A NEW SYSTEM OF MENTAL THERAPEUTICS. l8l
he will have a nightmare, with a winter setting of ice and snow and all that is disagreeable, dank, and dismal.
As we have seen in the preceding chapters, the subjective mind reasons deductively only from premises that are suggested to it, whether the suggestions are imparted to it by its physical environment, as in sleep, or by oral suggestion, as in hypnotism, or telepathically, as in the higher forms of mesmerism. Its deductions are always logical, whether the premises are true or false. Hence the absurdity of many of our dreams; they are merely deductions from false premises. The suggestions or impressions imparted to us during sleep being the result of accidental surroundings and stimuli, modified by the state of our health, our mental work during the day, and a thousand other things of which we can have no knowledge, and which are beyond our control, are necessarily of a heterogeneous character; and the deductions from such premises must of necessity be incoherent and fantastic to the last degree.
It is obvious, therefore, that the subjective mind is amenable to control by suggestion during natural sleep just the same as it is during hypnotic, or induced, sleep. It might not be unprofitable in this connection to enter into a general inquiry as to how far it would be possible to control our dreams by auto-suggestion, and thus obviate the discomforts incident to unpleasant nocturnal hallucinations. But as we are now engaged in a specific inquiry into the question of how far the subjective mind can be influenced for therapeutic purposes, the general field of speculation must be left for others. It is sufficient for present purposes to establish the proposition that the subjective mind is controllable by the power of suggestion during natural sleep.
Recurring in this connection to the preceding proposition, that " a state of perfect passivity on the part of the patient is the most favorable condition for the reception of telepathic impressions or communications for therapeutic purposes," the conclusion is obvious that the condition of natural sleep, being the most perfectly passive condition