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Mesmeric Sleep

Mesmeric Sleep image
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Is there, we may ask, any such special orín or mode of sleep aa that denoted un[er this name - produced by a certain sub Ie innuenee emanating from one person, and afïecting, even without actual conact, the body of another 'i We inay say at once that neither in the sleep produced nor in the collateral effects assigned to it, lo we flnd anything that hasnotkindred vith the natural phenomena of sleep and dreams, and which is not explicable by he anonialous forms these so often asurue without any extemal influences. - As regards the simple effect in question, we believe we might as well speak of sermon sleep, of rocking-cradle sleep, of the leep of an easy arm chair, or of a dull )ook, as a mesmeric sleep. The experiuients ef Mr. Baird, embodied under the name of hypnotism, show the effects even of posture orrixed direction of visión in bringing on this state.' So multiplied and various, indeed, are the condition?, bodily md mental, tending to it, that theinarvel of being awake is almost as great as that of sleep produced by the manipulations and other appliances which the mesmerizer brings to his aid. Aniong these ap)lianees we must especially reckon the age, sex, and personal temperament of hose who are usually the subjects of these exhibitions. Any one who cares to examine the records of thein will see how important is the part these conditions play in the drama of mesmerism. Granted that the facts are strange and diflicult of explanation. But so, and from the same causes, are all the ordinary phenomena of sleep and dreams. Tho familiarity disguises what is equally wonderful in them. It is well worthy of note in this, as in mauy other questions of the kind, bow much subordinate objects usurp the plans of those of higher import. In the so-called mesmeric phenomena, as proffered to our belief, the mesmerizer plays a far more important part than the person acted upou. The facts presented pass into utterinsignificauce, unless it can be shown that they depend upon some direct emanation of power from the - Prove that such influence actually issues From one living being, thus changing the condition of another into its proximity, and we have a new and wonderful elomend, material or spiritual, brought at once into the arena of life. It is admitted, indeed, that the mysterious power is possessed by few individuals only - a limitation, if the facts be real, almost as strange as the power itself. But we may at once state our belief that no peculiar power exists. The operator himself cannot furnish evidence of it. The efl'ects he produces by his manipulations and other devices are closely analogous, often identical, with those of which individuals of a certain nervous temperament are liable from other and' very different exciting causes. This, then, we apprehend to be the crucial question in all that appertains to mesmeric sleep, under its various aspects. The simple fact of sleep thus produced was known long ago ; but it was preserved for our time to erect it into a mysterious principie, altering were it real, all our views of mental phenomcna. - The Edinbwgh lleview.


Old News
Michigan Argus