Strange! Only twenty years ago men raged against the assertion that such a thing as hypnotism really exists, and foremost among them were many members of the medical profession. They did not shrink from describing hypnotism as humbug and fraud, just as a short time before they had done with healing magnetism, which today has become a great blessing to so many. Practitioners were bitterly attacked and called charlatans and deceivers.
Today it is that same medical profession which has largely appropriated hypnotism. What they denied even twenty years ago in the strongest terms they now advocate.
This may be judged in two ways. He who quite objectively observed the bitter conflict at that time naturally cannot refrain from smiling today when he sees how those who formerly showed excessive hostility now show even greater zeal in using the hypnotism they once so disdained. On the other hand, however, it must be acknowledged that this almost grotesque turnaround deserves some respect nonetheless. It requires a certain amount of courage to expose oneself to the risk of being ridiculed, which in this case especially is quite probable. We must recognize in this the earnestness which really desires to benefit humanity, and does therefore not shrink from facing even such a risk.
It is only to be regretted that people have not learned lessons for the future by becoming more careful in judging and – let us be honest – in hostilities towards things which belong to the same field as hypnotism. Unfortunately, in spite of all the experience, many other subjects in this field are treated in exactly the same way, if not worse, even today. In the end the same display will inevitably be repeated, i.e. that suddenly, without any transition, something is being eagerly advocated which until then had been stubbornly denied. What is more, there will be those who will unscrupulously attempt by any means at their disposal to obtain possession of and exploit much of the research into and the discovery of that which was first carefully left to others, mostly to so-called “laymen” who had to face their continual harassment. Whether this can then still be termed a courageous act deserving credit is open to question. On the contrary, it is much more likely that this eternal repetition will throw a different light upon actions considered meritorious. So much for the result of a superficial assessment.
But it becomes much more serious when one really knows the effects of the uses of hypnotism. The fact that the existence of hypnotism has at last been recognized and confirmed is good and so is the fact that the verbose attacks from the side of science, which according to present experience only reveal the ignorance of those making them, have ceased. However, the fact that it has consequently been so widely used under the auspices of the suddenly enlightened former opponents proves that these knowing ones are much further removed from real knowledge than the much-scorned laymen who did the initial research.
It is appalling to know what harm is done to thousands who today confidently place themselves into supposedly qualified hands in order to submit to hypnosis, either voluntarily or through persuasion or, worst of all, who are forced into it without their knowledge. Even if all this is done with the best intention to achieve something good, it does not alter the fact that this practice causes immeasurable harm in every case! Those who employ hypnotism are not called ones. Only he can be a called one who is fully familiar with the sphere to which all that he uses belongs. In the case of hypnotism this would be the Ethereal Sphere! And he who really knows this sphere, and not only presumptuously imagines that he does, will never make use of hypnotism as long as he desires what is best for his fellow-man; unless, of course, he quite consciously intends to harm them gravely. Therefore, a sin is committed wherever hypnotism is used, no matter whether or not by a layman! There is not a single exception!
Even with simple logical thinking, one must come to the conclusion that it is in fact boundless recklessness to work with something, the consequence of which one can overlook only to a very limited degree, and the final effect of which is not yet known. It is no consolation to know that such frivolousness concerning the weal and woe of one’s fellow-men not only harms the person experimented upon, but also doubles the burden of responsibility which falls upon the experimenter. It would be better if people did not consent all too trustfully to something they do not themselves thoroughly understand. If it is done without their knowledge and wish, then it amounts to a downright crime, even if it is performed by a so-called qualified person.
Since it cannot be assumed that all who use hypnotism intend to harm their fellow-men, there remains nothing else but to state the fact that they are entirely ignorant of the nature of hypnotism, and face the results of their activity with a complete lack of understanding. There is not the slightest doubt about this; it can only be one or the other. Therefore lack of understanding is the only remaining factor.
When a person employs hypnotism he binds the spirit of the one he hypnotizes! This binding in itself is a spiritual transgression or crime. Using hypnotism for the purpose of healing a bodily disease or as a means towards psychological improvement is no excuse. Nor can it be defended by the argument that the resulting psychological change for the better has also improved the volition of the patient, so that he has benefited from the hypnosis. To live and act in this belief is self-deception; for only what a human spirit undertakes with a perfectly free and uninfluenced volition can bring the benefit it needs for real ascent. All else is extraneous and can only bring a temporary and apparent benefit to the spirit. Every binding of the spirit, no matter for what purpose it was done, forms an absolute check on the possibility of the necessary progress. Apart from the fact that such a binding brings far more dangers than advantages. A spirit bound in this way is not only subject to the influence of the hypnotist but also remains to a certain extent defenselessly exposed to other ethereal influences, despite the possible prohibition of the hypnotist, because in its bound state it lacks the urgently needed protection which only complete freedom of movement can offer. The fact that men notice nothing of these continual conflicts, of the attacks, and their own successful or unsuccessful defense, does not prevent the lively activity in the Ethereal World or their own participation in it.
Thus every man who is effectively hypnotized is hindered in the true development of his innermost core more or less lastingly. Whether the outward circumstances thereby become still more unfavorable, or show an apparent temporary benefit is only of secondary importance, and is therefore no criterion for an assessment. The spirit must remain free under any circumstance, because in the final analysis, it is the spirit alone that matters!
Supposing there is a noticeable outward improvement, which hypnotists like to rely on so much, the person concerned has in reality received no benefit from it at all. His bound spirit is unable to work as creatively in the Ethereal World as a spirit which is completely free. The ethereal forms created by his bound or forced volition are without power, because they were formed at second-hand and very soon wither away in the Ethereal World. Therefore even his improved volition cannot bring him the same benefit through the reciprocal action that can certainly be expected of the creative activity of a free spirit. It is naturally the same with a bound spirit which wills and carries out something evil at the direction of the hypnotist. Because of their lack of power, the ethereal forms will soon fade away or be absorbed by other similar types, despite the evil gross material deeds, so that an ethereal reciprocal action cannot set in. Consequently those under such a compulsion will be held responsible in an earthly but not in a spiritual sense. The process is exactly the same with those who are insane. Once again one sees the complete Justice of the Creator in this, operating in the Ethereal World through the living laws which are unexcelled in their perfection. Thus the person compelled to perform evil deeds through an alien will cannot be held accountable, neither will he receive blessings for carrying out good actions through an alien will, because his independent “ego” played no part in them.
Instead, something else happens: The forcible binding of the spirit through hypnosis at the same time binds the hypnotist to his victim as with the strongest of chains. He cannot be released until he has helped the person whom he forcibly held back in his free development to advance as far as he would have gone if his spirit had not been bound. After his earthly death the hypnotist must go to where the spirit bound by him goes, be it even down to the deepest depths. It is easy to imagine what is in store for those who regularly practice hypnotism. When after their earthly death they awake and regain their senses they will perceive with horror how many bonds tear at them from those who have already passed on as well from those still on earth. Not one of them can then be forgiven. Such a man must redeem one link after the other, even if he loses thousands of years in the process. However, it is probable that he will be unable to complete this task before he is drawn into the disintegration which will destroy the individuality of his personal “ego”;
for he has gravely sinned against the Spirit!