HYPNOSIS AND THE CHRISTIAN
While it is a personal matter and a personal choice as to whether a Christian ever submits himself/herself to a hypnotist, we at Museltof Countercult and Apologetics UK and UK Apologetics are bound to advise very serious caution indeed in this matter. Hypnotism entails giving the control of your mind over to an outside influence, now while that influence could be benign and helpful, this whole area is even then fraught with dangers! The following article comes from the Let Us Reason website and we reproduce it here with their kind permission.
“The word hypnosis is derived from the Greek word hypnos, meaning sleep.... hypnotism is a means of bringing on an artificial state of sleep to the participant ...more accurately described as a state of reduced consciousness while one is a awake.
We need to understand that it is a very serious matter to entrust ourselves over to another person, even if we trust them. The hypnotized person comes under the will and bidding of the hypnotizer. Our will is essentially neutralized and can be suggested to believe and do whatever is asked by the hypnotizer. Our control subjugated to the will of the hypnotizer can affect the mind as well as the body. Putting oneself in a hypnotic state is yielding oneself to a vulnerable position.
Some wonder as to whether or not a hypnotist can cause the subject to do something against his will. Many hypnotists claim that the will cannot be violated. However, we often see people do whatever is asked of them no matter how outrageous it is; anything from clucking like a chicken to getting up and singing and dancing in front of strangers. In a hypnotic state one can even be convinced that they are going to be murdered and might kill the other person in self- defense.
Some even feel better able to cope with fear phobias after just one session. Hypnosis claims to heal depression, cure asthma, even improve the mind’s memory. Those who are hypnotized do not usually remember any of their acts while in that state, and often the after-affects are tiredness and feeling drained. While it supposedly increases recall, it also undoubtedly increases error, as subjects are able to recall twice as much but probably make 3 times the errors!
While hypnosis was once admitted as legal evidence in court cases, all too often what was found was that some people saw things they could not have possibly seen done, being too far away.
Yet what actually happens during Hypnosis is nothing new. It has been used for thousands of years by witchdoctors, and shaman spirit mediums alike. Hypnosis has always been a powerful tool of the occult, even if known by other names. Four ways to get in touch with the spiritual realm quickly is by hypnosis, drugs, meditation, and visualization. Anytime we interfere and change the normal brain pattern we bring ourselves into an altered state of consciousness, and if radical enough, in touch with the spiritual realm. A hypnotist may encourage the participant to enter a light or medium trance, but he cannot guarantee the hypnotized subject from spontaneously entering the danger zone. This is where real and permanent damage can occur. One can experience a sense of being separated from their body, hallucinate, or go into a mystical state similar to those of mystics and meditators.
Current trends are people being hypnotized who are brought back into memories of a few days or from the womb and prior to birth, experiencing (so-called) 'past lives.' However this is scientifically impossible because of the scientific fact that the myelin sheathing is too underdeveloped in the prenatal, natal, and early postnatal brain to reserve such memories. Some 25,000 cases have been documented by a doctor. It certainly appears as if familiar spirits were there during these people’s lifetimes to give a somewhat accurate reading, convincing those involved.
Past life regression is done to help subjects overcome some type of phobia or fear such as swimming (which usually means they drowned in their past life). Most everyone is a somebody in the past, even though they may not be now.
The fact is no one knows exactly how hypnosis actually “works,” and though they may have intentions of using it for good it is still an unexplored area that affects the mind. Some use it for self-healing. The Occultist Edgar Cayce also used self-hypnosis to enter a trance state and diagnose disease and prescribe treatment to patients he never saw, some from far away places. Self-hypnosis can be occultic and just as dangerous as a trance induced by a hypnotist. This is the same state mediums go into to contact the “dead,” or when clairvoyants receive information of events they could not know by natural means.
Just because hypnotists use scientific terminology and have letters after their names does not mean their abilities are mental or from natural phenomena. Most hypnotists do not believe in the occult and are neither open to considering this phenomena being from a spiritual (demonic) source. They feel it is either latent human power or something undiscovered as yet. As one surrenders oneself to a doorway into the occult, under the disguise of “science” or “medicine,” one has opened himself to the powers from outside, and to probable deception.
We are warned by God not to practice sorcery, divination, or enchantment. we are not to follow after mediums, wizards, enchanters, charmers, and those who have a familiar spirit (Deut. 18:9-14).
Hypnosis, as it is practiced today, may be related to what is identified in the Old Testament as “enchantment” (Lev. 19:26).
In a recent news report called 'Hypnosis … it measurably changes how the brain works, says a UK researcher',
it was stated that hypnosis significantly affects the activity in a part of the brain responsible for detecting and responding to errors (according to John Gruzelier, a psychologist at Imperial College in London). Using functional brain imaging, he also found that hypnosis affects an area that controls higher level executive functions.
“This explains why, under hypnosis, people can do outrageous things that ordinarily they wouldn’t dream of doing,” says Gruzelier, who presented his study at the British Association for the Advancement of Science Festival in Exeter, UK.
Hypnosis is being used to help cancer patients deal with painful treatments...
“The team screened subjects before the study and chose 12 that were highly susceptible to hypnosis and 12 with low susceptibility. They all completed the task in the fMRI under normal conditions and then again under hypnosis.
... Under hypnosis, Gruzelier found that the highly susceptible subjects showed significantly more brain activity in the anterior cingulate gyrus than the weakly susceptible subjects. This area of the brain has been shown to respond to errors and evaluate emotional outcomes...”
Subliminal tapes are a way to be hypnotized when one is asleep. Under the background of water rushing and birds singing or melodic music one is taken into a place of tranquility to relax. Up to 100,000 messages are pumped into the mind that is unguarded with positive affirmations such as I am successful, and I can do whatever I set my mind to. All this is done while you’re sleeping, and who knows what else is pumped in since their is no government or commercial agency to monitor the messages in this industry. When you pass the conscious mind, which is our protector, anything goes in. We have no protection, there is no critical thinking, no judgment exercised to protect yourself because you are in a passive state. There’s even Christian subliminal tapes of the Bible but this contradicts the very reason for it being written. The Bible says faith comes from hearing, which instead is done when we are conscious. We are to use our faculties in understanding the word. This is what Biblical meditation is, to think on what you have heard or read.
Christian Hypnosis Counseling services sounds good on the surface by promising to help you lose weight, quit smoking, release your stress, etc. Yet we can't Christianize what God has forbidden!! From a company’s brochure (Christian Hypnosis Counseling center) you discover their true occultist overtones. It states, “Universal energy takes you into a journey as you meet your spiritual guides.” Mediums go into hypnotic trances and contact spirits as they use a type of hypnosis to bring them to that open subconscious state of mind.
This is the deadly mixture that can poison Christians and non-Christians alike. Terminology that sounds scientific or Biblical causes many undiscerning believers to involve themselves in what is portrayed as supposedly neutral innocent techniques. They are subtly seduced to be involved in counterfeit practices and experiences. Just as the serpent seduced Eve, many are led away from a pure devotion to Christ and His Word.
You may overcome your habit of smoking or gluttony through hypnosis but do you know what happens? A few days or weeks later another problem manifests instead, some other area of your life is out of control and you have to keep going back because you didn’t deal with the real problem. You were just dealing with the symptom and God wants to get to the root cause which is your need for discipline and self-control and that comes from obedience to His Word and the transforming work of the Holy Spirit.
Occult experts Wilson & Weldon write in their book, Occult Shock: “Our reasons for distrusting, the use of hypnosis involve:
(1) Its possible similarity to the forbidden Biblical practice of charming.
(2) Its historic origin to the occult in both the East (yoga) and West (Spiritist movement).
(3) The fact that a wide variety of occult powers can be developed from hypnosis.
(4) Often past lives “popup” during standard hypnotic regression, even when there is no expectation or searching for them.
(5) Cases of possession that have resulted.
(6) The will must be surrender to another person:
(7) A similarity to mediumistic trance states...”
As far as being a Christian and becoming involved in this practice, it is to be avoided at all costs, your spiritual welfare may be at stake. This is just like 'charming' forbidden in Deut.18:10-12. If you traffic in the occult you may soon pay the consequences of overstepping the boundary God has clearly made. It has the potential to open an individual to spiritual experiences and spirit oppression.
(Copyright: Let Us Reason.)
Museltof Countercult and Apologetics UK