A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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(p. 407). The loss of the power of voluntary movement and the development of a cataleptic state in hypnosis Pavlov regarded as an isolated inhibition of the motor analyser which had not descended to the sub-cortical motor-centres. Other areas of the cortex may continue to function quite normally, so that ' the subject may understand what we tell him ' {Ibid. p. 405). This view so far as the physiological aspect is concerned, is very similar to those previously formulated by Braid and by McDougall. The former says ' the functions in action . . . rob the others ... of nervous energy '23 (p. 49), and the latter speaks ' of the concentration of all available neurokyne along the channel of the disposition ' I53 (p. 112), by which we are to understand that in hypnosis all the available ' neurokyne ' (i.e. the liberated energy that works within the nervous system) is placed at the disposal of a single tendency.
Such hypotheses, whether correct or incorrect, merely attempt to explain the psychological mechanisms employed. They may be one step ; but we still need an explanation in psychological terms.
The purely psychological theory of hypnosis, putting aside all physiological influences as of little or no importance, dates from 1884, when Bernheim proved that increased suggestibility is its essential symptom. Although they go too far in seeking to identify hypnosis with normal sleep, the views of the Nancy investigators have prevailed and been accepted in the main.
Some, including Rivers,193 Trotter 23° and McDougall connect suggestibility with the herd instinct, but the assumption of such an instinct is not necessary though we must assume a tendency to submit to suggestions from others. McDougall considers that this is due to the instinct of submission. In every man there is an innate tendency to be submissive to those whose powers