Chapter 44: Watchfulness Is the Greatest Magic
There are many reasons possible. The most important is, if the person’s intelligence quotient is very low he will not be able to understand what hypnosis is, and what he is supposed to do. Idiots cannot be hypnotized. It is something to be remembered, that animals can be hypnotized, but idiots cannot be hypnotized. Animals may not have our kind of intelligence, but they have their kind of intelligence, they are not idiots.
The idiot is one whose mind has not grown at all, who is zero. He cannot understand what is being said, where it is going to lead him, and why he should do it. Intelligent conversation is impossible. The idiot looks like man, but inside he is far behind even the animals.
First, the idiot cannot be hypnotized. Second, the man who is always suspicious of everything, who has an ingrained suspicion, cannot be hypnotized. His suspicion will not allow him to go with the hypnotist. Thirdly, the people who think they are intellectuals, who are full of borrowed knowledge, but don’t have any intelligence of their own, cannot be hypnotized, because they have an idea that intellectuals cannot be hypnotized - and they are intellectuals. Finally and basically, a man who cannot trust.
And it needs total trust, because you are going into darkness, the unknown, and you don’t know what the intentions of the man are, and you don’t know what he can make you do while you are under hypnosis.
Once I was in Bombay, staying with a very rich family, and they insisted to me, “You are always working, involved with people, meetings, committees; this evening you keep free. We are going to invite a great hypnotist and he is going to show us a few tricks of hypnotism - you will enjoy it.”
Not for entertainment, but just to see what kind of person this great hypnotist was, I remained. They had in the house itself a small auditorium. They had invited their rich friends, so there were at least two hundred people. And the hypnotist called for five people - “Anybody can come.”
Five people went up. He hypnotized them and then told them, “Just in front of you cows are standing. Now start milking them.” And they immediately sat in the Indian way and started milking the cows. There were no cows, and people were laughing and enjoying, but the hypnotized person could not hear anybody. Things like this he did.
After the show he was introduced to me. I told him, “You stop this nonsense. Hypnotism is condemned because of people like you. Now the people who have seen how you befooled the ones who had come to be hypnotized will never be able to be hypnotized. They have lost trust. You will make a laughingstock of them. You are not doing any service to the science of hypnosis. You are an enemy. You find some other job. You don’t see the simple point that two hundred people are seeing you befooling five people. Now these people will carry this idea in their minds.”