Hypnotism has been practiced for many centuries, but it was in the mid-to-late nineteenth century that it became a particularly fashionable way to explore the human mind.
Although understanding of the subject has evolved considerably over subsequent years, this book remains a fascinating insight into a technique once thought to be at the forefront of medical science.
There is no doubt that hypnotism is a very old subject, though the name was not invented till 1850. Probably it was one of the magi mentioned in the Bible and of the "wise men" of Babylon and Egypt.
"Laying on of hands" must have been a form of mesmerism, and Greek oracles of Delphi and other places seem to have been delivered by priests or priestesses who went into trances of self-induced hypnotism.
It is suspected that the fakirs of India who make trees grow from dry twigs in a few minutes, or transform a rod into a serpent (as Aaron did in Bible history), operate by some form of hypnotism.
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