Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/478

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that two objects should not be so near to each other that the finger of the operator strikes on both at once. When I began the study of this subject, I supposed, even after the true theory of the matter had become clear to me, that very small objects and narrow areas could not be found in this way. Subsequent experiments showed that this supposition was erroneous. In a wide hall, in the presence of a large audience, where the subject had the right to think of any object he chose, Brown once found, after considerable searching, so limited an area as a capital letter in the title of a newspaper pinned up on the wall and barely within reach. About an hour after, in the same place, he found a very small vial out of quite a large number ranged in a row. Although reasoning deductively from the known relations of mind to body, I had established conclusively to my own mind that the so-called mind-reading was really muscle-reading, yet I could not believe, until the above-named experiments had been made, and frequently repeated, that it was possible for even the most expert operator to find such small objects; and no physiologist, I am sure, would have believed such precision in these experiments conceivable until his general deductions had been many times verified, and supplemented by observations in which every source of error was guarded against.

As already remarked, there are a variety of ways of making the physical connection between subject and operator. A lady with whom I am acquainted goes out of the room, and while she is absent an object is hidden. She returns, and two ladies, who know where the object is stand up beside her in the middle of the room and place both of their hands upon her body, one hand in front, the other behind; all three stand there for a moment, the two subjects who know where the object is, keeping their minds intensely concentrated on that locality. In a moment or so this lady who is to find the object moves off in the direction where it is, the other ladies with her still keeping their hands upon her, and in nearly all cases she finds it. This is accomplished by the unconscious muscular tension of the two ladies who know where the object is, acting upon the person of the lady who is seeking it.

This experiment I have repeated with a number of amateur performers, and in all cases with pretty uniform success. This method is easier, both to learn and to practise, than some of the others; it is also far less artistic, and is not at all adapted for the finding of very small localities. It illustrates, however, the general principle of mind acting on body producing muscular tension in the direction of the locality on which the thoughts are concentrated.

The relaxation, when the locality or its neighborhood is reached, is not so distinctly appreciated in this method of experimenting, which is sufficient, however, to enable the operator to get the right direction and to proceed until the corner or side of the room is reached; then, by a combination of manipulation and guess-work, she will, after