§ 289 – Sixth Edition
All the above-mentioned methods of practicing mesmerism depend upon influx of more or less vital force into the patient, and hence are termed positive mesmerism.1 An opposite mode of employing mesmerism, however, as it produces just the contrary effect, deserves to be termed negative mesmerism. To this belong the passes which are used to rouse from the somnambulic sleep, as also all the manual processes known by the names of soothing and ventilating. This discharge by means of negative mesmerism of the vital force accumulated to excess in individual parts of the system of undebilitated persons is most surely and simply performed by making a very rapid motion or the flat extended hand, held parallel to, and about an inch distant from the body, from the top of the head to the tips of the toes.2 The more rapidly this pass is made, so much the more effectually will the discharge be effected. Thus, for instance, in the case where a previously healthy woman,3 from the sudden suppression of her catamenia by a violent mental shock, lies to all appearance dead, the vital force which is probably accumulated in the precordial region, will, by such a rapid negative pass, be discharged and its equilibrium throughout the whole organism restored. So that the resuscitation generally follows, immediately.4 In like manner, a gentle, less rapid, negative pass diminishes the excessive restlessness and sleeplessness accompanied with anxiety sometimes produced in very irritable persons by a too powerful positive pass, etc.
1 When I here speak of the decided and certain curative power of positive mesmerism, I most assuredly do not mean that abuse of it, where, by repeated passes of this kind, continued for half an hour or a whole hour at a time, and, even day after day, performed on weak, nervous patients, that monstrous revolution of the whole human system is effected which is termed somnambulism, wherein the human being is ravished from the world of sense and seems to belong more to the world of spirits – a highly unnatural and dangerous state, by means of which it has not infrequently been attempted to cure chronic diseases.
2 It is a well known rule that a person who is either to be positively or negatively mesmerised, should not wear silk on any part of the body.
3 Hence a negative pass, especially if it be very rapid, is extremely injurious to a delicate person affected with a chronic ailment and deficient in vital force.
4 A strong country lad, ten years of age, received in the morning, on account of slight indisposition, from a professed female mesmeriser, several very powerful passes with the points of both thumbs, from the pit of the stomach along the lower edge of the ribs, and he instantly grew deathly pale, and fell into such a state of unconsciousness and immobility that no effort could arouse him, and he was almost given up for dead. I made his eldest brother give him a very rapid negative pass from the crown of the head over the body to the feet, and in one instance he recovered his consciousness and became lively and well.
Since these systems attempt to infuse vital energy into the patient, it relates to the positive mesmerism. Besides, negative mesmerism is also there. This would produce opposite reactions. Magical effects made to awaken the persons from slumber (deep sleep) belong to this class. Blessing, greeting etc. also relate to this category. This is useful for patients who have not become weak. Externalization of vital energy accumulated at some places of their body is done in this way. This power can be easily produced by keeping the hand and fingers fully stretched one inch above the patient’s body and run through the body from head to foot. The more faster this is done, the more quickly the accumulated vital force at particular places can be released. For example, a healthy lady becomes unconscious due to mental shock, all the symptoms may indicate the state of death. It means there is an influx of vital force in her heart. If this process is done, the vital force spreads out equally throughout her body and the body becomes alive and she gets up. In the same way, if a positive mesmerism is infused in a regulated manner, disturbed state of mind, sleeplessness, anxiety, etc. can be cured. These symptoms in a person, even if they are due to excessive transmission, can also be cured by the method of negative mesmerism.
Transmitting the vital energy from the doctor to the patient is positive sign. Awakening the vital force in the patient is negative sign (receiving). How and when these two methods are to be used is explained here. If the cause of the disease is on account of weakness, lack of vital strength, energies are to be transmitted into him. So, the method of transmitting is to be operated. When there is no weakness and if some danger happens suddenly, the vital force in the patient is to be awakened. So, the method of receiving is to be followed.
There is also another aspect said here. While using the transmitting method, the doctor has to touch the patient. Then the vital energy flows from the doctor to the patient. It is just like touching the iron piece with a magnet. If the method of receiving (negative signs) is followed, the patient needs to be touched, but circulation can be established by keeping the hand one inch above. In this case without necessity of a touch, by the effect of the vital force in the body itself, the vital force in the patient gets awakened and circulation gets established. There is no wonder about this. Precipitation of ideas between two persons sitting apart is also similar to this. Because of its affinity, we do not get amazed. It is true that without a discussion, by seeing the faces of each other, the effect of the magnetic forces such as likes and dislikes, love and hatred and consequent seriousness or blossoming in the face is seen. The scientist says the same effect is obtained by a regulated training and cures diseases.