In Session, (26): Aspiration to Heal
A novice visits the Lay Psychiatrist to learn how to be a healer
I have a web page where you can set up an appointment, but before you come in you have to call me and give me some information about what you need. My three o’clock, Mr. Spire, told me he longs to be a healer. I said I long to be a Scottish terrier, and we had a laugh. I want them to get the layman vibe right out of the gate.
A client told told him I cure warts and allergies with hypnosis.
He looked just north of thirty, with sandy hair that fell over his forehead and a ruddy complexion that was one generation removed from red freckles. His eyes were softly appraising, harmonizing with a southern drawl that meandered leisurely through a sentence, or a fragment. “You can cure warts and allergies!” (he said it like it was beyond comprehension) “How?”
“How,” I said, holding up my right hand faced out. He laughed but it was forced. Some people like to work at giving a conversation sparkle, and some are like Billy Joel. They don’t want clever conversation or new fashions.
“Hypnosis bypasses the critical faculties and goes directly to the unconscious mind,” I said. “A suggestion is implanted that works beneath the conscious level.”
“So, right now, how would you put me in hypnosis?”
“You really have nowhere else to go,” I said. I slipped my right hand under his elbow and held his wrist with my left. “The rate at which I’m lifting your arm is the rate the unconscious moves. Learn this first.
At particular points I rubbed my thumb and forefinger together to demarcate a component of a separate message as I talked, seemingly meandering, and selecting something here and there to compose a separate message, “Words lift your arm like a bumper jack.”
The unconscious notices everything. Mark the phrases and it assembles them separately from the rest. There is no need at all for the trappings of hypnosis. It can be done in ordinary conversation. But that’s not what people pay for. They want to be entertained by trance phenomena.
“Feel the arm now lifting by the force of imagination. Feel the bumper jack lifting it in short, defined movements, higher, and higher, and the higher the arm rises the more deeply relaxed you become, until, on my command, the arm drops, and you simultaneously collapse into the yellow chair, your body as relaxed as a rag doll.”
By the time he collapsed into the chair, he was in a deep trance. I further deepened it.
“Excellent. As you go even more deeply asleep, my voice goes with you. Your eyes will not open. You try to open your eyes and you cannot, because they are glued together and no matter how hard you try, they will not open.”
The unconscious thinks literally, and knows it can’t try to open the eyes and actually open them at the same time. To tell someone to try to open the eyes is to give them an instruction to fail. It seemed a good moment for the key suggestion.
“You have to position yourself in the moment of manifestation to influence what manifests.”
He said, “I feel like I’ve gone to heaven.”
I said, “You have.”
He wrote me a check for the session and I noted his first name is Ash. “Ash Spire,” I said. “It sounds like drunken ambition.”
He said, “I don’t get it.”
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