You have mentioned in the past that the witches burned by the Christians knew, among other skills, how to hypnotize. It seems that in ancient Egypt too, hypnosis was practiced. It has even been suggested that Jesus was a skilled hypnotist. Was hypnosis once a respected form of healing? How did it evolve, and how did it fall into disrepute?
The science of hypnosis – and remember, I am calling it science of hypnosis, not art of hypnosis – is one of the most ancient sciences.
It was practiced in the lost continent of Atlantis. Its literature was saved in Alexandria in Egypt.
Pythagoras, a great seeker and searcher from Greece, visited the library in Alexandria and he refers to great literature on the science of hypnosis that has come from the lost continent of Atlantis, which sank into the Atlantic Ocean in some natural calamity.
The name ‘Atlantic’ comes from ‘Atlantis’.
Perhaps Atlantis had the greatest and the most ancient civilization. And Egypt tried to learn as much from the teachers and the universities of Atlantis as was possible, because the pharaohs – the kings of Egypt – were tremendously interested in collecting all possible sources of knowledge.
The library of Alexandria was perhaps the greatest library that has ever existed. Even the library of the British Museum is just a small library in comparison to the library of Alexandria.
The library of the British Museum is a big library. If we put books on the ground just as we put them on the shelf, they would make three rounds of the earth – that many books are in the British Museum library. But the library of Alexandria was many many times bigger than the British Museum library.
It was burned by Mohammedans, by Khalif Omar. It took six months to put the fire out. That can give you an idea of the bigness and the vastness of the collection.
And why did the Mohammedans burn it?
I am mentioning it knowingly because it refers to your question.
The library contained many things side by side with the science of hypnosis. If they had remained, Mohammedanism would not have survived.
Christianity burned living women in thousands, calling them witches.
The word ‘witch’ is not a bad word; it simply means a wise woman. But Christianity converted the word, gave it a wrong connotation, created courts all over Europe, a great investigation to destroy witches, because witches are directly connected with the devil. This was the strategy to destroy those wise women.
The real fact was that if those women had remained alive, Christianity would have looked very poor as a religion. They knew far deeper truths than Christianity, far more refined religious flights, methods of hypnosis and meditation – which always go together.
By destroying the witches, Christianity was trying to destroy hypnosis and meditation both. It was a question of survival.
Mohammedans destroyed the library in Egypt which contained literature of immense value, and Christianity destroyed living human women. And the courts tortured those women, forced them to confess before the court that yes, they had a sexual relationship with the devil.
There is no devil anywhere. After those witches, the devil has not approached any woman. And strangely enough, it was only in Christian countries that the devil was having sexual relationships with women – in no other country.
And they tortured them so much that they had to confess – knowing perfectly well that once they had confessed then they would be burned. Before confession there was torture, and once they confessed before the court then the court would declare that this woman was a witch and she should be burned in the central place in the town so the whole village can see what happens if you are in a sexual relationship with the devil.
Thousands of women were burned. Their only fault was that they were still carrying the science of hypnosis and the science of meditation.
And they were teaching in small, hidden schools.
It was a great danger to Christianity, because Christianity has nothing comparable to hypnosis or to meditation. Christianity, Judaism, Mohammedanism – these three religions are very poor. They don’t deserve even the name of `religion’. They don’t have anything of what you will find in Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Gautam Buddha, Bodhidharma, Nagarjuna, Shankara. You will not find anything of any fundamental value in them.
The science of hypnosis and the science of meditation are two sides of one coin.
Meditation you have to do alone – because there are two types of people, just as there are men and women. The science of meditation is more suitable for men, and the science of hypnosis is more suitable for women; hence the witches – they were all deeply into the science of hypnosis.
Hypnosis needs somebody else to take you into your inner center.
The meditator goes alone. He goes to the same center, but he goes alone. That is something… part of the man’s psychology.
Hypnosis also takes you to the same place, but it needs a hypnotizer. A woman going alone feels afraid. That is against the feminine nature. She needs someone she loves, trusts; she needs someone to be with her on the deepest journey to herself.
The hypnotist was a master or a great friend or a great lover, someone with whom the woman was able to relax without holding anything, with no fear, knowing that she is protected by someone better than she can protect herself.
This is a general division, but there are men who may have a more feminine nature, the qualities of a woman – for them hypnosis will be more helpful than meditation. And there may be a few women who have characteristics of men – like Joan of Arc or the queen of Jhansi, Laxmibhai, women who can fight with a sword in a war – for them meditation will be easier than hypnosis.
But both are exactly the same processes.
In meditation, you simply relax yourself. It is auto-suggestion.
In hypnosis, it is hetero-suggestion – it is suggestion by somebody else who is sitting by your side. And just his closeness – if you love, if you trust – is enough for you to relax.
And if meditation and hypnosis can both be joined together…. And that is my effort, that’s what I have been doing. If they both can be joined together…. Just as my effort is that men and women should not remain separate because they are halves of one whole, they should come closer and become one. Love should be nothing but a deep merger with your other part, so deep that there are two bodies but only one soul.
Meditation and hypnosis also can be together, one. In fact, they are halves of one whole.
And the moment you try the whole process – either beginning with hypnosis or beginning with meditation, that is simply your preference – you are moving into the same space from two doors towards one center.
That center is your being.
And all the religions have been trying to prevent you from reaching your center because that is the only way to keep you miserable and to keep you enslaved, to exploit you, and not to give you any chance of revolt.
This mystery school will try its best to bring all opposites together as complementaries. And if they can be made complementaries, the progress happens in leaps and bounds. Then you are not moving with only one leg, you are not flying with only one wing. You have both wings, you have both legs; you have a totality.
Osho, Sermons in Stone, Ch 1, Q 2