I am still playing with hypnotism, this time will share a practical side of my engagement with it. I started to become more aware of numerous discrete yet influential agents of hypnotism around me. Brands, courtesies, small talk, automatisms, clichés, biases and other shortcuts. Things that either hunt for my attention or use me to become an obedient transmitter in order to maintain social order. I got hooked on detecting the small effects of hypnotism and play with it. Establishing a relationship, so to say.
I discovered plenty of things I engage with without my full participation through awareness. So I am developing a few new habits. For example, I reduced to a minimum the presence of brands in my surroundings. So, either I remove the label or hide it in the cupboard where I don’t have to see it. Such a small action but the result is experientially perceivable already from the first day. I feel lighter and more focused. Of course many factors are at play but I am sure the lack of advertisement around me contributes to the quietness in my head. I also finally put some effort and made sure that a blockers run smoothly on my laptop. The side effect is that I started noticing brands and words on clothes of others and sometimes it adds an additional layer to the impression a person makes. Well, isn’t it what we want when wearing clothes though. Now I feel how it actually works. Also, supermarkets are fun to visit, embassies of colourful and joyful hypnotism. I believe that my hyperawareness is a temporary stage, though, but for now it feels crispy and refreshing.
Another habit I am trying to cultivate is avoidance of certain meaningless overused words. This one is tricky. Truly. So many times I catch myself answering Good to the question How are you? And this is something I want to change - be aware, if you want to ask me how I am, I’ll give an answer of at least in few sentences. I am also trying to unlearn saying “bless you” when someone sneezes. This is also not an easy task but I am slowly improving. The biggest difficulty is that there is no substitute, so I end up with an awkward noticeable pause.
So besides conventional practices, such as meditation, breathing and yoga, I am implementing various small tweaks to support my brain in distinguishing signal from noise in a more effective manner. In that way I can spend my time on things that are more important to me.
The question that arose during these experiments, is how wide one’s field of awareness, or let’s call it vision, should be and at which point our “peripheral discrimination” stops? By peripheral discrimination i mean our ability to notice things outside our direct vision. I wonder if I can sense that boundary, the limit of my vision. Perhaps, I can reduce the hypnotism effect and this will provide for a cleaner signal. It made me think of the quote by Epictetus Don’t explain your philosophy, embody it. As in “how far we embody our own philosophies and practice honesty with ourselves”. How can we find discipline and motivation to stay conscious and aware not only in what is happening in front of our eyes but also in the peripheral vision. And most importantly if we all take care of our field of vision and make it slightly overlap with the fields of others, maybe we can develop immunity against brutal, life-stealing forms of hypnotism. Certainly hypnotism has various factions, many are actually helping us to offload our system to enable decision-making. Bringing more awareness into the process, though, will also add some precision and clarity to our lives.