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Complete Hypnotism

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Complete Hypnotism: Mesmerism, Mind-Reading and Spiritualism

How to Hypnotize: Being an Exhaustive and Practical System of Method, Application, and Use

by A. Alpheus

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INTRODUCTION

There is no doubt that hypnotism is a very old subject,  though the name was not invented till 1850. In it was  wrapped up the “mysteries of Isis” in Egypt thousands  of years ago, and probably it was one of the weapons, if  not the chief instrument of operation, of the magi  mentioned in the Bible and of the “wise men” of  Babylon and Egypt. “Laying on of hands” must have  been a form of mesmerism, and Greek oracles of Delphi  and other places seem to have been delivered by priests  or priestesses who went into trances of self-induced  hypnotism. It is suspected that the fakirs of India who  make trees grow from dry twigs in a few minutes, or  transform a rod into a serpent (as Aaron did in Bible  history), operate by some form of hypnotism.

The people  of the East are much more subject to influences of this  kind than Western peoples are, and there can be no  question that the religious orgies of heathendom were  merely a form of that hysteria which is so closely related  to the modern phenomenon of hypnotism. Though  various scientific men spoke of magnetism, and  understood that there was a power of a peculiar kind  which one man could exercise over another, it was not  until Frederick Anton Mesmer (a doctor of Vienna)  appeared in 1775 that the general public gave any  special attention to the subject. In the year mentioned,  Mesmer sent out a circular letter to various scientific  societies or “Academies” as they are called in Europe,  stating his belief that “animal magnetism” existed, and  that through it one man could influence another. No  attention was given his letter, except by the Academy of  Berlin, which sent him an unfavorable reply.

 

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