Alexander Cannon


The use of hypnotism - its place in science - its explanation of spiritualism, "Christian Science," faith - healing, occultism and clairvoyance and crystal-gazing - hypnotism and its uses in insanity - production of hallucinations - destruction of hallucinations - delusions and suggestion - uses in anxiety states, worry, etc., and in the psychoses (insanity) - suggestion and the hypnotic state - hetero - suggestion - auto-suggestion

I HAVE endeavoured to place before you the facts, and the great scientific opportunities in the subject of hypnotism, mesmerism and Luysism, which is indeed a forgotten, all-important branch of medicine.

In all branches of medicine, hypnotism is invaluable, and I use it daily. Only those who use it regularly can fully appreciate its value. It is important, however, that for the treatment of physical diseases, at any rate, it should be employed only under the supervision of a duly qualified and registered medical practitioner or practised by doctors themselves, as its therapeutic effects arc so certain in the relief of symptoms, that grave damage might be done by obscuring those warning symptoms of some serious surgical condition.

Once, for example, the physical state has been diagnosed by a competent physician, who will keep a watching brief in the case, then hypnotism is a very safe and effective weapon, but to use it as a panacea for all ills would be as absurd as prescribing one type of medicine independent of the cause, course and nature of the disease: this is tantamount to saying that hypnotism should be controlled by the medical profession. It must be admitted that the range of medicine covered by hypnotism is far greater than is often credited in medical circles. The practice of this art is based upon science (as I have endeavoured to show in this little work), and will produce results which are beyond criticism.

It is interesting to relate that spiritualism, ''Christian Science," faith-healing, occultism, scientific clairvoyance, crystal-gazing and the like, can all be fully explained by the study of the various phenomena which can be produced, at will, in the hypnotic, mesmeric and psychic states, and this by no means belittles these effective therapeutic methods of healing. The references to Lloyd-Tuckey are taken in general from his book on Hypnotism and Suggestion, which the publishers, Messrs. Baillière, Tindal and Cox, kindly permit me to refer to. Also the works of Vogt, Forel, Bernheim, Charcot, Liebeault, Volgyesi and numerous others from the Continental libraries, have been of great assistance to me.

Those who wish carefully and extensively to study the workings of the mind in health and disease, in waking and sleeping states, including the absorbingly interesting study of dreams, mental mechanisms, mental states and the like, will do well to read The Principles and Practice of Psychiatry, which is published by Messrs. William Heinemann (Medical Books), Ltd. The oriental philosophy of mind is well described in The Invisible Influence (Rider & Co.) and Powers That Be (Francis Mott & Co.).

Hypnotism is the master key to the mind of man, and living kind, and will be shown to unlock the door to the rooms of insanity in this house of man, for can we not produce hallucinations and delusions in mankind identical with those found in the insane, by hypnotism, and in a number of the insane disperse their hallucinations ? And in time we should learn with greater practice and experience to disperse the delusions of the insane, which are one of the main foundations of mental disorder: Even delusions are based on suggestion in the earlier stages, and surely what has been suggested there, can be suggested away. In anxiety states, worry in general, the psycho-neuroses and the neuroses, the results are speedy and often miraculous, but in the psychoses often considerable skill and patience is required, but in the end the result is well worth while.

Suggestion is most powerful in its action upon the mind of man in the hypnotic state, and it must not be forgotten that we live by suggestion. We dress according to the clothes suggested by advertisements; we try to keep up with the times; all this means that we act upon the suggestion of others (hetero-suggestion); I have found the bottle of medicine do as much good to a patient when a chemist has accidentally omitted to place in it the "all-important ingredient " as it did when it contained it. Of course, there are some important exceptions, but facts cannot be altered. It is usually thought that hypnotism and mesmerism are synonymous terms, but this is not so! I have studied the methods of Braid and of Mesmer. Braid's form of hypnotism is what I describe as Occidental Hypnotism" in Chapter VII of Powers That Be (Francis Mott & Co., Ltd.), and mesmerism is a modification of " Oriental Hypnotism " (Chapter I of Powers That Be). In occidental hypnotism the patient is really thought to send himself to sleep by the effort of his own will under the direction of the hypnotist (hetero-auto-suggestion). In mesmerism the mesmerist uses his own will over that of the patient, and also uses an "etheric vibration" of untold potency. Luysism (pronounced Lewis-ism) is a method whereby disease is transferred from the sick to the already hypnotised, and the sick person sees another suffering from identical signs and symptoms: mimicry, if carried out to perfection, is a very potent weapon in the cure of disease: mimicry, in some way, links up with the unconscious mind and brings about complete cure of disease.

The fields are white unto harvest, but the labourers, with the required qualifications, are few; into the hands of the labourer is now placed an instrument which will more than repay his efforts of a long-spent season of sowing - for in some cases, patience, as well as kindliness of heart at all times, in addition to the practising of this art to perfection, is required to secure a success, when many another would have "thrown up the sponge." Hypnotic-suggestion is irresistible suggestion and is the key to the mastery of man's mind.


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London, W1.


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The Chapters of the book The Science of Hypnosis by Alexander Cannon:

Contents | Preface | Introduction | Theory | Methods | Classification | Treatment |

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