Thursday, June 5, 2014


It will seem strange to many that there can be any connection between hypnotism and religion, for hypnotism is regarded in so many quarters as suspect. Men still shrink from it as from one of the black arts. This is not to be wondered at when one knows its history. It has been exploited and misused by the magic-mongerer and the organizer of crude exhibitions in village market-places and the like, until it has come to be regarded almost as an unholy thing. This attitude to it has been the more readily taken because the subject is so little understood. One of the tasks of modern psychology will be to rescue the practice of hypnotism from this degrading position and show it to be, in skilled hands, a normal way of making an examination of the unconscious mind, and of suggesting to that mind ideas which afterwards will be realized by the personality to the great benefit of the latter. As one patient said to a psychologist, 'when I came I thought I was going to be doped. . . . Now I know that I have lived for years in a cellar, and that you have lifted me out and liberated what was in me.'