In the 21st century, there are still those who see hypnosis as some form of occult power.Those who believe that hypnosis can be used to perform miracles or control minds are, of course, simply sharing the consensus view that prevailed for centuries.Il arrive parfois, lorsque vous pressez sur le bouton déclencheur de votre appareil photo, que le résultat du cliché ne soit pas exactement celui auquel vous vous attendiez: au dernier moment, quelqu’un ou quelque chose est apparu dans le champ, donnant à votre prise de vue un caractère inattendu.
It’s important to remember, however, that what we see as occultism was the scientific establishment of its day, with exactly the same purpose as modern science – curing human ills and increasing knowledge.
From a Western point of view, the decisive moment in the history of hypnosis occurred in the 18th Century (coinciding with the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason).
The work of Franz Mesmer, amongst others, can be seen as both the last flourish of “occult” hypnosis and the first flourish of the “scientific” viewpoint.
Mesmer was the first to propose a rational basis for the effects of hypnosis.
They work long hours under harsh conditions, asking for nothing more than a chance to sell their goods on the public sidewalk.
Yet, in recent years, vendors have been victims of New York’s aggressive “quality of life” crackdown. Many streets have been closed to them at the urging of powerful business groups.Hypnosis itself hasn’t changed for millennia, but our understanding of it and our ability to control it has changed quite profoundly.The history of hypnosis, then, is really the history of this change in perception.Secondly, hypnosis became a popular phenomenon, something that was increasingly available to the layman, outside of the laboratory or clinic.At the same time, the style of hypnosis changed, from a direct instruction issued by an authoritarian figure (a legacy of the charismatic mesmerist) to a more indirect and permissive style of trance induction, based on subtly persuasive language patterns.Like breathing, hypnosis is an inherent and universal trait, shared and experienced by all human beings since the dawn of time.