The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

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I32        THE LAW OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA.
and more or less in all. In the highest stages of the mesmeric sleep the countenance often acquires the most lovely expression, surpassing all that the great artists have given to the Virgin Mary or to angels, and which may fitly be called heavenly, for it involuntarily suggests to our minds the moral and intellectual beauty which alone seems consistent with our views of heaven. As to the voice, I have never seen one person in the true mesmeric sleep who did not speak in a tone quite distinct from the ordinary voice of the sleeper. It is invariably, so far as I have observed, softer and more gentle, well corresponding to the elevated and mild expression of the face. It has often a plaintive and touching character, especially when the sleeper speaks of departed friends or relations. In the highest stages it has a character quite new, and in perfect accordance with the pure and lovely smile of the countenance, which beams on the observer, in spite of the closed eyes, like a ray of heaven's own light and beauty. I speak here of that which I have often seen, and I would say that, as a general rule, the sleeper, when in his ordinary state and when in the deep mesmeric sleep, appears not like the same, but like two different individuals. And it is not wonderful that it should be so. For the sleeper, in the mesmeric state, has a consciousness quite separate and distinct from his ordinary consciousness; he is, in fact, if not a different individual, yet the same individual in a different and distinct phase of his being, and that phase a higher one." a
Professor Gregory's experience and observation have been those of every hypnotist and mesmerist whose works have been examined. There is, indeed, an ineffable and indescribable something which overspreads the countenance of the virtuous woman while she is in the hypnotic state, which disarms passion, and affects the beholder with a feeling that he has something seen of heaven. He knows that the physical senses are asleep, and he feels that the soul is shining forth in all its majesty and purity, untainted by any thought that is gross, any emotion that is impure.
One of the assertions most confidently made by those who hold that crime is the necessary result of hypnotic experiment, outside of the medical profession, is that a hypnotic subject can be made to commit suicide by suggesting to him
Gregory on Animal Magnetism, p. 4.