It is universally known to be true, by all who have given the slightest attention to psychological science, that passivity on the part of the subject is the primary condition necessary for the production of any psychic phenomenon. Passivity simply means the suspension of the functions of the objective mind for the time being, for the purpose of allowing the subjective mind to receive impressions and to act upon them. The more perfectly the objective intelligence can be held in abeyance, the more perfectly will the subjective mind perform its functions. This is why a state of profound hypnotism is the most favorable for the reception of suggestions, either oral or mental. That this is more especially true of mental suggestions is shown by all experiments in mesmerism. It may, therefore, be safely assumed that the most favorable condition in which a patient can be placed for the reception of telepathic suggestions for therapeutic purposes is the condition wherein the functions of his objective intelligence are, for the time being, entirely suspended.

The third proposition is that there is nothing to differentiate hypnotic sleep from natural sleep. Startling as this proposition may appear to the superficial observer, it is fully concurred in both by M. Liebault and Professor Bernheim.

"There is no fundamental difference," says the latter,1 "between spontaneous and induced sleep. M. Liebault has very wisely established this fact. The spontaneous sleeper is in relationship with himself alone; the idea which occupies his mind just before going to sleep, the impressions which the sensitive and sensorial nerves of the periphery continue to transmit to the brain, and the stimuli coming from the viscera, become the point of departure for the incoherent images and impressions which constitute dreams. Have those who deny the psychical phenomena of hypnotism, or who only admit them in cases of diseased nervous temperament, ever reflected upon what occurs in normal sleep, in which the best-balanced mind is carried by the current, in which the faculties are dissociated, in which the most singular ideas and the most fantastic conceptions obtrude ? Poor human reason is carried away, the proudest mind yields to hallucinations, and during this sleep - that is to say, during a quarter of its existence - becomes the plaything of the dreams which imagination calls forth.

1 Suggestive Therapeutics, pp. 140, 141.

"In induced sleep the subject's mind retains the memory of the person who has put him to sleep, whence the hypnotizer's power of playing upon his imagination, of suggesting dreams, and of directing the acts which are no longer controlled by the weakened or absent will".

There are, in fact, many analogies between the phenomena of normal sleep and the phenomena of hypnotism. For instance, it is well known that the recollection of what occurred during hypnotic sleep is in exact inverse proportion to the depth of the sleep. If the sleep is light, the remembrance of the subject is perfect. If the sleep is profound, he remembers nothing, no matter what the character of the scenes he may have passed through. The same is true of dreams. We remember only those dreams which occur during the period when we are just going to sleep or are just awakening. Profound sleep is dreamless, so far as the recollection of the sleeper informs him. Nevertheless, it is certain that we dream continuously during sleep. The subjective mind is ever awake during the sleep of the body, and always active. Our dreams are often incoherent and absurd, for the reason that they are generally invoked by peripheral impressions. These impressions constitute suggestions which the subjective mind, in obedience to the universal law, accepts as true; and it always deduces the legitimate conclusions therefrom.

For instance, it is probably within the experience of every reader that an accidental removal of the bed-clothing during a cold night will cause the sleeper to dream of wading through snow, or of sleigh-riding. And the dream will be pleasant or otherwise just in accordance with the character of the other attendant peripheral impressions. If the dreamer is in good health he will dream of pleasant winter scenes and experiences. If his stomach is out of order, or overloaded, he will have a nightmare, with a winter setting of ice and snow and all that is disagreeable, dank, and dismal.

As we have seen in the preceding chapters, the subjective mind reasons deductively only from premises that are suggested to it, whether the suggestions are imparted to it by its physical environment, as in sleep, or by oral suggestion, as in hypnotism, or telepathically, as in the higher forms of mesmerism. Its deductions are always logical, whether the premises are true or false. Hence the absurdity of many of our dreams; they are merely deductions from false premises. The suggestions or impressions imparted to us during sleep being the result of accidental surroundings and stimuli, modified by the state of our health, our mental work during the day, and a thousand other things of which we can have no knowledge, and which are beyond our control, are necessarily of a heterogeneous character; and the deductions from such premises must of necessity be incoherent and fantastic to the last degree.

It is obvious, therefore, that the subjective mind is amenable to control by suggestion during natural sleep just the same as it is during hypnotic, or induced, sleep. It might not be unprofitable in this connection to enter into a general inquiry as to how far it would be possible to control our dreams by auto-suggestion, and thus obviate the discomforts incident to unpleasant nocturnal hallucinations. But as we are now engaged in a specific inquiry into the question of how far the subjective mind can be influenced for therapeutic purposes, the general field of speculation must be left for others. It is sufficient for present purposes to establish the proposition that the subjective mind is controllable by the power of suggestion during natural sleep.