The Secret of Hypnosis

Osho on Hypnosis



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 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.

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.”

All the intellectuals all over the world have this idea that intellectuals cannot be hypnotized. But the real reason is because they cannot trust. Trust needs a man of heart, of feelings, not of thoughts. And

all these people who are using hypnotism as an entertainment should be stopped by law — it is a crime. They are spoiling a tremendously valuable science. Only a master should be allowed — and then too, he should hypnotize only his own disciples. And not to make a mockery of it, but to increase the consciousness of the disciples, to increase the intelligence of the disciples, to change their wrong habits to make them more integrated, more consolidated, to give them more courage and stamina.

And when other students, other disciples will see that hypnotism can be a blessing — the same man who was so much afraid has lost all fear, even the fear of death; the same man who was always miserable has lost his misery and is always in a state of joy — more trust will be created, more and more people will be ready to be hypnotized. That readiness, that trust, that receptivity is missing because for centuries hypnotism has been misused. People like magicians, showmen, entertainers — the wrong kind of people — have made hypnosis condemned. It can become such a great benediction to humanity. You need trust, you need receptivity, you need intelligence to go into it. And all these things will be strengthened when you attain new dimensions, new talents, new genius. And then you will be more able to go back into it.

And soon everybody who has been hypnotized by a loving compassionate master, who cannot harm you, who cannot imagine hurting you… after a few sessions of your being hypnotized, he will start a new phase: self-hypnosis. In deep hypnotic states he will tell you, “Now you are able to hypnotize yourself — you don’t need me, you don’t need anyone else.” So he is not going to use hypnosis to create a spiritual slavery. He will use it to give you more spiritual freedom than you ever had before. And

the day you can hypnotize yourself is a great day; something valuable has been achieved. Then you can do miracles with it, upon yourself. You can change things that you have always been trying to change; but the more you try to change them, the more difficult it becomes.

I used to stay in Calcutta with an old man, Sonalal. He was famous all over India as the greatest gambler. He never paid a single cent to the government in taxation because he never kept any books. I was surprised at how he maintained all his businesses — gamble winnings of millions — how he kept the accounts. And when I stayed in his house, I asked him. He took me to his bathroom — all over his bathroom were his books, on the walls. So no income tax officer can conceive that on his walls in the bathroom he keeps all the accounts from different countries, of different people — where, in which bank, what number, telephone numbers… everything. He said, “This is my accounts office.” And even in his bathroom he had six telephones. He was continuously on the phone… two phones always in his hands. You could not talk with him easily; it was so difficult.

He told me that he belonged to a certain religion which values celibacy as the greatest spiritual thing. He had taken the vow of celibacy three times. One man was with me and he was very much impressed. When Sonalal had gone for some work inside the house he said, “This is a great man — three times!”

I said, “You are an idiot. When he is saying three times he took a vow for celibacy, that simply means that the fourth time he never took it. He understood that it is impossible.”

He said, “But… I never thought about it. I simply thought, `Three times!'”

Sonalal came back and I asked him, “What happened the fourth time?”

He said, “I could not gather the courage, because three times I failed, and each time I became more guilty, ashamed of myself. And I am old.” He was at that time seventy years old. “In the first place, to stand up in the congregation and take the vow for celibacy, people laugh — they see this seventy year old… and that too for the fourth time.”

I said, “There is no need. Your religion and your religious leaders don’t know. Celibacy is possible without repression, and at such a stage I will not call it a crime, but it has to be done through self-hypnosis. There is no need for any vow to be taken.”

He was immensely excited. He said, “Do whatever… but I want to be celibate before I die, because this is the only thing in which I have failed in my life. I have never failed in anything.”…And he was a man of rare courage. I have seen people of different kinds, but I have never found any man of that courage.

When he had met me first in Jaipur — that was his home town — listening to me, he came, touched my feet and gave me ten thousand rupees. But I said, “I don’t need rupees, because I am simply traveling alone and my friends can take care of my expenses, traveling, food, accommodation. There is no need.”

Tears came to his eyes, and he said, “Don’t refuse. Don’t hurt me, because I am a poor man. I don’t have anything I can give to you — I have only money. You can’t find a more poor man than me — just money and nothing else. So when somebody refuses money, he is refusing me, because I don’t have anything else. Don’t refuse. If you want to throw it you can throw it; once I have given it to you, it is none of my concern.”

I gave that money to the institution that was organizing my lectures in Jaipur, and from that day — he was very old — he became very friendly to me, and he said, “I have houses in all the big cities of India. So wherever you go, you can stay in my house. And just inform me so I will be there.”

He had beautiful mansions everywhere — Bombay, Hyderabad, Madras, Simla, Calcutta. He said, “I have earned enough, just this celibacy is heavy on me.”

I said, “That’s a very simple matter. At this age it is perfectly right.” I hypnotized him two, three times while I was with him. And then I gave him a posthypnotic suggestion: now you will be able to hypnotize yourself. And once that posthypnotic suggestion is given, the person becomes able to hypnotize himself. Any strategy can be used: Count from one to seven, or one to ten, and tell yourself, “I will be back in ten minutes” — never forget that, because otherwise there is nobody to wake you up. You will not die, but you may spend almost the same period under hypnosis as in sleep — six to eight hours. If you have time then there is no need to say that, because the hypnotic sleep has a totally different beauty: it is so soft, so silent; it is as if you are no more. And suddenly you come back.

I said, “Before going into hypnosis, repeat three times, `I want to remain celibate,’ and that’s enough.”

After six months I met him again in Madras, and I asked him, “What about celibacy?”

He said, “This is a wonder. Without any vow, without going to a spiritual head, confessing, it has simply disappeared. I simply wonder why sex so dominated me. I don’t even remember it.”

You will be surprised to know that in hypnosis even operations can be done; without any anesthesia, big operations, dangerous operations can be done. It is an unexplored science, unnecessarily condemned by a few idiots who have been making an entertainment of it. Trust is the foundation to begin with. You can even start by yourself, but the problem is, you don’t trust yourself; otherwise there is no problem, there is no need for anybody else to hypnotize you. You can hypnotize yourself. But that is the difficulty: nobody trusts himself. You know yourself, you know how deceptive you are, you know how cunning you are, you know you say one thing and you don’t mean it. You know that you decide that tomorrow morning you will get up early, and when you are deciding it, even at that time you know that it is not going to happen.

So you cannot trust yourself — that is the problem. That’s why somebody else is needed, somebody you can trust, somebody in whose hands you can leave yourself without any fear. And the person who hypnotizes you, if he really loves you, would like you to get into self-hypnosis as soon as possible, because then you are totally free. Then you can do whatsoever you want to do with it.

If you want to stop smoking you can do it so easily. If you want to change anything in you which you think is impossible, you can give it a try — nothing is impossible.

You have decided many times to change this, to change that, but you have always failed, because the decision remains in the conscious and the action comes from the unconscious — they don’t meet. The unconscious never hears anything that the conscious is deciding, and the conscious cannot control the unconscious — the unconscious is so vast. The secret of hypnosis is that it takes you to the unconscious, and then you can put the seed of anything in the unconscious, and it will grow, blossom. The blossoming will happen in the conscious, but the roots will remain in the unconscious. As far as I am concerned, hypnosis is going to be one of the most significant parts of the mystery school. Such a simple method, which only demands a little trust, a little innocence, can bring miraculous changes in your life — and not in ordinary things only. Slowly it can become the path of your meditation.

You meditate, but you don’t succeed. You don’t succeed in watching; you get mixed up with thoughts, you forget watching. You remember later on, “I was going to watch, but I am thinking.”

Hypnosis can help you; it can make the watcher and the thoughts separate. For spiritual growth I don’t think there is anything more important than hypnosis.


This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune. 

Discourse Series: Beyond Psychology
Chapter #44
Chapter title: Watchfulness is the greatest magic
4 May 1986 am in


Osho has spoken on ‘hypnosis’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. From Personality to Individuality
  2. The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here
  3. The Mustard Seed: My Most Loved Gospel on Jesus
  4. The Path of the Mystic
  5. Satyam Shivam Sundram
  6. Sermons in Stones
  7. That Art Thou
  8. The Transmission of the Lamp
  9. Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi
  10. Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1, 2
  11. YAA-HOO! The Mystic Rose
  12. Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 2, 4, 10
  13. Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 2
  14. Zen: The Mystery and The Poetry of the Beyond
  15. The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol 1

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  • Avnish Arora
    Avnish Arora
    Posted February 6, 2022 12:59 pm 0Likes

    Extremely Flowered from Master…… Grateful.

    Avnish Arora

  • hypnosis
    Posted September 15, 2022 3:01 pm 0Likes

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