The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

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114       THE LAW 0F PsyCHIC PHENOMENA.
into the animal's eyes. The effect is simply to render the animal docile, and obedient to the will of the operator. No one was ever able to put an animal to sleep by gazing into its eyes ; but the most ferocious of the animal tribe may be tamed and subjected to the dominion of man by that simple process. A celebrated horse-tamer, who travelled through this country a few years ago, was in the habit of astonishing and amusing his audiences by selecting the wildest horse present, walking up to him, gazing into his eyes (apparently) for a few moments, and walking away, when the horse would follow him wherever he went, apparently as perfectly fascinated as any hypnotic or mesmeric subject was ever fascinated by a professional mesmerist. A close observation of the horse-tamer's methods revealed the fact that he simply rolled his eyes upward and inward, precisely as Braid compelled his subjects to do by holding a bright object before their eyes. He did not gaze into the eyes of the horse at all, but simply held himself in that attitude for a few moments, in close proximity to the horse's head, when the object was accomplished, and the horse became obedient to every command that it was capable of comprehending. It is probable that the horse-tamer knew as little of the secret of his power as did the horse. The tamers of wild beasts proceed in the same manner, and probably with as little knowledge of the principles underlying the method.
Now, the question arises, What is the effect thus produced on the animal? It is certainly not hypnotized by being compelled to gaze into the eyes of the operator, for sufficient time is not given to " fatigue the muscles of the eye." Besides, the animal cannot be compelled to gaze at anything. Is not the primary effect hypnotic or mesmeric produced, not directly upon the animal, but upon the man himself ? It seems clear that this is the true solution of the problem. Braid has taught us that by steadily gazing at any object a man can hypnotize himself without knowing, or having it suggested to him, that it is possible for him to do so. The man, then, is partially hypnotized by gazing into