The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

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HYPNOTISM AND CRIME.
fled, he often evinces the utmost indifference, welcomes the day of his execution, and marches to the scaffold without a tremor. The newspapers speak with wonder and admiration of his courage, and the universal verdict is that he was a brave man, and " died game." The truth is that the universal law of which we speak, that merciful provision of nature which nerves alike the brave man and the coward, steps in to his defence, his objective senses are benumbed, and he submits to the inevitable change without fear and without pain.
The testimony of Dr. Livingstone is to the same effect. He was once seized by a lion when hunting in the jungles of Africa, and carried some distance, his body between the lion's jaws. When death seemed inevitable, he testifies that all fear left him, and a delicious languor stole over his senses. The grasp of the lion's jaws caused no pain, and he felt fully resigned to his fate. A fortunate shot from the gun of one of his companions released him, and he was rescued.
This, however, is a digression. The main point which it is desired to enforce is, first, that the strongest instinct in mankind is that of self-preservation; and second, that this instinct, this strong desire to preserve the life of the body, constitutes a subjective, or an instinctive, auto-suggestion of such supreme potency that no suggestion from another, nor any objective auto-suggestion, could possibly overcome it. The inevitable conclusion is that suicide is certainly not a crime which can be successfully instigated by means of hypnotism.
Criminal abortion is another of the crimes which, the people are told, can be performed by means of hypnotic suggestion. The inherent absurdity of this statement is almost as great as that suicide can be successfully instigated by such means. It is here that another strong instinct prevails against a suggestion of that character, namely, the desire inherent in the soul of the mother to preserve her offspring. It is possibly true that conception could be prevented by hypnotic suggestion, and it may be true that bar-