Velikovsky Immanuel - Sanverim Hypnosis in the Bible

Author : Velikovsky Immanuel
Title : Sanverim Hypnosis in the Bible
Year : 1983

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The book from which I learned the history and practice of hypnosis treated it as a rather recent discovery, crediting F. A. Mesmer (1734-1815) with inventing hypnosis or "animal magnetism" as he called it. But it is very improbable that this natural phenomenon could have evaded the ancients and remained unknown through all the centuries and millennia of recorded history. Its application is too simple relative to the mystery of the phenomenon. Indeed, many of the practices of the Hindu yogis that go back to ancient times belong to the category of autohypnosis. In deep hypnosis it is possible to provoke - by a mere verbal order catalepsy, hysteria-like paralysis, and illusions. An order can be given so that a person will be unable to lift his arms; and, in the case of a person subjected to an even deeper hypnotic state, he will not be able to see or, if led to some destination, he can be made to believe that he is in different surroundings. In the Hebrew Scriptures, I found two instances where supposed "miracles" can be recognized as inflicted hypnotic states, consisting of paralysis and somnambulistic illusions. In both of these stories the expression hikku b'sanverim - "he (or they) smote with sanverim" - is used to describe the phenomenon. The first example is found in Genesis (19:11), in the narrative of the events shortly preceding the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot had in his house, as guests, two of the Lord's messengers or malakhim - a word usually translated as "angels"; but they are also called "men" in the body of the story. When the depraved people of Sodom demanded the delivery of the guests for their sexual debauchery and tried to force their way inside, Lot vainly negotiated with the people at the door. The messengers opened the door, stretched out their arms, brought Lot inside, and smote the assailants at the door with sanverim. Those smitten with sanverim groped for the door, unable to find it. The next morning Lot, with his family, hastily left the city and fled to Zoar. Then followed the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. ...

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