112 THE LAW OF FSYCHIC PHENOMENA.
mental action. That that is the motive power is certain. Whether this mental action creates or develops a fluid akin to magnetism, is a question which may never be solved. Nor is it deemed important that it should be; and it may be as well to class it at once among the many things unknowable, as to waste valuable time in a vain effort to wrest the secret from Nature. Electricity is known as a great force in physical nature; and it is harnessed and made to perform many services to mankind. Like all the great forces of nature, it is invisible, except through its effects, and it defies analysis. It will never be known to man except as one of the great correlated forces. It is equally impossible to know just what the force is which emanates from the mesmerist and controls his subject. We know that it exists, and that it can be utilized, and that is all. Whether it is a fluid or not is as impossible to know with certainty as it is to know what electricity is made of, if we should determine it to be a substance.
For some purposes, as has been remarked, the fluidic hypothesis is as good as any, and for such purposes it may be provisionally accepted. But the question is, Will that hypothesis apply to all the phenomena? If that question is answered in the negative, it demonstrates its incorrectness, and it becomes imperative that it should be abandoned. When mesmeric passes are made over a patient, a fluid appears to emanate from the hands of the operator. An effluence of some kind certainly does come from that source, and one that is perceptible to the physical senses of the patient. Is it not a fact, nevertheless, that the passes are principally useful as a means of controlling the minds both of the subject and the operator? There are many facts which seem to point unmistakably in that direction. The one fact alone that persons can be mesmerized at a distance, seems conclusive. No passes are then made, and yet all the effects of personal contact are produced. Thousands of persons have been healed at a distance, by simple concentration of mind on the part of the operator, the patient knowing absolutely nothing of the proposed experi-