” as to “normal” thought and behavior – this negative judgement is culture-bound; it is NOT universal to Homo sapiens. Inducing altered states is a mega-activity for Homo sapiens! In the U.S., alteration of “brain experiences” that are induced by drugs and alcohol is “outside of approval” but hysteria within religious context is “okay”. Seeking altered states by “ecstatic” means is normal in many cultures, and considered to be a doorway to the “divine” or spiritual experience.

In the U.S., any child or adult who displays “abnormal brain states” as subjectively judged by the Psych-Psych behavior industry, is immediately labelled as disordered or mentally ill and (ironically) the crude tools of psychotherapy and pharmacology are used to “brainwash” the person into “acting” normal (social retraining) and to drug that person into a “less offensive state” that is tolerable to the hierarchy.

What stunning “like cures like” wizardry! What a complete absence of logic!


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