A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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v                     THE EVOLUTION OF PSYCHOTHERAPY                 195
magnetism \ By 1778 he had discarded the baquet and used his finger tips on the patient. Often, as our eyewitness tells us, he merely looked into his patient's eyes with the same magnetic effect. Perhaps there was something special about the relationship between magnetizer and subject. Mesmer perceived dimly that the essential thing seemed to be the rapport that passed between him and the patient. Chained to his theory, he regarded this as due to magnetic fluidum. He was on the threshold of a tremendous discovery that his cures were due to the power of mentaj^ suggestion which he exerted over his patients. Even his enemies of the Academy could not deny his personal power. It is impossible not to admit ', they wrote, ' that some great force acts upon and masters the patients and that this force appears to reside in the magnetiser.' But he never understood it. All through his life he was close to this discovery but always his mystical bias drew him away.
In 1814 the Abbe Faria, a Portuguese monk, came from India to Paris, where he^practised hypnotism with his famous command ' Dormez \ He suggested that the phenomena were subjective in origin, but his views made little impression and were soon forgotten. On the other hand, the influence of Mesmer continued to be widely felt, numerous observers in different countries produced phenomena resembling those he had shown, and explained them in much the same way.
About the year 1841, a development occurred in England that rekindled interest in magnetism. James Braid, a medical practitioner of Manchester, like many of his professional brethren, maintained a sceptical attitude towards mesmerism. But on visiting a seance, he was immediately struck by the fact that the subject was unable to lift his eyelids while he was in the mesmeric state. Even when the subject used intense effort, he