Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/477

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
461
PHYSIOLOGY OF MIND-READING.

public attention to the subject in New Haven, claims to succeed, even with the most intellectual persons, provided they fully comply with the conditions, and honestly and persistently concentrate their minds. One fact of interest, with regard to bis experiments, is the exceeding minuteness of the objects that he finds. A large number of the audience empty their pockets on the table, until it is covered with a medley of keys, knives, trinkets, and miscellaneous small objects. Out of them the subject selects a small seed a little larger than a pea, and even this the operator, after some searching, bits precisely.

One may take a large bunch of keys, throw them on the table, and he picks out the very one on which the subject concentrates his mind.

Another fact of interest in his experiments is that, if the subject thinks over a number of articles in different parts of the room, and, after some doubt and hesitation, finally selects some one, the operator will lead him, sometimes successively, to the different objects on which he has thought, and will wind up with the one that he finally selected. He also performs what is known as the "double test," which consists in taking the hand of a third party, who knows nothing of the hidden object, but who is connected with another party who does know, and who concentrates his mind upon it. The connection of these two persons is made at the wrist, and the motion is communicated from one to the other through the arms and hands. The "double test" has been regarded by some as an argument against the theory that this form of mind-reading was simply the utilizing of unconscious muscular motion on the part of the person operated upon.

This gentleman represents that the sensation of muscular thrill is very slight indeed, even with good subjects; and, in order to detect it, he directs his own mind as closely as possible to the hand of the subject.

In all these experiments, with all mind-readers the requirement for the subject to concentrate the mind on the locality agreed upon is absolute; if that condition is not fulfilled, nothing can be done, for the very excellent reason that, without such mental concentration, there will be no unconscious muscular tension or relaxation to guide the operator.

Experiments of the following kind I have made repeatedly with the above-named gentleman:

A dozen or more pins may be stuck about one inch or half an inch apart into the edge of a table: I concentrate my mind on any one of these pins, telling no one. The operator enters the room, gets the general direction of the object in the usual way (à la Brown), and, when he has come near to the row of pins, he will limit the physical connection to one of his index-fingers, pressing firmly against one of mine, and in this way he soon finds the head of the pin on which my mind has been concentrated. The only limitation of area in the localty that can be found by a good mind-reader with a good subject is,