An English gentleman, well known to the writer, relates a curious anecdote of a dog which was raised in his family. After the dog had come to maturity, one of the sons married and set up an establishment about three miles from the parental mansion. It was the habit of the family to see that the dog was fed regularly, immediately after each meal, with the scraps from the table. At the home mansion the Sunday dinner-hour was the same as on week-days, but was just two hours earlier than that adopted at the son's establishment. This fact the dog by some means became acquainted with, and he never failed to take advantage of the information. Every Sunday he would wait patiently for the home dinner; and having finished it, he would promptly take his departure, and never failed to put in an appearance at the son's house on time for dinner, where he was sure to be welcomed and entertained as an honored guest. On week-days the dinner-hour at the two houses was the same, and consequently he never made a pilgrimage in search of an extra meal on any day but Sunday.
A favorite mastiff in the family of the writer has taken upon himself the regulation of the household affairs. He awakens the family in the morning at a certain hour, and insists upon promptitude in rising. At precisely twelve o'clock he notifies the family that it is time to feed the horse, and will give no one any peace until his friend's wants are supplied. His own meal seems to be a secondary consideration. At three o'clock he notifies his mistress that it is time to visit the kitchen and give directions for preparing dinner. It is not because he expects to be fed at that time, for he is never fed until the family have dined, two hours later. At nine o'clock he rises from his rug on the library floor, and insists upon a visit to the kitchen for a lunch. It is rare that he varies five minutes from the regular hours above noted, but is generally within a minute.
This power is exhibited in its perfection in hypnotic subjects and in ordinary sleep. It is that faculty which enables one to awake at an appointed hour in the night, when, before going to sleep, he has made a firm resolution to do so. M. Jouffroy, one of the most celebrated philosophers of France, in speaking of this subject says:-
"I have this power in perfection, but I notice that I lose it if I depend on any one calling me. In this latter case my mind does not take the trouble of reasoning the time or of listening to the clock. But in the former it is necessary that it do so, otherwise the phenomenon is inexplicable. Every one has made or can make this experiment".
M. Jouffroy is doubtless mistaken in supposing that the mind is necessarily employed in watching the clock; for the experiment is just as successful in the absence of any timepiece. Besides, the fact that animals possess the faculty shows that it is an inherent attribute of the subjective mind. It is the lapse of time that is noted by men as well as by animals, and is wholly independent of artificial methods. or instruments for marking the divisions of time. Every one possesses this faculty in a greater or less degree, and the subject need not, therefore, be enlarged upon.
As before intimated, hypnotic subjects possess in a very remarkable degree the faculty of noting the lapse of time. On this subject Professor Bernheiml says:-
"If a somnambulist is made to promise during his sleep that he will come back on such and such a day, at such and such an hour, he will almost surely return on the day and at the hour, although he has no remembrance of his promise when he wakes up. I made A say that he would come back to me in thirteen days, at ten o'clock in the morning. He remembered nothing when he waked. On the thirteenth day, at ten o'clock in the morning, he appeared, having come three kilometres from his house to the hospital. He had been working in the foundries all night, went to bed at six in the morning, and woke up at nine with the idea that he had to come to the hospital to see me. He told me that he had had no such idea on the preceding days, and did not know that he had to come to see me. It came into his head just at the time when he ought to carry it out".
1 Suggestive Therapeutics, p. 37.
It is also well known to all hypnotists that subjects in a hypnotic sleep will awaken at any hour prescribed to them by the operator, seldom varying more than five minutes from the time set, even when the sleep is prolonged for hours. If the subject is commanded to sleep, say, ten or fifteen minutes, he will generally awaken exactly on time. This fact also is universally recognized by those familial with hypnotic phenomena, and the subject need not be further illustrated.
In concluding this chapter, it is impossible to refrain from indulging in a few general observations regarding the conclusions derivable from the peculiar characteristics of the subjective intelligence thus far noted. We have seen that certain phenomena depend for their perfect development upon objective education, and that certain other phenomena are exhibited in perfection independent of objective education. In other words, certain powers are inherent in the subjective intelligence. These powers appear to pertain to the comprehension of the laws of Nature. We have seen that, under certain conditions, the subjective mind comprehends by intuition the laws of mathematics. It comprehends the laws of harmony of sounds, independently of objective education. By true artists the laws of the harmony of colors are also perceived intuitively.1 These facts have been again and again demonstrated. It would seem, therefore, to be a just conclusion that the subjective mind, untrammelled by its objective environment, will be enabled to comprehend all the laws of Nature, to perceive, to know all truth, independent of the slow, laborious process of induction.
1 It must be here remarked that although the laws pertaining to the harmony of colors may be comprehended by intuition, yet an objective education is necessary to enable the artist to combine the necessary pigments to produce the colors on canvas, and to perform the other mechanical labor necessary to place the paints upon the canvas in such relations as to produce a picture. When this is acquired, intuition will do the rest.
We are so accustomed to boast of the "god-like reason " with which man is endowed, that the proposition that the subjective mind - the soul - of man is incapable of exercising that function, in what we regard as the highest form of reasoning, seems, at first glance, to be a limitation of the intellectual power of the soul, and inconsistent with what we have been accustomed to regard as the highest attributes of human intelligence. But a moment's reflection will develop the fact that this apparent limitation of intellectual power is, in reality, a god-like attribute of mind. God himself cannot reason inductively. Inductive reasoning presupposes an inquiry, a search after knowledge, an effort to arrive at correct conclusions regarding something of which we are ignorant. To suppose God to be an inquirer, a seeker after knowledge, by finite processes of reasoning, is a conception of the Deity which negatives his omniscience, and measures Infinite Intelligence by purely finite standards. For our boasted "god-like reason" is of the earth, earthy. It is the noblest attribute of the finite mind, it is true, but it is essentially finite. It is the outgrowth of our objective existence. It is our safest guide in the walks of earthly life.
It is our faithful monitor and guardian in our daily struggle with our physical environment. It is our most reliable auxiliary in our efforts to penetrate the secrets of Nature, and wrest from her the means of subsistence. But its functions cease with the necessities which called it into existence; for it will be no longer useful when the physical form has perished, and the veil is lifted which hides from mortal eyes that world where all truth is revealed. Then it is that the soul - the subjective mind - will perform its normal functions, untrammelled by the physical form which imprisons it and binds it to earth, and in its native realm of truth, unimpeded by the laborious processes of finite reasoning, it will imbibe all truth from its Eternal Source.