Whether or not Jesus used hypnosis to heal people is something I have been pondering for some time. If we examine a passage from the 7th chapter of the Gospel of Mark in which Jesus performs a healing we can see some striking parallels to many now widely used hypnotic techniques.
Before we go any further with this thread of thought, though, first we must address how Middle Eastern peoples viewed illness.
Middle Eastern people during the time of Jesus did not see illness as something to be diagnosed and cured as we Westerners do. They saw illness as simply being out of rhythm, or out of balance with Sacred Unity. And to back up just a bit further it is important to know that the Middle Eastern concept of God was not then and is not now the same as that of the Western Christian concept of God. To Middle Eastern peoples the concept of God is that of no separation. To them they were not separate from the divine but rather a part of it. All are “One’ in Sacred Unity. So, to repeat, for Middle Eastern peoples illness meant that you were out of rhythm, or out of balance with Sacred Unity.
In this story found in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus takes a man who is deaf and cannot speak aside from the crowd. The man, to the town he lives in, is known as the deaf and dumb man (as taken from several versions of the Christian Bible). In today’s terms this means that the people of the town have preconceived ideas about who the man is and they project that onto him.
Jesus knows that in order to help this man heal he must first take him away from the crowd because how can one heal if they are constantly being reminded that they are sick?
Fist parallel to using hypnosis: Taking the individual aside from the crowd as in bringing a person into the office, a private space in which to work. No outside influences.
As the story continues Jesus breathes with the man.
Second parallel to hypnosis: The use of various breathing techniques is part of every hypnosis session. Deep breathing, holding the breath, letting it all out, relaxing as you do so, then breathing normally and naturally, is all part of a hypnotic session.
Jesus speaks to the man.
Third parallel to hypnosis: Voice is a huge part of hypnosis. Modulation of the voice, speaking slowly, distinctly, rhythmically, in sync with the slower breathing that happens normally and naturally in hypnosis.
Jesus then makes contact with him. It says Jesus touched his tongue.
Fourth parallel: It is not uncommon in some hypnotic techniques to touch a person. Not all issues and hypnosis sessions call for it but some do.
Jesus spits on the ground.
Provided this is a correct translation from the Aramaic then this is not something we do in hypnosis. We do not spit, or at least I don’t...smile!
Jesus then looks to heaven.
Now, having studied Aramaic to a small degree, I can say with some assurance that this statement does not carry the same meaning in Aramaic as it does in English. To the Middle Eastern people heaven is not somewhere outside of you or a place you go to when you die if you live a good life, but rather, heaven is an experience you can have anytime. When you raise your vibration high enough then you are in heaven. So you might interpret this phrase, Jesus looked to heaven as, Jesus became aware that both he and the man were now, at the same time, in rhythm with Sacred Unity.
Fifth parallel to hypnosis: Any hypnotherapist worth his or her salt knows when their client is in that space where healing can and does occur. You can feel it. It is definitely a rhythm or a flow or a vibration that can be felt.
So Jesus looked to heaven and spoke the word “Ephphatha!” which means, “Be opened.” Be opened to Sacred Unity, or put another way, come back into balance, or rhythm, with Sacred Unity.
Sixth parallel: When a hypnotherapist feels their client is in that space of openness this is when their words (suggestions) will have the greatest affect.
Jesus then told the man, “Don’t tell anyone about this.” Most likely he also told the man to go home and not to go immediately back to the town where they knew him as the deaf and dumb man.
Healing takes time to sink in to the psyche. Often, when first healed, a person will walk around wondering if it is real or imagined. So it takes time for the idea of being healed to become real for a person. If someone goes immediately back into the environment, or circumstance where they are viewed as ill, or in this case deaf and dumb, the person can be pulled out of a state of healing very quickly by the projections of those around them.
Seventh parallel: I often tell my clients to go home and be quite for a while and not to go back to work or out with friends immediately after a session. I always record my sessions for the client and I suggest they listen to the CD a few more times first before going back to their normal routines. I tell them to give themselves time to fully realize that they are healed of their illness or cured of an addiction or phobia especially if they have been sick or had an addiction for a long time.
So I leave it to you. Did Jesus use what we, today, call hypnosis to help heal people? Where we can never be one hundred percent certain it does seem to me that there are many similarities, at least in this one particular healing that Jesus performed.
Janet Decker, C.Ht.
Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist
For more information on the Aramaic words of Jesus you can check out this web site: http://www.abwoon.com/shop/
You may also like to check out the International Metaphysical University: http://intermetu.com/