HOW DOES THE TRANCE STATE OPERATE?
So many of us live in a mildly hypnotic trance state and just don't realize it. We might even resort to this state for hours every day. Can you now recognize when you do this? That is our challenge!
This mild dissociative state is associated with a particular alpha brain-wave pattern. This trance state may even release specific endorphins. This allows us to detune, detach and ‘bliss out’.
TRANCE IS SIMILAR TO THE ‘FREEZE’ RESPONSE.
The trance mechanism might be a lesser variant of the ‘freeze response’ that animals use. This numbs animals in situations of high stress or imminent death. Small animals activate this response when they feel trapped.
This response kicks in when frightened animals no longer use the ‘fight or flight’ response of their sympathetic nervous system. At this stage they feel helpless and have given up!
Could we as humans be co-opting the same biological mechanism? Surely, we don’t want to spend our life feeling semi-paralyzed like a mouse about to be devoured by a cat.
…Can you see how trance is a milder version of the freeze response?
HAS TRANCE BECOME OUR LIFESTYLE OF CHOICE?
Some people appear to spend much of their day in a mild trance. They seem mildly ‘spaced-out’ but are not using any illicit drug or chemical! This mild dissociative or hypnotic state can even become a preferred lifestyle.
When in trance, there is a characteristic brain wave pattern. A mild cocktail of endorphins is usually also present. This trance state is generated from within ourselves, in our brains! The result is we are mildly sedated and don’t function at full capacity.
In this trance state, we can’t connect fully with our true inner self or with others. We can't optimally make use of our inner resources & abilities. We do not fully experience the reality of life. So, we can’t develop emotionally or grow to our full potential.
YOU CAN BE IN TRANCE AND NOT KNOW IT!
We might find the above discussion interesting. But does this issue relate significantly to us, and our lifestyle? We might still not believe that we actually live this way, or for any significant time! It might not be obvious that we are spending hours ‘opting out’ in some mildly hypnotic trance. Surely, we are not numbed, or easily persuaded in this way. But think again!
Do we not spend many hours each day watching television or glued to our computer? Are we not automatically responding to the sound commands of our mobile phones or regularly checking our devices? How many hours a day do we spend fixated on a screen of some sort?
Do we not spend many hours each week mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds and videos? Our brainwaves have become hypnotically entrained by these screens & devices. We will discuss the result of this next.
WE ARE ENTRANCED BY SCREENS & SOCIAL MEDIA.
It is known by researchers that prolonged ‘screen-time’ modifies our brainwave patterns and our behavior. For example, simply by watching television, our brainwaves more readily enter an alpha-wave pattern.
This departure from our usual beta-wave pattern makes us more submissive and open to influence! This is another mildly hypnotic or trance-like state as discussed in the last chapter. But it's triggered externally from our electronic devices.
We expose ourselves to this electronic influence for hours every day. So to some degree, we are all currently entrained & entrapped in this pervasive social phenomenon. We are thus all ‘brainwashing’ ourselves through TV, personal communication devices & social media! The more we engage in this trance state, the more established it becomes. It becomes habitual. We then more readily default to this state at other times.
WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE TO TRANCE?
Is there an alternative to this mild dissociative state? Is there a healthier and happier way to face our daily life? We can start by cutting down our screen time and use of social media. This helps break the habit.
The first step is to avoid situations that automatically trigger a trance. This means being conscious of social media and other mindless addictions. Becoming more socially and physically active also helps. Being out in nature and the sunshine also helps.
We can also increase our recognition of slipping into trance. The best alternative is to maintain a state of higher awareness. Instead of falling into trance, we can choose to return to full awareness instead!
MEDITATION IS AN ANTIDOTE TO TRANCE.
Another way to neutralize trance is to proactively upgrade our awareness. We aim for more clarity and focus instead. This requires an alert but relaxed awareness. We can practise this intentional focus through simple mindfulness and meditation exercises.
A meditative state is an antidote because it is the opposite of trance. When we meditate, we increase our calm awareness and our focus. About 15 minutes of meditation a day is the minimum required to reset this trance.
Other positive activities include spending time in nature and in creative pursuits. Another preventative measure is to spend quality time connecting with others in person.
…What positive activities could you use to break out of trance?
THE TRANCE-STATE LIMITS OUR POTENTIAL.
Most people don’t utilize the full experience of life. This limits our rapid growth and potential. The illusory or trance states we engage in just numb us further. Too often we spend our time in some trance-like ‘fantasy’ or ‘freeze’ response. Or we spend life distracting ourselves!
All this defers the real experiences & challenges of life. Therefore, we don't develop as fast! But why don't we appreciate the real meaning & purpose of life? Why don't we understand how to build lasting happiness & joy?
….Can you now recognize how trance is holding you back in your life?
WE HAVE GIVEN OUR POWER AWAY.
The main reason we don’t know how to build lasting joy is that we have given our power away! Also, we are not taught important life skills! For example, we have a powerful inner guidance system. This guidance allows us to find our way and reach our potential. Instead, we are discouraged from meddling with our inner nature.
Our education system has taught us so many unnecessary things. Instead, we could have been taught to command our true power and inner resources. We are independent sovereign beings, after all! Unfortunately, we are taught to be dependent and submissive to authority.
THE POWER OF INTENTION IS NOT TAUGHT.
We can actively co-create our reality and manifest joy in life. But the power of intention and active visualization was never on the syllabus. We can also attract what we want to manifest. We can promote passion and joy in life. This is an active co-creative process. It can’t happen in a passive or trance-like state.
Our society pushes us towards passive consumption and pleasure seeking. It emphasizes materialism and competitiveness. This pushes us towards trance and mindlessly following the herd. That brings us to an important question.
…Are you started actively co-creating your life and your joy?
HIGHER AWARENESS IS THE ANTIDOTE TO TRANCE!
Remember, raising our awareness is the best alternative to a dream-like or hypnotic state. Can you remember what this alternative state of awareness feels like? It’s a highly alert but relaxed & calm state. We are finally at peace with ourselves and can choose our own path!
This raised awareness is also our most natural state of being. But we have often forgotten how to access this or do so infrequently. That’s because of our prior education, social conditioning and the stress of life.
PANORAMIC AWARENESS IS A HIGHER VIEW.
This elevated awareness is sometimes termed ‘higher awareness’ or ‘panoramic awareness’. It's a natural state that we have forgotten to use. Using this, we view things from a higher perspective. Hence, we see the broader picture and we are less attached to it all. So, it's much easier to make the right decision!
…Can you remember the last time you felt in a state of higher awareness?
COMBINE YOUR SENSES, EMOTIONS & INTUITION.
We can extend our awareness further to a ‘multi-dimensional awareness’. Here we go beyond cognitive awareness, which is limited to our 5 main senses. In multi-dimensional awareness, we tap into an additional spectrum beyond our physical senses.
With multi-dimensional awareness we utilize our emotions, deep intuition & inner knowing. This helps to further guide us. Tapping into this extended range of higher-order awareness is sometimes termed ‘Presence’. That signifies being fully aware or being ‘Present’ in the moment.
…Can you see how there are higher-level resources you can tap into?
ARE YOU READY TO BREAK FREE?
Don’t despair if these technical terms sound unfamiliar or mysterious. We are simply ‘setting the scene’ with these new ideas and explaining why these concepts are important. We will explain how to better utilize these inner resources in subsequent chapters of this SOS book.