The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

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124        THE LAW OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA.
is able to converse rationally on the subject, and to express his amazement at the vividness and apparent reality of the subjective sensation. After a few repetitions of the experiments he loses all consciousness of his objective environment, yields unquestioning obedience to the suggestions of the hypnotist, and retains no recollection, after he is awakened, of what occurred when he was in the somnambulic condition. His friends inform him of the many wonderful things which occurred, of his ready obedience to all suggestions, how he made a speech far transcending his natural abilities, under the influence of a suggestion that he was Daniel Webster; how he flapped his wings and crowed when told that he was a cock; and so on through the repertoire of platform experiments. He is now strongly impressed with the idea that he was controlled by a power that he could under no circumstances resist. But, wishing to pursue his investigations further, he resolves to test the question whether this power can be employed for criminal purposes. A few friends are called together, a hypnotist is employed, and a few well-trained subjects are invited to give a private exhibition for the benefit of " science." In order to give the proposed psychological experiment an undoubted scientific value, a few doctors of physic are invited to be present, not because they know anything about psychology or of hypnotism, but because it is well known that they have heard something about the latter science, particularly that it has been found to be a great therapeutic agent, and they are just now deeply interested in proving that hypnotism, in the hands of any one outside of the medical profession, must necessarily be employed for the perpetration of crime.
We will now suppose that the guests are assembled and the experiments are about to be made. The question is freely discussed in the presence of the subjects, each one of whom is duly impressed with the idea that he is^ about to become the instrument of science for the elucidation and definite settlement of the great problem of the age. The subject is now duly hypnotized, and the inevitable paper