The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

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HYPNOTISM AND MESMERISM.
99
nomena produced by Charcot upon his hysterical patients cannot be produced on healthy subjects without the aid of suggestion. But such experiments do not properly belong to the domain of psychic science proper, but rather to the Bradian system of physical manipulation. This is as much as confessed by Binet and Fere, when they divulge the fact that the physical phenomena in question can be produced on hysterical patients in their waking condition.
Another prolific source of error which besets the pathway of the Paris school consists in its disbelief in, and consequent disregard of, the possibility that its subjects may be possessed of clairvoyant or telepathic powers. That this frequently happens, especially in subjects of the character employed by Charcot and his coadjutors, admits of no possible doubt in the minds of those who have studied the higher phases of hypnotic science. The London Society for Psychical Research has demonstrated beyond all question the fact that telepathy is a power possessed by many; and the early mesmerists have shown conclusively that the hypnotic condition is the one of all others the most favorable for the development and exhibition of that power. This subject will be dwelt upon more at length in its proper place. It is sufficient for present purposes to remark that no line of experiments in hypnotism, in which telepathy and clairvoyance are ignored as possible factors, can be held to be demonstrative of any proposition or theory whatever. But whatever of pathological value or interest may be attached to the physical phenomena evoked by the Paris school, they certainly shed no light upon psychological science, nor do they properly belong to that domain.
And just here I wish to suggest a reform in the nomenclature of the science under consideration. The word " hypnotism " was adopted by Braid at a time when he regarded himself as the discoverer of a principle which embraced the whole science of induced sleep. It is from the Greek word " hypnos," which broadly signifies sleep. But, without some qualifying word, it is too broad, inasmuch as the system to which Braid applied it is now known to be