Pleasant Dreams

16 Jun

Dr. Ben Cargo realized he had a deep desire for the post open at the institution called the Sleep Clinic.

His chosen specialty had from the beginning been hypnotic therapy, and he knew no place on the space transport that was more innovative and advanced in that area than this treatment center.

He was nervous as he entered the office of the clinic’s director, Dr. Gart Drener. Would he be accepted for the new staff position that had been advertised?

The director, tall and massive, had calm, reassuring crisp blue eyes. He rose and offered the applicant a giant right hand.

After vigorous handshakes, the two sat down for their interview.

Drener gazed inquiringly across his plain steel desk and began the questions.

“Why do you wish to be employed here at the Sleep Clinic?”

Ben felt confident enough to give a candid answer. “I have read about the pioneering work going on under you in dream induction and shaping, Dr. Drener.

“That area has always held profound interest for me, and I hope that I can achieve a degree of mastery of the methods and techniques. I confess that I possess a very personal interest and attraction toward the management of dreams of patients. My belief is that this kind of treatment is going to be a major feature in the hypnotic medicine of the future.”

The director smiled with satisfaction. “Thank you for being so truthful, Dr. Cargo. I appreciate your openness and candor.”

Ben, at that moment, became certain that he was going to be the one accepted to join the Sleep Clinic.

Gart assigned a mountain of reading to his assistant and new disciple, introducing him to a new method of understanding the human mind, both when conscious and unconscious.

“You will realize why I emphasis the indirect, non-material influences on thought and feeling,” summarized the director after a series of sessions with Ben. “You already possess much experience applying hypnotic suggestion on individuals, but you have not yet tried to use it to shape particular dreams.

“That will only happen with success when you realize the existence of the telepathic forces of the mind and learn how to combine them with the usual, ordinary hypnotic methods that are well known and popular in today’s medicine.”

“Telepathic forces?” asked the learner. “What kind of telepathic forces?” The round face of Ben began to redden with surprise and curiosity.

Gart gave an indulgent smile of satisfaction as he saw the other’s excitement.

“From the very beginning, the pioneers of hypnotic science realized that there was a close connection to thought transmission in what they were doing. It was Franz Anton Mesmer himself who decided that he had to conceal his own discovery of this tie between hypnotic trance and psychic communication, because of the great danger that it might scandalize the society of his day.

“But we do not live back in the 18th or the 19th century on Earth. We can deal with the concept that hypnotic suggestibility can serve as the foundation of the transference of thoughts from one mind to another.” He paused and studied the serious, attentive face of his assistant. “I belief that whoever becomes a skilled hypnotherapist can project desired dreams into the sleeping mind of a patient.

“I will demonstrate to you how it is done, Ben.”

“I am anxious to observe that,” declared the latter with eager emotion.

The young woman chosen to undergo inducement of a designed dream had the name of Kendra. She suffered constant depression and came to the Sleep Clinic seeking relief from her torturing thoughts and emotions.

The tall, willowy patient with auburn hair looked worried and troubled as she sat opposite the two hypnotherapists.

“I have attempted to lose my constant nightmare dreams and visions at other mind centers,” she confessed. “Those places used well-known methods to affect my disorder. They made me listen to binaural patterns of sound in order to synchronize by brainwaves as much as possible. The main goal was to fill my mind with theta waves, those from 3.5 to 7 herz. I was placed into a trancelike state close to spiritual meditation or ordinary daydreaming.

“It didn’t work at all. Bad dreams continued for me. I quit seeking relief through theta-wave conditioning and decided to come here for direct hypnotherapy. What alternative do I have?”

Gart grinned at her. “I believe in using an entirely different approach. My method depends upon placing a patient in hypnotic trance in a way that allows introducing the components of a positive, productive type of dream into the mind of the subject. It depends upon the mind of the therapist being capable of creating and injecting the new, happier dream.

“Do you understand what I am talking about, Kendra?” he asked her.

She answered in a subdued tone. “I am desperate enough to accept the most radical treatment possible. Anything is better than what I now have to suffer.”

“I shall lead you into a semi-sleeping trance that resembles daydreaming and private meditation,” indicated Gart. “Within your brain, the production and ratio of different varieties of waves will change. There will be a sharp reduction of focused and well-organized beta waves and also the delta waves of deep sleep. And even the alpha waves of relaxed stability and equilibrium will become subordinate, because the theta waves of a non-sleeping trance will take over control of your entire mind.

“This will be the opportune moment for me to use my own inner mind to transmit a chosen dream of peaceful, harmonious happiness into your hypnotized mind.

“Do not be afraid or concerned, Kendra. I have carried out this telepathic process many times with other patients of mine. It is safe and temporary in its effects. The result will be the implanting of an optimal dream in place of the nightmare that plagues your sleep at night.

“Shall we begin, then?”

Ben watched as the director rose to his feet and approached Kendra with slow steps and started to make flowing movements with his hands in front of her staring hazel eyes.

Hypnotization was surprisingly fast and total, coming about in seconds.

Gart met with Ben in the director’s office after Kendra was fully conscious and had left the Sleep Clinic for her apartment.

“I want you to take over and be in charge when she returns in three days,” said the senior therapist. “She will report to you on the state of her sleep and whether her nightmares have been replaced by the new, harmonious dreams that I planted in her unconscious memory.

“The objective will be to explore how the old dreams have been replaced by the ones that I created and projected into her mind. Are you ready to take on the responsibility for her treatment from now on, Ben?”

“Yes,” nodded the latter. “I am curious to see the results of the hypnotic trance on changes in her night visions.”

“I expect you to keep me informed on how things progress in her case,” said the clinic director.

Ben met with Kendra in his office when she returned to the Sleep Clinic after several days on her own. When the pair were seated comfortably, he asked her how her nights by herself had proceeded.

Kendra frowned darkly. “Not at all well, Doctor. My nightmares did not vanish, as I hoped and expected. In fact, they have turned worse than ever. There is a stench of death and destruction in them, I’m afraid. Is there nothing that anybody can do about them?”

The hypnotherapist grew disturbed, wrinkling his brow. “Didn’t you experience any of the new, positive thoughts that Dr. Drener tried to instill into your unconscious mind? Wasn’t there a restructuring of your mood and imagination?”

“Not at all,” confessed the patient. “There was no dream that would wipe my brain clean and give me a new perspective on my life, none at all.”

The two stared at each other in painful desperation for a short time.

“What do we do now?” sadly inquired Kendra.

“I have to devise a new dream and try to induce it into your unconscious thoughts,” he told her. “Are you willing to undergo hypnotization right here, at the present time?”

“Yes,” she replied with excitement in her voice and on her face. “I am willing to do anything if it will free me from the terror that I suffer every night.”

Ben sprang to his feet and moved around his desk until he stood next to the patient who was still a prisoner of her nightmares.

He leaned forward and gazed intently into her troubled hazel eyes.

“I want to give you a vision of serenity and happiness, Kendra,” the therapist murmured. “You must escape from the horrors that entrap you.”

Suddenly, the young woman lost herself in an hypnotic trance, her half-conscious mind flooded with waves of the theta frequencies.

All at once, her face twisted and then froze into an ugly mask of freakish pain and distortion. Her open eyes grew larger as if an inner explosion were occurring.

Ben, sensing she was in unanticipated crisis of an unknown nature, reached out with his right arm and took her hand into his.

The eyes of Kendra, as if suddenly looking consciously at her therapist, began to speak in a dry, unsteady voice.

“I saw a frightening sight of demonic wild beasts. They had devilish faces and teeth that looked more like fangs. I felt that I was in danger of being bitten, and then maybe eaten alive. The mouths of the animal forms were red with what must have been blood. I couldn’t stand it any longer and I forced myself out of the trance that surrounded me from all sides.

“Forgive me, please, but I had to get out of that horrid new nightmare that I was suffering.”

Ben squeezed her hand with sympathetic pressure. “We have to end right now, Kendra. How do you feel? Are you alright? Can you go home by yourself, do you think?”

She told her hypnotherapist that she felt well enough to leave on her own.

“I think you should return tomorrow at this same time, because we have to find out what went wrong today,” decided Ben. “Can you be here again?”

“Certainly,” she said, then started to leave his office.

The new dream-engineer faced a painful dilemma. Should he at once report what had happened with his first attempt to redesign the night visions of a patient with a serious emotional problem? How badly did he need the advice and help of his professional mentor at this moment? Ban asked himself at the Clinic, then later at his private apartment.

He was immobile, because it was impossible for him to judge and decide.

As a result, he did not consult with Gart Drener on the surprising difficulty that had occurred to impede him.

Was the problem only a temporary one? Would the trouble clear itself up during his second hypnotic session with Kendra? he wondered.

Ben enjoyed only a little sleep and rest that night, anxious over what had gone wrong.

Would he be able to correct the path ahead and solve this patient’s dysfunctional dreaming?

Kendra looked haggard and weary when she appeared at the Sleep Clinic the next day.

Ben at once had a sense of profound disturbance as she took the chair across from him. “How has your sleep been?” he asked her with alarm in his voice.

“I can’t explain what is happening. My nightly dreams are worse than before, grimmer than any I remember from before I started here.

“What is going on inside my mind, Doctor?” she fearfully inquired.

He seemed to be ignoring her specific question.

“I am in the dark, Kendra, but there is no reason to give up in despair. What I think is wisest is if we continue with what you and I have started. Does that sound alright to you? Are you willing to go on with hypnosis today?”

She gave a wan smile. “Is there really any alternative left for me?” the patient asked.

Ben rose and approached her, his thoughts in an uncertain whirl.

Where did I go wrong the first time? he asked himself over and over.

Why could I not plant my harmonious dream into her unconscious memory?

Perhaps I should have tried to achieve something different first, before I projected my substitute dream into the depths of her mind.

But what must come before I make the hypnotic transfer, so difficult to carry forth and attain?

A new idea captured the attention of the therapist.

I must take hold of her nightmare dream and remove it out of her brain. I must make it vanish from her thoughts and feelings. But how is that to be done?

Ben realized that he had to advance into the interior of Kendra and grab direct hold of what was plaguing her sleep, then pull it completely out.

Was that a real possibility? he wondered as he planned the strange maneuver.

The voice of Gart, director of the Sleep Clinic, sounded like a distant echo in the awakening mind of Ben.

All at once the latter realized what had happened: he had fainted and fallen. Kendra had regained full consciousness and gone out from to office to fetch help in the person of the senior hypnotherapist.

“What happened?” said Ben in a weak, disoriented manner.

“You collapsed and fell into a complete coma,” explained Gart. “What occurred in here during the session with Kendra to cause you to lose yourself and fall?”

Ben made no reply because he had no explanation. He had to think out how and why this had come about.

He looked at and spoke directly to Kendra. “We must recognize nothing more is possible for us today. Can you go home on your own, though?”

“Yes, I think I can,” she managed to reply.

“I will try to work out the explanation for all of this,” he promised the shaken, confused young woman who had come there for hypnotic-psychic treatment.

Ben, restless and nerves on edge, finally succeeded in falling asleep after the crisis of that terrible day.

What had never been there before attacked his unconscious mind that night.

Ben experienced a full nightmare of devils, beasts, and demons. Torturous dangers and sensations followed each other on his mental screen. He forced himself to awaken, finding his skin covered in sweat.

In an instant, he knew what it was he had seen while asleep.

The nightmare of Kendra, the patient he had hypnotized, had entered his sleep and was now his.

When Kendra stepped into his office, Ben was nearly able to predict what she was going to reveal to him.

“I can’t explain it, but my nightmare did not come back last night, Doctor. It was something like magic, but I had a peaceful, enjoyable dream that was calm and pleasant. I was in the middle of a meadow full of flowers of all kinds and colors. Birds were singing and the sun was bright up in the sky.

“It was a wonderful things to experience, and there was nothing nightmarish at all in the new dream.

“The old one I suffered every night seems to be gone, I hope for good and all time.

“I don’t understand it, Doctor. How did it happen? Did you put the new one into my mind? What happened to my old nightmare?”

Ben hesitated.

Should he tell his patient what he suspected? That his own mind had seized and appropriated the horrible dream, transporting it into his own unconscious memory.

What am I going to do in order to free myself of what I took from Kendra? the psychic hypnotherapist worried.

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