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Trance 1, Requirement 1

Define the following terms in your own words: "Trance," "meditation," and "hypnosis." (min. 100 words per definition, dictionary definition does not count toward final word count.)

In general, trance is s state that has "left the normal" and become non-normative. The English word comes from the Latin "transire", meaning "to cross." In many ways, trance is just that: the crossing of a threshold, exiting your normal consciousness (whatever state that may be) and entering another consciousness.¹ There are connotations with a lack of freedom associated with the word (consider its meaning in the word "entrance"), but trance (and thus trancework) is focused on by most practitioners as an execise in control. The word also has connotations with death, which may be why so many initiatory experiences involve trancework.
Most often, meditation is understood as an attempt to empty the mind, but the word itself comes from meditatio, which means "thinking over." Meditation itself is a form of contemplation, in which the mind actively seeks understanding and knowledge. Meditaiton may be spiritual or mundane, but it generally deals with the "fullness" of experience, rather than the lack of experience. It is, in many ways, a synthesis between the virtues of vision and wisdom: drawing a perspective on the world that is often unseen, and describing the way that world functions to the meditator. Through the understading of this synthesis, the cosmos becomes clearer and the proper action (piety) for the maintenance of the worlds is also clearer.
Hypnosis is generally considered "artificial" in ways that trance and meditation are not. Relaxation is not required for hypnsosis, and not everyone is susceptable to hypnosis. Usually, something other than the person being hypnotized actually induces the hypnotization, which leads to the assumption of artificial and outside control. Despite this, self-hypnosis is still possible, and is often used to change a behavior (such as remove an impulse or addiction). Hypnosis can be used to help a person focus, or to increase the likelihood that the person will be positively disposed toward suggestion. Light hypnoic states and suggestion can help add to rituals, particularly when used in conjunction with trancework or medtitation.
¹ - A trance state has in the past been referred to as an "altered state of consciousness," but is not often referred to in that way academically because of the value of the word "altered."


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