This section is from the book "Handbook Of Suggestive Therapeutics, Applied Hypnotism, Psychic Science", by Henry S. Munro. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of Suggestive Therapeutics, Applied Hypnotism, Psychic Science.
It is now considered that thought transference, or telepathy, is rendered possible on account of the ability of the subconscious mind of one individual to be impressed or influenced by another mind by some means apart from the generally recognized modes of communication. It may be that this is based on sympathy existing between two persons concerned, and deals with something in which they are mutually interested. Be that as it may, that there should be such a relation between two individuals of congenial habits of thought and action seems to me to be no more unreasonable than that two mechanical instruments delicately and harmoniously attuned, the one to the other, should receive electrical vibrations through air, and earth, and water thousands of miles apart, by which our wonderful system of wireless telegraphy has been perfected.
In connection with this phase of the subject I am at present an agnostic, but I am ever ready to stand by facts as I find them, hoping that some day, perhaps not far distant, some of the problems that have so perplexed honest investigators on this line will be explained by the discovery and control of a natural law that has been in operation forever, and, like all other natural laws, only required the intelligence of man to appropriate and use it for his welfare and happiness.
I have had some demonstrations and observations of certain phases of this subject presented to me which have led me to certain conclusions that I desire to bring to your attention, without which it would be impossible to intelligently practice suggestive therapeutics.
I once took a young man whom I had frequently hypnotized, and, while in the hypnotic state, blindfolded him. I wrote upon a piece of paper the following suggestion: "Go to the mantelpiece and get the baby's photograph, and bring it to me." A witness who was present at the time read the suggestion. Not a word was spoken more than to tell him that, when I counted three, I wanted him to go and do what was written upon the piece of paper; that I would not indicate what I wished him to do by look, or gesture, or word, but would constantly think of it.
I then removed the blindfold, told him to open his eyes and do what was ordered on the piece of paper. He at once went to the mantelpiece, put his hand upon the first photograph nearest to him, which was the wrong one, but put that down: then to another, which he also put down; and lastly he took the baby's photograph indicated, held it in his hand and, turning around with a blank expression on his face, handed it to me. "Good," said I. "Be seated and sleep on."
At this juncture a winter coat was thrown over his face, and I wrote on another piece of paper that he would go to a washstand, thrust his hand in the water pitcher, and wash his hands, which he did. 1 again wrote on another piece of paper that he would take a stool upon the floor and turn it bottom side upward, and take a seat in the bottom. This being done, I wrote that he would go to a lounge in the room, lie flat down upon his face, cover his head up with a pillow, and go to sleep.
Take notice that all these suggestions were written - not one word being spoken. Each suggestion was carried out precisely as written upon the piece of paper. When I awakened him and asked what he had been doing, he replied, "Nothing." When I told him what he had done, he denied it. When I presented the written suggestions and assured him positively that he had carried out every suggestion given in writing, and that not a word had been spoken to indicate what we wanted him to do, he laughed aloud and said that wo had played a great joke on him.
Since that one demonstration I have never doubted that man has a means of conveying an idea or impression to another individual which lies outside the domain of the five special senses. It is by this that thought transference, or telepathy, is made possible. As to whether the reader believes in thought transference, or telepathy, is a matter for him to decide. It is recognized as a fact by some of our ablest scientists and psychologists of the present day. It affords an explanation of a great mass of unexplained phenomena that have been hitherto relegated to the realm of mysticism. If there be any truth in it, it has its practical bearing upon our subject at hand in this way: the more faith one has in his ability to hypnotize a subject or to use suggestion, both with and without hypnotism, the greater will be his success; the more faith we have in any therapeutic measure, the better will be the results from its administration; the more faith we have in that inherent quality of resistive power within our patient, call it by whatever name we please, the better are the chances of our patient to recover.
The physicians who have the must confidence in suggestive therapeutics always secure the best results in its application. A doubtful mental suggestion may outweigh a positive oral suggestion, if it be possible to give a positive suggestion orally when one is in doubt, and a physician may fail to get results for the lack of confidence in the procedure.
Furthermore, we, as physicians, should cultivate a spirit of optimism and self-confidence in our demeanor with our patients. The physician who goes into the sick-room with an air of self-sufficiency, which is based upon professional qualifications and an understanding of human nature, will always inspire his patients with confidence and secure that mental attitude on the part of the patient that is desirable. Such a man usually possesses tact sufficient, not only to influence the mental attitude of his patient in regard to his own condition, but to drop a suggestion here and there upon the minds of those around him which will secure the proper psychological environment under which the best results may be obtained.
Many men succeed in the practice of medicine far beyond their professional qualifications because they possess tact and self-confidence sufficient to properly impress and inspire confidence in those with whom they associate.
On the other hand, we often see a well-qualified physician fail to succeed on account of his lack of ability to carry that suggestive influence which is so essential to the personality of the successful physician. A lack of faith in self, however much one may try to conceal the fact from observation, repels that confidence that others would have in one.
I am frequently asked how to acquire confidence in our ability to succeed in accomplishing what we have undertaken in life, and I usually answer: "By going the route - by making the fight, by hard work, concentration, and study, and the acquirement of self-confidence, which can come only through knowledge and experience." That indefinable quality of personality called "personal magnetism" is comprehended here. The man who goes down the stream of life day after day self-reliant, optimistic, and cheerful, with a pleasant greeting for his friends, glad that everything is as well with him today as it is, glad of the privilege to work, and to study, and to learn, and to be of use in the world, is always the one that is looking out for a better tomorrow, and uncon-sciously attracts to him the elements that go to make up success in life.
With the physician this is indicated by his library, his postgraduate diplomas, his office equipment, and the interest that he takes, not only in his profession, but in all questions that contribute to the welfare, happiness, and onward development of the human race. The world has no use for human inertness. We must keep in line with the progress of our age, or step aside.
The individual who is pessimistic, despondent, and gloomy, and so morbidly self-conscious of his own life's battles that he has no time to speak to his friends, who is continually speaking disparagingly of life and its opportunities, brooding over his own troubles, whining and complaining, will drive away those elements that go to make life worth while.
This intuitive faculty of the subconscious mind often forces itself upon the recognition of the physician in his routine work. You have frequently been called to see a patient who was not properly within your clientele. You perhaps wondered why you received this call. On returning the next day to make your second visit, the minute you entered the sick-room you could tell whether your patient was better or worse, and who among the environment was for you or against you, and you have at times observed that the patient would be progressing very satisfactorily but for the antagonistic suggestive influence of some influential member of the family or friend who favored the patronage of another physician.
To get properly en rapport with all those who collectively go to make up the environing influence brought to bear upon your patient constitutes tact, and is one of the greatest elements of success in the practice of medicine.