Our next thread in exploring the tapestry of DTI takes us all the way to Russia, a country separated from Western Europe by alphabet and language, as well as by the animosity of imperial powers.
Russia has always had a fascination with hypnosis, going back at least as far as the infamous Rasputin, the mystical advisor to the family of the Russian Czar Nicholas. Rasputin held a special fascination for the Czarina, Alexandra Feodorovna, and while Rasputin was not a hypnotist in the strict sense of the word, he seemed to have exerted a hypnotic influence over the Romanovs. The story of Rasputin ended badly for all concerned, but shows the fascination of the Russian mind with the unconscious.
Psychiatrists and psychologists in Russia began to develop their own theories of hypnosis more or less independently of the West, although following similar lines—for example the theory of animal magnetism (Mesmerism).
As theories of hypnosis developed in Russia, areas of mind control using psychology, hypnosis, and telepathy developed as areas of fascination for the Russian military. This fascination resulted in the Russian military engaging in extensive research, going back at least to the 1930s. When the Iron Curtain descended on Eastern Europe following World War II, and Russia and America began to jockey for global leadership through the Korean and Vietnam Wars, it is not surprising that Russia's mind control programs became a matter of concern for the US military. This resulted in the US military creating its own programs, about which books have been written and movies made, such as the George Clooney 2009 movie, ‘The Men Whose Stare at Goats’.
While neither side seemed to make much progress on the telepathic front, Russia's research in this area was a matter of intense fascination, at least through the 1970s. I (Shawn) recall as a small boy playing competitive chess and avidly following the exploits of one of my early heroes, Bobby Fischer, when he defeated the reigning world chess champion, the Russian player Boris Spassky in Reykjavík, Iceland. I clearly remember the story circulating at the time that the Russians had brought along a ‘parapsychologist’ whose role was to sit in the front row of the audience and beam negative telepathic waves in Fischer's direction! Whatever the truth of this story, it does demonstrate the aura of mystery that surrounded Russian parapsychology.
At the same time the unnamed Russian parapsychologist was beaming his mind rays at Bobby Fischer, another Russian was experimenting with an entirely different, and much more positive, type of mind control. Alexander Raikov was a Russian hypnotist who was fascinated with the unconscious mind's creative acts through music, art, and language—and yes, chess.
Raikov's most famous research involved students at the Moscow Conservatory of Music in the 1960’s. Raikov used hypnosis to improve the technical music skills of the students, as well as their interpretative abilities.
Raikov studied the effects of hypnosis and DTI on several thousand people. Not only was Raikov able to improve the skills of the students with hypnosis, but he also carried out double-blind studies to support his theories. For example, at the Moscow Conservatory of Music he would induce a deep trance in highly hypnotizable subjects, and over the course of one to three sessions would get them to identify with (‘be in the skin of’, as Raikov describes it) a musician who was a master of the instrument the student was studying. So for example, students of the piano would DTI with Rachmaninov, students of the violin would DTI with Kreisler, and students of the cello would DTI with Casals.
There are several extremely interesting aspects to Raikov’s technique. For one thing, he would regress the students back to childhood as part of his protocol. He would also get the students to engage in a physical activity, either playing the instrument, or playing an imaginary instrument while in trance. He referred to these deep trances where the subject would undertake a physical activity as ‘active hypnotic somnambulism’. Raikov strongly held to the opinion that deep-trance was required to experience a true DTI.
Before and after the sessions, the students would play a piece of music for expert examiners who would rank their performance. Some of the students had completed the protocol, whilst others went through a control experience that was similar, but did not involve trance and DTI. Raikov was therefore able to determine exactly the effect of the DTI on the musical skills of the students.
Raikov published a number of papers on his research at the Moscow Conservatory, as well as similar research carried out at language schools and arts schools. Unfortunately these papers were available only in Russian so there is very little information available in the West detailing his work. Nevertheless, Raikov’s work became widely discussed by those developing the new field called NLP, in particular Richard Bandler, John Grinder, and one of their students, Stephen Gilligan.
Chapter 17: Raikov’s DTI
Alexander Raikov, the father of hypnotic DTI, used deep trance identification to improve the performance of students in Russia. In particular he worked with musicians in the Moscow Conservatory of Music, but also with art students and language students. In this chapter we’re going to discuss his protocol in a little bit more depth, because it contains several interesting elements that have not been widely discussed, if discussed at all, in the West. We have experimented with and incorporated several of these ideas into our own protocol.
Raikov and Trance
So what was Raikov doing that was different to what we’ve been talking about so far? One of the things Raikov says is that the deeper you go into trance, the more effective DTI is. In fact, Raikov says that it is “the trance itself that is the creative space that allows learning and change to take place.” If we compare that to many of the descriptions of ‘DTI’ in the West, and we are thinking in particular of NLP’s ‘New Behavior Generator’, the trance is likely to be much lighter, and sometimes the technique is done without any discernable trance at all being induced.
But if, as Raikov says, trance itself is the state where your mind and your brain are preparing to reorganize and rewire, then we should be doing everything in our power to deepen the trance during the DTI experience. In Raikov’s model, trance is the mind opening up to a new experience, literally preparing to rewire itself.
Of course, this all begs the question, "What is trance?" In fact it's much easier to say what trance is not, than what it is. What trance is not, at least according to Raikov, is anything that you already know. This idea that trance is the mind opening to something it doesn't already know, seems to be based around the idea of the ‘critical factor’. In hypnosis the critical factor is that part of the mind (or the brain) that decides whether information should be accepted. The critical factor is the part of your mind that likes to hang out with people who think the same way you do, read newspapers, and watch TV news shows that share your politics and worldview, and generally seems to be comfortable when your opinions are confirmed by what you see and hear around you.
So when you are in the presence of something you already know, or something you already believe, the critical factor is not strongly activated. It is only when you are in the presence of new information, something you don't know, or something you disagree with, that the critical factor sounds the alarm, raises the drawbridge, drops the portcullis and slams the door. This is why trance is a wonderful modality when you want to make major changes in your life; trance de-potentiates the critical factor, putting the palace guard to sleep and letting in the new information.
When you’re thinking about something you already know, you're not in trance, but when you're absorbing anything else, which by definition is something you don't already know, you are in trance. Trance, at least according to Raikov, is your mind saying, "I'm ready to be reorganized. I'm ready to take in new information." Now we are not trying to argue that this is the only definition of trance, or even that it is a correct definition of trance, but it is useful for thinking about DTI.
So Raikov says the deeper you go into trance, the more you are able to learn on an unconscious level; therefore the more effective DTI is. Raikov is also saying that the more novel the experience, the more the subject is likely to access trance, and the more the subject is in trance, the easier it is for them to learn. A virtuous circle: novelty leading to trance; trance leading to learning. DTI certainly provides the novelty in this process!
Obviously, if we're doing a DTI using perceptual positions, than your subject is automatically in some kind of trance. Perceptual position work involves positive hallucinations, because when you imagine seeing something that is not there, such as Superman, Thomas Edison or Steve Jobs, you are hallucinating, and positive hallucinations are trance phenomena. The more you positively hallucinate the deeper you go into trance.
Raikov and Regression
Positive hallucinations are not the only trance phenomenon used in DTI. There are plenty of other’s, which tend to lead to a deeper trance. One of the ones that Raikov uses in his protocol is an age regression, taking the subject back in time, in this case back to childhood.
There is a concept in neuroscience, and indeed in educational theory, called scaffolding. Scaffolding refers to the idea that everything we know is built upon things we learned as a child. For example we talk about ‘standing on your own two feet’ because that's how we learn to walk, and we talk about 'looking up to someone’ because when we were a small child we literally looked up to any adult. These types of metaphors describe the learning process as a process where one learning experience literally supports the next. As Robert Fulgham wrote, “All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.”
So when we take someone back to childhood, we take them back to the time when they were most open to learning, because these fundamental building blocks of experience are very fresh in childhood. Milton Erickson understood this very well, and frequently used an ‘early learning set’ to put his clients into a learning state.
So the protocol that Raikov uses is a deep trance induction, followed by a regression to childhood. The subjects then experience the DTI from this childhood perspective, when learning is easiest for them. These are the first important pieces of the DTI process, according to Raikov’s protocol.
Raikov and Physical Action
There are a few more key elements to Raikov’s DTI protocol. The first of these is converting the DTI experience into some kind of physical action. Once the subject has experienced the DTI, Raikov gets them to do a physical action to utilize those skills. While still in trance, the subject performs a physical action, a utilization of the skills he has learned from the model, so those skills become integrated into his physiology. They are engaging the motor cortex, the same part of the brain that will be active when they utilize the new skills in the outside world. This action can be directly linked with the skill set, perhaps twitching the fingers of a pianist.
This physical action does not need to be realistic, it can function more on the level of metaphor. The action activates the skills experienced in the DTI, taking those skills and embodying them physically, through motion. It is also not important for the subject to ‘look good’, playing the unconscious piano perfectly, because they’re in trance. It is simply for them to take those abstract learnings, direct them into their motor cortex, and simply allow the experience to begin to flow through their body.
Returning to Their Current Age
Using regression has the added benefits when you bring the modeler back from childhood to his current age. Following the DTI, the modeler gets to grow through life day by day, this time being able to integrate and use the skills he learned in the DTI through each day, and each phase of his life; until he comes back to the present. Raikov grows the child back up using these skills, through each day of their life, so now they have a lifetime of experience with the skills of the model. You might say:
“Time is passing, and now you have these skills but with each day that goes past, you find you're better able to use these skills.”
For example, if you had experienced a DTI with Milton Erickson, and absorbed his sensory acuity, you would have spent your life being able to observe the people around you, just as Milton Erickson did.
Putting the New Skill into Practice
Finally, Raikov would have his subjects put the new skills into practice by testing them, both before and after the DTI process, in front of an independent panel. He would put students in front of the panel who had gone through the DTI process, and other students who had not, but had simply been put into trance, but not subjected to his DTI protocol.
The students who had undergone the DTI showed significant improvement according to the views of the panel, both in terms of technical skills and artistic interpretation. No doubt this independent judgment also reinforced the change in the minds of the subjects!
Here is Raikov’s protocol in a nutshell:
Induce deep trance
Regress the subject to childhood
Do the DTI in this deep trance regression
Embody the learnings through physical action
Return subject to his current age, bringing the learnings back through his lifetime
Have the subject practice the skills in real-life
Источник: Deep Trance Identification: Unconscious Modeling and Mastery for Hypnosis Practitioners, Coaches, and Everyday People