Chevreul was a distinguished chemist and Director of the Natural History Museum in Paris. He developed the simple experiment outlined below to demonstrate how the unconscious mind can be used without conscious awareness.
You will need a small weight (such as a ring), a piece of thread about 8 inches (20 cm) long, a pencil and a piece of paper. Tie one of the thread to the weight and the other end to one end of the pencil. On the piece of paper, draw a straight line about 6 inches (15 cm) long. Hold the pencil at one end between finger and thumb so that the weight is suspended directly over the straight line at a height of about 1 inch (2.5 cm). Concentrate intently on the straight line and wait...
Did you find that the pendulum began to swing in the direction of the line? If you were unsuccessful, keep trying. You really need to concentrate hard on the line. In effect, you are entering a light hypnotic trance, shutting out external stimuli and focusing all your attention on the line. Imperceptible muscle movements controlled by the unconscious mind produce movement in the pendulum.
Once you have successfully got the pendulum to swing under unconscious control, move the piece of paper round so the line is at right angles to its original position. Eventually, you will find that the pendulum changes direction and follows the line once more.
Now draw a second line at right angles to the first, forming a cross. Repeating the experiment, you should now find that the pendulum swings along the line upon which you concentrate. On another piece of paper, draw a circle and see if you can make the pendulum follow the circle under unconscious control.
This is a simple and powerful demonstration of the unconscious mind at work. It shows clearly how the unconscious mind can influence our behavior without us being consciously aware of it doing so.
Find a willing volunteer and repeat the experiments outlined above with them holding the pencil rather than yourself. Use the piece of paper with the cross drawn on it and suggest to your volunteer which line the pendulum will follow. When that proves successful, suggest that the pendulum will swing along the other line. When that proves successful, suggest to your volunteer that the pendulum will swing in a circle. When it is swinging in a circle, suggest that it will soon slow down and come to a stop.
Here we have demonstrated the power of suggestion, the ability to implant an idea in the unconscious mind of somebody. This entirely natural ability, which we each possess, is the main component of performing hypnosis. The subject of hypnosis will be explored later in this E book but for now, let us examine an effect that looks like hypnosis but is actually based on the laws of physics.
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These techniques will work for stage hypnosis or hypnotherapy, however, they are taught here for information purposes only. After reading this book you will have the knowledge and ability necessary to hypnotise people, but please do not practice hypnosis without first undergoing more intensive study.