Does meditative trance make the practitioner more susceptible to hypnosis?

Can meditating open you up to hypnotic influence? Given that the trance states of meditation, and those induced by a hypnotist must be fairly similar, doesn’t this make the meditator more receptive to suggestion?

Strictly speaking I suspect this is one of those stealth IMHO questions, I doubt there is any way to statistically quantify any correlation between voluntary and involuntary alterations of consciousness. So if as the song goes, if one could be so open minded that their brain leaked out is there any way to prove what came to replace it and where it came from? One the other hand if you knew how to hypnotize yourself you just may have a better idea of when someone else was trying to do it for you, or to you.

Don’t get me wrong it’s all a question of scale, you may be seeking some nebulous impersonal detachment which quite inconsequentially renders you less vulnerable to the “King of Beers” or “Must See TV” type persuasion but the more you contemplate or worse yet question the core set of assumptions of any established World View™ the more likely you are to run afoul of those who have more invested in advancing (or maintaining) that particular World View™. So, from that perspective who is more “hypnotized,” the person who considers changing their mind or the people who can’t imagine why they’d want to?

Define “meditative trance”.

Define “hypnosis”.

Bosda, you don’t ask easy questions, but I will try to answer.

The dictionary isn’t too helpful, but check out wikipedia, it has a good entry for hypnosis.

I take it to mean the whole process of trying to control someone by suggestion. The medical definition from the above link defines it as the state in which someone is more susceptible to suggestion.

As for meditative trance I mean a state of consciousness produced by meditating.

Oh, and Ennui I have no idea why you’re talking about voluntary/involuntary hypnosis, my only question is whether the state of consciousness brought about by meditating is similar enough to the state of consciousness induced by hypnotists for the purpose of making the subject more open to suggestion, to make the meditator more open to suggestion than they would otherwise be.

The question is based on a false premise, or maybe several.

Hypnotists do not induce, bring about, cultivate or create any kind of special conscious state whatsoever. Claims to the contrary are good for hype and self-promotion, and regularly propagated in the media and in fiction. However, no-one has ever produced any evidence whatsoever to support this contention. As a relatively unimportant corollary to this, US entertainer Kreskin has for years offered a substantial cash sum to anyone who can show that there is such a thing as an hypnotic trance or trance state.

All a hypnotist can do is invite you to relax, and then offer you suggestions which you may or may not act on. These suggestions can be intended to achieve a therapeutic result (as in medical hypnosis) or an entertaining/silly result (as in stage hypnosis). If you want to count ‘being relaxed’ as a special form of consciousness, then be my guest, but it isn’t.

No-one can be made to do anything by hypnosis. Stuff like spies being hypnotised to attack someone in response to a ‘cue’ word are pure fiction.

Given that this is so, the question as presented simply doesn’t arise.

Ianzin, the difficulty with measuring states of consciousness is that we don’t have the right instruments. “Trance” states may actually exist, and be measurably different from day-to-day consciousness but we would have no way of knowing because we do not have the instruments.

So unfortunately all we have to go by is anecdotal evidence or personal experience. I would also be unconvinced given only anecdotal evidence, but I have had several personal experiences that strongly indicate that trance states exist and can be a factor in producing a receptive subject.

See my web page on Aikido and hypnosis for details.

Here’s some further information on hypnosis and Meditation.