Chapter 3: Sleep, Identification, Duality
What happens in hypnosis? Have you ever watched a hypnotist, what he does? First he says, “Relax.” And he repeats it, he goes on saying, “Relax, relax, relax....” Even the continuous sound of “relax” becomes a mantra, a TM. That’s what happens in TM. You repeat a mantra continuously; it gives sleep. If you have a case of insomnia, then TM is the best thing to do. It gives you sleep, and that’s why it has become so important in the United States. The United States is the only country which is suffering deeply from insomnia. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is not just an accident there, he is the need. When people suffer from insomnia they cannot sleep, they need tranquilizers. And Transcendental Meditation is nothing but a tranquilizer - it soothes you. You continuously repeat a certain word: Ram, Ram, Ram. Any word will do: Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola - that will do; it has nothing to do with Ram. Coca-Cola will be as perfect as Ram, or even more so, because it is more relevant. You repeat a certain word continuously, the continuous repetition creates a boredom, and boredom is the base for all sleep. When you feel bored you are ready to go into sleep.
A hypnotist goes on repeating, “Relax, relax.” The very word penetrates into your body and being. He goes on repeating it and he tells you to cooperate, and you cooperate. By and by, you start feeling sleepy. Then he says, “You are falling deeply asleep - falling, falling, falling into the deep abyss of sleep” - he goes on repeating. And just by repetition you fall asleep.
This is a different type of sleep. It is not ordinary sleep because it is induced; somebody has induced it in you. Because somebody has induced it, it has a different quality. The first difference, and very basic, is that you will be asleep for the whole world but not for the hypnotist. You will not listen to anything now, you will not be able to hear anything now. Even if a bomb explodes it will not disturb you. The trains will pass, the airplanes will fly, but nothing will disturb you. You will not be able to hear anything. You are closed to the whole world but open to the hypnotist. If he says something you will immediately listen, you will listen only to him. There is only one opening left - the hypnotist, and the whole world is closed. Whatsoever he says you will believe, because your reason has gone to sleep. Intelligence doesn’t function. You have become like a small child who has trust, so whatsoever the hypnotist says, you have to believe. Your conscious mind is not functioning; your conscious mind has gone to sleep. Only the unconscious mind functions. Now even an absurd thing will be believed. If the hypnotist says that you have become a horse, you cannot say, “No,” because who will say no? In deep sleep, trust is perfect; you will become a horse, you will feel like a horse. And if he says, “Now you neigh like a horse,” you will neigh. If he says, “Gallop, jump like a horse,” you will jump and gallop.
Hypnosis is not ordinary sleep. In ordinary sleep you cannot say to somebody that you have become a horse. In the first place, if he hears you he is not asleep. In the second place, if he hears you and he is not asleep, he will not believe what you are saying. He will open his eyes and laugh and say, “Have you gone mad? What are you saying? Me, a horse?”