Sun - November 16, 2008


"It's a good thing," LInda said. "Boredom drives you to do something different." I have to admit that I am bored right now. I don't do much bodywork anymore, and most of the time I am wearing a baseball cap and Levis, and I drive a pickup. The other day I was wearing an army cap and a green t-shirt advertising a Bob Dylan concert. Scotty, who runs the shop for the paving contractor, was coming out when I was pulling in. "Is that your army drag?" he asked.

Posted at 08:36 PM     Read More  

Tue - October 9, 2007

Chemical Free High

Remember Steve Martin's bit on how to be a millionaire? "FIrst get a million dollars." So how do you get a chemical free high? I would say "first, get chemical free," but that would be absurd. You are chemicals. These chemicals are connected to emotions. Likewise the motor reflexes are connected to intention. If you intend to stand up, for example, the muscles have to organize at a micro level, first, to accomplish the macro movement. So imagination is connected to muscle organization and body chemistry.

Posted at 02:05 PM     Read More  

Thu - July 5, 2007

Balanced Composition

The other night I was looking at my iPod and found a lecture by David Lynch on Transcendental Meditation; he was talking about the power of turning inward and releasing your mind into what we fondly call the infinite. I remember when I was a kid and I'd hear about how we believed that in heaven you never die, and it just lay there like undigested food. It was some kind of magic.

Posted at 04:43 PM     Read More  

Thu - May 31, 2007

Falling to Pieces

Last night I was trying to post and the spinning ball of death started taking out one program after another, so that I got down to the finder. Relaunching it would destroy anything unsaved, and I had everything only on the clipboard at that moment. A day's writing vanished into nothingness, and out of empathy, my internal hard drive began to behave erratically as I realized the computer's drive was crashing, losing its logical faculty ...

Posted at 01:07 PM     Read More  

Mon - May 28, 2007

Iraq Dead Line

Today I scan the headlines and I see that George Bush has concluded that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are "our destiny." Simultaneously I find myself faced with a few days when I won't be able to write anything, and so I am going to sit down and write spontaneously a series in "The Hypnotist" which doesn't purport to be about the professional field of practicing it, but more about learning to watch the workings of the unconscious. For example, how destiny flies on its own wings, while fate walks under the burden of what might have been.

Posted at 05:54 PM     Read More  

Fri - May 25, 2007

The Men's House

When I was doing analysis with Joseph Henderson, I learned that in some dreams there is no feminine influence. In some dreams, there is just the men’s house. The reason this must be is that men have to maintain a world made out of spirit, and they are responsible for maintaining that world. It exists in defense to the feminine, because all masculinity is a defense against reabsorption by the feminine. Paradoxically, the hero's journey involves voluntary dissolution in the feminine and reconstituting in Spirit. The crucifixion is one example of this, as is Isis and Osiris.

Posted at 12:17 PM     Read More  

Wed - April 25, 2007

Dragon Slayer

(Reprinted in part from "Abstract WMDs," originally published March 31, 2004)

Part of a hypnotist's training is that there are two kinds of words. There are words which describe something that is physical, and can be experienced by the senses, and there are "process words." A process word does not have a meaning per se, but is given a definition internally by the individual. "Courage," for example, or "nuance," are fundamentally different in kind from, "Domino," or "Impala."

Posted at 06:37 PM     Read More  

Tue - April 24, 2007

Coyote Fly Fishing

When I began studying hypnosis, my "bible" was Maurice Nicoll's lectures on the teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, which is based in esoteric Christianity. The focus isn't outward, on what the church teaches you, but inward, on the development of an abstracted, or diamond, body. It is no different in essence from Castaneda's Don Juan teaching the shifting of allegiance to "the abstract." In any case, when this is the path, studying hypnosis and reading good literature are great advantages for someone with my nature. For someone else, the great advantages might be learning to weave rugs or to do accounting.

Posted at 03:45 PM     Read More  

Fri - April 6, 2007

Repressed Memory

The first thing I learned when I studied Ericksonian hypnosis was that the past is a fiction. When I first heard that it seemeed like it couldn't be true, because, after all, I remember the past. Was everything I remembered false? A few years later I would hear the same premise in the words of the Master of Assassins, Hassan i'Sabbah: "Nothing is true, everything is permitted." Of course that statement is false on the face of it. ; )

Posted at 06:15 PM     Read More  

Thu - April 5, 2007

Erickson & Svengali

My first formal training in hypnosis came when I found a "school" which was actually two guys who'd set up some classes. One of them was a psychologist who had done some seminars with Milton Erickson, who was considered the greatest medical hypnotist in the world. That's a way of saying he was a doctor, and not just some Svengali. Erickson had transformed the entire field of hypnosis, from one in which there was a procedure to be followed to one in which there were underlying observations, or principles, allowing a more informal style of hypnosis.

Posted at 02:41 PM     Read More  

Mon - April 2, 2007

The Rabbit Hole

Jim saw me coming down the street and I guess if I didn't look like the devil I at least looked like somebody who'd been doing business with him. At that moment the devil was his crazy friend, Dutch. who he'd talked me into working with. "Why do I want to work with some guy? If I want a massage I'll go to woman."
"You don't understand," he'd said. "This is different."
He was right about that. I was trying to hold myself together and pieces kept falling off. I picked up my ears and put them in my pocket. "I'm sorry, I wasn't listening."

Posted at 04:12 PM     Read More  

Fri - March 30, 2007

Christ's Cat

"I read one of your recent blogs and you mentioned that you had a dream where you were observing yourself as a Native American.  Was this a recent dream? 
I had a dream about you this week.  You were giving me a massage and when I looked at you at one point during the body work session, you were a Native American.  You were wearing a loin cloth, your hair was dark and in long pony tails or braids, and you had a headband around your forehead with a feather in the band." (Karen)

Posted at 02:51 PM     Read More  

Thu - March 29, 2007

The Open WIndow

I hypnotized my first wife after reading a paperback book about how to do it. To say that I was surprised when I realized I had done it is putting it mildly. There she was, in a trance, and I had no idea what to do. "Open the window," I suggested. She went over and opened the window. "Freezing air is coming in," I said, and she pulled away, visibly chilled. She even had goose bumps. It was a hundred degrees outside. I felt like the Sorcerer's Apprentice.

Posted at 03:18 PM     Read More