Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Mesmer Society (Mez)

The Changing Role of A Student, part 8

Back in those 'old days' in North Hollywood there was the Mesmer Society. Man that was fun. I met a lot of nice people there. And a lot of confused people there, haha. Hypnosis, like Ceremonial Magick, has a tendency to draw people who are, shall we say, greatly challenged by power / authority / control issues. ;-)

And I met a lot of cool people there, too. In the chaos of the first few meetings, I sat watching a woman at the front of the room who led the case study sessions. Her name was Lynn, and I thought she had more class than I'd ever had. She'd been raised in a respectable East Coast family, as opposed to my West Coast blue collar world, and there was just some inherent grace in her I couldn't put my finger on but really wished I had more of myself. When everybody else was being a freaky bonehead, she was the one that saw through all the BS and would point out the somewhat blindingly obvious basics that placed the well-being of the subject first and foremost, for example. She had a small hypnosis practice.

I decided she was going to be my friend, though we seemed to have little in common outside the subject matter. I haven't had very many female friends in my life to be honest, always having gotten on terrifically with men and not relating as well to very many women. I think I kinda stalked her with my devotion, though I don't recall now. ;-) In any case, she apparently gave in eventually, because we became good friends. It was in great part for Lynn that I wrote "Bewilderness", a case study, in 1995.

And there was Eddie and Rene. My favorite UFO enthusiasts. Until I met them, I honestly had thought that the whole UFOlogy subject was somewhere between ludicrous and hilarious. Yes... I had a close-up sighting experience myself (see Bewilderness chapter 8), but that is beside the point -- like I said, denial doesn't worry about logic. I'd often given talks on hypnosis, and "alien abductees" were in fact some of my favorite warm-up jokes. I still maintain that some Trickster aspect of the universe arranged for me to get the ultimate just-desserts for that mocking: a hard-core dose of the experience myself. Anyway, Eddie and Rene were both incredibly intelligent. After talking with them regularly, I just couldn't reconcile their seeming rational intelligence with my assumption that anybody who'd "believe that stuff" had to be a complete moron. They often invited me to come do regressions at like MUFON meetings or wherever, but that was just not my thing.

Meanwhile, Rene was at the time the Managing Editor for UFO Magazine. She went on to be a Producer on the show Strange Universe -- and others -- and currently has a rather controversial independent movie out. Which I can't remember the name of, but I'll find the link. If I remember.

One night at Mez, an MD/Psych came to give a talk. He ran the 'Behavior Science Research Center' which was newly moved to what turned out to be the city 'back home' that my parents lived in. I was fascinated by his topic, especially by it being biochemically testable, and that it worked specifically with physical symptoms, dreamwork and biofeedback as well as hypnosis.

As it turned out, not long later I ended up moving back to my old city. I had forgotten about him entirely. One night in a 7-11 I met this guy working the counter who totally cracked me up. He seemed a bit borderline (he IS a borderline schizophrenic, says the label anyway). But like many in that category, he was utterly brilliant, creative, hilarious, and I had so much in common with him it was worrisome. ;-) I ended up sitting around the 7-11 until like 5am talking to him. When I left, and tried to sleep, I had this truly amazing "vision" that led me to think something about this guy, or something we'd talked about, was really important. I couldn't think of what it might be, though. I think we'd covered every topic imaginable. The next night I went back and he handed me a business card. It was for a man he'd mentioned the night before that I hadn't thought twice about. Which, as coincidence would have it, was the very man I'd heard speak at Mez.

next up: part 9



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