The subject of Automatism has thus far been illustrated by reference to Planchette-writing alone. It was selected because it is the kind most frequently seen and most easily proved by experiment. The little instrument Planchette, however, is not essential; it is used because, being placed on casters, it is more easily moved.

The Chinese, long ago, used for the same purpose a little basket, with style attached, placed upon two even chopsticks.

The same results also occur with some persons when the pencil is simply held in the usual manner for writing. The hand then being allowed to remain perfectly passive, automatic movements first take place - the hand moving round and round or across the paper, and then follows writing or drawing, as the case may be. Some persons produce written messages in mirror writing -that is, reversed - or so written that it can only be easily read by causing it to be reflected in a mirror. This kind of writing is sometimes produced on the first attempt of the experimenter, and even by young children without any experience or knowledge of the subject.

As previously shown, different strata of consciousness may, and in some well observed cases, most certainly do, exist in the same individual. In these well observed cases, each separate consciousness had its own distinct chain of memories and its own characteristics and peculiarities; and these distinct chains of memories and well defined characteristics constitute, so far as we can judge, distinct personalities. At all events, they are centres of intelligence and mental activity which are altogether independent of the ordinary, everyday consciousness or personality, and often altogether superior to it. Accordingly this other centre of intelligence and mental activity has been named the second personality or subliminal self; that is, a consciousness or self or personality beneath the threshold, so to speak, of the ordinary or primary self.

Ansel Bourne and A. J. Brown were separate and distinct personalities, having entirely distinct, and apparently unrelated, chains of memory, distinct characteristics, opinions, and peculiarities.

acting at different times through the same body.

Ansel Bourne was the usual or primary personality; A. J. Brown was a second personality, a separate focus of intelligence and mental activity, a subliminal self. What the exact relationship existing between these two personalities may be we do not attempt at present to explain; but that they exist and act independent of each other we know. In other instances, as, for example, that of Madame B., the hypnotic subject of Prof. Janet of Havre, and also that of Alma Z., we have been able to observe these separate centres of intelligence, these distinct personalities, both in action at the same time, upon altogether separate and unrelated subjects. Sometimes the subliminal self takes full control, making itself the active ruling personality to the entire exclusion of the primary self; and sometimes it only sends messages to the primary or ordinary self, by suggestion, mental pictures, or vivid impressions made upon the organs of sense and producing the sensation of seeing, hearing, or touch.

To illustrate these different methods of communication between the ordinary and subliminal self, suppose an individual, whom we will designate as X., manifests this peculiar condition of double consciousness. As we have seen, the subliminal self often takes cognizance of things concerning which the ordinary self is entirely ignorant, but it may not always have the power to impress the primary self with this knowledge, nor to take full possession, so as to be able to impart it to others by speaking or writing. This is the usual condition of most persons; with some peculiarly constituted persons, however, the possibility of being so impressed surely exists, and with them these impressions are direct and vivid.

Our individual, X., is one in whom this ability to receive impressions in this manner exists.

To illustrate: Suppose first that X. is asleep, is taking his after-dinner nap, and that children playing in his grounds have set fire to some straw in close proximity to buildings near by. No one notices the danger. X. is asleep, but his subliminal self is on the alert - like the second self of the somnambulist or subject in the hypnotic trance - it sees that unless checked there will be a destructive conflagration. It impresses upon X. a dream of fire so vivid that he wakes in alarm, discovers the mischief and averts the danger. Or suppose X. to be awake and sitting in his office in a distant part of the house, quite unconscious of anything unusual. All at once he becomes restless, unable to pursue his work; he is impelled to leave his desk, to go out, to walk in the direction of the fire, and thus become aware of the danger. Or again, that X. is an automatic writer - that paper and pencil are at hand and he receives a sudden impulse to write. He has no knowledge of what he is writing, but upon examination he finds it a warning to look after the threatening fire; or still again, that he hears a voice distinctly saying, "Look out for fire;" or sees a distinct picture of the place and circumstances of the fire; all these are possible methods by which the subliminal self might communicate to X., the ordinary personality, the danger which was threatening.

Automatism, therefore, does not necessarily take the form of written messages, but may take any form by which the subliminal self can best transmit its message to the primary self - or in the same way from one person to another, whether by words written or spoken automatically - by voices heard, by action influenced, as when X. is influenced to leave his office and walk, or the mischievous Leontine unties the apron of Leonie, or by vision or vivid mental picture, as when Peter sees a "sheet let down by the four corners,"from which he learns an important lesson.