Following Instructions and Going with the Flow
general, as people became older, their talent for developing trance
decreased. They were less willing to be programmed by an outside programmer.
If one is going with the flow and following instructions about conscious
states, there is no real problem in allowing somebody outside to do
that programming. However, if one fears outside programming and is afraid
that that person is going to take advantage or if one just fears outside
programming in general, one cannot go into the deeper trance in this
way. High school students were better than college students and college
students were better than the older age groups at getting into trance
states. Apparently I was exceptional; I had been through LSD in isolation
and I accepted outside programming much more easily. I was also more
tolerant of going into these states. I could accept trance with a much
greater degree of confidence than similar people in my age group.
I gave a seminar about the repeating word effect to a group in the hypnosis
lab. I remember very well Professor Hilgard waiting a full eight minutes
before he heard his first altemate. A smile broke out on his face as
he heard his first altemate. He said later that he had not believed
in the effect until that point, which was a good attitude to take. One
should be skeptical of these things until one experiences them directly
himself. However, I was very glad that he was willing to carry out the
experiment and to hear his first altemate.
The specd at which people heard alternates scemed also to be a reftection
as to how easily they were hypnotizable--in other words, what sort of
talent they had for relaxing and gomg with the fiow. The youngsters
all heard altemates immediately and went on and heard many, many more
than the older people.
We found somewhat of a correlation between one's ability to go into
trance and one's ability to hear alternates
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