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[1/25/2014 6:03:19 PM] *** Group call ***
[1/25/2014 6:11:21 PM] Thuan Thi Do: CHAPTER XVIII

MESMERISM

The student should recognise the perfectly clear and definite distinction between hypnotism

and mesmerism. Hypnotism, derived from the Greek hypnos, meaning sleep, stands literally for the art of putting to sleep. It usually results from a nervous paralysis brought about by a slight strain either to the nerves of the eye or in some other way. It is not, in itself, an injurious state to be in, though it may of course be turned to ends either good or bad. It frequently makes the subject insensible to pain, and it may give the system a rest which may be highly beneficial. It is primarily a self-induced condition: its main result is that it usually places the subject to a greater or lesser extent under the control of the operator who, within certain limits which vary according to the nature and character of the subject and the degree of the hypnosis as well as the power and skill of the operator, may be compelled to do what the operator wishes.

Mesmerism depends upon quite a different principle. The word itself is derived from Frederick Mesmer (1734-1815) a doctor of Vienna, who, towards the end of the eighteenth century, discovered that he could effect cures by means of influences proceeding from the hand, to which he gave the name ďanimal magnetismĒ. The essence of Mesmerism is that the operator drives out or forces back the patientís own magnetism or vital fluid, and replaces it with his own fluid. The natural effect of this is that the patient loses all power of feeling in that portion of his body from which his own fluid has been expelled. We have previously seen that the power of feeling depends on the transmission of contacts to the astral centres, through the matter of the Etheric Double. When therefore, the etheric matter is removed, the connection between the dense physical body and the astral body is broken, and consequently there can be no sensation experienced.

The withdrawal of the vital fluid does not in any way interfere with the circulation of the blood, for the portion of the body concerned remains warm.

It is thus possible to drive out a patientís own etheric matter from, say an arm or a leg, so that complete anśsthesia in the limb results. The mesmeric process being in such a case purely local, the patient will retain full normal consciousness in the brain; all that happens is that a local anśsthetic has been applied to the limb concerned. Under such mesmeric anśsthetic surgical operations, both major and minor, have been performed. Perhaps the best known collection of such operations is recorded in the book Mesmerism in India, first published in 1842, by Dr. Esdaile. Another surgeon, one Dr. Elliotson, also performed large numbers of operations under mesmeric anśthesia in London about three-quarters of a century ago. At this time chloroform was unknown, and every operating room was a torture chamber.Graphic and interesting accounts of the work of these two pioneers may be found in The Rationale of Mesmerism, by A. P. Sinnett, a book strongly recommended to the student.

The mesmeric process may be pushed further, to the extent of driving out the subjectís own magnetic fluid from the brain and replacing it by that of the operator. In this case, the subject entirely loses control of his own body, and the control passes to the operator, who can then make the subjectís body do what the operator wishes.

An interesting consequence of replacing a subjectís magnetic fluid by that of the operator is that a stimulus applied to the operator may appear to be felt by the subject, or, on the other hand, a stimulus applied to the subject may be felt by the operator.

Thus, for example, suppose that an arm has been mesmerised, the subjectís own magnetic fluid being replaced by that of the operator. Then if the operatorís hand be pricked, the subject may receive the feeling, owing to the fact that the nerve-ether of the operator has been connected to the subjectís brain : the subject therefore, receiving the message from the operatorís nerve-ether, supposes it to have come from his own nerve-ether and so responds accordingly. This phenomenon is usually known as magnetic sympathy, and many cases may be read of in the literature of the subject.

It is not essential to make passes with the hands in order to mesmerise. The only use of the hands is to concentrate the fluid, and perhaps to help the imagination of the operator, anything which assists the imagination making it easier that belief upon which the action of the will so largely depends. A skilful mesmerist, however, can manage quite well without any passes whatever, achieving his results merely by looking at his subject and using his will.

It would appear that the etheric mechanism of the body consists of two distinct divisions, the one unconscious and connected with the sympathetic, the other conscious and voluntary, and connected with the cerebro-spinal system, and that it is possible to mesmerise the latter, but not the former. A mesmerist would not, therefore, usually be able to interfere with the ordinary vital processes of a patientís body, such as breathing or the circulation of the blood.

This may, perhaps be the explanation of the statement in Theosophy that Pr‚na exists in two main forms in the physical body : energising Pr‚na in the Etheric Double, and Automatic Pr‚na in the dense body.

As in the case of magnetic healing, it is obviously eminently desirable that a mesmerist should be physically healthy. For a healer or magnetiser pours into the patient not only Pr‚na, but also his own emanations, and in this way it is possible for the operator to convey physical disease to the subject. Further, as astral and mental matter are also thrown into the subject, moral and mental diseases may likewise be transferred.

For similar reasons a mesmerist may thus, even unconsciously, gain great influence over his subject Ė a far greater power than is generally known. Any quality of heart or mind possessed by the mesmerist is very readily transferred to the subject, hence the avenues of possible danger in this respect are apparent.

Mesmerism purely for curative purposes, by those who understand what they are doing and can be trusted not to abuse their powers, has much to be said for it; but mesmerism for other purposes is distinctly not advisable.

An advantage possessed by mesmerism over healing of disease by will is that when will-forces are poured down into the physical, there is a danger of driving the disease back into the subtler vehicles from which it came, thus inhibiting the final working out to the physical plane of evil which has its origin in mind and emotion. Curative mesmerism is free from this danger.

An interesting example of magnetic or mesmeric healing is the Buddhist Paritta or Pirit ceremony (meaning literally ďblessingsĒ), in which the monks sit in a circle or hollow square and hold in their hands a rope about as thick as a clothes line, from which strings run to a large pot of water. Relays of monks recite texts from the scriptures for many days continuously, keeping clearly in their minds the will to bless. The water becomes very highly charged with magnetism and it is then distributed to the people, or a sick man may hold a thread connected to the rope.

It may be noted, in passing, that it is possible to mesmerise plants and procure specific and distinct results in stimulation of their growth. There are probably very few who practise this consciously, at least in Western countries, though the fact that some persons have a ďlucky handĒ with plants and flowers, etc., may perhaps be partially explained on the lines indicated. A more common cause, however, of such phenomena has to do with the composition of the etheric and other bodies and the relationship of the person to the elementals, the most friendly to him being those whose element is preponderant in his vehicles.

Nature-spirits, possessing little sense of responsibility and wills not strongly developed, can usually readily be dominated mesmerically, and can then be employed in many ways to carry out the will of the magician : so long as the tasks given to them are within their powers they will be faithfully and surely executed.

It is also possible to mesmerise persons who have recently died and who are still hovering close about us in their astral bodies.
[1/25/2014 6:56:24 PM] Thuan Thi Do: http://www.blavatsky.net/theosophy/judge/articles/hypnotism.htm
[1/25/2014 7:02:47 PM] Thuan Thi Do: http://thongthienhoc.net/truongbigiao/DaiCuongTiengVoThinh7.htm
[1/25/2014 8:09:19 PM] Thuan Thi Do: In 1906 Leadbeater brought a scandal upon the Theosophical Society. He was always surrounded by boys, mostly ages 10-16. His interest was seen as paternal, and well within the norms of late Victorian and Edwardian society. Even his sleeping in the same room, or even the same bed, did not strike his contemporaries as unusual, nor even his daily ritual of bathing naked with them. And especially in the circles in which Leadbeater traveled he was seen as an advanced clairvoyant, and thus beyond ordinary human urges, much less anything depraved. Thus it was a shock to many when a hotel porter came forward with a letter found at a room in which Leadbeater had just vacated. It was written in a crude code, but was easily deciphered. The contents were considered so obscene for that time that they could not be printed in England. They were instructions to a boy on how to masturbate. Around the same time, and independently, two other boys, both sons of prominent Theosophists, told their parents of the similar instruction they had received. Olcott convened a panel of inquiry, and Leadbeater in interviews did not deny giving such instructions, and did not disclaim authorship of the letter. He even confessed that his "instruction" might have included some touch. Before Olcott had decided how to handle the issue, Leadbeater resigned, "to save the Theosophical Society from embarrassment." But he never personally evinced any regret or sense of impropriety. Opinion remains split to this day, some seeing Leadbeater as a martyred progressive, others a sex pervert.
[1/25/2014 9:08:15 PM] Thuan Thi Do: http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/sd/sd2-3-01.htm
[1/25/2014 9:09:30 PM] Van Atman: http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/sd/sd2-1-05.htm
[1/25/2014 10:10:23 PM] Thuan Thi Do: http://www.thiennhien.net/2014/01/19/tham-nguoi-kogi/
[1/25/2014 10:16:39 PM] *** Call ended, duration 4:13:09 ***