Excerpt from Children's Past Lives
Chapter 5: Trance is Easy
Hypnosis, as Norman Inge explained, is nothing more than a state of focused concentration. We go in and out of hypnotic states all of the time, shifting our focus from without to within. For example, when we are deeply engrossed in watching TV, a movie, or reading an exciting novel, we shut off our awareness of the sounds and activity around us. We go into a light trance. Sometimes, when driving a car on the interstate our attention lapses, we plunge into our thoughts, and then discover too late that we have driven past our exit. This is also a light trance. Certainly, a part of us managed to drive the car and stay on the road, but our conscious awareness of what we were doing was temporarily suspended.
So it is with hypnotic trance states. Conscious awareness is suspended to some degree while the mind is occupied by inner thoughts, images, and feelings. The conscious mind doesn't turn off completely; it's always monitoring to some degree. That is why during a regression a person can ask for a Kleenex, or get up to go to the bathroom, and maintain the trance until they get back to the couch.
Norman stressed that trance is the same for children. If anything, children go in and out of trance more easily and more often than adults. Their shifting focus is even more fluid. If you watch a child, especially a very young child, you may notice that their eyes look bigger and their breathing changes as they stare vacantly for short periods of time. They seem to be off in their own world, not aware of what is happening around them. Actually, they are in a light trance state, their focus directed on an inner reality. What exactly are they experiencing in this state? We don't really know. But some psychologists believe that the brightest and most creative children are those who stare frequently, without interruption. So, not only is this a safe and natural process for children, but it appears it may benefit them as well.