Telepathy the Normal Means of Communication between Subjective Minds. - Perfect Passivity required for Therapeutic Suggestions. - Natural Sleep the most Perfect State of Passivity. - Hypnotic Sleep and Natural Sleep identical. - Phenomena of Dreams. - Subjective Mind controllable by Suggestion during Natural Sleep. - Illustrative Incidents. - Passivity a Necessity on the Part of the Operator. - The Subjective Mind can be caused to convey Telepathic Messages during Sleep. - Illustrative Experiments.
THE science of psycho-therapeutics is yet in its infancy. Thus far just enough has been learned to stimulate research. It has been demonstrated that there is a psychic power inherent in man which can be employed for the amelioration of his own physical condition, as well as that of his fellows. When this is said, nearly all the ground covered by present knowledge has been embraced. It is true that many wonderful cures have been effected, many marvellous phenomena developed. Nevertheless, all are groping in the dark, with only an occasional glimmering of distant light shed upon the subject; and this light serves principally to show how little is now known, compared with what there is yet to learn.
In one view of the situation, however, it may be said that much has already been accomplished. In the conflict of theoretical discussion, and by means of the various and seemingly conflicting methods of operation, certain laws have been discovered which may serve as a basis for new experiments and new discoveries. It is the province of science to collate those laws and to classify the facts whereever found, and from them to try to reason up to the general principles involved. When this is done, fearlessly and conscientiously, a decided step in advance will have been made. Some new law may then be discovered, or at least some new method of operation may be developed, which shall add to the general stock of knowledge of the science, and enlarge its field of usefulness.
It is the object of the writer to offer a few observations in this chapter, in a direction believed to be substantially new, and briefly to present some conclusions at which he has arrived from a careful examination of premises which seem to have been well established by the experiments of others. Before doing so it will be necessary first to state the premises upon which the conclusions are based; and in doing this, care will be taken not to travel outside of well-authenticated experiments.
The first proposition is, that there is inherent in mankind the power to communicate thoughts to others independently of objective means of communication. The truth of this general proposition has been so thoroughly demonstrated by the experiments of members of the London Society for Psychical Research that time and space will not be wasted in its further elucidation. For a full treatment of the subject the reader is referred to "Phantasms of the Living," in which the results of the researches of that Society are ably set forth by Messrs. Edmund Gurney, F. W. H. Myers, and Frank Podmore. It is hardly necessary to remind the intelligent reader that the methods of investigation employed by these able and indefatigable laborers in the field of psychical research are purely scientific, and their works are singularly free from manifestations of prejudice or of unreasoning scepticism on the one hand, and of credulity on the other. It is confidently assumed, therefore, that the power of telepathic communication is as thoroughly established as any fact in nature.
Now, telepathy is primarily the communion of subjective minds, or rather it is the normal means of communication between subjective minds. The reason of the apparent rarity of its manifestation is that it requires exceptional con-ditions to bring its results above the threshold of consciousness. There is every reason to believe that the souls, or subjective minds, of men can and do habitually hold communion with one another when not the remotest perception of the fact is communicated to the objective intelligence. It may be that such communion is not general among men; but it is certain that it is held between those who, from any cause, are en rapport. The facts recorded by the Society for Psychical Research demonstrate that proposition. Thus, near relatives are oftenest found to be in communion, as is shown by the comparative frequency of telepathic communications between relatives, giving warning of sickness or of death. Next in frequency are communications between intimate friends. Communications of this character between comparative strangers are apparently rare. Of course the only means we have of judging of these things is by the record of those cases in which the communications have been brought to the objective consciousness of the percipients.
From these cases it seems fair to infer that the subjective minds of those who are deeply interested in one another are in habitual communion, especially when the personal interest or welfare of either agent or percipient is at stake. Be this as it may, it is certain that telepathic communication can be established at will by the conscious effort of one or both of the parties, even between strangers. The experiments of the Society above named have demonstrated this fact. It will be assumed, therefore, for the purposes of this argument that telepathic communion can be established between two subjective minds at the will of either. The fact may not be perceived by the subject, for it may not rise above the threshold of his objective consciousness. But for therapeutic purposes it is not necessary that the patient should know, objectively, that anything is being done for him. Indeed, it is often better that he should not know it, for reasons set forth in a former chapter. The second proposition is that a state of perfect passivity on the part of the percipient is the most favorable condition for the reception of telepathic impressions or communications. It needs no argument to establish the truth of this proposition.