This section is from the book "Applications of Psychology to the Problems of Personal and Business Efficiency", by Warren Hilton. Also available from Amazon: Psychology and Achievement - Applied Psychology 12 Volume Set.
"Next day Prof. Janet hypnotized Leonie again, and presently Leontine, as usual, assumed control of the joint personality. 'Well,' she said, 'I did what you told me yesterday! How stupid the other one looked' - Leontine always calls Leonie 'the other one' - 'while I took her apron off! Why did you tell her that her apron was falling off? I was obliged to begin the job over again.'
"Thus far we have dealt with a secondary personality summoned into being, so to say, by our own experiments, and taking its orders entirely from us. It seems, however, that when once set up, this new personality can occasionally assume the initiative, and can say what it wants to say without any prompting. This is curiously illustrated by what may be termed a conjoint epistle addressed to Prof. Janet by Mme. B. and her secondary personality, Leontine. She had left Havre more than two months when I received from her a very curious letter. On the first page was a curious note written in a serious and respectful style. She was unwell, she said, worse on some days than on others, and she signed her true name, Mme. B. But over the page began another letter in quite a different style, and which I may quote as a curiosity. 'My dear good sir, I must tell you that B. really, really makes me suffer very much; she cannot sleep, she spits blood, she hurts me; I am going to demolish her, she bores me, I am ill also, this is from your devoted Leon-tine.' When Mme. B. returned to Havre I naturally questioned her about this singular missive. She remembered the first letter. I at first thought that there must have been an attack of spontaneous somnambulism between the moment when she finished the first letter and the moment when she closed the envelope. But afterwards these unconscious, spontaneous letters became common, and I was better able to study their mode of production. I was fortunately able to watch Mme. B. on one occasion while she went through this curious performance. She was seated at a table, and held in her left hand the piece of knitting at which she had been working. Her face was calm, her eyes looked into space with a certain fixity, but she was not cataleptic, for she was humming a rustic air; her right hand wrote quickly, and, as it were, surreptitiously. I removed the paper without her noticing me, and then spoke to her; she turned around, wide awake, but surprised to see me, for in her state of distraction she had not noticed my approach. Of the letter which she was writing she knew nothing whatever.
"Leontine's independent action is not entirely confined to writing letters. She observed (apparently) Leonore. And observe that just as Leontine can sometimes by her own motion and without suggestion write a letter during Leonie's state and give advice which Leonie might do well to follow, so also Leonore can occasionally intervene of her own motion during Leontine's dominance and give advice which Leontine might with advantage obey.
"' The spontaneous acts of the unconscious self,' says M. Janet, here meaning by I'inconscient the entity to which he has given the name of Leonore, 'may also assume a very reasonable form, a form which, were it better understood, might perhaps serve to explain certain cases of insanity. Mme. B. during her somnambulism (i.e. Leontine) had had a sort of hysterical crisis; she was restless and noisy, and I could not calm her. Suddenly she stopped and said to me with terror, "Oh, who is talking to me like that? It frightens me." "No one is talking to you." "Yes! there on the left." And she got up and tried to open a wardrobe on her left hand, to see if someone was hidden there. "What is it that you hear?" I asked. "I hear on the left a voice which repeats, 'Enough! Enough be quiet; you are a nuisance' " Assuredly the voice which thus spoke was a reasonable one, for Leontine was insupportable; but I had suggested nothing of the kind, and had had no idea of inspiring a hallucination of hearing. Another day Leontine was quite calm, but obstinately refused to answer a question which I asked. Again she heard with terror the same voice to her left, saying: 'Come, be sensible; you must answer.' Thus the unconscious sometimes gave her excellent advice. "And in effect, so soon as Leonore, in her turn, was summoned into communication, she accepted the responsibility of this counsel. 'What was it that happened,' asked M. Janet, 'when Leontine was so frightened?' 'Oh, nothing, it was I who told her to keep quiet; I saw she was annoying you; I don't know why she was so frightened.' "Just as Mme. B. was sent by passes into a state of lethargy from which she emerged as Leontine, so also Leontine in her turn was reduced by renewed passes to a state of lethargy from which she emerged no longer as Leontine, but as Leonore. This second awakening is slow and gradual, but the personality which emerges is in one most important point superior to either Leonie or Leontine. Alone among the subject's phases this phase possesses the memory of every phase. Leonore, like Leontine, knows the normal life of Leonie, but distinguishes herself from Leonie, in whom it must be said, these subjacent personalities appear to take little interest. But Leonore also remembers the life of Leontine, condemns her as noisy and frivolous, and is anxious not to be confounded with either.
You may wonder why we are leading you so far into abnormal and weird manifestations of mind. It is because of the light these abnormal phases shed upon the operations of the normal mind. You cannot, for example, have gone through these pages, and fail to realize that you may have distinct mental activities outside your consciousness.