Some of you already know the trance state by name. Others don’t recognize it as trance when they’re in trance. But we all do it.
Trance, or an altered state, occurs naturally all the time. If you’ve ever “zoned out,” daydreamed, fantasized, visualized something in the (possible) future, or recalled something from the past so vividly that you felt like you were again in that moment passed, you’ve been in trance. A common example to which we can all likely relate is driving somewhere familiar so your diligent, conscious thought wasn’t needed. Or you were driving a monotonous road with limited traffic, such that again, your conscious thought was unnecessary. You were free to zone out and you may have arrived at your destination with no clear recall of the journey.
Similarly, you may have been waiting in line, dutifully advancing when appropriate, only to be startled from your reverie when your turn is called.
We all do this at times, which means that despite the mystical notion of “trance” and the esoteric reputation it once had, it’s an everyday behavior that, without any intervention, would happen anyway in the right circumstances.
Why talk about trance now as we begin a new year? Because the trance state is useful in more ways than the obvious. Focus is itself useful and though I’ve already begun by describing altered states in which we defocus, implying a lack of focus. That’s the elusive aspect of trance, as we go into trance by focusing on something else besides what you may have expected.
Hypnosis, trance, is really just a hyper-focused state in which your conscious mind is fully engaged. This affords us ready access to your unconscious mind. Because Harvard researcher George Miller identified the limits of our short-term capacity, we know that our conscious minds have significant limits to what they can do, how much they can handle at once. Because Radical Understanding, and any other situation where you must assess far more than Miller’s “Magic Number” (seven plus or minus two chunks of data), your conscious mind is not the key. Having ready access to your unconscious, that more capable portion of your mind, becomes not merely helpful, but necessary.
I was asked not long ago a very interesting question. A gentleman asked me whether it was possible to remove the division between these two portions of mind. As I asked him to explain, he said he wanted ready access to his unconscious resources without having to open any sort of conduit between. The irony is that such conduits are already available and simple–asking questions of yourself involving imagination. Any question that begins with “What if–” initiates such communication. That’s just one example. It’s as simple as defocusing our vision, learning to expand our field of sight. Because in many ways, as we go into trance, deepen our awareness of everything around us now, experience all within that field, much as we would see more via peripheral vision. We can also speak to our unconscious–in fact, we do it already. Any time we speak to ourselves, we’re doing this.
There are a million and twenty-three ways to enter trance now, and we’ll explore a few more in a bit. Not yet. Now, we’ll just relax for a spell, sit comfortably, and breathe. Becoming conscious of our breathing, noticing how good it feels to draw in breath, hold it for a moment, and then release it, like a relaxed heartbeat, slowed as it does when we relax, really relax. I don’t mean when we feel a moment’s calm…I mean when your mind calms the moment. And keeps doing it because it knows how good it will make you feel to take this time and just enjoy.
As you enjoy your time, your slowing pulse, your relaxed vision, and not only that (but wait, there’s more), also your beginning to end things which don’t serve you in this moment of calm. You could let your mind wander for a bit, reminding yourself that your unconscious wants to be heard, wants even to hear your conscious mind. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, consider a person you trust, someone dear that you respect. Recall their voice…and hear that voice within your mind as you continue to read. Do you hear that voice yet? Now? Or…now? Hear that voice, feel its significance. How much you respect that person speaking to you. Now continue hearing it as it speaks:
When you listen for your instinct, intuition, gut-feeling, anything other than conscious thought, yes, that’s your unconscious speaking to you. And as it’s not limited by any Magic Number, it gives you access to a great deal of information that your conscious mind necessarily would have to have overlooked. And there are things you never want to overlook, things you want to experience, notice, and feel now. You find in trance a means of expanding your perception to notice more, experience more, do more. And realize that you can do this any time you like. It’s useful to practice as you already do this…but likely without directing it yourself. Or noticing you are. Now you can begin to enter this state whenever you want–all the time or once a day if you prefer.
While in this relaxed, hyper-aware state, you can begin to see a great deal you may have otherwise missed. But no need to miss as you target your own growth, your own success, your own happiness. Breathe. And as you make the decision, rise up out of this trance state and re-enter the waking state.
As that gentleman asked, “Is it possible to remove the barrier between the two, your conscious, and your unconscious–your mind…?”
Yes. But it seems far more useful to utilize each as you like, when you like. For the rest of your life.
Copyright © 2023 Chris Gingolph