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all-not, as is generally believed, because their will-power is too strong, but because they are what Bacon calls 'bird-witted,' and cannot concentrate their minds sufficiently. How many people can hypnotise is uncertain; possibly any one could, given a sufficiently favourable subject. But it certainly does appear as if there were some who had naturally a much larger gift in that way than others. Is the success of certain actors and singers solely due to artistic skill? When you read in cold blood the orations of some eloquent politicians, can you always re-discover the magic which seemed so apparent when you were listening? One wonders what could have compelled the brilliant intellect of Laurence Oliphant to submit for years to the domination of an impostor like Thomas Lake Harris. And when one considers the various brands of what perhaps may be called Margarine Religion-mainly from the other side of the Atlantic-manufactured during recent years, and reflects that of the two systems most widely propagated, each was founded by a hardy adventuress without dignity or sanctity, it is difficult to explain the subjection of the disciples except upon some theory of hypnotic influence.

In spite of confident assertions that the question is closed, it remains open. Perhaps all questions do. Boirac, in his 'Psychologie inconnue,' describes how he used to communicate commands, which were at once obeyed, to a lad he was in the habit of hypnotising, from the other side of a crowded room, merely by the unexpressed action of his thought, without uttering a word. There is no reason to suppose that Boirac lies. Yet are many stories of what is called clairvoyance, of thought-transference and telepathy, more incredible? It is not necessarily superstition to believe that there are people who are peculiarly subject to subtle psychological modifications. It is the fashion to call such people by the rather silly name of 'psychic,' and to regard their experiences as being of a spiritual nature. For this it is difficult to see any grounds. Such tendencies would seem to be largely shared by animals and to be common among savages.

Braid, and still more his contemporary Esdaile, who practised hypnotism with remarkable success in India, met with little sympathy or encouragement from their

own profession. The inclination to resent innovation, to mistrust originality, is quite as strong in the medical profession as in any other. Among soldiers and sailors it is common enough, but the results are only apparent when the country is at war. Clerics and medical men are always at war, and any resistance they may offer to new ideas is perpetually making itself felt. Of course no other calling has had the opportunities for persecution granted to the priesthood. Their record of plunder, cruelty, and murder is unsurpassed. But the doctors have sometimes made things very disagreeable for unorthodox colleagues. Jenner had to wait many years before vaccination was accepted. Lister's early efforts to get recognition for anæsthetic surgery had a sorry welcome. And the attitude of the High Priests of Medicine towards the heresy of Homoeopathy, for example, has not differed much in spirit from that of Pius the Third towards the Albigenses.

It is not many years since an eminent doctor announced in public that he believed the phenomena of hypnotism to be entirely fraudulent. Had he taken the trouble to make some personal investigation, he would have found that he might disapprove of hypnotism, but that it was impossible to disbelieve. If he had seen, as he easily might have done, a frail woman rigid and stretched like a plank, with her head resting on one chair and her feet on another, and no support for her body, he would have realised that such a condition of catalepsy could not be feigned. But no Englishman will surrender the privilege of refusing to believe what he does not wish to believe.

In some ways at least, the French are less prejudiced. A French doctor heard of Braid's experiments and explored the subject for himself, with the result that the study of hypnotism as a therapeutic agent soon had many followers in France. Just as the Barbizon School of landscape painting owed its first inspiration to Constable and his English contemporaries, so the Salpêtrière School of Medical Psychology learned its original methods from a Scottish doctor. The experiments of the celebrated Charcot at the Salpêtrière soon became famous. It was impossible to regard leading French scientific men as the mere slaves of a superstition; and

the study and practice of hypnotism, though not unduly favoured, became at least respectable. Another school, of whose leaders perhaps the best-known was Bernheim, came into being at Nancy. And though the original founders worked on rather different lines, making a much larger use of hypnosis than the present Nancy School, the latter has developed out of the former.

The explanation of hypnotism being so hypothetical, a divergence of doctrine soon developed between the Salpêtrière and Nancy Schools. Charcot and his followers believed that hypnosis was a morbid condition, akin to hysteria. The Nancy School held that it was merely a state of heightened susceptibility, bringing the patient more readily under the influence of suggestion, but not differing, pathologically, from ordinary sleep. On these lines the development was natural which has brought the Nancy School to pay less and less regard to hypnosis, and to dwell on suggestion as the fundamental force. Scientific opinion has largely endorsed the views of the Nancy School; and Charcot's theory has generally been looked upon as discredited. But of late there have been some signs of a reaction. Dr Ernest Jones, for instance, the brilliant and learned exponent of Psycho-analysis, now inclines to hold Charcot's belief. It is unnecessary to quote the old proverb about the disagreement of doctors. And those who have been repelled by some of the aspects of Psycho-analysis, will perhaps be inclined to think that any morbid explanation of phenomena would be the most congenial one to its professors.

Psycho-analysis is, of course, largely a different line of inquiry from those which we have been considering. As most people know, it was originated by Freud, a Viennese doctor, and has rapidly developed into a vast and important branch of scientific investigation. Its subject matter is the same as that of the Schools abovementioned. But its methods are different.

Hypnotism and suggestion are supposed to work upon what has usually been called the Sub-Conscious Mind. The sub-conscious Mind is one of the trump-cards of that most popular science, Psychology. Psychology, since the days of Aristotle, has played a large part in the speculative thought of the philosopher. As a branch of exact science it is comparatively new-and superlatively

inexact. It is not difficult to study the organs of the body. You can place the lungs or the heart on the dissecting table, or peer into their tissues with a microscope. But you cannot pick out the constituent parts of the mind and hold them up for inspection. You may talk of the Will, or the Imagination, or the Emotions; but, whatever new label you stick on them, you can never be certain that the phenomena you are trying to classify are due to that particular portion of the Mind's anatomy to which you attribute them. In the early history of the science, the tendency was to find a mechanical solution of these difficult problems, to reduce Psychology almost to becoming a tributary of Physiology. Such a solution seemed easy and simple in the exuberant days of Huxley and Tyndall, when scientists captured the guns of dogmatism from the Church, and turned them, with shouts of triumph, on the disordered clerical host. But scientific men have less confidence in dogmatism now. The assertion that the brain secretes thought as the liver secretes bile' would hardly pass in these days with more success than an attempt to explain music by saying that a piano secretes sonatas. The problem of body and mind cannot be so lightly dismissed, even by those advanced thinkers in American philosophical circles, who apparently believe that there is no such thing as Mind at all—a doctrine of which they are at once the preachers and the proofs.

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This uncertainty and vagueness is probably a principal cause of the popularity of Psychology. The word seems to have acquired a mystic significance. The literature of Psychology is now almost as abundant, and quite as solemn, as the literature of Theology. It has evolved its own special language. Educationalists employ it with regard to their efforts to induce idle children to assimilate a hated minimum of unfruitful knowledge. Reviewers of third-rate novels apply it to the erotic emotions of lifeless heroes and heroines. It is perpetually on the lips of political pedagogues, whose ideal of government is a national, or an international, class-room, ruled by psychologically trained caricatures of Plato's philosopher


Whatever be the ultimate value of Psychology as a science, at any rate its professors widely hold the theory

of the sub-conscious Mind, or the Sub-liminal Consciousness, as it was once more frequently called. The idea is that the conscious mind is like one of those rafts one used to see floating down the Rhine, the river representing the larger body of Sub-Consciousness. When the raft was lightly weighted, only a little of the water below swayed over its edges. When the raft was heavily laden a great part of it was submerged. In the same way more or less of the mind rises into consciousness. This theory undoubtedly gets a great deal of support from ordinary experience. Any one accustomed to brainwork can remember how often thought has seemed to advance unnoticed, as it were; how problems may be solved during a night of slumber, or while one is listening to music. Henri Poincaré has recorded how one of his mathematical discoveries was due to what seemed to be a process of unconscious cerebration.' And every one knows the story of Coleridge and 'Kubla Khan.'

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Psycho-analysts also deal with the Sub-conscious Mind, though usually they prefer to call it the Unconscious. This is not the same as the Unconscious of Von Hartmann, which was a metaphysical speculation, and not a scientific hypothesis. But Von Hartmann's cheerful saying, that Consciousness is the great mistake of the Universe, might possibly find an echo in some Psycho-analytic bosoms. It has been said that Herbert Spencer provided more detailed information about the Unknowable than most theologians would venture to give about God. The information about the Unconscious afforded by the Psycho-analysts is even more extensive. The Unconscious would appear to be a region resembling the Zoological Gardens with all the keepers on strike. A host of unnoticed and unsuspected desires and passions are constantly roaring and raging in their cages. And the only hope of peace for the unfortunate patient is for the Psycho-analyst to open the cages and set their inhabitants free.

There have been so much talk and so much writing about Psycho-analysis, that any detailed examination of the subject is unnecessary. As is well known, Freud plucked a blossom from one of the flower-beds in that garden of worldly wisdom, the Roman Church. He realised that Confession was not only good for the soul;

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