88 THE LA W OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA.
to be tolerated. But when Braid denominated it "hypnotism," from the Greek word signifying sleep, it was hailed as a compromise sufficiently noncommittal to entitle it to recognition, and " hypnotism " it will be called until some academician drags to light the ultimate cause of all things.
Braid has been accorded a great deal of credit for his original researches and discoveries, but it is questionable whether he has not been the indirect means of retarding the true progress of the science. It is a remarkable fact that since his method of hypnotizing has been generally adopted, the higher phenomena, such as clairvoyance and thought-transference, have fallen into disrepute, and are now rarely produced. Indeed, it may be said to be practically a lost art, considered as a result of hypnotic processes. The cause of this will receive attention hereafter. Braid could not cause his subjects to obey his mental orders, and he disbelieved in the power of clairvoyance. He acknowledged that some of his subjects could tell the shape of what was " held at an inch and a half from the skin, on the back of the neck, crown of the head, arm, or hand, or other parts of the body," but held that " it is from feeling they do so." l He demonstrated the extreme sensitiveness of one subject by causing her to obey the motion of a glass funnel held in his hand, at a distance of fifteen feet.2 Truly, a remarkable case of " feeling."
Braid is entitled to great credit for the discovery that the hypnotic state can be induced independently of the presence or co-operation of another person. Further than that, his work is practically valueless, for the reason that he never understood the power or influence of suggestion. It is therefore manifestly impossible to determine the value of any experiment of his, except in cases the nature of which precludes the possibility of suggestion being employed, or in cases where it was expressly eliminated.
Two facts, however, seem to have been demonstrated by his experiments, both of which are of the utmost importance :
1 Braid on Hypnotism, p. 37, note. " a Ibid.