I HAVE TO ADMIT THAT, UNTIL RECENTLY, EVERYTHING I KNEW about hypnosis came from the movies—highly dramatic depictions of people being put into deep sleeplike trances and not remembering a thing about it after they'd woken up.
So it was quite an eye-opener to stumble across a television show recently that featured four men acting out the foolish requests of a hypnotist. Interviews with the men afterwards revealed something I'd never realized before: While under hypnosis, they were fully conscious of what they were doing and saying, and of what others were doing and saying. In other words, it's not that they didn't know what was happening. They were just powerless to stop it. Why? Because they'd given that power to someone else. And, in reality, all they needed to do was take the power back to put an end to the whole show.
This realization coincided with an insight I'd had while studying the chapter entitled "Christian Science Practice" in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. I'd been struck by how many times in those pages Mary Baker Eddy referred to the God-given power, control, and authority that each of us has over illness, inharmony, and any other discordant condition. "Tell the sick that they can meet disease fearlessly," she explained in one such statement, "if they only realize that divine Love gives them all power over every physical action and condition." Science and Health, p. 420.