H. P. Blavatsky on Hypnosis

A selection of quotes

C. W. II, self-hypnosis is the same as putting yourself into a trance state.

C. W. XII (p. 565,566)

A good clairvoyant moreover, if he had an opportunity of seeing a Yogi in the trance state and a mesmerized subject, side by side, would learn an important lesson in Occultism. He would learn to know the difference between self-induced trance and a hypnotic state resulting from extraneous influence. In the Yogi, the "principles' of the lower Quaternary disappear entirely. Neither Red, Green, Red-Violet nor the Auric Blue of the Body are to be seen; nothing but hardly perceptible vibrations of the golden-hued Prana principle and a violet flame streaked with gold rushing upwards from the head, in the region where the Third Eye rests, and culminating in a point. ....

On the other hand, in a subject in an artificially produced hypnotic or mesmeric trance, an effect of unconscious when not of conscious Black Magic, unless produced by a high Adept, the whole set of the principles will be present, with the Higher Manas paralyzed. Buddhi severed from it through that paralysis, and the red-violet Astral Body entirely subjected to the Lower Manas and Kama-Rupa. (the green and red animal monsters in us.)

C.W. XII, p. 394-403: article on this subject. p. 401:

Hypnotic suggestion may cure (disease) forever, and it may not. All depends on the degree of magnetic relations between the operator and the patient. If Karmic, they will be only postponed, and return in some other form, not necessarily of disease, but as a punitive evil of another sort. It is always "right" to try and alleviate suffering whenever we can, and to do our best for it. Because a man justly suffers imprisonment, and catches cold in his damp cell, is it a reason why the prison doctor should not try to cure him of it? 

p. 402:

It is an act of charity and kindness [to hypnotize a patient not only out of disease, but out of a habit, such as drinking or lying], and this is next to wisdom. For, although the dropping of his vicious habits will add nothing to his good Karma (which it would, had his efforts to reform been personal, of his own free will, and necessitating a great mental and physical struggle), still a successful "suggestion" prevents him from generating more bad Karma, and adding constantly to the previous record of his transgressions. 

P. 222 (Vol. XII)

the amateur Hypnotists of Science dig with their own hands the graves of many a man and woman's intellect; they enslave and paralyze free will in their "subjects," turn immortal men into soulless, irresponsible automata, and vivisect their souls with as much unconcern as they vivisect the bodies of rabbits and dogs. 

Vol. VIII, p. 106

Suffice to say that it is this characteristic feature of the hypnotic state - the absolute surrender of will and self-consciousness to the hypnotiser - which possesses such importance, from its bearing upon crime, in the eyes of legal authorities.

Volume XII, p. 685, clearly about and therefore not written by HPB, still I quote it:

These two classes of beings [Elementals on the kamic level] are to some extent waked up when a person is hypnotized or under drugs, for then the consciousness is put artificially into an artificial state and is more entangled than ever, although showing knowledge of things not known in the normal state. It is for this, among other reasons, that H.P.B. was opposed to the use of hypnotism, and why the rules of the E.S.T. are against the use of drugs and narcotics except tobacco.

Relation to karma: she says in vol. XI

that the divine Law of Retribution, which we call Karma, must visit with hundredfold severity one who deprives reasonable, thinking men of their free will and power of ratiocination.

Colonel Olcott (H.P. Blavatsky's co- worker) O.D.L. IV, p. 373

Beware of the hypnotiser whose perfect purity and benevolence of purpose and experimental skill are not know to you.

current day explanation

To sum up the above, it seems on first reflection that H.P. Blavatsky says the following: To the extent that the person hypnotized does not lose free will, and is only cured of a bad habit or disease, there is not much wrong with hypnosis. But, when the motive of the therapist is not good, the effect is not good. In the worst case the patient can permanently lose the connection with his higher self and become an *automatum*. People should be warned that by esoteric standards most hypnotic healers won't be considered totally unselfish. Their motive will usually be tainted by the wish for money. 

It is very likely though, psychologist acquaintances of mine tell me, that what H.P. Blavatsky warns against is not what is called hypnotism in their profession. To them the art of the hypnotist-psychotherapist is the ability to help the patient go into a self-induced trance in which it is the patient himself who changes his own thought-processes. The therapists influence is comparable (most of them say) to the power of commercials have upon each one of us. In other words: in hypnosis our susceptibility to influences or suggestions from the outside is used or misused. This influence is not enlarged by the therapist. For a contrary view (and the relation between stage-hypnosis and therapeutic hypnosis, see my links )

H.P. Blavatsky's warning may well be translated into modern language and social circumstances thus: Beware of the power of the human mind. Will-power is the tool used by brain-washers on vulnerable people. Only a purity of motive, word, thought and act can protect one against the most powerful of these people. Vice Versa - it is probably unwise to allow yourself to be hypnotized, if you aren't completely sure about the person who is going to hypnotize you. Why trust a stranger with your mind, if you wouldn't trust him/her with your purse? Your mind is your most valuable possession.

Katinka Hesselink

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