A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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cured. In the meantime the patient looks on and sees the transferee writhing in his pains and imitating his voice, gait, gestures and demeanour. When the doctor thinks enough has been done he wakens the subject and tells him to feel no more pain (in fact, the hypnotized subject has usually no recollection of what has happened in his somnambulant state, and goes away rejoicing in the fee which the hypnotist or the patient has given him for the sitting).
Luys believed that the sitter not only took on the disease, but also the personality of the patient, imitating a female by her exact female voice, and a male by his male voice, etc. Cannon 33 (pp. 23-4), to whom I owe the reference, while recognizing its antiquity, suggests that from an experimental point of view it has many lessons to teach those who are willing to study these phenomena.
Another rite involved a knotted cord. To cure a patient whose tongue had been bound, or whose intestines had been tied into knots, the magician would take a knotted rope and, as he untied each knot, would recite a counter-spell. Not so very different from Coue's knotted string for reciting ' fa passe ! '
The large class of so-called medical prescriptions were, no doubt, essentially magical, and although in some instances the substances ordered may actually have had curative value, the associations which led to their employment by the Babylonians are still obscure.
Demons were believed to specialize in particular diseases. Idpa attacked the throat; Uttuq the neck ; while other demons and deities were interested in other organs.46 From the Book of Daniel we see how official recognition was accorded to astrologers and sorcerers. Diseases were addressed as if they were living beings; for instance: ' Wicked consumption, villainous con-