. . . Commence research where modern conjecture
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 Clus 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
vitæ 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 Æsculapius, 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" Akâsa
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 Puységur 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 marvellous 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
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 mesmerised 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
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
diploma-ed 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 REIGNOF 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 Hæckelians. 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
But while they deny Mesmerism, they rush into Hypnotism,
despite the now scientifically recognised 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 anæsthetized under hypnotic conditions, allow these to get closed.
A. H. Simonin reveals many a wholesome truth in
his excellent work, "Solution du problème 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 marvellous actions are produced, these
are due to the hypnotiser, 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 mesmerised and the hypnotised
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
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
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 dogmatised 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
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, Puységur, or Mayo and Elliotson,
now they are gone, is to "build their sepulchres."
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 paralyse
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 "and first he began to handle the
head." Cælius 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
of Van Helmont (1644)3and 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
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
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
"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 Puységur 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,
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
clairvoyantes. 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 Puységur 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 anæsthetic, 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, Puységur, 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 Maëlström
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 mesmeriser
(or hypnotiser) 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 "Thereare certain unfortunate truths which
compromise those who believe in them, and those especially
who are so candid as to avow them publicly." Thusthe reason of hypnotism not being studied on its proper lines
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 Féré),
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 realisation. 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.
Lucifer, June, 1890 H. P. Blavatsky
1See the review of his work in the Journal du
Mai, Juin, 1890, founded in 1845 by Baron
du Potet, and now edited by H. Durville,
in Paris. back to text
2 This date is an error. Paracelsus was born
at Zurich in 1493. back to text
3 This is the date of Van Helmont's death; he
was born in 1577. back 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. back to text