Hypnosis: Cutting Through the Ballyhoo

Speaker: Categories: May 13, 1989


[1hr, 10min, 3sec / 1hr, 6min, 57sec]


How did you react to the title of this month's San Diego FORUM presentation? How did your SDA religious background filter and assess the word "hypnosis"?

"Misunderstanding is widespread whenever this word is mentioned," according to this month's speaker. "Fears toward the phenomenon misnamed from the Greek word for sleep (hypnos) and reactions toward it range from seeing it as amusing entertainment, to valuing it as a medical breakthrough, to regarding it as the virtual embodiment of the occult. To many, the mere mention of the word suggests malicious intent."

"All human beings base their opinions upon and react in accordance with their "map" or representation of reality. This map is always a distortion of the "territory" itself. It would be hard to find a field of study where this fact is more borne out than the one we will be discussing on May 13."

Dr. Dolinsky will explore with us the facts about hypnosis, a morally neutral phenomenon we experience on an everyday basis. He will suggest that spiritual growth is dependent upon it; that such growth cannot happen ultimately without its use!

Ellen White has stated that God's only means of communicating with us is through our brain nerves or, as she sometimes has explained, through our "autonomic nervous system," our speaker has noted. He would suggest that these are references to what we now call the "right brain experience," the brain hemisphere most active during hypnotic states.

From his research in this field, Marlin Dolinsky has developed an hypothesis: "The Neuropsychology of the New Covenant Experience," an understanding which has made a significant contribution to his own personal journey.

On May 13 he will share with us what he perceives as the "converging of the fields of neuropsychology, theology, spirituality, and philosophy" -- a macroperspective from which our traditional understanding of the word "hypnosis" may be challenged and discussed.


The son of an Adventist pastor, Marlin Dolinsky is a 1978, religion major graduate of Columbia Union College. He earned an M.Div. from Andrews University (1982) and an MA in psychology from Fuller Graduate School (1986). He has completed all coursework for the Ph.D. degree.

His denominational employment includes literature evangelist and Bible worked in the Potomac Conference; pastor, Illinois; chaplain, LLU Medical Center; and contract professor of psychology, LLU School of Nursing. He currently is a psychotherapist with Inland Counseling Services in Colton.

Particular areas of interest include: conflict management in religious organizations (perhaps we'd like to hear him speak on this sometime!); social network research; relaxation and guided imagery therapy; integration of psychology and theology at the intrapsychic level; nonverbal communication; brain hemisphere asymmetry; and hypnotherapy.

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