Monday, March 14, 2011

Quimby’s experiments in Mesmerism

A young lady, who was passing some time at my house during the past season, was sitting in the keeping room and I was in one of my chambers with my little daughter. I requested my daughter to go down into the keeping room and tell the young lady I wished her to give her attention to me for a few minutes, that I wished to perform some experiments upon her. I also requested my daughter to remain with her and see what they were. I then commenced the operation of my mind to paralyze one of her limbs. In a few minutes, her foot moved out and become entirely paralyzed. I then willed her to rise and walk and she immediately obeyed, saying to my daughter, "Your father desires me to walk and it is impossible for me to resist." I willed her to come to the chamber door, that I had something to say to her. She then asked my daughter "if her father did not speak." Upon her replying that he did not, she said "he did and wishes to tell me something." She came to my door and asked me if I did not speak to her. I replied that I did in my mind, but not with my voice. She could not believe that she did not hear my voice. These experiments were done in the evening and my wife being absent I told her that I should will her to ask my wife a question when she returned, but would not tell her what it should be. Wishing to see how far I could carry out this principle of operating upon her mind directly, I willed her to ask my wife if she had turned the cat out doors. In two hours from that time my wife came in and as she came up stairs, she enquired "if she had turned the cat out doors."

During my public exhibitions, I have practiced my subject, after the evening's exhibition is nearly closed, in similar experiments. I have left him and passed into another room and requested some one to tell me which of his arms to paralyze. Having directed me, he would return to my subject and request him to give his attention to me, that I was about to perform an experiment upon one of his limbs, arms or legs not allowing him to know which. Soon the arm, which I was requested to affect, would become paralyzed. Such experiments I have given to the public on many occasions. It is more difficult to influence the mind in the waking state than when mesmerized. Yet these experiments were done when he was awake.

My reader may enquire, whether such experiments are not all the influence of the imagination. We reply, that they are not imaginary, but real. The impressions received by the subject are real and not imaginary and the results are also real and not imaginary. The arm or foot does become paralyzed, and there is no imagination about it. If it were the result of an excited imagination the sequences could not be real. In the case of my subject, how could he know which arm I intended to operate upon? If he imagined, he could not produce the paralysis, and therefore no one can attribute it to imagination.

P. P. Quimby's Lecture Notes - Booklet 5

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