Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Being hypnotized has scary connotations. We think of people barking. In many ways, Matt Mullican’s performances feed into this myth.

But, we go in and out of hypnotic states all the time. For example, when we watch a movie, we’re carried into another narrative reality. Or when we go on a shopping spree, we zone into clothes. Sometimes we enter a trance state by choice, sometimes by habit. Being hypnotized is really no more than being in a different state of consciousness.

I would say meditation is a form of hypnotism, one that is induced by concentration and relaxation and involves a release of a vast array of feelings and thoughts. When we meditate, we let things rise up, but we play no other role than observer.

I really want to see the Dhamma Brothers, the documentary about an intensive meditation retreat in a maximum security prison in Alabama. How beautiful is this still above?

I’ve always noticed that when I’m drawing or filming or video editing, I enter a meditative/trance state. In the great staple Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, it’s called right-brain activity. So many names for the same thing really.

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