The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

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HYPNOTISM AND MESMERISM.               113
ment. This branch of the subject will be more fully treated in a future chapter on psycho-therapeutics. It is sufficient to remark now that the method of healing here indicated is, when intelligently applied, the most effective of all systems of mental therapeutics. And the significant fact is that in the majority of cases the best results are produced when the patient is kept in absolute ignorance of what is being done for him. The reason for this will more fully appear as we proceed.
Again, the manner of mesmerizing animals is proof positive that the successful exercise of mesmeric power is not dependent upon passes made by the hand of the operator, for the usual method is to gaze steadily into the eyes of the animal.
And this brings us to the discussion of some important distinctions pertaining to the mesmerization of animals, which seem not to have been observed by the investigators of that subject, but which show more clearly than almost anything else the line of distinction between hypnotism and mesmerism.
The intelligent reader will not have failed to observe that the effect produced upon hens, frogs, crayfish, guinea-pigs, and birds is purely hypnotic. The methods employed are Braid's. That is to say, they are purely physical, sometimes produced by sudden peripheral stimulus, as in flashing a Drummond light in the eyes of a cock (Richer). But in general the external stimulus used with animals is tactile, as in seizing them (Moll) ; or in causing them to gaze upon an object, as in Kircher's method of hypnotizing a cock ; or in gently stroking the back, as in hypnotizing a frog or a crayfish. Each of these methods may be classified as a hypnotic process, and the full equivalent of the method discovered by Braid. The effect is also purely hypnotic; that is to say, sleep is induced, varying in degree from a light slumber to a profound lethargy.
On the other hand, such animals as horses, wild beasts, etc., may be mesmerized, but not hypnotized. The processes are purely mesmeric, and generally consist in gazing
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