The Critical Factor
Hypnosis is a state of mind. The state of mind can be obtained instantaneously, for a state of mind is merely a mood. It is a state of mind in which the critical faculty of the human is bypassed and selective thinking established. The critical faculty of your mind is that part which passes judgment. It distinguishes between the concepts of hot and cold, sweet and sour, large and small, dark and light.
It we can bypass this critical faculty in such a way that you no longer distinguish between hot and cold, sweet and sour, we can substitute selective thinking for conventional judgment making.
Another way to describe the critical factor is the possession of awareness or mental life or having sensations or feelings. Ethics, morality, rights and wrong police the waking mind. It self-imposes rules, restriction and regulates actions and behavior.
Consciousness is a state of awareness as organized by the senses. It allows for the reception of anything, which lends itself to definition and, ultimately, communication. Consciousness is also the condition of knowing things. Its first quality is that it allows the mind to record information and to store and recall this information. Choices and decisions are made by the conscious mind. It is logical and analytical.
The subconscious is an activity just below the level of awareness. It is the dominion of all the frames of reference, which are beyond conscious organization. Here are seated all the primary human instincts which act upon and are themselves acted upon by the sum total of those experiences which, directly or indirectly, have a bearing on the security and the continued survival of the individual. The subconscious mind automatically controls our bodily functions. It operates only on programming and can be reprogrammed.
There is a part of the conscious mind called the critical factor. It is like a guard between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. It has the power to accept or reject suggestions from entering the subconscious mind. Because change is viewed as a threat to the nervous system, any suggestion that does not match the existing programming automatically gets rejected. The only way a real change can take place is to get the new programming into our subconscious mind.
The critical factor passes judgment on any and all thoughts and suggestions directed toward the individual. Hypnosis is the process by which the critical factor is bypassed and suggestions are allowed into the subconscious mind where real and immediate changes can be made. When a person is in a relaxed state the conscious mind can be bypassed in order to directly make suggestions to the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind then accepts the suggestions and creates the behavior changes or body changes in order to achieve the given suggestion.
In hypnosis the body and mind are equally suggestible, operating as a harmonious unit. Hypnosis has an effect on the unconscious as well as the conscious mind, and so the autonomic nervous system too.
A person who is superstitious has hypnotized himself, for he has bypassed the critical faculty of his mind – this is, his sense of judgment – and has implanted, unknowingly perhaps, a process of selective thinking.
Other simple manifestations of hypnosis, made on the assumptions that hypnosis is merely a state of mind, include every bypass of the critical faculty and the implanting of selective thinking.
When a person rejects hypnosis, it simply means he has refused to bypass his critical faculty and thereby make the implanting of selective thinking impossible. The introduction of fear causes a defensive reaction that brings a critical faculty back into focus.