The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

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HYPNOTISM AND MESMERISM.              109
and not the whole chain, as his followers would have us believe. The later discovery of the law of suggestion was also of the most transcendent interest and importance; but it is not the whole law of psychic science. This, too, has helped to retard the progress of the science in its higher branches. When it was discovered that suggestion by itself could induce the hypnotic state, Braid's methods were in turn abandoned by students of the science. This was partly because it was easier than Braid's method, and partly because it produced less physical and mental excitement, and hence, for therapeutic purposes, was less liable to excite the patient unduly. But the fact remains that neither by Braid-ism nor by the suggestive method can the subject ordinarily be made to respond telepathically. It is true that there might be exceptions to the rule. If, for instance, the operator in employing either of the methods should come in physical contact with the subject, and should at the same time happen to concentrate his gaze upon some object for a length of time, and fix his mind upon' the work in hand, he would be very likely to come into telepathic communication with the subject. That this has often happened there can be no doubt; and it constitutes one of the possible sources of error which lie in the pathway both of the Paris and the Nancy schools. It is perhaps superfluous to remark that the higher phenomena of hypnotism can only be developed with certainty of results by throwing aside our prejudices against the fluidic theory, and employing the old mesmeric methods.
In this connection it is deemed proper to offer a few suggestions as to the best methods to be employed for producing mesmeric effects, either for therapeutic or for any other purposes.
It is recommended, for several reasons, that the mesmeric passes be employed. First, they are so generally believed to be necessary that they greatly assist by way of suggestion. Secondly, they are a great assistance to the operator, as they enable him more effectually to concen* trate his mind upon the work in hand, and to fix his atten-