When I was dabbling in mesmerism – one of the stranger hypnotic arts – I was working through an exercise. This exercise was… well, tough. You had to stare at a fixed point, hold your attention and breathe in a certain way for 15 minutes.
Fifteen minutes is a tall order. It’s more than a question of patience – you need to hold your eyes (and eyelids) in a certain way. Blinking is discouraged.
But that’s okay – I would work my way up to it.
I surprised myself by starting off well. It felt like I could make the time. I zoned in on my target, completely fixated.
Then my eyes started to feel irritated.
I blinked a few times and kept my attention locked.
But I couldn’t hold it. Eventually, I had to relax.
I knew I’d lasted about ten minutes. I was eager to try the exercise again, hopefully build up to the full time…
When I checked my watch, I realised I’d lasted longer than ten minutes.
In fact, I’d lasted 45.
Yep – I’d gone triple the expected time, all the time thinking I hadn’t even come close.
I don’t know where the time went, which is how I know I did that exercise right.
Time distortion is a strange phenomenon. It’s usually a side effect of hypnotic trances… but anything that’s a side effect can be deliberately cultivated.
Imagine being able to stretch time – to slow those moments you want to treasure and fast forward through the dull bits. How much tedium would you replace with real, rich moments?
If you want to learn how, keep reading: