Professor Alexander Erskine - A Hypnotist’s Case Book – The parson whose hallucinations were surely driving him insane
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
A Hypnotist’s Case Book – Professor Alexander Erskine
I remember a parson coming to me one day. He was a man only just past the prime of his life, but a more abject picture of misery I have rarely seen. He sat in my room, buried his face in his hands, and remained motionless. I tried to cheer him up, but, like Rachael, he would not be comforted.
At last, emerging from his mood, he looked up and said solemnly, "I am a lost soul."
"Thank God!" I exclaimed, with a laugh. ”Is that all?"
As though galvanized into life, he sprang from his chair and, towering over me where I sat, raised his clenched fists in the air as though to strike me. So he stood for a minute, while I watched.
I waited for the blow to fall, and, when he seemed to hesitate, quietly told him the story of my days at Cuddesden College and of the message in the paper "Christ is not looking for credentials from you and me. He is looking for wounds to heal."
"Repeat that," he said; and, when I had done so:
"Now I am ready-what do you want ?"
"Sleep," I replied. "Just sleep peacefully, and find your soul again."
Set down thus in writing, the incident seems out of place. - But of all the cases I had through my hands, few have left such a lasting impression on me. Medical practitioners have to do with the ills of the body. Here, it seemed to me, was balm for the soul. Whether I could put this man to sleep had I been allowed to try as soon as he came into my room, I cannot say. I rather think I could not.
His acceptance in the waking state of my tacit suggestion was strong, and it might have helped him to win through. But the suggestion conveyed to him when he was asleep left no doubt as to the result.
He left a different man, nor, when he wrote to me some years later, had he ever suffered a recurrence of the hallucinations which were surely driving him insane