Space will not permit the reproduction of further account of the experiments of the Society for Psychical Research and the reader is referred to their Proceedings for fuller information. It must suffice to say that the experiments referred to are completely demonstrative, not only of the fact that an effluence does emanate from the mesmeric operator, but that under mesmeric conditions telepathic suggestion is as potent as are the oral suggestions of the hypnotists.
These facts are beginning to be recognized even by the scientists of Europe, thanks to the carefully conducted experiments of the Society for Psychical Research. Professor Liebault himself, the discoverer of the law of suggestion, now freely admits the fact that a specific influence is sometimes exerted by the mesmerizer upon his subject, which does not arise from oral suggestion. In fact, this doctrine must soon be, if it is not now, one of the recognized principles of psychic .science.
It will thus be seen that healing by mesmerism is a process clearly distinct from healing by hypnotism. The latter depends for its effects wholly upon oral suggestion and the unaided power of the subjective mind of the patient over the functions and conditions of his body; whereas the mesmeric healer exerts a positive force of great potentiality upon the body of the patient, filling it with vitality, in addition to the oral suggestion of the hypnotist. Not only so, but when purely mesmeric methods are employed, - that is, when the mesmerist is in subjective rapport with his patient, as fully explained in a former chapter, - he is in a condition to convey suggestions telepathically with as much certainty and potency as he could orally. In point of fact, telepathic suggestions by a genuine mesmerist are often far more efficacious than the oral suggestions of a hypnotist, for the simple reason that the mesmerist, being in a partially subjective condition himself, is able to perceive by intuition the true condition of the patient. In other words, the intuitive, or subjective, diagnosis of an intelligent mesmerist, supposing always the true mesmeric conditions to be present, is far more likely to be correct than the objective diagnosis of the hypnotist.
For, be it known, it is just as necessary for the mental healer, whatever may be his processes or his theory, to be able to make a correct diagnosis of a case as it is for the allopathic physician. The reason is the same in both cases. The efforts of the healer must necessarily be exerted in the right direction, or they will be futile. Hence it is that, other things being equal, the most intelligent mental healer is always the most successful.
Taking it for granted, then, that there is a fluidic emanation, or effluence, proceeding from the mesmerist and impinging upon the patient, it follows that there is a positive dynamic force exerted upon the patient, either for good or evil, by the employment of mesmeric methods. That its effects are salutary when properly used for therapeutic purposes is proved by the concurrent testimony of all who have intelligently made the experiment, from the days of Paracelsus down to the present time.
From this it would appear that mesmerism must be the most powerful, in its immediate effects, of any of the known methods of mental healing. It combines oral suggestion with mental suggestion, and employs in addition that mysterious psycho-physical force, or effluence, popularly known as animal magnetism.
Before leaving this branch of the subject, a few remarks will be in order regarding the relative value of the different systems of mental healing now in vogue. It has frequently been charged that healing by hypnotism and mesmerism is not lasting in its effects, - that no permanent cure is ever made by these methods. It must be admitted that there is some ground for these statements, although so sweeping a charge is by no means justifiable. It is true that in many instances patients who have been cured by hypnotism and mesmerism have suffered a relapse, and in some cases the relapse has been worse than was the original sickness. This of itself constitutes no valid objection to the means of cure; for it must be admitted that under no system of treatment is a patient free from the danger of a relapse or of a recurrence of the disease at some future time. There is, however, this to be said in regard to hypnotic or mesmeric treatment which does not apply with the same force to healing by medicines. The success of mental methods of treatment depending, as it does, upon the mental condition of the patient and upon the mental impressions made upon him, it follows that if the mental impressions are not permanent, the cure may not be permanent.
Hence it often happens that a patient, elated by the success of hypnotic treatment in his case, relates the circumstances to his friends, especially to his sceptical associates, only to meet with a storm of ridicule, or at least with expressions of incredulity or doubt. In such a mental environment his subjective mind inevitably takes hold of the adverse suggestions, and without being objectively conscious of it, he has lost faith, the citadel of his defence is broken down, and if his disease had a mental origin, he is open to another attack more severe and serious perhaps than the first. That Christ was fully alive to this danger is shown by the fact that when he healed a person in private, he rarely failed to place the solemn injunction upon him, "See thou tell no man." No recorded words that the Master ever uttered display a more profound knowledge of the underlying principles of mental healing than these. Modern healers are not so modest, nor do they seem to understand the prime necessity for seeing to it that their patients are kept in a proper frame of mind in reference to their disease and the means employed to cure them.
The general principle of auto-suggestion is recognized by all scientific hypnotists of the present day; but they fail to recognize its extreme importance as a therapeutic agent. Properly understood and applied, auto-suggestion supplies a means of enabling every one to heal himself, or at least to hold himself in the proper mental attitude to make permanent the good effects of hypnotic treatment by others. Many of the pains and ills to which the average man is subject can be cured by this means, and it should be the first care of every hypnotist to instruct his patients in this branch of the science. In this respect the Christian scientists are far in advance of the hypnotists and mesmerists. They teach their patients how to help themselves. They organize them into classes, deliver lectures, and give minute instructions how to treat themselves, as well as how to treat others. Without knowing it, they in effect teach their patients the methods of autosuggestion. Without having the remotest conception of the real principles which underlie their so-called "science," they have somehow stumbled upon the machinery of mental therapeutics. To do them full justice, it must be said that they employ the machinery to good purpose.
They do much good and little harm, and the little harm they do, generally arises from over confidence in the universal effi-cacy of their methods.