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قراءة كتاب Buchanan's Journal of Man, July 1887 Volume 1, Number 6

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‏اللغة: English
Buchanan's Journal of Man, July 1887
Volume 1, Number 6

Buchanan's Journal of Man, July 1887 Volume 1, Number 6

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 5

the patient on awakening sees every one around her except Mr. X. When he speaks she does not answer his questions; if he places his hand on her shoulder she does not feel the contact; if he gets in her way, she walks straight on, and is terrified at being stopped by an invisible obstacle. * * * Here the laws of association, which do such good service in solving psychological problems, abandon us completely. Apparently they do not account for all the facts of consciousness.”


A remarkable and suggestive series of experiments performed with portraits by hallucination is given in the book. These experiments show, that if by suggestion a subject is made to see a portrait on a sheet of card board which is exactly alike on both sides, the image will always be seen on the same side, and, however it is presented, the subject will always place the card with the surfaces and edges in the exact positions they occupied at the moment of suggestion, in such a manner that the image can neither be reversed nor inclined. If the surfaces are reversed, the image is no longer seen; if the edges, it is seen upside down. The subject is never caught in a mistake; the changes may be made out of his sight, but the image is invariably seen in accordance with the primitive conditions, although absolutely no difference is to be detected by the normal vision between the two blank surfaces.

One experiment brings out this fact clearly. On a white sheet of paper is placed a card equally white; with a fine point, but without touching the paper, the contour of the card is followed while the idea of a line traced in black is suggested to the subject. The subject, when awakened, is asked to fold the paper according to these imaginary lines. He holds the paper at the distance at which it was at the moment of suggestion, and folds it in the form of a rectangle exactly superposable on the card.

A curious experiment in the same line has been often repeated by Prof. Charcot. The subject is given the suggestion of a portrait on a white card, which is then shuffled up with a dozen cards all alike. On awakening, the subject is asked to run over the collection, without being told the reason why it is wished. When he comes to the card on which had been located the imaginary portrait, he at once perceives it. One detail of these experiments is very significant. Supposing we show the imaginary portrait at a distance of two yards from the subject’s eyes, the card appears white, whereas a real photograph would appear gray. If it is gradually brought nearer, the imaginary portrait at last appears, but it is necessary for it to be much nearer than an ordinary photograph for the patient to recognize the subject. By means of opera glasses we can make the patient recognize her hallucination at a distance at which she could not perceive it with the naked eye. In short, the imaginary object which figures in the hallucination is perceived under the same conditions as if it were real. Various other experiments are detailed in support of this formula. The opera glasses only act as if they were focussed upon the point of hallucination, and in the case of a short-sighted subject they had to be altered to allow for the defect of vision. If the patient looks through a prism the image is seen duplicated, although the subject is absolutely ignorant of the properties of a prism, as well as of the fact that the glass is a prism. A photograph of the plain white card used when the photograph was suggested may be substituted, and on being shown to the patient, the hallucinatory image is seen just the same, even two years after the original experiment, as was done in one case.

Some strange phenomena of polarity are related. The following experiments by MM. Binet and Féré are given in illustration: “We give a patient in somnambulism the common hallucination of a bird poised on her finger. While she is caressing the imaginary bird she is awakened and a magnet is brought near her head. After a few minutes she stops short, raises her eyes and looks about in astonishment. The bird which was on her finger has disappeared. She looks all over the ward and at last finds it, for we hear her say, ‘So you thought you would leave me, little bird.’ After a few minutes the bird again disappears anew, but almost immediately reappears. The patient complains from time to time of a pain in the head at a point corresponding to what has been described in this book as the visual centre (some distance above and slightly posterior to the ear).” The magnet also has the same effect in suspending the real perception. One of the patients was shown a Chinese gong and striker, and took fright on sight of the instrument. When a blow was struck she instantly fell into catalepsy. She was reawakened, and asked to look attentively at the gong; meanwhile, without her knowledge, a small magnet was brought near her head. After a minute the instrument had completely disappeared from her sight. When it was struck with redoubled force, she only looked from side to side with an air of slight astonishment.

The mysteries which puzzle these writers are made plain by anthropology, and I have been presenting the explanation for over forty years to my pupils. The sensibility to hypnotic phenomena is due to the anterior portion of the middle lobe of the brain—to the portion which is developed one inch behind the external angle of the eye, by exciting which we bring on the somnolent condition. The predominance of this region renders the person liable to the mesmeric phenomena.

The hypnoscope proposed is quite unnecessary. The proper test of magnetic susceptibility is either to excite the organ of somnolence and observe if the eyes are disposed to close, or to pass your fingers over the outstretched hand of the subject, within one or two inches, and observe if he feels any impression. A distinct feeling of coolness is sufficient proof of magnetic susceptibility.

Let those who wish to investigate the subject begin in accordance with true science by testing the sensitiveness of the hand. If sensitive, let the subject sit in a passive state, while you touch the somnolent region on the temples, one inch horizontally behind the brow. In from one to ten minutes the eyes will show a disposition to close, winking repeatedly until a dreamy condition arises, with a tendency to a conscious sleep. In this condition the susceptibility is extreme. Experiments in psychometry may be tried with success; the organs of the brain may be excited, and many interesting experiments may be made by those who understand the brain, for intellectual purposes, or for the promotion of health and cure of diseases.

The whole subject is thoroughly explained in the College of Therapeutics, making thereby a perfect guidance to health, and to progress in philosophy, and supplying the great lack in all systems of education—self-knowledge and the sublime art of health, longevity, and progress in Divine wisdom.

The So-Called Scientific Immortality.

The Smithsonian Institution at Washington was founded for the increase and diffusion of knowledge. Guided by the contracted notions prevalent among scientists, it has not accomplished much for either object. The theory of Lester F. Ward of this institution was paraphrased as follows in the last Journal:

As for immortal life I must confess,

Science has never, never answered “yes.”

Indeed all psycho-physiological sciences show,

If we’d be loyal, we must answer “no!”

Man cannot recollect before being born,

And hence his future life must be “in a horn.”

There must be a parte ante if there’s a parte post,

And logic thus demolishes