Hypnosis literally means deliberately created sleep. Hypnosis can be created in two ways. One is hetero-hypnosis: somebody else hypnotizes you, a hypnotist hypnotizes you. The hypnotist has the technique, not the power. Nobody can hypnotize you against yourself, unless you are willing. Unless you are ready to go into the unknown, un-travelled darkness, no hypnotist can manage to hypnotize you. But in fact hypnotists don’t deny that they have the power; on the contrary, they claim that they have the power to hypnotize people. Nobody has the power to hypnotize anyone. Only you have the power to hypnotize yourself or to be hypnotized by somebody else — the power is yours. But when you are hypnotized by somebody else it can be misused.
The process, the technique, is very simple. The hypnotist hangs a crystal from a chain just over your eyes, and tells you, “Don’t close your eyes until you cannot keep them open. Fight to the last, keep your eyes open!” And the crystal shines in your eyes. Naturally, eyes have to blink continuously to keep themselves from getting dry. They are the most delicate part of your body. You blink your eyes because your eyelids function like windscreen wipers on a car: they bring liquid to your eyes and they clean your eyes of any dust, or anything that may have entered. They keep your eyes fresh and always showering.
The hypnotist says, “Stop blinking; just stare at something shiny!” — shiny because anything shiny will soon make your eyes tired. If you are told to look at a powerful enough electric bulb just hanging above your head, naturally your eyes will get utterly tired. And you are told that you are not to close them unless you feel they are closing by themselves.
This is one part. The other part is that the hypnotist is continuously saying that your eyes are becoming very heavy, your eyelids seem to be utterly tired…. Just by your side he is repeating these words continuously, that your eyes are becoming tired, the lids want to close — and to you just the opposite direction has been given so that you go on fighting to the last. But how long can you fight? It takes no more than three minutes at the most, because double processes are going on. You are focused on the light which is tiring your eyes, and the hypnotist goes on repeating like a parrot, in a very sleepy voice, that sleep is coming over you. You cannot resist; it is impossible now to keep your eyes open.
Now these suggestions…and the person is fighting, he knows that his eyes are becoming tired, and the eyelids are becoming heavy, burdened. A point comes within three minutes, not more than that, when he cannot resist the temptation to let them close. The moment the eyes are closed, the man starts repeating, “You are going into deep sleep, and you will be able only to hear my voice and nothing else. I will remain your only contact.”
The person goes deeper and deeper into sleep, with continuous suggestions. There is a point when he stops hearing anything else except the sleepy voice of the hypnotist saying, “You are going deeper, deeper, deeper” — and then he tests whether you have gone deeper or not. He will prick your hand with a safety pin, but you are so asleep that you cannot know about it, you will not feel it.
Hetero-hypnosis has been used even for operations; no anaesthesia is needed. A person can go so deep given the right conditions: a very sleepy atmosphere, dim, neither dark nor light, and a shining, forcefully shining light focused on his eyes; a very subtle music in the room, beautiful fragrance …all these help him to go into such a deep sleep that operations can be done, have been done, and the person knows nothing.
So the hypnotist tries a few things: he takes your hand up and lets go of it, and the hand falls because you cannot hold it, you are fast asleep; in sleep you cannot hold it up high. He lifts your eyelids up, he looks into your eyes and only the white of your eyes is seen; your pupils have moved upwards.
The deeper the hypnosis, the higher your pupils will move upwards. That happens in deep sleep every day, and that also happens when somebody dies. That’s why all over the world people immediately close the eyelids of a dead person, for the simple reason that it is so frightening to see somebody with completely white eyes. In India it has been known for centuries that when a man is going to die, his eyes start slowly moving upwards, and the sign and symbol is that he cannot see the tip of his own nose. Remember, the day you cannot see your nose — because when the pupils of the eyes are moving upwards; they cannot see the tip of the nose — six months at the most….
So the hypnotist opens the eyelid and sees whether underneath it is white, and all that used to be there, your pupil, has moved upwards. Then he is certain that you are no longer capable of hearing anybody, you are no longer capable of disobeying him; Deep hypnosis reaches your unconscious and all the suggestions given at this time work as the unconscious is looking of all the physical, vital and mental workings, even pain and diseases can be cured through suggestions given in this hypnotic conditions. There is chances of misuse by the hypnotist in hetero-hypnosis, but in autohypnosis or self-hypnosis cannot be misused.
In autohypnosis or self-hypnosis there is nobody; you are alone. You can do the same thing by yourself. You can put an alarm clock on, and then repeat three times that within fifteen minutes, when the alarm goes off, you will come back from your deep hypnotic sleep. And then the procedure is the same.
You look at the light, and you do what the hetero-hypnotist was doing. Looking at the light, you go on repeating inside, “My eyes are becoming heavy, heavy… heavier, heavier. I am falling into sleep. I cannot keep my eyes open anymore; I am trying my best, but it is impossible” — and it also takes exactly three minutes. That is the maximum; it may happen in two minutes, it may happen in one minute, but the longer you struggle, the deeper will he the hypnosis.
In self-hypnosis, there is no danger. You just go through the whole process, looking at a bright thing that tires your eyes — that is its only function — and you go on repeating what the hypnotist was repeating, but inside your being. Finally, you will find you cannot keep your eyes open; they are closing. You have lost control over them. That feeling of losing control over your eyelids immediately gives you the feeling that you are certainly falling into deep sleep. As long as you are aware, you go on repeating, “I am going deeper, deeper,” and a moment comes when you have gone deepest into your unconscious. And after ten minutes the alarm will go off, and you will come back from your unconscious to the conscious. You will be surprised how fresh, how young you are feeling within yourself— how clean, as if you have passed through a beautiful garden full of flowers, with a cool breeze.
You can also give yourself post-hypnotic suggestions. They have to be given at the last moment when your eyes are closing and you feel that now you will be going deeper. Before going deeper you start saying, “From tomorrow my health will be better.” Just choose one thing, not too many; don’t be greedy! And just a fifteen-day session or three-week session just on yourself, whatever you are saying… perhaps that will go deeper.