Ades, Eduard and Marguerite - Eduard hypnotises Marguerite
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Dr Paul Brunton
A Search in Secret Egypt
She sat on a straight-backed chair while Monsieur Ades stood next to her and began the demonstration. He pressed his right thumb between Madame Marguerite's eyebrows and kept it there for about two minutes, while steadily watching her face. He did no more than this, never attempting to make any passes over her with his hands nor using any other devices that usually form part of a hypnotist's technique.
"When I first commenced to hypnotize Madame Marguerite many years ago," he explained, speaking rapidly in French, "I used a complicated method and had to wait a considerable time before she passed into the first degree of the trance state. Now we have worked together so often that I can dispense with all other preparations and hypnotize her almost at once, although no other hypnotist could have the same success with her. Look! She is now hypnotized."
Madame Marguerite's body had become somewhat rigid, her eyes had closed and she appeared lost to her surroundings. I asked permission to examine her and, raising her eyelids, found the conventional signs of unsensitiveness - the eyeballs had turned upwards on their axes and were fixed in that unnatural position. This was scientific evidence that she had entered the first degree of hypnotic trance.
Now came the most interesting experiment. Ades put his subject into the second degree of hypnotic trance by touching her forehead and giving her the spoken suggestion. In this state the latent powers of the subconscious mind stir into striking activity.
He commanded her to sit down at his desk. Immediately she obeyed. She looked a strange figure with the heavy red bandage around her eyes.
He asked us to select at random any passage from any book we chose. We selected a French scientific work, opened it by chance at page fifty-three, marked a certain paragraph, and set it down on the desk by the subject.
Madame Marguerite picked up a pencil while Monsieur Ades placed a sheet of paper on the desk. He said, in a firm voice: "Now find the chosen passage in the book. You will read it without difficulty, then transcribe what you read, on to the paper beside you. Begin!"
WRITING WHILE BLINDFOLDED
The hypnotized woman poised her pencil in the air for a minute while she gazed through the bandage at the printed pages, then she began to write across the paper in a slow deliberate manner. Having written three or four words, she returned to the book and bent her face over the page, just as though her eyes were open and she could read every line. Yet we were satisfied that we had taken every precaution to prevent her doing this.
She continued this process of alternate reading and writing, a process which we watched with barely suppressed excitement. Ades assured us that she was accurately copying every word of the paragraph. He himself stood silent throughout. I asked him to command her to underline certain words: the second word of the second line and the third word of the third line. The command was given and we watched her slowly underscore two words. The passage was finished at last and we eagerly walked over to the desk and inspected the written sheet, comparing it word for word with the printed original. The latter read:
"Toutefois le danger scientifique est ici -beaucoup moins du côté des statisticiens trop zélés que du côté de ceus qui tendent à conclure d'après leur intuition sur un nombre limité . . . . "
A reference to the accompanying reproduction of the sheet in Madame Marguerite's handwriting reveals the fact that her copy was astonishingly accurate, and that she correctly underlined the two words indicated. She made a single error: instead of "statisticiens" she wrote "statistiques." A curious but understandable mistake.
Madame Marguerite did not complete the paragraph, because we thought sufficient had been written to demonstrate her strange faculty.
Another interesting experiment was to get her to write precisely the same paragraph but using her left hand. Normally she is not ambidextrous, but in the hypnotic state she carried through the task with ease.
After that, a series of figures were dictated to her by Monsieur Ades for addition, we supplying the figures to him previously. From the accompanying plate which reproduces her actual writing, it will be seen that she misunderstood the last figures in the first sum, viz. 13, 103, and had to make a fresh start. Though she was still heavily blindfolded, she was able to set down two sums with the digits in the proper columns, and to add them up correctly.
The next experiment indicated what immense possibilities lie latent and unfolded in us. The visitor whom I had brought took the subject's hand in hers and concentrated strongly upon the mental image of her husband. After a short time Madame Ades described-the character, capacities, temperament, and even physical appearance of the absent man. Most extraordinary was her statement that he was a Government official.
"Correct!" was the surprised lady's comment on this reading of her own mind.
The source of the experienceAdes, Eduard and Marguerite
Concepts, symbols and science items
Activities and commonsteps
Brunton, Dr. P. (1936) A Search in Secret Egypt, 2nd revised edition, New York: Samuel Weiser, Inc