Theosophical University Press Online Edition
Commence research where modern conjecture closes its faithless wings — Bulwer's Zanoni.
The flat denial of yesterday has become the scientific axiom of to-day — Common Sense Aphorisms.
Thousands of years ago the Phrygian Dactyls, the initiated priests, spoken of as the "magicians and exorcists of sickness," healed diseases by magnetic processes. It was claimed that they had obtained these curative powers from the powerful breath of Cybele, the many-breasted goddess, the daughter of Coelus and Terra. Indeed, her genealogy and the myths attached to it show Cybele as the personification and type of the vital essence, whose source was located by the ancients between the Earth and the starry sky, and who was regarded as the very fons vitae of all that lives and breathes. The mountain air being placed nearer to that fount fortifies health and prolongs man's existence; hence, Cybele's life, as an infant, is shown in her myth as having been preserved on a mountain. This was before that Magna and Bona Dea, the prolific Mater, became transformed into Ceres-Demeter, the patroness of the Eleusinian Mysteries.
Animal magnetism (now called Suggestion and Hypnotism) was the principal agent in theurgic mysteries as also in the Asclepieia — the healing temples of Aesculapius, where the patients once admitted were treated, during the process of "incubation," magnetically, during their sleep.
This creative and life-giving Force — denied and laughed at when named theurgic magic, accused for the last century of being principally based on superstition and fraud, whenever referred to as mesmerism — is now called Hypnotism, Charcotism, Suggestion, "psychology," and what not. But, whatever the expression chosen, it will ever be a loose one if used without a proper qualification. For when epitomized with all its collateral sciences — which are all sciences within the science — it will be found to contain possibilities the nature of which has never been even dreamt of by the oldest and most learned professors of the orthodox physical science. The latter, "authorities" so-called, are no better, indeed, than innocent bald infants, when brought face to face with the mysteries of antediluvian "mesmerism." As stated repeatedly before, the blossoms of magic, whether white or black, divine or infernal, spring all from one root. The "breath of Cybele" — Akasa tattwa, in India — is the one chief agent, and it underlay the so-called "miracles" and "supernatural" phenomena in all ages, as in every clime. As the parent-root or essence is universal, so are its effects innumerable. Even the greatest adepts can hardly say where its possibilities must stop.
The key to the very alphabet of these theurgic powers was lost after the last gnostic had been hunted to death by the ferocious persecution of the Church; and as gradually Mysteries, Hierophants, Theophany and Theurgy became obliterated from the minds of men until they remained in them only as a vague tradition, all this was finally forgotten. But at the period of the Renaissance, in Germany, a learned Theosophist, a Philosopher per ignem, as they called themselves, rediscovered some of the lost secrets of the Phrygian priests and of the Asclepieia. It was the great and unfortunate physician-Occultist, Paracelsus, the greatest Alchemist of the age. That genius it was, who during the Middle Ages was the first to publicly recommend the action of the magnet in the cure of certain diseases. Theophrastus Paracelsus — the "quack" and "drunken impostor" in the opinion of the said scientific "bald infants" of his day, and of their successors in ours — inaugurated among other things in the seventeenth century, that which has become a profitable branch in trade in the nineteenth. It is he who invented and used for the cure of various muscular and nervous diseases magnetized bracelets, armlets, belts, rings, collars and leglets; only his magnets cured far more efficaciously than do the electric belts of to-day. Van Helmont, the successor of Paracelsus, and Robert Fludd, the Alchemist and Rosicrucian, also applied magnets in the treatment of their patients. Mesmer in the eighteenth, and the Marquis de Puysegur in the nineteenth century only followed in their footsteps.
In the large curative establishment founded by Mesmer at Vienna, he employed, besides magnetism, electricity, metals and a variety of woods. His fundamental doctrine was that of the Alchemists. He believed that metals, as also woods and plants have all an affinity with and bear a close relation to, the human organism. Everything in the Universe has developed from one homogeneous primordial substance differentiated into incalculable species of matter, and everything is destined to return thereinto. The secret of healing, he maintained, lies in the knowledge of correspondences and affinities between kindred atoms. Find that metal, wood, stone, or plant that has the most correspondential affinity with the body of the sufferer; and, whether through internal or external use, that particular agent imparting to the patient additional strength to fight disease — (developed generally through the introduction of some foreign element into the constitution) — and to expel it, will lead invariably to his cure. Many and marvelous were such cures effected by Anton Mesmer. Subjects with heart-disease were made well. A lady of high station, condemned to death, was completely restored to health by the application of certain sympathetic woods. Mesmer himself, suffering from acute rheumatism, cured it completely by using specially-prepared magnets.
In 1774 he too happened to come across the theurgic secret of direct vital transmission; and so highly interested was he, that he abandoned all his old methods to devote himself entirely to the new discovery. Henceforward he mesmerized by gaze and passes, the natural magnets being abandoned. The mysterious effects of such manipulations were called by him — animal magnetism. This brought to Mesmer a mass of followers and disciples. The new force was experimented with in almost every city and town of Europe and found everywhere an actual fact.
About 1780, Mesmer settled in Paris, and soon the whole metropolis, from the Royal family down to the last hysterical bourgeoise, were at his feet. The clergy got frightened and cried — "the Devil"! The licensed "leeches" felt an ever-growing deficit in their pockets; and the aristocracy and the Court found themselves on the verge of madness from mere excitement. No use repeating too well-known facts, but the memory of the reader may be refreshed with a few details he may have forgotten.
It so happened that just about that time the official Academical Science felt very proud. After centuries of mental stagnation in the realm of medicine and general ignorance, several determined steps in the direction of real knowledge had finally been made. Natural sciences had achieved a decided success, and chemistry and physics were on a fair way to progress. As the Savants of a century ago had not yet grown to that height of sublime modesty which characterizes so pre-eminently their modern successors — they felt very much puffed up with their greatness. The moment for praiseworthy humility, followed by a confession of the relative insignificance of the knowledge of the period — and even of modern knowledge for the matter of that — compared to that which the ancients knew, had not yet arrived. Those were days of naive boasting of the peacocks of science displaying in a body their tails, and demanding universal recognition and admiration. The Sir Oracles were not as numerous as they are now, yet their number was considerable. And indeed, had not the Dulcamaras of public fairs been just visited with ostracism? Had not the leeches well nigh disappeared to make room for diplomaed physicians with royal licenses to kill and bury a piacere ad libitum? Hence, the nodding "Immortal" in his academical chair was regarded as the sole competent authority in the decision of questions he had never studied, and for rendering verdicts about that which he had never heard of. It was the REIGN OF REASON, and of Science — in its teens; the beginning of the great deadly struggle between Theology and Facts, Spirituality and Materialism. In the educated classes of Society too much faith had been succeeded by no faith at all. The cycle of Science-worship had just set in, with its pilgrimages to the Academy, the Olympus where the "Forty Immortals" are enshrined, and its raids upon every one who refused to manifest a noisy admiration, a kind of juvenile calf's enthusiasm, at the door of the Fane of Science. When Mesmer arrived, Paris divided its allegiance between the Church which attributed all kinds of phenomena except its own divine miracles to the Devil, and the Academy, which believed in neither God nor Devil, but only in its own infallible wisdom.
But there were minds which would not be satisfied with either of these beliefs. Therefore, after Mesmer had forced all Paris to crowd to his halls, waiting hours to obtain a place in the chair round the miraculous baquet, some people thought that it was time real truth should be found out. They had laid their legitimate desires at the royal feet, and the King forthwith commanded his learned Academy to look into the matter. Then it was, that awakening from their chronic nap, the "Immortals" appointed a committee of investigation, among which was Benjamin Franklin, and chose some of the oldest, wisest and baldest among their "Infants" to watch over the Committee. This was in 1784. Every one knows what was the report of the latter and the final decision of the Academy. The whole transaction looks now like a general rehearsal of the play, one of the acts of which was performed by the "Dialectical Society" of London and some of England's greatest Scientists, some eighty years later.
Indeed, notwithstanding a counter report by Dr. Jussieu, an Academician of the highest rank, and the Court physician D'Eslon, who, as eye-witnesses to the most striking phenomena, demanded that a careful investigation should be made by the Medical Faculty of the therapeutic effects of the magnetic fluid — their demand fell through. The Academy disbelieved her most eminent Scientists. Even Sir B. Franklin, so much at home with cosmic electricity, would not recognize its fountain head and primordial source, and along with Bailly, Lavoisier, Magendie, and others, proclaimed Mesmerism a delusion. Nor had the second investigation which followed the first — namely in 1825 — any better results. The report was once more squashed (vide Isis Unveiled, vol. I, pp. 171-176).
Even now when experiment has amply demonstrated that "Mesmerism" or animal magnetism, now known as hypnotism (a sorry effect, forsooth, of the "Breath of Cybele") is a fact, we yet get the majority of scientists denying its actual existence. Small fry as it is in the majestic array of experimental psycho-magnetic phenomena, even hypnotism seems too incredible, too mysterious, for our Darwinists and Haeckelians. One needs too much moral courage, you see, to face the suspicion of one's colleagues, the doubt of the public, and the giggling of fools. "Mystery and charlatanism go hand in hand," they say; and "self-respect and the dignity of the profession," as Magendie remarks in his Physiologie Humaine, "demand that the well informed physician should remember how readily mystery glides into charlatanism." Pity the "well informed physician" should fail to remember that physiology among the rest is full of mystery — profound, inexplicable mystery from A to Z — and ask whether, starting from the above "truism," he should not throw overboard Biology and Physiology as the greatest pieces of charlatanry in modern Science. Nevertheless, a few in the well-meaning minority of our physicians have taken up seriously the investigation of hypnotism. But even they, having been reluctantly compelled to confess the reality of its phenomena, still persist in seeing in such manifestations no higher a factor at work than the purely material and physical forces, and deny these their legitimate name of animal magnetism. But as the Rev. Mr. Haweis (of whom more presently) just said in the Daily Graphic . . . "The Charcot phenomena are, for all that, in many ways identical with the mesmeric phenomena, and hypnotism must properly be considered rather as a branch of mesmerism than as something distinct from it. Anyhow, Mesmer's facts, now generally accepted, were at first stoutly denied." And they are still so denied.
But while they deny Mesmerism, they rush into Hypnotism, despite the now scientifically recognized dangers of this science, in which medical practitioners in France are far ahead of the English. And what the former say is, that between the two states of mesmerism (or magnetism as they call it, across the water) and hypnotism "there is an abyss." That one is beneficent, the other maleficent, as it evidently must be; since, according to both Occultism and modern Psychology, hypnotism is produced by the withdrawal of the nervous fluid from the capillary nerves, which being, so to say, the sentries that keep the doors of our senses opened, getting anaesthetized under hypnotic conditions, allow these to get closed. A. H. Simonin reveals many a wholesome truth in his excellent work, "Solution du probleme de la suggestion hypnotique." (1) Thus he shows that while "in Magnetism (mesmerism) there occurs in the subject a great development of moral faculties"; that his thoughts and feelings "become loftier, and the senses acquire an abnormal acuteness"; in hypnotism, on the contrary, "the subject becomes a simple mirror." It is Suggestion which is the true motor of every action in the hypnotic: and if, occasionally, "seemingly marvelous actions are produced, these are due to the hypnotizer, not to the subject." Again . . . . "In hypnotism instinct, i.e., the animal, reaches its greatest development; so much so, indeed, that the aphorism 'extremes meet' can never receive a better application than to magnetism and hypnotism." How true these words, also, as to the difference between the mesmerized and the hypnotized subjects. "In one, his ideal nature, his moral self — the reflection of his divine nature — are carried to their extreme limits, and the subject becomes almost a celestial being (un ange). In the other, it is his instincts which develop in a most surprising fashion. The hypnotic lowers himself to the level of the animal. From a physiological standpoint, magnetism (Mesmerism) is comforting and curative, and hypnotism, which is but the result of an unbalanced state, is — most dangerous."
Thus the adverse Report drawn by Bailly at the end of last century has had dire effects in the present, but it had its Karma also. Intended to kill the "Mesmeric" craze, it reacted as a death-blow to the public confidence in scientific decrees. In our day the Non-Possumus of the Royal Colleges and Academies is quoted on the Stock Exchange of the world's opinion at a price almost as low as the Non-Possumus of the Vatican. The days of authority whether human or divine, are fast gliding away; and we see already gleaming on future horizons but one tribunal, supreme and final, before which mankind will bow — the Tribunal of Fact and Truth.
Aye, to this tribunal without appeal even liberal clergymen and famous preachers make obeisance in our day. The parts have now changed hands, and in many instances it is the successors of those who fought tooth and nail for the reality of the Devil and his direct interference with psychic phenomena, for long centuries, who come out publicly to upbraid science. A remarkable instance of this is found in an excellent letter (just mentioned) by the Rev. Mr. Haweis to the Graphic. The learned preacher seems to share our indignation at the unfairness of the modern scientists, at their suppression of truth, and ingratitude to their ancient teachers. His letter is so interesting that its best points must be immortalized in our magazine. Here are some fragments of it. Thus he asks: —
Why can't our scientific men say: "We have blundered about Mesmerism; it's practically true"? Not because they are men of science, but simply because they are human. No doubt it is humiliating when you have dogmatized in the name of science to say, "I was wrong." But is it not more humiliating to be found out; and is it not most humiliating, after shuffling and wriggling hopelessly in the inexorable meshes of serried facts, to collapse suddenly, and call the hated net a "suitable enclosure," in which forsooth, you don't mind being caught? Now this, as it seems to me, is precisely what Messrs. Charcot and the French hypnotists and their medical admirers in England are doing. Ever since Mesmer's death at the age of eighty, in 1815, the French and English "Faculty," with some honorable exceptions, have ridiculed and denied the facts as well as the theories of Mesmer, but now, in 1890, a host of scientists suddenly agree, while wiping out as best they may the name of Mesmer, to rob him of all his phenomena, which they quietly appropriate under the name of "hypnotism," "suggestion," "Therapeutic Magnetism," "psychopathic Massage," and all the rest of it. Well, "What's in a name?"
I care more for things than names, but I reverence the pioneers of thought who have been cast out, trodden under foot, and crucified by the orthodox of all ages, and I think the least scientists can do for men like Mesmer, Du Potet, Puysegur, or Mayo and Elliotson, now they are gone, is to "build their sepulchers."
But Mr. Haweis might have added instead, the amateur Hypnotists of Science dig with their own hands the graves of many a man and woman's intellect; they enslave and paralyze freewill in their "subjects," turn immortal men into soulless, irresponsible automata, and vivisect their souls with as much unconcern as they vivisect the bodies of rabbits and dogs. In short, they are fast blooming into "sorcerers," and are turning science into a vast field of black magic. The rev. writer, however, lets the culprits off easily; and, remarking that he accepts "the distinction" [between Mesmerism and Hypnotism] "without pledging himself to any theory," he adds: —
I am mainly concerned with the facts, and what I want to know is why these cures and abnormal states are trumpeted about as modern discoveries, while the "faculty" still deride or ignore their great predecessors without having themselves a theory which they can agree upon or a single fact which can be called new. The truth is we are just blundering back with toil to work over again the old disused mines of the ancients; the rediscovery of these occult sciences is exactly matched by the slow recovery of sculpture and painting in modern Europe. Here is the history of occult science in a nutshell. (1) Once known. (2) Lost. (3) Rediscovered. (4) Denied. (5) Reaffirmed, and by slow degrees, under new names, victorious. The evidence for all this is exhaustive and abundant. Here it may suffice to notice that Diodorus Siculus mentions how the Egyptian priests, ages before Christ, attributed clairvoyance induced for therapeutic purposes to Isis. Strabo ascribes the same to Serapis, while Galen mentions a temple near Memphis famous for these Hypnotic cures. Pythagoras, who won the confidence of the Egyptian priests, is full of it. Aristophanes in "Plutus" describes in some detail a Mesmeric cure — [kai prota men de tes kephales ephepsato], etc., "and first he began to handle the head." Caelius Aurelianus describes manipulations (1569) for disease "conducting the hands from the superior to the inferior parts"; and there was an old Latin proverb — Ubi dolor ibi digitus, "Where pain, there finger." But time would fail me to tell of Paracelsus (1462) (2) and his "deep secret of Magnetism"; of Van Helmont (1644) (3) and his "faith in the power of the hand in disease." Much in the writings of both these men was only made clear to the moderns by the experiments of Mesmer, and in view of modern Hypnotists it is clearly with him and his disciples that we have chiefly to do. He claimed, no doubt, to transmit an animal magnetic fluid, which I believe the Hypnotists deny.
They do, they do. But so did the scientists with regard to more than one truth. To deny "an animal magnetic fluid" is surely no more absurd than to deny the circulation of the blood, as they have so energetically done.
A few additional details about Mesmerism given by Mr. Haweis may prove interesting. Thus he reminds us of the answer written by the much wronged Mesmer to the Academicians after their unfavorable Report, and refers to it as "prophetic words."
"You say that Mesmer will never hold up his head again. If such is the destiny of the man it is not the destiny of the truth, which is in its nature imperishable, and will shine forth sooner or later in the same or some other country with more brilliancy than ever, and its triumph will annihilate its miserable detractors." Mesmer left Paris in disgust, and retired to Switzerland to die; but the illustrious Dr. Jussieu became a convert. Lavater carried Mesmer's system to Germany, while Puysegur and Deleuze spread it throughout provincial France, forming innumerable "harmonic societies" devoted to the study of therapeutic magnetism and its allied phenomena of thought-transference, hypnotism, and clairvoyance.
Some twenty years ago I became acquainted with perhaps the most illustrious disciple of Mesmer, the aged Baron du Potet. (4) Round this man's therapeutic and mesmeric exploits raged, between 1830 and 1846, a bitter controversy throughout France. A murderer had been tracked, convicted, and executed solely on evidence supplied by one of Du Potet's clairvoyants. The Juge de Paix admitted thus much in open court. This was too much for even sceptical Paris, and the Academy determined to sit again and, if possible, crush out the superstition. They sat, but, strange to say, this time they were converted. Itard, Fouquier, Guersent, Bourdois de la Motte, the cream of the French faculty, pronounced the phenomena of mesmerism to be genuine — cures, trances, clairvoyance, thought-transference, even reading from closed books; and from that time an elaborate nomenclature was invented, blotting out as far as possible the detested names of the indefatigable men who had compelled the scientific assent, while enrolling the main facts vouched for by Mesmer, Du Potet, and Puysegur among the undoubted phenomena to be accepted, on whatever theory, by medical science. . . .
Then comes the turn of this foggy island and its befogged scientists.
"Meanwhile," [goes on the writer], England was more stubborn. In 1846 the celebrated Dr. Elliot son, a popular practitioner, with a vast clientele, pronounced the famous Harveian oration, in which he confessed his belief in Mesmerism. He was denounced by the doctors with such thorough results that he lost his practice, and died well-nigh ruined, if not heart-broken. The Mesmeric Hospital in Marylebone Road has been established by him. Operations were successfully performed under Mesmerism, and all the phenomena which have lately occurred at Leeds and elsewhere to the satisfaction of the doctors were produced in Marylebone fifty-six years ago. Thirty-five years ago Professor Lister did the same — but the introduction of chloroform being more speedy and certain as an anaesthetic, killed for a time the mesmeric treatment. The public interest in Mesmerism died down, and the Mesmeric Hospital in the Marylebone Road, which had been under a cloud since the suppression of Elliotson, was at last closed. Lately we know what has been the fate of Mesmer and Mesmerism. Mesmer is spoken of in the same breath with Count Cagliostro, and Mesmerism itself is seldom mentioned at all; but, then, we hear plenty of electro-biology, therapeutic magnetism and hypnotism — just so. Oh, shades of Mesmer, Puysegur, Du Potet, Elliotson — sic vos non vobis! Still, I say Palmam qui meruit ferat. When I knew Baron du Potet he was on the brink of the grave, and nearly eighty years old. He was an ardent admirer of Mesmer; he had devoted his whole life to therapeutic magnetism, and he was absolutely dogmatic on the point that a real magnetic aura passed from the Mesmerist to the patient. "I will show you this," he said one day, as we both stood by the bedside of a patient in so deep a trance that we ran needles into her hands and arms without exciting the least sign or movement. The old Baron continued: "I will, at the distance of a foot or two, determine slight convulsions in any part of her body by simply moving my hand above the part, without any contact." He began at the shoulder, which soon set up a twitching. Quiet being restored, he tried the elbow, then the wrist, then the knee, the convulsions increasing in intensity according to the time employed. "Are you quite satisfied?" I said, "Quite satisfied"; "and," continued he, "any patient that I have tested I will undertake to operate upon through a brick wall at a time and place where the patient shall be ignorant of my presence or my purpose. This," added Du Potet, "was one of the experiences which most puzzled the Academicians at Paris. I repeated the experiment again and again under every test and condition, with almost invariable success, until the most sceptical was forced to give in."
We have accused science of gliding full sail down to the Maelstrom of Black Magic, by practising that which ancient Psychology — the most important branch of the Occult Sciences — has always declared as Sorcery in its application to the inner man. We are prepared to maintain what we say. We mean to prove it one of these days, in some future articles, basing ourselves on facts published and the actions produced by the Hypnotism of Vivisectionists themselves. That they are unconscious sorcerers does not make away with the fact that they do practice the Black Art bel et bien. In short the situation is this. The minority of the learned physicians and other scientists experiment in "hypnotism" because they have come to see something in it; while the majority of the members of the R.C.P.'s still deny the actuality of animal magnetism in its mesmeric form, even under its modern mask — hypnotism. The former — entirely ignorant of the fundamental laws of animal magnetism — experiment at hap-hazard, almost blindly. To remain consistent with their declarations (a) that hypnotism is not mesmerism, and (b) that a magnetic aura or fluid passing from the mesmerizer (or hypnotizer) is pure fallacy — they have no right, of course, to apply the laws of the older to the younger science. Hence they interfere with, and awaken to action the most dangerous forces of nature, without being aware of it. Instead of healing diseases — the only use to which animal magnetism under its new name can be legitimately applied — they often inoculate the subjects with their own physical as well as mental ills and vices. For this, and the ignorance of their colleagues of the minority, the disbelieving majority of the Sadducees are greatly responsible. For, by opposing them, they impede free action, and take advantage of the Hypocratic oath, to make them powerless to admit and do much that the believers might and would otherwise do. But as Dr. A. Teste truly says in his work — "There are certain unfortunate truths which compromise those who believe in them, and those especially who are so candid as to avow them publicly." Thus the reason of hypnotism not being studied on its proper lines is self-evident.
Years ago it was remarked: "It is the duty of the Academy and medical authorities to study Mesmerism (i.e., the occult sciences in its spirit) and to subject it to trials; finally, to take away the use and practice of it from persons quite strangers to the art, who abuse this means, and make it an object of lucre and speculation." He who uttered this great truth was "the voice speaking in the desert." But those having some experience in occult psychology would go further. They would say it is incumbent on every scientific body — nay, on every government — to put an end to public exhibitions of this sort. By trying the magic effect of the human will on weaker wills, by deriding the existence of occult forces in Nature — forces whose name is legion — and yet calling out these, under the pretext that they are no independent forces at all, not even psychic in their nature, but "connected with known physical laws" (Binet and Fere), men in authority are virtually responsible for all the dire effects that are and will be following their dangerous public experiments. Verily Karma — the terrible but just Retributive Law — will visit all those who develop the most awful results in the future, generated at those public exhibitions for the amusement of the profane. Let them only think of dangers bred, of new forms of diseases, mental and physical, begotten by such insane handling of psychic will! This is as bad on the moral plane as the artificial introduction of animal matter into the human blood, by the infamous Brown Sequard method, is on the physical. They laugh at the occult sciences and deride Mesmerism? Yet this century will not have passed away before they have undeniable proofs that the idea of a crime suggested for experiment's sake is not removed by a reversed current of the will as easily as it is inspired. They may learn that if the outward expression of the idea of a misdeed "suggested" may fade out at the will of the operator, the active living germ artificially implanted does not disappear with it; that once dropped into the seat of the human — or, rather, the animal — passions, it may lie dormant there for years sometimes, to become suddenly awakened by some unforeseen circumstance into realization. Crying children frightened into silence by the suggestion of a monster, a devil standing in the corner, by a foolish nurse, have been known to become insane twenty or thirty years later on the same subject. There are mysterious, secret drawers, dark nooks and hiding-places in the labyrinth of our memory, still unknown to physiologists, and which open only once, rarely twice, in man's lifetime, and that only under very abnormal and peculiar conditions. But when they do, it is always some heroic deed committed by a person the least calculated for it, or — a terrible crime perpetrated, the reason for which remains for ever a mystery. . . .
Thus experiments in "suggestion" by persons ignorant of the occult laws, are the most dangerous of pastimes. The action and reaction of ideas on the inner lower "Ego," has never been studied so far, because that Ego itself is terra incognita (even when not denied) to the men of science. Moreover, such performances before a promiscuous public are a danger in themselves. Men of undeniable scientific education who experiment on Hypnotism in public, lend thereby the sanction of their names to such performances. And then every unworthy speculator acute enough to understand the process may, by developing by practice and perseverance the same force in himself, apply it to his own selfish, often criminal, ends.
Result on Karmic lines: every Hypnotist, every man of Science, however well-meaning and honorable, once he has allowed himself to become the unconscious instructor of one who learns but to abuse the sacred science, becomes, of course, morally the confederate of every crime committed by this means.
Such is the consequence of public "Hypnotic" experiments which thus lead to, and virtually are, BLACK MAGIC.
1. See the review of his work in the Journal
du Magnetisme, Mai, Juin, 1890, founded in 1845
by Baron du Potet, and now edited by H. Durville, in Paris. (return to text)
2. This date is an error. Paracelsus was born at Zurich in 1493. (return to text)
3. This is the date of Van Helmont's death; he was born in 1577. (return to text)
4. Baron du Potet was for years Honorary member of the Theosophical Society. Autograph letters were received from him and preserved at Adyar, our Headquarters, in which he deplores the flippant unscientific way in which Mesmerism (then on the eve of becoming the "hypnotism" of science) was handled "par les charlatans du jour." Had he lived to see the secret science in its full travesty as hypnotism, his powerful voice might have stopped its terrible present abuses and degradation into a commercial Punch and Judy show. Luckily for him, and unluckily for truth, the greatest adept of Mesmerism in Europe of this century — is dead. (return to text)