"This evening when your dinner is brought up to you - you, A. B.'s second self, will make A. B. see me come in and stand here at the foot of the bed. I shall say to you: 'Hello! you are at dinner. Well, I won't disturb you,' and immediately I shall go. And you will write me about my visit." I then awoke her in the usual manner. This was Tuesday, July 3, 1894. On Thursday following I received this note, which I have in my possession.
"Dear Dr. Mason: -
"As I was eating my dinner on Tuesday I heard some one say 'Good-evening.' I turned around surprised, as I had heard no one enter the room, and there at the foot of the bed I saw you.
" I said ' Halloo ! won't you sit down?' you said:
'Are you taking your dinner? Then I won't detain you,' and before I could detain you, you disappeared as mysteriously as you had come.
Why did you leave so suddenly? Were you angry? Mary, the nurse, says you were not here at all at dinner-time. I say you were. Which of us is right?
"A. B." (Full name signed.)
The clairvoyant faculty is sometimes exercised in sleep, and hence the importance so often attached to dreams. I have a patient, Miss M. L., thirty-five years of age, who has been under my observation for the past fifteen years, and for whose truthfulness and good sense I can fully vouch. From childhood she has been a constant and most troublesome somnambulist, walking almost every night, until two years ago when I first hypnotized her and suggested that she should not again leave her bed while asleep, and she has not done so.
This person's dreams are marvellously vivid, but her most vivid ones she does not call dreams.
She says, " When I dream I dream, but when I see
Nine years ago, M. L., had a friend in New Mexico whom I will call G., from whom she had not heard for months, and of whose surroundings she knew absolutely nothing.
One night she dreamed, or, as she expresses it, saw this friend in Albuquerque. She was, as it seemed to her, present in the room where he was, and saw everything in it with the same degree of distinctness as though she were actually present. She noticed the matting on the floor, the willow-ware furniture, bed, rocking-chair, footstool, and other articles. He was talking with a companion, a person of very striking appearance, whom she also minutely observed as regarded personal appearance, dress, and position in the room.
He was saying to this companion that he was about to start for New York for the purpose of interesting capitalists in a system of irrigation which he had proposed. His companion was laughing sarcastically and ridiculing the whole scheme. He persisted, and the conversation was animated - almost bitter.
Three weeks later, early one morning, she dreamed that this man was in New York. She saw him coming up the street leading to her house, and saw her father go forward to meet him. At breakfast she told her father her dream, and they also talked freely about her former dream or vision of three weeks before.
After breakfast her father sat upon the front stoop reading the morning paper, and M. L. went about some work. Suddenly she heard her father call out in a startled sort of way: "Mary, sure enough, here comes G.!" She stepped to the window and there was G. coming up the street and her father going forward to meet him exactly as she had seen him in her dream. He had just arrived from the West, and had come for the very purpose indicated by his conversation in M. L.'s vision. After some general conversation M. L. said to G; "By the way, who was that remarkable person you were talking with about this journey, three weeks ago?" mentioning the night of her dream. With evident surprise he said :
"What do you mean? "
She then related the whole dream just as she had experienced it, even to the minutest details. His astonishment was profound. He declared that the details which she gave could never have been so exactly described except by some one actually present; and with some annoyance he accused her of playing the spy.
There are many other instances of remarkable clairvoyant vision on her part, and especially two which have occurred within the year - the visions having been fully described before the events were known.
Such are a few among hundreds of cases which might be adduced as examples of the clairvoyant power. They are from every period of history, from the earliest down to our own times. Looked at broadly, they at least show that a belief in the clairvoyant power of some specially endowed persons has existed throughout the historic period; they also exhibit a great similarity in their character and the circumstances under which they are observed.
Apollonius stops short in his discourse, apparently in his natural state, sees the assassination of Domitian, and shouts, "Strike the tyrant!"
Fitzgerald at Brunswick suddenly beholds the burning factories at Fall River, and shouts his orders to the firemen. Others spontaneously go into the somnambulic condition and only then become clairvoyant; while still others need the assistance of a second person to produce somnambulism and independent vision.
What is the nature and what the method of this peculiar vision which has been named clairvoyance?
Is it a quickening and extension of ordinary vision, or is it a visual perception obtained in some other manner, independent of the natural organ of sight?
It has been noted how vastly the action of the senses may be augmented by cultivation, but never has cultivation increased vision to such an extent as to discover a penny a thousand miles away and through opaque coverings. Besides, the clairvoyant vision is exercised quite independent of the bodily eye. The eyes may be closed, they may be turned upward or inward so that no portion of the pupil is exposed to the action of light, or they may be covered with thick pads of cotton or closed with plasters or bandages, yet the clairvoyant vision in proper subjects is obtained in just the same degree and with just the same certainty as when the eyes are fully exposed to the light.