The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

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262         THE LAW OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA.
one noteworthy fact that is observable in all is that each one sees and hears that which he expects to see or hear. The details may be unexpected, and the whole may transcend his objective conceptions, but none controvert theii preconceived ideas. Catholic ecstatics will see Catholic visions, and Protestants will see Protestant visions. In short, whatever may be the belief or the philosophy of the ecstatic, confirmation of that belief will be found in his visions of, or his communications from, the other world. The history of the Catholic Church abounds in accounts of wonderful visions seen by nuns and other religious devotees of that faith. One noteworthy fact constantly reappears in that connection, which is, that they nearly always become entranced after long contemplation of the image of the Saviour or of the Virgin Mary. This fact is interesting from a purely scientific standpoint. The physical attitude which they assume in contemplation of the crucifix is the one most conducive to the induction of the hypnotic condition. The significance of this observation will be at once apparent when we remember that Dr. Braid demonstrated that fixed gazing upon an object held in such a position as to cause the eyes to be strained upward is the easiest way to induce the hypnotic condition. The attitude, both physical and mental, of prayer, is therefore the one most favorable to the induction of the hypnotic or trance condition on the one hand, and, on the other, to the production of the visions which accord with the faith and expectancy of the individual.
The fact that the physical attitude assumed in prayer has a tendency to induce the subjective condition, will account for many of the well-recognized effects of earnest supplication of Divine favor. That calm tranquillity of mind which follows the prayer of faith may be attributed, in part at least, to the physical condition resulting from partial hypnosis. The objective faculties are held in abeyance, the nerves are tranquillized, and that part of " God in us " holds communion and is harmonized with its Divine source. Thus it is that long and earnest prayer for the restoration of health