Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/244

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releasing touch of cold a permutator of highest degree? It made every other possible, it forged the first link in the chain of forces, vital, mental, moral, in the life of earth and man.

What is here indicated in outline was suggested by the writer in the Popular Science Monthly for June, 1876. He has since gathered from men of mark in diverse walks of science data from which inferences such as those here set forth may be deduced in ample detail. These data he expects in due time to offer to the public, together with consideration of the facts which mask or qualify the permutative principle in evolution—a principle which accounts for the leaps of progress, human and general, for the accelerations of that progress, and for there being chapters missing in its story.



IN my two preceding articles (March and April numbers) I have discussed what may be termed categorical suggestions and other closely related topics. I shall now take up certain other forms of suggestion.

From the conception of suggestibility it follows that any mental state, however initiated, tends to produce certain results. The most familiar method of initiation is through the instrumentality of language, but there are other methods. What is known as waxlike catalepsy, for example (flexibilitas cerea), is merely a form of suggestibility to motor impressions. When I take the arm of a cataleptic patient and bend it into a given position it remains fixed where I put it. In bending it I produce certain sensations, approximately those of a movement; among the possible results of such sensations is the production of the movement in question, and in the patient's disordinated condition this is the only apparent and perhaps the only actual result. It is also true that a pseudo-catalepsy may be found in less complete forms of disordination, in which the movement which I impress upon the arm is felt by the drowsy upper consciousness and accepted as indicative of a command. I saw some years ago a very curious illustration of an analogous motor suggestion in the case of a man who was subject to hystero-epileptic convulsions. Dr. B—— had hypnotized him standing; he then fell backward, and we allowed him to recline with his heels on the floor and his back fiat upon the bed. This brought him into a very uncomfortable position, in which his head was bent backward toward his heels. He at once began to show signs of a convulsion, and, in spite of our imperative suggestions to keep quiet, grew worse every second. Then it oc-