The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

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HYPNOTISM AND CRIME.                133
the propriety of so doing. There is, if possible, even less foundation for this supposition than there is for any other in the whole catalogue. The reason of this will be obvious when we take into consideration some of the distinctive attributes of the subjective mind. It will not be disputed that the attribute of the subjective mind, which is known as intuition when applied to man, corresponds exactly with what we call instinct when applied to animals. Now, there are three primary functions, or, let us say, instincts, of the subjective mind, which are common to men and the whole animal creation. The first pertains to the preservation of the life of the individual, and is called, in common parlance, the instinct of self-preservation. This is admittedly the strongest instinct of animal nature. The second, in the order of strength and of universality, is the instinct of reproduction. The third pertains to the preservation of human life generally, and of one's offspring particularly. Each pertains to the perpetuity of the race. The first and second are universal, and the third is practically so; the only exceptions being in rare cases of individual idiosyncrasy, or in a very low order of animal life. The potency of these instincts is too well known to require comment.
There is one peculiarity, however, pertaining to subjective activity when the life of the individual is in danger, or that of offspring is imperilled, that is not so generally appreciated. In such cases the subjective mind takes prompt possession of the individual, and every act is subjective as long as active exertion is required to preserve the imperilled life. That this is true is shown, first, by the preternatural strength with which the person is endowed under such circumstances; second, by the total absence of fear j and third, by the wonderful presence of mind displayed in the instantaneous adaptation of every means to its proper end, and in doing exactly the right thing at the right time. Comment is often made on the wonderful " presence of mind " displayed by persons in great peril when instantaneous action is required, and there is no time for reflection or reasoning out a plan of action or defence. This presence of mind, so called, is