Richet, Charles Robert - Popular Science Monthly Volume 17 July 1880 – Healing and hypnosis
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Popular Science Monthly/Volume 17/July 1880/Hysteria And Demonism III - A Study In Morbid Psychology. - By Charles Richet.
Mesmer was not, in fact, the creator of the theory of animal magnetism. If the Marquis Armand de Puységur had not repeated his experiments, the art would not have existed, and the subjects of the baquet of Mesmer would have been put in the same class with the convulsionists of St. Médard.
Puységur cured several sick at Poissons by touching them; then others, and still others.
He gathered disciples, be wrote numerous papers, he indicated the processes that should be employed to put a subject to sleep, he described the phases of induced somnambulism, between 1785 and 1825.
Experimentists, whose good faith, if not their good sense, could not be suspected, everywhere repeated his experiments; physicians and men of science occupied themselves with them and confirmed them in part.
Petetin, Deleuze, Dupotet, Husson, Braid, and many other persons whose names are less familiar, developed and interpreted his ideas.
Through their confused work the fact has been brought up into clear evidence, from among the absurd errors and hardly imaginable follies in which it was buried, that a nervous affection of a peculiar nature may be induced among subjects who are more or less predisposed to it.
At present, all enlightened physicians recognize that somnambulism exists with symptoms which are always identical, and that it has a right to be recognized.