These practices tend to be for magical or religious purposes, such as divination or communicating with gods and spirits.
The history of hypnosis, then, is really the history of this change in perception.
In the 21st century, there are still those who see hypnosis as some form of occult power.
From a Western point of view, the decisive moment in the history of hypnosis occurred in the 18th Century (coinciding with the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason).
The work of Franz Mesmer, amongst others, can be seen as both the last flourish of “occult” hypnosis and the first flourish of the “scientific” viewpoint.
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