I once receive a call from the hospital to come quickly to care for a lady who had been water skiing.  She had fallen into the water and had been run over by a boat, sustaining sever injury to one leg.  I went to the emergency room to see the patient.  She had several huge lacerations across her thigh, inflicted by the propeller of the boat.  She had lost much blood and looked pale.  Bleeding had stopped so there was time to give her blood and fluids intravenously before taking her to the operating room.  The injuries were so large and destructive to her leg that I decided to ask a plastic surgeon to join me in caring for her in the operating room.

     We were able to save the leg and expected healing and the return to normal use.  Three days later, we scheduled a change of the bandages on the leg.  By that time the bandages had crusted and dried, sticking to the wounds.  Changing the dressings was going to be painful. 

     The plastic surgeon arrived to her room before I did and proceeded to change the dressings.  When I entered the room, the patient had her eyes closed; she was not showing any tension or any sign that she was in distress.  When I spoke to her, the doctor said she was sleeping but he would awaken her soon.  He finished with the new dressing then told her he was going to count backward from five and when he got to zero she would awake.

     He counted, five, four, three, two-she began to move, one and zero-she awoke and was happy and smiling, as well as delighted that the dressings were changed and she knew nothing of the ordeal.  It seemed wonderful. Who could object to such a pleasant method of dealing with injuries?  I was surprised to learn that the surgeon used hypnosis.  I had known him for several years and had operated with him many times.  I opposed hypnosis and never suggest it to my patients.  I was embarrassed to have had this happen to one of my patients without first being able to share with her my concerns about its use.

     Why should I object?  Was it not wonderful to relieve someone from a painful procedure.  Why would I oppose this humane approach?  Was it not better than giving a pain medication an hour prior and then removing the bandages?  She was wide-awake and pain free and did not remember the procedure.

     Some doctors in medical practice have used hypnosis for many years and it is considered an acceptable method of treatment in the medical field.  It has been used as an anesthetic in operative procedures, as well as in treatment, as well as psychological ailments.  Yet many physicians choose not to use it in their practices.

     What is hypnosis? How does it work?  Where does it come from?  Why does not every doctor use it?  These are important questions that deserve answers.

     Let us first look at the dictionary definition.  Hypnosis is “An induced state of mind in which the subject is responsive to the suggestions of the hypnotist.  This state may be to the degree of resembling sleep called a hypnotic trance.”  This suggests that there are degrees of hypnosis that are below the hypnotic trance.

     What of its origin?  Let us consider the comments made in the New Age Encyclopedia.  “What is now called hypnosis has existed in almost all societies in the past, though its nature was only rarely understood or appreciated.”  The Bible tells of the serpent [in the tree] that spoke to Eve and “beguiled,” or deceived her.  “Satan tempted the first Adam in Eden, and Adam reasoned with the enemy, thus giving him the advantage.  Satan exercised his power of hypnotism over Adam and Eve, and this power he strove to exercise over Christ.  But after the word of Scripture was quoted, Satan knew that he had no chance of triumphing.”  E.G.White

     Mesmer heard of a Swabian priest, John Gassner, who was simply passing his hands across diseased bodies and effecting “cures.”  Mesmer observed Gassner and thought it was done by the power of the same magnetic fluid that he felt explained his activities with magnets.  He then dispensed with the magnets and achieved equal results by use of his hands.  Eventually he dispensed with the hand technique and used the mind only as the modality of influencing animal magnetism [power believed to effect hypnotism].

Edwin A. Noyes M. D.

     “He sometimes comes in the form of a lovely young person, or of a beautiful shadow. He works cures, and is worshiped by deceived mortals as a benefactor of our race. Phrenology and mesmerism are very much exalted. ..…They are seized upon by Satan as his most powerful agents to deceive and destroy souls. His arts and devices are received as from heaven, and faith in the detector, the Bible, is destroyed in the minds of thousands. Satan here receives the worship which suits his Satanic majesty. Thousands are conversing with, and receiving instructions from, this demon-god and acting according to his teachings. The world which is supposed to be benefited so much by phrenology and animal magnetism, never was so corrupt. Satan uses these very things to destroy virtue and lay the foundation of spiritualism. 

1T 296

Satan's Special Effort

     I have been shown that we must be guarded on every side, and perseveringly resist the insinuations and devices of Satan. He has transformed himself into an angel of light, and is deceiving and leading thousands captive. The advantages he takes of the science of the human mind is tremendous. Here, serpentlike, he imperceptibly creeps in to corrupt the work of God. The miracles and works of Christ, he makes all human.    

     If Satan should make an open, bold attack upon Christianity, it would bring the Christian in distress and agony at the feet of his Redeemer, and the strong and mighty Deliverer would affright the bold adversary away. But Satan, transformed into an angel of light, works upon the mind to allure from the only safe and right path. The sciences of phrenology, psychology, and mesmerism have been the channel through which Satan has come more directly to this generation, and wrought with that power which was to characterize his work near the close of probation. . . .    

     As we near the close of time, the human mind is more readily affected by Satan's devices. He leads deceived mortals to account for the works and miracles of Christ upon general principles. Satan has ever been ambitious to counterfeit the work of Christ, and establish his own power and claims. He does not generally do this openly and boldly. He is artful, and knows that the most effectual way for him to accomplish his work is to come to poor fallen man in the form of an angel of light.    

     Satan came to Christ in the wilderness in the form of a beautiful young man,--more like a monarch than a fallen angel. He came with Scripture in his mouth. Said he, "It is written, etc." Our suffering Saviour meets him with Scripture, saying, "It is written." Satan takes the advantage of the weak, suffering condition of Christ. He took upon Him our human nature. . . . 

MYP 57, 58

Who is controlling my mind? 

We need to discern what is from the Lord Jesus and what is from Satan.

We don’t have to ask Satan to come to us, he just comes continually.

But we have to ask Jesus to come and help us because He wants to know we are in earnest and really want Him to help.  So if we are doing our own thing and not asking Jesus to come to us, then we know who is in control of our life.  So ask Jesus to show you what pleases Him.