On Save States

(Epistemic Status: Speculative but testable, fun experiments to try at home, mind hacking, cw hypnosis)
There is an experiment I wish to try in the future (and has been tried by a couple of my friends with positive results).  The point will be to facilitate access to past mental/emotional states at will through invoking flashbulb memory and tying to hypnotic recall.

The concept is rather simple. The first step is to acquire several scented sprays (perfumes, ideally) and carry them around with you. Make sure they are clearly labelled or at the least that you are able to tell them apart. When you have an experience/emotional state you would like to “save”, immediately spray the perfume under your nose while being as mindful as possible about the experience. Focus on the scent, as well as what you are hearing, feeling, tasting, and seeing in that moment. Overall, the goal is to invoke a flashbulb memory experience, or at least a very strong memory.

The next step is to record the memory. Write it down, talk about it, add redundancy to reliving the experience and give it more narrative body. What lead up to it, what happened, and how it felt.

After this, create a hypnotic script to recall this memory. I favor using your writings to tell a story and from there have someone hypnotically induct you and use your notes as a story to tie the hypnosis to a trigger word. Use the perfume during the hypnosis to reinforce the connection of the emotion to the smell (this may actually associate it with being hypnotized, so this is a possible failure mode). Once you have that trigger word, make sure it’s explicitly self triggerable and also written on the perfume.

To recall the Save State, spray the perfume and invoke the trigger word and note how much of the emotional/experiential state comes back and reapplies itself to the new situation. If this actually works, it should be possible to generalize the association a bit and cause a self reinforcing loop where you use the save state, save state the save state, and reinforce the trigger repeatedly in broader contexts. If the state does not recall the first time, I would advise being more specific and trying to match the previous scenario as closely as possible and making each save state drift a bit more to broaden applicable circumstances.

Discussion: What would you do with save states? What other approaches would you take to solidify the memory or facilitate recall? If you try something like this, please share your experience; I am happy to do the hypnosis for you if that is your barrier to entry and I am available.

4 thoughts on “On Save States

  1. what happens if you run into that scent “in the wild” and then get “triggered”?

    I am very interested in possible uses of this to reduce anxiety. Would it be possible to have a scent that induces calm? Is there a particular scent you would recommend that already is useful for calming?


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