Failure does not necessarily follow the imparting of such information; but when the patient or his immediate friends are aware of the effort being made in his behalf, there is always danger of adverse auto-suggestion on the part of the patient, or of adverse suggestion being made orally or telepathically by his sceptical friends. The conditions are then no better and no worse than the conditions ordinarily encountered by those who employ other methods of mental healing. I have successfully treated patients after informing them of my intentions; but it was because I first succeeded in impressing them favorably, and their mental environment was not antagonistic.
One fact of peculiar significance connected with the case of rheumatism above mentioned must not be omitted; and this is that the patient was a thousand miles distant when the cure was performed. Others have been successfully treated at distances varying from one to three hundred miles. The truth is, as has been before remarked, space does not seem to exist for the subjective mind. Experimental telepathy demonstrates this fact. Cases of thought-transference are recorded where the percipient was at the antipodes. The only thing that operates to prevent successful telepathy between persons at great distances from each other is our habit of thinking. We are accustomed to regard space as an obstacle which necessarily prevents successful communication between persons. It is difficult to realize that space is merely a mode of objective thought, so to speak, and that it does not exist as an obstacle in the way of subjective transmission of impressions. We are, therefore, handicapped by a want of faith in our ability in that direction. In other words, our faith is in inverse proportion to the distance involved.
When we can once realize the fact that distance does not exist for the soul, we shall find that a patient can be treated as successfully by telepathic suggestion in one part of the world as another. The only exception to the rule will be when the patient is at the antipodes; for then the healer and the patient will not ordinarily both be asleep at the same time. But space, or distance between the agent and the percipient, does not enter per se as an adverse element to modify the effects of telepathic suggestion.
The diseases thus far successfully treated by this process have been rheumatism, neuralgia, dyspepsia, bowel complaint, sick headache, torpidity of the liver, chronic bronchitis, partial paralysis, pen paralysis, and strabismus. The last-named case was not treated by myself, and I very seriously doubt whether I could have commanded sufficient confidence to be successful. But a lady, whom I had instructed in the process, asked me if I thought there was any use in her trying to cure a bad case of strabismus, her little niece, about ten years of age, having been thus afflicted from her birth. I unhesitatingly assured her that there was no doubt of her ability to effect a cure. Full of confidence, she commenced the treatment, and kept it up for about three months, at the end of which time the cure was complete. In this case the best conditions were rigidly adhered to, no one but myself having been informed of the intended experiment. A volume could be filled with the details of the experiments which have been made; but as it is foreign to the purpose of this book to treat exhaustively any one phase of psychological phenomena, but rather to develop a working hypothesis applicable to all branches of the subject, the foregoing must suffice.
Little need be said regarding the mode of operation, as it is apparent from what has been said that the method is as simple as it is effective. All that is required on the part of the operator is that he shall be possessed of an earnest desire to cure the patient; that he shall concentrate his mind, just before going to sleep, upon the work in hand, and direct his subjective mind to occupy itself during the night in conveying therapeutic suggestions to the patient. To that end the operator must accustom himself to the assumption that his subjective mind is a distinct entity; that it must be treated as such, and guided and directed in the work to be done. The work is possibly more effective if the operator knows the character of the disease with which the patient is afflicted, as he would then be able to give his directions more specifically. But much may be left to instinct, of which the subjective mind is the source. It seems reasonable to suppose, however, that if that instinct is educated by objective training it will be all the better.
This is, however, a question which must be left for future experimental solution, not enough being now positively known to warrant a statement as to how far the healing power of the subjective mind is, or may be, modified by the objective knowledge or training of the healer.
Be this as it may, the fact remains that all men possess the power to alleviate human suffering, to a greater or less degree, by the method developed in the foregoing pages. For obvious reasons it is not a method by which money can be made. But it is pre-eminently a means of laying up treasures where neither moth nor rust can corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal. Each one has it in his power to alleviate the sufferings of his neighbor, his friend, or the stranger within his gates; but his compensation must consist in the consciousness of doing good, and in the hope of that reward promised by the Master to those who do their alms in secret. There is, nevertheless, a practical and immediate reward accompanying every effort to heal the sick by the method herein indicated. In consists in this, - that every earnest effort to convey therapeutic impressions to a patient during sleep is inevitably followed by a dreamless sleep on the part of the healer. It would seem that the subjective mind, following the command or suggestions of the healer, occupies itself with the work it is directed to do, to the exclusion of all else; and hence the physical environment of the sleeper fails to produce peripheral impressions strong enough to cause the dreams which ordinarily result from such impressions.