In case you don’t know the television show Firefly, it was a “space western” television show that ran for one season and was cancelled. “Browncoats unite” was their rallying cry.
I was watching a show about the 10 year reunion of most of the cast and some of the higher ups. Something Joss Whedon said struck me. Joss Whedon is a producer, writer, director whose credits include Toy Story, The Avengers, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and a bunch more. In short, he’s one of the most successful and creative people in the movie and television industry. He was the creative force behind Firefly.
But before I tell you what he said, let me set the stage. Then we’ll get to how this reunion relates to hypnosis.
Setting The Stage
Ten years after the sole season of Firefly ended, a screaming throng of fans was gathered to hear Joss and the cast speak. The room was packed and the fans were rabid. Now, this struck me as weird. This was a show that ran for 1 season. It was not successful enough to run a second season. It was also a weird show. It’s basically a western set in outer space. Plus everybody speaks a little Chinese in it.
After the show was canceled, Joss Whedon did something that had never been done before. He took a show that was canceled after 1 year and made a movie with the same cast and characters. And there he was, ten years later in a room full of screaming fans.
He really believed in the show — almost irrationally so.
In fact, at the reunion he said (talking to the cast), “You are living in Firefly. When I see you guys, I don’t think the show’s off the air. I don’t think there’s a show. I think that’s what the world is like. I think there’s spaceships. I think there’s horses. The story is alive.”
Watch his speech here.
He had a vision. In his mind’s eye, he saw something that didn’t exist. In other words, he was delusional. His delusion was strong enough that he made other people buy into it. It wasn’t reality until he made it reality.
Human minds are funny things. They can make reality bend.
Critical Factor Bypass
In hypnosis, we call this ability to bend reality a critical factor bypass. It’s accepting an idea as if it were true, even if it’s not. Doing this in a positive way allows you to engage your mind and body in ways that you can’t if you accept reality. Joss Whedon ‘knows’ the Firefly universe isn’t real. But he allows his mind to think of it as real. And that allows him to invest in that universe in ways he couldn’t if he was constantly reminding himself that it’s an illusion.
Enjoying A Movie: A Critical Factor Bypass
You can watch a movie and constantly remind yourself that it’s not reality. You can keep track of the actors, note camera angles and think about what the writers were trying to accomplish by writing a particular piece of dialog. Or, you can let yourself get wrapped up in the story by ‘pretending’ the story is reality. You know it’s not but you allow yourself to act as if it is, for a time. Depending on what you want to accomplish, you might either pretend or not.
In hypnosis, we use that critical factor bypass.
Critical Factor Bypass In Achieving Goals
A twelve year-old boy who wants more muscles might lift weights. When he’s lifting, he may be dreaming of what his muscles will look like when they’re bigger. He knows it’s not reality. But the more he thinks of it as reality, the more motivated he is to lift.
And in large part, that’s what hypnosis is. It’s imagining your goals as if they’re true, and emotionally connecting with them. Because hypnosis includes that critical bypass and makes it easier for our minds to wrap themselves around and concentrate on an idea without interference with the analytical parts of the mind.
Now the analytical, logical parts of the mind are wonderful. We’d be lost without them. But in order to stretch ourselves and do things that are beyond what we think we are capable of, we need critical factor bypass. And once we have critical factor bypass and we’ve wrapped our mind around an idea, we have new programming. And it’s that new programming that helps us achieve our goals.
PS: If you’re interested in how to do this for yourself, check out my self hypnosis program