Perception plus aesthetic impact magnified by the repetition of the artistic stimuli begins the process of induction and results in a light trance state.
To deepen the trance, state an artist must add reinforcing elements consistent with the original stimuli so that the combined “art force” operates as a singular entity to overwhelm the senses of every individual in an audience.
The overwhelming event occurs in the mind and is a delicate process to manufacture, but it can be done and when done well results in a kind of supernatural experience that shifts the state of mind of the audience member further towards a trance state.
Music is a composite aesthetic product that consists of various elements such as rhythm, timbre, counter-point, melody, dynamics, meter, tempo, among many other factors that are used to create an attention loop. As each element in music pulses along the auditory nerves and into the brain the attention loop begins to form.
A similar psychological effect occurs with the repeated messages of an advertisement, images in a movie, and from the flavors and visual presentation in culinary experiences.
All of these aesthetic experiences utilize the passageways of the nervous system by impinging upon one or more of the 5 senses simultaneously. As the elements in any artistic product are designed to control the flow of nerve impulses, the artist elevates his role from entertainer to magician.
The impact of “art force” on the human mind is such that researchers have discovered 6 identifiable stages of trance, each with their own set of characteristics.
Stage One: lethargy and the start of relaxation.
Stage Two: the individual will experience catalepsy in particular groups of muscles and have the sensation of being heavy, or of floating. As with Stage One, this level is considered to be a light trance.
Stage Three: medium trance, the individual continues to experience catalepsy and can be induced to hallucinate smells and tastes.
Stage Four: deeper medium trance, can be induced into amnesia-loss of memory. This is used to ensure that the individual’s conscious mind does not get in the way of the work of the subconscious. Other mental phenomena include anesthesia-numbness-of parts of the body and analgesia, a dampened sensation of pain.
Stage Five: light deep trance, often associated with hallucination. The individual can be induced to see or hear something that is not there.
Stage Six: deepest level of trance, individual experiences anesthesia or numbness, negative hallucination where individuals are induced to not see or hear things that are really there and somnambulism or sleep-walking.
The first three of these 6 stages of trance are the domain of the artist and are known as the memory-retaining stages. In these first three stages of light trance, there are a number of unique characteristics which the artist can induce in the audience and are referred to by researchers as “trance logic.”
For example, trance logic produces manifestations such as the inhibition of critical thinking, intellectual processes, judgments, accurate recall, and decision-making. Moreover, awareness of the body is reduced and analgesia may be present. Self-observation is enhanced and hallucinations may be present.
A more thorough list of symptoms describing “trance logic” include the following:
- Critical judgment is decreased or disabled.
- There are changes in body awareness.
- There is an increase in literal thinking and images and symbols assume greater significance than normal.
- Enhanced recall of memories; or light amnesia in the form of selective forgetting.
- Disabling or limiting of volition.
- Inaccurate sense of reality.
- Light hallucinations.
- Fixed attention.
- Involvement in inner processes or contact with the unconscious mind.
- Miscellaneous cognitive changes.