The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

Bringing a scientific basis to research of the paranormal, spiritual & psychic.

Home | About | Alternative Health | Contact




HYPNOTISM AND MESMERISM.              101
would seem proper to designate the Braidian process as physical hypnotism, the Nancy process as suggestive hypnotism, and the mesmeric process as magnetic, or fluidic, hypnotism.
I merely throw this out as a suggestion to be considered by future writers on the subject. For my own purposes I shall hereafter employ the word " hypnotism" to define the Braidian and suggestive processes as distinguished from all others when these are contrasted, while the word " mesmerism " will be employed as it is generally understood. When they are not contrasted, " hypnotism " will be used as a generic term.
Last in the order of mention, but really first in importance, is the school of mesmerism. The theory of the mesmerists has undergone little, if any, modification since it was first promulgated by Mesmer himself. It is, as before stated, that there exists in man a subtle fluid, in the nature of magnetism, which, by means of passes over the head and body of the subject, accompanied by intense concentration of mind and will on the part of the operator, can be made to flow from the ends of his fingers and impinge upon the subject, producing sleep and all the varied subsequent phenomena at the will of the operator. In the early days of mesmerism suggestion was ignored as a possible factor in the production of the phenomena, this law not having been discovered previous to the experiments of Liebault. The same is practically true to-day. Mesmerism has made very little progress within the last half century. Its votaries cling to the old theories with a pertinacity proportioned to the opposition encountered at the hands of the hypnotists. On the whole, the progress of mesmeric science, per se, has been backward since the discoveries of Braid, not because Braid disproved the fluidic theory, for he did not disprove it, nor did he claim to have done so, but for reasons which will appear in their proper place.
Suggestion is now, as before the discoveries of Liebault, ignored by mesmerists as a necessary factor either in the induction of the mesmeric condition, or in the production