The notion of trance is often times very closely linked to that of hypnosis. People think that the only time they go into a trance is when they have somebody dangling a pocket watch in front of their nose. Furthermore, a chicken like state is also commonly associated with trance…All this could not be further from the truth. “Trance may be understood as a matter of functionality and efficiency ~ to economize consciousness resource usage” (Wikipedia). In fact, we are in some sort of trance all the time, and all we do is change between the trances we live through our day…
Many times trance is defined as an altered state of consciousness. While this is a definition that is good to shout of quickly at a game show, what actually is a altered state of consciousness. To me the formulation suggests that there is something like a un-altered state or normal state. Could someone explain to me what that feels like? The only thing I know is that I go through a whole load of different states throughout the day, and none of them would classify as normal….
From the wikipedia definition, we can deduct the following: Trance is a narrow focus of attention. While in some hypnotic inductions this narrow focus might be achieved through a shiny object or dot on the wall, in our day to day life we tend to create this narrow focus all by ourselves. Think about problems: Once we have one, it does tend to take up quite a bit of our thinking capacity, and sometimes this can go so far that we don’t think about anything else. One might even say that people are in a “problem trance”.
The same is true when you have a really great time with a friend. You are so focused on the conversation, you are enjoying yourself so much, that time just flies by. One hour turns into five minutes. This phenomenon, known in hypnotic circles as time distortion, requires quiet a deep level of trance. Here, one could say that you are in a “happiness trance”.
So, the fact is that we trance out and about all day long. To some extent, everything can be seen as a trance state, as a narrow focus of attention, simply because there is only so much attention to go around. What we should learn is how to control these trance states and make them work in our favor, so that we can have the most of what we want. So, do enjoy your trances throughout the day….