Since you're into trance so much, or specifically inductions so much, I wonder if you've noticed something surprisingly common I find within them. You know those countdowns people give to leave their subjects on the precipice of a trance or waking up, that's interesting to me. Mainly I'm talking about the numbers, the order which someone counts. 1 or 0 is always the baseline for crossing the threshold, and the further away you count from those numbers, the higher you go, the more it's suggested that you rise out of trance. And when you count backwards, the closer you count to 1, the subject would find themselves suggestively falling into trance, a sinking sensation, a feeling of descending.
I've recently been fascinated by why it's so often used or accepted that counting up means to bring them out of trance and that going down means going into a trance. It shouldn't be so surprising, actually. It makes physical and mental sense in a way why so many words associated or used in trance suggest this, like drifting, falling, sinking, descending, slipping, and so on. It's so automatic to our way of thinking, especially for hypnotists, that we disseminate this type of thinking to all our potential subjects, as they're pre-programmed to think in this way, and some of the unconscious work of readying a subject to go into hypnosis is already done for us. But when you truly start to analyze things like this, whether in searching for something or by accident, it really makes you think.
Some time ago I'd seen some documentary program on television about astronauts, readying them for space travel, and all the training processes they must go through. It reminded me of the time I'd gotten to go to space camp as a kid, one of my favorite memories in life. Like those astronauts, I even got to experience a zero-gravity environment. When I saw that part of the documentary, watching the astronauts float in that enclosed space, it hit me (snap) all over again. Actually it did more than hit me, it opened my mind to being more aware of things that I'm usually pretty aware of.
Watching those trainees float up brought that memory back to me almost instantly. That floating sensation felt amazing, to know that gravity could cease so easily, to feel myself floating up, with nothing to hold on to, no immediate bearing, a fading sense of up or down, and even stranger, a growing need to go nowhere or do anything. Of course the other kids had their fun pushing themselves off walls, off themselves, flipping and twisting in the air as did I, but to know that I could just float there, and not have to move, not have to think, not have to be aware of anything around me, and just be left to feel. It was then that I got my first real, unanticipated taste of hypnosis could feel like. That's when it also hit me about the word "floating." One of the most common words to help a hypnotic subject describe what they're feeling. But how can you float when there's gravity?
Maybe there's something akin to being submerged in water that helps the visualization. "Drifting down into trance, sinking slowing, floating so peacefully." That sounds like underwater conditions to me, and yet floating is what happens when you rise up, out of the water suggestively known as trance. To become afloat is to rise up out of trance, and yet so many hypnotists I've seen suggest it's a word that supposed to maintain what literally moves in the opposite direction. It's a literal context my mind won't let go of lately, and instead of letting relaxation naturally taking my mind off of it or having it go away, curiosity drives me to wonder what would happen if I actually described the other way.
So the pool you're standing next to where you fall into it and sink slowly to a comfortable place, where you eventually "float" back up. Compare that to being an astronaut in training. Unlike the falling into trance where the body is somewhat aware of maybe being pushed, muscles contracting or weakening, something to allow gravity to happen where you're pulled closer to it by any means necessary, the other way is so much more subtle. There's zero recognition of the change or the beginning of the change. That even coincides with the counting too. The order of numbers is reversed here. It's not fall and submerge from 3 to 1, 5 to 1, 10 to 1, or even 100 to 1. The count starts at 1, like the first floor of a building, and there is no known limit to how high you can go. Once you start floating, the count simply goes up, higher, an unmarked dial with no stop set against it as it constantly turns. But one of the beauties about inductions is even though there might be calculated numbers for a depth, the subject will never have to hear those numbers. The count begins without him or her ever being aware that a countdown was happening, or that one was coming. Just like that automatic thinking, it's not even a count"down" anymore, is it?
Unconsciously the numbers just raise, like your body does. Your mind ends up in one abstract thought you'd have at random, and there's no accounting for the change in the air, the pressure, some muted shift coming over you. The bodily norms and changes you're aware of 24/7 can't even tell something is altering, and even if it did, there's no need to let you know. The sensation slips by any defense you could think to conjure up, but what do you need to defend yourself from? What's so bad about floating? You almost never hear floating as a bad thing for a reason. It's a sensation most strive to achieve, and it comes to you so easily. The pressure off your feet isn't instant; it's rather relaxing how the load lifted from you really goes nowhere, shifts from your feet not to the rest of your body, but disappears altogether. All of your muscles experience this. The pull of gravity, the pull of being consciously attached to your body means the pressure will go somewhere within you, and that relaxation will come and will take time to dissipate. If you could be more aware of what's happening to you, all you'd be is awestruck as the tension and pressure disappears. That true floating comes not as a surprise, but more like a revelation to your mind. A great epiphany. A solution to a problem you believed unsolved or were simply unaware of.
It's a feeling of freedom, going up, like the most pleasant out-of-body experience. Nothing to keep you down, down is where you were before this feeling. Counting down feels different now. It's the other side of a spectrum of induced consciousness. What were the odds of that, that going up could feel as good as going down. Was counting from 3 to 1 the same as the odds of thinking trance could only be induced one way, in one direction? Is it 3 to 1 odds that it's believed that "down" is the official direction of trance? 5 to 1 that people readily accept this if we tell them? 10 to 1 that their minds go there as soon as we begin? Or even 100 to 1 that even realize that trance is literally directionless, unless we give it one?
Personally, I would like to look at it like it's at least 1 in 3 that thinks of up as a pleasant direction to go, 1 in 5 that would rather be held down by gravity as often as possible, 1 in 10 that find themselves looking anywhere but up if gravity was not holding them down, and there's possibly 1 in 100 that would feel the need to resist the joys of floating upwards in trance. And even if that 1 was sitting before me, that resistance could only be temporary. They would barely notice the world's weight being taken off their backs piece by piece with each word. I could even count the pieces to them and they listen happily to their ascending closer and closer to that non-existent ceiling.
1...the notion that you always fall at this number floats away.
2...the idea of tension in your body floats away.
3...the idea of anything unpleasant floats away.
4...the thought of thoughts in your mind floats away.
5...the turbulent world you leave behind happily floats away.
6...the noticing of surroundings, or anything but my voice floats away.
7...the attachments of civilization float away
8...the sense of time, yesterday, the next minute, the worry of tomorrow floats away.
9...the weight you knew according to gravity floats away.
10...gravity forfeits its hold on you as you float away.
11...floating comes easier as articles of clothing leave your body, like your shoes and sock pulled off of your feet.
12...your shirt pulled over your head.
13...pants unfastened and pulled down your legs.
14...underwear slowly flowing down your body.
15...naked, happy, and free.
16...free of all responsibilities and cares.
17...free to leave your limits and explore unbound.
19...free from the idea of continuous counting.
23...free to feel more as you and the numbers reach higher.
26...free to feel like a floaty cloud, as you are among them in the sky.
29...my voice is your companion as we explore past Earth.
38...the universe is ours to roam across.
46...the moon so detailed and floaty.
64...Jupiter is so huge and awe-inspiring.
87...Saturn's rings are so fun to glide along.
103...Neptune and Pluto are so cold, yet you feel quite warm.
133...shooting stars pass by.
189...the milky way spins in a slow, mesmerizing way.
267...new solar systems abound, with huge suns.
415...new, thriving planets with lush green life.
827...watching a black hole take in everything but you, negated by the power of my voice.
1356...your consciousness fully exposed to the universe, so open-minded and enlightened.
1843...able to reach these heights whenever I see fit.
2651...easy to return to Earth, to your world, like you never left it.
5525...it's as easy as taking you back to the number 1.
* * *
The young male hypnotist slowly came back to himself, slowly realizing what had happened, and that his companion was next to him, still whispering in his ear.
He knew his girlfriend was probably a natural at hypnosis, but she surprised both of them with how well she took to inductions, or he surprised them both by showing how much he liked being on the receiving end.
As soon as he could feel more bodily control, he used it to snuggle more against her body. The laid against the couch, almost having fallen asleep watching TV. He'd warned her that if she pursued inductions with others, some guys might have unusual reactions to trance. Feeling him lengthen against her while in trance, was enough proof for his claim.
"Now that we're back at 1, have you ever wondered 'what if those NASA shuttle countdowns started from 1 instead of ten?'"
He barely heard the documentary about space travel on the TV before her voice drowned everything else out completely.