Monday, May 23, 2016

I'm Hip

I was watching the movie Lucy--a surprise hit from a couple years ago that starts out fun but falls apart along the way.  The plot is about a woman, played by Scarlett Johansson, who acquires amazing powers by using 100% of her brain..

We've all heard the idea that we only use 10% of our brain.  It's in popular culture.  I suppose a lot of people believe it.  But it's one of those facts that, if you bother to think about it, makes no sense. It may speak to us as a metaphor--about not reaching our full potential--but that doesn't make it true.

There are plenty of such beliefs.  How many times have we heard the Great Wall Of China is the only artificial structure that can be seen from space? You don't need any specialized knowledge to understand this is ridiculous.  Of course you can't see it (unless you can see a lot of other things)--it may be long, but it's not that wide.

Which brings me to my main point.  I've often heard you won't do anything under hypnosis that you wouldn't regularly do already.  I even had a friend note this last week when we were discussing the subject.

I don't see how this can be true.  Perhaps you won't do completely outrageous things, like kill someone (though maybe you can at that).  But certainly those people up on stage making fools of themselves are doing something they wouldn't do under normal circumstances.  They express all sorts of emotions, including negative and unpleasant ones, when they're under.  Is that a fun thing to do?  Often hypnotists, when bringing you back, say you'll remember the experience you just had as a pleasant one.  That suggests it might be an unpleasant memory otherwise, so why would you have done it if you didn't have to, except for the fact the hypnotist suggested it.

I don't know what's the difference between the brain of someone under hypnosis and someone who isn't--it's a black box or me.  All I know is I've seen its effects. And they're not necessarily pretty.  Maybe it was hypnotists who came up with this line about how you won't do what you don't want to do, so people would agree more readily to be hypnotized.


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