The Nature of Hypnotism

Reference: A Model of Self /  A Model of the Mind

We may model the mind as a matrix made of definitions. These definitions are connected to each other by logics. Each definition itself may be a matrix of associations among considerations. This kind of matrix structure may go to deeper levels.

Mind is a multi-dimensional matrix made up of considerations, definitions and logics.


We may model thinking as activating logical associations of definitions along a certain route in the matrix. Each logical association may be looked upon as a vector. Output of thinking would then be the sumtotal of the logic vectors along this route.

Thinking is activating logical associations in the “definition-logic’ matrix of the mind.


Thinking is used to resolve inconsistencies. The thinking is analytical when one is able to (a) freely examine the definitions and logics related to the inconsistency (b) rapidly conduct the necessary thought experiments, and (c) choose the best route of thinking to resolve inconsistency.

Analytical thinking can activate any route through the “definition-logic’ matrix of the mind.


Restrictions may be placed on how one thinks by following means: (a) Fixing the definitions by deeper manipulations of considerations. (b) Fixing the associations that can be made among definitions. (c) Fixing the route within the matrix along which associations may be activated. Such restrictions reduce the routes for thinking available in the mind.

Thinking is reactive to the degree restrictions are placed on the routes that can be activated in the mind.


When thinking is so restricted in certain cases that only one set of logical associations can be activated, then it has become hypnotic. Here no options are allowed in choosing the routes in the “definition-logic” matrix of the mind. The outcome of thinking is pre-determined. Of course, the person is unaware of the restrictions in the mind, and he must own the thinking.

Thinking is hypnotic when logical associations in the mind can be activated in a pre-determined manner only.


There are feedback circuits in the mind that continually examine one’s thought process. They catch inconsistencies in the thought process before thinking is acted upon. It seems that hypnotism somehow quiets these circuits. This can be done only by isolating the area of thinking from its wider context, so inappropriateness is not visible.

Hypnotism suppresses a person’s ability to examine his conclusions and impulses in a wider context.


Such restrictions on thinking and suppression of examination are part of hypnotism. Hypnotism is imposed through trust and agreement at first, and then through the installation of considerations and definitions in the mind. The person’s mindfulness (the ability to see things as they are) is somehow suppressed. Therefore, he is unable to see the inconsistency of the thinking process that makes him act irrationally.

Hypnotism installs itself by suppressing the mindfulness (ability to see things as they are) of the person.


Hypnotic associations are not integrated within the person’s “definitions-logic” matrix. They are compartmentalized in the mind. They appear to be rational within that compartment and so they persist. Inability to break through such compartmentalization keeps the hypnotic influence in place. The remedy is to look at one’s thinking process in a wider context.

Hypnotism may be resolved by examining one’s considerations, beliefs, and conclusions in a wider context with mindfulness.


A common source of condition is the following:

When some know-how works, but a person does not fully understand why it works, he starts to blindly follow the source, or purveyor, of that know-how. This is a form of conditioning.

Hypnotism works by generating associations in the mind that are not integrated. This is the case when one has not thought through something that one does not understand. The remedy does not come from “figuring things out.” It comes from looking more closely in a wider context.

See Mindfulness 11: Contemplate thoughtfully .

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  • vinaire  On September 18, 2014 at 5:39 AM

    Hypnotism starts by restricting one’s thinking. Thinking is restricted by compartmentalizing it. Things that are inconsistent in a wider context may now appear to be “sensible” within the limited context of the compartment.

    And that is why certain actions may appear completely rational to a hypnotized person, while everybody else sees them as irrational. It is because the thinking of the hypnotized person has been compartmentalized.

    Such hypnotism can also operate on the whole society. We see it in the compartmentalization of reality into “spiritual” and “physical”. This has been done by religions. A reality that is actually irrational, may be made to look rataional within the limited context of “spirtuality” or “physicality”.

    Thus, people can be made to believe in a “spirit” without “physical” form, when this idea is quite irrational.

    A concept as fundamental as awareness has the physical form of relative motion, which appears as light.

  • vinaire  On September 19, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    The prime trick of hypnotism seems to be to compartmentalize areas of understanding. This way something that is obviously irrational, can be made to look rational within the small compartment. The trick is then to confine the attention of the person to that compartment, and he would not be aware of the irrationality of his thinking and actions. This is the process used in cults, such as, Scientology.

    A good exercise is to take something that you have taken for granted as being rational, and then examine it within a larger context than what you have been allowed to.

    Here is an interesting example from science of all places. The universe should be considered as a whole per its definition. If people talk about “multiverses” then there is still a superset called UNIVERSE that would include all the multiverses. Some people are trying to convince us that instead of a universe there are multiverses. By carving out a suitable multiverse some hypotheses have been forwarded as rational, which may not have strict scientific proof. This is being attempted with the String Theory.

    We can play with these multiverses, but the superset will always mean a UNIVERSE.

  • vinaire  On September 19, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    So, the concept of CONSCIOUSNESS should be applied to the UNIVERSE as a whole per Vedanta.

    This is very important to understand, because the human-centric approach tends to divide the consciousness into selves. But the reality-centric approach starts with considering the consciousness in a perspective that is universal.

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