I 36 THE LA W OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA.
renness is sometimes caused by unconscious auto-suggestion; but a very different state of affairs exists after the foetus is once formed. The instinctive desire to preserve the life that exists, constitutes an instinctive auto-suggestion which no suggestion from another, nor even the objective autosuggestion of the mother, could prevail against.
It may be safely set down, therefore, as a fundamental truth of hypnotic science that the auto-suggestion most difficult to overcome is that which originates in the normal action of the subjective mind, otherwise, instinctive autosuggestion.
The same line of reasoning applies, though with somewhat diminished force, to the commission of other crimes. We will suppose the most favorable condition possible for procuring the commission of a capital crime; namely, a criminal hypnotist in control of a criminal subject. The disposition of the subject might not stand in the way; there might be no auto-suggestion against the commission of crime in the habits and principles of the life of the subject; and yet the instinct of self-preservation would have its weight and influence in suggesting to him that the commission of a murder would imperil his own life. Such a consideration would operate as potently in the hypnotic condition as it would in the normal state. It would be an instinctive auto-suggestion, just the same as in the case of suicide, although it would operate indirectly in one case, and directly in the other. The deductive reasoning of the subjective mind, as we have seen in preceding chapters, is perfect; and in the case supposed, the subject would instantaneously reason from the proposed crime to its consequences to himself. The same law would operate in preventing the commission of crimes of less magnitude, with a resistance decreased in proportion to the nature of the offence. But it would, in all cases, be a factor of great importance in the prevention of crime; for the subjective mind is ever alert where the safety and well-being of the individual are concerned. This law is universal, and has often been manifested in the most striking manner. Pre-