When we see someone in a hypnosis stage show who quacks like a duck on command, it is easy to assume that the hypnotist is controlling their mind. But, there’s more to it than that.
Let me tell you a story about an experience that I had as a participant in a hypnosis stage show.
I was on stage, pleasantly hypnotized. The hypnotist told me that he was going to count to three and snapped his fingers, and when he did, I was going to forget the number seven. Seven would be gone. I would forget seven. Seven, seven, seven. And, I thought to myself,”If there’s anything I’m going to remember it’s going to be seven.”
So in his best commanding hypnotic voice the hypnotist counted to three and snapped his fingers and said,” The number seven is gone!” And, then he asked me, “what is 3+4?” And, I said,” Seven”.
I imagine the look on his face must have been very interesting to the audience. Of course, the hypnotist was a seasoned professional, and he proceeded to ask me,” What is 5+5?” And I said, “12″. I got a nice laugh from the audience.
I got every arithmetic problem wrong except the ones when the answer was seven. I did not consciously intend to do that. It just happened. All the numbers came out wrong except seven, and that was a creative response from my unconscious mind to my thought that, “If there’s anything I’m going to remember it’s going to be seven.”
So, who was controlling my mind? Was it me? I was as surprised as anyone at my creative response to his hypnotic command. Was it him? After all, I did remember seven.