[Discussion] The Mysterious Art of Hypnotism

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[Discussion] The Mysterious Art of Hypnotism

Postby Cantillion on September 24th, 2014, 5:59 pm

Magic in Mizahar is great. Practitioners of magic can rely on flexible systems that, while not set entirely in stone, rely on fundamental structures to function. The idea that one can trace the process a Reimancer goes through to turn their djed into a fireball, or a lightning bolt, or nearly any elemental thing they can conceive separates Mizahar's magic from the likes of typical hand-waving "wizard did it" spellcasting systems. And so, Hypnotism has irked me.

According to the lore entry for Djed:

"Djed, meaning "backbone" in the ancient tongue, is a more-or-less universally accepted term for the primal energy in the world of Mizahar. It takes on countless forms and is responsible for the basic properties of the universe, such as identity, substance, sentience and free will. Djed is within everything that exists, though souls contain it at the highest degree of purity. It powers all known magical reactions.

Because of its pivotal role in any and all magic, it is often used as a synonym for magic itself. Magic is, in fact, the art of using Djed to accomplish the impossible."

This manipulation of djed is THE foundation of magic here. This is not under contest, by any means. What I am hoping to spark a discussion over is the fundamental workings of Hypnotism:

"Hypnotism is a discipline of personal magic centered on the control and manipulation of others. The wizard unleashes their own Djed through their personal charisma and force of will; they use any means of expression such as eyes, voice, presence and mannerism, in order to induce effects in the minds of those around them. Closer contact with the victim grants more opportunities to affect them in various ways, ranging from simple subliminal suggestions to inducing emotional responses and even full-fledged mind control. Hypnotism is not as simple as controlling another, though; a Hypnotist who does not understand people will never be able to manipulate someone. The true Hypnotist has an intimate knowledge of how people's minds work, and what buttons need to pressed to cause the desired reaction."

There are two points of discussion that I would like to kindle. The first is in regards to "methodology", or the process behind affecting someone with Hypnotism. The second is in regards to the secondary requirement of Hypnotism, specifically, "intimate knowledge of how people's minds work". Please keep in mind that this is intended to be a discussion only, not a demand for change or a plea for balance. If anything, it is a request for clarification.

How (I Think) Hypnotism Actually Works

"The nature of Hypnotist control is often misunderstood by non-wizards, and sometimes by non-Hypnotist wizards as well. The mystique around the 'unstoppable' powers of Hypnotism is mostly fueled by the Hypnotists themselves, who are by far the best wizards at promoting fear of their abilities."

To put things plainly, it would appear that the lore for Hypnotism was written by such Hypnotists. Where other fields of magic tackle the processes behind their use in a realistic, practically scientific way, Hypnotism is described with vague generalities and metaphors. There is a theoretical explanation provided that speaks of a "sphere of influence", so to speak, which the Hypnotist expands via "charisma" to overwhelm their target. Beyond this, very little is explained as to how djed can be manipulated to alter the state of mind.

"From a theoretical point of view, Hypnotism expands the wizard's sphere of influence thanks to his Djed. All creatures have such a sphere around them, some kind of immediate personal territory as a consequence of their aura - a majority of their fellows will not enter this sphere willingly, and they will instinctively tend to reject things entering it without permission."

Would it be possible to clear up the enigmatic nature of Hypnotism, while still providing Hypnotists the freedom to perform their subtle magic in their own subtle ways? I believe so. By definition, djed fuels all magic. It is also the stuff of the soul, and sentient thought. From my perspective, Hypnotism is not like a conjuration and reconfiguration of djed into elements like Reimancy, or a dispersal of djed like Voiding, or a rearranging or stretching of djed as in Morphing, Projection, or Flux. It is an invasion of djed, using one's own power to infiltrate and subvert another's sentience, and replace it with their own. This definition falls in line with existing lore, specifically with the Degrees of Conditioning; the more obvious the control, the more difficult it is for the Hypnotist to maintain that control. The more potent the djed-invasion, the harder it is to keep that foreign djed (foreign idea, or even foreign sentience) in place.

Spelling out this definition, in this way, creates a clear-cut fundamental method for Hypnotists to act out their magic, without stripping them of the freedom of their subterfuge. Forcing their djed to mix with another's, without upsetting that other person's djed and finding their magic ineffective, would be the absolute requirement of Hypnotism, but the method by which that infiltration was performed would be up to the Hypnotist. This aligns with the idea that the Hypnotist must know the strengths and weaknesses of their target mind; by knowing which thoughts might go unnoticed, they can slip in easily. By simply assaulting their target with random thoughts, through djed, many may simply be rejected by the target's own djed.

It is my opinion here that the lore is abstract to the point that it stands apart from other types of magic, when it need not be that way. Please, discuss your thoughts on Hypnotism in general. Does it make clear sense to you in its current state? Could it be clarified to better explain its function? Am I a crazy person?
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