Talma, François Joseph - Willing the audience to look like skeletons
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
from Illustrations Of The Influence Of The Mind Upon The Body In Health And Disease, Designed To Elucidate The Action Of The Imagination - Daniel Hack Tuke, M.D., M.R.C.P.,
PART III. THE WILL.
CHAPTER XIV. INFLUENCE OF THE WILL UPON SENSATION, THE VOLUNTARY AND INVOLUNTARY MUSCLES, AND THE ORGANIC FUNCTIONS.
SECTION I.— Influence of the Will upon Sensation.
Hyacinthe Zanglois, a distinguished artist of Rouen, who was on intimate terms with Talma, told M. Brierre de Boismont that "this great actor had informed him that when he entered on the stage he was able, by the power of the Will, to banish from his sight the dress of his numerous and brilliant audience, and to substitute in the place of these living persons so many skeletons. When his imagination had thus filled the theatre with these singular spectators, the emotions which he experienced gave such an impulse to his acting as to produce the most startling effects" (On Hallucinations. By Brierre de Boismont. Translated by Robert T. Huline, F.L.S. 1860, p. 41). On this case M. Brierre remarks,
" The hallucination is thus, in some cases, under the control of the Will, and would seem to be excited instantaneously."