Book Reviews - Hypnosis is the human condition
by Suma Varughese
Hypnotizing Maria - The Secret of a Meaningful Life; Author: Richard Bach; Published by: Jaico; Pages: 174; Rs. 175
A new book by Richard Bach, author of the spiritual staple, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, is the subject of keen anticipation and excitement. However, this book disappoints. It is a very slight composition based on the experience of helping a woman make an emergency landing. The protagonist, Jamie Forbes, a flight instructor, answered her (the eponymous Maria) call for help when her husband collapsed with a heart attack while flying their plane. On successfully landing, she tells the press that she felt she had been hypnotised into believing she could fly the plane. That comment triggers off a train of thought in Jamie Forbesís mind, as well as a series of events that eventually culminate in the realisation that hypnosis is an apt metaphor for the lives we lead. Suggestions fly at us from the moment we are born and pretty soon we become adept at giving ourselves suggestions too. These suggestions determine our lives and eventually our destiny. He even holds that it is the power of suggestions that cause us to be born and also causes us to believe in bodily limitations. It should actually be possible, he says, for us to walk through walls, but we do not because we have been hypnotised into believing it was impossible. Old age and death too, he says, are merely hypnotic suggestions enjoying wide currency.
Taking off on the newfound popularity of the Law of Attraction (LOA) he intuits that this is how the law actually works, through suggestions that get translated into reality. One cannot help suspecting that Richard Bach is simply capitalising on the craze for the LOA rather than delivering any new insight or idea.
Hard as it is to pan a writer whose Bridge Across Forever was a personal favourite, this book cannot in all honesty be recommended.
To read these articles online and post your comments, go to