Willow Wonderings

Waking from the Trance

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Three.. two.. one [snap] you are a dog.

Just kidding. 🙂

Last night, I had the pleasure of watching a hypnotist show for the first time, and it was a truly enlightening experience I would like to share with you – in the context of this crazy first week of college.

This week, my transition to Davidson came to a peak in terms of intensity. I absolutely fell in love with my classes, and the activities, and my hallmates. Yet at times, I found myself darting from one place to the next, frenzied in the heat of finding friends and more essentially, my niche here. I felt like I was constantly reading, or writing, or talking – in some way communicating for all hours of the day.

Rare moments of peace came in spurts, when I would glance up and see the sky clearing or a hawk circling overhead. At those moments, in the silence, I would consciously hear the story going on in my mind. Go to the library. Get work done so you can be with friends later. Where are they? I wonder if they’re studying, or if there is something more exciting going on… and on and on and on.

Truly, it felt like a trance.

Compare this to last night: the funniest two hour show of my life. A hypnotist managed to convince people to howl to the fool moon, dance with brooms, forget the number six, and fall asleep on strangers. We laughed because the actions looked so ridiculous from the audience, that is seemed impossible to be “real!” The participants I spoke to laughed and had mixed memories – some remembered obeying the commands, and others simply didn’t remember what happened.

It took a few moments before I saw the connection: this is what happens to me in real life! I don’t realize it, but I follow someone else’s commands. The subconscious hears messages from the outside world, beit advertising, teachers, or friends, and it takes them on as truth. Culture, in this way, is a form of trance. It is impossible to completely break from language, or social convention or politics.

When I saw my friends in denial that the hypnosis is “real,” I realized we often are blind to the trance. It is left in the shadow, in the subconscious. The danger lies in acting from this “shadow” place. This place only shows one path, a “right” way to do things. The creative possibility of the moment gets caught in a web of world-talk.

In truth, I see a myriad of opportunities awaiting me: for friendship, for intellectual discovery, and for pursuing my passion here. When I awaken, I can see clearly, taking one step at a time, here and now.

So how can we connected and part of this world, and practice awakening from the trance? And when we realize we’re caught in this shadow, how can we remember to always laugh? This is a question I will be living. Until next time, may you have a sweet and awakened week!

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