There’s something hypnotic about Easter. I couldn’t put my finger on it at first, so I explored my own thinking. It took a while to pin down where this instinct came from but, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.
It’s not because of anything you do at Easter. I wondered if chocolate was a metaphor for hypnosis. External stimuli inducing a pleasant state? It works, but that describes half of life.
Richer ground was the idea of painting and hiding eggs. A hollowed out egg is useful from a culinary perspective. But when you take the shell, carefully decorate it with bright colours then hide it, maybe that’s how we live. We take the seemingly useless things and make them beautiful. Then we bury them in the distractions of our lives, only to rediscover them later.
It’s not a bad metaphor. Painted eggs are surreal enough to represent epiphanies. But no, that wasn’t it.
Maybe there was a religious aspect to it. Religions and hypnosis have a surprising amount in common. Both use rituals to place people into pleasant trance states. People underestimate just how hypnotic a great sermon, delivered with passion that captivates the audience, truly is.
That’s not it either. For one thing, many holidays include church celebrations. For another, the resemblance between religious experiences and hypnotic ones isn’t perfect. One can attend church, say all the right things and not be moved by the experience. They can go home and act completely contrary to their teachings. On the other hand, therapeutic hypnosis works by tapping into your values and inspiring you. It works by bringing what you want into clear, irresistible focus.
Some people doubt that hypnosis leads to lasting change. Given how it connects you to what’s most important to you, I wonder how it couldn’t.
Then it hit me.
Both Easter and hypnosis are about transformation. Specifically, they’re about changes from something simpler to something better. Or something mundane into something meaningful. Painting an egg takes it from a common foodstuff into a work of art. Hiding it turns it from art into a game based on wonder and exploration. And let’s not forget that an egg is itself a powerful symbol of transformation.
Easter was a pagan holiday that transformed into a Christian one. And what’s the holiday about? Jesus transforming from flesh and blood into something divine.
Now, I’m no Christian. I’m not even religious. Yet as a hypnotist, I see the parallels in my own field. After all, isn’t this exactly what the brain does? It takes mundane, material things like glucose and potassium, and transforms them into thoughts. Then we take these thoughts and use them to transform the world. Every stunning painting, incredible athletic victory and moment of pure compassion came from our thoughts. Simple matter transformed into something meaningful.
This Easter, you can overindulge in chocolate. You can catch up with friends, go to church or take some time to rest. Go on, you’ve earned it. But be sure to embrace what this holiday is about and transform yourself for the better. Take something in your world and enhance it. Reach out and improve something.
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