Martineau, Harriet - Letters on Mesmerism - The healing
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Letters on Mesmerism – Harriet Martineau
The next day, … Mr. Hall was prevented by illness from coming over, too late to let me know. Unwilling to take any opiate while in expectation of his arrival, and too wretched to do without some resource, I rang for my maid, and asked whether she had any objection to attempt what she saw Mr. Hall do the day before. With the greatest alacrity she complied.
Within one minute the twilight and phosphoric lights appeared; and in two or three more, a delicious sensation of ease spread through me, a cool comfort, before which all pain and distress gave way, oozing out, as it were, at the soles of my feet.
During that hour, and almost the whole evening, I could no more help exclaiming with pleasure than a person in torture crying out with pain. I became hungry, and ate with relish, for the first time for five years. There was no heat, oppression, or sickness during the seance, nor any disorder afterwards.
During the whole evening, instead of the lazy hot ease of opiates, under which pain is felt to lie in wait, I experienced something of the indescribable sensation of health, which I had quite lost and forgotten. I walked about my rooms, and was gay and talkative. Something of this relief remained till the next morning; and then there was no reaction. I was no worse than usual; and perhaps rather better.
Nothing is to me more unquestionable and more striking about this influence than the absence of all reaction. Its highest exhilaration is followed, not by depression or exhaustion, but by a further renovation.
From the first hour to the present, I have never fallen back a single step. Every point gained has been steadily held.
Improved composure of nerve and spirits has followed upon every mesmeric exhilaration. I have been spared all the weaknesses of convalescence, and carried through all the usually formidable enterprises of return from deep disease to health with a steadiness and tranquillity astonishing to all witnesses.
At this time, before venturing to speak of my health as established, I believe myself more firm in nerve, more calm and steady in mind and spirits, than at any time of my life before. So much, in consideration of the nature and common fear of the mesmeric influence as pernicious excitement, -as a kind of intoxication.