Hypnotism, And How To Guard Against It
( Originally Published 1902 )
IN 1734 an old student of Occultism reincarnated. His life was not dissimilar from the life of his associates except that he had the benefit of a better early education, and an opportunity to study medicine later on in his life. He attended a medical college in Vienna and graduated in 1766, and soon after that time resumed his study of Occultism under the same Master who had taught him in the previous life. It required but a very short time, after he began the practice of medicine, for him to learn something about the deficiencies in the system of therapeutics, as it was then understood.. In 1778 he moved to Paris, which was then the scientific world, and began the practice of a system of magnetic treatments of the sick which startled the scientists and brought down upon him the condemnation of many of the medical men of that time. He cured many eases that the physicians had pronounced incurable and, of course, aroused the jealousy and hatred of many of the medical profession. I am speaking of Friedrich Anton Mesmer.
The cures this man performed were so very remarkable that all the wealth and intelligence of the world went to Paris to be treated by this new system, and as a result, the medical profession began to wage war against him as they did during this last century against the Christian and Mental Scientists and the Osteopaths. For human nature was then no better than now, and the green-eyed monster of jealousy cut a very conspicuous figure with the treatment of Mesmer, as it does with all other persons who innovate old methods. After Mesmer's fame became unbearable to the scientists, an investigating committee was appointed to look into the new system. It reported adversely to Mesmer, of course, and soon his clientèle began falling away from him.
In 1783 he founded the Order of Universal Harmony, a secret order built upon the lines of Occultism, under the direction of his teacher, who was also in Paris, giving many great demonstrations of his Occult powers. I refer to Count Saint-Germain. This Order of Universal Harmony was the gateway through which all persons could enter, who were prepared at that time to take up Occult studies. But as time passed, many of the members dropped out and the Order gradually grew smaller and smaller until but a very few were left. To these faithful ones Mesmer taught the Occult system of therapeutics, Occultism, and the manipulation of that force which he designated as Mesmerism—naming it modestly after himself. After the public had deserted him, and most of his students had turned their attention to other things than Occultism, he removed to England, where he met with very little success, and finally went back to the Fatherland, where it is said he died in 1815.
After that date, for many years nothing was heard from his students, or from his system; but in 1841 Doctor Braid, of Manchester, England, commenced to investigate along Mesmer's lines of thought, and inaugurated a system somewhat similar in principle, which he called Braidism, but which subsequently became known as hypnotism. Later, some scientific students in Paris and else-where began investigating along the lines laid down by Dr. Braid, and just about a century after Mesmer had been condemned and called an impostor by the French scientists, his teachings began to receive the attention they deserved, al-though many persons, while accepting the teachings, discredited the teacher.
There was a difference, however, between Mesmer's and Braid's systems. Mesmer taught that mesmerism is an emanation of certain particles called animal magnetism, from one person which affects the will and nervous system of another. Braid taught that there is no emanation from the operator, but either through the will of the operator, or through mechanical processes, an artificial mental condition is awakened in the subject, and that during this condition the volition of the subject is under the control of the operator. In other words, it is the influence of one mind over another. How one mind can affect another without an emanation is beyond the comprehension of the lecturer, but perhaps hypnotists can explain that condition satisfactorily, at least to themselves. These are the supposed lines of division between the two systems, but Mesmer really taught two systems in one. First, that there is a flow of magnetic force, which he designated as animal magnetism, and that this emanating force is curative in its nature; second, that there can be coercion of mind by mind. He practiced the first and warned his students against practicing the other. The world, of course, confused his teachings, as it usually confuses anything of an Occult nature, and remembered the second system without his caution.
At the present time animal magnetism is known as Mesmerism, and Hypnotism is known as sleep, artificially produced. So we shall try to follow out the modern conception of it rather than the presentation of Mesmer, although reference may be had from time to time to Mesmer's teachings. He taught that Mesmerism is a Cosmic Force which is a part of the law of love or the law of attraction, and that it flows through man and may be directed by his will, as an emanation from him to another. For example, he showed that the force flowing from his hands was a force that he could draw into himself and then give to another. He also showed that he could get approximately the same effect by using large magnets, thus proving that this is a general and not a personal force which he used.
The law of gravitation is a part of this magnetic force, and so is love in all its gradations, whether it be human love, animal love, or passion. The law of attraction manifesting through an animal body we now designate as animal magnetism. This Cosmic Force, passing through an animal, is nothing more nor less than the Universal Life Principle, the orange vibration, which you will be taught in the next lecture how to use. Passing through man as human-animal magnetism, it manifests itself as that peculiar vibration or force which his development permits.
There is, however, a physiological condition necessary to a body in order to make it magnetic, just as there is a physical condition necessary to make any mass magnetic. For example : Glass is not magnetic as compared with iron or steel. The rate of vibration of glass is so different from that of magnetism that it does not make a good conductor for that force as it flows over it. The condition necessary to make a proper basis for the animal or human magnetism to manifest is the excess, above the normal, of the number of red blood corpuscles in the body; and these red corpuscles must vibrate at a high rate. With these two conditions there is established the physiological basis which enables the Cosmic Force to manifest; and having the proper physiological basis, a person, either consciously or unconsciously, draws within himself this Cosmic Force through the left side of his body, and passes it out through his right side, the left being the negative, and the right the positive side of the body.
Animal magnetism can be utilized by man through the blending of his aura with that of another, or through transmission by physical con-tact, laying on of the hands, etc. Most persons, such as faith curers, or magnetic healers, use this magnetic force without an understanding of the law which underlies it. If an Occultist desires to transmit this force to another person by physical means, he places his right hand on that other per-son; then, after drawing into himself the force, he permits it to flow through him into the other. This force can be used advantageously in all nervous troubles, because it is the nerve fluid, or life force, which restores depletion; it is also helpful in cases of consumption of any of the physical organs of the body, and if properly directed, will build up diseased cells and restore wasted tissues. Many persons possess this magnetic force to a great degree, but do not know how to use it, while others perform cures unconscious of the power they possess, and without the action of their own will.
A person who makes a practice of using his animal magnetism or life force for the treating of disease must become greatly depleted at times, since the natural inflow of life force is never so great as the outflow. If the natural inflow of the life force were throughout life as great as the outflow, our bodies would last forever, because this would make an even exchange of atoms, and no robbery could be perpetrated. There is an actual emanation from one person to another, and this emanation causes an exchange of physical atoms. Re-member, please, that I am not speaking of the higher Cosmic forces which can be used for healing purposes without depleting the healer, and which I shall teach you how to use in a subsequent lecture; but I am speaking of the natural life force within the physical body, that can be used as a curative agency, as Mesmer used it.
It is because of the outflow exceeding the inflow of magnetism that many drugless healers suffer so much' depletion after their professional manipulations—which are very good for the patients, but hard for them. Sometimes the drugless healer absorbs the old diseased atoms from his patients, through manipulating with both hands at the same time, thus forming a complete circuit for the magnetic force, which carries from him his best atoms and returns the cast-off ones from his patients. It is not conducive to the good health of the drug-less or magnetic healer, to use both hands while treating the sick; but in severe cases, where it seems that a life should be kept from going out, it may be done. But immediately afterward both hands and arms should be bathed in hot water, rubbing the arms and hands from the elbow down-ward to the tips of the fingers. In this way it is possible to remove, by aid of the hot water, many of the low vibrating atoms which have been taken into the system.
When a Mental Healer begins to lose his force, or power to heal, as many do, the world says : "If Mind is infinite, why has this healer failed?" The reason is this : First, his brain has become tired by continuous concentration, and its material atoms have taken a slower rate of vibration because the outflow of magnetic force has been much greater than the inflow. Through his intense interest in his cases perhaps his sympathies have gone out to his patients with his treatments, and there was an expenditure of emotional force. Without under-standing the reason for his waning power, he tries to go on with the work of healing when he should rest and sleep, and in this manner draw back to himself the life force he has given away. After a time he finds himself depleted and is compelled to retire from service humiliated and chagrined, perhaps, because of the unkind criticisms he has received from those to whom he has given his life force.
There is a better and a higher way to treat the sick than by the magnetic force which made Mesmer famous, and that is to remain in a positive condition of mind, control your sympathies, and thus hold your own magnetic force as a basis over which you may draw the higher Cosmic forces, and pass them on to your patients without so greatly depleting yourself. If you can control your sympathies, and remain positive, you can treat without serious depletion as many patients as you can entertain during office hours. If you cannot remain positive it is then better to direct mentally the Cosmic Forces without physical con-tact with the patient. But, you may say, this is not the aspect that modern science is investigating. It is true that it is not practiced along the lines Mesmer laid down, except by the physicians who are beginning to use electricity in their practice, and who attempt to do with their batteries precisely what Mesmer attempted to do with his magnets ; and I am not sure that they are any more successful, because Mesmer also used the greater force of mind to assist these currents.
And now we come to that particular aspect of the subject which modern science is beginning to investigate, which is known as hypnotism. Hypnotism is artificial sleep, which may be produced upon one's self or upon another; and it may be produced by the power of will, by mechanical processes, or by the will supplemented by mechanical processes. The mechanisms that are used to pro-duce hypnosis are revolving mirrors, bright lights, or anything which will serve to excite the optic nerves and raise them to a rate of vibration which will enable the subject to pass into hypnosis, or sleep. Unnatural stimulation of the nerves of the eyes, or of the nerves at the base of the brain, or by focusing the sight at an angle of forty-five degrees, and then gradually raising it until the pupils are turned upward above the upper lids, will produce an abnormal nervous excitation; and while the subject is in this condition he readily accepts the mental suggestion of sleep, and passes into hypnosis. In this manner he is forced out of his physical body, is under the control of the operator's mind, and is also exposed to any or all influences upon the subjective plane which he has abnormally invaded. If the hypnosis is complete, then both minds of the subject are absolutely under the control of the operator; but if the hypnosis be only partial, then nothing but the objective, or lower mind, of the subject is controlled. But while in this condition, and passive to the will of another, the subject must accept as true every-thing suggested to him by that controlling mind; and whatever command is given to him in sleep he will obey when he wakes, and without knowing why. From the first moment the subject yields his will to another he becomes that other's slave, if that one desires to make him so. So long as the operator lives in this world, so long will he be able to control that subject, unless his power is broken.
It is contended by the modern hypnotist in France and in America that the mind of the subject is not dominated to the extent of coercion, or beyond the power of the subject to act independently. In other words, that he cannot be compelled to do a wrong against his will. Cases are cited where subjects refused to stab a man when the operators gave them real daggers and commanded them to do so. Other cases are cited where the same subjects were given paper daggers and were told to strike designated persons. This command they obeyed with alacrity; and because they obeyed in the last instances and refused in the first, it was supposed that they could not be coerced to commit a crime against their wills. The Occultists say these cases do not prove the theory advanced, but only show that both minds of the subjects were not under the control of the operator; and that if they were, the subjects would have obeyed in the first instances as quickly as in the last. Then too there were in the former cases mental reservations in one or both minds of the operators which affected the subject. Occultists who have made a study of the power of mind for hundreds of years, say that nothing will prevent a hypnotized subject from obeying the commands of the operator, or controlling mind, when once the subject is fully under his influence.
Some of you may have seen the account in one of our local papers where a man was hypnotized and compelled to deed everything he had in the world to another man. After the victim became conscious of what he had done, he appealed to his attorney, who took the matter into court, but when the victim appeared to testify, the hypnotist would not permit him to speak and the man's throat was paralyzed in the presence of the room full of people. The hypnotist was incarcerated in jail until the paralysis passed away from the throat of his victim and when his influence was removed and the true testimony was given, the court decided that the property should be restored to the original owner. And only a few months ago here in New York City, you remember how Patrick was tried and convicted of the murder of the millionaire Rice. It was proved that it was the old man's valet who had killed him while under the hypnotic influence of Patrick; and these are only two cases that have come to the public's notice. It is gradually being understood, however, that morality does not enter at all into the question of control, but that it depends wholly upon whether or not both minds of the subject are controlled. Occultists believe that there is no disease, no trouble, nor anything in the world that can justify a person in attempting to hypnotize another. If a person consents to be hypnotized, then it is because he does not know the dangers he incurs by consenting, and his ignorance should not be taken advantage of by one who knows better.
There is another phase of this mind controlling mind which is more subtle and dangerous than that of mechanical hypnotism, because it can be used without the knowledge of the subject, and without the immediate presence of the operator. This branch is called by the Occultists Mental Dominion, and is just beginning to be understood in the West. Hypnotism by mental dominion is produced by mental suggestion alone, without physical contact or mechanical aids. It makes no difference whether the subject be present, in the next room, or in the same State with the operator, he can be reached equally well at any time or place. The method formerly adopted was to suggest sleep to the subject, or victim, and when he had received and obeyed the suggestion, then the operator impressed whatever he desired upon the mind of his subject, who had to obey his will upon waking. But after a time the American Hypnotists discovered that putting the subject to sleep was not essential, and that just as effective work could be done by repeated suggestion until the subject should accept and act upon it, believing it to be his own thought. This process of mental control can only be called hypnotism by courtesy, since hypnosis is now omitted as a necessary condition in its accomplishment; however, it will continue to be called by that name until a more suitable one shall be adopted.
Unless you have made a study of this practice of mental dominion, you have no idea of the extent to which this subtle power is being used in the United States. It is flagrantly and openly taught by "colleges," chartered by various States; all newspapers, and many magazines, contain their alluring advertisements offering to teach "Personal Magnetism," "Hypnotism," " The Secret of Power," etc., etc. Under various- names each of these teachers, colleges, professors, and doctors offers for a monetary consideration to teach you how to dominate your fellow men, how to enslave another Son of God, and how to "positively enable any intelligent person to exercise a marvelous influence over anyone whom he may wish to control." I quote from one of the largest and most persistent advertisers of this branch of education.
Traveling salesmen, doctors, lawyers, brokers, real estate men, and, in fact, persons in every branch of business are studying and using mental coercion.
In my own personal experience, in the practice of law, I have had a dozen or more cases in which the malign influence of persons had been used to get money and property away from others. In three of these cases stock brokers had used mental coercion compelling my clients to entrust money to their keeping with the permission to use it as the broker saw fit. The money had been appropriated by the hypnotist stock broker for his own purposes, and my demand for restitution was met with the assertion that it had been lost in speculation by my client. In two of these cases, after the arrest of the respective brokers, the proceedings had to be stopped, because my clients had again yielded to the influence of the men who had coerced them and refused to prosecute them further.
There is a member of this class who heard these lectures last year and said that such an influence could never come into her life; yet within a few months afterward, while her husband was away and she was alone, a stock broker called, and asked her to place in his hands a large block of valuable stock with full permission to dispose of it as he thought best. After urging the matter for an unreasonable length of time, he finally left her, after gaining her promise to let him call the next day for the stock. After he had gone the woman began to realize that the man had influenced her against her will and judgment and she wrote to him refusing to see him or to let him have the stock. Then for three days she had to fight his mental suggestions to change her mind and accept his offer, but finally succeeded-in saving her property.
Another member of my class, who heard this lecture last year, thought she was exempt from such influences because of the quiet, retired life she was living. She discovered her mistake when a stranger called one day and persuaded her to give him a large contract for advertising a book she had written. After securing this he called again in a few days, and tried to coerce her into giving to him her rights and copyright to the book; and had it not been for the sudden recollection of what she had heard about hypnotism and also for the aid of another member of her family, who was a student along this line, the hypnotist would have succeeded in getting what he wanted. As it was, he very nearly put her to sleep and she had a hard battle to resist complete hypnosis.
When the Countess Wachmeister was in this country, several years ago, she told of the following case: There were three men in this city who had studied hypnotism and decided to combine their efforts and victimize a wealthy man. They each took a turn in working upon him mentally during each day, sending suggestion after suggestion to him, until he became absolutely under the influence of the trio. After a time he became so sensitive that the picture of the face of each of his tormentors would rise before his mental vision while he was being worked upon. Then he could hear them speak to each other, but continued to resist them until he went to sleep from weariness. But when he awoke he was impelled to write a check and send it to the address that had been impressed upon his mind. This kind of robbery continued for some time and finally the victim went to the Countess, and asked her to deliver him from the power of his tormentors.
There is no limit to the power of mind, nor to its field of operation through suggestion. In the beginning of the use of Occult forces, suggestion is one of the most powerful of the mind's instruments which the student learns to use. It should not be identified with hypnotism although it can be used to produce hypnosis. Like any other force, it can be used for good or for evil, and the line that lies between the right and wrong use of it is as narrow as the edge of a knife, and is just as sharp. In the practice of magic these two ways diverge, and we find what is called White and Black Magic. The first is a straight and narrow path which leads to the mountain top of power and wisdom, and to reach it is salvation. The other is the broad road which leads to pitfalls and destruction; and I regret to say that many souls are enticed to travel therein. It was the wrong use of this power of suggestion which destroyed us as Atlanteans, and from the present indications it would seem that we did not learn, through, that sad experience, that we have no right to enslave the minds of others.
Mind must be reached by thought, if the thought be constantly repeated, and nothing can prevent a suggestion from reaching its destination, because telepathy is based upon law. But whether the suggestion shall be accepted and acted upon depends upon the recipient to decide ; and it is upon the acceptance or rejection of suggestion that the freedom or enslavement of a mind is determined. There are different kinds of suggestion, two of which are known as audible and silent. Audible suggestion we are constantly indulging in, and is something we should learn to control, because it may be either constructive or destructive, and if the latter, we may do much harm to others. For example: We meet a friend who looks tired, and we say : "How bad you look; are you ill?" This is a destructive suggestion, and may have the effect of really making our friend ill if he accepts it as a truth. Parents and teachers are constantly making audible suggestions to children which have a great effect upon them. If a teacher calls his pupils dunces and dolts, and tells them how stupid they are, he is pretty sure to find in them just what he suggests. If a parent tells his child that if he misses his lesson he will be punished, that child will remember the suggestion of punishment and probably miss his lesson, because the suggestion of punishment brings an element of fear with it which makes an indelible impression upon the child's mind. It is a destructive suggestion, be-cause it destroys the child's ability to learn his lesson. But if the parent were to say "You can learn your lesson, because you are a bright, intelligent child," the suggestion would be constructive, and the child would respond to it by having a desire awakened in him to learn, since the mind of a child is plastic, and is easily impressed by audible suggestion.
The objective mind is always ready to see the dark side of life, and will readily accept any audible suggestion of a destructive nature; and since there are constructive suggestions which can be made to help others, why should we be continually hindering instead of helping our friends? Why is it not better to bring sunshine rather than shadows into their lives? Suppose a friend of yours is about to make a business connection with a Mr. Jones, whom you slightly know, and you say, for the sake of gossip, "Mr. Jones is a dishonest man." This suggestion, whether true or untrue, will have a tendency to make Mr. Jones dishonest if he hears of what you have said, because the thought dishonesty has been impressed upon his mind, and he will think he may as well be what people think he is. Then your friend to whom you made the suggestion will think of it when he sees Mr. Jones, and the unfortunate man will get both silent and audible suggestions.
Silent suggestion is of two kinds, Hetro and Auto, the former meaning suggestion to another, and the latter meaning suggestion to one's self. There is greater power in silent suggestion, whether it be used for right or wrong, than there is in audible suggestion, because the silent thought sent to another is subtle, and the recipient knows nothing of its source, and is often unable to combat it, thinking it originated in his own mind. Silent suggestion can be used for the benefit of another so long as it be suggestion, and is not carried to the extent of coercion. For example : You may have a friend who is likely to give way to temptation to do wrong. You would have a right to say to him : "You are good and true ; you can resist that temptation because your own divine nature has asserted itself." And your friend will come through his struggle victorious.
You may always suggest mentally to a person what you have a right to say to him audibly and it is often inexpedient for you to say audibly what you have a moral right to say. For example : If a person calls and is taking up more of your time than you can spare, it is morally right for you to say mentally, "Why don't you go?" You have a right to protect yourself from intrusion upon your work. Or perhaps someone has borrowed money from you, and you do not like to ask him to return it though you really need the money. It would be perfectly legitimate for you to say mentally: "Re-turn the money you borrowed." Again, you may be seeking a position and perhaps several other persons are trying to secure the same position. When you are called into the office to state your qualifications, say mentally to the person who is examining you, "You had better give me a chance."
You have a right to help yourself through life by the aid of suggestion, when it is not at the expense of another person; and you have no conception of the number of obstructions this silent power will remove from your path, or how much good you can accomplish with it. Like all other forces, this power grows with use, and you can use silent suggestion legitimately as a moral stimulus. Suppose a person makes a contract with you agreeing to give you certain things in consideration of certain money. After a time you perceive that the contract is not going to be kept by him. You have a right to say mentally to that man, "You are an honorable man and you want to keep that contract," and in this manner you will create within him a desire to keep it.
Silent suggestion can be used as a defence. For example : When you are conscious that a person is trying to influence you, refuse to accept his suggestions and declare that he cannot accomplish his purpose. This will turn his force back upon himself, and render him impotent to affect you. If you know a person in fiduciary matters is trying to take an advantage of you, commence to work upon his moral nature until you quicken into activity all the latent good there is in him. In this manner you are doing a double good; you are working for yourself and are also bringing out the best in another. But you have no right to coerce another person under any circumstances. You may suggest strongly, forcefully, but not to the extent of coercion, not even to develop the moral nature of another. You may suggest to a friend, "You do not want to drink liquor ; you never will get any pleasure from drinking. You do not like the taste of it." And in this manner you may help to destroy his desire and taste for drink; but you have no right to say, "You shall not drink liquor; your hand will be paralyzed when you try to raise a glass of it to your lips; your throat shall close when you try to swallow any intoxicating drink," because such declarations are coercive. Should you succeed in coercing him to stop drinking, you would but hypnotize him, and it would be your will, not his, which would control his appetite and his body; and as soon as your will is removed his taste will reassert itself, and will remain with him till he overcomes it himself. You may help him to overcome his desires, if he wants you to, but you have no right to dominate his will.
You may suggest to a person who owes you, "Give me that money you owe me," but you have no right to say, "You shall return to me that money; you shall never sleep again till you have paid me." You have no right to coerce another, either mentally or physically; and though the line of demarkation is very fine, yet it is clear.
It will be well to remember these two rules which may help you in using suggestion. First, when you are suggesting to another to do some-thing for you, speak of yourself as a third person. For example: Suppose Mr. Jones had given you his note, and you wanted him to pay it. He may have given his note to a dozen other persons, and if you were to say mentally to him, "You want to pay that note," he would not know which note was referred to. But if you were to say, "Pay Mr. Blank the note due at such a time,", your suggestion would be understood, and very likely be acted upon.
In olden times it was often the custom of physicians to meet their patients with a frown and a discouraging remark; but the modern physician is beginning to understand the value of suggestion, and meets his patient with a smile, and the optimistic remark, "You are looking better to-day, and are feeling better." This is an audible suggestion. Suppose a friend says to you, "I am feeling miserably," you should reply mentally to him, "There is no reason why you should not feel well." If you were to make this statement audibly, after he had declared to the contrary, he might be offended, because some persons cherish their ills, and resent a refusal of anyone to recognize them. But the silent, optimistic remark helps to make positive those who have favorite ills, and they become hopeful and healthy.
Second, whenever you make a mental suggestion, suggest doubly. Make one suggestion for the subjective mind and one suggestion for the objective mind, and by doing this your object may be accomplished in a much shorter time. In suggesting to the subjective mind, tell it the truth; when you suggest to the objective mind, advise it along the lines- of personal interest. For example : A man has leased an apartment, but finds the owner does not intend to keep his agreement to renovate that apartment. Having a contract, he has a moral right to insist upon the terms being fulfilled, and he says mentally to the subjective mind of the owner of the apartment, "You are an honest man and you will be glad to keep your promise to Mr. Blank." Then say to his objective mind, "It is to your interest to keep your promise with Mr. Blank; he will be a good tenant and it will be a great loss to you to lose him." The man has been told two aspects of the truth, and each aspect appealed to the mind which was able to appreciate and understand it best.
Auto-suggestion is suggesting to yourself, and you should always let the auto-suggestion be made by your higher mind to your lower self. Let the subjective mind give, and the objective receive the suggestion. The greatest objection an Occultist has to hypnotism is that it emphasizes the objective mind, and teaches it to make its dominion stronger over its subjective mind. Suppose you wished to break a habit ; you should say to your objective mind, "Now you cannot do that thing again." Sometimes the objective mind will answer, "Why can't I do that?" You should reply "Because it is not to your interest to do it, and you do not want to; you have no desire to; all your desire is gone forever." And the objective mind will begin wondering where the desire has gone, and at that moment accepts the suggestion made; and in this manner you can break any habit if you will but persist in making suggestions.
Deity does not coerce Its children and no child of God has a right to coerce another, because it is morally wrong to do it. Whatever exists on the mental plane must become embodied upon the material plane sooner or later, and a man's body is a limited expression of his mental traits, as are also the tendencies and habits of his body.
Suppose a mother comes to you, crying, "Save my boy from becoming a gambler!" and you undertake the task of stopping the boy from gaming. You may make your passes, and your mental suggestions, and say: "You shall not gamble any more; you shall suffer an agony of fear every time you attempt to make a wager or touch a card." You may prevent the boy from gambling, but you have not destroyed his love for it, and you have really only delayed his evolution, since he will have to come back to face the same conditions at another time ; if not in the same body, then in another one, in a future .life, or whenever your will has ceased to control him.
Hypnotism or mental dominion never cures disease; it merely prevents the temporary manifestation of effects. The limitation of its so-called curative power depends upon the will of the hypnotist, and the extent of the hypnosis produced. "Henry Wood, in "Practical Ideas," for December, 1900, points out the fact that a percentage of the Christian and Mental Science patients have a recurrence of their diseases within a well-defined period after they are cured. This is because either conscious or unconscious mental dominion was employed by the mind of the practitioner in holding back the manifestation of the trouble; and these returns occur in periods or fractions of seven-year cycles, according to the power of the practitioner. Even though a patient be actually cured, not by mental dominion, but by bringing new elements into his body, unless he puts himself into a new condition of mind and bodily habits, the old disease in course of time is likely to return.. On the death of a hypnotist the disease he has held in abeyance usually returns, because the magnetic cord which connects him with his subject is ,then broken, and, the stronger influence being re-moved, the weaker mind, with its old line of thinking, reasserts itself.
There is a great limitation in the therapeutical use of hypnotism since its best effects are upon nervous and kindred diseases. In chronic cases, blood diseases, or independent growths within an organism, such as cancers and tumors, it is not successful. In cases of insanity it is more successful, but even there it is subject to limitation. Continuous hypnotic influence upon a patient not only destroys his mental poise and makes him a negative, vacillating creature of impulse, but it also depletes his nerve fluid, and while the operator may seem to temporarily neutralize this weakness, there come great reactions in course of time and the nerves controlling the circulation of the capillary blood vessels become weakened, and the entire circulation becomes irregular and imperfect. Cold hands and feet, with sometimes an intense rush of blood to the head, are the physiological evidences of this condition.
It should not be forgotten that hypnotic influence has a reactionary effect upon the operator. For example, suppose a person attempts to throw his hypnotic influence upon you and you are so positive or your vibrations are so high that his influence fails to affect you, then as a natural operation of law that force which he sent out, not reaching its intended destination, returns to the sender. If it be a malignant force it will do for the sender what it was intended to do for his victim. The greatest crime known to the Great Law is the coercion of an individual center or mind to do evil. No one ever coerced another or used suggestion to the detriment of another; no one ever brought disease or misfortune upon another, that he did not have to drink to the dregs the cup he held to that other's lips. He may escape punishment from the human law, but it will be impossible for him to escape from the Divine Law. In order to send malignant influences to another the sender must hold in his mind the picture of the disaster he wishes to create for the other. It is impossible to do this without creating a matrix in his own aura and this matrix will draw back to the sender just what he has created, for the Great Law works automatically and impartially and irrespective of the fact whether he has succeeded in bringing down disaster upon his victim or not. Did you ever see a person supposed to be a witch or a black magician who was handsome, graceful, happy or wealthy influence may last till the operator desires it to be broken or till a stronger will than his, at the request of the subject, shall break it. If a person submits to complete hypnosis but once, in the course of time the influence will become dissipated; but an intense hatred for the operator will become engendered in the heart of the subject when that influence is destroyed, and it will never be eradicated during the lifetime of either. The law works in the same manner in cases of coerced, love. If a person succeeds in compelling the love of another through hypnotic influence, that love will turn to the bitterest hatred and then there is nothing that the victim will leave undone to avenge what he believes to be his wrongs. It is right to ask for honest love or to suggest that another person should give you his love; you have a right to picture another's love flowing from him to you, but you have no right to coerce another into loving you. Hypnotic influence can be broken by a person who is stronger than the hypnotist. For ex-ample : A may coerce B, but C can break A's influence at B's request even though he is no stronger than A, because C is working for the right and has the Universal Consciousness to aid him.
There are certain conditions of mind which if you will make use of them will make you immune from this malignant force: First. Be mentally positive; then you are not what the hypnotist calls "suggestable." A person who is suggestable is in a passive condition of mind and receives suggestion easily. If you make a practice of concentrating your thoughts upon whatever you are doing, your mind is active and positive and thoughts foreign to you cannot find lodgment with you. Few operators are persistent enough to continue with their suggestions when they fail in reaching the subject after a considerable length of time.
Second. It is accepting the suggestion which enslaves. You cannot prevent the suggestion from coming to you if the operator is persistent, but you need not accept it.
Third. Be on your guard against all suggestions. Examine critically all thoughts that come to you, and test each with this question : "Is it true?" There will be no one who will come in con-tact with you for many years who will be strong enough to make a suggestion to you and accomplish his purpose immediately. The effort must be repeatedly made before he can succeed. If you examine the thoughts which come to you and find them undesirable, repudiate them and declare you cannot be influenced by them. For example : Sup-pose you were to suddenly become dissatisfied with your present home. You have always been pleased with it, but suddenly you are seized with a desire to move from that neighborhood and buy somewhere else. Examine those thoughts and ask yourself why you should change your mind without any apparent cause. And if in a few days or weeks a real estate broker meets you and offers a piece of property in the neighborhood you have been thinking of moving into, it may be well for you to consider whether it was his thoughts that have caused your change of mind or whether they were your own.
Fourth. Do not entertain visiting thoughts until you know their character any sooner than you would entertain persons whose character you know nothing about.
Fifth. Select only such thoughts as you want, and reject such suggestions as you do not desire. Few people are able to do this, but are constantly being swayed by the influence of those with whom they associate. Other people's manners, words and thoughts mold our lives to a much greater extent than we imagine, and this is because we do not think for ourselves; we do not generate our own thoughts, but accept whatever comes floating along to us. A woman goes shopping. She knows in a general way what she wants, but with her mind full of indefinite thoughts she comes to a positive saleswoman who wants to sell all the goods on her counter. In a vague way the shopper tells the woman she is going to buy a dress and the saleswoman sees an opportunity to dispose of something she is anxious to get rid of. She immediately makes a selection for her customer and impresses her mind with the thought that this is just what she wants. The shopper does not know what she wants, and although this does not seem to be quite the shade or kind of goods she had thought about getting, still she is not sure it would not do. She wavers and the saleswoman sells her the dress, and when it comes home and the positive-minded saleswoman is not present, the woman is disappointed and dissatisfied with her purchase.
A man goes into a restaurant and an obsequious waiter suggests by his manner that a liberal tip is expected. He gives the man no more attention than the proprietor pays him for giving to any other customer, but he wants a tip and he thinks, looks and acts tip till the man cannot, dare not refuse to give it. He is for the moment under the mental dominion of that waiter and even though he be a Judge of the Supreme Court he must yield to the will of a man who perhaps can scarcely write his own name.
That no hypnotist can succeed permanently in life is true. No person can retain possession of a thing gained through black art or by dishonest methods. A thief may seem to prosper for a season but eventually the Great Law will make the proper adjustment and his ill-gotten gains will be swept from him, because Divine Justice does rule the Universe.