Disappearance of Tremors and other Nervous Symptoms under Treatment by Suggestion—Experiments with the Time-Sense— Tabulated Results—Similar Experiments in another Case—The Question of Mal-observation or Deception — Various other Points of Interest—Further Experiments—Time-Appreciation Unassociated with Suggestion—Experiences of Dr. George Savage and Professor Marcus Hartog—Automatic Writing in Hypnosis
The following cases, though interesting medically, are cited chiefly on account of the experiments about to be recorded.
No. 69. Miss A--, aged 19, was sent to me by Dr. de Watteville for hypnotic treatment, on September 2nd, 1895. Her health had been fairly good up to twelve months previously, when violent muscular tremor of the right arm and hand commenced. After a few weeks this spread to .the right leg, and then to the left arm and leg. The tremor ceased during sleep, but only: then; while walking was always difficult and painful. There was almost constant diffused headache. During the last four months there had been frequent attacks of pain in the region of the heart. After the patient had looked at a bright object—especially anything blue—everything else appeared of that colour; this impression persisted for about an hour, while its disappearance was always sudden and accompanied by a feeling of faintness. Menstruation began at the age of 11 and was always painful, and there had been obstinate constipation from infancy. Her illness followed over-exertion and mental strain, the result of nursing a relative who died. There had been no previous hysterical symptoms and the family history was good.
Treatment.—Electricity, massage, careful drugging and change of air.
Treatment by suggestion.—This was begun on September 3rd, 1895, and repeated on the 4th, 5th, and 6th, when the tremor had almost entirely disappeared. From then to October 30th she was treated on seven occasions.
Result.—No tremor or other morbid symptoms. Bowels regular. Last period free from pain. Fourteen pounds gained in weight since beginning of treatment. No abnormal colour-perceptions. Returned to work.
Remarks. —After the seventh treatment, Miss A-reached the stage of somnambulism, i.e. she was unable in the normal state to recall the events of so-called hypnotic life. From that date she could at once be made analgesic or anaesthetic by suggestion; touching the cornea or tickling the back of the throat with a feather produced no reflex, and the passing of a needle deeply into the flesh was unattended by pain.
During treatment, suggestions had been made fixing the hour at which Miss A— was to fall asleep at night, and the moment she was to awake in the morning. As these were remarkably successful, it occurred to me that she might prove a, good subject for experiments similar to those of Delboeuf. Miss A- was an intelligent girl, who had received an ordinary School Board education, and her arithmetical powers were in keeping with this; she could do ordinary sums in multiplication and subtraction, with the aid of a pencil and paper, but failed, unless they were extremely simple, to do them mentally. She possessed no particular aptitude for appreciating the passage of time.
Experiment 1.—November 5th, 1895; time, 4 p.m. Suggestion (givenduring hypnosis): At the expiration of 5 hours and 20 minutes, Miss A-was to make a cross on a piece of paper and write down the time she believed it to be, without looking at clock or watch.
Result.—Thesuggestion was carried out the minute it fell due.
Reinarks.—Onthis occasion I did not sayanything to Miss A-about the experiment, either before or after hypnosis, and, being a somnambule, she retained in her waking consciousness no recollection of the suggestion. I told her mother its nature, but not the time at which it should be fulfilled. At 9.15 the same evening her mother noticed that Miss A- was restless, and asked her what was the matter. She replied, “I feel I must do something, but cannot tell what.” At 9.20 p.m. she rapidly made a cross with a pencil and wrote “20 minutes past 9 “on a piece of paper, at the same time saying, “It’s all silliness.” There was no clock in the room, but her mother went into the next room where there was one, and found that the time was 9.20. When I again saw Miss A- I explained the nature of the experiments I proposed making, and instructed her to carry a pencil and paper during the day, and to put them by her bedside at night. I did not describe the experiments as anything extraordinary, but simply told her that hypnotised subjects were often able to appreciate time and that I wished to see whether she could do so. No pecuniary or other reward was promised or given. I told her I should make these suggestions from time to time, but not on each occasion she visited me. I neither told her in the waking condition that suggestions had been made, nor informed her relatives when I made, them, nor what they were. They knew that suggestions of this nature were given frequently, but only became acquainted with them by seeing Miss A- carry them out, or by hearing from her that she had done so. Before making the suggestions I wrote them down in my case-book, and, when Miss A-again visited me, I copied into it what she had written on the different pieces of paper. In many instances I did, not calculate when the suggestions fell due, and in others the calculations I made at the time were proved to be erroneous; the results of the experiments in these cases being only determined when the series was completed.
The experiments which followed were all of the same character, i.e. during hypnosis Miss A- was told that, at the expiration of a certain number of minutes, she was to make a cross and, write down the hour she believed it to be, without consulting the clock; an interval of waking life always intervening between the suggestion and its fulfilment. I made my experiments simple and uniform in character because I knew that Delboeuf’s subjects resisted suggestions that were distasteful to them. The idea of making a cross on a piece of paper excited no opposition in Miss A---‘s mind, while the fact that she recorded in writing the time at which the suggestion was fulfilled, especially when this was witnessed by others, put me in possession of evidence of a certain value. The arithmetical problems involved in the first one or two of the following experiments were comparatively simple. In No. 3, for example, as Miss A-could easily tell when 24 hours fell due, the suggestion practically resolved itself into one to be fulfilled in 100 minutes. Soon, however, the experiments became complicated, and involved much more difficult problems in arithmetic/
Experiment 2. — November 28th, 1895; 2 p.m. Suggestion to be fulfilled in 320m. Result: Correct. Remarks: The suggestion was carried out at 7.20 pm., when the patient was in a friend’s house. She had no watch with her, and the clock in the room was wrong.
Experiment 3.—December 4th; 3.15 p.m. Suggestion: in 24h. and 100m. Result Correct. Remarks When in a friend’s house the following afternoon she carried out the suggestion at 4.55. She then asked the time. Her friend looked at her watch and told her, whereupon she remarked, “Your watch is three minutes fast.” This was the case.
Experiment 4.— December 12th; 3.20 p.m. Suggestion. in 24h. 1,440m. Result: 3.20 p.m., Saturday, December 14th: Correct.
Experiment 5.—Wednesday, December 18th; 3.45 p.m. Suggestion: in 24h. 2,880m. Result: 3.45 p.m., Saturday, December 21st: Correct.
Experiment 6.—Tuesday, December 24th; 2.55 p.m. Suggestion: in 30h. 50m. Result: 9.45 p.m., Wednesday, December 25th: Correct.
Experiment 7.—Tuesday, December 24th; 3.10 p.m. Suggestion: in 7,200m. Result: 3.10 p.m., Sunday, December 29th: Correct. Remarks: When No. 7 was fulfilled the patient was teaching a Sunday-school class; suddenly she felt an impulse to make a cross and mark the time. It was only after doing so that she looked at the clock, which was behind her.
Experiment .S.—Tuesday, December 31st; 3.45 p.m. Suggestion in4,335m. Result: 4 p.m., Friday, January 3rd, 1896: Correct.
Experiment 9.—December 31st, 1895; 4 p.m. Suggestion: in 11,525m. Result: 11.5 a.m., Wednesday, January 8th: Wrong. Remarks: The result ought to have been 4.5 p.m., January 8th. I re-hypnotised Miss A-
that day and asked her to recall the suggestion I had made on December 31st. She said it was to be executed in 11,225m. it is possible that I had made a mistake, but not at all likely, asI read the suggestion to her with the figures before my eyes. The supposed suggestion of 11,225m. had been carried out correctly.
I now attempted to find out during hypnosis the patient’s mental condition in reference to these suggestions. In reply to my questions she informed me (1) that when the suggestions were made in hypnosis she did not calculate when they fell due; (2) that she did not calculate them at any time afterwards during hypnosis; (3) that she had no recollection of them when hypnosis terminated; (4) that no memory of them ever afterwards awoke in the waking state; (5) that shortly before their fulfilment she always experienced a motor impulse, i.e. her fingers moved as if to grasp a pencil and to perform the act of writing; (6) that this impulse was immediately followed by the idea of making a cross and writing certain figures; (7) that she never looked at clock or watch until after she had made her record.
Experiments.—Wednesday, January 8th, 1896.—No.
10: 4.5 p.m. Suggestion: in 4,417m.=-No. 11: 4.5 p.m. Suggestion: in 11,470m.—No. 12: 1.30 p.m. Suggestion: in 10,070m.
As Miss A-- stated in hypnosis that she made no calculations, in order to vary the experiments I asked her, as soon as I made the suggestions and before terminating the hypnosis, to calculate when they would fall due and tell me the result She replied as follows: “No. 10, in 3d. 37m., or 23m. to 5 next-Saturday afternoon.— No. 11, in 187h. 50m., or 7d. 9b. 50m.; next Wednesday morning at 5m. to 12.—No. 12, in 1,067b. 40m., or Gd. 23h. and 40m; 4.20 p.m. next Wednesday.”
Miss A—‘s calculation in No. 10 was l h. 5m. too early. In No. 11, her calculation was Id. 3h. 20m. too early. Here (1) 11,270 was taken instead of 11,470, and hence the interval was calculated to be 187h. 50m., equalling 7d. 19h. 50m.; (2) 7d. 9h. 50m. was given instead of 7d. 19h. 50m, and the time falling due was then calculated with this interval (7.19.50); but (3) a mistake of l d. was made.
In No. 12 her result was correct, but did not correspond with her calculation; 10,070m. equals 167h. 50m., not 1,067h. 40m. Here (1) a cipher was wrongly inserted and (2) 40m. miscalculated for 50. The latter error was repeated when 6d. 23h. 40m. was given instead of 6d. 23h. 50m.
Results.—No.10, Saturday, January 11th, 5.42 p.m.: Correct.—No. 11, Thursday, January 16th, 3.15 p.m.: Correct.—No. 12 Wednesday, January 15th, 4.20 p.m. Correct.
Remarks. —As the subject had wrongly calculated during hypnosis the time the suggestions fell due, I concluded that she had thus fixed these dates in her own mindand would carry out the experiments in accordance with them. Myastonishment was great when they were executed correctly. I re-hypnotised Miss A---, and said to her, “You did not carry out these suggestions at the hours you told me they would fall due. Why was this? “She replied, “What I told you was all wrong.” “How do you know the other results are right?” “I can’t tell you, I only feel that they are.” Further questioning elicited no memory of the processes by which the original mistakes had been corrected. Miss A- assured me that she had never thought of the suggestions from the time they were made; she simply fulfilled them in response to an impulse to write down the figures, and, while doing so, neither recalled her calculations nor even the suggestions themselves.
When No. 12 was fulfilled Miss A- had been hypnotised in my room for an hour and had had no opportunity of consulting the clock. Exactly at 4.20, without waking or opening her eyes, she said she had to make a cross and put down the time. This was preceded by the movement of the fingers already described. From that date I arranged that some of the experiments should fall due when Miss A-visited me, but not, it is important to note, every time she came. They were fulfilled either inthe normal waking state or in hypnosis, and Miss A-recorded them herself in my case-hook. I then at once compared her figures with the actual time and entered the result, this being nearly always witnessed and signed by others. From that date several suggestions were made at each séance. In some cases the same hour was given as the starting-point of all the experiments; in others, varying and even imaginary ones were chosen. In the latter the subject was told the actual time, but ordered to carry out the experiment from, say, 2.15 p.m. of the previous day.
Experintents.-Weinesday, January 15th, 4.45 p.m. -No. 13, from 4.15 p.m. Suggestion: in 4,453 m.-No. 14, from 2 p.m. Suggestion: in 10,470m.-No. 15, from 2 p.m. Suggestion: in 10,060m.
At the time the suggestions were made the patient was again asked in hypnosis to calculate when they would fall due, and replied rapidly:” No. 13, in 722h. and 33m., or 11.15 p.m. next Wednesday.-No. 14, in 197h. 30m., or 4.5 p.m. next Wednesday.-No. 15, in 8d. 5h. 30m., or 4.25 p.m. next Wednesday.”
In No. 13, Miss A---‘s calculation was 4d. 4h. 17m. too late; 1,153m. equals 74h. 13m., not 722h. 33m. Perhaps 4:453 was mistaken for 43,353, equalling 722h. 33m. The time of falling due had been calculated from the interval of No. 11.
In No. 14, her calculation was 4h. 25m. too early; 10,170m. equals 174h. 30in., not 197h. 30m. The time of falling due was also wrong. There is no explanation for either of these independent errors.
In No. 15, her calculation was lh. 45m. too late. The wrongly calculated interval 8d. 5h. 30m. corresponded to the wrongly calculated 197h. 30m. of No. 14; this interval had apparently remained in the mind. The time of falling due had been calculated with 4.45 as initial time, as in No. 13, instead of 3.0.
Results.-No. 13, Saturday, January 18th, 6.58 p.m.: Correct.--No. 14, Wednesday, January 22nd, 8.30 p.m.: Correct.—No. 15, Wednesday, January 22nd, 2.40 p.m. Correct.
Remarks,—Again the subject’s miscalculation did not affect the accuracy of her results, and questioning in hypnosis again failed to revive any memory of the processes by which these had been reached.
Experiments.—Wednesday, January 22nd, 4.5 p.m. —No. 16. Suggestion: in 20,180m.—No. 17. Suggestion: in 20,160m.—No. 18. Suggestion: in 20,140m.
Miss A--‘s calculations in hypnosis: “No. 16, in. 336h. 20m, or 13d. 20m.; Tuesday, February 4th, at 4.25 p.m.—No. 17, Tuesday, February 1th, at 4.5 p.m.—N o. 18, Tuesday, February 4tb, at 3.45 p.m.”
In each instance these calculations were 1 d. too early, but in No. 16, 20,180m. was correctly given as 336h. 20m.
Results.—No. 16, February 5th, 4.25 p.m.: Correct-No. 17, February 5th, 1.5 p.m.: Correct. —No. 18, February 5th, 3.45 p.m.: Correct.
Remarks.—On Wednesday, February 5th, I hypnotised Miss A-at 3 p.m. At 3.45, without passing from the hypnotic state, she made a cross and wrote downthe correct time. I aroused her at four o’clock, and she carried out the remaining experiments correctly at 4.5 and at 4.25.
Experiments.—Wednesday, February 5th, 4 p.m.— No. 19. Suggestion: in 10,050m.—No. 20. Suggestion: in 10,080m.—No. 21. Suggestion: in 10,090m.—No. 22 Suggestion: in 810m.—No. 23. Suggestion: in 900m.
Miss A--‘s calculations in hypnosis: “No. 19, Wednesday, February 12th, 3.30 p.m.—No. 20, Wednesday, February 12th, 4 .p.m.—No. 21, Wednesday, February 12th, 4.10 p.m.—No. 22, Thursday, February 6th, 6 a.m.—No. 23, Thursday, February 6th, 7 a m.”
The above, made almost immediately, were correct in every instance.
Results.—No. 19, Wednesday, February 12th, 3.30 p.m.: Correct.—No. 20, Wednesday, February 12th, 4 p.m.:
Correct —No. 21, Wednesday, February 12th, 4.10 p.m. Correct. —No. 22, Thursday, February 6tb, 6 a.m.: Correct. —No. 23, Thursday, February 6th, 7 a.m.: Correct. -
Remarks.—WhenMiss A--‘s mother went to her bedroom on the morning of the 6th, she found her asleep, and two pieces of paper were on atable by the bedside. On each was a rough cross; on one the figure 6, on the other 7, both very badly written. Miss A— said she had not awakened during the night.
The other suggestions were carried out during hypnosis in my room, the time being marked by Miss A-in my notebook and witnessed by others.
The five suggestions were given rapidly one after the other. These, and similarly complicated ones, were never read to the subject more than twice, and sometimes only once.
I re-hypnotised Miss A-and questioned her about the suggestions which had been carried out during the night, presumably in natural sleep. She told me she remembered nothing about them; and afterwards, when suggestions were again carried out in natural sleep, her memory was equally at fault.
Experirnents.—Wednesday, February 12.th.—No. 24, 3.30 p.m. Suggestion: in 2,220m.— No. 25, 3.30 p.m. Suggestion: in 2,285m.—No. 26, 3 p.m. Suggestion: 10,115m.—No. 27, 3 p.m. Suggestion: in 10,150m.—No. 28, 4 p.m. Suggestion: in 20,190m.
Miss A-‘s calculation in hypnosis: “No. 24, in 18h. and 40m., or 10.10 to-morrow morning.—No. 25, to-morrow morning at 11.15.—No. 26, next Wednesday at 25m. to 4 p.m.—No. 27, next .Wednesday at 5.30 p.m.—No. 28, a fortnight and half an hour.”
The answers to Nos. 26, 27, 28 were given immediately. In No. 24, Miss A--‘s calculation was 18h. and 20m. too early, but would have been correct if the interval suggested had been 1,120m. instead of 2,220m. In -No.25, her calculation was 18h. 20En. too early, but would have been correct had the suggested interval been 1,185m. instead of 2,285m. In No. 26, her calculation was correct. In No. 27, her calculation was lb. 20m. too late. Here the interval seems to have been taken as 7d. 150m., instead of 10,150m. In No. 28, her calculation was correct as far as it went, but the exact time of fulfilment was not
At the time I made the suggestions I also calculated when they would fall due, thus:—No. 24, February 14th, 5 a.m.: Wrong; half an hour too late.—No. 25, February 14th, 6.5 a.m.: Wrong; half an hour too late.—No. 26, February 19th, 3.35 p.m:: Right.—No. 27, February 19th, 4.10 p.m. Right.—No. 28, February 26th, 4.25 p.m.
Wrong; 5m. too soon.
Results.—No. 24, Friday, February 14th, 4.30 a.m.: Correct. — No. 25, Friday, February 14th, 5.35 a m Correct.—No. 26, Wednesday, February 19th, 3.35 p.m.: Correct.—No. 27, Wednesday, February I9th, 4.10 p.m.: Correct.—No. 28, Wednesday, February 26th, 4.30 p.m.: Correct.
Nos. 24 and 25 were fulfilled during sleep. On the 14th Miss on awaking, found papers by her bedside with 4.30 and 5.35 written on them. On the 19th she was hypnotised in my room at 3 p.m., Mid carried out Nos. 26 and 27 while in hypnosis. On both occasions she wrote the time in my notebook, and this was witnessed. I asked her during hypnosis if she remembered my last suggestion (No. 28), made the previous week. She said she did and repeated it correctly, but stated she had never thought of it since, and did not know when it would fall due, or the number of minutes that had elapsed since it was given. She had apparently forgotten that when the suggestion was given she had calculated when it would fall due. No. 28 was executed correctly during hypnosis on February 26th,
Experiments.—Wednesday, February 19th.—No. 29, 3.30 p.m. Suggestion: in 720m. — No. 30, 3.30 p.m. Suggestion in 780m.—No. 31, 3.30 p.m. Suggestion: in 2,160m.—No. 32, 3 p.m. Suggestion: in 10,135m.—No. 33, 3 p.m. Suggestion-: in 20,210m.
Miss A--‘s calculations in hypnosis: These, with the exception of No. 32, were all correct, and her replies were almost instantaneous. No. 32 was said to be due at 2.5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 26th. This was lh. 50m. too early, and represented an interval of 7d. less 55m., instead of 7d. plus 55m.
Results.—No. 29, Thursday, February 20th, 3.30 a.m.: Correct.—No. 30, Thursday, February 20th, 4.30 a.m.: Correct. — No. l, Friday, February 21st, 3.30 a.m.: Correct.—No. 32, Wednesday, February 26th, 3.55 p.m.: Correct.—No. 33, Wednesday, March 4th, 3.50 p.m., was written down at 3.48. The calculation, therefore, was correct, but the time-appreciation 2m. too early.
Remarks.—On awaking at 7 o’clock on the morning of the 20th Miss A-found a piece of paper with 3.30 marked on it, and another with 4.30. On the morning of the 21st she found a piece of paper with 3.30 marked on it. She had no recollection of waking during the night, and, as usual, questioning in hypnosis failed to revive any memory of what she had done. The other suggestions were fulfilled in my room and witnessed by others.
Experiments.—Wednesday, February 26th, 3.30 p.m. —No. 34. Suggestion: in 2,140m.—No. 35. Suggestion. in 3,590m.—No. 36. Suggestion: in 5,030m.—No. 37. Suggestion: in 10,125M.—No. 38. Suggestion: in 10,100m. —No. 39. Suggestion: in 20,180m.
Results. —NO. 34, Friday, February 28th, 3.10 a.m.: Correct.—No. 35, Saturday, February 29tb, 3.20 a.m.: Correct.—No. 36, Sunday, March 1st, 3.20 a.m.: Correct. —No. 37, due Wednesday, March 4th, at 4.15 p.m., was mot recorded.—No. 38, Wednesday, March 4th, 3.50 p.m., was written down at 3.18: Calculation therefore correct, but time-appreciation 2m. too early.—No. 39, Wednesday, March 11th, 3.50 p.m., was written down at 3.51i: Calculation therefore correct, but time-appreciation I m. too late.
Remarks. —These suggestions were only read to Miss A- once; she was then asked to repeat them, and did so correctly, with the exception of No. 37. She was told not to make any calculations. Nos. 34, 35 and 36 were executed during sleep, and the papers, as usual, were found at Miss.A--‘s bedside in the morning. It is to be noted that 3.50, March 4th, the terminal time of No.38, was also the time at which another suggestion, made a fortnight before, fell due, and which has already been recorded inits proper place. Miss A-stated at 3.48 that she had to make two crosses and to put down 3.50 twice. Of No. 37, due at 4.15 p.m., Wednesday, March 4th, I have no record. I am not certain whether this was my fault or Miss A-‘s; I was hypnotising another patient when the suggestions were fulfilled, and might have omitted to enter that one; on the other hand, Miss A-might have failed to carry it out. Three suggestions fell due very quickly, and one of them, as we have seen, belonged to another series. When suggestions were made to fall due in a fortnight, and I saw the patient in the week between, I sometimes questioned her in hypnosis as to the unfulfilled ones; she always assured me that she had never thought of them, did not know how much of the time had elapsed, nor when they fell due.
Experiments.—Wednesday, March 4th, 3.45 p.m.— No. 40. Suggestion: in 10,080m.—No. 41. Suggestion: in 10,055m.—No. 42. Suggestion: in 10,040m.—No. 43. Suggestion: in 750ra —No. 11. Suggestion: in 2,160m. —No. 45. Suggestion in 2,195m.
Results. —No. 40, Wednesday, March 11th, 3,45 p.m. was written down at 3.41: Calculation correct, time-appreciation 1m. too soon.—No. 41, Wednesday, March llth, 3.20 p.m., was written down at 3.22: Calculation correct, time-appreciation 2m. too slow.—No. 42, Wednesday, March 1 lth, 3.5 p.m.: Correct.—No. 43, Thursday, March 5th, 4.15 a.m, during sleep: Correct.—No. 44, Friday, March 6th, 3.45 a.m. during sleep: Correct.—No. 45, Friday, March 6th, 4.20 a.m. during sleep: Correct.
Remarks.—When these suggestions were given, Miss A-was not asked to calculate when they would fall due. Mr. Barkworth and Dr. Barclay were present when Nos. 40, 41 and 42 were fulfilled.
At this seance, March 1 lth, fresh suggestions were made under the following conditions. Mr. Bark worth and Dr. Barclay were both put en rapport with Miss A--, and it was agreed that they should each make two time suggestions, arranged so as to fall due at the next séance, when they promised to be present. These were given when I was out of the room, and I was not told what they were until after their fulfilment. The suggestions were as follows:—
Experiments.—Wednesday, March 1 lth, 4 p.m.— No. 46. Suggestion: in 21,400m.—No. 47. Suggestion: in 21,420m.—No. 48. Suggestion: in 21,428m.—No. 49. Suggestion: in 21,434m.
Results.—No. 46, Thursday, March 26th, 12.40 p.m., was written down at 12.38: Calculation correct, time appreciation 2m. too early.—No. 47, Thursday, March 26th, 1 p.m., was written down at 12.59: Calculation correct, time-appreciation 1m. too early.—No. 48, Thursday, March 26th, 1.8 p.m.: Correct.—No. 49, Thursday, March 26th, 114 p.m.: Correct.
Remarks.—Miss A— was hypnotised at 12.30 p.m. on Thursday, March 26th, and carried out the suggestions while in that condition. Mr. Barkworth and Dr. Barclay were both present and checked the time-records. None of us, however, had any idea whether the experiments were correctly carried out or not, as Mr. Bark worth and Dr. Barclay had mislaid their notes and were unable to recall the suggestions they had given. Miss A- was roused from the hypnotic state and, as usual, remembered nothing of the suggestions. She was then re-hypnotised, asked to recall them, and replied as follows:—” They were made at 4 p.m. last Wednesday week, and were to be fulfilled in 21,400, 21,420i 21,428, and 21,434 minutes. Mr. Barkworth and Dr. Barclay gave two suggestions each.” Miss A- stated that she had made no calculation at the time and had not thought of the suggestions afterwards. On April 22nd, Dr. Barclay sent me the lost memorandum of his two suggestions, viz. 2-1,428 and 21,434 minutes from 4 p.m. on the day already mentioned. On April 27th, Mr. Barkworth wrote to tell me that he also had found his memorandum, and that the suggestions were 21,400, 21,420, 21,428 and 21,434 minutes; the first two had been given by himself, the two latter by Dr. Barclay. This agreed with Mis-‘s account.
A fresh series of suggestions was made on April 8th, some to fall due during the night, others the following week in my presence. The patient lost her papers recording the former, and I was too busy to enter the latter. These are the only experiments in the whole series which are not recorded, and they are omitted for the above reasons. Later, Miss A-found the record of the suggestions which had been carried out during natural sleep; they were correct.
Experiments.—Thursday, May 7th, 3 p.m.—No. 50.
Suggestion: in 8,650m.—No. 51. Suggestion: in 8,6801n.— No. 52. Suggestion: in 8,700m.
I still further complicated these by suggesting as follows: “No. 50 is to be fulfilled in the waking state. Five minutes before No. 51 falls due, you are to pass into the hypnotic condition. No. 51 is to be fulfilled during hypnosis, but five minutes afterwards you are to pass into the normal waking state, and continue in it until after the execution of No. 52. Eight minutes after No. 52 is carried out hypnosis will again appear.”
Results.—No, 50. (a) Suggestion fulfilled, Wednesday, May 13th, 3.10 p.m.: Correct. (b) Hypnosis appeared at. 3.31 p.m.: This ought to have been 3.35, and was therefore 4 minutes too early.—No. 51, Wednesday May 13th, 3.40 p.m. (a) Suggestion fulfilled during hypnosis: Correct. (b) Miss A-passed spontaneously into the normal state at 3.45: Correct.—No. 52, 4 p.m. (a) Suggestion fulfilled in the waking state: Correct. (b) Hypnosis appeared exactly at 4.8: Correct.
Remarks.—On May 13th Miss A came into my consulting-room at 3.5 p m., and almost immediately fainted. She had recently met with a severe accident and was in acute suffering. On regaining consciousness, she at once said she had to make a cross at 3.10, and did so in my casebook; others were present in the room when all the suggestions were fulfilled, with the exception of the first. -
Experiments.—Wednesday, May 13th, 4.30 p.m.— The suggestions were given in the following general terms: “You are to repeat all the experiments made last Thursday, but to-day you are to start from 2.55 instead of 3 p.m., and to each suggestion you are to add 1,440 minutes.” The original suggestions were not cited, nor was any other information given. The experiments, therefore, were as follows:—
No. 53, Wednesday, May 13th, 4.30 p.m. Suggestion: in 8,650m. from 3 p.m., plus 1,440m., minus 5in. from starting-point. —No. 54, Wednesday, May 13th, 4.30 p.m. Suggestion in 8,680m. from 3 p.m., plus 1,440m., minus 5m. from starting-point.—No. 55, Wednesday, May 13th, 4.30 p.m. Suggestion: in 8,700m., plus 1,440m., minus 5m. from starting-point.
Results.— No. 53, Wednesday, May 20th, 3.5 p.m. Fulfilled in the waking state: Correct. Hypnosis appeared at 3.30: Correct.—No. 54, Wednesday, May 20th, 3.35 p.m., in hypnosis: Correct
Miss A passed spontaneously into the normal condition at 3.40: Correct.
According to the original suggestions, Miss A-- was to remain in the normal state until the fulfilment of the next experiment, but, as she had a severe headache, I hypnotised her made curative suggestions, and told her hypnosis would terminate one minute before the next experiment fell due. She passed into the normal waking state at 3.49, 6 minutes too soon.—No. 55, Wednesday, May 20th. 3.55 p.m. was written down at 3.50: Calculation therefore correct, but time-appreciation 5 minutes too early.
I re-hypnotised Miss A-- immediately the above experiment was fulfilled. At 1.3 p.m., while still in the hypnotic state, she said it was 3 minutes past 4, and that 1 had suggested that hypnosis would appear at that hour; this was correct.
Remarks. —It is to be noted that hypnosis appeared at 3.30 p.m., the exact time suggested. This is particularly interesting, as the experiment, correctly executed at 3.30 on May 20th, was the one erroneously carried out on May 13th, complicated by 5 minutes having been deducted from its starting-point and 1,440 minutes added to its interval.
No. 55 was the last experiment of the series. A few others, similar in character, were made in October, 1896. These were successful, but presented no fresh features, and as Miss A--, had to cease her visits, owing to her approaching marriage, further experiment was impossible.
Summary.—Fifty-five experiments are cited; of these one, apparently, was either not carried out by Miss A—, or unrecorded by me, while in another (No. 9) she mistook the original suggestion, but fulfilled it correctly in accordance with what she thought it had been. Forty-five were completely successful, i.e. not only did Miss A write down the correct terminal time, but this was done also at the moment the experiment fell due. Eight (Nos. 33, 38, 39, 40, 41, 46, 47, 55) were partially successful. In these the terminal time was correctly recorded in every instance, but there were minute differences, never exceeding five minutes, between the patient’s correct estimate of when the suggestion fell due and the moment at which she carried it out. The proportion which these errors bear to their respective intervals varies between 1 to 2,028 and 1 to 21,420.
Similar experiments, more or less successful, were made with other somnambules, but in none were the results so striking as with Miss A—. In those about to be cited, the subject was Miss B---, an intelligent, well educated girl, who had received some scientific training. Her arithmetical powers were superior to Miss A---‘s, but she possessed no particular aptitude for appreciating the passage of time.
The following is the medical history of Miss B—‘s case:—
No. 70. Miss B , aged 20; April 6th, 1891. Had always slept badly. The insomnia varied, but, according to her mother’s account, she had not had a good night’s sleep since birth. At the age of 8, pains in the back, particularly in the lumbar region, began; these soon became constant, and were aggravated by the slightest exertion. Since 1883 there had been frequent attacks of headache; pain usually frontal, sometimes occipital, rarely followed by sickness. Myopia corrected by glasses. Periods—always painful and excessive—lasted eight or nine days, and necessitated rest in bed. Latterly, all the symptoms bad been worse; she was never free from pain, always felt fatigued and depressed, while even a short walk was followed by acute suffering. She had had prolonged medical treatment without benefit. No organic lesion of any kind had been discovered; with the exception that the cervix was slightly conical, the uterus and ovaries were normal.
She was sent to me by Dr. Boulting, of Hampstead,on the date mentioned. I saw her sixteen times up to June 26th. The treatment was then discontinued, as all the morbid symptoms —menorrhagia excepted—had disappeared.
As the menorrhagia persisted, the treatment was repeated at a later date; since then the periods have been normal in duration and amount, and absolutely free from pain. Instead of keeping her bed, the patient has been able to cycle, etc.
I taught her to influence herself by suggestion, and she acquired the power of putting herself to sleep at will and also of inhibiting painful sensations. Her dentist told me that she had always been a difficult patient, owing to her hypersensitiveness to pain, till she astonished him by refusing gas for a dental operation and inducing anaesthesia by self-suggestion.
In April, 1895, Miss B--‘s mother consulted me in reference to this patient’s mental and moral condition. She had suffered from fits of violent passion since early childhood, and was so little able to control herself that her mother feared she might kill her sister, and she often came to blows with her younger brother. She had always been intensely selfish and could not see why she should do anything for others. She admitted her defects of character without shame, and said she heartily enjoyed quarrelling and setting others by the ears. She consented to let me try to alter her character, and I suggested that she should give up quarrelling and take a pleasure in helping others. A complete change took place; she became affectionate, good tempered and helpful.
At the date of the last report (1908), Miss B— was well and there had been no relapse.
The first experiments consisted in determining by suggestion the time of waking from normal sleep. The hours selected varied widely; but the results were almost uniformly successful and the greatest error recorded did not exceed five minutes. Others, similar to Miss
Experiment 1.-November 25th, 1895, 3.55 p.m. Suggestion: in 24h. 50m. Result: Correct. Remarks: In reply to questioning in hypnosis, Miss B-stated that when the suggestion was given she calculated when it would fall due and determined to carry it out at that hour.
Experiment 2.-November 27th, 1.20 p.m. Suggestion: in 1,445m. Result: 10m. too early.
Experiment 3.-December 6th, 3 p.m. Suggestion: in 1,440m. Result: Correct.
Experiment 1.-December 9th, 3.15 p.m. Suggestion in 2,880m. Result Correct.
-Experiment 5.-December 12th, 3.30 p.m. Suggestion in 1,540m. Result 7 I] . too late.
Experiment 6.-December 16th, 3.30 p.m. Suggestion: in 1,620m. Result: 13m.Joo late:
Experiment 7.-December 20th, 3 p.m. Suggestion: in 1,380m. Result: Correct.
Experiment S.-December 31st, 3.15 p.m. Suggestion: in 24h. 1,200m. Result: Correct.
Experiment 9.-January 2nd, 1896, 3.10 p.m. Suggestion: in 24h. 1,430m. Miss B--‘s calculation, made. in hypnosis, was 40m. too early. Result: 5m. too late.
Experiment 10.-January 6th, 3.15 p.m. Suggestion: in 24h. 100m. Miss B--‘s calculation, in hypnosis, was correct. Result: 8m. too late.
Experiment 11.--4anuary 27th, 3.10 p.m. Suggestion in 24h. 150m. Miss B--‘s calculation, in hypnosis, was correct. Result: 10m. too soon.
Experiment 12.-March 27th,.3.10 p.m. Suggestion: in 24h. 240m. Miss B--‘s calculation, in hypnosis, was correct. Result ‘: Correct.
Time-experiments more or less closely resembling those cited have been occasionally repeated with Miss B--, and with practically identical results.
Before considering theoretical explanations of hypnotic and post-hypnotic appreciation of time, I propose to discuss
the possibilities of mal-observation or deception, and
to draw attention to certain other points which appear worthy of notice.
1. The question of mal-observation or deception.—(1) The subjects of all my time-experiments were either former patients or personal friends. None of them were trained hypnotic subjects, and in no single instance was a pecuniary reward promised or given. All this, however, does not in itself exclude the possibility of mal-observation or deception, and I would rather base my arguments in favour of the genuineness of the results on post-hypnotic amnesia, and on the fact that the problems involved were beyond the subjects waking powers.
(2) While, however, all observers recognise posthypnotic amnesia, it must be admitted that loss of memory might be assumed for purposes of deception. Fortunately, there are other hypnotic phenomena impossible of imitation; amongst these may be cited; (a) the absence of certain organic changes following injury (Delboeuf’s case of two symmetrical burns), and (b) the absence of physiological signs of o pain during severe and prolonged operation. The latter fact was clearly demonstrated in the operations on my patients at Goole and Leeds. Several of these patients were afterwards the subjects of my time-experiments, and all who were employed for this purpose, including Miss A-and Miss B---, could be easily rendered anaesthetic or analgesic by suggestion.
It is obvious, of course, that post-hypnotic amnesia alone, even when it is undoubtedly genuine, does not exclude possible error, as the subject might conceivably receive information from the operator or the spectators. It is, however, difficult to see how this could have happened in Miss A--‘s case. Thus, twenty-seven experiments were fulfilled in my absence, and no information regarding these (excluding, of course, the suggestions made to Miss A-during hypnosis) was given to anyone until some time after the whole series was completed. I did not calculate when any of these twenty-seven suggestions would fall due, and did not know, until after their fulfilment, whether they had been carried out correctly or not. Twenty-seven further experiments were fulfilled in my presence; these, with one exception, were also witnessed by others. In four of them the suggestions were made by Mr. Barkworth and Dr. Barclay, and I did not know what they were until afterwards. These two operators, however, could not assist the subject, as they had lost their memoranda and were unable to recall the figures. In the remaining twenty-three, none of the spectators knew what the suggestions were. Indeed, in some instances, they did not know that any suggestions were being carried on, until they saw them executed and were asked to witness the figures, their ignorance being purposely arranged.
In the twenty-three cases just cited, before giving the suggestions I calculated when they would fall due, could Miss A-have learnt anything about this through telepathy or muscle-reading? During the last twenty years I have searched for evidence of telepathy and also taken part in the experiments of other observers; the results, however, have been invariably negative. If, for argument’s sake, we conceded the possibility of telepathy, recognising also that somnambules possess hyperaesthesia of the special senses, it would be difficult to see what information Miss A— could have obtained from me. In the majority of the experiments I did not work out the time at which the suggestions would fall due, and, even when I did, many of my calculations were only approximately correct, although I was not aware of this until after all the experiments were completed. Moreover, I have an unusually bad memory for figures, and never, either before or during the execution of the suggestions, recalled my calculations as to the time at which they were supposed to fall due. Further, when the experiments were carried out, I was nearly always busily engaged with other patients, and so placed that Miss A- could not see my face.
(5) Again, even supposing post-hypnotic amnesia had not existed in Miss A--‘s case, the retention in the waking state of the memories of hypnotic life would not in itself explain her feats in calculation and time-appreciation. Miss A---‘s memory, knowledge of arithmetic and power of appreciating time in no way exceeded those of other imperfectly educated girls in her station of life. Her normal memory was incapable of retaining complicated series of figures, and she was unable to make even much simpler mental calculations than those involved. After the suggestions were made, she remained in the hypnotic state for an hour or more, and could not consult the clock. During that period it was absolutely impossible for her to record the suggestions in any other way than mentally.
2. Other points of interest.—(1) Five minutes before the first experiment was fulfilled, Miss A--began to fidget and felt she must do some thing. This preliminary stage of restlessness was absent in all the others. In them, when the time for carrying out the suggestions arrived, Miss A- had a sudden twitching of the fingers of her right hand, immediately followed by the idea of writing down certain figures. The abruptness of this invasion of the normal consciousness, by a message from the subliminal one, was particularly noticeable when Miss A- was actively engaged in conversation at the time.
On twenty-four occasions Miss A- was asked to calculate when the suggestions fell due; she was wrong in the first nine instances, but, in the remaining fifteen, right in eleven and wrong in four. As the experiments advanced, not only the frequency but also the extent of Miss . A--‘s errors in calculation decreased, and the answers were given much more rapidly. Sometimes the correct replies were almost instantaneous, and in these instances no conscious calculation could be traced. It is to be noted, also, that Miss A--‘s mistaken calculations had no effect on the correctness of her results.
Memory.—Once only did Miss A--spontaneously recall in hypnosis that a time-suggestion (yet unfulfilled) had been given. This was Experiment No. 3, when the suggestion was an easily remembered one, viz., 24 hours and 100 minutes. On other occasions, when Miss A-was questioned in hypnosis as to the unfulfilled suggestions, she invariably recalled the fact that these had been made, but rarely their exact terms. She always asserted that she had never thought of them, did not know how much time ‘had elapsed since they were given, nor when they were due. This was so even in cases where she had calculated the terminal time. At first, Miss forgot all about the suggestions immediately after they were fulfilled; she did not know she had made a cross or written down the figures, and could not recall -what they meant. This condition of memory was identical with what is almost universally associated with post-hypnotic acts. Later, for convenience sake, it was suggested to Miss A--, during hypnosis, that she should remember having executed the experiments. She then knew in the waking state that she had made a cross and written down certain figures, but recalled nothing of the original suggestion, of which these acts were the fulfilment. When Miss A-was questioned in hypnosis, after the execution of the suggestions, her memory on certain points was very clear. She could recall in every detail the terms of all experiments that had recently been carried out, i.e. she remembered the hours at which they had been made, the number of minutes suggested, her own calculations, if any, and the moment and circumstances under which the suggestions had been fulfilled. Putting aside the calculations she made at the time, in response to suggestion, she was unable to recall having made answers, or to give any information as to the methods by means of which she had correctly fulfilled the experiments. When a second series of suggestions was given, before the first had been fulfilled, after all had been carried out she could recall both series and place each suggestion in its proper order. This memory, however, was not persistent. A fortnight after the experiments had been executed, although Miss A-still remembered in hypnosis that they had taken place, she was unable to recall the details. When experiments were fulfilled in normal sleep, she remembered, in hypnosis, their terms and when they had been given, but not when they had been executed.
The experiments bad no prejudicial effect on Miss A--‘s health. On the contrary, this steadily improved. When I last heard of her, she was a strong, healthy, well developed woman, the mother of two children, and had had no return of her nervous symptoms.
In no single instance did any bad effect, even of the most trivial description, follow these or other hypnotic experiments.
The results of the experiments were only estimated after the series was completed, when a friend, Mr. Bartrum, B.Sc., kindly checked them for me. He discovered that some of my calculations, made at the time, had been erroneous. I am also indebted to him for a critical examination of the calculations the patient was asked to make when the suggestions were given.
With the following exception, the phenomena observed in the cases of Miss A- and Miss B- differed little. When a simple suggestion was given, Miss B-sometimes spontaneously calculated when it would fall due. Miss A--, on the other hand, never made any spontaneous calculations at all. Apparently Miss B-did not spontaneously calculate the more complicated arithmetical problems. When she did so, in response to suggestion, her results were invariably correct, but, despite this, the experiments were not always fulfilled at the appropriate time. Miss A--, on the contrary, was often wrong in her calculations, while the suggestions themselves were carried out with phenomenal accuracy.
In some recent instances Miss B-- apparently made no spontaneous calculations, despite the fact that the arithmetical problems involved were extremely simple. For example, I suggested that she should shake hands with me forty minutes after I aroused her from hypnosis. At the moment indicated, in the midst of an animated conversation, she suddenly asked me to shake hands with her. In reply to my questions, she said she had felt impelled to do this, but could not tell why. A few minutes later she had completely forgotten the incident. I re-hypnotised her; she then recalled the suggestion and the impulse she had experienced, but could not remember having made any calculation or having in any way marked the passage of time.
Further experiments.—In reply to questions, while she was in so-called hypnosis, Miss A-said she was sure she could refuse any suggestion, if she wished to do so; that she felt she was herself; that she knew where she was and what she was doing. “Are you the same person when you are hypnotised as when you are awake “I asked. “Yes,” she replied with a laugh. I further asked her, “When you are hypnotised, and no one is talking to you, do you ever think of anything “She, replied, “Very seldom; I just feel to be resting most peacefully. One day, however, I was troubled about mydressmaking. My employer was ill, and I had more responsibility than usual. I had a difficult piece of work to do, and could not understand how it was to be done. After you had hypnotised me, and left me to rest, I planned how I would do it, and carried this out successfully when I returned home. When you aroused me, I did didn’t know that I had done this. The way out of the difficulty suddenly came into my head on myway home, and I thought I had found it out at that moment. I now remember planning while hypnotised what I afterwards carried out.”
On one occasion, after being hypnotised and when she was apparently in the lethargic condition, she suddenly volunteered the statement that her mother wished to speak, to me. Shortly afterwards the latter entered the room. The subject was still in the hypnotic condition, and no suggestions of rapportwere made. Mrs. A- commenced to tell me about a friend in whom she was interested, with a view to finding out whether I thought hypnotic treatment would be of benefit in his case. Miss A- suddenly joined in the conversation, and added some important details which Mrs. A- had forgotten. When hypnosis was terminated, Miss A— could recall nothing of this.
On another occasion, in similar circumstances, Mrs. A-questioned me in reference to a trivial indisposition from which her daughter was suffering, and asked me whether I thought she might give her a certain simple remedy. “Upon. this, Miss A- commenced to laugh, and recounted, in a highly amused manner, an experiment of her mother’s in domestic medicine, of which she had been the unfortunate victim.
Further experiments with Miss A---were made in conjunction with Dr. Hyslop, of Bethlem, and of some of these he gives an account in his work entitled “Mental Physiology,” pages 423-1. From this the following is an extract:—
“In the state of artificially induced hypnosis, the will-power is sometimes maintained intact. Bramwell has demonstrated that although there is an extreme readiness to react to suggestion from without, yet there still remains a higher controlling influence, or auto-suggestion, which enables the hypnotised person to deliberate, choose, and inhibit at will.
“During the waking state of one of Dr. Bramwell’s subjects, Miss A--, I made the suggestion to her that she ought to resist a certain movement during the hypnotised state. Dr. Bramwell was not present at the time the suggestion was made, and was quite unaware of the restriction imposed upon the subject. On testing the movements suggested during the hypnotic state, he found that the subject absolutely refused to carry out his suggestion with regard to this particular movement. The auto-suggestion proved as efficacious during. the artificial state as during the normal state. How we are to explain this retention of the individuality of the subject we do not know? The facts alone would appear to warrant the conclusion that the memory image of the special act to be retained was present during the artificial state, and that there existed a certain degree of continuity between the primary mental conception and the secondary inhibition. On again awaking, this subject remembered our suggestion, but had not the faintest recollection as to what had happened during hypnosis.”
The following are examples of time-appreciation unassociated with hypnotic suggestion:—
No. 71. Dr. George Savage possesses the power of awaking at a given hour, and has tested it on several occasions. The following is an example:— One day, having to catch an early train, he had determined to awake at 6 a.m., and slept soundly without awaking until the exact time. The seven following mornings he awoke exactly at six o’clock, notwithstanding that he went to bed at different hours and there was no necessity for early rising. This involuntary repetition of self-waking at stated times also occurred when he was roused by others at abnormally early hours. Thus, when in the Alps, if he were called at 2 or 3 a.m. he would awake spontaneously at the same hour next morning, even if he had been much fatigued by climbing. Dr. Savage states that the accuracy of the time of awaking in these instances has puzzled him greatly.
The following is Professor Marcus Hartog’s account of his own case:—
No. 72. “When I was a student, under 17, I found I could, sleeping soundly, awake at any given hour I had set myself overnight. The peculiarity of such waking was that it was always sudden and complete, not preceded by a period of broken sleep, nor accompanied by the drowsiness of an ordinary unprepared awaking. If I found that it was needless to get up I soon fell asleep again, and then had the ordinary drowsy awaking, often oversleeping myself. This faculty has persisted with me.
“Again, without previous training, between the agesof 20 and 25, on three distinct occasions I had to nurse friends, when I had to administer food and medicines at regular intervals, attending also to their necessities as they arose. The last occasion extended over, I think, three weeks. On each occasion, the facility and manner of awaking completely and suddenly was exactly the same as for early rising, whether at the stated hour or at the least stir of the patient. On lying down to rest again and closing my eyes, I seemed to see a gradually widening vista, and as my eyes diverged I fell asleep; the time occupied could not have been more than a quarter of a minute, though I felt wide awake at the moment of closing my eyes. My sleep on these occasions was singularly, if not absolutely, dreamless, though I was under the greatest mental anxiety while awake.”
In Professor Hartog’s case, the awaking at fixed hours was never involuntarily repeated, i.e. as regards the awaking at repeated intervals. Sometimes, however, when he set himself to awake at a fixed time in the morning, this was repeated for several days, as in Dr. Savage’s case.
Automatic writing in hypnosis.—Most of the time-appreciation experiments referred to involved a certain amount of “automatic writing.” In the experiments about to be cited, automatic writing was the main feature, and its occurrence, while the, normal consciousness was otherwise actively engaged, the chief point of interest.
In choosing a subject for this form of experiment, two things are essential, viz.: (I) he must be a somnambule, i.e. retain no memory on awaking of what has passed in the hypnotic state, and (2) hypnosis must be capable of being induced and terminated instantaneously. Thus, when hypnosis is terminated immediately after the suggestion has been given, it follows that the problem must be solved by the secondary consciousness, while the subject is in the waking state, and his normal consciousness purposely actively engaged in another way.
I have often made the following and similar experiments. I ask a subject while awake to write down a few verses, which I take charge of and do not show him again. I then make him read aloud from some book previously unknown to him, this being chosen in order to engage his entire attention. While reading, I hypnotise him suddenly, place pencil and paper near his right hand and suggest “On waking you will go on reading where you left off, and at the same time write down how often b [or any other letter selected] occurs in the verses you gave me. Wake up.” He awakes, resumes reading, and at the same time writes down the answer to the problem suggested. This, almost invariably correct, is often done so rapidly that I have not had time to count the letters, even with the verses before me. I then tell the subject to stop reading, and ask him what he has written. He replies, “Nothing,” and, when I show him the paper, is astonished and declares he does not know what it means. I then rehypnotise him, whereupon the lost memory returns, and he not only recalls the suggestion, but also the fact that he has carried it out.
Thus, the primary waking consciousness retains no recollection of the hypnotic suggestions. It does not know that the secondary consciousness, after the hypnotic state has been terminated, first solves the problems and then directs the motor acts which record the solutions. It is also unconscious of the motor acts themselves.
Gurney made many interesting experiments, with healthy non-hysterical men, which illustrate the severance of the normal or primary from the latent or secondary consciousness. Of these, the following are examples:—
The first were simple cases which involved memory, but not independent thought. Thus Gurney showed P--, one of his subjects, a planchette and made him write his name with it. P-was then hypnotised, told that it had been as dark as night in London on the previous day, and that he would record this fact in writing. On awaking he remembered nothing. His hand was then placed on the planchette —a large screen being held in front of his face, so that it was impossible for him to see the paper or the instrument—and in less than a minute he wrote: “It was a dark day in London yesterday.”
In the next experiments, statements were impressed on the subjects, but nothing was said as to subsequently recording them. After waking, however, the writing was executed as before.
Gurney made more complicated experiments with another subject. During hypnosis, questions were asked about his past life, or arithmetical problems were suggested. He was then awakened immediately, before he had time to think of a reply, and, to engross his attention, told to count backwards from a hundred; meanwhile, the planchette wrote the correct answers to the different questions.
(4) Further experiments involved the reckoning of time. These, however, were not confined to the execution of an order at a given moment, but involved, in addition, other calculations made in the waking state at a suddenly selected moment, regarding which nothing had been previously said to the subject. For instance, during hypnosis he was told that he had to do something at a given date, and also that, before the time arrived, he would be required to write down the number of minutes that had passed since the suggestion was given, as well as the number that had still to elapse before its fulfilment,. In the interval, when his hand was placed upon the planchette, he generally wrote the answers to the problems. The results, allowing for the time occupied in writing, were remarkably accurate.
In the experiments cited in this chapter it has been impossible to avoid the terms hypnosis, somnambulism, and the like. It must not be forgotten, however, that, in the condition called somnambulism, consciousness is intact, even though the subjects may appear to be asleep, and retain no memory on waking of what has happened during the so-called hypnotic state. The lost memories can always be restored by suggestion. Further, although one talks of waking the hypnotised subject, this only means that the word “Awake” was, in the instance cited, the prearranged signal for the termination of the condition of increased suggestibility and alternating consciousness, which has hitherto been erroneously called somnambulism.
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