Author: Dennis Wier
Trance: from magic to technology outlines a new model for Trance, as proposed by Dennis Wier, through his long-standing experience with meditation and hypnosis. Combining these experiences with his background in systems analysis and insights of addiction (with computers) he has formulated an in-depth model for analysing and creating trance states.
From the outset I was engrossed in reading the book, and listening to the TV in background I could recognise various points and concepts raised by Dennis with regards to embedded commands in advertising. I had already been aware of such things (for instance, see my book review of Virus of the Mind by Richard Brodie, and the associate article So You’d Like To… De-virus Your Mind), however reading Dennis comments and modelling of trance phenomena it became clearer just how this works.
It is outside the scope of this review to go into detail about the actual model that Dennis has proposed. You really need to read the book to get the overview, although there are also papers explaining it on the Trance Institute website under the link Public Papers.
While the actual model is somewhat complex to grasp (in total) and the book is quite academic, it is easy to understand the background concepts that Dennis is actually getting at. The book isn’t a driver’s manual, rather it is a mechanics manual, as it looks at the background and underlying processes of Trance, rather than details of how to put all these things into practice. It does give instructions for inducing trance, however that is not the primary function of the book – and many people will already have some understanding and experience with trances (meditation, hypnosis, addiction, watching TV, etc).
In the first few chapters I recognised various underlying principles, which are essential to understand in any occult training. Such things as belief structures are an important concept when working with trance, and trance can of course be used to alter belief structures, or is shaped and coloured by our beliefs. Although outside of what Dennis’ book outlines, I see that the trance process is likely the underlying process by which sub-personalities (which are based around a core belief) actually come into play.
The understanding of trance, awareness, and states of consciousness is important in occult training. While this book is more technical than experiential it will certainly add another level of understanding of some of the principles, techniques and concepts relating to trance.
The model outlined in the book offers a good focal point for examining trance states, and ensuring that the trances we enter into are by choice, rather than surreptitious trances we are lead into by others. Ultimately, knowing how the trance process operates allows us more freedom and choice to act for our own best interest, and to work towards our life potential.
Towards the end of the book are several points which I would like to quote:
“Trance – for a yogi or magician – is merely a tool consciously chosen and made efficient over years of consistent practice to produce specific psychic results. Trance – for most other people – is an unconscious choice made to relieve pain or to void uncomfortable feelings or situations.”
Also: “The strength of the trance force depends on being able to create and to skilfully manipulate simultaneously two or more dissociated trance plains, to sustain them for long periods of time, to change their forms, and to modulate them. This must be done without the practitioners destroying his ego structure and creating psychotic delusions or addictions.”
And finally: “A model such as this one, only has value so far as it is useful and practical.”
Review Date: 11th August 2005