Often called spiritualism, the practice of spiritism played a notable role in 19th-century thinking.
“The belief that the dead are alive in another sphere or condition of being is not new. It was part of the religion of the ancients, and was the very root of all mythology.”
“the unscriptural idea of the dead communicating with the living “has given cover and force to the deceptions practised by ‘demons’ under the guise of dis-embodied spirits of men. They have eagerly availed themselves of this mode of concealing their identity, and have thus perpetuated their sway over the minds and lives of many.” The early booklet What Say the Scriptures About Spiritism? gave similar warnings…”
I cannot put up with the use of uncanny power.—Isa. 1:13.
“There should not be found in you anyone who . . . binds others with a spell.”—DEUTERONOMY 18:10, 11.
Is the claim that hypnotism is linked to the occult just a figment of someone’s imagination? Fantasy tales in movies and novels may have nurtured the idea, but the connection between hypnotism and spiritism has a real basis. Regarding hypnotism, the Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology explains: “Its history is inextricably interwoven with occultism.” Religious trances, which have been a part of sorcery and magic throughout history, are commonly viewed as a form of hypnosis. Also, the priests in ancient Egypt and Greece induced a type of hypnotic state when trying to cure illnesses in the name of their false gods.
The above-quoted encyclopedia notes: “Even today much hypnotic phenomena is classed as ‘Spiritualist.’” While it is difficult to determine to what extent various forms of hypnotism may have to do with the occult, the fact is that God clearly condemns all forms of spiritism. (Deuteronomy 18:9-12; Revelation 21:8)
What about the effect of hypnosis on a person’s mind and behavior? Are there any risks involved? One valid concern is that while hypnotized a person may have little control of his behavior. Stage hypnotists utilize this feature, impelling volunteers to do things they would not normally do, even to seem to be drunk.
The Encyclopedia Americana says of these public displays of hypnosis: “The hypnotized subject may be openly susceptible to even veiled suggestion, he may have ready access to his more usually heavily veiled unconscious drives, and he may while hypnotized feel that all social and personal curbs on his behavior have been removed.” Collier’s Encyclopedia states: “The hypnotized subject enjoys an undiverted concentration of his faculties, which makes him intensely attentive to the hypnotist’s suggestions and cooperative in carrying out suggestions.”
Does this sound harmless?
“Each one of you should know how to get possession of his own vessel in sanctification and honor.” (1 Thessalonians 4:4) Clearly, hypnosis would hamper one’s ability to follow such counsel.
Hypnosis is defined as “a sleeplike state usually induced by another person in which the subject may experience forgotten or suppressed memories, hallucinations, and heightened suggestibility.”—The American Heritage
“Present your bodies a sacrifice living, holy, acceptable to God, a sacred service with your power of reason. And quit being fashioned after this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind over, that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”—Romans 12:1, 2.
For me personally…i want my mind fully AWAKE…i want to exercise my own power of reason & self-control & choice…i’m not going to open my self-controlled-awakened-mind up to masked manipulators…who may want to influence/control me in a sleep-like state for selfish reasons…say to use or abuse me!
i read these interesting points:
HYPNOTISM has been the subject of much debate and controversy.* Even experts in the field find it difficult to explain. It is generally understood that hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness, or trance. Most people, however, are more interested in what hypnotism can do than in what it is.
In recent years it has become common for health practitioners in some lands to recommend hypnotism as a treatment. For instance, the magazine Psychology Today states: “Hypnotherapy can treat headaches, ease labor pains, help you quit smoking, replace anesthesia, and improve study habits—all without side effects.” On the other hand, many associate hypnotism with spiritism and the occult.
What is the Bible’s viewpoint? Of course, the Bible is not a health textbook, and it does not comment directly on the subject of hypnotism. But the principles found in God’s Word can help us determine God’s view.