Friday, March 19, 2010


I wonder if failure to awake from a deep hynotic state is really like how it's portrayed in Office Space. Richard Feynman was hypnotized once in college, and he said when you do come around, you feel completely calm and relaxed, as if you've just gotten eight hours of sleep. He also said that while under hypnosis, he was aware that someone else was controlling his thoughts, telling him what to do--and that he would think to himself, Well, I could just not do what he's telling me to...but I will. Because, Feynman said, attempting to disregard your hypnotist's orders creates a sort of itching pull that becomes more uncomfortable as disobedience grows. So going back to my previous statement. Imagine if the hypnotist tells you to wake up, but for whatever reason you don't. He snaps or claps or whatever the "Wake up!" cue is, and then says "Thanks for particpating, you can go have a seat." And you do--because you're still in a trance, you're still in that compliant state. Do you ever wake up? Would you be constantly on edge, wanting so much to break the rules and do what your head is telling you could be done but your body is firmly swearing could not?

This is probably an unlikely or impossible situation. I was just thinking about it.
I definitely believe in hypnosis, though.
"Just because you've never seen a million dollars, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist."


  1. Yay for your quote!

  2. Feynman is one of my favorite people of all time! In the hypnosis chapter of Surely You're Joking, my favorite quote is, "All the time you're saying to yourself, 'I could do that, but I won't' --which is just another way of saying that you can't." I found this to be so powerful, because so many times I say that exact phrase to myself, and I never realized how self-defeating it actually is until he pointed it out with his hypnosis experience.

    Other than that I don't understand much about hypnosis. :( I know Feynman also went into isolation chambers and was able to induce hallucinations where he traveled outside of his body and all sorts of crazy things. He was one interesting guy!