PS YCHO- THERAPE UTICS. \ 71
principle of suggestion, and of the distinction between mesmerism and hypnotism.
In an account of some experiments in mesmerism, written by Mr. Edmund Gurney, and recorded in vol. ii. pp. 201-205, of the Proceedings of the Society referred to, a very interesting experiment is mentioned, which demonstrates the fact that there is an effluence emanating from the mesmerizer which is capable of producing very marked physical effects upon the subject. In this case the subject was blindfolded and allowed to remain in his normal condition during the whole of the experiment. His hands were then spread out upon a table before him, his fingers wide apart. The mesmerizer then made passes over one of the fingers, taking care not to move his hand near enough to the subject's finger to cause a perceptible movement of the atmosphere, or to give any indication in any other way which finger was being mesmerized. The result was, in every instance, the production of local anaesthesia in the finger operated upon, and in no other.
Oral suggestion, or any other form of physical suggestion, was here out of the question; and telepathic suggestion was extremely improbable, in view of the fact that the subject was in his normal condition, and consequently not in subjective rapport with the operator. A further experiment was then tried, with a view of ascertaining whether it was necessary for the mesmerist to know which finger he was operating upon. To that end, the operator's hand was guided by the hand of a third party while the passes were being made; and it was found that the selected finger was unaffected, when the operator did not know which one it was.
The first of these experiments demonstrates the fact that there is an effluence emanating from the mesmerist; and the second demonstrates the fact that this effluence is directed by his will.
What this effluence is, man may never know. That it is a vital fact in psychic phenomena is certain. Like many other subtle forces of nature, it defies analysis. That it