The Doctrine of the Trinity of Man. - The Greek Philosophy.-The Early Christian Fathers. - Hermetic Philosophy. Sweden-borg. - Duality in Modern Philosophy. - "Objective" and " Subjective" Minds. - Their Distinctive Differences and Modes of Operation. - The Subjective Mind a Distinct Entity. - Illustrations from Hypnotism. - Suggestion. - Auto-Suggestion. -Universality of the Law of Suggestion.
THE broad idea that man is endowed with a dual mental organization is far from being new. The essential truth of the proposition has been recognized by philosophers of all ages and nations of the civilized world. That man is a trinity, made up of "body, soul, and spirit," was a cardinal tenet in the faith of many ancient Greek philosophers, who thus clearly recognized the dual character of man's mental or spiritual organization. Plato's idea of terrestrial man was that he is a "trinity of soul, soul-body, and earth-body." The mystic jargon of the Hermetic philosophers discloses the same general idea. The "salt, sulphur, and mercury" of the ancient alchemists doubtless refers to man as being composed of a trinity of elements. The early Christian Fathers confidently proclaimed the same doctrine, as is shown in the writings of Clement, Origen, Tatian, and other early exponents of Christian doctrine.
Indeed, it may be safely assumed that the conception of this fundamental truth was more or less clearly defined in the minds of all ancient philosophers, both Christian and pagan. It is the basis of their conception of God as a Trinity in his personality, modes of existence, and manifestations, - a conception of which Schelling says: "The philosophy of mythology proves that a trinity of divine potentialities is the root from which have grown the religious ideas of all nations of any importance that are known to us".
In later times, Swedenborg, believing himself to be divinely inspired, declared that "There appertain to every man an internal man, a rational man, and an external man, which is properly called the natural man." Again, he tells us that there are three natures, or degrees of life, in man, - "the natural, the spiritual, and the celestial".
Of modern writers who accept the dual theory, Professor Wigan, Dr. Brown-Sequard, and Professor Proctor are notable examples. Numerous facts are cited by these writers, demonstrating the broad fact of duality of mind, although their theory of causation, based on cerebral anatomy, will not bear a moment's examination in the light of the facts of hypnotic science.
In more recent years 1 the doctrine of duality of mind is beginning to be more clearly defined, and it may now be said to constitute a cardinal principle in the philosophy of many of the ablest exponents of the new psychology.
Thousands of examples might be cited to show that in all the ages the truth has been dimly recognized by men of all civilized races and in all conditions of life. Indeed, it may be safely predicated of every man of intelligence and refinement that he has often felt within himself an intelligence not the result of education, a perception of truth independent of the testimony of his bodily senses.
It is natural to suppose that a proposition, the substantial correctness of which has been so widely recognized, must not only possess a solid basis of truth, but must, if clearly understood, possess a veritable significance of the utmost importance to mankind.
Hitherto, however, no successful attempt has been made to define clearly the nature of the two elements which con stitute the dual mind; nor has the fact been recognized that the two minds possess distinctive characteristics. It is a fact, nevertheless, that the line of demarcation between the two is clearly defined; that their functions are essentially unlike; that each is endowed with separate and distinct attributes and powers; and that each is capable, under certain conditions and limitations, of independent action.
1 Since the above was written, Du Prel's able and interesting work, entitled "The Philosophy of Mysticism," has appeared, in which the dual theory is demonstrated beyond question by reference to the phenomena of dreams.
For want of a better nomenclature, I shall distinguish the two by designating the one as objective, and the other as subjective. In doing so the commonly received definitions of the two words will be slightly modified and extended; but inasmuch as they more nearly express my exact meaning than any others that occur to me, I prefer to use them rather than attempt to coin new ones.
In general terms the difference between man's two minds may be stated as follows:-
The objective mind takes cognizance of the objective world. Its media of observation are the five physical senses. It is the outgrowth of man's physical necessities. It is his guide in his struggle with his material environment. Its highest function is that of reasoning.
The subjective mind takes cognizance of its environment by means independent of the physical senses. It perceives by intuition. It is the seat of the emotions, and the storehouse of memory. It performs its highest functions when the objective senses are in abeyance. In a word, it is that intelligence which makes itself manifest in a hypnotic subject when he is in a state of somnambulism.
In this state many of the most wonderful feats of the subjective mind are performed. It sees without the use of the natural organs of vision; and in this, as in many other grades, or degrees, of the hypnotic state, it can be made, apparently, to leave the body, and travel to distant lands and bring back intelligence, oftentimes of the most exact and truthful character. It also has the power to read the thoughts of others, even to the minutest details; to read the contents of sealed envelopes and of closed books. In short, it is the subjective mind that possesses what is popularly designated as clairvoyant power, and the ability to apprehend the thoughts of others without the aid of the ordinary, objective means of communication.