Blindfolded and epilepsy
Type of Spiritual Experience
The following describes the experiments that Professor Fontan of Toulan undertook on a man with epileptic fits and described originally in a paper entitled Hystero-epilepsie Masculine; suggestion, inhibition, transposition des sens - August 1887 and published in the Revue Philosophique. So again a man suffering from brain damage but who was also blindfolded but could ‘see’ ……………..
The diagnosis is not very precise, it could have been a stroke or epilepsy
A description of the experience
Extract from Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research volume v
[from Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death – F W H Myers]
The subject B is a sailor, aged twenty two, apparently robust, but suffering from hysteria, with attacks of catalepsy. When he came under Dr Fontan’s care, his left side was wholly devoid of feeling, and the sense of smell was absent on that side; sight and hearing diminished, taste normal………
The same experiments were repeated next day with fresh specimens of wool. And next the room was completely darkened, B’s hand was placed in a box containing various patterns of wool, which he had never either seen or touched, and he was told to choose the blue ones.
‘He seized them’ says Dr Fontan, in a letter rather more detailed than the printed account, ‘with such rapidity, such force, tossing aside all those which he did not want, that we supposed that the experiment had failed. Shut up in a dark room, where we could not see each other, we did not know what was going on and fearing some access of frenzy, I precipitated myself on the subject and hypnotised him strongly, by pressing the globes of the eyes. He had time enough during this scene, which did not last 5 seconds, to choose the wools, and to hide them in his bosom. At no other time did he show such eagerness for the suggested colour’
He had in fact selected four blue skeins, which he clutched so closely that he had to be altogether inhibited before they could be taken from him