The Newsletter of the Northwest Branch of the Theosophical Society
March 2000 Vol. 3 Issue 1
Is Hypnosis Ever Justifiable?
Hypnotic practice is just like playing with some dangerous explosive. It is fundamentally and generally bad because it weakens the will of the subject instead of evoking the will from within outwards into action, thus building up a structure of inner life and power. Every repetition of hypnosis renders the subject still more flabby, still more negative, still weaker, and subjects the subject more and more to leaning on the outer instead of evoking inner powers.
Remember that hypnotism is brought about by an expelling of the higher part, the nobler part, of the man out of the lower quaternary of his constitution; so that the man thereafter goes around in a state which we can call a waking sleep, i.e. in a trance; and therefore he is stupid, temporarily unensouled. Psychologization or suggestion, again, when done with an evil motive, means the planting of seeds of thought with power behind them into the mind of the sufferer so that they stick like burrs in the psychological apparatus of him who receives them. And thus the sufferer under the control of the thought not his own, of the idea not his own, is no longer fully self-conscious, no longer in control of his own life, no longer growing in strength of character and in power of moral decision; but becomes with each repetitive occurrence of the suggestion more, largely enslaved to the exterior will. Hence it is that such psychologization or suggestion also finally results in expelling the man's own soul, so that no longer does it function either normally or with power. He is a mere psychologic machine to the extent that the external power controls him.
I will say in this connection that even auto-hypnosis or self-hypnosis, where the subject hypnotizes himself or herself by various means such as staring at a spot or a bright light or a piece of crystal or glass: all those things which are so well known are emphatically not good because they mean using the will by the subject himself to send his higher will upwards and out of the picture, and induce in the lower part of the constitution a false tranquillity or quiet by what is almost mechanical means. In other words the nerves, instead of being roused into clean wholesome healthy activity upon which the inner will can work, are put to sleep, hypnotized, and the brain and nervous system sink below the threshold of ordinary consciousness into the vibrational rates of the glass or other object stared at. Quiet is induced, but it is the quiet of death, of the mineral kingdom.
Therefore while self-hypnosis is not as bad as hypnosis by others, it again is emphatically not good. It is this power exactly which gives the steady unwinking eye of the snake its hypnotic power over a bird or a rabbit or a mouse, popularly called fascination. It is all unfortunate and, if not exactly bad in its better side, is certainly not good.
Therefore all these things should be avoided. They are unwholesome. They lower the vibrational level down into the lower kingdom instead of raising the vibrational rate of consciousness upwards into the higher psychical, intellectual, and spiritual realms. – G. de Purucker
There is one rather inconspicuous injunction that has impressed me deeply – "never think negatively of another person." We are so prone to see the shortcomings in others that we don't realize the wrong attitudes created by such a habit. We lose sight of the fact that if we are constantly regarding others with critical appraisal we are actually being unkind and unbrotherly to them. We know for a certainty that everyone has faults, so that humility alone should urge us to practice with determination this injunction. If we could do it, it would in time change the polarity of our feelings toward our fellows and would help us bring into being a warm kinship with all whom we meet. Surely this is vital to an understanding of what true brotherhood is. – Earle C. Hostler
Monthly Discussion Group
"Do the Stars Affect Us?" is our subject. We will discuss such questions as: How and why are various beings connected with one another? As human beings, what is our relationship to the earth, solar system, and universe? What is the nature of these astronomical entities, and do they have physical, psychological, or spiritual effects on us, collectively or individually? What causes us to be the way we are, and why do things happen to us? Are we ruled by fate, or chance, or are our life and character our own responsibility? Come and share your ideas!
Open to the public, unsectarian, non-political, no charge.
Upcoming TopicsApril 6 – Magic and Miracles: Do They Exist?
To find the immortal self, the divinity in man, is to open up for oneself a new existence, a new vision, a grand and superb symphony of life. For within is the rising, surging, pulsating power of the soul, which tells the story of the eternity of man and his vast possibilities.
Believing in his own essential divinity, man finds himself on a new line of investigation and research; he goes beyond the limitations of the external man, to visualize for himself a picture of the possibilities of the human soul. Then he reaches a point where real self-analysis is possible. For the man who accepts the idea that he is essentially divine, must also accept the idea of evolution, the eternal progress of the soul, ever approaching the great goal of perfection.
No matter what knowledge man may acquire necessary to balance and adjust his own life and bring it into harmony with his aspirations, he must impart to others the peace and happiness which this knowledge gives him. There must be something more than merely gaining knowledge for himself, attaining wealth, winning a position, writing learned books and being considered important or "advanced." There must be burning in his heart that spirit of mercy and compassion which will lessen man's inhumanity to man.
Potential divine qualities are within every man, but they are still sleeping, because we turn away from them. The sun is shining, but if we turn away from it and go into the shadows, we lose its warmth.
No real self-analysis is possible to the man satisfied in acquiring merely intellectual knowledge. With all his worldly attainments, the one thing that man most hungers for is knowledge of himself – the power to analyze and understand his own life. This is essential for his soul's advancement. When man finds this knowledge, then he can declare that human life is essentially beautiful. Every man makes or mars his own life, according to his own inner knowledge and the choice that he daily makes of the path he will walk.
We must acquire a new idea of compassion, a new sense of justice. Then our consciences will grow; and as we climb the hills of progress and reach the heights and learn of the glory of the Divine, the love and mercy in the human heart, then we shall, in the spiritual sense, embrace the whole of humanity. For brotherhood is a fact in nature: we are all united by the same natural laws and must follow the same divine guidance.
The world needs a change. We need the sweetness and nobility which every living man and woman has potentially within himself or herself. This is the way to bring humanity up to a higher state of morality and dignity. The weakness of our present civilization is in man himself. The reason for it is that he allows the lower nature in him to rule instead of the higher, divine self, which is immortal. The lower nature is the undeveloped side of him, which can be transmuted and brought up to a quality that leads ultimately to happiness and perfection. Let each one fulfil his smallest duty to the fullest, and live hopefully and trustingly, uplifting the world by the purity of his individual life.
If we could move out of the glamour of the world, out of the psychology of the age, away from the insanity of its unrest, we would find a new kingdom within ourselves. Each one of us has the key to the situation, which appeals to all that is noblest and best in our hearts.
If a man does not know his own essential divinity, he cannot know his own inner god nor begin even to think towards Universal Deity intelligently. He does not know himself; he is the greatest of all mysteries; for the last thing in the world he would ever do, would be to come to himself for knowledge. He refuses to challenge his heart, his soul, his principles, and his conscience. No! he will go anywhere and everywhere but to the right place, and still despair!
The supreme courage of the soul can be manifest only in one who knows himself, at least to a degree. One who has such knowledge is as sure of it as he is that the sun shines; he is so sure of it that it revivifies him, puts new blood in his veins, gives him a new conscience, and a steadfast courage.
Any man can make the effort to reach that knowledge. It requires no great strain, no remarkable process of the mind or anything of that sort. It is just a calm, quiet confidence in oneself that one can reach the goal.